Monday, November 24, 2008

Early Thanksgiving Dinner

Ben's cousin Kent Jones invited us to his family's early Thanksgiving dinner held on Sunday night. They live out in Tooele, and when I agreed to go with Ben, my mind was churning out Taylorsville. Big difference between Taylorsville and Tooele. Why are you calling Thurm for directions? Why do we have to drive past the airport?

It was a great time all around. The Jones family was incredibly friendly and chatty, the food was outstanding, and now I want to live in Tooele where everyone has access to the lake via their backyard. Kent built his own waterfall; this guy is amazing.

Point of the post:
After stuffing ourselves silly, we all gathered around the family dinner table to play an intense game called Whackee Six. Ben and I were on the same team, and while I was getting a quick version of the rules, the Jones family was jabbing at Ben, insisting that all Heiners are super competitive.

My mind shot back, "Heiners may be competitive, but Batemans always win."

We won.
Of course.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Listen Buddy

I was busy silently cursing another teacher; his inadequacies had created a huge emergency to-do list for me, and he also made me late to my meeting.

So I huff out my door, barely miss knocking down our busty sweeper, but then I'm nearly knocked down when I hear her say, "Turns out, when you don't have your period, you gain a lot of weight. So ...," and she Vanna White's her whole body.

Inadequate teacher stands there, nodding his head, arms folded, totally engaged in the conversation, "Hmm ... I didn't realize. You know, now that you point that out, I have a cousin ... "

I wanted to melt. I closed my eyes as I locked my door behind me, held my lips tight as I tried to sneak upstairs.

1st red flag: How is this girl so bold to talk about this stuff to a male teacher?
2nd red flag: Why was the teacher continuing this conversation?

So grossly inappropriate! Am I wrong?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

That Really Grinds My Gears

1. South Towne VW Dealership.

Me: "I came in three weeks ago, why was I never called that my parts were in?" (I was on edge from living a life with a trunk that wouldn't latch. I dare you: Don't shut your trunk, place something strategically so that it won't latch when jarred by one of the many bumps that infest our roads, and love life through heavy snow storms.)

Dork: "It must have been an oversight."

2. The District

Case 1:

I was violently ill Wed night/Thu morning. I have NEVER been this sick before in my entire life. I was desperate to get the number to order a substitute; the district changed programs this year, and of course I hadn't put it in my phone yet. I watched the clock, and a little before 6:00 A.M. I called my parents', barely keeping it together enough not to cry. My dad was so sympathetic, but didn't know the number, and mom was in the shower. She called back, gave me the number, but when I tried calling, before I could even enter my pin number, the dang system would hang up on me. After three similar tries, I quit. Awesome.

So I called Carrie (a fellow teacher who knows everything and is the greatest), and she tried to get on-line and help me out. No luck. Something was up with my pin number. Our principal had begged us to set everything up the week before school started, and I had dutifully checked that off my list. I had taken care of things! Why wasn't this working?

So I ended up calling the Sub Office, and the lady on the other end talked to me like a baby. She made me pledge that I would go on-line and practice, watch the 8 minute video, "I can't do this every time for you. I will do it this once, but promise me that you will go in and practice. So you promise? You promise to watch the video too? ...", and repeated everything three times. It took her three seconds to put in the order, tell me my pin (How the hell was I supposed to know what it was when I had set it to something different?) I was fighting the urge to flip out, but the fight to not puke while I was on the phone overpowered and took all of my concentration.

I called Carrie back and she was also angry that my pin number made no sense.

Granted, I'm sure that lady gets a lot of irresponsible people bugging her, but I had troubleshot to the best of my abilities, and I secretly wished (kind of, but not really) that something horrible had happened to me so that I could throw it in her High and Mighty face.

Case 2:

Strolled into my classroom the morning after my sub to find that it had exploded. Really. Rooms tend to be disheveled after a sub, but mine was unbelievable. I should have taken pictures. All of my markers/pens/pencils are gone, my desk was surrounded my students' desks (I literally had to climb over them to get to my desk), my posters had been ripped down, and ... my new interactive whiteboard was in pieces in my office.

I freaked out.

I panicked.

The pukey feeling I had finally conquered returned.

I desperately searched for Carrie.

Luckily, I was able to schedule an emergency computer day which resulted in me enduring so many whinerbaby comments from my kids. I sent my aide to my room to clean up and it took her two full days to somewhat put it back together. I was terrified that my Promethean Board wouldn't be the same; I had been one of the lucky ones who actually had one in working condition. The company that installed it said they'd charge a $300 reinstallation fee. Nice. My stomach hurts recalling everything.

The next day I was talking to administration, "You know how my Promethean Board got ripped down and is now in pieces in my office?"


"Oh! I thought you knew!" as I rubbed my head. So I described the bomb that went off in my room, listed what I had done on my end, and begged administration to talk to the custodians again about putting my board up.

Apparently, District had swooped in and replaced my old whiteboards. They had to take down my Promethean Board because it was mounted on my old whiteboards. I had put an order in for new whiteboards three years ago! (My very first year of teaching; those boards were horrible.) So I have shiny new whiteboards that I don't need because now I have my Promethean Board. What a gigantic waste, another teacher should have those new boards. 

The custodians got my Promethean Board up and working by the end of the day. Phew.

3. Substitutes that insist on being my students' best friend.
  • "Sure you can listen to your ipods!" and pulls out his too.

  • Texts while my students are taking a test.

  • Courteously helps himself to all of my whiteboard markers, overhead markers, pens, pencils, and leaves a mysterious sticky stain on my desk.
  • Plays with my VCR/DVD combo.

4. Irresponsibles

  • "I completely forgot about that meeting!" Really? Huh. Did you receive the two e-mail reminders that we got from the district? You did. Did you receive the reminder e-mail that I sent out two days ago? You did. Then, did you still not come to the meeting? Sure enough.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

St. Georgio / Zions

We arrived Fri. night and decided to have us a little "night climb."

I could not figure out what was showing up on my pictures, but now I'm obsessed with how cool our headlamps look.Joe below, Ben above.
We camped out right at the bottom of this face.Lil' Climber's Lost Shoe
Old Lady enjoying her sketches.
A granola couple, their two dogs, and friend passed on the trail. One of their dogs was running all over the place making sure he met everyone, and the old lady huffed, "He should be on a leash, there are a lot of protected animals around here."
The couple started laughing really hard, and the husband held on to the dog's tail for a bit.
It was hilarious/horrible.Hiking up Angel's LandingMade it! I was very nervous to be this close to the edge, and yes, it's not that close.
I thought we were done, got scoffed at, and then my direction was pointed towards the "Scary Chain" part. I remember when we were little we hiked this and one of my boy cousins cried pretty hard during the chain part. Cute Referee Joe
A couple that passed us joked, "Hey, I think that's the guy that sold you your shoes."