Wednesday, October 8, 2008

terrible horrible no good very bad

Today was the final sprint in what a fellow in my cohort described as our triathlon: three massive tests in a gory row this week. It has been truly miserable. Monday was a final exam worth half my grade in a block class, Tuesday was a statistics midterm (I have contemplated at length any remote possibility of having the requirement waived for religious reasons, as I think I could say truthfully that it's principles violate my morals) and today's midterm in a theories class, also worth half of the grade in the class.

By this morning I was demonstrating symptomatology of studying. I had the shakes. My brain failed to retain or retrieve information. And I wanted to eat a pan of brownies. As an appetizer for a three-pie lunch. Despite these most heinous symptoms, I had to go teach at the high school. I like the kids, but the curriculum is wretched. The information is just plain bad so I can never quite figure out how to teach it. So I do what my colleagues do (not the real teachers, the other grad school lackies they hired to teach the bogus program)-- I teach whatever the H suits my fancy.

Today's lesson on nutrition was supposed to inform kids that it isn't the carbs (poor misunderstood sugar!) that make sweets deleterious, it is only the fat. It also included a section on choosing affordable sources of protein, the nutrient du jour, that suggested kids pack down cans of tuna fish until their eyes pool with mercury and they keel over dead. As an alternative, I taught a lesson about nutrients and how to get them poison-free and packed with health. We all had a very cozy talk about micronutrients and it was quite lovely.

After work, I went to school to meet with a study group and, while walking to the union building, had to step directly over the carcasses of first a bird and then a Very Large grasshopper (large enough that I noticed its dead body, which is atypical for me and dead bug bodies). I know a harbinger when I see one (or two).

I tried to make my gluey brain take the test, but it refused, due to the dead bird or the unreasonable difficulty of the exam I will never know. Then I came home to find that my supervisor (who, I neglected to mention, came to witness the nutrient parade today) had emailed me (and several other people, none of whom I knew) to let me know that SEVERAL parents had called the principal about the content of my lessons and that I would need to "stick to the curriculum". What can I teach them now? Pretty soon they will tell me I have to sing laud and honor to Similac and episiotomies. And then I will die like a mercury-filled bird-hopper.

Yeah, you heard me.

I hate today the most.


Liz Johnson said...

I have a really hard time believing that more than SEVERAL high school students actually told their parents about what they learned that day and that SEVERAL actually cared enough to call and complain. I'm thinking one pissed off overbearing parent at best. That is really annoying.

Kate said...

I am desperately trying to imagine the scenario. Does the parent hand the teen a bowl of Kraft Mac n' Cheese or a Twinkie when the teen says, "We learned in school today about micronutrients. This ain't got any"?

betsey said...

Yikes, that does sound like a very good, horrible, no good day! I give it two thumbs down. But tomorrow will be better, right! I agree with Kate and Liz, I mean what is so threatening to parents about micronutrients and do kids honestly talk to their parents about stuff like this?

Flood said...

Not to be contrary, and statistics ARE lame, but in your voluminous spare time you should read The Drunkard's Walk by Leonard Mlodinow. A fascinating look at probabilities. And funny. Or have a baby. I hear that's funny, too.