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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Gimmee a "B"!!!



Remember when I posted about him? I try not to dwell on this guy, because truly, he is the bane of my existence at work. But, this is too funny/bizarre not to share.

We have a commons area that is supervised by teachers. This man is one of them. He seems to think any kind of supervision is beneath him. He often times skips his hall duty altogether. The commons area is supervised by a bunch of other teachers, too, but they are implementing a new check-in procedure that requires a lot of people in order to make it run more efficiently. So, he arrives about 10 minutes late (for a 30 minute duty) and when questioned/chastised by another teacher, he told her that he'd been sick for about a month now and he'd had to stop and have a b.m.

I'm gonna let you all process that for just a minute.


WHO THE HELL SAYS THAT? What's wrong with him?

The thing is, he's used his bowels as an excuse many a time before. He's admitted to several people that he didn't want to stay for an inservice, so he told our principal that he had diarrhea, that his stomach was just churning. He skipped one of our department meetings - coming in and interrupting and saying in a stage whisper to the dept. head "I've got diarrhea. I'm going home, so I won't be at our meeting."
And now this. I'm positive that he's just saying it so that people will back away and not question him further. It's SO. GROSS. If I have any kind of stomach upset, I speak very vaguely about it- I say I've got a tummy bug, or stomach flu or just that I don't feel well. I certainly don't tell people about what comes out of my colon! Gross, gross, gross!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Let's be Tardy Like It's 1999

In my feral class, I average about 4-5 kids who come tardy every day. We eat lunch during that class period and many of those same kids come late from lunch - plus a few more rebels. I count them tardy in the attendance data base and nothing much happens. Yesterday, I told them "no more". If they arrived tardy - and tardy has always been and would henceforth be defined as 'arriving after the bell', then they would serve a 20 minute detention with me either the day of or the following day. Personally, this punishes me more than it does them, since I have no desire to spend my after school time babysitting them. The nice thing is, that if they don't serve the detention with me, I write a referral and they get Saturday School- just like the Breakfast Club! Only they aren't left alone in the library.

That was yesterday. Do you know how many tardies I had today? 2. And they are B.D. kids who are supposedly transitioning into regular ed. I wrote their names on the board under the heading "Tardy Party". They could care less about any consequences. The others? They care. They said things like "I ran back from lunch because I don't want a detention.", and "Mrs T, I'm going to the restroom before the bell rings- I won't be tardy, will I?"

They amaze me- the tougher I get, the better it seems to be.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Goin Sporto

I have never "gotten" the whole "root, root, root for the home team" mentality. I have never really cared about any professional, semi professional, college or high school team. In high school, sure, I went to the Friday night football games. Did I watch the game? Uh, no. Did I even remotely understand the game? Uh, no. I went to the occasional basketball game, which I understood a bit more. I've attended a couple of college football games- University of Iowa Hawkeyes. I've gone to a pro hockey game in Canada, one Rockies game, local hockey and baseball games. My kids ask if we like the Bears or the Packers. I say we don't really care either way. They ask if we like the Hawks or the Cyclones. I say we like the Hawks because they are closer and I love Iowa City, but the Cyclones because my parents went to Iowa State. Really, I don't care. I don't rabidly not care, I'm just indifferent and have always been that way about sports.

In my teacher training, we were encouraged to attend band concerts, sporting events, dances and the like to show that we connect with the students. So, I go to stuff. This year, my students were raving about our boys' basketball team. With my district i.d., I can get my whole family in for free- so we started going. And now, I get it. The kids on this team are amazing to watch - we've got one player, who I had in class last year, who is just 5'7" and he can dunk the ball. He's like a Jack Russell terrier, jumping like 4 feet in the air and coming out of nowhere. We've got a kid who was sent up here from his home town down south because he and his brother were victims of a drive by shooting, killing his brother. He's here living with a relative because his mother feared for his life. One kid had to sit out last year because of a medical condition- he's a senior and a star player. One kid got a full ride to the Citadel for next year. He's not only talented, but he's nice, too- they all are, really. Most of them have been playing together on the court and off since they were itty-bitty.
And , because of all of their stories and their drive, I am completely taken in by their team, my school's team, my community's team, my team. I am grinning uncontrollably as I listen to the local news, which I usually abhor, tell of their victory- 69-59 against The Haves- (our school being The Have Nots). We lost to them last year and did not get to go on to the State tournament. This year, since we did win, we get to go to State, the first time in 19 years. On the news, they interviewed the players after the game and of course they were all pumped up- one kid said "This is what I've been waiting for ever since I started high school!" Wow. And another, so excited and overwhelmed, said "We didn't just do this for us, we did it for everyone, all the people who come out and support us and all the people who didn't make it to state all these years."
I'm so excited for them.
And I get it now.
Sort of.

