Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Today's Recap

I was awakened by storms this morning and my whining, neurotic dog. I finally had enough of the dog and put in ear plugs so I could go back to sleep. I didn't wake again until 9:30. At 9:45 Josh called me to pick him up at his friends house. (He ended up staying the night last night) After that I read blogs, surfed the web, and watched t.v. while sitting in my recliner. At noon I made some lunch and got ready to go to band rehearsal. Went to band, came home and picked up Josh and took him to his piano lesson. After his lesson he went to a different friend's house. I came home and took a nap. I know, unnecessary, but it's summer and I can, o.k.? Then I got back on the computer and piddled around. At 6-something it was time for dinner and the hotdog buns hadn't thawed. I went to McD's for supper and brought it home. I haven't done a single productive thing today. Tommorow I am going to have to limit myself with my computer time. In my defense, however, I did spend a lot of time researching stuff for school next year and have a lot of good ideas going.
Tomorrow I 'm going to go to daily Mass and then I have to take my garage sale items to the church. After that, I'll work on the garage until it's time for band. At least that's my plans.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Josh got his permit

After our second trip to the DMV we had success! I was finally able to get hold of my dad who had my copy of Josh's certified birth certificate. We picked it up and went to the DMV. After waiting in line for about 25 minutes we finally got to the front. We had all our paperwork in order, we signed all the proper documents, and swore that we were telling the truth. I paid the five dollar fee and then Josh took his test. He missed two questions. The lady was quite impressed and said that he had a good teacher. I said that he's really just very smart. So we have his permit and we can start the actual driving. I still have to cover 26 hours of instruction and 14 hours of driving. He can officially get his license on December 2. I have six months to figure out how to get another car. When I was talking to my dad today, he said that if his finances get in order and his girlfriend's house sells, then he might help me out in getting a car. That would be nice, but I'm not going to hold my breath.
I continued to get more work done on my website and am happy with it so far. It's not anything spectacular, but at least I did it myself. I have to get some work done tomorrow and plan to focus on the garage so I can get rid my garage sale items. I also want to start some walking or other exercise as well. I certainly need it. I forgot about summer band. Josh and I will start going tomorrow. We're also going to do some practice driving and maybe he can drive to his piano lesson. I should probably go to bed soon but I have to wait for Josh to call at midnight so I can pick him up. It will be so nice when he has a license!

I am a genius

O.k. maybe I am stretching the truth a bit, but I love it when I figure out something all by myself. I have been working on updating my personal website. I have an account through yahoo and have used their sitebuilder software to work on it which is generally easy but fairly limited. When I ordered my new laptop, I also ordered the complete Microsoft package separately. One of the good things about being a teacher is the discounts you can get on software. In order to update our websites at school, we have to use Front Page so I got the software so I can work on the websites from home. Today as I was working on my personal website, I decided I wanted a photo gallery which I could do in front page, but not my yahoo sitebuilder. But I couldn't figure out how to upload a front page file into my site. Opening the files created in FP in sitebuilder didn't work. But through my determination, I eventually got the answers on the yahoo website and made it work. So now I don't know if I'm going to keep designing in both platforms or perhaps transfer all my sitebuilder work into front page. I haven't decided, but I am excited about the possibilities now.

Oh, and another thing I did was unclog my drain yesterday. I also did three loads of laundry and a load of dishes. I am slowly getting things accomplished around here. But it is very slow going. I'm not in any rush right now. I will probably spend today working on more web page updates. I also have to hunt down my dad and get Josh's official birth certificate so I can take him back to the DMV to get his permit. If I can't find dad, it will cost $24 for a new copy and I really don't want to pay that. I also have to go turn in Josh's band camp registration. So it will be a full day around here. Maybe not exciting, but full.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Time Flies

It certainly seems to be going by faster and faster. I missed my two year anniversary of blogging which happened on May 25. I have to thank Patrick for this medium because it has been a great source of friends and therapy. I admit that I have possibly become a little addicted to the internet blogging thing. I find myself dissappointed when my fellow bloggers haven't updated! But I know that I have done that myself and gone for days without posting when life gets busy or when I just don't have anything to say. I worked on updating my links on my side bar. I got rid of the outdated links and have added a few new ones that should have been listed for a while. I don't have my friend Summer's site listed any longer for her sake of anonymity after being discovered. Sometimes I do worry myself about that, but then again, what does it matter if anyone else reads this? I don't think I really put anything out there that I should be ashamed about or that I would care if someone else that I know "discovered" me. I have several people that I know in real life that read this. I also have my anonymous reader from Hereford that could very well be a student, a fellow teacher or just someone in the community. I have no idea, but it doesn't bother me. I am actually flattered that they seem to be reading fairly regularly.
I am going to start a journaling workshop soon and though I may post some things here, if they get too personal, then I might post in another place. But in any case, I appreciate all those that read regularly. If you do, and I haven't posted a link to your blog, just let me know and I'll update it again. At least now that summer is here I have the time to do those kinds of things.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

One Question

Because I participated in another blog by asking a question of someone I am obligated to do the same thing here. But I may bend the rules a bit. You may ask me anything you want and I will answer it honestly. However, if the topic is something that I would deem inappropriate, then I may choose not to answer and delete the comment. Given my profession and the fact that I don't know everyone that reads this blog, I have to be mindful of that.

