25 May, 2009

Maybe I'm not 5 years older

This week I decided that my students' behavior is definitely karmic retribution for some of my fine performances in high school.   I tried to figure out if I still do things like that now, and the answer is definitely yes. 
Well, it's been a while since I (with help!) changed all of the definitions on a vocabulary list to inappropriate words, snuck into the office to make photocopies of it, and distributed it (twice, we made extra photocopies knowing the first set would get confiscated). But I still have a lot of trouble focusing in grad school and in meetings at work. At work I know better than to act like I'm 17, but in grad school no one seems to mind.  

In my AP English class in 11th grade, we read Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich.  I really didn't like it but her books have gotten so much praise I recently decided to try another one. I just finished Tracks, which I liked a little better, but not enough that I would recommend it to anyone. My little ikea bookshelf is overflowing and I didn't appreciate this book enough to give it any space there.  The chapters could almost be short stories independent of the rest of the book, which I usually like because of my attention span issues. But there is something about her writing that I  can't access.  The imagery in some chapters is exceptional, maybe it's the characters? Maybe it's that I read Tracks as if I were still in high school, except without the helpful study guides my amazing teacher gave us. So I still don't like this writer, which is really a trivial discovery. I think that my attempt to read her again did help me understand what is happening with some of my students- the ones who are fully capable of the mathematical part of Spanish, but can't apply that ability to reading or speaking (without a script).  I think what I'll be working on the last few weeks, besides Regents Prep, will be talking about how all of the things we've studied this year (grammar, cultural traditions, art, geography) can be accessed. 

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