Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Udderly Convinced

I so want this t-shirt for our first staff development this summer. How do you think it will go over with the powers that be? I am addicted to this website because of a long standing need to paper every binder that I have with witty stickers. At least I think they're witty. My own delusional way of sticking it to the man. So sad.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Man's Best Friend

Dear Mr. Pickup Man,
I nearly caused a wreck trying to get off HW 75 in McKinney when I saw your dog running back and forth across your open flatbed. See, I just didn't want to be there when your dog fell out of the truck and was run over. Lucky me, I looked over my shoulder and saw you swerve around stopped traffic at HW 380. Guess what I saw? Your poor dog fall out of your truck. How in the world he missed getting run over by you, your horse trailer, or on-coming traffic-I don't know. How he missed the cars on the service road or how you missed getting run over yourself running across 75 after him I don't know. All I know is I pulled over to the side to see if I could stop him and watched you scoop him up and pat him on the head. I hope he is okay. I hope you took him to the vet. I hope that you learned your lesson and put your poor dog in that big pickup cab with you from now on. I got back in my car and cried and shook for quite a while before I could drive away. Mr. Pickup man, your dog was put through something terrible today and you received a little grace from God today. I hope you pass the word around that your dog is so precious that you will never, ever again put him in the back again. I hope that you tell others and that they take better care of their dogs also. Why isn't it a law that dogs don't run free in the back of pickups? Unfortunately, this article is seven years old.

Texas A&M Veterinarian Says Dogs And Pickups Don't Mix
COLLEGE STATION - It seems as if everyone and his dog has a pickup truck in Texas - and dogs may be the worse off for it. Texans love their pickups, and dogs seem to love riding in the back, a sight so familiar it has become commonplace. But it can be downright deadly for dogs, says a Texas A&M University veterinary professor. "We see numerous cases of injured dogs who have been hurt because they were riding in pickup trucks," says Dr. Deb Zoran, a professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine's Small Animal Clinic who is familiar with such injuries. "These dogs' owners just don't think a serious injury will happen, but it often does. And very often, the dog is killed or has to be put to sleep." There are no Texas laws governing dogs riding in pickups. Zoran says many dog owners don't want the dog in the front cab because it's either dirty or wet, or they believe the dog enjoys riding in the pickup bed. "They place them in the back of the pickup and go barreling down the highway at 70 miles per hour, and that's when disaster can strike," she adds. "Dogs have padded feet, which means they can't grip or hold on well at all," Zoran explains. "If the driver has to make a sudden stop or sharp turn at high speed, the dog has one way to go - flying out of the truck. The injuries that result are very serious." If they survive the fall, many dogs go on to suffer broken legs, hips or backs, the Texas A&M veterinarian notes. "One of my best friends lost a dog that way. He turned, the dog jumped out of the pickup and he ran over him," Zoran recalled. "He was devastated and said it was the best dog he had ever owned. He didn't think anything would ever happen to his dog in the back of his truck." "It's legal to let a dog ride in the back of a pickup, but it's certainly not something we recommend," Zoran believes. Zoran says if a dog is in the back of a pickup, it should be placed in some type of carrier or tied down with a harness or restraint. "There's probably not a veterinarian in Texas who hasn't treated a dog injured from riding in a pickup truck," Zoran adds. "It is so common now, especially in rural areas, to see dogs leaning over the rail in the back of a pickup, but owners should realize that it is not a safe place for a dog they love."
Contact: Keith Randall at (409) 845-4644 or Deb Zoran at (409) 845-2351 06/22/99

Monday, March 12, 2007


*Look at the list of books below.
*Bold the ones you’ve read.
*Italicize the ones you want to read.
*Leave blank the ones that you aren’t interested in.
*If you are reading this, tag you’re it. A friendly raspberry to Learn Me Good.

