Blue Skies Smiling At Me. Nothing But Blue Skies…

I don’t know what it’s like for the rest of the nation but down here in Arkansas the weather has been HEAVENLY!  A lot of sunshine, low humidity, warm temps…sigh.  Just the other day it was 80 degrees.  And I loved it.  I’m currently in denial about the fact this probably means the summer will be unbearable hot and riddled with insects.  But for now I’m content and happy with the sun.

A few posts back I talked about an assignment I had to do for class that involved creating a glogster.  I’m happy to say that yesterday I finally got around to doing it and it’s now submitted and done.  Looking at it, it’s pathetic it took me as long as it did to put together because I’m pretty sure there are some third graders that could have done a better job in less than half the time.  The information on the page is ridiculously scant but I think that’s the point.  At least I’m hoping it is.  There was no way to possibly put all the relevant information from the chapter on this thing so I scaled back to an extreme degree.  Here’s a link so for those of you who didn’t know what a glogster was, you can get a peek.

Also, some of you from Facebook may have seen that I posted an update about oatmeal.  More specifically, how I don’t like it but am trying to fool my tastebuds into thinking they do.  I think I have finally found success in maple brown sugar.  Is it the beginning of a long and beautiful friendship?  I doubt it, but at least I didn’t dump it down the drain.  That’s gotta count for something.

Speaking of food, there’s a new restaurant here that’s becoming my favorite.  It’s called Pitza 42.  They serve personal pizzas on pita bread or you can get different kinds of salad.  And for every meal purchased they donate a meal to a charity that helps feed hungry children around the world.  AND it’s cheap.  Doesn’t get much better than that.

A look ahead this week shows that Friday is FIELD TRIP DAY!!!!  I love field trip day.  We’re taking the kids to the fire station so that should be pretty fun.  Last year we had some firemen come to the preschool and the kids got to see and try on some of their fire clothes and sit in a fire truck.  The kids had fun but I think this year will be better.

And finally, I’m going to end this post with the Valentine gift I gave my mom and brother.  If this doesn’t say I love you, well, I don’t know what does.

Am I Already Out of Touch?

I’m 32 years old.  I’d like to think I still have a pulse on what the kids are into these days.  Sometimes the pulse may be a little hard to find like you look over at your great Aunt Mable and she appears unresponsive, so you start performing CPR only to discover she was just resting her eyes half way between a bite of mashed potatoes and peas.  Hard to find or not, it’s there.  For the most part I can turn on the radio and tell you the song and artist that’s being played.  I have an entire IMDB library in my head and can spout off random and completely useless facts that benefit absolutely no one about various celebrities.  I’m so fashion forward I CHOOSE to only wear sweats because I don’t want to induce a frenzied riot in Walmart while I’m buying a gallon of milk and not because I fell asleep in them the night before and figure with a baseball hat no one will be able to tell the difference.  But I digress.

One of my assignments for my c lass in a few weeks is to create a glogster.  That’s glogster with two Gs, not to be confused with globster which is what I kept referring to it as.  Just so you know, according to Wikipedia a globster is “an unidentified organic mass that washes up on the shoreline of an ocean or other body of water.”

(you know it’s real because the picture is black and white)

 

You know what else I learned from Wikipedia?  What a glogster is.  How sad is that?  I’m on Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, not 1 but 2 blogs, Flickr, and probably a whole host of stuff I can’t even remember.  But I had to look up the definition of what a glogster is after my forty something year old professor with no kids told me to create one for class.

Good grief.

Today I Was Schooled

I’d really like to think I’m smarter than a four year old but when it comes to technology I just might be slipping behind.  About a week or so ago I bought a new phone.  After years of the very basic of the basic of all phones, I bought *drum roll please* ….an EVO

And I have no idea how to use it.  I’m still figuring out all it can do though in all honesty I never really will learn it all.

Today I was at work and I was talking with one of the four year olds and he pulled out my phone and asked if it had any games on it.  As a matter of fact, I have one.  Angry Birds.  A game I had never heard of until a week ago and have only played two or three times.  Most recently was last night when I tried for almost a half hour to complete level 10.

I turn the game on and start to tell the four year old how to make the bird fly out of the slingshot.  He interrupts me and says, “You have to push on your phone with your finger.”  To which I replied with, “No, you move your finger like this and let go.”

