Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Cheertastrophe, Part II

Phew. The bruising and swelling weren't as bad as I expected, but I haven't seen Prep tonight. She said that the trainer asked the girls around her,"Prep's nose is straight, isn't it?" OMG. That must have been pleasant to hear.

Just like when BrownBear sled into the tree when she was five and everyone ran into the house screaming, "Is her nose still there?"

Thank goodness they were girls. What would I have done with a houseful of boys?


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Cheertastrophe (Title credits go to Amalah)

Oh hell. Just got off the phone with the trainers from Prep's school and the word is this: there was a cheer accident. The good news is that Prep doesn't have a concussion. The bad news is that there was some facial/nose trauma and we need to keep an eye and ice on it. And we'll keep looking at it and reassess it in a few days. They have the best training facility in the city. Remember, last year, they sewed up a cheerleader on the track. At least they didn't have to set Prep's nose out there.

Oh hell. I think they're worried that her nose might be broken. Not the week of the biggest game they play -

More at eleven.

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Sunday, September 27, 2009


This is the front of Prep's and BrownBear's school last Monday night after the rain stopped falling. That little tiny sign poking up out in the middle of the water is the sign that directs carpool. The bridge has a small pond that the senior class usually swims in after final finals. It expanded quite a bit, to say the least.
My brother has already made fun and has called this the new pool for Varsity swimming this year.
Homecoming was supposed to be Friday night. It was cancelled. School resumed Thursday, but many buildings and the football field were underwater, so they postponed all the Homecoming activities and played the football game Saturday at another field. In another torrential downpour.
Thank goodness the weather this week is full of sunshine!

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Monday, September 21, 2009

Flood Day!!

School is cancelled tomorrow because we are stuck in the middle of a deluge. An Old Testament-type rain continues to fall and flood and cause much consternation around heah.

Hence, the free-day tomorrow.

Personally, I thought the county would wait until 4AM to call it. That's how they roll. But an elementary school flooded today, and parents were HOT. So, they thought they'd better get a handle on things - you know, with the roads being out and all , so they have shut down the county. We are thrilled. Unforetunately, Prep and BrownBear's school is so wet, the football field is underwater and Homecoming is Friday. No word on how they are going to address that mess.

So, think of me manana; we never get snow, but sometimes, we do get a break.


Saturday, September 19, 2009

I Couldn't Be More Excited

Sometimes you have to be careful what you wish for. I asked to be the 5th grade math teacher four and a half weeks ago and our principal said that we couldn't do that because we "compact" math and we aren't allowed to group our kids in all subjects according to ability. Therefore, I was stuck teaching all Language Arts to the entire 5th grade in 45 minute segments.

Our county recently adopted a new Language Arts program and you should see this mother. It says that it needs at least 2 hours per day for it to work. At least.

Hello? I wasn't getting enough time to look those kids in the eye, let alone teach them how to read. (and kids who can't read in the 5th grade perplex me - discuss) I was barely getting in spelling and grammar and some shared reading. And I was ready to quit. It took me three weeks to get in subjects, predicates, fragments and kinds of sentences. And people failed the test.

So, yesterday, our team went to the principal armed with a new schedule for every 5th grader that maintained the integrity of the compacted math classes, and didn't ability group them anywhere else, an email from the teacher of the year at a nearby school who is responsible for teaching all the math (and showed a 13% rate of growth last year) and an agreement from our teammates to each take a section of this hellacious Language Arts program while I take on all the math. After we got the special ed teacher on board, the principal agreed.

So, now, I am responsible for all the math. Go ahead and joke. Who couldn't teach 5th grade math? Some of you need to take a look at the standards. You have to be able to illustrate decimal multiplication and division. You have to be able to do pi. Add and subtract fractions. Volume - three dimensional stuff - that some kids don't always wrap their minds around. And one of the classes I'm taking over is about two weeks behind the others. Because they are the low class. Well, that ends Monday. They are hopping aboard the Teachergirl Express. When I told my homeroom on Friday afternoon what was going to happen on Monday, I heard one of them say, "You'd better hold on. She doesn't play." Thankyouverymuch. I couldn't have asked for a more ringing endorsement.

