Quote of the Day

"Today you are You, that is truer than true.
There is no one alive who is Youer than You."
Dr. Seuss

Ignorance...

I was going to discuss the asinine conversation I had while picking up dinner this evening...but I already rambled about it on Dennis's blog...so, I'm going to discuss another asinine conversation. (If you haven't noticed, "asinine" is the word of the week...my freshmen love it. So, we've been using it as much as we possibly can.)

In previous posts I've shared with you all that I teach the lower-tracked classes. They're a challenge, but I really enjoy my students. It took a while, but I earned their trust and loyalty. And that trust and loyalty is reciprocated. They might have to try a bit harder...and I might have to do some crazy things to reach them, but once I do, they get it.

At the school where I teach, there are myths floating around about those students. I teach in a very affluent district, and many people try to ignore those kids who don't have as much money or aren't college-bound or have some behavior problems. If they can't ignore those kids, then they make ridiculous comments.

For example, during lunch we were discussing curriculum mapping, and we decided to teach Of Mice and Men in the average freshmen class. I chimed in and said that the lower-tracked class would do the same things, just at a slower pace and possibly with an adapted reader. One of the other teachers asked, "Do you think they can handle Romeo and Juliet and The Odyssey. I told her that they could with a bit more guidance....then she says, "Well, what about Of Mice and Men? Do you think they'd get that? Do you think they'll be bright enough to see a bit of themselves in Lenny?"

My blood boiled. I had to leave the lunch room I was so angry...seething is a good word for it. I just don't understand how a person could be so ignorant. They're students. They have a brain. It may function a bit differently from ours, but it's there. After I got back to my room, I thought of a response to her comment...something smart-allecky about shooting them, as well. But it's probably best I didn't think of it while I was angry.

**I'm not proofreading this because I want to get to sleep...so, I apologize for any and all grammatical errors. What kind of English teacher am I?!?!**

the funk continues.

have you ever had a day where you felt like you just screwed up everything you attempted to do? welcome to my day. i don't know what my deal was...but it seemed as if everything i had planned somehow didn't work out the way i envisioned. i even had a conversation with my first hour class about it:

me: i'm really off today, guys. i don't know what my deal is, but i feel like one of those bad teachers.

my student: yea, miss anonymous, you're usually a really good teacher, but today you're kind of sucking.

nothing like my little delinquents to tell me like it is. i usually appreciate their candor...but definitely not today.

even during one of the worst sucky teacher days i've had so far, i had an awesome teacher moment...i have a student who is a good kid in my class...he's shy, but he's one of my favorites *not that i have favorites...*. he always has his homework done, always on time, very polite..apparently in other classes, he's not so pleasant. so, his baseball coach sends out an email to his teachers asking that we let him know of any problems because the kid is really into baseball. i emailed his coach and let him know that i know other teachers have problems with him, but i wanted to let him know how good of a kid he is for me. and blahblahblah. i talked to his coach later that day, and he seemed genuinely surprised and happy that this kid is so good.

so, i'm not the worst teacher in the world...

Shuttles and Oscars and Such

Today has felt weird. Not in a bad way, just in a different sort of way.

I got up and went and drove shuttles. That is always fun for me. I was surprised today at how many people I really do know around the IHOP-KC Community. People got on and off the shuttle and knew me by name. While I can't recall everyone's names as well as Slim can, I am recognizing faces, which is fun.

When it got slow, Slim hopped in my shuttle and we were able to talk with some neat people as they got on my shuttle. In fact, there was a gentleman that got on and wound up sharing his heart with us, so we stopped and prayed for him there in the parking lot! That's one of the things about IHOP that I love, we just stop and pray. Even as we prayed for the gentleman, others got on the shuttle, and they just waited. It was GREAT.

I came home and got things done and have been watching The Oscars. I will admit, I have not seen many of the movies, okay, okay, the only movie so far that I have seen that's been mentioned is Toy Story 3. *grin* However, tonight has been enjoyable. While I may not know a lot of the actors and actresses up for awards, I do know Woody and Buzz, who bring a smile to my face. *grin*

Life.
Is.
GREAT!!!

someone's got a case of the mondays.

i hate mondays. i feel as if i'm not prepared for my day even though i've had the whole weekend to get ready. i just get out of grown-up mode, and it's difficult to transition. and today was like every other monday...
these morning collaboration meetings are a waste of my time. bumbling department chair rambles about how students needn't make connections in their education. today we wasted thirty minutes jumping from topic-to-topic with the english hags not simply ignoring any sort of idea i'd have, but instead being openly hostile towards me...because afterall what would a first-year teacher know? love collaboration...especially when i'm belittled for being creative or doing things differently. i'll just shut my door and keep doing what i'm doing.
thus began my morning, and it only got better from there...
my morning delinquents *and i use that term lovingly, as this is my favorite class* have a difficult time transitioning from weekend mode to learning time as well. so, i decided to take it easy on them *and myself* this morning and show a film. for whatever reason they were just slow on the uptake this morning, so i had to pause the film every few minutes and breakdown what was going on...this was frustrating for both myself and for them...
then came the best part of the day...where my students basically let me know that my hard work to make things educational and enjoyable for them was totally unappreciated. instead of giving review notes like the other teachers, i created a jeopardy game on powerpoint that took me two hours or so only to have my students criticize it then ask why i was getting so defensive when i got angry at their comments. i attempted to explain to them how i spend a lot of time crreating lessons for them, and they don't appreciate them. i was angry and upset, and i nearly started crying. i made them feel awful...i think i may've gotten them thinking...or possibly that's just wishful thinking on my part...

the rest of the day was relatively uneventful...thank goodness...

Misty's Set

Tonight I went to FCF, and LOVED Misty's set!!! I go through seasons where I like different worship leaders, and honestly Misty isn't my absolute favorite right now (Matt Gilman is my favorite right now, in case you were wondering!) but tonight was A LOT of fun! I love how God has gifted her to lead us in full songs as well as just choruses of truth. That amazes me.

