Saturday, December 31, 2011

Profile of An Effective Teacher

Check what's for lunch.  Don't pay the five dollars.  Instead, nibble on the orange you brought that stung your hangnails when you peeled it open.  Wait.  Students will appear to see what you're eating.  Offer to share some.  They will turn up their noses and wander away.  Look out towards the active vent in the volcano.  Look for vog.  Check if you can take a deep breath without coughing.  Neaten some stacks of papers, you can't read the students' handwriting anyway, only the A students seem to avoid writing LOL, OMG, IDC, WTF.  Daydream about squirrels, owls, wolves.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Teacher Blame Game

It is always the teacher's fault.  Fingers point in only one direction, towards the teacher.  It is a bad teacher to blame for the failure, for the missing assignments, for the lack of effort, engagement, attendance.  It is the fault of the teacher.  It is up to the teacher, all up to the teacher in the blame game.  There are no winners.  Certainly, Finland is the exception.  What, teachers given all their freedom to...teach? in the classroom?  Who could ever trust a teacher?  What will those teachers want to do next?  Teach?  They really have some nerve.  Everyone knows it is all up to the teacher.  They make it or they break it.  They succeed or they fail.  They aren't supposed to read Don't Sweat the Small Stuff, a book that could get them fired if found in a top desk drawer, for example. 

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Dim With Lights

Frost covers everything.  The cars, the trees, bushes, the frosty land.  Things underneath the trees.  Anything alive keeps moving or holds still for frost.  There is the fat raven in the parking lot at Bi-Mart.  The clouds look dry but what drifts in is high up and almost blueberry.  The same way it is fate that comes about in a nutshell.  Mom on the couch endlessly speaking to her sister on the phone.  About the hot spot and the islands, explaining.  About the meal.  I hope the cards come quickly.  I think I'd most likely pick Courage or Commencement.  Saw an osprey and a red-tailed hawk down by the Kalapooya.  It will be almost ten years that I have with the system.  Different beats, yes, but all-in-all, it's all wrapped up with a big red bow, empty inside.  To be admired from the outside.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Sandwich Island Song

What happened was this:  I wrote the letter effortlessly.  It was so easy.  So is the world when not on the beat.  Everything appearing sunny, yet cold air from up the Umpqua, sliding down Mt. Scott.  It is disturbing to see the new cloverleaf being dozed into the area near the college, near the fish ladder, a whole hill cut again (again).  It has been 100 years or so for this upheaval.  I dream and imagine differently.  Bureaucratic matters are accomplished effortlessly here, compared to the archipelago and its heavy stamps, molasses, antiquated equipment and ideas.  I wanted to solve the thousand mysteries and am still working on the one no matter all the practice behind and in front, still up ahead.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Fresh Air and then some

Well, the great Northwest is this in a nutshell:  cold.  Seems cold enough for snow but where is it?  Occupy Eugene closed down.  Hunkering in the library in Sutherlin is so smooth, so sublime--nobody there.  Lincoln's relatives lurking around the back alleyways by Suds-n-Duds.  Hawks along I-5 airing out their wings, watching the traffic.  Time off of the usual.  The Professional Learning Community can go to hell.  In the can.  Recycle, Reuse.   

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Person of Interest

It wasn't all that difficult to remain a person of interest, that is, if there were interesting things afloat.   Mostly, it was a lot of wasted time gossiping and shooting the breeze with small talk, some of it quite amusing.  Another day on the beat. 

Who would've thought that the couple would end up like that but yes, they were well on their way to ruin, end of the road, even though it was all so beautiful, perhaps the most beautiful place in the world:  Waimanalo. 

I said I would report further but that is not enough.  To give the facts, well, o.k., they are sad enough but sadder is the endless cycle involved, the depressing rut of it ending in early death, incarceration, abuse.  All of it easily (?) avoided?  Here in the archipelago, it is a common story so why does it hit so hard?  Because these particular people seemed smarter than that.  Were smarter than that.  Instead of food and beauty, beauty and food, something else must be ingested over and over again.  Something beyond the ocean, the reef, the hours, days spent fishing, spent listening, squinting, waiting.  Beyond simple pleasure.

It was there they set up a VCR so we could watch the latest James Bond video on the beach, under a canopy, tucked up under some trees but right in the sand, soft there like powdered sugar/oatmeal mix.  D. put down a rug, he was so generous.  I guess that was before they got heavy into ice.  I thought they were real nice because we gave them our tent spot.  It was drier there.  It was protected.  They were doing vodka shots and some pot but since O. and I were sober, we just watched the movie and called it a night.

I was glad my Waimanalo days were past.  I did not have the feeling that I'd again relax on the beach with a television.  That was not why I had traveled there.  I guess were were in some one's living room, with Rabbit Island right across the way.