Thursday, December 20, 2012

Some Thoughts...

After the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the community of elementary school teachers was shaken up across the country. It was interesting, because no one asked "Would I have died for my kids?"  We didn't need to, because all of us knew that of course we would. 

I was student teaching when the shootings at Columbine occurred. I remember my sadness and sudden knowledge that this job was going to be different from what previous teachers had experienced.

Because that's what we do. We teach, and love, and hug, and adore these kids. And pray constantly that the world will be kind just a little longer. That all those bad experiences will stay away for just one more day: the bullies, the bad grades, the bad friends, the bad school lunches. Everything, big and small. We wish them happy recesses full of friends and games. Math they understand. Pizza for lunch everyday. Of course we know this can't happen. But we dream. And then try to teach them to cope with the ugly parts of the world. 

And now every teacher also prays that the bad guys will stay out and the locks will hold. 

Many people have expressed similar concerns followed by the statement "wouldn't you feel safer if you had a gun in your room?"


I recently had a student with oppositional defiant disorder. They had threatened their parents with weapons. It was all I could do that year to keep that child calm. They stole from my desk and went through my closets daily. The last thing I would have wanted in my classroom is a gun. 

I'm not against people owning guns. But think about this. You as a parent have put safety measures in place so that your children aren't harmed: gun locks, gun safes, separate storage for ammunition. You have probably even educated your children on your gun rules. How can you trust something that important to a stranger like me?  We're not talking about multiplication tables. These are life and death rules. The minute a gun is at school with a teacher there needs to be ground rules. Do you trust they will be the same as yours? Better even?  I work in public education. I don't. 

I don't want a gun in my class. I want pencils and crayons and glue and math books. I want music. I want hugs and hand drawn pictures. I will protect my students. From every little hurt that I can. But I won't be keeping a gun in class. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Back to School

My last entry was a little more introspective than I usually least out loud. And I've noticed a lot of parents complaining about the back to school hassle. So, to lighten things up, I give you my back to school experience this year.  It involves new carpet, new plumbing, and asbestos. Yup. It's gonna be that kind of an August.

In June, the district told us they would be fixing our plumbing. Almost immediately they discovered asbestos which shut the entire school down until this week. Health and safety required that all fabrics in the room be thrown out. So, good news! I have new carpet! But because every silver lining has a cloud, that means all the cleaning I did at the end of May was undone by a bunch of construction workers going through every closet and cupboard.  My beautifully arranged classroom is now a heap of furniture in the middle of the room. (Everything has to be 3 feet from the walls while they work on replacing baseboards.)

By the way, I now have one extra file cabinet and two office chairs. Takers? Anyone?

And all those big strong workers and their hand truck, that moved my file cabinets in minutes? Busy. Doing silly things like making sure the school can open in 3 weeks.

So my job tomorrow is to move/find the following:

My desk
30 student desks and chairs
My computer (and please, please, please let all the cords be there)
Two full file cabinets
Four book cases and all their books
My sanity.

Maybe expecting sanity is too much. I should hope all the surge protectors are there and call it a victory.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Two years later...

I admire people who blog regularly. People who record their weight loss or videos of their kids. I have neither of those things to post. And my life has been fairly boring since my last post. I teach, I read, in between I watch Doctor Who and daydream.

But today was a difficult day. And I found myself alone with my thoughts and I was in tears.  The people around me wanted to help but it's difficult for them. And I didn't have the words. Today was hard. Today, I felt rejection and with that, I began questioning my worth. 

As a single in the Mormon church you're constantly surrounded by the message to "get married!!!" When you're my age the message changes to "what's wrong with you? why aren't you married?". And I have always wanted a family. Lots of children. A fun, warm home, like I had. So, it's an old and painful wound, the fact that I don't have a family of my own.
Usually, I work my way day to day and ignore both questions. They are usually asked by people who were married very young and never experienced dating after college.  They don't realize that at 38 you ask yourself "what's wrong with me?" every day,  Every time your date doesn't call back.  Every time you check your LDSSingles account. You ask those questions. 

Today I was asking myself these questions more than usual because I really liked the guy who didn't call back. It's been three weeks and hope dies a slow painful death. You can't help but ask, why? What's wrong with me?
You start looking at your weight, the grey in your hair, the laughlines around your eyes, the sound of your voice, the sound of your laugh. You start second guessing every word you said.  It's human nature I guess. We always think the fault lies in ourselves. I never once thought, what's wrong with him that he didn't see how fantastic I am? Isn't that a better question?

But, after a good cry and a long conversation with my Father in Heaven, I realized something. This is not how Heavenly Father wants me to live.  Yes, families are important. Families are forever. But, I can't worry about that at the expense of my of self worth. I'm a good person who deserves good things.  Being single in the LDS church can be painful. But you need to learn to celebrate the family you do have, your sisters and brothers and parents and cousins, rather than mourn the one you don't have. It's a matter of keeping the glass half full. More than half full because I have a fantastic and large and loving family. 

So, I'm going to focus on the positive. Yes, I have grey in my hair. That's my cue to go a little more ginger. I have laugh lines and worry lines. I would be afraid of any teacher who didn't have them. I am a beautiful person. I may never marry but I refuse to let myself feel less than I am because of it.
I will remember who I am.  I'm a child of God.

The question is, what's wrong with them?

Monday, February 8, 2010

My Hero!

Some girls dream of vampires. I dream of Kryptonians.

I am a Superman geek. I admit it. I love Superman. Anyway you slice it, the man is hot.

I used to wonder what the heck was wrong with Lois Lane, not seeing the total awesome-ness of Clark Kent. I would dream of finding someone just like him. Tall, dark, handsome, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound . . .

And he's the strong silent type . . . he'll listen to a good rant, but willing to jump into action the moment I yell "Help, Superman!"

