Procrastination (But I Digress)

Friday, September 30, 2005

Another Observer

Last night I had another observer for my class--a Teacher's teacher. The kids were great and we had lots of participation. One girl spontaneously said that the class was really fun at the end. The observer was not bowled over--she pointed out that I used too much lecture and I didn't give homework. I, on the other hand, am still bowled over. I think that they are learning amidst all this fun.

The fires are not close to us--the Burbank fire while close on a map is well away from us. The fires in Chatsworth are visible from Dad's back porch, but very unlikely to come any where near him. The real problem is the smoke. The air is very unhealthful. (Adam worried about the dog going outside, because of the smoke and we don't have nearly as much as the west valley--I can't even smell it.)

I'm doing a story board for my class project tonight--they actually have dry erase presentation boards--it is very cool. Now if I can just figure out how to get the pictures off my camera onto a piece of paper and onto the board. Since the point of the project is to show our technological skills, and printing a picture from a digital camera is at the low end of being technically competent, I better at least figure that out. TTFN

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Hugh Fires

I almost walked the four blocks to Kiwanis yesterday, but I changed my mind because I had to go to the High School--thank goodness, because when I left the air conditioned building I walked into a furnace. It has been so mild and almost chilly all month and then we had really hot weather. And windy, so that meant fires. There's a big fire at Topanga Canyon & the 118 freeway near Dad's, but from what I've heard on the news it's mostly in brush and canyons. It's moving toward the ocean over the hills, canyons and brush sort of North of Dad. They seem to have a good handle on the fires and tomorrow is supposed to be better weather--less ideal for fire. Not magic like rain, but less windy and cooler temperatures.

I had an observer for my class on Tuesday, but he didn't stay. I don't know if that means he thought I was doing ok, so he didn't need to stay or if he thought I was lousy after two minutes.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

No Hippy Blues

As I was sitting in traffic this morning, worrying about gas, it's the end of the month, will my budget streatch enough to get me over the weekend, will my gas tank hold out for the rest of the places that I have to go, thinking about all of the stuff I have to do today, Kiwanis and ABWA today, plus I have a test planned for tomorrow's class and I still have to enter the attendence from last week and I have lots of work to do at the office and a project due in my class on Friday, there was a piece on the radio about a guy who was missing hippies at the local college this year. Gone are the girls with the long hair parted in the middle wearing long skirts, gone are the tie dyed tee shirts, gone are the people who take a year off to follow a band, gone are the folks who are not into material things and are anti-busy. Anti-busy--what a concept. I think that that is my ideal vacation plan--to do absolutely nothing. But I hate sitting in front of the tv and I really want a few good books when I'm doing absolutely nothing and I would like to have a few plastic canvas projects and cross stitching projects to do, but then I will feel like I have to get those accomplished. Man, I'm really bad at doing absolutely nothing.

Well Mom, this is one of the too silly to post blogs that I sometimes indulge on--post or not?

Friday, September 23, 2005

It's Friday already

And Jackson turned 21 today--Happy Birthday kiddo. Oh how the days go by.

I've been following the evacuation for Rita and I'm trying to imagine sitting in gridlocked traffic for hours and hours afraid that I'll run out of gas in the heat and not being able to use the air conditioner. I'm sure glad I don't live there. We had some earthquakes here, but they were not too much and they were centered far away. I think the only reason that I felt them at all was because our building is on rollers.

I gave my students an open book, oral quiz yesterday. They think I'm the coolest and I get to find out what they really don't know and fix it. It's a win, win. Next week I'm going to have an observer, so I'll have to get it together a little better. I tried to show the students how to do research on Westlaw and then I couldn't find what I was looking for--Ugh. For my class that I'm taking to satisfy the credential, I have to take a movie or do a story board of the class I'm teaching. Mel has a video camera, so she's going to come to the class next Tuesday and take a video. Last night I took pictures of us working on the computer. We're supposed to show the tools that we use to teach the class, but I don't think a great big picture of my brain is going to get me the grade. I'm trying to think outside the box and go with desks and computers--maybe we'll have the students do tricks. My kids are really great--I'm having a blast. The tech said that the class probably won't be cancelled because it's the first sememster. Of course, then the pressure is on to get lots more kids enrolled next semester. Fun times usa.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Thunder and Lightning Oh My

We are having such thunder and lightning crazy weather. Maybe once every four or five years we have a thunder storm IN FEBRUARY, not September. Crazy, crazy weather. Adam said the dog was scared all night so that finally Adam put his hands over Link's ears until Link fell asleep. What a nice boy. Except he made a spam sandwitch for lunch--that stuff is so disgusting. He wrapped it in tin foil and I said, that won't keep it fresh (as if spam was ever fresh), then he put it in a baggie and said the tin foil was so that it wouldn't be smushed. It really smelled awful--almost worst than cat food.

