Tuesday, January 26, 2010


So work is going pretty well. I've officially been there for a week now, and I'm thoroughly enjoying it. Best part? One of the second grade boys is constantly asking me when it will be his turn to work with me. (I pull them out of class one at a time for about ten minutes each for a little practice) Except, he's one of the "good" kids and doesn't need help, at least not with reading. But he won't take know for an answer, and keeps asking every day. Crushing? I'll let you decide. But between him and the fourth graders in the after school club, I'm kinda enjoying this feeling of being completely adored. :-)

Speaking of the fourth graders, I'm discovering a little bit of just how hard it must be to be a teacher of kids who think you really do know everything. Last week one of the girls asked me if "dog backwards" was a bad word.

(side note: the whole dog backwards thing kind of made me laugh - I haven't heard that in soooooo long! It reminded me of my own elementary school days . . . and how some of the eighth graders who cursed better than sailors were the first graders who were the first to cover their mouths and gasp when someone said "heck." Even then I giggled at the irony.)

Okay, tangent over. Ummmm . . . what am I supposed to say to that? Sure, I can tell her it's a bad word, but then what if she goes home and hears her parents say it, and tells them that her teacher said it was a bad word, and then they complain to the principal and then I get fired, and yes, I'm probably blowing the whole thing out of proportion, but have you seen the news these past few years?! Parents these days are experts at making huge deals out of silly things, and the more trivial the issue, the bigger fit they throw, it seems. I gotta say, I'm kind of embarrassed to think that these parents (at least some of them) are my contemporaries. Seriously. Not cool.

But really, what am I supposed to say? I'm neither the kid's parent, nor her Sunday School teacher/religious leader. I have no right to impose my moral values on her or tell her what I believe is right. So I hedged and said some people think it's bad and then (quite skillfully, if I do say so myself) took the topic back the homework she was supposed to be doing. Cop out? Perhaps . . . probably. But she totally took me by surprise. Here's hoping I don't have to do something like that again.

The other (bigger, more consistent) problem I have is with the math homework. Okay, in the first place, these kids get about three times more homework than I ever did, which strikes me as pretty crazy. When do they get to be kids?! And in the second place, they're doing math that I haven;t done since . . . well, since about fourth grade. And I'm supposed to help them?! I'm supposed to explain to them what to do when they don't know?! I'm supposed to check their work and make sure it's correct?! I really hope I'm not responsible for these kids' math grades slipping.

On that note, I have to admit I kind of don't see the point of math classes beyond about a fourth grade level. Because when it comes to the real world, I haven't done any mental math more advanced than simple addition whilst grocery shopping . . . well, pretty much ever, and even then I rarely add a number bigger than about four to the running total. And I haven't used a calculator for math significantly harder than that . . . well, ever. I still have my old TI-82 graphing calculator from high school math (which I failed miserably, thank you very much!), but my cell phone calculator is actually more advanced than I need. More advanced than I've needed in six years, as a matter of fact. So can someone please explain to me what the point is in the average student taking geometry and calculus and trig? (failed geometry, didn't take the others, just fyi) Sure, the engineering and chem and pre-med majors all need more math, but what the crap are the rest of us ever going to so with it? And heaven knows my life and GPA would have been much better off and more pleasant without the math.

You know what the worst part is? I can't tell the kids that. I feel so sorry for them - at least I"m done with the torture!

P. ost S. cript
Okay, even if you never watch the videos I post, if you only ever watch one in your entire lifetime, make it this one. I guarantee you won't regret it. Make it full screen too, otherwise you might miss the best part like I almost did. Seriously - funniest thing ever. EVER.


  1. yep, seen that video a thousands times...bring it on a thousand more!

  2. Hmm ... Math skills needed in everyday life ... thinking "Hmm, I've got 3 whole cars plus the cab of a shuttle, which is about 25 rows, each hold about 5 people. That's about 125 ... I've got about 200 people standing on the dock. Yeah, I can get them all on this shuttle"

  3. especially if it's the last shuttle of the day.

  4. Well, I've never seen it. And I almost missed the best part, too!

    Okay, time to watch the video again to study exactly where she hit and how hard she hit--when that happens to me.