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Archive for October, 2012

ING Excitement ... Nope, Dissapointment

October 28th, 2012 at 09:20 pm

Well the school site finally started working again late this afternoon. I was thankful to see that the one assignment I thought was due this coming Tuesday is actually not due til NEXT Tuesday. Smile I may actually be able to go to the faculty Halloween get together on Wednesday after all. Smile

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I didn't get too much really accomplished today - between trying to download Smartboard software to my computer, playing with Scratch, and trying to work on school stuff ...

I did get a load of dishes done though. That's good. Smile

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I got an email this evening from ING. It's subject line was "Earn $350 when you Rollover your Old 401K" When I saw that, I went, "Woo Hoo!" This is a good reason as ever to roll over that 403(b) from my previous life as a parochial teacher. Smile( But then I opened the email and saw it was only for 401's or other IRA's of $50k or more. Frown Frown I wish!!

Maybe they'll have some kind of deal for a 403(b) of less than half that value? Smile I should check and see. Smile

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I really don't feel ready for tomorrow. I hope it goes well ... (And I hope that everyone in the path of Sandy fares well .. no matter how tomorrow goes, my day will probably be better than some in her path -- all a matter of perspective, right?)

School Site Hacked? Cool Site with Make Do Ideas

October 28th, 2012 at 09:01 am

The final total for our bookfair was just under $2700. I spent about $100 of my own money (a 1/3rd of what I spent last year ...)plus another $112 in Schl Dollars. I am glad to have it done for another year.

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Yesterday I stayed for potluck after church. I also stayed for the women's ministry meeting - both mainly to make it so I was out of T town while the Halloween Festival was going on at the school. I had the opportunity to babysit the 1+ yr old daughter of one of our members while she did the tithes/offerings. Big Grin What fun. Big Grin

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After I was done at church, I stopped by Walgreen's to pick up my prescription. They had it ready, but of course it was the generic!! Even though I've had them double check numerous times that it it is written in bold letters NO GENERIC for this prescription (Synthroid.) So I had to wait for them to fill it with the non-generic. Oy.

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After sunset I started working on my video. I decided to make a PP show detailing how to multiply 2 digit by 3 digit numbers, and then record a video with me talking through the steps. I *thought* I knew of a site where you could put a video side by side a PP presentation and make it as one. However, for the life of me, I couldn't remember the name. Googling didn't help any. So, I ended up having to put my video into my class blog in two parts. Ugh.

To make matters more interesting, I had two other assignments I was supposed to finish last night. My reflective blog and my article response blog. Well, I could not do my article response blog because I could NOT sign into the site. Every time I tried, a blank screen would pop up with the message, "It works!" I tried clearing out all my cache, etc., and that didn't help.

It is still doing that this morning. I emailed the teacher with links to the two assignments I was able to complete. We're supposed to talk and troubleshoot this afternoon.

Ugh.

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While doing some reading on another frugal forum yesterday afternoon, I came across this link: http://shialabeowulf.tumblr.com/post/33670447154/99-life-hacks-to-make-your-life-easier

I was very impressed by it because I haven't seen/heard of most of the ideas before. That doesn't happen very often. Smile I like how many uses they came up for empty toilet paper rolls. Big Grin

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Well today I am going to try and get started on my Interactive Whiteboard assignment, as much as I can at least. I think it is due Tuesday?? I really hate having due dates fall in the weekdays, but I guess I have to just deal with it.

I also *must* get over to the library today and make sure I'm ready for classes tomorrow. Plus need to do some dishes, and maybe a load or two of laundry.

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I hope everyone in the path of Suzy stays safe!

Annoyance and Helping a Friend

October 25th, 2012 at 08:59 pm

Today was my long day with the book fair - open from 8:30 a.m. to 5:10 p.m. (had someone come in at 4:50.) We're at about $1900 now, so I don't think we are going to make our $3k goal - just so we hit the 2k mark (otherwise have to take all profit as Schol Dollars. ugh.)

I had my journalism class again today. We went over the digital camera agreement and picked out the yearbook cover. I liked all the 4 designs which were picked after the first vote, and the one which was ultimately agreed upon is different (and definitely shows that the majority of my class is male ...)

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When I got home tonight I had an email from Amer Corp telling me my Award payment status had changed. Once I finally managed to login (forgot password) I found out that my payment request had been denied by the university. Reason? I am not enrolled as a student there. Rolleyes I really hope this doesn't mess up my enrollment in the course I'm in. Seriously annoyed.

