Root Canal Road Trip! See the Teacher Bond With Her Father!!

Vote Kinky! Why the hell not!?

A day spent with my dad is usually one well spent, even if it is to get a root canal. It was dad who shared with me the news of Kinky Friedman's Texas Gubernatorial bid, along with other bits of trivia.

A conjoined McDonald's/Blockbuster Video is opening at SE 44th and Shields. I laughingly alternated between jokes about McBuster or Blockdonald's. Evidently it will be one of only 3 in the country (someone want to verify this? our fact checking dept is still on pain meds).

Hey Curt, this is for you!

You can look too if you want, go ahead.

There is a sign in some residential neighborhood in SE OKC with a sign reading "Deaf Children Playing". Dad remembers this sign from the days he used to commute to what was then CSU. Those kids are probably in their 40's now. We never see them playing anymore.

I burned a CD for dad on the trip and included (among other things) "Me and Bobby McGee". I always wondered about the lyric "I pulled my harpoon out my dirty red bandanna". If she and Bobby had hitchhiked how was there room for her to pull out this giant harpoon? Turns out that according to Dad a harpoon is slang for a harmonica. The things you learn.

I should have more and I do, it will keep for another time.

Prom tomorrow!! This ship of fools will finally leave the harbor!!! Flowers and balloons and insanity will reign supreme!! Check later for a full report from the red carpet. Depending on my level of nostalgia on Saturday, you might even be treated to the story of my own prom (good lord, remove your bookmarks and save yourselves now).

There's A-Gonna Be A Blog-skinning!


An Attractive Skin Seems to Have Formed on Your Blog

Plans are in the works for my blog to shed its skin. I am wanting some different functions and have located a swell skin but have still to figure out the intricacies of my comments. This might involve more HTML thought than I can summon on Darvocet, time will tell. Besides, I like the title.

When I originally started this blog, the plan was to talk about real education issues and although I have brushed some of these thoughts, I haven't done quite what I wanted. Today I went hunting for other teacher blogs to get ideas and perhaps link to them (the blogroll will happen...part of the new skin). So what is the deal? Every teacher blog I found seemed to be a tirade of nothing but negativity on our schools. They were all critical of testing (I liked that) but supported vouchers (I don't like that). Guess this just leaves me to fill the niche of a tired mostly optimistic teacher with a bent toward gallows humor.

In an effort to spread out and fill this niche, check out NPR's story on grades. I am worn slick with the idea that the only sucess to be had in school is to earn an A. I know education creates its own probem as we encourage students to strive for good grades and then roll our eyes when they demand them, so what's the answer? We can create an atmosphere of acceptance all we want but we still have to live in the real world. Sorry, were you looking for the blogger who had all the answers? Keep surfin' friend.

Comedy comes from Jill today in the form of a midday email. Over to Jill in the Homeschool Newsroom--

"So, we're talking about Jesus' cruxifiction today, and I broach the topic of how certain Christians, long ago (hopefully long ago), blamed Jews for Christ's death and persecuted them. We discussed Pilate's role, and how the washing of his hand was just symbolic. I asked if the kids thought he could have stopped it (meaning, could he have gone against the Jewish leadership). Lare's response: "'Yeah, he could've just said,"Shut your pieholes!'"."

We decided in an afterschool phone call today that we came out about even steven. I won't tell NEA what she is doing to her kids if she won't tell Phyllis Schlafley what I did to mine.

Molar May I?

#30 Molar, I think I will update my blog now. Molar may I?

Yes. You may.

Thanks, #30. I have looked up information regarding a root canal and it isn't pretty. Looky here. Gross. I will be that poor sad little drilled on tooth come Thursday.

No, I will be.

That's right, #30. It is you. You have all that crud at your base and it will be removed. In Stillwater.

Not much to say today but wanted you to see in graphic detail what will happen to my molar and I. Also wanted to direct you to the attractive buttons on the right. This hobby is becoming bigger than all of us now as I have applied to join the Blogarama directory. I await their approval. Note also the BlogOK ring. Playing with that button will take you to other Okie bloggers. Go ahead. You might enjoy what you find.

Molar #30 and I would like to give a big Educat hello to Marty and Bill! Both are old (not old per se, but from long ago) OBU Theatre friends. Ah! The Sandley era!!

Bow Down And Serve The #30 Molar!!!

Today is blog as catharsis. Be warned.

So many viable phrases competed to be the title for today's entry. All of them express my feelings of the moment toward my insurance plan.

