Wednesday, April 30, 2008 

What really burns my ass

This morning I woke up with diarrhea and a sore throat. Fun, fun, and I have to go to work. Shit fire! (Or if you're really country, "shit farr!") I can do both today. YAR!

What really makes it burn worse is the fact that I was owed some comp time that I'm not going to get, and practically the entire department is going to be taking theirs today. So they're sleeping soundly right now while I'm sitting up about to get ready for a day of work and shitting. Since we have to stay until after 5 p.m. for department meetings and that goes pretty far beyond what we are paid for in our contracts, they are supposed to give us compensation time for it. These are days that we can take off after we build up enough hours of credit. Well, the person who is in charge of it said she was going to let us all know how many days we had, but she never did. Correction-- she never let me know. I requested my balance, but never got it. What I did get, a few days later, was an email stating that it was too late to request comp time off. I CALL BULLSHIT!

Maybe I should have been more on it and maybe I should've bugged the hell out of the person, but it's not like I had nothing else to do. And if a person's excuse for not getting something done is "You should've bugged me" then obviously...well...that's just a stupid excuse for not doing something. I doubt it would work if I used it in response to her NEVER ENDING requests of me. "Sorry. You didn't bug me enough." I hardly want to request to be bothered MORE. Anyway, I trusted that if I had earned the time off, I could get it.

I take comfort in the following--

1. She does have to bug me to get stuff. Not because I don't try to do it, but simply because there is so damn much work requested of me by her (and others) that I can't possibly be Johnny-on-the-Spot with it.

2. It's not like I haven't taken my fair share of days off work this year. There were a few times when I woke up with fuckit fever. So whatever.

3. They won't see my happy ass in any more after school meetings this year. No comp time, no meetings.

There are 18 school days remaining, people. Three of those 18 are set aside for state testing. Two are set aside for nine weeks testing, which I plan to make a total mockery of. One is for a fun day. There's also a handful of get-out-of-class-free opportunities on the horizon for awards ceremonies, etc., and the last few days in my room (after testing, of course) will be spent packing up. I think there are approximately 12 actual school days left, but the stress level is higher right now, so it's gonna feel like it takes longer. My voice is less powerful lately. I have to say things three times, and usually have to raise my voice in order to get a response. The kids are just not mentally there.

Last night I had a very vivid dream that a certain female student was eating sunflower seeds and spitting the shells onto the floor right in front of me. I said her name three or four times, and she continued spitting out shells, oblivious to my growing fury. Who knows where that dream came from. Maybe I had it because that exact thing has happened at least a dozen times in the last week. They torture me even in my sleep. That alone should entitle me to some comp time, right?

So yeah. The school year is almost over. But the finish line is on top of a tall, tall hill.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008 

Random Thought Whenever

I fried some chicken tonight. Mmm mmm GOOD.

We have two working toilets now, at a total cost of over $500. &%*T!

I'm pretty sure that not a single one of the students in my 7th period class has a chance of staying out of prison. I'm DEFINITELY sure that I won't shed a tear when they leave for the summer, but I will shed tears if any of them are in my class next year for 8th grade.

My boss is a micro manager.

Please, dear Lord, please let them hire Cool Assistant Principal to replace Micro Manager Principal next year. Please.

If we don't make hotel reservations soon, our San Francisco trip isn't going to happen.

Last night in the "travel" section of Books a Million, Tim almost backed out of San Fran after he read that the big event in June is a gay festival, and that mimes are out in full force in June.

I do agree that both are major negatives.

I wonder if the mimes are gay.

Tim wants to buy a new dining room set before this weekend. We recently bought a bedroom suite, a toilet, and some other pricey stuff, plus Tim's second job is over after May, so this relaxed spending surprises me. We usually try to stop the bleeding after such financial hemorrhaging.

Could Tim be working for the mafia or something?

Maybe he's nesting.

I hope the baby's okay. It sucks not being able to feel it or have anything to reassure you. I'm just sorta taking a guy's word that everything's okay.

I ordered one of those doppler things so I can listen to the heartbeat. I know, I know. Waste of money, blah blah blah. Do you think the doppler waves or whatever will screw the baby up? Even if I do it forty times a day?

We should sell the pool table and make this room into a playroom.

We had a buyer for the hot tub, but couldn't figure out how to make a 35 inch high hot tub fit through a 32 inch wide door.

Any hillbilly husband out there want another hot tub and know how to fit one through a small space?

How about a pool table? Hmm? Any takers?

Surely he's just nesting.

I hope the baby's okay.

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Monday, April 28, 2008 

Toilet or not Toilet? That is the Question.

There are two bathrooms in our house, and both have toilet issues right now. The porcelain base broke on the toilet in the master bathroom. I'm not saying how that happened, but let's just say someone likes to listen to his ipod while he does his business and I guess he got rockin' a little too much. (I kid. I have no idea how it got broken but I'm pretty sure it wasn't because Tim was rockin' and poopin' simultaneously.)

The other toilet has general toilet maintenance issues. You know how the bastards are. Everything's going fine, then one day you notice it takes it fifteen minutes to fill up. The jiggle-the-handle technique works for a few months, then loses its effectiveness. After that, it not only takes a long time to fill, but it makes a high-pitched squealing sound for the last 30 seconds of the filling process. Our response to that was not to fix it. Heavens no. We just stopped flushing it at night so as not to wake one another with the squealing. When the squealing got even worse, we didn't flush it in the day very often. Unflushed toilets are a MAJOR pet peeve of mine, so this was bad enough, but the squealing sound...God I just couldn't take the squealing sound, so I occasionally neglected to flush. I confess. Well one day a friend came over and immediately rushed back to the bathroom, and I was mortified to think of how much old piss might have been in there. My friend didn't say anything, but I couldn't look her in the eye after that. That's when I decided to fix the toilet.

After carefully observing the toilet's innards for a few flushes, I thought I had it figured out. I bought the new part and set about removing the old ones. Everything was going fine at first, but make a long story short, I made it worse. Now the toilet doesn't squeal; it's completely unusable.

And did I mention that my parents are coming down this weekend? Lovely. The plumber is coming tomorrow to install the back toilet and hopefully fix the front toilet.

Did I also fail to mention that we still can't sleep on our brand new kick ass Sealy Posturepedic mattress? Tim is worried that if we sleep on it before they come trade the foundations on Saturday, they'll say they can't take them back because they've been used. So we're still bunking separately in the two extra bedrooms. Thankfully the new foundations will be here Saturday morning and my parents aren't coming until Saturday afternoon, so we won't have to sleep together in a too-soft queen size bed. We can leave that to the old folks.

Nineteen school days left.


Sunday, April 27, 2008 


Twenty school days left. Three of those will be for testing, and one of them will be May Day, which is a big old hurrah that we're giving the kids the day after testing is done. There will pretty much be no more teaching required once testing is over. I have no idea what I'll do with them for the three or four school days that remain after that. Perhaps we'll eat my world famous brownies and have a poetry cafe like we did before Christmas. They've been asking me to make brownies again, so I'm going to do that the last week. Maybe I'll get them to write what they plan to do this summer and let them read that to each other. It would be nice to take them outside some. Maybe we can sit on the patio and read. Hopefully we'll finish the books we're reading-- Living Up the Street by Gary Soto for one group and Orphan Train Rider : One Boy's True Story by Andrea Warren for another.