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Tonight I helped a coworker set up and activate her new iPhone (4S.) Her son had bought it for her so they could FaceTime each other. Smile

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Tomorrow is the 2% cash back for Discover. I'm probably going to buy some stuff from the bookfair (beyond the Schl Dollars) - but not *too* much!!!! Groceries are already 2% on my Mypoints card ..

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I have to make a video for my class by Saturday night. It has to be teaching some concept or another. I've been drawing a blank as to what to do. It needs to be something I could easily do in 3 to 4 minutes or less - and be interesting. It has to somehow incorporate learning theories ..(multiple intelligence, behaviorism, cognitivism, constructivism) I asked some of the teachers here if they had any concepts they were working on next week - not much in the way of ideas, although one did mention they were teaching 3 by 2 multiplication - not sure how to do an interesting video on that though. I keep hoping the perfect idea will hit me.

I wonder .. Inexpensive Halloween outfits - a How-To .. would that work? I could show how I made my static cling outfit, and then maybe show black-eyed P, and the one using binoculars (can't remember right now what one that was.) Not really sure if that fits the criteria though. Smile

Bookfair, Ebay, etc

October 24th, 2012 at 06:52 pm

Today was day 3 of our bookfair. Monday was preview day, Tuesday was our p/t conferences and first day of sales, and then today. So far we've sold almost $1500, which is half of our $3000 goal. I had great student helpers yesterday - one in particular amazed me with how on the ball he was.

Today I had my first journalism class - I wasn't really planning on having them ... but since there is no study hall yet, they were sent to me. So ... I winged it. Luckily I had already thought through most of what I wanted to say to them for the first class, but still wasn't totally prepared. Oh well. They all do seem excited and ready to go. I emphasized to them that it really was up to them how many newspaper issues we put out (i.e. how well they do at getting articles done on time for the paper!)

I had some time on my hands today waiting for people to come by and buy things, so I decided to list some books on ebay. I made 3 listings, and ... 1 item already sold!! It's a book for $2.50 + shipping. So I need to find a good envelope to ship it in, and then get it in the mail on Friday (or I might be able to do it tomorrow.) The other two items are actually multiple copies of two books I'd bought for summer school which never got used.

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Funny - tonight I finally got my webcam to work with my computer and was all set ready to go for my weekly online class session ... and there was no class tonight! Oy vey. Rolleyes

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I spent some money the last few days. Food, small items to make change for the bookfair, books (only $25 worth so far .. controlling myself sort of ...), and today ordered a protective cover for my iPad. I still need to order my textbooks for my electives - just haven't had the stomach to price them out yet.

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I need to get my # rolled over to my Ting phone soon, or else I'll be into a new billing period. That would be annoying. (I meant ported .. the word just was escaping me.)

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Hard to believe it is almost the end of October already. This year is just flying by.

Book Fair Setup, etc

October 19th, 2012 at 07:42 pm

This afternoon I had the 8th graders, the 7th grade teacher and her assistant, and my assistant all help me get the book fair set up. I was a bit on the frazzled side (at one point I was told to take a breath by the 7th grade teacher Big Grin ), but it all worked out nicely. In fact, it is completely ready for Monday morning. Big Grin Last year I had to still come back and spend a couple hours finishing up. Maybe every year it'll get just that much better. Smile

There are some really good books, and some repeats from last year. I know quite a few of my younger kids are excited about Doom, and I had a few snickers from my older girls about Between Shades of Gray (Omw that they even know about that *other* book ..yikes!)

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I found out the kids in my journalism class. 3 of them picked me as their first choice, and the other two picked me as their third choice. One of the ones who picked me as a first choice ... I was totally shocked on. This kid gives me such attitude in class. I plan on making it clear to the entire group that giving me attitude AND being part of the journalism group WILL NOT mix!! Two strikes and they are out. At least 4 of the 5 I think are good to very good writers, so I think our newspaper will do better this year. 1 of the kids came up to me with an idea for a comic strip - Yay! I told him to work on it and bring it with him to our first meeting. I was hoping last year to include a comic strip, but none of the kids took me up on it.

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Payday was yesterday. My total amount is finally starting to look like a nice number - consistently getting higher in ING. Now if only my stocks would do the same ... ugh.

