Creativity Jam 1:38 p.m. 2003-09-17

Current Listening: Three Weeks in Paris by Barbara Taylor Bradford
Current Reading:Diary of an American Au Pair by Marjorie Leet Ford - just finished!
Recipe of the Day: Restaurants I want to visit...
Daily Quote:
The Grandson: A book?
Grandpa: That's right. When I was your age, television was called books! And this is a special book. It was the book my father used to read to me when I was sick, and I used to read it to your father. And today I'm gonna read it to you.
The Grandson: Has it got any sports in it?
Grandpa: Are you kidding? Fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, miracles...
The Grandson: Doesn't sound too bad. I'll try to stay awake.
Grandpa: Oh, well, thank you very much, very nice of you. Your vote of confidence is overwhelming. - The Princess Bride

Jean Brodie: P-E-T-R-I-F-I-C-A-T-I-O-N. Petrification! I do not intend to devote my prime to petrification. - The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

Okay, here's the deal. I want to do something....else. No, I am not leaving teaching, but there are some students who are challenging my will to teach. I'm talking kids who don't really belong in ESOL, not kids who are just having trouble with the English language - I'm talking about some real challenges:

I am no expert, but I have one child who seems mentally retarded. NO, I mean it. I can't believe that this has not been caught sooner! He cannot comprehend how to do the simplest task. I spoke to his mother last night, and she is "aware" that Omar is "different" (you can't say "your son is retarded" to a mother in conferences - and I don't think I could say it in Spanish, anyway!). I, striving for some understanding, asked if he is required to do any tasks around the house - like make up his bed. His mother said that he doesn't. She will tell him to make his bed, he'll say "okay" and then pop off on his bike and be gone until it's time for his next feeding. This boy needs to be learning some life skills - I don't know how far he will go in school, but he needs those, at least.

I have about 3 other students who are not quite as low as he is, but they are non-comprehending. They cannot be sent to the International Academy (for what that's worth), because they have been here for two years or longer. So, I get them. Lucky me.

Then, there are the attitudinally challenged: there is one girl who my prime example. She is irritating already, with her tendency to say "yeah" and "nope" to questions. She also loves to interrupt me in class. She also likes to walk in and make pronouncements about what she is going to do or not do that day. To add to this, she is one of those "evidence-gatherers." By that, I mean that she listens (not for learning value - at least not to further her success in English) for words - names that she is called (she is one of the reasons for the "Sparky Report"), little things that I might have said or done to her - to take home to her mother to "tell" on me. I met with her mother yesterday afternoon (the student was not with her - coward!), and I was fairly fearless, because I had already called her daughter out yesterday and chewed her out - alone, no witnesses! - telling her I despise students who don't tell their parents the whole story.

She has a sort of cohort in that same class. I will eventually have to deal with the two of them - hopefully without name calling or blood being shed.

So, back to what I was saying. I don't feel like I am really being fulfilled here. I am making good impressions with my Cultural Diversity Newsletter and other participation, but I would like to do something more creative. Leave a mark. I guess that these blogs - the recipe blog and this one - are about being recognized in some way, but I want to do more.

The problem is that I am an IDEA PERSON. I come up with all sorts of creative ideas, only to forget about them a week later for another IDEA, which, in turn, is also forgotten. Or it's too hard, or it seems like it will not turn out exactly the way I want. Or it seems pointless. Or, I let myself get so involved with the lives of others - especially my husband's - that I have no energy to consider a creative project.

The latest idea is to write a book. I am listening to Barbara Taylor Bradford's book Three Weeks in Paris, because it was about Paris, and I thought it would keep me in the travel (without travelling) mood. It has been so long since I have read a book like hers - I will just have to lump her in with Danielle Steele, for wont of a better comparison. You know the type: 4 devastatingly beautiful women, married to powerful men - but still active and successful in their own right - living in gorgeous houses...hiding a terrible secret.

Oy vay!

That was one of those moments when you say to yourself (or, at least Steven King said you say to yourself): "I could do better than that!" I mean it - my two years in France were much more realistic than that. But I guess that people who read those books don't want a real story: they want to escape, and maybe pretend to be the people that are portrayed in those books. Give me something like the book I just finished, Diary of an American Au Pair, where the portrayal is realistic!

So, I may change my Mini Poll (if you haven't seen my mini poll, then scroll down and vote, for goodness sakes!) to see what people would rather read about - if I were to actually write a book:
A. My year in Angers, France, with a group of students from Louisiana (Sort of like The Real World, but no hot tub)
B. My year in Poitiers, France, where I lived alone - with my dog - and taught conversational English to middle schoolers (more of a travelogue with local characters - think A Year in Provence

That's all I have for now! I have also thought of fiction - maybe an anti-gang story. There aren't enough of those.

Maybe I will add other projects to my mini poll: my film project about fun, ethnic things to do in Atlanta, for instance. I still plan on doing that. I also want to do some cool collage/mini-altar work, as I mentioned in another entry. Too many ideas: too little time!

Now, I have to get some work done. I have a Cultural Diversity Committee meeting this afternoon to prepare for, and lessons to plan, not to mention documentation to arrange for and organize for my students.

See what I mean about "too little time"? What the hell am I doing blogging!

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