Tuesday, September 28, 2010

An Evening of Reading...

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I began to read long into the night.

I had no idea that what I needed to read was written especially for me.

You can read more HERE as today is my day over at Four Perspectives

Image shamelessly pilfered from: http://i.telegraph.co.uk simply because I was too lazy to go and take one myself.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Media of the Week - Journey Medley

Pin It I probably shouldn't like this show, but I do.

I especially love this bit of a particular episode from season one. I think that you'll like it, too.

I also really like THIS song as well as THIS one.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Autumn Fire

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As I drove home this evening, the gray clouds hung about the eastern mountains like the smoke around mount doom. My eyes traveled up the steep slopes to the fireworkian display gracing the mountainside. Like lava flowing from the volcanic depths, the bushes and trees near the top of the mountain emitted shades of deep maroon, rich amber, and pumpkin orange as they seemed to spread the changing of the seasons one to another, flowing down the mountain in a lava-ish landslide of rich, burnt color.

I felt the fresh air billow about me in shimmering folds as I cranked the stereo, and the strains of Jars of Clay wafted through the early evening air, breathing in the smells which spelled autumn.

Autumn is my favorite time of year. I can’t tell you just how much that I look forward to the onset of Halloween and Thanksgiving. I love fresh pumpkin pie, dressing in costumes, leaves falling in a myriad of rainbow showers, and crisp mornings that invigorate the lungs and mind.

There are times that I wish the season would last a few months instead of being so brief, but unfortunately it is not to be. It just makes me appreciate the time I have all the more.

The tinder has been set, and the tree outside my kitchen window has already begun to spark, the green in one small patch has turned to bright, sunny yellow. This is just a precursor to what is yet to come.

I look forward to the onslaught of autumn, and the entire forest igniting into flames.

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Smirk

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I accidentally didn't add a link to Yanet's blog. I have now done so HERE. Thanks for not tarring a feathering me.

Yanet at 3 Sunkissed Boys mentioned 'the smirk.' This post is solely to show off two of them.

Thanks for indulging me.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Media of the Week - Swagger Wagon

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The first time I saw this video I cannot tell you how much I laughed; there's just something about the egotistical attitudes of these parents which makes me smile. I then discovered the commercials which go along with this video.

I am not endorsing the product being sold, but rather the humor behind it. If you're interested, my personal favorites are this one, this one, this one, and finally, this one

I still laugh when I watch them.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Moments with Joey – Kissing Boys

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SCENE 1, INTERIOR. LATE AFTERNOON, CLASSROOM. The teacher is working with a fifth-grade boy on an assignment he’d been having difficulty with. As the teacher helps with a few of the math problems, the boy is humming popular tunes from the radio. After a few moments, the boy starts to understand the assignment and the teacher moves across the room to take down the previous week’s vocabulary posters. For several moments there is silence; then, from across the room, the boy breaks into song at the top of his lungs.

JOEY: ♪ I kissed a boy and I liked it…♫♪ the taste of his cherry chap stick ♪…

TEACHER: Joey, that’s probably not the most appropriate song to be singing. Besides, the lyrics go: “I kissed a girl and I liked it.”

[The boy looks up from his Math assignment and grins].

JOEY: I know that, Mr. Z. But if I sang it the other way then it just wouldn’t have been nearly as funny…

[The teacher stands in silence for a beat and then returns to changing the posters and the boy returns to his assignment].

TEACHER: Sometimes you worry me, Joey.

JOEY: Yeah I know; that's what my mom says, too.

[Fade to black].

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

It’s Not Me. It’s Not You. It’s Teaching

Pin It Have I ever mentioned that I appreciate you?


I love reading what you write. I feel that I have come to know many of you over the past few months/years—months in the case of some of you, while it is years in regard to others.

I have been weighing a decision lately. I feel that at the present time it is the best one I could make. This is largely due to the long hours required of being a teacher – more specifically, the hours it takes me. This time is about to go up yet again as I take on the role of remedial Reading and Math instruction with students after school and an extended day schedule this year. Basically, it means leaving for school at 7ish in the morning and not returning home until 6ish or later at night.

I have discovered that I am faced with a choice: I can be a good teacher and have a bit of a life, I can be a good teacher and have no life, or I can be a terrible teacher with a life.

Something has got to give.

