Monday, July 31, 2006

Teachergirl Gripes

Watching Oprah ... just love it when she bitches and moans about things she doesn't have a clue about. Today is the dum, dum, dum.... Schools In Crisis. Dropouts, bad schools, bad teachers. We're going to hell in a handbasket. Oh, no. Anderson Cooper is checking out the bad school buildings.

Here's the deal. If you have a child, you have to care about that child. That means you have to get up off your lazy butt and make sure he knows how to read on grade level and she can recite (yes, recite) her multiplication facts.

My job is to teach.

I can't teach if you think it's all done in my classroom. By the time these babies get to me, they should be grounded in the basics. If you let your child go to school in a building that is falling apart, shame on you. These are your kids. You brought them into this world. I care about them and I am doing my best; you need to check their agendas and see to it that they are doing their homework, that they are reading every night, that they eat dinner at the table with their family and that they get a good night's sleep. Make them bathe and get them something for breakfast. I'll take it from there.

Oprah keeps saying that this is a wake up call for America's parents. Guess what? Parents need to get it together and realize that they have some responsibility in this equation. So, if Oprah is going to motivate the parents and help them understand that education is the key to their children's futures - bring it on.

BrownBear and PrepGirl hear it from me all the time; nothing like having a mother as a teacher. I'm talking college options with my 5th grader.

Read a book. Read it to your kids. Do some math problems. It's good for you and it will absolutely be good for your kids. Let me thank you in advance.

By the way, PrepGirl's ultrasound was fine; they were looking for an aortic aneurysm. It was a good thing that I didn't know that going into the procedure. They had to pick me up off the floor when they told me.

Check out Sally at the bottom of the page. Thank PrepGirl for helping me get it there.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

St. Elsewhere

PrepGirl has to go to the Children's Hospital tomorrow for an abdominal ultrasound. Now, she freaks when she has a check up; PrepGirl thinks because of this, she is going to die. Her blood pressure is always freakishly high when she goes to the doctor; I'm surprised the doctors clear her for sports at all. She had to have a shot last year and the nurse had to put her on the exam table and get a cold compress because she was afraid PrepGirl was going to faint.

This year, one mother pointed to my girls and told her own sweet angels to "look at the big girls." I assured her that mine weren't the examples she was looking for. Mine had to have their fingers pricked this year; hers had two shots apiece. Mine had ample drama. Hers didn't whimper.

Now, PrepGirl has to have this ultrasound because the newest pediatrician in the practice thinks her abdominal pulse is loud and she can see it. Dr. Newgirl said that PrepGirl is skinny and has hardly any body fat and that could be the reason why her pulse is so predominant. Dr. Newgirl just wants to err on the side of caution; I can't fault that.

PrepGirl is convinced that Dr. Newgirl is just out to ruin one day of summer vacation.

I think the major reason behind all the gloom and doom is the fact that PrepGirl can't have anything to eat or drink for 8 hours before this whole procedure. Well, our appointment is at 2:30 PM.

Great. Let's not let a teenager eat or drink (or chew gum for that matter) all day long.

Can't wait.

I think that this is just one way to ruin a day of summer vacation for teachergirl.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

All Tucked In..

PrepGirl came home this afternoon and now the house is the way it is supposed to be. There's laundry everywhere, the phone is starting to ring, kids are coming back around and dinner was... dinnertime again. BrownBear had us singing the Shark Song and PrepGirl had her ITunes library playing along with her CD player.

PrepGirl had a miserable time at camp; she went with her youth group to a different place this year and I am afraid she just didn't have the experience she was used to having in the past. I just want to make it great for her and I don't want her to have to be disappointed. I guess life's not that way, though, is it?

I've tucked them both in tonight, however, and all's well in my world.

One Home...One to Go

BrownBear returned from Girl Scout Camp last night, full of songs, and new stories and new skills...she can hit a paint filled balloon with an arrow, she can paddle her own canoe without swamping it and she can take a shower in less than three minutes.

She was even stung by a yellow jacket on her face and that wasn't as traumatic in the telling as I expected. Yes, she said, there were a few tears, but, hell, if I had been stung on the face by a yellow jacket, I'd still be crying.

I think that in the past week, she must have grown another two inches. She said the food was great! She did all those outdoor things that are scary and she conquered them even though they were scary. What a gal.

