Random Notions and Stories of Teaching

October 31, 2005

Surgical Experience

Well, I am home and feeling better. Not great quite yet, but so much better than I was. The surgery seems to have been a success. This is Birth Control Pill-Free Day #4 and still no problems. Woohoo!

Having never actually had surgery, Friday was an experience. First, outpatient surgery. Weird. Second, my father had outpatient surgery on his foot last December and proceeded to drive the truck up the snowcovered driveway when no one else could get it up there. HOW DID THAT MAN DRIVE!?

I arrived at the hospital at 9:40. I was supposed to arrive at 9:45 and this is the one time I did not allow myself to arrive 15-20 minutes early. I was scared and I didn't want to be there any longer than I had to. A few minutes after we arrived my good friend, C, showed up. She came to sit with the hubby (and with me). Now, isn't that a good friend?

Around 10:15 they finally called me back to get prepped. So I left the hubby and C in the waiting room, which was actually just a hallway. The nice surgery nurse whose name was Shelly, I think, took my blood pressure (which was super high - shocker) and temp. Then she let me use the bathroom. I changed into my ugly hospital gown complete with pocket and easy access hole (we decided later it was for those heart monitoring wires some people have to wear). I climbed into the bed and she came to start my IV.

I eagerly showed her my "good vein" (i.e. the one that doesn't hurt). She wanted to try "her spot" first. "Her spot" is that crease where your wrist meets your arm, not only does it hurt going in, but it hurts the rest of the dang day too! Everytime I bent my wrist it hurt. Grrrr. I like "my spot" better.

After she had me all IV'd up, she let the hubby and my sister, C, back in to sit with me. Woohoo, I have a sister! Around this time we were informed that my doctor was running late (she's always running late) because her first patient arrived at the hospital late. At this point, my nervous bladder is an issue (at least in my mind).

The hubby, C, and I chatted while we waited. Most of the time with C and I giggling and hubby shushing us so they didn't get kicked out. At 11:45, my nurse went to lunch. At 12:15 she came back from lunch. At 12:20, I had to pee. Luckily, hubby got a nurse's attention and I got slipper socks put on and then she helped me to the potty.

Finally, around 1:30, they came to take me away. I kissed the hubby and said goodbye to C. They whisked me down the hall to the "holding room". There I met, Andy, my anesthesiologist. Andy was about 12. Seriously, he was my age, maybe a few years older. He was very nice. The holding room should be given a game showy name as I felt like I was answering game show questions.

"Quick, what's your name and birthday?" - (I rattled them off...rank and number and all that)
"Why are you here today?" - Hysteroscopy, D&C, and possible polypectomy

The saddest part, they said I was only one to get the "why I was here today" question right all day. Johnny, what do I win?

I feared I would be waiting in the "holding room" (should be called a holding cell, really) for a long time, but before I knew it, there was Barb, one of my surgery room nurses, saying, "All right, let's get the show on the road."

Having never been in an operating room before it was a lot like ER. :) However, it was incredibly COLD. Bordering on FREEZING. It felt like I was in a refigerator. Brrrrr. I huffed myself over onto the table, which was really hard. The things you think about when you're lying on a table. Once I was all situated, they added arm rests for me to put my arms on and some extra pillows to put my head on. They had my head positioned weird. Now, I know it was so that once I was out they could intubate me easier. They put something on my leg to help avoid blood clots. I remember Andy saying he was going to give me something to relax and thinking, "thank god, cuz I am terrified". Then I was waking up in the recovery room. The stupid blood pressure cuff woke me up. Squeezing the stuffing out of my arm every minute or so. Sheesh.

And I hurt. My butt hurt from laying on that awful bed. I just wanted to move so that I could get some pressure off my tailbone. Have you ever tried to schooch up in a hospital bed while you're still loopy? I bet I looked like a big old goober. I remember moaning because I hurt and because I was out of it. I was awake, but I couldn't keep my eyes open.

Then arrives Nurse Talks to Fast. Nurse Talks to Fast was my recovery nurse. However, when under the influence, I need a moment to process things and she left no time for that. She gave me a shot of something. It made the pain go away. Then she told me that I didn't really have to pee. (Uh, yes, I did) She also showed me some crazy pictures of my uterus, which was apparently full of polyps. All I remember is some hazy, bumpy, red and white pictures. Maybe the doc will show me them again at my post op appointment when I am lucid. I had so hoped to use them to make scrapbook pages.

My first coherent question to Nurse Talks to Fast was "when can I see my husband?" To which she replied, "when he picks you up with the car. Are you ready to go home?"

Home! Yes, please.

I barely remember getting dressed and climbing aboard a wheelchair. Then Nurse Talks to Fast became Nurse Drives to Fast and wheeled me out of the hospital. I met the hubby and C in the foyer where I briefly remember C tossing my scarf around my neck and the hubby helping me put my coat on. With that, I got in the car and we drove home.

When we got home, I went inside and back to sleep. About 4 hours after that I was feeling much better. Saturday, my neck and shoulders hurt, but other than that, not to bad. Oh, and my cold was worse. Yes, surgery and a cold. I like to make things difficult.

