Roxie's Thoughts for the Day...

Hey All!

Roxie here. I decided that Rudy shouldn't be the only one to steal the computer and blog, so I have captured the computer while everyone is busy doing their own stuff. Shortone said it's okay. She knows I take my time on things.

Today has been really fun. Shortone came out of her room just like she has the whole week and we played with toys! Every morning she plays with Rudy and me before she does anything else! It's awesome having her here!

The first part of the afternoon all the people here were really vocal about some game called football. They had the T.V. on and were often yelling loudly and clapping during the game. Rudy and I often barked when they got really kinda scared me. Shortone said it was odd just because she really doesn't follow football but she seemed to have fun. And they were happy at the end of the game, so I'm pretty sure their team won.

Shortone was really nice to me throughout the game and would pet me anytime I would come near her. This seems to upset Rudy quite a bit, and he would get in our way a lot, but I could tell Shortone really wanted me to feel included.

Shortone seems to be going through something or other, I don't know what, but I've really tried to be extra nice to her this trip. And, we've cuddled from time to time. She seems to really like that. It's not like I can talk to her or anything but I can cuddle. I think that's all she needs now. She just needs a little love right now, I think.

Shortone left with Mom for a while after that. I went down and hung out with Dad while they were gone. Dad is really cool. He has treats in his office so it's always fun to be with him.

After Shortone and Mom returned, they put stuff on ANOTHER tree! I guess Shortone didn't have enough fun yesterday doing the one little tree, so she and Dad put stuff on a bigger tree. And, Dad put a tree out on the porch! What is it with all these people and trees? There are TONS outside and noone's putting stuff on them. I don't get it. I noticed that they put stuff lower on the other tree today...maybe I'll sniff some of those since they're at my level!

Shortone made pizza and I got to sit with her a bit while it was baking. I even got scraps afterward! I REALLY like having her here!

Well, it's time to go for a roadtrip, so I need to logoff for now.

Shortone now thinks I'm one of the TWO coolest dogs on the planet. Yippee!


Rudy's Thoughts for the Day...

Hey All!

Rudy here. I have taken Shortone's computer to write a post for tonight. I really like having Shortone here, as she's really nice to me, but there are things I don't understand about her.

One thing I don't understand is why she put objects on a tree today. There are tons of trees in the world, and when I go on a walk, I don't see objects on the trees like there are in this room. What's up with that?

Also, she's had her nose in these things called books. She's never looked at these objects much before, so it has perplexed me. Especially yesterday when she was reading a book with a CAT on the front of it! What's wrong with her? She's not a cat person, she's a dog person! I left her alone while she read the book that she called "Dewey". I couldn't wait for her to be done with that book so she could focus on her DOG friends. But then she got out ANOTHER book! What's wrong with her? So you know what I have done TWICE today? I've gotten right in her face and she has said, "Okay, let me put the bookmark in the book" and she's played with me!

Actually, I should be fair. See, we share MY chair when she comes to visit. She has her spot and I have mine on the chair and we get along GREAT. In fact, each time I leave my chair to do something and come back she ALWAYS takes a moment to pet me! She ALWAYS makes time for me. Kinda makes me wonder why she doesn't have her own dog. She's good with me and my sister Roxie. Then again, if she had her own dog, maybe she wouldn't be with me so much. Hum...

So she's been here a few days and she has played with me A LOT. In fact, Mom and Dad say that she "spoils" me. Whatever that means. I just like having her here because we cuddle a lot and she pets me when we cuddle. I hope she stays a while, we get along well.

Anyway, I should go. It's almost time for me to get brushed by Dad.



Today is a day we give thanks for all that we've been given. Honestly, I find that I thank God daily for what I've been given, I just don't share it with everyone in the universe. However, today I want to share something I am deeply thankful for as I sit at the Parental Unit's House on Thanksgiving.

Roxie is a dog my parents rescued a year and a half ago and has become just as much as member of the family as anyone else. I have posted several times about their other dog Rudy because he's so easy to love. Roxie isn't exactly like that. Don't get me wrong, Roxie is extremely sweet, but it hasn't been until this trip that we've truly bonded. Roxie is very selective about who she cuddles with and how long. I knew she liked me, but we had never really cuddled. She likes to cuddle, but it is ALL on her terms. Who, when, and where are all determined by Roxie.

