Late Night Musings Whilst Packing

Does anyone else ever see this show on the TV guide and have this strange picture of a library full of books chattering about something? They're all arguing hot and heavy and out of nowhere, one book (let's make him the Dictionary) speaks up.

"Hey everyone, let's quiet down! Let The Bible Speak!"

And then he does some grand sweeping gesture with his short Dictionary arm as if to indicate that the Bible has the floor?

Anyone ever think that?

Yeah, me neither. That'd be pretty stupid...

Gotta Make A Move To A Town That's Right For Me

I looked and looked for a version of "Oh Bright New Day" from Blood Brothers to post here (Thank me later, internets. All the versions I found on YouTube were bad renditions from HS productions.) because in a week, I'll be living somewhere else!

Right now is the endless, awful packing. Nothing kills the buzz of the first days of summer better than putting everything you own in boxes so you can put all that stuff somewhere else. I'm gaining a lot in this move; the house is about 6 miles from my school as opposed to the 15 I've been driving, it's a house, and I'll save zillions of dollars by moving in with my sister. I'm leaving the place that made me feel so grown up right out of college, the same place that later suffocated me with its smallness and bad memories.

How strange to leave it all.

So what's some music to move by? I'd also contemplated "Funkytown" if only for the refrain "Gotta move on".

Locke and Nick

So, today was our last day of school with the students.

I expected to be a mess, crying and all.

But I wasn't.

I will say that the batch of 5th graders that left today were a good bunch of kids. The WHOLE class was really good, not just a few, this was a good group. I was sorry for them to go, but honestly ready for them to go all at the same time. Weird huh?

I didn't get weepy or mushy or anything, until the very end of the school day. (It was only a half day for them...lucky guys!) One of the kids named Locke, who I had fun with throughout the KU basketball and football seasons, came up to me and gave me a hug. In mid-hug, he started tearing up, and tears fell. I was surprised, and touched all at the same time. This was not a student I had in my class, he was just one of the popular kids that everyone liked. I told him what a cool kid he was, and I expected to hear from him when he had plays or sports games coming up. He said eh would let me know. Then I looked over and his Mom had tears falling too. What a moment. God let me be a part of that. For that, I will always be blessed. And I will never forget Locke.

After doing lunch with some friends, I came back to school, and one of my former students came up to me. Nick, who I had 3 years ago, came up and gave me a big hug. It was really cool. It was weird too, as he's taller then me now, but it was GREAT to see him. I told him I had a meeting, but if he could stick around for a little while, I would talk to him afterward. Well, he did. We didn't talk too long, but it was good to see him and talk to him. Over the years I have wondered about him and prayed for him, but it's not like I see him everyday to know how he's doing. It was quite a neat way to end the day. :-)

I should crash. I feel very very tired tonight.

But the good news is, I can sleep until 8am tomorrow!

Yippee skippee!

Later!

A good weekend!

I have to say, this has been an enjoyable weekend. I have spent some time at IHOP, which has been great. I also spent some time with the parental unit, as well as my brother and sister-in-law's family. Not a bad weekend in my book.

It has also been enjoyable because my parents now have wireless at home, so I have been able to do things on my laptop, which has been a gift.

A real highlight of the weekend was today when I was sitting and watching a TV program with my Mom, and Rudy (The Coolest Dog on the planet) moved his head just enough so it was on my shoulder. We cuddled for quite a while. I really enjoyed it. Rudy is a really, cool dog. Roxie even cuddled a bit...really cool.

Well, now I am headed back home to the real world. Only 2.5 days of school left.

Praise God!

Later!

GOD IS AWESOME!

Greetings!

I didn't want to post anything yesterday due to my birthday about my health stuff, but the news is really cool. My doctor did a scope from the mouth down to my stomach on Tuesday. His logic was that I was still struggling with some pain, and he wanted to do see what damage had been done by the ulcers that had shown up on both the colonoscopy and abdominal scan.

And guess what he saw?

