Sunday, February 28, 2010

Random Hubby Story

The Hubby and I are really exciting people.

Last night we went to Ross and TJMax for fun. Yes! If this is to exciting for you please by all means take a moment to collect yourself.

So After our adventures in getting cookie sheets for 10$ and a new belt for him we decide that it's time for some nourishment.

This is how the conversation goes almost every time we have to pick a place to eat.

Me: What would you like to eat - I'm up for anything
Hub: I would enjoy anything - you pick
Me: You always make me pick - and You don't like what I want
Hub: What's that?
Me: Sushi .......or......ummmm Pancakes*
What ??? - woman you are so strange just pick something normal
Me: See I told you that you wouldn't like it - you pick

*Last night it was Sushi or Pancakes - sometimes it's not that random

So we head our little Honda over to the amazing In-and-Out ... MMMM Animal Style!

And on the way back with our bag of gold this is the conversation that takes place.

Hub: You know what would be awesome, If Jason Mraz was to be walking down the beach and get uppercut-ted in the jaw
Hub: Yeah - I feel like that would be awesome. Think about it - it would be even better if it happened on a beach - He's walking along and he just gets an uppercut to the jaw
Me: Why is this so funny!
(I was kinda laughing my butt of at this point)
Hub: You know what would be even better - if as he's getting the uppercut to the jaw he falls back into some little kids birthday cake** - but the kid doesn't start crying because as he blew out the candles that's what he wished for.
Me: What do you have against Jason Mraz? *please note: I'm almost crying from laughter*
Hub: Look at the guy - he goes walking around in a hat most people can get for 10$ at target but he spends an ungodly amount on it at some swanky store. The guy deserves and uppercut.

So Jason Mraz - If you happen to see my tall Aussie hubby walking around on the beach - just turn your little butt around and head in the opposite direction. Especially if you see a little kid about to blow out his birthday candles.

**In my logical mind I'm thinking - That would never happen, no mother in her right mind is going to bring a birthday cake to the beach. Think of the sand that would get all over it. gross.

Friday, February 26, 2010

what a day

So I'm sitting here watching my dvr of oprah with the cat sitting on my lap. Trying to think of a way to re tell the events of the day. I keep hoping she will come through my tv and scream that I'm getting a car. I love my car don't get me wrong, but how awesome would that be!

I'm also waiting for the laundry to finish so I can put it in the dryer. *we have an upstairs washer and dryer - go ahead and be jealous. *

The day started out by showing up to school printing out my sub-note, meeting my sub, and walking out the door to go film a video clip for the morning announcements for two new classes being offered on campus next year. Two years ago I helped write a grant, we got the grant and we are now in our implementation year. Today I was spending the day trying to figure out how to spend a whole lot of money that wasn't mine. That's fun - it's also very stressful.

I rapped today on the announcements.
Here is how it went.

Myyyyyy name is Mrs. Parsons and I'm here to say
That I'm going to talk to you about two classes today
Intro to education
And methods in teaching
Now Stop - I know what you're thinking
Why would I want to come to school and learn
About the education that I already learned
Well did you take child development or psychology
These are those classes just rolled up you see
It's about education
It's about how you learn
It's about the college degree that you'll earn
So stop by my room M114
or go knock on your councilors door
For more information yo!!!!

I know - you're impressed - you may not be able to continue because you are so amazed by my mad skills.

but you will because you are a good friend - and you are thinking "If this is how the day started what more could be on it's way?!"

I spend 7 hours planning curriculum for the Methods in Teaching class - and ran around trying to figure out how to spend a lot of money by March 19th.

(Oprah just told me that spicy is the new feeling for spring - Hi I've been spicy for years Oprah, where have you been)

Then at 2:30 I head my happy self back to my classroom. and what am I met with - an angry sub note. One of my classes was going to watch Julius Caesar. Yes I know it was the 1970s BBC version - but it was a movie, on a Friday - And my kids had their heads down and were so rude that he turned off the movie 40 minutes before class ended. Blurg. It's so embarrassing to have your kids misbehave.

Between 2:30 and 5 I talked with a few friends about some upcoming events (Baby shower for Kristine the Blog stalker). and enjoyed some dinner with friends T (the secret agent), Kristine and Ellen. We went to Mama Rosas a very yummy italian food.

