Sunday, August 29, 2010

Why?

Some of you may remember this picture from when I posted it last November. It was taken at my uncle's surprise 60th birthday party. It's a picture of my mother and her siblings, youngest to oldest - my Uncle Ed, my mom, my Aunt Lucy, and my Aunt Marylou.
Yesterday morning, my Aunt Marylou's husband woke up to find her sitting up on the couch, no longer alive. The past 36 hours or so have been just surreal. I'm not ready to say much more, but I do plan to post some more pictures later and probably some memories. For now I'll just say, I'll miss you so much.

Friday, August 27, 2010

And you thought I wasn't going to bore you with this anymore...

Yesterday's note:
My teacher is testing. Do not ! distract her or you will sit by the door or by her desk or by the corner. Do not talk.

Oh my hell! Don't you just love the placement of the exclamation point? This made me laugh, and feel like an ogre at the same time. It's probably obvious by this little love note that I started to DIBEL my babies yesterday afternoon. (More on that later.) It's so critical that they stay quiet while I test, because just like last year (kdg) this test is completely oral. I need to hear EXACTLY what the baby I'm testing is saying. I set them all up at centers, which we practiced the first 3 days of the week. We did some serious practice, because I knew they really needed to know what to do without interrupting me. Or, "distracting" me, as my not-at-all-secret admirer likes to say.

Here's today's note:

I love my teacher because she's cute and beautiful and she loves children. But, BUT, do not talk, talk, talk, talk, talk or she will send you to Ms. Edmond's classroom and she will send you to the office.

I love having him read his notes to me because I love to hear his inflections when he reads. I couldn't even write when he read, "But, BUUUTTT, do not talk, talk, talk, talk, talk...." I don't know what the hell he's talking about, though, when he says, "she will send you to Ms. E...." because I haven't sent anyone out of our room yet this year. I definitely have sent kids out in the past, lest I bust a foot off in some one's ass, but I haven't reached that point yet this year. Hell, it's only been 3 weeks that the kids have been there. So, maybe he's just remembering my M.O. from last year. tee hee!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

This just may have to be a daily feature...


...at least until this one decides to stop kissing up. ;-)
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Translation: My teacher loves to teach and she is mad because they are messing her stuff up! But she's really, really, really, really, really nice. But don't distract her.
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This was, again, written during centers, and during the rotation before this, the group of babies at the word building station were making a hot mess out of the letter cards, and just weren't doing what they were supposed to at the center. I spent nearly the entire rotation time with this group, trying to get them to follow the routine, and obviously, my frustration was showing. I love that he said, "don't distract her." I'm wondering if he meant 'upset'?
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I had him reread what he actually wrote, and he immediately realized that the words are out of order in that first sentence (My love to teacher....) At first, I thought maybe he was writing a poem or something to me. ;-)
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Oh, and I asked him how he knew how to spell 'because' and much to my delight, he said, "I looked on the word wall." Woo hoo!! That's EXACTLY what you're supposed to do!! This year I'm using the word wall that was left by the other teacher (because I left mine for the new kdg teacher, who promptly fucking tore it down, and threw it the fuck away!!!! Oops, next time, I'll try not to hold back so much on what I'm thinking...) and I LOVE that the other teacher put magnetic tape on the back of all her words, because the word wall is so interactive now. The babies can walk right up to it, take off the word they want to write, take it to their seat, write it, then put back. So cool!
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On that note, I'm off to Office Depot in search of magnetic tape and some other goodies, that only nerdy teachers would be excited about. I plan to do a TON of laminating tonight for a project that I've been furiously working on this week. Maybe I'll share later....

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

My new favorite author strikes again...

Mrs. L is so sweet and good and fun and she gets activites. She has spelling words and she loooves the Kids at Hope.

As I was writing down what he told me this said, I said to him, with a laugh, "Wow, there's kind of a lot of Os there in love, huh?" I know for a fact he knows how to spell it correctly. He said to me, "THAT'S because you looooove the Kids at Hope!" This kid just cracks me up!

(Kids at Hope was a program we had at the Hell-Hole during Big Cheese's last year there. We still say the Kids at Hope Pledge every morning, though - I am a Kid at Hope. I am talented, smart, and capable of success. I have dreams for the future, and I will climb to reach those goals and dreams every day.)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Hey, whatta ya know? A post about school!

