Monday, March 31, 2008

1 Potato, 2 Potato (or is it potatoe..... )

A potato recipe (and I use the word "recipe" loosely):

Boil up several pounds of new(ish)red potatoes. Leave the skins on. When they are fork tender, drain the water and smash them with either a fork or a potato masher. If they are done, they should just pop right open. Dump in some sour cream. Snip some fresh chives into it all and mash/smash some more.

Leftovers? Store in fridge. The next day, or whenever you get to them before they turn black, scoop out a spoonful, form into a patty. Dredge in flour to get rid of excess moisture. Fry in a small amount of HOT oil. Season with salt, pepper and some onion powder. Turn when a dark, golden brown. You can serve with applesauce, sour cream or just enjoy them as is.

I love 2-fers.

For the record, I'm joking about the "potatoe". Anyone out there old enough to remember Dan Quayle? He though Murphy Brown was a threat to society. Nevermind the fact that she was a fictional character...

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Your 1996 Theme Song Is: 1979 by The Smashing Pumpkins

Shakedown 1979

Cool kids never have the time

On a live wire right up off the street

You and I should meet

Mr. T and I did have the pleasure of seeing Smashing Pumpinks in Iowa City in 1994. Who'd a thought we'd ever be nostalgic for the 90's?

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Sábado en español...

Otra vez escribo en español- no porque quiero que me respondan y me hagan crítica, sino porque me gusta escribir y expresarme en otra idioma.

Hay la posibilidad que participe en un programa (es una clase de nivel "Graduate" que les ofrece Iowa State University a maestros de español) en Cáceres, España este verano. Durará como unos 15 días. Digo "posibilidad" porque si no hay suficiente participación, se lo va a cancelar. Con el valor del dólar muy bajo comparado con el Euro, muchas personas no tienen muchas ganas de ir a Europa. Me quedaría con una familia y asistiría clases a la Universidad de Extremadura. El precio incluye esto y un viaje a Madrid. La ciudad de Cáceres está entre Lisbon y Madrid. Me gustaría ir a Lisbon, si posible.

Tengo sentimientos mixtos de ir. Por un lado, no quiero dejar mi familia, por otro, quiero conocer a una familia española. Por un lado, no quiero gastar el dinero, por otro, sé que sería dinero bien-gastado. Por un lado, me pongo un poco nerviosa la idea de vivir con otra gente que no conozco, por otro, entiendo que sería sólo por 2 semanas y puede ser una pequeña aventura. ¿Cuátos lados hay?

Pués, quizás no hay ninguna decisión a hacer si no hay sufientes personas participando. Voy a mandar mis papeles y esperar...

Friday, March 28, 2008

Friday Five

Five Things I Scored at the Goodwill Today:

The author of this book visited our school several years ago. The kids seem to like his books a lot, so I figured for 38 cents, I could check it out- then put it on my own kids' bookshelf.

This is a piece of Blue Ridge (pottery? china? I don't quite know...) I had a friend several years ago whose mother had an antique shop and she was always picking up pieces of Blue Ridge. I don't know how collectible it is or what it goes for, but I got it for $2.38. Does anyone know anything about Blue Ridge?

These 2 cups were taped together and were a whopping 88 cents. I like the shape of them- I figure I can use them for soup.

Our neighbor gave us the Fisher Price dollhouse complete with, well, everything. This camper goes with the dollhouse and people and was only $3.38. Lydia has already played with it, and it's so cool how it opens up and the beds flop down. It is "gently used"- not dirty and nasty at all.

This is marked "Ardsley" on the bottom, as well as "International Silver Co.". I thought I could clean it up and then use it for a floral arrangement. It was $2.38.

So, for a about $10, I did quite well, I think.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Thirteen Easter-time goodies at Casa de T

1. Peeps: These must always sit out at least a day or two before being considered even remotely edible. Yellow chicks are the more traditional, but the rabbits are easier to eat.

2. Foil-wrapped chocolate eggs, preferable Hershey's: They really are better- I am really picky about the Easter chocolates.

3. Cadbury mini eggs- NOT the creme eggs- just the small, candy-coated chocolate eggs. The chocolate is divine- DIVINE, I tell you! The preferred method of eating is to pop the whole thing (it's about the size of a Jordan almond)in your mouth and suck on it lightly, so as not to break the shell prematurely, softening the chocolate to an almost liquid consistency.

