Friday, November 28, 2014

Junior Cotillion

The 8th grader grumbled and groused when I signed her up for junior cotillion.  I already know which fork to use. I don't wanna learn how to dance. This will be boring. 

Lo and behold, mom was right and she is really enjoying the experience. The refresher course on dining etiquette was helpful and now she knows the proper procedure for buttering a roll. She can waltz and foxtrot with the best of them. Sure, some of the boys are still shorter than her, but they'll eventually catch up.

The best part was the semi-formal a couple weeks ago. I curled her hair into big fat ringlets at her request, while sitting on the floor with her in front of the full length mirror. She's starting to look more like her sister, the college co-ed. Both girls are all about the pretty eye makeup. They obviously inherited this from their grandmothers since I don't give a hoot about that sorta stuff most of the time.

Here she is in all of her party dress glory with part of my Santa collection as her backdrop.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Veteran, veterinarian, whatever...

A tail tale from the teaching trenches! Every year, students make Veteran's Day cards for the ceremony held on campus. These are distributed to the parents and grandparents that attend the ceremony, men and women who served in the armed forces.

Mrs. G, the 5th gr language arts and social studies teacher that I co-teach with, was talking to the kids about making cards for the vets in honor of the upcoming celebration. She led the class in a discussion about the history of the holiday and gave them some guidance on what might be appropriate wording for the card, typical American symbols for the exterior, coloring it a patriotic red-white-blue, etc. 

A couple days later, Mrs. G pulled me aside in class to share a Veteran's Day card that one of my special ed students had created. It seems this student latched onto the VET part of the lesson, but didn't fully grasp the meaning of the holiday. She had decorated the front of her card with a flag and several dogs. I'm thinking to myself, that's good, flags are appropriate, dogs do serve in the military and it was nicely drawn/colored. Then Mrs. G opened up the card to show me the note inside. My sweet little confused special ed student kindly thanked the VET for taking care of her dogs. She even elaborated a bit, mentioning giving them shots and treats when they're good.

It was so wrong, and yet so terribly sweet and heartfelt. I'd like to take this opportunity to thank the family vet for keeping our own Ollie healthy. And sure, my husband, brother-in-law, father-in-law, father and grandfather for their service in the army and air force. 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

North, north to Alaska

Today, when the high finally stayed below 80, I was reminiscing about our summer cruise to Alaska. With the start of school and insanity that ensued, I never got around to documenting it.

Here is a taste of the majesty that is our northernmost state.

The scenery was truly breathtaking. Witnessing the salmon swimming upriver was great. Seeing eagles soar and then perch to pose for a pic was magical. The freshly steamed crab pulled out of the crab pots earlier in the day was delicious. It was a memorable family trip and I've got the photos to prove it… just no time to post more than this little blurb.

School is going well for the 8th grader, with fabulous grades and fun things like pep squad as well as junior cotillion. The college coed recently made the decision to move back to an excellent in-state university from the one she attends 1200 miles from home. I honestly don't care where she gets her first college degree, so long as it's done in a timely manner rather than on the decade plan. 

Finally, random observations from the teaching trenches: 5th and 6th grade students these days just aren't familiar with the cool idioms we heard from our parents and grandparents when we were their age. Kick the bucket, an arm and a leg, blessing in disguise, piece of cake, once in a blue moon, sitting on the fence. It makes me a tad sad to realize they're missing out on all of this fun figurative language.