Archive for November 2009

Note to Self – Moving Edition

November 29, 2009

Dear Self,

You should probably donate half of the stuff you own, cross out anything on your Christmas list for the next 10 years, and stop thinking of ways that the useless junk you have could be re-purposed!  I can  not believe the amount of packing that you have done and the tiny dent you have made in the rest of the shit that needs to be packed.  What is wrong with you?  Do you live in a society that is strong-arming you into materialism?  Are you falling into the realm of hoarding?

All that can be said is, dear lord, please, please, please , do not buy another thing until you have officially unpacked and sifted through every single item you are about to pack up overnight before all the help arrives to take this mess to the truck.

Sincerely,

Jennie

Twilight

November 19, 2009

Despite the fact that I have the dreaded H1N1 Flu, I am off to the movie theater tonight at midnight to watch the opening show of New Moon.  I love, love love love love love love love love, Twilight!

 

I will let you know more tomorrow about how deliciously wonderful the movie turns out to be.

Day of Rest

November 15, 2009

Tomorrow I am taking my first sick day of the school year and I can not tell you how much I wish I were not taking it because I were sick.  However, sleeping in and doing nothing are calling my name.

How do you spend your sick days?

Weekend Recap

November 9, 2009

Okay, this weekend was Terrible!  Yes, terrible with a capital “T” and that is not all the of the words I can think of but, it is just about the best that doesn’t include swear words.

Saturday (on my day to sleep in until noon) we got up early (before 9 am) and went to the Zoo.  The zoo has always been a fun trip and usually we take public transit and then walk the last mile-ish.  This time I really didn’t want to wake up the additional hour early to take the train so we took the car instead.

Now, despite our usual tendancy to be late for absolutely everything, we were the first ones there (though still 1o minutes late).  We wandered around a little, saw the lions sleeping lazily like I wish I was, and then waited for our family to show up.  Everything is good so far right? Right!

Family arrives, children hug cutely and talk excitedly about being at the Zoo, reminding me why in God’s name I am up this early on a Saturday.  We start walking around looking at animals and kind of let the kids direct us as to where we should head next.  We hit the Sea Lion habitat and are looking and only catching small glimpses because the bastards like the water.  Who knew?  We decide to head down to the underwater viewing area and kind of split up so as not to clog one entrance, figuring on meeting somewhere with a decent view of these stupid lovely animals.  We are all down there faces pressed to the glass looking, talking, and making jokes about the glass leaking water.

After about 8 minutes or so, my husband looks up and says “where is our son?”

I vaguely shrug and say “isn’t he with you?”

To which I hear “No, I thought he was with you!”

At which point we both begin looking about and calling for our lovely boy.  He is no where to be found in this dank dark weird place so we each leave the entrance we came in running (which since my hip surgery, isn’t something I do often) and looking around out front in all of the easy places, meeting up in the middle, childless.  Needless to say, I am already having a minor heart attack and picturing all of the horrible things that could have happened in this lost time.  I tell my husband to start looking and that I am going to tell a Zoo employee and and keep scouting the nearby area.

I get to a Zoo employee and tell them that I have “misplaced” my son and he gets that alarmed look and says “Okay, Ma’am, I will call security right now!”

The lady on the walkie talkie responds to this by saying very nonchalantly “yeah, I will be there in about 5 minutes if I can.”

Here is where I truly begin to lose it!  5 Minutes!?!  Are you fucking kidding me?  That is a long time and granted, yes, I lost my kid, but what the fuck does zoo security really have to do, because as I find out later in my story,  it really can’t  be that much.

Cute boy

Imagine losing this and the fear that sets in your heart at that moment. He is older now, but will always be this adorable to his mother!

So, I start looking around on my own, and my husband is still looking, and I must have a good panic stricken look going because a few strangers are staring at me funny and one couple asks if I am okay.  I tell them of my situation and the guy is asking me what my kid looks like, and what he is wearing.  To this man and woman who began helping me look for my child, let me please say Thank you!  A thousand times, Thank you!

This search goes on for about 5 minutes (still no damn security by the way) when I look across the area we are in to see my husband looking like a night in shining armor carrying our 5 year old son.  Other than the shining armor part, he also looked like he was about ready to have a heart attack and die on the spot.    I thank the wonderous people helping me and point out my husband and run over there, and kiss my son while thanking God.

Crisis one, ended well.

Life continues pretty much as planned with a bit more hand holding and constant double checking the number of children in our group.  We stay at the zoo and play, eat a picnic lunch, roam and just generally enjoy oursleves.

