Friday, January 05, 2007

al al al al ,al al al al aF

The first weekend of 2007. I guess tomorrow will be 'de-decoration' day. I dread it. I always enjoy putting up decorations, but hate taking them down. I remember the year that the Christmas tree stayed up through March! I don't think Mom would appreciate that this year. The fact that the temperature is predicted to be in the 70's tomorrow doesn't make me want to be inside, packing up lights and ornaments. But, I really do need to do it - wouldn't want to invite Goblins!

"[Goblins] were hideously ugly to begin with, and full of malice and ill will to human beings. They were supposed to live mostly underground, in mines or mountain caves, where they hoarded stolen treasure, sallying forth from time to time to frighten belated wanderers, or to work great harm to mortals who had, by some fault of omission or commission, given them the power to do so. Such power could be given, it was thought, if Christmas decorations were left up after Candlemas Day, February the second. If even so much as one leaf should be left lying in some corner of a house, a malicious goblin would have the power to enter through the keyhole and do all kinds of wicked things--set the chimney on fire, spill the milk, crack the wine bottles, smash the china, and even let loose rats and mice in the larder to eat up all the food."

-- Christine Chaundler, The Book of Superstitions

So, the tree comes down.

Not a bad week at work, overall. I'm beginning to enjoy the people on my hall. We all hang out in the hall between classes (supposedly monitoring students, but we don't let them distract us) and talk about intensely silly things. Suzanne, who teaches next door to me, has a wonderful tendency to break into song at the slightest provocation. She improvises opera with inane lyrics in her beautiful soprano, and she makes me laugh regularly.

The end of the first semester is coming up, along with the 2nd nine-weeks tests. I'm not a fan of this system, where we spend a bunch of energy getting kids ready for an inclusive test every 9 weeks, and then only give the test 10% weight toward the term grade. I resent giving up teaching time to review for a test that has little meaning to the students. It's all about the numbers, and crunching same to project student success on the SOL at the end of the year. The first nine weeks, I reviewed like crazy, and my students bombed the test. They just don't do well on standardized tests. They are SPED students, for cripes sake! It is so frustrating for them. Most of them are passing my class, and do well in group work, discussions, and class work. They just don't test well - never have. NONE of them passed their 8th grade Science SOL, and I'm expected to get them to pass the 9th grade Earth Science SOL. Now, I ask you....

And....cut. No more whining about things I can't control.

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