20 August 2011

One down, 35 to go

We officially have seven days down.  That means only 173 days to go.  Yeah, I think 35 weeks sounds better.  LOL

The first week was pretty good.  My two seniors classes have 24 and 28 students, I have 17 in my junior class, and 8 in my remedial class.  Like always, I get some of those students who have reputations which precede them.  Other teachers have talked about how disrespectful and unmotivated/lazy they are.  I do my best to put those comments in the far recesses of my mind because I don't want to start out with negative attitudes toward them.  More often than not, the students end up displaying the same behaviors I've heard about, but I still try so very hard to smile at them every day and to greet them with a smile in my voice.  For some of these kids, we teachers may be the only positive voice they ever hear. 

This semester, I have one student I knew nothing about, but within five minutes of her stepping into my room I had pegged her as having a AT. TI.TUDE.  (This was confirmed by another faculty member.)  She didn't even show up until three days AFTER the start of school because she didn't have either proof of residency or an updated blue card--BOTH of which parents knew students MUST have before students would be allowed to come to school.  They've known about proof of residency since, oh, March, maybe.  Of the seven days we've been in school, she's been there three and the personality of the class changes accordingly.  I have a feeling the next 17 weeks will be a challenge with her.

Every evening, I've come home and crashed.  Most nights I've been in bed by 7:30 or 7:45.  The older I get, the harder the beginning of the year is.  Fortunately, I feel like I've started to adjust.  But it is Saturday, so maybe that's why.  hahaha

I have nothing else to say, so I'll sign off for today.  Maybe it won't take another week to post again.  hahaha

Have a GREAT day!

14 August 2011

The Help

A few weeks ago, I finished up The Help, and I knew then that I MUST see the movie when it came out.  After Susan read it, she suggested that she, her niece Kayla, and I go see it opening weekend, and I readily agreed.  The three of us and Kayla's friend Jessica went yesterday, and I must say, I am so glad we did!

If you haven't read the book, I would certainly suggest reading it before seeing the movie.  (I always prefer to read first, see second.)  While the movie is quite true to the novel, changes have been made in order to preserve time.  After the movie, we went to Macaroni Grill for dinner and to discuss.  None of us were disappointed.

The casting was superb.  Throughout the book, I hated Hilly.  Bryce Dallas Howard played the character just the way I imagined her to be.  Several times I caught myself muttering, "Bitch!"  ;)  Emma Stone did a fantastic job as "Skeeter" (even if she is much too pretty to be Skeeter as she is described in the book), and Octavia Spencer nailed "Minny."    The cute little actresses who portrayed Mae Mobley did such a great job.  At the end, when Mae Mobley says to Aibie, "You is kind.  You is smart.  You is important" I lost it. 

I will be horribly disappointed if Ms. Spencer is overlooked for an Oscar!  In fact, I will be surprised if this movie doesn't walk away with most of the awards.  I may have to watch the Oscar show next year.

We laughed, we cried, we laughed some more, and then we tried really hard not to do that "ugly" cry.  You know the one where you can't breathe because you're crying so hard...yeah, that one.  Several times I caught myself doing the "lip suck" so that I wouldn't openly sob.

As soon as the DVD is released, I'll be buying it.  This is one of those movies that you will want to see over and over, even though you know you'll cry every single time.

Grab your girlfriends and head out to your local theater.  See this one on the big screen.  You won't be sorry!

Have a GREAT day!

09 August 2011

We've got to do whhhaaaaatttt???

The beginning of the school year always brings changes of some sort.  Some are welcomed; some aren't so drastic that they make much of a difference; some are met with groans.

This year was a year of groans.

One of the first changes was the time clock.  Word had spread that we would be clocking in and out this year, so we had time to get the idea in our brains.  We had to go to the central office and have our pictures made for our official name tags...my picture looks about like a mug shot.  We have several locations where we can swipe, and if for some reason we have to start or end our day at the central office or at another school, we can swipe at those locations.

