Sunday, December 20, 2009

Subbing ...

is sucking my will to live.

Picture it, sixth period, language arts block. Nerdy strawberry blonde girl tells me that the boy behind her will be yelling some things out. I wasn't sure if she was warning me that he has Tourettes or what. First thing he did when he got there was yell something in that stupid half cough way. Finally she leaned in and said, "what he is saying is 'flaming bush.'" Oh I got pissed. And I should have banished him out of my sight and into the principal's office for sexual harassment but I didn't. Especially since that kid was an asshole for two periods. He and his friend followed the girl and her friend around the library tormenting them. So I followed the boys.

I'm the sub who leaves detailed notes about every misbehavior I had to deal with. Some of it, I feel, is tattling but I also think that there might be some behavior the teachers are watching and they would appreciate the documentation. And, I hope, that when that teacher finds out about the sexual harassment going on in her classroom, she'll do something much more drastic than I'd be able to do.

Earlier in that day I had a young man wearing a pink shirt. Two other boys decided it was ok to ask him if he was gay because of the shirt color. One decided that no, if he were gay he'd be wearing a rainbow shirt. Piss me off why don't you! And what could I do? Oh yeah, give them Steps. Remember the Make Your Day schools? This is one of them. Does not work.

So...I have an interview in Colorado to work as a field instructor at an outdoor school. Full time and permanent...the two reasons I got out of environmental ed was because those are so hard to find. I don't know, I might not want to move. And they might not want me. But I hate subbing and I'm wanting to be a classroom teacher less and less.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Horrors of subbing II

On Wednesday I have an interview for a sixth grade replacement leave position. I was pretty excited! But then I subbed a sixth grade on Friday...

I at least got a warning when I checked into the office. "I'm subbing for Mr. V today." A large bearded man started laughing. Thanks. As a fifth grade teacher and neigthbor, he did offer to take any trouble makers during the day. And students did begin to tremble when I threatened them with it. Unfortunately, I couldn't send half the class to him.

Why don't they shut up? I was super close to busting out the "swears." And it wasn't just the talking, it was the pushing, whining, cutting, SHOVING, pulling another student out of his chair.... awful.

Threatened to hold them three minutes after class for wasting my time..which was way more than three minutes. At the end of class I told them that since they were worried about missing their bus, they could work off the time early by closing their yaps. Not one of them stfu. So I held them after. Miss Talks A lot decided to call home to get a ride. Whipped out her cell phone, which I could have taken from her, and when she began to talk the whole class went silent. So I let the rest of the class go and held her in. Offered to talk to her parent...

Dumb girl handed the phone to me. So I told the dad that she hadn't followed directions, shut her yap, and was dancing around the classroom so I was following through with consequences. Dad said, "Ok. We'll take care of it when she gets home." HA! Dumb girl gives me the phone...seriously, what was she thinking?

Wed's interview is in a different district....

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Horrors of subbing

I was excited to sub third grade today. They're cute, but smart and I had recently subbed K at this school so I was sure it would be a fantastic day.

I arrived at school early today to get a good look at the sub notes and prepare for the day. The secretary handed me a HUGE stuffed folder and sent me on my way. One of the first things I read in the folder was about a student...let's call him Forrest. Forrest apparently has some social and academic issues.

In the classroom I found a two page note with instructions on it. Oh, wait, no. This was a generic note that really had no details in it but referred me to her lesson plan book. The lesson plan book was full of chicken scratches that I'm sure made sense to her. Somehow I had to muddle through all this muck. She also failed to tell me when or where to pick up my kids in the morning. What a way to start the day.

Kids came in excited to have a sub and immediately forgot how to behave. And it continued through the entire day. Talking while I was talking. Wandering around. Tattle tales. Just exasperating behavior.

One student asked me if he could fill out his student of the week poster. I asked him to wait until his teacher got there the next morning since I knew nothing about it. He agreed.

