Thursday, December 31, 2009

Decision made, let's rock 2010's eve

Although my plans for my favorite holiday this year consists of less rocking and more quality time with the rabbit and Animal Crossing on Game Cube (they have fun activities for NYE), it's peaceful to know that I've finally made a decision about what to do with the buckets of offers from TEFL abroad positions.

Teaching abroad will always be something I like to do - want to do - but right now, the better choice would be to find a position in CA. The better first choice that is. I'm going to stick around until the spring/early summer job fairs are over before jumping across the ocean again. That's my choice and since I've lived with it quite nicely for the past twelve hours after weeks of mulling and indecisiveness (which I hate as a general rule in people, but most of all in myself), I think I can live with it until June.

So. Art and tutoring and (crosses fingers) subbing, here I come!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Things I did in 2009

Doesn't necessarily make the picture clearer, but that's ok.

At the end of each lesson (usually at the end of each school day in the primary grades), good teaching requires a "closure." It can be a 20-30 second spiel about what the lesson was. It could be a review in the form of a quick write, a "ticket out the door" deal, or even simpler, just having the students tell me when they learned that day.

Throughout the credential program (and from what I can tell, well into BTSA as well) professional and personal reflection has such a high priority. Which I get - but there needs to be a point to it too. Reflection not for reflection's sake, but for change. For making my teaching more effective. For making peace with all the sadly ironic things about teaching. For making peace with my own decisions before, during, and after teaching.

The first step to a thoroughly productive reflection is just to recall what happened. Here's my first step for the past twelve months:

Things I did in 2009

1) Lost 25 pounds. Most of it during the stress of my failed seven weeks of Phase 3, the first time around.

2) Gained back 15 pounds. Most of it during my month long vacation in HK.

3) Was withdrawn from student teaching. Cried in front of everyone and their principal.

4) Survived complete change of teaching philosophy with integrity intact and determination rejuvenated.

5) Took three travel vacations, and one big stay-cation, over a span of five months to get over those seven weeks. Best decision this year.

6) Attended four weddings. Felt that much older.

7) Drove 19,782 miles, including a road trip to WA.

8) Got much better at tennis.

9) Learned that sometimes, giving less than 100% is more effective - and sanity saving - than giving more.

10) Taught the best group of fifth and sixth graders that I will ever see in my entire future career.

11) Passed the RICA, PACT, and finally the credential program at CSUS.

12) Adopted a pet.

13) Planned and initiated goals for blog.

14) Learned to crochet.

15) Moved away from the polo-shirt-and-khakis combo and into more experimental fashion territory.

16) Increased financials. Good investment.

17) Kept up correspondence with far-flung friends. Better investment.

18) Made decisions that made me happy. Best investment.

19) Was astounded by the huge world of blogs.

Now what am I going to do with this reflection? That'll take more reflection. Yeah, of course it does.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

A new decade

I wonder what 2010 will bring? I suppose we'll all find out with time. Meanwhile, I think I would rather go out of town for new year's celebrations, or not celebrate at all, than do what I normally have done for the past twelve years.

It's time for new traditions. =)

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Chrismakwanakuah!

My family usually goes out to lunch (Chinese food of course, since everything else is closed), then watch movies and such until dinner, where we either a) go to a relative's or b) go to a friend's home. It's a relatively quiet day, just the way I like it. I'm not a big Christmas person by choice and preference.

During my observation week, I helped a kindergarten class put together Santa windsocks and gift bags. Christmas is HUGE for primary grades. Well, it's huge for older students too. Which is nice, but I'm not sure I would make it such a huge deal. To me, the students just get all wound up with nowhere to go - and the teacher has to deal with that.

It is nice though, to teach students how to give and receive graciously. Even if they get something they may not like, it's good to teach them how to say, "Thank you for thinking of me." Community service comes to mind when I think about holiday activities for students to do in school.

Would I go the route of multi-religion-holiday studies? I'm not sure. I don't think spending one day on 4-5 different cultural holidays really do them any justice. I would rather make it a relational, personal time of reflection and enjoying classmate's company before the long break.

I would have a party of course. Because I really don't want to fight a room full of crazy, holiday heads on a Friday afternoon, trying to teach them anything solid. It wouldn't be fair to them, and it certainly wouldn't be fair to me. My aim is to work hard each day, so that we'll have time to relax a bit on those special occasions.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

My life's outlook right now.

funny graphs and charts
see more Funny Graphs

In the past six months, I've applied to 20+ different teaching positions in California. None have replied.

