Up until yesterday, the best day of 2008 was 9-6, the Hot Water Music/Bouncing Souls show in Portland, Oregon. It might still be the best day of 2008, but perhaps 11-21 is a close second.
School was pretty interesting, I got to call the main office and have the nurse come down and transport a student to the nurse’s office and then call someone to take him to the emergency room for severe back spasms. I’m hoping he’s alright. But the rest of the folks in the class reminded me just how great of a school I teach at as they kept calm and offered help when they could and were generally polite and courteous the whole time. I ended the tension by telling them the story about the guy who fainted during the midterm my first year of teaching.
Speaking of teaching, I am now going to brag about myself. Last year, I went through a process called National Board certification. Essentially, instead of a state credential, a National Board Certified Teacher has a national credential and can teach anywhere in the U.S. New York, California, heck even Minneapolis if I wanted to. Furthermore, in Washington, legislation exists that rewards National Board teachers with a $5000 stipend. The National Board Certification takes hundreds of hours, requires your class to be filmed twice, costs about $2500, requires a massive test on content and ability to teach that content, and a 50+ page detailed portfolio of achievements is judged by several independent graders.
At a National Board meeting, I met a sweet and thoughtful lady who became my BFF. We helped each other through the National Board process and spent many hours typing and proofreading and questioning and organizing together. For that I am quite thankful.
In March of 2008, months after starting the process, I sent off my application to be scored.
In May of 2008, I took the 3 hour test of my mathematics and teaching skills.
On November 11th, 2008, I got the results. Passing score is 275. I earned a 325.
Next summer, I will be blowing the entire sum on a month-long trip to Europe.
In the meantime, to celebrate, my BFF and I invited all her friends out. We went to Redwood on Capitol Hill, which was a pretty cool place. Not as awesome as the Twilight Exit, not too fancy for a dude like me. The shotgun shell x-mas lights were pretty amazing. I had a vegan chili burger which was pretty good. However, the sweet potato fries were delicious. After the Redwood, we walked over to B&O and got dessert. I got carrot cake. It was pretty fantastic (and it has vegetables, so it must be good for you, right?). At this point, we’d been celebrating for 4 hours, so most of the crew went home. However, it was my housemate’s birthday celebration yesterday as well, so I went to Ballard to find his crew. Found them at The Viking, another awesome bar and one that hasn’t been corrupted by the condofication of Ballard yet. Next stop on the Shane’s Birthday Tour was the Lock and Keel. Not my favorite bar in Ballard, but not my least favorite either. I got a ride from Dave and proceeded to be awesome for the rest of the evening. I was socializing it up. I met several people: Brian, Dan, Clare, Clare 2: electric boogaloo, Jennifer, Josie and Janae. I talked like a mostly normal person with a couple of Shane’s friends that I knew: Dave, Adrian and Rob. I spoke at some length with Clare, who was here on a student visa from Australia. I kept conversations going and even started new ones all night, actually. Now, I know it may not have seemed like I was a spectacular socializer, but consider where I have come from, those of you that know me. I continue to progress in my slow skill-building exercises and will eventually consider myself confident in groups larger than three or four people.
So, around midnight, my second good day of 2008 came to a close. After visiting four fine establishments, I drove home satisfied with my accomplishments and it was only on the edges of my thoughts that it would be nice to be driving home to someone to tell those accomplishments to. Eventually, I hope to be able to just focus on the satisfaction of a job well done. It’s a difficult task to alter your perception of the world and change it from “Oh, that’s good but…” to simply “Oh, that’s good.”
I wish there was a National Certification process for that.
** Old Wordpress comments **
November 27, 2008 at 2:12 am
Congrats on your certification!
A month in Europe would be great. I had a great time when I went there for only a week and a half… but it’s hard to remember it though because I came home to a mess (feels like it was a dream now)… but it was great while I was there.
I reccomend Italy as one of your stops. The Italians are so sweet.