Wednesday, November 30, 2011

WNBP: Not December.

Seriously, you guys.  This isn't funny.  I mean it.  If you return it, I won't get mad.  I just want it back, is all.

Although, I don't think anyone would blame me for being upset about the theft of November.  And half of October.  Frankly, it was kind of cheeky of someone to up and steal all that from me when I wasn't looking.

I'll just be over here doing my Wednesday Night Bullet Post and when I get back, I fully expect that the lost time will have been put right back where I left it.

*Hey, here's some big news!

*I knit something.

*Try to not fall over in a faint or anything.

*I haven't knit anything in a while.  I wasn't planning to, if the truth be told.

*But then someone mentioned to me how they would really like some new dishcloths for Christmas this year and I decided to just do it.

*I did not take a picture of the dishcloth because it is a gift and we all know the rules that bind us in that area.

*But I did knit something and if our relationship hasn't progressed to the point where we can trust each other on that kind of thing then there isn't much hope for us, is there?

*Now I'm knitting another one.  This could be the beginning of a whole knitting resurgence and a justification of my blog title!!!

*Or it's just a couple of dishcloths and I'm putting way more pressure on them than they deserve...

*I am not finished with my Christmas shopping.

*I have barely started my Christmas shopping.

*It is still mid-October by my internal clock so I can't see why everyone is getting all stressed about a holiday that is still waaaaay far away.

*The leftover turkey I have been eating for almost a week now means nothing.

*Don't try to tell me it's December.

*It's been 65 degrees here in the wilds of Maine.

*We had a snowstorm in October and now I'm basking in the glow of an early spring.

*Best Student Line Of The Week (courtesy of The Siren):

"Today has been a very long week."

*The fact that she did not mean to say exactly that only made it funnier to me.

*I have taken the phrase as my own and announced my intention to make t-shirts.

*I'll be a ga-jillionare before you know it and napping comfortably on a pile of money.

*My feet hurt.  My feet hurt a lot lately.

*No real story there.  Just thought you'd want to know how things were going foot-wise.

*It's an ongoing drama with the feet here...

*Today, my wrists decided to join the party.  Soon I might be able to complain about that, too.

*Most ridiculous question asked of me this week by a student:

"Which do you like better?  Cannoli or cherry cookies?"

*I'm sorry?  Have we met?  I think we all know the answer to that.

*I like both better.

*Especially when I know that this is a Teacher Christmas Present Related Query.

*If pushed on the subject and forced into choosing, I am leaning towards the cannoli.

*But I really do hate to discriminate against any baked good.

*The Absurdly Gi-normous Kitty is pretending it's December and cuddled up to me like a good kitty does in the winter.

*The Very Complicated Kitty is eating a plastic coat hanger.

*Yes.  I realize that he shouldn't do that, but I've tried taking it away and he isn't really "open" to that at the moment.

*I've been listening to a couple of audio books in the car lately.

*The Lost Gate (Mithermages) is really quite good.

*And, after taking a break from this series for a while, I decided it was time to give Side Jobs: Stories from the Dresden Files a try.

*I had to stop reading these because Harry Dresden brings out my maternal side and, let's face it.  No one wants that.

*I'm probably not the best person to try and re-parent this poor guy...

*Now, however, I think I am ready to catch up with the series.

*In actual "word-based" reading, I finished The Grimrose Path (Trickster, Book 2)


*There are no new offerings in this series.

*So I found something else. And I should be very up front about this book.

*It has magical powers. That or the government really doesn't want you to read it.

*While I'm engaged in it, I love it. I am engrossed. I chuckle sometimes, even snort a little bit. I've been known to gasp once or twice when some truly shocking thing happens.

*Then, when I'm done, I can't remember a thing I've read. Not even the title.

*Which made telling the Cheerful Teaching Assistant about it very tricky today...

*If you want to try it, I'd be curious to see if it works the same way for you.

*Wait a minute...I need to get my reader. I don't remember what it's called. Hold on.

*OK. Got it. It's The Atrocity Archives.

*I am pretty sure I like it, but who knows?  Maybe it is a government plot to make me think I like it while it erases my frontal lobe.

*Although why the government has such a marked dislike of my frontal lobe, I know not.

*This could also help to explain my having misplaced many, many weeks and thinking that it isn't really the day before December.

*But I still think someone took my days or that it's some sort of government plot...

I think I'm going to call it a night.  I hear tell we might have some chilly weather moving in now that it is possibly early autumn (or spring...maybe winter...who knows?)  I should really be wandering about the manse and looking for any open windows.  If it does actually dip into the low 30's, I might wish I'd done that.  I don't want to get sick, after all.

