Friday, October 29, 2010

It's Raining Cats and Dogs...and Rodents, if You're in Mrs. P's Class

Yesterday I was doing a really cool lesson that required students to listen to music from the "Braveheart" soundtrack in the dark, while watching abstract images play across the projector screen.  Every single student was completely riveted by the music and images...except for Rayne.  Being a perpetual attention-hog, he proceeded to talk and disrupt the lesson.  After several warnings, I told him to move to an empty desk in the back of the room where he wouldn't be so tempted to socialize.  He responded by huffing his way to the back of the room, sweeping up Ms. Frisbee (who was playing on another student's desk), and then proceeded to throw her about eleven feet across the room.  I was livid.  I marched into the vice principal's office when class was over, referral in tow.  VP's response?  He laughed.  A lot.

Okay, so I can admit that I do see a little humor in the situation.  I mean, administrators receive a wide array of referrals, with anything ranging from "student shouted obscenities in the classroom" to "student snuck Germ-X into another student's Powerade."  But I don't think anything can quite prepare a principal for "student had temper tantrum and threw rat across room."  Plus Mr. A was at a complete loss as to what box to check on the referral.  There is simply nothing on the school referral forms that address chucking rodents.  I think we finally settled on 'throwing dangerous objects' ("After all," Mr. A. stated, "that rat might have poked someone's eye out") and possible 'destruction of personal property'. 

So yes, I do see the humor.  But poor little Ms. Frisbee.  She is the sweetest thing (even though I know some of you are shuddering with disgust...sorry about that).  She trusts all of my students implicitly and never saw this coming.

This morning I decided to take Ms. Frisbee on a field trip to Mr. A's office so that he could see exactly the sweet little innocent creature who was thrown across my room and perhaps take the matter more seriously.  He isn't entirely comfortable with rodents, but I finally managed to talk him into holding her.  She then peed on his hand.  I really should have given her a better pep talk first.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Name-Changing Fanatic

If you haven't noticed by now, my blog is suffering from a massive identity crisis.  I am pretty sure I have changed my blog's title more often than I have dusted my house.  I was trying to brainstorm all of the different names this blog has displayed, and here are the ones I can remember, from oldest to most recent:
  • My Ramblings
  • Iridescent Bubbles
  • Fizzyjo (still my URL, and probably always will be)
  • Quarter after One
  • Trying to Fit the Ocean in a Cup (as of just now)
I'm pretty sure I also had "Mindless Meanderings" in there somewhere, and one or two other names I am presently forgetting.

But I will say that I love this new name, and I am really, truly convinced that this title will actually stick around for awhile (hey now, quit scoffing!  It could happen!).  I wish I could take credit for it, but I was actually inspired by the cover label for a that I have never once listened to, or even heard of, until about twelve minutes ago.  The CD is from a Christian artist, Josh Wilson, and having never listened to his music, it honestly could royally suck (although I'd like to give him the benefit of the doubt and assume it's   awesome).  Either way, I still love that invented idiom.  Not the royally-sucking one, but the ocean/cup one.  Outside of its powerful spiritual implications, it's a playful reminder to me of people in life trying to accomplish the seemingly impossible.

From the blogging standpoint, the expression simply makes me think of how us bloggers try to squeeze our entire lives into these tiny snapshots.  In fact, a friend and fellow blogger recently stated, "Chances are, things will be forgotten because there’s no way I can recount so much in so little space" (Kristyn @ Pretty Pessimist).  I think we can all relate.  There is no blog or journal in the world that can accurately capture a person's entire story anymore than a photograph can capture a person's entire memory.  Trying to reflect one's self through these little written glimpses is like "trying to fit the ocean in a cup."  It's a practically ridiculous endeavor.  Yet, for a few of us, there seems to be something inherently worthwhile in this perpetual obsession with scooping up all of this salt water, trying to create one little ripple of purpose.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Lazy Me

I am one lazy life form.  Today I went through my classroom fridge and pulled out eight or nine tupperware dishes that had collected over time.  I do have a sink in my classroom, so for about forty seconds, I actually contemplated undergoing the very reasonable task of washing the dishes and bringing them home.  But then, quite suddenly, all of the plastic dishes somehow magically propelled themselves from my hands into the trash can about eight feet away.  When I entered the house after work today, the first words out of my mouth were, "We need new tupperware."

One of my students today threatened to burn my car down.  I know, *gasp*, but it was actually part of a bad joke.  At any rate, I asked said-student if I could choose which vehicle he decided to douse with kerosene, because my 2007 HHR was getting really dirty.  Washing your car can be a pain in the ass, and Lord knows I'll never actually cough up the change to pay for a real car wash.  I'd really love to just take that insurance money and buy a new one...nice and clean.  Like I said: Lazy.  It's lucky that we don't qualify for a new house every year, or else we'd be moving every time the spring-cleaning season arrived.

