Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Margarita anyone?

You know the day. The day where nothing seems to go as it should...or at least the majority of things don't. The day where you wish you had stayed in bed...or at the very least stayed at home. I have just had one of those days. It was not as bad as some. I'm not questioning my profession. (I HAVE definitely done that before!) It's just been a day. The kind that makes me want to go home and vent to a roomie (there is a difference in roomies and roommates :) and then go out for drinks, chips/queso. I don't have a roomie (or a roommate for that matter) so I will content myself to pouring a glass of wine or maybe serving myself a margarita, filling the tub with water as hot as I can stand it, turning up the Norah Jones and participating in some cleansing tears.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Eyepatch = Pirate

I know I've posted quite a bit about teaching lately. I will try to balance it more evenly in the future, but I couldn't resist this cute story. A senior citizen volunteer comes to work with a couple of my students on Mondays. He has an eye patch. He has been coming for the past couple of months and apparently it took that long for Joey to get up the nerve to ask the question. He walked up to me today and said, "Ms., is he a pirate?"

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Fun, Interesting or Intriguing Random Facts

These are in no particular order, but are all ones I found entertaining. :)

1. An 1898 novel by Morgan Robertson foretold the sinking of the Titanic, 14 years before the great ship went down. In Robertson's book, the ship, which has a passenger list filled with wealthy and powerful people, is on its maiden voyage when it strikes an iceberg in the North Atlantic on an April night and sinks. The Titanic was on its maiden voyage when it struck an iceberg in the North Atlantic on the night of April 12. The two ships shared many other eerie similarities as well, such as: displacement (70,000 tons to 74,000) passenger capacity (about 3,000), top speed (25 knots), length (800 ft vs. 882) and a lack of sufficient lifeboats. The name of the ship in Robertson's book: the Titan.

2. In English pubs, ale is ordered by pints and quarts. So in old England, when customers got unruly, the bartender would yell at them to mind their own pints and quarts and settle down. It's where we get the phrase "mind your P's and Q's."

3. Women blink nearly twice as much as men.

4. Coke is used by Cops to clean Blood off the Ground!

5. In 10 minutes, a hurricane releases more energy than all the world's nuclear weapons combined.

6. China has more English speakers than the United States.

7. The reason firehouses have circular stairways is from the days of yore when the engines were pulled by horses. The horses were stabled on the ground floor and figured out how to walk up straight staircases.

8. According to, The top 10 looked up words online this last year are these:

1. Blog
2. incumbent
3. electoral
4. insurgent
5. hurricane
6. cicada
7. peloton : noun (1951) : the main body of riders in a bicycle race
8. partisan
9. sovereignty
10. defenestration
Terrifying Fact: #10 in this list, defenestration means "a throwing of a person or thing out of a window." Let's just hope that was an SAT word this year.

9. If a statue in the park of a person on a horse has both front legs in the air, the person died in battle; if the horse has one front leg in the air, the person died as a result of wounds received in battle; if the horse has all four legs on the ground, the person died of natural causes.

10. While in some countries the penalty for driving while intoxicated can be death (yes, death), in Uruguay intoxication is a legal excuse for having an accident while driving. "Please believe me officer, I really was drunk."

Friday, January 26, 2007

This Thursday's Schedule

5:00am Alarm goes off...snooze

5:09am Alarm goes off...snooze

5:18am Alarm goes off...snooze

5:27am Alarm goes off...snooze

5:36am Alarm goes off...snooze...alarm turns itself off

7:10am sleepily look at clock and JUMP out of bed

7:15am pull out of parking lot

7:45am walk into classroom (supposed to clock in at 7:30, students walk in at 7:40)

8:00am send 3 students to office for writing notes due to sexual orientation

8:15am calm down frustrated partner teacher due to behavior of students

8:20am calm down co-worker crying due to unfair bonuses

9:45am talk to parent on phone about overdue library books, hung up on b/c its my fault parent's child did not communicate with either adult correctly

10:30am go to track, child skins knee/arm...clean up blood

12:10pm need to leave campus to keep sanity, go to McDs for lunch with teaching partner

1:40pm while lining up for PE, fire drill...don't have homeroom class, because 4th graders are mixed into groups for ancillary classes...sort students and make sure all are accounted for

1:45pm principal, teaching partner and myself meet with parent showing signs of neglect...10th meeting of year, still no progress made...

