Sunday, September 30, 2007 

It was nice while it lasted

My three day weekend is nearing its end. I got back home tonight around 5:45, and worked in the house for over an hour before my butt ever hit a chair.

My windshield was covered with love bugs and their vision-blocking innards, so my first task was to squeegie bug guts off the car. After that, I tended to some puppies who were in serious need of some love, and took care of the cat, who was pissed about his empty food bowl. Once the mess makers were satisfied, I had a mess or three to clean up. Specifically, the pile of dishes in the sink, the unidentified sticky substance that has adorned our kitchen floor for the past week, and the mysterious film of funk that covered the counter tops. And the crumbs on the table. It's a miracle we don't have roaches.


The visit was nice. I got to see my grandmother, and that's always a pleasure even though it requires me to be in the same room with Aunt C and to breathe in dog piss fumes for the duration of the visit. There's so much ammonia de dog piss in that house it'd probably kill them if they opened a jug of bleach. But there's no need to worry about that ever happening.

My mother had a Beauti Control party on Saturday. Nobody showed up except for me and my sister and one of my sister's penniless friends-- unless you count one of my aunts and a cousin, but they're Beauti Control cult members and were only there to help my mom. This means that I was the only person there who had any money. Believe me, they knew it. I alternated between a cushy recliner and the cold, porcelain throne (more on that in a minute) while my cousin gave me a never-ending string of different things to smear on and then wipe off of my face, hands, and feet.

To be honest, all that "spa" crap kinda bothers me. It doesn't make me feel pampered, and I can't tell that my skin is any more glowing or supple or wrinkle free than it was before, nor do I believe that any of the people who use it have that experience. Call me silly, but I say if a lotion heats up the second you put it on your skin, it's NOT because it contains a rare, skin-friendly derivative of something or other from a tree in the rain forest somewhere. Even if it's called "New Rain" or some such bulls**t. No, I'm thinkin' it's got a bunch of chemicals in it that I can't pronounce, and one of them is gonna give me cancer in twenty years.

Regardless of what the secret ingredient of the warming lotion was, I declined to buy it but still ended up spending more than I wanted to spend for other (non-warming) things that I didn't really absolutely truly desperately have to have. I was especially sensitive to the amount of money I was spending because it came less than 24 hours after I wrote a check to Best Buy for a new laptop.

Here's the best part of the whole makeup selling get-together-- I developed a sudden case of explosive diarrhea THE EXACT MOMENT my cousin and aunt turned into the driveway. Do you recall my earliest blog posts? The ones in which I described to you the inconvenient close-to-everything location of the one and only bathroom in my parents' house, and the undesirable acoustical consequences of said centrally located toilet??

My mother gave me a pill of some sort which stopped my..uh..symptoms. Temporarily, at least. It hit me again just a few minutes ago. I don't know what the deal is. I'm just glad I was symptom-free during the five hour drive home, and I hope that it's over before my first class shows up in the morning. Keeping a classroom of teenagers on task is hard enough to do without holding your butt cheeks clenched the entire time.

Speaking of tomorrow morning, I've got lesson plans to finish.

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Friday, September 28, 2007 

Piss in my Wheaties, why dontcha!?

Tonight on my way up to my parents' house I stopped in Jackson to snag maself one of the two Sony Vaio laptops that are on sale for $649.99. I did my research, and my computer geek bro-in-law said it was a killer deal, so I decided to buy it. The Hattiesburg store said there were only a few left-- two were in Jackson, and three were in Gulfport.

It came with a gig of ram, and I paid an extra $120 to have an additional gig of ram installed before I left with the thing, and I had to wait an hour for that. This made the drive home much longer, considering that my normal bedtime is before 10:00 and I didn't get here until after 11:00 I'm pretty beat. So imagine my frustration when I finally opened up my shiny new laptop and discovered that there's only 1.5 gigs of ram on it. There was also an unopened box containing a one gig stick.

I don't understand. Where did that other stick come from? What did they do with my computer for an hour while I played demo games on the Xbox 360? Did they install half a gig? Did they not install anything? It came with 1 gig, and now has 1.5, so I think they installed something, but there's another 1 uninstalled in the box. WTF?? Something is fishy heah.

First thing tomorrow morning I'll be calling the Jackson Best Buy to inquire. I paid those bitches good money and wasted good driving time to make sure I'd have 2 gigs of ram, and I'll be damned if they're not going to give me what I paid for. If they try to screw me, I will organize my internet homegirls and bombard them with angry phone calls until they cave.

