Saturday, January 31, 2009

Budding TV Addiction

Remember how a few weeks ago I said it was my goal to join a gym by the end of the month? And of how it’s not a New Year’s resolution since it’s something that’s been on my to do list since October? I was going to join as soon as I was able to leave school on time three days a week. Well, that never happened. And remember how after that blog post saying I would join a gym, I baked cupcakes and ate them? Oh, wait, maybe I didn’t mention that part.

There is a gym more or less right next to the school I teach at, and I dropped some serious cash there on Wednesday evening. I know, I know, I could just do Tae Bo or Pilates videos at home, or jog around my neighborhood for free. Sometimes free is not a good motivator. I figured if I was paying money for something, I would make it a bigger priority to use it. I’ll let you know how that goes.

Today was my first day using the gym. After I changed, I went upstairs to use the elliptical machine. It took me a minute to figure it out (actually, I don’t think I understand it all quite yet. Maybe after a few more times), and I programmed it to level three, thinking that seemed about right. Either I am way out of shape, or level three is the mountain course. My legs were burning, but I was determined to get through. I was listening to the Alias soundtrack on my iPod, because it makes me feel like a spy. There are no words, just adventurous sounds with titles like “Red hair is better,” “Spanish Heist,” “Double Life,” and “Tunisia” which is one of my favorites. While listening to secret agent tracks, I got visually distracted by one of the four televisions. It was TLC. I haven’t watched TLC since last June. I started to freak out. Unfortunately, it wasn’t one of my favorite shows. It was Jon and Kate plus Eight, which I mean is okay, but I was hoping for What Not to Wear. Instead, while exercising I watched Jon get hair implants and one of the little boys heave into a yellow bowl. Okay, gross.

After thirty minutes on the elliptical had passed, I was tired but thought it a bit silly to come for just a half an hour, considering the price I was paying. I switched machines and went to the pedaling thing. It wasn’t really a bike, so I’m not sure what to call it, but it had pedals and I got to sit down. I switched out of music and started listening to an audiobook (Bridge to Terebithia). It was pretty relaxing. Then What Not to Wear came on. The guy next to me switched the channel of the TV in front of him to Bones. It was then that I got a marvelous idea. I am going to work out all the time, because then I can watch cable. I watched as the guy scrolled through the directory. They have more than just basic cable. I am going to go to the gym for three hours everyday so I can watch all my favorite shows on all my favorite channels that I haven’t seen since last summer (remember, we don’t have TV at my house anymore?). I of course will carefully schedule my work out times with TV show times. I don’t really want to be there at 9pm though to watch all the good shows. And I mean, if I spend four hours at the gym watching TV, at least it’s healthy, right?

I’ve been doing fine (mostly) not having TV for the past seven months, but once you see it again, it sucks you in. That’s how TV works. You see one cable show and you want to watch them all. I really miss HGTV. This is what I am going to do. I am going to go to Tvguide.com and look up the show schedule, so I can see if I can go to the gym at the best viewing times. I figure now my gym membership fees are more reasonable—half of it goes towards equipment, and the other half is basically the replacement of my old cable bill. Pretty much I am going to start frying my eyes and burning my thighs.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

GLAD lab and goat blood

I just spent the last hour watching Lost and cutting out laminated photos for my GLAD unit on animal adaptations. I peaced out of school at 3:42 so I could get to the lab downtown before the office people left at four. There is someone that monitors the supplies in the GLAD lab, and I am really thankful she was there today.

I went inside and she was listening to Spanish songs on the radio. She was a cute hispanic IA who was making some super scientist awards. I got to work cutting out my pictures. We started chatting, and when a song came on the radio, she's all "do you know who this is?" I told her I didn't. "Julio Iglesias," she replied. Go figure. She then proceeds to tell me how she thinks his voice is so romantic, and starts to giggle, even though she's fifty something. "I wish my husband could sing like that, but he doesn't, so when I listen to Julio, I pretend like it's him." Totally precious. We talked more about our kids. She is an IA in a kindergarten and a first grade room. I chatted about my fourth graders. When she was done making her super scientist awards, she offered to help me cut and glue my photos to construction paper for lamination. It's a good thing, too, because I never would have gotten it done in time otherwise. At 5:15 I stopped gluing and started using the copy machine (free print! Does not come out of my budget! YES) to print out my 71 page unit and to color copy some of my own super scientist awards. She ended up feeding all the pages into the lamination machine.

I got this new student on Monday who is totally adorable. His English is very accented, but he is a pretty good reader and speller. I guess he went here in third grade but then moved to Woodburn. Anyway, one of his old teachers told me he is from some mountainous region in Mexico where they don't speak Spanish but some other indigenous region. I guess that's part of the reason his English still needs help. He got to America and they put him in a Spanish speaking class, even though he didn't speak Spanish (now he does because of being in those classes so much). Can you imagine speaking some indigenous language, then moving to a new country and trying to learn Spanish and English at the same time? Poor guy. Anyway, I guess last year he nonchalantly told his old teacher about how his dad used to make goat blood soup or something. And like, chopped off the heads.

Tomorrow is FRIDAY (thank goodness) and I am supposed to attend a tea party on Saturday. That's right, a tea party. A 1920s themed one at that.

