Archive for March, 2010

Totally Music Tuesday

Ok, so I haven’t had time to sit down and write in almost a week.  Nothing spectacular’s happened, though, so it’s not like you’re missing anything.  Today’s songs are from Flight of the Conchords, mostly because I keep getting their songs stuck in my head since The Nerd and I re-watched the first season of their show over the last month or so.  These guys are brilliant at parodying different types of popular music, and if you have a chance to check them out (their show isn’t on anymore), you should.

Also, has anyone else seen Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog with Neil Patrick Harris?  I caught it on Netflix the other night, and loved it.

Have a great Tuesday!

Here Comes The Sun

So yesterday was the big day. 

On Monday night, the confrontation with Little Miss Irresponsible was imminent, and I barely slept.  I tossed and turned and woke up early with a huge ball of anxiety in my gut.  I was as prepared as I could be – I’d talked to my professor about the best way to handle it, talked with the others in the group, and had focused in on exactly what the problem pertaining to this particular project was.  Yet, I still could not relax. 

I got to campus early and found B-rad, my mentor partner, who did his best to help calm me, as did The Superhero via text.  Have I ever told y’all how much I love my buddies?  I do, they’re great.  Lo and behold, Miss Irresponsible was on time for the first time all semester!  Imagine that.  I sat as far away from her as possible.  This isn’t easy, as there are only 10 of us in the class and we sit in a circle (damn you, circle!), but I did my best. 

It was really hard to pay attention to what the prof was saying, because all I could do was wonder how Miss Irresponsible would respond to our confronting her.  Toward the end, though, we were given some examples of workplace conflict and asked how to identify the problem, and then the solution we felt was best.  For this, we had to get into the group, and can you guess who I had to sit next to?  Oh so uncomfortable.  Then, all too soon, the professor stopped talking.  This was it, no going back now.

Just by chance, everyone else left the room for a bathroom break except for the four of us in our group.  Miss Irresponsible got up to go, too, and I asked her if she was coming back.  She said she was, so the other two and I used that time to get on the same page with what we were going to start with.  When she came back, I told her that we needed to all talk about what happened on Thursday, and shut the door for privacy. 

Since all three of us are big weenies and conflict-phobes, I took the bull by the horns and told her that we all were upset with her for not showing up at our pre-arranged meeting, and for not contacting anyone letting us know she wouldn’t be there.  A river of excuses came spewing from her mouth, the same ones we’d already heard.  It wasn’t as if she had blown us off, she said, because she just forgot.  We’d texted her about the meeting when she was asleep and hadn’t written it down and had forgotten it. (Note – this is where I really wanted to tell her that SHE is responsible for keeping track of assignments, meetings, etc., and it is no one’s job to remind her.  However, I refrained).  The other lady reminded her that there’s no way we could have known that.  What we knew was that we had all agreed to meet, including her, and that if we hadn’t initiated contact to find out where she was, no contact would’ve been made.  More excuses.  I reminded her that this wasn’t the first time she’d not shown up for something and not let someone know ahead of time, and told her that the consequence of that is that I can’t trust her to be dependable.  More excuses.  We had to wrap it up because it was time for the next part of class, but I asked her if she’d talked to our assigned teacher at the middle school.  She shook her head no.  I let her know that the teacher had asked me why she hadn’t heard from my partner for three weeks, and – no lie – her response was, “why can’t SHE contact ME?”  FACEPALM.  Part of the reason we do field work in local schools is so that we can form relationships that can help us when we graduate.  If you make a bad impression, you could have a hard time finding a job later on.  Why is this fact eluding her?

I have mixed feelings about the outcome.  I am proud that I was able to tell her what I felt was important without blaming or accusing.  I also feel good that I admitted to her face to face that I added to the problem by getting angry about her absence.  I felt good that I had two other people backing me up.  While it wasn’t horrible (there were no tears or punches thrown), I’m not sure anything truly got resolved.  At no point did she own up to her bad behavior, and that really, really bothers me.  I’m not sure if it’s because I’d had such high hopes for her last semester when she was my student, or if it’s because she’s just been a real asshole.

Regardless, the rest of the day was great.  I was able to get a nice long walk in with a friend between classes, and then I had the honor of going to Little J’s fourth grade concert tonight.  It was great, and I had fun watching him and his friends sing and be silly.  During the last song of the night, he played the bodyguard to “The Beatles,” protecting them from rabid fans (the teachers).  Here comes the sun, indeed.

