10.31.2005

A digestible digest.

It's about freaking time, isn't it?

Well, don't think that just because I haven't been posting doesn't mean there's nothing going on--nay, it's merely because I don't like you.

(Obviously, this isn't true. But it IS what I tell my students whenever I praise someone and someone else wants to know "what about meeeeeeee?" "Oh," I always reply, "I don't like you." Then, they get all wide-eyed, pouty and indignant, and I have to tell them I'm just teasing. Kids are so cute, especially since they don't really get sarcasm. "HEEEEEEEYYYYY...")

So anyway, a couple weekends ago, I went marching to Zion, with Annalise and our friend Liz! No, really! Well, technically, I suppose it was hiking. At any rate, it was in Zion National Park, in Utah, a comfortable three hour drive from Las Vegas. Canyons, red mountains, actual deciduous (leafy, fall-colored) trees, breath-taking heights and views. It was, in short, very much not Las Vegas. A welcome 36 hour vacation that set me back on the right track at a rather difficult and stressful time.

...Which started right back up again come Monday morning, but, ├žest la vie. I was good to go for the rest of the week, and here's the best part of all: I took THE ENTIRE NEXT WEEK OFF, this past week, which was even cooler than marching to Zion. Here are some details of this past week:




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10.10.2005

Holy crap!

I just got back from--are you ready for this?--a professional development session that actually wasn't a complete waste of time! Can you believe it? I know, right?

Seriously, for those of you just joining us, these trainings aren't inherently evil. It's just when you work in SPED and you're worried about how you're going to track each of your 20+ kids in accordance with their individualized education plans, which all have different goals, but you have to teach them in groups anyways, and all the district support you have at your disposal is to go to all these new teacher general ed trainings that only cover remedial classroom management issues, you might find that the so-called support infrastructure isn't actually there and is instead an active, unnecessarily time-consuming pain in the ass.

At least, that's the standard fare.

Today, however, was different: it was a session on inclusion, and I attended it with my special ed facilitator, one of my co-teachers, my principal, and the literacy specialist (who incidentally shares my room). The pacing was (gasp) surprisingly refreshing, the content was almost entirely (gasp) relevant to what I'm doing, and the overall atmosphere was pleasantly productive. In short, it was a huge relief, especially since I had to miss the day and plan for a sub--who ended up being outsourced to another classroom at the last possible second, rendering me with a day of entirely cancelled classes--GRRRRRRR--but I digress. I'm very grateful for this opportunity.

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A few days ago, I was highly complemented by one of my students. She said, admiringly, "I used to think you were New School, Mr. ------. But you're not. You're Old School!"

It's good to be Old School. I've figured out that much. But I honestly hadn't encountered the concept of being "new school" before. I think it has something to do with being uncool, or having a bad attitude, if UrbanDictionary.com is any indication...

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10.08.2005

Long overdue

Hello to my faithful reader (Mom!).

Lest you think I'm dead, here's my two point update:

1. I got a keyboard! It's a Korg N1, has 88 keys, wasn't all that expensive considering, and has some great sounds and capabilities for my purposes. I am so happy to just be able to sit down and play when I want to/need to. It's something I have sorely missed.

2. Weekend Entertainment: tonight, I'm going to watch Day 2 of the Grand Sumo Tournament at Mandalay Bay Casino. These tickets normally cost $130, but I have a friend who had some free tickets to share, so there I go!

I cannot tell you how excited I am. I typically don't really get into the commodofied violence of the Wrestling on TV, but Sumo is a time honored tradition--an art form if you will. And the participants this evening are some of the top stars from Japan, so it's a multi-cultural event too! (Maybe I can get professional development credit out of this...)

I'm still teaching too. I just feel like I'm swimming these days, in stuff to do, schedule changes, professional development trainings that are utterly worthless (or at least entirely lacking in the "Hey! Here's something new!" department.

So to recap: No, I'm not dead. Yay keyboard. Yay Sumo. And last but not least, yay weekend.

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