Thursday, May 14, 2015

Take Your Blog to Work

Today, I will take you to work with me.

I am hanging out in the school library.  When the students glance up and realize that I am lurking here, they nudge each other. They look at each other with a she's-watching-you-no-she's-watching-YOU look. What?!  I'm not watching...exactly...  I'm observing! It's different!

Unlike the other teachers, who have eight groups apiece, I only have three.  That's because I'm the director and (to quote one of my colleagues) need to have time for "director-ing".

My most basic group is studying occupations, learning to make sentences like "I am a teacher.  He is an artist."

My high basic group is working on maps and directions:  "Turn left, go straight ahead."

And my intermediate group is reading a short passage about RFID chip technology, and what we are "are able to" do with it. They are studying "can" and "be able to".

Everyone also spends quite a bit of time chatting and discussing things that come up spontaneously.
I'll listen in.

"'Get up' means the same thing as 'stand  up'"  [Or does it?  Because you can get up from a sitting or a lying position; but you really only stand up from a sitting position....]

"Do you want to write it on the board? Here's a marker. "
I have a sister who have a little pet named "Coonie" and now she use RFID. 
I like that hospitals use the RFID to newborns because I think they can prevent kidnapping.

"What does battle mean?  See where it mentions the battle against France?"

"What do you do for Day of the Dead?  Only go to the cemetery and put flowers."

"What do you think of the weather here in Utah?  Do you like it?  Why?"
"Like snow."  "What about summer?"  "I like summer."  "Why?  I like summer for vacation!" "How about autumn?"  "Autumn?"
I'll wander downstairs and see what is happening in the English for Certified Nursing Assistant class.  Body systems.  "Contracture.  What is that? Stiffening.  What is stiffening?  When you can't move the muscles.  Normal changes of aging include.,..  muscles weaken...bones lose density and become more brittle."  Pause for practice pronouncing "brittle".  

Just little snippets from my day.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Operation Rescue "Grand Illusion"

Today I started pulling together the stuff I need for an expedited passport, so I can leave the country under my married name, ASAP.

Life with Chuck being what it is, you never know when you may need to make a quick getaway.

To Mexico.
A little jaunt...all the way down Baja, to La Paz.
In the van, pulling a trailer that is almost strong enough to haul a 28-foot sailboat called "Grand Illusion" back home.  Why?  Why not?

A couple from California bought this boat and sailed it to La Paz in 2012, then left it there.  It's hard to sail back up the Pacific coast; and expensive to have it trailered all the way up to San Diego.  So it sat there, and they paid $200 a month in slip-fees to the marina. 

They listed it for sale, but got no buyers.  Storms came and broke the rudder - so now it needs work.  Finally, they just wanted it gone, so they wouldn't have to pay its room and board.  Chuck heard about it and asked for it.  It's his if he wants it.  Free.  The title is already signed away from them and the documents are waiting at the marina.  We just have to go and get it. 

"Grand Illusion"? Not a name that inspires confidence.  Better name than "Money Pit", I guess.  But what about a nice name like "Stalwart"?  Or "Excellent Choice"?  "Lucky Break?"

We have a bare hull for a 22-foot sailboat already.  We were about to start fitting it out; so I questioned this decision.  Chuck pointed out that a larger sailboat that is ready to sail could be a better option.

What if it is in bad condtion?

Then we will cannibalize it for its parts.  He was telling me the value of its motor, its mast, anchors, electronics, sails, fittings, etc...

And if it is just a picked-over joke?  I made him promise that we would reserve the right to climb back into the van and drive home without taking possession. 

 So we will go in a few weeks.  We'll make it into a little vacation.  Vacation?  Or adventure?  Or boondoggle?  As long as we don't break down and end up stranded on the Baja.  As long as we don't get pulled over and tossed into jail because we don't have the correct permits.  

When I brought up a few potential pitfalls, he basically shrugged and said, "Nothing ventured, nothing gained".  That's my boy.  Never a dull moment.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

May Begins in Pictures

 You can see that our neighbor's home construction project to the west of us is proceeding nicely.  You can also see that the ridge line is going to neatly cut off our view when the roof goes in.  However, Chuck eyeballed it and said he thought it was higher than code.  He mentioned it to the contractor, who double checked his plans and found an error.  It IS three feet too tall.  The contractor came over the other day to thank Chuck for catching the mistake now, when it is relatively easy to fix; rather than later, when the county inspector would have made him tear the whole thing apart.  I was just so happy that he was nice to Chuck!  The neighbors who are building on the east side of us spent last summer dragging us into court for such infractions as watching construction too long. Of course, she and Chuck have a little baggage, to say the least.

When Sara gets her driver's license, I won't have to do these long drives to school in the early morning.  

This one has a "late start" on Fridays.

They are SUCH PIGS.  I get so tired of trying to keep my space livable.

 Has anyone ever had part of your washer agitator break off?  This happened:  I found the broken piece in the laundry basket; then located the sharp edge in the washing machine, lurking... waiting to destroy everything it touches.  We'll try filing it down and see if that works.

Colleagues!  I LOVE my colleagues!  BUT..

...I have so much work to do...

 Enrollment data... more enrollment data...  I was making good progress until I made the mistake of checking my e-mail and found a rabid message from one of the Fifth Grade teachers, accusing the Adult Education program of trashing her classroom last night.  Plant knocked over; markers dumped onto the floor; a bucket of other items dumped out; and (here's the kicker) VOMIT on a computer, pillow, desk and the floor.  Really?!?  She thinks one of our adult students PUKED in her room?  What kind of debauchery does she think we get up to!? She said, "I think it is shameful that  the children take better care of our spaces than your adults do."  Of course, this didn't happen.  I was in that room off and on all evening.  There were only two groups that used the space.  I checked with the staff and the volunteers and noting unusual happened in that room at all.  Plus, after we are finished, the custodians come in to do night-cleaning.  The custodian said he found no vomit either.  So, I have no idea what is going on, but it made me mad to be called in to my boss' office and questioned about it. And mad to have my department treated so poorly by some silly goose.
The circled area represents all the stuff I didn't get done while I was dealing with "vomit-gate".  

Nathan told me that he HAS to have a set of earphones for standardized testing on Monday morning.  He wants to take ear buds to school; but he left his lying around and Tobi chewed them.  I won't lend him mine, because I want to go running on Monday.  No worries, I tell him.  I have a really nice, school-issued head set that he can use.
Nate:  No way!  They can't be head phones, Mom!  They have to be ear buds!
Me:  Why?
Sara:  Nate, they have head sets there for you to use!
Nate:  No!  We have to bring our own!
Sara:  You just don't want to use mom's 'cuz they don't look cool.

Chuck found a pair for him to borrow and ended the discussion.  I was amused.
Get me out of this place and the crazy vomit accusations of a teacher who has issues with sharing.  

Sara and Ilan have prom tomorrow.  

Picnic!  I need to let go of my work day.

Let's take Ilan to the concert with us!

Acoustic music at the Unitarian Church.  Dinner, followed by...
...blurry Bluegrass, courtesy of the Lab Dogs.