Thursday, January 31, 2008

Flight Schools...literally everywhere

Isaac, as was mentioned in a previous post, is going back to flight school soon. This, at first glance, seems like an easy thing to do. Afterall, how many flight schools can there possibly be? The answer is thousands. Literally thousands. And they are all different! Self-paced curriculum versus semester style? One-on-one versus small groups? Partnerships with airlines versus partnerships with corporations that have private planes? Academy versus University? Florida? Kansas? Utah? California? Arizona? Alaska? Nevada? Colorado?Georgia? ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Just thinking about this gives me a headache. Was deciding where to go to college this difficult? Because I don't remember it being this hard. Or this expensive! Someday, we might figure out where he's going. In the meantime, I'm eating another oreo. For breakfast.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

I am a total nerd...

YIPPEE!!!!!!!! I just received my fancy-schmancy (actually, it was just an email) invitation to the AP World History Reading. It is a fairly big deal to be invited to this and so, yes, I am going to brag a little bit:
Yea Me! :-)
Bragging over.
I know that you are thinking, "What the heck is the AP World History Reading and why does this matter?" Well, dear reader, I will tell you. In fact, I will tell you what it is even if you weren't wondering. It is a week in June when a whole bunch of AP teachers and college professors get together and read/score the AP World History exam essays. I know; it doesn't sound like the most exciting time in the universe. And really, reading the exams is not the good part. The good part is that every major world historian comes to this event and this gives one an opportunity to meet and talk with these people. These are the historians one wants to meet and talk to if one ever wants to help edit a textbook, or present at a seminar. And I get to go. The fact that I am excited about this just shows what a giant nerd I really am. But I don't care! Heehee. It is also nice because I get paid to be there. :-) The only tragic part about all of this is that I have to go to Colorado. The AP language teachers get to go to Daytona Beach. I don't know how the poor history teachers ended up in Colorado when a lovely beach was an option, but I am glad that I am not one of the groups that is going to Nebraska. That would be very unappealing.
YIPPEE FOR ME!!!! (Sorry, that just slipped out. I promise I am done :-) )

Sunday, January 27, 2008

The debate from H---

This weekend my kids competed in a very large, invitational debate tournament at a local high school. It did not go well. I felt so bad for them! We had a pretty good night on Friday and then found out on Saturday that the debaters had each only won one of their rounds. Tragic. They were so sure they had done well. Then, the hellishness began on Saturday. The day began with 2 of the debaters calling to tell me they would not be coming because they were throwing up. We arrived at the school and I promptly fell off the stupid stairs and twisted my ankle. It swelled up like a balloon and is now a very lovely black and blue color. Yippee. Then, as I was sitting in my invalid state, I had three more debaters call me and tell me they were throwing up. Gross. I eventually sent 4 debaters home from the tournament. Poor things. As I left one more kid, from another team, began throwing up. In a trash can. In front of about 400 debaters. It was very distressing for him. Anyway-it wasn't the greatest weekend, but all the kids were surprisingly upbeat about it. They even offered to steal a wheelchair for me. Now that's love! :-)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Isaac, the beloved

Isaac has been substituting at my school for a friend of mine. A whole bunch of my AP students are also in her English classes, so they have had Isaac all week. They've finally figured out that we are 'related'-I thought it was rather entertaining that it took them a week to figure out, but whatever- and now all I hear about is "Mr. Montague is so cool" or "I wish Mr. Montague was our teacher all the time." They have even requested that he be my sub when I go to Texas next month. How does he do that?!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Craptacular ESL

A bit of advice: If ever you find yourself planning an epic move to the southwestern United States at exactly the same time your employer offers a free course of study which will add an English as a Second Language endorsement to your teaching license, and you think to yourself "This must be providencial! I will take this class, I will learn many important and wonderful things that will help me to be an effective teacher to darling English Language Learners in the American Southwest. I will sign up, post haste!" IMMEDIATELY lie down somewhere dark and quiet until the wonder and urge to sign up passes. If you don't, you will pray on a daily basis, as you did in fifth grade, that the heavens will open up and gift you with, not a snow day, but a snow year. Trust me, I know.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Church makes me tired...

