Wednesday, February 25, 2009


I just like taking shadow pictures... It's a thing..

One picture of me happy!

Miami Beach..

Ok, so we went like, I dunno... a month ago? Maybe it's because I look back on that mini-break as not the best trip in the world. It could have been the unseasonably gold weather in FLA (like 40 degrees... and I don't mean celsius). Or that Miami beach is ubber touristy, or the fact that we were kept awake on our final night there until the next morning by our nasty neighbors...

It was fun, don't think I'll ever venture down that way again for any reason (so many better places in the world). The people watching was fun, but it still doesn't out way that they're all intolerable. The beach-- pretty, lots of palm trees, and blue ocean as far as the eye can see.

Then there's the architecture. A fan. I do love the Art Deco style, and the neon lights are a lot of fun.
So here you go......

The last day there was the nicest, and we spent a day people watching and had a really good brunch outside. Then we saw this guy walk by with a chinchilla (?). He was playing with it. Obviously, he's way cool. I wonder how often he changes his shirt?

Yeah, these people were fighting chilly waters (although lovely) and a lot of wind. It was amazing to watch them paddle by from our hotel (not our hotel is not here, it was horrible. We got a lovely night at the Ritz and then had a serious downgrade.....)

See! It was cold, this old lady is all wrapped up in a fur! With a fancy red, white, and blue, sequin hat. She's cold!! She's gonna stay warm, so stay out of her way!

Ahh--- serene Key Biscayne, at the Ritz. Highly recommend it. It was everything you would think it would be. It was also the warmest day. We tried to stay as long as we could so we could enjoy it all......

The mighty RITZ!

The only way I'll go back is if I can stay here.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Italia here we come!

We've been talking about forever, and thinking about it for months and months. And finally, we bought the tickets yesterday!! We are actually going to Italy! I'm so excited! I haven't been out of the country since I moved back from Egypt-- that's right, not even Canada. Although I did find myself in places I never thought I'd go-- Kansas City, Missouri and Lawrence, Kansas. So on to some amazing other places.

We have a 10 say trip that will fly us into Venice. Then we'll head to Florence for the rest of the time. My only wish is that we could stop over in Frankfurt so we could do a few days in Bonn, Germany... but that's not going to happen this time.

I'm so excited, especially for that to come at the end of my day yesterday. I have something to mark on my calendar and prepare for. I suppose it is time for me to take up learning a little bit of Italian. I don't know anything! Except...


Monday, February 23, 2009

The IN-justice system

I've been watching this unfold for a week or so. It just gets more and more interesting. Depressing, sad... I feel like today's youth is totally screwed.

Sorry. It's not such a bad world out there, but when I see such a connection with students and the corrupt bureaucratic systems damaging them, it becomes frustrating. As a teacher I really question how much actual good we're doing in our jobs. Yes, education is SUPER important, but it's even more important for students to feel that they can make a change for themselves. And there's absolutely no support for them once they leave the D-home. A switch has to turn for them. They need to feel like they are worth it.

Just ask my female students about the Chris Brown/Rhianna news story. They totally supported Chris Brown and even insinuated that Rhianna made it up or "tripped and fell" . Where's the self-worth there? Regardless of what happened, I was aghast that they would not support a female, close to their own age, who has been obviously injured by this male. Famous or not, they think it's ok that this violence was ok. Obviously, most (if not all) of my female and male students have witnessed a violent act to someone close to them (especially family) or to themselves.

I could go on. Especially after today. ALL of my classes were great, until the last one. There was fight in my class. Nothing I could do about it. The 3 kids were bigger than me. The detention specialist was in my room, but he could only do so much. Luckily I had my duress alarm. Hit it, and people came running in. But not before a chair and a trashcan got thrown across the room. Horrible. And not a damn thing I could do.

I'm kind of at a loss today, very unexpected... not sure what the rest of the week will hold.

I think a batch of chocolate chip cookies are in order. Warm cookies always help!

Slumdog WINS!!

The fantastical adventure of a boy who's fate is to win millionare and the girl of his dreams!


I loved that film, and if you still haven't seen it, you should. One of my favorites ever.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

So close--

We were 25 minutes away from a normal school schedule last week, and I'll shoot myself, because the English teacher I mentioned on Thursday at lunch how the week had been going so well. No interruptions, no meetings, no random lock downs.

Well, I spoke to soon. I will never do that again. Friday, 25 minutes from finishing the last class of the day, students were sent back to their units. We were all wondering why. Well, the superintendent of the d-home felt like she needed to have a meeting with her staff.

Couldn't it have waited 25 minutes? I mean come on. Positive change and education, have no chance when people like that create an environment where those things aren't regarded. I understand that safety comes first in a place like this, but how are we supposed to create any sort of consistency when inconsistency is so -- well-- consistent.

This week is no better. 2 half days for "parent conferences". It's been on the calendar for a year, and no one brought it up until yesterday. No parents could have a chance to show up today or tomorrow. I understand that our students are transient, and we sometimes don't know who's going to be here on any given day. However, we could MOVE the dates, or give ourselves a chance to notify the parents, so they have a chance to come or not.


So this week isn't normal either. And next week is a short week because of Presidents' Day. I like my holidays, don't get me wrong-- I love them, I value them... I need them.

Maybe we'll have our chance in March-- no holidays whatsoever...

And don't even get me started about how students aren't able to complete projects. Maybe not frustrating for them, but totally frustrating for me.

I need a zen moment.........

-----Aum shaantih----------------

Friday, February 06, 2009

Random purchase

I don't really do this very often... drink coke that is...

But today I really needed that syrupy-brown-overly sweet flavor. And I was shocked! Really shocked about how sugary it REALLY is. I don't understand how people can drink that all the time.

At the same time, here I am, drinking it, feeling a little naughty, feeling a little guilty, and smacking my lips together..

Coke is it.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009


"You are probably not that good a rapper. Maybe you are the next Lil' Wayne, but probably not, in which case you need to stay in school..."

I love this quote-- a direct quote from the President..... I might hang it up in my classroom.