Friday, October 31, 2008

Uncomfortable Moment!

So, I'm a teacher, right? I teach business communications to college sophomores. And here's what happened today.

My class requires a lot of intensive group work--the students had a small group writing project at the beginning of the semester, and now we're moving in to the major final report project which requires students to work together as a group for the rest of the semester. They write their papers individually, but they have to choose topics and present their findings as a group. It's kind of high stakes, and because of that I told my students that they could switch groups for this major assignment, and that their group members could have a pretty major impact on their lives for the next 6 weeks, so to choose wisely.

Well, today I told them to group up in their final project groups and get ready to do this activity I had planned. As soon as I said it, students started shuffling around. When the shuffling stopped there was one kid all by himself. Nobody wanted him. It was clear. It was painful. It happened on my watch. What could I do? What did I do?

I don't really even know what I did. I kind of turned my back on the class for a while. I think I may have actually said, I can't watch. No, I know I said it. I'm sorry I said it, but I said it. I'm sorry I did it, for crying out loud! I orchestrated the situation, and then when the thing that was likely to happen happened, I actually said, I can't watch. What did I think? I was watching a movie? That this was some uncomfortable scene that I could go get a snack during?

The great news is that I have 2 more classes to go to today, so it could easily happen again! and again!

Monday, October 27, 2008

2nd Entry: Also About Food, but Don't Worry--There Will be Other Topics.

My cosmetology instructor recently asked me to be the student representative on the Cosmetology Program's Advisory Board at my local Technical School. I, of course, accepted both because I can recognize an honor when one is bestowed upon me and because I knew I could use the honor as an excuse to get a substitute for my classes during the Advisory Board meetings.

So, today was the first meeting, and, really, the only thing worth mentioning about the meeting was the lunch that they served. At first glance, it looked like a really nice taco salad with the fried shell-bowl and everything. There was chicken on top (yuck!) but my plan was to work around it because otherwise the salad looked really yummy with nice, dark green lettuce, black beans, onions, olives, sour cream, salsa, and jalapenos. (yeah, not vegan, I know, but seriously tasty looking!)

I was particularly impressed because this was clearly the kind of situation where "lunch will be provided" means something pretty inedible. Well, guess what? It WAS inedible. When I took the first bite, I was, like--what the hell? There was definitely a taste that didn't taste right. When I took my second (and last) bite, I realized that the chicken on top of my taco salad was barbequed chicken.

The very weirdest part was that you couldn't SEE that the chicken was barbequed--like maybe (or probably) someone had rinsed the barbeque sauce off the chicken before slicing it up and tossing it on top of the taco salad. But the barbeque flavor permeated the entire salad--like the wet from the rinsed chicken had gotten in all the lettuce and been stirred around or something.

Sooooo weird and sooooo gross!