Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Design Flaw!

Not everyone should be a parent. I think we have a huge design flaw when two completely inept people can act like rabbits and end up in charge of a human being. As a teacher I get that there are certain skill sets out there for people who are parents. Some are better at it than others but really, there should be some baseline that people have to reach prior to having the ability to procreate.

Case in point..I took my class on a field trip today. We planned it over a month ago and starting three weeks ago I put it in the weekly parent letter. Let's see, three weeks times a weekly letter means that it was sent to the parents on at least 3 separate occasions. In the past 24 hours I had 3, yes I'm seeing a pattern here, 3 parents come unglued on me over a field trip that they knew nothing about. WTF? My favorite was the guy who actually came into the classroom today to get in my face and yell at me implying that this was some sort of plot to exclude him from going on the trip with his daughter. Never mind that he has never come to any school event with his kid, attended any parent teacher conference or volunteered a single minute of his time on the education of his daughter in her classroom. Whatever, I have bigger fish to fry with my master plans than to waste a single moment on his little plot theory. Oh my friend you've no idea what I have in mind!

Nope, my plot is to somehow revamp evolution and change the rules. To quote one of my favorite lines in one of the best movies ever, as spoken by Keanu Reeves " You need a license to drive a car, You need a license to own a dog, but any asshole can be a father". Yup, time to require a license.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Back to Reality

This churning of my stomach can only mean one thing. Time to close the chapter on another Spring Break and move back to reality. In my new found attempt to live in the positive I've prepared a tribute to Spring Break 2010 in my favorite form, a Top Ten List.

This year I actually took the time to have my plans for next week ready and all my grading done so I didn't have to work at all during the break! What a difference that makes!

No they were not in a row, but it is Oregon in March and I'll take it where it comes.

Yes it is true, I hate yard work. But a sunny day allowed us to make the yard look a little less white trashy. That's always a good thing!

Great friends finally closed on their new home which might very well be the coolest place on the planet. I'm so happy for them and look forward to summer BBQs!

One with Brittany and Bailey and two with my exceptionally amazing Sean. Good times!

5. HDTV and DVR
Oh holy crap. This may be the promised land of television. It should be illegal to enjoy TV this much. Wait..maybe it is.

Got together to celebrate The Big Climb with the boot camp girls. Not only were the martini's delicious but we drank enough to get two more people to commit to the dirty 1/2 with us. Love the social lubricant of alcohol!

There could be a top 10 with in the road trip category. First, it's a road trip which guaranties good times. Add in the fun passengers, the amazing hotel, the shared nerves and the trophy donuts and bragging rights and well..'nuff said.

Well, almost uninterrupted. He ditched me to do a 15 mile run yesterday, but other than that we had a dream staycation of couple time!

1. 69 Flights, 1311 Steps, 16:09. THE BIG CLIMB
Really, there is nothing else that could top this list. Columbia Center Tower, I salute you. You were a willing adversary and daunting upon first impression but you deconstruct just like a box of Lego's. Next year...Sub 15!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Bring on the Intervention

It's official, I've gone crazy. I think all the stale stairwell air as well as thin oxygen to my brain as I run on the sunny days has taken it's toll. I'm on vacation. Now when you hear the word vacation what comes to mind? Could it be a sunny beach? Maybe a pool side cabana? How about a fruity drink complete with a paper umbrella? Well, prior to this Spring Break that would have been mine too.

Not this year. This year I have spent my Spring Break so far pouring over Internet posts on 1/2 marathon training programs trying to find just the right fit for me. There are no shortage of them out there. While I haven't found a single plan that offers cookies and wine nights in the program, I have found several that seem do-able. Did I just say that? Do-able? WTF? 13.1 miles. Who runs 13.1 miles for fun? Now as if just searching for a program isn't bad enough, I actually found an event as well. So what did I do today? I filled out the entry form, I wrote out a check and I actually had some sort of out of body experience as I watched myself drive it to the post office and drop it in the mail slot. While I briefly entertained the idea of diving in to retrieve it, and then contemplated the jail time I'd do for the federal crime of mail tampering, I turned and drove myself back home again. Clearly I've gone mad. This must be the female version of a mid life crisis. Why, or why couldn't I just have gone for a Porsche instead? I have the feeling that would have been much, much easier......

