Year 3

....Fighting ignorance and apathy one class period at a time...

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Day 18 - Gig is up

Thursday, April 15, 2010

After much thought and careful consideration, I decided to end the project after it all "went public". As my former Biology teacher and mentor Tim Block told me when I started working at CCCHS, "Sometimes kids can take something you are ON FIRE about and pour COLD water all over it." I wanted to avoid having that happen by pushing my luck too hard with this project.

Now seemed as good of time as any to just switch it up and move on, rather than trying to make that call at some point between now and the end of school. Trying to carry on until the end of school in the dress as I had originally planned felt like beating a dead horse. 4 weeks was enough to make my point. I did not want to risk having it be a distraction to whatever else we do from here out.

And I was tired of it too. I did not expect it to effect me as much as it did. Lots of days I could not wait to get home and change, and I was starting to feel pretty insecure about my appearance. Even hippy-dippy tree huggers like me can be pretty vain.

During each of my Biology classes today I discussed what I had been doing with the students. I would say it was split about 50/50 between one of two reactions from the kids:
Reaction #1: Wow. That's pretty cool. I had noticed and had talked to my friends about it, but had no idea what the point of all this was. Cool.

Reaction #2: Lame. I had no idea, would never have noticed, and really don't care what you wear or why. Yawn.

My hope is that the students took away a message about how we "do" science. It is not just something we learn out of a textbook. It is a process. The same process is applicable to everything around us. Look around you. Ask questions. Feed your need to wonder and question and explore things. Share what you know. Consider opposing evidence just as carefully as you consider those that agree with your point of view.

Also, I hope they took away a message about consumption of resources. Think to yourself, "Do I really need ANOTHER pair of shoes almost just like the ones I already own, or could that money be put to better use somewhere else?" "Do we REALLY need new styrofoam prom decorations every year or could we possibly recycle a few things?" How about " If I am just a few blocks away from my destination, should I walk or should I drive?"

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Day 17 - April 14th Really BUSTED!

It's Wednesday, and just after 4th hour two senior girls came in and said "We think you have been wearing the same dress everyday for a while now."

I said, "Really, this dress? Naw, I haven't worn it before."

They said "Yes you have! You have been wearing it for 17 days. We noticed it at the blood drive!" (That would have been day 4).

They wanted to know why I had been wearing the same dress everyday. I asked them why THEY thought I would do that. They said they didn't know, but some kids were saying that is was because I had moved and did not have my clothes out yet. (I am moving, but not until right after school is out).

I told them that I was doing it to illustrate the scientific method and to demonstrate a point about conservation since Earth Day is next week. The girls were really sweet about it, and said that lots of kids had noticed and had been talking about it for a while.

We talked about it in my A&P classes during 5th and 8th hours. Most of them said that they had already noticed, but were afraid to say anything! One student said that it had been driving her CRAZY and even on a day she was gone another student had texted her to let her know that yes, I was wearing it AGAIN.

(Added teaching point here: People will talk ABOUT you, long before they will talk TO you and you need to just get comfortable with that. Nothing you say or do will ever stop that. It is human nature. Just remember how it feels before you talk about someone else.)

At lunch I generally eat with the same 4-6 teachers every day. Everyone is on a different schedule so we come and go a lot, spending only a few minutes together at the table. Of the four teachers who were there yesterday (and are there most days) I got 4 different reactions:

1. Did not know it was the same dress, but thought maybe I had recently bought several black skirts or something like that.

2. Had no idea and said she would have probably never noticed.

3. Said "It's only been 4 weeks? I thought you'd been wearing it much longer than that!"

4. Had not noticed the dress, but said she noticed the cowboy boots the other day and thought they were a "bit of a stretch". :) (I agree, I remember when I bought those boots I told my sister that I would look ridiculous wearing them as they were being displayed in the store with a skirt, but my feet hurt the other day from the red shoes I have been wearing most of the time so I stretched.)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Day 16 - April 13th

This week's topic in A&P is the Reproductive Sytem. What everyone has waited all year for!!!
Since most of those kids are Juniors and Seniors, it has really been an interesting couple of days. Not at all like talking to sophomores about the topic of reproduction. Both are good and interesting conversations in their own right... but different.
Today's thought about teaching high school: You know how you go to a big time concert, and all the guy on stage has to do is yell the name of your hometown (ie: "Hello, Kansas City!!!") and everyone in the crowd goes crazy?? Try walking into a classroom of high school kids and saying "Sex". The response you usually get is "Wha... did she just say... I think she said... Awright!"
Got lots of comments on the boots today but nothing on the dress. I went downtown after school and checked out the spring stuff at Shoes, etc today. Hi Jen and Reene if you are watching. If you're gonna shop, shop local!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Just for fun

Here is Julia, wearing a costume that cost as much as some of my nicer wardrobe items, for a one time appearance in a dance recital last Saturday. She loves it and I would have gladly paid double for it, even if she never went out go in public in it. She makes a pretty cute ballerina!

