Thursday, October 30, 2008
Many teachers dress up. I'm totally not the dress-up type, but I knew I couldn't get away with my norm. So, I wore a wig, french braided it, wore a plaid shirt, jeans and a hankerchief around my neck, and ba-da-bing, ba-da-boom....I was a cow girl, country girl, whatever you want to call it.
The kids loved it, and I talked in a southern accent for most the day. You won't believe how gullable they are about my hair, half of them really thought it was real.
I pull the blonde off, don't I? ha....
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
So, I went down to the office and asked if I could get a sub...they are sweet as pie, and said they'd try their best. They called my room a few minutes later. Our dear secretary says, "Katie...help is on the way! Go home. Get well."
I gather my things together and head out the door, getting wind blown, tossed every which way, and shot all over my body with pellets of rain. I get to my car, and I see my passenger rear tire is almost flat. Just awesome. Did I happen to mention that just one day ago we took Declan's car to get his flat tire fixed? Yea, it was a nail, that went through the lining, thus resulting in an entire new tire purchase, not just the $9.50 repair. So, when I see my flat tire, my heart sinks. Great, another $150 bucks.
I call Declan and he says to just fill it with air until he can help me deal with it, since I wasn't feeling too hot. I go to the nearest gas station with air, and it takes .75 in quarters only. I manage to scrounge up 2 quarters. I need 3. I literally look in every nook and cranny, of course I can't find one. I then decide to just go gut it out at Wal-mart tire center and see if it will be quick, this way I will have a workable car for the rest of the week. Luckily, they were so nice to me, and at 9:04am they aren't very busy. I was in and out of there in 20 minutes, played some mindless solitaire on my cell phone while I waited, and did I mention what they found in my tire? Let me just say THANK YOU TO THE CONSTRUCTION WE LIVE IN (i need to give you the props you deserve)...because, they found a SCREW in my tire. I feel very blessed, however, to have left there only paying $10.04 to have my tire repaired, because it did not go through the inner lining. Thank God!
The rest of my day has consisted of fighting this migraine which really has never left the inner parts of my right brain, behind my eye. I have heard the wind whistling outside like nothing I've ever heard before, the sky is eerie and dark, the rain is strong, it hurts your skin. My poor puppy goes 4 inches from the door to pee, and runs back in as quick as he can, in hopes of not blowing away. I have my vanilla candle burning, my heat set to 72, a fleece blanket around me and my pillows from my bed. Mac is cuddled up on the couch with me snoozing, I just watched the most moving Oprah show, and I'm appreciating this day for what it is.
Love, love, love...
Monday, October 27, 2008
I am glad she remembered the real meaning of Christmas, aren't you? Although, the fact that Joseph is standing on baby Jesus' head is slightly disturbing. :-) From an art teacher standpoint, shows me that she doesn't quite get the "overlapping" thing yet.
This is an example of the inside of the letters
Truely from the heart, wouldn't you say?
*Like I said, MOST students wrote sweet things. One student, however (there's always one!) wrote this:
"Dear Troop, Sorry you are missing Christmas because you won't get presents. I love Christmas it's the best and I get soooooooooo many presents. You're missing it."
Needless to say, it's on my desk and not in the 'box' being sent overseas.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
As a pre/sorta mid-warning, if you have not already realized, this blog entry will be a random hodge podge of things.
So, Declan has a deadline for a website which left me kind of alone for a saturday. Not cool. You know, one is the loneliest number. So, I got in my car insisting not to sit at home and do nothing, and just went out. Where to? Don't know. When in doubt...call mom and dad. They are always out doing random things on a saturday. Just my luck, I missed breakfast out, darn it. Breakfast out is my ultimate favorite. Love, love, love breakfast food. However, they were checking out the new Marshalls Home Good store that just opened. So, I met them there. That store is holy-cow-awesome! Apparently everyone else thought so too...the parking lot was INSANE. It felt like christmas in there (not because of all the decorations) due to the high quantity of people and the line that was backed up 50 people.
Recession? Really? HA. I laugh.
So, this leads me to another random thing to post about. My dad and I were talking today, and it's just amazing how crazy busy it was out in the shopping malls and stores today. All you hear on the news is that we're in an economic recession, and money is tight, and oh-no-we can't afford anything anymore. But, really people...let's admit it. Most of us are all still out living our lives like nothing is going on. Because, to put it bluntly, if the economy is not directly affecting you, you're living life the same. Right? Now, you can understand why it's hard for someone like my dad to accept this 'recession' because back when times were really bad (depression era), the stores had to shut down, the parking lots were empty....you see what I mean? Now, I'm not naive enough to think that there really aren't hurting people out there, who have lost their jobs recently, etc. However, I just can't seem to piece together how it seems so so so normal still for most Americans.
