Friday, December 19, 2008

D is for. . .

In case you were not aware, the letter D is a letter riddled with misconceptions about it. Poor D. In another world, maybe D could have stood for Divine, Delicious, or Delightful. . .not so in the world of middle school.
In middle school, D is nothing but the slightly more sophisticated version of its feeble-minded moronic cousin, F.
Well, as it happens, my students actually do think about things some time. God bless some of my students, but if they can think about some of the randomness that spews from their brains, you would think they could remember to turn in their homework. sigh. Nonetheless, a student had a conversation with my class and I yesterday that, although arbitrary, made my heart light.
Student: Ms. Demke, what does D stand for?
Before I could answer, three students in class supplied the answer.
Student 1: Dumb
Student 2: Dreadful
Student 3: Doom
The last one concerns me most. Doom? I guess that sums it up about right.
By the way, in case you were wondering, in the American Grading system, D doesn't stand for anything that starts with a D. It stands for Poor.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Twilight, more like. . .Dumblight

So I finally saw it. I finally saw the Twilight movie last night. As an avid fan of the books, except for Breaking Dawn, that book can suck it (but that's another story), I was more than wary of seeing the movie. In fact, I haven't wanted to see this movie at all. But curiosity in humans is something that one just cannot avoid, therefore my poor husband (God bless him) and I went to sit through 2 hours of mediocrity.
Right away I knew I wasn't going to like this movie when Edward stutters talking to Bella the first time. Now, we are talking about a person who is 85 years old, is supposed to be strikingly beautiful and have all the confidence that his long years have provided him (so much so, that I have heard grown women admit that they are desperately in love with him, compare "real" men to him, and even devote "parties" to this teenage-fantasy. . .creepy). Believe me, Edward does not stutter. If he does, he is just another teenager, like the kids in my class, who are desperately bad at talking to the opposite sex.
And then of course, there is his hair. Luke Perry would be angered to know that Edward has stolen his Beverly Hillsesque hair-do and is using it to promote bad cinematic art. . oh wait, did Luke Perry ever star anything cinematically good? "Buffy?" . . no. "8 Seconds?" I never saw, but I'm going to guess no. And of course, for as much and as guilty as some us are for making 90210 a part of our weekly lives for many years, let's face it. Dylan and the gang don't exactly scream Shakespeare. Edward's hair could have starred in its own movie, it was so big.
Back to topic though. Edward and Bella's "love" story is about as believable as honesty in poltics. As believable as Amy Winehouse's sobriety. As believable as Cambrias having fun in the snow. . .you get the point. What Meyer would originally have her readers believe that Bella and Edward have a deep-seeded love for one another, enough that even grown women are engrossed with, is nothing but a pale and contrived mockery of the emotion itself. This movie couldn't have been worse if it had had song-and-dance numbers intermixed, and believe me, my husband made one up in the car, and it was bad.
To make matters worse, not only are Edward and Bella lack-lusterly in love five minutes after their laughable meeting, the make-up decisions made to depict the vampires, make this already bad script as comical as Edward's "I'm going to kill you, Bella" look. (He and Jasper look almost constipated through the first part of movie).

Here's the first quarter of the movie.

Bella: That's weird, those kids over there are so beautiful.
Audience: Don't you mean pale and creepy-looking?. . Is that flour on their faces?
Bella: That boy over there has stolen my heart already.
Audience: Um, Bella, he's glaring at you and has weird manicured eye-brows and strange, unnaturally pale skin.
Bella: He's different and an outsider, just like me!
Audience: Bella, you are like the most popular girl in school and have been in school for five seconds.
Bella: I love him! Even though he seems to despise me for no reason at all.
Audience: What?!

It was bad. Very bad indeed. The movie has sort of cured me (as well as Breaking Dawn, lousy, most-disappointing book EVER) of my Twilight obsessions, some although they were. I have even told students that next quarter, they cannot hand in any Twilight book reports. I haven't seen that sad a looks since Bella screamed at Edward from her hospital bed telling him she couldn't live without him since she had decided to make him her life since their meeting three days ago.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Christmas Cambrias Can't Stand . .

