Thursday, September 30, 2010

And Then I Panicked

Mama's Losin' It

Inspired my MamaKats :)  

My child. He turned 16 this summer and got his license and I think he's a pretty good driver. Last summer however, was a different story.

Once he got his permit, he was roaring to drive on the open roads- out of the neighborhood. My husband, when asked to take him,  flat out said, No thanks. So it was just me and him.

I thought it best to start with teaching him how to fill up gas, so I suggested we go to the near by gas station to practice pulling up to the pumps. All went well on the drive over there. But I did notice a few things...his hands were in "death grip" mode. His back was WET. He was nervous. Sweat trickled ever so slowly from his head.  He was excited. It was the first time on the road (without the benefit of the driving school teacher with his own set of brakes) in the BIG Ford F150 4X4- his soon to be truck. We pull up to the pump. However, Parker, pulls right into the middle of the two sides of the pump-right smack dab in the middle of the lane. I'm laughing at him..making fun of him...teasing him. ( I have to do it whenever I can, ok). So I say...ok...just back up and we'll try it again.
Well, he does. But he got mixed up and floored it- while in reverse.

And then I panicked.

But he stopped. And I didn't know whether to laugh or yell. I laughed...he claims he got confused. I calm him gently pull forward to the pump and we'll get this done. Well, he does. But he got mixed up again and floored it.

And then I panicked.

But he stopped. This time I yelled. He claims he was nervous. People were watching him. (They weren't) Ok I laughed too. He was sweating steadily by now. I have never let him forget that, nor do I plan to forget it. It's good fodder for teasing.

Later we decided to go back out and try going through a drive through for some fast food. He changed shirts. Showered. He gets in the car to wait for me. As I'm coming out, he is coming towards me..extreemly frustrated. What's wrong? ...Mom...the car is's not working. It just rolls when I put it in gear. Sure enough, everytime I put it in gear to back up we would we roll forward. I try and try and sure enough it was broken. Shit. Shoot, what had we done? The truck is already not working. What would my husband say????

And then I panicked.

But it wasn't broken. He hadn't started the car. Air was on. Radio was on. Motor was off. Sigh.

Later that week when we drove again his confidence soared. We were heading home on a two lane road leading to our house. Now mind you,  I'm not a yeller. I don't raise my voice. I don't usually get excited. Up ahead however,  is an 18 -wheeler and I tell Parker...slow down because for some strange reason, he's stopping. There was no place for the big truck to turn, so it was weird. Nevertheless it was stopping. But Parker wasn't. I wait to say something. I wait. Come on Parker..... I wait a bit more. Can't wait....

And then I panicked.

And screamed, .
STOP. YOU ARE GOING TO HIT ITTTTTTTTTT. What are you thinking????
 He stopped. Just barely. Not funny. He was insensed. Why did you yell at me? I stopped. Why would a truck just stop? That is so dumb. Stupid truck. His sweat flowed now, and it was too late, I lost my trust in his driving sense. While it was a good lesson in unpredictability, defensive driving, it was too close for comfort.

He earned my trust back after a while. And, we've had some good times in that truck mostly concerning parking. It seems to be a source of pride to be able to park a large truck between two small cars. Of course that graduated into backing it in without hitting anything.  I even let him drive me up the busy I 35 and into Dallas. He did fine. Now my panic comes when he's supposed to be coming home and I hear sirens. That kind of panic. Just a wee bit of mom- panic.  Mostly though, I just laugh and trust him. I hope I taught him well.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

It's Been One Year

 One Year. It's been that long since my mom died....I wrote about her plenty in the past,  so no more today....but she would be proud to know I've lost 20 lbs. since July.

She always always struggled with her weight from her 40's on up. Just like me. She was so tiny before. She claims it was the Polio she got when she was in her early 20's....after that she had to watch her weight.

I say it was having 6 kids and being of German descent. Just go to one of our family reunions and you will see what I'm talking about!

 In her later years when she had diabetes she got much bigger, then  when she was 75 or so she went off the insulin and onto some other medication and the weight fell off. She had both knees replaced, her back worked on, was diabetic, had numerous (odd I think) little do- dads of illnesses,  and so exercise was hard for her. But she did water aerobics and took care of her own house and garden with minimal help from her kids. Yes, at age 79 she had a garden.

