Hi guys! Sorry it's been so long since I updated; student teaching was crazy.
I ended up getting placed at a charter school in the Logan section of Philadelphia. Started observing the next day, started teaching four days after that. It was a wild ride. The students were really difficult to work with. There was so little asked of them throughout their years in the Philadelphia School District and I was expected to do such high-level work with them, stuff that they were not willing or able to try for, that it was really hard for them and me.
I had problems with my supervisor, too. And my cooperating teacher. Really, overall, it was a pretty shitty experience.
My supervisor emailed me at the end of the first month, after I missed three days, ands said that I didn't need to worry about my absences, that they wouldn't be held against me, that exceptions to the rules would be made in cases like my own. A five weeks before the end of the term, my cooperating teacher expressed his own concern about my missed classes (seven at that point) to my supervisor, and she passed the message on saying that I would need to make-up any further absences at the end of the term. I agreed with this and was actually able to make it through the end of the semester without any more absences. When we sat down for my final lesson review, both my supervisor and cooperating teacher said that if I hadn't been absent as much as I had, they would have given me a "B"in the course, but because of my absences they both gave me "C"s, and the two teachers have to agree on at least a "B" to pass. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. When I brought up the earlier emails about this I simply got the answer that I "should've known better."
I was pissed off, still am. More that pissed off, but I don't really know how to explain it. The college has screwed me over at every turn. I've been poorly advised, rushed into graduating when I should've stayed and finished my double major. I've had payments mishandled, costing me late fees and penalties. I've had them screw my up whole student teaching thing two semesters in a row, costing me six months of possible employment. And now this bullshit.
So I'm appealing the grade and I feel like I have a decent shot at getting them to change it and getting certified, at last. If they don't change it, I'm getting an ADA lawyer. It's that simple.
On a more positive note, after a year of worsening pain, I was diagnosed as having avascular necrosis of both femoral heads - the veins and arteries in the top end of my thigh bone have died and it's spreading. Later x-rays have shown that the dead bone has actually begun collapse, making it necessary to replace the hips. So, later this month I'm having my left hip replaced with a ceramic-on-ceramic implant, meaning that both the end of my femur and the part of my pelvic bone that comes in contact with the femur will be replaced with pieces made of ceramic. This kind of implant is supposed to have less wear than the older metal-on-metal implants over the years and should last much longer, which is great for someone as young as I am.
I went to doctors at Abington Hospital and Thomas Jefferson University Hospital's Rothman Institute and got conflicting answers answers as to what they thought I should do. The doctor at Abington thought that we should try core decompression first, but thought that no matter what we did now, I would need a total hip replacement on both sides within two years. The doctor at TJUH thought that I needed to detox from the OxyContin before I have the surgery because he felt that my pain would be out of control if I had the surgery at my current tolerance. So, because the first two doctors disagreed I decided to go get a third opinion and make a "best of three" decision. This time I went to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, the highest ranked hospital in the Philadelphia Area for Orthopedics. The doctor there saw no problem with doing a total replacement on my left hip right away and thinks he might be able to save the right hip with a core decompression - as my mom put's it "roto-rooter" or drilling down through my thigh bone. I like him a lot, I explained what the other doctors thought, and feel comfortable leaving this decision in his hands. So that's where I am now. I have to go in to see the medical doctors at HUP and have x-rays, an EKG, and blood work so that if something happens while I'm in the hospital, the medical team knows my baseline. Then, I have the surgery, spend two to four days in the hospital, a week or two in rehab, then another month recovering and I should be back to normal, whatever "normal" is for me now. It's hard to imagine my life without the need for daily pain killers.
I can't wait.