Of course, my favorite part of tonight was toward the end of her set, and she did "Hungry." I haven't heard that song in YEARS, and I really connected with the Lord in it tonight. It was very, very, very, cool! I loved it! *grin*

By the way, keep prayin' for me, my friends. I got prayer tonight at service as well. I have a swollen gland that is twice the size that it should be and it hurts. I am praying that I will wake up and it will be normal size and not hurt. *grin*

LIfe.
Is.
Fun! (Especially at IHOP-KC!) *grin*

the job search...

right now i'm looking for a job for next year. i'm 99% sure the school where i teach right now is planning to hire me, but i don't know if i want to work there. i'm keeping my options open by sending my resume all over the place. this website is supposed to be helpful in showing those districts who need teachers. it compiles a list of job descriptions from several different databases, making the search a little easier. i've put in a letter of interest for the vegas school system...could be interesting. anyways, back to grading...because that is my life.

A Book Review and a Prayer Request

Tonight I wanted to post a book review and a prayer request.

First, the book review! I finished the book "Unlocked" by Karen Kingsbury. It is a Christian Book about a young man with Autism who discovers happiness in music. While I don't want to ruin the ending, I will say it was one of my favorite books ever! (Of course, what do you expect when you combine a Christian Book with an Autism storyline?) *grin* At the end of the book I thought, "Could that really happen?" And at the end of the book Karen shared that she knew of a child who had something similar happen to him. And, it made sense. (Have I made you want to read it yet?) *grin* Go ahead, check it out. I was HOOKED on it! You won't be disappointed!!!

Secondly, I am still not feeling 100%. This is crazy! Tomorrow will mark one week of feeling under the weather. I don't feel horrible, but my glands are still swollen. Today's unexpected Snow Day was a gift from God. I can tell I'm not me because all I want to do is lay around and watch TV. Typically I do schoolwork, read, or play with Jay while I do that. No, not this week. Sleep and/or just laying around is all I want to do. I pushed myself to go to work on Thursday and haven't run a fever since Wednesday, but I'm still not 100%. So, if you could say a prayer, I would REALLY appreciate it! THANK YOU!

As for me, I think I'll lay back down. Ugh. Jesus, do your thing. This is not my idea of fun.

*grin*
Life.
Is.
GREAT...when you get a Snow Day and you're not feeling 100%!

My busy bees...

It's been a good teacher week. Most of my classes are in different stages of working on their research papers, and it's really neat to watch. The students are running around finding books and sharing information with one another. Occasionally one comes up to me, "Miss Anonymous, did you know ::fill in the blank with the information the student just found::?" The hands-on work really seems to be getting the students involved. I love to see that kind of business in the kids.

Two classes just finished the rough draft...my freshmen. I'm a bit nervous to read them; because, while I know they worked very hard to find the information and create the product, their writing skills are still not where I'd like them to be. Maybe I'm setting my bar too high for them, but I had hoped they'd be a bit further along with writing at this point. But we're working. I've got some ideas to implement next week to help them to revise the drafts. We'll see how those go.

My lower-tracked students are the kids who seem to be benefiting from the research paper the most. As of right now, we're not too far into the process, but even in introducing it, I noticed the kids seemed to respond very well to the entire process. Several of them about had a heart attack when they saw that the entire project was worth nearly 1000 points, but when we went through the schedule and broke down the points, they really got excited to see all the different parts making up the whole. It's really giving me some good ideas for introducing writing next year. I'm going to break it down into parts more to see if that works. If I have time, I may even try it after we read our next novel.

The icing on my teacher cake came at an I.E.P. meeting I had this week. At the beginning of the year, this student simply could not pay attention. He was constantly elsewhere when it came to the classroom. His grades reflected that. So, I met with his parents right before finals, and we came up with several ways to get him back on track. From what I heard at the I.E.P. meeting, it really seems to be working. This is the first chance I've had to really talk to this student's parents since the first meeting we had, and they said with English (my class), he's like a different kid. He wants to show his parents his work...and actually do his work. He's doing very well in the class, and they told me that's the first time he's ever earned a consistent A in an English class.
From what I see, the student is doing all the work. I very rarely have to redirect him anymore, and he works his tail off to do well. I'm very proud of his progress and let both him and his parents know.

BACK AT WORK

It felt good to be back in the swing of things today. The kids were clearly happy to see me again. That was my favorite part of my return! *grin* Several staff members asked if I was feeling better, which meant a lot to me too.

I had a Transition Meeting this afternoon with one of my 6th grade parents, and she stated that her son is nervous about going to Middle School. I told her that was normal. She went on to say that her son keeps saying that he's nervous about leaving my classroom. That absolutely melted my heart! I told her that if he played any sports in the future to let me know and I will come cheer him on. She said she would definitely keep me in the loop!

I love this gig!

*grin*
LIFE.
IS.
GREAT!!!

grown-up voice...

i didn't have a very good grown-up voice -- no angry, booming coming from my little 5' teacher body...until this semester.
i chose to teach high school because, quite frankly, large groups of small children annoy me. i have one class, however, that makes me wonder if large groups of high school students are really much different from kindergarteners. they push; they throw things at one another; they tattle. they're like six-year-olds only bigger...and louder.
this class has forced me to acquire a grown-up voice. it's not so much booming, but an angry bark and growl, depending on how pissed off they make me. i can now stop them in whatever they're doing, and they get silent and look at me...some of them as if they might wet their pants. good. that's what they get for making me that mad.
today two boys got into a punching/elbowing match right by my desk...as if that won't piss me off real quick-like. these two boys are now on their final warning...next time they even walk the wrong way, i'm writing them up....and they know it. we'll see how long it takes them to forget it...i'll be right there waiting with a write-up slip.

UNDER THE WEATHER

For the first time in over a year, I took a sick day today. I have had a round of the flu, but am better tonight than I was last night. I have slept a lot, which has helped. I haven't had a fever today, which is good too. My goal is to go to work tomorrow if the fever stays away. I don't do the sick thing well at all.

The good news is that I have gotten a little bit of work done, and I texted my para and found out the kids were okay today. She also said they missed me. *grin*

Once again I am reminded how much I take my health for granted. I know I have a headache every once in a while, but overall I am in good health. One day down, and I realize how blessed I really am.

*grin*

LIFE.
IS.
GREAT. (Even when I'm feeling sick.)

C.J.!!!

