March 25, 2007


This morning I thought I would be doing Children's Church and the topic was Jesus' appearance to Thomas. It ended up being "Big Church Sunday" so there was no children's church, but I was given a thought this morning as I was thinking about Thomas and his doubt.

One of the devos from LeTourneau that I remember and has stuck with me was about Thomas. Dr. Ames offered a new twist of thought to Thomas--Thomas is remembered pretty much in church as the doubter. But Dr Ames pointed us to John 11:16 where Thomas was the disciple who encouraged the others to go with Jesus to visit Mary and Martha when Lazarus was ill and died. The others wanted to stay back and wanted Jesus not to go because the Jew had previously tried to stone him there--but Thomas said, "Let us also go, that we may die with him." He was ready to die with Jesus, and since Jesus said we'll go, Thomas said we'll go too.

In John 20:24-29, we see Thomas mentioned again. It is the familiar story of Thomas refusing to believe that Jesus was alive after having died--he would not believe unless he saw himself. Jesus appeared again to the disciples with Thomas and offered peace, and offered his scars for Thomas to see and believe. Then Thomas acknowledged Jesus as his Lord..and God.

I was thinking about this this morning and how all of have our times of doubt. I myself always feel guilty when I have doubts. But why should I feel guilty. Based on Jesus' response to Thomas, I don't think that guilty is what God wants us to feel. I don't think he's disappointed or angry with us when we doubt. Jesus responded lovingly to Thomas, and offered him clear evidence to overcome his doubt. God knows when we doubt, and he will lovingly help us believe past doubt that he is our God.

Looking back, I find it interesting wasn't the only one who doubted when told Jesus was alive having not seen Jesus himself. The disciples doubted the women (Luke 24:11) and initially thought Jesus was a ghost (Luke 24:37). Again, Jesus offered the same loving response of "Peace be with you" and offered them a chance to touch and feel his living body. In fact, while Thomas believed as soon as Jesus spoke, Luke 24:31 mentioned that the disciples at the first appearance still didn't believe until Jesus ate and then spoke and "opened their minds (45).

In the same way, God will offer us peace when we doubt and point us to scripture and open our minds.

All four gospels mention the doubt of the disciples. Mark 16:14 says Jesus rebuked them--but it's a loving rebuke that is presented in Luke and John. But I've never really noticed the comforting aspect of this story before--the comfort that God knows and cares, and open our minds in faith.

Posted by Anna at 12:50 PM | TrackBack

March 22, 2007


This week's lecture at Bible Study was on sacrifice--Romans 12:1-2. I was kinda bored with it at first, not really seeing anything "inspiring" until I attended and started to pick up on a few things--good comments from discussion and then in the lecture. It turned out to be a challenge to me personally.

First, "therefore" -- as a result of God's love (service to us) in mercy, and as a result of his purposes and predestination of us to himself--and the future promise of Jewish and Gentile unity,

we are called to be living sacrifices. We all usually learn this in give up all of your self, all of your will, your life and time to God. This is true--but I picked up a deeper meaning from the study. Sacrifice can be defined as "the giving up for a greater purpose." Romans 12:1-2 call us to give up ourselves for God's greater purpose. To be a living sacrifice, we must dedicate ourselves to service to God (love) because he FIRST loved us before we did him--(hmmm, God pre-established his relationship to us in love--"foreknow")

Love is service. Living sacrifice is living in service to God--letting him be my Master. This is love. (Matt 6:24, Luke 14:26, Rom 9:13)

(if only I were better at loving. Me, serving others...hehehe. Not so good at that...)

Something I also drew a deeper meaning from was the thought of "renewing of our minds", you know--prayer and study, communion with God and fellowship. and then it clicked--God is the one renewing my mind THRU these things. I'm not renewing my mind, I'm just giving it to God to renew. There's also this focus of the "ing" It doesn't say renewed, it says renewING. Offering of myself as a living sacrifice is ongoing, and meant to be happening all the time--as I am beING made perfect by God as I work out my salvation with fear and trembling. This doesn't mean I'm justified in that I still cling to my selfly humanly way, but it means that I'm not perfect but am being made perfect. Don't beat myself up, but keep giving myself up in the process of change. (rom 12, phil 2:12)

I liked this saying in the lesson: "God won't be crushed or devastated if we don't love him the same, but he expects it and desires it.---Is my love for God growing. How am I showing it?" "What have I given to God's service? What have I held back for me?"

