Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Fall 2012 #37: The Grade

F is for Fall, and sadly, it's also for the grade of F, which my school now has, according to the state, and announced to the world today. This F is pretty hard to take, considering we're all working like maniacs, kids and teachers alike. It kind of messed up my mood for awhile.  I do not like getting an F.  I have only gotten one F in my life, before this.  It was in first grade.  I think I added when all the math problems called for subtraction.  I brought the F home and cried to my mom, who hugged me.  My oldest brother said, "This is nothing to cry about.  I've gotten a ton of those."
So, I'm trying to remember that an F is nothing to cry about.  Artful School is a fabulous place to work and to learn. I'm going to remember that F is for FUN and I'm going to try to keep having fun at my job, no matter what.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Fall 2012 #36: The Effort

Yes, yes, we all know it's Halloween tomorrow.  The day where we're all supposed to act a little odd, a little intimidating, a time where we spend time confusing the heck out of people left and right. .  The day where we just break loose and remember that it's a time to fly our freak flags high.  I don't have a freak flag, but I have my heart set on carrying one (Perhaps metaphorical) around.  Come on.  Let's do this.  Fall Freak Flags.  All good.

Fall 2012 #35: The Freedom

I've been doing a lot of testing of late, so I decided to break free today and visit classrooms.  I visited just about everyone today.  Read with some peeps, wrote with some others, sat and chatted with a few others, sang and hummed in the lunchroom, many tunes composed by yours truly. One luncher told me, "I like when you sing songs in here."  And then another one said, "I like when you dance." So I hummed and twirled around to my rendition of Neil Young's Version of Old Susanna. It was kind of neat to feel in your own little world in the lunchroom.

  At the end of the day I wandered into a kinder room and sat at a table to chat with some kids while the teacher passed out snack.  A little Cuteness to my right pointed to a kid across the table and said, "He ran into a door today and hurt his head."
The kid pointed to an obvious scrape on the side of his head, in corroboration.
Little Cuteness continued, "And I felt sad when he got hurt."
I nodded, in sympathy for them both.
Little Cuteness stared at my ear and said, "Why do you have an earring up at the top of your ear, Dr. H.?"
"Well, I was visiting my pal in New York a while back and we decided to go get earrings at the top of our ears.  What do you think?"
"It's beautiful," she told me solemnly.
Clearly, I should hang out with this kid as often as possible.  She's hip, with it, loving and kind, and knows how to spread cheer.  Too bad I can't invite her home to raise her as my own. We've got plenty of space.  And 20 Something's Barbies are all saved in the attic.  I'm sure this gal's mom's not willing to give her up.  She's a keeper, one of a kind.  Basking in the glow of fall.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Fall 2012 #34: The Sporks

There's one crew in the cafeteria who make 25 minutes feel like 250.  Today I had  about 3 minutes left with this very crew when a bunch of them started flinging sporks around. A few kiddos figured out how to rig up a spork catapult of sorts with the sporks and the containers that the salad dressing comes in.  I patiently asked for the sporks to remain still.  Sadly I was ignored.  The spork catapulters tried to be sneaky, but they were epic fails at subterfuge, I'm happy to report. They looked to the left and right as they started placing the sporks into the catapult position, somehow not noticing me staring straight at them from a few tables away. I started moving toward them as they were just about to let the sporks rip.  Busted.  There's no arguing about it.  They were caught spork handed in broad daylight. I'm not sure what I'm going to do about it yet.  Stay tuned, my fine fall friends.

Fall 2012 #33: The Voting

On this chilly, yet lovely, fall afternoon, I ambled on over to the voting spot with some voting pals.  Together, with great exuberance, we participated in our democracy.
As we voted, we were cheered to hear the voting man shouting out, "Ladies and Gentleman, We have a first time voter here!"  He did this 3 times, and we all stopped to cheer for the new voters.
     Go Democracy!  Go New Voters!  Go Old Voters!  Go Fall!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Fall 2012 #32: The Bean

The Bean's looking good in fall, as it does in every season.  Go, the Bean!

