Monday, September 25, 2006

What a Difference 50 years Makes

The First Baptist Church of Wyandotte held its 100th year anniversary this past week end which gave me pause to reflect on the impact that the church and Wyandotte has had on me. You see it was 50 years ago this past summer that my dad was called to pastor there. We moved with great anticipation. I had no idea what the move would bring, but here I am 50 years later still affiliated with Wyandotte.

Most of the people from my youth are gone, but their influence and impact still live on, not just through me but through the other lives that were touched by those blessed, country folks. We were given love, attention, lessons on life, laughter, and training that would carry us through so that we could take on the task of giving that same love, attention, lessons on life, laughter and training to the next generation.

I came out of my shell when we moved to Wyandotte. I don't remember having a sense of being me until 1956. I don't remember feeling special until we moved to Wyandotte. The church and community gave me a sense of belonging and of worth. That may be why I am still teaching there after all of these years. I like the feeling of belonging. I like knowing the families of my students. I like knowing that I got a chance to teach the children of my former classmates and that now I am getting the chance to teach their grandchildren. AND NO, I do not plan on staying around to teach their great grandchildren.

During the afternoon yesterday, we were given the chance to share our memories of growing up in the church. Listening to all the stories about the saints who went before and remembering their contributions to us, to the community, and to the Kingdom gave me a sense of who I am, of who I have become, and of how important our lives are to those who follow in our footsteps. The thought of people watching and following in my footsteps can be down right scary. The legacy of those people from my childhood, youth and early married life needs to be passed on to the next generation. What a daunting responsibility!!! How blessed we were to have those people in our lives. Brother Paul and Ercel, Alice, Miss Maggie, Burl and Inez, Calvin and Leatha, Lewis and Corine, Irene Arnold, Jeanette Worten, Pauline, Buck and Arlene Kerby, Bill and Oney, Lee and Lila, and the list goes on and on. These people were always there. They were the pillars of the community. They were the main stays in our church. We are who we are today because these people genuinely cared.

I cherish the friends I made growing up there. I cherish the childhood I was so graciously given. I cherish the memories that are so firmly etched in my memory. 50 years have come and gone pretty quickly. I don't think I will be around for another 50, but I truly believe the work that is done by people who are willing to get involved in children's lives to make sure they have the opportunity to feel loved and important will continue. I hope to be remembered some day as part of the legacy.

50 Short hort years

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Out of the Blog

I just realized that I hadn't been at the blog for over a week. I must have been quite busy these past few days or maybe too pooped to even express myself. Either one is quite likely.

I did recuperate from the ballgame in time to go to another one last Thursday. We didn't win but we gave it a mighty good try. I didn't get sick this time but my voice is a little hoarse still. Did that keep me from singing? Not a chance. This is homecoming week so instead of a quote and a cheer for the first five, we sang the school song each morning. They get to write the words from memory tomorrow for a grade. I have known the school song for 50 years, and I do my best to make sure that every student gets the opportunity to learn it before leaving to pursue more weighty life issues. Besides it's great fun to clap and sing and yell "The Bears will fight, fight, fight, fight, fight, fight, fight!" each and every hour. Sure wakes the kiddies up for at least a little while.

Speaking of the ballgame, I had an epiphany or maybe just a dadblasted awakening at the ballgame. My friend "R" and I were sitting in the bleachers when one of her former students who is probably 17 came up to show off her baby. I started to comment that I had gone to school and run around with the baby's grandma when it hit me that

Grant it the great grandma got an early start as did the grandma and mama, but it sure was discombobulating! I am not even a grandma yet. I bought my hair color and took care of the gray hair on Sunday. It turned out darker that the last time; however, I can live with it until it starts to fade and the gray reappears because I bought 3 packages this last time. I had the coupons so I thought "better safe than sorry". You see on Saturday I went to a 25th wedding anniversary for a former student and hadn't gotten the hair color yet. There were former students there from when I taught at Commerce 34 some odd years ago.
Since I have seldom if ever done anything gracefully, I don't think I am going to grow old that way. Monday,I wore my pjs to school for come as you are day. Tuesday was dress like your favorite golden oldie so I went as myself. We had parent/teacher conference from 4:30 -7:30 that evening and I was supposed to look professional. Today was pirate day so I wore a striped Tshirt some denim slacks with wider bottom legs and some tennis shoes plus some big silver hoop earrings. Tomorrow, since we don't have school Friday, will be jeans and black and white spirit day and yes I am ready for that.
Since tomorrow evening we have parent/teacher conferences again, I get to take a change of clothes so that I will look more professional. Like the parents don't know me and I can fool them on that one day they come for conference by wearing something professional!!!! I saw three parents on Tuesday evening. Tomorrow evening will probably be the same but I am not complaining. I got lots of grading done Tuesday and expect to do the same tomorrow evening.
Since tomorrow will be another long day, I guess I better go try to catch some ZZZZZZZZZZ's. I was hoping to get to sleep in on Friday but then I remembered I had scheduled a doctor's appointment in Joplin at 9:30. Oh well, dems da breaks.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Sinuses, Sminuses

I had a wonderful time last Friday night at the ballgame. I got to yell and sing the school song and visit and well just enjoy the heck out of the evening. But then Saturday came, and I began to pay the price for sitting outside and breathing. Pesky ole breathing anyway!!!

