Learning To Know Your Limits, It Is The Greatest Love Of All

Don't get me wrong, I like myself. Please don't take this as my need for your affirmation. I love your affirmation, but I don't expect it and God forbid I fish for it. I just see too many people walk into ugly ugly stuff because they don't know their limits. So I give you...

How Low Self Esteem has Saved My Life and What it Can Do For You

  • Low Self Esteem has saved me from embarrassing dating situations. I somehow never bought into the myth that films like Sixteen Candles brought to my generation. Jake Ryan doesn't really date Samantha Baker. That's why they made a movie about that story. We all work within our market. This sort of low self esteem also keeps me from ever ever ever appearing as sad as some girl on Elimidate (a show whose main attraction seems to be overtan girls dressing each other down on a group date).

  • Low Self Esteem has saved me from foolish dressing. Now I can sincerely thank you, Mom. I don't expose my belly like some of the unfortunate children I see at school. I banish the clothing to the back of the closet when it's a wee bit tight. I look at chunky girls in belly shirts and short skirts and breathe a silent prayer for a mother who would comment, "That's not exactly for the body you have.".

  • Low Self Esteem saves us from asking the stupid questions. Never will I ask why you have taken my link off your blogroll. Seldom will I invite myself along to your dinner gathering. You are saved the discomfort of coming up with and excuse and both of us are happy.

Isn't it amazing how deep love for others is the same emotion that makes me see these horrid events and scream, "Wait, honey, you aren't that cute!! He doesn't like you!!!" while throwing my body between a teenage girl and a mesh top?

Where I Jump On The Real Conversation Bandwagon and Introduce You To My Mother and Our Tacky Past

I took my mom on a yarn buying trip last night. I am probably about ten rows from the completion of El Poncho and hope to post a picture here sometime next week. My mother is queen of most crafting forms. She is a former president of the Scissortail Smockers, the OKC English Handsmocking guild. She once owned her own catering business. She has worked as a floral designer. She sews so well you can wear her clothes wrong side out---her seams look that good. Somehow, she never dabbled in the fiber arts. Yarn has eluded her and so I have run to fill in that gap.

That said, we're at Michael's and I comment on how I fail to understand the cult like status of scrapbookers. Mother is shocked! Scrapbooking is useful! She wishes she had the time to do it! Scrapbookers have something to show for their work!

"Unlike macrame?" I ask. (we had more than a few big planthangers around the house in my youth)

"Shut up or you walk home"

"Ok, first of all, I drove us here. Secondly, I love macrame. It makes me feel safe and young. Just like avocado green appliances and the early music of Olivia Newton-John."

"You had bad taste once too"

"...and VW Bugs, and green AMC Hornet Stationwagons and Chevy Vans with landscapes painted on the side and hand embroidered blouses with my name and a rainbow..."

"Ok, got it!"

I Will Predict the Future in a Box! I Predict the Future of Your Socks!

NEA Today ran a blurb on a 1998 book inspired by Dr. Seuss. The drawings include sketches he drew back in 1989. Who knew that Hooray for Diffendoofer Day! could be so prophetic?

The book tells the story of eccentric teachers using unorthodox ways to get kids to learn. The news comes that all the students must pass a test or their school will close. Gee, does this sound anything like real life? The book was published a full two years prior to the passage of NCLB.

I am now going to check Green Eggs and Ham for clues to the second coming.

Conversations With My Father

I stopped by my parent's house for a moment in the morning and my father greeted me in the yard to tell me what some pranksters left on my mother's car in the night.

A condom. Stuffed with Vienna Sausages.

We don't know why, we don't know who. My dad just shook his head and said, "What a waste of birth control and meat.".

Advice Column Friday

Princess Grace has a friend in my class who sings. She sings ALL THE TIME.

So I have asked Jenny Lind to stop. I have asked quietly and patiently
with a smile upon my face.

I have played with her by singing over her songs. Loudly. Judy Garland
tunes ("Hey, Look Me Over" is a favorite of mine).

I have called her out in the hall and had a serious talk with her
demanding that she look and me and visiting with her about respect.

She is still singing. Actually, it's more like yodeling---you know
what I mean, that R&B style yodeling.

What on earth is there for me to do now?

Wow. My Kids Know Me.

