Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Education Expense

This post connects with a post I published a few days ago.
Students working toward an Education degree are required to do classroom components for their major--they must observe or teach in a school in the community as part of their requirements.
Today, one of the full-time faculty was talking with me about a student who has been corresponding via email regarding her placement site. The student claims that the reason she chose to come to our college was because she works during the day and is able to take classes at night. She had no idea she would have to do classroom components. What?! Why would she possibly think that by being an Education Major, she wouldn't have to work in a classroom? Her additional argument is that she currently works in a public school, and she wants to do her observations in the school where she works.
For everyone out there with this situation, doing observations/student teaching in a school where you currently work is not the way to go about getting a well-rounded education. Taking care of classroom requirements in your place of business is called a biased environment. Besides that, getting experience in other schools will give students a varied perspective of schools in the area. No school is the same, and through obtaining your education, it is up to you to get as many different perspectives as possible. This will broaden your spectrum as a student and open your eyes as an educator.
College is not meant for taking short-cuts. College is meant to provide you will all the training and instruction necessary to make you a well-rounded member in your field.


Monday: Secretary (Day) / Server (Night)
This is a different type of week. My mom left for Cancun early Sunday morning. My mother has not left her five children in 25 years. I closed at the restaurant Saturday night and pulled an all-night-er to take her and my three aunts to the airport by 5:00 a.m. Because this is the first time she's actually inaccessible, she felt more comfortable if I stayed at her house. My two brothers are still at home, and although they are 15 and 19 years old, they still need someone here. Not only that, but they're lazy, sloppy teenagers who would destroy my mother's house by the time she gets home.
I came back to mom's and finally fell asleep around 6:30 a.m. I tried to bring everything so I don't have to traipse back to my house. I did forget a few things (like my phone charger!), but so far, so good.
It's funny because I find myself in "mom" mode. Last night I was doing laundry and gathering some things, when I realized that it was passed the dinner hour and wondered if my brother had eaten. He's 15! He'll eat when he's hungry, but like I said, I'm in "mom" mode. He chuckled when I asked him, so I "checked" myself.
I'm just really communicative: I want them to know where I am, and I expect that they'll let me know what they're up to...I don't know...parent stuff. :)
It's weird because I'm not a parent to any degree. I was watching my 6 month old niece this weekend, and I was struggling carrying a crying child, lugging her seat, and trying not to lose the diaper bag. I know that I have a maternal instinct, but I just don't think I'm cut out to be a parent. I can't even remember to feed my brother! (Shit, and I've been thinking about getting a dog...I guess that idea's out!)
Tomorrow: Secretary (Day) / Off (Night)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Summing It Up

Thursday: Secretary (Day) / Server (Night)
My thoughts today are geared toward society and its obsession with technology. Society's obsession with technology is what created my obsession with the tangible (the silver lining, I suppose). What I mean by obsession is that I think we're taking technology too far. My mom even thinks we're going to run out of electricity, and she claims that everyone will be sunk because there's no Plan B. I think she's right, for the most part.
Although I try to take advantage of technology, I'm not crazy about most of it. I remember what it's like to not have it. But because technology has been developing, I've been changing with it...if that makes sense...
Working at the college, we have been presented the idea of doing telecourses (courses taken from the computer, never meeting in a classroom). I work for the Education Department--they teach people how to teach people. How can anyone possibly think that an online education is credible when the degree concentrates on socializing with children? I feel the same about any online program that is geared toward an occupation that deals with human beings (counseling, psychology, nursing, etc.).
The notion of telecourses got me thinking about the human race and it's development connected with technology. There is no doubt that technology has affected our ability to socialize. We are becoming independent creatures, absent from direct communication: no tone, no physical connection. Technology is desensitizing the world. I'm sure it's been said before--I agree. Tie this point in with telecourses.
People need the college experience. Yes, online courses can be helpful for a person who works, I agree; however, getting your entire degree online is kind of ridiculous. (Question: Who really knows if the person who is enrolled is the actual person completing the assignments?) In addition, I think that college is a commitment, and you illustrate your commitment by lugging the books to class, sitting through lecture, and getting a tangible perspective. Going to class allows for interaction, networking.
I commended two of my students because they had apparently exchanged contact information. Over the weekend, one of the students had a question, but she emailed me Saturday night, and I wasn't able to respond until Sunday. She then decided to contact her classmate, and they were able to help each other through...The End. My point is that people become resources for the present and the future. The people we meet are the people who are there to help us through--in many forms. It's okay to ask someone for help. It's okay to learn, and it's okay to make sacrifices for the things you want and need.
It took me six years to get a four year degree. I paid for it myself, with help from Uncle Sam. I got no tuition reimbursement, and I had to purchase books on my own. I worked between 1 and 3 jobs my entire college career. It can be done. Getting a degree that I am proud of was my ultimate goal, and I made the commitment to get it. I think that this "desensitizing" is also affecting our ability to be decisive and make commitments. Without human contact, commitment becomes meaningless.
Deep Thoughts... :)
Friday: Secretary (Day) / Off (Night) Yay!!!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Saturday Dramatics

