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Archive for May, 2011

Fun Tutoring Session :)

June 1st, 2011 at 04:02 am

Tonight I had a really fun tutoring session. It's the kind of thing that makes me wish all tutoring could be like this. I've worked with this boy (going into 7th) for about five weeks now. He's done with school and his mom asked me to concentrate on reading comprehension and writing with him. So I found this great book at Mardel's which is divided up into 6 themes with vocab practice, fluency practice, comprehension and writing exercises -- but it is fun! We worked together on everything up to the 3 survival stories (the theme is Survival). After he got his first 100%, he was motivated to get more just to see how crazy I would make the next one. Big Grin He seriously is a great kid to work with. Next week we're focusing on Fables, and will be writing one. I can't wait to see what he creates!

I heard from the hiring lady at the Insurance Certificate processing company (work at home job) today. She said she'd received my paperwork, but still no training classes scheduled. Frown I really hope they don't schedule them for when I'm in New Mexico!!

Last week I worked for most of 6 days with my Junior tutoring student (now a senior!!) to finish his incomplete in English (a GIFT!) and a credit by examination test. Both of us were exhausted by the end of the week - but we got everything done! I was especially happy to see how much his writing skills have improved. For the CBE test he had to write a 5 paragraph essay on Great Expectations. I gave him very little assistance. He managed to write a whole 5 paragraph essay which made sense and answered the question! It gives me hope that next year he may just be able to handle it on his own - except for maybe the reading - that he'll still need someone to hold his hand on.


I had two cavities filled today. $300. OUCH! Something really cool which I'd never seen used before is this comfortable plastic piece. They put it in my mouth on the side not being drilled, and it kept my mouth open just wide enough. It was SO much more relaxing than having to manually try to keep my mouth open. I'm definitely going to ask for it again the next time I need any dental work done!!

Tomorrow I have NO students. It is my first real day of vacation. (Sunday and Monday this past weekend I worked at my local church's school helping the principal / teacher close out the year.) I'm planning on doing absolutely NO driving! The only time I'm going near my car is to clean it out. I also want to get my room finished. I still have piles and stacks everywhere. Then I need to figure out an assessment to give my new 4th grade student on Thursday.

I heard from the mom of one of my former tutoring students today. It was kind of spooky because I'd been planning on calling her today. Smile She told me that she and her older son are going to the orientation meeting for his summer classes tomorrow and then she'll know more about how much she might need me.

So ... this week my income will be ... $45!!! Woo hoo! Raking in the big bucks here. Rolleyes I shouldn't fuss too loudly though. Last summer at this time my income through most of June and July was a big fat $0!

I also realized as I was driving home tonight that this is going to be the first Sunday in quite a long while that I won't be working with my tutoring student. So I can actually sleep in on Sunday!!

I read this fantastic book by Wendy McClure - Wilder Life. Wendy imagined herself to be a part of "Laura World" when she was a young girl. (Laura Ingalls Wilder) When she was an adult she happens across a copy of one of the Little House books again, and her obsession begins again - she even gets her boyfriend into it. Smile She takes off on a journey through Laura Land, and ends up making some important discoveries about herself and life. -- Very funny and poignant - especially for those who loved Laura as a child, but also for those who have lost their mothers.

Storms, New Mexico and more

May 27th, 2011 at 01:46 am

I had a very scary experience Tuesday night. Probably one of the most terrifying so far in my life. It may not have felt so terrifying were it not for the string of tornadoes ripping their deadly path through the US the past month. I don't know about y'all, but I think most people are extra nervous when the severe weather warnings sound.

So I was sitting outside the house of my Tuesday evening tutoring student. I'd arrived a few minutes early and was going to give them time to get settled. That is, until I heard the warning sirens going off! I quickly made my way to the house and saw that the family had the news on with the Doplar Radar. It sure didn't look good. The husband was looking out the window into their backyard. I went over to see what he was seeing.

