Monday, January 26, 2009

April Fools??

Oh, wait. It's still January.

Last fall I had a painful experience with a student teacher. After that, we developed a policy that we would interview all candidates before allowing them to be placed at our site. I was contacted last week about another potential candidate, and the university supervisor was very cooperative in arranging a meeting for today. She asked for detailed directions to the school for the candidate (let's call him D) and relayed them to him.

The meeting was scheduled for 2:15. At 2:30, there was still no D, nor any contact. I realized that I had failed to give him my cell phone number, so I called the supervisor. She quickly contacted him and confirmed that he was lost (in spite of the detailed directions) and had me call him to assist him. When I got ahold of him, he was somewhere around 33rd St. The directions DID indicate that we were located on 58th St. I dismissed this lapse in judgment, trying to give him the benefit of the doubt.

At 2:45 a balding, bespectacled white man with shabby clothes and bad teeth pulled into the parking lot. Once again, giving him the benefit of the doubt, we told him all about our school and that we had had student teachers who were "bad fits" before, which was the reason for the interview. We asked to see his resume-which we had asked him to bring. He didn't have one. We asked to see his lesson plan he had brought. After telling us that he had failed his teacher ed. course the first time, he presented us with an OH SO INSIGHTFUL lesson asking students to translate a scene from Romeo & Juliet into modern English-there's something we'd never seen before! We learned that he graduated from high school in 1993 but had no work experience aside from subbing. When we asked why he wanted to become a teacher, he informed us that he was really interested in visual arts, but he figured he could teach and then get a month off every year. That, and when he was a TA at his junior college, many of the students preferred to ask him for help instead of the professor.


Why did I waste an hour of my time today when this man clearly has NO passion (not to mention qualifications) for working with young people?? What on EARTH would make anyone think that he had any possibility of surviving even ONE DAY in our school?? And WHO would subject ANY students to such an individual, much less the neediest students??

After he left, my colleague and I were still too incredulous to find TOO much humor in the situation. We were more relieved that we had dodged that bullet!!

The state of education is a sad, sad thing.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sunday Morning

Today's worship service was a roller coaster! We went to the later service (10:45 instead of 9:30) because we were lazy. We were awake by 6:45 thanks to Caleb, but sometimes it's nice to lay around in jammies for awhile, so we did.

On the fourth Sunday, they do a Taize service at 10:45, which I LOVE. I was excited that we picked this particular Sunday to go to the late service. Our pastor was in rare form today and had a very entertaining sermon about Jonah. Even Caleb was engaged!

We were lined up as the second (and last-it's a small service) group for communion when another parishioner in the first group quietly dropped to the floor on the altar. Apparently, most people in line missed it, including our resident trauma nurse who was standing behind her very tall husband and son. I whispered her name, and she immediately ran up to the front. Our pastor stood there, analyzing the situation, while the rest of the first group went back to their seats, then grabbed the elements and rearranged the communion assistants into "continuous communion" formation. We communed and finished the service while the trauma nurse and a couple other people cared for the fallen parishioner. As we filed out, the paramedics showed up.

Fortunately, the parishioner appeared to be fine and was talking, so we're pretty sure she'll be okay. I'm sure the biggest bruise was to her ego. But I was amazed at how well everyone just moved on. The choir kept singing, communion was served, the service was concluded. Just like there wasn't a woman lying under the cross on the altar.

So I think I can safely file this one away as the most memorable worship service ever. In so many ways!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Teacher Conference

Me: [in an E-mail] Can I use your paper tomorrow as an example?
S: What did I do wrong?

There's just NO LOVE tonight!


After prayers:

Caleb: Mom, please you sing?
Me: Sure.
Scott: [Laying next to Caleb] I'll stay and listen.

After an unimpressive rendition of "Jesus Loves Me":

Me: Te amo.
Caleb: Amo. [whispering to Scott] Dad, please you get out. [pushing him away]

The love is just overwhelming, isn't it??

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

High and Low

The first part of yesterday was AMAZING! It was so much fun watching the inauguration with all the kids. I think they cheered louder than the two million people in DC!

