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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Sub 21

I finally hit 21 without going over. I guess I win.

Today I was a "Behavioral Disorder" teacher. They normally have two to five kids in a classroom with almost as many paras. Today a couple were absent. I read a book off of the teacher's shelf most of the day, though I did spend some time with a boy working on his reading. We were working on Paul Bunyan, and Sam was answering some questions from the reading. I found out some surprising things:

1. Paul Bunyan's deeds included squishing people.
2. Lumberjacks cut down trees and try to avoid being squished.
3. Babe, the giant blue ox, was particularly good at squishing people.
4. Without trees, we would die from lack of oxygen and Paul Bunyan cut down trees, therefore Paul Bunyan was bad.

This last one in particular seemed like a very modern take on a traditional story. However, while all tall tales have their own particular embellishments, I can't recall ever reading a version of Paul Bunyan in which people got squished. I think it's time for a new version.

The book I read was book 10 of Lemony Snickett's "A Series of Unfortunate Events," The Slippery Slope. It was amusing, to be sure, but I'm not sure if I could sit through all ten of them, even if they do go quickly. I am sure that I'm not willing to pay for all ten. I do enjoy his style though, and have a quote to offer:

"Fate is like a strange, unpopular restaurant, filled with odd waiters who bring you things you never asked for and don't always like."

If a book chock full of sentences like this (click on "Search Inside" and read some bits) and plotlines to match appeals to you, you should pick one up. If, like me, you grew up reading stories of precocious children saving the day and having happy endings, you might enjoy this for a change. It has no happy endings. Briefly hopeful middles, but the horrible things keep coming. Fun stuff.

Anyway, the subbing was very low key. I guess I don't mind having a day like that from time to time, especially the Monday after a holiday. But I really prefer doing some teaching. It was a good opportunity to watch teachers deal with problem kids. Ultimately it's all about offering them a clear choice with consequences and rewards, also clearly laid out. Of course, they have to be followed up honestly and fairly. It seemed to me that if these kids had been getting the same thing at home, they wouldn't necessarily be in a behavioral disorder classroom.

Shock of the day: A fourth grade boy telling me with glee about a movie he had seen in which one guy cut off another guy's hand, and the blood went all over and it was cool.

Well, I need to get to bed. It is likely that I will get called at six a.m. tomorrow to sub some more. After no subbing last week, I really need to get more in.

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A Brief Introduction

Roblog is my writing lab. It is my goal to not let seven days pass without a new post. I welcome your criticism, as I cannot improve on my own.

Here is a link to my cung post, which remains the only word which I have ever invented, and which has not, as far as I know, caught on. Yet.