NOTHING!

In fact, now the doctor is re-thinking the whole Crohn's Diagnosis! (Yes! Maybe less pills are in my future!)

That's right, two tests, and then, NOTHING.

I am so amazed at what God can do!

I truly believe He healed me!

So, you're thinking...NOW WHAT?

Well, today I went in for an ultrasound on my Gallbladder. They also drew blood on Tuesday to see what my blood count is now.

I'll know something in two weeks, but for today, I'm happy.

Our God really is an awesome God!

Later!

35!

Today was my Birthday.

I'll be honest, I woke up, tired.

I had low energy from the start today.

Then I walked in the building, and from the moment I walked in, it was a very good day.

At 9:30, I was given a Surprise Party by my students and BakeryWoman. She brought a cake and we had a party.

Then at 11:30 we had a pizza party. :-)

All throughout the day, I was given little gifts.

Gigglygal sent me a balloon boquet with M&M's and an AWESOME card.
BakeryWoman gave me National Treasure 2. (Sorry, Scienceguy!)
I got more cards than I've ever received.

And then the whole staff sang to me and another teacher (we share the same birthday) after school because I was the one running the meeting.

So, while I'm wiped, and still have homework to do tonight, it was a day I'll never forget.

Not a bad way to turn 35!

Later!

A song.

In the building I teach in, you can feel that this should have really been the last week of school. If it hadn't been for our days off due to ice and lack of electricity in our district, this Thursday would have been the last day of school. And, you can feel the lack of attention and effort on behalf of the students in our building. I heard three different teachers absolutely frustrated with their students because they CAN'T SHUT UP to save their lives.

I have to say, I was frustrated today too.

I had one student who won't sit still long enough to write a sentence. He came up about every 30 seconds to tell me something. I finally had to say, "Sit down and work, please." It worked...for about 30 seconds. :-)
I had another student who kept saying, "Tell him to quit looking at me!"
I had another student who had to give me a play-by-play of his work.

I just stood there this morning.

The weirdest part is that I will REALLY miss my fifth graders. I have been blessed with a wonderful group of fifth graders this year. They have each touched me in their own way. So even as my character is built these past few days, I keep telling myself that I need to enjoy this because I will truly miss these kids.

So, this morning I stood there, and said to myself, "God, I need something..."

After the kids left for lunch, I just sat for a moment.

And a song came to my mind that has sort of become my favorite song lately.

The kicker of it was the fact I didn't know who sang it or what CD it was on.

So, during my lunch break, I hopped on itunes and found it.

I listened to it.

And I felt better.

Who would've guessed?

It wasn't anything huge.

Just a little song that changed my frustration into peace.

Go figure.

Quote from last week.

So, I tried repeatedly over the weekend to blog, and it wouldn't let me on the site. I was on my computer at home, and it was giving me fits. It was probably just as well, as I was overloaded with homework, so it helped me get everything done. :-)

I wanted to share a cool story about LostBoy. I now have him in the afternoon in my classrooms, and while some days have been rather character building, I have to say I love him immensely. I have had to draw some boundary lines with him because my role in his life has shifted. It went from being the teacher that just did sensory things and reading his social story to an actual teacher.

In the midst of it, he has tested me. And, I'll be the first to admit, he takes ALL my attention when he's in my room. I have to know where he is at all moments because if I don't, there's literally no telling what he'll be doing. (My hats off to Mr. H. for having him all year without much support up until recently. He has done very well with him!)

So, on one day last week, he was refusing to work. This wasn't unusual for him. He often refuses to work just to see what sort of reaction he'll get out of me. And, I'll admit, there have been moments where I've wanted to yell at him, but I haven't. :-)

So he asked the typical student question:

"Why do I have to do this?"

To which I gave my typical response:

"Because I'm a mean rotten, horrible, no good teacher."

The typical student response I get from that is:

"No you're not Ms. Spring."

Well, LostBoy is anything but typical.

