Friday, November 30, 2012

In November

At the beginning of November I wrote:

Please be better than October.
Please be sunnier.
Please be filled with more friends and family.
Please be full of adventures.
Please be full of happy days.
Please be all of these things...and I will be thankful.

And it turns out that November was all of these things. The swampiness and dreariness of October cleared and November turned out to be a gorgeous fall at times, cold at others, but sunny and beautiful. 

I had lots of friend dates this month. I made mini books with N and started quilts with S. I celebrated a belated Halloween with D, O, K, L, and lots of others. I spent Thanksgiving in Maine with Everyday Mom and Dad. 

And got to FaceTime with Everyday Brother.

In November, I took adventures to Maine, Western Mass, and Boston. I wandered Fanueil Hall for Tuba Christmas and saw men balancing on ladders with machetes. 

I had some happy days and some less happy days but overall it was a good month. Be prepared for lots of holiday cheer soon! 

Goodbye November.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Conversations with Children: Cologne Edition

Miss C: You smell like cologne today.

Student A: I know. My brother sprayed it on me and I didn't have time to take a bath.


Monday, November 26, 2012

It Was a Rough Day in the 3rd Grade Neighborhood

Student E's father's apartment burned down over the weekend. Everyone is safe but now mom and dad (divorced) are living in a one bedroom apartment with their daughter until he can find another living situation.

Student A's (divorced and flighty) mother is in town for his birthday and he was so upset that she would be leaving that he was unable to do any work at all today.

Student M refused to come to school because he had a pimple. Mom wrestled him to the bus stop but when the bus arrived he bolted and ran back home. She drove him to school and told him if he didn't get out of the car she would have the principal come get him.

A second Student A cried for an hour while working on a math practice test.

The first day back from vacation is always rough for everyone. Teachers are tired and perhaps a bit unprepared. Students are out of their routines and have forgotten what the expectations of being in school are. Plus it is a full five day week...our first since BEFORE Halloween.

Four weeks until winter break.
Four weeks until winter break.
Four weeks until winter break.

Friday, November 16, 2012

I'm a Nerd

I'm assuming that all schools in the United States teach about The Pilgrims and the Mayflower. But in Massachusetts we get REALLY excited about it. Case in point:

Every time we teach this I learn something new. Today I learned that there are only two first-hand accounts from the Mayflower. Everything else that has been written was based off of other ship voyages taken around the same time, and stories that people have told!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Time Flies

I can't believe it's the middle of November already!

It seems like we JUST went back to school. The fact that my class is crazy and has taken 50 school days to calm down hasn't helped matters.

And my gorgeous, sunny, brisk October was replaced by a warm and swampy month. We had a hurricane two days before Halloween followed up by the first snowstorm a week later. Pull your shit together Mother Nature!

But my real concern is that Christmas is being forced down my throat whether I want it or not. Target was decorated for Christmas BEFORE Halloween. That is UNACCEPTABLE! Why do we have to rush things? Can't we celebrate Christmas at Christmastime?

November has been surprisingly lovely weather-wise. I've done some crafting and visiting with friends and have tried to avoid anything Christmas. Now don't get me wrong, I can't wait to cut snowflakes and put up a tree and drink hot cocoa and decorate and watch Elf over and over again. BUT...this cannot begin until AFTER Thanksgiving. After the turkey is eaten and pie is consumed, give me a Christmas only radio station and a cookie baking party.

So for the next week, I will drag my heels and scrooge it up because IT IS NOT CHRISTMAS TIME YET!

Because Thanksgiving is so early this year, I'm mildly afraid I'll use all up of my holiday spirit before we even get to Christmas! So be prepared to sing fa-la-la's with me.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A Typical Day in 3rd Grade

Today I was indirectly proposed to by an 8 year old, publicly shamed for not being married, and called Mama

During reading, we read The Keeping Quilt by Patricia Polacco; a story that follows a quilt through multiple generations. In the book, the quilt is used as a huppa at a wedding. The bride receives a gold coin, a flower, and salt from her fiance. I asked my group what most men give women when they want to marry them. Student A replied, "a diamond ring" then dropped down to one knee and said, "will you marry me?"

Then (a different) Student A raised her hand to ask if I was married.

And then...(a third) Student A* yelled across the room, "NO SHE ISN'T BECAUSE HER NAME IS MISS C NOT MRS. C!"

Later in the day, the second Student A walks towards me with her paper and calls me Mama. She immediately flushed and was so embarrassed that she walked away. This isn't the first time it has happened and it certainly won't be the last time.

And finally, some of my favorite student work samples from our nutrition homework.

Future vegetarian.

Future heart attack victim.

* In my class of 20 students there are six students with "A" names...obviously because it is the best first initial.


What books have you read recently that you loved?
What books have you read recently that made you think?
What books have you read recently that changed your perspective about something?

I am in need of book recommendations.

I like to read lots of different types of books...except classics. I've gone through phases of reading chick-lit, non fiction, and young adult books...and I enjoyed them all for different reasons.

So what are you reading?


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Conversations with Children: Part 19

Scene: End of the day...trying to shuffle all of the kids out of the room to the busses.

Librarian: (to me) Amy, Student A is still here.

Me: Student A! Let's go.

Student A: Your name is Amy?

Me: Yes.

Student A: I thought your name was Miss C?

Me: That is my teacher name. Kids call me Miss C. Grownups call me Amy.

Student A: But I don't want to call you Amy. I want to call you Miss C.

Me: Well it's a good thing you are only 8 then. Now go get on the bus.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

What Would You Do?

What would you do if you found a significant amount of money on the floor at the mall?