Offer your life. God will take and renew.

Be not conformed to this world: don't believe as the world belives, and lives as the majority lives--for Christians really are a minority in the world. The world is SELF-SERVING (self-loving), temporal. Things of the world aren't always bad--but are they really a part of God-serving? Be a stranger to the ways of the world--but don't separate yourself from the world lest you become prideful and arrogant. (refs 1 peter, Rom 10-11)

Finally, God's will mentioned at the end of verse 2. What is God's will? It's mentioned oftened--and mentioned often in respect to living a righteous life in service to God, service of being used in his will and purpose coming to completion. If we try to live righteously, God will (is) transforming (changing completely our appearance and self) us to the likeness of Christ--reflecting Christ on us.

Love and obey. that is being a living sacrifice.

and such a challenge when I consider my failings. But God considers not my failings but what he is doing with me. He doesn't see my failings (well, in his omniscience he did when Christ died). He doesn't love me less--and maybe he's disappointed, but my failings aren't going to end the world. (Gosh I hope not :-) But God does expect us to live righteously.

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Obsession and paranoia.

Destiny versus man's choices.

Psycho-thriller--with a number!

Of course I wanted to see it!

So, having earned a movie ticket by subbing during my conference period before Spring Break, I decided it should be used to watch a movie of my choice. I wanted to see The Number 23 even if very few others wanted to see it with me. Besides, ever since seeing The Majestic and than later Truman Show, I've falled in love with Jim Carrey as an actor.

So, Josh and I made a date of it tonight. The movie was in the likes of Butterfly Effect, Memento, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. If you liked those, you'd like this movie. It ended up being a far better movie than I had expected having only seen trailers that intrigued but didn't excite. I was going to have to have a good reason to get at least Josh to go with me to the movie--and free movie ticket was a really good opportunity.

Now, I'm not really a critical movie reviewer person. I really just like to watch movies to be entertained, not to analyze. If I analyze at all, it's usually the message, and any particular cinematic aspects that stand out for me. First, I liked the introductory credits. After having seen 300, I'm wondering if one of the new awards movies are vying for are highly artistic and visually capturing credits-- since credits are usually boring. The introductory credits were well done, and really draw you in to the obsession of 23 throwing out factoids of 23. Now, already I'd look at some of those and start to sit and try and figure out how to mathematically show you can find the number 23 in any string of numbers you're given.... I used to do it with lotto numbers and the number 14 as a kid. My mom used to think I was on to something...

So anyways, the credits--while not having any characters at all--actually draw your attention to the movie--and have you looking for 23 as quickly as possible in the main character's life--even before he knows it.

I was pretty well hooked--the narration helped move things along, and had you feel more apart of the guy's life. Looking back, the narration is also intriguing and a key part of the plot twists after thinking about the final narration and the end of the movie, but I don't believe in spoilers. The narration had you thinking one thing was going to happen--especially if you'd seen a trailer and thus adds to the "surprise" twists of the climax.

The plot revolved around the book, and you get clues all thoughout the movie. I'm sure there are many clues I missed as I'm only so much of a details person, but I really liked the intrigue of how one person read the book and passed it along, and you get two very different reactions of readers. I liked this contrast. I also liked how as the narrator read the book they visualized for you the scenes. Sure, it's nice to have things left to the imagination (which they did do in pieces), but it's a movie. Imagination is for after you watch the movie.

There are obvious plot clues in the movie, but they're supposed to be obvious. There's also some very subtle things--things I picked up on but didn't put together because I was watching for more.

There was a lot of blood, and the language was relatively mild--they threw the f word in a few times, but it wasn't many. It was all within one scene too--one short-term character.

The movie was only an hour and a half, just right in my tastes. and I was pleased with the final summarizing message of the movie--although I'm getting cynical about how many people probably pick up these philosophical ideas of man. I have the same trouble with the stuff my student like to watch and hear.... all they seem to get is certain actions are good and cool, but they don't notice the consequences of said actions.

Okay, this is starting to feel rambly and not really get across what I want to say. The end message, stated rather clearly, is about life not being one of destiny but one of choices--actions are not excusable as "it was destiny". Really, I believe that God does cause things to work together--and one could call that destiny--for things will happen as he wills them in his purpose, but man's actions do have a role. Actions and choices are sort of the characters in the play of purpose.

