One Day Down

...and a half day at that.

School is n session and I had my work cut out for me. I am lucky to have a very small class, 9 boys and 7 girls though a couple of them make up for it.

Despite some stomach issues this morning I don't think I showed I was that scared and the day went pretty well...again half day. I found I hadn't planned enough because they were speeding through everything. As if they give you enough room on those damn lesson plan books anyway! It's all about learning for them and me anyway right?

Only had to take back one ticket (the kids earn tickets for being responsible for their actions/good behavior) and write one "bad" note home to parents. Yes it was the same kid. I wrote a "good" note too for a child who went out of his way to help others. I'm hoping my friend Nicholas was just trying to test the new teacher and will toe the line tomorrow. I may have to get him tested for LD as he is showing some signs...that will remain to be seen by the end of the week.

*sigh* It's 6:40 and I'm ready for bed.

I took some pics of my classroom today so after they get developed I'll post them.

Congrats to Lori and Erika

Posted on Sun, Aug. 24, 2003


Lory Anne Henning and Erika White Dyson, both of Brooklyn, N.Y., were married Aug. 16at the home of Ms. Dyson's mother and stepfather in Etna, Maine. A reception followed at the home.

Ms. Henning is the daughter of Kathleen Henning of Ludington, Mich., and the late Charles Skouson. She is a production coordinator for Blue Man Productions in New York.

Ms. Dyson is the daughter of Charlotte and Jared Greene of Etna and Lloyd G. Dyson Jr., of Amesbury, Maine. She is a doctoral candidate at Columbia University in New York.

Standing with Ms. Henning was Eve Muson of Cambridge, Mass. Escorting her down the aisle was Dan Beck of Monterey.

Standing with Ms. Dyson was Lloyd G. Dyson III of Jamaica Plain, Maine.

The couple honeymooned in Nova Scotia, Canada, and the Maine coast. They reside in Brooklyn.

The silly thing is they even made the news due to being the first same-sex marriage announcement in the local paper *rolls eyes* Anyway lots of love to the both of them. Had I been able to afford going to Maine I would have been there last weekend. What a beautiful day for them :)


You Showed Me Yours now I'll Show You Mine

So Britt wanted to see my tat so here goes... Keep in mind the pic is not very good.

I got it as a turning 30, finally graduating college, happy divorce present to myself a little over a year ago. I had always wanted one but my ex would always pitch a fit about how it would "ruin" my body and that I couldn't get one. Yeah and drinking as much as he did wasn't ruining his *eye roll* Damn loser. Anyway...I had even designed one 10 years earlier but had never gotten it done.

The design I ended up with is very meaningful to me on different levels. I've always loved birds. They seem so free and to me this tat had a lot to do with freedom and growth. I also chose to have it done in white ink. I have Vitiligo, have since I was 8. It's a skin disease that leaves white patches on your body due to lack of melanin. I have had a hard time due to this condition and I wanted to make the choice to put white on my body my own self. It turned out beautiful. Almost like a brand..which is what many people who see it think it is. I don't know if it's possible to be in love with a tattoo but I am with mine.

I'd like to get another one cause, yes they are addicting. I'm thinking white stars on my inside wrist but due to teaching at a Catholic School that might not be a good idea.

Actually it's funny when I taught preschool most of the parents were younger than me so they had a lot of piercings and tattoos. The kids were used to seeing them and would often talk about what designs their parents had much to the chagrin of my Mormon co-teacher (she never found out I had one). I often would feel little hands touching it as I would lean over and it was visible (dang pants now-a-days).

One little girl, Emily, drew a picture one day that looks suspiciously like my tattoo...individual feathers and everything. I asked her what it was and she said it was "your bird". LOL!!!

When my mom found out by accident she freaked out, seriously cried and everything. She acted as if I was dead and said she had, had such high hopes for me...*sigh* I was 30 for god's sake!! Anyway she doesn't bring it up much anymore (denial) but she has seen it plenty I'm sure when we go shopping and are in the changing room..lol

My aunt wanted to see it and she goes, "where is it?" Seems she was expecting black line work like my cousins have. If only my mom would look at it and see how beautiful it is :)



I was thinking the other night about how screwed up things are in the world, particularly in the US. Sometimes I just want to drop everything and be a philanthropist. How I would love to be in the Peace Core in Asia somewhere or bring medical supplies to children in Cuba. I just want to help people. I feel like it's the only worthwhile thing to do.

