mangofandango: (ats/mouthfullofdust/evil white people)
My last day of work was today. It took me about an hour to walk out the door once I realized I was done with the work I had to do, because it felt like kind of a profound thing, I guess. I feel both free and sad. I haven't actually thought too much or felt too much about leaving yet, because I think when I do, I will cry. Yesterday was the kids' last day, and saying goodbye to them was hard. I'm not unhappy, I'm know, leaving. And I haven't processed yet.

I am also listening to "I Don't Want to Be in Love (Dance Floor Anthem)" by Good Charlotte over and over really loud. I don't know if it's Good, but it's FUN. :)

I have been so busy, so it was a really big thing when I came home today and took a nap for more than an hour. Now I am all ready for going out with a bunch of my local people tonight for Skunk Hollow last-day-of-work party time (aka dinner, beer, and open mic). Except that I am not clothed. Oops, best get on that. :)

(Nerdy edit: does my icon choice suggest that Skunk Hollow is the mecca of evil white people? Or maybe public schools? I am unsure, but the implication is unintentional. :))
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: (ats/ crystalkirk/ painbow)
From Neil Gaiman's blog:

"Neil, I was wondering what you thought about Philip Pullman's books and and the controversy in the united states about the new movie based on his first book.

I like Philip Pullman very much, I like his books ditto, and I think the controversy is stupid. Does that help?"

All I have to say to that is YAY.

I had a rough day at school today. It was very busy, the little kids were amped up because of the snow day yesterday, and the 6th grade was so badly behaved that I lost my voice a little bit dealing with them. One student in particular was very difficult and arrogant, and left me feeling really frustrated and annoyed. I told my assistant I was going to go home and punch something.

Now I am home, and I haven't actually punched anything. Maybe I should! Meanwhile, I have a choice before me: go to the gym, or stay home and bake cookies? I should go to the gym, but I really want to do the cookies. Or maybe get a Christmas tree from the people down the road! Or else just sit here reading things until my blood pressure drops a bit. Maybe I'll start there.


Aug. 7th, 2007 12:10 pm
mangofandango: (_jems_ - amelie reading)
I spent a while the morning writing a little treatise for the parent handbook about young adult materials, and what YA really means. It's meant to solve a few problems we've been having with younger and younger kids pushing the YA envelope, and also to make sure parents understand that YA is not just a reading level thing...while encouraging them not to panic about content and respect YA as Real Literature. If you're one of those people who geek out on this sort of thing and feel like proofreading or whatever (Ally? :)) I will pastey pastey:

Yay for YA )

Today I go move shelves around and try to make better use of my space in the library, and pick up a purchase order so I can go spend tons of money at Borders tomorrow for the kiddies. SO MUCH FUN. :)
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.
mangofandango: (zoicite - wes click your heels)
I need ideas. You people are good with ideas. So!

Old Librarian is very involved with Heifer International, and every year she did "Read to Feed" with the kids. The basic idea is that kids read a lot and families give money to Heifer through the library. The kids also made quilt squares and pins, on an animal theme, and sold them to raise money. Last year they bought an ark!

Here's the sitch: I'm taking over this whole operation, having never done it before. I want to make it my own, and do it differently, while still honoring Old Librarian's rather large legacy in this respect. I intend to keep it a lot smaller-scale this year, so I can just get a feel for how it works and everything while concentrating on teaching. I also don't want to push the community too much financially, because they've already given a lot of money to school-related stuff this year (much more than usual because of local events). But I'd like to do something special with it, and I have a group of maybe 10-12 7th graders who would be doing it with me as an elective.

I need a project the 7th graders can either do themselves or organize for other kids to do. I will, of course, be helping, organizing, supervising, all that good stuff - I just want them to feel a sense of ownership for the project. It can be anything as long as it can raise some Heifer money and doesn't require a Ginormous investment of time and money. If it's farm animal themed in some way, that's a plus. Thoughts? READY, GO!
mangofandango: (librarian)
I had my first site visit today, to a middle school. I got there at 8 (oh man I so have to adjust my sleep schedule before next semester!), and stayed until 11. During that time I talked to the librarian, observed three 6th-grade classes, and got to wander around the room and help some of them with their research. They were each researching an animal that lives in or around Narragansett Bay, and the most popular animal was the harbor seal. :) The kids looked really young to me, given that the last time I was in school and around huge groups of children, I was a 4th grader and the 6th grade kids looked so OLD to me. :) But they were all shorter than me, and all young-looking. I helped them use the encyclopedias, and answered their questions about taking notes and understanding what they were reading.

I liked the middle schoolers. As their librarian put it, they're old enough that they are starting to understand what they're doing, but they still need some help and they still think of adults as human beings. They combine some of the things I like about little kids and some of the things I like about older kids. So. Maybe I should observe at a second middle school, because I think I might want to do half of my practicum at one.

Tomorrow, I visit an elementary school at 8:30 in the morning. Whee!
mangofandango: (grrliz - bad fic supenuse!)
I have scheduled 2 site visits to school libraries. One on Monday at a middle school, and one on Thursday at an elementary school. My first one is at 8 in the morning. I need to start adjusting my sleep schedule so that working in schools won't kill me. ;)

It has been nerve-wracking calling schools and setting up appointments, and thinking about doing this stuff for real. (I still have to get a high school appointment, but I left a message so hopefully I'll hear about that soon.) I was upset last night because at this point I feel like a total newbie fake without a clue, when it comes to thinking about actually having a job where I am in charge of a library and 20 kids at a time, but Ryan keeps reminding me that many people feel that way about starting things like this, when things start to get Real. I'm scared and it makes me question myself. But I think that's normal too.

I think visiting the schools will either help me feel better about things, or make me more nervous. Hopefully the 4 volunteer hours a week at schools this semester will help too. I know the practicum will probably teach me more than a year of theory work has ever done, it's just that I feel like I'm auditioning or something, and it's scary. Or like I just wandered into something and am in over my head.

I'm okay, just venting my nerves.

Meanwhile, this song ("All These Things That I've Done") makes me feel a lot better. :)
mangofandango: (lit_glitter - humorous conclusion)
I came home from my first class yesterday with a slightly shell-shocked expression and a pile of handouts so big it didn't fit in my binder. It's color-coded. The pile, I mean.

This class is prepation for student teaching next semester (my practicum), and it is a bit intimidating. I think it'll be good though, and make me feel more prepared in the end. It actually deals more with my actual future job than with the theory of it, I think, and that's refreshing and sort of reassuring. It's just a little scary to look at now, with all the stuff I have to do in order to student teach next semester, and then the student teaching itself...

Today I have "Information Ethics" in Providence. I think that one might be kind of fun.

Ryan has been playing REM and Counting Crows and Coldplay all morning and I've been making icons of "A Hole in the World" (because as soon as you have a list of things to do, you start making icons in avoidance...right? :)). This combination is making me feel a little weepy, or something.

I think this is largely a GIP. I keep messing around with my userpics and then realizing I have like 75 of them and I should really use them all more. ;)


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