Monday, January 29, 2007

Ah!!! A Good Day!!!

It is 10:35 in the evening and I am about to head off to bed. I just had to write about having a good day. My seniors first hour got into the test review and managed to have some fun. I had each row compete to answer questions. I would read a question and the first person in the row was to write down the correct answer. If s/he didn't know the answer, the paper was passed back until someone could answer. It really brought home how much they weren't prepared for the test tomorrow. I hope they will be better prepared tomorrow. My other senior class seemed to be better prepared and much more competitive. It got pretty rowdy but they were involved and trying to beat the other rows. Unless you teach this age group, this might not seem like much. Please believe me when I tell you that getting seniors to stay awake, take part and know the answers is quite a feat. A success story.....YEA!!!!!

My juniors are watching the musical "Oklahoma" in preparation for the centennial and a research paper over something relevant to Oklahoma. They were mesmerized(that's what I am calling it anyway) 3rd hour as they watched the dream sequence where there was all of this ballet type dancing and symbolic "stuff". 4th and 5th hours weren't quite so enthralled, but they did leave class singing "Oh the farmers and the cowboys should be friends." One of my boys 4th hour actually bragged to me that he had stayed awake all hour. He made the calendar.

Yes, it was a good day. Hubby D was off this evening and we got to just be together watching irrelevant TV and relaxing.

I hope the rest of the week goes well. Tomorrow I have a senior class meeting at 11:20 which is always a loud and trying business. Then, on Thursday I get to accompany them to NEO Senior Day. It is also homecoming week so I need to go make sure I have a cowboy type shirt and some clean jeans to wear tomorrow for cowboy and Indian day. Jeans on a Tuesday. This is going to be a good week.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Back to School

I get/have to go to school tomorrow. I haven't been for quite some time. We've missed 6 school days in a row. That is unheard of in this neck of the woods. We seldom miss more than 2 or 3 days in a winter much less in a row. This was no ordinary storm. This was ice and sleet. My driveway is still iced over. My street is still an icy mess. I don't even like to think what it is like out on those back roads. Been there, done that, moved on!!!!!

I have been hearing some wonderful things about the people in Wyandotte and how they have chipped in to help each other. It makes me proud of my community. I haven't lived there for several years now, but it is still home and always will be. Good people, good neighbors.

Anyway, I actually have to get up at 6 tomorrow morning, clean-up, get dressed, fix the hair and make-up, and get back into the swing of things. It is soooooo easy to get out of those daily rituals. I have only been out of the house twice to go somewhere since Friday, January12th. That was last Monday and today. That is it!!! The rest of the time I have been in my pajamas. I have done the necessities---dishes, laundry, pick-up, vacuuming, etc. I even put up most of my Christmas decorations and believe it or not graded all but one set of papers that I brought home!!!!!

I have enjoyed the time off. I have stayed up late and slept in. I have watched TV, read, played on the computer, and enjoyed the heck out of the time I got to spend with Hubby D. I have no one to blame but myself for my poor choices. I wish I did. Oh well, I'll make it one way or the other. I have no choice. I've done it before and I will do it again. That's what we do. Being a grown-up isn't always all that it is cracked up to be.

I must head off to bed and get into that teaching frame of mind. I must be bright eyed and bushy tailed tomorrow. I must lead my kiddies to reach new heights. We will sing the state song, we will watch "Anne of 1000 Days", and we will be better people for it. (Strike up the band and start the cheering!!!!!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

The Class of '93

The Cap'n pointed out to me that in my last blog I failed to mention that his class also made enough money to go on the Cherokee Queen. The Class of '93----Pretty Water Colored Memories??? Not so much. Don't get me wrong. This class had a bunch of unique individuals, but they were more of the go your own way and do your own thing mind set. They did have the "honor" of having me for English their Freshman, Sophomore and Senior years. The class of '94, however, got me four years in a row!!!!!

By the time the class of '93 got to be Seniors, their numbers had dropped considerably. Several of the class mates just didn't see any reason to stick around and give graduation a chance. They were a small class and had a reputation of not getting along or working well together or with others. Their Junior year when we started talking prom, the Seniors got very nervous. They had no faith in the Juniors. We told them that we weren't going to be able to make enough money so we were going to go to Farley Hill (Twin Bridges State Park) and have an outside/ranch/farm theme. The class of '92 was quite gullible. They believed us for a long time. The class of '93 shocked almost everyone. They actually did work well together and with others. I don't know that it ever happened again, but for that brief moment in time they pulled together. I think it was just to prove the Seniors wrong, but hey, they had a common goal and were able to pull it off. I was and am still proud of this accomplishment.

