Monday, August 30, 2010

Manic Monday

Great day today, happy Monday! I gave a test today and did SO MUCH WORK the entire day. The kids were surprisingly quiet and worked hard, and as a result I was able to get my list of 17 things To Do down to 1 thing left! BOOM.

Happy Monday Funday!

Sunday, August 29, 2010


Jean Shorts - Jorts
Back in fashion, Fall 2010

MKE takes over the Dirty D.

I went to Lake Village, Arkansas last night. Look at how Milwaukee is infiltrating even the smallest crevices of the Dirty Delta.

Back in the game

Week one is done! The week went well overall, with a few hiccups - as expected. I forgot how busy I always feel when I am teaching. It's like you finish one to do list and then there are three more staring at you that you forgot about. Teaching is interesting, because I feel like there is always something you could be doing, whether or not you want to do that....

So I should probably go work on some of those things now....

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Day 5 I'm Alive!

It's Hump Day! It's Wednesday night and we're more then half way done with the first full week of school. Yayyy!! I've got to remember to take some pictures of school and my classroom. Lots of changes from last year.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Day 30 - Blogger Challenge

Day 30 — Whatever tickles your fancy

LAST DAY of the Blogger Challenge! I kinda did a good job! Maybe about 25 out of 30 were on time, that's pretty decent!  So, whatever tickles my fancy? Went to the first football game tonight. It brought back great memories.

ACT Pre-test

Today I am giving the ACT as a diagnostic exam. I want my students to see their growth over the next year, and this is one of the ways I'll be showing them. It is a dismal site so far, unfortunately.

Class averages:
English III: 12
Pre-AP English II: 14
English III: 13
English III: 9

I mean, I guess it gives us something to work on right? In Arkansas if you get a 19 you get $5,000 a year for FREE through the Arkansas Lottery Scholarship. Free Free Free Free Free Free. What that money could do for these kids? Get them somewhere. So many of our students need the money, and give up when they don't have that option. This needs to improve greatly in my classes. With some work IT WILL. I promise (fingers crossed too though).

Monday, August 23, 2010

Favorite is BACK

One of my FAVORITE favorite favorite students came back to school today! :) He dropped out last year after 3rd quarter, mostly because he had fallen so far behind and was having a rough time. I missed him so much and am so happy he decided to make the right choice and come back. I hope I can be of help this year and make sure he kicks butt! Yayy!!!

The First Days

A few things:

1. Investment has gone super well this year. Watched a video, did the poem Invictus, and talked about malleable intelligence all in the first two days - it went great.
2. I like my students so far, but am so sad to see my first year kiddies not in my classroom.
3. So sad, that I just want to teach 12th grade so I can be with them (even if they're brats in the end) and I don't know if I could teach a 3rd year because I would hate to be there without them!
4. Lots of reading this year - kicking butt already!
5. SECOND YEAR IS SO MUCH EASIER. Maybe not forever....but MAN I am so much less stressed!

Day 28 & 29 Blogger Challenge

Day 28 — This year, in great detail
Day 29 — Hopes, dreams and plans for the next 365 days

Day 28 - not happening. Here is my year in detail: really freaking busy and overwhelming. A bunch of students staring at me for 9 months and me secretly thinking "WHY DO THEY BELIEVE ME?!" everyday because really, I didn't know what I was doing.

Day 29 - Hopes, dreams, and plans for the next 365 days:
1. Actually know what I am doing in the classroom
2. Increase my scores for the EOC in Literacy for my new 11th graders
3. Have a fun year and absorb Arkansas
4. Cry at graduation because I already know I am going to miss my boos that are graduating!!!

First Day Reward

Friday, August 20, 2010

Day 26 & 27 - Blogger Challenge

I'm kinda over this whole thing.
Day 26 — Your week, in great detail
Day 27 — This month, in great detail

I am not going to do that. Do you really care? No, you don't. Okay, sorry, if you do give me a call or shoot me an email and I'll draft it (in great detail of course).

