Wednesday, February 28, 2007
at the gym - the saga continues
Please don't misunderstand me. I love the mentally handicapped.

They're God's children - innocent, kind, and mostly unencumbered of pettiness and the neuroses that the rest of us have to put up with. Furthermore, the mentally handicapped tend to love me too. I've never been exactly sure why, but while my presence often reduces babies and teenage girls to tears; animals, older children, elderly men and those with mental handicaps tend to love me. So, I would never, ever dream of dishonoring or belittling someone with a cognitive disability. And that's not what I'm planning on doing here.

At least, I don't mean to. Really.

But allow me to back up. Due to a poorly planned nap, I made it to the gym uncharacteristically late yesterday. Arriving at work-out "rush hour," I considered myself lucky that there was exactly one treadmill available, allowing me to jump on and avoid an irksome wait. What I didn't notice right away was that the man running next to me was mentally handicapped.

Which, of course, is fine. Please remember, I love the mentally handicapped.

At my gym the wall in front of the treadmills is lined with mirrors, allowing me to stare at my sweaty self and and my sweaty treadmill neighbors, and since there's little else to do I tend to spend a fair amount of time sizing up those around me. As for my neighbor, there were no noticeable physical signs of his handicap, but right away I noticed his cumbersome gate and general awkwardness. My suspicions were soon further raised when I began to hear him sing a sloppily executed but soulfully felt rendition of "Eye of the Tiger" along with the discman he was clutching in his hand. After running along side him for a bit longer, I began to notice some of the less subtle signs. Nearly the entire time he ran his face remained lit up with a childish grin, and he would periodically raise a large hand to wave at random people who walked past him. I noticed that most of the people he waved to made solid attempts to avoid his gaze, and instead of waving back most shifted their eyes down to the floor, which saddened me. So when he eventually turned sideways to me and treated me to a huge, sweet grin and a friendly wave, I made a point of meeting his gaze reflected in the mirror and offered a big smile in return, thinking how nice it must be to innocently see the world as a place filled with friends and fun and smiles. It was in the middle of that thought when I glanced something else in the mirror, and my eyes drifted south of his face to notice that he had a...


well, I noticed that he appeared to have a rather large, er...
What I mean to say is that it appeared that he had seemed to develop a unmistakable...

...oh, come on. Don't make me say it. You get the idea.

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Tuesday, February 27, 2007
sweetness and light
Dear me. Teaching nearly one hundred freshmen how to write a research paper, read good and do other things good too has effectively turned my brain to mush. Oh, how I want to write something clever and funny and interesting, but I seem to have completely misplaced both my attention span and my commitment to task completion. So instead, here are the lyrics from that Portastatic song that I've been obsessively listening to for the past week or so. And please know that if you asked nicely, it's true - I would sing a song of sweetness and light for you. Punk.

Oh look what just came rolling down this morning's face.
Some shiny tears from sleepy eyes,
won't go to waste.
I've got a Lucite frame.
Then filling up with grain,
in red with one wax pencil
we mark the time and date.

I'm going to turn this truck around,
when we run out of space.

You say, "Why can't you sing of hopeful things
and skies that go from grey to blue?"
I know my voice is like a broken saw.
I know my voice is like a tightening screw.
If I could write a song of sweetness and light for you,
oh honey that's just the first thing that I would do.
Yeah I would, too.

There is a temperature where even we must take the armor off,
a point at which the carapace can just dissolve.
And while the river rises cool and clear around our knees,
we'll watch while clouds that covered us are broken by the breeze.

You say, "Why can't you sing of hopeful things,
and skies that go from grey to blue?"
I know my voice is like a broken saw.
I know my voice is like a sickly shrew.
If I could sing a song of sweetness and light for you,
oh honey that's just the first thing that I would do.

Yeah I would, too.

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Monday, February 26, 2007
strangest compliment of the day
"Wow, Mrs. W, you sure are getting thin. Shouldn't you be GAINING weight? That way whenever you decide to get pregnant people won't notice how fat you're getting."

(Every day is a little smallpox-infected blanket sorta gift, ain't it?)

Friday, February 23, 2007
a little shim sham shimmy to kick off your weekend

(It really starts to pick up around minute 1:20, just so's you know.)


