Sunday, January 13, 2013

2013...Feeling introspective


I went to church today...alone...and whaddya know, God wrote me a sermon.  Nice of him to ignore everyone else's problems and just concentrate on little old me!  :)  I've been kinda offended...and disappointed lately.

First, a teacher at my school REALLY chapped my tookus in an email to me this week.  REALLY REALLY chapped me.  So much that I have kinda been obsessing about it, what I should (or should not) say or do in return to TEACH THAT JERK A LESSON.

I am almost positive he was joking.  Initially.  Now that I have escalated it in response to his probably-joking email, he's probably not joking anymore.

But as my tookus has been chapped, I am having trouble letting it go, and I ask myself, self?  Why?  This guy means absolutely nothing to you, his opinion of you has never ever even crossed your mind before, and your paths rarely cross.  Why are you wasting so dadgummed much time worrying about that stupid email?

I know the answer to those questions...
1.  Because he was WRONG.  And he knows it.  I wanted him to know I know it too.
2.  Because he sent it to several of my colleagues as well.  (Nothing chaps my tookus like being maligned to my colleagues)
3.  Well, I guess that's it.

Second, as of yesterday morning, we had 12 people (and maybe 6 kids) coming over to watch the game and to have dinner.  We cooked and cleaned like mad.  By the time dinner came along, the party had dwindled to four, including us.  All day, the phone or text rang with cancellations.  One person didn't even offer an excuse, just, we won't be there.  (An hour before they were supposed to arrive.)

I understand, it happens, I know.  Life happens and sometimes people have to cancel at the last minute.  I have done it myself.  Life is not just about me, much as I would like to think it is.  But, imagine the state of my already-fragile tookus as the day went on.  Yep, chap-city.  We invited some neighbors to come join us, and the six of us had a wonderful time, but that is REALLY not the point.  I was wronged, maligned, slightly embarrassed and inconvenienced, and when I woke up this morning, my tookus was REALLY sore.

So off I went to church.

Where the preacher commenced to tell ME that I ought to really spend some time thinking about WHY I was so dadgummed annoyed, what my triggers are and why I allow them to run my life.  Now, I have many many atrocious qualities, but one of my finer ones is my ability (and willingness) to look at myself and my actions introspectively.  I may do it a tad compulsively, but that's therapy for another day.  I pride myself on being someone who does not get offended easily.  Honestly, you have to really work hard to offend me.  That's my favorite line.  Unfortunately, right now, that does not seem to be really all that true.  I'm offended because of a stupid, probably joking, email from someone I do not care a single thing about, and I'm offended because other people's lives got in the way of my party.  Those are two really stupid things to be offended about.

I think the thing both of these events have in common is my general sense of being right, and others wronging me...wrongfully.  Righteously indignant is how I feel about both of these situations, and I am struggling with the desire to make sure everyone in the situation knows that I AM RIGHT and they are wrong.  That's kinda weird.  Why does it even matter?  I'm not sure, but it really really does matter. Even the writing of this blog is kind of making the point for me - anyone who reads this knows that I, the constant re locator, was wronged.  (Are you gasping in horror??  The pain, the anguish, the...ok, I've made the point.  I'm being ridiculous.)

So anyway.  That's it.  Happy 2013.  I've missed blogging, and I have made a New Year's resolution to write once a week.  Yeah yeah, I know, it's the second week of the new year and I've only written once...Hey, I'm a work in progress, ok?

Monday, January 2, 2012


Happy New Year!

Well, for me, it's not such a happy new year, yet.  Why, you ask?'s kinda hard to explain, but I'll try,

1.  Bottom line is that as a teacher, I'm feeling sad about having to get up for school again in exactly 24 hours.  I know, I know, no one is feeling sorry for me...nobody else gets two weeks off at Christmas.  I get it.  It's still part of my melancholy mood this morning.  I do enjoy teaching SO MUCH MORE this year than last year, but if you ask me if I LOVE IT, I'll have to say no.  I often look at the want ads and think about what other job I could do instead of teach.  Right now, I think I should be a television anchorwoman...especially if I'm going to be up at 3am anyway.

2.  I woke up at 3:30am and couldn't go back to sleep.  Been up since then.  The heater seems to be cycling on and off rapidly...just another thing to worry about, I guess.