I struggle at being deep at this, and my head is starting to hurt for some reason. Hence, I will end with a few amusing "coincidences"

Today is 3/22/2007. When my head doesn't hurt, I'll make this be 23 all sorts of ways.

There were 6 people watching the movie. 6 = 2*3

I wore my Pi shirt to the movie--and it wasn't intentional. I was inspired to put on the too small shirt over a white shirt I had on underneath a sundress today (dress code wants sleeves to go mostly from neck to shoulder--this had 2 inch straps, i could have gotten away without the shirt, but meh.) Anyways, I took off the dress and put on jeans not wanting to see the movie in a dress and was trying to figure out what shirt I could wear over the white shirt to have the currently "in" fashion of layering. and I remembered I hadn't ever worn my Pi shirt that I got for Christmas.

There's a 23 on my can of Dr pepper because it has 23 flavors.

Tonight was the closing night of the movie at the theatre. In theatre 12 at 7:10 p.m. (19:10) The eve of March 23.

The movie runs 1 hour and 35 minutes, = 95 minutes. Probably related to 23 somehow.

Alright, I'm starting to stretch things a bit. Hey look, there are 32 names in each of the two showing titles to "sets" in my AIM buddy list. 24 names showing.--23 of which aren't highlighted. :-)

Mark 12:30 is a verse that is upon the wall next to me.

So enough fun. Now for another post that I meant to write two nights ago.

Posted by Anna at 09:38 PM | TrackBack

March 21, 2007

sometimes a nerd...

Really, i can be a tecno geek in my own way sometimes.

I picked up my projector from the office today to join all the other conjumble of wires and objects and then promptly put the overhead off to the side to be forgotten!

The first step was to make sure the elmo and projector worked together. This turned out to be a rather simple process. Plug in, plug in, connect. Turn on, turn on. Voila! and W. and I went "pretty" if we could just figure how to focus the i use the menu button and play around finding many neat things to do to the projection but not focus--because well, it was so blurry I couldn't read. and then, i broke down and looked in the manual--turn the focus ring it says...I turn, and voila, it is very pretty!!!!

The next part, probably the hardest was to figure out how to connect the computer and projector. This turn out to be a bit trickier, but I was proud of myself because it suddenly dawned on my what this little extra box they gave me was for. All it was called was "RGB VGA Amplification Splitter" or something like that. Well, noting that the monitor and projector have RGB cords, I thought to myself hmm....and then I noticed one input with two out put and I thougt hmm...I wonder if... At first I thought I just connected the computer monitor cable to the box and the projector, but that left the monitor unconnected. I was baffled--but look, there's yet another wire that really does have a use.... So i connect the computer to the input, the monitor to an output, the 10 ft projector cord to the other output and I now have projection of my computer.

Just in time for lunch. Various persons stopped in and oohed and awed through the process, and we gleefully showed our v.p. and principal the wonders of the technology and explained what we would still need to do...because really, the projector can't live at student height for very long....

After school and after the tutorials, I opened up the last box of glee: the InterWrite board. This claims to allow me to control my computer from anywhere in the room. it was also the only piece that needed software installed as of the moment. I stay late getting everything installed and updated, find a cozy spot for the bluetooth USB thing a ma jig, and having also already charged the InterWrite, I turn it on, and than proceed to play just enough to shut down my computer with out touching the mouse... I want one of these for home now! It's going to take some getting used to though.

4th period was the first class to enjoy the wonders of a lesson taught using my elmo. (which happens to be red....) There's a fair number of boys in there and they respectfully were quiet and paid attention--I had to keep admonishing to "Stay away from the equipment". No, don't touch the little red remote please. ---yeah, you get the idea....

But I was rather pleased with myself for figuring out how to set everything up and get it running. Little measure of pride...

Just have to get that shelf to raise the projector up soon, or maybe i'll use the elmo less often because i'm right handed and it's set up right now for left handed...and it isn't easy to adjust where things are at the moment.

Posted by Anna at 08:06 PM | TrackBack

March 20, 2007

Spring Break Ends


At least it wasn't like last year...and I did feel much better at the end of break, rested and more energetic.

