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Archive for April, 2010

Quick update

April 27th, 2010 at 03:47 am

I'm in the final stretch of the semester. Lots of stuff due in the next 5 or 6 days, then I can take a breath.

A mixed blessing occured this morning. I was told by one of my two tutoring student's moms that she couldn't afford to keep going. So, instead of going into June with a possible $7-800, I'll be going in with about $400. I've resolved to not panic. God is in control.

I did not manage to cut my food budget this month like I'd hoped to do. Part of the problem I think was I didn't really plan very well. So, as soon as I have a chance, I plan on seeing how many meals I can make with stuff I already have, and then just fill in the edges. Maybe I'll be able to do some cooking on Sunday (and freezing).

I was asked to do a third job at church. I turned it down - with good reason. Smile It was being the Sabbath School Secretary - essentially the person who goes around and collects the offering before SS is over. Can't quite do that if I'm teaching the Primaries. Smile

Well, this has to be one of the shortest entries I've ever done I think.

Before I go -- For great Christian romance stories suitable for teens, check out the Christy Miller, etc. series by Robin Jones Gunn. Excellent.

:( so sad, what could I have done differently?

April 17th, 2010 at 01:35 am

Tonight my stepdad and I were taking our usual walk around the neighborhood. We do this just about everyday. Today was my barefoot day. Along our route there is a house which we've been watching progress, from the digging and planing, to the pouring of foundation, etc. By it is a dumpster where the workmen dump their trash.

Today I was talking a mile a minute about the book I'd read this afternoon (Graveyard Book - Wow!) when I took a pause to catch my breath. That's when I heard it. Meow! Meow! It was so pitiful, so plaintive, it completely arrested my attention.

So I stopped in my tracks to listen more closely to figure out where it was coming from. As I looked around, I saw peeping out over the edge of the dumpster the head of a cat. A beautiful, yet emaciated cat. Black with a white stripe down its belly, and half of it's mouth covered with white. It was skin and bones.

I walked over to the dumpster slowly. It allowed me to come right next to it and even to scratch its head. All the time continuing to meow.

As hard as it was, I continued on home with my stepdad. When we got there, he found some tuna and a paper bowl and got some bottled water. I started calling the local animal shelter. As much as I would love to have another cat, it just is impossible for me now. But I figured that taking it to the animal shelter where it would be fed and cared for, even if it ended up being euthanized, would be so much better than starving.

The local animal shelter was closed. I tried at a couple other places, but was told that only the local animal shelter could come get it. We couldn't take it to any place ourselves.

By the time we got back to the dumpster, the cat had dissapeared. I left the bowl of tuna, plus water in the bowl, in the dumpster, and then went back home.

There's a special place in hell for people who dump their animals.

Finished Tech Video Assignment: 3 "Vacation" Days. etc.

April 14th, 2010 at 11:56 pm

Last night after my ASL class my teacher videoed me doing my story. She did it in about 12 segments so that we could make the signs as clear as possible. It turned out pretty well, although some of the transitions are *really* noticeable. I had to upload all 12 segments to youtube, and then redownload them two at a time (two per hour) and then convert them. Finally I put them in the Movie Maker and did some more messing and trimming, and came up with the final product:

Kitten' First Full Moon : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Blz7nD6uJiM

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I have three "vacation" mornings this week. My high-school student is having standardized testing Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. I offered to meet with him Tuesday after school, and then do a double session on Sunday - seeing as though he'll still be expected to be ready for the next test on Monday. He wants a "break" from tutoring. So, instead of doing makeup sessions, "we can just take the $75 from May." UGH@@@!!!!! Gee thanks, I didn't need that $75 or anything.

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I found out last night that my local church's school is desperately seeking a first-third grade teacher for next year. It is somewhat tempting. Steady pay (REAL money - none of this business of "taking breaks") and probably a pretty small group of students (could be a curse or a blessing though ...) most likely no benefits though. But I'm focused on finishing my master's. If I went back into teaching, I'd probably not finish it ever. Because if I went back into teaching for the denomination, I'd have to take classes to renew my denominational certification. That would essentially curb any further classes in Library Science. Plus, I just really do not want to go back into the classroom.

