Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Sitting in the dark

I decided to attempt to avoid handing out candy tonight. So far it has worked. It's not that I'm stingy or anything. I did buy some candy. It's really the pain of having be interrupted from time to time to answer the door and having to deal with the dogs going nuts. I left the porch light off and have all the house lights out. The only light is from the t.v. and my laptop.

I logged into yahoo messenger for about the first time in a month. I stopped getting online after some conversations that left me simply feeling bitter. I was getting tired of having the same old conversations with the same old freaks. I didn't really miss it at all.

School was o.k. today. I am almost completely caught up with my grading. Tomorrow I'm going to clean my office. In comm. app. I did the appreciative listening activity. It's where I play 52 different styles of music for the students to listen to. Before they hear it, they mark their opinion of it and then afterwards they mark it again. They find that there are other kinds of music out there besides rap and hip-hop. Of course, most still hate the stuff I like... opera and classical, but at least I gave them a tiny exposure to it. 7th period debate was even tolerable today.

I left immediately after school today which is highly unusual. I didn't have students staying to work and since I was pretty much caught up with grading I decided I could get home early and go to the store. I waited until Josh got home (he had a clarinet lesson) and then we went to Walmart. I got a few things but need to get to United (another grocery store) to get the things that Walmart didn't have. I know a lot of people hate Walmart, but the groceries are far more affordable than the other local grocery store.

We picked up McDonald's for dinner since Josh had to be back up to school tonight to work the Halloween Happening. It is where different school groups put together activity booths for the local kids. They play games and get candy and other prizes.

I'm not sure what to do with myself tonight. I didn't have any papers to grade. I did laundry last night. I'm just enjoying sitting here in the dark with nothing to do. (Don't even ask me about cleaning my house - I'm saving that for Thanksgiving break.)

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Lunch Time Blogging

- Blogged at lunch today - but didn't have time to finish or post -

I probably should be grading papers as I eat my soup (Creamy Tomato), but I decided to blog instead. No, I don't have anything major to share, I just didn't want to grade papers any more. I'm halfway through with the debate papers. I'm grading them by reading the word files they uploaded. It's both good and bad. It saves paper, but I can't make comments on their work.

I need to find a time to talk to my principal about the library thing. I just haven't found it yet. I need to send an email and check on something before I talk to him. I need to make sure that I have to take some of the classes at a certain time and before others.

I really wish I had some chocolate right now. I don't even have any money to use in the vending machine. I was really hungry before lunch. My soup and crackers were o.k. but I need something sweet now.

- Fast Forward to Evening -

I just got back from choir rehearsal. I'm feeling a little better about singing... at least I felt better by the end of rehearsal. I just hope I'm not too exhausted on Thursday.

My dad took us to dinner tonight. We went to Feldman's and I had the chicken fried chicken covered in gravy, mashed potatoes, corn and a salad. I saved half the chicken and potatoes for lunch tomorrow. It was very yummy and I'm very glad that I didn't have to cook.

School is typical. I start getting to the point where I don't look forward to 7th period any more. It's amazing how one student can change the atmosphere of the class. Once again, the student questions the assignment I'm giving them. We're actually starting to write debate cases and because I have very specific instructions for it and what I'm looking for, he wants to know why he has to be as detailed if he's debated other cases he's written before. So I had to explain that for those that have never written a case before, it should help them write a good case that is understandable and I felt that they should all follow the same criteria.

I'm slowly getting caught up on grading. I really need to learn to give less work. Or maybe assignments that are easier to grade. I don't know.

Well, that's all the excitement here tonight. I'm watching a Monk re-run and I'm going to head to bed shortly. I need to wash my Halloween stuff for tomorrow. I have a holiday shirt and vest that I get to wear every year.

Monday, October 29, 2007

The Five Year Plan

It seems that I tend to do things in five year increments. My first teaching job lasted five years. My marriage was five years. My yearbook job was a bit of an exception as I was in it for 6 years. Now that I've returned to teaching, I think it's another five year plan. If all goes well, I could be out again in five years and going into the librarian thing. At least I hope so, I think. Today I kept thinking that I really need to get out of teaching.

I'm still having issues with the student in my debate class. Last week he made a point to say something to another student about respect making sure I was certainly within earshot, and yet he has been one of the most disrespectful students I've ever encountered. He often mutters things under his breath and at the tournament this weekend, he told one of his fellow teammates off believing something that students from another school had said that she said. Regardless of whether she had said something wrong, the better thing would have been to ask her about it rather than assuming the worst and going off on her. Problem is that I didn't witness it and now I really can't do anything about it. I feel like I have to walk on eggshells with this student.

I just have no idea what to do with my life. I think the library would be better. At least I hope so. I have to do something. I'm ready to make a change... again. Maybe it's just the restless thing again. I don't know.

I enjoyed talking to Andrew last night. We spent about an hour on the phone. It's nice to have someone to talk to.

I don't know why I even bother bringing home papers to grade. All they do is ride in my bag, sit on the chair until I put them back in the car the next morning. I don't know if it's just a block, but I can't grade papers at home. I'll try to get to school early tomorrow and get them graded.

Tomorrow I think we're going to dinner with my dad. He's in town so it will be nice to not have to cook. I also have to go to a choir rehearsal tomorrow night. Tonight I made a pork roast thing with some loaded mashed potatoes. It was good, but a little too much seasoning.

I just watched "Chuck". Now, I'm watching Heroes. I guess I'm getting into it a bit. I'm still lost, but it is kind of interesting.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Until it Hurts

One of the things mentioned in Sunday school class today was about giving back. Someone said that you shouldn't give until you feel better, but until it hurts. That's what I'm going with today. I paid $100 for a ticket to the festival. I also paid $30 for booth/table rent at the upcoming craft fair. I'm putting it in God's hands and pray that he'll provide. Groceries may be lean this month, but I have to go with what I believe I'm called to do.