Quote from one of my students referring to my departure from the Baptists...

"Jesus gives you mad props for being a Christian even after you got
outta the game."

Bored With Yarn Yet?

I got nothin'. Seriously, I was getting tired of seeing that old entry on the top of my page and so as thinking through what I could write today, I couldn't think of a thing that wasn't yarn or poncho-ey. I am 2/3 of the way from poncho paydirt and am blogging to rest my hands (it's a different set of muscles and movement). Here's a list of yarn related stuff.

  • Karina links to an interesting article about inmates learning to crochet plus sent me this article on knitting and feminism yesterday. It's everywhere.
  • I am out on a personal day today and have spent the day knitting in front of courtroom shows. So much televison makes me at the same time disgusted with myself and excited for summer. It's quite an inner battle but nothing compared to the kid sent to boot camp, woman suprised by the DNA test, or all those people hurt in car wrecks waiting for the insurance companies to do what's right.
  • What should we do to the teacher at school who was overheard telling someone that my knitting looked "like it is full of moth holes"? Stupid bastard person, blocking will fix it!!!
  • *Bonus List Item That Made Me Race to The Computer* It's the Amish who intentionally left a flaw in their work because only God is perfect. The Amish!! All those faceless dolls have a flaw somewhere in 'em. Praise Jesus! When you see my poncho, you shall be closer to God. You shall worship.

I promise to try to see something other than mint colored cotton ease.

Educating Princess Grace and Other Terrors

I went a couple of rounds with Princess Grace today and I think it set me up to be cranky all day.

She has a tendency to refer to anything that displeases her as either "gay" or "retarded". This runs contrary to the rules of my kingdom as I have dear friends who fall into both categories and I don't feel those terms to be appropriate insults. I share this with my classes and when the Princess continued her unimaginative name calling I chastised her with all the humor I could muster.

"You know, Your Majesty, that would be kind of like me using your name every time I wanted to insult someone."

"Erpmph, Ion't cur." (or roughly translated, "I don't care.")

"So we're working on it, and by we I mean me. Working hard.

Today it persisted as she told a classmate that she was retarded. I shall let the text of my referral speak.

After repeated warnings about the insensitivity of calling people "retarded", Her majesty has continued to do so. When she did so today and I reminded her of my policy, she told me "I ain't talking to you". When I asked her to join me in the hall for a conversation on the topic, she told me at great length how not only was she not speaking to me but that it was "homegirl talk". I asked if I could share my point of view and her response was "You can try but it ain't gone change nuthin".


Referral writing is often catharsis for me. I have suggested that instead of detention, that she spend some time volunteering in our program for the severe/profound handicapped area. Perhaps changing a fifteen year old's diaper might show her the weight of her words.

Cut to the next hour and the scene I have already described. The leg wrestler (who is a special needs student) is reading full voice in my otherwise silent classroom. I wondered aloud if anyone was following along with the LW and a few students admitted they were. LW asks if there is anything wrong with his reading aloud and I tell him there isn't, but that most of the time students take my request to read in classes an assignment to read silently. Now get why I love the LW:

"I like to really read it so I can hear the words. That way, I learn better and I really want to learn about Byzantium."

I can't make this up. I wonder if the Princess had a class with LW, if she might continue to use this label as an insult.

On another heartrending child note, I ended my day at 8pm after my last round of enrollment conferences for my advisory. My last student was a Vietnamese girl who brought her mother along. When I reached out to shake the parent's hand, it was obvious the parent had no English and was only along for the ride. She has no concept of the child's transcript or scores and spends part of the time looking at me blankly and the other half on her cell phone.

Immigrant's daughter has applied for vo-tech and will probably get in except for the fact that her parents will not go with her to the admissions interview. I really want to cry and I'm wondering if the folks at the vo-tech would buy my teeney Vietnamese girl showing up with her tall, blonde, Caucasian fake mom.

I Am Typing This So I Don't Laugh Out Loud Right Now

The Leg Wrestler is reading aloud.

Wait, that doesn't say it all.

The class was instructed to read a part of the chapter. They are all
doing it silently. Now that you know that, go back.

The Leg Wrestler is reading aloud. Full Volume. I swear he is getting louder.

Bless this class for seeming to tune him out.