It occurs to me now, that I never actually SAW my doctor. I mean, she had to be there. But I never actually saw her. Creeeeeeepy. Hubby ran into her in athe cafeteria. So he saw her twice. Again, I say, creeeeepy.

For now...I'm off to find some Advil as my tummy is hurting again.

October 29, 2005


I'm home. Things went well. Typing this on the sly since hubby is making me stay in bed. (Sometimes he has good ideas but don't tell him that.)

Yesterday was...surreal. I'll give you all the details another day when I'm not on lock down. :)

Take care of each other.

Annnnnd...woo-friggin-hoo the Hokies won Thursday night! 30-10 against Boston College.

October 27, 2005


This was such a good idea a month ago.



October 26, 2005


So...my ob/gyn's patient for this Friday's surgery has bronchitis and won't be having her surgery.

Which means, I am moving mine up a week.

This really impedes my planned week of freaking out. It's cut me down to a day and a half! Sheesh.

Oh and must cancel Friday's job. Drat.

October 25, 2005


Where do people get off pushing and forcing their beliefs onto others?

I'm not talking about a debate. I'm talking about conversations where one's character and morals are called into question because of the choices made in their life.

Where do people get the unmittigated gall?

How DARE you push your beliefs onto me?

I am a true believer in live and let live. I don't have to lead your life and you don't have to live mine. Therefore, don't berate me for my decisions/beliefs. They are MINE. The wonderful thing about living in a free country is I can believe anything I want. I can support whatever I want. So please don't waste your time telling me that I am a bad person because I don't share your beliefs. I will gladly listen to your point of view, however, when you start the name calling and button pushing, I am done. You and your (in my opinion) extreme beliefs can go elsewhere.

Call me a cynic, but I do not believe that berating every person I meet who does not share my views will help solve the problems of the world. What will solve the problems of the world? Hell if I know. However, the anger and hostility some people exude does nothing but hurt their cause.

Now? I am off to make my bed. I'm sure someone will happily/angerily inform me that I'm doing it wrong and therefore am a bad person, but hey, I made my bed and I will lie in it.

Haha, I made a funny.

October 23, 2005

Movies, movies everywhere

My dear, sweet hubby bit the bullet and went with me to see In Her Shoes. All in all, I REALLY enjoyed the movie. It was one of the few movies I didn't instantly abhor because it deviated so severly from the book. I plan to reread the book since I read it early in the summer and have probably forgotten some parts. I also love Toni Collette and I suppose, Cameron Diaz is all right. I liked her a lot more before she became associated with Justin Timberlake. Gag. Toni Collette was in Connie and Carla and that movie is just a hoot.

Wow...had a six degrees of separation moment there.

Last night, I accompanied the Hubby to his soccer game last night. It was cold. It was pouring rain. The "fans" sit in roofed stands, or I would not have gone.

Helping him in the concession stand was also fun. I also got to meet four of his players. Freshman. Oy. They're a whole lot like the elementary school girls my mom has. They ratted the poor guy out almost instantly. Too funny.

Today we rented Robots. It was ok. Not a movie I HAVE to buy, but I'm glad I saw it. Hubby rented Kicking and Screaming for the bus ride to his away game on Tuesday. We wanted to get Man of the House too, but it wasn't in. Drat!

October 21, 2005

And another thing...

Did I mention that I taught "my" first graders a new word on Wednesday?


As in, "Sit your tushie on the carpet and don't move!" One little angel calls out, "What's tushie?" Before I could even think about answering one of his classmates shouts, "It means your butt."

And there you have it. Word study, 1st grade style.


I do believe I am getting a cold. Stupid little brats. :)

Going to make the hubby take me to get some Airborne today to see if it helps. It was developed by a teacher, after all, sounds like reason enough to try it to me.

I have just over a week to get over this. They won't do my outpatient surgery if I have a cold, will they? Just my luck, I'll end up with pneumonia again. Razzafrazzin' little kids. Keep your germs to yourself!

Hoping to see a movie today and go to hubby's recruiting game at 4. I do not want to sit outside in the cold air. Going to bundle up and hope we don't stay long.

In other news, I got my state teacher's retirement statement yesterday. In the past 2 years of subbing, I have earned 1.23 years of teaching. What a crock. Subs should get double time...hazard time...something as an incentive!

October 20, 2005


Is it a sign of addiction when you find yourself scribbling funny/alarming little comments from the kids onto post-its so you remember the exact wording later?

I think it's just a sign of a bad memory. Yes, yes that's it.

Anyway, thank the Lord for 3rd graders. What a refreshing break from 1st graders! I had a minimal amount of whining, although the violence didn't decrease. What is it with children and hurting others? Sheesh, keep your hands to yourselves! The teacher I was in for today had a grandbaby at 2AM this morning, so congratulations to her and her daughter! I'm telling you, everyone is pregnant or just had a baby.

