Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Here It Is

We rented one of these on vacation a couple of years ago and I have been wanting one since then.

Curtains please!

It even came with a toaster oven .... for recruiting purposes!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Graduation Present to Myself

I have not had a car payment since 1997 so after much soul searching and saving...I bought me a new ride!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Oh Deer!

Today, we had a little sad excitement at school. It is exam week. The students take two exams each day and then they leave at noon. The second exam today was during my planning period so I was in my room packing up stuff for the summer. It was nice and quiet in my room and the hallway when I heard the teacher across the hall say, “There is a deer in the courtyard.”

I started toward my door when I hear what sounded like a gunshot down the hall. Students started yelling. I went into the hall and turned toward the office nearby when I saw a deer running toward the outside door from the science hall.

WTF?...... I do not teach in a rural school …we are in the middle of a town, population about 60,000!

The deer was slinging blood everywhere when he hit the outside door. It opened and the deer went into the airlock between the two sets of doors. It started running back and forth between the two sets of doors; body slamming the doors and windows trying to get out.

We have a custodian that reminds me of Tim Conway doing his fireman gig. He appeared out of nowhere, shuffled slowly to the door, opened it nonchalantly, and entered the airlock area, about 25’ by 8’, WITH the frightened bloody deer. He shuffled to the outside door, opened it, and stood there as calmly as if he was holding the door for an old woman. The deer figured that the door was open and hauled ass out of it toward the elementary school across the street.

The woman that works that office was standing behind a closed door squealing like a little girl. No one was doing anything but running around like they had gone mad. I went over and told her to open the door. She went back to her desk. I told her to call 911 and ask them to dispatch animal control. She picked up her little school system radio and looked at me like I was speaking German or something. I told the other woman that works the office to call the elementary school and tell them to do a modified lock down in case the deer went into their school.

Both of these women acted like their brains had run out the door with the injured animal. I had to tell the first one to put down the radio and use the phone to call dispatch, you know 911. The other one was saying that she didn’t know the number to the school. DAMN ….get your act together.

After three tries, the woman dialed dispatch and then looked at me and said, “What do I tell them?”

Mother fuck! How about telling them that an injured deer just broke through a 2” thick glass window, ran up and down our hallway, and then left headed toward the elementary school across the street leaving our halls covered in blood and broken glass. She just looked at me so I came around the counter, took the phone from her and gave dispatch the information. They sent animal control and our SRO. I was not sure that we ever made the call to the other school so I asked dispatch to call them too.

Meanwhile, Tim Conway shuffled back into the building and disappeared. I do not believe that his heart rate ever got above 60 and he was actually within injury range of the poor animal. The women in the office who were never in harms way were having a meltdown. Their heart rate was probably in the stroke range.

The terrified, injured animal ran all over the elementary school campus and then into the residential area where he was located and neutralized by a police officer. The poor thing had been hit by a car before coming onto our campus so his injuries were severe. I still would have hated to have been the officer that had to put him down. I eat venison but I do not hunt.

I reverted to teacher mode and returned to my classroom. Three women that work in the office came by and thanked me for taking charge. They said that they just didn’t know what to do. They said that it was “incredible” watching me flip to cop mode, handle the incident, and “transform” back to teacher mode. I laughed and said that they needed to go find Tim Conway and thank him. He kept his cool and got the animal out of the building.

All of this happened in a span of maybe 5 minutes. The custodian that works my hall got all the blood off the floor, the glass swept up, the window boarded, and the door glass blood free in the 15 minutes that she had until the bell rang for school to be dismissed. They really do not make enough money! My hat is off to the work ethic and efficiency of our custodial staff.

All of this action was recorded by our surveillance cameras so be looking for it to appear on Funniest Videos in the near future.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Nothing But Net

No more teaching days this school year! Four half days with kids, lots of packing and cleaning, and I am free!

As a preface, I need to say that I NEVER touch my students. I am very careful to keep that adult / student space between us or that zone acquired as police officer. Today, these incidents occurred completely outside of my control:

Today the Seniors had Baccalaurate practice. It is our school's tradition to give cards called "Kiss a Senior Goodbye" from underclassmen and teachers after the practice. I sent several to former and current students. Several of the current students were teary eyed when they came to class, thanked me and joked about what I had written.

One of them that had been scared to have me as a teacher because of my former occupation came into the room, bear hugged me, and said through tears..."You're not so scarey afterall."

Then the former students started dropping by:

Two girls that relocated to our area because of Katrina brought me cap and gown pictures of themselves with very sweet thank you's written on the back.

A girl that relocated to our area from California during her Sophmore year, landed in my Geometry class suffering from major cultural shock, came to my room to give me a hug and tell me what an awesome PERSON I was. Not teacher ..but person. WOW!