I questioned and requestioned myself if I was just imagining things, or really seeing it. Finally I turned to the dad and asked "Is that what I think it is?" He asked me if I thought it was a funnel, and I told him that was sure what it looked like to me! At this point the mother started putting blankets and pillows in the bathroom, and we all (4 of us) decided to huddle up in there. Nice and cozy. I was trying to find out if a tornado had been sighted in Denton county, and was not finding anything.

We stayed there for about ten minutes, then decided to venture out and see if anything was happening. When we looked again, the funnel looked much more distinct .. and closer. We all scrambled back to the bathroom. Ten minutes later all was quiet, so the dad left to check and gave the all clear.

For the next thirty minutes the tv was on with the forecasters talking about the progress of the storms and possible tornado sightings and touchdowns, as well as hail as big as softballs. Needless to say, it was difficult for me to concentrate on working with my student.

About 9:20 it was lightly raining and I started home. By 9:30 it was raining so hard I could just see the road in front of me. For the next 30 minutes there were intermittent periods of hail - ranging in size from pea size to much larger. By 9:55 I was less than a mile from home, and the roads were just about completely invisible. It was only by GPS that let me know when my turns were coming up. Five minutes after I pulled in and got in the house, the rain completely stopped.

I can emphatically say that I do NOT ever wish to personally get that up close and personal with a funnel cloud again. (It was confirmed by numerous people that at least one funnel cloud was sighted in the area. So ... it wasn't our imagination.)


On Wednesday night I talked with the Sister in charge of the mission school in New Mexico and a colleague. I'm not totally sure how well it went, but in the end they did ask me to come out and visit for a face-to-face interview. They also mentioned that they are interviewing one other person. Gulp. I'll be leaving on the 20th and getting back either the 22nd or 23rd of June.

I did something kind of foolish. Later Wednesday night I realized what one of the ladies was actually asking me about during our conversation. I wanted to make sure that I addressed the issue quickly ... so I got my phone out and started typing out an email. Before I had two sentences finished, somehow the email sent!!! So, I started a second one. I got about a paragraph into this one, when it too seemed like it sent (later found out it had saved to Drafts.) So, I started a third one, which I was able to finish and send properly. However without the second one, the third one would make little sense. Ugh!! This morning I wrote a fourth email explaining that my phone had been acting up on me, and reiterating the entire message (after asking her to delete the other emails.)

I hope she doesn't think me a dimwit. Frown

Oh, they asked me what, if any, dietary preference I have. So I told them that I am a vegetarian. From their reaction it doesn't sound like there'll be many options for me in the cafeteria. I told them that as long as there's veggies and fruit, I can easily get by (adding my own entrees, etc.)

So ... how does one deal with a 3 - 4 day interview - especially where you'll be staying in the home of the head/principal??


My aunt booked a flight for me to San Jose in September. It'll be my grandma's 90th birthday as well as a celebration of my graduation. I'd tried to hold off on nailing down a date considering I have no idea what my employment situation will be by then, but my dad kept telling me my Aunt really wanted to lock it in now because prices were going up, up, up. I found out from my Aunt that my dad was thinking I'd come out for a few weeks. In the middle of September. He was keenly disappointed when I let him know that I was thinking more along the lines of a long weekend. Going for two weeks in December is one thing, but in September??? Luckily my Aunt understood my position.

My Dad is being very negative about my going out to NM for the job interview. I don't know if it is that he really dislikes the area, or if it is more that he is really disappointed that I'm not finding anything in CA. Either way, it is really frustrating.

I finally heard back from the new HR department of the insurance certificate processing company on Monday. I was asked to fill out some paperwork and email it back by Tuesday night. I emailed it all back Monday night. Smile Now it is just a waiting game to see when they'll schedule the next training class. I really hope it soon, considering that after tomorrow I only have one for sure tutoring student, and one or two possibles - all totaling not more than 6 hours a week. Not much to live on - especially after gas.

Speaking of gas --- Since moving here at the beginning of May, I have spent nearly $200 on gas. GULP! My highest before (excluding traveling out of town) was just under $100. I *really* don't make enough to afford that much in just gas! After tomorrow my driving will be greatly reduced though (along with greatly reduced income!)