Thursday, February 22, 2007
books: 5 down, 19 to go: the zombie survival guide
My lovely zombie buddy (In the sense that we are both intensely interested in zombies, not that he is a zombie. At least, I don't think so...) was kind enough to lend me his copy of Max Brooks's The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead for this year's book #5. The book delivers exactly what the title promises, tips and strategies to fight off, defend oneself from, and overcome a zombie threat. It reads exactly like a manual and, indeed, there is exactly one joke - a joke that, in my opinion at least, was funny enough to carry the book. Additionally, it was a real eye-opener for me, since I have discovered that due to the inaccessibility of my attic, my general ignorance of firearms and the fact that I have not yet secured a refuge on a remote island, I am currently woefully unprepared in the event that there is a zombie attack in my future. But since I am a fighter and refuse to be paralyzed by fear, consider my training underway. (And please do let me know if you'd care to pool resources.)

Next Up: Lost and Found, by Carolyn Parkhurst (on loan from my lovely Amazing Race buddy)

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007
things i want to do, but will probably never do, and that's alright because i probably shouldn't do them anyway
(explanations provided when I felt like providing them)
  • shave my head (I'm pretty sure it would simplify things tremendously, and I suspect my head is relatively lump-free.)
  • sell my house, pack my bags and move to a big city with a more temperate climate
  • get another tattoo (A triforce on my hand could quite possibly place me in the running for the biggest geek on the planet, would it not?)
  • learn to shoot a gun
  • tell administration what I honestly think (and actually sign my name to the letter this time...)
  • punch someone in the face (but only someone who has done something positively despicable to deserve it, of course)
  • wrestle an alligator
  • attempt to live amongst wild grizzly bears, chimps, and/or orangutan
  • master the fine art of the nunchuck
  • vacation in India
  • quit my job, dye my hair pink and form a synth-pop duo (care to join me?)


Tuesday, February 20, 2007
happy paczki day
Lent officially begins tomorrow. Like the (ahem) good Catholic girl that I am, last year I made a valiant effort to severely limit my television viewing habits. This year, I am vowing to give up...absolutely NOTHING! God understands, I'm sure.

And in the spirit of gluttony, I know you want to see the winner of Hamtramack's contest for the biggest paczek in Michigan, which is roughly the size of my head. Well, maybe even bigger than my head, since my head is kind of absurdly small. (Seriously, I can't find a hat that fits.)

Wow. I can't decide if that looks delicious or revolting. Delvolting, I guess.

(photo via Metro Times)

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Monday, February 19, 2007
feeling ranty, part deux
It's Monday. I have the day off. You'd think that would make me happy, but not so. I'm terrifically ranty, and here's a few reasons why:

#1: Flirty Drivers

I don't think my husband believes that this actually happens (and if he does, I suspect he doubts the frequency that I claim), but it seems that whenever I am alone in my car I am getting perpetually accosted by my flirty, male road neighbors. I'd like to think that it's because I'm so terrifically good looking, but I'm not. I'm a perfectly average looking woman, which can only lead me to believe that there must be legions of men out there who think that pulling their car up next to the car of a lone woman, smiling, nodding, and occasionally making obscene hand gestures is an acceptable method of courtship. Well, it's not. It's weird, uncomfortable, and I'm pretty sure fairly dangerous. So knock it off, weirdos. Go flirt with women at bars, MySpace message boards, and grocery stores like normal people.

#2: American Idol
Words can not fully express the extent to which I loathe America's favorite television show. I'm sure that there is more than one person reading this post who would be quick to defend the first half of every season of American Idol for the way that it "humorously" depicts the delusions of talent that so many Americans seem to have, but since I can't stand watching people make fools of themselves, it's these first audition episodes that bother me the most. Call me odd, but I've never been able to bear watching people standing out on a limb, baring their souls to the world, and facing humiliation instead of the praise they had dreamt of. Seriously, I can't watch it. I have to leave the room. (And yes, I'm sure there's some repressed memory I've buried down deep in my subconscious that's to blame. Mommy?!) But even putting aside the painful-to-watch audition episodes and the total yawn that is every other in-Hollywood installment, what it really comes down to is that the wild popularity of American Idol means that Lost is now on at ten o'clock, which is proving to be a bit too late for this sleepy, ranty lady. Yo dawg, pho realsy.

