Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Library Is My New Best Friend

I've finally started going to the library again.  I used to go all the time when I was a kid, but since I moved here to Myrtle Beach, I never seemed to have the time.  One of the first things I did when I moved here was get a library card, and yet I've only just used it in the past few weeks.  My excuses before were that it was too much of a hassle to have to worry about the library's hours of operation, due dates and late fees and whether they would have the book I wanted, etc.  Since I tend to re-read my favorite books, I also used that as an excuse to buy the books I wanted to read instead of checking them out from the library for free. 

Since I've been unemployed these several past months, I've been prohibiting myself from unnecessary purchases, especially books.  I have to look away every time I walk past the book section at Walmart, lest the gravitation pull of literary wonder drag me to my financial doom.  I've rarely been able to resist buying an armload of books, even when I tell myself I'm just looking, or that I'm only going to buy one book.  Yeah, right!  That's like eating one doughnut.  Impossible!  Now that I've got all this time on my hands, I decided I didn't have to worry about due dates and such for the library.  I have more than enough time to read a few books and get them back on time.  I went the first time and was pleasantly surprised to hear that I had four weeks before they were due back!  Have libraries extended the amount of time you can have a book out?  I had assumed it would have to be returned in two weeks.  I left with an armload of books, which I devoured greedily.  I then made a list of several more books I wanted to check out on my next trip and took a canvas bag with me to help carry them.  As I walked among the bookshelves, snatching books from the shelves as if I was on a grand shopping spree, I felt giddy with my good fortune.  I'd forgotten how glorious it is to choose books without worrying about how much it would cost me, without having to curb my lust for books, books, and more books!  After my second trip (with my canvas bag filled to overflowing), I approached the circulation desk and asked the lady at the counter if there was a limit on how many books I could check out at once.  The answer? FIFTY!  Whoa Nelly!  I think I'm safe.  :)  I made quick work of that second batch of books and am now enjoying working my way through the 9 books I currently have checked out. 

I've started thinking of it as "my" library, and I get a bit miffed when I go in and one of the books I want is already checked out.  And it pains me to see how poorly some people treat their books.  Dog-eared pages, bent covers, unidentified gunk sticking the pages together.  It's appalling.  I have books I've read a half a dozen times that barely have the hint of creasing along the spine.  Some of the paperbacks at the library have been so abused and the spine creased and broken so often that you can no longer even read the name of the book.  It hurts my heart to see how carelessly they are cared for. 

I'm going to be so sad when I finally get a job and won't have all this time to read and visit the library.  But I'm going to enjoy it while I can!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

PhotoHunt: Spotted

The pebbles and rocks on this black sand beach look like spots upon spots!  This was taken at Wainapanapa Beach State Park on Maui.

A beautifully spotted and speckled Whale Shark off the shore of Maui.  This curious friend came by to get a peek at our boat as we were out on a whale watching tour. 

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

It's Back!

Okay, my counter is back again.  However it seems to have started over from scratch.  It says I've only had 35 visitors.  :(  Weird...

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Dude, Where's My Counter?

My visitor counter has been kidnapped!  I noticed the other day that it wasn't showing at the bottom of my blog, and thought at first that it was just not loading properly or something.  But now it's been a few days and it still isn't showing.  The HTML is still sitting pretty on my layout page, but there's no sign of it anywhere else.  I'm pretty bummed.  Does this mean I have to install a new one and start over with my count?  I was so excited to have finally had over 2,000 visitors.  That probably sounds like peanuts to most of you, but I've only been blogging since November and I had assumed it would be a year or so before I had that many visitors.  I don't even care if those visitors were repeats.  It still counts! 

So has this happened to anyone else before?  Any ideas on how to get my counter back?  I miss it.  :(

Friday, January 22, 2010

Dream Day Friday! The Magic Scissors

Magic Scissors are awesome.  If I had a real pair of these, I'd be a cutting fool!  The idea for this was actually shop-lifted from a former coworker of mine.  She was from Russia, and I'm not sure if this was a fairy tale-type story that gets told to the Russian kids, or if she just made it up herself.  Either way, this is now one of my favorite day-dreaming tools! 

