Thursday, August 31, 2006

Friday = Tests all day = No teaching = No lesson plans!

Maybe the planets were all out of alignment yesterday or Pluto was still brooding about its planetary status being taken away, but things were much better today. I'm still wanting to rumble with a couple of kids, but I'm trying to keep my temper in check. These little darlings are someone's kids after all.

And if you're thinking to yourself, "Dear God, is she going to talk about teaching every day?" Then I can tell you, OF COURSE I'm going to! It's going to dominate my world for the next 12 weeks.

I was supposed to be observed yesterday (for a grade!), but my supervisor got sick. That means next Wednesday she'll try again. I hope I don't get nervous, because my voice will start doing that really odd thing it does. I've been nervous for presentations before, but can usually mask it unless my voice gets weird or I get that freakish red blotchy attack on my chest and neck. I've purposely in the past worn a shirt that conceals as much of my skin up there as possible, but there's nothing you can do about that voice. If only I could have a drink beforehand...

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

A learning experience

Holy Cow. This may go down in my student teaching journal (if I really had one) as the day the shit hit the fan. I was having way too many behavior problems in class this afternoon, during a time I wasn't supposed to be teaching anyway. So not only was the lesson thrown at me (which I don't mind) but the kids thought that when the regular teacher left the room, it was time to go crazy. Let's just say the class and I had to have a little pow-wow. And twice today I had to take someone out in the hall for a "discussion." Fine, go tell your mama. I documented everything and will be MORE than happy to speak with her.

On top of that, they were really having some difficulty with the grammar lesson from yesterday and today. My mentor teacher assures me I am teaching it well and am actually being more thorough than she would be. Did I mention she's awesome? But they just aren't getting it. That bothers me more than the discipline problems, but I know it's too soon to expect wonders from average to below-average students. I know they can grasp this, so I'm still determined to get this concept through to them. Tomorrow is a new day.

Another tidbit I have been told is that white teachers are often accused of being racist. I can honestly say, although it sounds very trite, that I don't feel I am seeing the color of anyone's skin. There's a little white boy who gets in trouble as much as a certain little black boy and a certain little hispanic boy. BUT, I am warned, this doesn't matter. You will be accused at some point so just get ready for it and document, document, document.

Monday, August 28, 2006

I Married an Engineer

There's this little boy (a special needs child) that joins our 3rd grade class for brief periods during the day - P.E., lunch, and recess. He has this little quirk where he sometimes gets the urge to charge people like a bull. To help avoid this problem, he's required to wear a weighted vest. The thinking is that the weight of the vest will slow him down, and I guess give other students AND teachers the chance to move out of the way when they see him coming. So I explained this to Alan whose first question was, "yeah, but won't the extra weight make the impact hurt more?"

He then brings this up at work to a few other engineers and says that every engineer responds the same way. "Doesn't that make him hit harder?" "The weight will increase the force of the impact." "But force = mass x acceleration...." And so on.

By the way, I've yet to see this boy charge, but he does have a strange look in his eyes.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Hooray for Mondays!

I talk about a lot of things, but I normally don't divulge sensitive or personal information that would make someone in my family look bad. I love my daughters, and if one of them is not at her best, I don't want you to know about it. At least not by means of this silly blog.

Having said that, I will divulge that upon dropping them off at their dad's today at 5:00 p.m. and coming back home, Alan arrived from the store a little later with no kidding: 4 bottles of wine and 4 six packs of alkeehol. And one of the bottles of wine says "RELAX" in huge letters along the side.

THAT should tell you how the last 48 hours of my weekend have gone.

Yeah, boo-hoo. But if you haven't experienced it, then shut it. If you ever do experience it, then call me. I vow to sit on the other end of the phone and tell you how wonderful a parent you are, how you don't deserve what was said to you, and how one day (as I'm often told), things will change.

Right now Alan is grilling a big fat juicy steak, and slicing fresh peaches and French bread and cheese. It was not a fun weekend, but we're going to start the new week off fresh and rested!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Migraines suck

I think DeeBee once had a posting with that title. But they really friggin suck. How many Advils does it take to wipe out a migraine? Apparently not enough. Doctors say that three Advils are equivalent to prescription strength. It's not working. And so I'm not out at Alan's charity softball game right now, because I figured the heat would just make it worse. I still worked in the yard some this morning though, did laundry, ran a couple errands, all the while thinking it's going to sneak away if I just keep busy. Why is it that when you're sick or incapacitated in some way, you think of a million things you WOULD be doing if only you felt like it. But when you feel perfectly fine, you don't want to do a damn thing.

And here's the dumbest part of my migraine. I know what will make it go away. And I was at the grocery store a little while ago IN THE PHARMACY area where I could have picked up some Excedrin, come home and popped just a wee bit more than the recommended dosage. Needless to say, I think I'm heading to the store again.

By the way, this is posting numero three today. And if I weren't already sad enough by posting three times for those 2 or 3 people who might glance at my blog sometime in the course of week, I've also caught myself checking out my total number of postings. I'm like "hey, I'm coming up on posting No. 100 soon!" As if it is a milestone I must celebrate. And I will.

