Saturday, February 28, 2009
February 27, 2009
Becky didn't request anything extravagant for her birthday. In fact, she's well aware that her mother is working these days. In her attempt to be frugal, she took it upon herself to make it simple. I should say, simple for me.
Becky made some elaborate party decorations that were a work of art, including homemade party hats. She made up her own Becky Birthday Trivia game and we sat and watched her favorite episode of "The Honeymooners".
She asked me to make macaroni and cheese for dinner which I did and I also included a tossed salad for health's sake. She blew out her birthday candles on a creamy cheesecake which we topped with cherries.
It was a birthday party event just for our family. We had a nice evening with dinner, Becky's planned activities, and the opening of a few gifts. Hughie won the prize for Becky's trivia game. He received a blue ribbon and lots of goodies in a bag that he shared with the rest of us.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY BECKY!!!
"A daughter may outgrow your lap, but she will never outgrow your heart."
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
but I wouldn't have named her that!"
Monday, February 23, 2009
You would cry to if it happened to YOU!"
(from "It's My Party" by Walter Gold, John Gluck Jr., Herb Wiener)
Yes, I admit it. I have had a class bring me to tears. In fact, I've had more than one class bring me to tears, but then I never broke down in front of the students before. I guess there is a first time for everything with this subbing journey of mine.
For starters, I had this fourth grade class earlier in the month. I had a certain dread when I accepted the second assignment because I remember it being a rough bout before, but then I had just come away with an improved experience on my second go-round with that troublesome first grade class. I figured this would surely be a better experience too, but I was wrong. It was worse! I was so beside myself with their disobedience.
I released the class at the end of the day and stayed after to finish my report and do a little cleaning up. As I set at my desk writing, the tears began to flow. Not everyone had exited the classroom yet and my hope was that the few who were left would be so occupied about leaving that they wouldn't notice my tears which I so desperately wanted to hide. I heard some whispering, then scampering, and then the children got very quite. It was ever so noticeable because it hadn't been quiet all day.
All of a sudden a flood of empathy came my way with apologies being voiced from left and right. Students asked if they could stay to help clean up in an attempt to offer some kind of penance for their previous wrongdoing. This was new to me. I hadn't thought of crying as a way to keep a class in check. I had obviously drawn attention to my disappointment, but the children really needed to go. One boy stepped forward, thoughtfully, and sincerely he expressed a heartfelt apology, "The entire class is sorry, Mrs. Blair." I didn't look up. I couldn't. I was so sad at how the day had gone. I tried to still myself, but instead I quietly blubbered as I thanked him.
I always think when I have an experience like this, if they'd just give me a chance, they'd be all about what I could do for their school day. I've done it for so many others, but for whatever reason, I had a group that wouldn't buy into my pitch. I also think if I was their regular teacher, I'd be able to muscle some control with some establish routines, etc. Again, that's not my lot as a substitute. They know I am uncertain about their procedures. They are well aware that I am here today and gone tomorrow so why bother. My one time appearance is nothing in their educational scheme of things, instead, it's PARTY TIME!
Anyway, it was a while before I left the classroom. As I maneuvered across the playground to the school office, I tried to walk with some dignity with my little cart in tow. I call it, HAVE CLASSROOM, WILL TRAVEL. It was filled with my fun positive incentives that I couldn't justify using at all during the day. The weirdness was just too great. As I walked along, some of my students who were staying for the after school program called out to me with a friendly shout and a wave, "Hey! Mrs. Blair! Good-bye!" They had cheerful smiles on their faces. I smiled back and waved. They wanted me to feel better. They really were sorry. I might be a gluten for punishment, but maybe I could do that class again....we'll see?
Sunday, February 22, 2009
I didn't post names and places. I should have been more descriptive, but at least I got it on the blog now instead of later. I put this together in January and it's almost March - I rest my case - the ALL NIGHT BLOGGER is definitely on a learning curve. Like my subbing, I tell myself, "I'll do better next time" and I might add, when it comes to blogging, "in less time."
Saturday, February 21, 2009
February 14, 2009
The last two weekends Hugh and Sam were able to go on hikes together. Last Saturday it was Red Rock Canyon with Jedidiah. Today it's the Saddleback Buttes with the Cub Scouts.
Sam and Hugh are glad to have each other. Since Tom left on his mission six months ago, the boys are currently in the minority at our house. They are happy to share some time with one another.
