Thursday, February 26, 2009

Holy Frijoles

Oh my gatos during the time when I didn't have my computer working due to a stupid virus, Ruckus totally dropped off the face of the planet! Since my hardrive got wiped, I have to re-load everything. Today I got on-line to reload Ruckus, and it said it no longer exists! Then I "google news"ed it and apparently it has shut down! What am I going to do? I am really going to miss all of the free music that I used to listen to. Now I will have to buy it. I am totally in shock. This is horrible.

The apple is not a breakfast fruit

We feed our kids breakfast at school, and it seems like there are always apples. Never bananas, or peaches, or anything else. Just apples. I think this is really weird, because the apple is not a breakfast fruit in my opinion. It's just not. I have never eaten an apple for breakfast. The apple is a snack fruit, or a lunch fruit. The banana is the prime breakfast fruit. My senior year of high school, I ate a banana everyday while driving to school. Other good breakfast fruits include the orange, the grapefruit, or maybe even pineapple. Definitely strawberries, even though I guess they are a berry and not a fruit.

I think for breakfast you could eat apple and cinnamon flavored oatmeal, drink apple juice, or even eat apple sauce, but eating a regular apple for breakfast is ridiculous. It's like eating a lime. Nobody eats a lime for breakfast.

Other unsuitable breakfast fruits include the lemon and the mango. Okay, a certain type of mango. In case you didn't know, there are many different kinds of mango, and there are two that you never want to eat for breakfast (or at any other meal). Unfortunately, I had to eat both types while staying in Mexico with my host family. The first bad type of mango smells like cat pee. The second bad type tastes like a pine tree. While in Mexico, I made the mistake of telling my host mom that I liked mango. I did, back in the States. I didn't know there was such a variety of mangoes.

Have you ever eaten an apple for breakfast? Do you think it is not suitable for breakfast? I think it is, and although I have not mentioned my feelings to my students, I think they feel the same way, because I have only ever seen them take one bite out of their apples. Then they throw them away. To make it worse, they are green apples. Yuck. Golden-delicious please.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Personal Assistant position open

So yesterday I told you I would for sure go to Panda Express for dinner the next day (today). Well, after posting yesterday I searched for the nutritional facts for my favorite foods at Panda. The results? Devastating. Pretty much you need to immediately divide your meal in half, because if you don't you are eating a whole heck of a lot of calories. I felt a little bit guilty, especially considering I am getting re-measured in like three weeks (using that free personal trainer session that I won), and I am hoping to make my body fat percentage go down. That doesn't happen by eating at Panda Express.

Regardless of all these facts, I went to Panda for dinner, because it was free using my gift card. While I was there, I met a very friendly two year old. As soon as I got in line behind her, she asked me my name. Then she asked "Where's your mom at?" I told her my mom was at home. "Why?" She just is, I sad. "Do you have money to buy food?" I nodded. She talked a bit more bit it was unintelligible. But all this from a two year old. Seriously. Very outgoing.

Also, my super long teacher meeting was kind of worth it because I won a free book for my class library! I am on a winning streak. Plus, last time we had a teacher meeting I won one of the door prizes. Yes!

While at the teacher meeting I had to put on my Bachelor earmuffs, because at the table next to me some girls were talking and I heard "I wish he would have picked Jillian." Immediately I put my hands over my ears and hummed to myself because I knew they were talking about The Bachelor, and I hadn't watched last night's episode yet. I didn't want the suspense to be ruined. BTW, I lied yesterday when I said it was the finale. It wasn't. It was "the women tell all," which I think is stupid because I don't care about the women and their drama. Who cares that Erica hates Megan? Or that Natalie (not my roommate) was materialistic? Nobody really cares, it is just a filler. But I am going to watch it anyway because, well, I am that pathetic.

Good news, my computer is fixed and I get to pick it up tomorrow. We'll see if it really is healthy once I get it home and try to do things on it.

Today I delegated an inconvenient task and it worked out great! I really need a personal assistant. I am supposed to go to a baby shower tomorrow at a different school for my mentor teacher that I had during the ed program. She just had a baby and it was premature, so the shower was kind of a last minute notification. Anyway, I realized last night that I wouldn't be able to go shopping for a gift today after school because I had to go to West Salem to the meeting, and then I didn't want to have to drive to Target or wherever after that. And I wouldn't have time tomorrow because the shower is right after school. So I called my mom this morning, because very conveniently she comes to Salem every Tuesday for Bible study. I called and asked her if she would be able to buy a gift and card and leave it in my trunk at school by 3:30, so I would have it for tomorrow. She said she probably could, so I left a check in my trunk at 8am, and at 3:45 I checked my trunk before leaving to West Salem, and there was a bag in there and some change. Perfect! Love delegating time sucking tasks.

It gets even better. Not only will the present be a surprise for Beth (the new mother), but it was a surprise for me because I was like "what am I going to get her? What will Mom pick out?" I am giving Beth and her new baby girl some organic bibs and burp cloths, and a super soft pink blanket. All I have to do is wrap it and write on the card that my mom also picked out. I love personal shoppers!

I think a personal assistant would be very helpful. The position is currently open. These are the tasks that my PA would need to perform:
make my bed every morning
make my lunch and breakfast
grade my student's papers and record the score in the grade book
plan units for social studies and science (gather info, book sources, etc)
reply to the 67 e-mails I get a day at my work address, because I never do
mail that thing back to my insurance agency
cook me delicious vegetarian dinners
do my laundry!
clean my car once a week
finish my taxes and mail them in (I already did the hard part, once I found out I owed money, I stopped).
Oh, I'd also have them upload all my music back on iTunes once I get my computer back.

This would really free up a lot of time for me. I wonder how much I would have to pay someone in order for them to do this stuff. What do you think is reasonable? I think I would prefer a dollar amount for a competed task, instead of an hourly rate. I don't want a slacker. Like, if I paid a person $1 each time to make my bed, that calculates out to $12 an hour, because it only takes five minutes to make the bed. But its five minutes I don't have in the morning.

Seriously, this could work. I'd put an ad on Craigslist, but then we all know who would find me. HR! (In case you were living in a dark cave and didn't know that already).

