23 June, 2010

With colleagues like these...

Until the school year ends, I'll be a bad World Cup spectator. I recommend bolas y bandeiras for updates and great images.

With all of my students' Regents graded, I'm starting to feel the end of the year sigh of relief. But this seems to be the part of the year when politics take over and staff start acting like the students more than adults.

At least 4 of my coworkers won't be back next year and a lot of others are worried about being excessed. But they aren't alone in leaving the building- the cuts at other schools in our campus have been drastic and we are feeling the effects. One school has even asked for help with their test administration, which creates a lot of extra work for us. It's interesting, and disheartening, to find out how many teachers in my campus community will let politics and clashes with administrators take priority over what's best for the students.

20 June, 2010

What do you do in the summer?

With 1 week of Regents and 1 extra day left in the school year, I'm faced with a challenge- how to use these 2 months off. As relieved as I am for the vacation, I wish that I could have been teaching during the World Cup. As a language teacher, I can't think of a better tool than something that captivates the entire world for a month.
Plus, it's an excuse to bring back the World Cup live-blogging project.

30:00- If Cote D'ivoire scores in this game, they would be the first African nation to score against Brazil in a World Cup. This is probably written in a soccer book that I haven't read.

35:38- The univision announcers just switched to Portuguese. Or else I had too much sangria at brunch.

38:44- The announcers have a man-crush on Kaka. Which brings me to a poll currently being conducted by one of my friends: If you could hook-up (whatever that means to you) with one soccer player, would you choose Kaka, Casillas, Bocanegra, Gattuso, Higuain, Cannavaro, or Luca?

43:40- Technical difficulties with google images. My vote in the poll was Casillas, but I highly recommend doing your research before you vote. The announcers have spent the last 2 minutes and will take us into halftime by giving the ball credit for everything that happened in this game.

45:00- 1-0 Brazil. We begin halftime with a teaser about paramilitary action in Colombia and a commercial in which a woman's boyfriend pays more attention to a 6-pack of Bud Light than he does to her. Hello, stereotypes.
While announcing the sponsors of this wonderful broadcast, Univision just obscured a lion's face with a McDonald's logo. I guess we won't be using halftime to learn about the nation hosting this World Cup.

Our other half-time viewing choices- Air racing on NBC (not as exciting as it sound) and the Yankees-Mets game which is spiced up with commercials that seem to be about a national geographic series about lava.

49:31- aaaaaand we're back. 4 minutes in I realize Univision restarts the clock just in time for
50:02- Gol (golazo on Univision, but I'm not quite so dramatic) por Luis Fabiano. Fabiano has been biding his time playing for Sevilla FC (campeones de mi corazón) and waiting for Ronaldinho, Ronaldo and Adriano to get old and slow so he could show the rest of the world what Sevilla saw in 2006 when he led them to the UEFA cup.

55:40- The announcers are having a lot of fun repeating Drogba's name over and over. So I did some research and found out Drogba was born in 78. Who is the oldest player in this World Cup?

58:14- Univision has seriously upgraded the graphics since the last world cup, and possibly since the game I watched yesterday at the gym. You really haven't watched a world cup game until you've watched one on a treadmill next to an angry soccer fan.

60:37- someone on the CIV team just kicked someone from Brazil in the back of the leg pretty hard. Brazil (well, Kaka) retaliates by kicking a ball directly at the goalie's face. No one benefits at all from these exchanges.

61:52- Gol! por Elano, who celebrated his birthday last week. The Brazilians now look like the NBA players who show up to play on West 4th during the summer. And the goal keeper for CIV looks like he wishes there were a a longer trip home.

62:00- Spain plays Honduras tomorrow. I will be spending the rest of the day thinking of reasons to get out of work.

65:00- Is Elano hurt or did the producers at Univison just decide to take a little break? Now we're watching footage of Kaka running backwards and staring lovingly into Elano's eyes. And a replay of Elano's injury. Maybe those shin guards with women's names on them weren't the most effective?

67:22- Kalou (CIV) limps out, looking relieved to watch Brazil dominate from the sidelines.

68:46- Maybe it's the colors of the jerseys, or it's that after every instance of contact, someone puts their hand up in an "I didn't do it" gesture, but I keep forgetting that I'm watching soccer and not the NBA finals.

70:28- Drogba is still playing to win, despite being down 3-0 with 20 minutes left. Some players on his team have moved on to arguing with refs.

73:45- Fabiano, still elated from scoring 2 goals in this game, attempts to slow down an opponent by hugging him from behind. Maybe Maradona is coaching Brazil on the side?

74:55- Michel Bastos' foot & ankle had a run in with an opponent's foot. Bastos procedes to roll several feet away and pound the ground with his fist, giving the ref enough time to decide on a yellow card for the CIV player with the vicious foot.

77:20- Robinho is ready to play. Sure, he's a little late to the game, but Brazil's been doing ok without him and maybe a warm-up now will get him read for the next game.

78:54- Gol! por Drogba. I miss the celebrations to answer the door, but it's safe to say everyone on the CIV team feels a little better about this game now.

84:24- someone just punched someone else in what Russ from Mighty Ducks 3 would call the "stick, gloves, shirt" attack. Everyone is angry. Fabiano is now on the ground, on his back, arguing with at least 3 players from the other team. Robinho is ready to take over. Or to lie on the ground and fix his socks.

88:00- The door, again. I clearly missed something, an injusticia according to the Univision announcers. And CIV attempts a goal but the ball rolls over the net.

90:00- +3 minutes. These orange shoes really make it easy to follow who does things they shouldn't during the game. An almost goal for CIV, some people even stop blowing those awful horns to yell. Univision finally throws in a few of their slow motion shots so everyone can see the goal tender's heroic leap.

91:30- Fabiano seems to be enjoying the "let's see who can pretend to be hurt most successfully" game. CIV builds the wall, no goal for Brazil.
93:00- 3-1 Brazil. Bastos & Drogba hug each other. The announcer makes a few more comments about Kaka's "explosiveness." Shirts are coming off.
Tomorrow: España!