No, not final edition. WYFP is not going anywhere. Finals edition, as in the things I am immersed in or about to become immersed in, the things that create both my FP at the moment and (possibly) a respite from it. Or maybe an addition to it; we shall see. I'll say more below the fold, but first, our standard informational box:
WYFP (which stands for "What's Your Fucking Problem?") is our community's Saturday evening gathering to talk about our problems, empathize with one another, and share advice, pootie pictures, favorite adult beverages, and anything else that we think might help. Everyone and all sorts of troubles are welcome. May we find peace and healing here. Won't you please share the joy of WYFP by recommending?
As you may be aware, I'm a high school teacher. And, as many of you may, at one time or another in your lives, have been to high school, you know what that means as June approaches: final exams. As students, we always detested finals (unless we were students like Jason Fox of the comic strip Fox Trot with his geekish love of All Things Math).
Mostly, though, students look forward to finals about as much as they look forward to the inevitable moment during summer break when their parents tell them to get a job; that is, not a heck of a lot.
What you don't know, though, unless you've been one of us, is that most teachers are not great fans of finals either. Oh, most of us accept them as necessary evils in the Ed Biz, ways to consolidate learning, etc., one great Last Stand before grades are sent home. But when push comes to shove, we will acknowledge that, if we've been with these kids for a year, we know them well enough that a final exam is not necessary to assess their skills, at least not in my field, which is English. Every year I try to invent new ways of crafting clever twists on essay questions that will allow students to spread their wings, strut their stuff, show off their comprehension of everything I already know that they know, and generally wax creative about their year in English without being utterly redundant. More often than not, I am successful and the results are enjoyable for both them and me, but frankly (if I had my druthers) I'd abolish the whole darned practice.
But I have not my druthers. I'm not sure I have ever had my druthers. I do not even know what druthers are. In fact, they sound vaguely unsettling, so I'm not certain that I want them after all. So yesterday, on the last day of school before finals, I was there until 7:30 in the evening finishing the crafting of my latest brilliant attempt to stimulate my students while they take a test that they don't want to take and I don't want to give them, at quarter to eight in the morning on the day after a three-day weekend. I was the last teacher in the building. When I left, I was nearly run over by a night shift custodian riding a waxing machine that looks like a mini-Zamboni down a hallway; he was hugging the near wall as I turned the corner and he stopped the thing just in time.
It would have been an interesting way to go.
Speaking of Zambonis, another Finals begins tonight, and my beloved Blackhawks play for the Stanley Cup. Of course I'll be watching that. I should be grading essays and portfolios, but then I should be doing that right now too. A girl has her priorities. I'm hoping that the Hawks won't add to my problems, but will instead let me have a short breather from them. I can probably breathe better than Hawks defenseman Duncan Keith, who has his own FP:
And then there are my Celtics, also in a Final against someone. But that can wait. Your FP's are more fucking important. :-)