Thursday, November 19, 2009

Checking the Little Box

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Now it's official. I'm dancing faster than I can. I'm Ginger, and Fred just went on crank. How's that for a multi-century analogy?

Tonight I stayed at school until almost 6:00. There's this program our school has called 21st Century Initiative. It's chock-a-block with federal funding which no one quite understands how to disburse. For instance, one evening this week another teacher just showed up on my doorstep and said I was "on the team," and a student had stayed after school to spend three hours in my company.

That student is a wonderful person and the very model of what a student should be. Getting paid to help him get into college -- and understand the work when he gets there? -- yeah. I'll do that.

This evening the student and I sent out some requests for information to colleges in Baltimore and Washington, DC. Asking colleges for information is rather like using a copy machine. No two web sites are the same. I guess they do that to keep spammers out. Student and I had to re-input every bit of information on every site.

There's one thing all these colleges have in common, though. Every one of them has a special little box to check if you are Hispanic.

Each time student and I came to that little box, we laughed. He is, you see, Hispanic.

He wants to be a writer. I don't know why I would thank the bored gods for dumping him into my lap, but I think this partnership was meant to be.

I think I'm going to encourage him to start a blog.

What else is going on in the Annals of Anne?

Well, Decibel the Parrot got hold of my middle finger and tried to sever it from my hand. He ground away, down to the bone, and only gave up when Spare screamed at him. What an adorable pet! Everyone should own a parrot.

Staying after school to help Student is one matter. Listening to the loquacious Mr. Bigwand and his chipper wife every Wednesday night in the "alternate route" teacher program is another. For some reason known only to him, he called on me last night. He pointed in my face and said, "How are you and I different?"

Oh, was it ever on the tip of my tongue to say, "I'm human!"

But instead I pulled out the tried-and-true. "I'm from Appalachia," I told him.

Which sent him off on another long-winded diatribe about how my formative experiences go into the classroom with me. And they do, of course. I didn't need him to tell me that ... over and over again.

Then, during a break, he blundered by me and said, "By the way, lovely part of the world." As if he has traveled the length and breadth of Appalachia, weighed it in the balance, and found it satisfactory.

So there's my "teacher." A guy who can sum up Appalachia in half a breath by saying, "Lovely part of the world."

I was tempted to show the guy a lovely part of my anatomy. But I need the grade. Gee, he's one swell instructor! Where's that evaluation form?

Saturday I have school from 8:30 until 1:30. All of this is keeping me so young!


Alex Pendragon said...

Assasinations for sale; this week only, 50% off!

Lavanah said...

Unless you were planning on showing him one of your fingers (mauled by Decibel or not), I doubt very much that he really deserved to see any parts of your anatomy!

Anonymous said...

Rofl @ "I'm human!"

On a somber note, I hte to admit it but that might be one dead parrot if it were in my house gnawing my finger off...


Debra She Who Seeks said...

You know how some students give gifts to the teacher? You should give Decibel to Mr. Bigwand! Don't take "no" for an answer!

yellowdoggranny said...

I would have said "I don't have an out of control ego"...but then I'm an asshole..\
I hope your student starts a blog, I think he'd like it
i like mine

Dancing With Fey said...

Why in the world do they want to know if a student is Hispanic?

Chas S. Clifton said...

Looking back on my university teaching days, I am so glad that I did not have to take any education classes! It was bad enough sharing the building them with them.

After reading your Atlantic City post, I think you have realized that a lot of public-school teachers are just hacks, in it for the pension. Once upon a time, they might have said they "loved children," but the system has worn them down.

Of course, this could be a cautionary tale of a teacher who was too creative.

Still, it was a heckuva "writing prompt," don't you think?

Anne Johnson said...

Oh damn, Chas! Now I have to change my Monday lesson plans! I had the Pennsauken police lined up and everything! What to fall back on ... oh, I know! A boring lecture!

Hecate said...

I love you.

Chas S. Clifton said...

If you don't like that writing prompt, Anne, here is another.

Teacher-ed in the United Kingdom must be very strange indeed.