Students in December are the worst! You would think otherwise, right? You would think that teenagers, like other human beings, would feel the spirit in the air and be nice to people during the holiday season, but no!
They are sassy, greedy, and just plain rude. They have this whole "you are not the boss of me" attitude. Someone should tell them that Santa does not visit naughty girls and boys.
Six more days of school after today and I've never been more ready, the kids are really cutting in on my Christmas spirit!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Surveys sometimes can't be avoided. . .must . . .write down stuff about myself that I'm probably the only one who will read it. . .what is it about survey emails/blogs. . so addicting. Probably the only thing I'm addicted to more is ice cream, my husband, snacking at the job, shoe shopping, and watching dancing.

20 years ago I...
1. Was a gawky little girl with a bob hair cut.
2. Read "Charlotte's Web"
3. Was the chess champion of my third grade class.
4. Played Barbies with my sister all the time!

10 years ago I...
1. Was a BLONDE and a Beauty Queen Reject.
2. Read "As You Like It," "Measure for Measure," and "The Tempest"
3. Graduated from High School and was a Freshmen at SLCC.
4. Hung out at The Bay with Wendy, Carolyn, and Nicole all the time!

5 years ago I...
1. Was a hippy with long, brown hair all the way down my back.
2. Read "Paradise Lost"
3. Was an English and History Major at the University of Utah with ambitions to become a teacher.
4. Went to Milwaukee twice to see RyanandErica!

3 years ago I...
1. Was a stylish girl with a new haircut, new shoes, and suddenly very little brown in her wardrobe.
2. Read "It's Called a Break-up Cause It's Broken"
3. Was a recent college graduate and a scared, over-worked, overwhelmed new teacher.
4. Dined with Nikki, Alisha, and Katie on a regular basis.

1 year ago I...
1. Had bangs and new make-up.
2. Read the first three "Twilight" books and got many others hooked on them.
3. Was teaching my very own self-made and favorite lesson plan, A Christmas Carol.
4. Got engaged to my wonderful and adoring fiance in San Francisco.

This year I...
1. Dyed my hair back to brown, worked out more since 1999, and picked out the most important dress of my life.
2. Read "Stepmotherhood"
3. Finished my Reading Endorsement and now am a qualified Reading Specialist.
4. Became a family with my boys.

Yesterday I...
1. Straightened my hair so it looked like I had washed it.
2. Read my students' SRI Testing scores.
3. Stayed in from lunch with my failing students so they could make up some missing homework and hopefully pass my class so they can one day have the opportunity to further their education.
4. Addressed 73 Christmas cards and thought about how blessed I am to have so many people in my life.

Today I...
1. Straightened my hair so it looked like I had washed it.
2. Read Katie, Wendy, and Julie's blogs and smiled.
3. Gave my second period a new seating chart so our classroom could be more conducive for learning and used . . .and taught. . . .the word "conducive" to my students.
4. Will go to the play, The Forgotten Carols, with my whole family, which is eight people now, for the 11th year in a row.

Tomorrow I...
1. Will probably straighten my hair so it looks like I washed it.
2. Read students' papers on Service.
3. Watch my students present the third Stave of "A Christmas Carol."
4. Get to wake up next to my husband, let out my crazy puppy and tell her over and over not to jump up, bite, or lick, and kiss Sawyer good-morning.

Next year, hopefully, I...
1. Will have a new hair-do and go to the gym more regularly.
2. Read my own writing.
3. Be in/applying for grad school.
4. Travel somewhere romantic with Stuart for our 1-year anniversary.

Not too bad of a survey and one that actually made me think about things that I like/did/would like to do. How about you?

Don't Even Worry That There's Only Eight Days of School Left

Hooray! I love being a teacher this time of year because I have a Winter Break. Do you have a Winter Break? No! Teachers are the only adult profession that still gets Winter Break. So far, this holiday season has been awesome and magical. I have THREE Christmas trees (pictures to come later) and I've been to two Christmas shows and have two more in the works, Forgotten Carols and The Nutcracker (My wonderful husband bought us tickets, I love him).
On Sunday, the Williams family took the train downtown and went to Temple Square, Sawyer loved and and so did Cambria. We also went and saw Santa Claus, whom Sawyer made a card for. My little boy is the cutest thing in the world! Santa said he would take his card to the North Pole. Sawyer's talked of little else since.
This really is the best time of year, a time to be so thankful for everything one has. I'm so blessed. I have had a wonderful year and as I reflect upon it, I think of a time when I've been more blessed and content in my life. Life has been good to me and for any hardships and obstacles that we face, there are many more times that the joy and happiness of life are prevalent. I am a blessed girl indeed!