Random Notions and Stories of Teaching

October 31, 2006

To apply or not to apply

The prospect of moving mid-year is hard for me.

Do I apply for current vacancies in the district where we "may" be moving?
Do I attempt to get my Georgia teaching license?
Do I just wait until Hokie Hubby actually gets offered a graduate assistantship and then start scrambling to get a job?
Do I resign myself to subbing in a brand new state until the end of this school year?
Do I get a job at Wal-Mart to supplement the subbing and hope that is enough to pay the bills?

There are a few teaching positions posted on the district website. I've applied for them, but I don't really think I will be following them up until we start hearing something out of HH's possible position. I can't see going through the entire hiring process, accepting a job, and then moving to Georgia if Hokie Hubby isn't going to be a graduate assitant. It just doesn't seem right to move somewhere just to possibly have to move again within a few months. In fact, it sounds downright crazy to do that.

Suggestions? Anyone?

October 30, 2006

Peachy?

Saturday was probably Hokie Hubby's last game at The College. The girls didn't know. Only Head Coach, Hokie Hubby, and I knew. They won, which was wondeful.

Hokie Hubby has thrown himself into finding a GA position (graduate assistant). That way he can coach and the college/univeristy will pay for him to get a master's degree. For us, it's really the best of both worlds. He's made his interest known to several schools in the area as well as one in Georgia.

The Georgia head coach has already contacted him several times with additional information or questions. It's a nibble, but it's been all good so far. The pay would be $500 less than HH is making now, but he would get paid for 2 semesters instead of the August to December contract he has now. So it's actually a raise. The other big "pro"s are several teaching job postings in the area and the fact that one of HH's best friend's from high school lives nearby. We wouldn't be totally alone.

Yes, I'd have to move away from my family and friends, but I'm actually feeling cautiously optimistic about this one. Provided we can find housing where we can bring Hokie, Ollie, Socks, and Lucy - I'm all for it. It's time to start LIVING!

Fingers crossed that whatever is supposed to happen, happens.

October 27, 2006

Right out of a book

Ever had a day that seemed like it came right out of storybook? I had one of those days today.

I had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day*.

So awful it prompted not only a trip here but a stop here (for the first time, ever) on the way home.

A little black forest dream makes it all better.

* Name that book! ( I'm so challenging. )

October 26, 2006

Whew

They came.
They ate.

They left.

I'm constantly amazed at the amount of food these girls eat. Skinny little rails walking past me with two (2!) plates of food. We had enough food for everyone with a little left over for Hokie Hubby and I. Not a lot, thank goodness, but enough for us to have dinner.

It's difficult to actually grasp the idea of 34 people in your house. It didn't hit me until a line of girls started walking in the door. The line just kept coming! Luckily, we had seats for everyone and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. Thank goodness for my "giant furniture" as my mother-in-law calls it.

Halfway through dinner, Hokie Hubby decided to go find our boys to see if anyone wanted to come out and at least be seen running through the living room. Hokie and Socks were no where to be found. They are EXCELLENT at Hide and Seek. Ollie ran into the living room to get away from Hokie Hubby. He reached about the middle of the room before he frozen in horror. You could almost hear his little kitty thoughts. "What the --!? Who ARE these people?" He then booked it for the patio where it was dark and quiet. Poor kitty.

Finally, all of the girls were extremely polite. Several etook their camera phones into the bathroom so they could take a picture of my bathroom. Now that's what I call good decorating. I received 32 "thanks for having us"'s as they came through the door and 32 "thank you, everything was so good"'s as they left. This could definitely become an annual event. I actually enjoyed it. Even though I didn't manage to smuggle a barn cat home with anyone.

Curses!

October 25, 2006

B-Day

Tonight is the night. The bitches, I mean, team is coming to dinner tonight.

I suppose calling them all bitches is a little to mean. There are only a few I do not like. Rationally, I don't have a reason to dislike any of them. HOWEVER, like my husband, I am an extremely loyal person. Some of these ladies (and I use the term "ladies" loosely) have been so nasty and awful to Head Coach that it taints my vision of them. I'm sure they're perfectly nice girls - when they're not being spoiled brats.

