Today's Grateful List/31 December 2015

  • Going to get answers no matter what

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Top Ten Books for 2005

Assuming I won't finish anything else that will knock my socks off, here are my Top Ten Books for 2005:

A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling
A Feast for Crows by George RR Martin
The Greatest Knight by Elizabeth Chadwick
The Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnelly
These Is My Words by Nancy Turner
The Boy Who Loved Anne Frank by Ellen Feldman
Plain Truth by Jodi Picoult
The Revelation by Beverly Lewis
Daughters of the Grail by Elizabeth Chadwick

**with a major honorable mention to God Went to Beauty School by Cynthia Rylant

Friday, December 16, 2005

Top Ten Excellent Things About Christmas Break

Top Ten Excellent Things About Christmas Break!

  1. Sleeping Late
  2. Reading Late into the Night
  3. Christmas Itself (with all the food, presents, family, etc. that that entails!)
  4. Going to the mall during the middle of the week
  5. Santa Claus!
  6. The smells of Christmas (food, spices, hot chocolate....I'm making myself hungry!)
  7. A clean house (well, at times, anyway!)
  8. No students!
  9. No late car duty!
  10. Staying in pjs all day if I want to!


School's out for Christmas break! I love it. It's one of the best times of the year. Katherine and I went to the mall this p.m.---couldn't believe the amount of people there on a Friday afternoon. Of course Hannah and her friends were there and while I figured we'd never run into them, we did. LOL Anyway, most of my Christmas shopping is done and now it's on the wrapping. I must be crazy---I don't mind wrapping at all.


Friday, December 09, 2005

Trotting Along Toward Christmas Break....

One more week....
Just one more week until Christmas break! I'm so excited to have so much time off this year. We get out on December 16 and go back January 3. nice just to contemplate having time before Christmas to get ready and then time afterwards to relax.

Observations of the Week, December 5-9:

  • Car duty stinks---really, really stinks.
  • There will always be some students I just don't like but I have to deal with it.
  • The Two Towers may have the best lines of all 3 movies of the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
  • Some people will never be satisfied, no matter what you do.
  • I would never want to be a principal!

I am considering writing some fan fiction. I'd never thought I would be an idea popped fully blown into my head this morning and now I'm th inking it might not be such a bad idea. I feel the need to be more creative these days but I'm just not sure how....


Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Thanksgiving Break!!

Things I Am Thankful For:

  • My health
  • My family
  • Jeff (and the fact that we found each other at such a young age)
  • My cat (aged 19 and still going strong!)
  • My friends (and also the fact that I'm not dependent on them to feel good about myself)
  • Good cars
  • A warm house
  • A five day weekend!
  • Books, books, books!
  • Good food
  • Pants with elastic waists (LOL)
  • Imitrex (God's gift to migraine sufferers!)
  • My computers!
  • Christmas trees, decorations, ornaments, etc.
  • Snow!
  • Digital cameras
  • Dolls
  • Titanic trivia, books, movies, dolls, etc.
  • Medieval history
  • The beach during the summer


We are going to my mom's on Thanksgiving Day as we always do. There is something about being at my mom's that makes me nuts. It's just a feeling I get---I want to get out of the house as quickly as possible. It's not like it's dirty or I'm afraid---in fact I'm fairly certain my dad's ghost hangs about. It's just this oppressive air, left over from my childhood. I still feel like she's judging me and I'm just not comfortable. You'd think at age 42 I could put it all behind me but there it is, hanging like the big Matzo ball it is. I always feel better when we leave and go to Jeff's parents', though they have their own set of quirks and irritations. I'm afraid if I analyze this too much I'll have to deal with the heavy shit, and I just don't want to. I'm just not comfortable.


Ode to Christmas Stuff

I unpack you carefully

Gazing at my treasures and remembering

They all remind me of another time

And their beauty makes me smile

Is it because they are of Christmas or...

Is it Christmas because of them?

