Sunday, May 24, 2009

Surprise Gift

With my move to a new school next year I have been frantically packing up my classroom and taking everything home. This transition for my students has not been easy. In fact I have seen a dramatic rise in poor behavior once I started moving out. On the flip side I have also seen more of them telling me how upset and sad that they are that I will be going.

Earlier this week I was packing some boxes after school and one of my AP students named Kevin came in. Kevin is my most brilliant AP student, in fact he helped make some of my podcasts this year and co-directed my study sessions for the AP test. Kevin came in to chat and was talking about how he wasn't going to be at school next week and as he was pacing around the floor he came up to me and thrust this long wood thing in my face. He said "I just wanted to give you a gift before you left." I was so surprised, because this is not his typical behavior. The gift was a beautiful fan from China. (Kevin is Chinese) On the back of the fan he pointed out there were two poems that he and his mom translated. I have typed the translation out below. It was really sweet and once again I was surprised by his display of affection.

The next day as a group of students were helping load a box of stuff into my car, my student Patrick said "I'm really going to miss this class." I am too Patrick.

Front side of the fan.

Poem #1 by Liu Yu Xi
Red birds and wild flowers by the side of the bridge
Their feathers blend into the slanted sunset
Long ago they flew in front of the royal palace
Now they take flight in common neighborhoods

Poem #2 by Li Wan
Travelers in the morning sun sing songs of departure
Thin frosts pass the river in late evening
The geese cannot endure the sadness of the songs
Cloudy mountains bear witness to passing travelers
Bare stone walls and the color of dawn welcome the coming winter
Soft voices resonate throughout private gardens
Is it possible that this may be a place of happiness?
Though their happiness may be meaningless perhaps it eases their lives

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Good day

Today, a number of good things happened. My AP students took their exam this morning and when they came to see me after it was over I saw lots of smiles and looks of relief. They told me that it wasn't "too bad", "questions were easier than the tests you gave us," and "you were right, there was an essay question about Latin America." I had 47 students take the test and although I felt like we were never going to make it, I have high hopes for their success. I will find out in the summer how they ended up scoring.

In other good news, I heard from my new school and it looks like I will be teaching AP World History. This is so exciting, because I love teaching the class and I didn't think it would be available. Due to my sporadic blog postings, most of you don't know this, but I had seriously considered applying to go back to school to work on my Doctorate degree for the Fall 2010, but with this new job position and the possibility to work with an amazing group of students I think I am going to give high school a few more years.

Last bit of good news. I attended Senior Award night where they recognized all of the accomplishments of the senior class. I am a total sap and spent most of the evening with tears running down my face as the accomplishments of the great students were highlighted.

All in all, a good day.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Moving Tribute

For the last few weeks my AP World History students and I have been furiously studying in preparation for the AP test which will be held tomorrow. Today, after school, I threw a party to help the students relax before the big test. We ate pizza, drank soda and watched the old classic "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure." The kids seemed to enjoy it and from the amount of pizza consumed I am sure they were well fed.

Prior to the festivities beginning, two of my students Nick and Nathan (guitar) performed a song they composed for me. Some of my students have been sad with the news that I will not be teaching at Durango next year. I was moved by the song and the other students thought it was hilarious. I typed the words below because Nick was a little quiet as he performed.

Oh Ms. Boivie please don’t tell me that your leavin’ me,

This years gone by too fast, just go home and unpack.

Before the start of this year, we all broke out in tears,

Because of the summer homework, we all thought Ms. Boivie was a jerk.

Now we see who she really is, Boivie is a super smart whiz.

Let’s take a look a what we’ve done, it looks like work, but it’s more like fun.

Extra-credit videos I should have went to more of those,

Note cards and podcasts that I did in my 1st period class,

Copying Billy, Nathan copying me, he says that I write too small

And get’s pissed at my capitals. You taught me not to wait till the last minute

And procrastinate, but I still stayed up till 3 for that shower curtain OMG.

Please stay for another year so you can torture all the freshman here,

Bring their life to an end. Say goodbye to their girlfriends.

Ms. Boivie I must agree for all the work that you put me through

And for that I’m going to pass that test—can’t do worse than a 4 percent.