Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Tonight was Trick or Treat night in my town. We always do it on the 30th, because there is a parade on the 31st. It's always at night, downtown, so there are streelights. They are pretty adamant about it being held on the exact day of Halloween, too. Here are my girls. In Claire's class their costume had to be a book character, so she went as the Grouchy Ladybug- complete with angry eyebrows and boxing gloves ("Hey you!Wanna fight?"). Lydia was a cowgirl- do you like her horse? She named it Blanche.

And here are the fruits of their labor. 2 candy buckets full o' candy. I used to be kind of a Nazi about their intake. "Only 3 pieces! Only 3 pieces! Three pieces, I tell you!" Then, I backed off and realized that if I let them have at it (within reason- I really don't want to clean up barf...), they really only are interested the first couple of days. They eat the good stuff with abandon (or is it without abandon?) and then lose interest. By Thanksgiving, we are usually down to Tootsie Rolls, Dum Dums and what I like to call "parade candy"- you know- the kind they throw at parades.

Do you remember spreading your loot out on the living room floor and practically rolling around in it? Did it look like this?

And do you also remember sorting your candy? Like this?

Notice the pile of parade candy. That will be there for a long time. And the Almond Joy? Mr. T will eat that- what kid likes Almond Joy? Maybe a couple, but I can guarantee none of them like Mounds. And Smarties? Not really a fan. I like to have Smarties and Dum Dums in my classroom to give as Bingo prizes, though. It's usually lost on the kids, but I think it's funny.

What you'll notice here is a very respectable number of M&M's and Tootsie Rolls of varying sizes and varieties. Not bad. Also, several Butterfingers (my personal favorites), a Payday bar, couple of Nestle Crunch (could really do without that particular candy bar...) and some Nerds, a lone tube of Whoppers (yum) and a full-sized package of bubblegum from the neighbors up the street who don't get many trick or treaters.

Kit-Kats seemed to be the winner this year (though you can't see that in the picture), with Reese's being a close second. What was with the bag of chips? Just so the kids could flaunt their goodie bags and proclaim truthfully that they had gotten the proverbial "all that AND a bag of chips?" A small pile of Sweet-tarts to remind me of my childhood. Remember those little paper packages of 3 Sweet-tarts? It seemed like we got TONS of them and they were hardly worth the effort of opening them. I liked them and all, but I much preferred to have a whole roll to suck on while reading. I'd suck on them until they dissolved and the roof of my mouth was completely ripped apart. Good times. Not so good in the Snickers department this year- pretty lame, in fact. Starbursts had a good showing, though, and the 100Grand coming in at a 12-way tie with many others for dead last.

This last picture shows some nostalgic candy- do you see the orange-wrapped candy next to the Mary Jane (heh-heh, my kid got Mary Jane in her candy bag....)? That's peanut butter taffy that I hated when I was a kid, and it seemed like we got it from everyone. Now, I like it. There is also Laffy Taffy, Bottlecaps (which is kinda funny now, since most kids have never had soda out of an actual bottle with a cap), gummy creepy crawlies, Tootsie Pops (the orange ones are the absolute best and the thing about the Indian on the wrapper is just a myth, thank you Food Network)and some "candy sticks", once called candy cigarettes that were sooooo much fun when we were kids and would send most parents into an early grave if their kids had one in their possession.

So what were/are your favorite Halloween treats? I remember there was always a family in my neighborhood who gave apples, one who gave homemade cookies, one who gave bags of popcorn, one who gave caramel apples to the first lucky few through their door and always one house that handed out full sized candy bars. The cookies usually broke, I was never allowed to eat the apple and the popcorn was pretty stale. Some lame-o gave pennies and nickels and a very well-intentioned neighborhood dentist always gave out toothbrushes. My daughters get little plastic bottles of juice every year from the same family. It's yucky, but they like it and kind of look forward to it. They got Goldfish crackers (lame!) and plastic toys like yo-yos and clackers from some lady who obviously doesn't have children nor has any recollection of ever having been a child herself. Those yo yos never work and those damn clackers get thrown out inside of a week because they drive us all nuts.
But enough about us. Tell us about your treats!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Defy Logic, I Dare Ya!

