Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Moneyed & Not Moneyed

We have a diverse school - racially and economically. On the one hand I feel like a broken record sometimes: "put that cell phone away". "turn off your cell phone". "give me your cell phone". ... Now, I have to give a disclaimer. I don't have a cell phone. I don't want a cell phone. I hardly like to talk on the phone as it is, so I really don't want to be available ALL the time for people to reach me. So ... maybe I'm a bit biased, but what IS it about cell phones that make the students think that they HAVE to make whatever call/message it is RIGHT NOW? Everything turns into an instant emergency that has to be taken care of at this instant.

Then on the other hand I have students that drop various conversational tidbits into our everyday discussions that inform me that they're poor and sometimes don't have enough to eat, or at least enough to eat healthily. I just want to give them a grocery store gift card and say, "here, here take it and eat and be well". I mean, maybe I should (and I don't or haven't), ... how culpable are we if we know a person is suffering, and we have the means to stop it at least temporarily and yet we don't.

I can "hear" the rationalizations of why not to .... you can't help everyone, it's not your job/place/duty... but if I have the means, ...?

Anyhow, onto math (everyone's FAVORITE subject), my precal classes have now entered a simple (saved) program into their calculators that they'll build on tomorrow to "move" a line with the arrow keys. WooHoo. ... AND, a fraction success story. Some of the kids I had last year (to whom I taught a fraction song), that I have again this year TOTALLY did not complain, and TOTALLY got right to work on a hairy fraction problem I gave them today that involved variables and fractions within fractions and such where you had to solve for x. I'm so proud of them.

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