Friday, July 31, 2009

All "Lioned" Up

The pace at school has reached a fevered frenzy trying to get the school ready for the over-excited parent stampede Open House.

Replace stained ceiling tiles but don't worry about the leak that is the cause of the stain. Check.

Call maintenance for the hundredth fifth time about AC in Media Center AND the AC for the menopausal teacher because that baby just can't get cold enough. Check.

Sort out papers and handbooks to overwhelm go home with parents. Check.

Take custodians out to lunch for having to deal with all of us crazed educators doing such an excellent job making the school shine. Check.

All the while, parents who have moved to the area are still coming into the office to enroll students.

One parent came in to withdraw her two daughters. I don't think I've ever seen this woman happy. Her personal mission last year was to get a bus driver fired. In the end, I had an arsenal of videos that could have been used to train bus drivers how to do their job. When she came in... surprise, surprise... she wasn't happy. Still.

Melancholy Mom (with her arms crossed and a haughty attitude): "I want to withdraw my children from this school."

Me (smiling, because that is my job and she had just made my day): "Not a problem. Where will they be going to school this coming up year?"

Melancholy Mom (clearly irked that I asked): "I am home schooling them."

Me: "That is fine. You will need to complete some paperwork at the Board of Education office stating that you are home schooling your children."

Melancholy Mom: "THAT is none of their business! Why do I have to tell anyone what I am doing?"

Me: "It has to do with the Compulsory Attendance law...." Yada yada yawn.

Melancholy Mom (starting to look like a fierce lion): "Well, that just isn't right. The public education in this town is awful, just awful. Do you know what I think is the biggest problem with your curriculum in your school?" Um, no. I really don't.

I just stared at her because I know these types of conversations. The mother lion was going for blood to tell me what she thought no matter what.

Melancholy Mom: "You guys spend too much time reading. Kids need the chance to see the world and experience things outside of school." Did she think we were an flipping travel agency? And when did reading in school become a problem?

After her verbal diarrhea she had finished, I looked around and got excited because one of my secretaries was at her desk trying to disguise her laughter. It always helps when more than one person hears a conversation. Besides, I'm really not that creative and I couldn't make this crap up.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Panning for Turds and the Fecal Fiend

My neighbors are home after a week in the Caribbean. When they are gone, I watch out for their FOUR CATS and ONE LITTER BOX. I've never been so happy for them to get home.

Let's just say, the experience has been good for the diet. And I can't look at Tootsie Rolls without feeling nauseous.

Also, on the agenda this past weekend, we got to pick up Mr. Funny from his Poindexter Camp. He has been there for the past 6 weeks and we've missed his mood swings witty banter around the house.

When asked to share his experiences with us, he told us about one night when all the boys were called together for an impromptu meeting. Apparently, some boy had pooped in the sink in one of the academic halls. They were out to get this bathroom bandit.

Of all the stories. He has been at an academic camp majoring in Social Studies and the first story that comes to mind deals with this sneaky crapper. Nice.

Hope your weekend was pooptastic great, too!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Me and my shadow

This past week, a student in the Educational Leadership program was assigned to shadow me. The first day, I found out she is currently not in a teaching position. She hasn't started looking for a teaching position because she'll graduate with her Leadership degree in December. In fact, she has never even had a job, much less been a teacher. It is so painfully obvious she has no idea what the real world is like!

Why would you want a leadership degree when you haven't even tried out the teaching part of the job? And why does the university allow blatantly inexperienced students into the leadership program because really, those of us in administration question our sanity as to why we went into administration on many a good day?

So they sent her to shadow me for a week. A week when I don't have students and I don't have teachers. All she is learning is the paperwork part of my job. Big, hairy deal. The real fun starts when the students arrive.

At the end of the week, I will have to rate my shadow. So far, she has just come across as young and immature as I'm sure all of us would have been if we had no reason to work. She came to work 5 minutes late yesterday. This truly pissed me off surprised me as I had just explained the day before that one of the deadly sins in education (my opinion, my school) was tardiness. And she has left the school to take an hour+ lunch break both days. She can't seem to remember to bring something with her to eat and doesn't seem to grasp the idea that teachers and administrators have to eat lunch in approximately 3 minutes on most days.

She doesn't have a frickin clue.

Since whatever I have to say to her seems to fall on deaf ears, I am assuming she will eventually get the message from her supervising professor when I complete her evaluation and send it in.

