Friday, June 08, 2007

Learning to have car claustrophobia

Tomorrow I leave on the second of my summer get the heck out of the swamp trips. A friend and I are meeting some other people in Hot Springs for our first ever girl gathering! I am so excited! Sonic Sue, my pal, was a librarian, is a red head and cannot pass a Sonic Drive In without getting a Route 44 Diet Coke. I drink vanilla Dr. Pepper.

We plan on visiting the Southern Living house while in Hot Springs and enjoying non swamp weather. I only know 3 of the other 10 women who are coming, Sonic Sue only knows 2 of us and Margarita Prairie Rose almost everybody. It should be interesting.

After that Sonic Sue and I will drive to Utah to deliver the family baby cradle to my baby, whose wife is having a baby! Sonic Sue has never been to Utah so this should be fun. We'll do the touristy stuff, then drive back.

After that I have two days of workshops, and a day of defensive driving class. Then off to the lake for the 4th, then back home for a couple of days. Then off to South Carolina to visit Middle Man, my #2 son, and his son. Margarita Prairie Rose wants to come along. It would be fun.I have to go to the beach. I don't care what beach, just a beach! I need ocean, I need waves and sand, and a book. It soothes my overworked, underpaid, self.

Then my mother has the bright idea of me flying, we load up a rental truck of furniture and drive across country delivering to my kids. I had a better counter proposal, of drive the truck here to my place, via #3's house and then take some stuff up to #1's house and we'll see how Middle Man's life is and get him his stuff when he settles down.

Okay so why don't I just fly to all these places? Because I don't usually go to cities with major airports, and then I'd have to rent a car. So I travel by car. Even with fuel prices the way they are, it is still cheaper!

So by the time school starts I'll be fearful of any trip in a car longer than 10 minutes.

I'm changing departments when school starts and that will be interesting. Now if only the powers that be would tell me exactly what I'll be teaching. But that would be cheating!

Monday, May 07, 2007

A Mix of Good & Bad

Let's see there was jury duty and I was not selected, I have VERY STRONG opinions about people who drink and drive. I would not have been a good juror, so I'm glad I wasn't selected.

Tuesday I drove to the town with a mall, and got in a fender bender. Everyone was okay, I just felt stupid, and I got the ticket, I was in the wrong. My husband was out of town, so it was disconcerting. Today I took the car to the shop to have it repaired. It'll take over a week!

Wednesday, the car would not start, so I got a ride to work and back. I asked the neighbor if he would jump the car for me. 1 1/2 hours later with 3 grown men and a couple of friends it started! I drove it around to recharge the battery, dropped off the friend who decided to keep me company, and became ill on the way home. I decided to take a sick day on . . .

Thursday, I get a call to have the car appraised, it is only blocks from where I live, so I do that, no problem starting the car. I start the car to go back home and the battery light is red! I call onstar who advises me to get to the nearest dealer, which I do, they check the battery it is a bad battery. (BAD BATTERY, BAD BATTERY) Luckily for me I have the receipt, the battery is only 4 months old! They check everything out and I am on my way!

Thursday cont. . . Hubby and I decided to pay the extra $ to fly out of the smaller, but much closer airport. We arrive and our flight is delayed until after our connecting flight takes off, so be drive like crazy to the BIG CITY, pay to park the car and dash into the airport to find our connecting flight had been delayed almost 3 hours! (When it rains, it pours) Eventually the plane comes in, and we fly off to land in the middle of the night at our son's town.

Friday was graduation day, our d-in-l graduated with honors, had earned two bachelor's degrees! We are so proud of her! We went out to dinner and as we approached the restaurant, Son gets in a fender bender! OY! We went shopping for a combined graduation/birthday/Mother's Day present. So we bought a computer for the kids and spent the evening getting everything hooked up.

Saturday, a phone call telling us that Hubby's mum has taken a turn for the worse. So I make a bunch of hurried travel arrangements so Hubby can fly out the next day. We had some girl time and guy time, and had fetal photographs taken of the baby, a boy, due in early September. Fascinating. I also checked online and found I had passed a certification test so that I can teach an additional subject!

