Big City Girl, Small Town Teacher

All about my adventures teaching in a small community

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Me and my Twindom

Me (on the left) and my twin brother as babies

When I return to my hometown, my mom informed me of this article. It claims that the girl in a set of boy-girl fraternal twins (because boy-girl twins are always fraternal ... I’m sick of answering that question) is 25% less likely to have children and 15% less likely to get married. It continues to say that this could be because of the girl receiving more testosterone in the womb, which can result in things like longer fingers and more masculine facial features.

Dammit! As if I don’t have enough working against me to find a date! I don’t think I have particularly long fingers nor masculine facial features. And I thought testosterone in women was what helps leads to arousal. So should I just be walking around horny all the time? Well... haha!

Friday, August 24, 2007

New teachers and a wedding

Wedding news first. Went to my first wedding here. It wasn't "traditional" but it was nice. One of the bridesmaids use to teach here and she needed a place to stay, so she crashed at my place. She was super sweet and I was so glad I could help her out. She was my “in” for the actually wedding ceremony. The wedding was suppose to start at 3, so I showed up at 2:30 to get a seat. Well, I ran into two of the local singers (friends of my crush) on my way and I sat with them for a while. But they then had to sing. Luckily, one of the teachers I know was there so I hung out with her. Anyway, the ceremony was super late and started at 4:30!

The ceremony was nice, a simple civic ceremony. Then all the wedding guests pile into vehicles and does a honking tour of town. Everyone comes out of their houses and waves at the giant motorcade.

I went to my co-workers house afterward, we had a few beers and then went to the reception. We stayed until the bride and groom came and then went back to my co-workers house for more beer. Then we went back to the reception for the end of it, then headed over to the next island for more partying.

I had a lot of fun. I flirted a little tiny bit with a guy there, had another guy buy me drinks and then a creepy guy hit on me (that wasn’t fun though). Anyway, the guy who was buying me drinks is a buddy of my crush (one of the singers), he was the friend that my crush brought to my birthday party in June. I think he was hitting on me a little. Hmmm.

On the way back was the bad part. It’s over folks. The buddy told me my crush was seeing someone. I was crushed, but not at all surprised. In my drunkeness though, I did bitch about it all the way from the dock to my house with my houseguest (I think the word I said the most was fuck). Sober, I’m still disappointed but what can I do. Get over it! When I see my crush (my ex-crush now?) I’m gonna let him know I know, in a good-natured way of course, so that it won’t be so awkward! When I talked to him at the potlatch, he was really awkward.

Anyway, we’re getting seven new teachers this year. The turn-over is never this big – it’s just that some people had to finally move on. We lost two veteran teachers last year and only one newby so not too bad. Anyway, I’ve spent the last two days visiting 4 of the new teachers. They’re all really nice. Only one is my age ... and he happens to be from my hometown (or so I hear). Plus, when I left in June we were told about the new teachers and how the men all have partners. Well, the hometown newby is here by himself and he’s single. Hmmmm....

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

New Items

It's been a few days and I meant to blog on Monday, but I've been really busy, and I mean it! We had a two day potlatch, Monday an Yesterday, and when they say two days, they mean two days! Both days were 12 hours in the hall... that's lots! Here are some photos. Just a disclaimer, I'm not too great on action shots with bad lighting so these were the only "publish worthy" shots.

This is a shot of a humming bird mask.Usually I've seen this dance done with four masks, but this time only two were used.

The other mask ... I think it is a loon. This is also my student's favorite dance ... maybe because one of her brothers carved the mask and her other brother dances in the mask!

My dinner plate on day two. I ate all my fish too!!

I sat with one of my students and her mom and aunt. They were awesome to sit with, we laughed a lot. My student was suppose to get adopted, but they ran out of time and she was really disappointed. I feel really bad about that :(
'm quite tired and I need to prepare for a wedding so I'll probably comment more on the potlatch later.

