Wednesday, April 27, 2011

WNBP: Feet?

Let's see...where were we?  Ah, yes!  I remember.  I was telling you all about how I had to go back to school after a week's vacation.  I know I am lucky to have a job that lets me take ample time off and whatnot, but I can't help getting a little overwhelmed by how time virtually stands still once I get back to the grind.

I mean, honestly!  What is wrong with the clock on the wall?  And that calendar isn't exactly behaving itself either!  Why don't we just go ahead with the Wednesday Night Bullet Post and see if I can't get this week into some kind of perspective?

*Four people asked me yesterday how the week could only have progressed as far as Tuesday.

*By my count, we should be somewhere into October of 2013.  

*Endless.  That's what the last quarter of the school year feels like.

*The kids have had their taste of summer even if it only came as a rainy week off in April.

*Now they are utterly done with us and our silly notions regarding the importance of education.

*Best Line Of The Day (as spoken by Spunky Girl):

Baby feet are just so cute!  My grandpa's, on the other hand...."

*You'll have to imagine the shudder that followed.  

*Or how we got on the subject of baby feet in the first place because I can't honestly recall...

*Most Disturbing Conversation Of The Day:

(the boy who is) Dark & Disturbed:  My soul is as black as night and I see no hope.  No hope whatsoever.

Ms. Sheep:  Maybe you just need to poop?  Have you pooped today?  Everyone feels better when they poop.

D&D:  Every TIME!!  Why?!

*Apparently, we have had this conversation before.

*My heel spur is killing me.  I am hobbling around like a 90 year old woman.

*The last time I had my heel spur evaluated, I was congratulated on how "minor" it was.

*I cannot even begin to imagine how graceful I'd be if my heel spur was "major."

*Makes me want to knit socks, although I have no idea how socks would help a heel spur.

*An extra layer between my foot and the world, maybe?

*I wore sandals today.  Spur didn't like that one little bit, but I felt all smart 'n springy so that was OK.

*Can't let a heel spur tell you what to do.

*Give them an inch and they take a foot...

*The Absurdly Gi-normous Kitty has a new theme song.

"Someone To Watch Over Me."

*I was able to get a good deal of reading done during school vacation week.

*Avoiding the taxes and staying out of the rain will do that, you know.

*I discovered Sandman Slim while I was cruising Amazon and looking for something to take up the slack after I finished The Naming of the Beasts.

*Apparently, I've managed to wander out of my steampunk phase and straight into urban fantasy...

*Fair Warning:  I know I spend a lot of time enjoying YA titles, but this ain't that.

*Stark has risen from the deep depths of the underworld and is a little cranky after his time in the eternal fire.

*If you like your noir with a side of "Why, oh why didn't I remember to put batteries in that flashlight?" then this will work for you. It's dark.  Very dark.

*Would also suggest that this isn't the book for those of you with strong faith-based perspectives since the author explores some other angelic motivations.

*No harm, no foul and no judgement if you don't like that sort of thing.  I just wanted to make sure I put it out there.

*I read the first book and the sequel (Kill the Dead: A Sandman Slim Novel) in two days.

*On two separate occasions I found myself sitting in a tub full of cold water and realizing that I'd managed to lose enough time that the bath had cooled.

*I still had some weekend left when I was done, so I started Ex-Heroes.

*Picture this:  Zombie apocalypse hits Los Angeles.  No big deal there.  I've already forecast this so you should know by now it's coming.  

*If you are surprised by the arrival of the walking dead, then you have no one to blame but yourselves.

*But it gets better.  Shortly before all the dead rise to eat the living, a group of people find themselves suddenly rewarded with super powers.

*Real super powers.  Picture Marvel and DC stuff.

*And then the zombies come.  We need heroes.  They do their best.

*But some will inevitably get bitten.  That's just math at work.

*Zombies.  And superheroes.  Some of whom are turned into flesh eating creatures of horror.

*Did you just get a little chill?  The really good kind?

*I did and I've been reading it for a few days now.  I'm still not over the delightful-ness of it!!!!

*I'm almost done with it, though.  Need to spend some time tonight researching new options.

*Gonna be hard to beat a grumpy escapee from Hell and a bunch of zombies battling superheroes, though...

*I have no choice.

*I need something to distract me.

