Sunday, June 28, 2020

Covid 19 Funeral



I just attended my first Zoom funeral.  While it is good to see so many of my fellow temple members attending, showing love and care, physical presence is greatly missed.  Seeing the rabbi and the deceased family gathered around the grave is heartwarming and heartbreaking. This man suffered so much in the last year of his life.  I am thankful for the technology that at least allows us to partake, even from a distance.  Even a beautiful song and eulogy by the wonderful Sol Zim was streamed.

I am hoping one day soon, I can hug my friend, the grieving widow and tell her I love her.


Sunday, June 14, 2020

Surfers



With Covid 19 and not too many places to go, the beach is it!  It is so easy to enjoy the beautiful weather and to social distance.  I aslo spend too much tme with Photoshop

Monday, June 08, 2020

Our Students


Internet learning is not working. I spoke to the dad of a ninth grader today.  The student has two concerned bright parents and a stay at home mom.  The parents try and try but they can’t get her to do much school work,  her schedule is screwed up.  She is awake at night and then sleeps all day.  The dad told me many of his friends are seeing the same things with their children.

I don’t have an answer.  I can’t see schools going back and they will never be the same.  If kids with concerned, educated parents are not getting education, imagine what is going on with others.  I fear for the future.

Sunday, June 07, 2020

Covid 19 Tribute



So upsetting, this is a church not far from my house.  Each flag represents a person that has died from Covid 19.

Friday, June 05, 2020

Social Distancing At The Beach

 
To the person who grew up in Rockaway-apologies, I accidentally deleted Your comment

Pissedoffteacher@gmail.com







I am so fortunate to live not too far from one  of the best beaches in the world-Rockaway.  It is not overly crowded and very easy to walk, take photos and stay far away from others.  There is no better way to spend a warm summer day while social isolcating.

Saturday, May 09, 2020

Counting My Blessings

As I picked up this broke hanger to toss out, I thought, “how lucky I am.”  I was remembering my trip to Cuba, a country where people have nothing and toss nothing away.  A Cuban would have put it together or used the pieces to create some needed item,  I watched a documentary about the Cuban people where a man spent an hour fixing a dollar pair of flip flops and was so happy with his results.  The flip flops were the only shoes he owned.

We are stuck at home with no end in sight.  Instead of whining I try to count my blessings.  I have a nice, comfortable home to wait this out in, food on the table, internet, telephone, and plenty of entertainment on television.  Everyone in my family is healthy.  And this is what I do when I get sad and depressed.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Being Thoughtful

EastEnders Unleashed: BranningEnders: A FISH STINKS FROM ITS HEAD ...

This photo reminded me of someone I know.  No words, just the photo

Monday, March 30, 2020

Corona Virus Musings



Times are hard and uncertain.  A good friend just lost her 102 year old mom and couldn't be with her at the end.  I am on a committee from my temple that arranges for food deliveries after a death.  It broke my heart doing this yesterday and although the death wasn't Corona related and welcomed as he was sick for a long time it was sad to order food for only three people.  I am sure there are so many more who would like to honor this man.

As I walked this morning I thought of people I had been friends with.  Through mistakes, misunderstanding and lots of anger on both sides those friendships have dissolved.  I have resolved to write to these friends and try to reconnect. I am not saying a friendship will ever resume but I am hoping to soften the sharp edge between us.

Stay safe, sorry for the depressing post.  Bless the teachers struggling with online teaching, the poor kids who found school to be their only refuge from the hard lives they have at home and all the people working to keep us safe.

Friday, February 21, 2020

Helping Others Helps Me


Our mailman asked me to help his daughter with math as she was struggling.  He heard I was a math teacher from his friend who had a son in my class several years ago.  Although I don't usually tutor, my mailman is the best and there is almost nothing I wouldn't do for him so of course I said yes.

This happened to be a great week to start, since school were closed, Jill had lots of free time and it just so happened I didn't have a lot to do this week either so we met on Monday.  My mailman and his daughter walked in with the biggest box of cookies I have ever seen and sure enough, they were my favorite cookies.  I told them not to bring anything again as they were friends and friends don't need gifts from friends.

