Sunday, March 28, 2004

Updating the links

I had to update the links again... Some people apparently think they are too good to keep blogging away like the rest of us. (Or else they have real lives to worry about or something.) So I took down Patent Pending and Amazon World and added Geese Aplenty and Tequila Mockingbird. Hopefully both of them will stick around for a while.

Thursday, March 25, 2004

There are overachievers, and there are overachievers

I recently got an email from my baby sister Karlyn (hey babe) - this is the twenty year old who's at Washington and Lee. It wasn't really addressed to me specifically, but was one of those "yes, family, I'm alive and here's why I'm too busy to write to you all individually as you so richly deserve" kind of emails.

I read this list, which includes her proposed major (accounting) and minor (women's studies) along with her recent volunteering stints and her new leadership postion with the Panhell council. (Now, for me, sorority life really would have been a Pan-Hell, but it works for her, so rah rah rah.) Holy shit. I mean, when does the girl sleep? Between terms when she's home, I know.

Now, I found my little niche at Dartmouth and was happy with what I was doing, but looking at my little sister's resume, I feel like I missed something. Granted, I wasn't in any shape mentally or emotionally to do the things she's doing, so why do I feel like I wasted my college years?

You have to understand, Karlyn is the people-person of the family. I am the extremely, painfully shy one. When I was about thirteen and she was 5 and our babiest sister Kerri was 2, we'd be baking cookies or something and run out of sugar or eggs or whatnot. I'd be all ready to walk to the store (45 minutes round trip) and they'd be all "Why? We'll just go down the street." And they'd go out the door on their chubby little legs with big smiles and cute dimples... and come back 10 minutes later with whatever we needed.

Gah. The thought of it still gives me the willies. I have major issues with asking for help or favors... I don't know why exactly, but I do. The thought of walking down the street and knocking on my neighbors' doors in search of a cup of sugar or two eggs is enough to paralyze me completely.

So anyway, I don't know what I'm going to do with my life yet (have ideas, but don't know) but I get the sneaking suspicion that my baby sister might actually have a life plan... Which is all well and good. Someone in the family has to be successful financially. Other than my father, of course. So, you go, Karlyn. And I'll sit here and try not to feel incompetent.

Love and kisses, my little overachiever. *mwah* *mwah*

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Uh, yup

I started yesterday at my new school with my new cooperating teacher. It's the last week of the quarter, so there's not much going on until next week. I won't start teaching again until then.

It's an interesting switch. Last woman I worked with was a native speaker, this one was an English teacher who got co-opted into teaching French because they didn't have anyone else to do it. She knows the language from college, but she's in her 50's now and has never been to France before, so she doesn't speak it as well. It's kind of nice because I feel like I have something to offer for a change.

When the vice-principal took me down to meet her, she explained that I had been working with this other teacher at the other school, and my new teacher just threw up her hands and said, "Say no more. I've heard all about her." She was surprised that Madame let me in at all. I guess she has a history of rejecting potential student teachers... So I guess I should feel good about the fact that I was acceptable at all.

Anywho... I'm off to meet with the new teacher again today to figure out what my schedule will be with her.

*fingers crossed* (but I do have a good feeling about it.)

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Be careful what you wish for?

Hmm. So I was happy that I got to take a week and check out other teachers and other schools last week, but now it seems that my cooperating teacher doesn't want to let me come back to work with her.

When I went in on Monday to observe - because my University supervisor guy said I should - she wouldn't make eye contact. Now, generally, I take that as being a bad sign.

I wanted to be done, but I also wanted to finish... We'll see what happens, I guess.

Saturday, March 13, 2004

Yeah, BABY. Take THAT

Ah ha ha ha ha ha ha! I'm finished! Woo hoo!

123,957 words.

hee hee hee hee hee!

Friday, March 12, 2004

Theeeeeeeeeees Close aka: another entry about (re)writing

I've been working on the rewrite of Revival since about September. Why has it taken me so long? Hmmm... NaNoWriMo got in the way and distracted me into writing 50K words on Retribution... and then there's this evil student teaching thing that I'm in the middle of right now.

I've been working with the printout of the original version - all 473 pages. Now, the rewrite is already more than 525 pages, and that's cool because it's a hell of a lot better with the additional subplots and continuation of subplots-started-and-then-forgotten-in-the-first-version as well.

But now I am down to the last 35 pages of the first draft... Yeah baby! I just might finish this sucker this weekend! Woo hoo!

Thursday, March 11, 2004

Nothing to say

Today, I have nothing interesting to say. However, since this doesn't stop most people from blogging, why should I let it slow me down? Heh heh.

Okay, I lied... retitle this post: #2 On the Speed Dial

So Jay and I have a long-running joke that's maybe not completely a joke, if you know what I mean. He is #2 on the speed dial of my cell, with #1 being preprogrammed as voicemail, while I am somewhat further down on his list.

So, in other words, when I got my cell phone about 2 years ago, the most important number for me was his. He got his cell phone a few months after I did, but the first number he thought to program in was his father's. So whenever Jay talks about his dad, I refer to him as "#2 on the speed dial" in a joke-sulky voice. *sniff sniff*.