Monday, February 25, 2008

I'd like to thank the Academy

RE: The Oscars, does anyone else feel like they were just served a big bowl of "Who the hell cares?" That being said, here are my thoughts:

I thought the pair from that Irish movie that won "Best Song" were cute and that it was sweet of them to allow her to come back out and have "her moment".

I'll agree with Mrs. G that Daniel Day Lewis takes himself far too seriously.

John Stewart, I love you, but you just weren't that funny last night.

Helen Mirren, you may be a sophisticated actress and all, but you seem like you've got a big stick up your British butt.

Ellen Page, you are darling. You are fresh, you are genuine and you are unique. I was rooting for you.

Diablo Cody- Way to Go! I don't even care that you were/are a stripper exotic dancer. You're an alum of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and remind me of people I know.

The Brothers Coen- I think I want to see your movie, but only if you can promise me I won't want to hang myself afterwards.

Kristin Chenoweth et al- thank you for a bit of magic- makes me want to see "Enchanted".

Mr. Jack Nicholson- Dude, you're in your 70's. Lose the stupid shades. Are you like, stoned or what?

Penelope Cruz- I saw you on Michigan Avenue last October outside the Motorola Store when you were doing the Red promotion with Bono. Don't you remember me?

Laura Linney- I would totally hang out with you.

Ok, so I guess I cared, just a little.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Sunday Snapshot



Now, picture this in another month or so, covered in pink dogwood flowers.

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Saturday, February 23, 2008

A Breakthrough

Yesterday, I totally blew up at my feral class. I had repeatedly asked them to be quiet and then finally had to raise my voice, which I really don't like to do in the classroom. I told them if they weren't functional enough to be able to conduct themselves in a Spanish I class, I'd make arrangements for them to go elsewhere and wouldn't that be pathetic? I told them that most of them were taking the class to fulfill college entrance requirements and if they had any notion of behaving themselves the way they have been in my class, they could think again, that they would be made fun of in college. Oh, I was on a rant. I thought for sure I'd suffer for it later.

But, you know what? They bought it. Surly kids were all of a sudden nicer to me, asking appropriate questions, exhibiting wonderful behavior. It's amazing- I've seen it happen many times- especially with my tougher kids- the tougher I get, the more respect they have for me.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Girly Meme

I boosted this meme from Mrs. Chili. Thanks, Mrs. Chili!
What color is your bra? Boring white.
Do you straighten your hair everyday? Shouldn't this read "Do you straighten your hair ANY day?" Either way, the answer would have to be a resounding NO. I'm a wash, comb, product, scrunch and go girl. I spent too much time with the rollers and the hot rollers and the hair dryer trying to fight my curly hair.

Do you worry about the size of your boobs? Ugh. There's really no point in worrying about their size, is there?

What’s your favorite girly magazine?: I say that it's US Weekly, but I don't actually read it all that often. I've recently subscribed to Real Simple, if you call that girly.

Would you kill for chocolate? Nah. Maybe for a margarita, though.

Jeans or Skirts? I love skirts- long, flowy, hippy chick skirts, short, sassy skirts. I like jeans, too. But jean skirts? Not so much. Not since about 1994.

Do you wear clothes/shoes/jewelry that’s uncomfortable? Sadly, yes. Sometimes, I still hear Billy Crystal's voice in his Fernando Lamas character saying "Is better to luke good than to feel gude, dahling." I love high heels and clunky, heavy jewelry.

Did you ever spend all day/night getting pretty for a guy? "All day" is a relative term, right? I've always been able to get ready fairly quickly.

