March 31, 2006


Thanks for all the prayers, lengthy update below

Here's another update on my parents and I.

Mom (Lynn) is still doing pretty well and even put in half days at her job at the bank this week. She's been feeling the pain from the broken ribs a good bit more--I think she's still sleeping in a recliner or on the couch :-)

Dad went home from the hospital this past Monday and is doing MUCH better. It helped once they started to let him move around again. He still has to go back to Denver every week for six weeks to have the plastic surgery piece looked at. The took 4 by 6 inch pieces of muscle/skin from his thigh and stomach, and those are hurting a fair bit. and they tell me his ankle is the size of half a football. He's supposed to be off the ankle for 8-12 weeks and has to keep it elevated. He got a new recliner for it.

Eric and Amanda, my older brother and sister-in-law are up there for two weeks, (this past week and next week) with their 4-month old Noah. Noah provides the entertainment; Eric is helping finish up some of Dad's jobs; and Amanda is helping around the house.

After a week and a half of some stomach mess and a UTI, I'm feeling TONS better. The first round of antibiotics weren't strong enough, but the second round plus three straight days last weekend of rest made me much better. I had an abdoman ultrasound on Thursday because they suspect my gallbladder may have been giving me problems. The sonographer didn't see anything, but the radiologist may see something they don't. Haven't heard yet.

Continued prayers are appreciated as we praise God for the miracles of healing that have happened in the last few weeks. There is still more healing and prayerfully no major insurance hassles.

I wouldn't be surprised if a miracle happened in my Mom between the the ER and Denver--the original x-rays and MRI showed a neck fracture. The ones taken in Denver showed none. Go figure. Oh, the pick-up driver was placed at fault--he had bald, underinflated tires. The back of the truck had no damage which said that the semi did not hit the pick-up. The theory is that the pick-up was trying to pass a snow plow and pulled out in the prayers that there wasn't someone in the other lane. My dad remembered seeing something like a snow plow pass before he hit the truck.

and continued prayers for myself and especially my students in the next three weeks. TAKS test for my ninth graders is April 20th, so we are neck-deep in review material. In addition, I have a Math-Science competition with 8th graders in San Antonio next weekend.

Thank you again for everything.

God bless,

Posted by Anna at 05:41 PM | TrackBack

Counting Down

2 days until Phantom of the Opera, :-D
1 week from tomorrow, until Math-Sci Competition in San Antonio
3 weeks from yesterday, 9th Math TAKS Test
3 weeks, Post-TAKS Teacher Bash
4 weeks, Houston--Device Check & post-surgery check
5 weeks, Gullman-Wheeler wedding
5 weeks, three days--1st anniversary
8 weeks, end of school

oh, by the way I feel better, Texas-sized. I had pizza last night. and I had my first dr pepper and coffee (well, nonfat caramel machiatto) in 2 weeks today. Water for the rest of the evening, but it's so nice not to feel sick.

Posted by Anna at 05:38 PM | TrackBack

March 28, 2006

Almost Better...

So I'm finally able to eat small, real meals again. I'm hungry a lot throughout the day and fighting off some indigestion still, but tons better with more energy. Just in time for allergies to start attacking my head.

Oh, and I have to have my gallbladder ultrasounded on THursday.

Parents are both safely home and Mom is putting in half days at work this week. My older brother Eric, and his wife Amanda, and their 4month old son Noah are visiting my parents for the next two weeks and helping around the house.

Posted by Anna at 06:53 PM | TrackBack

March 26, 2006

A ray of light?

Well, after a week of stomach badness, I think I might be on the mend. Definitely not feeling perfect, but a bit better. Pray that the trend continues. The muscle is still achy and sore where they cut into, but they told me that takes time.

The great news of the week is that my dad gets released tomorrow after over 2 weeks! They have to go back to Denver (six hour drive from L.C.) every week for six weeks to have the plastic surgery aspect looked at. My dad described what they did.....wasn't pleasant sounding. He's supposed to keep weight off the ankle for 8-12 weeks....hehehe.

Mom's doing pretty well still. She's been sleeping in chairs because of the broken ribs. But she sounds like she's doing well. She's going to try and go back to work next week.