So when I arrived here Tuesday Night, Roxie was in my face for the first 20 minutes. In fact, she kinda wore me out to be honest because she wanted to be RIGHT IN MY FACE. I was shocked.

And today I had a real highlight. I was watching TV, minding my own business, and she got on my lap and cuddle for a whole 5 minutes! IT WAS AWESOME!

Okay, well, it may not be winning big bucks or conquering the world, but it was a highlight for me.


A Walk to Remember

I have managed to be a bum most of today. I did some early Christmas Shopping, but most of my day has been spent in my chair with a book. The Book is titled "A Walk to Remember" by Nicholas Sparks. I really enjoyed this book. It is a great story line and I was sufficiently sucked into the book. Mr. H. and I have said MANY times before that the sign of a good book is that you can't put it down. This book was like that for me. Granted, it was predictable and sappy, but I REALLY enjoyed it. So, if you're in the mood for sappy and predictable, I suggest you read it. If you're not, well, hey, that's fine.

Now onto my next book. I'll keep ya posted. Afterall, there are several days left of this extended weekend!



I have had quite a bit of drama lately, and it feels good to be at my parent's house for the Thanksgiving. I've got my chair, the two coolest dogs on the planet, books to read, shows to watch, and a laptop to surf the net. Oh yeah, and of course, family to visit with. What more can I ask for? Hum...?

Bosom of Family

My dad's hometown is a nine hour drive from here. We used to leave after dad would get off work and all of us would sleep while dad would drive. I can remember waking up on those trips and hearing dad sing along with Harry Chapin to stay awake. This is classic car trip music in my world.

We leave tonight for Grandma's house where we'll holiday with eighteen of our family members. I didn't realize until Sunday that Wednesday would be the 20th anniversary of my Grandpa's death. I'm glad we'll get to be there. In my memory, losing Grandpa was the first death that affected me.

I'll miss hearing Harry Chapin in the middle of the night and I'll miss Grandpa meeting us at the door with some silly 3am joke. But I'm blessed beyond belief to have these memories.

Happy Thanksgiving


So today, a young lady in the back of my room had a full volume discussion with her friend about the anxiety surrounding the results of her most recent pap smear.

You're wondering? She's fifteen.

The young men at the front of the room were discreet enough to simply put their heads down to laugh (or to HIDE THEIR HEADS AND WEEP) as the young ladies speculated as to what sort of abnormalities the doctor might find.

All I could think of is that if I get a choice, I'm hoping she has syphillis because if she does, there's a chance that that last brief bout of severe genius might come at the same time as her End Of Instruction test. Seriously, because that would be some kind of writing score!


It's hard to believe that I've been teaching ten years, and I'm still thrown curveballs which are "first time experiences" for me. I always throught that I'd be done with firsts by this point in my teaching career...boy was I wrong! I have two stories to share.

Over the weekend, I was grading papers and came across a paper that left me scratching my head. The worksheet had some comprehension questions as well as some open-ended sort of questions. The question was "What did your Mom do when she was surprised at her cake?" The kid was supposed to pretend he was the kid in the story who had thrown Mom a surprise party. The response the student wrote: What are you &*%#ing doing?" Yep, a fourth grader putting in symbols for curse words! This was a first for me. I waited until the end of the day to share it with his regular education teacher and the student. He was immediately saddened by what he had done. That was the easy part for him though, when I walked him to his Mother, she read it and it was clear she would take care of it when they got home. Today he came into class with it re-done and an apology letter was there too. I'm glad he was responsible and took responsibility for his choices. Amazing stuff. I don't even want to know where he's seen that before to know how to write it like that...

