Monthly Archives: August 2008

Gustav

DD’s home from school for the holiday. We were unsure about her coming home, but then Gustav happened. For the first time, we worry about hurricane warnings. Fortunately DD left early or she’d be stuck in the Houston traffic mess now. She barely missed it though.
She’s headed to family reunion tonight. I’mmissing it this year because of the ankle. 😦
I’m so glad she’s here!!!!

Sleep, beautiful sleep

After five days, I’m ready to crash, and still I’m afraid at 1:30 in the morning I’ll be looking at the green LED lights on my alarm clock, counting down the very few hours I have left to get some sleep before I have to get up to go to Physical Therapy (Hell) before heading into school for the day.
I don’t know WHY I can’t sleep.
Yesterday I cut out the caffeine. No good. Warm milk? Nope. Read until I drop off, uh-uh. Listen to Monastary of Chant? No good. (That worked in Italy!) Pilates to relax? No. Deep breathing, counting sheep, counting backwards from 100 or 500 or 1000, Tylenol PM, Benadryl, still awake. I have no idea what’s going on, but I can’t sleep.
I don’t want to take Ambien or any of those sleeping pills. I don’t want to take my pain pills. I’m not taking naps, I’m working more than I have in two months, I SHOULD be sleeping. I sure hope I can tonight!

WHat do you get when…

you cross a severely ADHD journalism adviser with a broken ankle, a wheel chair and an ugly black boot?
A depressed journalism adviser by the end of the day.
😦
I HATE teaching from a chair. I don’t think I’ve ever taught like this. Once a long time ago when I firt started teaching, my feet had this weird thing where they started hurting all the time and my toes quit feeling, and the doctor said I could only be on my feet four hours a day. The four hours I spent on my feet were in the classroom.
In education classes I learned I’m a kinesthetic learner. You can show me something or read me something a million times but until I DO it, I’m lost. I teach best to kinesthetic learners. I need to go to training to learn how to teach to all different learning types.
The end of the first day left me happy though. My newspaper editors came in and discussed how they’d like to do grades, and then the editor said he’d make up a point sheet to show me what he’s talking about. I’m not a math person, but together, I know we can make this work, and I’m totally thrilled THEY came up with the idea. They’re excited about the year, and so am I.
THEN one of my yearbook editors and I talked, and he’s running the classroom tomorrow morning while I go to Physical Therapy.
You know, I hear a lot these days about teenagers being slugs and jerks and selfish and rude. But people who say that don’t know the kids I know. They’re awesome. And because of them, this severely ADHD journalism adviser with a broken ankle, a wheel chair and an ugly black boot is going to have an amazing year!
Thank God I’m back in the classroom!

Parenthood 101

At 8:30 this morning I got a call. It’s DD. Her words: “Hey Mom. Are you near a computer?”

Me, waking up and wondering what’s going on: “No.”

Her: “Okay. Well, we’ll figure something out.”

Me: “What’s going on?”

Her: “We’re in Houston looking for a CVS or Wal-Mart or something to
print some pictures. We’re in an Asian neighborhood I think. Nothing’s
in English. Wait. Yes, a Korean neighborhood. We just passed a church.”

She and her best friend went to Houston today so friend could try
out for America’s Next Top Model. Friend forgot her pictures.
Fortunately they made it safe and sound to the mall. The next call came
much later. Now they were in Seabrook, and she said I would love it
there. Friend didn’t make ANTM, so they went to the beach. ACK!

Her friend comes home tomorrow and classes start Monday. Fingers
crossed the wandering child sticks closer to school for a while or
Mom’s going to have a heart attack.

WOO HOO

I cried again today, but this time, they were happy tears. The story I wrote for DD finalled in the Molly contest. It’s a paranormal YA and it’s on its way to an editor at Simon and Schuster. Woo Hoo!

I was fine…

until we got to the Flying J two miles from my house.
For some reason, pulling in to the gas station  we always stop at after long trips got to me. I started crying, and I can’t seem to stop. She’s at school. Five hours away. But I feel very empty.
😦

Day 2 and Oh Dear GOD!

I’m going to have to figure this school thing out. Today was another bad day. I kept the leg up more, but it still hurt like heck. I left a little earlier and then I went to my first day of outpatient physical therapy. All it was was the evaluation. Barely any movement at all, and when I got home, I thought I was going to die. The outside knob of the ankle bone hurt like it did the day I broke it. It took 5 hours to stop hurting. UGH!!!!!!!
My niece brought over a ton of books (woo hoo!). I have A Company of Swans, Marked, and a bunch more. YAY!!!!!!

1st day

I survived. Actually I did more than survive. It was wonderful and invigorating and inspiring. Our convocation program was amazing. And the changes in place for school this year are going to be great. My foot was the size of a football when I got home, and I had to take a pain pill and keep it elevated for HOURS, but I’ll be more careful the rest of the week. I can’t wait for the kids to get back! The schedule hasn’t changed, but we’ve built some creative time in that should result in more learning, so that’s a good thing. Woo Hoo!!!!