My allergies are not anywhere near as bad as they were before I took the injections. Even though I no longer take shots, I still keep myself well medicated; however, every once in awhile I breathe in something that sets me off. That good ole fresh air can really be a bummer. So I have been feeling under the weather for the past several days.

I even missed school yesterday and today. I must go tomorrow. I know that my poor darlings must be in dire need of a dose of Mrs. E and her Fun with English. I also know that they are tired of reading, summarizing, and doing worksheets. I really need some good English videos for them to view when I am gone. Of course finding good English videos is a problem. And, with our library being packed away until the building is completed, finding even not so good English videos is a problem. The one good thing about being gone is that most of the students are really glad to see me come back. They miss the routine. They get bored. They almost realize that I make a contribution to their educational lives.

Of course the down side to being gone is going in and trying to figure out what has and has not been accomplished during my absence. Oh well, que sera, sera!!!! We will pick up tomorrow and continue our quest for truth, justice..... Oh wait a minute I got side tracked there....Our quest for knowledge and a better way of life through English!!!!!

Guess I better go try to get some sleep. "Getting back into the swing of things ain't as easy as it used to be. Dagnabit!!!!!" she said with a Gabby Hayes accent.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

One of those Surprising Good Days

As the day began, I wouldn't have thought that it was going to be one of those Good Days. I can't even tell you exactly when I realized that I was having one. At the end of the day, it was like "Oh my word, this day went amazingly well! What happened?"

In English IV we continued with Beowulf . They mainly stayed awake and contributed to the discussion. They even asked some relevant questions and made some intelligent comments. Wow!!! will wonders never cease!!! Tomorrow we should get Beowulf buried and finish up this epic. All that is left is some reviewing and testing. Yea! Hurray!

In English III we finished reading a couple of Longfellow poems. I got the great idea that we should try some choral presentations of these poems so I divided the poem up and assigned 2 stanzas to each row. I then had them decide how they would present their stanzas and practice. Tomorrow they will get a chance to make their oral presentations. It is good to meet PASS objectives and have fun at the same time.

Speech/creative writing is last hour so we tried our hand at limericks. They weren't quite as enthusiastic with limericks as they were with yesterday's alliteration, and yes, the inclination to want to write "naughty" limericks did come to the forefront. After all, I do have several sophomore, junior, and senior boys, who have minds that tend to run along those lines anyway. I had to quell(vocabulary word) this inclination and try to help them write relatively clean but funny ones. Their attempts at limerick writing were not quite on the mark. We will have to try again but NOT tomorrow for alas and alack, last hour tomorrow will be the first pep assembly of the football season and will take up most of the hour. Darn the Luck.

Oh yeah, noon hall duty wasn't even that bad today.

The prospects for Friday seem pretty good right now. Of course it is 11:00 p.m., and maybe I am just having late evening delusions. Oh well, I'll take it. So TTFN. I am off to dream land.

Tomorrow ends another week of hall duty.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


Today during last hour which is my speech/creative writing class, I wrote the word alliteration on the board and then listed all of the consonants underneath. I talked about alliteration, gave them some examples, and had them write a sentence using alliteration of any consonant. A few got into it. Then, I had them draw out a consonant and they had to write an alliterative sentence. We did this a couple of times and then volunteers read their sentences. They had some great ones. Of course this gave many the chance to slip in the name of some alcoholic beverage, and one student said something about another kid's mom that was fairly suggestive so I had to do some censoring. It is hard to censor someone while you are laughing. The kid nailed the alliteration.

Now here is the unbelievable part. This is something I have never heard in all my years of teaching. One of the boys said, "Mrs. E, we need to do some more of these tomorrow. This was fun." Several others chimed in in agreement. Yes, this is a true story. I am still in a state of shock. Someone asked to do alliteration. Someone thought it was fun. Others concurred. This is one of those things that rarely happens, but when it does,

If they were this excited about alliteration,
just wait until tomorrow when we I introduce them to

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Back in the Classroom

So after 3 wonderful days, I got to return to the classroom today.

Some things never cease to amaze me.

MY First Source of Amazement: I teach senior English. I was grading essays. I have some students who do not realize even though they were taught last year and reminded several times before and during the writing process that essays need an introductory paragraph, at least 1 and preferably 3-5 body paragraphs where the student expounds on the material related in the introductory paragraph, and a concluding paragraph. The preplanning that I encourage students to do before writing seems to be way too much trouble. Their thinking seems to be: Hey, when I can ramble for several hundred words about whatever, why would I need a plan? If I had a plan, why would I need to follow it? If I have 200 or more words, shouldn't that be all that is required? Oh yeah, and what does coherent mean?

