Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Public School Teacher

My son brought home an ideal today that he brought to me, not because he didn't understand it, but because he didn't understand why the teacher said it. My 10 year old son fully understood what had been told to him and his fellow classmates, but knew that it wasn't quite right.

Again, it's the gifted coordinator (let's call her Mrs. H) that this is coming from. I have had some interesting exchanges with her, and it looks like things are going to heat up.

Liam said "Mom, Mrs. H told us something today that I don't understand. She told us that we need to keep learning and learning until we are so smart that our parents and teachers are worthless and we can just teach ourselves".

As my internal organs became lava like and threatened to come blasting out the top of my head, God's divine intervention took over and prevented me from hollering "What?!!" Okay, must use patience, must ask more questions...

I asked Liam what part of what Mrs. H told them he didn't understand. He was confused as to why she would want their parents to become worthless. He said he fully understood WHAT she said - he just didn't understand WHY she would say something like that.

Liam is a smart kid. I asked him if he knew what an ideology was, and we talked about the prevalent ideology in our society that one should go with ones own instinct and that "truth" is relative to ones own interpretation.

I touched on a kiddie version of "if it feels good, do it" and tried to explain how it serves to cancel God and elevate man. Striving to get to a point where you are unteachable by anyone but yourself is a deplorable, Godless concept to tout to a bunch of school children.

So I write this to give myself time to think, time to ponder, time to pray. I am so irritated with the whole line of thought coming from this teacher. I'm not sure if she is used to teaching older children, or just doesn't think that things will get back to the parents, or maybe she just doesn't care.

I've now officially had it with the Gifted Program at our local Public Elementary School. I ask our son regularly what they do in the Gifted Class on Tuesday and Thursday for an hour. They play board games, take quizzes on the computer, play cards and do origami. Hmmm...all that and some liberal, question everything, anti-establishment teachings from a person in authority to boot.

No wonder I feel like I have to deprogram these kids every day. They come home with this attitude that they can push me around, say no to me, question what I tell them to do, and just generally talk back. It takes about an hour and some veins popping out on my head and we are back to good.

Lord help me...if this is grade school, what do we have to look forward to.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Blessed Again Today

It is now 3 degrees here in the lovely state of Nebraska. No, no, I thank you for the suggestion, but I really didn't forget a number when I typed that first sentence - really, 3 - just 3. They say that there's some wind chill factor in there making the "real feel" a chilly 19 below due to some fantastic wintry winds, but I don't buy it. Can my face "really feel" the difference between 3 and minus 19?

Fortunate for me I don't have to stay out there long enough to find out!

We had another fantastic Sunday today. The kids sang at church, I got to be in the Nursery and chat with a new acquaintance, Sunday school was a blast, I was able to get some groceries and we got to go to a fantastic Christmas party. All said, a great day - Oh yeah AND I didn't have to cook or wash dishes today, so woohoo!

But back to the cold... Even the coat I was wearing was crackling and acting frozen by the time we got in the car after the party tonight. My family and I all have the luxury of coats, hats and gloves as we hopped into a nice warm van to make the trek back across town. As we drove back home I got to thinking how absolutely horrible it would be to be homeless tonight.

No time is a good time to be homeless. But truly this has to be the worst. I can't imagine having to find somewhere, anywhere, that would be adequate to sleep when it's 3 degrees. This is the weather when digits are lost and ends of noses are quite literally nipped off.

I don't know. Sometimes I get intimidated by others this time of year. I see lots of beautiful decorations and feel pressure to buy lots of gifts. I get confused and start to feel ungrateful for the gifts we were able to buy and our darling little Charlie Brown tree. Thinking about how blessed we are to be warm and fed is how I deal and how God helps me keep his Son in sight this time of year instead of being wowed by all the pretty lights.

Yeah, a pretty good day indeed.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Born Bad

If there is any doubt in your mind that man is evil and prone to sin, then just take care of a couple of toddlers for an afternoon.

Babies are so sweet. They need you and just lie stationary and wait to be entertained. Then they learn to crawl and are sometimes disappointed when things roll out of their reach. I think it’s when they learn to walk that things really heat up.

Lately I’ve seen the sweetest, cherub faced babies turn into Little Chuckies when they don’t get their way. Hair is pulled, faces scratched, and the seam that holds together the fabric of the universe is split by ear piercing screams of “No! Mine!”.

