Saturday, August 25, 2007

So far, so good

There will probably be a LOT of posts about my job for a while, simply because that's what's new in my life and it's all very exciting and scary and overwhelming and anxiety ridden and exciting get the idea!

Anyway, Friday was a great day. Well, Friday afternoon was great. Friday morning was ok, it was just long and lots of sitting and listening - like, literally, about 3 hours of sitting and listening with periodic 5-10 minute breaks. So while the information was interesting, the people at the end certainly didn't get as much of my attention as I'd have liked just because I was so brain-friend.

However, once we grabbed our sack lunches - true story, and there were NO vegetarian options - we were sent off to meet up with our mentors who work in our own buildings.

Our mentors, K and M, are AWESOME!! They were so fantastic about answering our questions, helping us get the things we needed, checking in with us to make sure everything was going ok. The amount of help they willingly offered was astounding. M took me around to get my keys and then go see my room. When we got there I was walking through, mumbling to myself about things I needed to take care of. After I got done with that, M looked at me, rattled of the list of things I'd mentioned and said "I'll get right on that." What? Someone else is going to take care of my things for me, without even being asked? Are you kidding me?? This is a HUGE change from my school last year, where I had to do everything myself and sit on people to get their help, even in doing things that were their job.

I also met the other fine arts people - T, who teaches band, A, who is the choir director and V, the strings teacher. They are fantastic and very laid back. I really, really like them all and know that we'll have a great little family going on in our forgotten corner of the world. Which begs the question, why is it that fine arts are always off in some little corner, far far away from the rest of the school? It was like that at my high school, at both the schools in which I student taught, last year, and now this year at my new school. I know there has to be a reason, but it can't possibly be that they're trying to avoid us...right?!

Anyway, then S came by. She's the team leader for the electives team and she teaches math and leadership. I guess the leadership teacher is, by default, the leader :-P Anyway, she answered more of my questions and really made me feel at home (along with everyone else). She had also ordered a bunch of my office supplies so that I'd have some things to start the year with - what a great colleague! So I have a stapler, staples, a pencil sharpener, pens, pencils, notecards, paper, highlighters...all kinds of good things. Now, if only I had a desk in which to put the supplies.

That's right, I have nothing. No shelves, cabinets or even a desk or chair. Eh, we'll get it figured out.

I have a job, and that's the best feeling in the world.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

What's a good substitute for candy?

Everyone knows teachers give candy as rewards. We use them as prizes for games, as bribes for getting things done early, whatever we need to do to make things happen and keep kids quiet.

Well, this year our school is a "healthy school," so there's a whole list of things that we can't use as rewards. Pretty much, anything with sugar is out.

So I'm trying to figure out what in the heck to use. It needs to be cheap, since candy isn't expensive thanks to the bulk foods section at Winco, and it can't have sugar, which lets out just about any food that kids would like.

We do have a school wide rewards system called Shields. The kids can earn Shields when they show respect, self management, and safety. They can then turn in the shields to the school for various items, or to individual teachers for different things. So I could always give out Shields for prizes, but would that be respect, management or safety?

And while you're brainstorming for me, think of great things they could use their shields to buy from me. And remember - no sugar!

One day down, 190 or so to go

I had my first day of in service yesterday. What a day. It was very long, headache inducing, and for what? Well, I got my email set up (they did it wrong, it uses the wrong name) and my esis password so I can take attendance and do grades, and I got a free Chinese lunch. Other than that, not a lot to share.

We got the obligatory spiel about reporting child abuse, were edumacated on sexual harassment (it's defined as sexual harassment if it bothers the victim, regardless of the harasser's intent) and got talked to about sub finder. Signed up for the union, wer admonished about turning in our benefits choices, and a whole lot of other stuff that shouldn't have taken nearly as long as it did. Oh well, that's life.

After lunch I went back to my building where I found out that someone has the theatre keys ("she" does, whoever she is) and the spare keys are in a cabinet that is broken so the doors can't be opened. So as of right now, I don't have keys to my classroom or my office. Then we had another meeting about a lot of stuff - safety, duties, the school wide positive behavior reward system, things of that nature. Then a tour...and I think that's it. We did leave a little early with the blessing of our assistant principal. Actually, what he said was "I'm alarming the builing in 15 minutes so you'd better get out!"

