Saturday, January 30, 2010

Snow again.

We traveled down to c-ville for a wedding tasting, only to be snowed out. But you know, it's kind of nice. At least when it snows, it's still kind of bright. Everything looks fresh and clean, and even though you know you can't really get out and about in a car, it's kind of nice to slow down, take it easy, and give in to forced relaxation. I plan on holding on to that feeling for as long as I can, because it really doesn't come around too often these days.

Of course, this is a normal weekend, and I kind of wonder how we'll make it home if the snow keeps on coming down. There isn't going to be any kind of warm up, like usual. So I'm hoping we can get home, and that the roads WILL be plowed.

But until then, I'm going to catch up on some reading, tv watching, eating, and drinking. Ahh, winter, I love you sometimes.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Pomplamoose! I LOVE YOU!

Again, I can't share how much I love these guys! They're completely amazing!

One of my students.

Each year elementary students participate in this city contest. I actually had 6 students place this year, but this student got written up in the article!!!

Check it out:

Saturday, January 23, 2010

keep doing what your doing.

I really want to complain right now, but I'm not going to.. But I'm just letting you know that it's out there.

I had a really nice morning today. I had a nice freshly made cappuccino made by yours truly, and my lovely husband made me some delicious pancakes. What a treat! Then we slowly got ready for the day, took Lhotse for a walk, and I made my way to Silver Spring by way of metro.

I met up with a friend who I used to work with at the D-home. It was nice to meet up with my friend because it had been a while since I had seen her. We caught up with everything, and talked about old times, old students, new times, and new students, the way things are, and the way things that aren't changing.

We made our way to a new wine store that her friend just opened up. He's from Nepal and moved here a while ago. After working for the hotel industry for a long time I guess he figured it was time to be his own boss. And now he is. It was a really nice store, and I'm so glad I met him. He and his wife are super nice, and super sweet, and they said they'd be willing to show my art work in their little store. So I'm going to send them some pictures of what I do, and then I guess they'll say if they actually want it or not! But the wife seemed to be into showing work, and hanging it! So I think it will be a good thing! It's better than letting my work sit in closet, and letting it just slowly deteriorate. So maybe something will come from this. I might try to get them to sell my note cards too. We'll see.

So what I need to do is-- make art! Duh!

In other news--- is it spring yet? Come on spring! I'm so ready for warmer weather, and it's only the end of January.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

I'm scared

I'm scared of public schools.
I'm scared of the public school budget for next year.
I'm scared that the arts will be squashed out of the American public school system.
I'm scared that our future generations will have no imagination, creativity, or skills to be independent.
I'm scared that I'll have to prove my worth to the public school system that doesn't value it either way.
I'm scared that I may get paid based on how my students perform.
I'm scared that kids will not be allowed to be kids.
I'm scared that kids can't explore like they used to.
I'm scared that teachers are just going to sit there and take it.

Is there hope? I have a little bit, but..

I'm scared that I'll lose hope.

Here I am working in an American Public School, the district is trying to be more transparent and sharing of information, but I don't fine it reassuring that they're still making these very big decisions without long term consquences. Our district got a lot of stimulus money last year for teachers, and I feel that it wasn't put to good use at all. Now there will be no stimulus money, and all of us expect more cutbacks than this past year. They want to give us a slightly shorter contract year, and then also cut back our daily hours-- but guess what? We'll still all be working those same days, and those same hours (same teacher struggle as anyone else, really). But then they want to raise our health care, and the district won't participate in our retirement. There will be less money for the arts, and they may even cut a fine arts teacher because of numbers. There's a new high school requirement for all students to take a Fiscal Math class!!??! What? Back in my day that wasn't a class everyone would have taken.

So I'm scared. I don't know how we're all supposed to keep doing the same jobs we do everyday when we're cutting teachers, making bigger class sizes beause of those cuts, and then shortening our days/hours, and paying us less, and then still planning to base our pay on the way our students perform? Who thought this up?