It might be almost December, and I might need to do some shopping or knit something else at some point...


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Saying Thank You

As a way of saying Thank You For The Many Hours Dedicated To Parent/Teacher Conferences (and please don't sue us for making you work five billion hours), my school district closes early for Thanksgiving.  All I have to do is survive two days and then it's all about me not being at work.  That is a fair exchange except for the times when it's not.  But I am choosing to ignore the crazy that makes up my working life these days and enjoy my extra-long Thanksgiving Break.

Let's kick it off with the Wednesday Night Bullet Points!

*Last week was not a great week at the Learn-a-matorium.

*It was, in fact, a horrible week.

*At least up to the part where I took Friday off and then things got quite delightful.

*Doctor's appointment.

*It was awesome!!!

*I mentioned my overwhelming obsession with pandemic disease and the impending horror that is the coming apocalypse.

*Like I do every time I go see Dr. Judy.

*She then spent half an hour drawing charts and graphs based on the workshops she's attended that support my predictions of doom 'n gloom.

*We get our respective giddy-girl-giggles on as we revel in how "right" we are about what's really lurking out there in the world of germs.

*We do this every third appointment or so and it soothes me.

*This time, she even let me take home the graphs she drew that show the patterns of pandemics since the Spanish Flu outbreak of 1917.

*Then she scheduled way more blood work than I really think is necessary given my current symptoms and gave me a flu shot.

*The latter made sense after the graph presentation.

*It also gave me a rash, but that is a small price to pay...

*Thankful to have a doctor who indulges (and maybe even shares) my occasional paranoia.

*Although the suggestion that I consider taking a little something for the anxiety seemed a bit presumptuous.

*Wanna hear something funny?

*I started this last night.

*I could lie and say I was being proactive, but I was really just confused about what day it was.

*Thank heavens for TV.  TV tells me what day it is before I post the WNBP on a Tuesday.

*Today is really Wednesday and I've been baking.

*I started baking last night and maybe that is where I got confused.

Evidence of oven usage.

*I am very thankful that the cheesy bread has not collapsed in upon itself yet.

*I'm sure it will since this is what the last few loaves have done, but I got a picture first so that makes me look good.

*I found some other pictures on the camera, too!

*Apparently, everyone likes napping on the back of the recliner these days...

*Can't honestly say when I took these, though.

*While the pix were uploading, I did a very scientific test of the cheesy bread.

*The family will have to be thankful for two loaves tomorrow.

*I need to keep "testing" the third.

*Here's the email I really wish I'd sent yesterday:

Dear Person Who Is So Totally Not The Boss Of Me,

I have received your latest message and would like to respond with a hearty, "you're welcome!"  I'm certain that, in spite of the actual wording, what you really meant to say was something along the lines of the following:

 "Thank you so very much for all the work you put in yesterday fixing the five million mistakes that were not yours.  You have successfully resolve the situation as best as was possible and I can't help but think it was rather nice of you to give up a day of teaching to do that.  You and everyone else to whom I have cc'd this message are a credit to the profession and I am certainly not trying to absolve my utter blame for this horrific incident in any way by sending out an email demanding information one hour before the end of school and the holiday break.  Your having already spent four hours taking care of this situation on my behalf was plenty."

Yes.  That is surely what you meant.  So, again, you are most welcome.


A Very Tired Ms. Sheep

*That is not the email I sent.

*Instead, I sent one off to the person who really is the boss of me asking if she might address the situation instead.

*She is a tad more diplomatic than I.

*Thank you, Actual Boss Of Me!

*I'd save her some of the bread, but that is looking less and less likely at this point.

*I got a late start with the baking today.  Not my fault.

*Computer games and reading got the better of me until the afternoon rolled around.

*I finished Toil And Trouble: Book 2 of the Jolie Wilkins Series (Volume 2)

*Can never remember just where I left off on the book reports so forgive me if I already said that.

*Then I downloaded To Kill A Warlock: Dulcie O'Neil Series

*And A Tale of Two Goblins: A Paranormal Romance/ Urban Fantasy (Dulcie O'Neil Series #2) (Volume 2)

*Fun reads, if not exactly fine literature. Also good for lighthearted weekend story-time.

*Now I'm reading Trick of the Light (Trickster, Book 1).

*Not lighthearted reading.

*Darker.  Much darker.

*Good for a rainy day before Thanksgiving when you are trying to avoid baking bread.

*Also good for reading after you've baked bread and don't care if you get cheesy smears all over your ereader.

*Thankful for instant reading gratification!

*And for not having anyone around to witness me licking cheese off the ereader.

