Tuesday, March 8, 2011

tales from the schoolyard

The clock in my classroom has been wonky off and on for a while now.  Usually it speeds ahead exactly one hour. We deal with it. 

But last week it was turning in warp speed and the minute hand was not even correct. We could not deal. I asked the custodian to help me. He put in a work order for me. Sure enough, the clock fixed itself and went back to normal. Of course.

I have no idea how these things happen. It's hooked up to something and syncs. Sort of. Apparently not very well, though.

Yesterday afternoon I looked at the clock and panicked. How had a complete hour gone by without me noticing?! We still had so much more to do today! For someone with passage of time issues, this was not good news. 

Until I looked at my watch and realized the clocked had shimmied ahead an hour again.

Coincidentally, the school district guy came to fix my clock yesterday just after my mini-panic. He replaced it with a clock that has a yellower face. It doesn't look right.

Yes, I noticed.

Starting our wants & needs unit, I asked the kids to make a list of everything they cannot live without. I told them to write down everything they must have to live.

The first item on one boy's list was glue.

I hear ya, buddy!

If you've been reading along, you know that I had finally found my joy again this year only to have it ripped out from under me. (Read here if you need to.)

Last Monday I came home in a super pissy mood and was boo hooing about lots of stuff. Considering we had staff development (with no kids) that day, this was not a good sign. While sharing my misery with Greg, he shared some wisdom with me. He told me that I let one seven year-old kid single-handedly rob me of my joy. I let him be in charge. I had given him my power.

There he goes being right again!

So, while crying at the kitchen sink, I made a decision right then and there that this joy thief would no longer be able to steal my joy. If he cannot follow the directions then he will be asked to leave the room. If he wants to be part of our class, he will play by my rules. He is becoming very familiar with the tile spot outside my doorway. This way he is not part of the room, but can still hear every word I utter because the door is always open. He will not ruin this year for the students and me. One child will not dictate how this classroom is run, especially to the demise of the other twenty students. I'm in charge here. The end.

Since then, things have been much better. The joy is coming back. Of course, yesterday was a super-sweet day because he got in trouble for fighting last week and had in-school suspension all day. That's too bad.


Monday, March 7, 2011


No, not the aromatic kind of potpourri ~ just a mish mash of stuff. I'm working on some new items for the upcoming holidays.

The kids were glad to get packed lunches three days last week. That's a miracle these days because I seem to be pushing the time envelope in the morning closer and closer.

Friday night I stayed late at work to write report card comments. This can take a while because I want to make sure to say just the right thing for each child. There are some global statements, like reading levels, that go in every comment. But I also try to mention specific praises or areas of concern/suggestions for improvement.

I came home to this message. It says, "Reserved for Mommy!!" in case you can't tell.

Greg and the kids were watching a movie with popcorn, of course. Heather insisted on saving me some. How sweet!

I spent most of the day Saturday and Sunday at the computer working on my third of the yearbook. I may or may not have waited until the 11th hour to start this. I have one more weekend to work on it and I'm about 33% done. 

I relearned a lesson the hard way on Saturday. I was clipping along working on two collage pages at once. I had the layout done and about half the photos selected and cropped.  All I had to finish was the rest of the selecting and cropping then finalize placement. All of a sudden my application "unexpectedly quit." Those are the computer's words, not mine. When I reopened the files I was met with the unpleasant realization that I had worked for over an hour without saving. 

I know better than that!

That's when my migraine started. 

Sunday went much more smoothly.

I am thankful for Greg for going grocery shopping for us. I am not thankful for the rising prices of food.


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

daddy's little helper

Greg has been working on some problem with the sprinklers all.the.dang.day ~ that is after he went grocery shopping this morning after dropping me off at work. I know. Spoiled! He's all mine, girls. You can't have him! Anyway, after he picked Heather and me up from school after her drama practice and went to yet another store with us for some value priced hamburger meat, Heather was excited to hear he wasn't done with the project that never ends sprinkler repair so she can help. Greg was not so enthusiastic about having to work on it now that the sun has gone down and there is the possibility of getting wet.

Greg is always super thrilled when I pull out the camera in the middle of a frustrating job and take pictures of him endlessly. He's filled with an extra measure of joy when he finds out these pictures get plastered on the net for the whole world to see. {Please read with a sarcastic voice.}

Apparently Heather is the hold-this-glued-up-piece-so-dirt-doesn't-get-on-it girl. It's a small, but crucial job.

She, on the other hand, really was super thrilled for me to be messing around with the camera during her helping job. And of course, she wanted to know if these pictures were destined for blogland. Hello? Do you know me at all?