On that note, another thing on my mind is the elections. Wow. I have to say , I follow the news very closely, and I don't follow one specific channel, I tend to jump back and forth between the very liberal station and the very conservative, to make sure I am hearing as much from both sides. I still am not swayed on my decision. To me, the entire thing is a no-brainer, as to which canidate has the most experience, will not put our country in harms-way, who cares about the jobs and the small businesses (which employ most of the "middle" class), and even moral issues I care about. I am putting all "feelings" aside, I think the choice is clear. I want real, I want no shady background, I want an open book. I think we deserve that. In that respect, again, the choice is clear. I am a 'middle' class american who wants the good of the country, not some measily tax-cut. I'd rather suck it up and see the small business soar, see American's have more secure jobs, and see that more children are able to live. This election has gotten caddy and disgusting. When one party can only focus on how much the vp nominee's clothes are worth, you know you're in trouble. Oh, and when politics is so corrupt that one of our nominee's might have been born in Kenya, and they aren't really looking into it, hence possibly going against the US Constitution. Great. (note sarcasm)
Ohhh, I could go on and on , but I won't.
Another random thing, on a totally light subject. My parents are going to a halloween party tonight, and they needed help getting a costume together. I helped them out, and we went to the party store. They both got wigs, my dad got a cowboy hat, they got some flannel/plaid shirts, and my dad's funky false teeth are the best. He is going as a red-neck hick kinda dude, and my mom is more of a country/cow girl diva. Very funny. I can't wait to see pictures, because I have NEVER, ever seen my parents dressed up. Really!
So, on this wonderfully, windy, and random day....
I think I'm going to bake an apple pie.
Friday, October 24, 2008
Too bad I couldn't show their cute little faces, but the hats, they are adorable too.
Happy weekend, all!
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
My first class of the day came in quite hyper for the wee hours of the morning (9am that is). Normally, they are pretty quiet. It made me semi-dread the fact that I had yet another 4th grade class in an hour and a half. Well, as I was waiting for that second class of 4th graders I had that morning, the health teacher walks by and says...."are you one of the lucky ones who doesn't have that 4th grade today?"
I am puzzled and confused. "Whaaa?"
"Yea...you didn't know that both ____'s and ____'s class are at the museum today? You don't have class."
I SWORE he was playing a joke on me, he is that kind of guy. But really....he was telling the truth. The Lord heard my prayer, okay...I didn't actually pray, I sort of sighed in anticipation of that class, and so he gave me a break. yay!
Next happening of the day was my eventful kindergarten class. The kids color on placemats so they don't get crayon, marker and whatever else we're using on the tables. Well this one sweet boy started coloring by accident on the placemat. I gently reminded him to make sure to color on the paper and not the placement, it's there just in case you miss. So, minutes later I go by and see his head down on the table and he is sobbing...not only sobbing, but gooshing snot from his nose is running all over his artwork. wonderful. So, I kneel down and ask him what's wrong, and I literally cannot tell what he is saying, because he is cry-ing-like-this-an-d-n-ot-breath-ing-nice-deep-bre-aths-but-ver-ry-ver-ry-short-bre-aths. He is practically hyperventilating. I grab his hand and walk him over to my desk, and give him tissues, I help wipe his tears....he wipes his nose himself (uh..not doing that). I tell him over and over that "Mrs. B is not upset with you, do I look upset? I'm not upset." I realize he is so very mad at himself for getting crayon all over the placement. I start to get that he is NOT going to calm down on his own, and that the very short breaths that I realize turn into hyperventilating NEED TO STOP_NOW, or else I will have more of a problem on my hands. So, I kneel down, so I am face to face with him and I show him how to breath slow and deep. He copies me, well, he tries. He goes back to the short, fast breaths that SCARE me. I show him again, "follow me....breathe like this....(i take a deep breath)" He does it. Eventuallllly...like 10 minutes later he calms down. I feel horrible that he got so upset over that. What I realized later in talking with my mother in law is that he may have some sort of parent or someone at home that must really strike down on him when he does something wrong. So, he is so deathly afraid of making a mistake. Isn't that so sad? It was the closest I felt to saving a life, ha.
Oh, and I forgot to mention, during all that I had my anger-stricken student at his table with his hood up (his tell-tale sign of "i'm pissed off") and his head down on the table too. I needed to take deep breaths myself, too. For sure.
To make all things better, after that I had a 2nd grade class. One little girl has down syndrome. She came over to me with her picture, which, was very interesting to say the least. It has letters on the bottom that make no sense really. They say this:
P L E O T P L O E T P L
I said, "What does this say, sweetie?"
She goes (in her cute little voice), "It says I LOVE YOU", and she gives me the biggest hug ever.
what a day.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
The cutest little girl with the tiniest little voice pipes up...
