Wednesday, June 13, 2012

That's a wrap

I have 8 more days of being a teacher. Today I purchased a souvenir. Or a trophy of sorts. I bought an antique brass NYC Public School door knob. 

I first saw this door knob at P.S. 110 on Delancey Street, while at an HIV/AIDS Curriculum workshop. While learning about how to dramatize the antibody/antigen relationship in their auditorium, I slipped out to use the bathroom and saw the knob on the teacher's bathroom door. My initial reaction was to steal it right then and there. But then I remembered that I was in a school and am also an employee of the DOE and its wrong blah blah blah. I think about them often. Then last night, while at Torrisi Italian Specialties, I spotted the knob again. My reaction this time? WTF is it doing here? If a restaurant can have it, I should too. Thank you, ebay.

I feel good about my 8 days left. I'm not freaking out, though sometimes I think I should be and do a double check Wait, are you sure? Yeah, we got this. Yesterday, I told my kids that I'm going to explore another part of the world. They already knew something was up; they had heard the talk around town. We checked it out on the globe and looked up pictures on the internet. Some of them think I've gone completely mad, but that is okay :)

I'm going to install my door knob on the outside of our bedroom door so that when it is open, and I'm laying on my side, drifting off to sleep, I can look at it and remember:
*How much I love the kids I've taught. Especially the ehem, tough cookies, shall we say. Way more than I had ever expected.
*How lucky I've been to have met and taught with my coteacher
*How deeply and systematically fucked the Public School system is, so help us God.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Fifty Nifty

A few weeks ago, the schoolwide Friday trivia question was, "What is the largest state in the US?" I got everything from Denver to Russia as answers. 10 tries later, a kid got it. But seriously? Russia? Really? Our Social Studies curriculum is focused around New York State, from Native Americans to New Amsterdam to New York City, so I don't usually work on memorizing the 50 states. But I will when you try to tell me that Russia is a state. 

It's time for fifty nifty. It's how I learned the states. It's how I still know them. And the thing of it is that this super silly song makes rote memorization easy and fun.

On Tuesday, I handed out the words and we sang along to the video, which played from the computer speakers. I was flush and hot in the face the whole time, as it was basically a solo the first time around. Ms. Anderson, your face is red. Thanks, kid. Its because Im not comfortable singng, but I do it anyway because it is less embarassing than hearing that Russia is a state. The kids asked for the website and jotted it down.

On Wednesday morning, one girl reports that she knows them all. She started half singing, half saying them in alphabetical order, and when others jumped in, shouting random states, she stuck her fingers in her ears, closed her eyes and kept going, without missing a beat. South Carolina, South Dakota, O Hi O, Oaklahoma, Oregon... She was up all night learning them. Another tells me she put it on her iPod and listens on the way to school. She doesn't know all if them yet, but will by Friday's quiz.

Usually they don't care about quizzes, but this one is attached to a pizza party if you get all 50. If you spell all of them right, there are brownies, too.

Keep in mind that I teach a bunch of English Language Learners and Special Ed kids, some of whom have never heard the word Montana and have no context for what a Montana is or isn't. This makes for some hilarious spelling errors on their quizzes. 

My dad grew up in Middle Soda Minnesota.
This kids obviously never heard of it.

New Hamster. Nuff said. 

So close to Vagina. Close enough to make me laugh out loud.

These kids may make it to the pizza party and I will give them the biggest brownies in the pan if they can spell them all correctly. We are now at a point where everyone knows what is NOT a state, even if they can't quite list all fifty nifty United States. I'm going to go ahead and say, Mission Accomplished. Russia has defected. 

Activities, or lack thereof

We have 8 weekends until we leave NYC. 6 are booked with activities.

Being in the midst of a major life transition, I find myself trying to do everything all at once. My inclination is to schedule and plan so I have time to do everything and don't have to say "no" to any fun stuff, which is exactly what we have been doing all spring. Weekend trips, Bachelor/ette parties, weddings, races, hikes, concerts etc.  Let's do all of the activities that I love to do.

Except that one of my favorite activities is sitting on the couch on the weekend and writing. That I have not done in quite awhile. Until this morning. When I am finished, I am going to go to the grocery store and then make some delicious things to eat this week.

As much as I am looking forward to fun activities and far flung travels, I also really enjoy being home, in my kitchen, and on my couch, while I still can.

Also, big news: Harriet left this morning. She went to Baltimore, where she will be until we return from our travels. You can read about the adventure of getting her ready on our new blog, Bring a Snack.