Monthly Archives: September 2011

Stop teasing me rain cloud!



I am sick and tired of seeing ominous rain clouds that don’t amount to any rain. If it wasn’t for the fact that I know that clouds are merely condensed water vapor, I would think they were doing it on purpose! For the past few days, there has been a 20% rain chance.  That’s O.K. with me. I won’t expect rain. Then I see what looks to be the beginning of the second great flood above my head and I get all excited!

No rain.

Currently I’m sitting on my back porch looking at a grey sky.  I can even feel the cool wind blowing. I’m hoping that having damageable electronics outside will taunt the clouds into raining. We need rain, especially since hurricane season is coming to a close, so we aren’t likely to get much tropical precipitation. Boo.

It rained on Tuesday. From 2:50-3:00.  On a related note, elementary dismissal is between 2:50-3:00. I wouldn’t have minded the rain at dismissal, if it hadn’t stopped as soon as the kids got into their cars. All I ended up was wet grass and 14 damp six and seven year olds.  When I got home, it began to look and sound very promising: charcoal-colored skies, the wind blowing the trees, at least seven claps of thunder and music in a minor key.   Well, maybe not the last one, but all the others!

Rain cloud was just teasing me.



Famous Quotes by the Famous People who never said them


Martin Luther King Jr.

He did not say: “I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy.” 

He said: “Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.” 

Mahatma Gandhi

He did not say: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

He said: “If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. … We need not wait to see what others do.”

Niccolo Machiavelli

He did not say: “The ends justify the means.” 

He said: “One must consider the final result.”

You can read more here

Jack’s Blog: The short u sound


Last night I got to help Andrea think of spelling words for her first graders.  I know that probably doesn’t sound very exciting, but it’s actually very fun thinking of words to have the children spell.  First graders have the cutest spelling words too…  For their first spelling test, they will have words containing a “short a” sound, such as “pan” or “mat”.  Almost all of the words for the first five weeks or so will be three letter words which have short vowel sounds (a, e, i, o, u).  There is also always one challenge word (such as “jazz”, “solid”, or “cocoa”), which is even more fun to think up.

One unusual thing that I noticed while thinking of spelling words is that many dirty words have the “short u” sound.  I won’t be explicit here, but one of the major curse words has a short u sound.  So does a word using to describe promiscuous women and media depicting such women, among others.  The short u sound also appears in the word “pus”, which isn’t dirty, but it’s kinda  gross word in general.  I also found that some words containing the “oo” sound are quite juvenile, such as “poop”, “boob”, and “booze”.

Rx for happiness


Today I went to the doctor to get a TB skin test and mention that my back hurts a bit after the accident. I got the TB skin test (aside: getting any shot after you’ve been giving blood is no sweat!) and talked a little about my back.  She said that when I came back to get the test read, she’d have some exercises for me to do. She didn’t say it out loud, but I could just see in the sympathetic look in her eye, that she was telling me:

If you have some extra eggs in your refrigerator, you should make some cupcakes.


I did have some extra eggs in my refrigerator! So I decided to make cupcakes. I decided to scour the internet, and after much searching, I could not find any scientific studies showing that chocolate chips slow down healing time. So I put some in my cupcake batter. After they were baked, I iced them with cheerful, but seasonally inappropriate colors. Oh well, I’ll do something autumny for my birthday.

Don’t they look yummy?

I finished them right around dinner time.  I know what you’re thinking. We ate them for dinner. No, we had some health nut vegetarian dish.

It’s Asian barley and vegetables

Now that our pancreases are sufficiently rested, they will have no trouble keeping up with us for dessert…

2 Down, 35 To Go


This week went so much more smoothly than last week.  The munchkins are finally getting the hang of what is expected of them. Hooray! This week we worked on independent reading–sitting in your chair and reading a book without talking. We’re up to 7 minutes. The goal is 10 minutes of sustained silent reading. We also began alliterative poems.  Some of the kids got the idea right away and came up with “snakes slither and eat spooky skunks.”  Others wrote things like “Dogs dig at PowerRangers and kill them. ”

In math, we practiced representing a number as a symbol, a pictures, with manipulatives, and as a dot pattern. Everyone got an A on the test!  We’ve been learning about weather in science and the kids have lots of interesting questions, like: how does a cloud know whether to rain or snow? and why does it get warmer in the daytime? In social studies, we’re introducing maps.  They made a map of our classroom and then gave directions on how to get to their desk (with varying degrees of success).

I love first grade!



You know how much I love holidays/seasons.  What goes well with holidays/seasons? Holiday/seasonal candy dishes. And what goes well with holiday/seasonal candy dishes? Candy.

I like candy, but I also like health. And not ruining my dinner. So, I have to find a candy that 1) is yummy so that I like it and eat it, but 2) isn’t a candy that I will gorge on.

I’m currently gorging on the candy in my seasonal candy dish: peanut M&Ms. Now you might say: Andrea, peanut M&Ms are basically health food because they have nuts and everyone knows nuts are good for you. No need to say it: I know that peanut M&Ms are healthy. That’s why I pop 20 into my mouth when I get home from work.

But I need to slow it down. Not only am I ruining my appetite for my dinner, but I’m finishing the candy before my weekly shopping trip can replenish the stash.

Part of the problem is that M&Ms aren’t wrapped, so it’s not difficult to casually eat massive quantities. Hershey’s Kisses are hard. They have a wrapper and a pull string to dispose of.  Reese’s are hard because they have two wrappers and those pesky ridges. I’m going to buy wrapped candy next.

I used to ration my candy based on chores or eating my dinner or whatever, but now that I’m a teacher, I ALWAYS deserve candy.  My class had a good day: I’m a great teacher and deserve a reward.  My class had a bad day: I need some caloric therapy.

What can I do to slow my intake? And don’t suggest not eating candy.


What would I put in my seasonal candy dish?