Thursday, September 25, 2008


Substitute teaching is a form of masochism.

Even though its painful, we kind'a like it. After all, if I hated it that much I wouldn't do it.


After my second day of subbing, I've been thrown into situation # 2 that I didn't want to be in.
The first was gym, ahem, excuse me, physical education, and the second was self-contained. Oh well, I suppose the best way to confront your fears is by doing them and getting them over with. Needless to say today was alright, I only had a real problem during free play when the students decided to go buck wild, and innocent playing (with blocks, tinker-toys, and plastic farm animals) became a chasm of discipline with hurricane force winds, and a liberal amount of child-ish rough-housing, where "we were just playing around" turns into sobbing messes of students who got their faces accidentally scratched, their heads accidentally hit, and the occasional stomach kick, just for teaching experience good measure of course.

Did I mention there were only 9 kids in the class. Oh, and 3 para's, was first grade, and, um I was only with the kids for about 2 hours.


I'd like to chalk the occasional moments of pandemonium up to my inexperience, the fact that whenever a sub is in the room students usually push the behavioral envelope, and maybe the kids were just having an 'off' day.

I wish I could chalk all my mistakes up to 'off' days.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

My second first day of school

My second first day of school:

6:00Am Get Up

7:00 Leave for work

7:45 Got to work (needed to be there at 8:15) BUT figured getting there early would allow me to wander the halls, find the important places (a.k.a. bathrooms, cafeteria, faculty lounge) and would give me some time to get to know the classroom I was going to spend the next seven hours in.

7:46 Sat in main office, having discovered that the teacher I was supposed to sub for was there and that a mistake had been made in the online 'sub system' (they don't call it sub for nothing)

8:15 Still sitting in the main office, wishing I hadn't even gotten out of bed this morning.

8: 30 Finally, got a spot in a kindergarten self-contained '8-2-1 room as a TEACHING ASSISTANT because low and behold there were no teaching positions that day.

8:31 Sitting at a table with four other kindergartners playing with connecting cubes.

9:30 Still sitting at a table with four kindergartners playing with connecting cubes wishing the teacher would do something already.

9:31 Snack

9:43 Still eating snack, wishing I had actually brought snack with me to school.

9:45 In music, sitting in a circle with 12 kindergartners and two other t.a.'s

10:30 Still sitting in music, now singing the star spangled banner, with 12 kindergartners, 2 t.a.'s, and a music teacher. Wishing I had a better singing voice

10:35 Infected sty on the eye of a poor kindergartner explodes when he rubs it with his hand

10:36 Puss erupts

10:37 In nurses office sitting with him because for some mysterious reason the NURSE doesn't want to be left alone in her office

11:00 Still sitting in nurses office next to boy with puss infected and contagious eye sty

11:20 Still sitting in office with boy who is now fast asleep really wishing I had never gotten out of bed this morning

11;30 Get a call from the main office that I have to go and sub in the afternoon at a different school, one that I can't sub in because it lets me out at 3:40 and I have a job an hour away that starts at 4:00

11:40 I leave the school and head to the other school

11:50 Get lost, wishing I had packed lunch for myself instead of relying on cafeteria food, with no cafeteria around at the moment.

12:35 Find second school

12:40 Find out I'm subbing for gym Wishing someone would just shoot me

2:20 Playing duck duck goose with kindergartners

2:25 Playing kick ball with 5th graders, wishing I hadn't worn high heels.

3:45 Leave

4:20 show up at work (late)

4:21 Get lectured about making late phone calls

8:00 Leave work (again)

8:40 Get home wishing, hoping, and praying that my second second day will be better.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Working, ugh

Hirst for Hire?

I've decided, after reading in the Times that Damien Hirst's work can sell, in TWO days, at aSotherby's auction for roughly 127 mill., that I'm going to contact his manager and ask if when I die, he can dip me in a clear glass square of formaldehyde and then sell me to some wealthy person with more money than they know what to do with.

I figure it'll be pretty much the only time in my life that I'll-
a. be in a mansion
b. be worth a TON of money
c. have people oggle over me incessantly and for no real good reason.

Hey, if an ashtray full of cigarette butts (that get's mistaken for garbage and thrown out) and dot paintings can sell, why can't I?

Monday, September 15, 2008

Miguel Angel de Arriba

Great photography work,

(it's in Spanish)

His nature photo's are my favorite. especially the reflection ones. The way he brings the animals nature, almost personality, is so sophisticated and visually, very powerful. Check the site out if you're into photography.