#3: My Enslavement to my own Physiology
My circulatory system is such that I cannot remain in the same position for longer than 15 minutes if I hope to retain feeling and use of all my limbs. Furthermore, I appear to have the bladder of an eleven-year-old pregnant girl. I am finding these two aspects of my physiology to be increasingly annoying, and my attempts at using Buddhist meditation strategies to rise above my stubborn dependence on the petty needs of my own body has largely been met with failure.

Now if you'll please excuse me, I need to pee and I have no feeling in my right foot. (Stupid, stupid body.)

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Friday, February 16, 2007
walk it off
In his youth, my father was quite the athlete. Now in his fifties, he's converted my former bedroom into a weight room (much to the dismay of my mother). He drinks his coffee black, his scotch straight, likes his singer-songwriters male, and refuses to wear the color yellow.

In other words, he is a man's man.

As a child, one of the ways that this girly girl could connect with him was through athletics. Growing up in a small backwards town where the grand opening of a new Taco Bell nearly started a riot, I was always looking for new things to do. Consequently, at some point in time I can claim to have dabbled in track, pottery, dance, the flute, swimming, softball, photography, basketball, community theater, gymnastics, the piano, cheerleading, volleyball, choir, and soccer. In athletics as well as in life my father was often my coach, and he didn't take weakness lightly. In fact, one of his favorite pieces of advice to me has always been, "walk it off, M-."

And although I've always loved him very much, I hated when he said that to me.

The first time I can recall the phrase was when I was eight years old and in the middle of a soccer match. I despised soccer. I signed up on the co-ed league expecting that it be just that - co-ed. Not so. At the beginning of the season, there were only three other girls in the entire league, and after the first week the three had dwindled down to one - me. I'd like to think that I was totally badass at the sport and delighted in awing all the boys with my mad skillz but, alas, no. I was eight and scared and wanted desperately to quit. Consequently, I was often exaggerating my injuries, hoping my parents would see that I was far too delicate of a flower to be running around with all these horrible, brutish boys. But since we didn't see eye-to-eye on that, I set out to prove just how dangerous soccer was. It was near the end of the season and I had just taken a ball to the stomach. It didn't hurt, but oh how I played it up. And while I had managed to fool my coach, the umpire, most of the onlookers, and all of my teammates, my father, well versed in my tantrums, could not be fooled.

"Walk it off!!!" he advised me, and pouting, I turned around and headed back to the field.

Minutes later I took a pretty fiercely kicked ball to the face, and although this time my vision was blurred and my brain was dazed I had learned my lesson. I didn't cry and I didn't threaten to quit. Instead, I (taking a very crooked path) walked it off.

Perhaps that's why, as an adult, I am loathe to quit anything and I rarely cry. Perhaps it's also why, when I discover one of my teenage students crying in the hallway over some boy, the best advice I can muster is, "Walk it off, honey."

Oh, I am my father's daughter.

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Thursday, February 15, 2007
the nicest thing in my desk
Now, I know that elementary school teachers are used to getting tiny little Valentine’s Day cards from the chubby little hands of their cute little students, but answer me this. Can you think of anything sweeter than finding a handwritten, basketball-themed valentine with a chocolate heart taped to the front, discreetly placed inside your top desk drawer by an extraordinarily quiet fifteen-year-old boy who would be positively mortified if anyone would have seen him giving it to his English teacher?

Because I can’t.


Wednesday, February 14, 2007
so much snow. so much time. so little to do.
I hate to admit it, but I'm bored. This is the second of three weeks where I won't have worked more than three days in the week, and I'm starting to run out of things to do. (Poor, pitiful me, I know.) I braved the roads once today and they were scaaaaaary, so I think I'm holeing myself in for a while. Hence, loads of time wasted on Interweb. I was going to post something entirely different than this, but I second guessed it and instead stole this meme of things we'd want if we were eternally snowed in from Steve, who's also holed in. Hope I don't bore you too much. In fact, feel free to skip it and put a movie in instead. I won't mind.

Still with me? Then here it goes:

Novel You've Read: Nine Stories (So it's not a novel, but I love it and could read it continuously.)

Novel You've Never Read: Catch-22 (I'm embarrassed to admit publicly that I've never read this...but there it is.)

