Friday, January 30, 2009

(untitled 292)

I was working as a substitute teacher at an elementary school today and was presented with an interesting situation. We had four students working on a worksheet, all of whom needed significant amounts of help (going over questions, reading/pronouncing words, etc.), but I didn't have enough resources (read: time) to help all of them as much as they wanted. There was an aide there to help, which was nice because one of the students was particularly uncooperative. When he wants to work, he's just fine, but when he's decided that the assignment is "hard" or whatever, he flops his head on the table, rolls around, makes weird chirping noises, and generally acts ridiculous. In order to get him (we'll call him "Lego", since that's all he ever talks about in class) to make significant progress in class, he would probably demand something around 95% of my attention and resources. The other kids would require something like 20-30% each. While the aide was there, she focused primarily on Lego, leaving me to deal with the other three. Perfectly manageable. Once the aide left, I couldn't help all four students to do a good job. What do you do?

Essentially, I just ignored Lego. He spent his time whining, flopping on the ground, and asking me if he could show me something funny on the computer. I told him no and to stay in his seat every minute or so and helped the other three do their work. I ended up with a 75% success rate (three kids did well on the assignment, and Lego completely punted it), which is better than I think we would have done if I'd tried to keep Lego focused. (Dealing with Lego is sort of like wrestling a water buffalo, or convincing a brick wall to move aside for you.) If I'd tried to deal with Lego and gotten him to do anything, I probably would have been closer to 40%.

The moral of the story? Sometimes you have to leave a child behind. It sounds horrible, sure, but if I were in that same situation again, I'd do the exact same thing.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

(untitled 291)

I bought a steak yesterday so I could make fajitas. Everything fried up nicely, but it turned out the spice mix that I used was ancient (it expired a year ago - why do I keep things like that around, anyway?), so it didn't end up like I'd hoped.

Today, I marinated the steak, fried it, and ate it with a salad and french fries. AMAZING.

This concludes this session of "List All of the Things Optimistic. Has Eaten Lately."

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

(untitled 290)

Seriously, guys. Not cool. Someone needs to get on this.

Monday, January 12, 2009

(untitled 289)

I know I tend to get excitable about sports, but oh man, the Portland Trail Blazers. These guys are so much fun to watch. We got to see them play at the Rose Garden while we were home, and what's more, we got to see them take down the Boston Celtics. (AWESOME.) And tonight, I got to catch snippets of their game against the Chicago Bulls. Greg Oden, the behemoth pictured above, was responsible for single-handedly murdering the Bulls at the end of the first half.

Seriously, friends, this is like the Rockies mania I had a year and a half ago, only more so. Gotta love these Blazers. And you've gotta believe I'm going to be making jump shots and dunks in my house until the NBA season is over (i.e., June).