The other day, some of the babies were working with white boards during centers, and one of my super stars brought this over to me. Of course, being the bitch that I am, the first thing I did was chastise him for interrupting my group. (Rule #1 of center time - DO NOT interrupt my group!)But, a few minutes later, when we were ready to switch, I told him to bring it over so I could see it.
Translation: My teacher is sweet and good, and mad, but good. She gives us new stuff, problems, math stuff. My teacher really loves to sing, sing, sing.

How smart is this kid?! The last line made me laugh out loud. Funny cuz it's true!!

I discovered a few new teacher blogs this weekend. There were a couple of 1st Grade blogs that I found particularly interesting. Mrs. Larremore over at Chalk Talk posted about these Word Helpers that she found over at Sarah Cooley's blog, First Grader...at last! I immediately set to work, making a set of my own.


I also put together a power point slide show, that I plan to show the babies tomorrow. From that, I printed out a page with all the slides, that I plan to copy for them to keep in their homework folders. This color copy will stay at my group table. I plan to make a few more to keep in some of my centers.
Look what I bought at Sam's Club!! This is the first time I decided to do something completely frivolous with my $100 supply allowance. This laminator was $99.98. It's something I've always wanted, and after the past few months of HELL, I decided it was time to treat myself to something nice. (Yes, only a nerdy teacher would think THIS is a treat. What about it?!) It came with 50 different laminating pouches; 10 ID badge pouches (complete with clips!), 10 5"x7" pouches, 10 'menu size' pouches, and 20 letter size pouches. For another $20.68, I picked up a pack of 200 additional letter size pouches.
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I quickly laminated the 6 posters I made with my Word Helpers, although I've decided to call them Reading Buddies. I can't wait to hang these up near my small group table tomorrow, and introduce them to the babies. Thanks, Sarah!

One of the "projects" I plan to make with my new laminator (woo hoo!) is dry erase "boards" for the kids to keep in their desks. This laminating film can be written on with dry erase markers, so I'm going to put a piece of cardstock in the pouch and laminate it. Oo, wait! I can put lines on one side for them to write on, and leave the other side plain for them to draw or whatever. Now I'm excited!

Oh, AND I'm even more excited about this....Pissed Off posted about these amazing Dry Erase Crayons from Crayola the other day. Hallelujah! What the hell took so long for someone to come up with these!! Do you have any idea how many markers I've had to throw away because the babies either pushed the tips in from writing too hard, or they didn't cap them correctly and they dried out? These things aren't cheap. Sure, I've bought the cheap ones from the dollar store, but they don't last.

This year, for the first time, I put dry erase markers on my supply list for parents. I decided to go with a very nontraditional list this year (you know, to go with the nontraditional grade!) and asked for dry erase markers, sanitizing wipes, index cards and hand sanitizer. The only 'supplies' I asked that the babies have are 3-5 sharpened pencils and crayons. That's it. I have scissors and glue, and I don't allow the babies to have markers. (Occasionally, we use markers for projects, but if they have them in their desks, they try to do EVERYTHING in marker, which means my desks, chairs and students also get covered in marker!) I told parents that they should have scissors and glue available at home for homework and projects, but please don't send any to school. The more they have, the more they play with. I know, I'm mean. Eh, I'm over it!

Anyway, I think if each of them had a personal dry erase board and crayon in their desk, there would be a whole lot of writing going on, not to mention the number of trees we'd be saving! (That one's for you, Suz!) I'm a little too excited about this now. I will be bringing card stock to school with me tomorrow to put in the copy machine to put the lines on one side. I'll probably bore you with the finished project later. You've been warned!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Email of the Day

Anger Management

When you occasionally have a really bad day, and you just need to take it out on someone, don't take it out on someone you know, take it out on someone you don't know, but you know deserves it.

I was sitting at my desk when I remembered a phone call I'd forgotten to make.

I found the number and dialed it.

A man answered, saying 'Hello..'

I politely said, 'This is Rick. Could I please speak with Robyn Carter?'

Suddenly a manic voice yelled out in my ear, 'Get the right f***ing number!' and the phone was slammed down on me.

I couldn't believe that anyone could be so rude.

When I tracked down Robyn's correct number to call her, I found that I had accidentally transposed the last two digits.

After hanging up with her, I decided to call the 'wrong' number again.

When the same guy answered the phone, I yelled, 'You're an asshole!' and hung up.

I wrote his number down with the word 'asshole' next to it, and put it in my desk drawer.

Every couple of weeks, when I was paying bills or had a really bad day, I'd call him up and yell, 'You're an asshole!'

It always cheered me up.