*Because it is April and the clock is standing between me and June.

I'm going to sign off now and go see about finding that new book.  With any luck, I'll strike gold when I start clicking on the "if you like" recommendations.  If not, I'll just have to come up with a Plan B.

The conversations at school are beginning to center on poop and Grandpa's feet and I think we are already starting to spiral...


Monday, April 25, 2011


It's always rough going back to school after a week's vacation.  It's even worse to know I'm going back for the hardest stretch of the year: the one that slogs on until we send the kids home for summer.  It's the fourth academic quarter and, perhaps, a lifesaving one for some students who weren't exactly on top of their game. Yet none of us really have much left in the way of appreciation for the whole process.  To make matters worse, this is going to be a very, very long final push. We are making up just over a week of missed days due to all the storms this past winter and no amount of "built-in" time is going to take the sting out of going to school until almost the end of June.

We all develop our own coping strategies.  It's that or start making paper clip chains and using them to escape from the third floor window.  And that never works.  Trust me.

It's really all about the coping.

Da Boyz, who let me sleep as long as I wanted for an entire week, suddenly appeared on the bed this morning, bouncing and chattering happily.  Apparently, the cats have plans and my being home was cramping their style.

I locked up the liquor and snack foods but I don't think that makes any difference.  Once they get me up and out the door, they rule the roost.

The Cheerful Teaching Assistant took one look at this day and immediately decided to lose herself in random life-changing fantasies.  She started out on some unidentified website and just started following links that might prove inspirational.  During first period, she announced that she would give anything to gain admittance to a local writing program.  She would stay at their coastal retreat a few times a year and immerse herself in the glory of the written word without the distraction of the outside world.  An hour and several links later, this plan morphed into taking an adult education class focusing on the art of growing shitake mushrooms.  By day's end, she was looking into applying for a position as an adjunct professor at a local community college.  I might be worried, but sometime around lunch she informed me that she would come back next year if I promised to can peaches for her during the summer.

The kids had a number of interesting strategies for making the trip back to school less painful.  The sixth graders avoided the whole thing entirely and didn't come at all.  Frankly, I can't say as I blame them but it made it kind of difficult to teach certain classes.  And empty room isn't much of an audience.

The Boy With The Bass-Booming Earbuds (known in the front office simply as Mayhem) worked through the morning classes but fell asleep before the noon hour arrived. Then he proceeded to wander the building for an hour or so, causing anyone who crossed his path to rethink their career choices.  After another short nap, he was ready to finish the day in a more academic manner.

As he left for the day, he called over his shoulder, "I promise to try and not get into trouble between here and my bus!"

 The Boy For Whom All The World's A Stage entered the room pontificating and kept up the chatter straight through the day.  He even talked during lunch which he eats upstairs with us so there was no break in the dialogue.  Since he gave me his apple and string cheese, I didn't feel I should say anything about it, though.

As for me, I tried to put on a sunny face.  At least for a while.  I spent the first few hours pretending I'd had a wonderful vacation, full to the brim of excitement and wonder.  When I realized that no one was buying it, I gave in and embraced my lackluster week.  A vacation is a vacation even if it's not everything you read about in the glamour magazines.  Sure, it rained most of the week, the taxes turned into a three day adventure and I had to give a check (one I sincerely hope will the the last) to my Professional Worrier, but it could have been worse.

 I got to stay up late and watch TV and there was no alarm clock to bug me in the morning except for that time I set it by accident and almost died of horror when I thought I had to go to work.  I stripped a good chunk of the wallpaper that the Very Complicated Kitty declared unacceptable and started removing for me.  I even took advantage of the two hours of sun that peeked through one day and shampooed the carpets while the windows could stay open.

And I got my hair cut.  Which means visiting The World's Greatest Stylist And Life Coach.

And that, in turn, means I get cookies and flowers.

What's that?  You don't get flowers and cookies when you see your stylist?  Well, that's odd.  Have you tried knitting her something?  Or giving her crochet lessons?  The kind that don't go very well, but are fun anyway?  You should maybe do that.  There's freesias and Dutch cookies involved, if my experience is any indication.  What the couldn't hurt.  Give it a shot.  Who knows?

That was a nice thing to have happen at the end of school vacation week and being full of cookies is always a better way to go back to the grind, in my opinion.  It's certainly better than being full of broccoli and bitterness, at any rate.

