Saturday, December 27, 2008

My TV Options on a Saturday Night

I must get cable. I'm not normally home on Saturday nights I guess because I never remember TV this bad. Here are my choices of shows to watch right now:

NBC--rerun of the Olympics opening ceremony. Seriously.

CBS--The Lord's Bootcamp, which seems like brainwashing to me when a young girl "practiced" her missionary work on an elderly woman in a nursing home in Indiania and left her crying.

ABC--Miracle, a decent movie, but not one I want to watch.

PBS--The Lawrence Welk Show. It's a rerun from 1971. A brass band dressed like jockey's are blowing their horns like crazy while a rhinestone-dressed cowboy sings "Running Wild" in front of a "Santa Anita" barn set design. I'm switching channels now while the Boston Mixed Choir sings "America, the Beautiful."

FOX--it's fuzzy, but there's no mistake what these cops are doing: "Bad boys, Bad boys, whatcha gonna do? Whatcha gonna do when they come for you?"

What should I pick?

Ahhhh.....I think I'll read a book. :)

Monday, December 22, 2008

"Missouri is in a Deep Freeze"

This was the news headline on the radio this morning before the weather, and I got a mental picture of the show-me state buried beneath the venison and round steaks in Kory's freezer. I don't know why.

But yes, we are in a deep freeze. It was 4 degrees when I took the trash out this morning. BRRRRRR.

Janet came to Missouri over the weekend for Christmas. We met at Snappy Mart for coffee while she and her dad, mom and aunt were in route to Licking for Christmas dinner. It was 48 degrees that day and cloudy and windy. She was freezing in her Texas thin leather coat. I wasn't even wearing a coat.

We are listening to Celine Dion's Christmas. She's singing The Christmas Song right now..."folks dressed up like eskimos...." Appropriate.

I got a new quilt and some homemade granola from Mary. I never went to bed last night, but slept all night bundled cozy in my new quilt on my new couch under the twinkling Christmas lights. When I was a child, we always had to turn the Christmas lights off when we were 1. gone from the house, and 2. when we went to bed. But Christmas night, we got to keep them on all night long. So exciting to get up and see the bubble lights still bubbling and presents under the tree.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Cheesecake Grinch

Now it's 6th block, and we're listening to "Swing Life Away" by Rise Against. I love IMEEM. You can find anything there and it gets around the school firewall. Which, my blog is finally around the school firewall, but only because our tech team finally gave teachers "getting around the firewall" priviledges.

Here's what just happened to me in the teachers lounge. Yesterday a teacher was absent because she couldn't get a babysitter and her children were out of school. So, like all effecient and tidy moms who are never behind in anything else in their lives, she baked all day with nothing else to do. :) The good news, we reaped the rewards of her lack of finding a babysitter. She brought in, hmmm, I don't know, maybe a roll of some kind, some macaroon-looking type of cookies, and small cheesecake bites that appeared to be covered in nuts and drizzled with chocolate and caramel.

Now those cheesecake bites looked like my thing. But, I was so busy this morning that I didn't step into the lounge where the food was, but I noticed it from the copy room (since they are attached.) The second time I rushed into the work room to make copies, I thought to myself I needed to grab one of those darling little bites. The teacher who brought these goodies was in the work room also so I thanked her for being so generous and bringing treats to the faculty....mind you, I still haven't had anything yet.

She says to me, "Well, if you like cheesecake, you need to try one of these because there's only one left, and I think they are good if I did make them myself."

I said: "Thanks, I will grab it." And I put in my copies to be made before heading to the cheesecake.

BUT....another teacher, male I might add, stepped in, grabbed the cheesecake piece left, and stepped out.

I said: "Did you just get the last cheesecake?"

He said: "Yep."

I said: "That's what she told me to get."

He said: "I know. But I've only fingered (yes, he used the word fingered) this part, so I'll split it with you."

I said: "GROSS! No thank you. I don't want anything you've fingered. You can enjoy it."

He said: "It sure is good....or do you want to tell me how bad it is?"

What a grinch.

Feeling This...

Today in class we are listening to Blink 182 and "Feeling This" is playing. I'm not particularly listening to the lyrics, although students are mouthing the words.

