Monthly Archives: August 2012

It’s begun!

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Inservice started on Wednesday and I’ve been very busy setting up my classroom, making lesson plans for the first two weeks, attending meetings, and getting excited for school.  I have my classroom set up so nicely.  My mom and I went shopping and I got some things that can only be described as…adorable!

It’s been a challenge arranging 24 desks in a room, where I only had to squeeze 14 last year.  But, I think I used the space quiet efficiently. I’m also excited to have my desk near the door this year. Last year, I just kept it where the last teacher had it. But it’s so nice to immediately see who is at the door and people don’t have to walk to the far corner just to talk to me.

Saturday was orientation and meet the teacher day.  I know most of the students from last year, but I have 6 new students and I got to meet two of them yesterday. Their parents seem very nice and helpful. Unfortunately, only about 8 of the 24 kids came to drop off supplies and meet me. Maybe everyone was at Schlitterbahn to celebrate the last weekend before school started.  It was also great to see my munchkins from last year. All the ones who showed up for orientation came to at least say hello.

I’m excited!

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My New Favorite Thing

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I discovered just discovered Pandora.  I know, I am about 4 years behind the curve.  But, this site is awesome.  I love listening and dancing to songs, but I don’t want to listen to all the commercials and chatter on the radio. So, I started to create a playlist of songs on Youtube, but there were several problems. 1) You have to pick songs that don’t have a lot of video, or it takes time to load each song  2) Unless you want to spend hours making playlists, there is a limited selection that you can listen to.  3) Posters often delete or lose the videos, so your playlist is constantly getting smaller.

 

Enter: Pandora

Pandora is a free music service online. You type in a genre, composer, artist, or song and it will create a playlist of songs centered around that theme. For instance, I typed in “Elvis” and my playlist is scattered with Elvis songs, but also similar songs like “Do you love me? (Now that I can dance)” by the Contours or “Great Balls of Fire” by Jerry Lee Lewis.

There are downsides, obviously, like how you can’t listen to a song on demand (Youtube is still the way to go on that one) and there are commercials every once in a while, but it’s a great way to listen to some quality tunes.

www.pandora.com

You have to register after you try it, but it’s easy and takes less than 1 minute.

 

Why is _________ so________?

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Last week, I was driving to work listening to NPR, and I heard a very interesting article about a blogger named Renee DiResta who went onto google and typed in “Why is (each of the 50 states) so” and then recorded the top 4 auto-fill answers.  She then created an interactive map so that her readers could view the results. The map is worth checking out.

Here are some highlights:

  • Why is Texas so: awesome, cheap, hot, conservative
  • Why is New Mexico so: liberal, windy, poor, enchanting (My mother-in-law claims that the last one is due to her being born there)
  • Why is Mississippi so: poor, backwards, conservative, racist
  • Why is Pennsylvania so: boring, famous, humid, haunted
  • Why is Missouri so: humid (There was only one!)

I’m sure that people have messed with the google auto-fills by repeatedly  searching some categories in order to change the results since this blog post was published. However, the blog results won’t change. So you can really see what people want to know about your state.

And by the way, Texas is so awesome because I was born there.

Crazy Week Part I

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This week was slated to be a gentle introduction back into the world of work. I would work at Sylvan for 5-10 hours and spend a few hours Wednesday-Friday setting up my classroom.

WRONG!

It started last week when I found out that my principal wanted us to come in earlier in the week so that we could get things ordered in time for the start of school.  I thought it would be a little more busy, and I might have to come in two afternoons because of Sylvan.

Then I got my Sylvan schedule last Friday. I was working 20 hours! No! I was going to have to come in every single day this week and also set up my classroom in the afternoons. This is what my typical day was like

  1. Get up, eat breakfast, get dressed in classroom set-up clothes. Put pajama pants over them because it was pajama week at Sylvan.
  2. Drive to Sylvan and work until 12 or 1.
  3. Dash out of Sylvan and drive like the wind to school while scarfing down my lunch. Remove pajama pants at stop light.
  4. Work, work, work in the classroom unpacking boxes, putting things on bookshelves, rearranging furniture, finding new furniture, putting things up on walls, making the classroom adorable.
  5. Come home and rest for an hour.
  6. Make dinner and get ready for Jackson to come home.