Monday, March 22, 2010

Sweet Victory

16:09! 16:09?

Damn straight, I said 16:09! That's my finish time for 69 flights, 1311 stairs. I loved every single step of that stale 80+ degrees, stair well. Well, I could have done without the puke on several floors. Seriously, people puke when they push themselves too hard. That isn't just Biggest Loser TV smoke and mirrors! Who knew? That put a slight damper on the experience, but my agility skills learned from dodging 3rd graders since the November incident really paid off and I would sail over two steps when I noted "obstacles" in my path ahead. I ended up not using the railings at all because it just slowed me down too much.

I can't believe I did it. I still keep thinking to myself that there must have been some mistake. The count must have been off or they discovered there was some sort of vortex in the time continuum inside the building and it really took me days and only felt like 16:09. But then I push those thoughts aside and say "Damn girl.. you ROCKED that building! Own it". So I think I will while savoring my favorite victory trophy, a Voodoo Doughnut!

So thank you Columbia Center for making me face my fears, kick some ass and take some names. Now where is that entry form for the Dirty Half, I better fill it off before the victory glow fades.

Friday, March 19, 2010

What was I thinking?

A couple of months ago I signed up for "The Big Climb". It is a fund raiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma society which basically involves climbing to the top of the tallest building in Washington State, via 69 flights of stairs. At the time the opportunity arouse to sign up with my boot camp girls, I was recovering from a nasty injury sustained when I was on the receiving end of two third graders in motion. Not good. So I looked at it as a challenge for a great cause and an opportunity to redeem my pride. I responded with my typical cougar cry of "hell yeah, I'll do it. "

Now those of you that know me know there are two things about me that are certain. One.. I am clumsy. Really that word does not do justice to my ability to trip, twist, fall, you name it over pretty much anything in my path, real or imagined. I'm pretty sure that I actually hooked Sean as my future husband based upon the fact that the night we met I fell down an entire flight of stairs and walked away from it without so much as a tear. Never mind the boatload of blood running down my legs at the time. I was wearing boots, he never even knew!

The second fact about me is that I am tremendously afraid of heights. I have been known to spend several heart stopping moments on the roof after I have climbed up the ladder because I'm too scared to turn around and go back down it. Yes, if I was a dog I would certainly be in the Lab family.

So what am I doing in less than 48 hours? Climbing 69 flights of stairs to the top of a building. Does anyone else see a problem with this scenario? I can only hope that I don't trip, fall and take down the entire rest of the competitors behind me like a bad game of mouse trap. And if I don't, heaven help me when I make it to the top and then they can't get me back down again because I'm petrified like a poorly done gargoyle from the Clash of the Titans. This was not my best idea yet.

The only possibility I have for saving the day is the fact that I am the most competitive person on the planet. Sorry Mom and Dad, I agree I must have been adopted because I come from the least competitive family on the planet. Seriously, we didn't even play sports. However I'm the one who shows up at a race, scouts out the person with a cane to sight my competition. No it's not pretty and this isn't something I'm proud of, but hey, who doesn't have some awful little thing lurking in their background? At least I'm upfront about mine.

So, as I puff on my inhaler and try not to look too far up, or trip over nothing, I'll be scanning the crowd for that competition to power me through. The only justice in it all is the knowledge that I too am the incentive of someone else who is thinking "well I'm sure I can beat that old inhaler toting cougar" Bring on the stairs!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The view from the other side

When I was a kid there were two things I absolutely loved about school. The first was the school party. It didn't matter the occasion. Any day with a party was a good day. The second was field trips. Again, doesn't matter where we were going. Leaving the confines of the school building for the great unknown, brown paper bag lunch in tow was bound to be a very good day.