Monday, February 23, 2009

I can quit my addiction in a few days

Oh my gatos I know this is really pathetic but The Bachelor finale is on tonight and I can't watch it due to the whole no TV thing. I have a really stupid late meeting tomorrow, but you can bet your pocket change that I will be on-line watching the episode as soon as I get home. There are all these rumors that Jason is going to propose to Melissa and then dump her later to date Molly. I think that's a really mean thing to do, especially considering Melissa has admitted to being dumped in all of her relationships. She's never the one who breaks it off. Also, with this drama about DeAnna--seriously, get her off of ABC. This marks the third season she's been on. No more, please. I can't take it. I don't think she's really meeting Jason again to confess her undying love for him, and I don't think he cares about her anymore (at least I hope he doesn't). It's a good thing The Bachelor is almost over, because then I can swear it off for life (unless of course, Melissa or Jillian become The Bachelorette--then I'll be obligated to watch).

In other news, my kids are taking the state writing test, the state math test, and some delinquent child broke my brand new pink pencil sharpener. By brand new I mean today I took it out of its package. I am really pissed about it. I don't know who the culprit is. I obviously need to set up a spy cam by my desk--oh wait, the district already did. My mom thinks my computer virus is completely unrelated to people from HR checking up on me, but I know the truth. They set that trojan on me to hack into my files and following my on-line activity. Because I am a spy. I work for the CIA and I'm doing an investigation on public schools, posing as a teacher.

The good news about tomorrow's incredibly late meeting is that it takes place in West Salem, so I am def. going to Panda Express for dinner. With my giftcard. And then I will have leftovers for Wednesday, which is good, because Wednesdays suck. Well, not the whole Wednesday. Wednesdays suck from 8am to 3:30 pm, but after that they are good because I don't have any meetings after school and can leave earlier than I typically do. Plus, the next morning is my one hour prep period straight away in the morning.

My superhero cousin (the engineer) is nursing my computer back to health, so I should have it back in a few days. Then I just have to reload my life. I have to put back all my important, vital documents and then start the grossly long process of recreating my iTunes library.

By the way, did you know grades are due next Friday? Holy cow, I know. My kids still have to do a science experiment before then so I can put it on their report cards. Natalie, I am stealing your chip/greasiness experiment. It's easy to do with clear results. Plus, maybe kids will stop eating Hot Cheetohs like it's its own food group.

I am going to see someone at the really long meeting tomorrow who is going to ask me where three months of back work is, so I better find it (do it) so I can submit it to her.

If you watch The Bachelor tonight then I forbid you from telling me the results.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Flight 316

Waking up at 8:15 on a Saturday morning is not something I like to do. Unfortunately, the internal clock wakes me up since it thinks it is sleeping in, considering the time I wake up during the week. I was in denial about being awake, so I just laid in bed for three hours. I know, highly productive. Then I ate a bagel with cream cheese and watched last Wednesday's episode of Lost.

I think they may be going to over the top with their story lines. I mean, that giant pendulum? They just flew that plane over the right pocket of energy and zappo, they're back on the Island? And Hurley and Sayid just happened to be on that flight? However, I have to say I totally laughed when Hurley was all "there are no seats on stand by. Those 78 open seats? They're mine. I paid for them. I don't want anybody in them." Because he doesn't want new people stuck on the Island when they flash back. And what happened to Aaron? Personally, I think he died. Like, Kate was driving like a mad woman trying to get away and got in a car wreck and he died. Or he got kidnapped. Who really knows. Also, seriously what ever happened to CLAIRE? She just disappeared last season and we haven't even questioned it. Lost is probably the only show where they can just have characters mysteriously disappear and not have people question it. Anyway, I'm not sure I like where this is heading.

After I watched Lost I took a four hour nap. It usually takes me all day Saturday just to repair myself from the week.

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Three Hour Blog Post

Seriously. My kickbox instructor is trying to kill me. Kickboxing is way more fun than lifting weights, and unfortunately I can only go once a week due to the time it is offered, but it is really hard core. And like I said before, I don't look nearly as cool doing all the moves. Maybe I should buy some black finger glove thingies. For real, I thought I was just going to collapse today with all of the jumps, squats, and planks we had to do.

And oh my goodness, I was so pissed about The Bachelor. I logged on to the page to watch Monday's episode, but they had the Diary of the Departed right there, so I instantly knew Jillian got kicked off. Kind of ruined the suspense but I watched it anyway. Allegedly there is supposed to be a lot of drama in the finale. But they always say "in the most dramatic bachelor finale ever." Because they are doing the best they can to make it really dramatic so people will keep watching even though the show really is pathetic. I had this chat with Susan, my co-worker. She secretly watches The Bachelor too, even though she knows the whole concept is lame. We talked about the show for like twenty minutes on Wednesday after school instead of doing teacher things like grading papers. But now I can be like "OMG Susan, did you see when....can you believe....?" I still need to watch LOST from Wednesday. Hopefully ABC's page won't spoil the ending for me like The Bachelor did.

My computer that is on the fritz is a tiny hair better, but not much. I got Windows loaded again, and turned off and on my computer, so I think it will stick. I still am struggling with the utilities and drives and thus, the screen resolution and internet connection because I think it is related to not having the right things loaded. Like a juvenile delinquent going to boot camp, I am shipping my misbehaving computer to my cousin on Monday. He will probably be able to repair it fully and then I won't have to buy a brand new computer (crossing my fingers and praying).

Right now my sister, her husband, and her couple friends are in Newport at the food and wine festival. I was invited along to be the fifth wheel, mostly because they wanted a DD. They are staying in a beach house and said I could come for free and they'd feed me and everything, but somehow the prospect of being the only single and sober person for a whole weekend away did not seem very appealing. Thus, I am at home catching up on TV on-line and reading trashy celebrity gossip on because Meg Cabot mentioned it in her blog. Plus I am sleeping in tomorrow and going shopping either Saturday or Sunday, depending on what I feel like. Also, going to the library because it is my safe haven. I have to stick my nose in the print and smell it for a sigh of relief. BTW, did you know that children's books printed before 1985 (my birth year!) have been deemed unsafe because the print/ink may contain lead, and if you eat the pages, you could get sick. That's right, if you EAT the pages. Because I often eat my books.

Just when I was fractionally hoping to get fired from my job, our end of the year evals came in and they said they want me back. Great. I was just a tiny bit hoping my contract wouldn't be renewed because then I wouldn't have to make the decision about whether or not I want to come back next year. Oh my goodness, I TOTALLY FORGOT THIS VITAL INFORMATION. You know how I was telling you how HR was stalking me? And how I was getting spied on at school? And how two days after I posted that blog MY COMPUTER CAUGHT A VIRUS? Because they are trying to internet stalk me and access my private files and ruin my life? Yeah, I blame all the little agents at Human Resources for my computer crashing. I am serious.