Fall 2012 #31: The River

The autumn chill is coming in.  We felt it chillingly on our beautiful architectural cruise along the Chicago River today.

We're doing something good here in Chicago that I'd like to tell you about, just in case you have never heard of it before.  It's called VRBO:  Vacation Rental By Owner.  We're staying (along with Eve an Bill)  in someone's condo in Little Italy.  It's a splendid condo in a picturesque neighborhood.  If I could buy this condo, I would not hesitate.  I feel very at home here. VRBO.  It's so fall, and so good.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Fall 2012 #30: The View

Woke up in a totally freaked out state.  This is the day I took off from work so that I could work with Mitzker on the #ncte12 talk.  We think we made some headway, so now I'm feeling happy and ready to meet the legal kinfolk, Eve and Bill, in Chicago tomorrow evening.  I decided I wasn't going to go if I didn't feel good about the talk.  Honestly, I wish we got a bit further along, but we really are getting there and life is pretty good.  In 15 minutes, Mitz is taking me out for birthday round 3, to a new restaurant in town.  So fall, so good.  Chicago, I'll see you tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Fall 2012 #29: The Chalkies

Huddle up, peeps, you're going to like this.  All afternoon I worked on giving little thirdies a reading test where I listened to them read and then analyze all their miscues.  It takes a long time to do this job.  When I finished with the last kiddo, I had about 8 minutes left of my day.  Checked my phone to see I had a text from a masterful first grade teacher that said, "Come out and see our chalk drawings." I was pretty excited about that idea so I ran out to find a slew of drawings of pumpkins, fall trees, and some cool ghosts. But here's the cool thing peeps.  Next to each drawing, the firsties had written, "SO FALL SO GOOD."

A first grade teacher / blog reader had her kids write our fall blogging challenge slogan all over the place.  Am I filled with alittlegleeway?  Yes, my friends I am. What a joyful fall day. Thanks, Firsties! SO fall, SO, SO good.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Fall 2012 #28: The Twilight

Here's what's awesome.  Twilight # 2 is on.  It's fall after all, that time of year when we start thinking about ghouls and goblins and Team Edward and Team Jacob. Dakota Fanning shows up, with red eyes.
Today, in my fave place on earth: the cafeteria, some 5ers were being super screechy loud.  I stood back and watched, just to gather my plan of attack.  One kid fell off his seat and was convulsing a bit.  Others were making odd grimacing noises and twisting their heads about.  I ventured forward and asked, "What's up, pups?"

Come to find out they were playing a game called Walking Dead.  It all made sense, since it's fall and all.
It would be super awesome if we could put a cone of silence over every lunch table so that everyone could be free.  Sadly, we can't so I had to kind of put the kabosh on walking dead. Putting the kabosh on stuff.  Turns out it's my specialty. So fall, so good.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Fall 2012 #27: The Meetings

Saved by the bell today.  Someone sent me an email telling me that they weren't going to be at the coaches meeting this afternoon. I had totally forgotten about the meeting, so I was so so relieved to get this email and I got there just in time.  I've been messing up on a few things.  Forgetting to tell people stuff.  Forgetting to send emails I said I would send. Lost a big tote bag full of folders for ncte talk. Lost my phone in the faculty restroom. Just found out I messed up my retirement account so now I'm probably going to be impoverished if I ever get to retire.  Maybe I have a brain tumor.  Or maybe I'm developing Alzheimer's.

I'm back now.  I left for a bit to head over to google to find out more brain diseases I could possibly have, but some of the ones I discovered are so horrible, I had to click off right away and return here.  We'll stick with tumor or Alzheimer's.

On the good side, someone found my phone.  And the weather today is perfect.  And I'm heading to Lennie's with a crew of pals from Old School for birthday round 2. And tomorrow's a new day.  So fall, so good.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Fall 2012 #26: The Digital

Worked almost all day on the ncte talk.  School world will be tough this week because I didn't go in to get the job done.  We'll deal with this later.

