Monthly Archives: November 2012

Practice Sentence Says it All

My students turned in sentences that used a semi-colon as they walked out the door. Here’s what one had to offer:  I went to school, and learned something, how ever I dont care. [sic] No kidding. 

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The Females

The females. Where I work all you have to say is that and people nod knowingly, sympathetically. Admin spared me from them my first semester, but I’ve been trudging the quarter mile through fog, wind storms, snow, and the hottest … Continue reading

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Gift Exchange

Is it just me, or does anyone else get anxious about staff Christmas parties? This time last year I was introduced to an unusual party concept. We would draw names from a hat and then buy children’s gifts with that … Continue reading

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What is in a Tattoo?

“Tattoos mean that you’ve been through a lot,” he declared. I can’t find my notes about the conversation that dominated our dinner conversation that night, but I’ll never forget those words or the certainty with which they were spoken. Don’t … Continue reading

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Grace and Hospitality

Still baffled about the tribute speech, one appealed, “Miss, why don’t you demonstrate?” I can speak in public. I do speak in front of groups of students every day. But when I demonstrate for a speech class I’m suddenly 16 … Continue reading

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We Are Thankful

On the bulletin board across the hall from my room a bunch of index cards with cute, sparkly leaves stuck tastefully on their corners tell what our student-offenders are thankful for: Family, Mom, little siblings, older siblings, children, the Detroit … Continue reading

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After Thanksgiving

Tomorrow my students are going to ask me, “Did you have a good Thanksgiving, Miss?” I will hold back a smile as my mind’s eye replays my young niece holding up her shirt to expose her very round belly, and … Continue reading

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Death to a Lesson Plan

The eulogy speech I assigned two semesters ago wasn’t exactly a failure; neither was it a resounding success. Evaluating the character of my current class, I decided upon a new approach. We would discuss scenarios where they might be called … Continue reading

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I Wish It Were As Simple As Changing a Diaper

The sadness gets to be too much.  I wish it were a simple fix. If my four-month-old is sad, I change her diaper and give her a smile. She lights up–everything. For a moment I forget, but as she goes … Continue reading

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Their Dreams

As in every school, some classes have great chemistry where there’s the right blend of intelligences and personalities and  cooperation if not participation. One semester my fourth hour was like that. Grading their responses to the documentary Waiting for Superman I read over … Continue reading

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