Educat v2004.11.5

I heard David Sedaris today on Fresh Air. The interview talked about his latest book and on how he became a writer.

He started writing at 20 and said that he had no inclination to write before that time. One day, he didn't write and the next, he was a writer. It all began that easily.

I have been mulling over a year end entry for some time now. Although the first entries of this blog were written in October of 2003, I left it and came back to it in February of this year. I would not be so presumptuous as to say that now I am a writer. I'm not, really. I still have trouble saying what I mean and I don't even touch some topics here as I feel inarticulate or inadequate to say what I mean.

What I will say, and what the Sedaris interview made me think about is what I have become this year.

I began this year watching my father breathe. He had a pulmonary embolism on New Year's Eve and at 1am I met my family at the hospital. I spent most of the month of January by his bed wondering what this trauma would make him, my family, and me. I was frazzled from my schedule and scared. I wanted a church but the questions and anxiety I had brought me little from every place I visited.

The month of January changed me. It made me remember and reflect. I came back to the blog with nothing profound but just some stuff to say.

Then I got readers! Then I read my readers and the readers of my readers!

I won't thank you all individually as I know I will forget someone, but know that I take this stuff in. I might not always answer with the intelligence that I want, but I listen. The questions I had before about faith and identity have now been replaced with more questions and the anxiety has been replaced (in ever growing amounts) by medication. Some blog friends have become real friends and some real friends have become blog friends.

Thank you. It seems inadequate to just say thank you but know you have helped me become the latest (and most improved so far) me. Who would have known the part that yarn, the internet and the US Constitution would have in growing me this year!

Keep writing, friends, I'm not through listening.

Just to prove it was real, here is a shot. Posted by Hello

Father Daughter Pre Holiday Fun, II

This morning, I was given the charge by my mother to "keep your father out of the house for a while", so I took him out to finish my errands, and get coffee.

As he picked me up, he noticed the pole left by neighbors who moved out months ago. They took the satellite dish and left the pole in my "yard".
"That is some Festivus pole you have, sister."
"Yeah, just you wait til the airing of grievances. I will give those ex neighbors what for."
"You gonna decorate your Festivus pole?"
I think you can guess what followed...

...and here is the close up. Happy Festivus From The Rest Of Us! Posted by Hello

Do You Suppose That Waiting Hands On Eyes Veronica Has Gone To Hide?

My family spent the day at a funeral for a man at my home church. His 95 year old mother has been an adopted Nana to my sister and I for most of our lives and so we found ourselves in the odd role of pseudo family. Nana is suffering from Alzheimer's and so my mother helped her through the day. My sister and I spent time with her waiting for the family to get home from the graveside.

I wish I could know if Nana understood today anywhere in her mind. Somehow she knew my sister and I and told us often that she loved us and was proud of us. We talked about how many people were at the church ("Have I been to that church before? It's a nice one" Nana has been a member of that church since at least the 1930's) but never seemed to understand what she was there for. She asked where her Jim (the deceased) was today, did I see him? (I answered no, it was a closed casket). Strangest of all, when I left, she looked me in the eye, called me by name, and told me she loved me.

I love Nana too and maybe that's the point. I don't mind being single at all until I think of being old with no family left but maybe the lesson from Nana is that investing your life in people means you keep them. Then maybe they keep you.

It's Like Watching Iron Chef With Yarn

In my neverending search for free stuff online, I was searching crochet patterns. I actually found this site from a thread on crafster. If you are in anyway inclined to handicrafts and have a sense of irony, you will love a site with crochet patterns for pot leaves.

So I end up at the site of a Japanese yarn company, translate the site into English via Google, and end up with these quotable descriptions of their work...

  • This year flower motif of attention, 3 making, connect the れ れ, oh with

    while saying, be able to make, rising! It is warm, it held, it is the accessory

    of new feeling.
  • The hat which is knitted for the first time is such a simple shape the male

    is completed.With the セ ッ ト of the hat and the muffler please in the present!
  • It becomes such a checkered pattern the chart knitting and the reverse side

    knitting of the basis depending upon combination.Don't you think? it becomes

    desired being the color difference
  • First you challenge to the simple muffler.If such a BASIC color, you can use

    in the unisex, don't you think
  • Delicate pattern is beautiful, it is the muffler of the crochet needle

    knitting. Round and round while increasing, it just knits, very it is the

    luxurious completion.

I will now strive for such commentary for every item I make.

It's Like Betsy Ross, Only With A Scarf!

I know this is funny...I am just so used to it that I fail to see it. One of the kids quick like (and therefore poorly) snapped this tonight.


"Well, hon, bring the Constitution over here and let me put down my knittin'." Posted by Hello

Nerd Is A Many Splendored Thing

I am kinds of tired that no one on vacation should be. It's a good kind of tired, but tired nonetheless. Three meetings that should not have overlapped did and so that put me out of the house and running for over 12 hours.

Last meeting of the day found me at Borders for a debate work session. Yep, I said work session. On their break. And work they did (mostly, there was that one group in the children's section that I never seem to have gotten a handle on...)! I gots me some nerds!

I am questioning the logic of arranging a meeting place with children where literary and auditory diversions are sold...too much stimulus.

Wouldn't it be a perfect segue to say that I had to pull the kids away from the Brittany Spears albums to talk about the Constitution? Then I could link to this and declare a call to arms!!!

We still need the call to arms as long as we live in a world where this is so whorishly marketed (seriously, it comes in about 5 forms of calendar plus the album!), I just didn't find it tonight.

That would have been a neat entry, eh, internet?

Anytime There is New Smart Ass Poetry, An Angel Gets Its Wings!

Anyone can play solitaire on a palm in a meeting, but I think the next level of cool is to write mocking poetry in meetings!

We all use a different form, I likes me some haiku but my friend Beth-who-is-not-in-the-library writes limericks. The satisfaction comes from the crafting of the poetry but sharing it brings catharsis to a new level.

My next door teacher neighbor is a lurker here and just when I don't feel myself being all edu-catty, she comes by to giggle about something she read here. Today when that happened, she shared her first try at mocking meeting poetry.

Know first that the "Big Sticky" is the easel sized post it note that is all the rage in the Dilbert like "small sharing groups" that infect most meetings.


We live in the age of the big sticky.

There is no escape

.Nights filled with quick, smiley legs

and hairy markers.

Succumbing to them,

the living parts of us go SPLAT on the floorand die.

Breaks, vacations, mental health days,

Oh, sweet respite!

BS lurks to kill again.

Thanks, JeanAnn. Your poem is back in your box.

I Can't Comment on my Blog From Work...

but I can do a whole other entry!!

I drop a word here to respond to Marty and clarify my last entry about
the OBU. I am pretty sure what I want the end product to be (my child
somewhere besides Bison Hill), but I have to use my power for good. I
have to be smoove.

Comment, kids, what questions does she ask the admissions kid so she
sees for herself she wants to be elsewhere?

Loyal To Our Alma Mater?...I'm Trying!

I have a serious question for you, internet. I need all you OBU kids to listen.

I have this kid at school who is a senior. Truth be told, I own her and I don't for the life of me know why. She might go way too far to please me.

She told me today she is talking with the admissions folk at the OBU.

I loved loved loved and loved some more my time there. I would send 1/3 of the kids I know to the OBU I knew from 1989-94. I told Hortense* what OBU was for me but am concerned about all the changes. I encouraged her to ask hard questions of the admissions person and then told her I would give her some idea of what to ask.

That's my question, internet Bison family. Besides some real answers about the effects of the budget cuts, what can my kid ask to help her make the best decision?

*All real names have been changed. Except for me. And OBU. And you, internet.

Dish Up The Egg Nog and Prepare to Be Charmed

You know A Christmas Carol, you know Gift of the Magi, perhaps you even know Emmit Otter's Jug Band Christmas (if you don't, I own it and can sing all the songs). Add to that canon of tales The First Henderson Christmas. Go to Karina's blog and read it, check the pics to prove that neither is Tiny Tim and no one sold their hair to buy that there tree.

