Saturday, July 14, 2012

Wow - a lot sure can happen in three months!  The biggest news is that I graduated from the University of Washington with my Master's of Education degree.  Here I am after the ceremony with my "hood" on.

Now I am job-hunting, teaching summer school two days a week, and REALLY enjoying a break from homework and studying.

Daughter also graduated - from high school - and is preparing to attend Cascadia Community College in the fall.  (I do not recommend two graduation ceremonies in a single weekend.)  She is working part time for Stepdan and Marvelous Mom, helping them get the mountains of paperwork organized at their law office.  The twins turned 16 and the next project is to get them driving.  They are also my gardeners - mowing, trimming, and weeding every day.  Along with all the animal care.

I have lots of funny stories and now I also have time to share them!

Cheers friends, I've missed you.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Busy, Busy, Busy

This quarter - the last one of my M.Ed. program and my second to last ever - is really going to be a doozy. I am student teaching full time in special education, but splitting my time between 2 schools. So on Mondays and Tuesdays I will be in a class with Juniors and Seniors in the same high school my kiddos go to, while the rest of the week I will be in an 8th grade class at the middle school where I completed my history, social studies, and middle level humanities student teaching.

Plus a class on Wednesday nights (FOUR HOURS!!!) and another one on Thursday nights - both with all the wonderful hours of reading and writing necessary to be successful. Joy.

Today was my first day at the high school and I can tell it is going to be wonderful. My cooperating teacher is amazing. She's super organized, positive, supportive, collaborative, and is having me start right in teaching a unit I will write beginning next week. High school is very very very different than middle school though. It's so...QUIET! In the halls between classes, in the lunchroom, and in the classroom the kids just seem so quiet - it's unnerving! But I dare say after a week or two I will be grateful for a couple of quiet days a week. Ha.

So needless to say, this will be it for awhile. I'm officially up to my eyeballs. Again.

Just the way I like it.

Monday, March 26, 2012


The Master's program I am in is has been an unbelievable amount of work but I feel prepared to teach diverse groups of students in a time of change and growth for my profession. One thing I have been asked to do over and over again is reflect. What did I learn? How does that learning relate to my pedagogy? How will it make me a better teacher? What have I learned from the mistakes I made? What will I change in the future? Why did I make the choices I did? Why do it that way? How did I accommodate my lessons so they were accessible to all of my students? Why? Why? Why?

Reflection has become almost a reflex. Why am I doing this? Why not do that instead? I find myself asking this question over and over again regarding my entire life...not just in my professional milieu. I am finding that it can be an unsettling and unnerving habit.

I am growing and changing and stretching beyond anything I thought myself capable of. It is exhilarating and frightening all at once...because I am scared of outgrowing the comfort zone I have lived in for so long.

If not this then what?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Snowpocalypse 2012

When it snows in the Seattle area, the whole town shuts down. The Oatmeal has a comic that pretty much sums up the conversation that everyone in Western Washington has been having lately. But I prefer the pictoral proof of Snowmaggedon descending upon Seattle...

And all my Facebook friends who were praying for snow, YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE!

We have about 15 inches of snow at our place - well maybe 13 inches of snow and 2 inches of solid ice thanks to the ice-storm (WTF? That's a THING?) that rolled thru this morning around 4am. It's been snowing all day, we haven't had school - me or the kids - since last week, and the cabin fever is building. Husband - not used to forced rest and relaxation - is about as irritating as a toddler on crack. A toddler with ADHD on crack. The kids are better, they're alternating playing in the snow with reading and playing games online.

Actually I need to shut my trap - we are pretty lucky. We have not lost power (knock on every available wood surface) except for a couple of hours yesterday, and have plenty of food and drink (aka alcohol for Mama) in the house. Stupid Puppy and I have had some fun in the snow too...

However this - just happened this afternoon - is not so fun. I don't give a flying rats ass about the van, that is what car insurance is for. But that tree, that's the tree we planted the first spring we were in this house fourteen years ago. It is a star magnolia, has grown approximately twice as big as the people at the nursery told me it would, and sort of seems like a member of the family. I cried. I'm so dumb, people have died and lost their homes in this fucking storm. But I loved that tree.

I hate snow. I hate cold. I hate ice. I wonder if they need English teachers in Mexico?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Sucker Punched

Last Thursday my training wheels were removed and I got to sub for Superteacher ALL BY SELF! (After 1 quarter of student teaching we have the option of a conditional intern teaching certificate to sub for our master teacher during our 2nd quarter of student teaching and get paid. I took the option!) She was at a conference Thursday and Friday so I flew solo. It went very well, I tried something new that ended up not going super well purely because our classroom is too small, and the kids were great if a little chattier than usual.

At 3 Thursday afternoon Husband was en-route to Seatac Airport for a guys weekend in Vegas and I was on my way to the district office to meet with the HR lady and fill out EMPLOYMENT paperwork. (Woot Woot!) I called Husband to say goodbye and have fun and he filled me in on the Thing 2 drama that had transpired while I was wrangling seventh graders.

A boy had slammed Thing 2's head down on his desk during the first couple minutes of 5th period. It was a sucker punch, Thing 2's back was to the kid and he had no idea it was coming. The nurse called Husband to let him know that he seemed ok but they were checking him out just in case and an 'incident' form was coming home with him. Two seconds after Husband got off the phone with the school, Daughter called him and said all in one breath, "Thing 2 got beat up and I'm gonna go find the punk-ass snot that did it and kill him."

He was so proud of her. Just when we're afraid that our kids will never ever ever get along and be friends, they shock the shit out of us. However, he did tell her not to do that because then she would get in trouble. ("Wait until after school when you're off school grounds" may or may not have been what he said. Heh.)

The funniest thing of all were the facebook posts. I don't care what anyone says, I LOVE facebook and this is why:

THING 2: "Dumb Student punched me in he head while my back was turned in 5th period. He hits like an undernourished teletubby with a muscular disease. Last I saw of him, Mr. Math Teacher was tossing him out of the room like he would with a bag of marshmallows that just insulted his mother."

GOD I LOVE THAT KID! "Hits like an undernourished teletubby with a muscular disease"? That right there is a golden insult!!!

Ten minutes later on Facebook:

DAUGHTER: "So some punk sophomore thinks he can hit my little brother? I think I'd better have a talk with this kid."

Then her friends go on to tell her exactly how obnoxious this kid is, how his girlfriend - who loves to needle Thing 2 until she gets a reaction out of him - manipulated the whole thing and then taunted Thing 2 about it, and how they will all help her get revenge.

The rest of my afternoon was spent getting the entire story out of Thing 2 and Daughter's friends that witnessed the whole thing and emailing back and forth with the Dean of Students who initially was going to punish Thing 2 for calling the boys girlfriend an asshole which apparently started the whole thing. And watching Thing 2 to make sure he didn't have a concussion as per the nurse's instructions. Thing 2 said it really wasn't bad but apparently it LOOKED really bad because Mr. Math Teacher wanted to call an aid car. And Husband was on his way to Vegas so I got to deal with it ALL BY SELF. Well, with a little help from my good friend Red Wine.

Don't worry, the kid got suspended for 5 days and since the school is treating it as an assault may end up with further consequences, and I won't let my kids and their friends hurt him. Much.

My life - it is never boring.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Good Friend

I stole, er, BORROWED this from my blog-buddy ChiTown Girl. This is the kind of friend we all need. Heh.