The day was broken up a little because students were involved in the blood drive going on in the gym and that affected the Honors English class we went to first. The lesson plan called for the students to read the second act of The Crucible but too many of the 'actors' were "out for blood," as one of the kids said.
Lunch hasn't changed much since my teaching days, except for the addition of a salad bar and the loss of desserts, all in the name of better nutrition. I had a private moment of silence for the wonderful chocolate cake with white frosting that the cooks used to make.
Next was chorus. This was a small group of students who have a schedule conflict with the regular varsity chorus period because they are all part of West Liberty's wonderful dual language program. So the director, Mr. Shivers, works with them separately, combining them with the rest of the chorus right before a concert. The seven or eight kids stood around the piano, clapping out rhythms and practicing parts for a song for the holiday concert. At the end of the class, Mr. Shivers, Raudel and I visited a little about the program and the upcoming high school production of Shrek. Raudel pressured the director to arrange a field trip to a touring musical.
After chorus, we trekked to the office to buy tickets for Shrek, and while Raudel was getting tickets for his family, he was asked to translate for a parent's call that the secretary had taken.
Then we went to AP Biology. Unfortunately, I did not take biology in high school, but it wouldn't have mattered much because most of the things Mr. Gunn talked about were discovered since then. All I can say is, I'm certainly glad I don't have to take the test next Monday.
Raudel had already had honors math and physics in the morning before I arrived so he has a pretty tough schedule. He was an excellent guide and volunteered much information and several explanations of the way things work in the school; never once was I tempted to say "Well, back in MY day..." I was very gratified to hear that he and the rest of the juniors will be taking three of ACT's WorkKeys tests later this week to qualify for National Career Readiness Certificates. Because I worked in WorKeys test development for 17 years, I of course feel it is an excellent program and will add another layer of qualification for these kids as they go out in the world in a couple of years.
It was also great to spend some time in this new, bright, technologically-equipped building after teaching five years in the old building when it was badly overcrowded and bereft of that technology. In MY day, when the Berlin wall fell, for example, I had to record the news reports at home, check out one of the two or three TVs in the building, and roll it to my room on a cart in order to watch it. Things have certainly improved.
Thank you to the school for arranging this experience; I wish it was on that every member of the community could have.