Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Midweek Meanderings 

It is midweek and I thought I was going to blow away today. So windy!

I don’t know what is in the air, but the kids at school have been acting up a lot the past couple of weeks. We’ve had more fights in that time than any time all year.

I don’t quite understand why we have “End of Instruction” tests in April. When we are done testing there is still a month of school left. “End of Instruction”? If that was really the case we’d test the last two weeks of school. That would also give us a few more weeks to get the kids ready. I guess that makes too much sense!

I just finished my final paper for my most recent class. The purpose of the paper? To step back and look at my school as an organization. Take out the people and personalities. How does it work? How does power flow? What are the structural, human, and symbolic dimensions of this particular organization? It was something of a fascinating exercise.

My high school basketball coach is now a college professor, working with me to help one of our young teachers. It is interesting, his recollections of me and mine of him, talking about events that happened so long ago, talking like colleagues instead of coach and player.

I’m now paranoid about losing my ring again. I probably check 50 times a day.

School is out in a few weeks and the kids leave for their trip to England. Is summer really upon us?

So how is YOUR week going?


Saturday, April 26, 2008

Prom Night 

I spent last night helping supervise my school’s prom. Held at a historic downtown hotel, the decorations were beautiful, and of course the kids showed up in fine style. Most of them stayed for the entire evening and it sure looked like everyone was having a good time. I stood outside for much of the night, making sure that none of them dipped into that six pack they had in the trunk of their cars.

The high school prom is supposed to be one of those scenes that play in the highlight reel of your life. You are all dressed up, celebrating the end of a school year, or in the case of seniors….graduation! You look your best, hang out with all your friends, dance the night away, get your picture taken, and get ready for summer. It is something of a demonstration of entry into adulthood, floppy teenagers dressed like movie stars attending a premiere. You even have the limos. I watched as limousine after limousine pulled up dropping kids at the front door. Our school has 90% of the students on free or reduced lunch, so this was obviously a big deal for many of them to put out that kind of money just for one night.

Of course it isn’t that way for everyone. I know some of our students did not attend because they couldn’t afford the ticket, had to work, or just plain didn’t want to go. I have students who are homeless, who are living alone as single parents, who are married, or who are working two jobs in addition to going to high school. For many of them the prom just isn’t a priority. They are in school to get a diploma, and all the social events don’t mean much to them.

I went my prom in both my junior and senior years. My proms were not held at a swank hotel. They were held at the Elks Lodge. Still, I looked forward to spending an evening partying the night away with my friends. At my senior prom a large group of us ditched out a little early and went and played miniature golf in our formal evening wear. It was all about being with the people you wanted to be with. I don’t know if the prom is on my highlight reel, but I certainly look back with fond memory at an evening spent with the guys and girls I cared about. That night at my senior prom would be the last night many of us would ever spend together. We would all move on with the rest of our lives, putting our high school years behind us.

I had a parent tell her child in my office a couple of weeks ago that he would look back on his high school years as the best times of his life. I thought silently to myself….gosh I hope not. I really enjoyed high school. I was a decent student, enjoyed playing sports, had a group of buddies that I enjoyed being around. Because of my shyness I was not exactly a social butterfly, but I did have a circle of people that I spent a lot of time with. Heck, I even married one of them (albeit 28 years later!). The prom was something of a final hurrah for all of that.

The picture above was taken at my home as I was leaving for my senior prom. If I look a little irritated it is because my mom insisted on taking a lot of pictures and I was ready to leave! What a life I have.

Twenty eight years later I’m still going to the prom.

Two middle aged couples walked by and looked through the window of our students dancing, the music loudly blaring. After they stood and watched for a couple of minutes I asked them if they would like to go in. They eagerly accepted and spent about twenty minutes looking at the ornate decorations and even dancing a couple of times. They came back out, thanked us graciously for allowing them a small trip back in time. They linked their arms together and walk off giggling and talking, like a pack of teenagers.

There is a little of that in all of us.

Editors Note: Patrick found my ring in the yard today. YAY!


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Midweek Meanderings 

It is midweek and spring has sprung! It has been beautiful outside the past few days.

Today is Patrick’s birthday and he is sixteen years old! He is celebrating by going to a movie tonight.

His birthday present from me? A trip to the hardware store where he can buy parts for his “creations”. Hide your hacksaws and utility knives. Patrick is on the move!

I still haven’t found my ring but I haven’t given up hope! Hopefully it will turn up shortly.

Now I have students walking up to me in the hall and asking me if I found my ring.

I have a big paper due on Monday for my organizational theory class. Then I’m done with academic work until late May when it is time for school finance. What a way to begin the summer!