Anyways, so today the math department received and elmo and projector for each classroom--well, 3 of 4 classroom as we wait for the last ones to come in. Except they didn't leave the projector in my room--only the elmo, writepad, and all the stuff for the projector (cords). I'll find it tomorrow........ That was happy news though.

I was a bit swamped in trying to get lessons planned the next few weeks and such--have to make an assignment to add to what we have for tomorrow...but it's not too hard--especially with my utterly awesome TI software.

Students, well, you can guess what they're like on the first day back from a break. It really wasn't that much worse than normal though. Unbelievably, I enjoyed 2 (very short < min) moments of the silence of learning in one of my most talkative classes...It really is a sweet sound to hear pencils scratching on paper while students do their work. and really, every student in those first two classes managed to get an assignment done (they were assigned 2)

That's my mundane life. :-) April promises to be much more exciting:

March 31--Rent in Dallas
April 6--Good Friday/Easter weekend (holiday!)--maybe a trip to lubbock, but doubtful
April 14--visit parents and bunch of extended family at cabin dedication in honor of my grandpa. bro comes to visit longview for a few days
Aprill 19--TAKS TEST :-((((, Wicked in Dallas !!!!!
April 20 Teacher bash at school. :-D fun, games, laughter...

I feel like I'm missing a few things...but, that's enough to keep me looking forward to stuffs.

Posted by Anna at 06:41 PM | TrackBack

March 13, 2007

Day 4: The Trial

So, at an approximate rate of a $5 an hour, I sat on a jury for a DWI, first offense trial today. Yes, a jury trial for a criminal misdemeanor Driving While Intoxicated. and for $40 for the day, yes I was there ALL DAY with the trial--9 to 4:30 with an hour and a half lunch (the half hour was due to technical difficulties....)

So yesterday morning I knew the trial was going to be somewhat interesting when the lawyers, after having us seated for the panel, called for a sidebar with the judge and they decided to reshuffle the names for some unknown reason. My suspicion is that the first row wasn't....diverse...enough. I went from a happy position of about 8 or 9 to 3, for a 6 person jury....which meant the odds were that I would be selected, and I obviously was.

I didn't like the lawyers just from my general impression during Voir Dire yesterday. Very stereotypical lawyers. Again, I could tell things would be interesting in this trial.

So today, after dropping off the car for a dr visit and being dropped off at the courthouse by the helpful Moore, I went up to the 3rd floor, collected my money, nicely given to me as cash, and than went downstairs for a bit of breakfast. Good coffee---and they offered hazelnut creamer!!! (rather than boring plain powder creamer and sugar...) My biscuit sandwich was good too. I went upstairs at about 9:00 and was sent into the jury room to wait for everyone else to arrive--which wasn't long. We had a nice chat about schools--out of 6 jurors there were 2 teachers and 1 substitute teacher-- and getting to know each other while waiting for The Knock. We went in and the trial began. They had opening statements--both telling us the video and testimony would lead us to their respective desired verdicts, and than the first, and thought to be only, witness was called--the officer who pulled the defendant over.

Poor guy was here at trial after having done a 10-6 graveyard shift.... and his fatigue was apparent the rest of the day. Through his testimony, I was leaning towards guilty, but I felt that there were holes and looked forward to seeing the video. There were many interspersed objections from the defense attorney, some sustained and some overruled. He was a stereotypically brutal guy to the witness. We had a little break halfway thru the morning at which point I went back down to the snack bar and bought some water, Cracker Jacks, and gummy fruits to munch on and hopefully help me stay awake. We went back up and the testimony wrapped up to the point of being time for the long anticipated Video. and oh how I was disappointed....

The basic story is that the defendant was spotted turning onto a well-known street without his headlights on. The officer, heading the other direction turns around and speeds up. The officer testifies that he witnessed the car crossing into other lanes so he pulls him over and smells marijuana in the car, and alcohol on the driver's breath. He then administers the field sobriety tests and arrests the defendant for DWI. The defendant denied smoking pot, and initially drinking alcohol, but than he admitted to having "a few beers" He was headed out at 3 in the morning to get some food with a friend.

Little laptop. Shady projector. Portable screen. It all comes up and I wait....and wait...for them to make the video bigger from the obvious program that is used in the patrol car....and it didn't go full screen. I leaned in as close as I could to the video. Then, with delayed staticy sound--because the A.D.A. thought that they laptop speakers would be enough, we had a 10 minute break for them to find speakers. We try again, and than part of the way thru, the projector freezes. And the judge decides we should have the half hour extra for lunch.