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I got my $5 AGC from Swagbucks last night, and then promptly spent it plus some. Blush I really want to do this fiction/non-fiction lesson based on the naked mole rat (this year I'll do it with 1-3, then will have to figure something else out for 2nd/3rd next year.) After the gift card, the *two* books I bought were $25!! OUCH! I rarely ever spend that much on two books - but the one non-fiction book alone was $19 something and there was nothing else less. I justified it by reminding myself that I'll use it for a total of 6 lessons (3 grades times 2 class periods ..) plus of course I can use it in later years for other first grade classes... Plus, I didn't buy the stuffed naked mole rat for $9 which I *really, really* wanted to get to go along with the lesson ... so I wasn't *totally* bad. Smile

I really need to figure out how to use purchase orders with Amazon so I can get stuff for the library with library money!! (I kind of know how to do this, but am not totally sure. So for the last order my principal paid with the school credit card, which is linked to her name/account. She does not like this fact, so does not want to use the card anymore. So I'm kind of in between a rock and a hard place ...)

Allergies, iPad, Classwork, Funny Kids

October 17th, 2012 at 07:32 pm

My allergies have really been kicking my behind the last few days. Today especially - took generic Nyquil last night and then this morning took a 24 hr generic Allegra .. but still was *miserable* all day.

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Yesterday I had something come in the mail which made me smile really, really big. Big Grin My iPad!! (I am getting it as part of my tuition cost for the 6 month/18 credit course I'm taking.) I had some fun setting it up and downloading all my education related apps (plus Netflix - had to watch some tv on it of course!!)

I haven't had a chance to try out Face Time on it yet - maybe this weekend with my grandma or my brother.

I wasn't expecting it so soon due to some comments made by our instructor last week, so now I need to get moving on buying a protective case for it.

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Speaking of my class .. yesterday I was *really* getting frustrated. I seriously was wondering if I should see if there was any way to back out of the course. I had a flurry of an email conversation with one of the instructors, and while she didn't exactly answer all my questions, the big ones were answered.

After delving more into some of the online documents + the clarifications, I think I may be able to handle it all after all.

We had our weekly synchronous meeting tonight - I actually talked at one point! Shockers! What I do for a grade ... Smile

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This whole week I have been showing our book fair video. Yesterday afternoon I had the 3rd graders. When I told them that we were going to watch a movie, the girls asked me if we were going to have any popcorn, candy or drinks. Smile I told them that there wouldn't be any.

So I started the movie. As soon as it began, almost in unison all four girls started pretending like they were eating popcorn, taking a drink, or eating candy. This lasted for a good six minutes or more. I was just barely not laughing out loud, and managed to get the attention of our IT person - she thought it was pretty funny too. Even more funnily - the boys didn't even notice what was going on!!

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I think I will be keeping Kari's 3 tier cat castle. She actually has found a way to use it. I will have to take a picture and post it here so you all can see how I have it "strapped" to the door. It's a sight to see. Big Grin

Monday, Monday, Wish it Were Sunday..

October 15th, 2012 at 07:21 pm

Monday at school went relatively well for a Monday. Even the group I have to pump myself up about (PMA PMA PMA!) was pretty manageable.

Then I got home and found out that the new module for my online course had opened up. Oy vey! There are probably a good 5 hours worth of articles we have to read and respond/reflect on, plus the ever so dreaded group project. The group project requires FOUR members - there is a total of SIX students. Yeah, um... how's that gonna work??

Not to mention that the completed project is due by Saturday night, and we are just now forming groups... This IS NOT how I like to work. Not at all.

Give me all my assignments for the class and the due dates. Then I can work on them at my own pace when I have the most junkets of time. Not like this!

Yesterday I had tons of time in which I could've completed all the readings and the reflections. But since I had no access to them nor any idea what they were, I instead spent a lot of time watching "Make It or Break It" on Hulu (free version.)

The really "good" news is that from what I can tell, there are a lot of group projects throughout the course. Oh joy.

I have all the articles open in another window, but just getting through the "interactive text" put my brain to mush after a long day. So, I'll read the articles tomorrow. I really hope this isn't going to be as bad as I think it is....

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I stopped and got a sub tonight. My first one since August. The lady there remembered me and my sandwich. Big Grin $5.33 (footlong - two meals)

Saturday night I managed to snag another AGC from Swagbucks - by using my Android phone to "watch" videos while reading MMM blogs. Big Grin

Ting It Is

October 13th, 2012 at 10:35 pm

Thanks to someone mentioning Google's Navigation app for the Android phone, I looked into it. It does have the voiced turn by turn directions - which is a big plus for this directionally challenged human.

