Tuesday, February 28, 2006

On the brink:

As if it isn't enough to be 7 1/2 months pregnant and working full-time, you should really consider taking 15 units of classes during your last trimester. Also, you should totally move! And give away your beloved dog. Because then when your brother is attacked by a police dog and exposed to HIV, you will be totally calm. And THEN, your grandma should TOTALLY have only a few days left to live, because you are SO prepared to deal with that, too.

Sympathy welcome. Telling me I chose this, not welcome.
Help A Girl Out:

Are you a teacher-blogger? If so, will you fill out a very short (5-10 minute) survey for me. Either email me at posthipchick@gmail.com or leave your email in the comments and I will email you.

A thousand thanks.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Things I Should Be Doing Right Now Instead Of Sitting On My Ass, Flipping Channels Through Bad TV (currently on WWF in Spanish) And Rechecking Blogs To See If They Are Updated (they are not):

- Lesson planning
- Writing thank-you notes
- Cleaning
- Packing
- Cleaning out school bag
- Dishes
- Writing questionnaire for blog project I'm working on, but not really working on, because I haven't started it yet
- Putting away laundry that is sharing the couch with me
- Packing hospital bag
- Grocery shopping
- Making dinner
- Replying to work emails that have gone ignored

Saturday, February 25, 2006

A Special Ed Story, or Why I Don't Like to Refer Students to Special Ed, Regardless of Their Disabilities:

I have a sort of special friend. He is the son of a family friend's partner, and I met him a few years ago and we instantly clicked. He is 15, and lives about two hours away. He lives with his mom, and his dad is the family friend's partner. We were all camping together two years ago in Yosemite, and he and I formed an instant bond. He is really special- sweet and funny and caring and there is certainly something 'special' about him, but even for someone who has spent a fair amount of time with the learning disabled, you cannot exactly label him. He is not mentally retarded, and yet he seems to have a low IQ. He is not Asperger's, but he is extremely fixated on certain things (cars and techno music). He is not autistic, yet he doesn't socialize normally. He is, simply, special. He is also BIG- as are his dad and brother- but he is even slightly bigger. He is 15 and already 6'5, so from what I understand, Gigantism is what keeps him in Special Ed.

This boy calls me about once a week to talk about the same thing- how I like my car, if I still hate Bush, and what is up in the techno scene. Our conversations are brief, but he is delightful to talk to. He is funny and sweet and honest and you can tell from his voice how excited he is to talk to you.

I found out last weekend some unfortunate news. His special ed teacher, for reasons I simply don't understand but without an incident, has claimed she is "afraid of him", and has forced him out of her class. I can say with 100% certainty that he is one of the most gentle people I have ever met. For reasons I don't understand, and never will because I don't know his custodial parent (who is a teacher in the district), he has been removed from the Special Ed class and is an errand runner for the office ALL DAY LONG.

People, I don't need to tell you that this is no education. He learns nothing running errands. He gains no skills. This is so gross and illegal and infuriating that I am left speechless. I do not know his mother, but I am tempted to call her and demand answers- how, HOW, could she allow this to happen to her son? It makes me honestly ill.

I know there are wonderful special education programs out there, but I fear they are few and far between. I spent my first year teaching RSP, where I taught 14 8th grade boys in the janitor's closet. Taught them the same curriculum they had used the previous two years (and never understood). Special Ed programs too often fail to provide real educations to their students, and it is for this reason that I am so hesitant to refer a student to Special Ed, even if I suspect a learning disability. It's baffling as to why the students that need the most always end up getting the least. Baffling.
7 1/2 months pregnant means:

Not only shamelessly bringing your yoga mat to an all-day class so that you can lie down, but fully reclining on said mat during a video, and only arising because your own snores wake you up.