Did you ever cry during a romantic movie?: Oh, my yes.
Would you leave the house without makeup on?: Yeah, although once when I was teaching middle school, I saw one of my students at the grocery store on a Sunday afternoon (classic 'no make-up' day)and when I saw her at school Monday, she said "Mrs. T I saw you at the store and you didn't have no makeup on." Now, I try and at least trowel on some mascara and lip gloss.

Do you consider making out “unladylike”? In public, no so much "unladylike", but maybe a bit uncouth at my age. In private? Hello? I'm married. "Making out" is a bit of a novelty.

On a scale of 1-10, how fun is shopping?: Depends on the type of shopping- grocery shopping gets a negative 2. Shopping in general, no kids and looking for something other than a dress I have to have for an office party THIS weekend, bras, or swimming suits, then I'd give it a 7.5.

Are you spoiled? Define "spoiled". I have a wonderful life, but I don't think of myself as spoiled. Just blessed.

Do you think lip gloss is the best?: I like lipstick.
Do you freak out if you miss your favorite show? Not really. I hate it when I think I am taping something and there's a snafu of some kind, but it's not that big a deal to me.
Do you yell a lot? Yes, I am a yeller.

How long does it take you to get ready in the morning? I need about an hour to do it all and that includes shower, coffee, breakfast and making my lunch.

Do you wear sweatpants/pajama pants to school/work? No, and I might add that the pajama-pants-as-clothes thing is so weird to me.

Accessories make the outfit; true or false? Yes, and they can break the outfit, too.

Is pink truly the best color in the entire universe? First of all, what the hell kind of dumbass question is that? Second, to answer, honestly, I do love pink- lots of colors of pink- skip that nasty "dusty rose" color that was so popular and can be found in the color scheme of many mid-priced motels across this great land of ours.

Lip gloss a must?: Lip BALM is a must. Lip gloss is just fun.

Status? Oh-so-married.

Have you ever dressed unlike yourself to impress a guy? Like in costume? Um, no.

Do you often wish there was something you could change about yourself? I'd like to be taller and be at a healthier weight.

Gold or silver?: Both. I love jewelry and I like to "play the field" - don't want to commit completely to either one.

The guy that you like/love/whatever, what does his name begin with? M

Do you dress up too much for holidays? No, and what's "too much"?

Do you like wearing dresses? Yes, as long as it is not required that any sort of special undergarment be worn with them.

Do you write a lot of mushy love poems? No

What makeup could you not live without? eyeliner, mascara and a good, basic lipstick

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Thursday, February 21, 2008

It's not just cold......


It is Sofa King cold here. We've not had a winter like this since, oh, I'd say 1979. The natives all talk about that winter- it was very, very snowy and very, very cold for a looooooong time. We even made national news that year, when a blizzard forced the closure of Interstate 80, leaving people stranded. The people who lived close by rescued them on snowmobiles and even let them stay in their homes until it was safe for them. I wonder if anything like that would happen now, almost 30 years later. Would you open your home to complete strangers? Would you stay in a stranger's home? I like to think that I would be open to helping people in need, but to let them into my home? Let them sleep here? It would be a leap of faith, that's for sure. You know, there's the story in the Bible about the Good Samaritan- I love it. I love the idea of helping people. But. There's also the idea of self-preservation and safety and protecting one's family. I do tend to have a sixth sense about people and I'm usually right. I guess I'd stay in a stranger's home under those circumstances if it was between that or freezing to death.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

yada yada yada

Parent conferences tonight. 27 conferences in 3 hours. Again, I am fried. Basically, this is how 90% of them go: "Blah blah blah.... does/doesn't do his/her work blah blah blah... study more for tests/does great on tests..... blah blah blah....pleasure to have in class..... blah blah.... needs to practice speaking Spanish outside of class... blah blah blah.... any concerns?".

Oh, and it was about 38 degrees warmer in Alaska than it was here today. Oh, to be in balmy Anchorage as opposed to the frigid Iowa today! It is so cold here that salt will not melt the inches and inches of ice that are all over everything. And, our city is pretty much out of salt anyway. How can they be out of salt? Crazy.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Congratualtions to Me!

Getting my jammies on tonight, I realized that I had my sweater on BACKWARDS all day today.

Nice.

Monday, February 18, 2008

A Presidential Joke

This one is an oldie, but a goodie.

