Saturday, November 15, 2008

Yesterday I received an e-mail referencing an article written about teachers who have received disciplinary action based upon Facebook postings. I have also heard a lot of whisperings about a local teacher who got in the same type of trouble for MySpace pictures. Part of me screams, "What about my right to free speech?! Freedom of press?! Freedom to have a life apart from school?!" But, another part of me simply asks, "How important is it?" If Dave and I have learned nothing over the past couple of years, we have learned that you can never tell what someone will take offense to.

Initially, I was going to go through and remove only the postings that had anything to do with school; however, reading them all became a daunting task. Then, further, I realized that people might find some of my other postings offensive in some way. Teachers are being held to a higher standard of accountibility. So, I removed everything.

I don't write this blog anonymously. I write it large and loud with my opinions blaring behind photos of me smiling. Kind of like I am in real life, actually... Mom had a saying growing up... "If it's worth doing; it's worth talking about." Further, I like myself (sometimes too much) and the person I am becoming. It has taken a long time to get to this place in my life. Still, because it has taken me a long time to get here, I don't wish to mess up my career at this juncture. I also don't wish to harm any of the people I work with who I have grown to love.

So, working with the spiritual idea, "No one or no thing is against me," I'm choosing to embrace this opportunity for change. I love to write. It's a hobby. It's a passion. It's a compulsion. But, I will just have to choose a less public venue. Or, maybe I will write another blog anonymously, and strictly use this one to post family photos. Maybe I'll write children's stories and post them to this one. Maybe I'll only write about our struggles with that ever present villian, Cystic Fibrosis. I don't know... I just know that you won't be reading about my adventures in "Making It Up As I Go Along" because I need to eat, and I need my bosses to keep those paychecks coming... Perhaps one day, I'll be writing professionally in some way, and I can be held to the less rigorous moral standards of a writer. Until then, I'll just be a teacher with big ideas and a filled-to-exploding journal.

Wishing you all well! Namaste'~ Love and Light, Christy

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Soup from a Stone! Imagine That!

Stone Soup:

Stew Meat
Beef Boullion Cubes
Salt and Pepper
Canned Vegetables-
Tomato Sauce
Green Beans

Run to Jerry Lee's the night before and buy two large packages of stew meat in the hopes of feeding everyone, since you don't remember whom you have invited. Also, purchase extra canned vegetables and juice since you aren't quite sure who will actually bring the items assigned in class. (At Jerry Lee's- Avoid former students and that one annoying parent who wants to talk to you about discipline issues at the middle school over which you have absolutely no control.) Leave bags in the trunk of the car to avoid having to haul grocery bags out in the morning.

Upon returning home, dig out the crock-pot and plug in. Realize you left onion and garlic in the trunk of the car. Run out to get them. Chop onion and add to pot. Add about 2 Tbsp of garlic. (For convenience, use the kind in a jar, already chopped. Because of this, listen to crap from your husband about how inferior the garlic in a jar is versus his "I lived in Italy and always use fresh garlic" stance. After inviting above referenced husband to chop the *#%$#&* garlic if it is important to him, he declines and wanders out of the kitchen.) Realize you left beef boullion cubes in the trunk of the car. Run out to get them. Add 4 cups of water and 4 cubes of beef boullion. Add salt, pepper and basil to taste. Cook beef overnight.

Pack strainers, big spoons, can opener and anything else you can think of in the Burnham’s Drugs bag. (The day before the bag was used to receive an I.V. medicine delivery.) In the morning, scramble around like a mad woman. Feed and dress your new baby, and make sure her bag is packed for daycare. Get everything ready and pat yourself on the back because you are SO totally together. As you are backing out of the driveway, realize you have forgotten the crock-pot full of stew meat. Slam the car in park. Run back into the house and retrieve the crock-pot.

As you are turning out of your street, the crock-pot meat sloshes over into the baby seat base where you have precariously balanced it. Instruct your middle-schooler to unbuckle her seatbelt, squat in the front seat and twist to hold the pot and lid in place. Drop middle school child at the door of the bus behind the school so that she doesn’t miss the bus necessitating your driving her to school for the second time in a week. Drive to the front of the school with one hand on the wheel and the other twisted into the back seat, holding the crock-pot lid steady.

Enter the school dragging the wheeled crate packed with the Burnham’s bag of Stone Soup supplies. Help students maintain control despite feelings of electric excitement floating through the air. Complete relevant nutrition activities with students to kill 2 hours until time to begin making soup.

Watch in amazement as your co-teacher manages to effectively steal numerous lovely centerpieces and decorations from various locations around the school. Marvel and applaud her proficiency and procuring these items.

Divide meat into three crock-pots. Assemble students with special needs in a half circle around table. Add a stone to each pot. Call students one at a time to open cans and add ingredients. Be prepared to catch cans as they fall off the can opener, as students don’t understand the concept of holding the can lightly with one hand while operating the can opener with the other. Help students strain vegetables prior to adding to crock-pots. As you open the corn, notice it is creamed corn instead of kernels. Say to yourself, “What the heck,” and add it to the soup, anyway. Continue adding vegetables. Decide there isn’t enough water and pour previously strained vegetable juice haphazardly into the crock-pots.
Pay attention to anyone picking noses or putting fingers in their mouths. Instruct them to leave immediately to wash their hands. Apply Germex liberally upon their return to class.

As students gain an understanding of how to add strained vegetables, instruct student with a significant disability to add tomato sauce. Student opens the can perfectly, (as with vegetables). Everyone applauds his success. Student promptly turns and empties tomato sauce into the strainer. Grab the strainer quickly and salvage as much sauce as you can by dumping it quickly into the crock-pot. Have students take turns stirring soup. Attempt to control the slosh factor as much as possible. This is a fruitless effort. Use liberal amount of paper towels to sop up the mess. Keep crock-pots covered on low until guests arrive.

Breathe a sigh of relief as guests arrive and the whole thing goes off without a hitch. Bask in the glow of another year of Stone Soup.