Thursday, January 31, 2008

The lesson

We're about to start math today and one of my lovely friends, a second grade teacher, was bringing her kids to Spanish next door. Just as I'm about to go over yesterday's problems, she comes in with one of her students. She gets the attention of the sixth graders in my class and begins her lesson:

Her: (In her best teacher voice) Sixth graders, I need to ask you a question. What do you think your teacher would do if she caught you eating in class over and over and over again?
6th Graders: (shouting randomly) Give us a detention! Make us write sentences! Pull a ticket! Give us an office referral!!!
Me: (knowing very well that she's trying to scare the bejeezus out of her second grader) Interesting perspectives....
Her: Wow... (looking at her second grader) I'd hate to be a sixth grader! Well, what do you think your punishment should be?
2nd Grader: (lip quivering) .......
Her: I've taken food away from you over and over and you still continue to eat in class.
2nd Grader: (quietly) I d-d-don't know....
Her: Do you think you deserve an office referral?
2nd Grader: (almost in tears) No.
Her: What about a detention?
2nd Grader: (shrugs his shoulders, teary eyed) S-s-sentences?
Her: OK, you and I should go talk about what these sentences should be. Thank you sixth graders.

She leaves my room and my kids start giggling , knowing very well that they took part in her lesson too.

Before you get all, these-teachers-are-horrible on us, you should know that a) she had no intention of punishing him in the least. She just needed it to sink in somehow that he needed to stop eating in class. b) I do not give out detentions or office referrals for eating in class. I give out detentions to sixth graders chewing gum, but that's only because we've had such a problem with it this year. And gum is different than food.

Needless to say, I went into the lounge at recess and shared our story with the upper grade teachers who were in there. We all had a good laugh about it and just as we were about to move on to talking about some other kid, the secretary said, "Oh, yeah, I heard about that. She (the 2nd grade teacher) came into the office with the kid asking (our bilingual secretary) to call home about the problem. And the grandmother told her that they put him on a diet. They cut his meal sizes down and he's probably sneaking crackers out of the cupboard."

GASP!

I felt horrible for taking part in this unforgiveable scene. I immediately texted the 2nd grade teacher to tell her I knew the whole story. I got a text later that just said, "I feel so horrible."

Now I'm undecided if this story is funny or just cruel. But I have to admitt, I laughed when I heard about the call. Not because I was laughing at the kid and his situation, but because we, as teachers, are so quick to assume that the kids are doing things to spite us, especially after we've told them over and over not to do something.

I think she and I have learned a lesson in humility.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Aunt Bahndi

Reasons why I love being the aunt:


1. I don't have to potty train. I'm not the one sitting there for 20 minutes waiting for a 2-year old to toot toot.









2. I don't have to be the one she's throwin punches at because she's frustrated with no toot-toots (or scared of it). I'm not the one who's putting her in time out for throwin the punches. And I'm not the one she's crying and pouting afterward because of. That's Grandma's job.










3. I am, however, the one that she loves to hang on. I'm the one that she reaches out for whenever I come over saying "Bahndi, Bahndi." She lets me snuggle her and she gives me kisses when I ask for them. She doesn't get mad at me because I won't let her do something. Well, partly because I let her do anything. Ok, not anything...because my brother would kill me.









4. I'm not the one who teaches her the ABCs, but I'm the one she likes to say it over and over to. It must be because I'm gleaming with pride (it's the teacher in me, I can't help it). And I don't mind hearing it over and over because it sounds so freakin cute....
ah,be,see,dee,eee,eh,gee (I'll spare you all 26 of them and the cute "now I know my ah be sees" but believe me... it was freakin adorable).





5. And I'm the one who gets to buy her the fun clothes. Ok, I admitt, I didn't buy this one for her. That was all Lori, my sister-in-law. But I would've. Because look at those cheeks amidst all of that fluff. I like to call this picture "Fluffy Cheeks."