Now I can't sleep because I can't quit clenching my jaw. Nothing ruins an exciting purchase like having to deal with a series of stupid people to make it happen the way you envisioned.

Other than that, my day off today was fabulous! I slept until 8:00, reconciled last night's unblogged-about spat with TH, folded the mountains of laundry that were swallowing our house, washed a bunch of dishes, swept the laundry room and the kitchen, picked up the tiny bits of newspaper that the puppies used to decorate the back yard, cleaned a bathroom, and wrote a few lesson plans.

Okay, my day off could've been more relaxing, but at least I wasn't at work. It was nice to look at the clock every couple of hours and be able to imagine precisely what hell my substitute must have been enduring at that moment.

Thursday, September 27, 2007 

I Wanna be a Pop Star

I saw this elsewhere earlier today, and HAD to post it. It's a very good spoof. Totally worth four minutes of your life. (What were you about to spend them doing anyway?)

I Wanna Be A Pop Star - Watch more free videos

Wednesday, September 26, 2007 

Oh, How I Love Monkeys

There's a new kid in my 4th and 5th period group. Actually, he's been there a few weeks now, but he's kinda weird so everyone still thinks of him as new. Let's call him Z.

Z is a white kid. I have two white kids total, and the other one is not in his class, so he stands out. Z has been home schooled for the past three or four years, and his social skills are not what they could be. That's not to say that the rest of my students are sitting upright with their napkins in their laps and having conversations about fine art, mind you, but he's just not on the same social level as they are. Z also has a noticeable Southern drawl, which is capped off by a slight lisp. Now that you've just read me saying that someone's Southern drawl is noticeable, I'd like to remind you that this is Southern Mississippi. If it's noticeable here, that's a hell of a drawl. Anyway, my point is that he sounds like a gay Southerner. Not a good combination. At all.

He's developed a sense of humor as a defense mechanism, and he says weird things every once in a while. I can't tell if he's trying to be funny or if he's just not bright at all. Judging from some of the work he does, I am really beginning to wonder whether his mother home schooled him at all or if she just kept him home and didn't do any work with him. Sometimes I get the feeling he's jackin' with me, you know?

At the beginning of the year, all students filled out several personal data forms. One that I give them asks them about their favorite candy, etc. Z's form never got filed, and I came across it yesterday while organizing my pile. On the question, "What is your favorite subject?" he wrote, "Monkey's."

Something's telling me not to ask.


Maybe they're reading

Today there was a faculty meeting in which the principal explained some new procedures that are designed to cut down on the amount of paperwork and/or bullshit.

He also said that a teacher went to the central office to complain about something he had done or not done, and that he was extremely pissed because the person didn't come to him first. He spoke about this for a few minutes, and then at the end he said, "Let me say once again: DO NOT GO TO THE CENTRAL OFFICE before you come to me!" When he said that, he looked me dead in the eye. I mean, he was lookin' at ME; there was no doubt.

My heart thumped real hard a few times and I wanted to shout, "It wasn't me!"

I haven't gone above anyone's head, and I know better. I do complain publicly via the blogosphere though, and I considered deleting this morning's post because of the fact that I bitched about how he handled something. I'm not gonna delete it.* This is my bitch zone, and I was pissed, and I bitched, and that is okay. No names were used, and if you're in-the-know enough to figure out where I work, just keep your mouth shut and stay out of my binness, umkay?

It's only fair for me to follow this morning's bitch-o-rama by pointing out the fact that the folks who run our school are clearly trying to do everything the best way it can be done. They listen to us, and they make adjustments when they see that we're being worked to death and/or being forced to smell too much b.s. This is the impression I got in the beginning, but with the chaos lately I began to doubt it. Several changes were announced today that reassured me.

In other news, I'm hungry, and the forces of the universe are conspiring to make me fail. Yesterday I went to my box at work and one of the academic coaches had put a little note in there that said, "You were mint to be here" and it had a big fat york patty on top of it. I cast the poison away as soon as I saw it. I gave it to the skinny English teacher whose diet consists solely of junk food and nothing else. Then today when I got home I discovered that TH had spent his day off cooking things I can't have, like chicken and rice. RICE, people. I'm in the process of avoiding carbs and this man cooks rice.

Keep your damn York patties and rice to yourself! I'm gonna make it, dammit! I'm gonna make it!



It's not even 6 a.m. yet and I'm cussing. Like a fckin sailor, bitches.

