Friday, April 23, 2010

Friday Fill-Ins #173

I haven't updated in a while because...well, I haven't actually been all that busy--in fact, I took two days off this week--but I just haven't had anything I felt was worth saying. But there comes a point when you just have to update, am I right?

We are all fine. Justin found another shop after the fire (did I already mention that he found another place? it's been two months, and it feels like two years, so I don't remember what I've written about it), and he still has plenty of work, so he is working hard (and late, some evenings) to get make the builders and our bank account happy. I'm proud of my hard-working husband.

I took the kids to the doctor last Friday for their well-child visits. Miss Pink is 48 pounds and 48 inches tall--around the 30th percentile. She is happy and healthy, with a gap-toothed grin from the teeth she's lost, and has just started reading chapter books on her own (I am so proud!) At the last conference with her teacher, she said Miss Pink is way ahead of their class goals in her schoolwork. She also loves school and I'm so glad for that.

Mr. Blue is 38 pounds and I forget how tall, but he's in the 60th percentile overall, which is surprising, because he looks just as slender as his sister to me. He's a monkey right now who does mischievous things and then tries to charm his way out of trouble, the little stinker. I love it when he says, "Mom, Mom, I have to tell you something, Mom," and then when I assure him I'm listening, he proceeds to tell me something totally random that he saw on TV or that another kid told him.

I'm getting tired, so I'm going to go ahead and do the Friday Fill-Ins, which I haven't been able to do in quite a while.

1. Where are my magical house-cleaning elves? I want some magical house-cleaning elves!

2. If wishes were horses then Miss Pink would definitely own a horse as she wants one SO bad!

3. I'd like to see my children and grandchildren have happy, fulfilling lives.

4. When I was a teen, I thought forty was old. As I get closer to it, I would like to revise that opinion!

5. One of my mother's favorite sayings was "You're the kind of girl guys want to marry." (She was right. I'm just glad I picked the right guy to marry.)

6. I'd have a hard time doing without my cell phone.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to seeing my aunt, my cousin, and my cousin's baby while they are in town, tomorrow my plans include scrapbooking, which I haven't done in two months and Sunday, I want to hang out with our friends while we practice a funny skit for a mother-daughter tea next month!


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Macbeth 2: Return of Macbeth

This was written as part of an assignment called "The 32-Second Macbeth" in which my Pre-AP sophomores acted out the shortest version of Macbeth ever. Then groups took an act of the play and tried to get it down to 32 seconds, using short, punchy lines to capture the main actions and speeches of the act.

One of my students asked if he could write a sequel to Macbeth. Since I wasn't taking a grade anyway (this activity, while still good for their summarizing skills, was a reward for all the tests and papers they've been doing) I said sure.

Tell me if you don't agree with my that this young man is AWESOME.

                                            *              *               *

Witches: A twist of fate, to wake the late?
              Rebirth! Macbeth and Duncan again walk the earth!

Macbeth: Man not born of woman has failed to end me? My kingship is writ in stone, then! Today's king must step down, this Obama! So foul and fair a day I've seen once before!

Lady Macbeth: Resex me! Macbeth, die, for causing my insanity! (Macbeth dies)

Obama: Good thing he has free health insurance...(dies)

Lady: By their murders, I am now queen!

Macduff: Gather, army, kill the wicked queen!

Obama's Ghost: I'm Obama's ghost! Socialism!

Lady: Insanity! A little water...will never help! Goodbye, lit world! Out brief candle! (dies)

Macduff: Duncan, recrowned! Oh wow! It's Gary Coleman!

Gary Coleman: What you talkin' 'bout, Macduff? I'm Gary Coleman from TV's "Diff'rent Strokes." Bye! (Macduff dies)

Witches: It seems that everything has ended up the same. Fate must be real!

Witch 1: I always knew Gary Coleman would have something to do with it!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Put Me In, Coach!

