Wednesday, October 17, 2012
1) As humorous as it was to watched Mitt Romney dominate the first debate, I thought it was an embarrassing display on the part of our current President, especially given the fact that he said debate prep was "a drag". I almost felt bad for Barack, but it finally gave Americans some insight into the attitude and abilities of our current President. I'm glad Mitt Romney was forceful in pointing out when Obama was misconstruing Romney's plans and beliefs.
2) The Vice Presidential debate was a bit more of a debate, which I appreciated. I thought Paul Ryan was incredibly well spoken, particularly when compared to Biden's childish snorts, eye-rolling, and disrespectful attitude. That kind of behavior is something I expect from my 3 year old students (and even then they're given a choice to either be respectful or be removed from the group until they can control themselves). However, there was an awful lot of he-said, she-said going on, which I suppose is what happens when Vice Presidential debates have no real bearing on the election itself.
3) Last night the President showed up, and it was actually somewhat of a...well, a debate. However, we witnessed an incredible disregard for the moderating rules when Candy Crowley took Obama's side over the phrase "acts of terror". She has since admitted that she shouldn't have taken sides and that Romney was actually correct. Are you kidding me?! She is supposed to be an unbiased moderator, and it's a shame that she couldn't follow the rules.
When I vote, I will be voting for the man who I believe has America's best interests at heart.
I'm voting for the man who embraces the Constitution instead of looking for loopholes around it.
I'm voting for the man who believes government has no right interfering with matters of religion, especially where contraception and abortion are concerned.
I'm voting for a man who will not make apologies to our enemies.
I'm voting for a man who has legitimate experience running a state, an organization, a business.
I'm voting for a man whose campaign budget is actually balanced.
I'm voting for a man who wants to bring stability to Social Security for the younger generations without endangering it for those who are currently near retirement.
I'm voting for a man who believes in the 10th Amendment, which states: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
I'm voting for a man who won't give details on his plan because he actually wants to sit down with Democrats and Republicans alike to formulate a plan together- no man is an island!
I'm voting for a man who knows that The United States of America should not be borrowing money from China to fund PBS (a group who has said that if the small amount of federal funding is pulled, Sesame Street won't be going anywhere because they rely heavily on other contributions).
I'm voting for a man who wants Americans to get off food stamps and into jobs that will provide for their families.
I'm voting for a man who understands that small businesses create jobs - not the government.
I'm voting for a man who, when he was Governor of Massachusettes, spent time working the jobs of other people including a garbage man, asphalt paver, emergency room volunteer, food server in a nursing home, and a child care assistant. I'm voting for him because he understands how hard I and all my colleagues work when he says, "I'm often asked which was the hardest job - it's child care, by a mile."
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
1: The "Here's what you need to know" packet
- Preschool = Welcome packet that includes everything parents need to know for the time being
- Grad school = Syllabus, schedule, due dates, and assignments
- Preschool =Assigned seats on the carpet (using previous teachers' opinions about who to separate)
- Grad school = Assigned seating groups for the semester
- Preschool = Here are our rules, routines, and expectations for the class
- Grad school = Here's how the class operates, so follow that code of conduct
- Preschool = Set up activities so that the students discover different concepts on their own
- Grad school = Provide hands-on activities so that the teachers can learn the same way their students do
As always, Roll Tide!
And now, Go Dogs! (Go Dawgs?) Hrm, have to check on that one...
Friday, August 17, 2012
Zeke (instructional coach) has already observed me teaching 3 times, and that has gone very well. I've done something to impress him, so the goal is to continue doing so. It's reassuring to me that even after a year as a Para, I can still create lessons and teach :)
Saturday, July 28, 2012
Here are my thoughts on the following topics:
Bored much? While the James Bond scene was creative, Her Majesty looked like she was bored half to death. I don't think I saw her smile at all; where's all that spunk that the NBC commentators said she had? And then there was the frowny, bland, single sentence statement declaring the Olympics open. Yawn.
The NBC Commentators
Unimpressive. And apparently, they skipped tributes to the Israeli victims and the 7/7 victims to show a dull interview with Michael Phelps. Hopefully NBC won't botch the rest of the Olympic coverage.