3.  I had a nice visit with my family, and I miss them.  When I graduated from high school, I voluntarily moved as far away from home as I could, but in my old age (43), I find myself wishing I didn't live so very far away.  My brother and his family live only a few hours from my parents, and I will admit to feeling jealous that my parents can (and do) just go see them whenever they want to.  It's such a production to come all the way to the (almost) West Coast to see us, or vice versa.

4.  I have been reading books that make me feel yucky.  Yes, I know, I can fix that.

5.  I saw a (very good but) very violent movie TWICE over the holidays.  Voluntarily...but I feel kind of steeped in ickiness because of it.

6.  My sweet son is turning into a not-so-sweet teenager, and I HATE IT.  I love my kiddo, and we have always been close.  We really aren't close anymore, and it scares me.  I know some of this is natural, and I actually remember pulling away from my parents as a teenager, but the sullen, argumentative, and kinda sneaky kid who has moved into my kid's body needs to GO AWAY.  I want my baby back.

The bottom line is that I feel YUCKY.  It feels like the world is out to get me, and succeeding spectacularly.  It feels like my family is under attack, and we are failing miserably at defending ourselves.  It feels like my kids are slipping away, never to be heard from again, and I simply do not have the strength to reach out and grab them back.  It feels like I want to just be 12 again and start my life over.  Ok, maybe not 12...but you get the idea.

I.  Just.  Feel.  Yucky.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A good day!

Are you sick of reading my posts yet?  I told a good friend tonight (Hi Regina!) that I hadn't realized how much I had missed blogging!

Today has been a good day, for many reasons.

1.  My kids were RELATIVELY good today, and the activities and lessons I planned were good ones.  :)

2.  I do not have another IEP for two weeks.  After four in the past 10 days, I'm ready for a little break!

3.  I met with my mentor today whom I adore, and she gave me some positive feedback she heard about me from my Administration, which feels good!

4.  Chase has two (count em, TWO) friends who are spending the next four nights with us.  Their parents are out of town, and we are good friends with the whole family, so we trade kids often.  While I am extremely outnumbered in terms of testosterone, they are great kids, and we are anticipating a fun weekend with them.

5.  I got a belated birthday present today from my favorite daughter!  My sweet Megan and I share a love for many things, but the most recent passion we are sharing is for tea!   She ordered a travel tea steeper for me which was apparently back-ordered or brought over from France by carrier pigeon or something, but it took almost a month to arrive.  Crazy!  But, I love it!  It's very sleek and cool-looking, and I can't wait to try it out with some yummy loose tea in the morning.  Sometime, I will have to extol the virtues of loose tea...maybe tomorrow's blog!

6.  We are planning a trip to Hawaii for next summer, and I think we finally have figured it all out!  I'm excited - I was born in Hawaii, and went for a visit to "find my roots" when I was 16, but haven't been back since, and have never been to Maui!  Should be a fun trip.  :)

So, it was a good day.  I'm not going to lie; I wish tomorrow was Friday, but we can't have everything we want, now can we??  And at least, it's Thursday.

One last thought before Divine Hubby and I put the ten thousand children we have running around here to bed...I love my family!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Tales of a cross-country runner (no, not me, sheesh!)

Two entries in two days...I'm on a roll!  Now, I don't have to post again until 2013.  :)

Just wanted to brag on my youngest kiddo a bit...he is a cross-country runner.  Not just a runner, but a bonafide champion.  He can run a mile and a half in 9 minutes flat.  He's amazing!  To be fair, God created those long skinny legs for running, and we did name him Chase...

He has done very well in his meets this year, and we are prouder than we can say.  What we are most proud of, however, is not the shiny, new second place area-wide medal he has hanging in his room, but the comment I got tonight from another parent.  Chase has come in second in all of his meets this season.  Second to the same fast kid every single week.  Along with coming in second every single week, he has (without prompting from anyone) gone up to the kid who won the race and congratulated him.  Every. Single. Week.  The kid never says anything in return except a mumbled thanks.

Tonight, that kid's mom came up to me, and after a little small talk about our speedy kids, she told me what a wonderful young man my son is.  Now, that is NOT news to me, but since this woman really doesn't know us, I was led to ask why she said that.  She told me that she has watched him go up to her son every single week and congratulate him.  She said she has told her son to go up to Chase to congratulate him on a good race first, but he never did.  She was very impressed with my sensitive, thoughtful, long-legged action-verb of a son.