Now I am going to post this and log-in to Facebook so I can go to my group Addicted to LOST and read the posts on the discussion boards about this week's episode. How the writers come up with these things is beyond me. It's the biggest puzzle. I was a bit sad I didn't get to see Jack at all in this episode.

P.S. In case you were wondering this whole time, GLAD is a teacher term and it stands for Guided Language Acquisition Design. It's basically a method for teaching ELLs (English Language Learners).

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Snain during recess duty

He was not at school today. I don't want this blog to be all depressing though. I know where he is and he safe. That is all that matters right now. On to more joyous news.

I totally won a raffle prize tonight. I had to go to my first year teacher's meeting with over 70 people, so the odds were stacked against me. I was all cynical right before they did the drawing, telling myself I'm not going to win anyway. There were six prizes, but still. Well, I guess God decided to give me a little pick-me-up because I was the third winner. They mispronounced my last name (as most do). I don't even know why I wrote my last name on my slip of paper. It's not like there are any other Joelles in the district. I won this book called Miss Alaineus: a vocabulary disaster. I totally wanted it. Ha!

Also, I meant to write about this last week but forgot. So in my classroom kids can earn points, and if they get 65 points in a week then the following week they get the privilege of using a pillow during the time we sit on the floor to read. This boy (who has autism), let's call him Brice, had earned the privilege, but right before our group started he and another boy (Carlos) were hitting each other with pillows. I had seen the thing myself, but when I confronted them, Carlos said Brice was doing it. I told them they both lost the pillow privilege for the day. Well, Brice was upset about it so he kind of sat back from the rest of the group while we tried to spell words using letter cubes. All of the other kids were participating, trying to spell as many words as they could with three or four cubes. I tried to get Brice involved, so I said "Will you please spell ship?" He said "how about I spell Carlos-stop-lying?" I was laughing on the inside, but what I said back was "I don't think you have enough cubes for that," and went back to spelling words with the other kids. It's really hard to get Brice to do his work, but sometimes he just says the funniest things.

Tommorow is Wednesday. It feels like the week should already be over, and that it should be Thursday instead. I have recess duty and today it snowed. Or rather, it was "snaining" as Natalie would say. I still had to be outside (under the covered area). I forgot my gloves, and all the poor kids were bored because there were 90 of them under this tiny area with only basketball, jump ropes, and foursquare. To entertain themselves, some of my boys decided to tie the sleeves of their jackets and sweatshirts together to create a human link. Then three of them got all tied around a pole and screamed for help, but they liked it because when another kid came over to untie them, they didn't want to be untied.

Also, last night I decided that when I turn 29 I am going to register to be a foster parent.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Prayer Requests

They told me he was in protective custody, and that he wasn't coming back. On Friday during inservice, I sat at his desk and cried. I looked through the papers in his desk, coming across the final copy of his last writing piece. It was about what he would do if he was locked inside the school. Not so fun of a topic anymore, considering last Thursday's events. At the end of his story he wrote "Then I would use the class computer and e-mail a teacher to come rescue me." If only it were that easy. If only I could. As it was, I accepted that I would never see his sweet face again. Our goodbye was non-existent. I hope he knows he is a hero.

I was going to get a sub for tomorrow because I am not feeling well at all, and I would then get out of a) the 8am meeting that is boring b) recess duty, and c) I could just go to my meeting at the other school at 4:30 to 7:30 not tired after a day of teaching. At 4:30 I logged onto my computer to write sub plans. But first I checked my e-mail. They say he might be back tomorrow. Tomorrow! I didn't think he was coming back at all. I don't know why/how he could. Is that safe? But now I have to go tomorrow, because if he is there, I want to see him. My kids have never had a sub for longer than 20 minutes, and I don't want his day back in a safe place to be with a substitute teacher he doesn't know. He might just be coming to say goodbye. I don't know. But I hope he can stay. Or at least that I get a proper goodbye.

If you're the praying kind, pray for my little guy and his siblings. Also, while you are at it, my mentor teacher from last year had her baby early and she (the infant) is in the NICU at OHSU.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

SWAT team in our school neighborhood

Holy Moses I have a lot to say today as well. I'll start off with the not so dramatic stuff and get increasingly more interesting. A lot of stuff happened at school today.
Yesterday I told you about my upsetting intimate moments in various libraries, whereupon three very attractive yet mysterious men abandoned our future of love together, and whereupon I opened some upsetting mail. I totally forgot about the pivotal moment in my life whereupon I bawled my eyes out in the third floor bathroom of Hamersley. It was rough getting to the third floor before anyone saw me. I had to go up all those stairs. But I had to go to the third floor, not the second floor, because the top floor is pretty much abandoned. You are looking for some really boring books if you have to go to the third floor. So I went into the biggest stall, locked the door, and cried enough tears to fill the water tank of a toilet. Also, dried my eyes with toilet paper. And it wasn't Charmin. That was a horrible day.

I forgot to mention that my sister got a second Rottweiler dog. She has a one and a half year old female Rottweiler named Cinderly, and she just got a six month old male which she re-named Thor. His previous name was Bruno. I have not yet met Thor, but I am fairly certain that he will grow to be quite large, as Cinderly is 95 pounds and a female. Can I just say that I have a student named Thor and he only weighs 55 pounds with his coat on and a tummy full of macaroni. I wonder what his parents were thinking when they named him.