You will remember (and if you don't, refer to yesterday's entry) that I took yesterday to serve the cesspool of pain that I know as my mouth. I was able to get in with a kindly chatty old dentist (Do you like teaching in Putnam City? What about those kids with single parents? Is it hard to be single in OKC?) who after a 5 min x ray (it would have been 3 min had I not been a gagger), declared that I was in need of a root canal! And that he does not perform this procedure! And the specialist he recommends is not on my insurance! Now take these prescriptions and be gone with you!!!

This prompts a call to my insurance company to find out who I can employ with the honor of performing my root canal. They are happy to share the name of the one dentist carried on state dental with me. Not only that, but they give me the bonus tip that dental prescriptions are not included on my plan!

Upon calling this kingpin of specialists, I am rewarded with the news that he has over 100 patients and is accepting no new ones. I do not have time to tell his gentle receptionist that I do not wish for an ongoing relationship, just a quickie root canal because she hangs up on me!

I call my dad for support. His role is to calm me, telling me that I do so much for others that the least I deserve is a root canal (yeah, I know) and how unjust the cold world is. He doesn't do that, but does give me potential title #1 for today's entry No Wonder The State Will Pick Up Your Insurance Next Year...It Sucks!. He demands that I call the insurance back and tell them my plight, that in Oklahoma's capitol city, no one will perform a root canal on a teacher!! I suppose he is sure that this will cause them to create an oral surgeon with power tools in their basement laboratory.

It doesn't. In fact, the friendly rep who takes my call says that his wife was thrilled (!!!) with the root canal she got in Stillwater! And that Stillwater is not that bad a drive!!!

Crap Agnes. I go to dad's, cry, call the guy in Stillwater, make an appt, and get dad to agree to drive me. I try to make it sound fun. I plan to burn Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson CDs for the trip and resign myself to this trip. I have come back to edit this after seeing how many times I have used the word trip in this sentence. I have decided to aim higher and use it more. Trip trip trip.

Are you still with me? Because I have more...

I am walking through Target as therapy (shout out if anyone else is comforted by Target) and call Jill for solace (I am high maintenance and want to tell the funny stories). She gives a second potential title You Don't Really Need Teeth To Teach, Do You? It makes me think of the stories my sister told during her tenure as a missionary to prostitutes coming off the street in Cleveland. She tells me many of them don't have teeth and it has, in fact, been a positive career move for them.

That's it. I am a slave to the #30.

A bit of blog-housekeeping.

Thanks to the Parish folk for a swell time on Tuesday. My mind has done cartwheels thinking over the discussions. Good times. We shall do it again.

Kara DeAnn tells me she has shared this blog with an old friend of mine. Who are you, old friend? Are you reading? Comment and show yourself!!

Dim the lights, pour the Ambesol

Things I should have blogged days ago---

1. Tuesday's writing test: Everyone wrote something. I am not allowed to see what they wrote, but pencils moved across answer booklets for at least 1/2 hour. One kid even asked if I could make him a copy of his writing because he felt like it was so good (isn't that cool! Sadly, I couldn't.)

2. The rest of Tuesday brought hilarity in my other classes.

-2a. In Humanities, we discovered that Martin Luther invented the stapler! Kid said "Yeah, and the thing is when Luther stapled the theses...". "Um...stapled??" (kid laughs) "Yeah, the swingline."

-2b. Communications brought the catchphrase "It's gonna be gihad!". We are choosing our Project Citizen topics and these are some scary smart kids.

3. If anyone was traveling 89th street or was in the Walgreen's at midnight on Wednesday, I have not been stricken with Tourette's. It was a horrid toothache that had me growling, pounding the steering wheel of my car, and nearly knocking you over while you looked at ace bandages.

4. God bless Ambesol

5. I will get in with the dentist today if I have to go to a vet!!!

6. Jill, please write the guest blog on "Boys lie/suck/or whatever". I want to recount our conversation but will mess it up.

7. I have new blog joy whose name is Mimi Smartypants. She is the funniest woman ever!!

8. Along those lines, I have found the manufacturers of my favorite pencil and will now seek out these fine products. If ever you should need a quick gift for me (and really, don't. it will just make me squirm), go here. Love this stuff.

I am off to call every dentist within 5 miles of my zip code. Nice.

Librarians are Dangerous

So Beth says to me, "Boy, if I had a blog, I would sure have something to say!!!" Don't say that to me if I know you can write, I just might grant your wish. Ladies and Gentlemen, a guest blog...

