Wednesday, August 27, 2008

We're feelin' the love!

We've been in school now for a solid week. I usually have a bead on my students within a day or two and begin to form relationships with them quickly. I told Rolla the other day that I was frustrated..."I don't know if it's just this group of kids, or that it's a different school, or that I'm still out of sorts from moving, but I'm not gelling with these kids." She agreed. "I think it's the kids. They're very closed...difficult to read."

Well, we've been with them long enough to realize who can and can't be seated near each other, so that was what happened in all four of our classes yesterday...we moved students around. Then, BOOM! today. They opened boy who has not said ONE SINGLE WORD, actually turned around and BEGAN a conversation with Rolla. A girl who has had nothing but disdain for me, sidled up to me and started talking to me, because I found out who her "crush" is. She even wrote a note...granted it was just her name written over and over with the crush's name, but it was something.

One girl who was a major pill was moved in 3 of the 4 rooms and has absolutely BLOSSOMED. She is actually doing the warm ups and I thought she was going to EXPLODE if I didn't call her name to answer a question.

I found out that one boy who has been giving us all a hard time has been being cared for by members of my I have a little bit of leverage to talk to him. I did today...I asked him to help me carry some stuff to my room and told him what I know. I explained how I expected him to shape up...I know he can.

Well, today Rolla and I both said that we are much more content...seems like we generally have a good group of kids.


Friday, August 22, 2008

First Friday!

Well, we made it through the first three days of school. It's been so nice! Saluda Trail is a newer school (opened in 1999) and my classroom is so big! Generally my students have been very nice and seem eager to learn. I am, however, more exhausted than I've been in a very long time!

On the first day, in the first class, I had a student pull out a battery operated pencil sharpener and start sharpening his pencil while I was talking. I told him to stop and then thought to myself "is that for real? Did that really just happen?"

Then today, while my team mates and I were on lunch duty, a boy walked up to the canteen door to place his order. My team mate Lilli looked at him and said (REALLY LOUD) "Excuse me!!!!! Crack KILLS, so pull up those pants. My eyes are burning! I don't get paid enough to see that!" I almost spit my food all over the place! Maybe you had to be there, but I thought it was really funny!

Hope you're all having a good school year!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Just one more day

I'm in my room today...planning to stay here all day! I have a bunch of stuff to do, not the least of which is to get stuff on the walls and assign seats for students who will be here tomorrow. Is it possible that I have let the summer get away from me like this?

Well, at least this one thing holds true...where ever I go, I can take Pavarotti with me! I can't wait to start answering questions about this's posted right beside my desk.

I've already had one young lady ask me why I didn't take him down and put up someone more desirable. I know...I'm weird that way.

Please say a prayer that I don't implode before tomorrow morning. :)

Sunday, August 17, 2008


This week is always difficult for me. Every single year I say something to Greg like "I really can't figure out why I'm so cranky this week, but everything is getting on my nerves and the kids are really driving me nuts!" To which he responds "You're like this every year. The week before school starts you're always cranky. You always say things like 'I can't figure out why I'm cranky' and beg me to just put you out of your misery." We had that conversation today...we went to the pool after church. I was sitting at the pool thinking of how many things I have to finish doing before Wednesday morning. I was feeling sorry for myself that this was the last day I was going to get to go sit out at the pool. I was irritated because I've fallen right back into the pattern of saving all the laundry for the weekend. I was remembering how I really don't have plans yet for the first three days of school and that although I'm totally comfortable teaching math, the beginning stuff really stresses me out!

That thought is what spurred the next thought...what if I can't teach them???? What if I forget everything I know and when I start talking they (the students) think that I am speaking Russian or something? How will I do this???? Why did I choose teaching? Why didn't I choose a career that DOESN'T have quite this impact on my tomorrow??? OH MY GOODNESS!

I hope this is the closest I ever get to implosion! I can't take it...I hate this last week before school! And EVERY SINGLE YEAR I say that I will have it all together before next year starts and will know exactly what I'm teaching those first few days. And every single year, I do this very same thing.

I'm in the place where I want another week to get ready, but I also just want it to get here already! UGH!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Back to school again...

The kids and I went back to school shopping today. I spent about $100 on their supplies. I ran into one of my friends there. She asked me "Don't you ever wonder why we have to spend so much money on supplies for our kids when we send them to public school?!" She was obviously frustrated and I understand her frustration. I have to spend money on supplies for my public schoolers too.