Only two disturbing/bizarre things happened today, I guess I should consider myself lucky. First, when the children came into the room they were busy putting away their belongings, turning in homework, and getting their snack put away. As I am casually taking informal attendence I hear one little girl say to another:

Girl #1: "I brought a cereal bar today."
Girl #2: "Oh, I have one too."
Girl #1: "Which one do you have?" Girl #1 shows Girl #2 her cereal bar and Girl #1 replies, "Oh, MINE'S healthier AND low-fat."

Usually, I can count on my very own set of dwarves when I teach. There's generally a Sleepy, a Happy, a Bashful, a Grumpy, more than one Dopey; however, Doc and Sneezy are few and far between. Today, I met Sneezy. This girl "sneezed" alllll morning and half the afternoon. Sounded pretty darn fake to me, but she wasn't whining about going to the office, so I let her do her thing. I even caught glimpses of her sneezing at recess. I think it's an attention thing. The teacher who was also on duty with me agreed.

Tomorrow, the hubby has ordered a day off for me. Yay for the hubby! I can only assume it is in honor of his team winning their game last night. Yay for hubby's team! We're going to a high school soccer game tomorrow afternoon and I plan to try and talk him into a movie. Saturday is a home game so I plan to go and support the hubby.

Then I volunteered to help him and three of his players man (woman) the concession stand during the men's game. The players are all freshmen. Oyyyyyyyyyyyy. The game should be quite interesting though as there were 12 (TWELVE!) cards issued at the last game including a second yellow/red card to the head coach. I believe there are 3 players and the head coach sitting out this game. I always miss the good games!

A Joke to Start Your Day and Mine

A mother was making a breakfast of fried eggs for her teenage son.

Suddenly the boy bursts into the kitchen.

"Careful! CAREFUL! Put in some more butter! Oh my goodness!"

"You're cooking too many at once. TOO MANY! Turn them! TURN THEM NOW! We need more butter. Oh my!"

"WHERE are we going to get MORE BUTTER? They're going to STICK!"

"Careful! ... CAREFUL! I said be CAREFUL! You NEVER listen to me when you're cooking! Never! Turn them! Hurry up! Are you CRAZY?"

"Have you LOST your mind? Don't forget to salt them. You know you always forget to salt them. Use the salt. USE THE SALT! THE SALT!"

The mother stared at him. "What's wrong with you? You think I don't know how to fry a couple of eggs?"

The son calmly replied, "I just wanted to show you what it feels like when I'm trying to play soccer."

October 19, 2005

Only three days?

It's hard to believe I was only with these kids for three days. It feels like so much longer.

Today was relatively uneventful. Except when a student walked up to me and tattled, "D said fuck." Ohhhhh ummm. Hmmm. What to do... I decided to have him move his clothespin and come see me at recess. He really has trouble with appropriate school behavior, so we discussed it then. However, I was momentarily thrown by a 1st grader cursing at me. Now that's a start to the day. Oy!

We also made a book today for Regular Teacher. It was entitled, "Miss's Wedding". I put a little ditty in the front that the kids helped me write. Then each child wrote and illustrated a page that said, "I think Miss _____________ at her wedding."

Highlights that filled in the _____ were:
  • danced
  • danced silly
  • wore a pretty/sparkly/beautiful dress
  • ate cake
  • kissed her boyfriend (should be interesting since the husband is there, too)
  • got ready for her honeymoon (ohhhhh, I love the innocence)
  • played Spin the Bottle
Sniffles was his chipper self today. Maybe it was because his mom was coming into school this afternoon, either way, he was a trip. You know, now that I think about it, he strikes me as a young Mr. Owens in the making. As students are cleaning out their desks this afternoon,
Sniffles walks up to me and says in his best western accent that really isn't all that good, "You know who the best cleaner is in these here parts?"
"Who?" I ask trying not to giggle.
"ME! " He grins and walks away.

Tomorrow...THIRD GRADE!

October 18, 2005


Ever had "one of those days"? Ever had two in a row? Welcome to my world. In fact, I am pretty much betting that tomorrow will be "one of those days" as well.

Before school started I nabbed a consecutive three day assignment for a teacher I really like. She's young. She's fun. She's upbeat. She's just a nice person. I was her first sub ever and we really hit it off. She's one of those sneak-back-in-after-school-because-she's-so-worried-about-how-her- class-was-for-the-sub kind of teachers. I just like her. Anyway, I figured she had a conference since she was scheduling three days, in a row, two months ahead. Nope! She got married last weekend! Yay for her!

Now, if I were her, I would have stayed a week. Her kids are something else. What a group! I start the day calm, cool, collected, and nice. I end the day shouting to be heard, flicking on lights, and mean with a capital M. These are first graders, but boy, they don't act like it. They're immature, almost what I would expect of kindergarteners this time of year.

"He looked at me."
"He touched my paper."
"He stole my paper."
"He said a bad word....he said shut up." I wanted to SCREAM shut up, but I managed to control myself.

This being said, she has some perfectly lovely students. They listen, they follow directions, they do what they're supposed to do WHEN they are supposed to do it.