FYI: Said hi to my crush. I think he's super shy. Anyway, I asked him if he received my letter. He didn't. Fuck! I didn't have his mailbox number, only his street address, but I guess they couldn't figure that out at the post office. And I didn't get it back as not sent. What complicates matters more, is that there is another guy in town with the exact same name ... except he's 18. I hope to god he didn't get it, that would just all the more awkward. But it's funny all the same!!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Blog as Therapy

Ok, to give my readers a voyeuristic view into my non-existent love life, I mentioned in an earlier entry that “my personal life is looking very much up” (nice English, I must say). Well, it’s now in the pits again. Let me explain it all, and then send me comments.

So, as I mentioned in a couple of entries, I have (had? can’t make up my mind yet) a crush on this guy. Well, it started with me just batting my eyelashes when ever I ran into him in town, and making sly banter. He always seemed pleased to see me when ever we saw each other.

Then at the beginning of June, I had to go on a mini-break ( I need to get off the island before I went crazy) so I hopped on the ferry for a 10-hour ferry trip to the nearest “city” for a weekend. On the way back (another 10 hour overnight voyage), my crush was on the ferry. I made him sit with me, and he talked to me for hours telling me stories of his trip to France last year, local legends and his daughter (who is half our age .... hmm). It was all very nice. The night ended with me going “to bed” on a reclining chair. When I woke up the next morning, he was sleeping behind me on the floor all curled up in a ball. I was awake, so I took my blanket and draped it over him. He mumbled to me that I was sweet for taking care of him, and went back to sleep. When we arrived back home, I gave him my number.

People had seen us on the ferry hanging out, so the next week I got harassed by various community members about him (a kid screaming across the playground that she knew I was dating her uncle, an elder in the school pointing out to me that she is his ‘Nan, some stranger in the store asking me where my fella was, etc).

And he didn’t call ... and I was disappointed. Except he did call!!! My stupid, $#%*ing internet is a giant piece of $h!t and sometimes I’m so desperate to get online, I use dial-up. The one time I used it, he happened to call. How do I know? Because the next time he called (when I wasn’t home, grrr), 2 weeks later, he mentioned (on my machine) that the last time he called, my phone just rang and rang (where my answering machine would pick up when I’m not home).

Anyway, I called him back to invite him to my birthday party, which, by the way, was a bit of a bomb because the guy I was throwing it with did some stupid shit the week before so a lot of my friends didn’t feel comfortable coming to our party. Anyway, my crush came to the “party” and I think we really hit it off. We have a lot of similar values, etc. The best part was when he asked if he could be my date to grad (Grade 12 grad here is really big). I was excited about that. And I was totally stoked that he gave me a giant hug and kissed my cheek as he was leaving at 3 in the morning!

The things started to go down hill. We arranged to meet at my house and we’d go to grad together. He was late, like 15 minutes late. I had to get going to help out, so I left and put a note on my door. He showed up to the hall, like half an hour later than when I arrived there and didn’t mention being late or getting my note. I looked hot and he didn’t compliment me either. Hmmf!

So it was kinda boring, he tried to spice it up by telling me how the grads were related to various community members. He even told me some colorful stories of his grad ceremony. Anyway, we sat at one of the teacher’s tables (because I’m a teacher after all) and being such, we got the short end of the stick in the food department as the catering ran out of food. So we got more of a snack then a meal. So halfway through the ceremony, my crush leans over and tells me he’s going to get some food. An hour later, he comes back. He’d gone to the restaurant and had pizza with some friends of his. That’s just a bit weird to me! So grad ends and there was gonna be a dance an hour later. I don’t know if I really want to go and he says he’s going to go and I should too and save him a dance. So I do and he never shows.

So the next day, I call and leave a message that he should call me before I leave in a week for vacation. He doesn’t call. I was a bit disappointed. So like 5 days later, my co-worker who’s leaving the community wants to see the memorial pole that my crush is carving but doesn’t know where it is. I end up taking my co-worker. So I mention to my crush, again, that I’d love to chat before I leave. He mentions that he meant to call me all this time, but he’s been to busy. Hmm, to me, that’s guy code that he’s just not that into me. I mean, come on, it takes like 2 minutes to pick up the phone and wish me a good vacation.

So that night, I end up going to dinner with a bunch of co-workers and they kinda bring it up all sly like, since they saw us at grad together and have heard the local gossip. I told them that it is going nowhere since he’s told me he’s “too busy to call” and that I hadn’t really talked to him since grad. They then try to convince me that things are different here and the fact that he was seen at such an event with him meant he really liked me. Meanwhile, all my city friends are telling me to forget about him, and that I deserve to be pursued and should not give him another thought unless he’s willing to win me.

