Cough Cough

Let’s talk about coughing during a global pandemic where one of the most notable symptoms is coughing!

Living in the Texas Panhandle my entire life, I know that March is the time for wind. This wind causes dormant allergies to reawaken with a vendetta. Since Saturday, I’ve had a case of seasonal allergies. This year’s case can be defined as Cough, Cough, and Look There’s a Headache! Normally this wouldn’t be a problem. I would take some medicine and things will be back to normal in a bit. Amidst a global pandemic… coughing sounds a lot different. Cough… did someone hear me? Cough… I promise it’s just allergies! Cough… I swear I’m fine! Cough… I’ll be fine after I take a drink!

Today, I am at a writing workshop with some coworkers. Many (including me) are coughing and then looking around like we have just committed the greatest bank heist of all time or just coughing and quickly looking busy again. Luckily most in the room know that this time of year brings on these allergies that very few can escape, but we still feel like we have to make sure everyone knows we aren’t truly sick.

Maybe next March when these allergies pop up again we won’t have to feel so guilty of coughing in public!

Click Clack

As my fifth graders were finishing their drama reading passage and questions, all I could hear was click clack. While working with a small group, I am used to hearing all sorts of sounds. Noses blowing, pencils sharpening, chairs moving, whispers shouting, and my all time favorite, “Miss… Miss… what do I do now?” (even though they have been told what to do, shown what to do, and have a reminder on the board!).

What I am not used to hearing… silence being interrupted by an eerie click clack. Looking up I started to notice that it was more than one click clack. It was a whole host of click clack. Click. Clack. Click. Clack. Of course I had to get up and investigate.

Where were all of the expected noises? Did no one need to blow their nose? Did everyone have a sharpened pencil? What was the click clack?!?

Walking the room the click clack seemed to get louder and louder. I looked up and I looked down and I finally found the sound… my students were typing on the computer. I wish I had a camera for this once in a blue moon occurrence. The students were working on their Pet Rock Writing.

I was almost afraid to make any noise. I didn’t dare to interrupt the click clack of the class. This had happened before, once upon a time, when the students were working on Chain Writing, but NEVER on Pet Rock Writing! It’s usually a lot of looking around and talking to a friend and sharpening pencils (even though the assignment is 100% on the computer).

When my alarm signaled that class was ending and they needed to pack up I had to ask, “What was up with that?!? You guys will usually turn this in at the last minute. I don’t think it’s been this quiet in here since the first day of school! You were all working… Don’t get me wrong, I LOVED it! You were all doing your work and doing it well! What gives? What has happened that I don’t know about yet but soon will?!?”

One brave soul volunteered… “Well… I don’t know… we just wanted to… write?” I’m still not sure if this brave soul was telling me the truth or just telling me what they thought I wanted to hear! Either way, that class has finished their Pet Rock Writing and will be getting some extra recess this week!

Bad Days Turn Into Great Stories

Today in the car I was listening to 100 Bad Days by AJR and two lines kept repeating in my head (it didn’t hurt that the song kept repeating these lines!). “A hundred bad days made a hundred good stories. A hundred good stories made me interesting at parties.”

Thinking of these two lines, I started thinking about all of the bad days that have happened this year. The days where I questioned if I would be able to show up with a smile on my face the next day. The days where not being exhausted seems like a distant dream. The days that nothing went right and everything went wrong.

These days have turned into some of the most interesting stories… or at least I hope they will. Like the days where I questioned if I would be able to show up with a smile on my face the next day and then a student told me a silly joke that made my smile reappear. Or the days that I not being exhausted was a distant memory and then my teaching team decided to have a dance off in the hall with the students. Or the days that nothing went right and everything went wrong but the students and I were able to take a step back from intentional instruction and just talk about anything and everything.

So the next time I have a bad day, I’m going to try and look at how to rethink it and turn it into an interesting story!

I Underestimated You

I underestimated you

I underestimated just how much you would grow

I underestimated where you would go

I underestimated you

I underestimated how you didn’t want to fit in

I underestimated where you belong

I underestimated you

I thought I followed the directions

I thought I knew what I was doing

I thought I had all of the things you needed

I underestimated you

*I tried making cake bites today. They became mini-cupcakes because I underestimated just how much the cake would grow… They were supposed to be the size of brownie bites!

Missing Amazon Package

Amazon Package, where are you?

When the order was placed on Thursday you said that you would arrive by Saturday.

I only ordered from Amazon so I wouldn’t have to go to the store.

Monday is Crazy Sock Day.

I wanted the multi-colored toe socks to be Extra Crazy…

Now, I have to wear Normal Crazy…

How am I supposed to show my… feet?

Maybe you will arrive tomorrow.

If not, I guess it’s going to be Normal Crazy Sock Day.

