Monday, August 31, 2009


I just checked my work email, and I found this:

Dear ------ (it was addressed to 6 of us at the school, that's all):

You have been invited to attend Site Visit Training: When: Wednesday, September 09, 2009 4:00 PM-6:00 PM (GMT-05:00) Eastern Time (US & Canada).

It's at Gateway, one of our schools in the area. (The training is, not the actual site visit. We'll see which one I get assigned to.)

So that's cool. I'm glad that even though I'm not a lead anymore, they're still choosing me for things like this. That means that I must have done well when I did it last year.

I hope it's at a school across the state, so I get a road trip out of it. =-)

Interestingly, J. (one of my friends from my first year here, B.C. (Before Crazy), was one of the 6. I kind of hope we go on a visit together, especially if it's far away. That would give us a chance to hang out, and for her to see that now that I'm medicated, I'm the Jen she USED to know, rather than the one she saw that night.

We'll see how it all shakes out. But even if it's local, I'm still excited...and honored. I kind of feel that Mrs. A had some role in all of this. ;)
I know you don't care but...

Okay this is a venting post; in fact, I'll probably turn comments off cuz I know you guys will have nothing nice to say about it. BUT, I'm a slow learner, so consider this just me continuting on my journey...

Shawn and I, even though I don't talk about him on here that much anymore (since I don't want to be lynched), have carried on our friendship this whole time. We'd hang out once a week, usually drinks or something, and things were cool. Yeah, he still had his girlfriend, and YEAH, technically, I MAY still have had feelings for him, but we were still FRIENDS, you know? And say what you want, but he would still be there for me when I needed him, or when I was a bit on the crazy side, because he was one of the few who saw that and was STILL THERE. And as we know, that's hard to find. (Sure, Dave eventually came back, but by then I couldn't trust HIM because he left when I needed him, unlike Shawn, who, although he couldn't keep it in his pants, was there for me in a lot of other ways. He saw my crazy and handled it and, in his way, kept me sane...when he wasn't driving me crazy.)

But there were times when he WOULDN'T be there, or I'd catch him in a lie, but that's okay, because no one is perfect, and he accepted me the way I was and I accepted him.

...And then suddenly, he stopped calling me back. I haven't talked to him in like 10 days. No big deal, right? But for us, it WAS. We never ever ever go that long. Ten days for us is a sign that something is a'brewin'.

LOL. A'brewin.

So...yeah. It's like suddenly, he dropped out of my life. My BFF is gone. And I have no idea why or what I did. And I'll be damned if I tell him, because I tried to contact him, left him a couple of VMs and a text or two, and that's all I can do; it's obvious he doesn't want to talk to me...but shit. WTF?? He didn't even call to see how my first day of school was. That HURT. For that matter, he didn't even call to see how my first WEEK was. It's like he just doesn't care anymore. And I know some of you are saying "He never cared in the first damn place, ass hat," but he did. In his own way, he did.

Or ...maybe he didn't, and that's what I'm seeing now.

Because even after the relationship, we had a friendship. He knew me. And for him to totally disappear for this long is WEIRD for him. For us. So I guess I did something, and I don't know what. And I won't chase after him, because unlike Ye Old Jen, I actually have pride now. And dignity. And if someone cares about me, they'll be in my life. I won't keep calling and texting him with no response. He's made it clear that he doesn't care about what's happening with me. But it just hurts, I guess. Because I've defended him and defended him, against you guys and everyone here, and, what? Now he proves them right? THAT PISSES ME OFF BECAUSE BY PROVING THEM RIGHT, HE HAS PROVED ME WRONG, AND I HATE TO BE WRONG. LOL.

So...yeah. I miss Shawn. But he obviously doesn't miss me or have a place for me in his life, so...what am I supposed to do? That little fucktard knows I'm always there for him, and all I can do is....hell. Nothing. I can do NOTHING. Is this what it's like to have pride and dignity? Cuz frankly, it kind of sucks. LOL. Even now, I want to call him and try to figure out what's up, because this is NOT like him, but...he won't call or email or text and I must have done something, so...whatever. I have my friends and my work and I'm happy. But I still miss him. Any time he's not in my life, I miss him.