Now, I’m super confused because I’ve never really dated dated before. Sure, I went out with my first boyfriend for almost 3 years, then asshole for another 5, then Brilliant, but those were different. The first two were more than happy to go out with me without much effort and I didn’t even like Brilliant before we hooked up.

So. my last night in town rolls around, and I end up getting drunk and going to the local bar with some co-workers where I drink even more. I’m very well behaved drunk, I just shut down so that I stay well behaved. Anyway, guess who shows at the bar? My crush of course!!! I ended up chatting with him and then I sat at his table and we were chatting and holding hands. At one point he told me that he finds it hard to talk about matter of the heart but that he thinks I’m a beautiful person. Awww ... right?!?

So he ends up walking me home (which was me inadvertently taking off without my friends ... opps!). EVERYONE from the bar saw this happen and we got quite a few catcalls as we turned up my street. But he was a gentleman and we hugged a bunch on my door step and we shared a couple of check kisses and one lip peck (wow, can I give every little detail?!?). He asked me to call him over the summer. I said I would (I agree to almost anything when I’m drunk). I paid for that night by barfing all the next day and then flying on three planes to my sister’s house (and combining the two activities together).

So after two weeks or so of vacation, now super duper confused about the whole thing, I decided that I would not call since he was away working at camp all summer and would only be home for like 24 hours every weekend. Instead, I wrote a witty letter about my vacation so far and told him 4 different ways he could get a hold of me over the summer, if he wanted to. And he never did.

So now, I’m at home reflecting about the whole thing. Today is the day he gets home from camp permanently. He knows I’m home because I mentioned it in the letter and I’ve already ran into the majority of his family since I’ve been back. So my question to you is: What should I do if he finally decides to call?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

I'm back!!!

I back to the small town and to blogging. Man, what a great summer I’ve had so far. I’ll be blogging all about it in the coming days, so stay tuned. Look forward to my tails about washing machines, twins, elevators, the M-hearse, All-you-can-eat, dentists, and vacations.
It’s great being back home, yet a little strange. It always takes me a few days to adjust when I’ve been gone for so long. It’s like when I’d go away for the summer to visit my dad when I was a kid and then I’d return to my room. It would look like my room, but somehow it had changed without my presence there. All I can say is that I love being back in my own bed ... as much as it was to sleep in my sister’s nursery on the floor! While I was gone, I had a friend staying at my place. She was moving out of her place here and wanted to stick around for a few extra days. Well, she left me some miscellaneous food goods that she didn’t want to move with her like a giant bottle of Bombay Saphire Gin!

I’ve only been out in town a few times, but several people have stopped me to welcome me back. It excites me a bit that people I don’t even know (I feel a bit bad that I should know them) tell me, “Welcome home!” not just welcome me back, but back home.

Friday, July 20, 2007

The Guilt Moves on

Ok, I'm the worse blogger ever! I'm on vacation and I won't be blogging until I return to the Small Town (August 15th). Look forward to some interesting observations about the city and teaching and more obsessiveness.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