I headed off with the other full-time teacher for some food at Playa Azul, a yummy Mexican restaurant I had never tried before. I was quite impressed. We shared a plate of beef fajita nachos--without beans since neither of us was a fan of such, and talked for awhile about life and everything but the trial--being the good jurors that we were.

The trial begins again and we watch the video all the way through. I'm not impressed with the video quality being as it's a major piece of evidence. I can tell a little bit that still makes me suspect the defendant was intoxicated. Things wrap up for the prosecutor and the defense lawyer takes his turn.... and he picks apart the poor officer's testimony about his credibilty in giving the field sobriety tests. and I begin to hate the notion of reasonable doubt--and with that the video had been better....and continue to enjoy my people watching. I saw some definite weaving--staying in the lane--when the defendant turned his lights on, but I couldn't see anything before that due to the darkness and distance between the camera and car. I couldn't really pick up on any signs of swaying or stumbling from my vantage point when the defendant went through the sobriety tests.

Just when I have hope that things wrap up, the defense produces evidence of a urine test taken 15 hours after the pull-over. The defendant denied to give blood for a blood test and asked for the breathalyzer, which wasn't given for some reason...probably because they really wanted to catch marijuana on him and the breathalyzer wouldn't pick up on that.

So the prosecutor calls a rebuttal witness to basically place doubt into our heads as to the legitimacy of the urine test. Personally, I think it was legit but the defense waited too long to get the appropriate paperwork--there wasn't a chain of custody form so we had no way of knowing of the urine test had been observed. We also get to hear the different ways that people falsify drug urine tests... such a learning experience.

Finally, things wrap up. I'm intrigued to hear what the other jurors have to say. Initially, we decided that if we were in trouble we'd want that defense attorney at our side. I really WANT to go for guilty, but I can't make a fair decision. We all picked up on different things in the video, so we asked to watch it again--same poor conditions. (Seriously, couldn't they have made a DVD from the video program????) I notice a bit more swaying and stumbling, but nothing that made me say guilty--beyond reasonable doubt. It wasn't enough to help me get pass the now discredited testimony. The only testimony I honestly was disappointed from the officer was that he didn't turn off the flashers during the HNG test (eye check) which is one of the more accurate field sobriety tests if administered by protocol--but flashing lights make are a no-no. We take a poll and 4 out of 6 jurors say not guilty. I give my opinion that the defendant was definitely buzzed and I wouldn't have wanted to be near him on the road, but by the law, I would have to go not guilty. I wasn't going to be swaying anyone anytime soon, and I really did have a tiny bit of doubt--the prosecutor didn't do the best job showing the burden of proof--I had too many unanswered questions from the evidence presented.

So the verdict was not guilty. I just hope he learned his lesson--he was completely respectful and cooperative to the officer in the pull over. Nice looking guy, nice looking parents. I'm not friendly to DWI though....and I would not be happy if he were to get pulled over again for driving while under the influence of a substance. He was just barely intoxicated from what I could see in the video. I do think the officer had probably cause for the arrest and I do think the charge was valid, but in a jury trial, as they explained to us yesterday, there's a much much higher standard for burden of proof.

My friendly juror friend took me to my get my car--hopefully happy from it's to be rare tune up...(our car is complicated...apparently, the spark plugs are rather buried...) and I picked up Josh, talked to my younger bro on the phone, and had peproni rolls with friends before going to see The Pursuit of Happyness, which I liked--definitely a drag down movie until the end. I thought it was well done though--effectively telling and portraying the emotion of the story.

Tomorrow, I hope to have a more restful day. The only plans as of right now are a sinus x-ray at 12:00 to get a picture of why I have recurrent sinus infections, which have become more brutal to my migraines and ears recently.

Posted by Anna at 10:24 PM | TrackBack

March 12, 2007

Spring Break

Day 3 of 10:

After a harrying couple of weeks at school, I have tried to plan on doing fun and interesting things during Spring Break....Here's what's happened since Saturday:

Day 1: Saturday. Slept in until 1 (14 hours worth of sleep--i guess I was exhausted because normally I get up around 9 or 10 after going to bed at 1 or 2...)

