Friday, February 29, 2008 

Morning of a Thousand Assholes

Okay, maybe the title is a mild exaggeration, but a few people were inconsiderate towards me this morning and I intend to blow it out of proportion and then vent about it publicly. That's kinda what the whole blog thing's about anyway, you know.

Monday I emailed the boss who's normally in charge of giving us days off and making sure classes are covered. She told me it was fine and to ask a certain SPED teacher to cover my classes. I did, and spoke with the SPED teacher, Ms. Q, about this several times.

When I arrived at work this morning, it didn't take long for me to realize that half the teachers were not at work and there was a substitute shortage. Even the boss who okayed me to leave at noon was out with the flu. Then I saw the dramatic sub shortage, and I instantly KNEW they were going to try to send Ms. Q. somewhere else. So I hunted her down before classes started to make sure she was still coming. She asked me to call and confirm with the principal, and I did. She said she'd be in my room at 11:55.

My first two hours were a breeze. The kids pretty much regulated their own behavior and the classroom ran itself while I graded a few things, organized a few things, and laid out the work for the rest of the day along with instructions for Ms. Q. I'm kinda proud. I think the fact that the place ran itself so smoothly for two hours might be an indication that I've taught them something.

At 11:53, a student who I don't teach walked through the door and said, "Ms. Q isn't coming. She said Mr. F was supposed to tell you that they sent her somewhere else." I asked her who was coming, and she answered, "They don't have anyone."

Well, that's all it took for me to get pissed the *%#$ off. I saw this coming a mile away and did everything I could to prevent it, and I'll be damned if I'm missing this much-looked-forward-to appointment because someone else can't get their crap together.

I tried calling Mr. F. He was out on campus somewhere, unreachable by phone. I called the front office to see if the secretary knew where Ms. Q was. I thought I could get some clearer info from her than I had the student. WHY DO PEOPLE SEND STUDENTS TO GIVE IMPORTANT MESSAGES IN THE FIRST PLACE!? They never know what the hell they're talking about! Anyway, the secretary didn't answer-- Evil D did. Evil D is just a bitch that works up there sometimes and she needs to go to hell or fall off the face of the earth or something. She lives to be a bitch and be rude to people for no reason. It's all she does. I think she's from up North somewhere, and she needs to take her ass back to where people talk to each other like a bunch of assholes. I asked if I could speak with the secretary, but Evil D insisted on handling it herself. I told her the problem, and, well...she was just her usual stupid bitchy self.

So I called Mr. F's secretary. She couldn't reach him by radio. I told her to tell him I was leaving in five minutes regardless. Five minutes later another sub showed up. Thank God.

In hindsight, they probably had that sub lined up all along and my bitchery was uncalled for, but why send a student to tell me there's nobody? Or why send a student to tell me ANYTHING? They never, ever get the message across the way you intend it. It's really not necessary considering that there's a telephone in every single classroom, and the extensions to each classroom are programmed into the phone. I'm reachable.

Anyway. I'd like to take a moment to warn the male member(s) of the audience that the remainder of this post is about my adventures at the vagina doctor this morning. I know you're going to keep reading because you secretly wonder about it, but I just thought I'd give you the warning so as not to traumatize you.

I went to the doctor, and as soon as I got there a young nurse called me back. As soon as we got to the back hallway, she said, "Is this your first ob?" I looked at her for a second and said, "Um, no, I've seen Dr. Drake before." She said, "Yeah, but..." and then she whispered, "Are you pregnant?" I said yes.

What's up with the whispering? We're at a vagina doctor's office. You can ask me out loud if I'm pregnant. Geez. And don't use gyno lingo with me. "First ob" sounds to me like you're asking if I'm a new patient. Sorry for not knowing. Perhaps she thought I'd already be familiar with the lingo since most people around here have already squirted out a few kids by my age.

She weighed me, and once I stopped hating myself for being such a fat ass she handed me a cup to pee in. Oops. I'd gone just before I got there and figured it might be a while. The cup thing they wanted me to pee in had a funnel on it-- presumably to prevent piss from running down the sides of the cup. A nurse came in and handed it to me along with a glass of water and told me to squeeze out just a few drops as soon as I could. Well, let's just say I squeezed out more than a few drops. I pissed a record amount, and it ran over the funnel. But instead of going into the toilet, it ran down my arm, dribbled onto my underwear and my leg. Then I tried to pull the cup/funnel contraption out from under me and put it in the sink like an overflowing coke can-- but in the process I got piss all over the floor, the sink, the front of the counter, and even more on my clothing. Hell it probably got on the wall. FABULOUS! I've just peed all over the universe!


A few paper towels later, I was sitting on the table in standard sheet apparel. The doc came in and made a few jokes-- gynos are good at that-- and then went to examine me. I realized I'd left my bra on. SHIT! I had been so busy worrying about the other end (and cleaning up piss) that I forgot it.