It is a touching tale and I am honored to be marginally a part of the story as Karina recounts our trip to Big Lots

I am pimping this blog to you, read it, comment, and clap your hands if you believe in Karina.

Rumor Has It The Christ Child Is One Of Julia Robert's Twins!

Remember Beck and Posh as the Holy Family? Here is the whole sad company at Madame Tussaud's. (from left) Samuel L Jackson, Hugh Grant, Graham Norton, Beck and Posh, Kylie Minogue (flying overhead), Tony Blair, Duke of Edinburgh, and George W Bush.

News today is the Bush wiseman (yeah, I know) was found decapitated. Comment with something pithy and stay with Ramblin' Educat for this and other hard hitting news stories. Posted by Hello

If This Works...

...I shall be posting to my blog via email and I am afraid the fun
just might not end.

What I Did For Church Today

Evangelical Expatriate (thanks, McCartys, for the link) wrote about and linked to Friday's Diane Rehm Show where she interviewed Emily Saliers (do I need to tell you she is 1/2 of The Indigo Girls?) and her father (I probably do need to tell you he is a professor of sacred music at Emory) about their new book Saturday Night and Sunday Morning. The book talks about the spirituality of all music and how music both sacred and secular communicates a shared experience (at least that's what Amazon and npr say).

The archived link to the show is here. I am going to say some stuff in the rest of this entry, but if you leave me to listen to this, you will be better off than if you just read to the end of this post. Promise.

If you are not moved by the extended version of Hammer and a Nail around 24:00 then you are dead inside. Please go to your black mountain and drink from a skull.

Hammer and A Nail has always been one of my favorite Indigo Girls songs. Nomads, Indians and Saints was the first IG album I bought back in...umm...92? I love the way the song speaks to the human (or at least Educat-esque) tendency to think and think and stew on stuff and never take action. This morning, I wept, oh yes I did, as I listened to the version on Diane Rhem. Emily sings the last verse and chorus and then the ending goes directly into "Let Us Break Bread Together". Hammer and A Nail never gives a solution, it just says "take action". This medley seemed to put a finer point on it.

"Let us break bread together on our knees.
Let us break bread together on our knees.
When I fall on my knees with my face to the rising sun,
Oh Lord, have mercy on me."
Wouldn't it be easy to end this with "...and so I decided to find a church, next Sunday. No! Wednesday night! No! Tonight!! Tonight I shall go to prayer meeting and it will be easy!"? Sorry, internet. I can't find that easy an ending. I have started mulling solutions, though. We shall speak of this again.

Is there perhaps a place in heaven for women who don't own Christmas sweaters? Posted by Hello

The Teacher On The Bus Says, "Holy Crap".

Why blog I at 6:30 am on a Saturday? Because yesterday was so hard I went to bed at 8:30 in the pm.

It is a powerful, powerful, woman who can make sure 23 children are dressed up, have their cases. taken care of reasonable personal needs and on a school bus to Norman all whilst wearing a suit herself.

Thus my exhaustion. (I want my $5 for that!)

Yesterday was blogworthy on several fronts, but I will begin with the silly. I call upon those teachers and youth workers, both former and present to help me codify a code of etiquette.

I present

Ms. Educat's Rules Of The Bus Song--First Draft
  1. All bus songs must be school appropriate. Would you sing them to your mother or better yet since there is a chance that your mother might be crazy, would you sing them to my mother?
  2. There shall be only one bus song at a time If the purpose of singing is to be heard, please aim for that goal by singing only when others are not.
  3. If you are the child whose public speaking sounds like Eeyore, you may not be the child who sings "The Flinstones" with life or death passion Seriously, you are pissing Ms. Educat off.
  4. Do not mock the bus song. One teenage bus song is truly as silly as another, Do not mock the ladies singing Brittany Spears when all you want is quiet so you and your friends can sing Sponge Bob Square Pants.

Friends, I am open for amendments and additions.

Last Night's Bloggerhea

You know, internet, when I have one of those rare, so-much-to-talk-about, 4 entry nights, I really must learn to save as draft and pace myself


Oooh, yeah! Forgot!!!

Go to Keaton and read the obit from the Oklahoman! It's his 12/8 entry.

In the absence of sons and heirs (or even nieces and nephews), I plan now to sell ad space on my own obit. I will set the price list soon and you'll get in on the ground floor of a sweet deal. Who knows what ad space will be worth by the time I go??

I Remain On The Pavement Thinking About The Government

So last night's entry came after a bit of research into protocol and legality of military recruiters in high schools. I learned a coupla things.

  1. No Child Left Behind requires that the school release student information to the selective service (read about that here). This sets the stage for the relentless phone calls to the homes of my kids by recruiters.
  2. Read a bit further into the information on the US Govt site and note that it says that high schools are "to give military recruiters the same access to secondary school students as they provide to postsecondary institutions or to prospective employers". This says the same access. Same, not preferential. Are universities able to walk into my classroom and pull out students unsolicited? Do they troll the cafeteria at lunch? Demand to park in the library to see who passes through?

The answer is no, they do not. I will refrain from going all political (if you want to get all political, however, go here). The point is this, my classroom is sacred. I am not one of those teachers who hit the roof any time a note is delivered or an assembly held. I know that part of high school is learning to live and function in community. I know this. But for the sake of all that is good and holy, if you can't get these kids at home, lunch or the malls and movie theatres you frequent, they might not want to join you.

Or perhaps they just want to learn MLA citation first.

If I Could Make This Stuff Up, Do You Think I'd Be Teaching High School?

Overheard today in the classroom...

"What your baby name?"

"My baby name Jay-Kwan"

"For the rapper?"


So if all teenage girls name their babies for the music they hear, I started to think of what my children's names might be.

  • Kajagoogoo
  • Morrissey
  • Depeche Mode
  • Cramp (yeah, I listened to The Cramps)

And lo, David Beckham and that one Spice Girl shall be cast in wax and they shall bring forth much fear. Great shall be Yahoo News for publishing it. Posted by Hello

I'm On The Pavement Thinking About The Government

I will now entertain suggestions on how I can effectively teach an MLA citation while the military recruiters breathe down the necks of my students.

We are in the library researching when the recruiter asks if she can speak to one of my students about "something personal".

Seriously, let the kid graduate and talk to him on lunch. I know you don't have to do an MLA citation in order to fight terrah but I got some stuff to do here!!!

I Do Refer to Eminem as Mr. Mathers

I have learned an important lesson in my eleven years of teaching, internet. I have learned that if you want to have a really good rap star name, it has to sound ridiculous when said by your 30 something white teacher.

I submit for your approval Chingy.

Chingy the rapper!

Talk of you takes my class time.

What web do you spin?

I have three times in the last week had to remind my classes (different classes, mind you) that they would have to do their persuasive speeches whether or not they had solved the riddle of whether or not Chingy was that cute.

Go here and see for yourself, I think he's not.

Karina weighed in on the issue today via email (I had referred to the dilemma via voice mail):

Just got your voicemail and tried to catch you before class, but you must have returned to the land of discussing if Chingy is cute by that time. (An aside - at first, I truly thought you said "Cheney." Upon hearing the rest of the phrase, though, I quickly ran it back through my mind and decided that would not be a conversation it would be humanly possible to have.)
I don't think Cheney is cute either. And I think I would have been the teacher who called Beaver Cleaver "Theodore".

Oh Yeah! I Did Pick The Right Career!

In homage to Dooce, I offer my own entry in How to Charm Me

  1. Be the slack jawed one all semester.
  2. Answer no follow up questions when you do your hearings (Does this explain?).
  3. Get a referral and play real dumb when questioned.
  4. Find teacher's Worst. Day. Ever.
  5. Hand teacher a slip of paper with the quote, "In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity. --Albert Einstein"
  6. Tell teacher you like the quote and you think it's like the ones she has on her board every day.
  7. Allow teacher to ask if you think this might be kind of like this class.
  8. Smile and say "Yeah, that's exactly why I wrote it down".

Repeat steps 5-8 as necessary.

I promise tonight to blog about Chingy but need to wash this day off.