I went to see "Just Like Heaven" this weekend. There were so many commercials and previews before the movie that the movie itself seemed pretty short. It was cute. I also ate an entire bag of reases peanut butter cups. That was really good. It's going to have to last me a long time now that I've learned that I can't eat just one.

Oh and I almost forgot--I won the humorous speech contest at the next level in Toastmasters. Of course it wasn't much of a trick, since I was the only contestant. They promise me more competition at the next level--I guess that's a good thing. There was a fellow who just won an international contest in Toastmasters and he was kind enough to rip my speech to shreads. Although during the speech he wore a really big smile that made me a lot more comfortable giving the speech. I'm going to have to bring some friends to sprinkle through the audience and smile widely at me giving the speech at the next level.

The baby shower is getting closer--maybe that's why it's raining in SEPTEMBER. We have lots of games planned and lots of prizes--it's going to be a really fun afternoon.

ta ta for now.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Going Up

We're up to six students (and they are all pre-law--wow). We did have seven, but I didn't make it seem like a bird class so he left. I am not this lucky--I'm waiting for the shoe to drop. I told them they could read "Inherit the Wind" for extra credit and then one of the kids said he was reading "Common Sense" this semester. Wow. I'm probably going to have to take it out of the library--I hate that I didn't save all my books. I need a big library in walking distance--oh yeah! I have that. Maybe I am that lucky.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Happy Birthday!

Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear Erika and Stephanie............. Happy Birthday to you, and many more, on chanel 4, don't slam the door, it's such a bore, I'd just abhore, not hearing more, about the chore, I just adore, wishing you a HAPPY BIRTHDAY to you!

Go ask that other person OR Teaching, smeaching

Well there are three kids in my class, but seven signed up and they expect 30. Of course there are only 20 chairs in the classroom, so I'm thinking 30 is pretty ambitious. Two and 1/2 hours with no breaks is a very long time to bore three kids silly. Finally I made them stand up so that they would stop nodding off.

I figured I needed an overhead projector, so I asked my tech. and she said ask the district for a computer with power point. It turns out that there is an overhead projector in the class, but no chalk board. I don't have any transparencies, so I asked Susan (my contact at the district) for transparencies. After two days (today), she told me to ask my tech. I asked both Susan and my tech about modules that are referred to in the outline. Neither has any clue. I was told to ask the Business ROP coordinator. Finally I said that I would make my own transparencies and at first Susan said, we have them already made, then she said I have blank sheets and you can copy them from the computer and then today she said, ask your tech, she's supposed to do that for you. My tech said if I have any copying, to give it to her and I'll get it by the next class. Now I find out that I have a three hundred dollar budget for supplies. Ay, yi, yi.

First the kids said they were in the class because they wanted to go to law school. After I said enough times that I was there to teach them to get a job in a law office, they gravitated toward what I apparently wanted to hear. I'm going to have to do a nonconformity exercise or two. I have 2 and 1/2 hours to fill, so we have plenty of time.

I was told that I can have movies in the class and I was planning all these great movies about the Law: Gideons Trumpet, Twelve Angry Men, Inherit the Wind. After they started falling asleep I gained a new respect and appreciation for My Cousin Vinny, The Firm and Runaway Jury.

This is a great learning experience (not a great experience, great learning--I am learning so much about what I always knew in the back of my mind). I remember the crossroads--law or teaching and I so took the right path. Thank you to the teacher who told me "if you like control, you'll hate teaching." At this stage, I think that I can figure out how to keep control and still accomplish my goal of actually teaching.

My level 1 class is really good. I'm really enjoying it. It's almost a week later and I can still remember everyone's name (we played a name game that really worked). And the instructor gave me the secret right in the first class--the best thing I can do for my students is to give them a fun atmosphere in which to learn and grow--if they don't have fun, they're not going to learn. How true is that. I always learned more when I liked the teacher and they were enthusiastic about the subject. Well I love law, so that's covered. I'm not sure how much I love filing out work applications and finding a job, but I can work on it.