Orphan Train Rider is holding their attention better than I imagined it would. I've been surprised to find that nonfiction tends to fascinate them more than fiction. I think it's because fictional books tend to take a little longer to get into the meat of what's going on, and they get bored before they make it through the setup stuff. (That's an official literary term, by the way. Setup stuff.) With nonfiction it usually jumps right in. Plus they really like to talk about people more than anything else, so Orphan Train Rider hits the spot. It also gives me the chance to fill their brains with little non-English related nuggets of knowledge. Even if you're not an 8th grader with an aversion to reading, you should read it. It's very interesting; I'm learning all kinds of things I didn't know.

The other group likes Living Up the Street because it contains story after story about how these mean ass little Mexican children tortured each other, their neighbors, and generally raised hell in their working class neighborhood. It's set in the 1950's, so I have to explain some things to my PlayStation addict students, but I think they can relate to the pure meanness of the characters. (Actually, it's more nonfiction. Soto's autobiographical narratives of mean things he and his siblings did as children.) We're only about half way through this one.

They brought me a new kid Friday. Can you believe that? A new kid with three weeks of school left. Why BOTHER?? I got another one just a week or two ago, but she was here before but disappeared after Christmas. She's in foster care, and they constantly move those kids around. The other new kid isn't in foster care-- or at least nobody's told me so yet. I think he's a good kid. Sometimes they seem that way when they first arrive, but their true colors come out as soon as they get comfortable.

Twenty school days.

Saturday, April 26, 2008 

Pregnancy dreams, retail therapy

Pregnancy dreams are weird. Last night they were really unpleasant. First, I had a miscarriage. Then there were some more vague dreams, and the only thing I can remember is that bad things were happening. This afternoon I was in dire need of a nap and didn't set the alarm, so I slept for over three hours. Three dream filled hours during which I attended a huge party complete with grilled steaks, a giant swimming pool, a basketball game, and a mariachi band entertaining me while I drank margaritas. Great dream, right? Keep readin'. After the party I murdered someone --possibly Tim-- by squeezing his head off with some kind of outer space looking implement, and then got sucked into an alien spaceship owned by NBC and American liberals who were taking over the country by using the media to brainwash people.

Another dream was about me missing work and not calling in. My dad was working (he's a truck driver) and I decided to go with him for some reason. We left at 5:00 a.m. and it was too early to call in to work. Once in the truck, I fell asleep. When I woke up at 11:30 I realized I had missed the window for calling in to work. I called my boss and explained it, and she was super understanding about it. (Rrrright.) It's not surprising that I'd have a dream about missing work. It's surprising that even my dreams are about sleeping.

Anyway, now that my nap is over, I could use some sleep.

I did get a few things done before my three hour nap. Haverty's delivered our bed and nightstand this morning. The dresser has to wait until next weekend for some reason, but I was up at the crack of 7:30 to meet the delivery men. At 7:45 they told us they'd be here in 20 minutes, and an hour later they arrived. Once the bed was set up, we realized that we would need a step ladder or an elevator to get up onto it, so we called the salesman back and asked if we could trade the regular foundation for the low profile kind. That takes four inches off the height of the bed. The salesman said they'd do it, so the new foundation is coming with the dresser in a week.

After the furniture guys were gone, I headed to the other end of town to get a haircut. The gayish guy who cut my hair last time was working, so I requested him, and one of the less-than-busy ladies got pissy with me about it. Whatever. My hair looks great. Or at least better than it did. Once my hair was kickin' ass, I went to JC Penney to buy a comforter set that was on sale. Almost all my bedding is queen size, and the new bed is a king. Retail therapy. It's a beautiful thing.

Friday, April 25, 2008 

Why giving out progress reports is a drag: One teacher's quest to not have her intelligence insulted every 9 weeks

The parents are coming! The parents are coming! Okay, so are the progress reports, but..but.. the parents are coming!!!

Mom mentioned a few weeks ago that they might be coming down "sometime in May." My dad's got a work thing in Meridian, and they're going to come down here after that's over and spend the night. Tonight I talked to my dad, and it's a good thing I called because he said it's actually May 2nd, which is next weekend. As in one week from today.

I was thinking it would be after I was done with work. Stupid of me, obviously, since work ends May 23 and they said "Sometime in May." Odds are I would still be working, huh? I guess to teachers the word "May" just evokes all kinds of positive imagery. Even though it's probably the hardest month of work, what with the testing and the paperwork and the calling of parents who have been oblivious until now and the packing up of the room and the restless students and increased number of office referrals.

Moving out of my classroom for the summer will not be unlike moving out of a dorm room for the summer. I've got a lot of stuff in there, including a mini fridge. A mini fridge that I traded a watch for during my first semester of juco in 1997. I didn't go to class much, so I didn't need the watch. The mini fridge has served me for 11 years and counting. So you tell me which was the better deal. Hmmmmmmm??

Anyway my point is that it's busy at work now. Busy busy. I've actually had to work nonstop during my planning periods, which is something I routinely avoid, and I'm still not getting it done.

I gave out the last progress reports of the year today. They were due to go out yesterday, but I intentionally put them off so that I could have time to grade their most recent tests, which they failed. I wanted those horrible scores to be included so the progress report would reflect a lower, more realistic average than if I just tallied up all their daily grades. The last thing I need is pissed off mommas coming up here on the last day of school demanding to know how their angels could have failed when they had a B or a C at mid term.

Giving out progress reports is not fun. I hate it. Let me tell you why.

When I give an assignment, several people invariably decide not to worry about it. This is particularly true of homework. There have been many, many times when I took up a homework assignment and only got it back from 3 kids in a class of 18. It goes something like this:

Okay so are there any other questions about the bell ringer? Good. Now please pass it in and then take out your homework.

What homework?!?!? (OUTRAGED!)

Yeah what homework?!

That woman dint give us no homework!

[sigh] You were supposed to write two cause and effect sentences.

[blank stares] Oh I ain't do it.
I left mines in my math room.
Mine's in my binder somewhere but I can't find it.
Mine is on my auntie's computer because I left my jump drive there.
Mine's in my little brother's folder.
What are cause and effect sentences??

Pass it in, or don't. It's due. If you don't have it, please sign a sheet of paper saying why you don't have it.
Can I bring it tomorrow?
What's the policy that we've used all year?
I can bring it tomorrow but not after tomorrow.
Okay then. Any other questions?

So I preach. I warn them that if it's not turned in the following day, it's a zero. I explain to them, for the nine millionth time, that homework is designed to prepare them for tests and other things they need to be ready for. I remind them that a zero is extremely difficult to overcome. I beg. I plead. I warn. Then the next day I usually ask them about it (but not always.) "Johnny, do you have that homework from yesterday?" "What homework?" "Cause and effect sentences." "Oh. No." "Okay, well it's a zero then."

Fast forward to progress report day. I stand in front of the room, reports in hand, and give the following speech:

I'm going to give you your progress reports. If you feel that there is a problem with one of your grades, please keep it to yourself for now. You can come to me during a break or before school and we will take a look at it.

So I hand them out. And every. time. the. same. kids. insist. that I am on some kind of mission to replace their well-earned 100's with zeros. They would be honor roll students if only they could figure out a way to prove that I am sabotaging them!

