Tag Archives: Slice of Life Story

Bus drama

3 Oct

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I looked at the other teacher sitting with me on the bus, my eyes sending her a telepathic message,  Did she just say that?

It was our annual  bus evacuation drill and we were on the bus with a driver who had just told our 6th graders that if they didn’t listen and follow the rules they would die.

The driver certainly had our attention.

She had presence, a well-projected voice and a flair for the dramatic.

I learned about the double hull construction of a school bus . Who knew?

I learned that a bus will fill with smoke in two minutes.

And I learned that this driver would drag the “lifeless body” of a child who choked on a piece of gum off the bus and begin first aid as soon as she could.

As we exited the bus, reeling a little, one of my students simply said, “She talked a lot about dying.”

Definitely the most dramatic bus evacuation drill I have ever experienced.

 

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Not so silent reading

26 Sep

I almost laughed out loud during silent reading yesterday. Not at my book. Not because the kid at the table in front of me was laughing at his book.

I almost laughed out loud during silent reading yesterday because of all the sounds I hear. Sniff. Cough. Sneeze. Blow.

It is the fourth week of school and cold season has descended upon us.

I made my own contributions to the Congestion Symphony. I’m in the trumpet section, rising frequently for a kleenex. There is a choreography of sorts as students get up for a tissue, blow, put the tissue in the trash can,, then return to their seats. Some rise only one; some are frequent flyers. Perhaps I should call it the Congestion Ballet instead.

 

The over-the-counter medication I brought to school wasn’t doing much. I could have added moans and groans over the sinus pain I felt, but I’m the adult in the room and I am trying to be a good role model.

Today, I am bringing the out-of-date prescription decongestant I have in my bathroom cupboard, a relic from a more serious illness a few years ago. They might be out of date, but they still work.

Today, I am hoping to not be part of the audience. I am sure there will be someone new to take up my spot with the horns, so I can listen to the symphony and watch the ballet.

slice-of-life_individual

Back To School Night 2017

19 Sep

Early Morning – Home                                                                                                                  Choosing two outfits                                                                                                                             Wearing the one I’ll teach in                                                                                                             Carrying the second

Before Students – School                                                                                                      Stapling up the photos                                                                                                                        I took of the students last week                                                                                                        Gussy up the classroom

Daytime – School                                                                                                                                Writer’s workshop begins                                                                                                                   Students engaged, thinking, writing                                                                                                  I worry about the night

After School – Near School                                                                                                        Dinner with the team                                                                                                                         At our favorite restaurant                                                                                                            Only water, please.

Before BTSN – School                                                                                                                            Classroom lights are off                                                                                                                       I sit quietly at my desk                                                                                                                         Awaiting the onslaught

During BTSN – School                                                                                                                        Wearing the second outfit                                                                                                                   Pacing and talking too fast.                                                                                                                   Can they see me sweat?

Mid BTSN Interruption _ School                                                                                                The Sheriff is here                                                                                                                                If you parked in the fire lane                                                                                                     Please move your car now.

After BTSN  – In the car                                                                                                          Driving home, there’s rain                                                                                                              Washing away the long day                                                                                                         Peace in my heart.

slice-of-life_individual

 

Libraries to the rescue

12 Sep

I pulled into the grocery store parking lot at 5 on the dot. It was the end of the first week of school and I wanted to treat myself (celebratory ice cream?) and get grocery shopping for next week out of the way.

I grabbed my school bag, heavy with a laptop, exited the car and walked to the trunk where I would keep the bag while I shopped. I hefted the bag into the trunk and opened it to get my wallet.

I couldn’t find it.

I pulled everything out and it still wasn’t there. As I repacked my school bag, I realized that I must have left the wallet on my desk as I packed it before leaving school. I remembered taking the wallet out in order to make room for everything I wanted to take home. Apparently, I’d forgotten to put it back in.

Getting back into the car, without my treat or groceries, I thought about what to do. By the end of the five-minute drive home, I had a plan.  After parking the car, I texted my VP. Her office is close to my classroom and maybe she’d still be there at 5:15. I entered the house to Lucy’s manic greeting and took her for a walk, hoping for news when we returned.

After her quick walk, Lucy got dinner and I checked the phone. My VP was already home. I was disappointed but decided I had one last hope. Maybe someone was still at school and checking their email. I could send out an email SOS.

I opened my school email, looking for an “all staff” email I could use for a “Reply all” when I noticed that Kelly, our school Library Assistant, had sent a message mere minutes before.