Today I called my bratty little student out for not getting her work done in front of a good chunk of her friends. Normally I do things like that in private in order for kids to save face, but I think she needed the peer pressure. Because now she'll get her work done because she doesn't want me to call her out again next week when she has not completed an entire week's worth of word study jobs. I made her stay in at recess to get caught up on the past three weeks, because who the hell knows what she's been doing with her time? Oh, actually I do know. She's been writing nasty notes to other kids and writing "sex" on the bathroom walls, and sketching pictures of the middle finger and drawing pictures of me with my hair standing up in that little notebook of hers. But I blog about her here so I guess we are even.

I could pretty much write for two hours straight, because right now Natalie is watching a movie with Quinn and Elizabeth is probably playing beer pong or something and I am the only one home. Writing on here is like talking to myself but also like talking to somebody with ears, because I like to think people are listening. Anyway, you most likely don't want to read a blog that I wrote for two continuous hours, so I'd better stop before you get too bored.

Oh eff it, I can't stop. This is the official ending of this blog entry. If you read anything past this point, I am warning you that it is a waste of your time, and not very good writing. Check back later this weekend for a better post.


Okay, so you are still here? In it for the long haul, huh? Just as bored as me? I could totally go to sleep right now since it is 11:14, but my fingers just have this need to type away because I haven't been able to this whole week due to the whole computer is in the hospital thing. So I am going to play a game. It's called, "What is the Most Random Thing Currently on Joelle's Floor?"
Here are your options: DELL Owner's manual, Microsoft Office software box, khaki colored jacket, golden ballerina slippers, black heels, yellow and green underwear with cassette tapes printed on them, the book All I really need to know I learned in Kindergarten, or a computer microphone? I did not list everything on my floor because that would take at least an hour and if I did that, I might as well clean up the floor.

Here is another game. It's called "What are the old people doing over the fence?" I just peeked out my blinds. What did I see? A) old people smoking on the patio, B) someone in their nightgown in the second floor bedroom, C) one of the employees chatting with a co-worker, or D) the next door cat sitting on the wooden wishing well?

In case you didn't know, I have to check on the old people twice a day to make sure they're okay. I always check at night right before I go to sleep, and I used to check in the morning but lately I have forgotten. More I am peeking out of the blinds to see what the weather is like and what should I wear? rather than how are the senior citizens doing.

Maybe I lied when I said I could type for two hours straight. It's only been about fifteen minutes since I said that. Maybe instead of writing I should check Lenay Olsen's channel on YouTube to see if she's posted any new videos. Or maybe I should go read Her Bad Mother's Basement and learn some new secrets about strangers. Speaking of which, I don't know how psychiatrists can function, listening to all those problems. It would eat me up. That's probably why I was a bad RA. I can't just listen to someone's problems, give some advice, and then stop thinking about it.

Speaking of advice, I have found that people never take mine. It's okay, I'm not that offended, but I secretly say "I told you so" in my head. And then it's real annoying when the problems they could have avoided had they taken my advice happen anyway. When we were in high school, something happened that caused my sister to admit that she should always take my advice. I know, it was priceless. She only did for about two months, then she went to her old ways of not listening. So in a sense she kind of deserved that guy who swallowed marbles and left artificial flowers on her car windshield while she was at school.

One time I was trying to give my mom advice while I was helping her clean out her old house. She had this huge, and I mean GIGANTIC quilt collection, but she didn't take my advice and still has that ratty old green wool blanket from the seventies (btw, she stored it under my bed at her house--go figure).

Also, when I advised my father that he drop dial up and quit his AOL subscription, did he listen? Seriously, who still has AOL? I mean, I know it was uber cool when I was in seventh grade, but not so much anymore. At least my mother listened to the benefits of having an iPod.

Okay, I really am going to quit now. Sorry, I overestimated my abilities. Talk to you in the morning.

P.S. Does anybody remember PepperAnn? She roller bladed to class and was too cool for seventh grade. Also, Doug and Quail Man?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

My arm got amputated due to a virus

Holy. Mother. Of Moses. (Only Moses' mother wasn't holy). My POS computer is seriously pissing me off. I would have posted a new blog everyday since Monday with a word count of at least 800, because I had a lot to say, only I couldn't because my computer caught a virus and I had to WIPE MY HARDRIVE. And then after I wiped my hardrive I had to reload Windows, only after it loaded, something freaky happened and after I turned my computer off it wouldn't start again due to an internal error in System 32. I effing hate System 32. I don't know what it does but I seriously mother effing hate it (sorry, I'll try to calm down).

When I first got the virus I put it into quarantine in Sophos (which did not help), and then I tried to clean it. Sophos was all "part of it has been deleted, but in order to fully remove the virus you need to restart your computer." So I did. After that, Sophos was like "You are SOL, because you need to manually remove the virus because it is hidden in eight different locations in secret files on your computer." So I was like "great. Awesome. I totally know how to do that. NOT. So I called tech support, which was not supportive. The eight different locations of the virus was in System 32, which is basically just a bunch of jumbled letters. But when I got there, it told me that the files in System 32 were critical to the normal functioning of my computer. After that I gave up on cleaning my computer and figured I should just back up all my files before my whole computer screen turned red with splattered blood--you know how they do after you die in a computer game?

Anyway, I saved everything I could (but am still pissed about having to reload itunes and Ruckus--once I have a functioning computer), and called my cousin, who is super smart because he is an engineer--But not like a computer engineer, just a regular engineer. Everybody needs a computer geek friend. Everyone. Otherwise you are a total SOL. And you'll have to call the Geek Squad and cough up like 300 bucks.

In talking with my cousin, I asked him about virus protection. He said he doesn't use any. There are three things he does and he hasn't had a problem.
1) Do not use Internet Explorer as your web browser. Use Firefox.
2) Once you are on Firefox, google ad blocker plus and load that.
3) Do not look at porn.

I guess if you follow those three guidelines, you can surf the web safely and securely. If you have a problem with number three, then you should go to the Adult Shop that is by my sister's house because it offers secure rooms for private viewings. Not that I would know. I mean, I would, because it says so right on the billboard thingy and I drive past it two times every time I visit my sister. Now, she doesn't live right by the porn shop by any means. I don't want you to think that. But she's only five minutes away from it. Just say NO!

Any way, my computer has a fatal error and I hate it and I basically am going to have to buy a new one with all of the extra money I am making right now (NOT).

The only reason I am able to write this blog is because my sister was nice enough to loan me her laptop until Sunday. And I am an addict and need to watch Monday's episode of The Bachelor (Don't tell me what happened). Sorry if this blog was not at all interesting to you, but I had a story to tell. Maybe I'll post something more interesting tomorrow. I had all sorts of splendid ideas this week but lost them in the depths of my mind because I knew I couldn't write about them.