Mrs. Ann! What's this assignment? (pointing to a zero.)
That's the cause and effect sentences you were supposed to do for homework on March 14th.
[blank stare] Cause and effect sentences?
Oh! I did that!
Really? Cause two seconds ago you didn't know what I was talking about.
Yeah but I did it and I turned it in to you!
No you didn't. [Thinking but not saying]: You couldn't write two cause and effect sentences right now if I told you to, cause you've never done it and didn't pay attention in class when I talked about it.
[smacking lips and twisting around all frustrated like] I know I did!

Now, I used to get nervous when this would happen. I would think Shit what if I lost that kid's homework! I can't remember if he did it! Maybe he did do it and turn it in and I never graded it! I would promise to "double check" and make sure I didn't have it. No more. If I show any doubt whatsoever, it only gives them more steam for their "I swear to God I did it" lie. NOW the response is like this:

No, you didn't. Just admit it. You didn't. I begged you, warned you, reminded you, and you didn't do it.
Yes, I--
End of discussion.

Maybe for dramatic effect I go to the board and write one or more of the following:

Cause and effect examples:

1. If you don't do your homework, you don't get a grade.
2. Because Sally didn't do her homework, she received a grade of zero.
3. Johnny didn't listen in class, so he didn't know he had homework. Since he didn't know he had homework, he got a zero.
4. Jack is not very mature, so he can not accept blame for his own actions. 5. Since Jack can't accept responsibility for his actions, he blames his problems on his teacher.

Of course you draw arrows to the causes and write "CAUSE" and arrows to the effects and write "EFFECTS." Cause I'm a bitch like that. You know, when I'm not busy chasing down fat white rabbits.

Those sheets of paper I make them sign explaining why their homework is not done would be nice to have in hand for those yes I did no you didn't yes I did no you didn't chats, but I never can get them filed. I've got a pile of student work three feet high that probably isn't going to make it into their folders at all. I will have to fix my filing problem next year, but I don't know how.

And that is why giving out progress reports is a drag.



Bedroom Shuffle, Expensive Things Come in Threes, School Day Countdown

There are three bedrooms in this house, and I can't decide which one to make a nursery out of. I do have the urge to nest, don't get me wrong, but in the back of my mind I kinda think nurseries are stupid. I mean, is the baby really gonna stay in one room every night, or is it more likely that I'll have one of those rolling bassinet things and try to keep him/her near me for a while? And does the kid care what his/her room looks like?

Now that we bought a new bed, the two extra bedrooms have queen size beds in them. We also have three dressers-- a big one my mom gave me, which is looking rough, and two pieces of what I like to call Tim's bachelor furniture. They're small, and one of them came from the unfinished furniture place. (I plan to finish that one and make it Little Wendol's.) So if you have a queen bed, a dresser, and a nightstand in a bedroom, can it still be a nursery? We're not talking about huge rooms here. My husband is not a mansion building hillbilly, and I've come to accept that. Sorta. Anyway the front bedroom is actually kinda small now that I'm sitting in it with all the furniture. It reminds me of my room at my parents' house, sorta. It's the front bedroom, and the smallest. But it doesn't suck like my room at home because the bathroom (and rest of the house, including kitchen and living room) is not right outside the door. It has the three things I just mentioned, plus my cedar trunk and a little stand with a record player and some records. So it's kinda full. It might work as a baby room if I move the cedar trunk to another room, but I like the cedar trunk. It smells good, and my uncle from Missouri made it for me when I was 16. I didn't get it until I was in my 20's though because nobody with a vehicle large enough to load it would go up there and get it for me. When it finally got moved down here it stayed at my mom's house, where she stored quilts in it, until about three months ago. So I really didn't get it until then.

The second bedroom will have more room once I arrange it correctly, and it's bigger. But it's the one I stripped the wallpaper out of and painted about a year ago. That color? Let's just say everyone makes mistakes and leave it at that, shall we? I think it would've been okay in a different room, maybe, but that room is toward the back, on the northeast side where the sun comes through early in the morning but no other time, and there are lots of trees outside the window. No sunlight gets in. It's dahk. Dahk and cool. That's why Tim likes to sleep in there. Cause he's a bat. If I could paint the room a lighter color, it would be the nursery, but I don't want to paint it and Tim grimaces every time I mention paying my paintbrush slinging friend to do it. She charged $200 to do our bedroom, but she had to do lots of prep work in that room. I'm thinking she oughta do this room for $150. There's no prep work. She could just slap the paint up and be done. It would take her a day whereas it would take me three, raise my blood pressure, and probably not look as good. Plus I'd inhale fumes and Little Wendol would get high. I don't want my kids to get high until they're at least 15. That's when Mommy started.

Anyway today I have to be ready to leave for work almost an hour earlier than normal because I have to drive Tim to pick up his truck from one shop, take it to another shop on the other side of town, and then drive him home. Thank goodness gas is only $3.57 a gallon.

Everything expensive happens at once around here. I haven't even mentioned the toilet crisis, have I? One toilet has to be replaced, and the other has to be worked on by a plumber because I tried to fix it and failed miserably. The truck's radiator has to be replaced, and Tim decided now is the perfect time to fix the a/c, which is gonna be $850. We just spent several thousand dollars on new furniture. A carpenter has been hired to fix some problems with the back of the house and the shop, at the cost of a couple grand. Let's see...what else? Oh yeah there's a baby on the way so we already owe the hospital a cheekload of nuts, and that's just the beginning of what they're gonna want. They won't even let you go to deliver if you haven't paid something like $500. I guess if you go into labor and show up they sew it shut until you can come up with the cash. That or turn you away and make you go to the county hospital, where they don't make you pay up front and the Mexicans and other non-taxpayers get all the free health care they want.

Three weeks of school left, and then I'll be one step closer to achieving my dream of doing nothing. Of course, the kids might finish me off before then. It's been rough. The sunshine and warm weather have that effect on them. I haven't been called a fat white rabbit fucker yet, but I have been called a bitch once and told to fuck off twice.

Teaching. A rewarding career. Uh huh.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008 

Turnover. And I don't mean fruit.

None of the English teachers are planning on coming back next year. There are about eight of us in the department not counting inclusion teachers. Of those eight, I know for a fact that six do not plan on returning. So maybe two people are staying, or planning to stay. I am one of the two, and the other hasn't said a word about what she plans to do.

I think everyone has at least sought out other opportunities, myself included. I wasn't dying to leave, but then the last month was HELL, and I kept hearing about another possibility, so I applied. When there are 4 positions opening up at the dream school half a mile from your house, you just have to apply. My application probably didn't make it to the principal's desk. He certainly didn't return my phone calls or my email. The word on the street is that they don't even consider applications from teachers with fewer than 5 years of experience, but I'm thinking the retirement of so many of the older teachers combined with the lack of new graduates has to hit even Dream High eventually, and maybe they won't be so picky.

The person I know who works there now told me I should keep calling the principal, but I'm pretty much over it. It's hard to explain, but I just don't feel that it's the right time for a change. Yes, my job is harder than it has to be and that's largely because of where I work. But sometimes you just have to deal with some bullshit for longer than you want. I need to demonstrate some stability since I've not held a job for longer than a year. And I'm pregnant anyway so even if I got the job I'd be out for so much of next year that I wouldn't get to establish myself-- and I'm hoping to take the following year off completely to raise Little Wendol through his/her first year or so. Besides, lots of things are changing at my current school. The principal's leaving, my favorite assistant principal might get the head principal job, and they're moving from a departmentalized model to a middle school model, which will bring some much needed changes. And I MIGHT get to teach one of the higher levels of English next year, especially if all those other teachers really do leave. I think I would be a little less stressed if I had a classroom full of over achievers instead of their polar opposites, who I have to remind to breathe in and out, as Hillbilly Mom likes to say of her boys.