It occurred to me the other day as I watched my 17 month old slap my 6 year old square in the face that she really was born that way. There is no way that she learned this behavior. We don’t slap the children, they don’t even get spanked (although they might need it sometimes), and we don’t slap each other. She doesn’t go to daycare and I’m fairly certain she didn’t see it on TV. She was angry, things weren’t going her way and she reached out and whacked her sister.

So if a behavior isn’t learned, then it’s innate – right? After a year and a half of teaching her how to eat, walk, talk, hug, and play, I am now teaching her how NOT to slap, whack, pinch, and scream at her siblings! It’s almost like her “default” programming has taken over recently as she has become more and more self aware.

How can something that looks SO sweet have the capability to be SO mean?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Things that Crack Me Up

I love to laugh. I really love stand-up comedy and there is still alot of good stand up out there, even if you can't stomach the F word used every other minute - Chonda Pierce makes me laugh, Anita Renfroe is a crazy woman, and of course the classics - Bill Cosby (before the "show" days), okay, okay, I'll even cop to liking the recently deceased George Carlin. It seems I am partial to sarcasm...

So - here goes, things that crack me up:

1. Scrubs - this is a TV show that I am (un)fortunate enough to see in syndication on channel 10 before the kids get home. Some of it is really stupid and most is wholly inappropriate, but who can keep from laughing when Dr. Cox is chewing out "Newbie" and then takes off his gloves and shoots them at his head, huh?

2. www.heateatreview.com - this website is devoted to reviews on frozen microwavable foods. Click on the 0 stars and 1 star reviews to see true biting sarcasm in action... "Hot Pockets should be renamed Scald Pockets due to their lavalike content being hotter than satan's armpits!" - yah, yah, call me juvenile, Abi cracks me up.

3. Anything that has to do with the pitfalls of the over 30 pregnant physique. Folks, there is nothing to do but laugh at things like a pumpkin belly, a pomegranate butt and the lack of gumption to maintain preventative measures.

4. Dom DeLuise as Urgo on the Episode of Startgate SG-1 in Season 3 titled "Urgo". I guess you have to watch it to get it - but imagine a bald squat fat man acting the part of a bored child "C'mon guys, tell me the whole planet isn't this boring...NOT the whole planet!"

5. Bill Cosby Himself - 1983. Look it up on You Tube here's a start

Monday, December 1, 2008

Stay Where You Are

Most people don't really want to take the steps to make changes in thier lives. Most of the time, they just want to complain about thier situation and obtain pity from those in similar situations.

First let me clear the air here and say that I am certainly not excluding myself in this group. I am guilty of the same thing in certain areas of my life. After three years of sobriety, I still hold out hope that someday "they" will make a pill to make me a normal drinker so that I will be able to have a glass of wine with dinner.

I ran a daily email thread for nearly a year. It was focused on nutrition and exercise. I started it with a small group of relatives and it eventually branched out to some co-workers and thier sisters, etc.

Everyday I would start it out by talking about what exercise I had done or planned to do that day, what the day's attack plan looked like for getting my fruits and veggies in and what was stopping me from sticking to it. The thread was designed to be a support for us ladies that were trying to stay healthy and even loose a few pounds.

For the first few months there was alot of conversation and support. When someone would have a day "Off Plan" the others would rally around her. It seemed everyone was glad for the support, the tips and suggestions.

Creating and sticking to an exercise program is hard. It took years for me to find a type of exercise that didn't seem like torture. Learning how to eat food that is good for you is hard as well. It takes time and an adventurous spirit to try new vegetables and fruits and cook from scratch rather than opening up a box or can.

That's where I lost them. It wasn't a quick fix. There was no pill, no plan, no "easy way to shed pounds and inches". Just them and the changes that needed to be made. Participation alone was not enough to see a result.

So time marched on and I continued to start the thread every weekday the same way. I tried to throw in links to interesting material on exercise and nutrition. I attached nutritious recipes and reviews, but the responses dwindled and then stopped. After about a month of silence, I just quit.

I was dissapointed and a bit confused. I didn't understand why no one wanted to talk to me anymore. And then I realized that they just didn't want to DO what was necessary to make positive changes. Having me start the thread everyday with "Wow, I sure love getting my miles in at 5:30 am!" stopped being an inspiration and started being a reminder of how they really wanted a pill or shake to make them thin, not anything resembling sweat or sacrifice.

I just think I should have been a better moderator somehow. That I should have played up all the times I skipped my workout or slipped up on my diet better. That I should have sent personal emails once in a while or made more phone calls to see how people were doing. I still feel I failed them, somehow.