My only problem with Regular Teacher is her book choices for read aloud time. I understand her reasoning, but don't agree. The children are listening to two books. Because of Winn Dixie, which they read at another school in 4th grade, and The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. Now, her thinking is, that once they finish the book, they can watch the movie. However, these books are WAY to old for these kids, especially the Narnia book. They don't get it. They fidget. They squirm. They drive me friggin' batty.

Anyway...yesterday was fall picture day. So no one went to their language arts block for an HOUR AND A HALF (LA is alllllll moring). I have no plans, no activities, no fillers for this time since I have every kid and there are huge differences in reading abilities. I can't do afternoon work because then what would I do in the afternoon!? Finally, I just taught them how to play "Heads Up, Seven Up". Of course, then I had to listen to...

"He's peeking."
"He cheated...he peeked!"

The absolute highlight of my today was the note I received from a mother. I have affectionately nicknamed her daughter MotorMouth. I swear, this child NEVER. STOPS. TALKING. NEVER! I don't think she can, honestly. Anyway, the note said:

"MotorMouth left her coat and her lunchbox at school yesterday. She said you wouldn't let her check the lost and found for them. Could you please let her check for them today or I can check when I pick her up.

Ms. Dedicated Mama"


It was all I could do NOT to write a snarky letter back to Dedicated Mama informing her that I did NOT tell MotorMouth she couldn't check the lost and found. My exact words to MotorMouth, as she interrupted my lesson for the third time, was that she was "going to gym in a few minutes she could check the gym when she got there and then the lost and found". Did I mention MotorMouth found her coat AND her lunchbox IN THE ROOM this morning???? It took me several deep breaths and counts to 10 to remember to be nice to MotorMouth. Luckily, MotorMouth left with Dedicated Mama at lunch time to go to the dentist and then see a movie. Nice.

Then there was The Wailer. I thought I had gotten off lucky today as The Wailer didn't show up. I should have known better. The Wailer arrived tardy at 10 o'clock. Drat! He walks in as I am wrapping up one Language Arts activity and getting ready to move to another. He doesn't even put his stuff away before walking up to me and saying, "What can I do?" Argh! So we get him straightened around and approximately every five minutes he walks up to me (irregardless of what we are doing) and says, "my tummmmmmmmmmmy hurrrrrrtttttttssssssss". I feel his forehead. No fever. I gave him every excuse I could think of... Wait a few minutes. Go to the bathroom. Try eating lunch. Try eating snack. Did I mention he was perfectly fine to play at recess? After lunch I couldn't take it any longer, visions of the two kids my mom has had recently complaining of tummy aches and having emergency appendectomies is running through my mind, I broke and sent him to the office. I did my part. It's in the nurse's hands now. No fever.

Yesterday, I had help from a parent. I *heart* parent helpers. They know the kids, they know the routine. Hallelujah. She helped during picture day, combing all the kids so their hair looked just so. She practically combed her son's hair right off his head. Hehe.

Well, today, little Sniffles (parent helper's son) just couldn't hold it together. After I had had it with the arguing over "peeking" during "Head's Up, Seven Up", I decided we would play "I Spy". I went first. The class gets five chances to guess my "spy" and then I tell them and its someone else's turn. We got through about five kids spying in the allotted extra time. Then it was time to read. As we're sitting on the carpet, Sniffles looks at me with tears in his eyes.

"What's wrong, Sniffles?" I asked.
"I......turn....never playing again." He mumbles. Uh. HUH? Turns out sniffles didn't get to be a spyer and he is "never playing I Spy again". Ooooooo-tay.

These are the days when I wonder if I am in the right profession. The days when the thought of this class for 180 days...in a row, is enough to send me to the funny farm. I wonder if I am too mean, when I am already using my teacher voice at 9:30. Days where I fear that other teachers can hear me across the hall or next door shouting, "FREEZE! FREEZE!"

Mama told me there'd be days like these....

October 13, 2005

No Child Left Behind: Soccer Version

1. All teams must make the state playoffs, and all must win the championship. If the team does not win the championship, they will be on probation until they are champions, and coaches will be held accountable.

2. All kids will be expected to have the same soccer skills at the same time and in the same conditions. No exceptions will be made for interest in soccer, a desire to perform athletically, or genetic abilities or disabilities.


3. Talented players will be asked to work out on their own without instruction. This is because the coaches will be using all their instructional time with the athletes who aren’t interested in soccer, have limited athletic ability or whose parents don’t like soccer.

4. Games will be played year round, but statistics will only be kept in the 4th, 8th and 11th games.

5. This will create a New Age of sports where every school is expected to have the same level of talent and all teams will reach the same minimal goals.

If no child gets ahead, then no child will be left behind.

* I changed this to soccer in honor of the hubby. It was formerly football.

October 11, 2005


My cousin and his wife have just returned from a visit to my aunt's family in Missouri. Did that make any sense? No. Let me try this again. My cousins have returned from Missouri where they visited family. Good enough? Good enough.

