The Author

My photo
I am a high school English teacher, and mother of two charming little ones of my own. I teach in a high poverty urban charter school, while I live in a typical American suburb that has frequently been rated one of the safest cities in the country. It is a paradox I struggle with constantly, but it is my life.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Summer Adventures

I had a wonderful time with Vinny (and Tiana, but she didn't do much, obviously) at the Natural History Museum yesterday, and it got Vinny that much more excited for this summer.
He is so excited to go to fun places- he practically has a calendar all mapped out. Okay, I'm exaggerating, but he does have a mental list he likes to rattle off any time he talks about upcoming summer.

I personally am excited to go to some places I haven't been before. I had not been to the Natural History Museum, and it was fun. I sort of wished I had time to explore it without a preschooler who didn't want to take the time to read anything at all, but it was a nice run-through (literally, RUN through), and it got me thinking about other cool things I have been "meaning" to do that I want to actually try to do this summer.

Here are some of them.... suggestions, please?

  • Zimmer Children's Museum
  • Noah's Ark at the Skirball
  • Kidspace Museum
  • Take the train to Olvera Street and China Town
  • La Brea Tarpits
  • Crystal Cove Beach 


So, I spent the weekend strategizing and eventually implementing a baby proof plan. It was complicated. I spent HOURS online looking for the perfect solution for the printer and cable internet stuff (needs to be in one specific spot because of where the hookups are), and then a lot of time today solving problems.

So, if you recall, we had this issue BEFORE:
Dangerous CD/DVD shelf, printer, cable internet, and tons of plugs
Now, we have this SOLUTION, which honestly looks nicer, fresher, and simpler. I love it....
Curved shelves for toys with hidden shelves in back corner for power strip and cords, toy box replaces CD/DVD case

We also had this problem BEFORE:
A taller, but narrow dvd case (not seen here), the cat litter, and the cable tv box, plus, the whole kitchen... which is right behind me in this picture 

Now, we have this SOLUTION:
Placed narrow dvd case on outside of a super long baby gate that blocks off hallways and kitchen, cat litter in a different room. Taped DVD cords to the t.v., gonna order this DVD blocker thing I saw on the internet to keep her from pushing buttons on cable box.

Overall, I love the new look of the living room. Although the baby gate is not my favorite, at least the colors are neutral enough to match the decor, and it isn't a giant plastic thing.

Most of all, I love the freedom of being able to leave the room without worrying that she is going to kill herself.


 This year's Prom very special event to me, as the class of 2011 was my first group of students as a full-time teacher. I do not think that they know this, but I will probably tell my drama seniors during finals. I am going to miss them especially. These were kids who had fun in my drama unit their sophomore year when we did "Tibet through the Red Box" and they signed on to be my guinea pigs in starting a theater program. They have been great sports, even through the growing pains, and they are amazing people. They looked AMAZING. These kids really know how to dress. Last year at prom, some of the girls dresses genuinely made me uncomfortable, but these kids looked stellar.
From left to right- Clara (drama this year), Dominic (has been a curtain helper till this year when he actually made his acting debut, Adriana (a very talented sophomore, woo hoo),  John (my most dedicated student and a great actor- lead  parts in all the shows), and your truly :-)

It was so fun seeing them enjoy their final "day in the sun," and my drama kids were quite the stars. Three of the six people on the court were my drama kids (half, not a bad ratio), including the king and queen.  :-)

These kids just mean the world to me....
Brenda and Steven - She was published in Chicken Soup her sophomore year and has been my awesome right hand woman this year in drama. Steven is tech god. He taught himself and many other students to use the tech equipment. I am terrified of him leaving this year.

Omar and his girlfriend Claudia. Both have been performers in my shows and both are very talented. Omar and I have quite a history. He has made me crazy in the past, but he is gonna be alright.    :-)

My costume hero, Britney, and her boyfriend Bryan. 

