Slice of Life March 14th, 2013 #slice2013


Happy Pi Day!

Pi Day is a BIG.DEAL at my school.  We are a math and science school, so it’s like Christmas around here.  This year, my juniors (the class I advise), had March as their fundraising month.  They had the brilliant idea to take their normal “bake” sale item- soft pretzels- and wrap them into a Pi Day contest.

The result was a line of juniors being “pied” at lunch today.  Raffle tickets were sold, and for every 15 soft pretzels that were sold, a raffle ticket was pulled.  The winner got to throw a whipped cream pie at the junior who up at that time.  It was a huge hit!  All 150 pretzels sold (pretty impressive for a school of 280 kids!) and with 10 minutes left in lunch they had raised a lot of money to put towards prom.

It was messy, smelly, and a little chaotic, but it was also a lot of fun!  I laughed the entire time and managed to avoid getting whipped cream on me, too.  All in all, a very great day.  And I’m extraordinarily proud of my juniors, who have grown into the best class and never fail to make me laugh.  🙂


Slice of Life March 13th, 2013 #slice2013

Tonight I took the dogs to my friend’s grooming shop and they received baths and haircuts. Four hours later, they looked much better. Ok, one hour of that time was a training class, but the rest was spent bathing, brushing, and cutting hair.

Dublin is ok with the bath and even the blow dryer. But he is a drama queen when it comes to cutting his hair.


Bailey is taking applications for a new family. Preferably one that doesn’t believe in baths and definitely doesn’t use blow dryers.

But everyone looks beautiful. I’m just stuck with a lot of dog hair coveting me!

Slice of Life March 12th, 2013 #slice2013


A Day in the Life…..

6am          Wake up, throw on sweats, head out to walk the dogs.

6:05am   Run into someone else walking dogs (no one else is this darn neighborhood follows any kidn of     schedule.  UGH).  Her dogs being barking, ours do the same, we quickly turn around.

 6:10am    Walk Dublin some more, until he goes to the bathroom.  He does not.  

6:20am     Get annoyed that I will be late and Dublin still has not gone to the bathroom.  Quickly get dressed, put books in the car, take Dublin out again.

6:30am     Dublin is finally done.  Back  inside, switch into school shoes.  Grab a drink and a granola bar, pick up newspaper

6:40am      Finally leave for school.  It starts pouring.

7:15am       Arrive at school.  Get soaked while walking across the parking lot.

7:20am       Read the NYTimes, talk to Jon about which article to use.  Debate 3-4 articles and possible writing ideas.  Finally settle on an op-ed an an awesome writing focus.

7:40am      Students arrive.  Morning announcements and attendance, late students arrive.  Everyone settles in to read the newspaper.

8:15am      Students share responses/thinking and we have a great conversation about bullying vs. drama

8:25am      Jon reviews the Enlightenment

8:40am     Watch “To This Day”  , practice sketch notes, share examples, talk

8:52am      Next class arrives.  Lather, rinse, repeat.  Include a few book talks to individuals/small groups during downtime.  

10:02am    Half the freshmen leave to take the National Latin Exam.  Everyone else works on Free Form Friday.  Talk about books w/ a few students (one went on a buying spree at the bookstore over the weekend!)

11:13am      Lunch!  Sort of.  Class council meeting about Pi Day activities.  Quick chat with book club student leader about tomorrow’s meeting.  This month’s book is Boy21! Finish up meetings.

12:00pm     Quick lunch, run off quiz for next period, get documentary ready.

1:00pm        Set up for my senior class.  Review ch. 5-7 of The Johnstown Flood, hand out quiz.  After quiz, watch Johnstown documentary and review engineering problems with the dam.  Review requirements for tech report due Thursday

2:20pm      Class ends.  Answer some questions for individual groups.  A few more book recommendations.  Talk to another student about Out of the Easy, which she just finished.

2:3opm      Check email to look for a response re: article submission.  Nothing yet!

3:15pm      Home.  Call health insurance to deal with billing.  Get that taken care of.  Walk dogs.

4:00pm     Drop off payment for Girl Scout cookies (I might have ordered too many boxes……is there such a thing?).  Take dogs for another quick walk at local playground.

4:30pm     Stop at food store to pick up dinner ingredients and tomatoes for tomorrow’s salad day

5:00pm     Start making chicken soup.  Watch coverage of the conclave.  Wish I could stay home all day to watch the smoke.  (Seriously.  I am fascinated.)

