Friday, September 25, 2009

My head is stuck on replay...

This morning I was driving in to work, listening to my favorite morning show, The Morning Mashup. Just as I turned into the parking lot at school, they finished making fun of Nicole for not knowing what organization is based in Langley, Virginia (It's the CIA, in case you didn't know) and the next thing out of the speakers was "Somebody call 911...Shawty fire burning on the dance floor. Oh whoa." At that moment I turned off my car as I was in the parking space, and running late at that. Unfortunately, the song continued in my head. All the way in the building. All the way through a co-worker's birthday breakfast. Then I got to my TA (our version of home room). I was trying to think about what I needed to share with them and all I could think was "Somebody call 911...Shawty fire burning on the dance floor. Oh whoa." Then I realized that sixteen 10 and 11 year olds were staring at me with bewildered looks on their faces. Did I just sing that out loud? Yes! Oh, great. So, I proceeded to tell them why I just burst out in song and they understood immediately. They even sang a few verses of it for me. I think they felt bad I didn't hear the whole song in the car and were making up for it! Anyway, I proceeded to get it stuck in their heads (hehe) and I went on with my day.

At first, every few minutes it was the same: I was taking attendance (She's fire burning, fire burning on the dance floor...), passing out papers (that little shawty's fire burning on the dance floor...) and so on. Eventually, I was welcoming all the little questions and problems that arise in the day of a teacher because it was driving that particular "little shawty" out of my mind! Finally, the end of the day arrived and as the last bus was called to leave, a girl in my TA said "That song has been in my head all day! Did you ever get it out of your head?" I actually had done such a good job, that it took me a minute to even process what she was talking about! Why yes, honey, it is gone! She was happy for me and went on her way.

I gathered up my things and headed for the door. It's usually a race for teachers to get out of the building the fastest on Fridays, and today was no different. I went to my car and began my journey home. Ready to not think for 15 minutes while I drove, just relaxing as the work week ended, I turned up the radio. "Somebody call 911...Shawty fire burning on the dance floor...Oh whoa!" Gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh! So what could I do? I turned it up even louder and sang my heart out.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


I'm going to need to go to Florida. You may think I just have a desire to sit on a sandy beach with a cocktail in hand and get in some well deserved relaxation. You might be right...except that several years ago my husband and I decided that if we never visited Florida again, it would be ok with us. We're not really beach people, which is why we spent our honeymoon in Boston taking tours of historic revolutionary sites instead of soaking up the rays on some secluded piece of beachfront property somewhere. We visited my cousin in Ft. Lauderdale one spring break, did the beach thing, drove to Orlando and did the Islands of Adventure thing, even took a little sail boat around Miami harbor and did the boating thing. We thought that was plenty. He still thinks it was plenty. Until today, I agreed....

I am a Harry Potter fan. I know, I know, "it's kid's stuff". I've heard it all before. I actually used to be one of *those* people that made fun of the Harry Potter freaks. Until I saw the first two movies, I had no desire to be anywhere near anything with Harry Potter stamped across it. Then I saw the movies and decided they were really pretty good. For a kid's movie. Unfortunately, my love for books got the better of me. I couldn't leave well enough alone and just be content with the movies. I just HAD to read the books. So I immediately went to the library (I was on Christmas break from my junior year of college) and checked out the first 4 books. I read them in 3 days. I was HOOKED! I took the 4 books back and the 5th book was checked out. When I got back to college, I went to the college library. Not only was it checked out, but there was a waiting list! Seriously? Did I not just say this was the college library? And there was a waiting list?? For a KID'S book?!? I couldn't believe it. So I went to Walmart and bought it, because I could handle the suspense no longer. Then I was forced to wait for the release of 6 and 7, which was just about the most painful thing I've ever had to do (and I was in labor for 22 hours, so believe me, I know pain!). The wait was worth it because the books were absolutely amazing and everything I had hoped they would be. (I won't get into the movies right now because I'd like to go to bed sometime tonight...)

Anyway, so I pretty much love Harry Potter. In fact, one of my favorite websites is Mugglenet, which I visit regularly. *nerd alert* I have been following the development of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park and, up until now, didn't really think much about it. Until today, when they announced the rides in the HP portion of the park. They are going to have a ride called Dragon Challenge in which you decide to ride either a Chinese Fireball or a Hungarian Horntail (See Goblet of Fire for further information!). This is all great...except I've ridden this ride! Remember that trip to Florida? Went to Islands of Adventure...yeah great time. This ride is currently the Dueling Dragons ride. It's very fun. The only problem is I rode it when it was Dueling Dragons. At the time, if I had imagined I was riding a Chinese Fireball or a Hungarian Horntail, the entire ride would have been different. So, now I have to go Florida. I'm sure that my dear hubby will not only go to Florida again, but he won't laugh at all when I tell him why.

