Thursday, December 31, 2009

Vacation Heebie-Jeebies

Exactly how geeky is it that I'm all excited to go to the craft store tomorrow and buy wool for my next knitting project?

Yep, thought so. However, at least now I don't have to feel left out come holiday season. My wonderful singer friends (teaching is my second career, the first was opera singing) frequently arrange a holiday knitting drive for my Criminals. I can't boast of being as talented as they are. The hats and mittens and scarves that come to my school are beautifully crafted with cunning little ruffles and trim and roses and beyond. Mine won't be as fancy, but hey, warm is warm!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

It's Katherine's Fault

She gave me an excuse for having a digital camera. I am now plus one Samsung SL620 (12.2 MP) and minus a gift card...or two. It's plugged in, charging, and I'm itching to get at it. God help me if her excuse for owning a sewing machine coincides with another gift card.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Digital Age? Really Miss Victoria?

Okay, I admit it, I'm a frustrated gadget-o-phile. I drool over websites full of digital cameras (my cellphone camera just doesn't do the trick), sewing machines, cellphones, iPods and charger/speaker docks, 11 cup food processors...for someone committed to teaching the younger generation to value experiences over acquisitions, I sure want an awful lot of stuff.

Ahem. Physician, heal thyself, yeah I know. I can sort of justify the digital camera...(wouldn't it be great to be able to take really terrific pictures of my sewing machine....(just think of all the cute/useful/nifty things I could make for my classroom and Criminals!)...and...yeah. That's about it.

Good thing I don't use credit cards. I'd work myself into some serious debt in five seconds.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

A Mother's Love

I just pulled my kid's baby tooth out. Shudder. Not a bed of roses all the time, this motherhood thing.

On the other hand, she's a big fan of the Yorkshire Pudding I made yesterday - has so far eaten it for dinner last night, breakfast this morning and lunch this afternoon.

She gets on these tears.

Friday, December 25, 2009

God Bless Us, Every One!

Of course, in the midst of the cooking whirl (standing rib roast, roasted potatoes, yorkshire pudding - all courtesy The Goddess Nigella - creamed spinach, parker house rolls, and for dessert homemade butterscotch and hot fudge sauces with vanilla ice cream - courtesy of, thanks Deb!) I remembered that I wanted to post about our finishing up A Christmas Carol on the last day before break.

I've been reading it to the Criminals for about a week and a half (it's not very long) in abridged version and showing them the old Mr. Magoo movie of it bit by bit (each chapter before we read it aloud. It's new on my list this year, so of course I had that hesitation. Will they get it? I'm of the opinion that if you teach it right, they'll get it most of the time. Hence my decision to show the movie in installments, even though in general I shy away from showing movies. This one, though, was for academic reasons, so I went with it.

I was considering whether or not to continue on the third day, when I got the signal I needed. I finished reading the portion for the day and heard the "AUGH!" of frustration from the class - they wanted to hear more. So we proceeded on.

On Wednesday we saw the end of the movie - from the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come to Tiny Tim's "God bless us, every one!" As the credits rolled one of the Criminals said to another, "BEST Christmas movie EVER!"

Then we began reading, and halfway through the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come part, I put the book down and - taking a chance - said, "Who is this, this spirit?"

Adam raised his hand first, and when I called on him, said soberly..."It's..the Grim Reaper." I squee-ed inside and said, "And..who's that?"

He looked almost stricken with concern and nodded seriously at me. "It's Death, Ms. Victoria, Death's coming."

God DAMN I freaking LOVE smart kids.

God bless us, every one!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Let It Snow

I love when it snows 26 inches, and every school district in the tristate area closes EXCEPT the DOE. Oh well, closed or not, my drive it too long to risk it, and anyway I'm down with a massive sinus infection. It's never good when the doctor looks in your nose and says, "Holy sinus infection Batman!"

Being home in this kind of weather begs for pottering in the kitchen, so instead of teaching reading I'm making butterscotch sauce (courtesy of my favorite blog ever, and orange almond biscotti (courtesy of same). Also 3 1/2 pounds of Union Square Cafe bar nuts. All my giftees are getting lucky this year.

The Criminals are too strung out to do much work anyway - the experienced teacher knows the moment at which she has to slow down and expect less. For us, it was last Wednesday. We went on a field trip to the Native American Museum - field trips that close to a holiday make students think school is officially over. Thus, for the last few days I have interspersed the serious learning with holiday word searches and the like. It's nice to have a class this year that doesn't circle UTIEPQ and say, "I'm done!"

Two days to liftoff (AKA vacation), wish us luck.