Sunday, September 29, 2002

It's not done, but . . .
I have a couple of pages written
One might call it the begining of a rough draft
I'm not happy with it
I peaked ahead on the syllabus - I get give a speech in a few weeks based on this paper

From the book I'm going to read to my second graders this week . . .
The first Voyager spacecraft was launched in 1977.
On the spacecraft there is a recording of sounds from Earth.
Should the spacecraft encounter any life beyond our galaxy,
the first sound that will be heard is the music of
Johann Sebastian Bach

That's so cool - I wonder what pieces they picked - and who picked them. Bach's a great choice (Although I'd have thrown in some Copland too!) I wonder if they included music outside the Classical Western Tradition (African Drums or Japanese flutes). I wonder what aliens will think of Bach - - I wonder if they'll think we are 200 years behind ourselves in music history - - I wonder if they'll see our 1970's "space age" technology and think we are 25 years behind ourselves in science. I wonder how NASA formatted the music (Tape?? 8Trac??)

Saturday, September 28, 2002

Emily sent me her favorite quote "Teaching a child to step on a caterpillar is just as valuable to the child as it is to the caterpillar." Emily is the latest person to know about my little weblog (Hi Emily!!) This brings my potential readership up to 13! (but I know a few of those 13 people don't bother to check in (JON, and PHIL) but that's their loss (And if they don't read what I post, I can write about them (like I'm doing now) without fear of repercussions!)

Friday, September 27, 2002

I'm supposed to be working on a stupid paper, assigned by stupid "writing" "teacher" on a stupid topic with a stupid outline and stupid rules. I can't get into it. I'm tired of staring at blank paper and an blank computer screen trying to write something worth reading only to come to the STUNNING CONCLUSION THAT it'll never be worth reading - it's a STUPID assignment. (I really DO have a good attitude about it all, considering this is a HUGE waste of time and energy!!) But it's a required course - seven more useless classes to go - - - I need to fake my way through this and find enough words to make the man happy. It will not be my best work (or even a half hearted effort) The man is a TURKEY and that's all I have to say on the subject.

From Arts Journal . . . .
To everyone who remembers burying an oily adolescent schnoz in a paperback every Friday night while better-looking classmates were necking on Lovers Lane, I say: Relax. Your time has come. To that kid who boarded a school bus each day and ended up in Narnia: Strike up the band. To anyone who has ever toted a thriller to an Indians game (guilty) or who occasionally finds the company of books preferable to the company of company, I say: You are not alone... Some time between sixth grade and today, being a reader became cool."

Hey Look!! A new and improved template with WIDER writing space!!
Hey Look!! The missing archives are no longer missing!!
Hey Look!! The link to my webspace actually works!!

I talked with the SMU Arts Admin. program director about internship and practicums and "stuff" yesterday. It was good. I have a whole list of exciting potential places to investigate! I'm really excited about a particular opportunity with a Music Theater Company - they are currently working on a grant to turn this little practicum into a PAID gig!!!! (like long term part time job!) AND THEN they'd like to work out something where I could attend workshops and classes at SpringBoard for free! (very exciting!) Of course, I know nothing about this orginization yet (i might hate it!) and the grant has not come through yet, (they hope to hear about that in November) and there are other orginizations I need to research as well! But it'd be "Wicked Cool" to get $$ and credit for my work (That's not happening with very many arts internships at the moment!)

We also talked about the classes I'll need next semester - - Cultural Studies on Mondays and Financial Management II on Saturdays. (So I'll be able to hang out with the 11-10 crew on Tuesday Nights, and catch The West Wing on Wednesdays!!!) And she handed back my first two papers (A's!! Hooray!!) Julie is happy!!

