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Capital T     

Posted by Katherine Putnam on March 22nd, 2010

“Trouble with a capital T and that rhymes with P and that stands for…”


That’s right, good ol’ fashioned cheating, boys and girls. Evidently that’s a rampant problem at this school, as I’ve recently discovered (first hand too!). A few weeks ago I caught four students cheating on a completion only homework assignment, and this week I had to bust two more students for swapping homework to “compare” answers. So today, when I gave my big Poetry Unit Quiz I separated all the students so they weren’t sitting by anyone else, demanded that EVERYTHING except a writing utensil be cleared from their desk, and informed them that if they talked at all while ANY quiz was out (even if they had already turned their quiz in) I would rip up their exam and the would get a zero–no questions asked.

I hate to say it, but I loved the looks of fear.

Not only am I confident that no one cheated (and trust me…I was watching for it), I’m also confident that at least half of them a) didn’t study or b) didn’t employ any common sense/test taking strategies. They took mini quizzes prior to the unit quiz, quizzes that tested their ability to recall AND apply their unit vocabulary. What made me saddest was seeing the careless answers I got for some of the questions. Needless to say we’ll have a little discussion when I hand the quizzes back on Tuesday about test taking strategies, common sense, and educated guesses/process of elimination. Fun times.

We have about two days left of our poetry unit and then we move on to our last two units: short stories/essay writing and novels/essay writing. I have some rough plans for these units (plans to break down parts of essays/basic writing and have them practice them, a few stories/the novel picked out) but nothing is set in stone yet. Nothing except my plan to start our short story unit off by reading Kurt Vonnegut’s “Harrison Bergeron” to them. FYI: it’s my favorite short story.

Another FYI? There is such a thing as a stupid question. In fact there are MANY stupid questions, such as: when is our essay due? what needs to be in our poetry anthology? how many poems do we need to have? we don’t need to type this do we? Etc. Why are those stupid questions? Because I provided all the students with detailed handouts regarding their unit project: creating a personal poetry anthology and writing an essay on their anthology. To curb the amount of stupid questions I get (and thus give me a fighting chance of answering legitimate questions) I gave a pop quiz last week on the project requirements, after which a student asked how many quizzes I was allowed to give them in a semester. (For those that don’t know I’ve become the queen of pop quizzes.) My answer: “As many as I like. Mwahahahaha.”

Okay, so maybe I didn’t “mwahahaha” out loud…but I thought it.

On to…less frustrating subject matter: two Saturdays ago we had a girl’s movie night/gender neutral game night at the Lindquists’. Molly, Abbey, Liz (Donald) and I watched Return to Me while Tim (Donald), Josh, Amelia, Chris, Julie and David (the computer teacher at CCS) played a rousing game of Settlers of Catan. These activities were preceded by a trip to Las Islas; Chris and I took Josh, Abbey and Amelia to this spectacular establishment for a much anticipated and much loved meal. This Friday we had movie/game night round two: Lindquist kids, Chris and I went to Las Islas for dinner where we met half a dozen other staff members from CCS. After spending a painful eternity waiting for taxis we arrived back at the Lindquists’ where half of us watched Bride and Prejudice while the other half played games. It was a fun night!

Sunday we had SIM Prayer Day and afterwards I let myself get roped into playing ultimate Frisbee (I think that’s what they called it). All I can say is: I warned them ahead of time that I’d be of NO help to the team! But I’ll admit it was kind of fun, even though running in this altitude is kind of killer and I got pegged in the nose by a rogue Frisbee.

Anywho. This week is field days and parent teacher interviews; pray that neither the mosquitoes nor the parents eat me alive!


Katherine Elyse

One Response to “Capital T”     

  • Andrea Palmer says:

    Hey Kat! I stopped by on Chris’s blog and it led me to you. Just wanted to say hello and I’m glad you guys are having a good time, and doing some great things! We miss you tons!

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