Monday, April 27, 2009

The Testing Blues

This past week at school we've been taking the CRCT or as I like to think of it the Completely-Ridiculous-Crap-Test. The CRCT is what the government of Georgia has decided kids in grades 1-8 have to take to prove that they are ready for the next grade. Of course we have to give it before the year is over so, of course, we have to cram 10 months worth of material into 8 1/2 months. I HATE this test!!!! It doesn't make sense that we judge an entire years worth of learning on one stupid day. What if you're having a bad day? What if your dog died? What if you couldn't sleep because you were in charge of your siblings and one of them was cranky? What if your best friend looked at you funny on the bus on the was home yesterday? What if the idea that one test is going to determine if you can go to the next grade freaks you out so much that you forget everything?

The really great part about this test, and others like it, is that if the students do really well on it...they make it harder! And all of those sped kids who we have to individualize education for? Well tough shit kid. You have to take, and pass, the same test. It doesn't matter that you can't add, or that you read on a 1st grade level, or that we give you an individualized education plan so that you can be successful at school, at the end of the day you still have to pass the same test as everyone else. So lets forget about the fact that over the course of the year Johnny has increased his reading level from 2nd to 5th grade. Let's forget that Sally now knows how to borrow in subtraction. I'd love to be able to say "nice job" and "way to go", but instead I have to say...."hells bells kids you suck."


How about the people are in charge of these things come and visit my classroom for a day. I'm willing to bet it would open their eyes to a whole different world :)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Technology is FUN

Those who know me know that I've been without cable for about a year and a half. I made the cut in an effort to save money, although my credit card would beg to differ! I also have dial-up Internet, again for money reasons. I couldn't quite make the cut to no Internet like my sister did, I'm a bit to addicted for that. The point is that I've thought for the past 18 months that I've been saving money........

Turns out I was wrong. I discovered that by getting a package deal, and cancelling AOL I'm actually saving money while getting to enjoy high-speed Internet for the first time in my house. Plus I can get cable back!! Please don't think me to pathetic that this fills me with joy. I've had the Discovery Channel on all day and I'm not tired of it yet! Who knew that I could enjoy faster Internet, the Discovery Channel, and pay LESS each month? Clearly I didn't know that or I would have done this a long time ago.

Welcome back Cable, welcome back.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Where Am I?

You know how Video Killed the Radio Star? Well it seems that GPS has killed my inner compass. This past weekend I drove to Orlando and, since my niece was in the car, my dad had us take his GPS. Now, I had kind of a hard time letting go of my mapquest directions which were printed out and sitting in my glove compartment, but I decided to try out Tina Turner. (On a side note, the GPS is named Tina Turner, you know because she tells you where to turn...) Anyway, Tina was pretty fun to have in the car. I especially liked being able to watch the map on screen and see how long it would take us to get there. Although I promise that I still watched the road and was a very responsible driver! Tina and I did have our differences, like whenever we entered a construction zone, but overall it really liked having someone telling me when and where to turn.
However, when we got to Sea World I discovered the trouble with Tina Turner. Despite my notoriously bad memory, and my inability to remember much of anything before 1989, I have a fairly great sense of direction. If I visit a place (think theme park, mall, zoo) I can usually look at the map briefly and then be able to navigate my way around. This is possibly the only area where my memory is excellent (although I can remember a ridiculous number of lyrics from musicals). I entered Sea World confident in my ability to navigate the park. I had visited it before, and knew generally where everything was. But it seemed like no matter where I tried to go I got lost. Looking for the Whale and Dolphin Theater? I ended up at the Artic. Looking for Dolphin Cove..oops those are the Clydesdale's. Need a bathroom, well there's a gift shop.
I figured it was a fluke, but the next day when we went back to Sea World the same thing happened. My internal compass was perpetually set to "Middle of damn nowhere" and I usually got there by pushing directly against the crowds of people who knew what they were doing. I spend 1 day relaying on the GPS to get me somewhere and suddenly I can't even find the exit (and there were signs)! I'm going to the zoo on Thursday and I really hope my internal compass has turned back on.