Tuesday, November 29, 2005

It Really Is Amazing.

I shit you not. For some reason I stared and stared at that page for hours last night. Or should I say this morning around 4am, when it became apparent that the whole sleeping thing wasn't going to happen? Poor, unsuspecting, Terence. You know, one of my CMS kids. He hated me on 7 hours of sleep...he must be dreaming a grisly death for me as he sleeps through his 3rd block English class right now. Hell, what do I care? As Will Barton would say, "Fuck 'em if they can't take a joke." (Hurry up and read When All The World Was Young, you jerkoffs.)

I don't know what it is about winter that makes me lonelier and hornier than other parts of the year. Then again, it does help explain my bad mood last December. But still, it just don't make sense to me. Yeah, I made mention of myself and sex. Did you see that coming? Bet ya didn't. Think back, as far as you possibly can. Now try to conjure up a memory of me talking casually about sex and myself when I wasn't joking. That's right. Pretty fuckin rare. (Doomcock.)

Awww, it's nice that you think different. You guys are so sweet, sometimes. But really, I can cop to it; I'm quite the prude. I've known for a long time. It's not my fault for having principals. It is, however, my fault for having totally unreasonable expectations of how other people should live up to them. That's not some sudden and profound realization, mind you. And no, Lunchie, this doesn't have anything to do with our conversation on the trip to Ridgevilletown. I had that little epiphany quite some time ago. But, it seems, only now I'm coming to actually accept it and deal with it. Holy shit, I may be growing up.

You know, I always wince a little whenever someone, like my dad, comments on how mature I am. I'm not mature, you fuckers. Listen to the way I talk...and write. I'm probably one of the most immature people you're likely to meet. I just put on a good show. That's why I'm so awesome and shit. Yeah, these two fingers, ladies.

I'm wading into the deep end here. And I want to go in several different directions right now, so rather than losing any more focus than I already have, I'm gona pull out. Yeah, I'm getting all rhythm method on yall. (Jesus, see what I mean?) I won't go into particulars just yet. But I will. Maybe even at length. We'll just have to see, now won't we?

Ah, the interweb. Not nature's suction cup, but certainly humanity's largest depository for angst.

And porn. Can't forget the porn.

It really is amazing, I shit you not.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Backsliding and Maybe a Grin.

A long one. Don't say I didn't warn ya.

To answer your question, Mr. Cofer, I'll be at Le Foreignareo as well. And if you are tempted to stay the entire weekend, Mr. Dixon shall be flying in for the annual turkey massacre on the 19th. That is, he arrives on the 19th; the slaughter and fiest to come on the traditional final Thursday of the month. He has requested we go drinking at Big River. How can anyone say no to that? Shut up, poor people. Shut up, alcoholics. I'm talking about people with money and not struggling with addiction, so piss off.

If you didn't know already, my Great Uncle Lester died a couple weeks ago from injuries sustained in a car crash. Specifically, his 96 year old spine was broken at the neck. It doesn't suck so much that he's gone. He was 96 for fuck's sake and a pretty healthy dose of leukemia. His doctors said something else was gona get him first. But a car crash? That's some bullshit. But like I said, I'm not so upset that I'll never see him again, or that I never got to say goodbye, or that we didn't get to go to a hockey game like we had planned. I'm upset because I couldn't go to the funeral.

I swear, every damn semester, it's like my profs. get together and try to find the worst possible moments to ask the most of me. I can understand the end of the semester, but 2 weeks before Thanksgiving? For everything? I think not. Bah. I think it's just frustration talking. Forgiv-inus ah-prease. I can feel myself backsliding into the same shitty mood I was in a year ago. That's bad news, people. I'm starting to have trouble focusing on schoolwork, or just about anything for that matter. My most lucid moments come at CMS when I'm trying to bludgeon some knowledge into the heads of 13-15 year olds.

I swear, the angrier I get with the kids in 1st block, the nicer I am to the kids in 2nd. Those first block kids just don't want to learn a fucking thing...and yet, they somehow magically expect to become billionaire basketball players and rappers. Rappers... I've got nothing against Rap music, except to say that I don't like most of it. Although last weekend, I wound up at some random party in Germantown with Rhys with a couple guys freestyling over a pretty amateur-sounding beat, and it was actually quite good. But these kids, they just don't have the damn thinking skills necessary to rap about the Handi Snacks their mommy packed in their lunch.

