Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘crazy world’ Category

Tonight my nephew and I were riding to a friend’s house to go walking to the park. While we were driving we had the following conversation:

K (me) – Mattie, do you have a girlfriend?

M – No, but Riley does

K – He does? How do you feel about that?

M – It’s okay. Do you have a boyfriend, Kitty?

K – No.  What would you think if Kitty got a boyfriend?

M – It would be good.

K – So you would like that?

M – Yes, we could all hang out and watch Transformers.

K – Oh, is that what you want us to do?

M – Yes.  It will be fun. I will get a girlfriend when I am ten.  I want to get a girlfriend and marry her and have children.  Then we’ll move out and live in our own house.

K – Oh? Well, are you going to marry the girl you are dating when you’re ten?

M – yes.

K – Don’t you want to move out of your house before you get married and have children?

M – No.

K – Are you just going to live with Mommy then until you get married and have children.

M – Yes.

K – Well what if you meet a different girl in college?

M – I’m going to college when I’m TEN??

K – No, when you’re 18.

M –  Oh, well I will not have a new girlfriend. Would you like for me to have a girlfriend, Kitty?

K – Oh yes! I would drive you to the park to play together.  Do you want a girlfriend with blonde hair like Annie and Sammie or with hair like Kitty and Mommy.

M – Blonde. Sammie is good.

k – Do you like Sammie?

M – Yes.  I don’t think I want a girlfriend I don’t know, and I already know her. So it will be good.

K – Sammie is pretty, and she’s very sweet.

M – Yes, she is always nice to me. And I know her (apparently that’s his only standard for a girlfriend)

K – What about Annie? She might be jealous. She’s been your girlfriend for a long time.

M – Well, I can have two.  Actually, I will have Annie, Sammie and Claire.

K – Claire can’t be your  girlfriend.  She’s your sister.

M – Ok, well I will just have two then.

K – Girls don’t really like that most of the time.

M – Girls don’t like to share?

K – Not boyfriends

M – Oh, well I will decide when I am ten.

Read Full Post »

– Tonight, I have a raging headache that I have been fighting for days. I am now drugged up on Benadryl and Dalmane, hoping for some sleep.

– I have had a roller coaster week, and right now I am on a down slope. I can see a little curve up ahead, but I don’t know if that’s going to take me back up or further down.  I’m not sad, so don’t be sending me all these little pity comments. I am just frustrated, confused, broke and ready for good things to happen on a regular basis.

– It has been a shitty year, and I am ready for the next six months to be awesome. The first six have sucked in a major way.   If there was just one area of my life that was AMAZING, the mediocre parts wouldn’t be as oppressive.

– Really, the problem is I am not used to failing at things I attempt.  (Except Algebra)  Somehow, a specific area of my life has proven time and again to be a failure. Please no homey epithets or clichés.  I am NOT a fatalist.  I am realistic and pragmatic.  I am also about ready to throw in the proverbial towel.

– I have always worried about meat going bad in the fridge, but after hours of watching Food Network, and watching them let meat sit in a marinade for 3 and 4 days, I am rethinking this.

– I was a late bloomer, and did not date a lot in high school.  I didn’t for a while, but this year I tried to be more proactive, but I have at least been going on dates pretty regularly this year. I pretty much hate it. I like being in a relationship, but I hate the dating process.  I hate all that wondering and doubting and insecurity.  This is why it’s just easier to be single.

– I am really baffled by people who still vote for bad politicians. I don’t mean bad as in “evil”, I mean they suck at their jobs.  I am not going to continue to vote for someone who is doing a shitty job just because they have a D beside their name.

– As a child and well into adulthood, I was obsessed with bubblegum and blowing bubbles. I have spent thousands of dollars on Bubble Yum, Hubba Bubba, Fortune gum, Bubblicious, Super Bubble.  Once, I start chewing it, it is almost physically impossible to stop myself.

– I need to find some duck fat and cook something in it. It is apparently the culinary shit.

– I also am beginning to think I need to move to a new state or city.   I don’t think I’m a suitable Southern Girl, which has resulted in my chronic singular status.  Although, on occasion I meet someone who makes me think, maybe…. I am looking at options for relocation within the year. Shhh, don’t tell my friends.

– Parents, you should go ahead and tell kids now that life is going to be hard and nothing will go according to plan.  Right now, my godmother is struggling financially, and I think she’s a bit lonely.  When I was younger money never seemed to strap her like it does now, but she was ill and had to quit working for a while. Now she’s trying to find work, but it’s not easy for a women in her 60s to obtain gainful employment, although she is VERY skilled. I am sure this is not how she planned her twilight years to be. I can guarantee that this is not the adulthood I thought I’d have.

