Monthly Archives: February 2008


One of my former students showed up today with obvious gang related changes.
When he came to my school gangs weren’t on his radar.
HOW DOES THIS HAPPEN and why the hell aren’t we doing everything in our collective power as educators in Wichita Falls to STOP IT AT ALL COSTS?!?!?!?!?!?! Because we’re white and middle class or wealthy? I hate to make it about race, but I really think it is at some point about just that. Maybe race is the wrong word. Maybe it’s socioeconomics. So then we’re not racists, we’re classists (Or whatever the words is) and that’s just as bad.
Sometimes I hate my job.
I love my kids, but I hate feeling powerless.


I HIGHLY recommend Once. After reading several reviews comparing the music to the power of Moulin Rouge, I had to see what all te buzz was about. I WISH I had the chance to see it on the big screen, and I’ll definitely be buying the soundtrack. Beware though, it’s not really a romance even though it’s billed as one. 🙂 It IS a character driven relationship story. Two very different things in my mind.

The Biggest Loser

I never realized weight was a big deal to guys until watching The Biggest Loser tonight on TV. OMG, I cried so hard!

Mary Beth…Handywoman

There’s a reason I spend most of my time reading and writing. Put a screwdriver in my hand, and I’m dangerous.
Fortunately my dad rode into the rescue today to help me change my front porch light.
Yes, I needed help with a porch light. Now to find someone to ride into the rescue with cleaning house.

Hopefully my city’s still here tomorrow. The wind’s blowing so fast shopping carts at Wal-Mart were flying across the parking lot. Ugh. DD was rounding them up and rolling them inside in an attempt to save a few cars.
It’s dry outside, so fires are everywhere. Walked out of a meeting tonight and could barely see. I still smell like smoke.

I’m not happy with the chapter I’m working on right now. The plot is there, but the emotional depth is missing, so I’m back on it tomorrow.

I’ve been back on Weight Watchers for 2 weeks, and I’ve lost 5.5 pounds. Woo Hoo!


First: check this out. Saw it on cnn:
I’ve RSS’d it.

Motherhood part 2010

So she wants to go to college. Not any of the local schools but tis amazingly beautiful school in Huntsville, TX. There are 11 prisons in Huntsville. Yes, 11.
I want her to go to the beautiful school in Huntsville. But DANG it’s expensive.
So we’ve started down the wonderful road called student financial aid. And being the broke mom I am, I did my taxes last night so we can get the FAFSA done and maybe, (GOD PLEASE) just maybe dd will get some aid AND for the first time in my life I OWE taxes.
DD’s supposed to be filling out scholarship applications, but she’s reading Dirty Little Liars (it’s not as bad as it sounds, Mom.I promise. But hey, you let me read Lace when I was her age and it WAS that bad!) instead.

100,000 Book Challenge

Taller than a 10,000 book TBR pile…, it’s the 100,000 Book Challenge!

Once again, challenges you to new reading heights. IF we can read 100,000 books in total, we can beat our 2007 record and read a mind-boggling, and unprecedented 100,000 books! But the great news this year is that for every book we read, we’ll be donating a book to the National Center for Family Literacy to benefit their literacy programs. The stated mission of the NCFL is to create a literate nation by leveraging the power of the family. Since its inception in 1989, more than one million families throughout the country have made positive educational and economic gains as a result of NCFL’s work, which includes training more than 150,000 teachers and thousands of volunteers.

So…don’t just sit there…READ SOMETHING!!

If you enjoy reading, check out the challenge:
I’m posting my book reviews on my blog there instead of here.

Data: education style

The past two weeks I’ve heard “if you have an opinion with no numbers to support it, you’re just another person wasting our time,” so many times it’s starting to sink in.
It’s test time in Texas so teachers are data crazy. But you know, if that data isn’t compared to other data and used to help struggling students, what’s the point?
I mean looking at past performance of a student is all fine and good, but if looking at that past is done without developing a plan to make the future better isn’t it just number crunching for no purpose?
when are teachers supposed to come up with those plans? Right now my school has said teachers are to come up with those plans on their own time, after school. Most of the teachers in my building leave around five. They have families and lives and they’re supposed to add this to their plates? Ugh.
Whatever it Takes is what we keep hearing, but in that book, the principals and superintendents writing say you MUST make the time during the school day for teacher collaboration and student interventions. If that time is not made, it cannot be done successfully.
I sure hope high school administrators start understanding this very basic premise. If they don’t, all this knowledge, all this data we have that shows collaboration among teachers is key to student success, is just a bunch of numbers.

