Slice of Life #11

After school today I headed to the mall to pick up a few things, including lunch.  As I walked through the parking lot, my phone rang and I dug through my bag (as usual) trying to find it.  By the time I walked through the front doors of the mall, I was engrossed in my conversation.  I know the mall layout like the back of my hand, so I was barely paying attention as I made my way to the food court.

Suddenly, I heard a bizarre sound.  A misplaced sound.  Something that didn’t belong in a mall.

“Clang clang!”

“Choo choo!”

Like a deer in headlights, I froze.  In my suburban mall I was standing in front of a train.  Like a full-on, clanging bell-guy in conductor’s uniform-choo choo train.  No tracks, just wheels, driving around the mall.  And it almost ran me over!  What the heck?! I thought.

“I’m sorry to interrupt you, Marisa.  But I am standing in the mall and a train is about to run me over.  I’m going to have to call you back…” I trailed off.

(No, I have no IDEA what was going on.  Or why we have a train giving rides in the mall.  Too bizarre!)

Slice of Life #10

At 5:30pm I was sitting in my classroom again, in heels and a pencil skirt.  I was frantically printing out progress reports, setting out the appointment list, fixing my hair, and cleaning off a few stray desks.  Parent-teacher conferences started tonight and due to the number of students we have, it’s always a crazy time.  I love meeting the parents but I hate the stress that comes with it.  We have five minutes with each parent, which never feels like enough time to get anything done.

But it was all worth it when I heard over and over, “I don’t know what you’re doing, but my son/daughter is actually reading now!”

I never feel prouder than when I hear those words.  Or these.

“It kills me, but sometimes I have to take the book away from her so that she does her homework!”

“Last night, I caught him hiding in the bathroom reading!  Instead of sleeping like he should have been.”

“She’s reading books that actually mean something, books that have a message.  She isn’t fighting me about reading anymore.  I don’t even know what to do with myself!”

It’s conferences like these that remind WHY I am doing what I am doing.  With the lack of time for language arts this year I have been struggling a lot with lighting the reading fire.  I didn’t know if I was making a difference for many of my students because I only see them for 50 minutes per day.  But now I know I am!!

Slice of Life #9

Today we welcomed a new substitute to our team.  He will be with us for the next few weeks.  I think we might have scared him.

“We laugh a lot on this team.  We kind of have to,” we told him.

It’s been a hectic and stressful year so far, much moreso than any past years.  It’s a combination of things that have made the year super stressful, things out of our team’s control.  So how do we handle it?

We laugh.  A lot.

We laugh at ourselves.

We laugh at the absurdity of the situations we are sometimes in.

We laugh at the jokes our students tell, even if they aren’t always the funniest jokes.  (They are still learning about comedic timing!)

We laugh at each other.

We laugh with each other.

And you know what?  It helps.  A lot.  We are always smiling.

We remind each other to look on the bright side of life.  The glass might look half-full sometimes, but we just change our perspective.  Sometimes you have to get under the glass and look at it from below- then it looks like you are swimming in the ocean.  Other times we have to look at the glass from above, as if we are a god controlling the situation.

And sometimes you just have to chug the water and pour a new glass.

But no matter what, you have to to keep smiling!

Slice of Life #8

It’s amazing what you can get done when you are procrastinating.  Instead of getting done what I should have, I cleaned my house, did dishes, and put together a photo book of our trip to Ireland. From 2008-2009.  Which I have been procrastinating since last winter.  I guess I just needed to find something even bigger to procrastinate before I could get around to it.  (Plus, I did end up with a great coupon for a free photo book from Picaboo!)

Isn’t procrastination amazing?  When we are procrastinating we will accomplish all those things that we were previously procrastinating.  Like cleaning!  You all know how much I hate cleaning.  Well when I don’t want to do something on my to-do list, I will do the dishes, put away loads from the dishwasher, do laundry, clean the floors, and more.  Yet I never clean by choice.  On days when I am supposed to clean, I would rather grade essays, input grades, or pretty much anything.