My singing wasn't that great today. I felt tired and my voice was weak. Singing at 8:30 in the morning after a tournament probably isn't a good idea. I'm singing again on Thursday. It is All Saints Day and a Holy Day of Obligation. Maybe it will go better in the evening as Mass is at 7:00 p.m.

The band didn't make it to finals at their contest yesterday. They did a good show, however, and were first in their division. They headed back this morning and should have gotten in around 2:30 p.m. Josh then headed to Amarillo for orchestra rehearsal. His concert is next week.

I came home after church and made some lunch. I tried napping, but it didn't work. I had to go up to the school and put Josh's clarinets and his music in his car so he could leave for rehearsal right away. I did get some dishes done. I need to get some papers graded today. I guess I should get started on that.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Home early, but too tired to say much

I only took a small group of six today. I had several that did well, including two first place trophies (one debate, one oratory). We didn't make sweepstakes, but came in 4th place overall which I think is pretty good for such a small team. It was a busy day for me. I was in charge of handing out all the ballots. It took a lot of energy and now I'm exhausted. The tournament, however, did run on time because of my efforts which is good. We actually ended early and was able to be back in Hereford by 8:30. That includes stopping for dinner at Taco Bell.

I am now going to bed. I can barely keep my eyes open.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Alone Again

I have the evening to myself. Josh has gone to an out of town game and will be gone until sometime on Sunday. Tonight they head up to Borger. They'll get back around midnight and then immediately head to Albuquerque for a marching contest. They'll march around 9:00 a.m. tomorrow morning. I'm sure they'll be exhausted, but they couldn't change the time and just have to deal with it. I wish I could go see the show. They're going to record it and hopefully I'll be putting it on the website soon. I'll let you know if that happens.

So I'm trying to decide what to eat for dinner. I'm kind of hungry, but I have no idea what I should fix for just myself. I had Sonic for lunch because Josh ate my last frozen dinner that I was going to use for lunch. I had an interesting morning though. I sent my student out to put the extemp files in my car and he accidentally locked my keys in the trunk. I have a spare, but it was 30 miles away at home. Luckily, there's a campus officer that was able to get someone to unlock it for me. During my first conference period, I went to get a gate key for the bus barn so I could get our vehicle for the tournament tomorrow. Then I went to Walmart to get some Excedrin since I had been nursing a headache all morning. After that I picked up Sonic for lunch. I quickly made a quiz for my comm. app. classes and got most of my grading caught up. I still don't have everything done on my to-do list, but I keep making dents.

I'm going to go to bed really early tonight. I have to be in Hereford by 6:15 a.m. I got a letter in the mail today about the community band that is being put together. It will start in January. That sounds like fun. I just hope that I can fully participate in it. Rehearsals are Monday nights which should be fine, but I don't know about potential concert dates. The spring is full of activities for me. Well, I better try to figure out something for dinner. I don't know if I'll be posting tomorrow. It depends on how late I get back from the tournament. I have to sing at the early Mass on Sunday so if it's late, I'll be going straight to bed.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Fixin' to go to bed

You know I'm from Texas because I do say "fixin" I left school right at 4:00 today and then went to the bank to get cash for Josh. I came home and immediately started supper. I made a cashew chicken, but didn't use my normal recipe. It was o.k., but mine is better. I was able to sit for about an hour and then I had to head to choir rehearsal. I was there for two hours. I was tired and kept yawning. Now I'm home and I'm about to head to bed.

I did get a few things done on my list today. I graded papers. I'm not finished, but I did get caught up with my comm. app. class. I hope to be finished with everything tomorrow. I'll try to get the other things on my list finished up tomorrow. I get to wear jeans tomorrow. They're letting us since we raised $7000 for the United Way on our campus. I felt guilty in that I didn't contribute, but I just don't have a lot of extra money to spare. Well, that's enough for now... I'm going to head to bed.

Taking a break from grading papers

It's the start of my first conference period. Yes, I'm very lucky that I have two conference periods.... but believe, I usually work from the start of the first one, through lunch, and until the end of the second one. That's 2 1/2 hours of work.

I was able to get some papers graded in 1st & 2nd period. I have just a few more personal profiles to read. It is an assignment where students write a paper about themselves covering all sorts of aspects - likes/dislikes, prejudices, social situation, economic etc. They are very interesting to read and I learn a lot about my students that way. I wrote one as well and have let my students read it. I posted it in my blog in March of 2006 through several posts if you're inclined to read it. I also have quite a bit of make-up and late work to grade. I don't mind creating and giving assignments - but the grading stinks.

So here's my to-do list for today:

Grade papers
Update NFL points
Update speech website with points, tournament results and calendar
Turn in absence request for WT tournament
Research trophy prices
Create a language/nonverbal communication test
Print charade topics
Update grades in Gradespeed
Clean my office? (might be wishful thinking)
Get tournament book ready for this weekend
Turn in money to office
Hopefully eat lunch - I'm already hungry!

I'm sure there's more I could add, but that's all I can think of at the moment. I should be working on all of that right now, but I really needed a quick break. I think I also need a coke. I've needed to answer a few questions I've received in comments, so here goes:

Summer: Yes I have to buy a ticket even though I'm helping at the festival. They have like 30-40 volunteers and can't afford for them to participate without paying.

Andrew: No, I haven't heard from Marty in months. I'm sure when I'm least expecting it, he'll pop up and say hello or something, but I certainly don't hold my breath. I stopped using instant messaging almost a month ago and that's where he would usually say hello, but again... I hadn't talked to him in months.

