Sunday, October 29, 2006

Daylight Savings Rant

Oh my god, it's that dreaded, STUPID time of year again to change the clocks back an hour and the entire country (with the exception of AZ and HI) gets flooded in darkness come 5 PM.

Nowadays most people work indoors, and going to work and stepping into an office when its still dark isn't a problem because there are lights you can turn on. It's still daylight AFTER work, too, when your personal life begins.

I don't care if I work in the dark in the morning. I don't want to come home in the dark too. Thailand made so much sense when I lived there. It had no daylight savings. It got dark by 6 PM in the dead of winter and by 7:30 or 8 PM in the summer months. That's not enough of a change in time to make it worth changing your clock and complicating transportation systems and computer programs. Good lord.

And now our Congress, in its infinate wisdom, has passed a law that will EXTEND this stupid time change an extra two months! It will now begin in November and end in March. So we will get only 4 months of common sense. It just pisses me off to no end. Does anyone have any LOGICAL explanation for this that I'm not understanding or seeing????

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Teaching Middle School

Yesterday was a job at a middle school teaching 6th grade core. I didn't even know what "core" meant when I took the job, but it turns out it means History, Reading and Writing. I left the office that morning after introductions and being handed a packet of procedures thinking that this was like an inner city school with altercations every day. You know, precautions to take, detention slips to give out, emergency numbers to call -- certainly good to have, but it sure made me think that disasters happen all the time!

Fortunately my impression of this being a violent school was quickly diluted. I had two class sections three periods each. The first set of students were so much fun and just a dream to teach. They actually behaved well for having a sub in class! The second group were tough to handle. They were a larger group by only about 5 kids, but I guess they came from more troubled backgrounds because they were much more uncooperative -- that and I didn't have a teacher's assistant for that class -- go figure -- it's the class that needed one more.

It's amazing how much more dialog I had, how much more I was able to teach to the kids who were better behaved. Made me think about how I might be able to ensure Aidan gets into a class of well behaved children when he's older. It's imparative to learning!

In any case... at the end of the day, some of these kids from the rambunctious group helped me clean up a little and others even said how much they liked me, that other subs had always gotten angry and yelled at them or sent them to the office. My third grade class said something similar last Monday too. I'm glad I'm so well liked! But I think it's something I learned in Thailand: It does no good to yell and get upset. If anything they feed off that and they dish it out even more! I also give out compliments and positive feedback and smile at them -- a genuine, warm smile. Kids can tell real friendliness!

I think that despite this being tough at times, with some more practice (esp. in classroom management) it should become more enjoyable. This is something I want to do part time, 2-3 times a week to pay for groceries and the minimum payments on our credit cards til Discovery Day brings in a lot more income.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Chad Vader - Day Shift Manager (Episode 1)

I saw this YouTube video promoted on Good Morning America last week and it was just enough to pique my curiousity and go to the site and see the whole thing.

Chad Vader -- Day Shift Manager is about the underachieving brother of Darth Vader who's trying desperately to rule the Empire Foods universe.

Oh my god it's so funny, especially the music. And it's got sequels, too.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

My first day subbing

I had a third grade class in a school that's right across the street from the park I take Aidan to often. I had 2o kids, and well, you remember in school when you had a substitute teacher come in. It was time to act bad!

Well, I certainly never got angry, but I tell ya, I have never heard so much drama, so much tattling on one another, aches and pains, bathroom breaks -- I think I heard EVERY excuse today. I haven't been in a class since just after Aidan was born and Thai kids don't have the English capacity to complain to me or reveal their dramas -- and I don't know if their Thai teacher gets the earful, but teaching here is NOT easier like I had presumed.

I do have to remember that these kids are not in their normal routine with me there and they're going to behave much better with their normal teacher. But MAN! What a day.

At least the teacher set out a well organized lesson plan for the day and I was not lacking in things for the students to do. Quite the opposite -- I didn't have time to finish everything!

So this looks like something I could do twice a week or so until I get more used to it, and also depending on how much translation work Golf gets. He's beginning to get more jobs in now and he's also been ill this week, so I'm needed more at home to help with Aidan. I'll see if anything is available on Friday if Golf's better by then.

Monday, October 16, 2006

My first substitute job is tomorrow!!!

The school district has a great way to get substitute teaching jobs -- through a website! I just love it that way in that I can choose my jobs. So yesterday, Sunday, I decided to see if anything was available and there was -- one for today and one for tomorrow. Me, being the procrastinator and also very nervous about it, decided to take just one job and it would be for Tuesday. The other great thing about this school is that it is right across the street from the park I often take Aidan to, so it's very close by walking distance.

I'm awfully nervous, though. I've never taught in an American classroom, so today I must do some review today.

Saturday, October 14, 2006


Our eBay business Discovery Day is finally beginning to take off and we were honored with a hard-earned Power Seller star as of yesterday!! Power sellers are those who sell at $1,000 or more for 3 consecutive months. Whew! We've finally gained entrance into the club! :)

Also, our website is coming along, although by no means is it finished. I work on it any spare moment I can get, which is why I haven't been blogging much. Check out what we have so far:

Monday, October 09, 2006

A weird occurance -- cellular memory?

Last week I had something weird happen. All day one day I had muscular twiches and twinges in my belly, like when you get a twitch in your thigh or arm, you know?

Well, I just happened to look back on my blog to see what I was doing that week two years ago, for the heck of it, no other reason. It was that week that I had found out I was pregnant with Aidan! I told my mother and she asked me, are you sure you aren't pregnant? I said YES - I mean we use protection and all, so I had no reason to believe it had failed. And today I found out I'm certainly not pregnant. But the twitching lasted only a day.

Is this a sort of bodily cellular memory of my pregnancy? Kind of weird. Another weird thing that happened is that I got my period back exactly to the day 9 months after Aidan was born -- February 22, 2006. To the day! Anybody ever go through this too or know anything about what I believe to be a sort of cellular memory? It's almost freaky.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Some baby bragging

Aidan has just taken off with his baby signing! He's doing more every day and it's astounding sometimes that he'll make a baby sign he hasn't seen me do for a few days. What he's been doing for a long time already is the milk sign and he does that when he wants milk, juice or water or food. Basically "put something in my belly" sign. And he does the dog sign (panting) for any living creature, even humans sometimes! He can also do the flower sign (hand to nose and sniffing).

His newest signs are for more and hot. These two, and the milk sign are the most important. I need to look up the sign for dangerous. The rest of the signs let him interact with us and to let him share what he's observing since kids get excited about that.

This boy also has discovered the wonderful world of Tinker Toys! Yes, already our budding engineer is fascinated. I have a canister of some Tinker Toys I bought to resell on eBay, so while Golf was cooking dinner last night, I thought why not make something for Aidan to play with (he had tired of spinning the wheels of another toy car -- he loves to turn things upside down and figure out how they work and to spin their wheels).

I made a thing that spins around with the little green plastic flags and he just loved it! I showed him how to hold one side so it didn't tip over and to spin the spinny part in the middle with his other hand. He did it! I was surprised that he could do something that requires two hands like that, but I showed him and he copied.

His grandma also got him a cute red Radio Flyer tricycle that acutally has 4 wheels -- two set wide in the front and two set narrow in the back -- what would you call such a thing? Anyway, Aidan loves it, especially the bell.

Anyway, I'm just so proud and wanted to share with everyone the progress of my baby, who's not such a baby anymore!