Friday, November 23, 2007

Dear BiggyB,

In this time of giving thanks, I am thankful for our friendship.

We lugged 14 paper grocery bags full of (heavy!) books all over Portland using public transportation.

You bravely played Joni Mitchell songs when I accidentally booked our chick band at a crowded biker bar.

Thanks for humoring my slight obsessions with: M*A*S*H, Jim from "The Office," and the Josh Joplin Group.

You "accidentally" forgot the "alternate lyrics" when you-know-who was there... Thanks a lot, jerkface. =)

Oh, and in related news... I left my phone on the counter when I went to return YOUR vhs copy of "Malibu's Most Wanted" to Blockbuster. You used this golden opportunity to call a certain person...

You spotted Steve Buscemi at Sundance. AND Eddie Murphy.

You taught me how to (literally) cross multi lanes of traffic without getting hit by a car (both as a pedestrian and as a driver). You also taught me that it's not cool to ride the brakes when driving on the freeway.

You help me forget to be sad.

I love you, B! Thanks for everything.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Dear Holidays,
Why do I love you so? Maybe it's the paid time home from work. Yes, that must be it.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Need an affordable one-of-a-kind gift for your favorite family member/ teacher/ sports fan/ musician? Have I got a website for YOU!

I am starting an online store. That's right... an online store. I'll be selling hand crafted glass gem magnets and possibly jewelry at some point.

I'm sure at this point, you're asking yourself, "Where can I find such a store amidst the internets?" Thanks for asking. Right here:
I'll have some items posted in the next couple days.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

As an elementary school teacher, I can attest to the sheer delight of apron-wearing. (Yes, Briana, apron-wearing.) This prevents me from having tons o' junk (keys, memos, slobbery toys confiscated from kids, etc..) in my pocket, and then coming home only to discover that I still have the junk in my pocket. See, I typically don't like to bring the germ infested souvenirs of my day job into my living space.

Also, I occasionally misplace my keys. And teachers have a lot of keys- keys to the school, gate keys, classroom keys, copy room keys, filing cabinet keys, bathroom keys... There is nothing more humbling than desperately asking 20 seven-year-olds if they have any idea where your keys are. Now that I've taken up apron-wearing, I just leave my keys in the apron pocket.

And of course the most obvious benefit of apron-wearing is that I don't end up with paint/marker/snot on my clothing during the course of the school day.

This awesome apron-making blogger and etsy user is having a giveaway on her one-year-blogiversary. Check it out, folks!

Friday, November 09, 2007

Tonight, I enjoyed my Friday night routine, which usually involves watching "20/20" on ABC. Tonight's episode featured several impoverished families and the generous and immense help they received from 20/20 viewers.

While I sympathize with the innocent children (ie: victims) of poverty, some common themes run through the stories of the adults.
#1. They dropped out of school and gave up on education.
#2. They got themselves or someone else pregnant.
One family spent their welfare money on brand name gourmet donuts instead of anything resembling actual food. Another so-called impoverished family had every video game product imaginable, yet there were no books to be found in their house.

Why is so much help given to those who do little to help themselves? I’ve made all the “right” decisions in life, yet there are weeks when I cannot afford to put groceries on the table or gas in my car. Last year, I taught elementary school full-time and had two part-time jobs, while finishing my M.Ed. thesis.

My father passed away when I was a teenager, and I’ve worked to support my family ever since. I worked full time AND studied hard to earn scholarships to put myself through college and graduate school. I never gave up. I have a masters' degree.

So I chose to give back to my own neighborhood by teaching at the same impoverished school I attended as a child. With teacher salaries being what they are, I will never be a homeowner. I will never pay off my student loans. I am one paycheck away from being homeless.

Where is the help for those of us who’ve made responsible choices?

Thursday, November 08, 2007

I've had the stomach flu, or something nasty, since last Friday. This means a lot of vomit. Gross. You know when you see someone throw up and it makes you want to vomit? Yah, I actually threw up in front of the kids in my class. Immediately after, some kids threw up. Gross.

My classroom = vomitorium.

All of this down time means that I'm slowly making my way through my Netflix queue. Right now, I have the first disc of Kids in the Hall Season 2, Shopgirl, and The Ron Clark Story.

116 movies to go...

Sunday, November 04, 2007


Teachers do not enjoy giving homework!!! Case in point... I just spent the last two hours of my weekend putting together homework assignments for the upcoming week. That doesn't even count the amount of time I will spend tomorrow morning photocopying and compiling homework packets. Plus, the more homework I assign, the more I will have to eventually grade.

One of my colleagues made a valid point about homework. He said that it is a "worthless grade," because we never know who is really doing the homework. Trust me, I have an idea. When a kid who can't even write his own name turns in a three paragraph essay, I have a pretty good idea of who is doing the homework... and it ain't the kid.

So my point? I'm pretty much OVER assigning homework. Although I feel that students need the opportunity to reinforce the skills we are working on in class, I feel like there must be some more meaningful way to do so. Any ideas are welcome.