Despite my inherent laziness, my homeroom class won the Red Ribbon Week poster contest...first place!  Today we enjoyed our reward:  An ice-cream party early this morning in 45 degree weather.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Halloween Party--Take Two

I had published an entire post on yesterday's Halloween party and went in to add one more picture when somehow, the whole post got deleted.  Arghhhhhh.  So in lieu of me not wanting to recreate the entire thing, I'm just going to post some pictures. 

Clint and me...I love his hat!

Shannon and Jeremy...they were so cute.

Sarah, Shannon, and Jeremy

Shannon and Me

Me and Sarah

Jamie tried to sneak in a candid, but I saw her and
posed at the last second.  ;-)

Clint and me (again)

James and Jamie (our friends who hosted this party) got some great action shots during the party, but I don't want to post any of them here without the proper permissions.  ;-)  All in all, we had a great time.  James and Jamie are a fun, adorable couple, and I definitely wouldn't mind hanging out with them again.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Deer in Headlights

Earlier this week during the recent thunder storms, we had an incident in which lightening struck right behind our house.  It was one of those instances where you hear a deafening crash, and at the same time the entire room is illuminated with a flash of white light that is nearly blinding in its brightness.  It was so sudden and ear-splitting that our chickens were dead the next morning, having died of what appeared to be a heart-attack. 

When the lightening struck, Clint was awake in the living room, and I was sound asleep in bed.  I don't remember anything except for I was dreaming, and suddenly in the dream something exploded in my ears.  Ripped from sleep, I shot up in bed.  At this point all was quiet again, but the explosion was still reverberating in my ears, and I didn't know what was going on.  I sat there at the edge of my bed, heart pounding hard and fast in my chest.  After a few minutes, Clint came in to check on me, and he found me there, frozen and shaking in the dark.  I'm not afraid of lightening, but because I was asleep, I didn't know it was lightening.  I think it was the mystery of the noise that had me the most paralyzed.  But it's weird, because I don't remember feeling scared, or anything at all, for that matter.  I just couldn't get myself to move. 

Clint brought up the incident last night.  He mentioned that when he heard the crash of lightening, his first reaction, however irrational, was to jump up and grab his gun, as is the case with any strange noise.  He mentioned somewhat jokingly that humans are supposed to have a "fight or flight" response to fear (his being "fight"), but when he walked into our bedroom, I was neither fighting nor fleeing.  Instead, I was just sitting there, paralyzed in the dark, like a deer caught in headlights.  "What kind of response is that?" he had teasingly inquired. 

I was thinking about this, and it's true.  I don't react when I awaken to potentially traumatic situations.  I still remember being at my best friend's slumber party in 6th grade when we had that big earthquake (I no longer remember the details of the quake, I just know it was the strongest and longest earthquake I have ever experienced).  I was curled up on a recliner, fast asleep, when the quake struck in the predawn morning.  I immediately woke up, and items were falling off the walls all around me, and girls were screaming.  I remember I could see their silhouettes running out of the house, one by one, as they shrieked in fear.  But I just sat there, holding onto the arms of the chair, feeling nothing; frozen in place the entire time.  The whole house could have collapsed on me, and I probably would have been found still clinging desperately to the arms of that stupid chair.

A few years ago, when we were living in Silver Lakes, it was about 1:30 in the morning when the window over my bed shattered all around me.  Luckily it was November and I was buried in my bedspread, because heavy shards of glass fell all over my stomach and legs.  I thought someone was trying to break into my what did I do?  I just sat there, frozen in place, covered in glass.  It took about five long minutes before I could "un-freeze," using sheer willpower to get myself to move and call the police.  As it turned out, some reckless teens had thrown a large liquor bottle through my window.  But this incident, along with others, just highlights the point that I don't react in potentially dangerous situations.  What is my problem?

But I don't think I'm completely useless in moments of trauma.  I think it's just some kind of fear of the unknown.  One common trait shared by all of these situations is I had been jolted from sleep, feeling confused and disoriented, unsure of what was happening.  I know that in situations in which I'm awake, alert, and aware of exactly what is taking place, I'm one of the first to react and can usually keep my cool.  I just wish I didn't become so paralyzed when it's something unknown.  Heaven forbid there is ever a real disaster in the middle of the night.  I'd probably be useless.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Pancakes and Costumes

Going to try to make this quick. 

