Monday, November 30, 2009


It used to require brains and experience to become an administrator. Now, all you have to do is be able to pay for the masters and presto--instant administrative license. And, if you happen to be young and in the right place at the right time--presto--instant administrator.

So now, the young and inexperienced, with that paid for piece of paper, are walking into classes and telling experienced, senior teachers what they are doing wrong. These youngsters have barely gotten their feet wet in the classroom and have often not even taught the subject they are critiquing, but this is not stopping them from writing things that left unchallenged, could ruin the career of others.

No one, especially me, likes to be criticized but when the criticism comes from a master teacher, it is easier to take. My first supervisor was one of the evilest people I ever encountered but that woman could not only teach, she knew how to teach others to teach. Her words made me cringe, but I knew what she said was correct and I adjusted my lessons accordingly because while I did not like her, I respected her. Today, an administrator does not even have to be licensed in the area they are supervising. It is possible the AP never even taught the subjects he/she is supervising and are totally unfamiliar with the population of students he/she is responsible for. Yet, this is not preventing him/her from finding fault with the teachers that have been working in that department for years.

The saddest part of all this is not what is happening to the teacher but what is happening to the students. Their education and their care is being left to the ignorant and their education is suffering because of it.

To Help ISS Students Succeed (Not)

Just a thought to help ISS student succeed (not) on state exams:

Make sure the proctors, especially the ones that have to read the questions out loud speak English with very thick accents. Make sure they have they have never taught ISS students and have no compassion for these kids.

Do all this and failure can almost be guaranteed.

Remember The Coneheads?

Barney's on 61st and Madison has a great holiday exhibit that is a tribute to Saturday Night Live. Definitely the most creative of all the store windows this time of year. It's worth the trip if you live in the NYC area.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Enjoy Them While You Can

Husband and son, hugging goodbye.

Husband and son packing up the car.

My son is starting his new job in Baltimore tomorrow. He left yesterday. I know its time for him to be an adult, to move on with his life but I miss him already.

These past three years with him living here has been great.

Now, who will fix my computer when it is not working right?

Telling Their Fortune

Report card time again and again we are supposed to be fortune tellers. We are supposed to look into the future and determine which kids will pass the regents and which ones will fail. It is only November and we are supposed to make a decision that will impact on the rest of their high school career.

Mr. AP wants great statistical results. He says that is how the school is rated and numbers are all that matter. Most of the teachers in my department are afraid to have failing grades and the wholesale dropping will begin soon. Kids from the two term algebra class will be put in four term classes. Geometry and trig kids will be put in business math and other non regents subjects. I hate doing this. The kids deserve a chance to improve. They deserve a chance at passing and if they fail, they should have the option of repeating the class. If they don't continue the course now they may be out of the loop that will lead them to an advanced regents diploma.

I don't know how my students will do in the end. I have some very weak kids that probably should be dropped but dropping them seems like I am giving up on them.

I'll probably end up having the worst statistics in the department again but, that's life. I don't have a crystal ball that will allow me to see June's results now. I only have my two eyes that see the students in front of me. I have to look at them and make a decision that is right for them.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Is This Even Legal?

In place of giving ISS students extended time on exams, the AP suggested teachers shorten exams for them. I have problems with this for several reasons.

1. It is difficult to decide which questions to eliminate. A question that is easy (or hard) for one child might be difficult (or easy) for another and in trying to help, I might be making the exam harder (or easier) to pass.

2. Fewer questions means each question is worth more points and wrong answers will be penalized at a higher percentage and grades might be unfairly lowered. (Or made higher if the student gets most correct.)

3. ISS students will not be required to show the same level of performance as non ISS students which doesn't seem right as they are both getting credit for the same course.

4. By handing out different exams in class, ISS students are being immediately identified to the entire class, which seems like a breech of privacy for those that would like to keep their classifications private.

5. Shortening exams for the ISS student is creating extra work for the mainstream teacher.

Am I making too much out of this just to be difficult? I hope not. My overall goal (see, I used the word!) is to do what is right for all my students.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Oh Where Oh Where Can My Missing IEPs Be?