In a district that is hell-bent on promoting literacy, does it make sense for them give our librarians, or as the more PC like to say, media specialists, the axe? Well, that's exactly what they've done. Many elementary schools are having to share a librarian between 2 schools and for the other half it is staffed by a para.
Does it make sense in a district hell-bent on promoting literacy, creating life-long learners and Relevance and Rigor in its curricula (um?) to outlaw the use of a dictionary? The person who is in charge of all the language arts teachers in the district, K-12 informed them at Friday's inservice that she had better not catch ANY of them using a dictionary in class. Because, heaven forbid high school students from taking responsibility for their own learning and actually looking up the definition of a word ... in a dictionary. She seems to think the teacher should give them the definitions in easier to understand terms. Brings to mind an image of a mama bird eating, then regurgitating what she ate into the baby birds' mouths.
Oh, and absolutely no grammar taught in isolation- no grammar worksheets whatsoever.
She claims that there is absolutely no scientific evidence that would support their use. I want to know if there is scientific evidence prooving their harm. Personally, I learned a bit of grammar from some drill and kill worksheets. Now if that's the ONLY thing a person does, then I see reason to expand, move on, do something else. But, the occasional worksheet, much like an obligatory green vegetable, is necessary.

Evidently, this woman read someone's book and now has hitched her wagon and everyone else's to its star. I think they should make their own wagon train. ( 10 points extra credit if you get the reference)

Friday, October 26, 2007

Feast or Famine

October is pretty much a wash as far as posting goes. I am going to try and remedy my evil ways by publicly declaring that I am taking the NaBloPoMo challenge, as I did last year. I missed twice and I'm bound and determined not to miss at all this year. Now that I've declared it to all of you, I HAVE to meet the challenge, right? I mean, it would be embarrassing to drop the ball and miss posting, wouldn't it?
So, is anyone else up for it? It's kind of a fun little exercise- one suggestion on the NaBloPoMo site is to focus on a theme if you are having trouble coming up with ideas for posts. Come on! Give it a go!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Oh, do I have a blog?

Yikes, talk about a dry spell!
So it's Finals Week for me right now and I have a heinous amount of papers to correct. Of course that means I should blog! Just like in college when I had an entire term paper to write the night before it was due and decided to go shopping that afternoon.

It's that time of the term- all of a sudden, the kids are way focused on their grades. Never mind that they've known for weeks that they've had projects, etc. that were due now. They make me crazy with their "Do you have my quiz corrected yet?" and "What grade do I have to get on the final to get an A?" and "How did I get an F on that quiz?"

That last one I just got today. This dumb girl (I'm sorry, she really is dumb) was absent on quiz day, took the quiz last Friday and asked to see it today. I showed it to her- it was a 57%, which is an F. She could not believe she had gotten an F, snuffling and snorting "HOW???", to which I replied, "Well, you got a whole bunch wrong." That's what I said, but what I meant was "You were lucky to do as well as you did, because you're really not that great of a student." I then got a call from the girl's mother saying that the girl was really upset because she thought she'd aced it and could she retake it. I'm not a big fan of the retake, but I said she could take it again, but it would be a different quiz and that I'd average the 2 grades. The part she messed up was over the future tense- she put half of them in the present tense. The quiz she will take tomorrow is WAY harder than the original one. Did I mention I suspect she may have gotten answers from someone else, since it was a makeup quiz for her?
Here's the kicker: she's at a 75% for her final grade for the term. The quiz is 45 points out of a total of like 1000. Even if she got a 100% (which she won't)on the quiz, it won't affect her term grade. If I were nice (which I'm not)I would have told her and the mother this. But I didn't. Now, she will have to study and fret tonight and come in early tomorrow morning and retake a quiz that will have zero impact on her grade at this point.
Did I mention that she's a snot?

Monday, October 01, 2007

One Semester of Spanish - Love Song