Posted tagged ‘Students’

Notes from Home

May 9, 2011

Did ya ever have one of those years when it just started off wrong?  Despite all your positive thoughts, mantra chanting and the stress management class that you had to pay for yourself, cuz God knows the “Ministry of Magic” wasn’t going to pay for it… 
From the moment the first bell rang on the first day of school you just intrinsically knew that everything was off on the wrong “foot” so to speak? 
That was the year 2010/2011. 
The first day of school a new 9th grader walked in the lobby doors – (we’ve been at this a long time – we can spot a 9th grader a mile away…) and the Red Flag warnings went off.  It was like a hurricane was starting – like an ill wind was blowing into Port Royal bringing with it something far worse than pirates.  Parley….

The wind blew in a 9th grader, who when he had barely reached the main floor of the library, uttered these now famous words, (with us anyway) “Well, this isn’t a very good library!” 
Strike One. 

I knew from the first unfortunate conversation, that quite frankly this student had a problem(s).  My boss did not recognize him from her other school but with librarians being spilt into at least 3 pieces – who knew.  I called my sister school to check.  Let’s just say that this 9th grader was not someone that anyone would be able to forget.  He did not ring a bell with my fellow hot library tech friend. 

My librarian being the wise woman that she is, searched the data base to find what middle school he had come from.  That’s when we saw his “rap sheet.”  I could share the list of offensives, but probably some bleeding heart liberal would comment with – “Oh, but the poor misunderstood teen!” 

@#$%^!  This student stole from teachers and the library – Lewd and lascivious behaviors directed to a teacher
He was banned from the library in 7th grade due to his rap sheet. I looked over at my boss and said, “He’ll be a library assistant over my dead body…..” 
Strike Two. 

We had multiple contacts with “Jasper” daily. 
I have stories that would curl your hair. 
Do you want to hear the porn on the flash drive stories? 
Sure you do. 

To make a long porn story short….Jasper was on a student computer, viewing something that was on his flash drive.  We assume it was loaded at home.  After several attempts to check that he was doing, I went upstairs and watched him over the railing.  After scrolling thru the third or fourth photo of (really UNattractive) women spread eagle in cheap underwear…at least it wasn’t men…..I shut him down. 
That was to be Jasper’s last day on computers. 
He knew this, yet a few days later he snuck upstairs when he knew that I was very busy and began using a computer that was hidden from my view.  He didn’t get far as I caught him and he was busted. 
Strike Three. 

My only relief from Jasper were on the days when he didn’t come to the library because he couldn’t find his ID – honest I didn’t hide it…or when he was out sick.  Oddly enough, he had great immunity. 

Several times a day he would check out the allowed limit of the popular Manga genre.  Then he would read them in class as opposed to….I don’t know….say actually paying attention!  I know this because a variety of teachers would bring back our library materials to us.  (One of his semester teachers mercifully gave Jasper an extra 5 points to achieve a “D-” just so said teacher would not have Jasper darken the door to his classroom again.) 
Can’t say as I blame him. 

Once, a neighbor to our school walked on campus to return three books that Jasper had left on the street corner.  (Total book cost $60)  We should have cut off his library privileges at that moment.  One morning, and I forget the exact reason, the librarian told Jasper that we would not check out anymore books to him without a note from his mother. 

A few days later, Jasper arrived in the library, three minutes before the “Be in your seat” bell rang.  “Here’s the note from my mother,” he said.  Choking back hysterical laughter, this is what I read: 

                    I, “Jasper’s mother”, Hereby give peimission to my son Jasper to be able to check out manga
                   Books From Your Libury.  Note: I Never said He cant get them. I Just said He cant read them
                   in is Class all the time.

This parental excuse was followed by the worst forgery of a parent’s signature that I have ever seen…If they awarded Oscars for “worst forgery” – this would win. 

The seasoned librarian just shook her head.  “Jasper,” she said, “give me you home phone number, I will have to talk to your mother myself, before we check out any books to you.  Guess you will just have to listen in class and actually participate today.”  Jasper stormed out and nearly broke the doors when he exited the building.  We looked up his contact numbers in the data base…no surprise that the number listed on the note and the computer did not match; and all the numbers were “no longer in service…”  Jasper had an answer for that later in the afternoon. 

