Quarters in the Jar

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

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I'm done.

If you thought that was what I said at the end of the day, I won't lie. I might have. Actually my exact words were something like, "Does anyone know how to apply at Walmart?" But, that is not the point of this post.

Today, I assessed (second time in as many days) my little friends (term used loosely these days) with the district writing assessment. Both yesterday and today, I talked all about what good writing was and how we had learned all about how to be a rockstar writer this year. I reminded them that good stories have a beginning, middle and end. WITH DETAILS. At the end of my soapbox speech today, I read the scripted portion of the assessment. I almost choked on the words, "I cannot help you." Because really, when don't I?

Feel free to begin inserting sad violin music now. About five minutes in, one of my lovelies brought me the writing declaring, "I'm done."
"OH NO YOU ARE NOT!" I thought, but said, "Did you tell the whole story?"
"Yep, BME...done," said the student.
"Are you sure?" I asked with tears welling up while I stared at the three misspelled, mispunctuated sentences.
"Yep. Can I draw now?" the student asked.
"No, writing is the only option, so you might as well take this back to make sure it's how you want it, or put down your head to wait," I said with a little bit of a sharp tone while thinking Ah-ha gotcha...no one wants to rest his head for more than five minutes.
"Oh, can I close my eyes?" the student asked.
"Sure." I said as a little of my teacher heart broke.

Some of the pieces turned in were beautiful, so I'm not sure why I am obsessing about one or two less than stellar writings. Oh I know, it's because I'm fiercely competitive, and my class must be the best. Or, I'm losing my mind. Take your pick.

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Friday, April 23, 2010

Links in a food chain

It all started on Wednesday night when my supercolleagues and I drove 2 hours both ways to the visitation for the father of our team member. On the way back we were just a little bit slap happy (okay, a lot slap happy). Eight hours of teaching followed by a long car trip will do that to a girl. The driver on our trip was a former teacher at my school who has since moved to the place where there is one prep a day (cheater Jr. High teachers). We told her about our field trip to the nature center on the following day and she asked which presentation we would be seeing. "Food Chains." we all said in unison (insert Debbie Downer music here). The JH teacher then recited the following poem to us: There once was a flower that grew on the plain. Where the sun helped it grow, and so did the rain-- Links in a food chain.
There once was a bug who nibbled on flowers, Nibbled on flowers for hours and hours! The bug ate the flower that grew on the plain, Where the sun helped it grow, and so did the rain-- Links in a food chain.

She did the whole poem in the car (using her very best sing-songy voice), and by the time she got to the fox who ate the snake, who ate the bird who ate the bugs who nibbled on flowers who grew on the plain, we were hysterical. As in "Thank you God that I didn't drink my whole ice water at the restaurant hysterical."

I didn't really get why we were laughing. It did seem funny that our driver, a junior high teacher, could tell us a poem from memory. Plus, everything seems funnier when you are tired.
Apparently, she could tell us the poem because the presentation uses it every. single. time. Evidenced by my supercolleagues faces when the naturalist had us all join arms and say, "Links in a food chain."

On the way home, I lamented that a glass of celebratory wine (100 kids on a trip 1 hour away, and no catastrophes) might be nice to which my supercolleagues replied, "Sun to grapes, grapes to us...Links in a food chain." That's right.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Dear School Year,

We need to talk. Our relationship went south just as soon as the weather warmed up and we ended the hostage situation (aka indoor recess). I think we need to take a break from each other. I am over you, and you are over me. I have already begun looking to greener pastures (10-11, here I come). Even though I know it's over, I will continue to come back until the very end. Because I still love you, I'm just not in love with you.

Frau M.

P.S. If you ever loved me at all, please don't let it rain on Thursday. It's our field trip to the nature center, and if it rains we will be totally unable to take the hike. Thus, we will play "nature charades" in the shelter house. Yuck.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

What's grosser than gross?

"When you open your refrigerator, and your rump roast farts at you," said our former pastor's wife once. Hilarious. But, I can do you one better because what happened to me trumps anything anyone can tell. Ever. Even farting rump roasts.

It was after school and I had sent all my darlings on their merry way to enjoy the wonderful weather we are having (I propose classrooms with retractable ceilings). I made my 3:15 dart to the bathroom. I said dart because I have been drinking a lot of water, and still holding it for pretty much the whole day. It's funny how the constant activity makes me forget that I even have to go, at all. If I was on a roadtrip we would have stopped roughly 45 minutes after the first bottle of water (critiquing the driver does not compare to wrangling 24 students). Anywho, I did the fastwalk to the bathroom (the one that is still fast, but doesn't jiggle your bladder).

