Saturday, January 30, 2010

Goldfish Refugees

My last post was my 100th blog entry! If I had noticed earlier, I would have written something special and commemorative, but oh well.

This week was both good and draining. The highlight of this week was the "Celebration of Education" on Wednesday. Students at my school who have a 3.0 or above are invited to this annual event, and it is huge. It's held both inside and outside the cafeteria, with carnival type games, food, and prizes. This years theme was Hawaiian, so the whole cafeteria was decked out like a luau, and the games had names like "Pineapple Crush" and "Tiki Ring Toss." Students also played the Limbo and several other games that I'm forgetting.

My favorite game was the Cake Walk. A lot of us teachers donated cakes for the Cake Walk, and Clint's mom volunteered to make me a cake to contribute. I told her to "keep it simple," but she doesn't know how to keep things simple (bless her heart, lol). She made the most wonderful cake that had an entire beach scene; complete with palm trees, an ocean, and a surfer-dude relaxing on a hammock. Before the Cake Walk even began, students were arguing over that particular cake, claiming that they were going to be the one to win it. Much to my thrill, one of my own students won the very first round. There were about 35 cakes, so it was quite a compliment to Clint's mom to have hers chosen first.

My least favorite game was "Hootie and the Blowfish." This game is an annual tradition which the school absolutely refuses to do-away with. In this game, students stand on opposite ends of a clear plastic tube--a sort of 'giant straw.' A live goldfish is placed into the straw, and each student has to blow on his end as hard as possible. The object of the game is to blow the goldfish into the mouth of your opponent, thus being the victor. The problem is that the game has only three possible outcomes:

1. Both participants blow equally as hard so the goldfish remains stranded in the middle of the straw until a "tie" is declared,
2. the goldfish gets blown into the opponents mouth, and the opponent winds up swallowing the fish, or
3. the goldfish gets blown into the opponent's mouth, and the opponent's body protests against the slimy wiggly thing going down his throat, thus gagging it up, resulting in a goldfish flopping around in vomit on the cold floor.

Unfortunately, outcome number three is the most common. The game is extremely popular with the middle-schoolers; they find it hilarious and exceedingly entertaining. But I find the whole game revolting. I'm not a tree-hugger or anything, but it just makes me sick to my stomach when animals are being used for some kind of morbid entertainment--even if they are just goldfish.

Luckily, I didn't have to watch the Hootie and the Blowfish game this time around, because I worked the snack bar the whole night. It was chaotic and incredibly fun--the night flew by so fast. Once the evening came to an end, me and another teacher were exiting the cafeteria when I saw a kiddie pool, outside in the dark, full of all the surviving goldfish. ASB students were scooping them into a cup, getting ready to throw them out. Well, one thing led to another, and I now have 22 new goldfish (which, by the way, was a lot of fun to transport home). I put them in our pond, and I expected about half of them to die, but so far we've only had one fatality. It's been three days now and they seem to be doing great. This morning when I fed them, they were going crazy gobbling down the food.

We also had our Aces Breakfast yesterday. As usual, me and my two teaching buddies cooked breakfast for our "A" students, but unlike last quarter's mayhem, everything came out perfect. No burnt eggs, no electrical shorts. After school yesterday I spent two hours creating sub plans for Monday and Tuesday. They shouldn't take this long, but I'm a worry-wart when it comes to leaving my students in the hands of someone else, especially for two days in a row. But I might as well get used to it, because I'm going to have to create sub plans for every Monday and Tuesday during the month of February for my long-anticipated GATE certification training.

Today Clint received his blue belt in kickboxing! I am so proud of him. The test was a grueling two-and-a-half hours long...I can't even imagine. Clint literally (and I do mean literally) lost five pounds after testing...all in water-weight, of course. That five pounds will reappear again in the next few days. I was supposed to test too, but I couldn't get my contact in my left eye due to the infection, and you are not allowed to wear glasses during the test. I'm not going to lie though; I'm relieved that I dodged that bullet. Now I don't have to think about it again for another two months. The kids also moved up in belts for karate; Elijah to orange, and Trinity to green.

Today we worked more on the backsplash in our kitchen. All of the stone tiles have been applied, so tomorrow we will work on grouting. It's coming along beautifully so far--I can't wait to see the final product. We went to Lowes today and picked up some new cover plates for all of our plugs and switches, so now instead of being white, they will be "satin nickle," which blends much more nicely into the natural stone. We also picked out a new sink, but we're not going to purchase it until the backsplash is finished. Our current sink is off-white and full of gross stains, so I can't wait to say goodbye to that thing.