Monday, September 1, 2008

...A Good Blaster At Your Side, Kid

I think Dr. Nick Riviera said it best..."Hi Everybody!"

I'm one day ahead of the game in the world of teaching thanks to a long Labor Day weekend and thought I'd bring you news from the land of Honey Pie.

It's been a grueling few weeks attempting to figure out all the new-fangled things happening in education since I was teaching in the land of chalk and log tables. Now parents want the grades on the Internet, kids want problems on the SmartBoard and the head honchos want to keep tabs on the football players.

I decided that having my own personal desk at home was the way to go for organization and paid a visit to the local Office Depot last week. While considering my choices, I pulled up a chair to a modest Christopher Lowell edition desk and thought, "Damn, this chair is comfortable. In fact...it's so comfortable I could probably just sit here at the back of Office Depot for the next half-hour and not move."

"Ma'am...can I help you?"

"No. It's going to take me at LEAST 30 minutes to determine if this is the desk I want. Now go away."

I immediately entered a trance-like state, enjoying the silent surroundings of office desks and filing cabinets.

The kids are kids. I keep my special pets close by, within arms reach. I'm not sure if they appreciate the "NO WHINING" sign I put up, but I think it's helping. I've got Darth Vader pics by the sign as if to indicate that I have the power to silently choke whiners.




I plan on wearing all-black and my Vader mask for Halloween. I'll gladly take any Jedi/Sith training on choking techniques.

I've found that listening to Metallica gets me in the mood in the mornings now and mellow music just doesn't cut it on the commute. I've become the annoying driver with the bass thumping through the floorboards. The purpose of the war cry/chant prior to battle has been made even more clear. If you don't get your mojo going by the time the buses unload, you're dead meat. iTunes has seen a dramatic increase in my downloading of Rap and Heavy Metal. And I will continue to endorse the soundtrack to "300" as really good mojo music.



Off to prepare lesson plans for battle - welcome to my new world.

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Hoping to make the rounds today and click on some smiley-s for Humor-Bloggers. If I'm even still on their site, go ahead and click for me too.

ps. Thank you ALL for the kind words and support. I have been sad that I'm not able to respond to you each individually, but know that I read all the comments and it makes me HAPPY.

33 Comments :

for a different kind of girl said...

Two things - That you teach high school kids rocks. I was sitting in a lit class in college when it struck me that my options for a career seemed narrowed to high school English. I looked around the classroom at my peers, noticed how apathetic they were to the proceedings, and wondered if that was wanted to see every day. I changed my major to journalism that afternoon. That you can harness the power of high school kids is commendable!

Two - That you teach math makes me envious. My check register - simply a matter of addition and subtraction - is riddled with errors, like some no name rapper riddled with bullets after leaving a Vegas nightclub.

OK, wait. Third thing - Yeah! You surfaced to let us know you're out there!

Enjoy your lessoning planning. Yeah for a short school week!

Meg said...

I spent the past four years writing about an urban high school in the area. Their biggest challenge, besides getting the kids out of the hallways and to class on time, is monitoring the dress code.


Shirt not tucked, you're out.

Striped polo, you're out.

Different color shoe laces, you're out.

And then there's the whole cleavage patrol.

It's funny. But not really.

Good luck with your lessons plans.

Sunshine said...

Welcome back to teaching... I too used the Power of the Force on my Third graders, they probably appreciated it a little more since they are big Star Wars fans and find it interesting I know all about it! Instead of a no whinning sign, I have the ALL ABOUT ME pillow on my car, pen cup and bumper stickers that remind them who it is about! And before long I will be able to ask them "who is it about?" and they will chime in "YOU!!!" Good luck and take in the little things , they will make you laugh out loud and smile...

Alice said...

FADKOG - If it's any consolation, my adding and subtracting skills suck. And really - you would be an awesome English teacher. If the teacher is good - the kids respond in kind (for the most part). I think anyone who is interesting and not just droning at the front makes for a better educational experience. The kids know it too.

Meg - Is your writing on the Internet anywhere? I really feel school would be a better place if there were a uniform. There are too many clothing issues and it would be nice if the rich kids and the poor kids were all dressed the same to cut down on the peer pressure in that area. There was a high school that STRONGLY ENCOURAGED a uniform and fighting decreased dramatically at first when most kids were wearing it. When kids shunned the uniform (because they couldn't legally make the kids wear it) in favor of their own clothing as time went on, the fights/altercations increased again.

Alice said...

Sunshine - Good luck to you too! I can't even imagine the prep that goes into grade school preparations when I was looking around my kid's rooms during their school open house. You all seem to cover so much during the day. At least I only have three preps to worry about and I can do most of it with just a few notes jotted down w/ examples. Have a great school year!

HappyHourSue said...

OMG that's so funny that Metallica and 300 are your go-to "psyched up" albums. Did you know you'd feel like you were going into battle each morning? I'm sure you're kicking ass.

I check your blog all the time, but when you haven't posted, I don't get annoyed, I'm just all "poor Alice- she's working so hard - we miss her". :) **hugs**

Cocotte said...

Have really missed you.......I have a kid taking Algebra 1 in high school this year and another one taking Algebra 1 in 8th grade. You may be hearing from me :)

Alice said...

Sue - I didn't know it would be this battle feeling every morning. I really have to psych myself up for the day (which starts WAY too early). Lord I miss y'all too. Don't you ever take a hiatus like this - I need the laugh over at your place!

Alice said...

