Saturday, October 25, 2008

Not a recession?

Forget the presidential race for a minute. Forget the slanderous comments of McCain towards others (can you see where my loyalties lie? lol) Let's talk about money. I know it's undignified. But we've got to be real. Too many people are broke.

I'm not talking about the people who have to give up their monthly trips to the spa, here. I'm talking BROKE. Almost everyone in my small circle of friends is LESS THAN a paycheck from being homeless. Juggling bills to feed their kids. Behind on student loans. Ummm. People got an education so they could live better. So much for that. They'll be in serious trouble for getting that education because wages don't cover paying college loan payments.

And I'm not talking about people who are in trouble for living beyond their means. I'm not talking about "Joe the Plumber who makes a couple hundred grand a year and isn't a plumber at all. I'm talking about hard working, dependable people who cannot pay their bills.

It's not right. We have to reprioritize. Exxon had RECORD BREAKING sales this year. (And we wonder why we were paying almost 4 bucks in gas?) I say Exxon has to give back. Fine, they don't have to pay the taxes they are supposed to. Rechannel that money. Instead of making them pay those taxes (because, come on...we all know that's not gonna happen), let's make them help the people of this country.

They should be forced to adopt communities and do what is necessary to help the people within them. They can buy some houses for people who have always rented, they can fix up the schools that are falling apart, they can set up programs to help people pay for daycare, and they can help people pay off student loans.

It's POCKET CHANGE to these corporations, folks. It wouldn't even make a dent in their profits. I say we go old school and make these corporations help PEOPLE. Get back to the way things used to be, when people helped one another. It's just not as hard as we (being the government and society) make it.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Wednesday=Get a Good Book!

This week's book recommendation is Rats Saw God by Rob Thomas (no, he's not the Rob Thomas from Matchbox 20...he is, however the Rob Thomas that writes for the new 90210).

This book is really geared for young adults (teens) but man is it worth the read! I use it in book club and the kids LOVED it. I taught it when I lived in Austin to freshman and they ate it up, too.

It's a story about fitting in and trying to figure out where you belong. It can speak to ANYONE.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Kids are the same as they used to be

You hear people (some, mind you--not all) who have been educators for a million years (and who shouldn't be anymore) say things like, "What's wrong with these kids? They didn't used to be this way!" or "Kids are so different than..."

I understand why they think this. Behaviors really are different. But kids? They're the same. They're just like you were, just like I was. The difference? Their worlds are different.

First of all, students now (even high schoolers) have NEVER lived without cell phones, internet, texting. They've had it their ENTIRE lives. Man, I remember learning how to email IN COLLEGE. And I don't feel THAT old (I'm 34).

Second of all, families are different. Divorce was becoming a big trend when I was in high school. Now it's happening SO OFTEN...or parents were never married to begin with. There are grandparents raising grandchildren, single parent homes, older siblings raising younger ones. Is there really a question of why they act differently than kids did 20 or so years ago???

Thirdly, let's face it---MEDIA! Their information is given to them the second it happens. And prime time tv? Wow. My grandfather would turn in his grave if he could hear the language used on prime time. And that started years ago...Friends (which I love) says the b word, a**, etc. all the time. And they talk about sex like it's nothing. And we wonder why our students have boundaries. When I was a kid, we did what teens do. We didn't always make good choices. People drank, smoked, had sex. *gasp!* But we sure as heck didn't talk about any of that in earshot of a teacher! These kids have no shame in saying ANYTHING, anytime, anywhere.

I get super irritated because if you get to know the kids and have a relationship with see that they really are the same. They want to be accepted by their peers, they want to do well in school, they want adults to look up to, and they want rules and limits. Are they going to TELL you that? Hell no!!!!

You have to just know it and figure out how to sneak them into accepting it!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

You know what Wednesday means!

It's book recommendation time. This week, check out The Girls by Lori Lansens.