I LOVE my new book. It’s so scary.


The other day you were playing Sesame Street golf outside in the backyard in that atrocious Little Mermaid pants and big Blue Dog shirt. The shirt I spent way too much money on and the pants that didn’t match at all but you loved so much you wore almost every day.
The other day your kindergarten teacher taped that huge chunk of long curly hair to a piece of paper with a story about how you cut it off before she could catch you and she apologized. (She didn’t really know you yet, or she would’ve known once you got it in your mind to cut that hair, it was a done deal)
The other day you were running around the church in those white tights, no dress with your friend laughing and dancing and waiting for your “wedding dress” that Gommy wasn’t quite finished with even though we were set to walk down the aisle in 90 minutes.
The other day you stood on a balance beam, the same beam you’d done cartwheels on for a year, and started crying THEN refused to get on escalators THEN shook when we got on elevators, and don’t even talk about roller coasters, so we went to therapy and learned you’d developed separation anxiety and it turned my fearless wild child into an afraid little girl. But the therapist worked with you every week and after a few months you were fine.
Which is good since the school we toured yesterday would be in another state if we lived anywhere but Texas, and I can’t imagine you being that far away from me, but I think it will be good for you anyway.
I’m just going to keep telling myself that and maybe soon it will be true.


The California super conference on education was one of the best teacher conferences I’ve ever been to.
The first hotel we were at was not.
I’m not sure if it was the cold water (no hot available), the blankets that were more sheets, the doors that faced Katella, one of the busiest streets in Anaheim, but it stunk! Fortunately after two nights we moved to The Disneyland Hotel, conference site extraordinaire.  It’s definitely time to get back to real life: laundry, cleaning house, teaching and writing. The writing has taken a big hit this week. Last night I listened to Nora talk about the magic of writing though and wow, she is so amazingly inspirational.
I read The Kommandant’s Girl while I was gone. It’s a great book, but it’s billed as a romance and it’s NOT a romance. Not even a little bit.  It’s an historical adventure women’s fiction, and it kept me on the edge of my seat.

What is Love?

He sits across the livingroom playing Full Tilt Poker on the laptop or checking the finances one more time or Googling rooms in Vegas.
He’s my sweetheart.
Sometimes I forget.
It’s easy to forget when he’s saying we can’t afford that or when he doesn’t wash his whites or when he asks what’s for dinner after I’ve worked all day and I’m tired and exhausted and I want to say WTF, are you kidding me but instead I plop the bologna on the counter and say sandwiches all around.
It’s easy to forget because like in all things, it’s easier to gripe than to praise.
I once heard that it’s easy to forget because love is like that favorite pair of shoes stuffed in the back of the closet. The ones you can’t stand to toss in the trash even though you walked up and down the Las Vegas strip in them so the leather’s worn off the sole and now your feet grate against some grimy white fabric that leaves calluses if you dare to wear them and still you keep them. At first sight you wanted the shoes so BAD, but you walked away because they were too expensive. You walked around the store, trying others on, MAYBE you even left the store, went to PayLess, but you just couldn’t get those shoes out of your mind. So you went back and you bought them, put them on the credit card, even though the card was carrying a balance and finance charges are irresponsible. You wanted the shoes, you NEEDED the shoes, you bought the shoes. And life was great. Until you wore them year after year after year. They’re still favorites, but that intensity of desire, well, not so much. And then another year or two goes by and you kind of forget everything you loved about those shoes. But those shoes were there with you through so much. You wore them the night you drank too much butterscotch schnapps and Bailey’s at the birthday party and that day in Cancun at Carlos and Charlie’s where you danced with the waiter and did Jell-o shots and that time you went to see Mama Mia on Broadway and to the OKC bombing site where you cried for thirty minutes when you saw all those little empty seats next to the big empty seats and you cursed in front of your daughter for the first time calling the men who bombed the Murrow Building sicks sons of bitches. So yeah, the shoes might be a mess, but they’ve been with you through too much, so you toss them in the closet and take them out every once in a while.
I guess I agree with the shoe analogy to a certain degree, but I think that might be a simplification of things.
But right now, while I’m sitting here and hockey’s on TV and he’s saying, man, I think I had a 6, and the poker click, click, clicks on his computer, I remember the truth. I love him. And that makes me happy.