5 Passengers, 4 Parachutes:
A plane is about to crash. There are 5 passengers, but only 4 parachutes.
The first passenger is Rush Limbaugh. He says, "I am the voice of the Conservatives. If I die, who will speak for them?" and grabs the first parachute and jumps out of the plane.

The second passenger is Hillary Clinton. She says "I am the wife of a former United States president. I'm a senator for the state of New York, and I have a good chance of being our next president." She grabs a parachute and jumps out of the plane.

The third passenger is George W. Bush. He says "I'm the president of the United States of America. I have huge responsibilities in the world. Besides, I'm the smartest president in the history of my country and can't possibly shun my responsibility to my people by dying." He grabs a pack and jumps out of the plane.

The fourth passenger, the Pope, says to the fifth passenger, a young school boy, "I am old. I've lived my life as a good person, as a priest should, and so I shall leave the last parachute to you. You have the rest of your life ahead of you."

To this, the little boy says, "Don't fret, old man. There's a parachute for each of us. The smartest president in the history of the US took my backpack!"

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Sunday Snapshot




Pictured above is NOT a quiche, not a creme brulee type of custard tart, but in fact a Macademia Lime Tart, the recipe stolen shamelessly from the Silver Palate Good Times Cookbook, which was a wedding gift. Oh, how I loved this cookbook- chock full of shi-shi entertainment ideas and all kinds of insanely labor intensive recipes. This particular one calls for a tart crust that requires you to use a food processor- very 90's. No one on the cooking shows seems to use a food processor these days. The crust consists of flour, butter, an egg yolk, a bit of sugar and some ice water. You are supposed to refrigerate the dough for an hour, during which time it becomes rock hard. After an hour, you are supposed to wrestle with it until it becomes some sort of flattened disk that you can press into a tart pan (I used a pie pan- philistine that I am). Then you prick it and line it with parchment paper and place pie weights or dried beans on it and bake it for 15 mins at 400º. I use foil and skip the weights, as they are really un-necessary. The filling is made of sugar, lime zest, lime juice, ground macademia nuts, eggs and melted butter. I baked the damn crust for 15 minutes and it smelled wonderful- like a shortbread cookie. I let it cool and then poured in the filling. When I went to put it back in the oven, however, I had overestimated the amount of cooling that had taken place and almost dropped the pan because it felt very hot on my BARE HANDS. So some of the filling spilled up over the pan and onto the crust- I tried to fix it the best I could. Back into the oven it went. It smelled delicious- I could just picture it in all of its yummy lime-ocity, topped with whipped cream. I kept an eye on the time and peeked in at it from time to time. When the timer rang and I opened the oven door, it was like looking at the Penelope of pies.
Why do I do it? Why do I fall for it every time? The Silver Palate has once again let me down! It's my Lucy holding a football and I, Charlie Brown go running to kick it EVERY TIME, knowing full well that she'll yank it away at the last minute!

Well, I am here to say: Fuck You, Silver Palate!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

My Favorite Things

I'm going to go all Oprah on you and profess to you my Favorite Things. If this were a talk show, you would all look under your seat to find a goody bag full of my faves. Here they are in no particular order:


1.
Have you had the pleasure of Mrs. Meyers Clean Day Hand Soap in Geranium scent? Lemon Verbena is also quite lovely. She has a whole line of other heaven-scented products that you can either purchase on-line or at your local health food/organic grocery.





2.
For those of you who handle a bit of paper in a day, or who suffer from dry hands, this stuff is awesome for your cuticles. Keep it in your family room by the TV- apply in the evening while you're watching. It smells good, too.







3.
More of Burt's Bees- the lip shimmer is so great. It's a lip balm, it's a lipstick, and best of all, it smells and tastes great. I have several colors- the rhubarb and merlot. I haven't met anyone yet who doesn't like this stuff. Get one for your purse, your desk drawer, your upstairs bathroom, your downstairs bathroom.





4.
For anyone with curly hair- this stuff works wonders. I love it for days when I don't wash my hair, I can spray this stuff on and it revitalizes my curls. It's light, too, not like a hairspray.