After a day of working on the talk, tonight I saw a documentary about the fall of film. The name of this documentary is Side by Side.  This is what I learned.  Film looks better than digital, but digital's getting better, and it's more versatile and it will continue to improve. Film is going away.  Digital will stay.  Keanu Reeves was the moderator, and I've always been partial to Keanu.  Many amazing directors & cinematographers were interviewed.  A little long, but fairly fascinating.  If you want to see it, you should.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Fall 2012 #25: The Brown County

Fall 2012 #24: The Tallent

Had the autumn tasting menu at Tallent on the birthday night.  The chef prepared 5 delicious courses specifically for me. As a vegetarian, I've gotten pretty used to having few to no choice at restaurants, so this was pleasant.  Chef Tallent, you know what you're doing.  Good job.  Keep it up.

Fall 2012 #23: The Birthday

Fall's awesome because I was born in Fall.  Thursday was my 52nd Birthday. I tweeted the day so you may already know that I received a Justin Bieber doll during my stint as cafeteria monitor.  When I pulled it out of the bag, all the 2nd and 3rd grade girls went wild.  I started jumping up and down and screaming as well.  It was like Beatlemania in there.  Or Biebermania as the case may be.  I walked around with Boxed Bieber in the crook of my arm for the rest of the day.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Fall 2012 #22: The Shocker

The fourthies went on a field trip this afternoon to see the Thomas Hart Benton murals on campus.  That's the backdrop for this little story about the shocker.  As I was corralling the lunchers in the cafeteria, I heard a hubbub at table 8.  You need to know that table 8 is near a large window looking out on to our beautiful town.  2 little firsties called me over to rat out a firstie who was shaking his fist at an older woman walking down the street. I gave the evil eye to the firstie and told him to knock off the funny stuff.  5 minutes or so later, a grandmother appeared in the cafeteria.  I know this grandmother and I'm going to tell you she is one of the greats.  She told me she was there to accompany her grandson on the field trip, but she wanted me to know one of our firsties had been  shaking his fist at her as she walked down the street.  I said, "Oh man this is going to be great.  Let's go bust him."  As we walked over to the table, the firstie's mouth opened wide in horror.  I beckoned him over sweetly.  I let him off pretty easy.  He apologized and promised never to do it again.  I told him he couldn't be in a window seat for awhile and he agreed that this was a fair consequence.  Then he went back to Table 8. The grandmother and I chortled heartily. Just then her grandson appeared to get his grandmother for the trip.  I demanded that he teach me 3 facts about the murals upon his return.  I saw him later and he did tell me 2 facts, but for the life of me I can't remember either of them.  The day is such a whirlwind, and as I've told you in the past, I'm having brain issues.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Fall 2012 #21: The Zoo Boo

It's the time of year when people take their kids to Zoo Boo.  So here it is: my official apology to my 2 cool kiddos regarding Zoo Boo.
20 Something and #1, I sincerely apologize that I never brought you to Zoo Boo. I should have done it. Just didn't get around to it.

If it makes you feel any better, Zoo Boo has some issues. Case in point. Talked with a little 2nder yesterday as we waited for a parent to come pick her up.  She went to Zoo Boo last week and LOVED IT! I asked if she got much candy at Zoo Boo.  She said, "No, at the end of the train ride, they gave out bracelets to girls and fangs to boys.  I really really wanted fangs so much, but ... I was afraid to ask."
      "Yikes," I told her. "I wish they could let people just pick what they want."
     "That's what I wondered...why they won't just let you pick?"  Her little face just killed me.

       Why won't they just let you pick?  Story of OUR LIVES, KID!

       So, come to think of it, maybe I'm glad I didn't take you to oppressive narrative Zoo Boo, 20 Something and #1.  Think it through, Zoo Boo.  Way to ruin a great fall memory for little kids across this state of ours. You can do better.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Fall 2012 #20: The Wind

We're in a wind advisory today.  I love wind, so I'm okay with that.

