Friday, October 31, 2008

holy moly!

What's a girl got to do to get a comment around here?

Thursday, October 30, 2008

specific link love

I am not a sports page reader: I never read the sports section without looking for something specific, nor do I read sports blogs. I do, however, read Joe Posnanski regularly. He is a sports writer, but that's not why I read him. I read him because he is an amazing writer, and he often writes about things other than sports, and when he does, it's really, really worth reading.

This post of his is definitely worth reading. Anyone who references Storm Troopers and Malcolm Gladwell in the same post knows how to bring it.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

hitting the fan

Stay tuned, dear readers, for I know not what this week brings. Remember that intervention I mentioned a few weeks back? Well, it never happened because people kept showing up late or not coming to school, so all the requisite players were not in attendance at the right times. Today the fecal matter hit the proverbial fan, but at the very end of the day, so the only resolution was one student leaving before the conversation was finished. Tomorrow we somehow attempt to pick up the pieces. I do not have high hopes that this can be solved in a day, or even solved by me. Some issues are bigger than a classroom, and this is one of those issues.

Scariest part of all this? It never even crossed my mind once that this job isn't worth it. I still can't see myself doing anything else. If budget cuts get to me, look for me in your local bank branch, because I think I've gone too far off this cliff to come back into a regular classroom safely.

We had a chat, which was really more that I did the talking and they did the listening, and while things aren't totally resolved, the tension level is better. The issues are bigger than they seem-- it's not really about someone getting mad about a mess, but about respect, and a lack of coping skills when things get heated. So it's better now than it was. That's really all you can hope for...

Sunday, October 26, 2008

so much to say

but not enough energy...

Amity came to visit today. I forget how gross this place is until someone new comes over. Sorry for the mess-- it's easier when it's late enough for whiskey.

This election just needs to end. I know how I'm voting and I can't cope with even NPR's coverage. Just vote already and lets move on.

The end of the quarter wreaks havoc on all of us. While I haven't had Mike's troubles, the kids are all a bigger mess than usual. One student is now calling me nightly. What do I say? Yes, your life does suck and I have no solution at all. 'I care' just doesn't solve everything. But it's all I've got, so it'll have to do. It still breaks my heart to have nothing more than that.

Whiskey is good for what ails you, just in case you were wondering. Soccer is over and life should get better. Only 10 days 'til voting and 6 days until Halloween. Things should look up soon....

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

just keep talking

I had the opportunity to take a trip with a few students last week, and the time in the car was at least as valuable, if not more so, than the event to which we were headed. At one point we got talking about relationships and marriage, and I gave them my big secret to success: keep talking. Talk about the weather, the game, who's getting the kids, what we need for dinner, politics, music, tv shows, favorite colors, the meaning of life... as long as you keep talking, you will grow together, and chances are good you'll make it.

This advice, while intended for the lovey-dovey type of relationship, is true for any. When teachers talk to kids they understand each other more. When administration and teachers and school board members sit down together, there's less fighting. When the community talks about why they're afraid of higher taxes and hear why teachers are afraid of smaller budgets, consensus is possible. Not guaranteed, but possible. Possible is way better than not.

In light of our recent budget woes and the realization that jobs will most likely be lost this year, I find hope in the conversation.

Monday, October 20, 2008

end of the season

Sadly, I think I've hung my last load on the line for the season. StormCenter tells us we may have snow tonight or tomorrow night! I hate using the dryer, but I don't have a good space to hang a line in the house. I need to try to find some place to put one...

UPDATE: No snow, at least that I could see. Lots of rain, but I might be able to squeak out another load or two....

Sunday, October 19, 2008

geeks unite!

Today we did a trial run of the costumes. They look great-- we totally did the right thing by 'hiring' Upideet and Shannon to make Boy and Girly's costumes too. Once we got everyone suited up we headed into the forest to take some pics. The Evil Wizard battled hardily against the Elven Ranger, Changling Warrior, and Woodland Fairy.

It is terribly cute to watch these guys take Halloween costumes so seriously. They take on the characters and pose with requisite expression. We got some awesome shots today, and 2 more hours of wear out of the costumes. If we're lucky, the amount of time wearing them will equal the amount of time it took making them!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

I knew he could do it.

I am not a baseball hater. I enjoy a good game, especially early in the season. But by October, I guess I'm just sort of over the drama. The beloved Sox haven't been playing well recently, and I was really ready on Thursday for them to just let the season go. I sent Boy to bed with the words "It's the 3rd inning. They're down 5-0. Say goodnight to the team, see you next season." He went to bed, content in the knowledge that they were just not playing well, and sometimes you don't win it all. Great life lesson, right?

