Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Highlight of the Day

Today was an interesting day. The teacher that I replaced is back from grad school on break and visiting school for the rest of the week...slightly intimidating for me, especially because I have felt so overwhelmed this week and I am using a lot of her materials from last year! :-) It's okay...she told me I could. ;-)

Why am I overwhelmed you ask? Homecoming. Tomorrow is homecoming at school. I'm a sponsor for our student government/student council, which means it's been my responsibility to make sure that the students are supervised while they decorate the gym. I've also been tutoring 2.5 hours per night Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.

Anyway, on to the title of this post. I was on facebook, catching up on my recent wall posts and the newsfeed when I get a message through facebook chat. It's from a friend that I take to every once-in-awhile, so I keep chatting. Then another facebook chat window pops up from a friend I haven't talked to in ages. She is going to be in Chicago the same time I am and wants to hang out/catch up. So we plan for sometime on the 23rd. Then a third facebook chat window pops up from another friend I haven't really talked to since June. Turns out he's going to be in Chicago on the 23rd, too. And we're going to try and hang out.

I feel so loved!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Feeling like an adult...and somewhat domestic

Days like today make me appreciate the sheer busyness of life, and make me realize that "housewives" and "stay-at-home moms" are not ladies of leisure sitting at home eating bon-bons all day.

Not that I had the day off, but the amount of errands I ran after work today made me realize even more how much time everything takes.

I had to go to a craft store to check prices for beads (and make sure they had individual letters, since we only want VSD and B) for a potential fundraising idea for the sophomore class. Then I went to Walmart to print a picture for my classroom. I went to some other stores to get some Christmas shopping done/at least started. ;-) I bought a washer and dryer (expensive, and unfortunately it won't be here until at least Friday...I was kinda hoping it would be here tomorrow...). I then went back to Walmart because it was the closest grocery-type store for me to buy supplies for the dish I'm making for the potluck tomorrow. I got home for the first time at 9:00.

When I got home, I started "prep" work for the dish I'm making for tomorrow. I decided to make Grandma's Minestrone soup. :-) So I chopped carrots, celery, onions, and parsley, and put them in my fancy new prep bowls from Pampered Chef (I LOVE them because they are marked with measurements!). After that, I organized my bills a little and sorted my recyclables...I needed to amke room for the new washer and dryer!

And then it was 10:00. I haven't even started the cleaning that I wanted to do tonight. Oh, well. Such is the life of a "grown-up"

Sunday, December 7, 2008

5 things

This looked like fun. :-)

5 things I was doing 10 years ago:
  • Learning music for the Blue Lake International Symphony Band
  • being a typical 8th grader ;-)
  • learning Algebra
  • growing up fast through friends' suicidal thoughts
  • being boycrazy
5 things on my To Do list tomorrow:
  • Ask a couple of teachers questions about a specific student
  • Make a study guide about writing equations in slope intercept form
  • Update IEP progress
  • Find a recycling drop-off center
  • Make a list of addresses for Christmas cards
5 snacks I like:
  • Apples with caramel
  • chips and salsa
  • fruit snacks
  • Cheez-its
  • chips and dip
5 things I would do if I was a millionaire
  • pay off my debt
  • buy a house
  • give to people who need it
  • save some
  • go back to school?
5 places I have lived:
  • Orland Park, IL
  • Bloomington, IL
  • East Lansing, MI
  • Swartz Creek, MI
  • Staunton, VA
5 jobs I have had:
  • Quinlan & Fabish Music Co (stocking shelves, organizing, etc)
  • Dr. Jerry Chow, M.D. (personal assistant for the nurse manager/filing)
  • Math grader/tutor
  • Babysitter
  • Virginia School for the Deaf (HS Math teacher)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Lockdown drills

Today after school we had a staff meeting. No big deal, staff meetings are normal. One of the topics that we discussed made me sad, though. As you can tell by the title of this post, it was the topic of lockdown.

I completely understand the necessity of having a procedure and a policy for lockdown. I also understand that in order for the procedure to work well, just as in the case of fire or tornado alarms, there must be practice. The thing that makes me sad is that there is a need for this sort of thing. There is a very real danger in the world today that students, teachers, or strangers could walk onto the campus of my school with the intent to harm themselves, others, or both. That breaks my heart. What makes violence the answer? What makes people, especially children, think that they can solve their problems by using violence or that anything is so bad that they need to harm themselves? I know this is no new phenomena, but I am still curious.

I think it was Shane Claiborne that wrote about how violence teaches violence, and until we as a nation stop dealing with our problems through violence, we will continue to have violence in our nation, as well. I'm not saying that I agree whole heartedly with Mr. Claiborne, but I do think it kinda makes sense. I don't want to blame the media or blame the government. And I certainly don't want to blame parents or teachers. It can't just be in the water, though. Something must have changed over the past 40 years (that is an insignificant number...I know that it is more than ten years but probably less than 50). When my parents were in school there was no thought in anyone's mind that a kid or anyone for that matter would bring a gun to school. What's changed?

Suicide among teenagers has always been an issue, I feel. It seems more and more apparent, though. I try to teach my students not to even joke about something as serious as killing themselves. What makes them think it's okay in the first place?

My heart yearns for hope to spread. I want to see people really believe that there is purpose to this life, and that they are loved. I'm going to work on showing that more. And believing it more myself, too. :-)


I'm looking for good ideas of text to use for Wordle. I think I could easily become addicted. It's just fun to play with what types of text you put in and how it looks. I like it.

Thanksgiving has come and gone, meaning Christmas is soon! I'm excited for that. Two and a half weeks and I'll be back in Illinois for more time with family and friends of old. Not that the friends that I've made here aren't old. ;-)

Being at my parent's houses ("home") is always good, but I occasionally struggle when coming back home (to my apartment and job). I like vacation a lot. I like being able to just call up one of my friends (or my one friend?) and go shopping, or see a movie, or just hang out playing rock band. I also enjoy spending time chatting with family and just spending time. I do miss that. It's not that I'm homesick...I think I just appreciated the time and relaxation that I was able to have, and I wish that it could have been longer.

Christmas is coming, though. :-) I'm getting excited about some of the creative ideas that I have for my secret santa gifts...I hope they work out as cool as I want them to.

I'm not the MOST creative person in the world, but when I get on a roll, I just want to make really cool things. I think Wordle has made me want to be more creative...I want to find/make something to put on my wall...I like quotations, always I just need to find a really good one...