I am lost

What do you do when a young man comes up

to you and tells you he has been in a gang for

over 6 years and wants out, is only 18 and

fears retaliation for a summer of

foolishness?  I have already lost one of my

students to this same gang.  I lost him to

a life time in prison.  And now my heart

breaks for this sweet baby. I am so lost…

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Business as usual…can’t keep a good woman down!

Well, another school year has begun.  I have been a Special Ed. English teacher for almost 13 years.  Last year, someone thought that  it would be a good idea for me to teach electives (politics at work).  So, I began teaching a course called Succeeding in the World of Work (which we just call Success at Work…easier to say).  The other is one year but two courses:  Financial Literacy/Digital Technology.  Okay, so I can teach the financial literacy but it isn’t much fun no matter how hard I try.  The Digital Technology is fun but I suck at technology.  Fortunately, I am only teaching one class of it.   Now, here is the challenge:  How does one teach a computer course without computers?  It’s easy, I project mine on the Smart Board…hahahhaaa…The same thing happened last year so I taught Financial Literacy first.

The regular ed. teachers had a conniption.  “You can’t do that, they need Excel to do Financial Literacy!!!”  NOT IN MY WORLD THEY DON’T.   My students have no plans of using Excel to do their budget.  I know this because when I taught it to them the second half of the year and tied it into what they learned in Financial Literacy they made comments such as, “What a pain in the ass this is!  (yes, they said ass) Why would I ever do all of this?  It just seems like more work than necessary (work smart, not hard,…smart kids I’d say).  Can we do a fun project now?”  And that is what we did…A FUN PROJECT!!!

Most of my students are seniors and took the elective because it sounded like fun…not the financial part…that just sounded necessary.  I kinda liked flipping it around so that we had a ton of fun learning when everyone gets into Spring mode (which gets earlier every year).

Sooooooo….I have started off with Internet Safety.  blah, blah, blah I am hoping that the computers will be up and running soon.  Our tech man is a maniac and can fix anything.  He just has too many things to fix. And…surprise, surprise, they wouldn’t give him summer hours to get the job done. Our school houses 200 working adults and about 1400 usually working students.  Every classroom has a least one computer and then there are the labs (Oh…did I mention that my lab is a cart of laptops unlike the regular ed classes?), the media center and the offices.  That poor man.

That means, the question still remains, can I teach a digital class without computers…that remains to be seen but I am trying my darnedest. If not, I will be that salmon swimming upstream once again…flip-flopping my course around and loving the astonished look of the other digi-teachers who think it is sacrilegious of me to go against the curriculum.  Lighten up, close the door and JUST TEACH!     I love my job!  (And I am not being sarcastic)  No day feels like work.  Do what you love, love what you do!  (My cliche for the day)  =)

p.s.  Please pardon any typos or grammatical errors.  After all, I am just thinking out loud.

HOW TO BEAT THE SNOW PLOW.

CHANCE OF SNOW ~ 1-3 inches….HA!

It was more like 6-8!  My honey woke up late and was in a frantic panic. Big meeting this morning. So, I bundled up, grabbed a hold of the shovel and went to work shoveling the driveway.

AND WHAT TO MY WONDERING EYES SHOULD APPEAR??? THE SNOW PLOW TRUCK!

You probably all know how it goes.  You shovel the driveway and then you get plowed in again behind some massive mound of snow bolders.  Ugh!

So today…I WAS THE SNOW PLOW!  I shoveled from the corner of the street and well past my mail box which is a mere 25 feet or so and about 4 feet out into the street .

(My driveway curves around … one opening on one street and the other side comes out on the perpendicular street).  I live on the corner so they get to plow me in twice.

Then I raced to the other end and shoveled from the that side of the driveway to the end of my property which was only about 15 feet but I had to do half way out into the street.  God was with me as the snow was light and fluffy.  I was a two hour snow shoveling machine!

I BEAT THE SNOW PLOW AT ITS GAME…WOO HOO!

SCORE!   ME:  ONE ~ SNOWPLOW: ZERO

My honey’s meeting got canceled: PRICELESS   =)

speaking in public

Well, here I am and it isn’t even 7am. I am up and it is my day off.

I have a public speaking engagement…Ugh!

Why did I agree to this?

What do I wear?