By the way, tonight is the third night I haven't brought any work home. But I almost took a personal day on Tuesday because I was so stressed about my computer. It's 7:42 and I need to eat dinner. And see if Jason will pick Melissa or Jillian (hopefully not Molly because I think she's kind of a snobby bitch).

Monday, February 16, 2009

A new division of The Real Pretend

If you haven't gotten enough of reality and fiction, check out the new division of The Real Pretend. It's called Two Truths and a Lie and you can read it by going to . Yeah, I know I am a URL whore.

I would write a lot more but my computer has a virus and I think it is going to crash in 4.78 minutes.

Somebody help me.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Valentine's Day Confessions

I so did. It was me, Alex. I am the one who locker stalked you in 2003. It took a great deal of effort and excellent visual perception. This is what I did: everyday after lunch I would walk through senior hall and spot you and your friends by your lockers. I needed to know which one was yours. It took many days of verification. I counted how many in from the right. How many down from the left. I used my super vision to zoom in on the tiny black locker number. I mean, really, it took all of three seconds to walk by, and I didn’t want to stare. Half glances can only gain so much information. After I was pretty sure it was the seventh one from the end, I marked it. You probably couldn’t tell. It was with a little sticker from my Golden Delicious apple. I put it there one day when I got excused from art class to use the bathroom. It was all premeditated.

After I knew which orange metal box belonged to you, I planned the V-Day bomb. The quick shot of sappy, scented, pink heart filled trash that only a pathetic girl who had been pining for you since that time we had practiced the foxtrot together could. Should I give you a clue? Photocopy my year book mug shot and then cut out just the smile so you would have to match it? Scramble the letters in my name?

In the end, I decided to remain a mystery. Alex, I know you kept it. You probably still have it tucked away in your sock drawer until this very day. By staying anonymous, I gave you hope—hope I never had. You thought to yourself “What if it’s her? What if she likes me?” You could think to yourself that the girl you had been pining over actually liked you, that she had sent you a Valentine’s Day card, when in reality, it was me, not her.

I needed some evidence that you had read it. This was all carefully planned out. I wrote the witty poem, glued the tissue paper heart on the front, crafted the best sappy card I could that rivaled any Hallmark greeting. And—yes I confess—sprayed it with my glittery tropical fruit punch perfume. Oh god, I can’t believe I actually wore that $3.99 stuff from Rite Aid. I created the evidence I needed to give me satisfaction. I cut out twenty tiny tissue paper hearts and stuffed them inside of the card so that when you opened it unknowingly, they would flutter to the ground like red and pink butterflies landing. I even practiced opening it, to see what it would be like for you. After eight test runs, I filled the card for the last time, stuffed it into the envelope, and wrote your name in cursive on the front.

I slipped the card into the crack in your locker after school on February 13th. I made some lame excuse to stay late that day, and when the halls were clear, I delivered my message like Cupid.

I created all the excitement I needed for that day. I knew I was getting diddly-squat from anyone (excluding my mother), but the anticipation of you receiving that card was enough to hold me over.

After second period I walked past your locker and saw all the little tissue paper hearts on the ground. You had opened it. You were probably having a rockin’ day, knowing some girl had a crush on you. I smiled big and went to Spanish class, knowing I had made your day better.

Alex, I just want to know, how long did you think about it? How long did you think it was her before you asked her out? Is that why the two of you got together? Because of me? Because you finally got the confidence you needed? I’m not bitter about it in the slightest. I chuckle about it now. You two were cute together. But Alex, I just want to know. Did you ask her if she sent it to you? If you did, what did you do after she said no? Because it was me, not her.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Quit Stalking Me

If you are from HR, then please stop checking up on everything I do on-line. If you are an employee of human resources, then you are forbidden from reading this blog. And don't request to be my friend on MySpace either.

Everybody else, read on. I told you the other day I felt like I was being spied on at school. Well, today it jumped to a whole new level. A week ago I put an ad on Craigslist under the community volunteer section for classroom assistant. I got a few responses, but only one person has actually been in my classroom (and she already had a background check cleared because she worked at two other schools in the district). Well, I got an e-mail from my principal today telling me that she got a call from HR. Apparently the person in charge there saw my posting and didn't think it was a very trustworthy way to gain a volunteer (they want me to work till 8pm instead).

I would just like to know how/why this HR person was on Craigslist, and how she found this info out. The posting did not have my school name or my name, just an e-mail address. If you work in HR, what are you doing on Craigslist anyway? It must have taken some effort. Why are you searching for me? Is your spy at school not doing enough?

Mainly, I am just really creeped out. And I still don't have any consistent help in my classroom, because two of the people flaked, and I haven't heard from the person who did come in since Monday (I think we scared her away).

I think I am going to set some traps.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Blogilicious...sorry, I know it's dumb

I just added six blogs to my favorites list. It all started with this one blog, which had links to other blogs which were equally as witty, which led me to Diary of a Disillusioned Ex-Dater, which lead me to Eleanor's Trousers, then to Her Bad Mother's Basement, then to...and now I have like an hour and a half of blog reading to do everyday when I get home. Most of the people I added to my list live on the East Coast. I don't even know any of them. I might link them to my page in a day or so, so you can read them too.

Last night I had this really super sweet dream that I hoped was real when I was dreaming it, but then I woke up and realized it never happened. But I still feel happy thinking about it. Guys are much more caring in the figment of my imagination than in reality.

Today I was done at school at 4:30 and didn't take anything at all home with me (however, when I got home I spent an hour putting Valentine's cards together). But I won't count that. Because it is out of love, not out of duty. By the way, I think someone at school may be spying on me. By someone, I know exactly who, but I'm not going to tell you that.

V-day confession blog will be posted Friday evening sometime.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Sugar Daddy Needed

If the letter i were the anti-thesis of the exclamation point (!), then I would need to use it many times in this blog. While the exclamation point can be used to convey excitedness, there is no punctuation in the written English language that can accurately show my feelings about today. The period does not do it justice. Several things:

The librarian came into my classroom holding a laptop computer. I knew it was bad news bears because my class had the laptop cart last yesterday. She showed me the screen. There was a big mark across it. I was shocked. The librarian told the kids that she talked to the principal about it (awesome), and that they need to be much more careful. I had scheduled to use the laptops this afternoon for a computer based reading program, but told the kids that they wouldn't get to today.

During ELD, both the principal and assistant principal stood in the doorway and watched. What for? I don't know. But I was doing good stuff. They probably marked me down because a kid talked.

