26 October 2006

Always strange

And full of plot twists.

Well, I am no longer a science teacher at xxxxxxxx Middle School. I'm still teaching there, but it was decided to switch me to a special classroom: "transition", which is basically in-school suspension. I was really hating life, and couldn't communicate well with middle-schoolers and keep them in line well enough. So they made a decision to put me in charge of the juvie punk division! But it is actually a good fit, so far, as I can focus on just a few students, in all their core subjects, and I also get to be as strict as necessary, without reservations, since everyone in my classroom is a troublemaker. Kids come in and stay for a day, a few days, a week, however long the administration chooses to place them there... Teachers are supposed to send assignments over, but it's usual that they can't get them right away (after all, teachers have real classes and 150 students to attend to, as I know too well), so I'm also inventive in creating assignments and directing learning on an individual basis. I even have the flexibility to arrange to have the school counselor come in and have a discussion session about issues like gangs or racism, if I think it's important for the group I have on that day.

I switched in mid-morning yesterday, and the former transition teacher (who disliked his assignment and wanted to get into a regular classroom) went to teach science, possibly permanently. I get to cover multiple subjects and focus on a few students at a time who need academic or personal direction. Today was the first day in a while that I didn't cry before, during, or after school. It may not be my ultimate destiny, but teaching transition is okay for now. Who knew?!?!

25 October 2006

In other news

Christina is now married! Mrs. Martinez. Very strange.

It was a crazy and high-impact weekend for me. There was a lot going on in terms of the wedding, such as a rehearsal, rehearsal dinner, bridal shower, bachelorette party, and of course, the main event! There was also lot going on, emotionally, for a lot of us, I think. Christina was very stressed, and the presence of a lot of different aspects of her life, coming together all at once, created a maelstrom of feelings. In the end, however, the ceremony was beautiful and meaningful, and they were married, by hook or by crook, so it was all good. One of the loveliest moments at the reception, by the way, was the video that they played of Chris' dad singing "Butterfly Kisses" while she danced with her uncle (dad's brother); it was recorded at Heather's (sister's) wedding nearly 8 years ago, and it was the closest thing to actually having Christina's father there with her on her big day. I don't think there was a dry eye in the house!

I really, really appreciated being there and being part of everything, and two of my fellow bridesmaids made it extra-special: Sharon Campbell and Kristin Nassau. We are BFF now!!
Hello, dear readers! At least, I hope there are still readers out there...

Sorry I've neglected you. As most of you know, I've been busy with work and weddings. The stress is really getting to me. I've been having trouble sleeping and staying focused.

Work has been a problem for several reasons, some of which I've avoided mentioning for the sake of discretion. I've been working through some paperwork issues that indicate to me that the human resources department in my district is operated by incompetents. It seems to be getting cleared up now, which is good, and I will be at liberty to explain more. However, my job satisfaction is extremely low at the moment. So I'm exhausted, frustrated, and very unhappy.

Oddly enough, I don't regret leaving my former position at the SATC. There were plenty of good reasons for me to leave. But I do wonder, where do I belong? Will I ever find something that is, for me, worth doing?

21 October 2006

In SoCal for wedding.

Learning much in life.

14 October 2006

Taking a break

Jeff and I are cleaning the house and rearranging our bedroom.

I'm taking a break to check my e-mail in the living room. Omar is watching something he recorded on the DVR--some sort of benefit rap concert. I really don't get rap. The people all look SO TRASHY, and they're completely unintelligible. Opera makes more sense, and it's usually sung in Italian or German!

Okay, back to work...

Ah, Friday night

The most magical time of the week, because it's the furthest we'll ever be from work...

The Stargates are between seasons, so our only Sci Fi on this Friday is Battlestar Galactica, but we didn't watch it yet, as we forgot to record last week's episode (I thought the season premiere was this week, not last week, so I didn't remember to record it, and Jeff forgot, too.

We have fun with Omar and Kendra.

So... tired... I'm recovering from illness, and I was on the run all day. *sigh*

11 October 2006


I now have some sort of cold or flu bug. Bah! I might have to miss some school. My head hurts, and my sinuses are all stuffy.

