Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Idaho and Spring Break

I drove to Idaho yesterday and some crazy things happened.

I would post it here but I want you to have the choice of whether or not to read it. But seriously its got some stuff a lot of people won't want to hear so tread lightly.


In other news. Spring break is going along nicely.

I want to build a firepit, get the house ready for all the guests we'll be having soon.

We will be running a little boarding house here soon enough.

I was gonna get some yard work done but its crap outside.

Open Mic night tonight. Might play a new song Kyle and I wrote:

Its a Home

Grow your roots deep down
There's magic in the soil
Particles separate the water
You know more than you'll ever know
You Know more than you'll ever know

Its such a tiny thing
To plant the first seed
You'll know exactly what to bring
You'll know just what you need
Its a home, a home, a home.

Build this home brick by brick
Raise the roof by myself
Paint the walls marigold
And put your picture on the shelf

Its such a tiny thing
To plant the first seed
You'll know exactly what to bring
You'll know just what you need
Its a home, a home, a home.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Lucky Kale

Just got home from taking grandma and grandpa to the Muckleshoot Indian Casino. We ate dinner and gambled a little. Gambling at Reno and Indian Casino's is a family pastime of ours on both sides of the family and being able to take my G and G out to get out of the house is a really good thing for them. They get to eat some big portions of food which is good because they're both underweight and they get to have a little fun.

Lately though I've been really lucky, and tonight was no different. I played slots with G and G for a while then broke off and hit the black jack table. I turned 20 bucks into 160! This has happened the last 3 times I've gone bringing my total for winning over the last month to nearly 400. Crazy.

Went and saw Repo Men with my friend Randy on Saturday. It was really gory and brought up some crazy social commentary on the price of good health. This in conjunction with the fact that the first stem cell grown organ was transplanted into a English boy recently makes me wonder if for a price we will achieve immortality someday.

Saturday was insane nice. I bought a lawnmower and mowed our lawn, played a full game of tennis with my room mate and now I can barely walk.

ONe more week till spring break. Thanks be to Allah.

Have a good week!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Drama Drama Drama

This week has been all drama. Kids goin down left and right. Threats of semi gang like beat downs, pill popping and smokin dope in the bathroom not to mention sexual harrassment, IEP's and suspensions galore...and thats just the students. Then you got all the crazy backdoor teacher stuff going on and I can officially say that I have seen my fair share of drama behind the scenes at school this week all the while being not involved in any of it.

I realized today that my last two jobs might lend me more to a new profession someday. In Alaska I basically got a crash course in teaching every subject, fixing computers, writing IEP's, implementing special education, staffing issues and management, budget planning, scheduling and all sorts of counseling and curriculum.

Now in my bizarre Title 1 position in a mostly poor urban school I have got to see a whole new side of education. Lately my job has been a constant balance of relationships. Balancing the counselor's recommendations, with the principals oversights, with the over 15 teachers with whom I support and work with every day as well as the struggling students that I have to try and build back up to functional. I am truly behind the scenes of an entire school and it is daunting, fascinating and very very very frustrating.

And to think, I used to be just a biology teacher.

I don't know where I should steer the next steps of my career. I don't want to be a political pawn and micromanaging nightmare like principals have to be. I don't know if I can go back to just teaching science. I don't want to be a counselor or really a special ed teacher any more. I wonder if I could just be a teaching consultant and get hired privately to go into classes or schools and help them break down whats going on in their school. The outside perspective is really weird and sometimes extremely important.

Yes officially it is almost spring break too. I think they named it that because its finally spring and we are all about to break.

This weekend I'll be house sitting as my parents go to Peoria for Mariners spring training. I'm gonna go see a Peninsula High Baseball game after work tomorrow and after that I dunno.

I'm feeling disconnected from some of my friends lately. Hope to see them soon. This working full time thing is whack.


Saturday, March 13, 2010

Proud to be a Tacoman

Lately I'm starting feel very happy and proud of my armpit of the world town Tacoma. I decided a few weeks ago that I don't care if anyone comes and visits here because they live in some fancy shmancy uber trendy metropolis like Seattle or Portland. It no longer offends me when countless offers for a place to stay are never taken up. I like that no one likes Tacoma. More for me. And when you say "Oh I live in Tacoma" and they say "Oh...thats nice," and back away as if Tacoma is infectious and they could catch it I say "Yeah back away baby, Tacoma is infectious and the people there, wells, we's likes it and we don't needs no stinkin more of your snobbery round these parts neithers."

The reason that I like Tacoma so much is that it feels like home now (it did once before but I left for some reason). And those big cities are like Disney Land. Fun, Exciting, Expensive and at the end of the day you're sick of the cotton candy and stupid mascots. I think a lot of people try to leave Tacoma and do, but they always come back, because its hard to escape. I know a lot of UPS people that went to school in Tacoma and think if they stay then they would be one of "thoooose" people that never left their college town. But I would say, the real Tacoma is not on UPS soil.

In one twenty four hour period I was in a high rise apartment in down town, a small local establishment in Ruston, rolling through the ghetto in a BMW and thrift store shopping in a Christian Retirement Home Shop.