A full entry for this hilarious gift idea escapes me, so let's just make this a caption contest. Go! Winner gets a hearty belly laugh. Posted by Hello

Gloomy Sunday

Sundays are strange for me lately. It's my only day not packed with stuff and so in the absence of a crammed schedule, I tend to just collapse. I knitted in bed for a couple of hours today and forced myself to go take my sister to lunch for her birthday (She is not a blog reader but is 30 today so happy day to Courtney! Both sisters are single and in their 30's and not a cat between them!!). While out on this adventure, I used a hand dryer in a public restroom and laughed. Printed on the dryer are the words:

Hand Dryers save trees
Hand Dryers are good for the environment
Hand Dryers reduce waste and allow for a cleaner facility
so I imagined
You will enjoy the Hand Dryer
Shut up and use the Hand Dryer
Do not wipe your hands on your pants
Lastly, my haiku has now been recognized elsewhere. Hi! Monkey! dot net is satisfying to me on levels I do not fully understand myself and my haiku submission has found its way onto the poems from pals page. It's not my best, but there it is. Don't call me a poet, just a counter of syllables.

Yarn...That's What I'm Talking 'Bout

I was called a yarn whore recently and I am afraid it is true. I blog less these days firstly because I seem to have more trouble making my thoughts make sense and secondly, all that holiday knitting won't finish itself.

I am taking more knitting classes after Christmas! By January I shall reek of yarn whoreishness. Bits of yarn will peek out of my unmentionables and I shall smell unashamedly of wool.

For the ultimate projects, I will make these and these for all my loved ones.

There. I only wrote this entry to post those links.

Look! Another Reason To Have Issues With Baby Jesus!

See Dooce's daily photo. Is it ironic to anyone else that the Son of Man is a cloven hooved animal?

Me, The Holidays, and The Baby Jesus: Learning to Love Again

Thanksgiving was lovely. My family went to the home of some close family friends who invited several other families from the same old crowd at my parent's church. It was like a large family and made me grateful for the community where I was raised. All those kids are like my cousins and all their parents my aunts and uncles.

The only slight drawback to a large mixed holiday gathering is that every single family cannot observe every single tradition so Saturday night my parents had my sister and I over for "the good dressing" and to start Christmas decorating. As I sat on the floor of the living room waiting for my mother to drop the cable to another part of the living room (don't make me explain, it involved a television move), I was able to rediscover my mother's vast Precious Moments collection. If you don't remember the pastel runny-eyed porcelain children that I shared a home with for the first 22 years of my life then you obviously lived on a different hemisphere in the 70's and 80's. I resisted the urge to "accidently" break this one and made a mental note to check collector's prices soon as I can just picture my sister and I when the time comes to move them out of that house.

This Christmas, I need to figure out how to find a healthy relationship with the baby Jesus. I mean, I love him as an adult, I really really do but this is my first non retail Christmas in 5 years and well, I just don't like Christmas. I mean, I like it once I am out of school and have time to exhale from working two jobs but advent? Not so much. I am excited to be making a lot of gifts and avoiding too much shopping. Perhaps avoiding all malls will help with the creeping bitterness I find at this most wonderful time of the year. Perhaps by the next time I speak to you, internet, I will be decked in tinsel and singing carols with all my angst behind me.

Perhaps not. But it can't be as bad as it is when I spend my nights pimping lotion.

Limericks Are SO Ten Min Ago

More hot and fresh haiku from Karina.

If you haven't started counting syllables, you shall. Oh yes, you shall.

Now pretend this photo was posted with my last entry. Posted by Hello

Eavesdropping On A Father/Daughter Conversation At The Jimmy's Egg

Daughter: "I love how the cheap Monet posters here are juxtaposed against the whittled wood Last Supper"

Father: "That's actually the last breakfast. Lots of people don't know that but when they paid for the room, they got the whole day."

"John wanted to get the salsa but Matthew stopped him"

"That's right, because they charge for it here."

"This coffee is my blood, this raisin toast my body."

"Get on this side of the table if you want to be in the picture"

"Smile, boys, here comes the whittler!"

Blog Me Once and Blog Me Twice and Blog Me Once Again, It's Been a Long, Long Time.

Keaton calls his blog entries "Daily Updates" and I maintain that doing that forces entries where there should be no entries. However, I will agree with Marty, it's been too long. Please don't expect structure of any sort.

Remember how Fallujah was the funniest word on the news? And then it wasn't funny at all but horrid? Fallujah gave me one more laugh on the news the other day when I heard the phrase "returning Fallujah to the Fallujans". Fallujah still isn't funny but Fallujans? That's funny.

Part of the reason I haven't blogged in a while is just the stress. I have told a couple of friends that the reason I don't spend time in the third world is that I cannot handle the needy constantly wanting a part of me. My world seems too much like that third world experience right now. I have in one class period (and I am not kidding) worried about one of my girls in a shelter, talked with a boy about his parent's hours-old seperation, sent a boy to the restroom to spit out his tooth ("You need to get to the dentist!" "Oh, we don't have insurance, I can't do that"), and pimped dress clothes for more than a few of them so we can go to competition. It's hard!! It's hard hard work!!!

So this Thanksgiving, I am thankful that my lower Maslow is covered. Hell, my mid to upper Maslow is in decent shape. Thank God it is or I couldn't do this job.

Fallujan...I needed that.

Charity Rhymes With Hilarity

So my friend Kathy is raising money for the Lukemia and Lymphoma Society. She is running her third marathon and as if it isn't enough to train for a marathon (I so admire anyone who plays a sport that requires you leave the sofa), this crazy gal has to raise $3k for the cause.

The link is here, and worth checking for some wacky photoshopping. Go here (hope you don't mind, Kristin and Micah, I couldn't find the actual image so I am linking to your site for it), then back to Kathy's page. Now back here again, now back to Kathy's page.

Creepy, eh? Please don't let that stop you if you are inclined to give, but please be aware that Kathy and her running partner are only two women.

Measuring Self Worth In The Nation's Third Century

I tend to look at number of hits, but yeah, I getcha.

All Mixed Up

One of the many things for which my father is useful is the celebrity death notification. A midday email from dad tolled the death of Fred "Rerun" Berry ("and here he was all ready to play Othello!") and I never will forget the early morning phone call that told me Johnny Cash had left this mortal coil.

Today was the death of Old Dirty Bastard. I don't know how it got through the district email filter, but here from an email entitled "Mourn his passing" are the words of my father...

O D B has left us. Yes, the ODB has gone home. What an artist! What a name! Dad

Indeed, Dad.

I wrote some haiku (I will post this in the haiku blog soon and would encourage my fellow haiku artists to comment with your ODB haiku).
Old Dirty Bastard,

once named Big Baby Jesus,

gone. And Wu Tang weeps.

ODB has passed,

once named Dirt McGirt.

What must his teeth be worth?

So then I read in the news of the resignation of Secretary of Education Rod Paige. Bookmark this, it will matter soon.

On my drive home, I start to compose my farewell sentiments for the ODB.

"Secretary of Education Paige caused controversy when he interrupted Shawn Colvin's acceptance speech at the American Music Awards..."

No, that's not right.

"ODB was a vocal proponent of private school vouchers and helped to cultivate the school of thought that everything that is wrong with American public education is the fault of the teacher and can be tested away..."

Crap! That's not it either.

I keep confusing my Old Dirty Bastards.

Do People With Real Jobs Do This??

I am not the person who tries to catch kids being wrong. I don't watch for those meddling kids to mess up, I find no joy in this.

That said, we had a kick ass hall sweep today!

Hundreds of kids were caught after the bell and herded into the cafeteria. It did my sense of justice good to say stuff like "Tell it to your principal", "Sweetie, if I don't see a hall pass, I just cannot let you through" or (my favorite) "There ain't a guilty man in Shawshank, is there?".

I played human shield for the better part of an hour with several other teachers, demanding hall passes from all who passed. I was the troll under the bridge and after the first 20 min I grew bored.

So I started to sing.

Did you ever stop to think about how appropriate the Chico and The Man theme is for situations in everyday life? It really is, and so many names have two syllables so it is all to easy to go into


Don't be discouraged

the man, he ain't so hard to understand.
This leads Beth and I to plan for karaoke hall sweeps next time. It shall happen.

