Thursday, June 24, 2004

And of course, I visited Gretchen around Tae Kwon Do. Her golden retriever puppy is cute. It's so funny - it'll bite, but it's so small, or maybe just so friendly, that it doesn't bite down. So I'm standing there saying "No, don't bite," and shaking a finger with one hand, while my other hand is firmly in its mouth.
Wow, I was tired last night. I went to bed around 1:30 exhausted, and slept until 11 a.m. without even trying. It's weird - normally eight hours is more than enough for me.

But it's really no mystery, either. Yesterday I mowed the lawn in the afternoon. Then I biked to the garage to get my sister's car back from the routine tuneup - and had a healthy dose of terror when I tried to put my bike in the back seat and got grease all over it. Luckily, a combination of some foamy stuff the garage had, Citrasolv, Fantastik, and elbow grease got it out. It's not spotless, but you won't see it unless you know what you're looking for. After that I went to Tae Kwon Do, and they started with sparring. And when I finally got home mom and dad invited me to come to the open house at the college observatory, and I took the stairs up to the telescopes instead of the elevator. Three flights of stairs, taken two at a time after a brisk walk because it was due to close fifteen minutes after I got there. Mowing, panic, Tae Kwon Do, walk/stairclimbing. So the point is... I shouldn't be surprised that I was tired last night.

Everyone in the house is working hard today, getting ready for houseguests tonight and a trip tomorrow. Tomorrow we all leave to go up to Quebec City for this week-long family reunion.

I hope we're near a theater that's showing Spider-Man 2 when it opens on June 30.

Monday, June 21, 2004

And of course, how could I forget Friday night. I met Jo and we went to a party at Paul and Kendra's (friends of friends in Rutland.) I don't remember too much of it - it was that kind of party. But it was fun. I met interesting and entertaining people, but except for a classy entrance (parking diagonally to everyone else), I was far from the life of the party. Oh well; it's not me.

Jo and I spent the night there. We left early in the morning so I could meet mom and dad in Bethel to go to the twin's graduation. I was early, of course. Or rather, they were late leaving.

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Been a while, hasn't it. It's been all too easy for me to get forgetful or whatever. Computer games are a time sink: no matter how much time I put in, I could always put in more if I don't make myself do otherwise.

So, the last couple weeks in brief: I finished subbing pretty uneventfully. One kid is probably mad about getting a 50 on an important project, but he committed blatant plagiarism, so I had to do something.

As I said, I wasn't interested in teaching before, and after having had a little experience even with only the easy part of the job (designing lesson plans, lecturing, grading, dealing with discipline and special ed - I had to do little or nothing of all those), I'm still not interested in teaching as a long-term profession. However, I am sort of... curious. Because there's stuff I learned at Fair Haven, but too late. All kinds of stuff about how to deal with people, and how to lecture and what one should and shouldn't assume. The biggest example of what I'm talking about is just that I graded those Powerpoint presentations really leniently because there were things I didn't realize I should have taught them, or decisions that got made at the last minute because I had to think hard and get advice. And now that I have learned stuff about how to teach (those subjects and just in general as well), the school year is over.

I've gone through two graduations in the past week. My sister graduated from high school last Saturday, and my twin cousins graduated today/yesterday. Saturday the 20th. (I can never figure out how to talk about the date when I'm writing at like 1 in the morning.) Their respective parties were fun. And between both the parties and the family reunion that starts next week, I'll see more of my family this month than I do most years. Fun. Hopefully they won't...

Well, I started to write "hopefully they won't get too annoying" or something equally trite, but it's not even accurate. When family gets on each others' nerves these days, I usually respond by leaning back and laughing at the show. It rarely affects me. Other people get annoyed. There are no shortage of things that set me off, of course, it's just that they don't share my last name. I do run the serious risk of getting bored, though. What the hell are we going to do in Quebec City for a whole week? When/if that happens I'll either nod absently at the same advice my aunts and uncles have given me for six years, or I'll just act very antisocial by trying to catch up on my reading despite constant interruptions. Come to think of it, that would probably be even worse than being annoyed. But on the other other hand, at least it's a change of scenery. Getting away from my games would be good.

That brings up a question I've asked myself before: why not just get rid of the games? Because I've found more than once before that the problem is not games but procrastination. Playing games of some kind or another is less expensive and space-consuming than going out and buying a novel every time I have a little time to kill. And I'm looking for a job, but still, nothing would prevent me from having some free time in my life.

I should get to some self-improvement, though. Polish those stories to sell, plan out some more of my Fantasy Novel Epic, go to the gym... There's no time like the present.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

I've just spent a free period grading a few PowerPoint presentations. The class is now quietly listening to music or playing computer games. Technically we should be studying for exams, but the class is Computer Applications. The exam is on Microsoft Excel, Access, Powerpoint, and using the Internet. Access I'm not qualified to teach about since I've never used it in my life, PowerPoint they just spent more than a week using so they're about as ready for that as they're going to get, the Internet is what most of them are using right now, even if it's not for the research they'll be asked about on the exam, and Excel... screw it, it's easy.

I've felt a little bit guilty that I'm giving these kids (kids in all six of my classes, not just this one) so much free time and stuff. Shouldn't they be learning things, working, rather than just killing time? Well, yeah... except that these past few days have just been review. There's nothing I need to teach them for the class any more. If I tried to teach them stuff they should know about other subjects or something, it wouldn't work - at this stage of the school year they couldn't care less about something that won't get graded. I don't have the ability, the resources, or the time to put together my own lesson plans and stuff. So I could give them busywork... which is just another way of killing time. At least this way they're not miserable or bored.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Sorry about my lack of online presence lately. A teacher left early because she had to move with her family or something, and I'm covering for her during the last 2 weeks of school, which started yesterday. So it's early to bed, early to rise for me. I have 1st and 4th period free, so I'm writing this in the classroom.

The teacher was one Mrs. Comolli, and the classes are business and computer stuff. More specifically, there's three periods of Computer Applications (it's Powerpoint for the rest of the year, even I can do that), and one period each of Intro to Marketing, Business Communications, and Finance and Marketing. I'll have to do a little work to give the classes stuff to do, but apparently Mrs. Comolli is very anal - she almost planned out everything I'll do, day by day.

So far - it's only been one day so far, but hey - things have gone well. As I said, I'll have to work to have stuff to do for certain classes, but I haven't had any disciplinary problems or anything. Someone in the next room even remarked on how quiet things have been.

Of course, that's only debatably good, because it means that people aren't discussing ideas or anything. But I've learned - or rather, been reminded - that high school kids don't care. To them, all work is busywork, it's just a matter of degree. Of course, I knew this myself when I was in high school. There were some classes I liked, or at least wasn't bored in, but a lot I didn't like. I just forgot it. I often joke that I've repressed all the memories of my childhood, and here's another example. But now that I think of it, it's been four years since high school, since I had to sit in a class or study a subject that I had no choice in. Even classes I didn't like, or ones with bad teachers, I had mistakenly thought would be fun or else they were the lesser of two evils. And some unpleasant classes in France - hey, they didn't matter, I already had my diploma and everything. So I've had four years of fun or at least voluntary classes, which made it hard for me to remember that many aren't.