The conversation went like this:

"Why do I have to do this?"
"Because I'm a mean, rotten, horrible, no good teacher."
"I GET THAT. Why do I have to do this?"

I just laughed.

I shouldn't have. I really shouldn't have.

But that struck me as funny, I haven't had one other student say I that.

And, after that, I now love it when he says, "I get that!"

He says it a lot now because he knows I like it.

The wierdest part of the story, the first day he said that and was refusing to work, after I laughed, he got his work done without much hassle at all.

Go figure.

Heroes

I will be the first to admit, I use the word "hero" several times a day. It has become my way of thanking someone for a blessing of kindness that has been given to me. Most of the time, it's people just being kind, and being themselves. I am blessed as I know how many people love me. And so "you are my hero!" is a phrase that has brought a smile to many faces as I have thanked them for what they've done for me.

This week, I have discovered that I have a new hero.

In all honesty, I think of heroes as people who have saved lives or walked in to help and rescue those at disaster areas. I believe that there are people in other countries fighting and risking their lives for my freedom. Those are true heroes. And, if I am very honest, my list could go on and on. But, I'll be honest, up until today I didn't really think about the true meaning of the word as it applies to my little corner of the world.

In the past week and a half, I have watched Mrs. AP walk with such courage and strength and integrity that I can't even imagine. She has set an example for me as a professional in my career as an educator. I can only imagine the level of stress she's been under and what she's endured, and she kept her mouth shut, and never ever did a thing that was wrong.

Many people on my staff have judged her for what she's done.

When in reality, she did her job.

Nothing more.

Nothing less.

I hope I can be an educator that sets the example for others as she has done for me.

She is my hero.

I am a blessed gal.

Later!

The Very Sort Of Thing That Makes Us Count The Days Til Summer

Limited English Student Writes Line by Line Interp of Julius Caesar

"I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him."

becomes...

"We are here to buy the food, not to play."

Is this child wiser than I realize or do I have the hardest work imaginable?

Where I Unload About Cell Phones

With May, comes a new level of impatience for teachers. I've reached a sort of Zen this week. Whereas last week, I was ready to snap at anything and everyone in my way (I found myself asking friends, "Is this something I should choose to be angry about?"), this week I know I am stressed and nasty and treat all of my actions and reactions to a filter.

All except my reactions to cell phones.

Now, the policy at my school is that they aren't to be out. The first time a teacher sees a phone, he/she takes it and returns it at the end of class. The second time, we're to give it to the Principal's Secretary who holds it til the end of the day. If you're thinking that the secretary shouldn't be the one to handle this, you don't know ours. This woman can live a long and happy life without students liking her. She doesn't care a bit and takes no crap. I love her, and my life's goal is to live forever on her good side.

Now, how many times have you tried to take a child's phone only to have them respond, "You can't take my phone!! This is my mamma!!"? You've learned to handle this, haven't you? I take it anyway, encouraging the child to make mamma aware of the cell phone policy.

Are you ready for the next wave, though? How are you going to handle it when you attempt to take a child's phone only to have them scream that their text message is from the Pope?

How I wish he'd just gotten a MySpace.

I'm So It

I've been tagged by Streak. Read on, something here might entertain you.

The rules are:
1. The rules of the game get posted at the beginning.
2. Each player answers the questions about himself or herself.
3. At the end of the post, the player then tags five people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, lettingthem know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

Ten years ago, I was . . .

Finishing the worst teaching year of my life. I'd been transferred because of low numbers in the Theatre program to another school three weeks into the new year (It was the week after Princess Diana died, don't know why I remember that...). My new school gave me drama classes made up of the kids that the gym teacher couldn't handle along with an hour of lunch duty. My depression first surfaced and I was the worst teacher I'd ever been. My principal lied to get rid of me, which depressed me more, which made me worse at my job...I think ten years ago this very week, I started hunting for a new job to leave my old district.