You Must Make a Million Bad Stitches, You May Do Them In One Weekend or In a Lifetime.

Tomorrow, I go back to being a teacher and only a part time knitting student, so here is an update on my weekend poncho-ness.

I have a new pattern. I have a nice start on it and should be finished so I can assemble said poncho in class on Thursday night.

All this has got me to a bit of pride for plugging away at this frustrating hobby. My students tend to avoid anything at which they don't have immediate success and so I relish my bad knitting for a while. Sweaters cannot be far away.

More exciting news for yarn whores: it seems there will be a new Stitch and Bitch book about crochet!!

Yarn and Loathing in the OC

You know, although this blog is growing (thanks to you, friends on the internets), I am fully aware that it's not quite a niche blog. Sometimes it's just a humor blog. Sometimes it's an edu-blog. Sometimes it's a blog about faith. Right now, this will be a blog about yarn.

I am not someone who would purchase a poncho. I got one for Christmas and still feel a bit like Rhoda or Maude when I wear it. So be aware that I am not taking a poncho class for a love of ponchos. I am taking this class so that I can master knitting. For it will be mastered, friend. It will.

That said, witness the pattern that Knitty calls a "very easy poncho" by classifying it mellow. Mellow. My. Ass. Here are some tips for this pattern:

  1. Knitting with circular needles before there is work enough to weigh them down is an experiment in terror.
  2. They are called "needles" for a reason. If your needles do not have sharp points, don't think of how great it will be for your yarn not to split, run from them. It will be like knitting with cucumbers.
  3. Where in Charles do these people get off with just "Twist the two yarns together where they meet on each row" when entire websites are created for the exploration of just this topic???
  4. Don't be fooled by the carefree look of the model in this pattern. She is the designer and she is mocking you. She dares you to try this pattern. She loves your pain.

I have just dropped a fine chunk of change for The Complete Idiot's Guide to Knitting and Crochet along with an alternate set of needles. I am soon sitting down and not getting up until I have begun a poncho.

More breaking poncho news as it happens.

The Carnival Always Draws A Crowd!

I am so pleased to see that my silly little booth in EduWonk's
carnival (would link here but am emailing the entry from work) has
scored me more hits than the story of the scuffle of teen girls.

This was just worth pointing out.

Two Indications I Might Be Going To Hell...

1. Am talking with a friend about some condemnation she is feeling
from her church. I have talked with her about some of the different
ways to interpret Scripture and with every new idea she said, "So what
does the Bible really say?". Finally, I said, "Look, once you get past
an inerrant Scripture..."

She gave me a look that says she can't. Ouch.

2. It's time for the Hebrew chapter in Humanities!! It's time for the
Hebrew chapter in Humanities!!! I love this chapter!!!

This time I love it more than my class does. Class discussion will be
sparkling along and then I will toss out a thought question like

"So, how do we justify the fact that one of the main reason the faith
survived is because it was forced on nations of people? Anyone have
any ideas about that?"

Again, they don't.

While There Are No Funnel Cakes, It's Still Quite A Carnival!

EdWonk has posted their second edition of the Carnival of Education. It's a news/information wrap up of education news from the blogs for this week. My entry about Princess Grace and her wide open hygiene is included, but there are many other interesting exhibits.

It's here.

The Triangle Of Action

The day was long. An ugly, ugly day that had me wondering to Keaton if I could shoot up or snort the Lexipro/breath mints (hell, it might still be a gamble, who knows?) and glossing over news from Kristen to bitch about enrollment conferences. I am in the process of getting back on my feet after the bleak midwinter suit season. It's time to do all the things I put off for "when things calm down".

So I send myself an email midday. I do this often. I title them "Blog this" and sketch out my thoughts. Today's were angry(they don't sound like it here, but you'd get it if you ate lunch with me today)...

    • Log out of SASI. Please use a red light/green light indicator--Our district record software freaks out at least twice daily lately and classes are interrupted by our registrar's British accent. "Teachers, please log out of SASI." It's gotten so bad that the kids have adopted it. If someone gets lippy with them they will hold up one finger and say "You just log out of SASI, there!".
    • Give book reports for Speech credit--Counseling office wants me to send two weeks worth of Comm work for a kid on suspension. When I suggest that Speech is hard to teach by correspondence, I am told I might give him book reports.

