January 8, 2013
I started an on-line course to get a certificate to be able to teach English as a second language to adults. I haven’t taken an on-line course before, except for the traffic class for my last speeding ticket which I hardly think counts after having attempted this class. The last time I took an actual class in real life (everyone knows the Internet isn’t real-life) was 12 years ago when I finished my master’s degree. I noticed then that the teachers that made up my class, while being a very nice group of women, were not the best students. Don’t get me wrong, everyone was smart and well-read, but there was a lot of complaining and nit picking and by the end of the 2 year program some down right rudeness going on during class. I had attempted a master’s program before this one that after the first meeting I dropped out of because of the attitude of most of the ‘students’ that the professor we had was ill prepared and after having only listened to the man for 2 hours they were already planning a mutiny and starting a petition to have him removed.
But back to my on-line adventure. I should have known there were going to be problems when I was being threatened with disconnection when I was taking too long taking notes. I opted not to take my 16 year old son’s advise to cut and paste the important info into a word document and print it out for notes. while that seems like a good idea, I am old school and need the process of writing my own notes to help process the info. I felt pretty good when I got a 95 on my first lesson review (all mult. choice and t/f) but then I got a 78.3 on the next. The first essay answer I attempted was not up to par and I had an idea I hadn’t given a detailed enough answer so I tried a little harder on the next essay answer and got 90 out of 100 points for it. That’s better! The project assignment was a piece of cake…or so I thought. I used to teach how to use I statements to my 6th graders in conflict resolution. I got a little creative and changed the four offensive you statements to responsible I-statements and got a 30%. What? I had to ask for clarification as to what I did wrong and the iota of feedback I got back from my ‘teacher’ was an example with no creativity whatsoever. So I rewrote the statements and regurgitated them back as blandly as they were first written and I am awaiting my new score. I have a quiz up as my next assignment and I am not looking forward to it.
If anyone out there has on-line course experience and can offer me some words of wisdom, I would very much appreciate it.
PSA of the day *stay in school*
(being out for too long makes it a bitch to get back in the swing of it)
January 4, 2013
The tree is down. The outdoor lights came in last week. If I wasn’t so set on starting off the new year in a productive mood, I’d be depressed. Christmas brings with it a lot of work and stress and hub bub, but it also means family get togethers, baking and shopping! I’m just going to have to incorporate those 3 into the whole year. The first as much as possible and the other 2 in moderation. What I am really proud of is as I am putting Christmas decorations away, I am organizing them. I plan to start listing again on ebay and if it isn’t ebay worthy I have 2 boxes in the basement: garage sale and freecycle/wings. 2013 is the year all the dead weight gets gone!
PSA of the day* keep intimate info to yourself, sharing it makes you avoid your own blog!*
January 2, 2013
Bear with me while I attempt something that I think, if I can accomplish, will be pretty…neat.
I was laying in bed this morning in the wee hours of dawn and could sense my husband was awake as well so I left my warm, comfy side of our bed and snuggled up behind him to spoon. As is my habit I found my favorite hand warmer and I had his full attention in the palm of my hand. I like to think I know the right buttons to push and areas to tickle and tease so I went at it and was rewarded with pleasant sighs and the usual happy finish. But what I find so intriguing is this; because of my abdomen being flush against my husband’s back I was keenly aware of 12-16 muscle contractions or surges and I am typically only aware of 8, if I had to guess. So I asked my dearest after clean up had occurred and we were settling back into our bed if before any expulsion happens are there preliminary pumps and he said , of course, and I learned something new.
So I wanted to share my learning experience but in such a way as to not attract any people searching for adult material. I think I did it. I hope it doesn’t offend anyone and I can promise sharing such information is not going to be a regular on this blog.
I realize this has nothing to do with Nancy Drew but when I discuss adult topics with my husband I try to keep it as clean as possible and he has referred to how I put things as how it would be if Nancy Drew went blue.
January 1, 2013
As a kid I always liked the number 13. I felt sorry for it because everyone thought of it as unlucky and I remember thinking how can the first year of being a teenager be so bad? And it wasn’t. I enjoyed being 13 even with the bad perms, dorky 80′s big rimmed glasses and braces I sported and my ineptitude at handling friendships.