I'm feeling the Christmas spirit. :)

Shelby just reminded us that Christmas is one week from today. Yay. The kids are in a really good mood despite the fact that their finals start this afternoon and take them to the end of the school day on Monday.

I'm feeling the Christmas spirit. This morning I was feeling drained and weighed down by all the things I have to finish over Christmas break. But now, at this second to sit down and write for a bit, I'm feeling a little of it wash away. I know it will get done...hopefully sooner rather than later.

I'm feeling the Christmas spirit. Melanie returned my coffee mug this morning with a fresh, piping hot cup of Toasted Pecan. It's yummy. And warm. And soothing.

I'm feeling the Christmas spirit. Hannah brought me a Christmas mug full of malt balls. She had no idea I loved them so much.

I'm feeling the Christmas spirit. Ashleigh gave me a sign that reads: Dear Santa, I want it all." And I really do.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Pull out the couch and ask me how that makes me feel

4th block drives me insane. It is the reason teachers question their existence in the classroom, and think seriously about pursuing another career. It's the class that irritates me so much I want to scream, and then tells me stories that make me laugh so hard I can't even remember ever being mad at them. It's the class who makes up excuses and uses every second of the one minute I give them to gripe after handing out their assignments.
They pretend to be organized.
They never pretend they have their homework done.
They pretend to be interested. They never pretend that this class, at this moment in their lives, really means anything.
They are liars and they are sneaks. They tell story after story after story.
They bother me...often. And they never use their manners.
They are happy the highest grade in the class is an 82%, and they revel in their 42% class average. They are cruel and offensive and obstinate. They are funny and loving and yes, even smart...if they would do their work. I love them and I hate them. They are my catnip and my Kryptonite, my liverwurst and onions, my birth and death (this was Preston's idea.)
Anyway. 4th block. There's nothing better...and there's nothing worse. It's the trenches of education. Or, I should end this with their words..."Yous edumacated, Ms. Dardy."

Jukebox Hero

When I think about Christmas presents, I think about stockings and Cabbage Patch Dolls and race track cars and bibles and bicycles. But one gift that really sticks out in my mind is the jukebox from Christmas 1979...and it might have been 1980.

It was such a great gift that rather than sitting in my bedroom, the whole family enjoyed its radiance. Parked between the kitchen and dining room in our house in Gainesville, and I parked in front of it, staring at it work it's magic and drifting off places the beat would take me. The lower half of the jukebox was hard plastic, with disco lights behind it. Those lights were mesmerizing, and we'd turn out all the lights in the house just to watch them flicker to the beat of The Oak Ridge Boys "Elvira" or John Denver's "Country Boy." It's record player thrilled us with Alvin and Chipmunks albums and with the 8-track, we played Kermit strumming his banjo and wailing "Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection, the lovers, the dreamers, and me." Over, and over, and over again.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

White Christmas at the Gillioz...

Five dollar ticket, $2 popcorn, a century old theater, and watching White Christmas from front center balcony--this is where the magical night began.

Surrounded by chandeliers, tight theater seats, and gilded walls, we watched Bing Crosby woo Rosemary Clooney (my dad's first crush), while Danny Kaye and Vera-Ellen danced the night away. Bing's blue eyes mesmerized us and Rosemary's voice carried us to the ski chalet in the mountains of Vermont. We left singing Snow, Snow, Snow, Snow, in different octaves and spent the weekend wishing for the snow that finally fell Sunday night.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

My mind is MUSH!

It's Wednesday and I'm behind on grading and everything else in my life. I have a million things about work running through my head at every much so that I dream about the paperwork I have to do.

I can only say that all this distraction in my head caused me to 1.) talk back to the answering machine last night to my best friend, actually thinking she was talking to me.

And 2.) Back out of a Sonic slot this morning from getting a diet Coke and push the button to close my garage door.

Am I crazy? Let me rephrase for you: I am crazy.

When I got to work a few minutes ago...a rooster was crowing across the street. Is it just now time to get up?