When Caller ID was introduced, I thought my therapeutic 'asshole' calling would have to stop.

So, I called his number and said, 'Hi, this is John Smith from the telephone company. I'm calling to see if you're familiar with our Caller ID Program?'

He yelled 'NO!' and slammed down the phone.

I quickly called him back and said, 'That's because you're an asshole!' and hung up.

One day I was at the store, getting ready to pull into a parking spot. Some guy in a black BMW cut me off and pulled into the spot I had patiently waited for. I hit the horn and yelled that I'd been waiting for that spot, but the idiot ignored me.

I noticed a 'For Sale ' sign in his back window, so I wrote down his number.
A couple of days later, right after calling the first asshole (I had his number on speed dial) I thought that I'd better call the BMW asshole, too.

I said, 'Is this the man with the black BMW for sale?'

He said, 'Yes, it is.'

I then asked, 'Can you tell me where I can see it?'

He said, 'Yes, I live at 34 Oak Tree Blvd., in Fairfax. It's a yellow ranch style house and the car's parked right out in front.'

I asked, 'What's your name?'

He said, 'My name is Don Hansen.'

I asked, 'When's a good time to catch you, Don?'

He said, 'I'm home every evening after five.'

I said, 'Listen, Don, can I tell you something?'

He said, 'Yes?'

I said, 'Don, you're an asshole!'

Then I hung up, and added his number to my speed dial, too.

Now, when I had a problem. I had two assholes to call.
Then I came up with an idea...

I called asshole #1.

He said, 'Hello?'

I said, 'You're an asshole!' (But I didn't hang up.)

He asked, 'Are you still there?'

I said, 'Yeah!'

He screamed, 'Stop calling me'

I said, 'Make me.'

He asked, 'Who are you?'

I said, 'My name is Don Hansen.'

He said, 'Yeah? Where do you live?'

I said, 'Asshole, I live at 34 Oak Tree Blvd., in Fairfax, a yellow ranch style home and I have a black Beamer parked in front.'

He said, 'I'm coming over right now, Don. And you had better start saying your prayers.'

I said, 'Yeah, like I'm really scared, asshole,' and hung up.

Then I called Asshole #2.

He said, 'Hello?'

I said, 'Hello, asshole,'

He yelled, 'If I ever find out who you are...'

I said, 'You'll what?'

He exclaimed, 'I'll kick your ass!'

I answered, 'Well, asshole, here's your chance. I'm coming over right now.'

Then I hung up and immediately called the police, saying that I was on my way over to 34 Oak Tree Blvd, in Fairfax, to kill my gay lover.

Then I called Channel 7 News about the gang war going down in Oak Tree Blvd. in Fairfax .

I quickly got into my car and headed over to Fairfax .

I got there just in time to watch two assholes beating the crap out of each other in front of six cop cars, an overhead news helicopter and surrounded by a news crew.

NOW I feel much better.

Anger management really does work.

Thanks, Bestest Friend! This was the first thing I read this morning, and it made me laugh out loud. What a great way to start my day.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

2 weeks down, 38 to go...

Another delightful little perk of having to change rooms this year is that my new room has no bulletin board in the hallway. Now, I know LOTS of teachers who would be thrilled about this, as it means no board to change every month (per New Principal's orders), but I, for one, am pissed about this. Most of you probably know that I LOVE to put boards together, and I love to display my babies creative masterpieces, as well as their academic work.

All I have now are some "splotches" of wall in the hallway. I have a huge radiator outside my door, which doesn't allow for a bulletin board to be hung there. I have a little bit of room above the radiator, and some room next to it, which I've decided will have to serve as my "board." Today, I put some papers up in the hall that my babies made in preparation for open house. The pictures aren't the best, but you should be able to click on them for a close up.

The babies and I brainstormed for a couple of afternoons to come up with a list of describing words for every letter of the alphabet. On the third afternoon, I made them a 'practice' paper with their name written down the side, and they needed to pick one word for each letter that they thought described them. Now, I've seen older kids do this, and they were obviously much more successful. They could actually give some serious thought about what words they wanted to use to accurately describe themselves. My babies, on the other hand, just randomly picked words off the list for each letter. Nevertheless, the finished projects turned out pretty cute. I made them each a 'good' paper, with their names spelled out in stickers, and then they copied their words from their 'practice' paper. Then, they were to draw a picture of themselves at the bottom of the page.
Here are a couple of closer pictures of some particularly cute ones.