Clara, Estefani, and Zulema. These girls have grown up so much. Estefani is the valedictorian, and the most amazing writer I have ever had the pleasure to know. I am certain I will see her name in print in the future.

#40 See Cirque du Soliel "Love"

I wish I could back date this post to April, but blogger doesn't work that way. I realized that I crossed an item off my buried list and forgot to blog about it, so I am doing it now, even if it is 6 weeks later!

In April this year, Marc and I went to Vegas and saw Love. It was AMAZING. You know when you really build something up in your head as being really cool... and then you kind of fear it isn't going to be as cool as you expected?  I was afraid that might happen with this. Fortunately, I was SO wrong.

So, we planned a one night stay, but decided to make it the true buried list experience and actually stay at the hotel where the show is, The Mirage.

We got there around noon and ate lunch at their amazing buffet. If you know me well, you know that this is truly a compliment coming from me, because I do not like buffets. I feel like they usually get away with serving cafeteria quality food at gourmet prices, yet they get away with it, just because of the "all you can eat" aspect and the variety presented, but to me, cafeteria food is cafeteria food, and I don't eat that much, so the cost is usually far more than I feel is worth what I eat. However, the one at the Mirage was actually quite good. It is divided into little restaurants with different types of cuisine. While half of it was fish (I don't like fish), the other half was very, very tasty and all very fresh (that's my other problem with buffets- why do we pay twice as much to eat food that has been sitting out?), plus it was only $18 for lunch, which was actually worth it. Great desserts too.

Anyway... then we stopped by the box office to pick up our tickets to the show and dinner vouchers before heading out to the pool for the afternoon.
Amazing pool.... wonderfully warm day. This is the stuff I dream about....

Finally, we got all gussied up and went to dinner. We paid for a show package that included dinner at one of the nicer restaurants at The Mirage, Kokomo. It was very good. Honestly, had we paid the prices on the menu, it would not have been worth it, but for the price we paid in the package, it was. My delicious chicken meal.... (yes, I am that person, I take pictures of food when it is presented well)

Then.... the show. I obviously could not take pictures of that part, but it would not have done it justice anyhow. The show was like nothing else I have ever experienced in my entire theater-going history. It was all the best of The Beatles music, mixed in with little sound bits of them in the studio, which was the backdrop for this showcase of amazing dance, acrobatics, and acting, with phenomenal special effects that genuinely made me feel like I was high as a kite. I don't know how they did it, but... it was the closest I have ever felt to being on drugs while sober (yes, sober, I only had one glass of wine at dinner, so I am not exaggerating a drunken experience, I promise). If you have not seen this show yet, you must, at least if you are a Beatles fan. It is completely worth the high price tag.

I hope the rest of my buried list experiences are this exciting.....

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Baby Proofing

Tiana is crawling, pulling up on furniture, starting to cruise along it, and probably just weeks (at most) from walking. She is into EVERYTHING.  This has felt very stressful, and with our living room, I felt like she had no place to be, so I got put the coffee table in storage like we did when Vinny was a baby. However, when Vinny was a baby, we had a small condo, and there was not as much to block off.  When we moved into this house, Vinny was already big enough that we were not thinking at all about baby proofing.

I keep looking at it and trying to come up with solutions. The removal of the coffee table has given her lots of space to crawl around without me worrying about her hitting her head, but she is still finding a million things to be into, and I don't really know what the solution is. 

We have this situation here:

On the left is the entertainment center, which has cords and plugs that she keeps trying to pull on and she also tries to press all the buttons. On the right is an end table that hides the kitty litter. Because it is the one place I want her the least, it is the place she is attracted to the most. 

Then there is this corner: 

Behind that papasan is the bookshelf with CDs and DVDs and a small shelf with our printer on it. It is also where we have a surge protector with all the electronics plugged in (the printer, camera chargers, phone charger, etc.)

I want to just have this one baby proofed room, but I just don't know how to get it there. There are not good places to put gates. I have toyed with the idea of one of those super play yards, but everyone I know has said that they don't want to be in them once they start walking, and she could be just days away from walking, so I don't want to do that. I need to have this room just altogether baby safe. 

