Saturday, December 1, 2007


Just two quick pictures of Owen, born yesterday. Much more to come when we get home tomorrow! You can't tell here, but he has a full head of inch-long dark hair under that hat!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Magnum coom law day

Today I received a pamphlet in the mail detailing the December commencement ceremony for West Chester University. I checked the newly posted list of graduates on-line, and I was on it with two asterisks by my name, for my Magna cum laude honors. I missed Summa by four one-hundredths of a point. This comes at the end of a month-long battle with the registrar for clearance to graduate this semester.

I've only got one month of classes left in college. I'll save the college retrospective for later. I skipped class today, and plan on doing it again next Wednesday for Ashley's birthday. Commuting from Harrisburg to West Chester for a single class that doesn't take attendance doesn't always seem worth the twenty dollars it costs to make the trip.

My next step is to start testing for employment at the state government. I've got a few openings picked out: human resource trainee, income maintenance caseworker, clerk typist II, and even parole officer. Any would be fine, but I've always wanted to try human resources. Having a real career is frightening, but exciting. Imagine: financial stability!

Also took the tour of the Harrisburg Hospital Maternity and Delivery Wing. We got to see the rooms, the NICU, and the newborns in the nursery. The tour made me very, very excited for the birth. But then again, I'm not the one doing the birth.

Tootsie Rolls have trans fat? What the crap?

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

The End of an Era

Dear Dr. Z,

I am writing to inform you that as of today I have left the education department and withdrawn from my specialized methods course. My purpose in writing you is in hopes that this e-mail will save you any further time and effort placing me for observations and student teaching.

Thank you for your time and take care.


I am no longer an aspiring teacher/educator/instructor. After long thought and discussion with my family, I am changing my major to a B.A. in History from my B.A. in Social Studies Education. This decision has been a long time coming, and I couldn't be more relieved. For over a year I have been contemplating this move. When I entered the department, I was much younger in age and maturity and seeking a profession that involved anything but working as an underpaid, overworked tool for some over-sized corporation.

I'm older now, and could care less about a job that supposedly makes you feel "good". I'll have a son and a family come December. I no longer care about the imagined benefits of being an educator that I once did. Among literally dozens of reasons, I made this choice for two primary reasons:

1. My student teaching placement would be at least an hour away, resulting in 500+ miles of driving per week. This insane amount of travel would cost thousands of dollars and a priceless amount of time.

I was told that I would "definitely" be placed in the Harrisburg Area by the director of the Teacher Education Center for my specialized methods course observations after I informed him that I commute from home. I WAS PLACED IN WEST CHESTER. Keep in my that these observations - unlike student teaching - do NOT require professors to visit the location of the placement.
After some good-natured complaining, I received this message from the head of the
Teacher Education Center:


I spoke with Dr. X who is the Assistant Superintendent at Y. He indicated that if you were a student or currently live in the district, he will permit you to observe up to one day.

He has attached a form which you need to complete.
You will still need to contact the teacher I originally assigned to complete the remaining hours.
Please complete the forma and return it and work through Dr. X to arrange the hours.

Dr. Z

There are a few problems with this. First, the location he offered is FURTHER AWAY THAN MY FIRST PLACEMENT. Second, what the hell does "if you are a student or currently live in the district mean?" I told the guy I live in Harrisburg. Why the hell would I also be living in a random school district EAST of West Chester? Third, the offer is only for UP TO ONE DAY. Even if I observed all nine periods (which would require multiple teachers to observe) it still would only be HALF of the required hours!


If this is how I was placed when I was guaranteed a reasonably close location, where would my student teaching placement have been? Mexico? FACT - Professors are required to observe student teachers a maximum of four times a semester. Why is there a "within 60 miles of campus" requirement? Music majors get 75 miles. What the crap? Did I mention that student teaching is unpaid, and I'll have a son in 2 months?

2. I don't want to be a teacher. Most importantly, I don't want a job that requires nightly take-home work outside of the office. Occasional take-home work is fine, not the suggested 2 hours of take-home to every 1 hour in-class. I want to be able to come home, kick off my shoes, and do whatever I feel. Not to mention being improperly trained for inclusion (the customization of lessons for special education students), wanting not to be tied down by a morality clause in my contract, wanting not to deal with insolent little bastards in class, and, oh yeah, my desire to make more than $40,000 some day, as well as possibly be promoted.


I hesitated so long because I thought it was impossible to find work without teacher certification as a history graduate. It's not. There are numerous opportunities for graduates like myself in the State Government, where my Mom and best friend are currently employed. While that is a lengthy process, there are many interim jobs available like the Postal Service to get me on my feet. I can finally earn more than my personal best of $7.25 an hour, provide for my son, and escape a terrible career. Also, I may be able to graduate in December rather than May with my new major. Huzzah!

There are seemingly infinite reasons for this change, and I couldn't be happier. I now only have one class this semester. Unfortunately, there's no point in applying for a new job so close to Owen's due date, I'll have to wait until January for that. At least I can enjoy the last few days of my tenure at the movie theater while December draws ever closer.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Hilarity of Mic'ed Multiplayer Video Gaming


Today, my fiancee's brother, Zach, came over at 8:15 a.m. to play the newly released Halo 3. His house was being sprayed for spiders, so we spent the morning frolicking in the various multi-player maps within the game. I've never played online multiplayer video games before, but I have to say it was surprisingly fun. The microphone feature is what really makes the experience. We started off with a few "slayer" death-matches in which the other players admitted to skipping all of their morning classes to play.

One guy was noisily eating a sandwich during an entire round, another insisted on shouted "suck it, biotches!" in a falsetto voice after every kill, and yet another (with the gamertag Oprahs Taint) admitted to masturbating to the sound of Zach's voice. The complete silliness of college freshmen after seven or eight bottles of mountain dew "gaming fuel" makes the game not just fun and exciting, but hilarious as well. God Bless broadband internet.

Don't tase me, bro! Don't resist arrest, bro.