An update from Charles!

Hello there!  So, here’s what has been going on with me [Charles] in the last year and a half, or so.

The first thing I want to mention is regarding my progress during Lent, the Christian time for fasting.  This year was notable because it was the first time in my entire life in which I was able to stay with my plan for the entire period.  Every other year I have given up sometime before the 40 days are over, to various levels of frustration and disappointment, but this year I was able to abstain from sweet/sugary things for the full duration.

I have very mixed feelings about this.  On the one hand, I feel a sense of accomplishment and maturity for having finished what I set out to do.  On the other hand, I feel embarrassed and ashamed that it took me this long in my life to do it.  So it’s an emotionally confusing accomplishment, but a milestone no matter how you slice it.

Sean is getting bigger and bigger, as babies are wont to do.  A while ago (can’t remember when) he uttered what I am chalking up as his first sentence: “Fly birdies, fly away.”  He’s becoming a great climber, which I love.  =)

I got a job for the summer at San Marino High School again this year, and it went well.  The students were just as knuckleheaded as ever, and here are my two favorite quotations:

When I mentioned that I didn’t have Google when I went to school, at student gasped and asked, “How did you do research?”

and

When a student was working on a project covering the 1920s, she wanted to bring in foods that were popular during the period, such as Coke, fried chicken, etc.  Since Prohibition was around during that period, this 14-year-old girl asked, “Mr. Hampton, can I bring in alcohol?”

The second big thing about summer school was that I created my own final, and I am immensely proud of it.  Rather than have simple multiple choice questions, I put together a list of documents and speeches that have large significance to American history, such as the Declaration of Independence or JFK’s moon speech.  The students had to correctly label a passage from each of the documents, demonstrating their ability to recall the content and historical context of each document.  The second part of the final was an essay that dealt with the running-theme of my class: what is the proper size and role of government?  Every time we came across an argument on either side of the debate, we stopped and discussed the motivations and implications of the particular event, from Shays’ Rebellion to the Interstate Highway Act.  I had the students write an essay arguing for their opinion but they had to choose 6 different examples from a list that I gave them.  That way, they could have options but still use events that I knew were significant to the course.

I had a lot of fun writing the final exam and I’m very pleased with it, both with regard to its approach and its form.  I have attached it, [link coming soon, hopefully!] if any of you are curious or would like to try to match the passages.  I will put the answer key at the end of this update.  =)

The last thing is that, not only have I not found a teaching position, but I do not even have my credential yet.  My school is being RIDICULOUS and I have revisions to do before they stop jerking me around.  Hopefully I will have it before winter.  For now, I think I will try to do more subbing, and perhaps will look into continuing private tutoring.

I hope you all are well,

Charles

Answer key

Part 1:

1 E            2 CE            3 BE            4 AE            5 AB            6 BD            7 A            8 CD

9 B            10 BC            11 AD            12 AC            13 C            14 DE            15 D

Part 2:

16 CD            17 B            18 BE            19 BC            20 BD            21 AD            22 AC            23 AB

24 CE            25 E            26 D            27 DE            28 AE            29 C            30 A

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