You're probably wondering what could be so great about a pair of scissors.  My friends, Magic Scissors are even better than having a genie in a magic lamp.  With these scissors, you can cut out pictures of things you want, and POOF!  Those objects are now real and in your possession!  Legally! Do you see a picture of a fabulous car that you'd love to own?  Just cut the picture out and it's all yours.  Do you see how much fun this could be? 

Now, according to my coworker's story, I think you are supposed to cut out the picture in its entirety.  But that's amateur day-dreaming.  You could seriously limit the possibilities with that rule.  What if the picture doesn't show the whole car? What if a third of the car is cut off the page?  Then you'd only get part of the car, and where's the fun in that?  So MY Magic Scissors have a few extra special qualities.  All you have to do is make a cut into the picture.  If the scissors cut any part of the picture of the object you want, it's yours.  This is also helpful if you find one picture of something you want, but you'd really like more than one.  Like money!  There are some things you just can't really use Magic Scissors to get, and you need actual money.  (I know, right?  What's this world coming to?)  In this case you can just trek on over to a magazine stand and find the financial magazines.  Flip through them until you find one with some good pictures of cash, and then buy that magazine.  (No stealing or cutting up magazines that don't belong to you!)  Then when you get home - or into your car, or as soon as you step away from the cash register - you can start slicing into the pictures of cash.  Being a practical person, I would like to have the Magic Scissors deposit the cash directly into my checking account.  Then I could just pop by the ATM whenever I needed cash.

And of course my Magic Scissors are intuitive and can sort of read my mind and know what I want.  So if I've got a friend who's been out of work and is struggling to pay the bills, I can slice into some money pictures and have my Magic Scissors magically deposit the cash into my friend's checking account.  I don't even need to know their bank account number or even where they bank.  My Magic Scissors will know all that for me.  Pretty sweet, huh?  Know what else?  The Magic Scissors know exactly what size clothes you wear, so if you find a fabulous item of clothing or a pair of shoes you just have to have, snip away and they will be yours, and a perfect fit no less.

One of my favorite ways to imagine using the Magic Scissors is when I'm flipping through the latest issue of Homes & Land and perusing the multi-million dollar estates in Hawaii.  I would make a little snip into one of the pictures, but my Magic Scissors will know I want the whole estate, not just that one shingle or the palm tree or whatever. Yet at the same time, if I want to Frankenstein an estate from parts of several different ones, I could do that too if I wanted. 

I love you, Magic Scissors!

Photo found here.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

New Earthquake Hits Haiti

Haiti has been hit by another large earthquake.  This aftershock measured 6.1 on the Richter scale and has done even more damage to the already damaged and fragile city of Port-au-Prince.  How much more can this poor country take? 

Find the news article here.

Monday, January 18, 2010

School Memories: The Kindergarten Years* (Part II)

I mentioned in my first kindergarten memory post that while most of the memories are happy ones, there is one that had a long-lasting, negative impact on me.  This private school I attended allowed teachers to spank the students with a wooden paddle.  They didn't even have to be sent to the principal!  This is not a good idea.  Would you send your child to a school where any teacher having a bad day or a bad year can take out their frustrations on your child?  I don't remember any other spankings I may have gotten at school and can't tell you how many there may have been.  But there was one instance I have never been able to forget. 
I was in class with all my fellow students when Mrs. Browder, my teacher, had to leave the room for several minutes.  She left the door open, and while we tried to remain quiet, of course being only 5 years old we weren't completely successful.  At one point, I was talking to the girl next to me and admiring her dress, which had a tiny, soft velvet bow at her neckline.  Five-year-old girls like soft things.  I felt her little bow and for some reason was really impressed with it and decided to express myself by yelling "Mommy!"  I know, it doesn't make any sense.  But the point is not what I said, but the fact that I said that one word loudly enough for the teacher across the hall to hear me and become irate with me.  She stormed over to our classroom and asked who it was who made that noise.  Being an honest person, I raised my hand.  This woman was one of the Mean Teachers that every student dreads. Her name was Mrs. Parsley, and I don't think I ever saw her smile. She pulled me out of the classroom and dragged me into another room.  It was probably just an empty classroom, but I remember it as being a dark storage closet.  She pulled my dress up and spanked me quite harshly with her wooden paddle. 