Book Series You've Read: The Dark Tower (the first three)

Book Series You've Never Read: The Dark Tower (the last five)

Nonfiction You've Read: In Cold Blood

Nonfiction You've Never Read: Um..Dianetics? (Joke.) Into Thin Air (another one I can't believe I've never read)

Snow-Themed Movie: A Simple Plan

Non-Snow-Themed Movie: Harold and Maude and Cool Hand Luke

Movie Sequel: The Godfather II and Gremlins II (seriously)

Movie Remake: The Ring (Have you seen the original Japanese one? Dumb.)

Movie Trilogy: The Godfather

TV Channel: Bravo

Season Pass on DVR: Lost

Cartoon: Aqua Teen Hunger Force and The Simpsons

TV Collection on DVD: Twin Peaks and Carnivale (even if they never did finish it)

Magazine Subscription: Spin and Time

Appetizer: Potstickers

Entree: A wide variety of sushi rolls

Dessert: Ice cream

Fast Food Item: White Castle's chicken rings (with honey mustard, of course)

Beer: Newcastle (although I'd get grossly fat very soon)

Wine: Red. (I'm not picky.)

Liquor: Bombay Sapphire

Drink: Coffee (black)

Video Game System With Complete Game Collection: Original NES (so much Super Mario III!!!)

Single Video Game (regardless of platform): The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

Card Game: Euchre

Board Game: Trivial Pursuit (any version will do)

Pet: Chloe and Greta (one of my dogs growing up. i think these ladies would have been friends, too)

Non-Spouse Family Member to Keep You Company: My brother. (so many drunken sing-a-longs)

Albums for the Singing: Belly's King and Over the Rhine's Eve

Albums for Crying: The Smith's Hatful of Hollow and Elliott Smith's XO

Albums for General Enjoyment: Radiohead's OK Computer, Crowded House's Together Alone, and R.E.M.'s Automatic for the People

Piece of Gym Equipment: Treadmill

Exercise You'd Do Every Day: Various free-weight arm exercises. (Gotta keep the girls pretty)

Pair of Shoes: Since I won't have to leave the house - flip-flops

Item of Clothing: Pashminas as far as the eye can see

Crime You'd Wish You'd Committed PreSnow: Robbing Best Buy until they bleed.

Well, that wasted about a half an hour, anyway. Back to Battlestar Galactica, I guess - and a frakken good show that I just finally allowed myself to start watching, that.

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valentine snow day
My lovely Ohio peeps have passed their terrible winter storm up and onto me, so no school today! (again!) Today's plans include:

attempting to make a nice dinner for Nathan that won't result in a trip to the emergency room,

catching up on some of the terribly romantic movies Netflix sent, which have been gathering dust for the past several days,

catching up on my zombie defense strategies,

worrying incessantly about Nathan as he traverses the entire Metro area making deliveries,

giving serious thought to writing another post, since this one was absolute rubbish,

and thinking about you, of course. (Happy V-day, punk!)

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Monday, February 12, 2007
books: 4 down, 20 to go - love is a mix tape
Just in time for Valentine's Day, my most recent read was Rob Sheffield's Love is a Mix Tape. Written as a sort of eulogy for his wife Renee who died suddenly after only five years of marriage, Sheffield (writer for Rolling Stone) finds inspiration in a seemingly endless pile of mix tapes he and his wife made for each other. The book is funny, sweet, and at times very, very sad, but absolutely a worthwhile read.

To give you a taste, here's my favorite passage:
Every time I have a crush on a woman, I have the same fantasy: I imagine the two of us as a synth-pop duo. No matter who she is, or how we meet, the synth-pop duo fantasy has to work, or the crush fizzles out...the girl is up front, swishing her skirt, tossing her hair, a saucy little firecracker. I'm the boy in the back, hidden behind my Roland JP8000 keyboard. She has all the courage and star power I lack. She sings our hit because I would never dare to get up and sing it myself. She moves the crowd while I lurk in the shadows, lavishing all my computer-blue love on her, punching the buttons that shower her in disco bliss and bathe her in the spotlight. I make her a star...I always pictured Renee and me in our synth-pop duo. I never told her about this. In my dreams, she tossed her fake-red locks and stood tall in expensive platforms...It's odd that I've never pictured myself as a solo rock star. I've always dreamed of a new wave girl to stand up front and be shameless and lippy, to take the heat, teach me her tricks, teach me to be brave like her. I needed someone with a quicker wit than mine. The new wave girl was brazen and scarlet. She would take me under her wing and teach me to join the human race, the way Bananarama did with their "Shy Boy." She would pick me out and shake me up and turn me around, turn me into someone new. She would spin me right round, like a record.
Maybe it's just me, but I find that terribly romantic. But then again, I've always sort of wanted to be in a synth-pop duo myself.