The amount of bullshit in my job is overwhelming. I've said before that for every hour I spend teaching, I have to spend two hours doing paperwork to prove that I'm teaching-- or that I'm adhering to the special plans for the SPED kids, or that I'm doing this or that or the other thing that might leave someone behind. I'm all for accountability, but some of this shit needs to be eliminated, and the rest needs done by a freaking secretary. Every time some asshole who doesn't work in a classroom gets the bright idea for a way to make HIS job easier, it makes mine harder. EVERYTHING falls to the teachers. Let me ask you this: Since we're the ones who spend the time in the classroom with the kids, doing the actual teaching, shouldn't someone else step in and take care of some of the documentation? I mean, wouldn't that free us up to, oh, I don't know, TEACH?

It's not like I don't work my ass off. If a piece of paper doesn't get printed out, is that really worth knocking morale down ten points for? I'd take this kind of thing much better if I didn't have to get to work at 7:30, leave at 5:30, and work at home until 9:30 just to keep my head above water.

Anyway, the thing is that at any given time there are at least a dozen things which must be done, and each and every one of those things is urgent. Everything is at the very top of the list of priorities. There's not much room up there, you know. I like my bosses-- all forty seven of them-- but I don't think it's right that I'm given 900 things to do, and all 900 must be done immediately and they shit their pants if it's not, but they've got one or two things that they're supposed to be doing for me, and I can just suck it until they get around to doing it at their leisure.

I'm still taking off Friday. I was going to go visit my mom and 'nem in North MS, but now I'm thinking about just using the day to catch up on work. Right now I'm debating on it. Maybe I will work at home all day Friday and try to get most of my work done, and go up there Saturday morning if I feel like it.

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Monday, September 24, 2007 

The weather changed today

Today sucked a little. My seventh graders were awful. They are the biggest space cadets I've ever met. I'll be telling them how to do something really important that they're going to need to do in thirty seconds and realize mid-sentence that one person out of 20 is listening. The other 19? Are doing everything from staring at the ceiling to chewing their fingernails while staring at a desk to picking their noses. They're not really acting up; they're just on another planet.

By the time I got out of there today, I had the biggest headache I've had in months. Ibuprofen didn't touch it.

To top it off, it started pouring down rain during 7th period. To get from the classroom to the buses, the kids have to walk a good distance across a yard. There are some covered walkways along the way, but when it's coming down in torrents there's no avoiding it. Try taking twenty 12 and 13 year olds from point A to point B through pouring rain without a couple of them escaping your sight. It can't be done, I tell you. They scatter like fish.

So far I'm still doing fine with my new diet. It's day 11-ish. I still haven't started craving anything bad, but it's getting kind of boring and I could use some variety. Tonight I ate baked chicken and butter beans. Yum. There's a juicy roast slow cooking right now. I'm sure TH will enjoy it when he gets home. I'm struggling to stay awake long enough to cut it off when it's finished, which will be a couple of hours before he arrives.

Since exams are next week, I decided to take my personal day this Friday. That way I can go up to my mom's early on Friday, come back late Saturday, and spend Sunday catching up on the work I need to have done before Monday. Of course it would be better to have my work done before I leave. That way I wouldn't have to think about it all weekend. Maybe I can get my lesson plans done during my planning periods this week. It would be the first time I've ever actually used that hour to plan anything other than a headache intervention.

Since I've got to be up for another hour anyway, I think I'm gonna go sit in the bath tub until I get wrinkles.

Sunday, September 23, 2007 

I bet there are a lot of alcoholic teachers

Today TH and I spent lots of time researching different laptops. Then we went to Best Buy and Circuit City to touch 'em and feel 'em. He's all about the HP Pavilion. My computer genius brother in law says HP uses flimsy, off-brand motherboards and internal parts, and to go with Dell, Sony, or Toshiba. So I'm leaning towards this Sony that's on sale at Best Buy. We can get it with a ton of HD and 2 gigs of RAM for $770. We have a week to decide.

This morning I graded the last tests my students took. That's always so very depressing. Out of my 40 eighth graders, four children passed the test. Four. Out of forty. Out of my 35 seventh graders, about half passed. They took the exact same test. I just have low level eighth graders. They're not dumb; they're just lazy, ill mannered, and hostile toward authority figures.

I don't mean to get on a pity pot or anything, but it stings a little when you teach and reteach and do everything you can think of to deliver the info in a way that you think will help it stick, and then they all fail anyway. I could use a mental health day. Nine weeks exams are in one week, and most of my kids have yet to pass a regular test.

