Friday, May 30, 2008


Lost's season finale was last night. And all I gots to say, What the Hell?

I can't talk about it on the web. But I have so much info playing through my mind. This season was back to being really good. But come on, do I really have to wait until the show finale in 2 years to see what happens to EVERYONE? It's getting ridiculous.

The main characters still seem to be growing a bit, so that's good. I can't say much for the new characters they add to the show, though. It's a hard show to have new characters on. They should have been on there the whole time, for us to love or hate them. Most of them I just don't care about...

For those of you who don't watch or haven't ever watched, you are missing out on a good show. Really. It's fun to guess what the plot twists will be. SO FAR--- I'm doing pretty well, but sometimes I miss..... Last night I kind of predicted a really important piece that had been left undone last season.... Now I just need to know how and why!! ARGH!! That's the show for you. You may have an answer, but the journey to get that answer is always left hazy.

Anyway, made it through a week from HELL. You'd' think since having a short week, I'd be having fun, enjoying the quickness of it. But no. Yours truly pretty much had a meltdown on Wednesday at school. Not my finest hour. And it will never happen again, but I was so mad, upset, frustrated, and everything else. It wasn't about the kids. Although they made the level of frustration quite high that day. But the staff member. He blatantly interrupted me while I was teaching. He walked right through the center of my class to whisper to me," Do you want me to open the door?" I went off on him. I spewed," WHAT? I don't CARE. DO whatever you want to do! I really couldn't care less how warm it is in here, I just want to do my job.!!!!" I didn't insult him, but I did yell. And that shouldn't have happened.

The history between me in this staff member is difficult. I've always tried to approach him in a calm way, asking him what can we do to communicate without interrupting the class. Because he ALWAYS interrupts me when I'm trying to teach a new lesson. ALWAYS. In mid-sentence no less. So, this is the straw that really broke the camels back. He just doesn't get it at all.

I have my reasons of why he does these things to me. One, I think he is actually clueless. Two, it is drilled into his head that education is second. Three, he is afraid of the kids and as a male he feels he needs to appear powerful and strong in front of the kids. Four, he doesn't have the understanding between unnecessary and necessary. It wasn't an emergency to have a door open. Was it warm? yes. Did the kids care? not really. They were just being jerky kids. They weren't being dangerous. It wasn't a safety issue.

The staff, was really concerned with how he looked. I apologized about my reaction, but continued to tell him that his interruptions have happened before, and that it frustrated me. I get stopped in mid-sentence, for a random thing. I reminded him that I am trained as a teacher, and most good teachers ignore little behaviors, or try to put out fires indirectly with students. I told him I didn't feel like I had any control over that class because he was shouting out at all the kids.

Whatever. I shouldn't have reacted like I did, but it's so frustrating that this guy just doesn't understand, and that he is so 1-dimensional. He's not even fair, and he's passive-aggressive.

Anyway, moving on. It is the weekend, I get to hang out with my BFF today. Haven't seen her in a while. So excited. We'll probably just chill, but that's really all I want. J is chilling with his buddies too. So that's good.

3 more weeks of nonsense---------------ugh.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Still stupid.

Ok, this one is a little funnier. Read the comments...... I'm going to wear mine to work tomorrow.


Don't blame me, I didn't write it.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Back from the Bahamas

Wow, what a beautiful place. I've never seen such clear water in my entire life. It's a good thing we weren't there very long, because I didn't get enough time to adjust or get used to being there. And, I'm thinking that might have been the best thing possible.

We arrived Thursday evening to a very warm evening and a nice breeze. It didn't take long to go through the airport. We got into a cab and got the the hotel as quickly as we could. By the by, they do drive on the left hand side of the road, and yes, the Queen is on the money too. (But they do take dollars freely).

Got checked into the hotel and ran down to the beach immediately to dip our tootsies into the water. SHOCKER-- it really is warm!! Ahh. We walked for a little while and thought to ourselves, "How come we haven't had a drink yet?" We went to our hotel bar and ordered up the finest rum drinks we could get our hands on. J got a Bahama Mama (the national drink, of course) and I got something with a really long name that was fruity, a bit of coconut, and strong... YUM. There was plenty more to come.

