Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Monday, December 24, 2007

The Wondering

You're probably wondering, "What did alittleleeway do yesterday?" And the answer to that query would be..."She looked at some whale sharks."

Saturday, December 22, 2007

The Vacation

Hooray, the vacation is starting. Happy times.
I have 3 books to bring with me and binoculars for birding. Yeeha.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Standing

Not sure if cutting the zoloft dose in half was the best idea. I fear I may lash out at someone soon, unkindly. At the same time, I'm not sure if I'm totally to blame for possible future transgressions. Because yesterday people kept walking into the classroom and distracting me. They didn't talk to me or do anything, just stood around. Stood around right next to me as I tried to so called teach. This odd behavior is really getting to me. I wanted to say, "What the hell are you doing?" about 12 times. Instead I just glowered and yelled more at the children. I'm still confused by procedures at newschool. I wish I understood what was going on. Probably things will make more sense as time passes.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Commencement

Commencement was a fun morning. I got hooded in Assembly Hall, where our wonderful basketball men play. I'm glad I walked the walk. A good way to mark the ending of a long road. Some guy at a party last night asked me, "What benefit does a PhD provide for you, other than those that are ego related?" I gave a response and then just spent some time nodding at the guy. Then he walked away. Hmmmm. Let's get another scotch, I thought. What a weirdo.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Chat

After I walk on Saturday in Assembly Hall, wearing a gown and floppy hat, I will meander over to the Ed Bldg for a post commencement ceremony. I hadn't planned on going to this, but then a prof I know asked me to give a talk. I figured this will make the trip my parents and brother are making more worthwhile. More bang for the buck, iow. Now I have to write the talk though and ttytt I have low motivation. What with the sputum from my chest cold and the fatigue of working extra hard with the peeps, it's hard to gear up for speechwriting. Thus, the blogging. This may be my last dissertation distraction ever. But I could be doing this again tomorrow night and the night after that as well. You all know the drill.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Misdiagnosis

I've decided to cut my zoloft dosage in half. I don't feel like explaining why. When I had "flu-like symptoms" over the weekend, I researched a possible correlation and discovered that antidepressant discontinuation syndrome does indeed include flu like symptoms. But when I got to school on Monday I learned that many people had the flu over the weekend. And now I have a sore throat and a weird chest cold. So maybe I just got sick and I can't blame the pharmaceutical companies for enslaving me. Either way, I find everything very annoying right now.

Monday, December 03, 2007

The Afternoon

The peeps weren't very nice today at all and my determination to be more patient and kind fell apart around 1:40. But we made it through and I think we'll be back tomorrow. It took a few hours to clean my desk this afternoon because the substitute teacher piled everything on top of everything else. He was and is a man and I've found the male substitute to not be the neatest visitor to the room or the most forthcoming in the substitute notes. Female substitutes usually write a page or two explaining the ins and outs of the day. The substitute who worked in my room just wrote three lists of names: good students, terrible students, and students who "didn't make it on to the radar" either way. The last list seemed kind of sad to me. At any rate, the desk is now clean and I spent awhile on my edublog, changing the format and adding some links. That cheered me a bit.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

The Conference

I had a grand time in Austin Texas at the National Reading Conference. David Berliner gave a talk and his book Collateral Damage will be purchased soon.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Absentees

Everyone told me that newschool had a problem with attendance, but my peeps have been showing up everyday like clockwork. Until the past few weeks. Today I had 6 absentees. So that means I was teaching 14 kids. That just feels odd. I feel guilty not doing amazing things with this small group, but there's still a plethora of kicking, yelling out, throwing objects and growling. And roaring. Some of the growling and roaring I'm doing. But not all of it. Still, the last two days have had some fun to them and maybe we're turning a corner. Or just thinking about approaching the corner sometime in future. I hope my Austin trip doesn't set us too far back. When I return, I'm going to try to act a little kinder.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The TV

Patriots are winning and Husbandman has the temerity to tell me we don't root for the Patriots. Land of my birth?

The Ennui

Well, I'm not doing any work tonight, so let's just accept that tomorrow will be a living hell. I'm thinking about starting a wiki. Richard Beach talked about wikis at NCTE, so they're probably good.

The Tote

Tote is full of stuff that I need to work on. Bah. But on the good side, the day has been a good one. Relaxing. I'm trying to figure out how I can exercise more than I do now, which is not at all. There has to be a way.

The Trip

I've gotten my act together and ordered some gifties on line today. And I took out some holiday decor yesterday. I want to work on my sub plans today because I'm going to Texas on Wednesday. I've never been to Austin.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

The Decor

It's always sad when the visiting ends and the rellies head off for distant lands. Now I'm trying to decide if I want to bring out some holiday decor this afternoon. Or read a book.

