Monday, October 31, 2005

Touched (not in the Corky way):

Do you ever get a kind gesture that just blows you away in its complete generosity?

I did.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Sweet, Salty:

I made a nice white bean dip tonight but it came out a little too salty (even though I followed the recipe by the book). But do not fret, for last night I made another lovely apple cake so I will spend tonight taking alternate bites of salty white bean dip and sweet apple cake, all while watching Lost. Yup, life's ok.
Signs You've Worked in Public Schools Too Long:

You spotted a bullet hole in your window on Monday, and forgot to tell ANYONE about it until Wednesday.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

What it's like to go to a state school:

You register for classes online. Do not call or email if you have any problems, because there is no on there to serve you. Do not attempt to go in and have them help you. There is no one assigned to helping you.
Pay for classes. Every semester, have them lose your payment. Every semester, get dropped from all of your classes. Attempt to contact someone about this, but never reach a live person. Run around every semester getting all sorts of special waivers because you are never actually registered for classes. Obtain your grades online. Don't ever forget your password or login because no one will give it to you again.

Attend classes where the entire semester is made up of watching your fellow students present demonstration lessons. Do this for TWO YEARS. Have your professors go on and on about how important your attendance is. Spend 8 hours per week doing activities for 3rd graders. Consider shooting yourself. Have professors act as if every assignment is the most perplexing and difficult thing you could possibly endeavor. Take a look at the assignment that is explained in 4 pages. Realize they want you to reflect on a leson and write two pages on your reflection. Have them continue to remind you of the importance of this assignment and how critical it is to your teaching. Keep asking- "This is a two page reflection, right?". Be very confused on why they are giving you two months to do said assignment.

Rinse with summer vacation and repeat.

Monday, October 24, 2005

I've become everything I hated:

Want to feel REALLY old and unhip? Shop at Old Navy MATERNITY. And like it.
Am I Crazy?

Or is there a POOL in the backyard of this San Francisco home? Have you ever even HEARD of a pool in San Francisco? Why would you ever have one? And wouldn't they mention it in the ad? I am so perplexed.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Going off the medication didn't work.

Saturday, October 22, 2005


There has been an official return to the kitchen here, and delicious food has been partaken in by all.

Mache salad with toasted macadamia nuts, avocado and grapefruit with a citrus dressing
Potato Pies

Amazing Apple Cake

I cannot even begin to tell you how great it feels to be alive, after 3 1/2 months of waking up every morning and just thinking about when I could get back to bed. There was a nap today, sure, but also a lunch out with The Lovely Beausband, and grocery shopping done, and all this food prepared by my own hands. It's also my first day without my nausea medication, and it seems ok so far. I cannot believe how far we've come from my days of not being able to leave the couch and puking every 1/2 hour and crying about how I was not going to survive this hell.
Cooking Redux:

I haven't cooked a single thing in 3 1/2 months now. It's pathetic, but then again, now I have a "relationship" with the couch, and that's irreplacable.
But now that I'm ready to start eating (most things) again, I've totally forgotten what I used to cook. I know about what I used to bake (everything), but I need recipe suggestions for the day-to-day eating. Help a hungry girl out here, just don't include anything that has the following ingredients: cilantro, tomatoes, tuna, meat, curry, or too many onions. I know, I know, I'm sooo easy!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Fifteen Weeks (as my friend K. said, "I still hang out with people who drink beer. All their stomachs look like that."):

Sick Day:

If I was a horse, I would take myself out back and shoot me. As if it's not bad enough to just get through every day without the help of coffee, I've been struck with yet another nasty cold. Every day has been worse than the last, meaning today I woke up feeling like a golf ball was in my throat, and two golf tees were keeping my nose from draining. Also, dizzy (is it the cold or pregnancy?), and achy and just generally miserable. But I had to go to work today, because when you consider how you will feel with an additional 40 lbs. on your ass, a little cold will seem like nothing. Also, I had to give this online test to my students and the schedule is written in stone and today was my day, and oh me, oh my! Cannot be missed.
Do you know how annoying it can be to work with 35 students of varying computer levels? It means that every 30 seconds, someone is calling out to you- "Ms. Jaaaaaaaaaaaa. Something is wrooooooong." Nothing is actually wrong, you little annoying person, you! You just need to press the START key or (insert any basic computer operation here). Repeat this 200 times throughout a day where you really, REALLY want to just be prone on the couch. Add to this your last class of the day, where for some reason still unbeknownst to me, my 6th graders could only access the 8th grade tests, no matter WHAT I did to change them, and the fact that nobody could print anything, and that half of my student's final drafts have disappeared off the laptops, because of some network problem. It's so much FUN to work with computers!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