I'm probably about a week away from farting in public. Oy.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Week 33:

Today is the day that I have set aside to wash all the baby's clothes. Did you know you have to wash all the baby's clothes before they wear them, in special baby detergent that costs a ridiculous amount of money? Hey baby, we use Target's generic detergent! Get used to it! I'll be nice mommy for awhile, but then you can start buying your own 'special' detergent, if it's really that important to you. Anyway, see that big pile of clothes and blankets there? I'm washing all of that. You may think it looks easy but each and every little tiny piece of cloth you see there came in a little tiny package with little tiny tags and little tiny pieces of cardboard and little tiny pieces of tape that needed to be removed. It took me an hour to get through it all. Except for that Posthip Baby tee, which came as is. Could you die?

Also, just for kicks, I'll show you another ridiculously cute item of baby clothing, the cowboy jacket. Thanks, Grandma!


Wednesday, February 22, 2006

I piss off old ladies:

Driving home from meeting the lovely Wood today, I was cruising down the 280, where the speed limit is 65 m.p.h., but every sane driver does at least 70.

Of course, in the fast lane, is a car doing exactly 65 m.p.h. It really pisses me off when people do this- it is the PASSING lane, people. Pass and be done with it. Do not go the speed limit in the PASSING lane. There are FOUR other lanes for you to go the speed limit. So like any polite driver, I flash the car a few times with my highbeams (it was light out) as a way of saying "Hey bitch, move your ass." Nothing. I try again. Nothing. The lane next to us is doing 65 m.p.h. as well, so I can't get around. After a few more flashes, and some massive irritation on my part, the other lane speeds up and I'm able to go around her.

And when I pass her, what is the 80-year-old lady doing? That's right, she is giving me the finger. ME! THE FINGER! So the 80-year-old and the big ol' pregnant lady are flipping each other off. I just wish I had a picture.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


The suspect's HIV test came back positive, so my brother has to be on the drugs for 21 days. Oddly, I know someone else who went through a round of the drugs after picking up a bag of trash in our neighborhood and getting poked by a needle inside the bag. The drugs were completely debilitating for him, and I'm sure will do the same thing to my brother. Ugh, ugh, ugh.
The suspect was last seen departing the scene in a white Suburu Outback:

That was TOTALLY not us driving home from the grocery store last night in the dark with no headlights on. Because we are totally together, non-stressed out, non-distracted people who are ready to be parents. We are SAFE. We would never do anything like that. Must have been someone else.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Mamas, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys:

As if it wasn't bad enough that last week, my little brother, on his first night solo as a police officer, was involved in a high speed chase that ended in a shoot-out in which my brother was being SHOT AT by a shotgun and which ended up with a dead man, we've now had yet another incident.

Last night he had a DUI case in which the suspect ran his car into a building. My brother (my LITTLE brother, who obviously nobody should fuck with, or his big pregnant sister will come KICK THEIR ASS) was trying to get the suspect over to him, but the suspect kept walking away. Back-up came in the form of a K-9 unit, and together my brother and the other officer were trying to get the suspect to them. He continued trying to flee the scene and my brother and the other officer went to tackle him down. The suspect attacked the other officer, knocking him to the ground and setting off his alarm, which opens the door to his car and out comes the K-9 dog. The dog didn't know who it was supposed to attack, and it attacked my brother, grabbing his arm and dragging him a few feet. He then came back and started attacking his hand. My brother got up, bleeding, and continued trying to get the suspect down- the suspect who was now bleeding. The suspect who now claims he has AIDS.

My brother was taken to the ER, treated for the dogbite wounds (which are pretty serious), and also put on an anti-HIV drug, until they get the test results back for the suspect (tomorrow). Anti-HIV drugs are extremely strong and make you really sick, so being on them for 30 days is like having a round of chemo. You are totally debilitated. I know, I know, at least they have the drugs, but STILL! When my brother got a job with Santa Monica PD, and not Compton, or LAPD, or Inglewood, we were all so happy. I joked that he would be arresting Winona Ryder for shoplifting, and doing police escorts for visiting dignitaries. Things have obviously NOT worked out as planned, and I'm starting to get pissed.

In other news:

I had my first baby shower! And it was fun! Who knew that the total anti-wedding girl would love baby showers? It was so fun!

We are 99% sure we found a place in San Francisco! What we've had to compromise is bedroom size- they are teeny! You would laugh! But there are two! And two bathrooms! And a dishwasher! And washer/ dryer hook-ups! And no stairs!