The UFT Liaison Office of Special Education School Improvement will be in our school next week. I know lots of us have plenty of questions for her, especially about missing IEPs, inconsistent and incorrect information on them. Ijust finished rereading the IEPs I was given so I can be prepared and I am glad that I can be at the meetings for two periods. That way, all my questions can be answered.

For more one IEP stuff go here and here.

Unless You've Been There

Crissy looked like every other teenage girl in the school. She dressed in stylish clothes. She carried the "in" book bag of the day. She always arrived on time to class and she never had to be told to open her notebook and get to work. She handed in homework daily.

I don't know the label Crissy was given but Crissy was educationally disabled, severely disabled. She was so limited she could not ride a public bus because she could not count out the change needed for the ride ($1.00 at that time.) She didn't speak much around strangers, not because she was shy, but because she did not want them to know how limited she was. It was only when she started working with young students who were severely disabled both physically and mentally, did she start to appreciate her own place on earth. She also worked in an old age home and brought joy to the seniors living there. In spite of this, Crissy never got over the feeling that she had the word "retard" emblazoned on her forehead for everyone to read. I don't know what happened to Crissy after graduation. I am hoping she ended up working with a population that needed her.

Peter was in Crissy's class. He was a warm, outgoing young man. He exuded confidence. He played the trumpet and performed in every school concert. Peter too, was educationally disabled. Peter learned early on how to cover up his disability. He learned how to hesitate and change the subject when the topic was too much for him to handle. Anyone who met Peter in a non academic environment was impressed with this friendly young man. While in high school, he started working at a local fast food restaurant and quickly rose to manager. Unfortunately, when the computer had a problem, he could not make change and had to get someone else to take over for him. Peter eventually got his diploma, got a job at UPS sweeping floors. The guys loved him, taught him to drive a truck and he moved ahead. He is married to a registered nurse and doing well.

Okay, what I am trying to point out here is that kids in special education have special needs. They may look and act like other students but they learn differently and quite a few do not have the same capacity to master the same material. (Before anyone jumps on me, I am not saying all kids in ISS classes are like Crissy and Peter.) And, even if by some miracle they can learn it enough to pass a test, what good will it do them? They can't go on to college, they can't become teachers and lawyers and doctors. They need to learn the skills they will need to function as happy, productive adults.

Dumping kids like Crissy and Peter in mainstream classes would have been disastrous for them. Not only would they have not been educated, they would have been totally demoralized and turned off to school. I'm guessing that neither one of them would have made it to graduation.

After teaching kids like Crissy and Peter, I learned to be more tolerant of others around me. I don't get angry when the cashier in Dunkin Donuts counts my change wrong or when it takes the supermarket checker 5 minutes to figure out how to fix the amount I've been over rung by. Unless you've gotten to know Crissys and Peters, you don't understand the problems these people live with. Administrators and guidance counselors are making decisions about their educations without knowing anything about them and it is not right. Educational policies have to be set by people schooled and experienced in the subject.

Winter Holidays Are Upon Us

I didn't have my good camera with me so these will have to do.

Windows at Anthropologie

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree --sscaffolding still on.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving day, another day taking my dad to visit my mom. These trips are getting easier. He didn't even cry today and thanks to access-a-ride, he can spend the entire day here and get a ride home, saving us the trip.

Passover is the special holiday I remember with my mom. Thanksgiving was reserved for my mother-in-law. Every year, since 1985, the year my father-in-law died, we picked her up early and brought her to our house to spend the holiday. She was an eccentric character and I loved her both in spite of and because of her eccentricities. (I won't say what her worst one was except that I could never take her shopping.)

Every year, she would join me and my children as we hiked through Alley Pond Park, enjoying all the beauty nature has to offer this time of year in our own back yard. She loved watching the kids jump in the leaves and run up and down the ramp underneath the highway. All the while, her son, would sit at home and watch his football games in peace.

After our walk (and some cooking) we always took my daughter to a movie. It was a great girls' only bonding day. My kids always say that I was more like her than I was like my own mother. Maybe that is what attracted my husband to me in the first place.

Until today, I forgot how much I enjoyed spending the holidays with her. I think it must have been the fallen red leaves on my mom's grave that reminded me of how much I loved my other mom.

