Friday, January 30, 2009

Apocalypse Now

Apparently, teachergirl needs to teach in Pittsburgh. After reading BabelBabe's post from today, I checked out the Pittsburgh Public School website. And sure enough, they are having a two hour delay on Monday, for the safety of their students.

I can't catch a break. Angie has been home for, oh I don't know, 70 or 80 days now because of snow. I don't think she's taught school since before Thanksgiving. I might exaggerate, but dayum, people. I just got through the most excruciating conference week I have ever lived through - 35 bottom feeders, drinks on me tonight - and I couldn't get a snow day if I went out and bought the snow myself.

I remember that the Redskins won the SuperBowl on several occasions and we never had to delay school for the safety of the students. I can attest that I sprang forth from some mighty Redskin fans and never once did they ever shoot guns, burn cars in the streets, or riot after a victory. They kept their stuff together.

Is something afoot in Pittsburgh? Does Phoenix have the same plan in place? What about Tampa? That's where they're playing the game. Are they afeared for the students there, too? Perhaps we should go to code orange or DEFCOM 2 or something like that, because if we have to shutdown the entire educational facilities of a major American city for a football game, then something really wicked must be on the way.


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A Cold Dose of Reality

Monday was a bear - not because of the start of conference week or Prep's court appearance because of her October wreck - but because I found out about the tragic death of the son of one of our friends from a lifetime ago.

Garrett was only about five days older than PrepGirl; I remember when he was born and waited anxiously for Prep to follow. Garrett's parents were dear, dear people; there wasn't anything we wouldn't do anything for each other.

But they moved to the outlying suburbs and we grew apart; Garrett grew up to be a high school athlete- both a football and basketball player.

Early Sunday morning, his car crossed the center line - apparently going too quickly and possibly drunk, but that hasn't been determined yet - and he died upon impact with another car.

Dead. A dead teenager - 16 1/2 years old.

When I told PrepGirl goodbye yesterday morning, I grabbed her and hugged her hard. Usually, we all just tell each other 'bye and love you - the girls are usually still in bed when I leave - but Prep was up, getting ready Monday morning, so I grabbed her hard. Hard. And she wanted to know what was up. She could see right through me and my transparent self. So I explained what had happened and she was smart enough to reassure me that she was careful, not a curfew breaker, and she absolutely didn't drink. But I reminded her that there were other people who didn't.

Last night, LawyerBoy and I tried to go to the funeral home. Tried, but there were thousands(and I quote the news tonight) thousands of people at the funeral home. We couldn't get near the place.

What a disaster.

Hug your babies tonight.


Thursday, January 22, 2009

Inauguration Follies, Part Trois


John Roberts and Barack Obama met up again.

I love John Roberts. For a multitude of reasons. But this is the best. You need to listen to the audio.

Now go to school.


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Inauguration Follies, Part Deux

When all hell broke loose over the choice of Rick Warren to be at Barack's inauguration, I knew yesterday was going to be fun.

Then I broadcast the Lord's Prayer over my classroom and I wrote that down in my lesson plan book - that doesn't happen every day.

Aretha and her hat. God bless her. (Michelle and her clothes are an entirely different post. Gold dress, green shoes? Evening gown with pompoms? Thank goodness for men's wear.)

Yo Yo Ma. You bet.

Love John Roberts. His way or no way. I'm not sure we really have a new President based on that oath.

But then we have the benediction. Down here in the deep South, the Reverend Lowery is something of an icon. All parties were pleased with his choice - a civil rights giant, giving the benediction at the inauguration of America's first African American president. And then he drops the bomb.

" us work for that day when black will not be asked to give back, when brown can stick around, when yellow will be mellow, when the red man can get ahead, man, and when white will embrace what is right."



Sunday, January 18, 2009

In Over My Head?

Let's not laugh out loud. I've joined in the 1000 words per month challenge at In Search of Giants.


Saturday, January 17, 2009

Inauguration Follies

I am a native Northern Virginian and have been a part of Inauguration follies many, many times. I can assure you that there will be lots of people, no toilets, and plenty of cold to go around. If you are lucky, a snowstorm the likes you have never seen will blow through our nation's capitol this weekend.

I remember it was so cold during Ronald Reagan's second inauguration, he couldn't even be sworn in on the Capitol steps and they had to cancel the parade. Sure, there were lots of disappointed high school band kids, but, have you ever sat through a four hour parade? In the cold? And had to go to the bathroom? But I digress.

The craziest thing I've heard about this inauguration is the closing of the Virginia bridges going into and out of Washington. Excuse me? The inauguration planners may think they are keeping unwanted people and traffic (?) out of the city, but there are those who are beginning to panic about supplies getting in. Bread, meat, french fries, beer, wine, hotdogs, toilet paper, milk, eggs... you get the picture. From what I have gathered, the only way to get to Washington from Virginia is to go to Maryland. While possible, not pretty.

And while I love the METRO, do you really want to depend on that one subway system to ferry around the ton of people the inauguration committee is expecting? You couldn't pay me to be there for this one. But there is some beauty. PrincipalGirl's college roommate's brother and his friends are renting her house for the Inauguration. And paying her a pretty penny. Because in November, the closest hotel room they could find was in Pennsylvania. So this Obama thing seems to be working out for someone after all.


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Who's Your Supervising Teacher?

I have died and gone to student teaching heaven.

Student Teacher Chick has taken over the Language Arts class and is getting ready to handle my super-smart math kids. She knows their names. Almost all of their names. And remember, I teach all the 5th graders all day long. She has sat in on some conferences and heard an earful. (more later) She is grading papers, monitoring the students' behavior, getting to school before I do and I get to watch it all unfold. I get to evaluate her.

I did sit in on a conference for my teacher pal and listened as a crazy mama talked about her lazy, lying daughter. Her exact words: lazy and lying. Every other word was fricking this and fricking that. The kid was taking her graded work home and throwing it away; she'd tell her mom she didn't have any and she'd tell the teachers that her mom was keeping her work. She's a liar, all right. But all day long, we were "fricking this and fricking that."

So far, so good.

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Saturday, January 10, 2009

Student Teacher Chick Update

Was that teachergirl, making fun of having a student teacher? I freely admit that it was. But after a week of having Student Teacher Chick in my classroom, I am enamoured. I was afraid that I would be getting one of those right out of college, 21 year old, explain everything to girls. Thank you very much student teaching office; I have been handed a very mature 32 year old mother of two; serious (not so much), hates Kate of Jon and Kate Plus Eight, too, can read my mind, operate a copier, and handle a classroom full of kids. She is taking over my 4 sections of English on MONDAY, people. She handled the Performance Series Testing this past week. She figured out my team's personalities without much being said by me. She is phenomenal. She gets to school before I do. Lights on, things ready to go. Holy crap, she could outsource me. I will be so ready for next year, I honestly don't know how I will act.



Sunday, January 04, 2009

Was That a Vacation That Just Flew By?

People. Vacation is virtually over. Can you believe it? I cannot.

The students still have Monday off (lucky, lucky), so I can plan and do that other stuff, but I am going to have to deal with that student teacher chick. I also have to give a short presentation first thing with tons of other colleagues on some crappy in-service I attended. (When I say crappy, I don't just mean crappy - I mean the worst possible waste of time and money the state has ever spent on training teachers.)

BrownBear and Prep have real school tomorrow. LawyerBoy has real work tomorrow. At least I get to ease into it. Write a few lesson plans, visit with the girls. Take down the Christmas lights I left around my whiteboard.


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