Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A Short Post

I had planned to post on the NYC blogger meetup today, because I had, yet again, forgotten that I don't have a clone to do such things, while I soak in a hot bath before falling into bed. You see, I got up at 4:30 this morning to drive up to Newark, NJ to spend the day visiting classrooms full of 5-8-year-olds doing math. I just got home, and needless to say, I couldn't possibly write a coherent post that would do justice to the day on Saturday. Instead, I'm giving you five interesting things I learned today (because, you know, I went to school):

1. If you're thinking, "Why isn't the GPS telling me to take the New Jersey Turnpike to the Garden State Parkway?" listen to your instinctual reply, "Because the GPS hasn't a clue what it's doing," and stay on the New Jersey Turnpike, instead of thinking the GPS might know some cool, new, better way to go.

2. Newark, NJ has a little Italian bakery where you can get the best chocolate canoli you've ever had in your life. Who would've thought?

3. Despite the fact that lots of things have changed in schools today, second-graders still throw up on the floor in the middle of class, just like they did when you were in school, and all the other kids react exactly the way you remember kids reacting.

4. Even when kids wear uniforms and are only six years old, you can still spot the future nerds, hipsters, rockers, and jocks. The difference is that at this age, they are all adorable (most especially the miniature nerds -- the only ones with their shirts tucked into pants with elastic waists, cinched by belts, which no other kids are wearing).

5. Being a teacher is absolutely THE hardest thing anyone could choose to do. Forget Obama "socialism," I'd like to set up a little "wealth redistribution" plan of my own, in which all CEOs swap their salaries with teachers.

And now for that bath...


Amanda said...

You seem to be doing very well on the regular updating, Emily. Kudos! Totally agree on the worth of teachers. My daughter started school this week and I am amazed at her teacher's sheer stamina and organizational skills getting 20 new entrant five years olds through the activities of the day and then ready for home with backpacks ready and individualised reading homework all assigned. I could never, never do it.

Anonymous said...

Wow - what a day you had! I think you truly deserve a long soak and a nice meal and a good sleep. I always think I have it VERY easy teaching university students in tiny groups. It's hardly the frontline activity of school teachers. My sister-in-law is taking the babies' class this year (4-5 year olds) and she says its like biological warfare out there.

Watson Woodworth said...

Ah GPS's.
You know, over the past few years truck drivers have been getting into trouble with their GPS's directing them under bridges you can't fit a truck under.
Even the much vaunted "Microsoft Streets & Trips" doesn't factor in a 13'6" vehicle height in their directions.

I've always wondered what school would be like if teachers lived as well as their students.
(And I grew up poor as Hell!)

Anonymous said...

Your day sounds like it was fun. Hope you had a nice bath!

ZoesMom said...

Did you never watch the Sopranos? Many, many serious Italians live in and around the Newark area. There is some of the best Italian food to be had anywhere outside of Italy.

Oh, and I was the second grader who threw up in class.

Anonymous said...

I also vote for celebrities and professional athletes to pony up some paycheck for teachers.

I went in to read to my daughter's pre-k class and that line of work is sooooooooo not for me. Even picking up the baby from daycare - it's like Night of the Living Dead the way the babies all approach the car seat so slowly. You see them coming but there's no getting out of the way.

Emily Barton said...

Ms. Make Tea, well, thank you! Just thinking about your daughter's teacher is making me think I might just need another hot bath and early-to-bed night.

Litlove, I DID have a nice long soak, accompanied by a mug of tea and a good book. Meanwhile, don't sell yourself short. University students may not throw up on the floor, but they come with a whole different set of issues.

Stef, it was a very nice bath!

ZM, nope, I've only seen a couple of episodes of the Sopranos, and that was long ago, but having read Janet Evanovich, I really should have been prepared (that's Trenton, but still, it's NJ!

Sara, oh yes, celebrities and professional athletes too. And LOL at Night of the Living Dead Babies.

Anne Camille said...

I second ZoesMom on the Italian food in NJ. Best cake I ever had had canoli filling in the center. The potential embarrassment in front of my colleagues was the only thing that kept me from taking the cake and making a run for it so I could enjoy it all by myself!

Teaching young children is something that I could definitely not do. I admire all who can do it (I wouldn't say I admire every teacher because I do know some teachers who weren't meant for that line of work. I think they were miserable for the most part.)

Emily Barton said...

Oh, Cam, you are so right. I definitely saw a teacher yesterday who did not deserve to get paid even a teacher's salary. One of the kindergartners in her class, with whom I was working with some math manipulatives, poignantly turned to me at one point, and oh-so-earnestly-and-eagerly asked, "When we're finished doing this, will you stay and play with me?"