Wednesday, April 26, 2006


I called the Fulbright office on Tuesday, when nothing had arrived at school or at home. They are still thinking about it, I was told, "they" being my counterpart and the Fulbright officials' counterparts overseas. It boils down to concerns about housing in general and the neighborhood where I teach in particular, valid concerns given that (fairly or unfairly) plenty of New Yorkers aren't comfortable in the South Bronx (and to be honest, I'm not thrilled about it after dark). And valid given that there are places in the world where I would not agree to live and work for a year, sight unseen, and it is up to each of us to ask our questions and make the best decision for ourselves and for the students. And yet... it is so frustrating to choose to work in a tough neighborhood where the kids have great needs, and then to feel like that choice might preclude me from getting other opportunities that I want... Is my frustration selfish? It's how I feel.

And then this morning, an email from my counterpart, asking her questions herself. I'm not frustrated any more because, without the go-betweens, the conversation can be so much more productive. We will ask better, smarter, more meaningful questions than any official can do for us, because we are the ones who have to live with the decision. I answered her questions, as honestly as I could, being positive but not trying to oversell the match. I want this to be successful in every way - not easy, necessarily, but successful - or I don't want it to happen at all.

And now I wait, for answers to my questions and for more questions, and, eventually, a decision.

In the meantime, I have visited her school's website and am ridiculously excited - it sounds perfect! And my head is filled with ideas - signing up for language classes, preparing my students this spring by having them correspond with kids from her school and maybe research the country, looking at maps and guidebooks and meeting with people and... you have no idea how much I want this.

I am superstitiously convinced that I will find out if I'm going at the exact same moment that phc has her baby.


We have been measuring the density of different materials to investigate whether density is a property that changes with size or whether it is independent of size. We measured different quantities of water, oil, corn syrup, and glycerin, and we took a bar of modeling clay and found its density, then cut it in half and found the density again. The kids are a little fuzzy on the concept of ratio and proportion.... tomorrow, we will finish up measuring the liquids and then pour them all into one graduated cylinder to see them separate into layers...


The details of our sixth grade end-of-year trip are coming together... sailing on the Pioneer, cultural interpreter programs at the Museum of the American Indian, and archaeology programs at the South Street Seaport Museum. As I talk about it, other staff members are intrigued and interested in joining the sixth grade team as chaperones. Given that we will need at least nine - and probably closer to fifteen - chaperones, I'm all for it. It's about six weeks away, which is an eternity and no time at all, and I think the kids are going to love it.


We are interviewing candidates for next year. We are preparing to give this year's ILS Exam (written next week, performance the following week). Then we have a school curriculum retreat. I'm going away over Memorial Day. Then it is June and the half days, the field trips, field day, graduation, the prom, some attempt at a science expo... and then the year is over. An eternity, and no time at all.


Thanks to EdWonk for including me in this week's Carnival of Education - we've now raised just over $400 for my DonorsChoose challenge, which is 10% of my goal! Click here if you haven't already, and help other NYC teachers get supplies for hands-on science.


Blogger Al said...

I am so excited (vicariously) to see you so excited about the Fullbright possibility. I agree whole-heartedly that getting rid of the "in-betweeners" helps immensely.

I don't know from the South Bronx. The NYC-area experience I have is limited to a couple of days 35 years ago (OUCH!) and a week last summer, which was a BroadwayBlast. No time in the Bronx.

As a (long-time-ago) beneficiary of the student-exchange ideal, I'm hoping this goes through for you, wishing it would be possible for more people (especially teachers), and wondering how to go about hosting on this end.

9:39 PM  
Blogger Jules the Crazy said...

hurrah, there's still time to hope and stuff! we're all thinking good thoughts. keep us posted! (ha! stupid blog puns are funny!)

5:19 PM  
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