Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Crank On

It's been a while since I posted. My official excuse is that it's just too cold outside and my creative juices are frozen. All I've wanted to do is curl up in a ball in my cold house with a fuzzy blanket wrapped around me, cocoon-like. Anything that calls me away from that task, like work, housekeeping, cooking, or blogging, makes me cranky. Well, crankier.

So here I am, in my library, while a group of freshmen works on a "Countries of the World" project. And while I try not to write complete posts while at work, and just edit and publish entries started at home during lunch or before or after school, I have to crank out a little bit while on the clock.

Would you believe that I just had to ask a 14-year-old student to stop rubbing his scalp and purposefully shaking dandruff on the library table? And that right after I asked the one to stop, his buddy went and did the same thing? And that these are "normal" students, with no documented reason why this would be an acceptable thing to do at school?

Being an educator, I have a pretty high tolerance for weird behavior. But that is just nasty. And immature. And a little psychotic. (Maybe they've seen The Breakfast Club recently and I should applaud their retro tastes, but Ally Sheedy they are not.)

I have a really wide array of things I've said to our 9th-graders after the words, "Please stop...." Things like "Please stop hitting him," "Please stop playing that You Tube video of Britney Spears getting out of her car without underwear," and even "Please stop meowing." But "Please stop shaking your dead head cells onto the library tables"? Well, that's a new one, isn't it?

And these are the people who will be entrusted with the country some day. Try to sleep at night with that thought in your head, after you've been working with these kids all day.

But then my senior aides come into the library, and they are such a mature, responsible, and fun group of kids that I have to have some hope for our freshmen. Except for the two dandruff-shakers. I have no hope for them, beyond the hope that maybe their prison wardens will be understanding and rehabilitive.

Now, back to work with me. The next class that come in needs to hear me talk about using the almanacs, encyclopedias, and the CIA World Fact Book site instead of just searching for games and porn behind the teacher's back.

I promise to be more optimistic when I thaw out.

Cranky out.

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