Saturday, January 28, 2012
What me worry?
Are you laughing?
I rarely stay up anywhere nearly late enough to watch Leno, but thanks to time-delayed-tv and YouTube I can always count on Jaywalking for a few laughs.
I need some laughs.
The Regents results -those- you can't get a high school diploma -tests if you don't pass-are in.
Between that and the stress of a "testing-reorganized" schedule brought to you by the "What me worry?" administration,* there was a lot of crying in my room this week.
I need to bring a new tissue box on Monday.
Ralf passed the English Regents. Last week, I risked my pension by locking him into an empty classroom to finish the practice essay, by himself. When I released him from solitary, he handed me a complete essay- and sheepishly asked me if I could lock him away for the real test.
I could not, but the stringent adherence to testing conditions which includes covering all the bulletin boards with monochromatic paper (because that's an important use of our supply money) was enough. Ralf concentrated and passed.
Isaiah did not. He got four out of the twenty five multiple choice questions correct. Miri did not. She wrote a perfect answer for the short essay about creativity but she substituted the word rely for regard in the interpret the quote essay- managing to squander all those points. Louis and his brother did not. Neither did Dorothee, who told me afterwards she couldn't figure out what envy or anxious meant. (Dorothee came from Haiti 4 years ago.)
And the week didn't get much better.
Louis couldn't answer from which direction does the sun appear to rise. Miri added 3 to $700 when asked what was the cost of the dress after a 3% discount- $703.. Juliss wrote that the similarity between Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther was that they were both African-Americans.
Now does that Jaywalking clip seem so funny?
But if you look carefully- no one looks like a bum in the video. Is it true you can lead a happy productive life without being smarter than a fifth grader?
What drives me to drink, (and you can check out the recycling bin in the driveway if you doubt the veracity of that statement) is that we hold my "poor brain celled deprived" students to a standard that, well just say Jay doesn't hold the tourists in Rockefeller Center to.
And then there's the complication that we insist on being a college preparatory school- since anyone can go to college if we are just good enough teachers. Maybe I could convince Louis that the sun appears to rise in the east if I had him for science rather than the chemistry teacher, maybe Miri doesn't need geometry.
I don't know.
I think the part in the constitution about all men being created equal was written by someone who never tried to teach quadratic equations to learning disabled students.
The Algebra Regents had a tortoise and a hare questions. The tortoise ran a 100 meter race at constant speed of 20 meters per minute. The hare ran 40 meters per minute for 50 meters, took a 3 minute break before completing the final 50 meters at the 40 meter per minute rate. Who won?**
What percentage of Jaywalker contestants could answer that?
In our Race to the Top we leave no tortoises or hare behind.
But my poor kids-
That's another story.
I'm off to buy more tissues.
* I used the "What me worry?" reference on the very smart and very young algebra teacher. She had no idea who Alfred E Newman or Mad Magazine were. "http:en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfred_E._Neuman"
** The tortoise won. At 20m/pm it took him 5 minutes to complete the race. The hare covered the first 50 meters in 1.25 minutes rested for 3 minutes then covered the last 50 meters in 1.25 minutes. for a total of 5.50 minutes.