We all know how this story ends. I head up to bed at about 9:30, heated rice sock in hand to try to "sweat out this pain" (it sort of worked) and WB stayed up to watch the bitter end of summer. I awake to a note on the door: you have got the magic. The Boys of Boston Summers weren't ready to get their Halloween costumes out of storage yet and came back in the 8th inning (or something like that) to win it and force game 6. Humph.

I had wrapped my head around weekends based around which NetFlix had arrived and not what time the game started. I was so excited about the next 4 episodes of Dexter, which now have to wait for heaven knows how long because we're on a 3 week series of booked Friday nights. (Richard Thompson concert last night, Peter Mulvey concert next Friday, then Halloween followed by a Great Big Sea Concert.) I was excited to not have any excited utterances floating up the stairs late at night as someone either had a great at bat or horrible inning. I was ready for the vacation we take from the end of Red Sox games until March Madness. Wll, it's not so much a vacation as it is a respite from following a specific team's every move. We'll have hockey on, football sometimes, soccer when we can find it, gymnastics, pool, skating, skiing... pretty much anything that's on, but the difference is out of season NetFlix arrivals have priority over the random golf tournament. Anyhow, I was ready to possess the clicker again. Humph indeed.

So now it's 3 innings further than it was when I gave up on the season Thursday night, and the Heros are in the lead. I guess I just have to accept that it could be well into November before I can watch the next episodes.

Monday, October 13, 2008

just read

So the kids have spent most of the weekend reading. Most of it is Book-It! inspired: if you're not familiar, teachers set the bar and if kids reach it every month (for 6 months) they get a free personal pan pizza from Pizza Hut. Now, we're lucky parents because when the kids learned to read, they liked it, and so we've never needed external motivation. They play Book-It! for the pride of doing it. Girly loves it. Takes it seriously, every month. Boy... not so much. I think he doesn't like to be bothered keeping track. (I don't keep track for them. The charts go on the fridge and it's up to them to fill them out.) Anyway, he's decided to make it this month, anyway, just to prove he can. He needs to read 600 minutes in the month of October. This weekend, he's read at least 400. Girly has reached her classroom goal of 300 minutes, but on she reads. I came downstairs this morning to find them next to each other on the couch, reading. No TV even for background noise. Just reading.

I know. We're very lucky parents.

Friday, October 10, 2008

altright already, I got it!

It's been quite a week... strep followed by a massive head cold followed by the worst episode ever (in my experience, anyway) of having put my back out. Yes, Cosmic Energy, I hear you. I need to slow down. I can't do it all. The world can survive without me. I got it-- you didn't have to yell.

(OK, maybe you did.)

Saturday, October 04, 2008


My newest nephew! Girly maintains her position as the sole girl of her generation, on either side of the family. Both sets of cousins have 3 brothers. I'm sure there's some cool math in that...

I hate that they are across the country and that it will be months and months before I get to hold him, but as I don't have the cash to hop a plane, I'll have to be satisfied with pics. Time to make a quilt and a CD and all those Nanny rituals that I do for my babies.

Friday, October 03, 2008

enough already!

So I do have strep, again. Third time in as many months. I guess it could be classified as the second time in three months, since I got it in June, treated it and turned out to be immune to the base level antibiotic, so it came back 11 days later. But this is three times of itchy ears, wincing with every swallow, and general throat related annoyance. I know that on the hierarchy of what I could be afflicted with this has a treatment and I (currently) have one that works, but I do not enjoy the regular addition of antibiotics into my system. I mean, I've had to use them a lot throughout my lifetime and am immune to some, for Pete's sake! I'm part of the problem! I never enjoy being able to say that.

So, if anyone has any thoughts on how to build up a resistance to a bacteria that attacks me annually, I'm all ears, itchy as they may be.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

my turn

I think I, too, need to go all Flowers and Sausages on my class. We have some new friends this year who need it quiet, and some of our old friends need it loud. Somehow, we need to reach a compromise.

Last year we had 3 rooms at our constant disposal, so it was easy: the ones needing quiet could head to the little room, and the ones needing to be loud could move away and get rid of some aggression. This year, we have one room. One round room, with few windows and no corners in which to escape. So the ones who need the noise tend to dominate the ones who need the quiet. Today it got bad enough that it's obvious it is time to do something about it.

I hope it goes as well as it did for Amity and Ms. Mimi. Stay tuned...