Sunday, January 18, 2009

Answers to Cedar's Questions

This exercise came from Cedarflame and I thought it would be fun to do. Cedar asks the questions and I try to answer the questions that she has posed.

1. I am pleased you asked to do this for a number of reasons. One of the reasons concerns a conversation I had today with a total stranger about teachers while getting my oil changed. The person said they thought teaching was a calling, more than a career choice. Being a teacher, what are your thoughts about this comment?

I believe that some people are compelled to enter certain careers based on a strong need to better the world. Some people are compelled to enter health careers. Others choose other occupations that are service oriented. Those that become police officers or teachers are not driven by financial gain. I became a police officer to be able to help others. While I was an officer, I was given the oportunity to teach. I realized that I had a gift. So, yes, I feel that I was called to teach. Teaching enables me to touch lives, lead by example, and push students to excel even in areas that they lack confidence. I like being able to talk about the environment and recycling, doing the right thing because it is the right thing.

2. In 2007 you finished an advanced Masters Course in education; will we be calling you Doctor or Professor anytime soon?

I got my Education Specialist Degree which is called a masters plus 33 in some places. I do believe that I am finished with advancing my education. You can call me professor if you like. I am teaching at night at a local college.

3. Before you were a teacher you were a police officer is there anything about being a police officer that you miss?

There are lots of things that I miss: being in the position to help people; chasing a bad guy and catching him; writing a ticket to someone who is so selfish that they put other's lives in danger by running lights or speeding; even just talking to people and trying to help them solve some problem; but mostly, being part of the immediate family of law enforcement. Now, I am just a cousin, part of the extended family but not in the inner circle.
It seems that every time I get too wistful, the weather turns really nasty. If it is really hot, I remember standing for hours on asphalt that was so hot that the polish melted off my boots. When it is raining, I remember standing out in it soaked to the bone directing traffic no matter what the temperature. When it is bone chilling cold, I remember sitting on a rock on the river bank with wind and ice pelting my face for hours while we try to talk a jumper off the bridge. All these memories come to me while I am in my climate controlled classroom. And I just smile and start talking about the Pythagorean theorem to a group of less than thrilled teenagers.

4. While growing up who do you think was the biggest influence on who you are today?

I am one of the lucky ones. I grew up in Beaver Cleaver's house with the exception that my mother was a teacher. When I was 17, I had one set of great-grand parents, and both sets of grandparents still alive and together. My parents were together until my dad died. My grandparents until one of them died. Everyone went to church and lived like they did when no one was looking.
All of those people were major influences on my life but if I had to select one, it would be my mother's father. He ran a general store and he kept little books under the counter of credit that he extended to his customers that could not pay. They would pay him $5 or $10 a month when they could. He never reminded them about their bill or refused them food purchases.
I never heard him swear, drink, or smoke. He expected all the members of his family to act in a way that would not bring dishonor on themselves or their family. He insisted that both of his sons-in-law join organizations that gave back to their community. He was a boy scout leader, volunteer police officer, helped start the volunteer fire department and was the chief for almost 50 years. He helped start the water department and served on their board. He was an active member of the Lion's Club. He would sell their brooms in his store and put the ones he normally sold for profit in the warehouse.
He only had girls so he taught them to be self sufficient. My mother was much better with a hammer and nail than my dad. He was supportave of my career choice as a police officer even though women in law enforcement was rare. He died before I became a teacher but I know he would be pleased that I am still helping people be the best that they can be. He was a good man and he expected me to be a good woman. I hope that he would be proud of the woman that I am now.

5. You like scuba diving, kayaking and water sports in general. Is there some place in the world that you dream about spending time in the water either kayaking or scuba diving?

I have decided that I am no longer in the shape that I need to be in to scuba dive anymore. I would love to kayak with whales in any water any time.

Here are the rules if you want to participate in 5 Questions.
1. Send me an email saying: ”Interview Me” to
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
3. You can then answer the questions on your blog.
4. You should also post these rules along with an offer to interview anyone else who emails you wanting to be interviewed.
5. Anyone who asks to be interviewed should be sent 5 questions to answer on their blog. It would be nice if the questions were individualized for each blogger.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Yellow Color, Please

You Are a Yellow Crayon

Your world is colored with happy, warm, fun colors.

