Monthly Archives: May 2011

Today was even better!

Best yearbook distribution ever! Had a blast. Proud of my kids!

I Hope I’m Still Feeling This Way Tomorrow!

I love my job. I love my kids. I think teenagers are the most creative beings in the universe.
When the kids first said they wanted to do a black light/maze distribution, my immediate reaction was…WHAT the heck?! Followed quickly by No. But the long-time adviser in me remembered the kids are in charge…in this. This is their book, and they know what they want. So, instead of what I was thinking, I said, “you figure out a way to make it work…” I was thinking there was no way they would do it. Too much work. End of the year. No way.
I. Was. Wrong. It took until the very last minute today, but they did it. We had a black light maze distribution night for seniors. And tomorrow, we’ll have a black light maze distribution day for the rest of the school. If the seniors are any indication, the kids will LOVE it. The maze fits, because it keeps kids moving, and the theme is Perpetual Motion. The black lights work because the cover is a marbl-y white and gold, and it looks cool.
And one of the ad girls brought white balloons that look cool under the light, too.
I’m so proud of my kids. They’ve done an awesome job. I can’t wait for tomorrow!


A handful of yearbook kids and three parents came up today and worked in the gym getting it ready for yearbook distribution. Our marketing director asked if we could set up distribution to be part of the theme experience. Soooooo we spent the day setting up a maze, making posters and taking photos. The best part, though, was when I got to show the kids who worked a preview of the book. They were so happy. 🙂 Days like this, I LOVE my job.

The only bad thing, a pair of shoes I planned on wearing to Europe hurt my heels today. Rethinking that plan.

I Should’a Known Better

I’ve heard so much about how amazing and awesome Bridesmaids is.
So I went today with DD to see it. I enjoyed spending time with DD, so that was a five of five stars.

The movie:
If a group of guys got together and made a movie about what they thought women were, you’d have Bridesmaids.
Zero real emotion.
The characters weren’t really women. They were caricatures of women developed by men who have no idea about women. Like Monty Python in drag.
And don’t even get me started on the “fat girl” syndrome.
Awhile back I read a blog that said movies are targeted to teenage boys because that’s where the money’s made. Bridesmaids is no exception. I’m sure the men in the room liked the movie just fine. Which makes sense. The director and producers of the movie were all men. The writer was a woman, but I don’t suppose women can write movies I’d enjoy because they’d never have a chance of getting them made.

There are a couple cute scenes. And they let the actresses look like real people instead of botoxed human chameleons. Maybe that’s what Director Paul Feig meant by “I’m a pretty feminized geek.”

I’m sad humor has devolved to a mixture of South Park, Mad Magazine, Playboy and Dr. Sue Johanson. I miss the days of laughter without the uncomfortable after taste of being somewhere I didn’t belong. I’ve learned my lesson. If it’s Judd Apatow, I’ll skip it. AND before I go to see a movie with DD, I’ll check it out online first. I went into this one cold other than a couple cute trailers on TV. Big mistake.

In Case You Missed It

I watched the House in session last night via the Texas Tribune. My poor husband agreed to watch with me. As we waited anxiously to see if HB400 would make the 11:59 deadline, I was appalled by some of the unprofessional behavior I saw. The most appalling moments happened twice. Two female Reps were debating a bill and some of our male Reps started meowing, calling a civil debate a “cat fight.”
I couldn’t see who the Reps meowing were, but I sure hope someone “outs” them.
These are the people we vote to office to carry out the business of our state government. We have a serious problem with disrespect in our classrooms. I guess it’s obvious why.
This behavior is inexcusable. It’s insufferable. Women should be OUTRAGED.
I kept hearing how it was “no big deal.”
I disagree. It’s a very big deal.
It shows a blatant disrespect for women everywhere.
If this is happening from the floor of the Texas House in 2011, I can’t imagine what it was like when Kay Bailey Hutchison and Hillary Clinton started their journey in politics.

HB400 didn’t make it to the floor by deadline, so it died. However, the rep. sponsoring it says he’ll attach it to a Senate Bill. If you believe in a strong public education, call or email your senator and ask him to vote no on any public education finance bill that hurts public education and teachers that doesn’t have a two-year-limit. We understand times are tough and everyone has to tighten the belt. But using this budget crisis to forever change the way we fund education and pay teachers is wrong. We have STRONG public schools in Texas. Let’s keep them that way!

