Shannon Falls, August 2012

Sunday, August 31, 2008

What is it about this weekend?!

Okay, for those of you that have put 2+2 together, yes, this is the same weekend that Katrina hit 3 years ago. The irony of it all is insane. My dad's on another business trip, but this time he's just in CA and not HA. With Katrina, dad came in the Sunday (just barely) before she hit. Both Kat and Gustav are making landfall on a Monday. And this time instead of mom and dad having a houseful, we are. It's absolutely fine, but the entire situation has given me an eerie sense of deja vu (though we had NO idea what was about to happen 3 years ago). We should be fine, and we'll still get tropical storm winds, but we feel confident that things will be secure. I'm very thankful that we live so close to my mom now that dad is out of town and Erin and Gabe have gone home. And between her house and ours, we should have what we need. Our only issue is that we don't have enough beds for everyone! Air mattresses it is! Hopefully, we won't be on the front porch this time!

Memories have flooded me today, some good, mostly bad. It's very difficult to explain my emotions and thoughts concerning what happened post-August 29, 2005. But I don't mean to be Debbie Downer. I don't wish this storm on anyone (boy, I don't), but it is a great relief not to be in the center of the cone this time around. I never will understand what continues to draw me about the Coast, even knowing what's bound to happen sooner or later. But we're home; for better or worse, we're home.

If we don't lose power, I'll do my best to keep you all updated. Thank you for your prayers and thoughts!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Oh, to be in 8th grade

I had forgotten the awkwardness of 8th graders, that in-between age of doubting self, not understanding changes, and thinking you're bigger/more mature than you truly are. Ahhhh, puberty.

We had our first pep rally today. I have quite a few football players in my classes, and thanks to my husband and father, I can talk some football and hold my own. But it was very humorous to observe 6th-8th graders going nuts for a spirit stick, cheering on the football team and cheerleaders, and going crazy in general for just being out of class. And call me old-fashioned, but the moves of the dance team? I was uncomfortable. Holy moley.

And why do kiddos think they can get away with chewing gum, especially when it's blue?! I had to give a girl punish work today. I made her spit her gum out twice yesterday and warned her. And yet still she had it between her teeth asking me a questions. Dumb!

I'm also thinking maybe there's something wrong with me (not seriously). Students of mine keep getting sent to alternative school like there's no tomorrow for fighting, drugs, etc. Craziness.

And yet through it all, I must say, "GO JACKETS!"

Friday, August 22, 2008

Hips & Lips

What a long week. Long and short all at the same time. Fridays are the worst. Well, the best because it's the weekend but also the worst because the kids are just buck-crazy. I mean, all their faculties fly out the window. We had a vocabulary test today, and it was difficult. Okay, it was just plain hard. I was given this test by my mentor and all English classes took it, but man, I don't know if I could have passed it! So then I caught 2 students cheating, nearly gave my entire 2nd block all 0's becuase they were incapable of hushing during a TEST, and also made that same class do "hips and lips" on our way to the library. Ever hear of hips and lips? One hand is on the hip (so it's occupied), the other is over the mouth, much like you had to do in Kindergarten when your pointer finger was placed there. I stole this idea from the Mother's Day Out program at Trinity. Let me tell you, it worked wonders. I had been threatening it and finally employed it. And buddy, 8th grade football and basketball players sure look funny trekking through the school with one hand on a hip and the other on the lips! And plenty of administrators, other teachers, and fellow students saw them. Ahhh, the silence. Next week we start short stories; I'm very much looking forward to the little break from grammar.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Better Day

It was definitely a Monday, but compared to the Thursday and Friday I had last week, today was a blessing. I had a little heart-t0-heart with each of my classes. I also implemented Positive Points today. Let me explain---each class starts with 100 points. Together as a class they are responsible for keeping or losing those points. For every negative word or groan or complaint that I hear I subtract a point. If I hear "shut up" or "stupid" or "dumb" I take away 5 points. My classes are already into the 80's! And this is after only one day! They can, however, earn some of their points back if they catch me being negative. So far? Ainsworth--100 and you know the rest. But it does seem to be working.