Back to school

And I’ll admit it. I’m a little nervous. This will be the first time I’m expected to be UP all day. Since the accident I’ve always been able to stop as necessary and put my foot up so it would stop swelling. It’s teacher work week with lots of in-service and some decent work in the classroom time, and I’ve got tons to do. I should’ve been working on some of it the last few weeks, but I didn’t. Instead I read a ton of books, and MOST of them were amazing.
DD says she’s heard they added an extra period to the day. We begged for that last year, but the school board promptly shut us down because a few uninformed teachers staged a parent complaint campaign that ended with the district on the front page of the paper again. If we have the extra class period, I’ll be one happy camper. It sounds strange I know, but the expectations on today’s students are impossible to accomplish in the same old schedule we’ve been using since the 60s. I’m not sure why that’s hard to understand. I mean, it’s in black and white. Today’s kids are expected to take 4 years of math (the last is expected to be Pre-Cal or better), 4 sciences (including Physics and Chem), 4 social studies and 4 English. Plus 2-3 years of foreign language, communications, PE, Fine Arts and fit in a couple electives. Many students enroll in AP classes for the higher GPA credit and because they have Ivy dreams. Involved students take choir and band or newspaper and football and they serve on student council, United Way and Spanish Club. When I was in school, I had one real class senior year: Civics. Everything else was elective. I wasted a lot of time. Over the years I’ve watched all the wasted time whittled out of the schedule. My students are constantly stressed and they never have time. If they’re in the Val / Sal race, they’re faced with giving up editor’s positions in order to pick up an extra AP elective. It’s crazy. IF they’re the other type of student, the one who struggles, today’s administrators and teachers have been told ALL students will learn, and we’re expected to make sure that happens. Now, I know a lot of people say that’s an impossibility. And I understand. ALL students will never take and pass the TAKS test, but ALL students CAN learn if teachers and students are given the time to put research based intervention strategies in place.
So yeah, if they added an extra period, I’ll be thrilled for my kids.
Speaking of kids, they won’t be there until next Monday. Bummer.

The Shack and lots of reservations

The more I think about The Shack (reviewed earlier this week), the more I’m disturbed by a lot of its theological message. It’s presented in such a way that I missed some of the more controversial aspects. The book pretty much takes modern Christianity and throws it away, but it does so in such a way, you almost don’t realize it because so much of what is presented is true. Some Christians do desperately need to learn that their judgmental nature is the biggest turn off ever for unbelievers and even those who believe but choose not to be active in that belief. Some Christians need to realize that living outside of the mainstream world flies in the face of everything Jesus stood for. Several people at my church are handing this book out to people everywhere they go. The people I’m talking about are amazingly strong believers who aren’t the least but preachy, but they were touched deeply by the book, and want to share it with others. Maybe I’m making too much out of it. I mean, it is a book of fiction, but when I read it, it seemed like there was something else going on. One of the reasons I didn’t like the book: It was extremely preachy. When I read inspirational fiction, I hate feeling like I’ve been smacked upside the head with the bible. But The Shack’s bible smacking isn’t the bible I know, and I think that might be worse.

My earlier review:

Mac is a grief-stricken father in mid-life about to have an
extraordinary experience with God. His great sadness began four years
ago on a weekend camping trip, when his 6-year-old daughter, Missy, was
murdered. …

Review
The Shack is the most
absorbing work of fiction I’ve read in many years. My wife and I
laughed, cried and repented of our own lack of faith along the way. The Shack
will leave you craving for the presence of God. Michael W. Smith,
Recording Artist –Michael W Smith, Recording Artist – personal
endorsement

Reading The Shack during a very difficult
transition in my life, this story has blown the door wide open to my
soul. Wynonna Judd, Recording Artist –Wynonna Judd, Recording Artist –
personal endorsement

This book has the potential to do for our
generation what John Bunyan’s ‘Pilgrim’s Progress’ did for his. It’s
that good! Eugene Peterson, author –Eugene Peterson, Professor
Emeritus of Spiritual Theology, Regent College, Vancouver, B.C.

I was given this book by a family member who loved it, and I thought it was a touching sotry about life and forgiveness. I’m not real sure I understand some of what Young was saying. I appreciated God being a woman. BUT it didn’t touch me the way it’s touched every other person I know. I thought Steven Curtis Chapman and family’s appearance on Larry King Live this week was far more powerful. (If you don’t know Chapman’s son ran over anad killed his five-year-old sister. That family’s pain was so evident and yet, every one of them held fast to the belief that as bad as the grief and anger and true depression got, they embraced the full knowledge that their base was there, their foundation could not be moved. God was and is and is to come. Now to me, that’s POWER.)

The idea that God is always here, even when bad things happen is easy to understand, and I believe it. The knowledge that only through forgiveness can we truly move past pain is another idea I fully embrace. The truth that God is God and we are human and can never be GOD and God doesn’t expect that of us is a given.

The book just didn’t resonate with me. The two things I did appreciate greatly included a conversation about music and God’s appreciation for all music genres and the way he overlooked Mac’s “damn”. I really hate that I didn’t love this book. Like I said, everyone else I know who’s read it, LOVES it.