Lesson plans await. I left my stinkin' lesson plan binder in my classroom. This could take a while...

Saturday, September 22, 2007 

I need overtime, dammit.

Last night we saw Jason Isbell (formerly of the Drive by Truckers) play at the Thirsty Hippo. It was awesome. I have been listening to his new album, and it was cool to see him in such a tiny place. Between sets I got the chance to ask if one of the songs ("Brand New Kind of Actress") was about who/what I thought it was about, and he said it was. I feel so thmart.

I also drank 3 Coronas. I know. Sugar. Carbs. Calories. I broke my rule. But it was a special occasion-- especially since TH offered to buy me a beer. He is normally anti-beer, and prefers that I be the same way. So when he suggested I enjoy a cold, tasty beer, I took him up on it. Thrice.

Today is our nephew's 18th birthday, and the family met at a steakhouse tonight for dinner. I managed to avoid sugars and carbs, but I did eat a large portion of a deep fried onion. The only sugar came from one single tiny bite of birthday cake. I'm sure it wasn't enough to throw my stuff out of whack.

I have too much work to do. All four of my groups took a quiz Friday, and I still haven't graded their tests from Tuesday. I've also got lesson plans, which take forfreakin'ever, and I got a nasty email from a semi-superior who is pissed because I screwed up some score report on the first test, and I've got to figure out how to fix it by Monday. It's just some bullshit for her to pass on to someone else as proof that we're teaching from the curriculum. For every minute I spend teaching from the curriculum, I spend ten more minutes doing some bullshit to prove it.

Next weekend, I'm going to visit my mom, and I'm taking that following Monday off. I can't wait. A few hours on the interstate and a brief change of scenery will be nice.

Thursday, September 20, 2007 

Still Strong

It's Day 6-ish and I'm still strong. I've read that it takes something like 21 days to start a new habit, so my eyes are on Day 22.

You know what makes me sick? Skinny people who eat nothing but junk food, that's what! The teacher in the classroom next to me, Ms. S, is the perfect weight and shape. Not too thin, but not at all thick. I have never seen her put a single morsel of non-junk-food into her body. I'm talking candy, Sonic burgers, chocolate, and cafeteria lunches. But she doesn't gain weight.

She's not the only one. Just a few days ago I realized that another woman with a perfect body eats a Snickers ice cream bar at lunch EVERY DAY.

Meanwhile, the football coach, who is HUGE, eats salads every day. He's not fat-- he's just one of those giant black men. Not skinny either, you know. Just a big man. I would think that such a big man would need something more than salad.

I always tell the kids, "The only person you can control is yourself." So I guess the only person I can control is myself. Yesterday I had a peach for breakfast, a turkey sandwich on wheat bread with tomato and light mayo and a few carrot sticks for lunch. At dinner I had a piece of roast and some peas. The goal is no sugars or carbs.

I can tell a few minor differences that may or may not be related. For one, I'm not eating as much food and I'm not as hungry. I thought I would be hungrier and that this would be really hard, but I'm satisfied after I eat. Imagine that-- satisfied by things that aren't bad for me! That's the horrible thing about sugars-- they make me hungrier. For another, I seem to have a little more energy in general. Waking up is slightly easier, and I've been getting up between 5 and 5:30 this week. Nothing's better than waking up at 5:00, thinking, "No way. I'm going back to sleep!" and then realizing that you're wide awake and ready to go. Yesterday is the only day I've been tired in the morning in the last week or so, and it was because I woke up in the middle of the night and stayed awake for a while. Yesterday sucked on many levels, but I made it through the diarrhea and the sleepiness and the hyper-hyper students, and today I feel great. I got to bed early last night, and I slept all the way through. Woohoo!!!

The days also seem to be going by a little faster. I hope the same is true of today, but Thursdays are notoriously long.

Enjoy this. Tomorrow I'll probably be bitching again.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007 

Pepto and Coffee

Last night I went to bed at 9:30, but didn't go to sleep until after 10:00 because TH came in to remind me of how awesome Camaros are. He also said he wanted to turn off the air conditioner and raise some windows since it was supposed to get down to 55. I begged him not to open any front windows; I said we should just open the bedroom window. He insisted that if anyone did try to come into our house, the dogs would go crazy and he would wake up right away. Like his simply being awake has the power to ward off would-be evildoers.