How good it feels at the end of the day to look at that email and know it doesn't matter. I can't fix SASI, but worked out the suspension work and have somehow managed to spend the evening in sweet denouement. I don't know if it was a smooth fifth block, a great baby shower/happy hour (no, not for the mother) or a great knitting class but I'll be looking for it at each day's end.

Until She Gets Her Own Blog, Her Kid Stories Are Mine!

I got a call from Jill on her way home from her trip to the library. She went to look at the internets and connect with home (which until they find other housing is two rooms on the base--two rooms!! Five children!!! Dear God, woman! You are not made of stone--you must be ripping your hair out!).

So we end with a story about the four year old. She is questioning Jill about her allergies--"Mommy, what are you allergic to? Are you allergic to cats?? I fink I am allergic to airplanes. And jackets."

...And Now, As A Service To You, The Reader, This Entry Translated By Gizooolge.

I Distribute The Permission Slips Thizzay Makes The Whole World Sing

This weekend was full of tha shiznit thiznat used ta makes fo' a bootylicious blog entry.

  • Articulate children find'n success at some suit wear'n nerd like activity
  • Not as articulate children clockin' they voice
  • Hugs n tears all around at tha end of a bootylicious day
  • Children ridin' offices n enough awards ta run Midwest Trophy (the local company tizzle runs a near monopoly on plaques n trophies) fo' 3 min
  • Tap'n children in rooms n an overnight travel situation tizzle left me baffled (sometizzles tha youth minista that read this bizzy n I wizzle hizzy ta have a forum...I think you mizzight know some chillin' I need ta knizzay
  • Chickens..um..chizzle return'n home ta roost n frontin' they coo' new lives

I thought 'bout it rollin' home yesterday. Wizzle ta share from this weekend? I thought 'bout it fo' tha :45 it took fo' me ta crash into a twelve hour sleep n I am think'n of it now . Subscribe nigga, get yo issue.. You have heard all this n I knizzay that if I clean it up or makes it a good story, you wizzill enjoy it again , betta check yo self. That's tha problem wit year two of a blizzog thizzay recounts mah personal life. It's been done.

It's been done fo' me now fo' eleven years like this and like that and like this and uh. For tha eleven years I have taught, I have taken kids out fo' competizzles n trips (hizzang tight, this is where tha entry comes in) puttin tha smack down. I have had eleven years of facilitat'n "once in a lifetizzles experiences like this and like that and like this and uh. If I retire friznom an entire carea of teach'n, I wizzay facilitate such experiences fo' some 34 years. So far, it's work'n. So fizzy I can git me ta tha realizzles that I am a facilitizzle of scrapbook material . Wussup to all my niggaz in the house. W-H-to-tha-izzat is killa day of work fo' me is tha kind of thing some teenaga rememba gangsta. As long as I can git there, I know I am in tha rizzay job.

Thanks, finijo

I Distribute The Permission Slips That Make The Whole World Sing

This weekend was full of the stuff that used to make for a great blog entry.

  • Articulate children finding success at some suit wearing nerd like activity
  • Not as articulate children finding their voice
  • Hugs and tears all around at the end of a great day
  • Children winning offices and enough awards to run Midwest Trophy (the local company that runs a near monopoly on plaques and trophies) for 3 min
  • Taping children in rooms and an overnight travel situation that left me baffled (sometime, the youth ministers that read this blog and I will have to have a forum...I think you might know some things I need to know)
  • Chickens..um..children returning home to roost and sharing their cool new lives

I thought about it driving home yesterday. What to share from this weekend? I thought about it for the :45 it took for me to crash into a twelve hour sleep and I am thinking of it now. You have heard all this and I know that if I clean it up or make it a good story, you will enjoy it again. That's the problem with year two of a blog that recounts my personal life. It's been done.

It's been done for me now for eleven years. For the eleven years I have taught, I have taken kids out for competition and trips (hang tight, this is where the entry comes in). I have had eleven years of facilitating "once in a lifetime" experiences. If I retire from an entire career of teaching, I will facilitate such experiences for some 34 years. So far, it's working. So far, I can get myself to the realization that I am a facilitator of scrapbook material. What is another day of work for me is the kind of thing some teenager remembers forever. As long as I can get there, I know I am in the right job.