Ugh... suggestions?  Ideas?

Monday, May 23, 2011


I feel an amazing sense of relief right now. I am done with BTSA. All I need to do is photocopy the whole packet and turn it in. Woo hoo!

On the other hand, I kind of have a stressful week ahead. I have a massive pile of papers to grade (since I have put off grading this week to finish BTSA). I get out of school at 1:20 and then I need to run my portfolio down the street to our other campus to turn it in and somehow make it back to my campus to attend a meeting at 1:30. The meeting is supposed to be about "changes to our health care," which I am very curious and a little nervous about, because last year, it was far from good news.

After that, I may need to take some students to a show taping fundraiser. I had not wanted to book any more of these this year (I am already booked for two that I don't really want to go to), but one of my students got a group together and said she had a driver. The person who was going to drive now can't, but it is too late to cancel the reservation. If we cancel now, we owe them money or a free show, so I will end up having to go to one anyway. I am going to see what I can do to get out of it, but I will probably have to go.  :-(

At least it is a 4 day week for us followed by a 4 day weekend. Thursday night is our prom, and then Friday we have the day off. Woo hoo! If it is nice, I think I am going to go to the beach.

In other news... I looked at Tiana's beautiful smile today and finally saw the tip of a pearly white sticking out of her gums. Vinny got his first tooth even later than this, but I am glad she is finally getting some. I feel like in the last two days she has just taken off. As of Saturday, she had no teeth, could crawl and use furniture to pull up to her knees, and would attempt to eat little bits of finger food, but couldn't really keep them in her fingers or get them to her mouth. As of today, she has a tooth, is pulling on furniture to stand and bouncing on her feet quite a bit, and mastered the whole finger food thing. She sat popping banana puffs in her mouth for about half an hour today, enjoying the whole thing very much. My baby girl is growing up. I could be sad... but I'm not. I'm excited. I think it is all very exciting.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Highs and Lows of Parenting a Preschooler

Vinny made me absolutely crazy today. He certainly challenged me as a parent completely.

He started out the day whining and pretty much didn't stop.

I had a busy day planned... gymnastics, then a trip to Ventura with my best friend. I figure that we'd be able to have a good time with the kids going to the beach at the pier where Vinny could play on the playground and then do some shopping on Main St. It really did seem like a great plan.

But 4 year olds are notorious for derailing great plans.

He started the day whining and barking orders.  I normally don't accept this behavior, but... he is not a morning person, and if you know me at all, you know where he gets it, so I give him a break.  However, this was a particularly nasty morning, and he did end up in a time out before we made it out the door to gymnastics (slightly late).

After gymnastics, he whined that he didn't want to go on the long drive without a toy. I unearthed some unopened happy meal toys (I prepared for moments like these), so then he started an argument with me over letting my best friend sit next to him in the car.  Um... no.

The way there consisted of about 20 renditions of "Are we there yet?" and a multitude of other complaints. I was ready to snap by the time we even arrived.

The hour he spent on the playground was a nice break from the whining, but it was an exception to the day's norm. He made it halfway through our walk on the pier before he decided to throw a "carry me" fit, although I had offered to bring the double stroller and he had declined. I cannot carry him any more. He is too heavy. He eventually gave up on that, but raised hell the entire time we tried to shop, even when I offered to buy him ice cream. Can you believe it? He kept acting like I needed to drag him through the stores, whining that he wanted something for him, and yanking hard on my purse.

After I bought a cupcake that I told him he could have later if he was a good boy, he did a complete 180. Within 15 minutes, he said, "I am being good. Can I have my cupcake?" We stopped about 10 minutes later for smoothies, and I let him eat his cupcake. Then my monster returned...  the little devil. He was only being good for the cupcake! It got worse from there.  I did absolutely everything I could to control the behavior throughout the day, but it just wasn't working.