Wednesday, September 25, 2002

By John Kao

* Everyone is Creative *
* All ideas are welcome and deserve hearing *
* Creativity is part of every job description *
* Premature closure and excessive judgement are cardinal sins *
* Creativity is about finding balance between art and discipline *
* Creativity involves openness to a wide range of inputs *
* Experiments must be encouraged *
* Noble failure is honorable, poor implementation or bad choices are not *
* Creativity involves mastering a process of continuous change *
* Creative results involve a balance of intuition and facts *
* Creativity can, and should be managed *
* Creative work is not an excuse for chaos, disarray or sloppiness in execution *

"It's quite simple, really. Form follows function. We work in support of creative people and our job is merely to be creative and insist others do the same."
Stolen from the article Leadership as Creativity on the Lessons Learned section of the National Endowments for the Arts Website

Tuesday, September 24, 2002

What a weekend!! Two papers in three days (plus some reading and starting research for a third paper due next week!) It's all good though - I like what I'm doing. I love the stuff I'm learning. I'm challenged by the folks around me, and I'm generally happy! (The fact that Mr. "Writing Teacher" graded me very well on my last assingment might be contributing to my sunny outlook on life!) (YIPEE!!!!!!)

Another contributing factor to my general disposition is that I will be getting a new paycheck tomorrow (with an extra $4, as reimbursement for bank fees). I am happy. (what a concept - actually getting money from a paycheck and not Loosing $4 for working all month!!) Oops! methinks my cynical side is starting to overpower my happy sunny side - - must be time for bed!!!.

My strings kids will start lessons tomorrow (horray!) I have six kids signed up so far (3 violins, 2 violas, and a bass!) Not a bad start - more kids are going to sign up - but I want to start the ones who are ready to go (one little girl has brought her fiddle to school for the last 5 days!!!!). I miss teaching instrumental stuff - - this is gonna be great!

From the Americian String Teachers Association Listserv here's a working harpsichord made entirely out of Legos (except for the strings) WAY COOL!

Sunday, September 22, 2002

In theory,
there is no difference
between theory and practice.
But in practice there is.
Jan L.A. Van de Snepscheut

Saturday, September 21, 2002

ALLAN GINSBERG MEETS ALT.ROCK!!! dear brother Phil found an old They Might Be Giants album at the Gaxaly Library last week -- and has been playing it almost constantly! Personally, I am not impressed with 90% of the tunes (that's ok I'm old and boring!) But I have fallen in love with Trac 6. (dear brother jon told me about this tune last month, and even tried to sing it for me (he knew I'd like it!) But his version wasn't quite the same as the real one! (I love you jon. And I love to listen to you sing!! ) (and I'm not just saying that to get on your good side before I ask you to help me fix the link on this page or find my missing archives!!)

Selected Excerpts . . . .

I saw the best minds of my generation
Destroyed by madness, starving, hysterical
I should be allowed to glue my poster
I should be allowed to think
I should be allowed to glue my poster
I should be allowed to think
And I should be allowed to blurt the merest idea
If by random whim, one occurs to me
If necessary, leave paper stains on the grey utility pole

I am not allowed
To ever come up with a single original thought
I am not allowed
To meet the criminal government agent who oppresses me

I was the worst hope of my generation
Destroyed by madness, starving, hysterical
I should be allowed to share my feelings
I should be allowed to feel
I should be allowed to glue my poster
I should be allowed to think
I should be allowed to think
And I should be allowed to blurt the merest idea
If by random whim one occurs to me
But sadly, this can never be
I am not allowed to think

Friday, September 20, 2002

Did you ever notice how much more FUN it is to do nothing when there are other things that you should be doing (like . . . oh . .. for example . . . off the top of my head . . . writing up a case study, outlining a paper you don't want to write, or reading 100 horribly dense pages about the parts of speech assigned by the worlds WROST writing teacher!!) I'd forgotten how much fun staring at the wall can be when used as a method for avoiding homework!

