Friday, December 22, 2006

Bing said it better, but...

I wanted to wish everyone in the Blogosphere a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Joyous Kwanza, Happy Hanukka, and a peaceful winter solstice!

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Ahh, Memories!

I've posted about my two sons here in the past. Now, I'm taking a trip down memory lane thanks to The Pig's Tales and her new little one.

My older son is 6 now, but I remember the first full day we had him at home very clearly. My wife and I had marveled at him all afternoon/evening the day before, handled him as if he were made of china, and fell in love with him more with every passing squirmy, scrunched-up face, bundled-up-like-a-burrito-in-his-swaddling minute. The next morning we put him on the changing table to change and dress him for the day. No sooner had we removed his diaper and lifted his bottom to clean him up, he let fly with a arc of liquid poop.

It didn't take us long to figure out you NEVER leave a baby completely uncovered, unless you're planning on changing the carpet and painting the walls soon.

Good times!

Honestly, I wouldn't change a minute of the time I've spent with him, or with his brother. The poop, pee, spitup, barf, snot, and sweat all wash off with soap and water (well, most of it anyway; sometimes you get a stain), but parenthood is forever. It's amazing what you are willing to deal with, if it comes out of someone you love more than your own life.

Ms. Cornelius, over at A Shrewdness of Apes, writes today about the difficulty she's had in reading books like The Lovely Bones since she's become a mom, and it's something with which I totally identify. I love CSI and shows of its ilk, but when the victim is a child, I have to switch to something else.

Anyway, I didn't want this post to become so morbid; it's intended to be a celebration, for Pigs, Ms. Cornelius, and all the other parenting/teaching bloggers out there. Enjoy your kids, and remember them when you deal with other peoples' in your schools.

Monday, September 11, 2006

There may have been a song or two about this...

Dealt with a student today who apparently really, really enjoyed his own company while in the classroom, if you know what I mean.

Fun stuff!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Africa hot

Tarzan couldn't take this kind of hot. Bonus points if you can name the movie/book).

OK, walking around on the blacktop, wearing a long-sleeve shirt and tie, when it's nearly 100 degrees.


Just so you know.

Saturday, September 02, 2006


Three weeks on the job, three days with kids on campus, and I'm having a great time!

I've been busy, learning my new responsibilities, getting to know the staff and the kids, spending a lot of time on supervision duty, but I've enjoyed every minute. Even dealing with those parents (you know the ones!) has been a new and exciting challenge for me.

And I think that is the key... new and exciting challenges. I was, as those who have been visiting my blog for a while now may know, at the end of my productive time in the classroom. I wanted to leave before I became toxic to everyone around me, and this position has provided an opportunity to refresh and remember the reasons I got into education in the first place. And, boy, have I had some new experiences! One big one: helping Down Syndrome students, one of whom has a leg cast due to surgery and is in a wheelchair, use the bathroom.

Not that everything has been fun and games, of course. Parents in the community of my new school are inclined towards micromanagement; in fact, the first call I took on this job was a parent wanting to know her child's schedule before they were distributed so she could be sure the child was "in the right teachers' classes." This was an everyday, run-of-the-mill 8th grader. I could easily understand this level of interference if this was a special needs student, but in this case, not so much.

But overall my experience so far has been very positive. I'm having a great time learning my new role and getting to know the kids and staff, and feel good about what I'm doing.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Two weeks

I've been at my new job for two weeks now, and my head is spinning. I only have a few minutes right now, but I'll blog about it soon!

Saturday, July 15, 2006

What have I done?

What, is it July already? How long have I been asleep? Since June 5? Wow, I must be Mr. C Van Winkle over here!

Seriously, though. My busy-ness continues unabated... a 10 page paper due on Tuesday, the wife going out of town for a conference most of next week, 2 young 'uns to take care of, and, oh, I forgot to mention: a brand new job! After 10 years in the same district, I'm moving on; I'll be the new assistant principal at a junoir high school in a district neighboring my old one. I'll also be teaching one period/day, so in addition to the new responsibilities, new district proceedures, new school personnel, new kids, I may have a new teaching curriculum to learn.

To refer to the title of this post again, What have I done?

I'm just a little nervous about all of this, but at the same time I'm excited about the possibilities. My new school is higher-performing than my last (an 843 API opposed to 703), which takes a lot of the pressure to acheive off, but adds new "keep it up, make it better" kinds of pressure. The chance to connect with kids on a new, different level is really exciting, but will I have time? How do I do it? Many things to think about...

