Sunday, May 28, 2006

Ramblings: Memorial Weekend Edition 2006!

Woooo. I got nothing. It's Memorial Day Weekend, folks. My brain is partially shut down, but many things I saw today got it going.
So, without further ado: DO YOUR WORST!
Anderson a girl:
Ok, not really. However, I have some issues with, and I quote one of my colleagues, "The most trusted news anchor IN THE WORLD!!!"

1. In the current issue of Entertainment Weekly, the man admits that he watches and records (No, I will not use "TIVO" as a verb) My Super Sweet 16. What?! This man is delivering important news about the Pope at Auschwitz (more on that later), yet he goes home and watches a show about rich girls whining about needing Bengal Tigers at their parties? He needs THAT drivel? I don't know a single guy who has ever really stopped and watched that show. HE RECORDS IT! I hope he's being sarcastic.
2. He cried at Katrina. Anyone else cry? Anyone? Oprah, even?
3. He wants an "Ice-Capades version of his life" done. Again, hoping for sarcasm here. Wanting an ice show starring Elvis Stojko as "The Hip News Guy," is a little scary. Then again, so is the fact that I know who Elvis Stojko is (Thanks Sister #1).
4. A VERY Real Quote: "Going gray is like ejaculation. You know it can happen prematurely, but when it actually does, it's a total shock."
Ok, maybe it's unfair of me to pick on the guy. There are many people in the world (and I can't believe people have this much time) attempting to "out" him. My issue? I couldn't care less if AC (Not to be confused with OJ's buddy) is gay. I'm just shocked that a serious news anchor can let himself go so far as to watch a horrible MTV show. Next you'll tell me that Rush Limbaugh is a huge fan of The O.C.
What do you mean he is?
What the HELL happened to NORMAL NAMES!!!!!
Ok, so Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie had their baby. Yeah...I guess. It's a girl, but get this name: Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt. Shiloh? Shiloh?! Ok, it's a dog. See the book jacket? It's a freaking dog! My sister (still Sister #1) also informed me it was a battleground as well. What the hell is going on with people and crazy-ass names?!
You want examples?
Frank Zappa named one of his kids Moon Unit.
Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow had Apple and Moses.
Jason Lee (of My Name Is Earl) named his kid Pilot Inspektor.
Penn Jillete may have the best, however.
Kid #1 is Moxie Crimefighter. Kid #2 is Zolten Penn. Zolten, by the way, was the name of Dracula's dog.
It's not just celebrities who are coming up with crazy names to torture kids throughout their lives. When I first started teaching, I had a girl in my class named (Oh, I really wish I was kidding) Leukemia. Spelled JUST LIKE THE DISEASE! I asked the mom the one time I got to talk to her, "How did you come up with the name?" This was the response:
"I heard it in the hospital, and I thought it was just so pretty. What, don't you like it?"
I was dumbstruck. I just smiled, nodded, and pretended a colleague called me over.
Navaeh is now popular. That's "Heaven" backwards (but if it's a boy, I would name it Lleh....Yes, I am a nerd).
There was a girl in my Master's program named Sierra Ciara (Both said the same way). Why would you do that to your kid.
Look, I get that giving your kid a really unique name means that NO ONE else will have it, but there is such as thing as creating major issues. My mother used to joke with her sisters that they would name the first of their kids "Crud" just to hear their mother say it. "Hello, Crud." They didn't do that, however. They realized it would totally alienate a kid. Pilot is a great name, but imagine how much that kid is going to be razzed.
Am I saying you shouldn't try to give unique names? No, but have common sense.
That being said: If I have a son, his name will be Rangers Mets Leab after two of my favorite teams...or maybe Mister Leab Leab, just to confuse people.

