Monday, May 11, 2009

News and Olds

Yeah, it's been awhile. Here's a brief that may or may not be brief.

1. New Goal: Obtain teaching license by the end of June. It means an insane month of May, getting all this paperwork and teaching documentation done, but I have been assured by my two advisors at Marian College that it is possible. Keep your fingers crossed and hold your breath (until the end of June, that is... I hope you don't turn blue- or dead.)

2. Old Hopes continually dashed: Why oh why do my students continue to fail? I could count the number of passing grades I gave out this last midquarter on one hand. Overall, they seem to be generally engaged in class. I can't see how they might be misunderstanding my expectations. They know what they have to do. Why oh why don't they do it? How can I get them to do the work so they are learning and NOT failing? I'm really struggling with this one, so all you teachers out there, I could use any thoughts or advice on it...

3. Rendezvous in Old Nauvoo: Since apparently I did NOT inform anyone of my intended activities this past weekend, contrary to what I had thought, here's a quick rundown. I left school early on Friday, picked up a friend, Kristina, and drove many many many hours to Nauvoo. Why, you ask? Because we had a couple of friends who were getting married on Saturday (to each other, not to other people- i.e. one wedding was involved, not two). I stayed Friday and Saturday night with Rebecca (Morris) Powell in Burlington, IA (Kristina stayed with the bride's family in a hotel in Nauvoo). Friday night, a group of us (including the groom) went to go see Star Trek. Holy Cow! What an amazing movie! I won't go into a lot of details yet (since some of you may still be on your way to see it), but the casting was amazing, the cast was talented (and hilarious- especially McCoy and Scotty), the story was just a good, solid story- it was incredible! Even Kristina, who is not really a Star Trek fan, loved it and would go to see it again in a heartbeat. For those of you who love movies- even if you're not a Star Trek fan- you should definitely go see this one!
Saturday- the day of the wedding- was beautifully clear and sunshiny- and COLD! FREEZING COLD! And windy! Even in the midwest, May is usually consistently warm. My outfit, including a knee-length skirt and sandals, should have been fine. No. We all froze as the photographers snapped dozens of photos. Still, the wedding was lovely, the bride and groom radiant, and as the weather eventually warmed up by late afternoon, the day was wonderful.
Sunday- after attending sacrament meeting, Kristina and I (and the groom's mom, who joined our party car for reasons too complicated to explain) headed back to Indiana. Despite all the driving I forced Frankie to do, I would say it was a good weekend, even if a bit exhausting...

So, there's an update on things going on in my life right now. Now you can quit asking.

To finish this off, I offer you a list, taken from one of Genny Dawson Dazet's recent posts:

10 Things I Hate That Other People Seem To Like:
(in no particular order)
  1. Seafood: Everyone is always raving about shrimp or crab or this or that kind of fish. Blech. Ew. Gross. Now, I realize that part of this is years of prejudice against any kind of seafood talking (thanks a lot, Mom and Dad, for forcing me to eat all those nasty fish sticks... I think you have traumatized me for life). However, in growing up, I have made some effort to overcome those psychological prejudices and have made the attempt to try some types of seafood. That being said, with the exceptions of canned tuna and fried cod/fried calamari (when I'm in the mood), I hold to my first opinion. Blech. Ew. Gross. (I do, however, have to give kudos BIG time to Red Lobster, who can ALWAYS make seafood look appealing, even to me... Whoever is in charge of their marketing campaigns is a pure genius!)
  2. Earbuds: While I am not opposed to swabbing out the earwax with a Q-tip on occasion, I still can't handle the annoying sensation of earbuds. While I realize traditional headphones may feel a bit bulky, I still prefer them to sticking wads of plastic/rubber in my ears for extended periods of time. It's like having wax buildup that won't come out! I'm sorry. If there are earbuds out there that are lighter than air so that I don't notice I have them in, great. I'll give them a try. Until then, I'll stick with the bulky but comfortable.
  3. Vegetables: While I am often quick to point out to my family that I have come a long way since I was a child- I can willingly eat many things (vegetables included) that I didn't like to touch as a kid- I can still freely admit that many vegetables are not on my list of things I like to eat (the few that are tend to be low on the list- with the exception of corn, which I can honestly say I love). When I do eat veggies, for the most part they have to be raw. I still struggle with cooked vegetables (Hey- at least I don't have to massage my throat anymore, right?) Of course, that makes it hard for me to eat many other types of meals, because they often use vegetables as a complement to meats, grains, etc. Oh well. I still find plenty to eat.
  4. NASCAR: I realize that this may be rather ironic, considering that I live in Indianapolis, the heart of car racing. There may be those that would consider such a statement blaspheme. Nuts to them. I certainly didn't move here to be closer to the Indianapolis Speedway. People who honestly enjoy NASCAR are either sick or drunk (or both). The closest I will ever get to willingly watching stock car racing is watching CARS. (Disclaimer: I realize that Indianapolis is famous for the Indy 500, which is NOT a NASCAR race. No matter. The speedway is still used for various NASCAR races. And even if it weren't, I'd still hate NASCAR.)
  5. Cola: Pepsi, Coke/Coca-Cola (by the way, as far as I know, there really is no difference between Coke or Coca-Cola, so why they have to use both names is beyond me...), Dr Pepper, Mr. Pibb- all are gross to me. Only if I am dying of thirst would I even consider taking a sip of any cola, name brand or otherwise- and even then, I would probably pass up on it, preferring to suck my own spit to soothe the dry throat. I have never liked cola, I never will, and I don't think even the addition of flavor- cherry, vanilla, chocolate or otherwise- could make any of them palatable enough for me to willingly drink.
  6. Vitamin Water/Flavored Water: Continuing on the subject of drinks, I don't really understand the appeal of these drinks. Well, at least Vitamin Water can claim to have nutrients. Still, I have a hard time believing that people actually drink them for their taste. To me, it's like drinking very, very, very, very watered-down Kool-Aid, where only a hint of washed-up flavor is left. Yuk. If I want flavor in a drink, I want flavor! I don't want to be teased with traces of it. I'd rather just drink plain bottled water, which does far more to quench my thirst than this tainted crap. So have fun drinking your pseudo-"healthy"-Kool-Aid-imitation-blah-ter. I'm gonna stick to the real stuff.
  7. Valentine's Day Romance: It's not that I object to romance in general. On the contrary, I love a good romantic story (nerd alert: I recently re-read and re-read and re-read Jane Eyre because of all the thrillingly romantic moments throughout the story). And it's not even that I still object to Valentine's Day in general (I have more or less gotten over my previous hatred of it). I have decided to use Valentine's Day as a day to show other kinds of love- family love, friendly love, etc. But I find that romance on Valentine's Day just tends to be nauseating. Maybe it's all the cliche gifts and activities that are so nauseating. I don't know. Whatever it is, I have decided that whenever I find that significant other, anything red, white, pink, chocolate, stuffed/fuzzy, rose or carnation is outlawed on Valentine's Day (now, the day before or the day after might be a different story...)
  8. Red-Velvet Cake: I think people talk themselved into liking this kind of cake simply because of the cream cheese frosting. How can anybody seriously like such a butchering of chocolate cake? And all that red dye can't be good for you. Nope. Red-velvet cake is disgusting, plain and simple- and a complete waste of good cream cheese frosting. Get yourselves a really good carrot cake, for pete's sake. Stop ruining chocolate.
  9. Nebraska: Well, I don't know and don't care if other people like this state. I just figured that if this is a hate list, Nebraska has to be on it. It's a long story. If you are really interested, ask me. But for now, just know that I hate Nebraska.
  10. Football: Yes, I will admit that I occasionally keep tabs on the Colts. I feign interest because I have so many students/co-workers that love the Colts, and in order to avoid looking like a complete idiot, I try to keep track of how they are doing- sort-of. To be honest, though, I really do not care. I don't hate football the same way that I hate NASCAR, but I really have no true interest in the sport. Although I don't mind attempting to play it with the family on a beautiful autumn Thanksgiving Day...
Okay, that took a little longer than planned. I was going to punctuate the list with photos, but I have to be a responsible teacher again. I'm out.


Tamara said...

