Friday, December 26, 2003

Hope you had a very Merry Christmas. I did! The only way it could have been better is if Tim was with me.

Tim is still in New Jersey. Hopefully, I will see him tomorrow. Right
I'm with my dad at an aunt's house. We were visiting my rats and
talking to
my cousin's bird. I like my rats better. They are much more cuddly and
and don't bite like the bird does.

Well, how did you all make out this year? I got some nice gifts,
including a
gift certificate for a massage from Tim and a stea
mer from my dad. My sister Andrea got me a pretty necklace from her
trip to
Hawaii and my sister Laura gave out ASL patches she made herself, which
very cool so if any of you are interested, email me and I'll give you
info. Each patch is $5 and are bascially the alphabet or the "love"
sign. My
dad's family is pretty big, so we had a gift exchange where you bring
in a
practical gift for $20, pick numbers, and choose a gift. I got a bag of
coffee, so that'll be nice once I go back to school (bleck! not ready
school!). I brought a pedometer. At the time, it seemed like a good
idea, as
I would love to have one. I told Tim about it and he said something to
effect of no one in my dad's family seemed like the exercising
would appreciate it?? My sister's were offended, but once I explained
Tim was referring to our aunts and uncles and not them, they quietly
I guess I felt that the gift might encourage them to start
Fortunately, my uncle Jaime seemed to like it and said that he's taken
jogging. I hope it helps him!

Boy, this connection sucks! I shouldn't complain, but remind me not to
from my cousin's room. I tried to make some hyperlinks, but the
computer got
all confused trying to open another internet window.

Well, gotta run. I have to drive back to my mom's house. We're going to
visit my grandmother.

Well, this sucks...
I've blogged this morning at my cousin's house, only to have his browser freak out on me, so I was unable to publish my blog.....

Now I'm on my mother's computer, and her browser won't let me sign her out and use my own email address. I did yesterday, but for somereason it won't let me today. Now I won't be able to check my email for messages from my honey! :-(
More fun!
The things I do with my sisters late at night when my boyfriend is 3000 miles away.

Ah, Moody Aragorn.
Moody Aragorn

What Lord of the Rings Male and Mood Do You Desire?
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Check this out! My sister told me about this site that tells you which LOTR Character you are. This is me:
Congratulations! You're Gandalf!

Which Lord of the Rings character and personality problem are you?
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Sunday, December 21, 2003

I am so brave! I weighed in today after missing last week and have only gained 0.6 lbs!

Had what Tim would call a very relaxing day. I didn't do much of anything. I did manage to see some old movies like Little Women and The Music Man. Found out that a tune I've had in my head for years was from The Music Man ("Gary, Indiana; Gary, Indiana; Gary, Indiana...." You'd know it if you've seen it. I've been asking people if they knew where it came from and they would look at me like I had lobsters coming out of my nose. I'm glad that is one of life's little mysteries solved!)

Hung out with the rats in the living room again. Barbara was exploring all over the futon while Janola would jump out the cage, sniff, and then run back in and hide in her igloo. Tomorrow I'm taking them on a short drive.

I had a nice walk downtown. I was hoping to purchase a couple of presents, but all those people took the fun out of it so I just walked back home.

Well, it's late and I'm pooped.

Saturday, December 20, 2003

OMG! Has it been so long, dear ones, since I last wrote??? I suppose so.

Let me sum up: I finally got my voice back. Not 100%, but pretty close. My throat is still scratchy and I'm pretty phlegmy, but at least I'm audible.

Let me say that I AM SOOOOOOO GLAD TO BE ON VACATION!! I was pooped. It's hard jumping into the middle of the school year like that. I'm going to sit and plan out a couple of weeks of curriculum so I know what the heck I'm doing.

My classes are getting better, especially 3rd. Second is good, as always, but now first is getting on my nerves. I'm still enjoying my 8th graders.

I have a butt-load of grading to do. I don't know how it got so out of hand. I was real good there for a while. I'm going in on Monday for a few hours and get caught up. I'm hoping to recruit a friend's help.

Still love the rats. They now both get out of the cage and explore. They aren't too crazy about being held, but they do like it when I pet and scratch them in their hat-hammock. This evening I brought them downstairs to get them used to being somewhere different. Barbara actually climbed out of the cage twice (and immediately jumped back in), so I'm hopeful for this week. I'm taking them to my aunt's house while I'm down there for the holidays. We'll see how it goes.

