Sunday, May 12, 2013


About a week and a half ago I took – and failed – a test which I’d hoped would prove me to be “highly qualified” to teach Science to 7th 8th and 9th graders. I know what you’re probably thinking; you’re probably thinking “uhm, you know the word “science” should only be capitalized at the beginning of a sentence or if it’s being used to describe a specific class at a school- no wonder you failed.” … and fine, if you want to be a grammar Nazi about things, you’re right, that is the convention, but after trying to gain/re-gain a general understanding of “SCIENCE” ( ie make sense of the intricate relationships between forces and matter that explain how EVERYTHING IN EXISTENCE functions from the subatomic, to the biologic, to the universal scale) in about 6 weeks, I have gained a whole new respect for Science. Thus I feel, given that if even a lowly person such as I, Jillian, gets the special honor of being capitalized wherever I happen to plunk myself down in a sentence, Science deserves at least the same recognition. In fact maybe we should write it in all caps… and throw in an exclamation point!*
*and an asterisk… oh and an ellipses: SC!*NCE…

Now that I’ve obviously won you over on the whole grammar thing, you may be inclined to say: “Ok, so you don’t get to teach middle school SC!*NCE... kids that age are the worst anyway; sounds to me like you dodged a bullet”.  To which if it weren’t too soon, and it were a joking matter, I would respond: “well actually, if I was looking to dodge bullets, teaching really seems like an excellent career path ‘cause these days teachers seem to dodge more bullets than Neo in the Matrix, but since that would be imprudent (and also kind of a dated reference), let me just say, that I have not given up on my quest to achieve middle-school SC!*NCE… teaching gloriousness. I’m taking the “NES Secondary General Science Test” again in three weeks.

 In regards to pre-teens though,  I feel that those angsty “need-to-be-cool” kids are at a really important age where they are starting to focus on creating their individual identities and are formulate opinions about how they want to live, so by teaching middle school, I may be able to have a real impact on my students lives. Of course, I may also be kidding myself.  Either way, it will certainly be an engaging challenge for me to try to plan appropriately engaging and challenging lessons for those kids. Whether I get the opportunity to tackle that challenge next fall or have to wait another year to do so will pretty much entirely come down to whether or not I can shine on my SC!*NCE… test next month though.

Speaking of shining, I received a rather thick envelope in the mail at work the other day, and when I say “received”, I don’t mean that some caring friend, after hearing that I failed my test, decided to send me a thoughtful consolation gift. I mean “received” in the more literal sense, as in: an envelope addressed to “Randy Welsh of Penske Truck Rental or current owner, which noted that a promotional gift was inside” was placed in my possession by the mailman.  Kill joy that you seem to be today, I’m sure right about now, you’re thinking: “O-M-G! Please tell me that you DID NOT open that package that WAS NOT addressed to you because you know that would be a FEDERAL OFFENSE.”

Well, I do know that it’s a federal offense to tamper with other people’s mail, but being the reckless wild young thing that I am, and being a person who could in fact use a surprise gift, I went ahead and opened that enticingly mysterious package anyway. OH MY, am I glad I did! Because the thing I found inside immediately brightened my day...It was… a pen. Not just any pen, but a big shiny pen:  a pen that shined with pure awesomeness. In fact the word “shines” is hardly expressive enough to describe this pen. This pen needs a whole new word to describe its glittering luminescence… this pen is glimmuminating!

You may be tempted to say “no big deal, it’s just a pen”, but wait, I haven’t even told you the most amazing part. Not only does the exterior of the pen shimmer and gleam with pearly metallic magnificence, but, as I discovered the day after I’d first beheld this shinny pearl-esque pen, there is also a built in flashlight opposite the writing tip, so to say it’s “just a pen” or to say “it’s just a flashlight" only gives an inkling of what this delightful light-full-of-ink really is.

 Since it took me almost a full 24 hours to discover the “hidden” flashlight, I got the joy of two days of surprising gifts just by opening one promotional letter that was addressed to someone else. Now,  I can only wonder what other secret marvels are contained within this pen. I will say, so far the notes I’ve been taking with my new pen as I study for my science test have been particularly illuminating! Perhaps this pen will be the guiding light that that leads me to success on my SC!*NCE… test on June 1st. 

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