PrepGirl1 arrives this afternoon and then the nest will be full again. LawyerBoy said he liked the quiet... frankly, I couldn't stand it. I listened to the British Open just to pretend like there were people around.

Next week, lots of drama as PrepGirl has an abdominal ultrasound and then my entire family comes for the weekend. Lots of tequila.

But first, let me revel in them being home.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The Unbelieveable Silence...

Girls are gone and science sits flung all around me...

sheets and laundry are clean...

fish is happy...

LawyerBoy is busy and sometimes the silence is deafening. I really do miss them.

Saturday, July 15, 2006


Today is the big day. PrepGirl1 leaves for camp and BrownBear leaves tomorrow. While having them both gone at the same time is a great idea, getting them ready is like trying to get the Allied Army ready to invade Normandy. "Where is my hairdryer? Where is my bathing suit? No, my blue bathing suit. Have you seen the hammer?" "Hammer?" ...

It is relatively calm now. I believe Eisenhower had a little bit of calm before the battle began, too.

While they are gone, I have one great big teacher girl thing to do: figure out earth science. State standards in all subjects in all grade levels are being re-written. If I hear the phrase, "a mile wide and an inch deep" one more time, I believe I will cut someone's throat. All that to say, I have to teach science this year. A nine week rotation of earth science (earthquakes,landforms, volcanos) to totally unsuspecting 5th graders. And poor BrownBear is one of them.

Hey, I was the college English/History major who took French to get out of my Science requirements. God Bless Liberal Arts colleges, n'est pas?

So, in addition to everything else on my plate, I am going to throw in some earth science.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Anyone know where my science book is?

Monday, July 10, 2006

Home Sweet Home

As much as I love the beach and going away, I absolutely love coming home. I love my home. I love my own bed, my own sink, my own shower, my own washer and dryer...well, you get the idea. I abhor beach water. I hate the taste and the way it makes your mouth feel after you've brushed your teeth. I mean, isn't the idea of brushing your teeth to get them to feel all fresh?

Anyway, I love pulling into the driveway and grabbing my girls and my stuff and finding out just how much damage LawyerBoy has done while we've been gone. It usually depends on how long we've been away.

One year, we were gone almost a month. PrepGirl1 and BrownBear nearly fell over. I can't begin to recount the number of pizza boxes and empty cans of green beans we encountered on our arrival.

Today wasn't too bad.

Dishes on the counter.

Dead flowers in the vases. Mail on the kitchen table.

No A/C. (LawyerBoy likes it hot. And baby, it was.)

Granted, we were only gone for two weeks. And he did buy new milk for us last night. Maybe one year, he'll figure out that the dishwasher holds the dirty dishes and the trash can holds the junk mail.

But hey, I'm home. And that's great.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Back to School?...

I can hardly believe that in one short month, I will be getting ready for the first day back to school. Who said that August wasn't a vacation month? Who is writing the flipping calendar any way? Certainly not the teachers and parents...

Happy Blog day to me! First post and everything that goes with it. My sister, another teachergirl, well, principalgirl, if the truth be told, thinks I'm a whack job for starting a blog, but I've been surfing blog sites since I read Bitter is the New Black and I have discovered a whole new world out there. I am a frustrated writer, a lousy journal keeper and I thought, what the hell, I'll just post and see if anyone reads. PrepGirl1 has about seventeen blogs of her own and I expect I'll just hear from her friends.

We're at the beach (principalgirl, PrepGirl1 and BrownBear) at my Dad's house. LawyerBoy is well, lawyering. Big case....blah, blah, blah.

I've been teaching on and off for about 20 years. Junior college, preschool, middle school and upper elem. No Child Left Behind....don't get me started.

I'm a typical soccer mom, in the choir at church and am trying to make gasoline out of potato peelings. Getting ready to send BrownBear and PrepGirl1 to camp in a few weeks. That'll be groovy.

I made some of the best friends I ever had teaching in the worst place in the world. We called ourselves the Black Sheep Squadron. We banded together to keep our sanity at a crazy place in a crazy time. We don't teach together anymore, but the lessons we learned there keep us close and we are like a band of brothers from a war zone.

adopt your own virtual pet!