Not to mention I have *absolutely* NO teaching materials anymore. So, I'd be starting from pure scratch.

Just not something I want to do.

*Of course, I'm starting to feel really panicky about my money situation. And kind of wonder if God is pushing me towards this to take care of that. But then again, it could be the panic speaking. I hope I hear about the scholarships for next year really soon.

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My mom and stepdad have offered to cover the cost of me getting my teeth x-rayed to make sure that the tooth pain isn't more than just sinus related. That might happen as soon as this coming Tuesday.

Front USB plug not working, Book talk, question/rant

April 9th, 2010 at 11:12 pm

The past few weeks the internet has just stopped working for me at various times. It would start working again after I restarted my computer, but it was very annoying. This afternoon it stopped again, and the restart didn't work.

So, after exploring a bit, I realized that my USB receiver wasn't showing a light. Some more exploring and experimentation revealed that the front USB plug on my computer seems to no longer be working. So, I plugged in my USB hub to the back of the computer, and have internet again.

I have a funny feeling that my computer is not going to last much longer. If it can just survive till I'm out of school and making a real living again ...

Of course, with the way things are going, I'm going to have everything breaking down on me the moment I start getting a real paycheck again - my car, my computer, my health. It may be an expensive few months. Just so it waits till I can afford it!

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I did my book talk today at the library. (I mentioned some of the books already here - Hoggee, One-handed Catch, and Runt). It went really well.

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Okay, I have a question. I turned in my report on my Story time assignment on March 25. It was due March 28. Unfortunately, it didn't save properly as a Word document. On April 4 my professor returned it to me and told me that I needed to turn it in again saved as a Word document. I did that within minutes of receiving her email.

I have not received a grade for it yet -- but it is marked as Late on the submissions tab.

Am I wrong to be upset that she has marked it late? I don't feel that it is my fault that she waited so long to look at it. I do concede that it is my fault for not double checking that it was saved in the proper format - but should that make it be marked late?!

This same teacher marked off 5 points on a journal response because she said that I hadn't mentioned a speech. I wrote back to her and told her that I could see why she thought I hadn't done so, because it wasn't written "so and so said..." but more of a response. I then included a quote from my journal showing where I was talking about the speech. She never responded to me, except to put my grade up minus the 5 points.

I'm not very happy about this, because I have to have this same professor for at least 2 more classes.

I'm afraid I'm going to get a B in this class because of the Story time late grade (if she ever gets around to putting up a score!)

Tutoring the Tutor; Netflix; Teeth

April 8th, 2010 at 02:41 am

So funny. Tonight my stepdad and I were out doing our usual evening walk around the neighborhood (about 30 minutes or so) when I got a call from my mom. She was working with one of her tutoring students and couldn't figure out how to do the math. Luckily I had worked with my tutoring student (in the same class) on Monday on that exact assignment - so I knew what the page looked like. I tried walking her through it step by step as I was walking, but finally had to tell her I'd call her back when I had paper and pencil in front of me. We went straight back to the house and I called her back. Between stepdad and I, we were able to work both mom and student through the problems. Big Grin (It was doing function tables from a graph and figuring out the rule.)

Sixth-grade math I can still figure out. Don't know that I want to mess with seventh-grade math.

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Not too much to report. Yesterday was my ASL class. I showed my teacher the progress I've made on putting together the video. She suggested some better/smoother ways to sign/transition some parts. Next Tuesday will be the final run through - then I'll need to make the official video.

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Mailed the textbook which sold Monday, today. From what I understand, I'll get paid for it on the 15th from half.com. Hopefully another textbook or two will sell before then. Smile

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I looked into getting the disc to do streaming video through the Wii from Netflix. Unfortunately I can't do it on my $4.99/month plan. Frown I'd only really have time to watch more than one or two movies a month when school isn't in full swing, so going to a higher plan just to stream videos to the Wii - ridiculous.

