Friday, April 29, 2011

And the Verdict is...

This week is the last week of classes for the Spring semester of my Master's courses.
Luckily, all of my courses have projects instead of finals, so once I turn my projects in, I'm done. I have turned in two of my three projects, and I have received a grade back for one already. I'm starting to feel the relief, but it won't last for long. I have three more classes starting in just over two weeks. The good part is: after this summer, I will only have one class, and two practicums, along with my Master's plan to be finished.

On the flip side, I am just finishing my first year as a Special Education teacher. I have an exception to teach while I am getting certified. The school I work at has 175 students, from grade K-12. We have 8 seniors this year, 22 juniors, and 13 sophomores. My case load is 13 students from grades 6-12. These are really good kids, and the school is a very close knit community. The drawback is a 42 mile commute every day, each way. I am allowed to ride the school bus most days, but it still takes a big chunk out of my day.

Needless to say, this has been a busy year, what with learning a new job, and running to classes. Regardless, I am loving the life, and glad to be teaching and working only ONE job. The rest will settle down soon. By the start of fall classes, We will have three of our children living outside of our house, and three High School students. Times they are a'changin'.

Keep your head up. Stick.

Sunday, April 17, 2011


Yesterday was our twenty-fourth anniversary. That's right. In a time of disposable everything, and quickie divorces, we've been married twenty-four years. To the same person. Most of my brothers and sisters have been married just as long, or longer. And, I love her more today than the day we got married. Oh, and by-the-way, faithful to each other for that same time. Today people are saying, "Why even bother getting married?" They look at it, and consider what they already get out of their relationship (or should I say acquaintance) without getting married, and decide that they don't need that commitment. After all, from much of the World's viewpoint, it's just a piece of paper, a verbal "I do" in front of some person with a license. It can be undone with the slash of a pen on another piece of paper. "Besides", they say, "twenty-four years with the same person--BORING! Most of my relationships don't even last the weekend." The reason--They only want one thing out of their relationships, and once that is over, they are ready to move on. No commitment. No pain (or not much). No feeling (sorry, THAT's a sensation, not a true feeling). They were raised in homes, many times, with only one parent, and they turned out fine, didn't they? So why get Married?

Here's a few reasons:

-You won't wake up alone and wonder how long you'll be alone this time.
-There will be someone in your life who cares if you are still alive.
-You won't have to wonder if--after last night--do I have a disease that I caught that will kill me, or am I pregnant by someone I barely know.
-When you want to talk to someone about your day, or whatever, you don't have to struggle to think of who cares enough to listen.

This list could go on and on. I'm sure others could suggest more that I wouldn't even come up with. The point is this. After twenty-four, happy years, I'm looking forward to twenty-four, or fifty-four, or however many more. When the time comes that one of us must shuffle off this mortal plane, we'll still have the memories of our years together to look back on HAPPILY, and those memories will carry us on. All that those who chose not to get married will have is a list of names--if they can remember any of them.

Happy Anniversary Sweetheart. Stick.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Frozen Fans

We attended a track meet yesterday for our two 8th grade boys. Let me preface this by saying, Wednesday was a beautiful day. However....Wednesday night a storm moved in and cooled things off. By Meet time, it was 39 degrees, but the wind was blowing with gusts to 41 mph. The wind chill probably put the temp at 20 degrees. It was FREEZING. Four hours, outside, in the wind, to watch two races. Of course their last race was also the last race of the Meet. At 8:00pm!

I love supporting my kids in what they do, and we try to be to every home event, but this was ridiculous--not only for us, but for the track kids as well. Some of them stood around in nothing but thin shorts and tanks. for up to 30 minutes, from check in, to when their race was actually run.

It took ME almost an hour and a half to warm up after we left. If you know me, you know that I am almost always warmer than anyone around me, always have been. One of the boys had had a drink spilled on his warm-up pants, so he was only wearing shorts the entire time. He will not do that again.

They have another Meet Saturday. It is an away Meet. Sadly, we don't go to away Meets. :o) Good Luck boys!

Take care. Stay warm. Stick.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Mother Nature Isn't Through Yet!

After last week's April Fool's joke, with snow on Saturday night, the weather chnaged to Spring--For a whole 6 days. We had weather threats of rain and snow, but none of them materialized. That is until last night.

Again the storms moved in and we have snow on the ground, with a cold wind blowing around. Come on Mother Nature. I know that a woman is allowed to change her mind, but let's decide it is spring, and get on with it. Our week time weather was springtime, maybe she only works a 40 hour week, and has a temp cover the weekend.
At least it held off until night, so we could enjoy the day.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Hang in there, spring is coming. Stick.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Wedding Worries

For any who do not read Facebook, my second daughter is getting married in just over two months. We are very excited for this event, and very happy for her. BUT...there are many things that must be done between now and then. Reserving buildings, buying dresses, sending out invitations, and the list goes on. We are lucky in that our daughter is very pragmatic about this. She didn't even want a reception. We told her she didn't get a choice. :o)

We are doing as much of the prep and decorations as we can ourselves. We are also going to use the friendly neighborhood Big Lots, Wal-Mart, and Costco wherever it seems most prudent.

One thing that my wife found online--what a great resource that is--is a check list for things to accomplish for the two months before a wedding. Step-by-step, week-by-week here's what you need to do. Isn't the internet grand!?

