Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Last night I saw a man picking food out of a trash can.

I realize people have different political, religious, and economic viewpoints. But...

Last night, I saw a man picking food out of a trash can!!!

How can we--- no. How can I help?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Birthday Queen

It's true. Last Friday was my birthday. I am officially on the downward trail to... well, I won't mention any numbers.

In an attempt to make me feel special, my housemate and coworker- L. bought me a tiara, a purple ring (I dubbed it "the ring of power") and asked me to parade around school in the get-up for my special day!

Now, anyone who knows me, knows that normally I do not like being the center of attention at all. However, something happens to me on my birthday. I become giddy and flamboyant like a jack-in-the-box. When my principal didn't announce my joyous occassion over the announcements, you better believe my class and I went down to the office to set the record straight! (yes, he did later announce it...)

My students proudly exclaimed to all who passed by what a special day it was. They would point out my crown, ring, and even shoes! (I know it will date me, but I wore my new "jellies"). I had on "glass slippers", making me all the more qualified to be queen for a day.

Even though it was all pure silliness, I thoroughly enjoyed being "The Birthday Queen"!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

It shouldn't be, but it really is.

"Oh shit!!!" 8 year old L muttered from his desk last Friday. I was surprised to hear the words in my classroom of first graders. It is probably the first time any profanity other than "stupid" has come up thus far this year. In all honesty, my first reaction was to laugh.

I knew I had a choice: react, or seem nonchalant.

I had my back turned to the groupings of desks, so I just called out "Be careful with your words." The kids were all engaged in various morning duties: breakfast, writing, reading, creating, and giggling. L looked at me with shifty eyes, trying to decide what his best excuse should be. In between glances at me, he looked down to his finger that he was delicately holding with the opposite hand. I rotated throughout the room, performing my normal duties and carrying on various conversations with other students. I didn't want everyone to know I was heading over to L. Eventually, I made my way over to the conciencious, loving, and by now, nervous kid.

I gently whispered in his ear, "Is your finger okay?" He nods.
"You know we can't say words like that at school, right?" He nods.
"Okay, I just wanted to check with you." He nods. Looks at finger. Looks at me with uncertain grin.

I am sure his instant reaction to his finger getting smashed is in large part due to hearing similar reactions at home.

This shouldn't really be a funny story if you think about it, but it really is. Human nature and what we model for kids is pretty fascinating stuff.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Caught in the Storm

Since sentences won't come to me and poetry has been our study the past two weeks, here is my own stab...

words and expressions
cut to the deepest part.
two talking as if on different floors of a building

the moments replay
again and again in the brain's record.
two walk away in a duel's fashion

tears burn
demanding their release.
strong-will pushes them back to the dungeon

calm returns
to the body like a blanket on a shivering child.
alligator skin and a duck's back are remembered
because that's life...

Saturday, May 7, 2011

To wear or not to wear?

I don't particularly like to wear socks. Most people who know me, know this fact. My students know. My housemates know. My friends know. My family knows. I don't wear socks in the winter. Mainly, this is because my shoes simply don't look good with socks. I don't wear socks in the spring. Same reason. I don't wear socks in the summer. (I bet you know the reason.) I don't wear socks in the fall...

However, today I was tempted to change my pattern. A dear friend of mine has a newly built house. I was attending the open house before her and her husband move in. This is when the problem presented itself. Should I wear socks? I was assuming that because the house is brand new that guests would be asked to take off their shoes upon entering. I was faced with two options: wear socks or change my shoes (and potentially entire outfit to compensate) to work with socks.

Some people might not think it is a big deal. To me, it was a major dilemna. I didn't want to go walking around in my bare feet, but I didn't want to wear socks either! Maybe no one else thinks about this as being a potentially awkard social situation. I do.

What to do? What to do?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

"Hey, What's That Playing on the Radio?" - R. E. M.

Here's my own attempt at ipoetry. Afterall, I have started a new study of poetry in my first grade classroom. I told my kids that I am studying poetry with them and hoping to grow as a poet. This week's focus lesson on poetry is that poets write what they know about and love. I love music. This is my poem from my ipod...

In my head, Fallin' for you.
Rhythm of love.
Love the way you lie.
Sexy can I, take you there?

I gotta feeling-
I am not my hair, According to you;
We R who we R,
What's my name?

Bye Bye, Chasing Pirates;
Live your life- shark in the water,
Ridin' Solo, Damaged.
How do you sleep?

Just a dream. Just breathe.
Raise your glass.
Fearless love, gives you hell.
Do you remember?