the twit


    i sleep without air-conditioning: required #3

    a rather unexciting obervation on: cold calling - a "muddiest part of the lecture" procedure designed to generate student participation.

    all you need, kids, is a group of students, some 3x5 index cards, and a writing implement. before class, write each student's name on a card, and shuffle the deck. during your lesson, pick cards randomly/semi-randomly, and require that the child indicated by your selection participate at that given point in the lesson (e.g. answer a question, go up to the board, etc.)

    while i never had the opportunity to actually use this method (nor any of the others), i (a) had intended to, and (b) observed joel use it. while this may not be sufficient for a blog-experience-reflection cluster, it's all i've got.

    the method seemed rather effective - sleepers were less alseep than usual (in fear of being caught "cold," perhaps), and talkers were prevented from dominating class discussion. my only real concern is that i'd rather this be an procedure that students were more prepared for, and thus had developed expectations concerning the spontaneous environment "cold calling" would generate. for, i think the best feature of this method is its mechanical, impersonal face - and, this would be detracted from in a situation where "cold calling" were introduced in response to an unbalanced system of student response in the classroom. while its success at a superficial level is apparant, the possibilities of its effect on a more deep educational/cultural level seem promising - perhaps resulting in a developed student response to a more active, object-indifferent response environment. granted, this can only be devloped/observed in a classroom setting with a different sense of time/permanence than our summer school class; i intend on integrating cold-calling, and related spontaneous modifiers/generators into my class in the fall, in the attempts of hardwiring the social environment of my classroom against certain typical patterns of static social/behavioral modes.


    reluctant disciplinarian: required mcpost #2

    as for my previous concern as to whether the author of Reluctant Disciplinarian, Gary Rubenstein, ever "redeems himself from a stance of oblique, humor-begging iconoclasm": he does not, or only barely does.

    while this is a book of overly-honest (soul bearing on the verge of histrionics) reflection, and while it is a book ostensibly of step, misstep, and re-step - three necessary experiences of the young teacher-who-may-yet-survive (another unwelcome stuffing of the phrase "lifelong learner," i fear) - reluctant disciplinarian, in the end, fails to provide any real substance through the vehicle of its zany, fresh approach. however, it does produce - from time to time - the exact opposite of substance: an uncomfortable vacuum of reduction and near-fatalism. that is, its street-smart, inside-scoop, tell-it-like-it-is journalistic posing hides some rather disturbing monsters. i'll run through a few favorites (and - these are not the views and/or actions that the author had advocated during his failed first year; these are his "how things work" positons):

    "still, i kind of liked the novelty of being poor. clipping coupons and eating pasta most nights was fun, like a game." (117)

    a game? are you kidding?

    "I knew that 'cool' didn't work for me. Nor could I be my nerdy self for fear that these high school students would make fun of me, just as high school students had when I was a student. I was concerned because I didn't know what identity to assume." (103)

    so... he's got "identity" issues. he just needs to find his "real" self...

    "I nerdier I became, the more my students responded. I would even go home and practice intellectual feat to enhance my image. While teaching ninth grade class about circles, I mentioned pi. 'Most people think that pi is equal to 3.14,' I said, 'but really it goes on. It starts out 3.141592653589793238462,' I continued on for the first 100 digits." (104)

    ... and his real self is a bag of faux-esoteric math parlor tricks meant to impress high school students. something doesn't add up here (excuse the pun): he compensates for his lack of personal confidence by wowing kids with the detritus from his glory days as a math competition champ in junior high (102). i'm not clear how (a) this has anything to do with the author "being real," or (b) how this assists his children in learning - if in no other way than putting/persisting a thin veil of impenetrability/unapproachability over math concepts. his concepts of "teacher personas," and the "real teacher" follow a similar line: thin masquerades worried more about believability than function (he does, however, equate believability with fuction (81); agreeably, illusion is a huge part of the equation, but rubenstein seems to give it undue sole primacy - especially where he advises that a teacher to deferr to the student's expectations when presenting material; in this case, i could essentially lie to a student, or even perpetuate his/her own previous lies, but still suceed in producing a belief in the student that he/she has learned. note to prof parker: it seems i've abandoned my championing of arbitrariness here; this sort of lie seems somehow worth a fuss; a part of me wants to champion the space between real/un-real, but a part of me sees an undue cognitive disservice; perhaps, it's the aim of the lie - or if the lie has an aim; prof, i'm puzzled: where is teaching not lying? because i think some of it isn't, or at least intends to not be. however, some of it is, and has to be. it is, of course, structured like a language).