What I learned my first week of school

  • In schools, just like in any other work place, women talk about each other.
  • What do teachers talk about most when the students aren't around? The students.
  • If you're a parent, never use the "my child gets in trouble because he's bored" excuse.
  • There's a rule for everything.
  • Third graders still pee their pants.
  • Male coaches are huge assets.
  • Teachers rock.
  • I have a LOT to learn.

Food rules my world

Many times after watching some chef on Food Network make something that looks both yummy and doable, I'll run over to the computer and download the recipe. And yes, I do usually go to the store for the ingredients and try it out. Usually everything turns out pretty good and I might even make it a second time. This last one I tried, will be a definite regular in this home. Fried Ravioli I didn't take this picture, but it looked similar.

It's supposed to be an appetizer, but can be an entree by just serving the sauce over the ravioli. Big hit around here.

Modifications if you're cheap like me: No way am I using that much olive oil for frying - it's just way too expensive. So I used part vegetable oil, part olive oil. And I forgot the buttermilk and just used regular milk. Worked fine, but I'd recommend adding an egg if you go that route.

Really work the ravioli into the breadcrumbs and do use the Italian style.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

On my way

Wow, I haven't blogged in a week. I really had nothing to say the end of last week, and this week has been busy. Started student teaching on Monday. So far it is going really well, but I'm TIRED. A full 8-hour day followed by an after school staff meeting today. Teachers just don't get breaks. Conference periods are full of work, and the 30-minute lunch is laughable. Plus, for me, having lunch with other people every day in a small room with no windows is not a break. I like my time alone, and I'm just not going to get it for at least 8 straight hours on this job.

I do like my mentor teacher however, and the students are great. Next week I start teaching a couple subjects and will then build from there. If this is any indication on how beat I was today, I actually ASKED Addison to drive home. Who am I?

More later. And by the way, I wrote this Wednesday but my blog thinks it's Tuesday.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

It's still raining

Some days you think you want to disown your teenagers, and then someone hurts them or you think something bad has happened to them and you realize -- nope, still love them beyond words.

Take this past family vacation when we went to the beach. There were two incidents in which I thought something really bad might have happened to the girls. Those incidents lasted mere seconds to one minute tops, but everything stood still for that brief time. The first time happened at dinner. The four of us were sitting in a restaurant one night, and the girls decided to go get something out of the car. It seemed to be taking them a long time to come back to the table, so Alan went to check on them. Then it seemed forever before he came back in the restaurant, but when I saw him come back in, I saw the panic on his face. We both ran back outside calling their names, scanning the parking lot, and then it registered that maybe they went to the bathroom before coming back to the table. (Girls and bathrooms...geez.) And yes, that's where they were. It took a little while before mine and Alan's heartbeats settled back down.

And then there was the next day at the beach. Bailey and Alan had ventured out to this sandbar or whatever you call those. It was a good distance from the beach, or at least it felt that way when you were making your way out there. The waves you encounter the whole way are HUGE, but that's part of the fun. Anyway, Addison took off to join them while I was wading around near the shoreline. She had made it about half-way when I had glanced away for what seemed like five seconds. And when I looked back, I couldn't see her. Anywhere. I kept looking and waiting for her head to pop up any second after a big wave, but I just couldn't find her. I started yelling her name, started running out to the water and then stopped once more to look around. Somehow, which still baffles me to this day, she had veered WAY left. I can't imagine how she got that far that fast. We laugh about it today and remark about her super-human ability to trek sideways in rough water. But I'll never forget that feeling.

And now Addison has a broken heart, and there's nothing I can do about it but listen and let her work through it in her own way. She's tough though - she'll bounce back. Maybe she'll see some hot seniors today that'll take her mind off things. :-)

Rainy day

I guess no matter how old my kids get, I'm going to be anxious for them on their first day of school. School starts today, and they're at their dad's. That usually makes me a little sad, because this is one of those "mom" days. Moms understand first days. Everything has to be perfect, and if it's not, then the mom is there to do everything in her power to help out. At least on this one day.

It's pouring rain here. If I were a teenager and starting school today, I'd be freaking out about how humid it is. I get the "big hair" if I have to be in the humidity for too long. But since I paid my dues all those years ago, today I get to sit on the couch with my coffee and watch the rain.

And since I'm in this contemplative mood today, don't be surprised if it's a heavy blogging day.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


Last night our neighbors across the street, whom we rarely talk to, brought us an interesting version of shrimp cocktail. They took margarita glasses and filled them with a spicy tomato juice mixture, chunks of avocado, cucumbers, shrimp of course, cilantro and maybe green onion. They put the glasses on plates with crackers and lemon wedges. It was so good, but I'm not sure we've done anything at all to deserve that. In fact, I'm certain we haven't. Some people just do nice things for others. I wonder what that's like.

Why didn't we invite them in? That was probably an obvious faux-pas that Alan and I just missed. Would it be in bad taste to return the glasses (because I'm thinking we need to return them) filled with chocolates or candy? I don't like giving a gift just because someone gave me one, because it's obviously a copy-cat gesture. I think we return the empty glasses and suggest we get together for a BBQ with a couple of the other neighbors soon.