5.
I wore foundation in my early make-up days- along with my liquid blue eyeliner, sparkly purple eyeshadow and wicked lightning bolts of blush. I always hated the feel of foundation- for a while I used the Clinique Pore-minimizer makeup and that really made me feel like a clay-face. So then I quit wearing it altogether- my skin can be prone to zits, so I felt it was better for it, in spite of what the white-coated chicky behind the Clinique counter at VonMaur might tell me. More recently, I've been concerned about sunscreen, so I've been using an spf moisturizer and in the winter I really need a moisturizer. I've noticed that my skin is looking a little blotchy, so I decided to re-visit the foundation. I ended up with L'oreal mineral powder foundation and I quite like it- it evens out my skin, but it feels very, very light.


6.
This stuff is so strong-tasting, but so delicious. It's very cinnamon-y, bit diffused with other flavors. It's perfect for a winter day, or if you've got a bit of a cold and your taste buds are kind of off.







7.
This is such a treat, without the high-calories of a flavored latte. It is by far the best hazelnut-flavored coffee I've tried. I add about 4 scoops to the pot of regular coffee- just to give it a kick.







8.
So refreshing, such a great, basic beer. Sold in the midwest, I'm not sure about elsewhere. The other Leinie brands are good, too, but the Honey Weis remains a constant.








9.
Sometimes I pretend that these are a much, much healthier alternative to other salty, greasy chips. I don't think they are, really. They are tasty, though.









10.
Oh, the pleasure of wearing Danskos! I have one black pair and am scoping out these red ones for my next purchase. I am a bit of a shoe hound, but the Dansko is something to fall back on- you can dress it up, dress it down- it's a clog.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Friday Forum

What are everyone's picks for the Oscars?
Do you think they are rigged? Do they make decisions based on whether or not people have or haven't won before? Does race matter?
I am not even sure of what movies are being considered. I loved Juno and Hairspray, and I think those are the only ones I've seen in the past year. Oh yeah, Waitress, which I also loved. I've heard good things about Bella. I'm not sure of other movies that came out in the past year that would be considered.
As far as the awards, it does seem that some actors get black-balled, while the Academy seems to LOVE everything that certain others do. So, I don't know. I enjoy the Red Carpet banter on E! and I make my post-Oscar list of movies to see, but other than that I feel quite out of the loop.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

NIU Tragedy

My thoughts and prayers go out to the victims of the shooting at Northern Illinois University- a scant 2 hours from my home. We stop in DeKalb every time we drive in to Chicago. Kids in our town go to this school. I'm wracking my brain to think of former students who have chosen NIU, hoping they are ok. Our local news has on its crawler that all classes have been canceled for the day and weekend sporting events on the campus have been canceled as well. So far they report 6 deaths and 16 more injured.
What is wrong with people? What would ever possess anyone to do something so completely heinous?

It's a bit close to home and it makes me recall that horrible day in November of 1991 when angry grad student, Gang Lu opened fire at the University of Iowa. I was a student at the University of Northern Iowa at the time and it was crazy- all the phone lines were tied up for hours, because of course, people across the country just heard "university" and "Iowa" and freaked out. If you get the chance, read the book The Boys of My Youth, by Joanne Beard. It's a collection of essays- some of which are hilarious, but also includes the author's account of her memories of that day- she worked in that office- I think she even copied Gang Lu's dissertation. Her essay brings some reality to that day- shows us how "normal" a day it started out to be.

Remember these kids in your prayers, and the survivors, too. They will need some special strength in the coming days.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Charlie Bit Me!

This is quite possibly one of the cutest things I've ever seen. It's partly the British accents and partly the shit-eating grin on Charlie's face. Enjoy.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Happy Birthday, Mr. President


It's Honest Abe's birthday today. Do you think he'd still have been president if he lived today? Would the press have mocked his rotund wife? his own gangly appearance? Would the Lincoln children have scandalized the family in some fashion? Would dirt would the press have on him? And what icons of pop culture would hitch their wagon to his star to benefit him on the campaign trail?

Monday, February 11, 2008

I can't make this stuff up.


(Rene Magritte Golconde)

We have a children's art book that has this image. Lydia was looking through it this afternoon. When she came to this one, she held it up for me to see, "Look, mom! It's raining men!"

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Ice, Ice, Baby

I'm still working on my last week's request- issues of snow, cold, ice, dead battery pack have pre-empted my efforts. Wah.

Here's how freaking cold it is today: High of 5º- dangerous windchills of -30º. It will make spring seem all the better, right? Right?????!!!!!