Also, something which didn't occur to me until tonight - the Android OS allows me to view Swagbucks TV on my phone. I'd only do it over a WiFi connection because it would be pointless to do so over a data connection (since I pay for the data!)

Now I just need to figure out how to get Google Voice set up on my phone, and Groove IP, and my phone bill starting in November will be extremely less. Big Grin

Even less if I can convince 1 person a month to convert over ... Big Grin Big Grin

(Unfortunately, most of the people closest to me are iPhone'rs and that would probably be a huge deal breaker for them. I totally understand, and wait with great anticipation for Ting to add the iPhone to their line up - especially a BYOD lineup!!)

Can't get heat to work - brrr

October 13th, 2012 at 10:10 am

About 7:30 this morning it was 30 degrees - outside. The temperature in the house I think was less - sure felt like it!

I found some double A batteries and took out the old ones from the temperature control doohicky. Unfortunately, the new batteries must not be so new or something, because nothing happened. Then when I put the original batteries back in, nothing still happened. So I have the feeling that I'm going to have to ask the maintenance guys to come figure out what is going on.

I am cold!! (And yes, I am very bundled up right now. Still WAY cold!) I am tempted to get my electric heater thing out and see if it still works - just not sure if Kari would leave it alone or not.

Citi Rewards - Free Netflix

October 12th, 2012 at 10:30 pm

I just logged into my Citi Forward account and saw that I had been charged for Netflix for October, and on the same day received a refund. So, net total of $0.00. I did not make any other charges.

So, it looks like I'll be having Netflix for the next 12 months free and clear. Big Grin

Grocery Day

October 12th, 2012 at 06:49 pm

Today as I was leaving school, I stopped by the office and saw that I had a package in my box. The books I ordered last Friday from Capstone had already arrived!! (I used a $100 credit I had just for being a member of AASL, plus another $100 of library budget.) I think the kids will be excited for the books - D.C. Superheroes (6) and Scary Stories (4).

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After work I headed off to big G to do grocery shopping. I bought approximately $43 in groceries, plus got cat food (~$7) and a cat tower $40.) I debated on getting the hanging tower again, or trying for something a bit more stable/permanent, and obviously decided on the more stable/permanent. I will definitely keep track of the receipt this time so I can return it if I find it isn't what I really want for Kari.

I'm thinking that I may not be able to keep my groceries within $100 per month. I'm still going to try, but it may be difficult.

I have to buy cupcakes next week for the Halloween Festival, which will probably be at least $12. (Yes, I *could* make them for less ... but I really don't have time.)

My groceries should probably last through most of the month, so hopefully other than the cupcakes, I won't have to buy much more than fruit next time.

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I played the book fair video for my first class today - 4th grade girls. They were almost as fun to watch/listen to as the video. Smile One book which looks really interesting to me is 9th Ward - a story about a girl from New Orleans during Katrina. Most of these kids were barely 3 or 4 when Katrina happened, so I'm not sure how much they were aware of at the time.

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I really need to find some batteries to put in my temperature control thing so I can turn the heat on. It is getting downright chilly in here. I'm wearing 3 pairs of socks, my dads insulated jogging pants, and a fleece lined hoodie .. and am cold!

UPDATE:

I put together the cat tower. UGH! It is SO not sturdy. Kari jumped up on it before I had it even close to stabilized. I used my jump rope and a long electrical cord of some kind or another to tie it to the door - but it still isn't very stable.

She got up on it for a bit, but then chose my lap as her sleeping place.

I have the feeling I will be taking this thing back on my next trip to town.

Got Distracted and Sick..

October 11th, 2012 at 08:04 pm

Despite my promising myself that I wouldn't start any new series on Netflix once my cohort class started, I clicked on the first episode of H20:Just Add Water. And ... I was hooked. Finally finished the last episode tonight. Whew. Smile

This last weekend I was really not feeling great, and ended up taking the day off on Monday as well.

I stopped by Family Dollar Tuesday night and picked up some more generic Nyquil along with some other things I needed - $14 worth. The generic Nyquil was $.25 more than it was 6 months ago. Still better than the name brand stuff!

I haven't made a trip to big G in almost two weeks now. My gas tank is still half full from my last fill up in September. I really need to take Kari in to the vet to get her nails trimmed again - Ye-ouch!