The difference, though, between my friend and myself is that I am also in the public school but from the other side. I am a teacher who requests those supplies from parents, and here's the reason. I will have a budget of about $200 that I can use for any and all supplies that I need for my classroom this year. This includes buying my own copy paper and any other supplies I want to have for my students.

Please realize that as teachers, we are expected to be able to provide children with challenging, thought provoking, real life lessons. We are expected to provide them with lessons on how to behave at school, in public, at home. We are expected to practically raise some children. I will teach a total of about 100 students this year, for 36 weeks, on a budget of $200.

Please don't be upset. It is difficult to do all that we want to do with such a limited budget. Ask your public school teacher what might be on his/her wish list...more often than you might realize what they have on their wish list is as simple as a bottle of hand sanitizer or a multi-pack of kleenex. Occassionally they may ask for candy. They may ask for you to bake something and send in. This is only because we just can't do it all ourselves. We can't afford it, nor can we do it all as one person.

There's my mini-sermon for this week.

Have a great beginning of school! :)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The man, the car, and the kindness

I have a story to tell you...please refrain from leaving a "lecture" comment until you read the entire story.

Yesterday I had a fairly crappy morning. I ran multiple errands with no makeup and hair that had been washed but not dried or brushed. If you know me, you know how big it is that I even considered leaving the house with no makeup and no hair-do.

So anyway, I was on my way from dropping Caleb off at baseball camp to my mom's to help her edit a paper Woody wrote. As I turned off of India Hook onto Ebinport I almost hit a car that was sitting right at the turn of the intersection. If you know anything about the traffic in RH you know that this particular intersection is pretty busy. This car was in a really, really bad place. And the man who was driving the car was out of the car with the hood up, the driver door open and kind of laying half in/half out the door looking under the dashboard.

I passed him, drove about 20 yards, and said to Sarah, "I need to help him, Sarah. But I really don't want to help him." See, I had been really griping and fussing about 30 seconds earlier about all the crap I had to do, etc. Anyway, I pulled into the school parking lot, made Sarah get out of her car seat and come lock the door and walked back to the man and his car.

I asked if he needed help. He stood up and said "She just quit on me. She's got a brand new batt'ry. The speedo dropped down, the 'lectric stopped, and she just quit on me right at the light." (You've got to say all that in a really fantastic British accent! Found out he's from the middle of England).

I suggested that he put his car in neutral and I help him push it into the school parking lot, to which he said "That might be a lovely idea...this is a rather bad spot to be seated." So we commence to push...easy pushing, I thought. We only pushed the car about 20 yards and into the school parking lot where he closed the door and stopped to catch his breath.

I asked if I could call someone for him. He said "Well, if you don't mind, you could give a lift to my destination. I drive a disabled lady and I'm on the way to her place. It's only down at the next light and take a left." So for a milli-second I freaked out. I'm female, in my nice car with my beautiful daughter and this man is asking for a ride. OH MY WORD!!! What do I do???? I say ok...that's what I do.

I call my mom and say "I've come upon a man who's car has died and I'm giving him a lift to his next stop. I should be there in about 15 minutes." My mom didn't know that I was on my way over...I just called her to let someone know. She got the hint.

So the man got in my car, I drove him less than one mile and dropped him at the place he was headed. He was a very kind gentleman, and extremely thankful for the ride, etc. He talked to Sarah while in the car, and we discussed possible reasons his car may have died...I'm fairly sure that his alternator is bad and the people where he bought his "batt'ry" should have tested it too, but didn't.

As soon as he got out of the car, Sarah and I had the following conversation:

S: That was REALLY nice of you, Mommy!

M: Yes, but I shouldn't have done that. I didn't think it through, Sarah.

S: Why? I'd want somebody to do that for us!

M: I know, Sarah, I would too, but I took a really big risk putting a stranger in my car, period. But then I did it with my beautiful daughter in the car too! I wasn't thinking. What I should've said was "Sir, I'm sorry your car is broken and please don't be upset by this, but I'm not comfortable driving you. I will be happy to call anyone for you...a taxi, a tow service, Triple A, and I'll wait with you if you'd like, but just not drive you anywhere."

I went on to say that when Sarah is able to drive she should NEVER, EVER do anything like that. It's not ok to drive strangers. We can be nice and helpful, but it really was not a smart thing that I did. Don't our children learn from our EXAMPLE? Actions speak louder than words, right??? Oh well, I guess I blew that lesson. Then I called mom to say we were on the way and fine.

