Home / 2007 / January

First (Passive-Aggressive-type) Confrontation with a Student

So yesterday I was proud that I had finally found a way to deal with my sleeping students (I have two now! It surprised me so much that I didn’t do the silent point. I think I’m going to make an announcement at the beginning of class warning them that they will be asked to leave if they fall asleep). But today, I got to “deal” with a toe-ing the line type. It wouldn’t have been so bad, except…

I was not, by any stretch of the imagination, the cheerleader-popular type in that “school before college” time. I could say that I was well-known, but definitely not “popular.” Sometimes I feel a little of that weird tension from high school, like it was between some of the snobby popular kids and those who just didn’t cut it. Like she thinks she’s better than me because she can sense that I am/was in a lower level of the pecking order. Like she’s going to throw a fit because the popular kids “always win.”

le sigh It’s ridiculous, I know. None of that stuff matters to me, it never did. I didn’t care that I wasn’t “popular”; I had–and have–some of the best friends a girl could have. I didn’t need to be in the “popular” group. And now I believe firmly that “Different isn’t bad; it’s just different.” Just because we are in different social groups, different races, or have different political/religious/cultural beliefs doesn’t make me better than you or you better than me. We’re just different. I don’t need to feel superior to a group of people, no matter what brand of jeans they’re wearing or where their daddies work or went to school. I’m happy where I’m at.

Besides all that crap, I am The Teacher. The one who makes the rules and enforces them. The one who is (in most cases, anyway) right. I am the authority in the classroom (scary, huh?! :) ). If a popular-cheerleader-type student does not reach the very bottom of the second page, as I instructed and reiterated, she will not receive the extra credit. Like it or not, those are my rules. If you can’t live with them for a semester, drop the class.

I’m proud that I’m standing my ground on this. It shall set a precedent for the rest of the semester. I will enforce my seemingly-meaningless rules that show who can follow rules and who can expand their ideas more fully, without, of course, adding fluff to fill up the space.

*****

Yeah, so I don’t know if this really makes any sense to anyone but me, but what I am trying to say is this: I didn’t give in even though I thought she might fight it. (Remember, I avoid confrontation whenever possible. No, really. AVOID.) Blah blah, something about perceived social classes blah blah insecurities blah rules and enforcement blah.

The Final Semester Has Started

It started Monday morning at 5:30 when I rolled out of bed to finish up class prep and see Rob off to work. Ugh. It was an early morning.

My first section of English 210 went really well. I even made them laugh a few times, and that’s an accomplishment for me. I’m being strict this semester, mostly because they are upper-classmen and I don’t want to deal with whiney excuses and feeling unfair for letting some people extend deadlines and not others. I like it better that way. I’m a “Rules” person.

I have a nice little break between my first section and my second: from 11 until 1. So I ate lunch, did some paperwork, and enjoyed the free time. [Last semester, my classes–all of them–were back-to-back on Tuesdays and Thursdays. NOT FUN, I assure you. Especially when the teacher of the middle class (i.e. when I’m getting seriously hungry) does not allow students to eat in her class.] My second section is weird… they didn’t laugh at my jokes, and a student was nodding off. I hate that. Overall, though, the class went well, and I think I’ll really enjoy it once things get started because I have some very dedicated students in there. At least that is what they tell me. :P

After my last teaching section, I have a one-hour break, and then Sarah Awesome and I work out. I did weights, and it felt really good. (Steph, are you proud?!) Directly after work-out hour, I go to “Methods in TESOL.” It’s going to be a lot of work, but *sigh* I think I’ll really learn a lot of stuff I wish I knew when I started teaching ESOL… A year ago….

An hour and a half break, then my Mark Twain class. Very excited about this one! The prof is easy-ish, and he’s un-officially changing the hours of the class. It should be from 6:30 until 9:20, but he’s making it 6:45 until 9:00. He said we’re starting at 6:45 because of a previous engagement he has (who knows…) and stopping at 9:00 so that he can meet with those of us who are unavailable to meet during his regular office hours. SWEET! I slept during the Mark Twain biography that we watched during the second half. The room was dark, and at this point, I had been up for a long time on little sleep and I had worked out. Excuses po-schmuses, as Robbie might say, but I was beat.

When class was finally dismissed, I headed home to the half-season premier of Prison Break. LOVE that show. I didn’t use to have “can’t miss shows,” but boy-howdy! I do now! :D James arrived to the Mueller hotel and him and Rob started playing Mario Kart and Bomberman, so I went to bed.

