Sunday, September 12, 2010

Math Made Me Cry!

It was a dark and silent time in the cafeteria...just thought I could make it a scary story, but then I changed my mind. Friday before last the lights were out in the cafeteria. At our school this means no talking. We have last lunch this year and my class has been struggling with their behavior. Every time I turn around someone is saying to them, "I don't understand, Miss Martin always has the best class." I want to say to them, "I do understand, they are no worse than any other class, they just have no one else to take up any of the attention." Anyhow, when the lights were turned back on someone in my class decided to express their joy by yelling YEAH! I was innocently enjoying my lunch in the staff lounge when the head custodian came in to give my the bad news. Apparently not only did the yelling occur, but no one would rat out the offender. He told me that I needed to take care of the problem and that until the guilty was pinpointed my class had silent lunch. Silent lunch! What, it is one of two times during the day when they get to talk about whatever they want. We have such a hard time making it to that time of day anyway. I decided that this would come to an end quickly. I just knew that I could handle this situation. Friday after lunch usually involves those who have behaved participating in "Fun Friday" (30 minutes of recess). Hey, I didn't make it up, but have to go along with it because it has always been this way. Those students who have not behaved must stay inside in the "Reflection Room" (a horrible place where they have to miss the time outside and fill out a paper detailing all their wrongs and how they will behave in the future) Again, a tradition and a place I hate to be every fifth week. Anyhow, I was scheduled to be outside as was my entire class. I decided we would take as much of Fun Friday as was needed to take care of this problem and move on. I let the class share I statements about lunch, this means they could say, "I heard someone yell YEAH" not "So and so yelled YEAH". We went about this until I had heard enough. No one was volunteering to say, " I yelled YEAH!", so I decided to take it one step further. Everyone was asked to come speak to me in private in the hallway (just in case they did not want to confess in public). I just knew this would find the culprit. One by one they all came out and one by one they said they had no clue who did it or they blamed someone, but with nothing to back up their blame. This tactic didn't work so I decided that now we were all in the reflection room. I pulled out the reflection sheets and made a big deal about passing them all out. I even had to make more copies and told them that I didn't ever expect to have to use this may in a whole year much less in one week (true). They all wrote down the despicable behavior that got them there and then one brave girl raised her hand and asked "what am I supposed to put for how I will act next week when I didn't do anything wrong?" She was right! I had no idea. I quickly covered up my stumpedness and told her she needed to be creative. They all signed their guilty papers, I signed them and I made a pile to send home to their parents. I couldn't believe this was happening. I told them the story of when I was in third grade and I spilled red kool-aid on my parents white bedspread while no one else was around. When mom discovered it and asked who did it I was not about to confess since no one could prove it was me. Mom gave us one hour to find out who did it before we all got punished. After an hour of "did you do its?" I still hadn't cracked. The time was up and just before the spankings began, I confessed. Oh the horror! I never wanted to feel that way again and tell that story every year to teach the importance of telling the truth. Even Miss Martin has to learn that lesson once! No one cracked! Sincerely what is wrong with this class or was it me. I took it to the next level, technology. I pulled up my e-mail on the SMART board to show them all how I was letting the custodian know that his punishment of silent lunch for the REST of the year would stand because no one had confessed. Before I hit send I asked if anyone wanted to stop me. NOTHING! I thought, OK, one day of silent lunch should do it. I personally felt the punishment was too much, but I can't take back what was already decided while I was innocently eating my salad. Sincerely people, don't say something you are not ready to follow through on. I give the custodian credit because on Monday when it was time for our first silent lunch, he stayed with them. Thanks for not making me do it. One day, two days, FIVE days! I couldn't believe it. Everyday we had a short little lecture and I told the class that I was always available to anyone who needed to talk. By day five I just knew I could no longer take it. The looks of disappointment on the faces of the innocent ones. All along I thought I knew who the guilty one was and I would make sure to look him in the eye whenever I lectured the group about the injustice of it all. Well, you ask, what does this have to do with math and crying. OK, I will tell you. About Wednesday, I started saying that I couldn't believe that someone was making the whole class have silent lunch for 30 minutes each day when their punishment would have been to sit out at recess for 5 minutes. By Friday I was determined to make this all come to an end and so I pulled out my old friend, MATH. Five minutes times one person is five minutes. Thirty minutes times five days is 150 minutes. Well that is the time that one person had spent in silence over all this. Well, 17 people times 150 minutes is 2,550 minutes! I did the math for them and let that sink in. I then told them that we have silent lunch for the rest of the year and 2,550 minutes times 30 more weeks (that's right people, only 30 more weeks of school) and that would be 76,550 minutes of silence versus 5 minutes of recess. I let that sink in while I called them up one at a time to get ready for this week's Fun Friday. One by one they came up. We got to the boy who I had silently blamed all week in my head and nothing. My brain thought, "ARE YOU KIDDING ME! WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO THE CHILDREN OF TODAY?" I had almost made it to the end of the list when I heard the silence broken, "Miss Martin, I did it, it was me!" I looked across the room to see the tortured eyes of an eight year old. Can you imagine the guilt of knowing all week that it was you causing all this trouble. The class looked around in shock. None of us has suspected this little boy, not even me. I began to cry! I did not realize how much stress I had been carrying around over all this. I could not imagine letting the guilt build for a whole week. I had barely made it one hour when I was his age. I got myself composed and moved on from this whole ugly ordeal and he spent five minutes sitting out at recess after he apologized to the whole class. Luckily for me the lights were out and maybe they didn't realize that math made me cry :)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

