Saturday, January 28, 2012

Everything is funny as long as it happens to someone else

I was a walking "Funniest Home Video" this week... too bad I don't have a video camera on me 24/7.

Let's do a quick recap of this week...

Tuesday night Sam wanted a yogurt before bed.  He took one or two bites and said it tasted funny.  We had had take out and I told the boys to put all of their trash into the brown paper sack that the take out came in.

Fast forward to Wed. morning - It's trash day. It's time for us to leave when I remember this little tid bit. So, I  scoop up the paper take-out bag, put it on my hip and then I grab my bag, my coat, my purse. I drop my stuff off in the car and I make it to the outside trashcan. Right after I drop it in, I realize I have gunk on my hand. "What in the world??" It takes a few minutes for my brain to process that the gunk on my hand went with the soured yogurt that had busted through the brown paper sack and was now running down my side - all over my pants and shoe. Cussing under my breath, I made it back through the house only to find yogurt drips in multiple places on my carpet that had leaked on the way out. Ten minutes later, I left my house again... I was redressed, but I'm pretty sure I reeked of sour dairy. Blech.

Friday - I did a quick stop at the bank before heading to a movie with my friends. I don't ever seem to park at the bank drive thru where I can successfully reach the bank tube. Which, in turn, causes me to hang halfway out of my car window to just get the tube back into the little slot. So, as I'm doing this (hanging out my car window), I am also trying to close the tube.  Don't ask me how I managed to do it, but I closed/smashed the palm of my hand in the tube. Again, it took a few seconds for my brain to process what was happening. By the time that I did, I was in pain and couldn't manage to get the tube back open. I was slinging the tube around and trying to open the clasp all in one. I'm sure it was only seconds, but the pain in my hand made it feel like hours. I'm sure if the bank tellers were watching they got a good kick out of me and were probably saying, "dumb a**."

Saturday - The boys are done with their basketball games. I have in my hands - my purse, my camera bag, Sam's basketball shoes, a book bag, and my Sonic drink. (What can I say... I'm a mom.) I'm looking for my keys. I go to grab them with the hand that is holding the Sonic drink. I feel the lid begin to slip. My first reaction is to jump back. The cup falls to the ground, busts open, and covers me in slushy. This time, my brain reacted fast enough... but it still didn't save me.  I did feel though that I could be considered a member of "Glee". (See pic below if you don't watch the show)

yeah... I don't think I will go trying anything death defying this week... doesn't seem like the odds are in my favor.  However, if you would like to follow me around with a camera, chances are you'd get some good footage. :)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

she doesn't care, but her eyes tell a different story

I thought I was past it.
I thought that even though I had some strife with the mean girl at the beginning of the year, I had managed to get past it.
Even though I didn't have my bestie to stand strong with me against her, I just closed my door and carried on in my own little world.
I thought I was past it.
Then I got my student teacher.... My wonderful student teacher.
I felt horrible that I was keeping him closed off.
It's not how I really am...
I want him to experience everything that should be happening in a school building.
So... I opened my door...
In turn, I opened myself up to hurt.

You see... our grade level had a meeting this morning.
All six of us.
After the meeting was over, we all got up to leave.
Isaac and I were the first to head out.

Less than 5 min later, I remember I had forgot something in the room we had met in.
I walk in.
All five of the other teachers are sitting at the table.
Their conversation stops.
I ask, "What's going on?"
"Oh... we're just planning Science."

Do I care that they are planning it without me?
No. not really.
Am I hurt that they didn't even bother to ask?
Took all of me to keep it inside and not cry... or scream... or yell.

It put me in a fog that I couldn't shake all day.
I really am trying to be a good mentor here...
Just would be nice to have others around aiding in that process.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Attitude is a little thing that makes a BIG difference

My student teacher, Isaac, started on Wednesday.
To say he is a God-send, would be an understatement.
He has only been with me 3 days and already I have learned as much from him than he has learned from me.
His observations are those of an outsider.
I don't have those "fresh" eyes anymore... I have been in the depths long enough that (even thought I love my job), I am oblivious to many of the goings on.

Example: He told me (after 2 days of eating lunch in the teacher's lounge) exactly which teachers are "done".  (He also followed it up with that he is happy he was placed with a teacher who is not.)

You see... I hear the complaints, the mumbles and groans of my colleagues... but that it is normal conversation....  one that I don't even acknowledge as being anything but normal anymore. And it's hard not to fall into that trap myself.

Having a fresh outside observer though, has reminded me that I haven't always taught around people that are like this.  Most love what they are doing and that is why they are doing it.