Go ahead, tell me how cute she is. And I'll agree with you. Because I'm the aunt and that's my job.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Tickets for the gun show

After yesterday's obvious need of an intervention, I decided to actually go to the gym today. And it was a difficult decision to make myself come to. Especially once I started working out.

So I get there and after getting past the counter to check in, I was already pissed. The chick that scans me in is Mark's brother's baby momma. And she either a) totally hates me because I'm part of the family (I sound so Godfather-ish) or b) she's totally afraid of me. Either way, she has refused to ever make eye contact with me or say anything friendly to me. But she's young and I'm not so I have to be the bigger person and get over it. Which means giving her dirty looks when I'm working out and she's not looking at me. Ha! Take that!

I walk into the locker room to change. I have a problem with chicks in the locker room. I, for one, am a very modest person. I will turn my back to the rest of the room when changing items of clothing that show parts of me that only my shower sees. But other women. Eckgh. I beg them with all of my mind powers as soon as they walk in to be modest. But no. And I don't mean to look, but I happen to be turning around to grab my shoe or something and BAM! Stuff is everywhere! Out in the open for ALL to see. Ladies please! I don't need to see all of that.

Once that nightmare is over, I venture out into the gym. I always start with cardio. And right away I've decided that I cannot wait for January/February to be over. These freakin people that have these resolutions to get into shape need to get off the machines that I want to use because we all know they won't be back next month. And being that I've been here consistently for at least a year means that I should get a spot in line ahead of you. But I'll have faith in you and wait.

Oh good, your time's up. But... wait... you didn't wipe off the machine. And your sweat. Ew. It's all over. Ew. The machine. Wait, where are you going? Alrightythen, let me get that for you. There should be an alarm that goes off when you walk away from a machine that you leave your sweat on. And the sanitation police should come and take you away. Right after they spray down the machine so I can use it.

I don't know what the deal with me was today but I could not get into my cardio. My music sucked. I was out of breath. The TV stations sucked. Seriously. It's 4:30. One of these TVs has to have Ellen on. But no. All I get is Married With F-ing Children. And sports. On all 10 TVs. Thanks. I mean, I suppose I could walk over and ask the front desk to turn the TVs to something worth watching, but then I'd have to talk to the Baby Momma. No thanks. I'll push through it.

And since there are 5 billion people in the gym sweating their gross germs around me, I get hot and sweaty very quickly. I've never understood why some people could sweat from their arms and hands so much that they glisten, but today I understood. I was a mess. And when I finished, I wiped off the machine. You're welcome.

Into the weight room I go. Yippee. Weights. What do I want to work today? My legs? Nope, can't because Fabio is on the squat machine. The wide leg squeezies and pushies? Nope, some chick who is lifting 10 pounds is doing 1 set per 10 minutes. Great. Take your time. And try not to break a sweat. Because I don't want to have to clean up after you. Oh look, there's a bench open. I love going to the bench. For one, the guys look at you like, "Yeah, right chick. You have no idea what you're doing. Now get off my bench. I must lift my 150 pounds, making horrible faces and grunting really loudly for all to hear." And two, when I lay down, you are officially able to see the sweat that has begun to accumulate in regions that most people probably don't want to see. Whatev. Deal with it and stop looking at my goods you pervs. I'm working out. I'm allowed to sweat. So there. Now watch the magic happen with my 10 pounds on the bar.

But first, let me lift off, one-by-one, all 10 of the 45 pound weights you've left on the bar. Thanks.

In the end, I got in a decent workout. And I'm glad I went. But I was so annoyed. People are lame and gross and need to learn etiquette. There should be a class that you have to take before being granted your gym pass. Kinda like the DMV. Or citizenship. I love it. Count me in for getting the curriculum together.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Woe is me....

Dear Brandi:

We are writing because we are concerned. We don't know how else to tell you this so we're just going to say it.

It's noon and you've done nothing with yourself. And this isn't the first time we've noticed it. We're concerned that you've abandoned us altogether. And we need things to change.