Any requests?

Padded Cell For Her!!

Thank you, Nancy, for showing me I have not gone mad.

This is mad. I am not mad.

Days Choc-Full Of Crazy

In the last 24 hours, I have...

  • Heard from 4 former students
  • Looked for a possible home for a foster kid being put out of her present situation
  • Heard one of my girls speak in front of the whole school about how she opposed the war but loves and supports her father who serves there
  • Stopped one of my girls from reading Locke in said assembly with a look of "Gawd, I love you and you are so cool, but you have to put the book away."
  • Wished a girl well as she left school to have labor induced
  • Wished I could go to my student's funeral
  • Talked with another of my girls about her baby (to be born this weekend)
  • Admired a colleague's recent aquisition of "Pimpjuice"

So marvel not, friends, that the use and consumption of yarn has become so central to my life. Yarnity yarn yarn yarn. I love you, mindless motion of crochet. My mind is full of my weekend beginning knitter class. It's in a real yarn store! Lots of yarn!! Fancy fancy yarn!

I shall be knitting my own straightjacket.

Proof that I am an Okie: a. I attempted to take this picture of the sky while driving and b. today I said to a group of kids in the hall "Hey, y'all, a storm's coming! My room's the safe room, get in there while I go look at the sky!" Posted by Hello

I Will, However, Never Tell You Which Spice Girl I Am

I have avoided most all of the wacky "paste this html on your blog and tell the world ______!" So I know you will forgive's kind of funny.

This site is certified 65% GOOD by the Gematriculator

Or, if your glass is half empty...

This site is certified 35% EVIL by the Gematriculator

Of Mother and Pie

I have a difficult relationship with my mother. Mom is that woman at your church. She sings in the choir, decorates for holidays, and has been known to invite the saleswoman at Dillard's to services (yeah, I am serious). Our relationship wavers between heated argument, agreeing to disagree, and just talking about shopping and the people I still know at her church. We both know that the love is there, but there is a distance.

Today, I remembered why I love her.

Thanksgiving plans are in the works. The big day will be spent with good family friends and the day after will be pie with Miss Eulla.

My sister found out about Miss Eulla last year when she had a sofa bed she needed to get rid of. Someone at her church knew there was a need so we went over to drop the sofa. She has three kids and a back injury that makes it difficult to work (the only jobs she qualifies for require lifting). Mom didn't make the trip but when we told her about Miss Eulla, she called to visit. Since then, Mom has made a real frienship with this woman. Mom calls once every couple of weeks and updates Miss Eualla on all of us. She prays for all of us and us for her. We have helped out at times and have referred her to people who can offer more help. This year, we are invited for post Thanksgiving pie and Mom has spoken, pie shall happen.

I love that Mom wants to know this woman. It's one thing to teach your family charity by volunteering, but another entirely to develop relationship.

It also makes me curse her less as I try to make the scarf she wants.

My new desktop wallpaper, have left the Smart Women Vote paper for a time. Posted by Hello

Mark This...

Haiku blogging promises to sweep the internet like a house afire!

Greg has picked it up, if only for one entry.

Before I fully release my anger, this ought to be shared. Posted by Hello

This made me calmer today...a bit of nuance. Posted by Hello

Wherein She Is A Slender Reed And Blows In The Wind

Haiku is up on the other blog. Go and appalud Nancy's's a haiku suite!

I am better. After a horrid day of election woes, breaking up a girl fight, and cheering my aging father I somehow have calm.

I listened to music on the way to work for the first time since the primaries--it was nice to be up with something other than indignance. I am sure I will find more soon, but for now I just need to be even.

Words Blogger Cannot Spell

  • Cynicsm (lucky blogger)
  • Blog
  • Bighead
  • Gonna
  • Coupla
  • Crap Agnes
I am sure there are others, but it almost cancels the benefits of running spell check.

Toward Civility

I was cautiously up yesterday. I left my polling place after a half hour wait (my longest wait ever) feeling like I had answered everyone. I answer you, Gambling Mouse, Carson Bighead and W stickers on the cars. Even though I would be a minority in Oklahoma, I answered.

I think I had truly let myself believe that a majority of Americans agreed with me. Evidently, they didn't.

I did write a haiku for my next door neighbor who should have been teaching Psychology yesterday. Our walls are thin and he annoyed me.

Williams spews his pap
Neo-con evil teaching
I cancel your vote.
In the end, my answer was too quiet.
So what now? How can we work together toward the larger principles expressed in the Constitution? I will accept any answers that don't say "suck it up and believe what I do".
I have a friend who is fond of saying that he doesn't teach cynicsm. I like that. I don't want to but it's not easy.
Give me action verbs, how do we come together?

There Go My Placenta

This is not a political entry.

I have called two seperate households tonight and both answered the phone with "please tell me you are not a political call".

I wasn't then and I'm not here. I want it over with. Goodbye, Gambling Mice, Carson Dancin Bighead and Stupid Texan Who Thanks Me For Voting Against The Lottery.

I won't miss you at all.

This instead is an entry about the quote of the day.

I get new Communications classes today. They are still small and I have them working away on their first speech (Introduce Your Partner To The Class With No Expectation Of Greatness On My Part!!! Just! Get! Up!!) when I overhear one of my new charges sharing her ultrasound with the girl next to her. She is pointing out the various landmarks in the picture and makes me chortle with...

There go my placenta.

There it go, indeed.

When I call Jill to cackle I am greeted with her laughter at the catchphrase (after all, she said that very thing just over a week ago) and with the new catch phrase of her home, "You are all up in Baby Charlie's grill." (said to caution her other children as they gather too close to the infant).

I know I was supposed to post 95 things that piss me off today, but I am just over it. Over. It. I plan to crochet the evening away watching the SNL special.

Good day to you, internet.

Ten Teenage Girls Shall Vomit In Your Honor

Proof that the Daily Oklahoman is not afraid to ask the tough questions can be found in Sunday's edition. My Principal was interviewed for the paper's fashion section this Sunday. She is a snappy dresser, but the article was a bigger piece of fluff than anyone should expect even on the fashion page. I'll not link to it as it will go into archives soon and you won't be able to access it. I shall, however, post the highlights:

Q: Would you rather watch home repair pro Bob Vila, TV psychologist Dr. Phil

McGraw or Carson Kreesley of "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy"?

A: I would

probably watch Bob Vila, not because of my home repair skills, though. I think

it's interesting to watch his talents and then his finished products.

Q: How

long did it take you to get ready today?

A: Actually, getting ready takes me

about 30 minutes -- 45 at the most. I do schoolwork sometimes in the morning or

chores that keep the house shipshape.

I'll not bore you with the whole thing, it isn't important enough, even for this

blog. The interesting part comes with the last question.

Q: What is your biggest fashion fear?

A: Getting too fat so all my clothes look bad.

Let it be said that I am saying nothing here that I have not said either to her or in an email.

I have already blogged here that I struggle with my weight but am more accepting of it now than ever. I know what the weight will do to me and am working to find a reasonable way to deal with it. That said, I wish my skinny little principal could spend some time with me and see some things...

  • I am convinced I will loose my dad to complications from his obesiety. I am convinced it will happen before I am 40. I will repeat what I said before, my dad must continue to ingest the very thing that will kill him. A smoker can quit smoking forever but an overeater must eat.
  • I know girls with eating disorders. I know who some of them are, some I do not. Food and weight issues are serious business.
  • There are students in our school who don't have enough to eat.

Kind of makes my principal's fears of a double digit dress size seem silly, eh?

This Makes You Want A List Too...Eh?

So I'm posting my haiku from the training in Dallas to the blog (that will be the only plug for haiku blogging in this entry, so do not ignore it) when a message pops up on my gmail notify "Check my blog. Really. Just do it.". I follow Karina's blog Bat-signal for not only the first full entry in the 95 Thesis Blog Entry Festival, but some danged funny stuff! You just better go read!! Seriously, these are people who got rid of cable and can't watch The Daily Show and they are This. Dead. On!!!