I know I have yet to really write anything about how the year is going so far, despite the fact that tomorrow marks the end of the 2nd week with the kids. But, my mommy taught me that if you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all. I'm sure I'll feel like sharing soon, but for now, I'd rather just leave it alone.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I just couldn't make this shit up...

Remember my little Diana Ross from the other day? Well, I just got some more info about her, and you're never gonna guess what this little darling's middle name is.

G'head, guess. I'll wait....





Ready?






Betsy!!!!!!!!

Ahhhh...it's little things like this that keep me going back day after day....
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Monday, August 16, 2010

Are my eyes deceiving me?!

As I type this (around 6:45 am) my weather widget says 65. SIXTY-FIVE!!! Have I died and gone to heaven!? I better check the full forecast for the day, to see what I'll be dealing with at school. I did hear that it's "only" going to be in the 80s this week. Still too hot for me, but hell, it's better than the 90s we've been suffering through lately!

Friday, August 13, 2010

I'm glad I'm not the only one...

...who can't believe the conditions we've been asked to work under. Granted, I got two days away from the Hell-Hole this week, but the other three days - holy shitoly!! I seriously thought I was going to pass out today, not to mention the fact that I felt nauseous the entire day. (Although, not ALL the nausea was due to the weather....)

This was in today's Chicago Sun Times. You bet your sweet ass that our illustrious leader, Ron Huberman, was sitting in his air-conditioned office all day today, while some of our classrooms registered 110 on our thermometers. It's cruel and unusual punishment, if you ask me. At least if the kids were at home, even if they don't have air-conditioners at home, they could have stripped down to cooler clothing, versus their restrictive uniforms. Or, they could have run around in the sprinkler or even thrown cups of water at each other, for Pete's sake! Most of Chicago's neighborhood parks have sprinklers that the kids could have been playing in, they could have gone to the library with their parents to cool off, or the mall, or any number of public places that have air-conditioning. Ugh!

OK, enough, it's over. I just hope next week is a little cooler. I've been sitting here watching the most awesome light show I've ever seen, as there is a huge storm rolling in right now. For the first 15 minutes, I didn't know what the hell the flashes were. I actually thought that someone had a fire burning, either next door or across the street. But, then I went outside to investigate, and saw the coolest lightning flashing in the distance. In the past few minutes, the thunder has started, and I'm seriously looking forward to this storm.

oh...joy...

As always, I have the WGN Morning News on right now, and Paul just said that our heat index for today will be about 105. And, no, I haven't moved to Arizona.

Well, the past 2 days were wonderful. I was able to attend the Illinois Summer Reading Conference. More on that later. I have no idea how yesterday went at the Hell-Hole, but I found out the on Wednesday, they spent almost the entire day without power. Um...yeah. So, not only have we been under a severe heat advisory, the teachers and kids didn't have even so much as a fan all day. But, because school is a 'safe haven' for students, they had to keep all the kids there, and couldn't send anyone home. Can you imagine?

I'm trying to decide if I should bother to even take a shower right now, since about 10 minutes after I get to school, I'll be soaked in sweat anyway. Now that's a pleasant image, isn't it? Aw, I guess I will, since I can't get these little rug rats to stop hugging me, and now that haven't seen me for 2 days, so I'm sure they'll be extra huggy today. Guess it's time to get off the computer...

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Email of the Day, Part 2

Did anyone else see this video this morning? (the bastard won't embed, sorry!) The crazy morning news show I watch showed it this morning, and I laughed my ass off. Then, Bestest Friend emailed me this link later in the day. This clip comes complete with funny commentary.

Email of the Day

I can't believe one of my friends sent me this email TODAY! And, no, she doesn't read my blog, she doesn't even know about it.

Shrek, Denzel Washington, and Beyoncé were all having lunch together.

Shrek said, "I have always thought that I'm the strongest man in the world, but how can I be sure?"

Denzel said, "I'm pretty sure I'm the hottest man alive, alive, but, I've never had it confirmed.

Beyoncé agreed. "I'm told I'm the sexiest of them all, but sometimes I wonder."

They all decided that the best way to find out if their beliefs were true was to approach the wicked Queen's mirror to confirm for them whether Shrek was strongest, Denzel was the hottest, and Beyoncé was the sexiest. They agreed to meet again the next day for lunch to discuss their findings.

The next day Shrek walked up with a smile. "Well, it's true. The mirror told me that I am the strongest man in the world."

