Vikings of Verbosity

I’m in my Creative Writing club right now.  Yep, the Vikings of Verbosity. Student writing group, centered around a Ning and a few die-hard students who I fully expect to see published one day (and I’ll be waiting for my free, first-edition copies of their books, as well).  Today, it’s Theo, Evan, and me, working on figures of speech and attempting to use the word “noggin” somewhere in our writing (and no, I won’t count that…)

We’re hanging out in the upstairs lab of the high school, trading Monty Python lines and acting out scenes from Star Wars.  Because, well, we’re also geeks.  At least the three of us here right now are.

We wave our geek flags proudly.  (Wedge Antilles is the only pilot to make it through the first SW trilogy…)  That sort of thing.

I’m incredibly humbled–and wowed–but what these kids can do, and write. And here, I don’t have to grade them, or assess them in any way other than to enjoy the writing (and laugh at the jokes, especially if it’s Theo’s stuff).

It’s nice to just hang out and write together.  We’ll be participating in NaNoWriMo this year for the third time (Rachel finished her book the first year!), and I’ll put up a poster outside my room with our word totals during November. We’ll wrack our noggins (there it is, for real this time) to come up with ideas to further our novels, and laugh a lot.

So…this is the non-education part of education.  I LOVE it.

And I can’t wait to see these kids’ names on a book jacket one day…

It’s a Good Day

Bad News: Our district, like every other one in the country, is facing cuts.  Whence they’ll come is yet to be decided, but we fortunately have administration that is willing to keep us updated, is trying to discuss, and, honestly, is making me feel like we are all in this together on one team.

Our Superintendent addressed us at our faculty meeting today and gave us a timeline of when decisions will be made, priorities, and a summary of what we’re hearing from the Governor (blech–Pawlenty has messed with education every chance he’s gotten) and the State Legislature.

We’re not as bad off as some districts, yet–we’re starting with a healthy fund balance–but, well, the next couple of years are not going to be pleasant.  Things are scary all over, in every field (except, perhaps, for bars and foreclosure attorneys), and I’m still employed, so I shouldn’t complain too loudly.

I’m frightened of the upcoming economic realities–no pay increase but my insurance will increase dramatically even without adding my husband.  However, we do need to insure us both, and right now, the monthly premiums would take the vast majority of my paycheck.  Vast.  Majority.  You heard me correctly.

Don’t know what we’ll do.

Good News: Just when things seem their darkest, however, something always comes along down the hallway at work to brighten things up.  Just as I’m questioning my career choice (well, just a little) based solely on the financial aspects, kids do amazing things to make me realize how lucky I am to be a teacher, how happy this job makes me.

Today is my birthday, and at my age, it’s not something I really expect anyone aside from my parents and husband to notice all that much.  However, during my prep period this morning, the seniors all strode in led by a colleague and friend (thanks, Shuckhart!), and surprised me by serenading me with “Happy Birthday.”  It was awesome.

All day long, students–some of whom I don’t even currently teach–waved and said, “Happy Birthday, Ms Olson!” or ducked in my room to say so.

My sophomores–taking a cue I missed–also sang to me.  (And this after I lectured them about their cohort’s behavior yesterday, even!)

An eighth-grader left me a chocolate heart on my desk (thanks, Cinthia!), and last night at Mock Trial practice?  Matt casually walked past my desk, deposited a So-Be Liz Blizz (my favorite indulgence, and one I’d paid him to pick up for me on his daily trek to the convenience store weeks earlier), and said as I was surprised and digging for a couple of bucks, “Nope…it’s a freebie.  Happy Birthday!”

I love these kids.  I really, really do.  I love, love, LOVE my job.  Even on bad days, it’s still more fun, and more satisfying, and more challenging than anything I’ve ever done.

Today was a good day.  Tomorrow?  I guess I’ll deal with that…tomorrow.

Edit:  Editing–was interrupted earlier.  Fixed stuff, added links.