We understand that you work very hard on the weekdays and that the weekends are for you to relax. But seriously. You're a wreck and we can't take it anymore.

Let us tell you the things we are concerned with:

1. You haven't showered yet today. And you seem to be making a habit of this on weekends. Quite frankly, it's gross. Go shower.

2. Your clothes are getting a bit tired. We know you're trying to save for a trip to Europe, but seriously. You wear jeans and a shirt to work everyday. We need you to step it up and look professional for the kids.

3. Your workouts sucked last week. Did you even do any cardio? What's the deal? And we thought you were going to start running.... What happened to that?

4. Your eating habits have been atrocious. We know you can cook. So why are you not doing it? And In-n-Out doesn't count for healthy just because their french fries come from real potatoes.

5. There seems to be a small army of zits growing on your chin. Now, we know you wash your face regularly, but really, this doesn't help our welcome home. What's the deal?

We're not going to lie, we don't feel like we are a part of your life lately. We're sad and we miss you. Please call us so we can hang out.

Sincerely,
Self Confidence and Self Worth

Friday, January 25, 2008

You lying sacks of poo

Today I've decided that I'm frustrated with the liars. Let me explain...

Last week I was out at PE when I spotted one of my most favorite sixth graders chomping on gum. He keeps checking to see where I'm looking and I notice this so I cock my head to the right a bit to make it seem like I'm looking somewhere else, when in fact I'm looking at him. (P.S. I have happily learned in the last year that sunglasses with lenses so dark that you can't see my eyes are the greatest accessory a teacher can have.) Chomp. Chomp. Chomp. I call him over to me as the innings change and our conversation goes a little something like this:

Me: So, uh, what are you chewing on?
Him: (shakes his head with his lips glued together)
Me: Really? Because I could swear you have gum in your mouth.
Him: (shakes his head with a "not me" look on his face.... gulp)
Me: So what you're telling me is that you are not chewing gum and you did not just swallow it?
Him: (Shakes his head, lips still pressed together tightly)
Me: Riiiiiight... Well, expect a detention on your desk for not only chewing gum, but then lying about it.

And then he runs away giggling. Caught. Little bastard.

A few days later, another student tells me he has enough points on a computer generated reading comprehension program so that he can go out to recess. I am confused because I had just checked and he didn't. So we walk over to the computer, I pull up his file, and this is how our conversation goes:

Me: No, look, you don't have enough points, you need to - Hmmm... it says you took a quiz today. That's weird because you didn't sign up for one.
Him: I didn't take a quiz today.
Me: Really? Because this says your name and this says today's date. So what you're telling me is that either someone else took this quiz for you today (which could have been a possiblity.... odd, but could have happened) or it magically appeared on your record.
Him: I didn't take a quiz today.
Me: Ok, so if you didn't take the quiz, the points aren't yours, and you don't get recess.
Him: Well.... I took the quiz but I didn't take it today.
Me: Hmmm... well, then the computer must have had some sort of odd malfunction because it clearly states that this quiz was taken today.
Him: .....
Me: So let me ask you again. Did you take this quiz today? Or did someone else take it accidentally under your name? Because this is where I stand.... If you didn't take the quiz, the points aren't yours and you don't get recess. If you did take the quiz, that meant that you lied to me when you asked if you could come back here and check your progress, and then lied to me about not taking it today.
Him: .......
Me: Let's go... Let it out. There's a lie somewhere in your story.
Him: (sigh) Ok, I took the quiz today. I snuck it in really quick when I asked if I could check my progress.
Me: Really? Was it worth all of that to lie? Why couldn't you have just told me that in the beginning?
Him: ......

They just get so wrapped up in them sometimes, it's hard for even me to keep the facts straight.

