Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Ok, I was probably tempting the fates by declaring that things were good. My dad had a heart attack the day after I posted the previous entry. Sigh. After my initial shock and an unfortunate drop of a fairly bad expletive in front of my kid's grandmother, we've found out that it was a mild one and he was probably lucky to have it. Sounds a bit strange, but it revealed some underlying problems that last month's battery of tests did not reveal. Don't even get me started about the validity of those tests. So, with another crisis under our belt, I toast the completion of this helluva year(not to be confused with last school year's helluva year) and wish all a much better new year. And on a final note: if any one locates last year's end of semester final, please forward it to me. I don't feel like starting out my new year by writing a new one. Salud!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

It's good

Someone asked me to describe myself the other day and I kinda drew a blank. I actually went and stared at myself in the mirror trying to put adjectives to the person that I feel like I am right now. There is so much flux in my life right now, that I'm not sure if I could even pin myself down so definitively. School is good. Kids are good. I am good. Where will I be in six months? That's a good question. Wish I could answer it. I've never been that great at changing my plans. I get an idea in my head and tend to attack that course of action until it's completed. I've always thought that might have been my saving grace because I have made up my mind to do something and just done it. As a 2nd grader, I would have told you that I wanted to be a teacher. College was never a negotiable despite all my life's twists and turns because I was going to be a teacher. I just did it. And here I am today. Recently though I've found myself letting go of more and more plans. While my family might be laughing at me right now, I'm kinda enjoying not being in control of everything. I am pretty sure I'd like to move. I'm pretty sure I'd like to be at a smaller school. I'd like to be taller but no making plans for that. Looking in the mirror, I see a lot of change happening with the person that I planned. But I'm not feeling like I have to map out the changes right now. I think I'm enjoying the scenery more and not staring at the map. It's all good.

Friday, December 12, 2008

To Bee-otch or not to Bee-otch

A certain someone called my writing whining the other day and I took a little offense to it. I guess I am a bit sensitive about the subject. My brother and sister's favorite joke is about my mom's bee-otching disease. When does relating an incident or telling about something cross the line into whining? When I'm in front of the class and am giving instructions and my students' heads go down on their desks and they start moaning complaints about how much work I'm giving, I know that its just whining. When the junior 100Farmer stomps around the house and slams the door on the way out to clean the cat box, I know its just whining. Standing in the hallway between classes talking to other teachers about students is definitely jumping aboard the whining train. If I am unhappy with someone's rude behavior to me and I tell someone else about it, is that whining? Is it whining because I didn't correct the rude behavior or try to fix the problem? Maybe its harder to judge whining when you can't actually hear the tone of someone's voice and have to rely upon typed interpretation. I don't know. When does whining morph into dumping on someone? When is it just crying on someone's shoulder? When do you pull out the "world's smallest violin" emoticon and tell someone to just deal with it? It leaves a person afraid to share anything because you dont want to be that whiny person. Especially if it makes you sound like your mother....shudder....

Friday, December 05, 2008

A Tale of Two Lunches

My school has over 3200 students and only 3 lunches. The lunchroom resembles a concert hallway rather than an actual eating area. The crescendo of shrieking females also makes it seem more like a Jonas Brothers concert rather than actual lunchtime. I am one of the fortunate teachers to be assigned to A and C lunch duty. You know I'm being facetious here, right? Hey, lets pick one of the shortest teachers on campus and put her in the middle of Bedlam. Where are all the coaches who have traditionally pulled cafeteria duty? Hey, they all have 4th period and all three lunches off together and sit down in the coach's office watching TV. Now, A lunch is fine because I'm actually stationed in the cafeteria next to the coke machines. I get to glad-hand the students, chat up the cute Campus cop and watch my kids acting goofy with their friends. C lunch is a bit different. I get to stand in the dark hallway leading from the cafeteria to the parking lot away from the eyes of all the other teachers and principals. I am blocking the greatest prize available to students: access to freedom from school. It is not a happy place and definitely keeps me out of my own happy place. Everyday I get snarled responses, muttered obscenities and crudely organized attempts at escape from the inmates..uh..students. I don't want to be mean. I want to walk out that door myself. I hate that stupid hallway. The jingle of keys being pulled from pockets must sound like the doors of prison sliding open to these kids. Until they turn the corner and there stand Ms. 100Farmers. I don't want to be the warden. If someone really pushed the issue, I'd probably suggest that they bring me back a Slurpee and just step aside for them. On the other hand, we haven't had a food fight yet and I've got my escape route planned perfectly for C lunch: out that door to the parking lot with my car keys happily jingling.