Monday, October 13, 2008

Oh Dear God, What Did I Do?

I have 800 pages of essays coming in tomorrow morning, with any luck (10 pages + 3 pg. author's notes for my juniors, 5 pages + 3 page authors' notes for freshmen plus another 5 for each group (avg. 1.8 pages/group member, ish).

Multiply that by 80 students (45 juniors, 35 freshmen).

I think we get something in the vicinity of 800.

And it all has to be graded before the end of the grading period, which happens on Friday, I think.

What was I thinking?


On the plus side, my left elbow is back to normal (the right one never left normal, baby!) - it pops a few times per day when I extend it, and last week it popped a little too loud, and all of a sudden my arm hurt whenever I came anywhere close to a full elbow extension (note: if I pushed through that, and got to where I maxed out the joint's range of motion, it was fine... until I wanted to move it again). But that's better now.

My left elbow, you see, is my clipboard-holdin' elbow. The hand with which I hold my clipboard is attached to this elbow. Then I write with my right hand. It makes sense if you think about it.


In other news, my cricket infestation has largely stopped due to the massive amounts of cold heading this way over the next several months.

In weirder news, most of the crickets that I've found for the last several weeks have only had one leg.

And there are some huge spiders. Huge!

The spiders aren't weird. They mostly just eat things (like crickets, I imagine, and possibly also my left-overs, though I've yet to see any evidence of this) and fight in my shower, which is fine except for the times when I am taking a shower.

Then it is slightly less fine. Because I am not a fan of being naked near arachnids.

Note to spiders: Wait until I am done, guys! Then you can cannibalize each other all you want. Just don't make a mess, stay quiet, and remember to flush and we will be cool.

Note to myself: Stop having everything be due at once! You are very silly!

Note to the state of Nebraska: I miss you something fierce. Come back?

Note to the state of denial: you and I are gettin' too close, lately. I think we should see other people.


Finally, obligatory piracy/copyright infringement):

(Click for full-size)

This comic sums up my current dilemma with education quite well. More to come on that later.

For now, it is time to sleep. We start standardized testing tomorrow (for the district's school improvement plan, I think). I'll need all of my energy to keep from stabbing myself with a #2 pencil.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Relationship Advice?

I was told today, by one of my freshmen: "Mr. Ek. You're 22. You need to find yourself a woman!"

I was also told today, by a different student, that "It's weird when teachers marry their students when they're, like, 20 years older. You shouldn't be allowed to do that if you're more than 5 or 10 years older than the student you're marrying."

(The latter asked me how old I was, and the former insinuated that it was because she wanted to date me. She got flustered, and said "What?! No! I was just curious." Then she talked about something I think she heard on the news, or from a previous school... I'm not entirely certain).

I don't think she realized that my oldest students are 5 years younger than me, and the vast majority are 6 years or 8 years younger than me. And most of them are much less than fond of me at the moment (10 page papers (minimum) due on Friday for my freshmen and my juniors... average point of progress right now, I think, is page 3. I expect some 11th hour heroics, and a whole lot of groaning (and thinly veiled threats) between now and then).

So it seems as though my single-tude is safe from the underlings for the time being, and I expect it will remain so into perpetuity.

Granted, I don't believe there are too many single ladies my age (or thereabouts) in town, if any, but I am not in the business of trying to "find a woman" just yet... maybe next month? We'll have to see what the Board says.



Right now, I'm trying to find a decent picture of the "velociraptor" skeleton that is archaeologized in "Jurassic Park" (the early scene in Montana, with the crazy imaging equipment), that is to say, a picture of a deinonychus or velociraptor (or similar dinosaur) in the classic back-arched death pose (roughly circular)...

I'm going to re-draw it, except with very minimalist, almost Bauhausian lines, and see if I can make it awesome and then turn it into a tattoo, possibly incorporating my e-mail signature ("Somewhere there is something incredible waiting to be discovered" -- The Imaginary Foundation), but possibly not... we shall see.

My friend Amanda found this picture, which is very close.

Now to the design and whatnot.


In other news, this is the best thing I've seen all week.