    perhaps my failure to connect with this book is because he's trying to demystify illusions that i don't particularly feel like i harbor, (of course, a been-there-done-that mentality in the book that seems to bet on me crawling back to this book in the fall, begging for mercy, ready with an "i told you so") nor that i value. rubinstein seems to go from overconfident and clueless, to overconfident and somewhat experienced. to his credit, he admit his mistakes, but he seems to do this only after rushing jovially into a thicket.


    required mcpost #1: formal evaluation

    3. Watch your video-taped lesson plan. Comment on your strenghts and your areas for improvement.

    le comment:

    even after four years of college radio, i've never gotten used to the sound of my recored voice - it's always too nasal and mumbly. in the classroom, i complement this with a wide range of dramatic arm movements and bouncing eyebrows (in the video, i whip out my teacher look only once, when sylvia accidentally drops a textbook; after the loud bang, my eybrow shoots up, and my eye strongly fixes on the problem, ready to fire).

    yet - darting between groups as my kids fill out a worksheet - i look like a teacher: often, i just perch above a shoulder, checking the progress; i positively reinforce productive responses with a constant barrage of "good," "yes," "exactly," and the occasional "brilliant." i use the first-person plural ("so, now we're looking up at the board..."; "later we'll be reading a short story...") to get things moving; instead of responding to the same query 20 times, i abstract common problems and teach/reteach.

    of course, there's plenty of things that i'll need to work on: my transitions are sloppy (likewise my intro and closure); my directions aren't explicit enough (leading to too much time wasted on clarifying procedures); and my teaching objectives don't hit home from as many angles (and in as many explicitly noted places) that i'd like.

    also, from dr. sullivan's notes,

    1. i mention that d.c. and new york city is on the east coast (we're filling out a map), but so is georgia (also a location we're dealing with). in my defense, we were talking about atlanta, ga - which is definitely not on the east coast. yet, it's true that i'm running into a cultural conflict where i have a non-geographically pure distinction between east and south (i.e. by east, i mean dc and up on the atlantic.)
    2. i'm a "little too animated" - to which i dramatically shrug my shoulders.


    wednesday is: haiku day

    didn't fall asleep in class today. instead of eating the free candy provided, and suffering the soporific shift of my blood sugar, i wrote...

    the kuzdu haiku

    my forward haiku
    is a backwards haiku, as
    children speak wisely.


    the other mustangs -
    nothing but these are proper,
    parked next to mustangs.


    under the color
    fixed to bone of fabric:
    the overly bright.


    chicken-shit tin can:
    two pigs counting the moon;
    a bedtime story.


    I'll ride the kudzu
    eating the armadillo -
    maybe wear a suit.


    bibbity bobbity blog

    yes. a cinderella (corrected 7/5/05; thanks to sarah worden) reference.

    a better day for teaching; i led for the first time since my near-meltdown during the burn-up of my leson for mlk's "letter from a birmingham jail" - as taught in a classroom without air conditioning. needless to say, i was up a bit late last night overplanning - not only for a well-padded return to center stage (re: teaching as a performance, and the crux of the hollow feeling when the strain of pedagogy is lost being tied to a pay-no-attention-to-man-behind-the-curtain shock), but also for my 20-30 min "formal evaluation," which involved a video camera, a visit by dr. sullivan (they're not professors down here, they're doctors), and "an introductory perspective to the concept of 'world literature,' to preface a reading of gabrial garcia marquez's 'a very old man with enormous wings'" (my laboriously titled 30-min lesson).

    there's a disjoint between my desire to (shoot me) "blog it out" after this morning - since i don't have much to say at this point. basically, i taught, and there happened to be a camera and an old man in the room. though, dear diary, it is nice to feel... competent?


    yet, fearless readers... i must eventually revisit my "formal," and do a good old self-critique - quoting, prodding, dissecting myself for all the world to technically have the opportunity to see (in the event that a given person has internet access, and so wishes to see me in a flower-print paper dress). for, sometime before june 29, i'll have to complete my.... assigned blogs!

    in no particular order: scenes from future episodes of "crooked letter, crooked letter" (i notice myself writing in stretching-for-a-laugh idioms. i apologize. read further to see an ironic turn.):

    1. Try one of the strategies outlined by Qualters (Muddiest Part of the Lecture, Cold Calling, or Concept Tests). How did it work in your classroom? What benefits did you note?

