Monthly Archives: May 2011

I’m dreaming…

I always have pretty crazy dreams but usually forget them quickly.

I have not forgotten the one I had last night.

I was driving my little Honda accord on the brick roads of Ft Scott, KS with my dear friend Elizabeth.  We turned right down a street and happened upon a gun fight.

On one side of the street were mobsters- as in Al Capone. On the other side of the street were thug gangsters- as in The Bloods.

They were shooting at each other as I drove down the street.  Miraculously, we were not hurt.  Just some minor bullet holes in the windshield.

The gangsters won the battle and decided to go after all witnesses (that’s Elizabeth and me if you are wondering). I had to flip the car into reverese to get away.  No time to even turn around.  My driving was awesome.  I looked like Daisy Duke driving like Bo and Luke.

Unfortunately, I don’t know how the dream ended.  I guess we survived since I am here to tell you about it.

So what did you dream about last night?  (Or any crazy dream you’ve had recently).  Please tell me I am not alone in my bizarre dreams.

oh and if you interpret dreams… what in the heck does this one mean?

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um, hi

Last night we took the boys to Walmart to buy personal care items for the victims of the Joplin tornado.  One of the hazards of living and teaching in a small town is that I can not go anywhere without seeing my students.  I joke that my alcohol consumption has dropped dramatically because I don’t want to get caught buying booze (yes, i know i am 31 years old and it is perfectly legal, blah blah blah.  I am still embarrassed about it and feel like I have a reputation to uphold)

Anyway, last night was no different.  We are in the toothbrush aisle which is just one away from the tampon and condom aisle.

I see two students walk by.  They say hello. I smile and wave.  We pick out our toothbrushes and toothpaste.  We head down the aisle and turn the corner.  There are my students (a guy/girl couple that are so in love, btw) in the condom aisle.  The boy makes a big scene of saying hello.  I realize what they are buying. I turn bright red.  I say “I don’t want to see you buying this stuff.”  Hubs says (in a really loud voice) “at least they are being safe.”  They laugh. I get out of there as fast as I can.

At school today they wanted to talk to me. About their purchase. During class. With everyone there. Someone asks if I recommended a certain type.  (no I did not!)  They tell me Hubs is really cool.

I groan.
Then I give them a killer final.

That’ll show them to embarrass me!

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tests suck

Standardized testing sucks. Anyone involved in education knows that high stakes tests are here to stay. I have been around for about 10 years and feel the pressure build every year. This year I moved from middle school to high school. From MAP tests to EOC tests. From a low income urban school to a well faring rural school. From a district that was struggling with AYP to one that has not had issue with scores. I figured testing would be easier and my scores would reflect that.

I got my scores back this week. From the numbers I look like a failure. It looks like I did not teach my students any algebra. Only 20% of my students are proficient or advanced. No Child Left Behind says they should all be.

Let me tell you about my classes, though. I teach math. Some of my students have learning disabilities. Some of my students have criminal records. Some of my students missed a lot of days for rehab. Some of my students don’t have their own bed to sleep in every night. Some of my students work 40 hours a week. Some of my students are parents. All of my students have been burned in math in the past and have felt like failures.

So what if their scores don’t show it- all of my students learned this year. They learned to come to school everyday. They learned to push through that hard problem. They learned to ask for help when they need it rather than quit all together. They learned to trust a math teacher. They learned that it is possible to be successful in a math class. They even learned how to have fun in math.

Am I disappointed with my scores? Yes. Not because they are low but because they don’t show how awesome my students are. Those numbers don’t tell how far my students have come this year. Standardized testing sucks because it will never tell the whole story of a student. I could go on and on about this but I won’t.

I feel more successful than ever this year even if my scores are the worst I have ever had. I am going to borrow a line from a teacher I used to work with: “These are the best kids in America!”

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sweatin to the oldies

So when I was working out today my ear buds decided to crap out on me.  This is probably a good thing as I always cause just a little more hearing damage every time I work out.  I was saved, though, because the woman on the elliptical next to me had her iPod turned up loud enough for me to hear clearly.  She was jamming to music my students recently referred to as “oldies.”  I, on the other hand, refer it to Gen X music.

While working out this week (Saturday, Monday, Wednesday, and today!!!!) I didn’t observe much.  The gym crowd has really thinned out since the snow melted (not that I am complaining.)

I did see a guy riding an exercise bike without any shoes.  I didn’t have the guts to ask why his shoes were next to him so I am asking you… why would you ride the bike without shoes??

Questions of the day:  What’s made you go hmm at the gym this week?  What do you sweat to?

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scenes from the gym part 1

In an effort to get skinny (Bubba says my butt is huge and Dude says my stomach is squishy) Hubs and I have been going to the YMCA pretty frequently this school year.  I love our Y.  It is simple.  I don’t worry about looking like a fool there like I did when we lived in the Lou.  Like almost everything else in Nevada, I feel like I fit in there.

