A Lady's Very Rapid Imagination

Indulging my thoughts about teaching and life as well as my desire to write.

Oh the weather outside is frightful – so should I show a movie? December 16, 2010

I love snow. There is something comforting in its pillowy flutter, its angelic hush.  The soft haze it adds to the outdoor Christmas lights is enough to make me want to keep driving in dangerously cruel weather. Watching it fall outside my window surrounded by my lit Christmas tree & candle light is one of the best ways I can think of to spend an evening.  And of course, snow is the messenger of Snow Days, those most hallowed of days when teachers and students alike celebrate their luck at being the only sector of the population to be told to celebrate the wintry weather by staying home to watch  tv and enjoy hot chocolate in their pjs all day. Hey, you could’ve been a teacher.

But what’s a teacher to do when two Snow Days come the week before Winter Break?  Only three days left in the week to rein in the brains of kids who for all intents and purposes are already on vacation. Do you cram your lessons to fit the three days and work your kids to the bone while fighting off Holidayitis? Or do you give in and just show the darn movie for three class periods? It’s both a philosophical and practical decision. Will what you decide have long lasting effects on your students’ learning? Probably not. But it’s hard to justify wasting an entire week of instructional time just because Mother Nature decided to turn our region of the country into a Winter Wonderland.

Like all teaching decisions, what a teacher decides will depend on his/her philosophy and his/her ability to adapt to any situation at a moment’s notice. I don’t believe showing a movie is a sin against education as long as there is some instructional merit linked to it. Yes, your kids will whine, “can’t we just watch it to watch it?”, and as the professional educators we are, we will grin, make a sarcastic comment about the value of education, and proceed as planned. Of course there is some personal greed to this compromise as well. No doubt your brain is fried at this point in the semester and you could use some “down time” to catch up on grading, tweak your midterm exam, or plan for the end of the semester. There’s not shame in that either. A movie can be an exceptional teaching tool, especially in this day and age where our students are constantly stimulated via all types of media that are not pen and the page. But there is a responsibility to make sure your movie is connected somehow to your content or instruction and that there is an appropriate assignment to correlate with that content and instruction; not doing so is hard to justify, especially during a time in which teachers are constantly under scrutiny. I don’t know about you, but I am tired of defending my job & my paycheck, especially when the criticism is in response to the poor decisions a small number of teachers make.

 

Ruminations 12/14/10 December 14, 2010

Things that have been on my mind lately:

  • 12/14/10
  • 

  • Why people seem to hate teachers or think we are lazy people who make way too much money
  • Fantasizing that I owned Kate Middleton’s, Emma Pilsbury’s, or Bree Van de Kamp’s wardrobe
  • Wondering how parents can oppose novels like The Lovely Bones, Finding Fish, or The Freedom Writers Diary but don’t bat an eye at the dirty jokes of Shakespeare or Chaucer (I have my ideas about this…)
  • Debating whether or not I should buy a lottery ticket
  • Being tired of being the new person at work yet again – it’s exhausting
  • Wondering what else I could sell on E-bay
  • Mourning the loss of my old job & friends and trying not to feel guilty for seeming ungrateful that I found another job
 

Pride, Prejudice, and My New Blog

Filed under: More Thoughtful Imaginings — aladysveryrapidimagination @ 1:58 pm
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I thought I’d devote this first post to the title of my new blog. Those who know me well might guess correctly that I have lovingly borrowed the words of the incomparable Jane Austen as she wrote them in Pride and Prejudice, my favorite novel of all time.  Mr. Darcy’s snarky retort to Miss Bingley (“A lady’s imagination is very rapid.”) is directed toward the seemingly indistinguishable nature of esteem and love in a woman’s mind when the former is bestowed by a man. While I admit I have absolutely suffered from this delusion as a young woman myself (thank you to all my friends who listened to me drone on and on about “Is this a sign?”; “Do you think he meant…”; “It seems like he feels the same, right?”), this is not the idea I wish to build my blog around. Instead, I am drawn to the essential truth of the statement in a more general sense as it seems to capture the impression I have of myself at this point in my life.

My imagination is, indeed, very rapid. I think that’s why I am so drawn to Jane – as do all of the greats, she has her pen on the pulse of the thoughts that ring true generation after generation.  I am no Jane Austen. I am not going to write insightful, moving, universal truth type novels here. What I share will be simply the ruminations of my very rapid imagination – I hope you can keep up!