In other news - Week 1 DONE. BOOOMMMM. Teacher retirement = 176 school days away.

Kids are good, school is good. I am so much more confident this year it is insane. You have natural allies in teachers but also in students. My absolute FAVORITE part of the first day back was seeing my old students as now seniors. I just love being with them and asking them about their lives (and secretly, because now I can be their friend, and not their teacher/enforcer :)) It's a lot easier to be relaxed and cool with them - because I don't have to teach them. I love my kiddies !!

ALSO, as a first week survival (and first pay day) surprise to myself - I bought myself my first major watch. It's pretty blingin. Pretty excited about it. I'll put up pictures soon!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Where I was 2 months ago, EXACTLY.

First Day, Second Year

Teacher retirement, here I come. Last first day of my teaching career (I think). I'll tell you more tomorrow!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Day 25 - Blogger Challenge

Day 25 — Your day, in great detail

I don't want to do this.

My day:
8:30AM Professional Development - How to use a computer
9:30AM People still having trouble with above statement
9:45-3:30 Organizing, Cleaning, Preparing, Creating for the classroom!
1:30 PM One of my fav students comes by to say hello! Yayyy can't wait to see them tomorrow!
5PM Leave to go home
6:20PM finally muster up the interest for a run
7PM Traditional Mexican dinner at El Canaveral before any major teaching event....
9PM Last minute Walmart run
10PM lights out, gotta get up at 5 to plan!

Tomorrow is the first day back with the kids! SEND GOOD VIBES PLEASE!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Day 24 - Blogger Challenge

Day 24 — Whatever tickles your fancy

Well, today we learned about an educator named Ruby Payne. Let me preface  this by saying I think she is insane, has many unfounded beliefs, is cock eyed and cock mouthed, and has a super disingenuous Midwestern accent in an attempt to sound "home grown."

Okay a few things Ruby Payne taught us today (via video for SIX HOURS) [I am not joking]:
1. If you are in poverty you are never getting out of it unless you marry up
2. People (Note: ALL) in poverty hoard food
3. The reason parents don't come to school sponsored events (THIS IS AN ACTUAL QUOTE) is because "they have warrants or some reason to avoid the police and don't want to get caught on public property" [again, note: ALL people in poverty)
4. Children in poverty can not control their emotions and therefore when they get mad they beat the crap out of each other only
5. If you live in poverty you "know where all of the rummage sales are" and know which ones "have bag specials on certain days"

I mean, there's a lot more. I just just just can not handle this kind of stuff. The concept of "culture of poverty" is both frustrating and defamatory in my opinion. To group and explain to people a "culture of poverty" seems too ridiculous to begin. The culture of poverty is a social theory speaking to the cycle that, apparently, poverty level people participate in. It says that there are certain belief sets and value systems that are in place because of an adaptation to the burdens of society.

So essentially this: poor people will always be poor because that is what is ingrained through generational poverty.

A very uplifting thing to believe or hold stock in, eh? The answer is NO. This theory further instigates the negativity, lack of productivity, and takes further focus away from the STRUCTURAL things that need to be taken care of to aid people in poverty (ie educational reform).

Ruby Payne's anecdotal stereotyping is not only offensive, it is not cited in research but instead focused on a single site monitoring over a few decades. yet she applies it to all people of poverty??? Not something I will value or something that should be shown in Professional Development. And that's my two cents.

Wedding Reception Photos!

Monday, August 16, 2010

This girl!

This girl just led a great session for our new ICE Group. Rockstar (even if she eats in all snacks - note picture detail).

Day 23 - Blogger Challenge

Day 23 — A YouTube video

Invcitus Trailer

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Day 22 - Blogger Challenge

Day 22 — A website

I found this website that converts YouTube videos to music on your computer. Love it - and don't want to buy another music off of iTunes!

