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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"
Showing posts with label TN. Show all posts
Showing posts with label TN. Show all posts

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Armed Robbery

Our peaceful neighborhood has been rocked by three armed robberies in the past week. No, we do not live in the "dangerous" part of town; we live in Germantown. Although Memphis has her fair share of crime, Germantown had been rated as the tenth safest suburb in the country. See for yourself Ten Safest Suburbs in US. So what's going on?

Here is a report of what didn't happen during the first robbery, but I'll use my author's creative rights to change the story.

An elderly woman drove home from picking up dinner. Without warning, a man, wearing a hat, gloves, and ski mask, grabbed her arm and pushed her into her house. As he pointed a gun at her head, he didn't notice her 85 year-old husband who sat at the kitchen table. Being that he had no early Altheimer's and a body as fit and limber as it was in his twenties, he sprung out of his seat, disappeared into the back of the house, and called the police.

Once notified, the police arrived in two minutes. (That's not fabricated.) They pointed their pistols at the robber and told him to drop his gun. When he didn't follow directions precisely, they shot off his white balls, which dripped the last of his testosterone all over the kitchen floor.
Cuffed and booked, Mr. Felon was dragged to 201 Poplar and thrown in jail with a group of sex starved men. He couldn't sleep for fear of one of his fellow prisoners attacking him in the night. 

Not exactly the story, but hopefully they'll catch this thug and shoot his balls off, anyway.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Running Through the Lights

Saturday night, we ran a 4K through the Starry Nights exhibit at Shelby Farms with 1,600 of our friends. I tried to take pictures of the beautiful light exhibits, but since it was a race, I couldn't stop running while snapping. Because I'm such a fast runner, the photos are blurry; but, enjoy them none-the-less.

The Start: See how the sign reads "Starry Nights?"

We ran through a beautiful tunnel!

This is a music exhibit. See the "Beetles?"

We ran through another light tunnel.

We saw stars hanging from trees.

Monday, June 11, 2012

#GBE2: If I had my life to live over...

This topic is supposed to be filled with the age old wisdom of one who's tasted the ups and downs of life and has now matured to a quiet understanding. Yeah, right!

If I had my life to live over, there are a few things I might do differently:

(1) I would not have cried softly in Kindergarten after not getting to pet the snake but rather stood up boldly and announced, "Hey! You missed me!"

(2) Everyday in second grade, a classmate asked me to lend her a dime. Being timid, I gave it to her while knowing she'd never give it back. I probably gave her at least $2 - $3, with the interest rate from the sixties and adjustment for inflation... Hmm. I need to send her a bill or at least link this post to her Facebook page to prove I'm no longer that wimp.

(3) In a do over, I would have pitched a fit and refused to wear that polyester, light blue gym uniform because my mom didn't want to spend $7 to buy me a new one. In my childhood, a parent's "No" meant no without an argument, but that was important enough that in hindsight, I should have fought it or paid for a red one myself. That embarrassing uniform with my sister's initials scarred me for life! This morning, I searched the internet for a uniform as ugly as that one. I couldn't find anything THAT bad.

(4) I didn't need to date him or be intimate, but I wish I would have gotten to know him as he stood in the corner with his fraternity buddies and radiated his handsomeness. It might have been enriching to have become his good friend and vicariously enjoyed his rise to fame and fortune. He missed his chance. Brad Pitt and I went our separate ways.

I should have said, "Hello" as she sunbathed in front of her sorority house across the street, but Sheryl Crow also missed the chance to know me. We were all just kids not knowing which one of us was going places. If I would have listened to my professor and majored in education like he told me to do, I probably would have known her well. Ironically, I'm a teacher and she is not.

I know Yakov Smirnoff, and he's more fun than Brad Pitt and Sheryl Crow put together.

(5) When my husband gave me a compound sentence, "Will you marry me and live in Memphis?" maybe I should have negotiated the Memphis thing. Yes, I love him, but back when, I didn't quite get the full picture of what he was asking for. This red state of Tennessee can be a bit much. At least as of last Thursday, I no longer have a uterus for them to mess with.

Oh, Beth meant big stuff like career decisions, etc? I'm sure I never interpret her challenges the way she intends us to. Honestly, I don't have a clue about that. It's far too deep for me.

