Saturday, January 29, 2011
I am not a weight lifter. I am a blood donor. Or at least I try to be. (I am also an organ donor, and I have signed up to be a bone marrow donor. Still waiting for that phone call...) My favorite blood center had a blood drive today. I love being on schedule with the blood drive. It's like a party! Today, they had lots of friendly people, cool long sleeve brown t-shirts, pizza, smoothies, cake, coupons, and parafin wax hand treatments! It was great! I was having a great time and my hands are sooo soft! Then it was my turn to go into the little office to check my temperature, blood pressure, and worst of all... my iron levels. Sigh. It's always a gamble when I go to give blood. Today my iron level was 34. It has to be 38 to give. I don't really handle disappointment very well. I am still kind of pouty about it! The last few times I went, my iron was doing great. Always right at 38. I don't even really know what that means. Except that it's time for me to start pumping iron again. Maybe my handsome hubby can put a daily reminder in my phone, and I can take my supplements like an old woman... Anyway, I encourage both of you faithful readers, if you are not already a blood donor, give it a try! It's a great feeling when you know you are helping to save lives!
...why blogger hates me. I am new here. Please be nice. I can't figure out why my friends' blogs have nice normal looking font sizes (looks like Arial 10 or 12pt.) and I get either the choice that looks like a large print book (normal? really?) or the size where you need a microscope to read it. (small.) I'd hate to see what extra small looks like! I wasn't brave or squinty enough to try it. But my head hurts and I am going to give it a rest for now. Maybe blogger will forgive me later (or a phone call to Rebecca will help me fix it.) At any rate, please bear with me, millions of fans. This blog is a work in progress... (Who am I kidding? 2 people read this and you will either never notice my currently weird-looking blog or you will just love me anyway.) I need a nap...
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Last night I was at school until nearly 7pm because I was in a meeting with the objective of coming up with a list of ways the school district can save money. Our district is looking at $38 - $76 million in budget cuts from the state. We were told at the start of the meeting that we could discuss any ideas we had, apart from personnel cuts. Oh, there are going to be personnel cuts, but those decisions are going to be made by someone in a much higher pay grade than a group of teachers, counselors, and principals. Well, that didn't stop a certain teacher from putting the idea out there that we should consider increasing class sizes. Her argument was that she can be just as effective teaching classes of 32 as she is with her current classes of 28. "And really, we've got teachers on our campus with classes the size of a large family." These were her words. I was sitting right next to her. It's not the first time she has made the exact comment about the size of MY classes. Now let me explain. I teach ESL. English as a Second Language. It's an intervention class. I have kids in my classes from all over the world. All with varying levels of English proficiency and academic achievement. In one of my classes (a class with 5 students) one of our activities yesterday was to write the alphabet in 30 seconds. I timed them. Not a single one of the 5 were able to do it. One of my students, put his hands to his head and said in frustration, "I don't know the order!" Now this child has been in our country for 4 years. He comes from a part of the world where going to school every day is not a priority. They have bigger things to worry about. Like finding clean water to drink. His parents sent him to the US to live with his aunt, so he might have a better life. This is a child who is uneducated in his first language and now struggling in his second language. A child who's academic success is so low, he doesn't even qualify for special education. He's not a bad kid. He's not a dumb kid. He's an uneducated kid who is in the 7th grade and trying to figure it all out. Since he has been in our country for 4 years, he will take the state tests in April. With no accommodations and no modifications. While this other teacher is up until 2 o'clock in the morning grading papers, I am up until 2 o'clock in the morning wondering how I am going to work a miracle for this child, and others in my class with similar stories. And the tests in April are not the end of the story. Every year I send my students across the parking lot to the high school. I just pray that my kids find success in high school. Find a teacher they connect with. Pray that they do not drop out. Because if they don't pass those tests in high school, they don't graduate. Then they are faced with a future of poverty and a new generation of students with the same struggles. So yes, Other Teacher. My classes are the size of a large family. Could you imagine having this student in your class of 28? There are 23 others this year with their own stories of success and struggle. There are plenty of ways the district can save money. Cutting my intervention class isn't going to make things better for anyone.