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A tooth in the area that the dentist who did my first root canal two-years ago, and was put on a "watch" list, has been really sensitive and hurting. Really, most of that side of my mouth hasn't been feeling so great. My allergies have been really acting up, so I keep praying that it's just my sinuses causing my teeth/jaw to hurt. There's no way in double h hockey stick that I can afford first of all going to a dentist and getting new x-rays, and then a root canal, and then a crown. Not if I want to actually finish my degree.

So, I'm taking my $70/bottle (30) generic allergy medicine and popping Aleve and hoping that when my allergies are gone, the tooth pain will be gone too.

Easter, Textbooks, Book Reccs

April 6th, 2010 at 02:19 am

I had a pretty uneventful weekend. One really good thing is that I think my tailbone is almost healed. I was able to sit through all of Sabbath School and church without my donut. I was a little sore, but not too uncomfortable.

I was disappointed that neither one of the usual sign language interpreters were there at church this weekend. I learn so much just from watching them, and trying to follow along during the songs. There was actually one song I think I could have signed most of, but without anyone else signing ... yeah, I'm chicken. Smile

I worked with my high-school student on Biology Sunday afternoon. Then came home and my mom was there with Easter baskets for both me and my stepdad. She offered to hide them (i.e. do a treasure hunt) but both of us said that was okay. Then we went out to IHOP. While we were there, mom and stepdad played against me on the iPhone game Words With Friends (sort of like Scrabble -- Free). I still was beating them. Big Grin

If any of you play Words With Friends, my handle is Librarian2be. Smile

After we got back we all went for a walk/run. I was doing my barefoot thing using the couch to 5k program (that I've kind of altered to better suit my speed). Every time I was running, I had to do some circles because my stepdad was keeping step with my mom. Smile So I'm not sure how accurate my distance log was.

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Today after working with my high-school student, I stopped at Wal-greens and picked up exactly $5.08 of Easter candy. Two of the items were for my tutoring students, the rest for me.

This afternoon I wasn't 100% sure that I'd be working with my 6th grade tutoring student, but I went over to the school anyway. My mentor librarian had one of the books I wanted to use for my book talk on Friday.

By the time I left the school, I had $140 in my pocket. Hopefully that will continue next week (well, not the $140, because $40 of that was from before Spring Break ...). Anyway, I'll be very happy to make a nice deposit in my checking account tomorrow. May's budget is looking brighter already.

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I stopped by the library also on my way home today to pick up some other books I needed for class. They weren't on the hold shelves, so I had to go to the information desk. I joked around with the lady that they probably were getting tired of seeing me around. Smile She then said that she hoped the library wasn't out of my way. I told her it was on my way home from tutoring. This led to her asking me for my information to give to people who come in looking for a tutor!! Wouldn't that be awesome if I get a tutoring client from the library???

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Yesterday I listed all the textbooks from this past year on half.com. I'm starting them all out a bit on the high end. If they don't sell in a few weeks, I'll lower the prices a bit.

I also found the textbook I'll need this summer for $36 including shipping. Regularly priced around $70.

ETA: I made a sale! 1 textbook sold for $35. My stepdad just told me he probably has a padded envelope that my book will fit in. So, no money going out! Yahoo!

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Okay, some book reccs:

Ages 10 - 14/15:
Hoggee - Anna Myers:
A 14 year old boy and his older brother work as hoggee's along the Erie Canal. A hoggee is a person who leads mules along the path of the canal while the mules pull boats up and down. It is only a spring and summer job. Howard decides to spend the winter and send the money home - but it doesn't quite work out that way. He ends up meeting a very special girl - she's deaf. Can he help her be able to communicate with her family?

One-handed Catch - MJ Auch:

11 year old Norm loves to play baseball and to draw. Then one summer not long after the end of WWII his father asks him to grind some meat and he ends up losing his hand. Norm finds that some people try to baby him and have few expectations of him, while others hold him to a high standard. Will he ever be able to play ball again? What about tie his shoes?

