Thursday, May 31, 2007

Thirteen Things I don't mind watching on TV

1.Grey's Anatomy
2. MASH (with Trapper John and Henry Blake)
3. Seinfeld
4. Frasier
5. Cheers
6. NBC Nightly News
7. The Weather Channel
8. Paula's Home Cooking
9. Nancy Grace (we're sorority sisters - by golly, we went to college together!!)
10. Law and Order (with Lenny, please)
11. Magnum, P.I.
12. Everybody Loves Raymond
13. Sex and the City

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Summer School?

What the hell was I thinking when I signed on for this? Seven hours down, 100 hours to go...half days, half days, but still. I must have been on some serious crack to have decided that this was a good way to spend June. And doesn't it have to be summer for summer school to exist?

Where are they getting these Spelling Bee words? I mean, I think they are using a word right now that I once heard on an episode of Star Trek (original - The Trouble With Tribbles episode)-Now you know I'm a nerd: Star Trek and the Spelling Bee.

Anyhoo..I am exhausted from planning summer school. I get to play tomorrow. And play I shall.

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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Last Little Bit of Crazy

Laura Mallory is a mom who wants to go to federal court to ban the Harry Potter books in her school district. As a school teacher, I believe she could spend her mom time doing a lot more in her local school and district to help her children and all the other children get more for their bang. At my house, if you bring home something I think is questionable, we sit down and talk about it. WE TALK ABOUT IT. You know, around the dinner table. Usually, we don't make a federal case about it. I couldn't get LawyerBoy to file a case for me for lots of things - "I represent the state, I can't represent you against it." - what's the use of being married to a lawyer if you don't get free representation? Anyway, I digress.

As a mom, I believe she is about to pay a huge price around said dinner table. I believe her children are about to go to middle school. It is one thing to be the mom on tv when your kids are in elementary school. It is a horse of a different color when you are in middle school.

And today is the last day of post planning. I've got some post planning for you - don't have this day: I am done. All I have to do is pick up my room a little bit more and I could have done that yesterday if I hadn't gone to that stupid meeting yesterday about the new math book.

Summer school starts Monday. With PrepGirl and BrownBear in camp and Vacation Bible School, I thought teaching for four more weeks would be a good way to bank a little bit of cash for next year. You know, so PrepGirl and BrownBear can go to school.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Lazy, Three Day Weekend

LawyerBoy and I have been enjoying some badly needed alone time. The girls are at the wedding of their youth group leader and won't be back until sometime tonight. We had planned on going up to the lake today and renting a ski boat, but it is so smoky, we chose not to. (The winds have shifted from those south Georgia fires and it really is awful.) I don't even think I am going to make it to the pool. It is cruddy out there right now, so I am going to replace our ice cream maker, buy the stuff to make some good old fashioned ice cream and call it a real holiday tomorrow. This afternoon, I am going to the spa for a their "signature massage." I'm just going to lay there and let someone rub this year away.

Happy Memorial Day, people. Don't forget to thank a serviceman. Or woman.

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Thursday, May 24, 2007


BrownBear is sleeping soundly as a fifth grader for the last time. The baby is a big girl.

PrepGirl had her final final today and she is at her third party of the beginning of her summer vacation. Those were the days.

The last day of school is a special hell that you can't really understand unless you are a teacher. The kids are so completely over the top, nothing controls them. People complain that you aren't doing educational things with them, while others are upset that you aren't having non-stop celebrations.

Tomorrow, we are having a breakfast party, an assembly, some recess time, some time to write thank you notes, lunch and the 5th grade walk. Then, hallelujah, it will be time to go. It can't come soon enough. While I may be a little misty-eyed about BrownBear leaving, I won't be sad to see most of them go.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Exam Week

How do you know it is exam week in TeacherGirl's house? PrepGirl's bizarro behavior.

First, she gets to wear whatever she wants to school and this week, it is whichever pair of soffees she finds, paired with the first t-shirt she comes to in the closet (or on the floor - I don't want to know).

