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Archive for August, 2011

Really?? Where are the parents??!

August 31st, 2011 at 11:10 pm

Wow! Last night shortly before I headed off to bed, I checked Facebook. One of the teachers who live in the trailer park posted that I might want to check my tires before doing any highway driving. One of the neighborhood boys ( a 2nd grader at our school) had been letting air out of my tires - she'd caught him red handed. He admitted it wasn't the first time he'd done it either.

She, or another teacher must have told SrN because this morning I saw her talking to him, and he was in tears. She also called his mom.

I'm not sure I would have done anything about it - just for fear of making it worse...

I'm very glad I have an air pump!

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Something scary happened today -- one of our teachers may have had a stroke. She's been taken by ambulance to the nearest major town. Frown She's not very old ... maybe mid to late 50's if that.

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I went to the Family Dollar today and got a watch. When I was a teacher I always had a watch on. But after getting out of teaching, I only used my cell phone. But for practical reasons (i.e adolscent boys) I am back to a watch now. Smile

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Yesterday was very stressful.

I had the two sections of seventh graders today. I did the same lesson with them as with the 8th graders on online predators which had went really well. With the 7th boys, it went so-so. The girls though ...OY VEY!! There was one in particular who was being quite rude and disruptive. The other girls realized that I was going to be taking points away from her "house" (points management system for grades 6-8). So at the end of the class, two of them came and told me that they had given me several wrong names when I was making the seating chart for the library classroom.

I have over 200 names to learn - I'm starting to get some of them ...but this seriously burns me. I'm unlikely to forget this one girls name though!!!

Music to a Teacher's Ears :)

August 30th, 2011 at 02:08 am

Today I started the internet safety unit. I had 3rd, 4th and 8th grade. All of them seemed to enjoy it, but the 8th graders most of all. I was shocked to hear a couple of the kids even say outloud that they liked the lesson and that it was interesting. Big Grin Not something that most teenagers would readily admit in front of their peers. Big Grin We were talking about online predators and the warning signs. We also watched a video called "Tracking Teresa" which showed how someone could track another person down within 20 minutes just based on her user name in a chat room and email address. The kids were pretty wowed by that one.

When I got home today I had to wash dishes. They'd been piling up and I was out of bowls. Kari was so funny. She kept trying to jump up on the counter by the sink, but couldn't quite make it. So I put her up there. (I know, I know, bad habit to let her get into.) She sat there watching me wash the dishes, occasionally getting sprayed with the hot water. When she'd had enough, she jumped down and laid right behind my feet washing herself. She is definitely not a cat that likes to be alone.

Right now she's asleep on my lap. Big Grin

No spending news this weekend. I do need to get a watch soon though. Using my phone as my watch isn't the best way - especially when I only have my bra to use as a pocket. Big Grin Not a good place to remove something from in front of any boy older than maybe 2nd grade. Big Grin Big Grin

New Family Member :)

August 27th, 2011 at 02:15 am

I was going to wait til January, really! But today a coworker told me she was taking her 4 month old kitten to the shelter because she was alergic to it. When she told me it might have some Siamese ... well, who can blame me??

For newer readers - I had a seal point siamese for 10 years named Monkey. He died in surgery 4+ years ago. Frown I still miss him, but finally feel ready to bring another kitty into my home.

Her name is Kari (what my coworker named her). Sweet as can be (is asleep on my lap right now) and looks a lot like Monkey did when he was a baby. I haven't had too many girl pets, so this will be different.



Two full days!

August 24th, 2011 at 12:52 am

And I am TIRED!! The kids were great today (again). Right now I'm feeling pretty good about my decision to get back into teaching/classroom. Maybe my being older (perhaps somewhat wiser?) is helping, or perhaps the break of six years has refreshed me enough ...

I didn't get by the PO today to see if any mail came - stayed late at work setting up a username/password spreadsheet for one of the programs we subscribe to.
Tomorrow I only have two classes!! However, I have plenty to keep me busy! It will be nice however to eat lunch in the cafeteria. M,T and F I only have 25 minutes between my last morning and first afternoon class -- not really enough time to clean up, set up AND go to the cafeteria.

