Thursday, July 01, 2010

Catechism: Catholics Are Funny

The week thus far has been a very teacher-y week. Allow me to catechize you:

What do you mean by this?
I mean that I've had to do a lot of teacher related things, rather than educator things.

Aren't they are the same thing?
No. As an educator, I'm responsible for teaching them science, and making sure they're learning the material. As a teacher, I have to break up fights, put people in time out, and hound people about doing homework.

Why haven't you been doing teacher-y things thus far?
Well, I've been trying to avoid them. I've come to realize I don't want to be a teacher (particularly an elementary school teacher). I love talking science, and showing kids why I love science, but I hate having to discipline and yell. I'm a kind-hearted, gentle giant. Plus, some of these kids are brats, and I've been trying to not get worked up over these little pills.

What have you had to do today, Mr. Sakimoto?
Well, as always, N---- and E---- got in a fight. I've come to realize that as smart and brilliant as E---- is, he's a bully. And I told him so. He did not like this. I think his opinion of me is starting to turn, because I made him sit on the side and write for half the class for bullying N----. He did not like this either. I don't think I'm his favorite person in the world. Good. I have no tolerance for the cruel-hearted.

What else have you had to face, Mr. Science?
Well, aside from the usual yelling and scolding, we had a practice fire drill. Not a fire drill, but a practice for the practice fire evacuation exercise. Yup. I had the youngest group, which includes young A--, form whom I had to confiscate a number of things to make sure he listened. I also made him my special friend, which mandated that he stand next to me during the fire drill, and sit in a special chair during class, pretending he's a statue (meaning he can't talk and can't move).
I also had to crack down on this one kid D----, who refuses to write in his journal, as everyone is supposed to. When he does write, he copies what someone else write. But he copies it wrong. I asked him to write something about the difference between animal cells and plant cells. He wrote that animal cells have cell walls while plants don't, which is downright wrong. After arguing with him for 10 minutes, he ran out of the class to cry. It felt good.

As an educator, I did fingerprinting with the kids. Using graphite from a pencil, we transferred their thumb prints to a piece of tape and identified the salient features, like the major patterns: whorl, arch, and loop. Thankfully, it was rather clean, and the mess was isolated to their smudgy papers.

So here's something that blew my mind. I suppose I had never really looked at my fingerprints, had never really studied them. But here's what surprised me: my thumbs have two different patterns on them. My right thumb is a whorl, and my left is a loop. I naturally assumed that my thumb prints were more or less identical, but apparently that is not the case. I'm interested to see if anyone else has heterogeneous thumb prints.

I'm somewhat happy to be finishing up biology, since it's rather unfamiliar territory. Next week we'll be heading back to physics to talk about circuits, harmonics, and optics, three topics I'm rather fond of.

Here's today's shirt pocket:

The inventory: Four pencils, two pairs of scissors, A--'s spoon and hair tie contraption he was playing with, a fork, a handout about the three types of fingerprint patterns, and my ID. This is also my only silk shirt. I've discovered I'm not a fan of silk. I'm a simple, poly-cotton blend person. No frills. It was also missing a button and I used a safety pin to close my shirt. The kids made fun of me.

And it was recently pointed out to me that I should post a happier picture from my childhood. We'll step it up in increments:

I used to be deathly afraid of fire crackers. As you can see from the picture, I had to be decked out and covered head to toe. I used an oven mitt to hold the morning glory sparkler, because I was afraid to get burned. The situation wasn't helped by my dad, intending to cure me of my fright, threw a bunch of those ground blooming flower ones at me. Not funny. Made it worse. Now I'm fine with fireworks. This is from New Year's. Me and my sis. Good times.

And so, as I once again find myself with half formed lesson plans that will have to be finalized in the morning, I bid you all adieu.


  1. Would you consider teaching high school or college?

    It sorta looks like you and your sister are doing the tango.

    My thumb prints are mostly the same, both loops, but my right thumb has a bit of a whorl in it.

    All my other fingers have symmetrical patterns, except my ring fingers. My left ring finger has a whorl arch blend and my right ring finger has a loop arch blend.

  2. I might consider high school, college would be okay. The only issue with high school kids is the hormonal attitude problems. I remember what HS was like. They might be slightly more mature than Elementary school kids, but they carry their own unique problems with them.

  3. I'm a kind-hearted, gentle giant.

    You're like Roald Dahl's Big Friendly Giant. least in college, if a student doesn't care, he just sleeps in class or doesn't show up; he doesn't bother you or disrupt the class.

    I think I'd like to teach HS some time down the road. I think you're more intimate with your students as a HS teacher than as a college professor and the students in general care more in HS.