After she paddled me, she marched me into her classroom of 2nd graders and made me stand in front of all of those big kids, my face tear-stained and my feelings sorely abused.  (Not to mention my posterior!)  I had to apologize to all those older students for disrupting their class.  I was always a shy child, so this was extremely humiliating and stressful for me.  Even if I had been there for a positive reason, it would have been embarrassing.  And to have to do this in front of the big kids, with tears streaming down my face?  Horrifying.  This woman wasn't even my teacher!  I said ONE WORD loudly enough for her to hear.  She caused more of a disruption to her class with her attack on me than I could have possibly caused with my actions. 

At the time, being as young as I was, I had no idea how inappropriate her actions were.  She was a teacher, an adult, a figure of authority.  It never even occurred to me to tell my parents.  After I was older, I realized just how inappropriate her actions were.  She should have waited for MY teacher to return and told her what I did and let Mrs. Browder discipline me as she saw fit.  She shouldn't have been allowed to grab any random child in passing and lay her hands on them because she felt entitled to do so.  (I wonder how many other students she disciplined who weren't her responsibility.  She probably kicked puppies too.)  I'm assuming she told Mrs. Browder what transpired, but I don't remember her ever speaking to me about it.  If she did, it didn't bear remembering.  I would recall the event often as I grew older, and knew that I was still angry about it.  I have always been grateful that my parents moved me and my brothers to public school after I finished 1st grade, so I never had to have Mrs. Parsley as my teacher!  I never realized how deeply I was affected by this event until sometime during college. 

My extended family was having a 4th of July get-together at the lake.  My grandmother, who still went to the church that was affiliated with the school I attended, invited Mrs. Parsley to the party!  I didn't even know they were friends, but I can tell you that even a bazillion years after I had last seen that woman, I recognized her on the spot.  (I could probably sense her evil aura pulsating through the hot summer air as dark storm clouds appeared out of nowhere to blanket the sun.) I can't begin to tell you how ambushed I felt to see her there.  My own grandmother brought the enemy into our camp!  I had to politely greet this woman when all I wanted to do was toss her into the lake.  And even then, I still thought I was only offended and angry.  As everyone else was outside enjoying the beautiful day, my mom and I went into the house to make some banana pudding.  We were talking and I decided to relate to her the story of that horrible day back in kindergarten.  I started telling her the story, and promptly burst into tears.  Big tears of anger and humiliation that I had apparently still been harboring.  That stupid woman had scarred me! My mom was understandably upset and wished I had told her then.  If only I had thought to do so, I may have gotten over it sooner.

That my dear readers, is my worst school memory.

*Despite the title of these posts, I only spent one year in kindergarten.  But "The Kindergarten Year" just sounded wrong. 

Photo found here.

Friday, January 15, 2010

30-foot Tall Snowman Terrorizes Neighborhood

I just saw on the Weather Channel that a family in Nebraska built a 30 foot tall snowman.  He's a kind of skinny guy, but it's pretty impressive.  According to this very short article, they built the first fifteen feet using boards and a snow-blower.  (Cheaters!)  Once it got too tall to build from the ground, Dad pulled out a ladder and his kids threw him snow.  I can't even imagine having enough snow in my yard (or the entire county for that matter),  to make any size snowman, much less one that wouldn't melt before nightfall.  I don't even remember the last time it snowed here.  It's such a rare event that we'll even consider sleet snow sometimes.  Hey, it's frozen and (kind of) white.  We make do with what we've got.  When we get a "blizzard", we might be able to clap together a snowball.  Anyway, back to Frosty's cousin!  This enormous snowman in Nebraska (they've named him Luigi) took 3 days to make.  I love the traffic cone they used for the nose.  They used plates for the buttons and eyes. 