Tomorrow a group of teachers/staff are all going to a Steak and Sushi place to celebrate one of the teachers birthdays. I'm hoping that they have something that I can eat ... if not, I'll drink water and just participate in the celebration. Big Grin

I'm definitely going to bed early(ier) tonight!

It's pretty crazy how many places in the US today felt an earthquake ... makes you wonder.

1st full day & Address Frustrations

August 22nd, 2011 at 11:34 pm

Today was our first full day of school. Last week we had three half-days. It was a long and very busy day, but it went pretty well. I can't believe I'm saying this, but my very favorite class I had today were the two 8th grade sections! I taught them how to use Google Advanced Search (none of them had heard of it before.) They had to find a current science article to write their findings on and present in Science class on Friday.

I read all the classes (except 8th, because we had too much to do) the Shel Silverstein poem "Peanut Butter Sandwich." Big Grin Every class (K, 3rd, 4th) seemed to enjoy it. Big Grin

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So my dad called me Saturday afternoon and told me that grandma had sent me something to the address I'd given them, and it had been returned "Addressee unknown" or something like that.

I also received an email from Geico telling me that my new insurance documents had been returned to them.

So I stopped by the post office and double checked that I had the right address. I was told that it is the correct address, and they weren't sure why it was getting returned.

The person working the counter told me she'd talk to the person in charge of the PO boxes and make sure they were on the lookout.

Life in a small (miniscule) town!

First Week over and a little sad

August 20th, 2011 at 01:18 am

My first week back in the world of teaching is over. I had 4 classes - all of them 5th grade. Wednesday I just had enough time to go over procedures and what we'd be doing this year. Thursday I attempted to get them signed up on edmodo - hah! 4 of 17 managed to get signed up. The internet just hung and hung and ...

I also helped several different staff members with computer stuff. One of them told me that they were so happy I'm here - apparently the computer teacher last year several times told them when they had a problem/question - "Oh, that's easy!" and then would walk away. What she needed help with *was* easy -- for me -- but I've had enough experience walking my mom and dad through stuff step by agonizing step that I KNOW better than to SAY it's easy. Smile

On Monday I will be starting my full regular schedule. I still don't have the library ready to go ... so will have to go in on Sunday - probably most of the day.

I'm a little frustrated. I mentioned to Sr. that I would like to get some playaways for the library - they are like mini-mp3 players only they have audiobooks on them (usually one - two stories per playaway). She thought it was a really bad idea because they'd get stolen. Same thing with cameras - digital or otherwise ... Ugh! I'm seriously curious about how I'm supposed to do a yearbook and newspaper without access to a camera??? (The school has one digital camera - that Sr keeps under lock and key - she doesn't think anyone would be responsible with it and it would get lost or stolen.)

I think once the next paycheck comes in, I'm going to get a digital camera. My iPhone camera is sufficient for personal pictures, but really need something better for yearbook/newspaper.

Oh well, I knew this wouldn't be easy. I still really like the people here. Smile

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On one of the forums I frequent, a frequent poster had gone missing. Many people were attempting to locate her and find out what happened. I logged in today to find out that it was confirmed that she'd died of cancer this past weekend. Frown She's the second frequent poster in this one forum that has died of cancer - the other one died about a year ago. Both really good people.

I Have Hot Water!

August 13th, 2011 at 04:05 am

Today when I came home at lunch, the gas man was just putting the finishing touches on the gas stuff. (I'm SO technical) I went inside and tested the water .... HOT!! Yahoo! He told me they put in a 40 gallon water heater tank - which basically means there's no way for me to run out of water. Smile

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Today we had our first meeting. It was fairly short and sweet. Then most of us went over to the gym and sorted out the school supplies. The school pretty much supplies everything the kids will need for school. So not only is it tuition free, there also is not a school supply list sent home.

This afternoon I was introduced to the "super secret" supply closet. I found some cardboard inserts from writing tablets (I think?) I used those to make my Help Triangles. The HTs will sit on top of the computers and when a kid needs help, they turn the triangle facing up. The part facing them says "Keep Working". Then when I (or the assistant teacher) come help them, we'll put it back down. I saw something like this in a teacher magazine - they wanted $10+ for each individual one. I spent about two hours and maybe $3 worth of supplies making 12 of them. They're not fancy - but they'll do the job!

