Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The End

School's out for summer! Teachers across Georgia are rejoicing, and parents are moaning. I have 10 beautiful weeks of freedom from kids (and their parents), and grades, and lesson plans, and IEPs, and correcting IEPs, and correcting IEPs again, and just fixing the IEPs myself because I'm tired of editing and having my teachers not actually fix anything....

Summer is awesome.

Don't be a hater, we teachers know you mock us only because you're jealous. Trust me when I say that 180 days of kids more than earns me my summer vacation. If you don't believe me then I invite you to come visit my classroom next year. I'll be there all year, dealing with kids, and their parents, and IEPs, and correcting IEPs, and correcting IEPs again, and just fixing the IEPs myself because I'm tired of editing and having my teachers not actually fix anything. I'll have girls crying because their best friend "like totally gave me a dirty look on the bus and my life is so over". I'll have boys masturbating in class (yep, every year...not cool). I'll have girls getting their period for the first time ever and freaking out about it. I'll have parents who don't give a rats ass about their kid and who I never actually meet although their phone number is on my speed dial. I'll have kids fail, and I have kids succeed. I'll have endless meetings and mountains of paperwork. I'll have papers to grade, and standardized tests to give and lots and LOTS of Diet Coke. Its a loud, crazy, hormonal, annoying, fun, nutty world and I bet you wouldn't last a day.

Did I mention that Summer is awesome?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

It's a Safety Thing

This afternoon I was part of a scene that is played out across schools all over the world. A kid misses the bus and doesn't know his address or phone number or who to call in case of emergency. Here's the catch....I teach middle school, this was a 6th grader.

I have know this kid for years, taught him as a 4th grader, and again this year. Over the years he has made very little progress in school. I recently had to explain to someone who works with him on a daily basis that, no sorry he's not going to "grow up", this is about where his maturity level stops. He can be very sweet and fun in the classroom, but can also be a huge pain in the rear. He is not the easiest child to work with, but also not the worst. But here's the thing, he doesn't even know his address or phone number, and I KNOW he's capable of learning, and memorizing them. I have kids in the MOID class that know their addresses for heavens sake. And what really kills me is that his parents know his ability level, they know that he needs lots and lots and lots of help with everything. And yet they don't bother to update their contact information when their address/phone numbers change. I've been telling him all year that he absolutely needs to learn his address. As a matter of personal safety he needs to know where he lives. I stood in the office getting more and more annoyed that I couldn't find someone to get this kid and I had to keep reminding myself that it wasn't his fault. Because it really isn't his fault that he doesn't know these things, but it is his parents fault. If you have a child with a disability you need to be more involved, not less. And it kills me that they aren't. That he had to watch me call number after number after number trying to find someone who gave crap about the fact that he wasn't home yet. It kills me that I had to call the school social worker to come and get him, and that I had to make him describe his house to me before I let him go because I wanted to be sure that he would recognize it when he saw it. And it kills me that I was getting more and more annoyed with him while it was happening, Yes, it was well past time for me to leave work. Yes it was the 2nd to last day of school. Yes I am tired, but that is no excuse. I don't want to be that teacher, or that person. Mostly I think I was mad that I seemed more concerned about this kid than his parents and that is the most messed up part of this whole thing.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


I am an independent person, a very independent person. In fact stubborn would be a nice way of putting it! The point is that I have a hard time asking for, or accepting help from people. Despite my earlier rant about having to complete "man chores" I would actually prefer to do it myself than to have to ask for help. And as for actually needing help, well I'm sure not going to admit that! Even at the start of my RA, when I could hardly get dressed by myself, I hated having to ask for help, and rarely did. I was in horrible, horrible, horrible pain, and I still would rather do things myself than ask for help.

For the record, I'm kind of an idiot.

RA taught me many things, including the fact that sometimes you just have to ask for help. I still don't do it well, but I do ask when necessary (even if I have to give myself a pep talk first). So this week has been a lesson in asking for help, and I'm pretty darn proud of myself! My rheumatologist agreed to let me try and lower the dose of one of my meds, as a result I've been feeling a bit off. When I went to the grocery store and bought lots of heavy items, the idea of loading them into my car was a bit much so when the bag boy offered to take them to the car for me I accepted, for the first time ever! Today at Lowes when I had to buy mulch I decided not to repeat last years performance (it ended with tears and no mulch), instead I went right in and asked someone for help.

Either I'm growing as a person, or I'm becoming more Southern....either way, it's a good thing!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Half a loaf

I'm single and I'm totally cool with that, but there are a few times when I find it would just be more convenient to be in a relationship.

Example 1:
I'm at the grocery store and I need to buy bread for sandwiches. Now, when I'm in the mood for sandwiches I usually eat them for 2-3 days in a row and then I'm cashed out for a good month. But there is way more than 2-3 sandwiches worth of bread in a loaf. Why can't you buy a half loaf of bread? Really, I know I could freeze it but it just doesn't taste the same when you thaw it (despite what Bridget may say).

Example 2:
While I begrudgingly mow my lawn and take out the trash I can't help but think that this is a man job. Yeah, I know that basically makes me a bad woman but whatever. Before you sic the scary feminists after me let me just say that I'm all for women's rights. And as a woman it's my right to not have to do certain things. Just stick me on a time-machine and send me back to 1950. Hasn't anyone come up with a business plan for situations like this? There should be a number I can call to get someone to come do the "Man chores" around the house (lawn, trash, anything to do with the car).

Huh, on second thought maybe I don't need a relationship. I just need more money so I can get a lawn service and a maid....

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Phone Obsessed

Does anyone remember the old SNL sketch where three guys were in some super "modern" store and they were making fun of technology? They are comparing/talking about cellphones and one guy pulls out his cell phone (maybe Will Ferrell), and it's smaller than his thumbnail and he can barely hold onto it because it's so small?


