Sunday, December 26, 2010

snow in the south

It does not snow very often down here where I live, so snow on the day after Christmas is a pretty big deal. Especially since today is a Sunday, and snow in the south often means no church. My church wasn't canceled, but sweet hubby and I decided to stay in, anyway. We took the opportunity to take a couple of pictures before the sun came out....








And of course, we had to get one of the sneaky bunny....



She was not very happy about being out in the snow.

In other news, you can give a dollar and help raise money to bring this baby to a forever family....Just click on the picture and you can find out more.

Friday, December 24, 2010

making merry

We have been busy in this family, making merry.

And more merry.

And then a little more merry after that, too.

So merry, merry Christmas to you.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

i'm a dork....(or, pretending i'm martha)

I think that vacation is a great time for me to waste my time. For real. Because otherwise, why would I have turned the "move the books from the other room onto the bookshelf" project into a "make the textbooks match each other" project?

It all started with this silly idea of mine to group books not by type, but by color. I think I will hate this arrangement as soon as I want to find any particular book and can't remember what color it is. It seemed silly to put one part of The Sisterhood with the yellows and reds, and another with the blues, but I'll have to wait and see whether it bothers me in a few days, or months, or years, as it may be, when I'm finally in the mood to re-read the teenage angst.

I am very proud of myself for not taking the time to sort through the books, rather to just put them on the shelf, and there should still be some re-arranging of color/height combinations, but on the whole, I rather like it. There is another half of this bookshelf that can't be seen in the picture, but I didn't do anything to it since the tree is blocking my access.



That silly kitty there? She's sitting on my lap now. Makes it hard to type, since I can't move my arms or I will disrupt the purring.



And this is a close-up of my Martha-esque afternoon work. A little scrapbook paper, some spray adhesive, and an hour later the textbooks had been converted....



Some of my friends warned me a while ago not to do this. I couldn't resist. It does look a little staged....But it's my house, and I like cheesy. And the textbooks look a lot more inviting, too.

Monday, December 20, 2010

last night...

My husband and I had a little adventure. It started out with a visit to silver coast...



And then a little road trip to see the giant Christmas tree...



Followed by dinner at circa 1922, a relatively fancy restaurant, for us....



Which was an incredibly delicious meal at an extremely reasonable price. It didn't hurt that they have a fixed price menu for Sunday-Thursday nights, so we were able to easily choose a salad, main course, dessert, and coffee for one low price. We found the famous Silver Coast Touriga on the close-out wine list and, since there had been much discussion earlier in the day, at Silver Coast, about where the last red bottles might still be hiding, decided that we needed to order a bottle.

I may or may not have had too much to drink, after drinking a woo-woo before going to Silver Coast, a couple glasses at Silver Coast, and the bulk of the Touriga, since sweet hubby was driving.

After dinner, we walked around Princess Street and the river and decided it was cold. We headed back to the biggest Christmas tree, where sweet hubby decided that maybe he shouldn't be driving, either, and we decided to find a hotel for the night.

Thank you, Holiday Inn, for having an indoor pool, and a Target on the next block. Sweet hubby bought me this bathing suit....
available at target.com

To which I responded, "Yellow?" I put it on, anyway, and we swam for a while. In December. Which is ridiculous, because it was freezing outside. But we were inside, and it was warm, and even though we didn't have toothbrushes, I had a new yellow bathing suit.

Too bad we had to get up early to get home to meet with the alarm system guy....

Sunday, December 19, 2010

En la playa, otra vez!

Que felicidad, que felicidad....
Estoy otra vez en mi reino, la casa de la playa.... Y de vacaciones, asi que tengo un día extra para disfrutar, y estoy recien empezando las dos semanas de libertad antes de volver a la escuela.

Es rico estar en la casa calentita y con lluvia fría afuera, sonando en el techo y creando una neblina encima del agua. El tiempo es completamente diferente a lo que era en noviembre, después del Día de acción de gracias, pero lindo de su propia manera, y me hace pensar en la bendición que es tener esta casa disponible para disfrutar, siempre y cuando hay tiempo para llegar.

Ayer, yo limpié un poco en la casa (normalmente limpiamos en la primavera, y a veces durante el verano, dependiente en cuantas personas están usando la casa y por cuanto tiempo -- cuando estamos ocupando la casa por dos meses, como el verano de 2010, limpiamos con mucha mas frecuencia), que no habíamos hecho desde septiembre, y yo cociné el almuerzo. Normalmente me pongo floja cuando estoy en esta casa (bueno, donde sea) y le exijo a mi esposito lindo que cocina, pero ayer preparé la comida. Después, fuimos a visitar Silver Coast a tomar un rico Holiday Red. Esto nos fortificó a salir a comprar, así que pasamos a los Outlets y después a cenar en el Flying Fish, un restaurante rico que descubrimos juntos con algunos amigos durante la primera semana del verano.

Que rico la cena, que rico la experiencia de comprar con mi esposo (dos pares de zapatos para él, una chaqueta, y algunas otras cositas que el necesitaba, y todo de oferta!) y disfrutar el día, el tiempo juntos, relajado y no pensando que mañana tendré que volver a trabajar.

Lo mejor de todo: todavía me queda hoy y mañana para disfrutar en la playa, sin tener que preocuparme de ordenar mi casa.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

3 days

3

3

3

Only 3 more days until two little tiny weeks away from my monsters.

Any progress that I thought had been made, this week, is out the window. Forget lining up, forget following directions, forget all of it. That what it feels like, at least, and what it looks like, and what it sounds like....

I am so frustrated with my kids that I could just walk out, and not return, and be sad only about the having to find a new job with no references part of the equation, rather than the part of the equation where my kids have no teacher, get stuck with a long term sub, and keep failing everything because they are so horrible and therefore super low. Third graders should know how to read, people. Sure, they won't be reading anything super difficult, but they should be able to read at least a simple book that has repetitive language and simple, one syllable words....But mine can't. And if you think that reading in English is hard, just switch to Spanish. Because then it should be easy. Every letter is pronounced in exactly one way, except for c, which follows the same rules as English. It should be EASIER for my kids to read to me in Spanish than in English. But they can't. And if you can't read, please, oh, please, pay attention when I'm reading it to you. Because I'm not going to read it five times. I know how to read it, I know how to answer the questions, I know how to multiply, I know how to pay attention, and I know how to make you walk laps at recess because you are wasting my time. And I will.

Parents, please teach your children to pay attention in class. Although occasionally I change my mind and admit that I have said something incorrectly, far more often I find that I have to repeat myself over and over and over for these children to finally grasp that what I have said is important and that they might need to know it.

I am looking forward to my short, short break. I need to get away from these kids, store up some energy, and get together a super strict plan for the week after school starts back. Blegh.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Going Green

This sounds pretty cool.... http://greenbaglady.blogspot.com/

It goes along nicely with a conversation I had with a good friend on Friday night. We were talking about restaurants and going out to eat, and the cute cardboard box she was toting her leftovers home in, rather than a styrofoam container. We talked about how great it is that everyone seems to be getting better about taking their reusable shopping bags with them to the store. And then we decided that the next big thing in this going-green journey will be toting tupperware.

