Archive for December, 2010

Coming back to life

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

I’ve been away for a while. Sorry about that. The good news is that I’m finally done with the monstrous tower of college assignments that has kept me pinned down and squirming for a couple of months. It was a cold, dark, lonely time and it felt like it would never end. But I’ve come out the other side and lived to tell the tale. Thank goodness for wine and lots of it.

My next and final college task standing between me and my college degree / biology teacher certification is a three-month internship. I am quitting my job at the Sheriff’s Office effective Jan. 4, and on Jan. 5 I walk into a high school basic biology classroom where I will be learning everything I possibly can from my gracious host teacher. I’ve already spent a few days in her classroom these past few months and I’m truly looking forward to working with her. She’s been teaching for several years and it was obvious to me that she knows all the tricks of the trade.

I’m constantly being told by the college folks that this will be a tough and difficult three months. I doubt that. I’m sure there will be some stress and plenty of hard work. I do have to endure several official observations of my teaching and complete a handful of “teacher work sample” projects. But that’s nothing. I’ve been working full time (and more since I’ve been on-call evenings, weekends, and holidays) while also taking care of a family and completing seemingly endless college courses. I’m looking forward to spending the majority of my time focusing on nothing but learning how to be a teacher. The next three months should be a joy compared to what I’ve been handling the past several years. On top of that, the school I’ll be at is a whopping five minutes down the road compared to the 45 minute one-way commute to the Sheriff’s Office job!

Then somewhere around April I will wrap up all of my final paperwork and receive my degree and certification! Next up will be job hunting. Unfortunately, the timing is not great since it will be right at the end of the school year. That means I will have to find some way to pay the bills throughout the summer until the next school year. That’s scary. I’ll figure something out, though.

I’ll post here about some of my adventures in the coming months as I can. I don’t want to run afoul of any student privacy issues, though. So, I’ll have to be careful what I write about. I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.

In other news, the Florida’s Greatest Menace project that I had been working on many moons ago is still an active one. I had to set it aside to battle the fearsome college assignments beast. With that foe vanquished I’ll be tackling Menace once again. However, you won’t see much of Menace here, I’m afraid. I’ve determined that there is so much material that it will easily fill a book, and I don’t think many publishers will take kindly to all of the text being freely available on a blog. But I will tease you with some juicy tidbits and quotes as I go along.

For instance, in early 1981 in Pasco County, Rev. Lewis Turner, who was also head of the local Moral Majority chapter, decided that evolution had gone unchallenged for too long in public schools. The St. Petersburg Times reported:

“There are those who say that Darwin’s theory is not a theory at all, but an established fact – as well established as the fact that the Earth is round,” Turner said. “But there’s as much credible evidence on the other side to show that life came about through spontaneous creation.” He declined to elaborate.

I love that “declined to elaborate” line. Classic.

Even though I haven’t been writing much on Menace for a while, I have still been collecting information. I have a stack of cassette tapes that contain recordings of Lake County school board meetings, and two separate governors presiding over textbook adoption debates. I can’t wait to listen to all of that. I’ve been looking at that stack for months, longing to hear creationist rants from years past. Soon, my pets, soon!

I guess I also need to crack the whip on our annual fundraising campaign that simply fizzled out a while ago. Sheesh, this place just falls apart when I’m not around!