Man, school has been tough the past couple of days. The kids are unruly, unwilling to work, defiant and … Well, they’re lazy brats, to put it bluntly. They’re in summer school because they don’t want to have to repeat ninth grade, but they’re not at all willing to work or, God forbid, learn something while they’re in class. One of the other English teachers today was looking for a worksheet to help teach figurative language and all I could do was laugh. Figurative language? I’m just trying to get them to use language that doesn’t include “fuck,” “asshole” and “nigger.” They’ve completely given up any pretense of reading, or even listening to The Call of the Wild. After each chapter I give them a worksheet and most of them can’t answer the most basic questions about plot. Try to discuss the book with them and they just tune me out. The only thing they want to hear from me is the answers to the worksheet questions.
I seriously have to keep reminding myself that not all students are like these kids. Somewhere, out there enjoying their summer, are students who like to learn, or at least tolerate it without cussing. I mean, when the name of the class is reading, it’s just stupid to say, “Do we have to read again today?”
I told them today that we’ll finish the book tomorrow and they’ll have to write an essay about the theme on Thursday. Many said they plan to miss Thursday. Yeah, they’re that lazy.
It hasn’t been a good day at all, really. Remember how I went to the OWFI conference to meet a specific agent? I got the agent’s rejection letter today. “While I really enjoyed the premise of your novel I felt there were too many plot points used to convey the same message. I did not fall in love with the project enough to take it on.” I’m not sure what she means by “too many plot point.” Does she really have to love it? Couldn’t there just be some dirty lust? Anyway, I guess the $150 I spent to go to the conference was wasted money, after all.
Add to that, well … another writing frustration I won’t air publicly.
This afternoon I watched another film version of The Call of the Wild. I knew it wouldn’t be good when I saw that Ricky Schroeder was the star. It was awful. As usual, the story was shifted to focus on a human. Buck was a pure German shepherd. Ricky was totally unbelievable as John Thornton, and they gave him a freakin’ love interest. SPOILER ALERT!! Ricky did get killed in the end, but his murder wasn’t shown on camera, which was a real disappointment. I’m trying to find a copy of the film version starring Rutger Hauer, but unless I want to pay over $30 for a used VHS, it just isn’t to be found.
I’m still looking for cover flat from authors that I can use in a display in my class room. If you have some you want to send, let me know and I”ll give you an address.