Wednesday, October 27, 2010

First of the Goodbyes

As my mother will attest, I've always been the strong one, the one with the stiff upper lip, the one who can hold it together without getting all emotional or sentimental.  I'm the one who sucks it up and keeps going.  What I've realized about myself is that I do this out of self-preservation.  It's a control thing.  If I don't hold it together, I'll be a puddle on the floor.  I don't know why or when this developed - maybe I was born this way.  All I know is that this inherent part of my personality will be put through a marathon of gut-wrenching emotion when I end this chapter of my teaching career.

I gave my principal a letter of resignation on Friday.  My last day in the classroom will be Tuesday, November 23.  My students think I'll be leaving them over the Christmas break as we originally planned, but I had to peel off the rose-colored glasses and admit that just wasn't possible.  No way could I quit teaching on Dec. 17 and then have my entire house packed up for a sea voyage to England just three days later.  

Life is full of transitions and I've always enjoyed ours, whether it was cities, schools or houses looming on the horizon.  I always looked forward to the next adventure just around the corner.  This is the first time I've had a hard time letting go, leaving behind the people and places that have come to mean so much to me and my family.  

So the chin's gonna tremble and the tears will flow.  I'll try to put on a brave face and look towards the future.  But I won't kid myself that it's going to be easy leaving and can't deny that my heart will break a little bit. 

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Spelling Shmelling

The field of education is prone to the winds of change, and whim.  The pendulum is swinging back from the whole language approach in order to embrace, or at least include, phonics in the past decade.  Thanks to this lack of phonics in the early years, I've seen students land in 5th grade with some atrocious spelling skills.

Honestly, teachers have to stop telling kids to just do the best they can or spell it the way it sounds because this is what happens...  Many cokarochs crack hores in the crakers house.  This was SUPPOSED to be an alliterative sentence with an October or halloween theme.  I don't know about you, but I'm glad I don't have any disease carrying bugs doing illicit things at the corner where the living room meets the entry hall.

Another student wrote in his personal narrative last nine weeks about attending the local fair a few months ago, enjoying animals in the petting farmyard such as the sheep, rabbits and phones.  I'm thinking that AT&T must have been the corporate sponsor for the petting farmyard, trying to work in a plug for their services or cell phones.  Then I start wondering if kids were allowed to play with the phones or show them to their parents and how this whole advertising ploy worked.  Then it dawns on me... the kid was trying to write FAWNS.  Duh!

Remenember - awlays us yur spelchek!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

An Accident Waiting to Happen

Take a look.  There's something seriously wrong with this picture other than the fact that it has a pale cream interior that's terribly impractical when you're driving kids hither and yon in a country that has rain 200 days out of the year.

What the hell am I gonna do with the steering wheel on the wrong damn side of the car?  That's right, John Q. Public, I'm using some choice language here because I'm that freaked out about it.  It's not like I was planning to ship my land yacht of a Yukon to England.  No doubt I'd soon be jailed for involuntary manslaughter after mowing over lots of innocent folks in itty bitty compact cars that get fabulous gas mileage.  Who really needs those side mirrors anyway?  We'll be investing in a slightly used British car once we get on our feet in Surrey, or rather once we're tired of walking everywhere in the cold January weather.

Bring on the fast talking, elitist, crumpet eating, hot tea swilling folks who may be wont to look down their noses at simple Texas folk like me.  I can handle the damp climate, long winter nights and the fact that I'll always need to have an umbrella handy.  You don't scare me with your hogshead cheese or steak and kidney pie.  Your roundabouts, AKA traffic circles, are NOT the stuff of nightmares.  I'm made of much sterner stuff than that.  

Just please don't make me drive on the wrong side of the car... and road!

Falling for Fall

It's October in Texas, so that means we're finally getting a break from the hottest of hot temps we've been enduring for the past several months.  Seriously folks, I don't know that the AC has kicked on in quite a while and that's nice.  This year we've had ridiculously beautiful weather for several weeks.  Mornings have been in the 50s while afternoons get up into the low 80s.  It has been picture perfect lately, blue skies with nary a cloud to mar the perfection of a crystal clear day.

And what's it doing in England, our soon-to-be new home, at this time of year?  According to weather reports that I check weekly, it's even cooler... and rainy.  I guess more along the lines of drizzly would be a more appropriate description.  I've started looking online for one of those things we don't need in Texas, a hall bench storage critter with hooks attached, where you sit to drag off your wellies and then hang up your trenchcoat.  I've never needed to buy a serious footwiper for the front door or entry, but I'm thinking it needs to be added to the list, too.

Here are two of my faves in pics below.  

I like the first one best, thought I think the second one below it is also nice.  The practical side of me just thinks the solid back will keep the wall from getting filthy behind the seat.  My husband is as bad as the kids when it comes to keeping things tidy and clean, meaning he doesn't pay one iota of attention to this.  He's the one who's guilty of tracking shoe debris across the floor and leaving his dishes in the sink.  That white padded cushion on the top would soon be relegated to the trashbin once my own little pigpen sat on it a few times.  

Alas, you need to be single if you want things looking clean and in their proper place on a regular basis.