Thursday, August 28, 2008

Observation and effect about looking grubby in a grocery store

I live almost exactly halfway between the Harford Rd. Safeway and the Moravia Rd. Giant. I'd never been to the latter, though, and since I've been unhappy with the lines at the Safeway so much lately, I decided to check out the Giant. After an after-school hour nap so I could stay up to see Barack Obama tonight, I threw on a pair of sweat shorts, a white undershirt, and, because I couldn't find my sandals, a pair of dress shoes without socks. A pretty impressive sight. But I just needed milk and a few other things.

And, of course, at the grocery store, I see four students who graduated from my school last year. The former student of mine yelled across the store at me, making a big scene of waving at me. The three kids I didn't teach were a little more uncertain, saying "Hi" to me and waiting for recognition back. Since I didn't teach them, I couldn't offer any, so was just polite. "Aren't you the baseball coach up (school)?" one kid outside asked, after his friend sort of looked up at him like, "Why are you talking to this poorly dressed white man?". He was right, though, and they both talked to me for a while even though they had never had my class.

It was a good reminder to (a) look a little more presentable when I leave the house, because you never know who you'll run into; (b) I like living in the same area as my students; and (c) I love the fact that I've sort of set up these kind of roots in the city and at my job. It makes me feel part of the greater school community.

*****

A great day with the 9th graders today. I'm teaching them text-marking and analysis for theme, and tomorrow we're going to turn it into an Observation / Effect thesis statement. You know, stuff like, Cisneros uses olfactory imagery and child-like similes to demonstrate the theme that a mother's love is the only thing that can keep you safe in a tough world. That's for "Hairs." One of my ninth graders, working ahead, came up with that one today. Not bad, for a ninth grader, eh? So far, we've only learned about four or five literary devices (metaphor, simile, personification, hyperbole, and today, the five kinds of imagery - visual, olfactory, auditory, gustatory, and tactile), but it's a start. We start Fences next week. I'm just running off some vignettes from Cisneros.

The first week of school can be frustrating a bit, because you feel like a paper pusher. So much paperwork that I just wish teachers weren't in charge of - emergency cards, textbook contracts (ironically, I haven't had textbooks for my class in six years), acceptable use policy sheets, syllabi, free and reduced lunch forms. I didn't get enough of any of them, and still don't have enough free and reduced lunch forms. So this year, I tried to be really tough, and say that I was only accepting these things the next day, and counting it for a grade, but, you know what? The kids still forgot them, and I still need them, and now I have to convince them other ways. And call home. And hope they bring them in. And then check them off. And then alphabetize them. And all I want to do is teach!

Today, I felt like I did, and didn't give up any of the time to do that BS. It felt awesome.

1 comment:

gretchen said...

I wouldn't be getting dressed up to go to the Moravia Road Giant, either!