Wednesday, October 29, 2008

(American Honky-Tonk) Bar Association Induction

I had the day off of work today so that I would go with Eli to Montgomery so that he could be inducted into the Alabama State Bar. It was a very nice ceremony, and as always, my husband was HOT in his suit, tie, and spectacles.

The second part of the ceremony was an actual court session with the Alabama Supreme Court, the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals, and the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals. There were 18 judges on the stage (1 of the criminal judges was absent).

Afterward we went out lo lunch instead of staying for group photo on the steps of the Supreme Court Building. And then we went to the mall to hang out at the bookstore before he drove to Fort Rucker for his JAG interview.

Some notes about the ceremony:

According to the State Bar, one of the guest speakers was from the Northern "Disctrict" of Alabama.

Signs everywhere pointed the "ADMITEES" in the right direction.

Supreme Court Justice Sue Bell Cobb said that it as "a honor" to be part of such "a exciting" time in the new lawyers' lives.

A girl was recognized repeatedly as being the sixteenth-thousandth member admitted to the Bar.

Monday, October 27, 2008

A Weekend Redemption

We had a good weekend. On Saturday we volunteered at our church's fall festival -- Eli at the "pumpkin bowling" booth, and I got roped into face painting (gladly, though). Turns out that I'm not too shabby with my impressionistic sensibilities.

Sunday, I came home from church and took a short 3-hour nap, and them immediately returned to church to help pack boxes for Operation Christmas Child. I didn't actually do any packing. I was a designated wrapper, and it seems that I have quite the reputation now for exquisite paperwork. Eli had lunch with Scott today (our pastor, who is my age) and Scott told him the church ladies were raving about my skills. Yes, that's right, I've got skillz.

I of course didn't want to go back to work today (after the Friday from HECK), but then realized that it always gets better. And, for the most part, it was. Until sixth period. But that's neither here nor there.

And right now I need some prayer in dealing with my students, one in particular. After walkers/car riders and first bus load are called, I have two students left in my class. One, R, is driving me crazy. I want to scream, cry, hit him, knock some sense into him as he talks about all the girls he likes, the ones that he broke up with, the ones that he likes to make cry, the ones that he's trying to get to cheat on their boyfriends with him. I can't believe that this is coming from a 13-year-old. He talks about how he emotionally hurts girls on purpose. It really makes me sick and I wish I could tattoo something on his forehead that would warn girls to stay away. In addition to all that crap, he also is always showing off his abs, and I have asked him to stop and told him that I would write him up if he continued to show his underwear. He's gross. And it makes my skin crawl to be in the same room as him. Again, teenagers are aliens. Gross aliens.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Teenagers are aliens too.

Well, sorry guys. I was going to write some happy blog about hearing the baby's heartbeat and hoping that it's a baby and not an alien that will make its presence known by tearing out of my abdomen at dinner one night, to the fear and terror of my dinner guests.

But, guess what? I had a REALLY BAD DAY. And that's what I'm going to complain about right now.

Yesterday was such a good day all around. My principal came and complimented me on my instruction, using Greek/Latin roots as a basis for vocabulary acquisition. He was so excited about what these children were learning that he pulled all the sixth graders (and the few seventh graders I don't teach) out of class to come down to my hallway to see my exhibit. (I have the word parts and meaning posted in the hallway, and the kids wrote words with the corresponding word parts on strips of paper and hung them under the appropriate parts...takes up a whole wall.) He was so pleased yesterday he let me leave school a little early to go to my appointment.

Today I'm sure he was sorry they hired me.

Okay, so I'm new to this job. The kids are getting used to me. But, you would figure with this being the fourth Friday in a row that they would realize that yes, we are going to do work on Friday, and no I don't show movies (thanks a lot Mr. Pearce). Today they had a vocabulary test followed by writing (7th graders) and reading (8th graders). All I got all day long was resistance!

First of all, I explained to my students my test-taking policy...for the third time. I'm careful to be very specific -- no talking (even if you're talking to yourself, and yes whispering is talking) and no suspicious behavior. I'm the official judge of this. If you have a question, raise your hand and I will come to you. Do not call out your questions while others are trying to concentrate. You break these rules, you receive a zero, no arguments, no negotiations. Consider this your warning.

I gave out about 20 zeros today--that's about 20 percent of my students. Failure to follow directions. And then they had the audacity to be mad at ME! Geez.

Also, two children in each class period today got hauled off for fighting, yelling, screaming, misbehaving, disrespecting. My principal probably thinks I have no idea what I'm doing. And honestly, today, I had no idea how to handle the children. They just didn't care.