The American Uniforms
What are we, French? Berets. Scarves that look like the French flag. Is this the best the U.S. could come up with?
The Lighting of the Torch
By far the best part of the Opening Ceremony. I loved the "passing it on to the next generation" and the way they passed the torch among themselves. And, while I was clueless as to what the big horn-looking things being carried in were, the copper "leaves" being raised into the cauldron was pretty spectacular. It's rather unfortunate that that was followed a poor rendition of "Hey Jude".
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
There's another new preschool teacher who can't get into his room until Monday (they're still using his classroom because preschool goes through the summer). Suzanne suggested that he could come help me unpack boxes, and I gladly accepted his help. When I walked into the classroom, I realized that the boxes were all from Kaplan, Montessori tools, and other educational stores. Everything in my classroom is BRAND NEW (except the computer). Tables, chairs, puzzles, blocks, dramatic play uniforms, everything! It's like Christmas and my birthday rolled into one. Oh, and most of the furniture was pre-assembled - can't beat that!
Going through the boxes has been interesting, to say the least. I have more plastic play food than I know what to do with, 1 full set of sheets and 1 half set, and at least 40 different types of paint brushes. Ironically, the three things I haven't found anywhere so far are markers, crayons, and books. I have no storybooks at all for a classroom library; all I have are the books that we use in our language/literacy curriculum. I'm hoping to order some, but if anyone has any ideas where I can get preschool level books for cheap and/or free, please let me know!
I'll post some pictures once I've got my classroom set up.
Thursday, July 5, 2012
As I'm sitting here watching Sister Act, I figure this is a great time to do a Before and After post.
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
After spending the night in beautiful Pennsylvania, we headed south again. All along the road home, we had gorgeous views of the Appalachian Mountains. It made the drive SO much better to have such wonderful sights surrounding us.
It took us a whopping 11 minutes to drive through Maryland (where you can't talk on the phone and drive); Approximately 20 minutes later, we'd passed through West Virginia as well. In Virginia, we decided to try checking out the caverns that were advertised along the interstate. When we realized they wanted $24 to "walk in a hole in the ground" (as Davis said), we quickly headed on our way. We have been informed that we are cheapskates, but I reassure myself that while we can be a bit frugal, we also hadn't planned on spending much money anytime soon, especially considering that we've been working on giving our new place a face-lift.
Saturday afternoon we rolled into Tennessee - the 10th state on our 4-day adventure! We had planned to drive the Tail of the Dragon on Sunday and then head home. The Tail of the Dragon has an 11 mile stretch of road with 316 curves. Driving this road is something Davis has wanted to do for a long time, so we couldn't pass up the opportunity. Check out the video below to see part of the drive. It shows the beautiful scenery as well as all the curves. This one is about 8 minutes long (less than 1/3 of the trip). While it looks like we're going pretty slow, the speed limit of 30mph was plenty fast enough for this road. It actually made me a bit motion sick to film and watch the road at the same time, so we had to pull over for a few minutes after this particular video.
Monday, June 25, 2012
Around 4:00 that afternoon, I was in the middle of sitting at Meineke waiting for Davis's oil to be changed in his truck when he called to let me know that we were going to New York. It turns out that Ms. Goldstein (the woman who purchased the units) was more willing to pay $1500 to have Davis deliver them to her horticulturist than $3000 to ship them overnight. By the way, I should mention that she wanted these units to have at the party where she was showing off her house. (In case you're counting, that's $3400 for the units, $1500 for delivery by Davis, and probably $300 more for the plants/horticulturist for a grand total around $5200.)
We left bright and early Thursday morning - on the road by 6:45am. We drove through Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York before stopping for the night at 10:45pm; We still had another 45 minutes to drive on Friday morning into Southampton. Dinner consisted of some Lean Pockets from the hotel "market". (If you think Lean Pockets are pretty much like Hot Pockets, you'd be right except for the complete lack of taste in Lean Pockets.) Before bed I did some research on seeing a Broadway play Friday afternoon on our way out of town. However, I quickly determined that nearly $200 for a Friday night show just wasn't in the time or money budget. I told Davis that I'd settle for a Broadway show that comes to Atlanta.
