Showing posts from January, 2013

Bucket of Crabs: Mele the Crab and a Local Parable

There's this cute little children's books that circulates among the local preschools and libraries. Mele the Crab is an uppity young crustacean. She's the biggest and the fastest and mocks the slower, lower crabs as she scrambles over them. One day, a beach goer captures Mele and a pile of other crabs in a bucket. Mele is such a good climber, she can easily get free, but the other crabs drag her down: if we can't get out, you can't either! She has a change of heart, and decides to lift the others first, and they are all able to escape.

This is a cute story-- cute illustrations, a charmingly askew rhyme scheme, and peppered with local terminology. But it's more than that, too.

It's a pretty incisive description of two competing local cultural norms, and the way that they rub against each other and spark. The story also describes neatly the culturally appropriate solution to the contradiction in normative behavior.

Mele at first is a perfect negative example.…

Thoughts on Teaching at my Tiny Hawaiian Immersion Charter School

I am finally in the swing of things with my new teaching job-- it took a whole semester, but I feel like I've found my pace. I don't wake up in terror every morning. Only occasionally, like the other day when I woke up choking on a nightmare about a co-worker... nevermind. :)

I began the year with about 4 years worth of plans all set up to get through in the first semester-- hands-on assessments and multiple intelligence projects and poems to memorize and essays to write and genres to explore and rubrics to publish. About half-way through I realized that I can plan on about 40% less class time than I have on paper, because of an endless stream of unexpected last minute speakers, activities, and field trips. And I realized that I could count on zero work being delegated to homework-- so if there was anything done, the bulk of it would have to be in class. I had to chop projects and content and readings out. I was reminded of my favorite writing advice: "Kill your darlings.…