Adios, amigos! Have a wondermous Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Books--Part Deux

58. A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon (11/12/05)....9.5/10
59. A Feast For Crows by George RR Martin (??)...9.75/10
60. The Greatest Knight by Elizabeth Chadwick (??)...10/10
61. John by Cynthia Lennon (12/27/05)...8/10
62. Teacher Man by Frank McCourt (12/31/05)....8/10
Books I Have Read This Year

Books Read in 2005
1. The Saint by Madeline Hunter (1/4/05).....6/10
2. God Went to Beauty School (1/7/05)....10/10++
3. A Sterkarm Kiss by Susan Price (1/7/05)....7/10
4. Brooklyn Rose by Ann Rinaldi (1/9/05)....8/10
5. Every Boy’s Got One by Meg Cabot (1/16/05)....8/10
6. The Firedrake by Cecelia Holland (1/17/05)....5/10
7. The Education of Mary by Ann Rinaldi (1/29/05)...7/10
8. The Trespass by Barbara Ewing (1/30/05)....9/10
9. Silken Threads by Patricia Ryan (2/6/05)...9/10
10. The Last Kingdom by Bernard Cornwell (2/15/05)...5/10
11. The Glass Café by Gary Paulsen (2/21/05)...6/10
12. The Sun and The Moon by Patricia Ryan (2/23/05)...5/10
13. Raising the Griffin by Melissa Wyatt (2/27/05)....8/10
14. Titanic Affair by Amanda Grange (3/6/05)....6/1015
15. Daughters of the Grail by Elizabeth Chadwick (3/13/05)...9/10
16. Sanctuary by Beverly Lewis (3/16/05)....5/10
17. Lady Jane The Nine Days’ Queen by Ann Rinaldi (3/24/05).....7/10
18. The Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnelly (3/31/05)...9/10
19. An Egg on Three Sticks by Jackie Moyer Fischer (4/2/05)....7/10
20. Princess Diaries VI: Princess in Training by Meg Cabot (4/4/05)....7/10
21 Prince of Darkness by Sharon Kay Penman (4/17/05)....7/10
22. Magical Mystery Tours by Tony Bramwell (5/1/05)......8/10
23. To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis (5/3/05)....8.5/10
24. How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff (5/21/05)...8/10
25. The Court of Love by Denee Cody (5/25/05)....5/10
26. Then He Ate My Boy Entrancers by Louise Rennison (5/28/05)...10/10
27. The Revelation by Beverly Lewis (5/30/05)....10/10
28. Titanic Names by Lee W. Meredith (5/31/05)...9.5/10
29. The Mediator: Shadowland by Meg Cabot (6/2/05)....7/10
30. The Thought of High Windows by Lynne Kositsky (6/5/05).....7/10
31. Hammer for Princes by Cecelia Holland (6/9/05)....7/10
32. Desiree by Roberta Gellis (6/22/05)...3/10
33. Blood Secret by Kathryn Lasky (6/24/05)....8/10
34. 1912 Facts About the Titanic by Lee Meredith (6/25/05)......9/10
35. Prom by Laurie Halse Anderson (6/28/05).....9/10
36. Hitler’s Daughter by Jackie French (6/29/05)....7/10
37. Plain Truth by Jodi Picoult (6/30/05)....9/10
38. A Foreign Field by Margaret Mayhew (7/9/05)...9/10

Friday, November 11, 2005

It's My Birthday....

It's my birthday....I'm 42 today! That used to seem so ancient but now I know it's just a my mind, I'm 21. Which is kinda interesting because I have a 14 year old daughter, LOL.

Spent the day in inservice hell. I hate when the presentations don't matter to me and this workshop was on cooperative learning, something that was big 10-15 years ago. What a pain! Of course it didn't help that I have a massive head cold that is making my eyes tear and my nose stop up. I haven't had a head cold like this in ages and it's such a pain in the ass.

Band season is over so our lives are semi-normal again. I have to say I had a blast hanging with the other uniform moms! Here's a pic:

Jeff says we're a cult and maybe we are. It was too much fun! Le Plume? Oui!

Last weekend Jeff was going to go fishing with his college buddies but I pitched such a fit that he didn't. The thing was, Hannah was in Atlanta with the band and Katherine went to family camp with my in-laws so why was he leaving me all alone? And as it turned out, we had a fantastic time together and it was nice to just be ourselves for a bit.

Guess that's it...lalalala....time to go read for a bit.


