Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Slaphappiness


Slaphappiness seeped in today, as I wandered about not working.  Because of the slaphappiness, I'm probably going to have to work a damned extra day.  I had meetings today, but really, I could have gotten more done.  It was just very awesome to walk about talking to people at my leisure.  I loved it.  Some cool teachers came into my office and asked if we would have time at tomorrow's meeting for some record keeping, and I cheerily said, "Sure thing!"  But my pal/boss just stammered, "No we will not.  And why are you saying that?"  And that's when I explained about the slaphappiness.  She understood, but told me not to say that any more, because we are going to have a full day of artful unit design tomorrow.  So now my plan is to get to work before the unit design, basically at the crack of dawn, and try to get my office clean as a whistle, putting forth my personal best efforts.  May the force be with me, because I really want to be done with work after tomorrow.  Let's do this.  

Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Laze


  I hope to wake up some day very soon feeling spry and sprightly.  Today I was just lazy and looney.  I'm going to try to formulate a summer program.  I'm going to come up with a motto and a theme.  And a regimen.  But right now, I'm just slouching about, watching television and conversing with any family member who decides to walk by the couch area.  Should be perking up soon, then the accomplishing starts.  I'm not turning back, once I get started.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Popsicles

Today was PENULTIMATE DAY.  Every time someone came into my office, I gave them a post it that said, "Happy Penultimate Day," and asked them to place it in a visible spot somewhere in the school.  By the end of the morning, green post its were all over the place.  Fun way to celebrate the day, with post its, and a lot of pep.  And with popsicles.  I helped with popsicle distribution at Field Day today.  But mostly with pep and post its.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Husbandman

Husbandman has returned.  He had a great trip in Korea and Taiwan.  I was so tired from 2.5 weeks of taking the kids to restaurants that I went to bed at 7:20 last night and slept through the night.  This is my last Wednesday with students.  And our last faculty meeting of the year.  This year's been a good one for me.  It started off kind of bumpy, but evened out and ended on an upswing.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Golfing


Went to the golf scramble yesterday to raise $ for our Artful School.  Hunterman got me some clubs, gave me some lessons, and brought me a bloody mary before the first hole.  In short, Hunterman rocks. I'm not sure I ever blogged this, but Hunterman shot 4 coyotes over spring break. I find that amazing.  And he shot a turkey just 30 minutes into turkey hunting season, effectively wrapping up the season for him because you can only shoot one, I just found out.  Anyway, after just a 40 minute golf lesson, I found I was able to hit the ball, sometimes kind of far. I didn't ever achieve loft, but Hunterman told me not to try to achieve loft.  I kind of get the whole golfing thing.  I liked being with a group of 3 good pals, driving around in golf carts, in a beautiful setting of grassy knolls and forested glens.  Drinking a bloody mary.  Who wouldn't like that?  We decided to stop after 5 holes though.  5 holes seemed perfect.  My team, called the Just Us Golfers, was a lot of fun.  We really didn't know much about golf, but we made it up as we went along.  At one point, KVS, said to me, "Which glub do I use? I think I need a new glub. What's it called again?"
"Do you mean club?" I asked her.
Come to find out, she did mean club.  We aren't inside members of the golfing discourse, but if I keep doing these golf scrambles, I'll get there eventually.  One thing I don't like about golf is waiting for some people to finish, while other people behind you are kind of rushing you along.  A golf dream would be to have the whole course for my team only.

