Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Back to School

I'm officially back to work in the school system. Surprisingly, I'm already averaging 2.5 days a week. Wow! I worked all five last week...but I took all five off the week before :)

It's fun to be back, which is good, because the first two years weren't stellar. My first year was all out frightening! I didn't just get a call for the elementary school - there were 15! I never knew if I was going to show up at the right school or the right time. And I was SO desperate for jobs that I accepted any gig. I wanted to find a good fit for myself so I could enjoy my time.

Last year was better. The best thing that happened for me was accepting a three week job for a high school special ed co-teacher. I had one study hall to myself; the rest of the day I was in classes where others taught and I helped. I primarily helped the E.I. kids (emotionally impared, i.e. ADD, OCD, etc). The most helpful part of that was seeing how the other teachers handled discipline. By observing what they tolerated and how they handled the kids I gained a new confidence in myself. Ill-mannered students no longer frighten me...I frighten them :)

This year has been fun. By now I have 10-12 teachers who specially request me in their classrooms. This is great because I know how the teachers like things done so I can keep the class going the way the regular teacher would. Plus, in the elementary and middle schools these teachers often have the same kids from year to year. When the students remember me it helps 100X more. They know I can't be walked on. They know I know the rules. They tremble because they know I'll hold them to the rules. It's pretty cool :) I'm no longer babysitting. I can now teach the kids and help them with their work. I feel like I'm accomplishing something.

Of course this also means my writing is taking a backseat. Yeah, right. I did nothing this summer. I meant to, but I failed. Summers are too tempting. Sunshine is too evocative. Writing didn't happen. If anything, I'm doing more now because I have to keep a set schedule. It's great!

So I'm back in school. I like it :) And still...I'm not going to get my teaching certificate. I like subbing.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


I forgot my name tag this morning. I almost forgot my lunch. I didn't take out the trash.


Because my hubby caught another skunk. It was sitting in the front yard, in a cage, and I was sure it was waiting for me to step close so it could spray me on my way to teach at the high school (wouldn't THAT have gone over big!).

I'm of mixed emotions. I wish he'd stop catching skunks. But I'm glad he's catching them and they aren't living under our house.

This is why I'm a homebody.

If I was born after 1995... name would probably be spelled Carein Vicktawria Van Burin. What makes me say that? The mad rush of parents who are spelling their kids' names fa-net-i-klee. And the parents who are just trying to be different.


Really?? Does it make the name easier to pronounce? Spell? Or does it just make you feel like you've done something to help your child stand apart from the crowd?

Here's my advice: if you want your child to be different - TEACH HIM/HER TO TAKE RESPONSIBLITY FOR HIS/HER ACTIONS!

It seems like every class has a Rachill, Danyell, or Tieler who can't wait to point fingers. I would welcome the classroom with Bob, Sue, Joe, and Beth where they don't tattle, blame, or lie.

Let the kids stand out because they have manners and they do their homework. If you arm them with that, you won't need to destroy their names.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Who ordered the cold weather?!?!

Take it back!

Good GRIEF! Yesterday it was 96 degrees at my house. Hot, but lovely. Today?? A balmy 66 degrees! I'm in jeans, a sweater, slippers, hat, and scarf for crying out loud!

I only get fourteen REALLY hot days per year in Michigan...could you not ruin it by dropping the temp 30 degrees from day to day? Thanks.

That'th it...I'm movin' to Th'parta

I've had just about enough "animal" adventures to last me a lifetime...and they've happened in the last two days. Ug.

So, Monday night Matt sets up two live animal traps. We've got a "nipchunk" (that's Matt for chipmunk) getting ready for the winter under our house. Time to take care of that. Matt baits the traps and we're set.

He started back to work on a regular schedule yesterday, so he had to leave the house before six am. We didn't think about the trap. Later that morning I was going to hang my clothes on the line when I saw it. A HUGE, I'm talking GOLIATH sized chipmunk! He was curled up and asleep, all black and white. Then it hit me:


I did what any sane girl would do. I called every male I know within a fifty mile radius to come get rid of it. When that didn't work I called every male I know in the state of Michigan. I finally got a hold of a couple of people and decided the best thing to do would be cover the lil' bugger with a blanket...and wait for Matt to get home. So I called Matt and work and told him to come straight home, do not pass go, do not return pop cans. It worked out well.

Then we got to Wednesday. Matt had to be to work at 4:30, so we were up before the skunks. Being the loving, doting, intelligent woman that I am, I made Matt's breakfast and lunch...then I went back to sleep.

At some point the cats were going ape-crazy in the living room. I was trying to sleep. They were pissing me off. I yelled. Then I woke up and started my day.

A few minutes ago I noticed it: a log-like substance on my rug. Unfortunately there's no light in the hallway, so I turned on the lights in every room while I tried to figure out if it was kitty poop or kitty puke. It's neither.

I have myself a half-eaten mouse corpse. That's right. Crazy, noise making kitties? They were playing with the mouse. Then they mutilated it and left it for me. At least they didn't bring it to me in bed.

But this brings me to my next point: Christmas. I'm afraid of skunks. I don't touch dead animals (the mouse is leaving the house courtesy of a dustpan on a VERY long stick). Yet I'm forced to deal with such ickiness. So here it Christmas wish list:

1) Haz-Mat Suit

[PS...if you didn't get the title it's from Disney's Hercules. Mythologically inaccurate, but a fun flick)