And lastly, yesterday I was sitting at a student's desk and we were about to play a math game. One of my girls says to me, "Look at his desk (the one I was sitting at). He wrote the spelling words on his desk." I glance down and sure enough, there are about 15 of the 30 words written on the desk. Great. I call him over. You could hear a pin drop in the classroom at this moment as we had this conversation:

Me: So, uh, why are there spelling words written on your desk?
Him: .....
The class: .....
Me: ......
Him: .....
Me: ...... (I like to ride these ones out because by sixth grade they have grown used to the teacher who loses patience with the silence and then they are virtually let off the hook. And plus with the class being so damn quiet, it was perfect for an I-mean-business and I-pay-attention-to things lesson.)
Him: Well, it's kinda hard to explain.
Me: Hmmm... well, why don't you try.
Him: .....
Me: .......
Him: Well, uh... yeah, well, it's, uh.... it's hard to explain.
Me: Again, I ask you to try.
Him: ...... Well, I was studying the words.
Me: Studying? By writing them on your desk? That's interesting. Was there no paper available for you to study on?
Him: I didn't have any.
Me: And no one around you had any either? That's miraculous. No one had a piece of paper for you to use to study your words.
Him: .....
Me: Because, to me, it looks like these words were written on your desk to cheat.
Him: .....
Me: Were they not written on your desk to cheat?
Him: .......
Me: Ok, well, I think you've lied to me. You can expect a detention for cheating and defacing school property.
Him: .....

This was the final straw. I mean, I know they're 11. But the lying is outrageous right now. It's breaking me down. Wearing me out. And the things they lie about are ridiculous! They get so caught up in it, it's difficult for me to keep it straight. And when I can't keep it straight, I can't turn it around on them to catch them in it. Days like these make me realize I'm turning into my parents. Great.....

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Thursday Thirteen: Why I do not suck

Riding the coattails of my friend Kadi's post, I shall now attempt to give you thirteen reasons why I don't suck.

1. I am anally organized. Though it can cause a RIDICULOUS amount of stress in my life, I am able to stay sane and help others through my organizational skills.

2. I am in a wonderful relationship (finally) with a guy who tells me he loves me every day so that I can never question it.

3. I have a wonderful group of friends that are there for me WHENEVER I need them. They appreciate my sense of humor and are ok with the fact that I get uncomfortable in serious situations.

4. I have a wonderful job that I love going to everyday. I love the kids and I love the girls I work with.

5. I have a wonderful family that loves and supports each other no matter what the situation may be.

6. I am an aunt to the cutest almost 2-year old ever. And she finally calls me Aunt and gets excited when she sees me.

7. I am smart. I have 2 degrees, a credential, and many certifications. Besides the stuff on paper, I can hold a real conversation on just about any topic (besides politics).

8. I am athletic. I can pick up virtually any sport or activity quickly and be good at it. I work out at least 4 times a week and enjoy it.

9. I make enough money so that I can get anything I need anytime I want. I live comfortably.

10. I can cook. Though I'm still learning, I am able to feed my boyfriend meals that he actually likes whenever we decide to stay in and eat.

11. I am funny (at least I think I am). Although sometimes pushing the limits, I am able to come up with witty comments during any conversation (unless asked to do so).

12. I am open-minded. There are few things that offend me in life. Unless you're hurting someone else or yourself, I usually like you.

13. I am a good teacher. Many parents have told me that they are glad their child has me as their teacher and that they have a new found love for (fill in the subject) or that their child has never had such a great year.

Ok that wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be. That made me sit up a bit taller today. Thanks Kadi.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Eckgh...

Ya know, it kind of freaks me out when people who have lived fewer years than I, die suddenly. Really. I can't get over this Heath Ledger thing. I am one who would like to think that this was an accidental death, caused by too many pills for too many things. How horrible for his baby's mother to have to tell a 2-year old that daddy is gone. How horrible for his parents to outlive their successful son. And on top of it, to find out that he has passed in another country and then have to endure a LONG plane ride to talk to anyone that knows anything about what happened. Seriously.

