So, I survived the lasagna poisoning of 2010, and made it back to school in time to administer my final exams (round 1).   Personally, I do all that I can to ensure that my students have a chance at success in my class…up to and including the dreaded assigning of extra credit, and giving (my version) of an easy exam.  Apparently, I failed on both counts.

We spent the end of the semester studying the literature of the Holocaust, and themes such as tolerance, bullying, racism, justice, and so forth.  Perhaps not the most cheerful wrap-up, but a unit that I consider extremely important.  We read Elie Wiesel’s memoir Night, viewed a moving documentary about Holocaust survivor Gerda Weissman-Klein, and tied it all in a neat bow by viewing the film Freedom Writers, about a group of post-Rodney King beating students in Long Beach who use their own study of the Holocaust to recognize the racial prejudice in their own lives.  (Sorry-there’s a lot more to all of these works, and my justification for studying them, but…you probably don’t want the pedagogy behind it all.)
ANYWAY.  My exam consisted of four multi-part short answer questions, designed to evaluate the writing and critical thinking skills of my students.  Even those who paid the most vague attention to the unit should have been able to draw upon their own experiences to comment on issues such as bullying, right?  I mean, who didn’t experience or witness at least one instance of bullying in their school days?

This kid:  “I have never been bullied but if I had been I’da had to beat some ass.  Sorry”  This child is a SENIOR.  Who expects to GRADUATE in two days.  WTH?

Or, do you agree with Miep Gies’ (one of the people who helped conceal Anne Frank) definition of a hero?  Explain.  (By the way, the definition was ON THE TEST.  Answer?  “Yes.”  My. Head. Explodes.  We have been through the “explain” rodeo more than once this year, people!

I did receive great, thoughtful answers, and some amazing insights…Which keep me going when I face “IDK” on an essay test.  But, still… ??!!!

The extra credit projects were hit or miss as well.  I have urged my kids to approach any Holocaust related project with sensitivity toward the material, and yet an unreasonable amount of glitter glue adorned various posters.  Fail.

Anyone faced this before?  Thoughts, rants, or otherwise?



Yay!  I started a blog!
And then I had to throw up!
And I am not in any way qualified as drunk!

(Which is a crying shame, given that it is a lovely early morning in May–in college, I would have been heading home now, make-up intact and cute-girl sundress fluttering in my wake…because IheartPaneer had fun, but wasn’t THAT GIRL, for God’s sake!)

But.  I am frighteningly sober, having failed to imbibe at a school function (BORING, no?  Yet adherent to the pretty reasonable drinking bylaws for teachers:  read–DON’T!) and have since watched the unfortunate remains of a sadly made Veggie Lasagna disappear into an unknown place in the Great Sewer Beyond.  I am sleepless, barfy, and in pain.  Why?  Because I CLEARLY need to be absent with 3 days to go in the school year.  Btw?  Substitute teachers will respond at 2:30 am to your cries for help…with rejection.

Note to the proprietors of the restaurant that hosted ye ol’ banquet… Frozen mixed veg (including LIMA BEANS) is never an acceptable addition to a veggie lasagna.  Just.  NO.  The fact that I have to point this out (especially given the charming European accent of the restaurant owner) saddens me.  Greatly.  And I may have to get sick again…not on principle (which I am entitled to, DUH) but because something is rotten in small-southern-town-Denmark…

Poisoned…By LOVE.

Sooooo, I am able to create this blog solely based on the fact that the food at my tennis banquet (I heart the 2010 Wildcats!) has tried to kill me.  No shit, whatsoever.  I mean, literally, no poop.  At this point.  It is just…well, getting rid of the evil within.  Quickly, with great force, and with blogging between episodes, because I have to do SOMETHING to keep my mind off my roiling tummy.

Huh.  I suppose I should continue to expound about whatever it is I want to make this blog about.  For instance, the name:  iheartpaneer.  Paneer, if you don’t know, is an Indian cheese:  it holds up well as a protein in many traditional dishes, and kicks major ass in the yum-yum department, in my opinion.  Shahi paneer, maater paneer…Fricking awesome.  My mother, with ye ol’ sensitive tummy, shouts for rice dishes:  Peas Pullao, Biryani… And claims (blasphemously) that paneer is not the bomb.com.  I beg to differ.  You know tofu, yes?  It tastes of terrible things, like sweat socks, bad memories, and the undergarments of untoward women.  Probably.  I don’t eat any of the above, including tofu, if I can help it.  ANYWAY.  Paneer ain’t tofu, people.  It is rich, creamy, capable of soaking up a sauce (the only virtue of the soybean bricks known as tofu) and absolutely YUMMMMM.  I cherry-pick these nuggets of glory from the Indian buffets that we frequent on the weekends…with NO SHAME.  I stand in my blond glory, gacking all the paneer, as people pile up in line behind me, grumbling.  Why?  “Cause I GOT TO!

Oh… Got to run for a sec.  Ugh….

First Time, US

Welcome to my blog!  I must say, I find it a bit disconcerting that I am “just another blog” according to the tagline on this sucker, and I hope to prove myself to be a little better than that.  (Please tell me that…I’m feeling vulnerable.  Poo.)

I am a woman of multiple facets, many of which I apparently need to share with the Internet at large.  I am…  well…

1.  A Bride-to-Be:  Yet not a Bridezilla (I think?!) …though I am facing TWO weddings within the next six months–an “American” (read: Christian-esque) traditional-for-me wedding in 6 weeks, and a wedding in the Indian tradition of the LOML (love o’ my life-naturally) in the fall.  You know how wedding planning makes you nuts?!  And makes you want to kick folk in the facial areas when specific varieties of magical floating candles are not readily available?!  Of course you do!  Now, magnify this by 2 gatrillion, and you get the stress of knowing that after you pull off ONE wedding, you have to…um, fly 50,000 miles and complete another one.  In a frightening abs-baring variety of dress.  At which (at times) you may have to speak a language in which you know only how to curse and insult others.  (Hey, I’m learning…from road rage!)  Imagine…

2.  A Teacher:  Of the HIGH SCHOOL variety.  As in, American teens, ranging from 14 years old to Dear-God-shouldn’t you have a Bachelor’s-by-now-age?!  My students are the lights of my life, and the reason I am *slightly* batshit crazy.  It’s a vicious battle between enlightenment and ass-kicking each and every day.  I love it.  Did I mention that I teach Literature?  In a Southern State?  In a Conservative County?  (In my experience, Conservative County = disciplining students for “dip bottles,” otherwise known as GRODY-ASS soda bottles used for the spit-receiving of tobacco sucking students.  It is exactly as disgusting as it sounds.)  I used to teach in a Liberal County:  Better quality of fights, but also a helluva lot of technology and grant money.  Liberals adore grant-writing.  (And possibly smoking their tobacco?  Never took up a Mountain Dew bottle filled with drool and “dip flakes” in my urban schools…)

3.  A Coach:  Of various sports, including the much-maligned Competitive Cheerleading (IT’S A SPORT:  DON’T HATE.) and Tennis.  A genteel sport at which I suck.  Yet I know the rules and fundamentals, so I became coach.  Huh.

While clearly there are other roles that I play, for the foreseeable future, that’s me.  I am finishing my 7th year in the classroom this week, wrapped up my tennis season last night with a banquet that made my heart tighten up (saying farewell to my seniors…WAH!), and came home to admire my favor boxes.  (Shiny red Chinese take-out boxes…BadASS, no?)

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