About five years after that, the Asst Principal who worked hard to help me get the transfer was all over the news. He was arrested for lewd conduct with a student and had done this with several young ladies over the years. One of them, I discovered, was a student I had in class. That particular encounter was swept under the rug by the Head Principal (the one who lied to get rid of me). He was demoted for his part in the cover up.

5 Things on Today’s “To Do” List

1. Email parents of children who are still working to finish credit recovery English. Remain civil and when they ask ME when little Jimmy will finish the class and can he bring a paper to me at graduation, refrain from recommending a more potent form of birth control to these parents.
2. Grade Grammar
3. Attend Baby Shower
4. Post this to blog, along with another funny thing that happened today.
5. Pack at least one box so I can move! I'm moving!!!

3 Bad Habits:

1. Procrastination--avoid all that packing. Because I'm moving!! Did I mention that?!?
2. Sending emails without counting to ten first. Some of mine have been pretty snarky lately
3. Unfinished Knitting Projects

5 Places I’ve Lived (this will really make me sound like a loser):

South OKC
Shawnee, OK
Irving, TX
Del City, OK
even if it was only for a month, I'm mentioning
Northampton, MA
because my others are kind of lame.

5 Jobs I’ve Held:

1. Country Club Waitress (where I waited on OK Governor Brad Henry when he was just some local attorney)
2. Bath and Body Line Jester (I did many jobs there, but this was my favorite)
3. Museum Educator
4. Shoe/Boot salesperson (yes, I can fit you in a cowboy boot and have an intelligent conversation on heel slippage)
5. HS Teacher

I hate tagging. I've said it before. Was I supposed to pass world peace by keeping this going?

A Week I'll Never Forget

Greetings, all!

It has been almost a week since I've posted, and there has been a reason for that. And while I can't share everything, I want to share a little bit.

First of all, I did get my results from my scan. I had to call the doctor's office everyday, but I finally got an answer. As it turns out, the scan showed an ulcer. I already knew that, based upon what the doctor had said before, but I guess I had to have a scan to show me that. Yeah, truthfully, I was frustrated. I get to pay for a test that showed me something I already know. But, honestly, that's okay. There are bigger things in life to get upset about. So, I was put on another medication and I get to go on in the 21st for another test. Yes, the day before my Birthday I get to have another procedure! Yeah! So, if you believe in the power of prayer, please keep me in prayer. Not because I'm scared, but because I want them to just figure out what to do with me so that we can get this stuff taken care of. And, honestly, dropping the amount of medication I take would be a blessing. As always, I'll keep ya posted. Thanks in advance to all of you who are praying for me. I don't take that lightly, and consider it a blessing to have those around me praying for me.

In other news, I went on three field trips this week. Each day was different and a lot of fun. My favorite quote of the week was when we were at the Nature Center, and the kids were acting like little animals, and Mr. H. got onto the kids and said, "You're supposed to be thinking today! I knew that would be a stretch!"

I immediately started laughing. It's true. For his batch of kids, the whole trip was a stretch. Kids are used to going on field trips and just having fun. This trip was a stretch because it was basically an outdoor classroom. They really had to work that day. Yep, thinking was a stretch for those kids. I was with LostBoy all day, and he was stretched too. Honestly, it was an experience for all involved. It was a day I'll never forget.

I went on two other field trips this week, and I got to see National Treasure 2 twice this week. It is a very good movie, and I hope to get it for my Birthday this year. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it! It is a fun movie.

Finally, we had some pretty major stuff happen at school this week. Due to confidentiality, I cannot go into details. However, what I witnessed this week has made me ponder a great deal. I have thought for days as to what to post in this matter because while I can't go into details, this week has taught me a great deal.

I watched the staff I work with change in the course of about 3 days. I have watched fear, curiousity, and gossip take over the building I work in. I've been extremely pleased with some staff members who have remained professional in the midst of stress, and I've been disappointed in others as they have been sucked into fear and gossip.