Coincidentally, #2-on-the-Speed-Dial will be arriving on Saturday for a week long visit. Jay has been putting in ridiculous hours at work so he can take time off to hang out while #2's here. They're going out to the yurt in the Uintas for a two night overnight xcountry ski trip. Should be pretty cool.

And I guess I can't really complain, because Jay bought tickets for the two of us to go to the Barenaked Ladies concert on the 20th. Mwaah ha ha ha ha ha ha. That's right.

On second thought, the first title was probably accurate. Ah well.

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

The Whirlwind Tour

This week I am not teaching. This week, my supervisor from the University has decided that I would get more out of traveling around the district and visiting with other French teachers.

Yesterday, this was fantastic. I loved this other teacher -- she has great ideas for classroom management and the atmosphere was just a lot more fun.

Today... I'm a little confused. I looked up the school I'm going to online, but they don't have a French teacher. When I asked my supervisor which teacher I would be seeing, he said he hadn't gotten a name. When I asked him what time the class started, he said, oh sometime about 1pm, I think.

Hmm. This might be more of an adventure than it needs to be. Ah well, we'll see what happens. I'm just glad to have the week off from student teaching hell.

Saturday, March 06, 2004


Today is my birthday. 28, in case you're wondering. Jay made salmon and also salmon and feta pizza for dinner. I bought a bottle of my favorite Chianti Classico (Ruffino Riserva Ducale) and am making quite the dent in it. *hiccup*

We're heading out in just a bit to visit with our friends who are in town for just the weekend. They got married over Thanksgiving, and even though we attended the wedding, we have yet to give them their gift. I made another painted tea box, and ate enough Bonne Maman jam to supply the jars for Jay's loose teas. It's a pretty cool, unique sort of present, if I do say so myself.

I think I'm just going to keep drinking this totally superior Chianti - since I'm not driving tonight - because I'm feeling no pain in the knee that I ^%@&%(ed up the other weekend while skiing. And I have been feeling plenty of pain in it since that day. Damnit. Somehow must squeeze in doctor's appointment in the next week or so since knee is not recovering.

OKay... have had sufficient wine that fingers not being cooperative enough to keep typing. (many backspaces were required to make this post legible)

Happy happy *hiccup*

Friday, March 05, 2004

Ah ha!

After watching hundreds of parents come and talk with Juliette, something clicked in my head. She is a fantastic teacher, no doubt about it. However, she and I are VASTLY different people with very different personalitiies. Techniques that work for her don't--and may never--work for me in the classroom. I think the problem is that while she acknowledges (in theory) that different things might work better for me, she won't let me deviate from her system enough to try them.

Unfortunately, this pretty much sets me up for failure. However... next week I will be observing and talking with teachers at three other schools, as arranged by my University supervisor. He's been in to observe me a couple times and remarked that it looked like I felt stuck and maybe seeing what else was out there would give me a better sense of what was going on in French language teaching.

So, I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Thursday, March 04, 2004

Not such a great day, but...

So today was kind of sucky, not so much from a student point of view as from my cooperating teacher's pov. We reviewed briefly for the quiz--and from what I've seen so far, most people did very well. Then we returned to the group work that we had started on Tuesday. Mme Durst told me afterwards that I spent too much time on it and that it wasn't really actively engaging everyone. Okay... so what should I have done differently? "Well, I don't know. You have to plan group activities very carefully..." Unfortunately, that response doesn't tell me much.

Yesterday I mentioned that I wanted to work with a review of the passé composé tense. She told me not to spend too much time on it because they'd had it before. So I started in with a brief review. She stopped me immediately in class and told me to start over with just one type of verb (regular "-er" verbs) and just the ones conjugated with "avoir". Okay... no problem. I changed course and abandoned the prep that I had done for the class. Then she complained that I hadn't assigned homework over the long weekend. Hmmm. Well, I had a worksheet prepared, but since it was based on what I thought I was going to be covering, it would have been way over their heads.

I don't mind criticism if it's constructive... helpful... informative... Otherwise, it doesn't do anything but make me feel bad about what I've tried to do. Argh.

Argh. Argh. Argh. At least I have tomorrow off and can SLEEP! I'm so tired I can barely keep my eyes open anymore. And I still have another paper to finish for class tonight... and from class I get to rush to the second night of parent-teacher conferences.

The fun never ends, folks.

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Wait... oh my... could it be?

Yes, yes I believe it could. I think I just had a GOOD DAY at school with my wretched French 2 students.

Amazing. Dare I hope for two in a row?

Monday, March 01, 2004

Oh... well then... okay.

My two friends who were planning to get married next year got married... today. With only 4 hours notice, I was unable to attend, but Jay went and he said it was very cute.

Yes, my friends are what we call a "cute" couple. We call them a cute couple so we don't have to call the "a disgustingly happy, sickeningly lovey-dovey, wacked-out for each other couple". Which , of course, is what they really are.

And good for them.

Congrats to Stephanie and Erick on their speedy courtship. May the length of their marriage be inversely proportional to the time they knew each other prior to getting all crazy with the marriage license thing. *grin*