Balt got me up at 5am sharp. We are back on our regular schedule just in time for a new semester. I enjoyed a rainy morning, preparing for the semester. I got into work early and had a busy morning. I have to admit it was exhausting talking through 4 hours of new classes. My throat was very sore after all the talking. I went to Starbucks for a hot latte to ease the throat and for a bit of a pick-me-up. I have more than a dozen new students in yearbook 7th hour putting the class up to 30 students which way too many. I hate hoping for drops but I am. After school we had PCT in the art gallery prepping for a student show opening next week. I got home wearry, watched some news and made a quesadilla for dinner. I finished my 1 Second Everyday video. The hardest part of making almost any video is picking the music. I spent time all weekend listening to different songs trying to pick a song for last semester's mash up. I want something very contemporary to help reminisce about the time. Here it is...
It was a long day, back to school. Lots of meetings, lots of connecting, not a lot done. Above is a photo of all the new staff we have coming in. It is quite a crew. I am officially one of the older teachers on staff. I picked up lunch for all of my newspaper editors who came into school to work on the first issue of the paper while I was busy with sessions put together by students on how to connect with students. I came home exhausted, feeling I got nothing done all day and went out for one last outing. I ended the day watching the season finale of GOT and then put together my summer video... here it is (as soon as it's done uploading!)
On my way home from school this afternoon, I had to walk home because I let Jessi take my truck to get her errands done since we are leaving tomorrow. I had had a conversation with Geof about my dad, his funeral, my trip home and how Balt had gained too much weight this spring. I was feeling a little melancholy and I wrote this on Facebook; I'm walking away from my 19th year of teaching, 14 at Memorial (literally, not figuratively- I'll be back next week:). I've spent the last week juggling grading, finals, cleaning up, working on things for my dad's funeral, and finishing a placement with a student teacher. I've got a lot of emotions going on inside and a lot of people to thank for a lot of love and support. I am blessed to work with the people I work with because they are wonderful. I'm looking forward to spending time with my mother and daughters and family, but I know that will also bring the painful reminder that my dad will not be a part of the events to come. I will forge on to do things in my life to remember him and the gifts he gave me as my father. I am who I am because of who he was. Shortly after, Jessi texted me asking if I was retiring! That was when I added the parenthesis about being literal, but I still got a question about it on Facebook. I guess I was a little too melodramatic.
My day was pretty good. My student teacher left me a mess to clean up which my colleagues got a kick out of and was somewhat therapeutic. I wanted to prep for summer school but I ran out of time. I'll just do it when I start! I had a great lunch with my department and then went to a very celebratory staff meeting. After taking Balt to the Vet and Jessi out to dinner, I came home and finished the video below. It's a one second of everyday from my second semester of the 2016-17 school year. It's my life in a nutshell. You see all my favorite students (some several times) and a bit of each of my classes and lots of my pets who keep me company everyday. I was thrilled to get in my visit to California in February and Annapolis in May. I'll keep going and maybe make a short summer one or a first semester one next school year.
I enjoyed an early morning, coffee sipping, and news watching. I wanted to catch all the info on Cuba and Fidel's death. Having just been in Cuba, I knew this would be a national tragedy, but to see people celebrating in Miami was weird. It is interesting to see so very different views of what kind of man he was. There was a dog walk, video chatting with Monika and yoga later in the morning, followed by lunch out to the Cheesecake Factory with an old friend and lots of chit chat.AND I worked on my Thanksgiving video. Since my family was not all together, I had to get footage from around the world and I pulled it off! My first Thanksgiving video in 2012 was just something to keep me busy over the long weekend and now it is a holiday tradition. I'd like to think someday my grandchildren will watch how our traditions changed year after year-- 2013, 2014,2015 and now 2016 (see below once it is finished). I hope to make one every year until I die! Monika helped me pick the song. Her footage was texted to me from Amman but was not as clear as I would like, so she sent better files via Google photos the next day. Jessi texted me her footage from New York and my niece, Emma, sent the footage from California via Facebook messanger. I could not have made this year's video without the help of my family or without the technology that keeps us all so close.
