Oh, so that’s what happens to people who have kids . . . got it.

My son is now 17 mo. old.
I no longer have a life of my own – I reread this blog from work today & decided I need to get back into this!
HELP me write!!!


T13 – The many names of my dog …


My husband named our first dog Buddy Lee, but he has evolved into such a smart dog he can answer to many variations of his name.  These are some of our favorites (possible his since he answers to these):

  1.  Bud
  2.  Bud L
  3.  Baby B
  4.  Bubbles
  5.  Buddles the Bear
  6.  Buddy Love
  7.  Bud Chocula
  8.  Budder Berry
  9.  Budders
  10.  Beetle Bailey
  11.  The BL
  12.  Bean Bag
  13.  Budder Bean

Eventually we’ll all be part of a school shooting….

My first year of teaching was the year of Columbine.
Of all the things I anticipated explaining to students I had never considered explaining how a safe place like a school made such a desirable target and could be so easily accessed.

While I was sad to hear about Virginia Tech today, I was not surprised.  In fact, I assume that before I retire I will teach in a school that has a school shooting.  You may wonder why I would think such a morbid thought.  It is not based on statistics; it is not an idea to start my retirement early.  It is a feeling that since the general trends are understood and ignored that eventually the number & frequency of such events will increase and as years continue I have a greater probability of being involved in one.  The CDC has an interesting fact sheet on school violence:
The CDC states that “50 percent  of the homicide perpetrators gave some type of warning signal ,” and “20% were known to have been victims of bullying and 12% were known to have expressed suicidal thoughts or engage in suicidal behavior.

As an educator I see the public ignore the obvious, lament the incident and move on without any intervention.  As school becomes a dumping ground for more social and less educational activities the stakes will only increase, and tools to stop these events will only decrease.

If a teacher feels that way don’t you wonder how students feel?

Is the UK the Bellwether in Iraq?


What does this mean to/for President Bush?

Thirteen Things I am Afraid of….

Thirteen Things I am Afraid of………….

1. That what Barack Obama said on page three of Audacity of Hope is correct, “…every man is trying to either live up to his father’s expectations or make up for his father’s mistakes.”
2. That happiness is not at the bottom of that jar/box/bowl of [insert any carb-food type HERE].
3. That I do not fit in at my new job.
4. They will eventually stop rerunning Seinfeld
5. Having to go through debit/credit card or check theft/fraud again – that’s a real pain. And here I used to tell my mom, “don’t worry, you’re not rich enough to steal from.” Guess I was off base on that one, huh?
6. Having to dance or sing in public, unless pathetically drunk.
7. I am going to start to talk funny working with all these Southerners.
8. Aerosmith might break up, or die.
9. The Re’pubs will freeze Guiliani out, if I need to see one of them in the WH it’s Rudy.
10.What would I do if I didn’t teach?  (and sometimes I think about not teaching)
11. Not getting pregnant.
12. Money, I always worry about money, no matter how much or how little there is.
13. That my friend is going through something really scary and I cannot/ don’t know how to help him.

Gore Loses Election, But Still is Ahead on Agenda

It is mildly amusing in my head to imagine that the president rented this really cool movie this week and now has a new item to add (or possible distract our attention?) to his agenda.

I imagine he retells the highlights of the movie to Cheney & (my SNL version of Cheney) after he rolls his eyes he gives in because he’d like to talk about anything but the war also.

And then this article talks about England’s PM (also looking to distract a war-weary/anti-American public) and Bush preparing to announce significant changes to their ‘climate change’ policy…. did you know they even had a policy?  If they did it sure involved using more non-renewable resources????

Tell me you have seen An Inconvient Truth by now?  If not it has just become compulsary viewing.

Obama, Yo Mama!

I have never been so excited about the plethera of great candidates two years out!

An hour ago Obama announced his intention, as if the Oprah spot hadn’t tippedus off?  I am intregued by Hillary, voted for McCain in a FL primary years ago, would love Juiliani if I must have a Republican (I don’t count McCain).  Al Gore is getting his own movie about global warming & I did think it translated well to the big screen, I opted for the small screen, but you know what I mean. 

Are politicians more relevant, or am I becoming the ‘right’ demographic?

“Now see, this is what the holidays are all about. Three buddies, sitting around chewing gum.”

Thirteen Things essential to the Holidays:

  1. Time Off
  2. Food
  3. Seeing Friends/Family
  4. Decorations
  5. Movies
  6. Food
  7. Shopping
  8. Sleeping Late
  9. Holiday Music
  10. TV Specials
  11. Food
  12. Surprise Gifts
  13. Food

Seinfeld “The Gum

ABC World News leads with a HUGE Assumption

The title sounds like something NO ONE could possibly disagree with, “Bonus Pay for Teachers,” which reminds me straight away of No Child Left Behind.  Which is supposed to make you cringe.  Sure, sign me up for a bonus, why not?

The catchis that this story that aired on national news tonight glossed over the real point of contention, standardized test scores do not equal an education.  I made a few hundred extra my second year teaching in FL by completing a ‘Pay for Performance’ goal, documentation and then submitting FCAT scores.  Because this money is administered through the states the instrument chosen to report gains are state produced tests, criterion referenced – not norm referenced (criterion means to criteria the state sets and writes the instrument for / norm meaning comparing kids to all other kids taking this test, putting everyone on one huge bell curve).  State tests are written by the state DOE and are a product of people policing themselves, interested in gains, educational inbreeding as it were.   The instance reported in TX showed Houston schools increasing scores on standardized tests by ten points over two points state wide.  By just looking at that data you realize there is always gain on standardized tests as teachers and students learn the test (you get negative growth overall usually only when a test is revamped/changed). 

Aren’t there any other quantitative OR qualitative measures to judge by, let’s say the standards, the curriculum, whatever your local school boards calls it that they deem essential for students to learn?  That would be authentic, valid work to assess growth upon, but that would take time which is money and states are just looking to appease teachers and pat them selves on the back in the same motion. 

When those large companies ,that were trotted out for this comparison on the point of bonuses, want to attract the best they PAY better and offer better benefits.  You could find some bad teachers out there, but mostly you will find teachers that want to do better, but are shackled by Lunch/Recess/Bus Duty, playing nurse/secretary/referee and spending their personal money on supplies/treats/science materials for their students.  Based on that type of multitasking I’d bet we could increase test scores if we just alleviated all non-teaching tasks from teachers lives!

A new federal initiative will give bonus pay to teachers in certain states if students’ test scores improve.

A Poll from ABC News:
Should teachers get merit pay?

They should just get better pay overall.


No way. It’s their job to help kids succeed.


Definitely, they deserve a bonus for their good work.


Total Vote: 89

T13: Top Google Results For My Name

Thirteen Things GOOGLE Says About ME! I googled my first name and some verb & look at the results:
1. Penny Loves Kenny Footwear
2. When Penny eats out now, she’s not afraid to request her food to be made exactly how she wants it.
3. Penny needs to switch meds.
4. Penny SaysDe Beers doesn’t regard the emergence of BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto…
5. Thus the Penny Should be abolished
6. Penny looks like an option
7. Penny Wants to meet 13 people.
8. Yet, 18 months after Penny died, there has been no review of the performance of the doctors who treated her.
9. The diameter of the penny can be easily obtained by using a ruler.
10. Penny Will
11. Penny never really guards her stuff.
12. A bad bad penny OUght to know what I liar I am
13. A group dedicated to keeping the penny, called Americans for Common Cents
Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

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The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!