Monday, May 30, 2005

If I were...

Okay, I'm finally ready to respond to MadHatter and Polski3's game. I don't know why it took so long. I choose 5 statements from the following to finish.

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..

If I could be a doctor, I would make communication the center of my practice. Obviously, explaining things in clear terms is important, but I would go farther than that. I would make sure my patients knew it was okay to ask questions, to test my judgement, to tell me what they read about on the Internet. I wouldn't let them push me around because I would have the medical degree, but I would make them feel comfortable talking to me. I would not rush them. I would apologize when I was running late. Also, I would not have them strip down to nothing and then wait for 20 minutes on a table with nothing to read or do except stare at all the freaky medical instruments. (I once had an ob-gyn who put posters of sexy male stars on the ceiling. Nice sentiment.)

If I could be a gardener, I would grow my own herbs and vegetables. I have tried to do this in pots on my patio. I have failed. Many times. Don't get me wrong -- I like flowers and love to look at them. But my ultimate goal would be to grow things I could eat.

If I could be an architect, I would quit my job and be a teacher. Sorry, but it has always sounded boring to me.

If I could be a lawyer, I would be what my dad had really hoped I would be. I was the student body president in high school. I was the student rep to the school board and actually managed to cause a little of a stir while I was at it. Everyone believed I was born to be a lawyer. I didn't want the long hours and stab-in-the-back competitiveness. If I was a lawyer, though, I would probably go on a personal crusade againsts rapists. Someone close to me was raped by an acquaintance once (who offerred to walk her to her car since it was so late). There was plenty of proof and the guy had been accused twice before. In the end, they didn't press charges because she was wearing a zebra print bra and drank two margaritas and that would indicate apparently, that "she was asking for it."

If I could be a professor, I would be an education professor. And I would pair up with the dh, who is hoping to be a history professor. We would team teach social studies methods classes for future teachers. We would write books. He would be the research and content guy and I would be the "put it into practice" girl. Also, we would take this dynamic duo teaching team on the road. If I was a professor, I would definitely teach abroad. I studied abroad when in college and would do it again in a heartbeat. I would be the professor that was tough, but made it worth it by establishing deep connections with students. I would have my students over for dinner.

And now I have to tag three other people. Who hasn't been tagged? Tim at Assorted Stuff always has interesting educational posts, let's see what he has to say about other occupations. Christopher at What in Tarnation, since you are done with school and have a little extra time tell us what else you might do. And...let's move out of the k-12 end of the sphere, so Caleb at Mode for Caleb, go for it!

Saturday, May 28, 2005

My work here is done..

First off, Polski3 tagged me for a meme. I am fully aware. I had been watching everyone else do it and was so excited to get invited. And now here I am, a week later, and I still haven't responded. It is quite rude, I know, but it is the end of the school year. The end of the school year is a universal excuse for us teachers and for good reason. And because the school year is not actually over yet, I am still going to use it. I will post my responses soon. For now, I am cutting and pasting from an email I sent my parents. The San Antonio Spurs tip off in 20 minutes so I have to run. (I am a Rockets fan by birth, Spurs fan by marriage.) We don't have cable so we have to go sit in stinky bars to watch them play.

Here's my most recent news about our senior class, which includes about 400 students:

Just thought I would share with you the results for our seniors and where they are going to college.
Yale: 1
Notre Dame: 1
Harvard: 1
Dartmouth: 1
Princeton: 1
Rutgers: 1
NYU: 2
Duke: 1
Penn: 2
Also, 2 are going to Canada and 1 to Australia. I remember at my high school someone got into Notre Dame once. It was a big deal. [The school were I teach] also was ranked among the top .5 percent of schools by Newsweek a few months ago but if you ask me their study is a load of crap. The college acceptances are impressive to me, though. Students are going to schools in 28 different states, which is probably partly just about money, but also, I think shows a willingness to try new things. It is a good feeling that I taught some of these kids and now they could go on to great things.

Friday, May 20, 2005

We're getting close!

Isn't my new ticker so cool? Yesterday I made webpages for next year's classes and I put a ticker in counting down until the AP U.S. exam. We aren't supposed to link to commercial sites, but I edited the html so that the "" isn't a link. Hopefully, that counts. If not, I'll write you all from jail. Anyway, I thought we could all use a reminder that summer is around the corner.

A small request though: Could those of you in the south not remind those of us in the north quite so much that you've got much, much less time left? If you could pipe down a little, we won't rub it in when you head back the 2nd week of August and we've still got 2 weeks left to sleep in!

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Too mad to really think of a title

The New York Times has an article about teachers in the New York area getting paid $100,000 + salaries. Even though I make about a third of what they do, I'm not too jealous or cynical about it. It is much, much more expensive to live in that area. It's an intersting article.

What really got me upset, though, was a quote from a man named Richard Graham. He's a leader in an anti-tax group protesting the high salaries of teachers. He said:

The people who couldn't do the engineering, and anything else that required some brain power, became teachers, and they now have $100,000 salaries.

What did he just say? I can't believe it. I mean, I know there are hateful people out there, but this is ridiculous. First of all, how does he think the engineers become engineers? They didn't wake up with the ability, you know. Someone taught them! Secondly... well... Richard Graham if you are out there, I extend an invitation to you to teach my class for a week. If you're willing (And why wouldn't you be? It would be a vacation for you since it apparently doesn't take any "brain power"), I'll try to swing something with my administrators and you're welcome to show me just how easy it is to do my job.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Tip #7 location, location, location

I live about 10 minutes away from the school where I work. It's great. Traffic is never a problem. If I have chaperone duty at night, I still have time to come home in between and take a nap or grab dinner. Whenever my friends at work want to meet, they choose my house because it is central.

It has drawbacks, too, though. Today I stopped at the drugstore to get some personal items. When I walked in I saw that a student from my 4th period class was working the cash register. Darn. I just got an anniversary card for the in-laws and left.

In a perfect world, she would have scanned my items and sent me on my way and then never breathed a word to a friend, because it's her job and she should be professional. Somehow, I didn't want to bank on that.

Maybe I hesitate because one of my former students works at the local grocery store and made fun of me one day at school by saying (in a girl's voice), "Hi! I'm Mrs. Abigail and I shop at Superfresh because coupons are double." Ha! I would use my coupons even if they weren't double.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

It's that time of year

The sign outside of our school says:

May: No Child Left Untested

AP Exams
State subject assessments
Senior Final Exams

The last two are during the same week. It is going to be absolutely crazy. The first floor will be the state tests, the second floor will be senior finals, and the third floor will be anyone with students left to teach (mainly sophomores and juniors). Very few of my students are part of the testing, but we will be relocated to the third floor. Every teacher will be a "floater" every period, and no one class period will meet in the same classroom the next day. In other words, my students will meet me in a different classroom every day that week. We've been instructed that we cannot show videos, nor can we do bookwork because there aren't enough carts to push the books around on. It promises to be quite chaotic.

When I was in high school in Texas they had a better way of doing it. If you weren't being tested, you stayed home and did not report to school until 11:00, after testing ended. This provided a quiet environment, all classrooms could be used for tests and all teachers were available to proctor.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

I'll get back on someday

It appears that I have fallen off the blog-wagon. I don't know why. I've been busy, but not really any busier than the rest of the year. I think I'm just getting close to burn out level and so it's taking all my intellectual and emotional energy to get through the daily routine. Anyway, I'm not blogging as much, and I'm not reading blogs as much. Sorry.

I'm teaching the women's liberation movement on Monday. I'd like to find a picture of the 1968 Miss America with the "Women's liberation" banner unfurled behind her. Anyone know where I could get one?