As the school winds down, things begin to get fun and kind of crazy. Today seniors had a dodgeball tournament. It was a bit chaotic. My team beat it's first challenger but then lost to it's second. The team we beat went on to somehow become the champions. The rules were unclear about whether a ball caught could bring back players or not, so sometimes kids returned to the field while other times they did not. There were no referees to keep kids honest, so we found ourselves at the mercy of cheaters at times-- but boy, did we have fun. The day just flew by. I covered for Joe again as he is in the middle of Track season. We spent some time outside weeding the art garden after PCT which was actually kind of fun. My evening was spent walking Balt, then having left overs from my Mother's Day for dinner and doing a bit of computer work. I got a wonderful card in today's mail from Monika for Mother's Day, so I kind of felt like I was still celebrating the holiday. I suppose in some ways every day is Mother's Day.
Below is a video project a few of my CAMM kids made for Spartan News. It took them nearly the whole semester to get it done due to lots of procrastination, which I have to admit that I often times enable. I was thrilled to have it completed, at last and make the news!!
The morning started with an early dogwalk and then off to school early in order to sign up for the Teacher Appreciation raffle and get a free breakfast. I'll be honest, I was more interested in the swag then the food, but in the end all I got was food. Today I was not a winner. I had tons to do today and felt fairly productive. The weight of May is beginning to bare down but because I have a student teacher, I can tell it will not be overwhelming this year. The day ended late because of a long IEP meeting after school, I didn't need much of an afternoon walk once I got home since I'd already gotten my 10,000 steps in by the time I got home, and I felt pretty exhausted. I had leftovers for dinner and watched Survivor.
I got a lunch time visit from alumni Chris Herr which was super-dooper fun. He is off to Prague to film a movie for the next 4 months and was home for a bit to visit. He shared a video venture that he's doing (see below) and got us caught up with all of his adventures. I love following along with his vlog and have hopes of someday starting up my own vlog, so he offers me inspiration. I follow the careers of a lot of my former students and have a lot of pride for their continued creativity. Chris is certainly one of my favorites!
I got up at 5am and made coffee and started working on my video. The hardest part is finding the perfect song. I listened to a dozen songs. I had footage of the girls singing Adele's "Hello" but I just could not use that song. I love her new album, my mom has it, so we've been listening to it, but it's just too emotional for me right now. I wanted something a bit lighter yet still meaningful. The girls got up around 9am while I was walking and I got home to everyone eating breakfast. It was a very leisure morning. We had a lot of options but the plan to go to the beach was just out of the question. My mom needed to get shots at a clinic at noon, the temps were way too low and the high tides were pretty crazy. The girls decided to go out to lunch and shopping together. I decided to stick around at home to work on my video so I could post it tonight. I had lunch with my parents once they got back from the doctor. The girls got back in time for Erika and I to get to a yoga class together. Now that Erika works in a yoga studio, it is important for her to visit other studios whenever she can. We had a wonderful workout and got back to enjoy leftovers and a movie by the fire.
I don't know how it seems like it suddenly happened. All of the sudden my middle child is 21 today. I'm so excited for her and her life but I miss her so much. I miss having someone around who kept me so busy, I didn't have time to think. She continues to live a busy and adventurous life and I know I can always live vicariously through her.
I woke up at 4:30am this morning and sent Jessi a birthday text, knowing it was 5:30 her time and she'd probably be up. I'll see her in just two weeks and I can't wait. Over the weekend, Thanksgiving plans to have extended family come to parents were made and the day is going to be huge. I miss having family around so much, so I'm in for a lot of fun. After a walk with Balt I went into work early and enjoyed a long, busy day. It was a "normal" Monday, no shortened schedule. I came home and took Balt for an afternoon walk and did some clean up around the house. JoAnne Fabrics had a Veteran's Day door buster on fleece, so I purchased enough for my king size quilt. I saved $80!! I had planned to get to a yoga class but had got distracted. I'll get to the last class and get home and go to bed.