So anyone game? Ask away!

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Now what?

I planned to sleep in this morning, but was wide awake at 7:00. I stayed in bed until 8:00. I haven't done anything really. I've spent the morning sitting in my recliner with my laptop in my lap and watching movies. A part of me thinks I should feel a little guilty because there are things that do need to be done, but there's time. I have big plans of course. Aside from the typical house cleaning and laundry that always needs to be done, I have a few more things on my summer agenda. I'd like to get my yards cleaned up. Hopefully I can borrow my brother's weed eater next week. While Josh is gone to band camp I will probably redo the hall bathroom. I still have cleaning to do in the garage but thankfully I should be able to get rid of my extra garage sale items. I am going to donate them to the Church youth's garage sale next week.
So that's some of my plans, I'm just not moving very fast in getting started on them.

Friday, May 26, 2006

It's OVER!!!!!

I'm sort of officially done for the summer. I had to go in this morning to get my last signature on my sign out sheet and then had nothing to do. I verified grades at 8:30 and then I helped Mrs. H clean her room. We had a luncheon at 11:30 that lasted until 1:00 and then were free to go. I thought I was going to have to work a full day, but I was wrong. I had planned to stay in Hereford until graduation, but with six hours to kill I headed home. When I got home I was amazed to find Josh cleaning his room. Without being asked!!! Then I took a nap. I guess I really needed some sleep because I slept for 2 1/2 hours. That's almost unheard of for me lately.
At 5:30 I took Josh to the Canyon graduation since he was playing in the band. Then I drove back to Hereford for its graduation. It was unusual since it was held outside on the football field. I guess that is the only place large enough to hold the crowd. The stands were full... at least at the beginning. At my graduation from high school they announced to the crowd to hold their applause until the end. (Which was convenient for me since I was the last one alphabetically) Of course a few people in the audience didn't hold to that but it wasn't too outrageous. Graduation in Hereford is a little different. They knew better than to tell them to hold their applause. The only thing they did tell them was to stay seated during the entire ceremony so that others could see. Yeah, right. After almost every name there was shouting and yelling and those damn air horns. Whoever sold those things to parents should be stoned or something. (o.k. I'm kidding, but it was really annoying and I may be partially deaf in my left ear now.) I know it's probably a bigger deal to have a child graduate in that community, and I realize that parents are very proud, but is it necessary? Oh, let's not forget the balloons. Numerous people brought bags of balloons to release when their child's name was called. Kind of cool, but I think that is illegal or at least not enviornonmentally friendly. The ceremony lasted about 2 hours but at least it was cool temperature-wise. It looked like potential rain, but it held off. I was surprised by how many girls these days wear high heels. I guess I'm still a wimp in that regard. I never have gotten used to wearing heels of any sort.
Now that my summer break is here, I am not sure what to do with myself. I do have some plans, but for now I think I'm just going to sleep.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

What am I doing up this late you ask?

O.k. maybe you didn't ask or even care and I don't have an answer. I am really, really tired, but I am still up. It started with finishing up Josh's driving lesson information. He wanted to wait until 9:30 to start and we didn't finish until almost 11:00. Before then and shortly afterwards I was researching car information. I know what you're thinking. How can she possibly be looking at buying a car when she bitches and moans about how broke she is? Well, reality is that I have to figure out a way to get another vehicle in the next six or seven months when Josh gets his license. Right now my thinking is to get myself something new or slightly used and Josh will drive the Honda. I don't think kids should get something brand new to begin their driving experience. I need something affordable (yeah, right) and gets good gas mileage. I am hoping that with the probably stipend I'll get next year and maybe a slight raise (wishful thinking) and cutting back some expenses (like getting rid of my phone and cutting down cable) that maybe I can get something. Josh may have to find a part time job and buy his own gas and perhaps help with the insurance. And if all the planets align, venus is in retrograde and my bank doesn't laugh in my face and tell me "You're kidding, right?", then perhaps I will be able to accomplish this feat. So I figure I'll research now and see what I can maybe afford. I am so thankful for the internet. I bought my last car completely online. No haggling, just emailed then had some phone calls and made the deal. Of course I had to drive down to Dallas for it, but it was worth it.
Josh had a piano lesson this evening and his instructor (who is the choir director at Church) asked me if I was interested in singing with her during one of the masses this summer. I was taken aback by that. I again feel that I don't sing well at all. I do it because I love being part of a musical ensemble and I love worshipping the Lord in that way, but to sing a duet? In front of the congregation? I just don't know. I told her that I would feel more comfortable if we had at least another person. Maybe I'm selling myself short. I know I lack confidence. Maybe this will push me over the edge. Or maybe I will just freak out. I'll keep you informed.
Tomorrow is the last day with students. I got a great deal done today. But I forgot that we had the faculty luncheon this afternoon. Yet another reason why I need to be moved to the main building. I still feel really left out. But my room is cleaned and things are packed away. And wouldn't you know it? The big hulking server thing that has been in my room ALL YEAR that I have asked to have removed, was taken down today. Go figure. I'm not sure what I'm going to do tomorrow. I have just about everything done that can be done. I spend the afternoon organizing my computer files and backing up everything... in case the server crashes or becomes unavailable.
Well, it's waaayy past my bedtime. I was up an additional hour because I realized I needed Josh's social security card for verification tomorrow. I finally found it and now I must be off to bed. Hope everyone has a wonderful day!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The home stretch