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I've been playing with the Android phone that came with my Ting plan, and really trying to like it. It's okay, I guess. One thing which may end up to be a deal breaker is that the TeleNav app on the android phone costs $10/mo, whereas the one on my iPhone costs me $10/yr. For something that I only use once in awhile, I much prefer the $10/yr rate!!

So .. I am thinking that I may go with Straight Talk instead. That way I'm still on the same Network coverage AND I still get to use my iPhone - I just have to get a different sim card. It'd be $45/month for unlimited everything. That would still be a savings of about $30/month. Not as great of a savings as with Ting, but at least this way I can stay with a phone I like and know well. Maybe someday Ting will have the iPhone available, and then I'll switch to it. For now though, I just don't think the Android will be any good for me.

Anyone want a refurbished LG Optima S Android? I paid $54 for it after the discount - would have to use with Ting plan.

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Last week I sold 103 shares of my stock and opened up a new ROTH account. This morning the funds had completed their transfer, and so I rebought those same 103 shares - for about $.15 less per share than when I sold them. It leaves me with a bit of a cash balance that I'm not sure what to do with right now.

I'm really curious to see what my taxes are going to be like this year ... Smile

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I like my cohort class pretty much so far. We're almost nearing the end of week 2. Some of the assignments seem like a lot of busywork so far, but I'm hoping it'll get better. I think once I start the electives I'll get a lot more out of it.

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Book fair is in about 10 days! I really hope it goes well. I haven't done as much advertising for it this year as I did last year - I'm not really sure why, it's just worked out like that.

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We had some donors visit today. One of them was a lady who said she'd spent some time and money at a number of Native American school libraries helping to spice them up, and that she wanted to do the same for ours. I told her that the one big area I'm focusing on this year is bringing our non-fiction average age from 1995 to much higher - 2000 would be good, 2005 would be better. Smile She told me they had 7 boxes of books to donate ... erggghh Positive thinking says they'll actually be useful books and I'll find some gems worth looking through the boxes ... AFTER the book fair!!

To be fair, what she's doing is kind of like what I'd like to do if I ever came into real money. Only I'd approach it much differently -- i.e. I'd say to the librarian(s) - give me a wish list of books or other items that would most meet your collection's needs - prioritized. Then I'd go off of their list.

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Some exciting news! The mission office approved the purchase of digital cameras up to a $500 value!! I just have to submit what cameras I want, and they'll get them. (This way they'll be on the missions insurance policy.)

Sometimes you really do receive when you ask! (that was our homily today - talking about how you have to ask for what you need/want in order to receive it)

Job History - My Many Facets (per PS)

October 7th, 2012 at 02:46 pm

I thought PatientSAver's post about her work history was pretty interesting, so I thought I might have a go at it. Smile

Junior High -

Babysitter - The little sister of my brother's best friend. I babysat her off and on for 3 years. I remember before we moved to our next state, she and her family took me with them to an amusement park as kind of a thank you. Years later I received a high-school graduation announcement from her.

Administrative Assistant - My mom started an adoption agency type service company when I was in 8th grade. I was allowed to leave school early two days a week to do a work/study program. I answered phones, did filing and did some typing also. (This only lasted about one semester, because my mom's business partner turned out to be a shyster and the business failed.)

High School -

Summer before freshman year - babysitting

1st sm. freshman year - Cafeteria worker - mainly washed the big dishes on the afternoon/evening shift. Hated it - probably why I have such a dislike for washing dishes now. Smile (I was at a boarding school.)

2nd sm. freshman year - babysitting. 2nd semester I started a home-school program. Part of the day I would do my school work, and part of the day I would take care of a 2 and 4 year old boy. That lasted about two months, when the mother abruptly let me go. I never did find out the real reason. However, I think the reasons may have been; 1. Several times when I would arrive I found these sharp stick type things all over the place. I'd pick them up out of reach of the boys. I'm not sure if the mom thought I was getting them out or something??, and 2. While the boys would be taking their naps, I would read. There were a couple times where I left the book on the couch after the boys woke up. I can only guess the mom thought I was reading instead of paying attention to the boys (which ISN't what I was doing.)

Summer - More babysitting Smile

1st Sm Sophmore Year - Daycare Asst. A church member who ran a home daycare had to have surgery which would make it hard for her to lift kids. So she hired me for a two-month time period. I loved working with her and with the kids - she was an angel of a person (and where I learned how to cross stitch!)