You have a thoughtful and wise way about you. Some people might even consider you a genius.

Charming and eloquent, you are able to get people to do things your way.

While you seem spontaneous and free wheeling, you are calculating to the extreme.

Your color wheel opposite is purple. You both are charismatic leaders, but purple people act like you have no depth.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Hell Bound for Arizona

My family has always been avid campers. Granddaddy retired after my grandmom died. She did not like to travel. He had always wanted to see the country. So when my grandfather remarried, they bought a motor home and started traveling. They were voted King and Queen of some national camping association when he was well in his 70’s. They traveled to most of the continental USA including Alaska and parts of Canada. They wore out the first motor home and put 30,000 miles on the second.

My granddad had had open heart surgery in his late 70’s which led to him losing his right leg just above the knee when he was 80. He bought a hand control for the motor home so he could keep traveling. He also put a trailer hitch on the front of his truck when he could no longer back his boat trailer in the barn. He would get it as close to the barn as he could, unhitch it, turn his truck around, hitch the trailer to the front and drive it into the barn.

But this story isn’t about my granddad, it is about the motor home.

When my granddad died at 85, my mother inherited the second motor home. He had not driven it in about a year. My mother had remarried after my dad died and her second husband, Mr. R had never been anywhere except Ohio and Alabama. So when she inherited the motor home, they decided to head out on the road to Arizona where his son in law lived.

My mom made lists, planned, cleaned, and packed the motor home. Mr. R had the oil changed, aired the tires, and put the bicycles on the homemade rack attached to the back bumper. Mr. R didn’t believe in cell phones so they took a couple of rolls of quarters for payphones. Before first light, a very excited elderly couple hit the road headed west.

Before they got an hour from the house, they blew a radiator hose. They flagged down a car driven by one of my mom’s distance cousin’s to get someone to help change out the hose. They sat on the road for a couple of hours waiting but were not deterred. Off they went again once the repair was completed.

They were halfway between the Alabama state line and Jackson, MS when a car motioned them over. He had been trying to catch up to them for about 20 minutes because sparks were flying out from under the motor home. The weld holding the rack on the back had broken loose and was bouncing off the highway. One of the bikes was almost bounced out of the rack. Mr. R said that these things were bound to happen since it had not been used in a year. He opened the side door and put the bicycles inside on the bed. They took up most of the interior room but it would work until they could get someone to re-weld the rack. They thanked the man, used bailing wire to hold up the now empty rack, and continued merrily westward.

Upon reaching TX, they decided to find a campground for the night. They were tired and behind schedule due to the unexpected complications. They paid, found a spot and started setting up camp. Mr. R went to unlock the side door to remove the bikes so that they could go to bed. The door would not unlock. His excitement about camping was wearing thin by this time. Mom went in through the passenger door and tried to open the door from the inside…no luck. The door lock was broken. The bikes were too large to fit over the seats or get out of the doors so they could not be removed from the camper. So, they both slept together on the “couch / gaucho” seat that couldn’t be folded down because one of the bikes was in the way.

Even mom was not very happy when morning came and Mr. R was just down right disagreeable. They walked to the campground office and found a number of someone that agreed to come to their site to fix the lock. He fixed the lock and re-welded the rack. Mom did some major talking to convince Mr. R to continue on their trip. She finally succeeded and shortly after lunch, with bikes firmly reseated in the outside rack, they apprehensively continued on their adventure.

About halfway across TX in the middle of nowhere in pouring down rain, they had a blowout. It was a rear inside wheel so mom didn’t feel it blow. They only knew that they had yet another problem when they heard the ruined tire slapping the underside of the wheel well. Mr. R went put out in the pouring rain to place his warning triangles. Mom turned on the flashers and they waited and waited and waited…..6 hours and two state troopers later, a trucker stopped and asked if they needed help. He called a tow truck for them and waited with them till the tow truck arrived. They were towed to town to a tire dealer. The shop had already closed for the evening so without dinner, they got ready to go to bed in the parking lot.

When they opened the cabinet over the tire well to get their sheets and clothes, they found everything soaking wet. The blown tire tread had beaten a hole in the underside of the cabinet slinging gallons of water into the cabinet. Mr. R started cussing …a rarity in front of my mom…..and my never swearing mom even said, “Well I’ll be damn!”