Alex would like to do it too...we've talked about it often but with his kids here in the states that wouldn't work and the Peace Core doesn't accept Canadians :( Maybe next summer I'll do the Cuba thing. I've wanted to do that for about a year and it's about the only way I could go legally into Cuba. Damn embargo. I could start in on how this country is going down a flaming piece of shit but I don't care to read flag waving responses ;)

All I can do is try to give my students an unbiased world view. I am going to arrange for all of them to have email penpals from all over the world...seems you can't do it by mail anymore(grr). I want to instill a sense of equity with all cultures in their little minds so that they can care for the world like I do. Blind nationalism makes me want to hurl.


What Grey?

As I was getting ready to take a shower last night I discover, horror of horrors, my second grey hair. And no it wasn't merely grey...it was white. So it went the way of my first grey hair and was plucked out. I had saved the first, god knows where it went so now I have this white one in a little plastic petri dish thing. Don't ask me why I kept it. I think it would be funny to give to my mom. "Here you go mom you have my first haircut hair..now you have my first grey hairs" She's a packrat she'd probably keep it

And on a side note...mental note for future rental and peace of mind:

1)bedrooms far away from adults
2)bathrooms far away from adults
3)males clean the bathroom
4)the men in this house will never, ever, ever learn to replace the damn toilet paper. Grrrrr


It's About to Begin

Yesterday I had a meeting with the head of the youth ministries at the Mission and with the former 2nd grade teacher to discuss First Communion and all that it entails. *sigh* I just sat like a little sponge trying to soak it up. It makes me afraid. And of course I got the question, not the most feared question, but a question, "Do you go to church at the mission" Ummmmm "I did when I lived in Carmel." Yeah I'm a bad Catholic..hell I'm a normal Catholic.

So then I went to my classroom. They look exactly the same as when I went there, though I didn't go there in 2nd. Except now there is a whiteboard. A WHITEBOARD!!! Can I tell you what teacher heaven that is! I have the only whiteboard in the whole school and I could just kiss it. Alex jokes that I have OCD (Grrr) but I just can't stand to have stuff on my hands and chalk dust makes me want to heave.

Now-a-days each classroom has two computers, it's own overhead (JOY!), and it's own TV and VCR. Luxury I tell ya. So as long as my class size stays at 16 I won't have a coronary. Though when she pulled out my teacher manuals I almost did. Seems there's a new type of reading instruction called Open Court and damn if they don't have second graders reading stuff that looks like it came out of a 5th grade reader.

So here I have all my curriculum and an empty classroom and I'm scared as can be. Two weeks....

Ooooh and as an addition I got accepted into Cal State Teach. So I will be going to school as I teach school. I can make it...well I think I can.


A Certain Sort of Guilt

Yesterday, I went to Emily's 5th birthday party. She was one of my preschool students and is also going to attend JSS next year. That, I think, is going to be pretty unique, teaching a student in two stages of her life.

As always it's great to see all the kids. They always seem so thrilled to see me, "Ms. Jennifer, Ms. Jennifer you came!". They hugged me and sat with me, drug me into the bounce house (which I had never done before) and all taking turns being the one to hold my hand. Nothing makes you feel love like preschoolers I say. They are free to show you and they do it often.

Most of the parents there know that I am not coming back. Three of them are very close friends of each other and friends of mine. They in turn have told a few others. It was a topic of the day, my new employment. I had hoped the school would make a formal announcement but they hadn't so one family found out when another parent asked me when my new job started. The look on that mothers face was pure shock and panic. I hadn't meant for people to find out that way. As the party drew on it had been mentioned that Teagan was leaving "she wouldn't be challenged next year", Lyla's mom was trying to forge her birth certificate to show she was two weeks older so she could attend Kindergarten this year, "I only had her there because of you." And the two very influential university staff parents whose children were moving over from the toddler side had already pulled their children out of the school. I know it was because I wasn't going to be there.

So now I have this bit of guilt. Don't take me wrong I wouldn't have given up this opportunity of a lifetime to be at the school I always dreamed I would, but I do feel badly that I am causing people to leave the center. I couldn't have been the only good thing at the center.

I will miss my babies, miss their hugs and their little hands, their smiles and their funny jokes, miss them shouting, "look what I learned!"

Yesterday 3 year old Adara told me a joke I'd like to share:

"Ms. Jennifer wanna hear a dirty joke?"


"A pig went into the mud" (she laughs hysterically)"That's really dirty huh?"