Moving houses, moving web addresses, moving mind sets. Deanna mentioned in the guestbook that, though she loves me, my graphics don’t work. Baby steps! Now the graphics work, but many of the links don’t.
Also: My friend Kate has a fabulous blog: a different breath.
I think the thing with teaching is this. They are supposed to be able to do hard things. But you have to have them do the little things that lead up to the hard thing. So you figure out what hard thing they’re going to be able to do at the end, and then you come up with the little steps that will lead them there. Then you check to make sure they got it. This is absolutely barebones basic teaching philosophy. So barebones that it’s actually a “Duh” idea. But somehow this has escaped me until now.
Spent a couple hours with my angelic friend Kate, who graded quizzes, made me tea with brown sugar, and generally provided a sane, soothing presence to my otherwise depressive self. Or, as my other helpful friend Karen put it, “It’s like you’re drowning. And then every now and then you see this log. And so you’re holding on to a log. Don’t get drowned.”
My other “ah-ha” moment came when I asked Kate why, again, was I doing this? And she said, “Because you wanted to do something that meant something.” And that made sense. And of course, right now I feel like I am doing something meaningless. So no wonder it’s frustrating.
Funny how such general statements have made more sense than all the specifics.
So I auditioned today for The Playground Theater’s program to be on an improv team. Whether or not I get it, I’m ridiculously proud of myself for attempting something like that… the audition was actually really fun, and regardless, I had an enjoyable two hours on a Saturday. *Pats self on back*
I reallllllly want to start improvising with the students in some sort of organized drama club. However, I am skeptical about whether or not they will attend and/or be crazy. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, as they say.
Update: No word from The Playground, which means I didn’t get a callback. Meh! C’est la vie; I feel good about life. That’s probably the best thing I can say about that.
Reasons to laugh hysterically
So… today I gave a multiple-choice quiz. I made said quiz at 11 pm last night. I created it by writing out the question and then writing the correct answer. Below that, I wrote some incorrect answers. You know. Multiple choice. Well, I intended to go back and shuffle the order of the answer choices. Somehow I forgot that last step. So, yes. I gave out a quiz today where EVERY ANSWER WAS THE LETTER A. Some kids were really confused, and I didn’t understand why, until I realized what I’d done. Well, they’ll be easy to grade. But how do you explain that to the students?
I am moving apartments and moving web addresses! The new home for this blog will be: www.lindsayliveshere.org. Change your bookmarks, yo – this will take effect in the next day or two.
Today was beautiful. Sunshine. Warm weather. And no teaching. Instead, I went to a reading teachers’ conference, where I was inspired and energized by the other teachers around me. Hurray. My classes watched a movie, and Dictionary Devil Day went unaddressed. I’m not quite sure what to do about that. Oh well. I have 96 days of teaching left, and only half of those involve the Devil Children. And then I never have to have them in my classroom again, ever. Joy to the world. 96 bottles of beer on the wall, 96 bottles of beer….
I’ve been really negative lately about school starting again, and it’s making me feel like a crazyperson. Luckily Deanna is sending me a yoga video, Becca listens to me panic, Dave has given me his veteran-teacher-mother’s phone number, teacher Kim has offered to go to coffee and chat, and Eliina keeps feeding me ice cream and wine. See. Good things.
Dictionaries were thrown on Tuesday. That is all.
When you just keep writing…
Sometimes you end up with a pile o’ words. So I did that over winter break, in a tiny cozy coffee shop in Clarence, and the result is posted for you now: “I like to believe I am a great collector of tickets out, and that my ultimate end will be a free green road with sweet grassy pastures, where everyone will say, what a large number of tickets you have, how wonderful that you bought yourself freedom with all of these tickets, but I do not know if that will happen.” Additional context: I had just watched Cinderella Man. And I was highly caffeinated.
And since we’re thinking big-picture, this is a quote from a zine that I like that resonates right now:
“Maybe we eternal souls experiment with lifetimes the way high school kids experiment with bad acid. The more I think about it, the more it makes sense. Maybe there was some cute eternal soul I was trying to impress by coming to earth. ‘Are you sure you want to go to Earth? I hear it’s pretty hardcore,’ she may have said. ‘But baby, I’m pretty hardcore.’ And now she’s watching me timidly pick my way through this life, wracked by fear and neuroses, scared out of my wits, and I bet she’s not too impressed after all.” — Bill Brown, Dream Whip No. 13
Therapy for me
Been reading about Chris’s current philosophizing. I also just recently went to a therapist, though I am not in any dire dire straits. Just the usual, anxiety, hopeless, overwhelmed, confused thing. Days all started to seem like a series of white boxes separated by white dividers with flourescent light flowing from one box to the next until forever. (This was before Christmas. Am less llike this now. But enough that I kept the appointment with the therapist.) She told me, among other helpful things, that I should try yoga or meditation, because I am not taking more than a shallow breath each time I breathe. So I’ve been looking up yoga classes, in the hopes of becoming peaceful and bendy.
Things went downhill fast. I started thinking about school starting. And freaking out about school starting. And not wanting to go back. And therefore not wanting to do any work for school. And therefore freaking out about not doing work for school. I like to think I’m brooding and interesting when I’m depressed and existential crisis-y. Really, it’s not that endearing. I get a spacy look in my eyes and I get really quiet… which makes Eliina furrow her brow when she looks at me.
Two days back
And already had a lovely time sitting around in Eliina’s kitchen, then sitting around at Myhang’s New Year’s Eve shindig, then sitting around at Amanda’s brunch, then sitting around at Jade’s New Year’s Day dinner. Peacefully happy with this relaxing weekend.