And in the spirit of both the book and the holiday, I've made you a mix tape of sorts using finetune, a website recently brought to my attention via Carrie, via A Special Way of Being Afraid, via Pop Candy. (Whew.) I tried to make a love-themed mix, but I discovered that finding 45 love songs which aren't too sappy can be a bit of a challenge, so let's just say some exceptions were made. Nonetheless, let it bathe you in my blue, synth-pop love.

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Friday, February 09, 2007
the most thought-provoking question so far this year
Kenny returned today from yet another suspension, which would have been fine had I not suspected that he has spent the last week sitting at home snorting sugar based on how hyped-up he was to return. Yet despite displaying the predictable irritating behaviors I have come to expect (shouting out randomness at inappropriate moments, throwing things and farting, to name a few), he still managed to pose the most thought-provoking question I have been presented with yet this year. It went a little something like this:

K: Mrs. W, I'm guessing you were a nerd in middle school.

Me: I guess. Isn't everyone?

K: Yeah, but you were probably a nerd in high school too.

Me: Kenny, getting good grades in high school, which will later enable you to have a successful life is actually pretty cool.

K: Okay, but if you're so successful, why are you at a job where you have to deal with me every day?

And three hours later, this is something that I'm still pondering.

(Oh yeah, and happy weekend.)


Thursday, February 08, 2007
six reasons why my car salesman might be in love with me
1. He gives me flowers.

2. He calls me on my birthday.

3. He buys me fancy baked goods.

4. Every time I see him he makes a point of telling me how important I am to him.

5. When I present him with a very irritating issue which would have resulted in me paying for repairs on a car whose lease will be up in a matter of months, he turns on the Barry White bedroom voice, lowers his eyelids and whispers in a voice as smooth as velvet, "Oh M-. No, no, no. You don't have to worry about a thing. Don't you know how much I value you? You just come sit down next to me and we'll sort this whole thing out."

6. 24 hours later everything is sorted out, and I walk away with a brand new car several months earlier than expected.

So, is it love? Um, probably not. But who cares - I just got a new car today. It's shiny and clean and the interior smells terrific, thanks for asking.

(Woohoo! Go team!)


Wednesday, February 07, 2007
the moment i realized the lunch room conversation can't possibly get much worse...
was when it started out with a very painful (for me, anyway) conversation about the best way to potty train your toddler, including references to warm infantile crotches, kids peeing in inappropriate places such as the corners of the living room, and a strong endorsement of the literary merits of books like The Potty Book and Uh Oh! Gotta Go!,

and then shifted to a very awkward (for me, anyway) conversation about a murdered kid someone knew whose body was discovered in a car, burned beyond recognition and he could only be identified by his dental records,

and was then ended with a very uncomfortable (for me, anyway) silence and general shuffling of feet under the table.

(Here's to hoping someone else watches Lost tonight so tomorrow won't bring more of the same.)


Tuesday, February 06, 2007
reason #56 why i love andrew bird
This clip of Andrew Bird appearing on Jack's Big Music Show as Dr. Stringz is absolutely adorable. And the song's pretty catchy too, even if it was written for an audience no older than seven. Too cute.

As one You Tube commenter said, "man just think of all the indie cred these kids got."

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books: 3 down, 21 to go - my sister's keeper
For those who don't know:

My Sister's Keeper is about a girl who is seeking legal emancipation from the parents who genetically engineered her to be a donor for her sister who is dying of leukemia. Apparently, the straw that broke the camel's back was when her mother insists that she give a kidney to her sister. Honestly, I'm not sure how it ends since I didn't finish it, but I'm guessing that Anna doesn't have to give her sister the kidney, consequently Kate dies, which makes the brother realize that it's childish and dumb to burn down buildings just to get the attentions of your parents, and then the pushy mother is inexplicably hit by a truck because karma demands justice. Or something like that anyway.