Yep, toting tupperware. We're pretty good at taking a reusable bag with us where ever we go -- leaving them in the car is pretty convenient. Why not keep a couple clean food containers in the car too? That way, when I go out to eat every single Sunday to the same restaurant where I almost always bring half of my meal home, I can just pack it into my own container, instead of having to put it in styrofoam and then change it to a plastic container that actually seals when I get home.

Starting tomorrow, the tupperware will be traveling in my purse. I'm a woman. We all carry purses with plenty of space for a little plastic container. And over the course of a year, I personally could reduce my styrofoam contributions to the landfill by at least 40 containers. That's a lot of styrofoam.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

countdown....12 days

12 more school days before winter break! I can see the light!

This week has helped me see that in some ways, my kids truly are making progress. And it has also helped me see that in other ways, my kids will NEVER make any progress.

How enheartening and disheartening all at once.

My kids (in both groups) are now much better at entering the classroom quickly and relatively quietly, which typically translates into calmly, which is a GREAT improvement. Credit goes to the RISC 4-square tool -- what does it look like and sound like when you come in and what does it look like and sound like when you pack up? The problem is getting packed up with enough time to rate how each child has done -- less feedback, so harder to be inspired to do better. But half of the equation has improved, so I'll keep at the packing up earlier and getting quieter and calmer with that, too.

My thrower is still throwing things. So overreactive. On his behavior plan, he received "2s" (on a 4 point scale) for his related arts block, and threw the paper, stomped on it, started using ugly language....Oh, temper, how you control that kid -- this will apparently never change. I'm not sure the behavior plan ever works for this kid. I hope, hope, hope that he was lying when he told me his mom is having another baby.

On a positive note, though, my mama and I made it back to yoga after a week off last week. It hurt. I think it will hurt even more tomorrow, though, and maybe into Friday as well... And an acquaintance at school asked in passing for a running mate -- someone to run at 3pm with her, at school, a couple times a week -- this would be great, because I've had the thought to do that, but didn't want to start alone. And I stay too late at school to run when I'm home since it is already dark, and cold, and I lost the reflective vest that my sweet hubby insists I wear in the dark to run.

Another positive -- my class is over! And I scored an A on the final exam! I'm finished with rushing to class this year! Yay!

And at the end of it all, there are only 12 more school days until winter break.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Dulce, dulce vacaciones

He disfrutado al máximo los días aquí en la playa. Me da mucha tristeza pensar que hoy, en la tarde, tendré que volver a la realidad, acostarme temprano, e ir a la escuela en la mañana, a un grupo de niños que seguramente habrán olvidado las reglas...

Tristeza, frustración, cansancio, y más -- estas son las cosas que me esperan.

Pero hoy, estoy celebrando.

Estoy celebrando que le convencí a mi esposito lindo ponerse un traje de baño ayer, ir conmigo a sentarse en la arena, comer un picnic, y después caminar hasta el final de la playa en el sol y frío.

Estoy celebrando que dos días hemos ido a Silver Coast a tomar vino rico, juntos, para puro disfrutar.

Estoy celebrando que fuimos a comer helado, y en vez de comer helado, encontramos una tienda nueva de tortitas, y tuvimos que comprar algunos extras porque no teníamos efectivo.

Estoy celebrando que fuimos a comprar otra vez porque esposito quiso hacerlo, no porque yo lo sugerí.

Estoy celebrando que vimos el cielo cambiando a rosado sobre el agua, y decidimos llevar la cena al muelle a comerlo en la luz reflejando rosado en el agua.

Estoy, más que nada, celebrando las cosas bonitas de mi vida. Doy gracias por estas cosas, y la oportunidad que se realizan todas, y la bendición que mi vida me da.

Que vacaciones más dulces.


Saturday, November 27, 2010

ah, beach.

Why, o why, is it always so long in between beach visits?

This place, how it restores my soul, my productivity, my good mood. Just to look out the windows and see the water, the sunlight reflecting in, the green of the live oaks, the marsh grass, and way out beyond that, the white of the dunes....

And a week with four Saturdays -- totally beats that week with two Mondays that we had a while ago. I'll take four Saturdays anytime.


Wednesday-Saturday was spent at Target, then baking Thanksgiving cookies with my mama and sister, and shopping with my mama in the afternoon.

Thursday-Saturday was spent with the family -- all of the family -- 43 of us, to be exact, eating and playing and walking the annual walk, and then eating some more, before heading to the beach with sweet hubby.

Friday-Saturday was spent sleeping in, visiting Silver Coast, napping, and, late in the day, shopping -- best way to do black Friday. I got the things that were on my list at a discount, and without having to fight the crowds -- much better than trying to be a door-buster.

Saturday-Saturday is being spent studying, and probably sewing, and maybe going for a run, and probably going to the beach to walk barefoot in the sand. That sounds like an excellent plan for today.

And Sunday will be spent sleeping in, sewing, studying, maybe even Silver Coasting, and then driving home. Boo. No one wants to leave the beach.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

two days before thanksgiving

School days, at least. A Sunday, two school days, and then WednesdayThursdayFridaySaturdaySunday goodness. Thursday night to the beach -- Oh, my refuge, how I have missed you. Oh, beach, how I hope and dream that I might be so blessed to spend two months with you this summer....But I bet it's someone else's turn.

School is still plugging along, with kids who talk back every change they get and complain about the tiniest things. I wish I could love on these little kids, because they clearly need it, but with so many behavior issues to "handle", there seems to be no time for being nice. That may be the hardest part of the year for me -- no time to be nice, no time to be relaxed, no time to just feel at ease doing the teacher thing this year. What is making this year feel so long is that I am always stressed -- always wondering which kid will go off next, and exactly how, and what I'm supposed to do in response...

For the kid who likes to throw stuff, my team teacher and I have devised a system -- before he starts throwing stuff, but is obviously getting to that point, we each send a stapler by student to the other. This way, the student doesn't have to see us making the phone call to the office that someone needs to come and remove him -- hopefully letting us evade the actual desk throwing and also teaching the kid to stop a little sooner, to have a time out, and to calm himself back down. It's nice when the administrator just shows up.

Me hace tener ganas de preguntarle a mi mama de como era mi hermano cuando el era chico. Yo se que mi hermano tuvo varios problemas con su comportamiento en la escuela, y me gustaria saber que estuvo pensando ella durante todas las reuniones con las maestras, escuchando que su hijo tuvo algun problema, y tambien quiero que ella admite el sentimiento de incapacidad que uno se siente cuando no hay forma de ayudar a un niño. A la vez, me da mucha pena, porque no creo que ningun padre debe sentirse tan incapaz con su propio hijo.

*** brief pause as sweet hubby distracts me entirely from the computer***

Ah, and now, here we are, two days later... or three...
and only one school day left to go before the break. It was a good one, today, not too much going on, and I even managed to give my group extra recess because they walked so quietly in line that I didn't have to correct anyone on the way to or from lunch and recess....Sure, the afternoon was a little bit chaotic, after that, but I think in general they liked it. And they will have a nice, very nice, substitute lady, and they will be mean to her, and I will pray and pray and pray that she will come back for me in December when I have my next long meeting.