At 2:00, I was awakened by whimpering puppies. They're still sleeping in a crate in the laundry room. It's at the other end of the house, so I guess the noise was slightly louder than a whimper. It was more of a doggy sound which clearly translates to "Get me out of here NOW!" One of them needed to pee or something, and since there is no ignoring a whimpering anything at 2 a.m. I got up to let them out. TH didn't get up until I turned on the hall light, and I'm not sure he was even really awake. So much for the protective powers of consciousness.

Oh, did I mention that the house was sticky and hot when I woke up? My neck felt like someone had just pulled a giant candy wrapper from around it. I closed all the windows, turned on the a/c, and went back to bed to await the slow coming of coolness and sleep. I was awake for over an hour.

I hate it when I wake up in the middle of the night. When that happens, it doesn't matter if I've had a total of 8 hours or a total of 4 hours. If the hours are not uninterrupted, it's like I took two three-and-a-half-hour naps. I don't need two three-and-a-half-hour naps. I need seven or eight hours of deep, uninterrupted sleep. You know, to rebuild my willingness to deal with the b.s. that comes with the sunlight. Two three-and-a-half-hour naps makes for an impatient teacher-- especially when she spent that whole time having a nightmare about a child who was lying about having been punched in order to get her fired. They're even in my sleep. I am not looking forward to work today. Not one bit.

If ever I were going to call in sick when I could really push on, today would be a good day. My medicine combined with my new diet has my stomach doing unpleasant things, and I'm sleeeeepy. But I have an appointment with a parent. My fourth this week. I'm not complaining. At least they care.

I can't believe it's only Wednesday. GAH!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007 

Who let you in?

Yesterday at the beginning of first period, a parent conned her way through the obstacle of the front office and demanded a conference right away. Momma was pissed. She stuck her head in the door and demanded that Son come with us.

Son's a talker and a player. A bit hyper. Once upon a time, I thought he might be ADHD, but then I saw him do a fabulous job of controlling himself once he knew he was on the verge of being sent to the office, and ADHD kids can't do that. He's not ADHD. He's NAAW. Need an ass whoopin'.

Anyway, I took the parent up to the office so there would be a witness and a mediator, since I could tell she was pissed about something. She was a large woman, and I felt vulnerable in the secluded hallway. Somehow I didn't think Son would help much. Turned out she was pissed at Son because he's received a lot of detentions in my class. She was just venting her anger in my general direction. For an hour. So here's my main question:

Why, why, why did you come up to my class and rip me away from them for a full hour? I have sent home half a dozen detention papers, and you didn't sign any of them. I have called three times, and left messages, and you didn't call back. As I began to grow more desperate, I even gave you my cell phone number and encouraged you to call that over the weekend or at your convenience. But you didn't call. Instead, you showed up unannounced and threw a fit and demanded to be accommodated at that very moment despite the fact that I had a class. I spent the entire weekend planning how I would spend the hour you stole from me. It was to include a test review, a study guide, and some vocabulary crossword puzzles-- NOT an angry parent with crappy timing.

Procedures, people! When I said I had an open door policy, it didn't mean you could barge in and demand that everything going on behind that door come to a screeching halt until you were satisfied. Especially when I have made every effort to accommodate you.

On a more positive note, I think Son will do better now. At least Momma cares-- even if she apparently doesn't know how to use a telephone.

Sunday, September 16, 2007 

Confessions of a Fat Ass

I'm glad I worked my butt off yesterday, because I'm actually getting to relax a little today. Still, I feel as though there is something I'm forgetting to do. Lesson plans are always the hardest thing about weekends, and they're mostly done-- only because I had a full afternoon to work on them during the week. I finished them for my two hour classes, so I just have to adjust them a tad for the one hour classes.

I've decided to get back on my old diet-- the one that helped me lose so much weight. The one I abandoned when I came to Hattiesburg and started living in the dorm and eating dorm food. The one that might have prevented me from gaining back every single pound.

