Posts Tagged ‘reading’


Life Takes a Funny Turn

October 2, 2017

Summer was winding down. The Chief was going to be late by a week for T1’s ceremony. Any potentially appealing job listings mysteriously disappeared off the county website after I had inquired about not hearing anything when I had been promised help transferring into another position. I was pretty much resigned to going back to full-time subbing. Maybe that was for the best. It would be T1’s senior year and I knew it would be a crazy time for us.

But I couldn’t help not being satisfied with that. I started looking at the nearby neighboring county. Some of their schools were actually closer than my last job was to my house. But interestingly the pay was almost $1,500 LESS!

The Chief was in sell range and we were talking about all manner of upcoming things. I finally asked him how he would feel if I applied for those jobs even if the pay was less. Three schools were closer to home and to my gym. He supported my decision.

I spent the next few hours applying and uploading resumes and letters of recommendation. It was after midnight before I finished. It was in God’s hands.

The following day I had a follow-up ENT appointment for myself for my sinuses and I was going to have a hearing test to see if I was the reason T1 suffered from hearing loss. I had been at the gym earlier but I had a caffeinated drink and it triggered my SVT. I spent the next few hours in SVT but nothing major happened. My appointment was running long and my cell phone rang.

It was the principal from my children’s elementary school, the place where I had desperately wanted to be the library para and had been passed over twice now. He was offering me the Title I para position I had been released from at my previous job when they lost their Title I status. It was last minute but I would report the following Monday.

Sure it wasn’t the library position I desired but it would be one mile from my home and I wouldn’t have to take a pay cut. I agreed to take the job.

There was of course some comedy of errors on the part of human resources. Because I was technically still on the pay roll, no one called me to offer me my salary memorandum. It had been emailed to my still active email account. This also caused some confusion about filling out my benefits paperwork–that I had signed in January. No one seemed to know any answers and my drive over to the school board office was for nothing.

We’ve been in school four weeks now. I am making bulletin boards and having fun at that. I’m teaching reading and math remediation. Familiar faces have been so welcoming. And my new boss? It doesn’t hurt that she is the blonde doppelganger of the most delightful woman at church. So far we are definitely getting along. One of my classroom is a bit annoyed with the fact my group is noisy. It’s kind of a chicken or egg situation–she has a noisy class in general.

We’re knee deep in marching band. We’ve had Senior Informational Night. Tomorrow is the FAFSA night. It’s getting real.

Just got to trust God’s timing…


Opening Up A Can of Worms…

December 27, 2012

Everybody parents differently. Everyone has different standards.

So I posted the question about which movie to go see with my mother and daughters today. Life of Pi, The Hobbit, Les Miserable, or Parental Guidance. I wasn’t personally interested in seeing the first or fourth choice but my mom had mentioned Parental Guidance more than once. I really have to be in the mood to see a comedy. And watching a movie about familial dysfunction however humorous with my mother is not entertaining. My mother is not that into fantasy so I wondered about the Hobbit. When the original LotRs all came out we saw them with my in-laws. The final LotR the Chief and I saw solo because the girls were now of an age where they actually stayed awake for a film. So that left Les Mis … but being a disgrace to all those that call themselves English Majors I have neither read the book nor seen the Broadway play. I have caught snippets of the PBS anniversary special featuring Nick Jonas though. So I know it is about the French Revolution. War. War can be ugly.

My question got lots of votes for the Hobbit and a few cautionary remarks about Les Mis. I looked up reviews on a website that scores movies for sexual content, violence, and other. Remember War can be ugly so there did seem to be some scenes I might find a bit much for the girls.

And beheading a giant goblin isn’t?

So here is the deal: when I posted our choice and why (that Les Mis might have more objectionable material) we went with the Hobbit and my mother loved it, one acquaintance posted that “if the Hobbit was okay for them to see than so was Les Mis and even her 8 year old loved it.” I posted back that the Chief and I are sort of weird parents.

“Fantastical violence with a healthy discussion about reality is preferred over historical violence or violence with more of a chance of happening or something innately evil–for example they have not seen Anakin become Darth Vadar yet … or Raiders of the Lost Ark or Braveheart … but battling orcs and goblins or evil wizards as long as we discuss it … well just makes us weird parents.”