I had the extra blessing of a good friend coming into town unexpectedly for a quick visit, which then got extended, over the weekend. There is hardly anything I like more than having friends visit -- I LOVE having people visit. I love the catching up, the excuses of not doing real work, the relaxing and laughter and fun. I'm so glad that one of my adopted daughters came to spend a few nights at our house this weekend.

And I'm excited about Wednesday morning Thanksgiving cookie making with my mom and my sister -- good times to be had by all. But first, a long day of meetings tomorrow. But not a long day of trying to control the volume on a crowd of 8 and 9 year olds about to be out of school for three extra days....

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

oh, November

Will you please end soon? The sooner you end, the sooner December comes, and goes, and the sooner January and then February and March, April, May, and June will arrive....And Oh, how I want June to arrive. This is going to be one long school year.

I think my day could have been a little nicer without the migraine today. Oh, and the smell -- 3rd graders after recess, horrible, with a migraine. Basically unbearable, with the migraine.

And an upset in the fourth grade....

The sudden switch of our fourth grade immersion teacher to the middle school, and the middle school teacher to fourth grade immersion....I'm sure she will be really nice, once I get to meet her for more than 5 minutes and she has some time to settle in.

It was a good weekend, though -- time well spent with a college friend and her family. They were having a rough weekend, coming to visit right off of bad news (a life dream crushed in a phone call the day they drove over....) but we managed to watch a ridiculous number of movies on netflix instant streaming, eat some good food, spend a day at the zoo, and in general have a nice time talking and catching up and avoiding thinking about their bad news.

And something to look forward to -- only three more days of school before a lovely church retreat to the mountains, time spend with younger friends and this will be the first time going on the retreat when I do NOT have to bring a stack of homework with me. I'm extra excited for the free time, now!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

two mondays

Two Mondays is way too many Mondays in one week. I guess that technically, there was only one Monday this week, and will only be one Friday, too, but the first Monday this week felt like a whole week in and of itself.

Monday was the day after Halloween and the day before election day. For most people, this simply means that Monday was the day after handing out candy to cute kids dressed up in crazy costumes, and the day before trying to remember to vote. For me, it was the day after my students stayed up late eating ridiculous amounts of sugar and the day before a day off of school.

Monday was full of Monday behavior. And Friday behavior. And between the two, I managed to send two kids to the office before 8:30, and another in the afternoon, and one of the 2 I had send in the morning got sent back to the office in the afternoon by his other teacher. Four office visits in one day? Not a normal Monday. Four office visits in a week? Now that would seem like a normal week, with the type of behavior the kids this year display.

So after Monday, I was a week's worth of tired. Thank goodness Tuesday was a Saturday. I mean, voting day. I slept 4 hours later than a school day, watched some t.v., had a nice head scratch from my hubby, went to vote, had lunch with my hubby, mama, and brother, spent the afternoon bargain shopping, went for a run with my girls, and did a lot of relaxing.

Just in time to repeat Monday on Wednesday. Kids behavior gone haywire. More office visits and general craziness. My team teacher was out, so the kids thought they could get away with a lot, even in my room. (I don't think so, guys. I'm still your normal teacher, too, and you know how to behave in my classroom.)

Thank goodness today was just a normal Thursday. And tomorrow will be just a normal Friday. And then, thank goodness, it is Saturday, and Sunday, and then even though it will be Monday again, it will be a normal Monday. Hopefully without a full week's worth of drama.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

halloween

Ahhh, the annual pumpkin carving. Except for the first time, at my house. And an ever changing guest list. And no real idea how many people are coming. And really, that makes it pretty hard to know how many pumpkins to provide, to those sweet sweet people coming over for carving. And coming over meant, in many cases, driving more than an hour and a half to get to my house, and just for the one night (although invited for longer than that!).

In the end, we bought 17 pumpkins for the 13 people who came over. Someone didn't carve though, because we still have 7 untouched pumpkins this morning. Exactly how that happened, I'm not sure....

So now I have 7 extra pumpkins, and absolutely zero desire to take the back where they came from and ask about their pumpkin return policy on the day before Halloween. Really? I think the demand is going down and that they won't really want them back. My wallet, though, after only two of the 11 who should have paid for their pumpkin actually paid, is hurting, and returning those 7 pumpkins would really be the best thing.

Which brings me to needing a little bit (ok, a lotta bit) of accountability. I am not good with money. I like to buy pretty things, new clothes, stuff for my house, and treats for my friends. I like to buy these things whether or not I know I can fully pay off my credit card balance each month, which is a new problem for me, because I used to be pretty sure of exactly how much I had available at any given time. I have moved into denial. Serious denial. Denial to the tune of "I spent 3 times as much as I knew I could afford this month and may have more than depleted all emergency savings". Which is not good, when I make a pittance as a teacher and dear sweet hubby who loves to see me happy with my friends at the house and a party underway and pretty things on the shelf and feeling confident about my clothing is a full time students, extremely part time interpreter. He makes enough each month to cover his cell phone bill. Which is a great help, but also indicates how broke we are.

We have made a couple of teeny tiny changes to help us out financially, but really, we need to do so much more. We changed alarm monitoring companies, which will save us about $17 a month. We found out about a discount on hubby's cell phone, which will save hubby about $15 a month. I am on the cusp of giving in and canceling the home phone line, which is a hard thing for me. I grew up with a home phone line and having one seems sort of like a security blanket for me. But I don't really see why I should pay almost $40 a month for a phone line that is mostly used for the alarm system, and at only $10 more a month I could change the alarm system to use the internet line....For a net savings of $30 a month. All in all we're talking a teeny tiny change that is really hard for me, and for no good reason, either.

What's really a challenge is that we don't really have very many places where we can make cuts. I personally made a few risky decisions financially within the last month -- buying new furniture for the living room, and some new clothes (some were actually necessary for school), and going out of town a couple times, and hosting a pumpkin party....But for the most part, we are pretty solidly frugal. We buy store brand food 95% of the time. We hardly ever eat out, and when we do, we almost always have a gift card or some kind of special deal (like happy hour at Sonic, or 2 for 20 at Appleby's) to help keep us spending less. Neither of us have a daily vice to give up, like a starbucks a day, or anything where our $3 could add up throughout the month. We've been pretty consistent about not going to Target just to walk around, and only going when we have a 10% off card AND coupons to use on our list. So what is left to do? I'm not really sure....Maybe we're supposed to not go in ANY stores, until Christmas. Which is really hard, since there are presents that need to come from somewhere before then....

Oh, me, oh, my. What have I done?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

una tarde para mi

Pensé que estuviera dando una hora de tutoria, pero por suerte revise mi telefono para ver un mensaje diciendo que la niña no necesita ayuda otra vez esta semana y que si me necesita, me llamará en el futuro. Estoy un poco triste que no me necesita, por la perdida de plata, pero desde la primera vez que me junté con ella, pensé que solamente necesitaba estudiar un poco más, y no necesitaba tanto a mi ayuda.