Sunday, August 24, 2008

I've got soul but I'm not a Soldier

London Ready for 2012

What fun the Olympics have been. I forget how patriotic I become every four years, not for the the Presidential campaigns, but for the 17 days of excitement surrounding the performance of the world's greatest athletes. I am forever inspired...a story here...a story there...something always moves me to tears during the Olympic run.

The next summer Olympics will be in London in 2012, and after Beijing, what could any country do to top the fanfare of 2008? British commedian Matt Kirshen uses humor on Friday's All Things Considered with Robert Siegel.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Where I'm From

I’ve heard it been said that if you don’t know where you’re from, you’ll have a hard time knowing where you are going. This very idea helps us to think about our roots as we begin to know our place in the world. A few years ago I was introduced to George Ella Lyons poem called “Where I’m From.” I loved this poem and began writing my own “Where I’m From” each year. Today, I use it as a writing assignment for my students and hope it lends itself to a wonderful exploration of their past and sense of belonging in this world.

Click here to listen to George Ella Lyon read "Where I'm From."

My Where I'm From

I am from metal lunch boxes,
From Estee Lauder perfume on the bathroom counter, and tacos for dinner.

I am from the back yard swing set
A splintered redwood deck
A dusty ball court
A place to wash cars in the summer.

I am from heart-leaf philodendrons watered every Saturday,
The old English rose bush whose blooms clung to the bay window peeking inside.

I am from breakfast on Christmas morning.
And being resourceful.

From Susanne Mae and Geraldine and Grandpa J.
I am from workaholics and gardeners
From family men and weekends at the lake.
From “never say I told you so” and “kiss me goodnight.”

I am from church—twice on Sunday,
and Wednesday night bible class.
From Jordan’s Stormy Banks and Canaan’s Land.
I am from Brush Arbor singing and Dinner on the Grounds.
From Springfield, Missouri and Pennsylvania Dutch.

I am from homemade ice cream and Granny’s “Half as Much” pie crust.
Red-eye gravy and Springfield Cashew Chicken.

From dad, skipping class to shoot buckets,
and mom, changing into mini-skirts at the bus stop,
and the two of them stealing kisses in the ’55 Chevy two-door hardtop.

I am from the picture box, bursting at the seams,
old and sturdy,
that makes us laugh on Christmas eve.

On my way to the bathroom...Maroon Day 1

Whew! I'm tired! Maroon Day 1 was exhausting. I've been busy all summer but there's nothing that takes it out of you more than the first day back to school. Answering questions. Giving directions. Sorting schedules. Fixing the copy machine. Finding time to eat, drink, and go the bathroom...and that's usually where I'm stopped.

"Ms. Daugherty!" a student will yell, like one male student did today. I stop mid-step hoping I don't wet my pants in the middle of the freshman hall.

"Yes?" I reply.

"Are you the one I talk to about Senior Project?"

Oh good, this will be short. "Yeah. What do you need?"

"Well..." (uh, oh. not short.) "I was wondering if I could put a stereo system into my car for my Senior Project."

"I can't say yes for sure right now, but it sounds like a great idea. Let's talk about it in class." I start toward the bathroom again. I mean, obviously it's only the first day of school and I just haven't had this student in class yet. Otherwise, he would know that we will start Senior Projects on October 1.

"But I'm not a senior. I just wanted to get a head start."

Hold the bathroom break.

"OH. Well, in that case, I'll need a lot more information before you get started. And we'll need to write a plan," (hoping this will dissuade him.)

"I'm gonna"

"And I really only have time" I completely interrupt him, "to work with seniors working on their projects this year. You and I will need to meet later."

"Well," trying to convince me of the 'go ahead', "I would build the speaker boxes and everything, including putting all the sound equipment in."

Hmmph. I've got to get to the bathroom. "Well, come back and I'll talk a little more in-depth with you about it, but let's get school underway for a few more days before we meet again. I'll have time to think about it then."

Content with that, he was on his way to 4th block and I was racing to the bathroom!

So, it was encouraging to see fresh and friendly faces at school. Some students were dressed to for the occasion, wearing their best new school clothes...and some, well, the same old ratty jeans and t-shirts that seem to be the fashion of the day.