Yesterday, I posted my resume on a TEFL job site. Nine have replied.

I spent so much money on a credential degree, and worked so hard, and waited so long, just to come full circle again? Irony much?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The winter solstice

It's hard to see stars in a city, but the moon is always trackable. As is the sun, obviously.

In the fifth grade Open Court curriculum, there is a dreadfully dull story called "Circles, Squares, and Daggers." I taught it a few weeks ago and it was a complete failure on my part. I made a miscalculation as to what the students could comprehend.

The story itself is incredibly technical (hence, boring). I wish we could have just skipped it altogether, even before I realized my miscalculation. This story is one of the many reason why I hate Open Court. I would rather choose literature, magazines, and newspapers to teach language arts, even if it meant having to spend all that energy and time creating my own stuff.

Anyway, what does my little rant have to do with the longest night of the year? "Circles, Squares, and Daggers" is all about how Native Americans tracked the passing of the sun and moon using ancient observatories. They put great importance on the solstices and the equinoxes.

It would be interesting to have the class track these things too, not from observatories (too complicated, too time intensive) but just from tracking the sunset and sunrise times that all weather reports have. Then, they can figure out which exact day is the solstice themselves.

It's one of those maintenance activities though, which I'm not particularly gifted at. But I might be able to manage it if I keep the end goal and overall purpose in mind: namely, practicing observing the natural world.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Media Mondays: Wall-E

Yes, I am the last person on earth to watch Wall-E, so what of it? I do have a lot more to do during a typical day than keep up with pop culture.

But it's winter break, so I set up a Netflix account again, after two years of it being dormant, and have been taking advantage of the two week free trial pretty much non-stop for the past 24 hours or so.

Wall-E was among the first on my list. It's a pretty good movie - as most Disney/Pixar collaborations are (side note: is it just me, or are the ONLY good Disney films of recent history related to Pixar?).

It is also a pretty entertaining moral story, not only for the environment, but for individual thinking. Thinking about consumerism, thinking about reading, thinking about learning things, thinking about your own body, what you put into it, what you do with it, and what comes out of the one life you live. Because we are not all robots with replaceable parts. Yet.

Thinking about thinking too. And if the one thing that people don't do enough of, other than reading, is thinking.

Photo credits here.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Standards Sundays: Grade 5 social studies/history

So I've written about the other core subjects (math, language arts) and science. It's time to move on to the social studies standards.

I've only taught all of three social studies lessons in my three semesters worth of student teaching. Too little? It's pretty average actually. Which is quite sad since I like teaching social studies, especially the geography and mapping topics.

The fifth grade theme is called "Making a New Nation."

Students in grade five study the development of the nation up to 1850, with an emphasis on the people who were already here, when and from where others arrived, and
why they came. Students learn about the colonial government founded on Judeo-
Christian principles, the ideals of the Enlightenment, and the English traditions of self-

The above is quoted directly from the standards book. And there are a lot of standards. I'll get to them one section at a time for the next several weeks.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Good byes

Yesterday was my last day at my student teaching school. It was a busy day. I observed three more teachers, bringing the total for the week up to 9.

Then, after discovering that everyone else was either testing or watching a movie, I returned to my own classroom and helped facilitate the dissection of owl pellets. This activity is awesome, I'm totally going to make time for it in my classroom. Now, I wonder if anyone knows where I can order cow's eyes to round out my plans for 4th-6th grade science labs?

After lunch, I assisted with the unit party. Students handed me gifts. I gave each of them a lucky red packet containing a little, Japanese styled pad of sticky notes. One student cried. I got many hugs. I gave a thank you gift to my CT, who would be working throughout the winter break, prepping for the rest of the school year.

I visited the office staff, said some good byes, and I was out.

I think I'll visit some time again, near the end of the school year. This student teaching experience was so different from my previous two. I was only in the classroom two days out of the week last fall. My time was cut short in the spring. But I was here, at this school teaching these students, five days a week, starting the week before the first day of school through yesterday. You get attached.

I'm going to miss these kids. I hope they know Ms. Ng is rooting for them, where ever they are, for the rest of their lives.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Winter break to do list

1. Job hunt!

2. Sleep in.

3. Prepare gifts.

4. Write thank you cards.

5. Job HUNT!

6. Bike.

7. Play tennis (?)

8. Clean.

9. JOB hunt!

10. Play with the rabbit.

11. Watch movies.

12. Read.


14. Vegetate.

15. Make 2010 resolutions.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The class "Grand-Stander"

Look at me! Look at me! Although this photo was just for a joke.

