teaching rights

I’m not grading any more of theses essays

They’re SO bad and I’m not going to sink hours of my time into grading something that obviously needs to be retaught.

Frustrated. Disappointed.

But this is what teaching is sometimes right? Gotta be flexible and meet the needs of the class. I expected them to do something that they’re not ready to do quite yet.

Siiiiigghhhh

today in french we were doing an exercise on adjective forms and some of the sentences said things like “boys prefer pretty girls,” “girls prefer muscular boys,” etc. and my 40 yr old straight married professor makes an awkward face and says “ok, wow these just got weirdly heteronormative. how about you fill in the blank with whatever noun-adjective combination you want, as long as it follows correct grammar”

and the answers that we came up with were amazing.

  • girls don’t prefer boys, girls prefer (fast) cars and money 
  • boys prefer beautiful barbecues
  • girls prefer annoying cats
  • boys prefer 75 large plastic dinosaurs
  • and of course: pretty girls prefer pretty girls 

so remember kids, heteronormativity doesn’t belong in the classroom but 75 large plastic dinosaurs do.

Should I have a hen or rooster as a house pet?

Both sexes:
• snuggle and cuddle a bunch!
• are very devoted to their flock mates
• highly trainable
• will smell bad if they’re not on a good diet, but will smell amazing if they are on a quality diet, like spices and powder
• can wear a diaper
• beg for food
• have soft feet and beautiful feathers
• amazing eyes
• will love you
• will try to protect you

Hens:
• like to talk, some more than others, the classic “booock boooooooock bock bock bock” and lots of noise after they lay an egg
• might go broody depending on the breed, they can become TOTAL grumps
• may become roosters if they’re old or have a damaged ovary (which means crowing, big comb and wattles, long tail, the whole deal)
• can be spayed and basically become the latter
• Eggs which grant the following:
- yummy food that’s healthy for both you and your hen! Cook up a nice meal that you can both enjoy after her hard work
- a need for lots of calcium in the form of layers mash, oyster shells, crushed egg shells, or vitamins
- a need for at least 4 hours of sunshine each day to process the calcium, vitamin D3 supplements, or artificial sunshine via an avian lightbulb
- health issues related to egg production such as egg binding, egg yolk peritonitis
- life span could be cut short because the more eggs a hen lays the harder it is on her body, if you want a long lived, healthy pet get a breed with minimal production

Roosters:
• crowing!! Crowing can be stopped with a no-crow collar (don’t worry, it’s humane, they can still talk it just softens the noise) every rooster has a unique crow
• make little baby noises even though they’re Big™ and Bad™
• terrible teenager weeks in which they wanna fight and fuck everything, depending on the breed it lasts a few weeks…none of my boys are bad with me
• once adults won’t want to attack you as long as you teach them right
• enjoy and benefit from sunlight but don’t need it as much as hens
• they wanna dance for you! Some people say it’s bad but they’re just trying to show you how awesome they are
• if you give a treat to them they’ll try to give it back to you
• if they find something they like lying around like a shoe or any random object that catches their eye they want to share it with you
• even mature boys might wanna bang your shoes, it’s instinct okay? Like pigeons, we’ve bred them to breed a lot
• can be neutered and basically become big lazy boys who will act like hens

All in all chickens:
• are amazing house pets
• deserve love
• feather puppies
• an actual dinosaur that you can hug today

Honestly, though, the best part of teaching Greek mythology is that soft ‘huh’ coming from behind you as you’re finishing up a diagram of the gods and the relationships they have between them.

“Is something wrong?” you ask, turning around while you try, and fail, to clean white chalk off your fingers.

“It’s just,” the boy says, and then he blushes a bit, because people taking Latin are usually good and shy and the last thing they want is to get into a fight with a teacher. “Those two characters here - aren’t they both men?”

And okay, at this point everybody’s paying attention except the resident class child - that one girl who still has to use four different colours for everything she writes and will get upset if you point out she should only use black or blue when filling in exams. So, yeah, you look at the boy, and then at everybody else, and then you turn back, pretend to check.

