Ups and Downs This Week

Maybe it comes from teaching adolescents, but I have had a roller-coaster week from start to, well, middle at this point:

Down: Discovering that only half the school got the latest edition of the paper.  Somehow, I forgot to remind all the students about their assignments.  You know, the assignments that have been on the board since we made up the schedule LAST SEPTEMBER.  Additionally, we'd run out of 11 x 17 paper and no one had ordered more.

Up: Discovering that there was in fact a whole case of 11 x 17 paper, hidden at the bottom of the stack of boxes in the basement office behind the forklift and among six prepositional phrases.  Glad I didn't wear heels that day.

Further Up: Getting excited about the upcoming field trip to the Washington Journalism Center, which I've been planning since January.

Down: Getting two parent phone calls several minutes apart in which mothers told me their daughters couldn't attend for various annoyingly understandable reasons.

Up: This means the entire class can now fit into my car, so I don't have to drive the school van.

Down: The dearth of submissions for the literary magazine, even with the incentive of a contest with cash prizes.

Up: The cheerful willingness of the staff, all volunteers, to make announcements, place flyers and talk about layout design, even if it's all in vain.

Further Up: Most of the computers in the lab finally got layout software installed on them.

Down: I've been requesting this, also, since September.

Further Down: An anonymous negative comment scrawled in blue highlighter over a copy of the newspaper and placed in my mailbox.  Our latest issue, centered around food, was conceived, written and designed by students; it included an article that interviewed the school's physician about eating correctly before sports events, an tour of the Asian market with a Filipino student, polls about favorite Food Network stars and local eateries, and an article about the Culinary Club's philosophy of home cooking.  The comment said, "Whatever happened to writing about the students?"

Up: The support of the vice-principal when I showed her the comment.  "It's not like you would tell them how to design their class," she said.  "They shouldn't tell you how to run yours, and I sure don't see anyone stepping up to take over."

Further Up: Rob suggested I post copies of the anonymous note in the faculty room with the caption, "Whatever happened to writing in ink and signing your name?"