Thursday, February 26, 2015

My family keeps wondering why the kids aren't just in public school.

The imp has a spelling test, today (if they don't run out of time--it's a Friday thing, but Friday's cancelled).  He's in kindergarten, if y'all remember.  He's also reading fairly well. 

He is not being bullied.  At all.

Not like this poor little five-year-old girl in Pascagoula, Mississippi, who was kicked in the face repeatedly while playing on the slide (though the school somehow thinks she beat her own face misshapen, and blacked her own eyes because they didn't see it happen). 

And definitely not like this poor twelve-year-old boy who was hospitalized with a skull fracture (and leaking spinal fluid) by another boy two years older and three times bigger. 

There's a point where kids ought to be taught to stand up to bullies, and then there's a point where the bullies need to be forcibly removed from interacting with other children.  Unfortunately, most public schools are beyond unwilling to do anything but close their eyes and blame the victim. 

Honestly, were I either of those children's parent, I'd be yanking my kid out of the schools, homeschooling them, and suing the pants off of the district.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

I hate being behind in work.

Whether that work is housework or the stuff that brings the paycheck, I hate being behind. 

And I'm behind in everything.  Trying my best to catch up, but it's not going quickly.  And the thing I most want to be working on (my writing) is what has to be set aside until I get everything else done. 

Yesterday helped, but not as much as I was hoping.  I got my papers that were turned in via the course website graded (eight very good papers in the course of an hour), then turned to the print copies.  The very first paper I  picked up...yeah, I got lost in trying to decipher what the individual was trying to say, and didn't manage to get through the paper in an hour.  The student really needs an ESL tutor, really, really badly.  Their ideas are spectacularly good, but their word choices and structure really make that hard to see.  And their papers take me over an hour to get through and grade.  I'm honestly tempted to put an F and a "see a tutor to turn this into standard English" note on the top, and be done with it.

And now, I'm behind in where I intended to be, on top of being a week behind in my grading thanks to that damn bout with the stomach flu.  

Sunday, February 22, 2015

I know I'm late with the announcement, but it's been a busy day.

Today was Odysseus's birthday.  We spent most of the day with his parents, or with wrangling the kids after we got home (rather: I wrangled, while he did homework and took an online quiz).

I'm just about done in, so I think it's time for me to head for bed.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

random ramblings

The imp was sick, last week (got over it totally around last Saturday).  I didn't realize how bad until the call of "Mommy, my butt threw up."  And this past week, the pixie caught it, and I caught it.  We went down hard.  I've lost around another ten pounds.  I can tell the pixie's lost a bit of weight, too, and she didn't have it to lose.

She was incredibly cute, the night she started eating again.  She looked up at her daddy with big, sad eyes, and asked, "Would you carry me to bed?  My body's all wiggly."  It only took me a second to realize she meant she felt weak and shaky.  That was around Wednesday night.  

I will admit to being terribly irritable and short with the kids, this morning.  I woke up with a minor earache, and I'm a little dizzy, still with the earache, and now with a headache joining in.  And, of course, the kids are contentious and whiny. 

This morning, Odysseus has gone off to the volunteer tax prep service that the university set up (for credit for their accounting students.  I wasn't sure he'd have the opportunity--we had some sleet last night--but the roads were no more than just wet, this morning.  And he's good at driving on snow and ice with the Civic, much less the Subaru.  I'm only minimally worried, and more about the other fuckwits on the road causing incidents.  He'll be back sometime after five, right around supper time.  I've got some plans, but it'll depend on how I feel whether I can get 'em done or not.  Gonna do one of my chicken casseroles, if I feel up to it. 

The cats have started beating on each other in the evenings.  Turns out Odysseus doesn't feed 'em as much as I do, and leaves 'em hungry in the evening.  Which makes both kitties--both of which are normally sweet tempered with each other--really, really cranky and aggressive.  I'm gonna have to put a flat stop to that.

I'd actually planned on taking the kids up to my mother's, today, but the weather scotched that.  I'd planned  on helping my sister wash my dog, so that she didn't smell like a riverbank (Scotty dog likes to dig, and sleep in the holes).  They've started having her out in the house with them, just puppying about.  She likes to sleep between feet and furniture, and neither of the other two dogs in the house have the manners to be permitted the same treatment.  My dog's mother (my mother's dog--a puppy mill rescue) isn't really even house trained, though she's getting there.

I picked up papers last Friday, right before the pixie got sick.  I haven't managed to get started on 'em yet.  I'm gonna bust my ass to get those done today and tomorrow. 

I just realized something...I hope I have pants that fit to go teach in on Monday.

No, I have not gotten one word written during this past week.  I should be able to change that in short order during my office hours next week.

I also didn't manage to get a pound and a half of sliced mushrooms parted out and frozen.  Or any used to make meatless spaghetti sauce for the freezer.  And now, my mushrooms, which have been sitting in the back of the fridge for a week, are gonna have to get tossed.  Damn it.