Last night I lost a big chunk of my evening putting on the final touches to our anti-drug homeroom poster.  Every year, during Red Ribbon Week, our school holds a poster-making contest between all of the homeroom classes.  My class's came out cute, but the competition gets pretty competitive, so I'm not sure if we will place or not.  I remember a few years ago, my students did a paintball-themed poster, and it came out so adorable.  We felt certain that we would win, but we wound up losing.  The only time my class has ever won this competition was five years ago, when we did a poster with a music-theme, and turned our poster into a giant boom box.  This year our theme is "facebook," and it actually has a great anti-drug message, but we'll see.  No matter what, we always have a good time making the poster (who am I kidding...I want to win!). 

This morning we had our Aces Breakfast.  Everything was almost perfect, except for the fact that we usually have two grills, and this time we only had one.  As a result, I had a very long line of students who were waiting for pancakes, and I couldn't cook them fast enough.  I wound up grilling pancakes well past the first bell, and finally ran into my classroom nearly ten minutes late, still wearing my apron and covered in batter. 

Tomorrow night we are going to a costume party.  Clint hates Halloween, so this is a big step for him.  I'm just relieved to have finally found a costume!  We normally do our Family Themed Nights during Halloween every year (and we still will), in which I generally just piece a costume together.  I haven't officially shopped for a real costume in probably a decade.  I had no idea the direction costumes had taken in the last few years--wow.  I swear on Wednesday I thought I was in an adult toy store rather than a costume shop.  Today we found a better store--"Costume City"--and they actually had reasonable costumes.  I picked mine out in about five minutes, and Clint took about ten minutes more to pick out his, which was fast enough to make the whole process nice and stress-free (Clint gets edgy in Halloween stores).  Clint is going as some kind of Samurai warrior, and I'm going as Robyn Hood.  I'm really excited to have a good time with friends tomorrow.  I'm just hoping Clint doesn't feel too uneasy at the party.  I've done just about everything I can to prep him for the environment and have even suggested he stay home due to his wariness with Halloween, but naturally he doesn't want to send me off alone.  I'm sure, too, that a part of him doesn't want to be left out of the festivities, even though they're festivities he doesn't agree with.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

200 and Lights Out

This is my 200th post!  I'm not sure how I feel about that.  On the one hand, sticking with an online journal for two hundred entries might be viewed as somewhat of an accomplish, given that half the people who attempt a regular blog ultimately give up.  On the other hand, two hundred entries?  That seems like a lot of wasted hours of life that could have spent living instead of blogging. 

During first period today, there was a thunder storm.  I was in the middle of a PowerPoint presentation when the students and I heard two loud crashes of thunder, and suddenly the power went out.  My room has very little natural light, and with the darkness of the sky outside, it was nearly pitch black. I do have really lousy night vision though, so this could've just been me.  At any rate, we couldn't see, so we had to prop the door open in order to let more light into the room.  I kept thinking the lights were going to come back on any second, but after about ten minutes, I realized that we needed to find a way to occupy our time.  So I told students to get into one large circle, and we went into campfire-story-telling-mode.  I said the first word of our creepy tale, the next person said the next word, and so on and so forth, until we had one long, rambling, silly story. 

Next, we played "Telephone."  I started the game by whispering "Raining cats and dogs is my favorite idiom."  After the message passed through 36 sets of ears, it came out as "Pink gay bunnies."  Needless to say, that was a dismal fail, so we switched to "Spelling-Bee Ball" (made-up game)  Toward the end of the game, a campus assistant came in and told me that class was dismissed (they had no bells to notify us due to the power outage).  When the next period resumed, the power was still out.  One student walked into class late.  I stated "You're tardy Elise, but I have no proof, so have a seat."  This had the class giggling.  For this period, I told students that they were to create a two-minute funny/spooky skit, using any props they could find in the classroom.  I gave them fifteen minutes to prepare, and then we just sat back in the dark and enjoyed the "shows."  The skits were hilarious; we had everything from sorority girls being stalked by Sponge Bob to helpless victims getting attacked by a giant rat (played by Ms. Frisbee).  I have to admit, I felt a little pang of disappointment when, towards the end of the skits, the lights finally came back on.  The rest of the day was just "business as usual".

On a completely unrelated note, I'm back to working out again.  I started about two weeks ago and was exercising every other day, but these last few days have been the most streneous.  Although life in general has been good, I've had a little bit of "heavy-hearted syndrome" that I've been trying to get over recently.  Exercising lifts my spirits, if only temporarily. 

It is still pouring outside and the lights keep flickering.  Time to hunt down some candles.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Nature Found Our Pond

Look what we found in our pond tonight!  Well actually, it was sitting on the sidewalk right next to the pond.  Clint thought it was one of my little garden statues that the kids moved out of place, and he went to kick it out of his way (real nice honey, thanks), but before his foot even touched it, the alleged garden statue suddenly started hopping away.