Sherri: I've tried exercising and honestly, I just don't have the time or the energy. I know.. it's a catch-22, but it's out right now. I tried doing it this summer and then had other things to do and I just can't keep up with it enough for it to be worthwhile. I used to take an aerobic dance class I loved, but I can't afford the gas to drive to Amarillo two days a week.

Carol: (sent via email) I responded back to your email. Did you get it?

I want to thank all the people that have commented on my blog lately. I appreciate it very much! I'm trying to get back to commenting more myself... sometimes I barely have time to read blogs, so I don't always have the time to comment. Just know that if you're in my list, I read you every time you post (through google reader, so it might not show up in your stats). If you've recently started commenting and you have a blog, I do read yours as well.

Well, I should quit wasting time here and get back to work. Anyone want to help me grade some papers?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Midweek Mutterings

We like alliteration, right? Another uneventful day without getting caught up. It seems every time I take two steps forward, I go three steps back. I get a few things accomplished and six more things pop up. I'm going to start making a list of all the things that I have to keep up with as a teacher. You'd probably be amazed. Tomorrow will be a nice day, I think. My interp & debate classes will have the next two days to work on tournament material. In comm. app we're going to play charades. (We're going over nonverbal communication.) Hopefully I can get caught up on grading and my multitude of other items on my ever-growing list.

I had to stay a little while after school to listen to a student perform. I'm only taking six to a tournament this weekend. All the other kids are going to band contest. Tomorrow I have choir rehearsal. We're singing at the 8:30 Mass on Sunday. I still haven't decided if I'm going to go to the fallback festival. I want to go, but it will cost $100 for a ticket. (Another one of those things where it is more difficult to be single.) It is for a good cause and if I really had the money, I could easily justify spending it. Most years, I've been unable to go because of a tournament conflict, but it has been moved to a later weekend and I "could" go... if I cough up the money. I volunteered to help, but you still have to buy a ticket. I need to make a decision by this weekend. I'm still contemplating the idea of selling my rosaries at a craft fair. That will cost $30 for booth rent, but I would hope to earn that back after selling a few rosaries.

I brought home papers to grade, but I don't think I can concentrate on them. I'm watching Criminal Minds right now and I'll be heading to bed by 9:30 once again. That seems to be helping me... going to bed early. I'm still tired by the end of the day, but I get going in the morning better. I finally got a book I ordered through Ebay last month. Turns out that they had the wrong address. I'm going to try to start reading it tonight. I need a little bit of pleasure in my life.

Well, that's all I have to report. I'm going to enjoy my show, play a game of scrabble, and read a little bit before hitting the sack.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Tuesday Title

I can't think of anything witty to write as a title to this post. It's the same old stuff. I got to school a little earlier than usual. I spent time getting my lesson ready for comm. app. I have a lot of extra things I would like to get done like updating the coaching speech website and do some extra research. I'd also like more time to really plan and prepare my lesson plans. Just wishful thinking at this point. Tonight I have homework to do. My students have spent several days answering questions over the LD debate topic on plea bargaining and I need to answer the questions myself for discussion.

I stayed after school for about an hour and half working on lessons again. I came home and made dinner and now I'm trying to talk myself into actually doing my homework. Right now I'm watching Blazing Saddles on t.v. Last night I went to bed by 9:30 and I felt like I finally got enough sleep. I was awake at 5:30 but didn't get up until 6:00. I'm going to try to get to bed around the same time.

I don't have much more to share. It's just another dull day.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Pardon the Pity Party

I thought about deleting yesterday's post, but I figured oh well... that's what I was feeling in that moment. At least those moments don't last long. I've been in far worse states so I can't complain too loudly.

I don't know what to talk about today. School was o.k. I had a parent/student meeting today. It went fine (at least my assistant principal and I thought so). But it is just another reason to get my graduate degree. I'm still behind on school stuff. I wasn't surprised by my principal stopping by to visit my 7th period this afternoon. I actually anticipated it.

Tonight I went with Josh to school for an induction ceremony for National Honor Society. I'm glad that he's part of it even if it is in name only. It looks good on transcripts and such. I'm really tired tonight. I don't know why I'm tired all the time. I really need some time to just play catch up. I'd love to take a day off from school, but I need to save up those days for the time I hope to take for going to UNT in the summer.

I brought home work that I'm certain I'm not going to touch. I'm going to watch t.v. and I'll be in bed by 9:30 I hope. The weather has turned cold here. We're expecting our first freeze tonight. I had to break down and turn on the heater yesterday. I think it's supposed to warm up by the end of the week, though. I have another speech tournament this weekend. I'm also singing in choir on Sunday. I guess there's no rest for the weary.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

I feel surge of anger coming on

I guess it's just one of those days. I can't explain it really. I feel a bit emotional today and I don't like it. I think it started in Sunday school class. I opened my big mouth complaining about my single status. You see we're discussing our "calling" of sorts and according to John Paul the II's Theology of the Body we're called to a state of either marriage or celibacy. I don't have a problem with that. I'm currently living in a very celibate and chaste state. I still don't like being single so I'm wondering what is in store for me. I'm upset that as a single person I get overlooked within the church. There's all sorts of programs for couples to participate in. If you're part of a family, you are often invited to carry the gifts up to the alter. Most of our adult class discussions are focused on people that are married. There's really not enough single people within our parish to warrant any kind of singles group. It was suggested today that perhaps there should be something organized within the diocese. Well, there's nothing out there either. I don't have the time or capability of putting something together. So I guess I'm left with nothing. And it's not really a matter of not having someone to date... it's a matter of being alone.

