Saturday, January 29, 2011

How About a Pet Peeve Post?

***In Class***
Student: "I have a question you need to answer"
Teacher: *Walks away*
Student: "Or just walk away, that's cool too."

When I wrote the grouchy post late Thursday night, I was feeling pretty rotten. Since then I deteriorated from rotten to "I don't really want to die but right now it might be preferable to this", and am now back to "I'm alive but I do NOT want to remember the last 36 hours and it's going to take at least 36 more hours before I feel like getting up". So, here I recline with my laptop, catching up on "what I missed". 

I copied the above from Facebook. Now, before I start, do NOT get me wrong. I LOVE teaching and I LOVE my students. I go to school cheerfully most mornings and come home in a good mood most afternoons. BUT.........!!!!!!!!

I don't think too many people argue that our current students have an entitlement issue. They feel entitled. It does not matter what their background, race, socio-economic group or whatever. They feel entitled.

And the above- which represents a "like" page on Facebook, which I saw when one of my BEST former students "liked" it- is symptomatic of that sense of entitlement.

How about "excuse me, could you answer a question?" Or "can I ask something, please?" or even "I am confused, can you explain something?" No, it's "YOU NEED to do what I want and you need to do it NOW".

I have a real problem with students who think that what they want is always more important than anything else going on in class, or any other student in that class. I get interrupted while teaching, routinely, by a single student who wants to know something that only applies to her. I even get interrupted by students who make "announcements", not ask questions, while I am doing something with the entire class.

The real problem for these children is that unless the entire world changes to accommodate their entitlement issues, they are in for a much ruder shock in a few years than my current response to them, which is "if you want to talk to me about something personal, do it after class or on your own time, not during class time". I will even admit that I sometimes lose my patience with students who REPEATEDLY do this, and my answer to them is not always so polite.

Will college professors accommodate this attitude and behavior? I think not. Will professional colleagues and supervisors accept it? I certainly HOPE not. Will those adults think well of other "adults" who engage in this behavior? It seems VERY unlikely.

I spent 16 years in Catholic schools, and certainly for the first 8 at least, "you are not the center of the Universe" was implied when not actually stated. I don't think we heard it much after that, only because it was presumed we already knew it. It is NOT A BAD IDEA to instill into young minds. 

For obvious reasons, learning that others count is central to making young people sensitive to the needs of others. Creating an environment of charity and caring about the larger community is, and should be, part of a good education.

It is also important so that those young people do not suddenly get a shock when they enter the "real world" and learn that others do not necessarily care about their individual needs. 

An example is the MANY Facebook posts I have read from former students, now in college or with jobs, who have written about how the local transit company has messed up "their" day or "their" plans since the major snow storm. Things like "Bleep SEPTA, I was late for class" or "Bleep SEPTA, it took me 2 hours to get home". HELLO????? There is a foot and a half of snow out there. Those transit workers have had to get to work first in order to get you to work or school. Every one on every bus or trolley or train is trying to get somewhere. Maybe the nurse for the ICU at the hospital? The man who will fix the downed power lines for the neighborhood with no electricity? The repairman who will fix a broken heater for the house with no heat?

Yeah, kids, you really DO need to learn that you are not the center of the Universe!

Friday, January 28, 2011

So, What Have I Been Up To?

This was the forecast last night before bed. It was a *little* off- we woke to 16.5 inches!

 The view from the front door at 10 AM this morning.
 The view of the side of the house- DH and DS's cars are there somewhere- DS actually had to brush off some snow to be sure which one was his.

As you can probably guess, there was no school today. There will be no school tomorrow. Small streets like ours still remain impassable- the snow is too deep and the cars get hung up and stuck.

I had a little fun shopping this morning. Strawberry Sampler, my not-so-local needlework shop had an online Snow Sale today and I took full advantage. 
 Three nice charts from Hinzeit were among my haul- these were among them. More on this later.
 I saw this Betsy Ross piece and just feel in love with it. I will definitely be doing it on a hand dyed linen and using Vikki Clayton's silks for this special work. So what else is new?

Not much good. Last week a former student was killed in a gas line explosion. Another funeral for a teenager who never got a chance to live. Two funerals in 2 weeks, both young men who were well liked and good kids, is a little hard to take.

Had it not snowed today, I would have been visiting another former student who is back in the hospital, out of remission from leukemia. The Henzeit chart will be done for her, although in Leukemia Orange rather than the pink.
I can relate one piece of trivial good news. The above doily is an antique piece of Teneriffe Lace that I scored on ebay. I am thrilled and cannot wait for it to get here. I *will* be getting back to that piece
of Teneriffe I was working on- as soon as I finish reading that huge pile of term papers sitting on the living room floor next to my recliner.

I am still TOTALLY hating on 2011!!!!!!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Feeling Nostalgic

I'm feeling a bit nostalgic today. There were some posts last night from some CD kids that really made me happy/sad.

On this day when we honor the efforts of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., I am reminded so much of how his dream was a reality at CD. He wanted his children judged by the content of their characters rather than the color of their skin. At CD, that dream was accomplished.

I am very happy at my new school- everyone has been wonderful and welcoming. I am glad to be there every day- I go to work cheerfully and come home tired and satisfied. The kids are terrific!

Yet, I still miss the special, no, UNIQUE!, environment that was Cardinal Dougherty. I am so grateful that I was given the opportunity to spend my years there and will treasure the memories and people always.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Why I Hate 2011

I've got a little yellow, some green and a whole lotta red- and the New Year is only a week old today.

Yellow: I was out with a few CD teachers yesterday and it was nice. I like snow as long as I don't have to drive in it and today it is snowing and I am going nowhere.

Green: all the school work I brought home over the holidays to work on during the 4 days of the car ride to Florida is still staring at me. Due to the storm on the 26th we flew to Florida and there was no way to carry all that on the plane. Exams are coming up so I also have a slew of new work that needs to be done, and there will be 130+ term papers to read in the near future. Installation of our new windows, and the finishing work on the pre-Christmas house re-construction, keeps getting delayed by weather, so we continue with the mess. DH was also really sick in Florida and after we got home and I somehow managed to escape catching it....until now.

RED: Auntie was in the hospital for most of our trip to Florida and still there when I came home. She was sick enough for it to be frightening. Made for a very difficult and unhappy trip. She's finally home but a long way from well.

RED: A former student, CD class of 2010, died Tuesday afternoon. Great kid, well-liked. Other kids are devastated; I get teary several times a day. The funeral on Monday will be heartbreaking.

RED: One of my current students has been missing since Thursday- scared out of my mind.

2010 is looking better all the time.

ETA- a RED to YELLOW!!! Student has been found safe!!! Still hating on 2011 but it just got a lot better!!!!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Sesame Street: Keep Christmas With You

With the Feast of the Three Kings, we have reached the last of the 12 Days of Christmas. Here's a thought, beautifully expressed, that we should keep in mind until next Christmas!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Update on 2011

Can I please go back to the awfulness of 2010? It would be an improvement!