Email Spammers Need More Vacation Time

I don't know who writes email spam, but mine has taken a rather dark turn. Today I got two great gems...

  • Smile, things may get worse more slowly!
  • Eat well, exercise, die anyway.

Prayer. Maybe The First In A Series.

I have a lot lot more to say about prayer right now, but time is scarce and my mind not so good so I'll just tell you about one woman.

A woman came into the ICU Friday night. She had a big crowd with her and they seemed to only be waiting for surgery but as night came and the surgery crowd thinned out, they moved a sofa bed into the waiting room and it became clear they were in, like many of us, for the duration (except with furniture).

She never really assimilated with the rest of us. When anyone would speak to her, she'd declare loud and long that she was here for a miracle! That there was no way that God could take her son because she'd lived a good life!! She claimed that her family was in talks with the Oprah show to showcase their miracle!!

Saturday in the middle of the night, I was walking back from a visit with my dad. I saw her in the hall and looked her in the eye with a smile. She returned the smile. "I have someone I want you to meet."

You know where this is going, don't you? How do I get around this? If I refuse to meet her son on the grounds of respecting their privacy, then I seem rude. But going to see someone else's child in ICU?

I went. It was one of those split second decisions and who knows if it was right, but there I was. I washed up, went in, and stood silently beside the bed while she told me his story. He's a man my age with the stunted growth of someone with lifelong kidney issues. He barely made a dent inn his bed and had recently suffered a battle with cardiac arrest. After the story, I thanked her for sharing the story of her strong son, patted her arm, and left uncomfortably.

She didn't get her miracle. Or maybe she did. Her son passed away last night and it's been quiet in the waiting room. I wonder if somehow that woman's prayers for a miracle could somehow be translated into grace and peace for this family.

And I hope they are.

I've Started Praying Every Day For A Laugh. The Other Day, It Was This...

Donald Rumsfeld briefed the President this morning. He told Bush that three Brazilian soldiers were killed in Iraq. To everyone's amazement,all the color drained from Bush's face, then he collapsed onto his desk,head in hands, visibly shaken, almost in tears.

Finally, he composed himself and asked Rumsfeld, "Just exactly how many is a brazilian?"

Home

So, tonight I came home. And, well, I mean that in two ways. One, I'm now at the parental unit's house, and got to wear the puppy, Rudy, out. He now sleeps in his box as one content little guy. I had looked forward to that all day.

Secondly, I went to IHOP-KC tonight. Now, for some of you, you're thinking, Pancakes? You went on a road trip for pancakes? Nope, it's a church, for lack of a better term (I'm too tired to really explain it) and I had a blast. Everytime I walk in there, I feel as if I'm home. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not that annoying relative you have that is all religious to the point of being out of reality. I am more grounded than that. However, I do believe everyone needs a place, whether it be church, or homegroup, or bible study, or whatever, that they can connect with God. Sorry if this offends, but this is me. Anyway, tonight, I went to service and God spoke loud and clear to me. I love that!!! I have missed that. I love my church at home, but there's something about how God moves at IHOP that moves my heart. Anyway, tonight was great. Very good. It is always good to just get away for a while....

In other news, I was at a workshop this morning, and as it turns out, one of my old professors from college taught it, which was a kick! So, it looks as if I may get to be a guest speaker at my old college! Yippee! This pleases my heart, as I have spoken out at our rival college for years, and have felt a twinge of guilt because I wasn't speaking at my old stomping grounds! Cool, eh?

Well, I need to crash. English teachers, please do not re-read this and look for grammatical or spelling errors, as I'm so tired I'm sure this is one I'll read tomorrow and see the mistakes I made. :-)

Have a great day!

This Still Isn't A Real Entry. Give Me Time

We just love the ICU. We love it so much we can't seem to leave. If you're keeping track, it's 2.5 weeks there. We could be much better, we could be much worse. I just spent some time reading old entries about dad, though, and wanted to reflect on them here.

So go here. And then here. You'll want to go here also. Don't miss this either. And I love this one.

He offered us fifty bucks for a Diet Coke tonight, so I guess we're swinging uphill.

