Friday, May 12, 2006

12 of 12 and New Thing #76

I'm so tired right now I am beyond tired. I'm like a Courtney Love lyric right now, that's how tired I am. Um, that totally doesn't sound the way I meant it to sound (that's how tired I am). Like, I didn't mean to diss Courtney. I love Courtney. But doesn't she have a song where she's all "I'm so real I am beyond fake...I'm so tired I am beyond tired..." (???) Okay, maybe she doesn't.

May 12th just ended (about an hour and a half ago) and I did Chad Darnell's 12 of 12 Project again. (So did Babes--check it out.)

The 12 of 12 project rocks. I really want to write a Kiki Longpost style long-ass post (a LAP!) right now, because, as Rayanne Graff and Angela Chase would say, I had a day today, (actually, they would say they had a "time," not a "day," but I don't have the energy to be that nitpicky, nor do I have the energy to write a LAP right now.

So maybe I'll come back later and fill in more details. But for now, here's the story of my 12th day of the month, told via twelve photos.

#1: 1:45 a.m.: wherein I am still afuckingwake and I need to go to fuckingsleep, but I can't, so I make a list.

I recently got my substitute teaching permit, so I could make a little bit of extra cash here and there, in between writing gigs, and today I had my first teaching assignment. I would be subbing for a KINDERGARTEN class. Now, I'm good with kids. I know that. But I wasn't quite sure how good I would be with twenty of them. So last night I started to fret...and I continued to fret until early this morning. I went to bed at 2:00 a.m., even though I had to be at my classroom by 7:40 a.m. So much for sleep.

I would like to point out that the list I made at 1:45 a.m. this morning consists of the following things to do: Arrive at 7:40, leave at 7:10, clean car, pack bag lunch, mapquest directions, shave (with a question mark), and photocopy evaluation sheet.

I like the question mark after the note to shave. I think that's a nice touch. It's like, really? Do I really need to shave? And I also think it's funny that at 1:45 a.m. this morning, I honestly thought that I would wake up early enough to be out of the house by 7:10 and also have time to clean my motherfucking car.

#2: 6:53 a.m.: wherein I fucking wake up at 6:53 a.m. despite the fact that I am planning on being out of the house by 7:10 a.m. and I still need to pack my bag lunch, get mapquest directions to the school, shave (with a question mark), photocopy my evaluation sheet to leave at the school, and possibly clean my car (though this does not have a question mark on my to do list).

#3: 7:45 a.m.: wherein I arrive at my destination and have no fucking clue what I'm going to do for the next seven hours with twenty five-year-olds and I cannot find a lesson plan.

The kids in the above photo are the kids I am about to meet. The blonde woman they're standing with is the woman I am subbing for who has left no lesson plan for me, here on my first foray into the world of substitute teaching, having taken the CBest but not having any sort of teaching credentials, and starting to get slightly terrified as I realize I have no idea what I am going to do with these kids for the next seven hours. Holy mother of god.

#4: 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.: wherein a girl named Daisy whips me into shape and I become a substitute teacher (New Thing #76: I taught a kindergarten class)

So basically, all of the kids show up, and I'm like, "hey kids, I have no fucking idea what to do with you guys, I'm Mr. Patterson, what are your names," but I don't say fucking because they're five-year-olds and I'm not an idiot. It turns out that one of the kids is supposed to be the "classroom leader" for the day. (Normally, I would have a teacher's aide with me, but the teacher's aide is out sick too.) My "classroom leader" is this very talkative girl named Daisy. Daisy tells me what to do.

"First you have to take attendence, then we talk about what day today is, then we talk about the weather, then we sing the song about the days of the week, then we..."

(etc. etc., and on and on)

It's great. She's brilliant. I do not know where I would be without Daisy. We spend the first hour of the day doing about five million brilliant things. And that's when I find the lesson plan the teacher left for me. It was sitting on a random chair in the corner of the room and I somehow missed it (because it was on a random chair in the corner of the room). I look over the lesson plan. It very carefully lays out what we are supposed to do between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. Unfortunately, thanks to Daisy's diligence, we've already literally burned through EVERY SINGLE ACTIVITY the teacher has listed on her lesson plan. And it's only 9 a.m.

#5: 10 a.m.-ish: wherein lots of kids have to go to the bathroom.

