Tuesday, February 26, 2008

From 60 to zero in 1 weekend

I hit a brick wall this weekend. It was a bad weekend to crash, full of homework and work obligations. I started feeling sick on Friday and by Saturday was running 102 degree fever. After working on Saturday I slept, and slept, and slept. I got up Sunday to attempt my work obligations but could barely swallow and was sent home after and hour or so. After starting on antibiotics, I've slept and slept. Guess I needed some rest! I already had a vacation day planned for Monday to catch up on homework that I wouldn't finish since I was working all weekend. I slept most of Monday too! I had to go to Cole's parent-teacher conference. It's hard to be present and make relatively normal conversation when you are sick and foggy-headed.

Today, I feel better. No more fever, just a chesty cough and runny nose. I went to school and will have to work double-time to catch up on homework. No more rest for me!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Different worlds

I'm interning at a Pre-K this semester. The children all are either from low income families or have special needs. Most of these kid's stories break my heart. Most of them come from good homes, just homes without a lot of resources. Some come from homes, where sadly they aren't a priority. The school actually takes parents to court to make them take their kids to school. It's hard as a mother for me to look at these kids with their sparklingly personalities and dirty clothes and not want to take them all home with me.

Even though I'm a single-parent, I've had the benefits of an education and family and support system to help me through lean times. One of the differences between my world and theirs came out today.

I was playing on the playground today with some of the kids and one of the kids said, "Let's pretend there are cops coming!" "Quick, hide your stuff!" "RUN!" "RUN!" I looked up in shock and started to laugh. One of the boys turned to me and said, "Mees QUITE! or the cops will hear you!" It was funny but heartbreakingly sad at the same time. Cole plays games where cops are the good guys and these kids already see them as the enemy.

I grabbed a football and we quickly changed games. I see a lesson plan on "heros" in our community in the very near future.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Some people!

Today was a beautiful day. We headed out to run some errands before I came home to work on homework. At the last store, we parked and were walking through the parking lot. My mom was walking in front of us and I was behind her with Cole on my back. A car started to whip into the parking spot we were walking in, my mom stepped back bumping into the truck next to her. The lady driving the car sees us and still keeps pulling into the space, now causing us to squeeze flat against the truck. My mom shoots the lady a look as we try to scoot by without getting run over. The woman has the audacity to roll down her window and shout, "IS THERE A PROBLEM?" I turned my head and said, "Yes, you almost just ran us over." She shouted "BITCH!" I couldn't believe it. Here we almost just got hit and now she is yelling obscenities at us, in front of a child. Because of who I am and because of Cole, we just walked into the store. We couldn't believe that on top of everything else, she would talk that way in front of a child.

I have certainly not seen someone while driving a time or two and when I've noticed my error, I have given the "I'm so sorry" wave. I've definitely never been so rushed that I would continue on my way irregardless of people and be angry at them to boot.

On the way back to our car, her car was still in the same place. I wrote her a note to put on her windshield that said "Nice language in front of a five-year-old. Classy!" It was the nicest thing I could think of saying to this rude, thoughtless and impatient woman.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Children are sponges

Children are amazing creatures. They soak up everything around them. Even when they seem oblivious to the world and the people around them, they are watching and learning....especially the language they hear. They pick up new words, bad words, silly phrases and expressions that they usually don't get quite right.

The school system has "helped" Cole unleash a torrent of funny words and phrases. This week, Cole's new word is "nuts"....as in testicles. Since he was an infant Cole has always peed in the tub as soon as he gets in (gross I know). Last night he looked down as he was peeing and said, "You know, I think my nuts are allergic to water! When the water hits them, it makes my pee come out." The thought process alone was funny. I asked him where he heard that word he said, "Xavier". He also said, Xavier taught him "Wedgie". Isn't our social education priceless?

Friday, February 08, 2008

And the reality sets in...

Both Tuesday and Thursday I was on campus for around 13 hours. I'm already stressed out and tired. Thursday night we had mandatory student teacher round-up. We learned everything we needed to know about student teaching, the application process, and our state board exams. It was great information, but I felt even more anxious after the meeting. I have so many decisions and deadlines to meet!

The way that student teaching works is that you get to select your top two areas that you want your name sent to. There is no priority for grades, etc. There are around 500 student teachers EVERY semester, it is truly a lottery. You do not have to choose the district that you want to teach in, but it's always helpful. I was 100% certain of the district I wanted to teach in, so I was going to make this my priority one selection. The only problem is that there are "areas" not districts and the areas may or may not include more than 1 district. The district that I want is included with a district that I REALLY don't want. I could roll the dice and hope that I get the district I want, but there are no guarantees. I'm not a gambler, plus things rarely go my way. So now I have a big decision to make, one that could help or hinder my future...no pressure really. I've knocked around my choices with some friends and feel a little better. I have by next Friday to submit my application, so I better decide fast. Once you are selected you have to accept your district and grade level assigned (we have no choice) or start the entire process over next semester.

I'm becoming more nervous about not having a paycheck for the first time since I was 16, finding a teaching job mid-year. I'm both scared and nervous about quitting my job. I've been there almost 9 years. I've gotten married, had a kid, been divorced and had many highs and lows...it's my security blanket. I'm ready to detach myself but equally afraid of what's to come. I'm a planner, I hate the unknown. I really feel like I'm taking such a huge step. Keep your fingers crossed.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Punxsutawney Phil

Cole's class has been learning about "Groundhog Day". He has been very excited (not as excited as seeing Jupiter and Venus in the morning sky, but close). Saturday morning he couldn't wait to see if the groundhog saw his shadow. When he learned that he had, he sighed and said, "Man, six more weeks of winter!" Someone, forgot to tell ol' Punxsutawney Phil about central Texas though, because it was warm this weekend. So warm that Cole wore shorts and the AC is on tonight.

We had a good weekend in spite of the warm temps. We shopped for my mom's birthday, made her a cake, and spent time just hanging out. I have done a lot of homework, but I've mostly worked in the evenings after Cole has gone to bed. I have a lot of stuff due, but I'm taking one assignment at a time and completing projects early, so I don't get too overwhelmed.

Tonight after Cole's bedtime story we worked on his karate "creed" that he has to memorize. It's pretty long. Part I states, "I must develop myself in a positive manner and avoid anything that would reduce my mental growth or my physical health." Or as Cole says it, "I must develop myself in a positive manner and avoid anything that would reduce my mental growf or my physical healf."

Friday, February 01, 2008

Child labor laws

Cole loves to "help" when I clean the house. With his help it only takes me twice as long :-) He actually does a pretty good job. Tonight he helped me empty all the trash. He cleaned both bath tubs, sinks, and scrubbed the toliets. He looks very cute scrubbing with his oversized rubber gloves and his face wrinkled in concentration. I'm pretty sure that he has already cleaned more toliets than my 30 year-old brother! Cole even did some of the vacuuming tonight. Boy, I wish I still thought cleaning was fun.

By the way I found our missing SS cards tonight! I dropped my cell phone between my car seats and reached my fingers down to grab it and came up with our cards! I knew they would turn up when I didn't need them. It always kills me that you can look somewhere a million times and not find something and then the next time it suddendly appears. Arrrghh! At least I have Cole's again and this time I will put them in a very safe place.