Sunday, April 27, 2008


They use the term "short answer" like it's a one sentence response. Here's a break down of yesterday's exam:

2 hours, handwritten
3 scenarios
3 essay questions each
Random multiple choice questions

Also, I have a cold and didn't finish in time. Freaking awesome.

I went out to a fancy place with friends that night. I brought my dress and shoes to change at my friend's place before we left . But I was running late (stupid test), so I basically parked my car at my friend's, grabbed my clothes and jumped into her car. Before she could ask why I was still in jeans, I just started changing in the passenger seat. At this point I wasn't sure what else to do. My friend stared at me, obviously a little surprised. All I could think to say: "Less staring and more driving."

At the restaurant, everyone said I looked so cute. I told them I spent hours trying to look nice for them all.

Thursday, April 24, 2008


I went to a funeral today. It was the son of a friend of mine. No one should die at age 18.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Why I wish I was old

Saturday night I helped the National Honor Society students put on the Senior Citizen Prom. That's right: Senior Citizen Prom. It was just about the cutest damn thing I've ever seen. Husbands and wives came in and were given flowers and had their picture taken. There were women that came in groups and asked the girls running the coat check if there were any single men that came. One woman came in a bright red dress with a feather boa collar. The boys, all around 16 or 17, asked the single women to dance all night. One boy took the lead in running Bingo. I don't know why I went; the students did everything. It was still fun to see. I wish I was invited as a guest. Then I could have eaten the food and played Bingo. Janet, Megan and I decided to get our picture taken.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Billie Holiday and how she ruined the careers of three English teachers

The morning started off smooth enough. I was able to keep 50 students, ages 15 and 16, on a bus quiet all by myself, in addition to taking attendance and going over procedures for food and the play. The bus driver lectured me for being too nice to students. They were in no way confrontational or disrespectful so I don't know why he felt the need to instill his wisdom of student treatment.

Problem #1: I was the only chaperone familiar with St. Paul. Which meant the crotchety bus driver didn't want to take direction advice from the girl that looks like she could still be in high school herself and is clearly too nice to her students. I think I said "no, I think this is 6th street" three times in a five minute period (trust me, it was 6th St.). I also could not get him to understand that the streets in St. Paul do not, in fact, go north to south and east to west like Minneapolis, but rather they go in a circular pattern around the capitol. He then blamed me for the construction on St. Peter St. Yes, because I am the keeper of construction cones.

This also meant that when 100 students asked where restaurants were, all the chaperones would point to me. I think I gave directions to McDonalds 30 times today. Yum.

Problem #2: My students are fragile and sheltered compared to the chain smoking St. Paul Alternative Learning Center students. This will become evident once we reach Problem #3. During intermission, my students stood in shock (complete with hanging jaws) as about 15 students walked outside and started smoking. I think my well protected suburban students felt, at that point, like there was no way they could identify with these students any longer.

Problem #3: The play should have been rated R. The play itself, had I been student-less and not concerned for my job security, was incredible. It was a story about Billie Holiday and her life and music. However, the teacher packet the theater provided failed to mention that anytime she referred to a woman, she used "bitch." Always. It also failed to mention that it uses the ultimate in profanity: the forbidden F- and N-words (words that the ALC students continued to snicker, cheer and clap at throughout the entirety of the play).

But, it was in the last 10 minutes of the play when I realized two things: 1) my students are so obedient and well behaved, or worried about being suspended or killed by their teachers that they didn't laugh at the joke noted below, and 2) my humor will never go beyond that of middle school. We were at the point where she (Billie Holiday) discusses how her husband, a heroine addict, decided to put the drug in her suitcase as he thought the police wouldn't do anything since she was Billie Holiday. She then states, "He couldn't put it in his suitcase because he has a police report as long as his insert-name-related-to-Richard-here." I heard several of my students gasp. The ALC students cheered especially loud. Two minutes later the teacher in front of me finally processed what was said and turned around with the most bewildered look I've ever seen on someone so close to retirement. I gained control over my laughter a few times but continually lost it seconds later.

Our students were too shocked, or afraid, to talk about the play on the way home.

Cheers to destroying my students' delicate minds and my profession.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

The Start

Things my dog has attempted to bring into the house:
1. birds
2. squirrels
3. mice

Things my dog has clumsily fallen off of:
1. stairs
2. the couch
3. the bed
4. the back car seat

Things my dog will bark at:
1. raccoons
2. cats
3. other dogs
4. people that do not pet her
5. the mailman
6. leaves
7. sticks
8. her tennis ball
9. Lisa
10. basically anything in existence

Things my dog likes:
1. hanging her head out the window on car rides
2. walks
3. kids
4. hunting
5. dogs
6. hugs
7. sleeping

I gave my dog up for adoption today. The house seems so quiet. And empty. And lonely.