Monday, August 14, 2006


One more week of freedom left. I have student teacher orientation this Thursday and then start in the classroom next Monday. Not only will my life change, but those around me will be affected, too. I won't be available to run errands for the girls or run things up to the school that they forgot, or take them to doctor's appointments, or pick them up from school when it's pouring rain or gusting winds of 40 mph. This means that other people have to step up and handle these things. Also won't get to have lunch with Alan anymore, and our Fridays off together are no more. Hopefully this will all be worth it.

Friday, August 11, 2006

We're trying to eat here

So for some time now, Alan and I have been complaining about the kinds of advertising we are subjected to during dinner. Regular ads between 6:00 and 7:00 p.m. are:

Menstruation products
  • Sometimes we get to see exactly how a tampon inflates and forms to a woman's vagina. How sweet and pretty it is - just like a little tulip.
  • Other days we might learn how a pad's design works like that of a pinball machine.
  • Too often we hear about the smelly and sticky problems associated with periods.

Men's issues

  • One man has a "going" problem caused by his "growing" problem.
  • One can't stop smiling about the response to his impotence medicine.


  • Some drain unclogging product, can't think of the name right now, has the gall to show an enormous hair clog being plopped onto the table of a couple in the middle of a romantic dinner.
  • John Madden's Tough-Actin' Tenactin for athlete's foot. Enough said.
  • But this is the all-time worst. The animated toenail fungus commercial where the fungus creature PULLS THE MESSED-UP TOENAIL away from the skin - tops them all. I still get a chill when I think about it.

Hope you weren't about to have dinner after reading this. :-)

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Like the old days with a new twist

Too bad I don't have pictures to post from the weekend, particularly Saturday night when the two Alans danced together. Turns out Odessa had a gay bar or two to accommodate our weekend visitor, Greggo. Actually, if this bar were in Midland, I could see Alan and I going occasionally. Great billiards room and the people were awesome. I've never been that comfortable in a bar. I hope in my lifetime to see the day when there are no gay or straight bars, but just bars where everyone is welcome. It was great to see Greg after all this time, and although Midland is not exactly the most exciting town in which to entertain guests, the weekend was a good mix of partying and meaningful conversations with a really good friend.

I'm only sad that neither Greg nor Alan thought to call Joe at 2:00 a.m. and yell obscenities in the phone. Truly off their game.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Problem solved

I shall want no more. All I need to do to gain financial freedom is call the Peter Popoff Miricle Ministry (that's how it was spelled on TV), ask for their little plastic tube of Miracle Spring Water, "follow the directions," and money will supernaturally be deposited into our account. Out of nowhere. This life-changing process is called "Divine Transfer" and has apparently been the answer to many little old black ladies' problems. That's the only demographic they were showing on their broadcast, so I gotta believe God has a good reason for targeting just them. As Ricky Bobby says in Talladega Nights, "Thank you, Lord Baby God."

Oddly, Mr. Peter Popoff has been under investigation for some time. Somehow he continues to move forward - must be the power from the spring water. So out of curiosity I did a little googling, found a Peter Popoff website, and my computer froze up. Took me 10 minutes to get it to reboot.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Way to go, guys

A couple pics from last night's softball game. The Oxy team ended up with 2nd place, which is cool considering their record was 7-5. It was an exciting game, and Alan caught three pop flies at home plate. I was even privileged to get a t-shirt in appreciation for being their Number One Fan. j/k

Went to On the Border afterwards to celebrate. It's these rare occasions when Midland doesn't seem so bad.

blog photos?

Well I had a theory but proved myself wrong by testing it out. I'm curious why some photos can be clicked on for a larger view and some can't. I had this dumb theory that pictures that are centered can't be clicked on, but nope. Anyone out there know? I don't want to go to the trouble of reading all the html language, but knock yourself out, DeeBee. ;-)


Got to play Bunko last night for the first time in forever. It's always fun to see Denise and her mom and Darla, plus Anita was there. I didn't win anything, but thanks to the confusion of an overcrowded restaurant, Anita and I got our meals and drinks free. The waiter (young guy) asked us afterwards what we were playing and if it was a drinking game. We told him the name and he said he'd look it up on the internet - I'm quite certain he plans to make it a drinking game.

I hope last night's thunderstorm will make the lawn less crunchy. It's so depressing when everything starts dying and you don't even want to go out in your own backyard. I didn't have a lot of plants to begin with, but it's still sad. And the passion vine blew over in Friday night's storm. The only plants that thrive are the ones I don't care about - the rose bushes.

My mother was in the hospital for four days over the weekend. Without being graphic because trust me you don't want to know the details, she had some freak incident in which she lost a LOT of blood - like 1/3 of her blood. They thought it was something related to either the colon or small intestines, but found nothing. When she got the call yesterday saying they couldn't find anything, she was shocked. I'd be scared. Alan's comment was, "eight years of college and you can't find anything?"

I'm eBaying this morning. Lost a bidding battle last night, but I plan to conquer all this morning. Who doesn't love eBay.