Sunday, October 30, 2005

Updating My Life

My Life as a Band Mom

I've been MIA lately due to being a band mom. It just feels as though that's all I do! But it's basically over now....Contest of Champions is done and I'm not traveling to Atlanta to be with the band, thank goodness. For weeks now every Thursday nite, Friday nite, and Saturday all day has been devoted to the band. Love the kids (most of the time) but hate feeling like I'm so overwhelmed and rushed on Sundays.

Anyway, I've enjoyed it and have made some really good friends with other band moms as well. Funny how tight you become with people when you seem to be with them all the time! Here's a picture of us yesterday. Aren't we silly? I remember my own mom traveling with our band all the time and I thought she was just checking up on me. Turns out she was enjoying hanging with her friends, and I get that now. These ladies are too funny....I'm gonna miss them but hopefully we'll see them a lot as the year goes on.


I'm stilllllll reading A Breath of Snow and Ashes. I haven't finished a book this entire month! I just can't seem to get much reading time in. Oh, well, I'm trying not to put pressure on myself to worry about how many books I've read this year, and this is one honking large book. But still, there are so many other books to read! George RR Martin is coming to town next week but Katherine has a chorus concert that night. I'm bummed.


Till next time.................................adios!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Book Slumps

Book Slumps....

I'm reading A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon and yet I still feel slumpy. I just don't have the time to read and it's a bummer. I'm liking it and yet I don't really feel compelled to read anything...

Which makes me wonder why people who are voracious readers slump. Is it the book or is it timing? I tend to believe it's timing but it's still so incredibly frustrating.


My favorite quote for the day:

Preach the gospel and if necessary, use words.

Good words to ponder.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Sunday Nite Thoughts

Sunday nites are good. I like the feeling of getting everything ready for the week. I also hate them because it means my weekend is officially over....and lately all these band functions have really kept my down time to a minimum. Ah, well, only a month to go........

I finally finished a book! I finished Widow of the South by Robert Hicks. I've rated it a 6/10. I'm disappointed in this one. I was excited to see Thomas Cartwright acknowledged as one of the sources for the book, since I met him many years ago at Carter House and he's probably one of the most knowledgeable Civil War experts around. but this book just rambled.....I can't help but wonder what Carrie McGavock's heirs think of her portrayal.

I'm sick of being old. My body is falling apart. I hate this. Why can't I magically snap my fingers and make everything all right?

Life at Croft is tense. I think Barry needs a reality check.

Jeff is off all this week for fall break. Do I get a fall break? No, of course not. Then he made a sarcastic remark when I asked him to clean out the storage area. I hate that. He thinks everything in the house is my responsibility. Well, he's got another think coming!

That's it for today.....enjoy your week!

Thought for the day:

A word after a word after a word is power. ~Margaret Atwood

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Hating on Somebody

I hate, hate, hate a parent who is basically running our school right now. He had the nerve to tell me today that he's getting a parent group together to tell me what they like and don't like about the website. I've spent most of the day in a wad over it---I'm so angry I can't see straight! I'm plotting what I'm going to say to him when he comes back to me--and he thinks he's doing a good thing! Barry seriously needs to reign him in. I'm starting to think it's falling to me to do this because he's pissing off everybody in the building but nobody will say anything because he's also done a lot of good things for the school. Well, watch me. He's going to know I'm offended and he's going to know why. I'm not taking this shit from him--hell, he's got a job, go there and leave us the hell alone! He's not going to know what hit him. I fight dirty.

Whew, feels better to get it off my chest. Everyone else feels the way I do but nobody says anything. I think this may be my calling in speak what everyone else thinks. I seem to have a knack for it for some bizarre reason. I just don't see the point in holding things in.


Today's link: Check out Hannah's mud volleyball pictures!

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Heads Up!

I've been enjoying myself immensely over the past few days at school. With a student teacher, I'm not tied to my room so I've been visiting everybody. Vonda came by with her baby yesterday and we toured the school, ducking Dr. Hutson who was in the building for a principals' meeting. Why do I still avoid her? Because she's toxic, that's why. Some people just are. They should carry warning labels.

I am soooo not looking forward to all this band crap this weekend. Where's my life? Stuck under a rock somewhere apparently. I'm hoping I will have a good time but honestly some of these people just need a life (not mine). That's including my friend A.M. I value my free-time so much more than these people seem to. Why is that?

