Showing posts from November, 2012

My life in a Chinese prison gang

Ok, let me start by saying that I am not, have not ever been and have no plans on ever being a member of a Chinese prison gang.  This is for a few reasons:

(1) I'm not Chinese.  My husband does insist that I'm the most Asian person he knows - I was born in Okinawa, I lived in China, I speak some Chinese (no where near as much as I did a decade ago) - but I'm still probably about as white as they come.

(2) I've never been to prison.  In my life, I've had two traffic tickets & there was a bench warrant issued when I forgot to pay one of them, but I paid it.  I don't commit crimes, I don't hang out with people that commit crimes.

and (3) I'm not in a gang.  I don't think I'd be very good at it.  I don't like wearing the same color all the time.  I don't like following directions.  And I'm not good at those hand signal things.

Despite all of this, being in a Chinese prison gang is AWESOME!  This all started about 8 months ago.  It …

Election Day!

I'm going to open this up by saying that this isn't a political post.  I voted about 2 weeks ago while wandering through the mall.  I encourage my students and friends to vote... Don't forget to vote!!!!  (See, like that)

But, I don't get particularly political outside of my own four walls.  I could probably count on two hands the number of people that I've had true political discourse with.  It's ok.  That's how I like it.  America is the land of choices.  Each individual is free to choose their candidate and support said candidate.  The beauty of the system is that I don't have to agree with you.  That's it.

Nonetheless, today I was able to reflect on all the elections of my past - 24 years worth of them & while there are a lot of things in my life that I don't remember.  I remember past election days and the excitement that came with them - be it positive or negative outcome (in my opinion).

I will start with 1988, because that's as f…

Why I'm in law school

There is an easy answer to this and a much more complex answer.

Easy answer:  It's Monday night and I'm not supposed to be skipping class.  For the record, class won't start for a while yet, so I'm not ignoring my responsible-student duties by blogging.  :)

More complex answer:  I'm here because of my students.  I actually spoke about this in one of my classes today.  In the past six years, I have seen countless students railroaded by the school district and the Nevada legal system.  I'm not blaming any one person in particular.  It isn't anyone's fault; it is, rather, a culture without forgiveness and without second chances.  Parents and students go blindly, assuming that the schools know best and will do what is fair.  For the record, they won't.  The school will do what it wants to do.

So, you may ask, what does all of this have to do with sitting in law classes?  More than you'd think.  I've seen too many students with poor representati…

On teaching...

Ok, I always have thoughts on teaching.  I do it every day (mostly).  This week, I've gone through what is probably my 10th round of state proficiency tests.  I've never worked in a school where proficiencies come easy to the students.  There are a dozen schools in town where 80% of students or more are likely to pass/graduate/etc.  The graduation rate at Biltmore is less than 30%.  For every hundred kids that sit in my classroom, only 30 of them will graduate.  Another hand full will get a GED.  A few will go to college, a few more will join the military.  A few will pass through our doors and realize that they have NO INTEREST in ever coming back.  Some will stay for years.
I think this has been one of the most disheartening weeks in my career, but at the same time one of the most hopeful.  For the past month, I've been teaching my students to pass the writing proficiency test.  Realistically, it's not hard to pass.  Follow the formula, write in complete sentences, …