30 October 2006

sometimes i wonder

On last week's test...

Q: "How did Theodore Roosevelt become president?"

A: "Someone assedated the other president."

20 October 2006

tales from the crypt

last night i watched tim burton's "corpse bride". it was a little freaky, even though it was animation. but then again, all his movies are very macabre. i realized that i don't necessarily like the plot or characters or things like that in his stop-action animation movies. i just really like looking at his movies. i love seeing his style of animation and how weird, dark, and sinister everything is. i think part of it is how nothing in his movies ever has any texture. i also like how bizarre all the characters look. they are always physical extremes. my favorites are the people who have ridiculously thing limbs.

anyway, i'm at school now. it was a half-day, but because i took last friday off, i'm working a full day to make up for it. it has been one of those days where the kids start to irritate you from the moment they walk through the door and don't stop until they leave. actually, the past two days have been like that. i really lit into my 3rd period. i had given out four lunch detentions for talking and they still would not shut up and i reached my limit. i really let them have it, pulled out all the stops. "are you aware that one-third of this class is failing", "are you trying to have to take this class again", "i'm doing everything i can to help you learn this information but you have to do the work", "you are seventeen years old, you should be capable for sitting for half and hour silently", "i thought this would be a more interesting way to learn the material, but apparently you are not mature enough to handle it", etc, etc, etc. last night were parent conferences. they went pretty well. i had the parents of maybe 20 of my 83 students show up. there were some that were quite irritated at their children, and i can't say that i blame them. "i wanted to know why phillip is making at D?" "he's missing ten assignments" "well, that would explain it".

last weekend i went to d.c. with jennifer and kellie. we had such a good time. on friday we went into the city. neither of them had ever seen the smithsonian museums, but unfortunately the american history museum is closed for two years. so we did the natural history museum instead. it had been so long since i'd been in there, i really enjoyed it, particularly the wing full of stuffed critters. then jen realized that there was virtually no line at the archives, so we went there. saw the constitution, the declaration, and the bill of rights. always a good time. but what i really loved were the other exhibits. i could have stayed in there all day, but kellie's eyes were starting to glaze over. that's what she gets for going to d.c. with two history teachers. we ate lunch in the art gallery, and headed over to arlington. we wandered around the cemetery and saw the guard changing, then toured lee's house. we had to leave then, because the cemetery was closing, but not before they had observed that the park ranger upstairs was very cute. i maintain that it's hard to take anyone seriously wearing a smokey the bear hat. yes, i realize that the hat was around before the bear, but that is entirely beside the point.

that night we saw the monuments all lit up. we got out to see the jefferson memorial and were engulfed by a bunch of half-drunk fraternity alumni and dates who were dressed in 80s clothing and were in d.c. for some homecoming. the guard at the memorial yelled at them and told them to leave. and i finally, finally, finally got to see the world war ii memorial. it was very moving. they did and extremely good job with that memorial. i'd be willing to say that it was worth how long it took to build it because of how good it is. it's just too bad that so many of the veterans died before they got a chance to see it. it looked cool lit up, but the best thing was that if you stood on the steps on the east side of the memorial, you could see mr. lincoln lit up in all his glory. d.c. is a really cool city at night.

overall, it was a great trip. the only downside was not leaving until 6pm on sunday, resulting in a arrival time of 2am. i was a little dead on monday.

this week has been uneventful. teaching, gym, sleeping, eating. not very exciting. tonight is a home football game, so i have to be back at the school at 6. i really can't figure out how i did it all in college. i'm completely exhausted and i do maybe 1/4 the amount i did at gcc. it's pretty crazy.