Friday, May 18, 2012

The Popcorn


If you popped popcorn for 4 hours, and then you went home and felt like blogging, what do you think your blog topic would be?  Obviously you would blog about the popcorn popping.  When I was a kid I was fascinated by assembly lines and efficiency.  I watched the movie Cheaper by the Dozen and then read the book several times.  I'm often thinking about how things could go faster.  I think that's why I love cafeteria duty.  I'm obsessed with figuring out how to get the peeps through the lunch line the fastest way possible.  Anyway, back to the popcorn.  I've never popped corn before in a carnival popper.  I had no idea what to do.  My friends MC and Goodwoman taught me.  Once I felt confident in the learning, I went into HIGH GEAR people.  2 scoops into the bag, pass to Goodwoman, new bag, new scooping, fill up the kettle with oil, popcorn and salt, more scooping, dumping the kettle, more scooping, more filling up the kettle with oil, corn, salt.  It was like being in a dream like machine world, which I kind of liked.  But the problem was this. We ran out of time and 5 classrooms didn't get popcorn.  There was a lot of sadness about this, because even though I promised to get those kids popcorn on Monday, who the heck tells kids they're going to have popcorn and then doesn't bring them popcorn?  I mean really, who does that?  Well, come to find out, I do.  Me.  I do that. Gosh darn it.  I'm still ticked at myself.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Leasts


Tonight I had to go to the supermarket yet again.  The place was a ghost town. No one there but me.  I wonder how these supermarkets stay in business.  I bought a suddenly salad for #1 son's journalism picnic tomorrow.  It was the least I could do.  His journalism teacher is phenomenal.  THANK YOU, JOURNALISM TEACHER!  I made the Suddenly Salad, but I boiled the pasta a little long and it's somewhat mushy.  Hope #1 isn't embarrassed to bring it to school.  At this point, I'm feeling like even when I try super hard, things aren't working out that great.  Please Husbandman, come home asap.

There's a kid I love at Artful School.  Let's call him Mr. Fuss.  Mr. Fuss always has something driving him crazy.  He has a little furrowed brow and he's always screaming about this or that. Every day he screams at me in the cafeteria, using hand gestures like no one's business. Last week he apologized to me for interrupting a lesson I tried to give.  I forgave him and he started screaming and crying, "It's so hard for me to not interrupt!  No one understands how hard this is!"  I gave him a little mini-lesson on the art of the quick and simple apology and he seemed to calm down a little.   This kid is a top notch maniac, but there's something about him that just melts my heart.  Today he was standing in the stairwell with his hands clutching his head.  I asked him what was going on. He started waving his hands around in my face and screaming,  "This kid at recess is driving me crazy.  Today he told me I was a piece of crap!"  It's such a mean thing,  but the way he said it was sadly funny.  I laugh about it every time I think about it.  Poor guy.  Life's tough enough without this crap nonsense.  I love this kid and I'm going to try to straighten out his nemesis on the morrow.  It's the least I can do. I'm not promising any miracles here, but we'll have a go at teaching the peeps yet again about the art of civil discourse.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Rules

Last year at this time I was riding a bike around Ile De Re in France.  It was so relaxing.  Now I'm at school, trying to work on an inquiry center for an artful learning unit. I'm using Michael Pollan's book FOOD RULES, an eater's manual, with illustrations by Maira Kalman.  I came across this nice quote from Maira:  "I'm trying to figure out two very simple things.  How to live and how to die.  And I'm also trying to have some meals, and some snacks, yell at my children, and do all the normal things."

I wonder what I'm trying to do here.  Trying to figure out how to talk to people directly, and lovingly.  Trying to figure out how to keep up with research when I'm not part of academia anymore.  Trying to let my children be exactly who they want to be. And I'm also trying to have a couple of laughing moments each day, get outside and look at flowers, show my friends and family how much i care for them, and do all the normal things.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

The Dad

 

Yesterday my dad turned 83 years old.  My dad is an all round great guy, funny, smart, caring.  He works several days each week and has a reputation at his worksite for speaking truth to power.  Last week some mucketymucks came in to chastise the workers, as mucketymucks will do.  My dad stood up and delivered a pointed argument in defense of his coworkers. And in response, the 150 coworkers present broke out into spontaneous response.  They call him Mr. Dan there.  I'm delighted to call him dad.  And I wish him the happiest birthday ever.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Dogs


I'll tell you something.  I'm missing Husbandman big time.  Tonight I actually had to go to the grocery store.  I left work at 8:30, then drove over to the grocery store.  The lights were dim in the store and there was this man (I assume he was an employee) walking around with this huge floor washer machine that was so noisy it made my brain rattle.  Wherever I went, that guy went.  I tried to stay calm, but I kept muttering aloud things like, "I wish I could poke my eyes out right now," and "This can't be happening, This can't be happening."  But it was.  That machine followed me around for about 30 minutes as I purchased food items.  It was a nightmare.  I decided to try a new brand of veggie dogs and come to find out, they aren't very good.  I still have a kind of gross feeling in my digestive tract because of the new hot dog product.  I'm trying to wash it away with wine.  

