October 27, 2006

Hooray for a Good Day!

I've just been way too depressed and pissy lately. Don't think I don't know!

Yesterday some little things happened that made me day just peachy.

For one thing, people weren't trying to pick fights with me. Well, except one girl who really so badly wants to be in charge of the 35 students of her class, but whatever. We had a talk and she's going to try to find something else to be in charge of because her class is mine all mine! I wonder if she'll actually do it.

Anyway...I had students finishing quarter exams and the rest of them were doing the old stand-by round robin writing activity. You know the one where they start a story and then after a little while pass it to another student to add to it, and on and on and on. They complained at first, but then after the class was over, many of them (mostly my stinky boys) came up and told me it was a cool activity.

Glad you like it kiddos because I got a ton of work done at my desk, your slowpoke classmates were able to finish their tests, and YOU spent what could have been a worthless day (end of quarter and the day before a 3-day weekend) actually WRITING your little hearts out. Triple score for the teacher!

I missed lunch because I attended a very cool function in library. One of my yearbook students (and a student on my team) brought me a HUGE plate of food from day two of the Multicultural Feast our social studies teacher organized. (Two days because including all the students in one day would have been crazy. The first day actually was a little crazy because all 50 students actually brought food to share. It was amazing!) How sweet for someone to think of me! It turned out that it wasn't a student but another teacher who sent the plate, but still I am loved. There were four different tamales on my plate. Score! I have no idea how to make tamales, and eating them in a restaurant is not the same. Seriously, if you want good tamales, someone's mom has to make them!

So then that class period was, "Shut up and start your story. Leave me alone. I'm eating tamales."

The very cool function I attended in the library? We had an author visit our school!I'm not sure if he's known author, up and coming, or serious obscure, but he gets paid to write books for kids, so good for him! His name is Obert Skye and you can check out his website to find out more about his books and a place he discovered called Foo. I'm not a big fan of young adult fantasy, but it does seem to be a hot genre right now. The book reminds me a little of J.K. Rowling and Lemony Snicket, but then perhaps there is that notion that the good YA fantasy books should contain some of key elements that those contain. I dunno.

Obert Skye was a very entertaining speaker who kept the students enchanted the whole time. He told them about his exciting journey into having his story published, which you wouldn't think would interest many of our students, but he did frame it in terms they would know from experiences of writing their own pieces. It was so funny when he showed the kids the before and after with a piece of writing he had done. His editor must be as evil as I am! I just turn and looked at a few of my publications students who were sitting behind me and they shook their heads at me. I'm pretty brutal with their writing: "Did you proof this before you brought it here? Well, try again. Make sure you figure out the correct way to spell "which" unless you'd like to see me turn into the one you have written down."

It's so awesome for the students (and me) to get some outside inspiration from our visiting author. It's not every day one meets a writer who actually makes money. For the students, it's not every day they meet someone besides their teacher is super cool and actually like to write.

The day ended pretty well with a lack of suicidal drivers on the freeway when I took the kids to the weekend trade-off place, which is two hours away. I hate traveling that roadway so much that I keep threatening that I need to be medicated to stay calm. Instead, I usually read. This time I had to take them alone, so I was dreading it, but in the end it turned out to be a quiet night. Mostly just me and hundred of semi trucks.

Some inspiration...homemade tamales...extra industry at my desk...students writing and liking it...and not dying in a fiery crash in the I-15...what a good day!

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