Tuesday, April 29, 2008

At least I can laugh

The window saga continues...

I tried to follow the instructions of the glass company last night and tape a nice big duct tape X to my window (yes X marks the spot...please break into my house...ugh). However, I'm short...yes, I can admit it I'm short. I had a rather uneventful evening with Haley (outside of the typical 3 yr old arguments) so I decided to test my luck...you'd think I'd learn. After I got Haley down I got out a ladder and a roll of tape and tried to set myself up outside the window. Well of course with the bushes and all I couldn't actually reach the window so I decided to just try and balance myself on the windowsill and try to tape it that way. I was doing ok until I tried to actually pull the tape off the roll and stretch it to the other side of the window. The tape didn't unroll like I wanted it to and the glass started cracking more and as I tried to balance, provide tension, and maneuver...balance lost. I fell out of the window, tape in hand. I landed kind of on my bum, kind of on my right arm...mostly flat on my back...tape in hand. I threw the tape and decided, ENOUGH, I don't care...if the glass falls out, the glass falls out. As I laid flat on my back on the grass all I could do was laugh at myself. I try to be Super Woman...most of the time I do okay...somtimes I'm just a klutz. So for the next 4-6 weeks I will have a lovely spiderweb to look out of.

Tuesday, however, started much better. Haley and I rocked our way to school. She was great this morning. She woke up happy and helpful. She even helped me carry a stack of essays to the car. She fed the dog while I got my shoes on. She's amazing. Best kid in the world. When we got in the car she asked if we could sing Fergies "Big Girls Don't Cry", then "Clumsy," then "New Soul", and then she justed wanted whatever Fergie song she could get. She loves to sing. Definitely a good start to the day.

16 days until graduation!!!!! Yes, I'm counting down.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Broken Window

So yesterday afternoon I was disciplining Haley for lying about something and I hear a pop in the direction of my living room window. I look up and my BRAND NEW window is CRACKED!!! I paid a truckload of money for these "top of the line" windows and the freakin' thing is CRACKED!!!! I think it was an omen of things to come for my Monday morning.

I had a meeting at school this morning at 6:45 that basically said we're going back to the old pass policy. GRRRR!!! Seriously...I could have gotten this information through an email and not added to the typical Monday runaround. Haley's allergies are awful and she didn't sleep well last night, which of course means that I don't sleep well. I had her up at 2:00 this morning doing a breathing treatment. Then I get into class and my students are unprepared. I kind of expected it, and half prepared to postpone the lesson until tomorrow anyway, but then I walk around to check on their progress and a few of them are just reading Spark Notes instead of actually having a shred of integrity and doing the work from their own brains! These are honors kids...they are perfectly CAPABLE! So of course I lay into them about that and get them working again. I take this opportunity to call the blasted company that sold me the windows in the first place to be told that they would have to call me back after they "reviewed my file"...whatever! Then I decide it's time to confront the two kids who I found plagiarized an essay I graded last Friday. One of the kids is failing. I told both of them they would receive a zero for the essay and that I expected to receive a Pride and Prejudice essay from them this week (late of course). The kid who's failing says, "Do I really have to do it, I mean I did my senior paper and I'm going to do the course assessment." At this point I'm ready to walk out...I'm ready to quit...I'm ready to go back to bed and try Monday again tomorrow. Instead...in my teacher voice of course...I say, "Yes you have to do the essay, I'm not turning you in for plagiarism of your Sense and Sensibility essay and if you actually want to GRADUATE you need as much cushion as you can get by actually doing ALL of the work that is assigned." He walks away... Next, the window company calls back and says they can replace my window (YA THINK). I then ask for a time frame...they'll have to call me back (why wouldn't you get a customer that information right away?). They call back and tell me 4-6 weeks. 4-6 WEEKS???? WHAT!!!! I DON'T THINK SO!!!! They tell me they'll see what they can do.

The bell rings...marking the end of period one...me...I leave for SONIC for a LARGE Diet Coke...

Is it Tuesday yet???