I'm (finally) getting to update because I am through with my first long-term subbing job and I don't have anything to do during this teacher's conference period. I was always too busy during my conference period for the past seven weeks. It's hard to believe I was there for seven weeks, because the time just flew by. I honestly didn't expect to bond with the ninth graders as much as I did. While I was there, they became MY students and I got to know them so well that I was sad to leave them. Many of them told me they felt the same way; I got lots of hugs and compliments and a couple of notes that I will definitely keep, telling me that I am "awesome." Quite a few kids told me they wish I could be their teacher next year.

Believe me, I told them, I feel the same way. There is no way to know at this point what will happen. Our district is opening a new high school next year, so one would think it would be a great year to get hired. However, they have already hired the teachers for the new school (only 9th and 10th grades will start there next year) except for a couple of positions that they want to fill with coaches who also teach English. With half the students going to the new school, they may not need any replacements for the teachers who are going to the new campus. In this economy, everyone is keeping their jobs and hiring is tight in all the surrounding districts because budgets are being cut everywhere. I just have to wait and see--contracts went out recently, and eventually the administration will know which positions they need to fill.

Of course there will be a lot of competition for any jobs, but I feel good about my chances as long as there is a job to apply for. Subbing has given me an opportunity to get myself noticed, not just by the teachers I sub for, but by the heads of several English departments and the administrators who might be hiring me. Yesterday I happened to run into the head of the English department as I was leaving and said goodbye to her, and she told me (without me asking) that they would keep me in mind for a job. So that was good, because I had been feeling a little down about the future. I like to have my ducks in a row, and that just can't happen in this situation. (I know, welcome to Life 101.)

I don't just want a job next year just to have a job--although the money and the benefits are greatly needed. I remembered that I DO love to teach. And that's what makes it hard to go back to regular subbing. I got to teach for real again, and I want to go back to doing it, with all the frustrations and limitations involved. I want to know what I'm doing every day because I planned it (with the help of my fellow teachers, of course!) I want to BELONG in a school, not just visit. I want to see my students every day and know that I am making a difference with many of them. And I just need to remind myself that it IS going to happen. Maybe not on my timeline, but eventually all the good work I have been doing (which has not gone unnoticed) will pay off.

I feel like a player warming the bench dying to get in the game and show the coach what I've got. I know I can do a good job. But I need to wait my turn. Waiting and paying your dues can be tough, but I'm going to hang in there because at some point I know I will get my chance.

P.S. This was fun! Too bad I won't get to update at schools more often because they will take away internet access once they remember I am no longer long-term. I also MUST remember to post the short-short script written by one of my best (and funniest) sophomore students: Macbeth 2: Return of Macbeth.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Cherishing Simple Days and Friday Fill-Ins #170

Tomorrow is Good Friday, of course, and it is a school holiday for me and Miss Pink. Normally I would keep Mr. Blue home too, but he has an Easter egg hunt at school tomorrow, so we will sleep in (hopefully) and take him to school around 10:00. It's supposed to be raining, so the egg hunt may have to be indoors, which will be interesting with the small classrooms at the daycare. Then Mr. Blue can stay at school for a special lunch, complete with treats, while Miss Pink and I leave to grab a bite of lunch and take a load of kid clothes to the resale shop.

Just a simple day. Funny how much I cherish them now that such days are the exception rather than the norm. Don't get me wrong on either side: I am so thankful I got to stay home with my children for a number of years, AND I love working now. It's just that a little break from the routine--a day which used to BE the routine--feels like pure luxury now.

And now for some Friday Fill-Ins!

1. All you need is love. Seriously, you can handle anything if you have love.
2. The silliness of my husband and kids fills me with laughter.
3. Each generation, as it grows up, rejects the ideas of the generation which came before.
4.Apathy is something I have a hard time dealing with (not in me, in others!)
5. A trip to a beach is what I need.
6. Give to God and you get back.
7. And as for the weekend, Friday night I'm looking forward to watching American Idol, Saturday my plans include planning the menu for next week and making gumbo for dinner and Sunday, I want to hide Easter eggs at my mom's house for the kids to find!