I went to see Josh in the musical again today. I was looking forward to it being over so that I might actually see him again. I was planning to make fajitas for dinner. Turns out he is going out with the cast to eat at Chili's. So I'm here alone wondering what to do about supper. Alone.

You know ever since I made the decision to get involved in church again, to make a commitment to God and to live a chaste life, I haven't had a date. I often wonder if perhaps it is my punishment for living such a sinful life for so many years. I know that some people only see God as being benevolent, loving and forgiving; but it's hard to let go of the thought maybe it's simply what I deserve. As bad as my marriage was, at least I had someone to talk to. When I would come home after a bad day, Richard was at least always there to listen. Now I don't have anyone. I don't know what I'd do if I didn't have blogging. Being able to read about other people that I consider to be my friends and have them comment on my blog makes it more bearable.

I know all the same old lines.... if you quit looking, prince charming will show up. You have to be happy with yourself before you can find happiness in another. Be patient. Pray about it. I KNOW ALL THIS. I do pray about it. I'm just sick of it right now. And tired. I'm really just tired.

Sorry about the rant. I'll get over it by tomorrow. I have to. I can't dwell on it. But today is just hitting me hard. Yes, I know I have a lot of good things going on in my life. I don't mean to sound ungrateful. I just feel very alone despite all appearances.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

A Successful Day

I am actually back from the tournament believe it or not. They accelerated the schedule which allowed us to have awards around 5:30 instead of 8:00 tonight. My students did well. I have one student now qualified for TFA state. Amazingly, it is the student that wanted out of the class. I am working on a possible solution to that and hope to offer an incentive to class in exchange for giving them class time to work on contest materials. I'm also going to send the student that qualified a little gift and a note hoping to call a sort of "truce" between us.

Unfortunately no other events had enough entries to earn any qualifying points. I had several students do well, however, and the team won first place sweepstakes overall. My plan for this next six weeks is to give students two days a week to devote to working on their TFA qualifying events rather than class materials. They will have to sign a contract and work on at least two events. Those choosing not to work on extra events will have earlier deadlines on classwork and potentially extra class assignments. I think it's a fair deal for all. We need to have more people entered in events to help with the numbers and the students need extra time to work on the material.

I'm really tired. I didn't sleep well last night and had to get up way too early. I'll be in bed before 10:00 tonight, I'm sure. I'm trying to decide if I want to make myself something for supper or not. I'm almost too tired to eat.

Friday, October 19, 2007

From a completely biased mother

My son is amazing. I just got home from the musical and I am still in awe. He didn't have a huge part, but it was a pretty major one playing Maurice, Belle's father, in the musical Beauty and the Beast. He was a very convincing old man and did an excellent job acting. Of course I'm totally biased, but my friends that were with me said the same thing as well. His singing was pretty good as well. He started a little off, but got back on quickly and did a great job of it. I had planned to only come tonight, but I will probably go back and see the show again on Sunday. I am totally proud of him and I can't believe that I am such a lucky mother to have such an amazing child.

Well, this has to be a short post. I have to get up very early tomorrow and leave for Hereford by 5:30 a.m. It will be a long day. I am appreciating all the comments and words of encouragement. I'm determined to see this graduate degree through. Well... off to la-la land.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

So, in other news

I shipped my clarinet off yesterday to be overhauled. It was kind of scary for me and I was/am a bit nervous about it. I insured it for $800 which is what was originally paid for it. I hope everything goes well and it is like new when I get it back. I'm very excited about it, but I didn't realize it would be so hard to part with it. It's not like I play it all the time, but it is very special to me.

I also got a nice surprise today. I've been participating in Harris Polls for several years now. Every time I participate in one, I get points. The points add up and eventually you can trade them in for things. Of course it takes about three years for me to save up enough for something decent, but it's nice to get things for free. A few years ago, I got the "A Christmas Story" DVD. Recently I cashed in points again, and I got a free iron. It's nothing major, but it's still free. I've needed a new iron for a while, but it hasn't been something that's been a priority. So I think it's pretty cool to get a nice surprise like that.

I printed out a bunch of information regarding the process of applying to graduate school and getting my degree. I've started working on an essay that I have to submit with my application. My timeline (I hope) is to take the GRE in December and apply in January. If all goes well, I can start this summer. There is one major hurdle, however. I have to spend a week on campus this summer and the dates conflict with our last week of school. I'm going to have to talk to my principal and see if I'll be able to take the days off. I would actually only miss 3 days. I hope that this isn't all talk on my part. I've really got to do it.

Tomorrow is an early dismissal from school. There's an out of town game that is pretty far so the whole school gets out at 2:45. That's good since I am going to dinner with friends and then we're going to see Josh in the musical. Well, CSI is about to come on so I'm going to go watch it and then go to bed.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Sometimes you just need a push

It is days like today that make me realize that I'm probably not cut out for teaching in the long term and now I'm determined to get my library certification come hell or high water. No, it's not anything terrible or horrible, but just enough to make me realize that this isn't truly my passion. So I'm going to go forward with my plans to get into graduate school. I appreciate all your encouragement; it has been a huge factor in this and has helped me a great deal.

But back to today. I have a student that wants to get out of my debate class. I said something about it to another class, they asked why and I gave a brief answer stating that it might be because I'm making him work this year. I shouldn't have said that because it got back to the student which just made things worse. He asked me about it today and I apologized for it but he still wanted to go talk to the assistant principal. I let him go. After class the assistant principal talked to me about what the student said, and luckily, the principal is siding with me and told the student that he needed to suck it up and if he wanted to continue to compete at tournaments, he had to stay in the class.

I'm not going to go into details about the issues with this student, but it is situations like this that make teaching not seem worthwhile. I don't care whether every student likes me, but when they question my authority and how I'm teaching the class, it's frustrating. The students can talk all they want and we have to bite our tongue.