But Wait - There's more!

The ASL variety show was tonight. A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. Two hours of some very dedicated kids putting on a fantastic performance. There was everything from Single Ladies to Imagine by John Lennon. There were many points where I was totally tearing up. But I'm a sucker for a great performance by kids who really love what they are doing. I could tell that they had worked so hard - for their friends, teachers, and families.

It was a great end to a bit of a long week.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Is there a prayer for Teachers?

Cause I really really needed one today. I know all about separation of Church and State - and I'm okay with it, it makes my life less complicated.

But I need a silent little moment to myself sometimes. I have a few students who get on my nerves. I know I'm supposed to care for all of them equally, but as it has been written on the wall of the barn, All animals are equal - some are more equal than others. Thank you Animal Farm for teaching me these very important lessons in life.

Today I stopped no less than three times in one class. THREE - where I just needed something to get me through the moment. This is almost how it went down -

Me: So today we are going to begin learning MLA format - this will help you with your research paper we are currently writing.
D: What is MLA
Me: MLA stands for the Modern Language Association - a group of people who work to format citations and other formalities of writing.
D: Why do they do that
Me: So we have a consistent way to format papers and writing.
M: So Wait - do they have MLA in France
Me: I'm sure they have something to help them format papers - but we are not in France so it doesn't really matter.
M: oh...
Me: Moving on -

5 Minutes later

D: Wait - I don't get why we're doing this
Me: Well D we will be using this to help us format our papers
D: what papers?

At this point the whole class begins to roll their eyes.

Me: I'm not answering that question
D to his friend: I don't get it.

I have stopped - closed my eyes - and said a little prayer that I might be able to keep my sanity for another 20 minutes until class ended.

Now I am all for asking questions in a classroom - After all I was the kid who was told to Shut-up after asking what the Brazilians were feeling about Nazis moving to their country post WWII. But this situation today was just too much.

Thank goodness tomorrow is Friday - I don't know how much more of that I could take this week.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

didn't win - but i won - and there's a fire drill tomorrow

So I didn't win the chili cook-off. I was sad, kids gave me a pat on the back to try and console my broken heart. My friend Kristine won. She says she blog stalks me so - Hi Kristine!

Today I was doing one on ones for the research project and I called up this kid J who is an amazing writer. Without any of my help - he came to me this way. He's also in the creative writing class here on campus. And he sits down (he has already started typing all of his work - my other students have not even thought about) and asks some questions about his introduction paragraph. He is writing his paper on the war in Afghanistan - his thesis is that war has caused damage to a culture and that damage is becoming irreversible. It's times like this that I have one of those moments where I think I am not smart enough to be this kids teacher and then I snap out of it and remember how awesome I am. Because the following happens:

J says - So I'm trying to tighten up my language in my commentary but I'm not sure how to do it.
Me - J you are a really strong writer, at this point you have learned all of the rules of the game. What you can start to do now is break them. See here where you have the word and you can use an extended dash here - rather than have it sound so list like.

J gets this look on his face like I had just given him a prize. I smiled and asked why he looked so happy - He said that he was excited to hear that he could start to use some of the tools he had learned in creative writing in his own 'non fiction' work. I felt like I was able to release a kid from years of rules and regulations - of not allowing himself to be everything he could as a writer because the format that had been given to him for so many years was limiting.

I feel like I had won a teaching marathon! It was one of those moments that I wanted to stand up in class and yell - Why can't you all be like this. But then I thought - You can't all be like this because then I wouldn't have a job. And I l.o.v.e. my job.

So the moral of this little story is - it's good to have overachievers in the room - but it's also great to have the kids who want to do better but need a little push in the right direction.

and finally there will be a fire drill tomorrow - but it might rain, so there might not be a fire drill. Ah the joys of trying to plan a lesson when 15-20 minutes may or may not be cut out of the day. We'll just have to roll with the punches.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The tale of Lizards and Chili

But not Lizard Chili - cause that would just be gross.

