Thursday, October 29, 2009

My birthday week

Somehow, the revelry has expanded this year from a mere day to an entire week-long celebration. It started on Monday, when Mom had flowers delivered to me at work. (Note: they were SUPPOSED to be delivered today; however, the florist made a mistake. It was actually pretty cool, though, because that made them totally unexpected. Plus, I was doing trainings at other schools today, so I wouldn't have been there to get them anyway. See? It all worked out.) Because of that, though, most of the school thought my birthday was Monday, so I received birthday wishes from the staff all day. It was fun. =-)

Tuesday, I went out after school with some friends from work.

Wednesday was the last day of school this week for the kids, so that was my day to celebrate with them. They brought me cards, and I was surprised mid-day with this delivery, courtesy of my class:

The parent who "sponsored" this cake swore up and down that the name on the cake was an innocent error on the bakery's end. I'm not so sure. ;)

Oh yeah, and I went out after work again on Wednesday, too.

And we maybe went out today, as well.

Tomorrow, though, is the highlight of Birthday Week. We have tomorrow off, so we're meeting at the bar. At noon. To do shots.

Because we can.

And then we're going to walk next door to the movie theater to see Paranormal Activity.


Anyway, that's the story of my 33rd.

Thanks to everyone for the birthday wishes. And so begins the last year of my "early" 30s....

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Halloween 2009

Tonight, we carved our pumpkin AND roasted seeds. We used cayenne pepper and seasoned salt for the seeds and OH. EM. GEE they turned out sooooo good. And our pumpkin? We got fancy and used one of those patterns (rather than just carving the traditional face), and not counting a mishap that required some crazy glue (and the ultimate "blonde moment"--which is funny 'cuz April is a brunette and hell, MY natural color isn't even blonde anymore), we think it turned out pretty damn good. We had to take this photo at a particular angle so the flame inside didn't cause a "flash" in the picture, but you can still get the overall effect.

This close-up allows you to see the intricate detailing of the bottom bat. I know, you're jealous. As well you should be.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Two amazing things happened today. (The day wasn't ALL sunshine and roses, mind you; at one point, I had to yell loud enough in the cafeteria that I actually peed a little. But it was end-capped in different but yet equally spectacular fashions.)

First: this morning, a very cryptic email was waiting for us from our current "principal" (and I use the term loosely), talking about evaluating the situation and adjusting staffing to better meet the current needs. We knew something was afoot, and once the team leads came out of the morning meeting, we had more information: basically, our principal of curriculum, who we love and was Mrs. A's right-hand woman last year, will be taking over of the day-to-day running of our school. Our principal is still technically our principal, but basically in name only. (They didn't come out and say that, but that's what it boils down to.) Frankly, I think this is our company's first step is phasing her out.

HELL YEAH!!!!!!!!!!! After my last post, you may have noticed that I was feeling a bit down about how things were being run under new leadership. Well, for all intents and purposes, she's now gone. It's like a huge weight was lifted; already, you can sense a change in the building. It's FABULOUS.

And then, to cap off this day: I won $100 on a $5 scratch-off lottery ticket!! I can count on both hands the number of times I've bothered to even stop and by those things. Still, April was buying one, so I thought sure, why not. I even went back through the check-out lane to buy a pack of gum so I could get cash back for the tickets. The one I got (I forgot what it was called) has 4 lucky numbers at the top and then 12 squares on the bottom. If a number in one of the squares matches one of your lucky numbers, you win the amount in that square. Well, the first or second box that I scratched off matched, and I won $10. And hell, I was excited enough THEN. I was jumping around and everyone in line was laughing at me. Then I scratched off the next box...and the next box...and the next one. When all was said and done, 10 out of the 12 boxes matched one of my 4 numbers (each at $10 a pop). By the bottom of the card, we were just giddy. It was so funny. After the fifth one, I was like, "I MUST be reading this game wrong. There must be more to it than this" (you know, like maybe a whole row has to be the same number or something). I gave it to the guy (who, of course, had been cheering with us the whole time) and said, "Please just scan this for me. Tell me if I did this right." And he was like, "Yup. You just won $100."

(I split it with April, since we each bought 2 $5 tickets and were kind of doing it together. I know, I'm awesome.)

So yeah...a pretty damn good start AND finish to the day.