Devon* is a fifth grader. He has a speech impediment (stutter) which he sometimes relies on to prolong his time during presentations and whatnot. He likes to be the center of attention. He is rather show-off-y, although his skills across the board are a B average. Which is good, just nothing spectacular. He likes to interact with his audience, get side-tracked, which also means he needs constant re-focusing during his presentations.

In other words, he's a grand-stander.

He's a very sweet kid. Kind, caring of others. He works hard, and manages to keep his other attention deficiency under control most of the time. He does tend towards accidents - falling, tripping, dropping things, bumping into people. It seems like almost every other recess he manages to hurt himself in some way. His mother is known to call him, "weird." Which he is, but in a good way for the most part.

The thing with Devon is that I have to be very firm, and very direct with him. Using hints and jokes to re-focus him are not as effective as when I use it with the rest of the class. He takes those hints and continues on his merry grand-standing way. It can get obnoxious. Similar to how grand-stander adults are.

Luckily, he is just a kid, a pretty good kid. I give him a square look straight in the eyes, firmly tell him to "move on, Devon," and he does. Sometimes he gives me this innocent look, opens his arms, palms up, and says, "What?" as if he doesn't know. I play the record on repeat, changing my tone of voice and he says, "Fine, Ms. Ng" and moves on. Sometimes he moves on reluctantly, but move on he does.

When personalities are strong, like Devon's, some of that basic child psychology I had to learn as a teacher gets thrown out the window. Kids are kids, until they need to be treated like an adult to get them to stop wasting class time on frivolous things like making faces and bantering with individuals.

On of my CT's last "teacher mantras" is: "Some of the things they teach you in pedagogy is a bunch of bull. Give students more power? No, students have enough power as it is."

I say it depends on the student. Some students definitely have too much power, and end up using it negatively. There are others whom I would like to see more get-up-and-go in.

But Devon, and others of his like, definitely know how to work the bit of power that he has for his own attention-seeking devices.

*not student's real name

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

CA credentialing: the RICA

It's true that people don't read for fun anymore. Nope, they read for "literacy."

The Reading Instruction Competence Assessment (aka RICA) is a huge exam all California teachers need to take in order to get their credentials. It is one sick test - difficult too.

I took two semesters worth of language and literacy classes to prepare for the RICA, in addition to my own independent studying. But really, most of what I learned about teaching reading came from actually teaching reading, especially all the word knowledge and phonics work done in the first grade.

One of the major things I worked on in preparation for this exam was just understanding the definitions of all the wacky terms used in literacy. Homophones, the "schwa," what it means to be an "independent" reader (there is an actual number that goes with this definition!), and my favorite term to say: the dipthong! Even student interest in reading was analyzed down to a science.

You only need a 60% to pass. Which is a D, and a D is a passing grade. Barely. And here I thought teachers were being held to a higher standard?

Don't get me wrong, I'm ok with a 60% passing grade. I probably got something in the 60's or 70's (they don't tell you exactly - like the CSET, you've either passed or not passed). The policy just seems inconsistent to me. But then, the CCTC never really directly claims they are consistent.

But the craziest thing of all? Students themselves are learning these literacy terms that adults still have to look up. Honestly, never in my adult life have I cared about knowing the difference between superlatives and comparatives. Actually, to this day, I still pronounce "superlatives" wrong (I say, "SU-per-LA-tives" and then have to correct myself with "su-PER-la-TIVES").

Yep, students are tested on whether they know what the official definition of an adjunct is, more so than on how to use an adjunct effectively in writing. Some people think this is a waste of brain space, and I tend to agree.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Now what?


Solo is finished. I handed the class back to my CT. I spent yesterday observing other teachers. Will spend most of Wednesday and Friday doing the same.

Today, I'm getting the semester's paperwork organized, finalizing my portfolio (which I've been doing since June, so many things to add! and they are all last minute!), printing business cards, and making a list of schools to visit on Thursday.

On Thursday, I'm going to hand-deliver my portfolio to various principals and HR people at various schools and district offices.

Yesterday was a little awkward for me. I didn't want to be in the way of my CT getting back into the classroom. But I also didn't know what my role was. The university has said we are not required to teach anymore after our solo, but it's always an assumption that student teachers stay in the room past their solo to transition out. These transitions can be so awkward.