Careful with Vicodin! But feeling better! *(knock on wood!)

May 20th, 2011 at 12:49 am

Last night before going to bed, I took one Vicodin at about ten p.m. My dad called me about ten minutes later and I was the definition of Loopy. I slept soundly til about 4 a.m. when the pain woke me up. I considered taking another one, but (thankfully) decided against it. I finally got up around 8 a.m. and was standing talking to JJ when I got *really* light headed and felt like I was going to faint or be sick. I sat down and JJ got me some water. The light headed/nauseous feeling didn't really subside til nearly 11 a.m. - just before I had to leave. Before I left I gave myself the "sobriety" tests - walking a straight line, touch fingers to nose, etc.

*knock on wood* but I didn't have any major pain attacks today! Tonight I even managed to eat food which required minimal chewing motions (refried beans and overcooked macaroni) -- but it was REAL food and not Ensure or Equate.

I'm feeling somewhat hopeful that this may have passed. Who knows if it is the allergy medicine or the antibiotics .. who really cares at this point. If it will just go away!!!

One of my tutoring students texted me yesterday as I was almost home asking if we were tutoring on Wednesday (that day). I told her no, and that I was at least an hour away from her. She said she had a final essay due today (Thursday). I told her to email whatever she came up with, and I'd correct it. Never heard from her. She owes me $75. I'm not holding my breath on getting that from her. Frown

Tomorrow after I'm done tutoring one of my two remaining students, I plan to go over to the church school and start working on the Cum files and possibly the library. It's very, very sad. Unless a huge miracle happens (as in they double their student body before June 1 for next school year), the school will be closing its doors. Frown One effect of this is that YA, the principal/main teacher's last contract day is May 31. The kids last day is May 27. YA has to have *everything* ready for the school closing on the 31st. If the school wasn't closing, she'd have until the 2nd or maybe 3rd.

I'm also planning on helping on Sunday afternoon after the Kindergarten graduation. Last year it took me 4 afternoons just to put the library back in order ... I don't know if I'll have that much time this year. Although after Thursday neither of my two remaining tutoring students will be using me ... so I could spend all day Friday helping - as well as Sunday and Monday. Maybe I can get my mom to come spend a day too ...

My dad and grandma got an iPad2 a couple weeks ago. I was pretty impressed that they did that. Both my brother and I think it is funny that they were willing to try the iPad, but not the iPhone. The iPad is virtually a bigger iPhone w/o the phone capabilities. Big Grin So far they seem to be liking it and getting the hang of it. His sister and her best friend will be staying at dad/grandma's in a few weeks - so I bet they will help them figure more out with it. Big Grin

I've been doing really badly tracking money lately - both income and expenses. I need to get back on the ball and do it. Especially since after next week there may not be much in the way of income. :*(

I cashed out again for Beezag. Hopefully it'll come in the next few days. I'm almost 200 points away from finally cashing out at Zoombucks, and am waiting on the 4th card from Irazoo before ordering a 5th one. Yesterday I cashed out for my second AGC at Swagbucks in May. They're going MUCH slower now that I'm not on as much and only am doing videos when I have extra time.

Mother's Day, Car Accident, Dentist Vist, etc.

May 19th, 2011 at 01:42 am

What a busy few weeks it has been here! I realized I hadn't told about what I did for Mother's Day! My mom is a serious Cowboys fan. Back in October there was a Groupon deal to purchase VIP Guided tour tickets of the Cowboys stadium for 50% off. I jumped on it! My mom guessed we were going to the stadium when we were about five minutes away. She was totally stoked. Later, she told me she doesn't know how she'll top it. Big Grin

Last Sunday I was fiddling with my GPS on the way home from tutoring when I looked up --- a truck had come to a complete stop in front of me. I slammed on my brakes, but still ... Crunch! I got out right away to see the damage. I hadn't touched the actual truck, but had impaled my bumper almost completely on it's trailer hitch. The guy was so nice- asking if I was ok. He didn't ask for insurance info -- thankfully. I'm so glad my car stopped when it did!!
I went to the dentist on Monday. He took xrays of my right upper and lower teeth and roots. He could find nothing wrong that would cause the pain I'm having. So he prescribed antibiotics in case it's an infection of some sort. I also started back on my allergy pills just in case. So far the pain isn't any better. Frown I've even resorted to accepting the offer of Vicodin from the dentist so tonight I can maybe get a full nights sleep. Frown