Totally Music Tuesday

This song’s been around for a while, but it’s one of the ones that gets stuck in my head a lot and I still like it.  It’s Belle and Sebastian’s “The Boy With the Arab Strap.”  Hope you have a great Tuesday!

@#*()!@#@^&*@$& Really? You must be joking, right?

I’m wound up, and this is gonna be a rant post – you’ve been warned.

So, I’ve told you a little bit here and here about the young lady I’ve been partnered with this semester for one of my classes.  It has only gotten worse with each passing week.  Last week, she wasn’t in class at all, nor was she there the previous Thursday, nor on Friday for observations.  The 8th grade teacher we’re paired with told me on Monday that she hasn’t heard from her in two weeks, even though we’re supposed to be in the classroom at least once a week.  For our current project (that was really supposed to be due before spring break), we, in a group with another set of partners, planned to create a video on study strategies.  It was a great idea, and we were all excited about it.  My partner came up with a basic script and another lady and I brainstormed on elaborating it a bit.  The lone male of the group had a high tech video camera and editing software, so he was going to be our director.  All we had to do was have time for all of us to get together and film.  We made the plan to meet at the other lady’s house on the 12th to do our filming.  Everyone wrote it down in their planners, typed it into their phones, etc.

Cut to last Thursday, the 11th, and my partner is nowhere to be seen.  She hadn’t messaged or anything to let anyone (including the professor) know she wasn’t coming.  She has yet to make it to class on time, so I gave her a half hour before texting to ask if everything was ok.  Now she had caught the stomach bug that her daughter had the week before.  The other group members decided that they didn’t want to do filming the next day, since none of us wanted to catch whatever it was.  Me, being her partner, had to relay this message, which she didn’t take too kindly.  The three of us figured out that we would all be free today, and I asked her if she would be able to come this morning at 9, to which she replied yes.  She even asked, “AM?”  We all three saw the text, we all three understood that she would be there this morning, Thursday, March 18, 2010, at 9:00 AM.

By 9:45, she still hadn’t shown up and had not texted or called any of us.  Again, since I’m her partner, I was the one who had to contact her.  “Did you forget about filming?” I asked.  Turns out, she had.  She was at a WIC appointment with her daughter.  This was the same excuse she’d given two weeks ago for missing something else.  She started coming up with plans, like the three of us doing the video and her doing the voice-overs or meeting another day.  I told her that today was the only day the three of us all had free, and that we would figure it out.  Apparently, that was the wrong thing to say, because she unleashed some angry texting on me, telling me I was being shitty and acting like she wasn’t part of the group, and maybe she’d just talk to the professor and do her own project.  Really????  The rest of the group has been in every class, at every meeting, and had already rescheduled filming to accomodate her.  I did not reply back because A) I didn’t want to say something inflammatory and B) What good would it have done, anyway?

We re-jumbled our set-up and got to filming, though by this time I was so flustered that my hands were shaking.  We got everything filmed by noon, and then sat down to try to figure out how to handle this, and especially how to deal with the way she reacted.  The other group members felt like I shouldn’t have to face her alone (which was very nice of them), so the three of us sat down and composed an email from the group.  This is the email we sent, word for word:

First of all, I apologize if my text message seemed clipped or terse, that was not my intention.  M***, D*****, and I were trying to figure out what to do because you were not here.  We understood that your daughter was sick and then you were sick, which was why we rescheduled to this week.  We were all already here, and figured that it would be easier for everyone, including you, to go ahead and film today, as it was the only day the three of us had free.  D***** needed the video finished so that he could edit it when he had the time (tonight and tomorrow morning).  Yes, I was upset that you weren’t here and that you hadn’t let any of us know, but I did not intend it to seem as if you weren’t a part of the group.  You contributed a great deal to the project, including writing our script, and that will be reflected in the credits of the video.

We hope you understand.

We tried very hard to keep anything accusatory out of it, yet by the time I’d gotten home, there was a reply in my inbox.  I won’t copy and paste that, but the jist of it is that we were wrong to exclude her, and we should cut her some slack since she’s had a hard few weeks and she’s all alone with her daughter.  Then, she asked me to let her know what we did today and what was left that she could do.  (Didn’t I do that already?)

Here is what I would like to say to her, but won’t:

Bitch, please!  I know it’s hard to be a single mother.  I am raising two children myself.  I get it, but you can NOT use that as your excuse every time YOU flake out on something.  When you are wrong, admit it!  Don’t just get pissed off at everyone else who has to pull your weight when you don’t come through.  Everyone else’s schedule doesn’t revolve around what’s going on in your life, and we can only accomadate so much before we start getting angry.  Take responsibility for your own actions. 