Being sick sucks.  That has been a full seven weeks I've been mostly out of commission, and the year's only eight and a half weeks old.  Definitely praying for things to start looking up...

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Still alive.

The tummy bug that hit the pixie was rather vicious.  She didn't eat from Sunday through yesterday, and all I've been able to get down her have been pancakes and goldfish crackers. 

I know first hand just how vicious it's been: I caught it, too.  I seem to be on the mend, but there's probably at least another day of fasting involved for me.  But it's definitely going to keep me out of the classroom tomorrow, just as it did on Wednesday.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Rough 24 hrs and counting...

The pixie has been sick.  Vomited twice in her bed fairly early on last night, and a few more times into a bucket while laying on the couch much later last night, and has spent the day laying on the couch sleeping and watching stuff, and vomiting at random points.  Only once did she get any on the couch, and even then, it wasn't much.  All over herself, on the other hand...yeah. 

She's already gotten her bed again tonight.  And the sleeve of the last clean, dry nightgown.  There are more in the wash, but I'm not whereabouts in the cycle they are.  She's currently in a school dress she wore last Wednesday, since that's what I found on short notice. 

I absolutely hate it when the kids are sick.  It's emotionally rough, since I'd rather be sick than watch them suffer, and physically demanding jumping around to make sure they hit the bucket when they lose what little they've managed to put in their stomach.  Given that I spent until two this morning sitting up with her*, I'm inclined to lay down on the couch and conk out for a while, until the next time she needs cleaned up.

*My wonderful husband got up with the kids this morning, despite having migraine level pain with a sinus headache, and let me sleep until my need to take care of my sick baby woke me up.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

random ramblings

The imp had his first spelling test, last week.  He got every word right, including the extra "surprise" word at the end.  We are very, very pleased. Unfortunately, they somehow managed to run out of time, this week--it's not surprising, since they had Friday off for a teacher development day.  They'll have Monday off, too, as that is President's Day.

He finally got a purple day* and got his toys back.  Including the blocks that had been in the pixie's room.  We had to find a set of blocks for the pixie--a small set of small, painted shape blocks, something that won't get mixed up in the imp's blocks.  Unfortunately, the blocks are so small and light that they won't build up on carpet.  I managed to adapt something for her (a 1" x 12" x 14" rectangular board), but she got awfully frustrated, at first.

We met up with some friends, last night.  My six year old son is almost as tall as her nine year old son.  They were a bit shocked.  My daughter is almost a foot taller than their son, who's only about a year and a couple months younger than she is.  Hell, to be honest, was a bit shocked.  I didn't realize my kids were that tall.

Anyhow, they're homeschooling, and she complained about her youngest daughter's handwriting.  I offered the loan of the fountain pen I fixed yesterday--kids, especially, are forced to slow down and think about what they're doing until they're used to it, and even then, are often so pleased with having something special to write with that they take more care.  My kids desperately want a fountain pen each, for example.  I've promised that I'll get each of them their own pen once they learn to write with one.  And I sent my friend the link, because the fountain pen I found is designed for kids: the grip part is molded, and there's a smiley face engraved in the nib to teach them how to hold and use a fountain pen.

My kids had their Valentines Day party at school, last Wednesday.  The pixie brought home a paper heart that she'd glued decorative puff balls to...badly, since all of the balls came off.  The cats...the cats just love those things, and have been routinely stealing them to play with in the kitchen where they slide and roll around on the linoleum.  I'm not sure what about them has attracted the cats' attention so firmly, but both cats have been acting like kittens with them.  Which makes me wonder if I shouldn't get the cats some new toys.

I picked up paper 2 yesterday, and one of my students told me they had a friend in a different Comp II class that hadn't even written one paper, yet.  They also told me that they'd picked my class for convenience (my class is in the library, in the middle of campus, rather than way off away from everybody but the business majors), but were incredibly glad they did because of how much they were learning, and because of the laid back environment, and the way I let them choose the topics.  (I rarely have two papers over the same topic, and almost never from the same point of view--which makes things a damn sight more interesting as I grade papers.)  Pretty much everyone in the classroom agreed with that student.  And they're planning to have a lot  of fun with the evaluation essay--they can review a movie** or a book** or a video game** or music, or anything else they can think of.

Writing hasn't totally stalled, but I've had less time than I'd prefer--I'm still trying to catch up with the housework that I couldn't do for almost six full weeks.  I've gotten caught up with taking care of the cats, but I've still got laundry (and clean clothes to put away), the kitchen (although I've banned the use of real dishes until further notice), and the living room to deal with.  Not to mention the master bedroom.

And I'm still waiting on cover art...

*The imp's class has a behavior chart, graded by colors.  Pink is spectacular, purple is excellent, blue is good, green is "ready to learn" and is the minimum acceptable, and yellow, orange, and red are bad behavior.

**For the movie review, they have to watch something they haven't seen; however, since books and video games take a lot more time to get through, I don't require fresh eyes on that.  I don't want to hamper them with getting stuff done for other classes in doing homework for mine.