Then I got up at 5:00 for the “Tone to the Max” class I’m taking at the YMCA. Aw man, am I out of shape! My leg muscles hurt so much about one day after the class (you know, just enough time for all the lactic acid to build up in your muscles). Despite the soreness that makes me sit down, stand up, enter or exit a car, walk up or down stair like a decrepit 130-year-old whose joints are worn out from all the livin’, I feel good about the class. If it was later in the day, I think it would be oh-so-easy to find excuses for it, but seeing as since it’s before the breaka-breaka-dawn, I have time to come back home and sleep for a few hours before really feeling like I’ve wasted the day. So basically, I sleep for a few hours, wake up, eat a power breakfast (quality, not quantity), torture my muscles into getting stronger, then go pass out again for a few hours. Nice, huh? LOL

I’ve picked a race! I’m going to run a 5k during Spring Break. I think I must need a definite goal like that to make me see my running seriously, because since I stopped training for the marathon, it’s been really hard to stick with a running plan. I’ve read about things like that, but I thought I was bigger than that. Guess not. Anyway, the official training starts on February 3, which is next week! I really wanted my first race to be a 10k, but I don’t want to put this off any longer, and there isn’t a 10k during Spring Break, so it’s just gonna hafta be a 5k.

Tuesdays and Thursdays are completely school-free. Ha. I just don’t have to be on campus, but since Mondays and Wednesdays are chock-full of school-ism, I will be spending Tuesdays and Thursdays doing homework, grading, and class prep. It’s a pretty sweet schedule, I think.

*yawn* I’ve got to get to bed, or I’m going to be worthless.

*screams*

The following is part of an email from Dr. Biava, a professor who has taught almost every single one of my graduate-level TESOL courses:

[BTW, I will need a substitute to teach ENG 590 (grammar; you took this last spring) for 3 classes near the end of March. I think we will be meeting T/Th 4-5:15. Would you be interested? You are the first person I have asked–you usually like to try to do things. If you’re interested, I can tell you more when we talk. If you aren’t able to sub, I’m sure I can find someone else, so don’t feel any pressure.]


OMG. I’m giddy! When I read this,
I screamed and ran in to Rob, who is playing FIFA07 (it’s a PS2 soccer game) in the living room, nestled comfortably in the couch, and made him jump up and dance around the living room with me. She is asking me to teach the advanced grammar class, “Grammatical Analysis”!! This isn’t an undergrad class, folks. I would be teaching fellow grad students. I think I can put this on my resume when I apply to PhD programs and it will speak volumes about my professor’s trust in my abilities. Wow… this actually says a lot about what she thinks about me! She thinks I know and understand enough, she thinks I can handle teaching my fellow students. She has confidence in me. ……..

And to think, just a few hours ago, I was feeling inadequate and stupid and unmotivated!

Okay, you’re right. I didn’t make Rob jump up and dance around the living room. But I did make him pause the game and get all excited with me. :) I did scream, though.

*Ahem* Okay, I have to collect myself so that I don’t sound like a giddy 4th grader when I respond. :D

P.S. Just met with Dr. Biava regarding this substituting, and you guys have got to keep this a secret. I know most of you don’t know any people taking this class or even people who know people taking this class, but just don’t tell them, okay? :)

Friends and Regrets

Now, I feel really mean saying the following things, so just know that. It doesn’t feel like me at all, either.

Lindsay and Morgan both said the way to fix this is to apologize and then continue to act in a manner that proves I meant it. But the problem is that I don’t want to fix it, as terrible as that sounds, but hear me out. This whole ordeal has made me realize a few things that I thought I knew about Friends, but now I actually Know.

I have been blessed with friends who are good for me. Not one of the people on this blog has hurt me or back stabbed me or treated me poorly. I know that I am lucky in this manner, because part of the reason I think the offending party herself reacted to my actions in the way she did was because she has been mistreated by “friends.” Mom always told me about her “friends” who were mean to her. I still have the same friends now that I had going through high school, with a few new and great ones added to the mix (“Make new friends, but keep the old–some are silver and the others gold.” Grew up hearing that and I always wondered if it was the old friends who were the gold or the new ones. I don’t think that’s what it meant. :) ) That (having many of the same friends from high school) is true because I’ve had Good ones.

The other thing I’ve realized is that I don’t want to keep someone in my group of friends who will assume the bad thing from my actions before the good thing. I want to surround myself with people who have a wider view on the world than their little corner. Just because someone is “cool” doesn’t mean she’s a good friend for me. I don’t need to make an extra effort for someone who can’t do the same for me.

So. I want to continue building the relationships I have now. I am sad that this one is over so quickly, but I guess it will be for the best in the long run. I do want to make the extra effort for the people I have now. I know that I haven’t been the best about making or returning phone calls, and I am trying to get better. School seems to suck up so much of my time, and much of that is because I half grade/write/study, half procrastinate (I know that sounds weird, but it’s kinda like grading for 30-45 minutes, then playing around on the Internet or something else like that), and that’s something I am continually struggling with, trying to eliminate, but it’s getting harder as the work is getting harder! So I procrastinate with school stuff, leaving less time for friends/family/life. Bad Lindy.

I couldn’t sleep the other night because I was laying there, realizing that at 35 I will probably look back at myself during grad school and be disappointed. Here I am, the last semester of grad school, without a single degree paper finished (I have to write two 25 – 30 page papers), without a single PhD school app in, without strong enough motivation to get these things done. On top of that, I am not staying in very good contact with my very dear friends and family. I think I would look back with regret, and I have never really felt that way about any part of my life before.