Anywho, my cousin's wife, M, is one of my favorite people. She's not much older than me and the same age as my favorite cousin, I think. Anyway, M is wonderful. I am currently working on a webpage for her new business of creating italian charms/bracelets using people's pictures. They're really neat! M is also into computers, like me. She also loves photography.
Note to self: Send her the link for flickr.

Tonight she sent out a bunch of pictures she took of my cousin's daughters. There are 3. I call them A-cubed, because, you guessed i
t, all their names begin with A.

Big A is going to be 6 in December. Wow, how time flies. I remember when she was a baby at my wedding. She slept through everything in the back pew. Even her momma in a corset. Middle A is 3, I believe. She is a hoot! All the pictures are of her posing, and I am tempted to call Tyra. "
Hello, Tyra, I have America's Next Top Model for the year 2020." Baby A is almost 8 months old. In every picture, she has a huge grin on her face. Nothing sweeter than a grinning baby.

I am dying to post the photos here, but I will refrain as I don't know what A-cubed's parentals would say about that. All I know is I wouldn't want pictures of my children put online without my knowledge, so I won't do that to her. I'm not ready to give her the link to this blog, so for now A-cubed shall remain anonymous. Maybe a few with blurred faces. I don't know.

Lest, I leave you pictureless, here is a picture of my charm bracelet. The pictures from left to right are: my maternal grandparents, my parents, me and the hubby, the in-laws, and my grandfather with his second wife. The teeny, tiny ones are pictures of my pets, my senior picture, my brother's senior picture, my baby picture, and my brother's baby picture. I tell you, she can put ANYTHING on these things. I can't wait to "unveil" her new site. Guess I should work on it.


Cyli tagged me. Woohoo! I mean, darn her. (I've don't think I've ever been tagged, to my knowledge....you love me, you REALLY love me) How pathetic am I? Anywho...

The Curse of 7

7 Things I Plan To Do Before I Die
* Have children
* Teach full time in a permanent position
* Travel - I have a list of places
* Go on a Disney Cruise
* Do something nice for my parents...they've done so much for me
* Be a grandmother
* Live happily ever after

7 Things I Can Do
* I can sing.
* I can teach.
* I can read an entire book in one sitting.
* I can name just about every Disney movie ever made.
* I can sing just about every song from every Disney movie ever made.
* I can design a webpage that looks fairly professional.
* I can step out of the spotlight and let my work go unpraised.

7 Things I Can Not Do
* I cannot enjoy singing in front of people.
* I cannot be dishonest.
* I cannot keep most secrets (big ones I can do).
* I cannot be intentionally mean to anyone.
* I cannot forgive people who mistreat children or animals.
* I cannot play Twister to save my life.
* I cannot be an analytical thinker.

~7 Things That Attract Me To The Opposite Sex
* Sense of humor
* Honesty
* Loyalty
* Charm
* Smile
* Eyes
* Sincerity

~ 7 Things I Say Most Often
* "Not so much"
* "Drat"
* "Kitty, kitty, kitty"
* "Hokie/Ollie/Socks/Lucy, NO!"
* "Walking feet, please."
* "Inside voices, please."
* "(hubby), have you fed the boys? Ollie's licking plastic bags, again!"

~7 People I Want to Do This
David (hehehe)
Anyone else reading this that hasn't already done it consider yourself tagged.

October 10, 2005

Anniversary - I hate anniversaries

Note: Bad day...thank goodness every day isn't like this.

Last night, hubby and I had a talk. Sometimes, it is hard for me to believe that it has been over a year since I realized his relapse.

I will spend tonight reliving each moment, each step, each thing I should have caught, lest I forget my mistakes and the hurt. Can't forget. Bad things happen when I forget.

A year ago, I felt as if my world had dropped out from under me. Something I never thought could have happened, had happened, and I didn't know which way to turn. And part of me felt (still feels) I deserved it.

I still wish it had never happened. I would give anything to make that time disappear...to undo it...to change it. I know he would, too. I hate bringing anything about it up to him because I know it upsets him. However, I do get these knee jerk reactions about certain things.I feel like such a fraud when people tell us what a strong marriage we have.

"Apparently not." My mind screams while I smile and say thank you on the outside. I find myself pondering exactly what happened from time to time. Imagining. I want to know everything, yet, I really don't. I don't know if I could handle it. I honestly don't know how people deal with their partner having "a past". Maybe it would be different for me if it were just "a past".

I hate that I knew something was wrong, but chose to ignore it. I wanted to believe everything was ok. But I knew. Sometimes, just to torture myself, I let the what if's take over. I replay the phone call over and over. Driving down the road, I find myself happy and immediately, it plays in my head. It's like I don't want to let myself forget, because if I forget it might happen again.

I think I will always wonder if it is me. Was it something I did? Is he just tricking me? Does he really wish he was with someone else or unattached? What signs were there that I chose to miss? Was I just naive?

