Thursday, August 31, 2006


I really should be in bed right now since I do get to go to school tomorrow BUT I am still too excited.

I really LOVE FOOTBALL when I know the players,
I know all of the players this year.

Almost all of them have been lucky enough to have me as a teacher since I was fortunate enough to teach all of the 8th graders the past 2 years. See earlier post to get my feelings on that. We played the first game of the season this evening. I know Thursday night games are a real bummer. BUT WE WON !!!!! We beat Quapaw 34-0. They even had several players who had transferred from Picher since Picher did away with all sports this year. Our boys played with heart the whole game. We only have 4 seniors out this year so we are in a building situation. This is our new coach's first year to be a head coach, and I must say he is very excited.

After the game the coaches requested that the band stay in the stands to play the school song. After our players had shaken hands with the other team, they all came over to the sidelines, clapped their hands as the band played and sang the school song at the top of their lungs.


It was AMAZING!!!
It did this old cheerleader a world of good!!!
Tomorrow will be a GREAT DAY!!!
The only thing that I couldn't quite get my brain around was how many of the players and cheerleaders were children of former students of mine. I guess when you've hung around as long as I have, you just have to get used to this sort of thing. It really does blow me away at times. It does do the old heart good to talk to the parents though and see that they are trying to raise their children to do better than what they did. There are so many success stories out there. It makes an old teacher proud. I like to believe that my students' success rate is much higher than the failure rate. I love what I do. I gripe and complain. I get behind and have to work my buns off. BUT I really do LOVE what I DO!!!
I must now go try to get some rest so that I can drag this old body out of bed tomorrow to make it to school. Thank goodness it is jeans day. I arranged my English III classes so that we could read Reader's Digest jokes tomorrow. I found an article about how laughter makes the brain function better and we read through it today and discussed the premise. Tomorrow we will read jokes and improve our brain functions.
English IV is reading Beowulf so I guess we will continue it tomorrow. Someone has taken, or hidden, my CD of Beowulf so I am reading it to them. Tomorrow they may get a chance to read some of it themselves. I might have to spring the Reader's Digest article on them too and continue Beowulf next week. If I don't leave and go to bed right now, we might just be taking power naps all day and that would never do.
Did I mention that

Monday, August 28, 2006

How can they do that to Pluto?

My students are upset. They memorized the planets in grade school. Pluto is their favorite planet , and now some astronomers are saying Pluto isn't a planet. How can they do this? Why this new planet has numbers, not a nice reasonable name like Earth or Venus or Uranus. What is up with that?

I read an article that said that only a small fraction of the astronomers were even there for the vote. It seems they had a huge convention and most attendees headed home early to beat the rush. They didn't know what was in the works. But how could they? Who would have thought that those renegade astronomers would push through this travesty depriving Pluto of its status as a planet!!!!! Well, I think we should demand a recount. Maybe a certain number of astronomers need to be present before a vote is taken. Maybe there should be a cause like "Save Pluto's Status as a Planet." Nice alliteration there. Maybe not as catchy as it should be but give me awhile. I know I can come up with something as good as "I Like Ike" or "fifty-four forty or fight."

Anyway, this did get my student's attention and that takes some doing. They are already set in their ways and they are only 16-18 years old. What will they do when they get to be real adults? The future is bright? Yes, yes it is. They will grow up just as we did and accept many things that are just too painful to accept at their age. Hey, some of those things are hard to accept at my age, but I have grown accustomed to the fact that one of the only things we can actually count on is change. Every year new students come into my life as do new staff and parents. Policies change. Classes change. Administrators change. Life goes on and we go on and change with it; otherwise, chaos would ensue. I don't like change much myself, but hey, without change we wouldn't have air conditioning and all those modern conveniences I never want to be without again. I guess I do like change.

At least it is Pluto and not Uranus. My students would have had a field day with that one, and I would have been hard pressed not to join in. Heck, I would have started it. There is just something satisfying in sophomoric humor sometimes.