I paid $3.42 per gallon for gasoline yesterday. Is there no end in sight for these gas prices?

I need to write more. I have several blog posts rolling around in my head. I just need to sit down and write them.

So how is YOUR week going?


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Midweek Meanderings 

It is midweek and well…..I’ve probably had better weeks!

Both kids, an hour or two apart, woke up in the middle of the night and threw up. Terri also felt very queasy. I ate the same things they did but had no problems. It does make you wonder.

I did feel sick in a different way however. Somehow….I don’t know how, I lost my wedding ring. I’ve never taken it all the way off since I slid it on my finger in Vegas. It was loose enough to twirl and play with, but required a slight force to pull over my knuckle. Somehow on Sunday, in the midst of loading and unloading a lawn mower, picking up my yard, mowing, and going to bed, the ring disappeared. We’ve scoured the house and yard and I’ve offered the kids a hefty reward to find it.

I’ve racked my brain for days thinking of everything I did that day. Maybe I should undergo hypnosis to recover the lost memory.

I really want to find that ring!

We are in the midst of state testing and so far it has gone fairly smoothly. *Fingers crossed*. There are eight testing days to go!

Patrick did well at Special Olympics, winning first and second place ribbons. He goes to the state meet in a few weeks, a trip that involves two nights away from home. As always, he is very excited.

Patrick has always loved to build “creations” from things found around the house. Sometimes those creations involve using things that should not be used. With a little inspiration from me, his latest idea is to build something using PVC pipe and joints. He has been doodling, making a parts list, etc. We’ll see what he comes up with.

By the way….if you happen to find my ring I’ll give you a reward too!

Maybe this is why my grandmother is still keeping my high school class ring after all these years.

So how is YOUR week going?


Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Midweek Meanderings 

It is midweek and I hear the thunder rolling. It is storm season in Oklahoma and there are severe storm alerts for this area tonight.

I actually kind of enjoy the storms unless they are knocking out my electricity, dropping golf ball sized hail on my car, or threatening to blow my house away.

Patrick is due to compete in the regional Special Olympics this Saturday. This is something that he and the rest of us always look forward to. We seemed to have developed a mini-tradition of stopping by Fuddruckers on the way home from Special Olympics and Patrick wants to be sure that we don’t break the tradition this year.

That is fine with me. Fuddruckers does make a pretty good hamburger.

I am really looking forward to this weekend. I’ve put a lot of hours in between work and classes, and I look forward to a chance to relax.

I can’t totally relax. Our lawn needs its first mowing of the season. All this rain isn’t helping matters any!

Have you ever met, read stories, or seen a movie about a battered wife? Ever wondered what they were like when they were younger, how they started down this path? I won’t say much about this situation I am dealing with, but it is really spooky to me how this young lady can allow herself to be so completely dominated by an angry, hyper-possessive, super-jealous boyfriend. Interventions are in order and this is a big priority for me right now. I hope we can turn this situation around and help this teenager to see that a healthy relationship looks nothing like this.

It really bothers me because I can see where this is headed.

So how is YOUR week going?


Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Midweek Meanderings 

It is midweek and this is one of those crazy weeks.

Study session with classmates on Monday night. Parent-teacher evening conferences on Tuesday and Thursday nights. Class on Friday night. This is the only night this week where I’m home at the regular time.

No complaints though….I did sign up for this!

One area where schools are often behind in policy making is in technology. YouTube, MySpace, etc. play a large role in teenage student’s lives these days and a lot of trouble comes from it. You wouldn’t believe the story I heard today. Just think about video and the sites I just mentioned. Unbelievable. We are dealing with an increasing number of these issues without many clear guidelines. The kids have their own cyber world which collides with our world.

I finished reading “Mindfulness” and am now writing a paper about it. I will share some thoughts later. The above picture looks very.....mindful.

I find very amusing the way that men and women treat news of getting married so differently. From the guys I hear things like, “You were just too happy. You had to get married so you’d have a little misery like the rest of us!” or…”You could’ve invited me. I haven’t been to a funeral in a long time!”. From the women? “That’s so wonderful. So romantic! I’m so happy for you!”, etc. All in good humor, but there is something of the mindset about how men and women view things differently.

I even got this from the students. From the boys…”Dude, why did you have to go and get married? You could’ve had all the women you wanted!” (yeah right!) From the girls…”Mr. S., that’s so romantic. You must be so happy!”

The boy made me laugh so I didn’t reprimand him for calling me “dude”, usually one of my pet peeves.

It does make you wonder about the differing ideals and expectations of marriage among young people.

I’d better get to work. I have a paper to write.

So how is YOUR week going?


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