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Tonight I went out to dinner with five of the teachers. It was at Applebee's - I had to order my own "meal" - a baked potato with a side of mushrooms. I ended up paying $7 for it. At first everyone was just putting cash into a pot to cover what they thought their portion was. I put in $4 - figuring that was plenty. Then the waitress came back and made separate tickets - people started taking "their" money back out. There was two dollars left. The only other thing I had was a $5. Ugh.

Overall though, I had a nice time.

Gas Explosion! No One Hurt ...

August 12th, 2011 at 01:04 am

Well... the guys did come by this morning. First the MHPM had to find me to borrow my keys - the extra set was in a truck that went out to the lake (20 miles +). Then later while I was at home for lunch (and had figured out that the hot water still wasn't working) he came by and told me why it wasn't working yet...

Apparently the first people setting it up had left some parts out or something. So today when they tried to light it - they had a small gas explosion! Thankfully no one was hurt.

Later this afternoon he came by the library to get my keys so the gas man could take a look at it. My extra set of keys were "mis-placed." The gas man needed some parts he didn't have, so will be back tomorrow.

So ... maybe tomorrow I'll have hot water again. Big Grin

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I nosed around today on the various sections of the school server and stumbled across a few helpful nuggets left by the two previous librarians (before last year's.) I now have access (for the kids and teachers) to the Gale databases and have an inter-library loan type deal setup with the county public school system/district for teaching resources.

I won't be getting my first actual paycheck till the 25th. I'm not sure where I got the 17th from .... Oh well, I'll survive. Smile

Our copying machines leave a LOT to be desired. I attempted feeding a two-sided document through to copy on one side. No can do. (should be possible, but copier refused to do it)

I also had a teacher approach me today about a lesson she wants to do periodically in the computer lab. Smile

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The most difficult thing for me right now is that as a classroom teacher I was used to preparing for one or two grade levels with a pretty set curriculum (though with leeway in how I carried it out ...) I also had only one room to think about fixing up/decorating.

But as the librarian/computer teacher, I'll be seeing/working with TEN grade levels in two separate sections of a building , and attempting to correlate what I'm doing with the curriculum the various grade levels are doing. All the while I've also been strongly told to use this one program for computers (which I've been told by several teachers that the kids hated) ...

And today Sr told me when I mentioned to her my plan to choose the best behaved classes as the "Golden eBook" class every six weeks or so -- she tells me that I shouldn't do any rewards unless I need it for management ... huh? To me at least, rewards/positive motivation are just as important as clear expectations and consistency. She said that I could start something like that if I really needed to in October ... oy vey! Now I wish I hadn't said anything to her, cuz going ahead with it would be insubordination.

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Forgot to mention - I used my new stool today. It was SO much better than the chair I attempted to use yesterday! Smile

I had a choice of two stools - same price. One was already put together, but was just a plain wooden stool. The other had to be assembled, but had a back and a cushion. Not knowing what tools I'd need to put the stool together, I chose ... the plain wooden one! Smile


Still No Hot Water -- but it's ok :)

August 11th, 2011 at 03:53 am

They brought the new water heater in my house today, and even put it in the right spot. But for who knows what reason, they didn't connect it. *shrug* So tonight I asked one of my teacher neighbors to use her shower - ahhhhh .... clean again. Smile

Hopefully they'll be back tomorrow and finish installing it. Then I can get back to my exercise routine. Smile

Tonight I ended up having to go to the town 30 miles east again. I really didn't want to - but I really needed to. My circulation computer desk is designed where the computer is set up at above waist height. That way you can work on it while standing. That's great if you're there only for ten or fifteen minutes checking books in and out --- but not so great if you're there for hours and hours cataloging books. --- So I went to Walmart yet again and got a stool.

The previous librarian had a stool that was hers, and took it with her. (which wasn't made clear to me until today - otherwise I would have gotten one when I got my trashcan!!)

I got all of 6 books cataloged today. Most of it was trying to remember what sites I used in my cataloging class. There is a tool which will make it a lot easier/faster, but it costs money. I doubt I can get approval for it. I may offer to pay for it myself (if it isn't too expensive!) I've got probably 200 more books to go - need barcodes, spine labels, and entered in the computer.

