Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Best Award of All

Sabi's 4th grad year is coming to an end. Tomorrow at 1:00 she will have officially ended 4th grade. She will be a 5th grader! Where did the time go?

These past few weeks have been full of much excitement for us. Sabina placed in the science fair and has earned some scholastic honors as well. The awards have been coming in for Ms. Sabi. She in turn has been bitten by the award bug and has made awards for her teacher and librarian to honor their work with her and her classmates.

Today though she made the best award of them all. She noticed that in this big flurry of awards being handed out to her and her friends, one of her friends at school, her best friend at school, has received nothing. She said that she was going to make him an award to let him know how special he is. This morning we had to leave a bit later so that she could finish and print his award. It said "This award is presented to Alexis for being the very best friend a person could have." It was such a great award complete with a fancy font a seal, watermark and a place for her to sign her name and date it.

I have been proud of her accomplishments this year but this award that she made for her friend made me the proudest. She is a bright girl but I am so, so happy that she also has a heart of gold.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


In the past few months, my school's neighborhood has experienced a rise in gang activity. There have been several shootings. On Sunday, there was another shooting. This one resulted in the death of a 25 year old man.
Today, one of my students was very upset and was crying. When I questioned her she told me that she saw some men with guns shooting each other. Her details were foggy and she was very distraught. I had the office call her home for info and looked into getting some emergency counseling. When her mom was contacted, we found out that the incident that the girl was talking about was the same shooting incident from Sunday. The mom reported that the girl didn't actually see it happen but was down the street at a grocery store. They heard the gunfire and ran into the store. The girl heard the info regarding the shooting and it was heavy on her mind.

I have been sad today thinking about this little girl as well as all of the other kids who live in the school's neighborhood and other similar neighborhoods. From what I see at my school, kids are either living in fear of the gang members or idolizing them. This is a regular, everyday life happening for them. It is terrible.

FYI - my student is going to be ok. Her parents are great and very loving. As it turns out, talking to me and my student teacher was a good outlet for her. She also asked if she could write about it in her journal. After our talk, she forgot about it for the rest of the day.
When I got home, I checked my blogroll and read all of the new posts. Two of today's blogs discussed senseless violence like this post I am typing up right now.

What is the world coming to?

Sunday, May 25, 2008


I have been spending the afternoon and evening watching the Law and Order SVU marathon. I LOVE that show. In addition to watching the show, I have been watching (more like hearing) a lot of commercials. I am just amazed and appalled at the content of some of the commercials. I don't want to sound like a prude but companies are just giving too much information over the tv.

I don't like to watch SVU with Sabi in the same room because I don't think the content is appropriate for her. She came in during commercials twice. Hear are some of things she had the privilege of hearing:

From Viagra:
- Ask your Dr. if your heart s healthy enough for sex
- If you have an erection for more than for hours....
- "Viva Viagra" - sung by the Viagra guitar/banjo players

From K-Y :
- One's for me and one's for him. When they mix together...

YIKES! I was just hoping that she wouldn't ask me what any of those things meant. What is the answer? I don't know. I don't believe in banning the ads. Maybe they could come on after 9 pm?

Yes, I am getting old!

Next Year's Group

I am a member of a second grade teacher message board. Most of the time, the messages end up being deleted but every now and then I get some really good stuff so I stay on the message board.

Friday, a post was written that has had sparked a lot of responses. The question was something to the effect of "Are you hearing horror stories about next year's kids?" Every single response to the post stated that they heard that they were in for it this coming year.

Generally speaking, I hate to even discuss this information with the first grade teachers. I don't want to bias myself against the kids. The way I see it, we all deserve a fresh start, right?

This coming year may be a bad one though. Ever since the beginning of this year, the first grade teachers have been talking about how low and poorly behaved this current group is. From what I see on the playground, I have been hoping (praying) that I don't get some of these little out of control kids.

In the end though, I will get the group I get and have to work through it. It will work out. The worse that can happen is that it might get rough but it will be over in nine months.

Back to the message boards...
One of the teachers responding to this question on the message board said that a teacher at her school said that the reason this group is challenging is because they are the 9/11 babies. What is that about? What will they think of next???

Friday, May 23, 2008

A Blog I Enjoy

Julius Lester's Blog

Check it out.

3 Day Weekend

I LOVE it! 3 days! YAY! I will most likely go to the Farmer's Market, the library and possibly BBQ for the family on Monday. Whatever I do end up doing though will not be on a schedule. I just want to take it easy and relax.

What are your plans?

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Bad Wind, Bad Fire

Bad Fire
Originally uploaded by msabcmom
Today I drove to Sabi's Field trip to Columbia State Historic Park. The winds have been high these past few days. (up to 45 mph) Fires have been popping up around the state but today, we had two in our area. One occurred on our way home from Columbia on highway 108 near Knights Ferry. We were so close to the fire but still far enough away to be safe. We were re-routed through Knights Ferry to find our way home.

Had we been at school today, we would have encountered the other big fire in our area. Our schools were on red air quality alert today. The kids had to stay inside all day with the exception of going to lunch and to the bathroom. My student teacher reported that the kids were horrible today due to being cooped up. Not surprising at all.


I am thinking about making mini posters with positive messages on them to post around my classroom next year. This will be one of them:

"No hay que llegar primero, pero hay que saber llegar." (You don't have to be first, but you have to know how to get there.) This comes from the song El Rey by José Alfredo Jiménez.

Do you have any great sayings, (short ones) for me to put up on my walls? If so, write it down for me in the comment section please. If you can, let me know where it came from too. (if you know...)