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The End

The 2007-2008 school year is truly winding down. All the events that mark the end of the year are here. Prom, yearbook distribution planning, honors assemblies, caps and gowns, senior video, MASS grading, course assessments, scheduling for 09, planning sessions for 09. It is a busy time of year marked with excitement, frustration, and even a little sadness.

Teaching has become a cornerstone in my life. I love my job, the people I work with, and the students I teach and learn from. As an upper division teacher I have the pleasure and pain of working with much of the graduating class. I've watched many of them grow from the time they were freshmen. I've taught them and helped them to plan and grow in order to be prepared for post high school life. I've seen relationships created, broken, mended, and nurtured. There are a handful that I become very attached to. I worry about them, care for them, and hope for them. They are the ones that while I would love to keep them in my classes under a shield of protection, I know I have to let go and hope that I've taught them enough. Teaching is much like parenting...only less time. The intensity is the same, the feeling of responsibility is the same. I wonder about those kids from year's past. Where are they now? What are they doing? Are they successful, happy, fulfilled, safe? These same kids I love will drive me absoletly crazy for the next 15 days. They are so ready to graduate and yet will display true signs of apprehension at doing so. We are mere days away from that walk through the stadium and across the stage as they flip their tassles as wave goodbye to PHS. I will cry and I will miss them terribly, but it will mark the start path of their future. As for me...I'll get to start all over again next year!

This sounded a lot less somber in my head...

PHS Yearbook Hits Disneyland

Two weeks ago, I decided to put my life and sanity on the line and take 12 rascally teenagers to Disneyland...all by myself. I know...what was I thinking!? It turned out to be a great trip, sure there were some bumps along the way. First the plane was over an hour late arriving at the gate (you think toddlers get impatient and cranky when they're tired...teenagers are worse). We made it to the hotel around 11:30 after a very scary ride through LA with SuperShuttle. We arrived at our hotel, The Carriage Inn...which was not nearly as nice as the pictures had suggested...but the price was right and I wasn't worried about the kiddos "breaking" anything.

I was smart enough to get my own room and the 8 girls shared 2 rooms and the 4 boys shared one. We a commitment to be ready and at the park when the gates opened which meant meeting outside the hotel at 7:15. Well do you think anybody besides me actually went to bed after we got to our rooms??? NOOOOOOO The psychos ordered pizza and stayed up until like 3 am. Needless to say...they were less that bright eyed when we met at 7:30 for our group walk to the park. Outside of tired factor, the day was pretty great. There were a few attitudes I could have done without, but for the most part, my extended yearbook family was a pleasure to hang out with. My senior staff members found graduation hats with Mickey Mouse ears...I had to have a picture. I'm sure going to miss these kids. They have been a fantastic staff, so full of life, and spontaneity. Sunday morning we got to see some of the characters and got some great pictures. By Sunday afternoon we were definitely DONE, and the trip home was far less eventful. However, even Monday and Tuesday...back in the classroom...the Disney magic still existed. For my "family" who reads this...THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES I WILL NEVER FORGET YOU!

Yearbook Invades Disneyland

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Feeling Like a Teenager

There's something about Thursday's...

It's so close to the weekend...and yet so far away...I have such a hard time getting out of bed on Thursday mornings. I hit the snooze button for almost a full hour this morning before I finally dragged myself out of bed. I even found myself scooting lower and lower beneath the covers this morning to "hide" from the morning. Of course this prevented me from actually being ready before I woke Haley up, but thankfully, she was a trooper and woke up in a good mood and didn't fight me getting dressed or doing her hair. Suprisingly, I managed to make it to school on time. Wahoo!

I had a visitor to my class this morning and my students said I was "flirting." Tooo funny! The guy is just a friend, but boy do my studnets like trying to play match-maker for me. The funny thing is that this "match" has been an attempt since the beginnig of the year...and yet...we're still just friends. I'll be honest and admit that it's fun to let them play their little game, and even play into it a little just to see their reaction.

We're into the final swing of the semester and my seniors are starting to either panic or completely slack depending on their mood of the day. My seniors have a major portfolio paper due at the end of the month and today was the due date for the outline. One of my students has a severe case of "senioritis" and brought me a Diet Pepsi on ice this morning as a bribe for a 12 hour extension on his outline. Smart kid!!