That's all. Thanks for listening, even if you're flipping off your monitors right now. ;)

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Moving: the rest of the story

I know most of you got the email about the big move yesterday (it was crazy hot, we were miserable, it rained, we had to bring everything all the way around the side building and then up 17 steps, REALLY LONG AND STEEP STEPS, to get it inside the new place). Here, though, are some extra details, details I didn't necessarily want to share with people like my dad and grandparents.

1) You know what sucks even more than moving? Having the majority of your moving crew show up late because they decided to go out the night before and celebrate the first week of school by getting schnockered on vodka and playing Partini all night (although hell, you all know *I* would have been there if I wasn't the Final Countdown to moving). We had to start loading the truck at 8 am because we needed to be TOTALLY done by 2:30 to return the truck (plus, you know, we needed to make a fast getaway at my old place, but more on that in a minute); unfortunately, even though we've had this lined up for a couple of months now, Andy (Hot Teacher) was the only one who showed up on time (uncoincidentally, he was NOT at last night's gathering); in fact, he even went with us to pick up the truck. Mike showed up about an hour and a half later, just as we were finishing up at my place (we had planned to be out of there much early than that, obviously, but we were down 3 men at the time), and then the other two rolled over just as we were starting to unload at the new place. Normally I would bitch about them getting there for the "easy" part (why DOES unloading always take an eighth of the time?), but in our case unloading was equally a bitch, due in part to THIS:

This picture doesn't do The Stairway to Heaven justice; you can only clearly see like 7 steps before it kind of blurs together at the bottom, but keep in mind that altogether, it has **17**. And it's STEEP. And narrow.

2) Here's a brief overview of my haul from the old place. I took the bookcase and 2 dressers that I was going to pay him an extra $100 for. At April's urging (actually, begging, cuz she loved it), we also took the suede (or suede like) cream loveseat, to which we assigned a rather generous $200 value. I left him a note explaining that this was in place of the $300 he took from me and DIDN'T give to the electric company.

However, that $300 past due balance wasn't even the FULL AMOUNT DUE. Oh no, on closer reading, that was just the amount needed to get the power turned back on. If he didn't pay it by a certain date, than the full amount would be due. With that in mind (and also the fact that this was only ONE utility that we knew about, not to mention the money I was giving him in rent even though he'd stopped paying the mortgage, AND the food I lost in the fridge when the power was turned off), we also took a runner (for you men out there, it's one of those long and thin rugs) for our hallway, this ionic air purifier for me (to help with the dog), a water purifier from the kitchen sink, and this really nice picture for our wall. I had to be careful; my friends wanted me to clean him out, but as I told Nikki, there's a fine line between "taking what I am owed" and "grand larceny." Still, I feel like I was pretty reasonable, although this was NOT a cheap piece of art that we snagged. (It looks awesome in the new place though, snicker snicker).

We are like 80% unpacked and settled already, due to staying up till 4 am last night, so pictures are coming soon. This is BY FAR the nicest, most grown up place I've ever lived--and I actually contributed to quite a few things to the place! I had more than I thought I did. Until then, here's a picture of our entrance (just inside the door is our Stairway to Heaven, which leads straight up to our place--our whole apartment is upstairs, we just have that private entrance and staircase to get there. It's not a 2-level place or anything).

Oh, and PS--Renee, tell John to bite me. You both know why. ;)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

F--- My Life

Fred turned me on to the BEST website ever. It's (see title of post), where people post funny (to everyone else but them) shit that happens. It's now the new light of my currently uber-stressed life. THIS post, however, was extra hysterical, for reasons that will become abundantly clear:

"Today, I was told I have bipolar disorder. I'm 31. It took so long to diagnose because my mom 'always figured I was just a super bitch half the time'. FML"

No, I didn't write that one....but I could have.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Oh hell to the NO

So as most of you have heard, at least in part, Brad is offically a douchebag. No, more than that. He's a motherfucking ass.

I get home last night and I have no power. Now, a big storm had just rolled through, so I wasn't too worried...until I noticed that my neighbors were basking in the glow of their lamps and televisions. And THEN I saw the notice from FPL. The past due amount was $300, which is at LEAST 3 months' worth. This meant that Brad has been taking the money I've been giving him every month for electric, cable, water, etc and, well, NOT paying for electric, cable, water, etc.