I didn’t want to offend this acquaintance. But I strongly disagree with letting third graders read the Twilight series and taking them to the midnight showings of the movies. The inner monologue of the main character is just too much for any young girl trying to figure herself out. My children have not seen the Half Blood Prince or either part of the Deathly Hallows because we felt the theme was becoming a little too mature for them. They need to finish reading the books and have a discussion with us about them first.

Last year we objected to T1 reading The Hunger Games solely on the idea that it is a possible future on our planet–not some Star Gate–where children are killing children for entertainment. We explained to her that when she reads The Lottery and Lord of the Flies we’d love for her to read it and discuss all of them with us. Lord of the Flies was 9th grade reading material–not 6th grade. Thankfully it was only for a book club and there were other choices and the librarian was totally behind us. As I posted, T1 read it behind our backs but I couldn’t fault her for it as I did the same thing (only it was because of all the hype surrounding North and South and the miniseries).

So is there a difference between flying orc blood and the death of a Nazi by propeller blade? Yeah … yeah there is a difference. We have emphasized fantasy is fantasy. Nazis were real. War is real. Death in war is real. Let’s look at Captain America. Nazis are in that movie. It is about war … but ray guns and genetically enhanced heroes and villains just aren’t real–and I really feel the makers of that movie kept it campy enough to keep it fantasy.

Are we splitting hairs? Are we still desensitizing them toward violence? Maybe. After reading the summary of a scene where soldiers were “enjoying the spoils of war” I just felt that was a little too real to be an enjoyable movie experience just yet. BTW, that ratings website gave Les Mis a score of 6 for violence and the Hobbit a 5 but Les Mis obviously got a higher score for sexual content for the aforementioned scene and nudity. I actually had to laugh about the Hobbit‘s near-naked trolls and ogres being objectionable according the website. Heck, that’s the poster child for exactly why any male not a Olypic diver should NOT be wearing loin cloths and speedos.

But as I said I hope I didn’t offend this acquaintance for her choice of letting her 8 year old see the movie. I didn’t go on a rant about Twilight or midnight premieres. Or what about a show called “Pretty Little Liars” on ABC FAMILY? Oh that’s quality family television. I am exploring what we do let them see–Alphas is a rough show and it does blur the line of fantasy and reality but we are dialoguing about it as we watch it. It has a lot of social issues and morals to discuss. I do wish I had started them off with Heroes. We’re watching Once Upon A Time together but Grimm is all mine for that gritty and blurred line. And one deep social discussion is about all I can juggle right now.

I usually don’t like to post any controversal and I certainly don’t want my opinion and parenting style attacked. I hope it didn’t stir up a debate or offense. We shall see.

I’m happy with my choice. Glad there will be two more movies. We will have a LotR marathon tomorrow. I will get to see Les Mis when the girls are back in school. Maybe I’ll finally see the last Twilight too!

And just when I thought it was safe to go to bed… I remembered that my much touted quality family television Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman had quite a few mature themes in them, least of which as a very brutal scene where Grace has her “hair cut”. Not to mention Myra’s profession. Those made for interesting discussions. But maybe being able to hit pause and to actually discuss gives me more of a sense of control of the flow of information. Yup. It’s splitting hairs. Sorry.


May 31st

May 31, 2012

Where has the time gone?

The Chief is home. We’re trying to make the most of the time but we’re already thinking about his shipping out date and a conference scheduled during what should be his weekends, holidays, and vacation time. Next month we are arranging to have T2 at a friend’s while T1 is at a middle school conference. What will we do with the time? Hopefully not some home improvement project but a day trip or two.

T1 is finishing her first year of middle school. She had a rough quarter and has learned some tough lessons. Group projects: everyone is responsible for the grade of the group and if you have one slacker you have to do their work too–but make sure the teacher knows! Turning in work on time saves a lot of heartache. Natural talent will not carry you through if you choose not to practice. Standardized tests are frustrating to everyone.