No sooner had I done that when he jabs his little finger on my phone and wouldn’t you know that one bird turned into three birds and killed all the pigs and advanced me to the next level.  Seriously?!?  Thirty minutes I spent on that stupid level and a four year old completes it with the push of a finger.

It’s crazy to think about all the things kids know about and know how to do these days.  And just like I’ve never lived in the world when man hadn’t been on the moon, these kids have never lived when there weren’t cell phones or ipods (among other things). It reminds me of the song What a Wonderful World when Louis Armstrong sings, “I hear babies cry,I watch them grow.  They’ll learn much more, than I’ll ever know.” I can’t even imagine what kind of advances in technology these kids are going to see in their lifetime.  It’s just crazy.

 

3 Hours of My Life

Let me tell you about my afternoon today.  It wasn’t the craziest or most hectic afternoon I’ve ever had.  There weren’t any real emergencies or life or death problems.  But it was one of THOSE afternoons.  I was supposed to get off work today at 2:00.  Around 11:00 or so the lady I work for asked if I would be willing to stay a little bit late so she could take care of some family stuff.  Normally I totally wouldn’t care but I have class on Wednesday nights and I was nervous at what staying a little bit later actually meant.

She assured me absolutely no later than 3:00 and there was a good chance she would in fact be back by 2:oo.  I end up staying and hear from her husband that apparently some other family problem came up and he wasn’t sure when she was going to make it back.  Enter a little nervousness on my part here.

I’m watching the clock like a crazy person, imagining the worst possible scenario possible when she shows up a little after 2:30.  Phew.  I have three hours to get done what I need to and get to class.  Plenty of time.

I get home and immediately go to the computer to check email and since it’s a class night, I needed to log onto my student account and pull some information from my class.  Naturally I discover our internet connection is down.  I call my mom to see if it was working when she was home a couple of hours earlier on her lunch break.  It was.  I’ve now discovered it’s only recently gone down and of course I missed my apparent window of opportunity to log on.

While I’m on the phone with her, I see a furry rodent scurry into view.  Oh crap.  I go into my brother’s room and sure enough, his three gerbils have escaped by gnawing a giant hole through some tape and plastic.  Lovely.  And it’s no surprise they would choose their jail break now because my brother is out of town and won’t be back until the weekend.  Smart little devils.

It takes me over an hour to finally catch Scribbles.  I’m now sweaty and really dirty.  Want to discover how dirty your house really is?  Let loose some gerbils and try to track them down.  It’s now about 3:45.  Still have plenty of time to get ready and eat before I have to be to class.

Right about at this point my mom, who came home when she heard about the escapees, discovered gerbil #2 – Scruffalufagus.  I’m going on record to say that my mom is completely afraid of gerbils and was basically no help in catching them.  Regardless, she found him and it took me another half hour to finally catch him.

I know have an hour and fifteen min. to shower, eat, and get to campus.  Shower is now done and while I’m getting ready I realize that the internet is still out and unless I call about it, there’s a good chance it won’t come back up until sometime tomorrow afternoon when I finally get a free moment to call.

So then I’m on the phone with the internet people and it’s taking longer than usual to get the problem resolved.  As I’m on hold I make a unpleasant discovery.  I completely bypassed shaving my right let.  Hello, my entire right leg.  Now I’ve missed patches before and once a partial back of the leg but the whole thing??  BLARG!!  The realization is short lived because the lady comes back on and I begin plugging and unplugging cords and try to fumble my way through computer lingo but finally the internet was up and running.

The time is 5:15 and I have 15 min. to finish getting ready, eat, and get to campus.  Needless to say I looked worse than usual and forgot about eating.  Three hours of my life down followed by another three hours sitting in a classroom discussing the analysis and theories of the classroom – boo – and did it all on an empty stomach – double boo!!

I spent the last hour or so looking for Leroy – gerbil #3 – but to no avail.  I hope tomorrow he wonders out into the open because I don’t know if I’ll find him if he doesn’t.  It’s now after midnight and I’m heading to bed so I can get up in a few and start it all over again.

*Update: I kept looking until 12:30 this morning.  Finally I got in bed and just as I was about to fall asleep I heard him.  So I spent ANOTHER hour – yes, it’s now 1:30 in the morning  – and finally catch him.  All gerbils are present and accounted for – the gerbil drama is officially over.