I like the book I'm reading but it's just not compelling me to pick it up. I watched Ghost Hunters last night instead of reading. Why? Well, I like the guys on Ghost Hunters (they are funny and professional) and I really want some evidence. Are ghosts real? And if they are, why are they here? Hmmmmm....must contemplate this some more.

I'll report back after the band day from hell on Saturday. Hopefully there will be something positive to report. I doubt it. :(

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Sunday Thoughts


I'm sitting here flipping back and forth between the Emmys and The Two Towers. I keep hoping I'll catch Ellen DeGeneres as host but I've only seen her once so far. The rest of it is just sort of boring. Of course I know TTT by heart but it's still wonderful. I think back to when these movies first came out and how excited I was when we went to the theatre to see them. I will never forget that feeling and will always be grateful to Peter Jackson for sharing his vision with us.

So what do I do about Gabrielle? Do I send her another card or try to call or just wait and see? I want her to know we support her but dang, sometimes you just want to shake someone when you see things that could have been prevented. I don't understand people sometimes. I'll never understand not standing up for yourself in a marriage. Kevin's ass would be grass if it were me...but maybe that's why I've never been in that position.

Favorite Lines from The Two Towers
  • Don't talk to it, don't encourage it
  • What do your elf eyes see?
  • Not listening!
  • Manflesh!
  • Looks like meat's back on the menu, boys
  • Dwarves are very good over short distances
  • So it begins
  • I know your face
  • You're late
  • You look terrible
  • Look! An oliphaunt!
  • Po-tat-oes...boil 'em, mash 'em, stick 'em in a stew


Saturday, September 17, 2005

Thinking Out Loud

This has been a hectic week. I hate weeks like this...I need time to wind down and relax in the evenings and that has been basically non-existent this week. Here's a list of what's gone on:
  • Two Open Houses at School--7th/8th grades on Tuesday, 5th/6th grades on Thursday, both lasting until after 8:30 (but my student teacher and I skipped out after second period on Tuesday nite, as we don't have older kids for the later classes). Also had to run two night-time broadcasts from the tv studio at school that went well but added to the stress level.
  • Friday night, ballgame at Antioch....I feel good that I'm a band mom because I do like doing things for my girls but I hate having to be at every freaking game and contest. Plus I had to ride the bus this week.....NEVER AGAIN! It's like the 7th circle of hell from Dante's Inferno. Loud kids, bumpy, uncomfortable rides.....

Next week looks just as busy. I'm getting my hair cut Tuesday nite and there's actually a band booster meeting on Monday nite. I'm going to have to psych myself up to go to the band booster meeting. Thursday nite I'm expected to be at the uniform room to help sort the uniforms after they come back from the cleaners, Friday nite is a ballgame....and next Saturday, God help us, is an all-day contest event beginning at 6:00 a.m. and very likely to last until after midnight. Arrrrgh!

Update on Educational Irritation from Last Week

Got an email bright and early Monday a.m. from TPTB that said not to worry, they won't mess with my fonts on the website. Barry emailed them too and told them these decisions they are making are just arbitrary and likely to make their users quit. Yeah! Another victory but why on earth do I have to deal with them in the first place????? Still, doing the happy dance at being allowed a smidge of creativity. Sometimes tirades work.


Quote of the Day:

The difference between genius and stupidity is; genius has its limits. ~~~ Albert Einstein

Ain't that the truth??!!


Random Things I Like

  • Reality tv
  • My cat
  • Ice cream
  • Chocolate
  • My car
  • Music
  • Laughter

Random Things I Dislike

  • Bad-smelling people
  • Red tape
  • Arbitrary decisions
  • Migraines
  • Golf on tv
  • Dentistry
  • Loss of free time


That's it, that's all, folks! Enjoy!