Tomorrow I have a meeting with Sr N (today's got postponed due to her double booking) and then I plan on working pretty late trying to get as many books done as possible. Friday at 9 is our first whole school teacher's meeting - so my time won't be my own anymore.

I really like the technology coordinator. Smile She is Navajo and really down to earth. She doesn't seem to be too annoyed by all my questions. Smile I posted a video on Facebook today from the Sock puppet iPhone app that I'd made. She commented on it that she's looking forward to all the changes I'll be bringing to the school. I hope that's a good thing - being seen as someone bringing changes....

Made it into the library today ...

August 10th, 2011 at 04:28 am

This morning I had a fun trip to the town 30 miles East of me. This was after doing some internet research and making some phone calls. What was I after? A lockable trash can! I've already missed two trash days (Thursday and Monday) and the bags are piling up! Most of the time I do love my GPS, but times like today trying to find the G Lumber and Supply store (where I bought my trash can at!) and yesterday's fiasco of trying to find the Walmart in the town 30 miles West of here --- UGH!

After buying the trashcan ($9.99 - loads cheaper than anything else I saw online, and the only one available within a 200 mile radius) I stopped at Wal-mart. This was of course after a 9 mile detour thanks to missing one turn. I returned a Brita water thing (not a pitcher but the bigger thing) due to a crack in the bottom (not to mention it was ten dollars cheaper at Costco!) Then promptly spent the refund on groceries (plus a bit more.)(The Brita thing is needed due to pretty much undrinkable water here, and the need to stay very hydrated.)

I *think* I am now pretty good on the basics as far as groceries go now - at least enough to keep me for two weeks or so. I'd forgotten to mention that I need to do curtains ... badly. The dust can get pretty intense here - not to mention that several of the mini-blinds are not exactly ... whole. But they'll just have to wait.

I put the stuff away and made it into the library around noon. After being shown my office area, I started looking through everything. I've read many stories of lovely librarians leaving behind detailed notes and tips for those who come after them. The former librarian here was not such a person. There was absolutely *nothing* that spoke of what she'd done the past few years, nor any lists of passwords for programs, etc. The lesson files also seemed rather ... thin ... I was feeling quite discouraged until I discovered the plethora of library resource books! Many of which I had on my amazon wish list, but thankfully had NOT bought.

I have an appointment to meet with the head Sister in the morning - I guess to go over new teacher stuff. I'm the only new staff member this year - which is really pretty amazing for this school. (from what I've heard - of course, I am also taking over two positions ...)

I'd meant to start cataloging the huge stacks of books which need to get put in the computer .. but got distracted by all the library resource books. Will definitely start that tomorrow!

My brother called me twice! Once just to say hi, and then the second time to tell me something really cool that AT&T does! If you have AT&T you need to call them and ask them to upgrade your mobile to mobile plan to include ANY mobile carrier! My brother has been using LOTS of minutes lately with his new sweetheart and called today looking to upgrade his minutes - but instead found out he could do a FREE upgrade. I don't know how useful it would be for me, because I rarely go over 400 minutes, and have tons of roll over - but I might do it anyway, just for the heck of it. Smile

Update to yesterday's post -- After two nights in a row of being sick, I *think* I'm past it. I actually managed to get a somewhat real meal down. Smile Good part of it is the scale says I'm down nearly 10 pounds since a week ago. Bad part is that it probably won't stay that way for long. Big Grin

Oh! Also, the MHPM stopped by this evening and told me that he has my new water heater! It should be installed tomorrow morning (hopefully before my meeting with SrN) or later in the day when I'm home. Yahoo! I won't have to beg a shower from one of the other teachers! Smile

All Moved In!

August 9th, 2011 at 12:09 am

What a LONG week this has been! I'll give you the highlights:

Sunday (July 31) - Guys I hired get to Uhaul place nearly 40 minutes late (lost.) Instead of taking a total of 3 - 4 hours, it ended up taking a total of over 6 hours (after driving the moving guys back to their car - only one of them felt comfortable driving the truck.) Between the rental truck, trailer, and moving guys = total ~$1150!

Monday night - Picked up brother from airport at midnight. Didn't get to bed till nearly 2:30 a.m.