When I first started teaching at BRHS, we had to keep up with time cards that we wrote our times in and out on, and then we had to turn them in at the end of the pay period.  I never really understood why we did those because no one verified the times we wrote, so a person could SAY he or she arrived at school at 7:00 when it was really closer of 7:30.  After a few years, those went by the wayside, and we didn't have keep up with our times for a few years.  Then we had a program installed on our computers.  We had to clock in every morning, but we didn't have to clock out at the end of the day.  That didn't even last a year.  Now we have the ID badges with magnetic strips that we have to swipe every morning and every afternoon.  So far I haven't forgotten to clock out, but I'm quite sure a day will come when I go to swipe in one morning after I forgot to swipe out the day before.  Janice can manually override it, but I would HATE to have to ask her to do that.

Honestly, though, what would it matter?  I'm a salaried employee, so even if my time shows I worked almost 24 hours, clocked out for one minute, and then clocked back in, I'm still going to make only $2.50 for the day.  (Yes, I put $2.50 because everyone knows people don't choose to teach for the money.)

The second change is that we now have to call our own subs.  This we didn't know, so about 70 people thought "Oh crap!" at the exact same time.  In my previous 18 years, I have never had to call my own sub.  I am spoiled!!!!  We all are!  I will pray daily that I don't ever wake up with a horrible stomach virus and have to try to call a sub.  What will happen is that all of our super great subs will be booked months in advance (and if I knew I had a day I was going to have to miss six months from now, I would go ahead and get my name in one of their calendars!)  Then while we're puking our guts out, we're going to have to go down the list and pray we can find someone.  Fortunately, I haven't had to call in very many times over the years.  Maybe 5 or 6 days total.  Most of my days that I've taken have been pre-planned.

At one of the meetings we had today, one of the other teachers brought up something I hadn't thought about.  Let's say that one day next month I do wake up terribly sick.  Naturally, I will call the subs I like the best first.  Now, let's say that we have a really nasty virus running rampant around the school, and six other people have already called those same subs.  How many calls would you have to take before you were ready to scream?  Yeah, I wouldn't be very happy after about the 3rd one.  AND what if I have been up all night long sick.  I'm going to want to call as soon as I can.  How early is too early?  Some people may not mind being called at 5AM, but others may not want to be called before 6.

And the final change that has had ALL of us groaning loudly is our bus duty schedule.  We have to do one month of morning duty and one month of afternoon duty.  Yep...I'll have morning bus duty from Nov. 1 - Nov. 30.  Well, except for Saturdays and Sunday.  :)  One of the nice things about November is that we'll be out Nov. 11 for Veteran's Day and Nov. 23-25 for Thanksgiving.  Not quite as nice as having duty during December, but not everyone can have a short month.  My afternoon duty is in May.  At least the weather should be nice.

We've always had several weeks of bus duty.  For years, we would do three or four of morning and afternoon (same weeks for both).  The last couple of years, we've had five weeks of morning and two weeks of afternoon, spread out over the year.  So while we're still doing roughly the same number of days for each, just the fact that we have so many weeks consecutively is what makes it seem so bad.

I try extremely hard to be a team player, so I don't typically complain about stuff, and I'm not complaining about these changes.  I'm just sharing them.  It will take some time to get used to them.

Guess that's it.  I'm about to call it a night.  Getting up at 4:50 yesterday and today has worn me out.  Sitting through meetings most all day for both days hasn't helped either, and we have the joy of sitting through even more tomorrow.  Ahhh...I love professional development days.  LOL

Have a GREAT day!

03 August 2011

The final week of summer

This is it.  My final week of summer vacation.  This time next week my fellow colleagues and I will have been thoroughly inserviced and professionally developed and will be psyching ourselves up for meeting our new kids on Thursday.  When I think about what I need to do to get ready, I feel panicked. 

"Uh, Trina, aren't you starting your 19th year at Benjamin Russell?" 