También recibí una llamada de mi mamá, que ella no iba a ir a la clase de yoga que normalmente asistemos juntas, y decidí que no iba a ir yo otra vez sin ella, siendo que me quedé despierta una hora más tarde que normalmente me acuesto y anduve todo el día con mañas hoy.

Decidí, en vez de ir a yoga, pasar a la biblioteca. Busqué algunos libros de autores que por suerte leí la última vez que fui a la playa (antes que este fin de semana) y me puse a ver "The biggest loser" cuando llegué a la casa. La conejita se acurrucó conmigo en el sillón mientras lo veía y disfruté tanto de su compañía que del programa.

Ahora mismo, esposito está preparando la cena, y dentro de la hora estaré acostadita en mi camita, calentita para dormir.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

fall break....

It's mid October, and fall break at the local university, so even though I'm only peripherally a student there, I am on fall break with some friends. Well, it ends today. I'm back at the beach for a brief vacation with the girls...Only by some funny error of planning, half of the group came and left a day early. So the three of us who ran the 5K together had a fun night yesterday -- shopping, eating German apple pancakes, and drinking woo woos.

I also took fall break the weekend before -- visiting a college friend and her little family, to help unpack, organize, and paint parts of their new home. It was great to see an old friend and talk and paint and be productive in someone else's home, and to see her parents (somehow we almost always manage to visit each other's parents), and to go to a farmers market and IKEA.

Oh, IKEA. How you tempt me. I had volunteered to simply stop by and pick up a couple things that hadn't fit in my friend's car, and on my trip through the entire gargantuan store, I managed to decide that I should invest in a shoe cabinet, two bookcases, and a dresser and wall bridge for my living room. I'm not sure what I was thinking, but my bank account is not very happy.

I called home, talked to my sweet hubby, and convinced him to measure our space. I wrote down all the details I thought I would need about the furniture I liked, and then moved one for the weekend....

Sunday afternoon, I sat down before leaving my friend's house to head home and worked out the measurements. If I had added correctly, the furniture I wanted measured exactly 1/2 inch more than the wall space we had available.

I'm a smart girl. I think so most of the time, at least. So amid jokes of this combination of furniture working out well if the wall is made of sponge, I decided to go for it anyway, and worry about that 1/2 inch later.

Sunday night, when sweet hubby saw all the boxes of that flat packed IKEA temptation....He said, "Let's put this together." I said...."Only one thing tonight, and I'm going to bed."

We put together the shoe cabinet, which will not, by the way, hold shoes. It will hold my school bag, his keys, wallet, phone, and a variety of other random things that will fit well in a shoe cabinet but are not shoes. We did not, however, fix it to the wall, since I was still a little unsure about where that extra 1/2 inch was going to come from.

A good and handy friend (who makes excellent german apple pancakes) came over on my Monday-off and helped my sweet hubby put the rest of the furniture together. I would have helped too, but had decided that stocking my freezer with grab-and-go lunches was also on the schedule for Monday, and IKEA typically doesn't require three people for furniture assembly. Two bookcases, a dresser, and a wall bridge later, we have what looks like a new living room. Oh, the available storage space. Oh, the mess that my house has been for so long. Oh, the time that it will take to make the stuff on the beautiful new IKEA furniture look presentable....





That extra 1/2 inch? It eventually came from the difference in length between the wall to wall measurement and the moulding to moulding measurement at the floor level. That shoe cabinet has a slight lip that sticks out into the wall, but its little feet aren't squished -- it fits JUST RIGHT. And in a house as old as mine, for a combination of IKEA furniture that was my first choice of IKEA furniture to fit exactly the way I want it to? Just what I needed on my one day off of school in October.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

un dia de trabajo, sin los niños

Y si, lo disfruté mucho. Estabamos trabajando para escribir escalas para usar para evaular el progreso de los niños entre kinder y quinto. Y una sustituta que al parecer no hizo mucho con mis niños...

Por suerte mi otra mitad estuvo alli para ayudarla con mis niños malitos.

En otras noticias...

Este fin de semana a Swint! Voy a poder salir a correr con mi amiga, comer s'mores, y hacer muchas otras cosas divertidas. Mientras no me encencio, todo bien!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

semana larga...

Semana larga. Parece que cada semana es larga, ahora. Un día más de escuela, y yo cansada para el fin de semana, ya. Un día más....

Lo que ha hecho sentir más largo aún a esta semana....Martes, cena con gentes de RISC que están de visita en la escuela, y miercoles, tutoria con una niña que conozco...

Días largas, todas. Y los niños, locos con la luna llena....Aunque los niños me dicen que no deben hablar mientras hacen varias cosas, siguen hablando. Ni podemos terminar de decir que no deben hablar, y ya están hablando. No se si están demaciados emocionados por lo que estamos haciendo, o que por fin pueden ir a torturar a sus padres en vez de a mi, pero el volumen dentro de mi sala me hace querer morir. Oh, los niños....

Y siendo jueves, llegue tarde, otra vez, pero a una casa vacía....mi esposito anda en un asunto de la iglesia, y yo con ninguna gana de ver a otras personas. Tuve la idea de salir a correr, pero me senté un minuto para llamar a esposito, y todavia estoy sentada una hora despues.....

O, querido señor, dame energia, paciencia, y cariño para mis estudiantes.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

18 septiembre


Ayer fue el 18 de septiembre, el día más importante en la vida de muchos chilenos. Para mi chilenito, era un día triste, sin celebración, lejos de su familia. Y yo con otros planes, más encima.

En la mañana, yo salí con dos amigas a correr un 5K. Cuando regresamos, mi esposito nos sacó algunas fotitos y nos regaloneamos un poco, y después tuvimos una pelea pequeña y me fui a buscar otra amiga para ir a la piscina (planes previas). Antes que volví de la piscina, esposito fue a vender asientos durante un partido de fútbol americano.

Después de la pelea, no nos vimos en todo el día.

Así que hoy, mi mamá me dijo que tenía algo para mi esposito.... Había encontrado empanadas chilenas aquí, y sola, sin que yo le acordara, sabía que fue el 18 de septiembre. Mi mamá es una mujer fantática.

No hay nadie como ella. Siempre está pensando en otros -- como ayudarles, las cosas que les hacen feliz, los días importantes....Yo todavía estoy demaciado enredada en mi propio mundo, y la mitad del tiempo (o más) ni estoy pensando en esposito. Es algo que necesito cambiar.

Yo con las niñas vamos a entrenar ahora para correr un 10K, en marzo. Terminamos el 5K corriendo, no caminando, y eso fue la meta.

Friday, September 17, 2010

another long week......

But probably a little better than last week. In fact, MUCH better than last week, but I'm still exhausted. At least I wasn't falsely accused again this week -- by the crazies.