Apparently now there is some dispute over whether or not yesterday was a paid day for us. It's not a contract day, but I (and others) was told we'd be paid extra for it. However, a couple of other people were told it was an unpaid day. Well, whatever, we were expected to be there and we got breakfast and lunch out of the deal.

I had today off and have to go in again tomorrow. Then M-Th next week, and then the kids start back on the 4th. Scary!!! I have nothing set up in my room, and I still have things to scrounge up/buy/make before school starts. However, I'd prefer to scrounge first, and I haven't had a chance to do that since I haven't been out at the building. I'll start scrounging tomorrow afternoon and do a lot of it next week. Friday the 31st is a non contract day for us, meaning we don't get paid for it so we don't have to be at school, but I'll probably end up going in anyway just to get some things done. I have a lot to do and not a lot of time in which to do it.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Wish me luck!

I start my new job today. Wish me luck, and pray that I don't fall asleep anywhere along the line. 6 oclock came real early!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Ricky has caught up with technology

For years Ricky has refused a cell phone. Didn't want to be accessible, he said. Didn't want people to be able to get ahold of him wherever he went.

Well, that's all well and good unless it's your wife who needs to reach you!

The straw that finally broke the camel's back happened on Tuesday. Ricky came home and was running late to make it to his class downtown, so he asked me to drive him and I agreed. I then thought we agreed that I'd pick him up on the corner of Jackson and Broadway when his class ended, at 8 pm.

Ricky, however, thought he was supposed to call me to come get him when class got out. His class ended up getting out 40 minutes late, and he couldn't find anyone with a cell phone nor did he have change for the pay phone (here's where I'm always right - had we agreed that he'd call me, I'd have given him my cell phone to use to call me, or made sure he had 50 cents for the pay phone).

Anyway, he decided to take the bus home, all while I was sitting at the corner of Jackson and Broadway waiting. And waiting. And waiting. Until at 10:30 - yes, 2.5 hours after his class was supposed to be out - he called me and said "where are you?" He was at home, having been delivered there by the bus, and I was still sitting on the street corner waiting for him, visions of thugs and ambulances (ambuli?) and hospital beds dancing in my head, fueled by the sirens I was hearing from down the street.

Of course I was livid, and he was apologetic. When I got home I told him I was going out to get him a cell phone. He thought I was joking at first. When he realized I was serious he said simply "just get me a flip phone." Wow. The man who was so against a cell phone had finally seen the light!

And yes, I did get him a phone. He is now the proud owner of a Samsung Sync in blue with a ridiculously easy-to-remember phone number.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Black Thumbs

Yes, that's right, I'm so bad that I have black thumbs. Plural. As in, both of them.

I cannot keep a plant alive to save my life. When we were first married I managed to kill 4 plants in 5 months. One that I was told was "impossible" to kill. Apparently only impossible for amatures.

The only thing I've managed to keep alive in the past almost 5 years is the Christmas cactus. Well, and Ricky, but he's fairly self sufficient - and it's a good thing. How Jacko is still alive I will never know.

I water. I fertilize. And yet, they still don't grow. I even sing "Grow for me..." (Bonus points if you know the show that's from) and yet still, nothing. Maybe my plants need to be fed blood (there's a hint).

4 plants in 5 months. Only one plant that's lasted in 5 years. And people wonder why we're not having kids.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Huh. Who knew?

I think we can all agree that, on a regular basis, I am a very busy person with a lot of things going on. Those who know me well know that I also happen to be one of those people who manage time better when I'm busy.

I've been sick all week. I mean, sick. As in don't stray too far from the bathroom sick. Yesterday I was feeling better, but I think I overdid with helping Ricky build the stone path in the backyard because today I'm back to feeling cruddy. Not as bad as Monday and Tuesday, but not great either. And certainly not well enough to play in our game tonight.

Except that I had the helmets. I couldn't find anyone to come get them from me, nor were the two girls on the team who live close to me able to meet me somewhere to pick them up. So I was stuck deciding between driving the 30+ minutes to the field to drop them off or leave the girls with no head protection. (as a side note, I've hit hitters in the head before and it's not pretty, even with a helmet. I never really considered keeping the helmets from them).

