Friday, March 27, 2009

A pool of Substitutes: throw that one back

Walking down the hallway, I spied a "let say" very interesting man sitting in a student desk in the hallway. By sitting down, I mean crammed so tightly in there that he seemed to be bulging from the top of the desk. If you put a 250 lb. bullfrog into a suit and put him in a school desk; this is what he would look like. The desk was so crammed that the bolts holding it together seemed to be strained to a popping point. He had a huge pompadour of sprayed hair and was almost screaming into his cell phone. A substitute you ask? Is it Friday? Is this person a bit on the odd side? Oh yes, we have a substitute teacher sighting in E Hallway. I don't mean to knock people who do a job I myself avoid like the plague. Substitutes get no respect but a whole plethora of abuses thrown at them by students who will and try to do anything disruptive at all possible. When I cover a class for a fellow teacher, the first thing I do is flash my ID badge at the class, tell them what I teach and definitely make it known that I am not a substitute. In other words, I have names and numbers to call and the email to document any behaviors that I don't like. I've worked in several schools and two different districts but we do seem to have some of the strangest subs this year. One poor woman shuttles down the hallway like she's avoiding sniper fire and drags a fully loaded teacher cart of books and papers. One guy has a long braided beard, at least eight piercings in each ear and looks more like he should be juggling bowling pins at a renaissance fair rather than subbing in a World Geography class. My favorite is the extremely fussily three piece suit, overdressed sub who walked into my class during a lecture and interrupted me by announcing that I needed to fix his VCR right then. I did it because I'm a nice person. Did he say thank you? Oh no. When his class erupted into chaos thirty minutes later, I picked up my phone and called the AP's. Oh well. It may have been petty and I could have left my class alone again to help him but manners go a long way with me. He subs quite often and his classes erupt just as frequently. Has his demeanor improved? Oh no. Why is he still subbing? Who knows? There is this telepathy that seems to exist with the teachers on my hallway when we know that there is a sub. We all subtly notice the sub, pass the word around and try to maintain a discreet watch over the classroom. When the "interesting" subs come off the elevator, little warning flags seem to unfurl above our heads with the raising of eyebrows in disbelief sometimes. Like I said, I wouldn't want to be a substitute. It's a paycheck at best to some I'm sure. But where in the world do these people come from?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

My Trip

Graceland by Paul Simon
She comes back to tell me she's gone,
As if I didn't know that
As if I didn't know my own bed,
As if I'd never noticed,
The way she brushed her hair from her forehead,
And she said losing love
Is like a window in your heart,
Everybody sees you're blown apart,
Everybody sees the wind blow,

I'm going to Graceland,
Memphis Tennessee
I'm going to Graceland

or if you prefer

Hunk of Burnin' Love by Elvis Presley

Lord Almighty,
I'm burning a hole where I lay
Cause your kisses lift me higher
Like the sweet song of a choir
You light my morning sky
With burning love
With burning love
Ah, ah, burning love
I'm just a hunk,
a hunk of burning love
Just a hunk, a hunk of burning love
Just a hunk, a hunk of burning love
Just a hunk, a hunk of burning love
Just a hunk, a hunk of burning love
Just a hunk, a hunk of burning love

Friday, March 13, 2009

The King

Pouty Elvis OR Comeback Elvis OR Vegas Elvis
Growing up, we had two septic tanks with large concrete covers in our backyard. These were perfect performance stages for me and my cousin Kim. Our favorite songs were always Elvis songs. In the summer, we would drape the water hose over the clothes line and use this as a handy dandy water-filled microphone. Either water was a whole cheaper in the 70's or my parents were gladly paying the water bill to keep us kids out of the house. Sometimes that backyard would be practically flooded. During the colder months, we played my parent's records constantly. We had slippery hardwood floors and with a sprinkling of baby powder they were wonderful for sliding around to Jailhouse Rock. My oh my we sighed over those album covers of a young Elvis. Of all the records my parent's had, those poor Elvis records were used and abused the most. Well there was an unfortunate incident with several albums used as snowboards but that's another blog. Later on I would discover my parent's Beatles and Rolling Stones records but my first love would always be the King. I will admit to a crush on John Denver in the early 70's but that was after I started school and went through my hippy stage. Which Elvis is my favorite Elvis? I have to admit a special fondness for Vegas Elvis. I remember being so bewildered by all the women screaming over his sweat soaked towels but also being strangely fascinated by it all. I get it now of course but am definitely not going into that conversation here. Why a post about Elvis you ask? I'm planning a trip to Graceland. I took down the stolen road map from my bulletin board and taped it back into my road atlas. We're heading to Graceland. Memphis, Tennesee. Oh wait, that's a Paul Simon song. Oh well.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

You'd Think

You'd think that if I'm really having a mid-life crisis that I'd be trying to make things better instead of seeming to make them worse.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Today's Message brought to you by WOW

Getting Outside the Game or So what if I have T7 gear, my car still needs to be washed.

1. Turn off the computer
2. Go to bed
3. Limit the amount of time that you're playing.
4. Go outside: take a walk(the lake is right there), throw a ball for the dog, watch the kids run around the park(it's right there too).
5. Make something in real life(cookies, finish the china cabinet, paint the kitchen).
6. Pick up the phone and call someone.
7. Go see King Tut exhibit before it closes.
8. Go read a book in the bathtub(you've got about a dozen unfinished books).
9. Go through your stuff and throw it away(Goodwill, take it away).
10. Get in the car, turn up the radio and drive somewhere(you're a Geography teacher for crying out loud, ya got maps).

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

A blogged response: On the Road

I will admit to deliberately avoiding blogging about this. I will also admit to being a little aggravated by my significant other blogging about it. We are apart. My choice. My instigation. My decision to ask him to move out. He says that he is confused by something that to me seemed so glaringly wrong for a long time. Sadly though, under the critical eye of retrospection and those sitting side by side but avoiding eye contact conversations we have, it seems our relationship actually gradually slid many years into the miasma into which it decayed even further. Is it something that can be salvaged? At this point, I don't have the energy to revive it. I am in what seems to be a holding pattern. I don't know what I am waiting for or even looking for at this point. I imagine all sorts of roads and futures but there are so many unknowns that I can't predict anything. The possibilities are hopeful though. And having that bit of hope means more to me than anything.

Monday, March 02, 2009


"Indecision may or may not be my problem."

-Jimmy Buffett