Later, my adventures in Dallas (with video posted to the web if you are willing to follow a few links) and a comparison of Y culture to the one in which I really live.

Go read Karina. She lives on my sidebar and here as well.

It's A Monkey Dressed As A Tea Bag!!!

The Hi monkey halloween costume site was so good it inspired haiku.

I leave tomorrow for a coupla days of training for our huge Youth and Government grant and what does training always seem to bring??

Yep, haiku. Stay tuned.

See you Wednesday, Internet.

Thanks, Internet.

I don't remember why I started blogging. It seems like some of my kids had talked about blogs and it just seemed interesting. I imagined myself pontificating on deep thoughts in educational theory. I would quote vital educational journals! People would quote me in inservices! I would turn the world on with my smile!!!

In reality, I have done very little of that.

Here is what I did get...

  • I have me a mighty fine blogroll over there. I have daily reading that challenges. Not bad for stuff that only takes about 5 min on average. While I can't always offer the insightful commentary I would like to, I groove on the thought.
  • An outlet. Once I can articulate my ideas, it feels so good to type away.
  • Community! Reading Marty today made me realize how much this little blog loop o' mine shares the experience of each other's posts.

Yeah, there is more, but I can't pull it all together right now.

This blog became educat in response to some very ugly statements. My friend Jill heard the term used on some KQCV...thing ( I nearly spit the word thing as I want to be far more inarticulate). I have listened to just enough Phyllis Schlafley to be nautious and I suppose the implication is that anyone who looks outside of her world enough to teach another family's child must have some sort of agenda.

So she called me up and asked if she could call me educrat. I invited her to do so. As we laughed and remembered the Aristocats, I chose to embrace the label.

I think I need to use the word educrat more so that "Government School" haters will find me being silly when they search, kind of like Greg uses Joel Osteen.

There you are. It's happened for a year and although it has evolved, I am better for it.

Thank you, Internet.

Today's Most Important Entry

Happy Birthday Baby Chachi!!!
Your mother called me today with the news that you are finally "on the outside". Just yesterday, she said that she was convinced that you would live inside her forever and that every year your family would gather round her vast, Bunyanesque belly and celebrate your due date for you might never show up.
But here you are, two feet long and ten pounds big. Don't tell your brother and sisters, but you are the one that is supposed to take care of me in my old age. It's true, Miss Educat had a dark dark spinster moment one night and talked to your mommy on the phone fearing the reality of dying alone. I wondered if I never had children, who would bathe me or at least make sure the people at the home weren't stealing my books?? She assured me that your brother and sisters would see that my food would not be poisoned and bedsores kept at bay. The very next week, she told me you were coming. Since you are a boy, I will spare you the grossness of actually bathing me yourself but please, find a home that doesn't smell so bad.
I am leaving town Sunday and won't get to actually meet you until I come home, but I am so excited to finally meet you---all ten pounds of you! Don't grow or do anything cute til I can get there, my sweet gigantor boy.
PS Even through your daddy hates it, I do plan do secretly call you Chiz-arlie sometimes.

Good lord, this book is hawt (as the kids say)!  Posted by Hello

There are so very many things tonight! Least important are Walgreen's hilarious road kill pillows. Posted by Hello

To maintain blogging momentum and made you smile, a pic from my palm. This is my Great Grandmother and Grandaddy in a shot we unearthed about a year ago. Posted by Hello

It's Bigger Than The Book...Unless The Book Is Really Really Small

I mentioned a couple of posts ago that I am serving on a committee to find a book for my whole school to read together. I love this idea. I love that we will form community by living in the same idea for an entire school year. I have so much faith in this idea and my mind is spiraling with possibility.

Until we all meet.

Take a look at some of the books we have considered...

Someone made the observation in our meeting the other day that by these standards, we couldn't read the Bible. I offered to get the Book of Mormon (I am just sure we could get them donated). What do you do here? I don't don't don't want to be the book nazi. I know I asked this before and then gave you a botched link to an amazon list, so now I ask you outright, internet. What ideas do you have for a book?

I Don't Need Glasses, I Can Hear Just Fine!

What a crazy teacher loop I find myself in sometimes! I have befriended a couple of teachers who spent time teaching in one of my school's feeder middle schools. One teaches there now and another has "promoted" to the high school. It makes me proud of the community we have, that they check up on their kids and that I am able to understand a bit of their history.

But sometimes it hurts!!!

My middle school friends have given me the backstory on a couple of kids. One is a girl in the foster system who lives for books and aches to be adopted (I mentioned The Federalist and Anti Federalist Papers one Friday, and she shows up Monday with them read, she is a freshman!). Another is...well...Nipsey Junior Russell III. My middle school sources give me the sad story of how he left his parent's home last year after he was discovered to be beaten. He has missed volumes of content due to his absences and now could serve as the poster child for the No Child Left Behind Act (that is, if it was true that teachers refused to teach him and that he was in school every day and did in fact have, that's crazy, we all know that it's all the teacher's fault).

What on earth do these two wacky kids have in common? Guess which one is in special ed? Nope, not Junior III, it's the bright little light bulb girl. She was placed for a math deficiancy that I wonder if she could fix with a little motivation and organization (her test scores in math are decent, I hear). I am filling out the paperwork for Junior III to be tested but even that bothers me. Is this a real disability or just a need for remediation?

Take a look at a special ed class (specifically the learning disabled). I saw one in the library the other day and I wonder how many are organically LD. Most are minority, all are poor, and most have behavior problems. Is labeling a kid special ed a way to keep them away from our "normal" kids? How can you get a kid extra help but not give them a label that sticks them in a class where they may not really get ahead?

Perhaps I have reached my quota of friends from my feeder schools.

Google, You Can Pay Me Later For This

This lets you search your computer all Google-like, and that's worth sharin'!

The pic is of my first wearable piece of yarn. I made this flower pin and wore it today. Note the splash of coffee. The coffee makes it real like the Velveteen Rabbit.

The best thing about this palm project at school is that our kids sync their palms to the internet. When they sync, the contents of their palm go onto a site I can access. I pull down their work and can also leave work for them on the server for them to get when they sync. So so very cool!

Today I was on the server pulling down work and thought about what someone would think if they saw the contents of my palm.

I give you Stuff On My Palm and How This Must Make Me Look

Avant Go contains-
· New York Times
· The Onion
· Weather
· Alternet
· Crochet Baby Cap pattern
· Washington Post

· An old family favorite of my PaPa dressed like a woman one Halloween (he was quite handsome---picture a young Bea Arthur)
· Black and white shot of my sister and I at my college graduation
· Anne Taintor stuff used as background stuff for the main screen
· Homecoming float pics
· The coolest shot ever of my great grandparents
· Table sculpture made by Brady and Karina. Forks and napkins in delicate balance

Palm Reader---
· DeToqueville’s Democracy in America
· Federalist and Anti Federalist Papers
· Kodak Photo Techniques
· Understanding Stress
· Little Women
· Emma

Various Games and Programs-
· Stopwatch
· Yatzee
· 3 Versions of Solitaire

You figure out what it means, I just think it’s funny juxtaposition.
 Posted by Hello

Where YOU Get To Play Therapist For Me

Actually, I don't need you to play therapist for me, you can just read.

I had a weird dream last night. I dreamed I was auditioning for a show again. It's the second time this week I had this dream and I was fully clothed the whole time (in otherwords, it wasn't one of those "don't have it together" crazy dreams), I was really auditioning, really dong well, etc etc.

I know I had this dream because of my turn in thoughts lately. After 6 years of mostly only seeing high school plays (and then only because I was seeing my students or judging one act contest), I have started seeing plays again. In the last month, I have seen four shows, only one of them high school, have tickets to another and plans for yet another. Why the sudden surge in Thespian Points? I think it must have something to do with my new increase in mojo. It has taken me all of the six years outside of drama world to not feel like a total failure when watching a play.