– I wish bacon was low fat and healthy.  I’d be in tip top shape.

Read Full Post »

I was recently talking to a new friend, and I got the impression he didn’t fully understand the love I have for my students. To me, teaching is a calling, much like to the priesthood or convent. I don’t make a lot of money; I don’t get much respect. It is my fault if your child is unsuccessful in school. But there is NO other job I can think of that makes me prouder to claim as my profession.  I adore my students – good and bad, smart and simple.  They are just as snarky as I am.  Many of them overcome huge disadvantages just to come to my classroom every day.  I love my students.  When I am at school, I think of your child as being my child. I want only the best for them.  I want success in whatever form they can achieve it. I have had students go on to be successful in a huge variety of ways, professionally and personally.  I love seeing former students.   I have cried for them, laughed with them, been angry with them, been proud of them, but above all I have loved them.  I may be unhappy with the interactions I have with their parents.  I may be disappointed in their performance in my class or other classes.

I  want there to be no doubts about how I feel about my job and my children.  I may complain about certain aspects of my job, but who doesn’t?  When one of my students asked me what I would do if i won a big lottery amount, and my answer is the same. Start my own school.  My standards would be high, but my students would reach, and surpass my ideals for them.

Read Full Post »

So, my 25th high school reunion is next weekend.  I am going, though I was torn about it.  I feel like I have no accomplished the things I really wanted to accomplish.  I have three college degrees, including my Masters, and plan to start working on my PhD next year.  The first in my immediate family to graduate from HIGH SCHOOL much less college and grad school.

When I was younger, I used to daydream about my perfect wedding, who would be in it, what they would wear, where we would go on our honeymoon, how many kids we’d have, what their names would be, where we’d all go on vacations, etc.  NONE of that happened.  I have never been married, never even been asked.  A lot of my jaded, divorced friends tell me everyone else is envious of me, but the grass is always greener as the overused-saying goes.  I only sort of feel like I missed out on the husband, but I REALLY did miss out on the kids.  I always wanted to be a mom.  And not to toot my own horn, I’d have been an awesome mom. I see all these little teenagers, skanks, and Casey Anthony having kids they don’t deserve, and it stirs a little disappointment.  Yes, I know I can adopt or be a foster parent. Yes, I am close to my nieces and nephew, but it is not the same at all.

It is no one’s fault really.  I spent those years you use courting and breeding to take care of my grandmother, and have no regrets about that decision at all. I would do it the same way all over again.

So, next weekend, while everyone is talking about their families, I’ll just smile and get drunk.

Read Full Post »

Stronger

Read Full Post »

If you find yourself wondering why you have to interact with stupid, uneducated, ignorant, and otherwise useless people, please blame school boards, school administrations and parents.  Yes, I said it. PARENTS.  Not all parents, but enough of them.   As a teacher, I have been told to give a student a packet of work and if he/she completes it, give him/her a passing grade. I have refused stating that I have allowed this same student the chance to make up work, re-do work, re-take tests, turn in late assignments. I have stayed after school, given up lunches and come in early.  Yet, I have not once gotten a parent to call me back, attend a conference, email me or otherwise contact me. The school board threatens NO SUMMER SCHOOL every year.  Every year, the students can attend 16 4 hour days and that is supposed to make up for the class they failed. They can do this for up to two classes. I promise you I have seen the worksheets they do, and there is no way they learn anything other than “Hey, I don’t have to do shit all year, and I can come get a free lunch, and they’ll pass me”. Then they get to high school and don’t know shit.

I can promise you when we get them from elementary school, they are already two, three, four years behind. I have had students who are reading on a 1st and 2nd grade level. You can only hold that struggling child back so many times in elementary school before you have to socially promote him.   The same goes for middle school. You can fail them once.  After, they get socially promoted.  For the kids who are “too old”, we now have a computerized program that students take a year or less to complete.  The district and the administration determines which lessons they must complete. NO, it’s NOT all of them. They are taught no research skills, which are higher level, critical thinking skills.  Mind you, if I am evaluated and found to NOT be teaching this skills, I can at the least be chastised and at the most be written up or fired.  Teachers are NOT failing your kids. The “powers that be” are.

I am teaching high school summer school this year.  It is all on the computer. Basically, I, and another teacher, re-mediate as needed.  Otherwise the students are on their own. they must complete a mere 50% with a 70 or better and they can be finished. If they do that in a week, they’re done. If thy do it in five weeks, they’re done. The group we have consists of 9th, 10th, and 11th grades.  The DISTRICT (which I will be happy to remind you is made up primarily of men and women who have not sat in a classroom in YEARS), determined the content.  It is maybe half, MAYBE, of what they should be learning for the year.   I do think it will take most of the students the entire time to accomplish their 50/70 goal, but then what? Next year they’ll be sitting in their next English class completely unprepared.

