Thursday, January 31, 2008

the other one

So I have this other roommate. Not the same one that eats my food and tries to curl up on the luvsac with the Elders, but almost as amusing. And she loves to shop.

So she came home from her most recent shopping venture and was showing us all of her new clothes by trying them on. (something much like a fashion show.) After several lovely outfits, she comes into the room wearing a coat. Nothing but a coat. And this coat has a grand total of three buttons.

Um, Laura, I think you forgot to put your pants on.

No. This is a dress.

Now that's where you're wrong. It's actually a coat.

Well, I know that. But I think it's a dress, too.

Trust me. It's not a dress. Not even close. And she's wearing it to church on Sunday. She has thankfully agreed to wear a skirt under the "dress", but no shirt. We're still working on that one.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

tips for living with roommates

This post is written especially for my roommate Julie, who sometimes fails to pick up on social cues. Nevertheless, I love her dearly.

  1. When the Elders are over, and one of them decides to sit on the luvsac, since we have limited seating and the luvsac happened to be open, do not sit on it with him. Especially do not crawl onto the luvsac and lie down behind the poor Elder. It doesn't matter that you're not touching him. He will be terrified.
  2. When your roommate tells you that she made soup and has leftovers, and that you are welcome to help yourself to the leftovers, this offer only applies to that particular batch of soup. It does not apply to all food in the refrigerator, nor does it apply to batches of soup or other food that may or may not be made in the future.
  3. When your roommate promises to leave her camera in the living room so that you can load the pictures we took onto the computer, and she forgets to leave the camera out, you probably should not dig through her closet and drawers searching for the camera. Just wait until she comes home. Pretty please.
  4. When one of your roommates gets mad at you for the first time, you should probably realize that this is bound to happen. No matter who you are and who you are living with, chances are someone's going to get annoyed at some point. So do not start looking for a new place to live. Buck up and deal with it.
  5. Just because the food in the refrigerator is from an asian restaurant does not mean that it belongs to your asian roommate. Sometimes non-asians eat asian food too. So please do not eat it. Those leftovers were so good and that's all I really wanted to eat when I came home.
  6. If we are hosting FHE at our apartment and you don't want to come, just tell us. Do not tell us you're taking the trash out and then never come back. And if you do choose to sneak out with the excuse that you're taking out the trash, do not get mad when we laugh at you for sneaking out.

wednesday afternoon ritual

I have this student named James. he has some anxiety issues. Major anxiety issues.

So every wednesday, he comes into my classroom during his study hall so that I can "help" him with his homework.

And every wednesday, I ask him what he needs help with. Just to stick with tradition.

And every wednesday, he tells me he needs me to show him how to do everything.

And again, for purposes of tradition, I patiently (or not so patiently, depending on the week) let him know that I cannot do his homework for him. So he breathes heavily so that I will know just how frustrating I am being.

Then we work through his homework. And every week, it turns out he knows how to do all of the problems without my help.

But every week, his pen runs out of ink. So he yells at it for ruining his life. And scribbles all over his homework in an attempt to get hie pen to work again.

And then we continue working, during which he narrates every. single. step. And somewhere about halfway through he gets mad again, because he forgot to convert units or multiplied wrong or something, and again he starts yelling at anything in general, when he really wants to yell at me. Lucky fo rhim, he would know that heads would roll if he tried yelling at me, so he takes his anger out on the general space around him. During this time, I usually walk out of the room. Because, seriously. It's homework. Get a grip.

But this is our tradition.

Monday, January 28, 2008


So after finding out that I will be teaching this summer's robotics class, our school's technology coordinator asked me if I'd be interested in adding a robotics class to our regular curriculum. Of course I do. Now I have exactly one week to write a proposal for my class to present to the board to determine whether or not it will fit into our school's budget and vision for the future.

I'm very excited about this. If anybody has ideas for teaching a HS robotics class, please let me know!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


apparently they're desperate in georgia to improve standardized test scores. i wonder how many of them will cheat to get a bonus.

check this out!

The Flat Earth Society "Deprogramming the masses since 1547": some of my students told me to check out their website, and it's awesome! (in it's own way, of course)

So apparently there's an abundance of "evidence" indicating that the earth is flat. It's clearly a disk surrounded by walls of ice, and the whole so-called "round earth" theory is just a government conspiracy. What exactly they're trying to accomplish by leading us to believe the earth is round is admittedly unclear, but the government has been known to do some pretty strange things.

I found out about this when I asked my students what gravity is and was told that gravity does not actually exist. The earth is a flat disk that is accelerating upward. Duh.

So we're spending class tomorrow going over their "scientific data and measurements" and debating whether or not we believe that the earth is in fact flat. I can't wait.

Check out their FAQ page. It's unbelievably funny.

Monday, January 21, 2008

movie reviews

The Power of One: If you've read the book, you will think that this is quite possibly one of the worst movies ever made. If you have not read the book, you will think that this is quite possibly one of the best movies ever made. quite the conundrum. lucky for me, i've read the book so i know just how great peekay really is (i think i want to marry him) and just how fantastic the real story is.

The Kite Runner: two thumbs up. whether or not you've read the book, it is beautifully made. it follows the story, and while the character development is not quite what i would have liked, the ideas and emotions are presented nicely.

