Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Sailing along

The past month has been busy.

School has started back up. 1 class I actually need to graduate (Contemporary Art), 2 classes just to keep health insurance

So a class debrief:

Spanish- fun stuff, professor is a flirt, not getting much out of it, but it should be an easy "A"
Art- it is week 5 and we still haven't received a syllabus. The professor seems lost. He is one of those who says he'll grade based on effort, which translates into he'll play favorites, and he probably doesn't like you.
Women's Studies (yes, it is one of the few classes I could take offered this quarter)- Professor is a cross between trailer trash and a cheerleader. She'll wear slacks and a Marlboro t-shirt that with her stomach hanging out. She is probably 6' with long, blond hair. She starts of class saying "Loves, dears, babes, oooooh I just love you guys. It is so great to see you all here. We need to start the love, I need to feel the love, let's move the desk together and get the love going today."
She also has a marvelous vocabulary- some new words she has taught me thus far:
- Thunkfucked- you had a thought, lost it, so you thunk it, but since you forgot it you are thunkfucked
- Mother shit of anus
- Shitty Mcpity
- Anal mother rectum
- Bitchfuck
- Mother shit
- Anal Fucker
And keep in mind, this is a women's studies class. Does her language portray women in a good light? I'll let you judge.


The principal at my mom's school approached me asking if I would be the lead sub during the state testing. What does that mean? Basically that if a teacher is going to be out on a day we are testing, and the office manager knows it I have first priority to be the sub. It also means I show up everyday and if no teachers are out I get paid to give teachers a bathroom break.

I love that I'm a white boy who knows Spanish. It helps when in the classroom and overhearing kids convos. I really don't want to hear about the "puta" running around campus, or the guy with a really big "pene," or a girl or guy with a really nice "culo."
One gal in a math class I was subbing in last week was telling me that her mom was a big puta and she was planning on following in her footsteps. I asked if I heard what I did and hoped I didn't. Two minutes later she was talking about other "putas" running around campus. I told her I thought we needed to head to the office to discuss professions with the principal and sent her out for being off task, disruptive and foul language.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Summation of my whereabouts

Friday, March 20-
Last final- Spanish Linguistics is over!
Dinner at BJ's with coworkers

Saturday, March 21-
Took off to Seattle with my mom
Hotel had beautiful unobstructed view of Space Needle
Walked down to the Westlake Mall
Rode the monorail down to the Space Needle, then went up in the Space Needle
Dinner at Westlake- Indian Food - saffron rice and chicken masala

Sunday, March 22-
Shopped Pike's Place Market
Pike's Place Market Food Tour - Savor Seattle
- Sampled: 3 kinds of salmon (alderwood, lemon, and salmon jerky), Washington apples and pears, random trail mixes, Triple coconut cream pie at Tom Douglas' restaurant Etta's, clam chowder, seafood bisque, gouda cheese, and more.
Dinner at a Mexican Restaurant in the mall

Monday, March 23-
Breakfast at a restaurant at Pike's Place
Bus ride to Qwest Field and Safeco Parks
Seattle Underground Tour
Dinner at one of Tom Douglas' (Food Network's Top Chef contestant). We ate at Serious Pie, his pizza restaurant. Had a rabbit pizza
Went over to explore Capitol Hill after dark

Tuesday, March 24-
Shopped around Downtown
Back to Ontario

Wednesday, March 25-
Montgomery Gentry Concert over in San Bernardino

Thursday, March 26-
Cleaning and catch up
Lunch date

Friday, March 27-
Last day at the AVID Tutor gig for the year
Lunch with the teachers
Starbucks after with the coworkers - made plans for dinner with the teachers and coworkers in the future

Saturday, March 28-

Thursday, March 12, 2009


That pretty much describes today. I was requested to sub by the office manager last Monday. It was a roving sub job. She put me up to it because I know the teachers at my mom's school well.

So let's break the day down:
6:45 arrive
7:00 check in at office
7:05 sent to counseling office
7:25 asked to sub for math teacher whom is at a conference and her sub didn't show
7:28 counselor said I am subbing for someone else
7:30 attendance clerk confirms I'm subbing for the math teacher
7:31 open door, greet students, pass out math test, remind them the definition of silence, and they work well
7:55 math sub shows
8:00 I cover for my mom's friend Linda's SST she had to attend. I ask her what the kids are doing in the 2nd period because I was worried she wouldn't be back. She said just listen to announcements. I pressed for more. Finally she said the kids are reading a baseball article. I had them finish reading that when they walked in. Linda was still not back at 8:30. To stall and make sure they understood things because she wasn't back I randomly asked them questions about Mark McGuire, Sammy Sosa, what they did, and things mentioned in the articles.

8:45 Linda is still not back. Crap. What to do? Oh. There's book questions about the article. Give the kids 10 minutes to answer them on their own. Still more time? What to do? Let's look over them as a class. Ask class to focus and quiet down. At that time principal and district visitor walk in. Class is quieting, then becomes so silent you could hear a pin drop. I say we're reviewing the questions, read the question aloud, ask for the kids to respond. It goes amazingly well. The 2 kids who are her worst totally carried me because they happen to be baseball fans. They even brought up how McGuire is now being accused of using steroids, to which I asked them what they thought about that. Does that overshadow his good deeds? Then I made a literature connection- CHARACTER! Here are two character flaws. Is this person still reliable? Are they still credible? Good discussion. Kids argued no. I argued the opposite. Was this different because it was real life? Kids argued no. Visitor took copious notes. Linda walked in about 5 minutes into it and she just stood there smiling. Principal and visitor left. I continued asking the questions. When finished I turned it over to Linda. She moved the kids on to the next assignment and told me how great that went.

