In which I have probably made a terrible mistake

Just applied for a teaching position for this fall, a math job. I don’t really want to go back to the classroom right now, but given what’s coming toward me next year I don’t think I have a choice– or, at least, the choice is between “teach in a location and position of my choosing” or “get thrown into a classroom on a temporary basis” like what happened last year. And I’m choosing to get ahead of it rather than sitting around and hoping.

So … cross your fingers for me, I guess?

In which I remain unkilled

Holy hell, but this was a long week. I don’t want to get too into the weeds on the details, mostly because they’re boring, but today was one of those days where literally every thing I did for the entire day absolutely needed to get done — like, there was nothing I could put off until later — and was under time pressure, where I had just barely enough time to get each individual task done but only if I 1) executed perfectly and 2) wasn’t interrupted by any other tasks or minor biological necessities like, for example, my morning coffee shit, which got put off by an hour, which meant that by the time it finally happened it was gonna happen whether I wanted it to or not.

… I appear to be teaching again, by the by.

This is a terrible decision, of course. It’s a terrible decision. It’s difficult to overstate how terrible it is. But as of right now one of our 7th grade math teachers has kinda gone away– don’t ask, I actually don’t know a lot of details and I wouldn’t share them if I did– and I’ve picked up the 7th grade honors Algebra class. Chances are when 4th quarter starts in a week I may inherit another section or two, but I put my foot down about it happening right away because I have another five days at least to finish the task I started today, and it’s kinda essential.

I know, I’m vaguebooking. It’s unavoidable, I apologize.

So, yeah. For some indeterminate amount of time– I am assuming for the rest of the year only because that way if it ends before that I can be pleasantly surprised– I am teaching at least one period and possibly as many as three periods a day of math, and stuffing the rest of my full-time job into the seven to five periods that remain.

I’m sure it’ll be fine. I don’t have a bad track record of trying to do more than one job at a time in an educational setting or anything like that.

Oh, and the overtime is $37/period. Times three, daily, times five, per week. Times, I dunno, 9-10 more weeks of school?

So, uh … I’ll find a way to make it work.

In which I’m not sure what I’m mad about

R-580242-1518276830-4202.jpegSo the district I used to work for just named its Teacher of the Year for the 2017-18 school year.  I don’t know the guy; he teaches fourth grade and has been with the district for five years.  I assume he’s good at his job; typically that’s a requirement for being named a building TotY, and to be named for the entire district is a genuinely big deal.  Best I ever did was top 10.

There’s an article in the paper about him.  After thinking about it, I’m not going to link to it, because the purpose of this post is not to shit on this guy and you’re just going to have to believe me that I’m quoting this accurately.  The article is mostly Good Teacher Boilerplate until I got to this part, about 2/3 of the way through:

Like his students, (name redacted) appears to have a bottomless well of energy.

He and his wife, (Mrs. redacted), have three children, ages 4, 2 and 1.

Besides full-time teaching, (redacted) works 10 to 25 hours per week at a home improvement store and is studying for a master’s degree at IU South Bend. He was head football coach for 11 years for the team at St. Matthew’s School in South Bend.

My first thought was that it’s ridiculous that we pay our teachers so Goddamn poorly that  this guy, like most working teachers in the area, has to have a second job.  Without an MA and with five years of experience he’s probably not even making 35K a year, and if he is, it’s barely.  And that’s too low.  It’s insane that a job that requires a college degree and insists on continuing education after that pays so poorly, particularly one that’s so critical to the functioning of society at large.

And then I thought about it a little more.  Dude’s a full-time teacher.  That’s, bare minimum, 8-4 five days a week.  He’s not in a low-grading classroom where he can just pass/fail everyone, and for me grading and lesson planning was at least another eight hours a week– ie, most of Saturday or most of Sunday or longer hours every day during the week– and I was excellent at crafting assignments that took as little time as possible to grade.  No Teacher of the Year is working 40-hour weeks.  It’s impossible.

And he’s supposedly laying another one to three eight-hour shifts on top of that, plus a bare minimum three hours a week in an MA classroom assuming he’s only taking one class and doesn’t spend a single second reading or studying, plus travel time to all the above, plus he has three children all under five years old?

