29 April 2009
I originally had the due date for research papers set for last Friday, but because I took the Friday before Easter off, I shifted the dates. It would have been really nice if I had gotten them last week, but I didn't. No big deal.
Because a LOT of the kids said they wouldn't be at school Friday, I stressed to them that they needed to turn them in tomorrow OR they needed to MAKE SURE they had them to me by the beginning of their class period on Friday. I'm even being super nice and entering the due date into the computer as tomorrow because if any of them have unexcused absences on Friday, I wouldn't be able to enter their grades. And a 0 out of 500 points would KILL many of their averages.
With two senior classes, if most of my students are out for the next two (three counting honor's day) I'll have plenty of time to get papers graded at school. HOPEFULLY I can get my classroom cleaned up, too. It is a HUGE, HORRIBLE MESS, and it's DRIVING ME NUTS!!!!
Bama is needing some Mommy time, so that's it for now. Have a GREAT Thursday!
27 April 2009
John and I had a very productive weekend. I got rough drafts graded--more about them later--and we got almost ALL of the yard cleaned up. The only area left is around the boat house. We worked yesterday from can to can't (pronounced "cain't" when you've worked as hard as we did.)
While I was gone to the store (and wondering why the man was taking his rooster on a bike ride) John got started on the front yard. We hadn't done any major yard cleaning since right after we bought the lot, so all of the leaves from this past fall were still on the ground. There were also plenty of small limbs from all of the storms we've had, too. I felt bad for John because he was working his butt off while I sat on the porch grading. Believe me...I would have much rather been doing the yard work. :)
After I finished grading, I did help out some, but by that time, John was just about ready to call it a day. We had gotten up early Saturday and did a little fishing. We caught six nice-sized bream that we WERE going to have for dinner. John cleaned them, but after working all day, neither of us felt like cooking, so we went to The Angler. The fish was good, but I know that bream that was straight out of the lake would've been better. We did a little more fishing yesterday, but the only ones biting were too small to keep.
After breakfast, we decided to tackle the rest of the yard. I really think that if I'd been able to help out Saturday, we could have finished everything, but we didn't. The area around the boat house will probably take one more day of hard work. It's pretty deep in leaves and there are quite a few sticks and limbs that will need to be burned. A lot of this is from the tree that fell last summer.
We'll be going up to Hartselle Friday to stay with Billie this weekend. Hopefully we can convince her to go out there with us again. Danny, Linda, Amy, Will, and Maggie came out yesterday and tried to get her to come with them, but she wouldn't. I told her the last time she went with us that I wanted her to help me plant some flowers, so maybe I can use that to get her to go.
Speaking of flowers...last year we planted a dozen elephant ear bulbs. Two of the bulbs were kind of mushy, but we planted them anyway just in case. Those two didn't come up, but the other ten did. All ten of them having sprouted this year! A couple of the sprouts already have leaf furls on them. I am SO excited! It really doesn't take a whole lot to excite me. I try to find joys in the little things. :)
Now about the rough drafts. Oh. My. Goodness. Some of them truly were ROUGH! AlI graded as far as the text was concerned was the introductory and concluding paragraphs. I don't even want to try to imagine how bad the rest of the papers are based on the introductions and conclusions I feel a huge headache beginning to form already. The students in first block did a pretty good job. The biggest issue that I saw was that the introductions needed to be more attention grabbing, but second block...BIG SIGH.
Almost all of the rough drafts from second block began with "In my paper, I am going to write about..." or "I have always wanted to know why...." The conclusions weren't much better, either. "I hope you enjoyed reading about..." or "I never knew that..." and my personal favorite, "If you have any questions about..." I keep reminding myself that most of the students in that class won't be going to college. They will graduate on May 22, get a good job, and be productive members of society. And there is nothing wrong with that. Not everyone is college material. But I still get discouraged. I'm just glad that I don't have to spend an entire weekend having to grade. As long as I have them done in time to get grades in before graduation, I'll be good.