9:15 sub for crazy 7th grade history - just made sure the kids didn't kill each other as the teacher told me to do
9:30 other 7th grade crazies in Algebra 1... they can be bad kids, but the teacher had them trained. I kept them on task. She asked how my Algebra skills were. Crap. What were they doing? I said I felt confident after she said linear equations. Oh! Y=3X-2, graph. Easy. 4-5 kids asked questions, I walked around and helped them. Told her the kids were wonderful

10:00 sub for Algebra 1 doing fractions and basic algebraic equations. Teacher left me with probably a dozen suspensions. She said if someone is out of their seat, send them out, she is not playing games. 3 girls were sent out. When she came back she said the class was loud and she was unhappy with their disrespect. I snuck out.

10:30 go to Mrs. C's class. She tells me it is easy. She has the low level reading kids and they're working in groups on vocabulary. Just monitor them and guide them along, going back and forth between groups. Easy.

11:00 sub for 8th grade English where the kids were working in their spelling books

11:30 sub for Mrs. C again

12:00 lunch - Linda snuck away to get us breakfast sandwiches at Jack in the Box

12:35 Sub for Mrs. H- nicest lady- worst students. She has the worst 7th grader's taken from the crazy class and transplanted here. Sent 2 gals out, then one threw an eraser at me while standing at the door. Suspended her. Then her boyfriend threw one and I called the office. Nobody picked up. Walked him up to the office when the teacher came back. In the meantime I conducted a lesson on the state of Kentucky. The kids were reading and answering questions on it. We went over those. I told them they had 1 minute after the bell for being loud, she walked in as I was saying that. She said no, 10 minutes. She kept them 10 minutes after school. Poor darlings.

1:15 sub for new math teacher. She said just go over linear equations and I stepped right in on the problem she was demonstrating, worked, worked, worked. Even did 2 homework problems with the kids.

1:45 profuse thank you's from her


Thursday, March 5, 2009

How Can You Be So Heartless?

I subbed for my mom's friend Linda today. She has one kid named Jerry who is probably ADD and in a class of 34 with about a dozen others like that can be quite a challenge. I know him well. He's an interesting little one.

Today when he came in the classroom he saw me, hugged me, then was begging to be sent to my mom's classroom. I laughed and assured him if he stays in his seat and quiet, we'd get along great.

Five minutes later after attendance the students were engaged in group work. Jerry was still quieting down and trying to get focused. When he came in he was talking about pigs, Big Macs, and Jack in the Box. I never know what he'll say.

Class gets situated and Jerry has to scream out something about Jack in the Box, Whoppers, being hungry, and pigs. A minute later he created a song, and sang, which was absolute brilliance in my opinion sung to the tune of Kanye's "Heartless."

In the night, I roll up to my Jack in the Box,
hungry as can ever be
wanting a cheeseburger
How could you be so hungry?
Oh... How could you be so hungry?

In the night, I go into the McDonalds
wanting me my Big Mac
Something so juicy, something so tasty
How could you be so hungry?
Oh... How could you be so hungry?

He did this for the different fast food restaurants and I loved it! It was hilarious!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The sweet escape

Work was fun today. I subbed for my mom who has a sinus infection. It has been developing for 2 weeks, but the past couple days she has been very hoarse, which was a sure sign she'd lose her voice today. She always ends up throwing up because of all the drainage and so spent the day at Kaiser.

Spent the time before school in the teacher's lounge talking about the newly passed state budget with a few teachers. Went to her room and as I was walking in, my mom's friend Linda was cutting through. She told me that we were going to breakfast at Farmer Boys during her prep period. I laughed and said it sounded good. Third period rolls around and Linda strolls through. We take off and spend the next 45 minutes talking about school, AVID, and my tutoring gig for AVID. As we get back from breakfast Linda tells me we won't be hungry at lunch, so we'll have dessert. She said we'll have cookies. She bought a bunch of Valentine's cookies and put them in my mom's refrigerator in her classroom. So lunch rolls around and we talk about the students and I tell her about me pursuing a teaching credential, as well as the CSETs. Talking to her was a breath of fresh air- she gave a different perspective nobody else had on going to a private institution for my credential.

I had an easy day as she was giving the final test for her class and she has GREAT kids. Her 6th period class just adored me and didn't know I was her son. I normally am very down to business and let's move, let's do this, let's do that, you need to be on task, etc. With my mom's students I'm much more lax. My mom told me to be- she said they were good kids (I've subbed for her many times before) and that she always is when she gives a test. She told me to tell them to sharpen pencils, take out notes, and give them plenty of time for that because the test would take almost, but not all period. So it worked out. Being laxed like that let me joke around with her 6th period and let the fact sink in I was my mom's son- they hadn't seen me before (and supposedly most of these kids were 7th graders, who should have run into me last year.)

Friday, February 13, 2009


Estoy muy feliz que finalmente he logrado el punto de fluidez de EspaƱol. I'm very excited that I finally feel that I have reached the point of fluency in Spanish. So much so in fact, that I have registered for the CSETs in Spanish. Those are the subject examination tests to become a teacher here in Cali.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Taylor Swift is taking over the world

I know I said months ago that Taylor Swift was taking over the world. Whoever is behind her (her parents, advertisers, record label, or the mafia), I'm not sure. What I do know is that I heard her on KGGI 99.1 the other day; they're an R&B and rap station. KIIS is now playing her songs, as well as KBIG 104, MYFM. She is on every awards show. Her concert in April at the Staples Center (I think that's the venue) sold out in 2 minutes on Friday.

Why? She has no talent.
If she could carry a tune I may not be worried.
I guess in all honesty it is her youngness, pureness, and appeal to young girls... but is that it?