Saturday, August 28, 2010

Take Me Back to the Day

My cousin Tela said that her nieces and nephews had a burial the other day for a baby chicken. That reminded me when Herbie the crab died. It was so so sad. Wes lead a prayer and we all sang Amazing Grace. Here's a little pic to show you.

R to L: Tela, Brittany, Wes, and me. I know...I'm an Amazon.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Joy will come in the morning

Two weeks ago yesterday my Paw Paw passed from this life. I knew it would come sooner than later with him battling symptoms of ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease). I just wasn't expecting it so soon. There was more I was wanting to do and say, and it just makes me sad I will never get to say them. I am, however, so glad I got to spend one-on-one time with him and Grandmother in June. What good memories I have of that visit! My favorite was when he was eating the strawberry bread I brought them, and he said, "Well, I like Zucchini bread better." He was quite a character.

Psalm 30:5 says "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." It wil be so sad not to see him anymore, but as Angel, a three year old that goes to Grandmother and Paw Paw's church said, "Paw Paw Hester is perfect now. He can walk around up there." To see death through the eyes of a child!

Then the first day of school rolls around. It makes me ill thinking about it. I have two first days of school since I'm floating between two campuses. Thursday comes. It's my day to go to the campus that houses the 9th and 10th grades. I wake up extra early so I can be prepared mentally and physically. I get to school at 7:30 (school starts at 8:40) and make sure my cart is set up. For those of you who don't know, I don't have a classroom of my own. I have a cart that I move from class to class. Nothing was going right that morning. I take my cart downstairs via the elevator because that's where my first period is. My cart got stuck in the metal part of the elevator, comes apart, and papers fall off. I want to say curse words but refrain. I can't blend in with the students.

After first period, I go down the hall to a different classroom. That period was ok too. I'm just not used to the sassiness of those kids. By this time, it's 11:45. I am starving! And then it hits me...I have one more 90 minute class to go. I don't have lunch until 1:30. I don't have time to pee or eat a snack because I've got to move this blasted cart around. I resent the cart. I want to kick the cart and spit on it. But I can't. I have a class full of students waiting on me.

I make it. I'm late because I've got to go to the 2nd floor. I hate floors. I realized I'd left my poster with my objectives and agenda on it in the previous classroom. Boob. I hate posters. The bell rings to dismiss. My legs want to cry. I want to eat and pee. I don't know what I needed more at the time. I ate or scarfed is more like it. I sat down and melted into my seat. I realized I had not sat down since I'd gotten to school at 7:30 that morning. I didn't have a chance. Usually I rest in between classes but now I have to move a cart from classroom to classroom. My legs literally ached and felt swollen. I hate aching and swelling.

Overall, it really was a good day. The kids were pretty good--no major problems. The bad part was the cart thing. I really do not have time to pee, eat a snack, or sit. This could be a problem. I am going to have to buy a stool for each classroom I guess.

Next day...Friday. Should be a wonderful day. TGIF. Think again. I am at the other campus. First block was fine. I had to wake a kid up already. They were really quiet. 2nd block--not so quiet. Plus I'm in a room where the air conditioner is extremely loud. The kids have to repeat everything. They were a bit talkative and sassy. There are some sweet ones though.

Lunch time. I forgot my lunch, and I didn't bring any money. Hungry. I hate forgetting. Luckily I brought some dried apricots to eat as a snack. 4th block...if this is what hell is like I am for sure not going. IT WAS AWFUL! I have NEVER had a problem with classroom management before. EVER! There was one student imparticular that I had a huge problem with. He kept falling asleep. After the 2nd time, I tapped him and told him to stand up. He said, "No, I'm not standing up." I told him again to stand up. He said, "No that's stupid. Leave me alone." I said that there is not backtalk in my room. He asked if he could leave. I said no. I continued teaching class. As I taught, I wrote him a short form which is a warning. I had no idea what the discipline measures were at this school. I just knew he couldn't get away with that. I told him to stay after class. We talked and I told him to never do that again, that I was calling his mother, and telling his administrator.