So, to recap, it seems that I've gotten my sense of time back, not to mention the will to bake.  Furthermore, I am prepared for any and all pandemic outbreaks that might occur in the next few days and did not send any emails that might get me fired should that apocalyptic scenario fail to manifest itself.  I think I'm in pretty good shape over here!  I've got my Thankful Hat on and am wearing it proudly!

For those of you celebrating along with me tomorrow, I wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving and an extra helping of whatever you find pleasing upon your table of plenty!


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

WNBP: Embracing The Bullets

Well, here we are.  I've somehow managed to forget to post until Wednesday in spite of multiple promises to write a proper blog missive.  I think I'm just going to accept that, for now anyway, I'm the Wednesday Night Bullet Post Gal and cut myself some slack.  I've got a lot going on over here, after all.

Bullet Points seem to be about all I can muster with any degree of mastery these days...

*I am going to learn to nurture my inner bullet points.

*They will, in turn, serve me well.

*This is turning out to be The Year Where Teaching Leads To Tears.

*Not mine.  I'm tough.  I can catch bullet points in my teeth, by God!!

*Have to be tough since I am the leader in my classroom and someone has to be there to mop up the puddles of sadness.

*I am getting to be quite the dab hand and passing round the tissues.

*Came home today and made a phone call:

"Hello?  Department of Very Naughty Kitties?  Good.  I'd like to report a missing package of hot dog rolls and schedule an immediate in-home intervention.  When can you send a representative?"

*The DOVNK is crazy busy right now.  It'll be well into the new year before I see anyone.

*I'm thinking I should just call Santa and request coal-filled stockings for certain resident felines.

*Meanwhile, it's probably faster to buy new hot dog rolls and learn now to not leave them out on the counter.

*Got me some carb lovin' kitties...

*That part is true, but I lied about calling the kitty people.  They aren't real.

*What I actually found upon arriving home was a message from Mr. Assistant Principal.

*When faced with a sobbing colleague and no idea how to solve her crisis, I kind of panicked and called MAP to beg for inspiration.

*He wasn't there.  I left a message.

*I may or may not have sounded a little desperate at that point.

*MAP has never called me at home.  MAP probably also doesn't realize that I live about five million miles from school and that I'm always "in transit."

*Kind of wishing I'd not called MAP.  Might have let myself get a little overwhelmed by the sobbing and whatnot.

*I don't do well with weepy women-folk...

*Why I thought MAP would be any better, I don't know but it seemed like a good idea at the time.

*Best classroom line of the day:

The Anti-Bieber:  Wow.  It's really hot in this classroom.

The Siren (who leads all pre-teen boys to their ultimate doom):  Yup.  It's crazy hot.  That's because me 'n Ms. Sheep are in here!

*Funny on many levels.

*Probably inappropriate on more, but I still laughed.

*There aren't too many giggle-worthy moments this year, I'm afraid.

*Two cats howling for food at my feet.

*Note:  cats who nosh on hot dog rolls all day do not get their usual afternoon snack.

*No guilt.  None whatsoever.

*Reading is a good thing.

*I've been merrily working my way through a new-to-me series of late.

*The Monstrumologist

*And The Curse of the Wendigo (Monstrumologist)

*Then The Isle of Blood (Monstrumologist)

*These are considered YA by most, but very good adult reading.

*Fair warning:  They are rather "literary" in tone and there's a bit of the saucy language at points.

*Nothing really bad, but adult-types might want to consider it before handing the books off to middle grade kidlets.

*I also sometimes felt that the books were running just the teeniest bit long for the story at points.

*Still didn't stop me from plowing through all three books at a speedy pace.

*Who doesn't love a good monster story?  Or seeing great figures in history romping around amidst all the gory ickiness?

*I needed a time-filler once those were done.

*Trying Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble: The Jolie Wilkins Series, Book 1 next.

*Cheap download.

*Perhaps not as high-toned as what I've been reading, but sounds like great fun!

*Which I kind of need right now.

*Supposed to be out of school for a doctor's appointment on Friday and all the weeping is making that look like a pipe dream.

*Kind of think I should be in school to leap into action should tears be shed.

*Which does not make my doctor very happy.  Or the weeping colleagues who don't want to feel guilty when I stay in school.  And Mr. Assistant Principal who now thinks I'm in dire distress and in need of reassuring phone calls at my home.

*Tomorrow promises to be a very busy day what with restoring my tough girl reputation and readying the classroom for my possible absence.

*Maybe I should have downloaded the entire series of "fun" books...

