Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Well, folks, the inevitable finally happened, and it happened in a big way.

I totally, TOTALLY dropped the ball.


As I've mentioned before, I'm taking one in-person class and one online class this semester. Every other Tuesday since the beginning of the semester I've had two things due for my online class: a post on the class discussion board (and a response to two other students' posts) and some sort of combination research/reflection/opinion paper on a variety of topics that I upload to Blackboard.

It's in my day planner, highlighted, what's due every other Tuesday. Because this is the kind of person that I am.

So, about a week and a half ago, knowing I'd have my discussion post and reflection/research paper due Tuesday, Oct. 21 I logged onto Blackboard to get my work done. I found out my topic for the paper was to read certain chapters in the text and write some guidelines/ideas for a middle school advisory program. Although I don't love reading textbooks, it was good information and I enjoyed coming up with my ideas. Then I saw my discussion post question was to write about the building in which I attended middle school, how it was laid out, and what my schedule was like. An opinion question -- awesome! Done and done. I logged on over the weekend in hopes I could respond to a couple of the other students' posts and get it out of the way in plenty of time for Tuesday. No dice. So I logged back on on Monday. Still no posts to respond to. When I logged back in Tuesday during the day (everything is due at midnight) there were still no posts. I absolutely could not figure it out since there were usually at least one or two others who posted early like me, but I was super busy teaching and doing some other things last week so I let it go.

WELL FORGET YOU ELSA BECAUSE I SHOULD NOT HAVE LET IT GO! I should have seen it for the (bright, bright, bright, bright, bright) red flag it was.

Anna. ANNA. The discussion post is not due till Tuesday, NOVEMBER 4.

(Do you see where I'm going with this?)

Following that line of thinking one is forced to wonder THEN WHAT ELSE WAS DUE LAST WEEK?

So glad you asked. The answer is -- a second paper I did not do.

UGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. For whatever reason our teacher had decided to do two papers last week and no discussion post. And I have no idea how I missed it. The dates were right there on the list.

Needless to say I spent an hour doing it tonight and then uploaded it to Blackboard. I also emailed my teacher telling her I was super embarrassed, explained my mistake, and let her know I completely understood that I would receive only partial -- or no -- credit. I think God was with me at least somewhat, however, as I realized after checking the syllabus that late work is accepted for partial credit, but work over a week late will not be accepted at all. And a week late would be midnight tonight. I really only logged on to check what was due next week, and I have no idea how I got around to realizing what I had done -- or failed to do as the case may be.

I am now one of those students that does not turn their work in. I want to die. I have never, ever not turned something in! A big part of me wants to call my mom and let her know that I have a missing assignment and my grade will be lower than expected. (Kathy, I hope you are reading this.)

I am seriously about to go put my own name on the clipboard.

It was 1991 in the Cafeteria ...

Monday, October 27, 2014

It occurred to me the other day that I work in an historic room.

See, when I attended school where I now teach, my classroom and the one next to it were all one big room. It was our cafeteria, where we ate our lunches every day. The school has grown a lot in all these years, so now the old cafeteria is two classrooms.

But in 1991, it was the cafeteria.

Also in 1991 my friend Ashley and I were in the first grade. And I have a very clear memory of sitting across from her at the lunch table one day when she told me she was "going to be a doctor and marry a doctor and have lots of money."

Well, here's Ashley now:

That's her photo on the faculty page of her program, In His Image. All these years later, spot on.

I believe first grade was about the time I wanted to  be working at McDonald's because I loved Happy Meals. I guess we can't all be Ashleys. :)

But really -- it made me smile the other day when I realized that I am teaching in the same room Ashley told me this years ago. In the same building where we began our friendship all those years ago.

Life is so funny, isn't it?

Who in the World Am I?

Monday, October 20, 2014

A few years ago my brother Thomas painted me a scene from Alice in Wonderland. It hangs in my upstairs hall right now.

I've always loved Alice. She was a regular girl who had a big (and super weird) adventure. Also, there is so much dialogue applicable to everyday life:

Curioser and curioser.

How can you read a book with no pictures?

We are all mad here.

I can't go back to yesterday because I was a different person then.

Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.

Who in the world am I? Ah, that's the great puzzle.

I'm never sure what I'm going to be, from one minute to another.

If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense.

You see? Alice really couldn't make much more sense.

Besides the fact that I generally love Alice, there is one major reason I love the painting Thomas made for me. (Okay, okay, besides the OTHER reason that my brother painted it for me.)

Thomas painted the scene where Alice gets stuck in the White Rabbit's house because she's grown too large after eating the "eat me" cookie. He painted her arms pushing up, up, up against the ceiling. Alice, too big for the situation. Too big for her circumstances. Just, really, too big for her life.

