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Gæð a wyrd swa hio scel
20 most recent entries

Date:2009-06-06 22:32
Subject:Mah Baby is (almost) bipedal!
Mood: excited

Ophelia and I were chilling after a few drinks at the bar. I had a few beers and she poured a glass of ice water over the table. Came home much after bed time, and rather than spend a few hours on SodaHead, I decided to focus all a hundred and ten percent of my expansive and short attention span on the baby.

We played Baby Blog, where she types on an old keyboard rather than mine ('cause the last time I let her use mine, it took me ten minutes to figure out how she changed a bunch of settings). We played Wild Rumpus. We played Growly Bear and Snoodle Dad and a few other things.

My energy level at this point in my life is not what it should be, mostly attributed to a life of surviving on coffee and not yet beginning the yoga videos sitting on the shelf, so I sat on the chair and watched her crawl about and try to unlatch the baby gate.

Then she stood up with the aid of the old Pier One floating chair -- one that bounces on the spring action of the curved wooden arms. Phe was fascinated with the hex bolts she now noticed for the third time ever, then turned to me. She was determined to share this information with dear (slightly drunk) dad, so she let go of the chair and took three very determined steps...

... to the left. Okay, that didn't work, so she crawled back over to the chair, whereupon she rediscovered those shiny bolts. Ophelia looks to me with the most bull-headed look I've ever seen in a ten-and-a-half month old baby, stood, and took five very careful and well thought-out steps toward me.

I was very surprised with just how deep, bellowing, and loud my exclamation was: "YEEEEEAAAAAAAHH!!"

No, seriously, the two other times I ever made a loud cheer of excitement in that same level of surprise and energy was when the Red Sox won the 2004 Series versus the Yankees, and when Obama was declared winner of the 2008 election. This one left them both far behind.

That's right, bitches: my child is now able to -- when she feels like it -- walk on two legs. At this point, four is faster, but still: the ability is there.

World domination in T - 3.5 years.

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Date:2009-04-28 08:36
Subject:The glass may be filled, but that's blood on the glasses
Mood: depressed

The icon is a photo taken by Yoko Ono of the glasses John lennon was wearing the evening he was murdered by Mark David Chapman next to half a glass of water and in front of John's beloved New York City.

With all the stubborness attributed to tragedy-damned Greek heroes, I remain focused on the fact that the glass is half-filled with water and half-filled with air. Focusing on the cold reality as a way to feign optimism only carries me so far; that same colf focus notes the splatter on the spectacles.

My summertime work options are winnowing thin. Poor word choice: "winnowing" implies a separation of good and bad. Rephrase: my summertime work options are evaporating. With the crumbling of the economy, there are a lot of people willing to pick up the short-term jobs and anything with enough flexability that would allow one to take in-class community college courses. That my work options are limited by my desire/need to try to finish my science qualifications so that I can enter AmeriCorps's Teach For America or the Denver Teaching Fellows, as well trying to leave next year's school year open for subbing, doesn't help matters any; employers are looking for commitment and high qualifications, neither of which I can guarantee.

I was finally given the information I needed to look into sumemrtime custodial work, only to find there is nothing available now. Hiring deadlines have passed.

Someone tipped me off to another earn-while-you-work teaching programs, and when I looked into it, the deadline held at May 27th... only for me to discover that that was a typo and the actual deadline was March 27th.

I'm investing too much of my time, energy and emotion in this current gig, and I'm getting fuck-all for return.

I need a cup of coffee and a shot of whiskey. I don't have availability to either one.

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Date:2009-04-25 17:29
Subject:Heaven gets a little more entertaining...
Mood: sad

Yep. Cancer.

Well, I'm depressed.

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Date:2009-04-16 08:56
Subject:Iwannit iwannit iwannit
Mood: excited

Maybe not the entire reason I'm getting into science teaching -- but definitely part -- is that I can get away with looking batshit crazy. Teaching math or English? you're all but expected to have a brown tweed blazer with leather patches on the elbows. Maybe even a bowtie. But science? You can look completely off your nut, and people will look and say "Wow, he must be a great science teacher because he looks like a lunatic."

I haven't yet found the perfect labcoat yet, but I did find these. If anyone wins Powerball and is looking for a relatively cheap way to honor my dedication to tomorrow's future leaders, allow me to present the Halcyon Mark 49 Antique Goggles (shown in brown leather):

They price around $75 American.

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Date:2009-04-09 19:20
Subject:You've watched it. You can't *un*watch it!

Barack Roll - The best bloopers are here

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Date:2009-03-31 09:37
Subject:*Access Denied*

The school's web nanny blocks access to cites officially listed as "R-Rated". Okay: that's cool. I can dig it.

It also blocks access to "video sharing" sites (chiefly YouTube).

