Sunday, January 31, 2010

It's HOW Many?

This week I had an evening doctor's appointment, and as it was a late day at school I had to drive straight there (much further East on my Island) from school. This meant no time to stop and make dinner.

Now, slowly but surely I'm returning to my Oberlin Granola Crunchy roots. I stopped buying produce that isn't organic..then I read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and Fast Food Nation and stopped buying meat except from the small organic case at the local supermarket (because uh, EW). Then I did some reading about bovine growth hormones and whoops! Milk and cheese and butter too. And then, one day last summer I was driving through the idyllic farm country of the area surrounding our little cottage on the lake and saw a small plane swooping over a field of wheat....spraying....some...was that water? Oh wait. That' my BREAD. And my convenient pizza dough bought at the supermarket...guess I'm getting that bread machine out and buying organic flour...and covered with organic mozzarella and...wait why am I buying organic mozzarella and making homemade pizza dough if I'm just going to pair it with Ragu? Oh look, they have organic tomato sauce too.

Well you get my point. Locavore, organivore, whatever. But everyone has emergency days when he didn't think ahead and bring a sandwich. So, yeah, I drove through McDonalds in a hurry. And I thought, "Okay, get the Happy Meal, that's for kids, it won't be nearly as bad as a grown up value meal."

Oh, Miss foolish mortal.

So I eat this tiny hockey puck ammonia filled cheeseburger and the miniature bag of pressed dehydrated potato french fries and drink my Diet Chemicals and go to my appointment and pick up the kid at my Mom's and return home, exhausted and...hungry. Big surprise, that (WARNING...WARNING...WARNING... TEACHER ABOUT TO USE A SWEAR WORD) crap didn't fill me up at all. Well hey, I only had a Happy Meal! Go look it up on Weight Watchers, you've probably got enough points out of the 29 you get every day to have a nice piece of whole grain toast and a little organic peanut butter and a glass of skim milk!

Go ahead, ask me how many.

Fourteen. FOURTEEN POINTS. Half the daily calorie intake of a 38 year old woman, and not a particularly skinny one either.

And they're marketing this meal. TO MY CRIMINALS. Give me five minutes in the same room with them.

But technically, it's none of my business. How do I write letters home to parents saying PLEASE DON'T FEED YOUR CHILDREN THIS TRASH THREE OR FOUR TIMES A WEEK AND DON'T BELIEVE THE UTTER BOLLOCKS THAT REPLACING THE FRIES WITH APPLES MAKES IT HEALTHY? It's fast, it's cheap, it's tasty, it's convenient. And it's creating second graders almost as tall as I am, weighing what a fifth grader should weigh.

Maybe some of the parents read my blog? I can always hope.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Portable Paradise

Any day that starts off with a flat tire can't be totally heavenly, but when I finally DID get to school today, a fabulous gift awaited me.

Now, it is no secret that I am a gargantuan geek. Unless you're new here. I get all excited about visits to Staples. I squeal when I get my hands on the key to the (tiny) supply closet and can stock up on boxes of crayons. And this little gem sent me into paroxysms of delighted geekdom. It was a new listening center.

New listening center? How could this be so exciting, you say? Two words: Wireless. Headphones. The thing is, all two of you who read this blog are scratching your heads going, "Um, so?" Only another elementary school teacher is going to get the beauty of the wireless feature. Because other elementary school teachers know the torture of those damned headset wires (think phone cords) curlicueing around each other just to drive you mad. Every day a hopeless tangle greets you before center time. NO MORE I SAY. And....AND! It came with a new machine too - WITH A DOUBLE CASSETTE. One group listens to Ralph S. Mouse, stops the tape and leaves it for next time. Another group listens to The Courage of Sarah Noble, stops the tape and leaves IT for next time. Two groups are listening to Ramona the Brave, they note the track they stop on, and next time skip to their track. TADAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA.