Monday, September 7, 2009


It began as I was walking through Walmart in search of the many items we were desparately needing. I looked left, then I looked right, and then I saw them. Stirrup pants. Black stirrup pants hanging on a rack. That was when I pinched myself and found that I wasn't having a nightmare, but that for some reason God has decided the world needs a 2nd round at this awful fashion. Now, granted, it is Walmart, so for all I know, that pair of stirrup pants has been hanging there since 1989. No wait, I know that can't be. How do I know? Because at the top of the rack was a giant picture of non other than Miley Cyrus, "designer" of said fashion offense. Seeing as how she wasn't born until 1992 (don't get worked up...I'm not a fan. I had to wikipedia it!) she must of been flipping through some old photos (probably trying to catch another glimpse of dear daddy and his world famous mullet) and thought to herself "Hannah (I imagine she calls herself Hannah...she's multiple personalities, you know!) you missed out on something great. These here pants hook right on to the bottom of your feet, so they can never have that embarassing stuck in the top of your shoe moment. Plus, they are super tight fitting, so even though I can't do anymore half naked photo shoots, people can still use their imagination to oogle me! Score!" Then she promptly called Walmart up, gave them her great idea, they accepted, because they know anything with either of her personalities endorsing them sells faster than a fried Snickers at the state fair, and now I will probably spend the next 4 years groaning out loud anytime I see a 10 year old at school wearing them. I guess next she'll be telling everyone to wear a pair of white Keds, an oversize T-shirt with the plastic side holder, and a banana clip in their hair. I tell you what though...I'm drawing the line at poofy bangs!

Friday, September 4, 2009

PSA #1

I am a teacher and from time to time I feel the need to rant about things that irritate me to death about children, parents, education, I'm going to call these Public Service Announcements from your friendly special education teacher. Enjoy!

If you have a school aged child who is "too sick" to come to school, then don't have them at the local grocery store after school hours. If they were "too sick" to come to school, then please don't be spreading their disease and sickness to everyone else, seeing as how I'm subjected to that quite enough, thank you. On the flip side, if they are well enough to be grocery shopping, then send them to school. Without the education you are so flippantly denying them, you are undeniably cursing them to complete the devastating and destructive cycle which your life has undoubtedly followed, as well, I am sure, as your predecessors did. We teachers are working tirelessly to provide your children with a sound education to help them succeed in their future endeavors and to break this cycle of failure; however, when you blatantly disregard the importance of education, you are making our job that much more difficult.

On another note, and I'm not trying to get political, but for all the people who only watch Fox news and who think that schools will allow the classroom to be a platform for policies, you obviously have never set foot in a classroom, nor do you understand the principals behind teaching. This is not, I am quite positive, the only time that "lesson plans" have been available for political speeches and we are not "brainwashing" your children to become "crazy liberals." If you are keeping your child home for fear that we will "force" them to watch OUR president give a speech about the importance of staying in school, then you are no better than the person above who disregards education. You may teach your children whatever beliefs you feel are important to you, but at the end of the day, the thing that makes America the great nation that it is, is the fact that we are all allowed to have these differing opinions. While I may not agree with you, it doesn't mean I don't respect what you have to say. I only wish that you would be considerate enough to consider BOTH views as perfectly acceptable. The school is a place for children of all ages to learn to think for themselves, not simply regurgitate information that has been force fed to them for 12 years. That is where the beauty of a true education lies.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Small Town Living

I have always considered myself to be a city girl. I'm not from a sprawling metropolis or anything, but growing up in a town of 80,000, I felt like I truly understood city life. Since the age of 16, I would weave in and out of traffic, stomp the gas to beat the red light, and just generally drive fast all of the time. I could run a couple of miles from my house to the mall and shop at a large selection of retail establishments at my convenience. At any time, a world of cuisine opportunities were upon me as there were many eateries with which one could quench any food craving. I did always wonder, though, how in that large of a town, I seemed to know someone everywhere I went. Or even worse, someone seemed to know me because of my parents, grandparents, etc. That was even worse! When I went to college, it was to a city of 150,000. Again, the opportunities were endless and in no time, I found that having all of those things at my fingertips was just delightful!

Alas, true love happened. As most stories go, my husband and I met, fell in love, got married, and moved to his hometown, a beautiful little city that has a whopping population of 10,581. I was down with this. I really liked the town, the people seemed friendly, and I was looking forward to settling down into a nice quiet routine. It did take some getting used to in some aspects. For example, the nearest mall is 45 minutes away, and it's not really worth your time. To get a decent one, you're looking at a good 1.5 hours. But that's ok. I've learned to "compile" out of town errands. National chain restaurants...we've got an Applebee's. That's it. We've got a few hometown places that are excellent though. I wouldn't trade them for anything-not even a big bowl of Olive Garden salad and bread sticks or an Outback special!

I've always felt I'm in the right place and that I've made the right decisions to lead me here, but today I realized that I am, indeed, now a small town girl. The state college in town started classes this week. I was appalled today when the traffic was backed up 2 miles on the main street (appropriately named Main Street). Yesterday, it was backed up about the same, and I mistakenly turned into it. Today, I proved that I am a creature who learns from her mistakes and as I saw the traffic, promptly turned around and took the "back way." That's how I knew what I was. I know the "back way" in a town of 10,000 people. Something else...the way I always knew people everywhere I went growing up, amplify that by about a million and you get what it's like in a small town. Especially being a public school teacher, you can't go anywhere without knowing someone! This was proven to my mother and grandmother this summer when, while they were visiting, we ran into walmart, and I was addressed as Mrs. McComb by every kid who passed us. I suppose it's a good thing I love my life here so much. It's only taken 4 years, but I finally feel at home as a "townie."