There's only three students--this class is getting cancelled.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

PT Blues

So the president of the ptsa is giving me a hard time and I'm thinking, oooo, mayby I can get fired and I'd have one less job to do. But instead of taking my veiled resignation she tells me that I shouldn't even think of resigning and she's going to ask other people to give me their advice--not help, advice. Yeah, I really need more cooks. Can I send her stuff I've already sent her so that she can make sure that I'm doing more than I've just said that I have time to do.

Today is my first day for the teaching job. There is a career module to present to the kids that is on a disc, so I went to print it out. At chapter four (of about 20), I went to the printer to see how it was going. The printer was on page 76 and it was still in chapter 2. So I stopped printing and it ended on 138. I have to figure out how to read the darn thing without printing it and it's all transparencies and senerios to present to the kids, so I need my computer in the class if I can't print the darn thing out. What a pain. Luckily no one is signed up for the class, so it's probably all moot. The advertisement for the class invited pre-law students. All of my instruction material is to introduce working in an entry level job at a law firm. The guy at the school district wants me to run moot courts and debates. The material from the county wants me to teach kids how to interview for jobs and fill out an application. Meanwhile, back at the ranch...

I am so busy at the office, that it feels like all the years worth of work is being scrunched into two months. And I have no secretary. That's hardly unusual, but being this busy is and so now it's very uncomfortable. I keep hearing Jerry Stiller in my head from Seinfeld, "Serentity Now!"

Monday, September 05, 2005

Tennis Anyone?

What a great weekend of Men's tennis (so far the Women's has been uninspiring--but I'm looking forward to Venus and Clijsters and Pierce is ahead in the first set--will it be Pierce and Mauesmo--that should be good). First Blake beats Nadel, then today he beats Robredo (who was named after the movie "Tommy" which I though would be impossible and then I did the math--OMG). Then Coria and Massu duking it out (literally). It looked almost easy for Agassi and then all of a sudden Malisse comes alive and made me doubt Agassi. Lions and Tigers and Bears, o my. And it's not over--there's still another whole week of tennis. I have to learn how to work my VCR.

Marisa's baby shower is getting knotched up a level--we are renting the boy scout house across the street. I asked if we could get into the kitchen early and they said, the back door is locked and so I said, let me borrow the key--it's not like you don't know where I live.

I made soup this weekend--Marisa said it smells like Grandma is visiting. Unfortunately it doesn't taste like Grandma is visiting, but I'm on a diet anyway.

I've been practicing my humorous speech for tomorrow at Toastmaster--it's just not that funny. So I wrote a different one, but it's not that funny either. Humor is hard. TTFN

Friday, September 02, 2005

A Brand New Day

Boy that chocolate cookie was good. On Fridays, we have goodies at the office. When Hasmik picks them up she goes to Portos which has the best chocolate chip cookies on the planet. All year long during my drastic diet, Portos chocolate chip cookies (1 per Friday) were allowed. During my new maintenance phase I have even allowed myself to go to Portos and buy cookies myself, but then I ate all six in about two days so that was nixed. Hasmik hasn't picked up goodies for over a month and so this has been a long drought without my favorite cookie, but she went today and it's like a holiday. I guess technically it really is a holiday weekend coming up--how handy.

My addiction to spider solitare is serious enough that I am deleting it from my computer. I think that it is two decks of cards, so I'm going to try to play it manually at home as kind of a gradual withdrawal method. I need a much bigger table. My desk at the office is pretty big--just the right size as a matter of fact. Or I could just leave it on my computer. Yes that would really be a better use of my time. I'm so glad that problem is solved.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

.7% doesn't mean a bit,

But give it to me every hour... Is it a bad mental health sign when you think in song lyrics? My body fat was down .7% from last month. Since I've stayed the same weight, I'm going to take that as a good sign. Someone came up to me at the gym and said that I look a lot younger now, then I had a pesky gray streak clump in my hair when I got ready for work--it took about five minutes of trying to pluck a few and comb under the rest to get rid of it. My little sister is celebrating her 21st wedding anniversary (Happy Anniversary--I remember your wedding, like it was yesterday) and my baby sister is about to be a grandmother. I do not like this Sam I am, I do not like Green Eggs and Ham. (Is that progress, moving to books.)