4. Nerds jelly beans: Oh my gosh, who knew? It's a bumpy, Nerds candy coating AROUND a small, very soft and chewy jelly bean. It's sweet, it's sour, it's crunchy, it's chewy. The only thing is that the red ones are not so good- strange watermelon flavor that I do not care for.

5. Traditional jelly beans- preferably Brachs: Except the purple ones. And the white. What are they supposed to taste like?

6. Chicks and Rabbits: We always buy a bag of these- they are yellow and blue versions of Circus Peanuts, only in chick and rabbit shapes. Mr. T LOVES these.

7. Reese's peanut butter filled eggs: We had these this year- they are foil wrapped, smallish eggs as opposed to an egg-shaped peanut butter cup, which admittedly, is a better candy.

8. Whoppers eggs- candy coated: Skip the candy-coating. I like the chocolate, and I like the malted-milk ball center. The outside coating is just a waste.

9. Dyed eggs- dyed with the simplest, plainest PAAS egg dying kit available. One tablet, 6 TB of white vinegar and cold water. Copper wire egg dipper. No fancy-shmancy for us. We eat deviled eggs and egg salad for DAYS.

10. Chocolate bunny: Nothing too big to eat- just a little something. Ears, then head, then the rest.

11. Money: We put these in the plastic Easter egg-hunt eggs. We like for it to be a bit of a gamble, so we put candy in some, nothing in some, quarters in some, dollar coins in some and a $5 bill in one. Claire scored the 5 spot this year, and do you know? The kids were all perfectly ok with her winning.

12. Some trinket that fits nicely in the basket but they don't really like, need or want. I've got to work on this one. Last year they each got a DVD- that worked well. Maybe a book?

13. That freaking Easter grass- that shit gets all over and we find it weeks after Easter has come and gone. One year Martha Stewart made edible Easter grass- yeah right. I am going to make the switch to green tissue paper next year. I'm usually a stickler for tradition, but that celophane crap makes me crazy.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Don't judge me.

Although I pride myself on having a pretty good grasp of the English language and perhaps know a bit more than your Average Joe about grammar, there are still many things that give me a great deal of difficulty. I get around most of them by conveniently avoiding their use. Here are some examples:

the former and latter: I kind of know which is which, but I'm not confident enough to use them without paper and pencil to draw myself a diagram.

Is it further or farther? Yes, I've seen the explanation in our paper's grammar column, but so far it hasn't stuck.

transitive/intransitive verbs: *shudder* I took this horrible class called "Problems in English Grammar" that was basically a graduate level class, but half the class was comprised of undergraduates (myself included). Most of the class, including the instructor, were foreign students. They kicked butt. I know I learned about these verbs, but it must have been somewhat traumatic, as I've long since forgotten.

Is it the bane or bain of one's existence? I know it's more spelling than grammar, but I'd still like to know.

This is she or this is her- when answering the telephone.. I avoid by saying "Speaking," or my favorite, "I'm sorry, she's not here right now. May I take a message?"- I like to do this when they are asking for me, but I know it's nobody I want or need to talk to.

lay and lie: I suck at these. I know that I very incorrectly say
"go lay down", when it should be "go lie down" (right?).

I know I struggle with other grammar (or would it be grammatical?) issues, but that's all I've got right now. I hope you all won't think less of me.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Ten Things Tuesday

Yesterday we visited Herbert Hoover's Presidential Library and museum. Here are some things about him that I'd either forgotten or just plain did not know:

1. He was a Quaker.

2. He attended Stanford, where he met his wife, Lou Henry, also a native of Iowa.

3. His wife and 2 sons were scheduled to be on the USS Lusitania in 1915, but canceled their trip 2 days prior. Good move, since it was sunk by a German U-boat.

4. He spent $1.5 million of his own money to help Americans who were stranded in Europe at the start of WW 1 home. All but $400 was returned to him.

5. He helped get food to starving children in Europe- especially Belgium.

6. He was responsible for starting the campaign to standardize the measurements of things - like milk bottle caps, counter heights, nuts and bolts.

