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Thursday, September 22, 2005

That Half-Empty Glass

We got behind the school bus taking elementary kids to St. Mary's again the other morning. The cute little boy, hardly bigger than his backpack, came scurrying off the bus at top speed and went scooting into the school in about 2 seconds, skipping lightly. My son, a senior at my high school this year, and I grinned at each other.

"Look at that little guy," I said fondly. "He's so excited. He is so happy to go to school and see his teacher and all his little friends in his classroom!"
"Or," said my more laconic and less Pollyana-ish son, "he's just glad to get the hell off that bus."

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Apologies and Explanations

Sorry for the long gaps between blog postings. The rotator cuff malady I mentioned in earlier posts is more severe than I thought; seems there is a nasty tear. The pain is getting progressively worse, and now that I'm back to work, managing it is more of an issue. I'm on stronger meds, facing more fatigue, and trying like hell to work through it all before I can even see a surgeon to find out what I'm facing in that department.

Which is to say, the blog is not always making onto the list of things I can get accomplished.

I'm trying. Thanks to those of you who keep checking in. I refuse to write about boring and depressing personal health issues, so until I can get past them, we're all better off. Believe me.

Hope to be back with something fun real soon.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

DoN Gets Her Inservice On

Today was a teacher inservice day; for those of you NOT in education, allow me: it's a day when all the teachers sit in big meetings and get additional training in something that their districts usually feel is vitally important, but that the teachers usually feel is a colossal waste of time and money.

This inservice day's topic was Using Data to Inform Instruction and Grading Practices in a Standards-Based Classroom. ( I KNOW! I was as blown away by it as you are!!) Anyway, again I was amused by observing that, not only are teachers the toughest crowd around, especially at 7:45 AM, but we also eventually begin exhibiting the classroom behaviors of our students.

Once the really boring stuff got underway, my buddy next to me hauled out her thank you notes from a recent bridal shower and got to work. Nearby, several men pulled out the Plain Dealer sports pages. Behind me, one woman started leafing through a Lands End catalog. The table behind me started chatting in earnest, sotto voce of course, about someone's haircut across the room. I was nudged a few times to pass a note. Many graded papers. Lest you should think me virtuous in any way, I started a long overdue letter to my friend in Orlando, doodled, chatted with my tablemates, and at one point went to hang out in the bathroom for awhile to see if anyone else was hanging out in the bathroom for awhile (no one was, darnit). I found out later that the really cool table of teachers, some young lions of the English, Social Studies, and Art departments had begun a comic book of sorts which I was privy to later.

None of these activities can take up an entire seminar, you understand. Pacing. That is the key.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

DoN Contemplates Astrology

Feelin' kinda bad right now.

I finally got around to reading the newspaper, which for me is The Cleveland Plain Dealer. And my horoscope for today said that I "put in a stellar performance"...and that I "[got] the job done." Furthermore, "others...step[ped] back and applaud[ed], or at least admire[d] [my] abilities." It also forecast that I would "work out" tonight.

Well, geeze. Today, my students worked quietly on independent vocabulary study. And the extent of my working out was to redesign and retype a sentence-combining worksheet. Although...I did make a real kick-ass mushroom and white wine fettucine for dinner. Do you think that counts for anything?

Monday, September 05, 2005

DoN Says Put Your Money Where Your Outrage Is

"This can't be my country."

Heaven knows I've said this more times than I care to count in the past 5 years.

But I can't seem to stop saying it in the shocking aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. If you're as outraged as I am, as dismayed and outright disgusted as I am, then at least this is one thing we can do something about. Please go to The Red Cross Website and donate whatever you can.

I know from being in public education that some problems don't get better, no matter how much money you throw at them. But I also know that there has never been a single problem yet that has gotten better because of how much George W. Bush you threw at it.

"We, the people"...well, I guess it's up to us, then.
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