Even though I've totally burned through all of the prepared activities for the day, I start to get the hang of things. I read them stories. We do some counting exercises. We make Mother's Day Cards. We read more stories. We sound out words. We write words on the board. We rock. We rule. The kids love me. Even Michael, the "problem child." (At the beginning of the day, his father introduces him to me by saying "he's the one who's going to get into trouble," and later when I meet one of the other kindergarten teachers, she asks me, "so how's that trouble-maker Michael treating you?" But Michael's a good kid. Sure, he spends half the day crawling underneath his desk, and he hits someone, and he pokes his eye and cries, and he won't sit still, and he talks when I'm trying to talk, and he won't do any of his work, and things like that, but he also comes up to me at the end of the day and tells me I'm the best teacher ever and he genuinely seems to mean it.

Oh, another thing: the above picture is of the yellow yarn necklaces that the kids have to wear as "hall passes" when they want to go to the "bathroom." (There was absolutely no reason to put quotes around the word "bathroom," I just thought it would be funny to put quotes around the word "bathroom.") I took a picture of the yellow yarn necklaces because they were a huge part of my day. Literally every five minutes a new kid would come up to me and ask me if they could go to the bathroom. Apparently children have to pee a lot.

#6: 11:30 a.m.: wherein I sit at the teacher's desk and eat lunch, savoring the once-again quiet classroom.

Check it out: it's my first day as a teacher and I've got an apple on my desk! (Sure, I brought the apple myself, but still: I'm a teacher with an apple!)

#7: 11:30 a.m. to 1:35 p.m.: wherein the rest of the day goes by really really fast.

This was supposed to be a picture of the classroom, but because my cameraphone is haunted, it distorted the picture. I think that the distortion is appropriate, however, because the rest of the school day really did go quite fast and having twenty five-year-old kids swirling about you for half a day really does feel like this photograph looks.

#8: 2:05 p.m.: wherein I finally take my shoes off and let my feet get some air and then I show a picture of my dirty dirty foot to the entire world (or at least the small portion of the world that reads my blog).

I hate wearing shoes. I am not a shoe-wearer. I wear flip-flops. It's just what I do. Because I hate wearing shoes. Because I am not a fucking shoe-wearer.

Except when you do something like substitute teach a kindergarten class, you're really supposed to, like, wear shoes. So I wore shoes all the goddamned day, and by the time my day at the kindergarten was over I honestly felt like my feet might fall off.

#9: 3:30 p.m.: wherein I get lots of whipped cream in my beard.

Fortunately I've learned that when you have as much facial hair as I suddenly have, you must make sure to wipe your beard after every sip of hot chocolate with whipped cream, otherwise you'll get a lot of whipped cream in your suddenly long beard.

#10: 6:05 p.m.: wherein I get tired of these little "wherein" sentences and I get annoyed that this photograph won't let me make it bigger than it is right now, unlike all of the other photos which are normal sized, and I realize that I'm so tired that I might actually fall asleep before I get to photo number 12.

This evening I went to a wake for an old friend, Pat, who lived in the house across the street from me while I was growing up, who I have known for 25 years, who died this week of congestive heart failure at the age of 70. She used to get together with friends on her front lawn every evening for drinks and so that's what we did tonight in her honor. The flag is hers.

#11: 7:13 p.m.: wherein it starts to get gloomy out!

Look at that ominous sky. This picture makes me feel like I'm in Twin Peaks.

#12: 8:00 p.m.: wherein I eat Kraft Macoroni and Cheese for dinner and even though the picture makes it looks gross it tastes so fucking good.

Seriously, why does Kraft Macaroni and Cheese taste so FUCKING GOOD? Why?


BONUS PIC: self portrait:

This is a really goofy picture. At least, I think it is.


Bonnie said...

Lah-ti-dah... first again.

Is the contest OVER or something? ;)

Bonnie said...

1. You rock. This is so awesome. Your life is way cool.

2. I want to be Daisy when I grow up. She's very fantastic.


4. I am distressed that Michael has been dubbed the "problem child" by so many already in his young life that he is going to have to BE the problem child even though he probably ISN'T really the "problem child." I'm sad.

5. I totally wondered if you were going to comment on all of the whereins and loved that you did, when you did, and how you did. I'm such a fan.

6. Pretty decent LAP from KLP (KiKi LongPost) considering what a crazy day you had! Wow! Such a day!

7. I'm terribly impressed that you got your CBEST. I never bothered doing that, when I came to LA in '93, even though I'd been subbing in Hotlanta for a year by then. (Shut up about how old I am, okay?) It just seemed like a lot of work to test for something I only planned to do a little bit. So, I tutored instead. But I did enjoy my subbing life in ATL. It was such a nice diversion sometimes.