Me, I'm looking forward to the day--hopefully sooner than later, when I can eat more than crackers, rice, and bland soup.

Thanks for all the prayers.

Posted by Anna at 03:41 PM | TrackBack

March 18, 2006

The Break Ends...

Sadly. I need another few days of vacation to continue resting and healing. I'm still not feeling tops--nauseated and headaches and fatigued. But I think it might be from allergies/sinuses or something. I'll go to the doctor on Monday and call the one in Houston too about the fact that every once in awhile I can feel my heart beating rather hard. Nothing else, just feeling it beat. At least it's regular.

Dad is still not doing too well. He has a staph infection and he's still hurting and not happy because he's tied down in bed for his leg to heal. Please keep in prayers. Mom's out but staying up in Denver to take care of Dad. Not sure on when he'll be released just yet.

Monday comes all too soon, but at least it's a half day.

Posted by Anna at 08:51 PM | TrackBack

March 15, 2006

pardon mistakes

and lack of capitalization as type with only one hand. Except for extreme soreness/tnderness in my upper left chest, I'm feeling pretty good. apparently i metabolized the antiobiotic fluids more quickly thab they expected because they gave me more than they expected. meh. i was out asleep for most, just not the very beginning and end. i remember being poked with needles for lidocaine, and than pain later on as they wrapped things up. i think i reme,ber being stitched. I'm not sure yet if it's doing good as i finish recovering. my dad is in worse shape. lots of pain after surgery to put the plates in. see, two nights ago he awoke with violent tremors in his feet. well, just guess what that did to his ankle..... anyways, he is having a rough time of it while i have been visiting family and eating gumbo and cobbler, and leaning back carefully. wow, this typing with one hand is hard. thanks for prayers!!

Posted by Anna at 09:56 PM | TrackBack

March 14, 2006

No Nerves Yet

Just feel strange at the thought that in less than 24, I'll have a computer in me....

I called my parents when we arrived in Houston today. They're continuing to do well except for Dad has violent tremors in his feet last night.....but the tremors caused everything to dislocate/unset in his right ankle ..... Mom should be released on Friday, Dad has another week. Surgery tomorrow and plastic surgery for a hole from traction later on. Plus a little P.T.

and I got Scholl on a vocab in the car today

Scholl--"I wouldn't want to cause you undue duress"
Me--*blink blink* "Umm, duress is not the word you want. That means force."
Scholl--"No it doesn't."
Me---"uhhh, yes it does. forced, required to do something, like "under duress""
Scholl--oh yeah. I meant distress.

Posted by Anna at 10:38 PM | TrackBack

Spring Break, 2nd day

Well, here it is the Tuesday of my Spring Break and nothing is as planned. But I think the later surgery for me is the best as it allowed me some resting time and time to get a few things done around the apartment.

I talked to my parents again yesterday (I plan on calling them every day just to see how they are doing :-) Dad had a bit of surgery but they still have more to do on his ankle. All they did yesterday was wash things out I guess. Mom was moved up to Dad's room on Sunday, which makes calling them a whole lot easier. She sounds better every day, albeit sore for awhile.

Tomorrow morning I'm getting a pacemaker. It is definitely an outpatient surgery and we plan on coming back Thursday if all goes well.

Posted by Anna at 09:12 AM | TrackBack

March 11, 2006


well, after the nightmare of yesterday, today is a lot better. I just talked to both my parents and they're doing pretty well. Mom is enjoying the little button that makes the pain disappear and I think she's doped up enough that she hasn't really thought and worried about a whole lot yet.

Dad sounded rather chipper almost. They only set the bone last night, so now his leg is in traction. Either tomorrow of Monday they'll do surgery to put in plates or something like that. Now he gets to set metal detectors off :-)

I got more story and details. The story that they have figured out now is that the pick-up truck lost control and hit my parents with the passenger side. My parents said he came out of nowhere, like a deer just suddenly jumping into the road. The driver of pick-up flew out of his passenger side window (they know this from the hair and scalp stuck to the window...) and landed in the middle of the road, only to get run over by a semi. The semi saw the accident and than the guy in the road but obviously had no way of stopping or swerving in time without making the accident far worse. He did well just stopping the semi on the icy roads. Apparently my parents had thought they has just gotten through the worst of the weather, except for the wind freezing snow on the road.

