Saturday, March 28, 2009

Glad we enjoyed last night

And sent them on their way:<(

Because this is what we woke up to

Friday, March 27, 2009

Testing is DONE!

State testing is very stressful for all of us. When it is done there is a major sigh of relief! Today the math scores are in and it looks like 90% of the sixth grade will pass! Again- let's compare that to the mid sixty level who passed in 2005. It is a group effort. Teachers knowing what to teach, students knowing the material and the vast amount of cheer leading that is done during the tests.
Personally, I am happy to be in Rome!Ancient Rome by saikindi - Google 3D Warehouse

After years of neglect - volunteerism will not turn on a dime!

My observation in the last seven or eight years of teaching is that this young twenty generations was not brought up for volunteerism. If they don't get paid, they will not play. The next group up (those who were brought up before the Clinton/Bush years) seem to be able to understand it is not all about them. They are, in general, still at Church, they still organize community events, they come to games and school events unpaid. It is pretty pathetic to go to a school event and only have a handful of parents there (and even less teachers). Most parents simply drop their kids off and leave. Amazing!
It is a difficult thing to turn around.
Some say that it is because they are so used to both parents working- so they never saw THEIR parents.
Some say there is just a "need to be paid" to value them.
Most Catholic and good public high schools require a good amount of hours of volunteering to graduate. Eventually, many of those students see that their volunteerism will benefit society AND themselves. Some say that is forced volunteerism. Heck my first five or six times volunteering- my Dad went with me and so I learned to enjoy it.
Me thinks I am really glad that we have saved for my elderly stage. If there are no volunteers (and fewer children live anywhere near their parents - as my generation began), the money we have saved will keep us from being totally isolated.
Unless volunteering becomes the in thing to do- again!
Have you volunteered anywhere lately? How about your kids? Anything outside of your Church building?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Peek A Boo!

I have been a bit busy

Last day of state testing

Whew! Math testing is more stressful than Language Arts. You either know it or you don't. No guessing involved. No way to look for the answers in the text. It drives me crazy when they present the information backwards. That part of the test has much more to do with reading than it does with math.
Another day!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Last Day

It is dreary out today. That is a good thing since vacuuming needs to be done and the classroom needs rearranging. This has been a vacation of nothing. Some may say a waste of time, but my body is finally ready to move forward to the end of the year. Going back will not be difficult.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Chistina is correct

It still may feel like winter to me but,

Spring is creeping in .
BTW - this is the first time I have noticed the yellow ribbons on this particular house. Adding that soldier to my prayer list.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Daffodil Days

The American Cancer Society has daffodil days every year. I am always happy to buy my bunch. It is a tribute to what they have done for my family- especially my sister in law.
Personally though, I am ready for some daffodils of my own. My green house is ready for spring to spring. The weather sure thinks it is already here! 83 degrees today...but still winter!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Windows of my world

All of the entrances to my house are windows.
The front room window- a daily delight.

Staircase windows light our way-day and night.

These bath windows are always a joy.

My house is full of windows. I love to look out onto the world. Sometimes I need the rose colored glass to enjoy the day. Other times I simply sit in the front room and take it all in. No curtains at my house. My life feels like that right now- open and ready for viewing.

Change takes time

The uber liberals are upset that the President has not gone their way.
The uber conservatives are disappointed the country has not failed.
What the sides do not understand is that most of us understand that change takes time.
Let's see- Vatican II was in the sixties. The uber conservatives in the Church are still upset by it and do not want the changes. The uber liberals have left the Church swearing it will never change. We are at the 45 year point of change and change moves slowly.
Politics as normal has lasted about 60 years - it has been extreme for the last 12 years. So, why does anyone think that change will come overnight?
It took 10 years for housing to get this messed up. Heck, my husband and I recognised the problem over six years ago when the first person in our neighborhood bought with no money down on an interest only loan. WE knew he could not afford the house. We were pondering how long he would last. DUHHHH!
The country has some hard times to still go through. It will take years to get out of the housing glut created by builders who plowed under deserts for places that could not be supported by the environment and bankers who put people into homes they could not afford. Has my old (where inflation was rampant) house gone down? Only about $100,000. It went up over $300,000 in less than four years.....
Change goes slowly. Those who are in the middle have no idea of how out of wack the system is- IMHO.
I want the change- even if it brings some painful things to me. We HAVE to change. The country cannot survive the way it is functioning right now (or for the last 10 years). Some people are stuck on one issue. I am stuck on the picture.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The stillness of winter

Winter holds it grip on Kansas.
The time of silence is almost at an end.

Friday, March 13, 2009

What a week!

"Our school" has interesting stats. We are about 70% free and reduced lunch. I would be tempted to say that there should be another 10% just above that level. Our students are about 70% minority as well - mostly African American (although the ESL population just hit about 10%). About 20% of our students are directly connected to the military. That one surprises me since we teach directly outside the gate. There is another middle school on post- and lots of military kids "go home" during deployments....we have LOTS of deployments.
We tested 268 students in our wing for reading this week. Four years ago when I came to the school a bit fewer than half of the sixth grade passed. This year it looks more like 89%.
The central office enjoys saying that the new programs- new math, new reading- is the reason for the increase in scores.... It is the teachers. I work with an awesome group of teachers. They are young (I am old) and ready to take on all challenges. They did not grow up knowing certain people could not learn. That is huge.
In celebration of the end of reading tests and beginning of spring break, our 100 students had an Olympics in the commons area. They were so enthused.
We feel that it is the realitionship we build every day with our students will help them see that Learning is a life long enjoyment.
Still, I think we all are ready for SPRING BREAK!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Monday, March 09, 2009

This is where my car seems to be all of the time these days. The first year in a curriculum is a lot of work, even if you have taught the subject before. Tonight I am at my desk working and waiting for the band concert.
Still, life is good!

I was going there.

Now they are coming here!

I guess we had better get the play house ready!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Back to work

My husband has been home for the last 18 months. The surgery that was to take about six weeks of his time turned into almost a year of constant pain. The group of people who worked with him kept tabs on him. Today they called and offered him a position! He will begin at the end of the month. Whew!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009


The photo hunt this week is thankful.

I am truly thankful that my grandmother lived long enough to have this picture taken with my Dad. The resemblence to so many of my sibblings is amazing.I am thankful to see Dad was loved and she was happy- no huge smile- just calm.

I pray for/ with my grandmother often. In fact I ask all of my grandparents to help me pretty often- and now I have included my Dad.

I did not know my grandmother. She passed away shortly after this photo was snapped. Somehow, I feel I have always known her. And for that I am thankful.

Mary Louise and Neddie Mullan about 1929.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Burning out old habits

Forty days of change.

My daughter found a book to work on gaining closeness to her husband. Forty days of doing things for each other. They are so romantic- she and her husband.

Father hit the points of temptation last night at Mass- but then went back to the idea that we are not there for community- but for the Eucharist.

We need that romantic side of the relationship with God to continue the every day.

I've been offered the opportunity to apply for a position helping a country establish an new type of educational system. Is this my "McDonald's" ?(The man that founded McDonald's did so after his business and health failed at age 53).

Lots of pinging thoughts.