Wednesday, November 28, 2007 

Red Tape, Yellow Ropes, and an Asshole in Blue

Today I had a workshop at USM. I arrived on campus at 7:50 armed with my parking pass and began making my way through the maze of construction and chaos in search of a spot to park. After going down several one-way roads, finding nothing, and having to loop halfway around the world to get back where I started, I was late for my meeting and started getting flustered. (You know, that so rarely happens to me.) I finally noticed a sign that said, "Visitor and Event parking," and swooped in for the kill. I looped through the lot eagerly, only to find that every single spot was taken. On the very back row, there was a yellow rope blocking off an entire section of spots. There were two men in blue workshirts putting up another yellow rope nearby, so I rolled down my window, explained what I was there for, and asked if there was any parking for us. The one with the cigarette said sarcastically, "It's right there behind you. You drove by it twice." I said, "Behind that rope? You mean I can ignore those things?" HA there's your sarcasm, bitch. Don't fuck with the master. Smoky removed his Newport from his mouth, laughing, and said, "You get out of the car, take it down, and then park." He stuck his cig back in his mouth and kept working. On his job. For the parking department. Asshole. So I got out of the car, grabbed the yellow rope, and yanked it. The metal thingies that were holding it up on either side toppled to the pavement with a satisfying clang. I got back in the car and parked on top of the rope, tossed my almighty parking pass onto the dash, then went to my teacher meeting.

The parking department continues to mock me, even 3 years after graduation.


Bored of Education

I'm in workshops all week this week, so there's not much to say except that I'm bored out of my skull. The district signed me up for a classroom management workshop yesterday, and then my principal signed me up for a separate classroom management/teacher motivation thing later this week.

Someone thinks DPA needs some help.

I know all this stuff about classroom management, and employ it in my room. I do write a lot of people up though, and I think that's what they're thinking about when they sign me up for this stuff. From what I hear happening in the classrooms near me, I'm not the one who needs this workshop. Just because you never write anyone up doesn't mean you're in control of your classroom. It just means you're willing to sacrifice their learning for the sake of appearing to be in control.

Whatever. I'll take a week of workshops over a week of teaching. Besides, I need to learn more anyway. I've come to realize that my biggest problem is that I don't relax enough in the classroom. I'm so worried that they're going to do something wrong that I sometimes jump on every little thing. It's hard to tell what's acceptable, normal, ignorable behavior, and what's disruptive. Sometimes something that's not disruptive will lead to something that is, and I might overreact. My point is that some of those referrals could probably have been prevented if I were more relaxed and confident. So instead of being pissy about the fact that other people probably need this worse than me, I'm just gonna get what I can from it so that next year when the central office asks who needs it they don't send me.

I do enjoy the break though.


Monday, November 26, 2007 

Back to it

Back to it today, after 9 days off. What a nice break that was. Last night I couldn't fall asleep, and I'm operating on about 4 hours right now. The kids usually spend the first two hours of every Monday yawning because they stayed up too late during the weekend. Maybe since they've had 9 days they'll be extra sedate today. Maybe.

Saturday, November 24, 2007 

A Tale of Two Titties

Why do bras cost so much? The last two I bought were $40 each. Today I bought three, and they were $29 each, except there was a buy 2 get 1 free special, and the one hundred and eight year old customer service lady, Willie, gave me a coupon for $10 off. My total was $57 and some change. Fifty seven dollars for three bras-- and that's supposed to be a huge bargain. Without the special and then the coupon, it would've been $93.09 including tax. Can you believe titties are that high maintenance? I'm not even to the age where they require REAL maintenance yet.

Men only think they appreciate all the work that goes into being a woman.


Friday, November 23, 2007 

I want some crack!


The carbs are gettin' to me. I stuffed myself with mashed potatoes and stuffing and pie for two days straight, and it immediately showed up on the scale. I hate that scale. Besides that, I'm hungrier than usual. It's all the carbs I ate. They're like crack. You indulge once, and next thing you know, you're jonesin'.

Thursday, November 22, 2007 

Shut up and pass the gravy.

Our holiday was packed with adventure. Yesterday morning we got up early and went up to my parents' house. When we were going through Grenada (about 80 miles south of where we were going) my cell phone rang. It was my mother, who asked me to go pick up my grandmother and Aunt C and bring them to the house. See, Aunt C is a stupid bitch, and she totaled their car. Cause she's stupid. And a bitch. On second thought, it might have happened because she inhaled deeply and got a whiff of the wretched, wretched stink that emanates from her pores. That would no doubt cause a wreck.

