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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Avoiding the blog...

No, not you guys, although it probably feels like that. (I'm sorry--I love reading everyone's blogs, mostly I've just been busy!)

And mostly it's been my own blog I'm avoiding. I had some very cool, very funny stuff to blog about, like how my administrator requested I didn't mention anatomical parts on my referrals (although she thought my referrals were very very entertaining) or the five stages of getting a bad review (panic, refusal, bargaining, whining and swearing) or even the absolute abyss of craptasm that my mood was yesterday (too many people needing something from me--always a bad day).

And then I had the department meeting and craptasm took on a whole new meaning.

See, our goal lately has been to 'all get on the same page'. I've never been very good at this--ever. I've never worn what everyone else was wearing, I've never done my hair the same way everyone else has done, I've never approached life in an orderly fashion, and 'getting my curriculum on the same page'...

Well, I swore I'd try.

In fact, I seem to recall, clear as day, telling my department head that I'd be willing to change my first quarter essay from a persuasive to a personal reflective. I even recall some tentative plans to do just that.

And then today, when he asked everyone what page we were on, I was proud--we'd just finished the persuasive essay! Well, it made sense to me--the entire first quarter is rationalist literature--It's ALL persuasive essays! It's just... so... damned... easy... to use the literature to teach the essay. And I've showed him my approach before, and he's liked it! But it wasn't what he was looking for, and I could tell he wanted to ream me, but he didn't want to do it in front of his curriculum clones (there's three of them, all young, all male, all obsessive compulsive, all REALLY excited about this 'on the same page' thing) and there I was, off in Amy-land, seeming to be completely clueless as to what the real world was doing.

And to some extent, I was.

I wasn't even to timeline. I mean, I was REALLY excited myself--last year, I did two extra rationalist pieces (Thomas Jefferson and someone else I completely forget right now) and didn't get to The Crucible until second semester. I just started the Crucible, and I may be about 1/2 way through (or possibly all the way through... I've got some plans to just rip us right through that puppy) by the time finals get here. So, on the one hand, I've accomplished a four week streamline--and that was WITH the debacle of the entire week and a half time-out I took to do the one sentence summary in response to our collaborative group time experiment on behalf of the administration. (Holy shit. I'd forgotten about that. Dammit--I really WAS on track to finish the Crucible by Christmas. Shit shit shit shit shit--that pisses me off all over again!) On the other hand, I'm still behind. And as I bumbled my way through THAT explanation (while Mr. Trick is looking at me like an iguana he brought home by mistake) I found myself wishing longingly for Mr. Sparrow.

Mr. Sparrow has the same problem. He's out now getting chemo, but when he's working he's A. unconventional, B. brilliant, and C. charismatic. Since I am merely A, he sort of had the effect of making me look good. We used to have long conversations about how sometimes we'd start out wanting to do a two week unit and it would grow to take up the entire quarter. We'd have deep discussions about how we just couldn't let them skim over the curriculum, we had to give it depth and breadth and color and scope.

He made me feel good about moments like this, when, holy shit, I'm behind and on a different page, but he'd been there.

Today, I just felt off kilter and old and female and weird.

It's funny how one person can completely alter the effect of the bad shit on your day, isn't it? I mean, I knew I missed the guy, but I didn't realize how humanizing and accessible he tended to make my mostly male department.

It's also funny how, with really awesome people, you want them to feel better for purely selfish reasons. I really hope he feels better--I miss how he makes ME feel.

7 comments:

Louiz said...

Oh ick. Nothing like being made to feel out of place at work, is there:(

KnitTech said...

Why is it when people say on the same page they don't understand there are about six paragraphs per page?

Donna Lee said...

I don't understand the need to be "all on the same page". I would think they hired you because you are a good teacher and they should just get out of your way and let you teach (I often feel that way at my job). I'd rather students learned a few things and really knew them than learned a little about a lot of things. But our society seems to be canted that way-lots of people know a little bit about a lot of things (and then feel qualified to discuss them. at length.)

Julie said...

We all feel that way (I hope he feels better because he makes me feel better). You're just more honest about it, both with the interwebs and yourself. I'm betting the Three Uptight Stooges never had a moment's honest introspection in their lives. (That's often what makes stooges, IMHO.)

Anyway. Bummer on the curriculum, but you know, conformity is the worst thing taught in the public schools. You're safe.

Roxie said...

On the same page? So if you get a class that just devours something you can't romp ahead with them because you have to wait for the dullards who are being taught by the uninspired? Arrgh! Tell your bright students about GEDs and hint that they can get more challenging work in college if they get out of high-school early.

DecRaink said...

LoL I'm with KnitTech

Galad said...

Ditto KnitTech