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Showing posts from September, 2002
" Rest in Peace: The "I Can't" Funeral"

Donna's fourth-grade classroom looked like many others I had seen in the past. Students sat in five rows of six desks. The teacher's desk was in front and faced the students. The bulletin board featured student work. In most respects it appeared to be a typically traditional elementary classroom. Yet something seemed different that day I entered it for the first time. There seemed to be an undercurrent of excitement.

Donna was a veteran small-town Michigan schoolteacher only two years away from retirement. In addition she was a volunteer participant in a countrywide staff development project I had organized and facilitated. The training focused on language arts ideas that would empower students to feel good about themselves and take charge of their lives.

Donna's job was to attend training sessions and implement the concepts being presented. My job was to make classroom visitations and encourage
implementa…
On the goal of writing:

The goal of all writing...is to find and communicate the truth about an experience or subject. The purpose is never to make points or win contests; the writer should not attempt to 'sell' himself or herself, and certainly should not be interested in selling ideas to anyone. No writer of deliberate discourse should try to force readers to
accept opinions not based on evidence, and the writer should not make an elaborate show of presenting 'both sides' of some presumed argument to readers, while ignoring the facts.


Dr. Richard Mezo
wow! It's not even 9 a.m. and everyone that is supposed to be is out of the house.
Remember that post at the beginning of Sept about the stupidity of the death of one of my friends? Regarding the stupidity .. from an editorial There is no reason for any club to punish members for wanting to join. It is speculated that it was a hazing ritual.

Her story made CNN. I wouldn't have known except that hubby was doing his daily news read and found the story for me.

CNN: http://www.cnn.com/2002/LAW/09/23/sorority.death/index.html

I did a Google Search and came up with these:

The Daily Titan: http://dailytitan.fullerton.edu/issues/fall_02/09_18/opinion/09_17_Editorial.html

Ventura County Star:. http://www.insidevc.com/vcs/state/article/0,1375,VCS_122_1426298,00.html

NAACP: http://www.naacp.org/news/releases/khigh091202.shtml

The Hilltop (Howard University): http://www.thehilltoponline.com/news/278267.html You may need to register to get to this article.
This morning Joy had her first taste of cereal. I went cheap and bought Carnation's cereal that comes in a can just like it's formula. Just to try it. Joy loved it! Rice and Banana flavor, kinda sweet.



I decided today would be a good day to try it with her since she kept smacking her lips while I ate my cereal, even though I had just finished feeding her. So I made about 2 teaspoons of cereal, added water to make it just a little thicker than formula, and proceeded to feed her. I think she likes gumming the spoon too. I nursed her a little more (my daughter, the Hungry Hungry Hippo), put her in the swing and within in 5 minutes she was OUT! Hallelujia, she's napping :)



The link above (Joy loved it) is to pictures of her first meal. I took the shots in between her eating. It would have been a lot easier if the shutter button was on the left. :) (I'm definitely a righty).



Now, time for me to shower and maybe get a chore or two done before I have to go pick up the kidlet…
I just saw something very disturbing on The Other Half (so I watch daytime TV while feeding the baby). One of today's guests was a woman touting the benefits of extra-marital affairs. This being opposite to the rabbi they had on Monday (I think) who was giving ideas on how to re-light the fire in your marriage.

But Judith Brandt was saying that 1) affairs were to be expected and 2) stay together till the kids are grown. Now, Danny B. (of Partridge Family fame and infamy) mentioned that adultery was like burping at the table -- it just wasn't done. How could she write a book that gave an etiquette to the practice??!?? And laugh about it! Danny is reformed and very much in favor of monogamy, BTW.

Until very recently I was a skeptic that we were living in the end times. I had heard that phrase all my life. But just watching daytime TV, it's amazing how *depraved* the American public is. I don't care if you don't participate in the behavior shown -- we all watch it. …
Smallville Torch : ArticlesPerhaps our generation doesn't understand well enough what it means to lay down one's life for the greater good. Maybe we're missing the idea of service. We look up to athletes, entertainers and businesspeople who work for self-glorification and to maintain their own celebrity. Maybe the real heroes are those who leave behind family, friends, boyfriends--and girlfriends--to give of themselves for us.

