Tag Archives: birthday

I guess I got a pole job

November 1986

Dear Sirs,

How’s everything going? Things here are the same. I will be home Monday the 24th about supper time.  This was a pretty busy weekend. My Icthus Bible Study had a retreat out at a farm. Slept in a shed like cabin–it wasn’t too bad.  The retreat in general was a lot of fun. We also had a party at the house this weekend. It was a gangster party. I did have a date with a girl J.F. set me up with. She was a neat girl. I had a good time.  The picture lady took 26 rolls of film–I guess some kind of record.  I got a Radio-TV test back. I got a 98%–not too bad.  I got a B on a speech I gave today.  I took a test today in Political Science–don’t know how well I did–not great.  And Reporting–uhh, nuf said.  But I did get a letter from my Philosophy (Ethics) teacher that said I was doing pretty well and encouraged me to look into other philosophy classes in the future. Is pop coming up this weekend? I’ll be home that Monday, so if so, great and if not, great. Oh, they finally caught up with me on the 12th.  It didn’t hurt a lot. See you soon.

Love,

Matt

Player Piano Kurt Vonnegut

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I love Vonnegut.  He wrote Slaughter House Five, which I believe is the only book that I’ve read more than once.  I used to read one of his books every year on his birthday as it is my birthday too.  So I almost gave Player Piano, his first novel (1952), 3-stars just because it’s Vonnegut. But while it had its moments, I didn’t enjoy it much. A bit dated and pedantic, and the ending isn’t hopeful or interesting. When I’d finished I even retread the last few pages thinking I’d maybe missed some final interesting point or idea. But nope, it just sort of ended. But if Kurt had to write this in order to write all the great ones, all is forgiven.

Happy 60th B-Day

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Aren’t kids funny.  I mean, aren’t they just hilarious.

When you’re old like me (not 60 yet), and working with kids, or even I think if you’re just a few years older than the kids you are teaching, I think it’s common to feel that you are in a tricky balancing act. We need, it seems, to be a little hip, a little relevant, in order to for the kids to relate to us.  We also need, more importantly, to keep a separation between us and the kids, to maintain our role as authority figure and in charge.

The secret that I think all successful teachers figure out, some sooner, some later, is that we don’t have to stay hip at all.  If you treat your students with respect and expect them to treat you the same, the classroom with be a pleasant place, kids will like you, and just by being around them, you’ll stay more hip that most adults your age.  But not so hip the kids won’t laugh at you attempts to be cool.  And not so hip that the kids won’t overestimate your age, on purpose or as a joke, by about 20 years.

You don’t have to be down with the street for your high school kids to want to make you a birthday card.  You feel me? Boyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!!!