Alice Cooper Lied

School’s out for summer
School’s out forever
School’s been blown to pieces

No more pencils
No more books
No more teacher’s dirty looks

-Alice Cooper

August 30th will be my first day back to school in almost 10 years.  Ten years people – an entire decade!  Since I’ve only had three of them it’s like saying “a third of my life ago, I was in school.”  Egads.

I’ve said on here before that if you’re ever in a natural disaster or experiencing a legitimate crisis, you want me there.  I’m cool, calm, and collected in these situations.  But tell me when I’m in line at McDonald’s the shake machine is broken and I have a melt down.

Likewise, my reaction to important decisions that will a affect my life vs. those that in reality are inconsequential are seemingly backward.  For example, every so often I get the notion to change my hairstyle (trust me, this definitely constitutes as an important decision that affects my life.  Ladies, you know what I’m talking about.)  Not a little trim or slight highlights but full on, whack off a foot or more, I can no longer pull my hair back in a ponytail because it’s so short haircut.  And from the time this notion first occurs, to the time I act on it,  is almost always within 24 hours.  No thinking, no waiting, no second guessing.  Ask me which restaurant I want to eat at for dinner and you’ll be eating a pre-dinner to tide you over until I come up with a place.  You know come to think of it, maybe I just have issues with food.  Hmmm.

I’ve been hanging out in Arkansas without a plan and not knowing what it was that I was wanting to do about it.  Well, I knew what I wanted to – nothing.  But that wasn’t exactly conducive to my predicament so one day I thought, “Fine.  I’ll go to grad school.”  The next day I went over to the local university and walked in the door and said, “I have a BSW, I guess I want to teach elementary, what program do you have that will get me doing that the fastest and cheapest way.”  Ok, so that wasn’t exactly what I said but more or less.

And that was the start of the last couple of month’s whirlwind of grad school run-around that I’ve been playing.  No real thought went into the decision.  No research examining different programs and no arming myself with information before going into battle.  Just walked in and began to acquire information on what I guess the university sees as a need to know basis.  Which is a tad ironic since I need to know everything now and not one person seems to have ALL the information needed.  But that’s a whole other frustrating post.  But regardless, I registered for fall in a program I knew nothing about a couple weeks prior.

I discovered that as part of my admissions I must take the GRE.  Technically, according to the program, I have until the end of my first semester to submit test scores.  In the meantime, I’m considered a conditional student.  Personally I didn’t care what my status as a student was until I  learned I cannot qualify for financial aid as a conditional student.  No financial aid means no school and no school means I’ve been wasting my time the past couple of months with all this application crap.  Again, a whole other frustrating post.

Bottom line – take the GRE sooner rather than later and begin the paperwork for financial aid.  The hype for the GRE makes it out to be one of the hardest tests you can take and in many circumstances it determines whether you will be admitted into the grad school of your choice.  People shell out a lot of money in prep materials and to take special classes for months to get themselves ready.  And the test itself is $160.

Me?  I signed up for it last week and took it today.  No studying.  No special classes.  No prep materials.  I got online and spent about 20 min on a practice run and called it good.  And you know what?  The test wasn’t that bad.  I’m not saying I’m a genius or anything, well actually I would like to go on record saying I’m a genius.  Of course the GRE test grading computer strongly disagrees with my genius declaration and instead, deems me as average – more or less.  A little less when it comes to math but that’s not any shocking revelation.

But as a whole, the test questions didn’t seem crazy hard and if I had studied or had been enrolled in school for the past decade, I probably could have done a little better.  But I didn’t and haven’t been so I’m happy with the result.  And I guess it doesn’t hurt that the university I’ll be attending views the GRE as a formality to complete and virtually has no interest or concern in my score.  No pressure there.

So there you have it.  My more recent life altering decisions brought about from practically zero thought or foresight.  I really thought Alice Cooper had something but I guess I’ll have to wait another 2-3 years before this song has any validity for me again.

My Blogroll

If you’re around or in a group long enough you start to see trends or patterns emerge.  They can be done consciously, like following trends in fashion.  Sometimes nature plays a part.  Put a bunch of girls living together and in a few months our cycle will all be synchronized.  We can come together because of our interests or circumstances, and sometimes by pure chance.

If you’re reading this more than likely you’re on my blogroll.  And I’m not the first to notice that many of you are on each others blogrolls as well.  When I first started blogging many of you were relatively new to the blogging world like me.  Most of us are more or less within the same age range and somehow we all came together.  Maybe wordpress is our Island of Misfit Toys.