No matter what, I will be the ultimate hostess. My mother and grandmother taught me well. I will smile and be accommodating. I won't be thinking nasty thoughts about girls who are too big for their britches and think they know it all. I won't think of the two facedness of a particular player and while what she is saying to my face might be kind, what she will say when she gets back on the bus probably won't. Most of all, I won't be mentally comparing myself to them in all their collegiate-athlete beauty. I won't do it. Ok...I won't tell anyone I'm doing it, but I will be.

The house is clean thanks to Hokie Hubby's help. He's been my party slave for the past few days. The food is pretty much done. I'll wait until later to put out the last minute things that need to be refrigerated. Hokie Hubby is going to call me when they are about 15 minutes away, so I can whip off the furniture covers, scatter the boys, and do last minute things.

Thanks to everyone for their cleaning suggestions. I'm proud of how my house looks.

Wish us luck! Oh, and pray that they win. It'd be nice to actually celebrate this evening instead of sit through tense silence.

October 23, 2006

Welcome to the 2000s

The Hokie House is finally entering the new millenium. That's right people, we *finally* got DVR. As of about 10 minutes ago to be specific. We haven't been watching our movie as much lately (mainly Saturday nights to see the new movie of the week) so I asked Hokie Hubby what he thought about getting rid of the movie channel and getting DVR. Everyone I've talked to about DVR just raves about it. He agreed to try it out. So I called today, cancelled the movie channel, and drove 20 miles to pick up a new box and remote (thus saving myself the $25 service call and the waiting).

Can't wait to test this puppy out. Woohoo!

It is also important to note that Socks has entered the stage where he is highly embarrassed by his parents. The following picture was his response to my DVR euphoria.

October 18, 2006

Tidbits - Updated!

A tidbit or two from me, the reigning Assistant Coach's Wife/Official Soccer Mom-In-Training:

As Gym Teacher picked up my little angels today for their physical education period he was surprised to see me there.

Gym Teacher: "Well, hello Mrs. First Grade Teacher! Don't you look young!"
Me, giving my fakey smile and trying not to roll my eyes: "Hello, Mr. Gym Teacher, how are you?"
Adorable Little Angel #1, seriously: "Mr. Gym Teacher, that's not Mrs. First Grade Teacher! That's someone different."
Adorable Little Angel #2: "Yeah, that's Mrs!"
Me, snickering: "Be good in gym, boys and girls."

** Update **
Have I mentioned lately how awesome my mother is? Seriously? If I can be half the mom she is, I will be a great mom. I may call myself a soccer mom in training, but really she's the one training me, not Hokie Hubby.

A week from today we're hosting a little soiree. Maybe I've mentioned it a few times before. This evening my mother asks me if I want to see my what she got me for the soccer dinner or if I want it to be a surprise. Duh!

I want to be surprised.



No, I want to see it.



No, I want to be surprised.


Finally, the curiousity just killed me, I had to know what she found. Had. to. know. The following picture is what I found in the bag. I'm very impressed! She finds the best stuff! Now all we need is a light in the team's color and it would be perfect. I'm raiding Mom's Christmas light strands tomorrow night. Mwahahahaha.

October 17, 2006

Luck

I am off to The College to watch HH's game.

Will I return as the head coach's wife or still the assistant coach's wife/official soccer mom-in-training?

Who knows.

Wish them luck. It's going to be a long game sitting there with my fingers crossed.

Here's to hoping things work out for the best. Whichever way that is.

October 16, 2006

More changes?

So! I had a whole post semi-composed in my head about my day. I was going to enthrall my readers (all two of you - - Hi!!) with stories from the classroom. I have classroom stories! Finally! It's only been four months. These were interesting classroom stories, too - all about my first day back at my mother's former school and the emotions and exploits I'd missed. Did I mention I had a puker today? It was a banner day.

