Tuesday, May 31, 2005

the questions and their proper answers (and then some):

from het:
how did u come up with the name posthipchick?

well, het, here's the deal. i used to feel sort of young and hip and with-it, and then the feeling of hipness happened less often, and then i got MARRIED, for the love of god, like the least hip thing a person could do, and then i moved to the SUBURBS, which is like hell on earth for hipsters (and me, incidentally), and then i started shopping at the gap and then i knew it was over. so the post means beyond and the hip means cool and the chick means girl, which i still am, although maybe i'm a woman now since i AM GOING TO BE 30 IN 2 DAYS!

from someone without a blog (hi, gwen!):
how many career counselors does your school have for students?

ha, gwen! you are SO FUNNY! we have exactly 0 counselors for our 600+ students. i'm sure some fancy schools have career counselors or counselors at all, but typically, as far as i've heard, inner-city schools have few or none. other teachers may want to chime in with their stats on this, because i can only speak for my own school.

from puddledog:
the lady wants the book recommendations. the lady will get just that.
i have to preface this by saying that my reading is going through a troubled time. i have felt, for months now, unable to focus on any reading whatsoever, and have actually PUT BOOKS DOWN that were perfectly good, but that i just don't have the focus for of late. that being said, my tastes are for the fast and furious- the good and easy punch. it's sad, but it's what i have to offer right now:

you remind me of me

as she climbed across the table
plan b: further thoughts on faith

when fox is a thousand

a home at the end of the world

and the question that nobody asked but i'll answer anyway:
yes, i do feel strangely proud that deep throat was found in my hometown.

see, folks, wasn't that fun? didn't you learn something? and wasn't it more interesting than me talking about how busy and tired i am (not a wooing tool). keep the questions coming, and i'll keep up with the answers

Sunday, May 29, 2005

two years, four months:

i've been keeping this blog. and i have suddenly run out of things to say. and so, please let this commence the official blog-questioning of posthipchick. send me your questions (in the comments or via email: posthipchick@gmail.com) and hopefully that will inspire me with something to say.

Friday, May 27, 2005

why i haven't been blogging:

* the thematic unit for ell's that was due on tuestday (10 pages)
* the year-long teaching portfolio that was due on wednesday (a year long project that i STARTED on sunday)
* the student/ staff softball game i planned for tuesday (students won- 9-0. sad!)
* the boys vs. girls flag football game i organized for wednesday
* the student/ staff jeopardy game i planned and hosted on thursday (again, the students won. even MORE pathetic!)
* the talent show practice every day for the talent show today
* the untimely death of a family friend

next week is going to be SO MUCH EASIER.
praise be the lord.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

extra points for the student who wrote the following on his letter about his behavior:

p.s. ms. j, i like your new shoes. you look dazzling in them.

Monday, May 23, 2005

the scene: a suburban home
the year: 1980
the cast: lots of pot-smoking, vodka-drinking, good-time lovin' parents of young kids, said young kids, ranging in age from 2-10, a gaggle of animals thrown in, and a swimming pool
the story: every school year ended with a pool party at a's house- parents, teachers, siblings, and all the kids. this was before insurance and liability ruled every aspect of decision making. this was a time when the kids would swim for hours and hours, the parents drinking martinis and taking tokes by the side of the house (dear lord, they were the same age i am now!), lying on rafts in the pool occasionally with a cigarette in hand, someone bbq'ing up some hot dogs and hamburgers for everyone, and a party that lasted well into the evening. some of the kids would leave, but those of us with die-hard parents would end up crawling into sleeping bags and beds and giggling for hours before falling off to sleep. i can see a perfect picture, now, of the carefree nature of the world. perhaps it is childhood innocence, but this was also the 80's- the ME generation- and our parents embraced it. kids were not the rulers of the domain, not the center-of-their-lives, and i can't say we've ended up much worse for it. sure, there's a lot of therapy, and few people i know from that time are not jacked up on meds of some sort, but i have few idyllic pictures in my mind from childhood, but nights like these are one of them.

later: it is 2002 and i get a call. one of the boys from this picture, the younger brother of a, was killed in a motorcycle accident. though we haven't all been in touch in years, we make it to the funeral. with some people, the years make no difference. of course we will be there. the last three years are filled with grief and memories, and reuniting, and marriages, and babies to try to put some new people forward. there are regular phone calls and emails. there is a lot of talk of getting together again, but somehow, in the craziness of everyday life, it doesn't happen.

