Slice of Life Challenge #10

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no toner in the copier

paper jam

no staples

copy-less for another day

missing homework

library books misplaced

“i know i did the homework….can’t i just get credit?”

head meet wall

read-aloud, relax, enjoy

quiet

“this is the best part of our day!”

pride. satisfaction. smiles.

*i rarely write poetry.  be kind. :)

Slice of Life Challenge #9

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Walking back to my room after prep, I realize something is wrong.

It’s quiet.  Too quiet.  My class is usually rambunctious and chatty in the room after health.  I can always hear them coming down the hall.  Randoms words, whispers, bangs, booms, and the scrapes of chairs against the floor lead me like a leashed dog back to my classroom.  But today is different.  No voices.  No metal chairs scraping against the hard floor.  No bangs.  No booms.  No laughter.

Why can’t I hear anything?

I begin running scenarios through my head.  But I know what’s wrong.  Silence means trouble.  Silence in a room of school children practically screams, “WE GOT YELLED AT!”

Walking in the door, I survey the room.  Twenty some-odd preteens sitting at their desks like perfect angels.  That’s always the number one sign that they are anything but.

I glance at their health teacher only to see her sigh and motion me outside the door.  I can see it in her eyes- all teachers look the same when they have had it with “that”class.  And it was last period.  A double whammy for the poor health teacher.

“What did they do?!”

As she explained their overly-rambunctious behavior, resulting in my neighbor teacher coming in to scold them,  I nodded and began plotting how to deal with this sudden onset of spring fever, come 3 weeks early.

Slice of Life Challenge #8

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Pitas, leftover lemon-pepper chicken, mayo, lettuce….everything I need?  As I surveyed the counter, I mentally calculated what I would need for lunch and a snack that day at school.  Lunch would have to last me through til dinner, as I had OM until 6pm.  And I would definitely want a snack at OM.

Opening my wonderful, brand-new Fit & Fresh, I began packing my lunch.  Lemon-pepper chicken pita sandwich went in first, followed by the ice-pack.  Now, what to have for a snack?

Back over at the refrigerator, I reviewed my options.

I should probably have something healthy.  But there are cookies.  And I do need two snacks….but two sets of cookies would be delicious.  But I should have something substantial at OM….

As I argued back and forth with myself, I decided to compromise.  I reached into the crisper and pulled out the new bag of crispy, orange baby carrots.  I glanced at the side door and saw a small package of ranch dressing.  Perfect!  So the healthy aspect of the snack was taken care of.

I smiled as I pulled out my cookies, the delicious Surprise cookies I made over the weekend.  I decided three would be the perfect number.  As I placed them into the container, I was dismayed to figure out that only two cookies fit into the container!

As I came to terms with this, I looked over my lunch.  Would it be enough to sustain me through the day?

I am going to be starving when I get home….I better throw something into the crockpot.

Slice of Life Challenge #8

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Tonight I decided I wanted to make cookies.  I looked around online, hoping something would catch my interest.  And hoping I would have all the ingredients for whatever did catch my eye.

After a few minutes following links, I found these .  Chocolate and marshmallows?  Sign me up!   The recipe looked simple enough and I had all the ingredients in my pantry.  Perfect!

I began by creaming the butter and sugar in my gorgeous, silver Kitchenaid mixer (which I absolutely adore).  After beating the mixture for a minute, I realized I had no idea what creaming was.  A quick search online helped me out, but my mixture never quite got to the “airy and fluffy stage”.  Figuring it was no big deal I just continued with the recipe, whisking the cocoa powder, flour, and salt.  After creaming the butter and sugar I added in the cocoa powder mixture, which immediately sent up a cloud of chocolate dust into the air, causing me to sneeze and cough.  It was like a sudden chocolate allergy had overtaken me-  the horror!

Beating the mixture with the eggs and milk, I threw in a dash of vanilla and turned off the Kitchenaid.  As I began to form the cookies and place them on the cookie sheet, I realized that the batter was extremely sticky.  Half of the cookies-to-be ended up stuck to my fingers!

Ten to twelve minutes after being placed in the oven, I quickly pulled out the cookies and pressed half of a marshmallow in the middle of each cookie.  Uh-oh.  The marshmallows were as big as the entire cookie!  Hoping for the best, I placed the baking sheet back into the oven for two minutes.  In those two minutes I frantically whipped up the frosting that would be drizzled over the cookies.  I just made it as the timer on the oven beeped.  I rushed to the oven, pulled out the cookies, pressed the marshmallows down, and began drizzling the chocolate frosting over the marshmallow surprise.  Once I was finished, I moved the cookies from the baking sheet to the wire rack to cool.  I quickly put the next batch in the oven, repeating the steps over again.

As I collapsed into the nearest kitchen chair, letting the next batch bake, I surveyed the kitchen.  Cocoa powder residue coated my mixer.  There was flour on the floor.  Sugar granules crunched under my feet.  It looked like a baking explosion.  I glanced at the recipe on the computer screen and realized I had frosted the cookies too soon- I should have waited until the cooled.  Then the oven beeped again.  This was exhausting!

Thirty minutes later, all the cookies were done.  And I was exhausted.  How does Martha Stewart do it?!

Slice of Life Challenge #7

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I opened my eyes, slowly rolled over, and attempted to get out of bed.  I groaned, feeling a little nauseous but chalked it up to the early hour and being generally exhausted. Glancing at the clock, I realized the boyfriend was up an hour early.  I could hopefully sleep a bit longer and wake up feeling a little more refreshed.