The Canopy

Last night we all gathered downtown for the canopy of lights to be turned on over the courthouse square. We sang a few carols and then walked over to the history museum to check out the exhibit on the history of fans. Our town has so much to offer. This morning we're off to the craft fair at the Showers Building. Teendaughter has broken out the holiday CD's. I'm filled with cheer.

Friday, November 23, 2007

The Kingfisher

When we walked at Lake Griffey, I did see a Kingfisher with my new binoculars. I also saw an eastern towhee in the yard this morning. New sighting for the backyard. So that's awesome. And No Country for Old Men is very good.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

The Turkeys

The hand turkeys have been made. They're looking extra fine. Soon the pies will appear. The fun never stops. It just never stops.

The Wild

I'm reading Into the Wild. I like how Krakauer always backs up and describes connecting stories from the past. Well done, Krakauer.

The Day

There's some serious cooking going on over here. My favorite part of the meal is the stuffing, so I hope they're paying extra attention there. Plus, the mushroom souffle is going to be fantastico.

The Walk

Woke up late, heading for a walk. Menfolk are playing football. At a pal's house. Just like the Kennedies. Happy Day Friends.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Runway

I pick Lea, Steven and Carmen to get kicked off next the runway. Go here if you want to contest this.

The Fans

We may be seeing an exhibit about fans this weekend. Right now we're waiting for lasagna. I'm going to blog a lot this weekend.

The Feast

Today we're having a feast at school. I brought cups and cider. The rest of the fam is staying home, playing tennis, and heading out for manicures. I'm happy for them in a way.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Trip

NY? Yes, way fun. Running from here to there. Good sessions and v. good meals. Now it's time to teach one more day and then enjoy the company of kin. Woohoo.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The News

I might be on the news tomorrow (Wednesday) on CBS. My kiddos are part of a story they're doing about fundraising pioneer and pal JB who invented freerice. The newspeople came 2 hours before they said they would come and decided they didn't want to film in the computer lab, but in my classroom, so I had to invent a lesson plan on the spot. It wasn't a great one, so I hope they just jump to the kiddos at the computers in the back of the room. The kiddos were very excited and even kept it together for most of the filming, which was long. Only one child had to deal with me whispering in his ear, "Get out. Get out now." The rest were wonderful. The day went downhill from there, but at least we had those amazing moments.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

The Jest

There has been a lot of hitting in the classroom of late. And choking. And kicking. In the head and stomach. One mom asked, "Where were you when my kid was choked?" And I could only stare back at her and wonder the same thing. I felt I had let the kid down, but I sorted out the incident with all involved, to our mutual satisfaction I believe.
Later, I had an altercation with one curmudgeon, who spent most of Friday yelling out (whenever anyone looked his way), "Stop staring at me! I'll slap you in the head!" After the 10th time he interrupted my read aloud, (an awesome book by A. Clements called No Talking), I jokingly told him that I would slap him in the head if he wouldn't let me read the book. This is never a good thing for a teacher to tell a child. And I'm just hoping the remark came off with the humor I kind of intended.
When we walked to gym a bit later, another young man ran up to me and grabbed my hand. He said that a classmate was going to hurt him and seemed to be seeking protection of some kind.
I asked him why she would do that.
He replied, "She says I slapped her in the face."
"Did you slap her in the face?" I asked.
"No I did not. If I slapped her in the face, I would be dead by now. That girl is from Detroit."
We're going to have a serious talk about the hitting situation on Monday. I'm sure we can do better.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

The Election

Because of recent school shootings around the nation, our schools are now closed on election days. So I used the day not only to vote once again for our democrat mayor, but to visit the bursar's office to pay for microfilming, sit at the computer to figure out how to convert the diss to a pdf file, head over to graduate studies office to submit acceptance papers and abstracts, and spent some time ordering cap and gown and hood. The day off was a windfall. The woman at grad. studies asked me if I could see the light at the end of the tunnel. I told her I was not yet ready to make that claim. They still have to check over my electronically submitted diss for pagination and margin errors. I'm heading back into the school site. Newboss evaluated me on Monday and the peeps were poorly behaved as I was being observed. I looked like an amateur. I'm not happy with them, but the day off has helped me to cool off. Bottom line...more days off. They're good for all concerned.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

The Defense

The Defense went well. I gave my chat, the committee asked questions. There were parts of the dissertation that some readers found "naggingly problematic," but overall, people seemed to like it, or at least find it interesting. I do not have to make revisions to the dissertation, and happy about this I truly am. I have a few clerical things to do before I can walk on my commencement date, but basically, stick a fork in it, I'm done. As I wrote in my acknowledgements, I could not have done it without this blog and its readers. You got me thru, peeps. Now we need to come up with a new subheading. Let me know what you think.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Point