    - preview: three of these strategies creatively use 3x5 index cards. two of these strategies hinge on a level of comfortability/trust with a student population that i don't think i've achieved with this class of 20 in my... oh... 3 lessons i've given them in the past three weeks. one of these strategies employs a faux random method for calling on kids. so: see what happens when - by the power of the cards - mr. molina calls on cliff.... and cliff's asleep!

    2. Read Reluctant Disciplinarian. What is your reaction to the book?

    - preview: Dave finishes the book (to have been read yesterday), finding out if TFA veteran Gary Rubenstein ever redeems himself from a stance of oblique, humor-begging iconoclasm (true; i should talk). possible conclusion: when no book could ever prepare you for the inevitable near-death experience of your first-year in the classroom, lets write a book about just that - and, in doing so, learn how to laugh at our own wacky misadventures, while at the same time focus on "keeping it real." result: teachers still melt, but can whistle.

    3. Watch your video-taped lesson plan. Comment on your strenghts and your areas for improvement.

    - preview: Mr. Molina has a very nasal voice. Mr. Molina waves his arms around a lot. Mr. Molina's lesson plan fails to close in the allotted 20-30 min. Mr. Molina didn't notice that Jon Krakauer is from Seattle. Mr. Molina may or may not be as competent as he originally considered himself.

    4. reflect on your student teaching experience.

    - preview: Dave waxes either faux poetically or third-rate McSweenily about a month with English 10. possible intertextuality with "Theme for English B." re: a great opportunity for reconciling with his own over-sarcasm, and coming to terms with keeping it real, preferring Langston Hughes's rhetorical positioning to that of Gary Rubinstein.


    2 moments from today's lesson:

    1. Leo makes lewd observation about opening of the Marquez story:

    "On the third day of rain they had killed so many crabs inside the house that Pelayo had to cross his drenched courtyard and throw them into the sea, because the newborn child had a temperature all night and they thought it was due to the stench."

    Leo particularly likes the phrase "so many crabs." Mr. Molina acknowledges the humorous possibilities. Class laughs. Visiting teacher (from another Ole Miss program?) shakes her head, slowly.

    Later, Dave - recollecting on Marquez's supreme wit and imagery - looks at "so many crabs," "newborn child," "a temperature all night," and "the stench," and realizes that Leo's comment was actually quite brilliant - dissappointed visitors or no.

    2a. Joel notes that Mr. Molina overdoes it with sarcastic humor as he warms up into a lesson, possibly alienating children who don't know if he's laughing with them or at them. Dave agrees. Joel says he's improving, though. Dave is happy.

    Joel's account of a good use of Dave's humor (undoubtedly misremembered by the time of this blog entry):

    Vernarderick: "I don't like anything."
    Mr. Molina: "Nothing?"
    Vernarderick: "No."
    Mr. Molina: "Great. Maybe we can get you to like poetry, then."

    2b. Anderson walks over and observes that Dave reads too loudly. Dave is confused.


    Yes. Dual identity. Dave and Mr. Molina. Think about it.



    i've found a nice escape from fighting sleep in lafayette h.s. (there's plenty of dead time when you're observing a colleague do a 2hr lesson):

    when i begin to feel the coffee wane, i step outside the classroom (nodding my authoritative head at the kids as i slide towards the door) and - after the requisite stops in the bathroom and water fountain - i wander the halls of lafayette, looking for other teacher corps people giving lessons. by now, it seems that most of the veteran teachers to which we're assigned have relegated their morning session to some level of teacher corp control, so it's not infrequent that i can peek into the thin window of a classroom door and see sarah, or rob, or adryon, or keila, or mason, etc. - arms waving, and voices raising, and eyes patrolling.

    it's a bizzarelly pleasing moment - to walk unnoticed in the hall, listening devilishly to those people i'd just peeked in on (sometimes their students see me, and we smile with the shared knowledge) - their voices wisping under their doors, merging off the cinderblock walls, disappearing in the air conditioning.

