Saturday, August 21, 2010


It's been a crazy-busy summer with the house hunting and dealing with the off-brand insurance company handling the damage to Young Epic's truck, and that kept me from getting my normal back-to-school frission of excitment as early as I normally do. But now, the house deal is in the title company, and Young Epic, and his truck, have returned to Brownsville.

I've finished making the first day copies, and I have the second day stuff ready, my desk is mostly clean (as clean as it's gonna get), all the handouts have been loaded to my school website. I got new pens, and that ALWAYS makes me happy!

And now it's hit me. That wondeful butterflies-giddy-what-does-the-new-year-hold feeling. I chose to have seniors this year, for the first time in five years, and it's going to be fun having some of the same kiddos I had as freshmen.

So it's time to finish that last summer novel, and I'll start compiling the list of stuff I'll want to read next summer.

Friday, August 6, 2010

...or MAYBE...'s because the roofing guy next door came over and asked if the insurance company ever agreed to fix the roof. They didn't want to pay because they claim it was defective materials, not hail damage. And the ceiling of the garage collaped a while back. And the span of roof for the porte-cochere collapsed last year.

Monday, August 2, 2010

...or it could be because...

Your tri-level house has all of the bedrooms on the THIRD level.

You have a 600 square foot guest house that has NO BATHROOM. Do the guests just go potty in the pool?

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Reasons People May Not be Making Offers to Buy Your House...

If you leave your massive dogs, who sound as if they would eat Cujo, in the utility room with a door latch that allows the door to open partially so their slavering maws can be seen, I'm probably not going to tour the entire house.

If the three children are at home with no adult supervision, they probably aren't going to leave the house in the shape it was before you left. Or you just didn't do any picking up before you left.

If you own property with lovely pasture land and a beautiful home, but people just don't make offers, it may be because you sold some of the land on the front, next to the drive, to someone who put in a double-wide.

Your beautiful home, with incredible trees and landscaping, is directly across the road from a setting straight out of The Grapes of Wrath. And that setting was there when you built the house.

Those two bedrooms on the far end of the house would be great-except there's no access to a bathroom on the same end of the house.

Your house is lovely. The neighbors with the raggedy travel trailer in the yard and knee high grass-not so much.

You added a garage, but there is no way to get into the back yard except THROUGH the garage...

Sunday, June 20, 2010

I'm A Techie, Now!

I'm not a fan of modern technology. Okay, I know that's not really true-I don't want to do the laundry in a tub with a washboard-but I'm not a fan of the gadgets.

Until now.

Epic Husband convinced me to buy a Nook for myself. Oh, my. I may never purchase another paperback book again. I can read in bed, on my side, with the Nook on a pillow, and my glasses don't get shoved all cattywampus. And I can read an 800 page paperback with just one hand. And my thumb doesn't cramp when I'm on page 400 or so from trying to hold the book open. And I can increase the font size so I don't have to go buy the next higher magnification of reading glasses. Yet. And I don't have to fill Epic Dog's tote with books when we travel to baseball games.

I'll still buy some hardback books, but that's just because I love collecting books. For the actual reading, I'm hooked on the Nook!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

We don't get out of school until June 10, and I believe that makes us the last district in the entire WORLD still in session. (It's okay, I'm an English teacher. That makes me a professional. When I do it, it's not exaggeration-it's hyperbole. Except in this case, it's probably truth.)

Do you have any idea how challenging it is to keep teenagers in their seats, let alone engaged in learning, when their friends/cousins in surrounding districts are at the lake or Six Flags? Those extra days off that were scattered through the year aren't looking so great in retrospect.

Fortunately, we killed off Romeo and Juliet on Friday, and this time, I was really glad to see them die. In fact, I would have been happy had it ended like Hamlet-darn near every character on the stage dead. R & J projects are due Monday. That, the final essay, and final exam will be the last grading to complete. And, no, I will not give you an extra credit project to complete on the last day when you realize that you're two points from an A or a B. You can't just email it to me and have me grade it after school ends. I'm hateful that way.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Snow Days

The two snows days here at the end of the week, combined with Monday's holiday, makes for a really nice, unexpected break. I was going to have a five day weekend anyway. My sub requests for Thursday and Friday were in the system well before the district announced the closing.

It's not that I needed the time off, or that I'm lazy and unmotivated. It's that I don't drive in snow and ice. I've done it-more than once. Last winter, my normal 50 minute drive home took over three hours one icy evening. No more. I would probably (have to say "probably" because it's never happened) throw my body between a student and a crazed gunman, and I would probably stay inside a burning building in order to get the kids to safety. (I did once stand between my sixth graders and a 5'11," 250 lb angry 16 year old who cocked back his fist to punch me when I wouldn't let him go after any of the kids. He didn't hit me because his little brother latched onto his arm and hung from it until help arrived. )But I'm not dying on an icy road just to try get to the children and impart my wisdom. Mainly because if I'm dead, I can't impart any more wisdom.

I actually had a conversation along these lines with a colleague recently. We were discussing the fact that if one of us died, a sub would be at the empty desk in short order, and a replacement would be hired in a week or less. I then commented that someone would also have to clear off my desk.

My colleague replied, "Oh yeah. First I would call Half-Price Books to bring over a truck. Then I would drag a dumpster over to that door and fill it."

I'm a little concerned. She said all of this quickly, as though she had given it some thought. If anything happens to me, someone needs to check into the alibi of the teacher two doors down!

Sunday, January 24, 2010


Over Christmas break Young Epic read Chasing the Bear by Robert B. Parker and greatly enjoyed it. At that point I realized he had never read any of Parker's Spenser novels, so I ordered the first two in the series. I've been rereading them before I ship them off to YE, and I was deeply saddened to read of the recent death of Parker.

While the work will remain with us, and new generations will discover Spenser, Susan, Hawk, Pearl, and Parker's other characters, I will miss experiencing their further adventures.