Saturday, November 17, 2007

Unexpected Expenses

Sorry for the rambling rant last night...though I'm glad the articles on introverts were useful.  I found them particularly funny because I always make comments like, "Cat had to drag me by the ear to the Christmas party."  All three used a variation on that theme.

It's not that I don't like being around coworkers, many of whom I consider friends, a couple of whom I consider good friends, and I feel generally positive towards the rest with one exception.  It's just that it's overwhelming and exhausting.  At a party, you'll usually find me hanging in a corner chatting with a couple of people or watching from the sidelines.  I generally don't initiate conversations but if someone comes up and starts one, I'm generally open for it.

Truthfully, I'm not sure why yesterday slid me so far into overload mode that I essentially hid away from people all night, but after a long night's sleep, I feel much better today.

Now, about that unexpected expense.

I'm not, to put it mildly, the most organized person on the planet, but I generally don't lose my electronics.  In fact, I've had 3 iPods, 2 Shuffles, an iPhone, 2 point and shoot digital cameras, a Sony Reader, and a fairly expensive pair of earbuds, and not lost any of them.  And I'd like to point out that a 2nd generation shuffle is about a quarter of the size of a credit card.

And yet, my trusty 5th generation iPod has gone missing.

I've looked all over the house, through backpacks, purses, camera bags, cars...everywhere.  And I'm reluctantly forced to decide that it must have fallen out of my purse at one point.

So, I'm now the reluctant owner of an already-full (or, it will be when it finally finishes syncing) 160 gb iPod classic.  In honor of its lost sibling, I gave it the same name -- Lo'La (all my iPods are named after ships on Farscape -- nerdy, yes, but more 'cause I like the way the names Talyn and Moya sound, and Lo'La was all that was left).

Friday, November 16, 2007

I Have No Idea Where This Is Going

Warning:  This is probably going to be more a brain dump than an actual blog post.

1.  Most of today at school was really good, with a few exceptions.  First, Aide J apparently had a "nervous breakdown" at her other job last night and said she wanted criticism and to be told when she needs help.  Second, Aide J started the day well but by afternoon had (again) forgotten everything I told her yesterday.  This is frustrating to me.  And, third, Superhero -- after one of the most spectacular days I've seen him have yet -- randomly hit Aide Mrs. B.  

2.  There were two big exceptions.

2a.  First, PH shouldn't have been at school -- at least not this morning.  He coughed a lot, dozed off, perked up, and then the cycle would just start all over again.  This is not the big problem.  The problem is that when we asked the office to call and his mom protested that she didn't want to pick him up, the office's response was to tell us to let him sleep on our beanbag.  I mean, what the frell?  If this were a kid in general education, that wouldn't have been an acceptable alternative, but because PH has special needs, he's allowed to just sleep it off at school -- thus infecting all of us?

2b.  There is a 6th grade girl who's fully included that we'll call Student E.  She takes the bus with my kiddos, but today she said she was being picked up.  We said, "okay," and went about our life.  Then our office clerk B comes out and says E was supposed to ride the bus.  She was very snippy and even said that next time we should check with her.  Again, what the frell?  Not my student.  Not my business.  Not my job.  Plus, she's never been wrong before.

2c.  I generally like Clerk B a lot.  Today, however, she was On My List.

3.  Someone parked in my spot this morning at school and I had to park half a block away.

4.  However, Superhero read nearly a whole paragraph (with picture support) on his own, and M is reading non-picture-supported phrases on her own AND showing comprehension.  Woo-hoo.

5.  I am very grumpy today, for reasons that make no sense to me, given the relatively calm day.  Thus, given my turtle tendency, all I really want to do is hide in my bedroom tonight.

5a.  And yet, it is suddenly Absolutely Vital that my grandpa order prints of the 100 pictures he's taken in the 2 years he's had his digital camera.  I have shown him three times how to do this with iPhoto, and have no patience for the process -- or, to be totally honest, my electrical engineer grandpa...standing behind me staring over my shoulder and either pretending he knows what I'm doing or, worse, marveling at the fact that I can FIND and CLICK the "Order Prints" button.

5b.  I am now in deep familial trouble by saying that I just couldn't tonight, because apparently I am never allowed to need to be by myself.  It's enough to make me want to print copies of this or this or this for my entire family.

5c.  When I was a child, because of the screwed up psychology of my family where I got in trouble for speaking up to my grandma and saying "no" to crossing a street against a red light, I would have never dared to say, "I need to be alone now."  The few times I tried, I got in trouble for being anti-social.  Old habits die hard...I am sitting here already riddled with guilt because I chose not to go.

5d.  The fact that I was able to stand up for myself and say, "I just can't tonight" really should be a sign to people of how much I need my time alone.  But despite some of the craziest crazies in the family having since passed I said...old habits die hard.

6.  Someday, I probably should go into therapy.

The funny thing is, my brain can go on even wilder tangents than that, but it's abruptly said, "that's enough" right now, so I'm going to watch The Simpsons and wait for 11:00.  Thank goodness for brainless fun TV.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

New Girl

So, the new girl came today. She's very nice. Very, very fact, I suspect her nickname will be something along the lines of Motormouth. She just has to be a part of every conversation. She's sweet, and Angel was very relieved to have another girl to play with and interact with.