I hope I'm making the right decision to focus on library science. Again, my ultimate dream would be to become a music librarian... but that would take a lot more than I can put into it right now. I think that if I at least get my masters and school certification, I should be able to add to it later. I think that the library suits me better as a career since I have a passion for technology & research, I like working in schools (mostly), and it would take care of the things I hate about teaching like lesson plans, dealing with parents, and all the extra burdens put on teachers.

I may need to give this more thought and make sure before I invest a lot of time and money. It will cost me probably over $10,000 to get my degree. If I go full time, I'll need to take 9 hours a semester except in the summer. If I do that, I'll have my degree by the end of 2009. I've talked to the librarian at my school and she is qualified as a mentor and agreed to work with me. She's also planning to retire in 3 years so that would be perfect timing assuming they would let me fill the position. Even if they didn't, I could probably get a position within the district. And who knows... I don't where all this will lead me but it could open other possibilities.

So any advice? Any opinions? All suggestions welcome.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Not much of an update

I picked up dinner at Wendy's since I didn't have time to cook before Josh had to be at rehearsal tonight. They messed up my order, but I'm too tired to send another complaint email. I heard from McDonald's corporate over my last one but all they said is that they forwarded the information to the local store and I haven't heard another word since.

I am relieved that my aunt and uncle aren't coming this weekend. I was wondering how I was going to get the house ready. I brought papers home to grade, but I didn't touch them. I did make progress on quite a bit of them at school today. I also got some books and other supplies ordered. I also saved a lot of my materials to put up on the coaching speech website. I spent time updating it this evening. I didn't quite get finished, but I'm tired and I'm going to head to bed very shortly.

Monday, October 15, 2007

The start of a very long week

I have a million things to do. I brought a ton of papers home to grade. I only made a small dent. I did do some laundry and the dishes, however. I have a new show I'm watching on Monday nights called "Chuck". It comes on before Heroes which Josh records every week since he has had rehearsal every night. I watched it, graded powerpoint presentations, updated websites and now it's getting close to bed time.

I don't know why, but I just can't get papers graded at home. I guess I will devote most of the day to it tomorrow. Most of my students will simply be working on other projects. I did get my students started on Moodle today. I think I finally got the hang of it and it's pretty cool. It's a program that allows for students to complete and submit projects via the web.

To answer Mago's question - The GRE stands for Graduate Record Exam. It is a test that I have to take before I can get into graduate school.

Well, I'm off to bed.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

No breaks until Thanksgiving

It's going to be crazy around here. I am trying to get some cleaning done today since my aunt and uncle may be coming next weekend to see Josh in the school musical. I cleaned out my shed in the back yard so that I could move Josh's old bed in there as well as my extra couch that I don't use. Unfortunately, the couch won't fit through the back door because of the dog door that was installed. Now I'm at a loss as to what to do with it. There's no room in the garage if I want to keep parking my car in there. I need to get it out of the living room so I can get rid of the last of the carpet that is still down.

This morning I went to church and then I came home briefly until I had to go to the store. I got just a few things to get us by until Wednesday when we get money again. It's going to be another month of barely scraping by. I still have to pay the rest of Josh's symphony tuition and I'd like to be able to participate in our church's fallback festival but the tickets are $100. Although that will pay for two people, I don't have a date or anyone to split the cost with me. I've signed up to help, but that's only if I am able to buy a ticket to go. There's a craft fair coming up in November that I thought about renting a space for and selling my rosaries. Do you think they'd sell? That might give me the money I need for Christmas, Josh's birthday or the GRE test.

Next weekend I'll be watching Josh in the musical on Friday and then go to a speech tournament on Saturday. The following Saturday will be another speech tournament. The first weekend in November will be the fallback festival and Josh's symphony concert. The following weekend will be my birthday, another speech tournament, and the craft fair. The next weekend after that is another speech tournament. I've also signed up to sing as part of the Diocesan choir again and we'll have a concert the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. I've promised to go to Albuquerque for Thanksgiving as long as Josh doesn't have a game to go to.

I guess it's still good to be busy. I really need to get my house clean before all this starts. I should stop wasting time on the computer and get back to work.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Marching Contest Again

It was lovely to sleep in today. I went to bed between 10 and 11 last night and slept until sometime after 8 this morning. I piddled around this morning on the computer and watching t.v. I took a shower and got ready to go this afternoon and left for the contest around 2:45. I watched all the 3A bands march. Josh's band was the only one in their class to receive a first division. Their show was good, but the had some issues with the wind. Their Vegas backdrop fell down and their giant 16 foot blow up Godzilla was a little difficult to control. Other than that, the show was really good. It was cleverly done and really fun for the band. I took a couple of pictures until my camera stopped working. I can't figure what is wrong with it. I have a feeling it just might have given up. I've had it for over five years now. It may be time to get a new one. If that's the case, it will be a while.

I went to dinner during the break and then came back to watch the rest of the bands in the contest. I saw several people there that I knew and sat with one of my former students that showed up. My former college band director mentioned that he's putting together a community band and that I should come play in it. I think that would be awesome. I am shipping my clarinet off next week to have it overhauled. It will be gone probably 3-4 weeks total. It will cost $375 but luckily the anonymous donor will be paying for it.

