Thursday, May 19, 2005

Just me--No Sophie

How strange to trace the roots of my blogging experience. A writer of friend of mine mentioned to me that he talked about me in his blog. Blog? Huh? So I checked it out ( I wanted to leave a comment, and found that I had to log in to do so. Ok. No problem. A couple of clicks, a username and password later, and blam--I blog.

Luckily for me, while browsing around the blogosphere (truly guys--can we come up with a better name? I hate that one. Has anyone tried blogdome or blogtown? Ideas anyone?) I came across and the adorable Master Noah. She was kind enough to check out what I had to say, and to sympathize, along with Jen O (quittymcquitter), while Sophie was going through a nasty infection.

This lead to that, and now I have this wonderful collection of blog friends. Plus, my two sisters and good pal have jumped on the band wagon. Now of course, I spend too much time on the computer, and some days get a bit obsessive about who said or did what, but isn't that a better way to pass my time than, say, cleaning house or playing solitare?

Tonight I have to go to an awards banquet. I am getting an award. Honestly, I kind of feel like shit about it. It's called "The Power of the Dream" (Erik can't get it right. When trying to brag me up to people, he keeps telling them that I won "The Dream of the Future" or "The Power of the World" or some other random thing) and it's given to about 6 teachers in our school district each year for excellence in teaching.

As a teacher, I can definitely say I have my strengths. I am naturally a people person, and I can connect with my kids pretty easily. I've mentioned that I work at an alternative high school, so my kids are either in state custody, have been kicked out of the other high schools, or for some other reason don't fit the mould. I tend to be a little irreverent, and have been know to say shit in class on one or two occasions. (I dropped the F bomb--just once. I feel I was justified. I said, "Look. You can't keep saying fuck in class," to a kid who just didn't get it.) Because of my wayward youth, I understand things a little better than my colleagues, and can take a kid to task if I notice her/him building a hash pipe out of a soda can in my class. (Several times, it's taken all I have not to yell at some poor glassy-eyed kid, "Look you little shit, I was getting high when you were in kindergarten. I wasn't born yesterday! Wait until after school for that crap!")

So the connecting part is easy for me. I'm Mizzuz J. We get along. However, since having Sophie and going part time (I teach every other day) other shit has started to slip and I feel guilty as hell. My grades are always behind. Kids are always asking for their work back. I haven't done as many assessments as I should. My lesson planning is mediocre. I didn't attend any conferences this year. In fact, if I were to grade myself this year, I'd get, at best, a C+. I honestly feel like the reason I'm getting the award is that no one from our school, which is relatively new, has received it yet, and so they picked me because I've been there the longest. That said, I just finished my 5th year teaching, and people usually receive this award after 10 or 15 years. I'm going to look like a total wipper-snapper at this thing.

So now I need to come up with about a one minute acceptance type speech. Fuckity Fuck-o-rama. Should I prepare something? Get up and say, "You like me! You really really like me!" I kind of feel like telling the truth. Saying, you know what, I don't deserve this, but I promise to try harder next year.

Today's best thing about being a mom: (I guess I should say something about Sophie today)
Sophie and I went and got a pedicure together today. She sat on my lap and we both soaked our feet in the whirley pool thing. Then she sat so still and was so good while the lady painted her toes. I can't wait for more mother-daughter bonding stuff like that.

Today's worst thing about being a mom:
I can't convince Sophie that she's not indestructible. She keeps going INTO THE STREET! I've spanker her, yelled at her, reasoned with her. Nothing seems to be working. Today while we were on a walk, I finally said, "Sophie, if you go in the road a car will squish you and make you dead!" Her response was, "I'm not an abocado." Huh? Maybe we've made too much guacamole lately. So, she didn't stay out of the road, but she did yell "Hey! I'm not an abocado!" to all the cars that went by.


Kelly said...

"I'm not an abocado" just became my new catch phrase for getting out of trouble. Thanks, Sophie! Because how can someone maintain composure after that? It's impossible. She is my hero.

Jen O. said...

Hey, CONGRATS on the award!!

I was once an editor for a literary magazine. I felt I lucked into the position and that I didn't really deserve it, and that I didn't do a great job of it, and why did they pick me? (It was a part-time, volunteer gig, but it was still a big deal, and I in no way felt qualified.) I lamented about this once to our editor-in-chief, who was also my professor at the time.

She put her had on my arm and stopped me. She said, "Don't ever fucking say that again. Don't blame your accomplishments on luck, or you'll never feel like you deserve anything."

I think about that moment often. I know you're not saying that you've won this award based on luck alone, but it's plain to see that your peers and supervisors think you're pretty fucking awesome, so be sure not to take their esteem as casual or undeserved.

Again, congrats! I'll bet your family's pretty damn proud.

Jen O. said...

She put her HAND. Not her HAD.

I are a smart letterer.

Sara said...


Katy said...

We are pretty damn proud and you're super fab. Quit being so damn humble and live in the praise. God knows you deserve it.

Katy said...

PS I like Blogopolis

patrice said...

I too think you deserve it, or they would certainly have found someone else to have the award. but at the end of the day, it's you that you have to impress.

sophie is such a cute kid. abocado? priceless. like one of those things you have to remember to bring up often when she's older.

I offer up blogness, because I just don't see the collective blog thing as a world or town or anything. I don't know.

Marksthespot said...

Just march right up there and get your award. I'm telling you you deserve it - for what you do and where you do it. And if your focus is a little less close this year than it was previously, I think that's understandable, and I'd imagine that over a long career teaching there will be up years and down.

How about "blogtastrophe?"

NME said...

I would bet money that you really do deserve that award. You sound like a fantastic teacher - identifying with the "bad" kids is extremely important. I'm sure they don't often get treated with empathy. They have to love you.
I had a boss who pointed out to me that women rarely take a compliment because they never feel completely deserving. But Jen is right - by not thinking you deserve it you are in a way dismissing everyone who thinks you do. I hope you had a wonderful time at the ceremony and they all convinced you that you are not only a good teacher - but just short of a deity.

And I hope to use "squished like an abocado" in my conversations from now on.

Glenn Magas said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Glenn Magas said...

Congrats on the award! Teachers are great. We (parents of 5th thru 8th grade) just gave my 14 year old daughter's Band and Choir teachers (they are married) a year end gift. A trip to Hawaii!

So... maybe you should demand something more than just an award for your work despite your C+ grade!!! :) j/k

Oh... and I totally am with ya on the kid running into the street thing. Before my first born was able to walk, I had this paranoia about it and spent anxious moments figuring out how I'd teach him the "YOU'LL DIE" concept if he stepped into the street.

One of my biggest fears is that my kids run into the street and get hit by a car.

So I started my son at a young age telling him to wait on the sidewalk if I ever had to step foot on the street: to take the garbage can out, to get a ball, to enter the car.

And if he ever ventured near, I'd react scared. I'd act out fear, rushing to him with desperation, my voice rattled, and I'd bring him back to 'safety'. It was an act, but it was motiviated by true fear.

He's five now, and he has only went out on the street once without me telling him to. And that was yesterday as he followed me to the car. He was safe, but I still played the part and told him not to do that again unless I held his hand. He said, 'okay'.


Kids are different.

My daughter is hard headed. She is a daredevil. Scared of NOTHING. So if I reacted in the same way with her, she just shurgs and waits for me to 'rescue' her. The only thing that helps is that my son now tells her not to go out on the street and she seems to listen to her five year old big brother.


"I'm not an abocado!" Love it!