Our school went on a level three lock down for a couple hours this morning. Apparently the police were searching for some criminal who was deemed dangerous and in the near vicinity. I'm not going to talk a lot about this, because I don't want to say anything that's not true. However, the police told the principal to check the front page of the newspaper tomorrow. Additionally, some stuff happened with one of my students, and I'm not sure if his family is going to be okay or not. It has to do with the reason we went into lock down. Supposedly his family got removed from their house for some safety reason. I will keep you updated as I find out more, but basically I'm praying for the little guy and his sweet sister and toddler brother. They are seriously the sweetest kids you'll ever meet.

Prior to the lockdown, I had a very confrontational phone call with a parent. One of my students had to call home to tell his mom what he did at school, and I talked to her after he admitted to what he had done. Basically, she thinks it's annoying that I call her to tell her about her troublesome child (I think it is too), and she thinks that I pick on only him and that we "don't get along." I said if he followed school procedures and respected teachers and other students, we wouldn't have a problem. Blah blah blah in my ear, and then I said if she wanted to come watch me teach so she could see how I treated her son compared to the rest of the class, she could. Basically, the middle of the half hour conversation was very heated, but then I pulled it together and tried to state some things positively, and we ended on a decent note. After that, I marched straight into the principal's office with a brain aneurysm. On Tuesday, this parent had called the principal to complain about me, and the principal had told me about the parent's feelings. BTW, Principal is totally on my side. Anyway, I dished the story to the principal, she said I handled it in a good way, gave me some tips, and told me to write down the conversation I had with the parent so we could have it if we ever needed to. Such drama.

I had a meeting till 5:30, but then totally peaced out of my classroom without cleaning up at all. I left with just my purse (felt so weird) because tomorrow is inservice and we don't have any students. Not only do I not have to teach tomorrow, but lunch is being catered by Chipotle. Also, Starbucks coffee will be provided tomorrow. Not that I drink coffee at all, but it makes it sound like a good day if they are giving us overpriced coffee and free lunch.

Remember how I said I was going to cut myself off from watching The Bachelor after this season? Well, I re-thought it. If Jason doesn't pick Jillian or Melissa, and they become the next bachelorette, then I will watch it. I am calling it right now that Jason marries Jillian, though, because she is totally fun to be around and on camera they have a good connection. Melissa seemed like kind of a ditz at first (she was a Cowboys cheerleader), but I am starting to like her and she seems like more of a down to earth person than I thought.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The 3 men from the library that I almost married

First of all I must inform you that I have a lot to write about, none of which is very important or related to each other. That said...

Remember those fruit snacks that I paid 75 cents for yesterday and never got because of the stupid vending machine? This morning I walked through the staff room and peered in at them. They were dangling even more, and I'm sure I could have gotten them to fall had I kicked the machine one last time. Only, I couldn't because someone else was in there that I didn't know very well. I contemplated getting a sticky note and writing "These fruit snacks belong to the teacher in C6. Please deliver if they ever fall down" and putting it on the glass, only I didn't. At lunch time I checked and the fruit snacks were no longer in the machine. Someone had gotten a freebie. I hope whoever it was was having a really crap-o day and it made them feel better.

At lunch time I had a woman ask me if the yogurt I was eating had live culture in it. She was also eating yogurt. I was like "Oh, I don't know? Does it say?" And looked at the yogurt label. It totally did have live culture (which, doesn't all yogurt? do you know? doesn't it?), and then the lady was all "it's really good for your immune system." I finished eating my yogurt and started in on the pizza I had made.

I didn't have to teach reading for an hour today because we had a puppet theater presentation in the gym. It was actually quite funny and well put together. I had a blast.

I had to leave school right at four so I could get to the bank before it closed. I had a CD that matured and needed to do some things with it before my seven day grace period was up. Apparently that was yesterday. The banker really couldn't do anything about it because I was a day late, so now my money is locked in for another three months at a sickly low interest rate. I was kinda mad because I left in such a rush to get there.

Since I was out of school early (on time, actually), I decided to go shopping for a present for my sister, because she turns 25 on Sunday. I ended up buying nothing for her and everything for myself. I bought several shirts, two of which are way cute. After trying them on in the dressing room, it totally made me want to go to a bar/club/dance party. Anybody? Maybe next week? I'll look good. Side topic: on the drive home, I was totally excited to go somewhere to wear my new shirts, but then after I logged into my computer and saw some skanky pictures on Facebook (of people I'm not even friends with, nonetheless), it kind of grossed me out. I'm sure there is more than one album out there of said skanks. If you were one of the girls at the bar that night, then I am sorry to tell you, but you are a dirty whore. Sorry. It needed to be said. Keep it classy. I always do (minus that one time Paparazzi Natalie snapped a shot of me lying on the floor...but at least I was in my own house, not on the grimy dance floor of a bar with some nasty guy who shaves his butt leaning over me...not naming any names, mostly because I don't know who you are...). Moving on.