My dear friend's parents are throwing out their dog! Doesn't anybody want to adopt a dog? Anybody?
You know I would, but if I had my gumption, I would already be the crazy pet lady. One 90-lb. rescue dog and a baby on the way is probably enough for this year.
The Smell:

Every since getting pregnant, it seems to me that the couch has developed a certain not-so-fresh odor. For awhile, I thought it was my husband, and kept making him take extra showers. But he would come out, smelling clean and good (lord, what that man puts up with!), and the smell would still linger. I have tried cleaning the couch, spraying it with fabric freshner, etc., but nothing works. The smell lingers. And now? Now the smell FOLLOWS me. I smell it all over the house, everywhere I go. I can't quite explain it- it smells like something rotten mixed with B.O. The strange thing is no one else can smell it, this horror of all horrors to a pregnant woman. I alone must suffer this smelly injustice, as surely women before me have for many generations. It just doesn't seem fair, especially when you mix in the fact that this smell, alone, is permeating even through the nasty cold that is also now inhabiting my body. So even though I can't breathe, or go 10 minutes without blowing my nose, I can still smell this couch. Didn't I tell you God hates me?

Saturday, October 15, 2005


so i've gone ahead and changed the template a bit. i'm still not thrilled, but at least now when i get up to pee at 2:00 in the morning and lie awake for an hour, i will no longer be haunted by blue dots.
i wish i knew more html, but not enough to actually learn it. alas, blogger templates for me!
bloody show:

(if you are here for anecdotes about teaching, skip this post. if you want to know how the pregnant lady is faring, read on, friend)

no, not THAT bloody show! rather, i'm talking about the teeth brushing here. MY GOD! everytime i brush my teeth, the toothbrush emerges looking like i've just stuck it into a gaping wound. i know, it's normal, but it's still a shocker for me every time. let's not even get into flossing, where it looks like a person was killed in the bathroom by the time i leave. ugh.

i found out that not one, but TWO of my good friends are also pregnant! one is only four days ahead of me and the other (who i've literally known my entire life) is about two months behind me. SO exciting to get to talk about this with people who understand (thank god neither of them is one of those people who are like "oh, i haven't been sick at all." then i could never speak to them again, because i become filled with hatred at those people.)

also, HEY! we are officially in the second trimester now, and the nausea and fatigue ARE actually going away a bit. i feel like i can do crazy things like make plans to have a dinner with a friend, or even go to the grocery store. it's like a miracle, people, after three months of doing NOTHING but working, going to class, and lying on the couch. i don't think you really realize that i mean NOTHING else- not grocery shopping, not fixing food of any kind, not taking the dog out, not cleaning, not returning phone calls- NOTHING. just me, the couch, and the tv set. this feels like a minor miracle.

Friday, October 14, 2005

questions from the 8th graders today:

"is california a country?"

"where did they bury god?"

"were you alive during the great depression?"

Thursday, October 13, 2005

don't mess with the pregnant teacher:

walking back to my classroom today at lunch, i saw two of my boys starting to look a little heated. as i got closer, they threw their stuff down and were in each other's faces. both boys have shown little but sweetness to me, particularly the 'bad' one- he lives in a juvenile detention center for some sort of crime, but has been very sweet to me, busting out with "ms. j, you're a really cool teacher" a few days ago, and earlier today had warned me not to bend over, "it could hurt the baby". so i approached them and told them to separate, knowing i was going to back off if things went any further, because i'm not stupid enough to throw my pregnant self into the middle of a fistfight (my non-pregnant self did it all the time). "guys", i said, "don't make a pregnant lady have to get in the middle of a fight." they both looked at me, and 'bad' boy walked away, as i led the other boy to his class. it's amazing how these kids respond to pregnancy- i cannot reiterate enough that i had NO idea.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

of strikes and bellies:

so as we get closer and closer to a strike in my district, i get more and more nervous. i don't believe it's fair for us to be paying a gross 45% of our healthcare costs, but things have not been easy here in the posthip household, financially, since finding out i was pregnant. the whole 'no maternity leave' situation leaves us unable to make ends meet for two months, so my absolutely amazing husband has picked up construction work every weekend, leaving him working 70+ hours per week. he's exhausted and things have been hard, since my ass hasn't gotten off the couch much during this first trimester. i have exactly two weeks of sick pay, which i am hoarding like a mofo because it's all the pay i'll get after the baby is born. it's been horrible for me to watch my husband work so hard because my job is so ridiculous, and the guilt is immense. that is the first reason i would have an issue with striking- i feel like i absolutely must put my family first right now, and those sick days are all i can contribute to this maternity pay. (SIDE NOTE: as i'm talking about how amazing my husband is here, he just walked in the room and said "i just want to let you know that if you wake up sometime in the middle of the night and want something specific to eat, as long as i can get it, you can wake me and i'll go get it". HOW FREAKIN' LUCKY AM I HERE, PEOPLE?).
back to the strike, i am also leaving our district in april and am not going back next year. i care, but i have to weigh how much. i know that unions only function because everyone is on board, but i definitely am working on a short-term mentality here. i guess i can only hope we resolve things before they go to strike.
a quote from one of the teachers at a 'small school' in our district: "our teachers won't strike. we are not in it for the money." ugh, i hate the attitude of these people, like they are so much better than every other teacher.

i am finally getting a little teeny, tiny belly. i LOVE it! i cannot stop looking at it and rubbing it like it's the buddah. it makes me smile every time i touch it, no matter how bad the day is.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

so THIS is what they meant about the hormones:

driving home from work today, i stopped by trader joe's for some edamame, my new digestable food (that and these weird peanut vietnamese cookies that i can't get enough of). while leaving, i noticed that the back tire of my car was looking flat- the second time this has happened in as many weeks, so i figured there must be a nail or something in it. off i head to the nearest tire shop (a block away) and tell them my situation. they say they can have it done in about 45 minutes. now normally, this wouldn't bother me much. i would sit down, make a phone call, read their magazines, grade papers, etc., and be on with my evening. but right now, the thought of being separated from my couch for 45 MORE minutes is enough to cause the tear ducts to stand at attention. the salesman could see how upset i was and said he would try to get it done in 30 instead. i thanked him profusely and went outside to wait. when they found the nail, he called me over to look at it, and when i bent down to inspect, he did as well and we bonked heads- HARD. not hard enough that it hurt too much, but this- AFTER the whole '30 minute wait' was too much for one pregnant girl to take today. i sat down again, fighting tears, because i think it's pretty clear the world is against me and jesus hates me. i mean, why else would a perfectly innocent person have a flat tire AND bonk heads with someone? you're with me here, right?

Monday, October 10, 2005


i was teaching about adverbs today and, of course, mentioned to the students that words that end in -ly are one type of adverbs.

later in class, one of my very quiet girls calls me over and shyly says "so, is my name (merly) an adverb?"


i've decided how i'm going to deal with the sitting at work situation. i'm going to meet with my principal tomorrow and ask her if she has any concerns about my teaching she would like to talk about. if she does say that my sitting down is a problem, i will present her with the doctor's note. i'm trying to be less combative about the situation than i actually feel, because it's still unclear to me who ACTUALLY said this, or how it was said, and i want that to be clear before i react.


as of tonight, i'm officially kicking the acceptable bedtime forward to 8:00.

Friday, October 07, 2005

god forbid you become a teacher because you like kids:

just as a warning to any female teachers out there who are considering becoming pregnant- teaching is, surprisingly, not the greatest profession to be in when you find youself in this state. honestly, it's so bizarrely anti-pregnancy that i honestly wonder if what they do is legal. problems so far that have riled me up and made me want to quit this profession altogether:

1. hi, did you know teachers (at least in CA) don't pay for disability insurance? perhaps i'm naive on this one, being that i worked for private companies for 10 years before becoming a teacher, and never considered that one WOULDN'T pay into disability. i figured every worker in the state does. nope, not teachers. so if you, say, break a leg, or need to deliver a baby, you are basically screwed. they do provide you with differential pay, your salary minus what they pay a sub. if you are a beginning teacher, this will not amount to more than a pile of beans. and no, the union won't help you. instead, they will tell you how much it sucks that teachers get the short end of the stick. yeah, thanks for the input.

2. even though your health insurance costs DOUBLED this year, and you and your husband's "open enrollment" periods are six months apart, you CANNOT drop your health insurance except during open enrollment. they do not care that it is six months apart, or that you do not want to deliver your baby at kaiser, where you don't get a choice of doctors. no, they don't care at all. and when your husband calls your union, outraged, they will tell him to call the district office. he will write you emails that teaching is like being an indentured servant, and you will become depressed, because you know he's right.