I'm still a little shell-shocked, to be honest. I can't believe he would do this. While we were never bff's or anything (we never hung out together outside of the apartment), we got along just fine when we were both home. We've lived together for 2 years. And he's been actively screwing me over for quite a few months now. It was bad enough when I received the foreclosure notice, but at least that was somewhat understandable....he wasn't working, foreclosure rates are so high that everyone knows SOMEONE who's going through the process, and the money I was paying him for rent only covered half. Even with my money, he couldn't cover his half...and although I was pissed when I found out that he had been taking rent money from me and NOT paying the mortgage, it was at least understandable. Plus, technically, it was still his place, and I was living there, so he could kind of do whatever he wanted.

HOWEVER. He now has no charges/costs associated with that place. The only bils he's receiving are, ONCE AGAIN, electric, cable, water, etc--and I have been sending him the money for that, AND THEN SOME. I knew the amount he was asking for was more than the actual cost, but he was at least being nice enough to wait till I was gone before he sold his furniture and stuff, so I didn't want to argue. Again, even though it is being foreclosed on, that process takes a lloooonnngggg time, especially down here, and until that time, the condo belongs to him and I was living there. So I didn't want to argue over an extra $70 a month or whatever (since I obviously wasn't giving him rent money anymore, only for expenses I was actively accruing, like power).

I tried to call him, of course, but his phone has been disconnected. I was going to email him, but honestly, at this point, my plan is much more devious. I don't want him to know yet that *I* know he hasn't been paying any of this. I suspect that he was hoping I'd be out of there before they officially went through with the disconnections, and then I would never have known that he was pocketing my money. He almost made it, too--I was like 4 days away. HOWEVER, I'm going to move out on Saturday, as planned, and I'm going to do it with a smile. Because you know what? I'm sure as hell leaving there with more stuff than I came in with. And once I'm out of there, THEN I shall be contacting him. (I just hope I get my stuff out of there in time; he asked me when I was leaving because he was selling/had sold some of his furniture and wanted to know when it could be picked up. Well, I hope he's not planning to sell some of the new pieces *I* plan on acquiring.) (This isn't theft, right? I mean, I gave him money, and I'm taking a couple bookcases and a dresser and stuff. I paid him for all of this. And if he dares to even contact me about it, I'll tell him, "Actually, I paid you $400 for that stuff. CHECK YOUR FUCKING WALLET. It's the money that was supposed to go towards electric and water." Oooh, that's good.)

Anyway, I'm staying at April's, my future roomie's, for the next few days until we move into our new place. It's just sucky trying to pack in 90 degree heat with NO FUCKING AIR...and no lights, for that matter. We're okay right after school, but it gets dark inside pretty quickly, especially when it's rainy and overcast. So I'm fine, relatively speaking. And at least it was only a few days before my scheduled move. It's just more the feeling of betrayal; the realization that people CAN be that shitty to other people. That people can just be that..that...unremorseful. (Actually, it must be the week for that. I'm dealing with someone else I thought I knew who has suddenly become like a freakin' stranger, literally.)

So that's the deal. Sorry for the book, but I needed to vent. I'm crushed, guys. Why would he DO that?

Monday, August 24, 2009

Report from the trenches


The air was broken for most of our first day, and since it was like 93 degrees, that sucked ass.

Otherwise, all was well. There are a couple of kids whom I will have to "train" (aka lay the smack down), to teach them the difference between 5th and 4th grades (in other words, Miss K won't put up with their shit...I LOVE the first days of school, cuz it allows me to be myself....Bitch on Wheels. ;) )

But overall things were great and we'll have fun stories this year.