There are two boys in 2nd block who are close friends. How close are they, you ask? They're so close they share the same thoughts; at least that's what their History homework reveals upon cursory observation. Now, I'm in Ms. Jones Pre-Algebra class and when I saw Dominique writing something that didn't appear to have any numbers involved, I leaned over and noticed it was History. Apparently, last Wednesday, whoever the History teacher is, gave them a reading assignment to do for homework and to answer some questions. Curious and evil space monkey that I am, I of course took the paper, told him to put his mind on the abstract concepts of mathematics, and ran my eyes across the paper. Oh, and how nonplussed I was to find Patrick's name at the top of the page.

You gota love a cheater. Hell we've all done it at some point or another. Don't get me wrong, I dont' like it. But let's be honest folks. If you're gona do something wrong, at least have the gumption to do it right. Classic example: "What was one method the British used to bring Colonials to their side?" "They used propaganda," is an acceptable answer, even if it falls well short of eloquence. Hell, these are 8th graders, why do I expect Middlemarch? But when you have two papers, with the exact same words, a sentence like, "they used proper gandas," just sticks out like...well...a thing that sticks out. You can imagine their embarrassment when I showed Ms. Jones the paper. We got a good giggle out of it and she was going to send them off to ISS, but I managed to get her to let it slide and I'd talk to them about it after class. I just told them that 2nd block was for Math and if they wanted to work on History, they'd better do it on the days I wasn't around, because I may not seem like much, but I have strange and mysterious powers.

In 1st block, most of the kids groan and slump helplessly when I come to help them out. Most of them don't raise their hands any more when they have a question. Oh! How these powers of mine are mystical and fantastic! I can tell from their posture, their silence, and their empty stares that they are stuck. They need my help, they're just too dumb to ask for it. So I go over and they pretend not to see me. They ask for Ms. Jones. She'll "help" them by telling them what to do; give them the answer. FUCK THAT NOISE! They loathe me for it, and I eat that shit up. Yeah, I could just hand them the answers, but that doesn't help, it teaches them to do as they are told. And the shouldn't do as their told! They just need to know how to act irresponsibly responsibly. I set myself as your example. But you know me, they don't. So, the more they resist, the harder I push. And oh, how I push. "What are you thinking? Why did you do that? Gime the reasons. I DEMAND YOUR REASONS!" Show me you've got brains people and the hamster hasn't keeled over. Sometimes it's a fight, but they get it done. A few of them have even figured out that if they learn it, when I come by and look at their screens they can look up at me and say, "No help needed here.” The most satisfying part of this week was Sam Jackson (I shit you not, but sadly his middle name is Jefferson...yeah, I asked) didn't even look away from his screen. He just extended his arm and gave me the fuck-off-shooing motion with his hand and said, the one thing I'd been waiting for since my first day:

"Hold on. Thinking..."

I’m the fuck outa here.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

The Wheels They Just Keep A'Turnin

Today was a much better day at CMS. I helped a couple kids who missed class yesterday figure out what the hell was going on in 1st block. I goofed up quite a bit. I bet the think I'm an idiot. But 2nd block was a bit better. As fate would have it, the same guy I thought was being lazy last week is in fact just...well...behind. He's in the 8th grade, but he's old enough to be a Sophomore. I spent pretty much the entire class helping him with his homework, most of which consisted of simple addition and multiplication of positive and negative numbers. He is supposed to be learning how to plot points on an axis...he needs to learn how to add and subtract. Talk about feeling helpless. I did manage to get him through it with minimal help at the end. He can do the work, he just needs to be able to do it faster and without help. Poor bastard.

Ok, I can't keep my damn hands off this laptop. I hate to be all hyperbolic and shit, but it is too sexy.

For your listening pleasure, check out Imogen Heap. She writes some killer shit. The album is damn fine.

The Power Is In My Hands...Well, My Lap.

Yes, kiddies, it has arrived. My lovely powerbook of extra-uber-sexiness. Oh God how wonderful it is. It is perfect in every way! Oh how I can stream all my music from my computer here in the apartment. Oh, how I am going to set it up as a server. Oh! OH! OOOOOOOOOH! I'm in heaven, even though my (Great) Uncle Lester died this weekend, which sucked something major, and even though my Latin test raped me. I have my Powerbook, and all is right with the world. (Kinda sad how material things can lift one's spirits. Well considering where I was, probably a box of kittens would have done about the same.)

More ramblings at another time. For now, I enjoy my new toy. WHEEEE!

Friday, November 04, 2005

Silly Casey, Demands, Scary Shit, and Bitching

Few things about other people, then back to my Chattanooga Middle School adventure:

1) Casey, honey, it's called the Prostate. You don't have one. Only works when we're sporting wood, but it's a valve nonetheless.

2) I agree with Rachel. Some of you bitches need to update more often. Once a week at least. That's not a request.

