I had a great day in my triumphant return to the classroom, with the exception of making a kid cry in 3rd period. The star basketball player at our school, he's been my student for the last two years. He failed my class with a 68 last year, and had to take summer school, and I was pleased when he started off first quarter with a grade in the 90s. But his poor behavior and wavering work ethic caused that to slip to a 78 by the end of the quarter. Today, he decided to make a wildly inappropriate comment in class during a discussion of "Young Goodman Brown," and I just put him out. It shocked him, as I guess our ensuing discussion did. I haven't written up anyone this year, but a recent request from our principal to write up more kids has emboldened me to do it more often, and I told him I'm writing him up and that he'll continue to get written up for any infraction in my classroom that impedes the learning of other students. He begged me not to, and as I continued to lay into him, this tough kid starting crying. It was a good reminder that he's just a kid, and also a good reminder that serious one-on-one conversations are the most effective way to deal with poor behavior.
My parents are here for Thanksgiving. They arrived fifteen minutes after I got home. I haven't had a weekend day to myself in three weeks, and just got back from a grueling conference, so my house isn't as clean as I'd like it to be, but they commented on how nice my first floor looked. Then, though, my mom went upstairs to the kitchen to see where she'll be cooking her Thanksgiving dinner. She was upset. "You weren't raised this way," she said, scrubbing candle wax off of the stove that I've used once in nine months. "I'm surprised you're not sick." The biggest infranction was the coffee maker, which I never use - but I had left an old filter of coffee grounds in there that was full of mold. The coffee maker was packed away. I just didn't know. Oops.
Otherwise, though, the visit is going well. We headed to Ze Mean Bean Cafe for dinner, engorging ourselves on hriby dip and pierogi. Then to the liquor store to buy some wine, Kahlua, and beer. Now back home, where mom and dad have watched more TV in the last hour than I have in the last month. Imagine that.
Scratch that. I forgot the hotel room on Sunday night, where I got to watch much of Election again. Great, great movie.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours...
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