Long Live Pluto!!!!!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

And A Good Time Was Had By ALL

Okay, so it was just the Hubby and me but we did have a very nice pre-birthday celebration. I made it to church. Great service. Anyone living in the Miami, OK area is welcome to visit Immanuel Baptist Church on good ole Steve Owens Blvd. We are growing again and the services are great.

When I got home the Hubby was engrossed in a movie so I finished the papers, got a snack and made a grocery list. Since we aren't into the gambling thing and Miami's restaurant choices are few, we went to Joplin where we ate at Red Lobster. Pig out supreme. Salad, baked potato, Walt's fried shrimp, cheese biscuits(lots of cheese biscuits) and tea. We were both quite sated. We always think we will have room for dessert but we never do. Maybe I should eat dessert first at restaurants too. It works well at family reunions so maybe I will give it a try next time.

We then proceeded to Books-a-Million where I found some books to help with speech and creative writing(Happy Birthday to me). Hubby found a book, too and I got a card for the nephew who will be 22 tomorrow. He will get the card late, but hey, he will get a card. I have been known to send Christmas cards in March so if he gets it before Labor Day or Columbus Day or Veterans Day at least he was thought of before his birthday.

Our next stop was the mall. The Hubby got some new underwear for my birthday. What can I say. I'm generous to a fault. He got a book and underwear for my birthday. I didn't find anything that I couldn't live without. Of course, I was too full to even do much looking and trying stuff on was out of the question. Besides my birthday present is getting my garage door opener fixed. That is the main thing I want for my birthday.

Our final stop was Sam's. Grocery shopping is always a highlight to any birthday celebration especially when the cupboard is bare.

We got home put away our goodies and took a little rest before we ventured forth to Walmart for the rest of the groceries. We sure know how to celebrate!!!

When we got married, the deal was I got to go dancing twice a year, my birthday and New Year's Eve. I don't believe I have ever gone dancing on my birthday and maybe once on New Year's Eve. I must admit that we have gone to many proms(I sponsored them for years. My family used to call me the eternal prom queen.) and danced the night away so Hubby is off the hook. Oh well, whether it is shopping or dancing as long as we get to eat out, I'm content. I know, I know. I'm easy!!!!

Resting yesterday and running around today made for a lovely week end. Now I must go put this body to bed. Tomorrow starts another week of school. Beowulf for seniors and The Devil and Tom Walker for juniors, makes you wish you were back in high school doesn't it?

Saturday, August 19, 2006

The Plan is Working

Yep, I called out for pizza. We ate it as we watched Animal Planet. Then, we napped. Next, we watched some more Animal Planet. Finally, we ate some more pizza as we watched Animal Planet. Life is good. Tomorrow will be the test. Can we make ourselves go anywhere? Can we make ourselves get cleaned up? Will my weekend before my birthday celebration be merely an Animal Planet/Pizza gorging event or will we make it to Joplin to eat out, buy the hubby some undies and make it to a book store?

Check back later for the exciting conclusion. I know you can hardly wait, but then you will just have to. Let the tension and excitement build as you wait for the next installment of---------
A Weekend with Mr. and Mrs. E.

My quandary

My quandary you might ask? Well, I'm thinking maybe it is quandaries.

For one, this is Hubby D's weekend off. Next Tuesday is my birthday. He isn't off on my birthday. The plan was to celebrate this week end. My quandary? I am pretty well all pooped out after a full week of entertaining/teaching. I don't want to bathe, comb my hair, put on makeup or get fully dressed.

My other quandary is that there is not much in the house to eat and Hubby D doesn't cook anyway. Nope not even for his Honey's birthday. I shan't complain too much because dag-nab-it he does clean, do dishes, and sometimes does the laundry plus he doesn't complain when I don't do the cleaning, dishes or laundry. Cooking is minor. We can always call out for pizza.
The other thing is that we have no movies to watch and there is nothing on TV. Somebody may have to leave the house.

Another quandary is that I do need to go to a book store and see if they have a Dummies book for creative writing and speech. My students are not dummies but those books usually have some dang good ideas in them. Hey! I bought myself one on Shakespeare even though I had been teaching his stuff for years. It never hurts to get a new perspective on things. I have no curriculum or books for either creative writing or speech so I am on my own. We have made it through a week and two days just fine. However, now that my class of 8 has grown to 21 with several sophomore boys who have not matured much from when I had them as 8th graders a few years ago, I'm thinking I need lots of good ideas. Lots and Lots and Lots of good ideas would be good. I have tried looking on the internet but there is soooooo much to go through and I am not much of an internet browser.