I picked up dinner and then Caleb, and we stayed outside so he could ride his scooter with the other kids. I was sitting on the curb with my neighbor, chatting. Caleb decided that he would slam into the curb instead of using his brakes to stop, and then came over pointing to his tummy and told me that it hurt. Because he hit the curb right behind me, I didn't see it. I kissed his tummy and he went back to play. He slammed into the curb again. Another kiss, more playing. A third crash. Another kiss, and an admonishment, and then more playing. However, the fourth time he did it, he said, "I want to go inside." Now, Caleb normally will play outside until midnight if we'll let him (which we don't, by the way), so I though this was odd. By the time we got inside, he was doubled over in pain and whimpering. Then he started crying. I put him in front of the TV with his blanket to see if he would calm down. He didn't. Then I called nurse triage.

To make a long story short, one CT scan, one IV, and five hours in the ER later, he is fine. The doctors think that it was probably muscular. However, I have never seen anything transform him into a whimpering puddle like this. The nurses who saw him when he came in and then again when it was time to go home were amazed. From the time he woke up this morning, there has been no indication that he was ever hurt, except for the narrative:

I go to the hospital. I watch a movie. I have a boo-boo on my tummy. The doctor make it all better.

I think maybe I'm not qualified to parent a boy. Who in their right mind would repeatedly do something to hurt himself?? That Y chromosome is a dangerous thing.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Random Thoughts

I think it's really cool that Obama's inauguration falls the day after MLK's birthday. It's a great time to be an American! Tomorrow, our whole school will be gathering in the auditorium to watch the inauguration. So exciting!

I finished The Shack this weekend. It was very thought-provoking. If you haven't read it, I recommend it.

It's crispy shrimp taco season at Rubio's. I'll be having dinner there tonight.

Caleb is napping and Nikki is resting. Life is good. :)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Another One Bites the Dust

Another year, that is.

Scott: Oh come on. We're not that old.
Me: Between the two of us, we're almost 80.
Scott: !!!!


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Intractable Cheese

Caleb came into our bed at 4:30 this morning, something he really hasn't done in awhile. He snoozed through our showers and finally woke up at 6:15 (fortunately, Scott had a release day today so there wasn't any rush for him to get out the door).

When he finally began to stir, Scott told him there were pancakes waiting for him on the table, which got him moving. As he was climbing out of bed, we had this conversation:

Caleb: I see [unintelligible but sounded like his pronunciation of Veggie Tales].
Me: You watched Veggie Tales?
Caleb: [annoyed] NO. I see CHEESE DOODLES.
Me: OH! You saw the cheese doodles from the Pirates Who Don't Do Anything movie?
Caleb: Yes. They chase and chase me. I scared.

So apparently Caleb was terrorized in his dream by cheese curls with teeth. I suppose I can understand how he would find them disturbing!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Settling the Score

I was wrangled into teaching Sunday School this year. I don't have to teach all the time, just half the Sundays. It was a concession to a wonderful woman who has served faithfully for many years and who could not find anyone else to help out.

I HATE teaching Sunday School for a few reasons.
1. I teach all week; on Sunday I want to sit in worship and BE taught!
2. I don't like working with groups of little kids confined to chairs; they wiggle, squirm, say random things, and can't pay attention.
3. I really don't feel like I have a lot to offer when it comes to Christian education.

This past Sunday I had to teach after a three-week reprieve. Nikki has agreed to help out, so she picked the activities and I assisted. This particular lesson was about the Roman centurion who had the faith to ask Jesus to heal his comrade. Jesus basically let the others have it because they were "God's chosen people" but they didn't have the faith of the Roman soldier, and he let them know on no uncertain terms that, regardless of their lineage, their fates were uncertain unless they had faith.

Nikki asked, "How would our lives be different if we had faith like the Roman centurion?" The kids were unfocused. They were squirrely. They said random things:
We would be happy (vague, but reasonable).
We would have friends (???).
What did you say??
Can we have snack yet?
It was about what I expected.

Then one little girl, a little girl who has only been to Sunday School three times in her life, said, "If we had faith like the centurion, we wouldn't have to worry because we can just ask Jesus to help us and He will."

