Monday, August 25, 2008

One Down...

Survived. Liked it. Feet hurt. Head hurts. Rain=no fun to be in trailers. Teaching actual content tomorrow=paranoia.

Best comment of the day: "You know, I think it might be sort of fun to be in your class this year. Sort of."

Sunday, August 24, 2008

AHHHHH Addendum

In fewer than 12 hours, I will be standing in front of a classroom full of students. My students, to be specific. And I will be teaching them...... what? Unclear. Here's a rundown on my life right now:

The Good:
  • The waiting is nearly over. I've sort of been thinking of this day ever since January 7, when I found out about TFA. Of course, I was more preoccupied with that pesky case of mono back in January, but regardless, this day has loomed large for quite some time now. I'm glad it's finally here and will be over and done with soon enough. No more holding my breath.
  • My classroom turned out slightly better than I expected. Yes, I'm in a trailer, which leaves lots to be desired (see upcoming section appropriately titled "The Bad"), but the classroom as it exists now is palatable. Pictures will come soon. Hopefully I can snap some tomorrow morning before the kids come in and "work their magic," aka destroy what I have spent the past week creating...
  • Labor Day Weekend is five days away.
The Bad:
  • I don't want to say anything bad about my school, because honestly I'm thrilled to be there. I think it's a great environment to work in, I like the people I've met so far, etc. etc. However, it has been a rather rushed week, what with all the training/meetings (like being at Institute all over again). We couldn't get into our rooms until Monday, and my cozy little trailer is still bereft of technology: no TV for morning announcements, no overhead, no computers, no clock. Must remind self ot bring a watch tomorrow. Oh, and the desks are too short for fifth graders. But I'm sure all this will get worked out over the next couple of days.
  • I don't know what to teach. Like, really don't know. The fifth grade team is awesome, but we don't know yet if we're departmentalizing (each teacher taking one subject), team teaching (pairing up in twos, so each teacher has 2 subjects), or being totally self-contained (every man for himself), and we won't know that until we see how the schedule works. Needless to say, this is causing great deals of frustration and stress. Will I be teaching math? Reading? Science? Any of them? All three? As of right now, I have no idea. So, that's fun. Tomorrow is just going over procedures, rules, and the like, so I'll be able to get through that OK, and I'm sure my team will help me with the rest of the week. But still.
  • Labor Day Weekend is five days away.
The Ugly:
  • Probably me after the sleepless night I'm pretty sure is coming.
So, that's an abbreviated version of what's going on in my life right now. There was so much more I wanted to say, but my brain still hurts and I should concentrate all my energy on two things: 1) Preparing for tomorrow and 2) watching the Closing Ceremonies. Mainly the latter. Related note: Up until faaaaar too late in my life, I thought that "latter" was pronounced like "later."

DNS: Have you ever stopped to consider that our national anthem ends in a question? "O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave???" How much cooler would it be if we all did a Scooby Doo-type inflection at the end of it? Home of the brave??? Also: every sentence in this paragraph except this one has ended in a question.

OK, must get to work. For realzies. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008



My brain hurts.

Coherent (?) post to come this weekend. Let's just say that school starts on Monday, but right now I'm more prepared to beat Usain Bolt in the 200m than teach 5th graders...

Monday, August 11, 2008

Cue Gob Bluth

Yes, it's the final countdown (dee dee deeee duh... etc. etc.). School is officially less than two weeks away and I am officially less than prepared. Yikes. But I'm feeling good, and I'll tell you why, though without a numbered list, since we all saw how well that worked...

