Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Greatest Weekend Ever!

  • Climbed the hardest climb I've ever tried, a 9+. Please don't laugh, I'm trying to get better. Scared me so bad, I almost cried.
  • Ate sushi with Ben and Jess.
  • Longboarded up Provo Canyon, then back down Provo Canyon.
  • Visited with Zach and Em.
  • Ate a yummy breakfast with the Bateman fam.
  • Rode trax to SLC (The crazies were in full swing.)
  • Saw the circus! (I was absolutely amazed the entire time. It truly is the greatest show on earth/The most terrifying show on earth.)
  • Ate at Jason's deli. (Free ice cream!)
  • Busted it to get to the Red Lion hotel in order to catch the 5:00 P.M. Fun Bus to Wendover to visit Nat and Thurm. (Tears on my end.)
  • Ate at a Mexican restaurant with Nat, Thurm, and baby Quinn
  • Told scary stories
  • Slept in late (Finally!)
  • Helped Quinn get ready for church. (Tears on his end.)
  • Used our free buffet ticket for lunch. (Crazy lady was there demanding that someone give her a blanket or a towel because she was too cold to eat. Amazing that they didn't have a blanket to offer, Ben and I laughed pretty hard. Later, when I snuck a peek, she was sporting a gross towel probably one fresh from being used to wipe off a table.)
  • Played Bandu and Chicken Foot
  • Hunted for frogs/scouted out old buildings/chased a lizard/mosquito bites galore
  • Awesome hike
  • Yummy homemade soup
  • Watched a movie
  • Goodbyes to Nat and Thurm
  • Fun Bus home wasn't so fun at first because we almost got kicked off due to lack of room. "You could sit on my lap!" "Um ... I don't think my boyfriend would like that."
Thank you Nat and Thurm for letting us play with you and the little guy.

Sunday, September 28, 2008


I was driving to work the other morning, thinking about how it seems like I am more grumpy these days then I really should be, and an SUV politely switched lanes in front of me. 
Their license plate read POOJA.

I couldn't stop laughing; I can't stop laughing.

I was quickly brainstorming possible meanings of POOJA. 
Poo jar? (That's for you Camille.)
Poo ja! (Like "Joke's on you, I just poo'd ya!")

Jessica used it later on in the day to describe how gross something tasted. 

I will forever love POOJA.
Please, tell me what POOJA stands for.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Survived Another PTC

Parent Teacher Conference Joys:

1. Student plops down next to his beautiful mother and squeaks, "Can I take your picture?" I laugh, then realize it's not a joke, then get confused eyebrows while I question the purpose of the picture. I get a shrug from the student, with a mumbled, "Project." Then his mother mumbles, "Youtube." This is all very sketchy, so while I'm still in a confused pose, student pulls out a green camera and snaps away. Perfect, thanks. So watch for me on youtube. Look for a confused Ms. Bateman who's body is screaming for a break from being at the school for 26 of the last 48 hours.

2. "Hi, I'm Ms. Bateman. Thank you so much for coming."
"Oh, so you're the one who keeps bugging us."
Arrgh! So you have been getting my phone calls, e-mails, letters! Return my messages for crying out loud, and help me get your kid to turn in work and behave in class. (I'm not exaggerating, my last resort was to send a letter.)

3. "Hi, I'm Ms. Bateman. Thank you so much for coming," and if the parent reaches out a hand, then I shake the hand, but I never offer mine first. It's just a germaphobe thing at this point. Older gentleman reaches for my hand, and holds it firmly while he explains who he is. He then proceeds to absolutely crush the hell out of my hand. I was thinking, "Who are you? Superman back at the bar where the guy made fun of you? Let go of my hand!" He held it for way too long, and held it way too tight, to the point where I had to talk myself out of rubbing it tenderly once he let go. Then he pulled his chair closer, and to the side of me, then closer, then closer, until we were practically touching knees. Too close!
We talk and talk, I really do adore his student, and he tells me how his wife is also involved with helping and encouraging student at home, but then he starts to stammer, "You are just, I'm sorry, it's just that I'm, I'm sorry ... I think I'm old enough to be your dad."
I move the conversation right back in the direction of the student. Those kind of comments scare me because they can be completely innocent in a you-are-so-young-to-be-a-teacher way, but they also can be not so innocent. Blech
Talk talk talk, then the stammering bubbles up again, "I'm sorry," and he leans closer then he already was and stares intently at my face, "it's just that, I'm so, you're just ... You look exactly like one of my old girlfriends," and he kind of whispered the last part.
I jumped up out of my seat, and stood as I thanked him for coming, please tell student to keep it up. Thankfully, he got the cue to leave, but of course he had to crush my hand one more time before he left.
Aah! I was terrified, but then that turned into terrified laughter, and I couldn't stop. I took the two steps over to Ms. Anderson who was next to me, and thankfully, she didn't have any parents at the moment. I retold the story in a hilarious fashion, and she kept covering her face with a, "Oh no! Amy!" but I got her to laugh with me. While we're still laughing a bit, and discussing how awkward it's going to be in class because I'll associate my cute little student with dad, out of the corner of my eye I see waving. He's waving to me form across the gym, then he continues to wave as he crosses the gym, then he starts to walk backwards out of the gym, waving with two hands. 
Not as bad as a wonky eye, but I do have wonky toes. 