Denzel walked up with a big grin and said, “It’s true! The mirror told me I was the hottest man alive.
Beyonce walked in with tears in her eyes and said “Who the heck is
ChiTown Girl??!!!


(This is one of those silly emails that you're suppose to forward, and then put your name at the end. So silly!)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Quickie

I don’t have the strength to bitch post about the first day right now, but I just had to share this because it was the one highlight of my day.  As a matter of fact, it made me laugh out loud.

Last year, I actually had a student whose first name was Beyonce.  Yes, just like the singer.  Remember where I work, people!!  Well, today, literally as we were walking into lunch, a mom stopped me in the hall, asked if I was Mrs. ChiTown Girl, and then basically threw her daughter at me.  I reached for her registration slip, took one look at it, and had to turn around, as to not laugh in this mother’s face.  The child’s name?  Diana Ross!!!  Oh, no, I’m NOT kidding!  I couldn’t make this shit up if I tried!  Gee, maybe next year I’ll get a Gladys Knight.  Or, maybe a Rihanna….

Did I forget to mention...

...the predicted high today is 92? Yeah....good times, good times...

Today's the day...

...the kids start school at the Hell-Hole. Woo hoo.

Last week sucked some major donkey ass. Despite not going to school Monday and Tuesday (the ONLY two days I had off all summer. Oh, and did I mentioned it stormed half of Monday and all day Tuesday?) I still put in a full work week. I stayed SO late Wed-Fri that the extra time equaled a full day, AND I went in on Saturday. My room still is only, by my standards, about 45% finished, it's good enough for kids to come in today and sit somewhere.

I know I mentioned before how much CRAP was in my 'new' room, so most of last week was spent going through it all and throwing away most of it. But, I had to take all my stuff out of my old room asap so the new kdg. teacher (AKA - New Principal's Friend!!) could start bringing her stuff in and setting up. There's STILL stuff in there that I had to leave for now, so I hope it doesn't 'disappear' before I have a chance to get it.

OK, my 10 minutes is up, time to get dressed. Believe me, if I didn't set a time limit, I'd be typing for hours just to get all my anger and frustration out. Just wish me luck for today. I plan to come back later and let you know how it went.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Has Linus seen this?

Michaele posted this over at her place today. It made me giggle!

Email of the Day

UCLA STUDY (very interesting and short)

A study worth sharing with friends both male and female:A study conducted by UCLA's Department of Psychiatry has revealed that the kind of face a woman finds attractive on a man can differ depending on where she is in her menstrual cycle.

For example: if she is ovulating, she is attracted to men with rugged and masculine features.

However, if she is menstruating or menopausal, she tends to be more attracted to a man with duct tape over his mouth and a spear lodged in his chest with a bat up his ass while he is on fire.

No further studies are expected on this subject.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

An ah-ha moment...

I was sitting here, blog-surfing, and stumbled across one blog from another. (I kinda LOVE when that happens!) This particular blog is yet another one of those awesome blogs dedicated to Kindergarten. Gee, can you guess what happened next? I started crying!!!!!!

I sat there, reading through her archives, soaking up all the awesome ideas she shared, while blubbering like a freakin' baby!! It suddenly occurred to me that what I was feeling was this - I'm no longer a member of this very cool, very exclusive club. I feel like I was kicked out. My membership was revoked. I was kicked to the curb. Oh my holy hell!!! I don't want to leave!!!!!

I seriously can not stop crying. I need to get the hell off the computer, and pull myself together.

Who's the ass here?

During the past 6 weeks, I've taken exactly 0 days off. Well, ok, we did get July 5th off for the holiday at the last minute, but whatever, that doesn't count. I didn't take it off, it wasn't a work day.

Each of the janitors at our building took a different week off. The engineer took a week off, and is taking Monday and Tuesday off, as well. The teachers who worked the other two programs at our school this summer had last week off because their programs were only 5 weeks long. The other two teachers I worked with this summer in my program had the week before last off because they went to CA for a 'conference.' Our assistant principal (who I love dearly, so I'm not really bitching here) took the past two weeks off. New Principal took last week off. (And, yes, I AM bitching here!) Even our office clerk took a few Fridays off, including the one that just passed (aka, the last day of summer school).

So, what I'm trying to say is....I'm the ONLY fucking moron who was at school every single day of summer vacation!!!!!

I knew I never should have broke the seal on this can of BITCH, because it's getting harder and harder to hold back. I have a feeling there are several more of these bitch-bits coming....
(get it? Tidbits, bitch-bits...I crack myself up!)