the world according to JEN

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Tuesday, January 20, 2004
my response to the state of the union:

fuck you, bush. the "war on terrorism" is a scare tactic. we've always had enemies; what are you going to do about opposition to our foreign policy? bombing the shit out of people doesn't solve america's image problem. reorganizing iraq in our own fucked up image is really noble. really. the patriot act is not the answer; demonizing people of particular backgrounds merely expands the prejudice and racial profiling that has plagued this country for years. weapons of mass destruction? really, other people have them? i wonder why! we only have a shitload of WMD and the money and the technology to make more. that's really fair to make sure no one else has them.

good job on the tax cuts. they really helped your average american. riiiiight. let's think about who you're trying to please there, how about the wealthiest americans who benefit from most of your policies. nice band-aid on the perscription drugs. how about actually promoting legislation to regulate the drug industry and the renewal of patents and generic drugs.

don't even get me started on the no child left behind act. as a first year teacher, even i know how much of a joke your "accountability" movement is. try actually funding schools before you require them to make every 3rd grader read at the 3rd grade level. just 'cause you got some tutoring and were able to make it to high school grade level when you turned 40, doesn't mean it's an easy thing to do, to help a child read. believe me, i have 15, 16, and 17 year-olds whom the education system has failed, but testing them doesn't help them a bit. i know they are behind, what is a standardized test going to do about it. try incentives for teachers, better teacher training, and a funding structure that actually gives schools in need money rather than penalizing them for underachievement.

and i saved the best for last, your nice little conservative ad campaign at the end. so glad that you respect individual rights and are against prejudice. too bad you don't want to uphold the basic principles of the constitution and give gay couples equal rights according to the law! instead, you'd rather say "screw you" to loving monogamous gay couples and help pass a fricking constitutional amendment to deny them by law their right to marriage. since when are you the moral authority, you drug-snorting idiot. it makes me feel so much better that you support funding for christian (oh, and right you slipped in jewish and muslim organizations in two words to appease minorities) charity organizations. glad to know that you support christian charity, but not the christian belief of saving judgment for god. you've obviously judged homosexuals to be immoral in some way, if you can't stomach them to be married.

man, that's it for now. i can't stomach thinking about GW any more. it's going to be a scary day in november and beyond if something doesn't change soon. i'd better read up on kerry, edwards, dean and clarke. the only people i'll consider. i keep changing my mind though. poor al sharpton and kucinich don't have a chance even though they have the real liberal vision.

oooo, i just remembered about the shit bush pulled on MLK jr day two years in a row. last year, coming out against affirmative action in the U of M case on his holiday. this year, having a $2,000 fundraising dinner on his holiday in atlanta and pretending at the last minute that you were there to place a wreath on MLK's grave. fat chance, you political prick. you can't fool me!

Monday, January 19, 2004
almost forgot! travesty!

as northwestern always likes to put it:

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
-Martin Luther King jr.

ironic since i decided on friday that dave not only has gaydar, but he also has "injustice radar."

what a mixed bag weekend. always such highs and lows.

friday-->good day at school, martin luther king lesson and discussion, singing john brown's body with reluctant kids, short department meeting. drinks with teachers after school at the store, alicia joins, dave unzips his pants to prove he's a brief man (!), make quick dinner, drive to hyde park for katie's bday, michael is there but he's just another nice guy (dunno if he's at all interested, ugh), partying with u of chicago is so funny, go to restaurant by day, juke club by night, clear division between u of chicago kids and south siders, i'm disgusted by the airiel juking (read sex act on the dance floor with cothes on), but my new carleton buddies morgan and linda have left, so i'm chillin alone getting all depressive, alicia meets martin (swiss german lawyer), i stay over to make sure she's not alone completely with him all night.

saturday-->alicia and i are both in somewhat depressive states, 'cause she's convinced martin will not call like he said he would. me, because it was an uncomfortable night and my crush did not progress past crush. there's still time and opportunity, but i'm pretty discouraged right now. we chill and watch tv, pop in "liberty heights," go to the pancake house for lunch (nice to be at places where it's mostly black people and the others are the minorities). martin calls (!) and i check out so that she can have her romantic date. bitch and complain on the phone to sue and bri (sorry about my mood ladies), and then drive to mt. prospect to chill with bich so i'm not alone. we eat something at baker's square and then retreat to her house to chill and play the sims (we made a kick ass house that we lost when her computer crashed!). drove back to my place to sleep.

