Friday, December 29, 2006

Buck ME

OK you gotta Love this guys sense of Humor!!!!
What Kind of Degenerates do I associate with??
Ones with a wicked sense of humor!!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Scared of Santa Gallery

Ok so it is that time of year, you know when the parents pack the kids up tote them to the mall and sit them on the lap of some fat dude with a fake white beard who always seems to enjoy the fact that a kid is sitting so close to their junk.

And we wonder why the kids freak out??? Take a look at a these hysterical moments caught on film for prosperity, yeah I am sure the kids will get a kick out of it when they are adults, and will no less do the same to their own kids, but then again some of these kids look like they might be in need of some serious therapy!

Ok the older brother is just enjoying this too much !!!

I don't care if this guys beard is real, get me off his lap!!!!

Please don't leave me, please don't leave me, please don't leave me !!!!!!!!!!

Sheer Terror!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If I hold my breath long enough maybe he will go away!!! Going to my happy place!

Mommy Santa smells like cheep wine.

Twin Terrors

You gotta love a kid at Christmas time!!! Hope you enjoyed!!!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

My life As A Teacher

For those who don't know I am a teacher, well a Special Education Teacher to be exact. This is my 15th year of teaching now, and well let’s just say I am half way to retirement.

So this has been an interesting year so far, considering the nightmare year I had last year this year seems a breeze. Usually when I tell people what I do for a living they usually respond in one of two ways: Wow that's really commendable of you, or Wow I feel really sorry for you.

Its funny how often I will have my Gen Ed colleagues walk past my room shaking their head because they hear me repeat the same directions 5 times in a row, only to later stop me in the hall and say "How can you stand it?"

Well I don't look at it that way, I love my job most days, and the only complaints that I really have don't involve the actual art of teaching these kids but rather dealing with all the paperwork and academic bureaucracy that goes along with it, but that is another post in of itself.

So why do I like my job?? Well there are many reasons, first I love to teach, secondly I love the challenge. Sure anyone can stand in front of a class and teach a lesson in Language Arts, but can they individualize that instruction to cover all the learning styles that I have in my class?, covering the auditory, tactile, visual and nonverbal learners? Of course not, that is why we are called "Special Educators". It takes something special to do this job, or at least to be a little touched in the head.

So I tend to not be the typical stiff necked rigid teacher, what can I say I like to have fun, crack jokes, use sarcasm every chance I get and well laugh at myself also.
So although I like to keep things light, I am still a tough teacher to please, and expect a hell of a lot out of my students. I expect them to acknowledge their disabilities but never let them define them. I guess having a teacher that is a bit like them in many ways (ADD Poster child) helps in that area.

So I have an interesting bunch of kids this year and I have to honestly say that I have had more entertaining events happen than I have in a long time. They are a mixture of cognitively impaired (borderline mentally retarded), learning disabled, socially retarded, speech impaired, otherwise health impaired (that’s a nice way of saying CRAZY) and oh the frosting on the cake, one bi-polar student. Yes I am surrounded by bi-polar madness 24/7 between my brother and this student. Let's just say it makes for an interesting school day.

So as I was saying life is always interesting in my room. It is amazing what you observe these kids doing when they "think" you are not listening or watching them. Last month we had oh let's see 8 or so days of state standardized testing, and well my kids don't do too well on them because they are written at grade level, which they are not working at. So they try to do their best and well fill the rest of the test session time with odd little actions, this is a list of just a few of the things I observed them doing while they should have been concentrating on their test:

70"s Boy tapping out the tune "Smoke on the Water" with his pencil on his desk, ya got to love a 13 year old who knows who Deep Purple is! Followed by his obsessive habit of rubbing his nipples when he becomes frustrated, what? At least it isn't something else!

Various antics by another student whom I fondly refer to as Creepy Boy. Why do I call him that? Because I have an uncontrollable obsession to shower off the creepy feeling he gives me daily. Anyway he took his pen and hooked the cap on his lower lip so that he could shove one end of it up his nose by moving his lower lip, another favorite of his, spraying his spit on the student seated in front of him, or taking his cd that the test was recorded on and spinning it like a top on the end of his pencil.

Then there are all my other students who are constantly asking me to explain the answers to them, ummm it's a test I can't help you ---helloooo.

The gum that comes out of the mouth and is stretched two feet in front of their face and somehow ends up all over their answer document, humm think that one might just get tossed because it gets stuck in the scantron.

The student who removed the batteries from their cd player and was putting the end on their tongue to see if they could get a shock, hummm do I tell them that, that trick only works on 9-volt batteries or do I let them go through life not knowing that nugget of information? hummmm decisions, decisions.