7. He wrote The Child's Bill of Rights.

8. He gave his presidential salary to charity- never taking any money he earned in public office for his private use.

9. Was instrumental in the building of the Hoover Dam, which I've never seen, but looks AMAZING.

10.Died at the ripe old age of 90. He and his wife are both buried in West Branch, Iowa.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Easter People

Yesterday, at Easter mass, the priest was talking about "Easter people". He told this story about going on RAGBRAI (bike ride across Iowa)with his brother and his brother's overweight, out of shape friend, who, as he described it, was riding a bike that had no business being on the road. His bike broke several times each day- flat tires, broken axels, broken chains... But, he made friends with all the repair people and got to know all kinds of other people on the ride and greeted them by name and started each day with a smile, ready to take on whatever was put in front of him. Many others would have become discouraged and given up miles ago, but not this guy.

Do you know any Easter People? Are there people in your lives who just keep going, no matter what, and don't get discouraged? In the season of Easter, if you celebrate it, and definitely in the Spring, there is rebirth. Small patches of green poke up out of brown, dormant lawns; little leaf buds appear on lifeless branches; flowers poke their heads through the snow. Look for Easter People. Try and be an Easter Person.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

It's not just ANY weekend....

I'm plugging a new (to me) band today- check out Vampire Weekend here and download one of their songs for free if you like it. We got the whole cd and I love it. Great for road trips- catchy, fun, interesting sounds.
"Oxford Comma" is especially good.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Call Webster's

I love to coin new terms and phrases. My latest? Jackassitude: having the attitude of a jackass. As in "I don't need any more of your jackassitude, young lady."

Friday, March 21, 2008

Friday Forum

So what's your take on the Easter Bunny? It's not really like Santa and I definitely think kids quit the Easter Bunny before they quit Santa. Is it a man-sized rabbit who comes and leaves candy? Is it a magical rabbit? What's up with the hiding? I could never really get a handle on just who the Easter Bunny really was. And, the mall Easter Bunny? Where you sit on his lap and get your picture taken? Is creepy. I never ever subjected my children to that.

This is one holiday I've never quite gotten a hold of my traditions. We dye eggs, we have the baskets, most years we do some sort of egg hunt, we go to church, we have a ham (although one year I made brunch instead) and usually asparagus. For several years running I made hot cross buns, which sounded, smelled and looked a lot better than they tasted. My grandmother always used to make lamb-shaped cakes for all her friends and neighbors. She bequeathed the pan to me, so I've made one several times. They're cute- you color coconut green to make "grass" for it to sit in. We don't usually get together with the whole family, although when we were first married it seemed like we did.

What do you all do? Ham? Lamb? Brunch? What does the bunny bring? He always brings Peeps, which we like after they've sat out and gotten slightly stale. Jelly beans, of course, and some sort of chocolate eggs. We have a local candy store that makes these football-sized chocolate eggs (hollow) that are filled with chocolates. Yum.

What else goes in the basket? I always used to give sidewalk chalk and bubbles and jumpropes, but they are a bit past that now. Last year I think they each got a movie.

So, do tell. What are your family's Easter traditions? What do you do? What do you eat?


Thursday, March 20, 2008

Thirteen Ways that Mrs. T is kind of "old school".

1. Sometimes I say things like "because I said so" (to my own children) and "let's have more work and less talk" (to my students).

2. My preferred soft drink is Coke (classic).

3. I make my own pie crust.

4. I think thank you notes are a must.

5. I've never used a tanning bed.

6. I enjoy listening to recordings of old-time radio shows like Fibber McGee and Molly and Jack Benny.

7. The t.v. is not on during dinner, which is usually eaten in the dining room, unless it's spring or summer and then on the porch.

8. I think if you're the newbie at a job, you need to show up early the first few weeks.

9. I still can't call my friends' parents by their first names, and with many school friends of my own children, they call me Mrs. - it's more of a reflection on the school climate.

10. I think Seven and 7 is a fine drink.

11. I think talking on a cell phone whilst (I love the word "whilst")shopping is incredibly tacky.

12. I own a punch bowl and use it. Ditto about 20 of those glass "snack sets" ladies had in the 50's and 60's for bridge club and bridal showers. It's a rectangular plate with a little place for a matching punch cup. Some of the plates are other shapes- but you get the idea.