I have also learned with Isaac being in my classroom that I have been starved for adult interaction this year. In the past, I would walk next door to my bestie's (Laura) room and discuss my night or my morning.  We shared everything.  With her moving to 2nd grade this year, I have made attempts to go see her, but it isn't convenient to travel down to another part of the building every morning when things need to be done.  I have felt outside of the group of the other third grade teachers.  So, I have kept to myself.  The thing is... with Isaac in the room, I have talked non-stop.  I'm sure he probably wonders if I talk even in my sleep. I guess you could say, I'm filling him up.  I filling him up with stories of struggles and things that make me laugh. I want him to know that all of this isn't easy, but it is worth it.

He also helped me see that it's okay when things don't always go as planned.
Don't get me wrong... I knew this already.
I am a teacher and I adjust accordingly multiple times a day.
But on Friday, I went to use our CPS clickers (Think remotes that kids can use to answer test questions) and halfway through the test half the batteries died.

I walked past Isaac and said, "Well... That was an epic fail." 
(Looking back, I'm embarrassed with my negativity... things like this happen on a daily basis.  You adjust and move on.)
He responded, "Yeah... but we learned from it. We learned that we need new batteries before we use these again.  And isn't that what it's all about?... learning?"
I smiled, "Yes. Yes, it is.  Thank you for the reminder."

Yeah... I think the next 16 weeks are going to be an unbelievable journey!!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Why I'm okay with making up a snow day on MLK Jr day

I love teaching equal rights to my students.
It is so hard for most of them to fathom a person being treated differently for the color of their skin and I love that!

I grew up in an area of the country that racial colors were not prominent. I grew up in an area where there were a lot of German farmers ...blond hair and blue eyes is a lot of what I saw.  But, somehow, even without having that contrast I still knew everyone I met or saw was the same... should be treated the same.

I can remember the first time that I met my ex, R's aunt.  She is from the south.  She had very strong (and wrong) views of "colored" people (as she called them).  She went as far to say, "I even had a little colored boy in my class this year that could actually learn." My jaw dropped and R. begged me to keep my mouth shut.  Fifteen years later and I can still hear her say it clear as day.  Fifteen years later and it still chills me to the bone.

So every year I teach my lesson.  I tell my students of the pain and struggles our country has gone through to get to where we are today so everyone has the same rights.

Then I have them write about inequality.

yeah... I think they got the message.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

My New Year's Resolutions... it's NEVER too late to decide to change

I know. I know. Resolutions... who really wants them?
I think this year they come for me more out of need than want.

My bout of being down in the dumps over Christmas really made me over-analyze my life.

So... here is what I have come up with...

This year I need to improve myself:

  • mentally 
  • spiritually
  • emotionally
  • physically
Mentally... I need to get "right" with myself. There is still a lot of hurt that I have managed to bury and it occasionally creeps out. I need to get rid of it completely so it doesn't have to creep any more. I am way too hard on myself sometimes...I expect perfection when I know perfection is not even close to being a possibility. I see my children putting undue pressure upon themselves. Unfortunately, I know they get that from me. I want to change that. I need to accept me for me.  The good and the bad.  I need to allow others to treat me well (because I deserve it... yes, I have to repeatedly self-talk myself through this one).  I need to remember that no one else but ME needs to forgive me for past doings.(It's so much easier to ask for and accept forgiveness from someone else.)

Spiritually... I need to do a better job of being a spiritual example to my children. I need to become more involved in my church and push for the changes that I want to see happen.

Emotionally... Hand-in-hand this one and the mentally healthy one are skipping along as best friends right now.  When I have resolved the hurt and the need for perfection, I won't be on the emotional roller coaster again that I was on over Christmas.

Physically... I just need to get back to being tone.  To be able to chase after my boys and not feel like an old woman.  I was there this summer.  I fell off the "keeping fit" bandwagon right after Thanksgiving. I need to remember... Don't give up! Push hard. Push through.

I have decided that above all... this will be my motto this year:
Live your life to the fullest. Never regret.

What resolutions did you come up with this year?  Have you already broken them?

Monday, January 9, 2012

It only takes a spark to get a fire going

Let me start out by saying that I'm not some ├╝ber religious person. I believe in God and Jesus and in living my life right.  I don't have any desire to push my religious beliefs on you... or for you to do that to me.  I am involved just enough in my church to feel like I play a part.  I guess you could say that I have a very lax attitude when it comes to my church life.

I haven't always been this way.  I can remember in high school being on fire for Jesus.  I wanted anyone and everyone to come to church and youth group with  me. I truly  had that love and wanted to share it.

However, that "feeling" hasn't been part of me for a long time....  but I truly believe things happen for a reason.