Well, I need to stop ranting, because if I think about it more I may actually explode all over my computer (parden the graphic tone). The budget will go through the board tonight, and we'll see what happens. I predict a few of those items I mentioned will go through.

I guess I have to keep saying to myself that it actually could be a whole lot worse. And it's true. I could be completely losing my job! And I don't think that's going to happen.

But like I said, I'm scared.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

A very gray Sunday..but productive.

So it's raining outside, and pretty dark. We had a good run of the sunny skies for a while, but I hope it doesn't take too long to come back. So with the hope of warmer weather, I decided to start getting back into the running. Yikes. Shocker, 3 miles felt like 100 miles today. I haven't run in so long, and this was the first run of the new year! I hate to admit that, but it's true. I just hate the gym so much, and have pretty much been avoiding it throughout the cold weather months. Meanwhile, the holidays have come and gone, as well as all those delicious treats, meal after meal, and that extra cookie-- or 2 or 3.... So it's time to get back in there, do some work, and prepare to fit into clothes I've been avoiding these last few months.

So wish me luck on this goal, hopefully I can just keep thinking "Wedding Dress" and that will give me the motivation I need to push through. Although, sunlight and warmer temperatures are always welcome, because I am more of an outside person.

Other then that, it's been a really nice relaxing weekend. J and I made a purchase. We didn't give gifts this year, but did nice things for each other instead. But then yesterday, while looking for things to fill a gift basket for my parents (for all the nice things they do for us), we stumbled on a relatively inexpensive cappuccino machine! We looked at it, maybe stared longingly, and Jarle said," This could be a Christmas present to ourselves." Who am I to disagree with such a smart man! So we got it, we've already made a few lovely beverages, and it's just so nice to have. It will make the weekends that much more special and DELICIOUS!

In the art department- things are getting better. I'm working on a gigantic painting, it's coming along. J keeps reminding me that I should scale down so I can sell my work. And I know I should, I'll keep trying. I just like BIG! But he's right, maybe there's more of a chance to build my portfolio and even sell some work. That would be nice!

It's shaping up to be a busy next couple of months. But that's ok, I like to be busy. I have a presentation to give on Tuesday about the LCI (Lincoln Center Institute), then I need to get started on the school play scenery stuff (and I think a few props). We'll be waiting to hear from Jarle's applications for new jobs, planning the wedding.

Cross your fingers for J's applications. It's a tough time to look for a job, but I'm hoping he can find something in the next couple of months. Luckily he's still on staff where he is, and will continue for the next couple of months.

I hope everyone is enjoying their weekend wherever they are. Enjoy the time you have to relax! Do something nice for yourself.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

A small rant

I try to never be absent, but life happens and you gotta have a plan. This year we've had to make extra plans (in case of flu). I have a normal emergency plans and then if I know I'm going to be absent I try to have the students continue working on something. Then there are the plans that I make for when most classes are finished, or there are just way too many supplies to keep track of.

So I did that. I created a plan because it was right before the holidays, and show was expected. So something easy, and something that could be done with all grade levels.

I left it in a clear area, and also made a note of that in my request. PLEASE FOLLOW THE LESSON PLAN!

The sub did not. And what kills me is that this person totally wasted tons and tons of construction paper. She actually didn't do anything. Really, I'm sure she just sat there and picked her nose.

Maybe I shouldn't get too worked up over this, however, when your budget is only $500 for the whole year- for the whole school, wasting 100 sheets of constructions paper really makes me on. I basically get to spend less than one dollar on each student. And when someone comes in and decides to do their own thing it really makes me mad.

I asked the principal if he heard anything from her, i.e. maybe she couldn't find my clearly marked BRIGHT GREEN FOLDER that was thick with examples, plans, class lists, emergency information etc... He said no. In fact he said," Honestly, she probably just winged it."

This is the school I detest. And it continues....

Sorry about the rant, may this be the only one of 2010! (Cross fingers)