Thursday, September 30, 2004

The things you can learn

Truly amazing the little details that come up at Parent-Teacher conferences. The trend in Utah is for kids to come with their parents to these meetings, though in practice, you see about half of the parents with their kids and half on their own.

So what did I learn?

Good things: most of the parents said that their child likes my class, a few mentioned how happy they were that I had alternate resources online for the kids to look up, only one of them accused me of giving a bad grade to their kid just because I didn't like them. (Actually, they hadn't handed in the last two homework assignments, taken the last quiz, or participated in any activities... THAT's why they have a D-... not JUST because I don't like him...)

Interesting things: One girl who sits in the back of the room and never seems to be paying attention is actually deaf in one ear... not sure why she didn't mention that BEFORE when I asked anyone with special seating needs to see me the first week of school...

Funny things: Four of the students who did come with their parents took the time to reassure me that I was doing a good job and not to worry about the obnoxious people in the class.

So I'll be heading back to school in an hour for the second night of P-T conferences. I only hope it's as interesting as yesterday.

Sunday, September 26, 2004


Alright, okay, sorry if I offend you with my cursing. But honestly, better you than my students, right?

I got up for work today at 5:30am. Drove 45 minutes up to Park City. Was 2 minutes early. Turns out, my schedule was changed and I'm not working Sunday mornings anymore, I'm working Sunday nights. WHICH I told Douglas (aka: the worst manager I know) I couldn't do because of school. I simply cannot work until 11pm, get home at midnight, and then get up at 6am the next morning and go to school. My body and mind catagorically refuse.

That said, I will be going back this evening because by not going I will only be screwing over my coworker who doesn't deserve to be screwed again. BUT, I will be tendering my resignation at the same time. Tonight will be my last shift. What that means is that I won't work the last 5 shifts I was scheduled for before the hotel closes October 17th. Financially, that only means about $225 in take home pay. Considering the cost of gas and the time committment required, it hardly seems worth it anyway. So fuck it.

Speaking of being screwed over... I also got the revised health insurance form from the school district. Turns out, as a .67 Full Time Employee (FTE), my monthly contribution comes to $103. WTF?!?! If I were a full time employee (aka: I taught 6 classes instead of 4) my monthly contribution would be $14. Someone 'splain that to me? I have a personal insurance plan right now that is almost identical to the one I would be getting through work and I pay $72/month. Hmmm. Which should I keep, I wonder? Fuckers.

To end on a non-bitter note... I put up some new pictures from the wedding, the garden, and the recent visit. You can view them here.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Temperature down, Mood up

Ah. Cooling down finally. We don't need to run two fans and two swamp coolers to make the room habitable. I cna even wear - gasp - a sweater. Which is a good thing, because most of my teacher-like wardrobe involves a sweater of some kind. It's also nice because the kids seem a little more lively and a lot less cranky now that it's not 95 F in the room.

Stress-level is dropping in regard to the Reading Fundamentals class. Turns out I was mostly doing the right stuff, just needed to add a few things and tweak the rest. I'm optimistic.

I am glad I checked my online schedule - the one I post for my kids, that is. I scheduled a quiz for tomorrow. But I haven't written the quiz yet. Oops. I did write the practice quiz and worksheets, so all I need to do is tweak those and I'll be all set. But that could have been ugly.

We also recently benefitted from Jay's advisor's peach tree harvest. The man doesn't like peaches, so he lets the grad students help themselves every year. We made 3 dozen peach and walnut muffins and a big peach cobbler. Yum.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Laughed so hard....

Jay sent me this picture today. I laughed so hard I cried. I laughed so hard I almost peed my pants. I laughed so, so hard.

Because it is so, so terribly true.

And now you know.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

And yet strangely...

There's nothing that can't be resolved with a concession to order Chinese food. Sesame chicken is just the thing tonight. Yum.
I am irked

# of times I have been polite or accommodating when I really wanted to scream in the lst two weeks: *insert obscenely high number here*

# of times I have actually gotten something that I wanted in the last week: Um, less than five but more than two.

When I call to see if you want to go out to dinner at your favorite restaurant, the wrong answer is: "It's Wednesday. It's frisbee night."

Especially when the excuse of "I need exercise" has worn a little thin considering the whole "been training for a marathon" thing, eh?

So I put it to you, (all my five readers). When you have seen precious little of your live-in girlfriend for the last three weeks and she calls to see if you're coming home and if you would like to go out for dinner, does "It's Wednesday. It's frisbee night." translate as "I want to sleep on the couch tonight-With no blankets-And no pillows-And I never want to have my girlfriend ever do nice, friendly things to my naked body ever, ever again" or is that just my imagination?

Especially when you said as she left that morning, "I slept really well," and she answers, "I, sadly, did not at all." And when you know that she's not a morning person, and yet has gotten up at 6:30am or earlier for 8 out of the last nine days? And that she has been sick for the last five days? And...and... well, you get the idea.

So, hypothetically, what do you think?
Weather is here, wish you were beautiful?

Our newlyweds came in yesterday. Didn't bother to call to let us know when they would be in, of course. Nor to let us know about dinner plans. Or anything like that. No. Jay finally called them, only to find out that they were on Main Street. Uh, yeah, that's a five minute drive from our place.

Not that I should complain. I shut myself up in the computer room and did 3 hours worth of work for school. I now have a teacher website and a membership at DiscoveryWeb for online quizzes and puzzle generation. So exciting.

The headcold has receded, so now I'm only bitter about being perpetually broke despite the fact that I'm working harder for more hours than I ever have before. Yeah, funny how that should be troublesome.