But I've got to do what I've got to do right? It's nice to observe other rooms. It's nice to take some time off from teaching all day and get my ducks in a order.

Most of all, it's just nice to be done.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Media Mondays: Wiki Sky

Screen cap taken from

I have no words. But then, neither does Wikisky.

Well, at least not many words. I'm not sure how exactly I would utilize this in the classroom. I'm not even sure how I would get an LCD projector FOR my classroom so I can utilize this. But it is way, way cool.

EDIT: Google, of course, has their own way of mapping the skies as well.

Screen cap taken from Google Sky.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Standards Sundays: Grade 5 investigation and experimentation

Both are focused, just on different things.

The fifth grade standards for investigation and experimentation are very similar to the other grades' standards for investigation and experimentation. They just added a little more complexity with each grade level. Almost as if it was a "copy-and-paste" job. Almost.

But what I'm questioning now is less the completeness of the standards. I'm pretty sure no one can say that the California standards are not utterly complete and thorough (maybe a little too thorough).

I'm wondering what happens when the student's goals of investigation in science do not align with the standards? Or the textbooks? What if they have other questions? What if their focus isn't necessarily the focus of the "focus questions" that MacMillian/McGraw Hill (and Open Court) love so much?

Because frankly, I sometimes can care less about what a textbook is telling me to focus on during my teaching. I would rather focus on what my student's specific needs are in content area, social skills, and critical thinking skills.

Is that wrong? Instinctually, I know it's not. Most people would say it isn't. But then, I also have to justify it with what the state and the school governing boards think are important for students to learn. And that gap is sometimes wider and more vast than any ocean on earth.

Perhaps education should move towards what graduate students do. I like how I'm able to study anything I please, as long as I'm doing it in an academic fashion. What is wrong about analyzing, critiquing, and creating rap music? That can be academic in so many ways too.

Not to mention this would solve the incredible pressure on teachers to differentiate, differentiate, differentiate.

But it is also time consuming. There is a reason why grad courses are usually capped at 15 students per 1 professor. And the ratio is even smaller on some campuses.

What would I not give to be able to teach 15 students at any one given time. That would be sweet.

I've drifted off from studying the science standards, but really, investigation and experimentation - the title already says it all.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Solo done!

Where can I find these little lights of hope when my confidence is broke?

Yesterday was my last day of solo. Overall, the two weeks went decently. The entire semester was productive too.

All I have left before I get my preliminary credential is the final evaluation, and filing for graduation with the university and the CCTC.

Yet, I still have this nagging fear that they will fail me. Because CSUS has been known to guide a student teacher through the entire semester and then say at the very end, "You are not good enough."

Although they didn't tell me at the very end, they did make me waste a good six months of my life.

In my eyes, I passed. But I can't shake off that nagging fear.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Unreasonable assignments

Not everyone is as lucky as this double-yolk egg.

I have one more day of my solo experience to go. Since last Wednesday, things have been going pretty well on all fronts.

Today was a bit of a scatter-brain day, what with students getting pulled out left and right, assemblies, end-of-the-year-2009 rush to get things accomplished, and a general sense of "w00t! one more week of school until Christmas break!" The fact that it was Thursday didn't help matters very much.

But over all, I'm teaching well. At least, according to my standard of "teaching well." Of course I've got things to make better. But I got 90% of the class to learn how to locate North and South American countries and their capitol cities today. 75% of the class can correctly calculate the multiplication AND division of fractions AND mixed numbers - despite the fact that both concepts were introduced within one day of each other. Two days ago. Which was about the same time when 90% of the class finally understood the difference between the GCF and LCM.

However, I'm babbling. Let's just say what I've been telling people: "It's been up and down, but more up than down, so I consider it a success."

One thing to remember: don't assign ginormous assignments (i.e. like the astronomy project my class had to finish this week) without mico-deadlines. Or requiring that students type and print their report, knowing full well that they don't have computers, let alone printers at home and that school rules say they can't print anything from school printers (budget cuts). Granted, my CT gave them plenty of time to figure all this stuff out (a full 6 weeks), but still. They are 10 and 11 year olds. They have no concept of independent long-term planning.

Oh well. They'll learn. This class's demographics are such that they will bounce back. I'm not so sure about others.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Discipline without stress

That moon cake from the Hong Kong Peninsula Hotel was awesome. I ate three of them in two days. Which is an example of non-discipline.

