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Help! Help! I’m being repressed!

This is when my job completely, totally is fantastic. Talking about “The Necklace” today in second period, class structure came up with a small group: this scene popped into my mind, the peasant scene from Monty Python/Holy Grail. When I saw it in high school it changed my life. Changed. My. Life. Yes – randomness. Segue from one of the great literary examples of irony to the classic parody of the King Arthur legends? Sure–and I made it look easy.

[clop clop]

ARTHUR: Old woman! What knight lives in that castle over there?


ARTHUR: Man, sorry.

DENNIS: I’m thirty seven.


DENNIS: I’m thirty seven — I’m not old!

ARTHUR: Well, I can’t just call you `Man’.

DENNIS: Well, you could say `Dennis’.

ARTHUR: Well, I didn’t know you were called `Dennis.’

DENNIS: Well, you didn’t bother to find out, did you?

ARTHUR: I did say sorry about the `old woman,’ but from the behind you looked–

DENNIS: What I object to is you automatically treat me like an inferior!

ARTHUR: Well, I AM king…

DENNIS: Oh king, eh, very nice. An’ how’d you get that, eh? By exploitin’ the workers by ‘angin’ on to outdated imperialist dogma which perpetuates the economic an’ social differences in our society! ….If there’s ever going to be any progress– Oh — how d’you do?

WOMAN: Dennis, there’s some lovely filth down here.

ARTHUR: How do you do, good lady. I am Arthur, King of the Britons. Who’s castle is that?

WOMAN: King of the who?

ARTHUR: The Britons.

WOMAN: Who are the Britons?

ARTHUR: Well, we all are. we’re all Britons and I am your king.

WOMAN: I didn’t know we had a king. I thought we were an autonomous collective.

DENNIS: You’re fooling yourself. We’re living in a dictatorship. ….. A self-perpetuating autocracy in which the working classes–

WOMAN: Oh there you go, bringing class into it again.

DENNIS: That’s what it’s all about if only people would– Who lives in that castle?

ARTHUR: Please, please good people. I am in haste.

WOMAN: No one lives there.

ARTHUR: Then who is your lord?

WOMAN: We don’t have a lord.


DENNIS: I told you. We’re an anarcho-syndicalist commune. We take it in turns to act as a sort of executive officer for the week.


DENNIS: But all the decisions of that officer have to be ratified at a special biweekly meeting.

ARTHUR: Yes, I see.

DENNIS: By a simple majority in the case of purely internal affairs,–

ARTHUR: Be quiet!

DENNIS: –but by a two-thirds majority in the case of more–

ARTHUR: Be quiet! I order you to be quiet!

WOMAN: Order, eh — who does he think he is?

ARTHUR: I am your king!

WOMAN: Well, I didn’t vote for you.

ARTHUR: You don’t vote for kings.

WOMAN: Well, ‘ow did you become king then?

ARTHUR: The Lady of the Lake, [angels sing]her arm clad in the purest shimmering samite, held aloft Excalibur from the bosom of the water signifying by Divine Providence that I, Arthur, was to carry Excalibur. [singing stops] That is why I am your king!

DENNIS: Listen — strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.

ARTHUR: Be quiet!

DENNIS: Well you can’t expect to wield supreme executive power just ’cause some watery tart threw a sword at you!

ARTHUR: Shut up!

DENNIS: I mean, if I went around sayin’ I was an empereror just because some moistened bink had lobbed a scimitar at me they’d put me away!

ARTHUR: Shut up! Will you shut up!

DENNIS: Ah, now we see the violence inherent in the system.

ARTHUR: Shut up!

DENNIS: Oh! Come and see the violence inherent in the system! HELP! HELP! I’m being repressed!

ARTHUR: Bloody peasant!

DENNIS: Oh, what a give away. Did you here that, did you hear that, eh?…. That’s what I’m on about — did you see him repressing me, you saw it didn’t you?

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Star wishes: Time to look up

My pale, late-spring skin is being burned by the fluorescent lighting. My brain kicked in at 3AM in spite of the fact I went to sleep at 10:45PM – a new early for me. Early morning staff meeting to review the proctoring procedures for the state test: one funny brave teacher presented her group’s poster in a sardonic parody: just what we needed. But in seriousness, and I’m sure this is true for other states, what we are not allowed to do is way more telling about instruction than what we are allowed to do. We are not allowed to have anything that may remotely help them or trigger some learning on the walls, such as reading strategies, or are we allowed to read a question to a struggling English learner if they don’t ask. The sloppy mixed messages paint a pretense of “assessing their knowledge,” while many of us suspect it’s a test of how well they take this test, this specific test, which is unlike any other life experience they may encounter. Is that what teachers mean when they say something is inauthentic?