Next, her basic stress reliever is piano playing and cartwheeling down the hallway. I don't mind the piano - really, I don't- but that Chopin Etude is about to drive me out of my everloving mind. Thank goodness he's dead, because I'd be looking for his smarmy, white behind to kill. She plays it and plays it and plays it - right tempo, wrong tempo, right notes, wrong notes - whatever. When she tires of it, she launches into either a How Great Thou Art or some form of Shave and A Haircut. She always messes up How Great Thou Art in the same place and finishes it with "two bits."

Then, she freaks out. Launches into crazy talk about how she isn't me when I was a freshman "400 years ago." (I take exception to that crazy talk. It wasn't 400 hundred years ago.) However, I was an exceptional freshman. My freshman GPA carried me all through high school. I was a geek, however, and I have spawned a cheerleader. A devestatingly beautiful, talented and popular cheerleader.

Then she starts rapping. My response is that if she can remember all those rap songs, then by golly she should start remembering some ________ (fill in the blank right here. Geometry or Biology are high on my list.)

She wants me to help her study for Geometry. Geometry, 399 years ago, wasn't my best subject. She thinks that is hysterical. After all, she's in SmartMath. That's what they call it when they are accelerated. So, together, we plow through that massive pile of geometry and every so often, we hit the mathematical jackpot. Tonight, we are going to be plowing through that pile one more time. I have told her that really, I can't think of another time I have used Geometry in my life. Maybe once, when I painted that circular table. She won't ask LawyerBoy because one question turns into a twenty minute conversation. And when you have 20 questions, who has time for that?

So, after Thursday, we can put this freshman year to bed and begin studying for the driver's permit.

I think that's a thought for another day.

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Monday, May 21, 2007

Party Results

Teachergirl... still standing. No question. Teachergirl's friend, PartyHostGirl, in the ditch. Couldn't handle it. Made me laugh. Called to find out what to do for a hangover. I like the quart of water and tylenol before bed, but she didn't call until Saturday morning.

I had to stop another Teachergirl friend from throwing frozen margaritas off the patio at the passing cars. Lawyerboy hasn't given me and my friends a get out of jail FREE card.

My students, on the other hand, may be the ones that bring me down. Four more days. FOUR MORE DAYS. They can't handle it. We were just doing silly things today to start the wind down process (collect books, return papers, clean out desks) and they fell apart. Maybe they were just acting like they always do... so, perhaps instead of game day, we will have WORK SOME MORE day.

Honestly, this week is as bad as the first week of school. The students are already gone and I really believe they should just stay home. They really check out after the Big State Test and once those results come back, they are finished. Like my class ever started. This is the time of year I begin dreaming about the new class and all the wonderful things we will do next year. (Really, could I be a bigger loser? I mean, I need to lie out on a beach with a good book and just veg for a while.)

I just have a few more grades to enter and report cards will be finished. I am just as finished as they are.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Test Results

Super Big State Testing results came yesterday and ...... only 5 of our fifth graders didn't pass. Five - omgosh - I can remember one year when I had eight in my CLASS. I only had two and each of them only missed one section. One messed up the math and one messed up the reading.

I wasn't allowed to tell my class about their results because the principal hadn't gotten ahold of my students who had failed. Two whole classes of fifth graders passed and their teachers told them; my students got wind of it and began asking me about their results. Well, I had been told not to give those results out yet, so I had to tell them that the principal was calling the people who had failed. My kids began to wilt - and I just asked them over and over if they heard from the principal last night. How long did it take to sink in? If you hadn't gotten a call from the principal, you were fine.

Tequila tonight. Celebrate with the teachers at the big Spring Fling. (You know, I sound like a rowdy drunk and I'm really not. I will probably have a drink. But that will be enough. Because I work with these people and I don't need these stupid stories following me around. Like the toga story.) Happy Weekend. Five more days.

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Tag, I'm It, Too!!