In fact, freesias and cookies are probably the best coping strategy I've come up with to date...


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

WNBP: Long Overdue

I honestly didn't mean for a whole week to go by between posts.  Honestly!  However, it seems as though that is exactly what happened and I have no excuses for my poor behavior.  I could tell you all about how I'm on vacation this week and lazing around with no guilt whatsoever, but I'm not going to do that.  I'm just going to stand humbly before you with a hangdog face and hope for forgiveness.

And if that doesn't work, I'm going to do the Wednesday Night Bullet Post.  People seem to like it when I do that...

*I had a few things I wanted to do during this year's Spring Break.

*The first was keep up with blogging.

*I think we all know how that worked out.

*The second was to catch up on reading and commenting upon the blogs of others.

*Check your stats.  Read through your comments.

*I haven't quite met that goal either.

*The third was to get the taxes done and that one really took a chunk out of my will to do other things.

*Taxes are stupid and boring and they make my head hurt.

*Especially when I don't have all the information I need to finish them and all backup data seems to be MIA.

*And when I have to rely on facts and figures coming to me through the postal service.

*Taxes, as I may have already mentioned, are stupid and boring and they make my head hurt.

*I filed an extension before I got a big, fat aneurysm.

*Turns out Maine has a very interesting policy when it comes to filing taxes.  It goes something like this:

We here in the Department Of Revenue take taxes very seriously and you shouldn't mess with us.  Deadlines mean the world to us.  We revere deadlines.  You should make a note of them and meet every single one in a timely fashion.  Unless, of course, you don't owe us any money.  In that case, please feel free to take your time.  We honestly couldn't care less.  We are currently taxing everything anyway so there's no need to feel rushed.  Take six months.  Don't even bother to tell us that's the plan.  We are certain you'll get back to us when you can.  In fact, if six months won't do it for you then drop us a note.  We have all the time in the world here...

*The Federal Government is a little less forgiving, but not by much.  They don't care if you get bored with your taxes at the eleventh hour and file an extension.  

*I'm guessing that my refund status might have had some influence on that.

*Taxes will be filed on Friday.  Everyone gets what they want and no one has to get hurt.

*It is safe to say that I am not exactly "goal-driven" right now...

*I did manage to strip half a wall's worth of wallpaper.

*Almost half a wall...

*And the Very Complicated Kitty did a quarter of that during his nocturnal redecorating.

*But I'm still counting it as a task in progress because, really, what else do I have?

*Planned on working on the sock, but we probably shouldn't talk about that since I've been telling you how I haven't worked on the sock for weeks now.

*In my defense, the tax thing made my head hurt and it's been raining most of the week.

*I've spent a lot of time napping.

*Fun Fact:  Da Boyz get very excited when I cook chicken.

*Sometimes I take cooked chicken and smoosh it up with a little sweet potato and peas and they never know it this time it is for them.

*Looks gross after it comes out of the blender, but they love it and it's grain-free.

*We strive for the grain-free diet here.

*They love it.  They'll cut you for the smallest morsel.

*I have personally witnessed the Very Complicated Kitty smacking the Absurdly Gi-normous Kitty right on the head because he's already finished his food and wants more.

*The VCK loves his brother more than he loves me, but the chicken goop wins out every time.

*We don't do the goop very often since it is kind of a bother, causes sibling rivalry and makes me look like a Major Crazy Cat Lady...

*In between napping and not doing my taxes, I have managed to find time for some reading.

*I can't remember if I told you I'd finished Flutter (My Blood Approves, Book 3).

*A fun series.

*Looks as though the author self-published at the outset and sometimes the editing leaves a little bit to be desired, but it's still good stuff.

*And I love that authors now have a means for getting their work out there when traditional publishing isn't an option.

*More choices is good for everyone and the price is usually right.

*Then I took up Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, Book 1).


*This series is a prequel to an already existing line of novels. (The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones; City of Ashes; City of Glass)

*I don't know if I'm interested in those quite so much, but time will tell.

*I do know that  Clockwork Prince (Infernal Devices) will be on my To Read list just as soon as it's available.

*Now I'm back in the world of Felix Castor and eagerly learning how things worked out following the latest disaster.