(I had 9 kids from last year come back to see me, one begging me to fail him cuz he wasn't ready for MS, of my former kids went to lunch TWICE today cuz he got confused....I told him that was the best story I heard all day and gave him a high 5. Seriously, I laughed so hard. And no, it wasn't "P", LOL)

I wrote on one of the 6th grade teacher's board, "Good luck in middle'll do great! Love Miss Krzys" ...since she's a 6th grade LA teacher, that meant that they'd all see it at one point or another as they passed/rotated through. That teacher told me later that they thought it was awesome that I took the time to do that. They were like, "Is that from OUR Miss K?" They couldn't believe it. But I TOLD them at the end of the year that I would still be watching over them, even from 5th grade. ;) I think it made them feel a little bit less alone and "adrift," so to speak. This whole year is different for them, but some things will never change.

And that's what's funny--as much as they drove me crazy last year, I miss them already. A LOT. I didn't realize how much I'd miss them until today, when I saw them in their middle school uniforms, looking terrified (ha ha). But I MISS THEM, even the ones who damn near turned me into a raging alcoholic...I will NEVER , for example, forget "P", or "A", who broke his hand taking a math test...and neither will most of you, LOL. But this new group....they'll be cool. I can tell. Give me a few days to mold them into shape, and I'll have a fresh round of stories. ;)

...Sometimes, as a teacher, it's hard to say goodbye...even when they keep coming back. And for some reason, last year's class has been especially hard for me to let go. (Thank goodness that their homeroom teacher is one of my BFFs, so I'll still hear all about them at our "meetings," LOL.)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

First day of school... tomorrow. I'm as ready as I can be. I should probably figure out what I'm going to wear to make my morning a little less hectic, but otherwise, I'm set. I probably won't be able to sleep tonight, though.

Update on Mrs. A: she actually officially offered me a job last week, but it was as a reading specialist. This means I would work with/pull out the "low" kids in 3rd, 4th and 5th but I wouldn't have a classroom of my room (which is why I turned her down). I told her I was flattered that she thought of me but that I needed my own kids and to remember me at the end of the year when they're making offers for 2010-11.

I move this coming Saturday. In addition to setting up my room, writing lesson plans, attending trainings, GIVING trainings, etc, I've also been packing up my condo. I, in true Jen fashion, haven't really gotten that far yet, so it'll be a crazy week. The good news is that it's not like I have to have ALL my shit packed up and officially out of here next weekend; if I had to turn in keys or something, like when you're leaving an apartment, that'd be a different story. But my friends can help me move my furniture and whatever I have packed and ready to go, and then I'll still be able to kind of come and go over the next week or so and pick up any random crap. (Of course, KNOWING I'll be able to do that is, as you might imagine, contributing to my procrastination.)

OH!! And then I had my interview with Build a Bear yesterday. It actually went really, really well. Apparently there will be another round of interviews (I didn't realize that BaB was as competitive as, like, Harvard or something, LOL), but she pretty much told me that I've at least made it through to round 2 (although she still hasn't completed all of her round 1 interviews, so it may be awhile yet). She asked me a few retail-management questions (what would you do, etc), although I don't have any experience in that specific area, I do have retail experience and I've been a supervisor in a few of my past jobs, so I kind of put all of that together and, well, talked out of my ass. ;) I also threw in some key phrases like "encouraging teamwork", "focusing on each individual's strengths," "giving the employees ownership and emotional buy-in," and "making high customer service a non-negotiable." I almost CRIED at the pure poetic beauty of some of my answers. Interesting side note: after that customer-service answer, she told me that this particular store is #3 in customer satisfaction in the WHOLE COMPANY, so of course she LOVED that answer.

Oh yeah--and I've still been able to fit in a few "meetings" with my friends over the last week, as well.

So...that's what I've been up to. How are all of you?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Reflections from Open House

1) Even though I have the "low group," I have the largest 5th grade class. I'm at 24 right now (after one requested to be switched from another teacher, simply because I'm awesome). That may not seem like a lot, but when you're struggling with the slower students, it sucks. Everything takes us longer, and they need more individual attention. Yeah, so give me the most students, and give the on-grade-level and HIGH kids smaller classes. Awesome.

2) Overall, it's a good group of kids. There are a couple of "talkers"--I can already tell that I'm going to have lay the smack down early on--but for the most part, I'm excited.

3) I have like 17 girls and 7 boys. Again--AWESOME.

4) Almost a quarter of the class are younger siblings from previous that's cool.