All I can say is I wouldn't want to work in a school if she was running it. Hell, I wouldn't even want to put a my child in her class.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Summer is over

When your three weeks is up summer is over, you are supposed to ease back into work. Right?!

Why didn't the memo get to the right people?

Just for craps and giggles They sent us back to work a week before our secretaries. Don't they know who really runs the school? I tried enrolled over 30 new students in 3 days! And we aren't even going to talk about the phone because I promise I could just chunk that cell phone and not miss it one bit.

And while these phones were ringing and the people were in the office enrolling their kids, a new wall was being built. Right outside of the front office. Have I ever told you about how much saws and drills make my teeth hurt? No?

In addition, this past week of craziness coincided with a new business venture for my husband. Vending machines! While the honey buns may rock they are totally not worth half the days caloric allotment. And being the nice wife, I went out to help load the twenty something machines they have put in this one business.

This I did on a Friday evening. The day before the 5K on Saturday.

After working like dogs, we got home and ate pizza around 9 p.m.

I'll spare you the details but I have learned that pizza at bedtime a few hours before you run is NOT a good idea. Don't let anyone tell you any differently.

On a positive note, I did my best time ever - 36:09. Maybe hurking up pizza isn't so bad after all.

I'll leave you with a sign I found the other day in a convenience store. I have to admit, it is kind of nice to think that some men were trying to get more in touch with their feminine side.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I'm not sure I would have passed the test

The same people who thought it was a good idea to let me run a school encouraged me to attend a conference exclusively for administrators. At the beach. Which is an especially cruel place to make people sit inside listening to boring speakers while others were outside riding bikes and building sand castles.

One of the speakers talked about how it was critical that we teach children how to problem solve. Apparently it is more important for them to figure out real life situations than it is to learn their multiplication tables. Who knew?

Now if only they'd get the state test changed. We could set up some real life situations. For instance, we could put the students outside right before a storm and rate them on how they respond. The ones who came in from the rain would clearly be ready to be passed up to the next level while the ones who stayed put would need some type of intervention and face possible retention.

At the end of the first day, a 5K beach run was scheduled because apparently somebody thinks it is fun watching a bunch of out of shape administrators huff and puff down the coast. They got us all in a line on the beach and sent us off running.

About a mile into the race, lightning began zapping, thunder started booming, and the rain poured down. I can only speak for myself and the poor kid running near me but it was a downright Billy Graham experience. Right there on the beach.

I thought I was going to die.

So, I did what any normal person would do. I grabbed that boy and made him run faster than he has ever run in his life.

After all, only the ones who finished the race got a t-shirt.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Wasting Good Air

Last night, my husband was catering for a friend's 50th birthday party. I went along for the free food and drinks to help. While I was working the room standing around, I met a retired teacher and her fat husband. She was interesting. He was weird.

Me: "You used to teach Home Ec? How cool!" My mother would have LOVED for me to have taken home economics. Instead, I took drafting and art.

Retired Teacher: "Yep. Once I told the senior girls to each bring in a chicken and I would teach them how to cut it up and cook it. Several of the girls got off the bus with a live chicken." Double points to those of you who realized that only girls took this class. What the heck?! One of the main reasons I married my husband was for his cooking skills and house cleaning abilities!

Me: "Oh, wow! What did you do?" Because what WOULD you do with live chickens running around the school?

Retired Teacher: "Well, the Ag Teacher and I showed them how to wring the necks of the chickens. And then we cleaned them and cut them up to get ready to cook them." Oh. Of course!

Fat Husband of Retired Teacher: "Kids today aren't like they used to be." Were we speaking to you, lard butt?

Me: "Well. No, they aren't. But parents aren't like they used to be either." What was I supposed to say? We weren't even talking about misbehaving students.

Retired Teacher: "Amen to that." I love when realizations bring about a religious experience.

Fat Husband of Retired Teacher: "You know when all the problems started? Back in 1964 with the Civil Rights Movement. Every thing has been downhill since then." Did he just say that aloud? Dang! How do you respond to that?

Insert awkward silence.

Me: "I think I need to go help out at the bar." Because apparently I suck at good come backs.

In an effort to be more like my friend, Michel, I am sitting here blogging when in less than an hour I am supposed to be picking up my assistant principal to head to a conference. I haven't filled up the car with gas. And I still haven't packed or gotten dressed. See? I needed some cheesecake!