8. I'm sorry for your loss. {{hugs}} to you and to Pat's family.

9. That mac&cheese does look icky... but yummy. Crazy how it does that.

10. I have now posted my terribly boring 12 of 12. Looks like, based on the "recent comments" area of Chad's blog, you and I should be linked somewhere close to one another--and close to Babes--assuming Chad does the linking in the order comments were posted. SUCH responsibility he has taken on! And very cool.

communicatrix said...

Christ baby Jesus. You are on FIRE with this blog!

Well, I am just enjoying the ride. Great story. Great coverage. What can I say? Except (a) catch up on your sleep and (b) I think Bonnie probably *is* Daisy, she just hasn't copped to it yet...

christy said...

Erik, this is the best thing ever!

I'm jealous you get so much more in-depth comments from your readership.

I also had the exact sentiment Bonnie did about the "problem child". Poor baby Michael. Grownups suck.

Daisy kicks ass. And Bonnie is Daisy.

12 of 12 *was* fun. Even though now a little part of me is going, "Waaaa, *I* want to teach a kindergarten class for *my* 12 of 12!"

Kindergarten was just about my favorite year ever (EVEN though my kindergarten teacher was SOOO mean...Bonnie *I* was the problem kid! And you were Daisy!) I became more who I would always be at six than any other year, I think.

Oh and I love that the list you made for yourself goes UP.

And I hate shoes, too. I am using the word hate here, to describe shoes.

I'm going to go make myself mac & cheese for breakfast.


PUK said...

Thanks for sharing your day - sounds like lots of fun ;) And really good to hear that you made such a connection with Michael.
Hope you'll keep enjoying teaching...
I was actually a bit sad that the 12th was a national holiday in Denmark, cause I wanted to share lots of nice teacher-funny-students-moments. Look out for 12th of June... A Monday never fails for good entertainment in school ;)

Bonnie said...

Babes, I love this line of yours: I became more who I would always be at six than any other year, I think. LOVE.

I don't want to think that is true for me (and I didn't do grade school until partway through the 3rd grade, so I don't know if I was Daisy at age five or six b/c I was a Montissori kid--where we were ALL freakin' Daisies), but I really loved the line nonetheless.

frank's wild lunch said...

This gave me flashbacks to my Teach For America days. Except your day sounds pleasant, and not like torture.

How was the CBEST?

frank's wild lunch said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ralph Colby said...

Very nice day Erik.
Begins with the unbound energy of youth and ends with an old spirit coming to rest under a starry night's sky.

Erik said...

BonBon, the contest is SO not over, you're just really good at getting First. Or, also, I don't get as many hits on Friday nights, when both of these posts went live, so there aren't as many people vying for First.

1. I agree with Colleen and Christy, you are totally Daisy.

2. I'm sad about how people look at Michael too. He was a really good kid.


4. It was a really long day, and it also included a really long phone conversation that I didn't blog about, but that was also really good and nice, but that's for another post, perhaps.

5. You're not old at all. So stop shutting me up about me saying how old you are, because you are NOT old.

6. The CBest was a piece of cake. I actually didn't think I was going to do very well on it because it had been FOREVER since I'd taken a test of any kind, but then while I was taking it, I remembered why I liked school so much, especially the essay portion of the test. I ROCKED the essay portion. It was fun.

7. I'm not replying to your comments in an orderly fashion, i.e. my "7" doesn't reply to your "7." Oh well.

8. Thank you for the condolences (which IS in reply to your "8").

9. I think Kraft putes Kocaine in their Mac n Cheese.

10. Did you notice, Chad posted both of our links! There are a couple of people in between our links, unfortunately--I was hoping our links would be side by side!

Erik said...

CoCo, thank you! I really DO need to catch up on my sleep, but I'm glad that the blog (and my sleep deprivation) is not for naught!

Erik said...

Babes, I love that you ate mac n cheese for breakfast today. (DID YOU REALLY DO IT???)

I also love that you hate shoes.

And I agree with BonBon on the whole "I became more who I would always be at six than any other year" thing being a great line.