Friday morning we were up bright and early again, and we reached the horticulturist's by 7:45am. The drop-off went smoothly, and Steve (the horticulturist) recommended The Golden Pear on Southampton's Main Street for breakfast. Davis and I both opted for the Cinnamon Infused Belgian Waffle. We were sitting outside at a table waiting for breakfast (which took quite a long time considering we ordered 2 waffles) when the Manager walks out the door and directly over to us. The conversation went a bit like this:
Manager: Are you eating breakfast here?
Us: Yes, Sir.
Manager: Have you ordered?
Us: Yes, Sir.
Manager walks off.
In case you can't tell, that was the Manager hustling us for our seats because we didn't look like we belonged there. I considered telling him to please refund our $29 and we would be happy to find some other place to eat, but I held my tongue like a good Southern lady. By the way, the waffle was the densest, blandest, most expensive waffle I've ever eaten; the fruit on top wasn't so great either. After many disdainful glances from the others at the cafe who could tell we didn't belong, we decided to drive around and see "The Estates" in Southampton. These "Estates" consisted of decent houses surrounded by hedges; So, basically, we saw a bunch of hedges. Pretty hedges, but only hedges nonetheless. We finally give up on the Hamptons, and decide to head to Coney Island...the tale of while you will have to read my next post for!
Sunday, May 27, 2012
When Davis and I first looked at the apartment, we didn't see all the little things that were wrong with the place. We asked to have the major things such as the broken garage door fixed in our contingencies before we signed the lease. However, they didn't fix everything in our contingencies (like the cables coming through the windows instead of the walls), so they'll certainly get an earful from me about that on Tuesday.
We signed our lease Friday afternoon (also the last day of school for me - it was a terrible idea, never do it to yourself!). I knew that I wanted to clean everything before we moved in, so I began by vacuuming. It took me over an hour to vacuum the living room, two bedrooms, and the stairs. And I sucked up so much dirt there's no way it was professionally carpet cleaned by the previous tenants.
Saturday we went to the new place with the plan to clean baseboards, wipe down walls, and clean fixtures (thermostat, light switches). However, one small wipe with my washcloth pulled the paint right off the light switch plate and the baseboards. I stopped and called the realty company, and they tell me to stop and they will contact the painter. Oh, but the painter's out of town, so it will have to wait until Tuesday or later. Great. I get completely dis-railed and end up helping Davis with the fish tank before I start the next task of cleaning the kitchen.
I had already planned on pulling the cabinet doors off and having open-face cabinets on the top and curtained cabinets on the bottom. However, I underestimated the atrociousness of the paint job and the dirtiness of the previous tenants. The cabinets were coated in dirt, grease, and other icky things. I managed to get all the cabinet doors off - no easy task because the hinges and screws had been painted over so many times that they literally were painted on. I took all the screws out of 3 doors, and the doors just hung there. It took quite a bit of strength to yank them down. I then used Windex (the knock-off brand, of course) and tackled the remained cabinet frames.
Kitchen drawers "before" (left) with knobs covered in paint, contact paper, and peeling paint.
Kitchen drawers "after" (right) with knobs, contact paper, and paint removed.
Monday, May 7, 2012
Saturday, April 21, 2012
Last month: 81
Total all time in history: 1738
Who knew that many people had visited this thing? I'm guessing that about 1500 of them stumbled here on accident...
Anyhow, I am sitting here on the couch updating this blog (that, apparently, other people read) while my husband plays Minecraft. I think he's in Hell right now trying to get a blazing rod or something silly like that. We've had a delightfully lazy day. I went to Kohl's to spent the $10 promotional gift card they send every couple months and did a bit of grocery shopping, but that's pretty much it.