Saturday: Off (Day) / Server (Night)
Tonight started off slow, but then we got slammed, and the night flew by! I went in for my shift in a great mood, and I was ready to make money. Tonight's crew was pretty lazy, but my tables were good (no one too weird), and they were appreciative, which is a little unusual, but considering some of them waited 2 hours for a table, I suppose they were just happy to have a competent server. It was a good night.
I was closing, and there are always three servers closing the restaurant. As a closer, we check everyone's section, side work, and silverware. I'm always assigned to check sections because I prefer it, and I'm good at it. When people know I'm checking sections, they do their shit--or I make them do it. I'm not messing around. If they don't do it, closers have to do it, and we already have enough to do.
Well, because it was so busy, we didn't die down until about 9:30. The MOD still hadn't put cuts up, when the hostess approached me and told me that she had to seat me with a five top because "some server" didn't want anymore tables. I told her that was fine (I was closing, I didn't care), but one thing you DO NOT do is tell the hostess to stop seating you before cuts go up. That is a hell-to-the-no-no! The kicker: This server is a trainer! All the fights I've had with management about my being a trainer, and this girl pulls this! Unbelievable. What's even more unbelievable is that she is notorious for trying to get out of doing shit!
Because this sort of thing happens all the time, I decided that I wouldn't say anything to the server, but I did say something to a friend of mine because I was pissed. Well my friend ended up saying something to the Hella Bitch Bartender who thinks she runs every shift. Hella Bitch decided she would seat the trainer with the next table. Well, I guess Hella Bitch didn't think this was enough, so she told the MOD.
MOD was pissed, and called the closers to a meeting. He wanted to know if it was okay with us if he waited until really late to put cuts up. He wanted to make her sweat a little and it affected the entire team. We only had an hour until close, and we agreed that cuts would not go up, but us closers would just take any incoming tables. (We should've sat the fucking trainer again, but that's not the way MOD wanted to do things.)
This hurts everyone because they'll get started on their silverware, side work, and sections, but none of the silverware they do counts once cuts go up, and they can't get "checked out" until cuts are up either.
MOD said he confronted her, but he couldn't write her up because he was not a direct witness.
MOD didn't put cuts up until about 10:45 (we close at 11), and everyone was pissed. Then he gave them each 100 silver to do. It was bad. People were cranky and insubordinate. MOD said he confronted trainer and that she had no rebuttal--not even an apology. He said he used the dreaded, "I'm...disappointed..." He was disappointed, but he knew that phrasing it that way would make more of an impact on said server. I think he handled it well, and I sure as hell hope that trainer realizes what she's doing next time.
That's all I've got! It's crazy-late, and I've got to get to bed!
Tomorrow: Off (Aunt Day!)

