Sunday, November 26, 2006

Only hours left of holiday time . . .

Survived anotherThanksgiving. This one was fairly benign. The fandam went to Atlanta (everyone but me that is.) I did have Thanksgiving dinner with Jon-David's family, so I wasn't lonely and abandoned, although I would have been ok just getting stuff done at the house all day. My neighbors across the street invited me over for drinks, so I did that for a little while before leaving for my own T day festivities.

I managed to get a lot done as far as cleaning and unpacking. I even got the tree up although no lights or anything are on the tree yet. I am reading one of my many feng shui books. It speaks frequently of getting rid of "things" since I am currently surrounded by "things" with NO room for any of them, forces are aligning as I look around thinking, ok what can I get rid of. This means the mother of all garage sales is growing. I don't know how that is going to work! I may try to sell things on the internet . . .

Today I realized my bed is not in good shape. The wood the slats sit on was coming unnailed. So, I was taking the bed apart, leaning the mattress against the wall, getting the box spring up and against the wall . . . no . . .no. . . into the window. Long string of cuss words. Broke a dang window. Can't wait to see how much that is going to cost. I went to Home Depot to get wood to put in the window . . . saw broken. . . went to another one, score. $2.00 for the wood : ) So, Monday I'll be calling Alamo glass to see what they can do to help me.

If I may pause for a moment for a small gripe. Nothing is easy. I mean I think, can't sleep on my bed tonight, I'll have to sleep on the fold out sofa bed, but I can't do that unless I love the crap out of the way that is in front of it. Can't do that until I create space in the back bedroom for the stuff from the front bedroom. Can't do that until I find more stuff to go out to storage. Can't do that until I rearrange the stuff in storage to make room. Sigh. double sigh.

As it turns out, I have gotten a fair amount of stuff done, but nothing on the Leadership Lens newsletter that I really need to have done by tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Money makes the world go around, the world go . . .

I just got the contract from the real estate boys. HOLY COW. It is real. I think I have the shakes. They are going to pay me more to write this book than I make in a year of teaching. I think it is going to be important for me not to think on that too long.

Doing the happy dance, doing the happy dance.

4 1/2 hours until Thanksgiving break . . . .

Monday, November 20, 2006

I love two day weeks

Last week was the first week that I actually had time to work on unpacking since moving into the new casa. I finally got to start unpacking!!

Some where in here Ann and Mike came over so Mike could check out the heating unit. He declared it good to go, and I have heat!! It brings tears of joy to my eyes. Now the weird part is that the front room is the warmest room in the house. I can't decide if it is because there is something funky going on with the heating ducts or what. Who cares. I have heat!

Friday night I got home with a plan to walk the dog and immediately head out to meet some friends. I got distracted because I started talking to my NEIGHBORS. That's right. I have friendly hanging out, talking to each other (in English) neighbors. woowee.

Saturday I worked a little on the house then headed up to school to meet with the editors who wanted to get some work done. (I'm trying to be a good example for scoobie instead of my usual example of what NOT to do.) It is very tiresome.

In the afternoon I started to mow (I hadn't mowed since I'd moved in) and th stupid crappy mower wouldn't work. So, I went to Home Depot and bought a new one for $200. It is awesome. On the way home I stopped off at Burgundy's and she helped me put it together. Went home mowed the lawn. Fantabulous.

Saturday night I went over to Roseanne's, and we had healthy salad and cosmo's for dinner.

Sunday morning, a little church, a little more church, then clean, clean, clean. I mowed the back yard, filled up five huge bags with leaves. Sooooo many leaves. It was crazy.

Diane came over and helped me get the kitchen together. I had not been able to get myself to do anything. So, it was quite useful to have someone come over and start telling me what to do.

I'm not sure what I would do without my friends. Curl into the fetal position most likely.

Scoobie called in sick this morning. He didn't have a sub at about 7:30, but luckily someone got it by the middle of first. I'm very annoyed. If he isn't here tomorrow, he'd better be prepared to barf a lung.

I'm hoping to get a bunch more done tonight. I'm working on a box of things to sell in the mother of all garage sales. I want to get the house back to looking organized so that I can put up the Christmas decorations!!

Off I go, things to do.

