Archive for February, 2010

Longest Week Ever

So this is the first full week in a long time and I am so glad its through.  How exhausting!  I’m so happy to have made it to the weekend.  Well, I guess I’m not there quite yet but I can feel it close at hand.  I’ll drive up to Columbia md. and then James and I will go on down to Harrisonburg. 


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Pierce Brosnan in Percy Jackson

Quick note: “Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightening Thief,” apart from winning the wordiest title award, really sucked.  The movie achieved some redemption in its utter debasement of the actor we all love to hate – Pierce Brosnan.  I don’t know what honey his agent poured down his ear, but Brosnan has definitely hit a low point with his role as a Centaur who poses as a cripple to pass himself off as a regular human.  Are you kidding me?  Only one Brosnan role approaches this disaster and that was when they asked him to sing in Mamma Mia!.

I thought these reviews were hilarious.  I personally liked the ‘wounded raccoon’ comment.

‘His singing was compared to “a water buffalo” (New York Magazine),”a donkey braying” (The Philadelphia Inquirer)and “a wounded raccoon” (The Miami Herald), and Matt Brunson of Creative Loafing Charlotte said he “looks physically pained choking out the lyrics, as if he’s being subjected to a prostate exam just outside of the camera’s eye.”’  – Thanks Wikipedia

Anyway, here’s a video of our man in action:

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1 : 1

Today two students are ‘ill’ (they have a major latin test) and could not make it to school today.  One, of course, was Nyquil-boy John.  His mother called in for him, and told us he, ‘just had the worst headache, and wouldn’t be coming in today.’  John needs to find himself a boarding school and get the hell away from his emasculating mother.  Hannah is the other sicky today and she’s rarely sick, you want to know why?  Probably because her mother doesn’t coddle her.  Ms. Owens called us this morning, “Hannah’s being a baby and won’t get out of bed.  She says she’s sick, I don’t really believe her but she’s swearing up and down.  So I’m going to give her the benefit of the doubt today.”  So today our student body is enjoying a 1:1 student to teacher ratio.

You might claim that there actually isn’t an appreciable difference between what John’s mother and Hannah’s mother did with reference to their children.  After all, they both let them stay home.  There is a difference though, and it comes down to the fact that John’s mom always suspends judgment when it comes to John’s health, that is, she always believes him.  This idiocy has two possible effects.  Either John actually does believe he’s constantly ill, which seems a possibility, or he knows that he’ll be met with pity and leniency whenever he doesn’t feel like coming to school.  For Hannah, if she wants to skip and pretend to be sick, she knows that it won’t be an easy task and most likely her bluff will be called.  The way her mother approaches the situation makes it much less desirable to skip.

Tom is naturally annoyed that both kids are missing school today, so we’re going to take Andrew and Michael to a movie at 1.  Generally speaking, Tom likes to make those playing hooky feel like they miss out when they skip school.  I think it’s a good strategy and it definitely makes my day a little easier.

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Torpid Tuesday

I had to stay after school yesterday with mike, while his mom talked to Tom about where he should go to school next year.  I was here until 5:45 and thought I was going a little insane.  I even took a nap on the couch.  At one point I looked in our ‘lent collection’ jar for charity and noted how little money the students had actually given (like two dollars in change.)  I guess the way I said it was funny because mike just busted up laughing.  Every time he came close to calm he would just say it again and then resume hysterics.  Sort of reminds me of Paul and his drunken antics.  You might remember the classic ‘GREENWAVES’  or “Paul Simon!” that drove so many of us crazy last year.  Well, mike was borderline hysterical when finally he calmed down and we talked about something else while we waited for Tom and his mom to finish talking.

If you’ll remember my post yesterday, you’ll note that Mike had come to school in a terrible mood.  Well, today he came into school 5 minutes late; we were already doing the morning prayers.  In spite of his awkward tardiness, mike was smiling from ear to ear.  Almost as soon as the prayers were done and Tom had given a few announcements, Mike emphatically repeated to Andrew my one liner and began laughing hysterically.  Andrew obviously didn’t get what mike was saying, but did understand that it whatever it was, it must be funny.  He too began laughing.  And it’s been that way all morning.  Mike will repeat it, an Andrew will laugh.

You have just been exposed to one of my ‘stories.’  That is, I have just told you a story that literally has no entertainment value.  I begin telling these stories with the idea that ‘hey, this will be funny or interesting.’  Once done I immediately realize, ‘damn, that was pointless.’  Just try to imagine how annoyed I am and then you may see the humor.  Otherwise, I apologize for the story.  ‘Well, why don’t you just not post it Cole?’  Simple.  I’ve gone too far and no longer have a choice in the matter.

Oh God, as I write this I’m listening to Tom teach biology.  I am currently hearing him explaining why girls menstruate.  Gross. It’s safe to say – today sucks.

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Mopey Monday

Mike has emotional issues.  He is only capable of handling affirmation and when he meets with any rebuke, or even a simple “no, that’s not the right answer” he begins to pout, as if he was actually correct and you, the teacher, were simply being mean.  The other explanation I’ve come up with is that he instantly feels that when he isn’t able to answer a question he despairs of ever understanding the concept.  I’ve never seen someone throw their hands up in defeat as quickly as Mike or simply come into the class with a sour attitude.  He is also capable of coming into class looking like all the world is against him.

Let us take this morning for instance.  Mike came into school about 5 min. before we started morning prayers.  Nothing mean was said to him.  I think the only thing Tom or I said was “good morning Mike” as we busied ourselves in finishing up whatever we were doing.  (I was putting on my tie).

Sitting down, I realized that Mike was in one pissy mood.  He just looked mopey, or as I’ve commented before, he looked like a kicked puppy.  This is a common occurrence with Mike.  In a way I feel bad for him because something had obviously upset him that morning (and countless other mornings).  But instead of dealing with whatever is ticking him off, he often just translates his mood into providing me, and his fellow students, with a shitty first period.  Now, I know this fact and have adapted, that is, I always try to give him a question he can answer and then say something like ‘well done mike.’  Seriously, works like a charm.  He really is like a puppy.  His mood swings from one extreme to the other with his perception of whether or not he is being met with approval.   Having figured this out, I honestly feel like one could use this information to shape mike into a real person who eventually wouldn’t throw himself into immediate despair (thus becoming a terrible brat and a poor student) at the drop of a dime.  But Mike, along with Andrew and Hannah, has declared his intentions of going to public school next year.  I’m worried that any headway they’ve made may come quickly undone; especially in the case of mike, whose confidence is so transient and emotional.

Reading over this post shows that I haven’t an actual clear idea of what underlies mike’s mopeyness.  All I know is how he reacts mild criticism, any criticism, and praise.  I’ll have to think more about his disposition and get back to you.

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Field Trip

We’re taking the kids to the Spy Museum in DC Today so I won’t be posting.

Some interesting news from last night, though.  At approx. 4 a.m. I awoke to a loud ruffling sound.  There was a mouse in my backpack.  Needless to say, I had a terrible morning.

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