Disclaimer: Some content is inappropriate for readers under 18 years of age or those offended by swear words, references to sexuality, atheism, and libertarianism.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Censorship Fail.

My students think I swear slightly less than Mother Theresa did, which makes me laugh. It proves just how well I play the "teacher game" where they're also fairly convinced that I only achieved conception through divine intervention. I don't lie to them when they ask me if I swear, I just model the self control they often lack! While pregnant, I get to chide student swearing with a little more humor ("Oh my, don't let the baby hear language like that!" while planting my hands on either side of my belly). When huffing and puffing my way through the halls, I swoop past all the cussing like a crop dusting plane, dropping "Language! Dear oh dear!" and "Excuse me, watch what you're saying" as I go, but yesterday I heard one that made me laugh. Outside the restrooms, a young man told his friends: "Man, I gotta take a mother fuckin' doo-doo." He consciously made the decision to censor himself that way. He must be related to the kid I overheard a year or so ago who greeted his companion with: "Mother fucka! I haven't mother fuckin' seen you in mother fuckin' ages! Fucker!" I know I'm missing a "fuck" in there somewhere, because he put one somewhere that didn't work at all, which made it even funnier, but I put on my serious face, told him off and went on my way. 

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Let's Warm Those Cockles for a Moment.

I've not been posting much. A combination of apparently bearing the Vitruvian girl in my uterus, having homework to do for TWO masters online classes, a full time job, AND trying to spend as much quality time with my family as possible make things a bit hectic. On top of that, my three most challenging students continue to impress me with the extents they are willing to go to prove how entirely self-destructive they are. 

Amid all this chaos, however, I choose to hunt desperately for little patches of sunshine to bask in. When asked by a mental health evaluator who at his school might best know and understand him, one of my students answered with my name before she even finished the sentence, according to her. And there I was believing his whining and his complaints that my sole purpose was to make his life a misery for no good reason, poor victim of the system of oppression and circumstance that he is. Without going into detail about his recent roller coaster of an educational experience, I'd say he's only spending half his time in school making my job to get him to pass next year's state graduation test even more impossible than it already was. Criminal behavior, in and out of school suspensions, refusal to work when he is in class, and many other factors turn my job into quite the adventure.

In preparation for my departing on maternity leave, I've had my substitute come in to shadow me and I'm really hoping she's got what it takes to stay sane. I can see by her eagerness that she's desperate to do things well, but her nervousness reeks like the kid who pooped in his pants last week in science class and it's leading to her blurting out completely inappropriate or irrelevant things to both the kids and my colleagues. She seems very sweet and incredibly helpful, just wound up "like an eight day clock". I felt awfully guilty but validated to see how utterly exhausted she was dealing with only one of my more challenging students for only one class period. It made me feel less guilty for looking like I've been dragged through a series of hedges made entirely of Billy clubs, shards of glass, and twigs by the end of each day.

Thankfully, my husband being the sweetheart that he is, I got a gift card to get a mother-to-be massage at the local spa/salon for Valentine's Day so I also got the mess atop my head shaped into a reasonably decent hair cut. I think after the third wash since, I finally mastered how to recreate it for the most part... Anyway, I always like to ask each hairdresser I get my favorite question to ask someone in their profession: What's the worst hairdo you've ever been asked to give someone? And the answer is ALWAYS the same. The mullet. I laughed. Go on, ask it the next time you get your hair cut and see if you get the same response. It felt fantastic to feel a little sexier now that I look a little more well groomed, and having my sub dropping in on me makes me feel I'm just that little closer to my hobbling out of work in the midst of contractions yelling "So long, suckas!" to everyone in the building.

Anyway, now that I've bored you with my own update, here's a link to the blog of a dear friend of mine:

Son of the Cucumber King

Ironically, he just wrote a post about Bashir Gemayel not too long after I put up the trailor for Waltz With Bashir. Knowing what GREAT stories he has amassed based on his own experiences and insights, I look forward to seeing his blog grow and develop. Stop over there once in a while through my Middle Eastern related blog list and check out his anecdotes and thoughts.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

Don't spend too much money. Spend time. And have loads and loads of dirty, dirty Valentine sex. Preferably with the person you love. Have fun! If you're single just take advantage of all the chocolate that is about to go on sale really soon. Always a silver lining.

Waltz With Bashir

A movie by Ari Folman about his experiences in the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982. Even this short trailer had the power to raise the hair on my scalp. I think this is a film I'll want to see... And not see.

Monday, February 09, 2009

My Dabbling in Photography.

I love our Nikon. It's great for an amateur like me. I adore taking our daughter to the zoo, so the following are a few shots I got the last time we went when the sun was on our side.

Below are some more recent shots I took of our yard when Old Man Winter tried one last blast. I was in awe of how beautiful all the plants were encased in ice. They're all a bit cliched, but it was fun having an excuse to admire nature's work up close.

The one above is of deer tracks across our lawn.

Oh Wow, It's a Small World!

Holy shit, people! I meant to take a photo of this place EVERY damn year I was visiting back home and never got around to it! I'm glad someone else did the honors. The problem is, I could have sworn it was called Butt Sweet House, so MAYBE I'm confused and this is actually a different place... Either way, it made me burst out laughing to see this! It brought back memories.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

What Scared You As a Child?