I got punked by the Biebs this week.  I was sitting outside on an awesome fall day enjoying a bevvie with a good pal when I read on my smart phone that Justin's computer was stolen from a venue.  "Seems like he would have security people protecting his stuff," I said to good pal.  Come to find out, it was all a big prank to introduce his new song Beauty and the Beat. Justin Bieber.  I fall for that kid every time.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Fall 2012 #19: The Work

I've been working away today in Husbandman's office.  Took a walk at lunch time.  IU truly is a beautiful campus and today was gorgeous.  Not making much headway on the work, unfortunately.  Mostly I've been reading stuff on global citizenship by Kwame Appiah.  I like this guy's writing about cosmopolitanism.  I'm a cosmopolitan because I think people matter, and I believe I'm a global citizen and I believe I have an obligation to others. In line with cosmopolitanism, I'm a fallibilist in that I'm not sure if I'm right or not.  I also believe everyone has responsibility for their own life.  Appiah says that we in the U.S. should all watch a movie with subtitles every month, just like everyone else in the world does.  I'm already doing that at Bear's Place every Sunday.  I've not done his ideas justice here, but you can see I'm taken with the guy.  Not sure yet if he's going to end up in the NCTE talk, but since I spent hours reading his essays today, he probably should.

Fall 2012 #18: The Bug

Fall 2012 #17: The Time

I'm wasting time today. Got to get geared up for a major NCTE breakthrough.  But I might be putting too much pressure on myself.  Spent the morning reading about goiters and intestinal adhesions.  My friends have some illnesses that interest me.  So that's all she wrote.  I'm screen bound reading about these things.  In retrospect, I probably should have gone into medicine.  I find the field fascinating.  Husbandman says I don't have enough time left in my life to go into this field.  But I'm mulling it over.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Fall 2012 #16: The "Break"

Not complaining, but the school system has given us this day off and they have named this day, "Fall Break."  As a pal's kid said this week, "They should just call it Fall Day."  Want to repeat:  I'm not complaining, but still.... Let's work on accurate nomenclature.

It's Friday morning and I'm sipping coffee and blogging.  Soon I'll head over to Mitzi's for some NCTE gnashing of teeth.  But we will go out to lunch and probably sit outside.  And last night was kind of like a Friday night, so Husbandman and I headed to Scenic View and looked at the scenic view while we ate dinner and drank some wine.  Then we watched Biden's smackdown of Ryan.  So, it's all fall, it's all good.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Fall 2012 #15: The Pigs

I talked to some gals who know about pigs today.  They grew up on farms and they do love pigs. They said they were clean and smart.  I said, "Someone told me recently that they can be aggressive."
     "Oh yeah, in a herd.  Sure."
       Then I said, "Someone told me once that their aunt had pigs and she cut her leg in their pen once and they got the taste of blood and were extremely aggressive after that.
       "Oh sure.  They have to be slaughtered right away if they get the taste of blood.  They'll kill you.  You gotta kill them before they kill you, basically."

       See this is the stuff that doesn't really get publicized about pigs.  And I'm feeling it's my civic responsibility to pass it on to both of you blog readers here.  It's fall, and you may be thinking a petting zoo would be charming.  But now you'll know.  The pigs can and will turn on you. Make no mistake about that. So fall, so good.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Fall 2012 #14: The Afternoon

A pal of mine is in Italy right now and every day she sends pictures just like this one.  Geezlouise.  She  shares my lunchroom gig with me each week. So as I walk around the lunchroom quieting down the chatties and calming down the tattlers and cheering on the dearhearts, this pal of mine is walking around places like this.  I think about what she's doing as I wipe up milk off the floor and give cute little kiddos some hugs around their necks.  It's all fall.  It's all good.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Fall 2012 #13: The Outing

Went to a workshop kind of thing today and was released early.  I actually took a walk in and out through the most beautiful fall day ever.  Now I'm watching a movie called Say Anything.  I've seen it about 22 times, but sometimes I like to see it again.

Monday, October 08, 2012

Fall 2012 #12: The Chill

Today was chilly.  Chilly Davis, as I like to call it.

I've been having some brain problems lately.  Forgetting which week we're in.  Sending emails out to the entire district, accidentally.