"A wise son maketh a glad father."
and I believe too,
A wise father maketh a glad son.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
So. . . . . I have to admit, I winced a bit when I heard sighs of obvious relief as their teacher walked through the door. I knew it was more than an expression of love. They knew I was leaving and they were glad to see me go. This class in no way had me on a pedestal. I was definitely a disruption to their classroom way of life. Dare I say, I'd be glad to have this class again. I would! I did better the second go-round and I do believe, third time's a charm.
Monday, February 16, 2009
It should have been a fun day of Valentine celebration, but it was discouraging instead. I have been in a number of first grade classrooms and have been good to keep things in check, but this situation turned into mania. It may have been a difficult class to start with, but following some routine would have definitely helped us pace through the day. Because I didn't have understandable instructions, things got out of control quickly as I thought through what to do next. As I was overcome by the onslaught of chaos, my good nature transformed. It was like a Jekyll and Hyde experience. In desperation I found myself turning into "CRAZY SUB".
I shouted, "SIT DOWN!!!!!" Oh the freak-out of it all! I just wasn't prepared for such bedlam. It was way out of control! I don't want to be punitive. I'm all about positive reinforcement, but these little first graders were riding me and running me to ruin.
Maybe it was because of the Valentine holiday (which means sugar), it was snowing outside too (which was of great excitement), and yes, the coming three-day weekend awaited (all sorts of fun plans ahead). No doubt this didn't help my situation. Whatever it all was, in spite of my preparedness, I wasn't prepared. I did not have strategies ready for this unexpected mayhem. I obviously did not come away happy about the day.
I was feeling disheartened as I handed off my classroom key to the school secretary, but soon realized that maybe I wasn't alone in my rancorous day. She cheerfully took my key and asked, "So how did sugar and snow mix in your classroom today?" She put a smile on my face which wasn't there before. I shook my already bowed head and said softly, "It wasn't good." She, still with a cheery heart and laugh, thanked me for my service. I thanked her too and as I walked away the cloud that had been raining on my subbing parade began to lift. I knew that in spite of my dismay it had been another learning experience in my subbing saga.
Sunday, February 15, 2009
We had a guest this weekend, Jedidiah Hudson. He's a friend of our family and we were happy to spend some time with him. Hiking at Red Rock Canyon seems to be standard procedure for visitors at our house. We also had some yummy food, played games, conversation, and church on Sunday. Jedidiah even went to the Young Adult Valentine Dance on Saturday night. We enjoyed his company. Our Valentine weekend was the better for it. Like family, he'll be visiting us again.
"Happy is the house that shelters a friend."
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Friday, February 13, 2009
ju·jit·su [ joo jítsoo ] or jiu·jit·su [ joo jítsoo ]
unarmed fighting technique: a Japanese system of unarmed fighting devised by the samurai, or the martial art based on it. Judo, aikido, and karate are all developments of jujitsu.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
The anniversary couple showing their age.
Thomas S. Monson,
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
I'm really getting the feel of the full-time experience and I don't know how women do it day in and day out. You definitely have to be creative and think differently in order to get everything accomplished. The main change around here is everyone is pitching in and helping more. That's a good thing, it's a matter of necessity. The other angle is that I've accepted the fact that certain things just aren't going to get done. I never could get it all done anyway so I'm over that hurdle.
I'm grateful for this employment. I'm learning more and more as I go along. I also see how God is helping me accomplish my many tasks even though I get overwhelmed and discouraged at times. Besides "working", I have my home and family to tend to, caregiving concerns for my parents, and church responsibilities. I also give a few piano lessons every week and fill my time with other things, like volunteering in Sam's classroom, the list goes on!
I've also grown, unfortunately, incredibly forgetful. Is it any wonder? My brain is on overload not to mention my age! I'm feeling supported though, so I carry on.
Monday, February 2, 2009
January 24, 2009
Paul Shaghoian Concert Hall
We (Janna, Sam, and I) made a weekend trip to visit the cousins. Our main motivation was "Les Miserable". Janna and I had the privilege of attending Buchanan's High School's presentation at the new concert hall. It was so outstanding. I couldn't believe it was high school students. What an incredible event!
"Cosette", illustrated by Emile Bayard from the original edition of Les Miserable (1862) by Victor Hugo
Our Janet played FANTINE
Read the review.
"Dance like nobody's watching;
love like you've never been hurt.
Sing like nobody's listening;
live like it's heaven on earth."