Archive for January, 2010

Teacherly Things

I promised you pictures of the bulletin board when it was finished, so here is a short video.  My digital camera sucks at taking pictures indoors, so I used my little pocket cam.  It’s not as cool as I had envisioned, and I think if we had had more time, it would’ve been.  I like the “hero” side, not so much the “villian” one, but it’s done and it’s over.  Whew.  My contribution (besides helping to place everything and make sure we had all components) was to write and format the text boxes.  I think they turned out well.  I didn’t talk in the video because there was some meeting going on in the room right behind me. 

Hope you’re having a great Saturday!

Lessons Learned (or something like that)

This post is apt to not make much sense as I stayed up way too late trying to get some reading done.  Good lawd, I have a lot of reading to do!

I had lunch with the Fireman yesterday.  We hadn’t seen each other since we broke up, which was about 7 months ago.  We’ve talked here and there, and once I got over the hurt, was glad that we could still be friends in that limited capacity.  We were friends before we dated, and we always had a lot of fun together.  We could also always talk about important serious stuff with each other.  We both have crazy, jerk exes who don’t always make a lot of sense, and we both love our boys like crazy and strive to be good parents. 

As we talked, I realized that I learned a lot from our relationship/break up.  We didn’t talk much about it, but we acknowledged it.  He told me about the girls he’s been dating, and I was surprised and happy that it didn’t make me sad to hear it.  I told him about the Nerd and how good he is to me.  We talked about our boys, our exes, and Senor Fussypants, and marvelled (heh) at the idea that it had been almost exactly a year since we had our first date. 

It seems like it’s been a lot longer than that. 

Here’s what I’ve learned from all of this: 

  • I can’t go into a romantic relationship full speed ahead.  We were excited and let it get the better of us.  It was a long fall back down and I don’t think I’ll ever jump in feet first again like that. 
  • That breaking up with another person is hard (this falls under the “I had to dump someone and had an epiphany” category), even if you haven’t been dating long.  It’s easy to rationalize that maybe you should give it a little more time because you don’t want to cause anyone pain. 
  • That it is possible to still care about and be friends with an ex if and when you are over them (for real).  My litmus test on that is whether or not I can hear about their dating experiences without feeling jealous.  I mean, c’mon, women are just as territorial as men.

When we were leaving, we hugged and said, “It was really good to see you,” and I have no doubt that we both meant it sincerely.  I think I’m getting better at this thing, y’all.  We’ve come a long way, kiddos.

Wednesday and All’s Well

What’s this?  I have a little extra time to myself?  During the week?!?!?  I may get the vay-pahs!

Yesterday was spent shuttling to the doctor’s office (which is 60 miles away) and back with a sick Little J.  Since we’ve moved here (where it’s winter 6 months out of the year), he’s been susceptible to ear infections and swollen tonsils, something we never had to worry about before.  Monday morning he told me his throat was hurting a little, and by that night his cheeks were flushed and he was completely lethargic.  The doctor told us he has a double ear infection and tonsilitis.  Poor little guy. 

Since my mom was home yesterday, I went to my first class because we were supposed to be working on our group project, the bulletin board.  When we were just batting ideas around last week, everyone was cheerful and seemed to like everyone else’s ideas.  Yesterday was a different story.  We had our theme and the layout pretty much set – a comic book look, with one side good and one side bad, split diagonally. 

One of the ladies and I were talking before the larger group of six got together, and we had the same ideas.  We felt that the hero and villian should both be hand-drawn, and that we should try to keep the colors to red, yellow, blue and green.  We wanted it to look as comic-book-like as possible.  I’ve worked with her before, as she was one of my students last semester.  She’s very smart, but also used to taking charge, which turned out to be problematic once we got into the larger group.  One of the ladies didn’t want everything hand-drawn, saying that it would take too long or would be too much work.  Another said that we shouldn’t make a simple comic strip to go with the pictures, because there would then be too much information for people walking by.  Gah!  My ex-student was not happy.  There was lots of tension, but we got everything (mostly) worked out.  My job was to create the comic strips, which we’ll mount on a white background.  They actually turned out really well.  The entire thing won’t be what I envisioned/wanted, but at least my part’ll be great!