We can't figure out where he came from.  The closest body of water is 'Tumbleweed' Lakes, but geez is that a long walk--er hop--for one little bull frog.  Or toad.  Or whatever he is.  But the kids and I were so excited to have a new pet that of course we all had to take pictures with him.

I was thinking about giving him a quick peck to see if he would turn into a prince, but then he peed all over my hand.  So I decided to pass him to Elijah instead.

 Elijah petted him, and then passed him to Trinity.

Trinity held him (probably a little too tight), and then passed him back to me.  I then let him go back into our pond, where he swam happily away.  I hope the cat doesn't eat him.


Goodnight, Prince Charming.

Monday, October 11, 2010

With Halloween Approaching...

Last night we went out to dinner with Clint's parents, and Carey was telling me about a spooky incident that occurred in his hotel room a few weeks ago while he was at a conference.  While listening to his story, I believed everything he said, simply because he is a trustworthy man and not the sort to exaggerate.  Yet somehow, if this is even possible, I simply don't believe in ghosts (as mentioned in a previous post regarding my vibrating mattress).  I don't know where I get this scepticism from; my parents believe in ghosts.  Clint's parents believe in ghosts. Clint himself even believes in ghosts, although he has a different perspective on what ghosts actually are.  In fact, I think everyone around me believes in the paranormal to some degree. 

When I was about eight years old, I fell off my bunk bed during a nightmare, and when I opened my eyes, there was an apparition standing in my doorway, slowly waving its arms up and down as if it were trying to fly.  It was lipping words that I could not hear, but I could understand.  Even then, as a little girl, I wrote the whole incident off as some kind of optical illusion; an extension of the dream I had just been experiencing.  Never once did I actually think it was a ghost.  About ten years ago, I had another incident occur in which I saw "something," and this time, Clint saw it too.  But even when he tells the story to our friends, I write it off as something that must have a more logical explanation. 

Again, I don't know why I have such a conviction to doubt that which I evidently see with my own two eyes, whereas I insist on believing in That which I can never see.  Maybe a lot more rides on ignoring the former and believing the latter.  So much of what you believe is a choice, and I choose not to believe in ghosts.  I just do not see a purpose for putting my faith into that particular belief.  I do see the flaws in this theory, however.  For example, you can "choose" not to believe that fire is hot, but if you touch it, it's still going to burn.  But I feel relatively confident that I will never be scorched by the supernatural, so as of now, I am going to stick with my belief--or lack thereof.

Moses's Attempted Carjacking

I'm feeling all mushy and sentimental right now.  I need to stop listening to pretty music and go to bed, but I'm still waiting to feel tired.  This could take awhile.

This week has been busy!  Monday night we had small group at Matt and Alana's, which was a lot of fun, although our focus for our discussion that evening was pretty heavy and left me feeling a little disturbed.  It was leaning toward the whole "Where you go when you die" issue, and even as a Christian, I just don't enjoy 'going there'.  But we ended the night on a high note by staying for an hour after small group had ended, chatting with Matt and Alana while enjoying some hot tea.  Wednesday night Mike and Angie came over for dinner and a movie.  Clint made enchiladas and we watched "Date Night," which turned out to be pretty cute.  The kids played in Trin's room the entire time, so ironically the whole evening did wind up feeling like a double-date of sorts.  It was very relaxing and fun.

Friday I conquered our new evil gradebook program, turned my first quarter grades in ahead of schedule, and have been enjoying the three day weekend ever since...although we did have a little incident with Moses.  Friday night Clint went to take the dogs for a quick Jeep-ride around the block (long story) while I waited in the yard. When he turned back onto our street about a block from our home, Moses jumped out of the Jeep.  It was pitch black, so the poor dog just sort of disappeared into the dark.  While Clint situated the Jeep into the backyard, the kids and I stood out on the street, yelling for Moses to come.  I finally could see him in the distance, turning the corner and running toward home.  But suddenly a red car passed, and my heart sank a little because I knew that the driver probably wouldn't be able to see our dog.  I started running like a crazy person, hollering for Moses to get out of the street, which really made no sense because the stupid dog doesn't understand a word I'm saying, but it felt right at the moment.  Luckily the driver came screeching to a stop in the nick of time...maybe she saw the crazy person in her rear-view mirror.  When she opened her door to check on Moses, he immediately jumped into her car and into the backseat, where her teenage son was texting and apparently oblivious to the fact that a 140lbs. dog was now drooling on him.  I managed to drag Moses out of her vehicle and about twenty feet down the road, but then he got loose, tore straight for the woman's car, and jumped into her backseat again.  At this point the woman announced that she worked for animal control (no, the irony here doesn't escape me) and pulled out a big leash.  I started to tell her that our dog was licensed and all that stuff, but then I realized she just wanted to help me get him home.  So we clipped the leash on him and managed to drag him back to the house.  When we walked up the driveway (my bare feet now scraped raw from asphalt), Clint casually sauntered out of the backyard.  I'm pretty sure that my hands were on my hips and my voice was full of mock-attitude as I asked him, "Where the hell have you been?"

