28 September 2008

Polite Subtlety

"In love silence is of more avail than speech…there is an eloquence in silence that penetrates more deeply than language can." Blaise Pascal

This post has been mulling around in my head for quite some time - I am finally deciding to just put it out there and see what you all think...

Some part of me wishes that we only called those who are very close to us - like family - by their first names. Using titles, creating what at least appears to be a respectable distance with everyone else. Then again I wish men still wore hats and women, gloves. I think there was an implied genteel politeness. And I think these things once acted as visual reminders of our need to be courteous. And no, I realize the good old days weren't always good - I know this didn't always work and that people don't like to be told what to do - but this is all part of the American tradition of "throwing the baby out with the bathwater". Of not understanding subtlety. The whole "You're not the boss of me" mentality we are so good at. Sounds a lot like toddlers and teens if you ask me - we are an entire society lacking self-restraint and good manners - but hey! No one tells US what to do. Or what to wear. Or how to behave... right?

Anyone who has ever read Jane Austen for instance realizes that there have always been ways to buck the system. But they were quiet and subdued. Double entendre and silent glances ruled and there was plenty of blushing to go around - even without the ass-slapping vulgarity that we are plagued with today. Look at the french for example... The french word s├ęduction CAN mean persuading someone to go to bed with you, but it is typically used in a more general way to reflect the idea of trying to charm someone. The french seduce everyone - men - women - doesn't matter but in the second more general way... without the sexual proposition behind it... Think about it - this kind of attention is, well, nice... who doesn't like to be on the receiving end of kind words, compliments, warm feelings. Why do Americans always have to assume everything to be sexual? (back to the teen thing I think, no?)

At least that's how it looks from my chair.

21 September 2008

Clean Slate

Everyone likes a clean slate, a fresh start - to have this we must first have the courage to have nothing. To be ready for change we have to be willing to put everything aside - make room - create a void. There is an innocence to nothing that offers the opportunity for change, growth, knowledge. This (painfully awkward) attempt at haiku addresses this week's prompt from Weekend Wordsmith.

Stark barren nothing
empty of expectation
Hopeful potential

20 September 2008

Next time you want to complain about teachers...

Okay folks - the very next time you want to complain about teachers and that they "only" work 10 months out of the year I challenge you to spend a few weeks filling their shoes - or trying to. These men and women are saddled with the HUGE responsibility of educating our FUTURE. That's big. Really big.

The last two weeks I have been teaching every day. Our district mandates a lot of planning days and meetings etc several times a year so the need for my services has been great. I have never worked as hard as I have these last two weeks. And I have worked damn hard in the past. But I can assure you - knowing that young minds and hearts are depending on you takes everything up a notch. I am - for one day - to facilitate learning for these students. Learning about facts, how to read and how to behave like decent citizens with kindness and compassion for each other. I may move around from room to room and building to building, but I still take that challenge seriously. I venture to guess that is true for most if not all subs. We have big shoes to fill and we work hard to do so.

Favorite moment so far? Student I taught last week saw me in the hall, ran up to me, hugged me and said "Mrs. C - are you coming to our room today?" Sadly, I wasn't - and when I let her know that she said "Bummer." Wow. That is a wicked cool feeling. Two weeks in - and already students are liking me. That is definitely a great feeling. That and teachers are calling me back into their rooms so teachers must like me a bit too...

All of this might help to explain my recent absence here in the blogosphere. I can't promise that is will get any better, but hey! You never know! I'll work on it.

12 September 2008


This picture is from the first day of school this year. It is my son William and his friend Alexis...

I just wanted to check in for a bit to let you all know that I have been busy every day this week subbing and expect to be busy from this point forward - I even have a few days booked in January! Suffice it to say things are going well. I already have some good stories but can't really share them in an open forum like this - so I may be starting a private, by-invitation-only blog for that very purpose.

Anyway - I wanted to check in with everyone just to let you all know I am still alive and well...

07 September 2008

As fate would have it...

I start tomorrow! A second grade resource teacher! YAY! Wish me luck people...

05 September 2008

Hear Ye, Hear Ye!

Great news!! Thanks to PirateTeacherFriend for providing me with what will likely be my first subbing assignment! September 11th! Just think - this time last year if you had told me I would be subbing I would have laughed in your face - and yet - here I am! YAY! And the super-weird thing is that I am not really nervous. Maybe I will be that day - but not now. Not yet... Maybe I won't be - who knows?!

And so it would seem that being brave and requiring more of myself is paying off.

I need lots of positive vibes this coming Thursday please! Think of me! :D

Lucky me!

"I felt it shelter to speak with you" -Emily Dickinson

You've heard me say it before - I typically don't enjoy the company of most women. I am a man's woman. But today I visited with a friend and enjoyed copious amounts of conversation and a nice lunch. Let me just say that I feel more content and relaxed having had this time with her and feel extremely grateful to count her among my friends.

GMOM - thank you. It was a delightful day. Let's do it again sometime, shall we?

01 September 2008

Don't Tell...

Part Eleven of Rebecca's Saga. In case anyone is still reading... here is a bit from Vince's perspective... If you want to read more, click the link on the sidebar and scroll to the bottom to read from the beginning...

Vince pulled into the lot behind the shop but didn't get out of the truck. The rain slid down the windshield past the wipers stopped mid-swipe. He was tired. Not go-lie-down-and-take-a-nap tired, the kind of tired that overtakes a person who feels over-extended and out of his league. He had no idea how it ended up this way - him raising a 16 year old girl on his own. Even though it was the right thing to do there were days that he couldn't escape feeling like he had made a big mistake. Becky was a good kid, but everything else about the situation felt bad. Real bad.

Caterina had always had problems. He remembered when they had moved away - she was in seventh grade, he was in fifth. He caught her early one morning filling a lip gloss container with rum. That was how she did it - how she kept it hidden. She popped out the little plastic ball and filled the glass vial with rum. Or vodka. or whatever she thought she could get away with that day. He wanted to tell his mom. Damn it! What if he had? What if she had gotten help then? She begged him. Cried.

"Please don't tell Vinnie! Remember how you took that cookie last week? Remember? I didn't tell on you. We have to stick together..."

He never told - he just tried to avoid her as much as he could so he wouldn't have to make that decision again. He remembered her being escorted home with the police on more than one occasion, then there was the time she nearly had alcohol poisoning and his parents made him put on a coat at 2:00 am to go to the hospital with them. After that they sent her away to a rehab program for girls. She ran away regularly, more jail time... in the end, there was no money for him to go to college. He joined the army instead. He liked the structure and being in top shape - they trained him in electronics and eventually he coordinated construction planning and advised on electrical construction of buildings used to house satellite tracking equipment for the Gulf War.

He was accomplished - would have stayed with the army if not for his sister's letter to him. "I need your help, Vinnie. I had a baby a few years ago and I gave her up. I miss her awful and I am not allowed to see her because I am not perfect. He won't let me see her Vin. I need your help." she wrote. Instead of reenlisting, he came home determined to help reunite his sister with her daughter. That's what she needed - he had reasoned. Someone beside herself to be responsible for. He had no idea how wrong he was until he showed up on Garrett's doorstep.

What We did on our Summer Vacation...

Since a picture is worth a thousand words here are 27... Knock yourself out! :D