5) About a third of the class are new to our school, and most of them are from private Christian schools in the area. I don't know if that's because we're an A school, because families are "downsizing" due to the economy, or a combination of both, but it will be interesting. (Surprisingly, kids from private schools are usually behind those in the public system.)

6) I'm exhausted...and going to bed. Ten pm for me is like 6 pm for other people....but I'm wrecked. My work here is done.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Thursday: Meeting the Kids

Our open house is tomorrow night. OH means a 13+ hour day for me, generally without dinner, but it also gives me that all-important glimpse of what this coming school year will mean for me--in terms of both the students I'll have but also the parents I'll be dealing with. I just spent 6 hours at Shoeless Joe's tonight, but the majority of that time was spent talking to the teacher who had the low 4th grade class last year (i.e., the kids I'll have this year). I got some great insight from her and although this class may be more challenging (ability-wise) than my kids last year, I'm also ready to meet that challenge. Our first day of school is Monday, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE the first day of school--I get to come out of the gate strong and scare the shit out of these kids. ;) Unfortunately, my reputation proceeds me with a lot of them (due in large part to older siblings who have already had the Miss K Experience), so they already know that although I can be a bitch on wheels, I'm also a softie at heart who will bend over backwards for them.



PS--one of the skills I've been learning over the last few years of teaching, a skill that I'll be truly implementing for the first time tomorrow, is that open house is a chance to not only set the stage with the students but with the parents as well. Yes, I have to lay the groundwork for an atmosphere of cooperation and teamwork with the parents, but I also have to (subtly and diplomatically) let them know that my classroom is MY classroom, and that I'm running the show, not them. It's a delicate tightrope, my friends....I'll let you know how it goes.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Wicked weather

After my third "hey, didn't you just have a tornado?" email/text/phone call, I figured that I should let you all know that I'm still alive and well. I wasn't going to mention it because it didn't hit my immediate area, but since you all are hearing about it back in MICHIGAN, I guess it's noteworthy after all.
Yes, a tornado came through on Sunday afternoon/early evening. It was in the Ft. Myers "metro" area but in a neighboring city, Cape Coral. As far as tornados gone it was pretty small and, amazingly, no one was injured. Still, it damaged 23 homes and even upended a car. Here are a few pics:

And as if twistas weren't enough to worry about, we suddenly have a flurry of activity in the Atlantic, as well. The most immediate threat is Ana, although "threat" isn't really the right word since, as of Monday night, they expect it to be downgraded soon. The official forecast track has "the center of Ana approaching Southwest Florida by Thursday morning"; however, Ana would be "a weak tropical storm" at most. They advised that we should not "be surprised on Wednesday if Ana makes a last fight to strengthen" while simutaneously stating that "it's important to note that none of the official guidance indicates restrengthening." In other words: they don't have a freakin' clue. We'll know a LOT more in about 48 hours. We're watching it, but no one is boarding up the windows just yet.

Along those same lines, here's what they say about Bill (which is shaping up to be a much more dangerous storm--possibly even a 4, aka a Bad Ass Hurricane): "While every computer forecast model has this turning north with time, some of the morning model guidance pushes the track back farther west (ie, back towards Florida)."

...Thanks for clearing that up.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Plot twist!

I was playing around on the Build a Bear website (because what childless 32 year old woman DOESN'T do that from time to time?) and on a lark, I hit the "apply for a position" button and pasted my resume. I actually applied last year, because I'd had such a great time there the few times I took my Little Sister, and I remember thinking, Well, if I have to have a part-time job, then Build a Bear would be a really fun one. I never received a response, though, and didn't expect to hear anything this time, either. After all, aren't we in the middle of a historic economic downturn? Isn't unemployment at an all-time high?

Not at BAB, apparently. I received an email from the Chief Workshop Manager about half an hour later. She "would love to speak to me more." Of course she would; after all, who could resist THIS charming combination of ass-kissery and humor? "I am a 5th grade teacher who is looking for a part-time job. I am available evening and weekends. Obviously, I work well with and relate well to kids. In addition, I have more Build a Bears than any self-respecting adult should. I've had a lot of fun every time I've come into your workshop, and I'd love to help provide that type of experience to others."

What can I say? I was on a roll.

