Today I hopped out of bed, put on my comfy pants and one of my favorite shirts and my yellow sunshine necklace from NovaDesigns, and immediately solved a problem that has been bugging me for several years.
My comfy pants (Gramicci cotton pants with a built-in belt) are one of those items of clothing that I wear to school (we can “dress down” on Fridays if we contribute toward a fund benefiting needy students in the district) that have no belt loops. A lot of these clothing items are skirts, but a couple are pants. And the thing is, I like to hang my keys from my front right belt loop using a mini-carabiner. If I have no belt loops, I hang them from a lanyard around my neck instead, and that is less desirable for two reasons: one, the keys swing in resonance with my step frequency so if I am walking anywhere I have to hold the keys anyway or else they swing wildly after a short time; and two, they weigh me down and make my neck hurt.
So this morning at about 5:30 AM I realized that if I take a loop of twill tape and pin it to the inside of the pants in front and on the right side, I can pull it out of my pants to hold my keys, and tuck it into my pants on weekends or other times when I don’t carry my school keys! You would think such a simple solution would have been obvious long ago. Ah well, my next sewing project will be sewing the twill tape loops into pants and skirts!
But that was only the beginning!
I had students come to my class before homeroom to do work and get help! Usually my conceptual-level kids just don’t care that much about their grade and don’t mind that much if they don’t understand something. But this year there is something different in the atmosphere. Another teacher I spoke to yesterday said she noticed it too. There is a collective seriousness towards studying this year among the kids. The other teacher speculated that word had gotten around that colleges are much harder to get into than they used to be, so you have to have better grades to get into less-competitive schools nowadays. I don’t know that high school students generally think that far ahead. And it is hard for me to believe that the president’s speech to kids really made THAT much of an impact. Whatever it is, I am glad of it. I love my classes so far. My largest class has 20 students (!!!) and so far they mostly seem to be paying attention and trying to do the work and understand things.
Speaking of which, I had the BEST class first period today. Well, all my other classes went well too. But after first period, I was just flying. We’re doing basic, beginning physics stuff–relating the slope on a position-vs-time graph to the velocity of an object, talking about having a frame of reference and a defined “start” or “zero” position, and the difference between graphs for things moving away from zero and things moving towards zero. But I felt like everything went right, I was asking the right questions to bring the kids to realize what it would mean if two object’s graphs had the same slope, or how to tell by eyeballing the graph which of two objects is moving faster. I asked questions, and then I asked the kids who answered how they knew they had the answer, and they explained it to me!
My other conceptual-level classes went well too, though I was a little giddy by 6th period and those kids clearly wondered what I’d been taking…nothing other than usual, I swear! (actually, I forgot to take my usual vitamins, antihistamine, and anxiety meds this morning. Oops!) And then it came to my AP class.
Ah, my AP class. Nice kids. And one of them got into a giggle fit when I was jokingly suggesting reasons my random drawing of lab groups came out the way it did. We were doing a projectile launch lab today. It quickly became clear that goggles were a necessity!
This evening, I got to watch one of the funniest movies ever on TV, without commercials. The Birdcage, with Robin Williams and Nathan Lane. In case you haven’t seen it, it hilarious, and it is based on La Cage aux Folles, a French film that I am pretty sure my parents took me to see when I was a kid. I remember that I liked La Cage aux Folles, but I don’t remember anything else about it.
Could a day get any better? Yes, it would have been better if the music played over the PA system this morning had been better. Every morning the kids come up with music to play over the school system for about 10 minutes before homeroom officially begins. Today’s music sounded like awful incomprehensible anime theme songs, and then they played Sandstorm. Without that, it would have been a perfect day. Instead, it was only awesome.
I love my job!