13. I am strangely picky about the pencils I use. I prefer Ticonderoga No.2 (the yellow ones with the green metal band around the eraser). I prefer that they be pointy-pointy, sharpened with a manual pencil sharpener, not hand-held, and not electric.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Baby Steps

Barbara Kingsolver said in one of her recent books that we can all do our part at conserving precious natural resources by making just one meal at home that is from locally grown and/or organic ingredients. It seems reasonable enough, although in the middle part of the country, where I am, it's pretty slim pickin's in the winter. I have visions of cabbage, beets, rootabegas and dried mushrooms, which wouldn't be so bad for Mr. T and I, but I'm sure the girls would protest. We have a farmers market that has just recently started a monthly indoor market- locally grown wines, meat, baked goods, a few cabbages and turnips. I think we could all make the effort- just one day a week.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


This is boring teachery stuff, so avert your eyes if you are not interested.
I've made mention of the piece of crap grading program we are now required to use even though we had a perfectly good, much better, user-friendly grading program we used in previous years. The new program doesn't move students who have transferred out of the building to the end of my roster, which the old program did. That way, you still had record of them being in your class, but by putting them at the end, they didn't get in the way when entering scores from stacks of papers that are in alphabetical order. I think I need a decoy paper to put in the pile so I don't get halfway done and realize that all the scores I've entered are one person off. It could be like setting a place for Elijah. It could be my Elijah paper.


Monday, March 17, 2008

And the winner of the "Close, But No Cigar" Award is.....

Dear Spanish 2 Student:

"La mula" does NOT, nor did it ever mean "the money". I do appreciate your nice handwriting and the fact that you did include the article "la", but you couldn't be more wrong.
Thanks for playing,

Mrs. T

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Beware the Ides of March

Remember that from 10th Grade English? Do you know what it means? In literary terms, it has come bring a feeling of impending doom, that something bad is going to happen.
However, thanks to "Information, Please", I learned that it's something much, much more boring than that:

"The term Ides comes from the earliest Roman calendar, which is said to have been devised by Romulus, the mythical founder of Rome. Whether it was Romulus or not, the inventor of this calendar had a penchant for complexity. The Roman calendar organized its months around three days, each of which served as a reference point for counting the other days:

* Kalends (1st day of the month)
* Nones (the 7th day in March, May, July, and October; the 5th in the other months)
* Ides (the 15th day in March, May, July, and October; the 13th in the other months)

The remaining, unnamed days of the month were identified by counting backwards from the Kalends, Nones, or the Ides. For example, March 3 would be V Nones—5 days before the Nones (the Roman method of counting days was inclusive; in other words, the Nones would be counted as one of the 5 days).

Days in March

March 1: Kalends; March 2: VI Nones; March 3: V Nones; March 4: IV Nones; March 5: III Nones; March 6: Pridie Nones (Latin for "on the day before"); March 7: Nones; March 15: Ides

Used in the first Roman calendar as well as in the Julian calendar (established by Julius Caesar in 45 B.C.E.) the confusing system of Kalends, Nones, and Ides continued to be used to varying degrees throughout the Middle Ages and into the Renaissance.

So, the Ides of March is just one of a dozen Ides that occur every month of the year. Kalends, the word from which calendar is derived, is another exotic-sounding term with a mundane meaning. Kalendrium means account book in Latin: Kalend, the first of the month, was in Roman times as it is now, the date on which bills are due."

Friday, March 14, 2008


So, my kid who is failing, but needs my class in order to graduate? Didn't show up yesterday OR today. I can't really in good conscience pass him.
As far as my chronically tardy kid, one commenter suggested rewarding him for being on time. The kid is 16 and cocky as hell. I'm not going to go there with him. His reward will be not having Saturday school.
I have next week to get through, then a bunch of kids will fail (they are failing already, mostly because of attendance and non-work) and they won't be back for D term and the dynamics of my classes will change completely. I am amazed at the big Lazy Train that so many of them seem to be riding. I hope it's not a trend.

My book club is meeting this weekend. We will be discussing "Islands in the Stream"- not the Kenny and Dolly song you may so fondly remember, but the Hemingway novel. I'm having a Hemingway block and thus have not been able to get into this book at all. Anyone out there able to give me an appreciation for him that won't make me roll my eyes and think about how seriously this guy takes (took, I guess, since he's deceased) himself? Help!