Isaac and I teach the CTR 7 class at church. Apparently, as we were informed when we were asked to teach them, this class had the reputation of being one of 'those' classes. It's been a couple of weeks and I haven't seen any of the behaviors that would indicate that this class was any different than other six year olds. We even had a good lesson today. Until sharing time. During sharing time, I almost sat on a child. On purpose. It seemed to me to be a good way to get this child to stay put and to stop smacking the kid next to him, since I couldn't move between them because I was already sitting between two who could not handle sitting together. I spent all of singing and sharing time reminding the darlings that we had talked about making good choices and they were not making good choices by throwing things at the class behind us, or sliding out of their seats until the bottoms of their dresses were over their heads. This seems to be a favorite passtime of the six year old girls. I think we need to have a lesson about modesty. Isaac was literally holding onto a child's arm to prevent him from punching the arm of the boy sitting next to him. We moved the boy. The boy took this as an invitation to punch Isaac in the arm. One look from Isaac ended that. I wonder how he does that? As they prepared to leave, one of them looked at me and said "I'm sorry I didn't make good choices today." and then skipped out the door. Maybe they are learning something after all.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Too cute...

After yesterday's blog I bet ya'll think I have unhappy feelings towards my job. I don't! Most days I really like my job. Teenagers are funny. Case in point: I recently had the following conversation with one of my debate students during a discussion of the presidential candidates:

Me: I think that if _______is our next president, I will have to move to Canada.

Student (VERY earnestly): OH! You could live in Mexico with my grandma! She'd let you.

Me: I'll keep that in mind.

Student: No, really! She'd let you!

I thought it was very kind of him to offer his grandmother as my host and didn't feel that it would have been productive to remind him that the primary appeal of Canada is that Candadians speak English!

I also recently had a conversation with one of the students Isaac was tutoring-she was helping me find his classroom so I could wait while he finished up after school.

Me: So, how do you like Mr. Montague?

Girl: OH! HE is the BEST!

Me: That's good to hear.

Girl: So, who are you anyway?

Me: I'm Mr. Montague's wife.

Girl (very sad): Oh. So he IS married.

It must be very hard to be a 12 year old, seventh grader. :-) Who knew Isaac was such a heartbreaker?

Thursday, January 17, 2008

A little bit of venting...

Must. Take. Deep. Breaths.
All week long I have had to listen to the complaining of students who are just now, 3 days before the end of the quarter, noticing that their percentage points are in the single digits. Now, I think that wanting good grades is great. But when someone comes to me 3 days before the end of the quarter, with 15 missing assignments and says, "Is there anything I can do to get my grade up? I really want to pass your class!" All I want to say is "If that were true, you would have DONE YOUR HOMEWORK WHEN IT WAS ASSIGNED!" and then maybe beat him/her a little bit with sticks. I don't because, well, they're teenagers and everyone knows their brains are marinating in hormones and endorphines and because of this they can't really think rationally most of the time. But, when PARENTS get on my case, I really want to lose it!

Actual conversation with a parent:

Parent: "My child is failing your class"

Me: "Yes. It seems that your child is missing most of the homework assignments and has failed every test this quarter."

Parent: "Can my child pass?"

Me: "No."

Parent: "Why not? There are still a couple of days left in the quarter!"

Me: "I am sorry, but it is too late to fix a 20%"

Parent: "Will you at least let my child do the missing assignments?"

Me: "Yes, for half credit. There is nothing we can do about the failed tests at this point though."

Parent: "So, my child isn't going to pass?"

Me: "No."

Parent: "Well, isn't there anything you can do about this?"

Me: "No, but there is something your CHILD can do in the future! He can do his homework! He can study for tests! There is something you can do too. You can check your kid's grades before the end of the quarter! You can make sure he does his homework! You can unplug the computer/video games/television! ARGHHHHHHHHHH!"

Alright, I didn't really say the last part, but I very much wanted to. It was tempting. Very tempting.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


Hello all!
We've finally joined the 21st century and created a blog. Well, by 'we', I mean 'me'. Even though I'm doing the typing, it is supposed to be about all of us. Isaac is currently working on our full website, and when that it finished, it will host our blog! Everything to do with creating the website is totally over my head, so I'll leave that part to him. This is a 'blog for dummies' and that suits me just fine!
As for what we are up to these days, here's the quick summary:
Me: I am teaching full time at a local high school. I teach AP World History and Debate. In addition to my teaching, I coordinate a school wide Academy program (I assume you, dear reader, are not interested in the details of what a high school Academy is. If that assumption is misguided, let me know and I'll explain. ;-) ). I also attend school part-time, working towards adding an ESL endorsement to my teaching license.
Isaac: Finished his private helicopter pilot training and will start his commercial, fixed wing pilot training this spring. In the meantime he substitutes in my district and keeps his computer skills up to date (can't let that degree go to waste!) He is also in charge of most 'dog' care in the house. He and Clancy are joined at the hip-especially since Clancy is just tall enough to connect at the hip!