I was emailing with a friend before I had to leave to drop the helmets off and said something along the lines of, "Ugh, I don't feel like going out. Can't I just make them not use helmets tonight?" Totally joking (though it would have been nice!). On the other hand, I was hoping maybe she had a better suggestion than driving the helmets there myself.

Instead she said "here's some advice. You're always over scheduled and you're always asking me to help you justify not doing something. Step back and start cutting things from your life. Being so busy and over extended is not healthy."

Now, I agree - being too busy and overextended is not healthy. But I had to laugh - this was not a request for justifying not doing something. I'd already decided to not play and didn't need anyone's help making that decision. I don't feel well, and there's a ton to do around the house. The state of our house is contributing toward me not feeling well, I think.

Not to mention, my life is cake right now! You want to talk about overextended and busy, then let's talk about last April when I was teaching, subbing, directing a play and coaching softball all at the same time. Compared to that, I'm comatose right now. What do I have going on...?

NOTHING. No work, no plays, no school, no ball (other than my own "let's get together and play once a week and not bother to practice" league). No pitching lessons, and, judging by the state of my kitchen, no housework either.

So how in the world am I supposed to cut something when I'm currently doing nothing? I guess thoughts of working on the house will have to go. Aww, schucks.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

We're going to enter the 21st century on Tuesday

Sometime between noon and 2.

I called Comcast, they're coming out to set up our high speed internet. Woohoo!!

Now if I can just get Ricky to get a cell phone, we'll be set.

Ride, Ride Ride...

...Hitchin' a ride!

I saw something really odd today. I was on my way home from campus after a meeting with Head Coach and as I was getting on the freeway, there was one of those groups of inmates doing yard work on the side of the freeway. You know, picking up trash, pulling weeds, mowing, etc.

Well, one inmate was down by the road, weedwacker in hand, with his thumb out.

I wonder if he ever got a ride.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Movie Review: The Devil Wears Prada

The first thing you need to know is that the DVD we got evidently had a scratch because it didn't work real well. There were several places that we had to skip ahead because the DVD stuck. So I may very well have missed crucial or funny parts of the movie.

But I didn't like it. At all, really. It was ok, and it started off kind of fun and silly, but it turned really heavy and then we got into some good character development...and then it disappeared. I thought they were going to develop Meryl Streep's character more, but no. They definitely left her looking cruel and pathetic and worthy of only fear and loathing. And what is with Anne Hathaway only doing the Ugly Duckling type movies? I'm bored with it! Her character development was better, but at the end it was like they ran out of time and she instantly turned back to who she was (which was a good thing, but terribly unrealistic).

Anyway, it's a movie that if it's on tv on a lazy Sunday afternoon and you have nothing better to do, then sure, watch it. But otherwise, don't waste your time or money.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

A Trip to the Ocean

[Note: I've been trying for several days to add pictures of our trip. Sadly, Blogger hates me and won't let me. When it decides to like me again I will post pics. Until then, enjoy the commentary.]

Friday was my cousin's very first trip to the ocean. First we went to the Tillamook cheese factory, which I will admit was much more exciting when I was younger. At least we got to sample all kinds of cheese!

Then we went to the Barview Jetty Dune - yeah, Linds and I were not real into it. Ricky liked it though!

After that we drove...and drove...and drove. Until we saw a sign that said HWY 53. But we want HWY 101. We were on HWY 101. We never turned off HWY 101, and yet this sign said we were on HWY 53.

So we turned around...apparently the Road Trip Gods assume that you know that you must turn in Nehalem to stay on HWY 101. There is no sign at all indicating this is the case, so it's evident that the Road Trip Gods only want those who are psychic or telepathic to make it from Tillamook to Seaside.

When we finally made it to Seaside, we had lunch on the beach and Lindsey napped. First on one side, and then on the other.

Ricky and Jacko and I played in the water. It took both Ricky and I because Jacko is afraid of the water and one person must hold the leash and get all excited and the other must race out into the surf ahead so that Jacko decides he must chase the first person. Ahhh, it was good times.