Friday, July 10, 2009


In just a few months, it appears my mother-in-law has aged ten years. She has lost her teeth again. Still, she smiles as if they were in place in all their enamel glory.

The doctor says her lungs are no worse than they were a year ago which is only because no one will buy her cigarettes. The fluid on the brain is significantly worse. And this is where we are having problems.

She can no longer walk. Her memory is for crap basically gone.

But she is happy. In her world, she is picking weeds, going to work, teaching dance lessons, and entertaining the annoying neighbors. She is even going to the dentist. Her husband who died 5 years ago is still paying the bills. She is happy.

And yet, she is no longer who we knew before. She is but mostly she isn't.

The doctors talked with us about having a shunt inserted to relieve the pressure off her brain. It isn't a complicated procedure. The complication lies in getting her off the respirator. There is a strong chance she won't be able to come off that respirator. Her lungs are that bad. And this scares me for her.

What if we have this shunt put in and it works? It would be great to know that she is able to realize the world around her and to once again carry on a real conversation. But what if she is never able to come off the respirator?

I know there are things worse than death. Isn't that it?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A Biology Lesson - Why brains will get you farther than looks

About a month ago, I noticed this little guy on my fennel plant. Swallowtail caterpillars! There were a lucky 13 in all. Please pay attention. This is a story of birth and death and butterfly stupidity. Besides, there may be a test at the end. They ate and ate and grew. Sadly, their numbers went down despite the fact they were totally chowing down consuming what used to be a huge fennel plant. Finally, I realized the godless, stinging beasts wasps were zapping them and flying away with the caterpillar carcass. My protective nature kicked into gear. Ozone sensitive wasp spray may or may not have been sprayed in vast quantities in an attempt to rid the world of this evil.

When the numbers were a mere THREE, I brought them onto the porch and prayed for them to pupate.

Over the next two days, each of the three caterpillars struck the pupate pose.

Interestingly enough, the color of the chrysalis seemed to be determined by the color of the stick the pupation took place on as one was green and two were gray-brown. Next year, I plan to paint some of the sticks orange and purple just to see what the chrysalis color will be.

Two of the butterflies came out of the chrysalis when we weren't looking. Later, we had to catch them on porch and send them on their merry little way since they were too stupid to fly out the open door. The last chrysalis finally showed evidence of the butterfly coming out.

Because I did read a little about the Swallowtails, I knew to leave them alone. Apparently, things in nature have this whole birthing process worked out.

Like humans, they really aren't too cute when they finally emerge. At least they don't suffer from the cone head issues.

After they are born, they are supposed to hang out and let their wings dry. At first, he seemed to get the hanging out part.

Then, for some reason, he just fell to the floor. He looked a lot like a turtle on his back. I wanted to throw him a lifeline but I resisted playing God.

He just didn't look good and it didn't feel right to not lend a helping hand. I cheered for him and all he did was crumple up his wings. He seemed defeated.

When he began to tear his wings, I offered a stick to the butterfly. He seemed thankful and grabbed hold. I placed the stick back into the flower pot.

Within a few minutes, the butterfly was back on the floor. What the hell?! Maybe this was a special butterfly. Or maybe this was a butterfly who would benefit from some accommodations. Or it could be that this was a butterfly who was having issues with that whole survival of the fittest concept.

I offered the stick again. Again, the butterfly clung on for dear life.

Maybe the butterfly needed some food. I decided to place the butterfly outside on what remained of the fennel plant. He quickly climbed up a new stick and just sat there. Now maybe what remained of his wings would dry out and work for him.

Within minutes, a wasp started circling the area. Against my better judgment, I decided to let nature take it's course. Damn wasps won again.

I was able to snap this picture of one of the butterflies who followed the protocol for wing drying right before we caught him to place him outside because he was one of the two butterflies too stupid to fly out the door we opened for him.

In the end, the score was Butterflies - 2, Wasps - 11.

I think I'm going to have to reconsider this whole "Free as a Butterfly" idea. It appears when it comes to survival of the fittest, the wasps have it going on.

Monday, July 6, 2009


Already Been Chewed Gum
It has many meanings

On the bottom of your shoe

Stuck beneath the desk

A breath freshener hoping for that kiss

On the roof of a mouth, hoping the teacher won't notice during class

A terrible joke crammed into the key hole

An announcement that Miss Poopy is back in the saddle

(She stole the gum from my purse.)