I didn't post this story last night, as I was really tired, but I want to share it tonight because it was a story I don't want to forget. After seeing the play, I went with Rockstarpara, C.J., and Cheergal to Applebee's for dinner. In case you're new to the blog, C.J. was born with Down's and is a special 18 year old young man. I LOVE being around C.J.! He's such a sweet kid!

At Applebee's he was picking on his sister, and so I decided I would distract him and get his mind off Cheergal. So, I made a face at him. He made a face back at me. Yes, we turned into toddlers making faces at each other. Then we were just looking at each other and he said, "I won." I looked at him and said, "What? What did you win? I didn't even know there was a contest?" He replied with, "You blinked." Okay, so then it was ON! We did thumb-wrestling, arm-wrestling, and stare-down competition. It was SO MUCH FUN! Of course, I turned to RockStarPara and said, "Is it scary how immature I can be around your son?" She just laughed!

Afterward, we got in the car and we had Chris Tomlin going on the CD Player. (We're going to the Chris Tomlin show in March!) He was singing and I turned to RockStarPara and I said, "Can I sit by him at the concert?" She said "Sure."

I love that kid!

*grin*
LIFE.
IS.
SPIFFY!!!

Mrs. Anonymous

The bf proposed. I will officially be Mrs. Anonymous next year. My face hurts from smiling!!

THE WIZARD OF OZ!!!

Today after driving shuttles, I went and saw the play THE WIZARD OF OZ at Lee's Summit West High School. It has been so long since I have seen the movie that I have been looking forward to today for a while. I am pleased to report that the play was beyond my expectations.

I initially went to see the play because I knew that one of my favorite sixth graders is a Munchkin in it. Once I got there and started reading the program, I realized that we had several S.V.E. kids in the play! I was SO EXCITED!!!

The entire cast did a FABULOUS job! Everyone, EVEN TOTO did a GREAT job! I actually watched Toto a lot, wondering how in the world a dog could do a play like that, and Toto did a GREAT job as well!

Of course, my favorite part was the Munchkins. They did a great job. From what I understand, they worked very hard in rehearsals to get prepared for this production. I am proud of all of our Jaguars! They did a GREAT job!

*grin*
LIFE.
IS.
GREAT!

A DAY OF REST

I find it amazing how hard it is for me to take a day of rest, even when I'm not feeling well. Initially I thought that how I am feeling had to do with my recent drop in Pepsi, and while that may be part of it, I wonder if I've caught a cold or something. I have a really bad headache and feel a little achy. I don't feel awful, I just don't feel well. (No temperature, praise God!) So I stayed in tonight.

I find it amazing how some habits die hard. Years ago I was in a church where skipping service was just about equal to a sin. I still fight that, and BYKOTA was nothing like that. It was YEARS ago that I was in that. Isn't that weird? I sit here tonight missing FCF, resting, doing the right thing, and yet I feel guilty. Isn't that odd? Even at IHOP there is not condemnation for missing a service. Weird stuff.

Today has also felt weird because it's hard for me to sit/lay on the couch all day and not do a whole lot. Granted, with the headache I don't feel like doing a whole lot, but still. I feel lazy just sitting here, like I should be doing schoolwork or something. Today has just plain felt weird. I guess bad headaches make a day just seem really long. *grin*

Okay, time to rest. After all, I have a shuttle to drive tomorrow, a wizard to go see with friends in the afternoon, and a girls' night here tomorrow night with a dear friend. Okay, Jesus do your thing. In Jesus' name, heal me! Thank You! *grin*

Life.
Is.
Good.

HIGHLIGHTS

Today was another good day. This week has been really good actually. We have a three-day weekend too! Woop!

My first highlight of the day was the meeting today where the Director of Special Services said that the Special Services Staff are secure in our jobs one more year. In a society where education budgets are being cut, this was EXCELLENT news! Thank You, Lord! *grin*

The second highlight was hearing on K-Love Radio that the Chris Tomlin Concert I'm going to in March will have Christy Nockels and LOUIE GIGLIO joining him!!! I am so pumped that I'm like a kid in a candy store!!! I CAN'T WAIT!!! *grin*

Finally, the mail today contained TWO books I ordered last week. That makes a total of 6 books on my nightstand now. I LOVE IT!!!

*grin*
LIFE.
IS.
SPIFFY!!!

IT'S ALL ABOUT PERSPECTIVE

Yesterday I woke up and came downstairs to begin my daily routine. It was 7:08 on the clock in the kitchen. Then it hit me, IT'S WEDNESDAY. My next thought was, "Is there a meeting this morning?" I knew that if there was a meeting, it was slated for 7:45. Yeah, I hadn't even fed Jay yet, much less showed and cleaned up to start the day. So, I logged in to my email and checked. Yep, Leadership Team, 7:45. I kicked it into gear, getting ready FAST. I wound up walking into the meeting at 7:55. On one hand, I was ten minutes late, and that's not good. On the other hand, I got ready, took care of Jay, and was sitting in a chair in the meeting in less than an hour. That's impressive. It's all about perspective. *grin*

My doctor put me on a new migraine preventative. Her words to me were "One of the side effects is that pop might taste different." I will admit, this didn't appeal to me, but in order to cut down the headaches I am willing to give it a try. Sure enough, within two days, Pepsi tasted different. Not bad, just different. But, what I have noticed is that I drink less pop now. On one hand, it's sad because I can't taste Pepsi the way I could. On the other hand, it's better for my teeth and health to drink less pop. It's all about perspective. *grin*

In recent weeks we have received a lot of snow. BEAUTIFUL snow. I kept looking at it, just thanking God for the beautiful white snow. This week we have had a snap of Spring Weather and today was the first day we did not have snow on the ground. In fact, Jay and I walked the entire walk on the sidewalks. This is a first for us in a LONG time. *grin* It's all about perspective.

Today I was in class working with a difficult student. I have been working with this student on various behaviors for quite a while, and progress has been SLOW. Today the student kicked into one of the behaviors again and I just looked at him and motioned for him to settle down. I was getting frustrated, and twice he said SORRY, and it melted my heart. I wasn't frustrated anymore. It's all about perspective. *grin*

I was talking to RockStarPara yesterday about people who use their disabilities for gain. I told her it bugged me when people who are disabled use their disability as a crutch. (This is one of my BIGGEST pet peeves.) I told her it would be like me getting a disabled car tag. I am capable of walking to a front door of a place of business. She disagreed with me, stating that I should have a car tag because I have a limp. My point of view is that that spot should be used by someone in a wheelchair, not by me. We kindly agreed to disagree on this topic. *grin* It's all about perspective.