The hotel next to us had a casino, so we thought we'd try our luck and check it all out. J played blackjack, and actually got ahead for the evening (Yea!!).
In the morning, I immediately woke up and got us ready to go down to the beach. WOW! What a beach, white sands, the clearest yet blue water I've ever seen. We spent the whole day just relaxing, reading our books, and swimming. I had my goggles, so I managed to see some beautiful fish too. Towards the end of the day, we decided to have a mean game of ping pong, and shot some hoops.

In the evening, drinks, a wonderful dinner at an Asian-fusion restaurant, and a bit of blackjack (although this time, minus a few dollars). We were worn out. Not to mention a little burned.

The next day, repeated. Except we got a chance to see a little more of Nassau. We drove along the main road. Unfortunately, we didn't get to see much of Nassau, because it closes down at night, but we went to a fantastic Indian restaurant for dinner. I think it's much what you'd expect from an island nation. It's depressed, relies on tourism. Lots of estates being built, some colonial style buildings, and of course, huge resorts. I'm sure you've heard of the massive complex called "Atlantis". It really is gigantic. The resort could be seen from our hotel and it was around the tip of the island. It reminded me of the pyramids.. No joke. What a strange place that was me. I didn't really care to go visit or see it since we were only there for short time. And J had already been.

Unfortunately it was time to go on Sunday. We didn't have much time to spend on the beach, and we had to make our way to the airport. And it's a good thing we did, because we not only had to go through the Bahamian customs, but also US homeland security...before we boarded the plane back to Miami. Needless to say, it was a long line.

But, here are a few pictures. There aren't too many, because, we were on the beach most of the time. But hopefully you can see what it was like.

Me on the beach at night, after the first day. Sorry, these
are a little out of order.

Every night, the hotel has an island band perform.

It was fun to listen to, it was really low-key.

I think mostly because the hotel was half empty.

Beach chairs in the sun.

View from above the day we left...-sniff-

Our first night!! We are definitely happy to be there.

Our last night there, notice change in my skin tone....

It's toned down a little by now.

Thursday, May 22, 2008


Ok, so the price went up again yesterday to $3.87. The good thing, I found a place that's closer to my house to get gas... 8 cents cheaper thank you very much. But hey, on the news, they were talking about $10 -15 gas prices soon! So who the hell cares? I'm going to have to get a horse!

Up 6 cents in a week. If that's the standard, we'll definitely be close to $5 by July. And $7 or $8 by my birthday. Yikes. When J gets a new car, I really hope he does get a hybrid, or flex fuel.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


1. I was right about the gas going up on Tuesday. $3.84 -- one cent off.
2. I didn't predict it, but I had a feeling that we'd be teaching on the units for the rest of the school year. Mostly because they just delivered desks down to Unit 1. The secretary also purchased an upgraded cart for me to use for all my art supplies. I'm happy about the art cart. It's easier to get things from it, and I don't have to pile things up on with xerox boxes. I'm not happy that I have to go to the units.
3. I can't think of any of the other predictions.

So I guess I will make some more!

- I predict that I will get everything done before I leave for The Bahamas tomorrow. I have loads of laundry to take care of, errands to run, flip flops to buy, things to pack.
- I predict that I will make it to the airport on time. It was originally a bit of a worry because our reservations are for early afternoon, and I was worried I wasn't going to be allowed to leave early. Now, I can. I know I'll make it.
- I predict the weather will be beautiful. Ok, I don't really get to predict that, the weather forecast looks pretty damn good though. And the water-- warm and inviting.
- I predict that I will not want to leave the islands. And 3 days at the beach will certainly not be enough time to relax how I want to.
- I predict J's sister will have her baby while we're gone. She's close, real close.

Ok, enough of that. I have to organize.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Soap Box-- and 3 more days

By this time on Thursday I'll be on my way to the airport. Ahh, it's just a few short days away, and if the week keeps going like today it will be just fine. I'm tired though, Mondays are notoriously difficult, and today I accidentally let myself go back to sleep when the alarm went off. Oops. It wasn't that bad, but I definitely was in a rush.

We're still teaching on the unit, which means I'm still packing and unpacking my entire carriage of art supplies, only to put them back on and off the cart again and again. I'm tired of it, but who isn't. Even though I'm not lucky enough to carry some worksheets down to the units, I know my peers are tired of not being able to use all the benefits of actually having a classroom. Desk, laptop, smartboard, a radio, tables, books and research materials, a white board. All of those things are definitely nice to have (and we do), but I guess it only proves the point that one can make anything work. Especially teachers.

