Thursday, January 31, 2008

Thursday Shmursday

With all this Readers Choice writing I haven't just spat out life in a while. Things are different at school these days. The glowing sheen of positivity that had built up on students and staff alike as a result of a restful Christmas Break has finally worn off. Everyone is starting to realize we are going to be stuck together for a while. Student minds wander a little more, student mouths run a little more, and teachers patience starts to run thin. I have a special problem as of late. My students cannot keep their hands to themselves. A fight was started in the cafeteria over this matter, and at least 20 times a day I have to ask students to put things down or leave things alone. Also, another rapidly growing pet peeve of mine is the complete and total inability for students to remember to bring the things to class that they have been asked to bring all year. Math journals, biology lab notebooks, homework, pencils. If someone shows up to work with out a report, or improper equipment or attire they will eventually get fired. Yet another problem at our school is that we don't have passing time. The time between classes is simply "known." There are no bells, students then have the ability to roam freely like musk oxen about the halls, taking extended bathroom breaks, not getting journals, going all the way to the gym to get a precious drink of water. Then as if I give a shat, they ask me if they can go do these activities after they finally show up to class. Next week I am starting a study of how much face to face time is lost every day to these activities, I'm going to use this evidence and data to write a report which I will present to my colleagues and to the students in proper scientific process steps.
Testable Question: How much student learning time is compromised daily because of time wasting activities.
Hypothesis: If these activities could be remedied then teachers could gain at least a half an hour more instruction time per day with their students.
Processes and Procedure: Using a stop watch as a time keeper, I will simply keep a running tally of all wasted time per day. Then I will record and compile the data for analysis.
Materials: Stop Watch, Paper, Pen
Data and Observations: next week
Results: next week
Conclusion next week

In other school related updates, the addition of three colorful new students has had significant affects on the chemistry of our roughly 16 student high school. Unrelated to these new students, other major non school mischief took place this last weekend that I can't talk about. Needless to say, one of the most perplexing phenomenons I've observed about this community/culture is the social taboo of talking about topics of controversy. Drinking, sexual abuse, suicide, violence and any other dark part of life is simply swept under the carpet never to be spoke of again. Therefore no one learns from the situations and they are never acknowledged by the collective community in a healthy way.

I have some major insomnia as well. When I returned to Alaska I was stricken with a wicked cold that required a nightly dose of TheraFlu, now that my cold is gone and my supply of cold induced sleep aids gone, I find myself still lying awake in bed at 2:00 am almost every night. This definitely affects my overall attitude towards life and my ability to shrug off otherwise crippling announces of adolescent stupidity.

Other fairly disturbing news. We have started a fox trapping course after school. We needed a certified teacher and I took the job. Now let me be perfectly clear about a couple of things before you go and call PETA. One, our island, because of the reindeer slaughter house, is completely over ran and over populated with fox. They carry rabies, fight with dogs, and are generally out and about when the kids come and go from school. A very sick one was recently shot because it was wildly thrashing about town. Two, I am in the middle of an Anatomy Physiology unit and I really need the eyes, brains, hearts and other parts for class. They will be killed regardless, but this way I can at least use them for learning. Three, the teacher Dennis has the utmost respect for animals and is teaching all of us the proper way to humanely take the animals, and respectfully preserve their furs. These furs will not be sent to Hollywood designers to be used in high priced clothing, they will be used to line parka's and winter wear for people across an arctic delta. If you have a problem with the fact that I am learning how to carefully and respectfully catch living creatures then put your cheeseburger down, and also, when Armageddon comes I will not supply you with a fur lined loincloth to keep you warm in the sunless ice fields of the post apocalypse. Lastly, we ventured out to the tundra today and from my best estimate there are at least 150 foxes on the island. We will only be taking about 20.

I have been enjoying the recent addition of skype to my life. My screen name is Kale Iverson and if you have skype, which is free, I'd love to talk. You can get a free download at www.lksd.org by clicking on the downloads link.

I just heard on the news that Bethel now has only 3 police officers. Sometimes when I talk to lower 48'rs I describe Alaska as the last great wild west frontier in America. 3 police officers, amazing huh? Of course the news report showed them arresting a drunk Eskimo man further propagating the stereotypes.

I don't have much else to report, oh wait, yet another semi regular installment of the epically disasterous Education 610 Cultural Class. I still have not made an Eskimo mask or made up a dance and I am still undecided as to whether or not I am going to wear a quspek to class, all three of which are my assignment. The best part is that the class is at 8 in the morning on Saturday!!! YAY!!!!!! I can't wait to sit in my classroom for 8 more hours this week.

Sorry for the gloomy post, but its been a rough week, no sleep, annoying kids, animal killing, and BS cultural class. Hope yours has been better.

2 comments:

Mark said...

Hey Man,
The Northern Lights should be visible to you friday night and saturday night, assuming you will have clear skies. During your insomniac stretches give try putting all of your gear on and getting a look at them. I feel you on the time wasting thing, can I get my pencil, can I get my pen, can i go to my locker for....(the times when they dont even know what they want they just leave a pregnant pause, ug. NO!!!!!!!!!! I feel like shouting at times, how do you lose your writing utensil from last class to this one, you mean to tell me you got all the way to sixth hour without something to write with?!?! Man though thanks for putting this stuff up I get a kick out of it time and again.

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