I spent all morning in the car. Tim flew out of LAX (heading to his family in New Jersey) and I offered to drive his car back to save him a few bucks. Bleh! Traffic and stuff.....But, I made it home again.

Kinda nice to be alone, but I do miss having Tim around. The girls (ie:rats) are furry and cute, but not as good at conversation as Tim. Plus Tim is more cuddly.

I have the best boyfriend in the world. I felt the gifts he got me for Christmas and it looks like a book and a gift certificate. I would tell you what I am getting him for Christmas, but as there is a chance he'll read this, I won't. He probably knows what it'll be, but I would like to have the illusion of surprise. He won't be opening them until he gets back next week, though.

Well, it's late and I have to go weigh in tomorrow. Bleh! I have been sick and I always gain weight when I'm sick. But, it needs to be done. I really do need to get back on the program. I'm starting to creep up!! yikes!!!! (OK-only weigh 2lbs more than last year, but still. Never want to be that heavy again!)

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Sotto Voce still. I do feel much better than yesterday, but my voice is not back yet.
I am so happy at RdV! Everyone there is so nice and friendly. I have students who will stop by before school starts and do anything I ask them to. The teachers are all concerned about my throat. One gave me a whistle to use to get their attention. Another lent me her speaker/mic set-up for the day. That was terrific. And another gave me a box of chocolates on Monday after I told her how bad my Friday was. Nothing like that has ever happened to me at my old school.

I discovered this evening that my ratties absolutely love popcorn. I haven't found anyone saying that it's bad for them. I use the super low-fat no trans-fatty acid microwave popcorn and made sure to give them a tiny part of the white part, not the kernel, though Tim seems to think that they will be OK with the kernels, being born gnawers.

Well, still a bit tired. Will go to be early again.

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

My rats loooooovvvvvvveeee salad time. I make them a salad of fresh greens and veggies, with a little protein. Tonight it's butter lettuce, garbanzo beans (their fav), parsley, mushroom, avacado (teeny-tiny bit), and Fiber One cereal. Their dinner is probably healthier than some of yours!! And, of course, the usual bowl of seeds and grains.
Alas, you are now my voice. My sore throat has gotten worse. The kids are hoping I don't go to school tomorrow. I want to disappoint them! Wish I was Stephen Hawkins now. That would be cool! I could have pre-programmed sentences like, "Quiet down, Randy." and "Excellen work Karina."

The kids were pretty good. I just have no voice left after speaking so much.

I was playing a "cute" game with Barbara this evening; she was curious enough to leave the cage on her own, climb up my arm (my hand was in the cage), take a treat near my shoulder, run and stash it and come back for more. We did this for about 10 minutes. The cute thing was that she never knew I was re-using her treats! Tim would've liked it.

Just planning another early night. I do have to type up a quiz and figure out a lab for tomorrow. Bleh!

Monday, December 08, 2003

Can't wait to go to bed tonight. I've got lots of cool drugs to help me sleep. I'm congested and my throat is scratchy and my voice is hoarse. Tim and Darleen say that I sound like another person.

I had a discussion with period 3; they gave me some things I could do to help us have fun and a successful year. Their suggestions were pretty good. One was to give them more candy (on occassion) and another was to use more visuals in my teaching. Then they discussed what they could do, and they came up with raising their hands before speaking and bringing their materials. I made posters with the "promises" on them. We're going to sign them tomorrow and the principal is going to be a "witness" to our committments. So, I'll let you know how it turns out.

Saturday, December 06, 2003

Sorry, blog fans. I've been remiss again. But you're probably all used to it by now.

Yesterday was another rough day. Not the entire day like Thursday, but 3rd period was loooooong and painful, even for me. I feel like I'm losing them. I spend a lot of time disciplining them, which gives me less time for positive reinforcement and fun. I'm going to try again on Monday. We will be doing a practice lab. I'm going to explain the expected behaviors and send kids out if they act up. I want all my classes to be fun, but I feel they can't be if the kids can't control themselves. But I've read a website on the junior high school brain, and they are a lot different than the high school brain and especially the adult brain. So, while we will discuss proper behavior, I need to make sure the environment is fun and safe. I also understand that this is going to take time. And I need to do this in all my classes.