The worlds worst writing teacher (who you may remember, is neither a writer or a teacher) had his second chance this week - - I still don't like him, or his methods, or his ideas, or anything else about him. He gave a long lecture (mostly read from page 47 of the APA Manual) about pronouns; specifically not using "their" when you mean "He or she" . This confused me, because page 66 of the APA manual suggests one ought not use "he or she" and instead suggests THEIR as a way of eliminating gender bias. Of course, I sweetly pointed out the inconsistancy and watched "Mr.Writing-Teacher" fumble to try and explain or rationalize it away (I'm usually much more subtle in my trouble-making methods, but I was bored with the pronoun lecture and needed to entertain myself! -- bad julie)

Here's a little known factoid - 50% of all charter schools close within 5 years. Here's another piece of trivia - if a charter schools payroll checks BOUNCE, maybe it's time to start looking for a new job!!!! The third week of school is over, and I'm wondering if I really did throw my life away. (Today was the WRONG day for this to happen) The principal had a "reward movie" planned for the "good kids", but at the last minute decided the classroom teachers needed to have a meeting, and ALL the kids (even the naughty ones) would go to the movie ("so they can see what they'll be missing out on next time we have a reward movie") While the classroom teachers met, the 4 specials teachers got to monitor all 150 kids, and handle popcorn and punch distribution (AAAHHHH!!!!) THEN, I come home to find my first paycheck doesn't exist, and the bank has charged ME $4 as a "handling fee" (!!!!!!!)

It's all out of control -- espcially Student Discipline, yet I fear it is more than just that!
("Lest anyone think it was "just me", I assure you it is not. The spanish teacher and I have had many a conversation on these topics, and most everyone recognizes that disipline is a major issue!)

All my "romantic ideals" about teaching in an inner city school "with a mission" are gone

Several years ago, I read Punished By Rewards , and made a conscious effort to stop bribing my students, BUT reward systems are aplenty at this little academy. (Classrooms can earn (and loose) points for parties, then there is this school-wide "reward" movie each month, Kids can earn "school bucks" for behaving and buy stuff from the school store, Every classroom has a "warning chart" where everyone can see just how close their classmates are to losing privileges or their mothers called . . . .) It's too much. Even if I weren't morally opposed to it all, it'd be wrong. I've tried to distance myself from it, but the school is so based on rewards it's hard to get away from (FYI - it's not working, the kids are still crazy - - part of that is due to the culture of poverty - - part of that is due to a bunch of white (female) teachers (half of whom were not on staff last year) - - and part of it is the plain simple fact that the KIDS GET AWAY WITH IT!!! (as evidenced by the "reward movie" today)

I'm not sure what to do
I'm going to start looking for another job
Not just because of discipline "issues", and not just because they stiffed me on my first paycheck. We do not have a union at this school, and they do not issue contracts to teachers (it is "at will employment" which means they can let anyone go at any time, for any reason) IF half of all charter schools fail, and IF this charter school can't keep money enough in it's checking account to cover the first set of paychecks, and IF there isn't a contract or union to guarantee I have a job through May - - - I might be wise to begin considering alternative employment options.

Thursday, September 19, 2002

Barenboim Attacked Yesterday, in a restaurant at Mishkenot Sha'ananim in Jerusalem's Yemin Moshe quarter, a group of Kach activists attacked world renowned musician Daniel Barenboim, calling him a "traitor" for giving a performance in Ramallah on Tuesday. (His wife responded by throwing vegetables at the activists). . . . Barenboim responded: "For me, it is important to stress that everyone has an obligation to work toward peace, in his field and with his own means."

The greatest attribute a person can ever have is the ability to notice something honestly FABULOUS in an otherwise lackluster "thing". Julia L. could do that (maybe that's why I worked so well with her!) It didn't matter how much I messed up . . . she always saw something great and told me. It was genuine greatness, I never felt like she was searching for something nice to say, or trying to preface the critism of the rotten stuff ("good . . . BUT . . . ). She has an amazing (and rare) gift for seeing and then identifying the stuff that sparkles, and I loved that about her!

Today I gave a class presentation. It went . . . alright I suppose . . . but not my best work. I felt "blah" about the whole thing. Afterwards, one of my classmates pulled a Julia L. and told me (very honestly) one thing I had done really really really right! (she didn't gush, or go on and on like it was the world's best presentation -- she noitced a great aspect and mentioned it) Her little comment totally changed my attitude and brought everything back into persepective. I wanna be able to find that Gem of Greatness in something (ANYTHING!) and see it -- notice it-- acknowledge it! Julia L. did it natuarally. I think my classmate does it naturally. Not that they don't see the rotten aspects or blindly ignore them (Julia always had a list of improvements ready!) but their focus is on the GREAT stuff, and with all the people ready to point out what's wrong (including me & my inner critic!) it's just good to have some Julia L.'s around.

