Posts tagged ‘substitute’

June 3, 2010

Why we should understand if a teacher at a run-down school has a drinking problem


There are times I wish I had a destructive habit like smoking or alcoholism. Not to relieve stress but purely for aesthetic purposes. Honestly, since graduating I barely have one alcoholic drink a month. I will not actively go out to get said habits since that’s…well… dumb (dumber than most of my posts even), especially since alcoholism actually runs in my family.

Every time I look at a glass of vodka or whiskey I can hear my late Dziadek yelling violently somewhere in the background. However, the only way to shut him up is to drink it.

But I’m getting ahead of myself here. Sometimes hangovers can be fun, fun in the “god I feel like shit but at the same time I feel awesome cause I’m a goddamn ROCKSTAR” kinda way. You carry this stupid grin on your face the entire time because the pain isn’t so bad as to render you immobile so much as it numbs everything else. You also tend to walk around like Johnny Depp in the Pirates movies. Feels good man.

There were a few times I went to schools and came home realizing that if I did work there on a normal basis, I would become said alcoholic. But good sir! you say, Teachers must be the model citizen for students to embody!

Okay, it wasn't this bad but you get the idea.

Here’s the thing.

1. I’m not really a teacher in the truest sense… yet.

2. I don’t actually have a second point since that logic is pretty good. But I’m going to ignore it for the remainder of this post because I think it was a humorous train of thought.

3. Oh! Does leading by negative example count?

Anyway, one day I accepted a job for a school whose district I had yet to go to. I checked out the school and saw that it was close to 8-mile. I shrugged it off at first, after all it wasn’t actually in Detroit. The school actually looked nice from the outside, they were even building a new fancy wing of the school alongside the mile road. Yet when I walked inside I noticed metal detectors, first big tip. The classes were bare, with these tiny TVs that I think are older than my parents bolted and chained down in the highest corners. No computers in sight either. Most important to me however, were the lack of any form of lesson plans. There was a stack of worksheets so I ended up giving that to the first class. The first half of the class went well since everyone was still waking up, but by the second half it got loud.

Really REALLY loud.

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March 13, 2010

On Snowstorms and Gym Class


Cleaning up after a snow storm in Boreal, Cali...

This is pretty accurate

Unintentionally, I ended up working for a district that does not really enjoy having snow days, even on days that it should. (Seeing as that I actually went to some of these schools years ago, I should have seen this coming). On one particular morning,  I looked out my window and saw the snow falling and the roads caked with a substance that would both prevent me from going where I wanted to go and try to slide me into a tree. At the same time. Since I had agreed to the job a few days prior, I was not allowed to cancel it. Well, I could have but it would have involved calling the head of Human Resources for the district and asking her to fire me.

The drive itself was bad, but nothing that I haven’t gone through before.  However, I’m used to driving in these conditions in my tiny little Focus and made it on time. Somehow.

Walking into the school, I found myself hearing, “Why the hell are we here?” from both faculty members and students alike. The snow didn’t stop falling and I spent much of the day staring out the window watching as the sidewalk, which was plowed sometime ago, disappear under a white blanket. I would like to say that I was actually admiring the beauty and power of nature, but I was mainly dreading the ride home. In many classes a good quarter of the students had parents who loved them and decided that they should have stayed home anyway, which was good for me. You see, I-like many teachers-love small class sizes for many reasons. Some reasons are noble. For example, you can actually teach kids better, there’s less distractions, you can manage them more effectively. Other than that, I enjoy them because they’re easier to get the attention of-and thereby-toy with.

However, it is impossible to mess with a gym class. Those kids are there to run around and use up that excess energy derived from raging hormones;  there’s not a damn thing you can do to stop them.

For the gym class there was another teacher who was there to co-teach with me. He told me that he expected about 20 students to be absent for the class that hour, out of the 100. I began to laugh nervously, “You’re kidding right?” The distant look in his eyes was one that you see often in mental patients, lost in a world in their heads, a better world far more colorful and wonderful than our own. No, he wasn’t. This became all too apparent when they started piling in.

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January 16, 2010

The Start of DIY Fame and Fortune Or The Start of a Long Winded Suicide Note


I don’t know if this was the result of sobering up or becoming intoxicated (the memory is pretty hazy), but I do remember what I was thinking: I was laying on the floor of my bedroom, my eyes wide open on the unchanging ceiling, as I said to myself  “If I don’t have anything published by the end of my 23rd year, I’m going to shoot myself.”

Now this wasn’t out of any sort of depressed notion or self pity; I was pretty happy at that moment and feeling ridiculously confident. So confident that I didn’t really mind that my friends were shooting off fireworks at 3am in my neighbor’s backyard. (The cops never came when she called anyway). While I have been busy finishing college, getting a house, and working, I have yet to publish anything. I have recently realized, being a month into 23, that I have to do something soon or blow my brains out.

Now, I realize the 19-year-old-me wasn’t that smart, so he didn’t bother with any fine print. He didn’t consider self-publishing, or even self publishing on the internet. (‘Cause that totally counts). So that’s where this comes in. I will chronicle my attempts to get myself published in various forms of media and if by the end of the year I’ve gotten nothing done,  I’ll still have this… blog. So HA! take that Younger Me! You may have a freezer stocked with booze and strange cacti but I have a degree now and therefore am certifiably smarter than you!

But then again, being out of college is a different world. There is no longer an uncaring adviser who will send you back and forth from building to building in order for you to sort of find the right answer that you will only realize is wrong by the middle of the next semester! You’re on your own, and nobody gives a damn about you. Not only that, but once you’ve graduated you realize you now have the rest of your life to either succeed at your life’s ambitions, or horribly fail at them. (Usually the idea of failure is the only thing that actually comes to mind).

Maybe this constant reminder of what my dreams are/were will take it’s toll on me and I will become a shell of a man, regretfully looking back at what I could have been. I will only be able to stare mournfully at my shattered dreams as if they were a dead kitten laying on the cold pavement. The weight of my failure will transform me to the point that I am no longer recognizable and my fiancee will leave me, saying I am no longer the same man that I once was. This will cause me to become an alcoholic; and in a sad, drunken stupor one night in some back alley of Detroit I will finally end it my life by blowing my brains out all over the wall of an abandoned building. (And you would enjoy that wouldn’t you internet).

Or, you know, I just might succeed, but where’s the fun in considering that?

Until one of the two outcomes comes to fruition, since I’m obviously not going to be able to fill this damn thing with simply myself trying to get published, I’ll give you my dear (currently non-existent) readers stories of the horrors of post-college life. Everything from working a job that requires no degree (even though you are surrounded by people in the same position with higher degrees), becoming a substitute teacher, and probably other stories that have nothing to do with anything. And while you may be thinking “Well gee Mister,” because you do talk like that, you know, “that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.”

Well that’s too bad. (But keep reading anyway.) You see, I have this problem in life where I often do things and crack jokes only caring if I find them funny. Sometimes going out of my way to make a big show out of a really bad joke, which I think makes it funny in a really, really stupid way. I enjoy being over-the-top (as you may have noticed already) which also gets me annoyed stares and in trouble. My sense of humor is off, I’ll admit, so my bar is pretty low. I can’t even take myself seriously. There is no need to feel sorry for me, because in the end, I am easily amused.

Fozzie Bear is my idol.

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