....but I don't have her anymore...
My kitty died. (the tears start coming)
My kitty got ranned over one day by a car in the street." (tears, tears, tears)
The next thing you know, five other hands shoot up with DEATH stories of kitties! I felt so terrible for the little girl, and I told her I was sad for her and that I didn't want to hear the stories about dying kitties because it makes me sad (although...secretly...nahh...i won't even say it), and we moved on.
I thought talking about cute little fluffy kitties would be a purrfect (ha ha i crack myself up) idea.
As always, you can never fully plan for anything as a teacher.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Thursday, October 16, 2008
So, I have written many a blog about my sweet nephew (because, well, I'm just so darn proud!)...so I'll leave this plain and simply...I love you so much Jayden, and Happy FIRST birthday big boy. Your aunt Katie ADORES you, and you know that.
"Hey Mrs. B, guess what? My big left toe has a huge hang nail..it's soooo gross. My parents had to prop it up in my shoe with two huge cotton balls."
Cool, buddy. Thanks for sharing.
They don't teach you in school that the wonderful, well thought out behavior plan you have set in place that should work just beautifully...doesn't always work. Shockingly, the behavior plan you made up on a WHIM works like magic and the children were angels. Hmmmm. No joke...I had two of my BEST classes today, who are normally my worse. I didn't know how else to reward them for such amazing, not-even-kidding-because-I-have-high-standards- behavior...and so next class I am letting them pick their seats, in 2nd grade!! This is unheard of, especially for me. You know they were good.
They also don't teach you how to handle when you see a gazillion students and their parents when you're trying to do a super quick grocery trip to Wal-Mart after school. I'm so thrilled (insert sarcasm) that my students can say to me, "Mrs. B....so, how was that (insert food item here) last night? ha ha...because I SAW YOU AT WAL MART!!". Really? You saw me? Nahhhh.
Oh and, no one ever told me just how cool having the toilet overflow in the boys bathroom is to third grade boys. This morning as I'm enjoying my only 30 minutes of sort of silence throughout the day (aka my "prep" time)...the students are going past my room to the office/bathroom/school store/roaming the hallway, and I get to hear the conversations, in great detail. Because, well, my desk is strategically hidden when looking from the hallway into my room. If only they knew what I hear. However, this morning's "buzz" during my small piece of quiet time (aka my "prep") was all about this super awesome overflowing toilet in the boys bathroom, and boys were taking field trips down to see it. Awesome. I knew this problem couldn't be ignored, so I slowly make my way out in the hallway (slowly, because, well...this is MY time people) to make sure the wonderful custodian, Miss Peg had heard about the fiasco. Indeed, she did. Wonderful.
I was never taught in college just how incredibly amusing, exhausting, unpredictable, wild and wonderful this job could be. Sometimes, I can't even believe I do this everyday, in both respects...that I literally can't believe I have the energy to do this every single day, and that I am lucky enough to be part of the "village" it takes to raise a child, errr...950 of them.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
I hope it gets better. The feelings...not the relationship. We all know that won't get better, or at least not for a million years. See? I'm pathetic today. Not my normal, strong, self.
My mother has assured me that my feelings are normal, that losing a friendship is almost like grieving over a death. It's nice to know I'm not that crazy...unless, it just runs in the family.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Saturday, October 11, 2008
I have decided that I just officially miss my old workplace sooooo much. After the funeral was over, my old principal was introducing me to the new superintendent, "oh this was our art teacher last year, but we lost her to another school much closer to home..." I actually feel like I lost them. She went on to talk about how their school is unusually "warm and fuzzy"...and I nodded in agreement. "It's SO true", I said. They all got the hint, they realize that I miss it, bad, and that other schools just don't compare.
There is nothing wrong with where I work now...I just didn't realize (or maybe I did) how good I had it there. That 45 minute drive never phased me, because....I LOVED my job. With all of me, I loved it. I had one really good friend (which is a must), and I had lots of other teachers who were friends to me, cared about me, who I ate lunch with, etc. I miss that.
Now, I realize that my old school is not the norm, but having had that my very first year of teaching, it spoiled me-bad.
I miss it so much, the kids, the teachers....my friends.
It's different this year, and I just quite haven't figured it all out.
Thursday, October 9, 2008
I miss my sister, a lot. I miss that I could just call her whenever and say, "let's go do this....right now!" I miss having my best friend around. I know she's doing an amazing thing in Africa right now, and I hope that little town in Zambia knows the value of what they got. Because, at home. We miss her, bad.
My sister is the BEST at most things. I know, extreme...but if you knew her, you'd know it's true. She remembers everything, she's creative, she's so giving, and just plain fun. I miss her to itty bitty little teeny eansie weansie pieces.