I am doing some research on the possibility of graduate school. It is almost overwhelming right now. I can't decide if I should go ahead and try for it and perhaps start next fall or if I should wait until after Josh starts college. I need to take the GRE but it will cost $140. I then need to apply to a graduate school which will cost $50. Then there's the cost of tuition and such should it come to fruition. (oooh... that rhymes.) There's not much in the way of scholarships or grant money available for graduate students unless you become a teaching assistant, graduate assistant or do work study. (Those options are out) So my only option would be to get a student loan. I'm not sure that will happen given my credit history (thanks to my ex-husband). But if I don't try, I won't know if any of it is possible. Although teaching is o.k. right now, I still think it's not what I want to do for the rest of my career.

On the good news front, I've also been reading the FASFA information regarding financial aid for Josh when he goes to college. I think that if I'm reading things correctly, that because Josh is getting SSI benefits right now that our EFC (expected family contribution) is automatically zero regardless of how much money I make. Hopefully that will mean that Josh can get most of his college paid for. If that is the case, then perhaps I can afford to do graduate school. If I do happen to qualify for a Perkins or Stafford loan, then I wouldn't have to start paying it back until 6 months after I get my degree. It could also be paid over a ten year period. That might actually be doable. Well, I need to do more research, but if I really want to do this, I need to get the ball rolling and start with taking the GRE.

Friday, October 12, 2007

I doubt I'll have time to post tonight

So I'm posting briefly during my lunch time today. What? No pending school work to be done? Well, yes, I still have a list and my desk is currently covered, but sometimes we all need a break. I've turned in the crucial items so I feel I'm entitled to actually eat and enjoy my lunch today instead of taking bites as I work on other materials.

Well, since Leann is the ONLY one who submitted an idea, I dub her the winner! Leann.. you need to privately email me your mailing address and tell me what your favorite color is. I didn't use her idea word for word, but I did adapt it. I came up with two more phrases and changed another one. The doors were judged this morning and I should find out at the pep rally if we placed in the top three.

Immediately after school today I have to put in an hour and a half of work as part of my obligation as a freshman class sponsor. Last year I didn't have to do it since it was during the same time as something else... like convention. I have to help fill water and tea glasses for the Freshman supper tonight. Each class hosts a supper that they use as a fundraiser.

After I'm done there, I will head home and get ready to go to the football game to see the band. They finally have all their props including a 16 ft Godzilla. I can't wait to see the show. Marching contest is tomorrow so I'll be going there as well.

I did get a little more sleep last night. I got in bed by 9:30 though I was awakened at 10:00 when Josh got home from rehearsal and I thought I heard the phone ringing (it wasn't) I felt a little more refreshed today but I still wish I could take a nap right now.

I think almost everyone in the blogging world has heard of Post Secret. If not, you really must visit the site. Yesterday, I showed my speech classes a powerpoint video of many of the postcards that have appeared on the site (all appropriate ones). I am giving them the opportunity to share their own secrets so I gave them all a postcard and an envelope telling them that they could create their own secret and turn it in anonymously. I hope they will participate, because I think there's something freeing in putting your secret out there. I've wanted to send in my own, but I've never actually done it. Maybe I will.

Well, that's all for today. By the time I get home tonight, I'll probably be too tired to post. I'm so glad that tomorrow is a Saturday that I can actually sleep in. Woo Hoo!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Needing some creativity

I think it's just because I'm so tired. Today wasn't any better in terms of feeling exhausted. I keep meaning to get to bed early, but I'm still not getting there until 10:30 or so. Getting up at 6:00 a.m. comes too early. By lunch time today I already felt tired. By the end of the day, I was struggling to function. I'm going to have to get caught up on sleep soon. I always have good intentions at least.

I did come up with an idea for a costume. I went as the Sorry! game. I hot glued the pieces to the game board and then attached it to the top and bottom boxes with shoulder straps and just wore it around my body. I did get lots of smiles and compliments on it today. Tomorrow is Maroon and White day so I will just wear my spirit shirt along with jeans. (Jeans are allowed on spirit days.)

O.k. now for my creativity needs. My 2nd period class and I have come up with our door decorating idea and after school today I started putting it up. I am in need of a few more ideas to fill a space at the bottom. Here's the door idea so far:

The title on the top of the door is "It's All in the Game" We then created phrases made from game titles. We typed the phrases and inserted pictures of the games for the special words. Here are the ones we've used so far. (CAPS are board games)

When you get into TROUBLE, don’t COVER UP; say you are SORRY.
Sometimes you have to take a RISK to reach PERFECTION.
Sometimes it takes an OPERATION to get rid of a COOTIE.
When in JEOPARDY, don’t WIG OUT. Use your CRANIUM to STAY ALIVE.
There is no such thing as EASY MONEY; EASY COME, EASY GO.
Let us not take ourselves too seriously. None of us has a MONOPOLY on wisdom.

I need one or two more ideas to fill the rest of the space on my door. Here's a great site that you can use for board game titles. I prefer to have at least two titles in the phrase. It needs to be school appropriate. It wouldn't hurt to have another one dealing with school spirit. Our team is the HERD (Hereford Whitefaces) and our opponents for this game are the Palo Duro DONS. I like the following game titles, but I can't think of anything really catchy with them: Aggravation, Domination, Backwards, Face It, Eat It, Acquire, and Knowledge. Here's the rules: It needs to be clever, use at least two or more game titles, school appropriate, and the game picture must clearly show the title to be used. So have at it. I need it by 9:00 tomorrow morning (CST). The best one will get a prize. I don't know what the prize will be yet, but I'll think of something.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Simply Worn Out

I don't know what it is, but I've been thoroughly exhausted the past few days. By the end of the school day, I can barely keep my eyes open. I'm still behind, but I'm taking all your advice and simply prioritizing. I think actually teaching my students is more important than writing my mentor letters, calling parents, and creating a syllabus.