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Because I am a word nerd, I get these daily text messages from dictionary.com with the Word of the Day. It gives the word, pronunciation, and definition. And... an advertisement. Quick funny story about those... The first day I got my text message, the word was "klatch." Now, a klatch is an informal social gathering usually including refreshments. I had never heard this word before, but it turns out that I love klatches. But the advertisement at the end of the text simply said, "*A psoriasis treatment option." And a link you can click on your phone. Since I pretty much only use my phone to text, check facebook, and to make the occasional phone call, I did not click on the link. I really thought that "klatch" was also a word for a psoriasis treatment option! Crazy, right?! Anyway, since I now know that every word dictionary.com sends me cannot also be a psoriasis treatment option I realized two things. 1. Those little phrases at the bottom of the texts are indeed advertisements and 2. dictionary.com should maybe look into getting other companies to advertise. Just a thought. But at any rate, I love my words of the day. I could do an entire blog post listing out my favorites new words I have learned and use them in a sentence too. Because let's face it, what's the point of learning a new word, if you don't put it to use, right? Oh and the point of this blog post: This morning I was listening to the radio, KSBJ, and they had a musician, Brandon Heath, in the studio as a guest. He mentioned how he sometimes gets together for coffee with Natalie Grant, because they are both advocates for stopping human trafficking. Well the DJ, Susan O'Donnell, jokingly made the comment, "Oh, so you get together for coffee with Natalie Grant, hmm? You know I would be available for one of those klatches sometime. Just let me know." It made me laugh. And wonder... Does Susan O'Donnell also get the Word of the Day text messages? Maybe she's a word nerd too.
Monday, January 24, 2011
My hubby was telling me tonight about how he cleaned all the dryer lint out of the laundry room today. Out of the lint filter, behind the dryer, on the floor, etc. I guess it was pretty linty in there. Anyway, he was telling me about how lint can get stuck in the foil tube behind the dryer and it can be a fire hazard and all I could think was, "Great, now I have something else to worry about." When did I become such a worry wart? That has always been my mom's job. Now I can add "my house bursting into flames because we do the laundry and the laundry room is upstairs right by all the bedrooms where my kids sleep at night" to my current list: cancer, bullies, high fructose corn syrup, donut holes in Medicare prescription plans, my students' passing rate on the state tests, the impending teacher layoffs, plus important things like the general safety and day to day well being of local traffic cops and my kids growing into good Christians and responsible citizens who are content with life. And because I saw the movie, Black Swan, I also have the possibility of mental illness on my list. Then there is always what is for dinner and tomorrow's lesson plans. Just to name a few. Sheesh. Now I am kind of worried that my list of worries might be too long...
I was driving home tonight, thinking about how later we have to go grocery shopping in the rain and I invented a new product in my head. I imagine it being in one of those As Seen On TV infomercials. "Tired of bringing home soaking wet groceries from the store? Sometimes you just have to go to the store, even if it's raining outside. Introducing.... THE CARTBRELLA! Just snap the tripod style umbrella onto your shopping cart with ease and head to the car. Your shopping bags stay nice and dry all the way through the parking lot! When you're done loading your bags into the car, it snaps right off and folds down nice and slim. Never bring home soggy groceries again! Act now and you get not one, but TWO Cartbrellas for the low, low price of only $19.95! (Plus $7.95 shipping and handling.)" What do you think, friends? I'd buy a Cartbrella or two.
I came up with the title of my blog months ago, and I have been thinking about blogging for just as long. I can't let a creative title like this go to waste! I decided (with the help of my brilliant bestie) that if I have time to create an entire city on facebook, then I must have time to blog too. So, I have decided to devote less of my day to facebook and give blogging a try instead! I think I am going to like this! So stay tuned all my millions of fans. This blog promises to entertain you with the day to day excitement of my life, the many cute things my kids do and say, my take on all my favorite books I read, movies I see, and TV shows I keep up with and of course, the random nuggets of genius I think up during the day. And it will all be In Layman's Terms...