I had a situation today where someone called to apologize for something that wasn't even their fault, and I wasn't even upset about what had happened. It was an innocent mistake, and I knew that. I believe that people make mistakes and life is too short to get worked up every time someone makes an honest mistake. From her perspective, she was concerned that I would immediately jump to the worst-case scenario and be really upset. From my perspective, it was a mistake and I knew the heart of the person involved and I honestly hadn't given it any thought. While I accepted the apology, as that clearly mattered to the other person, I did clarify that it wasn't her fault and that sometimes stuff happens and honest mistakes are made. She was clearly touched by my words and lack of jumping to the worst conclusion. *grin* IT'S ALL ABOUT PERSPECTIVE.

*grin*
LIFE.
IS.
GREAT!!!

If only I could just teach...

I've been getting very frustrated with other teachers this week. First, there are the teachers who give multiple choice quizzes and overhead notes daily and take only a small purse or even nothing at all home while I have three bags worth of grading. Then there is the teacher who tells me that students can't do this and they can't do that. Interesting, as mine are doing whatever it is...then they complain that her class doesn't have to. There's also the teacher who throws tennis balls during her inclusion classes and shouts over the din of noise coming from her classroom, disturbing all of us around her...but administration insists she "reaches students." In reality, she just runs to tell the principal whenever she's done something for a student. She talked for weeks about the dollar she gave to a student for lunch. Really, how many of us have done that and so much more for a student who's needed it?? We simply don't broadcast it throughout the school.

Anyways, what do these teachers have in common?? They give the rest of us a bad name, and it torks me!! I bust my butt only to hear from non-teachers how the education system is such a mess because teachers aren't professionals and don't know how to do their jobs...and blahblahblah. People lose respect for our profession because, quite frankly, there are teachers who aren't professionals and therefore don't deserve that professional respect. But what can we do about that?

Anthony Cody, a columnist in Teacher Magazine, proposed a hippocratic oath for teachers:

How many times have teachers contemplated the respect accorded doctors of medicine and ruefully shaken our collective heads, wishing we were given a fraction of that? One difference is that physicians traditionally swear on some form of the Hippocratic Oath, originally written in the 4th century B.C.

Teachers adhere to codes of ethics and performance administered by the states that license us, but as a profession, we lack an agreed-upon credo.

He suggests that by swearing to follow this oath, we will gain respect as a profession. I love what he has suggested. In fact, I printed out a copy of the oath and have it laminated and hung up next to my desk. Personally I want to be reminded of the things he includes on his list, and I want to try to follow them in my teaching career. Before I go on, I'll share several of my favorites:
• I will remember that there is art to teaching as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the textbook reading or the multiple choice test.

• If it is given me to enhance a life through teaching, all thanks. But it may also be within my power to cast a shadow over a life; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own frailty.

• If I do not violate this oath, may I enjoy life and art, respected while I live and remembered with affection thereafter. May I always act so as to preserve the finest traditions of my calling and may I long experience the joy of teaching those who seek my help.
In reality I should've just copied the entire list, as I really do feel strongly about each and every one. I feel that each one is valid and each helps to create a professional and conducive classroom envrionment; however, I don't know that this is the answer to creating better teachers. I don't think that having teachers swear to follow these standards will create better teachers or gain us respect as professionals. Those teachers who will follow the standards are already doing so without having to formally give an oath. And that respect we seek won't be given by uttering a few words at a graduation ceremony.

I think these problems, unprofessional teachers and no professional respect, are so intertwined that we have to resolve these issues together. Teachers want professional respect, but many don't behave as professionals...so, how do we get professional teachers? I'm really just asking this question because I'm so frustrated with my collegues at the moment. It's come to the point where I simply shut my door and do my job, as it makes me so angry to think about what they are/aren't doing.

But I hate that they're giving a bad name for the rest of us!! I know Dennis will probably have several answers to my questions of how to get professional teachers...and I hope he does. I have my own ideas, and I began to write them out here...but they're really just a repeat of several posts from Dennis. I know there were others; however, this is one I could find. I do agree with a lot of what he says, and possibly after I grade one of my three bags of essays, I'll share my thoughts.

But I really want to hear what everyone else thinks...how do we get professional teachers and the professional respect we deserve?

I've finally found an unsecured wireless network that I can "borrow" from my apartment, so I'm hoping to be able to post more often. It's just been difficult to find the time and place to blog without internet at home.

THE MAILBOX AND 20 MATH PROBLEMS

Today I had two highlights of my day. I was going to write about just one, but well, I have to write about both. I mean, it was a REALLY good day.

My first highlight came this afternoon as I was working with a sixth grader on his math assignment. T.J. comes to me after his regular teacher explains the lesson and I sit down and help him with the independent work. He came in with an assignment from his Math book. So, I grabbed my copy of the Math book and we sat side-by-side and did the work. It was SO MUCH FUN because T.J. would sit there and say "Let me try it before you help me." That just encouraged me SO MUCH! So, I would solve the problem on my paper while he would solve it on his and then we would compare answers. It was a lot of fun!!! We laughed a lot even as we worked hard. It was GREAT!!! When T.J. left my room with ALL of his work done and zero math homework tonight, I just grinned. That was my favorite part of my school day today!

My second highlight came tonight as I checked the mailbox. In the mailbox was a card from Torrey, one of my favorite campers! It said the coolest thing on the inside, "I love you. Torrey." *grin*

Yeah, today was a GREAT day!!!

*grin*
LIFE.
IS.
GREAT!!!

A HOBBY OF MINE! *grin*

It's been a while since I have posted TV Show Reviews, so I thought tonight I would do just that! *grin*

HARRY'S LAW ****** 9pm Monday
This show is fairly new to NBC, and I REALLY enjoy it. It has a little bit of everything, drama, action, and humor. I don't think I would have been the one to cast Kathy Bates as Harry, but she does a GREAT job in this role. It's on at 9pm on Mondays. I have the DVR set to tape it weekly!

