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.

November 03, 2016

Living in Union Town

So, we're in the middle of a transit strike here in Philly. Bad for birdwoman: I take the public transport. Sigh. This week, I've been forced to upgrade to the big trains. Moth would be in heaven. I must admit, I get a bit of a thrill taking the big trains; especially on foggy, dark mornings. It's like something out of a Bogart movie - not that I've ever seen one. However, on top of my already kinda expensive monthly transit pass, I have to pay an extra $7 a day for the privilege of going to work. In the end, it's fine, though, because I really love walking through the city, especially in the morning.

Our kids at school have it much, much worse. I'm not in a neighborhood school, I teach at what's called a magnet school. Most of our kids come in from FAR away, so attendance is in the cellar.

The first day, I had 2 kids in one class; my max class was 11. Generally, all of my classes (except last period) have 30. We have, generally, a 95%+ attendance rate for all of the students. In the city, that's pretty amazing. So, this week has been really quite strange.

The second day of the strike, my bad class almost all came. Yes, I have a bad class. I teach 9th grade this year, and some of these freshmen are so immature... like they get up and dance in the middle of class. NOTHING about my classes is exciting enough to inspire dance. I have one student who, whenever he has a question, gets up from his seat, walks over to where I am, and no matter what I'm doing, shoves his paper in my face and asks his question. I could be talking to another student. I could be lecturing. It matters not to chappie.

So, I'm like, great. My good class is empty and my headache class is full. I was at the door when I heard one boy (the dancer) talking to a girl. (no-filter girl - always says EXACTLY what she's thinking, all the time, REALLY loudly. It's like my class has a soundtrack of her thoughts.)  "Yeah, Mom made so-and-so take me to school. She had to pay and everything. But she said she couldn't stand me being home anymore."

A. Whole. Class. Full. Of. Them.

Not really - just 6 of them; 4 really obnoxious. The rest are just our regular students - awesome kids who are trying to make the best of their lives. I really love my school.

One of the interesting things about teaching in the city is trying to get the names right. At my old school, I did have a student named Shithead (that's shi-th-eed). Imagine trying to pronounce that the first time! This school has an interesting mix of city names - which are really neat and creative, cultural names (as we have lots of first gens here), and traditional names. They seem to follow patterns. Last year was the year of Destiny (3 in one grade), this year is Jaylyn/Jaylah/Jaila/Jayla. I once had 4 Jasmines in one class, all spelled differently: Jazzmyne, Jasmine, Jazmen, Jasmyn. But it's the rarity that I have more than one traditional name.

In one class this year, I have Erin and Aaron. They don't like it when I say their names and they don't know which one I'm calling on. Usually, I'll say Mr. so and so or Mademoiselle so and so. But as his last name makes the immature 9th graders giggle (eyeroll) and her name is two huge hyphenated names, this is a pain. So one day, I called on him by calling him A-a-ron. And we all laughed. Did you? If not, watch this video, stat.

 (yes, there are teachers like this in the city. they are a bit scary.)


Part of the coolness of not having blogged in two years is that I have stories... if I can remember them. One story is one you should thank me for.


Back when I was still posting, we had had a huge winter storm that had knocked out our power for three or so days. It was quite awful. The next year, Sandy hit, and we went another three? four? days without power. We had some tricks from the last time on keeping the ambient temp in the house not frozen. We had to bail our sump pump in the dark - egads that was awful.

So, being the lazy sods we are, we invested in a whole house generator. It's housed behind our abode and it supposedly will come on in any power interruption of longer than a minute.

We've not even had a bad snow storm since we got it, almost two years ago now. :) You're welcome.

And the bell rang. There are a total of 10 kids in the hallway. :(  Have a nice day!


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