Quarters in the Jar

To snark, it will cost you a quarter...unless it's true.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Who's the lucky one now?

The inevitable snowstorm that was headed our way didn't happen. However, it did snow and freeze a little bit causing a LATE START today. Holla. I didn't think it was going to happen. My BFF texted me last night that they had a snowday today. I looked outside after moving several piles of papers off my lap. Nothing. I went back to grading/planning and worked a little late. This morning, my alarm clock went off and no call. I stayed in bed for a few minutes just waiting. Nothing. I thought to myself, "Get up, or you will have to use your scary eyes with the kids to get them moving." So, I reluctantly stumbled out of bed and on my way to the bathroom...the phone rang. Could it be? Yes! LATE START. Almost as good as not going at all, and you don't have to make it up. Take that Teacher from the Ghetto who flagrantly flaunts her good fortune to me.


Friday, February 19, 2010

Once upon a time...

I was young. I looked young, felt young and probably even acted young (it's the privilege of youth to be stupid, I think). In my very first year of teaching, I took a group of eighth grade girls to a science for girls conference at a university. While at said conference, the teachers were on a break from their session (the girls were in theirs). I went to the restroom and a professory looking woman saw me in the hall out of the corner of her eye, whipped around and said, "Young Lady..shouldn't you be in your session!?" My face turned really red as I stammered, "But, I'm the teacher." I'm not even sure she believed me, but said sorry nonetheless. Nowadays, I would have said to her quite triumphantly, "Absolutely not, but thank you sooooooo much for the compliment!" Subtracting a couple of decades doesn't hurt my feelings. Ever.

There were many times during my first years of teaching when I was mistaken for the high school helper in my class. Parents said at conferences, "You're the teacher?" I was the youngest member of the staff. I had absolutely no street cred at all.

So it was today while at Walmart (I was picking up groceries before the inevitable snowing in forecasted for the weekend) that I put a bottle of wine (for cooking of course, Mom) on the conveyor belt to the register. I had my license all ready to go because I am almost always carded when buying cooking wine. When the prompt to ask for age of the buyer came up, the cashier looked at me skeptically and actually asked, "Are you under 40?" Like she couldn't decide whether or not I was. WHAT!?!? When did that become something someone would ask me? Do I look over 40 to you? WHAT!? I'm afraid I was a little abrupt (sorry nice cashier lady)when I answered/shouted so the people behind me could hear, "YES I'm UNDER 40 and HERE IS MY DRIVER'S LICENSE SO YOU CAN CHECK!"

George Burns said "You can't help getting older, but you don't have to get old." So theoretically, I shouldn't worry. The actuality is that in about five minutes I am going to be checking for wrinkles and slathering my face in Olay while holding back tears. Happy Friday to me!

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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Open Letter to Passive Aggressives

Dear Passive-Aggressive Person,

It has come to my attention, by attention I mean it is totally glaringly obvious to EVERYONE that you have an issue with dealing (and I'm not talking about cards here). Your job is no harder than anyone else's. Please don't yell at, talk down to, or anything else me and laugh at the same time as if it were a joke. You and I both know you weren't kidding. And really, it just makes you seem like you might need a check-up from the neck up. Plus, it makes me cry a little (not in front of anyone but DH, but still). It is not my fault if I did not know exactly the way things work because you were a) too busy to tell me what I needed to do, b)I didn't even know what questions to ask or c) both a and b (ding, ding). A wise person (I'm not sure who) once said blame and bitterness are like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die. You're only hurting yourself. Again, totally unnecessary for your shenanigans. Just tell me what to do and be kind. Basic respect is all I am asking. Thank you for your time and consideration in this matter.

Frau M

P.S. During class meeting when my friends and I are discussing the way someone made us feel sometimes I will say something like this, "If what I said made you take a sharp inhale before saying, 'Is she talking about me?' I probably was."


Saturday, February 13, 2010

11 down 19 to go!

Nineteen more Valentine parties, or fewer if I take early retirement or am fired...whatever. Class parties can be great, but it is always with a sense of dread that I face them. It's like a root canal. The words are very scary and you get all nervous building it up in your mind, but then it's not the worst thing ever. Then you realize you got all worked up for nothing. But, man are you tired when you get home.

Class parties are the same. The potential for disaster is always there. All day long your friends wait, and ask, "When is the party again?" even though a smart teacher puts it on the whiteboard for all to see because no one wants to say "2:15" a gazillion times. By 1:30 the room is literally vibrating with excitement. I think if you went outside my school yesterday it would have been visibly shaking.

Finally at 2:00 (white flag in hand) we started the party. Valentines were passed. Snacks were approved for allergy sufferers. Games were played and crafts were made. Students were reminded, unsuccessfully, not to eat all their candy (my first grade son was JACKED UP when he got in the car causing Milkshake Friday to be postponed).

And then it was over. We packed our bags and left. Every teacher I encountered in the hall had the same dazed expression. But, we made it all in one piece. Just to do it again next year. Can't wait.