I adore the old Australian film, Dot and the Kangaroo. I practically peed myself in excitement when I found it was available on DVD, along with one of the follow-ups, Dot and the Bunny. I've never seen any of the others, but looking at their reviews on imdb I guess there's no big loss there... Anyway, above is a song, Bunyip Moon, from Dot and the Kangaroo that apparently not only creeped me out but many others too. I think it's healthy for every child to have some lasting memory of a cartoon or kid's movie that had a moment or two of creepiness involved. Every one delights in sharing tales of what scared them as kids... The memories are often recalled with warmth and smiles rather than continued terror and required therapy.

What movie/cartoon scene scared you as a kid? Daleks? The dinosaurs in Land of the Lost? King Kong? Ooh, that wolf thing from Neverending Story! With his bloody jaws and the way he growled "the nottthing..." Or perhaps something unexpected and not particularly scary to most people? I'd love to know!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Math is Hard, Apparently.

Obviously this is from the infamous Fail Blog, and boy howdy does it scare me as a teacher to hear not one but TWO people at the same company who just don't grasp this simple concept. It's not even really about being able to do math, it's about logic. I'm so scared.

Healthy Food that Tastes Good?

Gila and I have joined forces to create an unpredictable super-twin-duo-power of Jewish Girl and Arab Chick with our recipe website Give Peas a Chance. I enjoy cooking, but I must admit that I don't tend to make too many healthy meals at home. I'm hoping this will motivate me to change that. If we bring about world peace in the process, all the better.

Should anyone want to send me healthy recipes they enjoy, I'll happily add them to the blog!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

The Daycare of the Damned.

Picking my daughter up from daycare is often quite the sociological and anthropological adventure. I sometimes feel like the adult at the end of The Lord of the Flies when I walk in the door. I always make sure to give the room a quick once over to make sure poor Piggie isn't lying crushed in the corner... Suddenly, it seems that the big projector operator in the sky has switched reels and I'm in the midst of the Children of the Corn as I'm slowly swarmed by a sea of blank faces, streaked with snot and stained orange around the mouth by some horrendous artificial orange drink.

Despite my ever-growing belly, I masochistically continue to squat in front of my diminutive one to help her zip up her coat while two things consistently happen just about every single day:

1- If I forget to conceal my entire Nightmare Before Christmas lanyard into my pocket, this same girl comes over and loudly announces over and over "It's Jack! It's Jack! It's Jack from Nightmare Before Christmas!" She doesn't stop, even when I acknowledge her. It's more annoying than I can get across to you through a blog. Bearing in mind, I've had a long day (every day) and have already lost most of my patience on other people's kids all day long.

2- "Damien-Boy" quietly approaches us and STARES. He stands barely a few inches away, and his stare never wavers. Nor does he ever speak. Or smile. Or blink. I try to suppress the urge to flinch every time he comes near as I've been on the receiving end of his frighteningly expressionless exploration of "what happens when I hit someone". Right after which, he decided to examine the effect of sinking his teeth into some little girl's arm. I've been tempted to ruffle his hair upon greeting him to get a better look at his scalp (there's a lot of space to conceal 3 digits on a toddler's huge head) but I fear I'd lose a finger or two. He's got years ahead of him, so I figure it's a little early to reserve a space for him at Arkham Asylum, so I've decided to greet him by name and flash him my least nervous smile. In my short time as a special ed. teacher, my "special needs" radar seems to twitch every time I see him. So I'll smile and talk to him some more and hope he gets the same at home. To think of how many of "my kids" may not have ended up with me if only their parents had talked to them more... Made eye contact with them, asked them how their day was and actually listen to them when they speak.

Having said all that, it's a great daycare and my little one has a wonderful time there. And boy, people think my job is tough. I can't imagine how difficult it must be to simply identify which of the kids the smell of poop is eminating from in order to change the right set of diapers... My hat off to daycare people.

Home Sweet Home.

Ahhh... One of the many perks of being a teacher includes the prospect of snow days. As a parent, they'll definitely come in handy when my daughter is school-age but not yet old enough to be trusted to be left alone at home (ie. not until she moves out, which may coincide with the day I give her the key to her chastity belt. She's only two and a half right now. I plan ahead.) Right now, her daycare stays open come rain or shine or complete blasted blizzard straight from the North Pole itself. Those poor bastards.

Having had almost an entire week off last week, I had the most amazing time with said munchkin. I may not be the best mother in the world- she probably watches more TV than she should, I may not have the stamina to play loads of sports with her in the park- but I do the best I can to enrich her childhood in any way I can. We painted, we went to the museum, baked cookies and cakes, read books, played with Play-Doh, Lego, tea sets, toy animals (she can identify a wombat. I think that's cool). We sang songs, played with Smart Mass putty (she enjoyed making fart noises while sticking her tiny fingers into it), generally having an amazing time.

So it was a sad and rude awakening to return to work and hear the following exchange in history class:

History teacher: Can anyone tell me what "domestic" means?

At least three students responded in near perfect unison with: Violence.

Okay. So I doubt they all come from abusive backgrounds... I'm thinking we've got "naked-woman-in-a-dumpster" cop/forensic TV shows to thank, along with some sad cases of actual domestic violence amongst our students, for adding the term "domestic violence" to their lexicon. I'm savoring the days that those ideas have yet to have any meaning for my little midget.