The Hairy Beaver Walks

Posted by Hello

Remember the Hairy Beaver Jacket? I thought I had stopped it. I complimented Beaver boy for respecting my wishes and himself for ceasing to wear the jacket when I asked. I was super teacher! My word had brought results!!!

Lunch today brought my dream to a screeching halt. As the meanest English teacher on earth (You know her, every school has her. Ours teaches AP classes, is afraid of the internet, and is a bit of a harsh Yankee type) ranted at having seen the jacket. "Wait!" I said "I told Beaver boy to leave it at home!! It's gone!" Meanest English teacher told me that he has handed it off to "some other little fucker" and named at least three other kids who had been spotted in the jacket. Our assistant principal, a lover not a fighter, had told one kid not to wear the jacket and Meanest went into great detail of how she would tell Lover that that Beaver has a life all its own. You can hear it all, all the boys want in the Beaver for a day, it goes on.

Thank you Kristen for the best conclusion...

Dam kids.

The Dutchess of Room C106 or Choosing Your Battles

Posted by Hello

Today she put deodorant on in first hour. Right in the middle of class, a kid up giving an informative speech, with me sitting right behind her.

Let us call her Princess Grace.

A young lady in my Communications class is a Senior. She tells us loudly and often that at eighteen years old, she is grown. Truth be told, she is easily my size and so it is hard to argue that point.

Today, she chose to inform us with her speech how "Ohd (old with a silent L) People Cain't Drive". She had no statistics, no specifics except for the story of an ohd person driving down Melrose that almost hit her.

In my oral critique, we tried to speak of language that is more formal and how many people would shut down upon hearing her refer to "ohd people" and perhaps she should use another term.

"I cain't. They ohd."

Think gently of Princess Grace and I as we begin the study of Communications. I sense tragedy in our upcoming lessons on nonverbal communications and the idea that you cannot not communicate. She has yet to figure out how it looks unrefined to carry five combs in your purse and use them all within a ninety minute class, and she sure won't get how the application of deodorant is, perhaps, a personal matter.

She would call that "retarded" and I would remind her that my friend who is, in fact, mentally handicapped usually remembers to keep her personal hygiene...um...personal.

Think of us, please.

Today, Teeney Coin Purses. Tomorrow, Sweaters All Around!!!

It's small, it's a bit unimpressive, but it's done. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you my first completed knitting project.

I have the real thing in my purse and still like to look at the picture. Note the smoothness of the stockinette stitch. Marvel at the stripe, those don't come easy, friends. Thrill to the real buttonhole action!!!

Now it's time for slippers.

It must be told that I have gone a bit mad with the yarn. I saw Sideways on Saturday with my friend Nancy, librarian and knitting class valedictorian. You know the scene with the large naked man? After it was over and without thinking, I leaned over to Nancy and said, "You know, I think we have that hat pattern."

Posted by Hello

Last One Tonight, I Promise

You aren't reading hipteacher yet, are you internet? It's ok. You probably aren't a teacher and therefore don't chortle with glee or roll your eyes in surrender the way I do.

We can still be friends.

Unless you brazenly refuse to read this entry. Then it's over.

Who Can Turn The World On With Her Smile?

Posted by Hello

I don't often think about Valentine's Day. It had nearly escaped my thoughts until Kristen made me want to be her lesbian lover. For the last 4 years, I have spent the holiday with children at the State Youth and Government Conference and so it usually escapes unnoticed.

So I was thinking this year about how to express where I am. Some of you kindly inquire about my dating habits and I know you mean well. Heck, I even have a date occasionally. But I think I realized how unfocused on the whole mating ritual I am when I ran into my old manicurist in the mall. She asked me if there was anyone special in my life right now and without thinking an answer tumbled out of my mouth.


Last year, I found a manifesto for my school of thought. I am quirkyalone. Read from their website...

"Quirkyalone is not anti-love. It is pro-love. It is not anti-dating. It

is anti-compulsory dating. It's an embrace of all kinds of love. Although we

quirkyalones enjoy solitude, and sometimes even need and crave it, we are

NOT loners. We typically have a strong network of friends. Most of us

place a high premium on friendship. We've even been known to bring our

friends on dates!"