I really don’t want to make traditional resolutions, I only feel bad when I break them, so I am going to strive to do some things differently in 2013 and hope they become lifelong habits. The main goal that pertains to this blog is writing more and in doing so I am relatively sure you, dear reader, will glean from my posts what the other changes I am implementing are. See you soon!
PSA of the day *Just DO it*
(Nike will understand my plagerism, it is just too good of a slogan to be kept only for sportswear ads!)
May 12, 2012
19 years ago I spent my first Mother’s day overly pregnant. My first-born was due on the 5th, it was the 9th and he started arriving on the 11th. It is 2 am here and now on the 12th, in 2012, and at this point 19 years ago I was about an hour into pushing and counting to 10. During those (what seemed like) futile pushes, my husband and I jokingly said that at least this kid will be born knowing how to count to 10, he has heard it so often. My nearly 11 pound bouncing baby bundle of all boy joy finally got here after almost 5 more hours of pushing, suction that was futile due to a full head of gorgeous black hair, forceps, and an intern going in up to her elbows (or so it seemed from my angle) and helping our battered and bruised first-born arrive to the anesthesiologist proclaiming the Bears were going to be calling any minute to sign him up (that jerk is another post all on his own, but I am in too good of a mood right now) and my son, he is fantastic at math, who knew!
I never dreamed I’d be spending his 19th birthday with him opening his presents in the car before taking him to lunch to celebrate in the town where he is away at school. I won’t be spending this Mother’s day with him, finals loom, and while I am okay with that; it got me to thinking how the importance of this Hallmark holiday has evolved for me over the past 20 years. That first one as an expectant mom I couldn’t wait to just see and hold my first child and on the eve of my twentieth I am beginning to see the kind of man he will be, is becoming. His brother is on the cusp of young adulthood, starting to consider colleges even farther away, and it dawns on me that my Mother’s days of grubby kisses and exuberant hugs, handmade cards with homemade craft presents are over. Mother’s day, for the very first time, is going to mean a phone call (or more likely a text) from an adult son who is busy living his life apart from mine. Now in all honesty, as I sit here at 2:22 am and type that out I am tearing up and there is an honest to goodness lump in my throat, but I couldn’t be happier. As much as 20 years ago, I never wanted to let him go and I was thrilled a few years later when he changed his mind about joining the army because he found out I wouldn’t be coming with, I could not possibly be any happier. This Mother’s day, I can see that the result is so worth the journey. Happy Mother’s day, whatever number this one is for you, I have found they just keep getting better.
And even more importantly, Happy Birthday Mitch! I couldn’t have done any of the last 20 Mother’s days without you and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Best late Mother’s day present ever…..you!
PSA of the day: You guessed it , go call (or text or twitter even) your mom or an important woman in your life, you’ll make her day.
April 27, 2012
Thank you! A few days ago the slow obliteration of the landline department in the northeastern IL office my husband works out of was halted and is rumored to be under consideration. I am praying that you look very carefully at what is going on in the landline industry and realize that your bottom line, while being very important, is not the only thing being greatly affected by the move away from traditional landline phone systems. I cannot imagine that you cannot see the business contracts that could be kept and cultivated by being one of the only major phone companies supporting the antiquated phone systems in the present economy. Many businesses need to nurse these old systems along and would be very grateful to remain your customer for years to come. Eventually, either due to an upswing in the economy or the inevitable realization that the age of their phone system and lack of support available to continue it as a viable option, I would imagine you will be able to convert them over to wireless business line systems and continue to keep their business and loyalty. You do see that a quick profit is not always as desirable as a solid business relationship and there are also all the employees and families to consider that you will be keeping employed and off of unemployment. I realize there is a lot more to the situation than the very basic picture I have painted and I also realize the union angle is difficult as well. But please while you are reconsidering the downsizing and/or ultimate removal of the branch my husband and so many others work in, I am literally begging you to see the whole picture and not just the bottom line. Thanks for reading and hopefully taking into consideration my plea.
