Thursday, July 29, 2004


We did it! Classes at Queens College are finished!

I just came from the psych/dev final, and that went just fine. Before that was the Lit portfolio/presentation, and that was peachy too. Woo!

It's over!!

Well, not really, because we still have summer school and FA until next Thursday. But the hard stuff is over! The weekends are FREE!! No more homework! Well, for now anyway.

Gotta run to FA. See ya.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Blah blah blah

Totally procrastinating right now. Am uploading pictures to an online storage site instead of studying for my final on Thursday. Hee hee, I am a bad student this week. I got all my good habits exhausted last week.

Last night I did a tiny bit of reading/reviewing for the final, but then I went to bed. AT 9:15 PM. That's right. Woo! And it would have been so much better if some asshole wasn't playing loud music from 11-2AM. Selfish bastard. There was way loud music playing all Saturday night too, it was like a nightmare for me.

So today is Tuesday. Two more days of class! A week and a half left of summer school and FA! Wow!

Today I did some teaching, about swamps. It was kind of fun. The kids got all into it. I 'taught' about the difference between turtles and tortoises, and blurbs about black bears and reptiles. One student was like, "it's like you're a science teacher." Heh.

I'm sure that I should talk about more stuff, or more interesting stuff, or be all introspective and shit. I've actually gotten back into the journaling habit, now that so much is going on. Not that like writing is any more revealing or gripping. Now I just have a place to complain about what an ugly loser I am.

I have to get working on finding real housing. Which brings me to the question, do I go the expensive and lonely route, finding a studio or 1-bedroom? Or do I bite the bullet and take a chance on sharing with a complete stranger but saving money? Either way, I pray that I have enough money for it all, and I absolutely cannot WAIT until I have internet access all the time. Also, I am trying to not worry about having hardly any possessions or furniture or other important whatnot.

Oh, and the weekend? Really, I am a loser. I did leave the house, but only to the library on Saturday morning, and to do some errand/walking on Sunday. Saw no one, left a lot of voice mails for friends. I have no social life. I have to keep reminding myself that it's supposedly normal for new transplants to NYC. Plus, this coming year, there will be no time for socializing. But I really wish I had a social life to neglect, instead of no social life to miss, you know?

Friday, July 23, 2004

One more week!

Of classes, at least. Two more of summer school and Fellow Advisory. Woo!

Yesterday we turned in a big project called a literature log, where we accumulated different kinds of 'touchstone texts' that will help us teach pieces of literacy in the classroom. My author study was on Roald Dahl; I read "The Twits," "Fantastic Mr. Fox," and "The BFG." They were all great, I highly recommend them.  That's one excellent thing about teaching--a free pass to read fun children's books!

Let's see, what else? So next Thursday we have a final exam in our child psych/development class, and in literacy class we have a presentation of all the sample work we've done that will be units in our own classrooms.  Like a report (I wrote mine about the ocean), a narrative account (a picture book; I think mine will be about the night we went to Starlight Express and two British strangers helped us get there and get home), a narrative procedure (a how-to; mine is "How to ride the subway"--it's pretty clever), several kinds of poetry, and that's mostly it, I think.  Lots to do in the next six days.

This weekend I have no plans really. I need to do laundry, and I keep telling myself I will clean the bathroom. We'll see how long it takes me to actually do it.  I'm doing fairly well keeping the dishes washed and that sort of thing, and I'm containing my clutter a little better.

Things are a little lonely. I like my classmates, but it feels like there are some little cliques and of course I don't belong in one. I do my own thing and walk at my own pace, literally.  Many people stroll between classes together, but they go way to slow for me, so I just steam on ahead. Tra la la.

Hm, I can't really think of anything else. I'm beginning to feel pretty helpless and clueless; there is so much information shoved down our throats, not to mention all the paper thrown at us, that there is no way I know it all. I am hoping that it will go slowly and that I can get help implementing all these complicated teaching strategies. This morning we went to a "new teacher induction," but it just talked about the mentors the city is now giving all new teachers. I'm pretty relieved and excited about that.

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But this was a long road, and should I walk down it, I might never come back. What is the answer? I'd thought it was sad to hate the forest the way she'd done. I can never describe the walk back to my truck.This was a place without the internet, without email, without the rush of business meetings and untapped desires. (I'm loving the way you walk with me so quietly, contentedly.) Can you tell me the answer? she asked. I'll tell you what happened next. Don't do that, the cat pointed out. Hi, I said to all the animals. (Things were looking worse.) That could well be the answer.There were many examples of animals all around. I wished so deeply for the change to come about. We're going to regret this, my friend said. Just tell me your answer, even if it sucks. That could well be the answer.

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How embarrassing. This is what I like, I'd tell myself. He extended his hand by way of introduction. That could well be the answer.I'll tell you what happened next. What is the answer? This is what I like, I'd tell myself. Suddenly, he disappeared. It was time... Can you tell me the answer? she asked. I was just thinking. But this was a long road, and should I walk down it, I might never come back.I'd seen many of the same things I've seen before. I can never describe the walk back to my truck. He wanted to know more. There's something I should tell you. But under the circumstances, I'd do it again.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

I think I can, I think I can...