It's finally getting close to the end. I gave two classes their tests today. I had some failures, but they were expected. I am amazed especially at seniors who failed. It's not because they aren't bright enough, it is pure laziness. I gave them many chances to turn in work. I offered multiple extra credit options. One girl that failed said that she wasn't coming back next year. I am not sure if my class was the only one she had to pass or not. But it's only half a credit. I just don't get it.
I still have so much to do. I got a great deal done today, however. It's just that several things cannot be finished until I get other work back from other people. But I should have plenty of time. We have to work on Friday and then I have to be at graduation at 7:30 p.m. That will be a long day.
I started teaching Josh his driver education materials. He wants to try to get his permit on Thursday. I'm trying to figure out how I'm going to be able to get another car. It will be really nice once he is driving, but I also think that my worrying will go up a few notches.
Have I mentioned how ready I am for summer break? It will be a short one with nationals coming up mid-June and then speech camp immediately after that. But hopefully I'll get a few things accomplished. I still don't know about my room situation at school, but I hope I'll be moving to a new room at some point this summer.
It's getting hot here. I'm trying not to run the air conditioner much because I'm afraid of the electric bill, but it is really quite miserable. I wish dad would come check the central air again. He thought it might not be as big of a deal as he originally thought. Of course he told me that two years ago and I have yet to see him check it out. He did, however, make a trip to Albuquerque to help fix my sister's pool and now her fence. Maybe when he gets back I'll speak up a bit.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Visit with Marty

It went fine. I did very well and am fine emotionally. I just wanted to get that out first. I went by his brother's house in Hereford. I walked in and sat on the couch next to Norma, his sister-in-law. We chatted a little bit and then Marty decided that he wanted to come to Canyon to eat so he followed me in his new truck to the house. We picked up Josh and went to the local restaurant and had dinner. He paid for it. I offered, but he wouldn't hear of it. Then we came back to the house and he came in to visit for a little while. He stayed for about two hours. We mostly chit-chatted back and forth about mundane things. Towards the end we talked a little bit about our relationship. I told him that it took me a while to get over him, but I did. He seemed to feel bad about it and called himself a jerk. I told him that he wasn't. I said that he wasn't perfect, but nobody is and that he really is a good guy that just needs a little work. I told him to quit beating himself up. I also told him that I was sorry for the mistakes that I made in our relationship regarding my jealousy and insecurities. He again told me that it wasn't me, but I said that I know I contributed to things and that I wanted to apologize for them. I let him know how much church has helped me and that I was praying for him.
Overall it was a very good visit and I feel good about it. I admit that I felt a small flitter in my heart just before he left and he gave me a hug. Actually two hugs. I've missed his friendship and his companionship. On my way to Hereford today I prayed for a good reunion with him and asked that I came away with a sense of peace. I have. For me to say that I no longer love him would be a lie. I still have feelings, but they just feel different. It's not that I want to rekindle things; I just want him to realize what a good man he is. I love him for the person he is... flaws and all.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Online Journaling Workshop

I promised to spread the word about a journaling worksop that is being offered by a woman that is a fantastic writer. If you are interested in participating, it should start up in June. The website is here.
You can read her blog as well. I bought her two books last year and did the first set of journaling exercises before life got busy. I am not sure how well I will do with the online thing, but am always looking for more writing inspiration.
I know I don't have a plethora of readers, but perhaps one or two of you might be interested... or at least just check it out.

Tonight I'm going out to dinner (well dessert for me since I already had dinner) with my family. I will finally get to meet my brother's girlfriend. I better go get ready and try to make myself somewhat presentable after a long day at work.

Easter Vigil Pics

From L to R: Mary (our choir director), Josh, Me, Paul (Mary's husband)

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Now I have some things to tell

First of all, Marty called. Well, he called my cell phone and left a message. He's back in the mainland in Albuquerque right now. He will be coming through Hereford this weekend to see his brother. I called him back after the banquet this evening. We'll probably get together briefly at some point while he's here. I do have his box of things to give back to him. And before you start letting your mind wander about my feelings and all of that, let me tell you that I'm over him. I didn't get weepy talking to him. It was all rather matter of fact. I think it was the last time I talked to him on the phone when he was still in Alaska that I finally "got it." So no worries, o.k.? I have no hopes of rekindling anything, nor do I want to. I finally realize that he was probably just a stepping stone... or perhaps a boulder that I had to climb over, but I have finally been able to move on.

Next on my agenda is my future. I guess I'm just in one of those moods or something that gets me pondering. (And I was pondering long before Marty had called so it has nothing to do with him nor does it have to do with men at all.)