After lunchtime, we had rainy day recess, which is never very organized. I missed ten minutes of my lunch because after x amount of years, they still haven't figured out what IAs are supposed to be where when.

During my reading group, the assistant principal came in. Like came in looking at me, like he needed to talk to me. It's rare for him to bother me while I am teaching, so I was a bit nervous. BTW, when he came in, my class was reading in complete silence. = ) He chatted with me about an enraged parent (nothing new there). I don't know if this happens to you when you check your e-mail, but everyday I cringe a little, expecting some sort of mean message from somebody.

In my next reading group, I was working with kids spelling words with word cubes. There is a vowel cube (a, e, i, o, u--in case you failed fourth grade), an endings cube (ed, es, le, ing, etc), a cube with tch, ch, ck, sh, wh on it, and then consanant cubes. I say things like, use three cubes and spell "ship," or "change one letter and make it say shop." I was feeling pissed because the kids were just chatting and picking on each other. I saw one kid's vowel cube was face up on the letter u. Then I looked around and saw the ck cube. "Use three cubes and spell....." Well, you can figure it out.

Had a lame meeting, at which I peeled and ate an orange.

Stayed at work 1.5 hours past the time I get paid to be there for.

Didn't want to go to the gym, but I had packed my shoes and everything just in case, and figured I should go since I won't be able to go on Thursday, since I have a math meeting until 6pm in the opposite end of town. I got inside, and a semi-cute guy I hadn't seen before at the desk asked me how it was going. Rather than sharing the complete truth (because no one cares), I said "Well, it's going." Got to the locker room and discovered I left my leggings at home, which meant I only had my shorty short pink shorts with me. A five minute debate ensued inside my brain. Should I go bare-legged? Hide inside a bathroom stall for thirty minutes and just breathe deeply? Get naked and go in the sauna and lock the door? I didn't want to wear just my shorty short shorts because 1) I hadn't exactly shaved all the sections of my legs, 2) they are kind of white but I could get over that, 3) They are very short and would ride up even more if I went on the elliptical or something. I decided to brave it, and just go to the back so people couldn't look at me. I attempted to use this stair stepper thingy, but discovered I am actually too short to use it properly. I think. I gave up after a fifteen second attempt. Then I went to the pedaling thingy and read (because I am behind for my reading group) for a measly 25 minutes. But at least I went.

When I got back to my car, I searched around for my leggings to see if they had fallen out of my bag, or if I really did forget them. I really did forget them, but found something else in my car. It was a white plastic bag with some pink valentine's stuff in it. For a minute I was weirded out, because I couldn't remember buying it, and then I thought someone must have gotten in my car and left it there. I saw the sticky note. I was from my mom, who has a key to my car. Often times, if she needs to give me something, she will just drive by the school parking lot and leave it in my trunk while I am teaching.

She left me a sticky note to call my insurance agent (before my policy expires in six days), a red envelope that I assume is a card, so I'm not opening it till Saturday, a pink kitchen towel, a pink stirring spoon, and cupcake liners. Apparently she did not get the memo about my needed cupcake fast. But maybe she is expecting me to bake oat bran muffins or something. Yeah right. Oh, by the way, I woke up totally freaked out this morning because I had this dream I was ordering at a fast food restaurant, and the restaurant had a mirror, and when I looked in the mirror I was totally obese. Like, three hundred pounds. It was so sick. I saw the mirror right before I went up to order, and then I was all embarrassed to order since I looked like Keiko (only alive, not deceased in Iceland, and without the black and white Orca patterning). I have never had a dream like that before. Totally bizarre. Also, in part of the fat dream I met Obama, only he was obese too. I also talked with his two daugthers, who were normal sized and had hot pink bedrooms.

While at the gym I was thinking hard about what other professions I could try, because today this teacher thing did not work out. I am open to suggestions. I asked Susan in our teacher meeting what other profession she would like to be if she weren't a teacher, and she said, "Um....what's it called, when you like, have a sugar daddy?" I laughed and was like "A prostitute?" She said no, she just wanted a guy that bought her stuff, or just a husband rich enough that she didn't have to work and could just stay home.

After my frustrating day, I decided I would make a new chart for myself and post it by my desk. It will have the day of the week, a spot to record what time I actually leave school, and a stress ranking system numbered one through ten. Here is the corresponding key:
1= totally great day, no stress, inservice so no kids
2= awesome day, kids were angels, my least favorite 2 were absent
3=awesome day, I feel like the kids actually learned something
4= good day, kids behaved well enough that my heart didn't beat faster when the principal came in
5= pretty good day, kids behaved well for the most part
6= decent day, had to talk loudly or ask for attention more than twice
7= barely passable. throat is sore from talking, arm is sore from trying to get attention
8= possible brain embolism, need to take some pills to help me sleep
9= I don't want to go back tomorrow
10= I am searching for new jobs tonight

Today: Tuesday, left at 6:06 pm, scoring it an 8, however I am thinking about alternate careers. Am not going to search for new jobs on-line because I did that yesterday.

A few more days until I post my valentine's day confession blog. I already wrote it, I am just debating whether or not to reveal true names. Right now I need to make Valentines for my students. I got as much black construction paper as I could find, now I just need to cut out black hearts and use a white crayon to draw a skull on them. Kidding. I like most of my kids. They are getting Valentines with Spongebob, Carebears, and Princesses on them, with glittery pencils.

Monday, February 9, 2009

I won a _____!

Things are looking up. Today I can call myself a winner. Even if certain people think I am a loser, I really had good luck today. From what I can tell of my new student, he will get along okay. Yes, he has some oddities, but I think he'll survive.

I went to my weight lifting class at 5:30, and I thought I was going to be late because I went to the Dollar Tree super quick-o fast to pick up some teaching stuff and to look for Valentine's Day crap for my kiddos. I ended up not getting any Valentines, but did get some V-day pencils. I got to my class in time, and since it is Western week, a cowgirl had me enter my name into a drawing. I wrote down my name, threw it in the bucket, then pumped some iron. Underneath our benches were two cards which the instructor told us not to look at until later.