Sunday was spent flying, me home, Hubby up to his sister's to see his mum. I arrived home exhausted!

Monday, back to school, state scores were returned, I was pleasantly surprised! My kids did well. Hubby called and his mum is doing better, car is in the shop (I already said that). Went out to dinner and now I am home and resuming my life. OH! I have a dentist appointment and Friday I go to court to beg for defensive driving.

Like I said it's a mix of good and bad. I'm counting the days down until school is out! Aren't you?

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Collapsing on the Sofa

How do I begin to describe this week? On Sunday my sister called to tell me her hubby has bone cancer. That was a total shocker! He'll have 6 months of chemo, so far he is exhausted and depressed. I really feel he will pull through, but that this is gonna take time.

Monday I get a call from my mother's "partner in crime" Mom is now on an anti-depressant, and they have found the source of her pain and now she's doing the rounds of Docs.

Strange I don't really remember Tuesday. It must have been a good day.

Wednesday, Backpack Boy blew it. Please understand that I work very hard to convince kids to open a book and read it, but with Backpack Boy, I must take the books away so that he might participate in class. So I gently took the book away. He said then he would leave my room, I said no problem, that was a mistake on my part. He wanted the book back. He wanted to lose himself someplace on campus and continue reading. I held firm and continued to say no calmly. He loomed over me and in a threatening tone demanded the book be returned, again I replied in the negative. I turned my back to get the walkie-talkie to call for assistance, and Backpack Boy headed out the door, shouting BITCH at the top of his lungs and other phrases of profanity, he also slammed the door shut. several of the kids reassured me that I was not the B word. a couple of boys had been ready to jump to my defense if need. This took place in my "active" class. But the class was great, they were quiet and let me get the report written very quickly.

I went home and found that the father of a dear friend had passed away.

Thursday morning he appears at my locked classroom door to demand that I return the book I stole from him. I had enough foresight to give the book to the principal. When he found that I no longer had the book, he turned and cursed the length of the hallway. An administrator and his teacher herded him into the office.

During 4th period I had a student who was talking back to me say "It's not my fault if you didn't take your medications on time", Well he left my classroom too and will be returning on Monday (I have jury duty). And later that same day the Mouth of the South would not stop talking so I escorted her to the councillor's office.

Friday was a sad day I had a male student go into meltdown mode. We walked all over campus to find the Admin Asst, so that he could talk with a guy. And finally with out sharing much a student trusted me enough that I found I needed to make a report to CPS. That one broke my heart.

Today I have been emotionally numb. But we did finally find the wall paper border for our guest bedroom, and I ate homemade ice cream!

I'm sleepy, but can't seem to fall asleep. I hope yours was better than mine.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Bracing for Exams

This week students across the state will be taking the dreaded TAKS. I hate it, the kids hate it, the parents hate it, and I can't think of anybody who even thinks the tests are that valid.

So yesterday I had the "privilege" of taking a state standardized test myself. I had tougher rules to follow than the kids do. NO GUM! CELL PHONES MUST BE OFF AND GIVEN TO THE PROCTOR, WATER BOTTLES CANNOT HAVE LABELS, failure to follow these and other instructions could cause immediate failure.

The test wasn't all that bad, I felt like I was playing the tricky question game! I treated each answer as a true/false. That helped and of course I did not answer the way I thought on some some of the pedagogue questions, but the way "they " want. We were allowed 5 hours to take the test, I was done in 2. The young man who left right after me, said it was his 3rd time to take the test. I'll let ya know how I did, in 6 weeks.

Spring break was not good for me, I was ill with the doc thought was diverticulitis, but I had a colonoscopy and I do NOT have diverticulitis. Of course we still don't know what caused the pain, but I'm still here.

My slacker girl has really become a nice person. The Mouth of the South continues to prattle on, Backpack Boy is still having problems, with everything, and I fear is getting worse. He was removed from my class, because of inappropriate behavior and language in the class preceding mine. As he left the room, he shouted his hopes for our collective eternal reward, which was not positive.