They walked to a motel and rented a room. The next morning, they were told that all the tires were dry rotted and had to be replaced to the tune of $700. He could not fix the tire well but found a motor home repair shop in the next town. So they paid for the tires and drove to the next town. It took 4 days and $1200 to get the hole fixed. Meanwhile they had to stay in a motel.

They never made it to Arizona but decided to return home before anything else broke. Mr. R said that IF they made it home, he planned to drive the thing into Smith Lake. Mom never said a word. They made it back to Alabama but never took the thing home. They stopped at the first motor home dealership and left it with a big “for sale” sign on it. They called a friend to come get them and take them home.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Long Time No Post

I got back from Seattle, school started, and bam time for anything but lesson plans and grading papers! I do not even have the time to read other posts but once or twice a week. The last time the yard got mowed...I had to pay someone to do it. I LIKE mowing the yard so that sucked!

I have gotten to do a few interesting things since school started.

Sharon and I took a couple of friends on a outing to Cathedral Caverns. Had a picnic and got a huge ice cream on the way home.

Sharon and I went to Oak Mountain State Park and learned how to kayak. That was the most fun that I have had in a long time.

We also went to Chattanooga, TN and took a course on reflexology. I have to do 14 foot treatments before I can get my certification. I have done 3 of them already. Could this be my plan C?

A long lost friend got in touch with me and we went out to dinner. I was worried that too much time had passed (over 10 years) and dinner would be strained. It wasn't and I had a good time. She told me that she bought two kayaks 6 years ago. Hummm.....

I am still working out with my trainer three days a week. Can't loose any weight but I fell better and I am stronger. I have been in the gym since March ..... being over 40 sucks for weight loss! I never had a problem till I tuned 40.

The librarian at school died Monday afternoon from a stroke. Kinda scary since she and I were born the same year!

School is wild. I like my students but I am tired already. I usually don't hit this wall until Spring Break. All my classes are full and I have no upper level classes this year. This means lots of paperwork on those regular ed students that are failing. I have to do the same paperwork for a kid that shows up, is trying as hard as they can as I do for kid that never comes to school or does not do their work. Thanks W child left behind my arse. I also have a whole slew of special eds and ESL students with accompanying paperwork.

Please don't misunderstand me. I get the biggest kick out of showing a kid that has had limited or no success in math that they can be successful! I love those kids but our system is upside down. Those classes should be small so that a teacher can establish a relationship with each child and give them the individualized attention that they need to be successful. Kids that have always been successful in math are sitting in upper level classes with 10 -12 others. You could stick them in a room with a book and they could teach themselves with little to no help.

I went to our Homecoming football game and was overrun with those "struggling" kids that I had in the past. They chased me down or came and sat with me so they could tell me that they passed their math classes in college with A's or B's. One is headed to law school after completing a marketing degree. Two will be doing their student teaching in the next couple of semesters. One is graduating with honors in three years instead of four. Several dropped out of college but they made sure that I knew that they were gainfully employed. All of them went out of their way to speak to me. I got hugs from all but one. I got a warm handshake from him. I wear my cop persona at school so hugs are not the norm. Great ego boost that was needed!

Mom is getting established and keeping busy. That helps. My brother-in-law had his surgery and seems to be holding his own.

Oh ...we had some great company ... Sharon's SIL and the kids. We took them to Tate Farms and even though it was very hot for this time of year ...we had a great time!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Stolen from Sassy Femme

Click to view my Personality Profile page

"INTJs are natural leaders, although they usually choose to remain in the background until they see a real need to take over the lead. When they are in leadership roles, they are quite effective, because they are able to objectively see the reality of a situation, and are adaptable enough to change things which aren't working well. They are the supreme strategists - always scanning available ideas and concepts and weighing them against their current strategy, to plan for every conceivable contingency. "
- Portrait of an INTJ (The Personality Page)

I think that this is pretty right on although being Southern, my feeling side is also pretty developed. The major thing that bothers me about my current job is that I am trapped inside. I spend my whole summer break in the yard or outside somewhere doing something. Chores inside are not likely to get accomplished until it gets cold.