After school was a big relief! I hung out with some of the other young female teachers at a coffee shop for a bit (loved the Holiday Mint Latte). Then Jessica and I did a little shopping before the big staff holiday party. I got a pair of snowmen earrings. The party was fun and the food was great. Much better than last year's party Tim and I went to. Everyone was having a good time and not talking shop so much as beign silly. I had to leave early to go dancing, but by the time I got home, I was pooped and just played with the ratties and Tim before going to bed.

Today was a big lazy day for me, which is how I like my Saturdays to be. Took the rats out again; I think it's important that we take them out everyday now. We just handle them for a few minutes but eventually I would like to have them out for an hour. Then we went to Art from Scrap and got some scrap materials for rat bedding and to the Salvation Army for a litter box. Once at home, I went to the coffee shop for a bit and rented "Finding Nemo" for tonight. I haven't watched TV at all today, and I feel great! On the other hand, I didn't get any exercise today, either. But, I did exercise 5x this week, much better than the last couple of weeks! I'm glad I asked Tim to help me. Having him know my goal kept me accountable.

I weigh in tomorrow, wish me luck!

Thursday, December 04, 2003

Hurray! Got Barbara out of the cage! Walked for 30 min today! Stayed within my WeightWatchers Points! (I didn't realize what a good day I had.)

I had a rough day. I don't really know....yes, I do know why. My first two classes had no energy, so I had nothing to get me going (other than a cup of coffee I had made 2 hours before). Third period was yacking away, so I had to yell at them. Fifth period was also chatty. I had to pull out the "listening coyote" to get their attention. ("Listening Coyote" is an attention getter I got from an elementary school during my outdoor ed experience. You join your ring, thumb, and middle fingers together to make the closed mouth of the coyote. Your pinky and pointer fingers are the attentive ears pointing forward. It's very cute...too cute for junior high, but it got them to focus on me.)Period 6 was pretty good compared to all this; my "special" student was absent today, so it went pretty well. Both 5th and 6th had presentations today- the first in my class. They were supposed to present a summary of the part of the chapter I assigned them. They were OK with the group work and making the puzzle and even with the thought of standing in front of each other to talk. What threw them was the fact that I had them take notes on what they were saying. Next time, I'll just let them listen. I just don't trust them to be paying attention. Maybe I need to have more faith in my students. Should I, or am I crazy??
Tim sent me this 80's lyrics quiz. It's a fun way to procrastinate. Check it out:

Guess what! I am doing this at school! It is so great to work with people who feel comfortable on the web. They seemed to think it interesting that I blogged. One of the teachers is going to make a blog for her classes to publish haikus and critique them.

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

bleh! I'm tired.

I feel like I've been running around ever since I got home. I stayed after school to get my grades done for the trimester, then I did a couple of errands downtown, then came home, changed, played with the ratties for about 45 min (Barbara is really getting used to our hands) and ate dinner. Then I did two loads of dishes (by hand), swept and mopped up downstairs, managed to watch a few minutes of Queer Eye while the floor dried. Back to my computer to make handouts for tomorrow, got my breakfast and lunch ready, my clothes are all laid out, teeth are brushed, bills are paid, and now I'm going to bed!

I'm having my 8th graders "teach" the chapter to each other tomorrow. We'll see how that goes.

I'm counting my hour of housecleaning as exercise. Only for 2 points, though.

Monday, December 01, 2003

Goal obtained: Actually exercised for 30 min today! And I feel great!

Today was the first day back after the loong weekend. The kids were pretty good; a little chatty, as I changed their seats today. One thing that kept me calm was the anticipation of my rats. I couldn't wait to come home and spend some time with them. I went for a brisk walk once I got home (a bit late, as we had a staff meeting after school), kissed my boyfriend, and then we put their cage on our bed and I spent about an hour with my hand in their cage, coaxing them with treats. Tim thinks we should get them used to our hands first, then work on picking them up. Since it's MNF, and Tim decided to sear some albacore steaks for dinner, the ratties got some expensive tuna and a little boiled potato for dinner. Yum!! <:3)~

I had a good day. I was productive after school, and saw a beautiful sunset on my way home. Until tomorrow!