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My humorous thoughts about life.

"My Humorous and Helpful Thoughts About Teaching / Educational Resources for Your Classroom / Music and Random Fun"

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Stressed Blogger

I finally got evaluated and might just survive this school year. It's amazing how one little pop in has lifted a huge weight off my shoulders, and I predict easier times ahead.

Sometime since January, I've been expecting an administrator to pop into my room, sit down, and evaluate me on sixteen different components. It's been bad all semester but had gotten worse these last three weeks. Rumor had it that all evaluations would be completed by Spring Break. The week before, administrators were popping into teachers rooms multiple times a day, so I braced myself for the inevitable. It didn't happen. I knew I'd have my evaluation the week after Spring Break because very few of us were left. But alas, it got down to the final four with another week gone by. Then, two of us. I was screaming and pulling my hair out as I worked every day from seven-thirty until six o'clock at night. It wouldn't have been so bad had I been preparing for the week ahead, but noooooo. I was perfecting lessons for evaluators who didn't show. By this week, it got down to twelve hour +  work days as I'd work the above hours and then bring more home. I'd wake in the middle of the night thinking about the evaluation and too worried to go back to sleep. I developed multiple stress rashes.

Finally, I dropped a strong hint to the administrator because I couldn't live this way any longer. He took the bait. What a difference a day makes! Poor Jackie. I was second to last to be evaluated, as far as I know, she's still waiting. :(

I hope to get back to blog dropping soon and will be participating in the AtoZ Blogging Challenge in April. Blogging six days a week through the alphabet... here I come.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: If...

Obama said, “If I had a son, he would look like Trayvon.”

I can see it, especially in his youngest daughter. It's more than the color of the skin. Look at the eyes on the Obama girls, the shape of the nose, the angle of the rounded ears, and the arch of the eyebrows. Trayvon had a lean body shape like our president.

Gingrich is calling Obama's comment "disgraceful" and "appalling." 

I say, "If Obama had a son, he would look like Trayvon." What do you think?

Ruby doesn't look anything like the first family, but linky's aren't picking up my grand dog so I posted her again.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

#GBE2: Mirror Report

Although mirrors have been around since about 400 BCE, the queen's magic mirror in the Snow White story is one of the most famous of all. In case you forgot, everyday the queen gazed into the mirror and asked who is the fairest one of all. Then that crazy lady would get upset because the mirror said, "Snow White is the fairest."
The Unfair Queen
Now come on! Let's think about this. She cheats at everything she does AND poisons an apple, yet she gets upset when the mirror says she's not fair? When has the queen ever been fair? And why would someone who cons people as much as her expect the mirror to say, "Yes. Your highness, you are the fairest one of all." I bet this lady even killed Snow White's real mom to marry the king. I can't prove it, but she's got those sneaky little eyes like someone who stacks extra aces in her bra every time she plays cards.

Now take Snow White. She's different from the queen. Sure, she broke into the short mens' home, but at least she cleaned up the place. Vacuumed, mopped the floor, cleaned the crumb caked dishes--heck. If someone wanted to break into my house to clean it, I wouldn't complain. Sounds fair to me. She even bakes pies.

However, there is nothing fair about her evil step mother! I bet she never baked a pie for anyone in her life. If she wanted to be called the fairest, all she had to do was–

WHAT? I'm sorry dear readers, but this lady who looks like Jane Curtain keeps interrupting me.

No. My name is not Roseanne Roseannadanna. I have dark frizzy hair, but I'm not her.

What do you mean the word "fairest" means beautiful?




I miss you Gilda!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Writer's Post: Internal Affairs

This picture plus the words "Internal Affairs" is the prompt for this week's writer's post.

After the trip down The Wizard of Oz's Yellow Brick Road, Tin Man had finally gotten a heart. Possession wasn't good enough because a heart belongs in the chest taking care of internal affairs while banging life throughout the body.

So, Tin Man opened wide and swallowed the heart charms. Unfortunately, it didn't attach to his chest nor stop between non-existent lungs. The charms tumbled to the floor of his bodily barrel and made horrendous rattles every time he moved. Plus, that silly little charm tickled.

The Tin Man visited Scarecrow, who had an incredible brain, and asked him how to fix the problem. Scarecrow suggested he see an auto mechanic in Kansas. They asked Lion to come with them, but he was too scared of the noisy shop, so Tin Man and Scarecrow traveled down the flat roads by themselves.

When they reached the shop, the mechanic pulled out his power tools which sang a cheerful tune while opening the Tin Man like a can of tuna fish. At which time Toto darted into the shop and snatched the charm in his doggy lips. Dorothy pried the furry rat's mouth open until the heart dropped to the ground and broke.

After that, Tin Man not only had a rip in his chest but was also heartless.

Monday, March 19, 2012

#GBE2: The List

This week's GBE2 prompt is to make a list and give it a title. Here's mine.