According to the FBI, I am the ultimate sinner. I just finished a book that had child kidnapping, prostitution, and parental murder. The previous book I read had murder and incest. I am a very bad person. Alright let me back up. This morning on NPR I heard that an FBI agent in the Terry Nichols case testified that Mr. Nichols had in his possession a book (I believe it was Hunter or Manhunter) were the main character blows up a building. Ergo, this proves Mr. Nichols is a bomber. That scares me and it should scare you. One, that the FBI is desperate to find proof of his guilt and second that just reading a book implies that you will go out and do what the book says. Gee, the next thing you know they will be saying the same thing of movies and video games.

She is insane with three entries in a day!!!

Anyone else enjoying Speech Teacher? Episode III is up (hey, I don't know either, he just keeps 'em coming) and I will tip you off with exclusive Ramblin Educat backstory.

I have had numerous members of a prominant OKC car dealership family in class. You do the geography, I don't want to name names. Location of school+location of dealerships=your answer. I take no responsibility for the bad diction in their television ads. Keaton noticed it...I only had the kids, not the parents.

Tomorrow, Keaton pretends that Speech Teacher mania has swept the nation and plans to run a documentary "Making of Speech Teacher". This edition should contain the early sketches of mine (gasp!) as we played with the concept.

I love Speech Teacher. I want to play her in next summer's blockbuster film.

I really oughta Blogroll...

Blogworld is so weird! Stumbled on Greg's blog once (still can't remember how) which led me to reading The McCarty Blog, which then led me to Friar Tim, who I knew briefly at OBU. Upon reading comments on Tim's blog, I re-found Kara DeAnn! Her kind words today led to this quick entry. Kara, thanks! I think you were just starting school as I was finishing, but our times at the Shawnee Lettuce and Tomato were always good! We will talk more.

Just felt like I should run "credits" of sorts here. I will add blog links, give me time...

These Are Silly, Do It For Grins

Then post your results!

My Random Quote Name is Sometimes the clown's nose is a horn....
Take The Random Quote Name Generator today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Name Generator Generator.

Life Is A Cancer Fighting Cabaret, Old Chum

I want to first add to yesterday's post to give a description of something insane I have created to get my kids ready for testing.

Endurance Writing

I explain that it's like stretching out before a race. On Tuesday, they will have to write for over an hour straight, in silence. We have to prepare for this (believe me, this group isn't used to extended silence) and so have written for the last few days in silence, adding 10 min a day to our time. Feels artificial, I never write in silence.

We will, however, take some time off from our sustained silent writing tomorrow as it is Cancer Fund Drive Day at school.

Every year we engage in a huge fundraiser for Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation. We have had restaurant nights and car washes, silly contests and basketball games all in the name of cancer research. We raise more than I make in a year in all of these events and win banners and bragging rights with our fellow schools. It is humbling to see. My school isn't rich but everyone pitches in and there have been years that we raise more money than more affluent schools with 600 more students. The kids are at their best.

I love this day. I have painted my toenails green in anticipation (this is hard to explain, but the Crazy Olympics assembly is taken seriously---you traditionally look and act crazy at this event) but every year I think of a former student.

I had this kid once who hated CFD. A devout pacifist (he would often exclaim while beating his fist on something), Mark claimed that doing anything in the name of competition was wrong. He was a selective deontologist, but became red with anger at why we would work so hard to raise more money than the Seniors, more money than North. He worked so hard to resist it all that I watched him fight the urge to have fun. Last year at the dunk tank, he actually paid his buck to throw three balls at a target and I caught him smiling. He was mortified that he had been caught.

He died on the funniest hills.

I am thinking of him now, though, as I paint my nails green and organize the schedule for the dunk tank. We stand only to break even on the tank this year (last year it was donated) and I agreed to run it more for more activities for the kids than for the money or cause. I wonder what Mark would say about that. Sad to think so hard you miss all the fun.

I hear that Keaton's site got seven hits from this site today to see the silly guest column I wrote. If you liked that column (and Curt, I thought of you the whole time I remembered Oran "Juice" Jones) you will love Speech Teacher, the new comic strip. It happens Friday sometime and although I will check it out, my green toes and I will be at the dunk tank eating bad carnival food for cancer.

Go team take state.

Can this be an open relationship?

I am not sure if you knew, but I see another blog on the side. Keaton (Supreme Ruler) features guest columns and I go up with another this morning. The prompt was "Write a Guest Column". Go and read. It should be up mid morning.