When we got home, I had a talk with him and let him know that he had behaved completely inappropriately and would be punished. I reminded him how he had behaved inappropriately, and said he would need to go to bed right after dinner. This was a particularly devastating blow since Marc was busy and it was going to be a "Vinny Mommy Night," which he knows usually means dinner on the couch with a movie and a late bed time. He tried to bargain for dessert, a bed time story, a movie, but I wouldn't have it. I got so frustrated I finally heaved, "Vinny, do you really think that is how Jesus would have wanted you to treat me?" He frowned and shook his head.

I had him help me with putting away laundry until pizza arrived, and then we had dinner. Believe it or not, he actually cheered up and really helped.

Dinner is where the "high" part of my day came in. He usually prays at the dinner table. Ever since he started at a Christian preschool last summer,  he says a prayer they taught him at school. He started, "God we thank you for this...." and he stopped, "Mommy, I'm getting tired of this prayer!" It was kind of amusing. I laughed and told him he could talk to God however he wants to and just say what he is thinking, so he says, "God, I am so excited to eat this yummy, yummy, yummy pizza! Thank you. Amen."  That's my kind of prayer. :-)     (It gets better....)

We start to eat and he says, "I can just say what I am thinking to God?"  "Yup," I answer, "He is always listening; you can say it however you want." Then he says, "I want to talk to God about you." Really....  I ask, "Later, before bed?" and he says, "No, now," and then prays, "God, I am so sorry for being mean to Mommy today." Oh boy, melt my heart. We had some great dinner conversation where he informed me that "God is everywhere because he is on our hearts, and that God loves us SO much," among other things, and then asked if I would read him a story the next day if he was a really good boy all day, because he planned on being good all day. It was cute and he had behaved well for almost two straight hours at this point, so I actually gave in and told him he could have 1 cookie or a bedtime story tonight, but he did need to go right to bed after either. He choose the story.   :-)  That's my boy!

He gave me extra hugs and kisses before bed, and told me he loves me, even though I was tucking him in at around 7:30 at night, even before his baby sister.  I think I truly believe he is sorry.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

God's Way of Slowing Me Down?

When it rains it pours, right?

Yesterday was an okay day... but a crappy evening and night. Vinny got sick at school around 5. Marc picked him up and was coming home with him, pulling out of the parking lot, waiting to turn right, when a guy on a bicycle, not wearing a helmet, going the wrong direction in the bike lane, hit Marc. Yes... I know, how odd, right? Totally weird. It was totally the biker's fault, but the law never places blame on the pedestrian, so that sucks. The guy was okay, but we are probably going to have to pay to fix his bike and we are definitely going to have to pay to fix Marc's car. The whole incident of course freaked Vinny out too, which sucked since he already was not feeling well.

Since Vinny had a fever when he left school yesterday and was throwing up, he is staying home today, even though he woke up this morning and declared, "I'm all better!" Since I didn't know if he would be throwing up or not, and I didn't want to leave a babysitter stuck cleaning up throw up (that really is a job only a mother should have to do), I decided I would need to just write up a sub plan and stay home. As much as I feel bad that he was sick, it is probably a blessing in disguise. I have been staying up past 1a.m. every night trying to get BTSA done, and at least today I kind of got to sleep in. Plus, when Vinny woke up, he was certainly better too, which was another pleasant surprise.  He is talking my ear off today. I feel bad for him because he just feels like he is better and doesn't see the need to take it easy today. He asked if we could go to the park. I said no and pointed out it was raining outside and he asked, "Can I go outside and jump in rain puddles in my raincoat and boots?" Oh boy...  that's exactly what I need... a sick kid soaking wet. Oh well, maybe I will give in and let him for just a little bit.

Do you ever stop and find yourself just thanking God that you DON'T feel sick?  I've been doing that a lot lately... even before Vinny got sick. Perhaps I am jinxing myself in saying this, but I haven't had a sinus infection in over 2 months, which is a long time for me, and my mouth no longer hurts from the infected salivary gland (it took a long time to really pass and feel better but finally has), and I am just really grateful for good health right now. Let's hope I don't catch whatever V has.

