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8/29/11

notes from the salt mines (now with photos)

Well. That was an unintentional blogging break, now wasn't it? It is now the second week of school, and here is what you non-teen interactors are missing:


- Harem pants are actually a thing. I was hoping they would stay trapped in the realm of back-up dancers in music videos, but alas, they are worn by girls who list "Seminary" as their favorite class. I think you can determine how mainstream something has become when conservative Mormon girls accept it as normal. And yes, I saw one tuck her EFY t-shirt into said pants. I miss pre-distressed denim now.




-More alarming, Hugh Hefner style slippers are in now too. How did that happen?





-Last year, I grew fascinated my a set of twins I saw wandering about, and I hoped I would have one or both of them in my class. They just looked so other-worldly and creepy, with their dyed black hair, multiple piercings, and dinner-plate size ear gauges. As luck would have it, I do have one of them this year, and he is very nice. I've since noticed that when they walk together, they walk so close that their shoulders touch, and they lean inward to talk. More endearingly, they subconsciously (I assume) match their strides, looking like the winners of the three-legged race at the annual Goth and Alternative music convention. I don't know why but the image makes me feel all warm inside.

Signs you will do well as a high school teacher: You find yourself fascinated by people others would not want to meet in a dark alley, and you find brotherly affection twixt teens adamndorable.


-I am teaching two Honors English classes, and find the eager-beaver mentality of some of my students off-putting. Where is the challenge in teaching a kid who triple checks his work? I'm used to reluctant learners, but shall carry the burden of working with over-achievers, somehow, if I must.


We can discuss the hideousness of harem pants, among other things, in the comments, if you would like.












39 comments:

SGOT said...

I think your blog might be keeping me sane in medical school. Thank you.

UK Yankee said...

Harem pants and Hugh Hefner slippers?? What, they ran out of hair feathers?

Colt said...

I am kind of excited about slippers being in style. Assuming this leads to my being able to wear a smoking jacket to work at some point.

Michemily said...

I actually like harem pants and had no idea they'd made their debut in America. I first saw a German girl wearing them a few years back and thought, "Awesome. I've got to get me some of those. They look so comfy and cute."

I had to look up what you meant by Hugh Hefner slippers. Hmmm. I think velvet (or whatever that stuff is) is always a wrong move. Always. And especially when it's a pair of pants that says "juicy" or something similar on the butt.

That's funny that you would rather have the reluctant learners. That's the very reason I didn't want to stick with K-12 teaching because I felt like college students were there to really learn because they pay for classes and see how close their futures are. But I'm glad to know there's someone to take care of the other side. ;)

I hope school is going really well for you!

Karen Ella said...

Whoa. First comment? That's never happened before. Can I see a picture of "harem pants"? Gotta be honest: I'm a little nervous to google it...

Miss Kendra said...

I need a picture of said "harem" pants. I work in a charter school that is K-8 and they wear uniforms. I need a picture of what to look for on free dress day.

Tristin said...

How to break honors students: Assign them to do something social, pull a Dead Poets Society and throw out grades altogether, and/or start grading based on arbitrary factors such as how lousy your lunch was that day. As a recovering honors student I know these types of things screw with a smart ass's head like nothing else can.

Risti said...

Harem pants are back?! Good grief, I thought they would've lost their popularity by the end of the summer. I am sorry you've been exposed to the fashion DON'T of the century, again.

Deb said...

I actually can't decide which is worse: Harem pants or wearing an EFY t-shirt to school. However, I didn't grow up in Utah, so maybe it is acceptable there. :) I grew up in California, and I find it so amusing the comments people in the church have made to me. "Oh, I would NEVER raise my kids in California", "wow, you grew up there and you turned out okay", member of Bishopric in new ward, "you're from CA? I'm sorry." I find it all so interesting....

Natalie said...

I'm old because I have no idea what Harlem pants are. Please explain.

Natalie said...

Harmen pants. I can't type.

Mary said...

I had to look up harem pants. I find them ugly.

I teach junior high and I avoid gifted and talented like the plague. I'll take plain and mediocre any day. These are my people.

Stephanie said...

@Natalie: I actually went back and added photos to the post for your enjoyment. Them there honors kids are wearing off on me.

@Michemily: I hate to admit this, but a lot of my students pull the look off. EVEN with the slippers.


@Deb: EFY t-shirts, bracelets with the "to be" values, YW medallions, most students are a walking ad for Deseret Book. I also had a lot of Sophmores ask if they could read their Scriptures as their outside reading book.

I'm sure they see CA as a land full of godless heathens. However, think of the most righteous area of "Salt Lake." Hint: I can see three temples from my school. That is who I'm teaching. :)

Vapid Vixen said...

Thank you so very much for the never ending stream of "Can't Touch This" that is now running rampant through my brain.

Seminary actually counts as a school subject?

What happened to getting up at 5:00AM to go to your teachers house before school? Kids nowadays...I tell ya.

Kristen said...

