Friday, March 27, 2009

Will you be my friend?

My family varies in the ease with which they make friends. Both my sister's are somewhat shy, but I think that one makes more friends easier than the other. I have somewhat close female friends, but even closer male ones. My son has apparently never met a stranger. My mom called the other night and said that he has been talking to everyone at Disney World.

Now, I make friends easily. Actually, my co-workers tease me that every person that comes true our drive thru is my friend. That's not really true. There are a select few that I would consider friends. The rest I probably know as regular customers. There are even some who order the same thing so often that I have it memorized.

Getting back to my son, he really is a friendly little guy. He recently started talking to people in the grocery store. It's really funny because some people in Walmart won't talk to back to him. They just tell him "hi" and move on. Others stop and have entire conversations with him. This is what has been happening at Disney World I guess. Mom said that he had a ten minute conversation with one of the grounds workers outside their cabin. She complimented him on how clearly he talks.

I wonder if this ease with making friends will continue when he starts elementary school? I hope so. I hope he has lots of friends in school. Of course, having taught, I also hope he is not that kid that constantly has to be reminded to be quiet when the teacher or other students are talking!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The better back piece picture

This is the one I didn't take myself!

Much better, right?

Monday, March 23, 2009

Is it too late to be a student again?

Last year, I taught English. I'm good at teaching the writing side of things, at least I am when there are less than 35 students in the room. Put me in an overcrowded room and I feel like one voice in many trying to be heard above the cacophony. I hate that feeling. I love teaching writing though. I love showing a student how to express their thoughts and proving to them that the more you write, the better you get at it. I had my students do a journal entry nearly every day last year.

Having said all that, I have spent the last year working at my classroom management skills, but last year pretty much killed my confidence in that area. I have been looking into various programs that the university here has and talking with teachers when I sub. The school district here is offering a buy-out program for teachers who are near retirement age this year and I imagine they will do something similar next year if the economy continues to be like it is. So I am thinking of adding another endorsement to make myself more marketable.

Many of the librarians in this county are near 60. Even if they do not take the buy-out and go into early retirement, they will still be retiring in the next few years. The university has a program in library science that requires seven classes and a practicum. I think it will take maybe a year, so, if I can qualify for the graduate assistantship, I think I may do that. It would add another endorsement and another degree to my resume.

I do kind of look like a librarian I guess. Actually, a student the other day told me, "You do look like an English teacher!!" Maybe I should dye away the gray hair?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

I was attacked!!

Really! By a small, rubber lizard! I was gathering laundry when it hit me. Here's the character wielding the lizard:

He was swinging it around when he let go and it thwacked me. It kind of hurt.

That's his menacing look above. You can't tell, but he's growling at me.

See how flexible the thing is? It flew through the air really well.

Here's the lizard in it's natural environment:

It's actually Quincy's room, or, his house, as he calls it. Notice all the toys? Oh, and the neatly folded laundry on the bed? Yeah, my husband is responsible for the laundry. I hardly ever fold it.:)

Speaking of my husband, this is what he was doing while I was being attacked:

Some protection he is!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Inspiration comes in lots of forms.

For me, the problem with writing is always about inspiration. Sometimes, I can sit down and tap something out in 5 minutes. It might not be good or even make much sense, but it's there. Other times, I sit here and I read other blogs and can come up with nothing worth writing about for mine. Some weeks, there is just nothing going on in my life and then there are weeks where so much is happening that I have no time to sit down.

While subbing a few weeks ago, I got to teach about one of my favorite writers--Samuel Taylor Coleridge. I especially love "Kubla Khan," particularly these lines:

And from this chasm, with ceaseless turmoil seething,
As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing,
A mighty fountain momently was forced :
Amid whose swift half-intermitted burst
Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail,
Or chaffy grain beneath the thresher's flail :
And 'mid these dancing rocks at once and ever
It flung up momently the sacred river.
Five miles meandering with a mazy motion
Through wood and dale the sacred river ran,
Then reached the caverns measureless to man,
And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean :

Those lines occur about midway through the poem and Coleridge is speaking of inspiration. He says that it springs forth with no warning and flows for a time before disappearing completely into "a lifeless ocean." I can relate. Many times, I think of something good to wrote about while doing something else, but it is gone by the time I sit down.

Coleridge also writes about the difficulty faced in trying to recapture the exact words that you have composed in your head. He writes:

Could I revive within me
Her symphony and song,
To such a deep delight 'twould win me,
That with music loud and long,
I would build that dome in air,
That sunny dome ! those caves of ice !
And all who heard should see them there,
And all should cry,

He is speaking here of the song the lady with the dulcimer sings in his vision. He says that he wishes he could remember the song (or the lines of poetry composed in his head) because, if he could, he could build the palace of Kubla Khan in the air and everyone would be able to see it. Not only, would they be able to visualize the palace, but also the warrior and they would be able to hear the lady's song.

A great poet can convey emotion through writing and cause you to visualize what they are speaking of. I think that Coleridge succeeds in this. There are other poems of his that I love also, but this is definitely one of my favorites. I think he captures the fleeting nature of inspiration. Well, either that, or he shows the reader what good opium he was taking. Truthfully, I think he felt that his laudanum use was detrimental to his writing because as soon as he had composed a piece, he would forget it.

You can read the entire poem here.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Maybe I should get my eyes checked??

The desirable sub jobs around here have been few and far between. I'm pretty sure that I could sub every day if I worked for two counties. Actually, I could sub every single day here if I were willing to go to every school. I have a little problem wanting to drive 45 minutes one way to sub all day for only $65. It is unfortunate that many of the jobs are at the schools that are that far from my house. Thing is, we live pretty far out of town but right next to the interstate. If we lived in town, those schools would be even farther away because I would have to still drive to the interstate.

You can now understand my excitement yesterday when I saw a sub job pop up that was about 25 minutes from my house and at a great school. I immediately signed up for it, got ready, and headed out. I hurried so I would be on time and I was. When I arrived at the room, the teacher looked at me funny. She swore the job she had put in was for Monday, March 9, not Wednesday, March 4. She checked and it was. I completely looked at the date wrong when I signed up. I was 5 days early! It was kind of embarrassing. I am still going back on Monday though because it's a great school and it's close. I'm actually looking forward to it!

Monday, March 02, 2009

Snow in Tennessee!!!

For once, we got snow and Nashville and the area north of Nashville did not. It always happens the other way around. Here's some pictures of the snow that ushered in March around here:

Look at that! 7 inches of snow! Here's the trees in my backyard all snow-covered:

I had to scrape all the snow off my car to drive into town Sunday morning. It took a good 30 minutes or so and, even then, I did not get it all. I left the 7 or 8 inches of snow on my roof, thinking it would just blow off. Halfway into town, it melted enough to slide down on top of the trunk and the back window. I could not see out my rearview mirror after that.