Sunday, September 16, 2007

A Busy Few Days

So, Friday was the annual field trip to Simi Valley Days' "Special Kids Day."  Every year, they offer a morning where kids with disabilities can come and ride (some) of the rides (fewer each year, it seems) with volunteers from the Kiwanis Club and a local middle school.

Most years, it's scorching hot and rather uncomfortable for me, but the kids love it, and I enjoy getting to see former students (J, R, and C this year).

Oddly enough, the morning was the highlight of the day Friday.  R's mom came with us on the trip, and got to see him (and the whole class) being exceptionally well-behaved.  Plus, I got to feel like a competent teacher and actually got E, who was totally overstimulated and really upset, calmed down in time to go.

(As the days go on, J forgets more and more the rule that you don't respond to E's scratches with lots of attention.  "E!  Hurt!  That hurt!  Look, E, that hurt!"  I have tried the modeling route, wherein I demonstrate redirecting her by blocking her hands and denying eye contact until she chills out.  This is doubly true when she's overstimulated -- the last thing she needs is more verbal feedback.  I am now planning on giving each aide a copy of the "child cheat sheet" I put in my sub plans.  Maybe that'll help.)

In any event, as expected, M went through the roof.  M has echolalia and when she's stressed, she echoes things she's heard at home -- usually swearing -- but I guess this time she came out with a few "that's stupid!" and "you're stupid!" to J -- who took it personally and was a bit perturbed that I brushed it off.

(Which I didn't, really, I took M back to our quiet corner and just redirected my poor little heart out, but I got her to the point that she could walk to the bus calmly -- yay me!)

Meanwhile, Aide L (our long-term sub for Aide S last year) worked for Aide B, and shoved her nosy self into everything, including me and M -- "Wow, is M having a really hard time this year?  Boy, I don't remember that happening.  Of course, my son T is really behavioral right now..."  Eesh.

Then, while I only had agenda books to get ready for Monday, J's mom was an hour -- An Hour! -- late picking up J.  So I wrote a note -- she called to J from across the school and disappeared.  All I got out was, "So, what happened?"

"What happened, J?" J's mom asked her.


So, needless to say, I got stuck at school late, but I got some much-needed organizing done for Back to School Night Tuesday.

On Saturday, I went up to Oak Glen to get apples -- in particular, Honeycrisp apples (which are the best apples ever but very hard to find -- though Gelson's carries them sometimes).  While there, I tasted a variety I'd never heard of before -- Mutsu apples.  They are good!  They're green apples, and they taste like a slightly tarter Honeycrisp.  Yummy.

Of course, driving there down the 10 Freeway, I kept having tiny panic attacks watching the plume of smoke from the fire in Big Bear, but the sky was clean and beautiful in Oak Glen.  Plus -- fresh apple cider donuts!

Today wasn't quite as eventful but it was productive.  I went grocery shopping and got a bunch of work for school done.  I copied the News-2-You that was posted last Thursday on Friday, and modified it today -- so I'm set for News-2-You for three weeks.  :-)  My goal is to continue that and have a buffer zone because...

...part of the kids' journal now includes practicing their spelling words, because of the 8, only the three sixth graders do their homework.  So, if they're not practicing at home, they should at school.  But this means that I have to have spelling words chosen ahead of time, in enough time to copy and modify as necessary.

In random other news: posted a news article that the abomination that was Galactica: 1980 is coming to DVD.  However, what brought me up short was the cover art, which featured, naturally, the cast.  Duh, right?  

But get this -- ever since I started watching Farscape, the identity of Crichton's father Jack has puzzled me.  He looked terribly familiar, but a cursory glance at yielded nothing.

Apparently I didn't look closely enough, because, there is is on the cover art, clear as day.  He played grown-up Boxey.  Wow.

At least he eventually got to be on good sci-fi, right?

That's almost as weird as seeing Greg's dad (from Dharma and Greg) on a 2nd season episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation playing Riker's estranged dad.  Almost.  At least in that case, I like both shows.

Here comes another week.  :-)

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