He and the excessively cute little nurse stepped back out. Why are the gyno nurses always so pretty? If a woman has to see my vag, I'd prefer she be a big fat ugly skank so I can leave with a little dignity.

We finally got the deal done. I'm 5 weeks. That's insanely early. He asked how I knew so early, and I told him-- I didn't start my period. Duh? If you're paying attention to a calendar, you're going to notice that. I guess I wouldn't have noticed it either if I hadn't been paying closer attention than I usually do.

Anyway, it does feel kinda weird to be writing such an extensive post about piss and periods and vagina doctors, so I think it's time to wrap this mofo up.

I go back in 2 weeks for my first ultrasound. The doctor said, "I'll just wait and do your bloodwork then too, because if you're going to have a miscarriage it'll probably happen before then and I don't want to get all that bloodwork if you're going to have a miscarriage."

WTF? Miscarriage? He was talking about it like A) it wasn't a big deal and B) it was almost expected. I asked him how much more likely I am to miscarry because of having PCOS, and he said almost no more likely, but that miscarriages are just very common and about 1/3 of women do miscarry. That number seems extremely high. Anyway, that was the final asshole moment of my morning. I needed to be reassured, not told that there's a huge chance of a miscarriage.

My mom said to ignore it and forget he said it, and then she immediately started talking about all the cool baby stuff she's already acquired.

Moms rock. And they're way more experienced at making you feel better than vagina doctors.


I Dream of Weenie

My doctor's appointment was moved up, and it's today. I called in to ask whether I should keep taking my PCOS medication, and they decided I should come in earlier. I have to drive to his other office out of town, but it's only about 25 minutes away. The best part is that I'll be leaving work at noon today.

It's gonna suck if they can't do an ultrasound, but I hear they may not do one because it's so early. I just want to see the little speck and hear someone say, "Yep, there it is."

Last night's dream was stressful again. Someone broke into a bunch of cars in the Wal-Mart parking lot, including mine, but I didn't realize I'd been robbed until I was inside of the car, because they had opened the doors on the passenger side. The dream goes downhill from there and I spend the rest of it running from a psycho who has decided he's in love with me. I end up hiding out on a forgotten top floor of a 3 or 4 story house that belonged to my friends. I was hiding out with Pookie, and for some reason I was smoking cigarettes. Pookie slept on top of me all night last night, and woke up periodically to suck his paw loudly and make biscuits, so maybe I was aware of his presence and that's why he appeared as my hideout companion. It'll be interesting to see at what point my dreams begin to include a baby. Probably just shortly before the point at which I cease to sleep at all, huh?

Did I tell you about my freakish friend who had the dream about me having a little girl? This was before I was pregnant, and my friend didn't even know we were trying. She had a dream that I had a 2 year old girl. My brother-in-law and his sister (the girl we went on the cruise with) both had similar dreams, and even though they did probably know we were interested in having a baby, they announced these dreams before I was pregnant.

I told my first friend to go back to sleep and make it a boy. I know I'm supposed to say, "Oh, we just want a healthy baby. We don't care if it's a girl or a boy as long as it's happy and healthy." Those people are full of shit, umkay? Everyone has a preference, whether they admit it or not. This is my blog and my kid's never gonna read it, so I'm gonna put this out there.

I have always wanted a little boy-- ALWAYS. I don't feel I'm properly qualified to raise a girl. What can I do for a girl? I mean besides teach her to hit a softball or cuss out insurance companies over the phone? My hair has looked the same for years, I can't remember the last time I wore a dress, and I didn't figure out how to wear makeup until I was about 22 years old-- and even now sometimes it feels foreign to me. My living room needs to be filled with GI Joe and plastic hammers-- not Barbies. I've always hated that crap. My all time best Christmas gift was a construction set that allowed me to "screw" the pieces together. I didn't even know how to be a little girl when I WAS one. How can I raise one?

I know that most of my, shall we say, preference for construction sets over dolls is a direct result of the fact that my dad refused to let me BE a little girl. He strongly encouraged me to keep my hair short. If it got past my shoulders he made insulting comments about it. I wasn't allowed to wear makeup until I was 16, and by that point everyone else had been wearing it for 3 or 4 years and I wasn't able to go through that ridiculous experimenting phase with my peers. At that point I didn't wear it because I didn't know HOW to wear it and was afraid that I'd look stupid if I tried. This didn't change until my early 20's. I wasn't allowed to have Barbies because my dad thought it created inappropriate expectations of women and made little girls feel inadequate. He tried to force me to love golf, but thank God I didn't take to it. He taught me how to throw a spiral, catch a pop fly, hit a homerun, drive a stick, throw from the home plate to second base, steer a canoe, bait a hook, encouraged me to be tough-- don't cry, just be tough, and basically made a tomboy out of me.