My Daughter Is On A Cruise

Great Vacations I've Taken This Year


At least my dog hasn't taken a vacation. No joke. I know someone who sent her dog to Texas. I was her Secret Santa years back and wrote her a poem.

          Roses are red,
          Violets are blue,
          Your dog took a vacation 
          instead of you. 

I guess I need to come up with another list. Hmm. 

Ways I've Saved Money This Year

1. No vacations

I give up; this sucks. I just had a week off from work... stayed home. As soon as I opened my classroom door this morning, I had a surprise. The portable was broken into, ransacked, and three computers stolen. I hope those slime balls get a long vacation, in JAIL! :p

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Silly Sunday: Daddy How Was I Born?

A little boy goes to his father and asks 'Daddy, how was I born ?'  

father answers, "Well, son, I guess one day you will need to find out anyway!  Your Mom and I first got together in a chat room on Yahoo.  Then I set up a date via e-mail with your Mom and we met at a cyber-cafe. We sneaked into a secluded room, and googled each other.  There your mother agreed to a download from my hard drive.  As soon as I was ready to upload, we discovered that neither one of us had used a firewall, and since it was too late to hit the delete button, nine months later a little Pop-Up appeared that said:  

"You've got Male!"

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Writer's Post: Reflection Fail

Last night when driving home from dinner, my husband and I spotted Venus and Jupiter glowing low in the sky due to the sun's reflection upon them.

When the sun shines on me, I only tan or burn. Never have I glowed like a planet or Edward Cullen. I wonder if our planet would shine like a star if we were to look at it from Venus or Jupiter.

Since the planets looked so beautiful, I ventured outside with my camera phone. Here is the picture I took of the planets... just for you.


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Purim in Israel

Purim is a time when Jews dress up in costumes just like many do on Halloween. The black hatters are wearing their traditional garb as they meet their modern day counterpart. 

Thanks to Sally Rosenberg for the photo.

Monday, March 12, 2012

#GBE2: Shenanigans in the Rockies

It's best to be at Shwayder Camp!
Back in high school, I worked as a camp counselor at Camp Shwayder, a Jewish camp nestled in the beautiful rocky mountains of Idaho Springs, Colorado. As staff, we enjoyed the full run of the camp and knew her well. Although always nice to the campers, we were guilty of laughing at some of their shenanigans after the sun went down, such as the story of a little girl called Spacy who tipped over backwards the moment she put on her backpack. She fell in a straight backwards flop without a scream, twitch, or even a facial grimace.

I guess I was the same way on my day off where I made the mistake of falling asleep in a chair with a room full of counselors ready to pull their shenanigans on me. It would have been a lot more fun to watch someone else wake up with a cigarette butt in her hand and an empty bottle of booze under her arm. I am not nor have I ever been a smoker, but I might have drank a little that night since I slept through those shenanigans.
I miss the mountains!

When the camp sessions came to an end, several of us found ourselves in an odd predicament. We wanted to attend a youth group convention a week after camp ended but lived too far to go home for a week. The director gave us an awkward option. We could spend the week at the camp and participate in a program called Youth Tute provided that we be campers. Campers? We had spent the entire summer being counselors, and now we couldn't even wander into our own staff lounge! 

This was horrendous! This was unacceptable! This was... wait a minute, this could be fun. Okay, if they want us to be campers, we'll act like them–and thus–the shenanigans began. Imagine the look on the camp director's face when he found his former staff breaking every rule in the book. We had a blast sneaking out of the cabin, hiding behind the water heater, and raiding the boys' cabins. Shenanigans!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Writer's Post meets Silly Sunday: Energy & Heavy Evy

It amazes me how one word can trigger a flood of memories that basically have nothing to do with the topic at hand. "Energy is the ability to do work!" On one particular day, that's the phrase our sixth grade teacher made us shout before she'd let us out the door to blessed freedom from her class. Hopefully her ways are silly enough for a Sunday at Rhonda's Laugh Quotes.

Small hides the guilty.
Although I was just about the tallest girl in the class, this monstrous woman towered over all of us. You may recall my discussion of 5X5, my mother's "friend" who was five feet tall and five feet wide. On that same frame of reference, meet 6X6. From my child perspective, she just might have been.

Ralph M. Captain School
Our elementary school followed the idiotic seventies trend of open classrooms. With this design in place, I was able to hear and fear this teacher for two years before I was thrust into her classroom. Thank goodness for Mrs. R, the teacher's assistant who used to garner long lines to check SRA so that we could skirt around "Heavy Evy."

I'll never forget wanting to skip school on my birthday because of her weird practice of spanking kids over her knee in front of the class. She'd pat their tushes eleven times while counting in an annoying high-pitched squeal then smack the tar out of them on number twelve. I'm guessing that since two other girls shared my birthday, she left us alone for time's sake–or maybe she was smart enough to know that my dad would be beating down her door if she ever hit me.

