Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Yesterday and today
That's the house across the street.
There are the four cars in my driveway, taken from the front porch.
Here is the backyard; the pool and the summer cottage. The hill with the fruit trees is on the other side of the pool. The chicken house is just on the other side of the hill.
And here is my garden, taken from the back deck. You can't see the lettuce, but it is there. You can;t see the wheel barrow or the potting table either. In fact, right now, you can't see ANYTHING.
It is dense, heavy and wet fog and we are supposed to have it for the rest of the week and then get some rain. Here, in the Central Valley, we can have WEEKS of this weather. And it is COLD.
Like freezing and damp and miserable. And if it isn't raining, we get this fog. And if it's not foggy, we get the rain.
Of course, we are locked down in the mornings because the gunners can't see to shoot. (Really. They inmates have to be watched and if you can't see them, not telling WHAT they'll do.
And the gunners shoot wood blocks (they sting) or rubber bullets at their feet (the rubber ones sting, too) not REAL ammunition). Just in case you were wondering.
I am stuck either in class or in the main office..well, I can go up front to the Admin, but am not allowed to go wandering around....since no one can see me. My clerk is escorted over and we got a LOT of paperwork/lessons/lesson plans caught up, getting ready for my two visits to UC/SF. I will actually have a sub for most of the time I am away and I want to get things in order so that none of my collegues bad mouth me for being messy/unorganized/slacking off.
So Monday, I only had class for about an hour...which felt like an eternity.
We did quotation marks, apostrophes and the five times tables.
Quotation marks--how simple is that? It was an absolute battle and I was GIVING them the answers.
Apostrophes---ownership and contractions, right? THAT was the Tet Offensive.
And the five times tables? (you know, 5 X7=35? Counting by fives?) Well, evidently counting by fives means something else to these guys. Like guessing. Or counting by 4 and adding 3 at random points. And evidently, there are a LOT of teachers out there who are teaching the multiplication tables in an absolutely whack manner, because this.....THE SIMPLEST OF ALL OF THE TIMES TABLES....is one crazy bag of wet weasels.
And I have to talk my head off to get my point across to these guys.
So I started out with nickle bags and IMMEDIATELY, they get all huffy. "Did I think they were all drug dealers?"
Well, I know about nickel bags.
So I bet THEY know about nickel bags.
(And since they are in prison, they probably weren't much good at figuring out how to sell dope and make some money). But that is beside the point.
So I have five round tables, and I have four guys at each table. How many guys are here?
They have to do a head count about five times to come up with 5X4=20.
At least my job is secure.
I don't see these guys getting out of school anytime soon. Actually, I don;t see them getting out of PRISON anytime soon.
Although I have one student who went from a 1.3 to a 7.9 in six months. And it wasn;t my supreme teaching skills. It was just him waking up.
And I managed to knit one whole row on the ride home yesterday. I can't knit in the morning because it is too dark in the fog to see what the heck I'm doing. But I have a three day weekend coming up and I plan to knit, knit, knit. I want to get this aphgan done for Lisi before I go into the hospital. The next one is for Ben.
I'm still working on the baby sweater but have come to the realization that baby Jack will be four before he gets it.