Here's the twist: the job I'm interviewing for is not a regular sales associate position...I'd be a part-time Associate Manager.

Hell, yeah!

I responded and made sure she understood that I'm a full-time teacher and am only available nights and weekends, but if that schedule worked for the position then yes, I would love to talk to her. She wrote back and said that that schedule would absolutely meet their needs, and she's excited to meet with me. I'm going to call her on Monday and set something up.

I don't WANT a part-time job, but I need to, at least to get back on top of my bills and things. Since I'm not team lead this year, I'm going to have a lot more free time. I'll definitely have to manage my time well, and it'll be tough for a while, but having 2 jobs always is--and a lot of people are having to take on 2nd jobs in this economy. And like I said, working at BAB would be FUN; and if it's in management, then that's even better. At least I'd be making a little more money while I was there.

I'll keep you updated.
I don't even know

I had the oddest, most random dream about LCB last night (yes, we still hang out and yes, he's still with the byaaatch). Anyway, in the dream, we were emailing back and forth while he was at work. In one of the emails, he mentioned that he was worried about a friend of his, who had suddenly become pretty sick.

"She's 85 and a tough old bird," he wrote. "I know she's got a lot of spunk and she'll be just fine. Still, I'm thinking about going to visit her."

I replied and told him that I hoped his friend would be okay.

"If you promise to wear something nice and say hi to my mom, you can come with me this afternoon to visit her," he wrote back. "We're going to the Naples Zoo. She's a zebra."


Why did LCB have a "friend" who was a zebra? Why was there apparently a dress code for the zoo? Why was he afraid that I would offend his mother by NOT greeting her? I LOVE his mom! And most importantly, what's with his uber-gay use of the phrase "tough old bird"?

I don't know where any of this came from. So, I went to my trusty online dream dictionary to look up a couple of the key words and symbols to see if they can shed some light on the possible hidden meaning of my dream. What is my subconscious trying to tell me? Let's find out together...

ZEBRA: To see a zebra in your dream, represents perfect balance, unity, harmony, and the attraction of opposites. Alternatively, it signifies that you are spending too much time in trivial and varying matters. You need to establish a mindset and lay your groundwork for some solid stability.
MY ANALYSIS: I'm not sure about this part. I can say that, during the last week, I've been spending a lot of time on the "little details" of my room and none whatsoever (so far) on things like lesson plans. Interesting.

ZOO: To dream that you are at a zoo, symbolizes loss of freedom. Your abilities and talents are going unnoticed. You or an aspect of your life feels caged in. The zoo may also represent chaos and confusion as implied by the common phrase "this place is a zoo!" You may need to tidy up some situation in your life.
MY ANALYSIS: Um, hello? "Loss of freedom" = end of summer and return to school! Not to mention that between unpacking and setting up my classroom AND packing my condo and getting ready to move at the end of the month, I have certainly been surrounded by chaos and confusion.

EMAIL: To dream about email, indicates that you need to reach out to people who may not necessarily always physically be around. It could also very well mean that you have been spending too much time in front of the computer and this has carried over into your dreams.
MY ANALYSIS: Since I've been working so much in my room, I certainly don't think I've been spending too much time online; however, having just returned from Michigan and spending 2 weeks with my family, this may be a subtle reminder to keep in touch with everyone now that I'm back to my regular, day-to-day life--especially my dad, who I don't talk to nearly enough.

Unfortunately, there wasn't a listing for "Shawn's mom". I did look up "mother," but the only choices were your OWN mother or mother-in-law. So I hope the fact that Shawn's mother was going to be at the zoo wasn't a crucial component of the dream, or the key to unlocking my psyche's life-altering message, LOL.

Gives me some food for thought, anyway.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Scenes from Miss K's room

Today, I finished setting up my classroom for the coming school year. Yes, there are still a million little things I could do but for the most part, I'm done. We don't even "officially" report back until next week but I wanted to be done with my room before we returned and were promptly buried under things like lesson plans and in-services (the fifth grade team is presenting one of these trainings, because of our all-expenses paid trip to Orlando earlier this summer). I spent a solid 6 hours in my room today (in addition to the 20+ hours I'd already put in throughout the week) and FINALLY, I went from "hot mess" to "yeah, I'm ready."

