flightless hag

A chronicle of the adventures of birdwoman: a lonely, talentless freak who wanders the internet in search of entertainment.

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Location: Philly

I'm a 40-something married white female, survivor of weight watchers, avid reader of pulp. Dogs (not cats), extreme right (handed, not politics), ENTJ, alto, wanna-be knitter.

May 28, 2013

Same Stuff Different Year

I'm sitting in professional development. Our schools are used as polling places, and as this is election day. To save our kids from stranger danger, we have no school for them. But we have school for us!

In the middle of the biggest budget crisis in years, our district is rolling out "new" teacher rating systems. They are EXACTLY the same as they were when I started five years ago. Which changed 2 times since then.

I wonder how much money they spent to re-create the stuff they already had?

At any rate, I realize there are parts of my job - heck, probably most of the parts of my job! - that I need to improve upon. I need to do more parent contact. I need to enforce rules more. My activities could use more differentiation. I should do more labs. yadda yadda yadda.

But you know what? I have 4 weeks left of this year. And I am TIRED.

We have spent the last week giving state exams in the morning, then teaching a full day in the afternoon. I've been keeping up the rigor - doing lots of math and labs and stuff - but it's hard when the kids are also tired.

And now, when it's all I can do to keep it all running until the end of June, they want me to plan what I can do better. Now, when there are 4 weeks left. (Oh, and here's some logic for you - our school year ends 6/21, but they want our report cards turned in 6/12. Why didn't they administer state exams 6/13 - 21? I just DO NOT GET this district!!)

When it comes down to it, I just want to teach my kids the material I love. Why, oh why, does this have to be so mind-numbingly difficult?? And, do my kids feel like this in my class? Sheesh! They deserve a medal!


Worship Your Gods!

So, the other day, we did what used to be on TV up in Harvey County - Skip Church on Sunday Morning. (Mr. Church was, I think, a news anchor on a Sunday Morning show. Quite the radical marketing ploy in NorthEast PA in the 70's!) Usually, we go to the 8:30 service then shopping from there. But I wanted to chill. So we just went shopping.

So, as we're loading the groceries into the back of the car, a car with two ladies - dressed to the Easter Sunday 9's - pulls up. The window goes down.

"Excuse me, could you tell us where the casino is?"

Ok, I had no idea there was a casino out near Valley Forge. But really? Sunday morning, 9am, dressed like you're going to church, and you're going to the casino?

Meanwhile, the golf gods are out in force in suburban Philly. Apparently, the course up the street is hosting the US Open in a few weeks. They're renting rooms from people for exorbitant rates. They're expanding train stops and REWIRING THE TRAIN LINE so that they could put a walkway from Haverford college to the golf course. They're CLOSING THE MAIN ROAD for over a week so the demigodlings won't be exposed to us sacrilegious peons. 

Now, the advertisers are getting in on the (haha) game. Every billboard at my stop has at least one golf reference. The train cars are covered in comcast adverts that hail the game.

All this so a bunch of dudes can walk around drunk and whack at balls with sticks.


And now, I'm going to go worship the American god - the almighty dollar. Time to get to work. At least it's Tuesday.


May 03, 2013

That'll put you off your feed

Have you ever had to interact with someone whose teeth were obviously rotting?

Have you ever had to have a whispered, confidential conversation in a room of little pitchers with big ears?

Now, imagine attempting to have this conversation with the person in question.

I'll leave you to it.


Speaking of little pitchers, I've been thinking about the customs of youth these days. Especially the customs of young males.

In the wild, they size each other up  and often bash each other about the head to prove dominance. One could make the obvious comparison to football, but I'm sure some PhD anthropology thesis somewhere already has.

Primitive Cultures!!

But here in the city, I notice a strange behavior among the young males. Starting around 4th grade, they start sizing each other up with handshakes.

How weird is it to see the variety of handshakes among these little kids? There's the business shake, the "hey bro" pat on the shoulder while shaking shake. Then, there're the crazy bump, slap, slide, pinwheel combinations that they come up with.

It's almost like a secret language... that no girl anywhere has any interest in understanding. Of course, girls have the giggle language, so I suppose boys have to have something to counter that annoyance.

I wonder if my boys are learning this language? Is it just a city thing? I heard Stinky say that the Moth was "salty" the other day. At least Moth didn't reply that Stinks was "out of pocket." But does Sean greet his fellow scouts with a fist bump? A slide? Or the bro slap?

I do wonder.

May 02, 2013

Innuendo is Bad

So, the secretary of the school sent a note to all of us to update us on a certain student's long-term absence. Please mark all absences excused, she informs us. Then she ends the brief note with this intriguing little bit:  "quell rumors by not entertaining them."

I'll admit, I'm out of the gossip loop at school. I had no idea there WERE rumors. But now? I'm so intrigued! Not that I'd ever entertain rumors. After all, I have a rep as the world's worst hostess to uphold. No entertaining for this hag!

More nefarious, though, is the idea that SEPTA is handing out "safety travel tips" on my subway lines. This just days after Homeland Security was riding the train in a "boo-ya" kind of manner. I'd blow it all off, but who'd have thought that some morons would go blowing up the Boston Marathon? I mean, really? What was THAT supposed to prove? So, is the Orange Line or the Blue Line a projected target? Or are they just being super safe?

I don't get it, and I don't want to think about it. So, stop alluding, folks. I like my world to be innuendo-free.


 We're doing ok here. Soccer season has started back up (bad). Moth's team meets twice a week: once to practice and once to lose. They're the bad news blues (teams are colors). Moth spends more time eating dirt than running. But he's having a blast and meeting lots of kids (good). Additionally, a new Krispy Kreme donut shop opened right up the street from the soccer field I must take Mothman to (bad?). At least Stinks doesn't complain if I drag him to practice or a game anymore!

They've got Stinks in a compulsory Spanish class. Which I think is awesome. But then they make the kids take French in the 7th grade, and Latin in the 8th.

I can see taking Spanish. It's super useful, as lots of folks speak it, not just here in the good ol USofA, but globally.

I get the Latin bit - a good part of our own language derives, right?

But French? Unless you're planning on surrendering sometime soon, I'm not sure why you'd be a francophone. Maybe they think we're all going a Quebec?

I don't understand why rudimentary Chinese isn't offered. It makes a LOT more sense than French, these days. Hecks, even Russian makes more sense than French. But French is classic, so that's what they waste their time on it, though it's not much useful.

I lie, actually. At my old school, we had a huge number of Haitian students, many of whom did not speak English. I was able to get a little bit through in French, so I guess Mademoiselle Marshall would be proud.


As I type, Grandma is listening to some Irish drinking tunes while she needles (and probably tipples a bit of the Irish!). John is still at work, while Sean is off to scouts. Tim's eating popcorn and playing "angry birds" as Loki the Dog looks on with guilty eyes. It's his fault, you see, that the birds are angry. I found him this afternoon after he had found a bird to "play" with. He was tossing it in the air, trying to get it to fly again. Alas. I just hope he didn't eat any of it - gross. Dogs. Yuk.

And now, it's almost 9 and I'm turning into a pumpkin. So I shall bid you all... a bientot (in french!)