As I sit here writing this, I don't see any solutions in sight that I am particularly fond of. Okay the pizza would be good. Maybe I will just go call out for some and see where it goes from there. There is always tomorrow. We can go to town tomorrow. I will feel refreshed tomorrow. I will have had a day of rest and some pizza.

Ah!!! The solution to a couple of my quandaries!!! Pizza and Tomorrow!!!! This blogging thing is good. Yes!!! I have a plan!!! Maybe not a good plan but at least it is a plan!!!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Here We Go Again

We have had 3 full days of school. And, now the fun really begins. Tomorrow, I will have students gone to take pictures. I will also have students gone who are getting their pictures made. Then, on Wednesday and Thursday I will have students gone selling yearbook ads. Next week is the fair which means even more students will be gone.

The one thing a teacher must learn to do is to go with the flow. My lesson plans are made. Students will miss out. Some will not get their work in from being gone and will want to make it up at the end of the 9 weeks or will claim that they handed in the work and being the irresponsible twit that I must certainly be I lost their work. How do I know this you might wonder. My answer is 33 years of teaching experience. The more things change; the more they stay the same. Let's see I believe it will go something like this:

"You never told me I had to do that."

"I know I did it and handed it in."

"You lost my work!! I know I handed it in. Joe saw me hand it in. Didn't you Joe!"

"Can I hand that in late? I left it at home. What was the assignment anyway?"

"What assignment? When did you assign it? Why didn't you tell me about it?"

"When was it due? I know I did it. What was it?"

You get the idea. I almost wish someone would tell me that the dog ate his/her homework. Wait, last year someone did tell me that. It seems a new puppy somehow got the homework and tore it up. Or, was it a little brother, sister, niece or nephew who tore it up or spilled something on it?

A wise man once told me, "Excuses are just like butt holes. All of us have them and they all stink." I reworded that to make it grammatically correct. The original statement was "Excuses are just like butt holes. Everybody's got one and they all stink." The incorrect one rolls off the tongue better, but it uses incorrect agreement with the pronoun and the antecedent. I am sure you all realized that so I apologize for assuming you didn't.


I am going to try to be optimistic. This could be the year that all of my students get their work ahead of time(2 girls already have!!!!! Yea!!! Hurray!!!) and hand it in on time. It could happen. It never has, but I am going to remain optimistic!!!!

With our new computer grading system, parents and students are supposed to be able to go online and find out when assignments were made and when they were/are due. They will also be able to check their grades. Of course, the teacher has to figure out how to do this before it will work. I was able to record absences today. I hope that by the end of this week or next I will have figured out how to get the assignments on there as well as the grades recorded. I did get one or two grades in but I have no idea how I did it. Maybe I should be hoping and praying instead of just hoping. Yeah, that sounds like a better plan. All of you might try hoping and praying right along with me. I think I am going to need all of the help I can get.

I know I can do it. I know I will do it. I just have to get the griping part out of the way so I can begin to make significant progress. Maybe it will be good that the students will be gone off and on this next couple of weeks. It might just give me some time to figure some things out. I probably will be staying after school for the next few days. My computer and I must commune with one another until we reach our moment of zen.

I think I need to go to bed and rest up for what lies ahead.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Another Brick in the Wall

"We don't need no education." Ah, but you do!!!! You just used a double negative so you said you need an education. YES!!! The TEACHER in me is alive and well and back at her task.

