Monday, September 27, 2010

Status Report

Illnesses Experienced by Members of Our Family Since September 1st:
chest cold, viral sore throat, strep throat, pneumonia, bronchitis, ear infection, stomach bug, warts, migraine and acute anxiety (obviously)

Number of illnesses Experienced by Dan

Classroom Activities Thwarted by Network and Computer Problems since September 7th:
Watching a video from the Frontline website, using Wallwisher and TodaysMeet for backchanneling, collaborating on a Google document, watching a screencast posted on Moodle, using Aviary to record audio, viewing completed Prezis, using school gmail addresses to sign up for Prezi accounts (school gmail blocked by proxy!), commenting in a Moodle forum, and signing into computers wirelessly for any purpose.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Meta, I Guess

This blog has been so lame of late. I can't help it, and I'm not promising any improvement.

However, awhile ago, Gina tagged me in her 8 Questions post. So, now I'm going to answer those questions. It will probably be boring, and you can totally skim.

Also, I noticed after I typed up all these answers that Gina actually asked me different questions. Oh well. What can I say? I only teach careful reading some of the time.

1. What are your top 2 cities in the world?

This is kind of embarrassing because I'm totally not a big traveler compared to basically everyone else in my family. Still, my cities can really represent:

I'm going with Paris first. Dan and I went on the whirldestwind tour ever in 2006. We were there for three days. Basically we sprinted through and glanced at famous landmarks and priceless works of art. We'll have to go back, obvi.

Edinburgh is second. My mom took me there on a trip in 2002. Castles, pubs, graveyards, and a freaky poltergeist tour. It was awesome.

Are you doing what you love or doing what you have to do?

I'm doing what I love! And I'm working way too hard.

3. Coffee or tea?

Coffee, of course. I'm a high school English teacher. Didn't your teacher stand around with a mug in her/his hand? That's just what we do. And, in my case, regularly dribble it down my shirt or soak my desk.

4. Describe the moment in your life when you felt the most loved.

Oh, I can't do that. I am really lucky because I have an amazing family and wonderful friends, and so I feel loved every moment pretty much.

5. Who do you think has had the single biggest impact on your life?

Gina! These questions are so flipping hard!

6. What song lyrics say exactly what you're feeling right now?

I'm not really a music person. "Don't stop believin'"? "We're gonna make it after all"? I have no idea, really. Something about Keep Truckin'.

7. Pro sports or college ball?

I tried really hard to love football when I first met Dan. He loved it so much, I felt that I should too. I read a book about the rules, I learned expressions to say during different parts of the game ("I hate it when my quarterback gets sacked!"), and sure enough, I started to love the Vikings.

But guess what? Loving the Vikings is a totally stupid thing to do. The Vikings know how to break your heart into a million pieces. The Vikings will always let you down. The Vikings will never, ever love you back.

8. What book do you really, really want to see made into a movie?

Secret of early motherhood: You don't really go to movies anymore. It costs a lot to go to a movie, and then on top of that you have to pay the sitter. Also, you don't really have time to read books.


But, here a benefit of just having the children and then letting them get older: mine will be all grown up by the time I'm 48. Then, they'll have to leave the house and I'm going to go to a million movies all the time.

Dan and Lee, you were also tagged, I hope you know, on Gina's post. I suggest you answer the second set of questions, which seem easier.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Score One

Mac is totally, 100% winning the sleeping game. Basically, he gets to do whatever he wants in terms of sleeping or not, alone or with others. Tonight I tried to leave him in his room to cry it out while I found Waldo with Shef, but then what happened is it turns out he can scale his gate.

Apparently we need to lock him in.

Except I probably won't do that, so I guess we just need to wait around until he's four and start paying him to sleep like we did with Shef.

When Mac turned two, I happily told my mother-in-law that I was so relieved to be almost done with sleep deprivation since I only had two years left. Also, I accidentally told someone who has eight month-old twins that I totally felt his pain because I hadn't slept in six and a half years. That was the wrong thing to say to that poor guy, obviously. I did a lot of back-pedaling, but the damage was already done and I ended up confessing some unfortunate side-effects of this hideous lifestyle like extreme aging and memory loss.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Beginning of School Clobber-fest

Basically what's going on is I'm getting my ass kicked by back-to-school. This happens every year, and even though by year ten I'm theoretically prepared for it... Well. It's still awful.

I'm teaching online all the time and a brand new prep besides. I have 27 more students this year than last for a total of 155. And, the computers I was supposed to use for teaching 21st Century Skills don't load web pages. Also, did you know we're living in a multi-generational, extended family household? As I type this, there are six adults and two children here with me under this one roof.

Also, Shef is testing every existing boundary and Mac won't sleep. I don't know if you've tried it, but four people (yes, Shef still visits!) in a queen bed does not make for a restful night.

Last night I told Dan that he should just go to Shef's bed when Mac came in. This worked pretty well, and Mac was especially pleased. At breakfast he told Dan, "I sleep in Mommy's bed. You go out."

Someday things will be a little calmer. Maybe in a month or two or six.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

What Does This Mean?

I've decided to take all of my comments for student papers this year from the famous and hilarious Double Rainbow video:

"So bright; so vivid!"

"Oh my God! Oh my God!"

"What does this mean?"

"This is starting to look like a triple rainbow!"


"So intense!"

Luckily, the whole (multi-generational extended) family also has double rainbow fever:

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

It's Starting to Look Like a Triple Rainbow

Great news: I have completed the first day of school.

All of the children were able to log in to a computer and change their passwords. In addition, we played a game using some statistics about media and kids.

I did not fall down or spill on myself or accidentally use any inappropriate language.

If you keep the first day expectations low, you can really exceed.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Bring on the Children

Workshops are over, and it's time for the children to arrive. Let's get going kids! I'm ready for you, and I scored us some netbooks!

The school spirit and leadership group has designed t-shirts for us once again. Last year, the shirts said, "Best Year Ever." This year, they say, "Come Together."

Many of us teachers were suspicious of these t-shirts from the start. First of all, "Come Together" has a double meaning that I think many readers can infer. Also, they're golden, while our school colors are green and white. Finally, there's an "o" instead of a "0" in 2011.

This is high school, people. We have to face the possibility that the students have knowingly designed us dirty shirts. "Come shirts," my departmental colleague calls them.

And, away we go! Let's get 'er done!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Bright Light

Yesterday, I was not a Bright Light. In a meeting, I told everyone that our curriculum review would likely be a "miserable disaster."

Some people were shocked by this pronouncement. Later Jackie called me a Black Hole instead of a Bright Light.

I was in a better mood in the evening when we saw Dan's girlfriend Carrie Underwood at the State Fair. That girl has pipes that no one can deny.

And, as a bonus, we also ran into blogger Gina. Her hair really did look great. We took a group photo that Dan will probably post later when I'm getting inspired at a staff meeting.