Does anyone but me hate that show "Special Agent Oso?" If I have to watch one more episode of this stupid show... I think I might scream. What an annoying show. Who comes up with this stuff?

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Life as we know it in my family...

.... is changing.  We are completely revamping the way we eat.

Marc has some health problems. To those of you who have been praying, thank you. We are starting to get some answers. Without going in to great detail... while we don't 100% for sure no exactly what is causing the issues yet, we do know it has something to do with his liver, and that it is of great urgency that he completely change his diet to eat less than 1500 calories a day and lose at least 10% of his body weight asap.

It has been a bit hard. Marc goes up and down. Sometimes he is in great spirits and feeling inspired to keep up with the calorie tracking and exercise to "earn back" any calories he went over each day. Other times I can tell he gets bummed when he realizes how much one little slip up sets him back. I think because this isn't just a regular, "I want to lose some weight" diet, but a "I need to lose weight to stay alive" diet, that might be permanent, it is a little harder for him to come to terms with. I can see that. I feel bad for him.  I think it will be good for me too, as long as I can stop splurging when he is not around.

Today I worked my butt off trying to catch up on household chores. I literally spent 4 hours just doing laundry. And it is not even all done. I stopped the massive laundry marathon at 4:30 so I could get ready to go out. It was a Mom's Night Out with my playgroup. Sounds funny to call it a "playgroup" considering that my kids haven't really had much a chance to play with most of their kids yet, but they will... and I will...  They are some really awesome girls who I want to get to know better.

Missed some of the girls tonight though. Heather, Priscilla, wasn't the same without you. :-)

Friday, May 13, 2011

Teacher Appreciation Day (its a long one, but very thoughtful)

Today was teacher appreciation day at our school. It is a large school with a lot of employees, so it is never a huge event, but they always try to make us feel appreciated. My administrators stopped by to give a speech about how awesome I am and give me a gift, a pen. Kind of funny, but cute.

I have to say, I am lucky to have a boss that I think does genuinely appreciate me. It has been a rough month, and a particularly rough week. It has been CST testing, and then we have had classes after it each day. The other 10th grade English teacher and I were talking about it today and realized we were some of the only teachers who decided to teach real lessons this week. I just couldn't afford to take a full week off of my curriculum. With the addition of other personal issues I have been dealing with, I have been a little overwhelmed.

I have been trying to put as much of my energy as possible into finishing my BTSA portfolio. BTSA, for those who do not know, is a state program through which California teachers can get their permanent credential. I currently only have a temporary credential. New teachers get 5 years to "CLEAR" their credential and have a permanent one. You can get your permanent one through a university or the state BTSA program. I chose BTSA because the price was right (free).  It is basically putting together a portfolio of specific documents they ask for that help prove you know what you are doing in a typical, diverse California classroom. The paperwork is not difficult, but the process is tedious and I am honestly only about halfway through it. It is due in a little over a week.... and grades for the 15 week report card are due Tuesday. Joy....

But, as I mentioned before, it is nice being surrounded with wonderful, supportive people, and students that I genuinely love. Although not every single person I have to deal with is an angel, my boss made the point to stop by yesterday just to see how I was doing, my co-workers listen to me and are amazing people that put as much effort into doing things like putting books into our students hands, and my students are pretty awesome kids, especially this year.

In my honors class today, I only had 15 kids (the others were gone on a field trip), so we just played Catch Phrase. Since it was an odd number and Catch Phrase only real works with even numbers, they insisted I play. It was a nice reminder of how much I genuinely like these kids.  They complained that "Mrs. Mohr keeps getting the easy ones," ('cause I did- I got "heart" and "open" and stuff like that) and somehow got each other to guess things like "traffic jam" in split seconds. Then there is the one funny Asian kid who is like the most relaxed person I've ever met... totally reminds me of Marc. He never seems in a rush, even when playing a timed game. He just kind of stares at it and thinks and then starts his clues, "It's like.... uh...." as the timer rings and he just smiles bashfully while the other team celebrates.