The librarian emailed the parent and although we received an answer back that it was acceptable for him to check out library materials, we really had no way of knowing if the person on the other end really was his mother.  Whoever it was, the grammar in the email was as bad as it  was in the note. 

A note or phone call – it really didn’t matter either way – because at the end of the week, Jasper physically/verbally threatened one of his teachers and she was not afraid to call the police and file charges.  Jasper was suspended, he was gone from our campus for over a week.  A hearing was called and Jasper was expelled from the school district. 
What a relief – I saw it coming the minute he walked in the doors. 

 
 
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Frogs

April 18, 2011

 

This is very possibly the last Scholastic Book Fair in my library. 
All the librarians have gotten their RIF notices – well, except one….but for all practical purposes – all the librarians will be gone in September.  Unless a miracle occurs…

All the library technicians in the district received a notice that we may be laid off, reduced or affected due to bumping  rights at the conclusion of the school year.  Translation – it is possible that the libraries will be open fewer hours during the day/school year. 

There is one book that I will not miss – EVER.  Each student, whether they are severely handicapped or Advanced Placement – they have had to pick up this book and make it croak.  I will be so happy to see it leave…I may even pack it up myself.  A noisy counting book – they weren’t kidding. 

RIF notices:  Another  reason that prayer should have never been taken out of school

Banned Book Report

January 19, 2011

Every year the 10th grade class has a banned book assignment. 
They have an essay that they write in the form of a letter where they either support the reasons for the book being banned or argue for reasons why the book should not be banned, challenged or restricted. They also must include 3 citations/quotes from the book to support the listed court case(s)

 In late October, many students came in individually or as a class to check out a banned book of their choosing. 
Students were given a list of the Top 100 banned books and then told to choose from one of those.  Some of the more serious students purchased the book they wanted to read – gotta love ’em for caring about their education.  But, with over 400 10th graders, we were of course, caught short, having more students than banned books in the library collection.   

Students who came in when they were first told of the assignment were usually able to find the book they wanted to read.  There were also those who waited until the last possible moment…..
Some teachers chose to issue a textbook from the English dept’s core novels – students who had to read
To Kill a Mockingbird or Lord of the Flies could be heard loudly, complaining.  The language/dialect in TKAM proves to be quite difficult for some ELL’s. 

Well, necessity is the mother of invention, so my student helpers and I pulled all novels that were listed in the 2010 copy of Banned Books…
Did you know that every Harry Potter book is listed?  As well as all the books in the Vampire Diaries series, the House of Night series…(even her books yet to be).. and yes, the Twilight series.  It was not for my lack of trying that students did not have a banned book for their report.  We even placed an order with Amazon for 12 of the most popular titles.  So glad there was a sale going on! 

Today all the computer labs were booked with students working on their essays.  Their papers are due on Friday, so that they can be graded before the end of the semester. 
Today…several students came looking for books…today!     
Of course, they were looking for the popular titles such as What My Mother Doesn’t Know and Crank.

I was more than happy to let my librarian deal with the slackers, I mean students, while I took care of other things today. She confided in me later this afternoon that after the 4th or 5th student, she was tempted to say:  “So sad you’re bad!”  And I thought I was the mean one?! 

 

At the Circulation desk…

November 17, 2010

Today I had a student come up to the circulation desk and ask for a book. 
“What type of book do you need?” I asked.  I don’t usually use the word genre; I get very puzzled looks. 
The teenager responded, “I need a book about somebody who’s dead.” 

Gotta love the Biography unit in English 1.

Twilight – The desire lingers

October 26, 2010

Dear Stephenie Meyer: 

Hi
First let me say that I love your Twilight series; I am looking forward to seeing Breaking Dawn when it comes to theatres.  It will be interesting to see if the director and screen writer can bring your vision and words to the big screen.  

Your books have given me something to talk about with the high school girls.  Like you, I have sons.  Boys will talk to me about Twilight, but usually they are much more “hush-hush” about their interest.  Although when I tell a shy boy – if they are “at a loss for words” when talking to a girl – talk to them about Twilight.  Their eyes will light up like I have told them an untold secret of the universe.” 

Ever since your books became a hot topic, I have had to keep them behind the circulation desk.  Not because they have questionable material in them, not that we have had parents requesting a district form in order to have a book restricted…no, we have to keep them behind the counter to keep them from being stolen.

