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!