Monday, April 21, 2008 

Stupid Cats and Salesmen

My alarm wasn't set to go off until 6:00 today. I have a doctor's appointment at 7:50, and that would be plenty of time for me. Besides, after weekends (especially weekends that Tim has been home) I usually need an extra half hour or so to sleep on Monday. So imagine my disgust when I woke up at 3:45 a.m. I'm not sure whether I woke up because I had to pee, or if I woke up because Pookie was throwing a shit fit, but the point is that I woke up.

I tried to go back to sleep, but the little devil was demanding my attention, so I got up and fed him. After he ate he came back to the bed and continued to meow, then he jumped up here with me and started moving around the bed. He would find a place to curl up, and then he would start his loud paw sucking routine, then get up and move to another part of the bed and start the process over. I'm used to the paw sucking, as sick as it is, but when it is interspersed with meowing fits and moving around, it becomes too much. It really became too much when he decided that he needed to set up camp on top of me. I sorta rolled him off me, and then he decided he needed to be on my pillow. I finally lost it and screamed and swatted at him, and he went to the floor for a while and he got quiet. So I've found the way to shut him up-- scream and swat. (I should've known. It works well with the students.)

Unfortunately, perhaps because of the mattress I'm sleeping on, I couldn't fall back asleep. Lately I have been waking up with back pain. It's like I've slept with a softball pressing into the very center of my back, right between the shoulder blades, and it hurts to turn my head or move my arms. No position relieves it. The only remedy is to go get in the other bed with Tim, but then he suffers because I apparently saw logs like no other woman in the history of womankind.

Within five minutes of running Pookie out of the bed, my nose was completely clogged so that I couldn't breathe. Great. That's what happens when he tries to sleep on my pillow. Bastard. I laid there hating him for some time, tossed and turned and got a new pillow case, and then I finally fell back asleep after about an hour of lying in bed awake. An hour later, at 5:20, he was at it again with the meowing and the moving around on the bed. I got up and grabbed him and carried him to the door and as soon as I got it open, I tossed his ass out. And in came Millay, the multi colored devil. The multi colored devil who shat in our closet. Did I not blog about that? Well she did shit in the closet of the empty bedroom, and she pissed too, multiple times, when there was a perfectly good litter box available for her shitting pleasure.

Her presence outside the door is no doubt what had Pookie in crazy mode all night. He loathes her. And I have taken Pookie's side now that she crossed the line and took a shit in the closet for no good reason other than she wanted to be unpleasant. She's no longer allowed inside at all, so I grabbed her and threw her out right on top of Pookie. There. BOTH are banished!

Of course there was no point in going back to bed considering that it was 5:30 by that time, so here I am, blogging about cats at 5:45 in the morning. I love little Pookie when he acts right, but I could wring his furry little neck on mornings like these. Damn him, waking me up at 3:45! Let him try that shit when I've got a newborn baby in the house. I bet it doesn't take me nearly as long to get up and throw his ass outside.

Moving on to non-cat blogging. (Hey it's still only 6:04. I've got time to tell you about ALL the non exciting things happening in my life.)

We bought a bedroom suite yesterday. First we went back to Ashley's, which was the cheaper of the two places. My dad used to work in a furniture factory (something I didn't know until I called him yesterday for advice) and he gave us a few pointers on things to look for in regards to signs of well made stuff, so we returned feeling like we had some information.

The stuff at Ashley's just flat out didn't pass the test, but more importantly, the sales people there don't know how to act. As soon as we walked in the door, a saleslady jumped on us and didn't let go. She was oh so very annoying. Even though we walked away from her several times and told her we would come find her if we had any questions, she didn't back off the whole time we were in there. She was like a fly in my ear. I know these folks work on commission and are hungry for sales, but there is a right way and a wrong way to approach potential customers. She did it the wrong way. Nothing will put a bad taste in my mouth quicker than a pushy sales person. Tim is completely intolerant of them. He won't deal with them on any level. I tried to be polite to the lady, but after half an hour of being hounded and having her fail to pick up on the fact that we wanted to talk alone, Tim got frustrated and walked out of the store.

We drove around looking for another furniture store, but went back to Haverty's again. We wanted that mattress for sure, and we thought we would look around at their furniture a while since we'd had our fill of Ashley's. After walking around the store once, we found the clearance room in the back. As soon as we walked in, Tim spied the exact same mattress as the one we had already mentally committed to, except this one was marked down from $1,500 to $1,100. It had a quarter-sized smudge of dirt on top of it, and the original buyer had rejected it for that reason. We told them to put a "sold" sign on it.

I think my feelings can best be expressed by the following video.

We settled on a bedroom suite too. We paid for it, but I think we got some good stuff. It'll be here Saturday, along with the mattress set. I can't wait. Maybe the softball between my shoulder blades will disappear after I get a new mattress.

After we bought the stuff at Haverty's, Tim said he wanted to call the lady at Ashley's back and tell her she missed out on a $4,000 sale because she didn't know how to take a hint. I told him not to do that. After all, it would be much more mature to blog about her and use her real name.

Better luck next time, Donna.

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Sunday, April 20, 2008 

Five-hundred-dollar elephants

Yesterday Tim and I went to several furniture stores in search of a new bedroom. We need the whole nine yards-- bed, mattress set, dresser, etc. Why does this kind of thing have to be so damn expensive?

If you've ever walked through a furniture store you know that they sell not only furniture, but also every sort of overpriced decoration you can imagine. Why does every furniture place in town have giant elephant statues?? You can have your very own elephant statue for a mere $550. They are found in every corner of every furniture store we've been in, and for us the five-hundred-dollar elephants have become sort of symbolic of what a scam the entire industry is.

We couldn't find a bedroom suite that we thought was worth the money, so we decided to pick out the mattress first. The mattress business is a big fat racket. They have so much mumbo jumbo and imaginary science that they throw at you it's unreal. Coil counts, spring gauges, memory foam-- all of that stuff is 98% bullshit. And the stuff is over priced beyond belief. There is no way it has ever cost a company anywhere near $1,000 to manufacture any mattress set anywhere, yet there are sets on the floor priced at $6,000 and above. Ridiculous!!!!! I guess if you're one of those people who believes you're sleeping on something NASA created, and you have more money than common sense, you may be sleeping on a $6,000 mattress. Correction-- a mattress that you paid $6,000 for. There is no such thing as a $6,000 mattress.

Anyway, at the first place we looked I found one that I kind of liked, but it cost $1,500, and I thought that was repugnant. REPUGNANT I SAY! Of course I also had in the back of my mind that we are also going to be spending another several thousand on top of this purchase for the bedroom suite, so when the sign says $1,500 I am actually seeing something like $3,500 or $4,500. Make it stop!

Tim started sweating like a whore in church.

We scoffed at the fifteen hundred dollar mattress and moved on to another store: the Serta Mattress Direct store. There were two sales people on duty. One was a 20 something year old redhead who was six months pregnant. She instantly latched onto us and started following us around giving us the thickest line of bull I've ever heard. High pressure. Exactly the sort of thing that makes me not want to buy from a person. When someone latches onto my ankle like a pissed off Pomeranian, my first instinct is to kick them off and grab the nearest stick to keep them off until I can back out of the nearest exit. I suppose the latch on and don't let go sales approach works if you're dealing with shoppers who don't want to be rude or don't know how to say no. I finally had to tell the redheaded Pomeranian that we were going to discuss it and would get back with her. I thought her eyes were going to pop out of her head.