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine asked me to join a committee at church.  Our pastor retired a couple months back and a planning committee was being formed to decide what our church's needs and wants are.

You see... I go to my church. I enjoy the people of my church. But I don't feel like my church meets all of my needs.  Do I complain?  Well, no.  That's not my nature. It's also not my nature to quit something just because my needs aren't met (Guess that's why I stayed in my marriage - but that is here nor there now)  Once I'm committed, I'm there for the long haul. And up until now... I had never been asked my opinion about how I viewed the workings of my church.

Tonight was eye opening for me.
I saw that others saw the same short comings as I did.
The same reasons I have been hesitant to give myself fully to my church are the same reasons why others have pulled away.

It's strangely liberating.

We have decided we aren't going to sit idly by any more... that this is our church!  So, in moving forward, we are going to make it the best one yet and we are going to get someone in the pastoral position that feels the same way.

There might be a spark left in me after all...

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Children are likely to live up to what you believe of them.

I just have to say... I couldn't be a prouder momma.

I know I expect a lot from my boys.
I know I try to teach them what is good and right... but when they display that... and others take notice... that is a true sign they are listening.

Sam was chosen as his school's Citizen of the Month for exemplary behavior and was recognized at the school board meeting.

Colby was chosen for a character award at his school for demonstrating the character trait of Compassion - Caring for others.

Yeah... beaming from ear-to-ear here!!!

Friday, January 6, 2012

If you truly want honesty, don't ask questions you don't really want the answer to

I despise telemarketers.
I am on the no call list, but I still get the occasional call.

Today was one of those days.
I saw it on my caller ID, but I decided that I would tell whomever was calling to take me off their list.

It was from XM radio.
I had their service... now let me tell you up front I loved my XM because my part of the country is about 6 months behind the rest of the country when it comes to music.  I would hear a song on XM and be tired of it before it even breached my local radio station. (and then would laugh when my local radio station would say "Here's a new release from so-and-so")

My problem with XM was their service... not the one provided to me, but the people I dealt with. I was told I would get a year's free worth of service. I got 3 months. When I decided to pay for an additional 6 months, I gave my credit card info that day. Nine months later, I received a call from a collection agency for said bill.

For someone who always pays their bills on time, I was pissed!!!

So... today... when the woman on the other line said, "I'm from XM and just so you know this call is being recorded for quality assurance purposes.  Can you tell me why  you left our service?" I let know exactly why.

Strange, but she didn't try to stay on the line with me OR try to get me to re-join their service.
Betcha I don't get any more calls from them.... and I'm okay with that.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Santa might be late, but he is NEVER wrong

Thanks to the help of a wonderful friend... I was able to get something I have been wanting for a long time.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Resolutions?? Who needs them?? Oh yeah... Me.

I wish I believe about myself how Calvin views himself... would have made this past week a lot easier.
While my boys were gone, I had a LOT of time to analyze myself and my life.
Great if you are trying to come up with New Year's resolutions... not so great if you are trying to stay positive.

I was in the "Whoa is me" state and I was telling a friend how everyone believes that I deserve more than for me than I believe for myself. That's when they said, "Yeah, I don't get it Dawn.  You deserve to have it all and then some.  Don't ever let yourself think that you don't. But the thing is... that isn't the side of Dawn we all see... I have always thought of you as a very brave and confident person."

I went on to tell them that I think that maybe I am great at putting on a good front. I have done it most of my life, but I don't think I am brave most of the time. Resilient maybe, but brave, no.

I also think people misconstrue happiness for confident. I know I haven't been confident in myself most of my life, but I can definitely say that I have been happy. And happiness ISN'T overrated!

I think they also view my outgoingness as being confident... to some it might be two in the same... but for me it is not.  I am outgoing so I don't end up shy in a corner somewhere... trust me, I have already lived that part of my life (and those tendencies still reside within me). I am loud and boisterous because who can ignore the loud one??  I'm also outgoing because I know what it feels like to be left out... excluded.  I figure if I'm the "outgoing one", I get to pick whether or not someone gets invited along... and trust me, I look for the people that look like I used to look (and how I still sometimes feel) and I make sure they are included.

Does it make me popular?  Sometimes.
...But not always. Strange as it sounds, not everyone wants everyone to be included.
I've decided teachers are worse than catty high school girls.
Have I told you I purposefully didn't hang with those girls in high school??

Our staff wrote kind words to one another as a present this year.
Someone wrote on mine "A big ball of sunshine who brightens everyone's day."

So... I guess my resolution is... To live up to the person others view me to be... and actually believe it about myself.

What resolutions did you decide on this year?