And I am too.

It's times like these that make a mama proud...


Monday, October 17, 2011

Second year teacher...

It's been almost a year since I last blogged!!! Yikes. Time flies when you are having fun...or are too busy pulling your hair out by the roots and not sleeping. :) I have news - I am officially a MASTER! UNLV has deemed me a Master of Education and I proudly answer to that now, so please adjust your address books to reflect my exalted position. ahem.

The Clark County School District drives its new employees insane with ridiculous rules, tests, events and classes we have to attend. Now that I am a second-year teacher, I see the light at the end of the tunnel, but the end still eludes me. Last year, during all of the crying (you remember the crying, don't you??), I decided there was NO WAY I was going to do to the stupid New Teacher Academy they "suggested" we all do. 45 more hours, along with full-time grad school, writing 20 IEP's, lesson planning, grading, blah blah blah, oh, and TEACHING full time. (I am tearing up just thinking about it...)

So I just said NO. I think there might have been an expletive or six involved, but I digress...

Now that I am a second-year teacher, I have been given the "opportunity" to do it again. While I am still overwhelmed and a little bit berserk, it's a raise, and as you know, we teachers don't exactly make the big bucks, soooo, I'm in the New Teacher Academy. (gag) It's a GIGANTIC waste of time, and tonight I got to start wasting time, I mean being enlightened and becoming a better molder of young minds. I am in a group of six 20-something first-year teachers who are with Teach for America. All of this to say, they are all fresh-faced, idealistic, enthusiastic young teachers and I felt like I was a thousand years old in this group tonight. One guy must have LITERALLY said the word "literally" 47 times. It was his favorite word! I kept glancing around to the rest of the group to see if any of them noticed how often he said it - they didn't seem to...

So, the second year of teaching is starting off much better than the first year did. There has been no crying, no panic attacks, no papers, classes or UNLV. Even though I am still overwhelmed, overworked and underpaid, in comparison to the H$#% I went through last year, this year is a piece of cake.

Oh, and not to toot my own horn, but I got a M.Ed with a perfect 4.0 GPA. Sadly, they don't write "Summa cum laude" on your Masters degree, so no one will ever know...but I wanted all of you to know! :)

Monday, December 27, 2010

Relocating again...

Let's see. I moved from Aiken, SC to San Antonio, TX. To Austin. To Green Bay, WI. To Littleton, CO. And finally to Las Vegas, NV. If you had asked me oh, say, ANYTIME before I actually moved here if I would EVER live in Las Vegas, I would have bet you a bazillion dollars the answer would have been no. Too bad you didn't bet me that, cause you'd now have a bazillion dollars! But, here we are. And apparently, here we shall stay. I will not pretend this is my favorite place to live, but it certainly has its benefits. The weather is spectacular - with the obvious exceptions of July and August. Larry loves his job. Everybody makes it here eventually, so we have seen friends we probably never would have seen if we'd lived anywhere else. And we have no lack of great entertainment, that is for sure!

All signs point to the fact that we are probably going to be here awhile. SO, we bit the bullet and bought a house. It's a small house in the neighborhood where we have been renting for the past 18 months. We love our neighborhood because it has a lot of kids who love to play outside, the people are friendly and nice and all of the houses are one-story. Seems like an odd thing to love, but I'll tell you why we love one-story houses. They are rare and precious in Vegas. Land costs so much here that they put houses practically on top of each other in order to house the 2 million plus people who lived here during the boom. And since land was so expensive, houses couldn't be sprawling they became towering three-story stucco McMansions approximately 4 inches from the (mostly identical) stucco McMansion next door. In June, July and August (and really into September), that makes for $700+ monthly electric bills. Um. Nope. This past summer, we paid $220 as our highest bill in our one-story. Still expensive, but when it's 115+ outside every single day for two months, well...

We also love a one-story house because it is so very desirable here in Vegas. While every other neighborhood in Vegas (including the really chi-chi ones) has foreclosures on every street that linger for months and months, ours has absolutely none. When a for-sale sign appears in a yard, there are lines of folks interested in buying here. Of course, there are foreclosures (we are buying one...) but they go fast. Since we do NOT plan to live in Vegas forever and ever, amen...we are excited that this neighborhood offers such a great resale value.

