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My first week ever of kindergarten is done. Did I survive? I am still breathing, but exhausted. Others don’t realize the gap between kinder and first. Kindergarteners don’t know how to write their name, they don’t understand how to listen or take turns. They poke my belly as if it was a talk button! Forty-eight students and growing. The crying! However, I look at their small faces and their hand in mine. I think how precious they are. I see their potential. It is up to me to teach and guide them. This is my passion.
Champagne brunch with great friends. Sushi, breakfast eggrolls and champagne. Crab legs, rare prime rib and champagne. Bacon, more crab and champagne. Crispy wontons, fried rice, eggs Benedict and champagne. Soft serve ice cream, red velvet cake and champagne. Additional crab legs and champagne! A walk among sharks and piranhas at the Shark Reef for teachers get in free today. The perfect distraction from the funeral I couldn’t fly to. On the day the family goes crabbing, your ashes were spread today. Everyone wore your tattoo, the one from my favorite movie. You will always be in my heart.
A day off is not a true day off. It is time to start the tedious work. I have to label every kinder assessment with names and staple the multiple pages into sections. I hear this particular test takes an hour and half per student. Times by forty-eight, plus the new kiddos, and times that number by four times a year. Is this possible? I went into work to run copies for the week. A teacher’s work is never done, working for no pay. All the extra hours we put in…. I cannot forget my master’s load!
Today was my two week follow-up since my three hour surgery. My polyps were benign! The doctor explained the photos and procedure more in-depth. There was more to burn off than anticipated. I had endometriosis on both sides. Spots were found on a tube and an ovary. Many polyps were removed to find that my uterus septum dips down where a normal one does not. I will have a higher risk of a difficult pregnancy. My doctor suggested I start trying for a family in two weeks. Now is the optimal time since I am all cleaned out.
The students leave at two twenty-one, and I’m working till after five o’clock. I have glitter and glue in places there should not be glitter and glue. I had to prepare fifty Rainbow Fish, fifty poetry journals, fifty little monkeys for our sight word goals, and about fifty other things to be done in the classroom. I actually had a parent call today because her five year old said all we do is color and go outside. Ha! I informed the parent of all the academic work we have been doing these first two weeks of school.
Staying late, the smell of crayons. Eraser shavings, on all four tables. A quick meet with our counselor, a five year old bully in my class. More training, taking notes. A new grade book, new confusions. The hum of the lights at school, the empty hallways. The unknown of the many hours spent alone, all the effort put forth. It is getting dark, time to venture home. Many inappropriate words going through my mind, whispered out of my lips. I forgot we had dinner plans. Good friends, healthy meal. Sharp pain, I need my meds. So exhausted, home at last.
It takes a special person to teach high school. It takes a special person to teach primary. The last two Fridays, one of my kinder kids has been crying throughout art. Today I went down on my prep to talk to my little girl. She said it was too hard for her and wanted to go back to our room. After a pep talk, she stuck out the last five minutes. I later found out that this new art teacher, who came from high school, thought my girl was crying because of the color of her (art teacher’s) skin!
To follow up yesterday’s highlight; I can’t stop thinking about that art teacher. Yes, little kids notice the difference in skin, but we have many shades in our class, including one similar to that teacher’s. The first day she showed our five year olds a slide show! She yells at the students and snaps at the teachers. I keep hearing her belittle my little girl saying “what’s so hard about drawing lines in the air?” She five and in a cast! It has only been two weeks and I am already so protective of my kids.
The students have had nine days in school and the germs are already spreading fast. We've had a case of MRSA, and three in my class have thrown up on the way to school (luckily not in class). Two others have missed school and returned with sick notes of some sort. Now it’s my turn. The new school year bug is wrapping its claws around me. I ache, my throat is sore and my ears ring. I'm burning up so much that my husband won’t come more than two feet near me. I want to be in bed!
I have always seen the many benefits of children attending preschool. This year, the power is greatly noticed in my kindergarteners. Half of my AM class has attended preschool. They sit, listen and struggle minimally with letter formations. I can get to all of my lesson plans and have extra time for an additional story. These kids are up to seven centers they freely choose from. In my PM class, only one student has attended preschool (who has special needs). We cannot get through a whole day of lesson plans and they’re practicing four centers I assign them to.