But like BonBon, I don't think that's true for me either. I think I become more who I would always be when I was ten. When I took for first acting class, which got me out of my shell. Before I was ten, I was in a really big shell. (I still have the shell, I'm just not in it as much as I was before I took that first acting class at ten.)

Erik said...

PUK--what do you teach? I look forward to your 12 of 12 next month on a teaching day. How much freaking fun is 12 of 12?

Erik said...

Kyle (fwl), the CBest really wasn't that bad. I got one of those practice test books, which are supposedly way harder than the test, and I took a couple shots at the practice tests, which I did really bad at, and then I thought "these really better be harder than the real thing," and fortunately they were.

Erik said...

Dad, I really like that summation of my day.
Bloggingly yours,

Bonnie said...

1. I'm only really good at being first when it's while everyone else is out being social. Duh! Errrrr. Old married woman. (Can you tell I'm getting antsy about my next birthday?)

2. I know, I know... I'm Daisy. They called me "Susie Policy" when I was a bartender and corporate trainer at Chili's. I was the best "perfect fold"-er at the Gap. This is WHY I must work for myself. If I were to attempt to fit in in the corporate world, I would have to be Bill Gates or Donald Trump or Martha Stewart or else I'd be miserable, going up the ladder. I've no patience for dues-paying. My way is right and you all just better learn it, dig?


4. Ooh! Another new thing? Or just another entry? Either way, fun!

5. Kraft is way Krafty that way.

6. I did! But even though we're not RIGHTTOGETHER, we're close and that's cool. Close to Babes too. Her photos rock. Of course, I'm a little bummed that other folks get comments at their blogs from Chad but NOT ME. Now I feel like Babes must feel about The Rhetorical Letter Writer commenting on us but not her. Wow. It's like high school all over again!

7. Still glad I did the challenge. Hopefully June 12th will be far more entertaining. Like maybe we'll be in audition sessions for a film or something and I'll take photos of actors and act all like Simon on "American Idol" or somesuch.

Erik said...

Wait, Chad is commenting on other people's 12 of 12's?????

He hasn't commented on mine either.

Now I feel uncool too.

We're SO high school.

Erik said...

BonBon, I just replied to all of your last comment, and then I lost my wireless and lost the comment and I am SO ANNOYED AT TECHNOLOGY right now.

Erik said...

The important things that I said, that I remember off the top of my head, right now, quickly, were:

1. So when is this birthday that's fast approaching...?


4. Let's just say I have a new crush.

Bonnie said...

Yippee!!!!!!! New crush, new crush! Yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bonnie said...

Dude! FIRST comment here!!! ;)

Erik said...

Okay, yeah, I knew he had commented there, but I was trying to commiserate, and he hasn't commented on THIS 12 of 12! ;)

christy said...

1) I really, really want a new crush. Really. For real. There have to be some crush worthy guys out there who would kill to have me crush on them. It's the power of saying shit outloud, people.

2) Erik, yes I *DID* have mac and cheese for breakfast! Granted it was not Kraft, it was tree-hugging Whole Foods mac & cheese but hello, you can charge me a buck more and it is still mac & cheese. And I did use soy milk because that's what I had so it was VERY tree-hugging mac & cheese. And I ate the ENTIRE BOX. It was so fucking good. With Louisiana Hot Links which I think were turkey or chicken. But not free range chicken. I don't think.


4) What can I say? I was just a prodigy, all self-actualized at six. (LAUGH). I have SO MANY stories from that year. I remember it so well.

Btw I think we all have internal ages, and no matter how old we get we are always that age on the inside, and the year our chronological age meets up with our inner age is like the zennest year of our lives. And well, I think on the inside I will always be in kindergarten. Which sounds a lot worse than it *feels*.

And I think Scat was born a graduate student. Personally.

5) I think Chad comments on everyone's. He ran a freaking 5K this morning and starts his dream job on Monday (his blog about it made me want to write for TV again). (But then your blog made me want to teach kindergarten.)

6) You just had to rub it in that the Rhetorical Letter Writer has not left me a comment...DIDN'T YOU.

7) You're a Cancer, so your b-day is sometime between June 22 and July 21. I think.

8) Are you going to have a birthday party?

9) Erik, my mom and dad are going to visit the weekend of July 15th. So prepare the gay.

10) Scat, I'm so glad you think my pictures rock!

christy said...

Oh and, not that it's here or there, but Chad had my link up before he went to bed last night.

Erik said...