I have this deal called polycystic ovarian syndrome, which causes lots and lots of problems with various systems in the body. Various hormonal balances are thrown off, which affects every damn thing. For example, you make too much testosterone, which means your ovaries can't ovulate the right way, which means you get cysts, which messes up your periods and keeps you from getting pregnant. Some unfortunate women have problems with facial hair and acne. I've been lucky enough to avoid those symptoms-- thank God. The last thing I need is a beard. It also makes you moody, tired, and you generally feel like crap a lot. Let's not forget about the weight gain that comes along with it. Now, let me say that I do take full responsibility for being a fat ass. Medical condition or not, my ass would not be fat if I were doing what I'm supposed to be doing. So I'm not one of those people who thinks she's a victim. The weight issue is a result of the effect the condition has on the insulin levels in the blood. The insulin doesn't get used properly, or something, and your cells become resistant to it. This means that sugar doesn't get processed properly, which means it gets stored as saturated fat before your body has the option to burn it. With your sugar being out of whack, you're at a dramatically increased risk for developing diabetes. You're also hungry a lot, because your sugar is going up and down and up and down.

The solution? Exercise and eat a no sugar, low wheat diet. I was diagnosed in 2000, and started doing the diet religously as well as taking a medication to help my body treat insulin how it's supposed to. I lost 80+ pounds, and felt like a rock star. A rock star, I tell you.

So lately I've been thinking, Why am I not doing this? I mean, I know why I stopped doing it. I didn't plan to get off my diet; it just happened. It was a natural consequence of college life. I was flat broke, and I had few meal options. The fact that I started drinking lots of beer didn't help either, I'm sure. In fact, that was probably my main source of things my body didn't know what to do with.

You know I also have a semicolon, which can be a concern at times. If I already have these health problems at age 28, what is life going to be like at 40? 50? I don't want to be one of those fat asses who has to ride around Wal Mart in a scooter. Also, I might not be able to get pregnant if I don't get this under control. I've got to get it together and start treating myself right.

So I started thinking that I need to read up and refresh my memory on what it was I was doing right before, and start doing it again. Even if it's hard. So last night I read a few articles and refreshed my memory on what I'm supposed to eat, and today I went to the grocery store and stocked up on some goodies. This will be impossible to stick to if there's not food ready when I get home from work, and if there's not something available for me to take for lunch every day. That is what makes eating junk food so tempting-- it's instant, and when you're hungry, you don't really care. If there's something else already available, I won't want that. To make sure there's always food available, I'm cooking a ton of stuff today. Hopefully I can get enough food cooked to last us the week, or at least most of the week. And hopefully I can do this on a weekly basis. If I make a sincere effort, I think I will find a way to make it work. After all, it beats elastic waist band pants.

Good things about not being a fat ass--

1. You're hot, and guys look at you, which is a pretty fundamental part of being a woman that you miss out on when you're fat. I may be married, but I'd still like to be attractive to men in general, and especially to MY man.

2. Clothes. You can buy them anywhere, and they're cheaper. Lane Bryant sucks. Their stuff is cheaply made, WAY overpriced, and just walking into the door of a Lane Bryant is humiliating. You can also wear more kinds of stuff, and look better in it.

3. Shoes. With all my new skinny girl clothes, I'll be able to wear more of my shoes. Can't tell you how many pairs I have that I can't wear because I have nothing to wear with them.

4. Respect. When I lost weight, I noticed that people talked to me differently. They took me more seriously. People are scared of fat people. It must be similar to how people in wheelchairs feel-- people are polite to you, but they don't really wanna be friends. Skinny little bastards.

5. Hair. I can get my hair done differently instead of having to stick to the one thing that doesn't accentuate my fatness.

6. Sex. More often, in more places, in more ways. Don't look away! You know what I'm talkin' about.

7. Not dying young. Yeah, that'd be nice. It doesn't seem like a big deal now, but I'm sure I'll appreciate it when I'm 80.

8. Doing stuff. I like to swim, for your information, but I don't like wearing a bathing suit so I don't do it. I would also like to go canoeing and be more active in general, but I don't feel like it right now-- and when I do feel like it, I remember I'm fat and then I don't feel like it anymore.

9. Being able to have kids, and be healthy for them. I want a little redheaded boy, dammit, and I don't want to have to take fertility drugs to get pregnant. I said A little redheaded boy, not a DOZEN little redheaded boys.

Thank you for reading my uncomfortably personal blog post. That is all.

Friday, September 14, 2007 

Bitch, Moan, Repeat

My lesson was awesome again today. For my two hour classes, it involved some reading. We are reading Monster, which all of the kids are interested in because it's about a teenager who's on trial for murder, and there are apparently a few curse words as well as a rape scene. This book is notorious among our youngsters. The eighth grade reads it every year, and every year the seventh graders hear about the juicy stuff from them and beg the teachers to let them read it. So my eighth graders have been looking forward to this for a year, and today when I pulled out the classroom set they nearly came unglued. Some people may say it's inappropriate to let kids read a book that includes a spattering of damns and maybe a shit here and there, or a rape scene. I say whatever it takes. These kids have seen and heard worse than anything this book will show them. More importantly, I've never seen a class of thirteen year olds literally overjoyed at the prospect of reading a book. An issue of Dub magazine, yes. An actual book? Not so much. They are reading a book, and they are loving it. Mission accomplished.