Later 1st Sm Sophmore Year and 2nd Sm - Teacher Assistant at elementary school. My parents didn't want me to stay at home all day, so they made arrangements for me to do my school work in an adjoining room to the school room (one room school with 6 grades.) To "pay" for my being there Rolleyes I would help the teacher by tutoring different students or grading papers for a few hours a day.

During the 2nd Semester I put together a physical education program for the entire school (12 kids) which ended in a Mini-Olympics. Some of the kids that were there at the time still remember that. Big Grin

Summer - Some babysitting, but moved to yet another new state.

Junior Year - Attended boarding academy.
Worked as Music Teacher's assistant. Did grading, and created an inventory (on paper) of all sheet music. LOVED the music teacher. Big Grin

Summer - Spent about a month putting the music inventory on the computer (Access I think.)

Also, worked for two weeks at the conference office filling in for the main secretary.

Also, worked in the cafeteria for two weeks during campmeeting (not washing dishes!!!)

Senior Year - Newspaper Editor (unpaid position, but did earn me a scholarship.)

Music Teacher Asst.

Girls Dorm RA - 5 days a week I was in charge of the front desk from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. Then I'd rush to my first class. I wanted this job because my best friend the year before had had it - only she hadn't had to be there at 5 a.m.!! I also took as many weekend shift as I was allowed to take.

In the end, between my two jobs, I made enough money to completely pay my tuition, plus had a surplus of several hundred dollars when I graduated. Big Grin

Summer before college -

Probably did some more babysitting.

Freshman Year of College:
1st Semester - Teacher Assistant - I worked in the first grade classroom with my Aunt.

Campus Kitchen relief worker - Any Sunday where someone wanted the day off, I was called in. I did everything from dish washing, sandwich making, fries making, to waitressing. I loved it. Big Grin

Sunday Church relief teacher - I don't remember how I came across this job, but someone got me it. On Sundays when I wasn't called in to the CK, I would go here and essentially babysit a group of kids during church service. That was fun, and I got paid for it too. Big Grin

Summer before Sophomore --
One week at a daycare - that job ended quickly after I fell and dislocated my thumb.

Two weeks - selling jewelry door to door at businesses. That ended quickly because I somehow kept losing pieces, so by the end of the two weeks, I had just broken even. (Very funny job for me to have if you understood how *very* little I know about jewelry!)

I think I did more babysitting too.

Sophomore Year -
Teacher Asst. in the second grade classroom this time. I *adored* the teacher.

2nd Sm - Tutoring two boys 4 days a week after their school (2nd and 4th I think.)

Summer before Junior Year -
Worked at mom's elementary school the last few weeks of school plotting test data and filling in for receptionist. Also taught a unit study on "Where the Red Fern Grows" to 5th/6th grade class.

Daycare Asst - LOVED!!! This job started as soon as the regular school year was over, and ended a few days before we moved to yet our next state.

Junior Year -
Teacher Assistant - at a two-room school (K - 8.)

Computer Teacher - at same above school (6 - 8)

Summer -

I can't remember if I did anything during the summer or not. This was when my mom had a brain tumor, so I think that was the big part of the summer.

Senior Year -
First Semester - Girl's Dorm Resident Assistant

Teacher Asst - same school as above

Second Semester - Student Teaching (was paid as a teacher asst though!!)

Summer - Moved out to first job in CA

First and Second Grade Teacher (2 years)

Moved back to TX

Fifth Grade Teacher (5 months - long story)

Selling fire safety equipment - moved up from sales person to management in 4 months. Opened up my own office, and as suggested by parent company, hired my own receptionist. Was completely out of money within two months.

Temporary Work - 6 days at a garbage company doing filing, etc. Several days worth of other various clerical work.

Moved for:
First Grade Teacher - 2 years

Moved again:
First grade teacher - 2 years
First and Second grade teacher - 1 year

Family Emergency - quit teaching to help out. (This is about the time I started this blog .. so those of you around then may remember how hellacious the second semester was.)

Sold Rainbow Vacuums - lasted about three weeks. Sold 2. Yuck.

4 months of diligent job searching to be constantly told that I should go back to teaching.

Bus Survey Assistant supervisor - lasted one week
Bus Survey Supervisor - lasted 4 or 5 months? I was in charge of giving out bus route assignments to people using GPS Palm devices who tracked how many passengers got on and off at different stops. This was mostly enjoyable, but it also was frustrating in some ways since not everyone has my same work ethic.