Broken out!

So, tonight I sit here, and I am breaking out in a rash as I type. :-) Yeah, they put me on new meds for my migraines, and pow, I am itching like crazy. Yeah, I am calling the doctor in the morning! :-) For those of you who are medication free, I am happy for you. As for me, I hear Benadryl calling my name!

In other news, I managed to watch two movies, get into a fight with my roommate, and run errands today. Not too bad if you ask me. I got to be a bum, stand up for myself (which I will pay for later, but hey, life goes on) and got much needed stuff done. I have meetings the next three days, so I enjoyed my time off.

I am thankful (as weird as that sounds) for the extra workshops and meetings. Not only will it mean extra money in my pocket, but it also is giving me some good teaching tools to use in the classroom. I am thankful.

So, my Birthday came and went. It was rather nice. Toolman and his wife had me over for the evening, which was the highlight of my day. I am a blessed gal.
Well, I guess that's all my ramblings for now. Have a good day!
Later!

Birthdays

So, I suppose that since I'm an adult this whole birthday thing shouldn't be a big deal. I mean, I live in the world of children in a school where Birthdays are a big deal. For some of these kids, it's a highlight of their year. (Sad, huh?) So, here I sit, the eve on my 33rd birthday, and I'm feeling rather philosophical. I guess few people get the exact life they imagined as a kid. Honestly, I figured by now I'd have a husband, and probably a couple kiddos. Well, I don't. And, well, that's okay. I mean, I am a blessed gal who is surrounded daily by friends and family who love me more than most people are loved, I think. And, in teaching, kids love ya unconditionally, so I am a blessed gal. I am loved very well.

I still pray for what I dreamed for as a kid though.
Don't we all?

First day of break!

So, here I sit, and it feels odd in a sense to think that Summer Break is finally here. Well, it feels like that to me at least. I felt as if May 19th would never get here. And, now it's May 20th. I am glad too. The past 2 weeks have been so crazy-busy that I haven't had much down time at all. I have definately enjoyed today. :-)

So, yesterday, being the last day of school, you would've thought that I would've been at least a little sad to see the little darlin's leave the building....not so much! I was really ready for this year to be over. And, I can't really pinpoint a reason why, I just was ready for it to end. Since about Spring Break I think I've been ready for it to end. And, honestly, the kids were okay this year. I didn't have any I had to restrain or anything, but I was just ready for it to be over. I am thankful that where I live we have 9 month contracts, as I really see a healthy need for teachers to get a break. I realize this wasn't the initial reason that schools were on a 9 month season, however, today, it is best for everyone (I think) to have a break. We wear so many different hats as teachers; detectives, policemen/women, counselors, parents, the list goes on and on. A break is a good thing. And even though I am teaching Summer School, and have meetings and workshops a lot over the next two weeks, a break from the classroom is a very good thing. Praise the Lord for Summer Breaks!

So, you're wondering what I did today on my first day of break. Honestly, it was GREAT! I was a bum in my PJ's until 1pm. I never do that, but today it was so nice not to have to go anywhere or do anything! Very cool! I watched part of the "Oprah" DVD that I got Bakerywoman for her Birthday, and then we went out to a movie tonight. Have you seen "Eight Below"? If you haven't, I highly recommend it! It was a nice "girls out" evening. Not a bad way to spend the first day of break, if you ask me. :-)
Our first day with kids is August 16.
I predict this Summer will fly by!
I plan to enjoy the ride though!
Later.

The Moral Dilemma

Let’s talk yearend reports. How honest do I have to be? It’s a no brainer for the kids that are staying at our school. I’m honest and give ideas for summer enrichment when appropriate. I don’t want to saddle my coworkers with a kid who isn’t prepared. Luckily, most of my parents are already aware of the things I’ve mentioned in their child’s report, so it’s just a formality. I’m also proud to say that most of my students are receiving glowing reports.

But. . .what about Sneaky Kid who isn’t coming back next year? His parents are an incredible pain in the ass. The stop by your room, pull their kid out early a lot, say they are working with him but aren’t kind of parent. Are you familiar with this breed?

