Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Some recent thoughts

This is going to be a doozy...

1. GRADUATION EXAMS: The last couple of weeks at work I have been consumed with the Alabama High School Graduation Exam, a test that all students must pass to graduate high school. This test is made on an 11th-grade academic level and has 5 parts: Reading, Language, Science, Social Studies, and Math. Students begin this testing in the Spring of their 10th grade years and can repeat specific parts during the Spring of their 11th grade year, the summer before their Senior year, and 3 times during their Senior year. 92 of my 130 students are Seniors, and this week is their last opportunity to pass in time for graduation. I love my Seniors. I have 11 students who have not passed the Language part and several more who are still retaking the Reading part, and I have spent all of my free moments tutoring them lately. It is so difficult to teach subject-verb agreement to a 12th-grader who has not experienced it in his or her previous English classes; it is even more difficult to teach "main idea" and "supporting details" to students who have never read on their own because everything has always been read to them. It has heightened my frustration of public education in Alabama, but it has given me purpose as a teacher--which is good considering I've been having those, "I don't know how much longer I can do this..." types of feelings lately. I have a lot invested in these students who are testing this week. I truly love them and want them to beat the odds and have the bright future that is just beyond their grasp of reality. I will be devestated for those that do not pass, and I just pray that they will not give up on themselves.

2. MY SPACE, FACEBOOK, AND THE LIKE: So I like to surf the internet. So I'm not doing anything harmful while I'm on the computer. So I probably waste some good sweet precious time online. So, I lose out on good intentions sometime... Well, there are lots of people, more than I even want to acknowledge that exist, that are on the computer with BAD intentions. I think that there are many cool aspects to Facebook and Myspace--networking, keeping in touch, laughing at the funny/stupid stuff people put out there, but lately Patrick and, in turn, I have been made aware by some friends of some extremely dangerous things some of our youth group girls are putting out there. Skimpily clad, "liking to party," soft porn images, and CELL PHONE NUMBERS, emails, contacts. Whoa! Could we be any more ignorant, naive, stupid? I have been thinking and praying about how to make the internet a venue for good positive things for these teens. I like what Jamin and Buster have done with their teen websites--linking it to their blogs and other cool places to visit... Because teens are going to be on the computer. That's it. Any good ideas, pass them along. Patrick and I would be grateful.

3. WEDDINGS: This weekend a very dear friend of mine is getting married. Cool story, even cooler girl. Very lucky guy! This is the first wedding that I'll have been in since mine, 4 and a half months ago. Very fun and a little strange. I remember how stressed out I was about being stressed out. Because it is fun, or at least, it is supposed to be. I was never all that into "being the bride" as some people say. It took me a long time to decide that I was ready to get married, and then I was just ready...to GET MARRIED. Now, looking back, I really loved my wedding. I loved everything, everyone about it. Don't get me wrong, I loved and appreciated it in the moment too, but in a way, I was just ready for it to be over. I am excited about getting to be a part of a wonderful, family and friend-filled, and more importantly, God-filled, wedding celebration. Sure I wish that I'd lost some of my holiday weight and that my dress wasn't so tight and that I didn't get so fried at the tanning bed last Saturday (There's a story--ask me!), but I'm just excited and want to help the bride soak it all in and enjoy it. After all, it is the day little girls are supposed to dream about all of their lives...

5 comments:

Cary said...

I'm a proponent of social networking sites, but unfortunately their dark side is becoming more apparent as 1) predators are finding easy prey with them and 2) young women are basking in the attention they are able to generate.

The only realistic approach I see is for parents and others involved in the lives of these girls to be aware of their involvement in these communities. It would probably help for youth workers to educate parents and others who naturally find themselves out of the loop on these things. I'm hoping to teach a class at NCMS '06 about online social networking, instant messaging, xanga networks, etc. to highlight them as a tool for campus ministers and the dangers that their students may fall into with them as well.

Kristy said...

Thanks, Cary. Patrick actually sent out an email to parents today--after some prayer and revision. He has gotten several encouraging responses. That's cool about your class. I'd love to get the cd of it!

Cary said...

We'll see if the powers to be let it through to the schedule.

Supabloggasuprememama said...

On to the lighter side, I cannot wait til this weekend! You will look fabulous in your dress, and we will have alot of fun hanging out! - girl if you gained ten pounds then you needed to, skinny mini. I need some au peeps time cause Im totally burned out on the MGM ones!!
I'll be praying for your students and passing their exams, and also for the my space etc. spots we have all been seeing recently-its scary out there...

JesseFaris said...

YEA! I'M the friend! The wedding is MINE! Someone just blogged about me! Ha...

Girl, I am so excited about seeing you this weekend. Your thoughts COMPLETELY connected with me (ab the stressed out ab being stressed out!!!), and I know we will have good times quite soon. You are a dear dear friend and truly a matron of honor. (Except matron sounds old...but you ARE honorable.)

PS: Directions are on the way to your email box...