There's no essay today. I'm having a hard time concentrating lately and there's just too much else going on in my brain, right now. I was going to write about the middle child and how wonderful they are, but I'll spare you a thousand words. I did a bit of research and found that middle kids are more extraordinary than their past reputation made them out to be. With three VERY different daughters, birth order really hasn't been huge factor in who they are, but I know it is an influence. Anyway, I am incredible proud of my middle daughter and if being in the middle made her over-reach, stand out or be more ambitious, then I'm glad it's worked out. She's an amazing young woman and I'm so glad I'm her mom. Here's a video from her travels last June in Alaska that I made for her birthday...
I'm not really sure what is going on with me. While I didn't feel as tired as I did yesterday, I dealt with an upset stomach most of the day. I could not understand why I had heartburn, not having eaten anything spicy that I could recall. I was craving chocolate, but I did not have any. I did my best to work through the issues I was having. I spent my prep hour taking down my art show, but before I took it down I decided to video tape the show for my mom. I knew she really wanted to see it and I am hoping this is the next best thing to being there. Geof asked me to put my art in the main office so I picked a few small pieces, no self portraits. After school I went home to walk Balt and then went to yoga to meet Erika for a power class. I am always amazed at how good I feel after my yoga class. I came home hungry and feeling great! I enjoyed a hot shower, a nice dinner and time to watch Survivor.
Oh my, what a day! I loved today. We got to do a lot but I especially loved going to the beach (watch video here) and swimming in the Mediterranean Sea! I'm so exhausted but have so much to share. Please check out pictures on Facebook! The pictures tell a lot about the day. Barcelona is a lot like LA, in a lot of ways. It feels familiar and yet so unique.
For dinner we had paella that was amazing. I ate a vegetarian version as I'm not really into fish but Josh gobbled up 3 plate fulls and added mussels and shrimp from kids too grossed out to eat them. We had another custard for dessert and I made sure to only eat one tonight but I added a cappuccino instead which made the meal perfecto!
Note-- the photo is from the Sagrada Família the unfinished church of architect Antoni Gaudí. It has been under construction since 1882, and is financed by private donations-- mostly from entrance fees. Once thought the church would not be done until well after 2070 but as of 2007, completion is planned for 2026 because donations have been rising.
It was a beautiful day with a nice vibe in the school. Everyone is so excited for end of the year and all the excitement that comes with it. Tonight was Senior Convocation and all the seniors with honors and awards gathered with their parents. It was so fun to see everyone dressed up. Monika looked so amazing and I am so proud of her. She was mentioned for her Badger State representation of the school, for high honors and for receiving a scholarship. After the ceremony, there was music and food and lot of pictures to take. She's here with the new principal, Mr. Affedlt, who she's worked with in Student Voice and admires very much.
I was up way too late last night, so luckily had a bit of time to take a nap while I waited for Monika to finish practice. I took her out to dinner before the ceremony to her favorite Mexican place. I made for a special evening.
Below is the video I put together for Jessi. This evening while prepping for posting my blog and uploading this evening's photos, my computer crashed. So I am up way too late trying to figure things out, only to finally give up and take the blog posting down to our family computer. I will take the computer in tomorrow for the tech to fix. I have to go to bed.
I love it when the week feels short. Suddenly it's Wednesday! It was a good day. My student teacher is beginning to take over my 3rd and 7th hours, giving me a bit of time to do other things needed. My 4th and 5th hours on the other hand are, at times, such a challenge for me that I fear hainding them over. I was extremely exasperated today by the rudeness of just a couple of kids. I hate being set into the situation of having to react in anger. Somedays I am able to let student's selfish behaviors roll off me but somedays are harder. Today, I did not get angry, but I was frustrated. In all honesty there are some kids who can do little wrong, well, in part because I just like them. But they tend to be sensitive enough to see a situation and act accordingly. There are others who just bug the snot out of me and quite, frankly, it is those kids that seem to be so obtuse, so self centered, that they seem to care less that I'm actually trying to communicate. My problem is that I can't yell at the kid sitting on the table for sitting on the table, when there's another kid sitting on the table but that kid isn't bothering me. I am very self aware of the inequity. Today I just walked away from any confrontation but I won't be able to do that everyday. Tomorrow I'll just take points away from the kids not working.
