Friday, June 25, 2010

THE BED HEAD CONTROVERSY

Okay, not so much a controversy ... but it got your attention, and now you're reading, which was my whole evil plan to begin with ... muuuuaaaaahhhaaaahhhhaaaa.

I have lots of hair ... okay, maybe not since yesterday and my Jean Seberg cut, but once, I had lots of hair. It's just that my hair is fine. It's so fine, that as a kid, my mother could comb it, and after a walk across the room, it'd be a snarled mess once again. It's so fine that, again, as a kid, my mother kept it short after I refused to keep it combed when I was little and it was long, and so it was left up to her to comb it, and well, she had to deal with me squealing at the top of my lungs because she attacked the snarls like she was going at them with rudimentary weed whacker. And somewhere, my last professor is twitching hysterically because I just tied four sentences together to make one, gigantic run-on sentence. She has radar for such things.

While I tend to keep pretty good care of my hair these days, I apparently still run marathons in my sleep because when I wake up, it looks like something tried to bury itself in my head. Even with this new hair cut, it looks like something attempted the burial, couldn't quite cover itself up in the few scant pieces, gave up, and went in search of my cat and all of her long, long locks. Thus, the crux of the controversy. With this new cut, I was sure, I'd wake up looking much like I did when I went to sleep the night before.

Nope.

If it's possible, I've got hair standing on end. Stretching as far as its sheared locks will stretch ... in all different directions. It's crazy in a Pink, punk rocker sorta way.

As I stood looking at myself this morning, I thought, "Hmmm ... do I try to tame this mess before I go out for my walk? Or ... do I just go out like this, and let the neighbors talk?" I mean, personally, I don't care, but I'm single, and I've been told that it's really sort of significantly important to put one's best foot forward in situations like these. Perhaps, bed-heading it through the neighborhood isn't necessarily putting the appropriate foot forward.

To bedhead or not to bedhead ... that is the question at hand.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

NATURE'S VERSION OF FAST FOOD


This little guy visits daily ... several times daily, to be exact. Usually, he and Emmy trade stares as he's perched on the grill, three feet from her nose.

On this particular day, I found him stripping my flowers of their petals.

Grrrr ....

ANOTHER SHAMELESS PHOTO OF THE CAT


About two minutes after this photo was taken, she fell off. The grace and poise fairy skipped her, it would seem ...

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

43 MORE TO GO

THE POSTMISTRESS
By Sarah Blake

Well, I got this book from the public library based on a review I'd read in a magazine. The reviewer couldn't say enough about how amazing the book was ... what an incredible thread of love and loss and angst was woven throughout it. How it spanned the decades ... blah, blah, blah. By the amount of holds on the book at the library (seven by the time I got on the list), I was sure this was going to be another THE HELP experience.

I was slightly disappointed ... slightly.

These days, if a book doesn't grab me at the very beginning, I'm hopelessly lost ... deemed "asleep in 30 minutes -- max!" Sadly, the beginning didn't grab me, and I fought to stay engaged through most of the first half of the book.

I could blame part of that on the fact that in the midst of the book, I was also (and continue to do so) reading horribly dry and boring grad school books on hideously dull subjects like leadership and skill sets and policy theories. Yuck, right?

Fast forward to last night, when I said to my cat, "Come hell or high water, I'm finishing this book tonight." To which she looked at me and seemed to be saying with her eyes, "Yeah right."

Okay, so I fell asleep. But I finished it this morning.

I will say that the second half of the book is much better than the first half, and it's in the second half of the book that the meat of the story comes alive. Yes, The Postmistress is a book about war, and interestingly enough, this particular story, while set in the days leading up to America's involvement in WWII, this story spans the breadth of war, and it causes you to make connections between the wars of today and those that my grandfather and great-uncles fought.

Incidentally, I just watched a KET (Kentucky Educational Television) broadcast of "Oh, Saigon," which was a documentary shot by the daughter of Vietnamese refugees now living in Louisville, I do believe (http://www.ohsaigon.com/). It was heart-breaking in it's clarity of exactly the sorts of decisions people are forced to make in the midst of the ugliness of war ... decisions people would never make in any other time of their lives ... and I couldn't help but draw many parallels between the book and the documentary.

At the end of the book, there is a note from the author that explains how she came upon the idea for this book, and I have to say, they weren't at all the circumstances I thought would have spurned her to create these characters. Taking her idea development into account with the closing paragraphs of the book, I can say that while it wasn't like my THE HELP experience, it ended on a good note.

Therefore, I am recommending the book.

Monday, June 21, 2010

MY NEXT BIG ADVENTURE -- TWO STEPS A WAY FROM BALD


Is it too much to hope that when Susan gets done, I ACTUALLY look like Jean Seberg????

BREAKFAST


Those are whole wheat yogurt pancakes with fresh blueberry syrup (hybrid recipes of my own creation) ... and yes, they were very good!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

DEATH OF A HOUSE BOAT

SUMMER BREAK!!!

Here's my modus operandi for the beginning of my summer breaks ...
  1. When I finally stop moving, I collapse in a chair.
  2. Once the full impact of collapse is complete, I fall asleep.
  3. I sleep for an amazingly ridiculous amount of time.
  4. I finally recover only to start the school year all over again.

I'm currently somewhere in between #3 and #4 ... ahhhhhh!

I can't sleep for too long because I have two grad school classes that I'm slogging through, and am unsure of what, actually, I am suppose to be learning in these classes. Is it sad to admit this about every single one of my grad school classes?

