Thursday, January 13, 2011

What Teachers Make by Taylor Mali

What Teachers Make
by Taylor Mali

He says the problem with teachers is, "What's a kid going to learn
from someone who decided his best option in life was to become a teacher?"
He reminds the other dinner guests that it's true what they say about
Those who can, do; those who can't, teach.

I decide to bite my tongue instead of his
and resist the temptation to remind the other dinner guests
that it's also true what they say about lawyers.

Because we're eating, after all, and this is polite company.

"I mean, you¹re a teacher, Taylor," he says.
"Be honest. What do you make?"

And I wish he hadn't done that
(asked me to be honest)
because, you see, I have a policy
about honesty and ass-kicking:
if you ask for it, I have to let you have it.

You want to know what I make?

I make kids work harder than they ever thought they could.
I can make a C+ feel like a Congressional medal of honor
and an A- feel like a slap in the face.
How dare you waste my time with anything less than your very best.

I make kids sit through 40 minutes of study hall
in absolute silence. No, you may not work in groups.
No, you may not ask a question.
Why won't I let you get a drink of water?
Because you're not thirsty, you're bored, that's why.

I make parents tremble in fear when I call home:
I hope I haven't called at a bad time,
I just wanted to talk to you about something Billy said today.
Billy said, "Leave the kid alone. I still cry sometimes, don't you?"
And it was the noblest act of courage I have ever seen.

I make parents see their children for who they are
and what they can be.

You want to know what I make?

I make kids wonder,
I make them question.
I make them criticize.
I make them apologize and mean it.
I make them write, write, write.
And then I make them read.
I make them spell definitely beautiful, definitely beautiful, definitely
over and over and over again until they will never misspell
either one of those words again.
I make them show all their work in math.

And hide it on their final drafts in English.
I make them understand that if you got this (brains)
then you follow this (heart) and if someone ever tries to judge you
by what you make, you give them this (the finger).

Let me break it down for you, so you know what I say is true:
I make a goddamn difference! What about you?


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Running Princess

     We took the kids to see Disney on Ice (Princess Classics) last weekend. We weren't going to and then Pete decided that we should. Lydia kept asking to go and we told her no, so we kept it as a surprise that we were going. She didn't know until she walked into the skating rink. She was very happy. Jon was less enthused with the show. I thought there would be enough eye candy to keep him entertained, but he lost interest if there were only a few skaters on the ice. When there were a lot of skaters, he'd watch and then clap madly for them. In our downtime, Pete and I took turns with Jon while he ran the hallway.
     We have a busy week, followed by a busy weekend. Dentist appointment, boot camp, orthopedic appointment, play date, church dance, gymnastics, Fancy Nancy party at the library, girls night, church, and then dinner with friends. Busyness abound. I look forward to Martin Luther King plans other than Jon's 18-month doctor appointment. 
     Workouts are going strong, as you can see I'm squeezing in a boot camp class this week. I'm running and strength training either in the wee hours, or after work. The physical therapist issued me a TENS home unit and it has been a dream for running, however I'm bothered that the muscle spasm in my calf is still there and not going away...after 10 weeks. My follow up orthopedic appointment is Wednesday, so I'll be interested in what he has to say. Like I said, I love the TENS unit and it allows me to get a run done with very little muscle cramping. I ran into a friend on Sunday at the gym. I've enlisted her help in doing some races with me. I have to work on this racing anxiety and hope that it only takes a few races to work through. I figured she can push my pace since she is lightening speed faster than me and hopefully help me when the anxiety kicks in. We're shooting to run the Chili Chilly race in a couple of weeks, pending half way decent winter running weather. We'll see how it goes!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Haircut

     Last Sunday I took Gram Group to her church and out to lunch. She doesn't drive anymore so I know she doesn't get to her church very often and I imagine she misses it. It also happens to be my childhood church...a very small, country church. Lydia joined us, and we left dad and Jonny at home. It was pretty cool seeing Lydia do the children's time during service, followed by Sunday School, knowing that I did the same thing in that very same church, at her age.
     Jon has started getting his getting his two-year molars. The kid got his teeth like wildfire. He has a full set and now we're just waiting on those molars to finally break through. 
     I took both kids to get their haircut last night. Of course Lydia wants to grow her hair like Rapunzel now, since the new movie came out. She still needed a shape up though since it was several months since her last haircut. Jon was a first timer and he was NOT a happy client. I have pictures to prove it. (poor quality cell phone photos)

Here he is...pretty unsure of what is next.
"Hmmm...not sure if I like this, Mom!"
"Nope, I most certainly do not. I wish she would stop holding my head!"
"I think I'll let her know that I don't like this one bit!" And not a single tear, just mad, mad screaming!
"Well this lollipop sorta makes it better, but not really"

Monday, January 3, 2011

Time to rest!

    Phew! The busyness of the holiday is over. While I love Christmas, I actually prefer the February break because I actually feel like I got a break when I return back to work. December break you're so busy with the holidays, I end up returning to work  more tired than when I started break. Still, all in all, a very enjoyable week home with the family. The house is all de-Christmasized and we have returned back to normal routine. The snow is even gone. We had a very white Christmas and just melted in the last couple days. More snow is headed our way this week, although I don't think it's anything significant.
     Lydia was perfect Christmas morning. She came into our room, totally amazed. "Mom and dad, Santa has been here and he left presents!" Jonny wasn't that interested in actually opening his gifts this year, but he was interested in his gifts once they were opened. Lydia was more than eager to help Jon open his gifts. As for the Christmas lasagna contest, I won. At least I'm saying I did (because this is my blog and I can), although mom was very diplomatic wouldn't declare a winner. Kudos to Rudy though because he did pull off an excellent lasagna! His certainly looked prettier than mine because I browned mine a bit longer than I should have.
    I'm still going to therapy for the calf. The other upper leg muscle strain seems to have corrected itself with the help of the knee sleeve. The calf injury, although better, still bothers me. I have my follow up orthopedic appointment in a couple of weeks. I did a boot camp class on New Years Day and now my calves are sore from that...I'm guessing it was the hills she had us run. My calves were hollering at me during yesterday and today's run so I didn't push it. I don't have to weigh in for Weight Watchers until the end of the month--ah, the joys of being a life-timer. This will give me time to get a bit of the Christmas weight gain off. I did indulge over break and thoroughly enjoyed it.
     I should probably do one of those "Year in Review" blog entries, but I'm not going to lie, I probably won't do it. So here it is: I had a fantastic 2010 and can’t wait to see what 2011 will bring!