Saturday, December 22, 2007


Now that it's been a full week since my long term assignment ended, I've been able to look back and reflect on what I did and didn't do while I was there. And boy was it a shock to go back to day to day subbing again. It was weird to get home and not worry about grading, planning or the 1000000 other things that I dealt with while I was teaching those 9th graders.

One of the things I did learn is that I was not as hard core on turning in stuff on time as I thought I was. Now that may change as I get some sort of a system that will allow me to really keep track of work the kids turn in, but the ones who care will get the work turned in that the ones that want to fail won't.

I also learned that the bigger the class is the more time you spend managing it and the less time you get to really teach. Once you get above 40 kids it's really hard to keep all those balls juggling at one time, and that goes double for honors kids. And speaking of honors kids, they seem to like nothing better than a challenge. Every time I had them do something out of the ordinary like the compare and contrast project, or the presidential ad where they either support or attack a candidate and you get some great work. Now not every kid takes to this stuff like a duck to water but most of them did.

I also learned that sometimes the kids that challenge you the most are the ones who appreciate you the most. 3rd period, yea THAT 3rd period made up a card in class and had everyone sign it. And they also wrote me notes on a separate piece of paper the last day I was going to see them. I have them thumb tacked to my wall along with a couple of notes from students in other classes to help me when I get overwhelmed with trying to balance school work and family. It's hard to look at those cards, letters and notes and not get a lump in my throat. I miss those kids, even the ones who where a pain in the a**...

I also want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a wonderful new year. Thanks for reading my blog and taking the time to comment!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Now for something a little different

I'm still gathering my thoughts about my assignment that ended on Friday to put into a post. In the meantime while bouncing around on the web I saw this. Everything in bold is something I did. Feel free to copy and paste it for yourself and just bold the things you did.

Wanna play? It's simple. Copy, paste and if you've done it, bold it.

Wanna play? It's simple. Copy, paste and if you've done it, bold it.

01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
02. Swam with wild dolphins
03. Climbed a mountain
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said I love you and meant it
09. Hugged a tree
10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
14. Seen the Northern Lights

15. Gone to a huge sports game
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby's diaper

21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten drunk on champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
27. Had a food fight

28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can

32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster
35. Hit a home run

36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
39. Had two hard drives for your computer

40. Visited all 50 states
41. Taken care of someone who was drunk
42. Had amazing friends

43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
44. Watched wild whales
45. Stolen a sign
46. Backpacked in Europe
47. Taken a road-trip
48. Gone rock climbing
49. Midnight walk on the beach
50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Ireland
52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger's table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow
56. Alphabetized your CDs
57. Pretended to be a superhero

58. Sung karaoke
59. Lounged around in bed all day
60. Played touch football
61. Gone scuba diving
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain
65. Gone to a drive-in theater

66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
69. Toured ancient sites
70. Taken a martial arts class
71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
72. Gotten married

73. Been in a movie
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days
77. Made cookies from scratch
78. Won first prize in a costume contest
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice
80. Gotten a tattoo
81. Rafted the Snake River
82. Been on television news programs as an expert
83. Got flowers for no reason
84. Performed on stage
85. Been to Las Vegas
86. Recorded music
87. Eaten shark
88. Kissed on the first date

89. Gone to Thailand
90. Bought a house
91. Been in a combat zone
92. Buried one/both of your parents
93. Been on a cruise ship
94. Spoken more than one language fluently
95. Performed in Rocky Horror
96. Raised children
97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn't stop when you knew someone was looking
103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an accident that you shouldn't have survived
105. Wrote articles for a large publication
106. Lost over 100 pounds
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Touched a stingray
110. Broken some one's heart
111. Helped an animal give birth
112. Won money on a T.V. game show
113. Broken a bone
114. Gone on an African photo safari
115. Had a facial part pierced other than your ears
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
118. Ridden a horse
119. Had major surgery

120. Had a snake as a pet
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi
128. Had your picture in the newspaper
129. Changed some one's mind about something you care deeply about
130. Gone back to school

131. Para sailed
132. Touched a cockroach
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
134. Read The Iliad - and the Odyssey
135. Selected one important author who you missed in school, and read
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
137. Skipped all your school reunions
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you're living your dream
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn't know you
145. Had a booth at a street fair
146. Dyed your hair
147. Been a DJ
148. Shaved your head
149. Caused a car accident
150. Saved some one's life

Monday, December 10, 2007

The end is near

The end of my assignment at the high school, the end of 2007, and the fall semester are fast approaching. While I'm not sad to see the semester end, I am dreading turning in my keys on Friday and bidding that room farewell. I had such a blast the past three months and I dread going back to day to day subbing where I don't have a chance to really connect with the kids and I'm going off of someone else's lessons. Not to mention dealing with kids who are going to be playing games with me to see what they can get away with (nothing) in the classroom. The part that really sucks is that my assignment is ending a week early so now I'm once again trying to find work for next week. I found something for Friday but that's it so far so right now I'm only $400 short for the week. Woo hoo...

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Is it that big a deal?

Over at Buckhorn Road, Mr. Chanman blogged regarding the black on black violence that not only about a column written by Jason Whitlockplagues the inner cities in this country, but claimed the life of Washington Redskins Safety Sean Taylor. His post was as interesting as the article itself was. Personally I love reading Whitlock's writings, he is often right on the money and cuts to the chase. I mentioned that I was using that column for an extra credit assignment and he thought that was a ballsy move on my part given the hyper sensitive world we live in.

When I made the assignment available for extra credit I did so because of three reasons.

1. It's a current event and many of my students are fans of the NFL and have heard about the case.

2. His column really makes the reader think and that's always a good thing when it comes to HS students, thinking is something they don't do enough in my (not so) humble opinion.

3. Because it's thought provoking it's perfect for a written response which is how 99% of my extra credit assignments work anyways.

I'll be honest, I didn't even think about how ballsy the assignment was, I just saw an opportunity to make my students think about the world they live in and maybe shake them out of their comfort zone, if only for a short time. I've already had some strong opinions on this assignment from my students and at least 6 or 7 of them are going to do it for the extra credit.

So was it that big a deal? Boy teacher Chanman really made ME think!

You get an A for that teach!