Friday, September 30, 2005


Man! Fridays just suck the life out of me.

It seems as if every Friday I have a million extra things to do during the school day in addition to the regular school day activities. I was exhausted by noon and didn't know how I would make it to the end of the school day.

Well, I made it - YEAH. The last student just walked out of the door. The room is once again silent and tranquil. WOW!


Sunday, September 25, 2005

What To Do?

What To Do?

I received a form letter from the local air control district this week. Apparently, the funeral home next to my daughter's school wants permission to build and maintain a crematory incinerator on their site. According to state law "if a new or modified source, which emits hazardous emissions, is located within 1,000 feet of a k-12 site" there needs to be public notice. The letter then goes on later to say that the Air Pollution Control District has determined that as proposed, the installation will comply with all district regulations. Also, "The district's analysis of the proposal has determined that the emissions from operation of this equipment will not pose a significant health risk to the children or the surrounding public."

My questions:

1) If there is no problem...why am I being informed? Being informed leads me to believe that there is a potential problem. The law says that I have to be notified because "hazardous emissions" will be emitted. This does not sound good. Am I reading this wrong?

2) Apparently it has been determined that this will not pose a "significant" problem. Significant in this case, to me, means that there still is room for error. Does this mean that only a few kids, (and teachers and neighbors), have the potential for getting sick? Will one of these few be my daughter? Will it be her teacher or a classmate?

What to do?

On Monday I will be calling both the school district as well as the Air Pollution Control District. Do I think the incinerator will still be installed? Yes. Do I feel helpless? Yes.

Even so...I think I will try and make time to go to my daughter's school and catch as many parents as I can to ask them to make the same calls too.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Rainy Day Advice

Whenever it would rain, my dad always made sure to call me on my cell phone or catch me on my way out of the house to remind me to be cautious when driving. He would say: "You know, the roads are the most slippery when it just starts to rain. The oil come up from the road and mixes with the water and it is very dangerous." I can't tell you how many times my brothers and I have heard this. We respond with "yes dad!" or we might roll our eyes and make a face. We would even joke about it when my dad wasn't present. We knew that my dad was just trying to remind us to be cautious but I guess we also thought it was silly for him to keep telling us - I mean come on - we are "grown ups!"
Well, it rained today. I didn't get a call from my dad. He is living in Panama right now.

I REALLY missed receiving that call today....

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

New Book

Today I bought a book that I have been waiting to be released. The book is The Shame of the Nation : The Restoration of Apartheid Schooling in America. The author is Jonathan Kozol. We will see how long it takes me to read. If it is any good, I will post a review.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Yeah For Monday Nights

(5:30 - 6:30) Monday Mornings: I hate them. This is why:
1) I am not eager to start the week out and I am always tired.
2) My daughter is even less eager to start the week out. This makes for a very grumpy early morning. I have to literally pull her or roll her out of bed. Not FUN!
3) My students are not happy to be back at school. Everyone is pretty comatose until recess time. One student actually fell asleep on me this morning during a spelling test!

Monday Afternoons:
Much better. The afternoon flies by. We regain our energy, wake up and are all back to our normal selves. The school day usually ends on a much better note than it started.

Monday Nights: I pick my daughter up at 5:00 and have to make a mad dash home, cook her dinner, make sure she practices violin with grandma, check homework and rush right out again to take her to gymnastics class.
7:05 pm Gymnastics: I LOVE THIS TIME MOST OF ALL! I so enjoy just sitting for an entire hour and watching my daughter and the other kids having a great time with their gymnastics activities. It is my 1 hour all to myself. I always try to bring something to occupy my time but I usually never do anything else but think about how nice it is not to have any pressures or worries for that small time in the day. Yeah for Monday nights!

Friday, September 09, 2005

Another new one

Yesterday I got my 3rd new student of the year. I have spent a BUNCH of time this year just getting new supplies together for the kids who came in after the first day or clearing out the desks of students who left.

The silver lining??? The new student is an adorable, sweet child who loves to learn. I couldn't ask for more.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Vanishing Student Blues

Ok - we are now at day 22. I started with 20 students on day 1. On day 3 I lost a student. On day 9 I lost another student. Day 10 I lost yet another. On day 12 I gained a student and on day 15 I gained another. Today I lost my student from day 12! I am at 18 now and have already lost 4 kids. This is too many too fast. How are teachers ever supposed to be able to make an impact with a revolving door? More importantly, how will kids who move ever have the opportunity to learn?

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Great Moment

School has been is session now for 20 days. On the very first day, one of my students let me know that he can't read or write. Since then, he has reminded me on several occasions that "I can't read or write Ms. V." whenever a task appears as if it may be too difficult for him. I of course feed him my usual line of "of course you can read and write some things already" and then "you are going to learn so much this year" etc...

He didn't believe me and to be honest, I was not so sure how much of it I believed.

Well, this week we had a break through. He did read a bit and write a bit on his own. I pointed this breakthrough out to him and he replied with "Ms. V., I am kind of smart, huh?"

I live for those kind of days at work.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Good Looking Out!

Thanks to Miri's mom, I didn't miss Don Francisco's show last night featuring A. Fernandez. ¡Gracias!