I do have some fond memories of this class, too. There was this one senior boy who didn't have a 1st hour class, or at least he didn't have to pass it to graduate, but he did have English IV 2nd hour. He had missed as many days as he could and was in danger of not passing or graduating. He would come in to class at various times but seldom at the right time. After he got the warning about not graduating if he missed my class any more, he tried to be punctual or at least to make it to class. One morning he was running later than usual so we each picked a time and laid our pennies on the desk. When he came in, he had no idea of what had been going on. I don't remember who won the pot and we never did it again since gambling is illegal. I hope we have reached the statute of limitation on this offense, if not, this is a complete lie and it never happened. I found out before they graduated that the second semester hadn't started until a week later than we thought so he did have another day or two he could miss. I never told him that until the last day of school. None of you are surprised by this revelation, are you?

Another one of these fine young men during their Freshman year came in on the day that I wore my new stylish big rimmed glasses. He looked at me and said, "Hey, why are you wearing those glasses with the big nose?" My sense of humor hadn't mellowed quite yet in those days and he got the look that could kill.

Then there were the girls who brought booze to school and hid it in the girls' restroom. They were sooooooo lucky that Joe was a lot nicer guy than what he pretended to be. Luckily, these young ladies are now mothers and grew out of this stage in their lives. Thank Goodness!!!

There were other good memories for instance the Superman moment which needs no further explanation and Mr. Lippe falling asleep while he was supposed to be evaluating me. His son was having trouble not bursting out laughing because his dad was on one side dozing off and on the other side was a senior boy who was having the same trouble. I have managed to make my introduction to the Prologue to the Canterbury Tales more interesting in recent years. Who am I kidding. This is British literature; someone will always be nodding off no matter what I'm introducing or how interesting I try to make it.

I am pleased to say that most of the members of the class of '93 have gone on to become contributing member of society. Mr. Lippe came to me during the last nine weeks of their senior year and mentioned one young man and said, "______ will be graduating!" no question mark. I replied, "Yes, he will." I learned recently that this young man has started college. When you are a teacher, you have to believe in miracles.

I see members of the class of '93 on different occasions and am always glad to visit and find out how they are doing. Sometimes I get to talk to a parent, grandparent, or aunt or uncle. Sometimes I read their names in the paper(not always good). I guess that individuality has been an asset to the majority of them. For those who just decided to go with the flow, I think their lives are okay, too.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Pretty Water Colored Memories

Walmart was packed last Monday. The ice storm had stopped most people from venturing out much, but Monday must have been the breaking point for most because the place was busy. Hubby D and I kept seeing so many people that we hadn't seen for ages and of course visiting ensued. Some of those people we encountered were former students and that got me to thinking.

We saw and visited with the Furnas boys, Mike and Doug, who had had the privilege(?) of having me the first year I taught. So here it is 34 years and 75 pounds later, and Mike was nice enough to say I hadn't aged at all. He always was good at shooting the bull. I should have asked them to let me know the next time their class is getting together for a reunion so I could come and make an apology. I cut my teaching teeth on this class but after talking with the "boys", I discovered that most of their fellow classmates survived without too much permanent damage.

This class of seventh graders is the one that told me they had been running teachers off since they started school. I told them to put their money on the table because I'd be there the last day of school whether they made it or not. They asked what I meant and I told them to hide and watch. The battle was on. I had sooooooooooo much to learn about teaching and they just had soooooooo much to learn period. The principal and superintendent at the time told me that they weren't overly concerned with how much English the students learned as long as I could teach them to sit at their desk and not be so disruptive, I would have accomplished more than most. I stayed at Commerce for 5 years and I must say my principal that first couple of years saved my bacon more than once, and I am mighty grateful to him for giving me the chance to grow as a teacher. I know he took an awful lot of flack concerning me and my tendencies to say and do some not so wise things. I must admit that at the time I really didn't see any problems until he called me in for the talk. OOPS!!!!! I still get to talk to the principal every once in awhile for those same types of things. I'm better, but this tongue of mine and my tendency to do some off the wall things maybe even outrageous things does still get me into hot water every once in awhile. Getting back to Commerce, I wouldn't have left but a position opened at Wyandotte, and I needed to be where the Cap'n was going to school.

After getting home from our Walmart venture, I checked myspace and found another former student request to be my friend. He was from a particularly special group of kids. They just don't come any better than the class of '92. Of course, they were not all perfect but on the whole the class had lots and lots of nice kids. I taught them as freshmen and sophomores and then was their junior class sponsor. I even was privileged to go to church with some of them.