I have not read Monster. Well, I've read the first 25 pages now. I must admit I'm eager to read it too. Of course it's because I'm excited about teaching the elements of literature, and not because I want to read about a sixteen year old getting raped in prison. My favorite college roommate was an English Education major, and she had to read it for an adolescent lit class, and she told me about it then. She thought it was great. Of course, she was high most of the time, so...

...she would probably know...

This weekend will not be a relaxing one for me. If I get started on my work now and don't take any breaks, I might be done by Tuesday. There's a mountain of crap for me to grade, and I have to plan some decent lessons this week. They changed their minds about how detailed our lesson plans have to be, and now they're going to take me twice as long to write. I was barely getting it finished before. And the superintendent is coming to observe us Monday. On top of that, my house is trashed. Nary a towel has been folded in six weeks, and our coffee table is buried under papers and cups and who knows what else. My bedtime routine now includes moving a pile of clothes from the bed to the floor, then back to the bed the next morning, and we're pretending the kitchen doesn't even exist.

Today I went to Office Depot to get one of those rolling cart thingies to haul my weekend burdens back and forth. I checked out laptops while I was there, because that is my new longing. I could really use one for work. This Wednesday I had to spend an afternoon planning in a group of teachers and that experience confirmed that I need a laptop. I kept having to borrow people's jump drives and run back and forth between three computers to get everything I needed to one place. Meanwhile, two teachers who had their own laptops were making a major dent in their plans without moving from where they started. I was running myself ragged, and decided I'd tell TH I needed a laptop. He said fine. But then I started looking. I thought I would be able to get a decent one for a decent price, but you have to spend $1,000 to get anything good. I could get one for $600 or $700, but I don't know if it's worth it or not. I don't want to get a cheap machine that will not last two years, or that will be unable to run new software two years from now. At the same time, I don't want to spend $1,500 on one. It would make things easier, but I guess I can get by without one. Maybe Santa will bring me one. I've been good, you know.

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007 

Apples and Oranges and Write-ups, oh my!

A few days ago they brought a new student to my classroom. She looks like she's about 40 years old. She's 15. She is originally from New Orleans, but moved to Georgia after Katrina. While in Georgia, she didn't attend school very much. She did get a tattoo and get pregnant, however, and now she's here in Mississippi and ready to not be left behind. She's three months pregnant, and I have to let her go to the bathroom when she wants and I have to let her eat crackers in class for nausea. I don't mind doing this, of course, but it does make it hard for me to keep the other not-pregnant, not-tattoed kids in line.

She was kinda scary looking, and I was worried about having her in my class at first. I mean, how do you take a kid who has been living without any kind of boundaries or authority for the last two years, is expecting a child of her own, and expect her to take you seriously when you tell her not to speak without permission and to stand on the black line while waiting to get her styrofoam tray of nastiness in the cafeteria? I decided to be really sweet and caring, and just see if I could win her over. Because I thought it might take some work.

Much to my relief, she's been very easy to deal with. She wanted to know what she had missed, and she's taken a real interest in getting caught up. She participates, and she usually gets the answers right--- or at least close to right. She's relatively bright, and I think she can catch up. She's sweet. She asks me for my fruit every day at lunch, and I give it to her. She eats the regular cafeteria food, and that apple or whatever is probably the only beneficial thing her baby is getting, besides a prenatal vitamin.

Today there was a sub in my classroom because I had to attend a training thingie. At the end of the day, I went back to my classroom because I had to attend a faculty meeting on campus after school. On my way back to my room, I happened to see her coming out of the bathroom. She stopped me to ask if I had any fruit, and I jokingly asked her if she'd missed me. She said, "Yes! That class was running all over that lady today!"

I didn't have any fruit today, but told her I'd get her a bag of mixed fruit at the store. Hey, teachers used to be the ones receiving apples and giving information. It's a new generation, people. Catch up. Apples for information-- that's a good trade. It's so refreshing to find someone who's willing to tell all. I got a few juicy details, and there'll be hell to pay tomorrow. Hell to pay, I tell you! Muwahahahahahahahahah!