Books 2005

Books I Have Read This Year

Books Read in 2005
1. The Saint by Madeline Hunter (1/4/05).....6/10
2. God Went to Beauty School (1/7/05)....10/10++
3. A Sterkarm Kiss by Susan Price (1/7/05)....7/10
4. Brooklyn Rose by Ann Rinaldi (1/9/05)....8/10
5. Every Boy’s Got One by Meg Cabot (1/16/05)....8/10
6. The Firedrake by Cecelia Holland (1/17/05)....5/10
7. The Education of Mary by Ann Rinaldi (1/29/05)...7/10
8. The Trespass by Barbara Ewing (1/30/05)....9/10
9. Silken Threads by Patricia Ryan (2/6/05)...9/10
10. The Last Kingdom by Bernard Cornwell (2/15/05)...5/10
11. The Glass Café by Gary Paulsen (2/21/05)...6/10
12. The Sun and The Moon by Patricia Ryan (2/23/05)...5/10
13. Raising the Griffin by Melissa Wyatt (2/27/05)....8/10
14. Titanic Affair by Amanda Grange (3/6/05)....6/1015
15. Daughters of the Grail by Elizabeth Chadwick (3/13/05)...9/10
16. Sanctuary by Beverly Lewis (3/16/05)....5/10
17. Lady Jane The Nine Days’ Queen by Ann Rinaldi (3/24/05).....7/10
18. The Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnelly (3/31/05)...9/10
19. An Egg on Three Sticks by Jackie Moyer Fischer (4/2/05)....7/10
20. Princess Diaries VI: Princess in Training by Meg Cabot (4/4/05)....7/10
21 Prince of Darkness by Sharon Kay Penman (4/17/05)....7/10
22. Magical Mystery Tours by Tony Bramwell (5/1/05)......8/10
23. To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis (5/3/05)....8.5/10
24. How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff (5/21/05)...8/10
25. The Court of Love by Denee Cody (5/25/05)....5/10
26. Then He Ate My Boy Entrancers by Louise Rennison (5/28/05)...10/10
27. The Revelation by Beverly Lewis (5/30/05)....10/10
28. Titanic Names by Lee W. Meredith (5/31/05)...9.5/10
29. The Mediator: Shadowland by Meg Cabot (6/2/05)....7/10
30. The Thought of High Windows by Lynne Kositsky (6/5/05).....7/10
31. Hammer for Princes by Cecelia Holland (6/9/05)....7/10
32. Desiree by Roberta Gellis (6/22/05)...3/10
33. Blood Secret by Kathryn Lasky (6/24/05)....8/10
34. 1912 Facts About the Titanic by Lee Meredith (6/25/05)......9/10
35. Prom by Laurie Halse Anderson (6/28/05).....9/10
36. Hitler’s Daughter by Jackie French (6/29/05)....7/10
37. Plain Truth by Jodi Picoult (6/30/05)....9/10
38. A Foreign Field by Margaret Mayhew (7/9/05)...9/10
39. Emma by Jane Austen (7/13/05)...8.5/10
40. Must Love Dogs by Claire Cook (7/15/05)....8/10
41. Hana’s Suitcase by Karen Levine (7/15/05)...9/10
42. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling (7/21/05)....10/10
43. Prince Across the Water by Jane Yolen (7/27/05)....7/10
44. These Is My Words by Nancy Turner (7/29/05)....10/10
45. The Minister’s Daughter by Julie Hearn (7/30/05)....8/10
46. Mother of Sorrows by Richard McCann (8/5/05)....7.5/10
47. Sarah’s Quilt by Nancy Turner (8/8/05)....9/10
48. Ghosts I Have Been by Nancy Turner (8/10/05)....8/10
49. Green Angel by Alice Hoffman (8/13/05)...6/10
50. The Boy Who Loved Anne Frank by Ellen Feldman (8/15/05)....9/10
51. No Shame, No Fear by Ann Turnbull (8/30/05)...9/10
52. Hi Fidelity by Nick Hornby (9/2/05)....6/10
53. The Queens of England by Norah Lofts (9/10/05)...7/10
54. The True Story of Hansel and Gretel by Louise Murphy (9/12/05)...7/10
55. The Search for Belle Prater by Ruth White (9/12/05)....5/10
56. Widow of the South by Robert Hicks (10/1/05).....6/10 57. Hitler Youth by Susan Campbell Bartoletti (10/3/05)....7/10

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Random Thoughts Beaten Senseless (thanks to Andi!)

Random Thoughts Beaten Senseless.....(thanks for the idea, Andi!)

