Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Arrests

One of the peeps asked, "What's house arrest?" We were in the middle of a fascinating lesson on the traits of the fairy tale genre. Before I could answer, the experts in the room all chimed in to help.
"That thing on your leg keeps you in your house. But it's not tight on your leg. You can move it up and down."
"Yeah, my mom's been on that."
"My brother walked outside the house to test it, and it did beep. Those things work."

I asked the first peep if he understood and he said he did, so we went back to our discussion of The Frog Prince.

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Work

Welcome to the working week. It's time to get back in to gear. I am not prepared in any traditional sense, with lesson plans and assignments. But I am ready to greet everyone back, and then we'll take it from there.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Fowl

I'm pretty sure we saw a ring necked duck today. And of course, many northern shovelers. Today's a day for kicking into gear. I watched way too much of the AIG hearings yesterday. That was counterproductive. Today I'm focused on some writing, some school planning, and gathering needed supplies.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Neighborhood

My feet only hurt a little during a walk today, so I instantly started thinking about how my six problems with my feet might disappear soon and I will walk every day and maybe by summer I could start slogging again. Before I could get too much enjoyment out of this fantasy, I plunged into downer thoughts about how I would probably just stop walking the minute I go back to work next week and how I'll probably always be a big fat loser in the health dept. But then after that I thought about staying in the moment, checking out the crocuses, keeping my eyes peeled for some cool birds and it was then that I saw a downy woodpecker. So things got good again, until I returned safely home. And that's the dramatic story of my short walk around my neighborhood.

When the doctor shot my toe twice, it swelled up and I felt like The Incredible Hulk. The swelling was hard to capture with the camera, but my toe did get surprisingly large. The shots hurt a lot.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Marsh


We decided to drive out to Salt Marsh again today. We went early and we did see a few new peeps. We saw this guy and this guy. We might have seen this guy, but we can't be certain.

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Wildlife

We had a fantastic visit with Janet and Alice. But we miss them now. Wah, come back and play barbies with me, ALICE!!!
FYI, to J and A and my plethora of alittleleeway readers, I think I've identified the duck we saw at Saltwater Marsh as a Northern Shoveler. This morning, Husbandman and I saw a bunch of buffleheads at Lake Griffey. This is shaping up to be a fine spring break.

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Saint

When the peeps came back from library, they stopped dead in their tracks when they saw Good Pal Menosky and a table full of St. Pat's gear awaiting them. "Is this a surprise party?" asked D. Before we could get the party started, each table team had to offer a fact about St. Pat. They were ready, as we had read the saint's story just that morning. Did you know he was kidnapped by Irish pirates and was enslaved on the Emerald Isle? Then some other things happened to him. But ultimately he died on March 17, 461. That's why we celebrate on that day. One peep blurted out, "What? He died on his birthday???" I often feel that the peeps aren't really listening to me. And this was one more piece of evidence to support that premise. Still, the facts were given freely and the partying began, with treats and shamrocks and hats and The Rovers on the CD player. Thanks, GPM!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Crime

Outraged peep ran up to me yesterday and indignantly reported, "When A is passing out papers... (huff puff)... at each person's spot... (more huffing and puffing)... she puts the paper down, and she sings... 'Doobileedoo!'"

I looked up and sure enough, A was plopping down yellow papers in front of each classmate while jauntily chirping, "Doobileedoo."

I looked at outraged peep and said, "You know Bud, I don't think that's really that big a deal. His mouth dropped open in astonishment and he returned to his spot, shaking his head. I felt like I let him down, but in truth I felt a lot of admiration for A's paper passing style and may imitate it in future.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

The Game

Lacrosse is a mix of weird games. Football, hockey, jai alai, soccer, and cream the guy with the ball. When a player is running with the ball, players can run behind him and whack him with their sticks. I think they're trying to get the kid to drop the ball, but I'm not sure. The whacking from behind would get really annoying if I were playing. I'm surprised the players don't turn around and start wailing away on their perps. That's what would happen at my school, without a doubt. But they just zip along, cradling that ball like it's a little child.

We lost 7 - 6, but it was exciting to watch. #1 is just a freshman, so he didn't get much playing time, but that's okay with me. No rush. No worries.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

The Blood


We took part of the ISTEP test this week. The first day we took the math. The open-ended problems were crazily hard and I went home totally demoralized. I couldn't sleep worrying about where I went wrong this year and why I hadn't done a better job helping the peeps get ready. Around 2 in the morning, I realized that something had to be very wrong with the test. The thing was just crazy hard, as I've already told you, and I knew there was no way that 3rd graders could be expected to complete it. Come to find out, the news stories started trickling in the next day. Complaints from teachers all over the state about ISTEP meltdowns. It's been on tv news, the Indy Star, the Chicago Trib. I thought they might throw the test out, since it was clear that mistakes have been made, but no, the dept. of ED just says not to worry, they'll make the cut scores lower. Arbitrary nonsense.
During the final test, one of the peeps stabbed another peep with her pencil, causing the lead to break off in his arm. When we pulled the lead out, there was a gaping hole, with blood gurgling up. Pencil wielding peep said the kid was bothering her by humming the song from some movie about a chihuahua. I blame ISTEP for this incident, and for the resulting suspension.