It's a miracle I'm not sitting in a coffee shop somewhere wearing a rainbow t-shirt, thinking about how sexy the waitress is, and plotting how I'm going to get the softball coach position at the local junior college.

This is going to be a significant source of anxiety for me until we find out. If it is a girl I'll be perfectly happy, of course. But scared. Y'all think BLUE, okay?

Thursday, February 28, 2008 

Coffee Blues

Cutting back on caffeine is harder than it sounds. I'm having headaches because of it, and I can't tell if I'm exhausted because I'm pregnant or because I haven't had my normal caffeine. I know some people drink a pot of coffee a day and would claw your eyes out if you suggested they should cut back a tad, but I'm not a hardcore caffeine junkie. I drink two cups of coffee before work, then I probably drink a total of 2 Diet Cokes throughout the rest of the day-- sometimes a glass of tea at lunch. Now I'm down to almost nern.

Yesterday was rough. I was so tired I couldn't see straight, and that feeling lasted all day. I must've yawned every ten minutes. It felt like I was walking around in a dream or something because I was so sleepy. I had no coffee at all yesterday, unless you count a cup of DECAF on the way to work, and why would you?

Today I'm having one cup of coffee before work. Real coffee. I am taking the last few sips of it as we speak. Delicious, life giving nectar.

I feel guilty, but damn. I gotta make it through the day somehow. Everything I've read suggests that my one cup of coffee is just fine-- but then it follows that up with the "..but it would be best to cut out caffeine altogether" line. Okay, okay, I'll cut it out altogether. But I'm thinking it might not be smart to go cold turkey. And judging by what yesterday was like, I must be right. Cause have I mentioned that yesterday sucked?

So far I don't have any real pregnancy symptoms. My boobs feel weird, but that's about it. They're not nearly as sore as I've heard that they would be. I haven't puked or anything, though I've had a few brief moments where a wave of nausea came over me, but it wasn't that bad. It's pretty early, so that's probably going to start happening at some point in the near future. I have two zits on my face-- what the hell's that about? I'm almost 30 years old. And I'm having very vivid dreams, which I have been having since about a week before I found out I was knocked up.

In one such dream, the Governor of Mississippi touched me inappropriately. (I'll wait a minute while you swallow the vomit that just spurted up into the back of your throat.)

Last night's dream was really stressful. I was at work. It pisses me off a little when I dream about work. If I can't get away from that bullshit during my sleep, when can I? Anyway, I was at work and the kids were going Ca-RAY-zy. Of course I was being observed by a USM student who was sitting in the back corner taking notes as all hell broke loose. One kid reached under his desk and got a bowl of spaghetti which he then started pouring over his head. I'll just leave it at that, since that pretty much sums up how freakin' retarded this dream was.

The principal came in and watched my class for about fifteen minutes yesterday after he happened to walk by as I was confiscating a lip gloss from two little brats who need a good beating. They even acted a little stupid after he walked in, and I gave that girl the nastiest teacher look I've ever given anyone. Who the hell do they think they are? I mean damn! That shit makes me look totally incompetent!

It's not just the lip gloss gangsters that have been a pain. All the kids are really pissing me off lately. There's always something going on that's more important than what we're doing in class. It kills me to scan the room and see two or three lip glosses, mirrors, etc. And another kid will be rifling through a bag of "supplies" five minutes into class, having not made a single mark on his bell ringer because he has to find the .5 mm lead for his fancy pencil. Another one is sitting there doing nothing because he doesn't have a pencil at all. I shouldn't have to tell them every. single. fucking. day. to come to class prepared, or not to have bullshit out on their desks, or to start the bell ringer as soon as they walk in. It's almost March! None of the expectations have changed since August, and if someone came in to watch my room they'd think I hadn't taught them the first thing about routine.

Routine is not in their vocabulary. It's like there's something in their culture or their upbringing that just doesn't comprehend the concept of routine. It baffles me.

Well, I do have a routine, and at this point in the morning I'm supposed to be in the shower already.

Monday, February 25, 2008 

DeadpanAnn Gets Knocked Up

It's officially official. I'm pregnant.

Last week I was sure I was pms-ing because I was in superbitch mode. Bitchier than the average bitch, I'm telling you. I was miserable and irritable beyond explanation, and I was just praying for my period to start so I could start to feel normal again. Then I didn't start as expected.

On Friday morning I took a test, and the "positive" line was just barely there. I went and had blood drawn, but couldn't get the results for two days. Saturday I had another "barely positive" positive. Everything I read in the directions and on the fifty sites I Googled said that any line at all was positive, even if the line was faint. So yesterday I made Tim go buy one of those digital ones that says "pregnant" or "not pregnant," and I took it this morning. It said "pregnant" in plain English, and that pretty much confirmed it for me, but I still wanted the results of the blood test, which I thought I would get today.

