Sunday, November 18, 2007

News that hits too close to home

Devastating Crash Strikes George Fox Students
Two people were killed and three others injured in a head-on highway collision.
One of those killed, and all three of the injured, were students at George Fox University.
you can read the rest of the story here.

A student from my alma mater was killed about 1 am Sunday, Nov 18, as she and 3 friends returned from a jazz concert. They were headed south in a southbound lane on 99W when a car headed north in a southbound lane on 99W hit them head on, killing the driving of the wrong way car as well as one of the students in the GFU car.

I did not know this student. At this point, I don't many people at GFU anymore. But it hits close to home. I remember what it was like when 3 of my friends were in a car accident, late at night. They were all fine - a little sore, and a little stiff, but fine. And I remember driving that same stretch of 99 and seeing a car headed north bound in a southbound lane, directly toward us. Thankfully the car changed lanes and we honked like crazy. I'll never know if we helped that person realize that he or she was going the wrong way.

For some reason it's not uncommon for people to head the wrong way in that area. Anyone who drives it frequently knows that there's a grass median and that the road is 2 lanes in each direction. There are signs warning people "Do Not Enter" and "One Way," but obviously it's not enough. A 22 year old senior is dead now, because people can't read and can't use common sense.

I have no doubt that she is being mourned on campus. It's a small campus, and everyone would have known of her and have had some interaction with her, even if they didn't know her well. I hope that her friends and family can take comfort in the fact that she was surely well loved, and loved deeply, during her time at Fox.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Don't hate me because I'm beautiful

Hate me because I have 9 - no that's not a typo! - yes, 9 days off. Woohoo!

Ok, so it's not actually 9 days off. Of course I have today and tomorrow (Sat/Sun) and then Monday is a workday so I have to be at school from 8-4, then we have conferences from 5-8. Tuesday is conferences from 7:30am-8pm, with an hour for lunch and an hour for dinner (which the PTA is providing).

But then Wed-Sun we are off, off, off!

I hear that none of the parents really come to see the elective teachers, so I figure I'll take a book or 5 and some work to do and maybe that will pass the day. Unfortunately, we have to be in the cafeteria rather than in our own rooms, so that part of it sucks. Oh well!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Dear Friends and Family,

when you have something that you have done or are going to do, and you don't want certain people to know - DON'T TELL ANYONE.

And if you do tell people, make sure you specify that they should not mention it.

Found out something today that I'm not sure I was supposed to know. It's no biggie, but it will be a HUGE deal if someone else finds out.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Mystery at the Middle School

This is the name of a play I wrote for one of my classes, but now it seems we have a real mystery.

At 3:30 today I closed all the windows of my computer and shut it down. I remember seeing the computer say "Windows is now shutting down." Then I left school and started my bus ride home. At a few minutes after 5 I got off the bus and started walking the half mile or so to our house.

Tonight, I checked my gmail account. I mostly use it for junk and things I don't want Ricky to know about, like Jim Gaffigan tickets. Anyway, there is an email that says it's from "me." Apparently, someone sent me an email from my gmail account to my gmail account. At 5:04 pm, the time when I was on the bus, the time when my computer at school was shut down.

The email read "don't leave yourself logged on or an evil student might be, well...evil. Thanks, T. G."

I have no idea who T.G. is, and no idea how he or she sent me an email at 5:04 pm from an email account that was not open on any computer whatsoever. In fact, the only computer it had been open on was shut down nearly 2 hours prior.

I thought maybe the time stamp was off but I tested that theory by sending myself an email in the same manner TG did. Nope, came through immediately, and time stamp read the same time that I sent it.

It is a mystery for sure. I'm confuzzled (but it is a good reminder to always lock my computer, even if I'm not going far).

Monday, November 5, 2007

On maturing

My students are growing up in front of my very eyes. As I expect them to be more responsible and get things done, they are now becoming more responsible and getting more things done. Today I was stunned when a group of kids who were working on making crowns for the royalty in Cinderella came to me and said "we need to measure their heads" - and then made sure they got it done.