Half way through the class, she drew a name from the bucket. Surprise, surprise, it wasn't me. But then she pulled another name. She stumbled over it a bit but it was definitely Joelle. I was so excited! She asked me and the other girl to come to the platform. We had to draw a card and not look at it, stand back to back, take three paces forward, then draw and stick our cards to our foreheads to show the audience. I had the highest card! Whoo-hooo! I was a winner. And guess what I won?! A free session with a personal trainer! I am so excited, because I wouldn't have paid for one otherwise. And guess what else? The personal trainer is going to be this really hot man with perfect teeth, no facial hair, and a Scottish accent who is going to ask me to marry him! (okay, so maybe that part's not true, especially considering I am meeting with a female personal trainer). My freebie session is next week. Basically, she is going to ask me all sorts of questions and do some measuring of things I'd rather stayed unmeasured, and then tell me/show me what I can do to work on my fitness like Fergie. But the bad part is that later I have to go in and get re-measured to see if anything changed. Which means, you know, I have to go on a cupcake fast. And maybe eat some vegetables since I am a vegetarian.

But seriously! What are the chances? (1 in 40, and then 1 in 2 after the initial drawing, to be precise). You know what else? I almost didn't go to the class today because I kind of just wanted to go home. But it pays off to have perseverance.

Oh, and my volunteer came in this morning. She says she might work 15 hours a week. Exclamation Point. That would be amaazing. My kids would really benefit from it.

By the way, today I accidentally wore pants that had Spatzel stains on them from Jess' German birthday dinner, and I don't even care! Because I am a winner! Additionally, I had a college writing prof. who said you only get seven exclamation points in your life, so use them when you really need them. Well, clearly she never won a free personal training session, or she would have been more lenient and given me seven just to write this blog.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Disney stole my brain

On Friday we had a special assembly hosted by Radio Disney and sponsored by Northwest Natural Gas. The assembly was to educate students on recycling and biogas and how to help the earth, but I'm not going to lie: it was more a promotion of Disney. They want to capture them when they are young. Sure, they gave us some info, but then they also handed out Disney goody bags and played Jonas Brothers tunes during the assembly.

They kind of got what they deserved at the end. Two of the guys who hosted the assembly lost their car keys (they were sitting among the prize bags and we think a kid accidentally grabbed, so they had to stay at school for two hours after the assembly was over, while someone from Portland drove their spare keys down. That's what you get for trying to market to young children. Don't get me wrong, I like Disney just as much as the next person. I was in love with all things Lion King and Pocahontas as a child. I just don't think you should get away with self promotion under the guise of an educational presentation. Especially in a school.

The moon is especially bright tonight, and I have the bad feeling it is an omen of what is to come tomorrow. I am getting a new student. Cross your fingers I can handle him.

TV update: LOST was totally insane last week. I mean, Rousseau pregnant and rescuing Jin? I never thought I'd see either of those two again. This time travel thing just gets better and better. And The Office? I'm one episode behind, but Dwight's fire drill was crazy. And then the Michael Scott roast? haha. On The Bachelor, I knew Stephanie wouldn't make it all the way. Yeah, she's nice, and she has a heartbreaking story, but really? All that blush and gaudy jewelry? Too much for me, and probably too much for Jason. I can tell you right now he's going to pick Melissa. I think the last movie I saw in theater was 27 Dresses, but on Friday night Natalie and I went to see He's Just Not That Into You. Story of my life. Totally loved it. I laughed a lot and was glad it was not a happy ending for all. Not everybody gets a happy ending, and that fact reminds me of how much I need to finish writing the book I started for NaNoWriMo. I want it to have an ending that makes you want to chuck the book across the room after reading the last page.

A few posts ago I mentioned I was working on a top secret project. I'll be honest and say I haven't worked much on it since, but I get a day off next Monday, so maybe I'll do it then. Additionally, I am working on a comic strip, but it will be a video series. I don't think I'm that crappy of an artist, but I am crappy at drawing cartoons, so this is going to take me a while. I have the story line all written out, I'm just working on the scenes. I'm not going to tell you anything else about it, because I want it all to be a surprise. But you'll love it.

I am getting my first volunteer in my classroom tomorrow! And she says she can work up to 20 hours a week! Hopefully she's good and not a creeper or someone who just chats with kids and doesn't help them get their work done.

Valentine's Day is coming up, so look for the blog titled Valentine's Day Confessions this week. I will reveal to you some very personal things that will make you say, "Joelle, you did not!" I so did.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Becoming Sydney Bristow

I told you before that I listen to Alias soundtracks while at the gym because it makes me feel like a spy. I gotta tell you, this week has been tough. I went to the gym on Saturday, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. The only day I got to watch TV that I liked was on Saturday because I was basically alone. I might drive in tomorrow just so I can watch HGTV. They have lots of good ones on Saturdays. I think I might check TV guide after this and see.

I got semi-tricked into lifting weights (one time in college I got tricked into taking chemistry, but that's a different story). I went to my first group class on Monday. It started at 5:30, and there were all these people waiting outside the room for it to start. I told a friendly looking lady I was new, and asked what the class was about (since it's description was one word, which was not a good adjective). We lift weights, she tells me. Like real weights. The kind where you have a bar and add the disks to each end. I started with 2.5 on each end, because that's what the staff member suggested. I was fine at first, but then after a squillion reps I was dying. And it was only five pounds. Despite the fact that the poundage I was pressing was little, I felt kind of hard core. There were lots of people in the class so I could just watch the people in front of me what to do. I went to the same class on Wednesday and kind of knew what to do a little more.

On Thursday I just did my own thing, because I got there too late to join any classes without feeling embarrassed. I was very disappointed to be forced into watching the news. Honestly, I don't care if a bunch of people caught Salmonella. I've got my own ish to worry about. Don't tell me the problems of even more people. I've got 27 on my mind for a near 19 hours a day (because I dream about them, too).

Today I went to a kickboxing class, and I have to say that the instructor looked infinitely cooler than I did. He had the little glove things on his hands and jumped all around in his swishy black pants. He also moved real fast. Since no one wants to work out on Friday (they just all want to get drunk or crash), there were only ten other people in the room. I was dead center in front of the instructor. No where to hide. I did the best that I could, and I kind of got into later, like I was Sydney Bristow doing CIA agent field training. It was fun, but the whole time I was thinking that I could very easily dislocate my knee cap because of all the sudden movements and twisting and turning. This was especially on my mind because on Wednesday night after I got home, I dislocated my right knee cap something awful. It got stuck and my leg was high in the air, so I was jumping around my room trying to get it straight. The last time I dislocated my knee cap--see the blog F#^&ing Hell --was in December. Apparently I can only go one month without a mishap. But enough of that.

We were all throwing punches and jabbing, and hooking, and whatnot. For a moment I seriously felt like my heart might quit on me. I am sorry if this sound racist/stereotypical or anything like that, but there was this black girl in front of me that was totally into it. I could tell she came to this class every week, maybe even practiced at home. Every time we let out a punch she would grunt (the instructor encouraged it), and I could see her face snarl up. She is not someone I would want to mess with, like Anna Espinosa.

