Sunday, November 30, 2008

Welcome to My Personal Hell

Tonight is the Holly Ball. Seems like we just had one. Hormonal sixteen and seventeen year olds get together for the opening of the Christmas season with a big fancy ball.

At 5:15, I have to be dragged into the "picture party." If you think Brad and Angie face an onslaught of paparazzi with flashing camera lights, you have seen nothing until 18 girls with 18 dates showup at the biggest house in Buckhead with 2 parents apiece, each armed with the biggest, fanciest cameras known to modern photography.

The photographic record of this event is more substantial than any other orchestrated event in modern history.

Remember, people, this isn't even prom. This is the Holly Ball.

And my sworn duty is to take as many pictures of the lovely and charming Prep (my Prep, with her date, without her date, with her friends, without her friends, with her father, by the Christmas tree, with the cheerleaders... well, you get the idea. And maybe, just maybe, there will be a picture with me. ) to be posted later on some social networking page for all to view, including all the colleges she is applying to next year.

I get to socialize tonight, too. What a lovely way to end Thanksgiving holiday. And to think, I don't have to do it again until April when we have prom to look forward to.

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Saturday, November 29, 2008

Countdown to Christmas

Football season came to a screeching halt at 3:00 AM this morning when Prep came in and woke me up - letting me know that she had arrived safely home from the Quarter Finals which had been an away game in the farthest corner of the state. Actually, as far away as the game was, I believe it was out of state.

However, the boys in blue lost by one point. So, there is no football in December this year.

BrownBear and I put up some of the Christmas decorations yesterday. We put the lights out because we are expecting rain today and, are you ready, snow flurries tomorrow night.

I have graded a stack of tests and essays - depressing as always - and have just a few things to do to get ready for Monday. The Holly Ball is tomorrow night, so I know I won't be getting ready for school Sunday evening. Prep is taking someone she went to kindergarten with. The whole idea couldn't be cuter.

Now that I have had a taste of vacation, I can't wait for Christmas. Can't wait. And you know how December is - you hit the ground running and it doesn't let up until the last day of school.

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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving Blessings

Now the only way to avoid this shipwreck, and to provide for our posterity, is to follow the counsel of Micah, to do justly, to love mercy, to walk humbly with our God....

We shall find that the God of Israel is among us, when ten of us shall be able to resist a thousand of our enemies; when He shall make us a praise and glory that men shall say of succeeding plantations, "may the Lord make it like that of New England." For we must consider that we shall be as a city upon a hill. The eyes of all people are upon us.

John Winthrop, 1630

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving Countdown

  • Turkey is thawing nicely.
  • Ham is awaiting a baking.
  • Dressing and green bean casserole (not what you think, people) are made and refrigerated.
  • Gingersnaps are baked.
  • Chocolate chip cookie dough is waiting.
  • Still need to make sweet potatoes (BrownBear waved me off the casserole route), mashed potatoes, corn and all the pies and maybe some gingerbread.

I am relatively unconcerned. No overnight guests; just in-laws for dinner. Should I be more concerned? I don't know.


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I Love Vacation Days

BrownBear asked me this morning if people were really stay at home moms. I guess those five years we spent together are kind of hazy but she told me that she remembered all the good times we had and how much fun it had been. I asked her what she thought I'd do once she went to school every day and she said I could cook and shop. Now, really, that sounds like loads, LOADS, of fun, but after a while, I assure you, I would either run out of money or die of boredom.

I was making the chocolate chip cookie dough before they left for school this morning and I told them that if I stayed home every day, this is what I'd do: make chocolate chip cookies and wait for West Wing to come on - two whole hours every morning!! Jed Bartlet is still President of the United States and leader of the free world. That is, I am afraid, what I'd do if I were a stay at home mom.

So, now, I am going to take a shower, watch snippets of West Wing, and hit the mall one more time (Ann Taylor Loft, 40% off??) before I make the dressing and mashed potatoes. I've already set the table for Thursday and my Christmas decorations are waiting in the wings. The three wise men are already on the way - they started the trip early, remember?

I love this time of year.


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Walking In a Winter Wonderland

My word, people. I live in the deep South for a good many reasons, but this past week this was a deep freeze. It was colder than a brass monkey's... well, you get the idea. It was winter coat weather, people.

PrepGirl had to cheer Friday night - second round of the playoffs. The outcome of the game determined our Thanksgiving plans. A win meant we had to stay home because the boys would be playing the Friday after Thanksgiving. A loss meant we were free to travel, if you consider free to leave after cheering a basketball game Tuesday night and then we HAD to be home for the Holly Ball Sunday night.

Well, the boys won. Not just any kind of win, mind you, but a travel 80 miles north to an undefeated team and beat the crap out of them in 20 degree weather win. PrepGirl had on so many layers, she could have gone on the Ididerot. Now, mind you, they weren't just any layers, they were uniform layers - the only thing we had to buy were longjohns. The school has winter uniforms to wear over the regular uniforms. She had uniform mittens and headbands to keep her ears warm. She had a regulation turtleneck. She had to wear her regular uniform, but I don't even know why. She said that the only part of herself that was really cold was her ankles because the longjohns didn't go far enough and her socks didn't go high enough. Bummer. Because people, it was cold.

Next Friday, they have to go almost all the way to Florida. I'm not sure why the other team isn't coming here. I'm not sure they are going to have to worry about being cold.