One of these sweet things lived down the hill from my house, and every year in September she would have a birthday slumber party on a Friday night. Their freshman year was the first time they made their midnight pilgrimage to my house to sing the school song. For the next few years it became an annual event. The first time they were a little nervous and fled immediately after singing. Each year their courage built until their senior year when they stayed around and sang several songs, even "Father Abraham" with all of the actions. The best part of this was that this group didn't need the "booze" or drug stuff to have a good time. When the sweet thing got married several years later, we formed two lines and as she and her new hubby left, we threw our rice/birdseed at them as we sang the School Song!!!!

At one dance we had, the stereo got too hot and the music stopped!!!!! We still had quite awhile to go before parents came to get their kids (7th through 12th went to our dances) so even though most of them had cars and could have left instead they gathered in a large group in the middle of the floor and started playing games. They welcomed any and everyone to join in. They finally wound up playing RED ROVER with both sides having lots and lots of players. They helped turn a fiasco into a good time. I really appreciated those kids.

This weather also made me think of them. Their Senior year on Halloween, the weather was awful. You might wonder how I remember. Well, I will tell you. When we got up the next day, it was too bad to go to school. When we did venture out, we found the words to the Wyandotte School Song, written on white shoe polish all over the windshields on both cars. They had also written "gotcha" on my front room window. The words to the school song gave them away. Yes, they got me good. BUT.......they had to do everything in the snow, sleet, and freezing rain while I was safe and sound in my warm house. Poor Cap'n got to help clean everything off except for the front window. When our house burned several years later, those words were still on the window!!!!!

This class worked extremely hard during their junior year so that we would have enough money to go on the Cherokee Queen for prom. That was one of the best proms we ever had. That was the year that I had no help; I was the only sponsor!!!!! They did an amazing job.

There are other classes that have left imprints on my heart but this bunch left more than the others. I have many more stories but will save those for a later day.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Winter Wonder Land?????

It began Friday while we were at school. The weather man said it wouldn't get here until around 5. He was wrong. The principal came in to my 5th hour class and let all of the students who had driven leave so that they could get home before the roads got any worse. We couldn't let the rest of them go because parents had to be notified. It wouldn't be wise to send grade school students home early in freezing rain and sleet. Their parents might not be happy to come home to find their little ones couldn't get into the house and had turned into pretty blue icicles. By the time they got everybody notified, we were able to leave at 3. The kids probably didn't get home early at all with the way the roads were.

The drive home wasn't bad just slow and stressful. I realized earlier in the day that some how I had left my billfold at home---no license, no money, no checks, no credit cards!!!!! I had to make dang sure that I didn't wind up in a fender bender. I really needed to pick some things up on the way home; however, since I had no money, credit cards, or checks that was out of the question. My problem is that once I get home and in the house, I begin putting on my lounging clothes and it is next to impossible to make myself leave. Luckily, we have had enough of everything to get by, but we are starting to get low on some provisions. The Great Hubby D is off tomorrow too so he or we will have to venture forth in search of provisions. I will probably go along. I get cabin fever after 3 days of isolation. The only problem will be having to get dressed, fix my hair, put on make up, and make myself presentable.

Hubby D has been going to work this whole time. He says that there isn't much traffic which is nice. He can look out for himself and not have to worry too much about the other guy. He is great driving on this stuff; I, on the other hand, am not even close to being average much less great on the stuff. He said it was so cold that even with the defroster blowing on high the windshield kept freezing up. Now that my friends is cold.

When we look outside, the landscape appears to be snow covered. In actuality, the landscape is sleet and ice covered. When I went out to get the paper Saturday morning, my shoes didn't sink into the white covered driveway at all. Mater of fact, I crunched every step of the way. It never ceases to amaze me that something which appears so beautiful can be so dangerous. I guess when you think about it, lots of things in life are that way.

No school tomorrow. Our students always gripe and complain because we don't get out for Martin Luther King Day. Well, this year we do!!!!! Ah, one less thing for them to complain about!!!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007


When teachers go to school and students don't, it is called in-service, staff development, or teachers' meeting. I went to one today. We didn't have to be there until 8:30-9, and we got to wear jeans. YEA!!!!! HURRAY!!!!!

Usually these meetings aren't as helpful or meaningful as most teachers would like. Let's face it, we have too many subjects, interests, and grade levels to make everyone happy. Today was the English Teachers' turn to be happy. The presenters were younger teachers from one of the Putnam City high schools. They were both English Teachers. YEA!!!!! HURRAY!!!!! The examples that they gave were English related. I got several great ideas on how to make my classes more interesting on a daily basis or at least a weekly basis. There were 3 sessions and none of them were too long. We got to be participants instead of just sitting like knots on logs. Some did not get as much out of the meeting as I did, but any time I can come away from a meeting with several ideas on how to present and make English more interesting, I feel my timehas been well spent.