The answer to that is YES.  Yes, I am about to start my 19th year at Ben Russell.  And I have 1- 1/2 years additional experience, so you'd think I wouldn't feel panicked.  Every year feels like the first year, though.  Next Wednesday night, I will have the hardest time sleeping because I'll keep going over what I might have overlooked.  Because I have a first block class, I can't have the attitude that I can just get whatever it might be done before my second block class comes in.  For the record, I've never forgotten anything that was a MUST HAVE, but I still have that fear, and there is always a first time for everything.

I have my pacing chart for my English 12 class almost complete, but I haven't even started on the one for English 11.  That is what is making me feel panicked right now.  We usually have a week after school starts before we have to submit them, so I've got a few more days.  :)

As much as I would love to simply play the rest of the week, I can't.  Dad's older brother, John, passed away Sunday night, and the funeral is Friday morning.  In October, his middle daughter Elizabeth was killed in a car wreck leaving behind her husband and three young sons (the youngest turned one just a couple of weeks after she died), and now this.  It seems so unfair that one family would be faced with so much tragedy in such a short time, but I know it happens, and sometimes some families are faced with even more.  His youngest daughter's husband is in the Air Force, and they are stationed in England.  She is supposed to be home later tonight.  Two trips home in less than a year and both for funerals.  And in between, she had a baby.  It's sad that Kathryn will know her aunt and her grandfather only through pictures and stories.

The pups and I came to the lake today.  We were going to come up yesterday, but on Monday night, I got THE email.  Football tickets were going to be delivered today!!  Football ticket delivery is one thing that I will change most any of my plans.  :)  Once the UPS guy (who was my favorite person today  LOL) made the delivery, I had to run a couple of quick errands, so we didn't get on the road until about 1:15.  I had just gotten in the car when I realized I hadn't gotten the extra gate key, but it was just SO hot that I didn't want to go back into the house for it.  Besides, I knew where one was hidden so I didn't need ours.  Or so I thought.

I got to the gate, stopped, and went to where the key is hidden.  It wasn't there.  HUH????  I know it was there when I left Friday because I used it.  (And I'm certain I put it back.)  I was going to call Marty to see if he knew what had happened to it, but I called John first.  He said he thought he remembered where another one was, so I looked and YES!!  There was a key!!  I got in and got unloaded, and we haven't done much else.  It is just SO hot!  I don't know if I'll even get out on the dock tomorrow.  I may hang out inside and try to finish my book since my days of reading for enjoyment are coming to an end.  **sigh**

Guess that it's for tonight.  I'm going to call John and then read for a while. 

Have a GREAT day!

01 August 2011

Layton meets two of his great-aunts, who just happen to be great :)

 Connie, aka Nonnie or Vern, got to give Layton his bottle.  He ate it right up and then showed off his awesome burping skills.  hahaha  To be such a little guy, he can BURP with the best of them!
Linda, or Mimi, talked to him after he finished his bottle.  He took in every word and gave her a cute little grin or two.  He also showed that he can spit up with the best of them.  OOPS!!!  Sorry, Mimi!!!
Mommy looks absolutely beautiful!  Can you believe she had a baby a mere three and a half weeks ago?  Motherhood agrees with her 100%.  I love it when Layton looks at her with a look that says, "I know you are my mommy."  She is so relaxed with him.  You'd never know he was a first child.  Jess has had a lot of experience with babies, though, and that makes a difference.

Since Layton ate right after we got there, we decided we'd attempt lunch out at Olive Garden.  The little man did so well!  About the time we were finishing up, he started to get a little fussy so Jess got him out of his seat.  Bless his heart...he was so hot.  Once he got out and cooled off, he was great.  He has been such a good baby.  So far, he's so laid back.  He gets fussy when his diaper is wet or when he's hungry.  Once he has a dry diaper or a good bottle, he settles down.  And he LOVES to snuggle!  Oh my!!  One of my favorite things in the world is to have a sweet baby snuggled up on my chest.  Layton is a champion snuggler.  :)

That's about it for now.  Have a GREAT day!

I love my Crimson Tide!

I really, REALLY mean this...

JellyMuffin.com - The place for profile layouts, flash generators, glitter graphics, backgrounds and codes

Just a few friends

Total Pageviews

Thanks for stopping by!