Tag Archives: high school

Teenagers, Teenagers

Spent today with teenagers who chose to give up their Saturday to compete in UIL Academics.

People trash talk teenagers all the time. But you know what? Young people make me happy.

They believe absolutely that they can do almost anything unless that belief has been sucked out of them. They will defend their beliefs with research and a well thought out argument. They are kind and caring and considerate, and they often reach out when they see someone hurting or alone. Even if they don’t know that someone.

They are smart! When I was in school we had to take math. Not Algebra. Math. And science? Physical Science and Biology. Social studies and English weren’t even required four years. Sure, some kids did more. But you didn’t have to to graduate. These kids take tons of tough classes and still work and juggle busy electives AND give up their weekends for UIL.

People talk about teen attitudes, and yeah, they can roll their eyes so far into the backs of their heads I wonder about their health. But you know what? Go hang out on twitter for more than five minutes. You’ll see they’re just in training.

Teenagers are great. Glad I got to spend my Saturday with a few.

THANKFUL #mywana

The British Museum always makes me think of Harrison Ford. Another thing to be thankful for.

The British Museum always makes me think of Harrison Ford. Another thing to be thankful for.

Things I’m excited about September edition: Survivor, cooler temperatures, the Colonial Marriage Ministry Sacred Marriage class, teaching InDesign to kids after school, watching the freshmen become Raiders, first amendment memorization, watching new editors learn to make lists, revising Sharlene book 3, more dominoes with Mom and Dad, kisses, decorating the living room of the new house, watching DD transform from a kid into a woman ready to take on the world, seeing Pam B on Wednesdays if only for a minute, remembering the freedom of an empty nest during deadlines but also remembering the newsroom is not life, orange, learning new low carb recipes that rock, CS6, gearing up for NaNo, high school football, hockey, halftime shows. Funny, when I started this, I thought the list would be small enough for a Facebook status update. Goal this year: start every day thankful.

I Hope I’m Still Feeling This Way Tomorrow!

I love my job. I love my kids. I think teenagers are the most creative beings in the universe.
When the kids first said they wanted to do a black light/maze distribution, my immediate reaction was…WHAT the heck?! Followed quickly by No. But the long-time adviser in me remembered the kids are in charge…in this. This is their book, and they know what they want. So, instead of what I was thinking, I said, “you figure out a way to make it work…” I was thinking there was no way they would do it. Too much work. End of the year. No way.
I. Was. Wrong. It took until the very last minute today, but they did it. We had a black light maze distribution night for seniors. And tomorrow, we’ll have a black light maze distribution day for the rest of the school. If the seniors are any indication, the kids will LOVE it. The maze fits, because it keeps kids moving, and the theme is Perpetual Motion. The black lights work because the cover is a marbl-y white and gold, and it looks cool.
And one of the ad girls brought white balloons that look cool under the light, too.
I’m so proud of my kids. They’ve done an awesome job. I can’t wait for tomorrow!

The End

The end of the year is always so busy. It’s a time for reflection. I have a lot of that to do. It’s easily been the toughest year of my teaching career. I’ve had some of the best kids ever, thank GOD! I’m not sure what happened to make things so incredibly difficult. I think I spread myself too thin. I have this amazing kid on staff who does too much, and I’m always telling her she has to make choices. For the last year I’ve wondered why she has so much trouble making those choices and now here I am once again at the end of the year questioning whether I can do everything, knowing something has to change.
The big stress came when I took on the video class at the same time my staffs started dropping in size.
Last year I tried recruiting more students instead of only using kids who came to me on their own or through my J1 class.
DISASTER.
Kids think yearbook and newspaper are going to be all about fun. They don’t realize what all goes into that one spread.
And this year I didn’t handle their shock so well.
Same thing for the kids who didn’t do. After a semester of trying, I made them get their schedules changed.
I’m ready for this year to end.
I’m excited about what I already see happening for next year. We’ve set camp dates, we know San Antonio conference. Over half the yearbook staff is made of seniors.
These days I keep hearing politicians talk about how lazy teachers are, about how we’re part-time employees and how we have summers off, so our jobs aren’t that hard.
As I look forward to this summer in a way I never have, I wish more than anything a few of those politicians could spend a year with me. It might be interesting to see how they feel in May.

Full Circle

I fell in love with journalism when I was in high school. It was exciting and wonderful and I didn’t really have to talk to do it. I had to INTERVIEW, but I didn’t really have to talk. I could talk to people one at a time and then I wrote and wrote and wrote. Back then I loved those stories, but looking at them today, I see they weren’t all that special. They weren’t all that special because I was afraid to really talk to people. Not afraid in the normal way. Afraid in a strange, scary way that hit me sometime between 8th and 9th grade.
Suddenly talking to more than one person at a time scared the liver out of me. I literally threw up after giving speeches. The fear was ridiculous, but I couldn’t make it go away. So I turned to my fiction. No one in my stories was afraid. They were strong and beautiful and smart. I lived vicariously through those creations.
I’m not sure when the fear disappeared, but it happened as quickly as it had started. I think it might have been speech class my freshman year in college. Those years I was afraid to talk aren’t fun to remember. But they gave birth to my love of writing. I can’t be sorry for that. 🙂