Sunday, February 24, 2008

Time to Give-up

As I have mentioned before, I teach science to seventh graders at a large middle school in Indiana. Most days, I enjoy teaching, and I like teaching the seventh grade child. Although fraught with hormonal issues, the seventh grade child has many endearing moments. On the other hand, the middle school child can be so volatile. Because of the hormones and the volatility, children in the seventh grade tend to fight with each other both verbally and physically. In the past, when my students fight, I would move heaven and earth to stop the fight. A number of times, I have been successful at stopping impending fights and intervening in ongoing altercations.

About two weeks ago, two of my students had some disagreement in the hallway. When I see a fight, my first instinct is to separate the participants. I moved toward the fighting boys and tried to pull one boy away from the other. Additionally, a larger boy moved to separate the two fighters. Somehow, during the conflagration, I was knocked to the floor hitting the back of my head. The fight ended shortly, and some kind students helped me off the floor. I walked one of the boys to the office, and the vice-principal escorted the other boy.

I was not seriously injured from my fall to the floor. Neither boy meant to hurt me. In fact, one of the boys apologized for my fall. However, after reviewing this episode, I am considering changing my response to these explosive situations. Additionally, the security guard and the principal have urged me to refrain from becoming physically involved in the children's squabbles. This may be difficult for me as I instinctively try to prevent violence. However, I may not be the powerful peace advocate that I imagine. Instead, I may be closer to the frail aging woman as seen by my male principal and the male security guard.

Maybe it is time to give-up intervening in the fist-a-cuffs. Of course, I am NOT going to let the children duke-it-out. But, I have been convinced to use a more practical and probably more effective method of stopping fights. That method is to send for help.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Gifts from Afar

I received a prize in the mail yesterday, and the prize came all the way from Australia. Maybe I should call this a gift instead of a prize because according to the sender I did NOT actually win. The provider of my gifts is none other than the famous Willowtree, keeper of the A Dingo's Got My Barbie. Visitors to his blog are regaled with adventurous multi-part stories, delighted with pictures and videos of his pets, and entertained by his snarky wit. Additonally, WT offers technical advice to his readers. He tells about feeds, picture tricks, and other essential blogging details. If you are not familiar with A Dingo's Got My Barbie, stop by for a visit. Be sure to read the comments as that is definitely part of the fun.

By the way, my gifts consist of a very large Australian flag and two keychains depicting money of Australia. Thank you...WT.

Maybe these gifts along with Willowtree's instructive hints will help me improve my Sunday score on Willowtree's Trivia contest, which is just another feature of his awesome blog.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Birthday Luke

Today, our son Luke is thirty-four years old. You might remember that Luke is a parent himself to one of our two beautiful granddaughters. His lovely daughter, Kara, will be two months old this Sunday. When Kara was born, I wrote a guest post about Luke's birth for Parental Discretion Advised, a Parent's Magazine professional blog written by Luke's wife and Kara's mom, Bree. When I wrote my entry, I thought that the post was to be no longer than 200 words. However, my story was 619 words. Trying to stay in the lines while coloring. I pared this story down to 200 words. The following is the rest of the story minus the Parental Discretion Advised as I signed some e-document stating that my story would not be published elsewhere. The picture is from Luke's birth announcement.

Welcome to the World Baby Luke
Luke was not actually due to arrive until the first week of March, but on morning of February 14th on Valentine’s Day our second child decided to begin his grand entrance to the world. There were no clues or indicators that our second son was to arrive especially early. There was no early water breaking. There were no early contractions. Nor, did the doctor mention that little Luke would be arriving early.

The day before his birth, I felt a little tired and perhaps a little nauseous. I did feel well enough to pull his older brother around the neighborhood on a red, white, and blue sled. As I watched from a window his brother and dad make a snowman in the twilight, waves of nausea swept over my being. The night before Luke’s birth was uneventful so my husband, Miles went to work to his job as a high school chemistry teacher. Around eight o’clock in the morning, I began to feel ill again and then felt definite contractions. I called the high school. The principal’s secretary went personally to my husband’s classroom to tell him that the baby was coming and that he needed to leave right NOW. After taking our three year old son to a friend’s house, we were on our way to the hospital.