Fourth block is testing now. This will probably be their last big test for the term. From the looks of it, some of them apparently didn't study, but that isn't uncommon for a Monday test. The sad thing is that I decided to let them have an open-book test, and many of them are sitting there staring at the pages, clueless. Ahhh...spring fever and that "I don't care" attitude.
Have a GREAT day!
23 April 2009
I honestly can't complain too badly about my year at all, but I am ready for the year to come to an end. Yeah, my 4th block class last semester tested my patience each and every day, and my 4th block class this semester tests it at least once a week, but I know it truly could have been worse. The interesting thing about both of those classes are that they have been junior classes. Hmmm...do ya think there could be something there?
Sometimes I feel like I should feel bad for looking forward to my summer break. Well, to any break. I think it's a teacher's mindset, though. I know that if I had a 9-5 Monday-Friday job and only got two weeks' vacation a year, it would be different. After 17.5 years of teaching, though, I don't think there is any way I could take a job like that. :)
My seniors are turning in their rough drafts tomorrow. They had a test Tuesday and yesterday (it is a L-O-N-G test.) I told them that they would have time after the test yesterday and all class period today to work on their drafts so that they could ask any of those last minute questions. First block did a great job. They all worked like busy little bees. Several of them had already printed out a rough draft and asked me too glance over it for them. Others were asking questions to make sure they had their in-text documentation correct. It was wonderful! My second block class though...I know someone will come in without a rough draft, and I won't have any pity on them.
I tell them that I know there are the rare extenuating circumstances that might cause them to turn something in late, and I will work with them on that. One of my girls had viral meningitis and was out for a week. Her mom works from 5:30 AM until around 4:00 PM, so it was hard for her to get to the school to turn Jessie's stuff in. Did I penalize Jessie for that? NO! She stayed in touch with me through email to find out what she needed to do and to let me know how concerned she was about her grade. How can I penalize her for something that was beyond her control? In good conscience, I can't, and I won't. What about those who did nothing except sit at a table every time we went to the library, never brought their research materials to class with them, and did absolutely nothing today? Can penalize them? Yes. Will I? Yes. Does this make be a bad teacher? Give me you input on that. I won't be offended. As a matter of fact, I would love to hear your thoughts. :)
To reward myself for making it through an entire week (almost) after having two short weeks, I'm going to get a pedicure. I hope! The place I go here in town isn't always the easiest to get in to. Wish me luck. :)
Have a GREAT day!
21 April 2009
We hung around the ball field until a little after 9, and then we had to make a stop at Wal-Mart. (This is off the subject, but I really do not like going to Wal-Mart—any Wal-Mart. The one in Alex City is currently undergoing a remodel, and I can’t find ANYTHING!) Anyway, John needed to pick up shotgun shells because he and some of the guys were going skeet shooting on Saturday.
Saturday morning, we got up around 8. We had picked up cinnamon rolls at Wal-Mart, but Billie wanted a biscuit from Hardee’s, so John ran to get one for her. Connie, Zac, and I enjoyed the cinnamon rolls. John left about 10 to go meet Doug and the Marks T and H to go shoot skeet. Guess what I got to do all day? I graded note cards! Yuck. I finally finished about 4, and he got home about 10 minutes later. (The rough drafts are the next thing on the agenda for research grading.)
For Saturday night, there was a planned program. A representative from each of the 10 classes spoke, the current high school show choir performed—they were AWESOME!—and there were class pictures made (and of course, John didn’t order one.) We saw a few more people Saturday that we didn’t see Friday. There were a few other people that he was hoping he would have seen, but they didn’t show up. I was kind of interested in seeing John’s high school sweet heart, but she wasn’t there either.
Sunday we left Hartselle around 1:00 so we could run by the lake on our way home. After the gravity wave that blew through last Monday, we wanted to check to make sure we didn’t have any damage. There was a tree that had blown down across the road, but someone had already cut it up. We had nothing out of place at the trailer, thankfully! We sat on the porch for a bit before heading up the hill and home.