My landlady suggested that maybe the bad flareups are related to stress. I unfortunately had the opportunity to prove that wrong tonight. On the way to take JJ to pick up her car from the shop (catalytic convertor) I stopped for gas. After getting the car, I went to Walmart to pick up some more swallowable w/o chewing foods. When I went to checkout, my wallet was missing! After a frantic trip to the gas station and thinking of all the calls I was going to have to make ... I looked in my purse ONE more time. My wallet was in my phone slot!! WHEW!

I received my application packet for the mission school and emailed all my references the reference form. Now it's just a waiting game. Hoping it won't take too long.

The work at home company I was supposed to train with was bought out by another company. So training has been postponed indefinitely. Frown I only have one week left of good tutoring money ...

Speaking of tutoring ... One of the parents with 4 boys two of whom I was tutoring and thought would continue through the summer ... Decided to not keep me on. The reason they gave is that I might not be here the whole summer! What? Even if I get the NM job, I wouldn't go until at least the end of July. Ugh!!

I got a rather unfunny joke in the mail. A copy of Bridal Guide. I know *I* didn't sign up for it!!


May 15th, 2011 at 07:32 pm

I've had a busy week or so of it! My brother made it in Wednesday night after being delayed for 5 hours by rain in San Antonio. We had a great time on Thursday together going to the outlet mall. After much searching, he found himself a Mavericks shirt. I had a chance to talk with the sales girl who is graduating from high school. She's not sure which college she wants to go to. I suggested she think about doing her basics at a community college - be less expensive and give her more time to decide her direction ( she knows she wants to major in criminal law, but isn't sure what she wants to do with it. ) Later, I happened upon two racks of clothing for $2.49. I bought two pants and three sweaters for $13.38!

Friday morning mom, brother and I had family pics taken at JC Pennys. Then we rushed to meet my landlady who came to my graduation. The induction for Beta Phi Mu started at 1 pm. We arrived about 1:40 pm due to horrible traffic. I got there just in time to go up front and have the group picture taken.

On the way to line up for the actual graduation, the wind blew off my cap. Later in line I realized that my tassel flew off. Thankfully they had extras!

I hadn't eaten much Fri morning due to nerves, so by the time we were finally being dismissed to receive our diploma covers, I was afraid I might faint or stumble. Thankfully neither happened. Smile

Our speaker was Dr. Phill! He was pretty good - not too long. Even so, the program ran nearly two hours longer than it was supposed to!

My landlady JJ really came through for me in a BIG way. I tried on my robe Tuesday night and discovered they'd sent the wrong size! JJ is a skilled seamstress and added a pleat to each side so it fit loosely. Another fun thing this past week - my teeth on the right side started hurting a week ago Friday. Off and on. I'm going to try to get into a dentist tomorrow and figure out what is going on. PAIN!!

Friday night several long time family friends came over to my moms. It was SO great seeing them. I'm hoping to get together with TC again soon - I hadn't seen her since her son was baptized last July. JJ convinced me to call her, and I'm glad I did.

I received $500 in cash and gift cards for graduation, even though I told everyone I didn't expect anything. I'm tempted to use part of it plus my Amazon money to get a new computer. But I probably should wait til I know what's going on with my teeth. Frown

My brother and I set up moms computer with Skype Thursday night. It was so funny when she came home. We put his laptop in the kitchen and sat in front of her computer w Buddy. When she walked in she saw this silent picture w the three of us making silly faces. My brother also got her an iron and fixed her grandmothers plate that had broken. Needless to say, she was overwhelmed.

I took my brother to the airport early Sat morning. It was so great having him here. Even with the toothpain, the wrong size garment, and the overlong program, this was a fantastic graduation!!

