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All posts for the month March, 2015

There may be a cure and other small miracles

Published March 22, 2015 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

Last night I lay down and was deeply asleep by 10:15. This is only remarkable in that I had not taken any of my evening medications.  For the last 11 or so years I have been plagued by the evil goddess that is Insomnia.

My Insomnia is so bad that, unmedicated, I can stay awake for over 24 entirely unproductive hours.

For the first time in over a decade, I fell asleep by lying down and being still.

True, I have run myself ragged (over 5 miles a day logged with no real effort.) what with the High School round of the letters competition and the intense dangerous and extreme lifestyle that is that of the Public School Teacher in the spring

Other small miracles this week include:

Many, many balks at my new seating arrangement, but I did not have to tell Harry (not his real name) to sit down. I have had to tell Harry to sit down so many times that I have actually built in pauses in my lecture to tell him to sit down. This week, he has stayed put.

Three of my sixth grade girls, adorable, be-bowed and be-spangled children whose combined weight is less than 180 lbs. have created a rap group called the “Rapping Narwahls” . They are hilarious. Their beats and rhymes are indeed fresh and their choreography is enchanting.

Three students who have never participated in a scene not only performed well, but also put real thought into a character.

And, best of all, the one student who might have very well saved my sanity a few weeks ago by asking me to teach him how to write plays, is writing in a way that says he is enjoying the process and finding his story.

My classroom may be organized chaos and I am practically drooling with exhaustion, but the learning environment is working.

Serious Blarg

Published March 15, 2015 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I can not believe that Spring Break is almost over. I have one luxurious day left and I’m kind of panicking. I’m actually running out of things to panic about. Me and my Amanda Friend ran errands today sand I have all of my supplies for next week arranged into a nice little heap and I did a lot of the heavy lifting (Literal lifting; I had to heave a table down the hall to my room.) before  the break.  I’m trying to relax, but the brain is racing. (note to self: investigate the correlation of a brain running around at top speed for no reason and then suddenly stopping to stare at a closed door and the nocturnal patterns of a hefty house cat.)

Panic Point 1) I haven’t heard back from CWH, who is new to my beta reader list. I’m wondering if I did somethingto personally offend him. It didn’t occur to me until today that maybe he just didn’t like my book. Panic Point 2) There’s still a huge hole in my roof and I have no idea when this is going to change, so I didn’t feel very motivated to clean. (To be fair, I don’t ever get truly motivated to clean)  Panic Point 3) My second Letter Competition is in 8 school days.  That needs very little explanation. Panic Point 4) In order to give all of my students the equal opportunity to achieve and get the best experience possible, I am returning to the nightmare of assigned seating.  Monday will indeed be an adventure. This panic point is related to a cumulative nightmare known as the Alternative Certification Process. In addition to all of the exciting alphabet soup events that are part of the joy and bliss of public education, there are many, many other things that I have to conquer/accomplish in the next two months, not the least of which is my evaluation.  More on that later

I talked to my most successful students, Actor Boy and Lighting Lad, and they both assured me that I am an awesome teacher and a fine human being. Actor Boy pointed out that I need to be a lot harder on the students and that perhaps some of them might have been taking advantage of my kind nature and gentle spirit, thus compromising my cherub-like demeanor.

Well, on the plus side, the universe did not collapse in itself in a spontaneous black hole (or if it did, this alternate reality is searingly close to the last one.)

So the only hole is in the ceiling, that might be a plus.

So maybe I will think about that tomorrow

Published March 2, 2015 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

Just when everything starts slowing down, someone pushes my metaphorical shopping cart down the log flume in a Goonie’s/ Rube Goldberg style apocolyptical mess. I have a major amount of stuff to do and very little time to do it. I am getting plenty of rest and I am trying to keep from stressing out, but when I do, a tiny bit of my internal crazy leaks out leaving a whole of confused faces staring at me.

As I prepare for a fun-filled week of Benchmark testing and parent meetings and oh, maybe I will teach a class or two, a few highlights spring forth. Last week a student didn’t know what a mix-tape was.  Several students were trying to explain it and I, who am always looming in the back ground swooped forth and said, “Yeah, a mix-tape is the perfect thing to make for someone you  like, like you know and if you don’t really  know how to say what you feel, you can spend a long Saturday Afternoon, because what else are you doing anyway, finding the perfect songs to express how you feel, and if you are lucky you own the album or another tape and you cue everything up perfectly. If you are feeling bold and sassy you can borrow your brother’s tape recorder and leave a personal message like, “I heard all of these songs and thought of you, Domingo.” Then you will find the perfect label and write a clever name for your tape, and then you will have to very carefully hand letter the liner notes. Then you give the tape to Domingo and he will promise to listen to it, but more than likely it will shift down to the bottom of his locker or backpack and when he finally plays it on the tape player in his sister’s chrysler it will get stuck on “She talks to Angels” where it will stay until she wedges it out with a butter knife,”

As soon as I finished this impromptu monologue, one of my suddenly silent students said,

“And that’s why she’s the best drama teacher.”