Oh, the irony

Last weekend I picked up a job in hometown district for first grade.  In fact, it was the school nearest my home.  Later, a job in supersized district appears for a resource teacher (they call it by a different name, but that’s what the job is- for those students who need the extra boost).  It was of course much further so why would I want to change over to this one?  Yet, for some reason I did.  Probably because I hadn’t worked in that district for a month thanks to them canceling most of the jobs I’ve taken in recent days.  Yes, the expected one included.  That actually lasted an entire week believe it or not.  I guess no one bothered to check and see that a mere 90-day (noncertified) sub had their three-week assignment.  We’re the ones who get the unwanted/last minute scraps at the table.  Did you know 120-day (certified) subs in this state can work more than 120 days?  They have to get a waiver from the state to do it, but for some reason they get it.  There was one year the state said no, but with some finagling they managed to get it back for the next year.  For the end of that one year, jobs were easier for me to come by.  So back to the story, I did change the job.  1st grade is a little below my comfort zone anyway, as I have mentioned.  So Monday I arrived and guess what?  They told me I was needed in first grade at the start of the day because another sub was going to be late!  Sigh.  It happened to take away my only break that day outside of a 45-minute lunch (the teacher didn’t have any students for nearly the first hour, after that it was one group of students to the next.  Actually, they offered to let me stay in first grade and bump the other sub to my assignment.  After having worked in this class for the last hour I thanked them for the offer but moved on.  And, the other teacher worked with older kids.

The first grade irony continued on Wednesday.  I subbed for elementary PE where we played hockey tag all day, a combination of the two games in the name.   The “it” players are armed with hockey sticks and they try to hit other players with yarn balls.  Depending on the rules the players hit could be out or become “it” as the stick is handed over.  The morning was all 4th-6th grades, most of whom knew what they were doing.  The afternoon had four groups, one 4th grade, one 2nd grade, and two 1st grade.  So, back to first grade for another hour 😉  Not only that, but one of the classes, probably the roughest group all day, was a class I had subbed in for a couple of days last year.  Several older students had asked if they could help me during their lunch, and this was the class they would have helped with had I said yes.  I should have said yes.  Oh, well.

In case you’re wondering, Tuesday was pretty much a repeat of IT in hometown district, same school as last week.  The 6th graders were working on house floor plans instead of enlarging cartoons, and the 7th and 8th graders were still doing modules like last time.  Nothing much to say.

What’s in a name?

I had accepted a grade 1/2 assignment for today due to the trouble I had earlier in the week getting jobs. It’s slightly below my comfort zone because of the 1st grade students. However, had I not taken it I wouldn’t have this to write about! Well, it’s not much of a topic, but it is a little different. Not much really goes into naming kids these days in Western culture. We choose a name usually because we had a relative with that name, there was a role model with that name (such as in the Bible) or we just like the sound of it. Once upon a time, and still in some cultures names carry meaning. But that’s not what this post is about. It’s also not about people who try to change names for special recognition.

What it’s about is why some parents choose to give their kids names that, well, just don’t fit… I once read a story about new guardians who would go to court to get kids’ names changed because their parents cursed them with ridiculous names, like the drug-shot parents who named their daughter Cocaina (guess which was their drug of choice?) or the parents who tried to name their child Friday. The name itself may not be ridiculous, but rather given to the wrong gender. I mean, do such parents regret having the “wrong sex” and give them the name they picked out anyway- like the parents who really wanted a boy so when they had a girl they dressed her up like a boy until she was to start school (and were mystified when she refused to put on a dress for her first day of school)? Of course there are some names that go both ways, at least the shortened version like Chris, Alex, Terry, etc. And I am still getting used to Leslie and Cameron being both male and female names. However, some just don’t work. Can you imagine a girl named Matt or Mike? Or a boy named Elizabeth or Jessica? Well, you may have to have some Hispanic blood to understand this one, but a boy in the class I was in today was named Guadalupe. That’s right. Named after Mary in the Bible as Our Lady of Guadalupe (well, an apparition of Mary, but I won’t split hairs). Apparently a very popular name for girls (click the name for more information). Why?? This is just setting up this boy for future problems with schoolmates. I predict that by the time he is in Junior High he will be going by his middle name, whatever it is, assuming that it too isn’t a girl’s name. I really hope it isn’t for his sake.

Not enough links for you in the above post? Try out these unusual names on Wikipedia. I had forgotten that Nicholas Cage had named his son Kal-El (you know, Superman)!