Unexpectedly, while waiting for the kids to get out of assembly this morning, I learned that 1) grades are due, and 2) I have my annual contract talk, both tomorrow. Now, because of the Stones, I’ve been more than a little selfish and self-involved the last week or so, and I’ve not paid a whole lot of attention to my students beyond basic classroom planning. As a result, I have a stack of papers from them, collected over the last two weeks, and none of them are graded. So, instead of coming to the Bijou to set up this afternoon, and then going to see , I’ve spent the afternoon at home, frantically prepping for grade-turning-in tomorrow for the third marking period.
Once that’s done, I can start concentrating on writing the three or four page document called my self-evaluation, which is usually due at the same time as my contract talk. This is a fairly formalized document, listing what I’ve done, when I did it, with whom and for whom and over whose objections and with whose permissions, with regard to school, over the whole year. In the past, this has kind of been a joke, but last year we instituted a banding program, whereby teachers are grouped into categories that indicate their level of experience and level of committment to the school. Last year I was rated in the Teacher category, but this year I put in an application to be considered for the Senior Teacher category, which entitles me to more money per year, priorities for benefits like housing and seniority-based assignments like department chair-ships, and so on (Department Chairs are their own category, and make lots and lots more, as I understand it). Anyway, usually contract talks are in April, and I was going to write my self-evaluation during vacation. Now I have to do it tonight — after correcting all of the papers.
Why do I need to write the self-eval after doing all the grading? Well, because one of the things that matters for the school’s banding program is getting grades in on time….
Anyway, I’m taking a break from grading to fill out this meme
1. IF YOU COULD BUILD A SECOND HOUSE ANYWHERE, WHERE WOULD IT BE?
I would like to have a timber-framed house with a big stone fireplace and oak floors overlooking the Connecticut River Valley.
2. WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE ARTICLES OF CLOTHING?
My wool sweaters, my leather pants, my boots. My KILTS!
3. THE LAST CD YOU BOUGHT?
Canadian artist Wende Bartlett… it was a gift, sort of chanty-floating trance music. played a DJ-created track of Tori Amos singing a song called “blue sky”, but I can’t remember who made it or what album it’s on, so I haven’t bought it yet.
4. WHAT TIME DO YOU WAKE UP IN THE MORNING?
5:00 am this morning. Usually it’s 6:00 am, but lately I’ve been getting up early to do t’ai chi chuan, read Tarot, and record dreams in my dream journal. I’ve also been trying to write poetry, but it’s a losing battle at that hour.
5. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE KITCHEN APPLIANCE?
blender. hands down.
6. IF YOU COULD PLAY AN INSTRUMENT, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
I’d like to learn how to play the hammered dulcimer, the fretted dulcimer, and the guitar I already own, but don’t play well. I’d like to learn digeridoo, which I have a PVC pipe to practice on. I’d like to learn frame drum as an accompanying tool for my epic poem.
7. FAVORITE COLOR?
Nonsense question. I like blue when I’m water-bearing, black at a club, tans and grays at school, pinks and reds and greens on ties, plaid on my official kilts, black on my utilikilts, and white on my -lover’s smile.
8. WHICH VEHICLE DO YOU PREFER, SPORTS CAR, Motorcycle, or SUV?
I dream of owning a motorcycle, but the fact is, it would just be an excuse to wear leather.
9. DO YOU BELIEVE IN THE AFTERLIFE?
Yes, except when I don’t.
10. FAVORITE CHILDREN’S BOOK?
The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
11. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SEASON?
Spring, usually. It’s the shortest term of the school year, the most energetic, the happiest, and the most transformative and transporting of the four. You start in mud, and end in green.
12. IF YOU HAVE A TATTOO, WHAT IS IT?
I don’t have one. I’ve flirted with several designs, but I don’t have one I’m prepared to commit to skin for life.
13. IF YOU COULD HAVE ONE SUPERPOWER, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
I wish I could open doors between worlds for people… oh wait, I can.
14. CAN YOU JUGGLE?
I wish: being a teacher means being an entertainer, mostly; if I could juggle, that would be one more thing I could do in school to keep the kids occupied.
15. ONE PERSON/PEOPLE FROM YOUR PAST YOU WISH YOU COULD GO BACK AND TALK TO.
My grandfather. When he died, he left me a framed panel from a re-printed Renaissance text on alchemy, which now hangs on my bedroom door. It’s got the four elements, the Celestial Fire — it’s a model of the universe. My mom said that he used to say, “That contains all the chemistry one ever really needs.” I’d like to know what he thought — he was an MIT student in the 1930s and early 40s, and a professional chemist all his life. Why did he think that??
16. WHAT IS UNDER YOUR BED.
A suitcase for traveling for a week; a suitcase for traveling for a weekend; dustbunnies.
17. WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE DAY?
18. WHICH DO YOU PREFER, SUSHI OR HAMBURGER?
[Edit — missed this one the first time around]: Sushi. Especially tuna, and Salmon roe.
19. FROM THE PEOPLE YOU WILL POST THIS TO, WHO’S THE MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND FIRST?
20. WHO’S THE LEAST LIKELY TO RESPOND?
21. WHO DID YOU RECEIVE THIS FROM? OR TAKEN FROM THEIR LJ?
22. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FLOWER?
Iris reticulata — in a terra-cotta cachepot, so I’ve got four languages in my floral arrangement.
23. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MEAL?
I’d rather have bread and water with a whole gang of my friends than a sumptuous meal with my enemies.
24. WHEN IS YOUR BIRTHDAY?
Moon Day — July 21
25. DESCRIBE YOUR PJ’s.
[Edit: missed this one the first and second time around]: usually boxer briefs that I wore earlier in the day, or nude.
26. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE BREAKFAST?
pancakes, hot chocolate, good butter, and maple syrup.
27. DO YOU LIKE YOUR JOB?
28. WHAT IS YOUR DREAM JOB?
heavy metal rock star-type poet — and rockstar-type teacher. Can I do that?
29. WHAT AGE DO YOU PLAN TO RETIRE?
never…I don’t wanna stop living till I am dead
30. WHERE DID YOU MEET YOUR SPOUSE OR SIGNIFICANT OTHER?
A fire circle. She ignored me the first time; I had to lose forty pounds and move around a lot before she noticed me. (love you, : you’re wonderful.)
BONUS: SOMETHING YOU’D LIKE TO DO THAT YOU’VE NEVER DONE BEFORE?
Speak a foreign language fluently.
Now ….do this in your journal, so I can know you better!