Ok, so there might be a few good things in Smallville. The above is excerpted from the Smallville Torch in an article "written" by Lana Lang.
I HATE teething!!!!! Yesterday was worse, but today I have spent most of the day in bed (I made it first) with my daughter beside me, feeding her and trying to keep her asleep. She seems to not want to take more than a 20 minute nap, and well, I can't do much in 20 minutes. 10 to make sure that she *is* asleep, 5 to decide what I should do, and another 10 trying to get her *back* to sleep after I move her or my arm from under her head (math never was my best subject). And then we start all over again.



I finally gave up around 1. I lay down beside her, put a light blanket over us and decided I should get my nap in too while feeding her. I think we both slept for at least a half hour. Then it was time to wake up because Josh would be home soon. Now that he is, I feel like I can get things done around the house.



Maybe I should look into getting a Mommy's helper during the day. I always had help with Josh because my grandmother and aunt were around .... and he was a lot more conten…
The one thing I do miss about homeschooling is that I didn't have to worry about begging neighbors and relatives for money for my son's school. There is so much pressure put on these kids to sell. Not to mention the incentive junk. I remember doing fundraising in 6th grade, to raise money for a trip to Catalina Island. This was above and beyond school curricula and to make sure that parents of us 6th graders wouldn't have to pay through the nose for this trip. It was a great experience (CIMI, not the fundraising). Then again in High school. I can't remember what that was for, but it was selling See's Chocolates, so all I had to do was give the box to my dad and he'd come home at night with the money. Chocolate bars are so much easier to sell than Wrapping paper! And you get your product right then!

But now kids have to fundraise for books, computers, and playground equipment. How wrong is that??? What is the state doing with money that is supposed to be earma…
Baby Milestones

Now she is trying (fairly successfully) to sit up. She's doing a pretty darn good job of the tripod (looks like a gorilla sitting says Josh) position too! :)



I love this!!! This girl should be glad in light of all the things that have been happening to children of all ages this past year (remember Ashley Pond and Miranda Gaddis, not to mention the more violent child abductions that have been getting coverage).

DEAR ABBY: I have a serious problem. My father is unreasonably strict. I am 16, and he won't let me do hardly anything. He will not let me go places unless there is parental supervision at all times. To make matters worse, yesterday when I was dropped off at a girlfriend's house, he made my mother go to the door to meet her parents! They weren't home, so I was not allowed to stay. I had to get back in the car and my parents drove me home. I have never been so embarrassed in my life.

My father is the king of the household and whatever he says goes. He's impossible. Help. -- TEEN HELD CAPTIVE IN MASSACHUSETTS

DEAR CAPTIVE: You are cursed with parents who love you. Every teenager should have the advantages you have.

P…
A very cool idea

BookCrossing - Home - FREE YOUR BOOKS! You've come to a friendly place, and we welcome you to our book-lovers' community. What is BookCrossing, you ask? It's a global book club that crosses time and space. It's a reading group that knows no geographical boundaries. Do you like free books? How about free book clubs?. Well, the books our members leave in the wild are free... but it's the act of freeing books that points to the heart of BookCrossing. Book trading has never been more exciting, more serendipitous, than with BookCrossing. Our goal, simply, is to make the whole world a library. BookCrossing is a book exchange of infinite proportion, the first and only of its kind.
When it rains, it pours. I had been teasing Tim some few months ago that now most of the trials with his family were over, trials with my family would start. This isn't exactly a trial, but it is a tragedy.

My father called this morning and asked me if I was sitting down. He had that somber, distinct tone of voice that let's you know someone has died. I've heard that tone a lot lately. I was expecting him to tell me that my grandfather had died. But it wasn't my grandfather. It was one of my friends. My father's best friend's youngest daughter had died during Pledge Week. She drowned. I'm still in shock and part of my mind is screaming "It's not FAIR!"

My father asked me to call my brother and tell him the news. He and Kenji were like brother and sister. Telling someone that one of their best friends is dead, and stupidly, tragically dead (stupid reason!!!!!!!!) is not fun.