School began on Thursday and as usual our students were "all in their places with bright shiny faces. For this is the way we start a new year"( so I changed the words a little, you get my drift). Thursday and Friday went very well. I have 29 seniors first hour. Another teacher must use my room 2nd hour during my planning period until the building is finished. I have no where to go except the hallway. I hate to have to be going in and out while he has class, but I haven't quite figured out what else to do. I am going to spend the week end contemplating this dilemma. Right!! 3rd hour I have 22 juniors, 4th hour I have 32 juniors, and 5th hour I have 18 juniors. In a small school system setting up the schedule to balance all classes can be a nightmare. 6th hour I have 29 more seniors. 7th hour I had a small class of 8 that turned into a class of 16 which will probably grow as time progresses. When students drop out of athletics or don't play sports until the spring, I get them. I am soooooo lucky. The class is creative writing and speech so I have some leeway in what and how I teach. Most if not all of these students did not choose this class; there just wasn't anywhere else to go. I have, in this class, students ranging from 9th-12th grades. Motivating anyone the last hour of the day can be challenging but this class should be fun. PLUS---I DON'T HAVE 8th GRADERS THIS YEAR!!!!!!!

The reason for such large classes has to do with inclusion. This year most of our students who have formerly been taught in special classes will be taking regular classes. An aide or teacher will be in class to help. The work will be modified to try to help them feel successful. The idea is that they will learn more being in regular classes and will get to interact with more students. Some of these seniors were like deer in the headlights. Most of us don't like change, and for these students after years of being in a small class room setting with individual attention, the shock of being in class with 29 or more students can be overwhelming. Two senior girls didn't make it back on Friday. I hope they weren't discouraged. I tried to be reassuring, but they haven't been in very many regular classes ever!!! That has got to be pretty scary. Most of them seem to be adapting well. We will just have to do the best we can because what more can we do?

Most of the seniors have already had me a year, but the juniors are experiencing FUN with English and Mrs. E for the first time. For the past few years my classes have written a class creed to recite each day at the beginning of class. This is my 4th year of Great Expectations, and even though the creed worked well the first couple of years, last year it didn't work work as well. I decided to try a new approach so this year I taught my juniors a cheer to do at the first of class. The creed is supposed to help them set goals and build their self worth, etc. I figured, what the heck, a cheer can do the same. Sooooo being a former cheerleader who never gave up the cheering(I'm loud! I'm Proud! WHS!!!), I took a Great Expectations cheer and used it as our creed. I know right now you are thinking "What a great idea". Thank you.

Their cheer is:

I can (clap, clap)
I will (clap, clap)
I must (clap, clap)
Succeed (clap, clap)
ACTIONS: rubba-dub snap clap,
rubba-dub ugh!! (with the ugh you pull both fist back at the waist)

Yes, I do teach juniors and seniors, and yes, they do look at me as if I have totally lost my mind. However, they did stand up and participate. They are still kids and anything novel that can get their attention for a little while and maybe help build some self-esteem, I'll try.

On Monday the principal will be in to go over the handbook and all of those rules and regulations that must be followed. You know the ones. Those that give students something to gripe and complain about and also give them the will to live just so they can see how far they can stretch the rules. Don't get me wrong. I believe in those rules. They help school run smoothly, and I understand the reasoning behind them. However, as I recall that is exactly the way it was back in the day and evidently will continue until the end of earth as we know it. I always wanted to know why and was seldom if ever satisfied with the answers given by teachers and administrators. I had to accept their answers but that didn't keep me from complaining. Yes, the old adage is true---the more things change; the more they stay the same.

Anyway, my first 2 days of school went great. My reputation has gone before me. Many if not most of my students have parents or brothers or sisters whom I have taught. The word is out about Mrs. E so I don't expect too many problems. I care about them and they know it. That makes a big difference. I now have the week end to recuperate and prepare for my first full week. It is time to go do the couch flop and movie watch thing. Ah, yes!!!!! I do deserve it!!!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