2:30pm meet with principal to decide another course of action with above parent, decide outside authorities need to become involved

2:45pm tutor students in reading comprehension

4:15pm leave with less hair than began day with

7:30pm begin facilitating hometeams, hear God's message "you are not the only one made in My image, they are too"

End day with repentant heart...but still less hair and energy than began day with

Thursday, January 25, 2007


I have never felt my blood pressure rise before...I mean sure, there have been times where I have been angry, but I have never literally "felt" my blood heat. I did today. I was in a meeting with my teaching partner, our principal, and a parent; one we have met with several times. She just hasn't been getting our point and I was having to be extremely direct. I have never been this direct with a parent before. As teachers, we're not allowed to tell a parent that their child is cheating, lying, stealing, etc. We have to be much more diplomatic: "His eyes were on another person's paper." or "I'm not sure this item belongs to her." In this particular instance, none of those reasons were applicable. It was more the situation of telling her to put her child to bed, take responsibility for feeding him when appropriate and being consistent with sleep and food intake. This little boy, and the others he represents, are the reasons I am a teacher. To show love and consistency and to fight for them when appropriate. It is also this little boy and the others he represents that break my heart for the innocent.

I'm confused...

I had a student call home today to make sure the parents were aware that some materials were constantly being left at home and they needed to come to school. I'm standing next to said student, making sure they convey all necessary infomation. After a few minutes, student hands me the phone and I hear a lecture from the parent. "I could hear you talking to my child, and I was telling him to let me talk to you." The parent kept saying this over and over in a way that was obvious it was my fault that said student had not given me the phone. When I explained that I wasn't on the phone and did not hear the request, that we were simply being helpful by passing along a request for materials to return to school, I was promptly hung up on.

In some ways, this explains my frustration with students. I mean, if parents behave like this, of course the child reflects the behavior. In other ways, I'm so confused...

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


Well if you have any links to public education or if you listen to the news, you are aware of the recent drama. Bonuses came in today. Decided by performance of last year's students. Let's just say when I walked in to school today, "it" had already hit the fan. :(

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Eye opening

A few days ago I learned that a former student of mine now has cancer. He's 12. As I've been praying for his family, his parents, younger brother (11) and younger sister (6), I've been struggling with the question we all do in situations like these, "why?" I haven't come to any solid conclusions. I mean, I know the world is a fallen world. I know that God can use all things for His glory. I know that God is only good and that He is walking through this with that family, every step of the way. But my heart still breaks for them. My own perspective has changed a little but, as it does when faced with all life's pitches. This time, the change was more outward. Love others, be Christ to others; my paraphrase of 1 John 4. Hate can be defined with the word indifference. There are many in my life whom I act indifferent towards. I'm now working consciously working to change that.

Monday, January 22, 2007


I like cheese. The ooooey, gooey, yummy creamy stuff that makes fantastic dip, appetizer or addition to a sandwich. I know it's not great for me, and I need to eat it in moderation, but I enjoy it! I also like the oooey, gooey stories that help us learn a truth. I know they're usually corny, but I think they're fun. :)

The Best in Friends

When I was little, I used to believe in the concept of one best friend, and then I started to become a woman. And then I found out that if you allow your heart to open up, God would show you the best in many friends.

One friend's best is needed when you're going through things that hurt your heart.
Another friend's best is needed when you're going through things with your mom. Yet another when your job is stressful or life throws you an unexpected curve.
Another when you want to shop, share, heal, hurt, joke, or just be.

One friend will say let's pray together,
another let's cry together,
another let's fight together,
another let's walk away together.
One friend will meet your spiritual need,
another your shoe fettish,
another your love for movies,
another will be with you in your season of confusion,
another will be your clarifier,
another the wind beneath your wings.

But whatever their assignment in your life, on whatever the occasion, on whatever the day, or where ever you need them to meet you with their gym shoes on and hair pulled back or to hold you back from making a complete fool of yourself ... those are your friends.

It may all be wrapped up in one woman, but for many it's wrapped up in several ... one from 7th grade, one from high school, several from the college years, a couple from old jobs, several from church, on some days your mother, on others your sister, and on some days it's the one that you needed just for that day or week that you needed someone with a fresh perspective, or the one who didn't know all your baggage, or the one who would just listen without judging... those are good girlfriends/best friends.

I thank my girlfriends, those who honor intimacy, those who hold trust, and those who hold me up when life is just too heavy! The special bond we share is unique.

