Monday, February 28, 2011

Five years down, two more to go!

I finally made it through Year 5.  See my review in the link above.  It was tough. So glad it's done.  I was going to take a break and read The Time-Travellers Wife but I didn't feel like investing in new characters just yet, and that book is rather confusing in the way it's written.  I will read it some time soon, though.  Instead, I'm about 20 pages into Year 6.  I will be really happy to finish this up!

On a teachery note, I got my unofficial pink slip last week from the Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources of all people.  It was positive though, and it was not a surprise.  I'm on a temporary contract, so they have to do this.  I have to wait until April or May when all the retirees have said "See ya!" or other people move around.  They seemed hopeful.  We'll see.  I'm still going to start collecting letters of recommendation and keep my eyes open for other opportunities.  Who knows?  Maybe this our chance to get out of the valley for a little and go explore new, warmer places (that all have Sherwin Williams stores, of course).

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

God bless my KitchenAid mixer

I just had to share the adorable cupcakes I just made for tomorrow's English Dept. potluck!  I used a red velvet box mix, but I used this recipe for the white vanilla icing.  Super easy and pretty darn tasty.  Then I bought a tube black frosting and piped the punctuation marks and parts of speech abbreviations. 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

To read or not to read: That has never been the question! ...'til this year!

The first grading period of the second semester of my first year of teaching (phew!) is almost done.  There's talk of possible layoff but also of adding more sections of English next year, so who knows.  I have until March 15th to hear the news.  I don't get a raise next year, and I don't suck (at least I hope I don't), so I feel somewhat secure.

This reading thing had been going really well!  I love reading all this young adult fiction and then gabbing with my kids about wizards and things.  Okay, actually NONE of my students have read Harry Potter and are not interested in the slightest.  Thankfully, I can still talk Twilight with a few of them.  I've been keeping up with my resolution, but it's been an excuse that has caused my grading pile to grow to an obscene height!  I have not grading ANYTHING besides the couple of tests and qizzes I've given.  I was supposed to complete about six hours of work over break and have just started it today.  It's due next Tuesday!  Too much reading!  So, since I read Crank this weekend (See "One-Book-a-Week in Review" at the top for my less than impressed review), which gives me TWO books for last week, I'm going to admit now that HP Year 5 will not get finished until next week.  Way too much grading.  So Crank counts for this week, okay?  Okay, good.

Update on my ear (see previous post): I went back to the doctor yesterday.  He said it's still infected but definitely better.  I had a fever and Strep-like sore throat, which completely confused them since I was already taken antibiotics, but that has seemed to subside.  He put me on another antibiotic, so hopefully by next week I'll be good to go.  It only hurts when I burp, cough, sneeze, or yell at my sixth period class.  :)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Can you hear me now?

As if the stolen truck wasn't enough...

Monday was the Graham-ster's birthday, and in tradition, we went to Olive Garden.  I stayed home sick that day because I was miserably exhausted all day Sunday and absolutely could not handle my 5th period class on Monday.  I rested more, ate some fruit, and went for a walk.  I started to feel a lot better.  I took a shower to get ready for our dinner-and-a-movie date, which was a fabulous shower, and began my daily hygiene routine, which ashamedly includes carefully cleaning my ears with a Q-tip.  This day, I had the overhead ventilation fan on as I'd just taken a shower and was rustling through my medicine cabinet while I carefully swabbed, when I thought I heard a soft knock at the door.  I was a little jumpy but thought it must have just been the sound of the bottle I'd just put on the counter top.  All of sudden, Graham comes pushing through the door, "Babe? Are you..." and I start screaming and shrunk to the floor clutching my head.  The Q-tip had slipped and stabbed me square in the eardrum.  It took me a while to calm down, but the pain was still there, with sharp throbs every few seconds.  My hearing started to go a bit fuzzy, like I was driving in the mountains, but there was no plug like in higher elevation.  I decided to fight through it so that we could have a great birthday date.

We went to dinner and it started to feel better.  By the next morning, my hearing was still fuzzy but the pain was almost completely gone.  My dad, who has Meniere's Disease, was emailing me every hour telling me to go to the doctor.  Everything online said it should clear up on its own, no problem.  I backed down, though, and went to a walk-in place after work.  "Traumatic Middle Ear Infection," he says. I got a shot, two antibiotic prescriptions, and some all too expensive ear drops.  I'm now fighting this very drippy ear, but at least my hearing's back.  I go back to the doctor on Monday.  Hopefully everything will be okay.  For now it's just messy and a bit inconvenient.  My students think it's funny, though, that I have a snail trail of drops and drainage running down my neck half the time.  Yummy.