What I should be doing is applying for jobs, but so far that's been disappointing at best. I found out during my tutoring job at one of the elementary schools in my school district that the other tutors (paraprofessionals from that school) had both been offered interviews. I've heard nothing, and am starting to believe that I may have missed the opportunity. The jobs have been removed from the website for two weeks now, and I've received no calls. I've also applied for Gwinnett and Fulton county, and I need to update my DeKalb county application from last year, but that will probably wait until tomorrow. I don't look forward to re-ordering and sending transcripts or answering the same questions over and over. But, in the end, I just have to suck it up, get over it, and move on. Right?
Davis and I have also resumed our search for an apartment. We're looking at a duplex neighborhood of sorts not far from Plants on Walls, where Davis works. (P.S. Check out Plants on Walls - they're vertical hanging gardens!) Anyhow, we checked crime for the area, and there was nothing for the past 6 months; considering how close we are to Atlanta, that says a lot about the area we're considering moving to!
In some ways, I feel like life right now is a mirror image of last spring at this time: find a place to live (and move) and find somewhere to teach. But, in a lot of ways, life is so much different; the biggest being that I'm married and living in Georgia, so far from family. But I love coming home and having just enough time to unwind before my husband walks in the door and makes all the stress of the day fade away. I really am very blessed.
Monday, March 26, 2012
The children have been crazy. Not normal crazy. It's the kind of crazy that makes you assume there must be a full moon (but there isn't - I checked!)
They've been the kind of crazy that no matter how many different times you tell them that No, no play guns, knives, swords, other weapons, or play fighting are allowed at school, you still find yourself having the same conversation over and over and over (like a broken record).
The kind of crazy that sends children dancing, skipping, and running down the hallway, despite the fact that you're right there, watching them, telling them that they need their bubble and safe hands. It means that I constantly have to "help friends walk" down the hallway.
The kind of crazy that sends two little girls into hysterical laughter because they think it's funny that the entire class is watching them clean up so everyone can go outside - well past the time when they should have been done picking up.
The kind of crazy where I finally break down and ask a neighboring teacher if Child G can nap in her room today, and could she possibly scare the daylights out of her so that she'll never want to come back?
The kind of crazy that makes you want to go around screaming every statement so that the children realize how annoying it is to hear them yelling all day. (Example: I'M GOING TO DRAMATIC PLAY NOW TO PLAY WITH THE BABIES!) (No, they're not upset, they just can't regulate their inside voices...)
Is this Spring Fever? If so, come on SUMMER! (which is only 2 months away!)
All I have to say is...Thank GOD next week is spring break!
Sunday, March 4, 2012
Thankfully, several words and math formulas that I learned in my high school PSAT prep class are coming back, slowly but surely. (Thank Ms. Shivers, Ms. Reed, and Ms. Daniels!) However, there's still a lot to do, and I take the test in less than a week.
Besides studying for the GRE and doing taxes (blech!), I've been focusing on trying to be more positive about work. I have struggled all year with being a paraprofessional and dealing with the fact that it's not "my" classroom, at least not in the sense that I had planned on for the past 4 years.
Oh, yeah, I picked up a sporadic after-school job. Tuesday-Thursday, the 5 elementary schools in Decatur have a 1-hour tutoring session for each grade. The tutors are hired through the City of Decatur. I am a sub for the tutors. My first time subbing was last Wednesday, and the tutor coordinator at that particular school asked if I would come every Wednesday and tutor the kindergarteners because their regular tutor couldn't do Wednesdays. Of course I said YES! (Heck, that would pay for my gas to/from work for almost 2 days!)
I am sticking my feet through every possible door I can, and I'm not ashamed to admit it. In the meantime, I continue hoping and praying for a lead teaching position next year.
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
The Back, Back Stories
A little over two weeks ago Davis quit his job selling cars (insert Hallelujah Chorus here). To make a long story short, they were trying to steal his deals and his money, and he was working so much that his search for another job wasn't going anywhere fast. So, he's been on the job search since then.
I'm on vacation this week (gotta love winter break!) I set up my "wellness" exam with a doctor here in Oakwood. This wellness exam is required by my insurance so that I pay a lower premium. I figured that it would save me a couple dollars a year, and it can't hurt to know if you're "well" or not.
In the fall, we bought a fish tank and two oscar cichlids. Well, Oscar has grown too big for our little 20 gallon tank, and Einstein has stayed small to survive, so we figured it was time for a bigger tank - sooner rather than later.
