Wednesday, October 28, 2009

You Capture - Autumn

I love, love, love this time of year. I hope you're enjoying your autumn, too!

See more at Beth's.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

If loving you is wrong, I don't want to be right.

I have a cake problem. I love it. Very much. Very, very much. Particularly this kind of cake. The kind that comes from a bakery. The kind with buttercream frosting. (Oh, the buttercream....)

This one, underneath the buttercream, was chocolate. Rich, moist, delectable chocolate. With a layer of chocolate mousse in the middle. But I couldn't take a picture of that, as I was too busy inhaling it. But trust me. It was as pretty on the inside as it was on the outside. (And we all know it's what's on the inside that counts!)

It was so pretty, in fact, that I ate a lot. Um, like, three pieces. Although one couldn't really be considered a piece because it really didn't have much cake to it at all and was mostly a big hunk of frosting that I wouldn't even let my sister serve as an actual piece of cake because there was so little actual cake involved but I couldn't let what was there go to waste now could I? (Or the buttercream, either.) I also licked the serving spatula. (Is that bad?)

I knew it was wrong. I knew I shouldn't have. I knew I'd pay in the end.

But guess what?

I. Don't. Care.

It was totally worth it.


Friday, October 23, 2009

Is the grass greener on the other side? Or do I just like green, so I keep looking at it?

I can be kind of a walking contradiction. I'm very solitary by nature. Very quiet. Very independent. I like to be on my own and do things by myself. I'm actually kind of proud of all I've done on my own. But... I also spend a significant amount of time feeling like I don't quite fit in anywhere.

I was always kind of the "third wheel" friend growing up. Everyone had a group of friends. And I had friends. But not a group. So I'd get asked to birthday parties and the like, where everyone was invited. But I was also the person who'd get called to spend the night only if the first choice (or two) already had plans. And I was usually okay with that. I usually didn't care, because I was doing my own thing.

Even up into high school (and, really, college) plans would get made, and I'd usually be left out of them. Because I wasn't really part of a group. And that all kind of didn't bother me, because I was still happy to read a book, or whatever it was I was doing. But it also kind of did bother me, because a (smallish) part of me kind of wanted to be "that girl" with the friends and the social life. (I think the word is "popular." But I try to not use it, because it kind of gives me a queasy feeling.)

I'm still very solitary. I still do a lot (um, almost everything) by myself. And I still usually like that just fine, thankyouverymuch.

I still have a very small collection of friends, and they are not a "group" at all. They are all people that I know (and love dearly) independent of one another. And that's good. But sometimes I wonder if it wouldn't be fun, to, you know, go out with" the girls."

Even in my family (big wonderful collection of people that they are), I sometimes I wonder where I fit in there. I sometimes wonder if I fit in.

It's good that I found Hubby, because he's solitary, too. He'd also rather have a quiet dinner and go sip a warm beverage someplace quiet. To chat. To watch a movie. To go hiking. We're kind of our own group, now. And it's a good group. A very good group.

And, really truly, I like this solitary-ness that is my life. It's what I choose. Quiet. Calm. Laughing (and laughing) with Best Friend. Outdoors. Hot cocoa. Baked goods with Coffee Friend. Books. Hanging out with Hubby. Baking cookies. Shopping with Work Friend. Running. This is a good life.

But still..... Sometimes I just wonder what it's like on the other side.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

You Capture - Technology

Here's a little shout out to Nicolas Jacques Conte who is credited with a huge technological advance - the pencil. That rocks. Because writing with a quill and ink? Messy.

Check out more great leaps forward at Beth's.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Should I even be allowed out of the house like this?

This was me talking to the acupuncture clinic's answering machine today:

"I have a 4:00 appointment today that I need to cancel. I was hoping to reschedule it for some other time. Maybe Thursday? Or next week? I'm at work. But you can call me here. I'll answer the phone if I see it's you. We're not doing anything new or important today. The number here is 555.... NO! That's not the number here! That's home. Then number here is 444.... No, that's not it either. I don't know the number here. I mean, I do. I just can't remember it right now. I'll just call you back later. Like at lunch or something. When I can think. Or form sentences. Or something. I don't know. Thank you. Have a good day."

When I called back, they laughed at me for a full minute.

Then, when having dinner with Work Friend tonight we had this conversation:

Me: I've had a headache for, like, two weeks. Should I be worried?
Work Friend: Have you been drinking enough water?
Me: No.
WF: Have you been eating well?
Me: No.
WF: Have you been getting enough sleep?
Me: No.
WF: Are you under extra stress?
Me: Yes.
WF: No.

I'm going to sleep now.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Being a grown up kind of sucks sometimes.

So, when I was a kid, I used to play grown up all. the. time. I'd have a grown up imaginary name (usually something like Kristi) and a grown up imaginary husband (who was usually someone like Rick Springfield or Shaun Cassidy) and a grown up job (generally reporter or teacher) and a grown up imaginary car (it was usually red) and on and on. And I could. not. wait. to actually be a grown up.

Now I'm here. And I'd kind of like to go back. Just for a little bit, even. Because being a grown up can really kind of suck sometimes.

It's full of difficult decisions that have no real right or wrong answer, and that will wind up with some kind of unpleasant consequence no matter what you do.

And it's full of physical aches and pains that have no real cause or reason for being.

And it's full of emotional aches and pains that might not ever really go away no matter what you do.

And sometimes when you have to do what's right for yourself, it's not right for someone else, and they just don't understand. But you have to do it anyway.