Tuesday - Brother and I on the road about 9:30 - 0nly 30 minutes later than planned. As soon as we passed into the New Mexico state line, we had RAIN! Something I hadn't seen in way too long. Total cost of gas ~ $350

Arrive at destination a little after 10. Are met by the Mobile Home Park Manager - very nice. LOVE my home (with the slight caveat of NO DISHWASHER!!!)

Wednesday - MHPM comes by and lights the hot water heater. Brother and I want to get the internet set up (I know, priorities!) but in order to do that need my bag of cords - somewhere on the truck. We end up unloading the truck *completely* by ourselves!! (Even though I'd been reassured a couple times that there'd be people lined up ...) While I go sign the lease and get a PO box, my brother takes a nap and sets up the internet. We have WiFi!!

Head out to the big town 30 miles West and do some major damage at Walmart and Home Depot. I got a power drill!! One thing I needed but *still* have not located is a lockable trash can. We ate a late lunch at Sizzler (last time I ate at a Sizzler .... elementary school!) Damage ~ $220

When we got back, I worked on unpacking the kitchen boxes and my brother put together my office/exercise room and setting up my stereo. Fell exhausted into bed around midnight.

Thursday - Head to airport, and along the way stop and see the elementary school we attended (I graduated from in 1989!) and also one of the two houses we lived in.

Got to airport just in time to meet mom as she's coming off the plane. Eat a light lunch. See brother off. Mom and I head to the teacher's store -- light damage $62. Then we head to Costco ($238) and again to Wal-Mart ($111). Ouch, ouch, ouch!

Friday - Do tons of loads of laundry. SO thankful for a washer and dryer!! After second load realized that there is no hot water. MHPM comes by - says it is kaput. Will have to order a new hot water heater on Monday. Gives us the key to the empty home next door to use to shower (till Sunday afternoon.)

Manage to unpack all but two boxes before calling it a day.

Sunset - Sweet relief and rest! Guilt free no messing with the house!!

Saturday - After driving around for over an hour, finally manage to find the church. Sweet people, although they are in the middle of an evangelistic series which isn't my favorite thing. Eat potluck in the "hogan." Find out the new pastor's wife used to attend a church I taught school at in Texas. Found some visitors who used to be church members of a TX church my dad pastored.

Sweet sleep.

Evening - Hung almost all my pictures ( a few had frames that are falling apart.) Got the living room and kitchen looking picture perfect.

Sunday - Mom woke up feeling drugged - had to stop 3 times for a bathroom on a two-hour trip. Finally after drinking a lot of water, she started feeling better.

Stopped by the church/school. Then ventured to find a nail salon. Mom's "friend" was treating for both of us to get a mani/pedi. Over three hours later my simple mani/pedi was finished, and I was feeling yucky. Went to Walmart and picked up a thank you card. Got back to the nail salon. 30 minutes later my mom's nails were done ( a fill???) Rushed like speedy gonzoles to the airport and dropped mom off.

On the way home I stopped at a Denny's. They were *really* short staffed. At one point I had to go grab silverware off another table so I could eat.

When I got home I was feeling extremely lousy, and did something I hadn't done in years - lost whatever food I'd had that day. Went to bed, though didn't sleep very well.

Monday - Forced myself out of bed around 10. Called the various places I needed to change my address at. Then got my documentation together for registering my car and changing my drivers license. After driving around for over an hour, and finally stopping at a police department, I found the MVD. Nearly 90 minutes later, I had my car registered, and a dl. Damage = $73. Attempted to go to Walmart, but the GPS led me to some forlorn warehouse, so ended up just going home.

Tomorrow will have to go to Walmart to take back a couple items, and get a few groceries I forgot.

I forgot - on Sunday while I was at Denny's I got a call from one of the ladies at the church who is a school teacher. She told me that the librarian at her school is looking to retire in the next few years - so that might be an opportunity for me if I'm still here. She also offered to let me spend the night at her house on Saturdays so that I wouldn't have to make two trips (one for church, and one for groceries.) I thought that was really sweet of her. Smile

I've pretty much wiped out what was left of my savings with this move. So I am looking very much forward to my first paycheck on the 17th. I don't forsee any more big expenses coming up, so will be able to restock savings pretty quickly -- and restart my ROTH again!!