When is the last time you kissed me in the rain? The Vegas monsoon hit and flooded the world around us. I could feel my drenched dress cling to me and the warm drops caress the tip of my nose. My hair all wet and tangled. The sound of thunder rolling above us as the bright streaks of lightning illustrated the sky. It is the moment of when our breath becomes one. Wishing you would pull me near. After all these years, I still crave that soft, passionate touch. When is the last time you kissed me in the rain?
-I am a great teacher -An ability to look at life in a different way and to explain a topic in various ways -Management skills, engaging personality, respect -An understanding of children -Giving all they have to their class -Ready to be flexible and differentiate the instruction based on diverse needs and levels of skill -Encouraging and an unwavering support -Always compassionate and patient -Taking extra time to invest in students -The child’s best interest in mind -Ethics and passion -Achieving intellectual curiosity -Caring beyond the classroom walls -High expectations and clear communication -Enthusiastic, humorous and creative -Reaching success
Last night I was stuck on the freeway. On my way to UNLV for my seven PM class, I was stopped for the President to pass. When we were able to proceed, my car wouldn’t start. In the middle of the freeway, as dusk was setting, my battery died. I was wrecked and fearful. After three police officers aided me to the side and jumped my car, I made it home safe. Today, after picking up my car, I followed my husband home. I could see him in the rear mirror looking at me with that look of love.
My hair is curled and I’m wearing a sexy black dress. I’m reading my birthday cards next to the fragrant Stargazer lilies my husband brought home for me. Pink cards with cats; who knew I’d like pink at thirty-two. The aroma of my cherry chip cake is in the air. Instead of showering me with sneezes and germs, my kindergarteners showered me with sweets, homemade cards, and surprises. A treat I am not used to. Our traditional trip to Texas de Brazil was especially filling. Despite my body telling me I am getting sick; good day.
I thought today would be all champagne and cake, but it turned out to be all orange juice and chicken broth. My students got me good this time. My eye was crusted shut and my whole bode ached throughout the day. Billy came home at one this afternoon to find tissue up my nose and me still sleeping. I think I went thru a box of tissue today. After being unbelievably sick, my friends and husband surprised me with the wine walk at Town Square. So sad I didn’t get the homework done for writing today, so unlike me.
I am a fan of social networking. Facebook has kept me in touch with friends and family out of state. Phones aren’t for me, so this is a nice option. I often wonder if I had not moved out of Washington, would I be closer to those I used to be close with. I read my sixty-something “Happy Birthday” comments posted all over my wall. I wonder about my true friends versus my computer friends. I have made many best friends that have remained by my side, but I often wonder if I am anyone’s “best friend”?
Life can be a b*tch. In all the death and illness we worry about, the little sh*t ways on us too. Instead of coming home to a glass of wine and breathing, I come home from my night class to find that an investigator has been knocking at my door looking for my ex. On his business card lists repossessions and such. My ex wouldn’t pay a cent to MY mortgage until his name was on MY house. Once I did, he asked for a separation. He threatens to claim bankruptcy every now and again. Just lovely!
I got one of the best compliments today. When our temporary principal came in again this morning, and after little Ivan excitedly stood up and said, “Good morning Mr. Boner,” I was asked if I could step out into the hallway. Normally, this meant bad things. He asked me if I would be willing to have a student teacher for awhile. He told me I was “a kick ass kindergarten teacher” even though this is my first year. Furthermore, our favorite retired kindergarten teacher said I was doing real well with kindergarten and I already have a sense for them.
I can’t be your friend? You are deceitful and a back stabber. You set my hair on fire and stuffed a jalapeño up my nose. You would invite me over and then ask me to babysit so you may go out. Then you would tell our colleagues, in disgust that I came over again. I did everything for you. You used me. When I dyed my hair back to brown, you called my “single white female” to all our friends. You lied to me. You told our boss personal things about me that was none of her business.
Why I can’t be your friend part two: You called to check on me after a doctor’s appointment and when you found out I was prescribed pills, you said you weren’t comfortable with me around your kids or should be in a classroom. The next year you were taking the same exact prescribed pills. You were the one passing them out around work. You are always unprofessional and have no one else in mind but yourself. I had emergency surgery five minutes from your house. I didn’t have anybody and you never came. It’s over.
