Friday, April 28, 2006

Vino, vino, vino

I don't bother to count the days until school is out. I let Mrs. Eagle do that. Mrs. Eagle has had a rough year with what everyone acknowledges as The Team From Hell. I have one truly hideously awful class, My Fifth Period From The Very Depths of Hell Itself, but she has an entire team of kids like that so it's been a pretty stressful year for her and the other teachers on her team.

Every morning when I arrive, I swing by her room and she lets me know the tally.

"Fourteen and a half days."

Fourteen and a half very long days.

However, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Mrs. Language and I survived, barely, one week of combining our classes to do research on their Big Final Language Arts and Science Project. Keep in mind, this means that although there are two teachers in the room with the kids, that also means there's about 50 kids in the room as well.

Fifty kids Who Can't Shut The Hell Up. Well, make that about 45 kids Who Can't Shut The Hell Up. There's usually 5 kids in each period who are actually working and wishing that the rest of them would all drop dead or disappear. You can spot them pretty easily. Noses down, they're scribbling notes away on their index cards, stacking them up in huge organized piles on the desks, and completely ignoring the chaos around them. These kids will have delightful projects that will be a joy to read and share.

Then there are the yahoos who have spent a total of ten hours this week in the reference room and have produced a grand total of four - yes, count 'em four! - cards with barely legible notes. Apparently these kids haven't bothered to pay attention to the daily rant that you need at least five sources and probably 10-20 facts from each source so you can answer the research questions and produce your paper. And get a passing grade in return.

I am, even now, still astounded at how a kid can waste time with such skill.

However, as much fun as it has been to spend the week teaching with Mrs. Language, we are both just out and out worn out from dealing with these kids. I'm the techy geek nerd doing most of the computer trouble shooting and she's answering the stupid questions such as "how many paragraphs do I need?" and "How many sentences do I have to have?" It has been a challenge.

So much so that I am opening up a truly wonderful bottle of red wine this evening, curling up with a good book (I'm reading Simon Winchester's A Crack in the Edge of the World: America and the Great California Earthquake of 1906; so help me I'm a science geek) and just doing nothing but enjoying myself and the peace and quiet that is my house. The advantage of having cats is that they are quiet.

And they purr.

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