Sunday, September 30, 2012

In September

In September, I said goodbye to summer and hello to fall. I made a new season to-do list and started working on it right away. I went to an Ansel Adams exhibit with Everyday Mom and tried on lots of hats. I picked apples, and ate apples, and made applesauce. I watched a lot of Breaking Bad. I relived all my summer adventures. I honed my hermitness and tried to adjust to good friends moving away. I went back to school/work and laughed at all of the funny things kids say.

My goals for the month were:

1. Eat an apple a day for the month of September.
I ate soooo many apples. I didn't eat one per day but I definitely ingested 30 apples over the course of the month.

2. Don't spend ANY money beyond necessities (rent, gas, groceries, bills).
I did really well on this goal. Aside from the necessities, I spent less than $25.00! 

3. Fully catch up on blogging.
I have actually written ALL my summer recap posts and they are scheduled to be posted within the week! Stay tuned for lots of adventures.

4. Read a real book.
I started a few books and read a couple kids books, but I did finish the young adult novel Looking For Alaska by John Green. I loved it and have since requested the rest of his books from the library.

I've decided that September isn't my favorite month. It is a big adjustment to go back to school, it doesn't quite feel like fall, and people are super busy. Here's hoping for a more exciting October. 


Saturday, September 29, 2012

Local Field Trip: Boston

On our second day in Boston, we started out in Cambridge at Harvard University. They wouldn't let us in because we weren't smart enough or something.

We wandered Harvard Square and scouted out an ice cream shop for breakfast ice cream at 11 am. (Let's not pretend that any time of day isn't the best time of day for ice cream.)

Coffee oreo...nom.

After ice cream for breakfast, we rode the T. 

We headed to Fenway to walk around the park and take some pictures. It was HOT!

After trekking through the beastly heat, we headed to the Public Garden to ride some swan boats.

While we waited in line, we passed the time by taking horrible self portraits.

Exhibit A.
Exhibit B.

After the swans, we took some senior pictures and visited the ducklings from Make Way for Ducklings fame.


Before saying goodbye to K & M, we high tailed it to the Boston Tea Party. M brought tea and headdresses all the way from Michigan to Boston just to reenact the Boston Tea Party. We couldn't let her down!

We got lots of strange looks!

M and I raced across the city to make our scheduled, sunset duck tour. We boarded the Fenway Fanny and toured Boston by land and by sea.

Because it was our last night in Boston, we visited the waterfront and dined like fancy ladies.

Chowder and shrimp and crab cakes and bon bons!

Read about A&M's other adventures here:

Saturday To-Do's Done

Today was the perfect balance of productivity and lazy. I did important things like pay my bills and mail my rent.

I registered to vote! (Deadline is Oct. 17th in Massachusetts. Not registered? Get on that!)

I shopped for groceries, picked up a museum pass for the PEM tomorrow, did the dishes, created more dishes by cooking dinner (vegetables included), picked up some ice cream at Kimballs (thanks Mary!), cleaned my apartment a bit, organized some craft stuff, and....

....set up my printer!

When I bought my Mac in January, I got a free printer/rebate deal thing. I waited until the last possible week to mail in my rebate form and now, almost 10 months later, I finally took the printer out of the box. I even went so far as to figure out how to download a software update. Currently, I can only print through the USB. Someone teach me how to get the wireless to work!

After I did all of those productive things I watched a few episodes of Breaking Bad, read for a bit, and am now playing blog catch up (I forgot my September goal was to completely catch up on all my summer adventures!) while watching some classic Buffy the Vampire Slayer.


Local Field Trip: Freedom Trail

Back in 2010, the England crew was reunited in Seattle for M & J's wedding. It had been six years since we had all seen one another. In 2011, the crew reunited again in Chicago for R & S's wedding. This summer, none of us were getting married. Well R & S were getting married again in Romania. And M & J were growing/having a baby. So the three single ladies decided to peruse the East Coast. As it turned out, only 2 of us made it to Boston. But a wonderful time was had regardless. 

On our first day in Boston, we hit up the Freedom Trail and walked until it got dark. We dipped our toes into Frog Pond (where we later learned was the location they used to dunk the witches).

And we were off. There is literally a starting line to follow the red brick road/red painted line.

K was looking for things to mount and quickly found this donkey, which by the looks of it had been ridden many a time.

We ate cupcakes at the SWEET which were delicious. Lemon for me. Boston Cream Pie for the Midwesterners.

We stopped at the Old State House to admire the gold unicorn on the top and reenact the Boston Massacre. Luckily, we all survived.