When I called the clinic they said it would be tomorrow before they could give me the results. What?!? No way was I waiting until tomorrow! So I called my regular ob-gyn and they said they could do it as soon as I walked in the door and could give me the results 20 minutes later. Sweet! So I took off work to get this done because I was dying to know for sure. I wanted conclusive proof.

They drew blood and sent me to wait in the lobby. That was the longest 20 minutes of my life. Probably because it stretched out to 50 minutes before I got up and asked why it was taking so long. Turned out the nurse was on lunch, so my results were just sitting there. So a young lady-- a tech or an assistant or something-- finally called me back and explained the situation. She took me to a little cubby hole in the wall and showed me the result. Positive. She told me to start prenatal vitamins and make an appointment with the doctor before I left.

My first appointment is March 7.

Tim's head is about to explode.

Saturday, February 23, 2008 

I've got a big fat juicy secret.

The kind you can't wait to tell. More soon.

Thursday, February 21, 2008 

Corn Flakes, Disappointment, and Divine Providence

A guy told me a cool story last night. One day in Vietnam, he was about to eat some corn flakes in the mess hall. He'd not had real milk in months-- only powdered milk, but that day he got a carton of real milk. He said his mouth was watering for it and he couldn't wait to pour some over his corn flakes and then drink the rest. So he goes and sits down with his carton of milk and his box of corn flakes, carefully pours the corn flakes into the bowl, and then opens the carton of milk. His mouth watering, he turns it upside down over the corn flakes, and a chunk of what used to be milk plops down into his bowl. No milk for him. He gets pissed off and stomps over to the little window where you return trays, slams his tray through it, and at that moment a mortar round detonates directly above the seat he had been sitting in to eat his corn flakes. If the milk hadn't been spoiled, he would've been sitting there enjoying his corn flakes and milk, and he would've been seriously injured if not killed.

"Sometimes God gives you spoiled milk for a reason," he said to me.

Not a bad story.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008 

Deep Sigh.

What a day. A parent was so mad at me that the front office staff had to call the police on her. She was going that psycho. And all because I...well...all because I....

Ya know, I'm not sure what I did. Her child transferred to the school 3 weeks ago, and has faked being sick at least half a dozen times since then. When she doesn't fake sick, she comes up with other reasons to get out of school. I've let her call home several times because she claimed to be sick. Today she did it again, and I told her I wasn't going to let her go. She would have to stick it out. Finally, after she put on such a show that it began to disrupt the class, I told her to go call home. The following contributed to that decision:

A) I had to get her out of the room since she was disrupting,
B) there's obviously something else at work, and she had already been up to speak with the counselor
C) if she's not sick, the mother can tell her to get over it and go back to class when she goes to call.

The mom was apparently mad that I had let her leave class. WTF? Just tell her to go back to class and stop acting a damn fool. Why get mad at ME? I tried to keep her in class.

They said she's "special." I told them, "She's not special enough to disrupt my class."


And with that I turned around and walked off. The police were apparently called after I left. I'm not sure of the details, but you can bet I'll be trying to get the scoop tomorrow.

They can suck it. Why should I have to deal with such stupidity?

That was just the beginning of a very bad day. I laid into that same class later. The guys in the room are giving me hell. They have some really subtle ways of being disrespectful-- things I can't really call them out on every time. So today I just went apesht on them and told them I was sick of it and that it stops here and now, and that if it continues, they will be asked to leave the room and stay out until a parent conference can be scheduled-- regardless of whether the administration feels I am right in taking that action.

My head nearly exploded 7th period because only 3 kids brought in the homework, and 13 of the the other 16 placed the blame on yours truly. I always make them write an explanation of why they don't have their homework. It's always my fault. "I asked you did we have homework and you didn't say nothing." Or, "I didn't no." Or, "You didn't explane it."

All of the above are bullshit, as I think the fact that at least 3 kids got the homework done goes to show. Did God speak to those 3 in the night and tell them what I was thinking but forgot to say in class? No. They listened and wrote down their assignment and then went home and got it done. Or maybe they DIDN'T listen, but saw it written on the board, and saw me pointing to it as I made noises similar to those of Charlie Brown's mom.

Wahhh wawah wah WAH!

This is the many-eth time this has happened. I was so angry and fed up that I sat down and called every parent of a child who had pulled the "it's your fault because..." card. This was after I gave the 3 do-gooders a pass to the library to go do whatever educational activities they chose to do for the hour. Then I called parents and gave a very frank explanation of the situation, laid out the consequences and choices, and most were supportive.

The kids have to do the homework tonight, and they will receive 90% credit if they do. After the way they refused responsibility for their own actions (or lack of action) it killed me to say that they could still turn it in for 90%, but that's been the policy all year. I have that policy because I understand that crap happens. Grammas die. Moms work late. Books are forgotten. Uncles have heart attacks. Drunk family members stab each other. You know, typical stuff. I didn't think it would be fair for me to refuse to accept it tomorrow since that's been the policy.

