Saturday, March 10, 2007

He's touching me! Am not! Is so! Am not!

I never realized how much kids tattle on each other until I started teaching elementary school. There's a statistic out that says something like 80% of class time is used on discipline - well, I don't think I use that much, but its not too far away. Out of that, most of my disciplinary interventions involve lines like:

"Keep your hands and feet to yourselves."
"Don't worry about what she's doing - you need to pay attention to me."
"If he's looking at you then he's going to miss my directions on the activity."
"Raise your hand! Raise your hand! We can't all share at once!"
"Only get a tissue if your nose is running. Then entire class does not need a tissue!"
"Is it an emergency? .......Then, you can wait 10 minutes to go."
"Put your recorder down until I tell you to get know you shouldn't squeak it on purpose like that."

But there are some really cute kids, especially in 1st grade. I tend to know those kids better because I help out with their P.E. class, too. There's a little redhead that raised his hand for about 8 minutes just to tell me he played the violin. Another kid gives me a hug every time she sees me. One class has this really energetic Hispanic boy who, I'm pretty sure, is disruptive because he's bored - but he'll behave if we let him play a song on the piano at the end of class. I could go on and on...

This week has been a rough one. My clinical teacher is out-of-town and I was left to substitute. I've discovered that children, even kindergarteners, can smell a substitute a mile away. But, the first grade has been my bright spot - even the double P.E. class (just imagine keeping 45 kids in line competitively throwing nerf balls at orange cones in order to beat the other class...). When P.E. was over, we had to wait for one teacher to come get her class. The kids are all lined up, but antsy, so I try to keep them occupied.

During this, the aforementioned redhead - who is quite precocious by the way - looks up and says, "Why do you keep smiling at me?" I crack up and ask back, "Am I not allowed to smile at 1st graders? How 'bout I just stare at you all like this...” I started making a bunch of silly and/or mean faces that the kids mimicked, giggling. The P.E. teacher turns around, "Now, ya'll know yer supposed ta be quiet....." The kids did manage to sort of stifle their laughter at my sheepish, blushing state. "Oops, my fault," I confess. Luckily, the teacher has a sense of humor....

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Habit-Formation 101: Day 8

This past week has been interesting and I've been promising to share stories. Well, here they are:

Opera rehearsals are going well and apparently, I need to remove the leading male's pants in the opening scene. Ok, so the people who already know me well are laughing now. For the rest of you, please understand that I come from a background of 11 years of Catholic schooling and a lifetime of Catholic-Italian guilt. Then, add in that my parents should be coming to a performance.....well, I just won't tell them about it.

Its not as if he'll be naked on stage, but I do have concerns about how awkward I will look attempting this. Let me briefly explain the scene. I'm a servant to an old maid (Deb, for those of you local folks) and we invite in a male beggar, "Bob". Its set in the 1930s/Depression Era, so this sort of thing did happen often. He comes in soaking wet and we remove his clothing in an attempt to keep him from "catching his death" (my line). The music moves quickly and nowhere is it notated to remove Bob's pants. All that is written is a line for me like " Take off....Oh, dear!" I figured that this meant that I was aiming for the pants next, but never actually removed them. I mean, that was pretty scandalous in the 1930s, right?

Apparently, our director wants to add in that somewhere before that I remove his pants and the "Oh, dear!" is for the boxer shorts. This is all well and good except Bob is sitting at this time and I have maybe 4 - 6 beats to get rid of his pants. The opera is supposed to be comical...

In other news, I cussed out the SAI Province Officer last night at her annual Official Visit. By accident - I promise! Oh, and before Rai dies in front of the computer, our PO isn't Marcy anymore. This one's much nicer and saner. Anyway, a group of us was hanging out in the new area of the Music Building just talking and goofing off. The official stuff was long over and we thought we were the only ones left in the building. It was after midnight, too. Our president, Brittnye, and our Sargent @ Arms, Ashley, peaked through the double doors that divide the new and old wings. Brittnye told us in a very teacherly tone, "Excuse me, but you all are far too loud..."

