Tuesday, August 28, 2007

time for an update!

well... as some of you know... my trip to illinois turned out a bit differently than i had hoped and planned. a few hours after i wrote the post below, my grandma passed away. it was about 9:30 wednesday evening while i was on the phone with my mom and my dad was on the phone with my cousin who was at the hospital (which of course, my parents were together driving). of course, i kept my thursday morning flight and met my parents in illinois.

despite the real reason for being in illinois; i really, really enjoyed my time there. i miss going back there so much and i manage to just "forget" that while i'm here in texas. then, when i'm there i spend all this time wondering, "why don't i come back here more?!" so, i guess you can say i learned a life lesson. and i will be making more of an effort to get back to illinois and my family more often.

two days after i returned from illinois, it was time to head back to work. i've spent this week sitting in meetings and presentations over a handful of important and useful things, but mostly time filler junk that applies to about 25% of the audience. i'm quite frustrated this school year, because i'm just not organized and ready for the first day of school. and yet, all that staff development has consisted of is sitting in a chair listening to someone talk. i've also spent a ridiculous amount of time sitting in a church parking lot with 5000 of my fellow klein employees attempting to leave convocation. that was just insane. for now, i'll refrain from hopping on my political soapbox. i don't have the energy to type all my commentary on the "poor little esl and special ed kids we're letting fall through the cracks." sometimes i feel like that's all we concentrate on. it sure is this week, anyway. makes me just want to barf.

in the midst of illinois and before the start of school, we managed to finally sell our lake house. it was quite a process of back and forth for various reasons. i'll spare you the details... but it's sold. and we ate it on the selling price. but, we'll chalk that up to another life lesson.

so, i have to admit... i started this blog entry a few days ago and kept getting sidetracked from finishing it. now, as i type this, it's the evening of the second day of school. i think it will, overall, be a better year. we have 1000 less kids on campus (because of the new school opening) and the hallways are much more pleasant now. most of my classes seem like they will be okay. i have a few rugrats, but that's always going to happen. i have a student teacher this year and we get along pretty well. it's different having someone watching me and basically critiquing my every move. not that i feel pressured, really, it's just that i know i'm supposed to be shaping her for her own classroom. ah! the responsibility! hopefully she'll pick up my good habits and weed out the bad ones. ;)

so i guess that's a good update for now... :) until something something else interesting happens...

an hour later... i'm re-reading my post and i just want to clarify something. i could change my wording in the paragraph i'm going to refer to, but i'm just not going to. i'm referring to my comment about esl and special ed kids. what i was trying to convey in that paragraph was that we concentrate so much on those kids during meetings and inservice. i do understand that they need a different approach and a different teaching style. but, i get so tired of the district making us feel as if they are more important than the rest of the kids. i had one mini-meeting about esl kids one day. a motivational speaker during convocation that cried about the insensitivity of america towards the less fortunate kids and the minorities. and finally a 3 1/2 hour (yes, three and one half hours) meeting about "the yellow brick road to success" with special ed kids. not once did i hear about what i can do with my regular, english speaking students to help them (and me) discover what makes them work harder and achieve more. so, just wanted to add that in, in case i sounded like an insensitive racist. ;)

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

leavin' on a jet plane...

so... i'm leaving first thing thursday morning for st. louis and then driving on to my hometown in illinois. my grandma (my dad's mom) is in the hospital yet again. however, this time it looks quite a bit more serious. i must say that it has been "serious" for her in the past several times before and somehow she pulls herself back. however, something feels a little "different" this time, according to the doctor.

i'm long overdue for a visit to illinois. and i really meant to try to go this summer, but i just never put it together. this morning i felt like i need to go this time. as the day has gone on, i've already changed my flight to one 3 hours earlier and now i am hoping that i make it to the hospital before she is gone.

my awesome sister, cassidy, is once again helping me out. she's my chauffeur tomorrow morning and will be house sitting and dog sitting and horse sitting for me. (i told you she was awesome!)