Day 15 - April 12th

Ok... now this is just getting BORING.
Next week is Earth Day (40th Anniversary! Congrats Tree Huggers of the world!!!) Maybe I will just have to tell them and get it over with. I could easily tie all of this into environmental issues (conservation of resources, reducing consumption, reduce-reuse-recycle, people!) I have a really good lesson to teach here and it is just dying to get out!!!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Day 14 - April 9th BUSTED!

BUSTED! The very first person to make the observation and ask a question was my awesome 7th hour classroom Para named Mrs. Pera.

Mrs. Pera came in at the start of class today and said "I have something to ask you, and I hope I'm not being to forward.... but are you doing some kind of an experiment? I think you have been wearing the same dress everyday, and that you are on your third week of it."
I told her she was correct and emailed her the link to the blog.

I am going to go through my closet this weekend and try to come up with some new dress combo's. I have to admit that I got really self-conscience about how I looked this week. It was an extremely busy and stressful week... the kind of week that a new outfit or new haircut or something to change it up would have felt GREAT.

Thursday evening I went to the mall to try to find something to wear for a wedding that we have next weekend. I like to shop. I miss it already, even though periods of 3 weeks or more go by frequently that I do not go shopping. (Sometimes 3 months goes by that I do not go shopping.) But this time I knew that I would not be wearing something new to school tomorrow or over the weekend, so it took the fun out of it. Do not fear, I still bought something and contributed my small part to the recovery of the economy. And I cheated on the "rules" and wore a belt that came with my new dress to school on Friday. Actually, what got me out of bed on Friday was knowing that belt was in the closet and I was going to add it to my wardrobe that morning.

3 weeks down - 6 weeks to go!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Day 13 April 8th

Another day... another outfit.
This one was pretty boring. I really wanted my comfy spring capris this morning instead of tights and high heel boots.

Day 12 April 7th

Big Field Trip day for A&P classes. Everything went extremely well. I hope we get to do something similar again next year.
No pic today. I had to wash the dress an extra time - the smell of the cadaver lab was pretty strong still.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Day 11 - April 6
State Assessments Day for Life Science classes! The kids did awesome! It was a big, big day.
Tomorrow is our A&P field trip to the Anatomy Lab at Cloud County Community College. Then we will take a tour of a local nursing home and play Bingo with the residents. Should be another big day.
No, there were no comments about the dress today.
Yes, I wash the dress at least twice a week. It appears to have gotten a little shorter so now I am hanging it up to dry.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Let's Recap

So here's the story so far...

I've worn the same dress to school everyday for the past 2 weeks (since returning from spring break). It has been 9 school days, and tomorrow there is no school due to Good Friday.

So far, no students have commented about the fact that I wear the same thing every day. I cannot tell you if any of them even suspect it yet. A group of high schoolers can be incredibly rude and tactless and shy and withdrawn all in the same classroom, so I have no idea what reactions to expect each day as the experiment goes on.

A few fellow staff members know about the "experiment". I think that a few other staff members that I have not told have just given me funny looks here and there, but maybe that's just my conscience reading things into faces of people, some of whom I had as teachers when I was a highschooler myself. I have worked so hard to learn to know them an adult, but I often still feel pretty insecure around them anyway, so this has added a new dimension to going to lunch, visiting with other teachers at the copy machine, etc...

The big idea here is to reinforce the scientific method (see previous posts). Also at stake are incredible teaching moments about self-confidence, consumerism, peer pressure, materialism, conservation of resources... oh man! The list goes on.

I guess we will wait and see what Week 3 brings! Looking forward to a 3 day weekend and a considerably reduced laundry pile to work on. Side perk ---- or lesson in environmentalism?!?!?

Day 9 - April 1st

The first signs of spring at a high school...
1. The flip flops and tank tops and teeny weeny shorts are out!
2. Half of the student body is gone to a track meet - Go Tigers!
3. You walk out of the building at 3:15 and the smell of yellow tree air fresheners and stale cigarettes rolls out of the warmed up vehicles in the parking lot.... Aaaaaah...... :)
Thanks for the comments! It really helps to know you are watching because it is getting harder and harder to put that dress on everyday without having the kids involved.
That's our daughter, Julia, in the photos. She is 5 years old. I never want her to grow up.