November 2006 Archives

He used to hit me. And I used to bite him right back. As children, we fought about who got the bigger piece of candy, and as we grew older, we fought about who was ruining whose life more. This is my little brother. And at 20, he has only recently sort of become tolerable. As I sat across from one of my students with emotional and behavioral disturbances today, I was swept back to the days when I would lecture and moan at my brother to behave and finish his homework so that Mom wouldn't get mad. He never ...


What is Thanksgiving like on the Navajo Nation? Thanksgiving is paper turkeys adorning my classroom door with all that we’re thankful. Thanksgiving is a whole community gathering for a turkey dinner on Wednesday in the cafeteria. Thanksgiving is going around the cafeteria and getting hugs from a dozen moms, dads, grandmas, grandpas and aunties who barely looked twice at me last year. (And reminders from them to not party too hard this weekend in Washington, D.C.) For all who wonder what it’s like to teach and celebrate Thanksgiving with Native Americans, I have no real insights for ...


A month and a half ago, Chinese people around the world celebrated the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival, a joyous holiday of telling legends of the Moon Lady, eating moon cakes and gathering with friends and family. Too bad I didn't find out about it until the day after. In an e-mail. In a forwarded cartoon message from my mom. Apparently I am not very good at being Chinese. I attended a high school with a population of about 30% Asian Americans, but had few friends of Asian descent. I subscribe to Asian American women's magazines, but am illiterate in Chinese. I ...


I am not updating the blog today. This week’s Tuesday blog entry is about how I am not updating. I am not updating because I am frustrated, tired and stressed out. I am a full-time-plus (my own special term for overtime-less workers out there who work 60-plus hours per week, but get paid for 2/3 of that time) teacher who attends graduate school at night and on the weekend. I am a grant writer, a behavior committee member, an after-school tutor, a dormitory piano teacher, an Art Club sponsor and a Thursday night karaoke singer. I am tired. ...


11:30 a.m., is fourth period resource math class. We are a month behind in our standards. A quarter of the class is failing. Some need help with multiplication. Others need work on counting nickels. So it only makes sense that last Friday at 11 a.m., I was 1,136 miles away from fourth period resource math class and combing through wool cable sweaters at the Banana Republic in the Rio Grande Valley. I bought one. It's white. It is one of those forgotten lessons that is only briefly mentioned in teacher prep classes, lost among talk about ...


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