PARENTHOOD ****** 9pm Tuesday
This show has become my favorite show of the entire week. This show follows one big family, as the three kids walk through parenthood and the grandparents walk through parenting the parents! This is the most heart-warming family show that I watch. Of course, the story line with Max the autistic kid is a favorite for me. Each family has their own dynamics and honesty in each of the characters. Right after I discovered the show (THANKS, ROCKSTARPARA!) I rented the first season DVD's from Netflix to get caught up! What a show! I hope it continues for several seasons to come. After all, I want to see what happens to Max. *grin*

OFF THE MAP **** 9pm, Wednesday
Okay, okay, I will admit, I went into the show OFF THE MAP not expecting to like it. When they said "From the producers of Grey's Anatomy" I was already biased. I like Grey's, but I think we only need one Grey's on TV! But, I will admit, I am glad I gave the show a shot. Yes, it does have the Grey's doctor drama that gets old, but the story lines of the patients always gets me. One night I probably would have teared up, if I was a crier! *grin* This show got four out of five stars because it's not a show I have to watch the night it is on. I typically DVR it and save it for the weekend. It's good, but not GREAT in my book.

FAIRLY LEGAL **** 9pm, Thursday
From the beginning, I liked this show. It has both drama and humor in it. This show is new to USA and we have only had three episodes so far, so there is not a whole lot to say at this point. You just have to see it to get the full effect. I do like it, but DVR it as well. I do look forward to it each week though! *grin*

The Mentalist **** 9pm Thursday
Okay, okay, the Mentalist is on it's third season, I think. When it first started, I did not like it at all. I thought the characters were arrogant, so I quit watching. Okay, well, I stumbled upon an episode not too long ago, and was hooked. The characters are still arrogant, but I will admit I am curious as to how Jane is going to solve the mystery each week. This is also a show that I DVR and watch on Saturday Mornings. Not something I have to see that night, but one that I do look forward to on Saturdays! *grin*

These are the newest shows that I watch now. Don't worry, I'm still a fan of NCIS, FLASHPOINT, and INPLAINSIGHT. I'm just not going to do reviews of those shows. They would ALL get five stars though! It is my hope that FLASHPOINT and INPLAINSIGHT return to TV this Spring/Summer. I REALLY hope they return! *grin*

There ya go! I hope this was enjoyable for you to read. As for me, I have a few things to do before PARENTHOOD starts in a little while!

*grin*
LIFE.
IS.
FUN!!!

Only God Knew....

Tonight's service was incredible! I literally pinched myself at one point and smiled. Misty led worship to begin with, and that was fun. Stuart preached, and that was good too. I will admit, it wasn't a sermon for me, so I wound up writing down various scriptures to tape to my mirror to memorize this week. *grin* Well, it was still productive! *grin*

Misty came back up at 9 and let the 9-10 set. It was okay, but not really for me. So, I read my book! I am REALLY enjoying a book right now that I will share about in a few days when I finish the book. In fact, the book is so good that I kind of don't want to finish it because it's so good. I don't say that too much, but that's true of this one. *grin*

Anyway, after Misty's set Matt came out. I immediately put my book away when Matt came out. As I have shared before, this is the hour I look forward to the most ALL WEEK! Tonight my heart was expectant.

I will admit, up until this point, service was good but not SUPER GREAT for me. I knew that Matt's set was where I was going to Encounter God, and I was right! *grin*

He started out leading us in "Worth it all..." It's one of my FAVORITE Rita Springer songs, and I haven't heard it in a LONG time. I had been wrestling this week with God on a few things, and when we sang that Chorus, I encountered God in a way I can't even explain. I can say that it was the kind of encounter I was hoping for, but went above my expectations. Only God knew the depth of my heart this week, and only He knew how much I needed that chorus tonight.

Following that, we did another chorus that is dear to my heart. In 2002 I was sitting in the Prayer Room one night waiting for EGS to start, and a chorus came out during the spontaneous singing that is actually hung up in my room from that night. The chorus says, "Everything I ever wanted I have found in You..." And the way Matt sings it, it absolutely melted my heart. ONLY God knew the significance of that chorus in my life and how important that would be to me tonight! *grinnnnnnnnnn*

I love it when God does that. He knows exactly where I am at, and what I need exactly when I need it. And I pray I never lose the awe of that when it happens.

I am loved very well. *grin*

LIFE.
IS.
GREAT!!!

KUKID

Today I was blessed in a rather unexpected way. One of my students was absent today and when I went into the Regular Education Classroom that I go into daily, I got to sit in a different spot in that classroom during the class period. I got to sit by KUKID today!

I have always had a good rapport with KUKID, but had never sat near him or talked to him. Today the class was working on reducing fractions. I sat by KUKID and noticed he was actually taking notes! To my knowledge they weren't told to take notes, he just did it to help himself learn the material. I was IMPRESSED by this young man. His notes were neat, in order, and definitely written in such a way that if he had to refer back to them he would know what they meant. I LOVED IT!

After the actual instruction, the students were given practice problems to do. KUKID did the problems with very little difficulty. I did get up and help my own students on a few of them, but I kept going back to my seat while the Regular Education Teacher reviewed, explained, etc. KUKID got it, and I sat there and smiled ear-to-ear.

While I ABSOLUTELY ADORE my students, it was refreshing to see a student who learned quickly and took responsibility for his work without hesitation or complaint. I didn't have to say "focus" or "get your head up" or "you need to be taking notes." He just did it.

After the lesson instruction, and his assignment was done we talked about other things too. I learned that he loves to read, and reads a lot of different genres of books. In fact, after I went back to my classroom I picked out a four books out of my own library that are too hard for my students and took them to him. He wound up borrowing two of them. *grin*

I was encouraged today in a way that is hard to express in words. Don't get me wrong, I know that God created me to say "focus", "get your head up", "you need to re-do this", or "you need to be taking notes that you can read". He also created me to work with students who have difficulty learning. I really believe that.

That being said, I tend to forget that there is a world where students just do what they are supposed to, learn without much difficulty, and care about their grades just because it's the right thing to do-not because of something they will get if they do it.

I walked out of that room feeling refreshed, and I silently thanked God for the experience. I didn't know it, but I was really getting frustrated with what I've been noticing in my own classroom and today God blessed me and encouraged me in a very special way. *grin*

Oh, and it's an added bonus that he likes KU! *grin*

LIFE.
IS.
GREAT!!!

