Monday, September 29, 2008

Guest Speaker

I am really running around like a madman lately, but hopefully it will be all worth it.

I organized and chaperoned a field trip with 50 ninth grader alone on Friday. On Saturday, still exhausted from Friday, I got up at 5am to make the trek with 155 students down to Virginia Beach to canvass for Barack Obama on both weekend days. Last night, I got home at around 12:30 after dropping the last student - a huge basketball player from Carver who I met the moment I offered him a ride home because it was pretty clear that I could get home much quicker that way than waiting for his guardian to come pick him up (he had called them, literally, 30 times, and it was now nearly an hour after everyone else had left). This young man was very courteous, and I enjoyed our discussion of Nelly's latest shoe song and Kanye West's awesome new single on the way to his house, but he had just moved to his new place and wasn't exactly sure where it was. A west sider his whole life, he was now an unfamiliar east sider, but it seemed like from his description that his house was near mine. We just sort of drove around until he recognized something familiar. It wasn't that bad, but still a late night.

Today, I sleepwalked through the day. I got more sleep than most of my fellow chaperones on Saturday night, because we jetted off and got a hotel room, but the lack of a weekend and overally lack of sleep since around Wednesday, along with the drives, still kicked my butt pretty good. There wasn't room for us on the nice big busses, so we climbed into my colleague's little Sentra for the trek down to Virginia Beach and back. The rides were long and the weekend was hard.

But, as exhausting as it was, I'm so glad that I did it. That we did it. I think the kids will remember it forever and, on November 6th, it will all seem worth it. I'm praying.

Adding to my huge flux of activity right now is a guest speaker that is coming to speak to my classes tomorrow. A professor from American University who I worked with at the Folger Library during the Teaching Shakespeare Institute this past summer, Caleen Jennings is a dynamic and passionate teacher that I think my kids will both really enjoy and learn a lot from. She will be running a 1:45 workshop that brings Fences and August Wilson together with Shakespeare and Romeo and Juliet. She planned the whole workshop, and I just finished my parts of it just now. I'm really nervous about it, because I've never quite done anything like this before, and I'm really hoping it goes well.

To handle the logistics of it all, I combined my classes together, which means that my 1st period is staying an extra period, and my 2nd period is reporting to my 1st period and staying through their period. It took lots of handouts and mountain moving to make this occur, and, mostly, I hope that none of the kids forget about it.

I'm picking her up from the train station at 7:16 tomorrow morning. She's coming up totally on her own. I hope everything goes well.

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