But now I have a two day break from the classroom (and really a 4 day break including the weekend...) to go to a district conference for new teachers. So hopefully I will get some good information at the conference and will figure out what the heck I'm supposed to be doing with my reading classes. The French classes, I can figure out on my own. I'm just stumbling a little with classroom management in the one section because there are so many talky-talky spastic kids all in the first section. The second section is my dream class. But that first class... oy.

Monday, September 13, 2004


Sinus headache, much sneezing, keeping Kleenex in business.

Hating principal, wanting to strangle kids, achey though not feverish.

Maybe private schools would be better? Other teachers reporting similar issues this year. Losing my shit.

Getting buried under weight of bullshit. Ready to tell more people to fuck off. Must remember not to swear in classroom.

Back later. Must sleep. And medicate.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

flatlining.... wait, no, there's a blip!

Hmm. I signed on to write another post and my mind has gone completely blank. I'm pretty sure I had something to say when I opened the field, but it's absolutely gone. Gah. Give me a minute.


Oh, so yesterday afternoon I came home after one of the most useless faculty meetings you can imagine, at which many people were pissed off and very little was accomplished outside of the pissing off. I'd left the house at 7am and I got home around 4pm. During this time, I'd eaten 3 cookies and had a bottle of water. I ran out of water right before the staff meeting and the school is uncomfortably warm in the afternoon, so dehydration had sucked the last of the moisture from my eyeballs which have been burning since Wednesday night. So I was, shall we say, a wee bit cranky when I got home. I don't remember what Jay said as I came in. I only remember saying "Fuck off" and diving onto the bed. Don't remember anything else until two hours later when the boy was rubbing my back in an attempt to wake me up for the Meteorology department picnic.

I must say that the latest crop of grad students is both more diverse and more lively than previous years. There was not only frisbee flying around, but croquet (for the tired people), and volleyball. I, of course, played none of the above, though I put in observation time at croquet and volleyball. I just scoped out a nice patch of grass and nibbled on baby toes. Baby Alex has a very cute giggle and is easily amused. Good qualities in an ankle-biter.

The eyes are still burning this morning...or uh, I guess it's afternoon now, eh? I think I have eyedrops around here somewhere. Perhaps I should go find those before I scrape my corneas on my sandpaper eyelids. Just maybe.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

On music

Last night we went to the Dave Matthews Band concert with our visiting Newlywed friends. God bless 'em. So, considering that I have to get up around 6am every weekday morning in order to be showered, dressed, and at school by 7:15, I wasn't psyched about the whole idea of a wednesday concert. Add to that the fact that I've always considered DMB to be background music; it was an outdoor concert so everyone was smoking; it was DMB so not everyone who was smoking was smoking legal plant matter; I'm very sensitive to pot smoke; our seats were not that great (way off to the side); and the happy duo are about as lively as two wet blankets.... Well, all I could think at the end of the night was "I could have been sleeping."

Yes, this makes me a horrible ingrate, but there you have it. Jay and I had fun for the first two and a half hours--because we are all about fun--but the last hour finished me off. Today my eyes are burning, my throat is sore, and I'm exhausted.

Oh, and did I mention that I'm writing this at work? Yep. I'll be here until 11pm - should get home by midnight if all goes well. Thank god tomorrow is Friday.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

So tired

Friday yet?



Monday, September 06, 2004

Hi, my name is Kate, and I'll be your therapist this week

So, Jay won with the estimate of 12 minutes until the first sniping between our newlywed friends. I'll call them "Jeremy" and "Alison"

However, there are obviously some deeper issues going on between Jeremy and Alison, and Jay and I feel compelled to try to help. Part of the problem is that Alison is young. She's only 21 and Jeremy is 29. She feels really insecure because she's never gone to college, she's never had to do anything for herself--parents spoiled her and her sister, and she's also gained a lot of weight in the last year and a half since they got engaged. They just got married. They should be happy, lovey, supportive of each other. The words "I hate you" shouldn't be a staple of their daily exchanges. I would think, anyway.

The thing is, Alison is so blatently unhappy that is hurts to watch. Jeremy doesn't make it any better because he just picks on her and puts her down even harder than she's already doing to herself. Example-- Alison: "I'm so stupid and flaky." Jeremy: "Yeah, pretty much." Now that's just ugly.

So the plan is for Jay and I to split them up tomorrow when they get back from Park City. I get to talk to Alison about possibly seeking help for what to me is an obvious dark depression, while Jay gets to discuss "How to support your significant other" with Jeremy. Jeremy keeps telling her that her problems are all in her head. The nice thing about that is that I can agree with him while introducing more productive concepts like "chemical imbalance" and "have your doctor check your thyroid function".

All Jay and I know is that we can't stand to be around them like this. Their misery is contagious. Alison has no self-confidence, and as a woman who dealt with a wicked smackdown of depression myself last year, I can't not try to help her.

Friday, September 03, 2004

Day off!

My first real day off since coming back from vacation. No school, no hotel. Thank god. Of course, I need to spend significant amounts of that time cleaning our filthy apartment. Especially since we are expecting house guests tomorrow.

Oh yes, did I not mention that yet? The NJ honeymooners are coming to visit us for their post-nuptial travels. Fortunately, we have devised ways to get them out of our tiny apartment. Sunday, I've arranged for them to stay up at the Inn for two nights in the penthouse for the discount rate of $79/night. Not bad, considering the room usually goes for $250/night, eh? Tuesday they're coming back to our place, and Wednesday night we're all going to the Dave Matthews concert - the tickets were Jay's best man gift. So we figure that on Thursday, or maybe Friday, we'd kick them out again with a few maps and some suggestions of places to visit in southern Utah. They're allowed to return the following Tuesday, and then they fly home on Wednesday.

Did I mention that we have a bet as to how soon after their arrival they will start bickering? And that neither of our guesses are more than 20 minutes? Oh yes. Should be interesting.

But now to clean.