I worked on my power point for a few days, but in the end, I decided a set of photographs would be the best way to present the info. I have one from this limestone walk series for each chapter, and then notes I'll talk about. It's only 30 minutes, so I don't want to be blathering on over slides covered with bulleted points. I'll just put the fotos up and...blather on about bulleted points no one can see? It could be a mistake, but let's see how it goes.
Today I told the kiddos that I would be gone tomorrow for my big test. I told them that I was very nervous and one kid said, "If you fail, will they not let you be our teacher anymore?" He didn't seem too emotional about it one way or the other, but I reassured him that he was stuck with me. I'm not super prepared for the defense talk, but I figure adrenaline will kick in and get me through. 1:30 tomorrow, let's send some positive thoughts this way. Many thanks.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Wishes

I've had some problems lately. I won't get into all the gory details. I am going to work on my dissertation defense presentation today. This is a statement I've uttered or written many times in the past 2 weeks, but now it's time to get down to brass tacks. I wish I had a new outfit to wear for the defense. I wish I hadn't gained weight this year. I also wish that everyone would love my dissertation so much and praise it highly and critique it not at all.
On a good note, we want to invite everyone in the world to our home this coming Friday (4:30 to 7?) for a celebratory Friday on the Deck. I'll be done with the defense one way or the other and it's Birthday Eve for TeenDaughter and we have a half day at school, so I have to take advantage of that. Come one, come all. Eat cake. Call me doctor, maybe. At the very least, cheerful chatting and winning wines will be on the menu.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Day

When I told TeenDaughter that my day at schoolsite was actually good today, she said, "You need to blog about that!" And I replied, "I do?" And she said, "Yes, because people are concerned about you." I didn't realize that. No worries, mah fronds. Sure a kid told me he was going to punch me in the face, and 3 other kids went home today with small creatures in their heads resulting in my own sympathetic headscratching, but really even on my worst day, I'm happy to be there. And there's always wine in the fridge when I get back to the homestead. The fam begins pouring when they see miniature van pulling into the gravel drive.

Monday, October 22, 2007

The Frustration

I'm teaching kwmp (kid with many problems) as best I can, but he gets suspended about every other day. This would be pleasant, but he keeps missing appointments for getting evaluated for extra help because of suspensions. It's driving me crazy. Meanwhile, Husbandman's in South America and the "check engine" light is blinking at me in the miniature van. I can't help you miniaturevan, I am very busy this week.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

The Artists

Dylan and Costello played for us on Friday night. Yesterday Teendaughter and I walked around taking pix of sculptures by C.R. Schiefer. Today I will create a power point for my defense. JW suggests adding some spooky sound effects since I'll be defending my work on Halloween. I like the trick or treat theme. I wonder how long a defense lasts. I should ask someone about that.

Friday, October 19, 2007

The Break

Good news. Today is a day off for fall break. And I saw a red breasted nuthatch at the feeder yesterday.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Cheer

Monday was miserable at the worksite. I won't go into details, but when I got home, Husbandman kindly pointed out that I had the look about me of someone who had stuck their finger in a light socket. I mumbled and stumbled into bed for some sensory deprivation therapy. Then yesterday a kid brought me a little giftie of a picture of herself as a baby, a dumdum lollipop and a half full bottle of lotion. That made me happy. Then in the afternoon, a coworker came in and took one of my incorrigibles out into the hallway and lambasted her, with vigor, for some transgression. That too brought me pleasure and cheer.
The defense date, time and room are all set up as well.

Monday, October 15, 2007

The Snafu

Because of my "Form LD," I may not be defending the diss on Halloween. I screwed up yet again on another form. I've done this about a thousand times during my graduate program, so I just accept this personal flaw now, it only bothers me a little bit. I am trying to fix the situation, but it may be too late. I told Husbandman that I may just quit and not defend the diss, and he replied, "Nice idea. I think that would show a lot of character. And deliver the right message." I'm getting a little tired of the sarcasm to tell you the truth. He and I both know it's time for him to roll up his sleeves and get me out of this mess.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

The Pencils

I bought some pencils for los ninos at the Shedd Aquarium. Sadly, I didn't realize these pencils change color if you rub them over and over again. Bedlam ensued as kids frantically swapped for preferred colors. Then there was the frustrated flinging of the few pencils that refused to change colors. Flinging was followed by desperate begging for replacement pencils, which sadly did not exist. When I remarked that it seemed kind of ridiculous to make such a fuss over a bunch of pencils, a kid yelled out, "These aren't just pencils!" Whatev. Pencil debacle happened close to dismissal time, so I bided my time and am now rewarded with a pleasant weekend.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

