Friday, May 28, 2010

That Kid

When Shef was littler, I always resented the kids who encouraged him to play guns or robbers or pirates or pretty much anything beyond astronauts or peaceful organic farmers of the 70s. I'd roll my eyes and separate him from the hooligans who taught him butt jokes or fart imitation.

Those kids were really annoying, disruptive, and obviously poorly supervised.

Those kids, I realize now looking back on it almost always had older brothers. Maybe sort of significantly older. Say four years or so, maybe a few months more.

Last night when Mac took the pencil from the kids' bag at Davanni's Pizza, held it in my face and said, "I whiw kihw you," I suddenly felt a lot more empathy for the parents of those violent little storm troopers, old enough for pencil light sabers but still unable to pronounce r's and l's.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Best Year Ever!!

Today something miraculous happened. I went to the assistant principal's office ostensibly to chat about blended learning. While I was there, I planned to casually ask whether he'd made any headway on the room situation.

The problem is we don't have enough rooms for the teachers at our school, and so sometimes people have to share and move and it's not convenient.

Also, sometimes people go on maternity leave and when they come back they get assigned to the smallest rooms in the school. Rooms without any space in the front, so that the teacher has to conduct class while bellied up to the front row.

Not that I would know.

So anyway, I went in there, and guess what? The assistant principal HAD made headway in the room situation! He'd assigned me to my own full-size room in my home hallway! This is great news. Really fantastic. Best Tuesday ever.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

I'm Not Happy About This

I know this looks like my blog and everything, but we all know it's not my blog. I'm pretty sad about it, to tell you he truth. On Friday afternoon when she helped me develop the URL-changing plan, Rachel (who no longer wants to be linked here for obvious reasons) totally understood my pain.

"It's real grief," she told me when I apologized for crying over my blog when we both have a bunch of other things that are more worth crying over than an archive moved to another URL temporarily.

Here's one thing that's cheering me up: this is my first blog post created on my iPad. The iPad keyboard is pretty functional, except do you know what it needs? It needs arrow keys. Are you listening, Apple? Let's add some arrow keys so I can more easily write posts for my fake blog on my new super-awesome computing device.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Children

I've been so consumed with work lately that I haven't written about the adorable children who live here.

The big news is that Mac speaks in cute, little sentences now. "I come in, Sheffie?" he'll ask if Shef retreats to his room after school.

"I like it," he'll tell me any time he eats something sweet.

"I find worms," he announces while digging in his sandbox.

And there's more stuff about pretty much anything. Of course, "No want to," and "No like that" still figure prominently in our lives.

Shef is obsessed with Star Wars and the Star Wars Lego Wii game. A couple of weeks ago he posted a sign on his door that says, "Onley Storm Trooprs Can Axiss Thees Areea And Darth V." Every day on the way to school, he makes me ask him questions about playing the Wii game. This is only the thing he wants to talk about.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Best Run Ever

I ran 18 miles today - my last long run in preparation for my next marathon on June 6th. It was a gorgeous day, and half the city was out walking or running, either alone or with their babies or dogs or pals.

During my run, I listened to two extremely awesome episodes of This American Life. One of them featured not only Ira Glass, but also Joss Whedon, Neil Patrick Harris, and Dan Savage. Dan's story was so moving and so well-told that I actually had to stop for a few seconds to cry alongside the running path. If there's one thing I've learned over the years, it's that crying and running don't mix.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Ray, This is 1987

There are 21 instructional days remaining in the school year. This count doesn't include final exams, which I don't really believe in giving but am sometimes forced to do so.

I just finished my Gatsby unit in American Lit today, and then I nearly had a heart attack when I thought I'd screwed up my pacing so badly that I'd have a whole extra week to fill between now and my last unit.

I was so relieved when I figured out I could easily carry memoirs out for three weeks. Tomorrow they'll pick between The Glass Castle and The Color of Water. We'll do some creative writing alongside these great texts a couple of times per week.

And then, blessedly, we'll end up at finals week totally in-tact and unscathed.

Let's all hope for this, shall we? We might just finish this thing after all.

Monday, May 10, 2010

We're Watching Buffy. It's So 1997.

Today, a kid in American Lit approached me after class.

"I need help on that speech thing," he said. His speech was due sometime last week, and tomorrow's the last day for make-ups.

"What do you mean?" I said.

"Well, I haven't really read the book, and you said something about deep thoughts."

"So," I said, "you want me to tell you what I think about the book you haven't read so you can repeat that stuff in your speech?"

"I read like two chapters," he continued.

"I'm not really sure how to help you," I told him. "I think you should pick a chapter you actually read and think of something to say about it. Follow the outline I gave you."

He seemed disappointed. It really seemed like he thought this conversation might turn out differently.

I think there are 24 days left of school.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

I Want Your Drama

Dropping my "best year ever" facade was the worst idea in the world. To be fair, it wasn't really a choice. But, when it happened, the delightful was gone and the screaming began.

Luckily, I'm still able to pull it together when the kids arrive on scene. The kids are wonderful and funny. Some of them, two in particular, are also in love with each other.

These two have been canoodling in class in a way that is extremely distracting for me. They lean into each other, write doodles to each other, and kiss each other's hands.

It's extremely awkward, and I don't really know how to handle it.

Last week, I barely made it to the end of an hour. When it was over, I held the door open for the exiting students and shouted out randomly, "Too much cuddling in class! Makes me feel uncomfortable!"

That same day, a girl from that hour came back to see me at the end of the day.

"I CAN'T believe what you said at the end of the hour!" she told me.

"What?" I said. "You mean about the cuddling?"

"NO!" she said. "YOU said, 'Have a good weekend. Don't Do Drugs. Use birth control. And, don't have sex!'"

"Oh my god, I DID?" I asked. I had a vague memory of the don't do drugs part.

"YES!" she squealed.

That's kind of embarrassing, but really, it's good advice.

Monday, May 3, 2010

It's Time to Blog Again

Last weekend, we had to go to Ikea to buy Mac a big-kid bed. He started climbing out of his crib awhile ago, and so we have no choice.

I was happy for the excuse to go to Ikea because I had some crap in my trunk to return. One of things was a chair that would not put together no matter what. The other thing was a light we decided was kind of ugly. I bought these things in August, and they've been in my trunk ever since. I figured if they wouldn't give me a refund, they'd probably at least take the junk.

I told Dan this story on the way in, and he was preemptively embarrassed about my plan to return this nine month-old crap. We'd both read the signs proclaiming a 90-day return policy.

"Hi!" I smiled cheerfully at the return clerk. "I bought this stuff WAY more than 90 days ago."

"I'll just be over here," Dan said, laughing openly. I had started unloading chair pieces onto the counter, scooping dusty screws into the open palms of the clerk. And he had abandoned me, let the record show.

Five minutes later, I learned that Ikea would give me $42.00 in store credit for the crap from my trunk.

"Oh my god!" I said to the clerk. "I love Ikea!"

"That's our goal," she smiled.

"Well, you're doing a really good job," I told her.

And then we paid for a third of Mac's new bed and mattress with the little return card given to me by that clerk.

God bless America. And Sweden. Obviously.