Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Ramblings for the Evening (02/07/06)

Honestly feel like it's been weeks since I've been here. With so much going on in my life, it's so hard to find time to write now. There is another issue, however, but I'll get there.
So without further ado: THIS TOWN NEEDS AN ENEMA!
Purpose Rethought:
A recent
review of my blog has me thinking about my work as a whole. A year ago (ok, in April) I started this blog. It was basically done to organize my thoughts, but also to see if I could make people laugh. So, I went over to check this blog that reviewed me and discovered that it was part of a class. I was the third of three blogs to be looked at by the reviewer.
Still, while I give
Jess/JJ props for reviewing my blog, her comments have started me thinking about things.

I found this one a welcome change from the last two blogs I reviewed. The writer of this blog is in fact, a teacher. Known as Leab, this guy blogs about anything and everything on his mind.

This is mostly true. I am a teacher, and I am known as Leab, but I don't write about anything and everything on my mind. I keep many things to myself. Granted, I think JJ is basing this on one visit. There is no mention of Mail Mondays (which has not been done the last two weeks as the mail has been...not so good) or Slander a la Leab. I also make sure to avoid politics mostly.

It follows the common notebook style as the previous two do, yet with no real aim or political agenda. His style is casual and conversational. He makes no attacks, and he creates no place for debate.

The first part is true (look over her other reviews), but I'm not sure about the rest. Do I have no real aim? Sure, the motto of this site is: "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of the Inane," but do I really have no aim? I write in the attempt to make you all laugh, but also to think. Look at the stories I talk about on a daily basis. It's pointing out the foibles of life and saying, "how did we get here?" At the same time, I examine myself and use my stories as a way to make you either laugh (look at the stupid monkey) or to make you think (that's what happens when you stay in a bad relationship...huh).
To say I make no attacks is also interesting as it means she did not see my earlier work, but no place for debate? Really? You cannot debate any of the things I talk about at all?
That was never my intent, but sometimes we do things we do not mean to do at all.

His latest entry is about another blog. He is in the business of blogging blogs as well, and I see this as a great way to acknowledge your fellow blogger in a kind and respectful way. Not to say the first two blogs I encountered weren't engaging.

I like what everyone has to say. Seriously. Even when what they say is totally outrageous, it gives me insight into who they are and gives me something to write about on a daily basis.

The thing that drew me to him was the way he mixes his own personal ramblings with random tidbits of information. The entry I read from yesterday was about a new equation for the most depressing day of the year, which came out as January 24th. He asked his readers whether or not they were in fact having a bad day. I responded just because the equation turned out to be right in my case.

She was the first, but several people did respond that day. I do ramble but throw information in as I go (it's also my teaching style....)

Another reason why I like this blog is that he is an English teacher from MN. I am partial to the field of English, and therefore anything an English teacher has to say must be interesting.

I sense a smidge of sarcasm. One nitpick note: I'm not from here.

If you want a casual blog experience, check out Leab's blog. Much of the content is easy to swallow, and you might learn something you never though you'd know. I guess that's the point of blogs in general. This is truly a random musing, information sharing blog.

Here is, at least in my head, where things go south. Casual experience? Easy to swallow? Are these usually things you say in a complimentary review? "Jenkins, your work ethic is easy to swallow." Maybe it's just me. I love being called a random musing, but saying it's a casual blog experience makes me feel like my writing is easily read and forgotten.
Do I expect you to take everything I write and say, "Dude, he's SO right," all the time? No. My hope (and I stress HOPE) is that you read what I say and come away sometimes laughing, but mostly coming away thinking, "Hmm. Maybe there is something to that. Maybe our world is strange."
I don't know. I cannot explain it, but the review has made me start thinking about what the hell I have been doing for the last year. I have some steady readers, but mostly I'm the small tapas in a seven-course meal. You want meat? MN Speak is a click away (look at my links, folks). Some nice desert? Go to Sopheava. A nice refreshing drink? The French belle Michele is there. I could go on and on (I read A GREAT DEAL of blogs everyday).
Maybe I'm just being an idiot. I don't know. I just wonder if one year later I have written anything of value. Am I just a casual blogging experience? The greasy diner you only go to when everything else is full?
Maybe I'm just nuts.
The Unfortunate State of Education:
I love being a teacher. I care a great deal about my students (but not that way you sickos). For example, one student burst into tears in front of me today, and I went late to my staff meeting to make sure this student was ok. I haven't seen some of my favorite students in a while, and that kind of saddens me, because these students have so many interesting things to say, and I enjoy talking to them.
That being said, when did it become ok for a student to say to a teacher, "I'm just working for a D." When I was a kid, I would have been killed by my parents if I worked for a D. One semester of college, I got horrible grades (let's just say I hovered around 1.5 for that semester). I was angry at myself. I knew I could do better, and I WANTED to do better. One freshman I talked to the other day told me that a D was passing, and that was what this student wanted: just to pass. Forget getting a B or even an A. Just doing enough to pass is cool. When did this happen? Has it always been this way I just did not notice?
My first class I ever taught was seniors (this was a first semester class) and those kids worked. This was a regular English class (no IB or AP here, folks), but the kids worked to get their grades up. This year's freshmen seem not to care. Many have explained that they will go to school until they turn 16 and then leave (which they can legally do).
Why? Because they believe that school is unnecessary for success. Hey Bill Gates made it. Look at all the rappers and actors and such who never even finished school and became big. Hey, LeBron James is huge, and he skipped college.
Out of the 100-some odd students I have right now, 75% believe the classes they are in are pointless ("Who needs to learn how to identify the theme?"), and cannot help them in any way. 3 out of 4. It's kind of depressing. The one's who want to learn are being surrounded and drowned out by the ones who don't care.
My problem? I feel like those kids not doing well is my fault. If I was a good teacher, they would WANT to learn, but obviously I'm not because they don't care. I need to get over that feeling, but God, it's hard.
That's all I got tonight, folks. I'm a tired, tired monkey...and I need to grade.
Until tomorrow,


carolyn said...

I totally agree w/your fun education rant. I mean, right now I have senioritis in a major way, but I'd feel so awful if I just didn't do a paper or an assignment, just b/c I'm so used to working my butt of in school.
Also, my sister is a freshman. She's dumb, therefore all freshmen are dumb. So there you go.

Jason DeRusha said...

Good Lord, I'm horrified that someone might decide to write a detailed critique of my blog. At least you have access to your hit counts--- no one here will tell me if anyone's reading my blog. That's either because my readership is through the roof, or in the tank. Not sure which.

retroavocado said...

You're back! Yay!

But, um... not so much yay on the "tired, tired monkey" part.