I spent some time last night finishing my Spring Break video. I stayed up too late but I got it done. I showed it off to Joe's video class as well as showed it to my CAMM classes. They weren't nearly as excited to see it as Joe's class (and yes, the obtuse kids were the ones talking while it was playing;). I've posted it below for you.
After school Monika and I got Chipotle for dinner. Guacamole is great replacement for cheese on a burrito bowl. She had a game and while I made it, I did not stay long-- I'm gutless in the rain. After the 2nd goal, I knew it was going to be a blowout. It was; 8-0. Monika started so I was able to get a few photos (posted above). I had the wrong lens for night time shooting, so I didn't get very many good shots. I came home, put my pj's on and watched an episode of ST:NG. Poor Monika got home soaked and cold. I'm hoping tomorrow's game is better, but I know we are in for more of the same-- 80% chance of rain.
Today was one of those day I felt I had a million things to do and about 4 different things going on all at the same time all day. It was nice to delegate a few things to my student teacher. Although coordinating with him adds to the complexities of the day, it also helps to have another adult helping out. After school I had somehow scheduled 4 different meetings. I did not go to the technology meeting, I started up at that newspaper meeting, then went to the student government adviser meeting. I rushed out to pick up Balt and the went late to my writers meeting with Melissa and Josh. I absolutely love meeting with those two. There are times when our conversation turns to pure silliness and fun that makes our meetings always a good time, but our conversations are always informative, intellectual and creative. I love the ideas they give and the feedback I get from them after they read the stuff I write. I love reading their writings & how smart they are! We've begun a new tradition of eating nachos when we meet. I think I started that... that makes me the genius.
I had to rush away from our meeting to get Monika to her band concert. She performed her Percussion Ensemble peice that won a spot at the State Solo & Ensemble Festival. They performed a new percussion drum song I put onto Youtube below.
So I started watching Star Trek; Enterprise over the summer. I got drawn in by Scott Bakula but enjoyed the series very much and was not ready to end my Star Trek experience. I decided to jump ahead to Deep Space Nine, skipping the New Generation series because I feel like I've seen everyone of those episode at least 3 times. When looking the Star Trek Timeline, DS9 takes place at the end of the New Generation series with a couple characters who carry over; Miles O'Brian and Commander Worf. Avery Brooks is just as captivating as Scott Bakula in this series but is offered a deeper story line and richer character to run with. I had watched many of the episodes in the past but never the whole series running through. Approaching DS9 in the context of one 130 some-odd hour movie is a completely different and highly enriching experience then just watching an episode here and there as I did in the past. I got to know the characters and understand the the relationships between the characters, showcasing a mixed race relationship and marriage with Worf and Dax, a male bonding friendship with O'Brian and Dr.Julian Bashir, the odd Founder/Odo and Ferengi/Quark rivalry as well as the on going feud of Captian Sisko and Cardassian Gul Dukat, the past commander of the Station. This series created some genuinely great characters.
I am sad to see it come to an end and look to move onto Voyager, just to keep the Star Trek streaming story line. I love the promise of Star Trek, like that future might be possible. A future where all of one's needs are taken care of and a profession is chosen for personal fulfillment, not for money. But it isn't all rainbows and love in the future. DS9 takes on themes of war, spirituality, sexism, racism and even genocide. Evil still exsists and humanity is still fighting a battle even though Earth has become a Utopian paradise.
Yesterday at 6pm I finished my family Thanksgiving video and left it uploading while we went to the movies. The movie left me in a mood of dispair and then to make the evening more sad, my video had a big glitch in the middle of it. So I deleted and set out to reload it. 300 minute loads make the whole situation frustrating, especially only to find that a video won't work. I tried changing the music for that video, wondering if youtubes processing was causing it to glitch over the song I was using. I tried changing the transition where the glitch happened to make sure it wasn't something on my end. 24 hours later, I'm still uploading a third version of the video -- a third version, waiting to see if it will work. I am dumbfounded. The videos work fine on my computer and lose something in the process during the long upload. I also can't understand why my internet uploads so slow!