*The Naming of the Beasts (Felix Castor)

*These are kind of like the Dresden Files (Storm Front (The Dresden Files, Book 1)

*But with less of the angst and more of the London atmosphere.

*I'm not knocking the angst.  Angst makes Harry Dresden the compelling character he is, after all.

*But Felix somehow manages to keep things a little more upbeat.

*And it is entirely possible that he has more to feel badly about.

*Most of the books I want to read aren't out yet.

*This is causing me a great deal of stress.

*Less than taxes, more than stripping wallpaper.

*If that helps you to get a better picture.

*I'm sure that things will start to look up soon.

*They can't withhold these books from me forever.  I know they have them.  They'll crack any day now and make them available to me.

*Meanwhile, I'll have a tax refund in hand and will be well-rested after all my napping.

And that's all there is.  To summarize, I have done very little over the past week and have no excuse whatsoever for not blogging that fact.  Maybe I'll perk up a little bit for the last two days of vacation and then I'll catch up.  Or not.  It's kind of hard to tell at this point.

What are the limits to filing extensions?  Is it just for taxes or does it work for anything?


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Thursday Night Bullet Post. Seriously.

Do not tell me it is Wednesday.  I don't even want to hear it.  This is the longest week in the history of EVER and I cannot bear to hear that tomorrow isn't Friday.  I know that tomorrow is going to be a bit of a letdown, but I don't care.  In the here and now, I prefer to think of myself as being closer to the weekend than anything a mere Wednesday could boast.

That said, I am still going to do the weekly bullet points.

*I looked at the sock today.  

*Not to knit.  It just got tangled up in the computer cord, is all.

*I have a vacation next week.  Perhaps I'll see fit to wrangle a stitch or two once the trials and tribulations of my middle school teaching career are on hold.

*Sometimes I like to think of myself as very sophisticated and cosmopolitan.

*Usually I get a slap-down and the reality of my less-than-urban existence is made plain.

*You know you live in a rural area when you can march into the school's main office brandishing a feather and bellowing, "TURKEYS ARE SOOOO STUPID!!" without anyone requiring further explanation.

*For those of you who are more on the sophisticated and cosmopolitan end of the scale and since it has been a while since Thanksgiving, I shall expand upon this just a bit.

*Turkeys are not aerodynamic creatures by nature.

*Turkeys lack anything remotely resembling common sense.

*Turkeys, even the younger females not raised on farms and high fat diets, are on the large side.

*Turkeys like to think they are graceful and given to flight.

*They are not but, if you refer to the second Turkey Point, you can understand why they might be easily convinced.

*Turkeys that try to fly across the road ahead of your car will inevitably smack into your bumper.

*Then they will shake themselves and have the nerve to look miffed as they stagger off into the woods because they don't understand the laws around cutting off motorists who are tired and cranky and just trying to get to work on a Tuesday so they can say they are one day closer to their vacation.

*Turkeys are supposed to yield.  It is the law.  They are too stupid to know that.

*I had to delay entering the school and stall the entire educational process in order that I might pick turkey feathers out of my grill.

*Then spend time in the office doing my impression of a stupid turkey flying across the road and into my car for Mrs. Secretary Who Sits At The Back Desk.

*It was a good impression and I even included my own improvised soundtrack.

*Note:  It is not a good idea to do a stupid turkey impression with improvised soundtrack for MSWSATFD because she will then make you do it for everyone including Mr. Principal.

This one was stuck waaaaaaay down into the grille.  I've included a pencil for scale in case you think it's just a sparrow feather or something...

*No.  I don't know how the stupid turkey is doing.  

*I do not have the expertise necessary to chase a wild bird around the woods in order to administer first aid.

*I am certain that the stupid turkey's attorney will be in touch any day now. 

*The classroom was a wee bit explody today.  

*At last count, I had one box of pencils thrown at the wall, one kid inform me that he was going to beat me to death with a water bottle and one lad so thrilled with the chaos that he spent as much time as humanly possible encouraging his peers to new heights of anarchy.

*This is a little beyond the usual state of crazy and I blame it on the fact that it is not Thursday.

*And in reading news....

*I finished Thicker Than Water (Felix Castor).

*Gosh, I love this series.  May have already mentioned that, but it never hurts to toss it out there again.

*Then I started Fate (My Blood Approves, Book 2).

