Friday, September 28, 2007

Get our your reading glasses...

Ahhhhhhhh, Friday.

I woke up at a glorious 9:00 this morning and am still in my pajamas. I made oatmeal and tea, and leisurely read the internets for a little while. Sooner or later I will have to take a shower and put on real clothes, because a woman is coming to tune the piano at 1:30. But there is a lot of time between now and then that just might--might--be filled with playing video games.

Sure, I could be working on my portfolio, or finishing/editing the 3rd grade page of my "standards matrix," or at least reading my dyslexia (or, as my most favorite school parent EV4R would say, "dick-slessia") book. But I'm not going to. I will persevere in my dedication to relaxing this morning. I already emptied the dishwasher, and that's pushing it perilously close to responsibility. Uh-uh. Not today.

In school news, I did end up hearing back from Grade-Obsessed Dad yesterday. Apparently his wife had not shared the email response I sent her about the issue on Tuesday, so he was uber-pissed that I "hadn't gotten back to him" and restated all his arguments, including how he wanted a "hearing" and how after they got a "settlement" perhaps we could use the situation as a "case study" to teach the instructors at my school how to do things (i.e., give all your students As instead of Bs). He even said that that was "what he paid for." Ha. Anyway, I just said I'd replied to his wife, copied the email (thanking her for understanding that he got a B, as she had sent an email saying so), and said they'd hear from our director of education. She is standing behind me about the grade business, and her letter to them has her phone number on it. So I'm sure he'll still be really mad, but he can call her instead of me. I do not like confrontations or bullies.

I actually find it pretty funny that people with money think that they can act like such bullies and force other people to do what they want. Especially when the people they are threatening are teachers that get paid $0 an hour. That just makes me even less inclined to give you what you want, smart guy. That and the fact that it is just educationally unsound. Forget it.

My difficult morning student has had a great past two days, and has even engaged in conversations with me. He is still kind of ... academically defensive ... but I think it is getting better. I got him all excited about the book he is reading, and we had a conversation about banned books (and movies, games, etc.). He's admitting when specific things are difficult so that I can help him, and he's actually taking time to put his stuff away neatly before he goes running out the door. I feel like I am making a difference, and Thursday's class (the first good one) actually gave me goosebumps because it was so un-bad. That sounds ridiculous, I know. But that's the closest I can come to describing it.

My afternoon student's mom called and told me he had mono*. Although that does make me a bit paranoid (unnecessarily, of course, because it's not like we drink out of the same coffee cup), it also does mean he'll be gone for awhile. And I like him, don't get me wrong. His class has been very enjoyable, and he's been working really hard. But it opens up my work day for a few days (weeks? who knows?) to really get caught up. I hope he feels better.

And finally my night student, whom I am teaching contemporary US history and who is also already a college student despite being only 16, has been a blast. He asks all these earnest discussion questions, and I can refer him to novels that paint a vivid picture of specific historical events, or movies or museum exhibits he should see. He writes them down in the margin of his notes and probably even sees some of them. He was studying the civil rights movement this week, and he has an absolute inability to understand how people could be racist ("I mean, what would it matter if the blacks went to the same school as the whites? It's like they thought they had some kind of disease or something. That just isn't rational!"). He was like that when we talked about the internment of Japanese during WWII, too. I like that there are young people for whom racism is just completely unacceptable, not even a question; people who are infuriated by some of the things that have happened in history (and some that happen today). It makes me feel like the kids that are growing up now actually are more accepting, more culturally aware, more open, and--ironically thanks in large part to our current president--more politically involved. Maybe we won't destroy ourselves after all.

In other upbeat news, my friend Sugar (an alias) is quite, quite pregnant and very happy. She keeps a charming blog about how the pregnancy is coming along, and they've put together a nursery for their daughter-to-be. She said on the blog today that her mother and sister are throwing her a baby shower, and it made me feel warm and happy. I think that's how things are supposed to happen. She's old enough to have a baby on purpose and prepare a wonderful, rich life for it; she will be an involved, nurturing, non-pushover mom; and that baby will come into a huge, loving family. The whole situation makes me happy. I'm been feeling really tired and jaded lately about weddings and babies, maybe because I've been going to weddings that people are having too early and/or for the wrong reasons (i.e., they don't really like each other but both want to get married), and it has felt really forced and dumb. Like we're all just "playing grown-up." But that's not what it's like with Sugar. I'm so happy for her, and it makes me glad to imagine her teaching her little girl to read, and teaching her to make sweet potatoes, and teaching her to call everyone "sugar," like a southern lady should. I know that little girl will doubtlessly be showered with gifts and covered in pink, lacy things, but I also know that Mama will be Boss and the little girl will learn some manners. I also know she will not grow up to be a shithead to her teachers. And that makes me happy :)

Speaking of weddings, we're going to another one in a couple of weeks for one of Airbear's game-programmer friends down in San Francisco. It's in Sonoma, and I think it will be fancy and nice. It will also be a little vacation, and those are always good. But best of all I think it will be a nice wedding. They seem good for each other, and really happy. And really, I think it is good for Airbear to see normal weddings. They're not all bad. Ha ha.

Well, this update has gotten too long and I need to go play some warcraft. Catch you all soon!

* My gay boyfriend kissed one girl in his life, when he was in high school. (He tried very hard not to be gay, you see.) Anyway, that one girl gave him mono. That must have been what decided it ;) **

** I am, of course, just kidding. There's a picture of him as a toddler wrapped in a pink feather boa and don't-look-at-me-I'm-a-celebrity sunglasses. There was never any real question. Plus he can dance. That decides it.

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