Thursday, August 26, 2010


Perhaps I am being silly here, but am both embarrassed and hurt by something that happened today.

A number of years ago a close friend went with me on a school trip to the UK. She lives over a thousand miles away so it was a treat for us to be able to travel together. On that particular trip we brought our daughters as well as my students.

Things went well at first, but my students came to me and were complaining about the bickering going on among some of the other kids. None of the teen drama made any sense to me, so I pulled all the kids that were arguing together and made them sit down and talk out whatever the heck was going on.

My friend's daughter was behind the mess. She was carrying tales back and forth between groups of kids doing the teen girl "she said this about you" or "he said that about you" thing. Possibly it was a divide and conquer thing to get into one of the groups - I don't know.

I told my friend what was going on and she was angry with her daughter for being so dumb and life went on. As the trip progressed things became more strained though. My friend was spending more and more time with her daughter because the rest of the kids didn't really want anything to do with her anymore. Add to that mess the fact that this friend of mine has had various mental health issues in the past.

I'd been there for her through a number of them. Some of those things included me talking her out of suicide and being there to support her through issues that drove her depression into a serious mess. I think seeing her daughter unhappy made her angry and she became somewhat of a bitch for the remainder of the trip.

When we got back to the States, I was uncertain how to handle things. I felt uncomfortable calling her because she stomped off at the airport without even saying goodbye. I just didn't know what to say so I hoped she'd contact me.

Time went on and I missed her. I missed the wonderful things about her. I missed the bond we had and how we always seemed to have each other's backs. Even so, I was still edgy and didn't want to make that first move.

There were so many times I stared at my phone over the years. There were so many times I started to dial and hung up. There were a couple of times that I blocked my number and called only to get a voice message. Rather than leaving a message, I hung up. I just didn't know what to say.

Last November I called her and left a message. My hope was that years put the rough feelings of our last time together behind us and we could possibly regain some sort of a friendship.

She called me back the next day and we talked for hours. We laughed and joked about all the things that have happened in our lives over the years. She sent me an email and said she would rather keep in contact that way because her work schedule made it crazy to be able to catch each other to talk.

We began to write back and forth about once a week. We shared feelings, laughs, and stories about what was going on with us. She sent me pics of her family - yada yada yada. In the meantime we talked on the phone every once in a while.

I hadn't heard from her for about a month so I called her last week. Today she responded with an email that shocked me.

She said she doesn't know why I bothered to contact her after all these years and that she knows it certainly couldn't be because I missed her. She said she has no desire to renew any kind of friendship with me and told me to have a good life.

I was stunned.

Why would she suddenly decide that? It makes me sad.


It's Over

This is it mon last "official" week of freedom from other people's teenagers. Next week I head back to work for workshops, the week after that the wild hordes of kids will be upon me.

I'll have my usual tenth and eleventh grade kids - for those of you in other parts of the world, this means they are roughly 15-17. They've also given me ninth grade. Argh! What a rough age.

We also have a new principal and a new superintendent. Three of our school board members are up for reelection in November. AND *drumroll* so is our referendum. It comes down to this - if it fails, my school and job go bye bye. If it passes, life will be good.

What a weird and whacky feeling. This may be it for a school district.

Cross your fingers for my school and for moi! I get those hyper little ninth graders this year!!!


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Vision

Suffice it to say, that was one of the most horrific things I have ever seen/experienced.

They had an open coffin.

It caught me off guard.

There they were – the mother, my old student, with her beautiful baby girl curled up beside her. Beneath the blanket that rested across the mommy was her tiny baby who was only two days from being born.

I cried.

I think everyone cried.

I cannot see how anyone wouldn’t have been moved to tears.

I cannot seem to get that image out of my mind. It’s haunting me.


Saturday, August 21, 2010


There are those news stories that just get you - they tear at your heart and make you wonder why the hell things like that happen in our world. I'm talking about the stories that never happen to anyone we actually know - it's those horrible things that happen to other people.

This week one of them happened to someone I know.

She was one of my students. She traveled with me. She hung out in my room. She made me smile. She was a good person. She was one of those quieter students who didn't need or seek to be the center of attention. She wasn't the most popular girl in school, but she was kind and people liked her.

She graduated several years and ago and went on with her life.

She graduated from college. She worked with kids.

She was married and she had a fifteen month old baby. Her second baby was scheduled to be delived on Wednesday via c-section. Both were little girls.

Rather than celebrating the life of a new baby, her family and friends are left with sadness and grief.

Her scum sucking excuse for a cheating bastard of a husband brought an end to all of their lives.

He shot them.

He killed his fifteen month old baby girl. He killed his pregnant wife a couple of days before their second little girl was to be born. The asshole even shot their three dogs before killing himself.

She'd left him and was back in the house getting some of her things.

She knew he was cheating on her.

She knew he was an ass.

She left.

Sadly, she must not have had a clue as to how dangerous he truly was.

News reports will go on and on about what a kind and loving man he was. They will blame his military service in Iraq for his behavior. I don't care. I really don't.

Maybe it is nasty and unforgiving of me to say "I don't give a shit" about his mental health issues, I don't care.