Music Converter

Friday, August 13, 2010

Arkansas Moments

Speaks for itself:

TSA - Saving the World

A few things:
1. I got some coffee in Houston today (I had a 3 hour lay over there) and went to sit down in the corner. As I am sitting this group of 15+ people is having a mass exodus moment (btw they were all a part of some mission trip and wearing the same tshirt - so it looked more dramatic then necessary) because some unidentified man had left some unidentified cardboard box at a table near them. One of them had alerted a TSA official who RAN over and started YELLING that everyone should BACK AWAY from the box. It was so out of control, I couldn't help but laugh. Of course, I laughed quietly because I did NOT want to be that dumby who gets pulled into some random room to be questioned for 239739820 hours.

But I did choose to sit and wait it out. Pretty entertaining, to say the least. There was radios, two-way transmitters, cell phones, yelling, rubber gloves, flashlights (no joke - in a well lit airport at 5PM), amongst other obviously necessary tools. Super cool, TSA. P.S. if that crap had been a bomb, none of those "tools" would have done anything.

Here's some documentation of the box. Unfortunately I did not see the conclusion as I was asked to "clear the area" while they investigated. The poor guy probably got sick from flying and was just in the bathroom for an extended time. Am I going to go to jail for this?

Yikes, I fell off the ship already.

Man oh man, I thought I was going to be SUCH a better blogger this year. Well, if this week gives any hint to that - the answer will surely be NO. But, here I am, Friday night at 11:53 just landed from Little Rock, and I am trying to blog. So give me a little credit friends. Forgiveness?

Okay, lets do a quick rundown of blogger challenge, days 18-20. Don't judge.
Day 18 — Whatever tickles your fancy
Day 19 — A talent of yours
Day 20 — A hobby of yours

Day 18: What tickles my fancy? Today at our Professional Development my group had a great discussion about what Clarendon is. Like what is the town? Who is there, doing what, when, and how did it become that way? This was one of those conversations you love to hear. Sometimes I feel like you don't really value where you come from. So for instance, I was talking to a friend earlier this summer from the East Coast and I told them I am from a small town named "Wauwatosa." He said "oh, do you remember what that means?" I laughed, and of course responded, NO! That's something we were only taught for the first 8 years of my education. But I couldn't remember, and HE knew it!

For me, since moving to Clarendon, I have tried hard to learn about the community, the people, the history, etc. But this is because I was an outsider attempting to become an insider. Whereas when you're already naturally an insider (ie your home town) you don't have to worry about things like that and alas... you do not care. An interesting concept? Yes, to me.

Day 19: A talent of mine. I like to think I am a talented writer. I have written a few successful grants in the past year, raised money via through proposals, worked at a corporation writing, and duh, my favorite writing: the blog! I enjoy it a lot, and love trying to build my vocabulary. Sometimes I don't utilize this vocabulary talent well enough, and feel like I come across as ditsy, but eh. You win some, you lose some.

Day 20 - a hobby of mine. I love to write letters, send postcards, make CDs, and send other nick knacks through the mail. I'd say this is a hobby of mine I picked up from my mom. She always makes little treat bags every Christmas for her whole staff and some students. I admire that quality, and it's something I'd like to follow myself.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Slept through two alarms this morning. Woke up to my roomie pounding on my door and saying "GET UP." Yikes! That means I am off to bed, and the blogging world will have to wait until I am rested.

....I know, live in anticipation. I will be back soon.

Blogger Challenge - Day 17

Day 17 — An art piece (painting, drawing, sculpture, etc.)

Or a picture. Photography is my favorite form of art. I want to have a mini-room (like a study) in my future house where the entire wall is lined with photos in different frames and different colors, etc. I have a friend's grandma who has this type of room (except all of the photos are in black and white and in little frames the same size) and she has over 500 photos lining the walls and ceiling. This is my goal, slightly adjusted.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

London Throwback

via Cassandra Peterson - Make sure you watch this montage of London.

Here is a series of pictures from a study abroad experience taken in London. If you've been there, you'll love this video!