It has now been about  6 hours and we are all hungry again and thinking of going out to eat.  So, we make sure we have everyone and head to the car.  We walk the million miles across the zoo, over the hills and through the woods and parking lot to finally make it to our car.  I am putting our daughter in her car seat when my husband opens and trunk and calls me there to ask if I was rooting through the diaper bag before we left the car.

“Ummm, no.  I just put it in the trunk.”  said tiredly and meanly.

“Well, Jennie, are you sure look at this.”

Hmmmm… thinking, thinking, yup still thinking.  “Well, I guess I could have done that, I don’t know.  Let’s just get to the restaurant and think about this.”

“Okay, I will go put the address in the GPS.”

Two seconds later, “Uhhh, Jennie! Our car has been broken into, the GPS is missing.”

“Wait, what? You’re sure? Did you look over here?” playing the role of naive and stupid today is Jennie.

After going through the rest of our car, it is clear that my purse, the GPS, some toll money, and 24 childrens novels are missing.  Oh, that’s right I said it, 24 children’s novels.  Who in their right mind, in a quick in and out kind of  theft scheme has the fucking time and space to steal children’s books.

So, we call the police, get a report number and are told basically sorry, better luck next time. On the way out of the zoo we figure we should tell the people who are now forcing us to pay 19 dollars for this lovely parking place and they say, “well, you can call the actual zoo, but that’s not my job.”

So, to recap, I hate the Zoo and their Shitty, Shitty Security!

Bastards!

Parent-Teacher Conferences 2009

November 4, 2009

To be honest with you, in the last few years as a teacher this has been one of the hardest few days each year.  First, it is two days in a row of full teaching for 7 hours and then two evenings right after that of 4 hours of meetings with parents which makes for a really, really, long day.  Today was no exception, but, today I needed this more than I knew.

Some background before I get too far into tonight’s story.  I have been at my current school for going on 3 years and have had pretty much the same students for that entire time.  My first year conferences were stressful, filled with tears of frustration on both sides, and many wrong turns on my part.  Ever since, I have had a phobia of these two nights.

Even after 2 years, I dreaded conferences today as well and every second leading up to them was pure torture.  All I could picture was parents being upset and crying and saying “this is why they never come to these meetings.”  The difference was that this year I was beyond prepared, I have had each of these students for such a long time I am able to really address the good, the bad, and ugly in depth with a lot of proof to back it up.

There was one appointment for me tonight that made my entire career in Special Education worth it.  This young man has made so many gains in the time we have been working together that he has gone from reading on a 1st grade level to reading on a 6th grade level and comprehending what he is reading too.  From struggling socially, to being able to have basic interactions with peers successfully.  From being a disorganized mess, to learning a system to help keep him prepared for class and knowing where his materials are.

Discussions his first year were more about where were his parents and getting them involved in his life and education. I discussed how much improvement we could make if we work together and actually ended up arguing about whose job it is to help this child be successful.

Parent Teacher Conferences suck!

These kinds of things have actually been said.

Two years later, we talked about not only this students success, but his families success. His mom talked about how they are having family night once a week now, they do homework daily together, they discuss school each day, and they talk honestly about issues that teens face and she said “if it hadn’t been for you, my son would still be a mess and without that push you gave us, I wouldn’t know my own children the way I do now.  Thank you!”  And then, she hugged me! Not just any hug, either.  I am talking full on embracing with rocking and crying in joy.

We were both crying by this point and I was just so happy to hear what a difference I have been able to make, and to realize that no matter how frustrated I get some days, that I am doing what I was made to do.  It is not often a teacher gets these moments so early in their career and it was just much needed and so wonderful!

Score One for Stupidity

November 1, 2009

I am currently taking a college course while working and every week is a practice in last minute bullshit, but this week I have come to an all time high.

I began with good intentions a full 11 hours before my paper was due and began diligently writing.  A few hours later, I had managed to write, edit, and turn in the paper.  Feeling pretty good about myself, I went back to the assignment section of my class to look at what is due for next week, only to find out that I totally messed up and did the work for next Sunday, not today.  I can not tell you how pissed off I was at my own stupidity.  Now, I am down to the wire, with all of my paper writing motivation used up, with a two page paper due in a few hours on the glory of Response to Intervention.  Let me tell you, it is not so glorious, and I am out of things to say about it.

Here is my play list to help me write this extreme load of crap, each inspiring in their own way.

Eye of the Tiger

Jesse’s Girl

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

Viva La Vida

I Won’t Back Down

Say Hey (I Love You)

Another Brick in the Wall

What do you listen to when you are working and need help getting started?