*I started reading Amanda Hocking because the Cheerful Teaching Assistant liked her and didn't have anyone with whom to discuss the books.

*She hasn't read these yet and needs to because now I'm without a book buddy.

*It seems only fair.  And I have Flutter (My Blood Approves, Book 3) waiting in the wings.  

*She needs to get on this...

*There are others in the series, but I'll probably take a break after the third one.

*I picked up a copy of Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, Book 1) because it looked too intriguing to not investigate.

*Didn't read much last night.

*Deadliest Catch premier.  'Nuff said.

*Plus I was still traumatized from the stupid turkey attack and whatnot.

*When you factor in the whole "not even close to the end of the week" and "kids in my class couldn't be worse now that vacation is so close" issues, you can certainly understand how I might be needing to stare into space numbly for a few hours.

Well, that should about cover it.  I should really be getting ready for Friday what with it being Thursday and all.  Friday is a very nice day and one I like to celebrate.  I need to rest up for the Big Friday Dance I plan to do.

Just go with it.  I know I'm just deluding myself.  But I plan on remaining in denial until I absolutely have to accept reality.  I was hit by a turkey.  I am entitled.


Monday, April 11, 2011

Raindrops On Roses And Whiskers On Werewolves

Every so often, I come to a point where I think it is in my best interest to start focusing on the positive.  I'm generally a fairly sunny sort of gal. I can see the up side.  However, I still believe it can't hurt to have a list of stuff that is anywhere from moderately to extremely awesome tucked away for an emergency.  You never know.  Dark days tend to come in strings of ten or twelve.  If you are already prepared, then you aren't reduced to stretching yourself into believing that stepping in a pile of doggy doo is a nice way of reminding you to wash your socks.

Here are a few of my latest Favorite Things:

Short Rows, Hold The Wraps

I was startled to learn that a short row heel fits me remarkably well.  I was a die hard flapper and nothing was going to convince me that my delicate foot could ever survive being housed in a short row.  Until, that is, I tried one.  Then I was hooked!  Plus they lent themselves so well to the toe-up construction!  What could be better?

Well...not having to pick up the stupid wraps on the short rows.  That could be better.  Wraps suck.  There is no way around that.  Except that there is!

The interwebs have taught me that the whole wrap-pick-up deal is a big fat lie perpetrated upon us by The Man.  TM seems to think that we should all suffer this nonsense for no reason other than it amuses TM to see us going through the agony.

Really all you have to do is get to the point where you'd normally wrap and turn and then just turn.  Don't wrap.  Wrapping is stupid.  Don't go there.  Once you've finished the first half of the heel and are at the point where you'd be gearing yourself up for the pick ups, relax.  There are no wraps.  Every time you get to one before the unworked stitch, knit or purl two stitches together then make one to keep the count right.  Turn and carry on just like the wrappers but secure in the knowledge that you have evolved beyond such things.

With a little practice, it looks perfect and even if it didn't there are no wraps so who really cares???

Better Bookmarking

Fellow Educators, hearken to my words!  I know your pain.  I know what it means to have a roomful of students before you and the need to get all of them on the same web page before the end of the period.  I have been there.  Some will get it, a few will come close and a small but crucial percentage will give up and just go to YouTube to watch funny baby videos.

PortaPortal is really a much better way to go.  As much as I like a good funny baby video, I don't think the taxpayers would appreciate that being a part of the lesson plan.  With a free account, you can collect and organize a reasonable number of bookmarks for the little darlings and everyone can get where they need to be with a minimum of scrambling and typos.

The site is teacher friendly and, while the free version has quite a few ads, they are very easy to work around.  The whole concept would work well for anyone who needs a lot of people looking at the same thing, really.  For example, if you are planning a family vacation and want everyone to take a virtual tour of the island you've chosen to and debate the merits of the bike rental places available, PortaPortal could be most helpful.  And you get to choose your own background color, too.

Oh, and yes.  The developers are very aware of how much the name sounds like PortaPotty.  They did it on purpose because they think it's funny.  Which it is.

Being Human

Yes, it is the American version and yes, we all know that the original BBC show is always going to be better.  But I still love this show enough to have stopped watching the latter so it won't spoil it for me.  I'll go back later and catch up with it. Josh The Ultra-Adorable Werewolf Who Brings Out A Maternal Side I didn't Even Know I had is worth it.  I almost even look forward to Mondays now...


