Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Up in the morning and out to school

The routine is starting to jell. Language arts in the morning. Today's letters were S and T. After lunch and specials, math. I did the calendar again, with a bit more confidence this time. The kids worked on pattern worksheets and were introduced to subtraction. Tomorrow I'm teaching the main math lesson on patterns.

Most of the children are ahead of the teacher's schedule. Two girls have asked me to write addition and subtraction (and multiplication!) problems especially for them after they'd finished the official busywork. They're smart kids. I hope the system doesn't leech all their natural inquisitiveness and joy in learning out of them, but it probably will. The kids are mostly bored during the lengthy examples Ms. L goes over. I'd be bored too. I was when I was their age. Hell, I'm bored now.

We had a fire drill and a Cub Scout rally to break up the monotony, though. The former went off with the quiet efficiency of a Swiss accountants' parade; the latter was utter chaos. I was the only teacher there. And I'm not a teacher. Still, I like to think that my presence there saved the entire first grade from wandering off aimlessly after it was over.

One of my new duties (appointed by Mr. Young Go-Getter Guy, the principal, who doesn't seem to have been informed of what I'm there to do) is to escort a polite little boy to the nurse's office three times a day so he can go to the bathroom. Apparently, he does something unspeakable if allowed to go to the hallway bathrooms like everyone else. Also, I have to check to make sure he's not carrying crayons on the sly, because he likes to write on the walls in there.

The kindergarten teacher told me of this conversation among two of his students:
Boy: "Do you know what sex is?"
Girl: "No, what?"
Boy: 'That's when you love someone very much so you take your pants off."

The school had to meet with the parents involved. But hey, it seems like the kid's pretty much got the idea down.

Oh, and I took an hour-long nap when I got home. It's a tiring day, without the break in the middle I'm used to. Not only did I need the rest, i'm glad I napped, because it shows that maybe I'm not turning into some amped-up freak eternally coasting on his own tachycardia-induced endorphins.


Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.

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