Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Prehistoic (wo)man goes shopping

Not knowing how to go into this, let me just come out with it: I'm fiddlin' with my diet (first entry)for various reasons. My visit with my doctor is what brought this on. According to him, I have a small frame (which was news to me) and am about 10-15lbs overweight. To be honest, he didn't tell me anything I didn't already know (except for the frame-thing). Now, he didn't say I had to lose weight. All the tests we had done earlier this year show that I am a healthy person. He did suggest that if I wanted to lose weight I should cut out grains. ("Even whole-wheat pasta?" "Yes, even whole-wheat pasta." "What about oatmeal?" "No grains, not even oatmeal.") This lead me to some thinking and I figured I'd give it a try this week. No grains, no breads, no pasta, no cake, no popcorn, no cereal, and *sigh* no beer. My doctor even suggested I forgo root veggies (no potato, no yam) and fruits with a lot of starches in them (no banana, no apples, no pears). Tim was very supportive of this change and even sent an essay in support of a diet low in grains (and sugar and beans and, well, you get it). Of course, this also led to some internet research (first by Tim then by me) on Atkins, South Beach, yadda yadda yadda. I mean, I've finally learned what a "raw foods" diet is and that there is a bunch of research saying that the digestive system of modern American (wo)man isn't necessarily adapted to deal with all the carbohydrates (in all their forms) that's forced into it.

In short I'm not sure which, if any, low carbohydrate program I'm following. I'm just not eating what my doctor told me to avoid. I do eat some citrus fruits and meats and a whole lotta raw veggies. He said you pretty much can't go wrong with raw veggies, especially carrots. Today ends day 4 of this...way-of-eating...and I feel like I've eaten more raw veggies than I've ever eaten in my entire life. But the strange thing is that I'm not really craving bready/pasta-y/chocolatey foods like I thought I would. So maybe there's something to this way of life.

The real test will begin on Monday when I go back to school. :)

What Do Teachers Do on Vacation? Part 2

Well, I can only speak for myself. I figured that relaxing was big on my to-do list. To that end, Tim and I spent the last couple of weekend camping, in search of wildflowers, birds, and koalas. The first trip was to the San Diego area. We've always wanted to go to the zoo there and this was the perfect opportunity. We arrived at our campsite on Saturday and decided to explore it a bit. There was a trail who's summit gave us views of the Pacific Ocean and the Salton Sea! It was pretty cool especially since we saw some really big bird prints (sandhill crane?) and some medium-sized cat prints (bobcat?). That night while cooking dinner an owl swooped overhead! Tim missed seeing it, but soon two more owls were flying over us, and a third softly hooting in the trees behind our tent. The next day was spent at Anza Borrego. We checked ou the visitor center and a couple of trails that highlighted some really cool cacti. We also happened to be there on the tailend of some big owl migration and saw about 5 owls resting in some trees!(Check out Tim's barn owl and long-eared owl pix!)

That Monday was spent at the zoo. We were there aaalll day! Honestly, about 8 hours! We saw just about everything you could see there, even the baby panda.

This past weekend was in search of explosions of wildflowers. Last year was phenomenal for wildflowers! There were poppies and lupin everywhere. This year, the theme seemed to be "Yellow."
Every type of yellow flower was in bloom, with a little bit of owl clover mixed in at Carrizo Plain and baby blue eyes at Shell Creek. Of course, we had a great time on both trips.

What Do Teachers Do on Vacation?

Well, I can only answer for myself. First of all, I usually begin the break with waaaay too many expectations: clean the house, go through the closet, finish a knitting project, exercise every day, yadda-yadda-yadda. Then, I begin to feel bad about myself because about halfway through I realize that I did none of these or, at least, not to whatever impossible goal I had set up for myself. Why do I do this?? Probably deep-seated childhood feelings of never being good enough or that what I did was never enough because there was always something undone. Anyway, this time I cut off that feeling pretty quick and have given myself permission to do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING if that was what I really wanted. And, for the most part, that is exactly what I want and need to do in order to rejuvenate. Ahhhhh.... can you feel my tension slipping away???

Friday, April 07, 2006

brain fuzzy-

omg. i am so tired. luckily, spring break is finally here. so far, i've had some snacks, had coffee with my knaughty knitters group, and am reading weird comix on the internet. this one made me laugh outloud, because as a teacher i can totally relate.

boy, am i tired. i know i really should be napping, but let me share something cute with you first. ok-it's one minute after the final bell and i'm standing outside my room just to keep an eye on the crazy kids as they leave for spring break. a cluster of them (all mine, of course) had gotten a hold of a can of whipped cream and were spraying whipped cream into each other's mouths when one squirrely boy, mouth full of whipped cream, starts jumping up and down with a huge grin on his face yelling "spring break, spring break!" it was just so cute and priceless that i laughed outloud and heartily. if i wasn't so tired and trying to be a responsible adult i would be jumping up and down, too.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Warm fuzzies

Lesson Learned: It is better to lift somebody up than to take him down. Praise is a powerful motivator.

Well, today a miracle happened. It might be a small miracle to you, but it made me extremely happy.

One of my students, Jose, never does hardly turns in any work. It was a struggle first trimester to get him to pass my class, and last trimester he missed so much school that he failed. He's a bit behind on the current unit so he showed up at lunch and turned in his work! Not only that, but he hasn't missed much school this trimester ergo he's all caught up on work and is passing my class! Lordy B'gordy IwassoexcitedIjumpedupanddownyellingandscreamingand....gave him a cookie. He was so proud of himself he just stood there and smiled, thanked me for the cookie and then stayed in to finish his lunch. :) He's never passed my class before without a lot of, well, let's call it... motivation.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Nothing much

I think my title says it all. Had a good week at school. I began a differentiated unit on buoyant force, so the kids are all set for this coming week. I love these units because it forces me to plan ahead. The kids like it because they know what to do and they get stamped as they go along, so they feel they are doing something. Also, they get much more one-on-one attention and instant feedback on their assignments. I like that part, too. The ony thing is that my student teacher (oh, didn't I tell you I had a student teacher? Well, there you have it) will be observed on Tues, right in the middle of this unit. His supervisor is all about cutting edge education, and differentiation is a big buzz-word in education right now, so hopefully it'll go well for him. Traditionally, his super has seen him lead the class during a lecture and a lab. Now she'll see him in the middle of controlled chaos.

OK-back to me. :) On Friday Tim and I ate out. There's this restaurant in town that's always busy and popular with the locals. It's one of those places where you cook your own meat. In a nutshell, we waited an hour in the bar (the service there was good and the onion rings tasty) for our table and waited some more for our waitress who looked like she had better nights. The food was blah and not worth it. I couldn't understand it. The folks at the next table were saying over and over how much they luuuuvvvved this place. bleh. This month we'll definitely eat some better food.