Keep on keepin' on. Stick.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Weather Weird or Not

We had some very weird weather yesterday. There was moisture falling from the sky, and it wasn't frozen! Can any tell me what this strange occurrence is? I know we haven't seen it here recently.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Deja' Who?

Today, while sitting at my desk, I decided to clean up my hard drive, and delete some old files. I would highlight several files at once, and then delete them. The high light would then go onto the next series of files, so I would have to click "off" of those files to take away the highlight, and then choose the next batch of files to delete. What I didn't realize...every time I clicked off the files, I clicked on one of the files up above.

Later when I went to submit a [paper that is due on Friday, I tried to open it, and it wasn't there! It had been one of those I had accidentally clicked on, and I had deleted it. I also had already emptied the trash. NO FILE! I checked all through my papers to see if I had printed a copy for my records. Nothing! I e-mailed tech support to see if they could recover it. Possibly, but it takes 4 hours, and they have to have the computer for an entire day. I decided that if I did have to rewrite, that I couldn't spare my computer for a whole day. Plus, I have three other papers underway for other classes, and I need to be working on them as well. So, I bit the bullet, and began rewriting the lost paper. I am sure I will finish it in time, but hated to redo work already done once.

Live and Learn, and back up your files! Take care. Stick.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Mother Nature Played Her Joke a Day Late

Yesterday, it was almost 70 degrees here. Beautiful weather. I worked out in the yard all day in a t-shirt (no, not JUST a t-shirt). Last night, a storm blew in. We woke to road closures, and an inch or two of snow! Its not supposed to last past noon, but...give me a break!

Hang in there. Spring IS coming! Stick.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

April Fool's Day Fun

I started the day by waking my boys--like I do every day. Like every day, they didn't get up right away. Five minutes later, I ran into their rooms and shouted, "You've got to hurry! You feel asleep again, and its 5 minutes to 7!" Their bus leaves at 7. For one brief moment, as they scrambled to put on glasses and read their clock, they were in panic mode. April Fool's!

Then when I arrived at school--We have been taking the State standardized achievement tests. We just finished in the last few days. All of our test booklets had been stored in large, clear, plastic bins. We still have these in a storage closet. I borrowed one, and walked into the seventh grade first hour class (with permission from the teacher). I told them, "They lost your Math Tests, and we have to do them over." Panic spread through the room like wildfire. April Fool's!

Later, as I was on my way home from school, my third daughter texted me a picture message. It was a photo of a smashed Ford Ranger, like mine. The text said, "I'm okay, but on my way to the hospital to be checked out. It was the other girl's fault." Sorry, I didn't fall for it, but I did respond. A few minutes later I texted back. "You'll have to call someone else cuz I stole your dad's phone 4 a april fools joke." When I walked in the door (after seeing the perfectly fine truck in the driveway) I said, "Has anyone seen my phone?" They all started laughing. April Fool's!

My wife has an IPOD issued to her by the school. One of the free APPS that she has makes different sound effects. One is the unmistakable sound of someone farting. She put it under her desk in her lap, and started playing it. "Oh my, Oh excuse me." Then she would spray air freshener. One of the kid's finally said, "She is making the sound with her IPOD." She played the same trick while walking around the school. She would come up behind a group of student's and key the sound. April Fool's!

Later, daughter three asked her youngest brother to get her a drink of water. He said, "Why do I have to do it?" My wife (unwittingly) played right into the scene saying, "Because I want you to." What she didn't know was that daughter three had taped the sprayer handle on the sink so that when you turned the water on, it sprayed you. April Fool's!

We are already thinking about next year. Can't wait. Stick.

All the World's A Stage...

I have recently had the opportunity to attend two different school produced plays. The first, "A Wizard in Wonderland", and the second, "Guys and Dolls Jr.".

The first play was put on by the small school that I work at. I mean SMALL. We have 175 students from kindergarten to 12th grade. Our Senior class size is 8. They did a fair job on the play, with moments of fantastic. The scenery was painted cardboard. The costumes were whatever clothes they could alter to fit the character, but their budget matched, and for what they had they did great. However, at production time, there were many lines forgotten, and prompted by fellow actors, and a song sung at the end of the play...well let's just say it hurt to listen.

The second play was put on by the high school where my kids attend, in the larger local town. My fourth daughter was in this play. The stage is full sized, with all of the elevator lifts, trapdoors, and pulley systems of a professional stage. They had 5 or 6 full-size, hand-painted, back-drops which they produced, along with spotlights, moveable scenery, and more. The costumes they created were all custom produced for each character. They had radio microphones for all of the major actors. For a high school production, I thought it was amazing. I only noticed one or two hesitations in the lines, and all of the songs were very well done.

I'm not mentioning all of this to criticize. I'm just trying to point out the disparity between two productions in the same school district. The small school production was supported by bake sales, donations from a local church, and I believe the play was free to the community in the school's 200 seat auditorium. The larger school charged $5 a ticket, and had large audiences in their 1000 seat theater.

I'm sure the smaller school wishes they had the facility like the larger school has for their productions, but when you consider that the cast of the larger school's play was almost as large as the smaller school's entire student population, who would watch the play?

Remember, speak to the back row of the audience, and enunciate. Stick.