December 17, 2011
I LOVE sending out our Christmas cards. I agonize over finding just the right card and have the best time legally allowed planning and executing the yearly Christmas themed photo of the boys. Alas this year I am dragging my feet. I took the few photos that my camera-shy 15 yr old would allow at Thanksgiving and due to a craptastic camera and little to no preplanning, surprise, surprise they turned out not so good. So I did the next best thing which is cropped their heads from each of their best shots and elffed them up! I have capture shots from some of the better Office Max backgrounds to choose from and I have 2 links that I find absolutely hilarious and have actually laughed so hard while viewing them that I may have peed my pants just a little. That’s how funny and apropos (sp?) they are and NO, having 2 over 10 lb infants has absolutely nothing to do with the sneezing and laughing incontinence that can occur. It is just how my bladder chooses to share in the glee…..and sneezing.
Now you would think the afore-mentioned incontinence would be my dilemma but sadly it is not even a blip on my radar at this point, that is how much I take it for granted that it is just part of my life. No my dilemma is that as cute and funny the capture shots are, I really want to share the links to the 2 best songs from the Elf Yourself site and I am delusional enough to think that everyone I send a christmas card to will rush to their computer to see the boys humiliated for their mother’s enjoyment. Why I asked my husband for feedback on this is beside the point but he insists that I should include a line about emailing me for the link and just leave it at that. I think I should include the links with the photos and cut out me being the middle man. I mean really I think our relatives are much more likely to enter the link if they have it right there in front of them, and not at all likely to email me to get it, wait for me to reply and then click on the link. I wish I had emails for all the people I snail mail cards to but I don’t. So while I am probably going to go ahead and do it my way and include the link in the cards and not wait to see how few people ask for the link through email I am wondering what YOU think would be the best course to take.
Perhaps I have thought about this long enough while typing this post that the best solution has come to me…like an epiphany of sort, tis the season after all. I can include the links and the option of emailing me for a clickable link if that’s what they prefer. BINGO! I would still love to know what you think and have included the links for your laughing and tinkling enjoyment.
PSA of the day~ Get your depends on and watch these!
If you only have time for one go for the second one. It is pee-tastic!
December 16, 2011
I want to put this out there before I procrastinate it, feel the need to not post until it is perfect, or just plain talk myself out of it. I am reading a book about Women, Food and God (only God is more about spirituality than it is whatever form you believe him/her to be. Anyway food issues are big in my life. I eat for many wrong reasons and rarely use food as just noursihment. And I am only half way thorough this book but the idea I am so excited about and want everyone to share in is that by being present in the moment the mindless eating can stop. There is a lot more to it than that and I am having a hard time even staying present enough in the here and now when I am reading the book to fully grasp all of it. My theory about that is I am subconciously fighting the ideas presented. I am still not convinced I can be successful. But back to the best christmas present I can give myself; it is the idea that by concentrating on being in the moment, feeling the feelings, wading through the day to day boredom of just exsisting I can see food for what it really is. Nourishment, plain and simple and each time I don’t give in to the urge to eat mindlessly I am celebrating being me, not hiding from it.
This probably doesn’t make a lot of sense. But I wanted to put it out there, maybe it is just the present you need to give yourself this year.
PSA of the day ~ Give yourself the present of being present.
August 11, 2011
I grew up with Sesame Street. One of my first crushes was on Bob, I was so jealous of those little girls that actually were told how to get to Sesame St. and got to talk to Bob. Oh yeah and the muppets too, of course. But I digress, I loved how goofy Ernie was and thought Bert was a stick in the mud. But never did I pick up on a gay vibe! Of course this is coming from the observant gal who as a preteen had my first major crush on a guy who treated me like his little sister and I was devastated. Fast forward to the Facebook age and without stating it outright I can now see he prefers men. I asked a guy I hung out with as a friend to my Junior prom where we had the best time dancing together, all night and I was upset he didn’t lean in for a kiss goodnight. Another friend clued me in when she gushed on and on about the only reason she asked him to her prom was because of the dancing. Admittedly my gaydar may be broken and and that doesn’t bother me because who cares! So it is possible Bert and Ernie are and equally as possible that they aren’t. What gets me is a group of people who did not come up with their concept and have an agenda of their own (I’m looking at you Change.org) have decided to out them (whether they are right or not doesn’t seem to matter) and insist on a civil union. I greatly admire that Change.org is promoting being comfortable with your own sexuality and the choices of others. They have helped a lot of young people (and old as well I’m sure) find a voice and feel part of a larger group and less isolated. I am all for that but I fail to see how forcing their belief that 2 characters on a children’s show are gay and seeking a civil union between them is helping their cause. To me it makes them seem like they are bullying Bert and Ernie and isn’t that what they are fighting against?