Jill and I worked for about an hour and it was obvious from her facial expressions that she was catching on and feeling really good about the things we were going over.  She even seemed to enjoy the math.  When she left we made plans for two more sessions this week.  I had a fight with her dad when he wanted to pay me.  Friends don't take money from friends and I only help people I like.

My mailman is back to work so Jill has been having her mom bring her over.  Today mom walked in with a huge bag of fruit.  More important was the way Jill was able to write a geometry proof when she left and her new confidence.  On Monday she just wanted to pass.  Today she wants honor status in math.  I assured her we will keep working until she gets this on the regents.

Working with Jill reminded me of how much I loved teaching and how much I loved working with students who needed me.  It felt good to give and it felt great to get the hug when she left. 


Sunday, January 05, 2020

Reminiscences


I just finished dumping the rest of my lesson plans.  I guess I held on to the calculus ones for so long because I spent so much time working on them and it was truly a labor of love.  Anyway, I came across this cartoon,  I always tried to lighten the load by adding a little humor to everything I did.

I hope my students are all doing well and have nice memories of our classes.  I miss them all but don’t miss all the other BS that went along with the job.  Retirement is great.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Since this has happened to me, the article really hit home.  I know exactly how I would handle this!  And, I feel for the writer.  Being ghosted hurts.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Dilbert Says It Again

Saw this and thought of all the unqualified Principals and assistant Principals in schools today like the totally unqualified math teacher (she certified after leaving a business career, failed teaching exam first time) who became an AP in special education or the math AP who observed my AP calculus class with not a clue about what I was doing.  I could go on and on but every teacher reading this can add plenty of their own examples.  Also add in all the people who think they know everything about teaching because they went to school.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Goodbye Mr. L We Will Miss You



Most people don't realize that Mr. L was really a shy, introverted guy.  The loud man who told lots of off color jokes just covered up a very private, very insecure person.  We spent a lot of time talking.  When Mr. L told me he liked a pair of shoes I was wearing, I nicknamed them Mr. L's shoes and wore them long after they should have been discarded.  Imagine, I took fashion advice from Mr. L!  When Mr. L told me his attraction for short, chubby women, I kept my eyes open always looking for a good one for him.

I remember one Passover when he came to my seder and how my dad who did not like too many people, liked him.  I remember when he had trouble walking but still vowed to walk his son down the aisle and he did.

Mr. L had health problems towards the end of his career and he could not physically be the teacher he once was.  Our principal at that time (not Principal Suit) respected what he once was and gave him an assignment he could handle.  Hats off to that administrator.  Unfortunately, not everyone was so nice.  I won't go into details here but I no longer speak to her.

Mr. L loved his job and he loved people, especially the people he worked with. Mostly he loved his sons and his grandchildren.   He glowed when he talked about all of them.   I always said he would probably die with a piece of chalk in his hand.  I wish I was right.


Friday, September 27, 2019

Letter to Editor


A recent Newsday editorial said that education standards were getting low, partly because there are teachers who want to pass everyone.  Here is a response from an actual teacher!

Friday, September 20, 2019

Retirement


A vacation in Amsterdam when flights are cheap, streets and sites not overly crowded as the school year begins.  

Picture taken in Delft.  Bikes rule in the Netherlands 

Thursday, September 12, 2019

The Right Choice For Me

I know people who say they don’t know what they would do if they retired. To me, it is a no brainer. This is so much better than fighting with my ill mannered, ill tempered, stupid former AP.  


Sunday, June 30, 2019

The Scowl



Let me begin this post by saying THANK GOODNESS LOOKS CAN'T KILL.  If they could, I would not be here to write this post.

I passed this woman in the supermarket today.  I know she saw me before I saw her because as soon as I saw her, her eyes darted away.  I thought, how sad.  We were friends, good friends.  We shared so many holidays.  I opened my family to her when hers was not there. I know intimidate details about her marriage, her family, her health, things I was told but asked to never repeat.  I never will.  I made a promise I will keep till I die.

I understand people grow and change.  Bonds that once held wear out.  But, should friendship be replaced with hatred?  I can't, for the life of me, think of one incident that would cause this kind of disgust.

I come home and reflect.  I write this post to get things off my chest.  I wish I could have told her  I don't hate her. I don't,   I feel sorry for the hate she holds inside, the hate that turned her attractive face ugly.