Guess what I got for you?!

In my ongoing efforts to keep my finger on the pulse of the current, I offer you commentary and a rant (and my, how I hate the word rant now that it's become all the rage) on school testing.

Starting at the front: I teach English II. One section, "regular" (not honors) kids. English II is one of the classes that gives the state mandated EOI (end of instruction) exam. What does this mean? Join me as I search for this meaning along with my precious charges.

I am explaning the test to my kids earlier this semester and Larrell becomes facinated (this marks Larrell's first facination with anything academic in my class).

"So you say we can pass this class and we still gotta take a test for it? Why they gotta give us a test?"

"Well, it's a way of proving that the school is doing its job"

"What choo gotta prove?"

"Well, there are people in society that don't think that the schools do their job. Taking this test is one way of showing that I am teaching and you are learning."

"Man, you know what I got fo them?"


"Tha finga."

Yeah, me too, Larell.

Step a bit further into my world. I emailed my dept chair today with several questions. Perhaps you, gentle reader, have some answers. The questions---

-Will the three students I have who are new English speakers be able to use their Spanish/English dictionaries for testing? Imagine this, two essays in your non native language!! Do I think they should learn English? Of course I do! Solving this one is unscrambling an egg.

-Is the Special Ed kid that I got at the quarter (read:last week) going to be tested as though he has been with me since January?

This is the year I call baseline data. Baseline. Data. Ten years of teaching and my whole career will now be judged on the scores from this ship of fools. God Bless 'em. Please. Really, please God. Bless. Them.

So the writing test is Tuesday and the multi choice is the 28th. I am presently up to my ears in writing prompts giving ever possible kind of writing we will encounter and such research has led me to a list. It's not a top ten, I am over those, but here it is.

A real teacher's list of rejected writing prompts for the EOI

-Describe your weapons of choice.

-Something that justifies my behavior is...

-My favorite place to go on a forged hall pass...

-My favorite tattoo.

-For whom do I have Tha Finga?

Comment with your writing prompt ideas and hurry. We only have a few more days to write.

Come Together, Put Your Arms Around the Wind Beneath My Wings: Prom 04

Jill's comment today about my new Orrin Hatch album (see the 5, April entry) led me to remember my new musical acquisition "Put Your Arms Around The World" by Senator Orrin Hatch and Janice Kapp Perry with vocals by Chris Willis and Sanita Jackson (daughter of Jesse Jackson).

Wow, thanks for the music, Karyn.

For those of you looking for a review, I won't offer much. It's not even kitsch-y. This isn't even a great novelty album. The vocals are...fine. What I will focus on is the songwriting and only because it reminds me of something else.

Orrin Hatch writes (at least here) in meaningless platitudes.

"Put your arms around the world today

Your heart will lead the way

Be the one who walks that extra mile

Do the things that make a life worthwhile

Put your arms around the world."

Reminds me of our Junior Class President. As we near class elections, she has had a chance to reflect on her term in office. She makes me laugh almost out loud with her plans for the class of '05. I have heard her begin meetings with "We need to all come together and that is my goal for this meeting." Great, kid whose name I will not divulge. Come together. Can you draw that on paper?

This album is full of these statements. We are encouraged to "Just hold on in your time of need" and other vagueities (yep, I am calling that a word). So, Jill, what would an Orrin Hatch concert be like? I can just about promise no beer at the concession stand and a very quiet mosh pit. A shirt might be entertaining for kitsch value but I can't picture The Orrin Hatch (musical) Experience even measuring up to the excitement of the Gaithers.

Thanks for reading, you are the wind beneath my wings.

I'm a little bit Frog, I'm a little bit Toad

Oh, how I love Frog and Toad. This Spring, I feel a bit Toad-esque. Enjoy this excerpt and feel my yearning for summer.

"'Don't be silly,' said Frog. 'What you see is the clear warm light of April. And it means that we can begin a whole new year together, Toad. Think of it,' said Frog. 'We will skip though the meadows and run through the woods and swim in the river. In the evenings we wil sit right here on this front porch and count the stars.'

'You count them, Frog,' said Toad. 'I will be too tired. I am going back to bed.'"

Lobel, Arnold. "Spring." Frog and Toad Are Friends. 1970. By Arnold Lobel. New York City: Harper and Row, 1970. 8-9.

