Friday, November 02, 2007

Assorted thoughts

Last night I finally received the raw footage from the Game Night shoot. I haven't watched it yet because I'm scared I'll hate it. I can't imagine the basket case I'll be when I get the rough cut.

Know what really sucks about the WGA strike? All the people who have nothing to do with it who won't be able to work. Half the people I know in this town are PAs on TV shows. I guess they'll be lounging in two weeks while the rest of us are trudging into work. I hope they've got money in savings. It certainly will highlight how important writers are, though, won't it? Writers stop working everybody stops working. Except Vince "scabby" Vaughn, anyway.

Yesterday I asked my students to list things that make America different from other countries. One of my students said, "By America you mean California, right?"

One of my yearbook students is dumb as a freaking tree stump. Yearbook relies on you to be able to think on your own and do various creative tasks without being given specific orders but this kid asks me what to do every five seconds. I mean everything. I can say, go get pictures of classes and the kid will come back ten minutes later with two pictures on the camera and ask what to do next. It takes every ounce of restraint in me not to scream in frustration.

[EDITED TO ADD] I have taken a little bit of heat from a few self-righteous people about the "dumb as a tree stump" comment so I will elaborate on it for a second. (I'm NOT talking about IM Anonymous, but people whose comments I've not approved because they were personally insulting.)

I am a bit blunt at times, and since I know the child will never read this I opted for style over political correctness. Perhaps I should have said "incapable of independent thought." If this student limitewere in my English class I'd go out of my way to make certain he or she understood the material, regardless of mental capacity. But in yearbook the entire class is built around the idea that the students create the book and put it together themselves with my limited guidance. This child has been on yearbook 9 weeks now and still has not figured out how to think for his or herself. If the kid were a scrawny little boy who couldn't run very fast, we'd expect him to be lousy at football and frustrate the coach. And how many coaches do you know who would let him play on the team? So lay the hell off.


I took my second period seniors on a walking field trip to LA Trade Tech yesterday where we learned about welding and cosmetology and other assorted jobs. Several of them got a little more interested in passing high school when they saw what they could do with a blowtorch. We all went to McDonald's afterward where my 3 three hundred pound boys decided to ride down the slide and crawl through the tubes in the playpen. We scared away all the children.

I'm glad it's Friday.


  1. "We all went to McDonald's afterward where my 3 three hundred pound boys decided to ride down the slide and crawl through the tubes in the playpen. We scared away all the children."

    If you don't write that into a script someday, I will.

  2. one of my favorite days here - showing the kids how to cut metal with fire, there's just nothing like it.

    and don't worry about the other, you'll clean it up in post.

  3. Maybe "dumb as a freaking tree stump" kid just isn't motivated or just fulfilling the basic requirements of the "what extracurricular activities did you do in HS" blank for the form on his college application or maybe the kid just doesn't care. High school apathy? Nah, that can't be right.

    And, in the kid's yearbook, are you going to write under his picture, "Dumb as a Freaking Tree Stump?"

    The kid might go on to be president. I mean, it did happen to George Bush, right?

  4. The kid genuinely wants to be in yearbook. It's the only requirement to be in the class. And this is a perfectly sweet kid, just lacking in the skill set for this class.

    Interesting that you assume it's a boy.

  5. Being a teacher requires having the patience of a saint. And the paycheck of an impoverished monk...

    Bless you, my child... ;-)

  6. I'm a boy, we're pretty freaking stupid, lazy, and full of apathy at times. I recognize the symptoms.


    Because I'm from the old school, I continue to use what Mrs. Eckleberry taught us in grade school: English lacks a singular pronoun that signifies the non-specific "he or she," the tradition has been to use the masculine pronoun (but as a teacher you know that).

    You assumed I was being gender specific and not generic, when in fact I was just applying what I learned from Mrs. E.

  7. Oh, Mrs. E., so politically incorrect. Now we alternate between the "he/she", although I know some people who've completely gone over to the "she" side, I suppose to make up for all the times we used the "he" in the past.

    I wish our language had a neuter.


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