What was I thinking?

Seven minutes seemed such a short time…it ISN”T!!!

Will my voice crack like a 12 year old boys?

How do I sum up the last 3 years?

What is my role as the Interact Club Adviser?

It takes on so many paths that I may sound like I am rambling (which I do well) and jumping all over the place like a frightened bunny trying to find a place to hide from the fox and the hound.

I can’t seem to organize my thoughts. hahahaha…the filing cabinet I call a brain has papers and remnants of days gone by all jammed in there waiting for a drawer to fly open.

I don’t want to embarrass the Rotary Adviser, she has such confidence in me. What was SHE thinking?  Doesn’t she know I ramble and ramble and ramble and find tangents in a straight line?

Will what I say make a difference?

Will anyone care?  I can’t remember the fun stories…I am drawing a blank!  Stage fright at its finest. I feel like I am in the dream where I will get up to speak and find I am naked.  I feel naked!

There are so many people attending that they changed the venue. EEEEEK!

I think I can, I think I can, I think I can…where is “The Little Engine that Could” book when I need it? (okay, so I probably could recite it by heart)

Taking a deep breath (deeper, no deeper, a little deeper) Do NOT hyperventilate!  I am not giving birth…just speaking to a group of Rotarians who are, by nature, supportive and kind.

I can do this…

I know I can, I know I can, I know I can.

Another day to relax

So…here we are again.  I had a ton of things I needed to do…work on lesson plans, laundry, cleaning and the like.

I did manage to do the laundry…well, some of it anyway.  I don’t want to offend and I never want to be in an accident without clean underwear.  God forbid!   If they are cutting off my clothes then my underwear would be of little consequence but still I could say I had on clean panties…”What if you are in a car accident?” …mammas words go through your head and the wash is done!

I brought into the house all of the paperwork I have to do for my job…I may taken it for another car ride.  My papers and books have had rides in all kinds of weather: sunny, raining, sleet, hail, snow.  You name it, they have experienced it. And they have been all over New Jersey and parts of Pennsylvania.  Not exactly the world travelers.

I cleaned off the kitchen table so I could get busy and then…”Hey, are you going to the antique store with me?  You did say you would help me bring in the new items and take out some of the old.  Plus, I sell more when you rearrange our spots.”  So, I closed my office door, hopped into the truck and away I went.  I didn’t hear any complaints from the paperwork so it must be okay. Nice thing about paperwork, it never feels neglected.  Good thing because that is one of my bad habits ~neglecting paperwork.

Lots of fun rearranging stuff.  “Hey, now I won’t know if anyone steals things but it looks great! By the way, I moved the cows so people could see into the show case.”  I put so much thought into arranging those plastic cows (they are from the 50’s ~ like kids played with plastic horses, we have some plastic cows for sale).  Anyway, I explained my theory behind the cows and they are now grazing on the show case once again.  They just had to graze a little further over to the left.

Hung up the stain glass windows, moved the depression glass, moved the antique toys (center stage), the ceramic table looks great with the orange glasses and pitcher I put on it along with John F. Kennedy’s book “Words to Remember” (I think I got the name right), grouped the unique cigarette lighters together and put the tools, car paraphernalia on top of the wicker breakfast-in-bed tray.  Maybe someone will take the hint. I wondered around the store and looked at the other booths, chatted with my friend and we left for home.

Here I am.  Sitting at my computer with that paperwork staring at me, beckoning me, crying for attention.  It doesn’t know how strong willed I can be.  Time to go have fun…just my baby and me.

Why make plans?

Five days off, a big woo hoo!

“I wanna spend some time with you.”

But hon, I have so much to do!

“I wanna spend some time with you.”

Then come along for the ride!

“I just want you by my side.”

Then stay with me on the fly!

“I just want you by my side.”

But hon, I have so much to do!

Stay by my side and I with you.

Keep me company and don’t feel blue.

You see…I’m spending time with you!

So…

What am I doing?

I should be…grading papers, writing lessons, making quizzes, thinking sessions…

washing laundry, sweeping floors, doing dishes, what a bore!

Playing with pictures, petting the dogs, writing something on my blog…

reading your posts, laughing out loud, that is what I’m doing now!

Frankly speaking

I am doing great…

Now that I have my priorities straight!