Monday, April 02, 2007

Three Mine Vices

Let's talk about Hillbilly Mom's vices. I know you think I
am perfect, and so do I. But there are a few thingies that
probably need correcting. The preposition-ending sentence
vice is not what this post is about. The alleged gambling ain't broke, so we ain't fixin' it. For brevity
(Ha, ha, what's that, asked Mrs. Hillbilly Mom), we shall
limit this vice-fest to the workplace.

Let's start with money-lending. I know I should not lend
money to students. Most of the time, I don't, because I
don't like begging in a dog, or a person. But if I see a kid
who wants something, something reasonable, and it looks
like the kid won't get it unless I cough up some cash, I
break my own rule.

For instance, there was the recent book fair, and kids
who wanted a fancy pencil. They did not ask. One had
a dollar, and needed tax. I told him he could go to my
room and get the pennies out of my desk. Nobody likes
pennies. They are the red-headed stepchild of the money
family. (No offense to any red-headed stepchildren who
may be reading.) And then I loaned the kid money for
that book, and he paid me back the next day. Friday,
a student was going to the band contest, where they
would stop on the way home that evening to get some
food. He had forgotten to bring money. I only knew
because I asked if they were leaving before lunch. He
said, "No, we eat lunch here, but we're stopping for
supper on the way home. DANG! I forgot to ask my
mom for some money. I guess my friends will give me
a few fries or something if they don't want them." He's
a good kid. Always polite. He's the kid who loaned
another kid the shoes off his feet on lab day in Science,
so the kid wouldn't have to take an 'F'. Karma, baby.
I had a $10 bill in my pocket. I told him, "Here. I'll loan
you so you can have supper." These kids are bottomless
pits. They are always hungry. And he's a good kid. Today,
he came to me before school. "I wanted to pay you back,
but I only have $5 right now. Some people owe me
money, and I'm going to collect it so I can give you the
rest." I took the $5, and told him not to worry. As long
as I got it by the last day of school, I'm OK with it.

Moving slowly along to another Mrs. HM vice...I don't
really care if a student asks to go to the bathroom. Hey!
My classroom is right next to the bathrooms. Location,
location, location. They are not going to bother anyone.
There are no classrooms between mine and the bathrooms.
As long as it's not in the middle of my lesson, I don't care.
Also, I will send them to get assignments that they have
'left' in their lockers. That's part of my class, seeing that
they don't neglect homework. I always write them a pass.
I don't let them go to the gym, or to talk to another student,
or to another teacher's classroom. Library, yes. Computer
lab, no. The philosophy of Mrs. Hillbilly Mom is: The Less,
The Merrier. A few minutes of peace while one of them
is gone. Yes!

Yet another vice...I don't give a lot of homework. In fact,
I don't give any homework. The reason for that now is
that my At-Risk class is to help the student understand the
work. I want them doing my Math in my classroom, so I
can help them if they don't get it. But I also did this when
I taught Science. I have time to present my lesson. I make
sure there is time to start on the assignment. I have been
known to say, "Since most of you are not finished, we'll
work on this some more tomorrow." Because I have seen
these kids copying work in the gym before school, heard
them talk about copying on the bus, seen them take
someone else's paper home with them to copy, heard
them say their mom did it for them, etc. It's been that way
in every school where I've taught. Oh, I turn them in when
I catch them. That is called 'CHEATING'. It is in the
discipline policy that we read to them at the beginning
of every school year. If they do my work in class, I see
that they are doing their own work. I even let them work
in partners sometimes, because at least they will discuss
the material, not just copy an answer out of the book.
That's why I don't give homework, even though I should.

Great Googley Moogley! How time flies when we're
discussing Mrs. Hillbilly Mom's vices! I'd better stop
for now.

Is longwindedness in telling my boring stories considered
a vice?


DeadpanAnn said...

Those are some pretty tame vices. I too neglected to give any homework because it never got done. Ever. By anyone. Also since they weren't allowed to take their books home and I didn't have a copy machine, homework was kinda impossible.

You're so sweet to lend your students money. I gave a kid money for the book fair once, but lending would've been kinda like giving homework-- never woulda seen it again. From most of 'em anyway.

LanternLight said...

Is longwindedness in telling my boring stories considered a vice?

I was kinda hoping for details on other vices, such as that Sonic Cherry thingy you crave.

Hillbilly Mom said...

Miss Ann,
I hear ya. I never lend what I can't afford to give.

There are not many details on The Elixir Of The Gods. The best ones are made with a half-cup of Sonic crushed ice, the regular cherry syrup out of their little dispenser, and fountain Diet Coke. It's not nearly so good if they use the 'diet cherry' syrup. That's why you order 'Cherry Diet Coke' instead of 'Diet Cherry Coke'.

The canned variety of Cherry Diet Coke is abominable. I would rather have NONE than to have canned soda.

DeadpanAnn said...

Hey! I hate the diet cherry syrup too! But the people at my local Sonic can't figure it out unless I spell it out for them-- I want DIET COKE but I want REGULAR cherry syrup! They still act confused.

Hillbilly Mom said...

Miss Ann,
I feel your pain. Some are kind enough to ask for clarification. Others just ASSUME, and you know what that makes.