Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Work

Sandra Day O Connor says happiness comes from work worth doing. I'm heading back in, to do the worthwhile work. Yesterday was a downer as the peeps were verging on hateful. Could they be angry at me, their teacher, as they struggle through ISTEP testing? Angry perhaps because they see me as the person who let them down and did not teach them how to do the various inane problems in the booklet before them. Perhaps. But on a good note, our podcast is getting some awesome comments. And the rosebreasted grosbeaks have been showing up all week to hog the feeder and to fill me with awe.
You still have to listen to the podcast. And comment. Sorry, but we have 17 more comments to get to our goal of 30. Come on, people. We can do this.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Podcast

We have another podcast up. It's about the great book Four Feet Two Sandals and you can listen to it right here. I'm going to have to pimp the podcast because we only got 12 comments on our Listen to the Wind production. So, we have 2 comments so far and I think I'll aim for 30 again. I'll now be soliciting comments for the next two weeks. I'll be like PBS and just tell you that the sooner we reach our goal, the sooner we can get back to regular blogging at alittleleeway.

Friday, April 24, 2009

The Nerves

Four graduate students from Afghanistan are going to visit our class today. We're going to interview them. When the peeps helped me generate our question list, they started off with questions like, "What is it like to live when war is happening in your country?" and "Did you ever wear a burka? What do you think of the Taliban?" and "Do you think the U.S. is right to send more troops to Afghanistan?" Then they got into the important items like, "Do you like to fly kites?" and "Do you have any pets?"
I hope they behave well. Cross your fingers for me. I'll be in a really horrid mood if they don't. Yesterday was touchy. One peep kept flipping me off behind my back. I just hope he doesn't do that when our visitors are here. They might get a negative impression of American schools.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Jazz

I never thought I liked jazz music, but now I do. #1 son will be at Marcellus Neal Hall tonight at 7, playing the jazz music with his other jazz musician friends.

We're writing our social narrative stories in 306 now. They are somewhat connected to themes we've read in books about Afghanistan and Pakistan. I'm not sure where we're heading with our books, so that can be a little bit on the exciting side.

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Plans

Spent a long time at the compound yesterday, so I'm feeling well planned. Anything could still happen. We all know that. But I have to take one day at a time. We're going to invite families in on Friday to read our zine pieces with us. I may have to get some snacks for that. I'll worry about that Thursday night.
On another note, Teen Daughter has chosen to attend U.C. Berkeley next year. We think it's a great match for her. I usually start weirdly crying if I think too much about it, so I'll just sign off now.

Friday, April 17, 2009

The History

At the beginning of the year, our local history center came to the school to ask teachers to do projects related to our school building since our school will be torn down right after they finish building our new school which they work on every day and this week they are jackhammering away at geothermal holes, 180 of them, while I'm teaching. Anyway, I digress. We did work on a history project, and I brought the writing and the photos to the history center yesterday. The director was nice, but we both knew the photos were pretty crappy and the writing wasn't actually very historical in nature. But at least I finished a project and I don't need to worry anymore about this item that has been on my "to do" list for 4 months.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Circle

Discussion of Civil War On Sunday at Lit. Circle:

Peep #1: Clara Barton was strong. She was serious about all this.
Peep #2; Yeah, but my mom says a woman should marry a strong man.
Me: Well, I think women have to be strong too.
Peep #3: Yeah, so they can whup their kids.
Me: That's not what I'm talking about, bud.

General hilarity ensued, and it was hard to get back to the book after that.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Flix

Last week was busy. Joshua Bell played at our school for 5 minutes. The kinders put on a great show where they all looked like freaks. Goodpal Menosky brought a STUNNING Signs of Spring party our way. By Friday, the joyfulness was palpable. In other words, you could feel it all around you.
We also got to stand in the rain and watch #1 play lacrosse a couple of times. Woohoo! This weekend, I brought the energy down a notch. Took a short hike, saw some birds, started reading an awesome book, watched some movies.
We saw I Love You Man. Very good. And Sunshine Cleaning, which was wonderful. We rented Henry Poole Was Here and I liked that too. I feel rested, but not entirely ready. Tentatively, I venture forth.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

The Sparrow

Cute child walked straight up to me this morning and pulled a dead sparrow out of her pocket. "Look what I brought for morning meeting," she yelled. I thought I was going to start vomiting, but instead I told her to wrap it in a paper towel and then go wash her hands very well with soap. We put it on the document reader and checked it out for a few moments at morning meeting, but when they left for gym a bit later, that sparrow headed out to the dumpster.

When I told #1 son the story this evening, he responded lackadaisically with, "Have you blogged about it yet?"
I'm about to, I told him, but I think he could have mustered more enthusiasm.

The Circle

Yesterday was not the best day ever, by a long shot.
I was feeling pretty freaked out by lunch time, when 3 former peeps came up to talk
to me in the cafeteria. They were hugging me and lurking around in a circle, telling me
they miss me. "I miss you guys too. It's so nice to see old friends. My class has been
kind of cranky today."
Former peep who cried every day last year and went to the nurse over 16000 times said, "The whole school's like that. People are being really bad."
I said, "The whole school? Okay. That's making me feel better. But I wonder why."
Former peep who wrecked a field trip for 40 kids last year said, "It's probably Easter. People are getting hyper."
"I hadn't thought of that. Maybe you're right. Easter."
Peep # 3 who keeps getting sent to the Psych Hospital said, "Can I have one of those pens you have?"
"Not today, pal. but check in tomorrow." We all hugged again and they went back to where they belonged.

Sometimes I can't wait til my current peeps are my former peeps so we can have nice exchanges like this.

Monday, April 06, 2009

The Day

"I wonder what today's gonna be about," I said to #1 and TD.
#1 replied quickly, "Today's gonna be all about the fun and laughs, guys."

Not sure that's what the focus should be, but I'll go along with the underlying premise. The facial scheduled this afternoon will provide the fun. Dinner with pals J and M will have plenty of laughs. Yay for this day!

Started off with this in our house. I love it so.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

The Teen

#1 son is 15 today. He's sleeping now since he stayed up late playing poker. Aside from a few vices such as gambling, the kid is a marvel. Happy Birthday, #1!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

The Wind

The new podcast is here! The new podcast is here!
The peeps LOVED Listen to the Wind. It's a terrific book, a kid version of 3 Cups of Tea.
If you have time, listen and give us a comment. I'm very proud of the peeps. And we are still collecting pennies, so please give a penny to me next time you see me, or asap.
Thanks to Sarah for putting the podcast together while working on her cool dissertation!!!

The Astronauts

 From a Lynda Barry book, I've used the idea to have the Thirdlanders draw self portraits on occasion.  Draw yourself as Batman, a monst...