Saturday, May 23, 2009
Never before in my life have I had to deal with more blatantly disrespectful, nasty, mean comments than as a teacher of middle and high school kids. It is as if these children have no upbringing or have never been held accountable for the horrible things they say. And I don't want to say "well, maybe I'm just taking this all to personally", because is it really acceptable to tell someone to their face (a person who should be a person of respect, haha) that they are "being dumb"? Is it okay to tell a teacher (a teacher of an elective course that these kids are in purely by choice) that "no one cares"? Is it acceptable to constantly interrupt someone who is speaking to you or simply turn your back on them and start having a social conversation? Is it acceptable to blurt out "This class sucks cock"? That one warranted a call home and contact with the office, and things have straightened out, because at least there is some parental support in this instance. Throughout all of these stupid instances and more there have been messages home, contact with superiors, and searches for help and support, but little has helped. Some days I am left after my last class just shaking my head. One very nice student I have said one day, "You know, they are like they are because of how they've been raised". I was tempted to add, "No, it's how they haven't been raised at all." Most of the kids in my classes are like wild animals who just do what they want. A stark minority of them have parents who are really there for them, teaching them things and holding them accountable for their actions. Those ones are great kids, good students, and an absolute pleasure to teach. Teaching the rest of them is like herding feral cats in heat.
And the thing that makes my blood boil is that I know my class isn't lame. As a language nerd, I have been in a number of extremely lame, boring language classes, where you don't do any communicative activities, any projects, anything hands-on. I have all glowing reviews from my three bosses who have been in observing me this year. These kids in my classes are constantly doing projects and hands-on stuff, games, stories, and still they bitch and complain. Probably because they are being forced to think and do something. I was tempted a number of times to go in this year and say, "Well, if you don't like how I'm teaching you, let me show you for a week how I was taught German in school." I could have pursed my lips and turned red every time a kid talked out of turn, sent them to the office for any minor infraction, and had them doing book work and worksheets the whole hour with a strict no talking policy. They would've loved it.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
As the weather gets nicer, the kids are getting more colorful.
Quotes from today:
One student asks another student for a cookie. Student with cookie replies, "The last time I gave you something you tried to smoke it." Student who wanted cookie then states, "No, I tried to snort it." (it was a pack of Smarties) Student wanting cookie then got cookie, ate it, and snorted the crumbs from his paper. This is a true story that really happened today at about 12:40 pm.
Out of the blue, someone blurts out, "If you eat your own leg, would you gain or lose weight?"
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Driving past Lloyd's house on Friday, it seemed that something was in the works, since they had a giant digger in the field, digging the mud pits even deeper. On our way home yesterday, we first heard the roar of engines, then saw the field on the corner full of parked cars, and knew some kind of event was happening. A mud bog. The mud bog is apparently a favorite rural pastime, occurring all around the United States. From what I have observed at our neighbors' house, a lot more preparation seems to go into the thing than the actual bogging itself. The vehicles are constantly propped up on cinder blocks, and the boggers are always working on them, for days and weeks at a time, the bog is constantly being flooded and dug out, and then the actual bogging, the driving of some big, loud truck through the mud, takes a couple of minutes. That is, unless they get stuck or the truck overheats and quits. Then they sit for quite a while, futilely spinning their tires, waiting for something bigger and more powerful to pull them out. We parked on the road, like many other passers-by, to gape at this spectacle of rural entertainment.
In the left edge of the picture, you can see a Jeep with its hood up. This car had overheated and quit. It sat motionless for quite a while. The orange truck is in the process of pulling the brown truck out of the mud where it got stuck.
The orange truck was unable to pull out the brown truck, so the big boys had to come out. Big blue was able to get the job done, but only after the overheated Jeep was removed from the scene so it didn't get damaged in the towing process.
Equal opportunity fun! Even people on crutches can bog.
Doesn't that look like fun?
Upon leaving our safe parking spot on the road to head for home, we noticed a car turn the corner behind us from the direction of the bog. To be safe, we turned the wrong way and didn't drive to our house, because we were scared we were being followed by Lloyd's friends. They probably didn't like it that so many people in nice cars were stopping on the road, pointing and laughing at them, so it wouldn't surprise me if they were following people to beat them up or do some kind of damage to their vehicles. Also, Lloyd the bogger does not get along well with people who live on our road. It is a different world from Lloyd's, just a half mile away. Well-kept houses and people walking, jogging and riding bikes in clean clothes, not caked with mud. As our neighbor, the man who in hindsight very unfortunately sold Lloyd his property, would say, "Lloyd, the people who live on the river, they have a little bit more money, and they think your mud bog is stupid." This conversation occured after a mud bog years ago, during which Lloyd and his friends drove their big trucks onto property that didn't belong to Lloyd and tore up the land with their big tires.