Admin Asst. at Trucking Company - Lasted about 3 weeks. I learned a lot of new swear words. I was also trying to finish up the last bits of the bus survey job while here, which I think ended up annoying the trucking company.

Various one and two day clerical jobs.

Admin Asst at an oil and gas company - Started off as a receptionist (3 months) and then was pulled into the back to assist the Engineering Tech. I was there for a total of 3 years, when I was laid off. Frown

Gym Customer Service - I started here about 6 months before being laid off from the oil and gas company - working 4 or 5 hours a week. When I was laid off, my hours went up to 25 - 30/week. I was here a total of about 16 months I think.

Tutoring - I started with a 5th grade boy and a Korean Jr in high-school. After developing a reputation, I ended up having students all the way from pre-school through seniors in high-school. This is how I supported myself through graduate school.

And now, present day. Big Grin

School Librarian - Big Grin

I guess you could say I've had a few jobs. Smile

Sick to my Stomach!!

October 4th, 2012 at 03:33 pm

Today was pet day at our school. It went very well - two chickens, an iguana, a rabbit, and numerous fish, cats and dogs. A few little squabbles between dogs, but nothing major.

Why, you might be asking, am I sick to my stomach? Well, here's why! This morning after breakfast I decided to go get one of the good digital cameras that I'd personally purchased last summer. I wanted to take good pictures of the kids/pets to use in the yearbook. I'd taken quite a few in the morning at the cafeteria with my phone, but those aren't really yearbook quality photos.

Guess what I found when I went to where I had stored the 4 brand new and unopened digital cameras along with their storage cards? Nothing. I also realized that the one camera which I'd put into use at the beginning of the school year, and which had pictures on it from Johnny Appleseed Day, as well as the motivational speaker ... was also vanished.

These 5 digital cameras plus their cards cost approximately $350. 2 cameras were pretty good ones ($100 on sale) and the other 3 were $25 ones I'd gotten from Big Lots of so-so quality.

I looked everywhere I could think to look for them. My assistant also looked everywhere she could think to look.

Nowhere. Gone. Vanished.

These were the cameras I planned on using with my journalism kids, as well as using for a digital photography unit 2nd semester.

This whole day all I've wanted to do was to kick something or scream or cry or do what I'm doing now (venting and eating junkfood.)

I'm not really upset about the money aspect of it. Although, that IS upsetting. I'm more upset that I'd bought these cameras FOR the kids/for the school. Whomever stole them didn't just hurt me, they have hurt all the kids at our school.

I considered reporting the loss to my renter's insurance, but my deductible is around $1000 I think. It isn't reportable to the school insurance because I hadn't officially donated the items so they have no record of them.

So my otipns are to not replace them - which really isn't an option because I HAVE to have some cameras for the yearbook, and the point and shoot cameras cost as much to develop 5 rolls of film as a low-end good digital camera.

Or, I could spend more of my own money to replace them, which I think I'd probably feel resentful about doing.

Or, which is what I'll probably end up doing, I'll replace one of them with $100 of the library budget, and use my older digital camera I got five or six years ago (not a great camera, but I think it still would be good enough for yearbook photos.)I really hate this option though because it means that I'll have less money to work with on books and other library supplies.

The other thing that is so horrible about this is the speculation about who did it. There are only really three people who knew exactly where they were AND had easy access - me, my assistant, and the IT person. The janitors also both have easy access, but more than likely didn't even know they were there.

I *had* mentioned to several groups of students that we now had digital cameras available to be used for the yearbook and for a digital photography course ... so it could be that one of them told a friend/older brother/sister ....

I just can't let myself speculate about who it might have been.

One thing I am doing is making sure I have a locked cabinet to put things in from now on. I also am going to be fanatical about locking the whole building up *every* time I leave it.

I just don't get how anyone connected with the school could do something like this ... knowing that they weren't stealing from ME, but they were stealing from the kids!!

Oh boy ..

October 2nd, 2012 at 05:13 pm

Today was an interesting day. It was school picture day - they guy taking pictures was really slowwww - someone said this was his first time on his own. Two of my classes were cut in half due to their class having pictures taken ..

Oh well.

Then a 3rd class was cut in half due to a welcome home gathering for the son of our art teacher - he'd just completed a tour of duty in Afghanistan. The whole school gathered outside along the fence to greet him, waving student made flags and red/white/blue streamers. That was pretty awesome. (There was a guy on a motorcycle who'd just happened to drive through town to gas up. He saw the banners and decoration along our fence, and stuck around taking pictures. He apparently is a photo journalist who is traveling around the states. It was interesting seeing the hackles go up on various teachers seeing him taking photos of the kids before being told that he'd been given permission.)