I'm actually looking forward to making the change into a different department. It will be much less stressful, test wise, and I like all the people in the department. Of course nothing is "official" but when asked what I needed for next year, I replied that IF I was to teach social studies, I would need a set of maps, he told me to price them and submit a requisition!

Since we finished with the carpeting, we've started putting up new wallpaper border in two rooms, that has been fun. Taking the old stuff off, has not been fun. Now if I can only find a good border for the other room!

I shall try to update more often. It has been hectic, my bro's company downsized and now he's looking for new employment. My mom hurt herself in a fall and was not using her pain meds correctly. Add to that I was getting phone calls from friends in the old home town about mom. The my bro calls and tells me I have to go out and take care of mom! I did chat with Mom today and she is doing much better, but I was really frustrated to find out that ALL of her savings is gone! She had a very nice nest egg! It went to my bro's kids who have problems of their own and Mom loves to feel helpful, so she forks over the cash. Funny the last time I asked her to join us on a trip she told me no, she wanted to save that money so I would have more to inherit. I remember telling her that money would not buy memories or time.

So that is where I am!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Three Little Words Game

Just Three Words
One of Geek’s favorite reads, JLee at Neurotic Me, challenged everyone to try this one; you must answer with just three words. Let’s see if I can limit my tendency toward being verbose.

1. Where is your cell phone? in my purse

2. Boyfriend/girlfriend? BL =,husband

3. Hair? dyed brown with blond highlights

4. Your mother? lives in California

5. Your father? died of cancer

6. Your favorite item? books of scripture

7. Your dream last night? can’t remember now

8. Your favorite drink? Caffeine Free Vanilla Dr. Pepper ( I know it's more than 3)

9. Your dream guy/girl? one I married

10. The room you are in? Computer room upstairs

11. Your fear? loss of control

12. What do you want to be in 10 years? happily retired somewhere

13. Whom did you hang out with last night? Friend, Hubs Missionaries

14. What are you not? sleepy, patient, thin

15. Are you in love? every single day

16. One of your wish list items? new couches, chair

17. What time is it? sometime after midnight

18. The last thing you did? climbed the stairs

19. What are you wearing? comfy, cool jammies

20. Your favorite book? HOw can I choose?

21. The last thing you ate? unsalted cheese tots

22. Your life? pretty darn good

23. Your mood? kind of lazy

24. Your friends? are very eclectic

25. What are you thinking about right now? only three words

26. Your car? Grey Buick SUV

27. What are you doing at this moment? typing some answers

28. Your summer? hot and humid

29. Your relationship status? I’m happily married

30. What is on your TV screen? just cleaned it

31. When is the last time you laughed? early this afternoon

32. Last time you cried? I don't remember

33. School? Spring Break, yay! ( Amen I cannot say it any better)

That was kinda’ fun; maybe I should start talking that way everyday. I’m only kidding myself… I couldn't’t do it; I like to talk entirely too much. Still, y’all should give this one a try.

The Joys of Insomnia

Okay it's ween almost two months since I last posted and I feel badly that I haven't written more, but I didn't want to complain about the same old, same old.

Yes I am still overworked. Yes I am still underpaid, Yes I am still under appreciated, but a few nice things have happened.

In my class with the Mouth of the South, one of my female slacker types, has for some reason decided that what I have to say may have some value, so she has taken it upon herself to get the class quiet. She does not take crap for an answer! I just smile and give her two thumbs up.

Mouth of the South is somewhat quieter, meaning she settles in, and I have turned her seat so that she is not facing the rest of the class. That has worked fairly well for the last couple of weeks. She is sitting next to a student she does not like. ( I admit it was fun to put her there! Sweet revenge)

We recently had an academics meet and the students I coached in one of the forms of dramatic readings, did well. Of the 6 2 recieved Superior, the highest rating, 3 received Excellent 2nd highest rating and the last one recieved a good. She stepped up at the last minute and agreed to read. With only a couple of days of practice, she did well.