I honestly don’t know how I’m going to feel when I see her next.  The way she reacted to the email was way over the top, and it’s hard to have an honest discussion with someone when they essentially plug their ears and hum because they don’t think they did anything wrong.  Our professor knows only that she hasn’t been in class, and he’s kind of realized what’s going on, or at least the tip of the iceberg, but I don’t know that he will step in here.  I’m guessing that by the end of the semester, it’s going to be The Rest of the Class vs. Her.

I feel better having typed all that out, but I’d like to not see her again for the rest of my life.  Anyone know how to do that?  Open to suggestions.  😐

Totally Music Tuesday

Ceasars’ “It’s Not the Fall That Hurts.”  Love this song.

Happy Tuesday!

Dance Rebel

Spring Break is finally here!  Hip, hip, hooray!  Just imagine streamers and confetti and balloons everywhere, okay?

No, I’m not going somewhere tropical.  There’s no money for that, and besides, the boys’ spring break isn’t for another few weeks.  I’ll be reading and sleeping and vegging out, and planning lessons, and getting in observation hours, and did I mention reading?  I’m getting in at least one novel for fun, though.  I picked up Horns by Joe Hill.  I wish I knew how to underline here, because everything I type the name of a book and don’t underline it, the English teacher in me cringes.  I’m about halfway in after reading until 3 am.  I didn’t want to put it down, it’s very engaging.  I’ve been a fan of Mr. Hill’s ever since I picked up Heart Shaped Box, which is, hands down, the best, scariest novel I’ve read in years.  I didn’t know at the time that he is Stephen King’s son, but he definitely got his father’s storytelling skills.

Dance class was tons of fun last week.  We learned the Cha Cha and the Tango, which are pretty simple when you’re only doing the basic steps.  Our instructor, however, added a few more moves into the mix after about five minutes of learning the simple steps.  Everyone in the class is at different skill levels.  I mean, it’s the first steps class, so no one’s a pro, but some of them have been coming for months, some had private lessons first, etc.  Then there’s The Nerd and me.  We’re pretty good at the Foxtrot and the Swing, but this was our first time with the others.  Now, I’m pretty smiley and giggly anway, but I was extremely tired on Thursday, and therefore in an extremely silly mood.  During the class portion, it wasn’t so obvious, except probably to The Nerd.  We didn’t swap partners as much this time, and I usually smile a lot when I’m dancing with a stranger because, well, because it’s awkward, and who doesn’t feel better when someone’s smiling at them?  After the class part, there’s a dance in the ballroom where everyone can practice their steps.  There are a lot of people there who are in the more advanced classes, and we don’t usually stay too long since we didn’t know many dances.  This week, however, they were playing swing, then they played a foxtrot, then a tango.  So, we practiced.  First, we laughed about the horrible country song that we could swing to, then laughed harder when I realized I knew the words.  Then, I got the giggles when, during the foxtrot, The Nerd spliced some steps from another dance in.  Hey, I’m supposed to just go along with it and let the man think!  The piece de resistance was during the latin song we were practicing our newly acquired tango-ing skills on.  The song was ridiculous!  It had samples of “Tequila” in it, and every time we heard that part, I had an urge to do the Pee Wee Herman dance.  It also kept repeating, “Hola, Chica” over and over in a bedroom voice.  I worked hard to keep a straight face, though.  These dance people ain’t playin’!  They’re some serious somebodies, and we didn’t want to get kicked out of school.  When The Nerd looked me straight in the eye and said, “Hola, Chica” suggestively, though, I could not stop laughing.  Once the song was over, we high tailed it out of there before we got any more disapproving glares.  It was the most fun I’ve had in dance class so far.

We had our yearly trivia night at The Studebaker Museum on Saturday, and it was kind of a dud.  We competed the previous two years, and were always in the top five, but this year, we barely made it up from dead last.  I’m not sure if it was because the categories were more difficult (they were), if it was because of the different mix of people we had on our team, or if the other teams were just better.  I got to see my Bekki, though, so it’s all good.  Just a little disappointed we didn’t do better.

While the boys aren’t on Spring Break yet, there’s a teacher inservice today, so they’re home with me.  It’s all doomy and gloomy outside, but they’re out there playing basketball anyway.  The sun needs to come out!

What have YOU been up to?

Totally Music Tuesday

This is the cd that’s been playing in my car for the past three weeks.  The whole album is great, and this girl’s only 17 years old.  This week, I give you Sarah Jarosz’s “Song Up In Her Head.”  It’s not my favorite, but it sure is good.

Have a happy Tuesday!