My parents had just bought their suburban a week ago after selling the other one. They hadn't even made their first payment yet---as my mother mentioned to me this morning.

Thank-you everyone. People are telling me just to go ahead with my surgery on Wednesday. I'm still inclined to mostly. Josh is the only one with doubts just based on the problems the office has had with scheduling and my files and what not.

Posted by Anna at 12:07 PM | TrackBack

March 10, 2006

Update again...

My parents are in Denver as are my younger brother and older sister with family. Mom is in ICU (well, maybe recovery still) but she's out of surgery. Her neck is fine but she has broken ribs on both sides. While taking out her spleen, they took the gallbladder too. (At least that won't bother her anymore)

My dad's in Pre-op getting ready for the ankle to be fixed. The bone was broken in two place right above I seem to think.

I think the next 24 hours are the most critical for my mom. So keep praying. We're staying put in Longview, as well as my older brother, unless something drastically changes or we're desperately needed for help (which will be more after they get out of the hospital, not right now)

Posted by Anna at 09:18 PM | TrackBack


My dad collided head on with a pick-up truck. Sounds like one of them was sliding.... the trucks went off on either side of the road and the guy in the pick-up was fine. He was running across the road when he got slammed by a semi. Need I say more on him???

My younger brother was driving in front of my parents and nearly got hit himself (makes me suspect the pick-up was the one sliding). He just happened to look out the rearview mirror and see cars flying and hell breaking loose.

My dad has a broken ankle. My mom has a ruptured spleen and fractured vertebrae. She'll be in surgery as soon as they get to Denver. Both are being airlifted from Alamosa, CO as of

Pacemaker surgery was actually schedule for next Wednesday, not Monday. Not sure if we're going through with it right now.

Thanks for prayers.

Posted by Anna at 01:31 PM | TrackBack


My parents were headed to Texas today. They got slammed into by a sem-truck. They are okay..... but my dad is being taken to the hospital with a bone sticking out of his ankle and my mom might have a broken rib from the air bag. My younger brother is with them and just barely missed getting hit himself (he was driving his truck down) Their suburban is totalled. From what I understand the semi was trying to avoid a man in the middle of the road and hit my parents. Kirk said there's a lot of blood....I think from the man who was in the road. I guess the roads are a bit icy (they were still in Colorado). Just please pray for all of us, especially my mom and brother, and me and my brother and sister. Me and the older brother are so far away and thankfully my sister lives in Colorado. I'll update when I know more. I'm just trying to maintain some sanity. I'll probably be better off staying at school than just go home to pace and wait for my phone to ring with more info....

Posted by Anna at 10:08 AM | TrackBack

March 09, 2006

Haunting Past

I hear about the former Longview cop arrested on child pornorgraphy charges...just his computer...but still, my haunted past comes back to me and I wonder....

Posted by Anna at 06:07 PM | TrackBack

At least someone sees the light...

My students will tell you that this is's their fault when they fail, and still the continue not to do the work because they don't care.