I'm still feeling really stressed out by the kids I'm teaching this year, and not having much success with behavior.... Oh, it's tough. My partner teacher thinks we are making progress, though, so I will pretend she's right, for now. We've at least figured out that certain kids LIKE to go to the office, so they misbehave on purpose, to get the extra attention. The more we ignore the problem behavior from those students, the easier it becomes to ignore in the future? Maybe not...But telling them straight out that if going to the office is a reward for them, they aren't going to go, and then tricking them into thinking they are getting pulled out of the classroom to go to the office but really having to finish their tests or classwork in another teacher's room...Is apparently somewhat effective. So is distracting the other students when they dramatically fall out of their chairs and hit their heads on the tile floor, for the second or third time this week.... I believe that they will tell me if they need/want to go to the nurse. I don't offer until about 5-10 minutes have passed and the attention of the other students is on more productive things....Does this make me a bad teacher? Does this mean that I am not a kind, compassionate human being?

I think it makes me a frustrated, second year teacher, trying to do my best not to lose my cool in front of a classroom full of students, some who are actually paying a whole lot of attention to what I am doing, even if the rest of the students are trying to do everything they can NOT to.

Aside from school....I managed a 5K run with a friend on Wednesday, before yoga class, and managed to stay awake for shivasana, while my mama had a little snooze....Normally I'm the one snoring. And tomorrow, first thing, I'll be running a 5K with two of my good friends....We'll help each other go up the hill, since we normally run a mostly flat route. And the 5k will be followed by an afternoon of floating in the sun, followed by some extreme home-work action. Just what I love to do with my weekend. I guess it is better than selling seats at the football game, though.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Thinking Positive

Esta semana voy a llegar a la escuela con una actitud positiva. Voy a tomar la iniciativa y voy a demandar que mis estudiantes me muestran respeto.

Today, as I was doing my homework for the "applying theory and research" class I'm taking, I read about the different parenting styles. I had learned about these a couple of times before, but the information had been shoved aside to make room in my brain for other, I'm sure, more pertinent facts....

So it was really interesting to me to read about the predicted behaviors that children will exhibit if/when their parents employ particular parenting styles.

Watch out, indulgent parents -- you are basically teaching your children to become a menace to society. And you thought you were helping your baby become more creative....

It was particularly interesting to me after the week I had at school last week....And several different run-ins or conversations with parents over the last couple weeks. In my morning group of students, I can clearly identify my three biggest behavior problems, and their manifestations, as direct results of the parenting styles the children are experiencing. One has an authoritarian mother -- taking away all privileges, leveling extra (and perhaps unnecessary) punishments, and basically leaving no room for the child to express his own wants. This smart boy has become defiant and disrespectful. Another of my student's parents is indulgent -- loving and kind toward her child, yet completely unwilling to discipline the child in any way, or set any clear and maintained boundaries for the child. This indulgent parenting style has left the poor child with no respect for adults, completely egocentric, and completely unable to control his own behavior. And another of my dear sweet angels has a neglectful/indulgent mom -- sometimes indulging her child, believing anything that he says, and sometimes so wrapped up in her own life that the actions of her child go completely unnoticed. The child, in return, is showing signs of becoming socially incompetent, as well as being immature and disrespectful.

Oh, how I love it when I can read in a textbook about the problems I am seeing, but only find a list of the problems and their manifestations, and no advice on how to help these poor children....

But this week, I am going to have a positive attitude. I am going to be thankful for the other 11 children who have authoritative parents, who show love and present alternatives to their children in times of misbehavior, who ensure that their children are doing what is expected of them, paying them enough attention and being reasonable in their responses to their children.

And with my afternoon group, I'm going re-assert the classroom rules, and pretend that they will follow them this time. And I'll celebrate when we have a student-half-day on Wednesday and only two more weeks of studying animals and then can move on to what I think is the fun part -- planting seeds and hoping they will grow.

But overall, a positive attitude is in order, at least for Monday.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

and you choose to believe the 8 year old?

Holy Cow.

Wonders never cease.

My students are crazier than I thought.

I had a great labor day weekend, relaxed, read books for fun, finished sewing a pretty skirt, got lots of sun, and in general, didn't want to come home -- love me some beach time. Nope, wrong. Love me some dock-time and house-time and mama's cooking. Yum.

I didn't want to come home -- I was dreading this week. I just knew something was going to happen.

And it did. Some of my students told lies to their parents, and I was falsely accused of doing things that I would NEVER do, and the principal of my school spent two days pulling kids out of my class to question them about how I behave at school. The guidance counselor got the ring-leading kid to confess that nothing had happened, finally, and as an added bonus I got 45 minutes of time outside of my classroom unexpectedly. Great -- I did 60 minutes worth of science in 25 today. I'm sure my students feel adequately prepared for their vocab. test tomorrow....

The kid's mom is LOCA, too, and actually came down to my classroom this morning to apologize to me -- and try to pass it off as not actually having been her kid's blabbermouth in the first place -- as if I would ever believe her.

I feel blessed that the administration at my school never questioned my own role in this at all -- they told me that they didn't believe the kids for a minute, and that the parents in question were crazy, and had a history of being crazy. This is one of the benefits of teaching 3rd grade -- the parents have been around long enough for the administrators to already know which ones are a few crayons short of a box.

The kids in question are some of the worst behaved kids in the school. The administrators keep mentioning how they want my team teacher and me to work magic with them. The only magic they really need are parents who actually do some parenting. And by parenting, I do not mean barging into the child's teacher's room, whom you have recently denounced to the administration of the school, and thereby to the teacher herself, to say that your child wasn't the ring-leader. Remember, we teachers actually spend time paying attention to your child's actions throughout the day, and we are pretty aware of what is going on. And don't, by any means, force the teacher to hug you at 7:10 in the morning. She doesn't want to hug you; she wants you to fall on your face from an airplane, or something equally painful, that will help you understand what it is like to have to tell your son every 3 minutes of the day to listen, be respectful, and start doing his work.

Word to the wise: Don't automatically believe your 8 year old who has a history of looking you in the eye and lying to you. He may or may not be telling the truth, based on his desire for your immediate and sustained attention. If you gave him the attention he craved in the beginning, and without him telling lies, he might not grow up to be on our "We think we'll see so-and-so on the news in an orange jumpsuit" list. Not the teacher's list you want your child to be on.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

12 days of school down, many more to go...

Oh, school. Such a challenge, this year. If only my students would use their ears...
Wait...Use their ears to listen to ME, not their classmates, when I want to give instructions so that we can do something FUN.

In what was perhaps not my finest teaching moment ever, today, I lost my cool and SLAMMED the air conditioner-switch-lid very loudly. It was actually quite effective. The students jumped, sat quietly with looks of shock on their faces, and then listened in silence as I told them that they were acting like kindergarteners, not third graders. They stayed pretty well behaved for about half an hour, too, and we made it to lunch on time again.

I like getting to lunch on time -- it means I actually get to eat.

And amazingly, when the assistant principal walked in to check on my class this afternoon, she found my students working in pairs, actually doing what they were supposed to be doing. It was AMAZING. She saw me give the tail end of an example, then ask students who thought they new how to do it on their own, pair up the students, get their workbooks, and get them started -- a great time to observe, I think. She'll be evaluating me this year -- I hope I pass muster!