On my way home I stopped at the library to return the crate of books I had (yes, a crate full). Upon my entrance, I noticed a girl aged about 17 who was crying. She was totally wiping her eyes, sniffling, and clutching a cell phone. I can understand. I myself have received some very upsetting news at the library. For example, the three men that I am sure I could have married had we actually carried on a conversation both left me there, broken hearted. All of them were quite mysterious. I saw the first one when I was in seventh grade. He was wearing a baseball camp, sitting in a big, comfy chair, reading the newspaper. We smiled at each other, and then I swear I saw him at Rite Aid six days later. I don't know who he was.

The second guy I saw my jr. year of high school. I was at a table doing homework by the magazines when he walked in. He was dressed all in black, but not in a creepy goth way. More like a bad-ass, mysterious hunk sort of way. He had flip flops on, though, which caught my attention. He looked about my age, and I was really confused why he was at the library because he definitely didn't go to my high school. It was a small town, so if he lived in it, I would have known. While staring at him (he was choosing a magazine), I came up with this whole story about how he must be here visiting an aunt or something. Foreign and mysterious.

The third guy was a total dream doll. He was Italian, with this beautiful dark skin and gorgeous face. This was while I had my internship in the children's section of the public library. This one actually talked to me. I was behind the desk, checking in some books, when he came up to me and asked if we had a foreign language section for kids. He spoke with an accent, and when I asked him what language he was looking for, he didn't surprise me by saying Italian. This seemed to be going well, but then a toddler popped out from behind a shelf and I realized it was his son. So hunky library patron number three was out of the question.

Back to the initial statement: I've experienced upsetting circumstances while at the library, just like the crying girl I saw. Not only did I lose my three true loves, but I also opened up an envelope that held some very disappointing news in it. I'm not going to talk about that, though. Most people don't open their mail up while at the library, but I needed to. It was the only place I could be alone, and I wanted to be alone when I found out the news. I think the library is a very relaxing place, and I find a lot of comfort in visiting it. Also, by going to Borders and spending money on clean pages.

The premiere of LOST starts in exactly thirty-two minutes, and I am very heartbroken because I have to wait until tomorrow to watch it after it gets uploaded online. It's at times like these that I wished my TV worked. If you are a LOST fan, and you want me to warm the couch with you sometime, let me know. I'll totally be there. I guess I could watch The Bachelor on-line since that happened on Monday night. I am swearing to you right now, that this season of The Bachelor is the last one I will ever watch. I am only watching it because Jason is extremely sweet (and hot). After this, no more Bachelor. Because really, it's a crap show. Unless you wish you were thirty so you could marry the guy. I am cutting myself off after this one.

Oh, forgot, while shopping, I totally saw Danielle P. from good ol' RHA days. Ah, the memories.

I have written entirely too much. I give you an invisible gold star if you made it this far. Much love,
Joelle

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

On this day in history...I got robbed

You know how after you put in your seventy-five cents, you stare eagerly through the glass of the vending machine and just wait patiently for your snack to drop down? And how it seems so slow? And how when I was standing there, and the little metal curly thing was unwinding, I just knew that it would stop short? And how my fruit snacks dangled there, tottering on the edge, but somehow wouldn't let go? And you know how when this happens you try to shake the vending machine, but it is often times a lot heavier than you? And how you look around to see if anyone is watching you before you give it a good kick? And how your stupid snack still won't fall down, no matter what you do, so you have to walk away dejected and still hungry? Yeah, well that sucks. And it happened to me. I rarely buy anything from the vending machine at school, because I figure I can hold out until I get home. So obviously I was hungry if I was going to resort to getting something from the stupid machine. It totally sucked staying at school three hours past when the kids left, and my innards were totally eating me up. You know it's pathetic when you start looking in kids' grimy desks for things to eat. Not that I did.

BTW, I am working on a secret project that I will reveal to you in time. Don't get too excited, but I am way excited. However, I am most often more excited about things that I do than are the people who watch me do them. I stayed up till midnight last night (on a school night!) trying to get part of the thing to work. I finally figured it out, but there is still a lot of setting up and brainstorming to do in order to make it interesting.

Oh, and FYI, today was inauguration day or something. I need to go watch stuff on CNN because we only had forty minutes to watch the TV today in the classroom. But at least the kids saw the important stuff.

P.S. I think my cracked out neighbors are doing gymnastics again. Lots of thumping and jumping. Makes you wonder how a pregnant woman who smokes could have the lung capacity to do so much aerobic activity.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Video: Cupcake Delivery

video

What Natalie and I did last Friday night. And for all the dumb people that ask, no, sushi cupcakes are not made of fish. We concocted them out of: funfetti cake, cream cheese frosting, fruit by the foot, shredded coconut, and Swedish fish. Delish.

P.S. Sorry this might take a minute to buffer before actually playing. Read a blog while you wait.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

It was never said

As most writers do, I write many things that don't make it to public viewing. The following was written but never given to the intended recipient. I guess I'm hoping that even though time has passed, the person who needs it the most will get it. Then again, maybe they don't need it at all, in which case it was just a way for me to verbalize how watching someone I love hurt inside pained me as well.

