Saturday, September 29, 2007

Friday on my mind

My last class of the day is physics. So you can imagine what mental state my students are in on a Friday afternoon! (me too, quite frankly). I try & make most Fridays a review of some sort, but this week we were actually learning new stuff.

At one point, a student was recalling the equation W=mg, but he accidentally said it equalled bg. Being the sort of person that I am, I said, "No, the answer is not a disco group from the 70s."

As the words left my mouth, I thought "oh dear, I'm the only one who's going to get that."

So imagine my delight when the other students piped up - 'oh yeah! they had [insert famous BeeGee song titleshere]'

I was feeling better.... until 2 girls broke into a rendition of "Manic Monday" (it's just another manic Monday...), thinking that was a BeeGees song.

Sigh. I guess it's hard to keep track of all those bands when you were born in the 90s.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

On the other side of the table

I went to my first parent-teacher conference today. As in, the first time I was the "parent" part of the equation, which was a little disconcerting.

Now, this was just a check-in-meet-the-parent (casue we really hadn't met yet) type conferences, not the your-child-needs-serious-help type. (thank heavens!!), but I still felt a little intimidated by not knowing what to expect. (note to self: look happy at the next set of P-T conferences!! parents really ARE scared of you!)

Anyhow, Bird's teacher was quite lovely. Older than I expected, but very knowledgeable and I definitely got the sense that she loved my child. (and Bird is absolutely in love with her too, which works out nicely). She reminded me that I should be spending plenty of time with my child (next note: never should have mentioned I am working mother), and that I should not be concerned that she is not doing as well as the other kids in some areas since this is her first year of school and lots of this stuff is old hat to the others. (clearly, I have been depriving my child. silly me.)

Then there was some basic teacher stuff: we should be working on practicing the various letters in her name, and perhaps familiarizing her with what numbers & letters look like. This is because she can count & recite the alphabet, but if you give them to her on a paper she has no idea what they are.

Before you get the completely wrong idea about this place (since I do tend to focus on the negative sometimes), one of the reasons we loved this preschool was because of their committment to PLAYING. She plays all day long and loves it.

Besides, last time I checked, she was 4. She's doing fine.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Beautiful wedding dresses

Aren't these dresses gorgeous?! So pretty that they were contest winners. The first is from 2006, the 2nd from 2007.

The kicker? They were made entirely out of toilet paper, tape, and glue. I'm serious!! And incredibly amazed at the imagination & hard work from these ladies.

Apparently this is an annual contest. You can see the other amazing entries from this year (and previous years if you're so inclined) here.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

A Lesson From this Sunday

It's very rare that our pastor touches upon "hot button" topics during his sermons. He certainly applies his message to real life, and they are always based on scripture, but he rarely does he get into super-emotionally-and-perhaps-politically-charged issues.

This week, though, he began his series on common beginnings, and part of it centered on the topic of creation - more specifically when the Earth was created. If you are not familiar with this issue, there are 2 main camps: the Earth is around 6000 years old, or the Earth is 13+ billion years old. As with most hot-button-issues, each camp is convinced that they (and they alone) are right, and that the handbasket is coming for the other group. (Yes, I know that is extreme. So are many folks when they are in the throes of hot-button-ness.)

The age of the earth is something that interests me, but I admit to having no passionate drive to making my own clear-cut interpretation. I have read compelling evidence from both camps.

Yet, it's always kind of bothered me that I don't have an opinion either way. What's even more odd is that it doesn't even bother me that I don't have an opinion. Not even a smidgen. Believe me, this is not normal - I have opinons about everything. (Which is certainly a detriment at times.)

My pastor's point, though, was that if you look at the original Hebrew, the author uses a word that could mean 12 hours, 24 hours, or a long-but-unspecified length of time. (apparently they had to double or quadruple up on a LOT on their words!!)

So he felt compelled to further examine the purpose of the author of the book of Genesis. What was the point? The point was that God created the universe & everything in it. It even tells the order of things created. (And apparently, this is almost entirely the same order you will find in most science textbooks as they discuss evolution. But we're not going there today.) HOW he did it.... is left to your interpretation.

His final words.... CS Lewis believed in a "old world"; Billy Graham believes in a "young world."

Suddenly, not having an opinion doesn't seem so bad.

random thoughts

on Bird:

Bird has taken to "pretending" that she is asleep when I go check on her at night. I'm guessing it's so that I will stop reminding her that she needs to pick up all her crap treasures off the floor and put them away. Kind of defeats the purpose, though, when she pops up 5 minutes later to ask for more water.

on Bug:

Both children have a string of Christmas lights up in their room. They are plugged into a timer, and light up at 7:15am. On the weekends, they are not to come out of their rooms before those lights come on. This system has worked well for over 2 years.

Now, thanks to an unfortunate parent daddy moment and a very observant little boy, we have more frequently been seeing the following scenario from Bug:

"DaddyMommy! DaddyMommy! DaddyMommy!" (repeated until one of us loses the ignoring contest & makes their way to his room)

"What do you need Bug?"

At which point Bug goes over to the window, inches between his dresser & toy bins, and presses the button that will turn the lights on automatically.

"Lights ON!! Bug come OUT!! Milk please?"

