Why So Serious?

So, today was the first day of school. I always get nervous on the first day, but then, who doesn’t? New school, new students, new joys, new problems. Ultimately, i think it went well. I had fun with the kids, and while my class sizes are bigger than I would like, they seem bearable.It really was a great day. Well, it was, until I found out this happened:

Apparently, one student stabbed another with a pencil, and I was not aware of it until the mother called the school threatening to call the cops. Sigh. I am so going to love 8th graders.

Yes. Money has been a little tight lately. But, at the end of my life, when I’m sitting on my yacht, am I gonna be thinking about how much money I have? No. I’m going to be thinking about how many friends I have, and my children, and my comedy albums. I mean, I have a yacht, so I obviously did pretty well money-wise.

Well, today was the last day of pre-planning. Naturally, the county decided we would have a 3 hour training that involved watching 30 second videos that literally took five minutes to load because everybody was trying. Literally.

So I guess that happens everywhere. Which is a very good omen for the future.On a positive note, I met with a very nice woman in the county office who is going to make sure I get paid for my MEd. The state, for some stupid reason, said I only had a BA, and demanded I submit a form, because my transcript was not enough to prove I had an Masters. They literally rejected my transcript. Literally.

So now, I just need to get my old county to send me back a form I emailed them with verification of my years of employment. Because of course they shorted me on that too. But it is coming along. I WILL get my money!

(note: the above video in no way is intended to threaten harm on any person or organization. I’m too pretty for prison)

And, at last, the kids come on Thursday. I am so excited. I practiced my lesson/intro this morning, and I hope it goes well. My plan is to have them working with partners to explore my classroom and find 8 to 10 specific objects that can be used to learn about me. This is building off the traditional brown bag activity, and touches on using artifacts to study history and culture. While they do this, I take roll and pass out books! I hope it works!

“Captain Jack is gone. In five minutes, this ship is going to be at the bottom of the lake! And there aren’t enough spaces on the lifeboat! Who are we gonna save? Do we save sales? Do we save customer service? Do we save accounting?”

Sooo. I learned two things today. One: there are, apparently, earthquakes in Raleigh North Carolina. Two: middle school kids are smaaaaallllll, even the 8th graders. I was really concerned about breaking one. I think I met about 80 to 85 of my students today, which is about half of my student load. Really, it was pretty nice; they seemed excited, though honestly, some of my attempts to joke with them led to them apologizing to me, so, yeah, need to work on that. Even had one kid excited that I was a Gator, as he is working (already, in 8th grade) to acceptance into UF. I also have a gamecock. Enough said about that one.
Now, the earthquake. Well, it was weird. I was sitting at my desk creating a powerpoint about the Tidewater region (fascinating stuff, really) when the trailer started to shake. My first thought was ‘wow, I am so awesome I can make the earth move.’ Then I realized that I tend to only make the earth move for one other person in my life, so that probably wasn;t it. Then I thought, ‘hey, I’m in a trailer. They have tornadoes. Am I gonna die, or at least end up in a magical technicolor land of talking cowardly lions and empty headed scarecrows?’ Then I realized that would mean having to land in the Capitol building in DC, and so hoped otherwise. THEN I realized, ‘hey, it’s an earthquake! Awesome.’ On top of the hurricane that is supposed to hit this weekend and the tornadoes that came through recently, I am sooooooo glad to be out of Florida. Ha.

I am looking forward to the kids on Thursday. I think it is going to be an awesome start to the year, and I am excited about the lessons I have planned! And, best of all….I get to drive down and see my women this weekend. As long as, you know, the hurricane doesn’t wipe the roads.

I live in a 9-bedroom farmhouse. I have my own crossbow range. Itโ€™s the perfect situation for me, although two bathrooms would have been nice. We just have the one…and it’s under the porch.

So I went to look at houses today. Oh boy. Yeah, see, I don’t think that I want to get a house that has had the appliances literally ripped out of the kitchen. I mean ripped out: lights, fridge, stove, dishwasher. Everything but the kitchen sink. There is a joke in there somewhere, but I am not drunk enough to figure out what it is.
Randy Newmann once sang that short people have no reason to live. In similar vein, I do think that short sales have no reason to be on the list of houses I look at. Why is it called a short sale? It takes twice as long and can end up with you losing the house anyway. It’s like calling a huge stretch of ice and rock, I don’t know, Greenland, or like saying that you had to deal with Russia because you share a strait. Both things misrepresent reality to tease you into false hopes. If I wanted that, I would root for the Dolphins this season. And that would be simply silly.
I did see some nice houses near our price point, more or less. 3 or 4 bedrooms, 2 and half baths, extra room for my office or M.’s play area. I look forward to exploring the area and the neighborhoods in the next few weeks. Ultimately, I would love to have a place in process by the end of next month. I love the folks I am staying with, but I need my heart and soul here with me. Skype is great, but it just isn’t the same. And sometimes you dial the wrong number and see things you shouldn’t, and that is just wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

Do I want to be feared or loved? Thatโ€™s a good question. I want both. I want people to be afraid of how much they love me!

So it’s Friday! Anyone else happy as all heck? I know I am. Hoping to go out and look at some houses this weekend, though I am waiting to hear back from the agent. I am missing the most important parts of me.

The Two Most Important Things in My Life

If you see them, please make sure they get up to me soon.

We went to a meeting/rally today with the superintendent. This is the Superintendent. He seems willing to listen, and is quite enthusiastic about his work and engaging with the teachers. We shall see. I have hopes that he will do well. But we shall see.

One thing that surprised me was the grade scale in the county. It is, to say the least, hard core.
A = 94-100
B = 85-93
C = 77-84
D = 70-76
BELOW 70 is F

What do you think?

Have a great weekend. Talk to you later! ๐Ÿ™‚

After Altamira, All is Decadence

So, hi, yeah, I’m back. Idiot me left my computer in my trailer and so was a bit deprived recently. But I am here now, so, hey, yay for me. It has been quite the week so far. I got my trailer mostly decorated. Of course, no social studies classroom would be complete without representations of truth, justice, and sacrifice, as seen below:

The Truth, The Justice, and the American Way

Now, I also made sure to put up the most important symbols of liberty, freedom, and justice. Symbols that mean so much to us as Americans and as lovers of right and good.

Symbols of the Greatness of This Country

I have a mentor who put a century of newspapers hanging from his ceiling. It was incredible; you could literally see history hanging from the rafters. I can never be the teacher that he is, but to this day, I make sure to show students that primary sources never die, that news never gets old, and that always, always, always we will learn from those who came before of only we read and study who they were in there own words.

News of the World…without the Murdoch influence

Creating my classroom made me feel like I was becoming part of the school and of the community. I really do like my trailer. It is big, it is bright, and best of all, it has no asbestos problem. And no one is asking to take it from me, or likely to steal it from me. ๐Ÿ˜‰