    we're teaching. we're figuring it out. something is being produced, or trying to be. some of our kids are dead asleep. some of them are laughing. some are learning. it's the moment (excuse the undepth of my metaphors, elizabeth) of the orchestra warming up. small growths of sound, quickly retracted to recalibrate, and grow again. spontaneous harmonies and dissonances - some followed, some abandoned. recognizable themes here, improvizations there. but, at least a continuity in the sense that we're trying to find the form (or find it again, or stay with it), trying to sharpen ourselves for the bigger stage. clearly, some of us have already found a few moments of clean performance - those are the more pleasing murmers of lafayette's hallway - but we'll need all the sound-check (to overextend the poetic moment) that we can get.

    an orchestra warming-up indeed sounds like heat growing. like friction building, and the buzz of power lines. energy being organized, focused, tested. and, in the hallway, it's clear that we're all - perhaps half-consciously - joining in on the development of this strange warmth, we're all gravitating towards the same intangible hum, centering ourselves before we must truly create.

    so, sometimes, escaping the classroom is the best part of my day.


    romance of the kudzu

    a weekend in amherst for a wedding (michael page 'o5 to hilary plum '03). all the things i had just moved into the passive came riding high on little sleep and mislead eros. at the moment where the self had thought to settle in mississippi - where the green had started to grip at my shins - i flooded it with a fantasy of still-warm memories.

    strangely enough, i feel a bit deadened. not too motivated to prepare for another big lesson tomorrow (detailed in editor's note #2), not too motivated to negotiate these very early, very tenuous, very touch-and-go, very political relationships (hell, i just spent two days arm in arm with a score of people whom i'm passionately in love with), not too motivated to get some dinner.

    anyway, kudzu is perfect on the highway.

    p.s. i feel kind of bad that i'm slipping into the oft-familiar angsty blogger voice - which is, not unsurprisingly, an easy companion to the exhausted teacher voice [note: it's true, it's been about two weeks now; what do i know about being an exhausted teacher?] i'll work on bringing out the smiling dave voice.


    editor's notes -

    (1) basic structure of last blog entry came from an e-mail to my advisor at amherst - writer-in-residence daniel hall.

    he adds,

    "Corporal punishment in public schools: imagine. I did check your blog, but I didn't see the most persuasive argument against it, namely that the lesson children learn from being hit is that the way to keep people--or nations, for that matter--in line is through physical force. (It may be in there somewhere; I don't have much patience with blogs, because the wheat to chaff ratio is so low. Take a look at Margaret Cho's blog: there's hardly a laugh to be found.)"

    (2) i read "letter from a birmingham jail" for the first time last week (i'm going to try and do a lesson on it tomorrow - semicolons, rhetoric, and the conflict of dr. king). lit me on fire. the writing keeps pace easily with the stronger moments of emerson and montaigne - though with a calm sense of the law pulling truth brilliantly at all angles. anyway,

    "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. Never again can we afford to live with the narrow, provincial "outside agitator" idea. Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere within its bounds. "

    " I have just received a letter from a white brother in Texas. He writes: "An Christians know that the colored people will receive equal rights eventually, but it is possible that you are in too great a religious hurry. It has taken Christianity almost two thousand years to accomplish what it has. The teachings of Christ take time to come to earth." Such an attitude stems from a tragic misconception of time, from the strangely rational notion that there is something in the very flow of time that will inevitably cure all ills. Actually, time itself is neutral; it can be used either destructively or constructively. More and more I feel that the people of ill will have used time much more effectively than have the people of good will. We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people. Human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability; it comes through the tireless efforts of men willing to be co-workers with God, and without this 'hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the forces of social stagnation. "



    a hump day

    students in mississippi go right past euphemism and call wednesday "sex day." something to do with a higher rate of early dismissals.

    anyway, i'm totally exhausted. summer school from 7:30am-11:30am. lunch 'till 1. class 'till 4. run. eat. grades. lesson plan. rinse. repeat.


    i seem to have burned (or at least burdened) some bridges today by arguing that the rhetorical scapegoat of "it's a cultural difference/perspective/issue" is an ineffective procedure for critically approaching the legality/practice of corporal punishment in the schools of this wonderful state.

    note: it's legal, and practiced, in the state of mississippi to use phyical methods of discipline (i.e. giving kids "licks" in lieu of behavioral restrictions [detention, suspension]) .

    further note: disciplinarians must give children the choice between a given amount of licks and a non-violent punishment.

    further note: many children prefer to be hit (perhaps - in some cases - because this physical voilence is a lesser evil and/or pales in comparison to what they do/may face at home; perhaps, also, it's a non-choice in the face of warped masculine honor; either way, this is seems an odd pattern of sadism).