No, she's not a beagle. She's a coonhound. And yes, she has attempted to climb the tree in our backyard.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Re: Schweppes Water Balloon Ad

I found a video that relates to Lisa's beautiful water balloon ad. It is a video of a water balloon being popped at 2000 frames/second.

Here is the article from Wired Science. For people that like to see things shot at, they have a similar video for that too.

I'm thinking I may not have enough to do in my life right now.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

If you enjoy BBQ, Uruguay might be for you...

I used to work at Prudential. I enjoyed hiding in my cubicle. I developed a new respect for people that must eat frozen dinners everyday.

There were a few reasons I liked working there. First, I liked how stress-free it was. I also liked that, regardless of the overtime, once I left work, I didn't have to think about it until an ungodly hour the next morning. I have since come to realize that "ungodly hour" is no longer eight in the morning. Rather, it is six in the morning. I know this because that is the time I get up everyday for work now. And it is only six because I may be the only girl on the planet that has mastered getting ready in under 20 minutes, and that includes a shower. When it's warm enough, I will probably leave my hair curly and not hassle with styling it so I will be able to sleep in five more minutes. I look forward to sleeping in until 6:05.

Second, I liked that I really didn't have to talk to anyone. I could go an entire day without even making eye contact with someone. There was one person that I talked to. He didn't come in on a daily basis, which would explain how I could so easily avoid human life outside my 4 ft. x 4 ft. box.

He and I used to find the most ridiculous news articles and send them to each other. Once he sent me a story about a German nudist who wanted Bush to join him on the beach. Another time he sent me one about a squirrel that was shop lifting from a Finnish grocery store because he liked the chocolate with the toys on the inside.

Today I stumbled on a story about Uruguay. I can't even think about that name anymore without hearing the episode of The Simpsons in which Homer sees the country on a map for the first time, chuckles and pronounces it "you are gay."

Anyway, the story is about breaking a Guinness record. My favorite line is "20,000 spectators cried with joy when the Guinness judge confirmed the barbecue record had been broken."

If I still worked with John, I would have sent him this article today.

Friday, April 11, 2008

For My Eyes Only

This is probably only funny to people who have a degree in English.

Chuck sent me a text message a while back that said, "I just passed a sign that says 'We sell batterys here.' I weep for the future of our children." He then sent me another that said, "I just saw another one that says 'Were always open.'"

This afternoon I saw an article on translated signs from other countries and then domestic signs (at the bottom) that are just not grammatically correct or say something completely different from what they should. Seriously, it's probably only funny to people with a degree in English...or just me. Here is the link:

Watch out for the wha...?

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Seriously, Wild Turkeys?

Okay, really. It's stories like this that give the midwest a bad name.

Postal Workers Attacked by Wild Turkeys

That's right, "postal workers attacked by wild turkeys." In Madison. Come on Wisconsin: you're bringing us all down here and making the midwest look like the uncivilized, uneducated part of the country that I'd like to think we're not. I move to have Minnesota and Illinois be called something other than the midwest.

Although, this article came from a Seattle news source. It was also under the "Nation/World" tab. Was this story honestly legitimate enough to be put under this heading next to oil spills and Iraqi death tolls? I'm going to go with "no" on this one. So, I guess I can feel a little better knowing the west coast has their embarrassing counterpart. Wisconsin, meet Washington.

Friday, April 4, 2008

My Students are so Smart!

I have the smartest students ever! I cannot believe the cool things they have been doing this week. On Monday we began our unit on The Secret Life of Bees. This book addresses the Civil Rights and takes place in the 1960s. It's about a girl who runs away at age 14 with her black nanny and lives with three other black women. Let the love and bee keeping begin....

As you may have guessed, the book is extremely feminine. I had a difficult time reading it and I'm a girl (at least last I checked anyway). I wanted to come up with some ways to keep the boys and some of the girls interested in the subject matter so I decided to try incorporating technology into the writing activities we would be doing and historically relevant things into the class to try and engage the students a little more. I am so far receiving a good response to this.

So for their writing, students have made their own blogs and class wiki. It is so cool! They had two days in the lab this week and set up their blogs and wrote their first posts. They also have already added and presented their first wiki topics on the 1960s. For those who don't know, a "wiki" is a website that you can set up and invite other people to add to it (a lot like, only limiting who can add to it). So they are basically creating their own website for the class. I have posted below the links to all three class wikis. When you get to the home page, there is a white rectangle. Click "sidebar" in that. Then click "Secret Life of Bees" and follow the link to the "1960s." A list of topics will come up. Those are the pages my students created. Their blogs are posted in "student blogs" on the sidebar.

I really love how they turned out. This was their first try at creating their own webpage and blog. I hope this turns out to be something they enjoy and can use in the future.

I made Rick Beach proud.