Specialist came early at 10:30. I was glad to give my students away for an hour. I had turned on Mean Teacher face and wouldn't walk in the hallway unless they would stfu. We could usually get about five feet before they would start talking again. Computer lab was far away. We had to move from one building to the next. As we entered the next building I hear students say, "Forrest ran off."

Awesome. So I shoo the kids off to lab and run out the door after this kid. He's nowhere to be seen. The custodian who is outside didn't see him. I'm trying to figure out how I can alert the office without stopping my search when he comes running from around the corner. He had gone in another door and claimed he had been with me the entire time.

I stopped and asked him if he understood how scary that was, especially for me--a substitute teacher who doesn't know the kids and then one of them runs away on her. He said he did but he wasn't happy about me talking to him.

I sent him off to lab and I went straight to the office. Once I found it. Immediately when I walked in I began crying. I told them he had run off but that he was safe in lab now. That the other students were really making the day difficult, too. The principal went to get Forrest and when he returned he pulled m into his office where I cried some more. He promised me Forrest would be sent home and that if I needed any help to let him know.

The kids came back, unfortunately. All but one who was probably at home eating lunch and watching tv. We did some work before lunch and I let the line leaders lead the way. They took off. Loud and running down the halls. The librarian stopped them. I finally caught up and gave them the what for. We walk into the wait I walked. They ran! The lunch ladies talked to them.

As I'm standing there telling them they know how to behave in the cafeteria, they are there every day a mother came up to me and asked if I was the sub.
"Yes," I replied.
"I'm Hank's mother and he's over there crying because you told him he couldn't do the student of the week!"
"What? No. What?"
Another thing NOT IN THE SUB NOTES! His parents came to see him do a special presentation. Came from thirty minutes away. I pulled Hank aside and told him I had no idea his parents were coming and that I didn't know that was what the poster was for. I apologized profusely to the mother and told her it's been a tough day. Hank and I were squared away.

I cried alone in the classroom during lunch.

The principal stopped me in the hall and asked if everything was going better. Not so much. He offered to come in and talk to them about their behavior but never showed. The dad got to witness the kids walking all over me all afternoon.

I'd also like to tell you about M. She had these damn scarves that she wouldn't put away so I took them. They weren't even scarves. They were pieces of fabric she cut at school. Next thing I know she has them in her hands again. She tells me they're Arabic hajab. I told her fine. She can have the scarves back IF she wears them but they are not to be played with. She agrees. Did I tell you how European this girl's name was? She's NOT Arabic but on the off chance she did have some Arabic culture I'd get in trouble for being racist. Anyway, she doesn't know how to put it on and it's cut crooked. LOAD OF BS. This student also did NOTHING the entire day. not one thing.

My head hurts so bad. I'm drinking some framboise...even made a framboise float. Think I'll watch some Deadwood and prepare for middle school math tomorrow. sigh.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

I like watching the puddles gather rain

Friday night I realized I wanted to be Blind Melon's Bee Girl. A run to the fabric store and some quick thinking that night and Saturday my costume was complete.

Here are the two issues that annoy me in this, the only picture. The tutu was too big so I wrapped the straps around me a second time thus creating a bustled look in the back. Unfortunately, the tutu still sagged and you can see the belt sitting at my waist with the tutu at my hip. argg!

Secondly, where on earth can you buy yellow and black striped knit fabric for the arm warmers? So I painted some felt and laced them on. Damn Roy for not telling me to rotate them. Of course, he had no idea who I was supposed to be.

Otherwise, quite pleased with myself. : )


I splurged. I'm not supposed to be spending money but I have baby showers coming and in order to complete the gifts I was going to have to spend at least $30 on needles. So I decided to spend $80 and get 9 circular needles and three lengths of cable. That's 27 needles for about $80. mmhmm.
Sorry about the shadow. I needed the macro but I also needed the flash.

The needles are Knit Picks Options Harmony Wood and right now I love them. As long as the cable doesn't come undone from the needle I'm a happy girl.

I'm making another blanket like this for my friend, Jacque's, baby girl due in Dec.