You guessed it…I’ve decided to go with blogging. Though this is something that I absolutely love, it is going to need to take a backseat for the time being. Oh, I still plan to write, and I still plan on reading what you’ve got to say, but I realize that I can’t comment on your posts like I had over the summer. I simply cannot do it all without something suffering. I don’t wish to give up my own life as then I’ll have nothing to write about, and I don’t wish to shirk on my responsibilities as an educator—after all, I love my students far too much.

Just know—as some of you have probably noticed over the past week—that I will be commenting much less than I have been…probably not that often for the time being. Just know that I am still reading your words, and will make my presence known every once and again.

Thanks for understanding. My students thank you, too.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Gift of Deliciousness…

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How can you not love a sister who sends you something like this for your birthday?

You just have to…

Thanks, Miya.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Happy Birthing Day, Mom

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I awoke at 4 something this morning, and lay in the quiet of my room as the ceiling fan whirred mutedly overhead. The telltale sounds of crickets still chimed outside the open window as I breathed in the fresh air of morning.

I wondered what had woken me at such an early hour.

I slipped from my bed and stood at the open window, gazing at the darkness covering the neighborhood in a thick richness, like chocolate frosting on a chilly morning.

That’s when I remembered today is the day.

I was born today. Well, not really TODAY, but on September 9th some years ago I made my way into this world. I don’t remember this day, but testimonies of parents and doctors – as well as documentation – seem to support the fact that I hadn’t really come from the mother ship and I wasn’t adopted – the claims my Aunt Lori had been making for years while I was growing up.

Yeah, tell me I wasn’t scarred from that…

To me it seems that birth is the first great step you take; it also takes little to no effort on your part, either. You’re just kind of there, and the magic happens all around you.

Today was my first step all those years ago, but since I put in little to no effort, I instead wish to honor the woman who gave me birth, my mom, Kathy. I’ve written about my other mom, Arlene, quite a bit as she died a year ago, and had been the subject on many of my posts. However, today I wish to honor the mom who gave me birth, the one who cared for me as I grew up, the one who did all the hard work.

Thanks, Mom. I sure do appreciate it.

As you've probably noticed, comments are off. Would you please instead head over to my mom's blog and leave her a comment there?

Much gratitude.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Moments with Joey – Annoying AND Distracting

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SCENE 1, INTERIOR. LATE AFTERNOON, CLASSROOM. The teacher is working with two students who’ve stayed after school to complete homework assignments. Becky is using a set of colored pencils to finish up her vocabulary poster. As she colors, she pauses to shake her hand as it’s become ‘tired.’ After a few moments, the boy looks up from his spelling assignment and fixes her with a look.

JOEY: Would you please quit doing that? It’s annoying AND distracting.

[Becky pauses for a moment and then starts up again].

BECKY: I could, but my hand is tired and this helps it to feel better.

[The boy rolls his eyes and turns in his desk so as not to have her in his sights as he continues on his homework. In a few moments, Becky has finished. She gathers up her books and leaves for the day. Joey and the teacher sit in silence for a few moments when Joey starts to flap both of his hands; the teacher ignores this at first, but then it becomes quite annoying AND distracting].

TEACHER: Joey, just what are you doing? You look like the winner of a Miss America Pageant.

[The boy lets loose a giggle as he flaps his hands even harder].

JOEY: It looks like I’m drying my nails, doesn’t it?

TEACHER: Actually, you look like some type of freaky cheerleader.

[The boy continues to flap both of his hands].

TEACHER: Joey, I thought you said that that was annoying.

JOEY: It is. [Pause]. But I never knew just how fun it was before.

TEACHER: Even if it’s annoying for everybody else?

JOEY: No, because it is…

Fade to black.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Changing it Up - Moments with Joey

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With the start of the new school year (as well as a new Joey), I have officially decided to create a new header for the posts I run a few times a month. I wanted to let you know that I'll also be offering up a new button for it too...


The old button will still be available from the Blog Bling page, as will the new one.

Come back tomorrow, and then share the love with your friends…

After all, everybody needs a Joey.

Circles, Circles, Circles...

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It seems that I'm proclaiming each week that I've posted over at Four Perspectives. Seems to be a kind of vicious circle, doesn't it?

