Friday, January 23, 2009

Grades, grades, grades...

That is what I'm dealing with. Grading tons and tons of papers (yes, I put many off to the last minute, but believe me when I say I grade papers every day).

Final grades are due on Wednesday, so all papers must be graded, all performances must be complete and we begin a new slate.

My advanced theatre students have managed to put off reading the plays they are required to read until the last minute so I am giving them until Monday to do their play reports. If they had done them over the entire semester it would have been a play every two weeks. That's not bad. But NO! I have students coming up to me wanting more time, wanting me to give them extra credit for things that don't warrant extra credit. They tell me 10 plays in a semester are too many. They have lost their minds. Drama students should want to read plays.

Ah, the joys of being a teacher!

Thursday, January 22, 2009


did it become acceptable to question a teacher on their grading policy in front of the entire class?

I have a student in my theatre 1 class who questions every grade he gets. And not along the lines of logic. He feels he works hard, I see him doing nothing. He seems to think that running his lines with his scene partner over the phone should somehow count as class participation. He doesn't understand that just because you work on something doesn't necessarily make it "A" work. I really have to hold back when he starts to do this. I actually start to argue back. I used to laugh at my friend who had this sae kid two years ago about arguing with him, it hard not to. He sucks you in.

My department is dependent on numbers. I have to have the kids in the class to make the class happen. I actually would pay money to make this kid go away. Kind of sucks, I hate feeling this way about my kids.

And on the note of when did things become acceptable...when did it become acceptable to waste classtime and then ask the teacher for an extra day to turn in an assignment? I can't count the number of sophomores who have asked me that today.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

drama in the drama department

It seems the curse of the scottish play has struck my theatre department. In the last hour I have had two kids quit the show, come back, gave a lecture on them needing to suck it up and deal because we open next week, one quit again and was talked back in by his friend, and then he told me he would do the show but wasn't going to talk to anybody in the cast. ARGH!

In all honesty I don't know how these kids are going to survive when they go out into the real world. I have one girl who hasn't smiled in two days and looks like she is in some kind of coma-state because the boy who is/was her best friend and her got into a fight. Neither one of them thinks they did anything wrong, neither one is willing to be the bigger person and talk to the other about what is bother them. The boy is just letting it roll off him and doing what needs to get done, the girl has completely shut down.

I love working with teens. This is the worst part of my job (right up there with casting a show). I want to make things better for them, but need to realize that I can't fix everything. I try not to let it get to me, but these kids are so important to me, some of them don't have any other strong, stable adult figure in their lives. I don't feel like I can just cut that connection.

Then I have the one who thinks she is more of an adult than her 17 years really allow her. She only sees things in black and white and refuses to even consider that there are gray areas. She in some ways makes things worse by perpetuating the "hatred" and anger that some of the kids feel toward one student in particular. This student is going through some serious growing pains, he says he hates everyone who used to be his best friends. He has been mean to some of them, treated them poorly, but it seems to me more like a cry for help than anything. He has recently gotten out of a very destructive relationship (for both parties, good kids, not good together). The kids who were his friends are siding with the girl because they say he was mean to her. Even as he tries to repair these relationships, they won't let him. They don't view it as him crying for help, they just see it has him being an ass.

All of this is going on in my cast of 13. The only ones not in turmoil are the ones who refuse to let it get to them. I am trying to be in that group. One of my motos this year is "Water off a Duck's Back". Although, right now, SUCK IT UP! seems to be more appropriate.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

and he huffed and he puffed and...

he blew the fence down. Yep that's right, the fence at the townhouse is down!

I got a call from M at about 5:15 this morning, he was on his way to San Diego for work and got the call from our tenant that the courtyard fence was down. Now, I knew it needed to be replaced, but I was hoping to get a little more on top of the bills before we had to do it. (I'm holding my breath that the back yard fence holds for this windy season and we can buy a little time on that one). Both fences really should have been replaced when I was living on the property, but I didn't have the money then, kind of like now.

I have emailed the association to let them know we are aware of the situation and see how long we have to fix it. I have emailed all the neighbors (that I have contacts for) told them we know about the situation and that we are working on it. I'm not so worried about the assoication, it's the neighbors. They don't like my tenant. He was a little loud when he moved in. He refused to meet them because they didn't come over and welcome him to the neighborhood. But that is another story.

So, now I am on the search for a good contactor (good and cheap). If you know one in the OC (that's Orange County, CA) please let me know. I have a fence to replace.

Note: I will be posting pictures tonight of the damage. I figure we might want to take pictures just in case. Hopefully the tenant hasn't removed the debris before I get there.