11 October 2006

results of unsupervised research

setting: 4th period u.s. history

assignment: research project

topic: irish immigration

results: pictures of willie from the simpsons, boondock saints, mr. potato head, and bottles of guinness

10 October 2006

i am a horrible history major

i totally didn't realize yesterday was columbus day. i didn't say anything to my classes about how he discovered america and made us who we are today. hell, i didn't even say anything to my classes about how he didn't really discover america, the vikings did, and blame him for smallpox, syphillis outbreaks, slavery, and the fact that we allow richard simmons to wear glitter spandex on tv. what kind of a history teacher am i?

i don't understand myself sometimes

it is 1:20 am. i have to wake up at 6am. yet i am writing this. why? i don't know. i never know why i do the things i do. i have just been meaning to update for awhile, and for some reason my whacked out brain has decided now is the time to do it. anyway, my life:

- school: is fine. some days i love my job, some days i hate my job. it all depends on how hard it is to get 3rd and 4th periods to cooperate. as a result, the days of hating my job outnumber the days of loving my job. several things are keeping me from being depressed, though. 1) everything will be wonderful next semester when all my lessons will already be planned. 2) everybody has a hard first year. 3) anytime i tell anyone, student, teacher, coach, anyone, the combination of personalities in my 3rd period, they have all said, "what in the world is wrong with guidance? that is the most insane group possible. they must really hate you." so apparently anyone would have trouble with that group. so it makes me feel better.

- friends: are cool. i've got a group of about five or six women i hang out with. it's really nice to have people to do things with. i'm the youngest in the group, but the majority of them are no more than three years older than me.

- family: is as insane as always. i'm still talking to ashley a lot, which is nice. tonight we went to the united methodist women's meeting at her mom's house. it was a hoot. but there was good food. i ended up getting in a discussion about the legalist beliefs of the amish. we all got together yesterday for grammer's birthday. it was the first time i'd seen biz and justin since the wedding. still feels weird to think of them married.

other random tidbits of joy, in no particular order:

- i got invited to chaperone njrotc trips (naval junior reserve officer's training corps, for those of you non-versed in military terms). apparently they need female chaperones, and the marine msgt in charge polled the kids, and my name came out in the top five of female teachers they want to go along. that made me happy. granted they are not exactly prime vacation spots (jacksonville, camp lejeune, and parris island), but there is a five day trip to d.c. in the spring, and i would get out of class. ashley got invited too, and aunt susan said we have to go do one together, just for the humor value. plus, i like chaperoning, for some bizarre reason unknown to me.

- i've started exercising on a regular basis. as in, four to five days a week i spend an hour and a half in the gym. i will write more on this later. i just thought i would share this unprecedented change in my personality. even weirder: i've cut back on my cheese intake.

- it is really hard to keep in touch with people once everybody graduates. nobody has time to waste on the internet anymore.

- i've started going to my grandma's church, and i really like it. i feel like i grew up there, because we've been going since i was born. pretty much every vacation to n.c., i was in that church for some reason or another. everybody there knows me, and has known me for a long time. i love that. my grandfather's church was ok, but i just went, listened, and went home. at grammer's church, people chase me down afterwards to talk to me. and i actually know who they are.

- i've watched more football this semester than the past four years combined. this is because my cousin is the new starting quarterback for n.c. state. it's been really cool (but weird) seeing him on national t.v. he's done a really good job the past two games - state is not ranked, but they completely upset two ranked teams (boston college (20) and florida state (17)). i just hope they can continue the streak. they're up again wake forest next. at least they know they can beat duke and chapel hill, who are running neck and neck for worst college football team in the history of the free world.

- last week was homecoming. it was completely hectic. i loved being in the homecoming parade (in the band truck). it was total Small Town USA. and it was amazing. i'm really starting to love living in this little town.

- i've been helping with the band. i spent allllll day saturday at a band competition. i have risen above band geek. i have transcended it, as it were. i mean, i thought it was bad when i received the official high school marching band staff blue polo shirt. and had my name under the "directors" column on a marching band t-shirt. but now i have worn aforementioned polo shirt to a band competition. i had a really good time, though. i liked watching the bands, and they gave us free food. good free food. there are perks to being a director and not a student. it made me want to see my high school band again. the more i work with the band here, the more i realize how good we were.

i think i'll go to bed now.

08 October 2006

fun with technology

i have an announcement:

my new ipod works now.

this has been quite the ordeal. josh brought me an ipod nano when he came to visit last week. his cell phone is an mp3 player, so he wasn't using it anymore. i was thrilled with this addition to the pile'o'technology currently inhabiting my house/classroom. unfortunately this thrill was shortlived due to the fact that the ipod quickly joined the pilo'o'technology-that-never-works-right-the- first-time-and-requires-much-assistance-from-cousins-sister's-
boyfriends-and-friendly-tech-support-people to work correctly. oh, you know, my computer, the internet, my camera, lcd projector, cable modem, etc, etc, etc. (i can, however, figure out the overhead projector on my own.) the ipod wouldn't turn on and would only give me the apple help website. which is a lovely website, i will credit them for that. but it didn't answer my question. and there is no tech support number. none. if you buy an ipod, you get one call to ask them a question. and that must be used within the first 90 days of purchase. otherwise, if you can't figure out the problem using the website, you have two options: 1) mail it to them, or 2) visit the apple store. if you happen to be one of the priviledged few who lives near an apple store, lucky you. if, like most of the country, you do not, you must mail it. if it is after the warranty is out, you pay for a new ipod. if it is before the warranty is out, they will fix it. however...if they deem the problem not important enough to have you mail it to them, they will fix it and charge you $100 for wasting their time.

do we see where the problem lies here?

what do you do if you have an insignificant question that the website doesn't answer? it would take thirty seconds if you could call someone about it. or, like me, you have the problem of both an insignificant question and a website that won't work correctly on your computer. it was quite annoying.

through a combination of the boys in fourth period and my sister's boyfriend (whenever you have a technology problem, ask a teenager - they will know the answer. and probably laugh at you for being such an old nincompoop that you can't figure it out yourself.), i learned that my ipod needed to be reloaded, which was essentially wiping the hard drive. "self", i though, "you can do this."

or not.

wouldn't work on my computer. gave me error messages. turns out that i don't have a high speed USB port on my computer (big surprise), and it didn't have the power to reload the thing. took the ipod to school. loaded the software there. spent an hour and a half learning that there was a glitch in the ipod website and due to the firewall, i couldn't make the changes to internet explorer to fix the problem. much annoyance. much swearing, snarling, frustrated sighs, wailing, and gnashing of teeth ensued over the course of several days. software was loaded, deleted, and reloaded. new versions were downloaded. various ports, cables, and internet jacks were tested. nothing. nada. growl.

so, finally, i gave up and went to my aunt's house. it was my last resort before just waiting till i went to d.c. and could visit the apple store. fortunately for my sanity, i was safely able to reload the damn thing and it works now. hallelujah. i'm still not sure if the whole thing was worth it. so, in conclusion, for all those considering buying an mp3 player:

don't get an ipod unless it's free.*

*(i realize that 99.99% of the world is uninterested in my technology issues. i don't really care. this has consumed my life for a good week.)

04 October 2006

early morning greeting

"there she is! the woman, the myth, the legend! it's miss p.!!"

the aforementioned greeting was shouted at me down the hallway by darren, a six-foot, 300 pound lineman in my third period class.

i would like to take a moment to comment on darren. he is one of those students who makes you come back every day. i knew he was different the first time i met him. it was during open house, and he comes striding into the room, beaming parents and bored little sister in tow, wanting to know all about the class and what he needed for school, hands down the most excited and polite student i saw the entire evening. everytime he sees me, whether it's when he walks through my door, or from across the library, he always says hello and asks how i'm doing. he's great in class, always enthusiastic, willing to answer questions, and never complains about anything. but on top of that, he's always happy. and not just happy with his life, but genuinely happy to be in my class. and i love him for that. kids like that keep the teaching profession alive. he is truly a delight to teach.

so this post is dedicated to the darrens of the world.

02 October 2006

i haven't completely given up

last week was bad. very bad. "i hate my job, i'm never doing this again" bad.

i'm going to the gym now. boo.