As the sun was setting, we walked around Quincy Market, took in a street show, and tried to figure out what to do for dinner.

We voted on an Irish pub that served seafood. We enjoyed fish and chips, chowdah...

and K was feeling brave and had lobster. M was so creeped out by the 'ocean spider' that she had to cover it's head with a napkin in order to enjoy her dinner.

At dusk we finally made it to Paul Revere and the North Church.

We did some dancing...

Then headed to a street festival in the North End. 

It was the festival of Sant' Agrippina who is the patron saint against thunderstorms, evil spirits, and leprosy. 

I felt like I was back in Italy because almost everyone was speaking Italian. Welcome to the North End!

Read about A&M's other adventures here:


Thursday, September 27, 2012

What I Taught Your Child Today

Today I taught your child what the word drought means.

I taught them about the Dust Bowl of the 1930's and through the miracle of technology was able to show them a video slideshow of photographs from 1935.

I taught them where Nebraska, Illinois, Kansas, Texas, and Colorado are in relation to Massachusetts.

I taught them that a lot of corn is grown in the midwest.

I taught your child that when there is a drought, crops can't grow. And when crops can't grow, animals don't have enough to eat. And when crops don't grow and animals don't have enough to eat, people don't have enough meat or vegetables to eat.

I taught your child that when there isn't a lot of food being produced, food gets very expensive. And while, hopefully they have never gone to bed hungry at night, many people can't afford to eat because food is too expensive.

I taught your child that some people cannot afford to eat because the economy is bad.

I taught your child that the people who run our country are trying to fix the economy but everyone has different ideas on how to accomplish that feat.

I taught your child that because different people have different ideas about how to fix the economy, it is important for people to vote for the person that they most agree with.

Oh...and I taught your child what a time lapse video is because we watched an awesome video of the Haboob in Phenoix, AZ.

I taught your child all of this in 20 minutes.

I also taught them about number patterns and rounding and personal responsibility and writing strong leads and decoding and fluency and how to take the DAZE.

I hope you taught them something too.


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Happy Birthday Johnny Appleseed!

Have you ever watched a kid eat an apple for an entire hour? That's what I spent my morning doing.

Today Johnny Appleseed celebrated his 238th birthday! For whatever reason, this is a holiday at my school. The principal/superintendent dresses up as Johnny Appleseed (complete with a metal pot on his head), reads a book about Johnny Appleseed, and hands out apples to every kid in school.

The kids were so jazzed about who had the biggest apple or the shiniest apple. A select few then proceeded to take an hour to eat their apples. They licked it and nibbled it until their arms, hands, and table tops were sticky with apple juice. Fun times in third grade.

Conveniently, our leveled reader that accompanied Mulan was about Johnny Appleseed. So the kidlets got to hear two Johnny Appleseed stories today.

And because today was a holiday of apples...I totally dressed the part!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Toothpaste Teamwork

Today we did our first "science" experiment. The purpose was merely to just do something that required teamwork and problem solving without the kidlets getting totally out of control. Their job was simple. First, take turns squeezing every single bit of toothpaste out of the toothpaste tube.

When you think you have all the toothpaste out, roll up the tube and squeeze out some more. At this point our classroom was smelling minty fresh!

Then came the tricky part. Using only one toothpick for the entire group, they had to get all of the toothpaste back INTO the tube.

It got very messy, very quickly. There was toothpaste residue on the tables and the sink and the soap and the kids. At this point, the smell in the room had gone from minty fresh to nauseating. I had to put the trash out in the hallway because of the smell!

The point of the experiment was to provide a concrete example of what happens when you say mean things to others. Once you put something out there, you can never really take it back. 

#Life lesson of the day.
#Then a kid asked me what hoeing was.


Sunday, September 23, 2012

PLC does not stand for Personal Liability Claim*

This year, I'm taking a graduate course offered by my school but not for graduate credit. Yes. I'm wondering about that too.

While the next class isn't until the first week of October, two assignments are due tomorrow. RUDE! So of course I waited until the last minute to do stuff. And the school email server is down which means that I'll be working on this REALLY last minute tomorrow. Oops!

I'm spending time at my favorite place for studying: Barnes and Noble with my first latte of the season. I know buying a latte in September violates my goals but I had a gift card that covered half of it and I paid for the rest in it doesn't really count.

The class is Professional Learning Communities and the first chapter of the book talks about how students do their best learning by doing...hence the title. But I'm learning by reading instead. 

P.S. The class is being taught by the wife of my former high school band teacher. Small world. 