We were dismissed at noon but R and I stayed and worked. She graded and I tried to get my room in some semblance of order. Now that I don't have to share my room any more and the extra desks and a refrigerator are gone, I actually have some room to move. I fixed my bulletin board and got things semi-organized. Now I am ready to hit the hay. I will definitely need all my energy for tomorrow when the DARLINGS return.

Monday, January 01, 2007

One of the Perks

When I think about why I became a teacher, I know that initially I had great plans to save the world one class room at a time. I now realize that teaching is what I was meant to do. I am totally at a loss as to what else I could have done with my life. I like my job. I gripe and complain about it. But, in the great scheme of things, it is my calling.

One of the perks, and I don't know that there are many but this is a BIG one, is the time I get off. I have been relaxing since about 5 p.m. on December 20. Okay, I did have to shop, decorate a little more, wrap presents, and cook. However, the majority of my time has been spent doing what I want to do.

Thursday, December 21: I got a perm, and then R and I went shopping. We left at about 1 and got home after 10. We shopped, laughed a whole lot, ate, and shopped some more. We were totally pooped out afterwards but we started off our break in a great way.

Friday, December 22: The son came home, we talked, we watched movies, I didn't cook, we ate Arby's, Hubby D came home from work, I went to bed and they stayed up. Another Great Day!!!

Saturday, December 23: We got up late, we watched movies, we went shopping, we wrapped gifts, I cooked hamburgers, we stayed up late, and we totally relaxed.

Sunday, December 24: We got up up late (do you see a pattern developing here?), we watched football, I cooked tacos and made cheese dip, Grandma Ann came over, we ate, we opened gifts on Christmas Eve for the first time ever, Grandma Ann went home, we watched movies, we stayed up late, and we totally relaxed.

Monday, December 25: I got up later than anybody else, I cooked our traditional French Toast breakfast, we ate, we did pretty much the same things we had been doing for the past few days and we totally relaxed.

Tuesday, December 26: We got up late, we watched movies, Hubby D had to go to work, but not to worry, Cap'n N and I managed to relax totally.

Wednesday, December 27: The Cap'n had to go back home :( , Hubby D had to go to work, but not to worry, I managed to relax totally.

Thursday, December 28: Hubby D had the day off. My cousin from Virginia came to town and so my family got together. My Uncle Jay, Aunt Rex, Aunt Wilma, Auntie Earl, and cousins--Jayne and her hubby Jack, Jeannie, Jackie, Susie, J.R., and Hubby D and I, gathered to eat, laugh, share pictures, and talk, talk, talk. Even though I did have to bathe, put on something besides pjs, and go somewhere, I must say I had a wonderful time. The evening was spent relaxing and watching movies.

Friday, December 29: Hubby D went to work and I relaxed some more.

Saturday, December 30: Hubby D went to work and I relaxed some more.

Sunday, December 31: Hubby D went to work, and I actually cleaned around the house, did some laundry, and graded papers!!!!! I do have to have grades finished by the end of the week. I also watched TV, ordered pizza, made brownies and made Hubby D his favorite, red JELL-O with fruit cocktail and pecans. He got home from work at about 11:45. We watched some TV, welcomed in the NEW YEAR with a kiss or two, and headed to bed.

Monday, January 1: The pattern continues.

I like my job and love my breaks. I will be ready for the darlings when they return on Thursday, but only because of these wonderful breaks. Without the breaks, the prisons or mental institutions, or perhaps both would be full, and home schooling would have to become the norm. Just talk to the parents who have their kids home for breaks and see how many of them are more than ready to send the little darlings back to us sooner rather than later.

I like my job, but I LOVE MY BREAKS!!!

Ah, Another Year Here on Planet Earth

Here it is January 1, 2007. Now how the heck did that happen? I remember all of the predictions when we hit 2000!!! End of the World!!! Computer crashes!!! Buy a generator!!! Look for aliens to arrive!!! Seven years later and nothing. I have seen some pretty strange creatures out there, but I am pretty sure that they are human.

I watched the end of an old Twilight Zone today. A Martian who looked human was talking to this guy in a cafe. The Martian revealed his 4 arms as he stirred his coffee and informed the other guy that the rest of the Martians were on there way to take over earth. The guy behind the counter didn't seem too upset as he took off his hat to reveal a third eye and informed the Martian that he was from Venus. It seems that they had already intercepted and destroyed all of the other Martians and earth was being taken over by Venus.

2001: a Space Odyssey, 1984, the Twilight Zone.....Life just keeps on keepin' on.

Things keep changing but the changes are never quite as bad as what man has dreamed up for the future. Thank you Lord and may I have an AMEN!!!!!