2 Weeks Left

My god! I only have two weeks worth of classes ... of course there is the week of final exams after that and a week of classroom clean-up, administration days (ie. staff meetings) and a pro-d day (which is bizarre because we all know a pro-d day is an excuse to have a day free of kids. They don't have the same merit when the kids aren't there).
School wise, my two government examinable courses are being crammed with information to get them ready. My other math class is studying already for their exam. I'm worried that some kids will not pass this reporting term ... and if they do crappy on their final exam, they won't pass the course. I can't help but feel responsible for that, in a way. But in all fairness, the student can always write make-up tests for me, but most of them have not taken me up on that opportunity.
So much has happened in the last little while but I know it will take forever to blog about it. I've been terrible about getting things posted. Oh well. Here are some highlights.
• Went on an awesome pro-d day traveling around the territory by boat. We saw some old village sites that date back 2500 years ago. Of course, only forest is left but a local archaeologist told us what to look for to identify other village sites. We also got to see some cool wall paintings.
• I have a harsh addiction to Facebook ... or as all my friends call it, Crackbook.
• The personal life is looking very much up. The only draw back is that I'm leaving at the end of June for two months so just as things are starting to take off, they will come to a screeching halt.
• I finally made it to the local bar. It wasn't that bad ... no weirdos hitting on me, but supposedly it gets super busy during the last half hour and I left then.
• Looking forward to going to the hometown and the big city for two months. My official plans are to sleep on various family member's couches and go to the beach and do absolutely nothing. Sweet!
• My sister had her baby! He was born a month early, on May 27th. He was only 5lb, 4 oz. when he was born. Tiny! My mom and my sister say he was about my size. Ahh! His name happens to be the last three letters of my first name, so I'm totally stoked he was named partial after me.
• The community had The Children's Cultural Celebration. It's a play pot latch. It was so awesome! I got to dance in a couple dances! I even went to some singing practices to try to learn some of the songs. But I really only learned the title and chorus to one song because trying to learn to read the language, pronounce all the new sounds, learn a tune, and drum at the same time cannot be learned in a week, Oh well, I had a blast anyway!

Ok, that's all for now.

Sunday, May 20, 2007


It's been a while. I say that a lot lately. I keep thinking I don't blog because I'm lazy. But I'm not! It's that I'm busy and don't have the energy to come up with something ammusing ... or I don't feel like typing. It's just one more thing I feel slightly guilty about.

So, I stole this idea from Tocatta's blog.

You are The Lovers

Motive, power, and action, arising from Inspiration and Impulse.

The Lovers represents intuition and inspiration. Very often a choice needs to be made.

Originally, this card was called just LOVE. And that's actually more apt than "Lovers." Love follows in this sequence of growth and maturity. And, coming after the Emperor, who is about control, it is a radical change in perspective. LOVE is a force that makes you choose and decide for reasons you often can't understand; it makes you surrender control to a higher power. And that is what this card is all about. Finding something or someone who is so much a part of yourself, so perfectly attuned to you and you to them, that you cannot, dare not resist. This card indicates that the you have or will come across a person, career, challenge or thing that you will fall in love with. You will know instinctively that you must have this, even if it means diverging from your chosen path. No matter the difficulties, without it you will never be complete.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Crazy about it ... it asked me a question and I chose that I'm immature and silly. This thing says something about maturity. Haha! And the choices of cards are all fantasy like ... I guess being tarot ... that stems from fantasy. So cat people won out!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

New Schedule

Sigh of giant relief. My last HCE class is over. I never have to teach that course again (knock on wood). It's not that I didn't like the students, they were interesting and it was an excellent way for me to get to know all the grade 8s and 9s, it's just that the curriculum was difficult to teach in a fun way without the use of a computer lab.

Oh, I didn't plan on talking about the computer lab situation, but I think I will. I think HCE is a course better designed for the kids to do research and present what they learned or do a little project. The problem is that the high school only has one computer lab. And during HCE, there was always an Information Technology class in there. So we didn't have that resource available. Which, in this day and age, makes things difficult. For instance, some of my kids have IEPs (Individual education plans) that say they are more successful if they can type they're work instead of hand write it (why they don't have their own lap top is another issue). Also, sometimes I want to use a Powerpoint presentation to "spice" things up. Well, the school does have a portable digital projector with lap top that I used quite a bit.

Anyway, I'm glad that class is over. Between egg baby fiascoes, teaching STDs, and other crazy stories, I had a huge learning curve from this class. I guess that's not such a bad thing, but that class was always the hump I had to get over everyday.

So now that I don't teach HCE anymore, I get an extra prep during that period. But I will be using that time to be a self appointed hall monitor (to earn some authoritarian points with the kids) and I will be used as a substitute teacher for absent teachers.

I've also gotten my tentative schedule for next year. It looks like I'll be teaching literacy, math 9, 10, and 11 (11 may be a half year 11, half year 12 class ... we'll see how the students will react to that) and then drama 12!!! I'm totally excited about that one! When I was planning on being a teacher in high school, I always wanted to be a math and drama teacher. But the community college I went to, didn't offer drama classes so I dropped the drama teacher bit. I took one drama class is university, and then I took a "how to teach drama class" last summer as part of my course work. And since the drama club has been quite a success this year, I'm being given a drama class.