Now, I know you think this story should be over, but I've more to say. It was 100 degrees in Rock Hill yesterday. When I decided to stop, it was because I could see that this man was at least my dad's age, and he would more than likely have been hurt. His car was in a terrible place so he was at risk of being hit and injured, then there was also the risk of heat related illness. During all of this, there were at least 50 people driving past us. Probably half of them were men younger than 45. Now, here's a man in his 60s, sweating, pushing a car, and a chick in flip flops and a pink t-shirt pushing too and not one other single person considered stopping!

I thought about writing a letter to the editor of our local paper expressing my disgust with people in our society, but I know that it probably won't change much, and it would just earn a name for me in my small community of some stupid woman who put her life and the life of her daughter at risk.

I really and truly believe in random acts of kindness! My day immediately got better! I was in such a great mood after helping that man! Really just listening to him talk made me happy, but doing what I did gave me a really great high. I am NOT soliciting nice comments, or any comments, really. I'm trying to get this message out....please be nice. Try being nice to everyone. We really need a better place to live...and I believe that just changing our attitudes about being nice and helpful and kind to the people we share the earth with will make it a better place to live! the story's over. Carry on! :)

Monday, August 4, 2008

Ed Brown's Rodeo

Well, Saturday I took Sarah out to take pictures of her in her cowgirl outfit, on my mom's horse, Silly.

After this we set off to the rodeo.

We were SO excited...all of us, Mom, Woody, Sarah and I all were happy to be going. The rodeo was in Blacksburg...I do believe it was as far as it could be from Rock Hill. It seemed like it took us about 3 hours to get there, when in reality I think it was about 40 minutes! :) I snapped some pictures of Mom, Sarah, and Woody just as we got there.

So just about the time we decided to go pay our money and watch the rodeo, this is what we saw.

I did a little snooping around and discovered that the arena for the rodeo was a big, oval shaped field surrounded by large metal bleachers. The sky continued to look ominous and I called Greg and the Brians to have them turn the T.V. they were watching to the Weather Channel. They said that a severe thunderstorm was over Spartanburg, headed toward Blacksburg and should be passed after about another hour. We sat and contemplated what to do for quite a while. We finally decided not to stay after I caught this on camera.

We wanted to avoid sitting our rear ends on metal bleachers when this was going on around us. We were VERY disappointed and didn't make it home until after 10:00. We did have fun though, just driving there and back. We plan to try and go to the next one coming close to Rock Hill, which I think will be toward the end of August.

This is where we ended up when we came back to Rock Hill! It was a good plan B! :)

Oh well, maybe we'll get to see Ed Brown's Rodeo next year on its 41st anniversary!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Bathing Beauty

So I've been saying that we spend copious amounts of time at the pool. Well, yesterday before the rodeo, Sarah and I went to meet up with her friend from school. After we'd been there about 3 hours Sarah was exhausted and wanted to go home. I'm reading a pretty good book and I wanted to finish the chapter I was reading so I asked her to lay on the chair beside me while I finished it. Snapped a couple of pictures. Remember, she's only six!

P.S. Pictures from the rodeo are coming...have several to download and a story to tell too!

Saturday, August 2, 2008


If you live near me in Rock Hill or surrounding areas you know that my mom has bought a horse named Silly since she moved here. I think Mom has wanted a horse since she was about 2 years old and now that she's near retirement she got one. Anyway, she has gotten my sweet and precious daughter addicted to horses! This issue is one that I'm still not sure about...I'm happy Mom and Sarah have something they enjoy doing together, but Sarah has already fallen off a horse and the other day Mom said that they met a little girl about Sarah's size who does gymnastics on horse back. Sarah's eyes LIT UP! I just said "NO! That's it...I draw the line!"

Anyway, they've gone to several different rodeos in the last few months. Sarah BEGGED me to go with them tonight, so I plan on going. Sarah doesn't think I've been to a rodeo before but I have and really enjoyed it. I'm hoping to take my camera and take a lot of pictures to post...Mom bought Sarah a new rodeo outfit that goes with her red boots. It's adorable.

So, saddle up boys...the bulls are waitin'!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Trying something...

Well, I read four or five other blogs on a regular basis and one of the things that happens regularly on really good blogs is labeling. My friend Kim labels, Nate Lawrenson labels, just good ones are careful to label, so I thought I'd try it. So this, I guess, is a test to see if I'm doing this right. Here goes!