15 Apr

Global Warming

This past week was like, Boom! Summer. Temps on Friday got into the 80s. If it doesn’t get cold again, the next two months of school are going to be miserable because a) my classroom is about 10 degrees warmer than the outside temperature, making even the 70s too hot, and b) students have a hard time staying focused when it’s nice outside. All week, I heard, “Can we have class outside?” On Monday, I relented and took my creative writing class out, since it didn’t disrupt the day’s plan to respond to various prompts in journals. Unfortunately, twenty minutes after settling in at a nice location, some doofus started yelling out the 3rd-floor window, “Alex Murphy is gay!” Alex is in my class, though that’s not his real name, and to his credit, he didn’t respond, but 3rd-floor dufus kept it up, yelling out his very witty “Alex Murphy is gay!” revelation about ten more times, so we left and moved to a different location.

I think I’ve decided on going part time, though now rumor has it that we’re losing a lot of teacher allocation in the English department next year, so class size is going to go way up. If my request gets granted, I wonder if that allocation will just be lost, further burdening the rest of the English department. If so, I’m tempted to resign so the have to replace a full 100% teacher rather than lose 30% of one.

If these education budget cuts continue, the coming years will be even worse: more teachers will be “surplussed,” as they say, pushing class sizes above 30 and thereby affecting the quality of instruction because individual teachers will have to deal with more behavior issues (which increase with class size), and individual attention will become more difficult. And since grading essays takes about 15 minutes per essay (at least), an addition of 7 students per class will up the grading time by hours per week! I’m pissed.

On Thursday night, there was a wonderful electrical storm off in the distance in the western sky, clearly visible through our open bedroom window. Eileen and I had just gone to bed and we were watching the show when it started to hail. I put on my glasses and approached the window to get a closer look. Golf-ball-sized hail was thumping onto the grass and I said something like “Holy Cow” upon seeing the things, which provoked Eileen to sit up and look out the window too. “Oh my God!” she said. “They’re the size of tennis balls.”

“Uh, no,” I replied. “I think you’re looking at tennis balls,” pointing out that with her glasses on, she might notice that our dog’s outdoor stash of numerous fetch toys was a different thing altogether.

She put on her glasses and we had a good laugh over that one. If only it were so easy, when people don’t see the world like you do, to just say, “put your glasses on.”