August 5, 2011
So I check in with other blogs on a regular basis and have been upset that some of my favorites don’t post as often during the summer and then I checked my last blog. So having taken my proverbial foot out of my mind’s mouth. I thought I would ramble onscreen and please the follower I might have. Hi sis!
I am not even going to give a certain crappy trait I have the satisfaction of naming it here. P*&%#@$tion is whipping my butt, again. Only this time I fear it may cost my husband his sanity. Between looming college costs for our eldest and the market first sliding downhill and now being pushed full speed by a locomotive train called Politicians suck! and his impending job loss (don’t know when just know it is 99.9% likely) He has enough to worry about. I had kind of hoped to not ever return to teaching but see above for why it is obvious I have to. So being the wonderful team player that I am, I have been dragging my heels and instead of applying at the start of summer for this upcoming school year, I waited until a month ago. So now I have 7 applications out there and the phone isn’t ringing. I have not applied for a job online before. I don’t like it at all, so impersonal and I feel like if I could talk to perspective employers I have a much better chance of getting the positions I am after. I don’t know whether they don’t want to pay my salary (10 years with a Master’s pay scale) or if the volume of applicants means there is always someone better qualified at a smaller salary or, my true fear, that they read through my application and wonder “who is she kidding!”
I taught 10 years in a self contained 6th grade class. I loved a lot of the aspects of it but the 2 things that really bugged me were the lack of one on one time I could spend helping students who needed extra help or even just connecting with students who didn’t need extra help and the amount of my own home work that cut into my family time. I knew when I started it came with the job and when I was kidless I would stay after school or get there early to get as much prep work and grading done there as possible. Then I had my son (and then another one) and I could not get home fast enough except that being home meant getting way less school work accomplished. Twice a week I bit the bullet and stayed late at work for a couple of hours and then battled Chicago rush hour traffice to pick up the kids from my mom’s house.
I realize that my sons are old enough now that my bringing home school work won’t take away my time from them but for one reason I am adament about not going back to being a classroom teacher. That lack of time to really make a difference to one student. I know it is possible, other teachers manage it daily, but I guessI am feeling like I have been there and done that and I want something different.
So I am applying for Intervention and Reading coach positions of which there aren’t that many. Add to that I have no real experince doing these positionss, just the fact that I fielded every kind of situation that comes up in a self contained classroom where kids range from gifted to 1st grade reading level and IEP goals were everywhere, along with behavior issues, emotional issues, puberty was (or wasn’t to the dismay of some) rearing its ugly head and girls at that age can become vicious and some boys start practicing to be alpha male way to soon for my liking.
When I said I was going to ramble I meant it! True to my word, here on my blog, if not in real life. So I feel crappy that I didn’t take my need to earn money for the family more to heart and try harder and earlier in the school hiring season to get hired. I have been honest about my reluctance with my husband and my therapist and both have been supportive and understanding. The big elephant in the room is with the job market the way it is and school budgets being slashed, what else am I willing to do to earn a decent salary? I despise the idea of working m-f and not being in the eduction field. I have no truly marketable skills outside the education field….oh wait I can be a florist, did that as a summer job for 7 years of my life. Ideally I would love to be self employed. Ideally ideal I would love to be a published author, but just like a lottery winner you have to have bought a ticket or in my case sent out a manuscript to win.
I guess I am just so tired of being scared and not taking that next step. Once I had finished the applications I felt really good but if I am going to be honest I think I am purposely applying for positions that while in theory I think they would be different and I’d enjoy them, I know it is a long shot. So even as I am fufilling the agreed upon task of applying for teaching jobs I am sabotaging the likelihood of going back to work.
If you have read this far thank you and I am begging you for some kind of response. Tell me what you really are thinking. I need to know.