I shared a bed on Saturday night with one of my best friends, who I have known, literally, my entire life. She is also pregnant! A prize to the person who can guess how many times during the night we were up to pee! But then, at 7:00, I woke up with a leg cramp like nothing I have ever had before. I was screaming bloody murder. That was two days ago! And it still hurts like a mofo!

I am now so swollen that I had to take my wedding rings off! I am wearing them around my neck!

Friday, February 17, 2006

This is the way I do books:

1. Find author I enjoy
2. Become obsessed with author and read all his/ her books
3. Go to bookstore and buy hardcover copy of his/ her new book the day it comes out so that I can 'get a fix'.
4. Read book cover to cover in a few days, sometimes less.
5. Pick up again in a few weeks and re-read (there are some books I have read, honestly, at least 100 times).

My newest author-of-obsession is Ayelet Waldman. I read all of her Mommy-Track Mysteries in about two weeks. They may well have been the first books I have ever purchased from the Mystery section of the bookstore. So I was pretty thrilled when her new book came out a few days ago and I rushed to the bookstore to get it.

I started reading it and already saw the same style I loved from the Mommy-Track Mysteries. Thrill! But about two chapters in, I realized that the story is about a woman who has just lost her baby to SIDS. I put it down, sort of unwillingly, because I just wasn't sure it's a good idea for me to delve into this one right now. But I'm torn, because I really, really want to read it. But I'm also afraid that it will be too much to handle right now (note: the other day I cried because "I never liked the comforter cover". So you know what we're working with here.). So should I read what is obviously going to be a fantastic book? Or should I just let it go for now? Ah, the problems.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

T minus (holy-shit-lord-of-god-that-can't-be-right-because-there-is-still-so-much-to-do-including-move-oh-god-breathe-breathe) eight weeks:

Yeah, they don't exactly mention exactly how hard it is to move during pregnancy. I mean, once you get over the debilitating morning sickness and exhaustion and start to feel pretty much like yourself again, well... you actually think you ARE yourself. And yourself is pretty good at things like jumping out of the chair and dashing over to the copy machine before class starts in 10 minutes. But guess what? That is simply no longer possible. You move so slow. It's just unreal. I guess the extra 35 lbs. (yes, I have gained all of the recommended pregnancy weight already and still have eight weeks to go. Do you have a problem with that? Good.) will slow a person down, but it's not just that. Your body just doesn't move in the same way. I'm not kidding when I say I waddle. Other people have noticed it, too (and laughed). And let me tell you about water retention for a moment, ok? Because by 3:00, I am a swollen mess. My fingers look like hot dogs, and my feet, even in clogs, are pounding and swollen. It's cute. They only thing that relieves this, of course, is to lie on your left side and let things re-circulate. So you basically have to STOP everything you are doing for a good hour every afternoon to de-swell. Because we all have an extra hour in the day, right? I mean, I know I do. Let de-swelling begin.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Four-minute man:

My district has hired some consultants to assist us in continuing to assess our teachers to see where we need improvement. The consultants came up with an AWESOME plan- the four-minute observation. Each principal, vice-princial and instructional coach were given Palm Pilots that are programmed with a ton of information that they can critique us on, all in four minutes. They come into your classroom and punch away on their Palms about everything from standards being up, engagement level of students, what level of Bloom's Taxonomy questions you're asking, how your room is arranged, etc. in four minutes or under and then leave. Because I don't know about you, but I can TOTALLY get a read on every aspect of a classroom in four minutes. What, you can't? What is wrong with you? Add this to the fact that teachers have been given NOT ONE RED CENT to spend on their classrooms this year, and yet we can afford to buy three (very nice, not low-end) Palm Pilots per school. As well as pay the consultants who came up with this brilliant plan. I'm sorry? Do you see something wrong with this picture?

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Two excerpts from cards given to me by students for Valentines Day:

From the 'I never should have said that I don't celebrate Valentines Day because I was single and bitter for too long' file-
"Happy Valentines Day. I'm sorry kids never gave you Valentines cards when you were younger. So here is a card from me."