  • The Olympics. I'm a girl who likes her sports. That's just what happens when you grow up with rabid Duke fans. Well, maybe just with Andy and Dad--I don't think we can count Cam as a sports fan just quite yet*, though he's getting there. Anyway, I'm a big fan. But the Olympics seriously just take the cake. You can keep your NBA finals, your Superbowl, your World Series. LBJ, DWade, and Kobe agree: this is the biggest stage athletes will ever be on. And though the games are not without flaws, they remain faaaaar less tainted than that little bicycle tour through France, for instance, or the Barry Bonds Steroid Era from which baseball seemingly can't escape (though they're making progress?). And they come with faaaaar less drama, too. Wait, wait: I should be more specific, because there's plenty of drama in the Olympics (just watch those Morgan Freeman-narrated VISA ads). What the Olympics is blithely bereft of is the Brett Favre type of stuff. The contract negotiations. The "Manny Being Manny" (aka Manny Being an Idiot) junk that distracts from the game. All the Olympics have is pure, unadulterated SPORT, and it's breathtaking. Oh, and in case you were wondering: yes, I *do* cry every time the US wins something.
    • Some favorites: Obviously, I am in love with Michael Phelps. I think they take away your Social Security number if you don't like him. I personally am fascinated by his ears. They're quite spectacular. And that relay?? I mean, there's not much to be said about it without overdosing on exclamation points. If you haven't seen it, go find it now in the vast expanse of the interweb.
    • Synchronized Diving. The ability to do a two-and-a-half pike with a triple somersault at the exact same time as another human being off a ginormous platform into a comparatively tiny pool of water was never a quality I was sad to lack. Until now. I am blown away by this event. And I totally agree with one of the commentators who said something along the lines of, "Of course the Chinese excel at this sport." I mean, seriously, talk about precision. Did you see the Opening Ceremonies??
    • Speaking of said ceremonies: omg. We had some friends over to watch it, and about every three minutes, one of us would just exclaim, "CHINA!" in disbelief. Be afraid, America. Be very afraid. Somewhat related note: we successfully convinced one of our friends that dragons were real. Amazing.
I think I was making a list that contained elements other than the Olympics, but I honestly can't think about anything but the Games of the XXIX Olympiad. On another semi-related note, I am fascinated by the process where a city bids to become the Olympics host. I have no idea why this is so interesting to me. I guess it's because the cities bidding are always cities that I really want to visit (a list that includes just about every city in the world, so maybe that's not it...) Anyway, if you don't believe me, check my facebook: it's one of my interests. Right up there with Chipotle and flip-flops.

Our final TFA session is tomorrow. Hallelujah! Though, I must say that the past few days have been overwhelmingly more helpful. We're transitioning into the real, concrete stuff, blissfully moving out of the abstract. Yes, the abstract is important, but I'm ready to start making posters! And, you know... writing tests and stuff....

District orientation starts on Wednesday. No rest for the weary. I'll put up some sort of school-related post as soon as I stop living 100% Olympics.

'Til then, GO USA!

*Unless you count DDR as a sport. Some do.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Blog One-dot-Oh

Oh, hey. You'd thought I had forgotten you all, I'm sure. Well, in the words of Horace Slughorn, "Oho!" You're so wrong. Rather, I have spent the past X number of days moving into my house, making a mess of my room, spending lots of money at Charlotte's finest shopping establishments (Target, Wal-Mart, Harris Teeter, etc.) ((P.S: "Harris Teeter" is the name of the grocery store--how awesome is that?)) What I have *not* been doing, of course, is blogging. And for that, I apologize. However, I have taken a break from hanging bulletin boards and vacuuming and the like to assemble a list of Curiosities--things that have been percolating in my mind while I've been settling into life here.

Without further ado:
  1. The bug in my sink. Yes, this does sound like a book my fifth graders might be reading this year, but it is, in fact, NOT fiction. Every night around 10 pm, I walk into my bathroom and discover a very small, thin bug in my left-hand sink (why yes, I do have two sinks!) This has happened for 6 or 7 days now. I'm sorry to say that I usually flush him down the drain. Please don't tell PETA. I am curious if it is the same resilient bug every night (if so, he really needs to just drown already) or if there is a whole family residing somewhere in the bowels of our plumbing system. Will keep you posted.

  2. Security Questions. Today I had to do some very important financial what-have-yous, and they involved creating an online account with a bank. This being a bank (ideally, very secure), I had to choose not one, not two, but three security questions. And oh my, what a range. This wasn't your standard "Mother's Maiden Name" level of security. This was First Child's Baby Nickname (N/A), Place You Met Your Spouse (Also N/A), Street Your Childhood Best Friend Lived On (Applicable, but for the sake of security, I won't reveal!) level of security.
  1. The Way I Use Parentheses. I think I overuse them. Discuss. (Or don't) ((see??))
  1. Blogger's Numbering Mechanism. It is actually impossible to do a double-spaced numbered list, so I'm stuck with this bass-ackwards system. Apologies.

  2. "Course One-Dot-Oh." This is the online "class" we have to take for TFA right now. It's a bunch of readings and then a few exercises, and it's what we're all furiously working on this weekend (when we're not blogging and/or overusing parentheses, that is). In all our TFA literature, it's referred to as Course 1.0. There is a Course 2.0, in case you were wondering, but there is not a Course 1.5. Why not "Course 1" and "Course 2"? Why the .0? The other puzzling thing is how the entire staff says "Course One-dot-oh" instead of the more conventional "Course One-point-oh." Just something we've noticed*.
That's it. I should get back to One-dot-oh, I suppose. Or maybe finish unpacking. Either way, sorry about the lack of substantive updates. I'll placate you by saying that perhaps a video tour of my room will be in order soon? (Thanks, Carly for the idea!)


*"we" here refers to a group of Corps members, and is not--in a rare occurrence--the "royal we."**

**I think a sort-of-good/sort-of-bad name for a band (sogsobnfab) would be "Royal Wii." Like Nintendo Wii™.