The students who think it's cool to play connect the dots with their answer documents in an attempt to recreate the image of the Eiffel Tower. And of course the student whom I have to proctor each answer for because they broke their hand one day into this testing session from hell.

But the winner of the gold star for this years most memorable "Special Ed" moment during standardized testing goes to 70"s Boy who somehow managed to flip himself out of his chair and land flat on his back during the middle of one testing session. Ok the sight of him laying on the floor with his legs straight up in the air was priceless, I am chuckling even now as I write this, but the kicker was his explanation of how he managed to accomplish such a feat---I was trying to swat a fly, damn must have been one big fly.

See told ya life is never boring in my classroom.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

The Hierarchy of Friendship

Ok well I just got off the phone with my best girlfriend Ce-Ce, this girl and I have been tight since high school and well can honestly say she is probably the one friend that I have been consistently close to for the longest time.

Now Ce- Ce always has an agenda when she calls, there is always a “reason” or point to the call. Getting her to that point sometimes is daunting, but she always eventually gets there. So tonight’s agenda centered on her feeling dissed by this guy that she works with.

Well she doesn’t really even “work” with him-- just in the same building. I guess they struck up a convo one night at work and fell into this habit of eating on their break together. They are both huge sport fans and he invites her to join this sports round table club thing at work. Don’t ask me what that involves, cuz I can't begin to understand it. The problem is that their “friendship” that they developed at break time has not transferred over into this new environment, and well she feels hurt.

So she calls me for advice, and of course I have to give it to her cuz that is what I do best. Ha right, anyway I listen for twenty five minutes about how she is affected by this and give her my take on the situation.

You see, I have always had this Hierarchy of Friendship Theory that I subscribe to. Friendships fall into to very vast and differentiated levels in my opinion. Now I don’t have any slick titles for each level just simply refer to them as levels 1-4, maybe one day I will give them some hip labels, but for now this works well for my purposes.

First you have level 1 friendships: these are your closest friends. You are actually involved in their lives, you go to their weddings, hell you probably even stood up in their weddings. You are their kids godparent, you call them out on their shit, but always have their back when they've been wronged. They are the one’s you gladly take a day off work for to attend their relative’s funerals because you feel the need to be there for them. They hang at your house and even go on vacation with you on occasion. These are your inner circle friends and you can’t imagine your life without their presence.

Next you have level 2 friendships:
These are people you truly like, but they just haven’t yet worked their way into the inner circle. They have potential to reach that goal, but for whatever reason they aren’t quite there, and who knows may never reach that level. Could be for good reasons, could be that it just hasn’t happened yet. You are invited to social events they throw and you would invite them to your own 4th of July bash. They know you in pretty well but you may or may not pour out your angst to them, and some you don’t completely let them in your head. You value their opinion of you but if they slid down the level of friendship you might take it in stride, maybe you would put effort into working them back up the ladder but maybe you will just let it go.

Now we move onto level 3 friendships:
These are people you know, mostly friends of friends and people you work with.
Yah you like them and enjoy time with them when you are put in the same environment. But you don’t go out of your way to seek them out. You don’t have their home phone numbers, and know a little about their life, how many kids they have, what their hobbies are etc., But you wouldn’t probably say more than hi or nod in greeting to them if you saw them at the grocery store, well take that back you might shoot the shit for a few minutes. You really don’t give a damn what their opinion is on anything important and tend to say neutral in your conversations, you are polite and wouldn’t say anything negative to them, and NEVER tell them anything of relative personal importance.

Bottom of the Barrel --Level 4 friends
Now level 4 friends are people that well aren’t really friends but more acquaintances. They might be your neighbors, the owner of the dry cleaner shop you frequent who always refers to you as “How are you my friend” but really you are just a customer. THese might be people that attend the same parish or church as you, or even some people you work with. Your conversations and interactions with these people are limited to general small talk. You don’t discuss with them the bad week you have had, or the issues you are struggling with in your life. They are simply kind people you encounter here and there and exchange some mutually casual conversation with and that is it. They have no idea what motivates and makes you tick and well probably have no interest in finding out. And you definitely don’t give a rat’s ass about their opinion on you or anything they might think.

So after reminding Ce- Ce of the hierarchy, which she practically knows verbatim, I ask her Where does this “guy” fall in the whole scheme of friendship? Does the guy even know the basics about you to even register as a level 3 on the friendship scale??

My take is that he barely scores in the lower percentile of the level 4 friend. Now the question to her is do you really want to take the time and effort to bump this guy up on the scale? And can you just be happy with him hanging out at level 4?? And why would you let a level 4 friend even make you feel bad?

Hey just keeping it real Ce Ce, and fulfilling my commitment to you as a level 1 friend girl.