Alas, you will not get to read about that today. Once again, we have soccer drama.

It goes without saying that this has been a tough season for HH and Head Coach - in fact, it's been the season from hell. Head Coach's job is on the line and the AD has sucked all the fun out of coaching. It's come down to a win at all costs bottom line. Now, I realize that sports, in general, are all about winning. However, according to HH, his division of college sports is supposed to be student athlete centered. As in, these kids are STUDENTS first, athletes second.

They've had 4 players quit. The backup goalkeeper turned starting goalkeeper had emergency surgery a two weeks ago. The team is pissed at Head Coach. Head Coach is pissed at the team. Parents are pissed at Head Coach.

And there is, HH. Stuck in the middle. On one hand he’s trying to maintain his loyalty to Head Coach while not pissing parents off in the process. Not to mention attempting to stand by Head Coach with the administration while not sabotaging what little chances he has at the head coaching position. He's walking a very fine line. He's doing a wonderful job. He's damned if he does and damned if he doesn't.

This weekend was another loss. Okay. Shellacking is more the word I would use. 5 – 0 Everyone is frustrated. (With a record of 0 – 4 – 1, of course they are!) Emotions are running high. The girls are mad at Head Coach for goodness knows what reason and refuse to talk about it with him when he brings it up. Head Coach is so caught up in the must win situation that he’s emotionally imploding. Two sides. Each with valid points. Neither side is willing to talk to the other and neither is willing to admit they’re wrong. It’s insanity.

I’ve heard through the grapevine (i.e. my mother) that my husband called her beside himself. He had sent Head Coach home for lunch and just had to talk to SOMEONE. Since I was working, she was a good second choice. She called me to give me a head's up so I can prepare for the night of talking ahead. It seems as though Head Coach had a meeting this morning with the AD. If he doesn’t win the next game, he doesn’t need to come back. HH will finish out the season.

Oh.

My.

Goodness.

No wonder HH couldn’t settle! He’s now been thrust into the middle of this insanity. He’s torn between being excited at the prospect of being a head coach and heartbroken because not only is Head Coach his boss, he’s his friend. Head Coach is not a bad man. Hell, he’s not even a bad coach! He loves the game. He loves teaching the game. Take it from this soccer novice – he’s a wonderful coach, not to mention a wonderful person. He does not deserve to be treated like this.

I swear, all I want to do is go down to The College and flatten the AD. And I’m not a violent person!

If you’re still reading, thanks. I needed to get this out. Please keep HH, Head Coach, and the team in your thoughts for the next few days. It’s going to be rough. I hadn’t planned on going to this week’s weekday game, but I can’t not go, now. HH needs me and I’d like to show some kind of support for Head Coach and his family.

Please let things work out. Please.

October 14, 2006

WWYP?

I am toying with the idea of a Christmas "business". Ok, I'm just going to add a blurb to my cousin's website and see if I get any hits. A colleague of my mom's gave these out as Christmas gifts a few years ago with pictures of the school.

How much would you pay for a glass ornament with your child/home/family member/pet's picture in it? Personalization (name, year, etc.) would also be available right on the picture.

It can be any picture you choose. Ornament shape/design only limited to the size of the picture.

Here's an example of a work in progress (I've decided against putting anything in with the picture as it simply detracts from the beauty of the ornament):


The picture doesn't do them justice. (The black box was added to the picture...the ornament is perfect.)

Too cute

Gift from my mother-in-law. Too friggin' cute.


(Yes, I know I have issues.)

October 12, 2006

Letters

Dear Collegiate Women's Soccer Player,

When wearing your home whites, please remember to wear white underwear. As a fan, well "scout", it's really distracting to watch your blue bikini-clad ass run around the field.

That is all.

Thank you,
Coach's Wife

------------------------------------------

Recently I made my first purchase from the Lakeside Collection. I have received several catalogs and have found the items reasonably priced and unique. I frequently share my catalog with friends and family when I see items they would like. It’s often difficult to select just a few things to order!