Oh well. I’m grumpy. I check m Google page, and see this image:


 Just a small reminder of some bigger things. 

 Get the daily National Geographic Society POD:

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Mana from heaven.

I was ruminating about my entry 1 submission I packed up and sent off this week. I was so discombobulated, that when I went to the copy/UPS store, I even left my copy of it in the copier machine, like some 1930s orphan on church doorsteps, with a note pinned to the blanket: “Dear Sir or Madam: I tried my best, but not really. I was resentful, and confused by your vague feedback. I have given birth to another one in hopes it’s cuter, smarter, and can overcome any obstacle, but am not sure this baby’s future is all that bright…”

I drive back frantically to pick up it, stop by the grocery store for dinner stuff, and proceeded to cut my thumb while making said dinner, bled on a new bottle of mustard and threw the whole thing away. Husband sweetly asked me if he could help (“Sweetheart — I am holding a knife, I am bleeding, and you’re asking me if you can take the spiced Italian sausages out of the wrapping NOW?! Heave. Sigh. Teary eyes.) He is a brave man.

Oh, and this afternoon and evening was one of those where I literally, not figuratively, (make it my business to know the difference) had to be in four places at once.  I successfully made two of them.

Kind…of…stressful.Check email.

Our new principal put the call out to students about who their favorite teacher is this week; I’ve gotten a few nods from students (as an aside in random informal polls, I always run neck-and-neck with one of the gym teachers, who is a lot like me, but sweatier, and a bit cruder, but is an amazing teacher), but the principal shared this email with me.  It is just what I needed to hear today:

My favorite teacher has to be Kelly Love because she is a smart and amazing teacher. She is patient with when you don’t understand the work. She shows you many ways to do something. She is amazing for her work and she gives hard things to do but explains very well.

Gracias, ET – I think you’re pretty amazing, too.

PS Dang. Should have saved the 13 pages, 12 pt. Times New Roman, double-space paper and just have quoted this student.

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WIHWT: Missing book

I forgot today was Wednesday. Just for a moment. And then I remembered today is my attempt to put something in under the “Wish I Had Written That” tag–been thinking a lot lately about dwarfs, drinking and eating dwarfs specifically, and the scene in The Hobbit (JRR Tolkien) where the dwarfs invade Bilbo Baggins’ hobbit hole, and food is simply, elegantly, found. It appears. Found, eaten, enjoyed, shared.

But I’m not going to write about that today.

I was also going to write about how it felt to be 99% done with my redo on my Board’s entry. Last year, I had joked about the five-stages of National Certification. But then I didn’t pass by five points, and I wasn’t laughing anymore. The redo entry is due this Friday. Along with our taxes. Along with my father-in-law’s birthday. And I haven’t taken care of any of that. And yes, the burden does fall on me. I’m feeling almost relieved, and now kind of, sort of, understand why people procrastinate: that adrenaline rush over crossing the finish line might be fairly addictive. That is, if the stress and anxiety doesn’t do me in first. I did the math: each point cost us a  minimum of $280 for a total of $1400, and that doesn’t include the ink cartridges, paper, or overnight shipping costs. And I say “us” because it’s our money.

And my state put a salary freeze for teachers for the next two years. I don’t really care. I’m grateful I have a job I love.

But I will write about this:

It’s no secret I’ve invested, sunk, spent, etc. a lot of my personal resources into my classroom. Today, just now, I was looking for a book I’ve had in past, in fact, I’ve had about three or four copies of this book, for a student in the reading class. I found its series, the second one, easily. But the first one – have no clue. So, I hopped right over to my trusty laptop, knowing that my Amazon account was good to go, to buy a few more copies of the book. Books go missing all the time – I don’t track them. I used to have a sign out sheet and most students who were interested in taking my personal books home were also pretty darn good about returning them. And, if a few didn’t make it back, what’s $10-$15 dollars here and there, if some child gets ownership of a good book?

Well–here is the book, and I want you to notice the fine print:

 Twelve KingdomsGuess I won’t be replacing this one anytime soon.


Postscript: (I did buy the $27.98 paperback “acceptable” condition copy, though…)