She waited in the darkness by the stacked books. He was alive until they mated. Now his lifeless body is on the floor as she grows bigger with the babies inside her. Or that is what I imagine as I walked barefoot into my storage at work and found the largest black widow I have ever seen! She must be ready to spew babies all over my teaching materials. She was as creepy as she was shiny and waiting for me in her cotton candy web. A male carcass was on the floor under her home among insect debris. Bleh!
It was nice to have a true day off. A day where your mind is already made up; a day you will not be productive. I woke up at ten to a day off with the husband. We enjoyed the two enormous bottles of champagne I received from my birthday and made pancakes oozing with peanut butter and Nutella. We stayed in bed till five in the evening watching recorded shows we were too busy to watch during the week. As we lay in bed, stuffed, I am going to turn off the computer and lean in for a kiss.
When I close my eyes, I feel pretty. When I am lying down, I feel skinny. I am beautiful and sexy. But when I look in the mirror I see the ugly side of me. The overweight I never wanted. I can see all the stretch marks and fat, my dull face and lifeless hair. My clothes don’t fit anymore and I feel uncomfortable in my own skin. I try to eat healthier and get to the gym when life (and health) permits. If I cannot love myself, how am I can I expect my husband to love me?
I thought I could have done my hundred words this morning at six thirty. I woke up in the grumpiest mood and I don’t know why. I know the saying “waking up in the wrong side of the bed” but how does one get like that? It wasn’t because I started my new diet today, it was actually okay. It wasn’t because my student teacher was taking over today, we were prepared. It wasn’t my two IEPs, because I didn’t think about them yet. What causes a person to wake up a totally different person?
I was ready for bed before seven tonight. I almost didn’t make it to my computer. I did not feel rested when I woke up this morning and just laid in bed wide-eyed at four. I wish my mind would turn off so I can relax and sleep. But that little hamster keeps spinning his wheel every night. Thoughts of the things I need to do at home, school, and work feel my mind. I reflect on my day, my lessons…how to seduce my husband….what to make for dinner…everything floods my brain. I am drowning.
The power of social networking is beautiful. To learn about our country and world, my fifty kindergarteners have made Flat Stanley/Sallys to go out and explore. This way my kids can see what is beyond our little desert city. I was thirteen addresses short for those families that did not return an envelope. I put my cry for help out onto Facebook. I had an over abundance of replies from friends who wanted to help. I had more addresses than flat people. We now will have flat people sent to Washington, Ohio, New York, California, Texas, Oregon, and Greece!!
I wasn’t sure what to write today, and at my dinner party I got the following topics: fall, football, dinner parties, seventy inch televisions…. Then I finally talked to my mom (it has only been a week). I was able to fill her in on my student teacher and my husband’s dental procedure. I got to hear about her upcoming trip to Hawaii and her run in with an old lost friend at Edmonds Art Walk. I heard how my brother had the flu and got it from his wife, and other odd and ends for an hour.
At age thirty-two, I am still terrified when called to the principal’s office. I have only been sent once in fourth grade, but always was the goody two-shoed type of student, an overachiever and hard worker. But when I was called into the principal’s office yesterday, I still became anxious. Thoughts of “what I did wrong”, or my student teacher situation (her horrid master teacher before me wants her back and is spreading lies about her), or a parent complaint. It turned out that I just needed to tell my side of the art teacher complaint.
As my hundred words a day is nearing the end I have been reflecting on my experience. It has felt like a mental release when I was able to type out my random thoughts, but exasperating when I couldn’t go beyond my hundred words. Maybe I should revisit writing in a journal or starting a blog to continue my ramblings. So many days I have reached ninety-eight or one hundred three words and had to revise. Being a tag virgin, I never could do line breaks without it being counted as additional words. My life has been captured.
Before I say good night and close out the last of my month’s writing, I think of my future plans in writing. I will try to find pleasure in writing and find time to write for myself; even when research projects irritate me all day and I am about to throw the computer across the room. I will apply my feelings and knowledge to my students. I know the frustrations and joys. I want to give a positive experience to my young emergent writers. I want to motivate and engage my students into writing, and promote lifelong writers/learners.
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