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


I received a wonderful email from a student the other day. This is only part of it, but it's the part I really want to remember:

PS I wanted to say something after class, but I never get the chance: I love how you make people think in your class. Whether they have come to the correct conclusion or not, you still question them which forces them to defend their answer and opinion. Not many teachers do that, and I sincerely applaud you for it.

Yes, I am blowing my own horn. But considering all the other crazy things that go on when you are a teacher, you need the little things to remind you.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Fun on Flickr

J a I M Cimetière de Bracieux

I thought this was pretty neat. You can write your own name (or any other words you wish) over here. And if you don't like the letters that come up the first time, just type them in again!!

(bummer.... wish my name was all on one line!! oh well.)

Happy.... Home-aversary!!

We moved into our house 6 years ago today. I can't believe I remembered, as I don't think I've thought about it since we got here! However, we did move in the Saturday after THE September 11, and this is the first time it's been Saturday September 15th since then.

Since then:

* I have had 4 different jobs. Husband has had more than that.
* We have acquired 2 children.
* I have gone up half a shoe size. (directly related to 2nd pregnancy.) (don't ask what's happened to my dress size)
* We bought our first car together.
* The house has a new roof (courtesy of the hurricanes of 2004).
* The family room has new walls & ceiling (thanks to an errant nail in the plumbing while the roof was being repaired).
* We still eat macaroni & cheese for dinner at least once a week.
* All the appliances are still working. (amazing. they're all 20+ years old.)
* I have added another bookcase. (For me. I've added 3 for the kids.)
* The coat closet is now entirely taken over by Husband's toys - they used to only fill the bottom storage area!!

Here's to many more years!!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Feeding the Hungry

Wasn't going to post today, but then I realized that I'd managed to get something up all the other days this week!

As part of our outreach program we took all the high schoolers out to various locations in the community to do some service. The group I was with ended up at a local Christian Service Center. We helped them clean the grounds (the guys) and tidy up the thrift store (the gals). After that, we helped serve lunch. This particular center feeds 300 meals in the course of an hour. All the students stepped up - serving food, filling water cups, cleaning tables, and being a friendly eye whenever possible.

I thought it was obvious that most of them were homeless, though the director of the center seemed to think we would not have realized it had he not told us afterwards. He did have quite a few sobering statistics in his debriefing - the fastest growing homeless demographic in our area was single mothers, ages 28-32, with young children. I cannot imagine not having food for my child. We did see some children that day, but most were probably at school; the director said there were entire families during the summer.

Not entirely sure where I am going with this, only to say that I did pack some food for the local pantry when I got home. And I hugged my own children a little harder.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Who's the Mommy here?

Around 4:30 this morning, I heard the unmistakeable pitter-patter of Bird's feet as she made her way across the house towards our bedroom. Predictably, she came in & made her way to my side of the bed. I was facing away from her, wondering what she wanted.

She came up to me, patted my shoulder, and as I turned over to see what she wanted, she leaned over, kissed me, patted me once again, and turned around & walked back out again.

Sweet dreams to you too, big girl.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

I remember.

I did not create this button myself; it was created here

Monday, September 10, 2007

Clothing Pet Peeves

Haven't felt particularly wordy lately, so when I saw this meme by dcrmom, I felt inspired!

Five of my clothing pet peeves:

1. See through white pants.

You know what I'm talking about - those pants/shorts/capris where you can completely see the underwear - no matter if it's spanky-pants, thong, or something in between. I just think white fabrics should be heavier and NOT SEE THROUGH. Nuff said.

2. Bathing suits with lousy cups.

I have been 'blessed' with DDs. The majority of bathing suits go to a C at the most.

3. The lack of variety on little boy clothes.

Because if you don't like clothes that involve sports, your little boy will just have to run around in a diaper and nothing else.

4. Little girl clothes with no modesty or not-little-girl designs/slogans.

Need I say more?

5. Clothes that don't fit me, even though they are my size.

I can understand it not looking good on me, but if it says it's my size, it should fit.

If you want to play along... TAG you're it!

PS - if i were allowed a 6th thing, I would add shoulderpads!!

Friday, September 7, 2007

They chalk me up as Colorful.

Some people just don't find chemistry interesting. (I am not one of those people.) I don't harbor any illusions about class attendance; I know darn well that most of my first-year students are my students cause their parents made them sign up for the class. (I am not an easy science teacher.) Either that, or they are hoping I will let them blow something up. (not a chance!)

Once they're in my room, though, most of them will at least put up with me. Cause I am quirky. And that's okay, cause I am at one with my nerdness. Besides, they pay more attention because they never know what we will be discussing next. For example, I was teaching some number techniques the other day and I found myself singing the Tarantella as I did it. (chances are you've heard it, as it's quite a catchy melody - you can hear it here; the Napoletana version is the most common).

They laughed as I did it in class.... but sure enough, I saw some of them humming when they took the quiz a few days later. Which always makes me giggle.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Unexpected benefits

Bird has been in preschool for a couple weeks now, and she has learned how wonderful it is to have a clean home. Today she spent close to an hour dusting the desk & the bookshelves, and then she went to work on the kitchen cabinets. (cause spraying water & mopping with paper towels is so much fun!!).

I could get used to this.