Wednesday, March 9, 2005


Yoga poses: fish I, dog, rolled leaf, cowface posture, bear.  None of it helped.  I started my day with some of this serenity stuff and I've been doubly-stressed all damn day long.  Why?  Oh heck, maybe it started with the meeting last night at Ph.'s high school to be.  He's going into ninth grade in the fall, so they invited the parents of all incoming freshmen to an orientation session.  Ninety minutes in, we were still watching the same powerpoint slide show which, click by agonizing click, listed every single bloody course the high school offers.  Math I.  Math IA.  Math II.  Math IIA.  Regents Math Facts.  Like all gripping powerpoint shows should be, this segment was narrated by a math teacher--"We offer Math I.  Math IA.  Math II.  Math IIA."  And in explanatory moments, we'd hear, "If your child is deficient math, those students take Math IB...."  Of course, I was mostly off in another world by this point, watching the six-year-old at the next table make faces and fly his hands around like jet planes, marveling at the absurdity.  I should have known it was going to keep us on the edges of our seats when the moderator of the whole meeting (the guy clicking the mouse to list each of the hundred courses) started with, "We're on a four day schedule.  We have day one.  Day two.  Day three.  And day four.  Most classes are offered on days one and three or days two and four."  Was straight to this meeting after ten hours on campus.  We almost skipped, but after sitting in the near-vacant parking lot for ten minutes, enduring a prolonged three-way dunno-about-this, I said, "Let's go."  And of course we picked a table in the middle, more than five paces away from all the exits.

By the time those in charge got around to scanning the room to decide whether they should explain the ELL (formerly ESL) courses, which they described in the most obtuse terms imaginable, and by the time they announced that the Child Development course was for "young girls who are pregnant or who might not be pregnant but who will have children one day," and by the time they told us that Health I "covers everything about healthy lifestyles except for sex and drugs," I was long past burned up.  I think some of that carried over to today.  Must've.

But there's also been a heaping load of work stacking up.  Five.  Five! letters of recommendation for freshmen I had in class last semester--three for scholarships and two for transfer applications.  I really don't mind doing the letters, but five at once felt like quite an addition, and I wanted to customize them sufficiently that each one actually characterized the student.  And extra care with proofreading.  Probably shouldn't have signed them "transferably yours," eh?

Nothing more than that.  Posted something over at the 711 blog, and I've still got more reading to do before tomorrow, so I'm going flip through some of that, see what I find, ruminate over what I meant to put together here. 

Bookmark and Share Posted by at March 9, 2005 11:01 PM to Dry Ogre Chalking

It's absolutely absurd that those very teachers and administrators were people that you and I went to FOUR years of college with (you know, theoretically) and they might as well have never set foot into a place where assumptions are questioned and boxes are not thought in.

I feeel your pain.

The cow pAsture is the best. Greener.

If you're feeling twisted, do eagle, and then UNtwist.

And keep on hangin in. It's spring break! Pretend to take one.

Posted by: madeline at March 12, 2005 11:23 PM

Yeah, it was frustrating. More like shocking, actually. I don't like to complain about teachers/school administrators. They have hard jobs. And I sometimes wonder whether I'm becoming a hyper-critical snob about such things. It's just that the whole event couldn't have been done worse. And so for 90 minutes I found myself thinking about little else--if these are the people showing the way, how can we expect anyone to exceed utter insensitivity, even stupidity. There I go again....

Thanks for the tip on eagle. I'll look that one up and try to find five minutes of my "break" to try it out. Throughout this first year in Syracuse, I haven't minded much of anything related to the weather (it helps that I walk to campus). Until! Until it turned March and it was-is winter through and through. I was fine until that happened. I really wanted March to be sunny and 50+. Well, okay, so at least it's sunny.

Posted by: Derek at March 13, 2005 11:38 AM

Reading this makes me very sorry about the Hasslehoff.

I wonder if this is a case where the teachers and administrators are making the job harder, or if it's some sort of city/state initiative because some politician thought it would be a good idea. Neither choice is exceptionally comforting.

Of course, I have no idea how I'd run a prospective students drill at HS.

Posted by: TR at March 14, 2005 4:07 PM

I don't know if they were making their jobs harder, but it was an awful waste of time (unless spending 90 minutes plotting how I'd run the drill counts as time well spent).

Posted by: Derek at March 15, 2005 9:33 PM