Monday, February 22, 2010
You've probably been wondering about what I've been up to. I'd like to say that there's something interesting going on, but now that I think about it....sometimes something interesting is also stressful. So right now....no new and interesting stresses in my life. Just the same old stresses.
This is a sign that I'm getting old, but I must complain a little about my ailments.....
As you may or may not be aware, I am currently living with Meniere's disease. Basically, I have hearing loss and continual ringing in my left ear. I went and checked a little while back to see if I'd be able to get a hearing aid. It seems that MS has this program where they will pay for your hearing aids if it helps you work. Since I can't hear the kids, I figure that I'd be the perfect candidate, right? Wrong! Apparently, it's one of those situations in that I'm not "sick" enough to require help. Great. So the solution is to just ask people to repeat themselves. I've found that smiling and nodding gets you into trouble if you don't know what people are talking about. It seems that people expect you to listen when they talk. But that's not the latest complaint....
Awhile back, my ENT (Ear, Nose, and Throat) doctor diagnosed me with Acid Reflux. I've been taking medication for that since then. For the most part, it worked. And then something happened sometime last fall. I started coughing with the acid coming up and vomiting several times a day. It's gotten a little better now and then, but lately things are getting too much to handle. It's a horrible thing when you have to stop teaching, grab the trash can, and run into the hall to vomit. Mostly, it's either dry heaves or mucus. (Can I just insert here that I'm not a good vomiter? It always feels like I'm choking. And when the vomiting session is over, I look like I've been choked by someone.) I spoke to a friend that had similar symptoms and she said it sounded like her diagnosis....hiatal hernia. Basically this means that part of my stomach has bulged above the sphincter that separates the stomach from the esophagus. I tried to get into the local Gastrointestinal doctor in town, but found that they wouldn't give me an appointment unless I had been referred by my regular physician.(I read this as one of the doctors needs to make a car payment....) And to top that they told me that the Gastrointestinal doctor was on vacation for three weeks. So, to get the ball rolling, I made an appointment, saw my regular doctor, and got little information that I didn't already know. (Apparently if I lost weight, it would help. My question...what won't losing weight help? And if I could lose weight, wouldn't I have already done it?) He recommended that I make an appointment in Columbus with doctors there since the procedure I'll need to have could be done there at their outpatient office. The procedure is basically where they sedate me (not totally asleep but more or less awake and comatose) and them inserting a scope down my throat to look at my stomach and esophagus. There is a surgery to correct the hernia but as it turns out, it is rarely done. I'm not sure what I'll need since they mostly treat this with medication and I'm already taking some. So in the meantime, I'm just vomiting several time a day. The good news is that I can feel when it's coming. Just know that if you see me holding a trash can nearby, you should stay away. Especially if you have a weak stomach.
Anyway, I'm sure this isn't the post you were hoping to read, but you have to take the good with the bad....and I'm sure this is a bad post. That means that the next one will be better. Thanks for sticking in there with me. In the meantime, your prayers are appreciated.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
I know, it's been awhile. I'd love to blog more so if you want me do that....send money. I guess I'm going to have to be independently wealthy before I'll have time to blog daily....Oh well...I can dream.
Today's post is about a dear friend of mine....Kamille. I met Kamille a couple of years ago at an Open House event. All I can tell you about that meeting, other than it was predestined, was that neither of us forgot that night. In the spring, our district hosts an open house for the upcoming grade(s) to see the school they will be at next year. (Side note....our district has one school for grades K-2, one for third that will join my school next year, one for fourth and fifth, one for sixth, and so on.....) Well, most teachers don't like those evenings when you feel like you're being put out on a meat market, but I find that I really enjoyed them. It always felt like I was in an E.F. Hutton commercial...I'd answer someone's question, and everyone would stop and listen to my response. This is a huge boost for those of us that like being in the center of attention. In case you didn't know....that's totally what I'm about.
Well, after it's over, some of the teachers will compare experiences to judge how things went. I relayed the questions asked of me by potential parents (especially from Kamille) and found that no one had the same questions that I had. Especially from Kamille. It's not like she asked me anything really personal, but her questions were nothing like "How much homework do you give?" or "How do you differentiate your instruction?" Those are common questions. No....Kamille was more concerned with me. What kind of person I was.....What I believed in.....I remembered her name and had a feeling that we'd be seeing each other again. And I was so right.
By God's divine wisdom, her child was placed in my fourth grade classroom. Her child is a gem...the kind you wish you had more of. The kind of kid that you look at and feel like you were the same type of kid when you were that age...... Also by God's divine wisdom...I looped with this group of students so I have this wonderful child again.
Ah....so many memories. Kamille was the first parent that I remember calling me on my cell phone. She was the first parent that I programmed in my phone. I vividly recall her calling me one day as I was shopping in Wal-Mart. I pulled over to the side and we talked for a long time. That's huge for me because being stuck in Wal-Mart when I don't have to be isn't my idea of a great time.
