I just worked out for 90 minutes and it's made me so happy that I can't complain about my job right now.
Plus, I had a pretty good day.
1. The boys in my 5/6B class like to make "Yo Mama" jokes. One boy found out the first names of two of the other kids' mothers. I never heard him using them in vain, but the other two kids were really insistent on finding out his mother's name - to make it even. The kid was teasing them a little bit, telling them it started with a "C." This went on for a bit, the kids guessing names that begin with C, until I decided that I was curious, so I went and looked in my parental notification cards. Her name is Coretha. I told the two boys that I knew, and then they tried to get me to say it for the rest of class. I never did, but they got me (at Malcolm's permission) to give them a couple more hints - that the second letter was "O" and that there were 7 letters. I laughed a lot during that period. (Uh, some learning occurred in that class, as well.) They never guessed it. When I got home this evening, I had a message from Keith in my Myspace mailbox asking me, "Mr. (Epiph), Please please please tell me Malcolm mother's name." My reply will probably be something like, "How could you e-mail your English teacher something and not use apostrophes correctly?". I really like Keith. He went from a 55 in the first quarter to an 80 in the 2nd quarter. His grade was in the 70s in the 3rd quarter, but he's going for an 89 this quarter. I know, I know, I don't know why he doesn't shoot for a 90, either.
2. A girl in my first period class said, "Hey, Mr. (Johnson)", referring to me by the same name as another young white male teacher that she has. This guy is a friend of mine, and despite our being pretty much the exact same age (he was born 8/13/77, I was born 8/15/77), we look nothing alike. For one thing, he's 6'2, I'm 5'10. But this sort of thing happens all the time, and occasionally I joke something like, "Oh, you must think all white people look alike," but other times I just annoyedly say, "That's not my name." Anyhow, another girl said, "Dag! Why do you always call him that?" and another one said, "Yeah, he don't even look like him anymore, with that big old bald head." I ignored that last comment, not knowing who said it, but secretly I was thinking, "Geez, I know my hair is thinning and that I just gave myself a haircut over the weekend, but I didn't think I could be classified as bald yet!" Come to find out a few minutes later that this colleague of mine actually did shave his head completely bald over the weekend; I just hadn't seen him yet. That made me feel happy. It wasn't my big old bald head they were referring to. It was his. Phew!
3. By the way, I've got a lot of respect for the guy. I wish I had the guts to do that. Unfortunately, I think I'll look like Uncle Fester when I'm bald.
4. I'm reading my Cisneros pastiches and they are phenomenal. I mean, not all of them, but the ones that are good, are really good. One girl wrote one about a little girl during the Holocaust. My boss liked it so much that she's using it in a presentation tomorrow to other teachers in the city. I read another amazing one today from a student I was not expecting to thrive with this assignment, but she did - it's the best thing she's written all year. I'm publishing them all together in a little book; I think I'm going to price it at Kinko's. Seven pages per kid and 50 kids makes for a 350 page book. If I get it bound at Kinko's, I wonder how much it would set me back for 50 of them? Maybe I could ask the kids to throw in a dollar each, and that might even cover it.
5. Rain, rain, go away. Had to cancel practice tonight and the Orioles/Tigers game was rained out.
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