But I did stick it to 'em. You know I did. Wanna know how?

They now have two assignments due tomorrow. The original homework, which hasn't changed, and a 2 page essay on personal responsibility, which will be counted as a test grade. And they can't turn in one without the other. It's all or nothing. I gave them a list of questions to answer in their essays:

What is personal responsibility?
What qualities does a teenager have when they have learned to accept personal responsibility?
Why is personal responsibility so important?
What are some ways in which my reluctance to embrace responsibility for my own actions has affected my life recently?
What negative effects has my lack of responsibility had on my experience in English this year?
What will change once I begin to accept responsibility for my actions?

There may have been one more, but that's all I can remember. They're still on the board in red ink, and I'll jot them down tomorrow so I know what to look for when I'm grading the essays, if I get any.

I was ready to run from the building screaming and pulling my hair before it was even lunch time. It's a miracle that I made it through the day without crying or losing it and cussing a kid out.

On a more positive note, several of the parents I called were supportive-- a few were even grateful. One told me she loves me. She's an older lady who is desperately trying to keep her kid on the right track. She's old school, and I almost said, "I love you too!" If every parent was like her, this generation would change the world for the better.

Another glimmer of hope: My cell phone rang a few minutes ago. It was a student who had lost his notepad and wanted to know what the homework is for tonight. He's not in the class that didn't do their homework, and he did do his even though he didn't do it very well. I'm not sure how he got my number, but I assume I gave it to his mother and she gave it to him. Maybe I'll start doing that-- give the parents my cell number and tell them to let the kids call it if they need help. (My fear is that I'll start getting calls from people wanting to know if my refrigerator is running. You know what I'm sayin'.) I didn't mind the call at all. In fact, it encouraged me to know that at least one child is at home right now thinking about what he needs to do for my class.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008 

Hire Power

Yesterday was easy. I had professional development all day, and while I wasn't looking forward to it, it turned out to be a blessing. I got to go in about an hour later than usual, we never sat in the room for longer than an hour without a break, we got an hour and a half for lunch, and we got out at 2:00. Oh yeah, and I learned some stuff. Today I'm gonna be suffering after being spoiled like that. It's back to normal, which means I have to be there no later than 7:45, have kids until 4:00, and on Tuesdays and Wednesdays I have to stay for various bullshit meetings until at least 5:15. The Wednesday meeting is especially unpleasant, because that's when the boss man comes out to tell us all what pieces of shit we are. One day someone's gonna lose it and that meeting's not going to end well. The only way most people get through it is by pretending they are somewhere else. I am already planning to stare at the ceiling and make a shopping list in my head. I used to listen intently and ask myself what I could do to improve, and I would always leave the meeting feeling worse than when I went in. Then I realized that it's not about me. It's about him and his once a week opportunity to make someone feel worse than he does. So now I just go to my happy place.

I reckon I'll be there next year unless a job falls into my lap. I might sniff around to see what's available, but I'm not motivated enough to really hunt for a new job. It feels like I've been hunting for a job for the last 3 years. By the time this school year ends, I might be more motivated to look, but right now the idea of filling out applications and mailing off recommendation forms and writing out my philosophy of education for the fortieth time? Makes me sigh. So does the thought of being "the new teacher" yet again.

I'm getting back to work on my master's this summer, and I'm going to try to rack up some credits so I can get my degree instead of dragging it out for years. My hope is that it might make me more attractive to some of the districts that like to brag about being "level 5" and how the majority of their teachers have at least a master's. And who knows-- maybe I'll even learn something. That's what school used to be for, after all.

You know it's gonna be a shitty day when it's 6:11 a.m. and you spend the one hour you have to yourself bitching about how bad it's gonna suck. I need to go get in a more positive frame of mind before I leave for work, or I ain't gonna make it.

Saturday, February 16, 2008 

The Have Nots

I'll be glad when tax season is over and all the idiots have blown their money. My students, who are almost exclusively from very poor families, are about to make my head explode with stories of giant refunds and the very unwise ways they're being spent. If you can't keep the phone and/or electricity from being disconnected, methinks it might not be smart to use your tax "refund" to buy a go-cart for your 13 year old daughter.

I reckon it's not my business. Thankfully we're getting money back too. The only difference is that the money we're getting was actually paid in by us over the course of the year, unlike some of the people who will be getting new go-carts in the coming weeks. If you took away one dime of it, there'd be someone on the news talking about how poor people are being neglected, and they can't feed their children or pay the bills and the evil government doesn't care.

Do you know how fervently I longed for a go-cart as a child? My uncle worked at Western Auto, and there were three shiny ones mounted on a rack in the front window. The red one spoke to me every time we were in the store. The price tag said $500.00. That was way outta reach back then, and I knew it, but that didn't stop me from pining for it. My mother said she'd get my uncle-- not the one who worked at Western Auto, but the one who was a dairy farmer-- to build me one. He had the skeleton of one in his shed, and he could put a motor in it and get it running for me. That day never came.

