Friday, December 22, 2006

Half way, Quarter way

I'm half way
through my first year of teaching. I was thinking about institute the other day, and it still seems so fresh in my mind those days of planning my first lessons, trying to teach reading and writing (shoot me in the face), not sleeping, and generally not knowing what was going on. Now I look around, and so much has changed...or not ;^) Still have no idea what's going on!

I'm a quarter way
through my TFA obligation. It is weird to think about this endeavor as a period of life with a 'definite' end. When I accepted my TFA placement I intended to work at least 3 years, under the reasoning that if I really believe in making a change in the lives of students, I will do at least 2 years at an 'experienced' level. Maybe I can nitpick and say that I should be making an impact this year, or that 'experienced' doesn't come until 5 years (I have heard this from a couple of veteran teachers), but I still look at 3 as a good amount of time. Still, the 2 year obligation makes it seem like going longer is...odd? I don't know.

are going to be the greatest thing ever. I am so excited for my first *free* summer in...5 years? Yes. My last free summer was the summer of '02. So there were 4 full years of busyness between my times of blissful freedom :^)
Since the prospect of a free summer is *so* amazing, I have been thinking long and hard about what is truly worthy of my time. Here is my list of possibilities currently:
  • is a mission organization that has mission trips for all lengths of times to all different regions. I would definitely go to central or south america, but do not know what I would do.
  • Take Spanish classes. This is a variation of the first idea, except I would go to central/south america and enroll in some Spanish classes and otherwise be a bum/partier/find people to help/maybe teach. I looked at buenos aires, and my buddy Max is planning a trip of this sort so I could get on board with that.
  • Be a park ranger. Just the thought of being in the backcountry in Rainier National Park gives me chills. AND I would get *paid* for it! This would be spectacular.
  • Stay in Houston. This is a more recent option, and one I had not considered until yesterday when I was recruited to me a mentor teacher to a summer school/training program. Ha! ME a mentor teacher! The concept is laughable. BUT the program is for underprivileged students, so the purpose is good. Right now I can tell you that I think I will need a break and should not teach over the summer.
  • Get a job. I could try and find an internship doing something. I imagine that some engineering company would not mind having paying a 'real' engineer an interns wages for a summer, but who knows. The only reason to contemplate this would be to get me into some other part of the country with $. For instance if I wanted to be in Seattle for the summer...
  • Backpack. I could thru hike the Pacific coast trail. Well, not all of it.
Currently, the Spanish classes are tops on my list. I have actually done research into that (a huge step for me). Do you have experience with any of these options? Suggestion? Please let me know.

But now I finish packing my bags. I fly to the great state of Michigan at 1:20pm this afternoon.

If it does not snow I am going to be pissed.

-mr. Blairwheezie

Friday, December 01, 2006

Dance Supervisor

Today Alief Middle School had a dance.

Yes. That said that a "Middle School had a dance".

Close your eyes and think back to the earliest dance you went to. Middle school preferably.

Okay. Done? Good.

I remember the 1 middle school dance I went to. It was a Halloween dance. I don't remember there being any dancing. ANY. In fact, there were booths with games and food that were the center of attention, not the dancing.

Actually, no, that's not true. There was some moshing. A little. But then we got in trouble and went back to standing on the sides of the gym.

Now, forget all of that, and any experience you had at a middle school dance, because there are a couple of facts that you ought to know about Houston schools.
  1. My students all know every single dance to every single song that is played on The Box (radio station. Can't stop Won't Stop!)
  2. My students watch more MTV and BET than they sleep. I am sure of it.
  3. My students cannot do anything with fractions, but they can rap every lyric from Wanna be a Balla by Lil Troy.
  4. My students live in Houston, TX.
So, given these facts, it is not really *that* surprising that instead of being a dance like anything from the suburbs, it was, well, horrifying and impressive.

Impressive - man, my students can dance. Like really dance. Break dance even. In fact, they break dance in my room. But only when I let them. Ok. Sometimes when I don't let them.

Horrifying - 6th graders are around 11 years old. There was more attempted dry humping by ELEVEN YEAR OLDS this evening then any person should ever see. Then should be legal. THEY ARE ELEVEN!! I can't handle this.

Supposedly, I am a role model or something, so I break up anything that gets to overt, but really, gahhh! I can't even think about it anymore.

There's really only one thing to do.

I think I need to go to a club and freak some hoes.