Sunday, September 15, 2002

When I started dreaming about this Arts Administration degree, my goal was to end up some place BIG, like a major symphony orchestra. I was really excited about doing an internship with the SPCO or MN Orch., but now I'm not so sure.

I'm starting to think a smaller, younger, less established organization might be right for me. Someplace where I can actually do something without a lot of people telling me it can't be done (or that they've never done it that way before). The education programs at the symphony don't excite me (the symphony excites me, but hauling busloads of kids to a speical "kids concert" to play "kids music" doesn't).

I am excited about some smaller organizations. . .
COMPASS wants to help people out by having them create their own art - not just in schools, but less traditional places too like battered womens shelters and prisions . Their official missions statement reads "COMPASS strengthens people and communities in Minnesota by engaging them in creating art." Very Cool!
Minnesota Alliance for Arts Education is a grassroots organization that works to save and preserve art and music education in the schools. (not as cool as COMPASS, but a spiffy idea!)
Free Art of Minnesota brings "the healing powers of artistic expression into the lives of abused, neglected and at risk children and their families. Volunteers from the community share their creativity in the visual arts, theater, dance, music, creative writing and other art projects with children who live in residential treatment centers, group homes and shelters, and therapeutic schools. Through the creative arts, children build self-esteem and social skills, renew trust with a caring adult, and learn to express emotions in a positive way."
I have an appointment with the program director later this month to talk about internships and such. Free Arts is desperate for slave labor and is looking for an intern to start ASAP. I'm interested. Very Interested.

OTHER REALLY COOL ORGANIZATIONS (not places to work, I'm just admiring from a distance!)
Creative Capital Foundation gives grants, and strategic planning support to artists. Funded artists agree to share a percentage of profits with Creative Capital, which helps to fund future grants!
Artspace who creates and manages space for the artistic community to live, work, or perform. ("I'm a struggling artists, I need a house")

I'm excited. Very excited.

Friday, September 13, 2002

it makes a nice litle chant doesn't it?

I SAW YO YO MA!!! (yipee!)
It was one of those "risk" things. I really wanted to save some $$$ and get a student rush ticket - so I didn't order a ticket back when they came out (apperently they sold out rather quickly anyway!) UNFORTUNATELY, they weren't offering student rush tickets tonight . . . BUT, I did sit and wait and a seat did become avaliable (more than I had hoped to spend, but it's YO YO MA so that's alright!!!!!

Of course, it is much easier to get a last minute ticket to a sold out performance when one is by oneself - which I was! I could have draged someone else along, but I don't want to share the experience with someone who doesn't want to be there.

And for the rest of the world unable to get a ticket for tonights performance, here is the official JULIEVW concert review. . . . .
Shostakovich Cello Concerto No. 1
Movt. 1 -- the balance was off -- The orchestra played too loudly and it bothered me greatly!
The stupid audience also claped between movements - that bothered me too, but I got over it once the second movement began
Movt. 2 - Absolutely beautiful - there were some fabulous harmonics that came through so clearly. Haunting would be a good word. I forgot to breath for most of this section. I need to listen to this movt. again.
Movt. 3 is actually an extended cadenza -- LOVED IT (this is what Yo-yo played on the opening of that Marsalis on Music Video) Great stuff - totally virtuosic and amazing!!!
Movt. 4 - Good -- orchestra was too loud again (come on people - let the soloist play!) but it wasn't as overpowering as the first movement.

Yo-yo is SO cool. When he first came out on stage, he not only shook the concert masters hand, but also the principal violin (Yeah - Second violins are people too!). Then after he performed (and the applause kept coming) he made a point to hug both of the front row cellists, AND the principal viola!!