And then today during Math class, I had a student bring me a note from another teacher about Renaldo's reading assignment that he needed to turn in today. I was a bit shocked at the letter since I had put the work IN HIS BACKPACK FOR HIM ON FRIDAY for him to take home and do over the weekend. I pulled out the workbook pages he was supposed to do...they weren't done. I just looked at Renaldo who gave me his standard, "I don't know what you're talking about" look. I was getting more mad by the second. I asked him to go get his daily planner that contains daily notes from his parents each day. I was a bit confused. Then I read the note from his parents, "The books weren't brought home so he couldn't do the work." I was floored. I PUT THE WORK IN HIS BAG ON FRIDAY! What do they mean it wasn't there for him to do? Renaldo just sat there. I asked him, "So, if it was in your bag on Friday, how did it get out of your bag before you got home?" He just sat there. Then I said, "Here's what I think, you took it out of your bag, and put it in your cubby so you wouldn't have homework over the weekend." He was mad, but didn't agree or deny to my theory.

We went down to the reading teacher, and explained my theory and he will receive a zero for the assignment. I walked out with Renaldo to explain to his parents what had happened. They supported our decision to give him a zero and made Renaldo come back in for the workbook so he could do it for homework. I told him he wouldn't get credit for it, and his parent stated that he didn't care, he needed to get the work done anyway. I was glad to hear that.

I still can't believe he did it! I've never had a kid dodge work like that! ARGH!

Tomorrow is a new day. And next week is break.

I can hardly wait!

So When You Say Senior Assembly, You Probably Don't Mean This...

One BUSY week!

So, here I sit, killing time before I go pick up Jay to go to Sbarro and Tilt. I'm really looking forward to it as this has been a really busy week. Not bad at all, just incredibly busy. And, I have found this week that I am better off busy than bored. While I'm exhausted right now, it really has been fun. I haven't been home one evening this week, which has been really good for me. I've gotten out and met new people, and have hung out with old friends as well, which has been a gift from God.

On Monday night I went to a meeting for church. It pretty much turned into a night of fellowship, which was a lot of fun. And Karen rode back into town with me which was a gift. I'm SO incredibly thankful that God has placed Karen in my life. She's pretty much taken on a mentoring role with me, which has been exactly what I needed. So, Monday was fun.

Tuesday night I joined the singles group here in town. I was stretched out of my comfort zone and went to a meeting where I didn't know anyone. There was a Bible Study, which was good, and just some time to get to know people. It's a bigger group than I expected, which was fun. It was good just to meet some new people.

On Wednesday night I tried a new homegroup. The one I had been attending the past 2.5 years ended, so I was on a quest to find a new one. I had been told by Karen that none of our homegroups go very deep spiritually, so not to expect much. However, this group went DEEP. They're reading a book called Next Level Living which I plan to pick up this weekend. It was a really nice time. I think I want to join that group. It has some wonderful people in there and the fact they go deep excites me more than you know. The group I was in before was not going anywhere spiritually so I am excited in a way I haven't felt in YEARS.

On Thursday Night I went and visited a friend in the hospital. GigglyGal and I took a couple games and we passed the time playing games. It was really fun. Well, as fun as it can be playing games in a hospital. I'm ready for her to be well and at home instead, but it was fun anyway.

After that I went to a surprise party for Laura. It is her birthday tomorrow, and she seemed genuinely surprised by everything. I was out later than I expected, but it was really fun and I was glad I went.

So, now it's Friday. I'm going to another singles group tonight, as a friend of mine stated that it's better than the one I tried Tuesday Night. I'm a bit nervous, but I was nervous Tuesday and it went okay.

I find it almost odd that it's hard for Christians to find each other. Or at least that's been my experience. There aren't any single guys in my church that I'm attracted to and I'm not a gal who would spend time in a bar. And there's noone in any of my activities that is single, so it's been quite a drought. Don't get me wrong, I don't expect to go tonight and meet the man of my dreams. I just think it's time for me to put myself in situations where there are single people. Otherwise, how can this season of waiting end?

So, anyway, that's sort of a recap of my week. I hope you had a terrific week. And I hope you have a terrific weekend.

As for me, I have about 6 hours of taped TV shows to watch and a few books to read. I won't be bored.


It's Coming!!!