Then there is the sweet young man I chose as my "case study student" for BTSA. He is a struggling student who really struggles with reading, but has taken my BTSA project of learning vocabulary and improving reading very seriously (he didn't know it was my BTSA project at the time). I asked him to come in today and take a couple of extra tests, just to help with my paperwork, and he was excited for it. He is so inspirational. Despite struggling all semester (I don't think he has received a single report card grade above a D this year in my class), he keeps trying. His ring of vocabulary words is full of words he actually wanted to learn, and they are some excellent choices. I believe he actually knows the words "ardent" and "frantic" now. It felt really good to photocopy them today and then to see his vocabulary quiz scores on Accelerated Reader. His lowest score was a 93%.  :-)   Haha, I made a good choice.  He is gonna make me look good.

Another great moment today was when another struggling student proudly showed me her 100% vocabulary quiz score from the book "Night." I said, "Wow, great job! I'm so proud of you." She bashfully smiled and answered, "See, my mom laughed at me for reading Night with a dictionary in my lap, but it was worth it."  I'm not gonna lie... this was a proud moment.

Since we got off early today for teacher appreciation, I took Vinny book shopping with me after I picked him up. I initially wandered into the used bookstore to look for more Chicken Soup for the Soul books (I am always building my collecting for use with my Chicken Soup unit in the Fall each year).  Vinny loves books too, so I told him he could pick out one also (he somehow walked out with 5 books and a CD... I'm a sucker, but talked the bookstore into a 10% teacher discount). While there, however, I also picked up a small book called, "A Cup of Comfort for Teachers." My own teacher appreciation present. :-)

I read some of it tonight. It is full of stories of teachers who were shocked to find that the school didn't provide chalk or construction paper or markers or paint or any of that stuff... or that they went the whole year two chairs short.... yet still made progress. It is amazing what resilient, creative people we teachers can be.

My school didn't need to do anything super special for us today. I know I am appreciated. I know because I don't have to beg for construction paper. I know because my boss texts me to tell me so when he knows I have had a rough day. I know because he and the security guard show up within practically seconds when I call to say I have an issue. I know because I got the beautiful brand new glass menagerie this year, and all I had to do was ask. I know because the students thank me when they show me a 100% quiz.  :-)  

I  <3 my job.  Even if it does make me crazy sometimes... I still love it.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

I know... it has been a while

The people who know me well in life know that something is wrong when I haven't blogged in a while. I don't want you all to worry (i.e. Tina, Barb), so I am blogging.

I am having a difficult time right now. Drowning in paper. I get on top of it, and then it buries me again. It is like swimming in the ocean and you just keep trying to get your head above the waves, and every time you do, another wave knocks you down again.

And then there's BTSA....

I am spending hours and hours and hours and hours on it, and I feel like I make so little progress each night. I wish I had the ability to just put some stuff down on paper and call it done, but I can't. Believe it or not, I keep trying, and I just can't. It is not in my nature to half ass anything... even when I want to. It is one of my worst faults. But it is draining my will to live. This paperwork just takes so long, and it seems like I keep turning the page to find more. I feel like I am stuck somewhere in Dante's Inferno, pushing a boulder uphill.

Spirits are just not high at school right now. I am trying to look forward to next year and the positive things ahead, but at the same time, I will really miss this group of kids. I love the class of 2013. They are amazing young people. One of my honors students was recently selected to be part of a summer program where he (along with another girl from our school) will get to spend the summer working with a bunch of students from the Middle East and all over the world. There are only like 10 students from the U.S. who get to be part of this program, so this is really exciting. And best of all... he truly deserves it.

How can I be so ready to be done for the year... and so sad to lose this group of kids, all at the same time?