My departure from drama world was a bit unceremonious. After three years of teaching drama at my alma mater, my program was cut when it was determined we were not large enough to justify a full time drama program. I was then transferred to another high school as the "second teacher" and was given classes of kids who didn't want to dress out for gym. I had kids with house arrest bracelets, throwing the floor tiles in the room as they came up, and was perceived by the hardcore drama kids as a threat to the drama director. It was bad and I got out in a year.

So I have spent the last six years doing other stuff. I don't miss nightly rehearsals or the perception of the day to day life of a drama teacher ("So, do you do a play every weekend?" or "Wow, that's really not like work at all!"). All of the sudden I feel calmer about being around the theatre and even feel the edge of wanting to get involved again myself.

I don't know what all this means. I don't want to be in rehearsal all the time and I don't feel moved to get my acting resume together just now. I am simply fully enjoying plays again.

And that is a big big step.

Of Yarn and Promise

What would my blog entries be if I wrote them as they occured to me?

Easier to write.

I have already spoken of my foray into crochet (I really did not mean to sound like a bad French poet here) and I have started a charming scarf for my sister's 30th birthday but this project took a sideline last night for a good cause.

One of my students is due in a couple of weeks. She is by no means my first pregnant student but for some reason she has affected me. She is the classic sad story, 15 or 16 years old, marginal student, overwhelmed with the changes in her body. She has been a hard worker and seemingly aware of how very upside down her life is about to become. I am sympathetic to her need for extra restroom passes and interested in the progress of her growing son. It's been a good relationship.

As her due date has approached, her motivation for school has dropped off. She took a zero on her last speech and missed two days this week. When she came back yesterday, she told me she has started to dialate and spent some time in the hospital. She left class to vomit yesterday. I somehow really hurt for her.

So I put down the coolest of cool scarves to try to do something for the girl. I know she has more problems than I could ever crochet away (especially with my limited ability), but I managed to pull together a really cute set of booties. I have never given a gift to a pregnant girl of mine, but somehow this just seems right.

So then, I became emboldened with the prospect of making and finishing things that people can actually wear! I look in the craft store today and see skirts! Purses! Other stuff I of which I can only dream! I shall once again dust off the sewing machine and become hip hip hip!

I spend the better part of the day dreaming of a bohemian wardrobe and pull out the booties tonight to show my sister.

One is about 1/2 inch larger than the other.

Hold your clothing order, friends.

Pirates and Emperors

Schoolhouse Rock meets today's headlines...and you'll laugh!


Kids, this blog ring is hot hot hot these days! Maybe it's the election season or perhaps pithy-ness is in the air, but if you have not gotten your fat lazy mouse over to the right side of this page and checked out my blogfriends, you are a-missing the boat! It is a blog renaissance (hence the title)!

Today I kept from blowing my curly lil stack at work by sending a cleansing email this afternoon. I used my favorite theme, the one where I nail 95 things that are pissing me off to a door near me.

Attach the actual email of things that piss me off about a co worker to the list of things that about which I ought not to blog (which really saps my blog energy and perhaps dilutes my content, but that is for another entry).

The form, however is more than viable. All Saint's Day is coming, friends. It's time to cook up your lists! I would encourage you to do one of two things in honor of the day that the damn low church protestants ignore (seriously, can your fake Halloween fall festivals and ride this wave).

1. Post your list ideas (or even your whole list) here in my comments. Add your pith and wit here! Too many of you told me you read but never comment--time to break the silence!


2. Develop your own list of 95 or under and post them to your blog. I will personally pimp every such list I catch wind of. It's free linkage for you and a long long blogaissance for your friends on the interweb machine.

You have time to think about it, go team.

This Irony is Available To Me

Look! It's a new post! But it's halfway down the page! Why?

Because when you publish an old draft, it goes down the page to the point at which it was created.

Looka the life long learner!

It's called "Wait! There Are Words On The Screen!! Do I Read Them!?!" and it's below "Superguilt Me".

Read it and mock me.

The Monkeys Get Another Day Off!

I have a running conversation with a fellow teacher from the Tulsa area that goes something like this:

"We're vertically aligning (someday I will make an online education-ese glossary to link to in these moments. Vertical alignment:arranging curriculum so that what is taught in the lower grades feeds into the higher. Do state standards to this? Umm, yeah. Why then do we train for this? Dunno.) this year"

"Yeah, we did that a coupla years ago, this year we're mapping it"

"Mapping?" (I don't know that my friend really asked this, but it keeps me from awkwardly placing a definition)

"Mapping ensures that all of us are getting to the same objectives at the same time. That way, we are Disney-like and homogeneous"

"Soon they'll hand us a script"

"Yep, and then in a coupla years..."

We usually say this part together

"Trained Monkeys"
All that to say, it seems that Stillwater schools don't have to release the monkeys for a while.


I know I just did a bullet-y list, but somehow I seem to be incapable of thinking in prose lately.

  • I have a new blog crush (thank you, McCarty's for this hep new term). Read if you will dooce. Thanks to college friend Karyn, I love creepy Utah culture stories. She has lots. Plus her design is the sort of thing I would want if I could ever figure out how to install these templates. It's hard! It's hard hard work (laugh at my favorite joke from the first Presidential debate)!! So anyhow, Dooce is cool. Read.
  • You know, I thought I knew nerd before now. I thought it was bad enough to carry e books on my palm and read them while waiting for anything. I thought it was bad to switch to a bigger purse just to carry a book. I thought it was nerdy to think this would be the coolest thing to own, but now I have reached the apex. Now, I keep a crochet project in my purse and am working on a scarf! I found an old hippie type crochet book in my school library and am awash with ideas! I have discovered hip yarn and am teaching myself as I go. Please place your orders for bed dolls now (blegh! My Great Grandmother used to make these).
  • Geez! Only two bullets!? Sorry, that's it for now.

To-day, I Am All Bullets and Fragments.

We tell the Youth and Government kids to create bullet-y lists for variety, but I like 'em because they take away the nuisance of actually connecting my thoughts.

  • -Today Larell registered to vote!!! My angry young black man got over his fear that voting will make him more available to law enforcement officials and filled out the card! He guessed right away that I won't tell him who I am voting for, but I offered to print information for him on any issue he wants. Good has been done in America, friends. Good. Has. Been. Done.
  • -Second to Merrill Markoe, Lizz Winstead is my comic hero. Did you know she was the original co creator of The Daily Show? You do now. I love love love her and tomorrow night Comedy Central will air Comedy Central Presents Lizz Winstead. Nine in the PM central time. I type this for your information and for my reminder to tape for I shall be selling football tickets.
  • -There is new haiku on the 575. Just when I remove the link, Karina makes me love haiku again. Evidently, she had to sit through some sort of condescending Tony Robbins type seminar.
  • -Beth pretends to hate her, but then sends me this link. She sent me this one too. Please Lord, let my love of books never take me here.
  • -Speaking of love of books, I want to solicit your help. I am on a committee at school to select a book for the entire school to read. I love this idea! Here are the ideas I could find and remember, but help us out! What are your ideas?? I trust your book-ness!

You know, I never met John Edwards either

Take a break from the political nastiness. This will offend everyone!

Wait! There Are Words On The Screen!! Do I Read Them!?!

To risk sounding like a reject from some bad stand up comedy tour, what is it with people and technology?

Last week I handed palms to my biggest class (go here for the backstory on the grant that gives us this chance). My day was already sketchy. I dropped (not spilled, dropped) my coffee on my desk and myself this morning and endured a sophomore class assembly in Hades. However, I want to start using them in class and I had everything ready so I began the task.

Then came the stupid questions! And all of them had the same answer!!!

q: It says to reset!!!

a: Then hit the button that says reset.

q: It's making me digitize!!

a: Go with that

q:It says to take the card out!!!

a: Ok, try taking the card out.

There is no way for me to sound kind at those comments. I get them from kids and adults. Somehow being in the presence of a machine makes normally intelligent folks freeze up all slackjawed over the buttons.

When I taught technology classes for my district, I would start every class with a sort of mantra (really, I did). "I cannot hurt the computer unless I hold it over my head and throw it on the ground". "I am not stupid, the computer is stupid (we'd repeat that last one often)". Once getting over that fundamental fear, people could proceed with button pushing.