“Yes, they are,” you say, frowning, as if you never had to answer that question before.

“So why is there a double line between them?”

“Because they were in a relationship at some point. Double lines are for sex, remember? Single lines are kids and parents, and double lines are lovers.”

Someone giggles. The two kids whose parents bring them along to weird art exhibitions - the ones who’ve grown up hearing frank political discussions and the occasional dirty joke - are now looking collected and a bit smug. The others are losing it, and fast - they look at the board, as if only just noticing the thing, and then at you.

“So, they were like, gay?” someone else asks, and it’s always a girl asking this question, because 'gay’ is just something boys aged 14 and a half never use - a Voldemort word, something that’s on your lips today and on everybody else’s tomorrow.

And this, of course, is the moment you’ve been waiting for - what the lesson was actually about. You wouldn’t plan a lesson around that, but you will mention the subject if it comes up, and so you start talking, about all of it - about sexual orientation being a cultural construct, about the Greek language not even having a term for 'gay’ and 'straight’, about warriors falling in love with each other and neglecting their teenage wives, about the fact our society is still coming to terms with something people have known in their hearts for millennia - that there’s no choosing and no free will, not about this. About how the most important thing is to respect yourself and each other, and the rest doesn’t matter all that much.

Statistically, in every class there’s a kid who’s struggling with this. Maybe two. Here things are not as bad as they could be, but it’s still hard, especially when you’re fourteen and you think you may be the only one and you don’t want to be different and how the hell can you even have a conversation about these things, with anyone?

And sometimes when you talk about these things - and dedicated teachers will find a way to include this speech somehow, because you never know who might need an ally, and who might need to hear it said out loud - teachers who love their kids will mention the issue when discussing Michelangelo and Leonardo and Shakespeare and the Iliad - sometimes you see exactly who these kids are. Sometimes you see them looking at you, wide-eyed and fearful and yet full to the brim with that Go on look that’s so endearing on any kind of student. And sometimes all you see is their floppy hair, because they will keep scribbling in their notebooks and pretending like this is uninteresting and embarrassing and Oh my God, but the tips of their ears are getting red, and you find yourself hoping they’ll get a hug today, because they really need it.

8

「Jihoon as an ‘father’」

Aries moon: I am the misunderstood child; I need warmth, like a fire saving me from the cold, a hand to hold, because I can be gentle too


Taurus moon: I am the lost sheep; give me stability like the solid ground underneath my feet, let good things come to me and I won’t feel any greed


Gemini moon: I am the wingless fairy; give me worlds I can discover, so my mind can learn and not only get distracted, give me a voice because I need to speak about my feelings


Cancer moon: I am the long lost mother; let me care for you, because my love is endless, be my boat so I can rest and don’t need to swim in the stormy sea from while to while


Leo moon: I am the supernova; light me up and help me let you shine when I take all the sunlight, show me that the stars and the moon are beautiful as well


Virgo moon: I am the anxious maiden; speak gently and tell me I do things right, allow me to rest and give me trust and be reliable or I will die with bleeding hands and feet


Libra moon: I am the soulles lover; give me a warm hand, someone I can feel whole with, make me stand up on my own so we can find our way back home


Scorpio moon: I am the devils right hand; teach me to embrace love like a fool, kiss me goodnight and you will be allowed to get under my skin


Sagittarius moon: I am the caged bird; let me out, help me to fly and I will come back twice a year - I will not forget you, there is a never ending fire in me


Capricorn moon: I am the lone wolf; be the cave in the whitest winters I can rest in, show me that gentleness and warmth are my best friends


Aquarius moon: I am the wondering wanderer: be the structure I missed in my early years, I want to understand you - be my own eyes and ears


Pisces moon: I am Loreley; let my words wander through your heart and soul, don’t make my sacrifices worthless, be the waves that take me to unarmed dreams