One of the delivery room nurses asked if we had chosen a name. She suggested if we did not have a name for our son born on Valentine’s Day that we could call him Valentino. When my husband Miles first saw our Valentine baby, he had a heart sticker on his forehead that apparently had been placed there by the nurses. We decided to forego the suggestion to name him Valentino; instead, we named our brand new son, Luke Byron. Luke was just a name that we liked. We choose his middle name after my father, Byron.

Although Luke was born three weeks early, he was a full-sized baby weighing 7 pounds and 6 ounces and was 21 inches long. Furthermore, his early arrival did not seem to slow down our Luke Byron. Today, he is almost six foot five and will be thirty-four this coming Valentine’s Day. Furthermore, he is a father himself to a brand new baby girl.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Fun Monday - Singing My Song

Our hostess for this week's Fun Monday is the Crown Princess of Ooh a Shiny Pen. The royal hostess is asking "to hear the ONE song that is you. The song that whenever it is heard, you smile. I am not looking for the soundtrack of your life, just that one song. Your friends hear it and think of you. You can post the video, the lyrics, the wav file. However you want to post it is great.

Immediately after hearing the assignment, my mind goes to the ditty by first recorded by Little Richard, "Good Golly Miss Molly." Indeed, some people think of me as Miss Molly, and a few people that I know always, always greet me as "Good Golly Miss Molly." I also considered other tunes that mention my name such as Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da. You know the song where Molly was a singer in the band. I consider another oldtime, "Molly" tune, My Blue Heaven. The song by Frank Sinatra not the more modern version by Taking Back Sunday. The song where old blue eyes crooned.

You'll see a smilin' face, a fireplace, a cozy room Little nest that nestles
where the roses bloom Molly and me, and the baby makes three We're happy in
my, in my Blue Heaven.

I think of other titles that I want to represent my image such as "You Light up My Life" (Okay, probably not), "Fame" you know (I'm gonna live forever.) Songs that represent part of my existence such as "She Blinded Me with Science" by Thomas Dolby (I teach science to seventh graders) or The Eagles "Witchy Woman" (I tell my students that I am a witch, and I rather like the lyrics, "Raven hair, Ruby Lips, sparks fly from her finger tips.") Another top contender for my song choice is "Lean on Me", and from time to time I offer support for others, but maybe the best support is encouraging people to stand on their own. For my final song choice, I am not sure if people think of me when they of the following song, but I would be honored if they did.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Wildflowers in Winter - Week Four

For the week of February 6th through the 12th, the assignment for Wildflowers in the Winter is to show how wildflowers are featured in various decorations in our home. Elizabeth Joy of Wildflower Morning has created this eight week event to have some fun with wildflowers until spring arrives. To sign-up, visit Elizabeth Joy at Wildflower Morning.

I have inherited my mother's china, which is Franciscan Desert Rose. The plates themselves are lovely, but I especially like some of the special pieces such as the rosebud salt and pepper shakers, the butter dish with the bud-shaped handle, and the creamer with the twisted-stem handle.

When my sisters and I were young, my parents started collecting pieces of silver flatware for our hope chest. A hope chest is similar to a dowry, something of financial worth that a young girl might bring to a marriage. Pictured is my silverware. The pattern is Woodlily by Frank Smith. Perhaps, the artist has actually portrayed Lily-of-the-Valley instead of a Wood Lily.

I have a few items with pressed flowers. Shown here is a place mat that was also my mother's. There are two unknown flowers, some milkweed seeds, money plant seed pods, and other plant items.

Another treasure from my parents is an antique lamp with this hand-painted shade. In addition to the artist's interpretation of a swallowtail butterfly, the idyllic scene includes some variety of morning glory.