sunday-->this was my i'm a domestic goddess day. woke up and put on NPRs sunday jazz show with dick buckly (old man who rocks), started laundry, cut many, many coupons, redid my grocery list, got the recycling in order, made summer pasta with tomatoes and mozzarela, potato soup with cheese, broccoli, carrots and such, and bourbon chicken with soco, maple syrup, and oj. later i marinated two pork chops (one brown sauce and the other lemon herb). i'm trying to have lots of food made for the week since i'm going to be busy after school a lot of the time even though it's only a 4 day week. grocery shopped like a mad woman and spent lots of money, but saved $12 with my jewel card and another $15 in coupons. :) go me! came home, made a frozen cheese pizza, got dressed and then jumped on the el. sucks that the fares went up!!! round trip is now $3.50 instead of $3. waited 20 minutes in the cold for the #74 bus at fullerton (good thing i was drinking gin and tonic with lime in my dr. pepper can). made it to quenchers around 9pm. the old spanish teacher who left to be an assistant principle, correa, was there! very nice to see him, such an attractive, friendly, caring and responsible puerto rican man. luz (with her parents and brother and friends!), laurie, trish, grace, liz, dave, and rebecca were all already there, so glad to see them! they were just what i needed. saw some pictures from trish's thailand trip, cow, her man, is cute. they all laughed that i was drinking on the bus, they didn't expect that from me i guess. bought drinks and got bought drinks, stuck with soco and coke most of the night. alicia arrived and joined the party, filled me in on her second date with martin which was equally nice as the first. watched some karaoke, including rebecca, we ALL got hit on by an older puerto rican man and a 22-year-old "straight" actor/dancer/model who dropped out of high school in the 9th grade. very funny. dave suggests going to hydrate and of course i jump on the band wagon. i drive with alicia and we actually go to spin first, which was odd because on the dance floor were lots of latino men who were definitely looking for women to dance with. danced with raul twice, too bad i wasn't feeling super coordinated, but i didn't do sooooo bad. (at the end of us dancing, raul says "i look like a faggot, but i am not a faggot." wow, it really turns my on when you speak offensively to me.) alicia and laurie decide to go home, leaving grace, rebecca, dave and myself. dave and i walk arm in arm to hydrate and discuss his new man, who he absolutely really likes a lot, but he can't get no sleep! (ha, lucky him, and apparently the girl who lives above me! yuck!) gotta love gay bars/clubs. dave runs into a friend right away and the 3 girls hit the dance floor. very nice. dance with some shirtless sweaty men who claim they are not gay, hmmmm. dave finally joins us around 2:45 and promptly removes his shirt, revealing the gorgeous man that he is. no wonder every female teacher at LPHS is in love with him. and we dance, we dance, we dance. grace and dave have no shame in getting freaky, and pretty soon neither do i. it's so funny when you cross weird boundaries like that. mentor teacher/friend/hot man. whatever. if only i could clone a straight version of dave. grace kindly drives us home. i get a snack before bed to fill the tummy and aid the sobering up.

monday-->typing this blog message. lots of lesson planning to do, but i don't want to do it. at least i already did laundry and shopping. still too much time to think about michael and shit and boys. so as you can see it was a mixed bag weekend. i need to remember that whenever i'm feeling down i just need to call the teacher crew and/or go to a gay bar. :) so sad, but this is my life. even my mom agrees i will never meet a guy this way, but i can't help it. i'm in this self-destructive pleasure seeking pattern. the thing is i know that i will not meet a datable guy at a bar anyway, so i figure when i go out that's not the mission. maybe it should be, but up 'til this point i've only been hit on by my traditional sketchy profile of men and every so often a horny young attractive man who wants nothing but ass, which i am only willing to give on a reasonable level on the dance floor or briefly on new years eve or my drunk ass birthday. ;) i can't believe i've now technically kissed 3 guys, but then again i can't believe i've only kissed 3 guys, and i mean only kissed with one painfully obvious exception. he called by the way, should i call back? yo no say. ugh, ugh, and more ugh. work is going well. my apartment is fab. sue and bri and i are going to live in a palace in andersonville next year, i'm convinced. but where, oh where, is my love life? MIA as usual. well, i really ought to take advantage of this extra day and get lots of work done. might go to work at a coffeeshop, either panini panini or cocoabean expressions, i haven't decided. give me out shout out later electronic readers. much love.

Wednesday, January 14, 2004
small revelations about teaching and working in general from sham and i.

shannonmok (6:57:22 PM): how's work going?
jwindy23 (6:57:34 PM): good, not so bad, but i keep not going to bed really late
jwindy23 (6:57:56 PM): how are you doing?
shannonmok (6:58:12 PM): good
shannonmok (6:58:16 PM): just chilling
shannonmok (6:58:43 PM): been stuck in a mindless project at work
jwindy23 (6:59:05 PM): ugh, that's no good
shannonmok (6:59:36 PM): no, not at all
shannonmok (6:59:42 PM): beats having nothing to do though
jwindy23 (7:00:03 PM): yeah, i thought about that today
jwindy23 (7:00:10 PM): i wondered if i could really just not work
jwindy23 (7:00:12 PM): like if i was rich
jwindy23 (7:00:15 PM): and i didn't have to
jwindy23 (7:00:20 PM): would i enjoy not doing anything
jwindy23 (7:00:26 PM): or would i work just to have something to do
shannonmok (7:00:26 PM): i don't think i would
jwindy23 (7:00:28 PM): some purpose
jwindy23 (7:00:33 PM): yeah, me neither
shannonmok (7:00:34 PM): i need purpose
jwindy23 (7:00:38 PM): i would cut back on the hours though
jwindy23 (7:00:49 PM): it would be like a 4-5 hour workday ;-)
shannonmok (7:00:54 PM): haha
shannonmok (7:00:58 PM): still teaching?
shannonmok (7:01:02 PM): or doing something else?
jwindy23 (7:01:33 PM): i dunno
jwindy23 (7:01:48 PM): if i could teach and plan and grade in the 4-5 hours i think i'd still teach
jwindy23 (7:01:57 PM): but if not, then i'd do something that doesn't require homework
jwindy23 (7:02:01 PM): for the adult
shannonmok (7:02:18 PM): yeah
shannonmok (7:02:22 PM): are you getting more used to it?
jwindy23 (7:04:13 PM): yeah, most definitely
jwindy23 (7:04:25 PM): i'm very used to it, doesn't mean i like it though ;-)
jwindy23 (7:04:42 PM): i can't wait for next year. if i teach the same classes at least i'll have lots of materials prepared
jwindy23 (7:04:51 PM): when i have time i can plan new stuff