The funniest moment occurred when I got so tickled walking by Mr. Rodgers room and felt a rush of cool air coming from his classroom. This can only mean one thing: my room is a freezer! Mr. Rodgers likes his room cool, especially with nerves and anxieties that come with the first day of school and talking to a whole new group of strangers every block.

Overall, a great day at WSHS.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Psalm 131

My heart is not proud;
I don't look down on others.
I don't do great things,
and I can't do miracles.
But I am calm and quiet,
like a baby with its mother.
I am at peace, like a baby with its mother.

Put your hope in the Lord, now and forever.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

CHP Helicopter Pilots

All in a days work of a CHP Rescue Helicopter Pilot...which is what Tyler's doing now since last fall.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Questions....Can you answer them?

Here are a few random questions I was asked throughout the day...that I remember...and I don't think it scratches the surface:

Can I work in your room today?
What would you say if I told you I was finished with my paper?
Why do all wars start with religion?
Why won't people listen?
What did you think about the guitar playing?
Was it good?
How do I cut the part about macro invertebrates and still keep the same idea flowing in my paper?
Will you rap for us in class tomorrow?
What should I do to my product?
Did you like the play?
How do I shorten this?
Do you feel privileged?
Can you show me an example of a really good introduction?
What did you think of the sound effects?
Can you tell me if my Found poem fits with the second paragraph of my paper?
How will I ever pay for college?
If I wanted to get a loan, what do I need to do?
How much does college cost?
I've already been accepted, but when do I need to tell them I'm going to college there?
Do you know where I can get a job?
Do I have to work today?
Who would ever, in their right mind, read the entire book of Gone With the Wind?
Can we take a nap?
Can Eric stay in my classroom third block today?
Would you send Kurtis to the office?
What if I don't pass the placement exam?
Do I double-space the Works Cited page?
Do you have my flash drive?
What do you think Heaven is?
Do you think I should combine these two paragraphs and cut the part about salaries?
Do I double-space individual entries on Works Cited...even within the same entry?
How do I put this information in a graph?
Why does someone think a "bad" Christian is going to Heaven over, say, a good Muslim or Mormon?
What does forgiveness mean?
What do you think about me writing poems to start each section?
What do you suggest I start with in my introduction?
Do I have to combine all the characters right now to write a short story?
Can I use the movie "Super Size Me" as a source in my paper?
Can I go to the bathroom?
Can I get a drink of water?
Can I go to the library?
Can I go to lunch early?
What color is that?
Can we warm-up talk today?
Can we stop writing?
Can you proofread my resume, if you have time?
Do we have to go to school on Saturday?
When are you coming to look at our products?
Will you wait until after Alpha Rho Tau before you take the collage?
Can I write a poem about my daughter?
What did you think about Nickel and Dimed?
Can you come over on Sunday to see my Senior Project?
We've found a way to make $288,000, want to split it with us?
We're dropping out of school, what do you say to that?
Can you print my paper?
Do you want to see my bruise?
Will you write me a letter of recommendation?
Are you telling me "anyways" ain't a word?
What does "Not Yet" on my paper mean?
WHO got the "Approved by Ms. Daugherty" stamp?
Are you sure you know what you're doing?
Can we all just introduce ourselves?
When is spring break?
Can I read my writing out loud today?
Ms. Daugherty, why you lookin' at me like that?
Would you read this for me and tell me what you think about the storyline?
Is there a way to call outside of the school?
Can I check this book out?
Did you like The Horse Whisperer?
Would you cover my lunch duty on Tuesday?
Have you had a piece of cake today?
Are you wanting something from McDonald's?
What could we do for our senior prank?
Can you believe we worked the entire block?
What do you think is right about religion?
If I had two different jobs but at the same place, are those two different bullets on my resume?
Is something wrong, Ms. Daugherty?
What magazines would you like to keep for next year?
What does it mean to write visually?
Am I the "responder" of the paper? Or am I the "author"?
Do I put my name there?
Which title do you like?
Why are you always running out of post-it notes?
How did you get so happy?
At what point do we stop all this nonsense?

What Teachers Make

What It Feels Like to Be a Teacher