But the thing that really caught my attention?  Check out this next photo:

Can you see his mouth?  Do you recognize what they're using there?  BRICKS.  They've got bricks packed into the snow on the front of this thing.  Now, it may make for a nice smile on the snowman, but all I can think of is what is going to happen when it starts melting??  Or evaporating, for that matter - I'm sure there is plenty of wind 30 feet up.  Bricks are going to fall from 20 to 30 feet in the air!  Did nobody think of this yet?  Do they have a safety perimeter set up around Luigi to keep spectators safe from falling bricks?  Is this a designated hard-hat area?  All I can say is, what were they thinking?  This family has built uber-snowmen before.  Last year their record was 26 feet.  So maybe they've got practice with masonry mouthing and falling bricks.  Who knows?  But I think someone should make a public service announcement to the residents of Kenesaw, Nebraska.  Keep an eye on the sky, your children, and pets.  The sky could be falling today! 

Photos found here.

Dream Day Friday! Episode I

Today folks, you will get to witness the overzealous ramblings of my daydreaming mind!  This example of my daydreaming-ness is actually quite mild compared to many of my mental shenanigans. 

Background: Anyone who has read my blog before probably knows that I'm doing my best to get a job as an art teacher.  Unfortunately, since I don't have an education degree or teacher certification, I have to either worm my way into an alternative certification program or go back to school to get my MAT (Master of Arts in Teaching).  Ideally, I would prefer to go back to school so that I could actually learn HOW to teach and handle a classroom.  If I do the alternative certification (PACE), I'd just be tossed into a classroom with little to no preparation and I'd have to wing it for 3 years, after which I'd get my permanent certification.  Assuming I fulfilled all the requirements and passed all my evaluations, that is.  It is assumed that if I can do that then I am fully capable of teaching and they'll let me have my certification despite my lack of educator training.

I've been working toward doing alternative certification since March 2009.  At the time I had a job and didn't see how it would be feasible for me to quit to get my Masters.  I couldn't work and go to school at the same time because I couldn't be in two places at once.  It was hard enough to figure out how to pay for the schooling if I KEPT my job, and quitting my job to go back to school would only make it that much harder to pay for it.  There was lots of dreaming about winning the lottery. If I could just win enough to cover tuition, books, and fees, and all that other stuff they charge you for, plus cover 2 years of lost wages so that I could still pay my bills while I was in school and not working... 

That mushroomed into imagining winning enough in the lottery so I could pay tuition, cover lost wages, and pay off our mortgage, car payments, previous student loans, make upgrades and repairs to the house, and so on. And of course I'm listing and picturing in my mind specific things I want to do for the house (including some major landscaping with someone to help come up with a design and other people to do all the work).  At that point I decided that if I'm going to win the lottery, I may as well imagine winning the Big Kahuna - the Powerball Jackpot!  Which would of course be at least $300 million at the time, I'd be the only winner so I wouldn't have to share it with another winner, and I'd be able to do all the things I'd listed before AND help out all my family, friends, and favorite charities!  Then I realized that since I had all these millions I wouldn't even HAVE to work anymore, so I would go back to school just to take classes for fun.  Oh, and I'd move to Hawaii of course.  Duh.  :)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Haiti Disaster

Hello everyone.  I'm sure you've all heard about the earthquake that hit Port-au-Prince in Haiti less than 48 hours ago.  Thanks to Blogger, I have a widget over in my sidebar that will allow donations to be made to the Red Cross's International relief effort.  100% of the money donated will go to the disaster relief efforts in Haiti.  If you can, please give!  You can do so by clicking on the banner at right in the sidebar, or by clicking the banner included at the bottom of this post.

If you have a blog or website of your own, please consider adding one of the available widgets to your blog.  You can find them on your dashboard under Blogger Buzz.  If you aren't on Blogger but still want to put a banner on your blog, please visit the Red Cross's Haiti Banners page to find something suitable for your blog or website.  Thank you, everyone for your help! 

May you all be safe and happy, and take the time to stop and appreciate all the luxuries and blessings in your lives.   

International Response Fund

Photo found here.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

School Memories: The Kindergarten Years (Part 1)

I guess all this trying-to-become-a-teacher stuff has been what's brought up all the memories of my own school days.  It's sometimes surprising how clearly I can recall some of the things I do from so long ago.  I have a lot of memories from kindergarten, one of them which scarred me more deeply than I realized until a few years ago.  (More about that one in Part 2.) 