As I've gotten to know Kamille, I've really connected with her. She and I are so similar in many ways. We have the same sense of humor and find the same things funny. (Side note here...she introduced me to Bon Qui Qui and I'll never be the same.) She is like me in that she also has just one child. People with only one kid are different kind of parents than those that have more than one. You see....we have all of our "eggs" in one basket. We can't afford to let things get messed up. After all, we're talking about the person responsible for putting us in a home when we're older. But anyway, she gets me and I get her.
I've spent some time with her in the last few months and I thoroughly enjoy myself. We always have lots to talk about. Kamille is one of those people that is bigger than life. She lives life with such passion. I'd like to think that I'm the same way. When she loves, she does it with her whole being whether we're talking about friends, family, or food. Her laugh is infectious and beckons you in. She's just so down to earth....she's good, solid people.
I'm sort of sad though....at the end of this year, her child will move to another grade and another school. Their lives will go on and I'm sure that we won't spend nearly as much time together. I'd like to think that I'll still be in her heart....I know she'll be in mine.
I love you Kamille! Thanks for all that you do and all that you are.....I'm so blessed to know you!
Monday, February 8, 2010
Thursday, February 4, 2010
This is not my desk. However, it feels like it could belong to me. I'm so busy that I just don't have time to put things back. I end up with stacks of stuff everywhere. I can usually find things, but it's a stressful situation trying to locate a piece of paper in the chaos. What I need is like 3 weeks of working in my classroom with no phone calls, no kids, and lots and lots of trash bags. I've used the snowball analogy many times to describe teaching. I really think it's true. No sooner do you get something done and right behind you is another snowball rolling down the mountain. If you're not careful it will run right over you.
Today, the chaos that was my room made me physically hurt. It truly pained me to look at all the stuff I had going on. It was raining today....kids are like walking barometers. When the weather changes, they do too. Science fair boards were due at school today. In the rain. I had like 6 kids come in late so I had to start over with my announcements and teaching several times. It was well into the morning before everyone showed up. Progress reports went home today. I tried desperately to get all the grades in that I could so that they would bring up their averages. To grade and enter information in the computer takes time. When the kids are here, I'm trying to help them. They take all my time. There's no time to clean up, put stuff up, find stuff I'll need for next week.....it just never ends.
So what's the solution? Take a day or two off? I've been sick and I'm still hacking and coughing so I know I need to rest. However, I don't think people realize that to be absent means that I have to spend 2 to 3 hours writing lesson plans and getting materials ready for a substitute. And you don't know who your sub will be so it could end up being a waste of time. So...no....taking time off isn't an option. Give up? Nah....that's not what I do. I'm known for my perseverance. I'm very long suffering. Change professions? I don't think so. What else could I possibly do? I can't envision myself not being in the classroom. No...there's no big solutions right now. There are, however, some small things I CAN do. Slow down. Breathe. Prioritize. Breathe again. And yes.....I should get off the computer and get some work done. That's what I was just getting ready to do!
Until next time........
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Raelynn had her ninth birthday party last weekend and I'm really glad that's over! I like parties, but I just don't feel really great about planning and executing them. I can "ride herd" and patrol behaviors at kid parties, but the rest is a little more than I've had experiences with. Anyway, Raelynn wanted to have a party with all of these "older" friends. No one at the party was her age. They were all around 2 years older than her. It's hard to plan a party for someone who loves Strawberry Shortcake when every guest wants to scream inside at the thought of My Little Pony, Strawberry Shortcake or some other similar character. My solution was to plan a scavenger hunt. The kids had a good time being driven all over town and getting their pictures taken and being videoed doing all sorts of embarrassing things. And Raelynn enjoyed herself too so it all ended well.
I've been sick too. It's been awhile since I got a cold or the flu but I've got a nasty case of bronchitis. The cough is about to kill me. I went to the doctor, got some meds, but as anyone who's ever had this can tell you, it's the sort of thing that keeps lingering. And so I just plow through. No sick days. Just keep going forward.
The paperwork is piling up. I spent all weekend doing Raelynn's party (and paid dearly for it later--I was exhausted) and then trying to get better on Sunday. I slept and lounged a lot. So I'm a little behind in grading. Not a good thing. When I look over my shoulder, the work is still piling up behind me. I have visions of myself being very much like a hamster in one of those exercise wheels. Run like crazy, but you never get anywhere. Do you know what I mean?
So you might be asking why I'm blogging if I have so much to do. The answer is because I want to and I miss it. A small part of me hopes that someone else misses it too. I promise, something more witty will be posted soon. I just need some time. And lots of paperclips and grading pens. Did I mention I have papers to grade?