Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Befuddled Awakening

So, this morning I woke up and after I was sitting there for a minute I discovered something. Have you ever woken up and not felt quite rested? Ok, well, have you thought you had a pretty good sleep but still didn't feel very energetic? Well, I have mornings like this all too often. ( I think it's the fact that I bought a really cheap bed.) Anyway, I noticed that my covers were completely different than the night before. I always make my bed the same way with the comforter showing the dark black side facing up and the tag on the comforter at the bottom right corner. But today, the comforter was showing the light black flowered side up and the tag was in the left hand corner. I'm not sure what exactly went on. I sleep alone and I thought I slept pretty well, but the covers were all over the place and backwards/upside down/just plain skittywampus. Baffled by the condition of my bed spread, I got up to start my day and discovered that the other blankets were wrapped around my legs in such a way that I had to kick and squirm and get almost violent with them in order to get out of the death grip they had placed on me. Now, this is just not the most welcoming morning routine to begin with, I must admit. By the time I got out of bed I didn't know if I should yell at them, laugh at them, or just recognize it as a sign that the day wasn't going to go well and I should just get back in and cover my head until noon.

Not have the choice to stay home, I just simply shook my head and got in the shower. The messy covers are still waiting for me now, because I was afraid to make the bed knowing that the crazy covers may end up grabbing me and pulling me back in for the rest of the day. Let's hope that tonight things will go better. :)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Pub Quiz

Every Wednesday night, a group of us go to FADO and participate in Pub Quiz. It's an interesting competition that happens between groups of patrons at this local Irish Pub. The questions cover everything from Musicians to pictures of artists to historical points of interesting, and all other type of questions. Some questions are way too easy, for instance, "What was the name of the musical that tells about a family caught in the middle of WWII ..." obviously it's The Sound of Music. But for the most part the questions are really hard, like giving really obscure movie quotes from several movies, like "I'll keep it" and "Hey Gorgeous". Plus there are many others that really difficult.

The MC looks like Vin Diesle and he's a little bit smug if you try to ask him for help. He's carrying the answers, so I don't know why he acts as if he knows it all, but he does. So that kinda ruins his good looking-ness. The waitress' don't make any money because we get there around 7 and we don't leave until almost 11. By 9 O'Clock, they are irritated and annoyed at our constant desire for refills and non-alcoholic purchases, as well as never being quite done with the round of questions in time to hand it in when she asks for it the first time.
The first time I went, I thought, ok... if I were going to study for a game show like Jeopardy, how would I study? Of course I considered going to the library, watching the sports channel for interesting facts, and paying particular attention to literature, music, and art. But then I asked myself, "WHAT ARE YOU THINKING>>> IT"S PUB QUIZ!!" The winners recieve $100 gift card to the restaraunt and the satifaction of winning. We have been going since before Christmas and we have never, I repeat NEVER, won. Once we tied for third and lost in the tie breaking question which you had to be a MENSA canidate to have answered. And yet, despite our horrible loss of only 14 points out of 70 possible, we still go week after week. The food is good and company is great, but we are just fooling ourselves if we think we are going to win.

It's definitely a great time had by all and as I sit here tonight thinking about some of the questions that were asked, I am loving that someone came up with the idea. I wish I had come up with it. They must have to pay for the questions. But I'm sure it brings in a least one full night each week, which in this economy is big. But mostly, I wish some of my friends from college could be at the table to help me. I may start recruiting, which means some of you will have to come to Vegas for a Wednesday night of Philly Cheesesteaks, Irish appetizers, and crazy questions.

Start studying...

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Teaching! Why reinvent the wheel?

It's been forever since I've written on the blog. I've had some requests and now it seems logical to go ahead and write again, especially now that I can attach this to my Facebook. I am hoping that I can vent my frustrations of teaching, and share my victories here and it will make me feel better. I also hope that someone, somewhere, might gain something from the experiences I'm having. If there's one thing I've learned, it's to not reinvent the wheel. Teachers say it all the time and so do our administrators. If someone else has already figured it out, why would you go to all the work to do it yourself? Well, I feel like I'm constantly reinventing. I guess I wish student teaching had lasted longer than 16 weeks.

I've been teaching for three years and have had so many tough situations, exciting times, and amazing moments in the classroom. Some have been complex and I've shared with people, but some have been small moments that I have enjoyed and kept to myself. Today was a day that had both.

My current class is extremely challenging. I feel my "grouchy brows" creep together almost immediately when I enter the classroom. I have to say that standardized testing perpetuates this condition of the face. Unfortunately, I have no control over how this happens or if it happens. I just have to participate like these unfortunate little ones I have in my classroom.

So this morning, I was so frustrated. I felt as if everything I said went in one sweet little ear and right out the other of each and every student in the room. Nothing I seemed to do made the words I was saying stick. Following directions is the hardest thing in the WHOLE WIDE WORLD with this group. By lunch, I had a headache taking over and I was wishing there was a botox injection available in the vending machine or a white padded room where I could get it all out.

After lunch, something changed. I'm not sure what it was, but I'm pretty sure it was just the fact that I know there was a whole half a day left, and also that there are three months of school left and somehow, I had to survive. After getting through reading and math, we moved onto writing and I was given the cutest song about Parts of a Friendly Letter. We sang and came up with hand motions. It was awesome. The students were engaged and I felt fulfilled as if I accomplishing

Right now I'm reading a book my sister Jacque gave me a million years ago. It's called "The Gentle Touch" by Ardeth G. Kapp. I'm hoping I can learn something to help me to reach those kids that, right now, feel completely untouchable. I know I have the ability to cause change because I have done it... but I have to figure out how to cause change without causing a stress and anxiety indused ventricle explosion. If I can't figure this out, I'll never make it 30 years.

Well, I'm off to finalize the thesis and then to bed, obviously... way too late.