We did go get them when we finally got to Olive Branch.

The traditional Thanksgiving meal was fine. Nothing much to speak of. My mother didn't lapse into one of her spontaneous mood swings and freak out on Aunt C, and I think that's the first time we've avoided that entire lifetime.

Speaking of my lifetime, my birthday is next month. Don't ask me why I care. I'm not sure I do. It just feels significant because it's the last year of my twenties. I can't believe they're almost over. I looked forward to my twenties so fervently when I was a teenager. I never even imagined life after my twenties. What else is there? Nothing that I could think of then. Now all I can think about is having a baby. Nothing about turning 30 appeals to me. I don't even think my car insurance will go down. No need to fret though. It's one of those things that's out of my control. Besides, I have exactly one year and one month before my twenties are officially over--not that they've been everything I hoped for. Though I did manage to go to college and marry someone who loves me and buys me Harleys.

It's actually 5:55 a.m. right now (started this post last night) and we're getting ready to go pick it up. We still haven't figured out how we're getting it home. The lights on the trailer are out, and the engine light is on in the truck, so Tim doesn't want to trailer it home. But it's 43 degrees out there and it's a 90+ minute drive from Jackson to here AND every nutjob in the state will be on those highways trying to get a laptop for ten dollars or what the hell ever, so I am against the idea of him riding it from Jackson to Hattiesburg. The icy cold wind will freeze his family jewels, and my dreams of motherhood will be ruined.

I just read over this post, and I think I should stop writing late at night and early in the morning. Two out of three sentences is a simple sentence. I have broken the all important rule of sentence type variation-- like I even knew what that was before I started teaching twelve year olds to do it. Did you feel yourself falling asleep? I did. Then again, it is 6:00 a.m. I gotta go get some more coffee. However we decide to do this, I'd hate to think I could pull it off without stopping to pee at least three times.

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Tim got me this Sportster yesterday.



It's in Jackson, and we're going to get it tomorrow. We bought it on the way up to North Miss. yesterday, but didn't have time to bring it home.

Now, the question is--- can I ride it???????? (I mean without getting killed.)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007 

Ways to tell the rednecks are off work

1. Sounds of gun shots echo in the not-so-distant distance.

2. The guy across the street is riding his dirt bike on the little dirt piles in his back yard, and taking great care to rev the engine to the point that I'm sure it's gonna blow up eventually. My fingers are crossed, anyway.

3. Almost got creamed by 3 separate pickups today on my way to the bank.

4. Noticed that the beer cooler was almost empty when I stopped at the Shell station.

5. Noticably larger number of beer cans along back roads.

There are more, I'm sure. I'll post them as they come to me.






Sunday, November 18, 2007 

Wishin' for Wireless.

Ahhhhh, the sweet smell of Thanksgiving vacation! I LOVE it. I've been looking forward to this week since August 8. For sacrificing Fall Break, we get the full week off for Thanksgiving. Worth it. Tim was off work this weekend too, so we have been working around the house and watching football. He goes back to work tomorrow, but he's off Wednesday and Thursday. We're driving to my parents' house Tuesday night when he gets off at midnight, and we'll spend Wednesday with them. Thursday morning we'll head south again and stop at his sister's house on the way home. They live about an hour north of here, as I'm sure I've mentioned a dozen times.

Everything around here is still out of whack from when we tore the house apart to get new carpet. Yesterday we got the desktop set back up, but we put it in the laundry room. Our laundry room is huge, and we've always felt that it was wasted space. I bought a used computer desk, cleaned out the laundry room, and turned it into an "office." Problem is there's no cable connection in that room, so we can't hook up to the internet. I have been wanting to set up a wireless network anyway, and thought this might be the perfect time. If I buy a network card for the desktop, I can set up a router in any room with a cable outlet and both the desktop and the laptop will be online no matter where we take them inside the house. BUT Comcast has been screwing up lately. We'll be surfing along, and suddenly the modem will go into the reset cycle. I called, and the lady said that only something like 16% of the people on our amp currently had connections, so we should feel lucky. Lucky? I think not. Not when I'm paying what I'm paying and may or may not be able to get online when I want. Why can't companies just get their sht together and provide the services we pay good money for? What's worse is that when I called, nobody seemed to think it's a big problem that my service sucks. "It's just the network." No sht, Sherlock. Am I supposed to just say "Oh, okay" and then hang up and continue paying my bill?

Someone's coming to the house to look at it this Friday-- a move I don't really think makes sense when they've already said the problem lies with their network.

