Friday, June 24, 2011

Random Thoughts and Apologies

I leave tomorrow, for a week. Don't expect to hear from me for a week. Not that you would, I guess I have been quiet lately. I get like that.

I dreamed last night that I was sitting on a patio cafe. I saw on the road two eighteen wheel trucks fast approaching each other. They met and with great speed both metal monsters veered directly toward cafe. I realized that it was too late to run away, so I hid under the table and thought, "What good will this table do? Either metal will crush me or I will escape under it." I thought that maybe this was it, and then I thought, "Well, I will see what happens next." I wasn't afraid, but I wasn't sure either. Would God be waiting for me? Perhaps Hell or maybe nothing? I just didn't know.

When I was younger everything just seemed so black and white. Faith was an anchor and everything made sense. Then, I woke up one day and my world looked grey. Still, my heart longs to be good, to know God, and to live in light. It's just that what is good doesn't seem such a cut and dry question.

My faith is like an insurance policy and my prayers feel like I am talking to a therapist. It's like I don't expect an answer.

I believe in God, as I always have. It's just that lately I wonder if He is very different than I thought.

A whole week with my family will be interesting because they remain black and white and sure of God.

Monday, June 20, 2011


1.) Runway Fashion
2.) Critter Care
3.) Babysitting
4.) Mystery

What do the things on the list above have in common? I can't teach any of them; I am teaching classes on them tomorrow. My friend texted me because she threw her back out and asked if I could fill in for her summer school classes. I checked my schedule and I was doing nothing like almost every day this summer. i thought I would be teaching reading or math. Ha. I guess not.

I'm not going to lie. I am actually excited about teaching runway fashion. I am just so girlie and the class is all girls who love girlie things. My friend sent me some sort of lesson plan about sewing on a button, but I threw it out. How annoying of a sub am I? Anyway, I took my roommate's InStyle magazine and flagged pics of all the cute outfits. I am going to use the smartboard to show the structure and flow of almost all fashionable outfits (they usually contain both). Then I rounded up all the fabric, ribbon, and tulle in this house. There actually is a lot, I don't know why. I am going to put the girls in groups. Each group will choose fabric, ribbon, and tulle and use it to make no sew outfits that show flow and structure. Then, we're going to have a fashion show!

I had to use my old cds for music because my ipod is broken. That is when I realized that I am officially old now. It was my high school cd collection, and it was dated! Who knew that would happen so soon?!!! The song I chose is below. Oh well, I like my dated music!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The First Grader

I don't know how much I talk about this on here, but I really love "National Geographic." I can't wait until my magazine comes in the mail, and I watch that channel, and I go on their website all the time (although I really wish it didn't have so many pop ups). Anyway, you can imagine my excitement when I found out "National Geographic" was the producer of The First Grader. I knew that no one would want to go to this movie with me because everyone starts groaning when I go on too long about my geography nerdiness. Plus, they didn't run this movie in every theater, so I had to drive about twenty minutes to get to a theater that was showing it. For that reason, I went to this movie by myself this afternoon. I really loved it. It was totally worth the drive.

The story is set in Kenya and it is about an eighty-four year old man who wanted to take advantage of the first time Kenya offered free public education. He attends primary school with all the children because he wanted to learn to read. It's actually based on a true story. I think if you are a teacher you will enjoy this movie. You know, I cried when a third grader came to my classroom who couldn't read. I can't imagine what it would mean to go your whole life without that.