When I first noticed the books missing, I thought perhaps that my library student assistants were having trouble alphabetizing….but when I couldn’t find the missing copies…and I found just the cover of Eclipse buried under one of the book cases…I decided I could either have a library with zero copies of the Twilight saga or I could keep them behind the counter. 

I’ve kept a sign on the shelf where your books would normally be stating that if students were interested in one of the books in the series they could see Mrs. Hot downstairs and I would check out a copy to them.  I don’t why I feel that I need  to apologize that I have a zero-tolerance for stealing.  Some people have the opinion that students are going to steal and we will just have to do without the books or keep buying cheap paperback copies and going to used book stores.  I think that’s wrong. 

When the movie Eclipse was due to be released, I promoted our Eclipse quiz (we had a contest for Twilight and New Moon too) with the grand prize being tickets to the movie premiere.  I had all of 10 kids pick up a quiz, only 5 returned them.  The questions were not that hard.  So, I thought, “Oh, the Twilight desire is waning. ”

At the start of this school year, the librarian and I thought it would now be “safe” now to return the Twilight series to the shelves.  I had a student help me carry them back upstairs and we re-shelved the novels.  We were doing well until a few weeks ago when I checked the counts of what was on the shelves and what was available.  We were missing one or two copies of each title. 

A few days later, I was picking up trash and pushing in chairs (funny I didn’t think that was mother to 2,200 students) when I found a copy of Eclipse shoved under a table….missing the cover.  We thought that we’d have to donate this copy to a classroom library since it was missing the cover….until I remembered the cover I had found years earlier…missing it’s book.  Voila!  The rescued copy was introduced to a new cover. 

Once again I have stacks of Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse and Breaking Dawn behind the counter and it looks like a Borders book store on the day that Breaking Dawn was released. 
I have to say that I’m actually glad I have never been able to catch a book signing with Mrs Meyer.   
The Twilight series…autographed? 
I would have to keep those under lock and key.   : )

And the winner is…..

September 10, 2010

School started two weeks ago – that first day I could have confiscated no less than 6 cell phones.  Instead I just barked in my drill sergeant voice, “Do you really want a detention on the first day of school, private?” 

Today after school I had a dozen little darlings on the student computers.  They were actually all working – having finally mastered the new requirement of their own login and password.  It was quiet except for the sound of busy little fingers and one girl’s voice…..talking… I was hearing a one-sided conversation. 

I should have known something was up – the other students on computers kept glancing at me – looking away and then back again.  Some of them were giggling.  Ah, they have seen me in action before…..
Then it hit me…I am a bit rusty after the long summer…somebody was on their cell phone.  A 9th grader on computer Ten was chatting merrily, oblivious to the Great White who was circling behind her….cue music…

I must say, my compliments to the rest of the students who were  kept doing their work.  Not one of them tried to give her the “heads up” or the complimentary “LOOK OUT behind YOU!!”  As I stepped in front of the student and caught her eye, the color drained from her face. 
“Ohh Mommy!” she squeaked and disconnected her phone. 
Keeping my voice as interesting as a bowl of oatmeal, I said, “Bring your self and the cell phone to the counter.”  She went into the usual dramatic teenage girl freak out.  The rest of the students on the computers turned in their chairs to watch the floor show….Wow!  No cover charge!  No two drink minimum! 

When I reached the portion of the cell phone violation form that states, “Cell phones will only be released to the parent or guardian…” the color in her cheeks she had recovered, quickly dissappeared.  I think she realized it was pointless to struggle. 
Perhaps I need to make a special certificate for having one’s cell phone confiscated by the HotLibraryTech – I had one for the First Lost Textbook of the Year – back when I dealt with textbooks…I called it the “Kiss It Goodbye” award.  This year it only took two hours on the first day for someone to earn that honor.) 

After finishing the form and contacting the office on the radio, I walked the student to the office – policy states that you send the student and the form along their cell phone to the office…but quite frankly that’s like turning your back on a 2-year-old in front of an open cookie jar.

Patriot Day 2010

September 2, 2010

This year’s 9/11 bulletin board is more subdued than in past years.  You can see that previous board at the top of my blog.  The 9th grade class of 2014 were kindergarteners when the twin towers fell.