It's true.  Bullet points are remarkably soothing after a convoluted day of hyped up children and frantic colleagues.  There is a nice rhythm to bullet points.  I might even be able to make some sense out of tomorrow if I can just keep the zen-thing going.

Or I will spend the day banging my head against the wall while the Assistant Principal tries to think of calming things to say.  It will be one of those...


Wednesday, November 09, 2011

WNBP: Let's Talk

This is the week that makes a grown Sheepie want to curl up in a ball and weep.  It is one of two weeks that leave me very tired and wondering if I might have to consider napping under my desk during the school day.  Yes, you know what I mean.

It's Parent/Teacher Conference Week!  Also known as The Week Where I Have To Stay Late On Two Nights And Wonder Why I Am So Very Alone In This World.

Often, I am at school on Wednesday night when the conferences roll around.  This time, however, I am home all snug as a bug in a rug and looking forward to a long Thursday Night At School With No One To Talk To.

That leaves me free to toss out a few of the Wednesday Night Bullet Points without wondering if it is ethical to use the school's bandwidth for such frivolity.  And here they be:

*I voted yesterday because I am a good citizen.

*I also like seeing everyone gathered at the high school gym.

*It never ceases to amuse me that we can all fit in there.

*I feel that I should get extra credit for voting this year because there were five ballots, two of which were double sided.

*That was a lot of work and took the nice lady at the check-in desk a while to explain.

*She took the time because she's worked every election since the Lincoln administration and she still screwed up her five billion ballots by not checking for double-sided situations.

*I appreciated the heads up.  I am the type to ignore the B-side.

*Sorry, had to leave you there for a second.

*Absurdly Gi-normous Kitty on the kitchen counter.

*Normally, I don't even bother with that because, really, what can I do?

*But he has an Absurdly G-normous cold at the moment and is sneezing vast amounts of kitty snot all over the place with wild abandon.

*Hence, I think it prudent to wave my arms in the kitchen until he gets off the counters.

*AGK just sneezed all over my foot because that is simply how these things work.

*The kids have a half day of school tomorrow.  I have to stay until 8:00.

*I don't have any parent/teacher conferences scheduled, but we all have to be team players.

*I've packed up lots of yarn and whatnot.

*I also had conferences on Monday night.  One parent showed up.

*Last scheduled slot of the night and they stayed late.

*That's OK.  I was just giddy with having someone to talk to.

*It's been crazy warm here.

*Can't shut off the heat in my classroom.  Easily 90 degrees in there.

*In the words of The Future Farmer:

"Prob'ly shouldn'ta worn m' long johns today..."

*Insightful.  And impressive self-awareness were it not for the fact that has worn them three days in a row as temps soar into the high 60s...

*Yesterday was Evacuation Drill Day.

*That's when we get 400 or so people out of the building, into the parking lot and down the street to the elementary school.

*Then we line them up and walk them back.

*Because it really wasn't enough for us to have Parent/Teacher Conferences until 7:00 on Monday without having something extra super fun to do on Tuesday.

*Seriously.  Can you think of anything MORE fun that trooping an entire middle school half a mile or so down the road?

*Today was not a good day at the Learn-A-Ma-Torium but not because we didn't have anyplace to walk to.

*There was just a whole lotta crazy going on.

*Makes a girl want to be home where her gi-normous kitty sneezes on her.

*I finished The Hour of Dust and Ashes (Charlie Madigan, Book 3)

*Still rather pleased with myself for stumbling across this series.

*Suddenly, I remembered something!

*Goliath (Leviathan) came out this fall!!!

*Silly Sheepie, letting herself forget such an important thing!

*Read that one in a day over the weekend.  One of the best YA series out there, kids!

*School book fair is always a nice way to break up a long night of (only one) parent/teacher conferences.

*Guess who snagged a copy of Rot & Ruin?

*Yeah...that'd be me!

*Not fine literature, but a very interesting take on The Coming Zombie Apocalypse.

*Always good to be reminded that every zombie was once somebody's somebody.

*Before you KILL THEM!!!!

*I'm sorry, but that is just my personal prejudice when it comes to the undead.  I can be respectful about it.

*Still gonna smoosh 'em right in the brain stem and that is that!!!

*Got a little sidetracked from The Monstrumologist, though.

*Need to get back to it once I'm done watching Benny and his brother deal with the shambling horde.

*I am trying to pace myself, though.

*Might have already mentioned that tomorrow promises to be a long night with no one around to keep me company.

*Books, computer and perhaps a bit of knitting.  That should be enough to keep me from resorting to doing actual work whilst I wait out the long and grueling hours at Parent/Teacher Conferences!