Just as we started into Birmingham, John had me call Katy to see what they were doing and to see if we could stop by for a bit. Phillip was working—spring training has started. It started getting stormy about the time we got there, so we stayed until it had passed through and we would be behind it on our way home. Plus, it meant more time to spend with Katy and Sam. :) Sam is toddling about so well. Jessi had told us he started taking a step or two Easter. He’s pretty much got it down pat now. He still gets a little wobbly at times, but once he gets going, he’s got it. He almost stood up on his own without having anything to pull up with. He’ll have that skill mastered before long. Phillip got there just before we left, so we did get to see him for a few minutes. We didn’t get home until about 10, and after being up late both Friday and Saturday nights, I was exhausted! I crawled in bed and crashed. John said he heard it hailing about 1 AM, but I never heard a thing.
I guess that’s about it for now. I’ve got a few things to do before I call it a night.
Have a GREAT day!!
****I was having technological difficulties with the laptop last night, so I couldn’t post this. Today is a MAJOR test day for my seniors, so while they are testing away, I saved this to my flash drive, went to the desktop, and finally got it posted. I love technology, but not when it doesn’t work like it should. I guess I’ll be emailing our IT guy. Again.
16 April 2009
My friend Kristen is doing okay. Some moments are better than others, but that's normal. This has been a horrible roller coaster ride for her--she'll be almost as low as a person can get, but then she pulls herself up. As long as she can remember this guy for the horrible manipulator that he is and not for the person he made her believe he is, she'll be okay. It will take time.
Even though it has been a terrific day, it has been a long one, so I'm going to call it a night. I hope everyone has a great weekend. I'm looking forward to hearing some rather interesting stories at the reunion. If there are any that are shareable, I'll post them next week.
Have a GREAT evening!
14 April 2009
I wish I could go into more detail about it, but I really can't. I will say that he has some MAJOR issues with the way he treats women. Don't you wish that there was some magic potion a person could take that would immediately make his faults perfectly obvious for the entire world to see? It would sure save a ton of heartache and heartbreak!
If you will, say an extra prayer for Kristen over the next few days. Ask God to give her peace as she struggles with this situation.
Thanks!! Y'all are awesome!!
13 April 2009
For me, though, I have another short week. :) If you've read my blog in the last week, you already know that I'm off today--FREE! Even though we were out of town and didn't use the pancake breakfast tickets ourselves, the $12 I spent to buy them was definitely worth it. Anne, our librarian, commented that she needed to buy another ticket for someone she was taking. I quickly told her she could have the two I had. I would much rather have given them away than for them to go to waste.
This week will be even shorter than originally planned. John and I are both taking a half day off on Friday to go to Hartselle for a reunion. This isn't just any ole reunion--it's a 70s decade reunion for graduates of Morgan Co. High School. John said that it isn't so much the people in his class that he'd like to see (he sees or talks to many of them on a fairly regular basis) but there are people in the classes around his that he'd like to see. So, we're headed up there Friday, and then the plan is to go to the lake to get the yard cleaned up for summer. We'll have to keep an eye on the weather, though. According to the long-range forecast, it is supposed to rain this weekend. Ugh.
Speaking of rain...I am so glad that we've had rain, but I'm ready for a week or so without any. It is really nice to see the lakes at or near full pool, though. The last two years have been really bad. Year before last, Lake Martin was so low that by the 4th of July, many people had already had to take their boats out.
I woke up last night around midnight to the sound of distant, rumbling thunder. It did get a little closer to home, but it wasn't bad. At some time, the weather radio went off with a high wind warning, and believe me, it did blow! And there was MORE RAIN. It's probably a good thing that it is kind of yucky. I'd be MUCH more tempted to go somewhere if it were a beautiful, gorgeous day. :)
We found a tiny leak in the new plumbing we did a couple of weekends ago, so we had to take another trip to Williams Hardware on Saturday. We've spent almost as much time there as we have at the lake over the last 3-4 weeks. LOL On the way home, we stopped by Ron and Cindy's. They have done a lot since we were there last. Everything is really starting to come together.