Well, what do you know? I've been tagged and I didn't think anyone was paying a bit of attention. So, here goes: Text Color

1. What do you hope to accomplish with your blog?
I just want to remember what happened, when it happened. I imagined myself to be a writer and then I never wrote. It is just easier to keep a journal this way than it is the old fashioned way.
2. Are you a spiritual person?
I have always been a very spiritual person. I considered going to seminary, but let myself be talked out of it. Back then, not many girls were going to the seminary or the Naval Academy, my other option. Of course, I couldn't see worth a lick, so the Naval Academy was out, too. Part of me wanted to be Tom Cruise in Top Gun before he even made the movie, but I am actually afraid of flying. I am still moved to tears by Easter morning and Christmas Eve - God made flesh, sent for us? Really, when I think about it, I am overwhelmed.
3. If you were stranded on a deserted island, what three things would you want to have with you? Toothbrush & toothpaste, a box of books and the husband. (He'd need to bring my pillow along. And the Coast Guard, because I stopped camping in Girl Scouts, many, many moons ago.)
4. What’s your favorite childhood memory? I had a pretty excellent childhood. I have a lot of good memories, so picking one is pretty hard. When I was growing up, we would always go to my great aunt's house for dinner every Friday evening. I got to see my extended family every Friday night. My great aunt made the best dinners in the world. She spoiled me and never made things I wouldn't eat. I can't remember a Friday night with broccoli on the table but there were always peas. (I was a weird kid.) She made the best roast beef and potatoes and carrots. She made bread pudding. And she did it because she loved all of us. It was great. She was the one who taught me how to read before I went to school. She is one of the reasons I am a teacher and why I have books all over my house. She never had children of her own and I named my oldest daughter in her honor.
5. Are these your first (tagging) memes?
Absolutely. I can't believe that I, the Empress of Geeks, has someone reading, let alone, tagging!! First, I'd like to thank the Academy...

Here are the rules according to whomever likes to make up rules: • Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves. • People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules. • At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names. • Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

1. I am a teacher. Always thought I would be a lawyer, but I married one instead. It was a divine calling (both marrying the lawyer and being the teacher).
2. I was an English/History double major. I am still trying to decide on whether I should go get a Ph.D. (sounds like I'm going out to pick up some milk)
3. Grammatical errors drive me crazy. Especially when I find them on our school district's website.
4. I hate Tyra Banks and her stupid tv show and I can't figure out why it is always on my tv. (What gives, girls?)
5. I love old movies and Everybody Loves Raymond and Independence Day and Ferris Bueller.
6. I have gotten more conservative as I have had children and gotten older. Winston Churchill was right. (I love Winston Churchill and FDR and Harry Truman and everything about World War II. I think I was born at the wrong time.)
7. A new school year thrills me like almost nothing else. New pencils (Dixon/Ticonderoga), fresh notebooks, pencil pouches, lots of notebook paper, colored pencils, and new glue sticks. Have you ever smelled a freshly sharpened pencil? It thrills me like nothing else in this world. It must be the writer in me. I know it's the teacher.
8. Having daughters has been the greatest experience in my life. PrepGirl has acquired a wicked sense of humor and likes to share it with me. BrownBear has grown up so much this year, it just scares me. She isn't the baby, anymore. We have the best fun. I hope they remember that when they put me in the home.

I am now tagging the following:


I know, it is only 7 of the requisite 8, but I'm still posting grades and this took much longer than I anticipated. Good luck. Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Career Day

Schoolwide career day today. Counselors put it together and our students got to meet all kinds of professionals.

My class met an engineer who designed toys for McDonald's, a financial planner who worked at Home Depot headquarters and a cake decorator from the local grocery store.

The first two were pretty fascinating, especially the engineer - I need a plastic toy from a Happy Meal because he says the screwheads need a triangular screwdriver he invented - but if you are a cake decorator and you are going to be talking about your job, it is my opinion that you need a visual, especially with 5th graders (and their teachers).

BrownBear met a lawyer who knows her dad. That was pretty cool for her. We had some soldiers and a midwife; firemen and policemen. The Dairy Queen Dad. A college librarian.

Next year, I want to go on the firetruck and eat a peanut buster parfait.

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Monday, May 14, 2007

New Student Update

I lost the student who came to me during the middle of testing; she left Friday.

And guess what? I got a new student today. Uh huh. TODAY. One more Monday left and I get a new one. He's a great student, I was assured, but let me assure you that no one is a great student nine days before school is over. Because, really, I am trying to involve them in meaningful work, but they aren't cooperating. Would you?

