Sunday, January 31, 2010

Camera Obscura



Showed this to my photography students. Then I sent them in my storage room/closet and had it set up as a Camera Obscura. There's a large window in there, so I had already covered it with black plastic trash bags and had a dime-size hole cut in it. It worked beautifully. Kids were excited about it. After a couple days the top fell down, so unless another taller teacher helps me out again, it's staying down.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Exclusive Interviews With My Children

Prior to sending my children out to play in the freshly fallen snow this Saturday, I asked them a few questions.

My 7 year old, S:
Me-What do you want to be when you grow up?
S-OK, why are you doing this? A ballet dancer?

Me-Anything else?
S-I was thinking about being a vet. I have to do my mind on that. I don't know if I want to be a ballet dancer or a vet. One more thing, um, I might want to be like a day care teacher or a regular teacher. I don't know. (Watching me write her answer) You must be bored so you want to quiz me. After you're done this can you quiz me in math?

Me-Where would you like to live if you could live anywhere?
S-Well, I'd like to live in New York City. And another thing, I'd like to live in a beautiful house with a very nice garden. What do you call those things with a table and chair underneath? Don't write that. A canopy! A beautiful canopy. That's what I want with a table and chairs underneath.

Me-What animal would you like to turn into?
S- INTO?! Um... I guess... mmm... That's a good one. Haha... I... a... um... a... a shark? (laughing) Or a cat or a dog or a cow? Ok, just not a cow. Or an anteater! (laughing) Just kidding! A squirrel (laughing) that poops on noses! (calms down, watches me write) One more thing... I have one more thing.

Me-What?
S-I'd like to turn into (laughing again) a nana that can pull noses off and make them bloody! (a lot of laughing)

S-(calm now) Now what?

Me-What will you look like when you are a teenager?
S-Oh no (laughing) Why are you asking me that?!

Me-Well?
S-Oh good one. Well, I'd look like a beautiful girl with ballet flats with a pretty dress and beautiful tights and a sassy hat. And lovely ballet flats.

Me- You already said ballet flats first. What will your body be like when you are a teenager and possibly taller than mommy?
S-(laughing) Well, my body would look skinny and nice, not big and chubby. And I do not know if I will be taller than my mom... I probably will.

Me- Will you be friends with mommy when you grow up?
S- Um, that is a stupid question. I will always be friends with you. You're my mother. We'll always be friends. Actually we'll be family, not just friends.

Me-How do you know if you love someone?
S-I don't actually know that.

Me-How do you know if you love mommy?
S- You're born with a loving heart and sometimes you're born with a mean heart, like a bully.

My 4.5 year old, G:

Me- What do you want to be when you grow up?
G- I wanna be a birdie.

Me- What kind of job will you have?
G- I wanna have a birdie job.

Me- What kind of job is that?
G- That is a birdie job and you make birdie toys.

Me- Lets see... um...
G- What? Can you help me with my boots? Can't you?

Me- In a minute. I thought you wanted to be a doctor.
G- I do want to be a doctor. I changed my mind.

Me- So will you be a doctor?
G- Yeah. I won't never stop being a doctor. Can you help me with my socks in a second? (Proceeds to put on socks while I'm writing.)

Me- Where do babies come from?
G- The butt. The gina.

Me- What do babies look like... (I was going to say 'when they're born' but she cut me off).
G- They look like tiny things... like I was a little, tiny baby. (Puts on boots while I'm writing.)

Me- Why do babies cry?
G- Cuz whey they're so upset, when they're so upset they don't know how to do they just cry.

Me- How is snow made?
G- It's made of white clouds.
Me- Mmmm....
G- Oh I shouldn't put my boots on now. (Takes them off.) I have to put my snow pants on. (Goes to get snow pants.)

Me- How do light bulbs make light?
G- You have to turn it on with a lamp.

Me- How do lamps make light bulbs light up?
G- I don't now. You have to turn something to put it on.

Me- So, if lamps turn on light bulbs, what turns on lamps?
G- A thing you tap on to turn on. (She had a touch lamp in her room.)

Me- What is your favorite kind of music?
G- (Zips up snow pants she has just put on and doesn't respond.)
Me- What is your favorite CD?
G- Little People

Me- What is your favorite song on there?
G- Happy and you know it clap your hands.

Me- How do you know if you love someone?
G- (Puts on boots.) My heart loves everybody.

