Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I Love Green Tea!

Wow, my last post was kind of vehement, wasn't it? Lol. To clarify, it was inspired by comments made directed at a friend of mine which (wisely) went unanswered. Granted, I'm sure most of us have had similar situations and felt all those feelings. I just felt, in the wake of said incident, like fleshing them out a bit. So anyway...moving on!

Interesting happening at school today: and by interesting I mean slightly scary and saddening. One of my 4th period kids was yanked out of class by an AP. A friend of his, also in 4th, knew what was going on. I offered to listen, she mimed firing a gun. Grrrrreat.

So, I'm thinking there's a possibility that he had a gun in my class (which would have surprised the heck out of me...he's not a BAD kid...and he has tons of friends in 4th period lol). During lunch I head to the AP's office and knock on the door. A ISD officer answers. There was another officer in the room, plus the AP and my student. The AP came out when he saw me. I questioned about a weapon and he looked like he thought I was going to have a panic attack over the idea of a gun (those of you who know me know why this was amusing). Turns out, there was an accusation--proven false--but due to an incident yesterday (which I'll get to in a minute) they were worried about the student's safety.

So the incident: Yesterday a car (driven by another of my students from 7th) circled an apartment complex twice (once with music, once without). The passenger then proceeded to pull a gun, point it out the window, and fire (supposedly) 5 shots into a crowd of people (including one of my other students from 7th). I don't know if my 4th period kid was in the car or in the crowd...I'm hoping in the crowd, for obvious reasons. Neither of my 7th kids were in class today--the driver b/c he was pulled out earlier in the day, and the other because she started losing it today (hmm...wonder why? couldn't POSSIBLY be because she was shot at from a car driven by a classmate :-P). So yay my students. Sigh.

Now I know what they meant when they said that teaching could be disheartening. I'm disheartened because my students were involved...and I'm disheartened that a large part of me simply thinks "dumbasses...damn stupid decisions". That said, the two potentially involved were two of my characters in class...always smiling, always energetic (if unfocused and off-task), always entertaining. I hope they haven't just screwed up their lives. Again, sigh.

On to the title of today's post--I came home to relax with a cup or three of nice green tea. I steep my tea bag (pomegranate green tea even!) in hot water, dunk it several times to ensure a darker tea, then add a teaspoon of lemon juice and a teaspoon of honey. Yum! And very nice and soothing after a day of teaching. And there's my NCIS back-to-back-to-back shows on USAHD (yay pretty new TV!!!). Hubby is working on the bookcases with his new toys in the garage/man cave. He got started this weekend while I worked in my garden (and we planted an orange tree in the back yard!). I'll help with the staining and painting once the shelves get to that point, but for now, I'm kicking back! I'll start dinner soon, perhaps read a bit and spend a pleasant evening relaxing. Tomorrow's going to be super busy and stressful--I forgot to put my quiz in the copy room before I left today...I'll just have to get there super early tomorrow and put it in...and hope it's done by 2nd period. Plus there's the projects to grade, the quizzes to grade, etc. Sigh.

OK, not thinking about tomorrow anymore! Just about the nice evening ahead.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Unsaid

Have you ever really really wanted to say something to some one? You know the comment--the type that burns in your throat as you swallow it down. You swallow it anyway knowing that saying it would bring you down to their level and just all around bring on bad consequences.

Including the guilt you would feel for being petty and (as already stated) sinking down to their level.

But even knowing that you chose the high road, the unsaid sticks in your head for a while. Time goes by, and it gets tucked into the back of your memory, and doesn't irritate anymore. And then, something brings it back to the forefront. And it irritates all over again. And you think of other things that could have been/could be said (depending on the situation). And those irritate you, because you still choose not to say them. Partly for the reasons above, and partly because the initial incident has already come and gone, and saying anything now would be akin to being the person who doesn't get the joke until three days after it was told. In other words, you'll look quite ridiculous.

So what do you do? You swallow the burning comment once again, along with all it's new fiery friends, and hope they get tucked away quickly. The frustrating thing is, when another event triggers the fire-eating trick, it can bring all the other things you wish you had said in all the other unsaid situations. And suddenly, instead of swallowing a lit match, you're swallowing a great flaming, pitch-soaked torch.

Anyways, I was just thinking. And now I'm going to get a nice big glass of water.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Where I Stand: Forgiveness

I was reading a random post earlier today. The person was worrying over their inability to "forgive and forget". They were linking it to a Christian belief structure which, in their interpretation, requires that "good Christians" (what does that even mean anyway?) completely forgive those who have wronged them and to put the deeds against them out of mind. In other words forgive and forget. I honestly think that's a load of malarky.

