Sunday, May 31, 2009

Kitty love

Fido and O'Malley have become friends.

Friday, May 29, 2009


One of my students had a tough day today.

A little background. This student started in mid-October, about six weeks after the start of the school year. When she showed up in my class, I had to do a double check on the name. Her hair was cut very short, in a simple style and there were no other obvious signs -- at first glace, she looked like a boy.

In the ensuing months, she has changed her appearance, adding some tints/highlights to her hair (still very short). She almost always wears a sweatshirt over her white shirt and blue pants (school uniform).

She's had students give her a hard time about her appearance, some incidents within sexual harassment, imho, (no legal repercussions, sadly), but is a valuable part of our class.

Today, as part of our school-wide Career Day festivities, several classes were part of an assembly with a guest speaker who identified herself as a "magnificent motivational speaker", and she was very good. She called several students up from the audience, asking them about their plans for the future, and encouraging them to start now (these are 7th graders) to make specific plans - not only going to college, but what specific college, and classes needed to achieve a specific career ("Doctor"? Not good enough, one had to tell her what specialty...)

So this student is called up (she volunteered!) and was the last of the four in a group. I could tell she was very nervous, but I was also very proud of her for going up in front of a couple of hundred students. When the speaker got to her, she asked her name, age, and career interest. My student was very quiet, and it was hard to hear her speak. The guest speaker misheard the name, and instead announced a similar sounding boy's name. The interview continued, with my student announcing that she would like to be a police officer. Great. "Detective, Patrol Officer, or Investigator?" Not sure.

The speaker then turned to the audience, and said, "some of you, unfortunately, may have to deal with this young man when he takes into custody..." Huge laughter. The speaker thought the laughter was about the 'arrest', and chastised them for it. My student was shrinking back -- her back literally against the wall (well, the front of the stage). She finally touched the speaker's arm, and told her "I'm a girl"

The speaker didn't apologize for the mistake, but instead went on about "well, nobody said girls couldn't do anything they wanted to!"

My student got back to her seat, and thankfully, was welcomed warmly by (most) of her own classmates.

Later, I got a chance to talk to her about it. I congratulated her on going up, and she told me that "I felt like I was going to throw up." She didn't seem to want to talk about the 'young man' thing, but I did decide to give her the pair of Dodger tickets I had been given as part of a school-wide student incentive program. I'm going to talk to her more on Monday.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Another 'hair' story

As promised--

This happened 19 years ago, when my niece, Angela, was three years old (she's the youngest of my sister's three & the only girl). My sister was coming out of the shower and my niece happened to notice the hair 'down there'. Angela asked why she didn't have hair there. My sister explained to her that "that hair starts to grow when you're about 13 years old."

Angela seemed satisfied.

A couple of days later was my nephew Jason's (my sister's oldest) 13th birthday. That morning, Angela burst into Jason's room and blurted out, "JASON! Check your thing and see if hair went sproing!"

Jason was not amused.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Kids say (well, read) the darndest things

My seventh graders are deep in the "human growth and development" (aka 'puberty') part of their Health course and today, they were doing some vocabulary worksheets that included the term 'pubic hair'.

Of course, several of them, being unfamiliar with that particular word (no, not the word hair) added a letter to make it recognizable.

The letter 'l' slipped in very nicely between the 'b' and 'i'. While making a nice, easy-to-read word, the meaning loses something...

"public hair"

Tomorrow - more body parts, and their functions (monthly that is...)

Wish me luck. (If you must chortle, please do so quietly)

Friday, May 22, 2009

Time to catch up

It has been a long time, I've been busy (and yes, lazy), but I finally decided to update.

O'Malley the kitten has settled in very nicely. At first, Fido was confused, and did give me a bit of a cold shoulder (even though I was very conscientious about giving him some extra attention...). But now the two of them are cuddled up together under the table.

At work, things are very busy. State testing ended last week, and my testing group at least appeared to give their best efforts. There have been other battles with bureaucracy, and even some skirmishes within our own department. I'm caught in the middle on one of them, and will have to use my position as most senior member of the department to get what, 90% of the teachers agree, is what's actually best for the kids.

And then, there's my Dodgers. Despite the Manny news, the guys are doing a pretty good job. I'm off to the game tonight against the Angels.