ANYWAY I want wireless intenret, but I don't think we should spend $100+ to set up a wireless network while our service is this unreliable. It would suck to spend the time and money on it, and then end up telling Comcast to shove it two months from now.

Friday, November 16, 2007 

Are you MAD?!?

Yesterday I got screamed at by an angry parent for 30 minutes straight. Her child, who is 15 years old and 7 months pregnant, apparently made some accusations, and half the administration was present for this meeting. I never found out exactly what the accusation was that prompted all that admin presence, because the student backed out once we were all in the room to address her imaginary crisis. That combined with the fact that the parent could not manage to utter a single coherent sentence kinda kept me in the dark.

That didn't stop the mother from going off. She kept saying she had a problem with the conversations that took place between myself and her daughter. Conversations? I don't really have extended conversations with students. It's usually me telling them to do something, or answering questions, etc. Don't get me wrong-- I talk to my kids. Sometimes they have things to say, and I listen and show an interest. But she made it sound like I had said something inappropriate, which I never have and never will. To a student, anyway. The whole thing was ridiculous. Every time I started to say something, the principal touched me on the back of the arm, as if to say, "Just shut up." Then I would shut up, and as soon as I started to open my mouth again, he'd give me the "Can it" signal again, so I'd stifle. Finally I just leaned back in my chair and listened to the woman go off. She was absolutely crazy.

Finally, one of the assistant principals jumped in and got my back. He put the child and the parent both in their respective places. Then the social worker told her that her problem was that she had a problem with authority, and that even if she felt what a teacher is saying is wrong, she has to do it. She actually said the words, "If Mrs. DeadpanAnn tells you to walk off a bridge, you better start walking."

Wow. Now I see why the principal wanted me to just shut up. They've got my back. It's ssssssooooo nice!!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007 

Stealing Thunder

Today was the most bizarre day of work I've had all year. If blogs were private things that could only be seen by the people I chose to let see it, I'd tell all. Oh, I'd tell all, and it would be a joy for me to write and for you to read. It's killing me to hold back on what could be such a splendidly entertaining post.

Now I know how HM feels about the work gossip she's always promising Mable.

I'll say this: Today I-- no, the entire faculty and student body-- witnessed what I believe was an honest to God nervous breakdown.

Said breakdown took place right next to my room over the course of the day, and I was being evaluated or observed by someone different every period. With each new period the breakdown became more intense and impossible to ignore, and with each new period a new clipboard carrying evaluator strolled in to take notes on my performance. Evaluations and observations are always high pressure anyway. Add an insane person demanding your attention while you're trying to look professional, and it really tests you.

One clipboard carrier came up to me after a class and said that it was "excellent" and "a real pleasure to watch." Then she realized that one of my students had stolen her purse, and scurried off down the hallway to maybe retrieve it.

I love my job.

Monday, November 12, 2007 

Free: 2 dogs, 2 cats. Barely used.

My animals are trying to do me in this morning. My alarm was set for 5:40, but at 5:30 Pookie decided we'd had enough sleep. He WOULD NOT shut the hell up and let me get that last ten minutes. After resisting for nine minutes, I finally got up and followed him to the laundry room. As soon as I opened the door, I was overwhelmed by the smell of doo doo. The dogs were in the wire crate, which sets against the wall, which they painted dog hole brown. Spray painted.

It was all down the wall, all over the floor, all over them, all over the crate. It was just all over. So the 20 minutes I normally spend drinking coffee and blogging were spent elbow deep in dog shit.

While I was wiping and spraying and wiping again, TH came down the hallway to tell me, "Your cat is somewhere." Meaning that she's somewhere whining loudly, and needs to be found and accommodated so he can get back to sleep. I slung a chunk of poo off my hand and glared at him. "Nevermind," he said, and went to take care of it himself.

A minute later, in trots Pocket Satan, ready to take her meal in the Bitch Suite. She jumped on top of the plastic dog crate (the one not covered in dog hole brown) and started eating some dry cat food that was already out. I thought she was satisfied, and I made my way down the hall to hose off. Thinking I had finally found a few Me minutes, I cranked up the laptop and poured a cup of coffee. Here comes Pocket Satan again. You must understand that ignoring her is not an option. She won't allow it. She has worked for years to develop her "meow" until it's the most annoying sound possible, and she uses it like a weapon.