Anyway, Mom...Hello Up There ... I'm doing great! I'm exercising every day. Still battling headaches, but fewer (hurry menopause- my doc thinks they will stop then)  and fewer. My job is going well and I'm eating like a healthy person- you would be pleased. Miss you :)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

10 Things I Love About You...Well My Job

Mama's Losin' It

As Told by Me, A High School English Teacher

10 Things I LOVE About My JOB-Seriously! 

1. June, July, and Augus

2. Energy Energy Energy...I can be having the worst day of my life and I will walk into a room of 14-15 year olds and absorb their energy- they have plenty to share- and I'm upbeat and happy. It's amazing.

2. Conversations like this:

"Homework? We had homework?"
"Test? We are having a test?"

3. Conversations like this:

"Mrs. G, why am I failing?
me: Well you failed the summer reading test because you said you didn't read.
"Well can I have extra-credit?"
me: no, I told you for two weeks before the test~ be sure to read.
"Well I didn't like the books, so I didn't read."
me: glaring
" extra credit?"

4. June, July, and August

5. Conversations like this:
"Mrs. G, guess what??????
 me: WHAT?
"I met a boy!!!"
me: You did! Cool! Who is it?
" I call him Back-pack Boy because I don't know his name, but we texted all weekend."
me: collective sigh...feebly~ oh

6. Conversations like this:

"I'm Joe's mom and I'd like to know why he's failing"
me: Joe isn't turning in work.
"Oh really. He tells me he doesn't have homework ever."
me: Mrs. H, this is an honor's course, he pretty much has homework all the time, and I do give him an agenda for the week on Monday, and I do make them copy it everyday, and it is posted on the web, so no excuses there.
"Oh I see...He's soooo busted."

7. June, July, August

8. Random things I get to hear:
" I loveeeeeeeeeeeeeeee Gleeeeeeeeeeeee"
"That show's gay"
"Family Guy Rocks"
"That show's gay"
"Hey...It's raining!! Wow!     
"I love Romeo and Juiliet- I haven't read it yet, but I already like it."
"I liked  Animal Farm even though none of your other students did"
"Miss, one will read this but you, right?"
"Friday night-X-Box live-- see ya online~ it's a party"
"Mrs.G do you believe in the conspiracy theory or are you a non-believer because they are watching us...?"
"I just texted my mom and she said it's ok.....oops sorry Mrs.G"

9. Reflexive Essays 
I am collecting them this Friday, grading them all weekend,  and I guarantee I will be doing a lot of crying and probably sobbing. The three topics to choose from were:
1. Write about a time you did something you regret or 2). Write about someone or something that impacted your life or 3) Write about something you wanted, but couldn't have.

Here are the issues I've seen so far as I helped edit. 
death, divorce, drugs, jail (both parents, one parent, student), medical issues, BB guns, guns, police, mean girls, boys that hit, puppies and Bob Hope. It's never dull. 

10.  And did I mention, June, July, and August!! 

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Da Baggage Update

I'm getting rid of the other blog and puttin it all on here. I think it's easier to just have one to worry about it. If you are reading this -thank you. It makes me feel good to know someone is reading this! :)

Finally the weekend is here. It's been one crazy week. I don't think I left school before 5:30 on any day except Friday. I had a killer headache so I left when I could. Most nights I came home and did more school work. I'm still not caught up. Fall is the worse! However it's all in the name of the game and the good news is it's keeping me from eating all the time because I'm too tired to eat. haha

Food and exercise wise I'm going well. I think the walking every day is paying off even though it's getting boring. I tried the treadmill last night because of the rain. I went for 20 minutes and said forget this. It just isn't the same as being in the heat and humidity. LOL 

I've been following my WW points. Yesterday I really was HUNGRY..first time in a long time. We ate at Olive Garden. I got a lunch portion and the lightest thing that wasn't chicken-lasagna. I had two breadsticks. Meant to only have one. Haven't had bread in so long that wasn't my whole grain fiber bread. LOL It was yummy. But I can't do that very often. Anyway....I ate about 10 cheetos and some peanut butter for dinner....and guess what I still lost a pound this AM...So I'm down 19 lbs. ish....I know tomorrow after I walk today and hopfully ride my bike I'll gain a couple...-water...but for now I'm going to relish in my glory. My pants are almost too baggy to wear....but I figure I can hold out a bit longer before I have to buy more. My skinny jeans fit. :) One size down only 4 more....:) 

This is a before picture. I can see the difference in my face. 