Marc is also having some health issues right now. The doctor is doing a bunch of tests to figure out exactly what is wrong, and while he seems to be doing what he should be, it is a long process and we don't have all the answers yet. I feel really bad for him, and I'm a little worried about it too. It hurts seeing someone you love in pain... and I kind of get the feeling he has been downplaying it for a while, which makes me sad too. I need to not worry about it and trust that God has it under control, but that takes a lot of strength in spirit, as odd as it sounds.

If you are a praying person and you feel the urge, a minute or two in prayer for my family would be greatly appreciated.

Monday, May 2, 2011

May is Not Good

I do not like Spring.


Spring is not a good season.

According to my boss, I am not alone in this. He commented that Spring can actually be the most depressing time of the year.

I dislike Spring for many reasons. It is always just beyond chaotic. For some reason, it seems that people always choose not to plan anything in the Winter (other than Christmas), and then plan events and parties and stuff during the Spring. Since Marc's job is way event-based, it means he works far more weekends during Spring than any other time of the year. Even overall, it just makes for this super chaotic time where everyone is pulled in 10 million directions. Plus, people are just in weird moods.

Anyway.... it is May, and I want to crawl into bed and not wake up until June. Even Vinny agrees. He keeps asking me when it is going to be summer. I tried to tell him it is over a month away, and he just said, "Is that a long time?" When I said no, he didn't believe me. I don't know if I believe me.

Today was way emotional. My drama students have been preparing one acts, which were student-directed- three of them, to be precise. They were each to act in one and serve as crew in the others, but pretty much none of them took the crew jobs seriously, and many of them just didn't take the whole thing seriously at all, blowing off a lot of rehearsals. Needless to say, it didn't come together last week. Two of them were relatively easy, but one of them was satire, which is difficult in and of itself, and way prop-based humor, and the tech and everything just never came together. It was far from funny, and leaning towards offensive. In the interest of keeping my job, I decided to cancel the satire.

It did not go over well with the students. They just felt it was very unfair and wanted desperately for there to be "justice." They wanted for the people who had not come through for crew and made their play fall apart to have to pay for it somehow. On the same token, those who had put forth a ton of work only to not be able to perform didn't want to have to stay for late rehearsals all week just to be crew for a bunch of actors who had been unwilling to be crew for them. It made me sad, but they have a right to feel like they feel.

I fell apart in my boss' office and cried today. We talked to the students. Then I talked to my drama class and asked them to make some decisions. After a lot of emotion, they decided to scrap the whole show, and to try to get it together for some performances during the benchmark exams, as their benchmark exam, to present to other classes. I am so sad for them. Even though so much of the responsibility for this is on their shoulders, I feel like I failed them for not planning it better. Had I not attempted to get SO much out of them, I would have gotten something, and I would have gotten something quality.

Lesson learned. In so many ways, lesson learned.

The class learned the importance of crew. I have been trying to teach them this for years. Those who have always acted and never done crew did not at all appreciate how important it is to have dedicated crew people. They would yell at them, get frustrated at them really easily, expect that they would just do everything, blame missing props on them, etc. They all really admitted today that if they have learned anything from this, they have learned to appreciate crew.

I learned that expecting too much from my students is setting them up for failure. I also realized I really can't do this alone. I have so little support as the drama teacher. When I did musical theater a year ago, I had the music teacher's support. I didn't have that this time, and doing three shows actually turned out to be next to impossible. No, scratch that- it was impossible. It just didn't come together.

I feel guilty for the hurt feelings. I feel guilty that I feel slightly relieved. There is still so much on my plate right now, I can't even really feel relaxed. Now, I just have to focus on getting through the next month.

I can do this... I can do this... I can do this...

If I tell myself enough, will I believe it?

This Week...

... is going to be Hell.

I am doubting that I have it in me, really.

Normally when I have a week like this ahead of me, I have this feeling like I am full of adrenaline and just ready to conquer the world. It is like, "Let's do this thing!"

I don't have that feeling right now.

