Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Teacher in May

Friday was hot.  So hot.  It was 81 degrees in my classroom and I don't know what was happening with the air conditioning, besides it wasn't working.

Yesterday was cold.

Spring in Utah.

We had our dance festival practice outside because the 6th grade teachers signed up for the gym first.  Imagine wrangling seventy 3rd graders.  They are all shivering and cold and squirrelly and can't hear you and so they are all doing their own thing.  

Then it started raining.

Mass pandemonium ensued as children sprinted toward the school but I made my class stay outside until they had a line.  I knew there wasn't going to be forming a line once we were inside the school and I had to get them a little settled before we paraded by the other classrooms.

So that was fun.

Then without warning or preamble, a doting aunt and uncle brought 6 pizzas for the class to celebrate their niece's birthday.  They brought them about 2 minutes before we were supposed to go to lunch.

More pandemonium.

Everyone was super excited about pizza but half the kids had lunches from home and some of the kids wanted to get their milk and fruit from the lunchroom and some of the kids wanted to just eat pizza.  I distributed pizza and took some of the kids to the lunchroom and we were late and got tangled in 6th graders coming in from recess.  I asked Kate to keep an ear on the students who were staying in my classroom to eat pizza.

When I got back, there were boys throwing footballs and a boy pouting because the birthday girl had cut him off from pizza.  She had stacked the leftover pizza in two boxes on the floor beneath her backpack.  Fine.  I sent them all out to recess.

When it was time to go home, the pizza was swarming with ants.  The floor all around the boxes was swarming with ants.  I threw it all away and told the custodian.

Monday, May 10, 2021


Friday after school, Adam and I headed to Nevada for Marianne's 50th birthday party.  We were two hours late for the surprise, but we still got some good food and I won a prize in the Marianne trivia game which wasn't really fair because I've known her for 48 of those years plus I cheated a little by asking Olivia on a few of them.

I still took the prize.

I love my sisters.  I'm always happy when I get to celebrate with them and their dazzling children.  I loved when Morgan arrived partway through the party, home from a track meet.  His four sisters descended on him and he backed away, but he was smiling.  Sisters are a blessing.  I stole this picture from Olivia's blog this morning.  

We visited into the night and then Braeden and Anna (who were also there) and Adam and I went with my parents to their house for the night.  We haven't stayed there for a very long time and it was nice to be back. All the things that used to seem commonplace are nice to revisit now that we've all been vaccinated.

My mom made us a lovely breakfast and we enjoyed visiting some more and I didn't want to leave, but I also wanted to get back to lay eyes on Mark, who I haven't seen too much of lately, before his call time.

We stopped at Olivia's on our way.  She had dug up some yellow roses for me.  I'm determined to get yellow roses and she generously keeps giving me starts to kill.  I have a good feeling about these.  When we were in church and singing "Love at Home," and got to the part "roses bloom beneath the feet," I whispered to Mark, "Maybe that's the secret to getting the roses to live.  Love at home."  I'll try.

Adam spent most of the rest of Saturday on his talk for church and I went grocery shopping and did a few tasks.

We went to Mark's show again.  It's not terrible, sitting there next to Adam.  We sat in the back row so we could see more of the set.  The cast comes in a few times and walked up the aisles singing.  Mark poked me on the back.  I like hearing him sing.  

Adam gave his talk in church.  He did a good job, like I knew he would.  He always gets very nervous, but I always have a lot of confidence in him.

I took two naps on Sunday afternoon.  If that isn't a good mother's day, I don't know what is.  We had dinner and I opened gifts.  Some of the kids wanted to play a game and I said I wanted to go on a walk instead.  So we did.  That is also a good mother's day.

I am grateful for my good mother and Adam's good mother.  I'm grateful for our grandmothers and all the women who have impacted my life in important ways.  I'm grateful I get to be a mother.  It is not an easy job but I'm glad it's mine.

Friday, May 7, 2021

Grateful Friday

 1. My root canal 2.0 was a success.  The endodontist declared the tooth worth saving.  Janet told me years ago to never get a root canal from a dentist, but to go to an endodontist.  I should have listened.  It was a much different/better experience (and I really like my dentist!).

2. I had to leave school early for the root canal and I had two aides cover my class for me and I REALLY appreciate them.  It's nice leaving my class in familiar and capable hands.

3. When I was leaving my class, my students said, "Good luck!" and "I hope it works this time!" and "We'll miss you!"

4. Last night was opening night of Mark's show.  His last high school performance.  In three weeks, he will have graduated.  The graduation bit makes me feel queasy, but I was happy I got to see his show.  Mark sang a solo and Emma leaned over to me and asked, "Are you crying?"

I said, "A little."

She said, "Me too."

5. I'm looking forward to weekend plans.  I hope yours is a good one!

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Western day

It's Hope Week at school and yesterday was Western Day.  Almost all the teachers dressed up.  I am probably the only one that grew up on a dirt road but I don't have any "western" clothes.  The teachers mostly wore aggressively pointy boots and straw hats with the brims squashed up on the sides.  Not the kind of clothes you'd ever see actual cowboys wear, but it's an elementary school.

My boys came in for literacy and one of them was carrying a red bandana.  He said, "Do you know how to tie this?  Like a cowboy?"  I said I did.

I said, "My dad is a cowboy."

"He is not!"  One of them was vehemently suspicious of me.

I said, "He is.  So is my brother."

"No.  You are lying.  You are a big fat liar."

I thought the big fat was hurtful and unnecessary but I pulled up my blog on my computer because it is a good way to win arguments.

I scrolled for pictures of my dad.  I found one and he was wearing a cowboy hat.  "See," I said, triumphantly.  I showed them a picture of Tabor for good measure.