  • I just visited my daughter's blog. She has no idea I know about it or how to access it. Is that wrong? I just like knowing what's going on in her head. It's actually pretty funny stuff! She has these cute little signs/sayings pasted all over it that make me laugh. Apparently her sense of humor is directly derived from me....(feeling proud....okay, moment over). She also has your standards 14 year old stuff...lists of friends, favorite songs, etc. Apparently she's a fairly well-adjusted kid. (feeling chuffed...British equivalent of being proud). I don't read her blog everyday, just every once in a while to see how her life's going. If it's wrong, don't tell me. I don't want to know.
  • My cat is staring at me. She thinks it's time to eat. It probably is. She's the most spoiled animal ever. Of course she's 19 so she deserves to be spoiled. At least that's my story and I'm sticking to it.
  • Why am I still pissed about the website thing at school? Why can't I ever let things go? I seriously need to learn how. I'm way past the age of obsessing over stuff.
  • I seriously hate how junky my house looks. Apparently I am the only one in the house who feels this way. I'd go on strike but no one would notice and they'd probably enjoy the break.

ODE to Zoloft

Zoloft, you keep me sane

You keep me from killing my family (not really, but maybe)

You soothe my brain

Zoloft, o Zoloft

Why do I think I can live without you?

I can't.

And that's okay.

I accept that....

with a glass of water and a small yellow pill.

Zoloft, o Zoloft,

I guess we're destined to go through this life together.

And that's okay.

because you make me okay.

Valleys and peaks in life? Who needs 'em?

Not me!

Confusion of thought and action....

Not me!

But seriously, you are my brain's antedote to screaming continously.

And that's okay, too.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Pissed-Off-edness? A Permanent State?

I am sooooo pissed off and it seems to be an almost permanent state lately. This is today's adventure. After asking a minor technical question of the website guy at school, I find out through his casual mention that he and the PTB are planning on taking away the right to choose fonts, font colors, and font sizes so that the sites will look "professional." What a slap in the face! Does that mean my site looks like shit? Of course the director of schools uses it as an example in his parent cluster meetings of how websites should look and be, yet the technical assholes who don't reside in the real world don't think it looks professional. I fired off a furious email and asked why. Got a reply that I shouldn't take it personally, they are doing this for everyone. Excuuuuuuse me? I'm not supposed to take it personally? So I fired off another one asking him whose definition of professional is being used....reminding him that this was EXACTLY one of the fears the planning committee had and expressed back in the spring, that we'd be slaves of cookie cutter websites with no creativity. Haven't heard back from him yet on that matter. I invoked the name of Barry the principal as my back-up (and he does, btw), as well as using the example of the director of schools (not to mention the website guy's BOSS) who loves our site. No word, no word.....I hate those people who sit in little offices and aren't in touch with the real world. Like Mike the tech says, they don't understand that creativity is what teachers do and what the public expects. We're not IBM, for heaven's sake.

Good gracious, I feel my BP rising as I type. I could actually feel it rise when I was firing off my emails this a.m. It's such a control issue and makes absolutely no sense. I'm willing to go to the mat on this....over a freaking font. But it's the overall principle of the thing. If they don't like us having creativity, fine. They can go back to doing the website.


  • Idiot technical people with control issues
  • 7th grade "chiefs"
  • Lazy people
  • No advance warning
  • Late nights
  • Not feeling a part of any clique
  • Needless paperwork


Things That Make Me Happy At Work

  • Funny people
  • Freedom to be creative (in most areas)
  • Running the tv studio
  • My computer lab
  • Nice people


Thoughts for the day.....

Five lessons to make you think about the way we treat people.

1 - First Important Lesson - Cleaning Lady.

During my second month of college, our professor gave us a pop quiz. I was a conscientious student and had breezed through the questions, until I read the last one: "What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?" Surely this was some kind of joke. I had seen the cleaning woman several times. She was tall, dark-haired and in her 50s, but how would I know her name? I handed in my paper, leaving the last question blank. Just before class ended, one student asked if the last question would count toward our quiz grade. "Absolutely," said the professor. "In your careers, you will meet many people.. All are significant. They deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say "hello". I've never forgotten that lesson. I also learned her name was Dorothy.