Come home to me....in 1 1/2 months. I'll let you stay that long, but not longer. Got it?
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Monday, October 6, 2008
Brandon was a student I had last year at Ephrata. He was in 3rd grade. He rarely made it to school because he was always in and out of the hospital. Brandon had cancer, severely, spread throughout his whole body. The times he came to art, I made sure to get to know this kid. He had a beaming little smile that lit up the room. He was full of love and laughter. He was the baby in his family, his older siblings ADORED him. His parents took SUCH good care of him, giving him all the attention and special doctors he needed. He was small for his age. It could have been the toll that cancer took on his body, I'm not sure. When he got his head shaved for chemo, he wore a beanie to school all the time. The other students all are fully aware of his cancer, and loved him despite it. I remember walking last year "Laps for Loose" (his last name is Loose), and every day for weeks on ends the students and staff would spend recess (or our lunch) walking to "get brandon around the country" before it was too late. It was amazing. The entire school walked enough miles for him to go on all his destinations more then 3 times. I even helped make a banner in support of it. Brandon got to take the banner home and put it in his room, and sometimes it even traveled to hospitals with him. We thought last year we were gonna lose him. He got really bad, very weak, the cancer had spread. The counselor and principal were going around from room to room really explaining his illness to all the students who knew and loved him. He made it, he stuck around. He hung in there...he was so, so, so strong.
I just got an email today that he just passed away. My heart aches for this family who has to put their 9 year old in the ground. I have never seen a child with so much going on be SO happy and sweet all the time. He loved life.
His mother just updated their personal webpage on him last night....
Here is what she wrote:
Sunday, October 5, 2008 10:52 PM CDT
This is probably one of the hardest updates i have had to write. Brandon is not doing well. He is in constant pain, we now have him on a constant dilaudin (spelling) and valium to keep him from being upset. I know this is hard for some of you to read but the reality is Brandon is loosing his fight. He has given it his all for 4 and a half years, his body is tired. He is tired. I want to apologize to anyone we have not called personally. You know we love you all. Brandon's liver is failing. There is a blockage that we cannot do anything for. So it is only a matter of time. I just pray we can keep him comfortable until the day he goes to Heaven with the other Angels who fought just as hard as him. Please pray for a miracle either this turns around or he leaves us without pain. Thanks again for all your support, and please pray for our other friends fighting this horrible, horrible monster called NEUROBLASTOMA. I also want to say that once our journey ends, I will be starting the biggest crusade against pediatric cancer anyone has ever seen. I am pissed at this horrible beast. Anyone wanting to join me is more that welcome. I will update as I can. Love to you all,
I will genuinely miss him. I have thought about him so many times since the end of last year. As my mom says, Jesus is now holding him dearly in his arms, he is painless and at peace.
To read an awesome article just written about him nearly two weeks ago when he was still battling...go here: http://articles.lancasteronline.com/local/4/227678
Sunday, October 5, 2008
Saturday, October 4, 2008
We went back tonight to get it.
It was gone. Sold out. Vanished.
I was SO bummed. Declan got a little upset because we tend to always say, "We'll come back and get it", and things aren't there. I have to admit, I even shed a tear in the isle, and Declan had to give me a hug of reassurance that it would be ok. I WANTED THAT BENCH, gosh darn it.
There was another bench, though. Bigger then the one we originally wanted. Looking at it, and thinking of the space it had to go in, I thought it was too big. We decided we'd purchase, and if it didn't work, we'd just return it. Excellent idea and we weren't going home empty handed. Yep.
I think God does work things out. Because truly, the first bench would have been way-too-tiny. This one is perfect for the space. So, things do work out for the best.
The bench came with an awful tan canvas cushion, so I decided I'd fancy it up and get some fabric I was a fan of at Jo'Anns and cover it. I think the whole thing looks devine. What do ya say?
Friday, October 3, 2008
Here he is:You can see his eyes!!!
Happy weekend everyone.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
I couldn't have picked a better day (tomorrow) to take off. Honestly. I am having some non-serious blood work done, since I've never had any to check on things, like high cholesterol and such. I am also taking my precious pup to Love Your Dog for grooming. I can't wait to see his little eyes again, all neatly trimmed around. For fun, here's his before picture:
So anyway. There are some other things going on right now, but nothing to report about yet.
Oh, and in the midst of a bad day, a "compliment class" couldn't have come at any better time today. Talk about CUTE.
"Mrs. B...did you know that you're AWESOME?!"
"Mrs. B, you are soooo pretty"
"Mrs. B, I just looooove your outfit"
"Mrs. B, your the bestest artist I've ever seen"
Thank you, thank you and thank you. Although, I don't believe them. They are still the cutest little things.
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Here are a few drawings so far...this is 2nd grade.