He played a movt. of the unaccompanied Bach as an encore (I don't know what one, but people in the lobby were discussing it and thought it was Saraband from the Third Suite)

At intermission I tried to go backstage, but it wasn't possible (VERY BIG usher / bouncer kept me far far away)

There is no way I'm going to be able to sleep tonight!! It was a VERY GOOD NIGHT!!!

Thursday, September 12, 2002

I tired (rather successfully) to avoid most of the September 11, memorials, ceramonies, tribues, news specials, in depth special reports, and such. I've just had ENOUGH. We "remembered" on the 1 month anniversay last October, we "remembered" again at the 6 month anniversay in March. Most of the "remembering" I saw happening (from the morning ceramonies in New York to the Kennedy Centers Gala Celebrity Bash) seemed so fake and "staged."

I have a classmate, whose friend was killed in the WTC. She got together with family and friends yesterday to just BE -- not eulogize, or remember. They didn't go to Ground Zero. They didn't watch the garbage on television. They didn't light candles and promise to never forget. Instead they hung out, had a drink, enjoyed being together for a couple hours, and flew home. She came to class yesterday straight from the airport. Her stories about the day, were more real, honest, and refreshing than anything I heard from the media yesterday.

The other real, honest, refreshing, healing, moment came in the poem that someone else from my class shared . . .


us people are just poems
we're 90% metaphor
with a leanness of meaning
approaching hyper-distilation
and once upon a time
we were moonshine
rushing down the throat of a giraffe
yes, rushing down the long hallway
despite with the p.a. announcement says
yes, rushing down the long stairs
with the whiskey of eternity
fermented and distilled
to eighteen minutes
burning down our throats
down the hall
down the stairs
in a building so tall
that it will always be there
yes, it's part of a pair
there on the bow of noah's ark
the most presigious couple
just kicking back and parked
against a perfectly blue sky
on a morning beatific
in its indian summer breeze
on the day that america
fell to its knees
after strutting around for a century
without saying thank you
or please. . .
- Ani DiFranco

Wednesday, September 11, 2002

COMMUNICATIONS class began last night. I'm slightly concerned that the 'fella who is supposed to be teaching writing and public speaking has several awkward sentences in his syllabus and seems afraid to talk in front of our class. (Things that make you go hhhmmmm....) Oh yeah, he isn't a teacher either, (that's painfully obvious!)

So, he critiqued the writing assesments we took a couple weeks ago and gave everyone "tasks" for our next few assingments. I have been limited to 14 word sentences. (OK maybe I'm a little bitter and resistant, but 14 WORDS!!! I've seen first grade reading books with longer sentences than that!!!

An alum of the program told me that she learned a lot from this guy, and I'm not very good at that "first impressions" thing, (My 1st impression is almost always WRONG!) so I'll give him another chance - but I'm not holding out much hope!

On a happier note, our class has totally bonded as a result of last nights class (I'm not the only whinny one!) Up until now we've all been nice and polite. Now our true, mean, rotten, cynical sides have begun to show (not toward each other, just toward annoying and stupid people!!) This makes for much more interesting small talk during our breaks!!

Monday, September 09, 2002

The results of my Meyers-Briggs are in! This time, instead of suggesting a career in the exciting world of Race Car Driving, the thing says I should be an Engineer or Computer Programer!!
(Jon has been threatening to turn me into a computer geek --- Now I'm sorry I didn't take him more seriously!!)

* I'm "ingenious" (hey, I didn't say it, the test did!)

* I'm "calm" (uh . . . yeah!)

* I "May engage in verbal sparing" (it's called DEBATE and why would anyone list that under "potiential weaknesses"??

Now I'm supposed to take all this newfound self awareness (uh huh) and incorporate it into my evolving Professional Development Plan (Is it really "SELF awareness" when someone else tells you??)

The results of my Meyers-Briggs are in! This time, instead of suggesting a career in the exciting world of Race Car Driving, the thing says I should be an Engineer or Computer Programer!!
(Jon has been threatening to turn me into a computer geek --- Now I'm sorry I didn't take him more seriously!!)