But I’ve noticed some other trends among our little group.  It seems like when one is in a funk it won’t be long before a few of us are.  And this past year a handful of people on my blogroll went MIA around the same time.  A few of you are coming back, thankfully.  And this past week I noticed another trend.  I know that it’s a new year and a great time for reflection in our lives but it seems like a number of you have written about writing with more purpose and intent, giving more meaning in your entries.  And not just stated you would like to do it but are already starting to do so, and I love it.

I love that I get to peak inside and get a glimpse of your lives.  I love that you’re all funny and creative, willing to write honestly and put yourselves out there.  I’m glad I get to be a small part of this little group, no matter how it happened.

Click It

In my boredom lastnight I reverted to an old pastime of googling people and seeing what I can find about them online.  I typed in a guy’s name that I used to work and be friends with but have long since lost contact.  Last I’d heard about him was that he was a first grade teacher in my hometown and even though he’d only been teaching for a short amount of time, he was a favorite among the kids, parents, and other teachers.  Can’t say I’m really surprised because he always had that thing – personality, charisma or whatever – that you just knew he was going to be a great teacher.

He and his students put together a hilarious music video parody to Whip It for a chance to win $25,000 for an interactive classroom makeover.  From the little reading I could find, it was a contest spanning the US, Canada, New Zealand, and Austrailia.  Their video made it to the finals but from there I don’t know if they won or not.  But even with the contest over, I had to share this video for your viewing pleasure.  Hope you all enjoy it as much as I do.

Rethinking My Career Choice

I’ve been searching for work and have accounts on a few different job sites that send me updates every so often.  I was scrolling through one tonight and mixed in with the usual jobs in my field were four unexpected options.  One suggested I apply to be an electrician.  Uh, ok.  I know how to turn lights on and off but that’s the extent of my knowledge in that field.  Another suggested I apply to be an auto technician.  Yeah, that’s a good one.  I own a car.  How’s that for being qualified?  Then there was the application to be an environmental quality specialist.  Part of those duties included drafting environmental reports regarding the weather. I’ll tell you something about the weather.  Sunshine = smiley face, everything else = frowny face.  That’s my official report and I’d draw it out in crayon.  But the last one was by far my favorite.  Apparently I’m a good match to be a pipe welder.  A pipe welder??  What is this, Flashdance?   Maybe I should take another look at my profile.  Or maybe they know something I don’t…

*So I realize no one is welding in this video but Ted dumping water on his head cracks me up.  Besides, I think you get the point.

Just Passing the Time Away

As you all know I’m moving next week and am currently jobless so I have plenty of time on my hands to do whatever.  I have a list of things I need to take care of before I leave but it’s not that pressing, so I choose to do one or two on the list each day and have the rest of the time free.  I’ve watched countless hours of television (mostly crappy shows) and started deep cleaning the apartment in preparation for the move.  But I hate cleaning and would rather be watching crappy television.  Needless to say, I’ve been staying up late every night in a zombie like state watching more crappy television.  Then out of the blue the other night I wondered what it would look like if I tried to write left handed.  This is what it looks like:

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Left handed print.  It looks like a little kid’s handwriting but at least it’s legible.

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Left handed cursive.  It’s a bit harder as you can tell but still mostly legible.  Except that last letter e on Valentine.  Don’t know what happened there.

Then I wondered what it would look like if I tried writing with my foot:

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As you can see it’s much more spastic.  Writing with your foot is really hard to do in case you didn’t know.  But it’s sort of legible and now I know if I ever need to write a message with my foot I can do it.

The other thing I’ve started doing to pass the time, is to google random people I’m acquainted with and see what pops up.  Sure I guess this is technically a form of stalking but I prefer to look at it as another form of getting to know someone.  You can find out a lot of stuff about people depending on how much you want to dig for it.  I’m not much of a digger and tend to stay only on the first google page that pops up but even there you can learn a lot.  So then I googled my name to see what other people could find out about me.  Not much I can tell you that.  My blog pops up at some point, my facebook eventually on the second or third page, and you might come across my myspace page if you keep going through the google pages.  Apparently there is a *ahem* “dancer” with my same name that has instructional pole dancing videos that make her pretty popular on google search.  Go figure.

And there you have it.  The exciting, current world of Nandango.  Crappy TV, cleaning, packing, left handed/foot writing, and random googleing.  Bet you wish you could stop by!