Go Miss Poopy Go!


Miss Poopy had a relapse last week and suddenly began dragging her back legs. Just over a year ago a disk ruptured in Miss Poopy's back causing her to be totally paralyzed. After surgery and therapy, she regained her ability to walk (even if it does look a bit like Slinky dog).

Miss Poopy spent several days in the doggie jail hospital and now she is home and able to walk again. Another delay in the ordering of the wheels! Crisis deferred.

Carry on.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Wild Kingdom

We've had some wild (ok, who am I to judge) rabbits who've moved into the neighborhood. After leaving out a few baby carrots and the food disappeared. I expect an invite to their den any day now. It is nice to have good neighbors. And they look much friendlier than the little old lady with the two poodles although it has become my life mission to wave and smile to her EVERY DAMN DAY because apparently her life sucked and she likes to show it on her face!

When I run in the morning, there are usually two rabbits grazing in the lot across the street. Apparently, they are not supposed to be seen together shy because they usually do their statue pose when I come by. If everything goes as planned, they'll grow to love me as much as I love them. Aren't they adorable?

A few weeks ago, we noticed some bees flying around one corner of the house. After watching them for a while, it was obvious they were crawling under the wood and going .... where?! DANGIT! We didn't invite the stinking bees!

The brave, daring husband crawled into the attic to investigate. He came back stating the bees were NOT in the attic.

After a Google-fied search, we realized we were dealing with honey bees.

DOUBLE DANGIT! We can't kill honey bees! There is a huge decline of honey bees in the United States (and in the world - but it appears the rest of the world is doing a better job advertising for the bees to visit and stay).

After a few frustrating phone calls to the County Extension Agent because WHY THE HECK WOULD WE REALLY WANT THEM TO TAKE OUR CONCERNS SERIOUSLY! We have BEES! BEES HAVE STINGERS! WE DON'T ENJOY THE STINGERS! , a volunteer arrived. Apparently we look a step above complete and total imbecile don't look well educated in all things bees and he didn't trust our judgment that the bees were NOT in the attic.

After a sweaty climb into the attic, Mr. Bee Keeper came down to announce the bees were NOT in the attic.

Oh, really.
He felt they were in the wall. A lively discussion about the merits of going through wood or brick ensued. The wood lost.

After cutting into wood at the top of the garage which has NOT been cleaned out due to reading, avoiding the hotter than holy carp heat and waiting for the garage fairy to arrive, Mr. Bee Keeper announced the bees were NOT in the wall!

The next step was to attack check the eaves of the house.

Mr. Bee Keeper loaded up the bee smoker and explained that the smoke made the bees really excited. Really?! I think I've met others who get excited about *special* smoke, too. Who knew humans had so much in common with the bees?

Mr. Bee Keeper really smoked those bees. And they did get excited and I believe a few bee brain cells were fried in the process which is why you should NOT smoke stuff even if it is just pine straw!

The task of ruining cutting into the eaves began. It started with a little hole but quickly grew into a more expensive chunk-o-damage about an eight foot section.

HOLY HONEY! There were tons of bees! This experience has taught me that bees are smarter than I initially thought. Their colony even had a brain-like appearance.

Mr. Bee Keeper then began the process of getting stung taking the honey combs down. We begged him to put on his cool bee-keeper hat but he said it wasn't necessary.

Mr. Bee Keeper ain't no sissy! is a very tough man.

While getting stung taking down the honey combs, Mr. Bee Keeper gave us several lessons on bee keeping although I'm not sure why because we wanted the little stingers out of there. He also looked for the queen.

I really didn't understand everything he said but I did get that if you were a bee, you'd want to be the queen. And the drones are boring get killed. See, Mom? I can be a good student!

We all looked for the queen. Mr. Bee Keeper said he'd know her when he saw her.
I looked for the crown.

I looked a little bit closer. Maybe I'd be able to spot that majestic wave.
Is it me or do they all look alike? This is making me feel like a bee-racist.

Instead, I found this bee hanging out on a leaf. Is it just me or are those some BIG eyes?!

Normally, I'm not all a-scared of bees but typically, I don't mess up their condo colony.

I was starting to just think it was all in my head. Bees don't have emotions. Bees won't take this personally.

Then, I saw my cup of water.

DANGIT! There is no denying that the bees have it out for us!

I think I'm going to go see if I can move in with the rabbits.