So, that was a long story to tell you that we bought a house! We are very excited, and I will post photos soon. We closed last week and are having tile put in this week. We hope to be moving in the first week-ish of January. The house has a small pool (yay!) and is on a corner, so the lot is probably three times the size of any lot in the neighborhood. It's a well-built, nice house. It's nothing fancy nor is it really anything to write home about...yet. What we like about the house is its potential. Divine hubby and I have spent many enjoyable hours discussing what we can do, how we can do it and if we should do it. We have plans you can't even imagine at this point and are enjoying thinking about the possibilities.

So, pictures coming soon...but remember they will be "before" pics. We are looking forward to the journey of fixing up our non-fixer-upper and will share pics with you!

Anybody else get a house for Christmas? Thanks, divine hubby! Mwah.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Merry Christmas!

I am sure there isn't anyone out there still checking my blog, but just on the off chance that my mom hasn't quite given up on's a new post!

What's been going on since September 3, you ask? Oh, not much. I've taught two full quarters of writing to special ed students, given tests, grades, discipline, praise, and hired the occasional sub. I got a couple of birthday presents, several Christmas presents and the occasional complaint that class was too hard, too easy, too boring, too stupid, too name it, and it's too much of it. I took (and passed with A's) four classes in my graduate program, which really should be against the law. On Monday and Tuesday nights, I went to work at 6:45am, only to return home by 10:30pm most days. Then, since I didn't have time to do any work after school, I was up at 4am to work and then back to actual work at 6:45am again. Can I tell you how happy I am to have all of that over with? Well, until January 18 when I have three more grad school classes to manage. Thankfully, one of them is online, so I will only have to go to UNLV from 4-10 on Monday nights.

As a teacher, one thing I have discovered is that most of the assignments I give are too boring. Unless they are too hard. :) I've discovered that most kids don't do homework. Even if it's assigned. Even if I make them write it down in their planners, even if it's only writing three sentences on a piece of paper and bringing it in the next day. Even if it is for a grade, for heaven's sake. So, I don't really assign homework much. I have gotten some grief for that from parents, but interestingly enough, those parents who complain are parenting the very kids I can count on NOT to bring the homework in. I think that's weird. I have attended more PTC's than I can count (teacher-speak for parent-teacher conference), but rarely for the ones who actually NEED a PTC.

I have written six IEP's and subsequently held six annual IEP meetings. With varying success, but none were disasters. I was very nervous for the first two or three, but have felt more in the swing of it with the last few. I have learned how to write present levels, accommodations and goals...and I've learned what happens if you don't plan ahead for a month in which you have three IEP's due back to back as well as three long weekends.

I have learned which students I love. And how to love the students I really don't love. I have learned that sometimes the student you love the least needs love the most. And I've learned that that is hard. I've learned to ask forgiveness instead of permission (most of the time), and I've learned to lean on my colleagues when I need to. I've learned that I married very well, and that my son can make it through the day (or several) without seeing me and still survive. I have also learned that a healthy dose of humor in a difficult situation can be life-saving.

I don't know if my students have learned a thing from me, frankly, but I have to be given credit for effort. It's a strange thing to be responsible for teaching students with special needs...but not given the information or tools to do it. It's a strange job where you have several AHA moments every day as you discover what you've been doing wrong. It's a strange job when you are given a class that no one has ever taught before in our school, where there is no curriculum, books or guidelines at all, and told to "have fun and be creative." Um, HUH? Can I tell you how much I hate my study skills class? HATE IT! Picture a class bulging at the seams with every single behavior-problem in the school and picture how hard it is to teach when there is no curriculum and I just have to make it up. Oh, yeah, and it's last period too. Give me English any day of the week!

So, that's what has been going on. I have been working myself to death, crying a fair amount, making wonderful bonds with an amazing group of friends, writing papers, doing projects, tutoring, taking tests, writing lesson plans, IEP's, modifying tests and homework, attending PTC's, grading, entering grades, creating tests and writing assignments, all while attempting to take 12 hours of graduate-level work and oh, yes, be a wife and mom.

I still have a 4.0, by the way... :)