Sunday, August 31, 2008

No Children Were Harmed In The Writing Of This Blog

I only thought I would have the time to write about my first day back to teaching very soon after my first day back to teaching! HA!!! HA!!! HA!!! I think I hear the hysterical laughing of other teachers in the background or maybe my sanity is slipping a little already and those giggles are in my head.

Here are a few things I somehow managed to push out of my head in the 4.5 years I was out of the classroom:

  • Once that bell rings and there are kids sitting in your classroom, you can't just leave if you need to use the restroom or get a drink of water. I mean you can, but there is no telling what you might walk back into.
  • No matter how hard you worked on a lesson, just be prepared to shove it aside when the principal or someone else says, "We are all going to the gym right now."
  • 7th graders are incapable of just sitting and listening without talking. Even if for some reason they must resort to talking to themselves, they still MUST talk out loud.

I have small classes all periods, but then again I work at a small school. Except one. I have one period that has twenty-six 7th graders. (Now you see why I have that third bulleted point!!) It is the last period of the day, twenty-six 12 years old the last period of the day! Whose bright idea was that? :) Actually since the school is soooo small they don't have anyone at this time to teach an art or music class so these kids get to have TAKS preparation class instead of an elective. (TAKS is Texas' standardized test-Thank you No Child Left Behind!)

I have had to resort to a trick a long time teacher taught me. Since I have them last period, I can hold them after the bell without worrying about another class coming in or the ones I have being late. When they get too loud I start counting seconds out loud. The kids I am standing next to can hear me and they start shhhing the others. I stop counting when they are all quiet and will start again where I left off if I need to. (I have to write it down so I don't forget where I was!) How many seconds I count, that is how long after the bell they have to stay. After one week, the longest they have had to stay is 36 seconds. I will break them yet! :) Did I mention that out of the twenty-six I have eighteen of them 2nd period as well?? Let's just say I know the 7th graders, and will have them again next year as 8th graders. Welcome to the life in a small school. :)

Here are two quotes from students from last week that cracked me up along with my thoughts in italics.

  • From a 9th grade boy who had for some reason smelled a piece of paper, "Hey, this smells like fresh corn!" (Seriously, fresh corn??? Other kids were laughing too and said things like, "I can understand if you had said pizza or pie, but fresh corn??" So yeah fresh corn I guess has a different smell.)
  • From and unknown 7th grader after another unfortunate kid passed some gas in class, "Whoa there big boy!" (I think it was the unexpectedness of this response that cracked me up and yes I had to start counting seconds after this happened to get them quiet again!)

So that was the highlights of my week. I am exhausted and very very very grateful that this is a 3-day weekend. I need it to get caught up...no get ahead on lesson plans so I will have more time to play during the day! :)

Feel free to send me your pity, glad you are not me, or you feel my pain comments!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Five Days Down One Hundred Eighty-Two To Go

My week started off very sad with my granddad's funeral in Houston on Monday. It was very hard to go to and I am fighting tears now writing this. He had a military funeral (he was a WW II veteran) including a flag covered casket and a 21 gun salute. They presented the flag to my grandma and tucked into a small cloth bag that held three of the bullet shells. My dad asked for the flag and I was given the shells. My grandma is holding up better than I thought she would, but her faith is strong and I know she will be okay as time goes on. I was able to see family that I hadn't seen in years so there was some good on Monday.

Frankie and I missed the first day of teacher orientation due to the funeral. It really threw off the rest of the week. I know there are things that were talked about that we missed, but either we will get told or it wasn't important enough to begin with. :)

The little school we are working at is going to be a good one. On Monday the Lion's Club served steak for lunch for all the teachers (we missed it). On Tuesday the school board invited all the teachers to supper (we missed it too since it started at 7:30 PM and it is an hours drive home...it would have been too much). On Wednesday the Chamber of Commerce invited all the new teachers to a lunch and gave each of us a sponsor. The sponsor is there for anything we may need in the community. This is awesome, no other community I have been at has done this. And then today the teachers decided to have a pot luck for lunch. It sounds like I am judging the goodness of the school by how much free food we have gotten! HA! There is more to it. Everyone has been great, very nice and helpful. It is hard to go into a new job where everyone knows each other and the person I am replacing had been there for over 20 years! I am glad I have Frankie there, it helps.