    bullets of response: the code of law is a living document; it's not a complete stretch to think of this sort of punishment as cruel and unusual, thus constitutionally suspect; i'm not aware of any other case where we give people this sort of choice in their own punishment (oftentimes, however, people indicted for an offense are (i believe) given the choice between jailtime and a fine - this, of course, clearly has its own blend of socioeconomic implications) - i'm thinking of an agreeably extreme case where one would give someone the choice between life in prison and the death plenalty (though, i'm aware of cases where people serving life terms have argued - unsuccessfully, as far as i know - for their own swift deaths); the historicized list of similar arguments (all who experienced a shift in legality over time) rears some ugly heads - slavery, jim crow, institutionalized mysogyny, eugenics policies, nazi germany - all of these were at one point (and oftentimes successfully in the eyes of contemporaries) argued as untouchably cultural differences/culturally disjoint axioms/expressions (see also: putin's russia on ukraine, hussein's iraq on biowarfare experiments, xiaopeng's (sp?) china on taiwan, khomeini's iran on women's rights) that outsiders lack a rich understanding of, thus are unqualified in commenting on; (perhaps most convincing from a practical perspective) studies show that this form of discipline is rather ineffective (not to mention the possible side effects [a model for a correlation between physical violence and authority - no doubt having resonance with domestic violence, violent crime]); etc.

    please, please correct any factual errors in the above statements. also, feel free to have a word with me in the comments section. also, please note that - at its core - most of my arguments technically neither disagree nor agree with coporeal punishment. rather, i've aimed to show the insuffuciency of arguments ending at "it's legal" and "it's cultural," given other cases where these arguments have in fact masked what is historically considered ethically questionable/reprehensible [granted, this is majority-smoothed view of ethics)]. that is, the argument that coporeal punishment is useful/reasonable within the terms of a culture/a cultural perspective has awkward bretheren in the realm of precedent. if the intent is to show that the conditional "if it's a cultural issue/it's dependent on a cultural prospective, then it's ok/useful" is true, then there are many cases where we have things that are agreeably cultural issues, which seem to be universally regardes as not ok/not useful. so, we need a richer argument for corporeal punishment: either these are not cultural issues, or this is an invalid conditional. also, i'm loathe to be satisfied with the conditional "if it's a cultural issue/it's dependent on a cultural perspective AND i'm an 'outsider' within this cultural scope, then i'm unqualified to have any substantive views on the issue." granted, this is an incredibly difficult issue, but i'm going to get a bit fiery if people want to dismiss it behind a cloud of either socioethic pluralism or hypercomplexity - especially in the face of my newness to the system.

    that being said, my virginal idealism has survived another day.

    speaking of virgins,

    (1) i gave a lesson on e.e. cummings's (part of the high school must-read, it seems) "since feeling is first," and robert herrick's "to the virgins, to make much of time" (cough...cough...dead poets). comments from students afterwards "i like you," "have you ever considered being a movie actor," and "drinking all that coffee and waving you arms around... you scare me."

    (2) per capita attractiveness for females in this state (or at least around ole miss - a top 10 in a recent playboy poll) is rather high. males, not so much. so, you see a lot of plain looking fellows driving around in mustangs with gorgeous southern belles. ah, the american dream.


    "want a piece of gum?"

    from jamie, one of my four boys: octavius (i recently looked up his name - remembering it from somewhere - and it's a variation of octavius/octavian/augustus, 1st roman emperor, referenced in passing often in cicero), vernarderick, qualin, jamie. in the moments before the break ended, we shared the sounds of chewing, and the cheap rush of factory mint.