Fast forward about twenty years ok, maybe 30 or so. Now I'm a teacher. Knowing full well the joys of my childhood, there are two things that I hate about teaching. Let me go so far as to say these are the bane of my existence. Yup, you guessed it! School parties and field trips.

The reasons that I dislike both of these events are due to the behaviors it elicits from the otherwise decent children. Why is it that kids don't want to be held accountable for their behavior in school, but then they think they should be allowed to participate in the bonus stuff too. As a new strategy this year I put up a poster on the wall and started a guest list for the kids who will be accompanying me on the field trip. You would have thought the poster said "involuntary organ donors" . The kids not on the list were furious and even went so far as to tell me they were going to complain to their parents, the principal and "get me fired". Seriously?

I then launched into my impromptu dissertation on my job being to hold them accountable for following the school rules both in and out of the building. If they can't do it in the building, then I certainly would not be doing my job if I let them go outside on trips. While they agreed that this was logical, I could tell that they aren't sold on the fact yet. It is interesting to me that it never occurs to them that they are the ones who could make the changes necessary for success. So for now I will keep going back day in and day out, fighting the good fight to somehow try and impress some sort of sense of accountability for the citizens of our future. Yes, I am a glutton for punishment. Some days it is like talking to a brick wall. But I will keep trying!

However...I am now beginning to understand that vein that was pretty much always sticking out on my 4th grade teacher's neck! The view is so clear from the other side!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Tick Tock

Ever since I turned 40 I seem to be in some hardcore race against the clock to undo the neglect of my youth. Sure, I get the whole "you don't look 40" or "What? You're 40?" all the time. I get that the zits and immature attitude throw people off my cougar trail. However, as I chase down my youth, mostly on muddy single tracks or lately up many, many flights of stairs, I "feel" 40.

So I do things like say "hell yeah" to joining my younger and super fit husband on a beautiful sunny day on a trail run. I'm feeling good about getting out there, spending time with him and enjoying the sun on my face and the mud on my shoes. Well, about 3 miles in I realize that I am in fact a cougar. Yes, I am chasing my younger prey through the forest trying to keep up, wheezing like a Vegas grandma. My attempt at leaping over a creek bed like a Gazelle falls just short and I more likely resemble a water buffalo than anything else. His attempt to console me falls flat. "Well, you almost made it". Almost, the dreaded word of the middle age woman.

However, as I look down at my mud covered feet and legs I brush away the nagging thoughts of doubt trying to infiltrate my mind. "What are you doing out here", "you could break a hip", etc... I realize, while one trail run won't make for the fountain of youth, it is the journey of one run at a time that will change me, make me stronger. So while I didn't set any speed records today, I did have a great time, and challenge myself on some pretty technical trails. And this mud on my legs...I think that might just have been the best bonus of all. I think my legs may look younger already!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Jumping in!

I have long enjoyed reading the blogs of others. Lurking in the background, presence unknown (or at least I think it is unknown), following the thoughts on life and what not. It has been fun, but a somewhat creepy existence. I'm beginning to feel like those little old ladies peeking out their windows watching the world, but not participating. So, this is my attempt at getting my two cents out there. It takes me off the stupid world of facebook (who cares what you are doing every two damn seconds) and offers me the opportunity to share my thoughts on this crazy world.

I recently finished up a unit on geometry with my 3rd graders. We had to cover the concept of tessellations and how they must form a repeating pattern with all sides fitting perfectly together and no space in between. It occurred to me as I was trying to figure out how we would create our "perfect" tessellation patterns when 3rd graders can't even cut straight, that life is in fact not a tessellation. Nothing fits together perfect as we think it will. Life in fact is the space in between.

So...welcome to my space.