Her can see where her mom has an inflated idea of what she can do -- because it's very deceptive, having a girl who has such good conversational and social skills.

She said several times she had a good first day, though she was a bit puzzled by Elastigirl -- "You mean she can't talk?" she asked two or three times, and she looked askance at Superhero (again with the allergies and rash, so again with the squealing and obnoxious behavior) several times, but she seemed happy.

But of course my days can never be that easy.

I walked Elastigirl up to class today, and we were chatting and playing together.

(Granted, "chatting" consists of me giving her deep pressure on an arm, while saying cheerfully, "I'm squeezing your arm!" and her repeating "squeeze" or saying "more," but, still...who'd've thunk I'd be chatting with Elastigirl?)

That, of course, was my first mistake.

Then, at PE, Elastigirl wouldn't walk with Aide J...because Aide J just kept saying, "C'mon, Elastigirl."

She wandered up to me, so I took her hand and swung it vigorously back and forth, which she loved, so I held on and gave her arm a tug.

(This is not at all like it sounds, but that's the only way I can describe it -- Elastigirl loves the sensation of people pulling on her arms, and seeks out spinning activities where she can hold and and then let go. So, she thought it was fun...I wasn't, like, torturing her or anything.)

She giggled like mad and ran after me. So we kept going. Every once in a while, I'd say,
"Swing?" and she'd either say "swing" or "more" or sign "please," and we'd do it again. We made a whole lap that way and kept going. As soon as she saw Aide J following us, she dropped to the ground.

So, I just walked on a bit and ignored her. She got up and followed after me. We'd swing once or twice and she'd drop again, but she always followed me.

Thus, I dug my own grave.

Then, after recess, Elastigirl suddenly paled and started crying. PH was out today because he threw up on the bus, so of course we were worried that she was about to puke all over everything, but she calmed down. Then, later, she started wailing again, and as we watched to see if she was going to throw up, she urinated (she wears pull-ups).

So, of cousre, we suspect a urinary tract infection -- which, of course, is one thing I don't know how to say in Spanish.

Anyhow, to add to all the mess, her parents never reapplied for the lunch program (I know I'm not supposed to know, but when a child has intense needs, etc. etc. etc.), so her lunch routine -- which she's followed from kindergarten to fifth grade is messed up, thus making her grumpy.

She was a wreck after recess, so as we got ready to leave, I asked Aide Mrs. B. to hang out in case Aide J needed help getting Elastigirl to the bus.

And, thus, I shoveled the dirt on my own grave. She asked me if something was "wrong" and proceeded to start to cry.

So, to sum up: if Aide T. offers to help, Aide J does the opposite. If I offer to help, Aide J says "no thank you" and ignores my suggestions. If Aide S offers to help, Aide J says "no thank you" and ignores everybody's suggestions. If Elastigirl so much as looks at any one of us, we get the pinched jealous face. If we don't offer help, she moans about how she doesn't think she can handle the scratching.

When I suggest -- for the fiftieth time -- moving away and ignoring the inappropriate behavior, I get a knowing nod. And then I see her crouched down beside Elastigirl, who has just tried to scratch a kindergartner, telling her how that was bad and would hurt and yadda yadda yadda, and then looks shocked when Elastigirl takes a swipe at her.

So, to put all this in words that I know at least Amie will understand, I have my dad's mom working in my classroom. Yee-haw.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


So, I'm pretty sure I've mentioned it before, but in all 5 years I've been teaching, my class has defied statistics by having more boys than girls.  In some years, the ratio is fairly close.

Last year was a record, with 2 boys and 8 girls (25%).

This year has just gotten closer, with the addition of girl #6, making it 3 boys and 6 girls (33% boys).

I met the new New Girl (Student T for now until I -- or, more likely, Cat -- come up with a nickname for her) after school today.  She seems nice, but in a year where we've been teetering on the edge of the abyss, the first thing I did was complete the aide request form I was going to do with my program specialist this week (she forgot).

Then, I stuck my head in the principal's office and told her that if she promised to sign it, I promised not to run for the hills screaming.


Also, it turned out that Bulldozer was not sick, but had, in fact, two dentist appointments, and he's expected to be out the rest of the week.

Which, in the Bizarro World that is my life, means he'll be there with bells on tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Elastigirl hugged Cat before leaving today and somehow that means Aide J thinks I'm the devil.

Yay me.

One of these days I'm going to try reverse psychology on her.  I'm going to tell her to get right up into Elastigirl's face and tell her how she absolutely should not be doing X, Y, or Z.  Maybe then she'd ignore her.

Or, more likely, would choose that one instance to listen to me.

Meanwhile, we discovered part of the secret of Superhero's recent behavior issues.  He's been breaking out in a rash every time he gets near the school's lawn.  So, now that we've figured it out, we just have to figure out what to do about it.  Today after lunch I had him wipe his face and arms -- all of his exposed body, really -- with a couple of wipes to get the pollen/dust/whatever it is off, and though he had a hard time at first, he calmed down and did a fairly good job.

Which, of course, means that two days from now, it will be a new puzzle and a new issue.

Ah well.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


The brother of a good teacher friend is in the process of traveling home from active duty in Iraq.  Please send good thoughts his way for his safe return.

More later.