When will I stop worrying that he is going to relapse? When will I stop second-guessing my trust in him? When will I stop jumping to the conclusion that something is going on I don't know about? When will I stop being jealous of those who seem to have "the perfect life"? When will everything he does for me, to support me, be enough? When will I stop hurting him? When will he stop thinking I have the right to hurt him? When will I get over it?

When will I stop feeling like I deserved it? If only I had lost weight...if only I had worn makeup...if only.


Warning - random thought - from time to time, I wish for a Men in Black moment where they neurlize that moment right out of my mind. It would make things so much easier.

October 08, 2005


I found this at another site, but I really enjoyed reading it. It ranks up there with my teacher's are overpaid ditty. Hope you enjoy.

The Best Dentist ---"Absolutely" the Best Dentist

My dentist is great! He sends me reminders so I don't forget checkups. He uses the latest techniques based on research. He never hurts me, and I've got all my teeth, so when I ran into him the other day, I was eager to see if he'd heard about the new state program. I knew he'd think it was great.

"Did you hear about the new state program to measure effectiveness of dentists with their young patients?" I said.

"No," he said. He didn't seem too thrilled. "How will they do that?"

"It's quite simple," I said. "They will just count the number of cavities each patient has at age 10, 14, and 18 and average that to determine a dentist's rating. Dentists will be rated as Excellent, Good, Average, Below average, and Unsatisfactory. That way parents will know which are the best dentists. It will also encourage the less effective dentists to get better. Poor dentists who don't improve could lose their licenses to practice."

"That's terrible," he said.

"What? That's not a good attitude," I said. "Don't you think we should try to improve children's dental health in this state?"

"Sure I do," he said, "but that's not a fair way to determine who is practicing good dentistry."

"Why not?" I said. "It makes perfect sense to me."

"Well, it's so obvious," he said. "Don't you see that dentists don't all work with the same clientele; so much depends on things we can't control. For example, I work in a rural area with a high percentage of patients from deprived homes, while some of my colleagues work in upper
middle class neighborhoods. Many of the parents I work with don't bring their children to see me until there is some kind of problem; I don't get to do much preventive work. Also," he said, "many of the parents I serve let their kids eat way too much candy from an early age, unlike more educated parents who understand the relationship between sugar and decay. To top it all off," he added, "so many of my clients have well water, which is untreated and has no fluoride in it. Do you have any idea how much difference early use of fluoride can make?"

"It sounds like you're making excuses," I said. I couldn't believe my dentist would be so defensive. He does a great job.

"I am not!" he said. "My best patients are as good as anyone's, my work is as good as anyone's, but my average cavity count is going to be higher than a lot of other dentists because I chose to work where I am needed most."

"Don't get touchy," I said.

"Touchy?" he said. His face had turned red and from the way he was clenching and unclenching his jaws, I was afraid he was going to damage his teeth.

"Try furious. In a system like this, I will end up being rated average, below average, or worse. My more educated patients who see these ratings may believe this so-called rating actually is a measure of my ability and proficiency as a dentist. They may leave me, and I'll be left with
only the most needy patients. And my cavity average score will get even worse. On top of that, how will I attract good dental hygienists and other excellent dentists to my practice if it is labeled below average?"

"I think you are overreacting," I said. "'Complaining, excuse making and stonewalling won't improve dental health'... I am quoting from a leading member of the DOC," I noted.

"What's the DOC?" he asked.

"It's the Dental Oversight Committee," I said, "a group made up of mostly lay persons to make sure dentistry in this state gets improved."

"Spare me," he said, "I can't believe this. Reasonable people won't buy it," he said hopefully.

The program sounded reasonable to me, so I asked, "How else would you measure good dentistry?"

"Come watch me work," he said. "Observe my processes."

"That's too complicated and time consuming," I said. "Cavities are the bottom line, and you can't argue with the bottom line. It's an absolute measure."

"That's what I'm afraid my parents and prospective patients will think. This can't be happening," he said despairingly.

"Now, now," I said, "don't despair. The state will help you some."

"How?" he said.

"If you're rated poorly, they'll send a dentist who is rated excellent to help straighten you out," I said brightly.

"You mean," he said, "they'll send a dentist with a wealthy clientele to show me how to work on severe juvenile dental problems with which I have probably had much more experience? Big help."

"There you go again," I said. "You aren't acting professionally at all."

"You don't get it," he said. "Doing this would be like grading schools and teachers on an average score on a test of children's progress without regard to influences outside the school, the home, the community served and stuff like that. Why would they do something so unfair to dentists? No one would ever think of doing that to schools."

I just shook my head sadly, but he had brightened. "I'm going to write my representatives and senator," he said. "I'll use the school analogy -surely they will see the point." He walked off with that look of hope mixed with fear and suppressed anger that I see in the mirror so often lately.

October 06, 2005

Loyalty, Serial Huggers, and West Wing

I apologize in my blog neglect. This week turned out to be busier than I had anticipated. Busy, busy, busy.