Procrastination is a pretty interesting human trait, isn’t it?

Slice of Life #7

While attempting to watch free on-demand movies (offered by Cablevision as a stand-in for our missing Oscars), I was getting very frustrated.  Chris and I were able to watch The Hangover and Inglorious Bastards, but then the movies started to freeze and they didn’t load.  This was at 8pm.  Thanks to a dispute between Cablevision and ABC7, we didn’t have ABC all day.  I was a little disappointed that I wouldn’t get to see the Oscars, but my big issue was LOST.  If I still didn’t have ABC come Tuesday, there was going to be hell to pay.  But I was trying to think positively.

When my mother heard I would be unable to watch the Oscars, she was horrified.  And I admit I was a little disappointed.

At 9pm, my cell phone vibrated on the coffee table.  I didn’t even hear it until Chris motioned to me that clearly I was getting a call.  I picked up to hear my mother excitedly yelling, “I think you have ABC back!  I think you can watch the Oscars!  They just showed a message on the bottom of our screen that said ABC7 is back for everyone!”

I put her on hold, grabbed the remote from Chris, turned off  The Watchmen, and turned on 6ABC.  Despite the guide still stating “NO DATA”, a picture appeared!  And it was the Oscars!

So now I am sitting on my couch and enjoying tonight’s show.  Best of all, I will be able to watch LOST live this week!

Slice of Life #6

At 8am this morning, Chris’s phone rang.  We had just woken up because Dublin was barking, but we certainly weren’t expecting a phone call at that hour.  I heard Chris pick up his phone and when I didn’t hear him talking, I assumed it was just his alarm going off for some unknown reason.

Thens, I heard Chris come into the room where I was still fighting the urge to go back to sleep.  Standing in the doorway, sort of laughing, he said, “Well, that was my dad.  The appliance repair people won’t be coming today.  They showed up at my parent’s house at 7:45am.”

“What?!  How on earth?” I laughed.

Chris called his dad  and I heard a lot of murmuring from downstairs.

Chris’s dad came over two weeks ago to wait for our refrigerator to be delivered.  We were both at work so he volunteered to hang around.  Our refrigerator had broken over President’s Day Weekend, the deliveries were backed up a week, and I couldn’t imagine going any longer than we possibly had to without a refrigerator.  But the one thing the saleswoman at Home Depot had drilled into my head was that whoever received the delivery had to inspect the item before signing for it, because after that they were no longer responsible.  So when Chris’s dad inspected the refrigerator, he found a small nick in the door.  The delivery company promised to deliver and install a new door and today was supposed to be the day.

Somehow, they got mixed up.  Somehow, they ended up almost 2 hours south of where they needed to be.  When they rang the doorbell at the ungodly hour of 7:45am, Chris’s dad had to break the bad news.

“The refrigerator isn’t at this address.  It’s almost 2 hours north of here”.

Needless to say, they have to reschedule.

Slice of Life #5

I hate cleaning.  With a passion.  I am exhausted when I get home from school and the last thing I want to do is clean the house.  Plus, any cleaning results in Dublin being under my feet, barking ferociously at the Roomba/vacuum, and trying to bite the Swiffer mop.

But lately I have been making an effort to clean more, because a dirty house drives Chris crazy.  Today I came home from school and took the dog for a 45-minute walk in the beautiful spring-like weather.  When we got back I fed him his dinner and vacuumed while I assumed he was distracted.  Unfortunately, it didn’t really distract him.  He went so far as to rip the hose out of the vacuum in an attempt to protect me from the horrible evil vacuum that was obviously trying to kill me.

What I did discover, though, is that Dublin does not attack the Swiffer Wetjet.  Why not?  Because it shoots liquid out of the front of the mop!  He is deathly afraid of this and stays behind me, glued to my feet, any time I have the Swiffer in my hands.  It’s awesome!

With all of the distractions, I did manage to do a nice job cleaning the house.  I just hate that it will be dirty again in only a few hours!  I think I need a cleaning crew to stop by a few times a week and do everything I don’t want to do….

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