And there are impossible decisions that have to be made, and you're the only one who can make them.

And sometimes it would be nice to go back in time to a place when my biggest decision was whether to wear the hot pink stirrup pants or the jeans with the zippers at the ankles. Just for a little bit.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

You Capture - Still Life


Be still at Beth's.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Imaginary Parent / Teacher Conference, at the Secondary Level

Thank you for coming today. Your presence here shows me just how much you love your child and care about them and their education.

Please be aware that I am a teacher. My job is to educate my students. I am told what I must teach by the nation/state/district, and I must cover that information to the best of my ability between August and June. I will do everything in my power, including but not limited to singing, dancing, talking in funny voices, bending over backward, and jumping through flaming hoops, to help my students learn the information I have to teach them. I will plan and present the most engaging lessons I can muster. I will lay before my students every single tool that I know of to help them learn. I will answer any question they ask to the best of my ability.

Please be aware that I do not have a magic wand. I cannot wave my magic teacher stick and turn each child I encounter, instantly, into a straight A student. I do not give grades. I evaluate work that students turn in to me, and I record the scores they earn through the effort they put forth.

Please be aware that, while I can lay everything your child needs to be successful in front of them, they must pick up the tools I provide and use them. I wish nothing more than for every child that walks through my classroom door to be successful. But I cannot make that happen. I can provide every opportunity and help in any and every way I can. And I will, every day. But each child, each student, must decide that it is important to them to learn, to succeed, to do the best they can. Each child must decide to work hard and do the best they can do, each and every day. Even when it's hard. And, although I wish I could, I cannot make that happen.

Neither can you. You can support the school staff. You can make your child's education the top priority (even over any sports or extracurricular activities they may be involved in). You can spend time with them. You can let them know that their best effort is what you expect in everything they do. You can help them with the tasks before them. (But please do not do those tasks for them - whatever they happens to be - because how can a child learn to be responsible if they are not given, and held to, responsibility?)

This child, your child, my student, must decide that it is important to them to learn, to succeed, to do the best they can, for themselves.

We can, and will, support, guide, assist, praise good choices, provide consequences for poor choices, and let each child know that their personal best is what we expect from them, and that for them to be healthy, happy, and safe is what we want for them.

And when this precious child chooses to give their personal best (whether that translates to the letter A or the letter C), they will be successful not only in school, but in the life for which school is preparing them.

So, I do thank you for coming in today. I hope we can all work together and support each other as we guide and encourage this child. Because if we can let this child know that they are loved, supported, cared for and respected, they will be much more likely to pick up and use these tools of education we set before them.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

You Capture - The Color Red

The spoils of a trip to Target.

You can see red at Beth's.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

I read all the books, but I do NOT remember that.

So, this caught my eye as I walked through my workplace today.


Work is just very interesting this week.

Monday, October 5, 2009

This must be how He-Man felt when he raised that sword over his head and yelled "I have the power!"

Today I held power in my hands. Real, actual, honest to goodness power.

This morning at the level meeting a decision had to be made. The count was four to four. I had not voted. Everyone looked at me. I would be the tie breaker.

I found myself in the unique, and possibly first time ever, position of being able to get exactly what I wanted; of being The One to make a decision that everyone else would have to follow.

And I liked it. I sooooo wanted to hold my sword (Or gel pen. Whatever.) in the air and say "By the power of Greyskull!"

Okay, so it was a relatively inconsequential decision. Whether or not to have classroom parties. And really, who cares? But still. I was the one holding the power. And, oh, did I wield that power. And all listened. And all agreed that my decision was good. And they'll all do what I said. Because they have to. (I think this is what it will feel like when I rule the world.)

Not bad for a Monday morning. Maybe this week won't be so bad.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Sometimes work is awesome. No. Wait. Sometimes awesome things happen at work. That's better.

So Friday morning I was standing in the parking lot having just arrived at work. I was taking pictures of clouds. Because I was really in a hurry to get into the building.

I have my camera pointed up at the sky, and I hear something faint, but coming closer. I think it's a vehicle. It sort of sounds like music. I look away from my view finder and see a very large, black pick-up truck (a Man's Truck, make no mistake about it) snaking it's way through the parking lot. It's vibrating from the music pouring from the speakers. And even though all the windows are rolled up, I can hear every note crystal clear. I'm pretty sure people eating breakfast in their kitchens across the street could, too. This ubermale pick-up is rockin' to The Warrior by Scandal. As in "Shooting at the walls of heartache. Bang, bang. I am the warrior."

And suddenly I fear I took some kind of wrong turn on my way to work and have wound up in Footloose. And I'm really thinking that out of this truck should come the guy who was Ariel's boyfriend before he beat the snot out of her, making her realize that Ren was really the one for her which she proved by giving him, you know, a music box. (Which is, I am sure, what every man wants as a token of love.) And truly, I have no idea who could possibly be the person behind the wheel of this truck. Especially after they pull in to the staff parking area.

So being oh so casual, as I am packing my camera away, I peer across my back seat and through the window to sneak a glance at who just drove out of Footloose and into my school. And I laughed out loud. Because it was the single most straight laced teacher in the whole building. Maybe the whole district. (The one who's beard and mustache are always impeccably trimmed. The one who's casual Friday jeans are always pressed. With a crease. ) And he is rocking out to Scandal. He is shooting down the walls of heartache. And I've just decided I like him a whole lot more.