mangofandango: (misc/ librarian)
I just got home, and am going back to the library in about an hour. I'm hosting an Event in the library tonight, and the thing that makes me most nervous about doing it is the number of people who have stopped me today to wish me good luck tonight. It's a little unnerving. ;)

Question of the day from a kid: "Is Ancient Rome in Pennsylvania?"
mangofandango: (amelie/annabobanna/hereinmyhead)
I spent quite a while during my lunch trying to decode this letter for a first grader. Now I am home and still trying. Any thoughts, internetz?

The first part is obviously written by the teacher, but after that it gets tricky. ;)

"I am glad the book "Raccoons" is in our library because: i lictoredit becauseithlpmered thbuchlpmeredthesatis andthentnlmedomafh
it macmeshatladitj imacmeshatlad it macmelaff it mac me cohape it jit macmecracupthebookcrarmeup iluvthbook ilovthbook"

Here is what I got:

I like to read it because it helped (or helps) me read. The book helped (or helps) me read the (sentence?) .... and then .......
It makes me ....., (I think the j is actually supposed to be a comma) it makes me.... It makes me laugh. It makes me so happy. It, it makes me crack up the book cracks me up I love the book I love the book.


PS I asked the teacher, and she didn't know. So we asked the little boy who wrote it, and he doesn't remember what he said. :)

Edited to add fun letters you can read!

"I am glad the book Big Long Animal Song is in the library because: beekosarisalotoanimals" (because there is a lot of animals - I like the mumbling phonetic spelling there!)

"I like it besause the pretty. I lik cats bes." (I like it because the pretty. I like cats best.)

"I am glad the book Counting Cows is in our library because it has counting and it has cows and because it has numbers in it."

"I am glad the book Bears On Wheels is in the library because the brears are my favorite because one bears up two ten."

"I am glad the book Henry and Mudge and The Careful Cousins is in our library because it has good illustrations and it remember my dog murphy it's a long story and I allso thingk that theas are for frost and sekint graters." (I also think that tese are for first and second graders.)
mangofandango: (bsg/ anno_superstar/ a cyclon devic)
I'm told I need to write these things down, so. First, kids react to my hair cut:

4th grade boy: "Did you mean for your hair to look like that?"

2nd grade boy: "You look just like my mom!"

7th grade girl: "Where did all your pretty hair go?" To which I responded, "Gee, that's exactly what I expected my mother to say!"

However, one of the cutest boys in school totally told my assistant to tell me that he thought I looked great with my new short hair. So there, haters. And kindergarten thinks my cut off hair will make a very lovely wig. They then speculated as to whether my assistant wore a wig (hee!) and how clown wigs were made. GOOD TIMES.

Meanwhile, 2nd grade discusses politics:

J: "What happens to people who vote for the people who don't win?"

I probed and discovered that yes, he really wants to know if voting for a candidate who does not win results in any sort of negative consequences. I clarified that you might be disappointed, but you wouldn't get in trouble or anything. ;)

C, also in 2nd grade, on indecision: "America is under pressure."

She said it quite sincerely, I might add. She felt the pressure so much, she couldn't decide on a candidate to support, though everyone else in her class had a pretty definite opinion. (Second grade was really feeling Barak Obama, lemme tell ya.)

Along with these little tidbits, we had to have a conversation about how sometimes people's voting decisions are private (this was to stave off a slew of MY MOM IS VOTING FOR and MY DAD THINKS comments that got a little dicey), and how Women Can Be President Too.

During this conversation, a boy said "Some people don't think women can handle being president." A little girl responded with the following, complete with in yo' face hand action and sitting up super straight: "Well THIS is one woman who thinks women can handle it!" You go, 7 year old woman, you.
mangofandango: (keepyourguns - hereinmyhead)
I discussed poverty, hunger, ethnocentrism, and economics with second graders today. We were reading a picture book in which an impoverished little girl in Uganda is helped by the gift of a goat (perhaps obviously, we read this because we're doing Read to Feed). The kids thought they had the solution to world hunger - they said "we can just send a plane over there with food on it every day, so the people will have food! Or if we can't do a plane, maybe we should build a pier and have a boat do it!" We talked a bit about why that wouldn't be as easy as it sounds. One little girl wanted to know by the poor people in other countries didn't just move to America! We had a talk about that as well - that living in America doesn't automatically make you rich, that people value their own cultures and countries even if they are financially poor, etc. etc. Then one of the boys asked why poor people didn't just open bank accounts. I explained that the bank doesn't just give away money - it's a place to store money, not a place to get it for free. (A couple of kids had a vague notion of interest, I explained that it wasn't as much "free money" as they thought it was at all. :)) The same little boy who wanted to fly food to poor families each day suggested that perhaps an ATM would be a better idea - ATMs obviously give out money. So I explained why *that* wasn't true either, and how ATMs work, and so on and so forth.

I'm trying to remember if I ever believed that the bank gave out money for free. I don't think I did, and I'm pretty sure my parents explained it to me. Imagine what the world looks like if you believe that, though! These kids must have been walking around thinking poor people were pretty dumb, or that they weren't allowed in banks, or something. I don't know. It was a very interesting (and intense!) conversation, though.

I had a long day today. I marched a kid to the principal's office and had...cause to worry about another one's well-being. There wasa 2 hour delay this morning because of the snow, but somehow I managed to get entirely worn out anyway. My brain is buzzing with kid problems, and questions, and humor, and worries. I really do care a lot about these kids already, and I genuinely like most of them, even if they tumble around in my head all the time, troubling me. That's kind of a good feeling.

Today while I was eating lunch, a woman who works with one of the kids stopped and asked me if I was okay. I said yes, and asked if I looked upset. She said no, but she was thinking about how hard the first couple of years of teaching were for her, and she wanted to know if I was holding up okay. No implication that not being okay would be akin to not liking the job - those things are not the same. I told her I was often overwhelmed, but most of the time I am okay. I thought it was nice that she asked.


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