Wednesday, January 22, 2003

I didn't sleep well last night, combination of stress and cold. This morning was a nice struggle out of the sheets. I wasn't in the mood to teach the grimies, but I had to get out of bed to call in sick, so I just kept going once I was out of the bed. Got to school late (I was free for the first period anyway), found out that we had a surprise inspection by the superintendant, and went through the motions for the day. My kids' only efforts involved being evil, I had a huge altercation with this one particularly nasty child in an 8th grade class, and I'm losing my voice again.

I'll be fine in a few days about the attack. I wasn't really injured, I'm just a bit sore. People have told me of attacks that were a lot worse, so I'm hoping my first/last attack will be the perfect education experience. I'm planning on not repeating the incident- walking down the busier street, actively watching my environment when I'm alone, and remembering how to whoop ass when needed. I pulled a Jesus Lizard on that guy, yelling and flailing. It worked, but I can't count on that next time. I'll basically try to make sure there isn't a next time.

Tuesday, January 21, 2003

Instead of watching Buffy this evening, I had the rare opportunity to patrol in the back of a police car, searching for the mugger who attacked me. I am thinking this leads me closer to being a real New Yorker. Scott told me I just need to throw up from an open subway door. I'm working on that.

This evening, I went to Life Cafe a few blocks away, intent on creating brilliant lesson plans to amaze and astound the kids. I worked for two hours, frantically working on a self-imposed deadline. Gotta get home to watch Buffy at 8! I finished with about 15 minutes to spare, threw my backpack over my shoulder, and headed out into the freezing weather.

I wasn't paying attention to my surroundings, so I didn't focus on the guy walking the opposite direction. Let's just say that I noticed him when he easily grabbed me and shoved me up against the wall. He was at least three inches bigger than me, and he was holding me with one hand while reaching into his pocket. I started yelling and hit him once. He was pushed back, I kept yelling, and he ran off.

I'm a bit freaked out, but I also think I was really lucky. I'll definitely be paying more attention while I'm walking.

Monday, January 20, 2003

A quote from one of those nambypamby books I had to read during the summer: "A good teacher has an undefineable quality, a 'with-it-ness' that enables them to know what is going on, even behind their back."

I can define it, just by what it isn't. I don't have this 'with-it-ness'. I'm one of those guys who walks into doors, forgets appointments, orders Chinese food without ever noticing that the restaurant is called Wong Foo. I am the antithesis. I have 'without-it-ness.'

My kids sneak out of the room when I'm writing at the board. Objects are thrown, shrieks are emitted, materials are destroyed or stolen. I know that some of them feign ignorance of basic concepts just to sidetrack me. That's easy, just show me something shiny. The majority of students failed my midterm, the majority are failing. I gave them all an opportunity to correct their tests, they took the opportunity to cheat. I see other teachers with the lovelies, some have a modicum of control, others don't. I'm a don't.

I have three weeks until a week's vacation. I will make it. I hope.