24 September 2006 

Grinding Away

This week is closing and peaceful.

My students were the live announcers at our Friday football game. Adorable. Tough high school men, with legs and voice shaking. Yet they sit there at our makeshift broadcast table, slowly building confidence, ignoring the rude remarks from smart ass kids behind them in the stands.

It isn't long before they start to develop a style, catch phrases, and the stands -sparse for sure- become more excitable. I'd like to say that we won in overtime because of my charming young men, in their ties and Sunday best, taking their power seriously.

18 September 2006 


Wow. I have crawled (I can't believe I spelled that wrong) into my hermit shell. I get up at 5, work hard/teach hard all day -every minute- until my mind melts around 6, scramble out of the building for masters class/meetings/more meetings, fly home, lesson plan, grade, make calls-students-network-family, watch fire trucks extinguish the fire across the street, read Middlesex, go to bed. Three things aren't fitting into my shell friends, coffee, and working out.


Need to find a balance. I blog about this often, yet nothing has seemed to change.

My classroom is far from perfect, but I finally feel like I have a direction with these three crazy curriculums. In order to have that direction, those three things are shut out.

Not good. Yet I'm obsessed with my students and look forward to teaching them everyday. I look forward to lunch, when groups of students come and hang out in my room. The only thing missing from that sanctuary is a guitar, which hurts when I play it.

17 September 2006 

Sunday Sunday

In the mess of teaching and living and death and homelessness, I love Baltimore. I feel incredible peace and kinship with the new people I've met here. It's a strange feeling to not terribly miss home, Minnesota. Very strange. I booked a flight home in December. Same night dreamt about the euphoria of smells and colors and comforted feelings that accompany home and growing up and memories of a time without stress and the real world.

Now my real world is different. Sometimes I feel fleeting moments of merging experiences that have equaled comfort. Like driving and a song comes on that I used to rock out to driving to the library after school, because I was bored and wanted to learn more. And snow. The clean and crisp air of snow and cold.

The Midwestern edge of niceness is probably never going to wear off. I thought I was this kick ass bitchy don't get in my way kind of person, and I realize that was just a facade. That actually, when Steve, homeless man who washes cars, becomes too aggressive and washes my car without permission and still expects to get paid, I feel guilty that I have no cash instead of mad that he washed without permission. When my students are assholes, because everyone has a day here and there, my response is motherly and analytical. They don't get that. But I've ignored all the advice not to smile the first month and let myself be who I am with my students. They know me, in many ways - all appropriate of course - and I'm slowly starting to get to know more and more of them, as they allow.

Now I sit in a snotty little coffeeshop that is so different from the one in Bemidji where I could look at the lake and drink my usual. My legs don't go numb from being here for hours, because they don't have extra tall chairs and tables that make my legs dangle. The service is city-esque and snappy. It's okay though. I play up the guilt trip, and people back off.

Minnesota nice is actually Minnesota passive aggressive.

13 September 2006 

Teaching Tip

Even if the students have left for the day, still do not use their bathrooms. If you choose to break this rule, you run the risk of skidmarked pants.

Let me explain. For some reason a chunk of poop was slopped on the toilet, above the base of the bottom but not visible when standing. It only becomes visible once you pull your pants up and lose your grip.

You may try again, but you will fail. There's no controlling your grip when human fisces are involved. At this point, you realize something is on your pants, and you look at your hand.

As if the smell wasn't fugly enough, you'll notice how every crevice of your fingernails is filled in.

Soap dispenser, empty.

03 September 2006 

Shit list.

I'm on it. I'm on it because I forgot, for the second time, to call someone when I said I would. All this tension is over a Saturday night. I'm slowly learning the new norms of new friends.

The philosophy that I'll call you but if something else comes up don't wait on me doesn't fly. At this point, apologies sound like a broken-record.

So I obsess, because it's what I do best. If someone is upset or frustrated with me, no matter how big or small of a conflict, the whole situation swirls and twists my thoughts. Do I address it and face a potential blow-out? Do I not address it and let the tension slowly fade - until the next mistake I make? Was I really an ass?

Trying to remember when drama suddenly had a place in my life...

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