Monday, I worked in the "special needs" kindergarten. The teacher has two students with cerebral palsy, a student - Boogie Boy - that wipes is nose boogeys on others (totally lacking social skills), and some other students with "issues". The principal specifically asked me to come in (signed me up and notified me later...lol). I had been in her room and vaguely knew the kids from the day I roamed during the Diebels testing. Wow what a day! I don't know how this woman doesn't lose her mind. Lots of normal kindergartener stuff...then you have the oppositional boy with cerebral palsy who can be quite a handful. Add a few other high strung boys, not breaks, extreme heat, and a serial hugger and it makes for an interesting combination.

During afternoon choice time, I sent the students three at a time to get their bookbags from their locker (teacher's suggestion and what works for her). Everything went really well, until the serial hugger went. Serial hugger has decided Boogie Boy is his best friend. (Yes, serial hugger is a boy - and he is already showing a lot of feminine tendencies) Anyway, I stick my head out the door not more than 30 seconds after Serial hugger left and he is on the ground hugging Boogie Boy.


Did I mention their regular teacher is in the library and this is happening OUTSIDE the library? Luckily, one shout using my "teacher voice" and they returned to the classroom. Before leaving, Serial hugger gave me a big hug and pronounced me the "best teacher he's ever had". Until tomorrow.

Throughout the day, I also dealt with the Random Kisser, who decided to kiss his friend. A simple, "We don't kiss at school." and we were ok. There was also I Love You Girl, who the children informed me was not allowed to tell the boys she loved them. Unfortunately, she thinks she does love them, thus she tells them. Frequently. Maybe she and Random Kisser should get together?

Tuesday evening I received a call from a teacher at my favorite school to work. He's the nicest guy and he really likes me (he likes me, he REALLY likes me...anyway). He needed to be out the following day and wondered if another sub could get the job if he posted it right now.

I told him that if the permanent subs we without a job for that day, then yes. Eventually we decided that he would post the job at 9:25 and we would just take it as it comes. Luckily, I got the job. I swear, sometimes its like playing a video game!

It is important to note that I am a fiercely loyal person. I will defend a loved one until the bitter end. I will defend their right to be incorrect. That's just how I was raised. If you're a friend, you're a friend all the time, not just when it behooves you. Someone needs to send that little memo to hubby's ladies on the soccer team along with my photograph.

Since hubby is the assistant coach I am also loyal to the head coach. He's a nice guy, he's been great to my hubby, and I think he's a good coach. (Of course, my coaching knowledge and my soccer knowledge could fit in an itty bitty box...but whatever.) Last night was their first home game after a four game "road trip". It's been almost a month since I went to a game, I was eager to see the progress the girls have made.

It was a good game. Hard fought...all that jazz. Oh! Before I forget, the opposing goalkeeper's name was Princess. PRINCESS! Oy. Anyway, during scoreless game, Head Coach decides to change things up. They're not scoring, maybe a change will help. So they put in Ms. Attitude. Ms. Attitude refused to follow instructions. She is scared of getting physical...she won't admit it, but that is how she acts. Anyway, Ms. Attitude is a forward. Head Coach puts her in as a defender (apparently, a totally different position). Ms. Attitude does really well for a girl who has NEVER been a defender before. Way to go, Ms. Attitude!

After the game, when everyone is cleaning up and heading for the locker room, Head Coach calls Ms. Attitude over to tell her what a great job she did in a new position. Unfortunately, Head Coach never gets to tell Ms. Attitude this because, you guessed it, she copped an attitude. So after trying to address the "issue" head coach tells her she may go.

Ms. Attitude stalks off the field and begins wiping silent tears. (There's no crying in soccer! :) ) Immediately Mama Attitude is rushing toward her daughter saying, "What happened?" Where am I, you ask? I am standing approximately five feet from Mama and Ms. Attitude. Go, go gadget ears.

Ms. Attitude gives her mother a COMPLETELY different story of what happened. Mama insists, she "has been a forward for the past seven years, (she's) not a defender". Mama is futher incensed that Head Coach "yelled at her in front of everyone". Say what? No one was around and the only non-team people left were parents (and wives). As if this little venom spewing session couldn't get any better, here comes Brother Attitude. He insists that in 110 minutes of soccer they tried "nothing new offensively". Huh? Your sister at defender so others could move up, sounds like a new offensive move to me.

About this time, hubby is walking across the field toward me. I am discretely motioning for him to not come to me, but to go away. Apparently, I was a little too discrete. When he got within hearing distance I muttered, "go away I'm eavesdropping". But it came out as "govay evesdropping". At this point, he slinked away to tell a "funny" story to another teammate. Alas, I think the Attitude family was onto me at this point as they decided to go home. Drat! Foiled again.

Be assured that both hubby and Head Coach have been made aware of the conversation. Was it my place? Probably not. However, I stick up for these girls (that I don't know, but feel like I do) all the time, (I am the "female" voice to hubby...giving female perspectives - which I hope helps him and Head Coach) and this one has the potential to cause a LOT of problems. Head Coach has a meeting tomorrow with Ms. Attitude, hubby is sitting in, but not saying anything. That way Head Coach has a witness when Ms. Attitude tries to turn things around on him later.