At one point during fifth period, the little freaks started banging on their desks chanting, "We want Smith! We want Smith!" over and over. Smith is the teacher whose job I took.

The last class period of the day, I (stupidly) stepped in trying to prevent a fight, but the girl (BIG girl) wouldn't heed my guidance as I tried to lead her out of the classroom and away from the girl she was screaming at. The situation escalated and the math teacher next door, Miss Jones, who was out in the hallway, came in and broke it up. She had heard them and then through the window she saw the girl elbow me in the stomach repeatedly as she was trying to break free of my grasp. I honestly don't remember what happened, just that I'm stupid for getting involved.

Now, I haven't told anyone at work about the baby, but I'm beginning to figure that some of them know. (Am I that fat already?) Miss Jones kept asking me if I was okay and how she was going to write the girl up for assaulting me in the abdomen. Then I just wanted to cry because I didn't remember it, there was so much going on. I can't refute that it happened though because we were making physical contact while I was trying to restrain the girl, and she was physically resisting. Now I feel like a bad mother. And a bad teacher.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

STOP voting for Cloris!

Okay, Dancing with the Stars fans. I've about had enough. I get it. She's the oldest contestant ever on DWTS. We're proud of her. But it is time to send Cloris Leachman home. Let the real dancing begin. Let Corky Ballas go home to his wife and children.

I'm an avid DWTS fan, and I've tolerated "stars" past who were in the mix for longer than they should have been due to fan following. I mean, how else would Master P stay so long? And Jerry Springer? But having Cloris be left in the top half of contestants? While everyone who has been sent home needed to leave, some of them deserved at least another week!

I have previously been a Cheryl fan, but I don't really like Maurice Greene. And though I love love love Tony Dovolani, Susan Lucci needs to go. I think Brooke is overrated and fake, even though I do admire Derek's choreography. So, I'm rooting for Kym & Warren, and Julianne & Cody. And I don't usually like blondes. Haha.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

In the desert, again.

So, it feels like he just came home, though I know it was almost (but not quite) a year ago. Today, October 15, my friend John is back in Iraq for seven months. His first tour, he left on his birthday in April and came back in November. He didn't have to be away for the holidays. This time, he won't be back until May and will definitely be spending Thanksgiving, Christmas, and even his birthday at war.

I know that our country is at war, and I am just a wreck knowing someone who is actually over there, especially someone doing something as dangerous as flying helicopters (a Huey) for the Marines. During his last tour, I talked to my students about it. It made me mad when they wouldn't stand stand for the pledge, when they wouldn't pause their conversations, and when they wouldn't care. I know. They're 12. And they have no real idea. These kids don't even remember September 11. They were 5 or 6.

Also, John being overseas makes me feel like a coward. Of course, now I have excuses, reasons I wouldn't be accepted into the armed forces, but 10 years ago, when I was in ROTC, I decided that I couldn't go into combat, that I would rather provide support for military families as a DoD teacher. I haven't even done that yet! I've done nothing except sit back and reap the benefits of these soldiers fighting and and dying for my freedoms. I'm a bum. And I feel guilty.

I make sure I tell John as often as I can how much I appreciate that he's willing to serve in the Marines. I know it's more difficult on him this time around because he's leaving his girlfriend behind. He didn't really have any real emotional attachments before.

Anyway, I wish I could find some way to help my classes support our troops this holiday season. Ideas?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

It was really just about the free food.

Yesterday, I enjoyed great quantities of free food. Some may call me a traitor, or scoff at me taking food from the hand of the "enemy", but when have you ever known me to turn down free food?

The Judge and his wife invited us to tailgate with them before the Auburn vs. Arkansas game, and we readily accepted the opportunity to set foot on campus for the first time since we've been here. The free food was also a draw.

We drove the 1.5 miles to the mall and took a FREE SHUTTLE to the stadium. Yes, ladies and gentleman, Auburn gets its fans to the stadium for FREE from about 10 different locations around town. If that's not taking care of your fan base, I don't know what is. (When we went to an Alabama game earlier this year, we had to pay $10 each to ride a charter bus to the game from the Tuscaloosa mall, but the buses weren't there after the game, so we had to walk the 3 miles back to the mall--it was good exercise, but a waste of $20). FREE RIDES TO AUBURN GAMES. I was almost turned into an Auburn fan right there.

When we got to the tailgate, there was a lot of good food, and there were a lot of people. A 4-year-old came up and kept talking to me. Vera Elizabeth. I have a feeling that this won't be the last time we talk. She was funny, talking and drinking her Sprite. She eventually made herself at home, sharing my camp chair with me. We were amused.