I feel like this Alice a lot. Not that I am something special, but often I feel too big for my situation. For my circumstances. For my life. Like I'm pushing on the edges of something bigger, but unfortunately all I'm accomplishing is just pushing against the roof, which is pushing back. Like if I got any bigger I just might burst ... or find myself falling, falling, falling through the center of the earth into Wonderland.

I don't know if this is what Thomas intended when he painted this for me, but I think about it every time I see it, which is multiple times a day. I think about little Alice, pushing against the roof of the house, her head touching the ceiling, her legs having nowhere to go. Too big for where she is, but not sure how to get smaller -- or how to get out.

Cannibalism, Rap Names, and Queen

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Heard around school this week:

- In 6th grade we read an excerpt of the book "Drylongso" called "Storm-a-Dust." The main characters are a family that lives on a farm and depends on their crops to eat. A dust storm hits, and I was asking the kids why this dust storm is so bad. Of course, the answer is, if they don't have crops, they don't eat. One of my (very precocious) students, we'll call him Nathan, says, "Well they could also turn to cannibalism." This particular student is on the shorter side, so, jokingly, I said "Well you know Nathan, people usually eat the smallest people first!" And he was like "I'm not the smallest!" And the kids starting deciding who the smallest was, and a couple of them said "It's Maria!" (not her real name). And Maria, a normally very quiet child, shouts out, "You don't want me, I'm bony!" I honestly had to stop class to laugh. It was SO funny.

- One of my 8th graders informed me the other day his rap name is Willie G. Which might not sound that funny if you don't know the kid, but it cracked me up. Like who tells their Language Arts teacher about their rap name?

- Due to a funeral luncheon taking place in our kids' lunchroom (our Parish Hall) the other day, the 8th grade had to eat lunch in my room. They asked if I could turn on some music. Having previously been told that they could either listen to Christian or classical music in school, they said, "What about oldies?" "Oldies I can do," I said. "Do you all mean like Beatles oldies or like 90s oldies?" (Which are oldies to them.) They said, and I quote, "Queen! What about Queen? Can we listen to Queen?" If you know me, you know that Queen is my all-time favorite band. Ever. I was like "Are you guys serious? Because Queen is my favorite band EVER." So we listened to Under Pressure and then Another One Bites the Dust. And then, the ultimate Queen song, perhaps the best song ever recorded, Bohemian Rhapsody. The 8th grade girls treated me to a live concert of this song. Right through the bell for their 6th period class. So, for the first, and perhaps only, time in my teaching career I went upstairs and told a fellow teacher that her next class would be late "because they are wrapping up their live performance of Bohemian Rhapsody." I can't make this stuff up.

Middle school guys. It's as wacky as you remember!

For your viewing pleasure:

Baby Snicks vs. the Vacuum Cleaner

Thursday, October 16, 2014

There are only about five spots in the house that Snickers will ever be. So pretty much if you can't find him in four spots, he's in the fifth. No exceptions.

So when I saw him in the living room today, I thought it was safe to vacuum under the bed in my room three minutes later.

But since he's a ninja, turns out I practically attacked Snicks with the vacuum cleaner. I just started vacuuming and basically shoved him aside. He gave me the side eye and then left.

To go to where I can only assume is the spot where he hides his journal chronicling the indignities he has suffered. 

The Mountaineers, a Bunny, Jamberry, and a Llama

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Anybody catch the Mountaineers game yesterday? The one everyone (self included) was sure they were going to lose when they were down by two touchdowns in the 4th quarter? The one that was then won with seconds to spare when redshirt sophomore Josh Lambert kicked a 55-yard field goal -- with distance to spare -- right through the center of the uprights to win the game on the road?


Dude I honestly do not care what team you support, if you like college football, then that is legit. I'm still not over it.


You know how you know you're really a teacher? When you are super excited to teach your lessons this week. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not really ever thrilled to teach things like transitive and intransitive verbs or progressive tenses -- but I do try to make it fun. But we start a new quarter tomorrow, and I'm excited for some reading we have to do this week as well as some new writing projects we're starting. At the very least, I'm glad about the organization that I (think, pray, hope) I'm starting this quarter with. I worked all day today on everything, so here's hoping!


Some things that have been going on around my life lately:

World's cutest bunny figures out what the chew log Alex got him is for ... two years later.

Me and a llama at Junior League of Huntington's Touch a Truck event. I'll stay with bunnies.

Best Jamberry order of all time! Sugar&Spice, Pumpkin Spice, Icy Boysenberry Polka and Rose Gold Sparkle! I'm wearing Pumpkin Spice and I LOVE IT!

A double rainbow that I saw on my way to Morgantown a couple weeks ago!

 I have never seen so many rainbows in my life like I did that day! 