1. The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown)
2. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
3. To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)-such a wonderfully written book.
4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
5. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien)
6. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
7. The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien)
8. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)
9. Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
10. A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)
11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)
12. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)
14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
16. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Rowling)
17. Fall on Your Knees(Ann-Marie MacDonald)
18. The Stand (Stephen King)-incredible book though Salem's Lot is still my favorite.
19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban(Rowling)
20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
21. The Hobbit (Tolkien)-it all started here.
22. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)-I Still think that Jo married the wrong guy.
24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)-started it and will not finish it.
25. Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
26. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)-had my towel during labor. Ford was right!!!
27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)-Oh, soooo dramatic!!!!
28. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)-I love the entire series but Prince Caspian is my favorite.
29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
30. Tuesdays with Morrie(Mitch Albom)
31. Dune (Frank Herbert)=my lord the movie was bad!!!!!
32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)
33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)-someone shoot me if I ever try to read her again.
34. 1984 (Orwell)-still get it and Brave New World confused. 10th grade required reading.
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
37. The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
38. I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb)
39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)-very silly in retrospect.
42. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)-guilty read.
44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)--I bawled for days reading this book. I think it traumatized me.
45. Bible-honestly, I mostly look at the pictures in the family bible.
46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
48. Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)==Anyone read Teacher Man? Loved it.
49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)-my family during the Depression.
50. She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
51. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
53. Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)--my hubby made me read it. No big deal, sorry.
54. Great Expectations (Dickens)--still haunted by the moldy wedding cake image.
55. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)-I don't get it. Oh, the poor, poor rich.
56. The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)
58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
59. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)--Hellooooo Christian Right Republicans.
60. The Time Traveller’s Wife (Audrey Niffenegger)
61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
63. War and Peace (Tolstoy)
64. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)
65. Fifth Business (Robertson Davis)
66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)-read it in Espanol.. Boy I used to be smart. What happened? I think I might try this again in English.
67. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (Ann Brashares)
68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
69. Les Miserables (Hugo)--been avoiding this for years because my sister is tooo crazy about it. 70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
71. Bridget Jones’ Diary (Fielding)
72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)
73. Shogun (James Clavell)
74. The English Patient
75. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
76. The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)
77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
78. The World According To Garp (John Irving)-memories of reading this as a 13 year old floating on a tube tied to a tree at Lake Texoma. Why was my mother letting me read this?
79. The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
80. Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White)-I LOVE THIS BOOK in a girlie voice.
81. Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley)
82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)
83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)-required 7th grade reading. Boy, my teacher loved Mystery Theater.
84. Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
85. Emma (Jane Austen)
86. Watership Down(Richard Adams)-Everybody who was anybody was reading this in high school. I didn't. Boy I am hard-headed.
87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)=1984 anyone?
88. The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
89. Blindness (Jose Saramago)
90. Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91. In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)92. Lord of the Flies (Golding)
93. The Good Earth(Pearl S. Buck)-this book helped me to leave my first husband.
94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd) This is a simple book but oh so sweet.
95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
96. The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)Ponyboy!!!!!!
97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
100. Ulysses (James Joyce)--I can't stand James Joyce.
101. Jurassic Park-I thought Jeff Goldblum was cast perfectly for the movie.
102. Learn Me Good-of course.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

In 7th grade way back in the day, I got a chance to hear Richard Peck read from his latest book at the Fretz Park Library and even got to interview him. In my eyes, it was like interviewing a celebrity on the red carpet at the Oscars. I was a painfully shy student and avid reader who did not have access to a school or public library until 5th grade. I was selected to work in the library during 6th grade and Ms. Lake(later remarried as Ms. Pickle)(what a great name for a librarian) certainly made me figure out the Dewey Decimal System pretty quickly. She also let me write for the school newspaper and check out as many books as I could walk out the door with. I continued working in the library at 100 Hundred Farmer Junior High and became transfixed by Ray Bradbury's books. The librarians there were task masters also but would sit down with me and we would have our own little reading club circle. They gave me avenues to explore and listened to my opinions. That access to books and people kept me from going crazy. I have of late considered getting my librarian certification. When we go to the downtown library, I spend most of my time on the second floor among the kids books. I love to discover new authors and revisit old friends. I sometimes fight with my daughter over who will get to read which book first. I wish that all of my students felt this way about books. Our librarian was grumping a bit about spending 'library money" to order graphic cartoon books; there has been such a demand for them from the kids in the cartoon club. How silly to think it a misguided purchase. Tempt them through the doors. Make them walk the aisles. Maybe they'll pick up another book to go along with Spiderman. It's a start. They're reading for crying out loud. Give them a chance to pick out a book just because the book jacket looks cool. Just like letting that girl who never spoke to anyone work in the library. Who knows what would happen. Thank you ladies of the library and Mr. Peck. Your books opened the world to me.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Micky Mouse Sweatshirt-to hire or not to hire?

Went to a mass job interview session sponsored through the district. I was actually sent there to hire people for our school. Here are my observations of some of those poor people wandering in the high school gym.
1. Don't gel your hair into a Mohawk.
2. Please don't keep your Bluetooth attached to your ear. With the Mohawk and ear piece, you look like something from Star Trek.
3. Please don't sit sideways and avoid eye contact. We really do want to hear about you.
4. Please don't say that you want to be friends with your students when we ask how you would handle classroom management.
5. On the other hand, don't tell us that your students should be scared of you either.
6. Loved to see you come alive when talking about your students. That's what's it's all about, baby!
7. Don't make personal comments about the interviewers while standing in line. I am a teacher and a mommy. I've got freaky hearing and I think my hair is looking a bit too orange also. Thank you.
8. Don't stare at my boobs. Find some other place to look if you don't like eye contact.
9. Speaking of boobs, please wear a shirt under the two button jacket.
10. Please bring an updated resume. If your numbers are wrong, we can't call ya back.
11. Wow! Some of the resumes were technological marvels. Please bring one. It helps us to remember you better.
12. I understand the word cattle call better now. Thank you for being patient with us. I know that it was way too hot and the boys gym was beginning to smell like a stable. We really did enjoy talking with ya'll. You certainly prepared me for my own job interviews.