Yesterday was not my happiest day. I felt frustrated and overwhelmed and annoyed and unimportant and probably some other things too. I didn't participate in class and I did no homework at home.

Today was better. I didn't necessarily participate much and we'll see how much homework I get done, but I don't feel as helpless and hopeless. That's mostly because I'm doing my best to just forget those feelings so that I can actually accomplish all of the stuff that we're supposed to be doing. Time is going way faster than I'm used to. Which is good, I hate when the hours just crawl by. But it means there's a ton of work that has to get done in just a few weeks. Yikes!

I bought a printer over the weekend and am so excited. I still have no email access at home, which is a real liability/handicap in this program, but at least I can print out my papers at home now. And on decent paper and with plenty of ink! Woo!

Man, I'm hungry. It's a quarter to eight right now, that means I won't get to eat dinner until nearly nine. Great.

Check out the new links to the right for more information about where I am and the New York school stuff. Let me know if there's anything interesting there; I haven't had much time to look around those sites myself yet.

Friday, July 09, 2004

Three weeks!

It is already Friday of the third week of summer preservice training. Only three or four left to go!

So let's see. I was placed at an elementary school in St Albans, Queens, near Jamaica. I've been in a third-grade classroom. The first two days were testing and other boring things. Yesterday was actual instruction. Though some of the kids seem pretty bright and eager, the class still didn't get through hardly anything. They just kind of sat there. It was sad and frustrating at the same time.

I'm tired a lot, from getting up before 6.30. Today I got to sleep in until almost 7.30, because we have workshops that don't start until 9.30. Yay. After they are over, I'm going to the library on the way home. I am really excited about that. I just finished the third novel that I borrowed last Friday. Have I said lately how much I adore public libraries? I LOVE libraries. If more people embraced the idea of public libraries, I believe that the country would be a better place. Hello, free books? Knowledge there for the taking? Not to mention entertainment, with VHS and DVD movies. So I think that little trip will be the highlight of my weekend.

This week's homework load has actually been considerably less. It helps that I did all the reading that I was supposed to over the weekend. But I spent several evenings hardly doing anything productive. I don't watch nearly as much TV as I did when I was at home or first here. But now, since there are so few channels and so little time to actually watch it, I watch more silly shows than I ever have. And that is depressing.

Mm, sleepy. I should go get a beverage to tide me over during the workshops. Later, dudes.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

A very full six days since the last post!

Hi, all. Look at me, pretending I have an audience. How precious.

So. It's been a busy week. Actually, it started with the weekend. Friday was indeed very productive, and I'm still proud of that. The rest of the weekend I had vowed to be a good girl and do my homework and get caught up, and not do it all the last minute. Which I sort of accomplished; I worked on papers and some reading on Sunday and finished up on Monday. But early Monday, no late night frantic finishing of things. So good for me.

I got to be social over the weekend, sort of. I hung out with my former teammate and a couple of his friends. I had a really good time. Especially when we played frisbee in Central Park, and also watched the fireworks from the rooftop terrace in Battery Park.

On Tuesday, New York public summer school began. We Fellows began our new schedule, reporting at our summer placement school at 8-noon, and then doing our courses in the afternoon/early evening.

I have to go now, the library is closing, those insensitive bastards, but I will add more tomorrow I think. Hope you all had a nice Independence Day, etc.

Friday, July 02, 2004

Hurrah for public libraries!

Today is Friday. It is the end of our second week of pre-service training. I have a list of things to do and errands to run today. So far I am almost finished.

Did you know that the post office will only keep domestic parcels for ten days? I know this because it has been eleven days since my box of books arrived in New York. Now it is on its merry media-mail way back to Renton. I hope that when it arrives at my mom's house, she will send it out here again. Someday I will see that box again.

I visited the infamous 65 Court Street in Downtown Brooklyn after the post office adventure. It is a large, intimidating structure housing the entire Department of Education. Or maybe it's the Board of Education. I had thought that the latter was the newest name for the former, but perhaps they are indeed two separate bureaucratic entities. Who is John Galt?

And most recently, I found the Leonard branch of the Brooklyn Public Library. The Marcy branch is closer but according to the website is also closed for renovation. This one is still an easy walk. I found 'regular' books to read, plus a children's poetry book for my literacy assignment due on Tuesday, and another children's book called "Punctuation Takes a Vacation," for another assignment due on Tuesday.

Last night was wonderful. Once I got home at 7.30, I just sat in front of the TV with a book and the A/C going. I did no homework. No reading of a boring textbook, no writing. I enjoyed it. And this morning I slept an extra hour, all the way until 8.30.

It's 2.45 now. Once I am done here, I will pick up my three rolls of film at the Walgreen's down the street from my place. I shall also find some food, as I have only consumed a fruit/granola bar so far today. My stomach is telling me to eat up. Yum, yum.