Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Finals Week Begins

My life has turned into one giant tub of crazy. This is finals week at school. That means this is the week that the students who never did any work and racked up excessive absences and pretty much stopped coming to class all together around midterms, suddenly start sending me hysterical emails asking me how they can pass. I love this time of the semester. Then what happens is I tell them they are going to fail and they go on various websites and write terrible things about how evil I am for failing them because they heard that in college you actually don't have to go to class and you just need to take the final to pass. I wish I were kidding.

And news!!! I have news!!! My sister is pregnant!!! Can you believe it? I mean, I guess you probably can, but wow, I'm going to be someone's aunt!

My Uncle Bull is here. Remember him? He's the grass roots political activist with the BBQ company? He has never visited before, so the fact that he's here is a very big deal. We're all very excited. Last night he described a woman as being so stupid that if you put her brain in a bird, it would fly backwards. I am going to keep a running list of his expressions because they are too good. We took him out for his first taste of Florida stone crabs last night and he described the experience as "sexual." I love that this man and I share a name, although he doesn't use it.

So things are pretty good. I'm starting to feel a little bit better and a little bit is something. I have to go to two doctors three times in the next week and I have to get blood drawn again next week. I have had more blood removed from my body than should be legal. I also recently found out that I have some kind of rare, freak blood type and that the blood type I thought I had, which is listed on my birth certificate, was a huge mistake. So thank God I never needed a transfusion or I would have ended up dead or something (no idea what happens when you get the wrong blood, but I think it's very bad.) The whole blood type fiasco lends even more credence to my theory that I do not belong to my family and was switched at birth. That or someone had a recessive gene for rare freak blood.

Starting next week I'm off of work for a nice, long, long time. I intend to use my free time for writing! I can't wait. I'm in need of some time off. This semester has been hard on me and I've missed writing. I have a million stories to tell once grades are submitted. I also want to go to Millpond and maybe California and we'll see where else.

Right now though, I have to go work and teach these stinkin' kids how to write a coherent essay.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Nasty Assed Recipes - You Have No Taste Edition

Last night, totally out of left field, I got a comment on a 2 year old post telling me that I have no taste and that I moderate comments and only let comments through which agree with me and all of this was on the topic of pretzel salad, that culinary abomination that my family loves. We even had it at Thanksgiving this year. We always have it. I can't stand it. So I thought this comment was hilarious. First, I moderate comments to avoid spam and so I get to read each and every comment. I let most of them through. It is so rare that anyone gets mean and if they do, I publish them anyway. I don't generally care if people disagree with me. I love a lot of people who disagree with me on many topics, especially pretzel salad. Jeez. Of all the shit I've said to get mad at, it was that pretzel salad is disgusting? I love the irony of telling me that I have no taste. Anyway, my feelings aren't hurt or anything. I just thought it was funny and in honor of the person who felt the need to so passionately defend pretzel salad, I wanted to give them an additional recipe, straight from my family's files, for another dessert. You know, to add some variety to the white trash dessert repertoire. You have to change things up. My mom's best friend, who is really very much a part of our family, is responsible for this atrocity called "Pistachio Pudding Dessert" which is much adored by fans of pretzel salad. It involves crackers for a crust, has the requisite Cool-Whip and instant pudding, IS GREEN, and it's fancy because it's topped with chopped, bright red, maraschino cherries. This is the closest recipe that I could find, but we have a couple variations. For one, use saltines instead of those high-falutin', uppity Ritzes. Also, our recipe doesn't involve ice cream. You just whip the pudding into the Cool Whip, spread it over the crackers, throw it in the freezer and call it a day. The cherries on top are maraschinos and for the nuts, we use chopped walnuts, but you can leave those off. Anonymous, I'm sure that you'll love this recipe as much as my family and of course, because I have no taste, you won't ever catch me eating this green, goopy mass of chemicals, salt and sugar.