Please Believe Me

I can’t give you what you need.
I can’t heal your heart when it starts to bleed.
I ache when watching you live this way,
‘Cause I can’t make the sun appear when the skies are gray.
I want to ask but the words I can’t find.
I want to listen but you’ve declined.
You know I want to take up your pain
Give you relief like the effects of crack cocaine.
But Someone already is waiting to take your strife
He poured out His blood and died for your life.
Maybe you hate Him right now and that’s fine
I just pray that you’ll soon believe me in time
That He’s the only one that can make it alright
Mend your soul’s wings so they can take flight.
Maybe you don’t understand all of His ways
Believe me, that’s why He’s the Ancient of Days.
It might be confusing or doesn’t make sense
But you can’t forever use that defense.
Before you are threadbare and fall apart
Trust, and give Him your heart.

Also, you may have read the next one since I previously have posted it via MySpace. I still like it a lot (is that pretentious since I wrote it?) and wanted to share it again.

Let it be Love

Let it be Love that breaks you, and not hate
Let it be Love that heals you, and not revenge
Let it be Love that strengthens you, and not iron
Let it be Love that convinces you, and not facts
Let it be Love that fills you, and not doubts
Let it be Love that surrounds you, and not fear
Let it be Love that holds you, and not human hands
Let it be Love that replenishes you, and not food or drink
Let it be Love that drives you, and not your own goals
Let it be Love that limits you, and not rules
Let it be Love that takes you, and not death

Just let it be Love.

Usually I think poems are for saps, but sometimes I think they're just right. Then again, maybe I am a sap.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Snow Video: a bit late but whatev

video

What Natalie and I did on the day it snowed. Missed capturing footage of Natalie falling on her face.

Smencils

This evening I was like, hey, it's Friday, I'm going to buy dinner. Out of convenience, I decided to go to the Dairy Queen, which is more or less directly on the other side of my house. Although I have lived here for a year and a half, I can count on one hand how many times I've frequented DQ. Now, I'm going to tell you something that may disturb you, seeing how I'm a vegetarian. I ordered the fish basket. Yeah, I know. Fish is totally meat. Some people are like "Oh, you don't eat meat? What about fish?" Fish is totally meat. It's the flesh of another living (now dead) creature. While I am morally opposed to eating beef, chicken, and other kinds of animals, I think fish is okay because it lives in the water and isn't sucking up valuable resources like land space.

Vegetarian tangent: I only have to say this because you are probably wondering, even though it is not at all a part of where I am trying to go with this story. I am not an animal lover. I don't not eat animals because I love them. I could care less for the most part. It's the humans I care about. It's a resource waste to pump all that energy into beef (water, land, grain) when you could be growing crops to feed more people. If you want to know about where I stand with the whole meat-eating thing, request a blog post specifically on that issue and I'll tell you. I don't hate you if you eat meat. It's your choice whether or not you try to provide enough food for the rest of the world. I don't care. Eat a steak for dinner. Seriously. I don't judge you. As long as you don't judge my chocolate addiction.

Back on track. So I ordered the fish basket, because for some odd feeling I felt like eating fish. I was expecting to get fries, fish, and that yellow toast that you know is sprayed with fake butter. After I ordered, I was surprised when the cashier asked me what kind of pop I wanted. I had to really think, and then went with Mountain Dew because I was sleepy and probably could benefit from the caffeine. After I received my soda, I realized it was likely the only soft drink I had actually purchased in a very, very long time. I rarely drink pop, but I did have some at a Christmas party because there wasn't anything else. And I didn't buy it. It was on hand. So it was really weird for me to go to DQ and come out with this big cup of carbonated yellow liquid. I got the fish basket to go, and when I got home I discovered it was not what I was expecting. Sure, there were fries, but no toast. And instead of fish strips (is that a word?) it was some bizzaro fish sandwich. With pickles and some gross white sauce. I ate it anyway because it cost me five bucks, but I have to say, it's probably the last time I go to DQ for something other than a milkshake for the next three years.

About the blog title, the fifth graders at my school are selling Smencils (scented pencils) as a fundraiser. The kids are going crazy for them. Half my class bought them this morning, and our room smelled like an open bag of fruit snacks. Not that I minded. It just made me hungry. For fish in the evening, apparently. The good thing about Smencils is that 1) it's fun to say, and 2) they are eco-friendly since they are made out of recycled newspaper.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

How I got pulled over by an undercover cop

Pah! It's 9:14 and I am minutes away from resting my head on my delightful pillow. This getting home early thing is really awesome. However, due to my early arrival, Natalie and Liz somehow talked me into going to the gym (if you could call the poorly lit and grimy area under the stadium a gym) with them. I went along, and was a bit upset because on the one day I go to work out, my ipod is dead. Natalie kept me entertained though by belting out lyrics while we were on the treadmills. Saw a guy from my high school, didn't say hi. Sorry. If you are reading this now, then hi Ben. Tomorrow is the ever glorious FRIDAY and we have a three day weekend. God bless the soul of MLK. Oh, and can I just say that the superintendent of the entire school district popped into my room today with the principal and I was totally doing GLAD stuff for my ELD class. Like, by the book (not that there is one). I only wish they had come five minutes sooner when we were singing this really amazing song about animal habitats, because it had some really good motions to it. I even get into it. Peace out. Sorry my blog title is a lie. And this entry isn't even very exciting. Sucker.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Accomplishment