Yesterday I go out to feed the pup and I notice something in her mouth. It looks like a dark piece of bark (which she has been known to treat like a toy), so I didn't think anything of it. Then I noticed that her piece of bark had a leg, and talons, and it was missing a tail. EWWW! I nearly dropped all of her food - because like a good dog she tried to give it to me. Her poor little face said "here mom I got it just for you, aren't you proud". No Tonka - I'm not proud - I'm slightly grossed out and do not want my day to start with Lizard guts all over my leg.

I went back in the house and she proceeded to run around the yard with the lizard and show it to every tree, piece of bark, and then sat on the top of her house with the lizard hanging out of her mouth like a prize.

At one point in the day I looked outside to see if she was still carrying it around. She didn't have it, so I figured she had buried it in the yard. All was well. She came in the house - had a nice little chew on her bone and off to bed we both went. She has an amazing dogloo that she loves and will only sleep in there - which is okay with me because I don't need a dog in my bed.

Again - I go to feed the Tonka-roo and after pouring out her doggy breakfast I see none other than the dead lizard. It's in her bed. She had taken it into her house and was cuddling with it like it was one of her babies. Again - I'm slightly grossed out. Not as much as the day prior because she was not trying to rub it on my leg. But there is the dead lizard - now what do I do - I proceed to go tell Bren that while I'm out today he needs to get rid of the lizard. Thank goodness I have a great hubby, because when I got home, the lizard was disposed of.

And now for the Chili portion of our tale. Tomorrow there is a Chili for Charity event. It's an annual event at school. I have entered for three years now - and never won. But I'm hoping that this is going to be my year! I'm calling it Parsons' Chuck Chipotle Chili - I got the most beautiful chuck roast yesterday at Henry's. And I will be adding three different types of beans. (Black, Pinto, Red Kidney)

I made a rub this morning and seared off the meat and then put it in the crock-pot. The rub was made up of the following - I eyeball everything, don't really measure, so I will never be able to duplicate this again.

Worcestershire - a couple of good glugs
Soy Sauce - twice around the bowl
Coriander - one and a half handfuls
Cumin - one and a half handfuls
Chili Powder - two handfuls
Tabasco - couple of good glugs
Honey - just a smidge
Cinnamon - even tinier smidge
Three chipotle peppers - it comes in adobo sauce - cut them up so they are in tiny pieces

Once the meat is in the pot - de-glaze the pan with a cup of water and then pour that all over the meat in the pot. Let cook for many many hours. Skim off the fat (chuck is a fatty meat - it makes it very tasty but there will be some skimming involved).

Add the beans and keep cooking away. If it's not thick enough take some of the warm cooking liquid and add some flour stir it up and add it back to the pot.

I really REALLY hope that I win, but only time will tell. And about 50 people who have tickets to the event tomorrow.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

An amazing tale.

I just got done reading The Red Tent by Anita Diamant. It is a historical fiction piece about Dinah the only daughter of Jacob and Leah. It made me aware of so much history and culture that I really didn't know a whole lot about.

It was beautifully written. Diamant does an incredible job of building characters that have been known for so long and yet breaths new life into them. The amazing love that they have for each other really inspires me. I was so interested in the rights of passage that the describes. That Leah, Rachel, Bilhah, and Zilpath love Dinah with such passion and delight. They take her into their arms and love her so uniquely compared to the way they love their sons. They treat her with such respect once she is able to wear the belt of womanhood.

Historical fiction is not normally my genre - I love post modern lit and YAL - But this struck a cord in me that I have not had with previous books. I picked it up because this was the choice for this months book club. I'm really looking forward to discussing it with my friend in a few weeks. It will be interesting to see what they have to say about it.

Have you read it? What did you think?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

So I have this friend.

And I think she may be a secret agent.

Here are some things you should know about my friend T.

- She is very modest. About almost all of her life. Dress, Mind, Brains, everything.
- I work with her and that makes my day better.
- She loves all things food. Her favorite place to shop is Trader Joe's (First off, who doesn't love this place, have you ever had their organic rasberry preserves? if you haven't go make a grocery list and make sure it's the first on the list. Really, i'm not kidding.)
- She loves Dr. Pepper - Dr. Pepper lunch pail - and even brings those cute little mini Dr. Pepper cans.
- She's super smart. Has tons of ideas when it comes to teaching. And is super supportive when i have wanted to try something new in my classroom.
- She loves soccer - plays in three or four different leagues and has scored multiple goals for her team while she was the goaly - I'm not talking about someone who sadly scores a point for the other team, i mean she's so good that as the goaly she has scored for her very own team. T is just awesome.