Start thinking now how you'll spend the International Year of Natural Fibres! I rang it in early by knitting with way more wool this holiday (all the better to felt you with, my dear) and by ordering our ultra cool spirit club shirts in 100% ringspun cotton.

What Did You Learn In School Today?

Just so you know what we learned in school today, this work of art is from a young lady who finished our 65 question district benchmark test in a half hour.
"Ok, are you sure you did your best?"
So then she drew unicorn on her computer.
Please don't think less of me.

Back For A Visit

I stumbled over what to title this post and almost called it "The Cool Popular Girls Come Back", but then I remember that these are the girls who did The Safety Dance in a pep assembly. Laverne and Shirley (holy crap, they're really like Laverne and Shirley!) revelled in their quirky, geeky, weirdness. It paid off for them, both were elected Miss Student Body in their respective Senior years (they mourned aloud to my third hour today, "This is killer, but no one past High School cares. It's true. How awkward was it to find THAT out!?").

I love them. I love their sarcasm and weirdness and I love that at nearly 25 years old, they come visit their HS teachers once a year.

So when they come, they only visit three teachers and I'm proud to say I'm one of them. They liked to give a sort of "Stay in school, say nope to dope" talk to my class and their observation of kid-in-the-back-who-just-isn't-gonna-learn was both astute and hilarious (for the record, he was totally out of earshot).

"Oh this is learning!! Look at that one, he's resting his head so that his brain is RIGHT BY the work!! It's like he has a port for knowledege."

Thanks, ladies, seriously. Come back anytime.

This Is Where The Party Ends

So let's say your'e at a gathering of co-workers on a Saturday night.

And let's say that one party-goer is a woman who hasn't attended a social event with you in forever.

And let's say that at said party, said party-goer thinks it's a fab idea to tell Anti-Semetic jokes.

Three of them.

And she's totally undeterred by the uncomfortable statements everyone makes between the jokes ("Um, wow, I think I'm a bit too close to teaching Night to hear this..."), in fact noticing how awkward the situation is and then continuing with the jokes.

How would you handle this situation? Create a diversion to draw attention from the bigoted jokester? Skip the passive aggressive and go right to aggressive with her? Whatcha gonna do? Spit in her eye?

Seriously, I'm fascinated. Share away.

Slacker...sort of...but not really at all...

So, I have not blogged in quite a few days. I'm sure it would appear to all my loyal readers that I have been slacking on the job, but that is not the case. Well, okay, I have slacked on blogging, but have been busy everywhere else. I have been working hard on getting paperwork together for IEPs and getting caught up on grading. I spent about 3 hours on Sunday just grading papers. Yes, I had fallen behind, and it felt great to be caught up. :-) Of course, I came to work yesterday and I have more to grade now, but it felt great to be caught up for an evening. Hahaha

It's Tuesday and I already feel worn out as if it's Friday. There has sort of been a change in weather, and it has affected the kids. Today both Renaldo and DJ were in fine form. Not bad, just on the annoying side. I realize though that it could have been MUCH worse. Just enough to wear me out...

Tomorrow is Wednesday and our first Literacy Team Meeting since the last one where I opened my mouth. We were told to bring our laptops. I plan on taking my laptop and keeping my lips zipped. We'll see how well I do. I do plan on praying in the morning beforehand, so there's no telling what will come out of my mouth. Hehehe

Finally, I thought I would share the news that I received my new teacher's certificate from the State of Missouri. It is good for 99 years. I'm not kidding. 99 years. It expires in 2107. I guess that's one form of job security, huh?



If a kid you had in class sacks your groceries, why does he call you ma'am then despite the fact that he never calls you ma'am in class?

Love And Mercy

Somehow, through a complicated series of events, I've been put in charge of my school's Senior Assembly (the same event that inspired this). I'm more excited than overwhelmed--I haven't directed anything in ten years!

One of my plans is to gently suggest a few songs that vary from the standard graducation fare. This is one of the songs I plan to introduce. Aside from my introduction to the song (on the closing night of National Institute for Teaching Shakespeare, thoughts of grief for life without my dad echoing around in my head), I've recently become fascinated with Brian Wilson. Despite writing all these feel-good, sun and surf songs, his battle with mental illness forced him to hide from the world for some time. I love to listen to his music through this lens, it takes incredible optimism to wish for this world while knowing so personally of its dark opposite.