Here are a few pictures I took today. Mind you, I was still under construction at the time, but the major components were all in place. (I also apologize for the blurriness. Just squint and imagine.)

This is what you see as you face the front of my room. For the first time, I have a "theme" in my room--Under the Sea--and under the white board, I have this whole coral reef/ seaweed thing going on, complete with little fishies and dolphins swimming around. You only see one little section here between the rows of desks (and, if you look very carefully, some leaping dolphins right under the metal bar at the halfway point of the whiteboard), but it continues along the entire length of the board. It actually looks pretty cool. Across the top of the white board are my class rules and the alphabet in cursive (which can still be tricky in 5th grade).

This is one of the boards in the back of my room, near the door. This is where I'm posting student work (our company is very big on posting student work, and it's a key thing they look for during our site visits). In keeping with my theme, it says " 'Sea' our great work" across the top. To the right of it, you see a wall-mounted book shelf; to the left is a self-made "board" for posting information, events, upcoming dates, etc.

Also in the back of my room, on the other side of the book shelf you saw in the previous photo, is this bulletin board. I love this one. You have the octopus, and it says "Vocabulary is in our grasp." (Get it? Eight arms? Under the sea?) This will be my word wall (another thing that corporate is VERY big on--so both of my bulletin boards will be winning me some major points). The wall to the right of this picture are my windows, which look out onto the lake and palm trees (and the parking lot, but I ignore that part).

And this is my teacher area. It looks better in person, but you have my "traditional" teacher desk right in front, and off to the right I have a table on which I'm keeping my computer, printer and stuff like that. That allows me to free up space on my actual desk for working, grading, etc. To the right of my table is an additional library area with crates of books, a rug, etc. To the left are my teacher cabinets and cupboards.
So that's a view of the major areas of my classroom. Again, I'm sure it will change slightly in the next week or so, but my overall setup (and especially my walls and bulletin boards, which take FOR.EV.ER to set up; moving the furniture and desks around is actually the easier part) is done.
I AM READY for my 23 kids. Get ready for a whole new batch of stories, my friends. After talking to their 4th grade teachers, it's certain that I am bound to have a bunch of them.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A few pics from Katey's wedding

There are tons more; if anyone wants the link to view the rest, let me know.

**Note: This post took me two hours and the spacing STILL isn't right. Screw it, I'm done.**

**Note 2: After typing THAT, I worked on it for another 40 minutes.**

The whole family (including Nick's son from a previous relationship)

The oldest holding the youngest

My now-infamous delivery of the rings (the look on Steve's face is hysterical)

Why does Savannah look like she's about to kick some Flower Ass?

Katey and Nick with my grandparents (it was Grandpa who performed the ceremony). I really wish my other grandparents had been able to be there.

And finally, the bride with her parents: Mom and Steve and then Mom and Dad.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Plot twist

After 16 years of desire for cigarettes is gone.

No patches, no pills, no gum, nothing. I just don't want to smoke anymore. It's been like this since I got back to Florida.

(This does NOT, of course, count Thursday night, when I was out with my friends. I'm talking about my day-to-day, regular life.)

Is it because I was finally ready to quit? Because I actually WANT to stop this time? Is my body just "smoked out"? Or is this some weird temporary glitch?

All I know is that in the last week, I've only smoked once, when I was out at Shoeless Joes. And it hasn't even been HARD.

Please, please, PLEASE let this be it. PLEASE let me be done smoking. Please let this sudden strength and willpower I feel now to still be here a a month.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009


News broke today that our principal has been moved to one of our other schools in the area (hereby referred to as "G"); we, on the other hand, will be SHARING a principal with a 3rd school, "CC".


First of all, how can one person effectively oversee two different schools? Answer: they can't. I don't know if they're setting *us* up for failure or her. Second, as you know, I was in pretty good with Sara. I truly liked her and, more importantly, respected her, and she really liked me, too. I had total job security with her in charge. I had it pretty good, honestly. And now, we're getting someone new and I have to start all over. And FYI, I know you may find this shocking and implausible, but not ALL principals love me. Our previous one hated me.

