Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Sound Of Music

Didn't it jive, didn't it jangle?  Don't forget that when you are out on an assignment.  Put that into your step.  Don't miss a beat.  You'll get to Berlin and beyond.  Don't lose heart because of the Pacing Guides, the Pep-T, the reprimand about not being H.Q. (highly qualified) in a subject mastered by philosophers.  The logic of it runs through your veins.  Prove it. You're right, there is no space on the Learning Targets section of the map to list compassion, heart, not giving up.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

It Was And It Wasn't

My cover was nearly blown yesterday when I submitted an request for union help on the beat.  I was unceremoniously dumped.  Ah, those pacing guides, the P.G.'s.  The bane of teachers in the current system.  And what is at stake?  A shifting landscape, much like the sands of time.  A map of the curriculum.  A detailed document, alive on excel. It seemed that the only way check if there was still life left in my body was to check my airway, breathing, and circulation.  I couldn't find it on the map.  Was this a trick?  My teaching nowhere live and living but a series of numbers, old Soviet Bloc initials, very Bond-like but I was not altogether game.  The plan?  The Crucible, Canterbury Tales.  Old stories of imagination, passion, and silliness.  Life and Death. The struggle to survive afer basic needs are met.  I still detect a heartbeat, a faint one.  A fainthearted yelp, swallow, and ribcage movement.  Another throwaway.  Another bit for the trash heap although it has taken my life to add to it, to make a mess this large and step away from it, never to take a second glance.  Isn't that what the greats in the biz do?  All in a day's work?  I searched the faces of my fellow bureaucrats.  None of them flinched.  It was muddy as usual outside of U-Building.  The usual slickness on the moss, the moldy edges of the building, mildew all the way up the side of H-Building like a cancer, a forgotten fire, a stain.  Where would all my gathered information go?  The teachers were so afraid of their workplaces that they couldn't even leave minutes on the database for fear of repercussion/Pep-T/bad gossip.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

To Data or Not to Data?

This is the question.  Wishing for the answer and not getting one, I removed myself from the action.  The action of my mind.  That is where the data exists.  It is up to another master detective to figure out all the lonely causes, the updates, the interferences, the slices.  I should have told myself another little story but it was remarkable that one did not exist.  At least, not in that form.  It wasn't all it was cracked up to be.  The form and content of my journey spiked.  The pressure.  All that pressure of the data.

Other teachers have made it up as they go along.  This is probably a good idea.  One that I will keep in mind and save for a rainy day.  It is supposed to be a chance.  A chance to remain in the next phase of these continuing dialogues.  They are somewhat Socratic, somewhat word wallish.  Anyhow, I gave the students the chalk.  It was a first step.  A step in the right direction.  Could I announce to the world, case solved! or not?  I think that the remainder of the day would be spent in dreamtime--a walkabout--although it was my mind walking about, not anyone else.  It was the other sort of world that was the beginning.  A dream detected.  Would I stay glued to O Magazine or proceed with my master plan?  I tore myself away from someone playing the violin (her passion, followed) and looked sideways.  The only thing I could really see was a nest of computer terminals and beyond, a dim sky, patches of sunshine, and rotting buildings that formed the basis of a school on an island in the middle of the Pacific, approximately 20 miles away from a live vent of the volcano.  As the crow flies.  Or used to fly. 

It wasn't the best but it also wasn't the worst.  My only frustrations with formative instruction are that they cannot be contained.  They spill over into other realms.  Other locations.  Then, there are the absolute darlings of days spent here, days spent there.  How did it figure that my BFF would turn out to be a Bohemian of the most fundamental kind?  One of the most original?  It wasn't in the data, quite, but that was not the point.

Well, also, my questions were not welcome, neither were my observations.  They were mandated and I remembered that it would all be o.k. someday.  On to another case.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

This Wasn't How It Was Supposed To Be

Instead, the day is humble and static.  Those troublesome scents the students spray to spice up their bodies.  I smell an astringent, stinging version of Irish Spring, Period 8.  Other detectives write about something sophisticated, refined, even.  Those trees glimpsed in another world, one of delicious bread, yogurt, and coffee, were comforting and delicious in themselves.  Straight up and down to discourage the goats, those good climbers.  They are fearless climbers.  What I miss most about my teacher is his inflexibility, the conundrum that it was to try to figure out what the heck he was thinking.

Well, that's why they have Hawaiian Miles, I'm thinking, they add up.  That's why this place is a popular destination.  That's why there is a mystery here, after all.  One student told me that you just need to smell something and it fills you up, it can be food (a smell). 

The smell of an old report, from long ago called, The Body of No Moment.  It filled me up.  It smelled like the desert, coconut birthday cake, and lime-green curtains. It was the place to be--still a sidekick and not just a side.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Russian Roulette

The buzz in the staff meeting about the upcoming budget cuts.  Uh oh.  Someone definitely screwed up ordering those Kindles.  This time, I could walk away, a free agent, guiltless in my dispassionate observations.  Yesterday’s beat told me everything I needed to know.  It was “recess duty” but since I was working undercover, my alibi was dead on.
Russian Roulette made the budget cuts sound deadlier than the usual slash and burn.  Telling this to a bunch of teachers struggling to put gas into their vehicles put a new spin on things and made the pacing guides seem like a menu for disaster.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Appearances Are Everything

It was lonely there but not too much.  The leaves in the kukui trees filled the warm pond tidal pool with leaves, much like tea--it was filled with leaves the shape of Bodhi tree leaves.  They were yellow and were easily mistaken for eels brushing by in the heavy water pouring in freshly from the narrow canal leading to the ocean.  It was relaxing but not too because of the darkness and dim hunk of moon behind close-looking clouds.  It was all-the-way darkness in the grove of trees but up above maybe an owl flew around or was it just a coconut palm frond waving out of line with the others?

Mysteries awaited this swimmer.  It was almost too much to open both eyes but necessary to see the way backwards, the direction of the swim. 

It was never that way in the classroom.  Undercover work was often breath-by-breath and then the bell would ring for recess or, even better, lunch.  Strange that B. kept begging for a dollar to buy a spam musubi when he was obviously on free and/or reduced lunch. He lost his card.  It was five dollars to replace. There wasn't five dollars or even one.  It was almost as if he needed an excuse to talk.  I did not bring up the holes punched into my paintings (abstract) that were hung up last year.  A temporary lapse in my disguise.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Time Log Lag

A Lag Occurred

It was nevertheless a form of happiness that I dug into.  The book about my teacher could finally be read.  I had been avoiding it these nine years, my personality more in the making than I'd like to admit.

The above can not possibly be understood without detecting a slight shift in the mood of my current project.  It is about asking permission that I will never receive.  So, in order to proceed, it is just that which is required--slogging on ahead.  At work, in my role as teacher, I blocked insults left and right.  The usual ones and the not so usual ones.  Stop bullying now came from my lips at just the right time.  Another thing I said was that I was married and far to old to __ __ck.  Fill in the blank.  It is my favorite comeback although is a crazy risk to say, after all.  After all that has happened.

What do I miss most about Montana?  another detective recently asked.  I could only think fast enough to say the cold air.  I did not mention his green eyes, straw hair, long legs and then white teeth.  When I hear "Montana" I think of Hank and Hank only.  Oh, where o where did I put my wedding ring?