And while we were there, Texas beat Oklahoma. The neighboring tailgate had their DirectTV set up and let us come watch. So, will Alabama be #1 in the polls next week?

And finally, Vera Elizabeth's dad, who is the judge's wife's brother, gave us two tickets to the game. One of the tickets was up in the nosebleed section. The other was in the "Scholarship" section, which come with what else? Free food. We found two seats up in the upper deck, but when we got hungry, Eli sent me down to the Scholarship section to claim our food. It was amazing. They didn't care how you loaded up your plates! I got two hot dogs, nachos, 2 cookies, 2 bags of chips, 2 sodas, and 2 cups of ice--all in one trip! We ate well. Then, in the middle of the third quarter, we moved down to some scholarship seats where the wind wasn't blowing, and I found out that each scholarship ticket gives you THREE trips to the food. Amazing! So, I went back for some drinks and snacks. And when we left, with 7 minutes remaining in the game, I hadn't used up all my trips to the buffet, so I went one more time to grab some drinks to bring home. I should have grabbed some chips, too. Anyway, it was pretty awesome.

What else was awesome? The live eagle mascot, Nova, flying around the stadium before the games was pretty awesome.

Anyway, my first Auburn football experience was unbeatable (though Auburn isn't). We hopped on the bus and rode back to the mall. And we were home by 7:30. No traffic, no nothing. I wish the University of Alabama could learn a thing or two about game day transportation.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


That means that tomorrow is Friday, and that means that I only have one day left in the school week!

I'm feeling like a bum. I feel fat, too, but I'm not sure if that's a hormonal symptom as much as it is a result of watching three hours of NCIS on USA after school every day. That and not going to Jazzercise. I'm such a bum!

So, this brings me my beef of late. Too much screen time. We have cable television. We have Internet cable. Both are always on. I'm trying to catch up from three missed years of NCIS while we lived in Tuscaloosa and our antenna didn't pick up CBS. Ugh. And I'm constantly checking my stupid e-mail.

I need some friends to distract me! I want people who will make cards with me. The Burds were supposed to come this weekend, but there was a change of plan. I had hoped that Eli and Jason would go to the football game while Heather and I (and baby Ava) did crafty stuff, like make t-shirt skirts, make cards, and make baby booties from felt. Stuff like that.

Now, depending on whether Eli got tickets, I might have to go to the game! Well, at least there is free tailgating with the judge beforehand!

Saturday, October 4, 2008


Well it's Saturday, and I haven't done a dang thing. I started surfing the web this morning around 8 and have been on and off the computer ever since, working on budgets and what not. Eli's gazillion loans go into repayment next month, and with interest rates the way they won't be cheap. We can afford it, but it won't be pretty.

I'm mostly frustrated that even though we are making more money now that Eli is working, we still don't have any money. We have more bills, more things to pay for! Geez!

I really need to get to work cleaning up this apartment. When I get home in the afternoons, I'm so exhausted that I don't feel like doing anything. And Heather and Jason (& Baby Ava) are supposed to come visit next weekend. I seriously need to get this place ready for our 4-week-old guest.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


Today people kept asking me if today was my first "solo" day, as if I've never taught before, or been in the classroom with students by myself before.

It went well, overall. I was nervous about the eighth grade classes, and I'm not entirely sure why, but Mr. Reed yesterday said something to me that had me shaking in my boots. "If by Friday they're saying, 'I like Mrs. Beaver,' then you're not doing your job." Why was this intimidating? Because I come across as a nice person. Always. And in years past, I've had students tell me at the end of the first day of schoo, "You're the nicest teacher I have!"

But, it wasn't as bad as I foresaw. I had one group that is really talkative, and SURPRISE, it's NOT an honors group. I'll have to do a little research and planning to figure out how to get them to respond most effectively.

I was complimented on their behavior in the lunchroom, both by the cafeteria staff and by the other teachers in there. "Usually that group is rowdy." I know. That's why I laid down the law for 20 minutes before we went in there. You think I'm new to this? Well, yes. They do.

The only possible tear-shedding moment happened in the lunchroom--one of the students squirted ketchup on my pants, up and down the right leg. The lunchroom staff helped me out by giving me a rag to clean it up with, and I tried to talk myself down from this emotional frenzy while I was out of the students' sight. What happened was a mean thing to do, and I don't like to think that anyone is capable of behaving in such a way. I decided I'm just emotional and hormonal and that they're just pants (albeit my favorite pair).

At the end of the day today, as I was leaving the building, Mr. Reed said to me, "She don't play. Mrs. Beaver don't play. That's what I've been hearing. Good job." Sheesh! That was a lot of work!