My sisters always laugh really hard when my heart gets sad because fitting my toesies into those toe separators never quite works. However, I've had two Christmas miracles this year. My sweet pedicurist has been able to get my toes to cooperate! Feel free in joining me in patting my toes on the back. 

*Pic shown is not of my toes.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Been tagged, Here are Six Quirkies.

1. I am still terrified of gremlins.

2. I used to share cat food with my cat. "One x for you, one x for me, one x for you, one x for me."

3. I used to think that a wolf lived in our attic because there's a black splotch on one of the bricks in our fireplace that looks like a wolf, and I convinced myself that it was the previous owner's way of warning us.

4. I used to be a champion clogger. Only 1st place trophies for my team, thank you. Maybe I should bust out those bad-boys for the talent show at school.

5. When I wake up after a great night's camp-o-thon in a tent, my eyes are puffy and almost swollen shut. Shrug. I have no explanation for you.

Rough Day?

Thursday and Friday weren't my favorite days at school, in fact they might top off as my two least favorite days out of all the slim pickins. Do you remember when Alfalfa from the updated Little Rascals comes trudging home, and he's just in his underwear and he's soaking wet, and the one little kid says, "Rough day?" That's how I felt.

Here's a less detailed, more bulleted version of what transpired.

  • 504 meeting made me tardy to my own class

  • Kid got flustered as he showed the class how to work a problem out, ended up throwing a marker at another student. (He came and sat on the floor next to me, think kindergarten.)

  • I was back-stabbed yet again when it comes to math tutoring

  • Fire alarm during lunch. Say it with me, "Pure chaos."

  • Broke up an intense fight outside of my room

  • Immediately after breaking up the fight, an administrator comes in to observe my teaching techniques
  • "Ms. Bateman's cool now, but I bet she'll turn mean and creepy."
  • Had to talk to a teacher about how embarassing it is that he never shows up to our team meetings. (There are only three of us total.)
  • MESA overwhelms me
  • Ended up crying last night, mostly because I was at the school from 7:00 A.M. until 5:30 P.M. and I was running around like crazy the ENTIRE day, and I was hungry and tired, and I still have 23 things on my to-do list that are waiting for me on Monday
  • School meeting today (yes, Saturday) from 8:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

It's jammer time.

What a great haul, Dra.
I like to think that I motivated you the whole way.
"Um, Dra? The jam isn't going to make itself."
Sit back and get ready for some stories.

1. Yesterday was picture day at ye ol' middle school. I had the glorious responsibility of marching each of my classes downstairs at our designated appointment. Picture day is fun; I love encouraging my kids to get all gussied up.

Couple of not so fun instances:

5th period: We ventured down to the auditorium only to find that there were two classes in front of us, and two right behind us filing in. What the? We definitely were right on time, so what was the hold up? Turns out two out of the three photographers had gone to lunch, and now we were all backed up. I crinkled my eyebrows; couldn't they have gone when we were all at lunch? Shrug, no biggie because we had managed to get everything done before we headed downstairs. Unfortunately, a little too late to prepare, I realized that we weren't going to make it back up to class before the next bell rang. I ran up on stage, told my remaining kids to meet us back up in the classroom, and me and my class bolted back. The bell had already rung! We didn't hear it in the auditorium, so everything turned in to a mad scramble, and my little 7th graders were terrified to be tardy to their next class. I pat shoulders and arms as I threw them out my door with an assurance that I would get a message to their teachers to excuse their tardies. So 6th period had a rough start, but we kept it together.

7th period: Arrgh. I am still fuming.

I'm insane about organization, and my class had the perfect system going to ensure fast moving lines. I placed the kids in line, keeping in mind which photographer had them in and out of there quickly, then sat back down in the auditorium seats and waited for them to return after they'd posed and smiled. I chatted with them as they came back to me, encouraged them to sit nicely and be respectful, and chatted a little with Mrs. Anderson and her kids. Two girls came up to me timidly, one was my student (Jessica), the other a girl I've never met.

Other girl, "Um ... Mrs. Bateman? They won't let Jessica get her picture taken."

Floored, my focus turns to Jess who I notice is absolutely sobbing. I lept to my feet, grabbed her hand, and pulled her away from curious ears. I didn't understand, but my mind was making assumptions like: she didn't bring her money, she forgot to get a parent's signature ... So I tenderly asked Jess to explain to me what was going on.