The girls all slept in. Jessi slept most of the day away, waking up only to eat around lunch and again at dinner. Monika left after lunch to work on homework at a friend's house. Erika left early, I believe she had to work. Balt and I went for a long walk around 8am. I watched several episodes of Deep Space Nine and did a bit of Black Friday shopping-- just a bit. I started working on our family Christmas card from the photos we took yesterday, but was frustrated. I have so much to do, but feel the need to just sink into the nothingness of a Black Friday.
Although I was up until 2am last night, Balt and I got up at 6am to begin the Thanksgiving festivities. I decided to record the events of the past 24 hours on video again (like last year). It has having trouble uploading so I'll have to post it tomorrow.
After the clean up, the girls napped while I edited videos from my phone. Then we all went to the movies. The girls saw the new Hunger Games movie while my husband and I saw 12 years a Slave.While the movie is wonderfully done and at times a visual treat, it is totally depressing and full of woe. I left the theater wanting to weep and feeling so saddened by this part of our American history. I walked away understanding fully how very blessed I am to be born at a time and in a country where I am offered a life that is without that kind of tribulation.
Yesterday had been a tough day for me. I had planned too much, dropped the ball on a project and had a terrible post lunch headache from not having time to eat lunch. The art opening had been a great success and I had managed to get all the important things accomplished for the day. I had contemplated taking today off to recoup but I knew there was just too much still to do, so I attacked the day the best I could still feeling a bit out of sorts. The school song video got finished in time for the Spartan News and I even added new audio for it during CAMM class. The junior banner college miraculously came together by 4pm and I was able to have it printed by 5pm before Bob's Copy shop closed. I left school knowing that after this Homecoming week, everything was going to ease up a bit and life would feel normal again.
During my 4th hour CAMM class, one of my students was working on video and the class was helping him out (see below). I asked a boy which class he was in, when he was in fact in my own CAMM class. It was crazy embarrasing and it was at the moment I knew I needed to slow down. The boy was very gracious in his reply, but I felt so foolish and slightly insane. It was at that time, I decided to take the evening for myself and forgo the many options that pulled at me at school. I needed to do some clean up at home but mostly I needed some quiet time. While I waited to pick up the banner being printed at Bob's off Wingra, I took Balt for a walk at the Arboretum. It was just amazing. The sun was warm and the air cool. I kept Balt from jumping into the water to make sure I didn't have a mess to deal with. I ordered pizza on the way home, which made Monika and her friends very happy. She came home from a cross country meet, ate and then left for the football game and I got to work on the living room. After it was all cleaned up, I rewarded myself with some time on the couch with my feet up watching Deep Space Nine. It was just what I needed.
When Erika was in 6th grade I joined MySpace shortly after she did. It wasn't just because she was there, I was genuinely interested in social media, but my "byline" was I'm here to spy on my daughter, and I was. We had many arguements over MySpace a long time ago and we've had a few over Twitter and Facebook. My kids learned that when it came to social media, I was savy but there are efforts to keep balance. I have yet to join the SnapChat craze and I promised Jessi never to like, comment or tag on her facebook without her permission, esp with her away. Monika refuses to follow me on Twitter still also asks that I not tag without permission. All three of my kids want their privacy and at times hate that I asked questions about photos posted and comments made, but I'd like to think they know I care enough to always check on them. It's what modern mothers do. It isn't enough just to hope for the best.
Ironically as years progressed things changed and eventually it was them policing me. I learned early on that any request from anyone in my family to remove material from my blog or any social media was a request I honored as quickly as possible. I always figured that most pictures I posted of my girls were primarily for the benefit of my mom. Knowing my mom checked my blog every night shortly after it was posted, even a request to pull a photo within a few hours after posting was fine. I figured at least my mom got to see it, and it didn't matter any longer. It was never worth an arguement. Often while taking photos during family events, I hear, "don't post these!" I'm guessing I'm not the only mom dealing with this. Social media continues to evolve.
Now that I have 2 out 3 daughters out in the world living life primarily away from home I'm keeping tabs of them on social media for completely different reasons. I eagerly look for photos on Instagram, Tweets and any posts on Facebook. While Jessi may not have time to send me a photo, I am finding I have been able to find plenty of photos of her posted from USNA or visitors of the USNA. Today Tony Horton was there (he's the guy that invented P90X). Her coach posted a photo of her team (above) and the Naval Academy posted photos (see below) and Tony Horton posted videos (see further below)! Some may call it creeping. I call it caring.