I had a really nice teacher when I was in K5 - her name was Mrs. Browder.  I also had a boyfriend.  His name was Charles and when I look back at my yearbooks, I still think he was kind of cute.  :)  I was apparently mature at a very early age.  We dated all the way through kindergarten and first grade, when our puppy love was torn asunder by my move to Public School.  Oh, if I had only known how to be angst-y at that age, I could have honed my drama skills early! 

Where was I? 

Oh yeah, kindergarten.  I'm not sure how much my K5 experience compares to others, but we learned how to DANCE.  Not like tap or jazz or ballet or anything.  I don't actually know what kind it was, but I'm sure it would have been appropriately conservative.  I mean, it's not like Mom would have been dropping Charles and me off at the local club for a session of bumping and grinding. Not like this kid who is learning how to dance from exposure to Beyonce videos.  How can I compete?  Anyway, back to me!  Whenever it was time for our dance lessons, all the girls had to line up on the wall and the boys would choose their dance partners.  (See, totally conservative!  Proper girls didn't ask boys to dance back in the early 80's!)  Charles of course always picked me.  Awwww...  And then there was always ONE dance where the girls had to choose a boy to dance with for the Sadie Hawkins version of dance lessons.  And of course I always picked him.

Does anybody actually know who Sadie Hawkins is, by the way?  I feel the need to know this now for some reason.  *searches the interwebz for info...*

Holy crap!  Okay, I know it was considered forward for a girl to ask a boy out or for a dance or whatever, but I never realized quite how condescending this whole Sadie Hawkins thing is!  Prepare to be insulted.  (Or maybe it's just me.) 

I also remember playing outside on the playground.  Being a private Christian school, all the girls were required to wear dresses.  Which meant we had to wear the appropriate hosiery and dress shoes.  Do you know how infuriating it is to try to play on dew-slicked grass in a pair of slippery dress shoes?  We played things like Red Light, Green Light; Mother May I; and Duck, Duck, Goose. That last one was one I particularly hated.  For any of you who may have been spared this game as a child, everyone sits in a circle with one person being chosen as "It".  That person walks around the outside of the circle tapping each player on the head and saying "Duck, Duck..." over and over until they choose to name one player the "Goose".  The "Goose" then has to chase the other person around the circle and the first person back to the empty spot is the winner and the one left standing takes over being "It".  Of course I could never run properly because I had to try to keep from slipping on the grass (and really, aren't kindergarteners vertically-challenged enough?) and letting my dress fly up over my head and/or shredding my pantyhose.  I hated being forced to play that game.  No wonder so many girls seem to be less physically active then boys.  Put those boys in a dress, pantyhose, and some patent leather Mary Janes and see how well they can run!  This same dress code meant the girls weren't allowed to play on the monkey bars because the boys would be able to look up our dresses.  Um, maybe you should keep the pervert boys away so the girls can use them too?  No wonder I have no upper arm strength.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

My Junk Drawer Prizes Are Here!

I recently won a contest held by Kathy on her blog, The Junk Drawer.   The prize was to be a coveted Junk Drawer magnet and a mystery eyeball prize.  That's right my friends!  An EYEBALL prize.  And it's not even Halloween!  What could it be, I wondered?  I've been in suspense for days!  Because let's be honest.  Other than this, what could it have possibly been? (A lot actually, as I found out when searching for that link!)  So I was pretty excited to see a package in my mailbox and to know that the time had finally arrived to appease my curiosity.  If I'd been thinking properly, I would have taken my camera with me as I walked to the mailbox station so I could snap a shot of the package in my box.  (I keep saying that I need to start toting that camera around with me ALL THE TIME, but I've yet to actually do so.  Another photo op lost!) 

Here is a picture of my prize package:

I know, right?!  EYEBALL BANDAGES!  Hot diggity!  And my prize even came with its own prize!  A puffy eyeball sticker.  It's two, two, two prizes in one!  I've already had lots of fun playing with these things.  Proof:

I've always wanted a Third Eye!