Friday, February 6, 2009


Thursday: Secretary (Day) / Server (Night)
My focus sharpened once I entered work and learned that I would be sharing a 20-top (which turned out to be 15) with a fellow-server. It was a bridal shower (oh, how I loath any kind of party with the word "shower" in it). These women drank, had appetizers, drank some more, had dinner, drank a little more, had cake. They ended up leaving us $50 over gratuity, which was unexpected and pretty freakin awesome! It really made my night because other than that table, it was dead. I had three other tables before the big-top...that was it. The women were a little weird and bossy, but otherwise normal and harmless.
We ended up paying another server to clear and reset the tables for us, so I was still home by 10, with a little bit of cash! Yay!
Tomorrow: Secretary (Early Day) / Off (Night)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

ADD Through the Work Day

Thursday: Secretary (Day) / Server (Night)

Well, my attention span has dwindled to nothing today. I just CAN'T concentrate on ANYTHING!!! I have work to do, but it has been....quiet...lately, so the work I have is filing or organizing.
Don't get me wrong--my OCD tendencies LOVE to organize, but today, for some reason, I'm over it. I just don't feel like doing it. Sooo, I've been checking my email, responding to emails, checking facebook, looking up words on Urban Dictionary, etc. It's really not a good thing, but I guess every now and then, a day like today isn't a terrible thing.
I also have to work at the restaraunt tonight, which I'm not really looking forward to, but I don't have any money, so at least I know that tomorrow I'll have something green in my pocket...

For that reason, I hope it's busy tonight!

Wish me money!!!

Love What You Love

Wednesday: Secretary (Day) / Instructor (Night)

I love teaching. Although sometimes I say things that sound stupid, my students relate to me, and I think they like me. I mess around and joke, but they know (already) when I mean business. Tonight I heard one of my student's complaining about the amount of homework. My response: This is NO joke--this is YOUR education! You cannot put a dollar amount or a time limit on what it means for you to be successful.
The argument to that was that there is a dollar amount, but I clarified by saying that it took me six years to get a four-year degree...at that time, it was not the money that mattered, it was the information I walked away with.
I like the way I feel when I leave. I had two girls compliment my teaching style tonight, and it is both flattering and humbling; however, I'm just being me! That's the thing! I think I'm just a natural teacher--I like to give people different perspectives on the way to look at things. I also like pointing out the things that I find interesting, in hopes, that my interest will inspire.
Who knows.
Tonight I gave the first writing assignment of the semester, and my students were confused and disgruntled (some of them) when they left. I make myself available through email only (because I'm only part time), but I'm on the computer pretty much all day, so getting my email isn't a problem. They'll be fine! Everything just seems more overwhelming when it's getting thrown at you for four hours straight!

Secretary-ing this morning was a breeze--no major issues, one of the DCs (Department Chairs) was out, and the other was super-busy; we had no student issues (now I think that jinxes tomorrow). So, all is good.

Now, if only I can somehow make fifties pour from the sky, this will be an awesome day!

Tomorrow: Secretary (Day) / Server (Night)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Monday, Monday