To which I replied in a very serious tone, "Fuck off."

To my defense, I was positioned at such an angle as to not be able to see our PO standing just beside Brittnye. I saw her as soon as she poked her head in though. As you can imagine, I was mortified and the other girls burst out laughing. Luckily, this woman is very understanding. When I explained that this was a long-running joke that I never would have used if I had known she was there, she didn't seem to mind. Um...I will call Brittnye anyway and make sure Amber really wasn't upset. I am certain that I won't live this down for some time, if ever.

Yeah, probably never. And I'm almost certain Brittnye will make a joke out of it to the rest of the girls at our next meeting.

Habit-Formation 101: Day 7

I've been up since 6am. There are interesting stories to tell, but they will have to wait until Saturday. In the meantime, I will sleep. Good night!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Habit-Formation 101: Day 6

Ever feel like you're constantly doing work and yet never really shrinking your To Do list?

If anyone happens to know some great places to stay near Florida State University, I would be very grateful. I have a few options that have been narrowed down from a multitude, but ideas are always welcome. Sometime tomorrow, I will create time to call the 3 on my list and ask lots and lots of questions.

I love travel, but I hate the preparation.

Oh, well, at least I can look forward to warm weather for my audition........

........before I travel to U of Michigan the next weekend.

I suppose I'll have to look up the "What Not to Take on a Plane" list later, too. Hopefully, I can get away with just a carry-on. Lost baggage is at some sort of all-time high and I know my luck is short of fantastic.......or decent even.

But, the weekend is coming and I'm excited! I get to sleep! And see people that I don't despise!

Ah, Friday awaits...with more exams to grade....

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Habit-Formation 101: Day 5 - Part 2

Um....about the fireworks........I stand corrected.


Habit-Formation 101: Day 5

Its supposed to sleet/snow/rain tonight into tomorrow morning. I can't say that a really care except that I live in relatively Southern city where no one knows how to drive in flurries much less sleet. My father is from Maryland which regularly receives large amounts of frozen stuff, so I do know how to handle a car in winter.....but you can only plan so well for the ignorant. Add on top of this that I am currently commuting to a high school with lots of unseasoned drivers....

*sigh* I guess I can quicken the tempo of my morning routine to leave a few minutes earlier. Its the responsible thing to do, but I would love to just stay in bed. Actually, not leaving the apartment sounds much safer than driving. Can I stay home tomorrow?

Today wasn't the short day I had hoped for, but considering we got out at about 4:30pm, I'll take what I can get. There are no extra exams after school tomorrow - I should be able to leave by 2pm. *crosses fingers and wishes really, really hard* I think I'll need the break before opera and our internship class. My day will finally end at 8pm, but there's always crap for me to catch up on.... audition travel arrangements, thank you notes, Christmas decoration removal, laundry and general apartment cleaning.

On another random note (well, the whole post is random), I haven't heard the typical fireworks since the church fires. Apparently, some people - we suspect drunken collegians - feel the need to set off fireworks into the wee hours. From my distance, these don't seem pretty or colorful, just ridiculously noisy. This has been an almost every night occurence since I moved here. Although, I consider myself lucky. Dorothy and Becky's apartment experiences the bright, colorful lights, too. Its probably a hell of a lot louder there as well. I know the police have stepped up the night watch, but it still seems strange without the pyrotechnics.

I'm sure I'll manage to get used to it.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Habit-Formation 101: Day 4

Thanks to the person who left me the link of a far cheaper way to get my Original Star Wars fix.

The school week is a hard time to make decent posts. I always feel like I am rushed and just simply trying to slap something online. Oh, well. The weekend isn't too far away...

My Christmas tree is still up. Is that bad? No, I don't have a religious reason since the Catholic Christmas season officially ended last week. I just haven't felt like pulling the necessary boxes out from under my bed and closet and then taking everything down by myself. I should do it tomorrow - assuming I get out of school at 2pm as opposed to 7pm. It all depends on one student and my clinical teacher.

Personally, I'm rooting for 2pm because we usually get out at 3:30 and 7pm is way too fucking late.