another call. the mother of the boy that died three years ago died last night. the last time i saw her was her son's funeral. it doesn't matter, because i can still picture almost every last detail of her face, 25 years ago. i can't believe it's happened again, to the same family. i can't believe the grief a. is going to have to live with. i can't believe we were once so carefree.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

sure sign of a teacher:


Saturday, May 21, 2005

perhaps, if you are a white girl like me, you have never been to a quincenera. but i got myself invited to one today, and people, i must tell you. YOU ARE MISSING OUT! BIG TIME!

things i saw today that i have never seen before:

* a party that had THREE, count them, THREE separate bands playing, sometimes overlapping, and always LOUD
* a roomful of taffeta
* boys (attendents) doing a little shuffle, shuffle dance with roses in their hands
* a fire dance of some sort, where all the boys held cups of fire and did a dance. around all that taffeta! i was nervous!
* a dance similar to the horah, but instead of sitting in chairs, the girl sat (and then stood!) on some wrapping-paper covered piece of wood. i was nervous!
* a creepy looking quincenera doll that will probably give me nightmares
* a cake with more layers than i could count
* fake roses with fake water drops on them
* hairstyles that seemed so wild, i was afraid they were going to get up and head out on their own

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

why this week is turning into is a train wreck. twitch.:

student council meeting at lunch
dinner for credentialing program: 4-7 p.m.

wake up at 2 a.m., in writhing, horrific, crampy pain. up for 2 hours, moaning and crying.
observed by advisor: 1st period
observed by other teachers for collaborative learning: 3rd, 4th periods
observe other teachers for collaborative learning: 2nd, 5th periods
staff meeting: 3-4
final: 4-10 p.m.

county office patrol at school, all day
student council meeting at lunch to practice anti-bullying skit for incoming 6th graders
3-4: talent show practice. i sweat a lot.
4-6: technology showcase at district office

ok, we're here. i'm half dead already. but wait, there's MORE!

meet with parent: 8 a.m.
student council meeting at lunch to practice anti-bullying skit for incoming 6th graders
3-4: poster-making for upcoming spirit week in my room
6-7: open house

student council meeting at lunch to practice anti-bullying skit for incoming 6th graders
dance: 3-5
dr. appt: 4:30

oh, this is beautiful. i'm going to one of my student's quincinera's and she has invited most of my students AND THEIR PARENTS. some parents i have been trying to reach for MONTHS. i cannot wait to talk to them (and to see my students all decked out in their finest).

the list goes on, but i'll stop boring you. suffice it to say that on top of all of this, i need to put together my teaching portfolio and a thematic unit addressing the needs of eld students by next wednesday. i fear i'm going to collapse some time before then, or develop yet another twitch (my eye has been twitching for over a month now, and this week i've developed a thigh twitch. stress is so fun. twitch.)

Monday, May 16, 2005

i had one of my student council girls in with me during my prep today, going over a skit she had written about bullying to be presented at our upcoming 6th grade orientation. we walked into my room, and before even sitting down, she wanted to talk about love. specifically, her own love life.
"ms. j, do you know who i'm going out with?"
"nope", i replied, "and i don't want to." (they always want to give me the latest gossip and i am forever trying to stop them).
"JUAN", she informed me, ignoring my request.
"that's nice", i said, "but let me see your skit."
"but ms. j, i just don't feel the same way about him as i did about pedro." (they were *the* hot item a few months back). "i mean, i like him, he is SOOOO nice. but i think i might still like pedro."
"mmmmm..." i reply.
"how long will it take before i stop liking him?"

oh baby, i sure wish i knew the answer to that when i was 15. or 19. or 22. or 25. it will stop, i assured her, feeling confident in my answer. it WILL. for you, no more than six months until you've completely forgotten him and moved on to all the high school boys. at 19, maybe a little longer. at 25, maybe a lot longer. but you WILL get over him.
it's funny, when you haven't had that sort of heartache in a long time, how quickly you forget how consuming it can be. i know that at 15, i was SURE i would never get over dean oren arthur III. but i did, and so will she. and so will you.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

because i'm supposed to be doing a million other things at 9 a.m. on this saturday morning, you know i can't help but rally to the call of my blogger twin and expand on a few sentence starters. you are supposed to pick five to write about and three people to "challenge". here goes:

if I could be a scientist...If I could be a farmer...If I could be a musician...If I could be a doctor...If I could be a painter...If I could be a gardener...If I could be a missionary...If I could be a chef...If I could be an architect...If I could be a linguist...If I could be a psychologist...If I could be a librarian...If I could be an athlete...If I could be a lawyer...If I could be an inn-keeper...If I could be a professor...If I could be a writer...If I could be a llama-rider...If I could be a bonnie pirate...If I could be an astronaut...If I could be a world famous blogger...If I could be a justice on any one court in the world...If I could be married to any current famous political figure...