Ideal and impossible? Not according to Dr. Marvin Marshall. I bought this book some months ago and began reading it immediately. The first third wasn't so great. It was everything I knew already, nothing new to add.

The second third was a little better. A bit more practical advice, and an activity on defining standards that I want to do in my own classroom. Very logical, very clear cut, and very internally driven, which I like. The goal, when teaching behavior and social standards, are to get students to do things on their own, for their own benefit.

UTEC encourages us in a very overt way to feature social objectives in every lesson. I would say at least 70% of my pedagogy classes were about teaching social standards in an explicit way. But my CT likes to handle behaviors on a one-to-one basis, developing a sort of mentorship rather than direct teaching. From what I've seen, both are effective, and both are even more effective when both are used at once.

I haven't gotten to the last third of the book yet. There are still five days left of my solo, and I've only been able to read a few paragraphs before I conk out each night. But I'll get to it. And I'll let this blog know.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Books in a phone booth

A different kind of bookshelf.

This is a pretty sweet idea for the community. Too bad there are no cute, red phone booths on this side of the Atlantic.

But there are decrepit shacks and empty buildings in parks. I'm sure parts of those can be converted, if the city really wanted to do it.

That's one of the things I've learned recently: people will do things if they really wanted to. Although sometimes, people will do things if they don't want to too, but that is a choice as well. If a student chooses not to finish the writing assignment, then it means they accept a zero for their grade.

Anyway, I think it's a great idea. Something small, and maintains itself. Those opposed will use the excuse of "vandalism" and "increased gang activity." Which may or may not be true. At least the city will have well-read gang members, no?

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Standards Sundays: Grade 5 earth sciences

The photo above is my sixth grade science teacher's manual. A lot of the topics covered in this text overlaps with the fifth grade standards for earth science. The water cycle, how the sun affects living things on earth. I think only the solar system isn't in this text.

The solar system isn't in the fifth grade science curriculum either - well, at least I'm told that they won't be able to reach the solar system within the school year. It is one of the reasons why they use Open Court's Astronomy unit so heavily.

Bunny trail: Open Court sucks. I'm not a fan.

In any case, my goals would be to get in at least half the science material in these texts in the year. I would rather spend less time reading those boring stories in Open Court and more time reading the science books. Much more interesting, many more vocab words, and I can still teach the mechanics and comprehension skills lessons that they all need.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

The problem with language

Sailormoon speaks poor English too.

Remember this? Well, I ran into something exactly like it in the Daily Language Review curriculum that my school uses. Here's the question:

Which word does not belong in this group?

bird plane surfboard kite hot-air balloon

The answer that the teacher's manual gave is, "bird," because it is alive and the other things are inanimate.

But another possible answer would be, "surfboard," because it doesn't fly.

Or even, "hot-air balloon," since it is a hyphenated word.

I haven't seen as much borderline racial issues at a school than at my current school. I've read about it in journals and such for class, but I have never seen it in real life. My current school has precisely one African-American teacher, one Hispanic teacher, and two Asian-American teachers (including myself). And that is it. Everyone else is white bread.

I don't really know what to do about the minor racial things I see going on every day. I call them minor, but oppression in any sense isn't minor at all. It just that students will have a build up of it over time, so the results aren't showing right now.

I do commend this school for having a strong male teacher presence though. There is one in K, 2, 4, 5, and 6, plus the computer teacher and the highly involved plant manager.

Still, this kind of demographic really does change how English language is taught at my school. Which is to say, in a rather traditional way that may not address some EL student's needs.

I accepted both "bird" or "surfboard" as the correct answer. I only thought of "hot-air balloon" after the lesson, but none of the students picked it up either. Sometimes, you just have to move on, even when mistakes are made in teaching.

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Imax experience

About a month ago, my class went to the local Imax theater to watch two films: one about California and the other about the International Space Station. The second one was in 3D.

It was fun. The students had a blast. It was rather pricey for a field trip, but we took all day to go, since we walked to the light rail and back again. I would have also included a packed lunch picnic at the capitol park. The film admission included a hot dog, chips, and a soda - which the students consumed at around 10:30 AM. And they were starving by the time we hopped back on the light rail at 12:30 to return to school.

Most of that day was spent in travel time, and really, it would have been better if we had private vehicles as transportation. We could have also shuttled students back and forth from the station to school, and from the station to the theater too. That would have cut down on our travel time by A LOT. But no parents signed up as volunteer drivers. Which is too bad.