Monday, November 13, 2006

But wait, there's more

So, we get on the airplane to fly home. Did I mention that on the way to Nashville and on the way back Scoobie Doo got on the plane before the kids did? So much for being sure the ducklings are on the plane. In Nashville coming back, he was walking away from security with two kids left in line to go through security.

I slept the whole way home. I had two of my migraine pills in me, so I was pretty loopy. Once in Dallas, I told the kids they needed to let us know when they were leaving. Not sure he would have done that. I spoke to the two sets of parents and gave them the information I'd been given.

I am standing on the curb waiting for the bus to take me to A (I hate departing from one terminal and arriving in another!) when I see Scoobie getting reading to get in a car and drive off (he had to get a ride from one of the student's to the high school.) He says his wife is smart but describes a woman that is too stupid to get from Preston and 380 to the airport. huh. She actually seemed capable to me, but what do I know.

At any rate, I look at him, look at the student he is about to leave standing on the curb with no parent in sight, then look at him again. He starts to stutter, I'll stay with him. No, No, I'll do it. Unbelievable he was going to leave this kid.

I got home tired and ready to go to bed. Jon-David was waiting since I didn't have a key to the house. He ended up leaving shortly after I got there. Men, what a beating.

I got to school early so that I could get the referrals completed before the first parent meeting at 8am.

I was busy all day. Egads. I have a meeting scheduled with the principal and one of the assistants about the serious concerns I have about Scoobie's ability to take kids on a trip alone.

I was supposed to get a lot of unpacking done tonight, but it's not looking good. Maybe tomorrow.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

The weekend from Hell

Sooooo, I started getting calls about mid day from newspaper kids asking what the plan was, what we were doing etc. I asked if they had met with Scoobie Doo in the morning or at lunch. No, nope. Friday night, they still had not seen him. The last sighting had been at 2pm. So, I went back to the room and at 9:30pm I knocked on his door. Took about 10 minutes for him to get to the door. He'd been asleep; since 8:30; gosh he got up at 5:30 and he'd had a really hard day. I basically told him he had to do a better job. Meet with the kids have a plan, check on them.

In the meantime, my friend Cindy came out for the convention Friday morning and stayed with me. Love her. She helped me getting a meeting with Mark a graphic artist, if you will, so that we could talk about the design for "The Book". I have to meet with the real estate boys on Tuesday, so he's going to send some stuff to me to show them Monday afternoon.

Saturday morning I start getting calls from the newspaper staff back in Dallas at about 8:30am. Scoobie Doo had not scheduled for the kids to be at school with the head custodian. He had not scheduled an adult to be in charge of the kids working all day Saturday. So, they had to get me to talk to our Saturday custodian to let them in. Then they realized they needed in Scoobie's office, but by that time they couldn't find the custodian (school's pretty big with lots of places to hide.)

I saw Scoobie at about 11:30 and told him he needed to contact the kids at school. He comes back to tell me everything was fine. I'm thinking, sure it's fine cause I've been talking to them for the last two hours solving all of your damn problems.

He tells the kids that he has scheduled for them to go to Vanderbilt to take a look around at 1:30. So, he finally realizes perhaps he should have them meet earlier. So they meet at 1:15 at his room. He tells them he has an appt at 6pm that he has to be back for. I ask, "Is that the football game?" Yes, it is. He plans on meeting another adviser and watching the guy in the sports bar. "a restaurant" he says. "a bar" I say.

So in the monolith hotel he tells them, 1:15. Really, not enough time. Two kids head off to get their coats because it is cold, and sure enough they miss the bus. He tells the kids "guess we aren't going to go to Vanderbilt."

I get a phone call of distress because two of mine really want to go to see the school.

I talk to him. "You are still going right?"

He hems and haws and says they'll have less time.

I reply, "great, thanks."

I get a phone call at about 4:15 from the police asking me to go to X store in the mall because two of my students have been caught shoplifting. . . . please let this be a joke. please let this be a joke. So, I haul off to the mall. Show up at the correct store, still hoping it's a joke and see 4 policemen standing in a back corner (it's a pretty small store, but it was still a back corner.) Sitting on the floor . . . two students. Crikey.