I saw tons of harem pants abroad in the last few years. American fashion is a little slow. Either way I do not approve. They look TERRIBLE.

LovelyLauren said...

Harem pants....*shudder*

In college land, however, don't even get me started on the romper trend.....


When I got my CTR ring, I got the one that had the music notes in the melody of the "Choose the Right" song so that other Mormons wouldn't recognize me. Are they still wearing those lacy undershirts too? For fashion's sake...

Becky said...

I hope you said NO to the scriptures as reading time. Come on kids - you don't get credit for reading the scriptures until the eternities!

Stephanie said...

@Vapid Vixen: Seminary is now counted as "released time." So no credit, but they get a class period during the day. This is why non-mormons in Utah can usually graduate early: no seminary classes. Food for thought.

@Becky: I dodged that bullet by saying they couldn't pick ANYTHING they read for another class, be it science texts or scriptures. I shudder at the angry emails I would have recieved otherwise.

Mormon Spinster said...

I'd rather see girls in harem pants than in shorty shorts that make me wonder how they avoid showing their delicate bits and getting friction burns on their thighs.

Karen Ella said...

Thanks for the pics! And, ew.
I <3 your blog.
I <3 your readers.
And I <3 their comments even more.

JustMe said...

I would love to live in Harem and have eunuchs feed me sugared plums. I don't think I would be wearing harem pants though - I would probably opt for the belly-dancer outfit - mostly because I have a lot of belly to dance with.

As to the slippers - well, why not? I'm all for comfy shoes. I do want them in blue suede though.

As to advanced or slow students - I have no comments. I didn't teach anyone except my own children and I screwed them up quite nicely. You may compliment me on a job well done.

NIKOL said...

In the photo, the harem pants don't look too bad. But, I know better. There were some people who looked really cute in gauchos, too.

amers said...

You know you're in Utah when 4/5 people either have one (or all) of the following things: feather extensions, the poof, platinum blonde hair with black underneath, new balance sneakers with capri pants and three Downeast cami's (or their whole wardrobe is OBVIOUSLY from Downeast) that go up to their neck under their v-neck, knee shorts, and so many other scary Utah specific trends.

Cortney said...

Well, I'm going to use free day in the comments section to solicit some advice :) I started student teaching on Monday- secondary English- and my program has me in it for the whole year, 24 hours a week, instead of the normal 16 week student teaching. So Mon/Wed/Fri I'm there for the full day, seeing an array of different teaching styles/classes/9th-12th grade, all the way from intervention classes to honors.

Background- I am 28, have a master's degree, I taught ESL in Japan for a year (all ages) and I taught a freshman level class in college.

And honestly, after just one day, I'm starting to doubt the last 7 months of effort I put into getting into this certification program and I'm worried about spending a year on a certification + classes (they do online education classes towards a master's degree along with the the certification) only to realize "oops". Any tips? Is this normal? I would expect this if I'd never been in a classroom before, but suddenly I have the urge to turn around and run...

Veteran teachers have assured me it's very different with your own class. Which makes me twitchy, because it sounds way too similar to "it's different when they're YOUR kids!", said in a sweet voice in response to my saying "I don't want kids. No really, I just... don't".**

**I like kids. I just don't want them.

Stephanie said...

@Cortney

Wow. That sounds like a hell of a lot of student teaching.

I remember re-considering my decision a lot during student teaching. It is a stressful time and not particularly indicative of a "real" teaching experience. I hate the "it is diffferent in your own classroom" line, because it does sound obnoxious, but there is some merit there.

Here's what was different between student teaching and "real" teaching for me.

1. I didn't develop my persona as a teacher until I was in my own classroom, and I didn't have to cater to anyone else, including my mentor teachers. I also feel more relaxed because some professor isn't going to walk in and criticize me and nitpick.

2. Watching other people teach is boring, even if they are a good teacher. Remember, you don't have to do that when you have your own class.

3. You bond a lot faster/more deeply with your "own" students, and teaching is more meaningful. It may also be Stockholm Syndrome.


4. In your own school, assuming it is a nice place to work, you build a real community with your peers, students, and the neighborhood you work in. It makes you feel like you are doing something valuable and meaningful for people you care about. That feeling is like crack.


So those are the good things about teaching that you miss out on in student teaching.

Here is what I didn't expect, and struggle with as an educator. If they seem like dealbreakers to you, then maybe that can help with your decision.

1. The fatigue of being "on" all day. I feel like a performer some days, even when I'm simply mediating a discussion or leading group work. That gets really exhausting. I still don't have perfect teacher "stamina" and I worry about that a lot.


2. Teaching has a tendency to take over your life. Long hours, especially the first few years when you are developing curriculum. Finding balance is hard, letting go of guilt is hard. Not impossible, but hard.


3. The extras. Teaching night school, or running a club, chaperoning dances, etc. I hate anything that takes away from my "teaching" and feel overwhelmed sometimes by extras. I didn't feel prepared for that. I've also learned to say "no" much more and guard my time.


