Birthdays & squash; hoopties & martinis.

Too much graduate-paper writing and a lazy Sunday morning brings you this entry in list-y form, rather than the extra effort that comes with paragraph creation!

Things of note in my life:

  • It’s December now; can you believe it? I turned 24 on Friday.
  • My entire family (well, the local components) came over for my birthday along with the usual Friday-night group, which made for a very full house. Good to see that my strange family gets along so well with my strange friends.
  • Ate delicious food in Greektown and briskly schlepped around at Eastern Market for their dwindling selection of fresh produce… I am liking these weekend Detroit trips. One of these weeks we are going to have a People-Mover date… the Motor City’s light rail system that really isn’t useful for anything other than a lap around downtown Detroit for curious out-of-towners!
  • Bought an entire bushel of cheap squash from the market! I need to make up a vat of soup this week.
  • Attended the Shadow Art Fair in Ypsi – this year there was extra seating in the brewing area, which was exciting.
  • Had a fascinating visit to Ypsi’s new martini bar, where a local DJ was spinning tunes for a few eccentric characters to dance to. My friend commented that “this is like a badly written short story that I still just can’t stop reading” and as punctuation to his statement, Santa Claus danced into the bar. You really can’t make this stuff up.
  • Had a few delicious $5 martinis…
  • Accidentally bought $14/lb coffee at the Co-op, but it sure is tasty. Check in next time for the newest episode of How I Accidentally Became Snobby About Food And Beverages.

Today is dedicated to getting ready for another week of teaching. This past week seemed endless. I’m giving my middle schoolers their first test of the quarter on Monday, but I’m still feeling overwhelmed by the 5th grade drama that always seems to drown my Spanish lessons under all the lessons about namecalling and respect and self control and how to sit in a chair correctly and if one more person taps a pencil you will be writing in crayon like a kindergartner.

As always, in between my attempts to teach them, my students have been teaching me:

  • About what a hooptie is – (“Ooooh, Ms. K, you got a hooptie?”) I think that any car I’ve driven can present an adequate definition of this term. This week a friend of one of the school custodians fixed the manifold intake gasket on Lucy the Lumina… or, Hooptie Lucy, if you’d like. That’s a relief. She still has no bumper and the seal on the cracked windshield still flaps majestically in the breeze, but at least I am not trailing coolant everywhere.
  • About Pro Wrestling – As explained by a 2nd grader, “they wrestle and fight and sometimes they cuss, but I don’t ever cuss.” We were learning about animals in Spanish and they were drawing a picture of their favorite animal. As soon as I assigned this I got lots of questions like”Can I draw a snake on a motorcycle?” or “Can I draw a crab in a SUV?” or “Can I draw my auntie?” or “Can I draw a wrestler??” I said you can draw people or other things with the animal, so this kid drew a picture labeled “JTG vs. A CAT” – with JTG knocking out a terrified-looking cat.
  • About vocabulary enrichment – Not all the 2nd graders shy away from profanity. I have one kid who sits in the back and generally swears at anyone who gets close, causing a chorus of raised hands and “oooOOOOH, Ms. K, he said the b-word!” or “the h-word” or other alphabetical cursing that I’m afraid to ask for clarification on. So I moved his seat closer to me and sure enough, within the first five minutes he called a classmate a bitch and asked someone else to shut the fuck up. You are seven years old!

All right. Enough is enough. Onwards… the weekend is ticking away so quickly.


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