HAPPY FEET!!!

This morning I awoke to a phone call at 5:47 am saying school was cancelled. I was thrilled. I was supposed to have a meeting before school, and I was really dreading getting up early for it. Needless to say, I was okay with school being cancelled. The last day of school is now June 1, which is fine by me because in May and June the kids can go outside for recess. Believe it or not, that is EXTREMELY helpful in the classroom! *grin* By the way, I got the call and rolled over and went back to sleep.

Around nine a.m. I got up and kicked into my Snow Day Routine. I watched a little TV, and was surfing the web at the same time. I got a friend request on FB from someone that I honestly didn't recognize but saw that we had mutual friends that are good friends of mine, so I agreed to the request. I always go to my new friend's wall to see who it is, but it didn't help at all. There was a picture of a kid as the profile picture, but with the hat on his head, I couldn't tell who it was. So, I went on with what I was doing.

Shortly after that I had a message in my mailbox. The title of the message was "Just saying Hi to the best teacher in the world." At that point, I was intrigued to see who it was from.

I opened it and it said, "hey ms. springer do you remember me happy feet."

I sat here, stunned.

I knew who happy feet was at my old school.

And I had a smile from ear-to-ear!!!

I replied right away, and re-connected with the former student! I was also really excited that it was set up through an adult, so his parents know what's being said back and forth.

Happy Feet was the student that I almost stayed in Joplin for (one more year) before moving here. He still is incredibly special to me, and I was DEEPLY touched that I got to re-connect with him today. I was also excited to hear he is playing baseball this Summer and making A's and B's in school.

I tell ya what, I'm enormously proud of Happy Feet. I'm also glad we're in touch again. That was definitely the HIGHLIGHT of my week so far! His parents didn't have to friend me, but I'm glad they did! *grin*

LIFE.
IS.
AMAZING!!!

$78

Last week, Jay had a small rash on his underside. I decided to just keep an eye on it, because it wasn't very big at the time. Over the weekend, he started licking it constantly. I meant to call Dr. Placke, the vet, yesterday. Well, the day got away from me and I got home after they had closed. I promised him I would call today.

Today I called and we got in to see Dr. Placke this evening. Through a series of questions and a culture of the rash, he was diagnosed as "fine." I was SOOOOO happy! He also has a small bone sticking out on one of his legs just under the skin, kind of, so he now has to lay with an extra blanket under him. From what I can tell at the moment, he's enjoying the extra pampering. *grin* He also has the joy of Cort-Aid for the next few days.

I expected the whole thing to cost about $20. Well, due to the culture, the exam, and the cost of the new bag of TD's, the total came to $78! I was fine with that, as it meant that he is okay AND I don't need to be concerned anymore.

After all, he is my furry kid.

*grin*
LIFE.
IS.
GREAT!!!

14 Years Ago Today

It's so weird to think that it was fourteen years ago tonight that I accepted Jesus in to my heart. l was sitting in my dorm room (er...Residence Hall Room, we were instructed not to call them "dorms") as a Resident Assistant (R.A.) at Pittsburg State University, talking to a guy named Brian. Brian was the first Christian I had met that didn't push what he believed onto me. He clearly led the life of a strong Christian, but he respected where everyone was at in life. Brian and I hung out from time to time because I was an R.A. He actually assumed I was a Christian from the beginning of our friendship. He entered my dorm just for one semester. He was an Education Student who needed one last class in order to graduate, and it was only offered in the fall at the college he was previously attending, so he came to Pitt for that one semester.

We were in my dorm room talking, and he said something about being a Christian. I told him I wasn't sure if I was a Christian. He paused and said, "Haven't you asked Jesus into your heart?" I looked down at the floor and said, "No." Then he talked me through what it meant, and we said a prayer.

It feels like it was yesterday in some ways, and in other ways it feels like it has been a lifetime.

I can recall that I didn't even know how to look up scripture at that point. I was in a Bible Study and Loretta had to teach me how to look up scripture because I hadn't been taught yet. It was just the beginning.

Fourteen years later I look back on what a ride it has been.

My first church in Pittsburg had a church split when some of the leadership received Baptism of the Holy Spirit. I didn't know what to make of the church split, and at the same time I was somewhat struggling with "church". I got up and went because that's what I was supposed to do, but it was boring. Is that too blunt? It's true. I would walk out of church, get in my car, and ask God, "REALLY, IS THIS IT?" Fortunately, it wasn't. *grin*

I got involved in the Baptist Student Ministries called CrossQuest. I enjoyed CrossQuest, and served as "Minister of Transparencies." I traveled with the band and enjoyed it. We would go and lead worship at churches and youth gatherings all over. It was a WONDERFUL foundation for me, as we had weekly Bible Study, and I grew so much during that time. It was also during that season that I discovered my love for Praise and Worship Music and how deeply I connect with Him in that. I am SO thankful that God gave me that season.

Not too long after that I met PD, who was leading a small church (New Song) in Joplin. It was my first Spirit-Filled church experience. I was hesitant at first, but liked it because it was that "more" I was praying for in my life. Church wasn't boring anymore, it was honestly FUN. I led the youth for a little over a year, and enjoyed it. The church eventually folded so that PD and his wife could open The House of Prayer in Joplin. In that season I was a sponge. I loved it!!!

At the same time I had a lot of questions. In that season, there was such a movement for righteousness that God's love was not accepted. I can remember sitting in New Song and asking God about his unconditional love that I thought was there. It was something not preached or talked about. That confused me. I accepted it though because I wanted God so much that I figured that perhaps if I spent my quiet time bargaining or repenting that it would work.

When New Song folded, I joined Promiseland Fellowship. At first it was GREAT. The people there were (and still are) serious about God. However, I found myself in the same position. God's love was considered a cop-out. Even after finding the House of Prayer and discovering God's Love, my knowledge of that was assaulted in that church. I stayed though. I was young and I was not very wise in the things of the Lord yet.

Then one night, it changed. I was sitting in a Wednesday Night Service where the pastor and a young man were debating Scripture in front of the congregation. It was then that I felt the PEACE of the Lord and I knew it was time to move on. I knew that my roommates wouldn't agree (and I was right, but surprisingly they were more supportive than I thought they would be.) but I left because I knew it was time for something HEALTHY.