I know there will be challenges with that one because I will most likely get students scheduled in that class who didn't want to take it. But I have all summer to think about what I'm going to do.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

She Just Wouldn't Leave!!!

As I was writing yesterday's rant I had a very unexpected visitor. I heard a voice say "hello" at the bottom of the stairs. So I ran down the hall (like I always do) and I see this small head peep around the wall and ask to use my bathroom.

I recognize the kid as one that goes to my school (as all kids around here do, duh). I was a bit hesitant because my house was a mess and I didn't want some strange kid in my bathroom. Plus, safety issues about being alone with a student in my house. Where were her parents?

I said she could and I continued blogging away. When she was finished, she came out and started talking to me. To be polite, I asked her what she had been doing and if she was having fun, etc. i was just being polite. She of course, decided she wanted to hang out and came over to my computer and started reading my volleyball rant. Before I could minimize the window (I'm on an iMac so i can't just turn the monitor off) she saw the part where I say, "It fucking hurts" (Hmm, another indication I should stop swearing?).

She gasped and was a bit shocked that I had typed the F word in my work. I was embarrassed. Ok, she had her jollies so I told her I had a lot of work to do and she need to go back outside to play. She was having none of that.

Fuck. How do I get rid of this kid without being mean? She then started opening my computer desk drawer, pulled out two of my Sharpie markers and told me she had some things to write on with the markers outside.

Oh no, she was not walking with my markers! So I asked her to put them back. Instead she put them in her pocket. Crap! Ok, I calmly and nicely asked her to put them back and it was time for her to leave because I am very busy and need to get back to work. She said no.

She asked me who lives below me. I told her. She then began to tell me that no, that person lived nextdoor. Ok, this was getting old fast. I'm pretty sure I recognized the kid as being in the class of the person who lives under me. I asked the kid what grade she was in. She told me 2. Ok, that means she was either in the class of my downstairs neighbour or of a teacher down the street. I took the gamble and told her I was going to call her teacher if she didn't leave.

She looked at me like she thought I wasn't going to. She was calling my bluff. So I went to get the phone (which is in the room closest to the stairs). The kid followed. As I showed her her teacher's phone number in the phone she started slinking down the stairs. As I pressed the button to call her teacher she was almost to the bottom, but not leaving.

I asked my co-worker for help. I explained that her student asked to use my bathroom which I allowed her to do and then she took advantage of my hospitality and tried to walk with my pens and wouldn't leave. I put the girl on with her teacher and her teacher explained that it wasn't polite to stay when someone wants you to leave. The girl made like she was going to leave and we said our good-byes over the phone.

The kid still would not leave.

So I took her shoes and jacket outside and said I was going to leave them out there. I was feeling super bad now. So I did go outside and she came out to investigate. As she was standing half out my front door I realized she could just go inside my place, lock the door and I would be stuck outside while she did god knows what in my house. Good things she didn't! I came back in and kinda barricaded the stairs up to my place so she was stuck in the front hall.

She knew it was only a matter of time until I did my next move. I didn't want to do anything drastic like physically pick her and her shoes up and deposit the whole thing outside, but I was thinking I may need to. She then "bargained" with me that if she left, would she be able to come over tomorrow (today) and hang out? Ok, I was cool with that.

She asked me if I was lying. I would never lie to a student. And I wasn't.

I'm just hoping she forgets. Or if not, I'm wondering if it's wrong that I lock my door and not answer it when she comes a-knocking?

I called her teacher to thank her for the help. She gave me a bit of background on the kid. The girl was close with the teacher that lived in my place last year. The kid's parents are a bit neglectful too. They don't care what she does, as long as she's home before dark ... or she needs to pick a place where they can pick her up before then. She's also had problems with lice infestations for the last couple years. Remember, that this kid is only 8.

I feel a little sorry for her. But, I don't really want to be her new "big buddy" either. Cold of me ... maybe. But I don't want to be caught up in this sort of thing. But it's probably too late. This is why I teach high school. I'm not strong enough to deal with issues like this. I'm better at arming teenagers with how they can help themselves and I'm just better with helping teenagers and stepping up to bat for them. Little kids are tough because they need adults to look out for them.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007


Ok, more bitching (a theme of the week perhaps?) but what is with volleyball. I don't get it. I hate the sport. You wanna know why?