One more school day before the holiday weekend -- I am looking forward to the extra day. Seriously looking forward to the extra day.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

maybe better, maybe not

The school year is off to an extremely rough start. My kids have gotten the best of me twice now, which is amazing, since there are only 14 of them at a time.

Yesterday I rearranged the classroom into rows, reassigned seats with the talkers apart from each other, and came on strong and loud this morning. It worked until after recess. Then the volume button seemed impossible to turn down -- just got louder and louder in my classroom. I am praying VERY HARD that these kids settle down and get with it -- they are too old to be this LOUD. There is no understanding whatsoever that sound carries and that we don't yell indoors, especially when the teacher is trying to show you how to do something cool. For real.

Friday, August 20, 2010

week from hell, perhaps?

I don't know how I've made it to Friday night, but here I am, wishing I was already asleep, but thinking that I can hold on a little longer.

The girls and I had movie night on Saturday, to honor Kayla's visit before moving to Duke, and turned out the lights around 2am. Up on Sunday morning at 8:30, dropping off hubby's car for a friend to borrow by 9, showered and dressed for church a little later, then lunch with the family, followed closely by parent and student orientation at school.

After orientation, a detail-oriented trip to wal-mart (in over an hour I only found 3 things off my list) and then on to university church for dinner. Followed by an unannounced meeting during which one of my movie night girls was outed, and emotional, and many other friends also upset. All return to my house, since that's where we can all be comfy and such while we recover and whine.

Up early the next morning, preparing my classroom all day, number-photo hunting for an hour or so, then pizza and wal-mart for the university church. The photos didn't manage to get printed while I was there. Home around 9-ish for trash TV and in bed at 10. 10:15 bad news phone call.

Remember how the day before I had dropped off hubby's car for a friend to borrow? It got stolen. Please keep in mind that there were 15 minutes between the time I got in bed and the time the phone rang. And P.S. The car doesn't technically belong to hubby in the first place. I called the real owner, who fortunately acted like he was still awake, and looked up important info for me, such as the VIN, and then I headed out to the scene of the crime, houseguests in tow. After I managed to convince the policeman that the sketchy brazilian really was someone I knew and trusted, he emailed me the police report. Back in bed, lights out at 12:30. Up again at 6:30. After waking up every half hour. Great.

Back to school, for the last workday before students come. I'm tired and grumpy and wishing that the car hadn't been stolen and wondering why me? And just when I think someone is calling from the insurance company, I get a call from the dentist's office. Can I come in at 4? Sure. Why not. This is my week, obviously. I rushed from school to the dentist, from the dentist to a meeting at church, and from the meeting at church to a university church meeting. Where I promptly made the meeting leader change the meeting schedule so that I could go home. In bed, finally, at 9:15.

Wednesday is the first day of school. My kids are talkative, but not horrible. I'm exhausted. The car is recovered, and my mom (Thanks mom!) picks it up, minus a few things, like a radio and turn signal. I chat for a bit and am too late and too tired to go to yoga. In bed more or less on schedule for school.

Thursday. Kids are getting a little more out of hand. How many times will an impulsive kid throw a desk across the room in one day? Hard to keep track. Please pinch me and lie to me and convince me that I love my job. Stayed after preparing stuff for the next day, but not really sure that it's worth much. Leave to cook dinner for friend and complain about how long this stupid week has felt. Again, in bed more or less (ok, less) on schedule.

Friday. Wanted to strangle a kid at school. Probably not a healthy thought for the third day of school. The lack of respect is absolutely amazing. This group has a track record of being tougher with younger teachers. I'm not all that young, but younger than my partner teacher. Totally exhausted from unexpected problems, like the computers in the computer lab all being off when we arrived, and students being SUPER LOUD all the time. ALL the time. No really, ALL the time. They have no filter. No off switch. I feel sorry for the good kids in the group -- they get such a bad rep from the 3-5 in each group who think that kicking each other and throwing desks around is funny. Stayed after school to plan for Monday, but just wanted to be at home on the couch, and not at school. I needed to leave, and didn't really care whether I'd have to make the drive on Saturday. Hopefully I'll be more efficient if I am well rested, instead of tired from trying to show patience while being firm all day.

And now? Now I have been vegging on the couch for four hours. I read a whole novel this evening.

Oh, and to top it off? Hubby is out of town, and has been for the whole of this week. He missed the entire ordeal. Heard about it by phone, skype, and email. I love that man, but I would really like a vacation sometime soon.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

On the news....

Yep, on. Not in.

I was informed by a co-worker this morning that a nearby school district is cutting all elementary foreign language instruction over the next two school years.

A couple hours later, I received a phone call from the head of the SC Foreign Language Teacher's association asking for my permission to pass my number along to someone from a local tv station.

She called a few minutes later, and was going to be at my school in less than an hour. My school, which is 30 min. away from my house, and my makeup, and my shine-fighting powder which I had forgone knowing that I was going to spend the day playing with blocks and magnets and drawing on white erase boards with students in between moving heavy boxes full of stuff around in my classroom.

I was pretty nervous and very shiny, but I think that I ended up sounding reasonably intelligent on the news...Even though she cut out all the parts where I mentioned that "research shows". It looks like everything I say is personal opinion, even though it is not. Just for the record.

Interested? Watch it here.

Friday, August 6, 2010

home again, home again, jiggety jig

Estamos en casa de nuevo. Fue super triste salir de la playa, pero disfrutamos mucho los ultimos días de vacacion con una amiga mia de la universidad, su esposo, y su guaguita.

Lo pasamos bien saliendo en la lancha, a esquiar, usando kayaks, jugando putt-putt, y tomando vino, viendo peliculas, y jugando "The Really Nasty Horse Racing Game".

Fue triste empacar las cosas, limpiar la casa, y todo eso....Y tener que llegar a la casa nuestra y desempacar, guardar la ropa otra vez, ver cuanta ropa sucia hay, cuanto desorden hemos creado.

En otras noticias, el Pato se va el domingo, temprano, a California, para un campamento de coro. Estara allá 2 semanas. Invité las niñas a ver películas conmigo el sabado en la noche....uuuups. Hay que empezar a ir a la escuela para arreglar mi sala y prepararme para el año escolar....Uf. Hay que cenar con mi mama hoy, e ir con ella a target este fin de semana....Lo triste es que estará loca la tienda con el fin de semana sin impuestos....

Igual, siempre disfrutamos de salir a comprar.

Y todavia estoy esperando una noticia personal....tendré que seguir esperando, porque no hay forma de apurarla.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Triste, cuando lo piensas...

Recien estuve viendo cosas en facebook, como la maestra de todo sketchy, y me di cuenta que alguien que conocí en la universidad se había divorciada.

Me choqueó, para decir la verdad. Esta niña es un poco más joven que yo. Al parecer, es mucha más bonita, inteligente, y sin duda siempre fue una bailerina mejor que yo. Se casó en 2007, y recién descubrí (no soy una amiga de esta mujer, pero no la tengo nada en contra, tampoco) que ya está divorciada.