Thursday, March 13, 2008


My kids' school is all over St. Patrick's Day. Their Fun Night is held in March- never ON St. Paddy's, because too many people go out and celebrate on the actual day. They have corned beef sandwiches for sale, Irish dancers come and perform. They used to have green beer (Catholic school, don't you know) until a recent Diocesan ruling that stated that if an event was to be "kid" centered, there couldn't be alcohol. Other events that are for the whole parish are different. Let me tell you, Fun Night is a lot more Fun with a green beer, but oh well. On the day of the festivities, the kids get to be out of uniform- it's kind of cool to see this sea of green.
Where I live, we have the country's only bi-state St. Pat's parade- it starts in Illinois, crosses a bridge and over into Iowa. They throw beads, bands play. The local St. Patrick's society, together with the local paper honor the Irish Mother of the Year, there's a post parade bash. Lots of bars have all kinds of doings. My friend's brothers own a bar and they are having all kinds of stuff going on all day- fun for the whole family- including 2 green goats for the kids to pet from 11-2 on Saturday.
One of the local colleges, which is Catholic, has a tradition of the students painting the statue of the saint bearing the name of the college green. They may have put a stop to that and now they just put a green drape over it.
People were disappointed because the bishop or someone declared that since St. Pat's is during Holy Week this year, there can be no St. Pat's masses. They'll get their bagpipe fix elsewhere, I guess.

What about you? What's going on in your neck of the woods for the wearin' of the green?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Tardy Party

I am having a terrible time with students in my Feral class coming late to class. Our school doesn't have a specific tardy policy in place other than "late to your class=your problem, you deal with it". So it's up to each teacher to issue detentions or other consequences. I haven't ever had such a problem. One kid- the one who is kind of a sociopath, comes late every damn day- and to top it off, we've got lunch in the middle of the class period and he comes back late from lunch as well. I've issued detentions, which he has not served. I've called home and been ASSURED by his mom that he would serve his detentions on Monday. He acts like I'm moving the clock hands on purpose just so he's late. Never mind the 2 bells that go off- the one-minute warning bell and the actual "you need to have your ass to class" bell. Then the kid wants to negotiate and serve before school. Eff that, I don't have to be there until 7:30, I usually get there at about 7:15. Like I want to start my day with him.

So I ask you: what to do with the Frequent Fliers? Do I keep issuing detentions? I'm beginning to feel like that idiot principal in The Breakfast Club who keeps giving Judd Nelson's character more and more Saturdays in detention.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Teacher Talk Tuesday

We have the rest of this week and all of next week, which includes Finals, before Spring Break. Our kids are nutty. They will not shut up for love nor money. They have no idea they are talking. They just sit and open their mouths and sound and words come out. Amazing, really, save for the fact that it makes me want to place my head in the doorway and close the door on it repeatedly.
I have kids who continue to be absent and do no work. How the hell do they expect to pass? One boy who has missed about 16 days - maybe 5 of them legitimately- handed his messy notebook to another student to give to me. Is it bad that I refused to look through it? I told him he was more than welcome to SHOW me his missing work, but I wasn't going to go on a scavenger hunt to find it. He was here yesterday, gone today. I don't know why he's even bothering at this point, since he had like a 17%.
I also have several music kids who are leaving on a trip tomorrow and will return Monday. Great timing, that, especially given all the other lost instructional time we've endured this term.
Lord, just get me through.

Monday, March 10, 2008

The Wind Blew Us Back Via ChicagoDes Moines in the Middle of the Night

In addition to traveling to Des Moines and back on Friday for the basketball game, we also went to Des Moines yesterday for the Wilco show. It's about a 3 hour trip one way.
Before the show, we ate at a Bosnian restaurant. There is a fairly large Bosnian community in Des Moines, I guess they don't mind the Iowa winters. Anyway, the food was tasty- lots of grilled, spicy meat and spongy Bosnian flatbread. The only other customers were other Bosnians. I love small ethnic restaurants- especially when the menu says things like "Sandwiches (it come with the French fries)". It feeds my inner ESL teacher! When I taught ESL, it used to make me kind of sad when our kids would test out of ESL and stop saying their ESL-isms. It was very endearing to me.

