Friday, January 30, 2009

spiders are filling out tax returns

I guess I do have something of an announcement to make, Tino.
So, you all know that I'm into this teacher training shenanigans -- and that it has done it's fair share of wearing on my mind, body and spirit. Inspired by the latter, I have been looking into: a) getting a job in Chattanooga, TN to live with my brother and his doggy or b) getting a job in a school in Louisiana as opposed to doing student teaching.
The reason I shied away from the idea of student teaching is that you don't get paid and have little time to work another job, so I envision it as something of an impossibility in terms of, you know, living. However, I have recently changed my mind since I feel the most important thing for me to do right now is to finish what I started, get fully certified and THEN worry myself about finding a job and moving the hell out of Lafayette.
I'm maybe not overjoyed about the decision, but I do think it wise, as well as something that will shoo some of the monkeys off my back come August.
This program will end up having taken more than twice as long as I originally anticipated, and will invariably end up costing more than twice as much as I'd hoped.
Even though I loved what I majored in for undergrad and am averse to the concept of studying things in college with the sole intention of getting a job upon graduation, I do wish that someone would have issued a caveat my way, urging me to consider how I might market myself with the sole label of "German major." Although I have learned a lot post-graduation years, I do wish that things could have been a little easier for me. I look at my friends who already have salaries and wonder, why isn't that me? Where did I go wrong? And why is it taking me so fucking long to get there?
At any rate, Tino assures that student teaching is great experience and preparation for actually having a classroom of my own, and I trust that she knows of which she speaks. She is the sturdiest of sounding boards for me, personally, and I am grateful that I don't have to go without support of that caliber.

The first whirlwind "module" of the yoga course is nearing completion and I can say that even though I have been far from the model pupil, I've learned a lot and managed to inject more joy into my life. I feel like I can breathe again, I'm kinder to myself, and I care more about feeling like I look nice and put-together.
Believe it or not, I look forward to practicing at 6:15 in the morning . . . well, I don't look forward to getting up so early and I don't always look forward to actually practicing yoga for an hour and a half in a hot-ass room, but I ALWAYS look forward to how I feel at the end of class. ALWAYS. So, I'm deciding to continue on to the second module.

Another decision I'm chewing on is whether or not I should be a professional single white female. Not the Jennifer-Jason-Lee-stalker-type single white female, but more the kind who lives a fancy-free and unattached life perpetually. The story of the intentional lone wolf is not usually told and if/when it is, it's painted in hues of depressing and crushingly lonely. But when you think about it, is it really all that unappealing? (I swear I'm not trying to sound like Carrie Bradshaw.) Honestly, though. What could be so bad about a lifetime of endless options, one of which being to tap out of the match altogether? When you're in a sleeper hold, it seems like a good option: like a release, if you will.

And, in closing, I do believe I'll share an anecdote that has nothing to do with decisions and everything to do with me loving my job at Sylvan:
There's a study skills student, whom I work with on a daily basis, as I have for the past few months.
He's in fourth grade and has only just recently come out of his shell. I think he resented having to come to Sylvan and who could blame the lad?
He reported the other day, with astonishing authority, that no one, "says dude any more." Gobsmacked, I pressed the issue and he refused to back down, insisting that saying, "dude," is hopelessly passe.
Totally flabbergasted and refusing to let it go, I related the anecdote to some older students later that day, when I should have been encouraging them to stay on task. (I just couldn't imagine that people don't say dude any more. Cause DUDE. It's dude. It's not like it's even a saying.) They quieted my doubts and recanted, of COURSE people still say "dude." They asked me, incidentally, how old was this kid anyway.
. . .
"He was a fourth grader," I admitted sheepishly. And before they got back to work, we all shared a healthy, stress-relieving type laugh at my expense, because what kind of 26-year-old teacher listens to a fourth grader about anything?
The next time the fourth grader and I found ourselves tete-a-tete -- and this is just one of the many reasons why I'm terrible -- I said, "You know . . . I asked some of my other students the other day about "dude." And they said that it is acceptable to say that word and that people totally do. All the time. So, you know, I just wanted to give you a heads up."
He smiled so much as to say, I thought teachers were supposed to be grown ups.
Later on in the lesson he told me he'd gotten a 43/44 on a vocab test I'd helped him study for a few days prior.
"Way to go!" I responded and held my hand up for a high five. He lowered his head in embarrassment and returned the gesture in spite of himself.
"People don't give high fives any more either, do they?"
With a forgiving look that excused my ignorance being that I AM ancient, he shook his head, "No."
"But you threw me a bone, anyway. I appreciate that."
I may be rotten, but at least I like my job.


Tino said...

d00d. My favorite, most hilarious 2 kids in seventh hour do an elaborate and loud high five every day when one of them passes the other's desk. It's NOT passe. In my book, anyway, because I laugh every day.

And I actually here "dude" way too much, so don't worry. Mostly it's people from age 20 and up, though.

Anonymous said...

I listen to 4th graders. Sometimes a hell of a lot more than I listen to people 3x times their age. They know things, and much of it is unclouded by adult BS. ~Mary

Fermi said...

It sounds like the 4th grader is insecure, which I guess is a part of growing up--although it could reflect a lack of unconditional love in his home life.

@(Frank and )Mary:
Adult BS only affects some adults. 4th graders are equally likely to SPEW the SAME adult BS if they haven't learned to think for themselves and not just repeat things they hear their parents say. And in this case, the topic is "coolness" which is complete BS to begin with.

Some people are unclouded throughout life- regardless of age.

Once again-generalizations are our doom.

Fermi said...

Professional SWF.
I need to write a whole post about this and how it relates to my love of science and tugs at my other goals of having children.

BadTux said...

Listen to Tino, says this former teacher. Teaching is not the same as tutoring, and until you're abandoned in an actual classroom with a bunch of kids while your supposed mentor teacher goes off and has a cup of coffee and catches up on grading paper, you won't have the slightest idea what it feels like to teach.

- Badtux the Former Teacher Penguin

Skuh said...

I'm confused. Who suggested that tutoring is like teaching? And when did I claim to have "the slightest idea what it feels like" to teach?