For once, blame the student

By Patrick WelshWed Mar 8, 7:08 AM ET

Failure in the classroom is often tied to lack of funding, poor teachers or other ills. Here's a thought: Maybe it's the failed work ethic of todays kids. That's what I'm seeing in my school. Until reformers see this reality, little will change.
Last month, as I averaged the second-quarter grades for my senior English classes at T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Va., the same familiar pattern leapt out at me.
Kids who had emigrated from foreign countries - such as Shewit Giovanni from Ethiopia, Farah Ali from Guyana and Edgar Awumey from Ghana - often aced every test, while many of their U.S.-born classmates from upper-class homes with highly educated parents had a string of C's and D's.
As one would expect, the middle-class American kids usually had higher SAT verbal scores than did their immigrant classmates, many of whom had only been speaking English for a few years.
What many of the American kids I taught did not have was the motivation, self-discipline or work ethic of the foreign-born kids.
Politicians and education bureaucrats can talk all they want about reform, but until the work ethic of U.S. students changes, until they are willing to put in the time and effort to master their subjects, little will change.
A study released in December by University of Pennsylvania researchers Angela Duckworth and Martin Seligman suggests that the reason so many U.S. students are "falling short of their intellectual potential" is not "inadequate teachers, boring textbooks and large class sizes" and the rest of the usual litany cited by the so-called reformers - but "their failure to exercise self-discipline."
The sad fact is that in the USA, hard work on the part of students is no longer seen as a key factor in academic success. The groundbreaking work of Harold Stevenson and a multinational team at the University of Michigan comparing attitudes of Asian and American students sounded the alarm more than a decade ago.
Asian vs. U.S. students
When asked to identify the most important factors in their performance in math, the percentage of Japanese and Taiwanese students who answered "studying hard" was twice that of American students.
American students named native intelligence, and some said the home environment. But a clear majority of U.S. students put the responsibility on their teachers. A good teacher, they said, was the determining factor in how well they did in math.
"Kids have convinced parents that it is the teacher or the system that is the problem, not their own lack of effort," says Dave Roscher, a chemistry teacher at T.C. Williams in this Washington suburb. "In my day, parents didn't listen when kids complained about teachers. We are supposed to miraculously make kids learn even though they are not working."
As my colleague Ed Cannon puts it: "Today, the teacher is supposed to be responsible for motivating the kid. If they don't learn it is supposed to be our problem, not theirs."
And, of course, busy parents guilt-ridden over the little time they spend with their kids are big subscribers to this theory.
Maybe every generation of kids has wanted to take it easy, but until the past few decades students were not allowed to get away with it. "Nowadays, it's the kids who have the power. When they don't do the work and get lower grades, they scream and yell. Parents side with the kids who pressure teachers to lower standards," says Joel Kaplan, another chemistry teacher at T.C. Williams.
Every year, I have had parents come in to argue about the grades I have given in my AP English classes. To me, my grades are far too generous; to middle-class parents, they are often an affront to their sense of entitlement. If their kids do a modicum of work, many parents expect them to get at least a B. When I have given C's or D's to bright middle-class kids who have done poor or mediocre work, some parents have accused me of destroying their children's futures.
It is not only parents, however, who are siding with students in their attempts to get out of hard work.
Blame schools, too
"Schools play into it," says psychiatrist Lawrence Brain, who counsels affluent teenagers throughout the Washington metropolitan area. "I've been amazed to see how easy it is for kids in public schools to manipulate guidance counselors to get them out of classes they don't like. They have been sent a message that they don't have to struggle to achieve if things are not perfect."
Neither the high-stakes state exams, such as Virginia's Standards of Learning, nor the requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act have succeeded in changing that message; both have turned into minimum-competency requirements aimed at the lowest in our school.
Colleges keep complaining that students are coming to them unprepared. Instead of raising admissions standards, however, they keep accepting mediocre students lest cuts have to be made in faculty and administration.
As a teacher, I don't object to the heightened standards required of educators in the No Child Left Behind law. Who among us would say we couldn't do a little better? Nonetheless, teachers have no control over student motivation and ambition, which have to come from the home - and from within each student.
Perhaps the best lesson I can pass along to my upper- and middle-class students is to merely point them in the direction of their foreign-born classmates, who can remind us all that education in America is still more a privilege than a right.
Patrick Welsh is an English teacher at T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Va., and a member of USA TODAY's board of contributors.

Posted by Anna at 12:13 PM | TrackBack

March 03, 2006


Still busy. one more week until Spring Break, and I'm mostly doing testing so that'll make things sort of nice and quiet.

my UIL event is tomorrow. it's going to be a LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG day. get up at 5 am, at school around 6. ride to Nac'. Grade and keep track of what I can through the day. Awards ceremony. Ride back. Hope to be back around 8 or 830. Guuuuuuhhhhh. I'm going to need lots of patience and what not in dealing with a few things.

Theoretically, I'm scheduled for pacemaker surgery on March 13th in Houston, bright and early.

But really, things are looking bright :-) Just so busy. and I get home and don't feel like doing anything. This is why I'm not going to work when/if we have kids.

Posted by Anna at 06:10 PM | TrackBack