Last week's WVU vs. Kansas game. It was so fun, but so cold!

A photo of me and Allie that made it onto the jumbotron! You just have to put it on Twitter and tag it! 

Another shot of the world's cutest bunny. Looking off into space. Lord only knows.

Have a great week! 


Thursday, October 9, 2014

There are a lot of scary things about starting a new job, but I can honestly say that one of the scariest is getting new coworkers. The people you work with really become your family because you see their faces for so many hours every day. They know what you go through and what a big chunk of your life is like.

I've been blessed with some pretty awesome coworkers in my life. I honestly think one reason God has had me at so many jobs was to bless me with awesome coworkers who became lifelong friends. It pretty much all started with my friend Sophie who was a coworker at the preschool I worked at in Prague. Sophie and I are so different in so many ways, but we were such good friends. I loved going to school every day to see her. We had some wonderful times, and she was a wonderful support system. After Sophie came Katie. We worked together for several months at my first job in D.C. Katie and I ran a (awesome!) blog together, and she is one of my dearest friends! Post-Katie was my best girl Colleen. Colleen and I met at my second job in D.C. and she is most definitely a life-long friend. In fact, I have boarded not one but TWO planes in order to visit Colleen over the past couple of years. Colleen is such a good friend. We text all the time, often in emoji-only speak. Colleen has been a solid friend through good times and not-so-good times. For that, I am always grateful. When I worked at the Huntington Museum of Art, I became really close with my coworker Cindy. She and I always worked on events together and ate lunch together, and she is probably the most positive person I ever met. Cindy was always happy, always brightening other people's days. When I moved to the magazine, I only had two coworkers. Luckily, Jenette, Crista, and I got along great. We supported each other and vented to each other, which was an absolute necessity. We had inside jokes and traditions we started. It was awesome! 

So when I started work at Our Lady of Fatima, I wasn't sure what to expect. Sure -- I knew a couple of the teachers because they had been my teachers, but they weren't in the middle school. I knew that another new female teacher had been hired, and I even "knew" her. I say "knew" because Sarah is quite a few years younger than me, but she danced at another local studio growing up and our dads used to work together and her mom was a teacher at the middle school I attended, but we hadn't seen each other in a gazillion years. Every day I went to Fatima to get my classroom together, hoping Sarah would be there. One day, I walked down the hallway and saw her door open in the light on. So I went in. "Hey Sarah!" -- effectively scaring the crap out of her and effectively starting our friendship. A friendship for which I am eternally grateful. On my way to Morgantown last weekend I had a lot of time to think, and I realized that Sarah being there has made this year a crazy fun adventure instead of a terrifying mess. We share all the same students. All. I see her before school, between every class, at lunch, and for hours after school. She knows my whole life because we spend our whole life at school. I have no idea what next year will bring for either of us, so I'm soaking up this year because it has been so great. God certainly had this one all planned out, and for that I am forever grateful.

Here's to you Sarah Hayes! :) 

The Other Side of the Desk

Thursday, October 2, 2014

One thing we don't have a lot of at our school is available substitute teachers. Meaning sometimes everyone just has to pitch in! Our 5th grade teacher's mother recently passed away and her funeral was today. Our middle school science teacher was also out, at camp with our 7th graders. We had a sub who was able to step in for 5th grade in the morning and someone else who was going to come for 5th grade in the afternoon. Unfortunately that sub was unable to make it, and our principal needed someone to sit with the 5th grade for the last hour of the day. Usually at this time I'm teaching 7th grade, but since they were not at school today, I volunteered to take on the 5th grade for the end of the day.

Those kids -- what a delight! So well behaved and polite. What was so weird is that the 5th grade teacher was also my 5th grade teacher. Needless to say, I left the teacher a note, telling her how nice her class is and how much I look forward to having them next year in 6th grade. But, of course, I also had to tell her to please not put me on the clipboard (our discipline system) for sitting at her desk -- and using her computer! It's in inside joke we've had for a while. Not that I ever got in trouble in school, but I got on the clipboard once in 5th grade for talking, and I told this teacher at the beginning of the school year that hearing her say the word "clipboard" still strikes fear in my heart!

This teacher teaches in the same room, at the same desk. It felt so weird to be on that side of the desk in that classroom. I absolutely love this teacher. As I sat in her room, at her desk, and looked around the room, I almost teared up thinking about how funny it is how things work out sometimes. How God must smile when we're 10 years old and in 5th grade, knowing where He'll have us 20 years later when we're 30. Amazing, isn't it?

Love you Mrs. Cole! (I mean ... Patty. I'm still working on it!)
Powered by Blogger.
Theme Designed By Hello Manhattan


(c) Anna Lafferre Kraft 2012-2021