Because it's fucking painful ... that's why!

Here is a picture of my arm a week after I played. You see the fading bruises? They were worse, I'll tell you that!

I just don't get a sport where the object it to hit the ball with a very sensitive part of your body over a high net over and over again. And "they" try to disguise the pain of the sport by calling it volleyball. That's the least painful way to get the ball over the net ... the volley... unless you do it wrong and you bend your fingers back and sprain them!

But volleying's not always a viable option. Bumping the ball is the other move. And this is what fucking hurts. If the sport were called bumpball, this may remind people of the pain and the would opt out of plying.

The serve and spike are also painful ... where you hit the ball with that kooshy part of your palm by your thumb. Because that feels good.

The sport should be called painball, dammit!

So why was I playing this sport-where-people-voluntary-hurt-themselves? Tuesday nights are staff night in the school gym and the staff haven't been making use of this time so the PE teacher wanted to encourage the staff to use the gym time. So he scheduled a staff vs. Grade 12 volleyball game. I like encouraging the students to be active and I like to be active too so I played.

I remember volleyball being painful when I played in junior high but I thought I was tougher now then I was then. Obviously not! The worst part was the ball was over inflated so it hurt like a mo-fo and we couldn't let the air out because of the way the pump was made with the built-in needle. And of course, we only have one ball in teh entire school. Grrr!

I'm hoping next week we play a sport where we only "accidentally" get injured ... like soccer or hockey.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

5 questions

To continue with what others have been doing like Tocatta and Kelly, here are my interview questions from Tocatta. The funny thing is that Tocatta has a math degree but has troubles counting. I'll answer all her questions anyway.

1. As a first year teacher is there anything you wish you had learned at university that would have made teaching easier?

That's a good one. When I was a kid, I always thought you'd learn how to print nicely in teacher college. They don't teach you that. I also have no idea how to teach a kid to read ... not that a high school math teacher necessarily needs that skill, but I thought I'd get taught that at some point.

I'm trying to think of my biggest problems as a teacher and what I wish I had been taught to deal with them. I have had some problems with discipline but that comes from the kids testing me and my philosophy, not from my lack of good method. My other problem is trying to fit the kids to the mold of the course. I have to make a lot of my own resources because I don't have access to many and the ones I do have, don't always fit my students.

Honestly, what they did arm me with (a lot of bullshitting adults and diplomacy) has helped me a lot in dealing with the adults in the system.

But to answer the question seriously ... I can't think of anything. All the hard lessons I've learned this year, have been just getting use to teaching. I think I was warned about a lot of them.

3. You come from a pretty large center and now you are living in a very small isolated community. What is the one thing that came as a pleasant surprise about living in a small town?

The people are so nice. I'm going to comment on living in a native community too. I hate to say it, but my views of native reserves weren't all too great before I moved here. You hear all about the bullshit stereotypes of drinking problems and parents that beat their kids, etc. Of course, stuff like that happens here (like in every community) but I don't see it more than I did in the city. That's fantastic. My ugly discrimination has changed. Which is a gift that is truly priceless.

I love walking down the street and having everyone wave at me ... even if they don't know me (I do know that some of them may know who I am but I don't know them).

2. If you could hop on a plane right this minute where would you go and what would you do?

I don't know if I should answer that honestly because part of it makes me look bad. But, I'm going to. Seriously, I'd go either to my hometown or the big city to go shopping and to hang out with friends and family ... and to pick up a guy. Terrible, I know.

But if I had that option, I wouldn't want to go somewhere exotic by myself. Plus, I don't have a passport. If I had the option to take a friend and I had a passport and lots of money, I'd go to Hawaii and sit on the beach all day.

3. What historical event would you undo or rewrite if you could?

Wow, so hard to say because there are so many that caused so much pain and misery. But, they also changed the world, and some for the better ?!? Like, if I said I wish the Holocaust (and WWII) didn't happen, where would we be with nuclear weapons? What kind of nations would the US and Britain be?

