Friday, August 05, 2011

Oh By The Way ...

Oh by the way ... I passed my Florida Teacher Certification Exam in Chemistry last Saturday ... proving once and for all that the 53 year old human brain can be as flexible as a pole dancer in a yoga class, if it needs to be.

And mine needed to be.

You see, teaching chemistry is a requirement of my new role as the entire high school science department at Cedar Key.

Normally, I could have taught chem for one year before having to take the test. It's called "teaching out of field".
In my case, because I taught it for one semester 5 years ago as a favor to a desperate principal, I did not have that year.  Back then, a host of subs and replacement chem teachers had run screaming from the building, and the principal came to me and said, "What would I owe you if I asked you to take on Chemistry next semester ? ... oh, you would lose your planning period too, that's the only period we can do chem."

I took it on, the kids and I learned as much chem as we could in one semester and that was that.

That little stint as a chem teacher came back to haunt me this year since it counted as a full year for me so passing the chem test was a requirement of my job.

Oh By The Way ... even though I use plenty of chemistry concepts in my other science classes, I had not thought about stoichiometry, oxidation-reduction rates, heats of formation, molarity, electron orbital geometry, or organic chemistry for about 30 years.

So about 3 months ago, I dropped my night time novel and began reading chemistry at bedtime.

About 2 months ago, I got my hands on a Chemistry Exam prep book, favorited a bunch of chemistry tutor websites, and began making flash cards and solving problems.

About 1 month ago, I kicked it in to high gear, told the family I could not go with them on the summer vacation to the mountains, and began spending whole days right here at this table crunching problems.

About two weeks ago, I became a shadow, a ghost, a flickering memory of a Dad, husband, human being ...

One week ago today, I checked in to a La Quinta motel, 3 miles from the test site in Jacksonville, and went in to DefCon 1 mode.

Saturday morning last, I took the 2.5 hour, 100 question computer based test and I beat it.

And now summer is almost over.

Oh by the way ... that was the final hurdle in my grand plan. You see, when I left my old teaching position at my former school, it created a vacancy ... a science teacher vacancy.

Just as a certain someone graduated from USF with a degree in secondary science education honors degree too!

Oh by the way ... my daughter Emma is the newest science teacher at the school I left and they don't even have to change the name on my old box in the teacher mail room!

Not that she didn't have other offers (they are still coming in), but she wanted to come home to teach in rural Florida.

Oh by the way ... don't you love it when a plan comes together?


Deb said...

Amazing! Congrats to Emma, and to you for passing the chem test!

Caroline said...

Hooray for your plan!
I will have the chance to work with two brand new teachers this year, and one who has transferred to the Academy by choice. I am excited!

Best wishes to both of you as you start the new school year.

Donna Mc said...

WAHOO!!! I love it when grand plans come together & happen. Good for y'all. And good luck to you both in the coming school year.

threecollie said...

What a wonderful legacy on so many levels. Congrats on the test!

cinbad122 said...

Wait, what happened to my plan? Oh yeah....I turned down the offer! LOL

Floridacracker said...

Thanks! I think she's going to be a stellar teacher.

Thanks and good luck with your new "charges". LOL

Donna Mc,
Me too! Hey, if I'm right and you are new here, Welcome!
If I'm wrong, it's because my brain is stuffed with chemistry.

Emma is a wonderful legacy, it's true. :)

Well, the UP side is you get to work with Emma!
Of course, since I am the new math teacher's mentor, IF you had taken the math job out there, I would be your mentor!
LOL! Scary thought huh?

robin andrea said...

Oh by the way, you and Emma TOTALLY ROCK!

Congratulations to both of you!

roger said...

well done! and you're almost a geezer.

congrats to emma too. how long has this plan been operating?

kevin said...

That's a pretty darn sneaky plan, I'm glad it worked out and I applaud it. Congrats to both of you, it's good when hard work pays off.

Aunty Belle said...

yes, yes, an' yes! to all the goodness fer yore Emma an' her Dad/ mentor...but did ya WANT to tech chem? At Cedar Key? Ya din't love yore old school?