To see how other participants decorate with wildflowers visit Wildflower Morning.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Fun Monday: The Bucket List

The lovely Tiggerlane, who claims to be a neophyte blogger, is this week's Fun Monday hostess. Tigger has come up with a unique assignment for this Fun Monday. Tigger is asking us to compose a Bucket List. You know, a list of things that we would like to do before our death - untimely or otherwise. Since I am old and gray, my list may be shorter than others. However, both of my grandmothers lived into their nineties, and my maternal grandmother died after her 97th birthday. So perhaps, I have another 30 or so years of living. Here is my list of things that I would like to do before I kick the bucket. These are in no particular order. With a few exceptions, my list is compiled of practical and doable deeds.

Before I Kick the Bucket, I would like to...

1. See the Grand Canyon.

2. Stand next to a giant redwood.

3. Learn to play a dulcimer. I guess that buying a dulcimer would be a prelude to playing one. Goldendaze Ginnie writes about a week-long Dulcimer School in North Carolina in this post. Western Carolina University sponsors a 6-day conference where participants take classes to learn to play a dulcimer. I would like to attend such a conference.

4. Retire.

5. (After retirement), make fabulously motivating science presentations to elementary school children with my husband Daddy D, who currently teaches physics and chemistry.

6. Move from our present home.

7. Buy some photo altering software such as Photoshop and learn to make exciting photograph transformations with the software.

8. Organize my life.

9. Finish visiting all of the fifty states photographing the sights and the wildflowers.

10. Run in some preliminary to the Senior Olympics, and of course, I want to win my event.

11. See Michelle Kwan skate.

12. Visit Dinosaur National Park in Utah.

13. Travel abroad especially Great Britain and perhaps take a walking tour.

14. See Sydney, Australia especially the opera house.

15. Spend more time with friends and family.

16. Spend more time reading.

17. Stand on the Great Wall of China.

Maybe after I kick the bucket, I would like to donate my body to science. But maybe science does not need an old worn-out body.

Jumping out of airplanes is not in my future. Before you kick the bucket, visit as many of the Fun Monday participants as possible; there is a list at Tiggerlane's place. If your time is almost up, forget about Fun Monday and get out there and live the rest of your life.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Weird Me

I've been tagged by Mermaid Musings to list the seven most famous or infamous people I have ever met or to list seven strange things about me. I have met a few authors, but I have not actually met very many famous people. Seeing Elvis wearing his gold suit in a 1957 concert probably does not count for actually meeting Elvis. Seeing Michael Jordan return to the basketball court after his hiatus with baseball may not count for actually shaking hands with Michael. I guess that I will have to come with seven weird things about me. Maybe I will be forced to narrow my list down to just seven.

If you would like to complete the meme, consider yourself tagged.

1. I am a transvestite. How is that for starters? Okay, being a female wearing men's clothing may not be earthshaking or shocking. Furthermore, there is absolutely nothing sexual in my penchant for wearing clothes made for the opposite sex. I do wear dresses, skirts, and frilly blouses too.

2. I am frugal. My frugality has partially led to number one. My household consisted of three males and myself. When my sons were junior high and high school age, I figured out that the clothes that they outgrew so quickly fit me fine. I was even able to wear a pair of deck shoes that my oldest son wore only a few times.

3. I do not enjoy shopping. Again, this may be related to both number one and number two. Since I do not care to shop, the unworn and outgrown clothes hanging in my son's or husband's closets fit me in more ways than one.

4. Speaking of closets, I am a closet hypochrondriac. Like other hypochondriacs, I imagine myself suffering various exotic ailments. Luckily for you and my friends and acquaintances, I keep my imagined illnesses to myself.

5. I have two sons; of course, that is not particularally unusal. But, although both sons were born in a hospital, neither son was birthed a physician. My labor and delivery for both babies was so quick that the doctor did not arrive on time the hospital for the either delivery.

6. I rather like spiders and snakes.

7. Maybe my biggest confession on Super Bowl weekend is that I do not especially care for football. Shhh!!!