1/2 c. butter, melted
1 1/2 stacks Ritz crackers, crushed (approx. 57 crackers)
2 c. milk
2 small boxes pistachio instant pudding
1 qt. vanilla ice cream, softened
Cool Whip
Nuts & cherries (opt.)
Mix butter with crushed crackers and pack firmly in a 9"x13" pan. Beat softened ice cream and set aside. Beat milk with pudding, add softened ice cream and fold in well. Spread over crust. Set in refrigerator about 1/2 hour. Frost with Cool Whip. Sprinkle with nuts and cherries if desired. Chill 4 hours or overnight. 6 to 8 servings.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Strangest Teaching Experience Ever

I know I need to finish the other story, but I had to share this with you. I couldn't let something like this happen without telling you.

Yesterday I had the strangest teaching experience of my teaching career thus far. Of course this would happen to me, because I am the freak magnet. People always tell me that a ridiculous amount of unusual things happen to me and that I know a high percentage of crazy people. I used to respond that I just know how to notice it better and retell it. Crazy stuff happens to everyone, I would say, I just know how to frame it as a story whereas other people just kinda don't pay attention or forget about it.

I have come to see that I was wrong. It's true. I seem to attract oddity.

Yesterday I was trying to teach my class amid a flurry of excitement because "Jersey Shore" is now being filmed in South Beach, and in my students' world, this is apparently a huge, major deal and all of them want to go figure out how to get in the background of the show so they can be on MTV.

Once I got them focused on thesis statements once again and once we were talking about boring things like how to make an argument, all of a sudden one girl shouts:


This made all of the students rush out of their desks and over to the window where they all started going "OH MY GOD LOOK!!!"

I sternly asked what was out there and if I needed to call 911. They wouldn't tell me what it was. I actually heard one girl whisper to another girl not to tell me because "she doesn't like sexual stuff, remember." I don't even want to know what that was supposed to mean.

So I go and look out the window to see for myself. My classroom is on the third floor overlooking a courtyard in the back of the building. In the courtyard is a picnic table with a bench. Seated on top of the table was a young lady with her skirt pulled to her waist. Seated on the bench before her was a young man. The two of them were engaged in, umm, an activity. A lewd and lascivious activity, if you will. Just use your imaginations. I guess these two thought they were alone. I guess they forgot that there were three floors of classrooms with windows in front of them. I mean, the windows are tinted so you can't see in, but everyone can see out. Lord have mercy.

My students lost their minds over this scene and started pulling out their phones. One student said he was going to film it and put it on YouTube to which I responded that no he was not if he wanted to continue on in my class.

As a teacher, I have to lead a bit of a double life. In the classroom I need to be stern, orderly and not take any crap. I have to manage 28 fidgety young people who don't really want to be there and I have to keep things professional and proper at all times. If my students knew some of the stuff I've written or done, they'd just die on the spot. You could probably never in a million years ever convince them that it's true that I once worked in a strip club. They have this idea about me that I'm stuffy and old and don't know anything and that I'm definitely a virgin and that I would never watch "Jersey Shore." They believe I have never once in my life uttered a cuss word. I think they think I'm something akin to a married nun, if such a thing could exist.

To keep up this image for them, I had to wrangle them all away from the window and act horrified and ashamed and aghast. Then I had to practically threaten them to get the into their seats and pretending to care about thesis statements again. That's teacher-me.

The truth is, in my real life, I was right at that window with them.

I came straight home and had to tell anyone who would listen to me about this event and I did it with as much gusto as my students gawking at the exhibitionist couple. Everyone's response - "of course that would happen while YOU were teaching."

And it's true, of course it would.

You know what else happened?? Today, in a different class, I busted a girl who tried to send her twin sister to sit in my class so she could be absent. It wasn't hard. They aren't exactly identical and the twin had no book and no knowledge of routine class procedures. Plus, I knew the girl had a twin and I heard another student use the sister's name. When I confronted her, she said she was going to throw up and ran out of the class. Mmm Hmmm. I didn't know twins did that in real life. I should ask my uncles if they ever pulled a bait and switch routine in school.

Two weeks left in the semester people. Let me just get through two more weeks.

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