I miss the atmosphere in my classroom. I'm lucky enough to have a whole wall of windows that lets natural light in. I have larger tables where students can spread out and work independently. I have a SINK! And all of my supplies. Plus, I like my classroom, postcards and pictures surround my students. It's colorful and bright. It's a "happy" place (ok I just got a bit schmaltzy). The bottom line is that the kids aren't getting the best education they could be getting. I don't believe in my heart that this is benefiting the detention program or reforming students in any way. I do feel like it's giving the trouble makers the power. The kids who are performing in the classroom everyday aren't the trouble makers here (they may be on the outside). The ones who are in the classroom enjoy being in school because they are getting better attention, learning more, and are proud of their achievements no matter how big or small.

So, what can I do? I can only suggest. We've already been told by the program director that the education program is secondary. Gee...thanks. I enjoy that already being a teacher in America.
I thought that we were moving towards a place where incarceration was going to be null and void for kids. I thought we were moving to more of a therapeutic program in which kids were treated holistically. Not just punishment. There's proof in the pudding that if you create a program that takes care of the whole child, and gives them ways to make achievement on their own, they'll be less likely to make it back this way.

More than ever I realize what a variety of kids we do have here. We do have dangerous kids, we have kids that steal, we have kids that run away, kids that do drugs, gangs, curfew breakers, assault, murder, rape... We see it all, but the thing is only a handful have access to mental health professionals. Most of these kids carry some huge issues in their own lives and don't have the opportunity to even begin the road to talking about it.

We happened to acquire a transition coordinator, and hopefully he'll be able to connect services to the kids when they get out. That seems to be going in the right direction. Now if only we could actually acquire a school counselor, a school social worker, and a full staff.

That's enough for now. I've ranted long enough for a Monday. There's a little sun today, so I'm going to try my best to make it out there and enjoy it. Although, I'll be getting plenty of it later this week. By the way, did you hear about the Vitamin D study? It's a study by some doctors suggesting the risk of breast cancer rises when you don't get enough Vitamin D. You can get Vitamin D by green leafy vegetables and some dairy products, supplements, and (of course) sun. So some doctors are actually saying everyone should be out in the sun for at least 15 minutes a day (during non-peak hours, of course). So sun is good (in a way).

Friday, May 16, 2008


Monday it was $3.75

Wednesday it became $3.81

I'm predicting Tuesday or Monday it will be come $3.85

And then Thursday it will (just in time for memorial day weekend) to $3.91

Then I predict it will stay there until June (first week in June) until it goes to $3.97

Then just in time for the 4th it will be at just over $4.00

By my birthday, I'm expecting it to be over $5.00

ARGHH!! It's totally flipping me out.


One good thing?

In less then a week, I will be lying on a beach drinking tons of juicy rum drinks, and reading my wonderful books. Ahh, it's not a dream. It will be reality.

Gas prices, on the other hand, are a nightmare....

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

It worked!!!!!!!!!!

Tons of things

I finally finished another painting. This one was for J. He asked me months ago to make him a "Kate Original", and I finally did. It's about 2 feet by 3 feet and it has about 5 layers in all. I started with a collage, then a wash, 3 layers of script with some squares. Of course it took that many layers for me to kind of like it. And I kind of do. I don't know if I ever immediately like anything I do. I'm not looking for sympathy points, I just don't know. I kind of pull away from what I've done, and think it's done. Attachment to work? Sometimes. But in this case, as in many others, I know where it's going, where it's going to be, I'll see it again.

I'd post some pictures, but I'm at home and my computer sucks. Whenever my internet becomes available on my home computer I'm surprised. So sooner or later you'll see it.

In other news, J and I made our way to the 9:30 Club last night. We went to see "The Black Keys". Jarle really wanted to go see them. If you really like two-person bands, you would really like them. I thought they were good. They have drums and a guitar. And then actually the guitarist sat down and played the organ, and it sounded like a guitar. The guitarist also sang (of course). He had a good voice (soulful). The drummer was amazing. But, a band can only do so much to keep from sounding too much like all those other 2-member bands. Hummm... But talented they are. The opening was a 3-member band, with no base. If you like revival 70's rock, you'd like them. Think Jack Black, but not as good. I'm not a huge fan of 70's rock, and the song that I liked best was called "Homegrown" (and so was everyone else's --- if you know what I mean). Which isn't saying much.