Monday, September 10, 2007 

Junior Haiku 2

Parent conference.
That teacher's out to get you!
No sweat. Momma's here.



Junior Haiku

New student today
Tattooed in first trimester
Fifteen in eighth grade


Sunday, September 09, 2007 

I'm tired from all the work I don't do

Progress reports went out this past week, so I'm looking forward to a few angry concerned parents calling me this week. Especially from one class of 7th graders in particular. Most of their parents were present at our Open House, but the kids did particularly crappily on their progress reports. That's mostly due to the fact that out of three homework assignments only about four kids turned anything in, so most of them have two or three zeros. On top of that, they mostly failed the first test (I wonder why!) and the second and third quizzes. I'm sure it has nothing to do with the fact that they're not doing their daily work. No, it'll all be my fault. I'm not teaching them, you know. I just go in there and pick my nose and then base their grades on who cringes the least.

Thank goodness for Wednesday. It's another freebie day, aka co-teacher training at USM. I get to go somewhere besides my regular work site and sit in a room and daydream listen for eight hours. Actually, about six hours-- maybe even five. They start late, take several breaks, give us a full hour for lunch, and let out early. In between all those various breaks, we generally spend 10 minutes per hour off topic. I love training.

Have you noticed that my use of commas has improved? It's not because of the training; it's because of the teaching. (You know, the teaching I'm not doing for the kids who aren't learning.)

Excuse me while I pat myself on the back for that perfect use of a semicolon.

Thursday, September 06, 2007 

I was due.

Lots of meetings lately. Earlier this week I had to spend all day in one, but nobody minds those as much as they say they do, because at least you're getting a break from the kids. (You also usually get a long lunch break, which roooooockkkkkks. My normal lunch routine involves a styrofoam tray and sometimes a mystery meat.) Anyway, about the I had a meeting an hour before I normally have to get to work, a meeting during my planning period, and a meeting AND a parent conference after school. Every minute that I wasn't standing in front of a class teaching, I was in a meeting or conference of some kind. Every minute. They believe in milking their manpower for all its worth.


My lesson kicked butt today, by the way. You know, because I'm awesome. And because I have an inclusion teacher who kicks mucho asso, and her presence makes it much easier to teach good lessons. Also, the principal had a "come to Jesus" meeting with a couple of my troublemakers yesterday, and they were being good little Christian girls today. It's amazing what I can accomplish when the debble's reigned in!

Today was one of those days that makes it all seem worthwhile.

Sunday, September 02, 2007 

Today I Saw Elvis

I didn't see Elvis, but I made ya look.

Today I rented a steam cleaner and cleaned all the carpets in the house. They look better, but still need to be replaced.

The carpet cleaning took three hours. After I finished, I headed to the mall to buy TH some cologne. He said I could buy whatever I wanted-- he just wanted some cologne. I sniffed five or ten different things, but nothing tickled my fancy. Finally, at the suggestion of the sales woman, I settled on Vera Wang for men. It's nice. Seems like there used to be a time when certain men's colognes did something for me. Today I couldn't find one that I particularly cared for. The Vera Wang was my favorite of what I tried, and TH likes it, so it'll do.

I also bought some new shoes, pajamas, and a sweet down comforter. A few years ago I bought a down comforter at JC Penney, and TH loves it. He insists on sleeping with it every night, and my other blankets and quilts haven't come out of the closet in a while. The old one is starting to show its age, and it's not like it's real easy to clean those things, so I decided we needed a new one. (Hey, it was on sale!)

Today is my mother's birthday. She's 57. She quit her job a few days ago. They've been rather sh*tty to her for the last year or so, and she's been a reliable person for them for the last ten years. She was a manager for a while, but decided she didn't want to do that anymore because she wanted to have time off when my dad is off work. The guy who became the new manager is a prick. He has been trying to run her off for some reason, and I guess he finally succeeded. She wrote her two week notice and turned it in, and she's looking for a new job. I think she should go back to school and finish her Elementary Ed. degree. It's what she's always wanted to do, and it would solve a couple of their problems. My dad's company provides NO health insurance after retirement (unless you want to pay $1000 a month for it) and they're starting to worry about how they're going to get health insurance. Teachers get it free. It's by far the greatest perk. You know, besides touching young lives and making a difference or whatever.

TH wants the computer, and I want to go to sleep. In my new pajamas. Under my new comforter. Alone.

Marriage rocks.

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