Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Get Out On the Highway

I'm in the homestretch. Sadly, the homestretch means hours of reading and writing ahead. I will do this with a smile and a can-do attitude.

When it's over next Thursday, I will breathe a deep and happy sigh of relief before I attend my end-of-year picnic on Friday. I am guaranteed to have fun at the picnic. It's required.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Go Fight Win

All year, I've been pumping my advisory up for Advisory Olympics.

"Look," I told them on the first day of school, "I want us to win Advisory Olympics."

I have to admit I didn't get a lot of response to that. Something along the lines of, "meh."

Then, May rolled around, and Advisory Olympics was imminent.

"I will give you candy if you win Advisory Olympics," I said.

That time I got a little stronger response. Other kids came into my room and said they'd heard I was bribing my advisory to win the Olympics.

"That's right," I told them.

Then, Advisory Olympics for 8th graders morphed into a Kickball Tournament.

"I want to win the Kickball Tournament," I told them.

Some guys nodded dubiously. Another girl said, "Well, that's probably not going to happen."

"Don't give up," I told them. "Believe in yourselves."

"Will you give us candy if we win?"

"Yes," I said definitely.

I showed up at the Olympics Planning Meeting which bought us a first-round bye. The team we were facing in the next round was Ms. G's.

"We're facing Ms. G.," I told them. "I want to win."

"Well, that's probably not going to happen," they said. "G.'s Advisory is really athletic and tall."

"We're scrappy!" I said. They sort of shrugged.

Later Ms. G. told me her team had done a lot of strategizing and drawing diagrams on the board. It seemed like they wanted it a little more than my team, to tell you the truth.

So, what happened?!

We sort of tied. The other team was massively intense and disputed several legitimate calls, in my opinion.

Fine, we said, eventually. We actually didn't want to shout about kickball. We played a consolation round. Then, we lost our consolation round.

So, my year-long goal was dashed today. Luckily, I'm still in a great mood.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Steal Your Heart Away

Here's just a tiny cute thing that Shef does.

When you say thanks to him, like, "Hey, Shef - thanks for taking Mac on the scooter ride."

He'll just shout out, "NP." Like, over his shoulder while he's waving you off.

NP means No Problem.

Isn't that adorable?

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Because I Play Them Too

Got a great new thing: it's a trail-a-bike. Here's an image I found on the internet:

Usually, these things cost about 200 bucks, but my awesome aunt sold me her barely used one for 80. Attached it to my bike to today like a pro, and lo and behold, Mac loves it. We just ride around and he sings and chats on the back there, right behind me. We went all around the lake - a 3.5 mile ride. Shef rides in front of us, so I can keep a 20 on him without looking over my shoulder. Looking over my shoulder, it turns out, causes me to wobble while pulling the trail-a-bike. Mac pedals too. We're working together on this thing.

Later we demoed the trail-a-bike for Dan. "I love this," Mac said, as we rode past his dad, who watched in the driveway. "I'm just thinking of all the adventures we'll have."

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Past Lives Therapy

"Past Lives Therapy" is a poem by Charles Simic that one of the kids at my school recited in assembly this week. Basically, the poetry reciting blew me away with its awesomeness.

I do love that I teach 14 year-olds that want to COMPETE to recite poetry at an all-school assembly. The prize is the opportunity to recite at assembly, and yet, they really really want to do it.

The job is crazy insane busy, but it's great.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Annals of Fast Food

Here's the moral of the story: Do not get fast food for your children, especially not on the way to a sporting event.

Here's what happened:

It's the busiest day in the world. Heading straight from school to tae kwon do. Dan plans to meet us at the dojang and then ferry Shef to baseball. Mac will accompany me to my violin lesson, where I have no chance of earning a sticker. There's no time at all for dinner, so I hit the drive through at Mickey D's on the way to TKD.

Everything's fine until Mac finishes his workout, and I hand him a chocolate shake. He drinks it for awhile, then looks at me and says, "I feel sick."

"You drank too fast," I said. "You'll be okay."

But, he was not okay. In fact, he yakked all over the floor in the parental viewing area. Guh-ROSS.

I scooped it and wiped it and dabbed it out of the carpet. One of the dads went to his car and procured some wipes. I scraped the puke off of our clothes as best I could.

"Sorry," I said.

"That's... okay?" said the teachers. I changed Mac back into his unscathed shorts and t-shirt and hightailed it out of there.

Arrived at violin.

"We reek faintly of vomit," I told my violin teacher apologetically.

She took this in stride. No problem. She was totally okay with it. I played some Seitz concertos, including some very tough double-stops. My goals for next week are twofold: 1) Sticker; and 2) No puke.

Saturday, May 4, 2013


Signed up to run this funny 5K where you pass by cannons that shoot washable dye at you. Fine. Sounded good. Planned to do it with some pals.

Come to wake up this morning and it's 34 degrees with precipitation. A wintry mix. Took the dog for a walk and frowned into the spitting rain. Texted running friend Erin and said, "Hey, do you want to run or can we just go out to breakfast."

"Breakfast!" she said,

"Oh, thank The Lord," I said. Put on some jeans and combed my hair, then got worried that I'd misunderstood.

"Just to cofirm," I texted. "I'm not wearing running clothes?"

"No running clothes," she said. "Just breakfast."

I breathed a sigh of relief. "Praise Jesus," I replied.

We passed all the morons on their way to the race. They were shivering on street corners.

"I bet the dye will be like paste," Gia said.

Yeah. It would be so stupid to run.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Sneak Attack

Mac has two pairs of shoes. One fastens with velcro and features a Captain America design. The other requires tying one's laces. As such, one is practical for school, and one is not, especially as Mac can't yet actually tie his laces.

Want to guess which pair His Majesty prefers wearing?

He prefers the brown suede high tops with laces.

Want to guess which ones his teacher prefers?

Obviously the velcro, especially as boots have been necessary here in Snowtropolis all the way into May.

So, I've made a deal with him that he can wear the tie shoes to school once per week. Every day he asks if it's tie shoe day, and every day I say no; except the one day when it is. This week, however, it's been tough to find the Captain America velcro shoes in the mornings when we're leaving for school. I have no idea where they are. We have to get out the door. I let him wear the tie shoes.

Tonight in the car, he makes an admission. "I hided the Captain America shoes because I didn't want to wear them."

"You HID your shoes?" I asked.

"Yes," he said. "I didn't want to wear them."

"But that was a bad thing to do."

"I know," he said sighing, "but I wanted to wear the tie shoes."

So, you see what I'm dealing with here. It's going to be a long 14 years until college.