I understand the fact that war plays hell with a person's mind. I get that.

What I will never get past is the fact that this animal was able to look into the eyes of an innocent fifteen month child - his own daughter - as he shot her. There is no excuse. He murdered his family.

Now there are unanswered questions running through the minds of so many people.

There are her friends who are mourning and wishing they could have done something to save her.

There is her family praying to find a way to turn back the clock and to stop her from going back to that house.

There is grief.

There is sadness.

There is no wee baby to coo over.

Instead, many people, including me, will be attending a wake tomorrow and a funeral the following day.

It is just so sad - so horrifying.

It's one of those things you never think will personally touch your life. We see stories like this in the papers and on the news - I hate that it is so close. I hate that things like this happen to anyone.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Bean v Car

I'm hangin' here - hanging my head in shame. Here I was utterly and completely muttering about my hubster's silly spending habits and I most certainly had to find a way to choke down every one of those wayward mutters.

Why, you ask?

Last night was silly time with my gang of grad school girlies. When we get together it's our time to recap what's been happening in our lives since the last time we sharing the same space.

I think I've babbled about them before - this time it was our Diamond Girl that had one of the best stories to share.

It seems her hubby had the brilliant idea to buy his mom a brand new Camaro. She vetoed this plan for a couple of reasons: 1. his mom and dad have plenty of cash and could have paid cash for it if they wanted to buy one 2. Diamond Girl thought spending that kind of money on "mom" was a bit frivolous.

Apparently, hubster disagreed. He went off on his own and bought the car! Now they have $500/month car payments on a car that his mom loves, but seldom drives.

Oi vey!

Who does this?

Seriously, a few weeks ago I was rolling my eyes when my hubster was paying $8/pound for black jelly beans! He insisted on buying a whole lotta pounds of the gooey things as a gag gift and I thought that was dumb.

Put in perspective, I'd happily buy even more jelly beans! Yup, those little black suckers were a much better buy.

So, I am chagrined. I shall not complain again! (at least not today)


Friday, August 6, 2010


Yesterday I drove Girlcub to the theater so she could meet a friend for some teeniebopper movie. When we drove up, I noticed three squirmy little boys and one chubby little boy all hanging outside the theater.

As soon as I parked, the chubby one walked over to the car with a "wanted poster". The poster had a pic of Waldo and was done up like a police wanted thing.

For unknown reason he thought he was amusing as he went up to movie people and asked them "Have you seen this man? The police are looking for him."

Sadly, he was too much of a nerd to realize how geeky he was actually being!

When he finally walked away, mon Girlcub grinned at me and said "Uh, mom, he's one of your new students this year!"

Oh joy!

I knew having one class of younger kids would be different, but I didn't expect this one. Ha! I'm going to call him Waldo!


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Scoop on the Poop

So there is this guy that lives in my town and I am feeling consumed with guilt because I don't think I'm feeling the "proper" amount of sympathy for him right now.

I don't like him.

Our paths have crossed socially and professionally for years.

I never liked him.

He's always come across as arrogant and superior.

He taught my oldest daughter in school. She didn't like him

Our younger kids went to daycare together.

If my two year old took a toy from his two year old, he mentioned it in class to my daughter and embarrassed her.

I always had this feeling he was looking down my nose at me and that he thought I was some kind of superfluous bit of fluff.

He never said anything - it was just how he made me feel.

My youngest son goes to school with his son. His son is rather pompous (or so say most of the teachers he has had along the way). The kid is very bright, but arrogant.

We've served on committees together, this man and me, and he puts himself out there as an expert on everything we discuss.

It makes me crazy.

When we moved into this house we had extra fencing. I mentioned to someone that the guy could have the fencing because his son was going to raise goats. The man called and asked if he could come get it immediately. I was getting ready to go somewhere and told him the next day would work out better. He argued. I said no, tomorrow is best because I was busy. He showed up five minutes later. Rude!

Three years ago his wife was diagnosed with cancer. I didn't know her that well, but she seemed nice enough. I felt badly for her, for their two kids, and even for the man. It was an aggressive form of cancer; we all knew she wouldn't survive.

Late last month she died. It truly is a tragedy for that family. Nobody deserves that to happen to them - not her, the kids, her friends, or the man.

On Sunday I saw the man at our local town thingy. He came over to hang out with my friends and me. I told him again how sorry I was that his wife died. I said all the things one should say in that situation.

I was involved with something else and didn't really listen carefully to the conversation he was intently having with one of my friends.

Later I find out their conversation was him grumbling about something. He was being his negative and superior self about an issue that was very important to my friend that he was discussing it with.

She chalked it up to the fact that he must be having a difficult time right now.

Not me.

I just thought "he's like that all the time".

Hell, I am sitting here actually feeling guilty for not feeling guilty because I can't jump on the "cut him some slack, his wife died" bandwagon.

He was a poop before.

I think he's a poop now.

Now he's a tragic figure to people and I can't say I think he's a big stinker or I'll look like an unfeeling twit.


Oh well. I can say it here.

He's a poop!