You've Got the Love

Reception This Weekend

Going home this weekend to celebrate these lovelies getting married this summer. Wedding bliss only, of course! Congrats again Kristin and Brendan!

Last Day of Freedom

Here it officially is: the last day of complete freedom. Professional development for the entire district begins tomorrow. We have to go to an Arkansas Department of Education training exercise for the next three days. Yuck.

This year I need to pass my Praxis Pedagogy and Praxis Practical exams. The first is a test based on students in a perfect environment, with perfect study habits, etc. and I answer questions about learning in this imaginary place (because we certainly know that isn't C!). The second test, someone comes to my classroom and observes me while I teach a lesson. I am then rated on like 17 gazillion categories.

BUT on a great note: after these tests are over - I am a licensed teacher for 5 years! And Arkansas has reciprocity with something like 35 other states, meaning if I ever need a job after this experience, I will be able to at least substitute teach in the interim. Exciting!

Day 16 - Blogger Challenge

Day 16 — A song that makes you cry (or nearly)

Dixie Chicks - The Long Way Around

My favorite part of the song:

Well, I fought with a stranger and I met myself
I opened my mouth and I heard myself
It can get pretty lonely when you show yourself
Guess I could have made it easier on myself

But I, I could never follow
No I, I could never follow

Well, I never seem to do it like anybody else
Maybe someday, someday I'm gonna settle down
If you ever want to find me I can still be found

Taking the long way
Taking the long way around

Monday, August 9, 2010

Back to School, Back to School

Anyone know the reference? It's a pretty famous onnnneeeeee.
Check it out: Back 2 School

We had our first day back to Professional Development (PD) today (and until next week Thursday when the kiddies show up!). It was great to be back amongst the staff and seeing everyone again. I forgot how I love my hallway of teachers/moms/mentors/crazy folks! I realized I have a lot of work to do, but it's all going to be worth it.

Surprisingly I don't have a lot of anxiety regarding the kids. I hope this doesn't come back to slap me in the face. Maybe I should possess the attitude that being over prepared is better then under prepared. I am definitely at a much better place in regards to planning (unit plans, lesson plans, big goals, etc.) but I am not quite as cleaned up on management and procedures, something I did a lot of last year at the beginning. Perhaps I will have to work on that a bit this week/weekend.

Wednesday through Friday we have HORRIBLE PD in Brinkley for our mentor program. It is going to be long, repetitive, boring, excessive, and uncreative. But hey, at least I'm going into it with a great attitude.... just kidding!

Day 15 - Blogger Challenge

Day 15 — A fanfic

Some of us don't know what fanfic means. That someone was me. No fear though, I Googled it and immediately found out it actually meant fantasy fiction. I'm a little over this mini-book section of the 30 Day Blogger Challenge. But you know, I'll go with it. I committed to the challenge of course!

My favorite fanfics.... you guessed it - Harry Potter and Twilight. Clearly I am not that much of a fan or "fanfic." I like nonfiction, or fiction that is based in fact. Neither Twilight or HP, or any other of the "100 Most Popular FanFic Books" that I Googled are really up my alley. Ehh, here's to fulfilling my promise of completing the Challenge.

New Big Goal: 5K, 10K, 1 Month

I am committing to another activity, some running. It can only be a good thing right? With the exception of my knees maybe. Today three fun things happened in regards to this new running sitch....

1. I downloaded a power hour mix for my running. I know that makes me sound like an alcoholic, BUT it's actually a good idea for me because..... now I know my intervals for running based on the music changing! Today I ran for 5 minute intervals with one minute walking and didn't have to constantly be checking my phone (and therefore giving myself and excuse to walk! haha).

2. I ran about 2.5 miles in what I later found out was easily 110+ degrees. A man stopped his car and asked me if I wanted a ride home because I "shouldn't be out in this heat." I probs should have taken it!

3. I tried to sign up for the Greenwood, MS (for the second time) 10k!! I am excited!

What's wrong with this picture?