And away they go to play in the snow.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Loved Julia--Julie, not so much

Yes, I'm referring to Julie & Julia, the movie. I have no plans to read the book by Julie Powell. At one point in the movie, during a long sequence about Julia Child, I forgot completely about Julie and was surprised when it went back to her. She was annoying. Since reading an article about her newest book I find her even more annoying. She wrote about her apprenticeship at a butcher shop. Julia really helped her concur meat! She also wrote about she and her husband having affairs. "She blames the "dark void" in her marriage on marrying young and, in part, on the changes that Julie & Julia and surrounding publicity brought to her life." That is where I get doubly annoyed. When people who married prior to age 30 (or 28 or 26) have marital problems, divorce, cheat, and they blame it on marrying young, it is such a cop-out. I'll tell you what marrying young causes: 50 year wedding anniversaries, that's what. It's people's decisions to ignore or abuse their spouse, to cheat, to be selfish and hurtful that hurts a marriage. Also, marrying when issues haven't been worked out or conversations about important issues haven't been had can lead to divorce no matter what age one gets married.

Back to the movie. *SPOILER: It wrapped up nicely with she and her husband reconciling after a little rough patch (he was gone ONE night.) She toasted him as Julia's husband once toasted her. As Julie says in real life, her movie persona is the romcom version of her life. I wouldn't want to see a romcom about cutting up pigs and cows and cheating on your spouse. Good thing Julie left that for the second book.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Dream Baby

Last night I dreamt I had a baby. It was realistic enough, but skipped the giving birth part, hurray, and picked up with the part where I am handed my beautiful baby swaddled in a hospital blanket wearing a pink, of course, knitted cap. I held her to my neck and it felt so good and so real. My clock is ticking so FREAKIN LOUD! It's driving me nuts. Will once read an article he told me about that stated that women's fertility usually begins to decrease at age 27. Well, I'm 28.5 and something is happening here. It's like my body is saying it's my last chance and don't I really, really want a baby? No. A couple weeks ago I was a few days late. Usually that doesn't bother me, but a little after mid-cycle I was nauseous in the middle of the night and when I told my lunch friends at school I was glad I didn't have to stay home because of it he suggested I might be pregnant. So then when I was late I was thinking about that and read about a bunch of cases online where women were pregnant years after their husbands had vasectomies. I was thinking how horrible a pregnancy would be because of my terrible reflux and also starting a new job--my first professional teaching position. But then I started getting the telltale signs everything was normal and, of course, it was so I scolded myself for being so ridiculous. After last night's dream I realize it's more than just being ridiculous, it's my internal clock telling me I'm still fertile and could easily--too easily--conceive another baby.

I think because of the new job and my career being my new daily focus in addition to my family I've unconsciously realized I've just begun the rest of my life. That sounds terrible. I'm aware I will do many different things and have many wonderful and not so wonderful experiences with my family, in my career, in my social life. So why am I so dramatic about this job being the start of something major? It's just a job. It's a job that may end sometime because of my choice or circumstances out of my control. It's an experience. That's it. It's not the be all, end all.

Anyway, something inside my body/consciousness is out of control and it needs to chill the fuck out. Seriously.

A Post Christmas Poem

Lights are coming down.
Winter gloom all around.
Who likes the ice?
Who likes the cold?
Who likes the dark?
I just want to stay home.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Twenty Ten

When I started teaching I made my blog private. I have since edited out some pictures and have opened it back up. I want to share that I am having a great time teaching at my new job. When we go back from holiday break we'll be finishing up the first semester and in two weeks will get to start a new semester. I am very excited to actually start a new semester from the beginning and implement my own syllabus and lesson plans. It's going to be a lot of work and I'm constantly thinking about what I want to change for next year. Overall, the school is a great fit for me and I'm very thankful to have the job.

S, who is now SEVEN, is less excited about her new school. Her teacher is very strict and the classroom atmosphere of seriousness has made it more difficult for her to make friends like she did at the public school she attended prior. She also has a little tattletale who is not a fan of hers so if she makes even the slightest mistake the little brat tells on her. Basically it's a little bullying, so I'm listening when she tells me and I've just told her to be honest with any teachers the girl is tattling to. S hasn't gotten in trouble because of the girl, but it's hurtful to her. If it picks up again when we return I'm going to have to talk to her teacher.

G has a great day care center to attend, but also gets upset about having to go. She doesn't like nap, which is 2.5 hours long! It's pretty ridiculous considering she hasn't napped regularly for over two years. But, with getting up and out of the house so early the nap has worked out well for her. We've actually been able to get both kids to nap many days over the long break. G has two teachers and prefers one over the other I think because she was the one she started her first days with.

The 45 minute drive was really getting to us all before the Christmas break. G was having more bad drives than good ones. Bad= crying, whining, fighting with her sister, kicking the seat infront of her, etc. I'm going to get a book on tape to play so hopefully that'll help.

We're still with my parents and had a nice Christmas and New Years together. We actually stayed up to welcome in the New Year, something I haven't done for a while. We have our sights set on moving out in six months when school is out. I'm looking at doing a different summer camp with the kids. We're looking forward to good year ahead.