I am only revealing this to you because I don't know who you are (except for Natalie and Kaitlynn, but I probably already told you). There was this cute guy that worked at the gym (he was the one who gave me a tour), but I have only seen him one time since I joined. Plus, they took his picture down from the personal trainer's board or whatever. I kind of think he either quit or moved to a different location. I am very upset by this, because maybe we could have gotten married in matching track suits and Nike sneakers, once I got the body of Sydney Bristow. But that's just my life.

P.S. This week I have developed an eye twitch. This has never happened before. It is either due to exercising (because that is the new variable), or I really am super stressed at work and I need to get put on Ambien or Xanax or something.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

What's hot, what's not

If you’ve ever had a personal conversation with me about boys, then you would know my must have and can’t stand for guys. Must have: good teeth. As in, they are all present. No silver. Relatively straight. Not a shade found on the color wheel. Can’t stand: facial hair (also smoking, but that’s a given). I absolutely hate facial hair. Even side burns. No molestache, please. No scruffy beard. Nothing you could braid or tie a bow in. Some guys may feel they look like they are 15 if they don’t have any facial hair. Well, guess what, I look like I’m 15 too, and I’d rather see your baby face than a mountain man beard.

I have two important theories to back up my must have and can’t stand. You would know these already if you know me well. I feel repetitive saying this, because I feel as though I have explained it a hundred times.

The teeth theory: I figure, if a guy can’t take three minutes a day to brush his teeth and take care of himself, he’s not going to take care of you. You want to know how responsible someone is and how caring they’re going to be? Look inside his mouth. Just like buying a horse.

The facial hair theory: Have you taken a look at recent mug shots that make it into the paper? The majority of them have some sort of facial hair (if they’re male, also, sometimes if they’re not male). Most criminals are scruffy. Now, I’m not saying that you are a criminal if you have facial hair, I’m just saying a large majority of criminals have facial hair. It’s best just to stay away.
This said, I would like to tell you about a guy from my high school who would drive me insane every once in a while. In a good way. We’ll call this guy Mr. Muscles. It wasn’t so much his biceps that caused me to stare, as much as the stubble on his cheeks and chin. I know right? Unpredictable. The height of my crush on Mr. Muscles was our junior year. I had a class with him, and he sat one row over to the right. Mr. Muscles was a clean-shaven boy, so the day he came in with a five o’clock shadow, I practically fell out of my desk swooning for him.

Here is what you have to understand. In high school, some boys can grow some peach fuzz and others can grow a beard. While I thought all the guys who did grow beards were disgusting, I thought it was totally hot to have to shave everyday. Mr. Muscles’ stubble was hot because there was a lot of it—though hardly noticeable to someone who did not inspect him thoroughly each day—and it wasn’t all patchy like some guys’. By patchy stubble, I mean they have like five gross strands sticking out of their face.

I kept glancing over to look at Mr. Muscles’ stubble, because it wasn’t there the day before. This meant that he did indeed have to shave everyday to keep up his regular appearance. I envisioned a scene in my head where Mr. Muscles was up late studying for physics and too sleepyfaced in the morning to shave. Being smart is hot. I only liked the stubble because it was gone the next day. If you have stubble for five days, that’s not hot. But he just had it for one day, then it disappeared. It happened again one day three weeks later. Again, the very sight of it made me forget iambic pentameter. Oh, did I say we were in English class? That was a secret. I think Mr. Muscles’ pheromones were landing right under my nose.

I may seem really ridiculous when I say this, but it would not have been hot if he had stubble once or twice every week. The fact that it happened for only one day at a maximum of every two weeks is what made it sexy. Rugged. Oh god, the memories of it. So basically, I guess what I am saying is: facial hair on guys is totally disgusting, unless it’s one day stubble every two to three weeks. But I’m not letting up on the teeth thing. I guess being so particular might be part of the reason the prefix to my name is still Miss.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

She Had a Premonition

Go figure my mother would wait to tell me the truth about the death of one of my relatives until we are at a fundraising tea party and I am the mature age of over two decades. I am going to start this story with something called exposition, which in case you didn’t know, is when the writer tells the reader some important background information.

When I was little, a framed black and white portrait of a girl sat on a shelf near the TV. My sister and I wanted to know who she was, so we asked our mother. “That’s Aunt Jeanie,” she would say. She told us that Aunt Jeanie died as a teenager because she got a hit by a car when she was riding her bicycle. She was at the top of a hill and the sun was shining just so, and the driver of the car didn’t see her because of the light.

Aunt Jeanie was my mom’s favorite aunt because she was just a few years older than my mom. More of a big cousin, as it was. Aunt Jeanie is the sister of my grandpa, making her my great aunt. Aunt Jeanie had two sisters, Aunt Jani and Aunt Marilyn. These people will become important later.

My middle name is Jean, and all of my childhood I thought it was because my dad’s mom’s middle name is Jean. My mom told me a few months ago that it is actually after Aunt Jean (Jeanie was a term of endearment, much like Aunt Janet is Aunt Jani). My middle name seemed infinitely more important after learning this. I lived my childhood thinking that Aunt Jeanie just died because she got hit by a car. Well, there is more to the story. Apparently she had a premonition.

On Saturday I went to a church tea party in Mt. Angel (which is where Aunt Jeanie, Aunt Jani, Aunt Marilyn, my grandpa, and Uncle Bill—who is not important in this story so that is why I won't mention him again—grew up). They grew up in a special rock-studded house on College street with my Opa and Oma (German for grandpa and grandma). The tea party that I attended had a 1920s theme, so part of the event included showing old slides from Mt. Angel in the 1920s. This somehow led my mother and sister and I into a discussion of Aunt Jeanie and her portrait that sat on the shelf next to the TV.

“She knew she was going to die,” my mom told us. “She knew she wasn’t going to live past 16, so she made preparations.”
“Holy Mary what do you mean!” (only we didn't really say that).
“That was an odd thing, back then (then being 1970) for a young girl to get her portrait taken. It was very expensive,” my mom said. All of this is becoming totally eerie, because every single family member of my mom’s has that photo of Aunt Jeanie somewhere in their house. It was taken like six months before she died. Good thing she planned ahead, I guess.
“Aunt Jeanie got Grandma Terrie (my grandma who married Aunt Jeanie’s older brother) to sign a note so that she could skip school and go to the photographer. She had her portrait taken and copies made, and then she took the photo to someone to have them make a big painting of it.” Instantly my sister Jess and I want to know where the painting is, since Opa and Oma died and obviously no longer have it. Mom thinks Aunt Marilyn has it.