It was a zoo especially when the last 15 minutes of class rolled around and I realized I had nothing else for them to do. I FINISHED EARLY. What. A. Nightmare. I was spent. I could think of nothing else for them to do. I let them talk but then it escalated. I got them quiet and told them no talking for the rest of the class.

After class, I went to the other Spanish teacher and cried my eyes out. What am I doing here?? Do I really want to be this stressed out? She was so sweet and said I did the right thing. She said, "At least he didn't throw his desk at you or call you a Mother $#$@#%." It's true. That happened to her. I spoke to the administrators who have been oh so helpful to me. They said not to put up with a second of that behavior. Send them to their administrator immediately. That made me feel better too.

What really gets me is my unpreparedness for that type of situation. I should have made myself more familiar with the disciplinary procedures so that I could have dealt with that more efficiently. This has definitely helped me learn the procedures. I'm sure I will have more of these incidents. Now I will be more confident in my ability to handle them.

I'm in the right place. I will find something good and great in every student. Who knows how long it will take, but pray for me Pray that the Lord lets me find those good things and wipes away the bad images. There is teaching to do!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Tuesday's Trivia

Did you know...

...that the average porcupine has 30,000 quills???

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

It's Peach Month!!

My friends, Caroline and Sarah, rang in peach month the right way--in Nashville, AR. I love to make peach preserves, so I took the girls down with me. We left Friday morning around 8:40 which was way too early for C. I think she wanted to punch me in the face. Nevertheless, we set out on our roadtrip. I pull out cd's from way back with songs like Mmmbop, My Love is Your Love, and Mouth. Please tell me you remember the song Mouth by Merril Bainbridge. She's an Aussie. We jammed and finally pull on Old Chapel Hill Road when Caroline asked, "What is that?" She was pointing to a chicken house. SHE HAD NEVER SEEN ONE! I was shocked, and little did she know that my cousin Seth has some. That story is coming later.

As soon as we got to the house, we began peeling peaches. Poppa and Uncle Bobby were sweet enough to pick the peaches for us Friday morning, and Granny and Poppa were kind enough to come help us peel peaches. We made 9 batches of preserves. That would be 36 cups of peaches and 49.5 cups of sugar. Sounds like a sugar coma to me!

The girls also got a tour of Jamison Road. I introduced them to most of the family including the newest edition, Asher Howard. That's my cousin Ace's baby boy. The girls also got to see the infamous gravel pit where much of my childhood was spent in a make believe "Land before time" adventure. It was also the place where my brother fell off the cliff. So many stories. Then I took them to the cow graveyard. We had to cross a fence. That's something Caroline has never done before. Caroline looked at the barbed wire fence and said, "I didn't know this was going to be dangerous." She thought she was going to get Tetanus. If she only knew how many times I've had run ins with barbed wire, she'd be shocked that I was still alive.

After that, we went to Seth's chicken houses. He just got baby chickens that were two days old. There were 10,000 of them in there. The girls were amazed! It is a pretty awesome sight. Then they got the rundown of how everything worked. For those of you who know my cousin Seth, you know he is a man of few words. It was funny to hear him answering all of their questions.

Saturday night, the girls had their first gun shooting lesson...ever. We decided dressing up in era clothing would be appropriate. My mom said, "Out of all of Little Rock, you found these two girls to play dress up with you." It's true. I was very excited that I wouldn't have to play dressup all by myself.

You can't wear a civil war dress without pantaloons. Come on!

It was a very fun weekend! I think I tired them out though. Anyone else that would like to experience the magical Jamison Road, let me know. Peaches, dressup, guns, that's what I'm talking about.

Tuesday's Trivia

Did you know...
that the cardinal served as the mascot of the University of Arkansas before the Razorback hog?