I liked it. It wasn't the most spectacular field trip ever. I definitely don't think it was worth the $17.50 the entire trip cost for each student. But it was a relatively easy-to-plan-and-execute, logistically speaking, trip. Student need a break from the daily grind as much as teachers do.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Dark vs. light

Sometimes, I think the light just isn't shining on me. The lamp above me is broken, but everyone else's is lit. That was yesterday.

Today was better. Today, the light above me was dim. Not completely there yet, but better. I think my social studies lesson went well, although two of the higher achieving students bombed the assignment, strangely.

I need to be a little harsher on the grades. C is the middle, B is above average, A is advanced. Don't give a nicer grade just because of they took more effort, and yet didn't quite make it to par.

They say upper elementary grade students tend to value peer opinion more than teacher opinion. I see that as half true and half not so much.

Keep high standards! Demand more from students. They are slacking when I am slacking.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Solo, Day 1-3

Lord Byron got it quite accurate. I've been in a daze the whole day, at least since my morning Open Court lesson crashed and burned in the most spectacular way possible. Thus, I'm not very coherent right now, not even to myself. But I do want to jot down a list of thoughts going through my mind, learn from them, put them aside, and start fresh with a renewed spirit.

Did I mention I only have half an hour to do all of that? Yeah, because the work never ceases.

*finally completed the Educational Leave of Absence process today. my impression of the chair person's reaction to my question on who would approve my form seemed rather snotty. I in no way expected any "special" anythings "granted" tome. the form protocol required a signature. I was following the protocol. period.

*I really wish my CT would let me talk a little more when we go over my lessons after I teach them. I'm not sure him doing all the talking is effective in helping me understand how to teach better.

*also, it is very difficult to get my thoughts together right before the bell rings when someone is talking at me. and when my thoughts are not together, I teach poorly.

*I better let my CT know this tomorrow. I'll ask him to save his comments for the end of the day, not at lunch, or at prep, or at recess.

*damn, is it only Wednesday?

*seriously, I love teaching science.

*why on earth am I making the same teaching errors over and over again? why am I so inconsistent? why are my old habits dying such a long and drawn out death?

*more importantly, how can I fix this weakness?

*I am totally NOT a 4 in any of the performance evaluation items. Am scared. Am anxious. Am nervous. Am frustrated. Am depressed and disappointed.

*almost cried at school today. at the verge of tears now. and my first three solo days haven't been that bad! yet, I still feel like a hopeless failure because of my inconsistency.

*I don't mind failing. it's the second time that makes me mad. and also the fact that the future doesn't look very promising.

*right now, would very much like a decent paying job where I just play with rabbits all day. is there a job like that? because I would like to apply.

*the commute seems so much longer when it's been a bad day.

*so much freaking stuff to do for the job hunt. I've already done so much too, but it never seems to end. there's another piece of information to add to my portfolio, another bit of contact information to give to this person, another school to study-up on enough to be able to ask intelligent questions, another thing that needs doing but I don't know what it is yet because it'll only pop up at the last minute. ~.~ uugh.

*I do not give a rat's tushie about being "holiday ready," so you can stop pushing that tinsel in my face now.

*I really appreciate my part-time job, really. But I don't appreciate the expectation of showing up to a class WHEN I WASN'T TOLD THAT THERE WAS ONE. Or being under the assumption that I am available teach a new session, scheduling me for it, AND THEN telling me after all other things had been set. Or thinking that I can magically appear at a school site in twenty minutes WHEN IT TAKES FORTY TO DRIVE THERE.

*I really do appreciate my part-time job. I will probably work at it for a little longer if I can't manage to find a full-time teaching position.

*that is, assuming they let me pass. it would SO SUCK if they end up not letting me pass. again. I'm not sure I would continue with the program if that happened.

*not that I've been told any time this semester that I'm under risk of not passing. my supervisor has actually been pretty impressed by me. and my CT, in general, thinks I'm decent as well. it's just that today was such an utter disaster, it feels like I'm failing. again.

*would very much like to crawl into a warm, soft cave and hibernate for a very, very long time.

Ok mind, are you emptied yet? Can I move on with my life and get back to work? Can "being patient start now," like Lyra says at the end of The Amber Spyglass?

I'm so glad tomorrow is a new day. I just hope today won't chain me down from those flying colors tomorrow.

Photo from: Beauty in Everything