So I got up and followed her to the door. As soon as I sat back down, she started meowing again. Normally I would've ignored her since she was outside, but TH is sleeping with the window open, so she really needed to stfu. I got up and opened the door, but she wouldn't come in. She actually preferred to stand outside the door and fire off "meows" that sound like AK-47 rounds to a tired, sleeping man. She came toward the door, then backed away, meowing all the while. I finally reached out, grabbed her by the nape of her bitchy little neck, and jerked her up under my arm. I started walking toward the laundry room, knowing she wanted some canned food. The bitch actually started purring. I had her by the nape of the neck with my right hand, and was holding her under my right elbow, and she was purring. Kitty likes it rough.

Me Time is over. Damn.

Sunday, November 11, 2007 


I just finished entering tons of grades into the computer. Progress reports were due out Thursday, but mine are going out tomorrow. I haven't even started my lesson plans for the week, and they're due at 8 a.m. The good part-- the part that really puts the pressure on-- is the fact that I didn't turn them in at all last week or the week before. Nothing has been said, but I imagine they'll write me up eventually, and I don't need that, so...

I gave my kids two free 100s, totally inflated their test grades, and rounded up another daily grade-- and half of them are still failing. I think Hillbilly Mom was right-- the 8th graders are getting better, and the 7th graders are getting worse. All I'm getting is gray hair and high blood pressure. And carpal tunnel.

Thursday, November 08, 2007 

Gremlins in my Ceiling

The ceiling fan in the living room is either possessed by a fickle force, or there's some kind of electrical problem that we need to look into. That fan and the lights on it stopped working for no apparent reason about 3 years ago. We never replaced it because we are rednecks, and we don't fix things when they break there are two other perfectly functional lights in the living room, so we didn't really miss it. This morning when I flipped the switch to turn on the other lights, I accidentally hit the switch to the ceiling fan. The light came on. I thought TH may have worked some manly magic on it yesterday, so I tried turning on the fan, but no dice. That was about forty minutes ago. Just a second ago, I heard the fan cut on. I leaned over to look into the living room, and sure enough, the fan was starting to turn.

Hmm. Should we be concerned about a fire?? Methinks I should tell TH about this asap.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007 

The Sub Who Couldn't, the Students Who Wouldn't, and Elections That Barely Matter

The substitute who covered my classes Friday didn't trash the room. In fact, it was rather clean. She did something worse though.

On Thursday afternoon, the academic coach who writes the tests put copies of the next exam on my desk, thinking I would be there Friday morning to find them. The sub comes in, ignores the two giant, red boxes filled with worksheets that were under a printout with giant letters saying "SUBSTITUTE WORK," and gives the kids the test to work on as class work.

Did ya get that? She gave them the test. What the fk?? Now, I could understand this if there hadn't been other work available, or if it hadn't been so clearly labeled, or if she hadn't been trained on where to find sub work when she gets to a classroom, or if I hadn't called the assistant principal and told her there was "a ton" of work available, or if that assistant principal hadn't said, "Yeah, I saw it, and I showed it to your sub." I could understand it if none of those things were true, but they're all true. All of them. So please tell me why she still opted to give my students a packet of papers clearly labeled "8th grade exam 4"?????

I can't get over it.

The Reading Fair os coming up soon, and my kids get a total of 4 grades for it. The first thing was due last week, and the second thing is due tomorrow. Today when I reminded them of it, they acted like this was the first they'd heard about it. It was ridiculous. They acted so damn clueless. During the afternoon announcements they were informed that I would be at the public library from 7 to 8 to help anyone who needed it. The neighborhoods most of them live in aren't too far from the library, and some of them talk about going there sometimes, so I know it's not a big deal for them to get there. In fact, several of them stopped on their way to the buses to tell me they'd heard the announcement and would be there. Not a single student showed up. I sat there and graded homework for a while, then took advantage of the wireless internet.

I may have to start going to the library on a regular basis. It's easier to spread out on one of those big tables, and I didn't lose my ink pen a single time while I was grading homework-- unlike when I do it at home. I can connect to the internet and enter my grades into Gradebook and everything. And at least I'll be available to my students after school, even if none of them ever takes advantage of it. If you're a teacher, you know what language I'm speakin'. CYA.

Test scores. So very low. Teacher. So very baffled.

It's election night. I think the two races I care about are going to turn out how I want. Barbour for Gov., and a friend of mine is running for Constable. Looks good so far. I could care less about most of the other races. One good ol' boy is about the same as another.

Monday, November 05, 2007 

Someone needs to light a firecracker under my ass

Today I have to go back to work, and I have no idea what we'll be doing in class. They failed the last test, so I need to reteach that material, but they're so far behind that I don't know how many more objectives I can reteach this year. Maybe I'll just go over it and then give them copies of the test they failed and make them work on it in groups or something. I dunno.

Funny how running from your problems never really puts any distance between you and them.