About 2 years ago I noticed a halfway put together, rusty old go-cart in my parents' barn. I asked about it. Turns out it's the same one that was promised to me some 20 years ago, and my brother in law got it from my uncle because he was planning to get it going for my nephew. My heart was happy for him, and I offer that fact to you as evidence that my resentment toward the 13 year old student is not rooted solely in jealousy. My resentment is rooted in how backwards the world can be sometimes.

On the other hand, our phone and/or electricity was never disconnected. Ever. Thanks, Mom and Dad.

Friday, February 15, 2008 

Drugs are bad, umkay?

Yesterday I found a very poorly rolled joint on the sidewalk outside my classroom. They had attempted to roll it in what looked like regular copy paper-- probably the remnants of a study guide they weren't going to use anyway-- and they had burned one end of it. Not only is rolling a joint in copy paper a stupid thing to try, it's a waste of what smelled like halfway decent weed. And it speaks to their lack of experience. I could teach them more than English.

Last night was a night of a dozen dreams for me. I had a very realistic dream that there was a shooting at my school. Yesterday I listened to a guy on the radio describe crawling out of a classroom at Northern Illinois on his belly to avoid being seen by that shooter. So I dreamed I was crawling around trying to escape the same thing. It was ridiculous. I woke up more sleepy than I was when I went to bed. Before that dream I had another one about a huge fight breaking out in my classroom. A chair was thrown, some noses were broken, and I had to drag a couple of girls kicking and screaming out of the room to keep WWIII from breaking out.

I also dreamed that I found some drugs in some of my kids' belongings at school. They had left their stuff in there to go to an assembly or something, and I was going through it for some reason. I found weed pipes and baggies of weed, and in one folded up piece of paper I found some cocaine, which I decided to snort. I've never done cocaine, but I've often had dreams of doing it. In one such dream, I was driving down the road with a gas station fountain drink cup full of the stuff, and I was sniffing massive amounts of it through the red plastic straw. In last night's dream, I just did a little. After that the dream switched from school to home, and I woke up shortly thereafter.

If last night's dreams hadn't been so obviously tied to things that have already happened, I'd be worried about what's in store for today. I'm tired as hell, it's Friday, and they're gonna be wild. I could use a fat line of coke.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008 

Sleep is more valuable in the morning

I have no exciting stories to tell right now. No tales of trips to see self-proclaimed D-listers, no lottery jackpots, no trivia championships. The only news right now is that I am so very, very exhausted. I stayed up late last night, and I'm paying for it. What was I doing, you ask? Why, playing chess, of course. With myself. On the computer. Yes, that's right. I played with myself on the computer.

I won.

Last night I started feeling kind of shitty and thought for a moment that the dreaded flu might be upon me. My face got hot and I was having chills, and I had a headache. My stomach had been upset off and on throughout the afternoon. Don't get me wrong-- I don't want the flu. But right now, as I sit in my bed in the still-dark, having already slept 30 minutes later than usual and gulped down two full cups of coffee within seconds of waking, I'd trade a few vomiting/shaking/aching moments later for a few more hours of sleep right now. Then again, I never was good at planning ahead.

Yesterday there was a tornado warning during school hours, which means that instead of teaching and catching up my 7th graders, who are unspeakably behind, they spent the entire time hunkered down along the walls while I stood at the window scanning the skies. The clouds were swirling and dipping down and then going back up.

That last line of bad storms that came through the state about a week ago did a lot of damage to Southaven and the other areas around my sister and parents. She sent me pics the other day, and I couldn't even recognize the mall and a few other landmarks. So with those images fresh in my mind, those swirling clouds were very scary. I started wondering what it would be like if one actually hit the building. We're in a classroom with 25 metal chairs, 14 small tables, and at least an honest-to-God million other loose objects of various shapes and sizes. The tornado wouldn't have to get very close to kill us all with flying crap.

Tornados suck almost as bad as getting up before the sun.

Monday, February 11, 2008 

Plan the "Do" Out

The Man (and I don't mean Tim) has been up my arse about my lesson plans and how I tend to turn them in a day late every week. This week I actually have my lesson plans completed. They're not half-assed, and they were submitted twelve hours early. EAT IT, LESSON PLAN NAZI!

Since I spent, oh, 3 hours working on them yesterday, I didn't have time to print progress reports, grade quizzes, grade anything else in the pile of stuff that needs to be graded, or get copies of the stuff I need to have in order to DO the lesson plans. But hey, I've got a plan.

Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Saturday, February 09, 2008 

Confessions of an American Ice Cream Eater

Today I ate the biggest ice cream cone I have ever seen, ever. Tim was taking a nap, and I had a hankering for something sweet. I drove to the Dairy Queen, which is like ten miles from here. There were plenty of other places for me to get ice cream closer, but I felt like driving. I told the girl in the speaker that I wanted a chocolate dipped vanilla ice cream cone. She asked what size. There are different sizes? "Uh...large."

