Thursday, June 13, 2013

Keep Austin Weird

My friend, Alexa, and I have been in Austin with my sister this week.  Here are a few things we did:

We didn't actually make it to the Zilker Botanical gardens because the maps were wrong, but we did make it to the Nature and Science Center.  It is free, and I highly recommend it for parents of small children.  I also highly recommend not wearing flip flops as we had to walk quite a ways.  

After all our walking, we decided to cool off at Barton Springs.  It is a natural feed spring, and it is freezing!  Once you get in, it is very nice.  You can see to the bottom, too.  It cost 3 bucks.  Def recommend bringing water shoes as the ground is kinda rocky and slimy.  

Tuesday we headed to Gruene to float the river.  We took the tour through town which was about 2.5 hours.  The river was low and moving slow, but it was relaxing EXCEPT FOR THE PART WHERE SOME CREEPY OLD MAN CAME DOWN FROM HIS HOUSE ALONG THE SIDE OF THE RIVER, MADE SURE NO ONE ELSE WAS AROUND EXCEPT ALEXA AND I, PULLED DOWN HIS PANTS, AND STARTED PLAYING WITH HIS JUNK. AND WHEN I DIDN'T CATCH IT THE FIRST TIME, HE POLITELY SAID, "EXCUSE ME," AND PROCEEDED TO FLING HIS THING AROUND SOME MORE.  SERIOUSLY WHO DOES THAT?  Alexa asked yesterday if that was all I was going to remember from the tubing trip.  Umm...yeah, probably.  

I took a picture in front of Gruene Hall, the oldest still used dance hall in Texas.

The inside.

I found this hillbilly "brief" case at one Gruene General Store.  We would have walked around more, but we were exhausted.
Today we went to Round Rock Outlets, and tomorrow we are planning on touring the Governor's mansion.

Hopefully everyone else in Austin can keep their pants on!
Good riddance,

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Please stop calling me fat!

When is it ever appropriate to tell a female that she has put on weight?  After she gets married?  When she is pregnant?  When she has been working a really stressful job?

When is it ever socially acceptable to go pat a female's belly and say things like:

"Taking a break from the gym, eh?"
"Your husband cooking too many sweets."
"You really like your food, huh?"

Really how are you supposed to respond to that??

Fortunately, males have mostly caught on and kept their mouth shut in that department in regard to females.  However, when have we created a double standard for this for males?  Because I did not get the memo that it was socially acceptable.

Sure, you are his relative.  That doesn't give you leeway to make a rude comment and mask it as a joke.  Like seriously how are we supposed to respond?  Haha so funny.  I have never heard that before.  I love when you make fun of my weight!

I don't care who you are, male or female, words hurt.  Rude comments have a way of sticking with you.  If I don't remember anything about that family reunion, dinner, excursion at the mall, I will always remember how you insulted me or\and my husband.

I know it can be a little awkward.  You want to talk to us, but you don't know what to say, so you make a joke about weight.  Might I suggest some of the following superficial appearance-based comments instead:

"Wow, your hair is amazing!"  Because, well, what can I say, our children have great potential to be hair models.

"I love the color of your shirt.  It really makes your eye color pop!"

"Your smile just lights up the room."

Or if all else fails, remember what your mother told you, "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything."

We don't need you to compliment the way we look (it is super sweet when you do); we are fine with the way we are.  And seriously, do we really need to perpetuate the idea that appearance makes us who we are?

I think not.

Monday, June 10, 2013

I hate Field Day!

I have taken off Field Day for the last couple years, and it has been the best decision ever.

When I tell people I hate Field Day, they are like completely shocked that I detest this day.  Let me give you a little run down of how it goes:

All year, I have been striving to create a calm atmosphere where students understand the expectations and follow them so they can learn and develop into responsible, capable individuals who are able to express themselves appropriately.