4 stores, 2 hours, for them. 8 police reports and 2 hours later for me, we get back to the hotel. At one point the police tell me that if they hadn't been able to reach me they would have taken the kids downtown to the actual police station (instead of the substation in the mall) and booked them. At which point their parents would have had to FLY out to Nashville to get them out of jail. Horrifying. One too scared to stop the other, the other crying out for help by trying to get herself in trouble. (That's just me, the arm chair psychologist.)

Scoobie finally shows up with the other kids (turns out he didn't know the bus system very well, they got lost, missed the bus etc etc, raise your hand if you are surprised . . . no I didn't think so, no surprise.)

I spoke to one of the asst principals several times - LOVE HIM. We were trying to get those two a flight home immediately, but there were no flights out at that point, so they were put in a room by themselves in lockdown.

The rest of the kids got to watch a movie in my room while eating copius amounts of pizza. Cindy and I went downstairs to eat. Got a phone call while at dinner that one of the mom's of the other kids text her son and he replied they were in lock down. (Have you noticed a theme of the phone calls NOT coming from my student's parents?)

I just called Scoobie (Sun am 9) asked him if he had gotten the girls anything for breakfast. He says he doesn't have any money (another problem we've had all weekend, since he doesn't have a credit card and he didn't bring any money). He'd forgotten about the girls, but he'd go down and ask if they had money to get something.

Well, I'd better get my butt in gear and pack. I'm sure I'll have more when I get home.

Thursday, November 9, 2006

Nashville is a happening town

The day started out in a less than spectacular fashion. We had a day tour of Nashville scheduled for 9am. If I read the e-ticket, I would have seen and noted that we were to meet at 8:30 and where.

Instead we had everyone meet in the front lobby at 8:50. Of course two of the newspaper kids didn't show up on time because they didn't wake up. (I did wake them a little after 8:30, but that wasn't enough it turns out. In the meantime, the 3 girls I brought came down even later than the boys did too. I asked the bell hops where we were to pick up the bus, and he sent us in the exact opposite direction from where we were supposed to be. It was like a comedy of errors, but without the comedy.

Once we were on the bus things did begin looking up. It was a good tour. We stopped at the old Opry house, the Country Music Hall of Fame and a "honky tonk". The hotel is ridiculously large. So large, my little feet are sore from walking from one end to the other. The Gaylord Opryland is large, and the cost of the rooms is paying for all the stuff outside the rooms, not in.

The former amusement park for children, "Opryland" has become an amusement park for women, "a mall." So we went there and walked around. That thing is huge. I'm very tired, and so I must go to bed.

It's like watching a car wreck

I had a phone call from my friend Roseanne yesterday telling me to check my email.

Scooby Doo has sent an email to the entire school with the name of a student at the top (total no no) defending her honor as it were against allegations of not taking good notes basically. Let me back up so you realize what a big deal just got made of a very little thing.

Student is writing an article about X. She interviews a mom that is in charge of this activity and a department chair that has a lot to do with it.

After the article comes out, the mom sends an email to the department chair saying she is disappointed and upset because many of the facts were wrong. The department chair forwards the email to scoobie and says this is an example of no harm done, but I thought you would want to see this and use it as a teachable moment with the student.

He brought the student in, checked notes, la de la de la and finds that he thinks her notes are good no problem.

He tried to call the mom back schedule a meeting etc. but the mom is working on the big activity X and it's not that big of a deal, so she says she doesn't have time.

In the meantime, I don't know what is going on with the student and parents but he has them allllllll freaked out that she won't get into NHS and that all of her teachers are talking about her etc etc. I don't know why he doesn't calm them down and say don't worry about, I'll take care of it. I don't know why he doesn't come talk to me.

He sends an email to this mom and the dept chair about the importance of meeting etc etc. Copies the principal. Principal asks me to translate what the heck the email means (Scoobie is no better at responding with the email attached so people can follow the strain of the conversation that he is at responding to all.)

He doesn't hear from the dept chair or the mom because the dept chair is out of the building mon -wed at meetings and the mom is very busy getting the fa la la together that was on Thursday.

So, he sends an email to the entire school. (There are district personnel on hs list as well) titles it the name of the child, and goes into great detail into the accusations that include many slams to the parent (basically saying she has lied and failed to behave in a professional manner).

If the boy still has his head when we get back it will be a miracle.