MY Snowman

Last time it snowed I told Andrew I would make him a snowman, but the ice (snow) would not cooperate. So, this time I made the best snowman in the neighborhood for Andrew and Angel. I knew you would like him!

He even made friends quickly! He did get to stay in town longer than most, but left today :)

Saturday, January 30, 2010

A Lesson I Learned

This summer one of the things I learned or relearned while I was in Kenya is that everyone has something they can teach you no matter who they are. I am trying very hard to remember that on a daily basis. Some people really try me where this is concerned. I need to just get something off my mind and it is not directed toward any of you, but if you need the lesson feel free to learn. If you don't have your act together please stay out of my business! All up in my kool-aid and don't even know the flavor! OK, I am done and will move on now! :)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Who Knew?

Who knew that 10+ years ago when I bought an emergency gas can for my car I would actually need it!

So, yesterday was one crazy, busy day. It started at 4:00am and went strong ALL day with school and getting ready for our joint activity, Are You Smarter Than a Deacon or Beehive? (lots of fun BTW) During my nonstop day and while turning around for the second time because of bridge repair my gas light came on. I had not a spare moment and was not headed in the right direction to stop at my favorite Chevron. (Seriously, it is crazy to get to if you are not going in the right direction especially during rush hour(s), but they have the best prices.) It crossed my mind to go over after the activity, but I opted for the morning.

I am taking a sick day today in order to get over my cold before parent teacher conferences start next week. Because I borrowed desks from my classroom for the activity I had to bring them back in this morning. My morning started at 4am because I wanted to make sure I got my plans done without having to rush. I headed out to school in time to get gas and make it to school just as the doors opened at 6:00. I went the route needed to pass by the gas station only to find out that it is not open in the 5 o'clock hour. I decided I would just have to stop by on the way home. I went to school and had all the desks waiting outside the door when it opened at 6:00. I got everything ready for the sub and headed home.

I decided to take the non-interstate route even though it would mean I was headed in the wrong direction for the gas station, but I figured it was early enough that I would be OK. About half way there I knew I was in trouble. My car felt like it was coughing as bad as I was last night and slowed ready to stop several times. I sent up a plea to heaven because I was not sure I would make it around the corner to the next major road. I did not want to be the cause of a major traffic problem especially in the rain. Of course the traffic light was red and my plea got stronger as I could not find a turn off to get out of traffic. With help I made it into a parking lot wondering where the nearest gas station was. I usually take the interstate and don't pay attention to gas stations on the back roads because I have always filled up in time. My GPS told me there was a Shell 0.1 miles away :) Who knows if I could have made it, but I had no problems walking there. I got the gas can that had been silently waiting all those years and headed out.

I was glad for the sidewalk and thankful that the rain seemed to have slowed to a sprinkle. Luckily I had opted to put on my jeans instead of heading out in my pjs. I had opted for my flip flops, but we are having some spring like weather.

I got my gas and the rain didn't even pick back up until I was back at my car. I filled up and made a stop at Chick-fil-A to calm my nerves. There is nothing like a chicken mini or four to make me feel better :)

My stomach is full and so is my gas tank. I was back snug in my bed all before school started or the sun even came up!

Only problem: now my emergency gas can stinks and has ruined the clean linen smell of my car. Do I throw it out and get a new one or can I clean it somehow?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Technical Difficulty

I just wanted all my loyal fans to know that I am not neglecting my blog. My power cord to my work issued laptop finally bit the dust and I have to wait on the system to work in my favor for the replacement. I refuse to take the time to stay after school to blog, but will reconsider if the delay is longer than another week. I rely on my laptop as it is the only computer I have. One day I MIGHT be a real computer owner :) Thanks for your patience during this difficult time!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Funnel Cakes

For New Year's Eve I tried my hand at funnel cake making! This is the best looking one of them all and it is not all that good looking. They sure did taste good! Long story short, I have not found a new career, but maybe a new holiday tradition :) Who wants to come over next year?