So here is the secret agent aspect of her life.

Anytime she is asked a question about her life - she simply says - It's a possibility. OR she says nothing and laughs. Hi - to me that's secret agent worthy!

This can be about anything
- Do you like tacos? - It's a possibility
- Do you work for the government as a secret agent? - Walks away and laughs

She knows how to cook crazy amazing food - and then acts like it's something everyone should be able to do. Yesterday she brought in the most amazing looking (and smelling) shrimp fried rice... mmmm so yummy. And when people oooed and awwed about it - a simple smile and a laugh.

Another reason she may be a secret agent - i said something to my students about how i thought she might be a secret agent - it got back to her, and today at lunch she gave me this look like - if you tell people i'm a secret agent, then it won't be a secret anymore ... and then she laughed.

i'm telling you - this is proof. Plus isn't it just a lovely idea that someone you work with is a secret agent? Look around the room the next time you're at work, you'll be guessing who it might be in your group of friends.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

the one where i scream at my school computer

Now don't get me wrong. i am completely 100% grateful that i have a computer in my classroom at work. i know that for years and years teachers did all of their work by hand and it would put me into a terrible tailspin if i were to go to school tomorrow and it were gone from my life.

that being said - this was my morning...

This weekend i put together a rocken' assignment for teaching persuasive essays. i don't have ink in the computer at home so i didn't print it here. i figured that it would be okay to print it at work. After all that's what computers are for, right. Now i have known for a few years that my computer takes a while to boot-up. Today i got to work at 7, school starts at 7:30. At 7:15 my computer was still trying to open files, get it's self going, and i sat there waiting, and waiting, and getting heated. Then at 7:23 i called Nicole down the hall to see if she could print it for me - i had also sent her the file because we do a lot of the same lessons. She was able to print it for me and i ran to the copy room - got my copies done and was only 1 minute late for class.

Now between the time 7:00 and 7:23 i began to talk to my computer. At first it was little words of encouragement. "Come on little computer you can do it". Then as the minutes passed by i started to yell. "WHAT'S TAKING YOU SO LONG" - "DON'T YOU KNOW SCHOOL STARTS SOON AND I NEED THIS!" "BLURG THIS IS CRAZY, WORK YOU STUPID THING" - just so you know, the computer did not answer back. It didn't budge - it makes me crazy. It shouldn't take that long for a computer to get moving.

The computer that is in my room has been with me for the past 4 and a half years.

Note: Computers are like dogs - for ever 365 days on the planet it equals multiple years. 1 human year = 10 computer years.

I think this means that my computer is having a mid life crisis. Or - it hates me.

Either way it made me crazy this morning.

Monday, February 15, 2010

convince me....

i am trying to get some good ideas for what to have my students write about for their timed persuasive essay they will be writing this coming Thursday and Friday. (We are on block schedule so i don't see my kids every day). They are doing a practice paragraph on if spanking is okay.

i have a wonderful resource through the school library - EBSCO - oh i love it. it's awesome. i can't say enough about it. They have a new tool called opposing viewpoints - they have a list of over 60 topics to pick from and give a 'point' 'counterpoint' and 'overview' of every issue.

the problem is that as i look over the list i see the topics that everyone writes about:
school uniforms, teen driving, teen smoking, bla bla bla.

i don't want the typical topic - but i also don't want something that is going to be too controversial. With sophomores it's kind of hit or miss. Sometimes they can be grown ups about the topic - or then there is the kid who makes a fart joke and can't stop laughing for ten minutes of class.

We are gearing up for the CAHSEE in March and i want them to be ready - this entails covering seven different types of writing. So we are spending about two and half weeks on each format. The next format will be expository writing, then personal narrative.

So my search continues for the perfect prompt. Something that will spark their interest but also be age appropriate. i'll be putting on my thinking cap for this one!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

happy little flowers

Meg trying to get in on the fun!

daffodils have to be the happiest flowers on the planet.

The garden is getting ready to be in full bloom. The tulip bulbs that i planted a few months back are coming up out of the ground.

i'm excited to see how they will bloom. i really want to get a chair for the front porch so that i can sit and enjoy my flowers. Here is the real question. do you let your flowers enjoy the sun out in the wild or do you pick a few so you can enjoy them in the house?