And it WAS! It was so large that I was a little embarrassed as they handed it to me out the window, what with the fact that it took two people to maneuver it through the small opening. So large that I could barely eat it before it began to melt and run its sweet sticky goodness down my hands and between my fingers. So large that when I got back home I had to sit in the car for a good five minutes to polish it off before I went inside.

Then I got sleepy and crashed Tim's nap. It was nice sleeping with his arms wrapped lovingly around my belly full of delicious ice cream. Then I woke up with a stomach ache. Not so much fun, the stomach ache. Looks like that giant ice cream cone is gonna cause some chaos on its way through the plumbing.

The kid who called me ugly last week was standing out on the road today with a group of people holding signs. They were having a car wash. I drove by in my mud-covered automobile, and waved. Karma's a bitch. That'll learn her!

Friday, February 08, 2008 

Ol' ugly

A kid called me ugly yesterday. She wasn't my student, but I had to send her to the office for acting like a damn fool between classes. Calling me ugly wasn't what got her in trouble; that came afterwards. She decided to say it halfway under her breath as she complained about how unfair I was for sending her to the office, and she was doing this as she was stomping off in anger. It kind of made me laugh a little. It was a little reminder that the kids are, well, kids. I can't remember the last time I was called ugly, but I'm thinking it must've been pre-"fat white rabbit fucker." If I ever get called anything more random than that, I'll let you know immediately.

I'm so glad it's Friday. This week has felt so long. Perhaps it's because I haven't actually worked 5 consecutive days in the last several weeks, thanks to Martin Luther King and bronchitis. Today might be tough. I need to get there early this morning to grade some tests and enter some grades, but I'm still sitting on the bed with a cup of coffee.

Tomorrow, I sleep!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008 

It's too early for this being awake stuff.

Last night the weather was supposed to be really bad. It hit my folks' area in the early afternoon, but they came through it okay. It was supposed to hit us in the middle of the night, but I couldn't stay up to worry about it. Monday night I only got about 4 hours of sleep, so I knew I'd sleep through a tornado unless it picked me up and flung me to my death, in which case being awake wouldn't help anyway. In fact, if that's gotta happen, I'd prefer to not see it coming.

I had a dream that I called a student a motherf*cker--- twice. It was a specific student. One who I would sometimes like to call a motherf*cker. I don't think he was the only one in the dream, but he's the one who stands out. That entire class gives me nightmares. They're so good at not caring, and at making sure I know how very little they care. Most of them have failed a grade and are too old to be in middle school anyway, but you'd think they would want to get a step closer to graduating. Not so. They're far too busy making sure they never slip up and appear to care about anything. For people who don't care, they sure do work hard at their apathy. They're so united against me it's unreal. It's infuriating. I really don't know what to do with them. They don't work regardless of whether I do, so it's very tempting to just go sit behind my desk and save my breath. The end result would be the same.

On a positive note, things are going fairly well in the other classes. Oh, they can give me nightmares sometimes, but they're infinitely more interested than the class of over aged care-nots, which makes all their bullshit more palatable. They'll work if I break it into small bites and give them chances to move around and do some different activities. They're far more likeable, easier to please, and they like me, which helps. The 7th graders really like me. I think it's because my 7th grade classes are almost all boys and I relate lots of stuff back to football. And because I'm awesome, of course.

Now just let me say one thing about the elections. Are we fuct, or what? On the D side, we've got two of the scariest contenders in the history of man. A scary Muslim-esque guy whose middle name is Hussein and might be the anti-Christ, and Hillary, the socialist. On the R side, we've got a guy who is a huge supporter of NCLB, and will NEVER get us out of Iraq, ever. It's him or a Mormon with perfect hair. I think we need a new party. I'm still thinking about voting for Ron Paul, if only to take a vote away from the establishment.

Monday, February 04, 2008 

Random Thought Whenever

Today when I got home from work, Tim was in a good mood. He was off work, and his goal for the day was to do absolutely nothing. He achieved that goal, and said it was everything he'd hoped it would be, and more. Good for him! I actually felt pride! I left for a couple of hours, and when I came back he was in a pissy mood. I had been gone longer than I expected, and thought that might be the problem. It turned out our dinner was dog food. Sometimes we buy a whole rib-eye and freeze it. I thawed some for tonight, and it was bad. The entire damn rib-eye is bad. About $80 worth of meat, and it's gonna be dog food. Thanks, Corner Market.

Something's up with his motorcycle too. He took it out for a ride only to discover that the speedometer, odometer, and a bunch of other electric stuff isn't working.

Bad ending for a good day, I reckon.

This album is pretty damn good, especially if you're in the right mood for it.