That was when I discovered BYKOTA!!! Gosh, talk about a paradise after PLF!!! God's love was accepted, taught, and lived out!!! For several years I sat under Pastor Mike and his leadership, and was blessed beyond words over and over again!!! Talk about a place to call HOME!!! Wowowowowow! It wasn't perfect, as there is not such thing as a "perfect" church, but it was a healthy one where I joined a real FAMILY of believers. I also taught Sunday School two Sundays a month and loved those kids. I was home.

I also built a lot of strong Christian friends who I still communicate with today. I am blessed beyond words with the people He has put in my path. *grin*

Also during my time at BYKOTA, I met Mrs. Laura who introduced me to Camp Barnabas!!! Gosh, I can't imagine my life without camp now! Camp has taught me SO much, that I can't put it all in words. You can experience God at church, home, work, etc, but God out at Camp is AMAZING! You CANNOT do a week of Camp without God! Period. I have learned dependence on God, and His purest form of love out there. This Summer I get to serve during Terms 6 AND 7!!! I am so very thankful for Camp AND for Laura. I am blessed beyond words.

Of course, this post wouldn't be complete without mentioning IHOP-KC. I actually discovered IHOP-KC on a weekend trip with two of the girls from the Youth Group at New Song. We actually came up to visit another church, but spent some time in the old Prayer Room, which was four trailers side-by-side. It was small and we didn't fully get "it" but we could feel the Lord there.

When I was at PLF, we did a trip to Onething in 2002, and I was undone. I knew in those four days (1.5 of which I was really ill.) that I wanted to live here. I started praying then for it, and made SEVERAL trips to the Prayer Room over the years and watched the ministry grow. I became the "IHOP JUNKIE" and over the years I grew closer to God with every trip to IHOP. I am convinced that God put IHOP in my path to get me through my PLF experience. You know, I wouldn't be the person I am without either one of those experiences.

Today I live here, and still pinch myself in services because I can't believe I live here!!! I know it's not perfect, there's not a perfect church anywhere, but similar to BYKOTA, I am at home here. Between shuttles, work, and the Prayer Room, I am definitely at home.

By the way, I have learned a lot about accepting where people are at in the Lord. For me, being Spirit-Filled is a blessing. At the same time, some people are not comfortable with that, and I TOTALLY respect that. After all, it's not about that, it's simply about a relationship with Jesus. Period. *grin* I know this post has pretty much been a review of my church history, but I know a lot of people not in a church that are closer to God than I am. It's all about Jesus. Period. *grin*

Wow...fourteen years. It makes me wonder what the next fourteen years have in store for me. *grin*

LIFE.
IS.
AMAZING!!!

Shuttle Fun!!!

Today I woke up and went to drive shuttles. After driving shuttles 17 months, I still LOVE it! My favorite moment today was during my first drive from The Prayer Room to FCF. After RUSHING to get in the shuttle at the Blue Ridge Building and get to FCF really fast due to service just getting out, I didn't put any music in the CD Player. I got to FCF and the line was so long that I didn't get a CD in at that point either. Once I reached The Prayer Room after the QUIETEST shuttle ride EVER, I needed tunes!

As my passengers got off the shuttle and new ones boarded, I worked on getting the tunes situation resolved. I pulled out my Jon Thurlow CD and was about to put it in the CD Player when an Asian passenger moved into the seat next to me. Her friends moved into the seats right behind me as well. (When I looked back, I noticed that almost all of the shuttle had Asians on it!) I noticed that my CD wouldn't go in, so I ejected the current CD from the player. I looked at it, and it was the JOY CD, and I said to myself, "Oh, we can listen to that." I started to put my Jon Thurlow CD away, and this young lady in the seat next to me (my guess is that she was in her early twenties) looked at me, pointed to the CD in my hand, and said something like, "No, this one?" It wasn't rude, it was a request. I looked at her, and said, "Sure, we can listen to Jon Thurlow, I like his stuff." So, I went ahead and swapped out the JOY CD for Jon's CD.

I proceeded to announce on the radio that I was leaving, and started to pull out of the parking lot. The young lady clearly didn't speak much English, but said, "number 9?" I looked at her and asked her to repeat it. She held up her two mittens that covered all of her hands and said, "Number 9?" I just looked at her and said, "Oh, you want to hear Number 9 on the CD?" She quietly said "Yeah." So I put it on #9. What followed was something I will never forget...

About 4 Asians started singing the song, "Strong Love" with the CD. It was BEAUTIFUL. The song lasted the whole ride there, and it was AMAZING. I'm not sure how much English those young ladies really know, but it touched my heart that they learned Jon's songs in ENGLISH. It sounded AMAZING!!!

I know I loved it, and I can only imagine what God thought of it! It was PRICELESS in my book.

*grin*
LIFE.
IS.
AMAZING!!!

IN AWE

Tonight I am absolutely in awe of God. It is amazing how I have almost lived here two years, and I still find myself telling God "Thank You for placing me at IHOP-KC." Tonight I went to service where Jay Thomas led worship (AMAZING) and then Allen Hood preached. You would think that by now I would just be like, "Yeah, that was cool" and go on with life. But EVERY time I'm in service here, I gain new knowledge, as well as grow closer to Him. Tonight's worship was fun. We wound up singing "Thank You Jesus" in several languages. It was incredible! I can't remember a time when I've been in a service where we sang to God in another language. That was COOL. It makes sense, it's the INTERNATIONAL House of Prayer. While we sang it, I thought to myself that it was kind of amazing that we had never done that before. Regardless, it was COOL!

During offering, we had a guest worship leader do the "Special" music. It was SO neat because he started out just doing a special like usual, and about halfway through it we were up out of our seats, singing! That's one of my favorite things about IHOP-KC, a normal moment can turn into the sweetest of moments because the Spirit is free to move. You're always allowed to worship during offering, but tonight EVERYONE was up singing by the end of it! It was one of those moments I will never forget.

Allen preached, which is always amazing to me. While I had already heard a lot of it, I was still inspired. Allen knows the Word in a way I don't, and it inspires me to come home and read the Word more after I hear him preach. At the end of Allen's sermon, we all stood (as usual) and I Thanked God for placing me here.

