Saturday, September 06, 2008

Let the Whining Begin

I wouldn't describe myself as a hypochondriac or sickly, but it does seem like I usually get sick sometime during the first few weeks of school. I knew I was in trouble when I had to start teaching my two extra college classes, got jury duty for a murder trial, and my usually unimposing, old-fashioned department chair, who's been my friend for over twenty years, started acting like a dictator. Things have calmed down this week, but I've also had a head cold that I just can't shake. I got kicked off the jury when the prosecutor asked if I knew any criminal defense attorneys. My older brother is one. I'm really proud of him, but that fact definitiely doesn't make me think that indictments are handed down to innocent people very often. That prosecutor didn't know that I was pretty much in her back pocket. The defendent was obviously a gang member, meth was mentioned a lot, and the defense attorney had "reminded" us that we should consider a homeless man's testimony with the same openmindedness as a police officer's. I'm not saying that cops can't be lying jerks, but I do trust them more than drug addicted homeless people. Just call me narrow-minded. I hadn't already made up my mind before the trial started. I'm just saying that I also didn't leave my commom sense at the courtroom door either. I was relieved to be excused.

My school problems will settle down too. My deparment chair doesn't have the stamina to continue with her new-found interest in change. She has never really kept step with changes in education as they've come along as many of us have. It didn't bother me that she was set in her ways. It doesn't hurt kids to have an old-fashioned "drill and kill" teacher every once in a while. For some reason, she has freaked this year. We're figuring that our new principal has suggested to her something that he'd like done, and she doesn't know how to do it. Plus, she isn't familiar with all of the work that those of us who have kept current have done. We wants us basically to throw out everything we've done previously and to follow these "incredible" new textbook she's ordered...which didn't arrived until last week. She's been very dictatorial at our department meetings, something that doesn't fit her very well; and really rubs me and other veterans the wrong way. No worries, we'll wear her down eventually. The best teachers I ever had were not "rule followers." I can play the game and still make learning fun for my kids. You have to trick high school kids into learning. Most of them won't learn when you try to force them, espeicailly thing like knowing grammatical terminology ...all hands up if you're a higly functioning adult and don't know what an intransitive verb is...all of you? If kids didn't learn that when they were eight, maybe we should move on to more advanced stuff. I'm just saying.

Oh, yeah, I forgot that this is a knitting blog. I've knit cake this week. I'm still planing to knit a bakery for my neices. So far I have four cupcakes and a pice of carrot cake. Myabe I should get working a little more on this project.