Right now, I feel like I just want to curl up in a little ball and stay in bed all week. I am having the type of week where I wish I was a stay at home mom. It is a stage that will definitely pass... but it is a stage I am in.

I feel like I just don't have the energy to do everything that is required of me right now. My to-do list is like 5 miles long. It is more than I can manage. I am too stressed out to even go through the process of writing it all down. It makes me want to cry. I am normally very good at managing everything, but right now... not so much.

Even the repipe of my house and remodel of my bathroom that I was initially excited about is turning out the be a nightmare. The repiping went okay- all the pipes are in and it is beautiful. The water pressure is great and we are suddenly getting hotter water than we ever did before. However, it took me several tries and almost an hour of studying the manual to figure out how to work my new dishwasher (I am starting to feel like an old lady, like I don't know how to work these new-fangeled contraptions), and it took us a week and help from my father to get the transport bolts out of the new washing machine. In the meantime, dirty dishes and dirty clothes piled to the sky, which never feels good. My garage is a DISASTER because we had to move everything in order for the plumber to get to the pipes. And worst of all... my bathroom is far from done.

We decided to have the plumber just rip out the old bathtub and tile since he would have to do a bunch of damage to the old one to get to the pipes, and it seemed to us better to put in a new bathtub and tile than repair what has probably been here since the house was built in 1963. However, we then bought a new bathtub, but it ended up being a cheap piece of junk when we got it out of the box, so the plumber suggested we go back and get a better one. Marc went back to get a better one (not an easy task when you don't own a truck), but the one he ended up getting is, well, kind of miniature. When I took a bath in it, I felt like a giant. Rather than go unsatisfied for, well, ever... I didn't think it was worth it to keep it, so we are going to go ahead and pay the extra money to have a better one installed. When I search for a better one though, they are all quite a lot of money, way more than I was expecting, which sucks, but if we are going to do this, we just need to do it right. So, my bathroom sits undone. We do not want to contract a mason to repair the dry wall and do the tile until we actually have the new bathtub in, and we cannot find one we like in the stores (I am not being that picky, there just really isn't a very good selection), so we are going to order it online and wait for it to get here.

Now I understand why remodeling one's house becomes such a cause of stress, regardless of money. Ugh...

Something exciting needs to happen to get me going.

And then, there is the "excitement" over Osama's death. While some of my Christian friends have suggested that it may be anti-Christian to celebrate the death of anyone, I would possibly disagree. The Bible is not completely anti-violence. Like the Proverbs say, there is a time to kill.... if ever, this may have been it.

But it causes me great sadness that people are making it political, at best, and hateful, at worst. Some people are actually posting comments hating on Obama for "taking the credit."  He is the President of the United States. It is his responsibility to be commander in chief. Who did you expect to announce the news to the American people?  It is what it is. Just a fact that he is announcing.

And then even sadder... the fact that one of my Muslim co-workers feels anxious about the attitudes she will receive at school today. The vast majority of students normally treat her with great respect, and she is one of the coolest, most beloved teachers at school. But she might be right. For some strange reason, this may ignite that same ignorant, hateful attitude towards Muslims that people had after 9/11. I really don't get why.

I couldn't believe it when the news was interviewing someone, just some random idiot in front of the White House- not anyone of any position or anything, but still, and he was making comments about not caring what Muslim tradition is about burying a body quickly, he thinks we all should have been able to see the body, like they should have paraded it through the streets of America. Oh my gosh. Really? The journalist asked him, "Do you not believe he is dead?" He answered that he did believe he was dead, he just felt like we have a right to see the body. A right?  Are you kidding me? What's the point here? Are we really such animals? Do people really expect the U.S. troops to act like a cat who has caught a mouse, dragging the corpse into the house to proudly show his owner?  Please... we are not animals.

I hope this quickly fades into just another fact.

And I hope something of some excitement can happen in my life soon. I need to cheer up. Well, at least the calendar for next school year should be approved soon and I can start planning our trip to Hawaii for Fall break. Vacations always give me something to look forward to.