Monday, December 7, 2009

Coming Clean

Forgive me readers, but I have sinned. It's been too long since my last blog entry. In fact, my computer's cache memory did not even recognize me, and I had to retype my username (although it then IMMEDIATELY pulled up my password with an--I could have sworn I heard--"Oh yes. . . of course . . . welcome back most eminent sir.") So much has happened since I last blogged, writing a poem about the rain (if you'd like to read it, log on to the blog that has been posted for the last 3 millennium). Ironically, opposite of what you'd expect, since my "Ode to Rain," it really hasn't stopped. Of course it has transitioned from HOT rain to COLD rain, as the time frame between posts has spanned several seasons, we've been fortunate enough to have had to use the "Resolve" carpet cleaner since then to clean up all the mud spots on the carpet in the house caused by the mixutre of all the formerly DRY dirt with all the WET rain on the lawn.

So what's happened since then? Not a whole lot. Obama is still president (although at the time of my last post he was still then just a president withOUT a Nobel Peace Prize). Since then, 30,000 more troops have been ordered to Afghanistan to fight the chimeral, elusive Taliban by the winner of this year's Nobel Peace Prize. (NOTE: the inventor of the prize himself is rolling over in his grave, not only because he is laying on an uncomfortable rock, but because he invented Trinitro Touline, alson known as TNT, or dynamite.)

I blame the lack of pedantic blogging on the current school schedule in which I am forced to operate. Having taught for 10+ (where + means "greater than or equal to 1 second") years under a 90-minute block schedule, meetin each class every OTHER day, this years regulare "work you butt off" schedule has been quite an adjustment. Meeting every class every day but for only 50 minutes has thrown my Circadian rhythms waaaay off. I've been trying to adjust, but I can't help but still being rudly interupted by the dissmissal bell about 2/3 into my lesson, usually right when I'm about to reveal the whole kernal of the lesson. How anticlimactic and unfulfilling is THAT to the studetnts??!!

I'm still in 90 minute mode, but every day.

They say this is better for the students, which I'm OK with. If they get 2/3 less math every day but they get it EVERY day, that's more math in the long run and in smaller chunks . . . provided they are doing their homework. Which brings me to the OTHER change this year.

Homework is worth 0% of their grade, which means it doesnt' count towards their final averages . . . numerically. Try convincing an over-extended teenager that they don't have to do homework but that it is as important as going to the dentist, and you'll have a lot of happy students with excessive plaque build-up. Add to the fact that when they finally DO go to the dentist, he'll not only CLEAN their teeth to a brilliant white, he'll also fill any cavity caused by lack of brushing. Well, I've become the mathematical dentist.

When it comes time for the test, I finally have chance to see, much to my DISsupprise, that many students aren't "brushing." In other words, MOST FAIL (at least according to my standard of brushing 3 times a day AND flossing DAILY). It's obvious that most are brushing once a week, in between episodes of "Glee" and "Grey's Anatomy," (I'm beginning to wonder if I should rename my two math shows to start with "G," or at least be aired on major networks.) As their "dentist," when I finally assess their "teeth," I feel the need to fix everything first, then gently reprimand. This means a generous curve to the scores and a stern talking to, whereby I vow to hold them in "low esteem" if they don't turn their habits around.

I have about as much recourse and influence as an eccentric dentist who happens to make it "cool" to brush constantly, floss daily, and who gives low-fat, tastless, hard, dry (but free) candy on the way out the door.

Consequently, I keep cleaning "more and more," while the teeth get "dirtier and dirtier," simply because no one at home, or in a position of real authority wants to deny children from enjoying their candy.

Draw your own inferences from this fable, the moral of which is: DO YOUR HOMEWORK.

Good luck Unicorns this Saturday. May you beat the Katy Tigers with the cleanest of teeth.


bob s said...

Welcome back! I have missed your musings. It will be interesting to see how the schedule ultimately works out. Funny how when we changed to block schedule it was because it was better for the students. As usual most school decisions have little to do with the students. Homework doesn't count???? Well good luck with that. Maybe we should just do away with grades, it sure would eliminate a number of issues. In any event, welcome back.

LC said...

YEA !! It's good to see you blogging again. I really have missed you. (Hi Bob S -- how are you doing these days?)

What do you mean homework doesn't count anything????? Whose bright idea was that???

Andrew Z said...

Woo! You're back in the blogosphere! It's been more like a blogocube (ie. square) without you. I like your entry today, and I definitely agree with most of it. However, I do say that Glee is a viable excuse to put aside anything with the exception of maybe a house fire.

But yes, I agree that homework counting as nothing has "encouraged" me to be a little less strict about my "dental" care, but look on the bright side: I only noticed you had a blog entry BECAUSE I was going to your website to "brush my teeth!"

Kirby said...

Mr.Korpi...just wanted to let you know that I stumbled upon this blog by going to the 'assignment sheet' on your website for 5.1!

What luck I have! "Oh, I'm going to try to actually do the homework this unit!" GUILT TRIP :D

We appreciate you sooo much. And yes...the dentist analogy is very true. Let me tell you, I get guilty about two weeks before I get my teeth cleaned. Kinda like before a big calc

Okay, so I'll do my homework. :] Keep blogging!