I am 36 years old and I am still wondering what I want to be when I grow up. I know that sounds strange, but I am just thinking if I am where I am supposed to be. O.k. I know this doesn't make sense because a part of me knows that right at this moment I am in the job I'm supposed to be and all of that, but I wonder if teaching is what I'm really called to do. I mean, it is o.k. Some days are wonderful, some days are not so great... but that goes with the territory and with most jobs. But I have to admit, it really isn't my passion. I do have some wonderful moments in teaching and for the most part it has been enjoyable, especially when it comes to the speech team, but I just don't know if this what I'm to do in the long run. I still have those what-if thoughts about other possibilities. I looked again today at the University of North Texas site and getting my librarian certification. It really seems so impossible. It would cost almost $10,000 when all is said and done and if I ended up becoming a librarian, I would most likely be taking a pay cut when starting out. I still don't know if that would make me happier. I do love books and all the technology involved, but when I look at my librarian all I see is a constant solving of technological issues. Which isn't bad, per se, but I would rather be able to do more than just troubleshoot computer and equipment issues. But that's where the field is going, librarians are really becoming trained in computers and equipment more than in the knowledge of books.
So then I ponder perhaps just simply getting my masters in communication at the local college. But what would I do with it? I guess I could eventually teach at the college level which would probably be better than high school. But then I start wondering if the field of education really where I'm supposed to be.
I admit that I majored in education because I really couldn't figure out anything else to do. Yeah, the summer off was appealing and I was inspired by some of my former teachers, but I chose it because I realized I didn't have the head or heart for music business. The problem with college is that it is at a time when most people are too young to really know what their passion is. I'm still trying to figure mine out and I already hold a degree. Maybe one of these days before I'm 80 years old I will figure it all out.

Made it Thursday

I'm sorry for the lack of posts. It's not that I've been busy, but I really haven't had much to say. This has been the longest school week EVER. I am wondering if it is ever going to end. It is amazing how many students are now worried at the last minute about their grades. They want to know what they can do to bring it up. I offered extra credit last week and only one person took me up on it. I don't know if I should just be a hard ass and tell them "Too bad." But you know me, I'm a softy and I told them if they can present a persuasive speech on Monday that whatever grade they get on it will replace their lowest grade. I'm doubtful that anyone will actually present the speeches, so I'm not too worried.
Tonight is the banquet for the speech team. We'll be going to K-Bob's for dinner. It's a steakhouse and a steak is sounding really good right now. I am hoping that I will be able to get home in time for CSI though.
I am just ready for school to be out. I'm ready to sleep in and get some things done around my house. I don't want to grade more papers. (Though I am caught with my grades at the moment) Maybe I'll even do some yard work or something this year. (We can always hope.)
And that's my life at the moment, such as it is.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Monday, Monday

It feels like half the week is gone, but I realize it is still only Monday. I actually got to school early this morning. I had to run by the bank to quickly deposits checks so that I wouldn't be overdrawn. By my calculations I shouldn't have been, but I've been know to be forgetful once in a while. But money is there and all is good for the moment. Of course nobody showed up for their detentions this morning. I figured as much with it being Monday. I got my semester test finished and it's ready to be printed... if only I had a printer that worked. I'm not sure what it is this year, but I have had the worst luck with my printer. First it had a problem with the print tray and it had to be picked up and fixed and later returned. Then it worked great for a while. Then over the Christmas break something happened to it and the network card was damaged. (I'm thinking perhaps custodial staff tried to move things for cleaning and didn't unhook the cord... but not certain.) So a new card was ordered sometime in January, but it wouldn't arrive until March. So I moved it in to my office and connected it directly to my computer which worked well, unless anyone (like the print shop next door) else wanted to print to it. Finally in April the network card arrived and it was installed quickly, but I still couldn't print. I had to wait on administration to network it from there. I have no idea as to why I'm still waiting. Played email tag last week and then today a student was sent to make sure everything was plugged in correctly... which it was. So I don't know. I have my little personal printer which is getting me by, but it's getting low on ink. O.k. I'm tired of writing about my printing issues just as much as you are tired of reading about them.
So my classes were in the library/lab today. They are working on group projects where they have to plan a panel discussion. They have to choose some kind of problem in the world and figure out a solution for it. When I first was going to plan groups, I was going to have them be diverse with some good, some mediocre and some bad kids in each group. But then I talked to my wise mentor and she said that she didn't put her groups together that way. She put all the bad ones together and they have to fend for themselves rather skating by on the tails of those that actually do the work. I thought that was brilliant. So that's what I did. It seems to be working out pretty well and they are doing about as expected. The good groups are doing well and the others are... well, I'll be impressed if they speak for two minutes tops.
I am so ready for school to be out. I really did not want to get up this morning. I am ready to have my summer of sleeping in. It's going to be another slightly busy week. Our speech banquet is this Thursday and on Sunday I'm singing in choir at Church and then have to go back to Hereford for a UIL recognition thing.
I tried to get some work done in my room at school today but I'm not sure what I should do. I still have no idea if I am going to be moved next year, if I should pack my things before school is out or what.
Josh's band concert was tonight. I still get emotional at these things. I will probably be bawling his senior year. Now I'm going to go veg for about an hour and then get ready for bed. Perhaps a bloody mary will help me get a good night's sleep. At least last night I didn't have tornado dreams.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