I might have asked this before, but how does this make me smarter than anyone else? The only differences between me and anyone else is that I refuse to fear the buttons and refuse to say "Oh, my! I just have my husband do that!" (and yeah, ok, I don't say the second one because I can't and I won't lie that when I read Heather's thank you on Dooce to her husband for cooking up the CSS for her blog I did sigh a bit and wish I had me a CSS writin' knight in shining armor--but I could learn it! I could!! I think this is my longest parenthetical note on record)

I feel a bit mocked at times like these and really seems to be the most concrete example I have for anti intellectualism. I hate that teachers will at one moment advocate life long learning and then in the same breath call me to show them how to print or the media specialist to turn on the VCR.

Hey, life long learner, friggin push the buttons! And you, mister! Cook me up some CSS!!!!

Superguilt Me

Supersize Me scared the crap out of me. Blogfriends of mine have talked about the movie but prefaced this with the disclaimer that they don't care for fast food much or don't eat it much.

Not me, man. I love it. I love salt. Salty salt salt mcsalterson. It is more than easy for me to gulp down a crappy meal on the road to or from work and I have been known to go on such a bender. Seeing this film made me rededicate my life (wow, I did grow up fundy) to my present food plan of five fruits and veggies a day or die. Especially since I know that those are the choices. It also made me humbly grateful that I can stop the fast food and that relatively little damage is done for me.

That isn't why the film hurt, though. It hurt because of dad.

My dad is obese. He is bigger than most of the people Spurlock shows on the film. His condition has formed my personality in ways both good and bad. It has made me feisty as I have more than once chewed out strangers in public who felt it their place to ridicule him and compassionate as I have watched my dad struggle relearn and undo more than 50 years of bad habits. He spent most of January and February in the hospital after a pulmonary embolism and I wonder if he will live til I am 40. Food is his drug and he has to eat to live. What do you do?

I felt the need to blog this out after I returned the DVD. The clerk saw what I had rented and said "Hey, is this movie dumb?". "No, actually it was kind of frightening" Another bystander asked what it was about and just as I started to tell him, he walked off. I guess I was still pretty fragile from thinking of my dad but it bothered me. So even if that guy walked off, someone is reading this.

The Fourth Horseman Approaches

Surely the end times have arrived! Look! It's a nice story in the Oklahoman about my school!!

Daddy Never Was The Same After That There Slideshow Accident

...and just when I thought I didn't have an entry tonight! I am looking at Yahoo! news this evening and on the left sidebar where they link to their slideshows, I see the following:

Fashion Designer Geoffrey Beene Dies in NY Slideshow

and my mind rushes picturing this audio visual Armageddon. Perhaps his hand is caught in the carousel and then he is sucked in! Perhaps the screen falls on him! What if the slides fall out of the carousel entirely and they (gasp) are not numbered!?!?! Oh! The humanity!!!

Then I woke up and figured out that it is just that the guy died and they have a slideshow.

But please, take a moment to remember the victims of the NY Slideshow tragedy.

When He Says "My Eyes!!!", This Guy Ain't Kidding!

Vegetable Oedipus!!!!

Seriously, he's a potato!

The Girl is Crafty Like Ice is Cold

I just returned home with a Hobby Lobby bag full of hope! I have decided to attempt crochet again this time with that big ol chenille yarn and dreams of a scarf. I am hoping that I will not only become the captain of chenille (who cares if you think that's dumb? I am laughing at myself right now!) but am dreaming of a scarfy Christmas with handmade gifts of love.

Go read McCarty's right now. Kristen not only invokes my feelings on bloggery and blog love but cites Amish in the City. Go ahead, I will wait.

Good. Glad you came back.

Sing a song of Saturday with me for Youth and Government shall be swell this year! I have two co-advisors for News Media this year and we have a wealth of techno-stuff! We have been awarded a fat grant of a 5k techno package plus borrowing rights with a couple of educational institutions! The kids are eager and seem sharper than usual so I look forward to fine reporting on all the fake news at Youth and Government conferences.

Today (just so all the kid stories I tell are not of them being less than shining), two of my kids asked me if I worked at the Gap. They knew I worked retail (past tense!!!!!) and read in Vox about a Gapista with my first and last name. I checked the website and though I didn't see Educat of the Gap I was impressed with their reading material. Also, one of my kids has decided to join me as I read Alexis de Tocqueville's Democracy in America. I just mentioned how I wanted to read it firsthand after my nerd camp week in Boston and she is in! How I love the children who choose to drink my kool aid!

I am off to battle the yarn. Wish me well.

I Believe it was Plato or Morrissey Who Said...

Recently I found the joys of McSweeney's web site. There are new, literate and stinking funny posts daily. This one took me back to my high school/college self and so I give you:

Lame Excuses Roommate Has Given for Breaking Dates or the Smiths Lyrics?


- - - -

1. My dog just died today.

2. I started something, I forced you to a zone and you were clearly never meant to go.

3. Because you're evil and you lie.

4. You wouldn't like the real me anyway.

5. Girlfriend in a coma, I know, I know, it's really serious.

6. I may have scurvy.

7. I'm too despondent to leave my room.

8. What difference does it make?

9. I know I'm unlovable; I wear black on the outside because black is how I feel on the inside.

10. I lost my faith in womanhood.

11. I would go out tonight but I haven't a stitch to wear.

12. My girlfriend left me with a broken heart and a lost virginity, and frankly, I can't see you doing any better.

Smiths lyrics: 2, 3, 5, 8, 9, 10, 11Roommate's excuses: 1, 6, 7, 12Both a lame excuse and a Smiths lyric: 4

182 Days of Mojo

I am so beyond tired. Monday night I helped with homecoming float, Tuesday was open house, Wednesday was Dad night (not as restful as it sounds) and Thursday was our homecoming. I haven't been home before 8-ish any night this week and we had grades due and craptastic staff development.

I tell you this because I am really really hoping for some catch up time. I have yet to turn in my required professional goals. I am pondering them and plan to finally cough them up on Monday. They will include my normal stuff. I will focus on an area for personal staff development (either writing process or something with technology), I will piggyback on some existing goal for my building and department. I will then say something about improving some work habit. I know this sounds like crap, but I really do end up working on the things I list. This year has happened so quickly that I just haven't taken the time to reflect yet.

So my point (because you were wondering, I know) is that I usually also take this time to make my principal chuckle and to lightly thumb my nose at all this mandated growth. I have used "Loose weight until head appears too large for body", you get the idea. This year I am including "Increase mojo by at least 30%". It's perfect education-ese. It's measurable and everything. So I guess I am asking you this, what do I list as process for said mojo increase? How can I show more mojo at school? Finally, goal worthy of my full effort!

...and furthermore, isn't it good to know that Seduction helps control and eliminate hairballs!? Photo credit goes to Karina. Posted by Hello

Ok, so first of all, who names a cat food Seduction? Posted by Hello

You Down with OPC!?!

(I refer in this title to Other People's Children)

I was inspired today by a funny talk with Jill.

Jill is at the end of a pregnancy and feels a bit large and draggy. I guess that's an understatement, she used the term "Jabba the Hutt". Young Chaz is a month away from arrival and she is ready for him to show up.

In contrast, Yvonna, a friend we both knew in high school, is beginning a pregnancy. She is in the nasty sick phase and is dropping weight from her already teeny weeny frame. What must this be!? Jill and I marvel! Could she get smaller?? She is now a fold in the time space continuum! She is disappearing! She is now only an idea rather than something that occupies mass!!!

Both these dear friends of mine will get better. About the time we welcome little Chachi, Yvonna's teeney one will start to grow and she will be able to eat after 5pm. Yvonna and her husband are hoping for a boy they are already calling Ty and I can't wait to meet them. I can't wait to see Ty and Chachi III.

I already love their siblings.

How cool is it to watch the child of someone you love grow into a wee version of your beloved? I love that Hannah (Jill's oldest) already uses funny voices like her mother and that both she and her brother Lare say "Hold the phone, please" just like their father. Lare has inherited the view of the world that I so cherish in Jill ("Son," she says, "thou art thy mother's glass".) I cannot wait to see what Faith and Abby will do that will remind me of my bosom friend.