A visual for you:










This is our front door. Yes, it's beautiful oak. Yes, it has a lovely glass doorknob. But do you see the white stuff? That would be frost. As in frozen water. On the inside of my home.

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Saturday, February 09, 2008

Snowed Inn

That's the theme of the winter dance that in 1940 was known as the "Spinster Spree", now shortened to the more hip "Spree"- one of those girls-ask-the-guys dances. Mr. T and I will be chaperoning tonight's festivities- quite looking forward to it, really. They'll take our pictures- complete with cheesy background. We'll dance a couple of slow dances - mostly to freak the kids out, but also to make sure they aren't procreating on the dance floor. Have you seen what goes on at a high school dance lately? I'll give you an update later.


*Later:

We had a wonderful time at the dance- got our pics taken in front of the bluish background with snowflakes- awwwwww!
A few observations:
1. They were all over the map in degrees of "formal". Many couples coordinated- guy's shirt matched the color of girl's dress. Many of the guys wore a nice shirt and tie or even a suit - or at least a jacket. Lots of girls had cute, cute dresses and had their hair done. Some didn't dress up as much. Some of our more ghetto kids wore jeans and hoodies. Some of the stoner kids wore t-shirts and flannel AND brought their iPods. You know, so they could listen to music. (...wtf??)

2. The dancing? Is obscene. It's dry-humping set to music and that's all I'm sayin.

3. Once they were in the door and got their pictures taken, most of the girls ditched their shoes.

4. The girls don't wear any kind of stocking anymore. Yes, it was 30 below outside.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Who Was I in High School?

Arty Kid

Whether you were a drama freak or an emo poet, you definitely were expressive and unique.

You're probably a little less weird these days - but even more talented!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Double Your Snow Day, Double Your Fun

Well, what the hell? ANOTHER snow day! I like this week: Monday- work, Tuesday- work, but anticipate snow day so it feels like a holiday, Wednesday-SNOW DAY!, Thursday- ANOTHER SNOW DAY!, Friday-work, but it's Friday and almost the weekend!

Remind me of this in the middle of freaking JUNE, when you all are sipping margaritas on your deck and I'm correcting stacks of papers, preparing for finals.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

SNOW DAY!

Well, all hell has broken loose and we got our snow day. Lots and lots of heavy, wet snow has fallen, making travel pretty much impossible. Our district has a few schools that draw from outlying rural areas, which sometimes means that they call a late start or snow day more for them than for us city folk. Our community is also experiencing a bit of a crisis in that we are having to ration salt. As in, for the roads. To put on the ice so we don't all get killed to and from work and school.
On days like this, I'm like a kid on Christmas morning- so excited, I wake up extra early, only instead of rushing down to see what's been left in my stocking, I pad into the office and check online to see if our district has cancelled. There is some policy that states that the decision to cancel must be made before 5:30 am. Some districts already declared a 2 hour late start last night. Not ours. So, I woke up at around 4:30 and checked. Nothing. 5:00- still nothing. 5:45: Jackpot! Cancelled! Woo hoo! Mr. T works at a college and THEY cancelled, too. I crawled back into bed and slept until 9:00. What better gift than to HAVE to stay inside, all safe and warm and cozy with ALL of my family?

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Bring it On (the weather, that is)

Q: What do you get when you combine 3 squirrelly classes with the following?:

1. Voting for the school's equivalent of Sadie Hawkins "king".

2. Threat of a MAJOR winter storm and possible snow day tomorrow.

3. Lock-down drill in which all doors are to be locked, shades pulled and
students out of view of doors-lined up against the wall, lights out. No one
leaves, no one enters.

A: A whole lot of no work. What a waste of a day!

Monday, February 04, 2008

My Slice of Life

Every few years I get a doozy of a class. Sometimes they just about do me in, but now that I'm older, I get kind of a kick out of them. Here's a cross-section:

Big Boy: Remember "Lard Ass" from the movie Stand by Me, or the fat kid from Freaks and Geeks? I think he's in my class. He is this seriously large felow- nice enough, but has terrible attendance. He's been 2, maybe 3 times since the beginning of the term (Jan. 22).

