[full of it]

my shoes are full of dirt and rain

Posted in Uncategorized by susieyarbs on February 12, 2009

i’m digging this volunteer thing more and more every time i go in.  for one, the teacher is really cool.  i mean, as a person/friend.  she’s probably about four years older than me, this is her first year teaching.  we obviously don’t have a lot of time to chit-chat, but we seem pretty similar, into the same things (teaching and science…doi).  today most of the classes were reviewing for a test they have tomorrow, so i got to go around and help them with study guides and practice tests.  after the first two classes, the teacher has an off-period and i head out to go to lunch, but today she asked me if i wanted to go to the department meeting with her because they were going to talk about different online resources for teachers.  WOW.  i was unprepared for what a department meeting involves, which is a whole lotta bickering.  i couldn’t exactly pinpoint the role of the woman who was leading the meeting, but there’s definitely some old tension between her and one of the other teachers.  the leader started talking about new “probes” that are coming out, which i think are little exercises meant to determine what your kids know and don’t know before you introduce a subject.  apparently there’ve been some problems with the language of the probes in the past, and the teachers immediately let the leader know, and she would NOT back down, kept insisting that they are always beneficial under all circumstances.  the teachers’ argument was that most (all, in my teacher’s case) of the kids are speaking english as a second language, speak another language at home, and can’t understand the vocabulary in the probes.  so it ends up being a vocabulary lesson, takes up the entire class period, and they don’t end up getting anything out of it.  well, that led into a discussion about how they don’t get enough english exposure, with everyone sharing stories about simple vocabulary their kids don’t know because they’re never exposed to it (“does using hot water encourage or discourage photosynthesis?”  kids didn’t know what encourage/discourage meant.  or one of the teacher went on for a while about blocks, referring to city blocks, only to find out that they all thought she was talking about blocks like legos, so they were obviously lost).  then THAT led into a discussion about how elementary teachers don’t teach science AT ALL, so 6th grade is the first exposure to any science content they get.  then THAT led into a discussion about how the normal person is completely unaware of the challenges that they, the teachers, are up against, how they can hardly teach appropriate subject matter because they are back-peddling so much – if the kids can barely read or speak english, how can you teach them about chemical bonds?  through all of this, the leader of this meeting is trying to say that if they just use these probes (which are perfect) and use these online resources, they should be just fine!  the kids will understand, magically!  i’ve been volunteering in a classroom once a week for six weeks, and i even wanted to link arms with these teachers and yell along, YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT WE’RE UP AGAINST, SHUT YOUR MOUTH.  so yes, there was some tension.  eventually we broke off to get on the computers and try out these different websites, and one of the teachers asked to speak with the leader outside.  gasp, drama!  oh, and in the middle of that discussion, i’m staying quiet because, well, who am i to have an opinion on all of this?  but out of the blue, one of the teachers looked at me and said, “well, what do you think about all this?”  and i got to put in my two cents, which wasn’t much, but it was fun to be part of the club for a second.

last night i got the new mcsweeney’s literary quarterly.  i’m super excited about it, especially the COVER!  

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i wish i could make it bigger so you could read everything.  i mean, i’m sure it’s possible, but man, those are skills i don’t have.  anyway.  i dig it, i dig it real good.  

i wrote a lot in my little black moleskin today, revisited the idea of an arriere-boutique.  isn’t it crazy how you can learn something, and understand it pretty well, have a good grasp, but then it takes years for it to really mean something to you?  like when you re-read a book and get something totally different from it the second time.  i’m sure this has a lot to do with me having a lot of spare time on my hands, but i seem to be writing/thinking a lot about me, my identity/-ies, my place(s), my role(s).  maybe it’s a bit of going through some sort of identity crisis, or really just feeling like i’m entering a new phase.  i’ve been feeling like an adult, like a real one, not the kind of adult i thought i was when i was eighteen.  i’m a wife, and have been for a year and a half, but it’s been a little bit of a transition going from yay i’m married!!!!! to wow, i really am a wife.  and not at all in a bad way, gosh, i kind of made that sound like i was suddenly struck with the reality of marriage.  dang, what do i mean here.  it’s like…being a wife started as a giddy thought in my head.  it’s surreal at first, you know, when you wake up next to the person you love and you think, “i can’t believe i’m actually married to you.”  and then it slowly becomes more and more ingrained into who you are, that is, a bigger and bigger piece of your identity is invested in being a spouse, it’s rooted in you.  i still don’t think i’m saying what i want to.  hm.  it isn’t surreal anymore.  i’ve settled into it, i believe it.  yes?  anyway.  i’ve been reflecting a lot, on that and other things.  and hey, my conclusions have all been that i’m deliriously happy.  wait, no, i’m not delirious.  firmly happy.  decidedly happy.  happy to the EXTREME.  

take that, suckers.

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One Response

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  1. Hubs said, on February 12, 2009 at 8:47 pm

    I liked that last part…I think…not so sure though..hmm. 😉 Love you!


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