Little J stayed home again today.  He was feeling better, but needed more down time, so we hung out at the house all morning, playing video games.  I took him with me to my mentor group today, and once the quizzes were all graded and recorded, he helped keep score for the jeopardy game we play.  He even knew some of the answers!  He liked coming to campus with me and seeing what it was like.  I even walked him through the student center, where he got to look down at the people playing basketball.  He thought it was really cool to go to college.  🙂

Ah well, hoping for a few uneventful days.  We should have the bulletin board finished by Friday, and I’ll be sure to take my camera with me so you can see it.  If it sucks, I’ll just remind you that I only had control over one part.  😛

Totally Music (and words) Tuesday

Ok, so I was going to write yesterday and then didn’t have time, so you get two, two, two posts in one!

Monday was my first day observing in the classroom.  Even though I’ve done observations before, it’s been in a school with people I’m familiar with.  The classroom I’ve been assigned to is called and explorer class, and it has 19-8th graders who are below their grade level in reading, writing, and math.  You know, all those things that the states love to test our students on incessantly.  The teacher’s job in this classroom is to try and help all her students to improve on their standardized test scores, as well as try and teach them new things along the way.  To try and explain to you what being in this classroom was like, imagine the rowdiest kid you knew in school, then multiply that by at least 13.  None of them were bad, but it was incredibly loud!  The worst thing I saw anyone do was flip another student off, which sounds awful, but they were joking around with each other.  I think I’m going to learn an awful lot about classroom management and start to plan out how to avoid some of these situations in my own future classroom.  On a related note, we are creating bulletin boards for one of my (college) classes, and I am so damn excited about the one my group is making, because it was my idea.  How completely dork-eriffic is that?  I’m hoping to take pictures of the board when we’re all done, and fo sho will be posting them for y’all.

Okay, enough teacher talk!  The weekend was pretty good.  As for the argument with The Nerd, we talked it out on Friday night and both felt better.  He even went to the hospital and picked up my book for me.  Swell, huh?  We had game day with the boys on Saturday and made hot dogs and macaroni and cheese and I even made some ginger salad dressing that was to-die-for.  We played monopoly (I hate that infernal, never-ending game) and watched Wayne’s World (oh yeah),  and everyone had a good time.  Sunday was Big J’s 14th birthday.  I wanted to write a post all about him, and I’m sorry I didn’t have time.  Here is the one I wrote last year when he became a teenager.  He requested I make chicken enchiladas, so I did, and we had beans and rice and homemade cake and ice cream.  The Nerd came over, and so did my sister, her husband, and the baby.  It was nice to have everyone together, and Big J said he had a great birthday, despite the broken toe. 

Finally!  Here’s the song for this week.  It’s The Heavy “How You Like Me Now.”  The video’s pretty cool, too.  🙂  Happy Tuesday!

Sweet Jeebus

The last few days have been ri-dic-u-lous.  It’s like karma said, “no!  You aren’t allowed to have that many great days in a row!”  YOINK!

Wednesday started at 5 am, with school reading all morning once the boys were off to school followed by the mentor group in the afternoon.  I was really tired (the Nerd and I had gone out the night before, so I hadn’t gotten much sleep), but I knew that I had to get up super early Wednesday morning, so thought it would be best to do school work rather than take a nap.  I actually got a lot done, but was really looking forward to going to bed early. 

Cue Big J calling me on the way home from wrestling practice to tell me that he hurt his foot bad at practice and that I needed to take him to the hospital.  His coach  didn’t call me, he did.  Knowing that injuries are sometimes blown out of proportion, I told him to stay calm and I’d look at it when he got home.  When he took off his sock, it was obvious that at the very least his big toe was broken – it was crooked and black and blue.  I knew that the only thing a doctor could do about a broken toe was to tape it, but I decided it was important to have it checked out to make sure the rest of his foot was okay.  So, we trundled (and limped) off to the ER. 

(Side note:  Big J called his dad on the way to let him know what was going on…Douche told him, “I’m really busy, I’ll have to call you back later.”  Still has not called him back to see how he is.  Can you imagine telling your child that you don’t have time for them?  I can’t.)

(Back story)

Remember how I said I was going to have to get up super early on Thursday morning?  That’s because I had to be on campus at 7:15, to go meet the teacher I’m partnered with for observations this semester.  Since Little J’s bus doesn’t come until 7:20, I’d had to finagle someone to stay with him from the time I left and the time he left.  Originally, my step dad said he could, but he ended up working overtime, so The Nerd said he could do it (told you he was a good ‘un). 