Hope rose in my heart.

I sent the SOS directly to her and she replied. At 5:30 pm. On the first Friday of school.

Screen Shot 2017-09-09 at 7.06.57 AM

Relief washed over me.

On Saturday, I took a credit card and walked to the grocery store. With my driver’s license at school, I didn’t want to tempt fate by driving. The walk was about 20 minutes, so I didn’t get the celebratory ice-cream – for fear it might melt- but I walked home knowing I had what I needed for the week and that my wallet was safe.

slice-of-life_individual

 

First Day Jitters

5 Sep

I tossed and turned all night last night.

The night before, I dreamed I was doing something with Queen Elizabeth.  The details escape me, but it was more stressful than pleasant.

Friday night, I had an honest to goodness first day nightmare.

I am nervous and excited, even though this is my 29th first day of school as a teacher and my 48th total!

I am grateful to have found a job I love.

I am grateful for colleagues who work together. I eat lunch every day with my teammates and the 6th grade Humanities team are a model of  professional collaboration.

I am grateful to teach in an air-conditioned building. Temperatures are projected to reach 100ºF and the air smells of the forest fire burning 50 miles away. Portland Public, with mostly older buildings without AC, is ending school two hours early today because of the heat and air quality.

Whether you have already started, or start today, I wish you a wonderful 2017-18 school year.

slice-of-life_individual

 

 

A Little Luck

29 Aug

 See a penny pick it up.

All the day you’ll have good luck.

I don’t really believe that old superstition.

And yet, whenever I see a penny on the ground, I pick it up and recite the rhyme. It is just what I do.

I don’t really believe picking up pennies will bring me luck.

And yet, last week, while taking Lucy for a walk, I found a penny and picked it up. A littler further on, I found another penny and a dime. I picked those up, too. If a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, what is 12¢ worth, I wondered.Did I now have 12 times the luck I’d left the house with?

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The Road to Bend

8 Aug

Way back in the Spring, a friend and I signed up for a union sponsored, all-expenses paid, leadership conference to be held in Bend, Oregon. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

A few weeks before the conference she called me, thinking she didn’t really want to go anymore. I didn’t want to be assigned a random roommate, so we looked into cancelling. Apparently, others have felt this way in the past and cancelling would cost us each $150. So, we made plans for the trip.

The day before we made plans on where to meet. Thinking I was being helpful, I suggested the Starbucks 3 blocks from my house. My friend has a history of being late and I figured I could enjoy my coffee while I waited. I could also leave my car at home and buy her a coffee, since she would be the driver. While talking on the phone, I looked up the address and read it off to her.

The next morning, I was at Starbucks about 5 minutes early, as is my wont. The deal was that, if she wasn’t there by 7:15, I would call her. I placed my order and picked up my Venti soy latte when it was ready. Little did I know that my first sip of the mocha, would foreshadow other little mistakes.

By 7:10, I was getting anxious… and then my phone rang.

“Where are you?” my friend asked.

Well, it turned out I had not really been paying attention the night before because I;d given her the WRONG address. She was at a Starbucks on Burnside Street, but several miles away. Why hadn’t I noticed that last night? I gave directions to my location and she arrived within a few minutes.

Once she had her coffee, we sat to plan the route. East over Mount Hood, then South? Or South down I-5, then east? We opted for the Mount Hood route and tried to plug in the hotel address to her phone. It wasn’t taking it, so we just typed in Bend, and loaded the car.

After three hours of conversation, the phone began giving us directions. We followed them until she said, “Arrived at Bend”.

We burst out laughing, remembering we hadn’t put in the hotel address. My friend did so and we were off and driving again. Except it still didn’t seem right. Maps had the hotel in the north end of Bend and the phone was sending us South. We knew we were int rouble and started laughing. I was  laughing so hard at one point, I couldn’t speak. My friend pulled over because she was laughing and had to go to the bathroom badly. An accident was imminent. We pulled ourselves together and carried on, after finding a bathroom.

The phone sent us off the highway and through a round about then told us to turn left, but the barrier in the road made us turn right. We pulled off and put in the hotel’s name, instead of the address and, miracle of miracles, we had new directions. we arrived within a few minutes. We registered and made it to the opening lunch, which had just begun, and sat down, hopeful that our misadventures were over.

Just for fun, her are some pictures from the trails near our hotel and conference center.

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