It didn't take long for John to fix the leak, and then he started cutting up the tree that had fallen back in June. He had gotten a new "toy" -- a Husqavarna chain saw -- so he got to play with it. HAHAHAHA! There is very little "play" at the lake, but we love every minute of our time there. Anyway, he got the majority of the tree cut up and stacked. We piled up most of the rest of the debris, but finishing that up is the plan for Saturday.
Yesterday we got up and did what we had to do around the trailer, and then we went to Hartselle. We had dinner with Danny, Linda, Amy, Allen, Will, Maggie, Billie, Connie, and Zac. That was the first time we'd gotten to see Maggie since Christmas, I guess. She is the spitting image of Will! Amy had gotten her six month portraits taken and had the proofs with her. If you were to take one of Will's portraits from the same age and look at only their faces, it would be very hard to tell which was Will and which was Maggie. She is gorgeous and SO happy! She laughs and smiles all the time.
We got home about 7:30 last night. I was SO glad I got to walk into a clean house! I didn't get all of the laundry done Friday, so I had (still have) a huge pile of it in the laundry room, but I don't have anything else to do today (except go to the tanning bed and the grocery store.) I'm on the last load of lake stuff, and then I'll get started on the other loads.
The final load of lake stuff has just finished washing, so I need to get the rest of the stuff and get it going. My next washer/dryer combo will have a laundry elf that comes with it. LOL
Enjoy your day, and have a GREAT Monday!
10 April 2009
Sam, Kristen, and I did our Girls' Night last night, and then they came back here to spend the night. Kristen has been through a tough couple of days, and I didn't want her to go back to her apartment and be alone. (Some men--well, people in general--are such CRUEL ASSHOLES that I honestly wonder what their purpose on this earth is. Maybe it is to make us stronger after the pure hell they put us through. This is in NO WAY a reference to John. He isn't perfect, but he sure isn't a cruel asshole.) Since Todd is in New Orleans, Sam came back here too. She was really excited about getting to sleep a little later and not have to make the 45 minute drive from Auburn. :) We got our toes done, had a delicious dinner at an Asian restaurant, and then I did a little shopping.
I got up before Sam and Kris left this morning, but I did go back to bed after they left. (What kind of hostess would I have been if I hadn't wished them a happy Friday and a great day with the kids before I crawled back in bed?? LOL) Since I had to have the pups at the vet's office by 9, I got up about 8:30. They were none too happy about being at the vet. Bama crawled into the back seat of the truck, so I had to pick him up to get him out. I was holding Ali, and she had every one of her front toes dug into my arm. I still have little red spots from her death grip. They are only getting bathed, toenails cut, and a heart worm check, but you'd think I was leaving them to be tortured.
After dropping them off, I made a quick stop at Fred's to get a few house cleaning supplies, went to the tanning bed, and then back home to begin cleaning. Yuck. I had really planned on cleaning one night this week, but it just didn't happen. So, I'm getting it done today. That really isn't the way I wanted to spend my day off, but since I have Monday off, too, it isn't so bad.
I guess I need to get my butt back in gear. I need to finish up and then pack up for the lake. (Yeah, I'm getting Ali and Bama bathed so they can go to the lake and play in the leaves. Makes tons of sense, but they needed a GOOD bath soooooo badly!!!!)
I hope everyone had a GREAT Friday, a FANTASTIC Saturday, and a BEAUTIFUL Easter!
08 April 2009
Last year, John kept saying, "WE need to get those taxes done." Well, WE ended up being ME. This year, I told him I QUIT being our CPA. When we first got married, our taxes were so easy to do. Then he went into sales. The first year I did them myself, but I nearly pulled my hair out. With commission, travel reimbursements, and all, I honestly thought I'd go crazy. We ended up paying out the butt that year. I would almost swear I screwed something up. The next several years we went to a man over in West Point, GA. After he started working in a hospital again, we decided we could do them ourselves. Wait...let me correct that...we decided that I could do them again. So, this year, HE is getting the privilege and honor of doing them.