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Roll Tide!!

Prep got her first college acceptance and I am proud. I think my first college letter was a rejection.


Thursday, September 10, 2009

September 11, 2009

In Honor of Christine Hanson
Youngest Victim of the Attacks on the United States
September 11, 2001
Christine Lee Hanson was born February 22, 1999 to Peter and Sue Hanson. She was aboard United Flight 175 - on her way to DisneyLand and to visit her mother's parents - when she and her parents perished in the attacks on the World Trade Center. Much has been written about this sweet young baby who was killed on this day.
She was beloved.
She was an innocent child.
She would be ten and in the fifth grade - as old as the children I teach.
I made scrapbooks for my daughters' grandmothers and used this poem and now, I thought I would publish this poem here, for Christine and her grandmothers:

Why God Made Little Girls
(Author Unknown)
God made the world with towering trees,
Majestic mountains and restless seas.
Then He paused and said , "It needs one more thing...Someone to laugh and dance and sing.
To walk in the wood and gather flowers...
To commune with nature in quiet hours."
So God made little girls
With laughing eyes and bouncing curls,
With joyful hearts and infectious smiles,
Enchanting ways and feminine wiles.
And when He'd completed the task He'd begun,
He was pleased and proud of the job He'd done.
For the world, when seen through a little girl's eyes
Greatly resembles Paradise.


Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Lysol, Anyone?

They think BrownBear has mono - and that means fun times around here. We went to the pediatrician (again! - only this time, the good one, the one who has known the girls since they were born and not this Dr. Newgirl who ordered blood work and didn't order the complete tests for BB, so we got to go get more blood drawn!! At the children's hospital!! After the strep test!

Fun times, I tell you. I have now missed four days since the beginning, not counting the half day I was out for teacher rounds. But even being out, I was able to screw up. I was checking my e-mail and opened one from a parent who wrote that she had received her daughter's graded work out of the order we had originally intended to send it home. We had said that we were going to send it home with the lowest grade on top and her daughter's work hadn't come home that way. The 87 was in the middle, not on top. I forwarded this to my best friend in the building who promptly replied something smart-assed to me and then sent it to the parent. Holy crap. The mom wrote back to her wondering what the hell was going on. Ever clever, my friend said that the county email was acting up - our first names are exactly the same and sometimes, she gets my email.

As my great uncle used to tell me, I could screw up the Lord. I didn't understand him when I was little, but I got a handle on it today.

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Monday, September 07, 2009

Classtime Tomorrow

I can't wait until tomorrow. You all know - the President is going to speak during lunchtime on the east coast. (Who picked that time, I'd love to know.) Our district, in its goofy damned way of trying to be politically correct, sent home a letter from the superintendent with a note on the back for parents who want to opt their students out of the speech. (Have I told you it's going to be shown live at 12PM? And videostreamed the rest of the day? And I have planning from 11:45 - 12:30?) And no one at my school has a concrete plan for showing the speech? And the principal- you remember her - the one who won't make any decisions - wants to know what our plans are for showing the speech??

We sent the letter home on FRIDAY and, as you are well aware, we AREN'T in SCHOOL TODAY. So, if little Johnny's mommy doesn't want him to see the speech tomorrow and he doesn't bring his note, little Johnny is going to be viewing that bad boy. No lead time, no prep time, no nothing.

And have I told you that I think one of my kids has parents who are skinheads? Can my job get any better?


Sunday, September 06, 2009

How Long Until Christmas?

I can't say I wasn't warned. I feel like I've been swept through by a hurricane - and it's only September. Senior year, 8th grade, complete with honors classes and then, my entire year, turned upside down by the fact that I teach 68 5th graders everything there is to know about Language Arts and Reading. Cram in two or three meetings a week plus choir practice and everything else there is to do being a mom and there you have it: complete nervous breakdown.

I've spent all these days feeling overwhelmned, underloved and completely inadequate.

Thank heavens for a three day weekend.


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