First, to deal with the forgiveness part. I do believe that humans can truly forgive one another. That said, I think that there are two "main" types of forgiveness: forgiveness after repentance, and repentance-less forgiveness. Now the first type is by far the easier of the two. When the person(s) who wronged us truly feels bad AND tries to make amends (remember, repentance is as much an ACTION as a frame of mind), then it is easier to forgive. It can still take a lot of time, and a lot of soul searching, but knowing that the other party truly regrets their actions/the hurt they caused you, helps. The second kind of forgiveness is a much more difficult and self-oriented thing. If the person(s) doing the harming don't repent--or even acknowledge that they did things to/that hurt you--it become much more difficult to feel forgiving towards them. I think this type of forgiving takes a lot longer, and is done more for a personal benefit than for any other reason. Not forgiving someone who hurt you means those hurt and angry feelings stay...which eventually will hurt your life and growth as a person. So at that point forgiveness is much more a self-oriented thing than an outward expression.

Now to my issues with "forgive and forget". Don't get me wrong. Christianity does put a great emphasis on forgiving others' "trespasses against us" as Christ/God forgive us for ours. But the only place in the Bible that I (in my admittedly non-extensive Biblical knowledge) remember dealing with trespasses (aka sins, wrongs) and memory is where it talks about God putting our sins as far as east is from west once we truly repent. I can only think that this is where people get the "forgive and forget" stuff from. And a bit understandably, because let's face it, East from West is just about as far a distance as you can get in the world of metaphor and conceptualized distances. However, nowhere in all of that is "forgetting" mentioned.

So, here's my issue with the expectation of "forgive and forget" as expressed by certain interpretation of Christian doctrine, argued from the point of view of one who is an atypical Christian. God is the ultimate, perfect being. And (according to the Bible) we were created in His image. Humans have memory, albeit imperfect. We do forget things...but generally not in the purposeful way. So, if we are imperfect mirrors of God, then it stands to reason that God is the perfect image we reflect. So, take our imperfect memory--presumably, God has a perfect memory (which He'd have to to accomplish a variety of other actions attributed to Him and His abilities). Which means, that He CANNOT forget. Even with the whole East from West thing, nowhere does it say "God accepts your repentance, forgives you, and forgets about it." He just puts it far away.

So transpose that onto humanity. God, with His infinite mind, has the ability to mentally push things as far as East is from West. Yeah, humans, we ain't got that (:-P). Which means, for the really big hurts and wrongs, we won't ever truly be able to forget them. We can not dwell on them, we can not think about the often, etc. But they never truly go away. Big hurts leave marks on our soul, pysche, heart, etc. They are a huge part of the process that makes us who we are (of course a bigger part of that process is how we react to those hurts, but that discussion is for another time). Which means that while we might be able to forgive the person(s) who cause these wrongs and hurts, we'll never forget that they hurt us.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why "forgive and forget" is such a load of crap. Forgive, definitely. Don't expect it to be an overnight process, and don't beat yourself up if it takes time. But forget? Don't expect to forget about the big hurts and don't beat yourself up about not being able to. Especially since no one is actually asking it of you.

Anyways, I was just thinking :-).

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Feeling Domestic

And pleasantly so. Which is something, when I was younger, I never thought I'd say! Lol. I was never one for cooking/cleaning/etc. In other words, the practical sides of keeping a house in working order. But now that hubby and I have our own home (ps I LOVE our house), I'm finding that I really do enjoy keeping it nice. Apartments were fun, but they were literally "playing house"--houses take so much more work!

Anyway, today, after a relatively easy but unfulfilling day at school (details later), I came home and got the HELL out of my work clothes. Then I puttered around the kitchen, doing the dishes, making tea for my throat (again details in a bit), and generally cleaning up. Next, I got some laundry going and drank my tea while reading my book. Then I fixed another cup of tea and turned on NCIS while I'm waiting for my towel load to dry, and my darks/jeans to finish washing.

As far as the school day went, I reviewed the activity in the workbook the kids did yesterday while the substitute was there. Then we did a listening exercise. And all that took approximately 20 minutes lol. My voice was still completely shot today (until the amazing TEA!) so after we got through those activities I gave them a free day. Oh! But the one super-awesome and pretty damn fulfilling part happened during 7th period. They were ANGELS! I told them that if they screwed up their "trial week" of group seating this time, they would be in rows for the rest of the school year! They still chatted a bit, but came back to order when necessary. They were actually better than some of my other classes! It was a definite first! Now, we'll see how long it will last lol.

