Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Unpacking and organizing 25 boxes of stuff is not easy work, especially with the usual beginning of the year tasks that need to be taken care of. But, I'm not complaining. Really, I enjoy seeing the daily progress that I'm making in the classroom. I walked in yesterday to a few tables and the same 25 boxes I packed up last June. By the time I left this afternoon half of the boxes were unpacked, tables were set in the usual seating arrangement, the computer was hooked up and my desk was starting to take shape. The concrete evidence of my work gave me instant gratification.
Teaching provides an enormous amount of gratification, however it doesn't always come so quickly...not as quickly as the time it takes to unpack a box of books.
Monday, August 30, 2010
I dislike the food sign-up sheet. I've taken a few classes in the past few years and food sign-up is always the first order of business. Why? We are adults; we are capable of throwing an extra apple or granola bar in our bag and heading off to a class or curriculum area meeting. Food sign-up is not only a major inconvenience... it also becomes competitive.
The first class or meeting of the year usually starts off innocently enough with a bag of tortilla chips, some salsa and maybe some carrots and dip. Time marches on and as it does people feel the need to do a little more. By the last meeting of the year there usually a pizza, homemade guacamole, all kinds of cut up vegetables and, of course, freshly prepared hummus.
It's too darn much. I'll feed myself thank you, it's much easier than trying to feed thirty people.
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Saturday, August 28, 2010
Friday, August 27, 2010
Thursday, August 26, 2010
It was a great afternoon. The water temperature was perfect, a little chilly but refreshing.
The evening was capped off by dinner at a great place. The Grove Market has all of about 8 tables. Getting a table tonight was some sort of miracle. It's the kind of place that has no menu; the waitress just lets you know what the chef has decided to cook for the evening. For us it was smoked fish appetizers, crab salad, flounder duck, scallops and grouper. All of it was topped off with a bit of wine and for dessert, some kind of awesome coconut cake.
It was all good, made even better with good friends.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Sure, it would have been better to put the money towards rent, but sometimes, especially when in your twenties, doing the right thing is easily overlooked.
Maybe it's because I spent most of my school career through high school looking into a brown sack to find another PB & J sandwich and a ring ding.
When I worked at the Smithsonian the other GS-5ers and I would have leisurely lunches that started as soon as our boss left and ended almost 90 minutes later. When questioned we let him know that we left for lunch at 12:45, about 15 minutes before he was scheduled to return. It was dishonest. We'd leave 1o to 15 minutes after him and head to places like Armand's for the all you can eat pizza bar or the Tune Inn on the hill for great, greasy burgers. Sometimes we'd nap on the mall, if it was cold we'd head to the Hirshorn Museum for a nap on the comfy, leather couches found on the third floor.
During the school year my lunch hour is only 35 minutes. It doesn't leave time for napping or wandering around town. I pack my own lunch, and it's hardly ever a PB& J.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Today's school leadership conference was six hours long, with a few breaks here and there. I filled 14 sheets of my new, red composition notebook. The word accountability was scribbled in several places.
Of all the notes I took there are two phrases that stick out to me:
"We're in the business of getting students to grow, not in the business of punishing them."
"We are leaders, and remember leadership needs to be continually moving forward."
Go, go, go...grow, grow, grow.
Monday, August 23, 2010
I'm happy to say that I haven't had to hear the high-pitched whirr of the drill in quite a few years. Dr. H was happy to tell me it had been some seven years since I'd had a filling. He went on to tell me that my teeth should continue to do well, no need to worry about cracked bicuspids and crowns for another ten years or so.
Good to know.
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Air travel can be a pretty nice thing.
Saturday, August 21, 2010
There was great food, good weather, a bit of shopping and good friends.
All in all, a darn good day.
Friday, August 20, 2010
One friend ordered a Cosmopolitan, the other some sort of martini with a juicy name, something like Pomegranatini or Cranberrytini...whatever it was I certainly didn't consider it a real martini.
Sitting in my red leather chair, looking around at the dark walls with darker wallpaper inlaid in rectangular patterns throughout the place there seemed to be no other cocktail option.