Yeah and I know that two days after I ordered them they went on sale. Oh well.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


At the high school I've been subbing at I turn in attendance using their student numbers instead of names. Not sure why. When I was in school we had Jason A Smith and Jason B Smith and we never had any problems.

I took attendance and a good fifteen minutes I heard some commotion over whether someone was marked absent.
"Did you mark me absent?!"
"I don't know, who are you?"
"Did you call my name?"
"Again, I don't know. Who are you?"
"Jose. You have to say it HO-Ssay!"
Laughing, I reply, "Ok HO-SSay, are you here?"
"Yeah I'm here!"
"Ok, What's your number?" I"m pretty sure I clarified after that with 'student number.'
Innocently he asks, "Why? Are you going to call me?"
"Your student number!" a giggling class replies.
"Oh!" He gave me his student number....followed by his phone number.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Make Your Day program

In my previous life as a visiting teacher (not much changes, does it?) I had seen classrooms use Make Your Day discipline system. I didn't like it.

Basically, the program says you chose how your day goes and that no one has the right to interrupt another's learning or safety. There are various steps that the students move through. At Step 1, the teacher walks up to the disruptive student, tells them they have chosen step 1 for X behavior. The student goes and sits in a chair and FACES THE WALL! After less than 5 minutes, the teacher walks up to the student, without touching or looking at them, asks the student if they know how they chose step 1. Then the student is asked if they are ready to return to their desk.

If the student is unable to sit and face the wall for five minutes, they move to step 2 where they STAND FACING THE WALL! I don't know what the next step or two is but the final one is a call home and parent pick up.

At the end of class, the teacher has to take five minutes out of instruction time to go through the class list and have all the students state how many points they earned out of 45. If they say less than 45, they must state why. For example, "43 for being off task." Students are pretty honest here. They have to have some average for the week. I don't know what the consequence is if they don't.

Today was my first day implementing the program. I was in middle school language arts and social studies classes. Most of my students were great, but those that weren't really weren't. And let me tell you, the Make Your Day program did not work. I had two students 7th period who really needed to get the Hell out of my classroom. How many times do you send a kid to sit facing a wall? I spent so much time sending those kids to step 1 and telling them to ignore each other that I neglected other students who needed my help and were asking for attention appropriately.

Currently, not a fan of this system.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Second sub job

On Thursday, I became an official subistute (according to my name badge) in my second district. Friday, I had my first job in that a high school science class.

I had a couple anxiety dreams about fights breaking out. As I looked at the schedule in the office I panicked when I saw that I had biology and the dreaded chemistry. I received a D in chemistry in high school. I was relieved when the teacher had left two movies for me to show.

The kids were great! It's so much easier to shoot a look at a high schooler and have them know exactly what behavior they need to adjust than to walk over and discuss behavior with a second grader. I can get them to stop talking by telling them they can flirt at lunch. How embarrassing to be accused of flirting! I can get a different flirter to stop picking on a girl by asking him to be a gentleman and pick up the paper he flicked onto the ground. It's fantastic!

At the end of the day, I did find some paper airplanes in the front of the room. Whatever. They did the assignment. What harm are a couple of paper airplanes?

Monday is middle school!

Friday, September 25, 2009

First sub job

and I feel like I was subpar. I thought second grade would be a nice way to ease myself into the whole thing. They didn't listen. They didn't follow directions. I would use their teacher's attention getter of clapping, which I hate, btw, and they would be quiet to clap and then start talking again. I tried standing there and waiting. I tried other attention getters. When they wouldn't listen to each other answer questions, I tried group answers. Half of them would answer. Who knows what the other half were doing.

I snatched something out of a kid's hands by the end of the day. They were learning about coins and while I was talking he was shaking his coin bag all around making so much noise. This was after countless attempts of getting attention. I looked at him, he continued to shake it and I grabbed it. Oh not a shining moment.