My Friday was awesome. My classes are starting work on projects, offering me a bit of time to get my own work done. I did some ordering today and started working on pulling apart a light table. I still have a few "big items" to put together in my classrooms, but I have time. Our first student government meeting today was a great success but a demo I put together in my CAMM class fell apart due to a pitiful internet connection. All the videos I had cued up would not load and I finally just gave up and let the kids meet in groups to work out ideas on their own. I forced Balt to walk this morning and again after school. By force, I mean pull him on his leash, at time grabbing him by his neck or kneeing him in the rump to get him to move. He's been strange lately, but he's eating, drinking and pooping up a storm, so he's not acting too crazy.
I'm home alone tonight with Balt as my spouse is in Milwaukee with his army unit and Monika had a tennis dinner and maybe went to a football game. Erika is back at work serving pizzas at Roman Candle. I did some cleaning, poked around social media and had a nice pasta dinner. I'll watch an episode of Star Trek Deep Space Nice before retiring, and look forward to a wonderful weekend!
Note: "YP" in Jessi's Tweet pictured above means yard patrol boat and is from September 4th
There was a formal parade at the Naval Academy today at 9:30am. That meant by 9:30am my time, people were already posting photos on line. While I didn't find any great photos of Jessi, the one above is of her Company. She's in there somewhere.
After a very long walk with Balt this morning to Owen woods, where we saw wild turkeys gobbling around, I came home and enjoyed a very leisure morning poking around the internet looking for photos, paying bills, shopping for shoes and watching Star Trek. I left at 2pm for the grocery store (I had planned to leave by noon but that Star Trek Enterprize show just sucks me in, or maybe it's Scott Bakula). My husband was home by the time I got home. He and Monika went running together while I went to the pool. I love August at the pool because the place is always almost empty. It seems August is when most folks vacation in Madison. We had a great Mexican dinner. Erika got home and enjoyed leftovers. Both Erika and Monika went out with friends so my husband and I enjoyed a couple of 60 MInutes episodes on line. It was a great Friday evening.
I found a lots of video of the parade. In the one below Jessi is in the 2nd row, right at the beginning. You can see her turning with her platoon and again after they straighten out. She's the 3rd plebe in. She's gone after the first 10 seconds.
In this one the H company or "HOTEL" company comes on at the 50second mark. You get to see Jessi pass by right about the minute mark.
The girls got to sleep in but I got up at 5:30am. I made chili for my department, walked Balt and made it into work by 8am. We had meetings and sessions-- most of which were only bearable because I got sit with my friends. I know why high school students want to sit with their friends-- things don't really change when we grow up to be teachers. We had a department lunch together chatting about places we'd been, our kids, and just life; then got to work with a department meeting that turned into loads of laughter and fun. It's not just giggle time, but full on cry your eyes out laughter that makes our department so much fun to be around. Geof says we only laugh about "base" things, like poop and polishing nobs... while I agree, I don't think it's so bad. We can only make all those vulgar jokes together because of our familiarity with each other-- our family-like comfort level. It makes business fun and the laughter is like medicine for my soul.
After our day was done, I ran home to pick up Jessi for basketball practice... they have one more away game. I took Balt for a walk and then went back to school to sell tickets for the boys basketball regional game. It's the state tournament time so I'll be back tomorrow night. Jessi picked me up after the game and together we got a bite to eat and came home for a late dinner. I cleaned up while she watched an episode of the Walking Dead-- she's hooked.
Balt has been very naughty lately. I know it has a little bit to do with the weather and I haven't been able to take him for a walk much longer than 1/2 hour for a while. Today he had daycare which was very needed for both of us. Wednesdays are my meetings day when I stay after school for newspaper and whatever other meetings may be happening. During Spartan News, the kids filmed a "Harlem Shake" video finally! Monika was in a plastic bag. (see below the making of Vine video). I picked up Balt at 5:30pm, picked up Jessi at 5:45pm, ran a few errands, made quesidillas for dinner and then worked on some paperwork. I started working on financial aid forms for Jessi only to find they were due on the 15th and think I may have wasted the hour I spent on them. I am not too happy about that. I am definitely going to bed early tonight!
