Thursday, September 25, 2008

White lady rap

I've warned some of my classes that every time they start to beat on the tables they will be subject to a lame white lady rap. I hadn't had to follow through with my threat until yesterday, when my sixth graders would not stop making beats and quietly mumbling raps. So Mi' D started spitting rhymes:
It's lame, it's lame
Mi' Dean and her rhymes is lame
White lady oughtta feel ashamed
If it weren't for Taylor and James*
Fifth block could be reclaimed
Yes, I know I only rhymed the same sound, but it impressed sixth graders for me to come up with that pretty much on the spot (yeah, I did have the "lame" bit in my head already, but they didn't know that). See, I'm writing...

*my rowdiest students in that class--not an ironic reference to my beloved Mr. Taylor

Lessons from my job (warning, boring post ahead)

So, I know I haven't posted in forever, that it's more like 35 insights into my soul rather than 152, that my faithful readers have all but given up on me (hello, Erin, are you reading this?)...but I just haven't been inspired to write. Even though I love writing essays and poems, I have never been much of a journaler. I'm such a prolific talker, you know--so good and analyzing and over-analyzing myself and my little world verbally that I've never done it much on paper. I've journaled a good bit in the past when I had a ridiculous new crush on someone, or was going through some kind of crisis, but besides that, no. I've often thought that if I become a famous writer some day (uh, Leah...that would require that you do some WRITING--hush, self!), that there won't be much to publish in the way of personal papers. Of course, if I had the kind of job that gave me lots of time for reflection, I'd make myself write everyday, no matter what. I've had some excellent results in the past from forcing myself to write. But I'm not there right this minute.

Anyway, folks have been wondering about my job. Well, I've learned a few things in 9 weeks.

1. South Georgia is not Middle Georgia. Some of the comments about the South that I've bristled at all my life seem a little bit more warranted down that-a-way.

2. I am not an artist.*  I love art, and I like to make crafts, but I am a word person. I miss talking and thinking about words and ideas.

3. I was not meant to be an art teacher.* Paper has always been a problem for me, what with all the written assignments of the language arts classroom--stacks to be graded, stacks to be returned, etc. Now there's paper everywhere. And broken crayons. And charcoal dust. And glue. And paint.
And clay. And bits of wire. And crumpled up pieces of Leah's sanity.

4. I'm done with the public school (or private, for that matter) classroom. I've tried different grades, different subjects, and different schools, and I'm convinced that this profession is not something I want to spend any more of my life on. I haven't ruled out college, but we'll see.

5. God is sovereign. Yes, I already knew this, but I've realized that whether this was a horrible decision that He's working together for good, or the right decision that just happens to be really hard, divine purposes are being accomplished. Whether it's loving a kid who doesn't get much attention at home, or learning how to be more disciplined, or sharpening my French skills (by podcast!) on my long commute (yes, there could be divine purpose in learning French!!!), or being a good friend to some of my colleagues, there's a reason for this season. Pray that I'll keep this attitude and get my mind right. So far, I haven't been handling it too well.

2017 update: 
*I no longer consider this to be accurate. I am definitely an artist. While words are my preferred medium, I wouldn't be whole without creating visual art as well.
**Ha, ha, ha. Only what I've done for the past 4 and a half years--in elementary, no less. Still finding bits of my sanity everywhere amongst ribbon scraps and marker lids.