Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Fruit

We're just trying to get up on their poles, but were
 left out of the whole shebang.  They don't even think we can an do this.  Hello!  I did aerial performance in grade school in Miami Florida.

The Sisters

We saw these Quebe Sisters at Lotus.  They are fiddling sisters with sweet voices.  I'd follow them around for awhile if I wanted to. They seemed to know what they were doing.
This week I had visual migraines.  The first one happened when I was sent in to substitute in a special ed preschool where 4 dear kids with autism hang out.  The kids are sweet and strange and I feared that one of them would bite me at any moment.  A bite is something I prefer to avoid at all cost.  Anyway, I sat on the rug blowing bubbles for them, and we were all feeling pretty chillaxed, when the visual migraine with the zigzaggy lines appeared.  What a pain. Did the children with autism give me a migraine? Hard to tell.   Then today when I was typing stupid things on my computer for 3 hours I got another visual migraine.  Zigzaggy shiny lines impeding my vision and my productivity. Lasted 30 minutes.  Had to stop using the computer.  Moved on to opening boxes. Lasted for 30 minutes.There may be a kind of pattern here.  These visual migraines seem to be happening at MY JOB!!!!!  What?  I'm going to live the rest of my life BLIND because of my working environment?  I don't think so.  Not this chump. I'll set up a tent out in the recess area.  Or I'll just work out of my car.  It's a Kia Soul.  It has me covered.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Allington

Oh goodness gracious, Richard Allington came to our district today and gave a talk to about 200 teachers.  I thought he was hilarious. He kept saying stuff like "If you don't move around your room you should be fired," and "Earn your paycheck and start teaching all the kids in your room, not just the smart ones" and "Maybe it's time to learn the stuff you were hired to do and start differentiating instruction for all kids," and "If someone gives a kid a book that's too hard for her, that teacher should be hit in the head with a baseball bat" and "Never have xerox machines in schools.  Worksheets are total crap"  and "When I see what kids are made to do in intervention groups, I just want to commit suicide."  

I was laughing away, but some people got a wee bit ticked off.  I like boldness.  I like outrageous people with smart opinions.  His basic plan for improving reading achievement is having kids read for many hours a day, books they can read and want to read.  And kids should have literate conversations with other kids in literature circles.  And kids should write stuff that's meaningful to them.  And teachers should know a lot about books and pass info about books on to kids.

Can't really argue with this stuff.  Kudos, Richard Allington.  You probably won't be invited back any time soon, but I enjoyed your talk very much.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Gifts

Today I moved from teaching kinders to teaching sixth grade.  The kinders heard Frederick by Leo Leoni and they made some little ripped paper mice.  The kinders were so cheerful and kind and silly.  The only huge disaster was some kinder holding his milk carton upside down and letting all the milk spill onto the table and floor.  Annoying as heck, but a fantabulous assistant teacher was there and she took care of the whole deal.

The sixers were neither cheerful nor silly, but they do have a kindness about them that I love.  They were a bit ticked off today for some reason but they followed all my directions even as they scowled at me. The sixers talked about a Langston Hughes short story about a robbery.  They wrote about personal connections.  Most had something stolen from them. One sixer was walking in his neighborhood and someone stole his cologne.  I asked why he was carrying cologne and he said, "I can't remember.  I guess just to freshen up a bit." I was sad to read one sixer's writing about having her Xbox 360 game stolen during the night by someone who visited her home.  She never got it back.

At recess I went to a first grade class.  Most of them misbehaved for Officer Friendly yesterday so I came in to help them practice their listening skills for 5 minutes before walking them down to recess.  I pretended I was a police officer talking about safety and those firsties just listened like I was the most fascinating person they'd ever met. We all got out to recess in plenty of time for some fun.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Bees

Saw a bee documentary tonight. Song of the Sun I think it was called. Basically the gist of this movie is that we have to help honeybees ASAP.  By becoming bee keepers. This is going to be a huge pain in the neck, but it can't be avoided. If you want to see this movie you should. As they sing in the film.....All we are saying is give bees a chance.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Blind

Today I went to a ridiculous workshop about student engagement.  The "experts" told us to have a sense of humor when teaching, to talk to kids, and to use games for instruction.  I was like, Doy.  Then we had to watch a video about the POWER OF WORDS.  It was about a blind guy trying to get money from passersby.  At the end a few people at the table were crying.  My friend LifeAsPerUsual cries pretty regularly so I said, "Come on, Life as Per!  Why are you crying about that?"
Through her tears she said, "My grandmother went blind before she died."
For some reason this made me start laughing hysterically.  And luckily Life as Per began laughing as well.  It was at this point that my boss begged me to go stand out in the parking lot until I could pull it together. I tried to pull it together and after awhile I was able to stay at the workshop with just occasional snickering.  So there you have it.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Clock

Today I got to hold this little child for about an hour or so.  I walked about with this child saying to everyone, "Ha ha! Ha ha!  He likes me the best!"  Not sure why I had to be so "in your face" about having this kid in my arms, but I just have to say I felt a strong bond with this kid.  His name's Hank so I told everyone, "His name's Hank Heffernan. He lives on High Street."  None of this was actually true but I just loved holding this little guy.  He loved being with me too.  I gave him fine care.

When the littles ran up to me to see the child, I would encourage them to tickle and twist his toes.  They were so happy to get to perform this treat. Some of them were shivering with glee.  I have about 1 month before I turn 51 and I've read that 51 is about the outer limit for having a kiddo.  May be getting pregnant within the next 4 weeks.  That could bring some shenanigans into my life.  I'm basically looking for some fireworks.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Milk

Saw FARMAGEDDON tonight.  If you want to see it you should.  It's about how our government keeps raiding small family farms that are trying to sell raw milk to people who want to buy and drink raw milk.  I'm a little bit on the fence about this.  The movie made raw milk sound like the best thing since sliced bread.  But I'm partial to the whole pasteurization process due to the social conditioning I've experienced since birth.  Here's my question.  Do you, or would you, drink raw milk? I can't decide about this. Because of ecoli.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Gift

 Today's a jammy day.  Going to finish reviewing an article while watching Federer beat Choke-ovic. I wish I could just write something like, "I don't care for this article, but if you want to publish it in your journal you should."

If I finish that article review, I shall give myself a gift of some sort.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

The Jobs

Jobs I would not like:  fire fighter, pediatric surgeon, roofer, principal.

Jobs I would like:  New York Times reporter, Ambassador, Primate Language Researcher,  truck driver.

Monday, September 05, 2011

The Lack

Sometimes when I meet new people I get nervous.  And because of this alleged nervousness I don't listen very well.  I get all worked up about how I can't think of anything to say.  Come to find out, when I first meet people I can not think of one thing to say to them.  It's weird since I'm a talkative person.  But that's how it is.  Can't explain it and not even going to try.

Today I got to hang out with some friends of some friends.  I've met these Fs of Fs many times so I finally felt ready to step up to the plate in the conversation department. It's been years after all.  Any way, turns out I had a ton of misconceptions about these peeps.  I kept saying stuff like, "Now what kind of law do you practice?" to someone who's in the medical profession.  I got another gal's kids totally mixed up.  Pointing to one sweet kid, I said, "So your son is in high school now?"  Turns out that kid isn't even her son.  I've got to shape up and pay attention.  I know I can do better. I'm v. embarrassed about my lack of savoire faire.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

The Pills

It's finally cooler.  Maybe I'll venture outside.  I'll keep you posted.

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...