Do you know how freakin' hard it is to find a video of someone dropping sodium into water that doesn't link itself to a video-sharing site? Gah.

(Okay, so it takes twelve minutes, plus three to download onto a flash drive, but that's fifteen minutes I could have spent doing something else, like posting a longer quick update.)

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Date:2009-03-30 13:37
Mood: drained

:for not writing much of late. I've been ridiculously busy, and then absurdly absent in those breaks I do receive.

I haven't much to report. The baby has a tooth out (lower right incisor) and she's able to stand on her own for a few moments, utilizing the Elmer Fudd Principle of Unawareness.

The weather's warming up (not that it was ever really that cold in Colorado; God I miss having notable seasons). Hopefully I'll be able to find time to work more on my damned novel, which I began with the fullest of intentions to be a simple and straightforward, only to have it mutate into something so abstract I have difficulty turning concept into actual pages. Presented simply: I wanted to write a first-person novel about a Holden Caufield-esque narrator learning to cope with life by becoming more like his Don Quixote-esque coworker; I am currently writing a liminal literary collage juxtaposing semi-ergodic non-narrative and postmodern-romantic reinterpretation on the themes of escapsim being a healthy device. Part of me wants to surrender because I have no idea what I'm doing, and part of me realizes that that summary is almost pretentious enough to sell on merit.



Back to grading paperwork.

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Date:2009-03-12 14:27
Subject:The Fates are Watching...
Mood: apathetic

While in the throes of having a craptacular day, I decided to see what Merriam-Webster's listed as their word of the day:

The Word of the Day for March 12, 2009 is:
acedia • \uh-SEE-dee-uh\ • noun
: apathy, boredom

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Date:2009-02-27 16:37
Subject:A list of depressing things
Mood: depressed

* It's 4:45 PM on Friday, and I'm still at work trying to get grades together
* Melissa and Ophelia are in Arizona, so I'm all by my lonesome at home
* Only 30% of my students could correctly identify the parts of an atom
* Puppies committing suicide because nobody loves them
* Average grade: 46%


If I can hurry, I can make Happy Hour at Park Tavern

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Date:2009-02-05 09:46
Subject:I know I'm high-strung, but this is ridiculous
Mood: working

[By the way, I'm trying to remember that I have icons for different modes; for those of you deprived of culture during the 80s, "The Greatest American Hero" (William Katt) -- when he wasn't a bumbling superhero with a curly perm -- had his dayjob as an urban high school teacher.]

Thurdays are teacher development days: a long interdepartmental meeting, then a day of half-hour classes. I'm sitting there, taking notes of SIOP and ELA strategies, drinking my coffee-flavored Bevarine (with Creamium), when an Administrator begins asking on my qualificationms and credentials. I get a little nervous -- I'm subbing HS Chemistry without having yet taken my college-level Chemistry class. As the meeting gets out, she looks to me with a straight and serious face and asks to not be in such a rush, to hold back a moment. "I think we need to talk."

I'm about to shit a litter of kittens thinking I'm going to be exposed as a fraud or something, and when she realizes that she'll be busy for a few moments and sends me on my way ("We'll come find you"), that anxiety isn't alleviated. The Department Head has a much different, far more up-beat expectation that frankly dind't occur to me: they're looking for a loophole around the system to maximize my time here as well as my pay.


... And I just got done talking with the HR and Prinicpal; apparently they want me on as permenantly as they can manage. Now that means following my earlier plan of so many days on, a few days off, so many more days on, but now I have the principal of the school wanting to write me a letter of rec to see if I can recieve something closer to the long-term sub pay (not that he knows what good it will do).

Now that I quit smoking, the only thing I can think of counterbalance the endorphins and cortisol is nice espresso. Pity I spent my planning period writing this, eh?

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Date:2009-02-03 09:57
Subject:I ♥ Teaching; I ♠ The System

Well, neither is technically true, but it makes for a cute title.

I'm currently subbing in a science position -- HS Chemistry -- where the original teacher vacated, leaving a bunch of kids up in the air. As I don't have a teaching license, I can't be permenantly hired into this spot, nor can I obtain a long-term subbing license (which pays much nicer). As I lack the long-term status, I can't work longer than 14 consecutive days. But as I am compelled to provide this bastards some stability and consistency, what I can do is juke the system: work 14 days, take a few days off, then return for another 14 days, repeating this cycle until they can get a full-time hire. I'm working with the Department head in coming up with lesson plans and an ad-hoc grading system.

I don't know if this is a sign that I am committed or that I need to be committed.

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Date:2009-01-24 19:19
Subject:For the SubGeniuses out there

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Date:2009-01-20 20:23


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Date:2009-01-09 10:31
Subject:Substituting Business Ed.
Mood: crappy

(Apologies for not having the block(s) of time needed to write a decent post.)