There wasn't a mattress in the place for under $1,500. I did lie on a mattress there that I liked-- no, loved. While I was on it the girl was giving her speech about coils and springs, and I think I dozed off. It was lovely. And it should be, for $1,700. I wanted it bad, but Tim said the price tag was at least partially due to the fact that it had the name "Vera Wang" stitched onto it, and we could probably find the same mattress elsewhere for less money. So we moved on.

At Haverty's we did in fact find what I believe is the same mattress, and this one costs $1,500. So we're back to the magic number of $1,500, and it was suddenly looking pretty good. I think we've settled on which mattress set to buy, but we still haven't found a bedroom suite to put the mattress in.

We were tired of looking yesterday, so we came home. Today we will go back and buy the mattress set we agreed on, and look again at the bedroom furniture at Ashley's and Haverty's. The stuff at Haverty's is more expensive, but appears to be higher quality. Does anyone out there know if this is true? We wouldn't mind paying more if we believed it was really going to last.

I gotta get in the shower so we can go to church. Maybe if we get our souls right God will protect us from the vultures at the furniture store.

Friday, April 18, 2008 


Y'all better be alert in Memphis today. That's got to be the same fault line as the one they've been talking about for years, and how many times have you heard about a small earthquake happening right before a huge one? Might not be the day to go rock wall climbing, is all I'm saying.

5.2-Magnitude Earthquake Rocks Illinois; Felt 450 Miles Away

Thursday, April 17, 2008 

Blog post about blogging

Well, day before yesterday I made my 500th post on this latest incarnation of DeadpanAnn. I've been thinking about making another change. It went from the original DeadpanAnn to Mean Teacher then back to DPA again. I don't think I've ever been as happy with it as I was with the very first incarnation. Of course, I put a lot more time into it back then. It's easier to have a bitchin' blog when you're living in your mom's basement looking for a job.

I don't really want to be a mommy blog, but what else am I likely to write about for the next, oh I dunno, rest of my life-- but especially the next year to two years. I mean damn. I got some major blog mileage out of job hunts, interviews, fights with my parents, my year in Yazoo Shitty, teaching in a cotton field, and getting married. I'm about to push another human being out of my body. How can every post from this September forward not be about pregnancy, birth, and having a little baby? How can it not?? And when there's no longer a little baby, there will be a little kid that has half my chromosomes. My God. It's GONNA be a mommy blog.

I hope it's a good one. Anyway, I guess this just got me thinking. Maybe a new look and a new name are in order-- a new address too, perhaps. Maybe I'll wait a while, but I'm just giving you some warning that I've got the itch.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008 

Nothing Like the Real Thing

Why is it that my favorite dry erase marker can survive weeks and weeks of use in my classroom, but if I'm gone for one day it suddenly dries up? I could ask the same question about all the good magazines and the magnetic checkerboard that I provide, except that those don't dry up. The magazines shed their covers and migrate to the floor, where they are trampled upon until I return and throw them away out of sheer frustration. The magnetic checkerboard? Lidless. I didn't even bother to check if the checkers were all still with us.

The same substitute that oversaw the apparent chaos had the nerve to leave me a long, long note to tell me how she so enjoyed my classes and everyone did what they were supposed to do.

Note to subs: The teacher who spends 8 hours a day in that classroom is going to be have a rough idea of what took place while she was gone. It only takes about four seconds. By the time I take my key out of the lock and shut the door behind me upon returning, I know. Your note insults my teacher sense.

Now, a moment of silence for my purple dry erase marker.

Sunday, April 13, 2008 


What amazes me about huge families like the Duggars and the Healys, who breed faster than rabbits, is not that they would want to take care of 15, 16, 17 children, but that they would want to stay pregnant for eternity. If you have 17 kids, do you still have a vagina? Furthermore, how can you possibly make baby #17 without your husband falling in and never coming out again? You can't tell me your shit wouldn't be stretched out.

Being pregnant kinda sucks. My face is broken out, my hair is stringy, my leg hair is growing like someone put Miracle Gro in the bathwater, I have to pee several times a night, my fat clothes are getting tight. On top of that, I know this is just the beginning. I'm only 3 months pregnant so I can just imagine what fun things are going to be happening 6 months from now. It amazes me that people choose to do this two or three times. Seventeen times? Shit no!

Besides, the more kids you have, the higher the chance you're gonna have one that it's hard to love.


Thursday, April 10, 2008 

The cafeteria lady is trying to poison me.

Several notable things have happened to me in the last few days.

First, and funniest, is the fact that I got screamed at by a cafeteria lady who perceived me to be a dire threat to the orderly flow of humans through the food line.

Actually, she's the crazy alcoholic mother of one of the geniuses in my first period class. Genius Girl has been failing since the first day of school. Genius Girl's current average ON THE YEAR is in the 50's. Genius Girl? Cares not. She's already failed a few times, and is about 15 years old. You couldn't hold a gun on this kid and get her to do any work.

Yes, I tried to contact Alky Momma-- many times, in fact. The number in the computer was disconnected. Letters were not responded to. Progress reports were not signed and returned, and 3 report cards with F's failed to bring Alky Momma out of hiding. The ones who even pretend to give a damn usually at least fake their way through a phone call or a conference once an official F has been received. The ones who don't? Well, we figure they're the true deadbeats. And there are plenty of them, so it really doesn't stand out, so I didn't worry myself too much over whether this woman was going to make herself available.

Then on Halloween night I chaperoned the middle school dance. A.M. showed up to pick up Genius Girl, and she was sloppy drunk and cussing. It was so bad that a few deputies said something to her. I asked them why they didn't arrest her-- not only did she stomp her way through a crowd of 13 and 14 year olds (and cops) cussing and screaming and stinking of liquor, but she was clearly wasted and about to drive off with Genius Girl in the car. They said there was no room in the county jail. Anyway, that was the first time I met Alky Momma. She didn't resurface again until she got her shiny new job at the school cafeteria.

As soon as she started working there, she started bugging me. Genius Girl goes to her during the day when teachers piss her off. I've been confronted by A.M. a few times-- once it was because I didn't let the girl leave class when she claimed to be sick but clearly had a case of English Test. Another time, I was guilty of not letting her leave class when her glasses broke. Sorry-- I didn't know there was an optometrist's office located in the cafeteria. And the glasses were just as broken when the bell rang to end my class as they were when the girl asked to leave. We're not supposed to let kids roam campus with bullshit excuses, and I don't. I don't care if their mothers are on campus. A bullshit excuse is a bullshit excuse, and if I DO let kids out with them, *I* get called on it. (Hurray again for the teachers being the only people held accountable for anything.)

Anyway, A.M. occasionally calls the counselor to bitch about me, and the counselor responds by saying she'd be glad to arrange a conference. A.M. schedules the conference, then doesn't show up. This has happened twice in the last month. One time she called my room directly to bitch about something and I told her to call and schedule a conference. She did. And she canceled. So you see a pattern emerging.