A dry spell

I don't know what to write about, but I feel I should write something. I have started a couple of blog entries but I just can't seem to finish them. I am probably disappointing my readers, but I guess they might move on to greener pastures. So I'll just tell you about my day.
It started way to early for a Saturday. Granted the last several weekends I've had early days of speech tournaments and today was going to be a blessed event of sleeping in. Well, my former boss called me a few days ago asking me if I would be willing to help him with a job this weekend. Since I am always in need of money I couldn't turn it down. Josh went and helped today as well. We stickered yearbooks for a local school that had a controversial picture in it. (Don't ask) It took a little over four hours and we were paid $100 each. I would say it was well worth it. He also took us to lunch afterwards. I didn't sleep well last night for some reason. I had a tornado dream and a fire dream that were both quite strange. The fire dream was scary and it woke me up in a bit of state of fear. So after lunch was over, I came home and took a nap for about three hours. That is why I am still up right now. I should go to bed soon since I'm singing in the choir in the morning and have to be there by 8:00. I don't even have anything to wear.
Then tonight I started watching a movie and a friend of mine called. He is a guy that I met in theatre a couple of years ago. He and his wife moved to Michigan so they could go to school and he comes back in the summers to work on the house they still have here and are trying to sell. It turns out another group of people that were involved in theatre as well moved in to a house just around the corner from me. He was over there at a party and they came over here to get me. I took them the champagne that wasn't used last time and figured at least these people might drink it. So I went over and stayed there for about an hour. I had a little bit to drink and before you ask, no I didn't get drunk. I got a little buzz and then I headed home.
They asked me if I was interested in trying out for the summer production of Shakespeare in the Park. I'm not sure about it. Part of me wants to just to be involved in something artistic again. The problem is that typically these productions are poorly run and often more of a waste than something really special. The socialization would be nice, but I'm not sure if I will still fit in there. I really feel kind of different. I don't know. I feel kind of out of place everywhere these days. Perhaps it's just who I am. I got a letter from Prison Pete the other day. He asked an interesting question. He wondered if I thought if my intelligence tends to keep people at bay. I wasn't sure. It's not like I'm a walking encyclopedia or I speak with an "air" about me. I do use proper grammar most of the time. I'm not really quite certain why I don't have a lot of friends or relationships for that matter. But I'm tired of thinking of all of that... it's the stuff I've been contemplating off and on and haven't discovered any answers.
Now I have to figure out how I'm going to get to sleep tonight.

Friday, May 12, 2006

The band banquet

Tonight I went with Josh to the band banquet. It brought back a lot of memories. Ours (back in the day) was far shorter since we did not do senior wills when I was there, but the band directors sort of willed us things. My gift was rubberbands. I know that sounds strange, but their philosophy was that I needed them sinced I bounced from one boyfriend to the next. I dated Marty at the beginning of the year and William at the end. Gee... I did a lot of bouncing. I guess that they were amazed that I even had boyfriends or something. I do remember, however, that wonderful couch on the balcony of the band hall. Marty and I had a few makeout sessions there.
Any-who - the band banquet. What I remember about it was the fact that everyone got emotional at it, but I didn't really. I felt really kind of awkward because I wasn't crying when they played the song "Friends" by Michael W. Smith. I even recall trying to cry, but I couldn't. I'm not sure why, but I think it was because the people that I was closest to in band were all going to WT. I would continue to be with them in band and I didn't see any point in getting all emotional about it. But tonight at Josh's band banquet, they showed a video and the last segment was the same song with multiple pictures of friends in the band. I didn't cry (though I almost did when they showed the marching show again and I heard Josh playing the xylophone). But I got that feeling of melancholy because I remember those wonderful moments I had with my band friends. They are such powerful memories. Some have faded, but there's an emotion that just sticks. I have to say that the experiences I have had with band in both high school and in college have been the best days of my life. How I miss it now. Don't get me wrong, I know I have a pretty good life and I am perhaps not a great success, but in good place. But now that I'm a grown-up, I really wish I could go back to those moments sometimes. I think that one reason why Marty was such an intense rush for me was because I had that emotional connection from high school and band.
I was really proud of Josh tonight. He doesn't like to draw attention to himself and tends to be modest, but what can I say... I'm a proud parent when he gets awards and stuff. Tonight he received a plaque for making all-state band. He also "lettered" in band and received the outstanding freshman award. I am so glad that he has that fire and passion for music. I think what is wrong with a lot of kids these days is that they don't have anything that they really care about. It is sad. But you should see and hear Josh when he talks about music. There's a light in his eyes and you can't help but feel excited along with him.
It was a great night and I'm glad I went to it.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Stolen Game

Stolen from Summer who got it from someone else. Since I am not a reader of the other person's blog, I went to a random calculator to get a letter for my letter which was "K."
The task is to list 10 things with that letter that are important to you. If you want to play, comment and I'll give you a letter.

Keys - I have to have my school keys every day and I have been quite lucky this year to have not lost them yet.
Kid - My son is the light of my life and the most important person in the world to me.
Kitchen - Though it's always a mess, I need it for those times that I do cook.
Kindness - It's just nice to have every so often.
Kisses - It's been a long while, but kissing is something I indeed miss and was always important to me. And if I say so myself, I'm pretty darn good at it.
Knowledge - learning has always been important to me
Keepsakes - I'm struggling here, but I am a packrat of sorts and I like to have different kinds of memorabilia.
Knife - Well, sometimes I do have to cut things and it's important to have in that circumstance. Just so you know, I only cut things that are dead.
Ketchup - It's not all that important, but I do like it with my fries... and only my fries.
Kudos - I do thrive on postive comments from others.