I've been waiting and waiting. Everyone tells me I'm dreaming. They say my expectations are too high, that there are no fairy tales. They tell me it's all fiction.

But he's out there. I know he is. My superhero is waiting.

Or maybe it's just Monday. I generally don't need saving on Tuesday.

Really, it could go either way.

Friday, February 5, 2010

My Mom

We have decided to lock my mom in the house. Maybe forever.

On January 24th, I got a call from Sharlon. (Sharlon has been my best friend since 3rd grade and she and her family live in mom's ward. They are a big help in keeping an eye on her. My mom is 69, but likes to think she's 30.) Sharlon called me around 8:30 saying that she'd found mom laying on the sidewalk outside of church.

NEVER start a conversation with, "We found your mom on the sidewalk and I think you should get down here."

Turns out mom was fine but she had fallen and cut her hand pretty badly and her fingers were looking broken. I have 1:00 church so I wasn't even out of bed yet. I talked to mom, called Erin and we both raced to Rosepark. Thank heaven's for mom's ward. They gave mom a blessing and got us there and made mom sit still. She wanted to go to church.

We took her to the emergency room where they figured out the cut on her finger was to the bone (yikes!) and the pinky and ring finger on her right hand were dislocated and the tendons were torn (ouch!) and there was a scratch on her right eye. Which was black with some nasty broken blood vessels.

She looked like she'd been in a bar fight.

After hours of waiting, we took her home with her right arm splinted up to her elbow and a prescription for Lortab.

It was on November 24th that mom had a pacemaker put in.

So maybe we'll let her out, but not on the 24th of the month.

Mom's fine. She's got her splint off and is now looking forward to cataract surgery this summer.

Friday, December 11, 2009

I lied

Remember when I said I would post every Monday?
Remember when I said not to believe a word I said?

There are five days of school until Christmas break and I so need a break. And all you full time workers can be quiet. You're just jealous and that's never pretty. I am speaking specifically to Autumn here.

A lot of teachers are saying how it feels like we just had Thanksgiving break, where does the time go, etc.

I didn't get a break over Thanksgiving. I didn't get a Thanksgiving. And I am grateful.

The week before, Mom went into the doctor where they discovered her heart was only beating 40 times a minute. It is appropriate to say yikes.
On the Monday and Tuesday before Thanksgiving, I had parent teacher conferences which went to about 7:00 each night. So I couldn't help Erin out when she took Mom to the doctor's office.
So while I was teaching and conferencing Monday and Tuesday, Erin took Mom back to the doctor, and then to a cardiologist. After I was finished Tuesday I was greeted with the news that Mom needed a pace maker. Now. As in, Wednesday.

I had seizures Wednesday. This was not planned.

So Erin took Mom in for surgery, and I stayed home and watched North and South: Book One and let my brain do its thing. When I was done and Mom was out, Erin came and got me and we went to the hospital, where I fell asleep in the chair.

We brought Mom home on Thanksgiving. Erin went to be with her family for the first time that week and I stayed with Mom. We two sickies watched movies and slept. Our turkey dinner was microwaved chicken nuggets and we didn't care. Kathi and Ron and the kids brought real turkey and lots of pie later anyway.

Friday, we put up Mom's Christmas decorations so we wouldn't have to worry about it.

Saturday, I finally went shopping. All day. But it's done.

Sunday, Erin's husband Rob got sick so I stayed home from church and babysat while Erin took care of her family's health. The kids wanted to decorate for Christmas again (because it was so much fun at Mom's) so we put up our Christmas tree. It still looks like a 4 year old and a 7 year old decorated it.

Sunday night, we went to the Messiah sing-in at Abravenel Hall, and finally, finally some peace. Mom couldn't make it, so we took my dear friend, Sharlon, who had never been and kicked my butt on some of those songs.

The Messiah is powerful and singing it with the audience in Abravenel Hall was awesome, and over powering, and enriching. As always it brings in the Christmas spirit.

Mom is doing so well now that the cardiologist is talking about exercise plans. Before the surgery she couldn't answer the door without running out of breath. Erin said that all she needs are two new knees and she'll be like a 20 year old again. Her color is better, she is happier. I am very thankful for all the doctors and nurses who took care of her. I'm also thankful for Erin who did all the heavy lifting that week.

But, while I am thankful for everything that happened over Thanksgiving, except maybe the seizures, I need a break.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

I'm Not Dead

So It's been many, many, MANY weeks since I last blogged. Sorry. A little thing called life interrupted my life. I promise to try and blog once a week. I assure I have been ignoring all my friends on facebook as well.

I've had so many things to blog about . . . totally useless and unimportant stuff, but still, it made me laugh at the time.

Like last Saturday, when I cleaned my room. First of all, "cleaned" is being used very loosely here. I picked stuff up, I put my overflowing laundry basket in my closet and shut the door. It looked better after I hid some stuff. But what I discovered id I have way too many books.

I, like many people have a constant pile of books I'm getting to. the bookstore is my refuge from stress. In recent weeks We've had mid terms at school, not to mention the lead up to Halloween. Plus we had UEA weekend. Of course I went to the bookstore. I think I sent the Barnes and Noble families to college all by myself.

So as I was "cleaning" my room I discovered not one pile of books I was getting to, not two pile, but three. Three piles of books. and I am reading them. There are three or four romances, a couple of New York Times Best Sellers, children's books, historical fiction, a Harry Potter book, and a couple of fantasies.

I piled up 20 books altogether.

And it's not like I suddenly stopped reading and let things get backed up! I'm almost done with The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown (not as good as Da Vinci Code).

I am not allowed back into a bookstore until I get these piles under control.

Or until report card stress forces Autumn to take me there.

Now I have some reading to do.