I honestly haven't done anything to earn the harassment I'm getting from this psycho woman. I suspect she has some kill whitey doctrine somewhere in her personal philosophy, but I could be wrong. She just seems to think I'm out to get her and her child. Some of the kids really play the race card when they get in trouble with white teachers. Their parents often times have a lingering suspicion in the back of their minds about you, and a complaint from a child can bring that suspicion to the forefront. Not every parent brings that baggage to the table, but it's another trap in the minefield that I have to tiptoe through daily. You don't always know that's part of it until you've had multiple contacts with a person, but it's often a factor.

So now that I've given you a whole post worth of background info, let's go back to the story. Alky Momma works in the cafeteria. There are two lines that kids go through to get their food. Lucky for me, A.M. has never worked on the line we go through. Yesterday was hamburger day. I got my hamburger, and then realized they were out of the little plastic cups of lettuce and tomato. The lady at the register suggested I go to the other line to get some, so I did. Well, there stood A.M. behind the counter, bloodshot eyes and all. As soon as she saw me, her face went sour. I said, "They're out of lettuce over there," as I reached up with my greedy fingers to snatch a cup of forbidden lettuce. Well, A.M. freaked the hell out. She was holding a tray in her hands, and she slammed it down on the counter and began screaming at the top of her lungs: You didn't even come through this line! You ain't pose ta come in heah and get nothin and you know it!"

She was still screaming as she walked away to the kitchen. I was taken by surprise. Can't say that I've ever been screamed at by an angry cafeteria lady. Over four shreds of lettuce and a see-through slice of tomato. That I paid for. Anyway, I just mumbled something like, "You could report me, I guess" and quickly got my forbidden vegetable and went to eat my forbidden hamburger.

The kids aren't allowed to go through different lines to get things, but teachers? C'mon. If she says anything else to me, I think I'll tell her I'm not one of the kids and she can file a formal complaint with the front office if my lust for lettuce is really disrupting the lunch line.

Never a dull moment, people. Never a dull moment.

Here's the best part-- today when I went through my usual line that she usually doesn't work in-- SHE WAS WORKING IN THAT LINE. For the first time ever. I always greet the non-bitch cafeteria lady who usually works in my line, so I said, "How are y'all today" as I went in. She didn't speak to me. She reached down to the counter and picked up a tray of food that had been prepared beforehand, and set it up on the line as I walked up. I shit you not.

I cautiously made my way past the tray of poison pasta and opted for a pre-made salad. Think I'll take my lunch tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008 


I see two more people have voted in the boy or girl poll. Only one vote cast for girl so far. Good to know. Good to know. Since my mom now owns more blue outfits than...than...the Union Army...we're either gonna have one very well dressed little boy or a hell of an Ebay auction followed by a scramble for pink clothing.

The (possibly inaccurate) Civil War reference is a result of my vacation planning. Remember last year when Tim and I were looking for places to go? We were thinking a cabin somewhere near a lake. I was thinking peaceful, serene surroundings with a place to fish. Tim, on the other hand, was thinking I don't know what to do, I don't know where to go, I can't make a decision! Soooooo we ended up foregoing the peaceful, serene cabin by a lake and settling-- SETTLING I SAY for 4 days in a condo with my family. Six adults. Two kids. Two bedrooms. Not an ideal vacation-- I don't give a damn how close you are to the beach, umkay?

This year, it will be different. This will be the one and only chance we will have to do this right. It may be years-- maybe many years-- before we ever have another chance to take a vacation together. Alone. Oh, we're goin' somewhere. Come hell or high water, we're goin' somefreakinwhere. I told Tim that if he doesn't make a decision this time, I'm booking something, anything, and we're going, period. He says he wants to go during June, but still hasn't spoken up about where we're going. Hello? June is a mere 6 weeks from now. Or is it 7? Either way. Tick tock.

I'm thinking we'll start out in Williamsburg, VA, and make our way around to a few different destinations within the state. Lots of historical stuff.

Thirty three school days left. Thirty two if you don't count the one professional development day. Apparently they need to develop us professionally just before half the faculty leaves never to return, cause that's what's about to happen.

Monday, April 07, 2008 

Random Thought Whenever: Dogs, carcasses, and cats. But mostly cats.

If there's a dead possum within 6 miles, our dogs will find it and bring it back to the yard, even though doing so means that they have to go through the shocker fence--twice. Having retrieved said possum carcass, they will roll in it. Resistance is futile. Embrace the stench.

A possum carcass takes a really long time to completely rot.

A human needs only come within a few feet of a dog who has rolled in a possum carcass to absorb the stench. It doesn't fade away with a simple hand wash. A full shower is required. Shaving helps.

Bret Michaels is creepy.

I love The Soup.

Pookie has tapeworms. The thought of tapeworms makes me gag. If I see a tapeworm, I am unable to swallow my own saliva for hours.

I can see all of the veins in my stomach.

My vagina is perfect. I just thought I'd like to say that out loud while I still can, since there's basically a time bomb strapped to it.

American Idol isn't entertaining anymore, dog.

When the vet gives you a pill to give the cat for tapeworms, they recommend that you open the capsule and sprinkle the powder onto the cat's favorite food. Pookie decided he wasn't hungry when I did this-- and Millay, who we were certain was dead since she hasn't shown up in almost a month, decided it was the perfect time to slip in the back door and eat Pookie's food. So Millay has now been wormed.

They give you 2 pills to kill the worms-- 1 for now, and 1 for in two weeks, to kill any eggs. Considering that this pill dodge was Pookie's second in less than 24 hours (yeah, the same thing happened twice-- once yesterday with roundworm medicine and once today with tapeworm medicine-- Pookie walked away from it and Millay swooped in, so Millay won't have any worms for, like, ever) I had to be very careful what I did with the final dose. So I waited until he yawned, tossed it into the back of his mouth, and held his mouth shut until he swallowed. Victory!

Now I gotta go back and get another pill to give him in 2 weeks. May as well get one for Millay too. For all I know she may have needed it. It's not like she lives here anymore. I'm thinking of putting a collar on that gal so the old lady who must be feeding her will realize that she's someone's cat. But it's saving on cat food, and Pookie's happier when she's gone, so...

My mother has bought a closet full of boy clothes.

Why do Jay-Z and Beyonce deserve to have 60,000 rare orchids hand-picked and shipped from Thailand for their wedding?

Nothing makes you look stupider than wearing your hat sideways. Dog.

Tibet needs to fight back already. Or shut up.

I've been watching too much t.v. today. Watching too much t.v. is more fun than work.

Almost no comments in three days. You suck!



This morning's visit was uneventful, as promised. They tried to hear the heartbeat, but couldn't. He told me repeatedly that it wasn't a sign of any problem and that it's unusual to be able to hear it with a doppler this early. He said if he can't find it 2 weeks from now, he'll be concerned. Instead of waiting 4 weeks for my next appointment, he's letting me come back in 2 weeks to try again. He probably knew I'd spend the next 4 weeks worrying.

They also went over the payment plan with me. Thank goodness for insurance. This is going to cost us somewhere between $1500 and $2000 out of pocket. Without insurance it would be $10,000-15,000.

I've gained 4 pounds. Oh, and I don't have HIV or chlamydia. So that's good to know.

I'm sitting on the couch today watching cheesetastic 80's movies. I just watched Charles Bronson shoot a guy with a rocket launcher from like 20 feet away because he shot his gal. And now the sequel's coming on.

Sunday, April 06, 2008 

Think blue, think blue, think blue, think blue...