Tomorrow is my Friday! Yea!!!!!!! Sam, Kris, and I are going to get our toes done. Ahhhh!!! I can't wait.
OK--I'm done blabbing about nothing for tonight. I'm about to brush my teeth and crawl in bed. John will be left figuring all this stuff out himself. Just like I've done for the last several years. I'm SUCH a good wife, aren't I? LOL
Have a GREAT night/Thursday!
Trina (I'm too lazy to add my signature tonight.)
06 April 2009
Recently, I dreamed that John and I had a baby elephant as a pet. And it went everywhere with us, just like Ali and Bama do, except it rode in the bed of the truck. A night or two later, I dreamed that John had been sitting somewhere (that detail is fuzzy.) He got up and just seconds later, a vehicle (car, truck, boat???) crashed exactly where he'd been. So I go from goofy--having an elephant as a pet--to terrifying--John almost being killed. Other nights I dream, but I can't remember any of it, except maybe who was in the dream.
I realized that this happens whenever the semester hits the busiest point, so I know it's stress related. I have these dreams, and then I'll wake up. Sometimes I fall right back to sleep; other times I toss and turn for a while. Either way, the result is the same. I'm sleepy the next day. After a week of this, I reach the point of exhaustion. I've almost gotten to that point. I know I haven't gotten there yet because my left eye isn't twitching yet. When that starts, I know I need to take time to SLEEP.
Next Monday is my free day off, but I'm taking Friday off as well. It will be really nice to have a long weekend. I hope John can take off at least one of the days. Even if he can't take the whole day, maybe he can take off early on Friday so we can go to the lake. Weather-wise, it looks like I couldn't have picked a better time to have a long weekend.
I guess that's about it for now. I hope everyone has had a GREAT Monday!
Dang--my right eye just twitched...
05 April 2009
John, the pups, and I got to Hartselle about 9 Friday night. Zac, our nephew, was at Billie's. It was the first time he's been there that we've been there in a while, which is really quite surprising. I won't go into all the details, but let me just say that his mother has had a tendency in the past to take advantage of the fact that Billie loves him so much and would let him live with her. For about the first two years of his life, he practically did live with her. Considering Billie's health, she just can't keep up with an active 9 year old, and it really isn't fair to him either because when he's at her house, he really doesn't have anything to do except watch TV or play video games.
When we got there, we told Billie and Zac we were taking them to the lake with us on Saturday. Of course Zac was all for it, but Billie started telling us she just didn't feel like going. We kept on, though, and convinced her that she could feel bad at the lake just as easily as she could at home. After all, if she stayed home, all she would have done was sit in her recliner. We have a recliner at the lake, plus the view is MUCH nicer. J
We got out to the lake a little before noon. It was a gorgeous day, and in the sun it was nice and warm. We cleaned off the tables on the porch and sat out there. I spread all my note cards and bib cards out to grade. (BTW, thanks for ALL the offers to grade some for me. Hahahaha) Zac got out and skipped rocks on the water. Bless his heart, Billie worried about him the whole time and kept telling him to get back from the water. Now, DON'T get me wrong—I know that kids need to be careful around water, but where he was standing was nowhere near deep enough to be over his head, and IF he had fallen in, John, Linda, or I would have been up and running in a New York second. After skipping rocks got boring, John got him a fishing rod with a jig on it. He didn't get any bites, but he sure did enjoy himself. It was really neat to watch John teaching him how to cast—I know it will be Sam he's teaching in a few years.
After we got to the lake, Billie didn't complain ONE TIME about feeling bad. Of course, she did ask the same questions and say the same things over and over and over. And over again. Just seconds or minutes apart. "I didn't bring anything to sleep in." "Did I bring my toothbrush?" "Zac doesn't have any clean clothes to put on." "Where is Zac?" "I didn't lock my doors." "I didn't bring anything to sleep in." "Where are my house keys?" It gets really frustrating, but that's the life with an Alzheimer's patient. And Alzheimer's SUCKS!!!!!