On Field Day, we throw all that out the window and become crazy people who don't follow the rules.  Even teachers.  (We can have fun within the confines of rules to keep us safe.) One year we were specifically instructed not to spray water from the hose on ourselves as that water would be used to supply the water games.  I walk outside and guess who is spraying all the kids with water?  Hello?  Lead by example.

The same year not five minutes after we had started Field Day, one of my students had pantsed another.  They both were crying.  Had to go deal with that all while hearing "He cutted, he cutted!"  People, it isn't even a word.

Ok moving on to the next station.  "Don't forget your water bottles!"  I yell as my children dart off to the next station.  After picking up all their trash, I have to go talk nicely to the child who is pouting because someone told her to hurry up.  "Well, maybe they were just trying to be encouraging, "I suggest, "Let's go talk to them and let them know how you feel."

I make it to the next station to find that no one is listening to the instructions, and several students have taken off with the game equipment.  I locate the offender and the crybaby.  We talk about how words have an impact on others.  We apologize.  We move on.

Next station.  Blue team is complaining about how the red team is cheating, but I don't even know the rules because I had to get a bandaid for the person at the end of the rope on the losing team of tug of war who got drug through the dirt.  Probably not the best idea to tie the rope in a circle around your waist.  Live and learn.

Moving on.  It's so hot outside or like last year, it is pouring down rain.  I am going to go sit in the shade on the playground as my little disciplined angels throw wood chips at each other.  Yes!  Because that has been something that I have def approved of all year long.  I don't even bother yelling because they aren't going to hear me even if they hear me.

Yes, water games, my favorite!  Because no one follows the rules, we all get sopping wet before we head back into the freezing cold building.  "So and so pushed me, he's cheating, I didn't get a turn, I hate Field Day!"  I know, baby, so do I.

Sweet, here come some of my student's parents.  Maybe they can help carry water bottles, separate fighting children, or keep everyone's pants up.  Or they can huddle in a clump at the back of the game and watch as their perfect child instigates fights and problems.  You know, the issues I have been trying all year to help the parent see.  Now the parents see it, but doesn't see the problem.  No wonder I have a problem.

Not only that, but we get to have lunch in the classroom with all of these children.  The few moments of sanity where I get to breath during a normal day are filled with dramatic children whining about what type of bread they got from the cafeteria.

I look at these sweaty, sunburned faces of my children who I have sweated over and cried over all year.  In a few weeks, they will no longer be mine.   I don't want to remember them at their worst on Field Day.

Regardless of how much training or practice we have on how to talk to others, how to play nicely, how to follow the rules, it all flies out the window on Field Day.  They usually look back and go, "Wow! I had so much fun!"  I usually look back and go, "Is all that character development I have spent modeling and teaching gone?  Did I fail them?  Am I really going to send off these hostiles to the next grade level?"

So, if you would ever like to babysit 24 hot, cranky, arguing students, my field day will always be open to substitute for the rest of my teaching career.

*All students mentioned are completely made up and do not attend Utopia Elementary.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Run like the Wind

In preparation for my Pretty Muddy Run on June 1st, hubs and I have signed up for a few races between now and then. This was his first 5k, and he did awesome.  In fact, we both had our personal bests.  I guess part of my wanted to impress my hubby.  I am so glad we did this together.  We need to get back out to running though because we are scheduled to do the DATCU Dash in two weeks.  Eek!  

Sometimes toward the end of the race when I really want to quit, I try to find someone going the same pace and tag along.  Sometimes I will even tell them that I need there help to pace me, so I can finish.  

I only walked once this time.  It was so close to the end, I should have just finished.  That is my goal for the next race--no walking.

Finishing faster is always my motivation to run faster.  

Day after I got bangs, trying to figure out what to do with them.  

If you are a beginner runner, like me, just get out there and go after it.  My legs look ridiculous when I run.  No one is looking.  I think my greatest fear is always finishing last, but if that is improvement, then who cares.  You are going a lot faster than the person on the couch!