Oh joy oh rapture unforseen. My bliss knows no bounds.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Stand With Haiti

This charity is run by Dr. Paul Farmer, a dedicated champion of public health issues in Haiti. See the website for how to donate.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A Well-Rounded Education

So, one of my boys came in yesterday morning, and it happened to be his turn to share during Morning Meeting. He decided to tell about how much fun he had doing yoga with his mom. Now, if you knew....DeShawn, we'll call him....the idea of him doing yoga with his mom would make you look fairly like a surprised walrus. Mouth hanging open and everything. Then again, DeShawn's mom is no dope, so maybe she decided to let him expend a little energy by working on his inner peace. Or something.

So the rest of the class is all "What's yoga?" Well groovy, Miss Victoria knows that! She hopped up and demonstrated Down Dog. Then everyone else really needed to try it. 24 little butts up in the air. They all stood up and grinned and started to squeal, so Miss Victoria said, "Hey, hold it everyone! Now you've got to salute your teacher, that's what you do at the end of doing yoga!" I skipped the whole Divine Spark thing - they're seven. So I just tented my hands and bowed and said, " you do it." And they all bowed back and chorused, "Namaste! MISS VICTORIA CAN WE DO SOME MORE OF THAT?!?!?!" Hey, Miss Victoria is all for anything that relaxes the Criminals.

Thus, for our Morning Meeting today (the activity portion), I printed out the poses, we spread out and got all ready to learn the Sun Salutation. We're looking like a whole lotta Twister and not too much spiritual uplift, but whatever, we're having a good time. We finish up back in Mountain pose, and Miss Victoria drops her hands and starts yammering about the morning message. Everyone starts to jump up and down and squeak. Miss Victoria stops and says, "What, what is it?"

And the whole class simultaneously tents its hands, bows, and twenty four little helium voices pipe, "Namaste, Miss Victoria! YOU FORGOT!!!!!!!"

Clue for the uninitiated: They were way more excited that I forgot something than they were that they remembered. Such is life when one is supposed to be all-knowing.

Monday, January 11, 2010

We Shall Overcome

Monday is Introduce New Scholastic Magazine Center day. This morning I held up the magazine for this week, and the entire class cried "Ooooooo!!!" and pointed and cheered. Then they shouted and chattered and offered up their knowledge:

"He changed the world!"

"He wanted peace!"

"He said little black boys and little white girls could play together!"

And that was BEFORE we read the magazine. Happens every year - the littlest ones are the most profoundly affected by this unit. They totally get a man with a sense of fair and unfair, right and wrong.

Mr. King, we shall overcome. Your legacy lives on.

Brains AND Brawn

Hm, I got the latest Scholastic catalogue today, and it's a conglomeration of "favorite authors." Their publicity shots line the front of the catalogue.

Is it at all twisted that I think Kevin Henkes, author of some of my favorite read-alouds (Wemberly Worried, Lily's Purple Plastic Purse, Chrysanthemum) is um....well...HAWT? Seriously. Remember the architect in Mystic Pizza? Yum. Kinda like him.

Don't tell the Criminals.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Just Say No

To sewing handpuppets for the middle school health project. It makes you think of disturbing things to do with vintage buttons. Here are the two interventionist friends of the junkie (yet to be sewn because apparently we do not own a green sock of the correct shade...yes Virginia, you will go out and buy a pair of socks in order to lose one on purpose...because that's a twelve year old):

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The End of a Long Day

So the Criminals and I are reading Stuart Little. For some reason, geniuses though they ALL are of course (stop laughing and pointing, I know perfectly well no one believes that), they can't seem to grasp that "Little" is Stuart's last name. They keep raising their hands and piping, "Miss Victoria, only Stuart's little, how come Mr. White calls them ALL little??" I explain. Again. And we move on. Until tomorrow. And the same question. Oh well, it happens.

Anyway, that's so not the point. The POINT is that I came here to be all gaga over the shrimp "fried" rice I made tonight. I looked at the stuff in the restaurant and thought...yanno...I could do this better. With ingredients that don't make me wonder what I'm eating (we are big fans of organic anything and everything at Teach's house). And, lo and behold, I could!