My Reasons

When I first started at Packemin HS many years ago, I taught 5 math classes in the special education department. It was by choice.

Before I had my children, I was teaching predominantly Title 1 math classes. These classes were full of kids who had problems with basic arithmetic. We worked with them on individual assignments, were truly able to differentiate work (no one called it that then, but we did it anyway) and we helped many succeed. In those days, special education students were just starting to be mainstreamed and because I have always been good with low performers, my classes were packed with them. I got to know these kids, got to love them and got to help them. I still reread the letters they sent me when I left to have my daughter. I don't know if there were IEPs in those days, no one ever mentioned that word. But, I knew what these kids were about. They were a small group with a great ISS teacher and we spoke almost daily.

I came to Packemin and chose ISS because of the positive relationship I had with that department in my previous school. Besides, so many of the mainstreamed kids performed at levels equal to or less than the ISS kids I decided it might be easier to work with kids who were diagnosed. My love of these kids never wavered. But, as I got to know them, I saw how they struggled with math, how hard it was for them to master some concepts and even recall the ones they did at times seem to master. It was hard doing the same things over and over and not succeed, hard on them and hard on me. In spite of that, I did not leave that department by choice.

Today, all those struggling ISS students would probably be mainstreamed. These kids, who could barely keep up in special education are now required to take mainstream classes. There is no support for them. And, what support could possibly help a child with an elementary school reading and math level succeed? More and more kids being dumped into this situation.

I might have started writing about this issue to "bust chops" but I am glad I did start writing. People that know nothing about kids with disabilities are now making the decisions as to where and how they will be educated and they are not getting educated. It doesn't matter what my motivation was and it doesn't matter what the UFT's motivation is for making a big deal about these violations. It matters that things have got to change if we are going to help our students. The only weapon I have to use is words and I will continue using them. As the attacker said, I am a fighter but I am a tough fighter and I won't back down.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Completed Toilet Training

Still wet behind the ears, barely out of diapers and yet... (continued here.)

I Don't Do That Kind Of Math

Overheard at the math tutoring table:

Student: Ms. Can you help with my math homework? (Student then shows teacher the worksheet.)

Teacher: No, I don't do pre-calculus.

When I started teaching every math teacher was required to be able to teach every subject. The exam to get a license was tough. How did the standards to become a teacher get so low?

Early To Bed

Okay, I'm whining again. It is that time of year when everyone needs college recommendations sent out. Teaching top kids means that everyone needs one and the amount of work required is extraordinary. I don't know how much the colleges actually use them, but if they do take them seriously, writing a good one can mean the difference of an acceptance and a rejection and it could affect the rest of a student's life.

I take my time with these recommendations. Each student must send me a copy of their personal statement and their resume. They must "sell" themselves to me so I can "sell" them to the university. I also give the recommendation directly to the student to mail themselves as I don't want to be blamed if they don't make it into the school of their choice. My letters have been passed around amongst the kids and I have gained the reputation of being a good person to go to for this.

Earlier this week I saw a crestfallen expression on one of my calculus student's faces. His English teacher, the teacher of AP English who gave him a 99 last year, wrote him a crappy recommendation. He didn't think it would help him get into his college. She didn't even bother to put it on school letter head. I felt so bad for this terrific kid that I went home and drafted the beginning of a recommendation for him and sent it to him. I just got his statement and finished it up. I wonder why this English teacher couldn't be bothered to do the same. He is not a 99 student in my class, he's not even close to being one, but he is a great kid who deserves a great recommendation.

A girl came to me and asked me to write her recommendation. When I told her I am burnt out from writing them and suggested she ask someone else, she told me the other teachers she would ask do not write very well. I couldn't believe this until she mentioned names. When I got my license a million years ago, I had to submit an essay. Writing was a major part of the exam. It is hard to believe there are teachers out there that cannot write a simple letter.