I guess since I lived through the following, I wish it had never happened: 9-11. A lot of good people died for no good reason. I didn't know anyone who died, but I'll never forget the sureal-ness of watching the 2nd tower go down live on TV. I still can't watch any of the movies because they will upset me.

I think Bush's reign would also be a lot different and the War on Iraq would have been a lot different if 9-11 hadn't happened. But 9-11 did open my eyes more to the fact that the rest of the world may not be willing to put up with the US's bullshit anymore. Just a thought.

4. If you could have the quality of a superhero. What quality would you want to possess? Would you use it for good or evil or both?

I would want to be able to read people's minds. But, I'd want the ability to turn it off too when I'd need too. I'd use it to benefit me, mostly, so is that good or evil?

If I were given the ability right now, I'd still be a math teacher. I'd just be the best one because then I could know what the kids are thinking so I'd be able to help them better. I think it would be so much easier to find a date too. Keeping one would be the problem :)

I wouldn't let too many people know or the government would want to use it for political negotiations, and then I think I'd die of boredom :)

5. If you could be a contestant on any of the reality t.v. shows which one would you want to be on and you have a strategy picked out for trying to win?

Easy. Survivor. When the show first came on, I was in love with it. I was obsessive with it (I have books and CDs and the game). In fact, I would have applied but you have to be a US citizen AND resident. I was going to get my citizenship (both my parents were born in the US, and my mom is still a citizen) to apply, but I wasn't going to live down there! Plus, the paper work is a giant pain in the ass.

If Survivor were offered to Canadians, I would sooo apply. I've thought of many strategies. One I had for a while, was to tell everyone I was a clerk at a photocopy shop (which has been my only real job besides teaching) but I wouldn't tell them I was a math teacher or that I went to university. Then they wouldn't think I'm as smart as I am .. which I think would help. I also realized I would ALWAYS be nice (but not too much to be annoying), never try to be the leader, and never complain.

It's funny you ask that question because I'm working on a blog entry where I compare student teaching to being on a reality TV show. You get judged two to three times a week, some people get "kicked off the island", some people quit, and there is always drama.


I think if I thought about the questions for a week, I could give better answers. But I don't have a week to formulate perfect answers. Ok, so here's what's next:

If anyone would like to be interviewed ....

• Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me!"
• I will respond by e-mailing you five questions. I get to pick them, and you have to answer them all.
• You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
• You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
• When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Knicky Knicky Nine Door

To keep with the theme of things that piss me off, I'm going to rant about something that drives me nuts.

Some of the neighbourhood kids think it's fun to ring my doorbell and run away. This is annoying. They can kinda get away with it because my place's front door is the closest to the road and I don't have a rail in front of my ramp (which acts as my front staircase. Ask me about the ramp if you're curious). I find it especially annoying because it takes me a while to get to the door. I usually sit at my computer and it is as far as possible from the front door. My computer is in front of a giant picture window in my living room. With a view like this, can you blame me for spending a lot of time here?

When the doorbell rings, I usually run because if I walk it takes me 25 seconds to get from my computer seat to the door. That is not counting any stops to turn on the lights, or to stop what I'm doing or to put down the math textbooks I usually have in my lap. I have to go down the long hallway ...

... and then down the loonng staircase.

The last time I ran for a "nine door", I slipped on my way down the stairs. Yeah, I know my fault for running down stairs. But it pissed me off that no one was there. Usually I go out the door and look down the street to see kids running off. I told a couple of co-workers and they told me who the kids were and where they lived.

Well, the next time after the slip-on-the-stairs, I was really pissed. I was in a good brain space with my work and I was ticked that I had to get up for nothing and lose my train of thought. So I put on some slip-ons and marched out the door into the rain to see the same #*%$ing kids strolling down the street. I yelled my loudest,


The kids kind of stooped like they knew they were caught. I was pissed so I kept yelling ...


They started running down the street. I just stood there. I saw them run toward the house that my co-workers said they lived in and the kids turned around and saw me standing there so they kinda veered onto the street and just hung out on the road lolling about and glimpsing at me. I guess they thought they were being clever that I couldn't figure out where they lived if they didn't go to the door of their house.

