Thursday, March 25, 2010

Odds and Ends Thursday 48

It’s widely agreed that the New York City heat is a character in itself in Spike Lee’s “Do the Right Thing.” Sure, it serves as a metaphor for racial tension, but it’s such a driving source and a constant battle for the characters, it’s no wonder things get out of hand. I’m not saying racial tension is running high in Samoa, but with this unrelenting heat, I’m barely hanging on to my sanity. This morning as I brushed my teeth, I had to stop to wipe the sweat off my forehead. I’m not talking about a little glisten; I’m talking about beads of sweat, some of them rolling down my temples. It’s maddening, and it sets the tone for everything else. It’s hard to move, hard to teach, hard to get through the day. Next week is the unofficial start of the dryer, cooler season. I hope it comes through. Here are some other odds and ends from the week:
  • The cat’s been a finicky eater lately. She’ll take a couple bites and then lose interest, as though she has some sort of dietary ADHD. I’ve been buying the cheap cat food from Farmer Joe, and so on a hunch I splurged for the higher shelf stuff. And now she finishes the whole thing. What a princess.
  • Samoa did indeed win the rugby sevens tournament in Adelaide this past week! They beat America in the final, and yes, Ken, it is amazing the USA did so well. As far as drawing a line from my rag-tag team to the players standing in the winner’s circle in Australia, my kids have a lot of heart and they mean business. It’s that whole “What doesn’t kill you” mentality. It shows up in other sports too: baseball players from the Dominican Republic, football players from some of Los Angeles’ rougher neighborhoods, soccer players from Brazil. Go watch the scene in the movie “The Sandlot” where the scruffy sandlot kids take on the polished little leaguers. It’s right on.
  • I finished “The Odyssey”! I don’t get what all the fuss is about. How has this story made it so long?
  • I thought about teaching my kids “Yellow Submarine”. Maybe next term.
  • One of the science teachers at my school is writing the Year 11 Term 1 common exam for all the Congregational schools, and she asked me to type up the exam today. It covers some chemistry, some photosynthesis, and human reproduction. I found this interesting since I didn’t know reproduction was taught in schools here since romance is so taboo. Although it seems a little telling that the teacher gave me special instructions to title the test “Environmental Sciences”.
  • I walked into the computer lab after school yesterday. The new computer teacher was playing TuxTyper, another teacher had lined up a row of chairs and was asleep, and a third was thumbing through the notebook of one of my English students. This is what it will be like when I’m not here anymore, I thought.
  • I was at a birthday party of a distant acquaintance on Saturday night, and there was a guy there who had also worked in Internet advertising. I told him about how I offer my friends back home monthly sponsorships for $200. “That’s a pretty high CPM,” he said. It was weird to feel nostalgia over a corporate acronym.
  • I’ve been listening to “Abbey Road” a lot. I found it unapproachable when I was younger, but now it’s easily my favorite Beatles album.
  • My server is full of viruses. I can’t open the task manager now. This is frustrating. So I find myself deleting my kids’ mp3s to console myself. It doesn’t solve anything, and it only makes them use their contraband flashdrives to replace what I’ve deleted. But it’s still a little satisfying.
  • I apologize for yesterday’s post, particularly drafts that were posted earlier in the day. I got home late last night, and I should have just chalked the day up for a loss. As the adage goes, nothing good ever happens after midnight, and yesterday's post was no exception.
That’s all I got for this week. I hope you’re well. Pictures below.

Despite the heat, the good clouds are still showing up as they did last March/April. I noticed this in the middle of fifth period, so I walked outside and took a picture. "That's good clouding."

Me and Apong keeping time and scoring the rugby game. Don't we almost look like we know what's going on?

This diagram is in the Year 9 text book, and it taught me a valuable lesson about the merits of not blindly following the text book. In fact, I think this might only be in the text book as a sort of dare. We, the text book authors, dare you to show this diagram to your class. Yeah. It's a "valve". Sure.

So like an idiot, I blithely draw the diagram on the board. And my poor adolescent year 9s, trying so hard to be respectful, cannot contain themselves. Only then did I realize how incredibly dirty and suggestive this diagram is. And it's so dirty and so suggestive on so many levels. In the end, all I could do was laugh with them. Oops. Never trust the text book.


Ris said...

Haha . a "valve" ..
a classic samoan interpretation!

Barb Carusillo said...

I can tell I am old, and have been in the medical profession too long. The first thing I thought was a vein, with it's one way valve, never even thought of anything else. Takes kids to point out something else. You must be getting old too!!!!

Unknown said...

nice "valves" ha. anyway, i thought you read the odyssey in middle school (or was it freshman year) like I did and I thought it was a re-read for you. I guess not. The Odyssey is a once in a lifetime time read anyway.

Anonymous said...

I can hear the giggling in the background. Can you say colonscopy???