Are you eyeballin' me?

Just in case having an eyeball on your hand can be made into some kind of SuperPower, I'm all set.

And now I'm totally prepared for teaching.  Because of Kathy and her awesome prize, I now have eyes in the back of my head! Here's looking at you, kid. 

Thank you Kathy for hosting this contest and providing such fun and silly prizes!  I will definitely enjoy my eyeballs.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

A Quick Laugh

I've spent much of my afternoon online reading blogs and landing from one website to the next.  I found this gem of a video linked on Yahoo!'s front page and thought it should be shared.

I love when the cat is peeking inside the trashcan as she (he?) travels around the house on that Roomba.  Very cute.  :)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

You May Have Unclaimed Money! (And Possibly a Felony)

Have you ever seen those commercials on TV about people who are owed money and don't even know it?  They claim that you should go online and check to see if the government owes you money (or somewhere else).  Of course it makes it sound as if just about everyone will be able to find unclaimed money that belongs to them.  Personally I have to wonder how anyone could forget that there is money out there somewhere with his or her name on it.  If I was supposed to get a tax refund, I can guarantee that even if I moved a dozen times before my refund check was mailed, I would certainly be sure to let the government know how to find me so I could get my money! 

Anyway, today I checked my mail and got a letter in my box that doesn't belong to me.  It's the right address, just not the right addressee.  This woman wasn't even the previous owner - she was the previous, previous owner - and hasn't lived here in at least a dozen years.  There is in fact a distinct possibility that she is deceased.  We get these letters for her a few times a year, no matter how many times I send them back with a note that this person does not live here.  I've gotten to where I just throw them away, but today I decided to be nosy and I opened it!  (I'm pretty sure it's a federal offense to open someone else's mail.  Don't report me!)  Honestly I'm surprised I didn't open these things before now - the letter is from the State of South Carolina Department of Probation, Parole, and Pardon Services.  Whoa!  Doesn't that sound like a letter that's just begging to be read?  Was the sweet little old lady who used to live here an ex-con?  Did granny knock off a liquor store or something?  But imagine my surprise when I opened the letter it says this:

"According to our records, you appear to be the owner of some unclaimed funds.  Please be advised that we have monies pending that need to be disbursed to you." 

Whoa, again!  There really ARE people with unclaimed money!  Then my imagination started going again and I wondered why the department of jail stuff would owe her money.  Maybe she spent time in the pokey for knocking off a liquor store even though she was innocent!  She was convicted back in the day before DNA testing (surely the perp would have tossed back a brewski or two on the way out the door) and since then the Innocence Project has been working diligently to clear her name.  And now the state of SC has to pay her restitution for all those lost years.  It could happen! 

I have a feeling the truth is much different though, since the last line states this:

"If a response is not received within 90 days from the date of this notice, the funds will be reported as unclaimed and will be transferred to the Office of the Governor, State Office of Victim Assistance."

Uh-oh.  Victim Assistance?  Does this mean she was a victim of something?  Maybe she took someone to court and this is a payment of her settlement or something.  Now that I mention it, the letter is addressed to Jane, Doe with a long ID number of some sort that starts with a "V".  I hope it was something little like a fairly small car wreck or a pair of missing pants from the dry cleaner.  Or maybe they just donate any unclaimed money to Victim Assistance out of goodwill.  I guess I'll never know! 

Photo found here.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Can Kids Smell Fear?

