Friday, September 23, 2011

Dear Atlanta Drivers:

Dear Atlanta Drivers,

Here are a few little guidelines for driving, from me to you.

1) There are these things that are built into every car that help others know where you're going.  They're called turn signals.  You can use these for either turning or merging lanes.  If you do, then the people around you won't risk running into you.

2) It's okay to give a little personal space to the car in front of you. That means more than 2 inches.  I should be able to see most of your front bumper.

3) If you don't like the fact that I'm driving a smidge slower than the rest of traffic (for the safety of my vehicle and myself), please choose another lane.  You have SIX others to choose from.  While moving to another lane, please refrain from waving wildly and shouting what I'm sure are obscene phrases through your closed window at me.  And don't forget your turn signal.


Friday, September 16, 2011

Fall Break

After two 4-day weeks, I had a week off for fall break.  It seems crazy to have a break so soon, but I have to remember that every other school in the district has been in session since early August - a whole four weeks more than Pre-K.  Although I have spent most of the week being sick and lazy on the couch, I did accomplish something this week...I converted a dress into a skirt!

This is a dress that my dear roommate, Elizabeth, passed on to me (like she did with a lot of the clothing she no longer wanted).  The dress was really comfortable, but it just did not fit well on top.  I had to wear a cami or other shirt under it, which just ruined the comfort level.  Thus, I never wore the dress.

This is what I started with:

I tried on the dress and decided that I needed to cut along the bottom edge of the elastic waist.  After cutting, this is what I was working with:

I got rid of the top portion and added a waistband to the skirt portion.  I had some leftover elastic, so I didn't have to spend a penny!  I folded over the top to form a waistband and sewed around the band.  I forgot to leave a hole to thread the elastic through, but that was easily remedied by pulling out a few stitches.  I slid the elastic all the way around, stitched it together, and repaired the hole.  

Here is the finished product:

I attempted to do a similar thing to yet another dress (again, courtesy of Elizabeth), but have run into a few snags.  I may have to invest in something to repair the hem since I pulled the ruffles off....

That's all for now!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Remembering 9/11: Ten Years Later

10 years ago I had no idea what the World Trade Centers were.  This is my attempt to journal my experiences from September 11, 2001 – something I never did ten years ago.  I am doing this because I don’t want to forget.  Not that I would ever be able to forget an event like that.  This post is fairly emotionless, mostly due to the fact that I (a) didn’t really know what was going on while it was happening and (b) I didn’t yet understand the magnitude of the events on that day.

The planes hit the towers at 7:46 and 8:03 CST.  I would have just started class during my seventh grade year; the first class of the day was World History with Coach Topik.  I can remember sitting in the library with the rest of my classmates doing research for whatever happened to be the project of the week.  The librarian and Coach Topik were in the large storage room that held the TVs teachers could use.  As we wondered what they were doing over there, one classmate informed us that the president (George W. Bush) was making a speech.  My thought?  Big deal.  He’s just the president talking about something boring. 

I didn’t thinking anything else about it until I made it to my 3rd period class – creative writing with Mrs. Tigrett.  Word had begun to spread about the attacks, and a friend of mine said that planes had crashed into the World Trade Centers in New York.  “That’s sad,” was my thought.  Once again, it got pushed almost to the back of my mind as I turned my focus to school (big surprise there). 

However, by the time I made it to 5th period, the student body was buzzing about what was going on in New York.  I found out that there was another plane that air control couldn’t locate on radar and that it was supposedly connected to the events of the morning.  At this point, I was hungry for information about what was happening – obviously it was something big and important.  Word was that teachers had been informed that they should not tell us what was going on, though some apparently did pass on information.  Classes continued for the rest of the day with no new information seeping through the cracks.

I was going to stay after school to audition for a play.  When I got to auditions, I chickened out and chose to sit in the bleachers and work on homework instead.  After school, Mom picked me up.  I don’t remember what happened at this point – it’s possible that we talked about school or the events in New York, but I’m just not sure.  I do know that when I got home, I glued myself to the TV until dinner and the radio after that.  My classroom gossip was confirmed – the World Trade Centers had been hit by terrorists, the Pentagon had been hit, and a plane crashed in a field in Pennsylvania.

As the years have gone by, my love of this country has grown.  I am so proud of all the men and women who have, do, and will fight to protect this country.  And I am proud to be an American.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

First Days in Pre-K

Well, the first week of school was last week, which explains my mysterious disappearance.  I would have updated this weekend, but, let's face it, I was too lazy. Now I'm waiting for my hard-working husband to get home (at 9:30!), and I'm struggling to stay awake, which is the perfect excuse to blog.  "To blog".... that makes this sound so official.  Maybe they should call it "to ramble", which is what I tend to do.

Anyway, here's the low-down on last week:

Kelsey and I finished up the classroom and stuffed communication folders with paperwork in preparation for the Meet & Greet.  We met most of our students - probably about 18 of the 22 - and their parents.  This marks the first time that I've felt like a legit teacher.  The parents were asking me questions; the crazy part is that I actually knew the answers!

First day of school.  Kelsey and I decided that we wouldn't give the students assigned seats so we could figure out who shouldn't sit by whom.  Big mistake.  By the time we realized our mistake, we didn't have a chance to fix it that day.  Then, after we came back from the playground, we had one student who decided he no longer wanted to be in our class.  He proceeded to jump off the carpet and run out the door - straight into the parking lot (we're in a portable "cottage").  Luckily Kelsey caught him ..... and took him straight to the principal.  For the next 30-45 minutes, the principal sat with him in our classroom.  We struggled through the rest of the day.  That afternoon we met with our principal and instructional coach, and they gave us tips and feedback.  We stayed until 7:30 rescheduling and planning for Wednesday.

So. Hard. To. Wake up.  Wednesday went SOOOOOO much better.  Zeke scolded us for staying so late.  Our runner stayed in the classroom the whole time he was supposed to.  We only stayed until 4:45.  Such an improvement from Tuesday.

The days just keep getting better.  The hardest part was nap time (which we continue to struggle with).  Our students are understanding our routines, walking in a semi-straight line, and staying fairly quiet in the hallways.  At 5:15, we packed our bags and headed home.

I made it to school in 52 minutes - a record!  Best day so far.  Routines are running smooth.  I'm loving teaching and I'm actually pretty good at it.  Who'd have thought?  4:30 rolls around, and we're ready to head home for a nice, long weekend.

This week promises to show improvement every day.

P.S. If anyone has tips for getting 4 year olds to nap - especially those who don't nap at home - I would be more than grateful!