Monthly Archives: June 2013

Playing hard to get.

I recently went out on a date with a gentleman I’ll call, baldie. For three weeks, Baldie and I were texting back and forth, flirting like crazy, and essentially getting to know each other. Baldie had asked me out in the first week and for three weeks, both he and I were trying to find time where we could could go out. Unfortunately for me, my weekdays were packed and weekends already planned. I don’t usually play hard to get. If I like you, I make it clear that I’m interested. And I did get the sense that it was mutual. So fast forward to the date.

Circumstances prevented him from meeting at the set time. I told him I understood the situation and asked if he wanted to raincheck. He called and profusely apologized and told me that he really wanted to see me. He’s been looking forward to it and he was sure that I would never give him a second chance if we didn’t meet today. (He was right, though.) He told me that he would be available two hours from the set time. I figured, since I didn’t have anything planned for the day anyway, that setting a later time wasn’t a problem. He did end up showing up with flowers. He brought them as an apology. I was thrilled. I don’t usually like flowers, but in this context, they were beautiful!

The date went well. We went to lunch and talked about his life, my life, his future, my future, his family, my family. I really liked him. Truly. I felt like we totally hit it off. After lunch, we walked around the neighbourhood and told each other funny stories. He then took me home and I told him I was super excited to see him again.

That was my mistake.

After the date, he did not text me. No call, no acknowledgement that we even went on the date. In fact, he followed the 3 day rule to a tee! Asshole. I even sent him a text letting him know that I had fun and nothing. I was super annoyed. After 3 days of nothing, his text comes in: “How are you doing?” I didn’t see the reply until 3 hours later at which point I replied, “I’m doing good. How about yourself?” And que silence. Nothing. Nada.

This morning, after a week since our date, he texts, “Hey, what you up to this weekend?”

I’m not even going to bother. I’m annoyed. Why play hard to get? Just because you already know the girl you’re interested in is interested? Does it mean you need to lay off the work? Ugh. My guy friend says he’s playing hard to get for sure. At this point, I don’t even want to get. Please. You can play those games with other girls. Next.

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Wow

That’s the first thing that came to mind after reading this blog post: http://emergentmath.com/2011/03/22/what-teachers-want-an-education-parable-written-by-a-math-teacher/

Essentially, the blogger, who is a Math teacher, details how a traditional math lesson would play out. The teacher teaches the content, then supplies work to assess their understanding. The work will likely be similar to the examples that were given in the notes. The teacher is baffled by the many, “How do I do this?” and, “I don’t understand the question.” The student is frustrated by the lack of help, or guidance from the teacher. The blogger ends the blog with the question: “Both Teacher and Student have a gripe. The question is this: Which one has a legitimate grievance?”

What amazed me was how the blogger was able to capture how accurate a typical math lesson would play out. How the student would have felt. The internal dialogue that would have occurred and the frustration he/she would have felt. The teacher, at the same time, feels the same frustration and the internal dialogue is so real that I remember many times thinking the same thing when interacting with students.

I get so caught up in what I want to say. I spend so much time making sure I’m very thorough with my content. With how I present it. How I say it. How I explain it. I pick the right examples. Break it down to teh best of my ability. Explain it. Ask questions to gauge if they understand. Make sure to give them opportunities to ask any questions they may have. Expand on questions that the few brave souls do ask. And then when I give them work, confident that I got through to them, it’s like I was never up at the front. I’m repeating or rephrasing things that I thought I said perfectly well. I’m left, like the teacher in the blog post, baffled, frustrated, and down right confused. What happened? What the heck were they thinking when I was up there? Did I wear something too distracting?

Worse, I’m left feeling insecure without even knowing what I did or didn’t do.

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Jealousy.

I hate the feeling. It leads to anger, or worse, sadness. And knowing me, it leads to self-reflection, turned to self analyzation, into self pity. UGH. I avoid this emotion/feeling at all cost. For a month, I’ve tried my hardest to turn this emotion into something productive. Hmm. Actually, no. To be honest, I’ve busted my ass avoiding confrontation with this emotion.

The reality is, I am Jealous.

My two besties are in Europe, having fun, meeting new friends, laughing their asses off, and dancing their nights and mornings away. I love both. I miss both. But I am jealous. Every time they send a picture, or text (which, most times is when they’re pissed drunk), I am thrilled for them. I truly am. But that thrill is slowly running out, replaced with, “GAAAHHH, stop throwing your happiness in my face!”

Given that this blog is all about things I would never say, or admit, I feel like no one here is going to label me selfish. Cause, God knows, if it was me on the other side reading this blog, I would be like, “Girl, get your shit together. Be happy for your friends!”

Most times, I am! It’s just… I want to be there. With them. Seeing new sites, learning new languages, dancing new moves. Ugh. I hate that I feel this way and worse, I hate that I can’t get over it.

I explained to my dad how I felt because I was with him when their recent texts came in. He said, “You are being like this because you don’t have a life. I’m sorry to say, but it’s true.”

-_-  I guess that’s a whole another whack of emotions to deal with. Sigh.

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Connected to the world.