I would just like you to know that: I left school when it was still light outside. I was outta there at 4:30, was not the last car in the parking lot, and got home by 5:10. It felt so weird. My roommate was so proud of me that she did a dance when I got home.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Shoes + Porn, but not porn-shoes

On Monday I was in a reading group with my kids, and as we're settling in, one says, "Ms. G, can I ask you a question?" Yeah? "Why are you wearing grandma shoes today?" I was like, what, hold up. "These aren't grandma shoes, these are black heels!" I thought I was looking pretty sharp that day. I was actually wearing shoes that make me taller and clink on the floor when I walk, and I had on this stark white blazer that I am always paranoid about when I wear it. Clearly this kid hasn't any fashion sense. He's been wearing baggy shorts all year long. One day he wore full length jeans to class and everybody noticed. And it's January. Everyday.

Right now I am at my sister's house, waiting for it to be 7:30 to go line dancing (haha, I know). On My way to my sister's house, I cannot help but look at the reader board for the porn store. "Adult Shop," whatever. The sign is in big black letters on a yellow background, and I'm always curious to see what's on sale. The sign is sort of by a stop-light, so it gives me optimal time to read about the specials. Today it was 99 cent DVDs and new lingerie. On the other corner of the intersection is Bob's Books and Things, which is also a smutty shop. I always joke with her that I bought her a present there, because we both know there is no way in H-E double hockey sticks that I am going in there.

Well, time to put on the boots and do the watermelon crawl.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Truths

The most meaningful thing I could give is my words. Unlike kisses that just last a moment, or spoken language that is quickly forgotten or incorrectly remembered over time, the written word is everlasting. You can keep it and tuck it away to re-read when you are feeling blue. And unfortunately for me, I can't take it back from you--whatever I wrote is in your clutches to keep. I suppose I could write a retraction to you, trying to take back what I said, but I would never do that, because then you could keep that too, and in three more years make me look like even more of an idiot.

That's why I've stopped writing to people. They don't appreciate what you've written them, and don't realize how hard it was to say what you were really thinking. Plus, I've never gotten a reaction in quite the way I had anticipated. I don't write to anyone--just a faceless internet audience where we can feign anonymity. You can pretend like you never read this, and when you look at me, I won't know the difference. It's okay, I won't hold it against you. The thing is, I've written all the letters I needed to, and I've revealed all the truths that were weighing on me. The words have already been written, I've just been keeping them to myself.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Apple Bottoms and Bombs

I had to go to Woodburn today, and I coincidentally had to go to the ATM. I stopped by the Wells Fargo when I got there, and proceeded to look over my shoulder every three seconds while taking care of my transaction. This is mostly because I was right next to the bank that got bombed over winter break. The lot next to me was all fenced up, and there was plywood nailed up on the other bank where the blast had blown out the windows. Quite eerie, really. Because originally the Wells Fargo was called with the warning about the bomb, but it instead blew up the West Coast Bank next door. Although I did not get blown up while at the ATM, I was blown away after I got back in my car.

I watched as the woman waiting to use the ATM sauntered up to it. I swear to you, she was wearing Apple Bottom jeans. I could tell because the stitching with said logo on the back pockets was bright gold, and (while I don't mean to be rude) her rear was rather wide. It made quite an advertisement. Additionally, she was wearing black patent leather heels, a metallic grey jacket, and her hair was artificially colored fuchsia. You know how the song goes "everyone in the club was lookin' at her"? Well, now you know why. It was a sight to see.
Boots with the fur.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Addiction Possibility

...because all the coke is gone.

Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to be addicted to a soap opera. Do you know that the Young and the Restless is in its 34th season? Obviously they must have done a complete cast overhaul several times by now. There's no way they could have kept any of the same people, because then it would be the Old and the Restful. I mean, seriously? Are there people that watch these shows? This one day several years ago, I was flipping through the channels and landed on a soap. Of course it was a mother who went psycho on her daughter and is in the hospital with amnesia so she doesn't remember her split personalities. People get paid to write this crap? Where do I sign up?

When I was a kiddo sometimes my great-grandma, Oma (because we're German, partly) would make me a peanut butter and butter sandwich (disgusting now, but totally loved it then), and she would sit in her chair in front of the TV, turn on the electric fireplace, and watch some soap on TV. My sister and I got really bored during this time, but usually we had toys out and were playing in the living room with Oma. I bet she started watching with the start of season one.

Over Thanksgiving my 8th grade cousin was talking about soaps. "Why are all of the soap operas colored all weird?" he wanted to know. Our relatives are like "what are you talking about?" But I said, "Sam, I know exactly what you mean." Because it's true. You can tell a soap's a soap by the soft yellow glow of the lighting. And the images are even kind of blurred a bit on the edges, I think. You can totally tell.

What would it be like to be a soap addict? I saw in the grocery store once this magazine to catch you up on what happened in all the soaps, in case you missed them. As if someone could be hooked so much that they have to read a summary in a magazine.

There are several reasons I could never start a soap addiction: 1) I am never home between 11 and 2, which is when they air. 2) My TV doesn't work.