My principal told me that the results for those who failed the Big Test would be available on Friday. Well, yippie dippie. No wonder I haven't been sleeping. We're having a big teacher party on Friday - margarita city, here I come. I hope LawyerBoy is coming, because he's going to be a-driving.

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Saturday, May 12, 2007

Field Trip Friday

Friday, we took the 5th graders to the middle school.

It was their opportunity to look around and the middle school counselors' opportunity to put on their show.

The show was all right. I could have done without the cheerleaders shaking their equipment. After the 6th grade band played and lots of people spoke, we went on the tour. Three students per student tour guide. Saw the gym, library, the main office, classrooms... the usual. I also kept running into my former fifth graders who couldn't be happier to see Mrs. Teachergirl. Hugs and squeals of delight. It never fails to amaze me. Some of the worst offenders are often the most happy to see me.

The middle school, however, is still --just not where I would be comfortable dropping off PrepGirl and BrownBear. Would it have done? I don't think so. PrepGirl's friends either went off to private school or transferred out of the local middle school because of its failing AYP scores. I am still conflicted as a teacher but as their parent, I know in my heart that I have done what is best for them.

Oh, and my slappers? Best friends on Friday. I am a girl and I have girls and I still don't understand girls.

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Thursday, May 10, 2007

Keeping the Lid On

With the summer vacation being within sight, my students have fallen apart. Slam apart.

Yesterday, some of the girls started sniping at each other; you know, the pre-adolescent I like you today, I hate you tomorrow picking on each other. Today, one of them slapped another. She slapped her back. I didn't see this unfold. The slapper and the slappee didn't tell me this happened. I found out about this from another child. Over and over, all year long, I have told them that they need to tell me when something is going on. Don't hide stuff from me; I am your best advocate. Over and over again. Instead, I get this. Sniping and slapping.

Some of the boys are doing the same thing. In a different way, of course. They have something smart to say to each other and they think those puffed up chests and those smart-assed comments are cute. Next year, that crap is going to get you slammed into a locker. If someone doesn't slam you in a locker.

I also have Ghandi in the crowd. This kid tries to right the wrongs of our classroom society. Another teacher disciplined one of my students and the Mahatma became indignant that some egregious wrong had been committed. "Look, Mahatma," I told him, "I am not going to undermine the authority of another teacher. I understand your concern, but I wasn't involved. I don't know what happened. I don't know whether the British should leave India or not." (Okay, maybe not all of this conversation took place, but gracious, that is what it felt like.) And by golly, the disciplined young man and the Mahatma had tears.

So, this afternoon, I called parents. Six or seven of them. I lost count. I told them that their children were causing problems; they couldn't control themselves. I also told them that I hadn't singled their child out because I was calling lots of parents, but I needed their help keeping things under control. I even called the Mahatma's because I wanted them to know that he was perhaps getting involved in things that he shouldn't be involved in.

Tomorrow, I am going to the principal. I believe I am writing up the slappers. I want them to know how serious I am. They cannot wreak havoc within spitting distance of the end of the year.

And I asked Mahatma this afternoon, how you want to spend the last two weeks together? In lockdown or having a good time, making memories for middle school?

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

May Flowers

Bittersweet thought: only 12 more lunches to pack for BrownBear before she goes off to become PrepGirl2. After all, tuition does include lunch.

On another note, my students have already gone home. They are done - stick a fork in them. And I can't wait for this dismal year to be over.

And when I signed up to teach summer school, where were you people to keep stop me?

And...what do April showers bring?.... Mayflowers!!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Beautiful May

Welcome, blessed May!! Only 19 more days until this year is over and we get some respite from this year. Writing test results came back yesterday and there were DNM results from people I am surprised by. Oh well; as we were told, the scores will be what they will be.

Leadership Retreat is all day today. That means shorts and a substitute for me.

I got a new student YESTERDAY but he is wonderful!!!! I wish he had been with me all year. I am supposed to get a new one TODAY. Remember, 19 days to go.

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