O.k. I need some help. I have to dress up for tomorrow's spirit day and I have no idea what to wear. The "theme" is board games. I can dress up as part of one of the class themes which are "Battleship", "Mousetrap", "Candyland", or "Monopoly". Our door for my homeroom class isn't focused on one particular game, but rather a lot of them. We're creating maxims made out of game titles like "If you get in TROUBLE, always say you're SORRY." Any ideas? I don't have time to make something complex.

I was a hit with my Marvin stuff today. I didn't dress up AS Marvin, but I wore a bunch of my Marvin stuff. I had on pajama pants, a t-shirt, a long-sleeve shirt, socks, slippers, necklace, earrings and a hat. I even took my Marvin Bubble Ray gun as well. I hate to not dress up tomorrow, but I'm at a loss for ideas. If you have any, let me know ASAP.

I'm going to make a point to get to bed early tonight. I think I just need more rest. That might be some wishful thinking.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Just a Brief Post

It's been another long day where I don't feel like I accomplished anything. When I got to school this morning, I couldn't log into my computer. At lunch I discovered that someone had locked my storage room door and I don't have a key for it. Therefore, I had to skip lunch. The principal is breathing down our necks about a million things that he wants us to do in addition to actually teaching. I feel as though there's simply not enough time to do everything. I couldn't stay late since we desperately needed groceries. I shouldn't have gone to the store hungry.

This week is homecoming week so we have dress up days at school. Today was cowboy day. I wore my black jeans, a white western blouse and my red ropers. Tomorrow is super hero day. I will be paying homage to my hero, Marvin the Martian. It is past my bed time so I need to head to bed.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Papers Graded

I didn't get anything graded last night. I spent the evening working on my coaching website. I got up early this morning (early for a day off) at 8-something and started graded papers. I finished around 11:00 and then entered them in our online program. Even though we had a day off, grades had to be entered by 11:59 a.m. I finished with about a minute to spare. Actually they were done about 15 minutes before, but I forgot one student's "incomplete" until I was going back through and checking.

I didn't have anything to post yesterday. I went to church, defrosted the freezer (again), watched t.v., and worked on the website all evening. Today is probably more of the same. I may talk myself into some cleaning - after a nap. I'm getting hungry though. I need to find something to eat.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Made it back in one piece

I'm a bit tired after a long day of waiting. We had sessions/meetings until 12:30 today. We left shortly after that and went to lunch. I was starving by that time having skipped dinner the night before. We went to the Village Inn and I had a Chicken Ranch sandwich with fries. I also had 1/2 a slice of key lime pie for dessert. From there we took our rental car back and then to the airport. We got there 4 hours early. I stopped at a book store because I knew I'd need something to read. I found a very interesting book called This is Your Brain on Music. It goes into a lot of the scientific background about music but is explained in a way that most people can understand it. I read it off and on while waiting. The reading didn't go very fast because there were several things I had to re-read to understand. Around 5:30 I got some dinner since I wouldn't have another chance to eat until after I got back to Amarillo around 9:30.

Our plane left on time around 6:50, stopped in Dallas, and then got to Amarillo by 9:20. The luggage, however, took over 20 minutes before it came out on the carousel. I took the shuttle to my car and headed home a little before 10:00. My animals seemed to miss me quite a bit. Josh seemed indifferent... but he's a teenage boy and that's to be expected. He did take the bags of peanuts I saved for him.

Tomorrow I'm going to church and then grading papers. Well, it's time to call it a night.

Friday, October 05, 2007

A little tipsy and tired

It's been a long day. The sessions were good. I'm planning for a presentation again next year on building and using a website for teams and classes. The problem with the schedule today is that everything was back to back this evening that we didn't have time to even eat dinner. After the last instructional session there was an interest group meeting where we plan the sessions for next year, then the professor performance hour where some of the people in the organization perform for us. It was quite entertaining. Luckily I was able to get a cookie and coke then. After that was the 2nd business meeting for TFA and since I'm a committee member, I needed to stay... and since by the end of the meeting there were only four of us from our region, I pretty much felt obligated. It was an interesting meeting with lots of debate and discussion. I'm learning parliamentary procedure pretty well. By half way through I did decide to have a drink (since I wasn't getting supper) so I had a long island iced tea. It warmed me up quite a bit. I have to admit that I was a bit buzzed by the end of the meeting. We finally got everything voted on and adjourned around 10:30.
We could have gone out to eat afterwards, but I decided it wasn't worth it. I'm tired and I just want to go to bed. So why am I up posting? I have no idea. I guess I want to give you something to hold on to... just kidding. I probably won't be able to post tomorrow. We have meetings all morning and then we have to check out of the hotel. We'll go someplace decent for lunch and then head to the airport. Our flight doesn't leave until 6:30 and I won't get home until sometime after 10:00. I'll probably head straight to bed since I'll have church the next morning.
Well, I'm going to try to read some blogs I've missed over the past couple of days. It's amazing how fast my google reader fills up... especially when I whine and complain that nobody is writing often enough. I guess it's true that I really don't have a life most of the time.

Some Down Time

I actually have moment of down time so I thought I'd write a quick post. This morning's breakfast was decent. Of course I don't eat eggs, so it's interesting to find food, but I had some fried potatoes, bacon, sausage, pineapple, and a blueberry muffin. It was a breakfast buffet. It hit the spot pretty well, but I'm still tired this morning.

Our hotel is pretty nice. We're on the 17th floor which is really the 16th since it's one of those that omits the 13th floor out of superstition. We have decent view of downtown San Antonio but it is pretty far away. I joined the hotel's guest program in order to get the free internet access, but it has some other perks as well. I get to fill out a card and hang it on my door and they will deliver complimentary beverages in the morning along with a newspaper. Yesterday morning we had herbal tea and cranberry juice. (Though I only had time to drink the tea.) This morning we ordered cokes and saved them to drink later. (And I'm having it now as I need my caffeine fix.) This morning I went to a session on using movies in the classroom and got some good information on how to put some of the technological aspects of it together. I need to work on getting some materials for that. Again... it is something I'd love to incorporate, but I'm wondering where I'll find the time.

