Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Aroma of Lilikoi

A coworker gave me a big bag of lilikoi and now my office smells strongly of the fruit.  It is a combination of sharp, sour, and sweet and it is making me hungry.  I like to eat it with cottage cheese, because it has a very strong taste - particularly the yellow ones, which these are.  The purple ones are a bit more mellow. 

I promised her bananas and eggs in exchange - we have a lot of very ripe bananas, so it is nice to move them on out.  Another co-worker asked to buy a dozen eggs, so that will pay for my daughter to replace her lost school ID.  I love bartering, and I love that my chickens can pay for themselves.  I used to sell manure, which helped the horses pay for themselves, but now I think I need all my composted manure.  I suppose that is another way that the horses pay for themselves: by improving my garden soil and giving me good seed starting medium for my greenhouse.  Love the cycle of things. 

The best thing about the smell of the lilikoi is that it covers up the smell of the moldy blinds.  I have put in a work request to have them removed, but for now, I am putting up with itchy, red eyes, sore throats, and headaches - which may be attributed to the moldy blinds or maybe to the sun pouring into the windows because I can't put my blinds down or the whole room stinks. 

I had the opportunity to go in and present a mini-lesson to another teacher's class of 12th graders today.  What a blast.  I had given her a couple suggestions for a reading response strategy, and she adapted it to her text (a re-telling of the legend of Hi'iaka and Pele - one of my favorites). The main goal was to get kids to write good strong thesis statements.  I had a quick chance to preview what they wrote and to figure out the issues going on with them, and then I got up and talked to them and then they got to work - it was wonderful and effective and fun.  Ninth graders are their own kind of wonderful, but working with seniors was also fun.  Fortunately, my son is in the OTHER English teacher's classroom, so he won't have to deal with my embarassing presence in his classroom.  I believe he has forgotten that I was his English teacher for all of 7th grade, and he was fine with it back then. 

The word may have gotten out, so another teacher asked me to come in and do the same lesson with her ninth graders, too.  I am looking forward to that - and the science teachers are coming back with good reports about the suggestions I gave them.  Since the relationship between me and my EA is puzzling and she keeps forwarding my emails to various administrators (believe me, I am not being rude or whatever in these emails - just asking her to work with particular students on particular tasks), I have been feeling really sad about certain aspects of my work.  Having these positive interactions with other teachers and seeing that things are working is just what I needed. 

I really have never had such a negative relationship with an EA before.  I have had the privilege of working with so many good EAs that it is discouraging to have someone sitting in the back, making negative judgements - particularly one whom I feel is going behind my back instead of asking directly.  I have had EAs who spoke up and questioned - in fact, my favorite person to work with, ever, was a woman who questioned and argued, but also listened - we learned from each other.  I have just started copying everyone she would feel necessary to forward anything to up front.  I am sure they are annoyed by the amount of email they are getting. 

Plants and animals are easier in so many ways.

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