Lastly, I was watching West Wing this afternoon while eating lunch and it had one of my favorite parts. I don't really care for the episode, but I watch for the story Leo tells Josh at the end. Everytime....every stinkin' time, I get a little mushy. So here it is:

A guy is walking down the street when he falls into a hole. The walls are so steep he can't escape. A doctor walks by and the guy yells up, "Hey doc, I'm stuck in this hole, can you help me out?"

The doctor writes a prescription and throws it down the hole and leaves.

A priest passes by and the guy yells up, "Hey Father, I'm stuck in this hole, can you help me out?"

The priest scribbles out a prayer, tosses it down and walks away. Then one of the guy's friends walks by and the guy yells up, "Hey Joe, I'm stuck in this hole, can you help me out?".

The friend jumps down into the hole with the first guy. The first guy asks, "Are you stupid? Now we're both down here!"

The friend says, "Yeah, but I've been down here before and I know the way out."

And cue the cheesy music!

Status Report

Saw ob/gyn. Having outpatient surgery scheduled. No promises it will help anything as she thinks the main problem is the overactive thyroid, but it is a step in the right direction. Primary physician wants another test. Razzafrazzin.

Busy work week! As of Sunday was working one and a half days this week...will end up working three and a half. More later this afternoon.

October 04, 2005

Extra, Extra - Day 2

As noted in Extra, Extra, I find myself rivetted to the trial of a monster accused of killing a student I had two years ago.

Apparently on the night of the triple murder, his mother called. When asked how he was doing he ADMITTED TO KILLING THE BOY AND THE MOTHER. (Quote from the paper: "He said, ‘Not too well,’” she said. “He said, ‘I just shot R and D*.’”

The monster's mother also said this:

"It was not my son’s voice. It was like someone from outer space talking."

My question is this, exactly how many people from outer space has this woman conversed with to *KNOW* how someone from outer space speaks? If I were the prosecution, I would jump her for that statement. Good thing I'm not. If I were, we'd lose based on lawyer incompetence.

Futhermore, I am disgusted with the paper. Yes, I want to know what is happening in the trial, however, I DO NOT need to know body positions and descriptions of crime scene photos. I am not a juror.

Oh the tangent I could go on regarding today's media.

* Names changed

October 02, 2005


Perhaps I have simply grown up since I got married, or maybe I have always been an adult in a kid's body (lol), I don't know, but the phrase "whatever" as a response just annoys the heck out of me.

When someone uses that as a response, it generally means they are wrong or someone doesn't agree with them and they can't find the words to have a decent arguement. If this is the case, I will BUY you a dictionary. There are hundreds of thousands of words in there. It makes me question their future in their chosen career. What employer wants to hear, "whatever" when questioning an employee?

In the future, if I disagree with my doctor, can they reply to me, "whatever"? Uh, not if they want to be my doctor very long.

As I tell the kids at school, use your words.

Furthermore, the petty behavior of sending nasty things and then ignoring the person you sent them to is just asinine. At least, when I disagree with someone I tell them and am willing to discuss my thoughts. Heck, I could be wrong! It's happened before. Having a disagreement with a person is part of being an adult. I don't have to agree with you, just like you don't have to agree with me.

Immaturity in today's society just frosts my cookies. I deal with children all day long, I REFUSE to deal with adults who act like children.

Grow up.

October 01, 2005

I *heart* Frank Beamer

You know... Coach Beamer is a good coach, but even more importantly, he is a good person. And how many of those do we have these days?

While watching the Virginia Tech v. WVU game the sportscasters mentioned that Beamer is up for contract negotiations. He's been offered a 7 year extension on his contract at a pay rate of $2 million a year. He has a meeting this week with Tech's AD about his new contract.

The sticking points that he is "haggling" over?

Raises for his assistant coaches.

Classy, Coach. Just plain classy.

Extra, Extra

Those are just a few of the words that could explain my emotions. Though they are understatements.

Last January, I saw on the news that a man had killed his girlfriend, her son, and a KSU student. Living as close to Cleveland as I do, shootings are horribly commonplace. However, that is in "the big city". Not here. This one hit our small community hard. "Things like this don't happen here".

The saddest part for me is I knew the little boy who died. I had actually been his teacher for a week and a half. I told him goodbye when he moved because his "real" teacher couldn't. He was a typical kid. He was sweet and always had a smile.

What makes me angry is this monster's defense. He is now claiming that he was high (meth and other depressants) and not taking his medicine. He claims to be bipolar. However, what he describes is more schizophrenia than bipolar disorder. He killed three people. Three INNOCENT people. A child and a young woman who was practically a child. I don't care how sick he was. If he gets off... oh, if he gets off I will be positively ill.

The trial is just beginning. Details are emerging. All I can ask myself is what kind of home life did this sweet child have? Did we, as teachers, do everything we could have done to remove him from a dangerous home environment? Could something we have done prevented this?

What kind of horrible world do we live in? Hope you and yours are safe. Give them an extra hug today. Just because you can.