The only soap I ever liked slightly was La Fea Mas Bella. I watched it the summer I was in Mexico. Ugly Betty totally stole its story line. But La Fea Mas Bella is totally funny. Maybe that's why my host Mama was addicted.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Completely Achievable To Do list for 2009

Because who am I trying to kid?

Check Facebook
Read blogs
Check my bank account on-line to make sure nothing weird is happening
Take a shower
Eat a burrito
Read a book
Forget the due dates of my library books
Watch tv on-line
Nap
Misplace my debit card
Go hot-tubbing
Over sleep

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Fan Mail!

I enabled my e-mail address (1 of 4) on my profile, so now adoring fans can go to "view complete profile" and then to the blue box on the left that says "e-mail." Click it and friends and strangers alike can send me friendly mail, hate mail, or no mail at all. Caution: stories about yourself may somehow make it into my blog. Under a fake name, of course.

Fan mail I have written
Apparently this one time I wrote to ABC Studios to get a signed photograph of the cast of Alias (really, I probably just wanted Michael Vartan or Jennifer Garner, not the whole cast). I don't remember doing this at all, but then one random day I got a big white envelope in the mail from Burbank, California with a glossy signed photo of the hot Alias cast, accompanied by a letter saying "Thank you for your request....blah blah blah." I still have it.

When I was like ten or eleven I wrote to Marissa Moss who is the author of the Amelia books. I tried to be as clever and artistic as I could in the letter, wanting to impress her. She wrote me back on a postcard and said some nice things, including something positive about my future that I can't quite remember but undoubtedly hasn't come true yet.

Oh, just remembered. I totally wrote a fan letter to ET. As in the Extra-Terrestrial, like ET phone-home. I watched the movie when I was a kid and totally adored ET. I wrote him a letter and put it in the mail box without a stamp or an address, just "ET." I somehow thought it would get to him, like with Santa Claus.

Jason Mesnick if you count a Facebook friend request as fan mail. Which I don't, because he denied me. But I did FFR (I just made that up) Rick Mugrage and he accepted me, because he is a caring person. Or at least, I met him in real-life, only that was like six years ago when I went to a free show of his on Halloween and saw his toddler son dressed up as Peter Pan and Rick only had some dinky demo CD out. But I love his music.

Fan mail I should write but haven't:
To James Franco, to inform him I am his future wife.
To Meg Cabot and Jerry Spinelli, because I love their writing. Also to Lemony Snicket, (who reminds me of a candy bar) because he manages to be both depressing and ridiculously funny at the same time.
And of course to Amy Sedaris, because she has a house rabbit, an imaginary boyfriend, wears cute outfits, bakes cupcakes, and is really funny (or insane). She's over forty and David Letterman totally has a crush on her. Everytime she appears on his show, the first thing he says is "You look beautiful," and then sometime during the inteview he asks if she's dating anyone. And she just says "Ricky, my imaginary boyfriend." And then later on, Letterman's like "I just can't get over how lovely you look." She totally takes over the interview and starts going on tangents and asking him questions and you can tell he's like "I thought this was my show?" Love her.

So you know, fan mail. Write some. To somebody.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Welcome back to your life

Monday, January 5th, 2009, break is OVER

6:15 am Oh god. The alarm goes off. Time to wake up. I manage to pull back the covers by 6:32, and I leave the house by 7:06. I'll be a little bit early to work.

7:47 am I walk into my classroom. Holy Moses, it's a lot messier than I thought it would be. There is a pile of notebooks sitting on a table that I was supposed to grade the week of the blizzard, posters have fallen down, and the desks are askew. On the bright side, I can tell that my carpet got shampooed.

8:40 am The kids walk in, I remember most of their names, and I quickly get rid of them at 9:05 because that is our class's PE time. I prep for the morning and check my e-mail. Only one piece of semi-hate mail. Good. A bunch others that I ignore because I don't have the time.

10:35 am We're doing word study and I'm with a group sorting words that end in CK. We have -ack, -eck, -ick, -ock, and -uck words. I'm always very careful of pronunciation when I introduce the CK family. Especially the -uck group and the -ick group. I don't want to say anything that will cause an uproar.

12:05 pm It's the kids' lunch time and I am supervising them in the classroom while I try to scramble for the afternoon's literacy block. I'm tidying the room, telling kids to finish eating their vegetables and to mop up their milk spills, while trying to get stuff together for after recess.

12:35 pm It's my lunch time. I spend most of it in the classroom trying to figure out why the ghetto tape player won't work and where the heck I put that stack of books. I manage to get seven minutes to eat, three of which are spent standing in front of the microwave in anticipation. After my seven minute break it's time to pick the kids up from the playground.

1:15 pm I'm explaining our new literacy schedule since I introduced it right before break, answering a zillion questions and giving very explicit directions. Oh god. It's the principal standing in the doorway. She already popped in once during the morning (and everything was going fine and it was utterly silent, I might add). I stall, blubbering about poetry and alliteration, then it hits 1:35 and it's time to actually start the reading rotations. I briefly go over my expectations again, set the timer, pray to God, and give the kids one minute to get at the station they need to be at. She's still watching me. I feel my face get warm. The timer goes off, most kids have settled in, and I start teaching my reading group. The principal leaves about ten minutes later.