But I'm glad I skipped out on Radiohead. It was basically rained out, and I don't fancy seeing that band anymore. I'd rather just listen. I don't know who will be next on our list. There are always shows, but I'd rather wait until someone I like comes by. And, I'd actually like to see them! Last night I was surrounded by tall people!! All I could see was the band sign!

Today, I managed to call in sick. It was more of a mental health day, but I've really needed a break, and a chance to catch up. I'm glad I did. In the last few weeks at school we've all had to give up our classrooms and travel from unit to unit using carts and wheeling all of our supplies from day room to day room. Which isn't such a big deal for anyone, except me. I've not even been given a cart. I have to use a luggage carrier with a xerox box. I've managed to go too fast around corners and bumps and have dumped it 4 times. Not only that, but I can't use any of my valued technology that I have in my classroom, and classes are shorter because I have to unpack and pack things up in every single class!! It's not fair to the kids or to us. So I guess this was my boycott day. I suppose. I'm doing the best I can, but it's hard. We have way too many more days of school left, and I hope that we can change back to the classroom. It's completely necessary.

So, for all of you who continue to follow "LOST" the 4th season is almost over. I'm excited to see where we're going with all of this. All I can say is that this season has been good. I guess tomorrow is the start of the finale for the season.

In just over a week I'll be on the beach, and I couldn't be more excited about that. I'm already making lists of what to bring. Although, all that really matters are some bathing suits! Right? 2 more days of school in this week. 4 days next week, and 4 days the following week. I may actually make it through the school year.

Monday, May 12, 2008

The look

I think I've used this look before, but who cares, I like it. I needed a change.

Rain, rain...go away

Ugly, Monday, rain.
Wear your trendy wellies now,
Before it dries up.

That's all I can really manage for a haiku today. It is 5-7-5, right?

Short weekend. Friday made a really good dinner for J and I. It was really just glorified quesadillas (fancy cheese, sauteed vegetables, and homemade salsa). The precursor to dinner was a lovely home made cocktail I made from scratch. I had decided we needed something a bit different than the usual margarita, or Cosmo, or whatever. So I decided to make a ginger simple syrup.

Recipe: sugar, water, tons of ginger, and some lemon peel.

Et voila! It was so good. It's so easy to make. Has a little bite, a little sweetness, but strong! I think it was definitely what we needed after the long week we both had at work.

Saturday I actually didn't do much at all. Woke up late, J had to go grade papers with his teaching partner, and I putzed around doing nothing. It was wonderful. Sure I could have painted, gone to the gym, but why waste a perfectly stress free day? And keep it that way? I did end up meeting with J and his grading buddy at a nice Indian place about 1/2 hour away. We had a really nice dinner. I had Aloo ghobi (califlower, potato and pea curry). YUM! It was so tasty and rich. That evening, we just came back and watched parts of the Indiana Jones movies. "Raiders" is still the best one out of the 3, and I'm really worried that this fourth installment is going to be a bit of a clunker.

Sunday, up late, nice breakfast, bought books for the up coming beach trip (10 more days 'til Bahamas!)


What is the What
Water for Elephants
The Inheritance of Loss

I can't wait to actually sit on an island, surrounded by blue sky and white beaches, and quietly lapping water. Until then, I'll just have to soak up the rain, smile on the inside, and make it through the next week and 1/2.

Can you believe I still have 7 more weeks of work? I might die.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


There actually WAS an earthquake in NOVA yesterday. It only measured a 1.8. But we felt it over here in the detention center. It was odd. There was a rumbling sound with it, and a little shake. Not quite like the other 2 I've experienced. In Germany, when I was a junior in high school there was a bigger one... I remember being awoken by what I thought was my little sister jumping on my bed. That was not what it was, and their were cracks left in all our doorways. It was odd, to say the least.

The other earthquake I experienced was a small on in Egypt. It shook a little bit, I felt it. It was strange, but I think I was more worried if our buildings could withstand any kind of shaking at all, or if they would just crumble immediately.