This weekend was rather nice. We went down to Los Angeles for Mia and Tim's California reception. I saw several relatives (I was impressed that I recognized some of them) and acquaintances, although most of them were friends of my parents or the happy couple. However, Sara and Elizabeth were there, so it was a fabulous time. I got to talk with them a lot, and then we went to dinner with them (and Jeremy, of course).

I could write more about school, but I really can't think of anything funny to share at the moment. It's been mostly frustrating, although things seem to be turning around. Some classes are more unruly than others, but eventually, they'll have to fall into line. It's hard spending several hours each day with children I don't understand. They really are illogical. I can't comprehend 99% of what they say or do.

07 October 2006

Happy Birthday!!!!

Janet Gaynor (would have been 100) Winner of the very first Academy Award for Best Actress, in Seventh Heaven.

Carole Lombard (would have been 98) Adored screwball comedy actress. My Man Godfrey!

Officially the meanest teacher at xxxxxxxxx Middle School

Adventures galore.

Well, not really, but I have learned a lot in the past several weeks. My students generally fall into a category I'll call "monsterific". A lot of them are pathological liars. I had my first parent conference yesterday, and the student in question had done a lot of bad things and then flat-out denied them, even in the face of hard physical evidence of her misbehavior. The end result was that I was vindicated, and the child was moved to a class under a different science teacher, which suits me just fine. The thing that really bothers me, though, is the casual manner with which she threw out her lies and deceit (to no purpose, ultimately). Sheesh, people, if you're going cheat and lie, do so in an intelligent fashion, and make it worthwhile! I'm probably the worst teacher in the world, because I tell my students, "If you don't want to be here, then I don't want you here, so go talk to the administrator to find a way to get you out of here," and "If you're going to lie, make it believable! Don't insult my intelligence!"

I yell at nearly all my classes, nearly every day. It wears out my voice, but it's cathartic, and slowly but surely, I'm picking my battles and winning. I get told that I'm mean and a bad teacher, on a daily basis, and I confiscate hate-filled notes and find all kinds of things written on desks and in books. These are unpleasant, unprincipled children.

One funny story: A troublesome little guy in my first period showed up tardy to my class one morning, even though there was a "tardy sweep" going on (i.e. teachers close their classroom doors and don't let tardy students in, and administrators sweep them up, take them to the gym, chew them out, and give them special detentions).
Me: Didn't you get caught in the tardy sweep? If you don't show me your administrative detention, I'm not going to let you in.
Him: No, I was too late for the tardy sweep. I just went to the office, and they told me to come here.
Me: Then, where is the blue tardy slip from the office?
Him: I don't got one. [Note: One of the WORST things about my students is that their English is ATROCIOUS. I correct their grammar all the time in class. Some day, the language arts teachers will kiss my hands and thank me.]
Me: [Knowing now that he is not being entirely truthful] Well, let me just call the office and check.
The Office: No, that boy didn't come to the office this morning.
Me: Thanks, that's exactly what I wanted to hear. [To the student.] Now, why don't you pop off to the office for real, so they can take care of getting you your blue tardy slip?
Him: [Goes to the office, muttering.]
Now, while he was gone, a student aide came to my room from the office, bearing a summons for the very student that I just sent out. When he returned from the office with his blue slip of paper, I pulled the office summons out of my pocket.
Me: You have to go to the office now.
Him: But I just came from there!!
Me: Sorry, but here is a summons with your name on it. Off you go!
Him: [Retreats, grumbling all the way.]
*snicker, snicker* Oh, well, I guess you had to be there...

Anyway, I am getting to know how things work with juvenile delinquents, social workers, and so on. And, yes, The System is even more messed up than I would have imagined.

Allow me to reiterate that I am not well suited for middle school teaching. Adults! Adults!!! Much better for me.

02 October 2006

Well, I must say

The first several minutes of tonight's Family Guy episode, with the terrorist video, was some of the funniest television I have ever seen.