And, throwing still another twist into the situation, I'm not the only member of the C family household to have a new job; my wife, who has been an assistant principal in the same district where I used to work (along with my sister and her husband... we owned that place!) is a newly-appointed principal, with all of its incumbent worries.

We're in for an exciting year!

The little woman departed this afternoon for her conference (with some tears: it's her first time away from the kids for more than 2 nights), and the kids promptly tore the living room apart and made a fort of the couch cushions. I'm on page 5 of my 10-page paper, with 2 more days to work on it.
Fun stuff, huh?

And no, it didn't hurt when my soul was ripped from my body as I signed my contract going over to the "other side!" :-)

Monday, June 05, 2006

What else could I do?

There are some things you just don't do.
You don't bet with your heart.
You don't get involved in a land war in Asia.
And you don't ignore a request to post from Ms. Cornelius!

I've been waaaaaaaaaaaaaay busy of late, and haven't taken the time to read, let alone write, the blogs that are important to me. That's a choice on my part, not offered as an excuse, but my own personal reality. I'm working towards my administrative credential, coordinated my district's GATE program, and spent 8 days on the East Coast with 68 eighth-graders (that is a separate post altogether!), not to mention my two kids and beautiful, understanding wife. Blogging has taken a far-distant place in my priorities list.

But, Ms. Cornelius, my dear blog-friend, here you are. Thanks for keeping my in your thoughts!
And as an added bonus, here are a few pictures from my trip to the east...

Sunday, April 02, 2006

A Post About Nothing

Um, Hi.
I'm feeling compelled to post, but don't really know what to post about. I could post about my kids, I suppose, or my wife, her job, my job, my admin credential program, even my dog (again).
I could post about current events, sports (though I'm not really a big sports fan), politics (can you say "Flame war?") or my favorite comic strip.
OK, I'll do a little of each! That'll work! First, obviously, is my favorite comic, Get Fuzzy. The charming cat is Bucky. Bucky is devious, mean, and bad tempered, like most cats. The guy in the tie is Rob. He's a rugby fan, is a vegetarian, and still overcoming a bad haircut. Not featured in this strip is Satchel, a less-than-intelligent dog who is often the target of Bucky's evil. Enjoy the comic!
Sports: I'm a Red Sox fan, mainly because of genetics (I was born in Massachusetts, moved to CA when I was 9), which can be frustrating. They're doing their usual hot/no-so-hot routine, so it's the typical Boston Rollercoaster.
The Jobs: My wife is applying for a principal's spot in our district, which I like to think she has a pretty good chance at getting. It's exciting for her, and I'm very proud! It's also kind of scary, because of the added responsibility and commitments beyond the school day.
I'm applying for an entry-level-type administrative job myself with our neighboring district. It's a high school spot, and I've been in junior high since I started, so that is also kind of exciting/scary. My resume looks good, I've got good letters of recommendation, but I don't know how often they go outside the district to fill this sort of vacancy. I just submitted my app yesterday, so we'll see.
The Kids: Awesome, as always. Both were sick last week (colds with fever) but are fine now.
The dog: no more bird incidents lately, at least that I know about, nor other small, dead creatures. She continues to delight us daily!

I'm hoping that I'll post more frequently over the next few days/weeks/months, but I can't make any promises. I haven't even read many blogs of late, so I have no clue what's going on out in the 'sphere. I'll do my best to catch up, but suffice it to say that I hope you all are doing well, and I continue to consider you my friends despite my apparent lack of interest. :-)

Sunday, March 05, 2006


Again, this is Daisy. She's not really too smart, but she's been a good dog... soft with our kids, hasn't peed on the carpet too much, generally OK to have around.

Unless you are a bird, that is.

Yesterday, we looked out into the back yard to see our little darling with something in her mouth. Something with wings.


I was promptly dispatched outside to relieve the dog of her conquest... no easy task, as she was quite proud of herself and unwilling to surrender the spoils of war without arguement. After some persuasion, I was able to convince her to give up the feathered prize, and she spent a few hours outside, hopefully getting the taste out of her mouth.
I don't know if Daisy did the bird in herself or found it in the yard, but the end result is the same... a formerly alive flying creature, without a head, in her mouth.

By the way; when a dog bites down on a dead/dying bird, it makes a very disturbing crunching noise. Just thought you'd want to know.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Tired... so tired.