However, I am highly disappointed in the package I received today (10/12/2006). While the three ornaments I ordered are not damaged they arrived in a torn, UNSEALED box and the packing for one of the ornaments is damaged so badly that it cannot be used when I give the ornament as a gift.

As I said, I've recommended the Lakeside Collection to my friends and family but I am seriously reconsidering that recommendation. I hope you will make any and all changes necessary to ensure this doesn’t happen to anyone else.

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,

Me

------------------------------------------

Received less than 5 minutes after I pressed send:

Dear Customer,

Thank you for your email to The L.akeside Co.llection.

Should you decide to return a purchase, please follow the directions
located on the return form or printed on the back of your invoice. You
may also obtain a copy of the return instructions at the following link:

http://www.lakeside.com/helpanswers.asp?PG=7

Please note that we only reimburse return shipping charges for items
that arrive damaged, defective or have been received in error. Please
include a copy of the postal receipt along with the return form. Upon
receipt of your returned merchandise, we will reimburse you for the
return shipping costs (if applicable).

We require that all packages are returned by UPS Ground or Parcel Post
Ground, insured. We only credit or reimburse for packages returned
through this method.

**If this does not resolve your issue completely, please reply to this
e-mail and a representative will address your inquiry.**

Sincerely,
Internet Customer Care
www.lakeside.com

October 11, 2006

Stunned

My fourth grade teacher died.

Shocked and saddened doesn't even begin to cover it. First of all, she was only 47. 47! (That means when I had her she was only 31.)

I've sat here for an indetermineable amount of time trying to put into words how I felt about this woman. There really aren't words. I've had wonderful teachers in my life, but there are three that stick with me to this day. Teachers I think about from time to time and wonder where they are and how they're doing. One is my mother. One is my high school Spanish teacher. The last is Miss Bartlett. Miss Bartlett was special.

Even in fourth grade, I was the fat kid. She was a larger woman too. Fourth grade was my first stint with W.W. - one of many diets in my life. There was no possible way for me to drink all the water the program required at home. Some of it had to be done at school. She let me bring a water bottle to school and leave it at my desk. I can still remember her asking me before lunch or recess how much water I had had that day. I'll never forget the day she showed me her W.W. cup that was sitting hidden in her desk. Finally, someone besides my mom that understood.

I'm angry at myself because I saw her in the store a few weeks ago and instead of being brave and talking to her, I just walked on. I had the chance to thank her for making me want to be a teacher and I missed it! I'll be kicking myself for that for years. I know better than that. I will never make the same mistake again.

We need more teachers like Miss Bartlett. More importantly, we need more people like Miss Bartlett.

October 09, 2006

Input please

So, in a little over two weeks the entire team will be coming to my house for dinner. Luckily, I am not cooking so that isn't an issue for me.

Cleaning, however, is. I'm tempted to get Twin over here since she's a germaphobe and see where she thinks I need to focus my efforts. So, dear readers, I need your input.

When you visit someone else's home, what do you notice (in terms of cleanliness)? What should I make sure I have done and what can I let slide should the need arise?


Ouch

I've never been particularly graceful. I accept it. My family accepts it - in fact, they love to tease me about it.

As a child, I decided I wanted to wait on the steps while my mom took a bath. Eventually I got bored and fell asleep on one of the top steps. This was all well and good until I turned over. Talk about a rude wake up call.

In second grade, I broke my arm doing a handstand in gymnastics class. I sobbed and sobbed in class about how much it hurt as my teacher's told me to dry my tears so I wouldn't upset my mother. I made it to the car before I told her how badly it hurt. We went to my grandma's house for a second opinion and then I was off to the hospital.

Then there was the time I was running to answer the phone and I broke AND sprained my right ankle. I was in a walking cast for weeks AND I couldn't march in band. Best thing that ever happened to me.

At Tech, I twisted my ankle pretty badly on some uneven sidewalk right outside my dorm.

