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Showing posts from July, 2005


When you're a teacher, you become embroiled in union issues. Even if you don't want to... it permiates everything you do. There are positives and negatives to being part of union. Shockingly most of life is like this, and always will be despite what anyone claims, hopes or promises.

A few weeks ago, the NEA had their annual meeting and several people have been upset about the agenda. Apparently, it's more political than educational. I know, it's stunning to think that any union would be involved in politics... the whole rights of the worker thing has nothing to do with the government. By the way, I have some lovely property in Arizona that will probably become beach front in about 100 years. Buy now, while the cost is low!

Ok, back to the topic at hand. Many are upset that Social Security dominated the NEA agenda. A simplistic view might be that this has nothing to do with education and shouldn't be in realm of importance to the NEA. I would be to differ. First, Soci…

School Supplies

While driving around yesterday I stopped off at Target to pick up a mirror for the bathroom... having discovered the joys of owning this particular mirror while staying at a gorgeous Seattle retreat this weekend. Never found said mirror. I did however happen upon the school supplies!

With only a month away til school, the sales started a few weeks ago. There is a science to school supply shopping for teachers. First, you have to know what you'll need and what's flexible. Second, you have to grok the minds to chain store marketing weenies. The first several weeks of sales are not the best. Marketing weenies are hoping to cash in on Mom and Dad's desperate desire to send kids back to school and get a bargin. However, waiting until mid-august is also a no-no, as marketing weenies know that parents are lining up with excited kids and their lists! This is when the stores start to cash in. End of July is a good time to shop. People are still in vacation mode and not thinking abou…


On Wed. I watched Brat Camp for the first time. Granted I missed the first episode, which may have contained vital information, but I found it rather dull. The "brats" complained, whined and acted like most teenagers when confronted with those who force them to do something they don't want. Whoopee! I'm sure that when these kids are all hopped up drugs or something, they're something to behold... and I'm thrilled they are getting help, but doesn't make for good TV. I may watch another episode just see if it gets any better.

I finished reading Why Workshop today. I took about 8 pages of notes and got many, many ideas from the essays inside. Basically, the book is a bunch of essays written by teachers using the reading/writing workshop method in their classrooms. The information they give is priceless. The last third of the book is devoted to talking about experiences with students who refuse, are unmotivated, or live to drive you and everyone else bonkers.…


Last night I was watching Nanny 911. As a former nanny, I find these shows fascinating... Especially the part where the nanny gets to tell the parents how they are ruining their child's future by letting them get away with murder or repeatedly hit their siblings or whatever problem of the week it is. My GOD! how I wanted to do that so many times. (Ok, with one mother I did, but the woman was psychotic and she was turning her 6 year boy into a bulimic! )

So here's my question about the show? Is it only upper middle class families that are picked for the show? Why aren't there any working moms or houses without a 3-car garage? Why not a family scraping by in a triple decker in Southie or a trailer park in a former mill town in NY? That would make an interesting reality show.


Who's your family? I realized the other day that when I say "family," I'm including everyone - 2nd cousins, great-great-uncles, etc. Not everyone used the term that way. My friends, who use the word "family" to mean their parents and siblings, are aways stunned at the seemingly endless supply of cousins in my life. However, when you're including your parents' cousines and their children (and grandchildren as the case may be), the list does get a bit long. Recently someone called and said "Hi, this Betty*, your cousin"... and it took about 15 seconds to cycle through the list of names before I was able to figure out exactly who Betty was. My friends may not have family members calling up out of the blue or innumerable family obligations, but I believe I'm the richer for it.

Last Tuesday, one of my uncles passed away. It's one of those situations where people re-evaluate their life, seriously wonder why this simple accident cost a lov…

Chataqua '05

originally uploaded by Hedgetoad. My newphew is giving a rare photo smile - he was really sad to not quite make the height limit for the bumper cars. Too old for the kiddie rides and too short for the "really good rides."

We tried again later with a new ticket taker who completely missed his tip-toe lift to just make the mark. Obliviousness saved the day!

Want to make a teacher's day?

Yesterday, I ran into my mentor teacher. She told me that a former student had asked that she "tell me 'hi!'" when we caught up this summer (we're both from the same small town). Even better than that was the news that this student has dropped off the VP's radar, stayed in all his classes and pulled C's and B's. It's a HUGE change from our year with him and I couldn't be more proud of him! He was always a great kid - he just needed to believe it!

Nothing is better on a humid day!

Arguably the best article I've seen all week - the immortal ice cream sandwich! Favorite of millions for over a century and shockingly still one of the cheapest treats around. You can pick one up at a local bodega or "gas-n-sip" for about a quarter. Scroll to the bottom of the article for recipes to make your own.


When I was very little, my favorite thing in the world was to sit in the huge porch at my grandparents lake house and watch the thunderstorms come down from the mountains and over the lake. The "porch" was almost as big as house itself, with various tables, chairs and even an old couch (yes, we're all hicks at heart). It overlooked Curlew Lake, and I thought it was the most perfect place on the face of the earth. Still do, truth be known...

After several days of 90 degree weather, eastern WA is waiting for the thunderstorms to come down from the mountains and put on a post-holiday fireworks show. Although there's always a chance of sparking a forest fire, Mother Nature's show is something that shouldn't be missed.

In the meantime, I'm starting to read Cohesive Writing, by Carol Jago. She's listed as the faculty member for the online course I'm taking regarding teaching the classics in high school. I have another two books of her's coming and sh…

Happy 4th!


We're in the midst of celebrating the holidays - Canadian and American - while sitting in the sun!

I've left the coast for the next few weeks and will definately be enjoying the lack of precipitation. In the meantime, visit some of the sites on the blog roll. There's lots of good ones out there!