I have already written over 30 individual letters, multiply this by at least 3 (sometimes more) applications per letter and then add in all the general forms I've filled out for the college office and the applications I've attached with last years letters. You can imagine how overwhelming this can be. Now, I am supposed to run upstairs and downstairs to check on IEPs and even meet with the D-75 woman to find out what is going on with my student from her program. I'm supposed to make phone calls to homes of kids who are absent and kids who are late and kids who are just not doing what they are supposed to be doing. I'm supposed to do all this and still teach my 5 classes. No wonder I fell asleep last night at 9:30.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Undeserved Punishment

Fuck cigarettes! Fuck the lack of health care in this country! Fuck the politicians and the conservatives who are inciting people to be against the public sector in the health care bill.

I usually try not to curse on this blog but I just found out my brother-in-law is going into a hospice tomorrow. I'm hoping he will still be around when I go visit in two weeks.

He smoked and didn't care enough to have a job with health benefits but he doesn't deserve this!

The punishment for never growing up is too severe.

Your Hero Has Returned

Suit Lover, since I notice you are still around, I dedicate this post to you.

Like a bat out of Hell, Suit came flying into the teacher's cafeteria today. Thank goodness I had eaten much earlier or my food would have ended up being regurgitated all over the poor teacher sitting next to me. He expected to a warm greeting and he was greeted cordially by some. Me, I kept my head down and kept marking papers as I watched him approach the cafeteria lady to order lunch.

As he made his way to the cash register, he said "I suppose you want me to pay for this?" (Suit was notorious for using his principal status to obtain multiple free lunches daily.) The cafeteria lady is sharp. She looked him in the eye and said, "I don't want you to pay, but I have to charge you. We are accountable for every meal that goes out of here." As he dug into his pocket, the moths went flying and some dirty old tissues fell to the floor, but he did manage to pull out a few crumpled bills.

The cafeteria lady snickered. It felt good to finally see him part with a few bucks.

Tin Man/Woman

The Tin Man wanted a heart. Some administrators don't use the ones they were born with. (And, no, I am not referring to Mr. AP this time. Read it here.)

I Think I Can

One of the biggest problems I find with teaching low level classes is that the kids believe that they are stupid. They feel they can't learn so why bother trying. A girl told me today that math has always been her worst subject, she never passes so she feels trying just wastes her time. (The girl is Chinese--so much for the Asian stereotype in math!)

A teacher's job is made harder by the preconceived ideas these kids have about themselves. Before I can get them to learn anything, I have to get them to believe in themselves, to believe that they can, kind of like "The Little Engine That Could" Believing in themselves is half the battle.

Monday, November 23, 2009

NYC Must

Discovery Times Square has a great exhibit on Leonardo DaVinci. They actually went into his notes and drawings and brought many of his inventions to life. there are full scale models of his inventions blus touch screen technology that birngs sketches into 3-dimensional models. It was so great I am even going to look into doing a class trip there.

Freebie Weekend

This past weekend I was able to pick up my free Victoria Secret's underwear, a red shirt from Coldwater Creek with the $20 coupon I got in the mail and my almost free ($0.27) donuts from Entenmann's.

I love getting stuff for free, especially when it is stuff I can use.

The Injustice Of It All

Until today, I thought the new administration of Packemin HS respected its teachers, but what I heard at the exec board meeting today really knocked me out. The administration has a plan to place a fence around the perimeter of the school, thus blocking entrance to the rear of the building from one side of the street. Of course this is being done in the name of security and school improvement but, what a cost! Able bodied teachers will now be forced to walk an extra half block around the building. Imagine, AN EXTRA HALF BLOCK! What will these crazy administrators think up next?

Teachers should realize how lucky they are to work in a place where the extra walk is something to complain about.

Aiming In The Right Direction

Enjoying last week's beautiful Fall weather, my husband and I took a walk and had a long, winded discussion about goals. He's from the business world and believes that goals have to be measurable and obtainable. (I thought I was walking with my school's administrators at the time.) Of course I disagreed with every word out of his mouth. After a while we did come to a sort of agreement and that was that I don't want goals.

I've thought a lot about what we said and while I don't want goals, I am happy with AIMS. According to the Miriam Webster Dictionary, having an aim means I am directing a course, aspiring towards something, or even directed towards a specific goal.

Aiming is something I do and can keep on doing. It is not measurable like a goal but I don't think what I do daily can be measured by a number.

I'm still not going to give myself goals but I am shooting for the stars.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

More On ISS

For some great thoughts on ISS students go over to Under Assault. She says everything I've been saying much better than I ever will.

