2 Days of CELDT

We administered the California English Language Development Test over the last two days. Blecch.

Basically, it's a test designed to evluate the progress which "Limited English Proficient" students are (not) making.

There are several parts, like reading and writing, but we administered the speaking part. We provide prompts, and the students have to provide a specific reply.

There's a section where they identify objects using visual clues. It's amazing how many students say "lawyer" when shown a picture of a judge. It is also amazing how many students cannot identify a beaker from science class.

It was really repetitive. I could recite the script by heart.

I had a sub for the two days I was doing testing. The sub yesterday was OK. The sub today lacked classroom management and "somehow" two of my graphing calculators turned up missing in second period. Ooh, I am going to tear into them tomorrow.

Remind me not to assume substitutes are capable. Yecch.

Happy New Year!

How I am spending my Rosh Hashanah holiday:

In bed 'til noon. ... This was foiled by a parent calling me at 7:30 and wondering whether it was true that the students didn't have to come in today.

Watching episodes of Law & Order until 2 pm. Sitting on the couch. Drinking iced tea. Playing with the files on my hard drive. Looking over the lesson plan for tomorrow.

Leaving the house at 2 pm to meet the boy, who shall be taking off from work a few hours early. Then off to Disneyland.

Putzing around, trying to get on the Nemo Subs (hopefully the line will be short!), until dinner time, when we head over to the Blue Bayou (AKA: the restaurant inside Pirates). Topping off the experience with a smoothie from the Tiki Room.

Gah. And then school tomorrow.

Odds are not too many kids show up tomorrow, cos thats just how it is.

09/05: Never Forget

Ah, the first day of school.

I think things went smoothly enough. There is currently one working copier available to teachers. Another one is made sporadically available. The rest of the machines are (as one teacher said) "guarded jealously by the clerical staff as if the machines were their first-born." I was told I need to get there "no later than" 7:30 am in order to make copies for tomorrow. Luckily for me, I;m usually there by 7:00 am. Ah, dedication, you'll be the death of me yet.

The day went rather smoothly. All in all, I look forward to the year. I do, after all, love what I do.

I can already tell which kids are gonna give me a hard time, though. It's the same kids who gave me a hard time last year. Ah, but do not despair. I've had a couple of kids really turn their life around, even if it's two or three years later. It is never to late for them, and as long as that hope is there, I won't give up.

. . . I feel like I need the Fark "sappy" tag on this post.

Buy Back Day: 1

As a way to detail further all the shit I have to tolerate as an LAUSD employee, I thought I would share the song that my bosses played today. According to them, it will serve as "our theme for the year." Like to hear it? Here it goes.

Ain't no stoppin' us now,
We're on the move.(We're on the move)
Ain't no stoppin' us now,
We got the groove.(We got the groove)
There's been so many things that held us down,
But now it looks like things are finally comin' around.
I know we've got a long long way to go,
And where we'll end up I don't know.
But we won't let nothin' hold us back.
We're puttin' our show together, we're polishin' our act.
Well, if you've ever been held down before
I know you'd refuse to be held down anymore.
Don't you let nothin' nothin' stand in your way,
I want y'all to listen listen to ev'ry word I say, ev'ry word I say.
Ain't no stoppin' us now,
We're on the move.(We're on the move)
Ain't no stoppin' us now,
We got the groove.(We got the groove)
Ain't no stoppin' us now,
We're on the move.(We're on the move)
Ain't no stoppin' us now,
We got the groove.(We got the groove)

Gun, forehead. Forehead, gun.

On the bright side? I advanced a few more chapters in William Gibson's Spook Country.

nobody stole your cell phone

yesterday, right before school was to let out, a student told me that his cell-phone was missing out of his bag. he was upset. he was frantic. he was worried about the phone numbers of "all his ladies", and he was certain someone in the room had it.

(these students have me all day. so, there are no people trickling in and out. all the people who arrived, were still there at that moment. "that's some nice police work, there, lou.")

i told him to chill out, that we still had some work to do, and that i was calling the dean. i can search the students belongings, but cannot under any circumstances search their person: this is a bad idea even if the students give permission-- mostly because a student can still say you "touched" them during the search, and i dont want a multi-million fucking dollar lawsuit on my hands thanxverymuch.

i called down to the dean's office, whose handlers assured me would be up shortly. as we waited for over a HALF FUCKING HOUR, i searched their backpacks and purses. nothing.

as my natives grew more and more restless, i allowed them to call their parents to explain the situation, but none of them could leave until the dean searched them. finally the student calls his mother.

" hey mom. i'm still at school. we gotta search everybody because i think someone took my phone. yeah. uh huh. ok. thanks for telling me that."


"... guys: my mom says i left my phone at home."

as he bolted out the door, a collective groan went up, but a single person laughed: me.

today, the student showed up with capri-suns in an effort to reconcile with his classmates. he then stood up and apologized. what a mark of character!

funny. the other teachers and i were betting he wouldn't show today. how pleasantly surprised we all were. he gave us capri-suns too.

my first post in nearly a year is about piss

specifically, this post is about the piss i found in the math dept. supply room as i was leaving school today.

as i was walking to the stairs, i noticed that there was a single book at the top of the stairs, apparently carelessly mislaid or dropped by a student. i noted its lack of a barcode (hmm, not the school's then) and then noticed its esoteric subject matter: some treatise or another on muti-variable algebra. as i picked it up, i wondered how this ever got out of the math room.

as i walked back towards the supply room, i said hello to the maintenance crew, fixing the water fountain. they told me they needed to access the sink in the supply room, so to please leave the door ajar. when i got to the supply room, i noticed all the cabinet doors were open, and that a couple of books were on the floor.

when i entered, i smelt the pungent odor of piss, like that belonging to someone who doesnt drink enough water and too much soda, sick and fermented piss.

as i traced its foul origin, i discovered its source must have pissed on a stack of algebra books in the corner, books once destined for student hands, now tainted by the yellow fluid. the stream ran from the top of the books, flowed down the side, then pooled at the base of a cabinet, making a large puddle.

i questioned the maintenance men, who said they had seen "an old guy in a hat" inside the office, but had not seen anyone "suspicious," and that they had certainly not seen any students, the usual perpetrators of such a crime. however, as nothing was vandalized, destroyed or out of place, i doubt the crime was committed by a student. no, old guy in a hat is prime suspect no. 1.

suspect no. 2 is the maintenance guy himself.