The End

The end of the year is always so busy. It’s a time for reflection. I have a lot of that to do. It’s easily been the toughest year of my teaching career. I’ve had some of the best kids ever, thank GOD! I’m not sure what happened to make things so incredibly difficult. I think I spread myself too thin. I have this amazing kid on staff who does too much, and I’m always telling her she has to make choices. For the last year I’ve wondered why she has so much trouble making those choices and now here I am once again at the end of the year questioning whether I can do everything, knowing something has to change.
The big stress came when I took on the video class at the same time my staffs started dropping in size.
Last year I tried recruiting more students instead of only using kids who came to me on their own or through my J1 class.
Kids think yearbook and newspaper are going to be all about fun. They don’t realize what all goes into that one spread.
And this year I didn’t handle their shock so well.
Same thing for the kids who didn’t do. After a semester of trying, I made them get their schedules changed.
I’m ready for this year to end.
I’m excited about what I already see happening for next year. We’ve set camp dates, we know San Antonio conference. Over half the yearbook staff is made of seniors.
These days I keep hearing politicians talk about how lazy teachers are, about how we’re part-time employees and how we have summers off, so our jobs aren’t that hard.
As I look forward to this summer in a way I never have, I wish more than anything a few of those politicians could spend a year with me. It might be interesting to see how they feel in May.

Yes, it is important

Yesterday someone I love told me I needed to understand the budget cuts were unavoidable and that the waste in education is the reason for budget problems in Texas. Ultimately, the person said, you could see the real problem with education in one area specifically: Pre-K. In the person’s opinion, which was developed based on numerous pieces of Tea Party propaganda, pre-K is a complete waste of tax payer dollars.
The person ended their argument by explaining that they had never been in pre-K, so why was it necessary?
This is a perfect example of what’s wrong with the whole school budget problem this biennium.
The people making the decisions have NO IDEA what they’re talking about.
I explained to the person speaking that pre-K teachers prepare low socio-economic students for school. These kids sometimes have one parent, often none. Instead grandparents are raising the children. Pre-K’s feed the hungry. The pre-K teachers I know buy clothes for kids, shower children, run washing machines because kids come to class filthy and teach pre-reading and math skills.
Should education be the stand-in for family? Maybe not, but the reality is it IS. Without pre-K, you are dooming these children to a life of poverty before they ever even have a chance.
BUT our legislators, led by a Tea Party insistent on change and making these decisions without any real knowledge. They’re not talking to educators. They’re being led by lobbyists down the rabbit hole of education by voucher and choice. A place and tie where the rich get richer and the poor die.
The person explaining to me how non-essential pre-K is also let me know Public Education isn’t guaranteed. I told her she was wrong. While it might not be in the constitution, public education is guaranteed by our state constitution.

I’m not sure what’s going on with our state politicians, but I do know education is essential. I know it’s a path out of poverty, and I know we are not a country built on the idea that those with money control the agenda.

I read an email from a teacher about learned helplessness. She says educators let this kind of thing happen because we feel we are powerless. I’m not sure how we find the power, but I do know, if these bills on the floor pass, if our education system is decimated, we have an OBLIGATION to make sure those in office now never find their way to office again. We must start now working to make sure this never happens again.

Great Trip: I <3 State!

Had a great time at State with both students who qualified and our UIL director, Sandra. The girl who placed second at Regionals placed fifth at State. State Medals always make the trip even better.
We went to the capitol after the competition. Unfortunately we just missed the Senate and the House was out on a Point of Order. But we got to see both rooms in action. That was a first for me.

Today I got news that the Senate has approved a plan to let private schools compete in UIL events. Yet another indication that this legislative session will irrevocably change Texas public education. I don’t understand this obvious desire to kill a quality public school system, but it breaks my heart.

The Newsroom (Banquet speech 2011)

This year in one minute or less:
What, Mrs. Lee? You want us to do beats? What are beats? Oh no!!!! This is hard!
Pfffft. This is a blow off class.
Wait a second I was supposed to take those photos? I can’t! OK, I can!
Is that Kraft Shells and Cheese? Or PB&J?
What. Is. That. Smell???
I’m hungry!
Want my peanut butter crackers?
I will, I can, I think I can. Oh no! I can’t. Wait…this is UGLY. No, it’s awesome.
“Yearbook business.”
Just married.
Most likely to….
UGH! The resolution on this background is too small!!!
5,5,5,7. Crap. I forgot.
You did what?
Put that camera down, Kyler!
New Computers, New Computers, New Computers!
I don’t like CS4.
Image Placer NOOOOOOOO!!!!
Red Pen Intervention
How do I write a feature?
UGH! I hate editorials now!
Headlines? How are they a competition?
Money, money, money.
The 50-yr-sidebar isn’t done!
WAIT, it is. I’ve got it.
Can I? Yes!
Can I? No!
That is NOT OKAY!
Deadline, Deadline, Deadline
Oh no, we haven’t updated the website in a month!
That. Is. Awesome.
I love the newsroom, I hate the newsroom, this place is driving me crazy, this is my home.
Grooveshark is broken. They blocked Grooveshark. ACK! Edited version only, Regan!
What did she just say?
Rocks. Rock Stars. Fun. Life.
You’ve Got This. We’ve Got This.
Oh Newsroom.