2:15 pm I'm sitting on the floor with my second group when a surprise walks in through my door. It's Kaitlynn! And she's holding two cups from Starbucks! This is the first time she's visited my class, and I totally wasn't expecting it. She observes some of my obnoxious children and laughs at the cute ones. After the kids leave at 3:30 I finally get to sip my Starbucks. Isn't she a sweetheart, Kaitlynn knows I hate coffee and got me a yummy tea latte thingy instead.

4:00 pm I leave school frantically. My classroom is an utter disaster. Think small hurricane. I figure I will have to get to work by 7:15 tomorrow so that I can put stuff away and prepare myself. I leave in a hurry to get to Keizer. I have some dumb once a month class from 4:30 to 7:30. I get to the other school late, try to get in (it's locked), and then another teacher opens the door for me. Together we waste twenty minutes of our time calling a variety of teachers and school district personnel, trying to figure out where the class is, because clearly, it's not here. Oh, they changed the date. Well thanks for e-mailing me ahead of time.

5:10 pm Pissed that I left school early to drive to East NoWhere just to turn around, I am comforted by the excuse I have to stop by Panda Express and use my gift card to purchase dinner. I go to Target first because I am an addict.

5:25 pm. I totally want this teal leather purse in Target for $27.99. I consider it, but then am realistic with the fact that my current brown purse coordinates with everything except black, whereas a teal purse will only match 45% of my wardrobe (because 45% of it is teal). Instead, I settle on buying two new pairs of sweat pants and some running shoes, even though I don't run (see previous blog about my effing dislocating knee caps). I have this fantasy that I will join a gym by the end of January. It's not a New Year's resolution by any means. I've been meaning to join since November, when my teaching goal was to leave work by 4:30 three days a week. Like that ever happened. I figure, if I pay money for a membership, it might be more of a motivator to leave work on time (by on time, I mean an hour after school gets out). But I'm not cutting the tags off of anything until I've actually joined the gym and gone for a week.

5:32 pm My sister calls me, telling me plans of her new idea to open a Wedding Coordinating business. Jeez, you get married once and then all of a sudden you want to plan other people's nuptials. I tell Jess we need to create a business together, one that we both want to do/are good at, because even though I had an okay day at school (considering my favorite kid was absent and my least favorite was present), I'm not sure if I want to surround myself with children everyday for the rest of my life. Working with adults can be equally as fun. And I mean really, I should apply to be a manager somewhere. If they try to tell me I have no experience, I will scoff at them. I have been managing a staff of 27 for months now. And it's no easy task.

5:40 pm I move to the office supply section of Target. I did have an objective. Even though I'm an addict, I don't just walk into Target for the fun of it. I came because I needed to buy a really huge dry-erase board for my classroom. I'd explain the complexity of it but that won't interest you.

5:52 pm I go to Panda Express and get delicious fried rice and veggies. Sure beats that crusty burrito.

6:12 pm Stuck in traffic. I thought that if I dawdled in Target and got dinner, rush hour traffic would be vanquished. Not so. I finally get over the bridge at like, 6:58.

7:24 pm At home, finishing this blog, then going to do teacher crap. And seriously, Kaitlynn, you totally made my afternoon. It was a very nice surprise. = )

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Rockstar teacher move

My grandma, who is way hip with no white hair or walker, got an iPod for Christmas. We were on the phone talking about it, because she was just getting started loading iTunes and figuring out how the whole thing worked. I was giving her a few tips, and then the mention of loading audiobooks onto it came up. I’d never thought of this before, but leave it to my rockin’ g-ma to figure out how to read book-free while at the gym. I mean, I’m sure lots of people already have Harry Potter or whatever loaded onto their iPods. It’s just not something I ever thought about doing.

I went to the library today and looked for some kid books on CD (this because I am a teacher and listening to them gives me a quick preview before I choose it for my reading groups or whatever. However, I am fairly certain I can read the book faster myself than by listening). I picked up Bridge to Terabithia because I had started it once but never got past chapter four. I went home, loaded it up to iTunes and then my iPod, and then was struck with a brilliant idea.

I am so making the iPod a station during literacy time for my fourth graders. Right now I have my low readers sitting at this ghetto tape deck for a half an hour, listening to a book by Jerry Spinelli (love him). The tape player is probably from the 80s, and I am limited on what books I can have the kids listen to because I have to find them in the library on tape, not CD. This eliminated a lot of new books.

However, with the use of the iPod (or really, I suppose I could do this with a CD player, only the problem comes to the fact that I have eight kids in the reading group that need to plug in eight headphones, and the contraption that does this is only set up for the ghetto tape player), I have devised a new plan of technological attack. I am going to buy two Belkin Rockstars and daisy chain them together so that I have a headphone splitter and all students in the reading group can listen. Then I’ll be able to hook up ten kids to the iPod to listen to the audiobook. I like this idea because it will also eliminate the possibility of overdue library material. When I check out a new CD audiobook, I can load it onto my iPod in one day, return the CDs, and my kids can take however long needed to finish listening to the book. I'll be able to have a lot of books already loaded on my iPod, so if I don't have time to go to the public library, it won't be a problem. Plus, how many kids get to say they listened to an iPod during literacy time at school? Instant cool points for Ms. G (though I have to say, I was probably already the hippest teacher rocking the school).
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