Please don't tell the legislatures of our fair state. They might try to change it all around again.

So, the goal for the next 45ish days or so is to find a balance between work and relaxation and doing stuff for me. In amongst it all, my goal is to find my fitness -- I lost that bad boy somewhere between the ages of 12 and 22. Oh, man! That is a goal, I am not sure I can manage, but I'm willing to try anything. Anything is better than nothing, right?

So ready or not, summer break, here I come!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

AND SO BEGINS MY SUMMER BREAK

I saw my 8th year of teaching completed yesterday ... another group of students were shuttled out of the doors of our building -- covered in silly string and maybe slightly wet.

Ahhhhhh ... the sense of freedom is overwhelming....

But there was a part of me that was a little sad to see them all go -- the part of me that had not spent my entire day yesterday trying to maintain a modicum of sanity in an otherwise, INSANE day. This has been, by far, my best class. Sweet children that have made me laugh almost every single day. They have been the bright spots in some otherwise frustrating days this year. They reminded me of the reason I started teaching in the first place ... curiosity overcomes ignorance.

This week, I've received some wonderful notes from parents. Is it sad to say this is the first year out of eight that has occurred? Don't get me wrong. I would do this job if not one single parent ever thanked me for loving and educating their child for nine months out of the year (and, by the way, I have!). I really would. But this year, especially, I found myself asking, out loud, this question, "What if my shelf life in this job is coming up? What if I'm at that point that I just need to throw in the bloodied towel? How much longer can I can continue to work myself to the bone and not get anything out of it but more frustration? When is enough really enough?"

Yeah ... the tough questions.

And then, I get this note: "He has had the best year and has really loved his teachers this year. He told me he wanted to go to 5th grade, but wanted all of his teachers to go with him. It is just a small way to say thank you for all the things you do for my child. He is my prized possession, and I have never had to worry once about his education or safety this year….I knew he was in the right place with the right people."

Wow!

Or this one: "Just wanted to let you know how much I truly appreciated you timely and thoughtful communications regarding my son this school year. I know towards the end of the year has been a bit challenging for you and him but you have Soared like an eagle! Have a fantastic summer and know that our family will miss have you as his teacher. With sincerest appreciation..."

Or how about this one: "I just wanted to thank you for all you've done for my daughter. She has been so happy in your class, and I can definitely see the progress she's made."

And then there was this one from a parent that I tried unsuccessfully to meet with all year: "My daughter just loved being in your class. I want to thank you for all you've done for her this year. You are the best!"

What ever sort of frustration I felt ... whenever those times were (and they were plentiful ... just ask Carrie ... she got to hear me vent on many a drive home for her) ... they simply pale in comparison to these notes. Once again, I sit in humility at the job that has been placed before me ... I think it's one of the toughest jobs to do because, if you do it for the right reasons, it rests on on educator's shoulders to mold a human being for the person he or she will be as an adult. I don't take that commission lightly.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

RAINY WALKS AND SCRAPED KNEES

Well, the only causality of today's walking field trip was ... ME!!! I left my tennis shoes at home (the thudding you hear is my mother's head hitting her desk over and over again), and I was forced to wear my flip-flops. Normally, this wouldn't be a problem, only this particular route we took was a portion of the river that flooded. Left in its receding wake was this slimy, nasty mud. Leave it to me to find a patch, slip in it, and go sailing, landing squarely on my right knee. My poor knees can't catch a break!

It's a scraped,bloody mess with a fair amount of swelling. Yay me!

On the way home, it rained ... so, we're all a sopping, wet mess. Ahhhh ... the sweet, smell of wet, sweaty 4th grader. Yuummmm.

One and a half more days ... one and a half more days ...

Monday, June 07, 2010

FIELD DAY ... T-MINUS 3 1/2 MORE DAYS LEFT OF SCHOOL!!!

Today was Field Day, and I typically HATE Field Day. Here's why ... for all the reasons that a lot of schools have done away with them. When I was a kid, my very first elementary school did Competitive Field Day with medals and everything. Even as a small child, I was all about the bling. So, obviously, getting a medal would rock my little world. Only, I'm average at best with sporting events. There are a lot of things I can do well, and athletic endeavors? Not one of them! The minute I realized that I had to actually possess talent to get one of those shiny, gold things, I threw up my hands and called it a day.

There are so many kids like I was that are defeated by the fact that they just plain stink at athletic stuff. So, Field Day is tantamount to Chinese water torture or something.

Today? Today was different. Today, our gym teacher had two rotations set up with fun games that were group-oriented at every station. Lots of silliness ... lots of water ... lots of laughter. It was great! What a way to start off our last week of school ... laughing ... playing ... enjoying the AWESOME weather, and just having a good time.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

DREAMING A LITTLE DREAM

From what I understand about dream analysis, and my understanding is limited, dreams tell a lot about a person. In my case, that is some seriously scary stuff that's being told about me -- relatively sure of it!

For instance, last night I dreamt that our entire staff went to the Bahamas. I was wearing a bikini, and I got compliment after compliment on said bikini. We spent our days laying around on the beach, playing in the water, and being taught scuba diving by our gym teacher, as scuba diving was going to be a required KCCT CORE CONTENT piece.

Now, honestly, I think I need a vacation, and my subconscious was crying out in desperation for it last night. However, there could be some deeper meanings open for interpretation there.

And I'm relatively sure that my friends Elly and Carrie will be very willing to share those interpretations with me ... they are good at that!