Okay, maybe it's just me but I thought of that sketch yesterday when I got Internet connected to my phone. Now I'll admit to being a bit phone obsessed (I know I'm not the only one), but I always swore that I wouldn't get Internet on my phone. Who needs it? I have a computer, plus fancy new high-speed Internet, clearly I have no need for the Internet on my phone. I was very adamant about this, self-righteous even....oh how the mighty do fall.

Of course I remember making the same oaths against texting, and phones with keyboards, and facebook, and blogging, but clearly those didn't work out :) So yesterday I get the Internet hooked up to my phone and I found myself sitting on the couch, looking up facebook on my phone. On my tiny 1x2 in square phone screen. The best part? My computer was sitting next to me, open, connected to the Internet, and logged on to facebook.

I at least had the presence of mind to laugh at myself! And to consider the fact that if someone wanted to become a hermit in this day and age it would be way more fun with all the technology we have now. Yeah, don't ask my mind works in mysterious ways...

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Don't be Dumb

Here's the thing, I really think that things would go much better in life if people would follow this one simple rule....Don't Be Dumb. I heard an advertisement for a news segment tonight about how to avoid "cyber thieves". Apparently these "cyber thieves" find out about you on facebook, and then call your friends/family/strangers begging for money. People are falling for it. Well you know what people? Don't Be Dumb! It's like those Internet or mail scams that get people to send checks to some 3rd world country, but then promise to triple your money in a week. Really? How about this....Don't Be Dumb!

If someone calls me begging for money chances are they're not getting it. And if they're claiming to be a friend/family I'm so totally going to test them to see if it's really them, and then I'm still not going to send them cash (sorry folks). Plus, I'm pretty sure that if someone were to call claiming to be B, then I'd realize it wasn't her by the sound of her voice. If not I'll ask the ultimate question that only B would be able to answer "tell me about the greatest nap ever". Ditto for my sister, "what's the name of that girl who got your hermit crab" or any family member, "what kind of plastic surgery did I have"?

But before I did all that, before I gave the third degree to someone on the phone, before I let some stranger go on and on and on about how they need money, before all that I'm going to remember this.

Don't...Be...Dumb (and then I'll probably hang up and laugh because I'm smarmy like that).

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Yummy (and gross)

I know that I'm officially a "grown-up" and that my taste if food should be more sophisticated than, say, my two year old niece but I'm afraid it isn't. You see I have a dirty little secret and it's name is Kraft. Mac and Cheese to be more specific, but it's the Kraft part that's important. Imitation powdered cheese just isn't the name, neither is that Velveeta crap (I'm sorry but I'm not buying a cheese that isn't found in the cheese section). The only problem is that I hate, I really hate, the sound it makes.

I know what you're thinking.... Mac and Cheese doesn't make a sound.

But it does, and it's horrible. It sounds just like the word moist. And I really hate the word moist (even more than the sound of mac and cheese). It's just gross, and dirty, and, well moist. It's almost enough to prevent me from making it, almost. Perhaps earplugs would help.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Ode to Sam's Club

I have discovered the joy's of discount warehouse shopping. In a never ending quest to be more money conscious I joined Sam's Club. What a wonderfully, magical place. They have everything, only MORE of everything. Do you need 84 rolls of toilet paper? They've got it. Were you in the market for 3 dozen pairs of white athletic socks? They've got it. I do admit that I don't always understand their bulk offerings...mayonnaise by the gallon? Really? Unless you're a Duggar, or a member of the fictitious Eriksen family and need to make a traditional holiday 7 layer mayonnaise salad, I can't see the need. Plus it makes me want to throw up a little.

On the other hand I'm not sure that I really needed those 36 individual cups of applesauce, but that didn't stop me from buying them! I will take credit for showing incredible self-control while wandering past the school supply aisle (3 times). Oh, the school supply aisle! I could devote an entire blog to my love of school supplies. While buying 2 pounds of beef jerky is something that I hope to never do; the sight of 24 multi-colored fine-tipped roller ball pens left me weak in the knees. To say nothing of the sharpie markers, and post-its, and paper, and more pens. I can't believe I made it out of there without a single item from that aisle. I only made it out by thinking about the start of next school year, when I can buy school supplies to my hearts content...............

Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Beach

I'm not necessarily a "beach person" Don't get me wrong I like the beach, but often visiting the beach is a whirlwind of packing beach bags, unpacking beach bags, applying and reapplying sunscreen, searching fora spot on the beach amongst 10,000 tourists doing the same thing, and digging sand out of places that sand should never be. When I was little my family visited Myrtle Beach every summer to see my grandparents, and to enjoy weather that Michigan rarely afforded. It was fun. It was really fun...for me. I imagine it wasn't so much fun for my parents. Now that I'm a "grown-up" I like my vacations, in general, to be a bit more relaxing. Let's be honest and admit that I'd be perfectly happy sitting in a comfortable chair with a glass of wine and a good book. It wouldn't matter to me if I was in the tropics or Toledo (well, okay maybe the tropics would be better). The point is that I don't need to visit a beach that is high-maintenance. I need one that is more laid back and relaxed.

This weekend my sister, niece, and I made a trip to Hilton Head to visit friends who were there for Spring Break. I've been to Hilton Head many times and each time I realized more and more that this is my kind of beach. It's nice and relaxed (at least in April), the beach isn't to crowded (at least in April), and the food is great (even if you don't like seafood). We had a fantastic time, and it ended way to soon. Ella actually cried when we left, and I couldn't blame her!!

Ella's not a fan of the sand...but loves the ocean

Ella loves the towel that GiGi got her at Disney World