Overwhelmed Or Lazy?

Minerva's percentile for reading is 54 and her math level in in the teens. No one can understand why Minerva is not doing homework or trying to pass her classes. Minerva does not have a job. Her only chores at home involve studying. Her parents, the school psychologist and her teachers think she is lazy. I think she is overwhelmed.

How can anyone expect a child who performs at such a low level to be able to complete high school work? Her course load includes algebra, living environment, world history, English, French, technology, gym and resource room.

BTW, I learned about some of this by talking to Minerva's English teachers who sat in on her annual (or tri-annual or whatever it is called) IEP conference. I also got to share my take on the situation with him and he agreed with many of the points I made. So, to my attacker, I do try to talk to the teachers of my students. The sad thing is that if I hadn't forgotten something and had to return to school at 4:30 to pick it up, we would never have spoken about this. You see, in a school the size of Packemin HS, collaboration, while nice and extremely necessary is not often possible.

Who Would Think This?

Where else but a NYC public school would you find a teacher who picks up every piece of chalk when she leaves the room and carries it with her from class to class? Who would think that this is sometimes the only way a teacher can guarantee there will be chalk in the room?

Saturday, November 21, 2009



Message To My Attacker

I'm a button pusher. My whole life I've pushed the buttons of family members, colleagues, friends, enemies and even my cats. I can't help it. I love finding the little things that irritate (like the here link I often use) and then do whatever it takes (as long as it is harmless) to get them going. That is one of the things this blog lets me do. I might have started writing about special education issues for this reason, but that is not why I am continuing to write. I taught special education at Packemin HS for my first three years here. I loved working with that population and only left to teach math when the ISS AP decided to do a department cleansing and had all the mainstream teachers (there were 4 of us in various licenses) removed and sent to our own departments.

Under Assault has a great post on why schools are depriving kids of their IEP rights. It all boils down to one thing--MONEY!!!! Mainstreaming and violating IEPs is saving the schools money. As teachers, we need to be aware of our students needs to try to stop this from happening. Maybe I didn't care before, but these violations never were so rampant before. (At least not at Packemin.)

I'll admit that I never had much use for IEPs in the past. The information I have garnered from the ones I have received this term just confirms their useless. Yet, suddenly I am obsessed with reading them. As much as I fought against data and ARIS and all that other stuff I thought was nonsense, I can't stop trying to use it to find ways to help my students. (s is the first time I have had 14 IEP kids in my class.) Anyone who has really been reading this blog knows that I am in this for the kids, period. They also know that when I take on a job, I take it very seriously and do whatever I can to insure it is well done.

This whole IEP discussion that I started has really got me thinking and wondering about the anonymous commenter who keeps attacking me. The commenter is right. I love having an issue. I love fighting for the unpopular cause and for the underdog. And, the commenter is also right in saying that if it wasn't such a big issue now, I might never have taken it up. But, it is a big issue now. The UFT is fighting for the kids. Isn't that what everyone outside of teaching has been saying is wrong with the union for years? Haven't they complained that the union only cared about teachers, not about students? Shouldn't the commenter be happy that I jumped on the bandwagon and am no championing an issue that is student oriented? Should my motivation really matter much? Except for a few, this blog is anonymous. It contains no advertising and I gain nothing except stress relief and enjoyment from writing it and from knowing that it is read by quite a few people. Wouldn't it be better if the commenter stopped attacking me and starting attacking the people that are messing up, the people that are making excuses? Wouldn't it be better if the commenter stopped making excuses and started doing what was necessary to protect the rights of the student?

By the way commenter you aren't the only one attacking me. This week, during a meeting of the executive board of the union, I was attacked by a vicious little secretary when I mentioned the IEPs were e-mailed without any statement of the confidentiality of the plan. She claimed she did me a favor by e-mailing them to me. The date of the e-mail was 11/2, almost two months after school started, but, she did me a favor, imagine that! She told me I was wrong and if I really wanted to see them I could have made the trip to her office. As of today, I am still missing a few IEPs. One student is supposedly decertified and no longer entitled to special modifications yet no one in that department is willing to put this in writing. My D-75 student still arrives without a para or has a para he shares with a student in different room. I am told that he doesn't need one although the UFT special complaint person tells me he does.