Cocotte - You can ask me a question anytime! For real. : )

Kylie w Warszawie said...

Yeah, add me to the list of people who are impressed that you teach math. I'm interested in taking some computer science courses, but I was all like "Well, crap, it's probably going to involve math."

FIL is a retired HS English teacher and the other day I was realizing all these people that I converse with on a daily basis did not have to take 13 years + college English and they still communicate wonderfully. Why do we have to take so much English when really math and science are much more helpful? Sorry - mini rant.

Kylie w Warszawie said...

Yeah, add me to the list of people who are impressed that you teach math. I'm interested in taking some computer science courses, but I was all like "Well, crap, it's probably going to involve math."

FIL is a retired HS English teacher and the other day I was realizing all these people that I converse with on a daily basis did not have to take 13 years + college English and they still communicate wonderfully. Why do we have to take so much English when really math and science are much more helpful? Sorry - mini rant.

Kylie w Warszawie said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Hey It's Di said...

You are the bomb Alice! It sounds like you have your class whipped into shape and they certainly hadn't better whine!

You deserve the office set and I'm sure Office Depot wouldn't mind you camping out there every night if you need to;)

Hope you were able to score you some sexy new teacher clothing for your hard work so far. If not, just wear a Darth cape.

Glad you are alive!!

Robyn said...

I'll say thank you for teaching high school math, since I have two high schoolers. I guarantee you, I CANNOT help them with their homework.

And the psyching yourself up? I have to do that for Sunday School, too. Ages 3 through 5th grade. Luckily there is some awesome Christian rock, but I can't get away with Vader.

Camille said...

Yes, hands-free choking would be ideal, because of the obvious lack of fingerprints. As evidence, of course. So wise you are.

Alice said...

Kylie - After seeing a bunch of student writing (and that includes college kids too) I wouldn't dismiss the English classes so fast. Some of these kids can't string 2 words together. Now go take those comp. classes! You can do it girl!

Di - My new look is sexy only if you like khaki slacks and blouses. Blech. I'm such a dorky dresser.

Robyn - Yeah, Vader is a bit too much for Sunday school. Maybe it's more of a Yoda vibe. ; )

Camille - Heh heh heh... you just became my new aide.

Onknees (not_onknees at the moment) said...

Hi Alice: Im a new reader and really appreciated your last post. i hope you get the hang of the new technology cuz it makes our job a lot easier and keeps the kids from killing us and each other as it engages the little darlings.....
If you need ANYTHING give a shout....

Chris Wood said...

"The Ride of the Valkyries" does it for me. Great post & I love the Vader idea. If any find any tips on Sith training, you'll be the first to know.

Jenn Thorson said...

Glad to hear you're finding your way through all the newness-- though I had no doubt you would.

I think if any teacher of mine had come in in a Darth Vader mask for Halloween, they would have been my new hero.

Sadly, some of the every day outfits my teachers came in were scary enough. One guy I recall was fond of bright green pants, a pink tie, a yellow shirt and a red sweatervest.

What a hunk...

Calamity said...

You asked for it.

LceeL said...

I can't say I'm happy about your lack of blogging - but I understand. You have a very important task at hand which requires time, concentrated effort, and focus. and it doesn't allow a lot of time for luxuries like blogging.

Just know that I miss you.

JD at I Do Things said...

I, too, endorse the 300 soundtrack. Luckily I don't teach (I'd be terrible: the kids would have me in tears in 5 minutes).

But it's great workout music.

JD at I Do Things

Manager Mom said...

I have some good Marilyn Manson songs for you.

I'm glad to hear that you survived being thrown to those little wolves. Just remember- flavored sodas give off a strong smell that mask the scent of vodka.

Just an emergency tip.

Soccer Mom In Heels said...

May the force be with you! Congrats on your new journey! That's awesome~ You must take a picture of yourself as Vader for Halloween and post it!

jen said...

way to take those HS kiddos head on! keep it up!
by the way...you are invited to my virtual bloggy party! stop on by (if you can get away from the students for awhile!)
i promise i'll have hammer there for you!
thanks for inspiring me to find the humor in my world!

Jess said...

I can't think of anything better than Metallica to get the day going myself!

I think the Darth Vader sign will be a big hit! :)

Kelly said...

glad to hear you are surviving...I got my desk at office depot too..it is somewhat errie and silent in there with just the hum of the a/c..
I so know what you mean!
I miss you!
Keep those kids in check!!
Kisses!

MereCat said...

Hang in there. Sounds like you are doing great. Here's something that will cheer you up... you won an award on my blog! Woo hoo! Go get it!

ELASTICWAISTBANDLADY said...

Just because I'm living in a kind of bloggy absentia doesn't mean I don't love you Alice.

I like to play music LOUD. It keeps me awake. It also makes Papi ask me if I'm planning on turning our house into a cantina.

Sully Sullivan said...

Picturing you in traffic blasting hardcore rap beats a la Michael Bolton in Office Space makes me smile.

Jeff said...

I fell asleep in an office chair at Target one time while waiting for my wife to try on a bazillion things. It was really comfortable.

Mary Witzl said...

I've missed you!

With any luck, this will be me in only a few weeks' time: I'll be back in the classroom! I still can't quite get over it and wonder if I'll ever learn to cope with SmartBoards and getting grades onto the internet. One thing I know for sure: I'll be a shoo-in for sampling comfortable chairs and desks. Can't wait to try that part.

sheasy said...

Darth Vader: the ultimate teacher!!

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