So they are giving us a new kitchen and bathroom floor because our was crumbly. They were supposed to finish yesterday. And they did finish the kitchen, its pretty wood and lovely. The bathroom however. A different story. Our toilet is IN the shower. So yes we haven't been able to go to the bathroom since yesterday morning. They were supposed to finish today but they didn't come. So we have to shower and pee in our landlords house. NOT fun. That floor better be pretty.
So here it is. I just wrote a "short article" for the KSU COE newsletter. (I think.) I decided to post it because it will give you a little glimpse of my exciting life. Happy Halloween! My favorite Hollyday.
On September 9, 2005 I began my first teaching job—seventh grade math at DearbornMiddle School. But unlike most K-State graduates, I found myself teaching deep in the heart of Boston. I was shocked the first time I walked into my room. It was very old, dirty, had no air-conditioning and it was empty. I spent several days tracking down resources like desks for the kids, a computer for me and an overhead projector.I did my best to cover up the stained and peeling walls with bright posters.I was finally ready for school to begin.
Well, at least my room was ready. I’m not so sure I was. There is no way to prepare yourself for your first day of teaching. When I told locals where I was teaching they loved to tell me how bad the school would be. I knew I was teaching all the seventh grade mainstreamed special education students, but I didn’t know that I would need to re-teach everyone multiplication and division. I knew the school was mostly minority students, but I didn’t realize I would be the only white person in the room.
I knew almost all of the students qualified for free and reduced lunch, but I didn’t realize some of them would be too proud to take it or that they would still show up to school dressed in expensive clothes. It didn’t look like I was teaching in one of the poorest neighborhoods in Boston. But I knew I was.
How naïve I was on that first day of school. I didn’t know the next week I would lose my voice from constantly talking and lecturing. Or that when I disciplined them, sometimes they would yell back. I didn’t realize that when I needed to call the students’ homes I would have to find someone to translate for me because I don’t speak CapeVerdian or Spanish.
Now the sound of cars passing by the front of the school with their basses pumped up or the sound of sirens whizzing by is common. And having to stand in front of the school for a half hour because someone lit a fire in the bathroom again doesn’t surprise me. I was not prepared for this foreign world, but I love it.
I am passionate about meeting the need for quality educators in Boston. Even though these kids may seem disadvantaged, I assure you they are not. They are just differently-advantaged from you and me. They can navigate across the entire city on public transportation. They speak several languages and use slang that I don’t understand. They are street savvy and have survived more than I ever have.And yet, despite everything they face at home and on the streets, they come into my classroom at , homework in hand (most of the time), ready to learn math. Their commitment constantly amazes and surprises me.
I went apple-picking on Sunday. It was fun--one high school friend=KEG, one college friend=my lil Sarah, and one new friend=Caitlin. Oh and one husband. We picked so many apples and I climbed a ladder. I made some apple crisp but need to learn some new recipes. Or I could take them to school--those kids go crazy for food. I was eating carrots one day and I couldn't keep the kids offa me. I would say, "Ok when you are finished with the first three questions you can have a carrot." And they would work harder than I have seen them work. Talk about dangling a carrot. Oh ha ha ha. Speaking of school, rumor has it they are switching my kids out. Which is good I guess, I have a HARD class that is over 50% SPED with no help and no SPED certification... and its my first year. So they are spreading the wealth of SPED over the other classes. Unfortunatley it means I will be starting from scratch soon.
We went to the Red Sox game Friday--so fun. What a great game to be at. So far they have won every game I have been at! I wish we would have held on to the Sunday tockets instead--that would have been awesome-er/ But we have tickets to whatever games will be at Fenway it the series-thingy. I only somewhat understand the play-off stuff. Sol tries to explain it often but I have a hard time paying attention.
So KSU on Friday. Very exciting. I am so excited to be back in the Little Apple, back in the football stadium and back with my friends. It will be so great. Fall. I love fall. The leaves are starting to change, you should see it. It's so pretty. We went to Oktoberfest in Harvard Square and I ate fondue and lobster bisque. Seriously, how fun is that. PRetty fun, I'd say.
My bangs are structurally unsound. They got highlighted for the wedding and then for a while they were the only part of my hair that I straightened and so they are getting shorter by the day. They are competely frayed and broken and not doing well at all. So please, if you have any ideas, I am open to them. I miss my bangs.
Also, Gilmore Girls comes out in 2 hours. Now that's good news.
Oh and, a little black kid hit on me the other day at this convention I was at with Sol. He said, "Excuse me, Miss? Do you know anywhere I can get some gas for my private jet?" I laughed.
School was good today--I got very frustrated at my first class and made them do all the classwork on their own and copy definitions. Nad if they talked they got a 30 minute detention. Not the best teaching--but they were on my last nerve.