Being friends and being civil are mutually exclusive events.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Education Today

Credit recovery, everyone passes, the story of a high school diploma in today’s world.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Goodbye Greece


One of the benefits of retirement is a May vacation on a 15 cabin cruise to Greece in May, way before most tourists arrive.

These pics are through the window as we enjoyed our last breakfast on board.

Another great experience from Road Scholars.

Monday, February 25, 2019

Museum of the Moving Image

The Museum of the Moving Image is a fascinating museum in Astoria, easily reached by public transportation and there is plenty of street parking.  There are temporary exhibits which are wonderful but my favorite is the permanent Jim Henson exhibit.  (I am a huge Muppet fan.) 

Bring your teacher ID-teachers get in for FREE!!!!

happiness


Happiness is meeting a former student on the subway and finding out she is going for a masters in health studies.  It is such a great feeling to see them doing so well.  What even made my day more was when she told me about her job, tutoring mathematics.  She told me she told her students what I used to say in class--no one is stupid, just go slow, analyze and you will succeed.  She said she built their confidence the way I instilled confidence in them.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Pollock's Fractals

I saw an exhibit recently of some very abstract art, including the art of Jackson Pollock and commented to a friend that, no matter how hard I try, I cannot understand his work.  She told me she had read an article about Pollack's use of fractals in his work.

If only we had time to teach this in math classes, this and all the other uses of math in things our students would be interested in.  If only we had an opportunity to make math relevant instead of just teaching to the test.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Applauding Statistics

I know I haven't posted much lately, but this headline really got me.  The City's graduation rate has climbed but, what does this really mean?  Even the article states that standards have been lowered.  Students are no longer required to take social studies regents as they can opt to take exams in alternate subjects.

Let's face it.  The students graduating today, the ones in this percent increase are, for the most part, not college ready and not ready for careers either.  Their high school career has taught them that they can get away with no work for three years and showing up for a few credit recovery courses in their last year get them through.  They haven't been taught the value of hard work and have no feelings of failing and trying again, only harder.  These students come into college expecting grades to be handed to them again.  Studying and homework doesn't happen. Buying books or using them in a library is a foreign experience they are not prepared to have.  But, when final grades approach, they expect extra credit and chances to make up what they haven't done all semester.  And, while I have no experience with this, I am willing to bet the same thing happens at the job.

I am tired of reading statistics about graduation rates.  I want to see education and standards improving.  I want to see graduates ready for the next stage of their lives.  Only when this happens can graduation rate improvements mean anything.  We have to stop applauding statistics.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Friends

I worked with some amazing people over the years and unfortunately, in a school as big as Packemin I got to know a small group of them.  I can't blame the size entirely.  I was never totally happy there and preferred being by myself quite a bit of the time.

Now comes retirement.  A small group started going out for monthly lunches. The group of 5 has extended to a group of over 20, or at least that is how many are on the mailing list.  We all don't make every lunch and many have dropped out and are members in name only but the core group keeps coming back every month with a few more additions every couple of months.

The core group, many who barely knew each other before, have connected in a strong way.  We never talk about Packemin.  It is a thing in the distant past for all of us.  I can't even tell you what we talk about but the two hours or so goes quickly and it is an event we all look forward to every month.  We come away with a warm, tingly feeling inside, brought together by an environment that was not always so nice. As we walked out, many made plans to meet sooner than next luncheon for more individual time together.

I would like to give a special shout out here to Ben's Bay Terrace.  They give us plenty of space and time and treat us well.  Today we were given plates of their special latkas while we waited for lunch to be served.   

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Fun Recommendation To Read

Check out this post, sent by a friend

If People Talked to Other Professionals the Way They Talk To Teachers


Sunday, October 07, 2018

Living Wage



Texans school’s have registered nurses on staff.  When one is out, a substitute is called.  The sub is paid $15 an hour.  The subs are upset now that Amazon workers will be making the same salary as they do.  They were also upset when the minimum wage of fast food workers came close to theirs.

Instead of being angry others will be approaching a living wage they should be upset that with all their education and responsibility, they are not being paid one. This is one of the problems today.  People have to stop resenting fortune of others and look for positive outcomes for everyone,  the common good is what we need to strive to achieve.