Friday, December 28, 2007

Sorry Virginia.....

My Christmas story begins way back in February as I braved traffic jams from Richardson all the way through Allen three times a week as HOV lanes were constructed to improve Central Expressway/75. Not just any old HOV lane but a special HOV lane with what looks like miles of picket fence w/o the crossbar. Using my amazing powers of foresight I came to a quick opinion and prediction. Boy, that's stupid, how many of those pickets are going to get blasted to Kingdom-come every day and who will be stupid enough to get stuck in a lane where you are basically trapped in case of an accident or breakdown. My Christmas story picks up the Friday before Christmas as the 100 Farmers family attempted to leave on our trip to Grandmother's house across the Red River, over the Arbuckle Mountains, through the Ouachita Forest and into Stillwater we go. Yo ho. Here's where my amazing powers of foresight proved true as the "one day opened" HOV became a dammed(or should I say DAMNED) river of cars causing a 35 mile trail out of Dallas to last almost two hours. My powers of common sense must have been blocked by my other powers though because I was one of the idiots stuck in the HOV lane in Richardson. We sat and sat and watched lucky cars with one passenger whiz by. I wanted to believe in the powers of TxDoT during the Christmas season but the facts are hard to ignore. Sorry Virginia, the spirit of mass transportation does not exist here in Dallas.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Go and listen as Uncle Jay Explains the year in review - In Song!

I'll post the video as soon as it comes out on YouTube.

Monday, December 17, 2007

100 Farmers has croaked her last today

I have four days left to wrap up Latin America. We need some serious discussion over Immigration, NAFTA, and Deforestation. I have interactive, tell what you've heard and speak your mind group activities to finish out this semester before we slink back to DEAD week and finals. The problem. I HAVE NO VOICE!!!!!! Every croaking sound that escapes my lips ends up closing my throat even tighter into a narrow straw of pain. Do we have any witch doctors or magic workers out there? I have tried everything today. Help, Help, help, croak!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

It's Wunderbar

We did a Unit over North America a couple of weeks ago and I played a lovely little video to illustrate Globalization and Americanization. After initially accusing me of making up the word Americanization, my classes now praise me as a supercool teacher who is one with Rammstein. I can also dangle the video like a prize at the end of class if we are completed with work. Unfortunately my daughter keeps walking around the house howling, "We all live in Amerika, it's Wunderbar!" in a large gruff voice over and over and over again. It is driving us crazy. I personally think it's wunderbar .

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Can you hear me now?

I have been feeling the need to clarify something with myself. I realized that my biggest issue this year is that I am so disappointed in quite a few of my kids. You know those kids who just don't try? Who might show up on time if at all two or three times a week. Who walk in the door empty handed and spend most of the class time avoiding any type of educational experience. Who laugh like loons at everything and make fun of everyone. Who jump up and want to fight at every imagined slight. I have a lot of those and I mean a lot. I am just not sure how to balance "the concerned, try to save these kids" teacher that I have been with "the get on with it and focus on those that want to be saved teacher" I probably need to be right now. I want so much for these kids to be successful and to GET IT. To walk out my door with some instance of "AH-ha or OH, I get it". Unfortunately, I have walked out the door too many days feeling like I was carrying the weight of the world from trying to solve too many issues that existed way before I got there. I am trying to focus on teaching creatively right now but maintaining professional sanity with the class that makes my stomach hurt. I haven't given up on those kids but I'm writing the referrals to save those that don't deserve that kind of behavior in the middle of their education. I feel like I am compromising something in myself a little but I am enjoying my kids more and I am hearing voices I haven't heard from much. No, not the funny ones in my head. The quiet voices trapped in the rabble of my classroom.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Beam me up

Have decided since I can't quit right now and haven't won the Texas Lottery yet, then my only logical solution to escaping this wretch of a school year is alien abduction. Have gotten five new students this week. Not a single one is coming in with a passing grade in Geography. One got into a screaming match with a boy across the room on day two and another didn't bother to go to school in October or the last two days. My seating chart is now theoretical. Theoretically I have these students but have not actually seen some of them enough to recognize them. In an ironic twist, I am actually proud of my lesson plans and teaching this week. I am whipped however. I am sure that I can handle an alien abduction though. I already certainly feeling probed.