Monday, January 2, 2012

GBE2: Work

This week's GBE2 writing topic is work. For better or worse, here's my take on it:

For over twenty-five years, I've taught intellectually gifted kids in an affluent suburb of Memphis. I've seen dramatic changes in what and how I teach since the eighties. Don't get me wrong, the kids are great other than the fact that they never grow older. They will always be around nine or ten even though I've aged twenty-five years. Yet their parents have grown younger. When I first started teaching parents were old people, so how did they get so young? Scary!

As for gifted curriculum, it used to be if the kids were happy, the parents were happy, and administration was happy too. I only was responsible for meeting the IEP goals which I wrote. Not anymore. It's all about test scores and achievement.

Gone are the days of paper-mache´ puppet shows, fancy tooth pick bridges, or spending 100,000 fictional dollars on the stock market. Today, teaching is all about curriculum. My math lessons follow closely to what the classroom teacher is doing yet tougher. I teach reading lessons, with reading groups that cover novels. At least they still let me pick my novels–sorta. We have a list of board approved books.

I still love my time with the kids, but I miss egg drop competitions that plummeted raw eggs with goofy faces and silly names down shoots into kid designed landing pads. I can do some of the fun stuff, but by golly I better find an SPI objective before I do.

I used to start each class with a Shel Silverstein poem; now, I begin with Daily Grammar Practice. Sounds awful, but it's not bad. The kids' ability to diagram complex sentences is even impressive.

But teaching means unbelievable pressure. We've heard of teachers cheating to raise their students' test scores. I certainly don't condone this behavior nor would I ever cheat on a test; but honestly, I understand where this is coming from. It doesn't matter if you have a Doctorate degree or how long you've been teaching, it's getting to the point that your students better show growth or you could be out of a job.  Do you know of any other profession where a person's bread and butter is dependent on fickle kids?

In Tennessee, every public school teacher has a minimum of three (was supposed to be four) evaluations every year. These evaluations involve massive time commitments and paper work as administrators who are stretched thin enter classrooms to watch us teach. Plus, the same folks are scouring over value added scores. This is a comparison of students' growth on tests from year to year. Mind you, I teach gifted. This means that even though my students' test scores are already in the upper nineties, I need to show growth! However, when it comes to other measures of student achievement, I'm scored on the performance of the entire school. Ie., kids I don't even teach.

Please remember, I love the kids! I love the delight when they understand something new. And I love hearing them laugh when I inject humor into my lessons. However, I'm ready to retire because I'm tired. Typically, I arrive at school between 7:15 and 7:30 and leave sometime between 5:00 and 6:00 in the evening. Many times, I bring my work home with me once I leave. Sure I just had two weeks of vacation, but I spent several hours of it completing special education report cards, writing IEPs, making flip charts for my Promethean board, grading writing, and re-reading chapters for discussion this week. Unfortunately, the pressure on us is so intense that the fun has evaporated. In fact, when my college age daughter took a career placement test to help her find a major, the counselor said, "Be a teacher."

I said, "Don't you dare!" Those who are eligible to retire are doing so in mass... and this is supposed to improve education? What has the government done to my profession? I know my teachers from the 60s and 70s never worked as hard as I do nor did they get blamed when I misbehaved. We are one of the most disrespected professions and have even been blamed for the weak economy because we have too many benefits. I pay for my insurance, and it's not cheap!

November 1, 2017, that's when I'll be eligible to retire... unless our lovely legislators raise the retirement age.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Moving #AtoZ

You want me to teach where?
As a young teacher, I often traveled to a different school each day, and on some days, I even hit two schools at once. On one such day, the principal told me I had to move everything out of my portable because a teacher from the middle school, across the field, would be using my room. She assigned me to a new room on the far side of the building, and I frantically tore posters off of walls, threw various items into boxes, and hustled to my new room to be sure to have an empty portable for this middle school teacher.

At 11:30, I left the elementary school and walked the field to my middle school assignment. Upon entering the building, my administrator told me that I would be using the portable at the elementary school. In case you didn't catch this, I moved out so that I could move in. If I didn't laugh, I'd cry.

Tune in tomorrow for the letter N. Psst. It's about NUDITY.  =:o

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