Quotable students

A few weeks ago I was back at a school I was in a lot last year as a sub. I was walking into the auditorium and this happened:

Student: [sees me walk in] Ah man – we have a sub?
As I get closer and he can see me clearly.
Student: Oh sweet never mind – I like you! You’re the cool sub from last year!

I was back there about a week later for the same teacher and the same student informed me I was the only sub they actually liked and how they told their teacher to only ever ask for me.

Meanwhile in the same school, for a different teacher in a gr.11 class I had to break up a discussion some of the students were having because it was about porn.

Yep.

This is how ridiculously extreme my work can be from day to day – even if I’m in the same school repeatedly.

Anywho – this is my way of saying I’m going to attempt to blog again. Real life took over for a bit, but now things seem to almost have some semblance of a schedule and order.

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Organizing a Soccer Tournament

I’ve worked summer camps for years – ever since I was 16 actually. Every summer we do a huge soccer tournament where all the kids in our programs come. It’s loads of fun for the kids. Not so much sometimes for those of us who have to organize it.

I’ve done scheduling all the years I’ve been a supervisor and given the nature of the programs we run – since they’re drop-in we always end up having to do the schedule the night before. It sucks, but we get it done. What REALLY sucks though is when I’m the only one who seems to have a brain in my head.

We run approximately 10 games at a time which means we need a minimum of 10 refs and preferably 15 so they don’t have to ref every single game, but can instead rotate on and off – ref 2 games, take a break, repeat. Usually I find a lot of the refs – I have a number of friends who play soccer. I also usually use those friends to find me more refs.

However, this year, most of my usual go-to people have full time jobs so they can’t volunteer their time. Which would be fine if someone else had stepped up, but predictably no one has. I’ve exhausted my resources and as it stands – with the tournament in 3 days, I have 8 refs. 6 are supply staff, one is my sister and one is one of my best friends.

No one else has found a single ref. We can pull staff, but that really sucks for them not to be able to watch their kids and have to get reports from the other staff after the fact. This is definitely one of those times where I feel like the others aren’t pulling their weight. I’m busting my ass trying to make things work and nothing. One of the other girls is basically taking care of all the extras (concession/off-time activities/etc) and the other 3? Hell if I know.

Argh.

Did any of that make sense?

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Song Lyrics

A lot of the time I listen to music and I might like it and jam to it, but I think from a creative and artistic standpoint that most new music is crap. 20 years down the road are we still going to be singing these songs? Probably not. They’ll fade out and some may be guilty pleasure songs the same way that some horrible disco songs of the 70s are.

The fact is though that given the rate of output for these songs today, there is an insane amount to choose from. They run their course then slowly disappear.

However – every so often you’ll hear that song that makes you stop. I currently absolutely adore Adele who I discovered in 2007/08 while living in Europe. I also equally adore Lykke Li – who I’ve seen live and met backstage because I happened to be working that night. I didn’t know who she was when I ran into her while working, but then I heard her performing and went “Hey wait – I know that song!”

These are artists who produce lovely and wonderful music. Not exactly pump up music I want before a game (that usually ends up being AC/DC or other old school rock). This is music that will stand the test of time though in my opinion. These other singers all produce music that sounds the same each time to me. Whatever happened to real creativity? Has it been taken over by the machine that is the music industry? No – I don’t think so. I just think those megastars have such a huge PR juggernaut behind them they get more airplay than the others who actually have a real quality to their work.

Both Adele and Lykke Li have songs that I can connect with on a different level. The lyrics actually seem to have thought and meaning behind them – they aren’t just churned out for the sake of trying to have meaning. (Don’t get me wrong – I do like Lady Gaga, but she seems very contrived and it bothers me a lot.) I’ve never had a serious relationship, but when I hear “Someone Like You” by Adele it reminds me of how I’ve felt when I’ve seen my guy friends who I’ve carried a torch for find the perfect girlfriend for them. How I do genuinely want the best for them, but how it still really hurts that they didn’t get that from me. The line of “don’t forget me I beg” is so true – being forgotten is a huge fear for me. I tend to drift at times into my own world and it’s hard to come back from that at times.