The Defense

Defense is tentatively set for Halloween. I may dress up, I'm not sure. But I'm definitely bringing candy. I'm going to have a bowl of snickers and twix bars next to me as I talk about my power point, (the one I still have to make) and I'm going to munch away as I chat about the study. And KitKats will be there, obviously.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Friday, October 05, 2007

The Sweating

I keep having a sweating problem along my hairline. Top of forehead, along behind the ears, and then let's cut across the nape...with sweat. It's gross and I care for it not. Another thing I don't care for is some kid leaving a post it on my desk that says, "F*** Face." I think that's quite rude.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

The City

Chicago Activities:
Self-guided tour of streets, buildings and sculptures
Dinner at the Green Zebra
Guided boat tour of architecture
Contemporary Art Museum
The Brave One
Shedd Aquarium (new baby beluga)
Sundry Wine bars
Fun with CB

Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Disbelief

Met with honored adviser this week and she likes the new chapter 5 v. much. Next week I can hand out the diss to my very own committee. And in a month, there will be some defending of that dissertation. As for the worksite, we had a few peeps out of the room for various reasons, some of them sadder than others, and that resulted in some good work being done. They are writing plays about the Little Rock Nine. Tomorrow I meet CB in Chicago for a weekend of walks and wine. I still can't believe I'm done writing though. I hope that sinks in soon.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Friday, September 21, 2007

The Testing

Testing week is wrapping up. The fourth graders had to write about a perfect day. One kid wrote about his weekend of sickness which included vomiting up hotdogs and macaroni and cheese, going to the doctor for pink eye in both eyes and then having an allergic reaction to his medicine which resulted in itchy bumps all over his neck. After several turns around the room, I couldn't stand it any longer and finally leaned over and asked, "You think this is a perfect day?"
"Yeah, because I didn't have to go to school," he told me.
Gee thanks I wanted to say, but I simply walked on, hoping he would add a line of explanation at the end so that the test readers could see that he wrote to the prompt. I'm not sure they're going to understand.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Camera

A video camera was set up in my room yesterday to document behaviors of Kidwithmanyproblems. The camera seemed to incite him as he drew a picture of an obscene gesture, taped it on to a ruler, and proceeded to march back and forth in front of the camera, holding it aloft. That was the least of my problems with KWMP yesterday, to tell the honest truth. Sadly, I forgot about the camera while I was on my prep and when talking about my day with a teacherpal made comments like, "This is so f***ed up!" and other remarks along those lines. I wonder who watches that tape. Again, probably the least of my problems.
(Massage scheduled for 4 pm today, so no worries!)

Sunday, September 16, 2007

The Experiences

Walked in Brown County yesterday. And napped. And read a book called Kira Kira. Q. good. And then I saw Superbad with Husbandman and #1 Son. Also good. #1 loved it the most.

Friday, September 14, 2007

The Forum

Because my new school is an old school and because it is a failing school, there are community meetings about the school going on right now to discuss possibilities for moving the school or restructuring it in some way. It looks like restructuring involves closing shop, and that would be a drag since I just moved in. I went to a meeting last night and the neighbors want a more diverse demographic in the school. Too many poor kids in one building. One point no one brought up is my preference for the downtown locale. I almost stood up and told them that I like walking over to Bloomingfoods after I teach and I like being able to see the courthouse fish in the morning from the parking lot. But I'm new, so I didn't pipe up. I lost my chance to voice my opinion.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Huddle

Okay, I know you're all probably thinking, "Hey, where are those awesome fotos that this blogger always posts on her blog?" Huddle up peeps, let me tell you the problem. Our main computer is broken and the computer shopkeepers say we will never use it again. So all my fotos are in the shop, and they're going to try to save some for me. If you know a good computer that I should buy, let me know. It has to happen soon. On the workplace front, one of my little peeps got suspended today and that made me a bit sad. I tried to dissuade him from scraping people with paperclips, but he just kept doing it. And someone eventually did get quite the gash. On the diss front, honored adviser has the revised version. I'll keep you posted about what happens next.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

The Routine

Another Saturday rolls around and it's time once again to see if I can move the diss to the place it has to get to before adviserpal can read it over. After she reads it, she'll let me know if i can hand it over to the committeemen. Husbandman thinks I have fear of finishing syndrome, because I'm getting so anxious about the work. But I think I have longing for a weekend syndrome. Or I may have realization that it's not going to be done today syndrome. Or when will this thing end disorder. Okay, down to the basement. Whining is a critical first step in my writing process. But you already know that.