Thursday, October 29, 2009


As my daughter has begun her first week of substitute teaching it reminds me of my first teaching job. I remember that some kids showed up on the work day and started talking to me and I couldn't understand a single word they spoke. Little did I know that that was the least of my problems.

I remember leaving that class every day after rearranging my seating chart just one more time, thinking that I had to figure this job out! How to get them quiet, clean, fed, out to recess, in from recess, keep them awake, help them get along, what to do all day, what not to do! I sometime still wonder if they ever learned to read.

I would get on the freeway after a long, frustrating day and forget to get off at my exit. I would get up the next day and for some reason always feel hopeful that this day would be better somehow. Maybe it was. I know the other staff members had bets placed on the date I might resign but I had no intention. For some reason I just kept coming back and kept trying to figure out how to do this job. I had never had a job I couldn't do so I just kept at it.

They even let me come back the next year and somehow it seemed better. To start with I had a reading program, all new shiny and ready for use. I had some level of respect from my colleagues just because I came back. I didn't feel like I had been given the roll of kids with the stacked deck. I also had just a drop of experience that went a long way. In fact the second year I didn't change my seating chart every day, every week, not even every month. It didn't have to do with the seats just me.

So as I think of Becky, I hope even when she has a hard day that she still will have hope. Even when her feet ache, her heart aches, and her head aches that she takes on her next assignment with an optimistic hope. I know teaching isn't for everybody but there is nothing greater than a great day at school.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Effects of No TV

Well the TV in our TV room has sound but no picture. We watched the Cowboys game in our bedroom. The result was a loooong nap for James, and paper grading time for me. The Cowboys did have an amazing game thanks in part to my new favorite player, Myles Austin. After dinner we had coffee in the TV room to the sounds of the TV. It seemed to work almost, until something I heard caught my attention. When I turn to get the visual--no visual. It was just weird. And to think we needed the background noise of the TV to resume our coffee routine. As James then went out to spray an ant bed, he left me at the picture less TV. 2 minutes later when he came in he commented. "You're gone already?" I had moved to the computer. Now he and Jimmy are reading the owner's manual of our 12 year old big screen in hopes of a magical cure. I think by tomorrow at this time James might realize that this has opened a door to buy a new fancy, spancy TV with all the modern bells and whistles. Merry Christmas Family!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Not Sick, but Not Well

Should I have capitalized but? Who really cares with the exception of Becky and Laura? This has been a challenging week in every way. Last week I had a severe allergy related head cold. It was gone this week but left in its path a very tight, rough, screeching, case of laryngitis. I can't tell you how many times I've reassured people, no, I'm not sick or in pain just screechy! If that is true then, why by 2pm Tuesday when both the principal and vice came in for an extended walk through did I just want to cry and put my head down and say "Have you no decency?" It turned out that the review got rave reviews with my only shortcoming being no visible examples of exemplary work but that is beside the point. Who thinks that was a good idea? Ok to the point, if I wasn't sick why did I care? If I was sick, why wasn't I smart enough to know it? The rest of the week seemed to follow pattern with uncontrollable excitement stemming from the sex ed video and the current trend of throwing bottles of food coloring on the bus! If I were in my usual form this week would not have wounded me. In my lesser state, I met Friday with exhaustion. I even had an hour afternoon nap. I hate the idea of a nap. For others, have a nap. For me, no, no, no.(with the exception of the 7 minute pre-bedtime nap) Other signs that confuse me: being frankly honest with parents in conferences and on the phone, playing tennis, running like heck, but not being good enough, and for one small moment being irritated that key staff members failed to show up for student control during an unusual gathering!

So was I or am I sick? I'm not in pain, no fever or chills, no headache or body aches just a shortness of breath by the end of the day that comes from trying to talk when the body doesn't cooperate!

PS I emailed my friend and told her I'd be cheery by Monday.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Words of Romance

About a month ago I heard the most romantic words I had ever witnessed. "I could never say no to a fella with a ponytail and a backward cap!" But this morning I came upon a close second. Walking through the halls of my work place very early this morning I overheard words that rang out the language of love, "Buckwheat is a nice enough looking guy, AND he does seem to know how to treat a woman..." Well what an endorsement! Surely Buckwheat is a match made in heaven! What is the point of this posting? Who knows? I just found all this interesting.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Okay, Here It Is

I admit it I'm a squiggle. Most of the time I'm proud to admit to being a squiggle but once in a while I find it embarassing or uncomfortable. I'm making strides to be less of a mess but still maintain my quirky squiggle personality.

Adjustment 1: Last summer I invented NSCU for emails and blog posting use. It meant no spell check used. I know how to spell. I know how to use spell check. I just don't like taking the time to use it. If you know me, you know what I mene. Don't you? LOL So this summer I decided when bloging to spell check and lose my NSCU. I became just how aware others are about typos when I got a couple emails from people correcting my on line newsletter. I thought they had a problem, a big problem, but actually it was I. I stand corrected and am trying to be more details driven in print.

Adjustment 2: I am making quite an effort at keeping my work environment tidy. I have developed a system of dealing with things quickly and in a routine fashion each day. I am also using tiny chunks of time to do things that I assumed would take more time. TaDa! Why do I care if my enviroment is tidy? I guess because I realize that people make a lot of decisions about others by the condition of their surroundings. I think I want them to say, "She is shockingly tidy and organized for a squiggle," instead of, "Just the mess I'd expect from a squiggle!"

I did have to set someone straight recently by admitting I was a squiggle and not consumed with details. I explained that if he were to keep pointing out my squiggly short comings that we wouldn't get near as much accomplished or have near as much fun. I ended by asking that he not point out my every imperfection but just grin and accept that in me. He grinned and seemed to get it!

I hate to admit that I lied about my squiggliness recently. I asked a person to please clean up a mess they had made in my area because I was a very neat person and required them to be neat as well. I then apologized for being untruthful but explained that I was really trying and could use all the help I could get. Again I was relieved to get such an understanding reception.

One thing that is helping me is to remember to set small goals, remember I don't have to get everything done this minute, and that it is this very lack of love for details that makes me uniquely ME!