Political Views…Or Control Issues?

I took advantage of a provided work day today and organized a few areas of my classroom that have sorely needed it. The entire day was spent relatively alone, with music or internet episodes filling the silence while I cleaned, rearranged, and organized. Overall, I loved having the day to get caught up and ready for the final 8 weeks of school! However, the reason we had it has really upset several of my co-workers across all 6 schools in our ISD.

You see, there was a gathering of teachers and educational administration at the state capitol today, protesting and making their voices heard about a few different propositions concerning our profession. Anyone who went came to work at 8:30, had breakfast and lunch provided, and if they had to stop somewhere for supper that would be taken care of too. Those of us who stayed home were made to arrive at the normal 7:45 time, sign in, and could not leave except for lunch time (although my school did give us an hour for lunch). On top of that, anyone who WENT to the capitol will be allowed to wear jeans anytime for the rest of the school year, the rest of us will have to continue to wear professional attire. I don’t really care for jeans and kind of have my own dress code, that usually matches up pretty well with the casual professional dress code our school has (I’m jut quirky…not ill-dressed) so that part doesn’t bother me…but the implications do.

The ‘if you aren’t with us and on our agenda totally you get punished’ vibe that this demonstration sent out has people up in arms about the way it was all handled. So here is my question to you…is this a group of people showing passion for their beliefs and political views, or is this a set of people with control issues looking to force ‘their’ employees into falling in step behind them?

Either way, I got my work done and don’t mind the dress code staying the same. Honestly, I’m not even sure what side of the issue we were supposed to be on…

The Postage Stamp Garden

The Postage Stamp Vegetable Garden: Grow Tons of Organic Vegetables in Tiny Spaces and Containers

By: Karen Newcomb

*I received this book for free in return for an honest review*

This book is fabulous! From history, to dirt, to traditional gardens, and tiny overflowing squares of goodness…Newcomb takes her readers through an informative and entertaining education on growing whatever size garden you have! I began taking notes 3 sentences into the introduction, and didn’t stop until I finished reading.

Completely revised from the original 1975 version, this updated book has instructions for anyone who wants them and will be a great resource for young, old, novice, and pro gardeners. I know I’m using it this year!

I give this book 4 out of 5 dragons.

Projects

I don’t know why we do this to ourselves. Pile up projects, due dates, and D.I.Y.s until we just turn in confused circles, trying to decide which way to go first or, possibly worse, which paint color matches the worksheet our boss assigned today that’s due yesterday. Maybe some of us, myself included, thrive on such craziness. Perhaps the organized and zen approach to life would make us insane, crazy with boredom and aching for stress within a week (probably sooner). I wouldn’t know, I’ve never gotten to point where I could find out! As soon as one thing is finished, three more jump up to take its place, waving like an elementary student who thinks they know the answer.

In fact, I am currently smack dab in the middle of at least 5 different projects:

Dragons in the Deep: Book 4 in the Stone Dragon Saga. A centuries old pirate ship is discovered and could hold the key to finding Aliphonsore’s parents. In fact, it could hold the key to ending the Fairy Queen’s insidious plans. With new friends, both human and otherwise, the return of Passiona and her pet sorcerer on the loose, and ancient obscure texts you never know what could be waiting around the corner!

Fifth Grade Dragons: A spin off of the main Stone Dragon Saga. This book finds Aliphonsore and King Ferdinand as professors at an academy in Realta, having made their way back home after the final battle with Passiona. Anna, who is now a writing teacher for a local fifth grade, is asked to help Aliphonsore and Ferdinand teach some students the basics of ‘human’ story telling/writing…to (hopefully) hilarious results.

Highland Park Presents: A short story compilation written by my fifth graders. They each worked hard on providing a short story that shows their abilities, their interests, and their weird senses of humor. Tyree Tomes is transcribing and editing the stories, turning them into one impressive book with a forward written by none other than the proud teacher…ME!

Plants and Ecology: A unit in science that teach students about things the food chain, energy consumption/output, and the ways communities are coming together and using Science to help save their local environments.

Organizing My Rooms: I have 4 rooms that ‘belong’ to me in this house. My bedroom, my sitting room, my closet, and the writer’s loft. We (meaning Dad) are building shelves for the back of my bedroom and will be getting those put in (hopefully!) soon. After that it is my sincere belief that I might be able to get my rooms organized and things up off of my floors! I KNOW that it HAS to be possible! I JUST KNOW IT!

Crocheting/DIY: I almost forgot…I promised a crocheted ear flappy hat to a friend a few months ago…he reminded me about that the other day so maybe I should hop on that! And don’t get me started on the DIY play house and cutesy painting I was hoping to get done this week cus…that ain’t gonna happen!

YOWZA! Putting them all in a row like that is a bit shocking to the system. Quick…somebody line out their to-do list for me! What are you getting done right now? Are you one of ‘us’, with the mile long constant list or are you one of those people who have it all lined out and finish one project before starting another one? If you’re the second type…HOW DOES THAT WORK???

I can’t wait to hear from you! Good luck with all your projects!

Reasons are just Excuses in a Top hat

I’ve have come up with all kinds of ‘reasons’ lately. “Reasons” that I’m not exercising, “reasons” that I’m not finished grading papers, “reasons” for not posting on the blog in weeks…and they are some great reasons! All the extra ‘fun’ (and not so!) stuff that was scheduled for the students over the past two weeks bumped my lessons more than a week, so that final papers got turned in the day we let out for spring break instead of the week before.

As for the running training and strength exercising that I was gonna be in the middle of by now…well my kid won’t settle for long, she’s a handful for nap time, I have all those papers to grade, meetings and early mornings don’t give me time…I have a ton of them!! Are you noticing a trend here? All these great reasons that I’m behind or not doing something I said I would do…they’re just excuses.

Isn’t that all a reason really is? An excuse all dressed up in it’s Sunday finery, top hat and all, just waiting to be paraded out for the company. Well guess what, maybe if I just admitted, even to myself, that these things are NOT the real cause of my lackluster performance, then I could start to pull it together and get things done.

Now I’m not saying that admitting to making excuses is going to solve all the world’s problems here. Far from it! My reasoning is just this: If I admit, just to myself, that the reason I didn’t exercise was not that I was worried about my daughter’s nap schedule or the stack of papers waiting on me, it was just simply that I did not want to..then maybe I will eventually change my tactic or my motivations. Or I just get rid of that activity.

Maybe I will admit that the problem is really that I lack organizational skills and need to better manage my time, among other things. Well then there I have it…a jumping off point for overhauling my paper grading/exercising/dieting/writing/everyotherdarnthing!

And maybe your reasons really are nothing more than good reasons. No top hats or fancy handkerchiefs waving in the breeze. If that is the case, I applaud you! If not…well they say admitting you have a problem is the first step on the road to recovery. I just say, pass the potato chips and turn on Netflix!

Chasing Vermeer

Blue Balliett and illustrator Brett Helquist created a world that the reader can

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right in and immediately feel a part of the story. The story itself provides a lot of information in such a way as to interest and delight the audience, as we are pulled in and caught up in the storyline.

This book includes action, intrigue, math, and art all mixed together with a big dose of burgeoning friendship and suspicion.

I give this book 5 out of 5 dragons. Blue Balliet – I salute you! Brett Helquist…I need some dragons drawn…:D