In other news, we're having dinner for the family here tonight. I really do like having people come over. Come visit!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Seeing RED

I'm sure you've all heard of the expression "seeing red." Well, today it happened to me for the first time. I had a student make me so mad I literally saw red. I had no idea it truly was possible! I even swooned a little bit standing up. It was straight-up open defiance and it got handled, but oh, I was angry! It took me awhile to calm down; thankfully, I don't have a 3rd block so I had a bit to cool off.

I'm telling you, teaching is making me mean! An ornery old guy got in my face Tuesday night and I wanted to go "teacher" on him! But I stopped. Maybe I'm still just a bit too nice, but that is starting to change! I can't handle kids looking at me like I'm stupid and not doing what I ask. Teaching is definitely a challenge and I'm enjoying it, but it is exhausting!

Oh, I also got an aide today. She's wonderful! And what a blessing she is to make my copies and punch holes and staple. She saved me a good half hour today. My aide will be joining me every Tuesday and Thursday. Wonderful!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Pop Quiz!

As second period began today I realized I needed a couple items from Mr. Richmond next door. I told my students that I was running next door (and I literally ran) to grab some posters and they didn't even want to breathe loudly if they knew what was good for them. I got nods and "yes, ma'ams". Well, you know how that goes. So I literally ran down the hall and back, and as I came back in the door they were talking and laughing and having a good old time. I warned them! So I announced my presence by telling them to clear their desks except for a piece of paper. Yep, I gave a pop quiz, and roughly 95% failed. Oops! Guess we should take notes now, huh? I told them they didn't want to not do what I asked. Next time maybe they'll listen!

Then we had a bomb threat/fire drill this afternoon, so we got to spend a lovely hour outside on the football field/stands in the muggy air. I'm thankful I didn't have my white pants on today because we definitely trudged through some mud. It has nearly rained solid for 2 days. Fun times.

Tomorrow is singular/plural/possessive nouns. Whoo-hoo!

Friday, August 8, 2008

I have to write what?!

Alright, all. So I survived Week 1. Well, technically, I survived the first 3 days. Let me just say that 95 minutes per class is ENTIRELY too long! I don't remember exactly how I managed that when I was in junior high/high school. On the other hand, it's absolutely wonderful to have that long as a planning period! Plus, mine is third block which includes all the lunches so technically I get about an extra 25 minutes, making my "off" time 2 hours. I love it! I get so much accomplished! Not that I still don't have a lot to do each evening post-school. Speaking of, I have papers to grade. Fun stuff.

So my kiddos have to write an essay one-page long. ONE-PAGE. ABOUT THEMSELVES. THAT'S IT. ONE-STINKING-PAGE. C'mon! Now how many people can rattle on about themselves for at least a page? No big deal, right? Oh, no. You'd think I asked them to submit a 10 page essage complete with bibliography and footnotes. This essay can even be handwritten!! Oh, the groans. And then let's not even talk about spelling mistakes! I have my work cut out for me! Of course, if I wasn't such a nerd, maybe I wouldn't be so surprised at this mess. I will say, we must do a better job teaching grammar. MUST. I gave my students a grammar quiz today to see what they remembered. Results? NOT MUCH. (Sorry for so many caps tonight.) Then I took the papers up, we went over every part, I redistributed the papers, and then let them work with a partner to correct their answers! And I'm still getting nearly failing grades. It's going to be one long year. I was going to take this as a quiz grade; I'm thinking daily might be the way to go. Lord, grant me strength!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Mrs. Ainsworth! Mrs. Ainsworth!

Bum, bum, buuuuuuummm (think dramatic theme music). Well, the fated first day of school has arrived. Tomorrow I become Mrs. Ainsworth to roughly 75 8th graders. And those are just the kiddos in my classes! Then there are who knows how many other 8th graders total! Even at church I'm just Mrs. Jamie. That's weird enough!

May I just vent my frustration for a moment? I work with some highly intelligent people, yet we have meeting after meeting and never really get anything accomplished. By the time we get the 4 of us in one room and started, we've wasted 30 or 45 minutes. Then we hem and haw about what exactly we're doing. I mean, really. Are we starting with nouns? Okay, then let's just say what nouns we're covering when and each of us go on our way. We all have to be doing things along the same schedule but how we teach our objectives is up to us. So let's decide what we doing, in what order, and have at it! I can't stand wasted time.

Okay, so it's time to go pick out my first day outfit! Oh, to be a girl!!!