Okay, so maybe I didn't actually
finish My Sister's Keeper. Technically, I probably shouldn't even count it as my third book of the year for that very reason. But in my defense, if sticking through 300 pages of a book that I was thoroughly annoyed with nearly the entire time doesn't count as giving a serious effort, then I don't know what would. (Well, I suppose reading the last 50 pages would, but that just isn't going to happen now, is it?)

So here's the deal with this book. Thousands of women adore it. In fact, every time I've heard people talk about it, it's been with nothing short of glowing praise. I admit that the premise of the novel is intriguing and perhaps in the hands of a better writer it could have been something great, but at the risk of incurring the wrath of any number of anonymous female commentors I'm going to just come out and say it - I don't think Jodi Picoult is a very good writer. So there. It's out.
(Please don't claw my eyes out or pull my hair.)

I can't really put my finger on what bugged me so much about this book, but I think a lot of it comes from Picoult's inability to create truly believable characters. For instance, no seventeen-year-old boy refers to a hot woman as a "bodacious babe," precious few thirteen-year-old girls throw around words like "centenarian," and no fifteen-year-old girl would say that she's "doped up enough to make Ozzy and Sharon look like Ozzie and Harriet." And since there were no shortage of passages like these, I spent a lot of my time reading with gritted teeth.

But lots and lots of other people loved the book, so maybe I'm just full of it. It wouldn't be the first time. (Nor the last, for that matter.)

Up next: Love is a Mix Tape, by Rob Sheffield

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Monday, February 05, 2007
breaking news from the arctic circle
Oh dear, it's cold. Frigid, even. So cold that I was cleaning out one of my closets yesterday I discovered frost forming on the wall. Frost. Now I'm no architect, but I'm pretty sure that ain't right.

...I've been trying to teach my dog to use the toilet because I'm afraid that her little red behind might instantly freeze to the ground should I let her outside. Needless to say, her reactions to this endeavor have ranged from curious to frustrated to enraged.

...I'm rocking out in not one but two pairs of socks, yet I still can't feel my toes. I hope I don't lose them. I need them for balancing. was canceled today. (Yippee!) Today's plans include no fewer than two blankets, watching a scary movie, and focusing very hard on my extremities.

So, hey you. Bundle up. Stay warm. Stay fabulous. Kisses.

Friday, February 02, 2007
a few measly crumbs
So, I'm still laughing at this whole Aqua Teen Hunger Force/terrorism scare mess in Boston. Hilariously bizarre, no?

After last night, I'm thinking that 30 Rock has rounded the corner and beat The Office as the funniest show on television. Although I'm sure there still are a few people out there who'd like to challenge me to a dance fight in defense of The Office's honor. (But I'm warning you...I can shake it, shake it, shake it.)

Love is a Mix Tape finally arrived in the mail today, and I'm giving serious thought to abandoning My Sister's Keeper in its favor. I'm wondering if that means that I'm a book behind in my resolution, or if a 200 page attempt is good enough?

Hey Wincing the Night Away, you have to know that I am found of you..fond of Y. O. U...

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Thursday, February 01, 2007
what it's like

I know that many of you have often wondered what it might be like to be charged with the edumacation of nearly one hundred freshmen every day, and although it’s often an experience that words fail to accurately express, I think the experience that I had yesterday sums it up pretty well.

We’ve just begun studying Greek mythology, so the kiddies were tasked with researching and presenting on one god or another. During the presentations there was a definite din in the room, which is usual, although what was unusual was that the buzz of conversation was actually related to what we were studying. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to me that stories of castration, gods taking animal forms to rape mortal women and incest would hold their tiny attentions, but I was still a bit surprised at how uncharacteristically engaged everyone was in the lesson. Go me.

So, I was standing in the room trying to explain why Paris was an idiot for choosing to give the golden apple to Aphrodite over Athena, effectively endorsing beauty over intelligence, when a hand shot in the air. It was John, a quiet kid who does little and never ever participates. The expression on his face was intensely quizzical, and he appeared to be working something terribly complex over in his mind. He paused when I called on him, and looked at me as if he’s been watching me for the last five months trying to figure me out and the pieces had finally just fallen into place. I must admit that I was secretly anxious to finally get a glimpse inside his mind, hoping that the question would be something insightful and asking it would allow us to have our first intelligent class discussion of the year. But when he did speak, it was to make a statement rather than to pose a question:

“Mrs. W, you’re short.”

And in a nutshell, that is what it’s like to teach freshmen.

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