I think that's a run-on sentence, but I have no time to edit. As long as you all understand what I write, I don't care. I certainly never claim to be a fabulous writer.....

Six AM comes quickly - cross your fingers for a 2PM escape.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Habit-Formation 101: Day 3

So, here's a quick post before I crash for the night...

Since I couldn't find the mini-DVI cable I need, I used my Best Buy gift card to buy the Back to the Future Trilogy.

Yes, I'm a nerd.

I'm still upset that the original Star Wars trilogy is packaged with the "updated" version. So, in order to get the version I like, I would have to pay $70 for a special tin can and the version I probably won't watch. Stupid, stupid, LucasFilm.

Anyway, I need to get up at 6am.................ugh...............

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Habit-Formation 101: Day 2

Well, we made the National News today.

Someone or some group decided to set fire to 2 Baptist churches and break into another. One church is completely destroyed while the other's educational wing is severely damaged.

Luckily, my church wasn't attacked. Father Justin spent until about 2am last night patrolling the perimeter of the grounds with his car. Apparently, once 2 fires were underway, the police called all the churches to warn them of a possible connection. Father said that at one point, a car stopped outside the school, so he drove up behind them and flashed his lights. The car sped away. What's particularly creepy is that both fires started in school/daycare areas of the churches. Father is no idiot - he wrote down the license plate number and called the police.

It’s hard to say where a connection could be in the fires other than the obvious fact that the churches were Baptist. Ours is Roman Catholic, so if we really were a target than all we've got left is general church facilities. I wonder how many churches would have been vandalized if the various congregations hadn't gotten out of bed to stand guard at their respective buildings. Maybe there would be a pattern.

It will be interesting to see if that plate number is important in the investigation.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Habit-Formation 101: Day 1

They say it takes 28 days to form a habit. Well, I just need to get past the first 2 with this blog....

Student teaching started up this week and while I would love to splatter that chaos all over the web, I don't know that I can without sacrificing my grade. I am aware that it would be difficult to pin my exact identity to this particular blog, but God has a weird sense of humor. Don't despair - I'm chronically the teaching events to be posted as soon as my final grade clears.

In other news, my parents pulled a wonderful little trick on me Monday night. A member of our extended family has been ill with lung cancer for several months and passed away Saturday. I received word at about midnight Monday night via voicemail after a 12 hour school day and practicing. The key points were "So&so passed away Sat." and "The funeral is tomorrow morning, but no one expects you to come." There weren't any specifics on the funeral arrangements either.

I spent a while trying to figure out how I could get back in time (assuming I could find out the time) and how I could go about contacting the Internship gods. It finally came down to the facts that I would have had to pull an all-nighter just to get to the funeral. This is with just getting over some post-Christmas crap and still being pretty fatigued, I figured that all-night driving in the dark could be considered dangerous. Add in that I would have had to drive back later on the same day as the funeral..... It was a bad, bad situation.

So, I couldn't go. I called my parents on Tuesday to find out how it went and why the hell they waited so long to inform me. No one answered and no one returned my message. Called Wednesday. Got my Mom who acted as if nothing could possibly be wrong. She had the nerve to tell me that they had waited to call me ON PURPOSE to "make it IMPOSSIBLE for" me "to attend the funeral."

I was speechless. I was speechless.

She went on to explain that they thought it would be best if I didn't miss any more student teaching days than I had to. With my auditions and such, I'm already going to miss about 2.5 days and may have to make them up.....blah, blah, blah........These internship people aren't heartless - anal retentive - but not heartless. And if I had to make up one more day, so be it. I don't care.

Whatever their reasoning - and may I say that the one they gave me is shit - this should have been my decision, not theirs. Apparently, they've known since last Sunday about the funeral. I could have worked something out and left right after school on Monday. But no.

I can't fix this and I certainly can't change my parents. I need to move on, but I think I'm allowed to be furious for at least a few days. Otherwise, life has been ok, but unfortunately focused on this fucking mess. Maybe I'll have a pleasanter post tomorrow.....