What else happened today? Girls pushing each other. Cutting. Wandering around the room. Tapping me on the butt to get my attention while I was talking to another student. I'm pretty sure a good percentage of the students were in the bathroom half the day.

And it was early dismissal. thank god.

So...I've learned how important it is to set expectations before getting to the lesson plans. The lesson plans I had weren't even that helpful anyway. But, that's what I'll work on: setting lesson plans.

Next up, middle school.

Where's my sugar daddy?

Saturday, September 12, 2009

IronGirl 5k

I'm not convinced this was a full 5k but I ran the whole thing. 34:07 not my best time but I haven't run since April, save once this past week. As usual I was in the middle of the pack. I beat the speed walker I was having trouble passing but a woman finished the 10k before I finished the 5k. Cuh-razy.

This race was super fun. All women. All pink. Our free shirts are wicking, pink, fitted for women and have flowers on them. The food at the finish was yogurt with fruit and granola and muffins. We all got participant medals.

5ks are starting to feel short. 10k in my future?

Sunday, August 02, 2009

potato bounty and troubled worm bin

I harvested my potatoes today. Unfortunately, the hilling technique did nothing for them. The potatoes were still all found at the very bottom and I certainly did not get 100 lbs. of them. But they still look delicious!
I went to switch my worm bin around and found the bottom bin was a soupy mess that smells like a cow farm. Unfortunately, the only thing I can do is leave it open and stink out the neighbors. Good lord, it's awful!

July 09 tally

Well, I wanted to beat the number of miles commuted last month but then we had that awful weather and I didn't ride for over a week. Boo! But good lord it was hot. So.... this month I saved 41.14 lbs. of CO2.

My total bike riding for commuting and pleasure was a measley: 77.14 miles!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

June 09 results

I've had so much fun biking this month! I saved 51.06 lbs of CO2 by riding my bike to work and to the gym. That alone was 42.6 miles of biking. Including my recent 60 mile ride on Sunday, I rode 158.6 miles this month. Do I hear 200 in July?!

Here's a picture post ride on Sunday at Ivar's.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

best compliment ever

I wore this dress to school today:

I got compliments on it in the copy room and was told it looked very Anthropologie. Is that where I got it? *Grin!*

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Biking instead of driving

I added 12.59 lbs of CO2 that I saved this month. I also logged that into the number of miles I have biked. I only counted the number of miles riden instead of driving. If I had included all the miles I biked that number would be...drum roll please, I'm quite proud....106.14.

Here's to more miles in June!


First (successful) quilt without Grandma's help!

I made this for EJ and Rachel's wedding gift. I hope they liked it! It's only lap sized, abou 50"x70 maybe? I can't remember now. It was hard to give it away.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Ouchie rhymes with...something I'm sure

Hopped on the Burke-Gilman today and road about 24 miles.  Took a side trip to the Union Bay Natural Area to check out my old restoration site from college.  I couldn't find it.   Everything's over grown, but I think that's what was supposed to happen.  Here are a few pics....with just one of my poor knee.

I'd say they're doing pretty well

Lettuce looks all wilty but really I just watered it and so it got matted down.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Crikey! rhymes with Bikey!

I did it!  I went on a 17 mile bike ride with a silly group and stopped at 7 bars around Seattle.  I think I only drank at four of them so I wasn't feeling too bad until we left the Elysian and had to bike back to Belltown.  Thank goodness for bike paths and a place to crash!

I want to go with this group again, but today it looks like their route was 65 miles and hilly.  Silly boys.  I was pretty tired after a flat 17.  Not sore today, but tired.  

But now I want to ride more more more!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Sarcoma Fun Run

There's nothing like going on vacation and running a 5k! Ran the Beat Sarcoma Fun Run and beat my goal by 8 seconds! AND I ran the whole thing!! hooray!


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

crop in ground...or um, planters

I planted potatoes, garlic and lettuce today!  I wanted to plant more but my patio and wallet have their limits.