Juno: funny. watch it. teenagers make me laugh so hard. this is why i love my job.

PS I Love You: Oh, my gosh. I was not expecting much from this movie, but it was fantastic. While it's a tragic story, it's all about hope and moving on. With a story like this, it easily could have crossed the line into overly sappy and pathetic, but magically it did not. another must-see.

great idea

so i have this roommate whom i love. i'm pretty convinced that we were twins separated at birth. except for the fact that i look exactly like my mother. and that i'm not japanese. but whatever. the point is, she's great. so we're always talking about restaurants that we should try, but when it's time to go out to eat, it's so hard to make a decision. so we've made a restaurant box. it's simple. take a jar (or a plastic pumpkin - whichever you have on hand), write the names of all the restaurants you want to try. then when you feel like eating out, pick a name and you're set. how brilliant is that?

Monday, January 14, 2008

resolution update

so remember how i was going to eat less frozen food this eyar, in an attempt to be healthy? well, all i've got to say is that it's a good thing i have an asian roommate who makes me go to the korean store with her. because today at the korean market, they were having FRUIT HAPPY HOUR!! Which mean that i could buy bananas for $.25/lb, and containers of blackberries for $.89 each! And 8 tangerines for $1.00. And then i bought some japanese rice and japanese crackers, just because i was so pleased with the korean market.

and just as an update, i still love the elliptical.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

next on my list (because there's always a list)

Into the Wild: i just bought it from amazon, and can't wait to read it! It's a perfect book to read during the busy school year, because it's not too long and apparently fantastic. that's the word on the street, anyway.

What's Science Ever Done for Us? what The Simpsons can teach us about physics, robots, life, and the universe. all reviews indicate that it is accessible and entertaining. instead of turning a great show into a boring science lesson, the author explains all concepts quickly, clearly, and with humor so as not to ruin the fun. i'm ordering it next week.

A Thousand Splendid Suns: by the author of The Kite Runner. Will it be as good? I'll find out soon enough!

Inside Teaching: How Classroom Life Undermines Reform - i'm curious to hear what the author has to say, and it would give me more of a background going into the educational policy classes i'm starting this fall. I've read and excerpt, and if nothing else, it's clearly written.

What is the What: By the same author of Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. His writing style is so raw, i'm curious to see how he approaches a book of this nature. i wonder how (or if) his style will change when it's not an autobiography.

more book reviews

13: Thirteen Stories about the agony and ecstasy of being 13 - nice, quick read. it's kind of funny to remember how traumatic middle school can be. most of the stories were well-written, and adequately capture teenaged personalities. while certainly not the most intellectually stimulating, it's a refreshing read.

The Kite Runner: fantastic story about forgiveness and repentance. The main character is a boy named Amir, but by the end you realize the story is actually about his best friend, who remained in the background. The characters and plot were developed beautifully. A must-read.

Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold - so far, so good. I'm only about half-way through, but it's getting better and better. I'll fill you in later.

Friday, January 11, 2008

go green

so our school was on the local news a couple months back because we purchase more than 50% of our energy from renewable resources. we're awesome.

something else awesome about our school is that in the fall, all of the apples that we serve are picked at a nearby orchard, where the apple cider we serve is also made. De-licious!

and the most awesome part is that our headmaster has a stationary bike in his basement that he hooked up to a machine that grinds wheat (or other things) while he bikes. and then we use that wheat for our lunches. this all makes me feel very much like i'm living in san francisco, except for the fact that DC is more fun.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

crazy, crazy

So yesterday, one of my students asked me if I was "one of those crazy mormons." Which is kind of a taboo thing to ask your teacher. Except that by crazy mormon, he meant one of those mormons who goes bungee jumping and skydiving on vacation, like Doug's family does.

That is much better than the kind of crazy I was thinking of. Like that girl who once got mad and told me that "Jesus never would have done that to me."


one more happy note

just to round things off...

So today i didn't hate swim practice as much as usual, because we were in the weightroom and i got to work out instead of babysit! hoorah! i love the elliptical with most of my heart and soul.

and on another happy note

i bought myself a plane ticket to Madrid!!! and it was $200 cheaper than the last time I checked prices. the countdown is on for spring break 2008!

things i hate in 2008

1. Coaching swim team. It wouldn't be so bad if I were paid extra for it, or if practice were right after school so I have the evening to work or play or relax. But practice is until NINE O'CLOCK PM!!! Even on FRIDAY NIGHT! Apparently they think I don't have a life. Or that our kids don't have lives. And then they think that I'm a good enough driver to drive a school bus into DC. News flash: I'm not a good enough driver to drive anything into DC, much less a bus full of teenagers.

2. I can't really think of anything else.

So on a happier note, I love my classes more every day. This is usually the time of year when teachers and students get on each others nerves. A lot. Instead, we like each other more and more every single day. Hooray!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

2008 Resolutions

1. Take 2 educational policy classes this fall
2. Save $XXX dollars. I'll keep the exact number to myself.
3. Get my article published.
4. Eliminate anything unnecessary that is cluttering my life
5. Eat less frozen food. This is where quesadillas come in.