Yvonna's kids are both their parents also. Brookus already looks at the world with her optimistic heart the way her mother does. She makes me proud as she negotiates the world of her divorced parents in a way no ten year old should have to. Blake is his father. This is both blessing and curse for him, but when he gives his crooked smile and says something witty it reminds me of the man I knew in high school before the darkness took over. I remember why I was his friend and a bit of why he and Yvonna married. Baby Tyrannosaurus will be Yvonna and her new husband Randy. That's a mighty fine gene pool.

Plans are also in the works for me to spend some time with the newly two years old Carter. Carter is my favorite candidate for games of "I'm gonna get you" (sadly, none of my friends in their 30's will play this game). He squeals and dances and claps his hands and falls for my way of "getting him" every single time. I can't wait until his baby brother Cole can join the game!

I know it would be more fun if I had my own, but it's hard to imagine. I love playing fake maiden aunt Miss Educat. Yesterday I talked with Miguel about how the problem with intellectuals is that they don't reproduce at a rate to replenish themselves. Sad. I would play maiden fake aunt Miss Educat to any they can make.

Ok, and also, read Fafblog's 20, Sept. entry. You shall chortle.

Thanks, Keaton! Posted by Hello

Quick, Someone Abuse An Animal So Channel 4 Will Leave Us Alone!

Please keep a young lady from my school in your prayers. She is claiming that she was sexually assaulted at my school today, the news whores have jumped all over it but her story does not wash.

She claims to have been knocked out in a ladies' room and left for 45 min (near the cafeteria at lunch...surely someone would have walked in and she was examined at school, no bumps were found on her head). My gut says this young lady is pregnant and scared. Whether or not her story is true, she is in need of our concern.

If you are in OKC and have heard this story, thanks for your thoughts. We have worked so hard at school this year to get out the good news and this undoes any of the good press. We work hard, our school is safe.

This has worn me slick and we have a special early morning faculty meeting. I have a nasty day ahead.

Good Evening, I'm Marlin Perkins

...and this is Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom!

Today marks the first truly crazy day at school. It was one of those days that makes me feel like Grace Kelly in comparison to the world around me.

  • I spent probably 20 min talking with Junior III about why he ought to wear shoes in class.
  • I actually explained to a child why his urinating on himself might be more embarassing for him than for me.
  • Dear pregnant Xzahgnia (my only true leverage in a weird name poker game with Kristin) offered to work with Junior III while I helped another kid, she was so patient! I told her she might really be a good mother and she said "Oh, my son ain't gonna be like this!!!"

This was all in one class period. I fled my room grateful to go to lunch...until I had to break up a couple making out in the hall.

God bless me. Seriously, please. I had this whole other entry planned about how I was trying to balance my news coverage and what incredible pap I heard on KTOK during my morning drive...but it's hard to be thoughtful when you have to tell children not to fart in class.

Remember when I told you how much midday emails thrill me? This is why.

I am half watching Siegfried and Roy: The Miracle now and I shall close this nonsense with a question posed to me by Jill a few months ago. They say they are not gay but they call their life together "A Poem"?!?

Revenge of the Golf Shirt

Thursday morning, I stopped in to see coffee Ed on my way to school. (I love coffee Ed, btw. He gives me a teacher discount and pours when my car pulls up. If you frequent the south side at all, visit him!) As I waited in line, I overheard a conversation between two men. They seemed to be having a Bible-less Bible study of sorts. One obviously more successfully man-in-tie was fervently preaching to an apparently younger man-in-golf-shirt. The whole conversation carried the same air of those "I bought a house with no money down" infomercials. Tie man was obviously the giver of knowledge. He spoke as if he knew very specifically what God would and would not do if golf shirt would just do xyz.

I went to my car with a bad taste in my mouth (and the flavor of the day was German Chocolate, so it was clearly not the coffee). My drive time thoughts were all about knowledge. I just don't think knowledge is something any one person owns and can deal out. I tend to think that knowledge is an out-there commodity that we can all get a chunk of. Even you, tie man. You don't own it all. How I wanted golf shirt to pipe in with what he was reading, what he was thinking.

That very day, we had a great conversation at school about teaching. I think that the good teacher does the same thing. The teachers I don't get into are the ones who are the givers of knowledge. Oddly enough, those teachers are the ones who tend to leave my school. Kids (at least mine) don't handle it well in the long run when you just pile it on from a podium. I am way more Socratic than all that and what is strange is that it somehow has bought me the reputation of being smarter. How? Knowledge is only knowing where to look.

Now how often do you see someone take a faith example and link it to their job? It's usually the other way around. Thanks, tie man and golf shirt. You gave me some good thinkin'. Just speak up next time, golf shirt!

Let's Have A Baby So We Can Give Him A Jacked Up Name!

Most of my blog entries come while mulling over the day on my drive home. I love my 20 min drive. I use it to gather my thoughts, catch up on news, pray, whatever. When I think over the funny parts of the day, I usually think about how to spin them here.

This would be a very different blog if I ever cease to live alone. I might deconstruct my day to an actual person than to the internet.

So here is what happened in my brain today on the drive. It's a struggle between my loving caring nurturer and my bitchy, cynical, sarcastic side.

I got this kid in class today named (and I will give his real name only as it is relevant to the joke)Ted Junior Nugent III.

Evil Jen---What in the damn are his parents thinking!? How do you name a kid

Nipsy Junior Russell III!?!?

Nurturing Jen---But you don't know the whole story, there has to be something else,

maybe all those names have meaning!

Evil Jen---Yeah, maybe they all mean "I'm a gooney idiot and cannot be

trusted to name a child".

See where my brain goes? I still laugh hard at Lyndon Junior LaRouche III and plan to just giggle at my inner struggle.

Laborious Labor Day

So my family is in Dallas for the long weekend. It's a festival of Outlet Malls and Chain Restaraunts!

I have stayed behind to let my dad rest today while mom and sister went to church . Taking care of my handicapped middle aged father makes me a. know how mothers of toddlers feel and b. rejoice that I am single. I was left with the responsibility of ironing his clothes and getting him breakfast ("Yes, dad, you will wear this shirt because it looks nice and I ironed it" "Yes, I know I only got you one butter for your waffle but I had to fight a woman in a family reunion shirt for it, so eat!!!")

Once I got him settled, I sat down and read the Sunday Dallas Morning News with him and he became Dave, my favorite father of yore. We laughed heartily at an article about this and you will too!

Perhaps we should get t-shirts for this family reunion.

Summer Roma Flashback!

Ok, let me first give an award of sorts. I realized today that most of the quotes from students in this blog are from one kid. Larell is the source of the last entry (he who writes his own life story) as well as many of the stories from English last year (go here for a peek at his wisdom).

The kid is a comic genius.

So now I have him in Communications. Today, we begin the Project Citizen process and are talking about community problems. We generate a big list of problems and start to discuss them. Racism makes the list and so the party starts. Larell speaks of racism as though it is an American invention. Remembering my PACE experience this summer, I start to tell the story of our two Slovakian exchanges that week.

We discussed at length in one session the Roma people and the struggle they faced as a minority status. We found ourselves hearing a somewhat racist rant from our Slovakian friend Erick. He tells us that if we went to a Roma village at night, we would be raped and that some Roma kids are so behind that when they begin school, they cannot even use stairs (go ahead, try to picture it)! We wrote Haiku...

Irony defined:

The Roma use typewriters,

But they can't use stairs.

OK, back to class today. I tell the class an abbreviated version of this story (minus the haiku) and Larell comes through again.

"Man, if they smart enough to rape you, the can probably figure out stairs!"

I love Larell. In fact, that might be a new TV show, I Love Larell!

So that exchange led me to google "Roma jokes" and I found this blog entry from Nicmoc (it's the first entry dated 6/19/03, somehow I can't get the trackback link for this entry). It is insightful but what strikes me is his closing quote.
I’ll tell you what this country needs. It needs a shit-hot Gypsy hiphop act.
Indeed we do.