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Showing posts from May, 2012

A "Wasit" Weekend

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Geese family visiting the resort. Memorial weekend at the lake is a time for family.  Everyone here had family at one time or another over the weekend.  Saturday started a little cool and cloudy, but it didn't stop us from enjoying the weekend. Rock throwing The grandkids never want to be inside, even the littlest one. Max is 17 months and really just finding his words.  So whatever we did, wherever we went, "Wasit?" Like his older brother and sister, one of his favorite things to do is throw rocks in the lake (it really should be filled by now).   First swim of the season. The older two, of course, wanted to swim. We held them off as long as we could, but when the sun came out, they went in.  At first, they were the only two swimming, but it wasn't long before most of the kids were in the water with them, while the adults in beach chairs on shore and shivered just thinking about swimming.  This grandma just smil

Expressions of Love

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Yesterday was the last day of school. This morning I woke up to a snowstorm.....of toilet paper. I'd been TP'd.  (I don't know how or where this tradition started, but I know it's been going on forever.  Kids did it when I was in high school.) The scene made me chuckle as I put Chloe outside.  It took me back to my 50th birthday. My birthday fell on a Saturday that year. It was also the day of state speech contest, so I spent the day with my speech kids. I brought cupcakes and celebrated with my students. When I got home at about 7, a party was in place. My husband and sons had planned a small surprise party for me. It was great. Friends and family, lots of fun, Now, some of those friends and family smoked. So, there was usually someone outside having a cigarette.  My friend came in after one of those cigarette breaks. "Deb, I caught some kids trying to TP your house. A car pulled up, a couple of kids got out and started throwing rolls of toilet paper at

Christmas Week

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So, maybe I am overdoing the end of the year posts, but I'm like a little kid the week before Christmas. I'm being really, really good. I graded one class of study guides and Romeo and Juliet tests FRIDAY NIGHT (I never do homework on a Friday night!) I graded the other class's study guides and tests Sunday night. I graded Speeches. The above two took FOUR hours Sunday night. I stayed after school until 5:30 last night and graded all the Creative Writing portfolios.  I graded the speeches that were presented Monday and the late turn ins of study guides when I got home last night. Students are done today at 12:15. I am done Wednesday at 3:00 (at least I hope I have everything done by then). By Thursday afternoon, I hope to be at the lake.   My husband is very busy this week.  He's an offset pressman (prints newspapers). Their deadline is for Memorial Day is early, so he thinks it may be late on Friday before he can leave. If it's too

A Teacher's Wish

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I first posted this poem back in January. But today is graduation day, so I wanted to share it again. I think all teachers feel as I do and hope they have given their students everything they need as they make their way in the world.  So, for all graduates, but mostly for the Crestwood High School Class of 2012, here's my wish. Wings To The World I hope to give you wings to soar above the world spreading your message  of passion, enthusiasm, and love. I hope to give you wings to fly through the world finding those who validate you and  support your dreams. I hope to give you wings so  you may sail through the  troubled times you experience  and rise above them. I hope to give you wings so you may flit and float and flutter for  fun without worrying what the fun-haters think. I hope to give you wings.

Explosion in Room 25

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We've all had a class like this. The one where a Ritalin salt lick would be a good thing. This is my fourth hour class.  And today, with only three days left of school, it is hard to contain them, yet alone, engage them... 10:47 The bell rings. They slide into seats, beg for the bathroom, talk a little smack with each other. "Hey. What did you do in English?" "Mrs. Day, can I go to the bathroom, PLEASE?" "Where's Pitz? Is he skippin' again?" "I'm here. I don't skip" "Sam, are you first today?" "Hey, Mrs. Day. I think Sam's ready to go." He stands at my podium--actually, he is draped over it. All arms, legs, and mouth. I swear, the boy never stops moving or talking. There is an easy fluidity to his movements. "Yea, Mrs. Day. I'm ready." "Give me a second. I'm taking attendance." We begin.  There are five "graduation" speeches scheduled in this class

I Just Can't Help It

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It's a beautiful day in northeast Iowa. Sun is shining. Birds are singing. And I am "stuck" in the classroom. I know. That sounds so negative.  I don't mean to be, but like the kids I teach, I am ready to be done.  I'm trying to make the last few days (5) as engaging as possible, but it's tough.  I hate the phrase "winding down" because it seems like that means we aren't doing anything. BUT Make no mistake, we are doing things--- We are putting together writing portfolios and and reflecting on the journey we have been on this semester We are putting the finishing touches on "graduation" speeches to be delivered in the next few days Act 5 of Romeo and Juliet  awaits us.   BUT My view from the deck I can't help think of summer and all I want to do: Spend as much time as I can at the lake READ The Maze Runner trilogy Work on "flipping" creative writing--videos, powerpoints, handouts, et

Today We Walk

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Yesterday was our district's annual "Cadets for a Cause" Day. ( I wrote about it last year here ). Every building in the district was there, plus the parochialIt was a beautiful day and there were lots of activities going on: The high school kids went to activities like this rock climbing wall. There was kickball, dodgeball and paintball to keep them busy also. And, of course, they walked in memory of those they knew with cancer or had lost to cancer.  As a journal topic in creative writing the day before, I asked my students who they were walking for on Wednesday.  Every student, but one, had someone in their life to walk for.  1 out of 40. Some took some time out to dance to the music the DJ was playing. There were lots of activities for the elementary and junior high students also. Many of our high school kids helped out at these activities.  There was soccer and bouncy houses and the ever popular train!

Can't Never Did Anything

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An ostrich. That's what he always reminded me of. A very tall man, he wore black framed glasses that always seemed to be at the end of his Jimmy Durante nose.  He was about as big around as a corn stalk, with the longest, skinniest legs I'd ever seen on human being. He could sit in a chair, cross the left leg over the right,  then tuck the left foot behind the right leg and have both feet FLAT on the floor. Really. Try it. Then get back to me. He scared the crap out of me the first time I had him for class. It seemed like he bellowed all the time. He didn't, but it seemed like it. He treated everyone the same, whether they were in plays or not. If you took a speech or drama class from him, then you better be ready to perform. And you better do your best. When he came up to me and asked me to try out for the school play, I was afraid to say no. But I was also thrilled. That was Mr. Gail Niceswanger (how'd you like that name as a high school teacher?)--my high

Chloe Speaks: The Weekend

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 Day after day Mom and Dad leave, and I get left in the kitchen. No one home, nothing to play with (except once in awhile when they forget to put the garbage can in the bathroom and lock the door).  But I can always tell when we are going somewhere. The kitchen fills up with boxes and bags of stuff.  And now it's lake time, so we go ALL the time. I heard them talking earlier last week about maybe not going to the lake 'cause it was supposed to rain and stuff. I'd rather stay home then too. It's boring at the lake when all we get to do is sit inside.  We don't get to go for walks and stuff and no one ever comes to visit. Anyway, Friday comes and the boxes and bags are packed and ready to go. But it is yucky outside. Blah. It's going to be a terrible weekend,  I think. But once, when I leaned over the front seat for a hug, Mom told me to be patient because I was going to get to see my BFF Bella!!!! I perked right up then. But when we got to the cabin, no B