* I'm "ingenious" (hey, I didn't say it, the test did!)

* I'm "calm" (uh . . . yeah!)

* I "May engage in verbal sparing" (it's called DEBATE and why would anyone list that under "potiential weaknesses"??

Now I'm supposed to take all this self awareness (uh huh) and incorporate it into my evolving Professional Development Plan (Is it really "SELF awareness" when someone else tells you??)

Sunday, September 08, 2002

It is finished . . . .
Personal Mission Statement

As a lifelong learner,
I want to seek, question, discover, and understand.

As a teacher,
I add to the success of others, recognize beauty,
and value the experiences and processes over final products.

Now I just have to write the rest of the paper. . .

Saturday, September 07, 2002

LIFE IS GOOD!I am with my own kind (be afraid, be very afraid - there are others out there like me!) There is a TE Lawerance Quote I got from Delfi about people who dream at night while they are sleeping, and people who dream by day and make things happen. I'm among people who dream AWAKE! Things are happening, there is potiential, and I love it!

WORK SCHOOL� is just Sabrina's dream, this school is held together by her vision and the sweat of the people she has convinced to come along with her on this adventure. On one hand it's really cool to be a part of something small that could be so big. On the other hand, it's not easy to do this job (the kids are not ready to learn, the culture is totally forgein, we have no resources, It's an impossible job - there is no way it can be done. But we're doing it anyway and that's cool.

SMU SCHOOL � Very exciting. Today we did a lot of touchy feel-ly stuff. And I have to write a silly paper (mission statement, strengths, areas for improvement, future goals, blah blah blah) which I'm not looking forward to (I'd forgotten about the bogus papers and projects that teachers think are important) BUT the possibilities are so cool. We are thinking about internships and what we want to do. One of my projects later this month is to develop a plan for my own organization. Elizabeth said that most of the students have a project or idea for a nonprofit organization in the back of their minds when they start the program, and it's much more useful to do marketing and development projects with something we are passionate about (rather than textbook case studies) The exciting part is that students have actually gone out and put it all into practice and actually started their own non-profit!

I do have an idea that's been in the back of my mind, I want my own music "school" but it's going to be more than just a school - more of a community center � One stop shoping for music excitement needs, with a community orchestra, and rehearsal space and informaal conecerts and masterclasses and so much more!! (Maybe like tracey rush's school) I'd like for it to be connected with a symphony at some point � but maybe not.

Larry, the dean, came by to hang out with out class this afternoon. At the orientation he said as an "arts dean" he was one of the cool guys � (Julie's Rules For Life # 17 - beware of anyone who labels themselves as cool) the great thing is that he REALLY IS COOL!! :Larry sat in the back and took notes like the rest of us, participated in small group discussions as an equal party, started a long totally irrelevant discussion about the merits of Pepsi Vs. Coke (he is a militant Coke person, in case you are wondering. This distresses him greatly because SMU has just gotten a huge check from Pepsi Co. to be a Pepsi only campus) and generally gave his opions just as he felt, exactly as they came!

NOW I must go get to work - there is much to be done this weekend, besides writing that mission statment and thinking about my strengths and weaknesses. Tuesday I start Communications � YIKES - very scarey. More writing � oh no oh no oh no!) I get to go buy my APA style guide on Monday (It's at least three inches thick - probably one of the scarier books ever written!)

Wednesday, September 04, 2002

First day of students school was less than exciting (I'm not used to being so mean -- and the kids at this school are CRAZY!!!) They were all out of control and I was thinking "hhmm.... at will employment means I could leave this nut house" BUT I talked to the sapnish teacher today, and she too feels like disipline is a major issue here (Must yell more - be meaner!) I'm typing from the computer lab at SMU -- we're on a break - I'm a student again and it feels GREAT!! I love this (scarey paper due next week -- but I'll worry about that later) THIS IS FUN Back to school

Tuesday, September 03, 2002

First day of school (HORRAY!!) I'm a little nervous about these first classes -- 45 minutes is a long time -- I know I could do it in WDM (no problemo!) But I don't know these kids at all (and I don't know what they know already, I don't know how they'll respond --- so I'm kinda winging it. I have a plan but it is SO generic and general . . . Ah well - I try. I'm going in early to finish my builten board (which should have been done before the kids came this morning!) and do last minute "stuff" that should already be done. I'm ready -- let the adventure begin!

