Statistics and crime map…
May 08 Published in Remembrance, Reflections by Purple
This is a continuation of my journal from my 2001-2002 school year. Please read the previous posts to give this entry context.
Wednesday – May 2, 2002
The article about Pam’s death came out in the Sentinel: Teacher dies in bizarre accident.
Pam’s body was discovered by the Social Studies Department Chair who went to check on her when she didn’t report to work. Pam was found on her kitchen floor. “Severe burns covered most of her body. A gas burner on her stove was on.”
Apparently Pam was wearing something highly flammable, which caught fire.
Pam survived her partner’s death, spent nearly every day of the trial in court, overcame a hip replacement and horrible complications. How awful to contemplate that she was only lurching toward this destiny.
As large as our school may be, our lives are still enmeshed. Pam had been collecting the checks for a colleague’s retirement, and our department chair’s retirement is planned for June lst, which would have been Pam’s 53rd birthday.
Recently my husband and I have become hooked on The Sopranos. We don’t have cable, so we’ve been renting videos of the episodes. Both Danny and I find that the series stirs us up. We dream about the characters and events that take off from the program. It’s as though when Tony Soprano goes to the psychiatrist, we go with him. In one episode, one of his “associates” has lost his father, and Tony comments on how they are now the elders.
My colleague who’s retiring lost her mother this year. Yesterday, the department chair’s father died. We are becoming the elders.
I had a message from Roberto’s mom and gave her a call this morning. I hated having to tell her that Roberto hadn’t done his essay. On the other hand, I was able to encourage her to get Roberto signed up for summer school. She didn’t even know the forms were out or where to get them. So, the conversation was useful for that. Even though Roberto hasn’t a prayer of passing this semester of English, I’m glad that his mom knows about the career research reports that the students have started. Roberto needs to start breaking his bad habits now, if he plans to succeed in summer school.
During the block schedule yesterday, I introduced the Career Choices books, and the requirements and rubric for the research paper. We talked about the interview. Students must interview someone in a career like that which they hope to pursue. The interview is a required source of information for the paper. We practiced mock phone calls to set up an appointment. Lupe volunteered. She called a law office. Playing the receptionist, I hung up on her twice. She was too giggly and unclear about what she wanted. Then Popo volunteered. It was good practice.
In groups, students generated ten questions they might ask during the interview. The groups shared their questions with the whole class, so students could add or substitute questions.
Then we did a mock interview. Lupe wanted to volunteer again, in spite of how poorly she’d done at the call. Instead, Amanda came to see me, playing the role of a veterinarian. Xochitl jumped up to play the receptionist. She knew exactly how to do the part.
When Amanda announced she had an appointment, Xochitl politely said, “Let me check the book.”
The students definitely needed this role playing, learning to introduce themselves and to state their purpose, to think about their manners, about shaking hands, etc.
They were shocked when I told them that they should never chew gum during an interview.
Chad’s mom contacted me by e-mail. It was great to have positive news for her, not only that he’d done well on his essay, but that he’d been selected for publication in the poetry contest. It gave me an opportunity to encourage her to take Chad to the reading.
Sixth period visited the Career Center today. Students used the Eureka database to investigate a career of interest.
“What’s that called that I was doing on Wednesday?” Xochitl wanted to know.
“That’s a receptionist,” I told her.
I encouraged her to aim for at least an office manager. One of the members of my writing group thought readers might take exception to my envisioning a female student in this role, that I might be perceived as sexist and limiting.
I guess that my readers will think whatever they please. I thought about modifying my ideas to be more politically correct, but decided for honesty. I don’t see all girls as working in offices—only Xochitl. And I see that job for her because of her personality. She’s a people person who loves to straighten up papers and pass things out and put up bulletins. This is what she enjoys. Why should she pursue being a lawyer or a doctor? God only knows the world needs good office managers. The office manager here runs the school.
Speaking of which, during our time in the Career Center, Xochitl and I strolled down the hall and I introduced her to the school’s office manager so that Xochitl could set up a time to interview her.