And Chances Are, if You Give a Teacher Appreciation…

And Chances Are, if You Give a Teacher Appreciation…

…she’ll want some paperclips to go with it.

All too often these days, our educators are ignored, bullied, and passed over.  They are the forgotten link in our kids’ success stories.  To be in such full view, they are certainly kept behind the scenes.  I really, really hate that.

All my life, I grew up loving school (with a few years exceptions, of course).  All my life, I had amazing teachers.  I also had amazing parents who never blamed my teachers for my own shortcomings, and they never let me not accept my own blame.  My parents, my very first teachers, taught me to love and respect the people who would shape my mind for many years to come.  My aunt, a teacher for many years, unknowingly taught me to admire and listen to those who had lived a life before my own.  As is such, I have the utmost respect for quality education and the fine women (and men!) who provide it to my own little ones.

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As most of you know, Gabe has had some learning struggles along his admittedly short school path.  I am glad to say that we’ve had some, for lack of a better term, crappy teachers.  I am thankful for them, because those women gave me the sight to see what AMAZING teachers he has also been exposed to.  Women (and men!) who have fought tooth and nail for my stubborn, hard-learning little guy.  They have loved and fussed, held up and nailed down my Gabe in a way that I so appreciate.  Their sticktoitiveness and gumption has made more of a difference in Gabe’s life (and that of my own!) than I’m afraid they’ll never fully know.

I have grown to not only respect these people, but also treasure them.  They are special people with some of the most enlightened souls I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting.  In addition to their own very busy, hectic lives, they choose to not only take on my, what some would call “hard” (hell, what I would sometimes call hard), kiddo with gusto that I cannot fathom.  And not just mine, but countless others.  Today, in the world we live in, so many parents place blame where blame is not called for.  Our teachers catch the brunt of lazy parenting and, by due course, ill-behaved children.  It is unfair, hard work.  But they attend to it with grace and their own brand of stubbornness and make their way home with heads, and red pens, held high.

A simple thank you seems insufficient, but for now that is all I have.  So thank you, ladies.  Thank you so much for reaching out to my boy. Thank you for your time, your patience, your encouragement, and most of all, your care.  From the bottom of my heart, I am eternally grateful for all you have done.

To all you other teachers out there whom we’ve not yet met, apologies and thanks in advance.  I am sure we will encounter our fair share of even more mediocre individuals attempting to pass as teachers, but I do so look forward to meeting you nurturers.  The soul seekers.  The up-lifting, no-nonsense, believe in you-ers.  The mind shapers.  The EDUCATORS.

Happy Teacher’s Appreciation Week.  You are SO needed.

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Back to School Bank Robbery

Back to School Bank Robbery

I was reading over the remaining school supply items for Gabe in my memos yesterday.  On that list?  Copy paper and three large glue sticks.  I keep forgetting about the paper — ironic, since I work for a copier distributor.  But the glue sticks?  I always remember those.  Two things stand out in my mind about glue sticks, y’all: sticky mess that my children will inevitably try to lick off their hands and WHO THE HELL PAYS FIVE FREAKING DOLLARS FOR GLUE STICKS?

How my wallet feels about back to school shopping.
How my wallet feels about back to school shopping.

Have I ever told you guys that I’m notoriously cheap?  No?  Well, I’m cheap.  About things like glue sticks, anyway.  So excuse the hell out of me for thinking that $4.75 (practically $5) is a bit steep for glue.  Glue that, knowing my five year old son, won’t make it even two weeks in to the school year.  Also, it is abundantly clear that Mr. Elmer has monopolized the glue market on the back-to-school frontier since there are literally no generic (but equally good!) brands to be had around August 1st.  It’s a phenomenon, really.  Every year on August 1st, hundreds of generic (but equally good!) glue brands go amiss until school resumes and then BAM!.  Those crafty little suckers are back on the shelf like they took a month long staycation.  Anyway, I eventually bought the blasted things after a heated discussion with myself at Target.  After a few side-eyes and uncomfortable throat clearings from fellow shoppers, I finally got over myself and tossed them (and a pair of scissors, for good measure) into my cart.  The only other thing I find completely overpriced and ridiculous are backpacks.

backpack, (bak-pak) n.: a forty-five dollar zippered piece of fabric that will inevitably tear mid-year; a forty-five dollar zippered piece of fabric that children carry everything else in except what they are meant to carry; a “sound investment” that will get left at home “on accident” on the most inconvenient of days.

