Thursday, January 28, 2010

Rebooting the Blog

I started last semester with every intention of keeping up with my blog. I got busy and noticed I wasn't getting anything down, so I put it on my to do list. Then after a while I realized that box wasn't getting crossed off. Pretty soon I decided it was too late to start.

Now, here I am. The second semester is getting started and if I don't get back to writing here, I may as well just quit. I'd rather not just quit.

There have been some interesting changes going on this year. My high school is now pretty much for grades 10-12. The freshmen have their own, brand-spanking-new building that is adjoined to ours via a walkway. In the high school that means the halls are less crowded, lunches are less crowded, and it is possible to get up and down the stairs with much less risk to life and limb.

Originally the new building was going to be part of the high school. But, after examining the way schools get funded around here, it was discovered more bucks could come to us if it was indeed a separate school. The superintendant and the school board decided to make it so. But, while the whole "it's part of the high school" phase was going on, all the classrooms in the main building were renumbered. That is why the title of the blog had to change. I am no longer in Room 125. Well, actually I am, but the number outside my door is now different.

The computers in my classroom were slowly but surely going the way of disintegration. They were older models, at least ten years or more. The best they could run was Windows 98. And getting replacement parts for normal wear and tear became increasingly difficult. I had been told before that I was on the list to get noew computers in my room. It never happened. I was told again at the beginning of the year that I was still on that list and it should be done sometime during the first semester. I did not hold my breath.

You see, Alabama, like all the rest of the states, is having money problems. Since we can't (legally) just print up more money and have to actually balance our budget, that meant cuts. We took a good hit from statewide proration. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, it means that the budget is written to give each part of the government enough to run on. In Alabama there is a separate education budget. Proration is when the governor says that there is not enough money and we have to do without whatever percent of the amount written into the budget it takes to make ends meet. I think it was five percent. Then we got hit with additional seven percent. So, we are hurting. Then again, so is everyone else.

That being the case, I was resigned to not getting the computers and making do with what I had. It's sort of like that quote from Mother Theresa. Imagine my surprise when, in the latter part of November, the new computers arrived and were installed over one weekend. It was awesome.

Nothing worth having, is without troubles though. A bunch of the computers were not able to get on the Internet, and none of them had the Deep Freeze program installed. That program locks out any changes to the hard drive, keeping viruses and other such vexations out of the system. Every time the computer is turned off, the memory is totally wiped. With a room full of intelligent and rambunctious tenth graders, that program is sort of necessary.

The students were very rambunctious. It took all I had to keep up with them, and I fell asleep exhausted every night. While I was able to keep up with the poetry blog, this one sort of fell by the wayside. I was a little encouraged that me last post kept getting responses. Then I really looked at thema nd found they were, for the most part, spam leading to essay paper sites and other such nonsense. I went back and deleted all those. Took my comments for that from 14 to 2. Oh well, easy come--easy go.

I am sort of back on track at the moment. I have been wanting to write here, but after a while I got more and more nervous about it. Does anyone still read it? Will there be any responses? Am I writing anything here that is actually worth others reading? What if I forgot how to spell or use sytax correctly?

You know, the normal worries.

But today I decided the heck with it. I make no promises about the frequency of my posting in the future, but I will almost definitely do better than I did first semester. There are some issues and changes still going on that I want to write about. Some new resources and ideas to put out on the Interwebs. Some books I have read and am reading to share. Poems on teaching and education I've written and want an audience for. So, here's crossing my fingers (hrd 2 tyep thsi wya). Okay, uncrossing the fingers so I can finish up.

If you made it this far, thank you. If you were wondering what the heck happened, I hope I answered those questions. If you have any questions, anything you want to hear me blather on about, feel free to suggest something in the comments section.

1 comment:

Mrs. Gillmore said...

My Google Reader has been waiting patiently for you to feed it! Glad you are back to blogging...