For the potatoes I am using the cage method.  Instead of the wooden box on this site, I took a big blue rubbermaid tub, drilled holes in the bottom for drainage and placed my potatoes in there.  Here they are before they were covered with soil.

After I covered them with about 4" of soil.  When they sprout, I will periodically cover them with more soil, leaving 2/3rds of the vines sticking out until I am out of room for soil.  Then in Fall, POTATOES!  Can't even wait!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

St Patrick's Day Dash 09

The most important thing about today was that it was snowing.  The flakes were big.  The air was cold.  The ground was wet.  But the most important thing about today was that it was snowing.

The most important thing about running a race is sharing the experience.  My friend Jason ran with me.  We were wet and cold and huddled under a tree for a while.  We were happy to run the race.  But the most important thing about running a race is sharing the experience.

The most important thing about a race in the cold and wet is finishing.  You can take off your wet shoes and jacket.  You can put on dry clothes. But the most important thing about a race in the cold and wet is finishing.

The most important thing about running a race is eating some good food afterwards.  And that is the most important thing.

I should have mentioned this blog was brought to you by The Important Book By Margaret Wise Brown.  Also, so that i have a record of it my time was 42:05 for the 3.75 mile race.  A pace of 11:14. meh

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

run run run run runaway

The St. Patrick's Day Dash is in a mere six days.  I still haven't practiced running outside.  Yesterday, I doubled my endurance on the treadmill so I"m feeling like I might be ok.  This weather has really been keeping me from running around the lake, though.  And next Sunday it's supposed to rain.  Hope I can survive!

Monday, March 09, 2009

new favorite skirt

I made this this weekend!  I LOVE it! So comfortable and it has pockets.  You can tell I wore it all day student teaching...a little wrinkly in front.  The sides by the placket (plaquet?) that covers the zipper and the pockets are rouched which make a lovely detail.  It's supposed to be high waisted but I altered and altered and altered that waist band and still can't get it quite right.  

And check out my new tights.  On sale at Fred Meyer!  They're bamboo and super soft.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

March snow

Thursday, February 26, 2009


I either want to 1. start this week over or 2. finish it quick!  I am cranky and everything just seems to be going wrong.  

For example, today, an 1.5" of snow on the ground.  All the districts in the area are cancelled or late arrival due to it except the district I'm going to.  Yay, I need the money...Boo, I can already tell today is going to suck.

But I left early because I know Pacific Northwesterners cannot drive in weather.  I get to the school.  I lug all my stuff around the maze of buildings avoiding stairs.  I slide and slip up the ramps to the portables.  My portable, locked.  Where the F is the teacher?  Thank goodness the custodian was there sanding the ramps and could let me in.  But of course, portables don't have water.  So I have to run down to the main buildings, sneak in a classroom and fill up my water bottles for my program.

I get back, students are settled.  I have everything sorted and set up and in place for my program.  I start talking, the students make the connection that I"m there to talk about water because Mrs. Bell talked about water too....wait, Mrs. Bell?  What did she say?  That means I brought in all the wrong equipment.  I'm supposed to do the OTHER program.  F*ck!  (no, I didn't say f*ck in front of the students).  

I start throwing things back into the bins and telling the students what we're REALLY going to talk about.  Teacher gives me two students to run down to my car with me.  I left the other equipment so as not to slow us down more.  We come back...the model drags snow all into the classroom.  I reset up.  

The teacher acted flexible, but I could tell she was NOT amused.

Second program.  This portable was jammed packed. I could barely get in there.  And was there a table for me to set up?  Noooo.  And there was a sub.  A sub with whom I used to work at the zoo.  Very difficult person to work with.  ANDDD...she applied for the job I had there and I got it instead of her.  Ran into her the other day at my student teaching school too.  She didn't remember me then..and she didn't remember me today.  She asked me how it was doing the same thing over and over again and I said, "not much different than doing [my old zoo job]," and there was no recognition.