One of the girls on the squad has sisters who are making their debut the Friday after Thanksgiving. The Coach told the girls that they wouldn't letter if they didn't complete the season. I believe I have an e-mail that says she owns them until the season is over. I haven't made any plans, believe you me. But when you plan a debutante ball, you certainly don't think that there is going to be a football ame you have to worry about.

So, for the first time in I can't tell you how many years, I am staying home for Thanksgiving and cooking dinner here. My children don't know what to make of it. And frankly, I am a little off kilter, too.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Thanksgiving Can't Come Any Sooner

Could I be any busier? Seriously. And still no idea what my plans are for Thanksgiving. And things just keep getting added to the plate.

I assigned a paper to my English class a week ago, to be turned in on Friday - the 21st. I've got kids who are just now realizing that this Friday is the same Friday the 21st I've been talking about. Seriously, who teaches calendar and when did these kids stop listening? We sent home academic alerts today and I'd bet 80% of the 5th graders got one because they aren't turning in their assignments.

And today? My father got a new knee. Guess when I found out about this whole deal? Sunday night. My only question was why didn't he wait until January to schedule this elective surgery.

And then he told me.

The golf trip is in March. He needs to be good to go by then. His surgeon told him he'd be chipping in three weeks and playing in eight. He wants to be in top form by March, not just limping around.

You've got to admire a man with priorities.


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Are You Ready For Some FOOTBALL???

I would live blog the game, but I am always afraid to do anything when the Redskins and Cowboys are involved. I am a big jinx. I shall quietly watch. No boat rocking.

Now, on the homefront, we don't know what to do about Thanksgiving because Prep is still cheering football. The boys in blue won their first playoff game on Friday night; if they win this Friday night, they will have to play the day after Thanksgiving. That puts a huge cramp in my travel plans, especially since LB has to be in court ALL DAY the Tuesday before, Prep has to cheer a basketball game and BrownBear has swim team practice, too. WTH? Who schedules all this crap the Tuesday before Thanksgiving break? Once the bell rings, the day is over, right? It could be worse, however. I have a friend whose daughter is playing Varsity basketball and she has a game scheduled for Christmas Eve. Christmas Eve, people. Nobody cares about basketball on Christmas Eve.

(8:35 Touchdown - Redskins!!!)

Rock and roll, people. Only five more school days until I'm cut loose from this crew. Hallelujah.

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Freedom Isn't Free

The flag flies at half mast every day at Arlington National Cemetery because there is always a funeral for a veteran. Discuss among yourselves.


Sunday, November 09, 2008

Censorship and Your Contract

California Teacher Guy is having some problems. While he is reluctant to say just exactly what the problem just is, many have speculated that his blog has been discovered by administrators and superintendents.

I have been following CTG for years, it seems. I have learned many things about teaching from him, and in fact, just changed the seating in my room based on some things I just recently read.

While I can only speculate what has indeed happened to CTG, I am concerned for the rest of us. I grew up with Pat Welsh, who has been writing about education out in the open since I was in high school. He had support from my principal and Pat has always told it like it is. Whether you agree with him or not, he has always spoken truth to power. (And, God love him, he is still in the classroom. Teaching. Students. Well past retirement age and just as delicious as he was when I adored him 30 years ago.)

I believe that the rest of us speak our own truth to power. Whether you personally agree with my politics -which I try to stay clear of for many, many reasons - or not, I believe as educators, we speak our own truths every day.

I don't think my own principal, however much she adores me would be in agreement with many of my blog topics. Her reasons would probably be valid ones. However, let's be clear - I don't think that what I've ever said is completely child specific. You would have to know me personally to identify anyone I have ever written about. I am no Pat Welsh. I don't write for the national news; however, if there is anyone out there who wants me, I am contract ready.

All I am saying is this: if it can happen to CTG, it could happen to the rest of us. Keep your eyes open and your backs to the wall. And keep on posting.

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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Caroline for Secretary of Education? What's Up for Macaroni?

Oh goody!! We're going to start the speculation early. And the first cabinet post that I've heard being filled is going to Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg. To be our new Secretary of Education. Because of her vast experience in education.

How about a teacher for Secretary of Education? How about that for a change?


Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Teacher Workday Tuesday

Y'all got that copy of the Constitution yet?

Home from teacher workday after sitting in a stinky, hot gym listening to an overpaid central office suit tell me how wide the achievement gap is. Really. He basically told us that report cards and homework were irrelevant. Now get busy.

So, I'm home with General Hospital on the TV and I want to know if anyone knows why or how Laura Spencer got out of the looney bin and what she's doing with Luke.

Please. I thought she was in some kind of a trance. Now she's not.

You miss a few months and this is how you get repaid.


Monday, November 03, 2008

Roll Tide

While I would like to wax poetically about the election, I choose not to. Y'all get yourselves a copy of the Constitution. And hang on.

I shall wax poetically about.... college football. Did you see that Georgia/Florida football game Saturday? I spent some of my happiest days in college watching that game at the Clay's Farm, drinking beer, eating barbecue and celebrating KA Founder's Day. And then Texas/Texas Tech? And Georgia Tech/Florida State? And now Alabama is ranked number 1.

I shall also wax poetically about how happy I am to be rid of Daylight Savings Time. I get to go to school in the sunshine and I get to eat dinner in the dark. When the girls were really little and couldn't tell time, I used to put them to bed when it got dark. I was a bad mother, but, at the time, it was good parenting. It helped me keep my sanity.

I'm just happy that I have already voted. I only waited in line one hour and twenty minutes. With what I am facing tomorrow with a teacher work day, I am just happy to have already done my civic duty. You do yours.


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