December 21

ELA 10: Dec 21 One Mile of Ice… or maybe not…

  1. Today was my last day of classes with the Grade tens, as well as being the last day of classes for the year. They had asked and asked, what was the plan for the day and what were we going to be doing – “reading and questions” was my response. They took it upon themselves, though, to alter that.
  2. It was such a thoughtful gesture I feel I have to describe it for posterity:
    1. First, I was told to “stay out!!” They were in the room before me, door closed and with a guard (Brent D :)) to ensure I waited until I was instructed to do otherwise.
    2. Then, I was escorted into the room to find that Brandon S was standing at the front of the room behind the podium, there was a chair sitting empty and waiting for me near him to his right, and the rest of the students sat with cheery faces in a semi-circle at the back of the room facing us. I knew they were scheming up something but had nothing so elaborate as this imagined.
    3. They passed me a drink so I could toast with them all, and Brandon began to read aloud an Introduction he had written the night before, scrawled out on two sides of scrap paper that was torn and made of yellow construction paper, that began as an introduction, recalled some of the memories we have shared, and relayed to me the impact they feel I have had in their class, in their school and in their lives. I was incredibly touched! I was so saddened that my camera battery had been drained by the pictures taken of the rest of the day that I was unable to capture this moment with them!
    4. They asked from along the back row what some of my favorite memories were, and they included four of them in the card they had made: 1) the day that Jordon reflected on how Alan (in The Chrysalids) “found an arrow in his neck”, 2) the “Nine” from when I wanted their attention and barked out the command, the Nazi-German word for no, 3) the day when Brian was giving an oral presentation and suddenly turned ghetto for a moment when he mentioned “two thousand fo”, and 4) the day when I was ever-so tired and broke out laughing for no apparent reason when Brian was talking about a poor individual who lost part of his lower leg to a boating accident. (I still appologize and am serious when I say I meant no disrespect to the person who is struggling with such a challenge. )
    5. I opened the gifts they had on the table, we shared the box of chocolates they had there, along with the angel food cake. They certainly seem to know me well, since two of them got me several packages of “my brand” of gum. (A personal joke we have.)
    6. I love this class. They were homeroom, and somehow we were able to bond just a bit more than some of the other classes I taught. They told me, admitted to me, that I am “hard core” – that I didn’t raise my voice often but when I was serious and meant it I got their attention in a way that moved them to act, which I find funny but am glad for. This class treated me with respect, always, and didn’t push the line or test me, though they tried to recall if they actually had.
    7. Some of the best memories I will take with me, from being with this particular class, will be:
      1. Reading “The Raven” over and over again with such enthusiasm and interest and, since I was trying to memorize the poem, all 17 or so stanzas, I really enjoyed that one day when at the end of class I made an attempt to recite by memory as much of it as I could. It was so great that I sat there in front of them, sitting on a desktop facing them, just going through the poem, adding in as much drama and inflection to my voice as possible, and they all had their poems in front of them, following along, grinning, waiting to see when I’d need a little prompt. I loved that.
      2. Of course, we presented speeches / introductions recently and even got all dressed up for the occasion and drank sparkling grape juice, but we got a little giddy from the atmosphere I think and got to a point where some presenters couldn’t speak, they were laughing too hard, or the rest of us interupted them with laughing because we were still laughing from before when the last presenter couldn’t speak! Sometimes, our bodies betray us!
      3. I really enjoyed the scary poetry readings where they came dressed with props, and the halloween sound effects were in the background. Eric did a great job of entralling us with his ghost story in the dark in the locker room. I enjoyed how much the group seemed to be mesmorized by my telling of my personal scary story of being lost in Australia with the “serial killer after me”. I have never told that story with such detail, or in the surrounding such as that in the dark with all of them, but enjoyed the ending when I said my last word and there was silence …… until they all murmered how creeped out they were. lol
      4. I Loved, and honestly was so proud, when they all stayed after school that one Friday, After School and on a Friday!!, to stay and watch The Mothman Prophesies. We didn’t have time to watch it during class time and they wanted to watch it together, as a class, so they stayed and brought munchies, we set up the projector and speakers in the locker room and watched the scary movie. I was proud of them that day.
      5. Our reading of The Chrysalids and the tension-filled pauses every time we came to a cliff-hanger or whenever we encountered the three dots of suspense . . . and they would whisper the Venture Brother henchman song of “da dadada da dadada da…”
      6. I just loved the time I spent with this class. All of it! And I honestly have never enjoyed the Unknown unit as much as this year. We looked into the things not understood and really took a turn at investigating why it bothers people. It was a learning experience for me as well.

      I love you all… and wish you a most happy holiday and New Year. All God’s best to you… dsc03129web.jpg

Posted December 21, 2007 by Waldner in category ELA 10

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