Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Pull out the couch and ask me how that makes me feel

4th block drives me insane. It is the reason teachers question their existence in the classroom, and think seriously about pursuing another career. It's the class that irritates me so much I want to scream, and then tells me stories that make me laugh so hard I can't even remember ever being mad at them. It's the class who makes up excuses and uses every second of the one minute I give them to gripe after handing out their assignments.
They pretend to be organized.
They never pretend they have their homework done.
They pretend to be interested. They never pretend that this class, at this moment in their lives, really means anything.
They are liars and they are sneaks. They tell story after story after story.
They bother me...often. And they never use their manners.
They are happy the highest grade in the class is an 82%, and they revel in their 42% class average. They are cruel and offensive and obstinate. They are funny and loving and yes, even smart...if they would do their work. I love them and I hate them. They are my catnip and my Kryptonite, my liverwurst and onions, my birth and death (this was Preston's idea.)
Anyway. 4th block. There's nothing better...and there's nothing worse. It's the trenches of education. Or, I should end this with their words..."Yous edumacated, Ms. Dardy."

Jukebox Hero

When I think about Christmas presents, I think about stockings and Cabbage Patch Dolls and race track cars and bibles and bicycles. But one gift that really sticks out in my mind is the jukebox from Christmas 1979...and it might have been 1980.

It was such a great gift that rather than sitting in my bedroom, the whole family enjoyed its radiance. Parked between the kitchen and dining room in our house in Gainesville, and I parked in front of it, staring at it work it's magic and drifting off places the beat would take me. The lower half of the jukebox was hard plastic, with disco lights behind it. Those lights were mesmerizing, and we'd turn out all the lights in the house just to watch them flicker to the beat of The Oak Ridge Boys "Elvira" or John Denver's "Country Boy." It's record player thrilled us with Alvin and Chipmunks albums and with the 8-track, we played Kermit strumming his banjo and wailing "Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection, the lovers, the dreamers, and me." Over, and over, and over again.