Friday, October 26, 2007

A New Arrival

After a drama-filled pregnancy, Baby L has made her arrival into the world at 5 pounds, 11 ounces and 17 inches in length.  Congrats to Teacher M, and here's to a happy baby who won't put her mommy through any more drama...until she's at least fifteen.

And the Sub Was...

The good news is, Aide K is being reassigned to 2nd-Grade-J (the one who...well, let's just say, "the bathroom thing").

The bad news is, Aide S has strep throat.  Her sub today was Flake Aide D.

Then, at recess, Elastigirl's stomach flu caught up with Aide J, and she fled to the bathroom, where she promptly vomited and went home.

The other bad news is, Program Specialist PM tried really hard today -- as in, came to my classroom and disrupted my routine -- to get Aide Mrs. B to move to one of two other students.

Of course, when Elastigirl had yet another incidence of diarrhea, he fled.  Quickly.

Meanwhile, I'm more or less where I was yesterday -- nauseous all the the point where I wish I'd just get sick and get it over with.

However, Bulldozer's dad brought him today to talk about his bad day yesterday, and I was able to tell him that Bulldozer is much better when he brings him (not that that was true today, but I think the week was more or less a loss).

Thursday, October 25, 2007

It Had to Happen Sometime

There's a reason I jokingly refer to illnesses in my classroom as "plagues."  We do our best, but we're talking about kids that don't use tissues appropriately, don't use them at all and require assistance to do so, don't cover their mouths when they cough, etc.  So, when one gets sick, they all -- as well as us adults -- invariably end up sick too.

In fact, in my first year, the only thing that stopped a nasty cold from making its third or fourth round through our ranks was spring break.

So, given that at the moment, we have a stomach flu, possibly strep throat, a sinus infection, and an upper respiratory infection infecting various people, and given the amount of stress this year has caused, I knew it was only a matter of time.

What amuses me -- prone as I am to coughs and bronchitis (thanks, I believe, to growing up with a chain smoker who smoked in the house) -- is that, of everything, I ended up with Elastigirl's stomach flu.

I'm going to bed early just so I won't know I feel nauseous.

(However, kudos to Spirit and Opportunity, for having their mission extended again.  Their ninety day mission began in January of 2004 -- something like 1300 days ago -- and is now approved to continue until 2009, if the Rovers That Could last that long.  Nifty.)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

It's a (You Know) After All

I was sitting at a table in the Red Robin at the mall tonight when a woman across the way caught my eye. She looked awfully familiar, but I couldn't place her.

Thankfully, she didn't have that problem, and it turns out that she was a fairly good friend in high school, who now teaches a 1-3 special day class in the area. Cool.

The Next Tip

Okay, so the prior tip seems to be somewhat effective; most people have figured out portions of the "don't respond to attention seeking behavior with attention." This, of course, varies by adult and by child. People get it with PEM, some people get it with Superhero, and a couple people get it with Elastigirl.

I have now decided to move on. Poor Boss felt the Wrath of Aide J last Friday because Aide J was grumpy and I was distracted with -- who else? -- Bulldozer. So, the tip of the (more or less) month is:
Part 1:

Specific directions are always better than general directions.

(I am guilty of this too!)

A child that may not understand "clean up please" will probably understand "please pick up the papers on the floor."

Part 2:

If a child doesn't respond, break the task down into steps; make each step a separate request.

Many children have trouble with multi-step directions. While we want to
teach this skill, it's important to remember that what looks like defiance may be lack of understanding.
Meanwhile, Bulldozer did not want to be at school today, and Elastigirl had three incidents of diarrhea in a 15-minute time period, but we couldn't get ahold of anyone to come get her.

At least life isn't boring, eh?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A Rant for Another Day

So, I've been watching the commercials in praise of Indian gaming, and wondering...

...why do the tribes have to justify anything?  Reservations are sovereign territory.


More on that another day.

Meanwhile, I've found a nifty site called FreeRice.  Supposedly, they use ad revenue from the site to donate rice to poor areas across the world. 

When you arrive at the site, you are greeted with a multiple choice vocabulary question like "ingredient means _____" and you click on the appropriate synonym.  Each time you do, the page refreshes, and the ads reload, thus generating more ad revenue for the site.

They present this visually, by the way, showing a bowl filling with 10 grains of rice for each word you get correct.

For each three words you get right, you advance a level (from 1 to 50).  The highest I've made it to so far is 45.

Even if the site doesn't donate the money as it says, the vocabulary game is fun.


Every time I've played I've been given the word "effulgent" (it's the only word I've gotten more than once).  The only reason I actually know the word is from Buffy.  Heh.

In other news, the wayward cat has been found.  She is the least intelligent of all of them, including Jaime, who we think has brain damage from his traumatic infancy, and apparently didn't notice she was lost all by herself in the garage for nearly 24 hours.

Either that, or she couldn't find her way back to the door.

Monday, October 22, 2007

No, No, No, No, No, No, NO

So, I'm innocently typing up school stuff (I'm going to take advantage of no kiddos tomorrow) when I hear...
It's the most wonderful time of the year
It's the most wonderful time of the year
With the kids jingle-belling
And everyone telling you
Be of good cheer
It's the most wonderful time of the year
I'm terribly sorry to be a party pooper, but IT'S NOT EVEN HALLOWEEN YET.


That Will NEVER Happen Again

At one point today, my class of (normally) eight students, three aides,* and me consisted of all four adults and Bulldozer.

* One of those aides provides individual (a.k.a. one-on-one) support to Elastigirl; another is pretty much with Bulldozer 100% of the time.

Funnily enough, only one of those absences (Princess) had to do with the raging wildfires. Superhero was sick; the bus driver said Elastigirl was sick; and M's parents (henceforth christened PEM, for P.E. M) called in and said she was sick.

Then, Boy J was being assessed for his tri all morning, Angel had DARE class, and The Boss had speech.

Hence, four adults and Bulldozer.

It actually bordered on ridiculous; however, since it will never happen again, I'm not going to stress it too much.

Sunday, October 21, 2007


So, I got the quote here, but that doesn't matter.  What matters is the quote itself:
Whenever I see dialogue written without proper ending punctuation, I reach for my gun.
Then I realize that I don't actually have a gun; instead, I've simply grabbed my spare toothbrush. And while a toothbrush is indispensable in the fight against tooth decay, it's quite ineffective at firing high-speed projectiles, even if you point one at your computer monitor and go "pew pew" in a strained, high-pitched voice.
What we need is some sort of combination toothbrush revolver, obviously.
How come I can never come up with images like that?

I Should Just Keep My Mouth Shut

About a week ago, I commented that it was unusually cold for early/mid-October, and was surprised that we had not had any Santa Ana winds yet.

Yeah, bad idea.

Apparently, winds topped 108 miles per hour in one place last night, which is 3 mph shy of a category 3 hurricane.


There is a dense cloud of smoke visible from my house, though the wind is -- thankfully -- moving it away so that I can't smell it. However, seeing it sucks. There's also a fire near my aunt and uncle's house; they were getting ready to get on a plane in Sacramento when a friend called and asked if they needed help evacuating. They are under an evacuation watch but have not had to evacuate yet.

Meanwhile, I am wondering what I will have my kiddos do tomorrow, since school will probably have indoor recess because of air quality.

I hate fires.