Kenji and I liked to spar verbally. She grew up in Missippi and when …
Now class, I want you to repeat after me "It's ok for President Bush to invade our privacy" .. yeah right! Can I move to Canada yet? Or maybe even Australia. I think I could deal with the seasons being reversed.

About Citizen CorpsOperation TIPS, the Terrorism Information and Prevention System, will be a nationwide program providing millions of workers who, by the nature of their jobs, are well-positioned to recognize unusual events with a formalized way to report suspicious activity to the nearest FBI field office.
Well, one thing's for sure. Our house is really well insulated. It's about 45 degrees outside this morning and it's a toasty 70 degrees inside. And I haven't even touched the cooling/heating system.

Another day, another week. We did a quick evaluation of Josh's first week of school and came to the conclusion that teachers make a huge difference in how kids perceive their school experience. (I know, that's a well .. DUH!)

When put in lists of pros and cons, Orenco stands out because Mrs. B teaches there and her style fits Josh's learning style better. We'll see how this week goes.
Another SNAFU by the school today. Yesterday, the principal called and told me that that bus stop would be 231st and Birch. We met the bus driver there a few minutes ago. He told us, that wasn't on his list of stops for our neighborhood, but the one where I saw kids congregating this morning was. He'll speak to the principal about it. Though it also may have been a SNAFU by the Transportation Services office. Either way, this wouldn't have happened if the school district had common sense and let the kids in our neighborhood go to the school that is practically across the street (I mean, come on, 2 blocks away!) Instead they would rather spend time, money, and gas to bus kids 5 miles away.

Not a big deal if West Union was a magnet, and one that my child wanted to go to, but it's not.

I also had to remind Josh that this wasn't the teacher's fault. Why? Because he has made it his goal to make sure that everyone at West Union knows that he doesn't like it the…
It's 9:40 in the morning and my day is already shot.

We woke up around 6:30 a.m. and I was full of confidence that I would get my son into the school I wanted him in and that he wants to go to. Ah, how naive I am when it comes to bureaucracy. First given the run-around (somewhat) by the Orenco principal. I was told by the front office that they would *love* to have my child and that they need parents who care and want to volunteer (I am of said group now that I have the time). But, alas, the principal over at West Union was denying all the transfers coming from our neighborhood. (Grr, now the site shows West Union Elementary, but when we signed we were told Orenco would be the school)... but I digress. ... So I was told that my best bet would be to go to West Union and talk to the principal there. Now mind you, I haven't really spoken to the principal of Orenco except for yesterday afternoon when I was trying *not* to get Black and irate at this man.

So we go over to West Uni…
I got Josh off to school -- in time no less. Met his teacher, she seemed a little harried ... and managed to ask her if she needed/wanted parent volunteers. She said she loves them. I figure I might as well do it so I can see what my child is learning and keep an eye on him :)

As we got into the classroom the teacher had 4 items listed on the white-board. 1) Where to put your lunch (there's a microwave in the classroom, I wonder if I can send him to school with things to be re-heated) 2) What to do with some of those community type school supplies (the paper, Kleenex, baby wipes and film). I had actually put the paper in Josh's binder. Hope she doesn't mind. It's not like the supply list said that the paper would be used community style.
3)I forget what 3 was ..... and 4) start your "Fun Book".

There are two Joshes in his class, and I think both of them have a last name that begins with H. This is going to be an interesting year. I hope he doesn't get s…
So, tomorrow is the first day of school, and part of me is excited. Remembered excitement from when I went to school and actually enjoyed it. Once I got into magnet schools, there wasn't much that I disliked about school -- except maybe the long bus ride on hot days, but that's another story. I'm also excited because it's a new phase in our life. I mean, how much time in a day will I now waste?

Josh and I have tried homeschooling, and I think we want to do it again, but with a little more preparation. This past year was enlightening: Josh and I have *very* different learning styles/teaching styles. That caused all sorts of clashes. Then there was the parent vs. teacher role (how do I assert authority when I am being both?) and of course "My teacher didn't do it that way" and "You don't teach me" -- "What do you mean I don't teach you?". It finally dawned on me that it was my style. I wasn't at a black(white) board lecturin…