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Faux Pas-palooza

Faux Pas: As a teacher, coming to school dressed strangely similar to a student

Super Faux Pas: As a teacher, coming to school dressed strangely similar to two students.

Double Secret Faux Pas Extraordinaire: The students are both girls… and the teacher is a dude.

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Easily Influenced

It is interesting how I am so easily influenced, at least in my dreams. Lately, there has been a new string of couples around Jess and I who are becoming pregnant. Apparently, this has made an impression on me. Either that, it could be the backfiring of a on-going prank I’ve been playing. One of my buddies here at school has been on the receiving end of my accusations that he and his wife are expecting twins (which they are not), a boy and a girl. I’ve even gone so far as to bring him a present adorned with overly cute babyish items and cliche expecting phrases during lunch in front a majority of the staff… just to get the rumor started (by the way, the victim has agreed to let me start this rumor for fun).

And now it’s weighing on me, not the guilt, but the dreams. Last night, I had a long and vivid dream about Jess and I being parents to twins, and yes, it was a boy and a girl. The thing that bothered me was that we had kids, rather, it was that the babies were so slippery, I just couldn’t hold on to them. Thankfully, they seemed resilient and never cried despite the many times they hit the floor, soft-spot first. To top it off, there is nothing like waking up and for the first couple of minutes, and being unable to discern whether that was a dream, or that Jess and I had a pair of hard-headed babies.

the roof… the roof… the roof is on fire…

In the space of a couple of days we actually had, not one, but two actual fire alarms at the high school. Pretty interesting stuff you consider we have a fire drill at least every month. The first was your run-of-the-mill elevator shaft filled with smoke because of leaking hydraulic fluid which was dripping onto the elevator motor.

On Monday, that was the biggie. A student, in their infinite wisdom, decided that they would gain respect and kudos from the student body by igniting a fire within one of the boy’s bathrooms. While the entirety of building was out of the curb cursing yet another fire drill, the fire engines started rolling in. We knew we were in for the long haul. For about twenty-five minutes we stood outside of the school, watching firefighters, the police, and district maintenance people going to and fro with fans. After that, we were allowed to go into the somewhat hazy and very dank halls and back into our rooms.

By the end of the next period, our principal was on the intercom saying that if anyone had any information about who had put flame to the bathroom, that there would be a handsome three hundred dollar reward for that person with such information. Luckily, this period also happened to be my prep period; as per my usual routine, I wandered down to office to check my mailbox to make slightly insightful yet humorous remarks to the office staff. When I walked into the office, there was a line of at least fifteen students outside the principal’s office, waiting to give up information for three crisp Ben Franklins. Keep in mind it had only been about three minutes since the announcement. Apparently the school’s firebug had also been boastful prior to ignition, shown by the population of students outside the office.

As it turned out, the saying about ‘loose lips’ and their destructive power over ships proved to be true and the person was quickly dealt with by the school. the lesson I took from this is to never underestimate the coercive power of money. Friends, foes, and strangers in passing will line up to tell of your misdeeds in order to grease their palm. But, of course, if you’re brave enough to regale a crowd with story, I guess you’ve got it coming.

Staff ‘Stach off…

About a month before the school year started, I was informed by a text message that I had been drafted into the Staff Mustache Race.  As Knutson said, “there are no winners in a mustache contest”; here they were on the last day of ‘stashness:

Staff Stash Picture

 Yes, that is a month’s worth of lip hair growth on my face.  Yes, I know it’s barely visible.  Yes, it is bald in the middle.   Yes, I am ashamed.

Damn you, David Oreck

It’s been a while since I’ve had a bizarre dream, so I guess I was due, here’s the dream:

While out golfing with the administrators of my high school, I went to reach for my golf clubs but I came to the startling realization that instead of bringing a bag full of clubs, I brought a vacuum.  Ashamed of my mistake, I desperately tried to locate golf clubs within the vacuum but with every compartment I opened, all I found was vacuum accessories.

I’m not sure if this says something about my golf game (of which I have none), my cleaning, or my school… either way, I’m not sure what that statement would be.

Time to pick a name…

In my vain attempt to do different things within my classroom, I’ve decided that I will be maing a website where students will be posting some of their work.  From there, it can be commented on, reviewed, and so on… that way it doesn’t neccesarily have to be the usually turn in and hand back format.  With the website, it would be WordPress based, such as Box of Whine, but with the school site I would remain the administrator of the sight while all of the students would have a contributor’s log on…meaning I would review everything before it was posted. Overall, it’s bringing in technology and blogging into the classroom to make it a different experience.

So here’s what I need help with from you, loyal readers.  I have one idea for the name, but Jess has informed me that it’s pretty lame (wellsdotcom.com)–since my ideas are supposedly flat and lifeless, do y’all have some suggestions?  Parameters: It’s school appropriate, no allusions, hints, winks, nods, or gestures to sex, drugs, alcohol, violence, tardiness or cheating.  It has to have some realtion to my name, the high school (Cottage Grove), Language Arts, or my room number (108)… or some combination of those.

Let me know you’ve got… thanks.

Updated Update

I just spoke with my dad, he’s doing much better.  Slightly sore, but he’s feeling well enough to get up and move around.  I think he’s just happy to be out of the hospital.  Surgery just doesn’t look like fun. 

In other news, at the high school, seniors must do a senior board which is a combination of a research paper and a presentation over the researched topic.  Today was the big day when  all of the seniors present and thankfully, all of my seniors passed.  It had been a grueling two months of work over presentations, papers, and speeches.  Happily, it all paid off. 

Hopefully I took my last post-two-master-degrees graduate class to finish adding a special education endorsement onto my teach license.  I am petitioning Pacific to be forgo my last class, which is about assessment, and move onto the process of having them submit the proper forms to TSPC (Teaching Standards and Parctices Commission) stating that I’ve met their requirements… and then I hope to be done with taking classes until I am interested in becoming an administrator.  We’ll see how it goes. 

By the way, this is the 200th post on box of whine.  I’m not sure if that’s an accomplishment.

When I wake up early in the morning…

The weather is a harsh temptress.  We woke up Sunday to almost 2 inches of snow on the ground.  It hailed and snowed through most of the morning into early afternoon.  You would think that would set some kind of precedent for today…but no.  I think I must have woke up five or six times waiting for the phone call from the school district saying that we were having a snow day.  I even laid in bed for a couple of extra minutes because I didn’t want to be in the shower when the call came… it never came just like last night’s snowfall.

 And, to add insult to responsibility, as soon as I step through the door of our house to head out to work, it starts to snow.   I’m sure it will snow off and on throughout today, just infrequently enough to get a reaction from the students but not frequently enough to stick.  There will be the barrage of questions about how much snow it would take for the school day to be canceled once already in session.  Lousy April weather.

The power of a statement

You’d think innocent enough conversations in the staff lounge would stay just that, but apparently that isn’t so.

The yesterday, one of my coworkers, a math teacher, said that he believed he could run a mile in under 6 minutes. To his credit, he’s fairly fit and just as old as I am, but the fact that he hadn’t really run lately or at any great speed, the majority of the staff gave him grief. He swore that he could do and said that he would do it the following day. The harassing continued, people throwing out various predictions or theories on how the run would be either too slow or end injury–if it even took place at all.

I think that all of us, honestly, thought that his statement of “I’ll do it tomorrow” was taking as sarcasm. Lo and behold, he came to school fully prepared for his run. He had his running shoes and his “fast” shorts. I guess those are the shorts not reinforced by re-bar. With theories and pessimism still plentiful, we gleefully told other staff members and students to come to the track a 3:30 and watch the feat, if it was actually going to happen.

At 3:10, the principal made an announce to come watch one of Cottage Grove’s own staff members break the math teacher mile record. By 3:30, when I walked onto the track, music was coming over the PA system, the score board was lit up with six minutes, ready to be counted down from. There could have easily been a couple of hundred students watching, at least half of the staff was there to either cheer or jeer on their coworker. Sadly, there was probably more people in attendance there than at other, legitimately sanctioned events. There was the warm-up lap, then stretching–next stop was the starting line (which was actually set back about 30 feet to make it a legitimate mile). As he left the starting line, the clock started to tick away. It seemed like he was going way too fast to sustain four laps.

At some points, it looked questionable if he was going to make it. As he entered the last corner, just before the final straightaway, we all glanced up at the score board. There was a minute left. With 12 seconds remaining, he crossed the finish line. 5:48:90 was the official time.

What ever happened to watching a person set a goal, brag about the possibility of it being legitimate, and then watching them fail at said goal? I guess it just makes me ashamed of my 9 minute mile, but of course, I’ll rationalize it by saying that I’m not built for long distance running, I’m more built for long distance sarcasm… or procrastination.

This just goes to show that an innocent statement can turn into an impromptu after school assembly.

Makes me never wanna work, beg or borrow

It’s snowing and guess where I am?

Yup, school.
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Despite having to work today, I still made the most of it, with my two freshman classes we went outside for the first 20 minutes of class. We read in the covered bleachers overlooking the football field for about five minutes–then I released them onto the footprint-less snow of the football field, having multiple snowball fights… all of which I was involved. Then we came back into the classroom. First period was the luckiest; I bought them all hot chocolate at the end of class.All in all, a very fun day, even if I didn’t get to sleep in.