Sunday, September 20, 2015

The week sure can’t make up its mind

It rained this week.  It wasn’t a warm, summerish rain that doesn’t give you any sense of real refreshment.  Nope.  This was a cool, fall rain.  It was a rain that was welcome along with the cold chip in the air that made me think happy thoughts of warm blankets, hot chocolate, and dark evenings. 

It was 101 today.

*****

The difference between an average teacher and better teacher could be something as simple as energy.  By now the students are in the unfortunate rhythm of school; the glazed looks complimenting the constant state of whining about boring classes and useless work.  What students are looking for is passion and energy.  I’m still at the door, the music is still playing as they enter, and I’m still whipping around the room being slightly loud, mildly sarcastic, and almost totally obnoxious.  Students are also engaged.  Don’t get caught up in normality.  Keep up the energy!

*****

Aluminum Overcast was in town this weekend.  No, not some kind of sleazy hipster college-radio band.  This is Aluminum Overcast:

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Over the last three days I’ve been hearing the roar of a B-17 over Ukiah.  It’s fantastic!  Unfortunately I can’t bear ponying up the $475 for twenty-four minutes in the air but watching it fly around the valley is a treat in itself.

*****

Two week long Short Term Independent Study contracts already.  Not even a month into the year and parents have already started to pull their kids for vacations because the two plus summer months, the week in November, the week in March, and the two weeks in December apparently are not enough.  Not that I’m bitter.  I’m to the point now where I have a pre-made slip of paper that says:

-You are responsible for the work.

-You are responsible to make up all quizzes and tests.

-Everything is on Google Classroom.

-This choice may not be in your best interest academically.

What will happen is they will go on vacation, do none of the work, come back knowing none of the material, and end up probably with a full letter grade lower.  My class is very intensive IN MY CLASS.  I don’t give a lot of busy work.  I’m selfish like that.

*****

Our department has found some energy again.  For a couple of rough years people sort of hunkered down in their rooms and kept to themselves while the trials of tribulations of the school and the economy had their way with society.  Now we are back out and engaging each other with new ideas and words of wisdom and support.  It might be fresh admin, it might be fresh teachers, and it might be that we are all tired of living in caves and would rather exist in communities. 

*****

Genetically I’m gifted in that I can pretty much play any sport.  I can’t play any sport great but I can go out and not totally embarrass myself.  I can still easily run with the varsity hoopsters.  I can play a good First Base while legging out a double here and there.  Golf?  I’ll do a little over 100 consistently.  Hell, I’ll manage in tennis and disc golf just fine.  Friday it was volleyball.  I had a blast partly because the students make me feel young again, and partly because it’s a competitive atmosphere.  Sure, the faculty consisted of mostly people that are not spiker proficient.  But who cares.  We had a good time and I got a couple of kills that made the varsity football players give an ohhhhhhhhh.  I’ll take it.  

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