Saturday, June 18, 2005

7 school days and counting...

1. Dissecting frogs is really, really fun. I put it off until the end of the year because, frankly, it made me nervous and I wasn't that attached to the idea that middle school students even needed to have this experience (we didn't dissect anything until high school and I got a good education). It turned out to be a stroke of luck. Can you think of anything else that could keep 25-30 kids on task, abuzz with science talk, after their tests and high school acceptances and everything else, during the last two unbearably hot weeks of school? Yeah, neither can I.

2. It is really hard to change the way you relate to important people in your life, be they your sister, your ex, or an old friend.

3. I have been accused of being the least observant science teacher on Earth. It might be true. Unless I'm leading the way, I hardly ever notice where I am. I am the last to notice relationships between students. Suspicious bruises, new hair-dos, uniform violations, bad breath... other teachers see these things, I don't. Isn't observation one of the skills you teach? Yeah, yeah.

4. Yesterday's 8th grade "senior picnic" was a lot of fun. The kids have reached the point where we can take 'em to the park for a few hours and just let them hang out, and they will break off into little groups and talk quietly, or organize pick-up basketball games, or chat with their teachers, and we don't have to worry about them. Then they drink soda and all that changes, but it's fun while it lasts!

5. Some of our kids like basketball so much they will risk all the KFC Crispy Chicken - that they paid for! - being eaten as long as they get to keep playing.

6. "Teachers always write the most in our autograph books..." "That's because it's our last chance to impart nuggets of wisdom."

7. A new small high school is taking over the top floor of our building next year, forcing us to move out of the sixth floor and into the other half of the fifth floor. They've decided to start construction before the school year ends, so this week all the teachers on the sixth floor had to pack up their rooms and move. The last few days we've had kids packing and carrying stuff downstairs, flooding at the water fountains, lots of coverages due to our colleague being in the hospital (he's doing much better, by the way, and is out of the ICU!), any number of 8th grade special events, yadda yadda yadda. Oh, and did I mention that we're interviewing people for various positions? And the seventh grade is doing a big interdisciplinary project on the Olympics which is really cool, but has resulted in scheduling changes to allow for fencing demonstrations, badminton tournaments, the decorating of classrooms to resemble Paris, London, and NYC, and much, much more. So, the inmates are NOT running the asylum, but it sometimes feels that way.

On Friday, with four of the strongest teachers out of the building with the 8th graders, and all of the above taking place, and Ms. Dean covering classes literally all day (sometimes even more than one at a time!), our principal decided to leave during the day to go visit our colleague at the hospital. Oh, and she took a secretary with her. Now, I'm glad she cares about him and wants to check on him, but during the school day? WTF??? We got back to school to find Ms. Dean so stressed out that she had actually turned somewhat grayish. She worked her *ss off all day while Ms. Principal took care of personal matters? Sometimes I do not know what people are thinking.

9. Tonight is the graduation dance. I have to start getting ready soon. I was giving advice about corsages to 8th grade boys Friday afternoon. I'm excited about seeing them dressed up and celebrating with them for a while, but I have to admit I'm not sure I can take four hours of it.

10. Batman Begins: Stylish, nice-looking movie. Christian Bale is a cutie! As for Katie Holmes, I didn't know Gotham City hired 17-year-old assistant DA's... Morgan Freeman is awesome. Lots of funny moments. Scenes where he develops his costume, test-drives his car, designs his wings are awesome. Way too much exposition. For an orphan, Bruce Wayne sure has a lot of father-figures. Totally worth seeing, LOTS of fun, but be prepared to wince at 75% of the dialogue.

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