Having never ordered such an adult-like drink I decided to text a friend for advice.
"How do I order a martini? Dry?"
The response was quick: "Dry, up, extra olives."
And then there was a small postscript: "Good night ladies!"
Goodnight, indeed. My brain is in Eastern Standard Time, my body is in the Central Time Zone and with a swirl of gin down the hatch I'm happy to be upstairs in my room with the bed turned down.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
This summer I've decided to embrace the last few days of my break. Whatever isn't done by next Thursday isn't getting done on a summer schedule. It will just have to be fit in to the free time I have outside of my work schedule. Thursday morning I'm heading to the beach to relish in the last few days of a nice summer break. My goal is to embrace the time on the beach with friends without thinking about the stress and work that the beginning of the school year is certain to bring.
I think I'll even stay for dinner on Sunday night.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
While away at college it was always exciting to find a letter tucked away in my post office box. Junk mail hadn't found me in Southern Maryland so if there was anything showing through the small window of PO Box 268 it was most certainly a letter from a friend or family member.
I got a good deal of mail during the four years I was away at school. However, of all the letters I receive my favorite was the one I received from my grandmother. When I opened the envelope in the post office I found a small piece of paper folded neatly into thirds. Tucked inside was a five-dollar bill.
The letter was short and to the point:
Here's five dollars. Go get yourself a sandwich.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Oh yeah, have you tried the cantaloupe out there?
Monday, August 16, 2010
With two weeks to go I'm on track to accomplish what I set out to do this summer. Knowing that makes me feel good. The last closet gets a cleaning tomorrow, sometime before my afternoon doctor's appointment.
Sunday, August 15, 2010
I maneuvered through the day with slow intent. There were a few chores I hoped to complete today. Nothing too large, those kinds of chores are saved for later in the week. At the end of the day I am content with the progress I made.
It was...a good day.
Saturday, August 14, 2010
"It smells like you in here! Everything of yours smells like you...your house, your car...it all smells like you!"
I was startled and unsure if this was a compliment or a problem I needed to work on.
"Is that a good or bad thing?" I asked.
Older brother Danny piped in, "Oh, it's a good thing. It's a good smell."
What a relief.
Friday, August 13, 2010
For some reason my silly little blog has. Maybe it's because I know that there are three, maybe even four or five people, that read it on a regular basis. Whatever it takes. I'm here tonight with very little to say and twenty minutes to spare. I'm pretty sure I'll be back tomorrow as well.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
It's the kind of question that I've never thought about. Well, until today when I had the opportunity to look through the purse of my great-aunt who died over 20 years ago. I was helping my mother pack up her house in preparation for moving day tomorrow. There were two purses on the top shelf of her closet, one belonged to my great-aunt, the other to my grandmother-my mother's mother-who died seven years ago.
My mother remarked that she'd never looked in either one. Today seemed like as good a time as any.
I think the most interesting thing about the experience was the items common to both purses. Namely...newspaper clippings... obituaries and wedding announcements. My aunt had quite a collection of pictures. Included in the assortment were, of course, pictures of her many nieces and nephews as well as a collection of shots from her retirement in the late 1960s. My grandmother had a few pictures and clipped obituaries as well. She also had the mass program from my sister's wedding and a postcard I'd sent her from Florida in 1983.
It seems like these days women have a different purse for every outfit. I know for myself, that the obituaries I have clipped are stuffed in the top drawer of my dresser. Every time I use a different purse during the year I find the same few items: lip balm, tissues and a little bit of pocket change.
My apologies to whoever gets to go through my purse after my demise, it won't be nearly as interesting as my experience today.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Apparently, they've been chewing on the cable wire that runs behind the kitchen cabinets as well. I can't imagine that the plastic coating on the coaxial wires tastes that good, but who can tell what the palate of a mouse is like. Is it possible that the coating is something akin to "the other white cheese" in mouseland? To each his own I suppose, but this strange craving is creating havoc with my internet signal.