Gee, K was a hard letter. Again, if you want to play along, comment and I'll provide you with a letter.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Not much to say

I don't have much to share. I get up in the mornings way too early, drive to school, teach all day, come home, figure out what to do about supper, then plan for lessons or watch t.v. and go to bed. Such is my life. I'm still just tired.

Last night a storm came through around 3 a.m. and if you remember, I have neurotic dog that freaks when there's thunder and lightning. So needless to say, I was up for a while early this morning. Luckily the storm didn't last and I probably got another hour and half of sleep before the alarm went off. I had to get to school early because I had (perhaps) students coming in to serve detentions. Out of about 20 students, three showed up. Now, don't get the wrong idea. It's not like I just write up detentions all the time. Some were from about three weeks ago that I've told them it is their last chance to serve it before it becomes an office referral. Some I've given for blatant refusal to do any work in class. If they just faked it or did a little something, I would perhaps just let it slide, but they refuse and then distract others. Other detentions were for students who misbehaved when a substitute was here. That is big no-no for me. You see, I was a substitute at one time and it was really difficult. I have no tolerance for students that act up when a sub is here. Then I gave a few detentions yesterday for students that absolutely refused to get up and speak for 30 seconds. I mean, get real. We were doing impromptu speeches. I gave them TEN minutes to think on a topic. I even let them decide their own topic rather than draw one randomly. If they didn't have a speech, I told them that they could get up and just talk for 30 seconds about ANYTHING... the weather, what they had for lunch, about their dog... and they refused. I told them it was a choice between the 30 seconds or a detention and they actually took a detention. And it's not like these kids are shy. Even the shy ones got up and made an attempt. And to top it all off, it was for bonus points to help bring up their grades (which many students need). So now, I have to write a million office referrals. One of these days I might learn my lesson. Haven't yet, but maybe soon.

I got a call from my former boss today. He has offered me a job for this weekend. He wants me to help put replacement stickers in one of his school's yearbooks. The plant made a mistake and he needs help. He will pay well so I said "sure!" Josh is also going to help and he can save that money to buy his music program that he wants.

I went to our RCIA final party/get-together this evening. We had burgers and the fixin's. It was nice to see everyone again. I really kind of miss having classes on Wednesdays. Sure, it was difficult when things got busy, but I never missed a single class until the last one. It was a nice way to keep me focused during the week. I certainly notice that I tend to get a little out of focus when I don't have class or Mass at some point.

Well, it's only 9:00 and I'm tired. Maybe I'll go to bed early tonight. Yeah, right. I don't think so either.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Something to Consider

While at the tournament this weekend, the speech coach from CHS came to me and told me that she was leaving that school and going to another. She thought that I might be interested in the position. I told her thanks for the information and I would give it some thought. At first I thought that I really couldn't give it any thought because of the commitment I made at Hereford. But I still thought about it.
Later that day she told others that I was sitting with about moving to another school and the teacher that I work with was sitting there. She told me not to get any ideas. I just played cute and said "Ideas about what?" Later she did tell me however that she would understand if I wanted to check into it. I did mention that with the gas prices the way they were and with my financial situation I wasn't sure if I could not not consider it.

So I now have a conundrum. Pardon me why I rationalize all of this out here.

I believe firmly in commitments and because of that I feel I should stay where I am. I also have a GREAT group of kids on the speech team. I would really hate to leave them because I already have a good rapport with them. Although I have a few stinkers in some of my other classes, the kids in general are pretty good. Problem is that many of them are also tend to be a bit lower in terms of intelligence and general thinking skills compared to other school districts I have encountered. However, I have come into a wonderful program that is already strong. In general the support for the team is pretty good though I still feel that there should be more financial support given the kind of success they have shown.

I am still disdained by several things where I am at now. I have no indication that I will be able to be in the main building next year. Because of the nature of the interp and debate classes, students must have better technology access and especially library access. I also would like to have some sense of belonging at the school which I don't feel that I have had this year because of my location. Sure, I adore my immediate neighbors where I am at, but that is just a couple of people. I don't even know the secreteries in the main office. The technology capability has been very limited. Although I did finally get six computers for my room, they were not connected to the main high school server so any work that a student did in a computer lab could not be accessed. The computers in my room only served as internet research vessels... and even at that, nothing could be printed because of the multitude of problems associated with the printer in my room.

One of the main thoughts that I must really consider is my financial situtation. We all know how outrageous the gas prices have become. I am no longer carpooling to work for various reasons that were all understandable with my partner. But now I am spending a lot more on gasoline by driving to and from work every day. Each day costs me almost $7 to drive there and back. That is about $35 a week or almost $150 a month. (This doesn't include the extra weekends I have to drive there to go to tournaments.) I hardly drive anywhere else except there and around town here. I now only go to Amarillo perhaps twice a month, if that. I might be able to find someone else to carpool with next year, but I will still have the same issues especially since I will start staying after school more to work with students. If I took the job in Canyon, I could greatly reduce that cost to about .60 a day and only fill up once or twice a month at most.
I am still struggling a great deal financially, even with Josh's SSI. After paying bills each month we have about $400 to buy groceries and another other incidentals. Nevermind all the other things like camp, band trips, prom, lessons, etc. I also have to consider the fact that I will have to find some way to procure a car for him next year and pay for insurance. My car will probably also be on it's last legs soon. I mean it is almost 7 years old and has over 230,000 miles on it. I don't know how I can manage all of that. Yes, I know he can get a job and help cover expenses and pay for his own gas, but that is only if having a job doesn't interfere with his grades.