I have a tendency to let them hang out in the yard. because after a long day at work it's nice to see their smiling faces as i drive up to the house.

i can't wait to see which ones will bloom next!

Friday, February 12, 2010

4 day weekend.

My school district is good at making schedules.

They have chosen to give one four day weekend rather than two three days - and i'm very happy that they have continued to go that route this year.

i love my job. it really rocks. but there are some times when i just need to veg out and not think about lesson plans, not get up early in the morning, just relax and be lazy.

today i met up with a few of my friends and did a little window shopping and lunch. i did get a really cute top at Express (6$). and then i came home and skyped with Cuirstaun. it was nice to see her. it was snowing there in Georgia. and i think she was missing California, well that was my hope at least.

the plan tomorrow is to pick some weeds of the hill. i can see them growing - dang they grow so fast. but the bulbs that i planted a few months back are popping out of the ground! and i saw some of my daffodils getting ready to bloom those must be the happiest flowers i have ever seen. so while i'm picking the weeds those little yellow smiling flowers can keep me company.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Imagery assignment

if you get the chance to teach Shakespeare's Julius Caesar - you have to rock this assignment.

The kids had a blast. i let them use a whole hour to finish. there was part of me that thought i should be doing something more "academic" but they were really looking deeply into the text and having a good ol' time. so we kept working.

So here is what you do.

Begin by reading Act II scene ii and address the fact that Calpurnia has this crazy dream - really it's a nightmare - about Caesar dying. She begs him to stay in the house and not go to the senate. so he tells her to calm down and deal with it. This does not go so well for Caesar. Very important lesson - Men: Listen to your wife!

So my kids go bonkers talking about what a wicked dream that must have been. So i had them pick a line from her little warning and draw it. Most of them picked the line about fierce fiery warriors fighting in the clouds and their blood falling like rain on the capitol. The boys were loving this!

Here is the speech for a little reminder

CALPURNIA Caesar, I never stood on ceremonies,
Yet now they fright me. There is one within,
Besides the things that we have heard and seen,
Recounts most horrid sights seen by the watch.
A lioness hath whelped in the streets;
And graves have yawn'd, and yielded up their dead;
Fierce fiery warriors fought upon the clouds,
In ranks and squadrons and right form of war,
Which drizzled blood upon the Capitol;
The noise of battle hurtled in the air,
Horses did neigh, and dying men did groan,
And ghosts did shriek and squeal about the streets.
O Caesar! these things are beyond all use,
And I do fear them.

we had a great time. i'm trying to pick the best ones to go up on the wall. what little wall space i have left. :)

Saturday, February 6, 2010

shh the hubby is sleeping.

i'm sitting here watching the dvr of Thirty Rock and i said something to Bren - and the picture above describes what i was greeted with. The cat is also asleep in his lap.

i also would like to address (as i'm sure you noticed) that i still have stalkings up. Everyday i think to myself - i should take them down. and then something gets in my way. That and i kinda love looking at them.

i also put up the GIANT card that Bren got me for Valentines day.

i promise that i will take the stalkings down tonight. in part because it's long overdue - and the fact that we are hosting the superbowl tomorrow.

Friday, February 5, 2010

rain mmmmm

so it's raining again this weekend and i'm excited. i love the rain it makes me want to curl up with a good book or a movie with the hubby. Bren has to work on Valentines day so we are taking time to celebrate tomorrow. the 14th is my brothers birthday so i'll be going over for his celebration next sunday.

here are a few other reasons to be excited.
  • the bulbs that i planted in the garden are starting to peak out from their winter slumber
  • there is a 4 day weekend in the very near future
  • we're having friends over for the Superbowl
  • my lessons rocked this week - there will be a post soon about my imagery project
  • Henry's has the best gummi bears i have ever had in my life. they are Amazing!

Thursday, February 4, 2010


our district is in a bit of a pickle. 14 million to count the number of pickles.

85% of money spent in a district is on it's teachers...

so they are looking to cut 14 million.

This is how my thought process went.

okay a possible 7% pay cut.... what can i make and sell on etsy?
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