Showing posts from December, 2011

A Little Blue Chalkboard

When I was a little kid, I had a blue chalkboard in my basement. It was set up in front of a old fashioned school desk, circa 1950-1960. I spent hours in the basement "teaching" an invisible class of students how to do math (cease your snickering), read, and about American history. Science was notably missing from my basement school house, but I'll blame that on my lack of beakers, chemicals, and any scientific knowledge.

I made fake worksheets for my students to fill out. Then I filled them out, answering a few questions wrong so I had something to mark. I made bulletin boards, class schedules and clocks. I read to my students, encouraged my students, chastised my students, and sometimes--just like every teacher secretly wishes he/she can do--walked away from them in disgust. I played school for years. Probably longer than was cool. Or socially acceptable.

So, I'm sure it comes as no surprise that now, two decades later, I'm a teacher, just like I always knew I w…

Christmas Spirit Just Vomited All Over my House

Despite the fact my house is aglow with with two different Christmas trees, smells like peppermint, and could land planes by the glow emanating from our balcony's festive lights right now, I'm having a little trouble finding the Christmas spirit this season.

Perhaps it's because we have no snow on the ground--a blessing for my commute, but depressingly unattractive. Perhaps it's the fact that, in a bad economy, an already tight budget is making gift buying exceedingly stressful. Or perhaps it's the fact that my students--in a fit of mid-winter doldrums--have mostly turned into asshats over the past few weeks. Whatever the reason, the generosity and joy of the Christmas season have escaped me; I find myself stuck in a Scrooge-y mindset that I just can't seem to shake.

This year, I find myself avoiding the Salvation Army bell ringers like they have the plague and cussing far more than is customary, even for me. But perhaps this is the reality of the holiday season …