Viewing this bog and its poorly dressed participants with bad haircuts took me right back to my school days, when people who looked just like them (maybe these same people were there yesterday) used to harass my friends and I, calling us lesbians, breaking and mutilating our things, and committing other forms of abuse. If these people weren't such cruel jerks, maybe I wouldn't laugh at them and how stupid I think they are. Maybe I wouldn't point and take pictures which I plan to broadcast to the world and write sarcastic things about. In the end, I am no better than them, laughing at them and making fun of their silly loud trucks because I just can't understand what they enjoy about doing what they do.
Haha. What luck. I am stuck stuck stuck.
Saturday, May 09, 2009
That's what I had for breakfast this morning.
I'd been planning on making delicious pancakes for breakfast today since yesterday, and when I woke up this morning, I had a hankering for chocolate chip pancakes, because I wanted to use up that bag of chocolate chips that was just lying around and terrorizing me. So I found the easiest recipe I could, and wow...
Here it is:
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
- 1 cup whole, 2 percent fat, or 1 percent fat milk
- 1 1/4 cups flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips, or less to taste
- Butter, for cooking
In a small saucepan, combine the butter and milk. Place over low heat just until warm and the butter is melted. Let cool slightly. In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt; mix well.
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs with a fork. Whisk in the milk mixture. Add the dry ingredients and mix just until barely blended. Add the chocolate chips and mix.
Heat a griddle or large skillet over medium heat. Add about 1 teaspoon of butter and melt until bubbly. Ladle 3 tablespoons of batter for each pancake onto the hot surface and cook until bubbly on the top and golden brown on the bottom. Turn and cook until golden brown on the other side, about 30 seconds more. Repeat until all the batter is used up. Serve hot.
While I did melt the butter together with the milk in a sauce pan, and did mix the dry ingredients as instructed, I did not whisk the eggs or whisk things together, I just mixed them with a spoon because I didn't want to dirty another bowl. It all turned out just fine. I also only used about 4 ounces of chocolate chips, because that's all I had, and it was quite enough. Wow, these are good, though my Hauskraut did say, and I quote: "that's typical American food. Way too sweet. Ugh," with a wrinkled nose. But I must add, he did not eat these with syrup, or even plain, but with butter and SWEETENED CONDENSED MILK on top. No wonder they were too sweet.
Thursday, May 07, 2009
Well, the countdown to the end of the schoolyear has begun. I didn't think I was going to make it on many occasions, I thought I might just drop dead from exhaustion or being harassed by some of my lovely students or from getting up at 5:30 in the morning and not seeing any daylight at all all winter long. But I've nearly made it, as long as I don't catch swine flu in the waning days of the school year and drop dead from that. But I've got lots of soap and hand sanitizer and am avoiding kids with runny noses like the plague, so I hope I don't get this one last scourge of the school year. I've been sick enough, either needing mental health days or actual sick days, whether puking, having a fever, hacking up a lung or just feeling like I can't go on. Anyway, there have been a number of funny moments, and that's actually what this post is about.
-Frau R#$*&§?'s Cafe: For those who don't know, I am a German teacher, so that will help these things to make more sense. The kids in German 1 had to make a menu for a fantasy restaurant, then create a dialog in that restaurant, ordering food and paying, etc. After being constantly hounded by the kids about "When are we going to do something fun? When are we going to play a game?" I just looked at them with my darkest look and said "I hate fun." That seemed to sober them up. As a response to me hating fun, one student's menu for his fantasy restaurant was for Frau R#$*&§?'s Cafe, and it consisted of meals such as Dead Children.
-My portrait: While circulating around class the other day, I was having a look at the students' work, and noticed a number of portraits along the margin of one kid's paper. At the top was Hitler. Then Stalin. Then...you guessed it, Frau R#$*&§?. But I only got third place because the kid couldn't draw Mussolini. I would have had fourth. Another student in class placed right after me, he is the best student and consistently has the highest grade on everything. Then another student, one of the worst, and he was saying in his portrait something about "drinking all I can, then drinking some more", which was quite accurate, considering that he usually talks about how long he is grounded for for coming home drunk, and explaining different types of beer bongs and how to use them. Then was yet another student, one who comes in late and often fails everything, very apologetic because he "lost track of time at fast food restaurant xyz" or "couldn't find his book" or "didn't know what to study" and usually just falls asleep. His quote was "Uuuuuh, I lost track of time." Also accurate.
-Yet another portrait. This one came up when doing a little project to practice the future tense, the kids drew six pictures and wrote six sentences about what they are going to do this summer. One kid who is mildly amusing drew as his first item "I am going to the Grand Canyon." In his picture was him standing over a big hole throwing in Frau ... Ummm, excuse me?
-Scribbled on the back of a piece of paper: Frau R#$*&§? = Hitler. Keine smiles. Kein lachen. Das Reich.
Huh, it seems like there are more, but they are not coming to me right now. I will post pictures of some of these items because they are amusing. I am just too lazy and exhausted right now. And anyway, I hate fun.
By the way, I did not put my actual name, but Frau R#$*&§? instead, because I know these kids are just dying to find this blog. Well, I congratulate them if they do, but pray they don't. At least not until I am far away from where I am now.