That's a wish I have for my students. The dark world will rear its ugly head at them sooner or later, and the optimism you find at the end of the darkness is so much sweeter.

What songs would you use for an assembly like this? Upbeat or slow, I'm collecting ideas.

New Comment For Report Cards

"Student is the reason my doctor prescribed Xanax"

a returner

I entered the building today, and started doing stuff in my room and our counselor came by and said that I had a guest in the office who was returning to Cecil. I knew who it was, as I expected him to be back, and I was right. DJ has returned to my classroom, and I am excited. DJ requires a lot from me, but is the most loving kid I've had in quite a while. So, I had him pretty much all day, and it was great! Returners are great!


The Creepiest Part of The Whole Night

Will I Am via hologram? Dang. Can I hologram myself to Anderson Cooper too?

Because You Can't Watch Election Returns All Night Without Looking Away

Carry This With You Today

You haven't felt like a citizen until you've had a teenager look you in the eye and ask you to promise you'll vote today. It's happened to me every election since I've been a teacher and it makes me proud of these students and proud to do my duty.

Someone is counting on you to vote today.

Baby's First Election

For years, I've wished my students could be excited for their first election. I've wished that they could vote for someone whose vision for this country could inspire them.

They make me remember my first election.

A group of us had restarted Young Democrats on our small Baptist campus. We generated quite a ruckus. There were shouting matches and signs defaced and all sorts of ugliness (if I were being fair, I suppose the ugliness came from both sides), but on election night, we were so excited.

I remember standing in line to vote about three people behind Brad and Kim Henry (now the Governor and First Lady of Oklahoma) and being in a huge rush to finish so I could get ready for the Young Dems election night party.

Our faculty advisor made a huge pot of spaghetti and as social chair, I planned the party activites. We had US maps to color the electoral college votes and I made party games like "Pin The Blame on The Oval Office" (Blindfold up and take a slip of paper with a Regan/Bush era failure, pin it on our picture of the White House!) or "Dan Quayle Foot In The Mouth" (rolled up sock with a Quayle-ism, aim and throw it into the cardboard box with an open mouth Dan Quayle on it!). It was quite a party, and Dr. Sanders' two preschool daughters played the games with as much vigor as we did.

When the returns came in and a winner was declared (because back then, children, we knew early in the evening), we got in our cars and hurtled toward OKC to the State Dem Party Victory shindig. We almost missed the party we were so late, but the DJ was still playing and we were giddy. When he cranked up "Don't Stop (Thinking About Tomorrow)", we all took the floor like madfolk and noticed a lone, elderly gentleman, weeping, head in hands.

"Sir! Come dance with us!! Aren't you happy?!"

"I am happy. I've been waiting twelve damn years for this night."


Maybe My Strangest Craft Project To Date

This is Morty. I made him in observation of Dia De los Muertos. I've liked the idea of the holiday since Dad died, and when the directions for him came in my email, it just seemed right. Please note that Morty is only the prototype and future yarn and paper clip skeletons will be far more attractive and neat.

If you want to show me up, you can get the directions here.


I tell ya what, my Mom is the BEST. After having a rather rough week last week, I was able to sit on the phone with my Mom today and process things, and it was GREAT. She's great at just listening, giving her two cents, and well, calling me to the carpet if need be. But, mostly, she listens and validates what I'm thinking and feeling. I tell ya what, I have the BEST MOM ON THE PLANET!

That's all I have to say for now...later!

High School Tony Awards Honor Nation's Biggest Drama Club Nerds


Are you ever pleasantly shocked to find that someone you like also likes something you like? Could I say "like" one more time? When I was listening to Cast On (knitting podcast) this morning and heard this song, it was that kind of squealy girl moment.

The Crib Chick introduced me to Lone Justice in High School, but this song takes me back to college where we danced to this song on our walkmans while camped out for Wind In The Willows tickets in London at the Royal National Theatre.