And no, I didn't take this photo. I shamelessly shanghaied it from here: http://www.lightstalkers.org

Monday, September 6, 2010

3rd Annual Christmas in September

Pin It It just gets better and better each year…

So, the above video should have given you most of the nitty-gritty; however, I realize that there may be a few items I failed to mention - or those of you out there who have an aversion to YouTube video explanations. In honor of those unnamed individuals I'll post a few quick notes here:

How do you get invited? Oh…it’s easier than you think. If you're reading this blog, you already are; if you live nearby, I’d love for you to come celebrate it with me - unless you're creepy, in that case, feel free to get lost on your way over.

When would it be? September 11th from 6:00 p.m. until around late-thirty; come and leave as you want.

Here’s how it works...

Send me an email and let me know if you need directions OR would like to RSVP by means otherwise than commenting (teachinfourth@yahoo.com). Be sure to put “Christmas in September” in the subject line. Bring a present you wouldn’t mind getting for your birthday, and then come to the party with your favorite Christmas desert.

We will be having a gift exchange where, if you bring a gift, you get to pick one from under the Christmas tree when you decide to go. Shouldn't everyone should get presents on the new holiday to commemorate my and Jesus' birthdays?

Yeah, that's what I thought, too.

Bring your favorite Christmas treat to share with everybody else…we’ll be partaking of hot chocolate, making a gingerbread house, rocking out to Christmas tunes, and basking in the warm glow of projected holiday films in the ‘underground cinema.’

See you this weekend with - or without - the bells on.

P.S. A special thanks goes out to Janelle for her mad filming skills at eleven at night.

This is Where I Draw the Line

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Sometimes, you just gotta take a stand...

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Musings of an Early Morning

Pin It The whistle of the train sounds from the distance over the sleepy city as I lie awake, listening. It’s a bit funny, really. Lately I’ve been tired, and getting up in the morning has been a challenge.

But not today.

Maybe is it because it’s the first day of September, a day usually marking the transition from summer to autumn. Perhaps it’s because of carefree sun-filled days readying to turn themselves to amber leaf canopies and crisp mornings.


School started a week ago. Judging from the photos and a few posts I’ve written, you’ve probably already figured that out. I have a new Joey this year. He’s awesome. He has already started giving me plenty of fodder, now I just need to get into the mode of writing it all down as it happens; far too many moments slip away because I’m in the midst of teaching and don’t have anything handy to write on.

I wanted to write a post about my Joey from last year. I wanted to write about how he showed up in my classroom at Back to School Night last week. I wanted to write up the interaction between us. You would have laughed. I wanted to tell you all how much I missed having this boy in my classroom. I’d have told you how he finds me in the school at recess, lunch, or after school and makes it a point to give me a hug, or simply let me know that he is still awesome—but sixth-grade awesome.

He’s also humble.

Did I ever mention that I was on crossing duty last year?

I hated crossing duty.

I lied to myself, put on a smile, and pretended that it everything was great.

But secretly? I hated it. I’d stand there with a handheld stop sign and tick off traffic when I allowed students to cross through the intersection. I always felt like an idiot.


This year we were allowed to sign up for what job we’d like to have for the year. I signed up for the bike rack area at the back of school.

It’s quiet.

I don’t see too many parents. There’s no vehicular traffic. I get to talk to the kids a lot more than I did last year. There’s not as much pressure associated with the area. It kind of reminds me of the desert. The rows of corn in the field beyond the chain link fence are readying to turn. Before I know it, there will be a harvest and the stalks will be hewn down.

I wish they’d planted pumpkins again this year. Pumpkins always seem to make me feel happy, they remind me of Halloween.

I went to the grocery store yesterday for razorblades and yogurt – almost sounds like the name of a band, doesn’t it? I found myself drawn to the aisle filled to capacity with Halloween candy, decorations, and costumes.

I love Halloween.

The clock now rolls over to 5:43 and I have finally caught up on my blog reading. My alarm clock will sound in just a little bit, offering up a lame attempt to wake me – I take that back, it’ll play a Dustin Christensen song which I’ve found really helps to get me going during the mornings. The regular alarm sound just wasn’t working out for me.

There is goes again – the train whistle sounding; I can also hear the telltale sounds of traffic starting up. From out the window, the sky is a deep blue and the world is just coming to life.

I will now join it.
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