Then, the ultimate breech in my personal space occurred. Another tall boy that I had in a lower level math class his Freshman or Sophmore year, came up, grabbed me in a hug and actually lifted me off my feet. (I am NOT a short nor light woman)He hugged me, put me down, and then laid his head on my shoulder, crying, and said, "Thanks for caring!"

This all happened within a span of 30 - 45 minutes and from a Senior class that I did not think that I had made any lasting attachment to... you just never know!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

What Super Hero Are You?

Your results:
You are Spider-Man

The Flash
Green Lantern
Iron Man
Wonder Woman
You are intelligent, witty,
a bit geeky and have great
power and responsibility.

Click here to take the Superhero Personality Quiz

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Personality Tests are Fun

I'm a Ford Mustang!

You're an American classic -- fast, strong, and bold. You're not snobby or pretentious, but you have what it takes to give anyone a run for their money.

"Take the Which Sports Car Are You? quiz.

I'm a Mandarin!

You're an intellectual, and you've worked hard to get where you are now. You're a strong believer in education, and you think many of the world's problems could be solved if people were more informed and more rational. You have no tolerance for sloppy or lazy thinking. It frustrates you when people who are ignorant or dishonest rise to positions of power. You believe that people can make a difference in the world, and you're determined to try.

Talent: 28%
Lifer: 46%
Mandarin: 62%

Take the Talent, Lifer, or Mandarin quiz.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

I Did It

Color me graduated! We just got home from Tuscaloosa. I can now join The University of Alabama's alumni association ...not bad for an Auburn fan.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Summer Break...Here I come

Nine more teaching days...4 days of exams...and one teacher work day. Thirteen is such a lucky number and exam answers are scantron! I have every paper graded and recorded in our computerized gradebook. So run a few scantron sheets, enter a few exam grades and push a couple of buttons...viola...the end of the 06/07 school year!

Thursday, May 3, 2007

I Must Be Losing My Rep!

I did not blog about this but I have had a run of incidents in my classroom of late. A couple of weeks ago, one of my 9th graders started skipping my 7th period class ….. every day. Long story short, when she was called to the office and confronted about the skipping, she had a valid reason. She didn’t like me! Oh darn…loss of sleep over that one!

Assistant Principal: Can you tell Ms A why you haven’t been attending her class?

Student: I don’t like her…that’s it…I just do NOT like her at all.

AP: Does she treat you differently than the other students?

S: No, she is like that with everyone.

AP: Like what?

S: She tries to make us follow the rules …she needs to lighten up.

AP: Is she ugly about it? Yell at you or something?

S: No…she just makes everyone do math ..the whole time…in her class. I don’t care what you do to me…I am not going back in that room with that woman!

Solution: Send student to a Special Ed teacher’s room to do Ms A’s work for the remainder of the year.

Problem: Now she skips that class and it has taught her that it is OK not to follow the rules.

Then, a couple of Friday’s ago, I had a killer headache and stopped up nose due to our lovely weather and my allergies. During my 1st period class, I kept smelling, faintly, what I thought was hand sanitizer. I have a large pump type dispenser of the stuff in the back of my room. We all got to go to an assembly to watch a play between 1st and 2nd period. One of my students was stopped by another teacher in the hall on the way to the play because she smelled like she just stepped out of a bar.

Come to find out, she had a fruit punch bottle filled with Scotch that she was drinking IN MY CLASS! How in the hell did I miss that one?

Today, I see two boys passing a note in my 4th period class. I watch hands…its an old habit. Boys don’t pass notes often unless they are passing it to a girl. They were amused and more interested in it than my lesson on circles. I told them to get back on task. The one holding the note, wadded it up and held it in his fist. Hummmm…also unusual behavior. Mostly the note would wind up on the floor or stuffed in a back pack. I work my way around the room and hold out my hand for the note. He looked at his friend and slowly placed it in my hand. I went back to teaching.

While everyone was working a problem, I unwadded the note and read its contents. Damn…one of them was trying to sell some pills to the other and bragging that it was a great deal….2 for $10.

WTF… my class!? BAM …immediate adrenalin rush….major dump! Do they not realize what I used to do for a living? I picked up the “emergency” phone on the wall to summon an administrator. I finally hung up and a couple of minutes later, they called back. I made my request and one showed up eventually. I gave him the note, explained that it was about a drug deal, and asked if he would like to take both of them to be searched. He did. Don’t know the outcome of that but they did not return to class.

I have not felt that rush in a long time…I used to feel it a couple of times a day. I had so much energy that had no where to go… not only was I shaking but my voice was shaking! I had to mentally gear down so that I could finish the lesson. It was a good thing that I was already planning a workout at the gym after school.