2. - Second Important Lesson - Pickup in the Rain

One night, at 11.30 p.m., an older African American woman was standing on the side of an Alabama highway trying to endure a lashing rainstorm. Her car had broken down and she desperately needed a ride. Soaking wet, she decided to flag down ! the next car. A young white man stopped to help her, generally unheard of in those conflict-filled 1960s. The man took her to safety, helped her get assistance and put her into a taxicab. She seemed to be in a big hurry, but wrote down his address and thanked him. Seven days went by and a knock came on the man's door. To his surprise, a giant console color TV was delivered to his home. A special note was attached. It read: "Thank you so much for assisting me on the highway the other night. The rain drenched not only my clothes, but also my spirits. Then you came along. Because of you, I was able to make it to my dying husband's bedside just before he passed away. God bless you for helping me and unselfishly serving others. Sincerely, Mrs. Nat King Cole.

3 - Third Important Lesson - Always remember those who serve.

In the days when an ice cream sundae cost much less, a 10 -year-old boy entered a hotel coffee shop and sat at a table. A waitress put a glass of water in front of him. "How much is an ice cream sundae?" he asked."Fifty cents," replied the waitress. The little boy pulled his hand out of his pocket and studied the coins in it. "Well, how much is a plain dish of ice cream?" he inquired. By now more people were waiting for a table and the waitress was growing impatient. "Thirty-five cents," she brusquely replied. The little boy again counted his coins. "I'll have the plain ice cream," he said. The waitress brought the ice cream, put the bill on the table and walked away. The boy finished the ice cream, paid the cashier and left. When the waitress came back, she began to cry as she wiped down the table. There, placed neatly beside the empty dish, were two nickels and five pennies. You see, he couldn't have the sundae, because he had to have enough lefmto leave her a tip.

4 - Fourth Important Lesson. - The obstacle in Our Path.

In ancient times, a King had a boulder placed on a roadway. Then he hid himself and watched to see if anyone would remove the huge rock. Some of the king's wealthiest merchants and courtiers came by and simply walked around it. Many loudly blamed the King for not keeping the roads clear, but none did anything about getting the stone out of the way. Then a peasant came along carrying a load of vegetables. Upon approaching the boulder the peasant laid down his burden and tried to move the stone to the side of the road. After much pushing and straining, he finally succeeded. After the peasant picked up his load of vegetables, he noticed a purse lying in the road where the boulder had been. The purse contained many gold coins and a note from the King indicating that the gold was for the person who removed the boulder from the roadway. The peasant learned what many of us never understand! Every obstacle presents an opportunity to improve our condition.

5 - Fifth Important Lesson - Giving When it Counts.

Many years ago, when I worked as a volunteer at a hospital, I got to know a little girl who was suffering from a rare & serious disease. Her only chance of recovery appeared to be a blood transfusion from her 5-year old brother, who had miraculously survived the same disease and had developed the antibodies needed to combat the illness. The doctor explained the situation to her little brother, and asked the little boy if he would be willing to give his blood to his sister. I saw him hesitate for only a moment before taking a deep breath and saying, "Yes I'll do it if it will save her." As the transfusion progressed, he lay in bed next to his sister and smiled, as we all did, seeing the color returning to her cheek. Then his face grew pale and his smile faded.. He looked up at the doctor and asked with a trembling voice, "Will I start to die right away". Being young, the little boy had misunderstood the doctor; he thought he was going to have to give his sister all of his blood in order to save her.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Educational Thoughts Part Deux

Tee hee hee! You never know what you might get when you sit back and let stuff happen without getting all pissy about it. Yesterday I was all pissed about the new absentee rules at school and today, it looks like in the wake of all this, we may be getting back our old schedules! Yeah!!! This will make our schedules like last year's, where we didn't have students until 9 and I could run the TV studio before school (which I really liked doing). Barry seems to have seen that we're on a collision course with academics if we are forced to take care of the absences/attendance in the a.m. like we've had to the past few days and he's willing to quietly buck the system. Stay tuned....and let's hope we don't get screwed after all over this.