3) For those of you not in the Nooch, a girl at UTC was gang raped in her campus dorm room fairly recently. Lots of bullshit going on right now. More on that later.

Ok, back to the happy stuff.

Day 2 at CMS was just fucking lame. I arrived at 8:45 in a good mood and ready to give it another shot. During Home Room, The Voice came over the intercom announced that it was a half day and that the entire school would be watching Star Wars. Any misbehavior would result in immediate transfer to the In School Suspension ward. I got that warm, vomity, taste in the back of my mouth.

I swear to God, herding cats is easier than trying to get 18 8th graders from one room to another. I caught 2 kids trying to ditch. They tried to ignore me. Poor bastards never saw what hit them. (No, it wasn't my righteous and mighty back-hand.) I manage to lead them up the stairs and proceeded to move them past the door to the auditorium. One of them posed the obvious question, "where are we going?" Calmly, I replied, "ISS." This produced a very satisfying outburst of this isn't fairs, I'll behaves, and other pathetic blatherings. "Ok," I said, "what's my name?" One of them knew it, even though it took him a minute to fight through the fog of his memory. "And you're going to remember me, right?" They replied in the affirmative. "Ok, balance the following equation and you can see the movie: x-3=3" (Easy right? They've been doing this for weeks.) More complaints that struck with all the weight of a marshmallow hurled by Casey. (I bet you throw like a girl.) "I guess you guys need some more practice," I said, "Let's go." Oh, how they hate me now...but they'll remember me, come next week.

Sorry kids, you don't ditch class. I made sure to make that clear to them...giving them something productive to do with their time was just icing on the taco for me. The day was still a waste of my time, and the residual frustration from being exposed to ignorance, apathy, and general recalcitrance just shit in my Malt-o-meal today. And that's just the fuck-o who decided it would be a good idea to show a school full of rabid pre-teens a movie. I can handle the latter two, but when combined with the first, I get twitchy. I don't think I'm gona do too well on my Latin quiz tomorrow.

"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." - Ben Franklin

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

The Mind-Numbing, Pants-Shitting Kind.

Early yesterday morning, I started working as an in-school tutor for Ms. Jones' 1st and 2nd period Pre-Algebra classes at Chattanooga Middle School. I don't know what was different about this particular classroom, but I wasn't feeling it. Ms. Jones seems into it and all. She even runs a pretty tight ship. Her kids were pretty well behaved for being the day after Halloween. But something about my whole day there left a bad taste in my mouth.

Maybe it was the way she talked about the kids, or the subtle look of disdain in her eyes when she spoke to the class. Maybe it was the look of confusion on the kids' faces when I said, "Balance the equation," or "You can't have an expression without a variable." Maybe it was the kid who tried to pass off a sporting goods catalog as a magazine as reading material. Whatever it was, it has left me terrified. I'm putting my money on the last one...and if he tries that shit again on Thursday, he's getting Asimov's Martian Way or Orwell's Animal Farm. (Ya know, I don't really give a shit if all you read is Robert Jordan, so long as your brain is doing something other than contemplating how you'll look in this year's Nikes. Actually, I take it back, I do care...but first I have to get you to be able to read Robert Jordan. You see my point.) You're going to read something of substance, you little shit...and don't think I'll hesitate to rip your head off and shit down your throat if you just pretend to read. Remember, I used to do that shit. I'm wise to the game. Hell, I invented it.

Back to the point: Me. Terror.

At this point, I've stalled out. I still can't make up my mind. Student teach? Yes or no. Right now, I'm leaning towards no. But at the same time, it's the only thing between graduation and me.

T H E__O N L Y__T H I N G.

It isn't a question of the work. That’s the easy part. I think it may be a question of maturity. Of course, I really can't think straight any more. The last couple years have really fucked my head proper. I've achieved such a propensity for doublethink; I should be an agent of the Thought Police. What's an incredibly sexy, semi-literate, pedant to do?

I'm beginning to think that I am just naturally discontent with everything. No job will ever suit me, because nothing satisfies me. A good part of it, at least in my mind, is that the world in which I live is one I neither planned on, nor wanted 8 years ago. I never suspected that I would possess the depths and breadths of knowledge I now enjoy. That same wellspring of awareness fills me with power that, at the same time, I am powerless to employ in any meaningful way. My hunger for knowledge is a symptom of some deeper need. It pops out from time to time. Just enough to let me know it's there, but never enough to be locked down or recognized as such, until it's vanished. I can only guess at what it is; the more I live, study, and contemplate, the more troubled I become that it doesn't exist. Some people know it at an early age, others later, and at least a few spend their entire lives looking.

I wonder which one I am.