I'm subbing Business Ed (Marketing) at North HS.
(-) Apparently the teacher has some chronic ailment and has less-than-stellar attendance.
(-) No sub plans.
(-) No emergency sub plans.
(-) No notes or syllabus.
(-) No rosters.
(-) No assistant or partnered teacher.
(-) No textbook.
(-) Today is the first day of this class for this semester.
(-) I can't find anything from last semester to peek at.
(-) Most of the kids in this class are taking this as a flex-math credit and have no business marketing goals or desires.
(-) I am not the first sub to be run through the meat grinder, apparently.

I desperatly need coffee. Irish coffee with Jameson and brown sugar if I want to get through today.

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Date:2008-12-09 22:29
Subject:Quick baby pic

(I know I'm a zillion posts behind, but my ability to adequately manage time feels like a jack o'lantern two weeks into November.)

Bib by antarcticlust

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Date:2008-11-14 20:27
Subject:I really ought to have been warned.
Mood: drained

I understand the inherent risks of substitute teaching, at least insofar as the variety of specialty and charter schools go. I also understand that it is possible for me to go online and look at the websites of check out the profile of the different schools in the district. But still, I do feel it rather pertinent need-to-know information if a school I'm scheduled to work at is designed to teach juvenile offenders and students expelled from other schools.

It's not that I couldn't handle that sort of commitment, but it certainly does require a different attitude walking through the door as a "normal" high school. It's a little disorientating when I find out that (at least) three of my first-period students had ankle bracelets on (and not for fashion, either) or the barely-hundred-pound Latina talking about the fight that landed her in this school and how she might have continued stabbing the other girl but for that popping feeling with the knife punctures skin.

Really, a heads up would have been nice.

Times I'm glad I live two blocks from a bar...

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Date:2008-11-06 07:22
Subject:Oh, what a beautiful morning...
Mood: hopeful

First post-election, non-hungover morning. I awoke refreshed, with this running through my head:

You're welcome ;)

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Date:2008-11-04 22:49
Subject:America! Fuck Yeah!
Mood: drunk

* Jameson chased with Arrogant Bastard Ale is like fucking a light socket.

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Date:2008-11-04 11:23
Subject:Oh, one other thing:

If you allow today to pass without having cast a vote, I will send Mr. B. to your house to pummel your genitals.

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Date:2008-11-04 10:47
Subject:Rant (Not Election-Related)
Mood: irate

('Cause I voted last week; that's how much I trust the Colorado Elections board.)

Anyway, I'm writing this at lunch while subbing 6th grade Science. Though I could talk about the untapped energy resource that are middle school kids and how they could easily supply the energy needs for six Las Vegases, or headscratch at the Latino culture that appears to embrace insubordinate behavior among young males, or even ponder at the continued existence of many-times overdubbed VHS tapes in a world of digital conversion and/or DVD purchases (and how I feel little guilt about the possibility of pirating an $80 disc), I would rather spend a few minutes discussing grammar.

I know that spelling and grammar are easily taken for granted these days; after all, why bother learning the rote usages of gerunds when there is usually a red or green squiggle to indicate errors? Who really pays attention to proper punctuation? Isn't it more important that we communicate our point than nitpick the vehicle these ideas take?

To everything there is season, and a time for every purpose under Heaven. A time to write a quick blog and a time to review carefully what has been written; a time to underscore and a time to strikethrough; a time to check spelling and a time to leave "as is"; a time to correctly use apostrophes and a time to risk being beaten half to death because that shit drives me up the goddamn wall.

To make matters worse: it's not the students doing this that causes me to skip what smells like tater tots in a paper tray with ketchup-flavored corn syrup and sodium; it is the teacher. He has notes on the whiteboard reminding students to include the name of the "aurthor" of a book (one class) or asking how many eggs an "octopuss" lays, what "baby Tasmanian Devil's" are called, or (most grating) how the "CooCoo bird" fools other birds.

Have our standards sunk so low that flat-screen television sets are standard, but decent spelling and punctuation are optional?

Look, I know most people aren't that anal about these things. Not everybody reads the dictionary for fun, I get that, but do we really need to be wasting our apparently-limited faculties memorizing the starting line-up on this season's "Dancing with the Stars"? I'm to the point where I contemplate breaking into the Denver Zoo, hijacking a baboon, teaching it to recognize improper apostrophe usage, and training it to summarily pummel the genitals of repeat offenders. I will give him a red bowtie and spectacles and call him Mr. B., which will be short for "Bitch-slap Yo' Ass If You Use That Grammar Again".

(Notice how I represented the missing letters in "your" with an apostrophe. This is to cue people that I'm using an abbreviated form of the second-person possessive pronoun rather than the common interjection based on the Spanish first-person pronoun.)

Mr. B. will also assist me in training students not to use Internet, TXT, and LOLspeak word forms in their papers.

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