2 down and 178 to go

Yes, I have finished the first 2 days of the new school year and I must say that I have mixed feelings. Monday was the usual sitting through informative meetings in the morning and then not being able to remember much by the afternoon. However, we did get to spend time in the computer lab in the afternoon to try to use the information from the morning. My notes were very spotty. As we sat at our computers, I noticed that I was the youngest person sitting in my row of computers. As we tried to decipher our notes and get into the "amazing programs" that awaited us, we came to the realization that we were strangers wandering in a strange land. We were the blind leading the blind. We followed the directions. They didn't work. We tried again with no success. Then a computer person came around and said something about maybe we needed to right click. We want to know why there isn't a key on the computer to tell us when right clicking is the thing to do. We old geezers did finally figure out how to get into some programs that looked pretty promising. Our TV's will be hooked up to our computers so we can download these fabulous videos to enhance our already brilliant teaching skills. Now all we have to do is remember how we got there in the first place and download the program so that we will still have time remaining in the hour to view it. I am a social studies, English person. Dealing with technology takes patience and perseverance which are two attributes the Good Lord did not bless me with. To be able to use the computers this year to access our email and the net, we had to come up with a new password. By the time I got to school this morning, I had forgotten mine. NO, I didn't write it down. In my defense, I was fairly pooped by the time it got to be 3:00. I tried all of my usual ones and nothing worked. My friendly tech person came by and assured me that I wasn't the only one who had forgotten and so she took my new password and is putting it in for me. I hope it is ready for tomorrow since we will be learning how to use the new gradebook, attendance, etc. program tomorrow. YEA!!! HURRAY!!!!

The students came to enroll today and since the buildings are under construction, the office is right across the hall from my room. The tables for enrolling were right outside my door. It was a hectic day to say the least.The hall was way too hot so I kept my door open and invited people to come into the coolness of my room to fill out all of those yucky beginning of school forms. Anyone who knows me knows that I spent way too much time talking and helping and way too little time getting ready for Thursday. I did get my bulletin board finished, procedure handouts run off, and my folder holders ready for my classes but that was just a drop in the bucket compared to what I needed to get done. However, I loved seeing everybody. Besides the students who will be in my classes, I saw many former students who were there enrolling their children. I had a very hard time comprehending that so many of my former students had children in grades 6-12. I know that I have been teaching a long time, but gracious goodness there were sooooooooooooooo many. We did get to laugh and remember the good old days. Most of them were enrolling middle school children. At least that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

I have been completely warn out by the time I have gotten home in the evenings. I am hoping that I make it until 3:25 Friday when I can go home and try to rejuvenate myself for the weeks to come. Those first few days always drain the very life out of me, but then I catch my breath and take off running full speed ahead the next Monday and try to keep it up until Labor Day. It's those little breaks that keep me going. Yes, I know I am spoiled, and I like it. Now that I have actually wrapped my mind around the idea that school is starting, I am READY to accept the CHALLENGE of attempting to prepare another group of young people for the future that awaits them. A LOFTY GOAL BUT I AM UP FOR IT. FORWARD EVER, BACKWARD NEVER. With that I will leave you all because I really need to go to bed.

Sunday, August 06, 2006


Yep, this is my last night of freedom. Tomorrow begins a new year, some new students, some old students, some new teachers, some old teachers, and new experiences for one and all. A lot of what we do is the same old stuff, but each day does bring new challenges along with the old.

I cleaned on the house all week end so that I can come home to some semblance of order. Our bedroom, my bathroom, the kitchen/dining room and the living room are all presentable for the first time in awhile. The laundry is all done and mostly put away. I made a meatloaf that should last a few days. I have my clothes ready for the week. I have washed my hair, bathed, and shaved. I have everything sitting by the front door ready to be whisked off to the car. Now if my body will just cooperate tomorrow morning on the getting up, I will have it made.

For years, I couldn't sleep the night before school started. I couldn't get my brain to shut down. Several years ago I slept the night through, got up, got ready, and was half way through the day before it dawned on me that I hadn't worried, tossed and turned all night the night before. It was a very strange feeling. I was afraid I was loosing my edge, but school started as usual, and I discovered I still had what it took. I just have to make sure I don't lose my enthusiasm.

I enjoyed myself this summer. I didn't accomplish anything that I had planned but I did relax, read, watch junk TV, watch movies, snuggle with Hubby D, visit the son, and generally have one nice relaxing, rejuvenating time. I even started eating better and exercising. I guess it is time to get back into the swing of things. I don't want to but I have to. When my students say, "We don't want to!!!" I say, "Did you hear me ask you what you wanted to do? I don't think so. I am going to let you do this." So I guess I will use the same thing on me tomorrow morning. Maybe I will listen to me better than my students do. Ya Think!!!!!