Saturday, January 10, 2004
my weekend thus far:
friday-->nice dinner at the heartland to catch up with allan, who lives less than 2 blocks away from me, but we hadn't seen each other since june. went to roscoe's with bich and met up with chris d, a 33 year-old english teacher from LPHS, who is ordinarily really shy, but was surprisingly easy to talk to. some of bich's friends from NU came as well and partook in the dancing. i had a really good time. the bartender really liked chris so he gave us discounted drinks and free jager shots. soooo didn't expect to leave drunk, but that i did. bich had to drive us home. sadly i got two big parking tickets as well, that was the only downer for the evening.

today-->saw bich off, contemplated my faulty planning for a get together with secondary teaching NU alums, and ran evanston errands. met up with alicia at the piper's alley theater and saw "in america." i was an emotional wreck through the whole movie because i was gripped. the acting was excellent and the story was just so personal and poignant. i can't remember the last time that i felt so much tension while watching a movie. i was crying perfusely by the end when the credits were rolling. it's really an uplifting movie in many ways, but very heartbreaking at the same time. i would highly, highly recommend it. then alicia and i drove to my place, thought of restaurant ideas and waited for her friend from college, morgan, to get here. we drove to sher-a-punjab on devon and had a 3 hour conversation over our yummy indian buffet dinner.

i really had an ankur weekend though, aside from the movie. ;) then he called when we were on our way to dinner making the weekend complete.

i feel so bad for alicia since the teacher she was supposed to replace is not retiring. she has to wait until another teacher goes on maternity leave in february before she can come back to work because she was soooo sick of being a sub and dealing with mr. hassel. no one can blamer her, it just sucks that she's getting the shaft. it's so strange 'cause it just as easily could have been another first year. i don't really understand their reasoning for hiring her (as opposed to any of the rest of us) to be on standby for a year. i guess it's just that she is mostly a U.S. teacher. i'll be much happier when she's back at school everyday. she definitely helps keep me sane in such a crazy atmosphere. she deserves to also have a stable job and a real teachers pay.

oh i also decided to go to NYC for part of spring break in april, which makes me excited. and i can't wait to go back to DC next summer. something to look forward to now that christmas break is over. what a crazy break. hanging with my girls, running into a guy from high school and going on a date. strange new years. all in all an odd break, with lots of staying up and out late, sleeping late. it was great to see my parents when i was awake, going to dinner and movies with them (yeah lord of the rings and cold mountain!). and my cat was a riot the whole time. so entertaining and affectionate. i really missed his personality; he finally is off the medication that really sedated him.

hmmm, now i'm bored. maybe i'll make some phone calls.

oh and tamica, when you read this, you should write something about your balloon ride in your blog since that was so amazing. i didn't see that on there. ;)

major congratulations as well to bich for her job interview out east and for andrew for getting his fabulous internship in australia! us folks in the usa with miss you. congrats also to ryan and steve for getting TFA jobs and good luck to steve on your way back to africa. i so want to be you.

Thursday, January 08, 2004
this is for tamica and kim s. :) apologies as always for the lack of posts. life as a teacher certainly changes your priorities. free time is at a minimum and in all honesty, usually i use it to sleep, do laundry, screw around, watch tv, or drink. i shall try to make more frequent short updates, but no promises.

my first semester of teaching full time is almost over and here's most of what i've learned so far:
1. teaching is such a physical job. i have a cold, sore feet, and back pain. often, my voice is strained from talking.
2. bureaucracy, red tape, and politics (read money) run schools. not administrators, teachers or students. we're all just along for the ride.
3. adults are just as petty and unprofessional as young people.
4. students are capable of amazing turnarounds in behavior, but don't expect it from many.
5. i enjoy teaching, but my ideal job in education doesn't require me to do work when i'm not at my place of work or on weekends.
6. it's best to be a communicator, a liason, and a likeable person at your job. that way, you avoid the gossip pool.
7. living alone is wonderful in terms of personal space, but challenging in terms of emotional health. at least, after coming right out of college.
8. making a salary is great, but after paying bills and unexpected expenses, there's not much money to save.
9. i definitely prefer to teach us history over world, and i would love to teach honors kids. kids in the middle, not at the extremes like i have now.
10. wonderful colleagues who become friends are invaluable and help ease the stress that teaching brings.