So Jess and I are thinking, wow, that’s creepy weird to know that you are going to die, and so you have your photo taken professionally so that people can have copies once you’re dead. But that’s not all, my mom says. Jess is like “you mean…Aunt Jeanie became a ghost?” I start to get all excited because maybe some freaky ish happened in Opa and Oma’s house and nobody every told us about it. “No,” mom said. She continued with the story.

Aunt Jeanie would talk about how she knew she was going to die young, and she told the boy who lived next door to her about it. He was all “of course you’ll live to be 16, Jeanie.” And she was like “No, I’m serious. I am going to die.” He didn’t believe her, so they made a bet. She told him that if she lived to be 16, she would pay him $50. Which is a lot of money for a bet. And then she told him, “but if I don’t live to be 16, you have to put a rose on my grave every month for year after I die.” They agreed. Well, looks like she didn’t have to pay up on that one. My mom told me that the neighbor boy kept his word and put a flower on her grave every month. “Do you know his name?” I asked. My mom told me. I dropped my mouth because I know who he is. He still lives in Mt. Angel.

“Is there anything else?” we asked my mom. Yes, there was. Apparently after Jeanie died (and before her funeral), Aunt Jani and Aunt Marilyn lost some key in the grass (a key to Jeanie’s diary, perhaps? I didn’t ask). They were looking all over for it but couldn’t find it. Then Jani said “for crying out loud, Jeanie, can’t you help us?” I asked my mom why she would say that, because it seemed weird. I don’t ask dead people I know for help. Apparently it’s a Catholic thing. Oh. So after Jani said that, there was the key, right in front of them.

On the day of Jeanie’s funeral, Jani went up to the abbey with Jeanie’s boyfriend, because he wanted to show Jani the tree where they had carved their names. Jani didn’t think there would be time to look for it before the funeral started, but went along. They were looking and looking at this group of trees and couldn’t find it. Jani said the same thing “for crying out loud, Jeanie, can’t you help us?” Then they found the carving. At which point my sister and I asked our mom if she thought dead people hung around until their funerals, and only passed on once they were buried. Who really knows. Nothing weird happened after Aunt Jeanie was buried. Well, mostly.

Something else happened, but I guess you could just say it was a coincidence. Years later, Aunt Jani and Aunt Marilyn were old enough to get married. Aunt Jani married a man who had the same month and day of birth as Aunt Jeanie. That’s got to be weird, meeting the guy you are going to marry, and then learning that his birthday is the same as your deceased little sister’s. That’s not all. Aunt Marilyn got married, too. She married a man whose birthday is the same month and day (August 24) as the deathday of Aunt Jeanie. How eerie is that? “Oh hi, I think I might want to marry you. When did you say your birthday is? Stomach jolt. That’s the same day my little sister died.” Either that is a very freaky coincidence, or maybe, and I’m just saying maybe because it’s more fun to think about it this way…maybe the ghost/spirit of Aunt Jeanie helped Jani and Marilyn meet their husbands. Because she wanted to be remembered.

My mom told me she was like eleven years old when all of this happened, and she wrote it all down. She still has the notebook, so she’s going to see if she can dig it up so we can read it. After the tea party, I told Jess “we’re going to go to the graveyard.” Because Opa and Oma are buried there too, and we were already in Mt. Angel, it was only four minutes away, and the last time we were there was like five years ago. So we went.

I drove my car in through the wrought iron gates, then we parked by this tree that we thought they were buried close to. We looked for their headstone but couldn’t find it. “I thought it was over here,” Jess said. “I know.” Maybe it’s farther this way, we thought. Then we stopped. “That one’s fresh.” We stared at the raised grass, heaped in a pile. Okay, creepy. We walked the other way. Hammelmans. Bochslers. Elderlies. Schmidt, but the wrong one. My golden ballerina shoes were getting all wet because of the grass, and it was really cold. Then I said, mostly joking but slightly curious, “for crying out loud, Jeanie. Help us.” Her grave did not suddenly appear in front of us. We kept looking, went back to the orginal place we had thought, and went back a few rows father. There it was. Schmidt. Francis, Romona, and Jean Ann. I looked down at the grave, thinking about the neighbor boy coming to leave his monthly rose. And I thought about Oma, who used to give us a quarter when we took her shopping so that we could buy these little bouncy balls out of the toy machine. And I thought about Opa, who taught most of his grand kids and great grand kids how to whistle, and would swing with us on the white bench swing in the backyard and talk about the rhubarb plant and how tasty of pie Oma made. It was the same swing that Jeanie sat on, and the same rhubarb pie that she ate.

Monday, February 2, 2009

The hardest letter I had to write

I got an e-mail from the office saying that my kid's mom requested his work from last week since he was gone, and they told me he won't be in at all this week either because he is for sure moving. I am supposed to take his things out of his desk and take it all to the office tomorrow. I put together a manila envelope with a letter, a book, and some white envelopes for my favorite student. The reason he has to leave breaks my heart, and I only wish I could help him at this time in his life. Unfortunately, we can't choose our parents, and that fact seems to bring a lot of people heartache. I'm going to keep praying for him, and I won't ever forget him. Whenever I get frustrated teaching, and I ask myself "why am I doing this?" well, now I know. I know why God put me at the school that he did. It was for him. One reason is enough for the entire school year. Meeting that little guy makes all the extra hours and late nights I put in worth it. He's a four-foot-five hero.


I hope you know how much I liked having you in class. I am going to miss you very much. I remember the first day of school when you came to my door and told me your name. I said, "Oh, I don't think you are in this class," because I didn't have a kid named____on my list. I didn't know then that your name was both ____and_____. It was a good thing you knew you were supposed to be in my class! I was very lucky to have you.

Your new teacher is going to love having you in class because you are such a smart student and a nice kid. I am sure you will go to college when you are older.

I am giving you a copy of Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli because it is one of my favorites and I wanted to read it with your reading group. Since I didn't get the chance, I thought you might want to read it on your own. Besides, I think it's comforting to have a good book when you are in a new place.

I also included some stamped envelopes because I would like to hear how you are doing in a little while. Maybe after you start your new school, you could tell me about it.

I will miss you a lot and class won't be the same without you, but I bet I will see you again someday. Even though the world is big, it can seem kind of small sometimes when you run into people you know without even trying.

Take care and be brave.
Ms. Grossen

"It's where I'm from, not where I am," --Maniac Magee
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