"He (the photographer) won't let me get my picture taken because of my hat."

My shoulders sagged, my heart broke, and then I was absolutely livid. Jess has cancer and so she's allowed to wear a hat.

"What did he say to you?" I asked as I envisioned ripping his photograph clicking fingers off.

"No hats ... I don't care if you have a pass. No hats ... Get off the stool, it's the next kid's turn."

"Oh Jess, I will take care of this, you will get your picture taken. Sweetheart, go to the bathroom, get a drink, take your time to calm down. Seriously, take as much time as you need, then come find me on the stage. I don't want you to have to have cryry face in your picture. I'm so sorry, but I will take care of this. Jess, did you tell him why you wear a hat?"

"No," and she looked at the ground as she continued to cry.

"Can I tell him Jess?"


So I watched her slowly walk out of the auditorium, and I stomped up the stairs, grit my teeth, and waited by the guy with arms crossed and foot tapping. I wanted to call him names, and point out his stupidity, but we were drenched with students. I explained the situation, got no reaction (I guess I was expecting him to slap his forehead), got a shrug and a, "Go talk to her." So I waited for the photographer on the other end, explained the situation, and she said of course Jess could get her picture taken, "Send her to my line."

So Jess got her picture taken, but she had been crying, and I still wasn't satisfied with how things were handled. That guy had no remorse for making a 7th grade girl cry in school (which no kid ever wants to do), and for making her feel worse about her already crappy situation. Fine, have a rule about not wearing hats, but use common sense. It wasn't a gang hat you big stupid dork.

I told my dad the story, and I love telling my dad stories like this because he gets just as mad as I do. He told me to tell my principal to never let that guy back in our school. Apparently, my dad has told many people to never come back, photographers included.

2. Yesterday, I chose to wear some shoes that I bought in Taiwan. I love them, and I rarely wear them, so I listened to them when they were crying to get some show time. They were hand-made for me;I got to pick out the fabric and wood. I chose to get a "shark wedge" they told me, and red fabric to cross over my foot. Unfortunately, not so comfy. I was very much looking forward to taking them off when I changed clothes to get ready for climbing with some other teachers in Draper.

My ankle kind of hurt when I switched shoes, but my feet were grateful for my chacos.

My ankle kind of hurt as we hiked to the wall we were going to climb.

Then I forgot about it as I belayed a million people, climbed once, and got creeped out by a new guy who solo climbs.

My ankle really hurt as we hiked back down to the car.

This morning, my ankle really hurt, and oh great, it's swollen too.

So ... I called my mom. I never get hurt, I have never broken a bone, rarely bruise, but I do all the things that seem to go hand-in-hand with these injuries. My body always just shrugs everything off.


1. Jumping as high as I could off our trampoline, wow! Left foot plants itself on a sprinkler head. Of course it hurt, and I rolled, but body says "No problem."

2. Crashing so hard after trying a jump on my snowboard that I am literally yanked out of my boots. How did that not break or sprain anything such as legs/ankles/wrists/arms?

3. Flying off of a motorcycle after Laurelin got too close of a look at a big oil barrel. Road rash, yes. Bruises? None. Limp? None. Bones? Healthy as ever

And of course there are many more to back up "My body is a superhero's body" theory.

I didn't know how to doctor my own ankle. Do I ice it? Put heat on it? Elevate it? My mom suggested four ibuprofen and ice to axe the inflammation. Guess my ankle is just irritated. Well ankle, I'm irritated because I keep forgetting that you hurt, but then you'll give me lightning painful reminders:

  • trying to run up the stairs in my house

  • pushing in the clutch in my car

  • trying to run up the stairs in my parent's house

  • choosing the wrong foot to tippy-toe on to reach in the bottom of the freezer for a dang bean and cheese burrito

  • kicking the steps to get dirt off my shoe

  • using my toe to point at one of the stupid cats hanging out under the barbecue

My mom bought me a bag of peas at the store, and I downed four more ibuprofen.

Keep it together ankle!

Step-by-Step Guide to Trimming your Beard
Step 1 - Sadness
You've let it run wild for three months, take the time to mourn.

Step 2 - Be creative
Step 3 - Add some twists
Step 4 - Enjoy the New You

Monday, September 01, 2008

Saturday's Climb up Big Cottonwood Canyon
Ben leads the way.

Speck o' Ben

Em rockin' it

Zach saving Bateman face by climbing higher than the other guy.

My job: Belay everyone, but don't ever climb. No, I was happy to belay. It would have been nice to climb, but there's more time.
Saturday's Adventure at the
Farmer's MarketReminds me of AsiaYummy raspberry and peach fruit pie that Em and I shared.Mmm ... so tempting.Em attack's her Rio Grande taco.
(She did finish it all, don't you worry.)
Me and Baby Abe

Meet Abraham Henry Bateman