Thursday, September 8, 2011

Two Weeks In

It's been quite a week--a good one, at that. Getting to start my day off with Tully's coffee almost every day this week, sitting out under the trees in the plaza--blissful! Classes are continuing to go well, pretty much across the board. Today, I had the opportunity to talk through rhetorical fallacies with my Humanities students as they worked on skits/videos in small groups, and had some fun bouncing examples off of them and hearing them come up with good examples, themselves.

In World History, I had the opportunity to hear a number of very solid storytellers from among the ranks of the freshmen class. As a teacher who has students do a lot of presentations, the ease, enthusiasm and confidence that I see in my students at this point in the year tells me that I can focus on teaching more advanced public speaking skills since the kids seems to have a solid foundation already. Very exciting!

Then, in 6th period English 11, I had my students read the poem "Sure, you can ask me a personal question" by Diane Burns (a wonderfully sarcastic piece written as a one-sided dialogue responding to common stereotypes about Native Americans). I then assigned my students to write their own one-sided dialogue addressing stereotypes that they commonly face, whether based on their ethnicity, gender or age. This lead to a series of great conversations with small groups about stereotypes and where they come from.

Cross country is going pretty well, too--definitely a different atmosphere than last year's team (a strong group of 8th grade leaders last year... this team is younger--primarily 6th and 7th graders). Still, I think that they will do well, and that the first race on Saturday will remind the kids of what they are working toward in practices. Middle schoolers are funny, man. Here's a snippet of dialogue from after practice on Tuesday:
"Coach, how old are you?"
"EHHH? You're so young!"
"I was 22 when I started working here, so compared to that, I'm not so young anymore!"
"Are you married?"

Turns out answering this question was a big mistake because what followed for the next 10 minutes solid was 6 different middle schooler's opinions on who I should go out with--I think they listed every single woman in the community.

"Look guys... I'm content being single for now. I'm pushing myself to seek God first in everything that I do. It's hard to explain, but I believe that I need to preoccupy myself in striving to develop my relationship with the Lord. Someday, and I'm not sure when, a woman who is just as preoccupied in pursuing God will bump into me, and without missing a beat, we'll just keep the journey going together!"

...At least, that's what I would've said, if I had been able to get in a word edge-wise. Not exaggerating, the middle schoolers' excited chatter about how they were going to play matchmaker didn't let up for even a second until I told them to get changed and go home. Fortunately, they'd forgotten all about their elaborate schemes by Thursday's practice. They are entertaining and good-hearted kids, and I appreciate them even when they try to play puppet-master on my life. I hope I can be an encouragement and positive influence for them... I tend to be at my most tired and uninspired right after school and digging deep is a must.

So yeah... that's my week. I'm ready for the weekend, but Fridays tend to infuse both teachers and students alike with energy we didn't know we had. Thank God for Fridays!

Oh, and I'm not sure who will read this, or if anybody will read this far into this post, but if you do... I'd appreciate prayer as I will be speaking in chapel next Wednesday and I'm currently mulling over what to talk about. Thanks.

1 comment:

  1. Don't talk about your mother who has been trying to be a puppet master match maker in your life for about as long as you can remember...

    love, MOM 8-)