I was walking up the stairs at the mall when I saw some money at the top of the landing. I reached down to pick it up intending to hand it to the person that dropped it...but when I stood up there was no one there. No one in a 10 foot radius. I didn't know what to do. Then I glanced at the bills in my hand...and they were not ones. In fact, I had just picked up $45.00. Then I REALLY didn't know what to do. These are my thoughts:

  • Do people turn in money at the mall?
  • If I turn it in to the mall office will they just keep it?
  • Should I just keep it?
  • Is it lost money or found money?
  • If I turn it in and no one claims it, do I get it back?
  • Am I on some hidden camera show?
  • I could totally use $45.00. 
  • It would pay for groceries or gas. 
  • I could splurge on those new sheets or new plates I've been coveting. 
  • I don't NEED new sheets or plates but it would be nice to have matching sets.
  • I could use it to buy fabric for a quilt I want to make.
  • I could buy $45.00 of lottery tickets. 
  • Maybe I'll make some money.
  • A friend's mom found $5.00 once and bought a lottery ticket and won $500.
  • I could use it to cook an awesome birthday dinner for my mom.
  • I have an iPhone now...let's ask the people of Facebook what they would do.
  • Could I use $45.00 to start my own company?
  • I should donate it to charity.
  • I'll put it in the Salvation Army bucket outside the mall.
  • Why is Salvation Army ALREADY outside the mall?
  • I don't know if I agree with Salvation Army.
  • I could send it to Hurricane Sandy victims.
  • I should use it to buy snacks for the boy in my class who cannot afford them.
  • I think WAY too much. Normal people would just keep it, spend it, or turn it in.
  • I have to blog about this.
So...what would you do?


Friday, November 9, 2012


I promise I'll stop being all political after this but I just have to say that I'm thankful that I live in a country where I can vote for a leader that I believe in. I'm proud and glad and relieved that we elected a president who understands that the world is ever changing and that we must change with it. I know that there are problems in our country...huge problems.

I understand first hand how difficult it is to find a job in the current economy. But I also understand that paying a higher tax rate than people who make my entire yearly salary in one day makes no sense. I believe that we need to invest in education because our kids are truly the future of our country. I believe that global warming is a global issue that needs to be seriously addressed. I believe that I should be able to decide what to do with my own body.

In the days since the election, so many words have been said. But I think Rachel Maddow nailed it:

"Ohio really did go to President Obama last night. And he really did win. And he really was born in Hawaii. And he really is legitimately President of the United States. Again. And the Bureau of Labor Statistics did not make up a fake unemployment rate last month. And the Congressional Research Service really can find no evidence that cutting taxes on rich people grows the economy. And the polls were not skewed to oversample Democrats. And Nate Silver was not making up fake projections about the election to make conservatives feel bad. Nate Silver was doing math. And climate change is real. And rape really does cause pregnancy sometimes. And evolution is a thing! And Benghazi was an attack ON us, it was not a scandal BY us. And nobody is taking away anyone's guns. And taxes have not gone up. And the deficit is dropping, actually. And Saddam Hussein did not have weapons of mass destruction. And the moon landing was real. And FEMA is not building concentration camps. And UN election observers are not taking over Texas. And moderate reforms of the regulations on the insurance industry and the financial services industry in this country are not the same thing as Communism.

Listen. Last night was a good night for liberals and for Democrats for very obvious reasons. But it was also, possibly, a good night for this country as a whole. Because in this country we have a two party system, in government. And the idea is supposed to be that the two sides both come up with ways to confront and fix the real problems facing our country. They both propose possible solutions to our real problems. And we debate between those possible solutions. And by the process of debate, we pick the best idea. That competition between good ideas, from both sides, about real problems in the real country should result in our country having better choices, better options, than if only one side is really working on the hard stuff. And if the Republican party, and the conservative movement, and the conservative media is stuck in a vacuum sealed, door locked, spin cycle of telling each other what makes them feel good, and denying the factual, lived truth of the world, then we are all deprived, as a nation, of the constructive debate between competing, feasible ideas about real problems.

Last night the Republicans got shellacked. And they had no idea it was coming. And we saw them, in real time, in real humiliating time, not believe it even as it was happening to them. And unless they're going to secede, they're going to have to pop the factual bubble they have been so happy living inside, if they do not want to get shellacked again. And that will be a painful process for them, I'm sure, but it will be good for the whole country - left, right, and center. You guys, we're counting on you. Wake up."

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

What 8 Year Olds Have to Say About the Election

As heard in my third grade classroom today:

"He only won because he is a witch with a 'B'."

"My brother calls Romney 'Mittens'."

"That's who my mom voted for."

"Obama is the president again."
"No he's not."
"Yes he is, my mom told me."

"I don't like him."

"Everybody voted and he won fair and square."

"More people picked him."

"If you have a sister in high school she will have a miserable time trying to find a job."

"Wasn't Obama born in Kenya?"

"Maybe Mitt Romney will run for president again."

"He lied."
"They all lied."

The moral of the story:
Your children learn from you. Teach tolerance, not hate.

Monday, November 5, 2012

It's Here!!

A few weeks ago I was so excited about getting my iPhone...but then I didn't. A certain phone company that rhymes with horizon told me I had to wait until November 9th...then they said November 16th...then they said AFTER THE HOLIDAYS! So I ordered it from the Apple website and picked it up this weekend.

I don't have a case yet so I've been carrying it around in a fluffy, pink and yellow sock. I've learned how to FaceTime and I've spent a bajillion hours playing Words With Friends over the last three days. Also Instagram is my favorite. Be my friend: CallmeAmy4.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Hello November

Please be better than October.
Please be sunnier.
Please be filled with more friends and family.
Please be full of adventures.
Please be full of happy days.

Please be all of these things...and I will be thankful.

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