My next appointment is in the morning, super early. I'll miss most of 1st period. I'm sure the kids are as heartbroken about it as I am. Of course half the class is suspended for quite a while after last week's still makes me sick to think about it. Especially after I went back the next day and found out what started the whole thing. To sum it up: NOTHING. I can respect a good fight if it's worth it. But knocking each other's teeth out over nothing is just stupidity at its finest.

Anyway, a friend tells me that most of the doctor visits between now and month 7 are uneventful. I'm at 10 weeks, so they may or may not be able to find the heartbeat on a doppler radar thing, and there's almost no chance of another ultrasound, which is (in my opinion) the ONLY fun thing about going to the OB. I'm going to ask him when is the soonest they can possibly determine the sex, and then insist on another ultrasound when that time comes. I don't care if we have to pay cash for it. Twenty weeks my ass-- I want to know if it's a boy or a girl NOW. If there wasn't a risk of miscarriage, I'd have one of those tests done where they stick the needle through your cervix--- something villus sampling. Whatever. Its purpose is to find genetic abnormalities, but it also tells the sex. Nobody's presented it to me as an option yet, but if I'm not mistaken I've read that it comes with a risk of miscarriage, so no thanks.

I'm too impatient for this.

Check out the poll in the sidebar. Take a guess-- boy or girl?

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Saturday, April 05, 2008 

Gone Baby Gone

We watched Gone Baby Gone last night, and it was good. Very good. We knew it was directed by Ben Affleck, so we had our reservations about it, but were pleasantly surprised. It was the most exciting movie I've seen in a long time. I enjoyed it more than some of the movies that have received tons of attention recently.

I returned to work yesterday, and it was a decent day. Of course there were rumors that I had been severely beaten up, or that one of the boys had punched me in the stomach and I had been rushed to the hospital. I don't even want to blog about it because I can get myself in a pissy mood just thinking about that place right now.

Just go rent Gone Baby Gone, umkay? Or put it in your Netflix queue.

Thursday, April 03, 2008 

The Last Straw

This morning was yet another "It can't possibly be time to get up already" morning. It was all I could do to get out of bed and into the shower, despite the fact that I was in bed and asleep by 10:20 last night. In the shower I got sick to my stomach, but didn't spew. I don't spew. Well, I have been known to spew, but if I do spew, it's a pretty safe bet that there was something in my tummy that needed to be expelled. Like 12 Coronas and a whole tray of jello shots (ah, those were the days) or way too much bourbon, or a touch of some nasty, nasty, non-alcohol-related bug. But it's unheard of for me to spew just from general nausea. My tummy's quite resilient when I'm not on Glucophage. When I am on it, I'm more of a spewer.

Anyway, it literally felt like there were lead weights strapped to my arms and legs, and my stomach was queasy. I briefly entertained the idea of calling in to work, but I don't have any days left to take. Besides, by the time the nausea really kicked in, it was 7:00. You're supposed to call by 6:30. So I trudged forward like a trooper. A reluctant, grumpy, sleepy trooper with a bellyache.

When I got to my classroom, there were three girls waiting outside the door. They had morning detention. They gave me attitude. Attitude at 8:00. Some things ought to warrant a good ass whoopin', but I understand that would land me in jail so I just...well, took it. (Hear that? It's the sound of my dignity dropping down another four notches.)

While the ingrates were composing paragraphs about how they shouldn't have to respect me because I don't try hard enough to help them, and because I put their names on the board and give them detentions for nothing, I was going back over my lesson plan and trying to remember what brilliant thing I was going to do in class today. I'm way off my lesson plan for the week, what with the fact that the tests never go as planned, and it's kinda hard to start something brand new on a Thursday. So I was improvising a bit.

I decided to show them a long powerpoint and make them write every bit of it down. So while the students were trickling in, I was setting up the laptop and projector, which is always a much bigger pain in the ass than it ought to be.

In walks a student from USM who was there to observe. Fabulous. I'm off my game, I'm about to do some bullshit to get through the day, and now someone's there to take notes and learn from it? God help me.

I moved the old fashioned projector-- the one with the light bulb and the fan that blows hot air-- over to the shelf, and rolled the cart with the laptop and the digital projector up toward the front. A boy who was sitting at the front table is one of the many who is never satisfied with anything. His name is JR. If you told JR to walk across the room and pick up a million dollars, he'd bitch that you didn't just bring it to him. He frequently asks to be moved to different seats in the room. I have stopped trying to make him happy. He's 15 years old, he's supposed to be in 10th grade, and he's a giant pain in the ass 90% of the time.

Well, another kid, DL, sat down next to JR. My assistant and I both have to move people around in that room so often that I honestly can't tell you who sits where, so when JR asked me if DL was supposed to be sitting there, I didn't really know the answer. I just said it would be fine. I think what happened is that I moved a girl to DL's seat and DL had to scoot over one chair. I told JR it'd be okay, and I continued hooking up the computer/projector. JR mumbled something at me, and I looked up at him. Then he said, "Well can I move over there then?" I said, "No, JR, you can sit right there and do your bellwork and stop complaining!"

They will run me to death with stupid little complaints if I let them.

Right then the student in the back asked me something, and I went back there to talk to her. Then I heard something behind me, and turned around. JR and DL were fighting. And I don't mean your typical middle school pushing match-- I mean they were fighting-- they were throwing real punches like they fucking meant it. Fight to kill. My first instinct was to jump in and pull them apart, but I got close enough to get punched in the shoulder by a hand or an elbow or something and then remembered that I'm carrying precious cargo, and I backed off. My buzzer doesn't work, so I couldn't buzz the office. Another teacher came in to help, but there was nothing we could do. Both boys are as big as grown men, and they were tearing the room apart. They went over a table, knocked over large pieces of furniture-- everything.

Of course when something like this happens, all the kids who were tarrying around outside the doorways suddenly decide it's time to haul ass to class-- whether they're in your class or not. All hell basically broke loose, and I said fuck it. I took my id badge off, handed it to another teacher, and said I was done. I grabbed my purse and hit the door. The two kids were still fighting when I walked out. Fuck 'em. Bunch of animals.

I shudder to think what became of the laptop and projector. I didn't notice, but I can't imagine it came out okay.

By the time I got to the front office I was in total meltdown mode and crying like a little bitch. I tried to call the Asst. Principal but everyone was in my classroom dealing with the crisis. I called the room, told my assistant I was leaving, then got in my car and started to leave. As I was pulling out, one of the Academic Coaches came out and waved at me. I pulled over and rolled my window down and told her I can't take it-- I can't work in a place like that and I can't handle the stress. Especially while I'm pregnant. It's not worth it. I can't do it. She told me she understood and told me to come back in and talk to the Asst. Principal and let her know that I was leaving. That's what I did, and she was very understanding. She told me to go home and rest, and to take tomorrow off if I need it. So that's what I'm doing today.

That, and finishing up that other job application.

I'm done with working in the hood. I used to believe that there's hope for them, but that belief is fast giving way to major doubts. I'm not sure it's worth it anymore to place myself in danger for the sake of some fairy tale belief that I can make a difference for people who don't care to help themselves. When I started, I was single and had nothing to lose. Today I have more at stake.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008 

Random Thought Whenever

My teaching license is MIA. A long time ago I created a file and labeled it "Licenses." It contains my teaching license, our marriage license, some stuff Tim needs to renew his pharmacy license, etc. Important stuff. It was in one of the two filing cabinets. Now I can't find it anywhere. I know that I've seen it recently, and I get a cold feeling in my stomach when I think about it because it seems like it might have been in a location other than the one in which it belonged, but I can't remember where. Anyway, my job application to Dream High School is at a standstill right now because I can't remember my teaching license number and expiration date.

