Friday, February 27, 2009

Out on a limb

I went out on a limb today and accomplished something I've wanted to do for a few years. I sent in the necessary paperwork to apply for the National Writing Project. This is a program for teachers. It is daily for one month. The focus is on creating, sharing, and crafting writing pieces, programs, and lessons. The theory is that we as teachers of writing have to be writers and practice writing if we are to sculpt good student writers.
I love to write and hope I am accepted. This will also give me grad credit hours to put toward maintaining my teaching license. (Of course, to maintain one's license, one must pay for his or her own grad credits. Nice concept, no? It's required, but the state can't help pay for it. Cute, real cute.)
I will find out my March 15th if I am accepted into the program. I had to send a multitude of items in to apply. It was difficult to pick what writing samples I wanted to send. I'm crossing my fingers. I love school!!! (go figure)
It is fun for teachers to be the learners. Fun to be on the other side of the desk. I can't wait.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

What?! Did I do that!?

You may think to yourself, 'What would happen if I was fourteen, had prescription drugs to sell, and wanted my 'friends'at school to act stupid because they were high?'

I can tell you what would happen.

You'd get arrested! You'd be taken out of the school building on a stretcher straight to the hospital to get your stomach pumped! Then, you'd be in a heap of trouble with the school, law, and your parents!

Just ask four of the students at my middle school.
Sometimes, it's not good to make the newspaper or the news...

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Sunday Funday

Football is long over and basketball is getting ready to end as well. This particular Sunday, with nothing but laundry to do, I plan on going to see my boy, Thatcher Dean. This little boy is the son of a friend of mine, and I have babysat him off and on when I can - i.e. over the summers occasionally - so I am quite close to him. He loves me dearly, as I do him. He turned five on Feb. 11. I simply cannot believe he is five already.
His mom called me a couple of weeks ago and told me that she had to call and tell me what Thatcher said. She had picked him up at his Nana's house one day after work and he ran to the door in tears, holding his face in such a manner she was unnerved at what must have happened for him to be so upset. He ran to her arms and got in her face and said,"Mom, you HAVE to call Nina and she HAS to babysit me!! I will NOT come to Nana's again - I wanna go to NINA'S house!" She explained to him that I worked every day. He told her no, she doesn't. She can babysit me if she wants to, he said. Thatcher, if I could, I would babysit you. I miss you and I love you!!! I can't wait to come and see you today.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


My student came running in the room...
"Call the nurse. There's a boy out here with a broken arm!"
I casually smiled and replied, "Riiiiigggghhhhht."
"No, really," as the student smirked and was giggling a bit.
I went along grading my papers. I got up, went toward the door (where students were gathering, ready to go home), and met my next door teacher neighbor looking panicked. I instantly knew it was real.
"Did you call the nurse? Is she on her way down here yet?" she asked with fright in her eyes.
"No, I thought they were kidding!"
"No, it's for real."
I then turned and ran toward my phone, my heart in my throat. I saw the boy, another one of my students from first period, grimacing and pacing, holding his arm.
I called the nurse and told her that we needed her immediately because a student had broken his arm. I hung up the phone and went to the doorway again. I made my students, who had now gathered in a crowd, gasping and ooohing and aaahhing. I told them in a stern enough voice that they knew I meant business, to get back in the room and close the door, that Andrew needed his space. I also then made my neighbor teacher's kids get back in her room, too. Together we helped the hurt student to sit against the wall, though he didn't want to. He was literally green in the face. He was going into shock. I wanted to cry for him so badly! So, the end of the day bell rang and students were everywhere. Thank goodness the nurse had shown up with a wheelchair and we got him in it. Afterward, we wheeled him into my room so we could close the door, keeping the chaotic hallway activity out of sight. Once we got him into my room, he began sobbing, shaking, and rocking back and forth with pain. He was scared to death. I felt so badly for him! My heart ached for what he was going through. It took about fifteen minutes to get ahold of his mom, therefore complicating matters. I checked on him in the office before he got picked up and he was a little better. He wasn't shaking as badly or crying as hard. We were trying to take his mind off things by creating humor, and it worked to an extent. I told him he didn't have to go to such extremes to get out of today's essay assignment. He laughed at that.
I hope he is okay and is able to rest tonight. He had an eventful day! I won't forget this one for a while.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Human Connections