1) if i could be a musician, i would be a singer-songwriter. i would play a rockin' guitar and belt out lyrics in a way that was similar to therapy (i have found that music can be as good as therapy some days). i would have a small but loyal following and would spend six months a year on the road, and six months a year at home. my concerts would start at 5 and end at 8, because i don't have the stamina for more than that.

2) if i could be a chef, i would make beautiful and scrumptious desserts. they would come out perfectly every time, and i would learn to become detail-oriented when it comes to decoration. bella would be my assistant, liking bowls and beaters by the hour. we would all be happy.

3) if i could be a librarian, i would run a moving library that brought new, interesting, and diverse books to kids in poor neighborhoods. at the very, very most, 50% of my students have been to a bookstore, so who can blame them for not liking to read? they don't even know what they're missing! i would drive around my roving library and show them what they're missing. and when they didn't return the books, i would be happy that they found a book to love.

4) if i could be a writer, i would have the patience and stamina to write. i would not become riddled with add everytime i thought about sitting down to write more than a blog post. i would think that writing was enjoyable, and not a chore that i would do anything to avoid. i would write about my life in a way that was funny and self-deprecating and reached other people. again, i would have a small (but bigger than if i was a musician) but loyal following.

5) if i could be married to any famous political figure, it would be bill clinton, without question. i would revel in his charisma on a regular basis, and when i wasn't reveling, i would be his spokesperson for the rights of women, the working class, immigrants, schools, children, and every other group that needs a spokesperson with some power and connections.

now, who else wants to play? i'll challenge ginnybonk, firstyearteacher and puddledog (because i'm pretty sure they are all reading and want to find something to do instead of what they should be doing). anyone else want to play? i challenge you too!

Thursday, May 12, 2005

a high school in my hometown is going to start offering contraceptives to students. not just condoms, as was the big debate in posthipchick's day, but also birth control pills and the morning-after pill. i can't believe i actually have a debate in my head about this, but i do. on one hand, i do believe in making birth control accessible to teens, but is school the best place to do this? i don't know anymore.
there are a lot of questions here that remain unanswered, at least to me. are they going to do medical exams before giving girls the pill? that has always been protocol, but when will they do this? during classtime? and will there be any counseling when prescribing this medication? i'm also confused about how this gets done legally; my school can't even give out neosporin or tampons. what do you think about this? i'd love to know.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

old referrals found in my messy, disgusting teacher bag today:

- j. refused to go to his assigned seat, even though i asked him over 10 times. he finally got up to go (after 20 minutes), and as he was sitting down, jumped up and ran acrossing the room, chasing v., claiming v. had taken his hat. we are trying to take a test!

- b. was supposed to be studying but instead was punching and breaking a cd into tiny pieces in the front of the class. i have included the test he needs to take this period.

- d. said to another student "have you seen j's mom? she is HOT!" i told him i did not want to hear that sort of discussion in the classroom and he told me to "leave, then!" and that I "didn't own the classroom."

- j. wrote "fag" on his whiteboard, which should only be used for educational purposes.

- t. has been defiant, refusing to comply with my requests to follow the classroom rules. she yelled out "fuck" (she has already called her mom and told her) and when i tried to talk to her about it, she said she "didn't want to talk to me" and that i should "shut up".

- r. was being held in for detention (2nd time) and left the room without being excused (2nd time).

Monday, May 09, 2005

in good news:

this semester, i have really been stressing to my students the importance of using appropriate language. i didn't come at them by getting them in trouble, or making them feel bad, but by telling them i was worried for their future- they can't go into job interviews using that sort of language. many of them argued with me (i know, surprise, surprise!) that their language was fine (much use of "shut up", "hell", "damn", "shit", "stupid", "gay", etc.), and that they were allowed to use it at home AND that adults used it around them. i countered the argument by asking if they had ever heard ME use that language around them. of course, they said no. i asked them, and gently prodded them, to treat the classroom like MY home, one where it wasn't acceptable to use those sorts of words- you know, just to try it and see how it went. i hung up a big sign at the front of the class, saying "PLEASE USE CLASSROOM APPROPRIATE LANGUAGE. THANK YOU!". when they did use the myriad of cuss words in their vocabularies, i wouldn't get upset, but just point to the sign. usually, they would remember and try to rephrase it ("shitake mushrooms!", or "fiddley!", or "please be quiet"). well, i am pleased to say there has been a real decrease in foul language overall, but the best came today from one of my students. she ran up to me this morning, saying "ms. j, guess what? i noticed this weekend that i have actually CHANGED the way i talk and i don't swear as much, even at home. and every time i do, i see your sign hanging up, telling me to use appropriate language!"