**Note should now be made that I left this post at this exact point to rescue my dinner for one from the stovetop. It just seems fitting.I cooked for just me, and it's really good.**

I think I have grown into this state. I have learned to date with far less giddiness than before (A little giddy never hurt, but I have learned to keep it in check.) and I think that the greatest romance lies in the possibility of romance. When spring comes, the painting of my toenails shall be for no one in particular.

The lesson learned is not to pity the singles among you (unless they walk around all crazy like this or this). We don't have kneejerk envy for your blissfull state of couplehood. We are happy that you are happy. I won't wear red next Monday, but I won't wear black either (truth be told, next Monday is pajama day for spirit week and I don't care who you are, if you get the chance to wear pajamas to school and don't, you are just a damn fool and I don't care if you are married or not).

Take the quiz yourself, try to beat my 120 score. You might even find that you are a quirkytogether.

Loretta Lynn+Jill+Miss Educat=luv

Do you know the best part of yesterday? It was better than finally seeing Sideways with Nancy, a phone call from Karyn in Utah, hearing from Karina, running into Sarah, dinner and a play with Andra and Kristen, or seeing my kids all happy in college (all of which I did do today and all of which made it a really good day).

It was the message on my machine from Jill (midway through driving in a two car caravan with her five children to move to Virginia, good lord! what must she be made of) when I got home.

"Ok, so this is probably costing me ten dollars a minute, but we are in the
middle of Tennessee somewhere and I had to call you. I just thought of you
when I saw a sign for Loretta Lynn's ranch. I just thought 'Now there is a
birthday trip for Miss Educat!'"

Eww! Stop!! I Take It Back!!!

Yesterday my post about the near tussle got more hits than the front page of this blog. I had 71 first time visitors (up from the previous day's 24) and most of them stayed less than 5 sec.

Yeah, I do have a good free StatCounter.

I found that my entry was posted to a Yahoo! group that does nothing but surf the web for such content. The group has over 5,000 members.

So all of this creeps me out a bit and I am deleting the entry. I have flashes of the FERPA police and lots of mulleted folk perusing my blog. Don't ask me why I can handle the people who arrive here looking for vomit girls or hairy beavers but don't like the other folks. I just don't.

and it's my blog

I Don't Sleep Most Nights, Just Lie Awake And Count My Blessings

So although I really enjoy self depreciating humor and would rather use this blog as a place to poke fun at myself, I am so amazed at how my summer is shaping up, I thought I would share.

After a blissfully empty June spent decompressing from school, I launch into the following...

  • First week in July, YMCA Youth and Government Conference on National Affairs, Black Mountain, North Carolina. It's a huge mock legislature program with the brightest kids from every state's program. It will be my third year and a great time with friends I only see once a year. What's more, I will reprise the coolest job ever as Print Press Co-Advisor.
  • After a day home from CONA, will mentor teachers at PACE (Programs Advancing Citizen Education), hosted by the OK Bar Assoc.
  • Third week in July finds me at the horns of a dilemma. Should it be University of Virginia for We The People Advanced Institute for Unit Three "How Have the Protections of the Bill of Rights Been Developed and Expanded?"or Project Citizen training in Newport, RI?

I love having such choices. Cannot believe my luck.

It's Not Friday and I Am Not McSweeney's, But I Have Lists!

Bullet-ey list. Too tired and too much knitting to do before class ends tomorrow night.

  • Remember the hyperventilating kid from Humanities class? He is Henny Youngman come back to haunt me. I found him shouting at the computers in the library today as our network malfunctioned, and so I stopped him. "Hey, easy there cowboy!" He looked at me with a face that made me wonder if he was joking and said slowly, "Sheriff!".
  • Damn. hipteacher knows.
  • Have you any idea how much you can learn about someone by asking them to define community? Starting Project Citizen topic selection this week reminded me. The more advantaged the kid is, the larger their definition. Poorer kids cannot see community past their apartment complex.
  • I have a giant pimple like thing on my right eyelid. It is huge. I am unsure of its origin or its makeup. At times, it threatens to inhibit my vision. I have dreamed of it becoming so large I can no longer roll over in bed for it stops me like an Elephant Man hump. Soon, I shall name it.