Year 3

....Fighting ignorance and apathy one class period at a time...

Thursday, October 6, 2011

School Lunch

I just read a post from another blogger (and cousin!) about eating school lunch with the students at the middle school she works at.    Finally, the inspiration to post something here. 

I am eating lunch EVERY day with the high school students.  Several factors influenced my decision to do this:

1.  School lunch is free at our school if a teacher commits to eating with the students every day.  It is a one year commitment.  I estimate that I will save at least $150-$200 doing this.  I should go through my bank statements and add it up.  Could be way more that that.

2.  If you have never eaten a lunch in a teacher's lounge, don't start.  My first year I thought "Wow!  So THIS is what it's like to be behind the magic curtain!"  Since I now teach at the same high school I attended, it felt like a huge promotion at first.  And don't get me wrong, I very much enjoy the company of my coworkers.  However, when you have to cram eating your lunch, making copies, taking a phone call, using the bathroom, and listening to every complaint anyone at the table feels like airing at the moment all into a 22 minute time period.... taking your lunch out to the commons area and plopping down with the kids while you eat it is like A VACATION. 

It goes like this: Sorry, can't take the call from that fundraiser company right now, I'm eating with the kids.  Nope, can't commiserate about your problem with that kid, I'm eating lunch with him right now. Darn, I guess we will just not have that boring worksheet that I was going to panic about and copy with one hand while I ate with the other during lunch today.  I'm eating with the kids instead.  Everyone wins!

And I actually get to EAT!

3.  I'm pregnant and cannot seem to get enough calories from a lunch of leftovers thrown together at the last minute before leaving the house OR from a school lunch.  I USUALLY EAT BOTH! (I will be regretting that one a few months after the baby is born and the weight needs to come back off again)

Free school lunch also comes with free entertainment, and teaching opportunities I would have not otherwise ever had... 

Ever eaten a taco burger while a teenage girl shows you photos on her phone of her hamster that her cat killed last night???  I'm not sure whether it was the shocked look on my face or the actual words "Totally NOT appropriate dinner conversation!" that got my point across.  Her prom date can thank me later for teaching her that one.  Although she HAD thought enough to pose the dead hamster next to a cigarette box so viewers could see how big it was.  Excellent use of relative size and scale.

Ever watched a teenage boy squirm in his seat because he is suddenly the ONLY kid left sitting with you and he desperately wants to move to another table but he is too polite to leave you sitting by yourself???  You barely have to nod in his direction to indicate to him it's ok to bust out of there and he is eternally grateful.  But that extra 30 seconds I made conversation and he pretended to listen may have taught him how to win over the future in-laws some day.


I have enjoyed it more than I ever thought, although the first few days were intensely awkward.  It's that same feeling of "I must search the room and choose just the right place to sit without anyone noticing that I am searching or looking desperate" that you had in high school. 

Some things never change.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

A good mother/teacher screws them up just enough...

Today in Sunday school this quote really struck me, both as a mother and a teacher:

"Do you trust God enough to let him write your children's testimony?"

No matter how much I might want something for them, whether it's good grades or manners or a godly heart, they are ultimately going to have to go after it for themselves.   And one thing is guaranteed, they will never, ever go about getting it soon enough, or fervently enough, or with enough passion to satisfy me.  So, am I just in the way with all my nagging?

I have a nasty habit of trying to write their stories for them.  To insist upon success, taking away their right to failure.  To think that if I just pray hard enough, eventually God will see it my way and spare them from the heartache and pain that life can bring.

But without the inevitable pain that comes from living in our fallen world, how will they develop the need and desire for a relationship with a Savior?  After all, God is not surprised by anything they do, or will ever do.  Can I trust Him enough to get out of the way of His plan for their lives?  Can I trust that He will tell me what to say when the world comes crashing down around them and they turn to me, maybe even thinking to themselves, "Ya know what, one time that crazy lady tried to tell this crap would happen. Now what?"

And THEN, but only then,  God can use me as a vessel to bring them into the fullness and Joy of the gospel.

In other words, unless they (or I) manage to screw up something in their lives along the way, how will they ever know they need to RUN to Jesus?

If we were the perfect parents and teachers, what would our kids have left to say when they become adults and sit around talking about all the ways their parents and teachers got it wrong, causing them to seek the shelter of His unconditional love?

Phew, for a minute there I was really worried about my kids.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Snow Day Thoughts

On this fine day I am reminded to count my blessings...

I am thankful that I have been a science teacher long enough to field questions such as:

"Mommy, how do they make velcro?"
"Mommy, can I help you do.... (bill in the blank)" or "Mommy, why..... (fill in the blank)"

It is my teaching instincts that keep me quick on my feet to at least MAKE UP a pluasable answer when I do not know the real one,  and to keep my patience long enough to encourage days full of experimenting and constant questioning.

I am also thankful that I have been a parent long enough to know how to field things like:

"Mommy, DO NOT come in the bathroom!"

My parenting instincts kick in here. Always.  ALWAYS. Go in the bathroom when you are instructed by your child not to do so.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Art work by Julia

 The first drawing is of a person with a thought bubble that has a music note in it.  
The caption says "you can dream whatever you want to but not nothing"

 Pretty insightful for a Kindergartner!  I am SURE this was inspired by her mother.

On the other hand, I have no idea what the watermelon behind a one-wheeled tow truck came from.

That one is just weird.


Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Elves

Last night, on the way to our second christmas program of the evening, Julia said "Santa is fake".  She said this in a very matter-of-fact and no-nonsense manner.

I said, "Yes, Santa is fake." 

Julia said "Some kids think he is real. "

"Yes, " I replied, "Some kids think he is real."

"But if he is fake, why does he come down the chimney?"

"Well, he doesn't really do that.  That part is fake too."  I said.


She thought about this for a minute.

I asked her "So, who do you think buys you those presents that you thought were from Santa?"

She thought for another minute and then replied with a confidant nod of her head,  "It's the Elves."

Hmmm... Maybe she is not as clear on the whole story as I thought.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Today's graveside temperature was a meager 29 degrees at best  - with a STRONG, gusty north wind.

The veterans who took part in the military honor portion of the service stood proudly under the flags and fired the guns, most of them bundled in coveralls and heavy coats.  Many of the men appeared to be in their 70's and 80's.  The uneven ground and weather made it difficult for some of them to stand for the extended period of time, but they lined up in formation as though they were expecting the Sargent to come along soon for inspection.

A lone bugler stood apart from the protection of the tent that we huddled under.  He played taps with pride and vigor even though his thin dress pants and jacket were whipping like the flags in the cold strong wind. 

After the service I spoke to the bugler. He is 15 years old.  His name is Casey and we could not thank him enough for his bravery and service today. 

Friday, November 19, 2010

EMAT (Every Man A Tiger) games concluded last week with a staff vs. student volleyball match.  The staff team was AWESOME!  They had some great moves.
The student team was made up of kids who had put their names into a drawing... or so they thought.  We put the kids from the drawing on the court to play the staff and THEN we brought out these girls.
These are the 5 seniors from the volleyball team this year.   They "warmed up" the teacher team and then turned it over to the other students.

As you can see, we had a LOT of fun.  Hope to do it again during Basketball season.