3. your "support provider" (support person asssigned to you from the district for the first 2 or 3 years of teaching) will tell you that in talking to your principal, she had told him that she was concerned because when she enters your classroom, she sees you sitting down a lot and she'd like to see more "dynamic" teaching. now, i will state for the record, i am nobody's idea of a dynamic teacher so far this year. i knew i wouldn't be, and i had to get ok with that. i am working with 1/8 of my regular energy level on a good day, i am still sick, and it's enough for me to get myself to work every day, school two nights a week, and home on the couch for every single minute between then and 8:00, my new bedtime. no, i'm not dynamic. but my students are working, and they are learning, and i haven't had a single discipline problem all year (knock wood, you know it's coming after that one). i'm not going to be bouncing around the room this year, and i AM going to be sitting down. especially as i get bigger, but even now, standing for 7 straight hours is completely out of the question. i'm also not sure if this "suggestion" actually came from my principal, or if my support provider was the one who thought it, but i'll be giving both of them a doctor's note saying that i can't stand up all day and that i will be needing to sit down. it should also be noted here that i am following their totally ridiculous scripted curriculum that they insist i use- that curriculum is not looking for anything "dynamic", and certainly doesn't need me to be standing up.

you would think, you really would, that people would have a little more sympathy. i'm not saying i can't do my job, but i am saying it will be done differently. i'm sure that i should feel terrible about myself for not being one of those women who can manage everything and never complain and keep going at breakneck speed, but i'm not that woman. i need to slow down and sit down and give to myself a little, not just to my job.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

telling the world:

i have been mentally preparing for today- the day i would tell my students my big news. they are the last holdouts of "people i haven't told", mainly because i wanted to wait until the first trimester was over (although now they are telling me that it is after the 13th week is OVER. they are trying to further torture me here.), and also because what do 13-year olds care about their old lady teacher getting knocked up? as it turns out, they care A LOT. each class i told gasped with excitement and began asking (appropriate) questions and telling me congratulations over and over again. they also wanted to tell me all the ways to be careful and inform me how i really need to gain more weight.
in actuality, they were really cute and sweet and showed more excitement than anyone else i've told (count on the 13-year olds for the drama).

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

the state of our union:

let me preface this by stating that i like being part of a union. i think unions have sacrificed a lot in the past to guarantee that we have fair working conditions and i appreciate all that they do to continue the fight for things like health care and salary increases. go, unions.
that being said, incidents like what i witnessed yesterday make me want to ensure that unions are banned forever. if you are in a staff meeting, and there is a guest speaker, and she goes a few minutes past the time that the meeting is supposed to run, it is UNACCEPTABLE to get up and walk out of the meeting because your contract says you don't have to stay. the contract does not trump rudeness and if that is the way it is going to be interpreted, it is worthless.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

cheat sheet:

i was teaching my students about different types of pronouns today, and showed them the little boxes in the book that had examples of reflexive, intenstive, and personal pronouns.
"right there, guys. there's a cheat sheet IN YOUR BOOK!"
students look furitively at books and look at me, confused.
"right there! the purple boxes! CHEAT SHEETS! there's the answers."

it took awhile, but apparently "cheat sheet" sounds like "the pink ribbons that support breast cancer" in spanish, and students couldn't figure out why i was so excited about them, or what they had to do with pronouns.

from then on, anytime "cheat sheet" was even muttered, the class flew into explosive laughter.
currently, this baby is going through an entire package of cream cheese a day. it insists on a bagel and cream cheese every morning and now it's found a dinner it can tolerate- french toast sandwiches filled with cream cheese and blueberries sauted in butter. baby says this shit is goooood.

Monday, October 03, 2005

6th graders:

6th graders don't yet know that they are supposed to be "cool", and that cool means not talking unless you're not supposed to be, and never doing ANYTHING to embarrass yourself in front of other kids, and that there is an unbreakable code when you turn 13 that all adults are against you and you must stick together, even if you hate each other, against the adults. 6th graders don't know that it's embarrassing to make mistakes in class, or that doing homework is an option, or that your teachers and parents aren't the end all be all in the world. 6th graders haven't learned to talk back or to be ok when adults disapprove, or that learning isn't cool.

goddamn, i love 'em.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

saturday night alone:

it should be illegal- ILLEGAL, i tell you- to make a pukey pregnant woman feed the dog her nasty dog food.
Weblog Commenting and Trackback by