Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Dr Wicked, rambling, my students and throwing perfection to the wind

Several of the people whose blogs I frequently read are singing the praises of not only the 15 min timed writing but "Dr Wicked" as a tool for writing. Well, I decided to give it a whirl. . .

Intellectually I really want to blog, to share my keen (snort) insights with the world and also offer a sort of ongoing letter to the people I know and love. I find the prospect of having something meaningful to say daunting at least when the ideal is to regularly produce something. Academic writing I can do all day, give me a subject and point me in a direction and blamo 15 pages for you, meticulously researched but to write formlessly or worse yet to have to decide on something “meaningful” to write about, ekes.
If I were writing a letter on paper to my friends I would have no trouble rambling on about this and that odd minutia in my life, why should this be different?

Today I am thinking about how difficult it can be to deal with the people I love in my life. I have 2 very close friends who absolutely despise each other with a purple passion. Normally it is possible for me to avoid this area with them but lately they just can't shut up about each other and I am tired of hearing it so I am avoiding both of them as much as possible. This solution is not working so well because even though they are in a cold war with plenty of propaganda I love both of them and want to see them. This ugliness is poisoning not only them but my relationship with them.

Also today I find that I am craving more free time, aren’t we all. I work a strange schedule, Monday - Thursday I teach from 8:00 am until 10:50 pm with a break in the middle for office hours and if I am lucky a nap. I do not make the trek home because gas is just too expensive. What it boils down to is that I am gone from my house from Monday until Thursday all day and most of the night. I have to sleep biphasically or I will die, (in my twenties 5 hours sleep a night was all good but now in my 40s it just seems mean). I have no time during the week for anything other than the school I teach and the school I attend. It seems to be working out, my students are happy and I have excellent grades. I am pining however for just a nice evening after work when I can lounge about and chat with friends or have a leisurely dinner that I get to cook. I miss cooking. The upside to this is that I have a 3 day weekend. I love having 3 days off in a row, and to some extent it makes up for being gone 4 days a week. I am right now, however, craving a less feast and famine approach and more of a steady stream. I feel a bit ungrateful to be complaining at all as many people don't even have a job. I just miss my house, my dog and my front porch during the week. Sigh

I am running out of stuff to talk about and Dr Wicked is reminding me to keep going, this sure seems like a long 15 min. I could always talk about how much I love Texas and how happy I am to have left Michigan but that will become repetitive soon enough in inspired posts so I think I will leave that off for now.

Ugh pink screen, this is kinda tricky. I am so touched by my students. Most of them are single moms trying to make changes in their lives and they are so inspiring. They have kids, usually more than one. I have 2 students who have twins under the age of 3. They work all day or all night and come to class. Most of them get good grades, all of them are trying very hard to become more than what people have called them all their lives. Most of my students have had bad experiences with education, most of my students had to drop out of regular high school and go to an alternative high school because they were pregnant. Most of my students have never been taught critical thought or even had a formal introduction to grammar. Most of them come from bad neighborhoods and poor schools where they were lucky to have textbooks. Somehow they have made it to me from their myriad of paths through violence, bad teachers, divorce, single motherhood, and poverty. They have arrived on the shores of my class ready to learn and change. I have 9 months to instill in them what I can. To teach them about simple things like code switching, dressing for success, how to write relatively well, as well as all the curriculum I can squeeze in. More importantly they learn that they can do it. They learn that they are valuable and worthy, that they deserve to be proud, happy and treated with respect and dignity. That with work and dedication they can make a life for themselves and their children that doesn’t involve waiting on a welfare check or being dependant on spotty child support.
I think I need to come back and write a real blog about my students as my 15 min are up.


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