You're not going to believe this, but I just sneezed.  I'm certain that one can't catch a kitty kold, but it still seems kind of ironic.  I suppose it is for the best that no parents plan on conferencing with me tomorrow night.  I'm probably getting the plague and who wants to talk to someone who has the plague?

I might just go out and find someone to talk to just to share the wealth!  And to stay awake...


Wednesday, November 02, 2011

WNBP: Searching For The Pause

The start of the new school year is always kind of interesting.  The way the holidays work in these here parts, it seems as though we are always cruising towards a break of some sort, at least for the first few months.  That is nice and all, but it also means that we are always trying to recover from a long weekend or vacation and that is never easy.

It's like there's a big, ol' pause button just out of reach at all times...

Most of the time, the kids have figured out that a long weekend is lurking somewhere and they won't rest until they've nailed it down.  I guess it doesn't help when the teacher suddenly realizes that parent/teacher conferences are next week and that the Veteran's Day observance can't be far behind.

Maybe I shouldn't have said that out loud.  At full volume.  Whilst doing a funky little dance.  That might have set things off to some degree.  I take full responsibility even if I don't feel all that much in the way of remorse.

Here's tonight's Wednesday Night Bullet Post.  I'll try to leave out the long pauses.

*If someone wants to tell me why Li'l Einstein showed up wearing a paintball mask today, I'd love to hear it.

*We do not generally have random paintball battles breaking out in the classroom.

*Maybe we should.

*Things have been pretty tense lately and I can't help but wonder if shooting one another in a non-lethal manner might take some of the edge off...

*It snowed here.

*It snows here a lot but I can honestly say I have never experienced a blizzard in October.

*Trick-or-Treaters had to stumble over snowbanks in order to get their candy.

*They did not stumble to my house.

*They never do.

*I pretend to be disappointed, but I'm not really.

*I get the candy and can pretend that I didn't want it.

*That is hard to do with the half-priced stuff I've been buying since November 1st.  I'm obviously feeling the want for that.

*Spent ten minutes giggling with the lady behind me in line at the store because we were both so thrilled with our respective candy hauls

*I've got me a candy filled freezer!!!!!

*I am pleased to report that the chai latte k-cups are as delightful as anything I've experienced of late.

* Café Escapes Chai Latte K-Cups for Keurig Brewers, 24-Count

*Much more delightful than snowstorms and kids doing their math in paintball masks.

*The hot apple cider ones are also really good, but they upset my stomach sometimes.

*We have a keurig at school.  I bring chai latte k-cups and brew them whenever the stress gets to me and I start thinking about firing paintballs at recalcitrant kidlets.

*Did anyone see The Walking Dead on Sunday?

*Note:  the site is a little wonky right now so I'm not linking.  I figure you either know it or you don't at this point anyway...

*If you did watch it, did you totally and completely freak out in the last five minutes?  Huh?  Didja-didja?

*Lost.  My.  Mind.

*That, kids, is what we call an Emmy Moment.

*Brilliantly written, stunning direction and amazing execution.  Hit every single note perfectly.

*And, when I arrived at school on Monday, not a single soul had seen it yet.  I had no one with which to process.

*Mrs. Secretary Who Sits At The Back Desk rushed off to watch it that night and now we just keep saying, "I'm sorry" to each other.

*Then we fire!

*And in bookish news...

*I discovered The Better Part of Darkness (Charlie Madigan, Book 1)

*These are really quite good and a wonderful way to kill time until some of the books I'm waiting for appear on shelves.

*Moved on to The Darkest Edge of Dawn (Charlie Madigan, Book 2) pretty quickly.

*Kind of wish I'd gone right to The Hour of Dust and Ashes (Charlie Madigan, Book 3) but I got distracted.

*I'm going to finish up with Heart of a Dragon (The DeChance Chronicles) and get right back on track.

*Oh, by the way!  I forgot to mention Max Quick: The Pocket and the Pendant!

*A fun YA/Middle Grade read if you like that sort of thing.  And it's a series which, as we all know, makes me giddy with joy.

I just remembered that I need to pull together a social studies lesson before tomorrow.  I sent myself an email reminder from school so I wouldn't forget and then I read my email before I left school so I ended up forgetting again by the time I landed at the home front.  Now it is getting late and good TV is almost upon me.  If I don't come up with some sort of brilliant learning experience in the next hour, I fail to see how I am going to manage it at all.

There are no pauses this week, I'm afraid.  Probably should get on that teaching-as-a-priority thing.  I trust that your Wednesday ran smoothly and that any breaks in the pace were the good kind that allowed you to breathe for a minute.

Or that you had a paintball mask because I am starting to think that isn't really such a bad thing...