 "During" picture. :) 

Bye Bye Extra- Baggage

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Parking Sticker

Mama's Losin' It

Inspired by Mama Kats and written for my 9th grade students as a model paper for their personal narratives this week. :) 

You would think having your own car as a senior in HS was enough for a girl, but I wasn’t satisfied. I wanted more. I wanted my own parking space! I’d do anything for a parking sticker!  Yes, it’s true. My HS, although quite large, was very limited when it came to parking spaces.  So only seniors got to park on campus and to top it off you had to get a space by winning a lottery! If you didn’t win the lottery you had to park across the busy street with the other peons.
         My homeroom teacher, Mrs. Clark, was a sweet lady in her early 50’s. Her husband was the band director and she was a respected older teacher who had taught English for years.  We had homeroom everyday for about 20 minutes with the same teacher, so she knew me well. This is where the lottery would be conducted. On the day of the lottery everyone was hoping they would get a parking spot. Many seniors would get one but there were many who wouldn’t. I was sure I would get one since I wanted it to badly.
         Why was it such a big deal to me? Lots of reasons. The most important reason was prestige. All the popular jocks and jocketts had one (or so I thought). The second reason was lunch. If you had to wait to cross the street and find your car then your lunch time was significantly reduced and I had my priorities straight. Another reason was convenience. Who wants to park ½ mile away when you can park within seconds of the schools door and not ever be tardy!
         As Mrs. Clark began the lottery she explained, “I will give you a piece of paper with a number. Then I will put the same numbers into a hat and pull them out. This class has 10 parking spots. The first 10 numbers I call will get a parking spot. The rest of you will have to park across 50th street in the shopping center with the other peons.” OK she didn’t say peons, but I know she was thinking that because I was.  As Mrs. Clark started pulling numbers out and handing out parking stickers, I started to get nervous. My number hadn’t been called.
         Finally she got to the last number and called it out. It wasn’t my number. But no one responded either. Out of the corner of my eye I saw this kid, Rick, had fallen asleep. Rick was one of those kids who always slept and was about 5 minutes behind everyone in doing things and being prepared. I dismissed him as being a stoner. On impulse I raised my hand. Mrs. Clark cheerfully handed me my parking pass. She didn’t even ask to see my number  It had worked! I got one! Too bad about the stoner Rick I thought. He doesn’t even know what is going on. If anyone deserves a spot it’s not him. It’s me. 
         As the bell rang and everyone got up, Rick says “Dude I thought I heard you call number 17.”
         “I did call it,” Mrs. Clark replied.
         “Well I have it.” He shouted happily showing her.
Oh shoot I thought. Now what do I do. I tried to slip out when I heard her call my name. “Melva, didn’t you say you had number 17?”
         “Yes, Mam,” I replied.
         “Well.” She was baffled. I could tell she didn’t know what or who to believe. I mean, me or the sleepy stoner- come on.
         “Let me see your number, Melva.”
         Oh gosh I had to think fast. “I threw it away.” I feebly lied.
And she saw right through me. I could feel it. My face burned with embarrassment.  “Go dig it out of the trash.” She demanded. I stooped so low as to go look for it, even though everyone in there knew, including her, that I was lying. But there was no turning back.
         “Well” She said finally, “ I’ll figure something out. For now just go to class.”
         With my face burning,  and heart heart thumping, I took off like a flash. I would have to return it. But how?  Not now, I was too embarrassed.
         As I raced to my next class I would hear the typical hallway chatter and the girl behind me was bragging how she got a parking pass and didn’t even have a car. I was stunned. What????? I stopped on the stairs and nearly fell over backwards when I saw it was someone I know. “Hey Melissa,” I quickly begged,  “Can I have your parking sticker? I didn’t get one.”        
         “Oh sure, I don’t even have a car.”
         “I know, I know,” I groaned.
         You would think that I went back to Mrs. Clark and apologized for lying. But I didn’t. I was too humiliated to admit I lied. Instead, I ran back and sheepishly handed her the pass and mumbled, “Someone had an extra one, so Rick can have mine.” She smiled with the same smile I use on my students. The one that says, “I understand you can’t come clean and it’s ok, but really it’s not, because now I don’t completely trust you.”
         Believe it or not that is one of my lowest moments. A moment I have never repeated, nor do I plan to. I don’t like what I did and it completely goes against my character.  I regret that not only did I lie to begin with, but also, I never came clean to her. She would have understood. Instead everyday in her presence for the rest of the year I felt she could see I was a lier. I felt fake. No parking spot is worth that. 