Got up, toddled around the apartment and fiddled around online. Ate food. Cleaned up a bit of apartment for guest--Moore. Took Shower. Dressed up for Symphony. Went to symphony!!!!!!! BEAUTIFUL as always (the music that is). Then had yummy Applebees and had fun with friends.

Day 2: Sunday
while having reset the time for Spring Forward, I forgot to turn the alarm clock on. However, we still made it to Church and had a yummy lunch at Joe's. At which point Scholl went to LU with friends and I went home where I could be productive like--cleaning up his dirty dishes and making lemon bars and snickerdoodles. Then I headed over to our church college/career dinner which was delicious and fun as usual. Afterwards, a little bit of gaming fun.

Day 3: Monday
I didn't get to sleep in because being the over-caring teacher I'd had a jury summons deferred until Spring Break so I wouldn't lose instructional time. So, I spent all morning at the courthouse. I tried to arrive late enough to be turned away....not so lucky. They split us up for three court trials this week and I got selected for mine. I'll post thoughts on the whole selection process after the trial is over tomorrow. It was ....interesting.

After having lunch with my husband, a rare treat during the week, I headed over to H&R Block to get our taxes done. (I have refer a friend certificates that will get the friend and us each $15 for anyone interested....) It's well worth the $100 to not try and figure them out myself and have to buy turbotax. That, and instead of me stressing over it for two hours, I let someone else do all the work... and lo and behold, miracle of miracles, we somehow ended up with a rather tidy refund again this year. I think it had something to do with our max deduction on student loan interest (we paid 2.5 times what we're allowed to deduct...) and neither of us took any deductions during the year with our paychecks. So, we're getting a refund way more than I had figured on. Thank you Lord!!!!

What will we do with said refund? Buy computer speakers and pay off more debt.

That's Spring Break so far. Not so restful except for that saturday morning as you see. Oh well, I have had a bit of fun so far. Tomorrow I have the jury duty which I hope doesn't take all day....and it does earn me $40....

Posted by Anna at 04:32 PM | TrackBack

March 10, 2007

A bit of Paul's Story.

Keep Praying

Posted by Anna at 01:42 PM | TrackBack

March 07, 2007


So in the enjoyment of a job well done, I got in trouble this week for another part of my teaching job that wasn't being so well done.

You see, TAKS is the most important thing apparently--and it isn't apparently a bad thing that we spend almost a year preparing for one day...

I have a TAKs advisory that has been doing TAKs practice sheets. I haven't been doing as much as I should with it--and I'd intended to start doing a whole lot more after the UIL meet and in the five-six week time frame before The Day. Well, last week--on my first day back and on my feet after being sick and in the week before UIL Meet, our vice principal walked in and my students weren't doing a TAKs worksheet in advisory. The whole week before, the copiers had been broken--I was sick and at a workshop, one of the other full-time math teachers had been out sick for most of the week, our two coach/math teachers are busy with track and basketball so I (before being sick) and W. had been helping to cover S.'s classes and stay where we need to be in the Algebra curriculum. W. put together our test review and test while S and I were sick and made all our copies for us. So she also wasn't prepared for her TAKs advisory that day. We just didn't have the TAKs sheets ready.

Well, we got our copies made and had our students working through their oh so important practice question. Monday this week, the Monday that 3 week grades were due and the Monday after my stressful UIL meet of hours upon hours.... the v.p. walked into my advisory and I was trying to get my last class of grades submitted and the students had already turned in their TAKs questions to the tray--they worked rather quickly on their 5 questions because some just go faster. I also had a few students working on make-up Algebra (the second priority thing I teach). So, she pulled me out again and made it clear that she wanted the students working from bell to bell in advisory and that I had better get back in there and go over the worksheet. W. 's class again was also not working but was about to start on it. W. was also trying to get her last classes grades in and was just taking a few minutes to finish up before getting the kids working.

We had thought that would be the end of it...but no, yesterday we each get individually called into her office. She has a prepared a speech repeating what she had told us Monday about how TAKS should be the top priority and that I needed to be doing more--kids should be working 25 out of 28 minutes of advisory class doing some some sort of activity. And I also need to make sure all my classes are working in their desks when the bell rings--apparently I hadn't gotten my students started when she walked by 2 minutes after the 2nd period bell. I was sitting at my computer (probably responding to a UIL email with a time deadline) I also needed to be up and moving around more my class when they were working--offering encouragement and point out mistakes. I can't do this very well from my desk.