While looking at the form that I had to bring to my doctor's visit, I realized that they were going to have to take some blood. Great. I asked Davis to come with me even though I had previously declined his help. The nurse, Crystal, and my doctor, Doctor Gibbs, were both incredibly nice and sweet. They made me feel very comfortable (yes, me - comfortable in a doctor's office!). The lady who drew my blood told me about her 2, almost 3, year old son the whole time - what a great way to keep my mind off the fact that she was sticking me and taking tubes of blood! I successfully did not pass out, but was light-headed enough that I had to eat some peanut butter crackers from the nurse and have Davis walk out with me. (Yes, I'm a wimp!)
Davis told me that he had been searching Craigslist for a larger tank while he was waiting for me. He found a guy with a 55 gallon tank, stand, filter system, heater, and a light for $100. The tank also came with 9 fishy friends. After convincing the guy to hold the tank for an extra $15, we grabbed our 5 gallon bucket from the house (for transporting the new fish) and headed to Snellville, GA. When we got there, we plopped the fish in the bucket, helped the seller drain the water, and loaded everything into Davis's truck. Once we got home, we moved the bucket'o'fish into the living room and took the tank, stand, and decorations (oh yeah, we got 2 castles, a dragon, and some pillars) to the local Spray'n'Wash car wash. I don't think the guy we got the tank from had cleaned it in about a year, so we needed the big guns. It took about 30 minutes to clean the tank and wipe down the stand at the car wash.
We brought everything home again, lugged it up 3 flights of stairs (why, oh why, did I want to live on the third floor again?!?). We cleaned the rest of the aquarium equipment in the sink, added some new rocks, and set the tank up by the window. Oh, and we had to rearrange the furniture in our apartment to make the tank fit. Because we needed the 5 gallon bucket and the tub to fill the tank, we needed a container big enough for all 9 fish (including a foot long sucker fish). Why not use the sink? (See picture.) Davis filled the tank while I scrubbed more algae and gunk off the light and monitored the fish in the sink.
Finally, the tank was full, running, and ready for fish. Davis carried them a few at a time from the sink in a net. Once in the tank, they freaked out for a moment, but then began to enjoy the clear water, clean filter, and open spaces to swim. We decided not to put in Oscar and Einstein until this new tank runs for a few days; also, we're about to head to the beach with Davis's parents for several days, so we don't want them in there unsupervised.
Thanks to Davis's friend, Alex, we were able to identify some of the fish in the tank:
1 (very large) sucker fish
1 female convict (a cichlid, like Oscar and Einstein) (it's as large, if not larger, than Oscar now)
1 peacock eel (very tiny, likes to burrow in the rocks)
2 knife fish
1 Jack Dempsey - we think (another cichlid, and one of my favorite due to his bright blue spots)
2 UFFs (Unidentified fish friends)
We may be trying to get rid of some of the smaller fish (eel, loach, knife fish, UFFs). We're not sure if Oscar and Einstein will try to eat them or not. So, if you know anyone who may want them, let me know.
In the meantime, I will be putting order back into our chaotic apartment...
Oh, and Happy Valentines Day!
Saturday, January 7, 2012
I came home after work on Friday to find that Davis had started laundry, run the dishwasher, planned dinner, and gone grocery shopping. For any of you who don't know, Davis absolutely despises grocery shopping. I was a bit skeptical at first because Davis doesn't like taking the time to find the less expensive items. However, upon questioning him, I found that he bought mostly store-brand items. He got Crystal Light instead of store-brand drink mix because he knows that I like it.
After dinner, I convinced him that he owed me a dance on Just Dance since I've played other games that he likes. He dance to several dances with me - and even beat me once (which I still can't figure out...).
The whole evening was quite delightful, and I enjoyed watching Davis (try) to dance!
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
We're getting to school at 6:30 to get ready for the day/week.
It will be about 22 degrees when I am doing car rider duty.
It will stay below 40 degrees all day, which means no outside time to run out energy.
I will definitely need a drink when I get home.