Should I be honest about everything and make my conference extremely uncomfortable or do I sugarcoat it with general remarks and coast my way to summer? I’ve met with these parents at least 4 times since Christmas. One meeting included the kid’s educational therapist who I exchange emails with weekly. Both of us are frustrated by the parent’s inability/ lack of desire to help the kid work at home. These are the folks who sent the “this homework is to hard for my son” note.

What would you do?

The Adventures Of Educat And She Who Asks One Question Too Many

School today was as good as it could have been given everything. I have worked out a part time schedule so I can be around for my parents. The best news is that the hospital has wifi so I can share with you!!

She Who Asks Too Many Questions is the hospitality committee chair and she craves information. I wouldn't normally mention this, but she's a larger woman in her late 50's. This matters later. File it. I knew I'd see her sometime today and so I prepared myself with a simple answer for her questions.

SWAOTMQ: How is your dad?
Educat: We're taking it a day at
a time.
SWAOTMQ: But is he better?
Educat: Well...no.
He's pretty stable.
SWAOTMQ: So what's wrong with him??
Educat: (sigh) There's a lot of things. Swelling, kidneys, just a
lot.
SWAOTMQ: How did this happen??
Educat: (now a
bit fed up
) Obesity, Question Lady. It all comes from obesity.
SWAOTMQ:
(coming down a bit but still questioning) How old is he?
Educat:
(knowing exactly the effect her words will have) He's young. He's 58.
SWAOTMQ: (subdued) oh.

4.5 Days!

Greetings!

It's been FOREVER since I've posted. I think this time of year is the hardest for teachers. I tell ya, it's harder than Christmas craziness and the first week of school. My kids were ready to be over May 1. I tell ya, it's gonna be a short week, but long all at the same time. Friday at 3pm will be my favorite part of the week. I know, you're thinking, I thought you had 4.5 days left. Well, with kids, yes. However, our district gives us a whole HALF day to get our rooms packed up. Yeah, we get to pack anything not in storage now. I tell ya, this time next week I'll be flying. Until then, I'll be working like crazy. :-)
I am looking forward to summer. I don't see a "break" in there much, as we have workshops in between school and summer school, and I'm on a committee that works all summer (extra cash, YIPPEE!), so "break" won't be my middle name, however, the extra money will be great. Plus I get to keep tutoring my little autistic student, so this summer I will make more than ever before. Trust me, I don't believe money is what it's all about, but as a teacher, every little bit helps.
Well, I have some surfing to do. Have a blessed day. I hope things are going well in your neck of the woods!
Later!

Getting It

The EduDad is still with us. Thanks to all who have expressed support, this is the hardest time in my life so far and it means so much that you understand. I'm not back to regular blogging by a longshot, but I need to say this.

Dad's been in ICU since Sunday morning. Yesterday, we had a big scare and feared we had lost him. As terrifying as it is to think of everything you might want to say to your father for the rest of your life, I said something, called some friends, and waited. Four hours later, we had better news and I was able to breathe again and with that breath, I figured something out.

Some stuff doesn't matter.

We've had a lot of visitors this week and somehow, I have appreciated them all. Even those people, those people from the church. If their presence means something to anyone in my family, fine. You belong with us. Perhaps my feelings toward them are only neutral, but that's a start. Those people can't hurt me--and that's a big step. I've had the last scene from Places In The Heart playing in my head and that's where I want to be: passing the cup of forgiveness to brethren and sistren who hurt me and having the crap of this world just not matter.

Today was a better day. We aren't out of the woods, but it's better. If God grants it, we'll all pass the cup together again soon.

(and by the way, what is the hymn they're singing in that scene!?! It's killing me. If you wanted to say "let me know what I can do for you", this is what you can do. Tell me what the hymn is!)

Mental Health Day

I used to think people who took mental health days were nuts. Can life really be that overwhelming? Apparently I’m growing up because now, I understand. My classroom is one of my favorite places in the world. I love my bulletin boards and all of the color. It is truly a happy place. Every now and then I find myself getting a little snappy with the kids. Yesterday was that kind of day.