I got bitched at today for not having my lesson plans done on time or the right way or not dotting an i or some shit. Can you tell I'm sweatin' it? Any bets on how long til they write me up for not doing lesson plans The Right Way?

Maybe I'm being careless, but I gotta remember that at the end of the day it's just a job, and that there's other stuff in life. Like motorcycles, and music, and poetry, and websites, and Super Bowls, and sex, and food, and cute babies, and Diet Berry Honey Tea.

I like cornbread. Specifically, I like Mexican style cornbread. With turnip greens.

Tune in next week for a paragraph about why lawn chairs remind me of home.

Sunday, February 03, 2008 

Home Making

Our bedroom and bathroom have been de-uglified. The tassles wallpaper is gone, the teal and green flowers in the bathroom are covered up, and yesterday after a trip to the Bed & Bath place and Target, I completely redecorated it. I feel so....Martha Stewarty. Except in a cool way.

We paid the painter $500 to do the work. We paid about $150 for the paint and primer. I spent $120 on a new comforter set and a pretty picture to hang, plus a few bucks for new light switch covers, etc. I spent another $40ish on bath rugs and other thingies. I plan to spend another $20-30 on a new shower curtain as soon as I find one that looks good and fits a stall shower and doesn't cost $50.

So all total our project should add up to about $800-ish. That's a lot of money, but I think I got at least a thousand dollars' worth of joy out of it last night just lying in bed with the lights on for an hour thinking about how very close to perfect it was, and how nice it is for the tassles to be gone forever.

If we can do the same thing in the rest of the house, this place will be looking good, and will also be much more marketable. It'd be nice to know that we could sell the house if we needed to. Not only are they talking about laying people off, but they already cut out the retirement plans and cut out overtime and almost everyone took a pay cut, so Tim's job is sucking more and looking less secure every day. The next closest hospital is in Jackson or Biloxi, but I doubt he'd be able to do any better there since it's in the same state and will have the same funding issues. The idea of going out of state becomes more appealing every time FGH does something take a little bit of our money away.

Anyway I hope we can paint the hallway and the living room and entry way next. Either that or re-screen the back porch. That's probably the trashiest looking thing around here right now, but it may also be the hardest to fix-- partly because there's a giant hot tub in there. It's got to be moved out before we can re-screen the patio, I think, and I can't see how it ever fit through the door in the first place. It's in the way though. It's pushed up against the wall, so I don't know how you could work with it in there. It also takes up half the space on the patio and I think it would be nicer if it was just empty with some patio furniture and some plants or something. We don't use the hot tub anyway. It works fine but hasn't been filled in about two years because I don't like trying to keep it clean, and it runs the electric bill up. So right now it's basically a giant table where I pile things.

Anyone want to buy a hot tub? And move it?

Friday, February 01, 2008 


I'm a SuperTeacher. You didn't know? I can teach three weeks' worth of new material to unmotivated low achievers in one week while simultaneously reviewing 21 weeks' worth of old material, reteaching and retesting last week's material, and fitting in the required one day of small groups per week and 20 minutes of reading per day.

I can outline every last detail of it on a lesson plan so clearly that a substitute or another teacher could come in and do it exactly as I planned to.

And I can make them LIKE IT!

I can get 3 hours' worth of paperwork done in 45 minutes. In the same 45 minutes, I can call 4 parents and document the details of each phone call, reprint progress reports for 6 students who lost theirs, order a new toner cartridge, file 180 graded students assignments into 80 different student folders, go to the teacher workroom on the other end of campus and scan 80 tests, record 80 test grades in the gradebook--- twice--- once by pen in the paper gradebook, and once in the electronic gradebook because I'm required to do both, submit copies for tomorrow's lessons, write 16 test questions at various depths of knowledge, take a phone call from a counselor to discuss John Doe and mark my calendar for the parent conference we're having tomorrow, fill out behavior modification documents on John Doe and three of his cohorts, look up 80 addresses in the computer and write them onto 80 envelopes, make copies of the 80 letters that are going into the 80 envelopes, stuff the 80 letters into the 80 envelopes, run the envelopes up to the "outgoing mail" basket, file the 80 copies of the letters into the proper student files so I can prove I sent them, erase the answers off the board from the previous class, and get to the doorway and muster a smile before the next class comes. Then I greet them warmly and spend the next two hours appearing to be-- a) not stressed out at all, and b) completely focused on them.

In the English department meeting, I can bite my tongue when I am criticized for not having accomplished 100% of the above during my 45 minute break. I can smile and agree that I am not meeting the expectations of my job. I can smile when it is implied that this means that I don't care about my students, that I may have something negative noted in my evaluation and/or my personnel file, or that my students' lack of achievement is the result of my shortcomings.

When I get home at the end of the day, I turn on the tv and see a politician promising to "raise the bar" on these schools, get rid of lazy educators, and begin paying teachers based on their students' performance.

And none of it gets to me, cause it's just a job after all. And I don't really care anyway, remember?

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