Archive for August, 2010

The Chipotle Incident

Today was a big day, to say the least. We had park day for incoming first graders, which was awesome. I met Isaac’s new teacher, Mrs. J, and the other two first grade teachers (Mr. M and Miss A.) I promised Isaac a possible (if they were open) stop at the Chipotle on the way to see Wacky Neuro if he could follow directions and keep it together.

I’m so not above bribery.

So, we left park day and began the drive over to Wacky Neuro’s office and made a turn into where the new Chipotle is. I saw the sign that said “grand opening 8/31, but I saw people going in and out. Hrm. Open, or not?

Then, I saw people coming out with bags…presumably filled with burrit0-y goodness.

So, I took Isaac and brought him in, or started to. It was then that we were informed that the store didn’t open until tomorrow. You had to have the proper family and friends invite to go in today. I told Isaac that we would go back tomorrow…but he broke into tears.

That’s when the manager went above and beyond. He signaled to the door people to let us in, and warned us that it was a training day and to go gently. Then, he told us our money was no good today. What? really?

I’m always gentle! Especially to people making my food!

So, Isaac got a chicken burrito (with the works) and I got my usual steak and black bean burrito with half of the works. Toss on drinks and chips and it was LUNCH!

Even for a training day, this crew was sharp, well oiled and wonderful. I can’t say enough about how awesome this was today. They didn’t have to let us in. We saw them turn away other people without the required invites.

Thank you to Chipotle for making our afternoon, and having the compassion and family sense that is sorely lacking in a lot of businesses today.

We’ll be back in the next week or so for more. You can count on it.

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August 30, 2010 at 4:16 pm 4 comments

Getting ready

Now that I’m back from Hotel Tarmac and the two day SMARTboard training, which kicked some serious butt by the way, life can get back to abnormal, as in getting ready for the new school year.

I’ve been spending lots of time both at home and at the new school trying to get everything set up. Not having my own classroom is both a blessing and a curse for me. First, all of the stuff I’d normally have in my own classroom has to get stashed here at the house. There’s just NOT the room for it in my office.  Second, I’m trying t go through the files and things that were left and figure out the organizational structure.

At least there’s one good thing about this-the office wasn’t left in disarray as were the previous classrooms I’ve inhabited. There’s lots of stuff for me to go through and lots of stuff to think about doing.

I’ve also been put in charge of the website as well as the email servers for the school. There’s so much to do to update and get things ready. I’ve been strapped to the laptop for hours over the past 3 days trying to get it all done.

It’s been such a different kind of getting ready than I’m used to. It’s really hard to not spend my time in the week or two leading up to school decorating and planning and checking and chatting and catching up, as well as finding out all of the summer scuttlebutt.

Oh, I am still finding out the scuttlebutt from the old school, and it’s always fun and choice. I think the way I left and the way that I chose my replacement was as good as it gets. I know who my kids (who I still adore deeply) have and I like that person very, very much.

I’ve already introduced a bunch of my students to the new teacher and we have BOTH promised them that I’ll be around. I”m only shooting 30 minutes in the other direction. It’s not a big huge dealio.

I’m also getting Isaac ready. This has been a bit more of a challenge. First, we had to get all of the school supplies. The list wasn’t bad this year, and there were no specific brands (like the crayola glue sticks of last year) to slow down the supply hunt. I actually outfitted Isaac with his supplies for under $30.00. Thank you huge school supply sales at large national chains. Yay!

We didn’t have the backpack fiasco of this year or anything go wrong with Isaac’s bed (thank the heavens above) but we did have a mild version of  Pencil box fiasco.

Here’s what happened, and this is all my fault. Seriously.

I was out school shopping and one of the items on Isaac’s list was a pencil box (plastic), and I didn’t have the list with me. Yeah, I know. Smart move there. I thought I grabbed it…but nope.  So, I figured as long as it wasn’t a pouch (that I remembered) a metal box would do JUST FINE. This is the most perfect Isaac pencil box in the WORLD. Seriously. Red car on it? All him.

Yeah, that was until I got home and noticed there was a specific request for a plastic one. Nice move there.

So, I did what all panicked parents do. Email the teacher. I wasn’t expecting to hear back quickly, and I wasn’t worried, as a pencil box is the easiest thing to come by. I even picked  a plastic one up so I could have it in case. Hey-it was a dollar. Not a big deal.

She mailed back that the metal box was fine. (phew!) I got myself out of that small fiasco. Yesh.

Lesson? Next time-BRING THE LIST!

Then, to add to our getting ready, we have a trip to Shriner’s scheduled on Tuesday to get Isaac’s new AFOs.  Who knows how long we’ll be there for, who knows what kind of adjustments we’ll need to make on them. I just know that we won’t be able to miss Isaac in these suckers. Same pattern as last time-Fly and Drive (but with a yellow background) and red velcro. I can’t wait to see the way they do these at Shriner’s. They told me they were a bit different, but I’m not sure.

Soo, here we go. A new year for all of us involved and a few more “getting ready” things to do before 2 of us get out the door on September 7th for our first day of school!

August 29, 2010 at 3:18 pm Leave a comment

Techy overload, day 2…hello, tarmac.

I’m still at the conference, and my brain is on overload. Part of this is simply because I slept, but I didn’t sleep so well last night.

Here’s why…

Noise. There wasn’t the right kind of noise for me to sleep with. No kid, no cats, no frogs, no Doug’s noise…

BUT, there was the wrong kind of noise.

Airplanes. On the tarmac. At early hours.

