Sound Waves

Teaching science has proved to be more eventful than I’d ever dreamed. I teach five classes. One of my groups of kids ranges from K-2nd grade. In this group, I have 7 girls and one little boy, lets call him Damian.

Damian is the youngest child in my class, and he loves to talk to me. He talks the hour long session. As a teacher trying to remain in control of a group of children who have already been in school all day, this is frustrating. As a former child who earned the nickname “Motor Mouth” from all her family, friends, educators, and baby sitters, I have a high tolerance and understanding for this condition. Us extroverts must talk. We must talk all the time. We must talk to everyone. We must talk about everything we think.

Last week, I was teaching this little group about sounds. I asked them to tell me their favorite song or kind of music before delving into some demonstrations about waves and such. In this discussion, Damian told me he plays the electric guitar and plays songs by “Fernando”. I don’t know what this means, but I gave him a high five, assuming that’s cool.

Throughout my introduction and demonstrations, all the girls kept raising their hands and claiming, “Miss, Damian is bothering me!” Patronizing them, I will turn and ask, “Damian, are you bothering them!?” Damian always looks at me with droopy sad eyes and says meekly, “No”. I move on.

Later, the children were standing and pretending to be gas, liquid and solid molecules. They move closer together with each phase and we simulate a wave propagating through each. Damian fidgets and a little folded piece of paper falls out of his pocket. Holding out my hand, he quietly picks up the paper and hands it to me. I place it in my back pocket and move on.

After I came home, I found the paper again in my pocket. Curious, I unfolded it to find this:

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I now know that Damian was, in fact bothering them. I wonder which little girl was meant to receive this. While this little note brought me much laughter, I can’t help but feel for little Damian, wearing his heart on his sleeve and writing love letters in science class. Us extroverts want everyone to know how we feel about them.

Never Gonna Quit

I wake up early and take my time getting ready. I pack my lunch, drink my carrot juice and bounce out the door and make the 25 minute commute to school. I park in the “commuter lot”, which is farther away from my classes than parking at the local grocery store near campus. There is a little rabbit who lives in the grassy area next to the space I like to park in. I see him everyday hopping and nibbling on grass. I want to catch him. Everyday I talk to him and work on gaining his trust…..I make the trek across the various other student parking lots, roads, buildings, and green space to get to classes.

I’m having fun being a student and every day I think about how happy I am to be at a school. I make sure to pay attention and take notes and read ahead and study, because six months ago, I really didn’t think I would get here.

To supplement my studying, I’ve taken a couple part-time jobs. I am teaching science experiments in elementary after school programs under the alias “Lanthanide Laila”.My other part time job is, once again, working at the YMCA.

Sometimes Lynn and I cook together and finish making dinner at 4 pm. We laugh at how ridiculous it is to cook and eat dinner before 5 pm and settle on the couch to watch YouTube clips on our projector. Sometimes we practice our instruments. Our girl band/variety group is called “Simon’s Bender”. Last week we sang karaoke.

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I don’t think I’ve ever been happier.

And All That Math

The first and second weeks of class have come and gone. My adviser and professor for a course titled Natural Resource Economics¬†is a man by the name of Dr. Coal. Dr. Coal loves coal and tends to talk down about other minerals why he lectures. He’s a quirky man who skips from side to side while discussing the course materials. I don’t take notes, but rather write down funny things he says.

“If you’re interested in a subject, the worst thing you can do is go buy a textbook……boring as sshhiiiit.”

“Hit ’em over the head three times and things just stick.” -On how to write an effective essay.

“Screw Canada!”

“I think in stories, not math.”

“Let’s imagine you fell asleep and it’s 2 years later.” -On when to harvest your forest and invest the money.

“When I was younger and a little bit hipper, we used to go to this club in Seattle. They had two rooms: 80’s music and 70’s music. It’d be like, which room should we go to? Let’s go to the 80’s room and dance! So we go to the 80’s room. Then its like, well we can’t dance in here because it’s so crowded! Let’s go to the 70’s room. Then we’re like, oh its not so crowded in here but this music sucks. Eventually it gets to a point where they equally suck or they’re equally cool. And that’s just like economics.”

“I will look the other way and pretend you’re not doing something illegal.”

“So, if you like forests, you should be wasting paper….. That thing on emails, ‘Please consider the environment before printing’…. Yeah, those people are idiots. It’s like No, I’m ¬†printing every freaking page. Because then people need timber, and they plant forests.”

As you can tell, I’m learning a lot in my economics program! Seriously though, I have to review and take actual notes after class.