Some of the other coaches and people from our area keep saying that it is their mission to get me a "life" but I'm wondering what that might entail. I'm not sure what else I need to report. We have a luncheon this afternoon along with more sessions and meetings. Tomorrow our flight isn't until 6:30 so there won't be any rush to get to the airport. I am really glad that I have Monday off to recuperate. Unfortunately, I have a ton of papers to grade on Sunday and have to have my grades in by noon on Monday. It's just not a good time to be away from school in that respect. I am, however, glad to be here and I think I'll have plenty of new ideas to use.

Well, I'm off to read some blogs.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Convention Update

I've intended to post, but it's been really busy. I should be in bed right now since I have to get up early tomorrow morning to go to a free breakfast at 7:00 a.m. (I'm always for free meals even though I don't do breakfast very often.) The convention has been good so far. My presentation went well today. I got a lot of compliments on it and several wanted my materials. My website information has been passed around and so I hope that people will start going to it. I just haven't had time to update it much. I haven't had time for anything really. This morning started with sessions at 8:30 and I've been going all day. We just got out of our last meeting at 10:30 which was a TFA meeting that tends to go on and on.
Tonight we had a "Meet the Author" session and we had the poet Naomi Shahib Nye come and talk and read some of her work. It was AMAZING. She is such a talented writer. She actually read more of her prose work, but she had us laughing and crying in just a few minutes. I thoroughly enjoyed it and wished it could have lasted longer.
I didn't get dinner tonight, but we had a reception with snack foods. It was o.k. but not terribly filling. The only problem was that there wasn't any time to actually go eat dinner.
Tomorrow will be another full day. I hope that I can possibly get to a Catholic book store that is near by. Not that I have any money to spend. I am so completely broke. I have had a few drinks while here and they are expensive. I can't afford it any more. I hope I have enough for meals the rest of the trip.
Well, that's all I have for now. I've got to get to bed soon. I'll try to post tomorrow night unless I go to the Riverwalk. I am not sure if I'll do that. I guess I'll play it by ear. I'm at the mercy of the person with the car. I'm sad that I haven't been able to read others blogs today. I hope to catch up tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Just a few more hours now

I was at school until 6:30 this evening. I think I got everything ready for my sub. What a pain. I think it will be worth it. I always enjoy convention. I get a lot of good ideas that I can use in my classes.

I had an interesting dilemma when I got home today. My bedroom door was locked. And closed. And I couldn't get it. And I don't have a key for it. I'm not sure how it happened. Luckily, I was able to break into my room from the outside. (It's a little disconcerting as to how easy it was.) I have since locked my window. I got in and got the door unlocked. I'm either going to have to find the key for it or make sure it never locks again.

I got most things packed. I am sure I'm forgetting something right now. I need to remember to take my speakers for my laptop. I'm sure I've over packed, but I'd rather have too much than not enough. I'll finish packing shortly and then head to bed. I have to leave by 6:45 to get to the airport in time. I painted my toenails tonight. I'm not sure if I love it or not. They're bright red. It's different for me... but kind of sexy at the same time.

I printed boarding passes today so luckily I'm in the "A" group. I also joined the club at the hotel I'm staying at so I can get free internet access. Otherwise, I'd have to pay $10 a day. I don't know for certain if I'll be blogging while I'm there. It will depend on how busy things get and if the internet access actually works.

Well, I'm off to finish packing and to bed. Thanks for all the well-wishes today. I'll catch up with all of you later.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Just another day

Not that I'm counting, but I'm ready to get out of town for a bit. I'm getting close to being ready to go, but there's still several things I'd like to have done. I'm still waiting for printing to get back to me. I have plans made, but I still have a test to make for my debate class and some website information to put together. I made a point to get home at a decent hour today since I figured I'd be staying late tomorrow getting everything ready. Our flight is at 9-something on Wednesday.

You know, sometimes I wish that as a teacher I could just teach. It seems that there's always a lot of extra crap we have to deal with. This week our principal has decided that we have to have a syllabus for our classes. We also have to submit a teacher self-report to our evaluators for TEA. On top of lesson plans, parent contacts, mentoring 8 different students, and everything else, it's a miracle that we even have time to teach. I'm lucky in that I have two conference periods in which to get a lot of this done... but even then (along with working through my lunch), I am perpetually behind. I know I should do a lot of things at home, but honestly, I think my time at home should be my time. There are some days that I have no choice like when grades are due and such, but one of the reasons why I never assign homework to my students is because I don't like it much myself. I prefer things that I can grade fairly quickly. (But then I give those lengthy projects that take time to grade.) Oh well.

What's on the agenda this evening? Well, I made dinner of sorts. I didn't care for it much. I've caught up on reading blogs. I need to get back to the store briefly to get some things I missed. I started my laundry that I need done before I can pack. I may sit and crochet a while. I'm thinking I'll get to bed earlier tonight. I only had one coke at lunch today. This evening, I had a sprite. And that's it. Nothing too exciting.

I've been getting lots of compliments on my hair. Sorry I haven't posted a picture. I'll try to get that done one of these days. My friend Carol told me church this weekend that I shouldn't ever grow it out again. One of the assistant principals today complimented me today saying that it made my face look thinner. That's one of the things that I was hoping for. Josh is recording the show Heroes again tonight. I watched it last week and I didn't get it at all. Well, I should get to the store before it gets too late.