I am so tired. But I couldn’t have done it without: pajama week (otherwise I’d have to wear nice clothes to Sylvan and completely change at school), my momma (who went straight from volunteering at Inside Books project to help me do the most strenuous work of unpacking and moving boxes), Jack (who took time off work to help me move and organize things and install backpack hooks in my wall) and all the teacher’s-kids (who were stuck at school and chose to help me. You rock!)

You were trying to do what?!

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This week, I read about a startling death: a woman poisoned her boyfriend by putting Visine eye drops in his water over a period of three years.

This poor man had been feeling sick for years and eventually got blood tests by a doctor.  The doctor discovered traces of some chemicals found in eye drops in the blood test and alerted authorities.  By the time they followed up, it was too late. He had died.

Now they had the cause of death, and a suspect. What they needed was a motive. Why would this woman poison the man with whom she had a child? According to her, she never meant to kill him. She just wanted him to pay more attention to her.

There are many ways to make someone pay more attention to you, but making him sick seems like the last thing you would do.  Sick people are notoriously bad helpers due to the fact that they are sick. When Jack is sick, all he wants to do is sleep, not pay attention to me. And he’s a good invalid.

Some people demand all of their significant other’s attention.  I’m not sure where this woman got the idea that a nauseous man with blood pressure and breathing problems was going to spend more time with her than  a man without those issues.

What a dingbat…

Winking

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Winking is such an odd social gesture.  It has about 19 different meanings and some meanings, misinterpreted, can potentially create very awkward situations.

1. Winking can be used to show that you are joking. I might wink when I’m teasing one of my students.

2. Winking can be used to say “Good job.”  Sometimes, when a student gets all the answers correct, I will wink at them.

3. Winking can be used to signal to someone that they need to keep their mouth shut. My mom winks this signal to me all the time. Typically, it is when someone has said something that I just said, or accidentally said something funny and she wants to show that she is laughing inside too, but we can’t laugh on the outside.

4. Winking can be a sign of flirting

5. Winking can be something that superman does because he is that cool.

OK, I only listed 5, but I know there are more that I’m just not thinking of. I’m not sure how to interpret a wink I received today.  I was in Home Depot buying hooks for my class and I was in the self check-out. As I was walking out, I passed a man and his daughter who were also in the check out. She was about 10 and he was probably 40.  He looked up as I passed and winked at me. No idea why.

And for all of you who have been waiting on pins and needles for me to showcase the most amazing use of winking, that of Mrs. Bennet in Pride & Prejudice, wait no more.

The scene is at 6:30 in the clip, but you can watch the whole thing as a lead up to the awkwardness!

Next week, we’ll discuss the awkwardness of waving with your fingers next to your face.

A New Level in Our Marriage

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Jack and I have reached a new level in our marriage. We were sitting on our bed talking about our plans for the week. Jack is going to help me put up bulletin boards in my classroom and we were discussing when would be a good day for him to come.  I told him that no matter what day he came, we had to sing Can’t Touch This so that we could say,

…Hammer Time!

while we were putting up the boards. We had a cute laugh about it and then parted so Jackson could go to the bathroom and I could brush my teeth in preparation for bed.   When he came back out, I started singing

Under Pressure

Jack’s eyes bugged out and he said with wonderment, “how did you get that song stuck in your head?”

I told him, sheepishly, that after I had sung some MC Hammer,

I started singing another 80’s classic, Ice Ice Baby by Vanilla Ice

and then remembered that he stole the melody from Queen and started singing Under Pressure

Jackson looked at me and with all seriousness said, “I went through the exact same song progression in my head, but I knew that I wasn’t going to hum it out loud.” Now, if we had started singing Ice Ice Baby and then went to Under Pressure, that would be no big deal since the melody is the same. However, we made the critical jump from Can’t Touch This to Ice Ice Baby to Under Pressure. 

Ah-mazing!