No tengo idea que pasó, ni las circunstancias, pero lo encuentro triste. Triste que el divorcio es tan común que los matrimonios no duran más que tres añitos, y se van.

Bueno, mi matrimonio lleva un poco más de cuatro años, y con el amor y bendición de Dios, durará muchos años más.

Me choca que gente de mi edad ya están pasando por el divorcio, cuando la mitad de mis amigas ni se han casado por primera vez.

Triste es, cuando lo piensas bien.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Surprise, surprise!

Most of the time, I'm not a huge fan of surprises. That's usually when they are directed at me, and involve things like failed classes or forgotten laundry or extra meetings, and things like that....

I am a huge fan, however, of planning surprises for my husband.

Like a three night stay at a B&B in Virginia. For his birthday. When my cousin was bringing guests to stay at the beach, and he wanted to go away.

He thought we were just heading back to Columbia, kicked out of the beach house, and that I had finally relented and agreed to go with him, rather than sticking it out at the beach with the cuz and her guests.

When I asked about taking his camera "home" with us, he wanted to know why. Oh, I said, we never take pictures of the two of us; I thought it might be fun to take some while we are home.

When I suggested he take more nice clothes "home," he wanted to know why. Well, if we are taking pictures, I want to make sure you look nice.

I snagged his toothbrush while he fixed a bottle of water for the road -- no need to pack one for home, since we keep one at home anyway....

And I convinced him that it was my turn to drive the backroads stretch of the trip home....

Only I went the wrong direction, on purpose. He was immediately suspicious. And he started guessing. Are we going to Wilmington? No.

Are we going to Silver Coast? No.

Are we going to the beach? No.

Where are we going? I don't know, with a sweet secretive smile....

Are we going to New York? No.

Are we going to DC? No.

Where are we going????

We're going to Virginia.

What???

At this point I handed him the directions I had printed out the night before, for the off chance that I would need to sneak a look if he hadn't figured it out and set the GPS for me.

We spent three nights in Onancock, on the Eastern Shore, which I had never even heard of before my google search suggested the Colonial Manor Inn might have a room available....

Surprise vacation? check.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

back at the beach

With friends, this time!

After a week of RISC training at school, I am back at the beach, and so glad to have a couple more weeks of vacation. I'll enjoy going back to work, when it is time for that, but I am glad to have a break for a little while.

Yesterday we packed up a picnic lunch and went over to Waites Island. We climbed up on the sketchy old dressing platform and had the best view -- over the dunes and across the water, clear skies, beautiful sand, and in the distance, the horses from Inlet Pointe.

We followed up with some swimming, some reading in the sun, a little walking, a little photography...

When we arrived back at the house, the second half of the group had arrived. We got the boat, played some games, ate dinner, learned the Honor Roll, and watched Whip It. Overall, a great night. Maybe even better than playing Super Mario Bros. 3 the night before.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Weekend, already?

Why do the days fly by when one is on vacation? It is so unfair.

My mom and sister are on their way down to the beach, and my dad will bring my grandma tonight, and we'll have a small crowd for a couple of days. Rayen will be stuck in the bedroom, we've vacuumed and cleaned the kitchen, and we've been straightening up the rest of the house too -- even though most of the mess was made by the whole family together less than two weeks ago. Free place to stay, on the water? I'll take it.

Esposito and I went to Waites Island yesterday afternoon (and the afternoon before that) even though it takes a good 20-30 minutes to get there. We stopped for ice cream on the way, in to-go cups with lids, stuck into the cooler. When we got to the beach, we climbed up on the old dressing-room tower, and sat there, looking out over the dunes onto the completely unoccupied beach. There is nothing better. What a blessing -- no time commitments, no hurry, just me and my hubby and some ice cream and a view that takes my breath away....

After the ice cream, we walked down towards Cherry Grove. It was low tide, and we waded out a little to see how deep the crossing was. At low tide, not very deep. It may be headed towards the same fate as Bird Island -- completely joined with Sunset Beach, these days, due to the whole process of sand shifting over time. I remember about 15 years ago that my dad read a book called The Beaches are Moving. About how private ownership and insurance protection for land that was never designed to be privately owned really just don't work out so well....It is a sad concept, but true. The beaches move, and shift, and change, and the structural crap that we humans do to them really don't have much to do with preserving the true nature of the beaches, but with finding ways to exploit them....

Anyway. The beaches are moving, and it seems that the inlet between Cherry Grove and Waites Island might be closing in. In which case, development of Waites Island might be a sooner possibility than I would like to think, although I'm pretty sure there are a few family members who would fight that pretty hard.

We enjoyed our walk, although we didn't find any sand dollars today (we only found one the day before). Now we're getting ready for the family for the weekend. Then four days of school stuff, then friends at the beach, then more guests, more guests, and moving home.

Summer will be over before I'm ready.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Rainy days at the beach

We have had a great summer so far -- very little rain, few thunderstorms, etc. Until about last week, that is. Cloudy and overcast every day, lots of rain (mostly at night, though), and thunderstorms like nobody's business. I don't mind it, but it does make it harder to want to go out and do things.

So these are the things that I do on a rainy day at the beach:
1. Work on a puzzle on the screen porch. Currently, "100 elephants and a mouse". I still haven't found the mouse.

2. Read books. As previously mentioned, I'm currently reading Other People's Words and really enjoying it. And learning a lot.

3. Sewing. I decided to work on pajamas for my movie night girls for Christmas. I am having mixed success and concerned about the sizing -- since I'm not exactly the same shape as all of my friends. Most of them are taller than me. We'll see how these turn out. But already this summer, I have completed two skirts and an apron.

4. Napping. Ahhhh, napping to the sound of rain on the roof...

And that's about it.

Oh, my life, how I love it!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Reclaiming my life

Esposito and I are finally relaxing again, after playing host and hostess, of sorts, to my family....

Oh, to be able to let the cat out of the bedroom! My grandma didn't realize, in a whole week and a half, that there was a cat in the house. Excellent. The sneaky bunny is now curled up next to me on the couch, shielding her eyes with her paws as she sleeps.

We went home from the beach for a night. Hubby needed some arias from the music library, and suggested that I might need a movie night with my girls. They, very obligingly, agreed to change their plans and have a night of catching up -- I hadn't been home in 5 weeks! Our yard is a jungle, but it was wet and stormy, so no mowing this trip.

Movie night was just what I needed. Many of my friends, like me, are away for the summer, and keeping in touch is just not our strong suit. Getting together for 6 or 7 hours of "movies", on the other hand, is the perfect remedy.

Also, my mama and I went shopping at the Joann's that is moving -- liquidation sales, but not really all that amazing. I will be sewing a few pairs of pjs for my girls for Christmas (note that it is currently July) and picked up some things for a skirt and a blouse. I have one skirt in progress already, but should be relatively close to finishing it -- waistband and hemline. These projects of mine always take longer than I think they should.

Hubby also checked out some books I am interested in from the school library. The book I have been most looking forward to is called Other People's Words. I am looking forward to meeting the family featured in this tail of modern day illiteracy in the US and also looking forward to its implications for my teaching this year. More to come, later, about this book.