So five days have past out of our 187 days for the school year and they have been hectic! We both have been very overwhelmed with all the stuff we will be dealing with come Monday. In fact, I need to get some work done now with lesson plans and such, so until later...! :)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

For Granddad

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Luke W. Shira (86) of Highlands, Texas passed away August 13, 2008. Luke was born on June 27, 1922 to L.W. and Elsie Shira in Pocatello, Idaho. While attending school he was both athletic and played in the High School Band. He attended Pepperdine University, and received his draft notice while there. He entered into the United States Air Force and served for three years.

While in the Air Force he met and married Arva Bea Damron on August 5, 1944. After the marriage he was sent to serve as a gunner on a B-26, flying in the European theater of operation. Luke returned home for dismissal from the service and worked for the Union Pacific Railroad. In 1948 he moved to Texas and enrolled in Abilene Christian College studying to become a preacher of the Gospel. Graduating in 1952, his preaching has been mostly in Texas and New Mexico. Since 1993 Luke has been the associate Evangelist for the Church of Christ in Highlands, Texas.

Luke is preceded in death by his parents L.W. and Elsie Shira, brother Paul Shira, brother Hugh Shira and sister Helen Shira. He is survived by his loving wife of 64 years Arva Shira, son Mickey Shira and wife Leslie, daughter Glenda Dotson and husband Martin, grandchildren; Jason Wahl, Melissa Shira, Jennifer Hinds and husband Frankie, Teri Tucker and husband Dion, David Dotson and wife Teresa, Marty Dotson and wife Kim, twelve great grandchildren and many nieces , nephews, other relatives and friends.

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The way I remember my granddad is not in the above picture. That was before I was born. Here are my memories:

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Granddad and me - early 1980's

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Granddad in his church office-around the year 2000

I love you Granddad. You will be missed on this Earth but when we all get to Heaven what a day of rejoicing that will be!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Saying Goodbye

Yesterday marked the end of my time at Schreiner University. I was there for 4.5 years and they were very good years to me. I will miss seeing many of the wonderful people that I worked with, but I will not really miss being on the administrative side of education. I am happy to go back to teaching, excited to have new experiences, and ready to meet new people.

I am grateful for the opportunities that Schreiner offered me. On the entrance to the campus there is a sign that reads "Enter With Hope". I did enter with hope. I had been unhappy at my previous position and wanted something better. All my hope was put into Schreiner.

So now as I move on in my life, I will follow the advice on the sign the can be viewed when leaving Schreiner campus:

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Friday, August 1, 2008

Click Here For Title

The title for this blog was way to long to be a title for this blog! Here it is:

How My Husband Got Out Of Going To Wal-Mart
And What He Had To Sacrifice In Order To Do It

We had plans after work today to eat Chinese food, watch the movie "Swing Vote", and then afterward go to Wal-mart to buy groceries. Frankie always tries to get out of going to Wal-mart no matter when or where we are. I mostly can't blame him, but I really hate going alone and usually it is not too bad on a Friday night. (Wahoo! We are party animals!)

The Chinese restaurant was great. Frankie managed to only dribble a little on his shirt. (Trust me this is a great feat for him!) :) He asked if we could skip Wal-mart and the movie and just go home. He promised we would go to the store tomorrow morning and he would even buy me breakfast. I said I wanted to go to the store and get it over with because we have a lot to do tomorrow at home. He reluctantly agreed.

Or so I thought. He must have been plotting on how to get out of it. Next thing I know he has dumped his cup of sweet and sour sauce on his pants, down his arm, and on the floor! WHAT A PUNK! So yes, he got out of going to Wal-mart, but he also had to give up going to see a movie. If you know Frankie then you know what a HUGE sacrifice that is!

It was a mess and yes I laughed at him. I keep asking him if he did it on purpose, and he keeps denying it. I will always have my doubts!

P.S. He does know I wrote this and got a kick out of it himself. Silly boy!