“Little Bit” by Lykke Li holds a similar theme for me – especially the opening “Hands down, I’m too proud, for love. But with eyes shut, it’s you I’m thinking of. But how we move from A to B it can’t be up to me, ’cause I don’t know. Eye to eye, thigh to thigh, I let go.” I do sometimes feel that I act like I’m to proud for love – that I revel in showing off that I’m self-sufficient and don’t need a man in my life. Yet, I’ll close my eyes and suddenly The Boy is there before me and again – I don’t know where I’m supposed to go from here but we share those looks, we sit beside each other so close we touch and it makes me dizzy.

What do you think of the state of music today? What songs hold that moment for you?

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Politically Incorrect

I will start of by saying that yes, I am an white, anglo-saxon Christian woman, and thus not a minority in my community. The only time I “-isms” I might have affect me are sexism and ageism, neither of which has been that large of a factor in my life. You know the joke “Why can’t Helen Keller drive? Because she’s a woman.” – I laugh at stuff like that. That doesn’t mean that when my friends say stupid shit I don’t call them out on it.

However, there are a lot of people in this world who are looking for something to take offense to. I’ve been reading a number of larger blogs lately and I see a constant need to cry victim. My personal favourite thus far has been someone complaining about a comment at the New York Pride parade. The writer talks about some other things, but what I zoned in on was that she identifies herself as being a queer woman of colour. At the parade and upon seeing some women of colour in burlesque costumes, a white man behind her commented to his partner, also a white man, “Wow. It’s just like national geographic.” Her response was to get so upset she left the parade.

Now – she does make some good points about corporations paying lip service to different minority groups but still being assholes over all. I’m with her on that one. At the same time though – if you are going to take that much offense to an off-handed comment in a conversation you are not a part of? Back up a second, take some deep breaths and think about it. I realize that she probably does get a lot of negative comments given she does fall into two minority groups and thus has probably had some awful experiences. I get that – I do. At the same time though if you are going around expecting people to say bad things it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Everyone has different levels of comfort with certain things – myself I’m pretty good at being one of the guys and some of my buddies do make what could be considered sexist comments and jokes. Thing is they know if they’re making me uncomfortable I’ll say something and I also know they’re not actually sexist dicks. Besides I’ll yell at them that they throw like a girl and other things of that nature.

I think a lot of the time – in modern society – there are still some genuine bigoted jerks out there. However, I think it’s even worse to take offense to every little comment, especially if it’s not directed at you. You’ll drive yourself crazy and be miserable if all you see is the negative. The big thing is know when to pick your battles and recognize that overall, most people don’t mean to be jerks, things just pop out of their mouth. And yes sometimes it’s truly awful what people can say without thinking/knowing the true context behind what they’re saying, but at the same time I believe most people are good people. You need to look at the world with a sense of humour and recognize that it is a good place to be.

In any event, I’m always reminded of this lovely song from Avenue Q when I think of the political correctness in the world today. It’s “Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist” and it’s a riot.

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Painkillers

I’ve been very off-kilter lately with life, and a lot of it has to do with the fact that I’ve been unable to be particularly active and blow off steam because I’m pretty much out of commission due to injury. Basically, it sucks. A lot.

Anywho, I have an interesting way of taking painkillers. Sometimes, if I know I’m likely to be in a situation where I’m playing a competitive game, I won’t take the painkillers until after we’ve finished. Why? Because if I don’t feel pain, I’m more likely to try to hard and end up doing something stupid which prolongs my injury.

I have slowly been getting better, but I’m still unable to do a lot. I also tend to try and ignore any pain by woman-ing up about it. The irony here is I am really good with physical pain when I want to be and can grit my teeth and get ‘er done. However, trying to woman up to do something scary like ask a guy out? Not a chance my friends.

I have a theory about this as well. When you hurt yourself, you can take painkillers and ice the injury, etc. When you go and put your emotions out there and have the potential to have your heart broken, there’s no easy way to deal with the pain. It sucks. Sure, you can sit there and drown your sorrows in ice cream, but it doesn’t really work the same way painkillers do. At least in my opinion.