And yesterday? I pulled another dilly. The house we live in has two steps. Total. I was walking down the steps to go to my parents house and suddenly I am flying through the air. Recycling bins are crashing and I am on the ground. Face plant. HH was walking behind me and immediately freaked out (he's so cute). After I had assessed the damage and decided I hadn't broken anything I answered that I was ok. Then I started to laugh. It's so typical me. Today I am sporting a skinned knee, skinned shin, really sore wrist, sore side, and an AWESOME bruise. It's probably the size of a softball and it has a bruise within a bruise. I'd take pictures...but ew.

What will I do to top this one!? I'm afraid to find out.

October 08, 2006

From the Road

Very few things make me burst outloud laughing while we're driving long boring highways. This did.

October 07, 2006

Rah, Rah

Things have been very crazy the past few days. First, HH's great uncle passed away. It's sad, but not unexpected - he's been ill for some time. The funeral is today. We are not going.

HH's starting goal keeper had surgery Wednesday. As in surgery! She was having some major pain and long story short, they found out that she has a 7 cm cyst on her ovary. Did I mention she played Tuesday night? It was just bad. Thank goodness she is going to be fine. Head Coach said he had a similar situation with a field player a few years ago and she was able to play again in about a week. I just about fell out of my chair laughing when HH told me this. Yeah. Right Coach! I will be shocked if she played another game this season. Shocked. However, she did send an email Friday saying she was ready to play Really Good Team today. Um. No. Instead, Freshman Keeper is starting today. She's scared, but she's going to do fine. (I keep saying that for HH...he's as nervous as she is)

We are off to Central Ohio today to meet up with the team. HH gets to ride with me and I get to go to the game. Who knows, maybe I'm good luck and they'll pull off an upset.

Yeah, I didn't think so either. I'm just hoping it's not too awful. These girls (and their coaches) need a confidence boost.

Go Team!

October 04, 2006

Decisions

I've been thinking a lot lately about our life (HH and mine). I am sick to death of spinning my wheels and settling. Let me go back and explain a little before I continue.

My brother is going to be so successful one day. He's smart as whip. He's funny and he's caring. He will do whatever he wants to do. Companies are fighting to hire him right out of school.

I've never had that. People put up with me. The teachers I sub for love me, but I apparently don't make an impression on the administration for whatever reason. No one wants to hire me. I fully realize that there will always be someone better at my job than me. That's true for everyone. However, EVERYONE being better at my job than me is killing whatever confidence I might have had. Subbing will not be my life. I'll find some boring 9-5 job before I sub for 20 years.

Meanwhile, HH is stuck in a position with absolutely no options for advancement. He's associated with Head Coach who is on the Athletic Director's bad list (anyone associated with soccer is on that list). Head Coach is a wonderful man who I think of as family. The AD has all but broken whatever spirit Head Coach had. He's awful. HH and Head Coach must make the conference tournament or Head Coach is gone. Right now, the team is hemorraging. Someone has to get control - winning is the last thing on anyone's mind. HH is as loyal as they come - even more loyal than me at times, but staying at The College will ultimately hurt his career, not help it. When he leaves (not if), he's really going to miss those girls.

But back to the wheel spinning...

As far as I can tell, HH and I are in the same position. Stuck in neutral.

I think we have to get out of this town.