But she’s growing into a beautiful young woman with all the milestones and tribulations of turning 12. She has navigated 6th grade with a mix of immaturity, maturity, and grace. She’s tried new things–orchestra and acting. She’s survived 8th grade math. She chose to switch back to her very first soccer team now that it is a mixed-age league and she had her first-ever winning season, learning to improve now that she was no longer one of the stronger links. And she’s even read a book behind my back that I asked her to wait to read. (I really can’t fault her on this because I did the same in 6th grade and so did my mother.)

And I wasn’t there, hovering in the background. A mixed blessing of the PsA?

T2 … will start 5th grade in August. Our last year in elementary school. T1 always seems to be about the “firsts” but T2 is all about the “lasts.” I’m glad we did not hold her back so that she can have her moments without competing with T1’s moments finishing middle school. T2’s 5th grade year will be “lasts” for me and the relationships I made with the teachers I entrusted my girls to, for my volunteer obligations. Oh sure I’ll be there substituting but somehow I don’t think it will be the same. I am looking forward to sharing these moments with T2 and will do all I can to make them special for her.

We have a busy summer ahead of us. June is full of scouts and both T1 and the Chief have conferences to attend. The Chief will depart in early July and we have church camp. August will be here before we know it and school starts early!

I want to enjoy every day. I want to make the most of every day. That is going to have to start with relying more on God every day, changing my relationship with Him. I’m working on it, trying to listen for him in the still quiet voice. I’m trying not to resist him as I do daily.

If you want a blog post to uplift you today as it did me, check out Reasons to Hope.


Writing Workshop: Rhythmically Challenged

June 3, 2011

3. Describe a talent or flaw that seems to be in your genes. Is it genetic to really have no rhythm whatsoever? I know my high school band teacher shook her head in dismay and disgust as I proved over and over again that I cannot keep a beat. I really had to work hard to keep up in marching band—I did not want to be that uber-goober marching the wrong way and out of step with everyone. Sometimes I gave up playing the flute just so I could keep counting the steps to the routine.  This served two purposes: I was in step and I wasn’t playing half a beat behind.

I can’t dance either. Yeah, the White Man Overbite is about it. You need rhythm for anything else more complicated. There is no shaking my money maker–the bank is broke.

I am thankful that DH is musically and rhythmically talented.

Higher math and I do not seem to be genetically compatible either. And there is a proved correlation between math and music I hear. You will not be able to convince me that “x” is anything but a letter. I have run into a lady, a walking genius, who assures me she has a tried and true way to help get over this roadblock. She said if she can get baseball players to understand math in baseball terms, all she has to do is find out what would work for me. I said I would call her if T1 needs tutoring but I’m not budging. “X” is a letter or a group of really good-looking mutants.

So DH has passed on his math and music genes to T1 and T2 as well. Again, music=math, math=music. T1 has her scores for her standardized tests and once again got a perfect on math and history. T2’s scores have not been posted. T1’s reading score (and I’ve ranted about this before) was her lowest in three years. While I am for personal responsibility—she could honestly read more and that would provide all the improvement she needs—but I question what she’s been taught. One week before school is out and she finally has a reading project due? Shouldn’t we have been doing projects like this all year long?

Summer “school” will include an hour a day of math with DH and at least an hour of reading a day. I’m not ready for middle school.

Writing Prompts:

1.) Six Word Memoir: Write about a significant time in your life in just six words.
2.) “One need not be a chamber to be haunted, One need not be a house. The brain has corridors surpassing material place”. -Emily Dickinson What haunts you?
3.) Describe a talent or flaw that seems to be in your genes.
4.) What are you passionate about?
5.) Comfort food at it’s finest. Share a family favorite recipe you loved as a child.

Bonus Vlog Option!
Sometimes it’s hard to put yourself out there on video, but it’s a fun and different option for a post and a great way for your readers to get to know you better. The problem is many of us don’t know what to vlog about…this bonus prompt option will give you the inspiration you need to create a short video for your blog. Now to drum up the courage…

6.) Create a video that shows what a typical day looks like at your house.

If you want to know more about Mama Kat’s Writing Workshop, click on that trophy over there…

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