The fruit of silence is prayer,The fruit of prayer is faith,The fruit of faith is love andThe fruit of love is silence. - Mother Teresa

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Educational Thoughts

Let me tell you what's wrong with our educational system, of which I am a member. This morning I attended a faculty meeting wherein we were told that the computerized system of keeping attendance, which apparently worked just fine last year, is not to be used this year except to take first period attendance. No, we must revert to the paper and pencil method for all classes, including the first period class, for which we're still supposed to also take attendance via the million dollar program the system purchased a year ago that is now not sufficient to take hourly attendance upon. Not only that, but first period teachers, who are not homeroom teachers BTW, must now collect the excuse notes from the kids and keep them BY CHILD in a folder until the end of the school year, at which time they will be placed in yet another file. And what do I do at the end of the twelve week rotation when I have a new class of kids first period? Who the hell knows? If a child misses one of our classes during the day, we must post that child as absent until we see an excuse note. But where oh where are the excuse notes? Stuck in a freakin' file in the first period teacher's class. So how do we now know if a child is excused? We, the first period teachers, must take a sheet of paper and fill it out that says that yes, we have received the golden ticket (aka the excuse note) from the child's parent and the child really was out for a legitimate reason. Now said child may take the note to all the rest of his/her teachers throughout the day, present the golden ticket, and be given make-up work. But no, no, no, we must not give the child any make-up work if there is no excuse note--forget the fact that many excuse notes are forged or are nothing but lies, but they exist therefore they excuse. And of course no middle school child has ever forgotten anything for class.....despite the fact that on any given day I might find an entire backpack in the middle of the freakin' hallway....if they can't even make it to class with a backpack, how on earth will they keep up with a sheet of paper like this? Anyway, what makes it even more ridiculous, not to mention time-consuming, is the fact that a child might be legitimately sick and yet forget to get a note, but SUSPENDED students are automatically excused and can receive work without the golden ticket. This was explained that we know where the suspended students have been.

Did I mention they gave us printed out sheets of paper on which to keep the blessed attendance but they are nearly useless because the columns aren't really columns, just little lines that could be taken for dashes? So I created my own sheets today and if the attendance police (which is apparently a real job) don't like it, they can climb up my butt and blow. We also were given the RED NOTEBOOK in which to keep the attendance which must be returned as part of our checkout procedure next spring.

And I'm supposed to be teaching during some of this sometime.


Favorite link of the day:

Monday, August 29, 2005

Thoughts on Being a Mom and other stuff

Quote for the day:

"The book has been man's greatest triumph. Seated in my library, I live in a time machine. In an instant I can be transmitted to any era, any part of the world, even to outer space. I have lived in every period of history. I have listened to Buddah speak, marched with Alexander, sailed with the Vikings, ridden in canoes with the Polynesians. I have been at the courts of Queen Elizabeth and Louis XIV; I have been a friend to Captain Nemo and sailed with Captain Bligh on the 'Bounty'. I have walked in the agora with Plato, and listened to Jesus deliver the Sermon on the Mount. Best of all, I can do it again, at any moment. The books are there. I have only to reach up to the shelves and take them down to relive the moments I have loved."---Louis L'Amour

Things That Are Hard About Being a Mom:

  • Knowing just how they feel and not being able to do a thing about it
  • Listening to the continuous complaining
  • Knowing you are making the best choice but maybe not the easiest
  • Wondering if the eldest dd is ever going to feel close enough to confide in me (I'm doubtful at this point--and insanely jealous of her friends' moms because they seem to have daughters who enjoy being with them)
  • Having eldest dd's friends like you but not sure if she does (and why should I care at this point if she likes me? I'm her mom, for goodness sakes, not her friend)
  • Having to tell them to do the same stuff over and over and over and over
  • Listening to the two of them arguing and hearing the eldest be mean to the youngest
  • Watching the youngest struggle to make friends at times

Things That Are Good About Being a Mom

  • Seeing them grow up into nice, normal kids
  • Not having to worry about whether or not they do their homework or if they behave in school
  • Having other people tell you how great your kids are
  • Hearing them tell you that they love you, even after being mad at you just minutes before
  • Having one young enough to still think it's great to draw a picture for you

Daily Thoughts for August 29, 2005

I am so ill with the people who are designing our new school website. They pushed and pushed me to get our site together and now they drag their heels whenever I need a change. They seem to think they know best which just annoys the hell out of me. Still I question them because that's what I do. They may not like it, but I'm not going away anytime soon so they'd better get used to it. :)