Monday, February 28, 2005

Food Porn

I was online looking for barbeque clip art (don't ask - something for Prom committee) and I ran across this site.

This site was created to help people not crave food. I, however, would like some of the chocolate covered strawberries.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

The Rain in Spain

My poor friend Greg is bored at home with only his lovely wife and beautiful daughter to keep him company (pobrecito). He is looking for a job right now as he has been taking care of his little one this past school year. Today, he comes to my classroom to deliver two pieces of information. The first is that I don't write on my blog enough to keep him happy, hence this post. The second, I found worthy enough to share with my public.

The Arizona Republic (aka "The Rag" and "The Repulsive") published an article last November that originally ran in the Wall Street Journal. If it hadn't run in the Journal, it wouldn't be appearing on my oh-so-superior blogspot.

The article, "Some talk ain't cheap," highlights the problem of poor grammar in the workplace. According to the article, a person can be overlooked for potential job promotions due to how he or she sounds.

I always believed this fact to be common knowledge. Presentation is everything, right? In fact, concise communication is so important that many companies are paying speech and image consultants thousands of dollars to play Professor Henry Higgins for their junior and senior execs.

This led me to think about my current workplace environment. Every once in a while, I slip in a “y’all” to get my students’ attention or I throw out some gangsta-speak to connect with my homies in the classroom. They need to identify with this almost 30-year-old white girl somehow.

I can’t tell you, however, how many times a student has looked at me and said, “Ms M., you talk way too smart for us.” When that happens, I correct his grammar. And then I reflect about my teaching style because I know if I “talk too smart” that my students will tune out.

The writer of the article warns me that I can’t sound like a teen, use poor grammar, use an abrasive accent, curse or talk tentatively if I want to succeed. In most workplace environments, these are words to live by. But to play communication coach in the high school environment, I sometimes have to display 4 out of the 5 above listed characteristics just to get my stubborn, smut-speaking students to “talk pretty” so that they can succeed after graduation day.

Sadly, the clever consultant’s check is worth so much more than my own.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Big Chicks Rock

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I want to lose weight. Who doesn't? But dammit, I'm still sexy. And I found a great site to share with all my sexy, not-so-size-six friends.

I found this website while in search of vintage style dresses in not-so-vintage style sizes. Curvy chubbies unite!

Monday, February 14, 2005

I'm gonna be girly...

On the radio the other day, two disc jockeys were postulating that Valentine's Day was all about bragging rights. One woman cannot stand to keep quiet when her man does something wonderful for the Hallmark holiday. I agree.

Personally, I think Valentine's Day is a bit cheesy and overblown. But I am still going to simper and brag. 100 red and white roses, beautifully arranged, arrived in my classroom this morning. A chorus of ooh's and aah's followed. I welled up, just like a typical chick.

It is such a drag to find out I'm so common.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Quoth the husband...

Tomorrow is my husband's birthday. He is oh-so-woeful because he is turning 23. Getting old is hard (ha!). I wish I was 23.

To take his mind off his age troubles, I suggest he help me clean up a bit as we are having some people over tomorrow afternoon. He hangs some pictures and attacks the library area with gusto. Within a few minutes, I realize the house is silent so I go to investigate.

I stand in arched doorway watching him fidget with a blue and black raven ornament that I bought from an artist a few Christmases ago. He had torn the ribbon from the top of the small bird and was trying to balance the thin wooden legs on one of the bookshelves. He gets frustrated every time the bird falls over.

He senses my presence and looks up. Deadpan he states, "If only we had the bust of Lenore."

I love this man and his wacky sense of humor. Happy birthday, Honey!

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Perhaps a Cinquain...

Recently, we did Cinquians as summaries for some stories we read. Cinquains are structured as follows:

The first line is the subject line
Second line - a two word description of topic
The third contains an action related to the topic
The fourth line is four words containing emotion and providing insight
The fifth line is synonym for the first line

Here was my example:

Lost Sheep
Exploding with Anger
Infuriating, reaching for acceptance

My kids actually thought it described them very well. Of course my seniors said it described them years ago... I let them have their pride.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Teaching Reflections

I am not a great teacher. I usually pass mediocre. Sometimes, I stumble upon good. In no way am I teacher of the year.

Lately, I've been disillusioned with my current profession. Endless questions---was I chosen to do this? Should I be teaching? Why am I here?

Upon reflection last weekend, I realized I wanted to remember what it was like to be a newby. My colleagues in my Masters program are beginning their student teaching and I am jealous. I want to have that excitement again.

I came into my classroom Monday and looked around at my quasi-depressing room. Yes, there are pictures on the walls but there are also carvings in the tables. I could have chosen to focus on the bad, but I knew I needed to change my attitude.

I decided to smile more and scowl less. I changed all my lesson plans around. I altered policies and procedures in my second hour class. I listened to their stories with virgin ears. I shared some of my own stories as well. I opened my heart. I reached some of them and reaffirmed my belief that I can't help the ones who don't want the help.

Teaching is not my last profession. For now, it is my current calling. And no matter what, this journey into the classroom is worth it every day as long as I help one child.

About Me

Stupidly self-centered for over 3 decades!