Friday, March 30, 2007

Getting Comfortable

I gave my sophomores a unit test on Lord of the Flies this week. The first question was a "gimme", as much because I hate writing true/false and multiple choice as because I wanted them to have a giggle and a stress-easer to start off. Said question was:

Miss C. is a snappy dresser.True

with an option to write in the correct answer if the statement was false. The best responses so far:

A mess of "true", circled and underlined and adorned with exclamation points, smiley faces, and hearts.

  • Miss C is a sophisticated dresser.
  • Miss C. is a VERY snappy dresser
  • Miss C. isn't just a snappy dresser. She is a goddess of style.
  • I don't think she snaps on her clothes.
  • She is a snappy and FABULOUS dresser (smiley face).
  • On the forizzles. Miss C. is a great teacher, a snappy dresser, has a great personality and needs to see 300.

Some of the kids in those two classes drive me utterly bonkers, but they're so funny and pretty darned bright once I get them to sit down and be quiet. They're quite darling, really. Either that, or I'm a sucker.

Spring break starts at 2:25 today. I got roped into staying late for a girl to make up the above mentioned test (I know, comes with the territory), but then I'm out like a phantom to see Erin's last undergrad show in Lock Haven, PA. I'm home Tuesday night after class (A.I. High is on spring break, but U of D is not) to bask in the glory of my blood line.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Reason #38,657,442 I love my life.

NCSC's 25th Anniversary was this weekend at NYU. I would have been stupid not to attend, given my proximity and how incredibly significant the organization has been in my college life.

Getting there was an adventure. I left school an hour early (I don't teach that period of the day) and went straight to the train station in Wilmington. Friday was a touch of nasty weather for us north easterners -- I very nearly did a pratfall getting from the building to my car and the parking garage to the station, thanks to my zero-traction teacher shoes. Then I had to figure out the New York subway system to get myself from Penn Station to NYU. I will simply say this: the creators of the D.C. Metro will get an express train to Heaven. The schizzed out masterminds behind the New York subway will go elsewhere.

New York City (above)
Washington, D.C. (below)

I digress.

NCSC was actually chartered and founded at NYU's Catholic student center on March 16th, 1982, so we were celebrating the anniversary on the very day and in the very place of our beloved coalition's genesis. Bishop Peter Rosazza, our long time supporter and advocate to the bishops, said a beautiful Mass for us, and he was really the only person who should have said that Mass. Because of the structure and tradition of the Church, if any local bishops had attended, they would have had "dibs" on saying the Mass. The people in leadership were secretly grateful none did.

Jo Anna Madison (right), a dear friend and one of my favorite people ever, won the Kirchner Award for International Relations. This girl went to Geneva for us last summer and will go to Bangladesh in June to represent us at the International Movement of Catholic Students' bi-annual huge meeting. She also does a killer robot.

Joe Kirchner, one of the founders of this current manifestation of NCSC and son of the fellow Jo Anna's award is named after, joined us for the reception. He gave us a heck of an ego boost, talking about how proud he is of us and everything we've done with his organization. Between Joe and Bishop Peter, we kind of almost believed we had accomplished something as a group. Cheers to that.

The anniversary coincided with NCSC's annual UN Study Session, an event that draws more and more students every year. Most of those kids stayed at Fordham University's Rose Hill campus while a handful of people stayed with the Aherns, a family that has supported NCSC in every possible way, especially with their hospitality and warm hearts. Purely by chance (I swear), the people who ended up at the casa Ahern were the half dozen or so of us who were already pretty close. The Aherns' son, Kevin, is the current president of IMCS. his term runs out in June when the IMCS picks their new international team in Bangladesh. My hero and fellow NCSC EB '06 member Chris Malano is up for the position -- I'm really excited to see how that turns out.

Saturday, they closed out the Study Session with a summary and prayer, and that same posse wandered around the city for the day. While we somehow managed to miss the day-long St Patrick's Day Parade (what?!), we did make it to the Met, which kinda took my breath away and made up for the parade. Most importantly (and forgive the upcoming spike in sap), I spent the day with a good number of the many wonderful people I've met over the years in NCSC.

My first ever walk through Central Park, and the Met (amazing!)

Sunday, we went to St. Patrick's and Chinatown, where I bought a bright red designer impersonation scarf for 5 dollars. Then I hopped on my train and came back to Delaware.

I've not yet been able to articulate either how much I love the people I've gotten to meet and know through NCSC or how grateful I am for them and the experiences I've had with them. It's one of the ways God is most strongly and physically present in my day to day life.

St Patrick's Cathedral

Friday, March 16, 2007


Getting up at 5:30 everyday... blech. Just blech, and I doubt that will ever really change. Getting on a train to New York City... awesome.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Humor in the Face of Horror

We, the student teachers of the University of Delaware at A.I. duPont High School, would like to thank the State of Delaware for giving us the chance to be part of the Delaware Student Testing Program (DSTP). We have a new-found appreciation for quality public education.

More on that (and more fun test responses) later...

Monday, March 12, 2007

Being "Old"

I turn 22 today.