pat me on the fucking back.
real-life message from my mom today, on my CELL PHONE, which she only calls in emergencies, because that newfangled technology is too confusing:

"THIS IS A REMINDER to watch oprah today to find out about her and stedman's "daughter" and her issues. and if it turns out to be her dog, I AM NEVER WATCHING AGAIN!"

Sunday, May 08, 2005

i am curious:

how much do you spend on food (groceries + eating out) per week? how many people live in your household? and where do you live?

Saturday, May 07, 2005

let's take a moment and savor how amazing a hot shower feels after THREE DAYS of cold showers/ sponge baths.
really freakin' amazing. really.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

cinco de aqua:

i seem to have some sort of weird water-is-against me situation happening today. first off, it's may 5th and i live in california. why is it pouring rain? why was it raining so hard that it woke me up way before my alarm, rendering me sleepless for the rest of the morning and groggy for the rest of the day? why, when i got out of class at 7 p.m., was there yet another torrential downpour of previously unknown proportions, soaking me down to my underwear (yup, the new ones!)? and then, when i returned home (10 miles from school and eerily dry), cold and wet, and looking forward to nothing but a long, hot shower, was our hot water heater suddenly, and for no apparent reason, broken? why did i, due to teeny tiny issues of ocd, still have to rinse myself in freezing water? usually water is my friend- it keeps me clean and lets me drink it all the live-long day- but today it seems to have turned against me.

looking forward to yet another freezing shower tomorrow morning.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

in further unbelievable news from the front lines, one of my students- regular readers will remember her as the one who i filed a police report about for grabbing me- moms' was taken to jail early yesterday morning. the police came in and raided the house and found "things" (god only knows what) and hauled the mom off. the 14 & 16-year old daughters? they would be abandoned. i am seriously perplexed about why the police did not call in social workers to deal with the children, but i don't know who to ask this to. i think they clearly fucked up. i don't really know where the girl is at this point- she hasn't been to school- but if, by tomorrow, she does not show, i'm calling the authorities. beyond the fact that she doesn't have, um, ANYONE (she doesn't know her dad), she has also been suffering from a severe bladder/ kidney infection for WEEKS now that we've been trying to get her treatment for. but doctors won't see minors without a parent, and now there is no parent (mom was refusing to take her before this).
talk about slipping through the cracks. it's really terrifying that this is how our society is set up to deal with children, or rather, not deal with them. mind you, i called cps on this girl months ago, but they refused to take a report, claiming no negligence was occurring.
does this make anyone else want to start breaking things?

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

geek love:

my husband started this little internet thread about teachers out in his cyberworld today. how much do i love him? so much it hurts.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

a little advice:

when your professor emails you about how he is concerned about your burn-out because of how emotionally involved you are with your students, it is probably not funny to email him back with therapy jokes and about how mentally unstable you really are. as it turns out, your sense of humor might not translate so well over email to someone who doesn't know you and then he might be even MORE concerned and want you to "talk to someone". i'm just saying.

update: said professor just quoted that goddamn starfish story from chicken soup for the soul, so i think we can all safely say his advice doesn't count.
10 reasons why i love firstyearteacher:

1. because she is as bitter as i am
2. because she made me laugh, even while studying medieval literature (NOT a funny subject, no!)
3. because she gives unpopular opinion and doesn't care what anyone thinks
4. she also gives good naps
5. because her eyes swell up everytime she gets her brows done and she looks really funny
6. because she was 2 weeks ahead of me during tfa institute and could give me the scoop on everything i should expect
7. because when i was suffering through my first year of teaching and only hearing 22-year-old tfa'ers talk about what a "stellar experience" this was and how they had "no classroom issues", she would remind me that they were so insecure that they had to lie and make me feel sane again.
8. because if she hadn't been with me during our 12-hour performance art piece, there is little chance i would be here today
9. because she has been in some of the most down-low situations i have ever heard of (i.e., having ALL of her clothes stolen and having nowhere to live) and always pulls herself up by the bootstraps
10. because she is crazy smart, wickedly funny, and loves everyone she doesn't hate

now go on and wish my lovely friend a 30th birthday to remember.
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