For seven years I prayed to be here. I pray that I never lose the awe of God like I experienced tonight.

*grin*
LIFE.
IS.
AMAZING!!!

THE LESSON

I am incredibly tired tonight, as it was quite a day, but I wanted to post something tonight. I recently received a neat email from someone and I have been pondering it. It was written by a 90 year old gal, Regina Brett. The email was actually an excerpt from her column. The column was titled "45 Life Lessons." While all of the 45 lessons were good, one really caught my eye. It caught my eye because it was something I thought to myself at the end of the Beech Road Experience. It was REALLY cool confirmation for me that I am doing exactly what I should be doing. Not that doubt is there, I know that I'm where I'm supposed to be. Occasionally, God just gives us something that quietly says "That's my girl!"

The Lesson?

"Frame every so called disaster with these words 'In five years, will this really matter?"

I thought that as I was moving out of Beech Road. That was tough to say the day I held Jennie the dog and fought tears, but in my head, I can honestly say it was there. Today, almost 2 years out of it, it is true.

The things that I thought were really serious at the time, honestly weren't. Hurtful, yes, but life goes on.

Here I am almost 2 years out of it, a better person than I was before I walked through it. As you can tell, I'm still processing it (even today!), but I am glad I walked through it. Today I treat others differently because of it. I love better. I let things go faster. And the things that seem huge, I think "In five years will this matter." Okay, honestly, I now think, "Okay, in one year will this matter?" Often I think that and stop and pray and tell God, "Nope, not even in a year will this matter."

I hear myself laughing again. I mean really laughing.
I joke with my students. Really joke and have fun.
And I don't let things hold me up, because life's too short to be stuck.

Within that, I know that God is proud of me.

*grin*
Great lesson, huh?

Life.
Is.
AMAZING!!!

SNOW DAY #7

It's weird to think that I haven't left the house since Monday night. The even more amazing part is that I actually like it. I know that some people are going stir-crazy in their homes, but I'm not. I am really enjoying the time with Jay and relaxing. Well, okay, relaxing being a relative term. I have actually gotten a few things done around the house that I would have done on Saturday instead. I LOVE this! It's like I feel like I'm ahead now! There's not much left on the "to do" list except one thing: READ!

I have been reading one book but am REALLY looking forward to my NEXT book! My current book is good, but the one I checked out from the library at my school the other day REALLY looks good. I'm forcing myself to finish my current book first. I have often wondered why I do that to myself, but being the reader that I am, I have to finish one book before I start another one! There's no LAW that says you have to do that. *grin* It's part of my charm!

Time to go read. Oh, and I have another Snow Day tomorrow to do just that!

*grin*
Life.
Is.
SPIFFY!

Oh, the Freshmen...

At the beginning of the year, I hated my freshmen. They were rude. They acted like monkeys. They couldn't sit in their seats for more than five seconds at a time. They didn't do their homework, then whined when they weren't passing. They smelled like gym socks and candy and made my room smell for hours afterwards. They called me "Mrs. Anonymous" no matter how many times I reminded them I wasn't married. They stared at me with blank expressions on their faces and attempted to answer "I dunno" to every question I asked them. They picked on each other and caused silly fights in the middle of class. Basically, they made my teaching life miserable.

If someone would've told me at the beginning of the year that I would really be leaning towards teaching freshmen again next year, I would've laughed in their face...loudly. But I am. Like fungi, my freshmen have grown on me. I actually enjoy them most of the time. They still act like idiots occasionally, but we've learned to appreciate one another.

I've learned to relax some with them. Their still young. I can't expect the same maturity out of them as my juniors. I give them a break if their giggly (we've learned to put our heads down on our desk if we can't control our laughter). I've figured out how to pull them out of their little shells. I didn't realize how scary high school can be, but it was overwhelming for them...a huge change, and I didn't take that into account when teaching. Most of them were simply over their heads. Now we have discussions, joke around, and actually enjoy one another's company.

They quickly learned I wouldn't tolerate any sort of disrespect. That was off-putting for them at first. They thought I was (and I'm quoting here) a "bitch" because I wrote them up for what they considered to be minor things. They've matured since the beginning of the year. We can actually have fun now, and I can be a little more laid back as a result of their improved behavior.

Anyways, this post has been sitting in "draft" status for several days now, so I'm just going to post it.

BLIZZARD 2011

Today I woke up to snow on the ground. I was prepared for it, as Bryan Busby has been telling us about this storm for days. On Saturday I went to the store and stocked up on food and supplies before the rest of the world had the same idea. The first thing I did when I woke up was look out my window. My first thought was that it was absolutely BEAUTIFUL outside. We just had our last round of snow almost completely melt away before this round hit. I almost felt like a kid, wondering what today's storm would dump on us.

At 2:00 I went out and checked how much snow was by the tree in my front yard. My ruler showed 5.8 inches of snow on the ground, and you could barely see the house across the street from me due to the white snow falling. It was AMAZING to me. Once again I was reminded that there are things in this world the we have no control over as humans. It made me feel incredibly small watching the snow fall.

At 5:15-ish I went out with Jay and measured again by the tree. At that point we had 10.5 inches of snow on my lawn. I can't open my back door at all, I have to take Jay out front to do his business. The crazy thing is that it was only 5:15 and snow was still falling in the form of a Blizzard! I wonder what the final total will be tomorrow when the snow stops falling.

At about 1:30 my phone rang and told me school was out for tomorrow. I was not surprised. I'll be surprised if we have school the rest of this week. The district posted news to us on FB that the State only requires districts to officially make up the first 6 days. After the 6th snow day, the rules change slightly. For every TWO days out now, we only make up one day of school. Meaning that if we're out Thursday, our last day will still be May 31. That's good to know. Considering we're in a State of Emergency, I think we'll have a few more days. *grin*

Finally, I have worn Jay out today! I guess since he's used to sleeping 9 hours a day while I'm at work, this lack of sleep stuff would be tough. About 6pm, he was DONE. He's slept most of tonight in my lap. Yes, in my lap. He thinks he has the right to be here or something. *grin*

Snow Day #7 tomorrow. Yeah, Blizzard 2011 is a storm I won't forget. I will say though, the snow is BEAUTIFUL.

*grin*
Life.
Is.
Amazing.