I'm worn out. Burned. Fried. Just call me crispy.

Get the idea?

This year hasn't necessarily been any harder than others. I'm not teaching any more students or more preps. I don't think the kids this year are any more challenging than the average 7th or 8th grader (which is plenty challenging as it is!).
Maybe I'm just ready for a change. I've been teaching for 9 years.; that's waaaay longer than I've ever had any job before. I still love the kids, but there's just so much crap that goes along with the job.

I'm probably just frustrated. Spring break is coming up soon... that should help.

Friday, February 24, 2006


Polski3 Said: "Why are you district GATE coordinator? Do you get paid extra for this? I am looking for tips in helping my high achieving students (who are usually in GATE L.A. and maybe a our one "higher-level-than-the usual-basic-math-class" apply themselves more and learn more in my social studies classes."

I'm GATE coordinator as part of the fieldwork experience component of my master's degree/admin credential program. My wife actually held the position in our district last year, and "encouraged" me, in only the way wives can, to volunteer this year. I'm not getting paid any extra, although I suppose I could get the hourly rate for O.T., but I'm doing it for the experience. This year, anyway.
I see the same issue in some of my honors classes, with GATE kids who don't apply themselves. I don't know if it's because they're not being challenged, they don't want to be challenged, they're used to being successful with trying too hard, or if they don't think it's cool to be smart anymore. Unfortunately, despite my lofty title of GATE Coordinator, I'm no expert in GATE students or getting them to perform to their potential. The instructor of the class I'm taking now, though, suggested GATE contracts; students and parents agree to a certain level of performance necessary to remain in honors classes. GATE parents tend, I think, to be more involved than the average... Threaten them with being kicked out of the honors class, they may pressure the kids to do what they need to do to be successful.

Or, they may not. You may just get more parent phone calls and complaints to the principal. I don't promise success here.

Monday, February 20, 2006

More than 6...

My friend Ms. Cornelius has requested more than 6 words... this is more than six. :)

Anyway, it's been a long time. An excuse? Not really. I've wanted to blog, but haven't taken the step of actually opening up Blogger to write anything. I've even kept away from reading blogs, knowing that I probably wouldn't put out anything of my own. Silly, isn't it?

Regardless, here I am now. What have I been up to? I've resumed my classes for my admin credential, taken on the role of GATE program coordinator for my district, taught my classes as best I could, and did my job as husband and father. ('Course, that last job is the most important!)

So, what have y'all been up to? I've missed you, even though my absence was self-imposed.

Hey, did anyone read the LA Times series on high school dropouts? In yesterday's paper, they had a sampling of responses to the series, one of which said, in effect, that if a pediatrician had a 50% fatality rate amongst his patients, there would be a criminal investigation, so why isn't there one when schools fail to graduate 50% of their students? An interesting point, to be sure. But there is a significant difference: kids who go to the doctor want to get better, but they don't always want to be academically successful. It's easy to say, "Oh, the schools are failing our children!" It's a lot harder to say, "Oh, our children are failing in school because they don't friggin' care!"

Friday, February 17, 2006


Back tomorrow. Promise.


I mean it this time!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

I am a bad blogfriend

I am a bad blog-friend.

I confess this with no small amount of shame, as good blog-friendship is something to which I aspire, but, alas, I can’t claim such at this point. Allow me to elaborate:

It’s been several weeks since my last post of substance. In fact, it’s been a few weeks since my last post at all, and that was just to flaunt my upcoming Vegas trip (which, by the way, was a lot of fun but expensive).

Not only haven’t I been posting to my own blog, but I’ve be lax in reading those to which I subscribe. Thus, I am well out of the loop as to the goings-on in the Blogoshpere. Even the Carnival of Education has been unable to draw me out of my inactivity.

My good blog-friend over at A Shrewedness of Apes tagged me with a meme- my very first, even- and I have yet to respond, a grievous breach of blog-manners.

What is the cause of this? Some mysterious depression? Lack of internet access? Extreme writer’s block? I am afraid that I can’t say with any certainty. My own theory is that I just got lazy over winter break, and have yet to overcome my post-vacation inertia. I hope that this post is the catalyst for a renewal of my blogging efforts, or at least gets me back to reading the offerings of my friends in the ‘Sphere.

Until then, know that I’m thinking about you and wishing you all well.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

neh neh nee neh neh!

I'm going to Vegas! I'm going to Vegas!
Gambling, adult beverages, cigars, and male bonding.

Life is good!