I think I have mentioned this before, but it is noteworthy enough to mention yet again. Human connections can be such a powerful thing. If you have never had a deep connection with another human being, then you are not living fully. That's what we are programmed to do - it releases endorphins that make us feel a certain euphoria, a high, if you will.
One of the reasons I love the young adult novel, The Giver, is because it explores the theme of emotions, love, and connection. Today my eighth graders took their test over the novel, and it led me to think about this. We discussed (not as much as I'd have liked) the thought of someone lacking the power of emotion. How would someone feel if they didn't really feel anything at all emotionally? What kind of life would that be? We came up with the general idea that life wouldn't be the same without certain feelings. Life, for instance, would not be the same if we as people could not feel love. In the novel, adults apply for spouses, unable to choose who they spend the rest of their lives with. They also take pills for "stirrings" - which is basically emotions, including sexual thoughts. The result is a robotic, unattached person who does not get to feel passion, empathy, butterflies in the stomach, etc. My students all said that they would hate living like that. YES!!! YES!!! YES!!! The ability to connect with someone else is vital to our being.
Now, this connection can be friendly, passionate, lustfull, or some other form. But to live life without making those intense pathways is cheating a person out of a small portion of joy and bliss.
I happen to know of some people who DO live that way. How unfortunate for them that they do not enjoy certain luxuries available to most. How pitiful of an existence that must be.
I encourage everyone to reach out, take that chance; try and make a connection with someone. It can be as simple as smiling at a passerby; shake hands and mean it with a business acquaintance; look your partner in the eye and tell him/her what they mean to you; kiss your child on the forehead; hug your pet. Life is way too short to waste moments.
I only hope that some (or even one, for that matter) of my students have learned a little life lesson from the novel we finished. There are MANY more themes that the novel presents than just human connections. I hope the themes touched my students, if only for a split second.
And if you are a person that has maybe two hours to spare, read the novel, The Giver. It makes you think.

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Verdict is In

I'm divorced. My name is restored to my old name, not Graue anymore. I'm not posting any details because the bastard reads my blog. Rest assured I'm ecstatic it's done. Rest assured I'm rushing over to the social security office to get the paperwork for my ss#/card so that it can all be changed. Rest assured I'm not looking back!
What a clusterf**k I got myself into with that one!
If any of you need a partner, the ex tells me he's a changed man - he continues to tell me that in emails, posts on his blog, etc. Look him up. Call him. Take him out on a date - better yet, ask him to pay out of the account he's gonna start with the money I'll be paying him. Have a couple of drinks, on me! If you're really brave, get a bottle of Poet's Leap Reisling or a stiff Cosmo. Cosmos are so refined; they make you look elegant.
What kinds of dumbass expressions can I think of in summation???...
Get R Done
Cowgirl Up
Let's Motor
F**k U and the Horse U Rode in on
Ain't That Sumthin'?
Well shit and shove me in it
I'll be Damned
Dog Will Hunt
I'm Like a Cat Covered in Shit
What am I? Flypaper for Freaks?
Dumb and Dumber

Okay. I'll stop. It's getting ridiculous. LOL
Hey, more dinners on the King. It's just up to me, now. Does McDonald's sound okay to you? Or would White Castle suit you better? That's how us white trash people like it. You can call em "sliders" if you feel really trashy. How bout we go down and get us a sack of em? Deal. Be there in an hour.

Friday, February 13, 2009

What I'd like to be doing right now is...

Originally uploaded by pinkdaisypea
this. I want to have sunshine and warmth again. I want to rest outside, breathing in the fresh air with a slight breeze on my face. I want to relax like Mak is here. Go away, winter.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Chocolate Chip Cookies - Can You?

Make the announcement: I can not bake chocolate chip cookies from scratch. Mine simply suck. To further the complications, I love them! I love how they make a house smell good. I love to eat them while they are still warm and oozing chocolaty goodness. Since I am forced to face my faults, I buy chocolate chip cookie dough in tubs and bake them from the purchased dough. How un-Martha Stewart-ish is that, my friends? I can cook something from a recipe for the very first time and get it right, can bake a cake from scratch, or even make a new dessert. I just can't bake the traditional cookie that most everyone loves to eat. What a failure.
Tonight, I was in heaven. My Grandma (Granny) as I have come to call her in my adult years, told me on Tuesday evening that she was thinking of fixing me and my family homemade Beef & Noodles for our dinner tonight. I beamed with excitement. I told her that would be FABULOUS! So, we made plans for me to come and pick up the meals on wheels around 4pm. The only think I would have to make would be the mashed potatoes. I agreed that the deal was a go. So tonight we had just that. She even surprised me and baked a loaf of homemade bread for us. I ate like a pig, then threw my chocolate chip cookies in the oven (Thank you, Pillsbury), and we were set. Nothing better than someone else's cookin'. Especially Granny's.
Perhaps someday I can find just the right words to put down to tell you the story of my Grandma. She is a jack-of-all-trades. And, she's lived through hell and back. I love her dearly.
In other news... I have only a couple of weeks to finish my application for a National Writing Project spot at I.U. Southeast. The app has to be postmarked by March 1 and winners will be notified by March 15. I'm so nervous. I have to send in some of my writing samples. I am having trouble finding my big supply of my writing. Plus, I don't know if I should send only poetry, memoir stuff, or a mixture of my writing. So much pressure!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Hoops Report

Last night my middle daughter, Cammi, had a basketball game against the school that she attended all of her life up to this year when we moved. All of her elementary school friends were on the team. One girl in particular, Ashley, gave her hell on and off for the past two years while playing basketball together at that school. Ashley would be rough, and if she fouled her well, she'd say some smartass remark while "helping" Cam up off the floor. Moreover, this girl's mom was just as bad. She was an instigator of trouble. You see, Ashley could do NO wrong. So, last night, Cam had her chance to even the score, so to speak. She guarded Ashley for most of the game. Ashley is used to scoring thirty points a game. Last night, she scored 4 AND fouled out! Not only that, but Cammi got a good one in on her when she drove to the basket with Ashley guarding her. Cammi drove in and knocked Ashley on her big fat ass. The refs called a foul on Ashley as well. I couldn't contain myself. I stood up and hooped and hollered. I enjoyed it almost as much as Cammi did.
Our team won. It was the first loss of the other team's season. Amazing game!