Sunday, September 01, 2002

It was a dark and stormy night.
In her attic bedroom Margaret Murry, wrapped in an old patchwork quilt, sat on the foot of her bed and watched the trees tossing in the frenzied lashing of the wind. Hebind the trees coulds scudded fantically across the sky. Every few moments the moon ripped through them, creating wraithlike shadows that raced along the gound.
The house shook.

Wrapped in her quilt, Meg shook.

She wasn't usually afraid of weather.-It's not just the weather, she thought. - It's the weather on top of everything else. On top of me. On top of Meg Murry doing everything wrong.
School. School was all wrong. She'd been dropped down to the lowest dection in her grade. That morning one of her teachers had said crossly, "Really, Meg, I don't understand how a child with parents as brilliant as your are supposed to be can be such a poor student. If you don't manage to do a little better you'll have to stay back next year."

During lunch she'd rough housed a little to try to make herself feel better, and one of the girls said scornfully, "After all, Meg we aren't grammar-school kids anymore. Why do you always act like such a baby?"

And on the way home from school, walking up the road with her arms full of books, one of the boys had said something about her "dumb baby brother." At this she'd thrown the books on the side of the raod and tackled him with every ounce of strength she had, and arrived home with her blouse town and a big bruise under one eye.

-From A Wrinkle in Timeby Madeleine L'Engle

Thank you Miss M! I am coming off a low confidence week here - - and Meg is just the person for me to relate to right now.

Work School - I'm so tired of not "fitting in" with the other teachers. I don't fit in subject wise - I don't fit in personality wise. I know it'll all be OK once I've had some time (and they've had some time to get to know me) but right now I just feel like an outcast. For one of our inservices we had to do a lot of talking (processing - discussing) with our neighbor. My neighbor happened to be Annette - who has a lot of opinions, but she wouldn't say anything unless I said something first (most of the time I had nothing to say - - I need more time, I need to think). At one point I joked with her "I want another partner" and she said "Why? So they can do all the talking?" (Actually, that IS what I wanted!).

We also had child abuse training -- which is never easy.

Julie School SMU had orientation last Tuesday. That would have been OK - in fact I was starting to get rather excited about some of the possibilities they were discussing- but they snuck some "assessments" at the end of the night. First up was the Meyers Brigg -- no big deal I've taken it a couple of times -- but it made my already prominate introversion feel maginified everytime I answered one of the Introvert / extrovert questions.

THEN there was a writing assessment. She said "no big deal, we just want to know where you are at, find out a little about your writing process, so we can help you with your writing skills" Well, it felt like a big deal. We were to write two essays -- one on why the government should support the arts and one taking the opposite opinion. Both should have been 200-300 words long and we should have been done by 9:00. ME?? I got out of there at 9:15 (not the last one, but second to last) and the combined length of both essays was about 170 words (including my name at the top of the page!) I had some ideas, but not enough time to think about it or devlop any good arguments. Not feeling good about that at all.

Labor Day weekend - family time. My parents think I've thrown my life away. Why can Diane go off to teach in Mali and be hailed as a hero to the wide world --- and me (teaching in a school with equal or lesser resources) be a clueless fool? THEY think I should have held out for a job in suburbia (it's not like I set out to find a tough school to work at --- This was the place that offered me a job!!
On one hand I don't care what they think. I really want to be a part of the dream, vission, and mission of this school. And I really want to get this degree.
On the other hand, it's a lot harder to ignore them, when I'm already feeling kind of BLAH and doubting the decisions (if I were still in WDM, I'd have a nice paycheck, a classroom, a CD player, a Piano) Part of me wants to yell -- "I was only joking -- I didn't mean it -- take me back."