Happy Birthday to Me! 9:16 p.m. 2003-08-14

Drive Time: 35 minutes
Current Listening: On Writing by Stephen King (I'm listening to it a second time...)
Current Reading:Cuba Diaries: An American Housewife in Havana by Isadora Tattlin
Recipe of the Day: Cocktails: Melon Margarita, Caipirinha, Pisco Sour, Kir Royale, Kir aux Mures

So, today's my birthday - happy happy! Actually, since it's a weekday, it's just a normal old day, wherein I was busy all day. Evaluations, placements, all part of the beginning of school. I also got home a little late, since we had a meeting after school, then I could not leave until I had some inkling of what to do with my kids tomorrow. Of course, we won't know where they are going just yet, so I'm stuck with what I've got!

I teach English as a Second Language in a middle school, and this is my third year. I am becoming attuned to the subtleties of the position, but am glad I don't have to make the tough decisions, such as kicking some kid out of the program when he/she has been in it for 4 years and over, and still can't get out on scores! Some kids "fake it", preferring to stay with their (Mexican) friends in the "easy" ESOL courses! And other kids test really low, but can do the work required.

The third group, the one that has us in a quandary at the moment, is an interesting one. They spent all last year in the new International Academy, and were moved over here. They are not ready. And they have very few students at the moment at the Academy, so people are freaking out about their jobs, I guess. Some of these kids may not be Newcomers, but they are also not Intermediate level students. And they are not ready to be thrown in with classes in academic subjects (even with an ESOL aide), with class sizes topping out at 34 students!

The solution seems simple to me. There needs to be two levels of students at the Academy: Newcomer and Beginner. Then they can come and be with us!

And then, coming from the quirky 6th grade ESOL teacher over there (the "Academy" is composed of the 6th graders and international students, each in their own separate area), we've got a Polish boy who has been in the US for SIX years! He scored a 71 percentile on the test (you have to have between 25% and 40% - very strange scoring!) to exit, an he has a 71%!!! What is that woman thinking?

I got home just in time to hear about the power outages in the Northeast. Wow! That's got to be a trip! When my husband got home, he took me to Rio Bravo for dinner. We will do more this weekend! I want to go to a movie -maybe I will go see Seabiscuit again, or Le Divorce (although I am annoyed that Kate Hudson was cast for a role that was supposed to be taken by a curly haired brunette!).

I was surfing Rotten Tomatoes.com and Moviefone.com, and came across a promo for a new movie starring Diane Lane. It's called Under the Tuscan Sun, and it's based on Frances Mayes's personal account by the same name. In the book, however, divorced Frances has a new husband when she finds her villa in Tuscany. I guess that didn't play well with the test audiences... Poor Edward (Frances's husband) - I guess you've got to make sacrifices to finance your lush life in Italy!

Will I go see it? You betcha! I think it's meant to be sort of a Shirley Valentine for the year 2000.

Other notes: I checked my Diaryland Top 100 status, and I was (to my surprise! at 138 (Wow, now I am at 122!). Out of how many, you ask? Oh, I don't know - probably hundreds! ;-)

I also checked Diarist.net Clix,another ranking system, and I was around 180 yesterday, but cannot find myself today! - Oh, now I did: I am at 186.

So, if you want to give me something for my birthday, please scroll down to the bottom of my template (not my entry!), and click on both the Clix button, and the Diaryland Top 100 button. It would make me so happy!

Once, I was up in the top 10, but that takes too much maintenance. I had (almost) forgotten about them! ;-)

I also received my very first ever guestbook SPAM! I couldn't believe it - I got a Bravenet Notify that someone had signed my guestbook, and it was a PORN AD!

Oh, sign my guestbook, too - unless you are a dirty, rotten SPAMMER!

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Tiedyefor 2003