Now that I am older and wiser, I am finding I can really listen to what my body is telling me. What I mean is, I can tell if I am getting sick or going to have a migraine. I used to not be able to sense that. For example, if I become distinctly emotional and find myself able to become deep in thought about off-topic, weird things, (makes no sense to you readers, I know) then I can almost guarantee I will have a migraine soon. It may take a few days, but it will rear its ugly head. That's how I feel this morning. It is difficult to put into words. I was standing in the shower not really focusing on what I should be doing - showering. Instead, I was thinking about things like human connections, how others perceive, kindness, etc. It was odd. Then, almost as if I woke up, I made myself actually do what I needed to do in the shower and get clean. Wow. That must seem really stupid to readers. Whatever. My mind is cloudy and I am in need of motoring off to school. Parent/teacher conferences are tonight, so today will be a very long day. Not sure I'm ready for it, but what choice do I have? None. Exactly.

Monday, February 09, 2009

In Awe - Duped?

I watched a movie last night called Fireproof. It stars Kirk Cameron, who I had a major crush on as a young girl, and was made/sponsored by a church in Georgia. Now, some may think this movie is hoaxy. (word not in the day to day vocabulary of mine) Those who are nonbelievers may think so. But if a person believes in a higher power or has the ability to imagine something out there beyond human control, then this movie is worth paying attention to.
I happen to believe in the statement, "Everything happens for a reason." Now, given the events of my life thus far, it is sometimes difficult to figure out the reasons WHY, but nonetheless there are reasons. Those reasons may be evident, later-to-be-found-out, or even hidden in some cases. That's the whimsy of them, isn't it?
Back to the movie.
This movie (I don't want to give anything away) is a movie about many themes. These themes happened to hit me in a rather profound way. I have thought about the movie and its themes all day, in addition to having thought about them most of the late evening yesterday after watching it. One of my daughters was chuckling over the fact that I was crying during the movie. She didn't understand what would make me cry. A conversation ensued about how it wasn't really SAD, just touching. I looked up the website that was advertised directly after the credits of the movie. There really is such a thing as the LoveDare Journal. People can purchase this. There are also many links and points of interest on the given website. Go there. Take a look. If you believe in the power of love, you'll enjoy some of it.
And if you want to rent the movie, I say try it. But if you have a spouse, make sure you watch it together. If your significant other truly loves you, it'll be powerful for you both. Perhaps the LoveDare Journal can be a Valentine's Day gift you purchase for each other. After all, a hundred dollar vase of roses won't last forever.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

I'm going through the big "D"; I don't mean Dallas

I think this was a country song, not sure of the artist. It was the most creative title I could think of. My brain is on hold right now. It is tired and weary. Those days when we have two hour delays should be easier days, right? Well, on the contrary, those days seem longer than the "normal" days at school. Weird, I know.
Back on topic: tomorrow I have what is termed as a final hearing for my divorce. Now, given that term, one would think I have had preliminary hearings, since this one tomorrow is being called a "final" hearing. Nope. Wrong. All of the scheduled hearings we have had over the past six months have been postponed by the other party involved here. The soon-to-be-ex (stbe) has put these hearings off due to his lawyer "being out of town". Oh, that's what they call it now? Cute.
So, this hearing tomorrow will be the first AND final one. I have received multiple emails over the past week as the date approaches. I haven't talked about this ordeal on here much. Didn't see the need to. I'm sure it is being read daily anyway. So, tomorrow will be D-day. No bombshells. Just smoke.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Steelers, Phil, and my baby's goin' to college

I did not want the Steelers to win!!! On the other hand, it was nice for the score of the Superbowl to not be a blowout, boring score. The party at my house was fun - a little too much fun. We had a two hour delay for school today, thank goodness. I was up late.
The Groundhog saw his shadow. Six more weeks of this crap.
My baby, at her ripe old age of ten, is going to college! Syd got nominated by her teacher to attend Indiana University Southeast for Project AHEAD, a program for elementary school students (with good grades and general smarts). In this program, she got to choose from four classes. She chose Videography. She will attend these classes for four Saturdays in February. She is so excited. (And so am I.) She's already pretty good with her Flip Video camera, but she'll be even better after the class. Mommy and daughter, both Indiana University "graduates"...PRICELESS!!!!
Perhaps I'll post her award winning video(s) when she is finished with the course.