Monday: Secretary (Day) / Server (Night)
The office was pretty quiet today--By the way, quiet is one of the words you don't say in an office. It's like saying bomb on a plane.
Preface: The semester at the community college started four weeks ago. You would be surprised at how many students are still trying to pick up classes. It's only been four weeks. It's on me to make up the work. I guess I just never considered picking up a class late--I had to start day one. I didn't want to walk in weeks behind the rest of the class. I don't know. Last semester, it got out of hand. So, this semester, we had to make some departmental policies. The drop/add period ends two weeks into the semester. Some departments allow students to sign into classes in the third week--not our department. It is clear that those students who come in more than two weeks into the semester miss a lot of material and struggle through the course.
I had a student come in with a "Drop/Add" form asking to speak to the Department Chair (DC). We screen these visits closely, as a lot of students come in wanted to speak to the DC. I asked him if he was dropping or adding a class. He says that he wants to add Macroeconomics...(FYI: We are in our fourth week of the semester.) I sweetly explain to the student that we are not signing anyone into classes for two reasons: (1) The drop/add period ended two weeks ago. (2) If the class meets twice a week, then it's already met six times...it's a bitch to play catch-up (I didn't say bitch); we are looking out for the student's best interest.
He still wanted me to check to be sure. So, I tried to tell him again, but humored him and told him I would check. I poked into DC's office, and quickly told her of the student's request. She immediately said, "No, we are not signing anyone into classes." She said it loud enough for him to hear. I went back out to the student, at which time he asked if DC had given an explanation. I again repeated the same stuff; he was not satisfied. Finally, DC came out and told him to stop interrogating her secretary, sorry, she was not going to sign him into Macro.
The student came in about four hours later, trying to sign into another class.
I worked at the slowest restaurant in town tonight! It was pathetic. Luckily we were permitted to roll silverware throughout the shift (a rarity lately) and cuts went up before 8:00. I clocked out at 8:10. Although I only made $30 after tip-out, I came on at 5:00, so I made $10 an hour. I didn't really work that hard, and the crew was playful and spunky, so it was relatively enjoyable.
I did get into a minor argument with this evening's MOD. He is a newer MOD, and I think it's gone to his head a bit. I've made no bones about telling him that's what I think because we were once friends. Now he is manager friend, which is weird. Anyway, I had two tables, so I approached him and asked him if I could take out the garbage (code for smoke a cigarette). Management has gone from strict to lenient and back to strict on the whole smoking thing. Some say as long as we're taking something outside, then it's fine, be quick, get someone to watch your section, yadda, yadda; but there are a couple who aren't as understanding (for lack of a better word). Tonight MOD was not being understanding. He said that he was told that employees were no longer allowed to smoke on the property, and that the owners would be inspecting for cigarette butts. First of all, you can't make it a smoke-free property if patrons are allowed to smoke, and who is going to search the parking lot or behind the dumpsters for evidence...idiots (*Ren and Stimpy). I gave him a little bit of a runaround, but that's because I like messing with him, but then I backed off...until I had zero tables and "taking out the beer boxes" was indeed my sidework. I approached him again, and he said that if I came back in smelling like smoke, he would be very upset. This coming from a kid that is 22 years old (I'm 29). Whatever. While he was schmoozing with some bar guests I snuck out the back. He's none the wiser. I had NO tables! It's not the end of the world, but they need to pick a side. My argument was that I was permitted to go outside during a shift just this passed Saturday night...I definitely shouldn't have told him that. Then I found out that he wrote it in the book and was going to ask GM for clarification...what at tool.
Tuesday: Secretary (Day) / Planning (Night)

Monday, February 2, 2009

The Kicker

Sunday: Aunt Day!!
Today was pretty fun. We played outside, we colored, we read books, we practiced our alphabet and numbers. We had a fun-filled aunt day, I feel. I went over around 2 p.m., and I left around 8:30...I was ready by then. They are a handful!
Besides, I'm not really feeling that great...
I think I mentioned before how I don't have health insurance. Well, easy to say, "Go to the clinic" when I don't have the extra cash to pay my rent. Clinics do charge, and around here, a free clinic would be a miracle. My mom and sister suggested that I apply for Medicaid, but I'm pretty sure I'm not eligible. I read some literature about it when I came home because I really need to go to a doctor...something's wrong. I don't want to admit it...I haven't wanted to admit it...but it's time, I suppose. The criteria for Medicaid is pretty specific, and I didn't feel that I fell into any "group" they mentioned. Ugh. I guess it's worth a shot anyway. I've got to do something.

Tomorrow: Secretary (Day) / Server (Night)

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Saturday Night

Saturday: Off (Day) / Restaurant (Night)

Tonight I worked at the restaurant--I closed, hence the late post. It wasn't that bad, actually. It was pretty busy, and we had a good crew...a lazy crew, but a fun crew, so it was alright. I did have a woman who cut her husband's salad for him. Other than that, it was fine.

There was a little bit of controversy after close, when the MOD (Manager on Duty) asked me to lock the front door. I've argued with MOD before that I don't think servers should be responsible for locking the front door. I told her that I would ask one of the others. Well, when I asked my fellow-closer, he felt the same way I did. If someone breaks into the restaurant, the first question they're going to ask is, "Who locked the door?" I don't want to have my name mentioned in response. No way.
MOD was pretty adamant about us doing it, so we did; however, when I was leaving, I noticed that the lights we have lit outside the restaurant (that the closers are supposed to turn off) were still on. I could have stopped, but I figured that was a little something for the MOD to deal with. I felt like I was sticking it to the man! teehee


Tomorrow: Babies!!! (I'm going over my sisters to play with my nieces!)