Friday, August 04, 2006

Back to School Clothes

It's that time of year when we have to start thinking about school clothes. Back in the day, at my house anyway, we went shopping and planned out our new "outfits" for the first of school. We got new school shoes, clothes, socks and undies. Looking just right on the first day set the tone for the year, or so we believed.

The big event then was the sidewalk sale which was held the first Saturday in August. Back then Miami had lots of stores, and they waited until this particular day to put everything on sale. Main street was closed off and stores opened at 6 A.M. If you wanted the best deals, you were there bright and early. However, it is not the same since they have moved the sidewalk sale up into early July, and there just aren't that many stores downtown anymore. They now have rides and contests, etc. to get people to come out. Penney's, Anthony's, The Hub, Hunt's, Ramsay's, and Durham's are all just memories to Miami's main street. And, what about the
Woolsworth dime store with the most wonderful fountain cokes in the world. Ah!!!! "Memories, like the colors of our minds, pretty watercolor memories, of the way we were".

Any way, back to the school wardrobe thing. I have been in the process of trying to lose enough weight so that I can fit into my last year's school clothes. Through dieting and exercise(which I am not too fond of),I have finally lost 10 pounds. Yea!!! Hurray!!! Now, I have to go try on my stuff to see if that is enough!!! (Sorry, my poetic muse sometimes takes over.)

This morning I made a quick trip to Joplin to have my blood drawn for tests before my yearly doctor appointment to see how the old cholesterol and blood glucose are. Since Famous Barr is becoming Macy's soon, I went by there to see if I could find some bargains. I got two pair of capris that had been $56 each for only $10 a piece. Wow!!! Now I get to go clean out the closet, try on and plan out what I can wear for the first few weeks of school. Yes, I plan out every day for a couple of weeks in advance so that getting up and getting ready goes a little faster. I am just hoping that enough of my clothes will fit so that I can plan out at least the first 2 weeks.

I have 2 and a half days left so I better go start squeezing all the fun I can into the time I have left. Or, maybe I will just go take a nap.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Checked out the School

Today, my friend "R" and I went to the school to check things out before our actual start date next Monday. A new addition and renovation to part of the HS/MS is in progress and it is quite a mess. It is supposed to be finished by Fall break. RIGHT!!!! When the work is done, it will be quite an improvement. We will actually have a teacher's workroom again. The newer classes are large. I got a new large room the last time the built on and I am quite content where I am; however, those who are getting new rooms should be very pleased. I am not sure where everyone is going to be until the work is finished or how we will have a workable library until the work is finished. But, those things are not my concern. I just get to show up and do as I am told.

Now for the best news of the day, summer or year---


What a relief!!! I have 3 English III classes and 2 English IV classes. Last hour is supposed to be Psychology but the principal said that she didn't care if I wanted to teach something else for an elective so I will be teaching speech/creative writing again. That isn't my favorite but hey

NO 8th Ggraders and No Psychology!!!!!

I can deal with it. I also was told that some students who have not been in regular classes because of learning disabilities will now be in my English classes with a teaching assistant there to help part time. This is called inclusion. I have no problem with this, but I don't know how the students will feel. The literature for English IV is early British which seems totally irrelevant to most seniors, and we do a poetry paper. Last year, I had several English III students who were LD so I adapted the tests and assignments and all were successful; however, they had been in regular English classes before. These guys I know can and will succeed. There are a few that have never been included so they may present a challenge. I try to make the first couple of weeks a time for us all to get used to each other. I make sure that everyone has a chance to start out the year with several good grades. That way as the the year progresses and things become more difficult, they have some good grades to fall back on.

Maybe it is just not having 8th graders that has me all a dither. Whatever the case may be, I am starting to formulate plans for the coming year. My mind is cluttered with all types and sorts of "gotta try things". I must sort them out over the next few days and formulate a plan. I will only have the students on Thursday and Friday the first week so those days will be pretty well taken care of with procedures, etc. Then, Let the Learning Begin!!!