Saturday, January 26, 2008

Teachering Indignation

Thursday: Last day for students to get help before finals. Thirty two students decide they need help THAT DAY. Twenty eight of them for the first time all semester. One of them stays to ask one question about something from chapter 2 (covered in October), and when I don't sit down with her one on one for a private tutoring session, gets up and leaves. Ten minutes later I get a call from her mom.

"Haley* said she tried to get help but couldn't get help."

"There are over two dozen other students in here right now, so I couldn't sit down with her, but she was welcome to stay."

"Well then, what should she do?"

Options running through my head: (a) invent a time machine and go back to Wake The Fuck Up Day (b) suck it up and actually do the homework that had been assigned back in the day, or, even, y'know, yesterday (c) find someone else to ask.

I went with option c. "Maybe she could ask her math teacher from last year? Or she could come back."

But seriously, dude.

Because not an hour later there was an all-user email from one of the counselors. "Math teachers--are any of you doing study sessions for finals? Because I've had a lot of students crying in my office."

First of all: did that REALLY need to be sent to all the teachers and staff at school? I guess those social studies teachers really needed to know that us math teachers were SLACKING. Second of all: um, YEAH. Because you know when I read that email? AT SIX-THIRTY, when I STILL hadn't left school because I'd been helping students until after four.

(Okay, many people from not-education maybe be saying, four? POOR BABY. Except that I'd been there, helping teenagers since before seven, with only twenty minutes where I was talking to adults during lunch. I was done. BEYOND done.)

And might I add? ONE of those students with a sudden need to talk exponents? Was the counselor's own daughter.

*Not her real name. Not to say that it couldn't be her name, but it wasn't. No, I swear! It wasn't!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

holiday madnesses

holiday madnesses
Originally uploaded by karijean
See all those stockings? Pretty impressive. Especially considering that two of them are over thirty years old, and three of them are under a year old.

There was also a surprise: inside my stocking, a wee little red-and-white baby bootie, adorned with our baby's name on it. Get it? Because he's still inside me? So his stocking is inside mine?

My mom, dad and sister had been giggling to themselves for three days about that before I was told to look in my stocking.

Also note the menorah on the mantel (which totally sounds like a cheesy holiday album: Menorah on the Mantle: Seasonal Songs for Your Mixed Family). Gail held eight-week-old Ellie up to it and said, "Look, sweetie! that's for the Jew in you!"

Click on the picture for more.

short story

Getting ready to go out:

Him: "Hey, why don't you wear that giant shirt your mom gave you for Christmas?"

Me: "Giant?"

Him: "You know, I heard that coming out of my mouth and thought, who's editing this stuff?"

Me: "Giant?"

Him: "Very attractive and long maternity shirt."

Me: "GIANT?"

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Things they never tell you about teachering and pregnancy

  • Teenagers, assuming they like you, will at some point get comfortable enough that they will ask you very personal questions. Not the ones you are mildly prepared to be "surprised" by, but ones that you will have no prepared answer for. "Do you have kids?" "Why not?" "Do you want them?" "When will you have them?" And countless variations that there's just no preparing for. And no amount of saying, "That's a very personal question, and none of your business" will suffice, because that's only one period's worth of teenagers. You have five periods a day, and then there's a whole new semester's worth coming in January.
  • Once you get pregnant, teenagers get very upset if you don't tell them personally. If, say, you tell one class and you don't tell another. (How do you "announce" your pregnancy to a room full of 30 hormonally challenged young adults, anyway?) I'm just saying.
  • Teenagers also think you will instantly be giving birth. When you tell them that you won't be gone until say, April (and late April at that!) they are shocked and surprised. Apparently they expected you to be on maternity leave in the next four weeks.
  • You know how pregnant women get swollen ankles? Try teachering. Oh dear heaven.
  • It's really hard to convince yourself to sit more and still be a teacher.
  • Perhaps not surprising, but still not something that had occurred to me: the prospect of naming is very important to students. They will offer suggestions almost daily, usually suggestions that are very very very close to their own name. And the weirdness of the suggestion of naming your child after a student will completely escape them.
  • If you start to experience SPD, teaching will suuuuck. Every, every day.
  • After all of that, you will be surprised every day with how much these teenagers care. Not really surprising, maybe, given how concerned they are with other, more earthy aspects of reproduction, but at the same time, there will be moments of absolute charm. Some of these kids will delight in your progress. Some, girls especially, will privately and timidly ask if they can touch your belly. They will take paramount interest in if you are having a boy or a girl. Some, that you don't have in class at all, and haven't for two years, will hear from someone who heard from someone that you are pregnant and will come by just to say how happy they are for you.

    And then they'll ask you to name the baby after them.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

With much stamping of feet, and rending of garments

I'm not ready.

I'm not reeeeaddy.

Don't send me back there!

This past week has been a week of decadence. I have watched more football than I thought possible (go blue!). Apparently, getting a big fat ol hdtv television (thank you, Oregon, for your very bizarre kicker check law...) makes you watch more sports than you ever have in the rest of your life put together. There's only a few HDTV channels on our cable but the sports! Dear heaven, the sports! It's like being able to see every single blade of grass! Sometimes, I like just watching the little ESPN ticker tape that goes along the bottom because the clarity gives me chills.

Of course, as a result, I know all about the Dolphins coach getting the axe and how surprised the Ravens coach was to get fired, I'm know the results of pretty much every single college bowl game, and I'm following the basketball schedules of several different cities across the country. I'm not proud, I'm just addicted.

I guess.

Another way to look at it: I've been battling a severe case of fatigue. For a while. I was tired in the first trimester, but rumor has it, that's normal. Everyone told me that, hey after the first trimester, it all gets much easier! And it hasn't. It just hasn't. I feel like I've been walking around in a fog for the past six months--not sleeping well, but never actually awake. Or if I am awake, it's not for long, and then I'm back to monosyllables and looking for an activity that involves a lot of couch sitting. Holding conversations becomes a heavy task.

So I had my 5month appointment last week (a couple weeks late) and talked to my doctor about it, and I've taken some tests and have some new supplements and hopefully that will help.

In the meantime, my lovely lovely lovely winter break is just a few hours from being over, and I'm getting the shakes because I'm really not ready.

You can't make me go! You can't maaaaaake me!