Monday, September 13, 2010

I Am

I am possessed. I will stare at you with my green eyes until you give me something that is really not intended for me. I know Parker got something and I want a piece of it. . .

Seriously I'm not leaving.

I have the Patience of a cat. 

The Stare of Medusa. 

The Will of Odysseus. 

Take  your time....I see you are avoiding eye contact with me. That's ok. You'll cave. You always do, which is why I know if I sit here long enough you'll get up and go to the kitchen. 

Friday, September 10, 2010

Work Done Got Me Beat

I'm tired. Plain and simple. Mentally and physically. I wonder if I could make a list of the paperwork I have to do because for some reason I'm feeling particularly overwhelmed.

1. Inventory the items of value in my room(computer, printer,keyboard, monitor, overhead projector, screen, etc) and get online and type them in. (TINY NUMBERS and LOTS OF THEM)-tried to do it earlier..have to go find all these numbers.
2. PDAS Self Evaluation Online
3. Two separate Spec. Ed reports on two different students ( I've had them in class only three weeks)
4. Call parents of students who already have three absences. I called two, but have two to call- but they showed up today. Think I'll wait.
5. Fix student information book in binder to attach parents contacts left at Parent Night
6. Fill out the call log: Name, parents name, phone number or email, reason for call - this is to prove I actually call I guess. I don't like the call log as it takes so long to do. I wish I could just put the emails in a folder and let the person in charge see it. sigh
7. PLC (Professional Learning Community) Not only do we have to plan together, teach the same thing at the same time and the same way, we have to take notes at our meetings of what all we talked about. We meet weekly. We are required to stay 30 extra mintutes after school. But that is so unrealistic. I was at school until 6:00 working with a fellow teacher. Almost impossible to actively participate in conversation and take notes so it ends up getting done later.
8. Return parent emails from today- only one yey
9. Check the Dyslexia list of students -note students
10. Check the 504 list of students - read all the modifications now AWK
11. Progress reports go out this year if a has a 75 or below I must send a detailed report...need to figure out what that means. AWK
12. Grade SSR slips and record to computer...add two assignments for Eng. I
13. Grade essays of pre-ap students...then find Scantron and coordinate grade...enter to computer along with weeks work already graded. ( will take forever ) sigh
14. Make a list of parents to call- then call Monday
15. Create Lesson plans for next week for pre-ap
16. Do my own vocabulary assignment so I will have one to model
17. Do my own "precious piece" modeling assignment to teach objectivity/subjectivity

Phew...I think that's it. Enough. I've let it I can sleep!!!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Indelible Moments 1968

Sometimes I can't remember what I came into the kitchen for, but I remember this certain day in January 1968. It's one of those indelible moments forever etched in memory. My brother, and I share our birthday and I remember wanting a gun, just something simple. I wanted to be able to play cowboys and indians with the neighbor boys.

This was our birth day. 
I remember opening the birthday present. 
Not a gun....but a gun and holster and cowboy hat and boots. YEEEE HAW.. 
My parents out- did themselves. 
Then the strange family next door brought over a gift. Frilly pink underwear- type things with poodles on them and very girly.

What I remember most that day was how happy I was with something so simple
Happiness is indelible. 
Whatever I've been through in life, I know how to be happy. 
And it always comes back to something so simple. 

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Farting in Class

Fart-Toot-or Poot (as my mom preferred)
Never funny to the teacher.
Always funny to students.
Mortifying to be the producer of such gaseous release.
Which would be me.
The teacher.

I was standing in front of my ninth-grader honors class…talking about the assignment. When BAM….ONE….Quick….TOOT….not deadly…but LOUD……

Immediately I think….OMG….OMG…do I laugh??….do I play it off??? I turning red???…..I didn’t feel it coming on…….Shit I’m getting old….. Are they laughing????..……did they even notice it?….or….oh I don’t know…..Keep talking …Keep talking…..pretend you didn't just let one.......

I played it off. I don’t know if they noticed it or not. If they did they forgot about it or were polite enough to ignore it. But inside I was sooo mortified. That’s not supposed to happen to the teacher. Ha Ha…Will I ever grow up before I get old?

Inspired by Mama Kats!!!!!!!!!!!
3.) Why were you mortified?  Write about a true embarrassing moment as though it was happening in slow motion.
(inspired by