Finally starting to feel tired-yay!  Apparently giving a play-by-play of my week is enough to bore me into tiredness.  But before I go to bed, here's the culprit:

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

My Virtual Sunflower

I can't really write a post today because I just got home from work and we have company coming over in a couple hours, but I just had to post this picture.  I was having another grim sort of day at work when I received this image through my cell phone.  Sunflowers are my favorite flowers, so opening this image during 5th period just lifted my spirits for the rest of the day.  Especially since I know the painstaking effort the photographer went through to find a real-life sunflower in his particular community.  :)  Based on the quality of the photo, it probably took him some time to take this picture, as well.   

I wonder if every female has a favorite flower?  I'm also curious if a woman's most favored flower says something about her personality.  I bet there's a facebook quiz out there somewhere that claims to solve that riddle.   

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Friday, October 1, 2010

Pie and the Sky

Every morning Clint gets home from his night shift no later than 7:00 a.m., just in time to pass the car to me so I can drive myself to work and begin my day.  We have other vehicles, but the Oldsmobile needs a new battery, and the Volkswagen is having issues running (translation: it's a piece of crap).  So this morning, as I was getting ready for work and the clock was creeping closer to 7:00, I called Clint, feeling concerned that he wasn't yet home.  He informed me that he was still at work (an hour away), forced into overtime.  After a few initial seconds of panicking, I decided that I was going to have to ride my bike to work.  

Riding my bike made me realize how out-of-shape I am...I was breathing so hard by the time I pulled into the parking lot.  I had to store my bike in my classroom, which made my students very curious, but otherwise the whole bike-riding thing was fun.  Until that afternoon when I was ready to leave.  I was busy loading up all of my papers onto my bike, along with the rat carrier, when suddenly the sky took a big ole' gulp of air and started spitting all over me and my plans.  It started pouring sheets of rain.  We haven't had rain in the desert in like eight or nine months.  The very first time I ride my bike to work, it rains?  Really?

Clint called soon after to let me know that if I just hung tight for twenty minutes, he would come get me.  So Cole and I kept ourselves entertained by playing with the two Mrs. Rats and running out in the rain.  Eventually Clint texted me to let me know he was waiting out in the parking lot.  I rode my bike through the campus out to our car, with papers and rats in tow, when problem #2 (or is this #3 now?) reared its ugly head.  My bike wouldn't fit in the car.  Clint immediately decided to be the ultimate gentlemen and insisted on riding my bike the thunder and pouring rain.  But the thing is, my bike, well, it's bright purple.  With giant hibiscus flowers all over it.  And sparkly purple and pink streamers hanging from the handlebars.  Just typing about it is impossible for me to do without giggling.  The imagery just kills me--this 230 lbs. absolutely drenched man lumbering over a shiny, purple, girly bike with sparkly streamers flying out behind him.  I tried to get a picture of this scene on my cell phone as he pulled up into the driveway, but he jumped off of that bike so quickly it might as well have been a volcano getting ready to erupt.

The only other note-worthy thing that happened today was I went to our school's annual "Rock n' Lock n'", where students get family and friends to sponsor them to sit in a chair and rock for four hours--although most students bring lawn chairs and wind up just sitting.  At the Lock n', I let a student throw a pie in my face.  It wasn't a surprise thing; I had volunteered for this event a couple weeks ago.  I'm not one to normally allow food to be smashed in my face, but it was for a good cause.  The student who clobbered me with the pie had really good aim and absolutely creamed me (no pun intended).  A campus assistant (Cole's mom) helped me clean up afterwards, but my face still feels a tiny bit sticky.  I'm secretly hoping that whipped cream has some sort of skin-clearing or anti-aging properties that no one has yet discovered.

After my collision with pastries, I went to my sister-in-law's house to see my brand new niece.  She is really cute.  Holding her reminded me of holding Trinity when she was a baby, which brought on a few waves of nostalgia.  I guess it was a little awkward for Trin when we got home and I was patting her head and telling her how much I love her, but she'll get over it soon.