Monday, November 2, 2009

Life as an Educator

Yeah, so...I'm just going to start posting some of these situations on my blog just to see whether I'm sane or not. In retrospect, this one is minor in comparison but this is the e-mail my colleague received from a parent today. Now, keep in mind that we are requiring our 8th graders to memorize the pronouns (yes, 8th grade---don't even get me started on THAT!) But one would assume that it is also important to understand the differences between the possessive pronoun "their" and the word "there." One would also assume that ANY 8th grader (with an IEP or not) should be able to learn the difference between the spellings, especially in the case these two particular homophones. Maybe I'm wrong, and maybe we are just expecting too much from out 8th graders.

Mrs. X

My son Bobby is in your language arts class. He had a test on pronouns and he got 4 wrong because they were misspelled. Our, ours which he spelled ower and owers and their and theirs which he spelled there and theres. In his IEP it clearly states that he is not to be downgraded for spelling errors an if you do not know what he wrote he is to be questioned before it is wrong. I have the paper at home and will send it in Tuesday to have this explained to him and so you can see it as well. Thank you for your time and help. If I am mistaken please let me know, otherwise I will assume his grade for that test should be changed. Thanks again.

Bobby's Mother

Monday, August 17, 2009

It Happens Every Year

It's almost time to go back to work for me which probably means I'll have even less time to add entries to my blog. (I'm so diligent about keeping up with it and all.) The kids' school supplies are purchased and I'm busy trying to get things organized for my own classroom and I feel like I'm running out of time.

I started my morning workouts again and it actually felt really good. My heel isn't killing me which is definitely a step in the right direction (no pun intended). I'm signed up for AMP'd again in the fall and it looks like they are incorporating kettle balls this time---that is pretty cool. I'm anxious because I've gained a lot of weight back after dealing with this plantar faciitis so I'm happy at the prospect of getting my body back into shape. Not being able to work out like I used to has put me into a sort of depressed funk (if that is such a thing).

Thursday, July 23, 2009


With the exception of marriage...I have a difficult time commiting to things. I will not accept an invite to something I'm only half-heartedly intersted in because, well, something better may come along or more honestly---I may not feel like attending the event at the time.

Apparently, I cannot even commit to keeping up a blog! My last two posts were over two years ago. That is so sad! As a wife, mother, daughter, sister, teacher, friend, and neighbor---there is only so much time in the day to give and I need to keep some for myself and sometimes I don't realize I need to do that until the very last minute. (I'll talk more about that I feel like it.)

Sunday, July 15, 2007


I miss my dad. He was the glue that held us together. As the only male in a house with four other women, he kept us sane and rational. When we would share our issues with him, he wouldn't tell us what we wanted to hear, he told us what we needed to hear.

I sold two dressers today. They were the a portion of the first bedroom set my parents ever purchased together. My memory is a bit fuzzy, but I think they purchased it when I was about five years old. It was a lovely set but admittedly a little beat up over the years of transfers. My parents gave it to me when I was a junior in college. It was moved from my parents house to my college apartment, then on to my next apartment that I shared with my husband before we were married (yes, we lived in sin). Then it was moved to our first home and it came with us to our second home where we presently live. I told my mother that I got $100 for them and she informed me that she deserves a portion of that money. It was only a breath after she spoke those words when I once again felt that pang of loss. Dad would have said, "Good for you!" or "You should have asked more!" Granted, my parents made sure we never wanted for anything. They provided the safety and security they lacked in their own upbringing. There were times when both of them lived not knowing if they were going to eat.

My parents didn't pay for my college education--I'm still doing that through many school loans, but they did slip me money for groceries every time I came home. My dad bought me a car to get to the three jobs I worked the summer after my senior year of high school but then he sold it. He bought me another car the following summer and when I sold it and purchased a newer more dependable car, he let me use the money from the sale to purchase the new one and co-signed for the loan. I loved that little green Mustang. When I started my teaching internship there was no way I was going to be able to afford my apartment, my living expenses, and my car payment for five months with minimal income. My dad offered to support me. I sold my precious Ford that I was still making payments on and purchased another car that I could pay cash for with the money I made from the sale. I wasn't asked to, I just didn't feel right about my parents making my car payment.

Mom and Dad didn't pay for my entire wedding, as did the parents of most of my friends, but they did pay for a dinner for almost three hundred guests. When I asked to borrow money for the down payment for the new house, I called Dad at his work and he told me that he couldn't GIVE me the money but he would LOAN it to me because it was "the right thing to do." He wanted to be able to do that for his children because his parents never would or could for that matter. It was a loan and we paid him back within a month or two. He did the same thing for my younger sister a short time thereafter. I was raised never to expect money or hand outs from my parents but sometimes they offered to do the kindest things because they loved me and supported me. However, I realize now that most of those actions, if not all, were spearheaded by Dad. He certainly loved his girls and he wanted nothing better than to make sure we were taken care of as long as we were strong enough to take care of ourselves. Unfortunately, as much as he pushed his daughters to be as independent as possible, he didn't do the same for my mother. Dad passed away in December, but Mom has enough money from his retirement, life insurance, social security, etc. to pay off the house, pay off her car, and to live off of for awhile. She is set. So for her to tell me that half that money is hers just boggles my mind. I have over $40,000 in student loan debt that I will be paying off forever. I don't complain about it to her. I never have, but I did mention it after she made a comment about the $100. She needed to hear that. I just won't discuss money issues with her anymore. Lesson learned.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

A New Kind of Therapy

Hello, World! You've been waiting for me, haven't you? Thanks for being so patient. I've always dreamed of having my very own audience and now that I have you, I'm not quite sure what exactly it is I'm going to do with you. I have all of this useful (and admittedly, not so useful) knowledge flying around in this head of mine and apparently I need an outlet--so my therapist tells me.) Seriously, I don't have a therapist, well, I did see one once, and she must have been phenomenal because I consider myself CURED and have never gone back.

So, I'm a thirtysomething married mother of two from somewhere in Northeast Wisconsin. I'm also a middle school English teacher (no fair looking for or pointing out any spelling or grammatical errors--nobody is perfect!) My biggest pet peeve is people who lack of common sense and I have this intense feeling that several of my posts could be centered around that. I have a mile long list of classroom and educational system pet peeves which I may share some day (but I'll have to refrain from mentioning the school district in which I'm employed for obvious reasons). You should know, though, that until now I often held conversations with myself in front of my bedroom and bathroom mirror and in my car (and when you look over at me, I try to pretend I'm on the phone or just singing along to my Barry Manilow Greatest Hit's CD. (I own several. That is a topic for another day in the near future.) This is another reason why I feel I need to be here, with you, my audience. Hmmm...maybe it's time to call that therapist again.

In the words of Steve Hartman, "Everybody has a story" and until recently, I was very fearful of the day when his dart would unwittingly steer itself directly to my town on his big map of the United States where he would proceed to flip through the Fox Cities phone book and scroll through pages and pages with his finger until he stopped at my last name. (I know, I know, it's about as likely as me winning the lottery.) Honestly, I never thought I had one--a story, not a last name. Lucky me, I do. I realize it now, and through these blog pages, you will get to experience it with me. Lucky you.