Monday, May 07, 2012

The Husbandman

Husbandman is in Korea now, or almost to Korea.  It's a long trip.  As you may know, Husbandman is
our organizer, our efficiency expert and our all round support staff.  My plan is to stay super organized using the flylady system, while Husbandman is gone to the far east. One of my major concerns is my ability to provide food for #1 son. Usually Husbandman makes some casseroles before he leaves. I guess he didn't have (take?) time on this occasion.  #1 son was already stressed this morning because we had no bacon. I'm not trying to cast aspersions, but come on Husbandman.  Get the boy some bacon.  And would it have killed you to pop a lasagna in the oven?  Okay, I'm sure we'll do fine, so no worries dearheart.  Enjoy your time in the far east.  We'll muddle through somehow I'm sure.  But here's the good news, Husbandman:  Our AC is working now.  And we love and miss you a lot.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

The Poems


We held a belated Poem In Your Pocket Day yesterday.  Good fun.  Everyone excited.  I asked a sixer if he had a poem and he pulled it out of his pocket and read it with pride.  I was told later that this same
kid was insistent that all others he met have a poem in their pockets and he photocopied poems for several kids and teachers.  This kiddo could barely read 2 years ago.  He was also very grouchy about reading.  And now he's our biggest piyp advocate.  Happiness.  The singing and poeming in the gym was fun, but when the kids got to read to each other, they got extremely loud.  Most were reading, but others were running and acting nutty.  Annoying, but I just kept an upbeat attitude, thinking Friday afternoon with 3 weeks left of school, after a week of horrid standardized testing.  Of course they're blowing off steam and having some fun.  Everyone got back to class in one piece.  And I'm already thinking of ways to modify PiYP day next year.  It will be awesome, may fronds.  Tres awesome.

My poem was by Basho.  A haiku about a pink crab and the glistening sea.  Pleasant, Amusing.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

The Testing

In the morning I spoke at a meeting, reviewing directions for giving a new mandated test to K's 1's and 2's.  I have spent hours poring over the millions of directions.  The test is annoying and I referred to it as "dumb" several times during my chat.  After the talk, my boss said, "Way to be positive."  To my mind, I was actually fairly positive considering what we are dealing with at the moment. Today I helped give ISTEP to some 3rdies, and then I gave versions of newtest to kinders, firsties, and secondbees.  Was it fun?  Not really.  But what's done is done.  I have tests coming out of my ears right now. Constant testing makes me testy.  I hope I don't get testicular cancer.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

The Work


Husbandman and I spent hours trying to book some hotels in Nova Scotia.  It wasn't easy because we had to look at the guide book and then look at the web and then send emails.  But we're getting closer to getting our lodgings nailed down.  I fear we'll get to Nova Scotia and wonder why we wanted to go there.  Oh, please, Nova Scotia, be pleasant.

Today I had a difficult time in the cafeteria with a kiddo.  She's a sixer with only 18 days left of elementary school, so she's feeling pretty sassy. The kid was so obnoxiously defiant that her teacher is sending her to recess detention tomorrow where she has to write me a letter of apology.  The whole event  depressed me a little bit because for 4 years I've had fairly negative encounters with this child on a fairly regular basis.  It kills me that this kid really has never joined the leeway fan base.  I have 18 days to get on her good side.  Can it be done?  Or can I let this one just slip on by, with the knowledge that deep inside somewhere, we both know that neither one of us is perfect, but we're both pretty good?  I think the latter choice makes most sense.  But maybe I'll give her a heartfelt chat when she delivers her letter of apology and she'll like me once and for all. It's bugging the holy heck out of me that this kid likes others, but not me.  I know. Real mature.