If I have a girl, her name will be Princess Leia Leab, because who could ever forget it. That one tops my original thought: Rose Bud Leab.
Pretty Kitty:

I am nowhere near the photographer that
Margaret is. However, every once in a while, I manage to stumble upon a shot that I think other will like. Ms. Sopheava put out the challenge to see if there was a cat cuter than her kitten. Slightly unfair as kittens are almost always adorable versus adult cats. One reason why my Ex wouldn't take the one cat was, as she said, "adult cats are boring and ugly." I disagree, but I digress. This is my neighbor's cat, Mork. He likes to come into my backyard and hide in the Lilacs for shade. I was weeding today and discovered him there. He didn't move. I think he's adorable.
Eventually, I hope to get some nice shots of my own cats, but for now you'll have to look at Mork.
And finally:
The Anger of a Teacher:
I get along with everybody. It's really hard, but I somehow manage to stay on most people's good side. That being said, one of my colleagues really pushed me last week.
I had a bad week. I was feeling slightly down, very hot, and a little frustrated. My students' grades are starting to tank. They aren't taking the work seriously here in the last weeks, and it's hurting them badly. One student dropped from a B to a D-. Turn in no work, fail a test, and don't show up...and that's what happens.
Now, I gave the kids a project to finish The Odyssey: Draw a comic, act out a scene, or modernize one part.
The kids didn't take the 150 point project seriously and most bombed the presentation as well as the work.
I felt guilty. It had me believing that I was failing as a teacher. After all, if I were a good teacher, the students would be doing well. Of course this ignores the fact it's a two-way street, but remember: I was tired.
So I'm feeling bad, and I start to think: Maybe I need to concentrate on the kids who want to work and allow myself to be available for the kids who don't care, but not concentrate on them.
I talk to this colleague who shares many of these kids, and he says to me, "Usually it's a teacher who has been around for ten, fifteen years that quits on their students."
Here's the rough part: He repeats my some of my students. Now I have a few kids flipping out at me and believing that I don't care about them.
Thursday and Friday were a crisis period. I was angry at myself, my colleague, and my students. At one point, I actually stopped one of my classes and explained to them why I was disappointed and how their projects were not good. "I'm not going to sugar coat it: Your projects were not very good. There was very little heart put into them. Most of you look like you did them at the last second. Most of you got the information about the story wrong. Most of you can't even listen to each other."
This caught their attention.
So I ask you students, teachers, former students, former teachers, whoever: Am I overreacting to my colleague? Am I bad teacher for feeling that I may need to concentrate more on the kids trying than the kids not trying?
Am I just being stupid?
I don't know.
Have a good holiday tomorrow.


Leab said...

Happy birthday, J.P.

At least I remembered, right?

J.P. said...

Thanks Leab.... You know what I think, I think that you have every right to be mad at your colleague because that was not right of them to go and tell your students that. As far as the kids yeah if they are willing to at least try then they are the ones that should get the help verses the kids who don't try because then they are just taking the time away from the kids that are trying. As far as being a bad teacher Leab I mean come on you are a great teacher think back to English 12 Fall of 2004 We were one crazy class of seniors and you managed to survive us... Then they go and stick you with freshman who don't care or anything so its not your fault you did the best you could with the students you had. So remember one thing....

You= Good Teacher
Freshman= Torture for Good Teacher


Anonymous said...

Glad to know that I am a useful imparter of useless knowledge. (Oh the things you learn when feeding your toddler in the middle of the night.)

Laughed very hard over the Cooper stuff (Now have the theme song from "Hangin' with Mr. COoper in my head" Damn. Can't keep any of my columbia education in my head but tv theme songs abound.)

Love you

"sister number 1"

Anonymous said...

Your Leukemia story reminded me of when my great aunt was telling me that when she was first starting to practice medicine, many mothers would be greatful to the doctor who helped them in delivery and would want to name their child after them and would ask the doctor what their name was. Well some of the doctors would "have fun" with that and tell them that their name was certain body parts that were technical terms at the time, so to any young mother off the street, it would seem like a name. Then the mother, not knowing would name their child Vagina thinking they were naming the child after her doctor.