Thank you, blogger friends, for your words of support and sympathy. I'm glad I'm not alone in this glumpy, gloomy mood.
Wednesday was a regular day; that is to say, whatever. I do my thing at school, all energized and crazy, and then come down to my 'regular' persona. Wednesdays are supposed to be a fairly easy day; I have three preps in a row. On this one, though, I had a coverage of a seventh grade computer class that was moved to the cafeteria. I'm sure it could have somehow been worse, with the kids, but yuck, it was pretty hellish. I'd been used to good coverages with games and stuff. I can't stand the self-righteous and arrogant, disrespectful seventh (and eighth) graders.
At lunch, I've got a group of kind-of regulars, and they've been leveling and sorting my library. Very helpful. However, since I'm so overbooked, I still run out and make copies or drop in on the donation area. I leave them alone in my room (door open), and so far things have been fine.
Today we just about finished sorting the books into baskets based on genre. They've all been leveled and labeled with appropriate stickers. The last step is to finish the check-out log. We have pages made for most of the books, but they need to be double-checked and put into genres, then alphabetized.
This library has been a huge project that, frankly, I haven't even thought about except when the kids are there to help. And that's just as it should be, I think. There are about fifteen things more important than the library to keep at the forefront of my mind. Plus, the kids get practice SYNTHESIZING books and applying knowledge of genres. (Like that test prep reference? See, even lunch help has a purpose, if anyone asks...)
Today was another weird day, with the first three periods and two classes taking place outside my regular classroom. I must say that my students did an excellent job focusing on whatever they needed to do. We did some independent reading and played some games too. For the first time, I got to play MadLibs with one class. They were like, "Yes!" when I announced it. So I figured it would bring them down if I told them that this was good for ELA practice. Let them think they're just having fun. Ha ha. Actually, it was quite fun. I let myself giggle, as I am wont to do around MadLibs. The kids loved it.
Oh, god, here's a story. During the first class's independent reading, a boy looked at me, pointed to a word in his book, and asked me, "Miss, what does this mean?" pointing to "circumcised." I thought, oh holy shit you did NOT just ask me that. I stifled a giggle (barely) and steeled myself, reminding myself that I am a mature, educated adult. Ahem. And I said, very calmly, "It's something that Jewish parents do for their sons when they're babies. It's when they cut off the foreskin of the penis." Whew! I got through it. He and the boy next to him were horrifed, "Oh, snap!" Me, curiously: "You really haven't heard of that before?" Them, still shocked: "No!"
Ten minutes later, they're still talking about it, muttering about how someone would still pee or something. And I said, "It's not anything necessary!" I grabbed my earlobe: "If I cut off my earlobe, would it affect my hearing?" "No. Ohh, I see."
The last two classes, I read them "Encounter," and we practiced analyzing it, as well as making predictions and identifying figurative language. Sweet! The analysis really took some prodding...but it seemed like eventually it kind of sunk in. Who knows. It made for some good notes for my assessment notebook--who can do facts but not infer, or who can identify characteristics but not analyze traits.
On one of my preps, I made it up to the top floor to visit the new teacher I'm supposed to be looking out for. She's still having a tough time dealing with the eighth graders, who are being blatantly rude and disrespectful, dissing her to her face. I just shook my head and told her to keep ignoring them. I made a point of saying that the year was NOT going to be easy. And it would NOT get better right away. My year started getting a little less torturous around February, I think. But, I emphasized that that won't even happen for her if she doesn't keep implementing new things and trying stuff out. I reminded her that they're just pushing her, that they're awful and mean, and she needs to stay strong. I gave her more ideas and tips (individual classwork points, anecdotal book, monitors, jellybeans for good job list students), and she seemed kind of responsive to some of them. I don't know if I'm helping, but I feel good about talking honestly with her. I think all new teachers need that.
I filled up my gas tank yesterday for the low, low, bargain price of $2.79 a gallon. Oh, how I wish that was sarcasm.
On a personal note, I had some interesting interactions with the guys in my program class. One of them, the one who flirted and gave me rides and admitted attraction, and then a steady girlfriend, now "keeps me on" as an academic advisor. He calls me for stupid shit about class or assignments or information. Totally using me and whatever. I'm completely over him, though I wish I knew if he still wanted me. Just cause I like that validation.
The other one, I'm not sure if I've mentioned him. He's the one I really flirt with like a twelve-year-old. He's tall and a little burly, in a good way, and I find him quite teh big sexy. He's also about twenty years old....er than I am. Which is weird when I think about it. And I make fun of him for being old, because I'm mean like that. But really, I think he's hot and he's great fun to flirt with. He keeps telling me how hot I am. We hung around for over an hour after class, chatting and flirting. He very willingly gave me a shoulder rub to help my neck crick, and gave me a lovely hug when we finally parted ways. Mmm.
Perhaps there will be more salacious details on this at an later date.
In other, similar news, CuteTeacher is definitely coming along with my other school friends to hang out for my birthday next week. THAT, Nancy, is deserving of a resounding SQUEE! :)
I am fucking exhausted.
I still have no interest in grading papers at home. And I only got a little more than half a set graded at school. Oh well.
On a happier note, I got my first official birthday card today, from my fabulous friend Stacey. Lovies and bug hugs to you!
I also got the one hundred and twenty-eight photos from Snapfish from my summer adventures. And since I bought two albums at Costco (fifteen bucks and real leather, 30 pages each!), eventually I'll be able to put something nice together to document it. I hope. At the very least, I'll print out my blog reports and paste 'em in. Heh.