Monday, October 19, 2009


I'm here, just crazy busy (thanks for the update, Renee. LOL). Very tired lately. Will be emotionally limping through the next month till Thanksgiving break, and then it will be the final countdown till Christmas break! Yes, I'm already living for Christmas break. Ha ha. I don't know what my deal is, just still don't feel right and am exhausted. May go back to the doctor but frankly, I'm also sleeping like crap and staying up too late so I suspect that's more my problem. I need to get on a much better sleep schedule first and then see how I feel. Everything is fine, just busy.

The leadership thing was cool. In theory, it will open up doors, especially down the road if I do ever decide to leave the classroom. But there are other leadership roles I could take on and still remain a teacher, including going back to team lead; there's another position or two (which would probably require me switching to a different school, but we'll see). Lots of school drama going on, namely due to incredibly poor leadership. I miss Sara a LOT. We're all hoping we outlast our new principal (which, at this rate, is entirely possible. I think she's digging her own grave). It's like Educational Survivor....outlast, outwit, outplay. Or something like that. It's just a huge culture shock going from someone like Mrs A to the new one. Morale is lower than I've ever seen it. That may be contributing to my overall feeling of "tiredness," too--we're working so hard and not only are we NOT being encouraged or supported, but it feels like we're being pushed (kicked) back down every time we turn around.

I just feel...rather disillusioned right now, I guess. Still love my kids and my coworkers (most of them). But it's amazing the impact one person can have on a whole building (and not in a good way).

Weather is changing and I am definitely, DEFINITELY a Florida pu$$y now. It gets worse ever year. The lower 70s IS, in fact, downright chilly. I know, I know. You all hate me right now. But your blood really does change. It's not my fault. =-)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

This should be good....

There's a new state reading assessment program that all grades must administer to their students....grades 3-12 have it (relatively) easy, as it's a computer-driven test that the students all due online. However, for the younger grades, the teachers must administer it one-on-one to each and every student (and this is NOT a short test). To make a long story short, the deadline in which to finish the testing is fast approaching and some of our 1-2 grade teachers are falling behind. Therefore, they're looking for 3-8 grade teachers to go into those classrooms on their planning (ie free time) and sub for the classroom teachers so they can devote themselves solely to giving this test.

I volunteered to help out; as a result, I will be teaching 2nd grade for about 50 minutes tomorrow.

There's a reason I teach the slightly older grades. Still, for a short period of time, it should be fun. Plus, that's the reading block, and teaching reading is basically the same from grade to grade (as far as reading and comprehension strategies go, anyway). Guess which story the second graders are reading right now? COURDEROY! Yup, the little bear with the missing eye or button or something. And since this will be their 2nd time through the story by the time I get in there tomorrow, I'll be able to use my favorite teaching strategy * on them, so we'll have fun.

*Teaching strategy: play dumb and let them "teach" you. I do it with my kids all the time. Tomorrow, it will go something like this. "Okay, I haven't read this in a while. Who can summarize for me what this story is about?" Or, on a specific page: "Wait a minute, I'm old and confused. What just happened on this page? Who can tell me?" Or, "Hold on. Why did he do THAT?" Then, if I run out of time, I'll have them write a story about what would happen if one of THEIR stuffed animals came to life. Oh yeah. Pulled that one out of my ass on the way home as I was wondering what the heck to do tomorrow, and I'm pretty proud of it, if I do say so myself. PLUS, I'm a teacher for one of the big kids, so I get to go in all mean and scary (unless the sweet and always-patient teachers in the younger grades) so I won't have any discipline issues. (...Having said THAT, they will probably eat me alive, LOL.)

It's only 50 minutes. How bad could it be? **

**This, my friends, is what's known as "famous last words."

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Sit down. It's finally happened.

An old friend of mine from high school just became a grandmother.

I'll let that sink in for a moment. Continue reading when you're ready....




(Still not ready? Yeah, me neither.)


Granted, it's her step-son's girlfriend...and her husband may be much older for all I know...

BUT WHAT THE FUCK?!?!?!?!??!?!

Usually, I censor the "fuck," but in this case, it simply must stay.

And be repeated.


Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Another dream

This particular dream, although (as always) very vivid and detailed, actually requires a LOT of set-up and backstory; plus, it was also long, so it would take forever to even describe/explain. Instead, I will leave you with the major components of my dream, along with the interpretations (which are, again as always, quite fitting). I should note, though, that a couple other integral parts of the dream, such as "tetanus" and "professional athlete" (not even a real athlete, mind you, although my pro baller WAS a member of the Pistons) were un-look-up-able. It'll be up to you to try to come up with a scenario into which all of these diffferent parts could conceivably fit. ;)

Nails: To see nails in your dream, symbolizes long and hard work for little compensation and pay. To dream that you hurt yourself with a nail, suggests that you need to be careful with what you say.

