Friday, October 30, 2009

Ex-Wives Should be Shot

Okay, not all, but a goodly portion of them.

M's ex-wife has ruined yet another holiday/vacation for us. She took so long in getting back to M about the dates he would have B for the Christmas break that we can no longer afford the plane tickets. They went up by almost $500. Her comment, she has no control over the airlines. How about you give us a timely answer since we have no control over the airlines.

This woman is such a piece of work. You can't say anything nice, she'll twist it; you can't do anything nice, she'll twist that too; you can't ask a question, you're changing the subject if you do that. I really don't know how she gets along in life. She thinks everything revolves around her. (one of the many reasons I refer to her as "Planet D").

She has ruined many vacations, she has ruined the relationship between B and M, she has ruined any hope of a relationship between me and B. She thrives on the negativity.

What's worse is that it is really getting to me. I don't want it to. I want to be happy. Most people say nice things about me, either they are telling lies or I'm a genuinely nice person. But dealing with the woman and her chaos is turning me into someone I don't want to be. I try to make the choice to not let it, but it is SO hard.

So, new commitment, focus on me! Focus on what makes me happy! If I am happy I will be able to make those around me happy. If I am frustrated and angry all the time I only make those around me frustrated and unhappy.

I make the commitment to (try) not to let D and her negativity get to me.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Lesson Plans

I am tired of spending my entire prep period looking for ideas on what to teach. I have never taught this level before, have never read most of the literature and now spend most of my time stressing of how to make British Lit interesting for American teenagers.

My department chair is a wonderful woman and does a great job with seniors. But her style of teaching is very confusing to me. We meet on a fairly regular basis and I am still completely lost. It seems our meetings are always a week behind where I feel I am. Her lessons are very free flow, for example, the kids drew pictures of the characters in Canterbury Tales and then did resumes for them. I can see where this is a great lead in to doing their career research project and doing a resume, but it doesn't tell me what I should be teaching about the Canterbury Tales or Chaucer. I need more of an anchor.

So, I am pretty much giving up on Canterbury Tales and moving on to Beowulf. Although I have no ideas there either. I am again spending hours and hours of time researching what I should be teaching. I should have kept sophomores. At least there I had a clue, here I have no idea.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Are you kidding me...

I have another cold. It seems like I just got over the last one. Damn little petre dishes.

Friday, October 16, 2009


My days are comprised of many, many rehearsals right now. I love rehearsal. I love the process of creating theatre. Creating a new world and bringing characters to live. Now, I just wish my students loved it as much as I do.

The problem I am encountering right now is that the actors (beginners, advanced and those in the play) don't want to do their "actor" homework. The work where they sit down with their scripts and dig for the gold that creates an interesting, well rounded character. They think that acting is about words, not about life.

It has gotten worse year after year. It is so bad this year that when I was talking to a group of beginning students and was explaining the concept of "being in the moment" of a scene; the moment where the scene is real to the actors and the audience alike, two girls at in the back of the room and were making fun of what I was saying, rolling their eyes and you could tell they weren't buying it and thinking I was stupid. I actually used it as an example, saying that just because they didn't to believe it and sit and roll their eyes and think it's stupid, that the ones who take it seriously and do the work are going to be the ones who get the good grades and have the most fun in the class because acting isn't fun, unless you take it all the way. The got the hint and stopped their disrespectful and distracting behavior. We'll see how it goes today when they actually have to start staging their scenes.

I remember a time (boy, now do I feel old) when the students in a theatre class would actually try to make the scenes believable, would want to play improv games and have a good time. Ah, the good ol' days.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Listening (s)Kills

How hard is it to listen to directions and then follow them? Apparently very!

I have explained the same assignment for two days in my theatre 1 class and still the students do not understand what they are supposed to be doing, what subtext is or what blocking is. I have explained all 3 multiple times and even tried to deal with written terms test if they can demonstrate they understand the terms by using them in discussion and applying them in class.

Right now you would think I said "This class is devoted to talking to your friends and me giving assignments that don't mean anything."

Oh, and get this, I have been asked by one little darling when we will start doing "Real Acting". I can't wait until this kids gets a 5 minute scene and can't figure out how to prepare because he blew off everything up to that point.

Note: I just gave the 10th private lesson on what subtext is.

I love my job, I love my job, I love my job, I love my job.....

Monday, October 12, 2009


Let me start by saying I love my job. I love my school. I love my kids. I love my coworkers. I love my administration.

Now, let me tell you what I don't love. The dysfunction that is prevailing on my campus. The administrators don't communicate with each other. Three of them don't like one of them, that one doesn't like the others. There is tons of resentment and anger all over our campus for various things, many of which occured before I started 6 years ago. Yes, resentment that is 6 years old.

As the staff club president I feel like it is my job to do something to improve the moral. I know that I can't take then entire burden on myself, but something has to be done. I don't understand why those who aren't happy don't just leave. Why stay someplace you don't like, working with people you don't like. It just doesn't make sense.

Because this does bother me so much, I vow to continue to be a positive force on campus. To continue my attempts at improving moral and making this a great place to work. I also vow to not take it personally when people won't jump on my band wagon, but continue to invite them aboard.