Hmmm, maybe Brad Pitt-
"I hope your baby comes out healthy. Also, I hope it looks like you or whoever you want."

Monday, February 13, 2006

Plain Jane Update:

I realized that I haven't much talked about teaching on this here blog of late. I guess it's because things are running so smoothly (new teachers, this will actually happen one day. who knew?) that there is not a lot to say. But here's the lowdown:

- My 8th graders are doing my favorite unit of the year, Anne Frank. They came in to the unit with a combined knowledge that there was a WW II, and that Japan had bombed Pearl Harbor. Oh, and maybe there was some guy named Hitler? Now they can tell you the date of D-day, exactly how many Jews died in concentration camps, how many other people died in concentration camps and of what ethnicity they were predominantly, where The Netherlands are (and that marijuana is legal there!), how Anne Frank died, that Miep Gies is still alive, what the 'Final Solution' is, and so much more. They are complete sponges for this information. It's totally fabulous to see their knowledge bank grow so exponentially in such a short time. Now the real trick is to turn the discussion to how to prevent things like this from happening again.

- My 8th graders also wrote persuasive essays and presented them as persuasive speeches. The speeches left quite a bit to be desired; I think mostly because there is NOTHING worse to an 8th grader than having to get up in front of the class alone and talk. It's a horrifying experience and I'm glad I could give them their rites of initiation. The essays were well-done and really brought out the Catholic in my students. Probably 1/3 of the students wrote about either how abortion should be illegal altogether or about how girls under 18 should not be allowed to have them without parental permission. I did a stupendous job of keeping my opinion out of it. Go me.

- My 6th graders still continue to drive me a little batty. I have to admit, they are getting the short end of my stick this year. Not only have I not taught 6th grade before, and don't particularly care for it, but they have me at the end of the day. I call this period backache time. You can only stand and sit for so long when you are this pregnant before all you want to do is lie down. That's 5th period for me. I cannot find a comfortable position and I am just in pain. My 8th graders are more understanding; 6th graders don't really care if you're pregnant or in pain. They are still at that very self-centered stage and need, need, need. And I don't have a lot to give, give, give. We are getting by, but it has become very clear that I am not cut out to be a 6th grade teacher.

So there you go. Now you see why I haven't much mentioned it- there is not a lot to say that is of any sort of interest, but do with it what you will.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

$1700 in San Francisco:

Here are a few of the options of what $1700 will get you in San Francisco

1. A large 2-bdrm. that is literally falling apart. Dirt and scum everywhere. You are afraid to touch anything because it might infect you somehow. Up three major flights of stairs in a run-down building. No amenities.

2. A large 2-bdrm. plus bonus room, with hardwood floors in a really busy, rundown neighborhood. A shitty kitchen and bathroom. Windows that so clearly need to be redone that the current tenants tape them up to keep out the draft. A ton of space. No parking. A church choir that sings really loudly a few doors down.

3. A small 2-bdrm. up about 100 twisty stairs. Seriously. Industrial carpets. A little storage room. Small bedrooms. And then down the 100 stairs.

4. A 1-bdrm. with a really big kitchen that "could be a living room". Cause I like to put my sofa and TV in the kitchen, don't you? A huge, sloped ceiling bedroom and a tiny little bedroom. People, if there is no living room, it is a 1-bdrm. I don't give a damn how big the kitchen is.

5. A tiny 2-bdrm. with a nook of a living room off the kitchen. A good, but majorly hilly neighborhood. Nicely remodeled, but the "living room" will really only hold a sofa and a small armoire for the TV. That is it. Large and nice garden. Nice views.

So clearly we are going to have to compromise something here. The big question is- WHAT? Nice but tiny space? Large space but no parking? A little run-down but big? Do we push for one of these? Or keep holding out? Ack.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Bloggity Birthday:

If my blog were a dog, today it would be 21. I would totally take it out and buy it a drink to celebrate. But being that I'm all knocked up, and the blog probably wouldn't take well to having vodka poured all over it, I'm just going to go ahead and wish it a happy birthday. Blog-style.

There was a time when I didn't know why I blogged. Now I know. Now it is very clear.