When Monika first got glasses in elementary school, her optometrist found what he told us was a nevus. A choroidal nevus is the name given to a freckle or a mole that appears inside the eye. She was sent to an ophthalmologist, who took lots of pictures of the inside of her eye and then told us to come back in a year to make sure there was no growth or irregularities. The chance of it becoming a melanoma was not likely but there was some concern. After the first 3 annual check ups we were told to wait a couple of years-- we waited 3. Today Monika and I took the day off to go through a long eye exam and she was told what she has is a >CHRPE (sounded like churpy)-- a congenital hypertrophy of retinal pigment epithelium. This is something a bit more common in elderly women, so the doctors were excited to see a teenager. The big difference between a choroid nevus from CHRPE is that a choroid nevus have paler color and less distinct edge, while CHRPE-caused spots usually have darker color, well-defined edges and central halos and it sounded like they are a lot less likely to turn into melanoma. Monika was sent on her way and told to come back again in college.
The rest of the day Monika could not see much because of the enlarging of her pupils, so she took a nap. She said to read or even look at a screen gave her a head ache. I stayed home with her and cleaned my room, vacuuming and washing my bed sheets. I used the sanitize setting on my new washing machine to make sure they got really clean. Last weekend my husband complained that the bed smelled funny. When I asked if the smell was me, the dog or the cats, I did not get a response, but I can see how they all might mingle. I also finally sent off my taxes-- the feds and 2 states. It was a bit more complicated this year, but I was extremely careful since I've made costly mistakes in the past. It felt like a very productive day.
Today was just a regular Monday. Jessi was home sick. There were no meetings and no where to go after school. Of course I took Balt for his walk and enjoyed the mild weather (see my Vine video below!). I made Monika a stir fry for dinner and went to bed early, but didn't sleep. I got back to work on my self portrait-- eating up 3 hours like it was 30 minutes. I mention laughter in my laugh lines and worrying in my forhead. I am struggling with the right words to add, but want to go to bed early so I am making myself stop.
Tomorrow Monika has a doctor's appointment so I have a sub. I have so much to do (finish taxes mostly) that I should I have worked on tonight but I got sucked into artwork-- it's so easily done.
So I figured out how to embed my Vine videos from my twitter:
It was a very wonderful Friday-- nothing exciting. I had a meeting, presented a new project, didn't get too much done. At lunch I showed Melissa Harlem Shake videos, she show me the Pep Talk video. As art teachers, we try to keep each other up on what's cool, what's artistically shaking. Melissa had sent me a link to an article about Vine-- a new video ap, like Instagram only a lot more tricky. I procrastinated checking it out until a student showed me it today and then I had to install it and try it out. Then after bragging to Melissa that I was making Vine-videos, she got on the band wagon and made some too! I went Vine-crazy trying to catch up. My first one wasn't awesome, but by dinner, I was figuring it out. During my 7th hour, I handed my phone over to students to make Vine videos too! I encouraged the kids to organize a Harlem Shake video making event at tonight's BBB game. I'm not sure if they did it since I took tonight off. After school I took Balt for a walk, made dinner and then went to see Hyde Park on Hudson with my husband at the Sundance. It was our Valentine date night & it was a good one.
Speaking of videos... a teacher at JMM asked Monika to help her make a video for a class she was promoting. It seems that's the way it's done now! I think I'm going to get her to make a video for one of my classes next!
I made french toast for my 4th hour CAMM class-- Community Art Mass Media. This is the second group of kids to go through this experience with me. I invented this class not really knowing what would come of it and I like what it is transforming into. The community aspect is so much more important than I ever envisioned. The very last project ended up evolving into a group project. I really like how it all just worked together. Nearly every student in the class had their hand in the video production below, even though I only asked one student to do it. As I was preparing artwork for the student gallery show, I realized that these 22 kids (2 are not pictured) ended up making quite a lot of stuff.