And for today....The agenda is as such: work on puzzle, sew, sit in sun on dock and read, maybe do some exercise, love on kitty, read. Oh, vacation, thank you for arriving at last.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

¿el fin de las vacaciones?

¿Puede ser? ¿Puede ser verdadero que ya se están yendo mis familiares?

Durante el fin de semana habían 14 personas en mi casa. 14.

Y ahora, algunitas días después, solamente hay 8. Se irán 3 más hoy, y 3 más mañana, y son todos, ya fuera de mi casa, dejandome a mi con mi esposito lindo solitos para un día.

Y el próximo día, se supone, vienen algunos amigos, con su guagua, a disfrutar de un fin de semana durante la semana, una vacacion corta que no pueden tomar durante el fin de semana por ser pastores. Pero solamente vendrán si la mujer se haya recuperado de una enfermedad rara que tuvo recién.

Mi gatita linda ya quiere andar libre en la casa, y mi esposo ya quiere tener espacio libre en la casa, y yo yo quiero un poco de paz y un poco de espacio en el refrigerador. Imagínate, tres galones de leche a la vez, porque tantos lo toman....

Lentamente, mi vida volverá a la normalidad, si es que eso existe.

Por ahora, voy a clase hoy, dejando la locura por un rato, y el viernes, termina la clase....
Lo he disfrutado, y ha sido una bendición poder salir de la casa y la locura de tantas personas.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

mi familia me tiene loquita

A, la bendición de familia....

Siempre quejando que las cosas cuestan caro, ofreciendo pagar cosas y después negando la oferta, y diciendo que no tienen dinero cuando en realidad son mucho más rico que los otros miembros de la familia.

No dispondré de información personal de las finanzas de mi familia....Pero para ponerlo bonito, yo con mi esposo ganan MENOS que cualquier otro miembro de la familia. Mi esposito lindo está estudiando en la universidad, trabajando más o menos 3 horas a la semana, en un trabajo que paga un poco más del sueldo mínimo.

Yo soy maestra de primer año, y además, soy estudiante en la universidad también, terminando mi certificación. Piénsalo bien: dos estudiantes, un trabajo de tiempo completo, y nosotros ofreciendo de lo que tenemos que todos pueden sacar y comer y usar, sin saber si lo pondrán de vuelta al final. Y otros miembros de mi familia: llegan, comen, usan, disfrutan, y se van, sin pensar ni un minuto en la orígen de las cosas. ¿De donde vino el vino rico que es todo de la misma marca? ¿De dónde vino toda la fruta congelada? ¿Dónde vino todo el chocolate caliente de sabores nuevos? ¿Quién puso sabanas limpias a todas las camas? ¿Quién se aseguró que los baños estuvieran limpios?

Los que tienen la plata deben pagar, es simplemente lo que yo creo. O, si van a cobrar deudas, deben decirlo al principio, no después de decir que no hay problema. Si yo pido permiso para ocupar tu casa vacía, y tu dices que si, por favor, díme en ese momento si este verano me vas a cobrar la electricidad, que no me has cobrado nunca en el pasado para ocupar tu casa de la misma forma.

Y la prima....Me tiene loca. Supuestamente se va el sábado, pero se que su mamá y papá quieren que se quede más tiempo aquí. Veremos que pasa.

Hasta pronto, me quedo, enloqueciendome,
Eli

Sunday, June 27, 2010

visitors

Mi familia ha empezado a llegar. The invasion has begun. Mientras normalmente disfruto de la compañia de mi familia, hoy trae consigo la voz de mi mamá, diciendo que la gata debe estar en otra parte, y la voz de mi abuela, pidiendo cualquier cosa a cualquier hora, no importando que estabas haciendo antes, y la tambien la voz de mi prima, diciendo que quiere ir a hacer tal cosa porque no hemos hecho nada hoy (incluyendo las 5 actividades que ella ya ha hecho hoy...). Yo amo a mi familia, pero en números grandes, me cansan.

Llegó mi hermano ayer, relajado. Trajo muchos libros, estuvo contento con la gata, leyó en el muelle por un buen rato, nadó con nosotros a la noche y marea alta. Hoy empiezan a llegar en cantidades grandes, invadiendo de a dos.

Creo que me sentiría un poco mejoy con la llegada de tantas personas si hubiese escuchado a mi mamá y buscado otro lugar donde cuidar la gata por esta semana. Mi mamá dijo que no quiso tener la gata en la casa con tantas personas, que se iba a asustar. El miedo de mi mamá es que la Rayen ataca a cualquier otro miembro de la familia, como la perrita hizo cuando era chica y mordió al cartero. La tenemos con todas sus cosas de gata en la pieza nuestra, puerta cerrada. Con las otras visitas que hemos tenido, ella se queda asustadisima en la pieza, y sin deseo de salir a explorar la casa.

Bueno, mientras sé que disfrutaré de la semana con mi familia, con clase y tarea y la abuela de mal genio y los tíos y la prima y su esposo, y mis hermanos y padres....Casa llena. Será interesante.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Lista para terminar

I am ready to be finished with taking classes to add early childhood certification. It is such a process to be able to find a class that I think will count, submit it for evaluation, have it rejected, find another, submit it with an angry letter, track down syllabi, pay registration fees and application fees to universities I will only take one course from, ever, and then to finally take the courses and find them less useful and hardly applicable...It is very frustrating.

Right now I am 1.5 classes away from my certification, but this last class is very elusive. The ever-so-unhelpful description provided by the SC Dept. of Ed. reads
"Methods and Materials, 3 hrs". Great. The courses I have found with a similar title, like, "Instructional mat. in elem. school" somehow just don't match up -- it is really frustrating. I just want to be finished with this whole process, already. I want to be able to focus on teaching, not on whether or not I can find rhyming texts in English on the kindergarten level that I can make up literacy workstations for -- that I will NEVER use, because I teach third grade and teach in Spanish. Relevant? Not so much. Interesting? Ok. Maybe. Time suck? Definitely.

A pesar de todo, me gusta estar en la sala, aprendiendo. Me gustan más los temas de cómo ayudar a los que no tienen una historia buena de educación en su familia, los que tienen dificultades para leer y sobrevivir todo que es el sistema de educación pública. Mientras es difícil mantener interés en temas como identificar exactamente cuantos errores tiene un niño al leer en voz alta y que tipo de errores son, veo que para los que enseñan lectura puede ser relevante e interesante. Simplemente, me interesa más aprender otras cosas.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

bienvenidos

Este verano, tengo la bendición de vivir en la playa. Estoy participando en un curso de la enseñanza de lenguaje y lectura a niños chicos. Mientras es divertido, me deja con demaciado tiempo libre.

I'm learning about things like how "reading" with your 6-month old can help your child eventually be a successful reader. Please talk to your baby about anything and everything. And pretend that you like to read and write, even silly things, all the time. If your child thinks it is important to you, and useful, your child will want to do it. Even if you HATED reading in school.

Somehow, my cat just hasn't caught on yet.