may day eve

i will be going to school tomorrow. just letting you know.

i will be there in the hopes that some of the latino kids show up, and when they do we will discuss hr4437 and i will share these articles:

canadian immigration siezes girls

so who hires day laborers outside home depot, anyway?

fears of immigration roundups affecting businesses

yo no soy capitan, yo soy marinero

also, since (i think) only two kids in fourth period algebra 2 are latino, i am showing up to instruct them in the fundamental counting principle. i am excited! as much as i hate probability, i really love it. does that make sense? uh, no. love/hate relationships rarely make sense, i guess. also, i am starting to film for the PACT event. fun. :-|

i am not looking forward to traffic tomorrow. we're out of dog food, too, so i will need to make purchases at such white establishments as petco. oh! which reminds me of another story (via fark): illegal alien puppy gets US amnesty, now doesnt that just warm the cockles of your heart? these minute men will show more heart to a dog that to a human being. you know what i call that? i call that being a dick. not that im surprised. *le sigh*

i feel really good about everything today.

i am pleased to announce that today went extraordinarily well. the kids were cooperative, engaged and interested.

J, the kid who gives me the most headaches (on average) has made a 180° turn. he is eager to go to the smart board and graph lines. he lives for plotting points. this is not the J from 3 weeks ago. anyway, so today, he was acting up at during the first few minutes of class. i sent him outside. 3 minutes later, he knocks on the door and says, "ok miss, im ready to come in now." after that, he was perfect. he volunteers for a problem. "ok: go to the board," i say. in a beautiful moment of twilight zone-esque situation comedy, he starts by making a t-bar chart to find the x and y values. as hes describing his steps, the other kids in class start talking and not paying attention to him. he says, "hey everyone, im trying to do a problem here!" pause. ... the light bulb literally went on over his head, and he looked at me, sheepishly. and he said, "oh." and he said, "miss, it sucks when i'm up here and they dont pay attention." ms. vasquez smiled behind her desk. i smiled at J. i said, "how does it make you feel?" he said, "it hurts my feelings." but he realized the irony: when the kids did it again a little later, he imitated me, sat down in the chair next to the smart board and said, "i can wait all day too, guys." classic.

do i think this will change Js behaviour forever and ever, always and constantly? uh, no. but that glimmer of empathy is a star! ah, faint ray of hope! beam of reason and bright light of knowledge ! could it be? ah, yes! perhaps J has exited the cave, been blinded by the dazzling light! now, is he ready to go back in and share his discoveries? will the shadows on the cave wall be denounced as frauds? what a long way we have still.

unrelated to all this: enough is enough; please just change the subject.

PS: let's all move to bellingham, washington

all my symptoms have disappeared.

having gotten home, showered, and having just now eaten a peanut butter sammich with a tall glass of malk (hey i drink plenty of... malk?) i can write while i watch svu. i went back to teaching today, feeling fresh as pure snow. first period was well, we went over graphing using the intercepts, and i am pleased to discover that the kids are THRILLED TO PIECES about cartsian graphing. ok, so they're still shaky on the pemdas process, but they love coordinate points! so theyre doing great. homework? still a dream i have at night. but participation is at an all-time high: the smart board and the white board are fought over! the kids are tripping over themselves to go up to it. "miss, i wanna do this one!" oh goodness, i never thought id hear this from the first period group.

so for the "exceptional students" class i take on tuesdays, we had to fill out a "student support team" survey, where we ask the sst leader all sorts of questions about which framework is set up. anyway, so afterbeing bounced from one office to another, i finally land in the cunselors office. as i am waiting to speak to the friendly receptionist, this student walks in, full of sound and fury, spitting attitude to aforementioned receptionist. she calms him down, explaining she needs to understand his problem because she wants to help. she succeeds. anyway, i was thinking, "why was he so rude to the nice lady?" so she asks me what i need and tells me to wait for the person i needed to see, one of the counselors. so, wearing my 'faculty" badge proudly, i go in to ask this man whether he can help me answer the questions. he says indeed he is the man i need to speak to but that he is busy at the moment. fair enough. i ask him if there is a time when i could come back and get the information i need, whether this week or the next. and HE SNAPS AT ME and says, "look, i dont have time to answer your ridiculous questions!" ... so at this point, i think, no wonder that kid came in spitting attitude. if this is the kind of response he gives to his peers, i shudder to think how he treats the students he "counsels." and no wonder so many kids dont want to seek advice. look i know: yes they are overworked; yes they are short-staffed: but fuck SO ARE TEACHERS. and there is no way in hell i could speak to ANYONE in the school like that without getting reprimanded. bottom line: what a dick.

so that took up so much time, i didnt really work with fourth period today, but today my guiding teacher was still in running the class, since i was still taking it easy. today was the first symptom-less day, so i needed to be careful and not over-exert myself. anyway. im excited about tomorrow.

