Friday, September 27, 2013

| Musings about working at a private school, et al.

- Part of working at a private school is that you are at the will of the parents.  There is a really weird shift in thought, whereas at the public school in CA, I would definitely feel an obligation to call parents if the child is sucking, but here there is an expectation that you keep all parents up to date on their kid no matter what.  You have to think of the families as customers, and you are the person providing a service.  This is both good and bad.  On one hand I teach kids who are for the most part highly motivated, either intrinsically or from parental force (punitively).  On the other hand the parents often are hyper-involved and hover.  Then there are always the kids who should not have qualified for this school (there is an extensive admissions process), and are here because of who their parents are.  Those kids usually require the most amount of work.

Along with working here comes a weird competition within the faculty as well.  In a way, our headmaster is like the dad, and people are always trying to seek dad's approval.  It is frustrating at times because I don't always advocate well for myself; I am not that competitive when it comes to my performance as an employee.  I have always waited for the person in charge to recognize on his or her own if I am doing a good job or if I need to improve my efforts.  As a result, the equity of the work often sucks and some of my colleagues get away with doing minimal work because they will boast about how hard they work, and the opposite is often true, while I feel like I am killing myself.  Also, people can sometimes step on you and take credit for something that you had a hand in making successful in order to get ahead, but this is a false sense of "getting ahead" because there is no monetary reward, just dad's approval.

There are certain things that are expected tasks that are way beyond what I did as a public school teacher.  Here, you have to not only give the student a grade at the quarter, semester, and end of the year, but four times a year, you have to write a grade comment, which is about three paragraphs per kid explaining what we did that quarter in class, and describing that kid's strengths and weaknesses, and a basic justification of the grade.

One of the things that I am doing right now is another daunting task. Our school has 2 days of parent/teacher conferences where the kids get two days off and I meet with parents for 15 minutes at a time.  Yesterday, it was 11:00-7:30, today it is 9:00-4:30.  I get a lunch break both days, but it is pretty non-stop for that time, and I am dragging my ass with no voice left by the end.  The kids come back all rejuvenated and spazzy because they got a 4-day weekend, but the teachers are all aggravated and pissy.  

Nevertheless, I am happy to work here.  There is a sense of freedom to teach what I want because I am not beholden to state standards.  My class sizes are small (no more than 24) and the kids are very nice and respectful for the most part.  The campus is beautiful and my fiance and I have on-campus housing (a 3-bedroom for $850 a month), and I really like living on Maui.  I am treated well, I get a paycheck and health insurance, I feel like I am making a difference in the lives of kids, I feel appreciated by the families I teach, and it united me with my future wife!

- In other news, I have been playing through Plants vs. Zombies 2 for a few weeks now.  Fun!  It is a different format than the original PvZ in that it is more like Angry Birds with earning stars per level, but I really enjoy it!  The other thing about it is that it is free(!) but you can buy certain plants in order to make the game manageable, but it is not necessary to be successful in the game.

- I don't know if any of you have been following Breaking Bad, but these last few episodes have been gut-wrenching, not just because of the sad anticipation for the end of the series, but the storyline has been so brutal.  Still, one of the best shows that I have ever seen.

- The other show we really like is Bob's Burgers.  If you are so inclined, check it out on Netflix and/or Hulu.  It is an animated show on Fox that's actually good, which all but guarantees it will get prematurely cancelled, but Wendy Molynuex and her sister Lizzie are writers.  I saw recently that they got a deal to produce and develop new shows, so it seems like they are doing something right.  Costa alumni making good!  Here is the article. <>

Anyway, I have to go, my next appointment is here.

| Oh, You Two and Your Ways

I haven't had much to contribute.

Musings vol. XVXXIMM06

 - Been playing through Pathfinder with the sexy Dad neighbor, and it has been okay.  It's better, but still sort of lacking.  Like a lot of RPGs, I think it would be a better vehicle for laffs with the Action Team vs. a great game.  I'm having fun, we're having some challenges, the characters definitely play differently, so maybe it's just a matter of playing it exclusively too much and having too many marathon sessions, but I'm not horribly looking forward to playing it anytime soon (though I probably will).

 - Hockey starts soon, so all you burgeoning stat nerds, get on the fantasy hockey train!  I'm not playing this year, unless some of you fools want to get something going.  I just don't expect I will have the interest on keeping up this season given other life/work commitments.  But I can be convinced otherwise!  DO EET!

 - I've watched like 5 episodes of Magnum P.I. on Netflix.  I used to like that show because it felt like I was watching some real adult stuff at the time.  It's really not a bad show, it suffers/benefits from the 80's lack of polish and not every character on the screen is a super-sexy beautiful perfect skin looking mofo - there are some real people thrown in there!  I mean, Magnum is an absolute hunka-hunka burnin' love, but everyone else is hideous by today's standards.  If you want to find out what happens to Magnum in the end, you'll have to read the book!

 - Been playing Minecraft some, some Papers Please (see Steam for details), and I made the terrible mistake of picking up State of Emergency on Steam. It's an open world Zombie game, which I mistakenly read as 'procedurally created' a la Minecraft.  It's basically GTA with zombies and supplies.  Not a bad concept but I'm REALLY tired of that sort of control and game style.  "You Are Being Hunted, Sir" IS a procedurally created game where you need to hide from 19th century British hunter-styled robots on a series of islands where you need to collect bits of a 'sploded machine while collecting supplies and trying to live.  It's pretty fun, but I haven't touched it in weeks.

 - I've been spending a lot of time doing work things as recreation.  The security field sort of lends itself to being a fun hobby on the side since much of what I'm 'playing with' I can't really use for work.  So while it sounds like I've been doing a lot of gaming, I haven't.  Oh, and I've had some sort of sleeping sickness where I go to bet at like 9pm consistently.  I think it's called 'aging', or some shit.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

I always kill it. :'(
* crickets *

Sunday, September 22, 2013

I've only got $10,000 left in my gaming fund this year. :/ sucks to always miss out on the bargains.
Hey guys, should we get back into 40k? Check out GW's sweet deal on the entire Ultramarines chapter!