Now about the potential of a job at the other school. There are some great things about working there. For one they have a brand new high school so I would have a great room and great technology. Each room has an LCD projector and computers of some sort. I am already familiar with several of the staff members because I have worked with them before or know them in other ways. Starting out, I would already have a better sense of belonging. I think that the kids in general are good kids.
I could probably get an interview since I know the personnel director for the district pretty well and have a good resume. I'm still not certain if I want to go through that process.
On the down side, I would pretty much have to start a program from scratch as it wasn't well developed to begin with. I also think the support in that program is not nearly as good as it is where I am. I am not certain about budget, but I know that they went to far fewer tournaments that we did this past year. Overall, I think the salary and stipend would be about the same. I think the health insurance would not be as good, however.

If I stay in Hereford, I should get a better stipend next year, but it won't be much. From what the other teacher told me, it is about $1200 a year which after taxes will probably only be about $75 more a month... if that. That helps a little with gas, but I would get about the same amount at the other school and would spend far less in gas which means I might be able to pay for the added insurance when Josh starts driving.

I also have to consider the idea of whether I want to teach at the same school that Josh attends AND be his speech coach. That is something that I'm not sure he or I could handle very well. I asked him about it and he said it would be weird, but not terrible.

So that is my quandry. I keep having thoughts of "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." The problem is that I am in a good situation, but it isn't perfect. I am worried, though if I go elsewhere, despite some of it's advantages I might regret it.

So those are the thoughts swirling my head at the moment. Advice is always appreciated, though not always taken.

An eventful trip

It started out easy enough. We drove halfway down on Wednesday night and finished the drive up on Thursday morning. We checked in to the hotel, then went to the check-in for the contest. After that it was close to dinner time. The hotel, amazingly enough, provided dinner as well. So we ate there to save some money so that we could eat at better places later on. The kids (my students) went and swam in the pool as the adults retired to our room. I finished my previous post about being in Austin that evening, took a shower and was in bed by 10:00. Unfortunately that was when the storms started coming through Austin. Luckily there were no tornadoes but there were straight line winds that gusted up to 92 mph. The power at our hotel went out around 10:30 p.m. That didn't bother me so much since I was already in bed. But it didn't come on in the morning either. I slept fitfully worrying about whether or not I was going to be able to wake up in time. We had to leave by 7:15 for the tournament. We asked for a 6:15 wake-up call, but we had no phones working either. I didn't set the clock since we did the wake-up call. I guess the clocks had a battery in them since it still worked, but it was too dark for me to set it. A 5:45 I finally remembered that my cell phone had an alarm so I found it and set it, but it was pointless. My student knocked on the door at 6:00 a.m. asking how she was going to iron her suit without any electricity. (We told her to do it the night before.) She took a very cold shower that morning. We got dressed in the dark. We left to go to the tournament early so we could finish getting ready there. We put on make-up in the car and my student had to find a place to dry her hair.
The tournament itself was fine. I had to judge a round of persuasive speaking. My student didn't break to finals in prose, but she did break in persuasive. After that, we took the kids shopping at a vintage store and then tried calling the hotel to find out if they had power. We couldn't get through. We also discovered that our cell phones weren't working well either. Turns out a cingular tower was damaged or something. So we decided to head to the hotel. We drove up there around 6:30 and discovered that the power was still out. We asked if they had any indication of when it might be restored and they had been told "within 24 hours." They said that we could stay there free and we were like "Yeah, right." They couldn't even help us get rooms at another hotel since they didn't have any phone service. It was amazing because the hotel next door, the convenience store in front, and the hotel across the street all had power. We tried calling other hotels using our cell phones but couldn't get through. So we decided to drive and go to the closest hotel to see if they had rooms. We went to the La Quinta across the street and fortunately, they had rooms... smoking of course, but we decided to take them because we didn't want to spend all evening driving around. They put an ozone machine in our rooms while we went out to dinner to help get rid of the smell. We left and went to a deli called Katz that had pretty decent food and incredible cheesecake for dessert. We didn't get in until about 10:30 that night and I was completely exhausted and couldn't write the post.
The next day we headed back to the tournament for the persuasive finals round. It finished around 12:30m and then we headed for lunch. We went to the awards ceremony at 3:00. The bad thing about going to ceremonies with other speech educators is the fact that they are very long-winded. It was 3:45 by the time they started announcing the winners in each category. Our student placed 6th which she expected and we left immediately afterwards. It was my turn to drive and we headed home. We made it to Shallowater and checked into a hotel. We went to Scholtzkey's for a later dinner and then went to bed. I couldn't post last night either because that hotel had no internet service.
We got up early this morning and left by 7:15. I got home shortly before 11:00 and I was able to make it to Mass at 11:15. After church we had a dinner for all the new people in the parish. I was able to meet a few new people and had a great meal of brisket and all the fixin's. So now I'm home. I'm exhausted and am seriously thinking about a nap very soon. I have another interesting post to work on and will hopefully post it later tonight or sometime tomorrow. I am thankful that I have the day off. I need the time to recuperate.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Preview of things to come