Of course Ali and Bama had a good time. They have both been sacked out since we left Hartselle today to come home. A couple of times they've roused themselves long enough to go outside to potty. John is eating supper now, and neither of them is bothering him for bites. J
As far as my bib cards and note cards go, I did get them graded. I have about 16 students who didn't turn in anything. According to the contract Misty and I have them sign, we won't accept late work. The reason for this is because there would be some who would have procrastinated and just not gotten the work done and then they'd be home right now cramming to get it done to turn in tomorrow. Sorry!!! I DO realize that sometimes there ARE extenuating circumstances, and I WILL and DO take those things into consideration, BUT for 99.99999999% of the 16 who didn't turn anything in, that isn't that case. I've been criticized for this policy before, but in addition to teaching the research process, Misty and I want to teach them time management and responsibility. If we didn't set due dates and stick to them, there would be no way we could grade the preliminary work and get it back to them in time for them to make corrections for the final paper.
I guess that's about it for now. I need to go finish up the laundry from the weekend. Fortunately there isn't much. And I need to figure out what to wear to work tomorrow. It's the week before Easter, so it has turned cold again.
Have a GREAT week!
03 April 2009
This is my 250th post! I had planned to do something creative, but dang it, I've hardly had time to breathe, much less think of something creative. So for #250, y'all get my regular ole boring post. :)
Let me just say that I am SO glad it isn't raining today! The sun has been shining all day long, and I love it. We didn't get the bad storms here like they were predicting. The weather radio went off two or three times, though. I was so tired that I went right back to sleep. One of these days, a tornado is going to blow me away. Seriously.
When I was in college, Mom called me one morning to ask if Aunnie and I were okay. I was totally clueless as to why she was asking. It turns out that a tornado did tons of damage to a neighborhood not two miles from us. I never heard anything. A few years ago, I woke up in the middle of the night because I felt something shaking. I sat up, but it didn't happen again so I went back to sleep. The next morning I found out we'd had a slight earthquake. Sometime last summer we were at the lake--maybe Father's Day??? I know it was when my mom and dad and John's family were all out there and we cooked out. Anyway, my allergies were giving me fits that day, so I'd eaten Benadryl like it was candy. By nighttime, I was completely out of it. We had a really, REALLY bad storm that I all but slept through. It was so bad at one point that John was on the porch watching the wind blow the screen door open and then blow it shut right away. He said he had no idea how he was going to get me AND the dogs to the storm cellar if we needed to go.
My seniors started the actual research on Monday. We were in the library for two days this week. My fun will begin tomorrow. IF everyone had turned in everything, I would have had 1,770 bib cards and 1,180 note cards to grade, but I know of a couple of students who didn't turn in anything, and there were a few baggies that could not have had 25 cards in them.
I hope I'll be at the lake grading. We're going to Hartselle tonight (and I really need to be home packing instead of writing this post...) The plan is to take John's mom out to the lake with us tomorrow. When he called her Sunday to tell her we were going to be up there and that we wanted to take her to the lake, she began saying how sick she feels. Granted, I know she doesn't feel well, and I think some of the meds she takes make her feel dizzy, but she never gets out of the house. Everybody will try to get her to go somewhere, and she pretty much refuses. (I think she's afraid that if she leaves the house, we'll "dump" her at a nursing home. Really...I do!) Anyway, I told John he may have to hog tie her. :) She used to always love going to the lake, and she still says she would love to go and just sit on the porch. When we ask her to go, though, she won't.
I hope everyone has a GREAT weekend! Relax and enjoy it. And think of me as I grade eleventy-billion bib and note cards. (I will be glad to send you some to grade for me. What??? No takers??? And I thought y'all were my friends!!! LOL)