Well, no matter-I'd have hives if I had to pass anythang chemistry related, so ya' KNOW how impressed I is wif' yore achievement.

Really happy fer yore clan--thangs sound purty good in yore next o' the woods.

Island Rider said...

A pole dancer in a yoga class. You crack me up. But, you are one great dad on so many levels!

Floridacracker said...

Robin and roger,
Thanks! I started thinking about the possibility last year when I learned my friend at Cedar Key was going to retire in 2011. The timing seemed perfect and I had passed on a chance to teach out there about ten years ago when my kids were just getting to the school I worked at.

I am very, very sneaky.
But, you already know that.

I enjoyed teaching at my "old" school ... gosh I musta ... I stayed there 23 years.
But I always wanted to teach at Cedar Key and the two things came together at the right time, thanks to Emma's hard work at USF.
Cedar Key is too small to have a football team, so I can still root for my old school during football season.
Basketball will be another story.

Floridacracker said...

Heh! That image just popped into my head.

Noelle said...

Soooo...I remember that semester of Chem years ago! You handled it then and will be great now ;) Congrats

LibraryGirl62 said... are good!
I am sending my baby girl to USF this Sunday to study psychology/criminology. Glad your baby girl thrived there-it makes letting go a little easier...NOT (as the kids say :)

swamp4me said...

Cramming for teaching chemistry -- you are causing me to have flash-backs! But seriously, from one 53 yr old to another, congrats on passing the test! Pass my congratulations on to Emma, too. I think it's great that she wants to teach in a rural school.

W.R. said...

Well done FC! You are a most talented family. I wonder .... can't a young woman be a "renaissance man?" Or maybe even a whole family? Gets my vote.

Dani said...

NO FRIGGIN' WAY!!!!!!!!!! That is so damn AWESOME!

Floridacracker said...

I was blessed to have students like you.

She is going to LOVE USF! I was so impressed by the faculty and the supportive nature of everyone we dealt with there.
What a cool major too!

LOL! Those flashbacks can be stressful. Just go for a hike or a paddle if they get too bad.

Thanks! I think she qualifies!


Anonymous said...

As a 53yr old male from FLA who's currently wrestling with the prospect of putting my fossilized butt back into school, I applaud your courage and accomplishment. Yay!

Floridacracker said...


Lisa at Greenbow said...

Congrats you smart conniving old fart. I would faint at the prospect of taking your class let alone attempting the exam you had to take to teach it. Congrats to your daughter too.

Anonymous said...

Awesome plan and glad it fell into place. Amazing...tammy in LA.
BTW Datils finally materialize....yeah..

Sayre said...

WOW!!! You and Emma really landed on your feet! Congratulations to both of you for test-passing and job-getting. Neither one of those things is easy days...

(and yes, that is grammatically correct...)

Floridacracker said...

LOL... "old".
We are all really proud of Em!

Sweet! If you like red clam chowder, search this blog for minorcan clam chowder. It uses datils as an essential ingredient.

We raised her to be a feet lander ...LOL!

LaDivaCucina said...

Nothing like a little light chemistry reading to send you off to the land of nod! Eeeek! Congrats on passing the test! And also, HOW COOL IS THAT about Emma?! Wow. I do love it when plans come together, great news, FC!

Miz S said...

I'm so damned proud of you, FC! And congrats for putting together that cunning plan. Emma's got some big shoes to fill at your old school, but I know she'll do well.

Suwannee Refugee said...

I'm a little late this party, but I'll add my penny's worth. I tell all my clients "There's a reason I'm a counselor, because I'm bad at Math and Chemistry." Me and chem are just not good partners. We had to divorce early on in our relationship.

Floridacracker said...

"eeek!" ... don't you mean "Geek!"
LOL! Don't worry, I can take it.
Pretty waaaay cool!!

Miz S,
Thank you maam! Emma's gonna shine!

I understand that completely.

Doug Taron said...

Congrats! I think you will be an awesome chem teacher.