The Comcast technician showed up today to repair my internet connection that went out last week. His fancy equipment indicated the signal coming into the house was weak. It's confusing to me since the signal coming in is strong enough for television reception. Apparently the internet signal is a different kind of animal. A check on the outside showed that the signal was fine coming from the outside, but lost a good deal of juice on the inside. The cable coming in would need to be replaced.
Unfortunately, my 1940s townhouse is a somewhat of a cable-wiring nightmare. The line comes in somewhere behind the kitchen cabinets and is pretty much inaccessible. So, it's time to rewire the house--something else to add to next week's "to-do" list since this week is already pretty much booked up.
Maybe I should add call the exterminator to that list.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Leadership has its privileges...or is it pitfalls? Whatever the case may be, I will be in possession of those very cards later this week when I meet with the team leader from the other sixth grade team and the grade level counselor. We will do our best to sort the students into two equal teams. I think we do a pretty good job and really, I always enjoy the process. It's tough to get a feel for a breathing pre-adolescent from a data and ink on a grouping card. The real fun comes a few weeks later when students and teachers meet for the first time.
Monday, August 9, 2010
This week I do believe it's necessary to include...drum roll please...charging for air at the gas station. Yes, in many places it costs 50 cents for a little air in the tires. I guess free air has gone by the wayside, along with the Texaco man who would run out to pump the gas and clean the windshield.
I suppose it's bothered me for sometime now. However, it wasn't until I was stuck a half-mile from home with a flat tire on my bike that paying for air found it's way on the list. Really, should it cost me the same 50 cents to fill my tiny little bike tire that it costs some guy, or gal, in a Ford F-150 pickup?
I just don't think so.
Sunday, August 8, 2010
With a new modem hooked up I was sure it would take nothing more than a quick call to the cable company to be up and back online. Not quite. A home visit is scheduled for Wednesday morning.
In the meantime, I'd like to thank whoever is providing me with a weak, but free and unsecured Wi-Fi signal.
Saturday, August 7, 2010
Friday, August 6, 2010
The report from Thursday at 6:30 pm:
I’m sitting in the dark. The sun doesn’t go down for another two hours, but it’s already dark in my house. A storm with the energy of none I’ve seen in awhile swept through the area about two hours ago leaving a path of wind swept leaves, downed power lines and tree limbs in its wake. The most intense part of the storm lasted less than 15 minutes, but those few moments made for quite the rock and roll show.
I’m fortunate in that my house has always been untouched by power outages. In the ten years I’ve lived here I’ve lost power three, maybe four times. It’s never been out for more than two or three hours, and even in the midst of Hurricane Isabel a few years back when friends lost power for days on end I suffered nothing more than a flicker.
The first report from Dominion Power indicated I would be back in business by 7:00 pm. However, after a quick drive through the neighborhood and a survey of the damage I wasn’t too surprised when the latest update changed the time frame to more like 11:00 pm. Certainly, I should be able to be off the grid for 7 hours. Actually, it’s nice. It’s quiet except for the sounds of tweeting birds and gentle rainfall outside my back door.
I just wish I could find my headlamp.
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
I've been making steady progress in that area. Today's donation included an old DVD player, a small assortment of clothes, books, a hummingbird feeder, and a picnic basket.
A picnic basket always seems like something every person should have. It's not something I'd buy for myself, of course, but I liked knowing it was stashed away in my closet just in case a picnic came a calling. I think I've used it twice, maybe three times, in the 16 years I've owned it. Even so, it survived many a summer clear out. Well, until this year.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Yes, it's only my lack of motivation that has kept you and your mousey little friends untouched.
Be aware. I went over to that quirky little hardware store today and stocked up on traps. Tomorrow I will get down on my knees, clean out the droppings of evidence and step up my attack.
If you're smart, you'll make yourself scarce and move on to someone else's kitchen. If not, I'll happily find someone else to clean up your demise.
Monday, August 2, 2010
At 11:00 this morning I was still in my PJs, sipping coffee as I worked through today's crossword puzzle. Shameful.