Now that I'm a teacher, I see three types of kids: the ones that want a hug all the time; those that don't touch but will tell all about their lives; and finally, the type of kid who keeps as far away from the teacher as possible. Can you guess what type of kid I was? Yep! Number three, even with the nice teachers. This made her intrusive ways even more threatening.

There is one good out of this sixth grade experience. Heavy Evy, and her best-friend who taught me in grade four, provide great fodder for my novels. When you read about a mean teacher in my novel, think of Heavy Evy.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

#GBE2: Confrontation

When my kids were little and acted up in public, I was quick to tell them that "Aunt Joyce" wasn't going to take them anywhere if they couldn't behave. Now that my kids are grown, they throw the name back at me by calling me Aunt Joyce when I get into my multiple confrontations in front of them.

Even though little girls are taught to be seen and not heard, I must have missed that message because I'm afraid I can be quite confrontational when things don't go my way, which seems to be more frequently since the world abandoned the saying, "The customer is always right." See I Hate Delta Airlines. After much tweeting and bad publicity for that sad excuse for an airline, I got my way–sorta.

Volkswagon is a much smarter company than Delta because they gave into to my demands much sooner after a strip of aluminum siding fell off the inside of my door. The dealership's service department told me they did not sell aluminum strips and I'd have to replace the entire door at the tune of $600+.

I didn't argue with the kind people on Winchester Road but rather dialed directly to headquarters and told them (1) this is unacceptable (2) there is no reason not to sell me a small part (3) I will get my car fixed at a reasonable price, and finally (4) If I don't, I will blog and tweet this story to the world.

At first, I was offered a $200 discount, which would still leave me paying $400+ for a strip of aluminum. I said, "No way!" and the counter offer was on the table the next day. In the end, they replaced my door for free, and I paid a small amount for the price of labor ... about the price of a piece of aluminum.

Although men who act like me are assertive, us women get called less flattering names when we play difficult customer. I don't care and will wear the name with pride, but , err; hopefully, I haven't been too awful.

As a side note, I love my Volkswagon Eos and their service department in Memphis. I would most certainly buy another one.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Tom Hanks

Did you know there is a site totally devoted to turning Tom Hanks into animals? I couldn't make this stuff up! 

Here are some samples from this site.

Maybe it's best not to be a celebrity!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Silly Sunday: Doggie Park

In Memphis, we have an off leash park at Shelby Farms. It's "doggy Disneyland" to my pals. I tried to capture the excitement on the way to the park.

So what is she crying about? She does this every time we go to the dog park, and it's silly.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Writer's Post: Did You Know?

This week, Writer's Post has asked us to write a page from our brag book or something we'd like to share. My share session reminds me of the senior citizens who love to boast and brag over whose back aches the most or who has more problems. My post is something like that.

I've been a lousy blog hopper, I know, but life is hard with the day job. Did you know I leave for work every morning around 7:00 and don't get home until after 6:00? Plus, I take the work home with me so that if home commitments don't get in the way, I'll spend another hour doing more just to keep afloat. If I don't fall into bed by ten, I can barely function the next day, which isn't fair to kids who need a smiling face at school. Thank G-d for the week-ends where I can finally drop on a blog or two and maybe leave a post... but, not this one. "Silly Sunday" Erica is home from college, and I'd rather visit with her than you. No offense, but blog hopping takes time that I don't have. I'm doing well to post on mine.

Why is teaching so time consuming? To start, not only do I plan lessons, but I'm also a special education teacher who must write IEPs and conduct meetings with everyone on my case load. At 91, my student population is small compared to other years. During my planning time, often occupied with parent meetings, I'm trying to find the time to give achievement tests to two little guys. However, I can't slack off because I'm due for a "pop in" evaluation any day now. I've been keeping on my toes for the pop in since January, and the stress is killing me.

I'm thoroughly sick of the public criticizing us for not doing miracles with the young generation. These kids are working harder than I ever did at their age, and the curriculum is tough. Did you solve algebraic equations in third grade? Did you diagram complex sentences in fifth? In all fairness, my students are intellectually gifted, but still! I'm expected to show growth on their achievement tests even though most of them are starting out in the nineties. I pray no one sneezes during the test!

November 1, 2016. That's the day I'm eligible to retire, if we can afford it after paying college tuition for three kids. I think I'll take my slim retirement pay and supplement it by greeting Walmart shoppers. At least that way, I could leave the job at home and go back to having a life.

Meanwhile, I've eaten some of the stress and tacked on a few pounds and am fighting hot flashes, waking at night, and all the other messes associated with my awful age. See. Ha! I'm more miserable than you!

Thanks to all who visit my blog regularly, and I'm sorry I don't always return the favor. I wanted you to know why. I promise to post something lighter for Silly Sunday.