School boards need to quit letting a handful of high-maintenance parents control them.  They should also be made up of a broader range of stakeholders.  We have a school board member who was a clerk of court for her entire life.  WHAT does she bring to the educational table?  People voted for her, a familiar name, so we’re stuck. There are no teachers on the school board in my district, and it is my understanding that this is how it is in most school districts.  If you think this is only done in my district, you are SORELY mistaken. It is an epidemic in America.   It is why we have fallen behind “lesser” nations.  Our entire school system needs to be scrapped and revamped. I have no problem with computer learning, virtual classrooms, etc. What I do have a problem with is the dumbing down of a curriculum by the district and administration, but when test scores roll in, it will be teachers to blame.  If my students who are with me every day don’t do well on the PASS test or if i taught high school the HSAP and EOC, it will be unspoken that it is MY fault.  So, who is at fault when the student who did NOT pass MY standards in my class is passed along?

Know thine enemy.  Teachers and most parents are the only people looking out for your  children and their education.

Read Full Post »

I am going to tell you now, if you fall, I will laugh at you. It’s a family trait.  When I was in college in Charleston, I laughed constantly.  For those of you who don’t know, the entire campus, and much of downtown is paved with bricks, which settle unevenly all the time.  People, including me and my friends, were constantly tripping, and yes falling.  Yes, I DID LAUGH.  It is unavoidable.

When I was younger, my gramma (THE HOBB) worked at the hospital in the canteen, she was the general manager, so whenever anything came up, she had to be there.  I spent late nights sleeping in booths because she had to be there when janitorial stripped and re-waxed the floors.  I went there every single day after school.  Everyone knew me because I was so NOT shy even as a kid.  Well, this one winter when I  was about 8, there was a rare snow/ice storm in Columbia. THE HOBB had to be at the hospital canteen because some of her workers couldn’t be there.  So, since school was canceled, my little sister  and I had to go with her.

Did I mention that we didn’t have a car when I was growing up?  We took the city bus everywhere. Well, on the way TO the hospital, the buses were running, but by the time we could leave, they were not.  We didn’t really live that far from the hospital – a little over a mile.  So, THE HOBB wanted to keep us as dry as possible for our walk home in snow/ice storm.  We had our normal coats, hats, mittens, boots (it was the 70s – boots were “in”) and scarves on.  THE HOBB decides to make us put a giant trash bag over our  clothes to keep us even drier. So, she puts the bags over us, and pokes holes in for our heads and arms.  She then puts her bag on as well.

We begin our trek from Richland Memorial Hospital to our little house behind Earlwood Park.   We get under the overpass, and we are right across the street from the drive in movie theater. If you grew up here you know.   It is now some abandoned warehouse, but was also a SAMS  Club.  OK, so across from the movie theater, but before the train tracks – THE HOBB slides on the slippery ice and down she goes.  She is in this giant trash bag and is just sliding along this decline, and I start laughing uncontrollably.  I can NOT help it.  I am just  laughing so hard I am crying.  My sister is getting so angry with me because THE HOBB has fallen. we sort of run/slide up to her and start helping her up. She is laughing, too.  It was quite possibly one of the funniest moments of my life with gramma. I still get giggly just thinking about it. She wasn’t an old grandmother, probably 46 at that time, maybe 47.

We made it home without any other incidents or accidents.  We laughed about that for the rest of her life.  We would jokingly suggest giant trash bags  when it was snowing, etc.  It became part of the fabric of our story.

Read Full Post »

Dear Citizens of Columbia or __________________ (insert appropriate city here);

There is this nifty invention called “The Sidewalk”.   Wikipedia defines a “sidewalk” in the following way:

A sidewalk, or pavement, footpath, footway, and sometimes platform, is a path along the side of a road. A sidewalk may accommodate moderate changes in grade (height) and is normally separated from the vehicular section by a curb (British English: kerb). There may also be a road verge (a strip of vegetation, grass or bushes or trees or a combination of these) either between sidewalk and the roadway (British English: carriageway) or between the sidewalk and the boundary.

