Sunday, April 22, 2007

Miss Taylor

Miss Taylor died and will be buried on Monday. She was 93 or something like that. I remember thinking she was about that old when I had her in class all those years ago.

She was an old maid and quite set in her ways. She was a tough ole bird and I can only imagine how she would deal with today's students. I imagine they would have been whacked a few times.

She taught history and French and finally became the school librarian after I graduated. I think when I started teaching at Wyandotte she was still the librarian.

I was lucky; she liked me. I learned from her, too. I think I was afraid not to. My sophomore year in high school, I took world history from her instead of taking Home Ec. I was the only girl in my class who didn't take Home Ec that year. I was the only girl in the world history class. I majored in social studies in college. She must have had some influence on me.

Maybe some day after I'm gone, some student will read my obituary and remember some way that I influenced them for the better. I think that is what teaching is mostly about. Making a difference in people's lives is a mighty fine way to make a living.

The Eternal Prom Queen

I went to prom again for the umpteenth time. I wasn't in charge, thank the good Lord, but as senior sponsor I am invited and expected to show up. Hubby D can't be around perfume, aftershave, hairspray, etc. so "R" went with me.

I did the Cotton Eyed Joe, two stepped with a couple of my senior boys and did the Hokey Pokey. I enjoyed myself thoroughly. Dipping strawberries in the chocolate fountain was fun but the eating them was even better. "R" even took a staged picture of me pretending to stick my tongue in the chocolate fountain. I have been having to watch my carb intake because of that blood glucose thing but at the prom I was far from good. I am back to being good. If being good were as much fun as the alternative, more people would be good.

One of the best things about Prom night is the students are all dressed up so they look and act better. The baseball team was exceptionally squirrelly, but hey, they were having fun sliding all over the dance floor on their knees while there dates sat at a table trying not to look too embarrassed. The kids danced most of the time and seemed to have lots of fun. We have some guys who do the break dancing stuff so they showed off; then, some guys who don't do the break dancing stuff did their versions. Both were entertaining.

One of my boys said he wasn't into this stuff and wished he had just gone rodeoing instead. We assured him that this would be the best prom he had ever gone to. He said this was the only prom he had ever gone to so we said, "See we told you!!!!!" I think he had more fun than he wanted to let on.

We stayed later than we had planned. I read my watch wrong so we got home after 11. We aren't the young swingers that we once weren't and we aren't as young as we once were. "R" got to babysit with her two darling grandboys the next day. I got to sleep in. I have taken it easy these last two days. I am going to need all the energy I can muster to finish up these last few weeks of school.

For those of you who haven't done the prom thing in years, bless your hearts. I have so many memories from years gone by--- the different styles of dancing, the different dress styles, the different hair-dos, the different songs that stick.

One of my favorite things from back then was that I used to rewrite the words to a Statler Brothers song "The Class of '57". I used some of their words but mostly I made up silly things about what the seniors would be doing in the future. I tried to make it as unrealistic as possible. I really enjoyed writing those but then somebody got all bent out of shape not wanting to be included in the song and I just stopped. Who needs hurt feelings and parents and administrators and board members getting into the act. It wasn't worth the hassle. I should just write the song for my own enjoyment. Nah, I would have to tell someone, and then, it would get out and I would get into trouble because I would write really tacky stuff if I didn't think anybody would know. Guess I will just have to reminisce about those good old days.

I hope my former students recall their prom song with fond memories because that was why I did it. I like making memories especially good ones.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

That Time of the School Year

It is that time again. Spring comes. We are told to keep our students busy. Our students are gone with FCCLA(FHA), track, baseball, Vo Tech, FFA, enrolling at NEO, and whatever else they can squeeze in there. In both of my English IV classes today at least 1/3 of the class was gone with school activities. I had started this poetry unit. I was going to use Shel Silverstein poems to get them interested before they had to do the serious stuff. Want to guess how far we got with that? At least the Juniors are working independently on their research papers. The rough draft is due Friday and some of them haven't given me their note cards yet.

My new plan for seniors is to watch a relevant movie for the next two days and then to try again next week. Of course, next week, I will run in to much the same scheduling problems as this week. Next Friday is prom. We were scheduled to be out of school that day but snow days ruined that. Students who are going to Prom must be at school for at least half a day unless they happen to be Juniors who are working on decorating. Friday will be one of "those" days. On top of that I will be out of my classroom to help with testing one day. The week after that we have a talent show scheduled. The next week is the senior/faculty game. There will be track meets and baseball games throughout April also. Each week brings new activities and challenges.

I can handle it. I have learned to go with the flow. I know that the only thing you get from beating your head up against a brick wall is a headache. Plans must be flexible. You put it out there and the students who want to will learn and those who don't want to will get by. This is reality. We only have about 29 days of classes left. This causes great joy and panic.

You would think that after all of these years I'd be used to the chaos that is the end of school. Maybe next year I will be better prepared. I am so funny. Any ole who, I must go get my rest. I am on duty at noon this week and I promised to teach them how to do The Cotton Eyed Joe before prom. At least I will be getting some exercise.