6:30pm      Finish dinner.  Feed dogs.  Call mom.  Eat dinner.  Watch Jeopardy.

7:30pm       Do some grading.  Work on plans.  Remind myself to write this slice of life post.  Read student slices.  Participate in a bit of #edchat.  Watch House Hunters.

9:00pm      Disappointment.  No new episode of New Girl tonight or The New Normal!  Boooo.  Back to grading.

10:00pm    Write slice of life!  Head upstairs to read before bed.  

Slice of Life March 11th, 2013 #slice2013


Dear Weather,

Thank you for the spring-like temperatures today.  We were able to get out and take a nice walk after school!! We all needed the break and I finally went without gloves and a winter parka. It was glorious.

Love, Sarah

Dear Daylight Savings Time,

I am not grateful for the loss of an hour.  I’m still confused about what time it is.  But thank you for staying light until almost 7pm.  Seeing the sun still shining at 6:50pm made it almost worth it to have to walk the dogs in the dark again at 6am.

Love, Sarah

Dear Guinness,

Why must you hack up a hairball on my newly cleaned and vacuumed rugs?  It’s like clockwork — house is clean, cat pukes.

Love, Sarah

Dear Self,

Please try to get back on a normal sleep schedule.  Seriously.

Love, You

Slice of Life March 10th, 2013 #slice2013


This was a weekend of beginnings and endings.  I started work on a new project that I am very excited about.  Spring is in the air and the days are longer.  The dogs and I got back into the groove, hiking 5 miles yesterday and another 2 today.  But it was also the end of our participation in a therapy dog study through Rutgers University.  For the past 6 weeks we have been spending one hour each Sunday with a nine-year-old girl.

The first week, she was a timid.  We spent the first two sessions working on getting her comfortable with Dublin.  She pet him, played with his toys, and fed him treats.  She even “walked” him around the block and around her house.  Then she settled in a bit, playing games with him and laughing at his tricks.  But this week, our final week, was the best visit of all.

Dublin and his friend played ball, taking turns rolling it back and forth.  She introduced Dublin to her father and then gave him a few toys, showing her dad how Dublin liked to play.  Finally, we went into her room.  She invited Dublin up on her bed and they curled up together, her petting him and putting her blankie over him, while Dublin fell asleep.  It was the sweetest thing!

We ended the visit with a little photo shoot, and both Dublin and his friend were all smiles.  I’m sad that the study is over but I am hopeful that the results will show that therapy dogs do make a difference for kids with autism.  I know that Dublin and I saw a huge difference in our six weeks of visiting.

Dublin on his last visit (face blurred for privacy)

Dublin on his last visit (face blurred for privacy)

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Slice of Life March 9th, 2013 #slice2013


Today the dogs and I walked 5 miles at a local park.  But after dropping them off at home, I headed back out to the bookstore.

Despite the fact that my house is home to mountains (yes, plural) of books that I still want to read, I came home with more books.  I think this is one of the signs of being a member of the Nerdy Book Club. I went to the store to pick up a copy of Eleanor & Park after reading John Green’s review in the NYTimes this weekend.  I already had a copy from NetGalley, but I like having a physical copy.  Plus, I know it sounds like a book that will be popular with my students.

I browsed the bookstore for a while, as I can never just buy one thing there.  I spent some time looking at the Moleskine notebooks (I have an addiction) because I need a new notebook for a new project.  (See me justifying it there?)  Unfortunately, they did not have the limited edition Le Petit Prince notebook I was looking for.

Then I wandered over to the bestsellers and considered buying a few adult books.  But then I saw Admission and added it to the pile in my arms.  I am a Princeton glutton and I am fascinated by the college admissions process, so it was a no-brainer.

Next, I spent some time in the YA section.  Luckily, I own most of the books already.  I ended up grabbing a copy of Grave Mercy: His Fair Assassin, Book I (His Fair Assassin Trilogy) because I remembered a lot of my Nerdy friends recommending it.  And I did jot down a few titles to add to my classroom library later.  Some of those included Cory Doctorow’s Homeland and Lauren Oliver’s Requiem (Delirium series).  While there, I also managed to convince myself that I did not need a John Green TFIOS tshirt.

Ok, fine.  Maybe they just didn’t have my size.

All in all, I escaped from Barnes and Noble relatively cheaply.  I had a $20 gift card so it was a cheap trip.  Not too bad for this Nerdy Book Club member!

Oh, and Eleanor & Park is fabulous so far.