Saturday, October 30, 2010

Progress? Maybe not.

Alright, I understand that we're living in a pretty good time, technologically speaking. Cell phones do pretty much everything except hug you when you're sad (I would totally use that app) and you can connect to the internet on airplanes now.

Whatever. (And as far as I'm concerned, technology is basically at a stand-still until I have my hoverboard.) From where I'm sitting, all this "progress" is giving our youth a grossly unfair advantage in life--for two big reasons.

1. School pictures. This week we had picture day at school. You all remember picture day, don't you? Big build up, painstakingly choosing your outfit to match whatever background color your parents had agreed to. (Bonus points if you got the lasers.) And then the prints arrived. How many years would you say you were satisfied with what came back? Because I would say there were...3 years? Maybe? This is 3 out of 14 years in public school. Your yearbook fate was in the hands of a 35 mm camera and a bored photographer.

But now? DIGITAL. Freaking digital cameras. If a kid makes a weird face, the (still sort of bored, let's be honest) photographer knows right away--and they can take another one. The number of unfortunate looking youth in a yearbook is significantly decreased. The pictures come back looking nice! What kind of character is that building, I ask you?

2. Cell phones. I'm not going to go all "why does a kindergarten student need a cell phone blah blah overprivileged youth" on you. I mean, no, I don't think a 10 year old needs a phone because come on how many people do they know? And I don't understand spending that much money on a kid.
But. These are not the reasons for my rant.
(Here is the part where, apparently, I fully transform into my grandmother. I'll put on the Johnny Mathis record and the tea kettle.) Kids today will not know the phone-related horrors that those of us old enough to order a drink in public have repressed.

Children, gather round as I tell you a tale. A long time ago, when someone asked for your number, you would recite the number your parents taught you in kindergarten. Your household phone number. A landline. And they would take out a pen and paper and write it down. Then you had to also find paper and write down their number!
Then...then things got ugly. Let's say you were going to call up this cute boy. You checked to make sure no one else in your house was using the phone and you dialed his number. (Better not lose that scrap of paper because there is no way you're going to program that number where ANYONE can dial it.) And then....


"Oh...hi, Mrs. Mom...this is Boy there?" And sometimes, he was not readily available. So let's say that maybe Mrs. Mom wasn't really a fan of yours, or maybe she wasn't really a chatty woman. So you had to make awkward small talk until Boy could get his ass to the phone.

The other dream scenario here is when someone would call your house looking for you. Let me share a true story with you. Brace yourselves.

I was brushing my teeth one day when I heard the phone ring. Moments later, I heard my father outside the bathroom door. "No, she's in the bathroom right now. She'll have to call you back." *Click*


I quickly rinsed my mouth out and opened the door. "Dad, was that for me? Who was on the phone?"
"Oh, it was a boy. I told him you were in the bathroom." He said this nonchalantly, as if every teenage girl is comfortable with boys knowing about mystery bathroom trips.
"YOU DID WHAT?" I screeched. Maybe a bit dramatic? Whatever.
"Oh calm down. He doesn't know what you're doing in there."
"BUT YOU SAID BATHROOM. JUST TELL HIM I'M BUSY NEXT TIME. OR DEAD!" (I don't think I cliched it with a "why do you ruin everything" but you never know.)

This new generation? They won't have to do that. And for that, I hate them a little bit. Because you don't know awkward, kids, until you've called a boy and tried to casually slip in something about brushing your teeth, just so he wouldn't think you were doing anything unladylike. Especially knowing that he's seen all your tragic yearbook photos.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Just a quick one. (That's not what she said.)

Unacceptable parts of my day, in no particular order:

1. This is day two of not having my regular voice. It peaced out sometime yesterday morning and our relationship has been on-again, off-again since then. (Mostly off.) Teaching first grade has been a blast...except not really. Mug of tea was attached to my hand all day. Oh, you want your shoe tied? Sorry, I can't do that with one hand. Hold my steaming hot beverage. (Safety first!) Man voice is a totally unfortunate side effect.

2. Ate the last of my summer Kinder Eggs brought home from European Adventure. I was planning on saving it for something special, but Tuesdays can be special too. Special because I ate a Kinder Egg and then constructed a tiny plastic sailboat! (So, really, this is unacceptable with a totally acceptable ending. Glass half full!)

3. Glee was a rerun.

4. Wondering if a boy will text a "disappointed in self" kind of feeling.

5. Work has felt slightly overwhelming lately as I tally up all the things I should be doing and what should be covered. There just isn't enough time in my day or space in my classroom.

However...acceptable parts of my day include:

1. Aforementioned Kinder Egg toy.

2. Dance break in my class today...played a CD of piano music. My kids are hilarious and adorable and freaking awesome.

Blog life has been put on hold until Thursday afternoon. Real life prevails, once again.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

All aboard.

Anyone who ever watched Schoolhouse Rock in school learned about the importance of conjunctions. And while I agree that hooking up words and phrases and clauses is a very important grammatical function, Conjunction Junction is just no place for relationships.

I'm talking about the I Like You train. Recent events in my life have led me to the conclusion that the I Like You train really ought to be a single car operation. Adding other cars on gets to be a dangerous endeavor. The Schoolhouse Rock conductor taught us that his favorite conjunctions are
and, but, and or.

Let's start with I Like You
And. This should be used very judiciously. I suppose I Like You And I Would Like to Go Out Sometime would be an okay train to conduct. I Like You And I'm Wondering If You Feel the Same? That could be acceptable. That's about it, though. Better to play it safe and not crowd I Like You. I once had a man get overzealous and decided to be the engineer of I Like You And I Like Your Sister. Very, very poor usage of the conjunction car. Poor life choice right there. Nobody was particularly pleased with how that interaction went down, I have to tell you.

I Like You
Or? That's just stupid and doesn't make any sense. Avoid this to avoid sounding like an idiot. (Which, of course, means I Like You Nor ought to be firmly ignored as an option.)
And of course, there is
the worst conjunction for relationships: but. I Like You But is not, I repeat NOT going to go well. Nooooobody wants to ride that train. Let's all reflect on times we've heard that phrase uttered.

Not good, right? Nothing good ever comes after I Like You
But. But is the harbinger of doom for any relationship, be it established or blossoming. (Perhaps the aforementioned gentleman should have used this one: I Like You But I Like Your Sister ALSO.) But crushes dreams and leads to changes in facebook relationship statuses--and not in a positive direction. But drinks too much and bitches with her girlfriends.

There are, of course, other conjunctions out there, but that gets us into the complicated issue of Yet or So, among others. That's really more for Advanced Railroad Theory so let's just focus on the Conjunction Junction favorites for the moment. Which is to say: When you're in control of the I Like You train, just leave your conjunctions at home, packed up next to your adjectives.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Lies NASA told me.

As I got ready for work yesterday morning, I put on the Weather Channel to plan my attire. (Also, to answer the all-important question: Can I take my class outside for recess today?) They were interviewing some woman from NASA--I caught the end of it and they were discussing the budget cuts and upcoming projects. Apparently, NASA is very excited about the possibility of sending the first humans to an asteroid.

What?! NASA, who do you think you're fooling?? The first humans to visit an asteroid? Don't hand me that bunch of lies, I saw Armageddon. You and I (and millions of others!) know you sent plenty of people to an asteroid back in '98. Or did you forget about the sacrifice Bruce Willis made?

Well. I, for one, did not.