When summer begins, I will be Froggy with desire to skip through the fields and celebrate a year of friendship but for now we are a week away from Cancer Carnival, two weeks away from prom, and three away from novice debate. To quote Toad, "Come back and wake me about half past May, good night Frog."

Am mulling over a comic strip series called "Speech Teacher". Time will be spent hunched over yellow legal pads wondering why I took all that drama in high school and no visual art. More news to follow.

Holy Crap.

I always thought my contempt would stoop pretty low but I think this is beneath my contempt. Happy Good Friday, glad to know Jesus is cool now.

Sorry, I have rehearsal

Fallujah. It still makes me laugh. In turning the word over in my head, I laughed even harder imagining two scenarios.

Use the word Fallujah in a worship chorus. It inspires clapping and rolls off the tongue so it can be repeated. In fact, it could even sound Biblical (and yeah, I know the geography). This leads me to...

Remember Ron Dryden and God's Word For You Today? God's Word for you today is Fallujah, Go For It!

My street cred went way up today in English. My problem kids there have a song for everything and while normally that would thrill me. I play that game too, quite well. However, I don't get their songs and they don't get mine...


Today they invoked the Beastie Boys! I was able to identify (please, it was license to Ill, 1987) and was able for a moment to silence them. Must have looked like Barbara Billingsley in Airplane. "Excuse me, I can speak jive".

The April 9th Entertainment Weekly is a large part of the rage at work. It features a 100 question quiz (and I still maintain that 100 questions is a test and not a quiz) on 1990's pop culture. Evidently I was to be the great white hope for a high score and I made (drumroll) a 56. According to the EW, that makes me eligible for the Dances With Wolves sequel in the role of "Dabbles in Popular Culture". Not too shabby considering I spent the better part of the 1990's in rehearsal (I counted on the drive home, 33 plays from 1990-99).

Questions I Was Proudest to Miss

#71 Why was Blossom's best friend named 6? (my guess was IQ, the real answer involved the number of beers it took to create her...Ugh!)

#77 Name the hotel where Noni headlines in Showgirls? (I said Bayside)

Questions I Was Ashamed To Know

#78 In Thelma and Louise, which state does Louise refuse to drive through? (Texas)

This goes on and on. I cannot help but wonder as I read the quiz if 90's nostalgia is a bit premature.

You say Fallujah...

Although Keaton is running this on his site tomorrow (1300 CDT), I showed it to him and therefore can still post. Steve Martin is yet another of my celebrity crushes and is way pithy in his thoughts on The Passion. This was originally published in the New Yorker.

Fallujah is the funniest word in the news lately. I want to use this word as much as I can. Fallujah Fallujah Fallujah. It's still funny to me! I hope the Blogger ad gnome finds it as funny as I do.

Boy, She's Been Listening to Too Much Morrissey!

Entries have gone all fluffy lately as I am suffering from Spring Fever. As positive as I try to be, I am not so sure this is what I want to be when I grow up. I have three preps now (for the uneducated, preps=courses taught) and it's killing me. The plates are not spinning well. Give me time and I will be smart again. I know some of you have heard me whine in person ---please forgive.

Remember the Ray Sanders debacle? When I sent the email to Sanders, I also sent one to the office of the Governor (just for grins, and this was before he dodged Bishop Tutu's call about Hung Thanh Le). I got a handwritten card in return thanking me for my friendship!! Nice stuff! How to first cash in on this...?

The mail also made me happy as recently as today when I found my Orrin Hatch CD. Album review to follow.

Please comment with what I should be when I grow up, I might have a resume update approaching.

Love me, Love my Schlock

I had an entry, really. It was written, hyperlinked to hilarity and ready to go. Then I had a minor crash and all was lost. That was Wednesday. I am glad I make no claims to do this daily and am also happy to hear that you have missed my entries.

Wednesday (in short) was about how silly music can set you up for hours of giddiness and I only go back to explain this so I can recap a lunch conversation. I described my delirious glee at hearing Barry Manilow's Mandy and also how Olivia Newton-John's Have You Never Been Mellow has at times been a nearly spiritual experience. Really, I think it's like an Uta Hagen sense memory for me. Beth gets all glassy eyed and happy at the mention of Have You Never Been Mellow and says, "Oh, let's just sing that now".

We do.

Have you heard this song? It's impossible to sing without getting screamy and laughing. I faced afternoon classes with new resolve.

Nothing else I have is really relevant (and please pretend that vintage pop schlock is some kind of relevant). Comment with the schlock that speaks to you. Don't lie. You have some.