Just kidding.  I don't love the IRS.  They are not a favorite thing.  I sort of hate them even if they are a necessary evil and whatnot.  What I do love, however, is that I can get a free transcript of last year's return when my laptop crashes and my "foolproof" back up didn't work out so good either.  Of course, I should have requested it sooner, but I like to think a little added stress at tax time is good for the complexion.  It gives the cheeks a glow.  And that wild, bug-eyed look really takes the crows feet for a nice stretch.  You can hardly see them.

Storytelling On A Budget

How happy am I to know that I can get free PodioBooks through Itunes?  Here's a hint:  VERY!  I love to listen to books while I make the dreary commute to work and my Ipod runs nicely through my car's sound system.  But audiobooks can get a little spendy and I am, after all, a girl on a budget.  I'm not saying that content available for free is always high quality.  In fact, it is sometimes kind of dreadful.  Still, there are some real gems out there and a great deal of amazing engineering that goes into producing them.  Many are even fully cast.  And zombie laden.  Lots of zombie fiction out there just waiting to distract me from the fact that I am going to work.

I have lots of other favorite things, but these are my current pick-me-ups.  When I feel the blues start to peek their ugly little heads around the corner, I just put on my short-row socks, add a new bookmark to my class site and cue up a tale of horrific, ghastly ghouls.  Suddenly, the world is a brighter place except for the tax stuff.

I wonder if werewolves have to do taxes...


Wednesday, April 06, 2011

WNBP: Still Marching

March is a very long month for those of us providing wisdom to the students of Maine. Even when it is over.  While I realize that we get a lot of vacation time, the stretch between the break in February and the next in April is endless.  Even if you factor in the snow days, I still feel like I've been Marching steadily along the gauntlet forever.  I think that the cure for the Not-Quite-April-Vacation-Blues is a little dose of the Wednesday Night Bullet Post.  There's nothing quite like random blathering to take your mind off your troubles!

*This week has been ridiculous.  It's the sort of week where people come up to you once an hour and say:

"Is that a little smile I see?  Just the barest hint of happy lurking at the corner of your mouth?  Why, yes!  I do believe it is!  Why don't I just take care of that for you..."

*Seriously.  Every hour on the hour.

*At least it's not snowing...

*For the moment...

*Probably shouldn't say that aloud...

*I have a toe.  

*It's the second of two toes.  

*Of two socks.  

*Someday I will have two whole socks, but for now, I'm sort of happy about having two toes.

*Wanna see something cute?

Da Boyz sharing their pink blankie.

*I have never, in my whole adult life, had two cats who could be within ten feet of one another unless food was involved.

This is the sort of cute that blinds people and causes traffic accidents...

*For reasons that do not entirely make sense to me, (the boy who is) Dark & Disturbed has decided to start practicing ninja moves in his spare time.

*Or when I am teaching.

*Or having a conversation.

*Suddenly, a dark blur of ninja fury will whiz between me and whomever I might be addressing.

*It is disconcerting...

*Although the ear-shattering tunes blaring from The Boy With The Bass Booming Earbuds is coming in a close second.

*Third would be the weird smell coming from the coconut shell birdhouse that The Future Farmer made and left on my desk a week ago.

*Reading is my only escape these days.

*I couldn't wait any longer to dive intoThe Dark and Hollow Places (Forest of Hands and Teeth, Book 3).

*I can't remember if I told you I'd started that one so I'm telling you now.

*Soooooo good!  More of the Happily Ever After vibe attempted in this one, but I don't blame the author.

*Someone had to have something good happen to them.  The post-apocalyptic world ruled by zombie hordes tends to get a little grim after a fashion...

*Don't get me wrong, the strangely dark and beautiful tone remains fully intact.  

*I normally don't like it when a series uses a different character perspective for each novel, but this series makes it work.

*With that one finished, I returned to the world of Felix Castor and took up Dead Men's Boots (Felix Castor).

*Truly fun reading, but edgy at the same time.  

*Also goes at a fast clip.

*Now, because I know that The Cheerful Teaching Assistant would want me to, I am reading My Blood Approves.

*The CTA loves Amanda Hocking.  I like Amanda Hocking.  

