Sunday, September 14, 2008


I made it out to the garden this morning and found that the garden doesn't care whether I visit regularly or not. Stuff just keeps growing and growing without me. I cut one of the smaller giant zukes up into strips, dipped the strips in tempura batter and deep fried them. I haven't deep fried anything since I started weight watchers five years ago. Man, they were yummy! I'm not sure what I'm going to do with all those cucumbers, though. I'll put them in the teacher's lounge tomorrow. Every teacher knows that the lounge is like the black hole for food. I once put a nine-by-thirteen pan of Mom's pistachio dessert out before school started and that sucker was gone by first recess. It looked like they had licked the pan. I bet the cucumbers don't go that fast, though.

Anyone have a recipe that calls for humongous zucchini? I can't let them go to waste since it was my beginning-of-the-school-year neglect that made them like this. I'm personally responsible. When I first saw them out there this morning I felt actual guilt. Like some mad scientist experimenting in zucchini deformity. My conscience won't allow me to make fried zucchini every night this week and we've had more than enough zucchini bread this summer. I don't think they'll be good sauteed, but I guess I could try it. I could send zucchini sticks in Munchkin's backpack for snack (but he'd probably disown me). I thought about entering them for a giant zucchini prize in the county fair, but we don't have a fair, here. Can you use them to carve jack 'o lanterns? I promise to garden responsibly from now on.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Remembering 9/11

Go read Mary Alice's post on 9/11.

I talked to my fifth graders about 9/11 today. They noticed the date this morning and were commenting--"Oh, hey, it's 9/11, guys." I think someone else said, "Cool." September 11 has taken on a kind of folkloric feel for our kids who were, like my students, two or three years old when it happened. So I talked to them about it. I told them about waking up to the phone ringing and what I saw on TV that morning and how scary it was to not know if we were safe. I drew a sketch of the twin towers and showed how they collapsed and told them that thousands of people died--people who had just gotten up to go to work that morning. When I was done talking, their hands flew up. Where were the terrorists from? Why did they do this? I answered the best I could. I told them about our freedom and compared it to what life was like for people, and especially women under the Taliban in Afghanistan. I made them understand that the freedom we have is the reason I'm such a stickler about the Pledge of Allegiance. I think we are so used to enjoying the freedom of our country that we forget its cost. We forget that American families such as Mary Alice's are sacrificing for that freedom every day.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I miss you, blog

Between teaching a new grade level and having almost thirty kids in my class, Munchkin's soccer, and being on the PTA board--I'm not sure I'm going to make it through September. Just the paper grading alone is enough to put me under (and I've kind of prided myself on speedy grading practices in the past). I feel like I'm bringing mountains of papers home at night. Nose-picking and bloody teeth falling out aside, 2nd grade was nice in that the grading was pretty easy. I think the problem is that my personal life (well, not that it feels like my life is mine, personally, right now) isn't allowing me to stay late at school this year like I have in the past. It's amazing how much we really do have to work outside our contracted hours in order to do our job well. (If you disagree with that statement...please let me know how you do it!)

I miss blogging, I miss reading. I miss gardening (I'm sure I have zucchini out there the size of watermelons, right now). I will figure out a way to take care of myself this school year. I hope you are doing the same, faithful blog-reader.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Dog Tired

I am drug out dog tired tonight. I got up 30 minutes early this morning to work on lesson plans because it's too hard to work in the morning with the Munchkin in my classroom. Not that I don't appreciate his singing the ABC's on my classroom microphone. It's just hard to get much done when you are reminding someone to EAT YOUR BREAKFAST for the thirtieth time in as many minutes. School started and I taught until lunch. By "lunch" I mean the sandwich that I ate while hovering over the RIZO machine making copies for the PTA. I taught until school was out...wait, you have a prep every day, too? It seems like everyone in the world has a daily prep period except for Northern Nevada teachers. Make that Northern Nevada elementary school teachers. (Yeah, middle and high school teachers, I'm glaring at you right now). I worked until 4:45 doing the stuff that I might have done had I had a prep today, then ran and picked up the kids. At home I tumbled them out of the car and into soccer gear, ate a speedy dinner of microwaved fat-free hot dogs, and tossed them back into the car. We headed to the park for the game. I think the soccer game was the first time I sat down all day; that is, until Bean pooped her pants. Thankfully it was at the end of the game since there were no paper towels or toilet paper in either bathroom. We headed back home for baths, books and bed, after which, I worked on some more beginning-of-the-year parent phone calls (I have to call them all by Friday). Writing this blog is the first thing I've done for myself all day! The Geek is in school tonight so I won't see him until tomorrow. He gets mad when I say how easy it would be to just get to go sit in class for a while and I know how much he misses the kids during the semester. I do have to say, though, that after a day like today, sitting in class sounds kind of nice. (Sorry Geek. I love you.)