Getting up at 5 a.m. sucks a big one. I got up extra early thinking perhaps I would use the time to prepare for the day. Turns out the only way I know how to prepare is to drink extra coffee. Now that I'm thinking about it, I'd better get there earlier than usual in case my room is trashed.

Here's an uplifting article for you. It's in the Washington Post, and a friend of mine told me about it.

By the Mississippi Delta, A Whole School Left Behind.
Challenged by poverty, indifferent parents and transient teacher ranks, Como Elementary scored dismally on Mississippi's annual school tests.

I don't work there or live there, but Como is about 30 minutes from my home town of Nesbit, and I think some of the things they say about it in the article are true statewide, or almost statewide.

Today I'm going to focus on the kids who I think are listening. There are three of them. Maybe there are more.

Saturday, November 03, 2007 

Political Ponderings

John Arthur Eaves is a giant douchebag.

For those of you who do not reside in our fine state, he's a lawyer who once sued the military and is now running for Governor on the bullshittiest platform evah! He's shamelessly begging for the ultra-conservative Christian vote by promising things he can't deliver-- like bringing prayer back to schools-- and saying he'll serve his Creator before he serves man, etc. It's hard to watch or listen to one of his ads without laughing. Really, it's too much. Go see for yourself. (While you watch, pay attention to the music. Also note the barn in the background, the denim shirt, and the overly sincere head movements.) Every time he opens his mouth, I like Barbour a little more.

And I think I like this Ron Paul fellow. He makes sense, and I think common sense is what's missing in the White House. I don't agree with him on every issue (bringing the troops home "immediately" being the biggest one) but I could vote for this guy anyway. We need a change.


Blue Genes

The doc called back. My thyroid hormone levels are low. Just barely, but still. They didn't recommend anything other than rechecking it in 6 months. I did some research and found that vitamins B6 and B12 are supposed to be helpful, as is sea salt. I also read that some of the things that make P.C.O.S. worse will also cause hypothyroidism: high sugar diet, processed foods, etc. And the symptoms are similar: weight gain, fatigue, depression, high cholesterol.

I've lost about 15 pounds, so it's not bad enough that it's keeping me from losing weight. I hope that when I get some weight off and have been on a reasonable diet for a while, some of these little medical issues I have will resolve themselves.

Then I can procreate, and pass on my good genes.


Thursday, November 01, 2007 

Jaw. Clenched.

Today I got some things done. I went to the doctor, which I've been needing to do for a couple of weeks. While I was there I got my wrist x-rayed. They said the radiologist would read it and get back with me, but I haven't heard from her yet. I probably won't. At least that was the experience I had when they told me I had some mysterious growth in my side that turned out to be my semicolon.

After the medical adventure, I went to Lowe's and bought some new covers for the light switches and electrical outlets in the front bathroom. The old ones were gold, and they have annoyed me from the first time I saw them. Today I decided that if there was something annoying in my life that I could get rid of for under $20, I shouldn't continue to tolerate it.

That's right. I got philosophical on the toilet.

Once I was happy with the light switches in the bathroom, I moved a few pieces of furniture back to their proper places. The big couch is still in the entry way, but I was able to use the dolly to put the dressers and the nightstand back in the bedroom. I also put the bed back up. We've been sleeping on a mattress on the floor since Sunday. Since we don't have an actual bed-- just a mattress, box springs, and steel frame-- putting the bed back up wasn't a very big deal.

When TH woke up this morning and I was still home, he almost freaked out. I think he thought I had quit my job. Of course I'm not quitting. I just need to catch my breath. Two days of non-futile activities should do the trick, right? Right. Maybe I'll get some inspiration this weekend. I'm going to church Sunday. The preacher at our church always hits the nail on the head for me. He refers to poetry/poets/themes in literature and relates it to real life and morality. It rocks. Besides, I need to get forgiven for saying GD like a thousand times last night.

I still can't unclench my jaw. What the hell is that, anyway? It's like, I'm so mad at the world that I'm going to subconsciously injure myself and perpetuate the cycle of pain and anger.

This laptop kicks ass. It has inspired us to turn the 3rd bedroom into a 3rd bedroom. That's right. It's been an "office" up until now. We thought about putting the computer and everything into our oddly large laundry room, but who wants to be in a room with the dryer? But now that we have this kickass laptop, we can put the desktop in the oddly large laundry room, set up a wireless router, and have internet all over the place.

And then I can turn the 3rd bedroom into a nursery. You know. When the time comes.

I can't wait until Thanksgiving. I want to eat something my momma cooked.

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