I spent my weekend putting out fires between my mom and brother. Thank heavens they live in different cities because I couldn’t possibly do this on a regular basis. I’m pretty sure they are both a little crazy. So, after an extremely stressful weekend, I was a little less than pleasant yesterday. I also ended up sending two kids home sick. My throat hurts and I have report cards to write.

Today is my mental health day and I am embracing it wholeheartedly. I’ve written my assistant two pages on exactly how to conduct the day. Yes, I’m a little anal. She is interviewing for head-teaching positions right now, so the practice is good for her. My husband took me out for a lovely breakfast and now I’m here typing away on my neglected blog.

Three cheers for mental health days!

I Never Promised You A Rose Garden. Or Frequent Posts, For That Matter

I never told you this would be daily, did I?

I'm home. I've been home, actually, but not much. You see, right before I left for DC, my dad was admitted to the hospital where is is, among a list of other ailments, adjusting to diabetes. If you follow at all, you'll know that last year when I went to DC, he underwent a knee replacement. So I don't see myself returning for fear he might take up permanent residence in the hospital. I have the beginnings of a song in my head, to the tune of "My Favorite Things",

Blood clots and swelling
and blood sugar blah blah
Blah blah blah blah blah
blah kidney stone blah blah.

These are a few of my least favorite things.

So I've been dividing my time between school and the hospital. There's not much more to share here, the doctors just say to expect him to be here "for a very long time". So you might see things here, you might not. Just be patient. I've an entry or two pitching about in my head, perhaps they will find their way out. I am hoping to knock something else out tonight, we'll just have to see. I might also fall into a coma and awake just in time to go sit in the hospital tomorrow. Consider it part of my madcap unpredictability.

Meanwhile, take the sage advice of The Crib Chick and read about Britany. She told me to read this with the charge "Girl, you better try to have fun no matter what you do", and you should too.

Because Nothing Compares, dear reader, To You.

That doesn’t help

Why do some parents feel the need to question the relevance/importance/difficulty of the homework I send home? In September of every year I tell the parents, “Homework should not be difficult. Students should be able to complete the written portion in less than 15 minutes and feel successful. We struggle in the classroom, not at home by ourselves. “ I feel very strongly about this homework policy and always back it up with research about how over worked our children are.

What ever happened to down time? My students go form after school classes to piano, to Karate and then home to eat dinner and do their homework. They have schedules like this 5 days a week with gymnastics or team sports on the weekends. Anyway, I digress.

This week one of my students sent back a piece of incomplete homework with a note from his mom scrawled across the top, “This is to hard for my son.” It was a crossword puzzle using his spelling words. My assistant thought I should correct the spelling of “to” and send it back. Instead I wrote, “Please help your son complete this homework. All of the other students were able to solve the puzzle. I’m sure, with a little help, your son can do the same.” Sure enough, it came back completed the next day.

I happen to know that this student’s sibling’s teacher, (did you follow that?), gets the same kind of notes on her homework from time to time. Every teacher wants to know when work is overly challenging. If I didn’t teach it well enough the first time, I’d like to try again. In most cases, however, it is just parents trying to get their kids out of doing homework. That doesn’t help at all.

Things I’m Afraid I Might Actually Say Out Loud

"Just shut up and do it."
"What part of please stop talking confuses you?"
"Read the directions, dumb ass."
"Bring your own damn pencil"
"The junior slut look really doesn’t work for you, honey."
"No you CAN'T go to the bathroom right now, dumb ass."
"It must be time for your meds because you’re really starting to annoy me."
"Are you this stupid in all your classes or just this one?"
"That’s really not going to get you any dates…. "
"Get out of my personal space/ away from my desk/ etc. you Cretin "
"Shut the fuck up already."
"I’ll return your papers when I’m damn good and ready so stop asking. "
"If you can’t clean up after yourself, please go back to your monkey cage."
"It’s like you are a puppy who has to mark his territory by peeing on everything."
"For God’s sake stop tapping on your desk!"
"There are none so dumb as those that want to be"