The term Sidewalk is used for the pedestrian path beside a road. Shared-use path and multi-use path is reserved for use for ones available for use by both pedestrians and bicyclists.[1]

Here is my request: WALK ON THE DAMNED SIDEWALK!  It makes me insane to be driving through neighborhoods and people, usually with pets and children are stretched across the entire street – when there is a nicely taxpayer-maintained sidewalk, two to three feet away! Cyclists, yes,  I will share the road gladly.  Pedestrians, please use the sidewalk provided. If, for some, bizarre reason you feel that you are exempt from such usage, do NOT give me a shitty look when I get pissed because I have to come to a complete stop while you ineptly attempt to wrangle “McCarthy” and “Estrella” back to your side instead of running amok.  IT IS DANGEROUS!

More from Wikipedia: Research commissioned for the Florida Department of Transportation, published in 2005, found that, in Florida, the Crash Reduction Factor (used to estimate the expected reduction of crashes during a given period) resulting from the installation of sidewalks averaged 74%.[12] Research at the University of North Carolina for the U.S. Department of Transportation found that the presence or absence of a sidewalk and the speed limit are significant factors in the likelihood of a vehicle/pedestrian crash. Sidewalk presence had a risk ratio of 0.118, which means that the likelihood of a crash on a road with a paved sidewalk was 88.2 percent lower than one without a sidewalk. “This should not be interpreted to mean that installing sidewalks would necessarily reduce the likelihood of pedestrian/motor vehicle crashes by 88.2 percent in all situations. However, the presence of a sidewalk clearly has a strong beneficial effect of reducing the risk of a ‘walking along roadway’ pedestrian/motor vehicle crash.”

Walkway is a more comprehensive term that includes stairs, ramps, passageways, and related structures that facilitate the use of a path as well as the sidewalk.[2] The term pathway is used for pedestrian paths that are not next to a road.

So at the very least can you walk in a damned single-file line when you see traffic????

Read Full Post »

Don’t think that when you see me that you know me.  You don’t. I have secrets, fears and dreams that no one will ever know. I don’t even know some of them.  You’ll never know what words, images, thoughts will put a bitter knot in my throat and chest. You won’t mean to illicit that physical response, but you will.  You won’t imagine that your good news will chip away what little bit is left of a heart that has been superglued, stapled, trussed, duct tape to hold it together just a little longer.  You won’t imagine that i would love to have your problems – that I would change places in a heart beat.

You will know that I AM happy for your, even I am sad for me.  I will commiserate with you and help you plot revenge, solutions or just take part in a drunken night.  My heart is breakable, broken, irreparable in some parts, but my mask is in tact and flawless.

Read Full Post »

 

In January of 1986, I was in the 11th grade at Dreher High School in Columbia, SC.  I was a library aide for one of my periods.  It was during this period that I was in the library when the Challenger Space Shuttle was scheduled to lift off. In 1986, there wasn’t cable television in every classroom to watch important events like this.  Our special education teacher brought her classroom to the library to watch.  This wasn’t a classroom of children with normal learning abilities, but behavioral disorders.  It was a class with lower IQs and some other disorders.  I remember one little girl in the class was very excited to be watching the take off. With those students, their teacher and aides, the library staff and me, there were less that 20 people in the library, which was very large.  We were all sitting and standing around the television to watch the Challenger take off.

A little over a minute later, what we thought was part of the normal procedure was actually the malfunction and explosion of the shuttle.  A couple of minutes later, the announcer – I don’t recall if it was a reporter or an actual NASA employee – reveals to the spectators on site and the television viewing audience reveals that there has been a “major malfunction” and the shuttle has exploded.

I remember being shocked and sad for the people who were killed. The thing I remember most, however, is this little girl in the class that was watching becoming hysterical and inconsolable.  She just kept yelling, “No, that can’t happen. There is a teacher on that shuttle!”  That’s all she kept saying.  She was crying and yelling. The other kids were being really sweet and trying to calm her down while the teacher was doing the same thing.  The aides took the class back to their room, but the teacher had to take the girl to the office to the nurse so her parents could come get her. That stuck with me more than the image of those curling plumes of smoke I saw on TV.

A few years later, after I was out of college, I saw this girl with her parents at a baseball game I had take my grandma to.  Immediately, I was taken back to that day in the library and wondered if she ever thought about that day, if she ever got sad thinking about it, how it effected her over the years since I’d seen her.  I spoke to her because we had known each other in high school.  She remembered me, and seemed happy. To me her reaction was so pure and raw, so genuine because she didn’t have the constraints and reservations placed on us by how society expects us to act and react.  There have been plenty of times in my life where I wanted to yell “No! That can’t happen like that!”  Unfortunately, I have to hold that in and do my yelling later into my pillow or in the privacy of my house.

Today, on Yahoo!, I saw this link and it reminded me of that girl and made me wonder about her again.

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/first-amateur-video-challenger-shuttle-explosion-revealed-185802006.html

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: