Friday, November 25, 2005

Hello again.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. Remember to be thankful for all the wonderful things you have, including friends, family, digital music players, and no wild animals loose in your neighborhood (Although are you sure about that last one? Think about it.).

I haven't written in a long time, it's true; I guess it's been almost a month. This has been pointed out to me by my many loving fans, an overwhelming percentage of whom are directly related to me. The reason I haven't written is that I haven't had anything new to say. I've continued to be frustrated, stymied, and tired in a constant cycle, and I thought that wouldn't be so interesting to other people, as it certainly isn't interesting to me. At first I sort of felt that I was barreling into this business, moving forward with a speed that could only be attributed to passion and caring. Then I realized that the illusion of moving forward was from the fact that I had been hit by a train and was now stuck to the front grating. And by "a train," I of course mean "the education train."

My student teaching semester ended with a whimper when I got a horrible virus. It was bad enough that I wished I was well enough to go to school (!). But that's just the way the cookie crumbles. Before I was sick, I got observed from a supervisor affiliated with, but outside of, my program, who told me, "I'm sorry you've had to be here all's been a waste of your time." You'd think this would be validating, but actually it made me tear up a little. I suppose it was precisely because I already knew that that I didn't want to hear it. I hadn't been able to do anything about it earlier when I tried, so it was not an instructive comment, but just made me feel bad. Not that this supervisor meant any harm; she was just trying to be honest.

I also saw the first distribution of report cards to kids. If all things were fair, I would say that 80% of the kids in my class should have failed. Instead, I think 4 out of 40 or so failed. And these were the kids who never handed in one single piece of homework ever. The ones who handed in a couple pieces of homework did fine. I heard one of my teachers ask the other, "how many of your kids are going to fail?" He responded, "you know, just a couple...most of the kids show up." So I guess showing up is the requirement for passing. This is social promotion, and is technically not allowed in this city. Perhaps I will write a letter to the mayor.

In better news, I saw a couple of really nice little charter elementary schools that are very new but appear to be working quite well so far. They had really smart, dedicated leaders and good teachers and have the potential to be really great. So all is not lost.

Well anyway, there is the latest news. Earth shattering, I know. I live to rock your world over here. Now I just have my own classes to deal with until January, when I get my new student teaching assignment. I'm working on this semester not being the complete and total void of goodness that was last semester. And I have more time for different things, like eating and cleaning my apartment, which still smells funny from when we moved in. I think it's the pigeons that roost on the air conditioner. Gross.