Ten random things.
1. There are 20 school days left in the semester. I think I can… I think I can… I think I can…
2. Note to kids; when the prompt for the assignment is significantly longer than the answer you give, you really ought to rethink your strategy. Jimmy handed in a six word answer to a detailed, articulate prompt. No shit, you guys; six words. This wouldn’t surprise me, except that I specifically told him that he needed to take notes on the film before I started it. He told me that he didn’t like to take notes. I told him he’d need them to complete the assignment. He told me he didn’t like to take notes. Okay, kid; your choice.
3. The atmosphere around here is very weird. Not only are we staring down the home stretch of the school year – which makes kids nutty anyway – but the faculty is also awaiting contract meetings. Everyone knows that one of us isn’t being invited back (in fact, we’re pretty sure the letter saying so was received on Thursday, because that person’s arrival on Friday was… well, let’s just say that all wasn’t well in Denmark). I’m not sure whether its being official after contract meetings will make it better (because everyone officially knows) or worse (because everyone officially knows).
4. I’m working on standardizing the way the English Department does business. I started with writing a catalogue of classes for the department, and I’ve moved on to articulating guidelines for the portfolio, which is a requirement to graduate from CHS. I’ve floated a draft of my proposal to my boss; I’m waiting to hear back on whether she’s good with it.
5. I showed my students movies this week. The big kids got Rain Man (to go along with our reading of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time) and the Workshop kids got The Prestige (to go along with our reading of… wait for it… The Prestige). I love watching how kids respond to film, and I had a particularly good time when the Workshop kids got to the punchline of their movie. I’d been warning them that the film’s story line was very different from the novel’s (though the book’s themes are amazingly well articulated in the film), and it was a hoot to watch them put all the pieces together at the end of the movie. I love my job.
6. Do you guys think I can get away with reading (and showing) Brokeback Mountain for the theme of Gay Pride Month in my junior/senior class? I’m still not sure if I should. If I decide against it, I have Milk to fall back on, so it’s not as though I’m without a plan; I’m just not quite certain how hard I can push against the boundaries, you know?
7. I decided on the writing workshop at the boarding school for my summer professional development. I mail the cheque for the thousand bucks (ouch!) this afternoon.
8. We’ve started up a new online presence at CHS, and I’m still trying to get the hang of it. It’s exceedingly cool, and it does a lot of things that the platform we’ve been using doesn’t do, but I don’t feel like I’m in control yet. That’s not stopping me from playing around with it, though!
9. Is it terrible of me to say that I’m not sad that some kids aren’t coming back next semester? There are some kids I’m going to actively miss over the summer, but I’ve gotta tell you, there are a few I’ll be just as happy to say goodbye to and know that they can’t show up in my classes (again) in September.
10. I’ve got a stack of papers to grade – one on the themes of The Prestige (the novel) and one set on the theme of madness in Othello (or, alternately, how many of the Seven Deadly Sins were represented in Othello) – so nine’s all you’re really getting today. Wish me luck!