Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Things I Would Prefer NOT to Do with My Time: a Rant

Two totally unrelated inconveniences:

  • I have had a class of seniors this year irritate me out of all proportion. During a career that has spanned a number of different decades, with a long stretch of non-teaching in the middle, I have taught drug dealers, a murderer, a student later convicted as a serial rapist, and assorted other "real" bad guys. I have seldom had a class that has irritated me this much. As a group they are brighter than the average English IV class, but they seem to want to appear to be as idiotic as possible. The class is mostly boys, and it is during the one period when administrative help is unavailable because both administrators are on lunch duty. Come to think of it, make it mostly HUNGRY boys. And it is the spring of their senior year. Most of them have just attained legal adulthood and are in that weird limbo created by the law in which they still have to have a note to have an excused absence but can legally write their own. This particular class acts like 3-year-olds, literally bouncing up and down for attention, all of them at the same time. They are insufferably and unrepentantly rude. I've been doing an activity-based approach to the study of Macbeth, based on the Shakespeare Set Free ideas from the Folger Library and other activities that I have hunted down over the years. Friday, I had to quit that approach with this particular class because it was pandemonium. Now they are grounded. They are reading the play silently to themselves and filling out answers to study questions. Frankly, they won't learn much about Macbeth this way, but they are gradually getting the idea of settling down. They are learning a life lesson. Yesterday took 3/4 of the period for them to really become acceptably quiet, which at this point I'm defining as total silence. Today it was 1/2 a period. I think I got their attention when I pointed out that the questions one could ask about Shakespeare are infinite in number and there are only 38 more days of school until graduation. They should never mess with a post-menopausal woman who was once the parent of a couple of teenagers. I am not one to say, "My children never acted like that!" but in this case I'm pretty sure that statement would be correct. That doesn't mean that they didn't do some other things, just not these particular ones. Unfortunately, I have to grade all those study questions. That's the downside.

  • I ordered a lovely dress from Gymboree for my granddaughter's birthday present. The party will be on Saturday. I have been tracking the package, which was sent to my home address. The tracking information came through the UPS web site. Someone was at home for the expected delivery yesterday. The tracking said that they attempted delivery at 10:07 a.m. Delivery failed, and they left a notice. We hunted everywhere for that notice. This morning my DH even chased down the UPS man, who didn't know anything about the package. He is not, however, the only UPS man who comes to town, so we were stymied. We do not have porch delivery from the US Post Office. Instead we have rural boxes at the curb. We do have one of the big rural boxes, by the way. My DH went in the post office this morning for something, and they gave him the bag with the dress, which was actually smaller than many packages I get in my mailbox. Sure enough, I found the delivery attempt notice in the mailbox, from the US Post Office, not UPS. How was I supposed to know to look there? How was I supposed to know that the package was coming through the USPS when the tracking said UPS? Why didn't they just put the package in the mailbox in the first place? And what is the point of having tracking on your company web site if you are going to ship in such a convoluted fashion?

1 comment:

Deb said...

I am having similar problems with one of my classes, only they are 6th graders. My partner and I redistributed a couple of students to break up a couple of combos for 4th quarter, and so far it has seemed to help. I know that's not an option for you. Some kids are just down right rude!