So .. my brother visited TX this past weekend for the funeral of a good friends mother. This mother/family were former church members of my dads. I strongly suggested to him that he should tell our mom that he was going to be there - because the likelihood of her finding out either by being at the funeral itself, or finding out some other way, was way too high.

I found out today that he ignored my advice. So of course mom found out when one of the people at the funeral tagged him in a photo with her - with location info. She understandably was quite upset.

I understand why my brother was so upset with mom, and looking for space, but at the same time, I feel he is just plain being stubborn.

I talked to my mom on the phone this afternoon. I pretty much told her that I couldn't tell her what might make this all better - because honestly, I'm not really sure my brother even really knows what needs to happen. She told me that the wedding planned has gone from a small ceremony to a church wedding including 50 people - and bridesmaids, etc. She wanted to know if I would prefer to just attend, or to participate. Arghh!

I also found out that the church corporation has given her surviving spouse benefits - health insurance and a small stipend. Supposedly the paperwork wasn't filled out quite right - in one spot it said one thing, and in another it said another thing. So, they gave her the benefit of the doubt. She told me that the way the church corp dealt with her on this issue has almost made her willing to go back into the church. I don't plan on telling my brother about this, because I have a pretty good feeling about what his reaction would be.

I'd forgotten that I'd signed my mom up to receive emails whenever I posted a new blog on my Living Frugal and Simple blog ... I made a new post a few days ago talking about my dad and changes. She read the part about how I'd decided I didn't want to work until I was 65 as me saying that I'm not happy with my job ...when just a few sentences earlier I stated that I loved my job. :roll eyes:

I'm not terribly looking forward to Christmas - especially because I highly doubt that my brother will come to the wedding. And if in the likely scenario that he doesn't, then I'll be the lucky one to answer the question of why. Ugh.

A Different Day at Work

October 1st, 2012 at 08:53 pm

This morning I was able to sleep in a little bit for a Monday morning workday. When I got up, I called ST and the person there walked me through how to sell my stock (102 shares.) My brother had warned me that I'd be playing a dangerous game (selling stock, moving to IRA and rebuying,) but I hadn't realized exactly what he meant until today. I found out that my stock would sell "sometime" today, and not be final til Thursday. Depending on when my stock sold today, I could either have a small cap gain or loss. What the stock price will be by Thursday, who knows?

I headed up to big G for the meeting (I went in place of our school counselor who feels she is computer illiterate.) I arrived about 30 minutes early because I wasn't sure if I'd be able to find it or not easily. The meeting took about an hour, and was kind of interesting. Of course, they used a bunch of terms and acronyms I was unfamiliar with since I don't deal with special ed.

After the meeting I headed to Walmart. I had taken Kari's cat castle with me to see if I could exchange it for a new one. They would NOT exchange it without a receipt (yes, I know... I really should have kept track of that receipt, esp. knowing that the last castle fell apart.) Then I quickly gathered a few groceries - $23.98 - and headed to Sonic for lunch.

It took ten minutes to make the left turn to Sonic, and about 3 minutes to get my food and leave. Oy!

I made it back in the middle of my least favorite class.

After school when I got home I was finally able to login to my cohort class website. While I was doing that, Kari jumped up on the music chair, and then the keyboard, and then was about to leap to the door ...when she realized her castle was no longer there. Frown She gave me the most confused and disappointed look. It made me almost decide to drive back and buy another one ... almost. She did that two more times tonight. Frown

**If anyone has any ideas of types of fabric that are really claw/weight/jumping resistant ... I'm thinking of trying to make a cat castle (only the top two layers which is all Kari ever used.) I figure there has to be a way to make something much more strong/quality that would last!

I got a notice today that my phone from Ting has shipped. Smile I should have it by next Wednesday at the very latest. Yay. Smile

My walking partner and I both agreed that we aren't going to do the Zumba class until the weather gets too bad for walking ..or perhaps just not do it at all. Even at $4.20/class, it is a lot of money.

I'm glad the blogs seem to be working right again. It was weird not being able to re-read and edit my post last night after submitting it. (Which from the numerous typos/mistakes in it, you can guess how much post-posting editing I do sometimes ...)