Friday, May 30, 2014

EQ4: 2F + 34SS - 16NC = FL

We're almost there!  This is 2 Finals, 33 Short Stories, minus 16 Narrative Comments that I've already written = Finish Line.

I skipped a couple of monomials in this little expression, most notably the remaining 48 narrative comments.  But, I'm strong and (co) efficient, and I can get it done.

In the midst of ending this year, we're also prepping for next year.  Our 6th grade Humanities team is designing some new learning spaces.  One will be a totally blank canvas, which we are modeling on the Hillbrook iLab.  The biggest difference between our space and theirs is that we won't have rolling whiteboards.  That's because most of the wall space in our room will be whiteboarded.  Our other new space is a large, traditional classroom.  I'm looking for ways to work without a teacher desk to save space and visually change the teacher-student dynamic.

Who has ideas for interesting classroom design?  I'm getting obsessed.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

EQ3: 2014(MFI) + 2OHP = OBba

This equation is a real downer.  As you can see, as a result of Massive Facial Infection of 2014  and at least two Other Health Problems, I'm Over Budget by a lot.  Do you even want to know how much I've paid out of pocket for health care since January?  I don't even care if you want to know, actually. I'm going to tell you.  It's 7,000 dollars.

This has not been a good health year for me.  Obviously.

It turns out hospital stays for massive facial infections are wicked expensive.  Lucky for me, I have health insurance and savings that I can tap into to pay for just this very type of thing.  What do people do if they have massive facial infections and neither a safety net nor insurance?  I guess they have massive debt problems?  Or they die?  This is not a just situation.  I can recognize this, even though I'm really bummed about my own seven grand.

Monday, May 26, 2014

EQ2: G + fw + 3P = MDP

It's Golf + family wiffle ball + 3 times at the Pool = Memorial Day Perfection.

I've often advocated for a new school schedule: 4 days per week, more weeks per year.  I would totally dig that.  It would be so much easier to live a balanced life.  But does anyone listen to me?  No, they do not.  Therefore, I must make the most of three-day weekends like the one I'm having now.  I've gotta say, I'm doing a good job so far.  I plan to stay the course through this evening's Bachelorette ep.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

OMG, You Guys! Husbandman = AWESOME!

Tonight was a major highlight.  Pronto and I had dinner with LH and Husbandman.  Here's the thing about Husbandman: before tonight, I have met him one time in 10 years, and that time it was for about 2 seconds.

I wasn't sure about this, but now I know it definitively: Husbandman is REAL.  And, even more important, Husbandman is AWESOME.

At dinner, Lee (she's LH) and I attacked a very important problem.  The problem is this: we have no current blogging challenge.  It's been like, a solid year since the last killer blogging challenge.

So, together with our life partners, we brainstormed possible challenges.  To be honest, Pronto was of very little help.  Dude thinks he's SO HOT because of his massive Twitter following.  #condescending #superioritycomplex #overrated.  Just kidding, Dan.  You are totally NOT overrated.  Love you so much.

ANYway, it's time for the EQUATIONS CHALLENGE.  What happened is this: Peter (he's Husbandman) suggested a numbers challenge.  Nice try, Mr. Mathematician.  Lucky for us, we morphed this into equations.  For instance, GIN + TONIC = SUBLIME.  Stuff like that.  You can totally do it.  It can be a straight sum or product or whatever it's called when you divide; or, it can be  inequalities.  For instance: Call the Midwife > Swamp People.  Hands down; no question.

Get it?  Let's do it!  Let's do it 30 times between now and the end of June.  Let's be creative.  Let's try to read and comment on each other's posts when possible.  Just be a bit supportive.  Let me know if you're in, okay?  Because IN = RADICAL, and OUT = COMPLETELY LAME. Unabashed, I'm talking right to you.

Friday, May 23, 2014

A Sunny Afternoon

Yesterday, LH of A Little Leeway visited my school.  Holy moly, was it fun.  I asked a bunch of lower school teachers if we could traipse into their classrooms and check out what they were doing, and everyone said yes.  I loved being in those rooms, and it made me wonder why I never just do that on my own - visit the peeps in my own building who are total and absolute rock stars.

Got to thinking it would be fun if LH came to my school every day.  We could be a team of blogging teachers who try our best and sometimes do really cool things.  I can pretty much guarantee it'd be a fab time.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

You Can't, You Won't

Some of my lovely students conned me into playing on their ultimate frisbee team for a recess tournament. They did this in a classic way.

"Hey, Ms. W.," they said sweetly, "will you play on our team?" 

"Oh, I don't know," I said, shaking my head.

"Please!" they persisted.  "It'll be us three, Ms. F. [my good pal], and you."

"Ms. F. already AGREED to play?" I clarified.

"Yes!" they said, encouragingly.

"Fine," I said.

Is it ANY surprise to ANYONE that they totally LIED to me?