So, here's to natural disasters.... They're bound to get us at some point, if the world keeps going the way it does. Yes, I'm a little fatalistic these days. Food is going up, electricity is going up by 18% (that's what the news said, here in VA), Gas is $3.69 a gallon! What will we do? There's no way we can live like this. Things have to change. Every week the gas prices go up by 5 cents. It will be $5 by the end of the summer.

I need a job where I can walk or ride my bike.....At least I only fill my car tank up every two weeks. But if I plan to go anywhere this summer.... it's going to be costly, no matter what. At this point, who can afford a vacation?

Friday, May 02, 2008


Pan for this weekend:

Tonight: The Kills @ the black cat...I'm sure I won't be the oldest one there, however, I'm pretty sure I'm going to be 15 years older than most of the people there...(all ages show, I think). Haven't been out in a super long time, I hope I can keep up. It will be nap time after school, for sure.

Saturday early afternoon (no hangover please): Not so fun-- Doc appointment (no alarms and no surprises, please). I hope I'm fine.
Saturday Afternoon: Parents coming for a visit (they haven't been to my apartment since last February -- of 2007, about damn time) . Hopefully a nice dinner in Old Town.
Saturday Evening: Relaxing, celebrating, going crazy...... or movie watching, looking on the bright side of life... we'll see....

Sunday Afternoon: I say brunch and gym, outside possibly?
Sunday Evening: Movie, make dinner, go to bed early (I'll need it for sure)

All I know is that my weekends come and go so quickly, I am thankful that this one isn't packed. The week is stressful and rough, I just want the weekends to be filled with relaxing fun things...

Happy Friday !

Thursday, May 01, 2008

May day may day may day

No, I'm not going down in flames, however it feels like work is going straight into the can. We've had to make many changes in our environment. And it doesn't quite make me feel safe to work here. Since our students have changed we've definitely acquired some very , let's say, unsavory students. Including ones who were trying to get a riot going last week (rumor has it, it didn't happen because certain kids didn't want certain adults to get hurt). Well, the staff got wind of this "riot" and it never happened. All the kids were locked individually in their rooms, and we were left for 3 hours discussing the behavior of certain kids.

Basically they were looking for kids who are a threat to themselves, or other people. Violent types that might instigate something. People managed to come up with a list of 12 kids, and they are all in their room for whatever reason. The rest of the kids are all on restricted movement, which means they aren't allowed to come to the classrooms. We have to go to each individual unit and teach.

This is a hard task to perform because essentially we are teaching in their common room, that's where they play cards, watch tv...all of that. So it's pretty hard to make the switch. They really act a lot differently when they're not in a "school setting". And of course this is a burden on all of us, especially me. I have to essentially be art on a cart. I have to end class a little bit earlier just so I can pack up my supplies and take them with me to the next unit. Yesterday was the most difficult because I had organize what to bring, and I forgot a few of the students works, I didn't have enough paper, and I couldn't use the computer for kids to get resources.

It's not a great idea. I know they're thinking of safety first. And that is very important in this case, however, those kids are already separated and locked down in their rooms individually. The kids in my class, are still the same. You know? I have kids I can trust, who will work hard and do their best no matter what, and then I have the students who are demanding, take my energy and I have to spend time with them.. But that is like any classroom. Am I threatened by them? No.

Ahh, too much going on. I did manage to finally treat myself to a hair trim yesterday. I was beginning to feel very much like a really bad picture of Axl Rose (not totally, my hair is pretty healthy). I felt unkempt. She did a nice job. I explained to her that I was trying to grow my hair out to donate it...I didn't get into the politics. She loved my idea, and said that I would be the perfect candidate because my hair was thick, healthy, and wavy... HA! How did she know I really needed the compliment?

It's been a rough week. Not feeling quite like my usual self and I have a lot of built up anxiety about this job....

HOWEVER--------- J and I planned a trip. We got a really good flight and hotel package deal to..............................wait for it....................... the BAHAMAS!! Yay! So in about 3 weeks I will be sitting, staring at the turquoise water, drinking some beautiful rum drink..... I can't wait. WE need it bad.. I guess that's where my tax refund is going.....

Anyway, on to preparing for class. Kids are doing ok on this round of project. We're using nature as an inspiration to make patterns in art. We're going to look at my favorite artist.....Andy Goldsworthy today.