After my 5th hour final I had a prom planning meeting. We accomplished a lot during lunch. I ran a few errands, including picking up prints for the gallery show. While Jessi was at basketball practice, I stayed late in the gallery hanging my kids' stuff. I prepared a few more things to print and then went home. I worked on a poster for a colleague and then went to a late yoga class. I'm up way too late tonight. I'm just too excited about all the projects coming together, but I need to quit now.
I showed my Community Art class Gingham Style back in September when it was still relatively new and asked for a group to work on making this parody video. We watched the Navy's version in class after they emailed it to Jessi, as well as the UW's version. After many weeks of attempts, illness and other complications the group gave up. I then begged another student who had finished her video project early to pick up where the first group had left. In the end, I believe she just started over and finally posted this video today. I shared it on facebook and twitter right away and added it to the Sword&Shield website. It was just too difficult to come up with all new lyrics, so it's just "Spartan Syle" and that's awesome.
Today was another mellow day at school. I think kids are still recovering from vacation, catching up on the last bits of work for the semester and gearing up for finals next week. It's also very cold, both outside (a high of 29 at 2pm) and with in the school. I had a post-prom meeting after school with Monika. Jessi went straight home, ate dinner and went to bed. Although she went to school, she was too sick to go to basketball practice and she told me that several teachers told her she should have stayd home. I took Balt for a short walk since I was late getting home and it was freezing. It's supposed to snow tomorrow, get into the 30's on Friday and Saturday but then go into single digits by Tuesday. It's funny how anything over 34 degrees just feels wonderful at this time of year.
Yesterday's headache did not return but I was feeling sluggish. I am not following the Ayurveda cleanse perfectly, but I'm doing what I can and staying away from sugar. I am looking forward to my first sugar-is-okay-day, at the end of the month (the 31st), which I will celebrate with homemade chocolate chip cookies. I'm glad I let myself have one day a month, it makes it all seem so doable and I love having something to look forward to-- Valentine's Day in February and Easter in March (or the first day of Spring, if I can't wait ;).
The storm come in late. All three girls were out and about last night enjoying the idea that there was no school today. I heard thunder rolling around midnight. By noon today, Madison had up to 11 inches of snow and we were being told the brunt of the snowstorm had yet to strike.
I was up at 6:30am with Balt. I made a fire, coffee but did not venture out into the elements until after 8am. I got a first shoveling in and then decided to bake monkey bread for the girls. The plows came by once and the sidewalks all got cleared around 10am. At noon, the girls finally got out of bed. I went out to get another shoveling in. It's a wet snow, heavy to lift. I helped a woman stuck in her car shovel it out. Later someone brought us cookies for the favor. The girls were so excited! Jessi made a snow man. Balt loves running around in it and barks to go out every couple of hours. I think there's enough snow now to be around for Christmas, yet the heaviest snowfall is still expected from about 3 to 8 p.m. Yoga cancelled all day. I'll need it tomorrow or Saturday. All the shoveling I'm doing is going to leave me sore, I'm sure.
The video below was uploaded by JMM alumn a day ago, I watched it when it had less than 100 views, Joe claims he was view #7. 24 hours later it approaches 100,000 views. I have Chris's sister in my CAMM class and she is made of the same stuff-- talent. She brought me an iced mocha today and made my afternoon and perhaps that is in reality the most astounding fact of my Friday. My Friday was quiet, full and yet, satisfying. I am looking most forward to sleep.
I decided to capture the day with video, as well as a few pictures. I opted on music instead of my voice telling you what was going on... it's all pretty obvious. We did a lot of of we always do on Thanksgiving and the best part of it all, is just being together. It's an enchanted life really... and yes, I'm so thankful.
Note: I scheduled the blog to post an hour after I started uploading the video (10pm), but for some reason it took WAY longer to upload than I'm used to. I apologize for posting this so pre-maturely on Thanksgiving evening. It was unavailable all evening. 8 hours after beginning the upload, I woke up to find it's still uploading! I'm guessing my computer went to sleep when I did and that most likely slowed the process down. I'm up with Balt, reposting...