Did you catch it right away? Look closely....
via Mary Grawe and Cary Wright, thanks for the gift guys!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Day 14 - Blogger Challenge

Still going STRONG.

Day 14 — A non-fictional book
Again, I'm not sure exactly what this means. I am going to assume that I am supposed to tell you about a non-fiction book. Hmmmm, I can tell you about A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Solider. Actually I am feeling pretty lazy right now. So, instead I think I'll copy what other people say about it... Sorry?

I found this review particularly correct, from my perspective. Overall the book has a little more then 4 out of 5 stars on over 500 reviews. 98% of users who visited the page bought the book, both numbers pretty impressive.

Review by Bossy Dinasour: A Long Way Gone was a remarkable book. The narration is divided into three parts--before the war, being a soldier, and learning to become human again. The LL Cool J and Run DMC references surprised me because it showed just how far-reaching music (and media) can be. Sadly, the opposite is not true: little media attention was (is) given to the plight of child soldiers around the world. I hope this book will start the conversation.

I was struck, and almost disturbed, by the matter-of-fact tone Beah used to describe the atrocities he committed, but his overall linguistic elegance made the descriptions of his travels and the reflections on his life uplifting by the end. How he was able to "rehabilitate" himself after living that surreal life demonstrates his strong sense of self. The book ends somewhat suddenly, but then, Beah's life story is still unfolding at age 26. This is a stark, but beautiful, narrative.

Hot Hot Hot

Heat index in Arkansas: 118 DEGREES

Is that even possible? Hotter than Hades.

Positive Graffiti

This reminded me of when I studied abroad in London and got to see the great Banksy.

Huffington Post recently captured these pictures as "positive graffiti." Here is the entire slideshow if you want to see it: Positive Graffiti: The Most Uplifting Vandalism Ever.  Some bring a pretty cute little smile to your face!

Back in the Delta with Errrbody

It all begins. First, a Friday of insanity at the lake house. Saturday, a quick second follow-up in Little Rock full of some great interactions. Serenading, icing, car bombing, electric cowboying, etc. SOLID. Some photographic evidence...

Day 13 - Blogger Challenge

Day 13 - A Fictional Book

I don't really know what this means. I guess I'll tell you briefly about the books I am teaching this year (some are fiction, that's the connection!). Here is my final list:

1. The Crucible
2. The Scarlett Letter
3. Huckleberry Finn
4. A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Solider
5. Crank
6. The Color Purple
7. Tuesdays With Morrie

Pretty excited! Sounds like a good range in my opinion!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

One Favorite Thing

Day 12 — Whatever tickles your fancy

In the spirit of Day 12, I thought of another tickle just now. Yesterday we went a beautiful lake house were some friends live. It's great, and I want to spend lots of time this year! 

BUT this is not what I am going to write about! Instead I am going to tell you about one of my favorite things; I absolutely love it when you are amongst friends and acquaintances and suddenly one of your favorite people/close friends comes and sits right by you to talk specifically just to you. Do you know what I mean? Let me rephrase, that was pretty wordy.

It's like that moment when everything is swirling around you and you're having a great time but it just gets a little better suddenly. So, you always have those people you go to the party to see right? At some level, yes, you're more excited to see them then other people. Okay, well now imagine you're sitting on the couch talking to some others, then all of a sudden that favorite person comes right next to you to talk only to you. Maybe this sounds dumb, or simplistic, or elementary - but to me it is one of my favorite things. Because that is someone that you specifically love, and by them pointing you out it means that they love you too. I LOVE THAT! Makes me feel great inside.

And the reason for this post: it happened yesterday.... twice! It was such a great feeling to know that the people I value, value me. Warm fuzzy feelings hereeeee.....

Day 12 - Blogger Challenge

Day 12 — Whatever tickles your fancy

Look at this GREAT email I got from my good friend (and fellow blogger!), Mary.

Also, as promised, the 30 day email challenge begins. 

My favorite song:  This cannot possibly be answered in finality.  Therefore I will answer in stages.

