Monday, October 25, 2010


I am persistently trying to come up with ideas for how to establish a choral environment that would make students think it ridiculous to work on their homework during rehearsal.  Mrs. D is able to approach choir with the patience for this, and produces good results too, but I don't think I would be able to handle that.  This, of course, comes from a naïve pre-teacher.  Perhaps I'll discover that this is the kind of allowance necessary to balance the "you can't kick students out of choir" administrative approach with classroom discipline.  Also, if/when Mrs. D reads this, she'll be thinking, "Ha!  He isn't mean enough."  We'll see, I suppose.

I ended up with 3.5/5 (one was rather tardy) students in Theory today and gave the quiz anyway.  I began grading them and WOW — they bombed it.  I'm really glad that this happened though, because now I have a really good understanding of what they're missing.  I'll be turning this into one of those procedures where I mark their work, hand it back, go over it in class, and have them return it with corrections.  Scales, keys, and intervals are kind of a big deal.

I recall enjoying GM today, and we're finally done with the movie, but most of what I remember are things that frustrated me.  The first [and one non-frustrating] memory is that the bickering girls are friends again.  Loud friends.  Three cheers, eh?  The second is of the students who refuse to contribute; when asked a simple question like, "What was your favorite part of the musical?", they'll answer "Nothing.  I didn't like any of it," and I have to drag some sort of answer out of them.  The third memory flat-out pisses me off.  I spent the beginning of each class sternly lecturing about a terrible mess that all three classes left last week.  Scraps of paper, candy wrappers, and broken pieces from pencils were all over the floor!  Everyone seemed to get a healthy dose of guilt.  The third class was the most interested in this — they asked why it's bad since there are people who are supposed to clean the building each day.  Fine.  Great.  I answered and they understood (I think — they all had understanding looks) about the disrespect involved.  Oh...but then...after that class left...there was half of a broken pencil waiting for me on the floor.  REALLY, KID? REALLY?  I OUGHTA &$%#%^@$%# and *&^@!@&^#& your @$$!!!

Wait!  I'm not done!  After MS choir, I was back in our room (where Mrs. D had rehearsed with the boys) and there was a piece of gum, shoddily wrapped, ground into the floor!  Unbelievable!

On a brighter note, I ended the day by doing more singing than usual, as I was needed to add some substance to the anemic one-person-against-too-many-others bass section.  I don't get to sing as often as I would like, so I enjoyed this greatly.  There was, however, the proverbial dark lining to that silver cloud (wait...that's not quite right...oh, well); part way through the rehearsal about 8 members got up and left to go to a rehearsal for the musical.  Well, Mrs. D had only heard about this 30 minutes prior and...the details aren't worth it.  We wound up with 14/26 members (and no bass section after the one left) for most of the rehearsal.  Is "obligation" in their vocabulary?

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