And now part of me is going “Jesus, this poor guy,” and the rest of me is pretty goddamn sure somebody somewhere is lying, because there literally aren’t enough hours in the week for anyone to pull this schedule off.  The reporter apparently didn’t care enough to add it up and figure out that this guy is claiming eleven-hour work days every single day ever while also somehow raising three very fucking small kids.

I seriously can’t figure out which is worse: that this could actually be his schedule, in which case he’s going to burn out and hit a wall very, very soon, and it’s not going to be pretty for anyone involved when he does, or if a guy who is already Teacher of the Year still feels the need to lie about his schedule and the reporter just shrugged and wrote it down.    That’s how pervasive the teacher-as-martyr idea is; he or she looked at all that and boiled it down to “bottomless energy” and not “on the road to flaming out and divorce at 30.”

 

In case you ever thought I was smart, ch. 3987

derpyderp_400x400This was an exceptionally long week at work– it was decided (not by me) that yesterday needed to be a Move Every Single God Damn Thing in the Store day, and I spent the majority of it out of breath and sweating, which are exactly the characteristics you want in a purveyor of fine furniture and furniture-related goods and services.

I am old and fat and out of shape, guys, and I signed up to be a salesman.  If I wanted to work as a mover I would have made sure to be 20 years younger and substantially more svelte.  And yet.

But that’s not the point of this post.  The point of this post is that in addition to being fat and old and out of shape and sweaty and out of breath, attractive characteristics all, I am also an idiot.

So this lady comes in and wants four $75 dining chairs.  She wants to buy one of them from clearance at half off (fine) and order the other three new.  No problem!  She’s already decided on everything before coming in so everything ought to go really fast, right?  I write the ticket, call a manager over to drop the price of the clearance chair, and tell her how much the sale will be.  She is writing a check, and blinks a couple of times and then, visibly embarrassed, asks me the name of the store.

I tell her and her day immediately gets worse as her brainfart continues and I have to spell the name of the store for her.  It is obvious that this woman is not a moron and is just having a bad couple of minutes where the synapses aren’t firing right.  We cool.  I make a joke about having made a stupid math error earlier in the day.  It is worth pointing out that the joke wasn’t true, and I was just trying to make her feel better.

I tell her how much to write the check for.  She pauses, thinking, and comments that the number doesn’t seem right.

“The one chair is half off, remember,” I say.

“Oh,” she says, and writes the check for the agreed-upon amount, takes her clearance chair, and leaves the store.

Two minutes later it occurs to me that $75 times three and a half is not $118, which is what the check she wrote was for, and I look at the invoice and discover that I only sold her two chairs.  She not only noticed the error but pointed it out to me and I still looked at $118 and went “Yeah, that’s definitely the right amount to charge someone for four goddamn chairs.”

I had to call her back and tell her she’d need to either call me with a credit card number or come back to the store and write a second check if she wanted all four chairs.  She was back in ten minutes, having figured out on her own that I wasn’t able to math.  Luckily, both of us blamed ourselves for the mistake getting through.


Earlier today, I sold something to someone who lives on a street very near me.  She asked me what street I lived on and I forgot my address.  I literally could not remember the name of the street I live on.  It took way too long.

I am not having a good week.

A quick insight into my personality

Django Wexler, an author I was rather fond of ten minutes ago, just did this to me:

I had a long day at work today, guys.  My last customer of the night kept me at work well past closing time and didn’t buy, I want to curl up in bed with a book, and instead this damn math problem is in my head and fucking with me.

I may need to grab a note pad and oh fuck it I’ll do it on the blog.

Let’s say N is 2.  So two bits, either 1 or 2.  Roll them once.

25% of the time you get both twos.  (so 25% of the time, only one roll)

50% of the time you get one two.

25% of the time you get two ones.

SECOND ROLL

If you have one die left, you have a 50% chance of being done.

If you have both, see the above calculation.

So…

this suggests you have a pretty big chance of being done after N rolls, with diminishing returns after N.  I’m too tired to nail the numbers down, but I suspect N2 is a reasonable answer. Maybe tomorrow I’ll try to figure it out more carefully.

Assuming I can sleep, ever.

DAMMIT.