So now, I've been playing ultimate stupid frisbee during my free recesses.  It's ridiculous.  We're in the losers' bracket, where we belong.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Savvy Day

For the second week in a row, I'm working on Saturday.  It's fine and all, but it's two Saturdays in a row.  This time, I'm headed to the World Savvy Challenge Day, where two teams from my class will compete.  It's fine and all, but it's another Saturday. 

  • My students are fun.
  • My teaching partners are fun.
  • I will probably live tweet the event
There you go.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

So Fancy

About a month in at my new school in 2011, another teacher smiled and asked me, "So, are you feeling the CRUSH?"

Um, yeah.  I'm feelin' it. The place is insane, and the expectations for teachers are crazy high.  Because of that, it's also awesome; and people are hitting the ball out of the park every single day.  Basically, you're guaranteed to be inspired.

The flip side is the CRUSH, and I often feel like I'm just racing around nonstop.  The latest force to compound this has nothing to do with school, and everything to do with not looking like a leper.

Yes!  It's time to discuss psoriasis!

To get to the light booth, I have to sprint out of my room before lunch, even before the last students have left.

"Gotta go!" I offer, waving my car keys over my shoulder.  Then, I literally run to the parking lot, drive 10 minutes to the clinic, run from the parking ramp to the elevator, curse the slow elevators, race people to the check-in desk, say NO I don't have a co-pay, and sit down to take a couple of deep breaths.  Then, the gal comes out to get me.  I fast-walk to the dressing room, whip off all my clothes, curse the confusing hospital gown, and skedaddle to the booth.

"Everything go okay last time?" the nurse wonders.

Yeah, yeah, I say.  Just turn on the lights.

I breath deeply for the 1.5 minutes in the booth, then sprint back the same way I came, remembering of course, to put my clothes back on.

Yesterday, I then sprinted to Mac's violin ensemble, sprinted to my desk to eat a little, taught a couple of classes, picked out new furniture for next year, and then raced to a faculty meeting to discuss really important work around racial equity.

CRUSH.  And, 13 more days.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Kate the Great

Self Portrait of Mac for Mothers' Day

As you may recall, I've been working with a homeopath, Michele, to try to find some balance with my psoriasis.  As far as I can tell, homeopathy is a little like therapy, in that the practitioner needs to know all about your physical and emotional history and status in order to choose the right remedies.  My first appointment was two hours long because I was providing an entire life story.  This week, it was time for my follow-up, as it's been about four weeks since I saw Michele last.

When Michele emailed to schedule it, she said, "Dear Kate" in the salutation.  This is a common error.  Kathleens can be Kates. So,  I ignored it, signed my reply "Kathleen," and moved on.  I had told Michele that I'm also KC, so she was probably confused.

Then, later, when she called to confirm my appointment, she left a message saying, "Kate, it's Michele."  Oh dear.

I worried about what to do.  Should I just be Kate with Michele?  Kate's a nice name.  I like it!  And, I wouldn't have to tell her that after hearing all of the ups and downs of my entire existence, she didn't get my name right.

Yes, I decided.  I'll just be Kate.  Kate West. Very distinguished.

But, the problem is, that's kind of silly.  Just try out a new name with one person?  And, also Michele does this Reconnective Therapy where she has to find your energy body in the universe (I know. Shut up.), and what if not knowing my actual name makes it harder for her to find me out there?!

"You're going to just have to tell Michele," I realized.  I waited until the end of my appointment, and I told her, Hey.  I thought about just not telling you this, but I'm actually not Kate.  I like Kate, but it's not my name.  She laughed really hard about my indecision about what to do and assured me that there's more to finding my energy body than just knowing my name.  But, still, she was glad I told the truth.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Ugga Mugga

Poor Mac has never really been able to watch normal children's programming. His brother, Shef, is four and a half years older than he is, so out of necessity (aka parental sanity), he's grown up watching inappropriate stuff like Harry Potter and Happy Gilmore. Oops!

But, lately, he's discovered he loves this show called Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood that he found on Netflix. Remember the puppet Daniel Tiger from Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood? It's the same Daniel, but he's animated. The show is a great riff on Mr. R., and Mac watches it every morning.

Shef doesn't care for the show. He says it's babyish.

I don't care, I say. Mac gets to choose.

UGH! says Shef.

Shhhh! I retort.

And so it goes every morning.

This morning, Shef looked at me with pitch-perfect tween exasperation.

"Stop," I said.

"But, MOM," he hissed. "This episode is CALLED, 'Prince Wednesday goes to the POTTY.'"

Fair enough, but tough. We're watching it.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The Wind and Sky

I'm not flipping done with my Summit presentation. I have to be done by tomorrow afternoon when I meet with my co-presenter. I can do it! I'm pretty sure I can do it. I don't want to do it at all.

Why do I draw this stuff out? Who's ever heard of such a dumb plan?!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Bossing the Pressure Up

I'm having a really hard time getting going on the Summit Presentation.

Omg, just START it. That's what I'm saying to myself right now.

In these types of situations, there's only one solution, and that's to set the timer. 15 minutes. Think about that presentation for FIFTEEN MINUTES.

OMG, just DO it!