I just stood there with my hands on my hips (to show them my pissed body language) and watched them. In the pouring rain. For about 3 minutes. The kids were obviously scared to go home and have me see them go. After I was nice and wet, I finally went inside.

They haven't rung my bell since.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Egg Baby Mishap

So I had my first "major" problem with a class. It left me shaking after the kids were gone.

In my HCE class (Health and Career Education) we have a week where the kids are given an egg (that I've blown the insides out of ... insert joke here) to take care of. We spend a whole class building it a little home and naming it, etc. This project is worth 10% of the kid's mark. All they have to do is fill-in-the blanks on a template that works as a daily journal and have their parents sign the log daily that says the kid brought the egg home with them everyday. I also understand accidents happen so if the kid broke the egg or lost it, they had to write me a 250-word letter about what happened and what they learned to earn their 10%. No biggie.

Day three comes around and we have some drama. One girl leaves class to go to the washroom and comes back and her egg is gone. Someone in class has taken it. I casually tell the kids that whoever has it needs to give it back because the joke is over and it's really not that funny.

So we finish the lesson 10 minutes before the bell and I give the kids some free time. I also tell them that they can go for lunch early it the class is clean and the egg has been returned. The class get tidied up but no egg.

I mention to the kids, again, to give back the egg and they all can go. Most of the kids are playing cards and working on the lap top in the class but some kids are itching to go early. These kids are like, ok, give back the egg. Still no egg.

The bell rings. I am now barricading the door so the kids can't get out. I'm a bit upset that someone took the kid's egg and is not giving it back. Plus, I'm pretty hungry and want my lunch. Some of the kids are trying to get past me and telling me that it's bull that they have to stay when they didn't take the egg. I tell them that someone in the class has the egg and needs to give it back.

The kids then start trying to say that they'll give their egg to the kid that's missing the egg or that she can just write the letter to get marks. I point out that that is not the point. Someone has taken someone else's property and is not giving it back. That is called stealing and I won't tolerate it in my class.

The kids are now getting pissed that they can't for lunch. Some of the kids make small attempts to push past me but they can see I'm pretty mad. They start saying stuff like, "Well, it's her fault that she didn't take care of her egg. She needs to have it with her at all times." And "It's just a stupid egg anyway."

That is not the point!!! Some kid stole something from someone else. I don't care if it was an egg. No one steals in my classroom.

The kids keep up with the arguments and I'm getting genuinely mad, which I never do. I agreed with them that it was a stupid egg and I don't know why who ever took it won't return it.

The one thing that blew me away was that the kids that were vocalizing their anger were more mad at me that I wasn't letting them go then the person who stole the egg and wasn't returning it. I guess in their head they just didn't get it. The kids then start saying that someone must have come in the room and took it. No one came into the room during that time frame.

As I was arguing with the kids that it was the person who stole the egg that is keeping them in at lunch, three kids decided to jump out the window.

As you can see in the photo, this is not an easy feat. A fourth kid would have jumped but he would have been too big.

I felt so helpless because if I had tried to stop the jumpers, the other would have just walked out the door. Of course, this made me more angry. And I realized this. I also realized that one of the kids who jumped out the window could have been the thief. I knew I was about to lose it so I let the kids go and told them that this is so not over and it will be dealt with tomorrow!!

I told the VP about the whole thing asking for advice. He told me to write-up an incident sheet about the kids who jumped and they would be suspended (they weren't, by the way, they just got a lecture ... hmmph!). He suggested I threaten to fail the whole class on the assignment if the egg were not returned. I agreed.

The next day I told the kids about the failing and, of course they were pissed, but again, the vocal ones were pissed that I was unfair and it was just a stupid egg. Just shows that sometimes the vocal ones in a group don't get the point.

As I was explaining this, one kid kept talking over me. After I said, everyone would fail, every time I tried to talk, he'd start yelling. I kicked him out and told him to get some manners. He was one of the jumpers.

Three minutes later, I get a knock on the door, and I open it to find the missing egg on the ground in a Dixie cup. Hmm, I wonder who took it!!!

This whole situation was so frustrating! Another issue is that only two kids handed in the full assignment out of 13 in the class. This class in general just astounds me sometimes.