But more than the fact that she liked me, she did a great job. She took us from a D to an A in two years. Now yes, we teachers and our students obviously did most of the actual work to get us there, and yes, that can continue under new leadership. But the "flow" we had established, the morale, the attitude around the school, that was all her. She was tough but fair. If she got on us, it's because we deserved it.

So...I'm pretty sad right now.

Monday, August 03, 2009

For once, I DON'T have any baggage

As most of you know from panicked phone calls and/or Facebook, United lost my suitcase last night. This is a quick recap of my travel adventures on Sunday:

1) Got to the GR airport at 3 for a 4 pm flight. Found out flight was delayed until 5:45.

2) Spent the delay "cougaring" this adorable, Zac Efron-lookalike, 17-year-old high school senior. We hung out the entire time (except when I had to leave him to get a drink because he wasn't old enough to be in the bar, LOL).

3) Landed in Chicago at the exact same time my connecting flight was boarding. Had to run through the airport to make the flight. Was pissed because I had never been in O'Hare and had actually been looking forward to exploring it.

4) Arrived in Fort Myers, on schedule, at 9:45 pm. Welcome home, Jenny!

5)....Except that my suitcase hadn't made the journey with me. While my ride, Mike, waited patiently outside, I filed the paperwork on my MIA bag, along with EIGHT OTHER PEOPLE whose bags were also missing.

6) FINALLY made it out to the car. Realized on the way home that my cell phone was about to die...and my charger was in my bag.

7) 10 minutes later: realized my crazy pills were also in my bag.

8) Started digging for my house keys....and realized THEY WERE IN MY BAG. Along with my car keys.

9) Broke into my condo through my (unlocked) kitchen window (actually, Mike did it for me). My lax security measures saved my ass this time, my friends!

10) Got inside, looked around, and realized Brad had apparently been in town long enough to throw a wild party...but not long enough to clean up afterwards. (Okay, it wasn't THAT bad, but the kitchen was a mess and there were beer bottles and plates all over the living room.)

11) Wanted to cry. Mike suggested we go out for a drink instead.

So...yeah. That was my Sunday. The good news is that my bag HAS been located; delivery should be tomorrow.

Let's just hope my keys are in there.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Wedding daze

It's over!! OMG, for those of you who have gotten married, I don't know how you did it without going insane. Planning a wedding SUCKS. And this was just a SMALL one, too, with family. Larger, more involved weddings?! I shudder, literally SHUDDER, at the thought. I never want to get married. No, wait. I never want a WEDDING. Vegas, baby, Vegas. And I must have been HIGH to even have THOUGHT about this as a career. Shoot. Give me a classroom full of "P.'s" ANYDAY. LOL.

Anyway, enough about me. ;)

The ceremony was beautiful, and all of the kids (aka half of the wedding guests) were very well behaved. I did send Tyler, the ring bearer, down the aisle without the ring pillow, so I improvised--*I* grabbed the pillow and did my "bride walk" down to the front to hand it off to him. Katey didn't find out about this until afterwards, of course, but I hope she sees the humor in it when viewing the pictures later (and especially the wedding video, which undoubtedly captured my "Shit! Shit! SHIT!!!" when I realized that I had sent Tyler flying solo).

Everything else went very smoothly, though. We had 2 seats right up front reserved for Dad's parents, who just passed in the last couple of years (it kills me that they couldn't have been here for this). Before the ceremony, I explained to Dad that we were using the roses to "save" the seats for Grandma and Grandpa. He leaned over to me and whispered, "I don't think they're going to show up." That's how we deal with sadness and emotion in my family, but it did make me laugh. (It didn't stop me from getting misty during the ceremony when my other grandpa, who was conducting the ceremony, said a few words about them and offered a prayer and moment of silence in their memory. And even though Dad isn't an outwardly sentimental guy, I know it meant a lot to him that we remembered them.)

Grandma read a chapter from the Bible and ended up blubbering so hard that she could barely finish it. That was the only time that *I* actually cried during the ceremony. The unity candle, the exchanging of the vows and rings--everything went very smoothly. And Katy, as much as it pains me to admit it, looked beautiful. ;)

So...there you have it. My little sister is officially married.