It is because I have met amazing people like this, who not only inspire me on a daily basis to be a better teacher and person, but also move me with their kindness when they do things like send cute little baby socks to the Q.

It is also because without even meeting them, some people will email you all sorts of pregnancy tips, and answer your bizarre pregnancy and child related questions, and don't even have to meet you to discuss hemorrhoid issues. And also offer to get you your much-desired sushi after you give birth. Without even meeting you! Is that amazing or what?

It is also because when you are feeling totally lonely and scared, still other people will email you their phone numbers and tell you that they will absolutely be your birth backup.

Also, if you didn't blog, you would never be able to say I-knew-him-when, because he is SO going to be a famous writer one day.

When I started blogging, I thought I was just keeping a journal of my life and trying to throw some somewhat amusing little pieces in there. I cannot believe that three years ago I was only 27. I cannot believe three years ago I was not yet a teacher. I cannot believe three years ago I was not married. I cannot believe that three years ago I did not have a little bebe swimming inside me. I cannot believe that three years ago, I did not even know these sorts of connections existed with people. This blog serves as a constant reminder to me that I am never actually as alone as I think I am, and that no matter what I'm going through, there will always be kind people to help. I appreciate it from the bottom of my hormonally-riddled heart.

Today, I ask that all readers leave a little birthday comment for my blog. I don't know who many of you are. Just say hi, and leave your blog address if you have one. I promise to come visit!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Living to Eat:

We were kindly informed at our last staff meeting of some of our district's 'goals and objectives' for the upcoming year. This was basically a lot of bullshit, put into a powerpoint presentation, that took up time at a staff meeting we are mandated to attend. Awesome!

One of the bullet points caught my eye. In an effort to fight obesity, our district is going to be 'moving away from food as rewards or gifts'. Note that they did NOT say they were moving away from food as rewards because extrinsic motivation doesn't work. No, they made it clear that this was in effort to fight obesity.

Things like this make me want to throw in the towel on teaching now.

I am obviously not for childhood obesity. I am obviously for eating healthy. But I'm sorry, you are going to feed the students low-grade beef, iceberg lettuce, and processed crap for breakfast and lunch but my mini Tootsie Roll once a month is causing childhood obesity? Puh-lease.

It is bad enough that we cannot bring in homemade treats for students anymore (oy, the liabilities), but now this. I currently use a system in my classroom where classes get daily points for behavior, and then about once per quarter, if they have enough points, they get a pizza party. One slice each. Four times per year. No difference between that and the pizza they get at lunch, but clearly we need to 'move away from this system'. Never mind that I have given one referral all year and discipline in my classroom is not an issue.

One time, when teaching Anne Frank, I asked the principal if I could use the over in the cafeteria to heat up latkes, since my students didn't know what they were. I was going to have a little Hanukkah party. He actually laughed in my face and told me in no uncertain terms that there was no way I could be trusted to use the ovens to REHEAT SOME LATKES. Sure, trust me with your children, but god forbid I use an oven.

This new policy even moves away from selling candy canes with our 'Holiday Grams' or lollipops with our 'Valentines Day Grams', because of the obesity issue.

I fully understand that school is for education, but think about what YOU remember from school. I remember my 6th grade teacher keeping M&M's on his desk and giving them to us as 'Vitamins'. I remember parents bringing in cupcakes for birthdays. I remember day-before-winter-break doughnuts. Food makes people feel like they are part of a community, and there is a lot that students can learn from eating together (if it were up to me, EVERYONE would be taking Home Ec again, and learning to cook).

When they are willing to change the crap they serve in the cafeteria to healthy food, I will consider getting rid of my quarterly pizza party. Until then, it's all just lip service to me.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

You say potato:

Some days you are really sick and out of it and you go to Whole Foods to pick up a few items, and you think 'I could use some potatoes', so you pick up a few even though you don't normally do a lot of shopping at Whole Foods, due to the exorbitant prices and all, but really, how expensive can two russett potatoes be? And so you pick up a few items and get distracted by the newborn in line and they say "$11.38", which is not a lot and you swipe your card, just thinking about how soon you will be home and can lie your sick, aching body down and then you get home and happen to glance at the receipt and see that you paid $3.42 for two stupid organic russett potatoes. TWO POTATOES! They better be the best potatoes ever made at that price.
A laundry list of things I will miss about the suburbs:

1. The parking

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Who Has The Babies?