...that happened.
…that happened.

And have y’all seen some of the designs on said backpacks?  They’re nuts!  I was walking through Target the other day (another, other day.. I’m there too much), and saw a bag covered in donuts.  DONUTS.  I pity the girl walking around with a donut bag this year.  I saw one that was shaped like Sponge Bob (..I can’t even) and another was a modified fanny-pack type thing that a newborn wouldn’t fit in.  Yeah, that’s real efficient.  Here, why don’t you make that thing useful and carry this torn-in-half tissue in there?  Careful, now… don’t strain yourself.

Gabe’s only in first grade, so I still understand the whole school supply thing.  And the list we had this year was, by comparison, not so bad.  His pre-k list was outrageous.  “Ms. Rose, I see here we need to fill out a form and send a check for one hundred dollars for NASA training?  Th-that’s correct?  Alllrighty then.”  I had to buy glitter glue that year, y’all.  GLITTER FREAKING GLUE.  Ask me how many times Gabe came home looking like he’d tried to catch Tinkerbell.  Go ahead.  Ask me.  I’m over it.. really, I am.  But don’t ask me how long it took me to buy the glitter glue and please, for the love of Jesus and pronged folders, don’t ask me how hard I cried over the price tag.

Boys of Summer

Boys of Summer

It’s the end of July, and you know what that means:  BABY GOT CLASS!  Thank Jesus.  Y’all, I can’t take much more of this summer “vacation” bologna.  Daycare drama is infinitely more “Days of Our Lives” than grade school could ever be.  You know Gabe came home a few days ago saying how most of his friends have girlfriends?  THEY’RE FIVE.  Six, tops.  Thanks a lot, MTV.  When I was six, all my parents had to worry about was whether or not I’d come home with gum in my hair… again.  They never worried about me and my siblings coming home all, “Yeah, so I met this guy at recess today.  We totally took a nap together after he shot Cheerios out of his nose.  I think he’s The One.”

Gag me with a spoon.  Kids that young don’t even KNOW the struggle and its realness.  But, I digress.

Anyway, school’s coming up soon.  I’m excited enough to go school shopping on the second craziest weekend of the year (tax free weekend) yet still dreading the unavoidable emptying of my pockets.  The kids’ birthdays are also in August, so we’re already tapped out.  But it’s alright, because school!  Do the thing, make the grades!

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I took the boys’ “annual day of birth” pictures early this year because this month is already jam-packed full of open house meetings, doctor’s appointments, and other various activities.  They were not completely thrilled with my decision because A) it was hot and B) they’re kids and don’t like to cooperate.  Such is life.

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their excitement is overwhelming.
their excitement is overwhelming.

We made it out alive, but barely.  I don’t understand the headache of birthday pictures… or just good pictures, in general.  If I tell the kids to say cheese at 7 A.M. on a weekend, fresh out of bed, in just their underwear and superhero capes, it’s not problem.  “What’s that, you say?  You need a bad millionth picture of us?  Absolutely!”  But good pictures?  “What, mom?  You need us to cooperate?  These pictures are going to family, you say?  Hang on… let me bang my head through a wall.”  Drinks may or may not have been had after the fiasco that from here on out should be called, “annual day of mom forgetting what a pain in the ass this is” picture day.  At any rate, we’re at the weekend.  Praise Jesus!  I’ll probably be begging Monday to carry its ass in t-minus twenty-four hours.

Happy Friday, y’all.

