Slice of Life Challenge #21

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Sliding

in and out of lanes

like a first time ice-skater.

Horns honk t

he driver ignores them,

continuing his cell phone conversation,

oblivious to the slamming brakes

and angry shouts.

I count down the blocks as we pass them by-

58th, 57th, 56th….

how many more til Penn Station?  Will we make it?

Gripping the door handle,

I hold on for dear life,

hoping no one cuts us off

and that we stop cutting off everyone else.

The light up ahead turns amber, then red.

The oblivious driver continues forward,

not seeing the light.

Stop, stop, stop, I pray.

At the very last moment

he slams on the brakes.

We are safe at the red light.

I look up-

10 more blocks to go.

Slice of Life Challenge #19

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“Excuse me, do you know where I could find a mystery book?”

The little old woman jerked me out my book-seeking haze. As I struggled to balance the mammoth pile of books in my arms, I glanced around the bookstore.

“Umm, I think there is a mystery section. I don’t work here, but I think it’s somewhere over the-“

The little old woman interrupted, “Oh my goodness! I am so sorry! I thought you worked here! It’s just you had that big pile of books and I thought you were putting them away……I am so sorry. I will go find an employee and ask them. Excuse me.” She looked embarrassed and quickly made her way towards the information desk at the back of the store.

Looking down at my arms, where I was trying to juggle approximately 15 new books that I needed, I laughed to myself. I definitely looked like an employee. Because seriously, who in their right mind carries that many books around a bookstore unless they are cleaning up and putting them away?

- – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -

A list of the books I needed (aka purchased) today:

1) How to Read Literature Like a Professor
2) 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus
3) Size 14 Is Not Fat Either (Heather Wells Mysteries)
4)Birds & Blooms
5) Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder
6) A Northern Light

Slice of Life Challenge #18

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Back in January, we purchased tickets to see Michael Buble at the Borgata in Atlantic City.  Growing up, I used to listen to Sinatra, Dean Martin, and the rest of the Rat Pack.  Over the last few years I have become a huge fan of Michael Buble. He has a gorgeous voice and balances his own ballads with the beautiful music of the past.  He also has a wicked sense of humor and keeps me in stitches whenever I see an interview he gives.  Thus, when I saw he would be in AC, I purchased us tickets without a second thought.  Buble is music my boyfriend and I can actually agree on- as a music-minded person, he appreciates the full band and classic songs.  We both love his jokes and sense of humor.

After watching most of the NCAA games last night, we packed into the car and drove the 1.5 hours to Atlantic City.  Once we got there, we were happy to see that the parking deck had a lot of empty spaces and we would have no trouble parking.  We parked on the 4th level  and attempted to get into the Borgata.  We ended up taking the stairs to what we thought would be the entrance.  Instead we ended up in a dead end.  We backtracked and eventually found the elevators to the casino floor.

Once inside we made our way to the Event Center.  We arrived about 20 minutes before Michael came out.  We caught the end of the opening act, Naturally 7, an acoustic group that used their voices as instruments.  Very cool!  Then, right before 9pm the lights suddenly went out. It was pitch black…until these amazing lights came on, forming an MB. The crowd, full of men and women ages 5-95, went insane with excitement!   Suddenly, the opening to “I’m Your Man” began to play.  The music played a long intro, drawing the crowd to their feet in search of Michael.  And then, there he was!  Clad in a classic suit and tie, his voice filled the theater.

Michael sang and entertained for about an hour and half.  His interactions with the audience kept everyone laughing and his voice kept everyone swooning!  It was an amazing night!

On top of everything else, Michael’s girlfriend was in the audience, only about 15 feet from our seats.  For those who don’t know, his girlfriend is Emily Blunt- the actress who was in The Devil Wears Prada.  She walked out of the concert with us and was absolutely stunning.  She was also incredibly sweet and down-to-earth.  I was star-struck!  She wasn’t as tall as I expected.  Nor was she wearing any make-up.  Yet she looked incredible.  It was amazing!

The entire night was a dream….I can’t wait to go to my next concert!