Now I'm going to attempt to catch up on more than a weeks worth of blogs here!

What a Week! Mostly good :) (long)

May 7th, 2011 at 12:57 am

On Sunday my mom and her beau came and helped me move most of my stuff out of my ex-stepdad's house -- in the pouring rain. I'm glad her beau was there, because it would have taken a lot longer with just my mom and I. We stuffed both cars full. I still had to come back on Tuesday and again on Thursday to finish getting everything. But all it cost was gas.

I love my new housemates. JJ is almost 70 years old, but is lively as can be. LH is around 55 years old (JJ's daughter - JJ married young) and is funny and vivacious. It was a bit frustrating when I got to the house and saw that they hadn't moved out some of the things I thought they were going to ... but it is all working out.

I am really trying to embrace my new minimum hour-long commute to get to any of my tutoring students. I have a number of audiobooks on my iPhone, as well as a complete Spanish course (compliments of the library.) Thankfully the inverter + my extra battery charger is sufficing as a car charger.

This week I came ** this close ** to telling my one Junior tutoring student cyanora and don't let the door hit ya! Sunday morning I worked with him for two hours and basicaly we got nothing done because he was fighting sleep the whole time (he has narcolepsly.) Normally, this wouldn't be too big of a deal, but those two hours were the first quality time we had to work together in TWO WEEKS! Then, 4 days this week we did not work together. 2 of them was because as soon as we got to the house he found out his father needed him to translate. 2 other days I got to the house and rang the doorbell and knocked for over ten minutes. One day he claims he was watching a movie and listening for me, but didn't hear me. The other day he claims he thought I'd canceled our Thursday session. Because ... he'd lost his *library* copy of the book we were reading together on Tuesday, and on Wednesday we weren't able to find a replacement copy. (He will be paying the replacement fee for the book - it was checked out on my card.) His host mom had a "come to Jesus" meeting with him Thursday night, and he called me and apologized. At this point I really don't know if I'll be able to get him caught up. I hope to get him caught up enough for a D ... and that is really, really sad considering he was on high-honor roll last quarter. Frown

I heard back from the work at home job. (the one where one of my new housemates has been working since November or so). I start the training class on Tuesday. If I past the two tests on Wednesday and Thursday, then I will officially be hired!! The only bad part of it is that two of the training classes happen while my brother is in town. If I didn't attend these, I'd have to wait a month or more to start. I think my brother will understand. Frown

I had my last session with one of my students on Wednesday. The other boy that I work with (and who's mom is the one who first mentioned the wah job) is going to take a bit of a break - but then it looks like the mom is wanting me to work with her senior high-school son this summer while he takes government and something else, as well as the student I've been working with this year. Smile

The two brothers I'd started working with two nights a week for the past few months - As of next week I'm down to only one night a week. I'm not sure exactly how this happened, but my mom somehow made the boys mom think I didn't have enough experience working with kids in the older grades, and that she could help the boy going into sixth more than me. Grr!!!!

I've filled up my car 3 times this week.... really trying to not cringe. In a few weeks I'll be able to reduce my trips over to where all my tutoring students are - maybe try to consolidate them all to 3 days ... that'll help.

I got the paperwork packet from the Mission school today. I just need to get the reference forms sent out to people, and mail the other paperwork in.

*hopefully I will also have a part-time job Big Grin

For the pt job, I'm going to need a new computer monitor - need at least a 19" screen. I found one on Amazon for a bit under $100. I'd like to go through Amazon, since I would be able to use my gift card balance, but if I can find one cheaper somewhere else ... Any ideas?

I was also contemplating the idea of just going ahead and getting a new computer .... I was looking at this all in one with a 20" screen, Acer I think ... for just under $600. But ... it probably isn't a good idea, considering I've had the same screen through 3 computer units .... and my computer still works pretty well ... I have a bit over $300 now in Amazon gift cards and paypal cash (Beezag/Sidetick, etc.) So it would be 50% free ... More than likely I'll just go with a new monitor and leave it at that.