When I began this teaching profession, one of the first things that struck me was how many teachers I met, particularly women, who didn't have kids. I have worked many places in my life, and, depending on age, most people at said jobs who were into or past childbearing age had children. But, oddly, not teachers.

Of course, this is merely anecdotal.

But then, in today's staff meeting, I did a quick count. Of the eighteen teachers and administrators at our school, only five (including me) have children. Most of them are past their childbearing years and, presumably, couldn't or didn't have any kids. Also, many of the teachers who do have children did not become teachers until after their children were grown. Is this just a coincidence?

I think it must be a little more than that. Or is this particular to my school? What is your experience? Do most teachers you know have kids?

Monday, February 06, 2006

Further things they don't tell you about pregnancy:

It's not always pretty.

More here.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Quiet Solitude, for now:

It's been a week tomorrow since Bella left and while I know in my head that she is gone, my heart and body have not caught up.

Every time a piece of food drops, or I have an extra piece of something, I call out "Beeeeeeee", and then I stop and glumly pick up the floor myself, because I realize she isn't here.

Whenever I see a piece of clothing on the floor and it's not really light out, I think she is lying there, all curled up. My mind actually believes for 1/2 second that it is her.

Whenever I am doing errands, I think she is in the car waiting for me.

But every time I come home, I realize that she is not here immediately. Because I don't care how small and meek you are, if you have a 90 lb. German Shepherd, you lose a lot of fear. I used to come home, feeling totally secure that everything was ok. Now I immediately go into paranoid mode: Is anything out of place? Where could somebody be hiding? I never used to lock the door, now I think about it again before I go to sleep at night.

I keep thinking maybe she is coming back, even though her adoptive family has emailed twice saying how much they love her. She's not really coming back. But tell that to my right arm when I have a heel of bread to throw her. It still thinks she's here.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Posthip Saturday Night:

A few minutes ago, I was talking to my good friend, who I've known since I was five, and who has a one-year old. There was a little lull in the conversation.
"So", I asked without really thinking, "what are you going to do tonight?"

And we both started cracking up.

Because the thought that "doing something" on a Saturday night just doesn't even occur to us anymore.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Like, totally random bits of information, because that is all my exhausted and hormonally-addled little brain can handle:

I could bitch and moan a lot, but let me put it to you in simple terms: Full-time teaching, seven months pregnant, taking 15 units. Now add sick.


Last night I cried because I was too hot. What's up, hormones?


We have received another email from Bella's new owners, saying that they love her and how happy she is. This makaes me alternately overjoyed and deeply sad.


You know how pregnant women get that dark line down the middle of their belly? I got mine; it's not in the middle. It's off to one side, which annoys the OCD part of me no end.


Through reasons I won't get into, I just received via email a photo album of my jr. high school boyfriend's family. Weird, being that it's been 17 years since I've seen the guy. And he looks EXACTLY the same.


My students are voicing the opinion that my class is "boring". They seem to prefer the ones where they get constant referrals and fight with the teacher. I can't quite figure it.


Speaking of students, all my 8th grade girls are becoming bisexual. Say it with me- I. Didn't. Want. To. Know.


I am really, really tired.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

It's Quote Day:
(this one from the lovely beausband)

"That fart sounded just like one of the sound effects produced as 'fart' on the Mac Classic II, which included eep, droplet, and pregnant fart."
Quote from a student today:

"Ms. J, you look really different today."

A moment of quiet.

"You look really pretty."

Wednesday, February 01, 2006


I have documented before my dislike of the Holiday That Happens In February. Enter, pregnancy.

PhC: I think I'd like to celebrate Valentine's Day this year.
Lovely Beausband (LB): Wow, this pregnancy thing really has changed you.
PhC: No, I just want more chocolate. Will you just get me a really big box of See's?
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