*And we both love talking about what we are reading so it's good to stay ahead of the curve on this series.

*The CTA hasn't started it yet.  

*And, in digital form, these are pretty cheap books.

*It's still a few days until payday so cheap books are a very good thing.

*I'm not the only one having difficulty holding myself together these days.

*Best line of the week courtesy of Mr. Assistant Principal:

"I don't want anyone losing any sleep over this.  I's just a muffin, not plutonium!"

*The staff is having some difficulty adjusting to the new breakfast cart that is coming around every first period.

*To be fair, the concept is sound.  Kids who miss breakfast in the cafeteria due to late buses can still get something to eat.

*It's just that no one told us about it, nor was the process explained particularly well once they got around to mentioning it.  

*Next thing you know, the science teachers are envisioning crumbs in the beakers and Ms. Sheep can only think of the stampeding herd of hungry students trampling her on their way to sustenance.

*It's not really going to work that way but, as I said, the explanation we received at yesterday's staff meeting wasn't exactly comprehensive.

*Sometimes a muffin is more than a muffin.

*Or seems like it at first glance...

And so it goes.  March is well past, but I'm still marching to its tune.  I think there's maybe another week and a half before someone decides to end this madness and let me sit at home for a week, but I'm not really sure.  It could be more.  Even if it's not more, it still feels like it.

Maybe I should get one of those muffins.  You know.  For strength on the last leg of the march...


Monday, April 04, 2011

Daily Dose Of Iron(y)

Irony is funny. Quite humorous, really.  Well...except when it is highly irritating.  Then it is most certainly not funny.  But, it will be. You just sort of have to wait it out a bit.  The humor will eventually start to show through.

For example, if you happen to be so sick of winter that you can't stand it, then a sudden snowstorm in April will be very ironic.  And not at all funny.

It will be even more ironic if that storm happens to fall on April first.  In fact, that is the very height of irony and perhaps even a bit of an exception.  You can't help but shake your head and chuckle a little when a major snowstorm drops by on April Fool's Day.

I find my attitude towards snow days somewhat ironic.  The first one that rolls around is always cause for great celebration.  Whoo-hoo!!!  A day off right in the middle of the work week!  No school for Sheepie!!! I feel the same way about the second one.  Even the third is something of a giggle-fest.  I likes me a nice, big snow day!

However, the fourth time the auto-dial system calls me to tell me I should stay home, I start to get nervous.  These days are piling up.  This means a longer school year.  Noticeably longer.  And the fifth time?  Well, that just sends me right into a spiral.  Five days is a whole week!  A whole extra week with these children who don't want to listen to a word I say and don't care that the government gets mad when they aren't educated!

Suddenly, I hate snow days.  You don't even want to know what I'm like when the sixth call comes.  By then, I am so immersed in my depression over the whole sorry business that I can't even function enough to enjoy my day off.  All I can think about is how I will be going to school until the end of June and how the teacher workshops we have to attend after the kids leave will literally mean I don't get to start enjoying my summer break until July.

That which I once loved becomes the very definition of that which I hate.  Ironic...

So maybe the snow day situation isn't quite funny yet.  I'm certain that I will one day be able to tell the tale of The School Year That Wouldn't End with a twinkle in my eye.  I'm guessing that this will be sometime into my fourth year of retirement and while I am telling some of the shiny, fresh new teachers all about how Ms. Sheep survived teaching back in the good ol' days.  They will look at me with awe and maybe a little bit of pity since they don't know about despair yet.  They will still be at the Changing The World One Child At A Time stage of their careers.  This, I think is what will help me to start feeling the funny.

Meanwhile, since I am nowhere near retirement and this school year from the bowels of the underworld is still very much in progress, I suppose I should settle for finding the bright side.  There has to be something to which I can cling in these dark, dark days.  Something.  Just one little thing...

Like a finished sock!!

I even had time to start the second.  One whole toe all ready to go!  That's something.  I'll maybe even have it finished in time to wear my socks to school.  This doesn't really require much in the way of stretching the imagination.  School is going to be going on for a while this year.  I'll maybe even be able to wear them to this year"s Middle School Independence Day And Algebra Test Party.  Yup.  It'll be 97 degrees in the shade and I'll still be in school wearing my newly knit, festive wool socks that I worked on during the snow days.

Also very ironic...