15 - Adult

Little Brother - Cory Doctorov:

1984's Big Brother meets 2022 technology. Marcus and his friends have perfected the art of ditching school - even with the advanced "gait recognition" technology and all the other tracking mechanisms. Then one day he and his friends are in the midst of playing an Alternate Reality Game when a bridge in San Francisco (where they live) is blown up by terrorists. The group gets picked up by Department of Homeland Security, and then the real story begins. Can a 17 year old kid fight back and win against the government?

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Oh, I've now made two test videos of my ASL story time video. I'm still working out a few kinks, but I'm getting closer to the finished product. Smile I should be ... it's due April 23. I really need to have it finished earlier than that though, so I can start focusing more on my research paper due on the 28th!

Groceries, AT&T, Book reccs; Primary Leader??

April 2nd, 2010 at 01:41 am

Today after my morning tutoring student, I stopped at Walmart and picked up enough groceries to hopefully last two weeks (other than bananas). I would have waited until tomorrow, but I won't be working with my student tomorrow, so figured I should do the groceries today.

I spent a total of $34.75. That is nearly half of my reduced food budget. I used one coupon for Totino's pizza, but hadn't found a coupon for mouthwash.

On Monday I want to see if I can get some Easter candy for reduced price - won't spend more than $5. Will have to see if it's at 75% or more yet then.

I also filled up with gas: $22.00. I still had some in the tank, but decided to go ahead and fill up before the weekend.
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I got a postcard in the mail a few days ago telling me that I was eligible to make a claim in a class action lawsuit against AT&T in regards to their DSL service not being as fast as they advertised. I will get up to $2.90 for every month I had service with them where the speed was off. I had DSL with AT&T for around 5 years, 6 if you count the landline less version. So ... that could net me around $100 or so.

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I read two more books for my children's lit class.

Flight by Sherman Alexie:
It's about a 15 year old kid who is part Native American and part Irish and has had a really rough time of it. Just as he's about to make a really, really terrible decision, he starts time traveling. He goes to 1975 Red River, Nevada as an FBI agent, 1876 at Custer's Last Stand, and a few other places. Finally, he ends up back where he'd started, and has to decide if he's going to follow through with his previous plan. Awesome book.

The White Darkness by Geraldine McCaughrean:
I could NOT put this book down. I stayed up till 1 a.m. last night to finish it.

It's about a 14 year-old girl (Sym) who's "uncle" has taught her from the time she was very small all about the Antarctica, and about Captain Oates from Scott's second failed expedition to reach the pole. She has created a companion out of Captain Oates "Titus" as kind of a sounding board and comforter. After her father dies, the "uncle" moves in with her and her mother (who finds out that they are completely broke after her husband dies). Then one day he tells them that they're going to take a trip to Paris. Only, not all of them make it to Paris. And that just not might be the true final destination. Sym will end up calling on everything she's learned and finding courage and strength she never knew she had.

Simply a fantastic book. (An award winner!)

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Today I got a call from one of the ladies at church who is on the nominating committee. Apparently my name ended up on a short list of people they wanted to ask to lead the Primary class.

I've been asked before at other churches, and have always turned it down. I prefer doing things like greeting at the door, or collecting the Sabbath School offering envelopes. Things that don't tie you down every week.

I tried to get out of it by saying that there was no way I could get there to do decorating, etc. She told me that we meet in one of the school classrooms, so I wouldn't be able to decorate anyway.

So I asked about if there was a budget for crafts/activities. She said there was.

Then she told me it was from July to June. So I told her I will hopefully have a job my May, so I wouldn't be able to fulfill the whole year. She told me that I would just work that out with the coordinator.

Oy vey! I accepted the position. :bug eyes:

I will have an assistant, so if I need a break from teaching once in a while I can get it. I'm planning on a mini-trip to Houston in August to visit a good friend of mine - so will need to get that weekend covered. And then of course Christmas if I go to CA again.

I really, really don't want to do this. But I guess I'm of the age where if I'm a member I really should contribute. And I'll probably end up enjoying it, for the most part. I just hate being tied down. Maybe I'll have my assistant do one week a month ... It'll probably be good for me to flex my working with little ones muscles again too, after being out of the classroom for so long.