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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Trapdoor Dreams

Do you ever wish that there was a button you could push and whatever was bothering you just fell through the floor? Like when you were in college and that annoying non-traditional student asked soooooooooo many questions that everyone openly sighed and rolled their eyes whenever said student raised his/her hand. Wouldn't it have been super if you could have just pressed a button and down they went? Gone. Not harmed, but gone nonetheless. There are a great many things in my life that I could just trapdoor. I will narrow it down to
1. Broken Coke/extortionist machines. First it is broken, now it costs $.75 for a can. A CAN! It's not liquor for crying out loud. Good thing I have cut back because, seriously I can't afford that kind of cash.
2. Copy center mistakes. For the love where are my copies? At least my students are happy because there is no morning work.
3. Snow covered playgrounds that cause classroom fever/general wonkiness. Just one day outside is all I ask. It was so cold last time we were out, but we went out anyway Just. Because. We. Could.
4. Classroom romance. Of course, I was a total boy-crazy nerd when I was in school. I even gave my kindergarten boyfriend extra Juicy Fruit in his Valentine. I think it was after the gum that he kissed me behind the art easel. So now the very same nightmares I caused my teachers are mine. Sorry Mrs. T. it wasn't anything personal.
5. Anyone doing an Eeyore impersonation. Laugh a little.

So if you see me inadvertently tap the table...I am dreaming of sending something down the chute.

Monday, February 8, 2010

That ice cube thing really does work!

It is an old teachers' tale that if one flushes an ice cube at night, the following day will be a snow day. I'm guessing that this only actually works in conjunction with a snow forecast, but I haven't tried it when the forecast is in the 50's with sunshine. So, last night right after the barbecued beef sandwiches and the Who, I ran into the kitchen to grab a cube. My DH caught me just as I stepped into the hall headed to the bathroom.

DH: What are you doing with an ice cube in the hall?
Me: Ummm, getting ready to flush it.
DH: ????
Me: If I flush it, tomorrow will be a snow day and you won't have to worry about me driving on the icy roads. (I tried very hard not to sound condescending because it's not common knowledge, plus he hates it when I go all teacher on him)
DH: You really are a slacker.
Me: I'm doing it for other people, too. Not just my own selfish purposes.
DH: Right, right, you are a true Slacker.
Me: If you'll excuse me, my fingers are cold and this thing is dripping.
DH: Go ahead. Slacker.
Me: Flush.
DH: I hope that works out for you, slacker.

Flash-forward to 5:37 a.m. I checked the clock. Ring ring (my home phone). I spring out of bed and run to the phone in record time. I think I even answered it on the first ring. It is Ms. Third grade telling me we don't have school. IT WORKED!!!! I totally wasn't expecting it, but IT WORKED! I call Creative Genius to let her know the news, and prance back to bed. Just as my head falls to my pillow I say to DH, "I may be a slacker after all."

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Did you check the "I don't have anything to write about folder?"

There are sooooooooooo many things that I could write about. But, in the interest of being a professional, I won't. Look out DH, I have a bunch of things to say tonight. I have had a bit of writer's block this week. How to keep a blog light and funny without losing my mind and typing in all caps after the myriad of tomfoolery that is a public school? That being said, I can totally empathize with my little friends who can't think of anything to write about. I don't think it is so much that they can't think of anything, but rather the things they think of aren't things they think I (or their classmates) would want to hear about. It is hard. When I help them find an idea, it validates their own thinking and puts my stamp of approval on it.

Just this week my son (first grader) said, "Mom, guess what my teacher wanted me to write about?" Of course I asked him what it was and he replied, "WIN-TER." In case you couldn't tell that was his exasperated tone (usually saved for his slowpoke preschool sister). I said, "Wow, that must have been really easy for you." And, I wonder why both my kids are so stinkin' sarcastic. Then he told me, "That was the worst one ever and I couldn't think of a thing that was good about winter until I thought of one thing." What was the one thing he wrote?
"There is one good thing about winter. Sometimes it is too cold and there is no school." That's my boy.

So my new resolution (I know, I know, you're supposed to make them in January) is not to get frustrated with my reluctant writers because they probably can't think of anything they think will meet the standard. Because I refuse to believe they are all trying to avoid writing.

Monday, February 1, 2010

It's Rantastic!

AKA Mama Don't Play. Well, as you have read, my friends (using the term loosely these days) are a hot mess of misbehavior. Last week is something I can only refer to as a trainwreck. So Friday I brought my Viola Swamp persona and let them experience that. They didn't like it so much. Even Mr. Too Skinny for His Pants asked if I was ok, or not. So in honor of my new leaf of reining these people back in, I declared it Mama Don't Play Monday (alliteration and rhyme...look out Poetry Month). What happens on MDPM, you ask? Let me just tell you...

Every student got a calendar. They got one warning, and then I would write the behavior in the datebox. After that...Think Sheet...YIKES. At the end of the day I put smileys on those with no writing. NO ONE wants writing on their calendar. NO ONE. I know I wouldn't. Especially seeing as your parents must initial it each night. There is no hiding until Friday progress reports. This worked like a dream.

In other news...my tile is finished and I plan to begin the 27 loads of laundry that have amassed themselves in the corner of my bedroom. They won't go down easy, I'm sure. Baby steps.