Slice of Life Challenge #17

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March Madness is one of my favorite times of year.  I spend hours planning my bracket, trying to predict the upsets and the must-wins.  This year, I am very lucky to be on spring break during the first round which allowed me to watch almost all the games on Thursday and Friday.  I sat on the couch, bracket open in one window on my Macbook and the always-updating Yahoo scoreboard in another window.  The current game on CBS was on my HDTV, making me feel like I was in the arena.

Every game is exciting during March Madness.  Seeds, records, and previous losses mean nothing- it’s luck, determination, and blind faith that lead Cinderella teams to the elusive second and third round.  I may not know the players from a school like Drake or Sienna, but their hustle and will to win have me cheering for me like they are my own alma mater.

I am easily pulled into cheering for the underdog, whether it busts my bracket or not.  I love seeing that tiny school, the one no one has ever heard of before, taking down a school like Duke or UConn.  It’s the magic of the madness and it keeps me on the edge of my seat for hours at a time!

Slice of Life Challenge #16

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alex’s lemonade stand  lemon

i fall over

a

gust

of

wind blows

cookie dough cream ice

mango

sugar-free pink lemonade

vanilla and chocolate

the crowd huddlestogethertokeepwarm

50 mile per hour winds continue to blow

birthday cake surprise

pistachio

the first day of spring feels like the touch o winter on my exposed skin

yet still i wait

it’s free rita’s water ice day!

cold or not, i wait in line for my frozen treat

chocolate chip cookie dough

Slice of Life Challenge #15

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*inspired by Kevin’s post

This week is a long one….we are in the midst of our spring parent-teacher conferences.  We see almost all of our parents during this round, because our students are finishing our their tenure at our intermediate school.  Come September, my students will move from the top of the food chain to the bottom, as new 7th graders at our township middle school.  Because our students will be mixed in with 2 other intermediate schools from our town, many of their parents come to us with concerns about their placement and social skills.

Each evening, before the first conference, our team comes together to discuss each child we will be meeting with that night.  As we switch classes, parents only meet with their child’s homeroom teacher.  Meeting as a team allows us to discuss each child’s progress and any concerns we might have.  The parents appreciate receiving a well-rounded look at their child, even if they can’t meet with each individual teacher.

This year, most of our students are doing very well.  The parents are happy, the students are happy, and the teachers are even happier.  Thus, our conferences have focused on the transition to middle school.  It’s an amazing feeling to be a part of these conversations, as parents admit their fears and concerns.  Usually, the fears and concerns are not related to their child, but instead focus on the parent. This is a big step- their child will be leaving the comfort of the elementary and intermediate schools.  With that transition come a lot of trappings and traps of being a teenager.  Suddenly, all the rumors and exaggerated stories passed down over the years come flooding back to the parents.  Will their child be bullied?  Will they have enough friends?  Will the parents be able to handle this big step in their child’s life?

We have tears.  Many, many times we have tears.  But they are tears that fall over proud smiles.  Their baby is growing up….middle school leads to high school.  High school leads to college.  It all seems to happen in a blink of an eye.  And our conferences our the leaping point for many of these parents.  We are lucky to be a part of such an special part of their lives.

Slice of Life Challenge #14

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“All faculty please report to the faculty room for an emergency meeting.  An association meeting.”

The secretary’s voice jolted me out of my morning routine.  Like myself, most of my team mates were copying or setting up for the day.  The sighs and groans echoed down the hallway as we heard the announcement.  This was not an auspicious way to start out a week full of parent-teacher conferences.  8am emergency meetings usually don’t leave us feeling happy and content.  In fact, they usually rile us up and put a significant damper on the day.

As we began trudging down the hallway, carrying binders, do-nows, and other miscellaneous papers to run off, we tried to come up with a reason for this emergency meeting.  Working without a contract, we frequently have these types right-before-the morning bell meetings or right-after-dismissal meetings.  They usually involve updates on action committee meetings or other union news.  Neither of these leave us feeling satisfied.

Approaching the faculty room door, I could hear laughter inside.  Beside me, two of my team mates were discussing March Madness.  As we walked into the room I was greeted by a sea of green, in honor of St. Patrick’s Day.  My colleagues were crowded in the room, seated at a few of our lunch tables.  Everyone was smiling and sharing stories from their weekend.  And the best part?  A surprise St. Patrick’s Day breakfast, complete with green bagels!  This was no typical emergency meeting!

Not the typical association meeting at all.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!

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