Friday, May 04, 2007

When it rains...

Last night I woke up to heavy, heavy rain, and so much lightning I could see as I walked to the kitchen to peek out the front door shade. I was checking on our car. When in it rains hard here, and for a long time, the pumps sometimes can't keep up. The catch-drain that's in front of the house next to us is ALWAYS clogged with debris. And I'm sorry, but it's not something you can simply clean out with a garden rake. We're talking sheetrock and insulation and years of yellowed plastic cups from the bar on the corner (Gawd, that BAR! I cannot wait to leave that behind...)

At any rate, the car was fine, so I went back to bed and snuggled with my little cat, Ray, for a while. He was spooked and slept, nugget-style, in the nook of my armpit.

When Simon woke me before he left for work, the rain had stopped, but it was yucky, and so was my mood. When I got to school, I was in an even worse mood; several students were waiting at my office door, asking for help with their writing. I'd had a conference sign-up sheet on my door all week, and I'd had conference after conference--many times several conferences withe the same panicked student who'd panicked too late--all week. Now, some of the same students wanted me to "look over their papers" again, and this was an hour before their final portfolios were DUE.

I was livid, and I let them know. I don't like it when I reveal my frustration and anger, but this time I just couldn't help pointing out that asking me to help them on essays that are due in AN HOUR might not be the best approach.

But I helped them, anyway.

I use conferences heavily in my teaching, and it's one of the things that I life to think makes me a good teacher. By the end of the semester, I really KNOW my students. Kevin brought by his girlfriend to meet me (Kevin may not pass, and he knows it, but this is why I feel good about my teaching--even the students who are failing don't seem to hold it against me). John asked if he could buy me a margarita when it was "all over". Maria asked if I was going to Jazz Fest. And Jessica, who suffers from dyslexia and who has really struggled, offered me a gift certificate to her father's fine-dining restaurant. I took it, even as I told her she'd failed her last essay and would need to revise, and I was all excited about eating at this place until Simon suggested it might not be ethical. Now, he brings home cookies and mugs and useless crap at Christmas time, but I can't enjoy a meal? Sigh... I don't know what I'll do with the certificate... Can't a sister eat a meal?!
Anyway, while I waited for the portfolios to come in, I tooled around on the Internet and discovered that I have been posted on I'd rather not have the chili pepper. I've said again and again that I feel like my appearance (and my age) is a disadvantage in the classroom. College-aged boys look at me all "hot for teacher," so I have to work hard to be as professorial-looking and distant from them as possible; and I find that I have to work at being "non-threatening" to some of my female students. Yeah, I know: poor, pretty me. Well, I'm here to tell you that being a pretty teacher is NOT a good thing.

As I trolled the 'Net, the weather got worse and worse. At one point, the foreign-language professors gathered out in the hallway, chattering in Spanish and French. the doors were blowing open, and the power flickered. An hour later, when the weather calmed, I left for my car, but had to turn around. Campus was flooded.

Once the pumps had caught up an hour later, I left and headed down to Holy Cross to check on flooding on our street. As I'd suspected, the street was flooded, a full two hours after the rain. The rest of the streets were fine, so it appears our house is in a mini-bowl--or that there are some major drainage issues. I took pictures. Here they are:

Tomorrow I hope the sun is out. I have plans to go to Jazz Fest, and to make margaritas at Matt's house for Porch Fest and Cinco de Mayo. I am so glad that the end of the school year is in sight. I can't be too celebratory, though; Simon still has several more weeks of Middle School hell.

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