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Going to the Fair

Remember little Raven Symoné from The Cosby Show? My daughter loves watching her in reruns of that show.

She also loves to watch her in her all grown up show That's so Raven.

We just found our that Raven will be coming to sing at the Stanislaus County Fair in July...FOR FREE!!! Guess we will be


Friday, May 16, 2008

A Record I Wish We Hadn't Broken

Today we hit 106 degrees. It was awful. I only let my students out to go to the bathroom and to go to lunch.

When I drove home, It took 10 minutes for the car to actually bring cool air in!

It is only May...we are in for a hot one.

More here.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Test Anxiety

We are on day 2 of state testing and so far have had three "throw up" incidents. The kids are so stressed out that they are responding physically.

Have you ever wondered about what happens to a test that has been vomited on? You can't throw it away! The test has to be bagged up and returned to the state! Before that though, our lucky test coordinator (vp) has to transfer the bubbled in items to a new test document. I am so glad that I do not have that job!


Thursday, May 08, 2008


I have been suffering from seasonal allergies since early March. Some days have been ok and some have been bad. This week has been just rotten. I have been dizzy, have had non stop headaches and pain behind my eyes. I take Singulair and Claritin but I haven't seen too much of a change. Yesterday when it felt as if my eyes might pop out of my head I called the Dr. for something new. I was told to try two over the counter meds. One was eye drops called Naphcon. The other was Mucinex. What a change! I can think, I have little head pain and I can sit around and enjoy my students at school and my daughter at home...imagine that! I went a little nuts when I saw the price on the Mucinex box but it is worth every single penny. I almost feel!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Addicted to CNN Politics

Every caucus or primary vote day I am glued to CNN either online or on tv. I can't get enough of the coverage. Today is an especially exciting day of news coverage with the close race in Indiana.

Am I the only one who suffers from this addiction? Enquiring minds want to know...

Teacher Appreciation Day

Today is National Teacher Appreciation Day. I didn't get an official present or card but I did get lots of great effort from my students and lots of smiles, hugs and even a "Ms. V. you are beautiful!" That is enough for me!

I actually forgot that today was Teacher Appreciation Day. Sabina wanted to do something for her teacher and I told her it was tomorrow. She came home upset because we messed up on the day. I told her to go ahead and just give her present to her teacher tomorrow. What is the present? A cute little bag of teacher note cards from the $1 store and Sabina's favorite truffles from See's Candies. The best part, in my opinion, is the card that she wrote. Here is the message:
Happy Teacher's Day!!!
I am glad to have you as my teacher this year. I will miss you next year when I am in fifth grade.

I really think that you are the best teacher I've had in my entire life (and I don't say that about everybody!)

Happy Teacher's Day to all of my fellow teachers!!!

Monday, May 05, 2008

Meme 2008


Chuchería, posted this meme recently. Here is my installment.

The rules:

1. The rules of the game get posted at the beginning.
2. Each player answers the questions about themselves.
3. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5-6 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they've been tagged and asking them to read your blog.
4. Let the person who tagged you know when you've posted your answer.

Here we go...

1) What was I doing 10 years ago? I was pretty pregnant and hoping for an early delivery. I didn't get the early delivery date but I did get a beautiful baby out of it!

2) What are 5 things on my to-do list for today (not in any particular order): I am posting tomorrow's list since it is already past nine...YIKES!

1. Finish Progress Reports.
2. Work on a materials order for next year.
3. Cut up fruit and veggies so they are easy to grab for snacks.
4. Praise all of my students for acing the multiplication test I gave today - over half scored 100%!
5. Play Howrse. (I will have to post about that addiction later...)

3) Snacks I enjoy: Dried cranberries from Trader Joe's, Quaker Rice cakes - cheddar cheese, jicama, Swedish Fish - I LOVE THOSE FISH!

4) Things I would do if I were a billionaire:
Hmm... pay everything off for everyone in the family, give lots to charity and buy homes in:

El Valle de Antón
The other view

and in Playa Blanca in Panama.
Sunrise on the beach

That way I would be able to enjoy my two favorite places in Panama. That would be the life!

I would like to say that I would keep my job and help others, blah, blah, blah....but that is not really the case. If I could I would love to have the time to spend with the ones I love the most and not have to sacrifice time with them for a job. I would of course, want to to good things for others but I would love not to be tied down to a schedule for a long period of time.

5) Three of my bad habits:

1. overeating
2. piling up clean clothing - I would much rather clean toilets than fold.
3. procrastinating on the gym workouts

6) 5 places I have lived:

1. Santiago, Chile
2. Buenos Aires, Argentina
3. Bakersfield, California
4. Pocrí de Aguadulce, Panamá
5. Turlock, California

7) 5 jobs I have had:

1. Vet lab assistant - I was 14 and helped the neighbors in their lab. It was cool. They paid me in cat food for my kitten!
2. Sales person and manager- Miller's Outpost
3. Gym Associate: Checked People in to the gym, sold memberships and from time to time would set them up on a weight training program...WHAT A JOKE that job was...HA!
4. Graveyard shift at a group home - group counselor when I was there in the day
5. S.E.D. Teacher (severely emotionally disturbed)

8) 6 peeps I wanna know more about:

1) YOU
2) YOU
3) YOU
4) YOU
5) YOU
6) YOU!!!!

The River Game

I found this game over at Latinopundit's blog. It has been driving me nuts!!!

If you try it...good luck! The rules are posted over on his blog.

It took me 3 days to figure it out!!!