After our tasty Cevapci and something else that I could neither say nor spell if my life depended on it and equally tasty Burek, we headed to the Val Air Ballroom for the Wilco show. In addition to being a FANTASTIC show- starting out mellow and introspective and finishing up with my favorites and coming out for 2, count'em, 2 encores, it was also a great night for people watching. There were old people, young people, people with kids, pregnant women, people who brought their 80's hair and clothes with them. There was one woman who stood for the entire show, even though she was at a table and could have sat down, she sang along to every single song, danced (badly) and had this big goofy grin on her face the whole time. At one point, she was standing on her chair, just a singin' away- she looked like she really thought the band was singing to her. She was like a trainwreck, though- couldn't keep my eyes off her!
VERY short night, quite tired today, but definitely worth it!

Saturday, March 08, 2008


Ah, sweet Saturday! Tomorrow we Spring Forward, which I cannot even believe. Isn't it awfully EARLY to be doing this? Thanks, W.

Today's plan:

1. Catch up on the endless mountain of laundry that was sent here to tie me to my home. I get kinda ocd about it- once it's all done, then I do this itty bitty loads of the scrap laundry so I can then safely say that ALL of the laundry is done, save for the clothes on our backs. I stuff clothes into creaky dressers, slide hangers to the end of the closet rod.

2. Get Lydia a 1st Communion veil. She can wear Claire's dress from 2 years ago, and probably the shoes, and the white sweater in case it's cold. I want her to have something that's just hers, though.

3. Lesson planning for the week- I've got about 10 show choir kids who will be going to Florida this week and will miss about 4 days of class. Ugh. I hate the makeup work.

4. Watch our boys play for the State title, which they've not held since 1979. No pressure....

5. Go to bed EARLY, or what feels like early, since we'll be LOSING an hour of sleep tonight! Not that I'm upset by this in the least, or anything.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Paying it Forward

So, the boys basketball team headed to Des Moines today for round 2 of the State Championship. They won by 7 points against a Cedar Rapids team.

We didn't have much time between Wed.'s victory and today's game to round up chartered fan buses, but managed to get 2 or 3. One of our staff members had a list of kids who were not going to be able to afford to go. He took it upon himself to take up a collection from our staff to cover the cost of their bus trip and ticket ($25). Because of the generosity of our staff, 24 kids were able to go. PLUS, once they got on the bus, they were handed a plain white envelope, that when they opened revealed a $10 bill for them to spend on food at the arena. I hope they remember that and pay it forward some day when they are asked to pitch in so that a group of kids can go do something fun.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Thirteen Days of Lost Instructional Time this Term (aka Quarter)

1. 1st day of term In order to NOT have our finals mid-week and start a new term the very next day, followed by a 4 day weekend, we added 2 days to B term.

2. 2nd day of term See #1.

3. 1/2 Snow Day In anticipation of a big storm, we spent the morning fussing about it, they called a 2 hour early dismissal at about 9, which meant the rest of the day was pretty much shot.

4. Snow Day One of the few that was actually warranted.

5. Snow Day This one was just to give maintenance and Public Works a chance to get streets and parking lots cleared.

6. ITEDS That would be the Iowa Tests of Educational Development for those of you out-of-staters.

7. First Spree Aud I guess some places call them assemblies. They announced the candidates for Spree King and the band played and they introduced the winter sports teams. We were on an alternate bell schedule, but still, it messed with our day.

8. Second Spree Aud They crowned the Spree King and the Show Choir performed.

9. Pep assembly for Boys Basketball tea A big send off to the boys as they prepared for round one of the finals.

10. State basketball game Not an early out, but also not a normal day- kids excited to go on the fan buses (6 student buses and 2 adult buses).

11. Day after game That would be today- lots of kids gone because they got back late and stayed home to sleep. Others just stayed up in Des Moines because they are playing again tomorrow, since they won yesterday.

12. 3 hour Early Out Yes you heard me. 3 hour early dismissal so everyone can make the 3:30 game in Des Moines tomorrow.

13. It's out of order, but I also was gone one day in January, so they kids did sub work, which isn't the same as me being there.


Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Soup Supper

Every Wednesday during Lent, our church has a Soup Supper. Different groups within the church sponsor them- the Altar and Rosary, the Men's group, the choir, etc. People either bring a crock-pot of soup or a dessert. Then, at 5:30, they open the doors and people come eat. They have a basket for a good-will donation, which then goes to Catholic Relief Services or Operation Rice Bowl. At first, I was hesitant to go to this- I thought it was going to be all churchy and we'd have to sit and discuss Bible stuff or Lent stuff, which is all fine and good, but not necessarily what I really want to do on a Wed. evening. What I found out, though, was that it's just fellowship. Come together, eat some soup, talk to friends and neighbors, recite some prayers from "Liturgy of the Hours"- like evening vespers, and then go home. And the prayers we recite are actually very beautiful- I don't care what your religious affiliation is or is not, it's really beautifully written.
What a nice thing for us in the middle of the week, in the middle of the dreary winter. How lucky are we to belong to such a great community?