Well, Chad obviously likes you better than he likes us, Christy. (If I knew how to make italics in comments, which I know is possible, but which I can't remember the code for right now, and this is a terrible sentence, grammatically speaking, or whatever, then I would italicize "obviously" to be extra snarky.)

Bonnie said...

Re: And I think Scat was born a graduate student. Personally.

Totally. As I read your comment about the internal ages, I pondered, "Hmm... what would mine be? 28? Probably." And then you said it. Hee! You SO know me!!!!!!

Re: I think Chad comments on everyone's.

I thought so too, last month. But when I didn't get one from him today, I knew I just wasn't cool enough. :( Apparently, I want to feel blue today. Don't mind me. Just facing some shit.

Re: You just had to rub it in that the Rhetorical Letter Writer has not left me a comment...DIDN'T YOU.

Oh, Babes, I'm soooooo sorry. I wasn't trying to rub it in. I was totally trying to feel better about no Chad. I mean, b/c really, at least we know who Chad is. RLW is a mystery!! I so love that!

Re: You're a Cancer, so your b-day is sometime between June 22 and July 21. I think.

Don't know exactly what the start/stop days are, but I'm Seven-Eleven, baby! Woo!

Re: Are you going to have a birthday party?

Who knows!?! It's summertime! That's crazy stuff! Every day is a party, baby!

Re: Scat, I'm so glad you think my pictures rock!

They totally do! While I think most folks will love the taking a piss photos (which rock), my two favorites were the journal photo (I so totally tried to read as much as I could in it--and I loved that you were writing in your IRL journal about blogging) and the view your boss has of your ass while you get water at your NO LONGER JOB. So so so cool! Awesome!

Bonnie said...

Re: Oh and, not that it's here or there, but Chad had my link up before he went to bed last night.

It's TOTALLY here AND there! I noticed that and thought, "Wow. It's like he knew he could go to bed because all was right with the world. Babes McPhee had done her 12." I thought that was way cool.

Re: (If I knew how to make italics in comments, which I know is possible, but which I can't remember the code for right now, and this is a terrible sentence, grammatically speaking, or whatever, then I would italicize "obviously" to be extra snarky.)

You can either do this < i > and < / i > (without the spaces) or just *indicate* italics just like that. ;) Oh, how I loves me some "shift-8." Hee!

Erik said...

This is a test.

j-dō said...

Welcome to the world of children! Do you love the power of saying anything and the children actually (usually) do it? Kindergarteners especially will believe anything.

One time when i was student teaching in a k class, it was on halloween and i told the kids i was listening to the radio and this really fuzzy scratchy voice come on and say 'candy will not be passed out this year to trick or treaters, only fruits and vegetables can be handed out'. the panic on their faces was priceless.

Anonymous said...

Did you say putes? Like he putes his apple on the desk so the k-kids will know he's a teacher for real? I really like that you see through Michael's problem-child persona to the real boy underneath. Hope he gets a teacher like you soon who can give him that positive reinforcement every day.


Dave said...

Two things struck me about this post. I was going to say three, but I think three must be either just not talked about, or the "problem number."

I so agree with Bonnie on poor Michael.And I am SOO happy that you see him as a good kid.

Obviously teachers have an incredible impact on kids, I know I'm where I am because I was lucky enough to have enganging teachers who took the time to answer questions I was always afraid of asking or just taking the time period.

Erik, I'm so glad you're a teacher, and I have no doubt that Michael will remember you for a very long time. I know there's one substitute teacher, Mr. Brown, who was with us for only a week, and I still remember him to this day.

Good work. Oh, and cute foot too!

jeffro said...

so...tell us more about this crush...

Anonymous said...

you don't have to be a teacher, erik. keep writing.


Erik said...

Jen (j-do), I always love your teaching stories. You don't know how many times I have told your "suck it" story. Honestly. Thousands of times. I am not even exaggerating.

Erik said...

PAM, yes, I did fucking say "putes," you got a problem with that?

Erik said...

Dave, thanks for the words, maybe I'll sub for Michael's class again one of these days. They were all good kids.

This week I'm subbing for a high school Physics class and for a junior high school PE class.

Which should be fun. (depending on how you define fun)

Erik said...

Jeffro, you are incorrigible.

Erik said...

Lindsay, don't worry, I'm just teaching for some extra money and for the new experiences. The writing is where it's at in the long run.


Bonnie said...

Heeeeeee! There is no THREE! Heeeeeeee!

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