I had a full day yesterday and got back so late that I didn't have time to blog. Now I don't have much time this morning as we're heading out again soon. But I will say that it was quite an interesting night/day yesterday. The weather in Austin has been interesting to say the least. Although I thought we might be heading back today, my student made it to finals in persuasive speaking. We'll head back halfway this evening and then the other half tomorrow. At this point, I'm getting tired of hotels. It would be different if I were actually on vacation and able to really enjoy my time here, but it mostly feels like work. I am really glad that I have Monday off. I will work on a post about my interesting evening when I have time.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Here in Austin

We made it to Austin today around 1:00. We had lunch at the Macaroni Grill and it was quite yummy. It was very filling and I could use a nap, but if I lay down, I won't get up for a while.
The hotel is nice, though the room is a little small. We are heading to the UT campus shortly to register. After that, I am not sure what our plans are. Maybe take in the sites or something.

As we were driving in today I had a brief moment of melancholy. The last time I was here was a little over a year ago. I was breaking up with Marty. We drove in on the highway where you have to exit to get to his parents house. But the memory that really pervaded my thoughts was from several months before then. September 2004. I was thinking about the night that he had told me he loved me for the first time. I remember after we left the restaurant we just drove around Austin. We weren't going any place in particular, we just drove and held hands and I remember grinning and that feeling of euphoria that swept over me. Although I do believe that I am over Marty now, I am thinking if what I really missed when I no longer had him was just that feeling. Yes, he was special and I loved him. I enjoyed his company and he was a great friend. But was it him that I missed or simply the idea of what I thought we had? Perhaps it was just simply the relationship I missed. The feelings. Holding hands. Kisses. Just having someone there to talk with and share and just be. Those are the things I would like to have again, but I know that it's not going to be with him.

We had an interesting discussion about relationships on the way down here. The other sponsor is married to a man that is pretty much quite her opposite. They don't have a great deal in common, but they have been married a long time and have had a really great relationship. She said that they have never had any kind of major fight the entire time that they were married. They do have some things in common, but for the most part, they are very different. I stated that a person needs to make sure their mate shares their morals and values. You don't necessarily have to have everything in common, but that is something that is quite important. I think that was one of the problems in my marriage. We started out with some great common interests and chemistry, but the initial passion faded and what was left just didn't work. I still think that Richard is a decent guy; he just wasn't right for me as a husband. I think the same is probably true of Marty. Though I think we were more compatible and our values and morals were more similar, he still wasn't the right match. (Yes, it's easier to say that now in hindsight)
I hope to find the right person some day... or perhaps he will find me. But for now, I am content (mostly) to wait.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

It's 11:00 and I should be in bed

...but I am waiting for clothes to finish drying so I can finish packing for yet another trip. Normally I love going out of town. I love staying in hotels and eating out and seeing new sites and all that stuff. But three weekends in a row is a bit much. It wouldn't be so bad if it weren't in the middle of teaching, my house being a mess, Josh's activities and all of that. But fortunately this is the last trip for at least a whole month! I've been researching hotels in Dallas for the nationals tournament. I haven't come up with anything conclusive except that it must have free breakfast and wireless internet. (Breakfast not so much for me as it is for the others I will be traveling with.) I am also still excited about getting to ride some rollercoasters. It has been way too long for that.
Well, I'm going to check my laundry and get to bed. I have to be at school early in the morning for the umpteen detentions that I've handed out and wait for students that won't show up. Then I have to write umpteen office referrals for each of those students. It's really not worth assigning the detentions when it just means more work for me and a slap on the hand for the students.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Worn out and a frustrating day

I am really exhausted. I would love to just take a nap right now, but I have to get ready to go have my picture made for the Church Directory. I love that I will be able to have a directory of everyone in our parish. It will be nice to put names and faces together. I am just wondering if I have enough makeup so that I don't look so tragic. I would liked to have had my picture made this weekend but since I will be gone and all the times on Sunday were taken, I had no choice but to sign up for today or tomorrow. So I will get myself together and fix my hair shortly.

I was so irritated with my students today. First of all, I get a terrible report about my 4th period class. It turns out that on Friday, they felt that they didn't need to come to class on time. It was raining, you see, and they decided it was more important to play in the rain. So the secretary in the office wrote up about a dozen lunch detentions. I got on to them today and handed out another six detentions. Then in 7th period today I had the student that constantly acts up and doesn't care about anything. I gave him one detention last week and finally had enough and told him that he had another one to serve. He said that he didn't care and to go ahead and give him three. I told him that I would just write up an office referral and he said he didn't care about that either. I talked to some other teachers about him after school and they told me that the next time he acted up to have them call a police office and have a ticket issued. I didn't know that was an option. It turns out that they can issue a ticket for disrupting classes and it's an $80 fine. I may just try that and see if that works. I think having to pay an $80 fine might just do the trick. I know that I couldn't afford something like that right now.

It is days like today that make me rethink this whole teaching thing.