Favorite song of the moment:  Kate Earl, Melody - listen to it and love it -

Favorite Beatles song:  The Beatles are my favorite band therefore they have their own category, on a happy day it is Here Comes the Sun, on a chill day it is While My Guitar Gently Weeps, on a psychedelic day it's Happiness is a Warm Gun.  Please feel encouraged to youtube all of these. 

Favorite Pop song:  Probably I Gotta Feeling will always reign.  the BEP

Favorite Guilty Pleasure song:  Party in the USA or any other equally terrible Miley song

Favorite Party Jam song:  Michael Bolton, How Can We be Lovers?

Favorite Soothing Make Me Feel Good song:  State Radio, Indian Moon  LOVE IT

Favorite Angry Music:  Janice Joplin, Take Another Piece of My Heart 

Favorite Song to sing when I'm alone in my car:  Janice again, Me and Bobby McGee

Favorite Bob Dylan song:  (also gets his own category)  A Hard Rains A-Gonna Fall, if you don't like Bob please listen to the Jason Mraz cover  it makes me melt. 

Favorite song relating to/mentioning the Delta:  TIE btw Marc Broussard, Home  &  Paul Simon's Graceland.

This could go on for AGES.  Moral of the story I LOVE MUSIC and it is impossible for me to pick just one favorite song/artist.  


Thursday, August 5, 2010

Donors Choose - Waiting for Superman

Watch this movie preview. Looks pretty interesting, and I hope successful! This is the website I used to fund a couch, table, chair, books, and other supplies to my classroom for free. A great organization!

Waiting for Superman


Who is SO EXCITED? This girl! We officially have two new Corps Members at C High School! Yah, I wish it was 10, maybe even 15 - but I can take two. We were told that we weren't going to have any new CMs because of budget cuts and because there was no positions open, but obviously that changed a little this summer.

Our first new CM will be teaching science, including biology, a state tested subject. She will also be helping me coach basketball for Sr. High and I will be assisting her with Jr. High! For you loyal followers, you know how hard Jr. High basketball was for me last year (lots of headaches and frustration) so this is a huge load off my shoulders.

Our second new CM will be teaching Spanish and some History classes. I am SO excited about this one.  We have been teaching Spanish as distance learning in C the last few years, something that I don't think is effective or interesting for the students. Now they are going to have a real person standing in front of them working through things at the pace they need to go at. This is a huge development and this placement just happened in the last week! I think this will be a great change for C. AND if the rooms stay the same, we will now have 4 TFA in our lovely little hallway, and a total of 7 at C High School. YAYYYY!!! Love it!

Day 11 - Blogger Challenge

Day 11 — A photo of you taken recently
Happy Birthday, Jacqueline! And thanks Dippy for joining us the entire weekend! Much love to Minneapolis and old friends :)

Day 10 - Blogger Challenge

Day 10 — A photo of you taken over ten years ago
Okay, well I definitely did not have a digital camera 10 years ago. BUT I do have some pictures from 7 years ago. I mean c'mon, allow it. Thanks!

A few things I just re-noticed about these pictures:
1. Bahaha super cute ring on Brian's finger in the first picture.
2. Brian (in the top picture) is getting married this November!
3. The girl with the crazy freckles in pictures 3 and 4 is married, lives in Canada, and just recently had a beautiful baby boy!
4. My lovelies pictures in #4 are crazy successful: one a researcher, one in a MA degree for nursing, and the third going to law school at Northwestern. Ah, to be surrounded by world shapers :)
5. I need to start working out more, damn college.
6. I loved volleyball in high school and in large part to those two in picture #2. Great friends and league champs!


It was nice. It was really nice. Really really nice. I was swimming the last day in clear blue water thinking to myself, welp this will be the last time you do this for a looonnnnng time. Dang, that's a rough conclusion to come to. On the bright side: 1. I am tan (YES Big Goal Summer 2k10) 2. I already did my laundary 3. I am going to a pool tomorrow to continue my sun obsession.