Learning lessons

Work is frustrating. I never thought I'd have to sell art. What's odd is that I can't seem to get any boys in my classes and yet in history, the majority of artists were/are male, maybe not nowadays, but previously, all throughout history, the majority of 'artmakers' were men. (I do realize, for the feminists out there, that there were in fact many women artists who were just as good as their male counterparts, but who, due to various sociological mores, never were recognized and given their rightful credit-Rosa Bonheur anyone?) However, sticky the truth is, men up until the advent of postmodernism (c. mid 1950's) were the main event. Coming from a childhood educator, I have no idea how this happened because no one with the y chromosome seems to be interested in anything having to do with art outside of it's uses digitally. Even at the high school level. EVEN in art education.

So at what point does this change? Because whatever the catalyst, I'd like to use it to wrangle in some boys. Between elementary school level teachers being 96% women, art teachers being 96% women, and now my art students being 99% girls. I'm on estrogen overload. I need some male perspective.

And, why in heck does every middle school student do nothing but copy other middle school students...? and they're so nasty to one another. Damn, I thought I knew a decent amount about the adolescent psyche, but apparently I've got A LOT to learn.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Friday, September 12, 2008

The chicken is kind-of committed but the pig has total commitent!

I heard a great commercial on the radio before, it was for a beer, I think Coors, but it was a coach who said "We need a firm commitment from you! It's like a bacon and egg sandwich, the chicken is kind-of committed but the pig has total commitment. We need total commitment!" LMAO.

I'm the egg on the sandwich of life.

Oh and, know what else is weird that I just noticed? The word 'commitment' is spelled with one t, yet the word committed has two. Yet another anomaly of the English language.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Here a flea, there a flea, everywhere a flea flea

Tisha has flea's, so...Oli has fleas, and yes Tallulah then, as it stands, would (and does) have flea's. So Thursday night I got about 2 hours of sleep because, as-luck-would-have-it Tallulah is allergic to flea bites. Before Friday, I didn't think it was possible for a dog to be allergic to flea bites, to me, that's like saying a human is allergic to dandruff or something. Anyway, well, she is, and after an entire night of panting, moaning, crying, and itiching, the poor girl got some relief after the vet injected her with some anti-itch magic potion.

So after a week of the dogs itching, and scratching, and after a week of the entire family itching and scratching, (psychosomatic, ya know) we got the problem fixed.

1 trip to Petco for frontline flea serum- $ 50 dollars on debit mastercard
1 trip to the Vet to have your dog's flea shot- $171 dollars on debit mastercard
1 trip to the laundromat to wash all sheets, towels, and quilts - $14 dollars on debit mastercard
A flea-free house-Priceless!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The day after Labor Day

While driving through the tree lined streets of the North Shore, sunlit speckles popping through tree branches onto the road and listening to Kid Rocks 'All Summer Long' , I lamented over my last few days of summer vacation. After a second or two of nostalgic repose, and I realized my summer wasn't that good; and for that matter, most of my summers haven't been that good! Thinking on this further, I've come to the conclusion that Fall is really the season I look forward to the most. Fall is the time when I don't mind sitting in traffic, enjoying the moments of stillness while looking at the autumn leaves lining the highways. Fall is the time when I think about pumpkin carving, candy-corn, Halloween decorations. It's the time I allow myself to replay some of my most prized memories of playing in piles of freshly raked leaves and my great grandmothers house, or visiting the cabin of my great aunt in upstate New York, snuggling under the warm hand quilted covers of an icy, fall-cool bed. In addition to the nostalgia I indulge in during the fall, it's also a time of new opportunities and new experiences for me. Each September with the start of a new school year brings the apprehensive-excitement of a new class (or in some cases, classes), new people, new opportunities.

Today I started cleaning out and organizing my art room. Usually, four hours of hard-cleaning would make most cringe, but for me it was nice, dare I say cathartic, and with my feeling of calm, came the normal trepidation, hope, and excitement. and happy thoughts, not of a great summer past, but of a great fall coming.

We chose what we want to see

We chose what we want to see...
This is a drawing from one of the students in my class. Can you guess what it is?

What's that? Oh, you want to know the answer?
It's an airplane.

Just remember...however difficult to comprehend, the way others see things is oftentimes very different than the way we see them or chose to see the