*It’s a good thing I finally learned (mostly, anyway) to just embrace my pale skin because as you can tell, these legs look like they didn’t see much sun all summer. And you basically have to squint at the other two pictures in this post to see some of my limbs—my arms and legs seem to blend right in with the background (especially that last one, where it almost looks like I have no legs whatsoever). It’s kind of awesome really, in a creepy kind of way.
*However, pale legs aside, I will take this time to point out that while shopping at Target the other weekend for the first time in probably well over a year, I found myself two pieces I’d been craving forever: a patterned stretchy pencil skirt and a soft & slouchy grey tee with a pocket in front. And sha-bam! I had myself this perfect little Sunday outfit that I pretty much patted myself on the back for all day long because I feel immense pride over actually looking pulled-together once in awhile. And the whole thing only cost me about $35 (well, with the shoes about $55).
*I’m such a bargain bragger.
*Today I’ve been giving the students this district writing assessment that they all have to take at the beginning and end of the year. The students are shooting for a “4” (on a scale of 6), which shows them to be proficient for their grade level. Anything above a 5 shows they’re advanced. And as for getting below a 4, well…basically it just means that I’ve got a lot of work to do. And you know what? So far, I’ve had nearly 100 students take the benchmark, and only 17 students have scored a “4” or above (13 of which are in my honors class).
*I know my students last year started almost just as low, but still. . . I guess this just means there’s a lot of room for improvement, eh? (Like last year, when my students went from an average of about a 3.0 even to almost a 5 as a group, which was heartening). Let’s just cross our fingers that I can work another semi-miracle with this batch.
*(You know it’s bad though when a student, in response to a prompt that asks you to share a positive memory associated with family or friends in a multi-paragraph essay, proceeds to write only two sentences total that tell you what a “jerk face” this other kid in your class is. I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried, people.)
*My sixth hour (which also has to take this benchmark writing assessment) is going to be interrupted by our first fire drill of the year. Aside from the fact that I’m annoyed they scheduled a drill right during a district assessment, I’m a little nervous about this group’s ability to maturely handle a simulated (or real) emergency situation. When I was reviewing with the kids that if an actual fire were to occur, they were not to run in a panic from the building, the kids looked at me like I was crazy. I had to try and explain that if everyone were to run, it would probably take longer for most of them to get out of the building, especially if they got injured in the mob.
*None of them believed me.
*So please pray that there will be no fires at my school because it looks like there is a very high percentage I’d be trampled by hundreds and hundreds of 7th graders all panicking towards the nearest door.
*This photo makes me laugh whenever I see it because it looks like I’m singing the song “Turn Around” (Total Eclipse of the Heart) for a musical audition. (This is one of the few things that kind of stinks about having a husband who’s into photography—like a good photographer, he just keeps snapping and snapping…even when you’re clearly telling him to cut it out.)
*Sometimes I wish I could write a letter to my 7th-grade self when I see some of my own students struggling with the whole process of growing up and am reminded of my own junior high days. One thing I would write? “Dear Self—Guess what? You’re never going to believe this. One day on school picture day, when you’re a teacher in fact, the photographer will smile really big at you and actually tell you that you’re a “natural.” Although that might seem incredible to you now (due to the colossal mistakes that were your school pictures in grades 2, 4, 5, and 6), it will seem even more incredible when you see the epic failures that both your original and retake pictures are in 9th grade (I’ll give you a hint–they’re so bad, Mom won’t even put them up. She’ll leave your 8th grade one up–which is bad enough—and then take you to see a professional because you just can’t handle it anymore). But hang in there, girlie! One day, you’re destined to be a ‘natural’!”
*(I have yet to actually see the picture, but I’m assuming it can’t be as bad as last year’s considering that I looked like a robot in that one…)
*If you were to write something to your 7th grade self, what would you say? (And I’ll pass your responses on to my 7th graders, since we’re talking about growing up as part of our unit right now.)
*So country swing dancing has officially started up again (I teach it twice a week at my school in case you didn’t know), and this year’s crop is proving to be even mor excited than last year’s about the whole prospect of actually touching someone of the opposite sex in school WITH PERMISSION. (Side note: at my school, the kids aren’t even allowed to hug. At all. So you can only imagine how strict we are about any PDA going on.) Along with the new class has come the typical responses: everyone freaking out when I demonstrate the moves with some of the male students (because how else am I supposed to show them how to do it?) and giggling girls who are intent to show off in front of the handful of guys who actually come by trying to do the moves as if they were a teen pop star.
*Some things just never change.
*I will say this though—today, I had all the boys find a partner first (because yesterday, all the girls went screaming towards their (girl)friends and clung to each other, leaving all the boys in bewilderment at what had happened and without any partners). And you know what? Those brave boys actually marched right up to a girl on the opposite side and asked her to dance without even hesitating. And not a single one required me to partner him with somebody, and not a single girl giggled and refused to dance with him. It was an early Christmas miracle, let me assure you.
*While at the library last night (checking out yet another Harry Potter book on c.d. for my long commute), I found myself pulling Michael Pollan’s latest Cooked off the shelf and adding it to my pile of things to check out. And you know what I realized? I think that as a general rule, I prefer reading non-fiction to fiction. Although I end up actually reading more fiction (because I have all those book lists I’m trying to read my way through), I generally prefer the non-fiction genre to all else. What about you? Are you a fiction fan or a non-fiction nut?
Hope you have a happy Tuesday! Thanks for reading 🙂