It is the story of conjoined twins named Rose and Ruby. It is narrated by the twins themselves. It's so amazing to get their actual perspective. While it's fiction, you can't hardly believe someone could write it without having gone through it. You really get a feel for what the two girls are feeling and what their life is really like.

It also gives us a glimpse of their adoptive parents and what kind of people they were. They love the girls unconditionally and it really is moving.

Monday, October 13, 2008

A Woman's Guilt

Guilt is a huge drag. What is it that makes women (especially moms) feel so guilty all the time? Today I took a day off work. I'm super sick. I have this huge hole in my ear drum and I have to see a specialist. Had to do the CAT scan thing today. The kind where they inject you full of "contrast" (in my terms...dye). I'm one sick chick. And I don't mean sick like perverted ;)

But all day (well, the hours I was awake) I felt horrible about missing work. Never mind that I'll go back to a nightmare--having a sub. teacher is never easy. But all day, I kept thinking, "People will see me out. They will think, 'Oh she's skipping work.'"

Part of that is teaching in a small town. People really do call the superintendent if they see you in town when you should be working. Apparently, we're not allowed to be sick or take a mental health day, in the eyes of the community.

But part of it is just the guilt I put upon myself. I feel guilty that my kid is playing in a living room that is covered in toys and needs vacuumed. I feel guilty that I have to work instead of take care of my daughter. I feel guilty that I get sick. I feel guilty that I can't get everything done that is "expected" of me.

What is that? Tell me, folks. What do YOU feel guilty about? Maybe we'll all feel better if we just get it out there!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Doing for Others

On Thursdays, you know I encourage you to do for others. One of the best things you can do for others in encourage them to get a mammogram. Breast cancer is happening to women younger and younger. It's not just important for women in their 50s plus anymore. Remind every woman that's important to you!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Go Get This Book!

This week's book recommendation is for Secrecy by Belva Plain. It takes us through the journey of being attacked by someone you know. It chronicles a girl from the age of fourteen into her thirties, and how this incredible hurt helps to determine the adult that she has become. It's a must read! There's even a super big twist that surprised the heck outta me!

Monday, October 6, 2008


A BIG BIG BIG thank you to the people, both my blogger buddies and my friends from "the real world" for helping out my Student Book Club by sending us books or ways to get books.

You have no idea how much I appreciate it. The kids are so excited. We even designed t-shirts for our book club for the second year. I, of course, am loving every minute of it.

Thanks again to:





Ryan Sweeney

Rhonda Wishon

Peggy and Ryan Lundquist

Jerri Black

AEA 14

O.J. Fargo

Andrea Compton

Every single one of you TOTALLY ROCKS!!!!!!!!!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Another Clarke Homecoming

Well, my alma mater had another homecoming. We survived it. By survive, I is it some work for the teachers! (Well, those who care about kids anyway).

We had dress up days all week. I did not partake, as I feel that I should be professional looking at work. I did, however partake in Clarke Pride (wearing the good ol' maroon and white) today.

Then Thursday was Boom Night. For those of you who do not know, Boom Night is a night of class skits and other competitions. It's a big deal here. And for those of you alums who haven't been to one in a while, it's different. No more making fun of staff (good for me, bad for kids), and no more at home skit practice. We do it all during advisory time now (which means 23 minutes per day).

But the clincher is that the other things have to be done during that time. So, the majority of the class is working on the skit and the rest of us are creating indoor and outdoor decorations for those competitions.

My academic team splits up the duties. Gall and Lampe take care of the skit (thank goodness), Owens and Rowe take care of indoor decorations, Bannerman and Bell babysit the kids who won't participate, and I'm in charge of outdoor decorations.

This is a huge pain. But then Boom Night rolls around and it's actually quite fun. The men on our team grill burgers for us while the kids put up the decorations. The kids have a ball. It's like they get to legally vandalize the school. We made "Class of 2010" banners, "Clarke Pride," "Go Clarke" etc. The pictures are of some of my kids doing the decorations.

I think I got home at 11. Except for missing out on time with my own daughter, it's not a horrible night.