An hour later, after sleeping for what felt like five more minutes, I woke up feeling just as gross.  Rolling out of bed, stumbling downstairs- I located my computer and logged on to call out.  As I entered a sick day into our substitute system, I could barely see.  It was still dark, my contacts weren’t in, and I just felt gross.  I filled out the form and hesitated over the “confirm” button.  I hate missing a day of school.  Hate it.  But after that slight hesitation I convinced myself that trying to make it would only be worse.  I quickly clicked and then wrote up a skeleton of plans for the day.  One sick day was just what the doctor ordered.

Slice of Life Challenge #5

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Closing the folder, once thick with papers to be graded, I sigh and push it toward the corner of my desk.  After falling days and then weeks behind in my grading, I am finally caught up.  All the spelling tests, letter-essays, grammar tests, and vocabulary homework have been returned.  I am finally free.  As I start daydreaming I think of all the things I can do with my copious free time, time I had just dedicated to grading.

As a small smile spread across my face, I glanced at the homework board to the right of my desk.  Language Arts- Persuasive essays due Friday.  The smile stopped and retreated.  My freedom was short-lived.  In a few short hours my desk would be piled high with essays and rubrics, essay reflections, and the progress reports and conference forms that were due in a few days.

These are the things they forget to tell you in education courses!

Slice of Life Challenge #4

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“Can I do Miley Cyrus for my Women’s History Month project?!”

“Well, as much as I know we all admire Miley, let’s see if we can find someone else to focus on for this particular project. I want you to research someone you don’t already know everything about”. There, that should be a kind enough way of saying what I am really thinking……heck no! Miley Cyrus is not a hero! Nor is she someone who we should be honoring this month! There are literally thousands of women who spent their lives fighting for various causes and Miley is NOT one of them.

Disappointed sighs. Hands slowly down to their desk. Then I see their eyes light up, hands shooting into the air like dogs off a leash.

A sigh, this time from me.

“Before you even ask, no. You can not do Hannah Montana either.”

Hands down. Disappointed sighs.

It’s a good thing we are doing this project. Some of my students could stand to learn a little about women’s history.

“Ladies and gentlemen, please turn the page and let’s look at the research requirements before we choose our famous woman…..”

Slice of Life Challenge #3

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The weekend always ends too soon.  As the alarm blared this morning, I stumbled out of bed, following the familiar path around the bed and out the door.  Eyes half-closed I maneuvered around the cat and the piles of folded laundry, like a skier making her way down the slalom.  I followed the path into the hall before making it into the bathroom, where I felt around for the light switch.  While my eyes adjusted to the harsh glare of the bathroom lights I turned on the hot water.

As the bathroom filled with steam, I laid out my mornig tools.  Contact lenses, contact drops, hairbrush, hair dryer, hair tie, necklace, skin moisturizer, and lotion.  I quickly showered, wondering how it could possibly be Monday already.

I threw on the outfit I picked out the night before I ran through the day’s schedule in my head.  Spanish for my morning class and a normal afternoon for my second class.  Contract work after school.  Oh, and I had to remember to pack a lunch.  And I had to figure out how to introduce the Slice of Life Challenge to my class.  Busy, busy. busy.  But at least it was going to be warm- 56 degrees for the high!

Slipping into the silky skirt and short-sleeve top I had laid out, I sighed with the satisfaction that if nothing else, at least I could finally wear my spring clothes!

Slice of Life Challenge #2

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Friends.

A cool, dark interior.  Leather booths, circular tables.  The pulsing music drifting out of the ballroom across the way. Scattered groups lounging in the Glass Woods Tavern at the Hyatt Regency.  Intimate corner booths crowded with 6 people laughing and carrying on, or just right with two people, sitting close to one another, whispering and looking into one another’s eyes.  Waitresses gliding from table to table, drinks in hand.  Vodka-infused cosmopolitans in classy martini glasses.  Dark bottles filled with dark beer.  A sporadic soda or water for the designated driver.

Friends.

Across the lobby, men and women in black-tie attire perusing the silent auction gift tables.  Gorgeous evening gowns: yellow sunbursts tied with black ribbon.  Chiffon trains trailing behind the group on the stairs.   Blue skies with cream trim.  Floor-length, cocktail length.  Small groups of young women dancing on the dance floor with the singer in the band strains for that elusive high note.

Friends.

In the corner of the lobby, three young women.  Bundled up against the cold, sitting close to each other on the leather couch.  Sudden bursts of laughter echo across the lobby as they shake with giggles and smile like children at play.  Stories are traded, lives are caught up.  Best friends.  My best friends.  People-watching, lamenting how old we are getting, and enjoying each other’s company.  Best friends.

 *written after spending last night with two of my best girlfriends, hanging out at the newly renovated, very chic Hyatt in our college hometown, and pretending we were on MTV’s The Hills. 

Slice of Life Challenge #1

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“OMG OMG you guys! Look’s like Elle’s gonna win the prize!”

My cell phone’s obnoxious Legally Blonde ringtone drifted down the stairs, across the dining room, and danced around my ears as I sat on the couch. A lazy Saturday morning, one I have been craving for weeks, was being interrupted by the pull of the cell phone. For weeks, I had been pulled in ten different directions. I can’t even remember the last time I just sat on the couch and vegged.

As the ring of the phone died away, I sighed and headed upstairs. Afraid that is was something important, I flipped open the phone and pulled up my missed call list. As I glanced at the first name on the list, I realized exactly how long the missed call list was. At least ten people who I owed phone calls to were on that list.

Maybe relaxation isn’t always how we picture it- maybe I could rearrange my plans to do nothing, and do something. I settled onto the bed, pulled the covers up around me, and began returning phone calls.

About an hour later, I was still laughing and carrying on conversations. It was Saturday, I was relaxed, I was having fun, and was finally catching up- in more ways than one.

Check out the Slice of Life Challenge going on over at Two Writing Teachers. I can’t wait to introduce the challenge to my students on Monday!

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