I've been working toward becoming an art teacher over the past year.  I have a degree in Art Studio, but never took any education courses.  South Carolina has something called PACE, Program of Alternative Certification for Educators, that allows people without a degree in education to earn their certification while teaching on a temporary certificate.  I've been approved for the program and am now eligible for hire as an art teacher.  But of course with this economy they are letting teachers go, not hiring them.  So until they have a position for me to apply for, I'm in limbo.  I'm trying to get into substitute teaching in the interim so I can get my feet wet and have some experience to put on my resume.  Trial by fire, if you will.  I'm more scared of subbing than I am of having my own classroom! Classroom management can be a challenge for any teacher, but for a substitute who is only a temporary teacher?  That's just asking for the students to go crazy. I have this fear that I'm going to have a class full of hooligans who are all running around like monkeys and that I won't be able to control them.  I hear kids are like dogs - they can smell fear.  I wish I could afford to go back to school for my Master's degree (which I want to do one day anyway).  Then I could just get my Masters in Education and get some training and experience and not have to be thrown into it blind.  I'm hoping I can fake it enough until I know what I'm doing.  I keep remembering what it was like when I was in school (so long ago...) and knowing it wasn't as bad as I'm imagining.  But then I remember that kids today just aren't like they were when I was their age.  My parents would never have blamed my teacher if I failed a class - they, and I, would have known it was my responsibility to pass the class.  I know it wasn't perfect - there were class clowns and bullies - but I can't help but feel like I'm getting in way over my head.  Eeek!  Do you remember in the movie Dangerous Minds how wild the class was when Michelle Pfeifer started teaching there?  She couldn't even handle it, and she's a former Marine!  I'm not nearly so assertive. And then there's Kindergarten Cop, where Arnold Schwarzenegger goes undercover as a kindergarten teacher - 30 hyper kids running around the room and screaming at the top of their lungs.  Those little monsters are going to eat me alive...

Then on the flipside of my anxiety, is my flowery dream-world, where I love teaching and all the students love me and everything is all fun and hunky-dory.  I'll be everyone's favorite teacher and I'll love going to work everyday and everything will be perfect.  Parents will rave about how much their child loves my class and how they can see the improvement in their child's life.  And on and on it can go.  Then of course I can't help but think of all the great blog fodder I'm bound to get teaching school, especially if I go with elementary school. 

Too bad the fear an anxiety is usually more powerful than the day-dreaming.  I think I'd rather go in there all naive and optimistic and have it not turn out so rosy than start out scared that it's going to be horrible and that I'm going to suck at teaching.  I'm really hoping that posting all this online will get most of it out of my system so I can starting being more realistic about it.  I know it won't be completely horrible or completely perfect, but somewhere in between.  I just don't want to be one of those first-year teachers who comes home crying at least once a week.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

PhotoHunt: Lick

I swear Pixie has the longest tongue I have ever seen.  She can reach out and lick your face from across the room!  She just woke up from a nap in this picture and I caught her in a yawn followed by a lick. 

Friday, January 1, 2010

They Have Voice Recognition Software - How About Thought Recognition?

I've been thinking for some time now that I need to get one of those little Digital Voice Recorders to carry around with me so I can record blog ideas as I have them.  Sometimes I'm able to get a piece of paper and a pen to scribble the topic down, but it would be so much easier if I could just record it on a little dictation thing like the doctors use! Then I could use it even when I'm exercising or doing something where I can't write it down.  Plus with a voice recorder I could just say everything I'm thinking instead of just jotting down a couple words. Usually when I'm thinking of something and thinking about blogging about it, my thoughts start stringing together as if I were already writing the blog in my mind.  And sometimes it's really good stuff - I can be witty and charming and funny. (No, really!) But when I actually get on my laptop to try to write it, there's just nothing there.  It's like the sight of the blank screen gives me instant writer's block.  The plan is that by having the DVR I can just think out loud and then when I get time to write the blog I've got it all right there!  I figure at least having some of it in the original spontaneous format might jog my creativity once I'm actually writing the blog post.  Could be wishful thinking though.  I'm good at that. 

But then I started thinking about how most of my great ideas come to me as I'm drifting off to sleep or am in serious daydream-mode.  Technically I could still use the DVR, but I'm sure if I kept jabbering into the machine at night (I wake up a lot during the night) my DH wouldn't be too pleased.  That's when I decided someone needs to develop a Thought Recognition Recorder!  I could just hook myself up and slip off into sleep and all the thoughts that run rampant through my mind would be recorded all on their own.  So when morning comes I can just review everything and type out the good stuff.  Wouldn't that be awesome?  Granted, my thoughts are often jumbled and even more often jump track halfway through onto another thought, but I'm sure I could sort through it.  If nothing else, I'm sure transcribing it all verbatim would be hilarious on its own, like some sort of wonky Mad Libs.

Photo found here.