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 parents...wow, 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!!