The other thing that I got from the movie is that it must be pretty incredible to teach somewhere where people have gratitude for education. I love my country. A lot of people out there hate on the U.S., but as much as I love learning about other countries and customs this is the only place I want to live. However, as much as I love my country, I think that when it comes to education Americans (particularly my generation and the one just behind us) are exceedingly spoiled. There is this attitude that every American citizen is owed a proper education and that as long as we sit our butts in the chairs at the schools it should happen. The truth is that you have to want to learn and you have to try to learn. As a teacher here, I spend a lot of my time trying to get students to buy into that idea. In this movie, I don't honestly know if this is the way it actually happened, the Kenyan children were running to the school lining up to get the spots in the schools. I can't help but wonder how it would be to teach where the majority of students see education as such a valuable opportunity. Of course, I do get some students who are like that. When I can get a class that has quite a few it makes teaching an absolute pleasure because peer pressure can help me work with the few who don't seem to care. I find that generally, however, I get a lot of students who don't care about school and spend a lot of my time and energy trying to cajole them into caring.

That's one wish that I have for my country: that we would realize what a gift education for all is.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

I Saw You Last Night

Where I live it is really sunny. You have to squint and the sun kisses your skin reminding you that it is summer. Last night, I was transported to my Grandparents pool. I could feel the summer sun and the cool water. I was swimming with my two brothers and my two cousins. We were goofing around and it was a happy dream until...

Suddenly, I became aware that I was in the past and I knew what was going to happen to my cousin. He was still having such a good time in the sun, in the water; he had no idea. I wanted to warn him what was going to happen, but I knew I wasn't allowed. It's like the words and the thoughts were stuck inside of me and all I could do was exist in the happiness of that moment. At the same time, I was sad and I wanted to leave because I couldn't do anything to help and all I could think about was what was going to happen. Still the sun was shining and everyone was having a wonderful time.

I woke up and I was a little disconcerted, but I went on with my day. I decided to continue with my project reorganizing my desk and closet. I went to Walmart to get some things to help me. Once I arrived about a mile away, the sun shined down on me, and I remembered that, that very Walmart was where my last memory of my cousin was. It was the night of my mom's fiftieth birthday last year and he and my grandad and I had gone there to get more tupperware to store the leftovers from the party because there had been a lot and Walmart is the only place that sells tupperware still open that late at night. Suddenly with the sun and the memory I felt that same feeling from my dream, I felt guilty that I couldn't warn him.

Later when I got back from Walmart I found the program from his funeral on my desk. I knew it was time, so I moved it to a box with the other things I've saved from childhood.

I don't know if a time is going to come when I have access to those happy memories again without a dark shadow, but for right now I just feel like all those years and all those times that we all thought were just about growing up were everything for him. It just seems unfair, like someone should have told him that this was it.

Monday, June 6, 2011

School Dreams

This year I am plagued into summer by school dreams. Their all about the last week of school with the class I've had this year. I wake up and I think that I am late for work and not prepared.

I've had back to school dreams a lot, but this is the first year I've had so many dreams about the outgoing class.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Shell Shock??

It's summer break now and my living room looks like Barbie's workshop. Okay, that sounds dirty, but that is not how I meant it! I am making a bunch of tutus for a party we're having on Saturday.

For me, summer vacation feels like stepping out of a spaceship and back onto planet Earth after many months in a galaxy far far away. Everyone in the civilian world is just so used to living life and being human and stuff. I kind of remember what it was like to be a card carrying citizen of the human race, but then again I know in the back of my mind I am only here on a visiting visa from Planet Teacher. Soon, I will be back in a world of disaggregated data, AYPs, IEPs, differential instruction, value added measures, and the like; and this strange vacation called summer will be like a distant dream.

Seriously, it is like all of this stuff is on my back doorstep because I haven't had time to deal with it. Suddenly time is staring me in the face like a threat and I don't know what to do about it. I woke up this morning and I didn't feel like getting dressed or doing anything--so I didn't.

The thing is that when I could be obsessed with test scores and inclusion and work in general, I didn't have to grapple with some major personal questions I am grappling with. What exactly do I believe and what exactly do I not believe? Why did I quit dating and what should I be doing differently if I actually want to meet someone? What am I going to do next year if both of my roommates move by October?

Then there are the deaths. My cousin and my grandmother died this year. I am not sure I've properly dealt with any of that.