oh yeah

and what the fuck is wrong with omaha?

today is sunday and most of my symptoms have disappeared

i am still stuffy and my throat is still scratchy and sore, but other than that, im ok. i find it difficult to concentrate on anything for a prolonged period of time... which reminds me, i have laundry... BRB... (hahahah, as if you, gentle reader, can read this in real time) ... i am planning on going to teach tomorrow, but i do not think i will be able to lead the class. just thinking about talking like that makes me start coughing!

i would like to share some links that the honorable stephen "stinger" orsinger mailed to me.

the first is absolutely beautiful, and is the epitome of spirals everywhere. the golden ratio? no! archimedes' spiral? no! the number spiral!

the second is supremely sublime, and is better than beethoven, bach, chopin or shostakovich. heresy, you say? but you don't have to take my word for it!

and finally, i know that steve-o sent me this page because of the city of los angeles high school mathematics proficiency exam. having navigated around, i can assure you that the home page of this dood leads to all sorts of wonderful and amazing math stuffs.

c'est tout!

my flu relapsed

when i woke up yesterday, i started feeling ill again. i powered through it, thinking it was no big deal, but by the time i drove home to catch the #20 into campus, i felt terrible. i sleepwalked (sleptwalked?) through the classes that day. the bf picked me up, since we had planned on going to this art opening but since i felt so terrible, we just went home and i slept. my fever broke at about 3am but its been coming back. dayquil tastes terrible, but is still better than nyquil. anyway. i didnt go in to school today but i am feeling better. i dunno if ill make i tomorrow. i think the illness i had previously never really went away but was just in remission. gah. i had to miss class at ucla too. could it be stress? the bf found a bald spot the size of a nickel. omg, maybe im just getting old and busted.

first day back

first period: my guiding teacher gave a test on the day before spring break let out. she let the kids take it home to work on during the break. three turned it in that day: we corrected them and told them to work on it during class and that it was homework. she had reviewed for a whole week and told them that the test would be given: still, today we had to hand out 10 tests to kids who were mysteriously absent that day. ... i want to be able to say that i am the failure: that somehow my inexperience is to blame for their poor performance. yet, given the facts, i cannot. i am certain that these kids are the very ones who will wind up as drop-out statistics. they have made up their minds to give up, and i dont know if my endeavors can triumph over strong-willed teenagers. i can only focus my attention on the kids who have not entirely given up: there are too many kids in these high schools who do need the attention.

which brings us to fourth period: talk about a difference! like night and day. first period is alg 1, and fourth is alg 2. i think the difference in attitude can be attributed mainly to two things: (1) that these kids are older, mostly 11th graders, so they have a better sense of their academic obligations. they have developed a sense of self-discipline: they have goals established. they want to graduate high school, get an academic scholarship, go to college. they are at worst simply resigned to math as a necessary prerequisite to reaching these goals. (2) all the kids that are like period 1 either never make it to alg 2 or have dropped out by now. sad to put it like that, huh? but thats the truth of the matter.

anway, chew on these mathematical contradictions. i remember mr. bremer got me a shirt of the 1=2 problem at some math conference. chris howe borrowed it once sophomore year at sjc and i never saw it again. man, i loved that shirt. id wear it to bed and have escher dreams.

something i should have done over the break, but didn't

i pretty much ignored my obligations for that period of time, and i think my mental health thanks me. tomorrow begins again, nay, continues following a brief hiatus, my commitment to education. the illness i had the week before really kicked my ass and i was feeling it well into spring break itself, so i don't really feel i had an "actual" break, also considering i still had class at ucla. anyway, i enjoyed playing video games for a few days and going to the lakers game today.

as far as something i should have mentioned during the break, but didnt, and now feels like old news is that a comment i made on bOINGbOING got posted. some of you have visited this humble little blog as a result, which is nice. please share this blog with other educators; i welcome feedback of all kinds (english teachers, plz refrain from pointing out i dont capitalize and that my punctuation is inconsistent. at least my spelling is impeccable). for those of you who know me and are reading this because i urge you to, thanks to you too. ive been getting all sorts of encouragement from youse guyse, and believe me when i tell you that it makes me feel better about what i'm dealing with and going through. awwww. hugs all around.

also, i just bought a copy of and still we rise: the trials and triumphs of 12 gifted inner-city students which was written about kids at Crenshaw. i dont want to mention any schools by name, especially not mine, but then I fucked up and mentioned mine in the boingboing post. oops. so yeah, its [redacted]. anwyay. regular posting begins again tomorrow. stay tuned: same bat-time, same bat-channel.

more spring break. still ill.

this past week, beginning april 2, i fell ill. i havent been in all week. i feel better today (friday) but i still feel like butt. next week is lausd's spring break, so posting here will be irregular. also, my internet was down, which is now back up. pardon me, im going to go lie in bed and play with my DS and cuddle with the dog. *cough cough wheeze*