Friday Musings

Wow… it has been a week! What started out as just another week before Spring Break has turned into a looooooong week.

Monday: typical day filled with emails, teaching interrupted, tutorials, data, and paperwork. Monday? Are you sure you don’t mean Thursday?

Tuesday: random program at the Jr. High, Read Across America Day, more emails, more teaching interrupted, another day of tutorials, more data, grade level meeting about… data, and more paperwork. How is it only Tuesday?

Wednesday: students absent, some more emails, some more teaching interrupted, another day of tutorials, some more data, meeting during conference about… I don’t remember, and some more paperwork. Will this week ever end?

Thursday: students back from being absent, even more emails, even more teaching interrupted, at least there are no tutorials, even more data, another random meeting during conference… I should really look back at my notes to remember what we discussed, even more paperwork. At least tomorrow is Friday?

Friday: most of the students are present, emails that can be snoozed until Monday, Escape Room = not in my classroom so my teaching isn’t interrupted, no tutorials, all of the data has been looked at, all of the meetings have been conducted throughout the week so I have my entire conference to finish things, less paperwork because I did it all week long! Thank Goodness It’s Friday!

Why are You?

Michael Scott said it best, “Why are you the way that you are?” This line makes me laugh every time because he is once again dogging on Toby Flenderson. (If you don’t know who I am talking about, watch The Office! It will change your life!) But when I take this line out of the episode and repeat it to myself, it becomes a new question with very few answers.

Why are you the way that you are? Is there one moment in your life that can change everything, or is it a collection of moments that shape you? Do you ever know that you are currently in a life-defining moment? How many of these moments have I had and just didn’t realize it? Should I have gone left instead of right?

Why are you the way that you are?

Generational Hearing

Today I was in the car with my dad and he said, “Busted flat in Baton Rogue waiting for a train,” when he saw someone pulled over. Being a huge Janis Joplin fan from the age of 12 I immediately knew the song as Me and Bobby McGee! So of course I had to finish the lyrics (in a totally off-key manor)… “When I’s feelin’ near as faded as my jeans. Bobby PHONED a diesel down just before it rained. And rode us all the way into New Orleans.” We left it at that and then went about our short trip back to my car.

About 10 minutes later, I arrived at my parents house for dinner. As I walked in the door, he asked for me to sing that part of the song to my mom. I thought he was going to make fun of how off-key I am. When I got to the part about Bobby PHONING the diesel down, my mom and dad started laughing and trying to interrupt me. He then started saying that it was a generational thing. I didn’t understand. Bobby PHONED a diesel down… what was the big deal?!? He quickly informed me that Bobby didn’t phone anything. He THUMBED a diesel down, but never PHONED.

This. Blew. My. Mind!

For years I’ve been singing about PHONING this truck down to take Me and Bobby McGee from Baton Rogue to New Orleans. I never stopped to think that they didn’t have a phone to call from, stranded on the side of the road, in 1971!

My dad must have seen the flabbergasted look on my face because he started to explain that it’s a generational thing. I’ve never had to hitchhike (THUMB a diesel down) before because, since I’ve been old enough to travel without adult supervision I’ve had a cell phone. It would only make sense that I would think Bobby McGee PHONED a diesel down just before it rained!

So the question that will keep me up all night: What other old songs have I been applying my generational hearing to?!?

Livin’ That Blue Fish Life

Today is Read Across America Day. My school decided to have a dress up day. If you work at an elementary school, you know that this means go ALL OUT! If you don’t, we are those crazy people in costumes you randomly see at the grocery store.

My grade level (5th) decided to do a group costume for today. This was a challenge… It wouldn’t have been so hard if we had made a decision with backups before Sunday night. We chose (the only option) to go as One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish. When we started to discuss this, we were just going to wear colored shirts with a picture of a fish or two. That quickly changed at lunch on Monday when we overheard what another grade level was going to do. (We might be a tad bit competitive!) We ended Monday knowing that we had to go big or go home. (You know… if getting to stay home on Tuesday was an option.)

Today (Tuesday) as I was getting ready, I found myself with fake blue tinsel eyelashes that would not stay on. Blue shirt, blue bandana, blue nails, and blue shoes. Before I had left my house I was searching for a lost eyelash, that was quickly found on my water bottle. Fast forward to school… I now have 1980s like blue eye shadow and blue freckles. All of this wouldn’t have been bad except for the fact that our grade level had to go to the Jr. High for a program with a guest speaker.

When we first entered the Jr. High building, I was somehow the only 5th grade teacher that walked in dressed up for the day! The looks were priceless! As we were waiting for the remainder of the grade level to arrive, I got to explain that I am normally dressed like a somewhat sane adult and that it was Read Across America Day! I have always been aware of, but guess I never understood, that grades beyond elementary don’t typically dress up and go ALL OUT for any random day on the calendar!

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