My Second Source of Amazement: I found an article in the newspaper about how writing is an important skill for most jobs. I copied it off, and we went over it in class today(once again this is a senior English class). The article detailed how employers pay close attention to job applications and how many jobs require writing as part of the job description. I mentioned that I like to write and that I even blog. The question asked: "Do you use a lot of cuss words in your blogs?" Right!!! I blog just so I can practice using profanity. Why else would anyone blog? HELLO!!!! I know they are 17-18 years old but .....

My Third Source of Amazement: One of my juniors told me today that her goal for this Friday night's game is to yell louder than I do. I don't mean to be loud. I just am. I don't lose my voice from yelling at games or anytime else for that matter. Loudness is my God given talent and I try to use it mainly for good. I would hope that my students would aspire to use good grammar at all times and to incorporate their vocabulary into conversations that show how well educated and intelligent they are. No, they just want to be louder than their teacher. Oh well, at least I have inspired them to try to be good at something.

My Fourth Source of Amazement: Students who never ever ever get it. They are told countless times to not do something and are amazed each and every time they get in trouble for repeating the same offense. These students are sophomores in my last hour speech and creative writing class. Not all of my sophomores are this way just most of the boys. I'm not sure what supernatural event triggered the lack of maturity in this particular segment of our high school. All I can say is that I sure could use some kryptonite(sp) or whatever last hour to subdue these
creatures. They believe that saying "I'm sorry" is all that is necessary. Do they mean these words? Not hardly!!! Do they comprehend the meaning of these words? Apparently not!!! Are they so brain dead by last hour that they don't have enough gray matter functioning to realize what their little brains are trying to tell them? Apparently so!!! The sad part is that today only one of the four was in class and he still managed to annoy the whole class. I had hoped they would mature at least a little from their obnoxious 8th grade behavior. I hoped in vain. Oh well, at least they are better than a whole class of 8th graders last hour. We must always look on the bright side; otherwise, we will go off the deep end and that wouldn't be a good thing.

My Fifth Source of Amazement: I still love what I do after all of these years. I do get aggravated and agitated and downright discombobulated(is this a word?). Any ole hoo, I'm a teacher. That's what we do. We are better than the Energizer Bunny!!!! We keep going and going and going!!!! and doing and doing and doing!!!!! and praying and praying and praying and hoping and hopping and hoping that at least some of our efforts will prove effective and beneficial to our students.

Well, I am tired of being Amazed and must go wind down so that tomorrow we can finish Beowulf with the seniors and do some Longfellow with the juniors. Yep, I am living the good life!!! And this week only has 3 more days. Yea!!! Hurray!!!

Monday, September 04, 2006

Ah A Nice Long Weekend!!!!!

Saturday was a sleep, watch football, nap, watch football, sleep day. It was soooo nice. OU and OSU both won. So on top of the BEARS' victory, we got 2 more. We have always cheered for both teams. When they play each other, we used to cheer for OU, but then the kid went off to OSU. So unless there is a national championship in there somewhere, we cheer for OSU. Hey, the kid moved to Texas to get his master's degree rather than go to OU. Where did we go wrong? I guess we didn't because he is danged loyal to his alma mater. Anyway we enjoyed the games on Saturday, and yes we watched more than just OU. It is football season. We can hardly wait for the FOX pregame shows to start much less the Pro season.

Sunday was church, a Walmart trip, and grading papers. I did make a substantial dent in the grading. I almost made a substantial dent in the car on the way to church. I drive by the Miami Country Club golf course on my way. I looked over and saw a former colleague so I waved. There was a curb going over a bridge that I jumped just a little. No need for concern. I was able to flop back on the pavement immediately. Yes, the friend smiled, shook his head, and waved. I don't imagine he was too surprised. We have known each other since NEO and that was some time ago. I have never had a major accident. I have dents and I jump curbs but other than that I am perfectly safe.

Today, I made blueberry muffins from scratch. This summer someone gave D's mom a bunch of fresh blueberries. She and D's aunt, who was visiting from Guatamala, froze what she had room for and sent the rest to us. We froze them and I made good use of some of them this morning. I wanted to bake on Saturday but didn't have baking powder or cream of tartar so that I could use baking soda. I have lots of baking soda. I use it in my laundry quite often. Anyway, today I made the muffins, which are all gone, and a large meatloaf for lunches this week. I am on hall duty so I need something easy. I'll have a meat loaf sandwich and some grapes each day. I love cold meat loaf sandwiches. I hate hall duty. At least I got another short week.

I also graded more papers today and did laundry. But mainly, I watched old movies on tv. I hadn't seen "Arthur" in years so I watched the end of it, and then I watched the one with Melanie Griffith as a hooker who stays in a little boys tree house and winds up turning over a new leaf and hooking up with the nerdy science teacher dad. I enjoyed it, too. Now, I have bathed, shaved, washed my hair, given my feet a paraffin bath(I love how my feet feel after I do this), and gotten my wardrobe ready for the week. All I have left to do is watch "The Closer". This has turned into one of my favorite shows, and tonight is the season finale, dang it. Oh well, C'est la vive!!! or Que sera, sera!!! Miss Taylor's French comes in handy sometimes!!!! Oui? Oui, Oui!!!