The Hunter/Gather of Surburbia

Are we where we live?

September 4, 2011

Week Three and the students

Thanks to Denise, Joseph, Matt T., Brandon, Matt C., Ryan, and Juan I am nearly settled into my apartment. I have my big-screen TV, couches, bed, and other furniture and I am feeling a bit more human. I do not miss those beanbags one iota.
Finished the first week of school this past week, much in the same way Willamina runs its schedule, Hermiston begins the week before Labor Day. Couldn't have students the first day as there were no computers up and running. But on Tuesday the first trickle began. While the cultural makeup of my new students is far different than at Willamina, the core of who they are is very similar. I had maybe two Hispanic students in Willamina, here in Hermiston the majority are Hispanic. I am going to have to expand my student  library to Hispanic literature, not a huge issue, an enlightening one.
My first negative issue with a student I traced back to me. Yes, me! A student looks and somewhat acts like an adult I knew outside of school while living in Salem. Now that I have pierced that I am better able to see this new student as himself and not with the weird feeling I had initially. Thank goodness. Though there is another student, once he starts and I get to know him I am hoping his vibe, one I am all too familiar with, will slip away.
Getting a weird vibe from a student isn't all that uncommon, but I really hate to start out our relationship in the classroom with an issue. I have always prided, yes one of the seven deadlies, on my ability to rise above what the students' actions are and who the student is as a person. Separating the out of school personality with the in school personality is not as easy at it sounds and can sometimes be a dangerous thing for me and my other students. But the knowing makes the classroom climate easier to read on many levels.
Hermiston High staff continue to amaze me. They are a generous group and that is what is keeping me bright and bushy as I wait anxiously for that first paycheck and my ability to begin to catch up on bills that have been falling the wayside as the months drolled on on unemployment. I am luckier than many on unemployment I found a wonderful position only about one year after being laid off.
The scariest part is now I have rent, something I haven't had to worry for many many many years. Not being able to just repair, kill off bees, or feed the wild birds is a hard proposition for me. Pigeons are birds, but they are everywhere and I have yet to hear more than one or two song birds. Maybe that's the life here in Northern Eastern Oregon, I certainly hope not. Oh, and seagulls, do to Hermiston's close proximity to The Columbia. That is a new river to explore. I understand there are river walks to walk with Emma, once I get her here, a dam to explore, and a huge number of parks for the size of the city.
Having to drive 35 miles or so and into another state to shop at places like Target, Best Buy, etc is an annoyance. I prefer to spend my money in my home state, sigh.
Well I have droned on. Must go down and check on my laundry, another new experience for me.

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