4. Low pay, long hours, implications that you aren't smart because you "just" teach high school. Try to ignore douches who will come out of the wood work to tell you you aren't important. Teaching can be polarizing to some.


So that is what I know. Did you like teaching freashman? I think that can give you a good idea if you will like teaching HS enough to deal with the crap.

Also, while the world needs smart people like you to teach, there is no shame if you decide you don't want to. It isn't a waste, you got a resume builder, a certificate you can use later, and learned about yourself. Again, there is no shame in deciding another job is better suited to you.

If you do decide to teach, resist the urge to take jobs you aren't sure of, or a job you don't love just because it is there. Try your hardest to find a school you like, and a subject you like. I'm so glad I didn't even get the job at the junky junior high teaching Utah Studies. I would have stabbed myself in the face.

Don't make any decisions until student teaching is over and your life is normal again.

And don't judge my long rambly comment. Teacher. Fatigue.

Stephanie said...

Also, if there are any other teachers who can offer better insights, feel welcome.


You can also email me at mormonchildbride(at)gmail(dot)com. I take a while to answer, but you can pick my brain about random teaching crap. Or I can direct you to a smarter person, etc.

Erin said...

I can't believe you mentioned harem pants and didn't talk about rompers. I am baffled by them, I always thought they were a style reserved for those under the age of 2, wow, how times have changed. Harem pants are equally perplexing. I wonder if people look in the mirror while wearing them and think "wow my butt looks saggy and my crotch hangs down to my knees, I could not be hotter".

Cortney said...

Thank you so much for such a thoughtful response. All of the difficulties you had with student teaching are exactly the kinds of things I'm already worried about- so that makes me feel much better.

I also think, in line with that, that it is a detriment to me that I have a year's experience as a classroom teacher. I remember what it's like to organize a classroom, to painstakingly set up procedures and rituals, to bond with my students, etc. That makes it even more awkward for me to shoe horn my way into another teacher's classroom.

Thanks again for the response, and thanks for being rad. I was drawn to your blog a while back- pre Mormon Douche Bag '11- because I think you're the kind of LDS woman I would have been if I had been raised in the Church. I investigated for a good 4 years- overlapping with a relationship, 2 of those years we were having angsty mission letters, fun times! But the year I taught in Japan was one of those years, so I got some good missionary friends out of the deal.

Of course, I read a lot of FMH during that time as well, which I was told "didn't help me build my testimony". I was never even an LDS woman, yet I was *still* totally shamed for endangering my as yet unbaptized testimony by carousing with those apostate internet feminists...

Now I'm rambly. Sleep needs to happen. Here's to a good school day for both of us tomorrow.

Abby said...

I have some harem pants- a pair in black and a pair in gray. They are REALLY comfortable and I love them. My husband, well... he hates them but that's his problem, not mine.

And I like jumpsuits, too. I can't help it.

However, I will never wear slipper in public. Never.

Rachel Sue said...

The picture of harem pants looks better than the picture of Hammer pants that I have in my head. But only by a little. . . .

LC said...

Rompers? Are those the adult onesies that kept frightening me all summer?

I just kept calling our baby's "that jumper thing."

Cat said...

Stephanie, thanks for your comments to Cortney. I'm just finishing my second week of student teaching, and this Monday I couldn't think of a single reason why I wanted to be a teacher. It was that bad. It's better now.

Also, I LOVE your blog. As a Utah Mormon who struggles with the culture sometimes, it's nice to hear that someone else feels the same.

And why is high school/jr. high fashion so bad? My students shock me sometimes. Such poor life choices.

Cat said...
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Cat said...
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ChristyLove said...

I've always worn loafers. My great-uncle always wore them when I was a kid, so it's this hole psychoanalytical thing. It gives me a strange, uncomfortable feeling to know other people are wearing something similar.

Reluctant learners? You can have my whole art appreciation class. Freaking nineteen year olds. Gar.

I feel like a bad fan for being almost a week late to your newest post.

And finally: Yay. You said douche.

Kristine said...

I completely agree with all your student teaching comments, and your preference for the struggling students! I teach beginner and intermediate ESL, and love it. I'd rather die than teach a TAG class, and I like to say that "white kids all look the same to me." ;) (Maybe I should clarify that I'm white too... Though I've had kids refuse to believe it, and insist that I must be at least part Latino. :) I have a hard time imagining that it's nearly as rewarding (or entertaining!!) to teach the advanced classes....

Carly and Dustin Watts said...

Thought you would like this Steph! A harem pant strapless jumpsuit...http://www.ideeli.com/events/63314/offers/2477070/latest_view/1781266. It doesn't get any worse than this!

Stephanie said...

@Carly

oh hellllll no.

Shaylene Carter said...

Thank you so much for your blog. I am still fairly new to Utah and have such a hard time with the culture shock despite the fact that I was raised in the church. You have given me hope that I will be able to find a friend who isn't constantly doing crafts while wearing those super long lace tanks under everything possible. Thanks for that. Now where to find normal people....