And you want to know what I heard on the radio? That there is a group of religious freaks out there that are planning on crashing his funeral because he played a gay character in a movie and they believe that he deserves to rot in hell. Again, seriously? How horrific are these people? Sure, have your beliefs... I have mine. But to spew your aggression onto others in quite possibly the worst possible moment of a family's life just to send a message? That's disgusting. Apparently these same people crash the funerals of AIDS victims for the same reason. Eckgh. It makes me physically ill.

Sadly, when things like this happen, it causes me to take a look at my life to make sure I'm making the most out of the time that I have here. I cross my fingers it's at least a few more decades.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Can You Hear the Crickets Chirping?

For all of the crazy crap-talking that I do and all the smart-ass, witty comments I make each and every day, I have no idea what to say to one of my best friends that is going through a trying time right now. We have always shared our problems with each other and have talked each other out of whatever crazy ideas were in our heads. But this time, I don't know what to say to make her feel better about things. I can't even make jokes. My mind is utterly and completely empty when I try and think of the right words to say to her. I have no experiences like hers to draw advice from, no idea idea how she might be feeling (well I have an idea, but I've never felt the pain she's probably feeling right now), no idea whatsoever how to take her pain away. And that sucks.

The other day she asked me to say something funny because she wanted to laugh, and I couldn't. I couldn't even do THAT for her. I felt so bad. I just keep sending her texts telling her that I'm thinking about her and her family and that I love her. And she lives so far away, so I can't even go over there to try and take her mind off of things. Because that's what I'm good at. It always seems like whenever anyone is going through something difficult, I never know what to say or how to react. So I just hang around them and try to make them laugh. I'm horrible in situations like this. I wonder why. I wonder if there is anything that I can do to make myself better in these situations. If you ask her, she'll tell you that I'm doing everything that she needs me to do: just caring and being there for her. But I feel like I need to do more. I can't get this feeling out of my head that I'm being a horrible friend to her right now because I feel like I'm not doing anything to make her feel better.

So I dedicate this post to her and her family. I hope that she can move on from this once it's all over and try again. I know she will and I know once she does, she'll be scared each and every second of the new experience. But I'll do my best to prepare some anxiety easing jokes and witty comments when that time comes.

Monday, January 14, 2008

RIP My Little Lappy

So it's gone. Dead. Soon to buried in the trash can. I killed my laptop. Granted, it was a gift from a "friend" about 5 years ago so I'm not all that bummed about the money. But it was the center of my technological life. My music. My photos. Thankfully all were saved thanks to my roommate's dad who did a number of code blues on that bad boy. The problem? Apparently you're supposed to install something called, "Antivirus Protection." Hmmm... You mean the computer doesn't already come with it? I'm actually surprised it lasted the 5 years. It had a lot of little viruses that took about a week to clear up. But the beast of all beastly viruses was the cause of its demise. Apparently some viruses "act" like they're cleared up, but in fact they're just hiding. Kinda like a small game of hide-and-seek. Just when we think we can't find them and we're too scared to go into the yard across the street because it's REALLY dark, the bastard comes out and makes it into the "safe zone" before we can tag them. The virus apparently regenerates itself. Fu&*%r. It strangled the life out of my lappy.

So this is just a warning, a"pre-cursor," if you will. Although I did get a new camera from my wonderful boyfriend for Christmas and I did take a number of fun and exciting pictures that I could easily post.... I will be unable to. I have no computer to download those fun and exciting pictures onto. So they sit on the memory card of my camera and collect dust. And the music? If I gain 50 pounds it's because I've gotten tired of the music on my iPod and thrown it against the wall, causing it to break into a thousand pieces. And I CANNOT work out without the proper music to listen to. If I have no music, I hear how utterly tired I am doing cardio and then I give up on myself. See the domino affect this has had on my life????

In conclusion, a "minor" miscalculation of my computer insides when I got it 5 years ago has caused a small riffle in my life. Ok, a rather large one. I'm lost. In a fog. Dazed. Confused. I need to gather up around $1500 to buy a new one. Crap. Hope my camera's memory card doesn't fill up by then...