Shannon Falls, August 2012

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Greatest Faults

I sincerely hate that one of my greatest faults is my jealousy (and David, when you read this and want to know what I am referring to, I'm not telling you...because you will only roll your eyes and shake your head at me and tell me I'm crazy). I swear my eyes glow neon green the majority of the time.

I know the issue(s) I'm struggling with right now are ones I just have to get over. I also know that while I have the most important job in the world as a mother, sometimes, I feel like I'm just a mother. Nothing special, no special gifts or talents, I'm just an afterthought. I work my tail off and for what? To be two steps behind everyone else because I must put more attention on my child right now (which I wouldn't trade for anything). And no one seems to understand that. So I'll just continue working on my issues.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Ever just look down or in a mirror one day and realize you're fat? I have many of those days, but yesterday I realized something. With my crazy schedule and now helping Pia, going to the gym hasn't been very possible. (I'm sorry, but I'm exhausted by the time Hayden goes to bed and after being up since 5!). Well, I stay an hour to an hour and a half once my school day ends to wait for Pia. I've been doing lesson plans and working on my room every day. After a bit, I get tired of my 4 cinderblock walls! While waiting yesterday in the truck, I saw a kid running and I thought, "Hmmm...I could bring workout clothes and walk/jog for a bit while I wait. Maybe even just a few days a week?"

I don't expect any drastic change, and it's still sweltering hot, but it ought to help! I haven't been to the gym in over a month, and I don't foresee that working out soon, but now maybe I won't be just sitting on my behind waiting on Pia every day!

At least maybe I'll feel better about myself some again!!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Language Barrier

Having a person from another country under your roof 24/7 makes for some interesting conversations. We have introduced many new words to Pia (ie., supper, tweezers, necklace), and when she honestly doesn't know the English word for something, she simply uses the German one! Then we have a lengthy discussion to translate that German term into an English one. It's been fun, but it also takes a good deal of energy (you must get creative in explaining some American--and especially Southern!--terms and expressions) and time (you need to slow everything down and use lots of patience). It has also been a trying week at school, so I'm not sleeping soundly, and I have 6 classes who love to tell me how tired I look. Today one young lady told me I had bags under my eyes! Why, thank you, miss.
Pia, however, is absolutely wonderful. She's having a bit of a difficult time at school, and that makes her miss her mother. I can completely relate; I called my mom after my bad day today! And I'm 26!! Pia's always willing to help, and she's teaching us a good deal about German culture. Oh, we went to Bop's Friday night and she loved it. I wish I could express her reaction to her first bite of frozen custard here. There's no way to illustrate that sound! Saturday night we ran to Sonic; I didn't think she'd want to go with me because her jet lag had caught up with her, but the other German exchange student at school had told her about the servers delivering food on skates. When she realized that was the place I was headed, she literally jumped off the bed and slid on shoes! She forgot her camera, so I assured her we'd return for pictures of the servers. Pia wants to experience everything, so even when she's utterly exhausted she'll join in. I applaud her enthusiasm! We try to keep her busy on the weekends because the weeknights are pretty low-key. She's stepping up her studying, though, so she seems okay hanging out at home.
Back to German culture: they typically eat one hot meal and two cold/cool per day. Lunch is the usual hot meal, so it's taken a bit of adjusting to eat a hot supper every night. She's tried everything and has even started having seconds and getting her own drinks out of the refrigerator. We want her to feel as at home here as she would in Dortmund, so this is a HUGE step for all of us! She could certainly teach my students a thing or two about politeness!

I know she's told us other things about how home differs from south MS, but my day is catching up with me. I'll keep posting about our adventures! I still can't believe we have a German female teenager in our home!

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Anger Boileth Over

I am livid. Beyond angry. Furious.

I quite possibly ended a family relationship tonight by standing up for myself on Facebook to a comment made by a relative.

To all you teacher friends, do you post statuses about your day? I NEVER mention student names or ANY personal information. If you saw my status about making a student cry, it boiled down to my being slandered later by a family member. She decided that apparently I don't give respect so I don't get any, and because I'm a Christian I should show God's love every day and never cause hurt feelings. Have you BEEN in a middle school classroom? I don't have to do anything and I can have a student cuss me out or flat-out ignore me. Etc., etc., etc. I'm expected to be educator, teacher, counselor, disciplinarian, mediator, nurturer, and much more. Teachers don't make enough!

For ONCE I stood up to myself. I'm proud of myself. I'm a 26 year old ADULT, not a child. Address me directly, please, but do not smear my name publicly across Facebook.

Monday, August 9, 2010


Pia is here, and I believe she's overwhelmed! It's late so this will be short, but we're so glad she's here. I love her accent, and I think she'll fit in well. Her English is great, even though she doesn't feel like it is. Welcome to the family, Pia!

Saturday, August 7, 2010


Suffice it to say that starting the school year with unfinished buildings was not a good idea. Completely stressful. I still have no Promethean or technology to use for notes. Fine, I can lecture, but it's making things difficult. Computers all around are still not connected or running. I finially made copies late yesterday, but still not everything I needed. The copy machines don't staple so I'm going to make the kids do it because I was not staying any later yesterday! We've already had to redo rosters becuase one class had 31 students! Talk about outnumbered!

Our exchange student arrives at 9 PM Monday night. It'll be interesting working out our schedules since I start school at basically 6:45 and finish at 2:25, and Pia's schedule is from 8:15-3:35. Life's an adventure, right!? Maybe she'll be a good workout partner for me and we can go once the baby's in bed. I had wanted to go immediately after school before picking up Hayden, but I can't get everything planned, copied, and ready in my planning period just yet. Dropping to 7th grade from 8th may be more difficult than I thought!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

An Addition to the Family

Quick post since I have to get Hayden up and out the door: school starts tomorrow and we are nowhere near ready!! Some folks just got their boxes and furniture yesterday! Building a new high school and renovating 2 complete buildings in one summer was a big undertaking, and did I mention, school starts tomorrow?!

On another note, starting approximately Sunday night, I will be "mom" to a sixteen year old from Germany! We are participating in the International Student Exchange Program, and Pia Louisa Steimann will be joining our family for 5-6 months. She called yesterday and is absolutely thrilled. She heard MS is a beautiful state (hmmm....?) and bless her heart, I tried to explain how hot it is, but I don't think she quit gets it. She also asked of me while we talked (very shyly), "Please don't be too angry if I mess up my English while we are speaking." I was, like, "Honey, I teach middleschoolers. Your English is better than theirs!"

Let the adventure begin!