Midnight Madness

Midnight Madness

Last night was crazy.  And ok, so it wasn’t midnight.  More like 9 o’clock.  But who really needs the particulars??

Let me rewind to Monday.  That’s when the fun really began.  I started back to LSU-A for the fall.  Most of you already know that I’m taking statistics & anatomy this semester.  What you don’t know, and what I didn’t expect, is that my stat professor is quite possibly a Russian spy.  For real.  Think Natasha from Rocky & Bullwinkle.  I can’t understand a word she says.  Except for “and”.  But that’s only because she draws it out.  Example: “Yaddayaddayadda… ANNNNNNNDDDD….”  Yep.  That’s what I hear.  Like Charlie Brown teacher speak with a few “annndddds” throw in for shits & giggles.  I like her — don’t get me wrong.  She’s very warm & friendly, and, judging by her syllabus, she’s more than willing to help.  I believe that.  But I. am. terrified.  I’m really considering dropping the class before it hurts my GPA.  I don’t expect to just understand her out of the blue.. I think it would be for the best, but I’ll make that decision come Monday.

On the other hand, I think I’m really going to enjoy my A&P course.  Except for cadavers & fetal pigs.  That I don’t foresee enjoying, but it is what it is.  I really should have thought about that before I (re)declared my major.  It’s going to be interesting, & I’m excited for it.  Makes it easier to have my friend from high school, Tracy, in that class.  This certainly will not be my easiest semester, but it’s only going to get harder from here.  Guess I should brace myself for it and just go with it.

Everything about August, from Gabe staying sick to school nightmares, has been maddening.  Currently, Gabe has staph (WHOOPEE!) and before that a badass cold (WOOHOO!), so he’s been out of daycare for two weeks solid.  I can’t tell you how excited I am about that.  Work hasn’t been bad, except now my hours have been cut waaay back due to school.  Less work = crappy pay.  Financial aid FINALLY decided to pull through, but then only gave me $69 for books that ran $440.  Great.  My car shakes when I hit 55mph.  It doesn’t stop unless I hit 65mph.  Which means I’m speeding pretty much everywhere just to avoid having seizures, myself.  And to top things off, we ran through a DUI checkpoint the other night (no worries — we were okay), but irony kicked in the next morning and I received a fabulous seatbelt ticket from some cop who gave me the third degree.  About what?  Just crap in general.  We played 21 questions while he wrote out my ticket.  Why my age was relevant in the writing of a ticket is beyond me, but hey — who am I to judge?  But last night?  Last night was a kick in the pants.  It wasn’t so bad, really, but I figure I might as well bitch about it while I bitch about everything else.

Last night, our lights went out.  Not surprising as it was raining and, let’s face it, since we run off CLECO it doesn’t take a helluva lot to knock them out.  A squirrel looked at the lines once… we were out for hours (slight exaggeration).  Anyway, the lights were out.  And had been out for several hours prior to any of us coming home.  Which meant opening the fridge was out & the oven wasn’t even an option.  So we went into town for dinner.  After dinner, we ran by Lifeway to pick up bulletins for church.  My car had been running fine (minus the shaking), and I had not experienced any problems with my battery.  As we were about to leave, my car just… died.  From outta nowhere.  Just keeled over, right there in the Michael’s parking lot.  Because there were little ears in the car (mom’s, not Gabe’s), I opted not to verbally throw out a slew of expletives, but you better believe there was some serious four-letterin’ going on in my head.  Just as I was calling Casey to come save us, a lady stopped and offered to jump us off.  Thank GOD.  We finally left town at 9:30 and made it home without further interruption.

Anyhow, it’s Thursday, which means tomorrow’s Friday.  I get to see my sister tomorrow, and that makes up for a lot.  We haven’t really hung out since I’ve had Gabe & she moved to Monroe, so it’ll be a nice visit.  And if we go play pool & have a few drinks?  Well, all the more reason for her to come on down.  🙂