Monday, December 18, 2006

See You Next Year

Its winter break dudes!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

A Day Off. Sort of.

Jury Duty is an opportunity to sit in a room with 200 people who would rather be literally anwhere else in the world. The magazines are old, the people are ugly and the down time is daunting-- for most people. Being a Substitute Teacher, I am uniquely well suited for the rigors of getting paid a nominal wage to sit in a room with nothing to do. I dressed in my Substitue uniform, brought my substitue bag packed with my substitue breakfast and substitute books. It was like any other day, I even got an 85 minute lunch. The only downside was that my lunch cost $8.26. That's 82.6% of my pay for the day. Throw in the $1 worth of Laffy Taffy I bought at World News and I walked with $.74 for the day.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Another Kick in the Balls

I should learn not to come to school in the morning with high hopes.

As I was leaving school yesterday, the assistant principal asked me to come in today to cover for one of the aviation teachers. I went to sleep last night with visions of hanging out in helicopter cockpits and playing touch football with my old pals the aviation majors.

The aviation majors at Gateway go to High School for five years and spend the last three years training to be certified by the FAA. For those three years they're in their own seperate wing of the school, which is literally an airplane hangar, full of airplanes, helicopters and pnuematic tools. There is no switching classes. They spend all day in the hangar.

In the absence of an FAA certified teacher there is literally nothing the students can do for credit. So last time I subbed for one of the aviation teachers, we built a tire swing in the morning, went to White Castle as a class at lunch time, and played touch football all afternoon. Considering that the hangar is 5 minute walk from the main office, as long as no one gets hurt, and nothing expensive gets broken, pretty much anything goes. Its like a beautiful dream.

I woke up from that dream this morning at the front office when the assistant principal told me that both aviation teachers were absent so there was no reason to have class in the hangar. Instead, would I mind taking both classes to the library? All day. Do you hear that? That's the sound of an idealistic young man getting his heart broken.

Thursday, December 07, 2006


I should be easy to come up with something interesting to write today. I watched a security guard twist a students ear in the back of my classroom, after waiting for her boss to leave. I said 'what's up' to the kid that stabbed me a couple of weeks ago. I read three newspapers, a magazine written by and for St. Louis Highschool students, and 50 pages of Fear and Loathing In America. I saw a girl lay down in the middle of the classroom floor to get her picture taken. I saw a girl get her hair done, complete with rollers and hot water. Its two in the afternoon and its 18 degrees outside. I comfiscated "J'Robs Mix 12/3/06." I watched the last 50 minutes of The Island and the first 50 minutes of Glory, twice. And I went to White Castle. But I havn't got much to say.

Maybe I'm just distracted by the 33 students in the room with me right now. Anything over 25 students my job is just to make sure that there is no need to call the ambulance.

Check back tommorow. I'll be teaching kids to work on helicopters. FAA certification be damned, Mr. Humphrey is going to be absent and the aviation majors deserve to learn.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Alive and Well

Thank you for your concern, but no, I am not dead. I was just enjoying my snow days.

The power is back on now, the busses are running and the students are overjoyed to be back in their classrooms. There is hardly even enough snow left to make a decent snow ball.

On Monday, at Mckinley, some students and I compared sledding stories. I told them about our several failed attempts at starting a bonfire despite bringing both an Eagle Scout and a gallon of mix gas to the sledding hill.

My first major regret of this school year is that I forgot to bring home a potrait that a student drew of me on Monday. I can see it now, still sitting on Mr. Muhammeds desk. I can only hope that Mr. Muhammed realizes that somethings are too important to just throw away. Maybe he'll get sick again tommorow and I'll get a chance to claim whats mine. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.