The actors were all in their places. They wrote down their blocking. They got on each other when they moved to the wrong place or at the wrong time. They're starting to get it.

These are kids who, 3 weeks ago, couldn't remember to turn in their homework. They didn't remember to bring pencils to class. And now they are bugging me about doing X, Y or Z so that they can complete the project I asked them to do.

They are taking pride in their work. They are using their time wisely. They are beginning to act like - gasp! - high school students.

I've always said that if you set the expectations high, they will rise to the challenge. I was beginning to wonder when it was going to happen. Today, I have my answer.

I could not be more pleased with the learning that is going on in this theatre department right now.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Presenting Jim Gaffigan!

Ricky and I both love Jim Gaffigan, so when I was on my way to work one day back in September and heard them advertise that Jim was coming to town, I jumped on the opportunity to get tickets for Ricky's birthday. The first show sold out so quickly that they added a second, 10 o'clock pm show, which is what we attended.

He is so funny, and we were so glad to hear some of his new material. The 90 minutes passed so quickly, I think we were both shocked when he left the stage and the lights came on!

All in all, a very fun night. We had a great dinner, laughed a lot, and had a nice time out together.

Dinner at WCI

I took Ricky to bleu, the Western Culinary Institute restaurant. I'd been there a couple of times before, since my cousin went to school there and we went one time right before she started school and another time to harass her while she was working there, or maybe it was to celebrate her graduation. Anyway, I'd been there before but they've since moved the restaurant so it was a different experience, and Ricky'd never been.

The thing to remember is that it's a teaching restaurant. Everyone who works there is in training at WCI. So things might not be as tight and crisp as you'd get in other upscale restaurants, but it's good food, good service and great value. It's probably the only place we'll ever order a 5 course meal!

Ricky had the creamy mushroom with pork and apple, while I had the tomato bisque. I definitely got the better end of that deal. While Ricky's was good, it was cold, unfortunately - and not on purpose. Mine, however, was absolutely amazing. Bursting with flavor, the perfect amount of creaminess. Amazing.

This time Ricky had the better deal. I ordered the melted brie and sauteed mushrooms on some sort of flaky bread deal. It was good, but ordinary. Ricky's clams, on the other hand, were out of this world. Buttery, garlicky, incredibly yummy. I thought he was going to take the paint off the bowl trying to get all the broth out.

This was probably the only part of the meal that we were both "eh" about. I had a beet and endive salad that was good, but not incredible. Ricky had a Caesar salad. Again, good, but not out of the ordinary.

Ricky ordered beef rossini while I had a roasted game hen. I'll start with the game hen.

Incredible. So yummy, and yet totally unique and unexpected. It was roasted with shitake mushrooms, which were fantastic, and then set atop a bed of creamed corn and pesto. Such an odd combination - or so you'd think. But it was wonderful. All that savory with the little sweet crunch from the corn. It was so good!

The beef rossini was served with mashed sweet and russet potatoes. It was an interesting idea, and one that paid off. The russet offset the sweetness of the sweet potatoes so that it was just darn good. Ricky said the beef was great, and cooked to perfection - not overdone, and not underdone. He also said that the sauce that went over it was incredible.

There were two desserts on the menu so we ordered one of each, though I ended up wishing we'd ordered two of the chocolate souffles. It was served nice and hot from the oven with a yummy vanilla sauce to go with it. The other dessert, profiteroles, was served with vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce and strawberry coulis. Both were wonderful, don't get me wrong, but it didn't feel like a cold dessert night to me.

All in all a fantastic meal with great service and a value that can't be beat. The menu changes often, so we're looking forward to going back for another special occasion.

Thursday, November 1, 2007


Directing 7 plays is tough. Very tough.

Blocking 7 plays is even tougher, when they're all done in the span of a couple of days. Ugh.

My brain is fried. My eyes won't stay open. Good thing I can type without looking at the keys. I just want to take a nap.

The good news is, we're having a blast doing the plays and since we're in rehearsals I don't have to do much lesson planning. The bad news is I spend all of my spare time (including lunch and my preps) recuperating from rehearsals.

It will all be worth it in the end though.