Funny the things one can handle that are more serious and possibly have very long term consequences, and yet something that is rather trivial in the long wrong is so hard to deal with.

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It’s the little things in life

My day was a very all over the map kind of day because of various little things. Some good and some not so good, but not so much bad as just irritating and eye roll inducing. I find that I seem to get more easily annoyed when I’ve been getting less sleep than normal, so no surprise that while today started out fantastic, the smallest things really started harshing my mellow.

However, in the interest of going to sleep with a good feeling, the things that were positive today.

1. Going down to eat breakfast and seeing a giant front page picture of two of the kids from the special education classroom I volunteer in. They were voted prom king and queen. Super cute and heartwarming that their peers would do such a thing.

2. Getting to go play baseball for several hours as part of an outreach thing with my work. So much better than sitting in a stuffy building all day.

3. The Boy noticing I was getting increasingly frustrated by my poor athletic performance (I’m on restrictions at the moment due to a recent injury so running is quite painful). The Boy and I tend to have a pretty joking rapport with each other. However, he was intuitive enough to notice that I was agitated and gave me a quiet high five of encouragement when I got to the base he was playing – even though we were on opposing teams. We tend to be loud and over the top with each other, so when we are quieter/softer with each other it’s very noticeably sincere and genuine. (Not that we aren’t sincere and genuine the rest of the time, we just tend to overlay those things with a lot of extras in terms of volume and chatter.)

4. Free food. Speaks for itself.

5. Getting to spend a night at home with nothing at all to do. Nice change of pace since I’ve just been on the go so much lately.

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Get Your Shit Together

I myself have many faults – including procrastination and sheer laziness when the mood strikes. I’m often the type of person who says “Don’t worry about it – it’ll get done.” And it does – just often at the last minute when the deadline finally lights a fire under my ass. Ironically, this is something I hate in other people – especially if it is a group project because group projects are the one thing I always do right away. It’s one thing for me to do poorly and it affects me, it’s different if I know it will affect other people.

I also will often have a mind like a sieve – I forget things. A lot. My short term memory is awful. However, I guarantee you I’ll remember all about your favourite top you’ve had for years that no longer fits because you had two kids, but damnit you’re going to lose 30lbs and wear it again by 2012. (I use that as an example because it’s true and my friend was shocked I remembered.) However, important things – especially work related deadlines or notes on extra training, I always have it written down somewhere. I will also always know when we have a day off because we had to work a Saturday – like we do tomorrow.

Girl A from my previous post – Awkward – is an example of someone who needs to get her shit together. Twice today she’s messaged me about stuff from work. The first one at about 9:30am as I was getting ready to go to church, asking when some extra training was that doesn’t apply to me because I’ve already done it. The second was about 20 minutes ago asking if tomorrow was the day we had off.

…really? You need to double check which day you have off? How did you manage to not make a big note of that in your calendar? Aside from this she is beyond scattered at work and I suspect I’m going to have to pick up the slack on any major events as a result. Awesome.

It seems like a lot of my friends and acquaintances need to get their shit together lately. There’s the popular not bothering to really look for a job, but then whining about not having anything to do and having no money. (Bonus points if they buy expensive Coach purses or a new car!) There’s the equally, if not more popular, “Omg why is he being so mean?” in regards to dates/hook-ups/boyfriends/girlfriends when they themselves are being about a bazillion times worse (in some cases cheating themselves).

I understand when you suddenly finish school in your early/mid-twenties it’s rough. You thought you’d graduate and land your dream job didn’t you? No dice my friend. There are those lucky few who pull that off and I’m pretty sure most of them worked their asses off to get there. There’s people like me who have somehow managed to have almost a dozen jobs since graduation this time last year – even if they were seasonal or contract only. I still apply to an average of 3-5 jobs a week too. (Often teaching assignments that I never hear back about, but I keep applying.)

My point – convoluted as it may be – is that you need to get your shit together. Plain and simple. You cannot waste all this time doing dick all and not take any responsibility for yourself and your work. Buy a daybook and keep track of everything – that’s what I had to do. Honestly – it works miracles some days.

 

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