P.P.S. I almost wrote high school teacher instead of high school band teacher because I was unsure about sharing my band geek status with the internet world. But then I thought, I'm a grown up now, I should be proud of my musical prowess geekiness.


Friday, September 21, 2012

Goodbye Summer*

As tomorrow is the first day of fall (or autumn if you're feeling fancy), summer 2012 has officially come to an end.

I cannot believe how quickly the time passed. It seems like we were just waving goodbye to the kids on the last day of school, and here we are a month into the new school year.

This was a great summer. I tutored a bit, traveled a bit, and basically bankrupted myself while having a good time. I did pretty well on the list but still didn't manage to go camping/make a fire/eat s'mores. WHY WON'T ANYONE GO CAMPING WITH ME?

Stay tuned for a Fall 2012 list! 

*The season not the bestie.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

What I Did at Work Today

Tonight is open house at school. So naturally, we ran around like crazy people today forcing kids to finish projects and hang stuff up and cursed the laminator for breaking.

As the minutes ticked by I was left with one final task: using a GIANT stapler to staple together our first class book.

First, I stapled the book to the stapler. Yes. You read that correctly. Then I had to fashion some scissors into pliers to pull the industrial sized staples out of the stapler of death.

I fixed the stapler and stapled the book all without making my accident prone self bleed. This was by far my greatest success of the day.

I mean I did other things teach kids stuff and read Mulan to an 8 year old and took a kid with mosquito bites to the nurse and yelled at kids for running and made kids correct math homework. But really, defeating the stapler of death took first place.

What did you do at work today?


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Conversations with Children: Part 2

Scene: Student K is reading about Colonial America during my RTI group.

Student K: Miss C, how did they have babies if there were no hospitals?
Me: They had their babies at home.
Student K: Miss C, did you know that some people have babies in water?
Me: Yes.
Student A: Why would people have babies in water?
Me: blink blink
Student A: Is it because they are water spirits?
Me: Yes.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Conversations With Children


Student A: Miss C! Why don't you have a diamond ring like Mrs. T?
Me: Because I'm not married.
Student A: When you get one make sure you show me.

A few hours later...

Student E: Miss C! Are you married?
Me: No.
Student E: Are you still a teenager?
Me: No.
Student E: Then why aren't you married?*


Then I came home and discovered this website: My Friends Are Married which made me feel somewhat better about my single status.

But then I was reading blogs and someone posted that their doctor told them that fertility rapidly declines after age 30. Well shit. Better pull my life together quickly.

AND THEN...I read Thought Catalog's 32 Things You Should Stop Caring About and #13 assures me I can stop caring about "whether people you know are getting married, having children, or making big life changes when it hasn't happened to you yet." So there's that.

* You just have to love the honesty of children.


Sunday, September 16, 2012

Local Field Trip: Apple Picking

This has been a busy birthday week! On the 13th Baby E joined the world. On the 14th Baby M turned into Toddler M and yesterday O-town and Everyday Brother turned old! For O-town's birthday (part 1) we met up at a local apple orchard to pick all the apples...pounds and pounds of apples.

Of course the best part of apple picking is sampling the merchandise. By the time we left, I had eaten probably 2.5 apples, a pint of cider, and 2 cider donuts and I thought I was going to throw up.

The orchard was only picking Macintosh and Cortland apples and we had a hard time telling which was which because they are both red and green and round. After consulting some signage, we determined that Cortlands were for lovers because they grew up hugging.

O-town spent most of the time picking at flower pods for seeds to plant while simultaneously picking entire apple trees.

I was telling D about a YouTube video where a guy breaks an apple in half with his bare hands and before I could finish my explanation D had already cracked his apple in half like a boss.

I was sad to learn that they were only picking Macintosh and Cortland apples because gala apples are my favorite. I saw a sign pointing me to the roped off direction of my favorite apples and I had to make it happen. I quickly ducked under a rope and scored myself a giant gala apple. Trespassing FTW!

We saw lots of pumpkins and gourds. There were GIANT pumpkins and small pumpkins...

There were crazy pumpkins with candy corn-like exteriors and nubs that looked like ginger root.

After checking out the mutant pumpkins, we hit up the farm stand for some cider and cinnamon and sugar tossed cider donuts. Nom!

We enjoyed our treats to the sounds of a three-man jazz band...a trio I suppose would be the correct term. The sousaphone oomph pa pa'd while the other two seemed to play their own tunes. I kept thinking I recognized songs, but only a select few bars sounded familiar.

 Fun times were had by all. I'm so exited for more fall adventures!

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