What? Tarmac? Yeah. Tarmac. The hotel I’m staying at (and has the training) is attached to the airport. Therefore, the view outside my window was…the tarmac. Hello, Air Canada!

Then, my brain was in rush mode. Lots of information, lots of stuff to get done.

So, now, today, I’m in day 2 of this conference, and it’s become more of a brain drain. Interesting, fun, great stuff to use and work with, but my brain hurts.

So, every time I take a break, I head out and watch planes out the window.

Hello, tarmac. Can I touch the planes? It’ll make my brain stop hurting for a few minutes…

August 24, 2010 at 2:33 pm 1 comment

Techies to the max

Since I’m heading to a new school in September, I’m gaining new responsibilites! One would be the SMARTboards. These are interactive white boards that are hooked up to the computer and are touch screen activated. It’s pretty cool.

Since I missed the training during the last school year, (don’t ask. it was a lame excuse, and not by me.) my new principal decided it was a good idea to send me to 2 days of SMARTtech training.

Did I mention I had to go out of state for this training?

Did I mention I have a hard time sleeping in hotel rooms and strange places?

(no, I never had trouble crashing at camp. Never.)

Since this is a technical training, all of the group who was training for day one (all 21 of us) had laptops. This looked like a geek convention. Seriously.

So, we spent the the day learning all about what this stuff can do, and practical applications to use in the classroom, or in the meeting room. These things are amazing. Hardcore amazing.

But, even though I’m a tech geek, training has its limits. I thought my brain was going to explode by the end of the day, because there was so much jammed into one day.

My brain is full. May I please have another?

August 23, 2010 at 9:58 pm Leave a comment

So, I did some renovating around here…

Did you notice?

I’ve always wanted a custom header that really reflected me. I love the photos and things I’ve had up over the years, but I’ve always envied other people’s awesomely awesome headers.

WELL, enter Beth at The Angel Forever . It’s no secret that we’ve been friends for a LONG time and our kids hang around together. So, when I was kvetching that I needed a button via IM, she fired up her Picknik and began to build.

What came out was the header you currently see! It’s HOCKEY related! Woohoo!

So, soon, you’ll be able to grab the matching button!

Also, I’ve lent my blogging insanity to two other venues-The Village of Moms and Latina Bloggers. Click on the buttons on the sidebar to go visit!

Let me know what you think! I’m open for comments!!

August 22, 2010 at 8:53 pm 2 comments

Is it really that time?

I was talking to another parent the other day and asked her if she’d gotten all of the list because one of the supply stores was having a kick butt sale on the plastic pocket folders we needed for the fall. She said that she didn’t do any of the shopping until right before Labor Day, because it meant the end of the summer. Me, I don’t consider my summer done until I start getting MY classroom in order.

Well, guess what. Summer is almost done. I’ve started looking at materials and things for my office door. Just because I won’t have a classroom anymore doesn’t mean that I can’t have a stylin’ door.

Oh, wait. I haven’t told y’all about this, huh?

Last time I checked in on the job front was in June, and I was informed that my position at the cute school I’d been at for 2 years would no longer exist. I was offered the  new position, but I didn’t want it. I picked my replacement (yep, I did…) but before I did that, she tipped me off that another school was looking for a tech teacher.

ooh. really?

So, I flew my resume to the principal (that was May) and I never heard anything, despite calls from both my principal and the person who had tipped me off to the job (she was the tech director for the area).

I also applied a lot of other places and had one of the WORST interviews I’ve been on in a LONG time go down. That’s another post, though. Wow. It was…well, again, that’s another post.

And I waited. And I waited. and I didn’t hear anything until July. That’s when I got the oddest phone call.  The principal of the school I had flown my resume off too in May wanted to meet me, oh, the next day. So, I tweaked my schedule and went out to the school to meet her and do what I thought would be an interview.

Turned out to be a “hey-let’s meet before you start!”

Yeah. It was a few minutes of questioning, a building tour and “I’ll mail your contract after Father signs it. Here’s what your salary is.”

What? Seriously?

So, I walked out with a job in hand, but I wasn’t going to post anything until I had the contract in my hot little hand and had the specifics of my days and things.

So, let’s answer the big questions here-

1) Are you back in a Catholic school?

Yep. Just instead of going in one direction, I’m driving in the other.

2) Is this the same job you had?

Yes and No. I don’t have my own classroom anymore. I’m bummed but not bummed at the same time. Instead of having 27 desktops, the school has 50 laptops on 2 25 laptop carts. I get to bring them into the classroom and actually work straight from them. They’re wireless and each has a pair of headphones, so there will be no “Mrs. F, the broken record” saying “Umm..VOLUME people…” I’m also maintaining the website, as well as helping to facilitate the LEGO NEXT Mindstorms Robotics team. Should be interesting there….

Oh, and I get 3 days of work, not just 2! Woohoo!

3) What about game geeking?

Yeah. That. Trying NOT to go back, but debating on doing it just for the holidays so I can pick up Rock Band 3 and some peripherals  for a decent price. Otherwise, I really don’t want to go back and deal with the wackjobs that invade…

But that’s about it. So, in a few weeks, I’m back into the groove of running around teaching and being generally weird. Oh, and I KNOW I’ll have some killer answers on quizzes, tests and things! Woohoo

August 19, 2010 at 9:52 am 1 comment

Elvis is EVERYWHERE

Today is the 33rd anniversary of the death of Elvis. In tribute, I figured I’d post my favorite Elvis tribute song by the great Mojo Nixon.

So, without further ado, here it is:

August 16, 2010 at 9:50 am Leave a comment

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