    today i raided the english dept. resource room at my high school, on a hot tip from an ole miss student teaching english 1 at lafayette (whom, in my more ambitious and identity-protecting/forgetting moments, i've alternately dubbed "hot for teacher") . hft - we'll call her - had found a binder of supplemental vhs tapes and audio cds (the latter to be lovingly dipped into her $15 hot pink "ghetto blaster" [her title] boombox - hot off the rack from walmart) piled high in this neglected cove; and i went there hot on a similar pursuit. after about five minutes, i returned to my teacher corps compatriots with a stack of unsuprisingly unused texts: the originally coveted vhs's (no cds, however - never mind, i have no ghetto blaster), as well as three companion workbooks for Elements of Literature: with Readings in World Literature - "Practice for Mississippi English Subject Area Test," "Reading Skills and Strategies: Active Reader's Practice Book," and "Language Handbook Worksheets." again: all unused, all seemingly neglected. granted, at this point i don't know exactly what we'll do with them, but perhaps it'll save us from (1) a total lack of direction, (2) the tendancy to either talk too much or spend too much time having the kids read stories out loud, (3) having limited-focus lessons. hopefully - in our budding careers - we'll be able to maneuver around oblique pessimism in regards to these young learners (re: our veteran teacher - who - among many other things - told us today about how she so valiently took all the "smart kids," i.e "all the kids that would walk all over yours," i.e. she kept the ones she likes - referenced often in her complete lack of expectation for the children we have in our classroom) for a long enough time to give the theoretical fullness of these materials a chance. it's funny how publishing companies make all these materials, secure business contracts with districts/states (cough...cough... graft), and sell packaged curriculums with notoriously unused multimedia/interdisciplinart perspectives. kids are still sleeping through shakespeare, and the "with Readings in World Literature" clause lies in an unopened stack of nice ideas.


    two days in a row i've written a significant amount. perhaps the addiction will form. perhaps just bursts. a welcome release, regardless. it's been a while since i've given much of anything to the blog-audience (re: my colleges "planworld" forum, through which i had my columnistic hayday in the winter of '03), and it's nice to slip into this voice again. the rambler; the adventurer; the idler. word to your moms, sammy johnson.


    instant blog, and other hogs.

    the investment pattern of this funny little info space will be undoubtedly unsatisfactory/undependable (a word?). for, i don't have internet access back at the lovely oak grove apartments (nor do i have a car, to further my suddenly luddite stance). furthermore, as i'm currently gasping for air, a la the first half of krackauer's (sp?) shory story, into thin air, where a situational irony (anyone with enough salt should follow with "is that really an irony") is set up to gesture quite nicely at the supremely absurd hubris of wanting to climb mount everest (some guy - not edmund hilary - "because it's there") : the narrator encounters a moment of ecstasy (re: hemingway's list of what shoud be present in all good books: "the good and the bad, the ecstasy, the remorse and sorrow, the people and the places and how the weather was.") not when he's at the laughably literal top of the world - no, his brain is fighting too much oxygen debt to bother itself with a lived feeling of upper level emotion. rather, krakauer (ah, i've spelled it right) really only approaches that sometimes necessary element of a good read (or meal, or song, or what have you) when he makes it - half-suffocating/blacked out the whole while - down to a fresh oxygen a bit below.

    breathing is a rather simple human task. climbing a mountain - not so simple. yet, johnny boy could care less about being at one of the ends of the earth; he's really just happy to take a few safe breaths. perhaps you have to put yourself in the midst of the most excuciating ambition - so much so that the mere terms of engagement a ripping at the necessities of normal practice - to be able to truly appreciate the simplest of experience. as if he'd never breathed before.

    yes. the english major returns. he did not die with the diploma. yet - as i briefly mentioned above - i have no idea how much of the above sort of rambling i'd like to have in this blog - of all things. perhaps i should worry more about breathing.

    anyway, even if i want to wax paradoxical about all this mississippi mud, i am - as you know - currently a eunuch of the technological sort. so, perhaps you - if there is a you, and there continues to be a me - will have to deal with the off the cuff edits from e-mails to old professors, catching them up on the uncatchable:

    "teaching is going well. odd that that mail got bounced back; i wonderwhich address was on file. i'm ok with the attachment.

    this saturday, i visited what will be my place of employment: jim hill h.s. pretty typical looking high school, with visible signs of wearand tear. looks like they're considering me for algebra I, which turns out to be one of the state-tested subjects in MS. so, that'll be a wild ride.

    as for the summer school, i went in thinking i was going to do some middle-school level math, but got moved into english II at the high school. also, the veteran teacher to whom i was assigned just handed each of the teacher corps people 4-5 kids, gave us some textbooks, and told us to teach them things. so it's been sink or swim since last thursday, as we've struggled to do some rudimentary lesson plans.

    hope your summer is going well,

    also, ari bought a pot bellied big on saturday, which is more important.

    and, i don't capitalize usually.

    and, it rained some today, and was sunny some today.


    "there are five pavement songs that are kinda long"

    there are many ford mustangs in mississippi.