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Ten Things Tuesday

Ten Things We Say at La Casa de T that no one else understands:

1. "Oh, Hitler!" / "Hitler! Did you do that?" This is in reference to a bit on Conan. They were showing what Hitler's childhood was like- they did it in "Leave it to Beaver" style and had some dopey kid play the title character.He got into all kinds of mishaps- spilling his milk, breaking the neighbor's window while playing catch. The tagline was him shrugging and then grinning into the camera and saying "That's why they call me Hitler!"

2. "Fuck you, Library Lady!" Of course we don't say this in front of the girls, and it's not something we say to each other, just as a reaction to a situation. It's from a story that a colleague told about a boy in our district who, unfortunately, was killed. All the teachers who had had him were telling stories and our librarian told this gem: She was working with the sixth graders in the library , when this stray little boy, a kindergartner, wandered in. She stopped in the middle of her presentation to ask him, "James, can I help you? Where are you supposed to be right now?" He curled his lip, gave her a look from hell and said in his meanest 5 year old voice, "Fuck you, Library Lady!" and stormed out of the library just as fast as his little velcro shoes could carry him.

3. "so and so's" Cabana Boy- This is in direct reference to a pain in the ass my husband used to work for. She really did treat him like the cabana boy, only without any of the sexual undertones.

4. "White folks wouldn't let us join their wagon train, so we made our own!"- of course , from Blazing Saddles. We say this if we are making fun of someone who has gotten their undies all in a wad about something dumb.

5. "Eight thirty!"- what we say in response to "Say when!"

6. "Blah- Blue"- what Mr. T called Pepsi when he was a wee tot. We don't know why.

7. "Eight dollars and forty six cents, Albino!" - we use whatever price that fits the situation. It goes back to my college days. I had a roomate who told this story about how she and a friend got a case of the raging giggles and started adding "Albino!" to the end of every sentence. I'm sure it involved them seeing an overly pale person and getting the giggles as only a teenaged girl can. Try it. I'm sure you'll laugh.

8. "Who gonna get on who?" - we use this to talk about illicit teen sex. I know, yuck. It's from an awful note that was confiscated when I was teaching middle school. Some skanky girl wrote about her adventures with some equally skanky boy. We were all pretty grossed out.

9. If we hear of someone having had surgery, we usually ask each other if that person had their spine removed, not as commentary on that person's ability to stand up for him or herself, but as a reference to my brother-in-law's mother-in-law. She's not the brightest crayon in the box. Years ago, she was just sure that someone in her acquaintance had had her spine removed. "Don't you think maybe it was her spleen?" they asked her. "No, I'm pretty sure it was her spine." (picture "Far Side's" Boneless Chicken Ranch... hee hee )

10. "Blow the Stink Off"- what needs to be done when you've been cooped up inside for too long. You need to get out and blow the stink off.

Monday, March 03, 2008

I'm no mathematician, but...

I know that 50 is not the same as 0. What am I talking about? Some of you may already be familiar with the grading concept that doesn't allow students to receive zeros. Since 50 is an F and 0 is an F, the lowest they can get is a 50. My question is why would a kid who was struggling to get up to passing then try harder? They could do nothing and still get a 50. How would that work in real life? I owe Jack $100. I don't have enough to pay him back- so I agree to pay half now and half in a month. Only, I don't really want to give him $50, I want to go shopping. So, I give him nothing. Because 50 and zero are the same, right?

Yes, the middle schools in my district think this grading system is a good,good thing.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

I know it's cheesy, but, it speaks to me.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Blog 365

Just for clarification, the Blog 365 gave everyone Feb.29 off.

We are supposed to blog everyday. Well, I've got posts for every day- sometimes I'm just a bit late posting them. Just like my "journal" I had to keep for what seemed like every damned Ed. class I took in college. Yeah, I pretty much dry-labbed those suckers.