18 September 2010

A Funny for the Weekend

I love the cartoon strip "Rhymes with Orange".  It's one of the strips my eyes scan the pages for first every time I open the Star section of the paper. 

One of my dear co-workers said yesterday's strip reminded him of me.  I think it sums up my personal view and love of food perfectly.

(The Houston Chronicle, 9/17/10)

14 September 2010

Barely Surviving

To say that the beginning of school has been rough this year would be a huge understatement. 

Morale is low across the campus district.  It's not just me.  Class size is out of control and I am teaching a brand new (to the entire district) course on top of the full class load I have had the past 9 years. 
And paperwork... don't even get me started.  I'm drowning.

An administrator on our campus addressed the issue over email this past Friday.  (And just to clarify, I hold this adminstrator in very high esteem and respect him immensely.  Our school is a better place because of this administrator.)

The email went something like this (yes, I'm paraphrasing):

 Dear Faculty and Staff,
It has come to my attention that morale is low and that we have had a rough start to this school year.  Here is an inspirational video clip I received from a friend and would like to share with you.  Enjoy!
You know what my first thought was???... If we had time to view inspirational video clips at work, morale wouldn't be so low!!! 
Needless to say I did not watch the clip.  I'm sure it was great, but at 3:15 on Friday afternoon I had over 325 emails in my inbox and was trying to clear out as many as possible.

It hasn't been all bad though.  I absolutely LOVE my new course and the students in the class.  It's small this semester (only 18 on the roster) which is a complete blessing.  I also work with the most amazing team of teachers across the district.  Those 5 other teachers have been my lifeline.  If it were not for them I would have turned in my resignation letter the second week of school. 

Here is an interesting and (I feel) insightful quote from our new textbook. 

"To gain an 'authentic' sense of place, people need to experience the complexity of a place directly rather than a stereotype of a place.  An 'authentic' local culture does not fit into a single experience or image; rather, an 'authentic' local culture is one that is complex and not sterotyped."

Just one of thousands of reasons to keep on travelin'...