The one student was still not having it.  He said, "Does he ride a horse?  Unless you show me a picture of him on a horse, I won't believe you."

I told him, "I'm not going to give you a smiley face today.  Just for doubting me."

Every day he brings a chart from his teacher that tracks his behavior.  I can either circle a smile, a neutral face, or a frown.  It's so dumb but it works like magic.  If he ever gets out of line, all I have to say is, "Where did I put your chart?" and I look around for it and he immediately shapes up.

He likes getting those smiles.

I found a picture of my dad, horseback.  Both boys said, "Whoa."

I don't think they intended a pun.  

For the rest of literacy, they talked with a sort of twang and called each other partner.  They swaggered around the room and said they were cowboys.  The doubter asked me, "Has your dad ever shot anyone?"

I said, "No."

"But, is he a bank robber?"

There's reality and then there's 3rd grade reality.  They don't always intersect.

(And I gave him the smiley face at the end.  He's that cute.)

Wednesday, May 5, 2021


Monday night, Adam and Emma and Braeden went to the Jazz basketball game.  Adam said I should come too and I said, "...." 

He said, "If you need a restorative night at home, you should take it."

There is beauty in being married to a man who understands you.

Mark came home from a long rehearsal and he was pretty done for too.  He'd had an early AP test and a full day.  We went to Mo Bettah's for dinner which I don't love but he does and it's by Walgreens and we needed to pick up insulin.

I enjoyed dinner with Mark.  We don't have enough time together, just the two of us.  Sometimes you need to have dinner with your curmudgeonly opinionated 18 year old.

While we were in line at the Walgreens' drive thru, Mark said, "Do you want to play cards when we get home?"

I said, "...."

He said, "Well, I was just saying that because I thought you'd want to.  I'd rather have some alone time."

The introverts nodded appreciatively at each other.

Mark did his thing and I watched Netflix and while I watched, I organized my phone by color.

Now, it takes a bit to remember the color of the different apps...

...but it's pretty. 

(Also, it should be said that the number of unread emails would make Mark throw hands, but it is actually a really low number for me.)

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

When a bowl of low quality chocolate is your solace

Yesterday was a whole thing.  We started testing.  I knew about how it was going to go when I wrote the test ID on the board and one of my students came up and asked me if she could erase it. (They LOVE to erase the board.)

"I just wrote it," I said.

She looked at me blankly.

"I need it," I said.

Then I told her to go back to her seat.

I walked them through logging in.  They were to type in their name and then their SSID which was on a card I gave them.  I said, "The test ID is on the board."

I had no fewer than ten students ask me what the test ID was.


Sometimes I think about the fact that I have a pretty house and an entire shelf of books that I haven't read yet and what on earth am I doing wasting my time when I am clearly not.  Getting.  Through.

We got through day one of testing though.  

After school we had a faculty meeting.  For 1 1/2 hours.  It was all about proposed changes for next year and here I am with a not so bendy brain and it stressed me out.  I was sitting next to the kindergarten teachers.  Halfway through the meeting one of them leaned over to a nearby table and grabbed a bowl of chocolates.  We sort of stress ate through the rest of the meeting.

It was that kind of day.

In my box in the workroom, there was a book from the PTA with contributions from my students about me.  

It 100% delighted me.

There was a certain amount of effusive hyperbole:

And also some honesty:

And I decided that the shelf of books can wait their turn.  Also Kate told me, "We only have three more Mondays."

That, my friends, sounds doable.

Monday, May 3, 2021

The first Saturday in May

Often, I'm fresh off Women's Conference on the first Saturday in May.  But alas.  It's virtual and I haven't watched because while I'm sure it's good, it's not the same.

I dug and weeded in my front flower bed.  I pruned a bush (which I love doing to the sometimes peril of our bushes and our marriage).  I planted a daisy and put my geraniums in big pots by the garage doors.  One of them didn't like the transfer very well so we'll see how that goes.  I had four enormous spider houseplants (that all started from one spider plant).  I repotted three of them and threw one away and cut the root balls in half and we'll see how that goes too.  My heart won't be broken if they don't all survive because it was starting to feel like a spider plant farm.  I repotted the Moses plant that Olivia gave me a start from.  It originally was my Grandma Dahl's Moses plant.  I repotted Emma's Christmas Cactus that Olivia gave her a start from.  It originally was my Great Grandma Egbert's Christmas Cactus.  I transplanted those two more carefully because they feel like family heirlooms.

I got a lot of dirt under my finger nails and my face turned beet red like it does (if my body would just sweat like a normal person I wouldn't get so hot and red faced).  I lay on the steps of the garage when I was just too tired and hot.  It was more comfortable than you'd think.

Adam had mowed and lifted all the heavy pots and helped me repot.  We cleaned up and met Emma for a late lunch (Mark was at rehearsal).  We went to Home Depot for the third time this week and we finally decided with input from Emma and the Home Depot lady (who declared herself a professional designer and who was I to argue?) on the carpet we want for our upstairs.

Then we went grocery shopping (Adam and me, not Emma).  We could shop at Winco competitively if that was a thing.  We have a whole system.

We got home just in time for the Kentucky Derby.  The horse Braeden picked in our earlier text conversation won.

When we texted him the good news, he wondered what he won.

Mark texted back:

I guess Mark's not big on prizes.

Speaking of Mark, Friday evening he said, "I have something for you..."

I asked, "Is it chocolate?"

It was his cap and gown.

It's not really a great gift for a mother, I'll just go ahead and say it.  I hung up the gown in the coat closet and put the cap on Horace.

Everyone else is graduating, why not him?


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