Even though I am still a fatty, I feel really good working out.  This is an amazing statement considering until recently (okay- currently, too) I claimed that exercise caused me to have an allergic reaction- I break out into a sweat and get clammy, my breathing is affected, I turn red and have muscle pain and fatigue.  (Come on you all know that those are classic signs of an allergic reaction)

Another thing I love about going to the gym is people watching.  I often Tweet from the treadmill or elliptical things that I see while sweating it out.   Yes, I am one of those people playing on my phone at the gym (whatever it takes to get me through the torture).

I have decided to start blogging my observations rather than constantly facebooking and getting sweat all over my phone (ewww!)  Your tweet stream and news feed will thank me.  I want to hear your stories as well.  You can comment here or email me and I will add them (with your permission) on those days I skip the gym don’t see anything interesting.

Heres what I pondered today:

Why do people where jeans to work out?  I mean really, I love my jeans days and often wear them on the weekends but to the gym.  Today there were 3 guys learning the ropes to the weight equipment wearing jeans and their wife beater shirts.  I work out in a pair of shorts that I pray doesn’t pull too tight across my rear and a t-shirt that is embarrassingly ratty so I guess I don’t have much room to talk about gym fashion.

Whats in your water bottle?  Mine has (wait for it)… water.  There is a lady that works out on a similar schedule to me that always has a large styrofoam cup.  Sometimes it is a gas station cup and sometimes it is a Sonic cup.  I am dying to know what she drinks while she sweats.  Is she replacing her electrolytes (that’s me trying to sound sporty) with a sports drink or is she counteracting her efforts with a Coca-Cola.

My questions for you today:  What do you work out in and whats in your water bottle?

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comparison

As a parent I know I am not supposed to measure my kids against each other but I hope it is okay to compare them.  You know… like what you did in high school English with two different books or something.

Even if it is wrong my post tonight is an excellent (and pretty funny) description of how my boys are completely different.

The following is an example of how Bubba and Dude at their cheeseburgers at McDonald’s tonight:

Bubba (the older and most slightly completely OCD son) unwrapped his burger and held it in one hand while neatly folding the wrapper to make a place mat.  He then methodically ate his cheeseburger across like corn on the cob.  He was very conscious about making a straight line as he ate.  He would also completely chew each bite, wipe his face, and take a sip of his chocolate milk every 3rd bite.

Dude (the younger and reckless son) chugged his chocolate milk while reaching into the happy meal box.  He ripped his burger out of the paper barely acknowledging the protective paper.  His first bite was from the middle, smearing ketchup and mustard across his face.  He shoved as much as he could in his mouth, mutilating the bun as he went.  He barely took a breath until his burger was totally gone.

They are as different as night and day.  Every day I amazed that the same to sets of genes combined to make two completely different boys.  And I love every ounce (which is increasing a rapid rate) of each of them.

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review

I am not a blogger that does product reviews but today I change that.

We have been in our house in Nevada, MO for a year now (can you believe it?!?!) and have been washing dishes without a dishwasher (unless you count me) for that same amount of time. My first thoughts upon moving in were something like “What? You want me to wash the dishes by hand?” as well as “I didn’t realize there were still houses without dishwashers” and even “What was I thinking when I settled (yes, we settled) on this house?”

I have since come to terms with the fact that I don’t have a dishwasher and that the kitchen is a part of my chores within the household.  I have tried almost every single kind of dish soap available at Walmart.  Every time dish soap is on my list I try something new.  

Until now.  I have found the best dish soap around. Palmolive with Oxy plus is by far the best product I have used to wash my dishes.  I will not be easily swayed to try anything else.  This stuff cuts through the grease and grime of my cooking (which I must say is improving now that Dude and Bubba are becoming more vocal in their opinions).  My pots and pans feel clean.  My plates squeak when I dry them- they are that clean. My glasses sparkle. It is amazing.  My biggest complaint about not having a dishwasher (besides pure laziness on my part) is that I haven’t felt like my dishes were getting really, truly clean. Switching to Palmolive with Oxy plus has taken away that argument in my quest for a dishwasher.

The other great part about Palmolive with Oxy plus is that it is gentle on my hands.  We go through a lot of dishes (Hubs thinks that my kitchen in like the buffet where you get a new dish every time you go to the counter) and I generally do 2 sink-fulls a day.  Since switching to Palmolive with Oxy plus my hands have stopped drying out and cracking.

I hate washing dishes and will continue to hope that by some miracle space will appear in my kitchen for us to have a dishwasher that is not me (along with the plumbing and the actual dishwasher).  In the mean time, though, I will continue using Palmolive with Oxy plus  and would recommend that you do too.

Oh and if you have any connections to the Palmolive people, I would be more that willing to take some free samples!

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