In health news, I have my voice back!!! Well, mostly. My throat's still really sore, and when I talk my voice rasps and fades at unpredictable intervals, but I'm hoping by tomorrow morning it will be good enough to let me actually TEACH the new vocabulary unit to my students! After that, it's up to them to learn it.
Speaking of, I found an AMAZING quote online today:

"Responsibility for learning belongs to the student, regardless of age." ~Robert Martin

Couldn't be more true. I do my best to provide information and motivation, but when it comes down to it, it's up to the student to study the material, practice, and LEARN. It's really too damn bad that so much of society puts the failure of the student on the teacher's shoulders. That's not to say that a shitty teacher can't screw up a students' learning progress OR the students' love for a subject. But when a teacher does everything he or she can think of--teaching, reteaching, breaking down concepts to their most basic units, trying different approaches to the subject, offering tutoring, etc--and the student STILL does not learn...then it's a lack of effort on the student's part, not on the teacher's. Getting parents involved definitely helps, but once you get kids at the high school age there's only so much a parent can do with a teenager determined to get in their own way. Anyway, I'm done with that rant lol.

On a more somber note, we have a guest this week. Not that that's somber--it's really good to see her and spend time with her--but the reason for her visit is sad. One of her dearest friends--her brother in everything but blood--died this past week in a horrendous car wreck. She's crashing with us during the funeral arrangements and occasions. I'm hoping staying with us, instead of with some of the other deeply affected, gives her a place to take a break from the overwhelming crush of sadness...but I know that that sadness is inside of her as well as coming from people around her. Hopefully here, she won't have as many external reminders, though there's nothing we can do to ease the internal pain other than being there for her. Her dad might come stay with us this weekend too--same reason--so it will be good to see him, even though (again) the circumstances suck.

So anyway, why am I sitting here typing a book? lol Well the hubby is at the archery range with a coworker, and I WAS waiting on laundry. Our friend isn't back yet, so it's just me and the pups, who are sleeping. Anyway, now that the laundry's done and we're in between episodes of NCIS, I'm gonna go be domestic some more, before relaxing some more! And that's about all that I'm thinking at the moment.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Being Sick is No Fun

Mostly because today I burned a sick day I wanted to save up:-(. I've got some sort of sinus/head/upper respiratory thing going, and it took away my voice. I went to work yesterday, wanting to prepare for my PDAS, and it made everything so much worse that today I stayed home, rescheduled my PDAS, and missed a professional development meeting. That said, I did clean the house up a bit...more straightening than anything, except in the kitchen. And I'm completing my defensive driving crap for the ticket I got in December. Still waiting on my driving record, but once that and this certificate comes in, I'll run them to the the courthouse and get this whole thing taken care of THIS month, instead of March when it's technically due. Which is a good thing. Other than that, today I have put a new MySpace layout up (it's a bit busier than I'd normally like, but it's made up of amazing tropical beach pictures, so hey), actually tagged some people to a note a wrote on Facebook (until my silly computer stopped letting the tagging function work), read a couple of online stories, and even read the book I'm reading (Fortune's Fool by Mercedes Lackey...a really enjoyable read). The hubby is stopping by Wal-Mart on his way home, and then we're going out to eat with a couple-friends for the first time since they've been engaged, so that should be fun!

Other than that, my PDAS is now NEXT Tuesday, and I think I shall teach a grammar lesson...always a few more options for lesson formatting than with vocabulary lessons (at least for me). Here's hoping my voice comes back waay before then. I am going back to work tomorrow---as I already mentioned, I really hate burning sick days. As of right now, I have 4 left, one of which will be a week from Friday for a rheumatologist appointment (yay MRI day...:-P). So really, 3 left. 1 will go to another appointment in April, and one to the Monday after Spring Break (Rodeo is that Sunday night...I'm not gonna want to get up the next morning lol). So really I have 1 sick day to get me through this semester (thought the rodeo one is flexible if it needs to be). I'll either save that sick day for next year, or burn it sometime in early May (if I don't get sick).

Anyway, I've enjoyed this brief ramble. It's hard for me not being able to talk all day. That said, I did have a wonderful conversation with the lady at the vet clinic who is working on a teaching certificate now. And the random salesman who came to the door...but that was a bit more awkward...he was very determined with his spin, but went away soon enough since I was sick, and my dogs were trying to get past me lol. So I'm gonna go get presentable for dinner tonight. And that's just what I was thinking. :-)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Train of Thought...choo choo

Life is good. My students are lazy. My husband is sick, but took really good care of my while I was sick and had a baaad RA flare. Puppies are getting used to the house, which means they are increasingly pains in the ass. My PDAS observation with my principal is next Tuesday and I am nervous as crap...but strangely excited too. I found out I'd have to teach til I'm 58 to get my full TRS retirement potential. Yay :-P. I'm really looking forward to Feb. 20th, March 15th-23rd, April somethingth, another day as yet to be determined, Memorial Day, and June 5th. All of those but the last are days I have off...and the last is the last day with students! woohoo! Anyway, dinner was great (hubby made it...yumm) and I'm buzzing on a Shiner Celebrator. Laters!


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