Third and fourth programs went better but good lord I just want to curl up in bed.  I should go to class.  I skipped math last is even more boring than math though.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

baked ziti

I made a baked ziti last night that is to die for!  I cooked up some zuchini and yellow pepper in a roasted garlic spaghetti sauce that had whole garlic cloves in it.  Then I layered whole wheat penne with more sauce, the veggies, ricotta, provolone and mozarella cheese.  I used low fat cheese but I'm pretty sure this isn't a low fat dish.  At least I used whole wheat noodles!

Saturday, February 21, 2009


The neighbor girls are running up and down the street.  They're making that screeching scream thing girls do when they're not really scared but still have that adrenaline pumping.  I LOVE it!

These particular girls live in the apartment building right next to mine.  In fact, I think our bedroom windows exactly face each other. Our apartments are not large, and I cannot imagine raising a family in them.  At night, in the summer when the windows are open, I can hear the family rattling on in Spanish.  They laugh so hard I wish I could understand them.

It makes me happy to know that the girls are running around outside and taking advantage of such a beautiful day.  

Monday, February 16, 2009


I made another pair of pants this weekend.  These turned out better.  This particular pattern needs some slimming of the legs, I think.

This is the pattern while I"m in the middle of taping together the sheets printed off my computer.  Printed on the back side of pre-used paper.

Darn plaid doesn't match up in the front!  I'm not sure how I could have done it differently though.  My brain just doesn't wrap around it.

Legs are loose fitting which is comfy but might look funny.  I'll decide after I wear them today.  And I know they are long but think how great they'll work with heels!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

salmon-broccoli casserole

In my attempt to stop eating chicken sandwiches from jack in the box, I cracked open my copy of The Living Heart Diet that I bought when I learned I had high cholesterol.  Today I made a scrumptuous salmon-broccoli casserole.  My roommate takes pictures of all the delicious meals he makes so I decided to follow suit.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

beach day!

Some pictures from Discovery Park today.  I haven't monkeyed with these at all, but I probably could/should.
Did you know barnacles make noise?  It's kind of crazy...

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

new camera

These are not fancy pictures. The first two are of the same plant with and without zoom sitting in the exact same spot.
 This one is obviously of my keyboard using my amazing macro!  The lens was practically TOUCHING the keyboard!  Look at that piece of fuzz you can see!
I'm off to take more pictures that I'm sure will be posted here soon.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

accidentally western shirt

I went downtown last weekend to Border's just to buy a magazine.  Oh, but it's not just any magazine, no, this was/is Burda World of Fashion.  The subscription is $80/year so I wanted to make sure I liked it before I ordered.

The magazine is German, thankfully translated.  Inside each issue is 40-70 patterns!  I've made two from the issue I bought and I am in LOVE!  They are stylish and do not need any altering.  When I make clothes from the big 4 (McCall's, Simplicity, Vogue and Butterick) things never turn out right.  The two shirts I've made turned out great!

I do not have pictures of the first shirt I made, since i've worn it so many times this week it's now drying after a wash.  But here is the second shirt I made.  The fabric turned out to be a little more flashy than I was hoping for so I threw on some pearl snaps and made it a western shirt!  

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Clothing and who makes it

So I was reading this article on Neatorama that is actually a guest blog from the author of the book Where am I Wearing: A Global Tour to the Countries, Factories, and People that Make Our Clothes 

It makes me wonder what I should do.  I feel awful that people in far off countries are making my clothes for $22/month.  They live in one room homes with 7 other people.  I feel so angry and want to never buy clothes again.

Then I realize this is their only source of income.  Some people have left their homes, families and previous jobs because they can make more money by being garment workers.  If I stop buying their clothes how will they make a living?

Right now it's a moot point for me as I have no money to buy clothes anyway.  Hopefully in a year my situation will change and I'll have to make a decision.

In other news, it's a sunny 40-something degree day and my bike tires are pumped up and ready to go to the gym. yay for bikes!

Monday, January 05, 2009

back to the grind

My three weeks off are over. I went back to my practicum today and start work and my classes again tomorrow. It felt surprisingly good being back in the classroom.