Another reason that I'm starting to get pumped is that I think there is a void in Tacoma, a potential for greatness. People want to be unified under a single banner of funky goodness and ultimate joy. No one has stepped up and said WE ARE HERE AND WE WANT TO GET DOWN. We are making some good contacts with booking people for farmers markets and other venues and I think the summer might actually be a time for Bison Hunter to start making itself known. Exciting indeed.

Also, I don't want to get my hopes up toooo high but I feel like I'm super close to getting this job for next year. I really really really want it and think that I could be really great for the school. With

In other fun news, I'm finally making it to the star state. That's right, Texas baby. At the end of July I'm flying directly into the heart of George Bush International Airport to meet up with and attend my best friend from college's wedding to a really nice girl. I'm really excited to go and I can't wait to get stared at and gawked at with my long hair and beard.

And Last but not least. If you are a substitute teacher with no health insurance and need some cheap glasses I got just the place for you! Value Village has many many prescription glasses that will fit any budget. Of course the styles are a little out of date and may make you look like a guy who drives a sketchy van but hey there is no price for good eyesight. Just check out these tri-focals I picked up yesterday, they are my exact prescription!

Have a good day.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Everything Is Gay in Middle School These Days.

My Name Is Kale
And I'm Here to say
Being a middle school teacher
is all about the word "gay"

You may be thinking
about the state of "gay"
in the vernacular
of middle schoolers today

So I've composed a list
for you to see
all the things that are
currently "gay" to a teen

Homework? Gay
Math Test? Gay
Cancer? Gay
Killer Whales? Way Gay

Earthquakes? Boring Gay
Olympics? Retarded Gay
2-Step Equations? Mostly 2 Steps of Gay
Proper Pronouns? Properly Gay

Hall Passes? Pass the Gay
Ben? Painfully BenGay
No Texting? No...Super Gay
Being Gay? Actually...Not that Gay

High School? Gay
Shop Class? Less Gay
Mr. Iverson? Gay Maybe?
Mr. Iverson's Beard? Very Very Very Gay.
Mr. Iverson's Green Crocs? Probably made from Gay crocodiles.

As you can plainly tell
As you can clearly see
Everything is Gay
To a homophobic, behavior problem, failing every class, using ignorant words like "gay" all the time because they read at a 3rd grade level middle school teen.

Basically this little poem was inspired by the fact that today I kept track and heard a student(s) call something Gay exactly 29 times over 6 periods, Down from 56 last week on the same day of the week.

Thursday is my "Gay Tally" Day.

So before I go I would like to say
I hope your week is totally GAY, all day, everyday (in the happy way..or in whatever way you prefer gay because I think both are fine with me).

I Hope you have the Gayest week ever, because how awesome would that be right?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

New Attitudes and Government Crackdown

Controversy is all over Tacoma School District. The word came down that 4 middle schools are performing in the bottom 5% of the State and that the federal government requires said schools to take one of four Reform measures including closure, staff turnover, and school restructuring. My middle school doesn't fall into these categories because somehow they have been increasing scores of the lowest performers for a couple years despite being title 1. Never the less restructuring will take place and the whole school staff is in uproar over the endless possibilities of possible ramifications. People are fearful of losing their jobs and the backdoor nepotism politics that plague schools nation wide. The school is also has a considerable degree of gossip and staff click groups with some significant trust issues.

And then there I sit, with an expiration date on my service date, I lose my job no matter what. Last week I had a break down because I was trying desperately to save every child no matter what. I will still try but a staff member made a very important point to me on Friday after participating in my class and seeing what I was up against. Basically the staff member said that I had in impossible group of kids that were simply dumped on my by teachers who really couldn't handle them. My job has no definition but to simply help kids, I do my best to find their missing work, get them organized, tutor and help them and reteach if necessary but if the kid simply doesn't or won't make the decision to work on fixing their situation its really not up to me to beg them. I look at a failing student (who doesn't try as opposed to one who is trying but failing) like a person addicted to drugs/alcohol. They have to hit rock bottom and realize that they can't do it (or not do it) on their own and that they need some help. Until they hit this point they are going to continue the same shit that got them there, all I can do is be there for them and help them if possible.

I also realized that no one is really checking up on me or watching me so why am I so paranoid I'm not doing job right? Thank Jesus of Christopolis I am a born hard worker, because if someone wanted to cut corners this would be the job for them. Fortunately I love kids and wanna help them so I work my ass off all day despite the fact that no one is watching (and I'll lose my job anyway).

So with this new, don't let it get to you, attitude this week is going a lot better. I'm picking my battles, investing my energy where it can do the most good. And, that has made all the difference.

Band Practice is going well, making some major strides in the areas of Improvisational Comfort Levels between me and Kyle, I learned how to make FAT reggae beats and melodies, and we are in the process of recording and writing all the possible lyrics so that while we are improvising live we can simple pick a set of lyrics and go from there instead of being tied to a specific song.

Lots of crazy nice weather up here, thank you global weirding I guess.

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