It took reading Dan’s blog post (http://blog.mrmeyer.com/?p=13826), “Asking Interesting, Natural-Seeming Questions”, for me to frustratingly admit to myself how disconnected I am from the world. In my education classes right now, we’re always discussing about how to make our questions, lesson plans, material relevant to the world. Making connections, making relations, engaging the students. And I admit that it is all very, very overwhelming. I grew up with material and questions that didn’t related to the world; I definitely didn’t see calculus is my everyday activites. I left math at the door when I existed the class. Biology was only in Room 215 with Ms. Breton. Gym was the last block of Day 2s. I don’t know any other to learn and now I’m expected to come up with all these great ideas, great lesson plans that incorporate connections with the world when I… when I don’t even know what those connections even are.

The other day, in one of my classes, we discussed having labs be exploration based and someone suggested that students be given limited number of materials and be given the freedom to experiment, discover, and essentially explore. My anxiety rose instantly. I was suddenly stressed. As a student, I would have hated, HATED to be put in that position. I would have been lost, felt overwhelmed. I needed direction, guidance, someone to tell me what to do! The realization immediately embarrassed and humbled me. While everyone around me was contributing to the discussion and giving out really inspiring ideas, I sat there pondering my own head. Maybe I wasn’t an innovative as the other teachers, maybe I’m not as smart as they are, maybe I’m not as good as the rest. Maybe I won’t ever be able to make connections. Lots of lots of maybes went through my mind.

I want to be creative, I want my students to regard the world with curiosity. I want my kids to look at my material and look at the world through them. I want them to have perspective. I want all these things but I have no, NO idea how the hell I do that. And what sucks for me is knowing that there are so many other teachers that do. They already know. Before even being in the class and teaching, they already have these great ideas, great questions, great activities and I sit there trying to pick my jaw off the ground. It makes me wonder how disconnected I’ve become. A big part of me is jealous. That much I know. I know the feeling of jealousy and I feel it, a huge load of it. But then there’s a bigger part of me that fears. Fears that I will never be that teacher that has the important teachings, materials, and lectures that are mind blowing. Not because of the great amount of information that is given, but by the quality of insight that is provided. I fear that as my students leave through the classroom door, that that is where exactly they will leave me, leave my material, my teachings. At the door. Just as I left math. At the door.

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Gifs describing my week.

When reading – “Intersubjectivity is also necessary for sociodramatic play to be sustained and for it to serve as a zone of proximal development in which children advance their skills and understanding.”

Accepting the fact that I will be unemployed for a while after getting my degree.

When I realized the guy I was interested in was no longer interested.

When I babysat my nieces and nephew.

How I felt when my older cousins paid for my dinner.

After watching “Star Trek – Into Darkness” last week. I ended up watching it 3 times.

When my best friend told me her ex got a girl pregnant.

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What is the question, again?

I recently read a post by Michael, a math teacher, who brought up the topic of teaching “smarter” kids. (http://rationalexpressions.blogspot.ca/2013/02/strong-kids-v-weak-kids.html) After realizing that there was whole spectrum of different opinions on the topic, he had this to say:

Can anyone explain how there’s a disagreement this wide across the profession? Why does it seem straightforward to me that teaching students of low ability is harder, more challenging than teaching students of high ability? Why does it seem straightforward to others that this is a pernicious belief that ought to be challenged?

Is it harder? Is it straightforward? Do the majority of teachers feel this way? On his blog, he print screened a number of tweets responding to a teacher’s post. Who are these people responding? Are they even teachers? Is it a biased opinion? How many teachers are on twitter? Maybe some people are better at handling kids with low ability and thus, find them easier? What is going on!??! I’m scared! What if I’m not able to handle kids with low abilities! Gah!

Soooo, these were the thoughts that were running through my mind as I read his post. Mainly fear and the feeling of overwhelm. Once I got over this inconvenient phase, I re-read his post and really thought about it. If someone were to ask me which student would be harder to teach: a high-academic student or a low-academic student, I would have said the low-academic student in a heart beat. I wouldn’t have hesitated and this is why I instantly agreed with Michael. Of course it’s harder! There are so many issues that influence why a student is not performing well, that, as a teacher, can be difficult to handle. But the more I pondered that question, I reminded myself of my own experience in my short practicum.

As an upcoming teacher, I was terrified of my short practicum. I was worried about my ability to connect with the low-academic students. However, what I found was that the high-academic students were the hardest to deal with. They were the ones who resisted me, challenged me, questioned me, and quite frankly pissed me off. At one point, my mentor even had to step in because he could see I was having a tough time with them. Granted, it probably was my lack of class management, lack of confidence, and lack of structure. I can willingly say that my practicum went wonky due to the fact that I was thrown in without a life jacket, without swimming skills right into the deep end. And, in my experience so far, I saw how teaching high-academic students was hard.

BUT, I also have limited experience; don’t really know what I’m talking about; still don’t really know what I’m doing in class. Soooo, what is my opinion on this matter. Do I disagree or agree? What is the question, again? I guess, Michael, the question isn’t so straightforward as you might think.

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