I have worked very hard to walk professionally through it all. And, I have come to realize that it takes more effort to not get sucked into it all instead of just jumping in with everyone else. I have felt very alone at times because I wanted to do what is right and not let emotion take over.

I have taken time throughout this week to look at things from everyone's perspective. I understand how people are feeling afraid and curious. It's not all over with, and there's more to come, so I think Monday will be just as difficult.

I just pray I can do what's right, and remain professional in it all.

I have a poster in my classroom that states:

"Courage is doing what's right, even if you're standing alone."

I know that now more than ever.

Later!

I Never Knew Love Like This

Over the years, readers of this blog have kindly sympathized with my single status. They've been kind, but made known their wish for me: that love would find me. I've even had people read this blog and assume that they are there to fill whatever emptiness my heart has known.

My response to them has always been the same: Thank you. That's very kind, but I'm very well and satisfied with my status right now. I am here to tell you now that my longing is fulfilled. I did not know the shape of this emptiness until the man came to fill it and now I shall shout it from the cyber mountaintop.

Our school's new mascot costume has arrived!

Through a series of events I am unsure I could recount, I will be sponsoring a spirit organization at school next year. We'll handle the mascot, big inflatable tunnel, run with flags when our team scores, and sell big foam items (Stop it, I mean fingers and such. Wait, that's worse...nevermind). I've interviewed kids as to their willingness to paint their chests and ability to say phrases like "mascot camp" and "really pump up the spirit" with a straight face.

On the other, less human end, I've been commissioned to order a new mascot costume. I brought the right people into the decision, haggled with costume companies, and badgered them to find just the right shade of the school colors. It was a long, rugged process that added a special edge to testing season.

He's arrived. In all his rugged glory, he's here. Our mascot is a human character and carries with him the perfect combination of cartoon whimsy and rugged manliness. Just like the man of my dreams. Furthermore, I've found a quality I didn't even know I needed in a man*. When our handsome mascot arrived, all sealed in plastic, he smelled pleasantly of a fresh new permanent marker. I took a whiff and was smitten. It is as though he slipped me a roofie.

The man of my dreams is comical, rugged, and smells enough like magic marker to get me pleasantly silly.

*Please realize that my love for this man fades into total obscurity when the costume is worn by a teenager. It's just not how I roll, man.

An enjoyable weekend

Well, first off, I need to let those who have written in and asked, I don't have a report from the doctor yet on my scan. I have called, and they don't have anything yet. So, thanks to those who have been praying and have inquired as to what is up physically. I will let my loyal readers know when I know something, I promise!

This weekend has been great. I didn't expect it to be as good as it has been, but it really has been great.

Yesterday I went to the nearby amusement park that I am a proud sponsor of, and had a great time! I went with a couple families from work, and I hadn't spent any real amount of time with them. I had spent time with the kids, but not the adults. I know, that shocks you! And, as usual, I had an awesome time.

I rode Wildfire a total of 7 times. It is still my favorite ride there. I don't even get scared anymore on the uphill climb, which is a new thing for me. It was cool.

And, as usual, I have a cool story to share. There was a fourth grader named Austin that went with us. He hasn't been there since he was 4, and when he went then he got scared on one of the roller coasters. He actually got scared years ago on the indoor roller coater, Fire in the Hole.

So we first got there and we rode Thunderation first. I sat with Austin, and we rode front car. I was pleasantly surprised at how well he did. He didn't seem scared at all.

We got off the ride, and the next pick of the day was Fire in the Hole. I knew this was the one Austin dreadded, and told him he didn't have to ride it, and he said he wanted to ride it. So, we got in line. We moved our way up the line, and when we got close to the coaster, and said, "Can I hold your hand if I get scared?" I told him, yes, of course! When we finally got on the ride, he took my hand immediately. He held it the whole ride. He squeezed hard in the pitch dark areas of the ride. He also screamed. In the end, he liked it. I was so proud of him for conquering his fear.