We are putting in new carpeting this week. Mostly because I am on Spring Break (plus we got a great deal!) and can be here at the house. So if you have ever had carpet laid and have a ton of books, you know that we have been packing boxes like crazy! Add to this the satellite decides to go out after we have unhooked eveything, moved it 8 feet and rehooked everything up. They are sending a repairperson on Monday which is good, I'll be at home packing up boxes and shifting things around!

Tweo of my kiddos have lost grandparents in the last couple of weeks, so I've had kids sobbing on my shoulder literally. A couple more have gone into meltdown mode and sent to the councellor.

Backpack Boy has decided that this is an issue woth doing battle over. By that I mean, I do not allow backpacks into the room for several reasons:
1. weapons could be hidden in there ( I'm really not paranoid,, but it thefirst thing everyone in my building says)
2, stuffs gets stolen from backpacks and purses. I don't allow purses either.
3 THERE IS NOT ENOUGH ROOM! I get tired of tripping over the darn things.

Backpack Boy has been in my class for more than a year ( He is a repeat "offender" ) and is well acquainted with the rule. So whenever I remind him of the rule, he gets explosive and with a look that could melt glass, he leaves the room. He is one of 4 in my class who are "emotionally disadvanted" or what ever the current phrase is. As he leaves I get on the walkie talkes and let them know in which direction he is headed.

My good kids I don't write about nearly enough. Currently the kids are all reading the Gordon Korman series, The Falconers, and The Kidnapping. So eveyday kids come to ask for those books. A lot of my good kids aren't the most competatively academically, but are just sweet people. There are several boys who hug me on a daily basis. Some of them have even commented on my hair, I started curling it, nothing else. This week a student shared the last birthday cupcake from another kid's birthday. I had a student BEG to read a book, Satch and Me, and whe he finished it loaned it out to someone else! I haven't read it yet, but that's okay I have a stack to read.

More good stuff, a few parents have approached me about having their child placed in my classroom. I just tell them to talk to the counsellor. Even nicer, was some kids who are not old evough to have been at my school but are asking can they be in my class. It is great for the ego!

I am one of very few who kknow what they will be teaching, and most likely I will be teaching social studies and world geography. I can either take a test or 4 credit hours of history to meet our districts qualifications. It seems stupid to me, as I have a minor in history. But go figure??

See what insomnia can do for you? You suddenly find the time to update the blog!
I hope you are enjoying your Spring Break, if not now then in the very near future! I also Internet shop when I can't sleep, or read. I hope y'all are doing well

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Update, I am still here

Finally, I have returned. With the new granddaughter and Christmas and my son getting a divorce, and he's taking a new job on the other side of the country, and he's moving (duh) to say the least, I have been overwhelmed! I mean I still am.

TC, is not in my class!!! YIPEE. I won't go into details, but she is no longer my problem to deal with. 6th period has not changed much, except I still have the Mouth of the South, who NEVER stops talking unless she has fallen asleep. I sent her to the AP yesterday so the rest of the kids could work. It was amazing, within TWO minutes they were quiet and working hard. But she was back in class again today and the AP told me tell her twice to be quiet and after that send her to me! WOO HOO!!

We gave benchmark exams, the ones I thought would pass did, and the ones I didn't think would pass didn't! Surprise! So now I have to crunch numbers and return a report to my principal.

The powers that be have announced that we will be combining the Literature and Writing classes. I don't like it! I don't wanna do it, but I will. I was able to attend 2 workshops, over a 3 day period last week. I also went to the dentist, so I missed 4 days! The workshops were great! All about writing and very do-able!

The dentist, well that is another story, I have to get my gums scraped! EEEWWWWWW. I am so looking forward to that. (Sarcasm) And I have to have a crown replaced. I inherited the bad mouth. My gran had gum problems, my dad had to have tons of dental work done, and I inherited their genes. Oh Gran is on my mom's side of the family! Genetics aren't they a hoot??

Other than that we're all fine and healthy, except for my mother-in-law who fell and broke her hip. She lives in a different state, so I all I can go on is the report of my sis-in-law who says she doesn't look great and the doc who says she's doing great!

No major dramas at school, just the usual. But I am still here. I hope you are too!