God-1, Selfish Cindy-0

Sunday, January 11, 2009

New Year, New Start

Caleb starts at his new preschool tomorrow. I got a disturbing phone call from his IEP resource teacher on Wed. saying that she would start bus transportation to his resource classes on Tuesday (!!!). I called AND E-mailed and let her know that I didn't feel that a transition to a new school and a new experience like riding a bus to ANOTHER new school would be a good move for his first week back. We're in a holding pattern as far as that is concerned.

In the meantime, Caleb is very excited about his new school. He wants to know if they'll have a Buzz Lightyear there (???). We don't know. We'll have to see...

Prayers for a smooth transition would be greatly appreciated. And for the Chargers to pull this game off... :P

Monday, January 5, 2009


We had a loss during Scott's trip. I finally decided to clean Caleb's fish's tank, and on Sunday evening it was lying on the bottom of its tank with its mouth open. I left the water out for 24 hours, but I failed to use conditioner and it didn't survive. I felt awful. We told Caleb last night that his fish was dead, but of course he doesn't understand what that means.

Tonight, Stitch was floating on the top of the tank, and Nikki insisted that we needed to do something about it. We decided on the traditional burial at sea. We told Caleb what we were going to do and why, and then we poured the fish into the toilet. We paused to let Caleb see that it still wasn't moving and then he flushed the toilet. As soon as he did, he freaked.

Caleb: [with hands on cheeks] OH NO! STITCH! COME BACK!!
Me: Caleb, Stitch is dead. He can't come back.
Scott: Stitch is with Jesus.
Caleb: ???
Me: Go upstairs and wrestle with Daddy!

Caleb's face lit up and he ran upstairs. After all, Daddy's been gone for four days. But when it was time for his bath twenty minutes later, I went to put his clothes in the hamper while he pottied and Nikki found him leaning over the toilet like he was going to vomit.

Nikki: Caleb?! Are you okay?
Caleb: Oh no! My pish! He's gone! [leaning his head to the side and closer to the toilet] STITCH! Come back!!
Nikki: Caleb, Stitch isn't in the toilet. He's with Jesus.
Caleb: [still looking] Oh no.

When I took him out of the bath, he checked one more time.

Caleb: Mom, my pish is gone. He doesn't come back.
Me: No. He's gone.
Caleb: Oh.

But he eyed the toilet one more time.

As he was getting dressed, he broached the subject one last time.

Caleb: Mom, Stitch is gone. He go in the hoilet.
Me: Yes, we'll miss Stitch, won't we.
Caleb: [brightening] Hey! I have a idea! Let's get another one pish!

Grammy is coming tomorrow, so I imagine we'll have another "pish" before I get home from work. Note to self: when this one goes, no more burials at sea!! I'm more than a little concerned that Caleb thinks that Jesus is in his "hoilet."

Saturday, January 3, 2009

The End is Near

Scott is enjoying himself in San Antonio, Texas this weekend. A colleague at school recommended him for this big ROTC extravaganza where he gets to go to a bowl game, eat fancy dinners, and he may even do some skydiving tomorrow (tandem, of course)! I'm SO GLAD he's getting this experience. He deserves it after all the craziness he endured at work this fall.

In the meantime, the kids and I are hunkering down for the return to reality on Monday. Nikki is working to finish her science fair project before Tuesday. I am preparing my psych PowerPoints. Caleb is going stir-crazy without his daddy. He's currently sobbing for him after being sent back to his room (for a rest) for about the twelfth time. Fortunately, the cat tattles every time he leaves his room, so we know he's coming. I do realize that at some point, I'm going to have to accept the fact that there will be no rest today.

I am being summoned by the sobbing boy. I guess I'd better try one more time before giving up and heading to my parents' to watch the Chargers game. Go Chargers!!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Only in our house...

Heard from downstairs:


Me: (whispering) Nikki, be quiet! Your brother is sleeping.


When I finally got up and walked downstairs, I found Caleb (who was supposed to be napping) sitting on the toilet, and the cat staring at him. She was tattling.