Sunday, September 23, 2012

My Crazy Week

I didn't just meet you
And you already know I'm crazy
But it's been a wild week
So read this, maybe

It's been an interesting few days here in Redheads-Plus-One-land.  And no, not in the can't-get-over-the-move, don't-have-my-stuff-emotional-roller-coaster kind-of-way it's been a lot lately, but in the "wow, this week's been a wild ride" kind-of-way.

GOOD:  I had a good week at work and feel like things are starting to gel (jell?  I never know) a little.  I still can't fall off the sidewalk tomorrow, though, because my "master plans" are not anywhere but in rough sketch form, and mostly even in my head. I won't lie -- the every-other-day schedule compounded by testing and a book I've realized as I've used it is awful, have made a mess of my usual organization.  That rough-sketch-ness will change this week.

I can't turn this photo, but this calendar is my plan book so far.  Not quite the way I'd like it to be, but certainly sufficient if I'm in the room! 

GOOD:  In the meantime, I really am enjoying teaching, and that's not something I was able to say 100% of the time when I was in Alabama.  (I had a crazy administration there, morale was awful, and half of my day was made up of classes I pretty much hated.  Can I say that? I'm saying it now.  If I could have taken half the kids from one awful class and half from the other, I might have made one class I quite enjoyed and had only the one I hated; instead I taught four classes and two of them made me want to quit my job every. single, day.)  Sure, teaching again's not exactly what I wanted to do this year, it's not perfect, and I am getting paid a pittance, but I actually don't mind my work days and mostly really enjoy them.  That's huge!  And it's fun to "play school" again.  And there are problems everywhere; that wasn't a dig on this school whatsoever.  In the meantime, I'm spending a lot of time back on the countless teaching blogs out there, and combined with Pinterest, I feel like I'm doing a better job at being creative -- even if it's not my own -- than ever before.

See these cans?  I went to our pantry and poured various foods into tubs, and CAM and I painted these today.  They will explain the Real Number System tomorrow.  The red can represents natural numbers, which fit in the pink can, which are whole numbers, which fits in the green can (integers) which fits in the yellow can (rationals).  The blue and yellow cans are the same size -- the blue can is irrational numbers.  Then the yellow and blue cans fit in a box, for real numbers.  I've only and always ever taught this with a "family tree" and a Venn diagram.  I like this nesting method sooooo much better -- if the kids don't get Venn diagrams, they don't get it.  This should help that a little. 

GOOD:  Mick and I managed to eke out some amazing meals on virtually just stuff in our pantry (plus some chicken, thank you to my in-laws for stocking us up on chicken last weekend!), and finally after probably a month of NOT doing it, we also bit the bullet and did a relatively big grocery shopping trip yesterday.  I was pretty psyched.  And to boot, we've got some meals planned for this week AND managed to eat like gluttons tonight.  If I end up with gout, you can tell the doctors all the heavy cream did it.

Mushrooms, onions, butter, and bourbon getting ready to become a bourbon-cream sauce for some steaks.  OH MY HEAVENS.

BAD -- VERY, VERY BAD:  I found out some pretty devastating and hurtful news this week, and felt like I got kicked in the stomach and then, for good measure, the mouth.  Someone I trusted has proven not just completely non-trustworthy, but is actually intentionally being malicious by spreading awful, horrible lies, and that broke my heart.  Actually, if you want to know the truth, it quite literally and physically made me sick.  I wasn't even angry.  I was too shocked and hurt -- and sick. 

GOOD:  But then, although no one other than Mick knew of that issue, three separate people happened to reach out to me this week just to let me know they were thinking of me and to tell me that they miss me and hope I'm doing well.   I needed that more than they knew, and I've since told them all thank you many times over.  But you know who you are, dear friends -- and thank you again.  Your timing was uncannily perfect.

BAD:  I found out almost accidentally that my debit card -- the one that's been sitting relatively unused since I've been relatively cash-less for the past month -- was flagged WEEKS ago for fraud.  My bank is typically amazing, but I never got a call on this one ... so I spent the past few days trying to track down what few transactions I *may* have attempted with this card (paying doctors' bills and so forth; the kinds of things where you don't get an instant "sorry, it was declined" response, but have to wait a week or so for the paperwork to come BACK to you in the mail ... ) and calling and tracking down and dealing with the declined charges ... it's been a debacle and will continue to be until I can find all the transactions and get them all cleared up.  "No, really, there was a fraud flag, and I figured that out, but NO, please don't re-run that card again 'til Wednesday ..."  Oy vey.

GOOD: I finally got my paperwork submitted for the Maine teaching certificate application.  (Thanks, Mom and Dad!)  I made and paid for my fingerprinting appointment.  Now once my transcripts get to my new school system, I should be good.  That's a huge worry off my shoulders.  Or mostly off my shoulders ... it's a nice problem to have, but sending two copies of each of my degrees is an expensive little pain!

GOOD:  Have you seen this pin?  The one about using a mixture of Dawn dish soap, baking soda, and hydrogen peroxide to make the best stain remover in the history of the world universes known and unknown?  Not to overstate it or anything, but it's life-changing. I singlehandedly rescued no fewer than ten items of clothing this week.  I'm in love.  If you can be in love with a cleaning mixture, of course.  But seriously.  I kill white shirts.  My kids kill all shirts.  And all are better.  Nasty, good-only-for-the-trash-or-layering-only-when-you-know-you-won't-take-off-the-top-layer shirts, are now pristine. PRISTINE.  I can't begin to describe to you how happy this has made me.  (And how liberated from my dry cleaner I feel, and besides, this gets out stuff they couldn't touch!)

GOOD:  CAM started ballet/tap two weeks ago, and this past week we also got to throw in baton twirling classes.  She's doing that with Mick's aunt, who happens to work at a college admissions office. CAM was doing her private class after hours at her aunt's building, and the director of admissions happened to come by ... not only was Mick's aunt able to introduce me to him, but he asked for my resume!  I think I have a decent elevator pitch -- he asked for my resume AFTER he heard it.  I took that as awesome.

BAD:  I am desperately trying to find a way to get a document camera for my room.  There's only one at the entire school and although I've been able to use it, I'd really like to HAVE one. I am trying so hard with foldables and all sorts of other cool stuff, and a little technology would go a long way.  I am looking for grants and trying to figure out what/how/when on getting a document camera ... anyone with any wisdom on grants and such, please let me know!  I'm about to go to local companies and just ask for handouts!  :)
I don't even need an ELMO brand-name.  I'll take an El-Cheap-O if it comes to it.  I just desperately need a document camera.  Heck, if I can find some money, I am even willing to put my own up to match it, to the extent it's reasonable and I have it.
GOOD:  Another good thing this week was a very challenging student has decided that I am her favorite teacher.  She won't work for too many people, but she comes and sits and works in my room (with or without my assistance) and has taken to decorating my boards with signs about how awesome I am.  I feel really good about that!!

GOOD?  BAD?  GOOD RESULT, ANYWAY:  I cleaned CAM's room.  No, really, I cleaned CAM's room.  File that under good or bad -- I can't quite decide -- but now that it's clean, that's VERY good!

And ... that's about it. I could write a ton more, but there's enough text here already. 

More soon!


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