Commenter, I am willing to bet you are an administrator, a school psychologist or even the vicious little secretary. (Actually, I think I know who you are.) I'll admit to jumping on the bandwagon now and making this my issue for whatever self serving reasons you want to assign to me. You on the other hand are still making excuses for not doing your job. It is not my job to chase after you for these things. It is your job to get these documents to me. I have 120 students in addition to my 14 IEPs kids. You might not be a mathematician but do the math anyway. I don't have time or energy to do your work. And, if this blog ruffles your feathers, so be it. A few ruffled feathers might actually help the students.

Friday, November 20, 2009

You Can't Make This Stuff Up


Thank You Lincoln

Lincoln is never afraid to ask a question. He asks and asks and never stops asking until his understanding is complete. Lincoln asks so many questions that if you didn't know better, you would think Lincoln was missing a few of his logs, which is absolutely not true. Lincoln is one of the brightest boys around.

Some might find Lincoln's questions irritating. A principal or any other person observing might think the teacher is wasting too much time on Lincoln at the expense of the other students. This is absolutely not true. What Lincoln questions is also being questioned by at least a half a dozen other kids. The other kids are grateful for Lincoln's ability to ask whatever is on his mind, to ask what they are afraid or to shy to ask.

At the end of the semester we are going to have a "thank Lincoln party." Many of the kids will owe their success to his constant questions.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Getting Away From The Real Issue

My sudden interest in IEPs is being attacked. What an interesting way to deflect attention from the real issue, the way ISS students are having their rights trampled on.

No Excuses

There are no excuses for not giving ISS students all the services they are entitled to but the excuses for not giving me IEPs were flying today. And, the excuses for the poor way these IEPs were delivered were also liberally doled out.

It turns its all my fault. I wanted these documents. I wanted to see what the parents of my students were talking about during parent teacher conferences.

The Language of An ISS Child

Imagine what you would feel like if you only spoke Klingon but had to take courses given only in English. Imagine what it would feel like every time you had to open a book and a teacher demanded that you read it. Imagine what it iwould be like sitting in a class and having no idea as to what everyone around you was saying.

Now, think about that special education student who reads at a second grade (or lower level) and is in a mainstream class. It doesn't matter that it is a team teaching class and that a special education teacher is present. That poor child has no more hope of understanding than the individual who only understands Klingon. Education is supposed to prepare a child for life. What is this kid being prepared for? Even if he manages to pass (by being pushed along), what has he learned? Why are the schools allowing this to happen? Is it a money thing? Is that all that all that matters?

(The teacher who inspired this post is ready to jump out a window because of her frustration with the situation--only a figure of speech.)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

School Talent Show

A colleague wants me to perform in the school talent show with her. She wants to call us The Goal Needers. She will be the Ineffective Teacher and I will be the 60% Teacher. She even has rap in mind for us to perform.

I think I am going to pass on this one. No one, not even Mr. AP, or Mayor Money Bags, should be forced to listen to my singing.

I Stand Corrected

Our school does have more than one work room as long as you don't mind working in the bathroom.


The mountain goat escaped the last bullet but she is not out of harm's way yet. That target on her forehead constantly reminds her of her vulnerable state. The baby goat was cornered earlier in the week and the hunter asked pointed questions to try to smoke her out. The baby goat answered because he was afraid not to. This time the answers protected the goat. Next time, she might not be so lucky. The baby goat should run to the head of the tribe and report the hunter's breech of ethics. The baby will not do what is right. The baby is worried about protecting himself.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I'm Not Alone

Ricochet is having the same goal issues we are having in NYC. Grades are not something any teacher can control so aiming to improve them is futile.

We can have goals to improve instruction, to find better techniques to get material across to our students, to become more engaging, etc. These goals are things we have the ability to control The grades our students get are out of our hands.

I still refuse to put a passing percentage down as my goal for the semester.