Jealousy: To dream that you are jealous of another person, signifies that such feelings may be carried over from your waking life This dream may reveal you unconscious feelings of jealousy toward that particular person. Alternatively, it represents your vulnerability and your fear of intimacy. You need to work on self-love and acknowledging your self-worth.

Rabies: To dream that an animal with rabies bites you, indicates that you are harboring extreme inner feelings of anger and unexpressed hostility. Your anger might erupt in violence if not expressed in a controlled manner.

Dog: If the dog is vicious and/or growling, then it signifies some inner conflict within yourself.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Whose Big Gay Line is it Anyway?

Kevin (Renee's cousin) posted this on his Facebook, and it's exactly what I needed after a 13 1/2 hour day at school (Curriculum Night). It's a clip from Whose Line is it Anyway, featuring Richard Simmons and a very traumatized Wayne Brady. (Richard's A-OK sign right around 5:12 just makes the whole scene.)


(If you don't have sound, this is worth going out and buying speakers for.)

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Fertility Dance

You may have seen the commercials for those at-home fertility tests ("Did I wait too long to become pregnant?"). Well, I did, too. The first time, I just heard the commercial from the kitchen and marveled at how far technology has come. That will be a good thing to have, I thought, some day in the future.

The second time, I actually SAW it--and realized that the woman in the commercial WAS MY DAMN AGE.

Mind you, I don't even know if I WANT to have any more of my own kids at this point. But I'm single, not dating anyone seriously and staring down the barrel of my 33rd birthday. So yes, I bought one.

I can hardly be blamed.

Anyway, as of right now, I am pleased to announce that I can still get knocked up. (This test doesn't detect all fetility issues, of course; just egg quality/quantity.) It all has to do with the "test line" that may or may not appear in the little window. This test measures your FSH, or follicle (as in egg) stimulating hormone--and basically, if your body has a lot of this hormone, that's actually bad, because your body needs a lot of extra help to produce the eggs and stuff. In a perfect world, the line won't appear at all, because your egg factory is churnin' along perfectly well, merrily releasing eggs left and right, without needing any extra push. However (and this is the category that I fell into), if the line shows up but it's lighter than the control line, you're still okay....for now. (Cue the ominous background music and flip over the hourglass.) It's only when the test line is as dark as or darker than the control line that they recommend you see a doctor, pronto.

I feel a new birthday tradition coming on... ;)

Thursday, October 01, 2009

2 good things

I found out today that I *am* receiving an extra bonus based on last year's performance. It's known as MAP money (Merit something Pay), and the criteria are your final year-end evaluation from your principal and, of course, those all-important student FCAT test scores. This is actually the first time I've received the money, so I'm pretty excited. I'm not sure exactly how much yet but it'll be around a couple grand. Our new principal came in during math today and handed me the official award letter; after she left, I did a little happy dance. When the kids asked what the letter said, I told them, "Let's just say that Miss K can go get her guitar now!!" and they all cheered (that's all I told them).

Now of course, there are teachers who didn't receive the bonus (including my roommate, which really surprised me), so this is kind of a tense kind of year. The people who do receive it are told to be courteous and aware of those who didn't, of course (basically, keep it on the downlow), but of course word is already getting out and there are some pretty pissed off people out there right now.

I feel for them--but damn am I excited to have finally qualified this year!

Second, I had to give a training to the staff yesterday (it was on that DI stuff from Orlando over the summer). I think my presentation actually went well, too. I had many people come up to me yesterday and say that they actually learned stuff and that it wasn't boring like the regular staff meetings. One teacher actually told me, "I only graded one paper, and then I stopped and actually paid attention." If you know anything about teacher professional development trainings--which are generally 1) bullshit 2) boring and 3) nothing you haven't already heard before, then you know that this is very high praise indeed. A lot of people commented on my sense of humor and the fact that I made them laugh. Anyway, I'm very proud of that, too, because as I said, these things usually suck, and they're genreally total and complete wastes of time, so if even a FEW people learned something new and/or weren't totally bored out of their skulls, then I feel pretty successful. (Plus, our new principal was there, whom I've had very little interaction with, so I'm glad to have had a POSITIVE reason to help her put a face to the name.)

I'm taking a very important test tomorrow, but more on that later....