Smelly Cat: This girl has other issues. Hygiene, for instance. Every day after she's been in class, my room smells like ass. Not your normal BO, but ass. I had to purchase Febreze in a refreshing orange scent. It's weird, because if you don't look at her or smell her, she is quite articulate and seemingly functional. She also has serious attendance issues.

Homeschoolers Brother and sister were homeschooled through 7th grade. Sister is only 13, but she's at the high school. They are good, sweet kids who read for fun when they finish their work early, which is almost always.

Spunky Ski Bunny: Smart, smart tomboy of a girl. Loves to snowboard, so is truly digging all the snow we've been having. She is a joy, but others might not think so- she's got kind of an edge.

The Skipper: Being transitioned out of a self-contained room. Showed up the first day. Haven't seen him since. Seems nice enough. He wrote on his intake sheet: 'I don't like it when people are disrespectful to teachers.' What would make a kid write that? Sucking up?

Gilligan: Skipper's companion in that he's also being transitioned out of BD. He brings no materials to class and got a 26% on our first test, which was insanely easy.

The Real BD Student: ironically, is not labeled as such. He has creepy, sociopathic tendencies- lacks self control, draws attention to himself at every turn. Could not be more high maintenance if he were a pageant girl. Requested to sit up front. I'm afraid if he and the girl he sits by get any closer they'll be legally married.

Thumbsucker: she doesn't, really, but she's so over the top immature, she may as well. Today, she was talking and I called her out on it because I hate when they talk when I'm talking. She of course denied it and explained that she was just moving her mouth, which she proceeded to do more of while I continued with our lesson. Also needs special seating accommodations because she has to stretch her legs, which aren't that long, all the way in front of her. She was also the girl on the day the fire alarm kept going off who shouted "I wish she'd shut up!" in response to the automated announcement "Attention!There has been an emergency! Please leave the building via the nearest exit!"

Mouth Breather Girl: On the first day of class, I have them fill out a "getting to know you" questionnaire. One of the items is "What are your academic strengths?". She raised her hand. "Um, what do you mean by academic strengths?" Nuff said.

Spicolli: Dude, I don't actually have to serve all 10 days of my suspension 'cuz I went to rehab. Excellent.

Teen Pregnancy Poster Child: Ever just get a feeling about some kids?

Big Texas Mama's Boy: He and Thumbsucker should hook up.

I do have others, believe it or not, but they don't stand out as being as interesting. I have several kids with made up names that aren't even compatible with the English language- and they are American born. I'm talking about names with no vowels.(Hermnn. Hrshl.) Maybe they took it seriously when someone asked if they wanted to buy one.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Sunday Snapshots

Ok, Adeline asked for pictures of 5 things I see outside my house on a daily basis. Since this is my blog, I'm going to interpret this as things that I see daily while out and about and NOT things in my yard.

You can expect to see pictures of the following very soon:

1. the school where I teach

2. the view from my classroom window

3. my kids' school

4. our church

5. view from staff workroom

Stay tuned!

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Saturday, what a day

It's technically Sunday, but I haven't gone to bed yet, so it's really Saturday, right? Anyone know how to change the date on my post so it LOOKS like I posted on Feb. 2?

So, quite the day. Groundhog celebrating- did he see his shadow, or no? In my mind it seems like you get 6 more weeks of winter no matter what anyway.

Claire's hamster Molly died today- she's sad and I'm trying to be supportive, but it's a hamster. You can get a replacement hamster for $8 at Petco. I didn't actually say that, but I did think it.

I felt kind of bad tonight. We were at a party with some teacherish friends of mine and were talking about the High Schools that Work. This woman was telling me how compliant their school was with the program and I piped up with the fact that I'm not an easy sell on things like this and she just looked at me like I was a horrible person. Is it really that bad of a characteristic?

Friday, February 01, 2008

Daytrotter

Not only did my town make the Chicago Tribune (yesterday's paper- big picture and article in the entertainment section- is it the Tempo? ), but these are our friends. It's a cool thing- reminds me of the Sun Record studio in Memphis- you can rent studio time and have them record your session and play on whatever equipment is there- just like at the Daytrotter studio. I think it's a cool concept- originally the idea was to catch bands coming off I-80, travelling to and from Chicago and Omaha, Iowa City.
I love stuff like this- local people doing what they love.