Thanks for the words we've shared. The prayers we've sent up. The laughs, the tears, the phone calls, the emails, the shopping, the movies, the lunches, the dinners, the talking,, talking and the listening, listening, listening....

So whether you've been there 20 minutes or all 26 of my years, I love you - the women that God has placed in my life to make a difference.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Do you know multiple languages?

So I was at a friend's house yesterday evening and a conversation came up regarding different medical situations. The doctor in the group began explaining a certain syndrome and is using multi-syllabic words that some of us had never heard of before (of course.) Another member of the group complained and the doctor justified himself by saying, "It's another language."
Well that got me to thinking about all sorts of different "languages" we all speak. I'm a teacher, so I can do "teacher talk." I have had credits and debits explained to me by an accountant (They're not what you may think!) Doctors know a different lingo, reporters yet another, lawyers another. But what about outside our professions?
I'm not into Anchorman, Napolean Dynamite and pretty much any other movies with that type of comedy. So when people start quoting it, I often miss out on the joke or simply have no idea to what is being referred. Isn't that what is most difficult about learning another language? The idioms and other phrases that make up the lingo?

How many languages do you know? Use in every day conversation? Do the other participants in the conversation speak the same language? :)

Thursday, January 18, 2007

How Many of You are There?
LogoThere are:
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?


I think this is how most Houstonians have felt in the last few days! I admit it is much colder than we are used to here in Houston. I don't know about you, but my "office" is cold like this all the time. I keep a heavy sweater, scarf, and mittens in my classroom at all times. Occasionally, I bring a coat and have that as well. Now these are not only used for outside track and recess times, but are worn in the classroom! The students stay cold too. They are consistently wearing the dresscode jackets, hoodies and sweaters. Even in August, we are all freezing in the building. The rumor is that the school calendar had to change (Beginning next year, school can't start before the last Monday in August.) because it would save on electricity bills. Well, if they would stop freezing everyone out, I'm certain that would help as well!

I can certainly relate to this little creature, who must be thinking "Is it supposed to be this cold?"

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


I just pored this into my tub...well for obvious reasons. Now my entire bathroom smells like one of these. Does that make anyone else a little uncomfortable?

A day at home! :)

So I woke up at 5am this morning to find out....I could go back to bed! HISD had decided, due to the weather conditions, that it was too dangerous to drive and cancelled classes. Now, personally: I love the fact that I was able to sleep in! A day at home is always great, laundry needs to be done and papers need to be graded. However, professionally: the TAKS test is in 5 weeks, and I don't have time for a day off instruction with these kiddos! Oh well, God controls the weather, the TAKS test and everything else, so I will release the stress of it all (well, I'll work on it, okay?)

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

School in Session

All the hype that comes with cold weather in the south and we get nothin'! After a few phone calls, checking out school and weather websites and watching the skies for precipitation, nothing happened! We're still in school today. Now, I admit, personally I would have loved to have another day off. I'm not quite done with lesson plans. I could have done some laundry. I would have enjoyed sleeping in, reading a book, or watching television. Professionaly, however; I'm very glad we have school today. The TAKS test is 5 weeks from today and there is simply no time for an extra day off school. These kiddos need all the instruction they can get!

I'm starting grad school today and if you know me at all you know what a process this has been. I just found out Thursday that I'd been accepted and needed to find out what classes I needed to take, enroll, buy books/pkg pass, etc. Because of the "delay", I was only able to purchase books on Friday and they're coming in the mail. For that reason only, I was hoping U of H would cancel classes today, b/c I don't have my books yet! Now, there is still hope for that, but I'm not holding my breath.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Interesting Car Experiences

I was driving to meet a friend for dinner the other day when I came to some traffic at a green light. Apparently the first car in the right lane was stopped and, due to traffic, other cars were having trouble getting around it. I'm chatting on the phone with a friend and wondering at the stopped SUV until I pull up beside the vehicle and see a man slumped over his steering wheel, unmoving. I hang up with my friend and call 911, deciding this was an emergency situation.

Just a few minutes later, I'm pulling into Fadi's and find a spot in the crowded parking lot. There is a man getting in the car next to me and he starts talking to me through the glass. Now I'm a single female, alone in my car, so I keep talking to my friend on the phone and ignore him. Well, come to find out, he had a to-go order that he had set down on the ground while he was getting in the car and I had run over his food!

Neither of these events had ever happened to me before and within ten minutes, while talking to the same friend on the phone, two unusual car experiences occurred!