When i called my doctor to find out if I'm in menopause or not, the nurse told me I was in "menopausal levels" and that I should call my doctor tomorrow.  So when I got home tonight there was this weird message from my doctor saying that he wanted to talk to me and that I should call sometime soon.  His last words were, "You'll be okay."  WTH???????  Now I have to think all night long about how I probably will not be okay.  Whatever, doctor.  But next time, think it through. Anyway, I think I might be able to blame my frequent memory lapses on menopause.  We may never know.

The brain issues could also be related to work.  We're all so frazzled at artful school, trying to figure out how to get so much stuff done when there's always more piling up.  I have to say though there's always someone popping in to have a chat, kids hugging me as I breeze by in the hallway, people expressing thanks for even the smallest gestures of help. Lots of resilience.  Lots of kindness.  I wouldn't be anywhere else. I just hope my brain lapses fade as I gracefully age.  So fall, so good.

Fall 2012 #11: The Fall Themed Picture

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Fall 2012 #10: The School Site

I was kind of a loser where fall's concerned this weekend.  Worked on NCTE all day yesterday.  Worked at the school site all day today.  It was a teeny bit sad not to be outside much on this beautiful fall weekend, but I actually like getting stuff done on my own too.

So fall, so good.

Fall 2012 #9: The Stupid Films

Stars in Shorts. Saw it tonight.  Not worth seeing, unless you really really feel like it.

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Fall 2012 #8: The Mums

I also saw mums at the Farmer's Market.  Saw #1 son tonight.  He came out to dinner with us.  We both remarked that fall seems to have shown up around 2 days ago.

Fall 2012 #7 The Pumpkins

Today at Farmer's Market I saw a lot of pumpkins.  They were very attractive.

Friday, October 05, 2012

Fall 2012 #6: The Spaetzle

Last night, in honor of fall, I had a butternut squash spaetzle at Truffles.  JW ordered the spaetzle as well.  Before fall is gone, I suggest everyone RUN to Truffles for the butternut squash spaetzle.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Fall 2012 #5: The Debate

Every once in awhile, there's a presidential election in fall.  Which includes debating.  You may not know this, but I was on the speech and debate team in high school.  I was so-so at the speechifying, but absolutely horrid at the debating.  Debating's not easy.  These 2 hombres are both doing v. well. They're not stuttering or repeating the same fact over and over again.  That's what I used to do.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Fall 2012 #4: The Coffee

I didn't get out much today.  But on my way to work I did stop at Starby's for the Latte.  And on the walk from the curb to the coffee I noticed many beautiful leaves plastered like paintings to the wet sidewalk. At a second grade writer's workshop, kids crowded around to talk about my coffee.  All the second graders claim that they love coffee.  I explained that they couldn't possibly love it as much as I do.  Case in point, I told them:  "While I'm drinking my first cup, I'm dreaming about how much I'm going to love my second cup."  They seemed to agree that I was the winner in the coffee department.  At car duty I took a picture of a tree across the street with my smart phone.  I talked to a little kid who got a skeleton from the prize box today and he was out of his mind with delight.  So fall, so good.

Monday, October 01, 2012

Fall 2012 #3: The Oatmeal

Mandie Guinn made pumpkin oatmeal and brought said oatmeal to school in a crock pot, and had it there waiting for anyone to come along to enjoy it.  I was the first person there, eating this most delicious breakfast.  Thank you MANDIE GUINN!

Then I wandered with my pumpkin oatmeal into the Title I room to chat with two fantabulous peeps in there about a kid who needs some reading help. As we chatted, one wonderful teacher asked how I was doing and I told her that I was feeling pretty sad, but hanging in.
She answered, Well, a friend's death tells us that we need to spread the roses any way we can.
Then the second cool teacher added:  And it also tells us to spend all the god damned money.

Clearly, a great start to a rainy foggy Monday. Pumpkin oatmeal.  Funny, smart teacher pals.

We wrapped this Monday up with a visit to the Musical Arts Center to hear #1 son play in a jazz combo.  He played splendidly.  So fall, so good.

75 will be a lot of posts for one season, but if we follow Pronto's advice and go for quantity over quality, we should do just fine.

Gratitude #9: Power of Song

We've been listening to , singing, and reading about, songs for social change.  Fables of Faubus, Which Side Are You On?, Wavin' ...