That's when the most gross/perplexing thing that has ever happened to me in my whole entire career occurred. I went to pull the toilet paper, and there were poop streaks on it. At first I was all, "EW! EW! EW!" My next thought was, "How did someone wipe and get it back on the roll so neatly?" Then I looked at it again and it just didn't add up. So what do I do? Dummy me looks into the toilet paper dispenser, only to discover someone had put a turd inside the toilet paper roll holder. I think I screamed, but I'm not sure because I have a little blank spot in my memory from the whole situation.

Needless to say, I am equally disgusted by and mad at the child (hopefully) for 1.) vandalising the school and 2.) giving me one more thing to put on my list of "Things I Can't Unsee."

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Must resist mulch pile...

So yesterday it was "Maintenance does all the things we have been wanting (begging to be) done around the school since...oh I don't know September Day." Exhibit A is that no one will need a front end alignment nor extra bucks to pay the tow truck after traveling to the parking lot I refer to as, "A River Runs Through It." You see it had become gravel in name only and it had so many potholes that even I (with the big Avalanche) was questioning the wisdom of parking back there. So problem #1 SOLVED (without even calling the Fox Problem Solvers, mind you).

The other thing was that they started to fix the mulch on the playground. It has been in sorry shape since day one. As in, "Sorry friends we can't play on the equipment because it rained last week and the mulch/mud still isn't dry. Sorry." Which leads me to today's story. Mulch mountain was delivered yesterday shortly before our recess time. As I was headed to the playground I was all like, "Huh?" Then I realized what the ginormous haystack looking thing was. "It's MULCH! Sweet!" I thought. However, my mood was dampened by the absence of anyone spreading it and the impossible task of keeping 100 children away from something new that looks so fun to climb on. Several whistle blows and crazy eyes later...the would be landscapers were sufficiently scared away from the mulch for the remainder of recess.

So, much to my chagrin, when I went to morning duty Mulch Mountain was still the same size, and in the same place. Instead of chasing away 100...it would everyone in our school (except the frequent latecomers, of course). Even though it was there most of the day yesterday and I'm sure all the teachers explained its purpose, my young friends still asked about it...a lot. Around the fiftieth time I was asked, I started making up answers. I believe I told more than one that the maintenance men were planning to completely cover the equipment so we could no longer play on it. And guess what? They believed me and with sad faces asked, "Why?" So of course I told them I was just kidding and that maintenance was making our playground safer...no worries.

Mother of Pearl I need to work on that pesky inferring some more.

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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Ant Apocalypse

At least that's what the little ant survivors called the variety of poisons sent their way last night.

Yesterday morning (yes, I had to go to work because we only had a Spring Pause), I stumbled into the bathroom in my house in the wee morning hours (5:39...I hit snooze) only to find what one would consider to be an inordinate number of ants. Ants! Ants?! In the bathroom?! I let out a little shriek (only a little one because Mama needs 45 uninterrupted minutes to get ready, and can't have small children using the toilet and "forgetting" not to flush when the shower's running). Then I proceeded to empty pretty much a whole can of Lysol on their scrawny thoraxes. So the ants were gone, and I finished getting ready as usual. Problem solved, right?

Oh, if only my life were so simple. Spraying the dickens out of the ants would have worked. So, around 9:00 I get a text from the DH that reads, "Stop at the store and get everything they have to kill ants." Apparently asphyxiating myself this morning did not do the job and DH is equally creeped out by unexplained insects. After school, I stopped at Wal-Mart where I purchased spray, ant traps, and these little repelling sticks for the exterior ground. Exterminate much? After the a quick run through at McDonald's for dinner (it was Cubscout night after all-and do I have a story to tell), I started the annihilation of our insect visitors. All I needed were some white coveralls, and I could have been hired on the spot for a back-up job with Orkin.

So $16.62 later the ants are gone. I am not using insane amounts of disinfectant. All is well.

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Friday, April 2, 2010

Street cred

Coming off third quarter Parent/Teacher conferences (or as I like to call them "The Truth about Your Child" meetings) last week, I know for a fact that having two children has given me a tremendous amount of credibility with the parents. Well, having two kids and the fact that I am older than many, many of the parents. It would be hard to take advice like, "Hold him accountable when he lies," or "The key is consistency," from a 22 year old with no kids at home. I can hear the echoes of my first year of teaching parents, "Listen sister, you don't even have kids, so you don't have a clue."

And I didn't. I didn't know what it was like to come home exhausted and still have to make sure everyone did what they were supposed to do. Or to look over at your yard and notice that the lagoon has an awful lot of water around it. Upon further investigation, finding the wall has a huge hole and sewer water is flowing (albeit slowly) into the yard (true story from last night--happy Spring Break to me and my DH. Our arms are sore from filling buckets of topsoil from the pile we made when we built the patio. Just to dump them into the deeeeeeep hole after pulling them across the yard. Thank you Radio Flyer for the help).

But now, I do have kids, so I do know it's hard.