I do have a lot more to balance now than I ever have before in my life–you know, this thing called “adulthood” does that–but so do other people, and they seem to be doing better. *sigh* But I guess it isn’t fair to myself to compare myself to other people.

Okay, now to put some actions behind these words! I’m off the the working environment WITHOUT the ever-distracting Internet, aka The Laptop. :)

I need your help!

As many of you probably know, somehow I grew up in a cultural vacuum: I didn’t see Braveheart until last week. I’ve never seen ET. Many of the songs my peers grew up on, I wouldn’t recognize as a generationally important tune. I decided that the ridiculing must end! I need to watch those movies I have missed out on, so that I can finally understand all the references that people make.

Help me extend the following list by making suggestions in your comment. Try to think of movies that you grew up watching, movies that you hear or make references to all the time, movies that are ALWAYS on TV. For the songs, try to think of songs that remind you of the 90s, songs that were important for our generation, songs that defined a time period. Think of particular artists and particular songs that I should experience.

I will cross things off of these lists once I have seen the movie or listened to the song on repeat for a week. :)

Movies I Need to See:

  1. Braveheart
  2. ET
  3. Godfather
  4. Godfather: Part II
  5. Godfather: Part III
  6. Rocky
  7. Spice World
  8. Care Bear movies
  9. The Goonies
  10. Pretty Woman (Julia Roberts is my favorite actress, so I’ve seen this one a bunch!)
  11. Steel Magnolias (Own it: I <3 Julia Roberts!)
  12. Dirty Dancing (I’ve seen it once, but I think I need to watch it a few more times in order to really qualify–I barely remember the story line.)
  13. Ghost
  14. Nightmare on Elm Street
  15. Friday the 13th
  16. Halloween
  17. Ghostbusters (seen it but don’t remember)
  18. Beetlejuice (seen it but don’t remember)
  19. Robin Hood Prince in Tights
  20. Wayne’s World
  21. Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure
  22. Empire Records (I watched this with you, I think, Morgan, when we were roommates, but again, I barely remember it)
  23. A League of Their Own
  24. Field of Dreams
  25. Driving Miss Daisy (seen it but don’t remember)
  26. Fried Green Tomatoes
  27. Willow
  28. Labyrinth (Beth forced me to watch it when I was 10 or 11, but I got too scared and stopped watching)
  29. The Neverending Story
  30. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (Saw it in college after being seriously ridiculed for not having seen it)
  31. The Breakfast Club
  32. Breakfast at Tiffany’s (Not a 80s/90s movie, but still a requirement)
  33. Casablanca
  34. Sabrina (original and remake)
  35. Roman Holiday
  36. Charade
  37. Funny Face
  38. Rear Window
  39. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
  40. An Affair to Remember
  41. Clockwork Orange
  42. The Shining
  43. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
  44. To Kill a Mockingbird
  45. Edward Scissorhands (another fave actore here: I <3>
  46. The Nightmare Before Christmas
  47. Clueless (seen it but don’t remember)
  48. Blazing Saddles
  49. Bridges of Madison County
  50. Monty Python’s Meaning of Life
  51. Lonesome Dove
  52. Legends of the Fall

Songs I Need to Listen To:

  1. New Kids on the Block: what’s an important song? Apparently ALL of them! :) (I remember when they were popular but I never listened to them.)
  2. Ace of Base “Lucky Love”
  3. Kriss Kross
  4. early All Garth Brooks (any song title suggestions? I could sing “I’ve Got Friends in Low Places” word-for-word at one point, although I am blushing to admit it! Didn’t he sing “The Thunder Rolls”? Maybe I can cross him off….) Specifically, check out the album Double Live
  5. U2 (Thanks, Morgan! I knew I was missing something really important!)
  6. MC Hammer (“STOP! Hammer time!” And I remember Hammer pants. But that’s all. :P) Any song recommendations?

** edit ** Now, Ace of Base is a group I did listen to, although I need to check out “Lucky Love.” I’ve jammed out to Salt ‘n Pepa–I downloaded all their albums a few months ago for ol’ time’s sake: “What’s my weakness? MEN!” And the one year (4th grade) I took dance lessons, our grand finale was to “Everybody Dance Now,” so I’ve got that one covered too. Kriss Kross I’ve never heard of… Lisa Loeb I have, but I wouldn’t recognize her.

I knew I was forgetting an important movie! The Goonies is one that everyone my age seems to know/make references to, but I’ve never seen!

I was planning on starting my very own babysitters club when I turned 13 and get CPR certified–the whole biz. But it wasn’t cool by then. :) I never could get into Sweet Valley High–I think I read one or two–but I’ll pick up a few. What about Goosebumps? I remember those being HUGE in junior high!

Sweet, you guys, this is awesome! Keep thinkin’ about this and if you ever come up with anything else you think I should be embarrassed to say, “Nope, never seen it!” come back and post it here! :D

So whaddya think?

This seems to making its rounds on the social networking sites, so here’s my attempt at helping to spread it. :) Please take a few seconds and let me know what you think. I don’t mind one bit if everyone uses “anonymous,” either. I’m just curious to see what the outcome is.

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