I was a bit overwhelmed and trying to maintain my composure so I was really at a loss for words when she asked why I hadn't been doing these things. All I could say was that I do walk around and help my students, it just depends on the activity and class--some classes it's dangerous to stop and help a student because than I can't keep an eye on the trouble-makers behind me... I should have also mentioned that I've been trying to weed my students off the "teacher training wheels". When I walk around and give them help, they expect it all the time and then they aren't thinking for themselves. They also get so used to it that they want help during quizzes and tests!--so I've been backing off of walk around help in the last unit just to try and encourage the students that they really can think the problem through and try it on their own. I've also had a TON of paperwork and other things I've been multi-tasking on while the students do their work.

Well, the v.p. was "nice enough" to put all of this in a memo--neglecting to mention recent illness and the UIL responsiblities-- to go in my permanent teaching file. It said that any administrative duties (entering grades) needed to be done during conference, before, or after school--not during class time when I had students. (I can't even begin to remember the last time I had a spare moment in conference time and don't want to consider the number of hours I have spend doing work outside of school time....)I walked away in tears to my lunch. I know I haven't been doing as much as I should or could--and I didn't know I was expected to be super-teacher. The school is just so worried about the possibility of low TAKs scores!!! The pressure they place on us in addition to the pressure we place on ourselves is so overwhelming at this point. I can't teach where I'm not being allowed to teach Algebra but teaching a test. The students are getting resentful at all this extra TAKs, it's all they hear about every single day....and they have enough issues as it is learning course material.

I'm ticked off and hurt that she decided a memo in my file was needed. I couldn't figure out why she decided there needed to be a memo until I realized that she's covering her buttocks if the scores are low, she's done what she was supposed to--checked on the teachers to make sure they were doing what they were supposed to. Thus, if the scores are low--it's recorded that I didn't do all I was told to do...

Anyways, if I rant much longer I'm going to be in tears again. I cringe when I hear her walk by my door and am so AFRAID of her walking in with bad timing again. Mr J, the head principal, walked into to of my classes today--thankfully, I was doing TAKs review with both classes at the time.

Posted by Anna at 09:04 PM | TrackBack

March 03, 2007

updates on life, the universe and everything

Well, after spending way more hours than I can count at the school preparing and running the UIL Meet, E V E R Y joint hurts, but everytime I moan to myself, I realize that the pain is a reminder that I'm not missing part of a limb. The meet went rather well, and I think we set a record for finishing up...but there were some interesting quirks that arose... maybe I'll post about them later when I want to even think about it again...

Enough about selfish me though. Army friend Paul is in San Antonio. He should have been joined by his parents this afternoon and Mel, who couldn't fly down, will be driving down with her parents with baby supplies and car in tow on Sunday, maybe thru Monday depending how well she can sit in a car while 8 months pregnant...

Mel is planning on having the baby down there as I think--based on experience from my dad's broken ankle last year, that Paul will be there for awhile and Paul has far more recovery and surgery to go thru than my dad did. I praise God that I can trust in Paul's faith and the support of much family and friends in the next few months as I couldn't imagine getting thru this without them. Keep praying.

In happy news, congratulations to Tim--josh's best friend on his recent engagment to a Bonnie lady. They're planning on an October wedding I believe. and there are congratulations for another Ohio friend who goes by Strife who was engaged two days before Tim. Congratulations are also in order for The Toads on the early, but health birth of a good-sized and full head of hair baby girl Natalie. Check his blog for pictures.

It's been a newsy last few days. Now if I can just get through Monday by getting tests graded and lessons planned to catch up the math teaching, and than five weeks of extra afternoon tutoring (but paid) before TAKS...

The last week has had me very grateful for the pacemaker, because the difference I feel between high stress-times the last four years as compared to similar high stress levels the last few days of UIL is amazing. Really, God has kept me (literally) on my feet and mostly feeling strong rather than about to pass out. I was starting to feel it near the end of the day today--but it hasn't lasted. Or maybe the joint pain (back, ankles, toes, heels, knees, thighs, shoulders, fingers, ...) is just so much more overwhelming than something like dizziness and chest-tightness...

Alright, I think I have just enough energy to take a shower/bath and crawl (literally) into bed. Nite.

Posted by Anna at 08:22 PM | TrackBack