A kid called me a hoe today and nobody seemed to think it was a problem except for me. I can't believe they didn't suspend her. Nothing I can do about it though. I am done seething over it. But believe me, I did seethe.

I'm tired. I'm more tired the last 3-4 days than I have been the previous few weeks. Last night I told a friend I would meet her at 8:00. At 6:30 I realized it was going to take lots of effort to get off the couch. At 7:00 I decided she'd understand. I went to bed early, and when the alarm went off at 5:45 today (I've moved it back from my pre-pregnancy 5:15, since I can't spend those 30 minutes drinking coffee) I really thought it had to be some kind of mistake. But no, there it was before my eyes in plain green numbers. 5:45. I snoozed 'til 6:00, and dragged my tail all day. That young'un is sucking it out of me right now.

Pookie is unusually sleepy lately. He hasn't even tried to pierce my jugular a single time in the last 2 days. Maybe he's pregnant too.

It's still not a cat blog.

Back to pregnancy symptoms for a minute. Have I mentioned that I am spewing more vitriol than...than...I don't know what. I'm just pissed! All the time. For nothing. I'm miserable and I want other people to feel my misery. I don't want sympathy. I just want you to feel the pain of my emotional trainwreck. Don't ask me a question because the answer is f*ck off. Don't ask me to do anything because the answer is f*ck off. Don't tell me to have a nice day because the response is f*ck off. I just want everyone to effing eff off. Then I realize what a total bitch I'm being, and I want to cry, because it's ultra bitchy-- even for me. It's really hard not to cry. This is supposed to get better after week 10. I am either in 9 or 10 right now. I'm not sure.

Poor Tim. He's trying to be positive and keep me positive. It helps-- it really does. But he's getting more than his fair share of bitchiness lately and sometimes I really can't help it.

I'm hungry and fat and out of salad ingredients. All that remains are spinach leaves, and all I want is a Big Mac.

Okay, this is the last pregnancy thing I'll talk about today. At least I think it's a pregnancy thing because I've never had it before. There is so much spit in my mouth that it flies out sometimes. I have become the teacher that spits when she talks. The kids on the front row close their eyes when I walk by if I'm talking. Sometimes my mouth is so full of it that I have to stop and swallow to finish a sentence or it'll fly out. When I wake up, my pillow is soggy and my ear is full. I spit you not.

I apologize for that last part. Unless it made you giggle.

It's 9:30. Why am I still awake? This is not going to seem worth staying up for when the alarm goes off in the morning.

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Tuesday, April 01, 2008 

I still have a job.

The news broke today that two girls in my first period class are pregnant. They're 14 and 15, respectively. What do you say? "Congratulations"?? How about "WHAT THE F*CK WERE YOU THINKING!?" Yeah, the second one seems more appropriate.

I also got my yearly evaluation this morning. They decided that my biggest weakness is that I don't exude warmth toward the little angels. I'm cold, apparently. I couldn't help but laugh a little when he told me that. Of all the things he could've chosen to give me a low mark on, I'll take lack of warmth. Sure. I'll own that one.

Warmth schwarmth. HA!

I'd like to close today's post with some pregnancy haiku.

My new bra's squeezing
the life out of my big tits
and boy, do they hurt.


Meetings Schmeetings

There are several impending meetings that are making me want to crawl back into bed instead of going to work today. One is with a bully parent, and I'm not sure why the meeting was set up considering that we had a conversation just two weeks ago and I answered all her questions then. Sometimes these people think they can get you in front of your boss and get the upper hand or something. (Silly parents, the boss is almost never there, and the counselor is on my side.)

The other is with another parent who is even less sane-- seriously NOT sane, in fact. I have lots of those. It's a perk that comes with the job of teaching the slow kids. I think it has something to do with how far the apple doesn't fall from the tree.

The third meeting is with the principal, who stopped me in a hallway yesterday and said he needs to meet with me the first chance we get. He didn't say why, but since then I've heard that they're giving out the annual teacher evaluations. He hasn't met with 100% of the teachers, but he's meeting with certain ones. At first I thought he must only be meeting with the ones he needs to bitch at about something, or the people they don't want to hire back. But they met with another English teacher who I know for a fact is top notch. I can't imagine they had very many negative things to say about her. That makes me feel better, but I'm still putting my money on me getting bitched at. Fine. As long as they don't tell me they're not renewing my contract, I don't care what they say. If they DO tell me they're not renewing my contract, I won't be the only one to have a bad day. Considering the way I work for these jackholes and the way they treat us-- if they gave me a notice of non-renewal, I might hafta let 'em know a few things. Sheesh. I can get worked up just thinking about the nerve it would take for them to do that. I'm probably going to leave that meeting in a bad mood anyway, because there's no way he's NOT going to criticize me about something. And when you put up with what I put up with (from the apathetic students AND the anal retentive administration AND the multitudes of crazy parents) it's hard to take criticism without feeling like it's a little unjustified.

Thanks to the mass numbers of retiring baby boomers, I've got a job possibility at a much better place next year. I should stress the word possibility, because that's all it is. Just a door that appears to be cracked open. I wasn't planning on changing jobs with a baby on the way, but this one came to me, so I'm gonna follow through on it and see what develops. Probably nothing, but it would be stupid for me not to pursue it. IF it worked out, it would be the opportunity to teach in a Level 5 school with a fabulous reputation. I might even have some students who want to learn.

It might mean I'd have the chance to actually TEACH, and to be honest, I am either going to find a place that wants a teacher, or I'm going to find another profession, because I can't spend much longer doing what I'm doing. I give a homework assignment and two kids do it. Then they fail the test and who gets blamed? I call a parent for support, and what happens? They break out a voice recorder and aluminum foil and start talking about how the aliens gave their child an F. Or they seem to understand what I'm saying and want to offer support, but two weeks later they call the front office with some outlandish accusation against me. These people listen to their kids. The kid gets in a little hot water at home, and makes up a story about the teacher. Momma sides with the kid. It's scary when you think about it. I've already been accused of calling kids names and cursing at them; what else might I be accused of if I had a child or parent with just the right brand of crazy? What if someone accuses me of something illegal, like some kind of abuse? Or what if someone accuses me of using a racial slur? I'd be screwed.

Not only am I not helping anyone, but I'm risking my own neck and giving myself gray hair. I want out.

When Little Wendol gets here, I will always agree with his/her teacher in front of him/her. I may hate that bitch's guts, and Tim and I may come back here behind a closed door and talk about what a dirty whore she is, but when Little Wendol is listening we'll be in support of the teacher. Little Wendol will do what she says whether I agree with it or not, provided it's not something totally out of line. It's called respecting authority. You have to respect the position of authority whether you like the individual or not. And if Teacher calls home and says Little Wendol isn't doing what he's supposed to be doing, Little Wendol will be the one getting confronted-- not the teacher. If When he tries to shift the blame to Teacher, I'm calling him on it. Bullshit, Little Wendol. The teacher can't make your decisions for you. Even if she does have it out for you, you have to deal with it and do what you're supposed to do.

And them's my 2 cents on THAT.

So. I'm off.

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