I've been saying that 22 seems like a bigger deal than 21. Twenty-one is significant primarily in that from that day on, one can drink to oblivion legally. Drunkenness has never really held much allure for me, and I didn't drink on a regular ("regular" meaning a drink a couple times a month) basis until well after my 21st.

Twenty-two, on the other hand, is not nearly as exciting at 21, but is instead kind of dully frightening. To my mind, 22 comes at you wearing a business suit and a stern look and says, "Ok, for real, get it together," while 21 stands next to me wearing flip flops and a graphic t-shirt, looking bewildered. "Get what together? Are we going on a road trip?"

Sorry, 21. Not really.

I'm not upset or bothered by this in the least. It's more like sucking it up and reluctantly trying my hand at the wheel. It's true: I do need to get "it" together, whatever "it" is, and sooner rather than later. There's no need to plot the next twenty years of my life, not even the next five, but I feel having a pretty solid lead on where I'll physically be for the next one or two years would be a good thing. Actually, I'd like to amend -- maybe even strike -- my previous statement about timidly trying the wheel. That's not true at all, quite the contrary. I'm actually elated to be taking my whole life on a road trip, the kind with a destination but not a route in mind. I'll say this, to my own credit: I think in having a destination in mind, I have "it" a lot more together than many of my 22 year old peers.

The next step might be getting 21 and 22 to reach a compromise. 21, be a little more grounded. 22, get out of the suit.

The next step may also come out and surprise me. I know I'm really absurdly young (just old enough to think I know something, but smart enough to know I don't), but in my short time I have learned this much: God always has plans, and He never ever tells us what they are until He feels like it; often, only after they've pretty well unfolded already. So, we'll see where year 23 finds me -- probably just where I ought to be.

My aunts and me, about 21 years ago. (Right, Daddy?)

Friday, March 9, 2007

Books Kids Love to Hate

The background to my first unit as a student teacher makes, I think, a funny story. During my first week at A.I., my cooperating teacher Mrs. Donovan told me I could start the next week with the Honors 10th graders reading Lord of the Flies. While I think I maintained a straight face, my brain was doing that "Error! Error!" thing from that space TV show because I had not ever even picked up Lord of the Flies before.

Teach it? Uh... sure.

I mean, why not teach a book I've never read before? I've been told several times that you don't really learn material until you teach it. So I went to Borders (an adventure in and of itself: it took me over an hour to make a 20 minute drive because the roads in the Wilmington region are lame), bought a copy of the book, and started putting the last four years of practice in BS to good use (Let's be honest: while knowing the ins and outs of literature does allow you to make significant meaning from all kinds of writing and media, it also grants an incredible ability to make stuff up).

I spent a weekend in Hartford for an NCSC meeting to help transition the new team and give the national office a presence. While the exec board was prattling on about running the organization, I sat in the corner and wrote a unit on this book I wasn't even done reading. When we did an ice breaker, that was my interesting fact and everyone laughed at me. That's not funny -- that's genius.

Anyway, I've been teaching Lord of the Flies for about three weeks now and we're half done (Aside: I need to get used to the fact that high schoolers will balk at me for assigning a chapter a night, when a college student gets assigned books a night). I must admit, I'm pretty proud of myself: my kids keep asking me how many times I've read the book because it's obviously been a lot.

My reply: "Enough."

Does this count as a teaching triumph? Probably not. This is still well in the realm of college-student-flying-by-the-seat-of-her-pants. I gave my first test yesterday; we'll see if they learned a blessed thing when I start grading tonight/tomorrow. If not, I'll reevaluate my tactics.

There's always plan B: career track Star Trek convention attendee.

Another Blog, Andie? Really?

As I am both an actual Peruvian and an honorary Southerner, my kin folk are many, varied, and scattered. As I am also blessed to have met hoards of wonderful people from all over the continent (and beyond) over time, and especially over the course of my college career, my friends are also many, varied, and scattered. As I am a soul with a predilection to meandering, my thoughts, too, are many, varied, and scattered.

The influence of all these factors, coupled with an admitted dash of vanity and weariness with my previous blog host, brought me to the clear and inevitable conclusion that three blogs is not enough and I need one more. That, and Google is slowly taking over my life, having provided me my internet browser, photo management software, on-line document safe-keeping, e-mail, and personalized home page. I might as well let it take over my blog life and put all my internet eggs in one primary-colored basket.

Anyway, this is meant to serve more or less the same purpose as my Xanga (; that being, keeping my adoring family and friends up to date on my life. The difference is that Blogger looks to be more user friendly and less teeny-bopper (in other words, I'm too cool for Xanga). Plus, Blogger allows anyone to leave comments on my posts rather than just registered members of Blogger, which I think is pretty sweet.

This particular moment, I'm actually at school "observing" and "planning" for my class at the end of the day. As much as I enjoy dancing on the line between "time management" and "destructive procrastination", I've been irresponsible enough for the week. Back to watching my 10th generals prep for state testing next week (rant on that soon to come, I'm sure).