Love Letter

I got a letter from my rap girl. This letter really made me smile. Don't let the grammar and computer abbreviations fool you. This kid is brilliant. She can write with the best of us. She is going to be an awesome doctor.

omg ms. po'd you don't even know how much i miss u! I wish i had gotten to write this email faster, but i've had like a shit load of work to do! -_-

Let me tell u a bit about sophie davis....I realized i like signed my soul off to the devil sometimes, because its SO HARD! ugh i noe nothing is EZ, but still, some of these professors need a life other than distrubing mine lol

With all that negativity said, I actually like it here alot! My dorming experience is great, although sometimes I miss home a lot, and PackEMin! I came to the pep rally hoping to see you there...but you weren't (of course). I wanna visit soon, but I swear its like everytime im done with one test, another midterm comes outta nowhere!

So let me tell you a bit about my grades....*clearing throat*

THEY SUCK! I've never done so bad in my life and accepted it...
Everyone gets the same grades..its we all get a 68 in physics and its a PARTAYY, so idk whether that's good or bad, but I mean, I always strive to do my best!

I just took a bio midterm and i got a 90 :) im so proud i feel like i got a 10000 lol ALL my classes are junior level classes, except our stupid freshmen seminar class, ugh that class is so stupid, we have this 35 year old "know it all" teaching us about MLA citation, when he doesn't even know what he's talking about. lol

I mean I guess I'm complaining alot, but to be completly honest, i would have it no other way, well maybe phyiscs could be easier (im like gettin a C in that class) <--b/c this asian teacher talks as if were chinese and his tests are in another language! BUT ANYWAZ, i miss u, i miss calculus, speaking of calculus, guess WHAT IM MINORING IN?!?! MAth! lol i don't know for sure yet, but im leaning towards a minor in either math or managment/administration, either way, i gotta take a couple of calculus classes lol But yea, I hope ur doing well! How are your new AP classes? are they as charming as us..i doubt it :) so that is my experience of the past few months in a nutshell, Im so glad i finally got to writting this, cuz i didn't want you to think i forgot about u! K and I speak of u ALL the time! lol He says hi btw, but hes in phyiscs rite now i think...I acutally just got outta phyiscs and I'm waiting to be tutored in phyiscs bc im doing so well in that class -_-. lol I LUV U MS. POd! <3>

Close To Heaven

It's not perfect. The room has no air and it is extremely dusty. There is only one phone and it doesn't work yet but it is will eventually. There are four computers and as far as I can tell, they all work. We even have a printer. There was no paper, but it didn't take me long to scavenger some up.

It's not heaven yet, but it is the closest thing to it at Packemin HS. We actually have a teachers' room, a place to work in peace other than our cars. Life is good.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Goals For The AP

A commenter suggested the AP have goals, exactly what I was thinking on my way home today. Since I just got home from my evening job, I will only list four here.

1. Make sure there is plenty of chalk available for teacher use.

2. Make sure there is paper to run off tests and worksheets.

3. Make sure the copy machine is working.

4. Treat your teachers with the same respect you expect them to give you and the students.

Miss Construe

Department conference. Read it here.

Smart Friends

It seems wasteful whenever I hit delete or backspace to rewrite something I have already written. I I hate throwing my words in the trash.

Last night I related this little quirk to a friend of mine who happens to be an English teacher. She knew just what to say to help me in this situation. "You make corrections in math all the time. You don't consider this wasting. By rewriting, you are just correcting like you do in math."

It's funny, I never thought of writing that way. She made so much sense. I rewrote half the lines of this post many times and I am okay with it.

It's great having smart friends.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Today's Completed Goals

1. Got my dad to come over and spend the day.

2. Picked up Thanksgiving turkey.

3. Marked and entered grades for two sets of tests.

4. Wrote three college letters (bringing my total so far this term to 15)

5. Straightened out notebooks for two of my four classes.

6. Wrote up exam for college class.

7. Cooked dinner for tomorrow night.

8. Checked up on my airline tickets as I never received e-mail confirmation. (Continental is unbelievably helpful.)

9. E-mailed useless, (I meant useful) goal lists to a college student.

10. Made myself a real lunch for tomorrow.

11. Wrote lessons for 5 out of 6 classes.

One more goal left for tonight--tomorrow's geometry lesson.

Maybe this goal thing is not such a bad idea after all.