It's been a while. We've still been recovering from Hurricane Sandy over here in New York City. As a teacher it has come with its mix of blessings. For instance, I got a whole week off to recover/plan/GET AHEAD on my planning, which is wonderful! This is the first time all year I've actually started to feel 'on top of things,' as long as I can keep 2 lessons ahead planned I will be just fine. The more planned out my future lessons are the better teacher I am. I'm shocked how large of a difference this makes, but it helps me focus specifically the skills my students need for future lessons.
The unfortunate part of Hurricane Sandy is that even though we only lost 1 full week of school, we essentially lost 2 weeks. Fortunately the large majority of my students were safe during the storm. Since it was not a natural breaking point in the unit we had to spend quite a few days reviewing and double reenforcing classroom management behaviors. I don't know what it was, but having that break was apparently enough time for my kids to completely forget how to behave in school. I guess this is what happens when teenagers have enough sleep- they go crazy. I think I almost prefer the sleep deprived version.
However, since we have been missing so many days of school it has made forming routines and habits difficult. When I mentioned to the class that we need to review because we've missed so many days one of my students in the back shouted out "yeah we've missed so many days of school, I'm beginning to feel like a high school drop out!!" The class erupted with laughter and I'll admit it was pretty funny, that I laughed too instead of correcting the behavior. This kid does almost zero homework in my class and I swear he goes home and thinks up these brilliant one liners instead of doing homework. At least that's what I tell myself, however, I'm pretty sure he makes it up on the spot. That's when I always want to be like.. "you know, maybe school is not your thing, but you NEED to go into comedy."
In other news, Lower Manhattan is still a mess from the hurricane despite that the rest of the city seems to be 'normal-ish'. I was actually shocked because everywhere else is fairly normal, but when you come out of the subway at Bowling Green (right at the tip of Manhattan near the ferry to Staten Island) many buildings are still running on generators. The banks still are closed because they don't have power, and there was an unusual amount of construction along with some basements still being pumped. Oh.. and a copious amount of traffic cops. You cannot forget the traffic cops. Or as my roommate likes to say "oh look it's a traffic cop who is actually doing their job!" (usually they don't).
Anyway, we went because one of my roommate's college friends had a birthday celebration at his childhood home on Staten Island. The journey started with the 30 minute ferry ride past the Statue of Liberty and then another 10 minute bus ride. Stepping off the bus, you literally felt like you were in some richer neighborhood in the Twin Cities. It was VERY bizzare almost to the point of being slightly uncomfortable. People had yards, HOUSES, and cars. Children could ride their bikes in the street and it was quiet. I turned to Vanessa who was with me and I was like.. "I'm not uncomfortable... but I feel like I should be. This is just so different from everything else I've experienced in NYC." She agreed and it made me realize how living and interacting with a large diversity population every day has become very normal for me and the reverse culture shock (like I was experiencing on Staten Island) is still alive and well. It will be interesting to see how I handle going back home for Christmas.
|Staten Island Ferry|
The party itself an experience! I am not used to spending a lot of time around a bunch of Ivy Leaguers or soon-to-be Ivy Leaguers, but that also is starting to become more and more 'normal' for me. It sounds weird to say that because it's just college like anywhere else.... but really its not. Its hard to say how its different, but I'd imagine its kind of like viewing greek life from the outside. You don't really understand it unless you are part of it. Anyway, there's definitely something a little bit different about it. For instance, they take playing charades to the NEXT level. Never in my life had I had to act/watch so many different books, but instead of doing "Freakonomics" no, no, they decide to do "Super Freakonomics" because you know "Freakonomics" is too easy. There was also talk about throwing in some famous philosopher books, but we decided against that. However, we did have Gilgamesh (which we got and my college friends will appreciate) and Much Ado about Nothing, which yours truly guessed correctly. It was a radically different experience of charades then I was used to and in the back of my head I kept being like THANK GOODNESS for my undergraduate college for exposing me to this type of knowledge.
We left Staten Island right after the cold act on SNL. Watching SNL has become one of my new favorite NYC things to do since I get the inside jokes now that I live here. My personal favorite was when they made fun of Hurricane Sandy and Major Bloomberg's press conferences a few weeks ago, because that is literally ALL I watched after the hurricane. You should definitely watch it here if you haven't. I'd like to think this humor translates to those who don't live in NYC as well. My roommates and I may or may not have watched this skit several times in the past few weeks....
In any case, life is still happening. I've been reading a lot of philosophy on the train, which I'm surprisingly really enjoying. I guess I really missed that from undergrad. There's nothing like a brief intellectually engaging philosophy reading to get a head start on the morning. Plus the train gives me the perfect amount of time to read it and put it away- 30 minutes each way.
Aside from this, thanksgiving is just around the corner and I can escape into the middle of nowhere Pennsylvania with Vanessa and her family. I am still really enjoying NYC and I'm looking forward to being in NYC for part of the holiday season.
Until Next Time,