the job’s been such a roller coaster that i’m not really capable of writing objectively about it at this time. the expletives might be a bit overpowering, so i’m going to look at another form of language tonight instead…
i’ve been learned by several southern scholars down here in pensacola in the correct use of the english vernacular and thought it was time to share some with y’all.
plumb – adv. – there seems to be no yankee equivalent to this one. example: “I plumb forgot.”
fixin’ – v. – yankee equivalent: “getting ready to” – example: “i’m fixin’ to kick your ass” or in the immortal words of country joe mcdonald, “i feel like i’m fixin’ to die”
reckon – v. – yankee equivalent: “guess” or “suppose” – example:
Scott: Looks like a big storm is brewing.
Southerner: I reckon so.
right powerful – adj. – yankee equivalent: “big” “huge” “monstrous” – example: “That there’s a right powerful storm brewin’!”
y’all – n. – yankee equivalent: you, singular – example:
Scott: Hey, Cole, what’re y’all doing?
Cole: I’m not doing anything.
all y’all – n. - yankee equivalent: you, plural – example:
Scott to his class: All y’all need to sit down, eyes up here and ready to work on writing!
of course you can mix and match these as you please (and everyone down here does):
“I reckon I plumb forgot all y’all was comin’ over tonight for dinner. I’m fixin’ to make me a right powerful feast for dinner.”
so please, take a moment and practice with a partner so that when you come to visit I reckon that you, too, will be prepared to speak southern.
what a rollercoaster ride this first week of school has been. yesterday’s inactivity here was due to an audible snap that occurred in my brain about halfway through the day and rendered me incapable of doing anything but bark and holler nonsensical teacher-isms at a room full of unruly youths. this, as most of us know, is about as successful as nailing jello to a wall.
perspective was achieved over the course of 18 hours and today went much smoother.
and it’s on that note that i present:
due to irrational thinking from the blogger.
check back tomorrow.
i’ll be honest with you:
yesterday right after school, i was ok.
and this morning, i was praying to get into a car accident so i didn’t have to come to school.
but things are better. anticipation has a way of causing severe anxiety sometimes, doesn’t it? thinking too much, worrying about what might happen, wondering if you’re going to mess up, fretting that the kids just aren’t going to figure it out and you’re stuck for a whole year with them in an adversarial relationship that prompts your early retirement by about 29 years.
but i arrived this morning in full blown fear mode only to find that my homeroom class (with me from 7:30 til almost 11:00) were completely on the ball. my second class was as rough as i was expecting and cole (my teaching partner, pictured at right) and i are still working on how we’re going to nip this problem in the bud before it spirals out of control.
but i also reasoned this:
these are 5th graders. 11-12 years old. i’m 38. been around the block. it’s not a popularity contest. being laughed at in an attempt to make me feel stupid doesn’t work. being stared down doesn’t frighten me. talking behind my back – psh, what else is new?
but i do have a healthy new respect for teachers. really. i never understood. i’ve pitched my time as a youth minister and my time in special ed as teaching, and certainly it IS, but wow – it’s NOTHING like teaching in a semi-hostile environment where you’ve got 26 kids in the same room, half of whom would much prefer to be elsewhere.
have a favorite teacher somewhere? make sure they know how much you love them. it’ll make their day.
first day of school is in the bag. my mind is fuzzy and my joints are buzzing.
here’s the video-blog report.
it’s almost midnight here in pensacola. the moon was bright and beautiful over the beach tonight as lise and i chilled for almost four hours, finding a big cockle shell and other neat shells, seeing a large kite being flown a hundred yards down the beach, watching the gorgeous sunset, and talking about everything from our decision to move to florida, my job fears and excitements, her job concerns, cancer concerns, missing our families and friends, our relationship and its vast improvement over the last 8 months – it was just a great time together.
am i nervous? yup, a bit. am i excited? yup, a lot! will i sleep tonight? with a slug of NyQuil, i can sleep through anything.
see you tomorrow.
honestly, things are as good as they can be (i think). school’s been a bit overwhelming as we’re being bombarded with information about things that indirectly and directly impact our students and teachers, but on the whole i feel woefully unprepared for the first day of school with the kids on monday. much of what we’re having meetings about has nothing to do with the actual content of what we’re teaching and more to do with procedures, rules, programs, etc.
so i sit in my room at the end of the day now, looking at my stacks of books, teacher manuals, desks perfectly lined up, tables in place, stations somewhat in order, a semblance of a plan lurking in the back of my mind for behavior management, and no frigging idea what i’m going to teach or where i’m going to even start.
a poll of several other teachers shows that i’m not alone in my feelings, but it’s all exacerbated by the circumstances that i’m feeling caught in:
- we’re only 2 weeks removed from Ohio and still getting acclimated to the area, the apartment, the weather
- we’re stressed about the house not selling (3 people have looked in the last week and they have the same complaint as everyone else: steps are too steep, no shower in the bathroom)
- lise’s not found a job yet and she’s getting bummed about it all
- money’s tight
- this is my first year teaching my own classroom (and while i call my special ed work and youth ministry work “teaching” it’s nothing like this)
- some things are not working out quite the way we expected and it’s getting a bit distressing
now, all this aside, many things are going very well.
- dolby’s having a good time and is no longer looking a bit spazzed about “what the heck happened here??”
- we’re meeting people who are very cool and making a few friends
- we’ve got the gulf of mexico waiting for us daily to come, sit, chill, put things in perspective, turn off the brain
- the apartment, while small, is nice
- we’ve had a lot of time together – always a good thing
- the school district has given me lots of time to prepare
life’s good and we’re working through the things that are freaking us out.
and for now, i leave you with a test podcast from my spiffy new Apple iMac Intel Core 2 Dual that runs not only MacOS 10 but Windows XP Pro as well.