(Back to the ER)

So, there we were in the ER, waiting on the doctor, and I get a message from The Nerd saying that his car got locked up in the parking garage at their new office.  He was helping his boss set things up, and didn’t know that the doors would lock at a certain time, so his car was stuck there until they opened it in the morning, which meant he couldn’t be there in the morning for Little J. 

This is about the time I had a little freak out.  I had gotten about 4 hours of sleep the night before and had been running non-stop all day.  It was 9 pm, I was in the emergency room, and I still had almost 100 pages to read before class the next day.  And now I had to find someone who could put my son on the bus.  I started texting the few people around here I would trust with my boys.  Everyone had to work, so it looked like I would just have to try to catch up with the group as fast as I could after Little J got on the bus. 

The doctor finally came in and declared that yes, Big J’s big toe was broken, and all they could do is tape it.  Luckily, the rest of his foot was fine, but he can’t wrestle until it heals, which was a huge disappointment to him.  We got home at about 10:45, and all I wanted to do was pass out.  However, I still had reading I needed to do for class, and a shower I needed to take, and hair to dry, and blah, blah, blah.  I let The Nerd know we were home, and he suggested that if I could pick him up in the morning, he could get his car and then drive Little J to school.  Hallelujah, give that boy a gold star!  So, I was relieved about that. 

I showered and laid out my clothes for the next day (we had to wear professional clothing for the meetings), and got ready to lie down and read as much as I could before I fell asleep.  I couldn’t find my book!  Can you guess why?  I left it on the chair at the ER.  Yeah, I did.  No reading for me.  This was probably a blessing in disguise, though, because it meant I could go to sleep.  For about 4 hours.

Another 5 am wake up call, classes all day, and then magnet school testing for Little J in the evening meant another very long day.  Needless to say, I was over-tired and completely emotional.  So what did I do?  I picked a fight with The Nerd.  Something small that had been bothering me for a week was suddenly a huge deal.  While I don’t think what I wanted to discuss was invalid, I do wish I had waited until I’d gotten some sleep before trying to broach it.  All it accomplished was both of us feeling like shit.  Hoping to discuss it further tonight.

So, that was my week.  I’m sure some of you had worse ones.  I sure do miss you guys.

I Enjoy Scholarly Pursuits

I’ve missed y’all tons!  I’ve tried to read here and there, and I will catch up eventually.

I can’t begin to tell you how much better this semester is treating me already.  Even though my days on campus are (very) long, there’s a sizable break between classes and there’s always someone to shoot the bull with.  Or time to get reading done if I want.  The first two texts in my lit classes are The Great Gatsby and The Catcher in the Rye.  How lucky can you get, right?  The rest of the reading looks really promising, and the only downside to the classes themselves is one obnoxious bastard who’s in both.  Luckily, one of the profs takes him to task rather than letting him monopolize class time with his own theories.  It’s wonderful to look forward to class again, to have meaningful discussions, and feel like I’m learning something that’s going to be useful.

I think the fact that things are going well with The Nerd helps a lot, too.  We’ve still stuck to the limited-time-together plan.  That doesn’t mean that we only see each other once a week, but it’s not every night or even every other night, usually.  We’re planning to start taking dance classes in a couple of weeks, and I’m very excited about it!  Exercise and boogie-in’?  Yes, please!  My mother has even been pretty cool about watching the boys one night a week so we can go out. 

So, things are good, going on an even keel, and that, my dears, is a great thing.

Totally Music Tuesday

After a down week, it’s back!  In continuing with the “homesick for Texas” theme of the last TMT post, I give you two great Texans, George (my 2nd husband) Strait and Lyle (former Mr. Julia Roberts) Lovett.  I’ve seen both live, and both are wonderful showmen.  I don’t know how you can’t love either. 

The George song is “She’ll Leave You With a Smile,” because hell, who DOESN’T want to be that girl?  The first Lyle song is “South Texas Girl,” because, duh, I AM that girl!  Well, a South-East Texas girl, anyhow.  The last one is a Lyle song called “Church,” and it’s one that was played tons in our house growing up, usually on Sundays. 

Enjoy the Southern sounds, and have a great day!

P.S.  Another good Lyle Lovett song is “That’s Right, You’re Not From Texas.”