Monday, November 6, 2006

I'm not sure I'm going to survive the week

I really thought once I had internet I'd be keeping the blog totally updated. Sadly, that has not been the case. Although I'm not feeling the love from my audence. Come one people, make comments, let me know you are out there.

This is going to be a totally random one. I'm feeling some serious ADD after my stressful day.

Friday night's football game was better than the others. Greenville gave us a run for our money at least part of the time. It took forever though so I didn't get home until almost midnight.

I got up Saturday morning and joined a gym. (Trust me, I've been getting on the scale, and it groans in pain.) I worked out Saturday and then this morning at 6am!!

The day was busy as all get out. I was running from one place to another. I met up with Cindy at PF Chang's *yum* then we went and I finally got the palm replaced. (I love Jostens North Texas : )

Diane and I went to a get together at my friend John's Saturday night. It was really nice. John's roommate decorates like a beast!! The place was cool.

I borrowed a camera from school to get a picture of the beautiful arrangement Ann brought over Thursday. I think her fingers and toes were frostbitten by the time she left! She bought the pumpkin from Michael's, carved it and did the flowers. How cool is that??

I realized Friday night that since my purse had been stolen, I had to find my passport. Searched off and on Saturday. Searched for quite some time Sunday. By Monday I had an eye tick and a headache. I raced home after work and searched. I went through every file folder individually in case it had fallen into the wrong folder. I searched every where. Thank God MaryBeth called me when I got home and kept me from leaping off the ledge. I was ready to curl into a ball and cry like a baby several times. However, I finally found it. Hallelujah.

Tuesday was a nightmare because I had meetings one after another, I had about 10 batches of prooofs that I had to go through before a meeting at 4pm with the real estate guys and Tread (my Jostens rep who will be the publisher for the real estate book), and then Cult.

I was a little sad for my last Barnabas (Cult). I may have already mentioned that the graduation is on Sunday, so I'll miss that because we won't be back yet. I just kept thinking that I am so busy and so tired and so stressed that I wasn't able to put into it what I think it needed. Since a huge part of my problem is taking on too much, perhaps I can focus all of my energy on doing less. Strangely enough I think it is going to be really really hard.

Wednesday, November 1, 2006

Not getting much done

Fun news: #1 and #2 (principal and asst principal) said that there is a Humanities course that already exists that I could teach if I get kids to sign up. I am so excited. I went back to ask #1 if he was yanking my chain, and he said he wasn't. woohoo

OK, I started this yesterday or the day before, and truthfully, nothing has changed, so I thought I'd just keep going.

Had cult activities last night since Tuesday was Halloween. Low turn out. Oh well.

An interesting side note, the door knob to the bedroom keeps falling off, so I decided to grab one of the crystal doorknobs I had gotten from one of Ann's teardown houses and replace it. Which I did. For some reason, only one side of the door knob turns the catch mechanism. It was on the outside. So, last night when I realized my phone was not in the bedroom charging, I got up to go get it and . . . that's right I found myself trapped in the freaking bedroom. It was a little stressful to say the least. I had NOTHING to get myself free and no way to call anyone. I eventually found a little pocket knife ( I do mean little). After much effort, and a lot of cussing, I got the door open. Thank you, Lord.

Got the phone, put it in the bedroom, turned the knob around and went to bed. This morning when I got up to go potty, I shut the door to keep the warm in the bedroom and off I went, upon my return I discover . . . wait for it . . . some of you have already figured this out . . . that's right, now I am trapped OUTSIDE of my bedroom. Can't open the door at all. Oh, and my tools are all still at Jon-David's . . . and don't forget the phone is INSIDE the bedroom. Holy snot, I cannot catch a break. Strangely enough, I finally find a pocket knife that happens to have a mini pliers? Whatever I finally got the door open . . .did I mention the animals were still in the bedroom at the time?

Fun adventures at 711.

Today is the English department meeting. Should be all sorts of fun. I will be remaining quiet today. Hey, keep your rude comments to yourself.

Tonight is the last home game. Very exciting because I hear the new band director is bringing back the drum dance . . . that is when four boys raise a big drum on its side with a girl in a kilt on top. She then dances on the top of the drum, a little scottish jig.

Oh, and no I haven't done a damn thing to the house this week. Next week I take kids to Nashville Wed - Sun. So, won't be getting much done then either.