The next ride on the list was Wildfire. My favorite! It was quite a walk to Wildfire, and I was ready. Of course, the three kids I was with took one look at the coaster and opted out. Which, I sort of figured would happen. I told them they could wait in the gift shop while I rode it once. I figured we had walked all that way, I wanted to ride it once. :-) Austin looked at me, and I could tell he felt bad. I told him it wasn't a big deal. I would ride and then we would find something else.

I rode the ride, and when I got off, they were standing there drenched. Next to Wildfire is a water ride and they rode it. I looked at Austin and said, "Your Mom is never going to let you out with me again." He just smiled.

We went and met up with the group for lunch. Austin was bothered by something. I couldn't quite tell, but he was rather emotional. His Mom said it was normal. So, while we were in line without Austin, his Mom stated that I should go with the older kids for the afternoon and I'd see Austin later. I told her I didn't want to let him down. She said it was fine. She felt he needed to rest a bit anyway and that they would take in a show or two. I thought that was great.

After lunch, I headed off with his older brother to ride Wildfire. I thought it would be an easy ride for his older brother. It wasn't. It scared him quite a bit, but he bought a picture of himself on the ride to show he rode it. His first words off the ride were, "That was fun but I'm not riding it again." Translation, that scared him and he didn't want to do it again. I was okay with that. I've been there, and I know how he feels.

As we were walking out of the ride, two of the other guys from our group walked up and wanted to ride. I told them I'd go with them. Olderbrother stated he was going to go catch up with the other group. Okay, so I switched coaster buddies. I rode with twinboy on both Wildfire and Powder Keg. Powder Keg was fun, but that first hill on it scared me! I'm not afraid to admit it, I was scared at first, but the ride was amazing.

After both of those rides, we were walking back and we found his twin, and I switched partners again. I rode with the other twinboy on Wildfire again. Yep, pretty much my ideal day! We went and hooked up with everyone after that, and the majority wanted to do a water ride. I DID NOT want to get wet. It wasn't warm enough for me to walk around wet the rest of the day. So, I said, "I'm going to go do Wildfire again!" Everyone laughed, and I really did go off on my own and rode it again on my own.

I got off the ride, and bought a hoodie. They were on sale, and I hadn't bought a thing all day. I also sort of enjoyed doing my own thing because I could walk slow and not feel like I was holding everyone up. Not that anyone cared how fast I walked, I just know I tend to walk slower than everyone else.

I wandered around after trying to find out where everyone was...noone answered their phone. So, I bought Mr. C. his taffy and then I got a call. Everyone was back down by the Wildfire entrance.

I went back down. As I approached, Austin walked up and said, "I want to do Wildfire with you." I just looked at him. My immediate thought was, "He's doing this for me, and I don't want to scar this child for life." I just said, "Are you sure? You don't have to at all, Austin." And he said, yes, he wanted to, and then his Mom followed stating that he had been wanting to do it for a little while. She could tell he was bothered because he hadn't done it. I said, "Okay, let's go."

We walked up to the ride, and I figured he'd chicken out. I really did. He didn't. He didn't even flinch. We rode it second seat back, and he never screamed once. Granted, he admitted he shut his eyes the whole way, but he did it. When we walked off, I told him, I was proud of him. He wanted to go again, but the twin's Dad opted out, so we didn't.

We walked back down, and the kids wanted to do Powder Keg. I was pooped. I didn't want to walk anymore. They invited me, and I said, "No, thanks." And I sat with the adults for the first time all day. And, Austin's Mom said she was happy I had gone because Austin faced his fears of roller coasters. That made me happy. I helped a kid get over his fear. That was the highlight of my weekend. It was a weekend Austin will never forget, and neither will I.

Today after church Karen invited me to lunch. We sat there for two and a half hours talking. I am loved so well by that gal. She taught me gobs in that little amount of time. I am blessed.

So, yeah, sort of my ideal weekend. AND, tomorrow I get to go on the fourth grade field trip. We're doing National Treasure 2 and the park!

What a way to start the week!

Later!