Pros to staying (as I see them)
  • Living in a house, rent free.
  • Living close to my parents.
  • Being able to have 3 cats and a dog (what apartment or rental house allows that?)
  • Living on the farm.
  • Being close to family.
  • I already have my Ohio license - I wouldn't have to go through an application process to get a license in another state.
  • Three years time put in subbing toward a full-time position.
  • Living close to my friends.
  • Doctors I know and like for HH and myself
Cons to staying (as I see them)
  • Dismal job market not only for me, but HH as well.
  • They're selling the farm anyway - they'll be gone in 7 months anyway.
  • Living across from the quarry. It's dusty, dirty, and LOUD.
  • Choosing to live dangerously close to poverty just to have a chance "someday" of getting a job.
  • Continuing to wait to begin our life.
  • Relying on others not just each other.
  • No baby in the near future.
  • Living paycheck to paycheck.
Pros to Leaving (as I see them) - contingent upon both of us having jobs
  • Possibility of walking into a full-time position for one or both of us, depending on where we move.
  • Finally starting my career.
  • Paying off student loans.
  • HH getting his masters which will help him get a better job.
  • Being able to attempt National Board certification
  • Being able to start a family!
  • Weight loss surgery? It might at least be an option.
  • The farm is being sold anyway - what am I holding on to or trying to hold on to?
  • Being able to take vacations.
  • Paying off car loans.
  • Can still keep in touch with family and friends via email, IM, and phone.
  • Make new friends!
Cons to Leaving (as I see them)
  • Moving! Ugh. The thought makes me queasy.
  • Leaving my mom.
  • Leaving Twin.
  • Possibly having to give up one or more pets.
  • Finding new doctors for HH and myself.
  • Getting a new license - even though I've got a current negative FBI search letter good for 2 years.
  • Starting a family away from family.
  • Renting.
  • Change.
  • Failing.

October 03, 2006

Very funny

Yesterday, I worked in a second grade classroom. Nice school, great principal, excellent teacher, and sweet kids. It was a very enjoyable afternoon - one that leaves me wondering why I don't volunteer to go to that school more often. Anyway...

I take my "teacher bag" to every subbing job. My "teacher bag" changes with my moods. Sometimes it's a bag with cats on it. Sometimes it's the tote my cousin made with pictures of Hokie, Ollie, Socks, and Lucy. Yesterday, it was my I Love Lucy bag. I love that bag. Not only does it match my makeup case and purse, but it has big arm loops so it's easy to carry on my shoulder. I don't have to look like a bag lady carrying my lunch, purse, and teacher bag around.

While we were in Jamestown, I almost splurged and bought the new bag they have out. However, it was a little to bright for my tastes and I decided not to shell out the big bucks to get it. I rationalized that if I decided later that I really wanted the bag I could put it on my Christmas list, or break down and order it from the gift shop online (oh, how I love the internet). I bought the Lucy-Desi Museum bag instead. Not everyone can get one of those.


Where was I? Oh yes, yesterday at school. As the children were getting their coats and bookbags from the coat rack to pack up, one little boy noticed my teacher bag. His face lit up with glee as he exclaimed, "Look! The three stooges!"

To quote J.anet E.vanovich: "Mental head slap."

I guess if you squint, Bill Frawley could look like Curly.
But Desi Arnaz? Look like Mo? Uh. No.

October 02, 2006

Seriously

What is wrong with adults that enter schools and kill children? Children. Better yet, what is wrong with this country!?

Furthermore, I'm pissed that instead of facing the consequences of their actions these "adults" choose to kill themselves. Please don't even ATTEMPT to give me the "oh they were mentally ill" excuse. I live with a man that suffers from a mental illness and he would never, ever hurt me let alone a child. That's why we have medications. That's why we have counselling.

Cowards. Both of them.

October 01, 2006

Balls

I didn't hear from the tutoring job on Friday, so I am assuming I didn't get the job.

You know, I am really beginning to think it's me. Maybe I'm a bad interviewer. Maybe people don't want to hire some overweight chick. I just don't know. I'm doing something wrong and I'll be danged if I know what it is. I do know that I'm good at what I do...or I would be if I were ever given the chance to prove it.

Enough whining.

HH took me to my favorite restaurant for lunch. Yum! I was mildly annoyed when I realized due to the spinach/e-coli issue that not only would I not be able to get the ravioli appetizers I wanted, but they weren't offering the spinach alfredo sauce as part of the N.ever End.ing Pa.sta B.owl. Stupid e-coli is ruining my day.

Better safe than sorry. Blah. Blah. Blah.

I am working tomorrow. Yay for me! I signed up to float for teachers who are being taught a new test. The main reason I did it was one of the teachers took a kitten home this summer and I'm dying to ask her how the kitten is doing now.

Enjoy what is left of your weekend!