Oh girlly girl! How I FEEL for you and know what you are going through w/ your kiddos. I only have a few suggestiong:

1. rearrange seating

2. do a competition in the class--& give the winners something they all WANT (free homework passes, pizza, blow pops). It's a lot of paperwork, but TRUST me, it worked 3rd quarter when everyone was wanting to give up!! Anyway, I let them pick partners, but I had to approve...they got ONE point for bringing in homework (both of them) on time, ONE point for best participation daily, ONE point for being on task all hour, and ONE point for speaking in Spanish the whole hour. anyway, I had to add up points daily, and it took quite a bit of time, honestly. BUT, they had to do it for 3 weeks (in your case, maybe 1 week, or 3 days in a row....something achieveable. They loved it, and are begging for us to do it again.

Peeser said...

Hmmm... I like that idea. And I think I might be able to make it work even these last few weeks of school. (Well, even if it doesn't work this year, it's a great idea for next year). Do you have any templates on how to keep track of the points?

Sometimes, I forget that kids love competition...

Thanks for the suggestion!

Sarah Lambson said...

Yay for hating Nebraska! Can't agree with you more.

Stupid students. I was actually thinking that teaching elementary or middle school science might actually be fun. How hard is it to get a teaching license?

I too thought McCoy was hilarious and that the movie was fantastic.

I hope May goes well for you.

Love ya!

gd said...

Wow...this 'failing students' thing sounds AWFUL!! I'm no teacher, but is it possible you just got a 'bad batch' this year?

I'm so glad you did the list! I love these!

1. Seafood: TOTALLY AGREE. Totally.
2. Earbuds: Again, agreed! I don't even like those small foam headphones everyone always had--I like big ones that cover my whole ear, and I don't care how stupid I look in them!
3. Veggies: I am, slowly, learning to like them...but I've always been a hater. Fruit, on the other hand, I am FAR more picky about.
4. NASCAR: sing it, sister. ( have plenty of sisters...scratch the 'sister' part.)
5. I'm partial to a flavored cola, like Lemon Pepsi, Pepsi with Lime, or Cherry Pepsi/Coke. But I still wouldn't turn down a plain one. Oh well, we couldn't agree on *everything*...!
6. Flavored water: Ugh. Yes. I'll drink it if it's the ONLY thing available, and I refuse to touch Gatorade. But it never, ever quenches my thirst. Plain, please!
7. V-Day: I love V-Day, but because I celebrate it as a recognition of all types of love--my mom always did that, and it became a holiday where we'd have yummy heart-shaped cake and little gifties from her, so it never mattered when I wasn't in a romantic relationship at the time. In fact, when I have been in one on the actual day, and we try to make it romantic, it just doesn't work--it feels forced.
8. Red Velvet: My fam used to get this cake whenever it was in the bakery, but we had *no* idea it was supposed to be chocolate. It tasted nothing like chocolate! I never even knew it was considered to be until a few years ago, and I was all "yeah, red velvet is like chocolate the same way white chocolate is." Oh, dang! I totally should have put 'white chocolate' on my list! But, yes...carrot cake is way better (no raisins, please).
9. Nebraska: I don't know the state well, but from everything I've heard about it, I don't want to get to know it.
10. Football: I used to hate this with a PASSION. I'm to the point where I can stomach it, and during MU's Fall '07 season, it was, for the first time for me, actually exciting. I still would never turn it on if I were alone, but I live in a house where every fall weekend, the TV is turned to one game or another every waking hour, so I decided I'd sit down and try to learn the game so I wouldn't hate it so much. And I still think it's pretty idiotic compared to baseball. BUT, Eli Manning kinda makes it easier to like. :)


J.Ammon said...

You know what I hate? People who hate things. It's an awful spiral of self loathing and anti-social behavior. Sometimes I just sit in a corner trapped and crying to make the anger go away.

Fun list though, even if you're wrong. ;)

Emily S. said...

I hate... Joe.


But I loved this post!!! Good readin'!!!

Ashlee and Jason said...

I wonder why people like Nebraska. I thought it's supposed to be flat and boring, but maybe I've been mistaken. Loved your lists:)