Monday, May 30, 2011

Thursday, May 26, 2011

146/365- question 61

I give rather difficult finals. Sometimes, I give them "freebie" questions to help break up the brain drain and to round off the number of questions.
In case you can't read it or don't understand Spanish, number 61 says "We ____ (receive) good grades on the final exams"

a. recibimos (receive - correct answer) b. not this one c. try the first one d. nope e. can't be

One of my students actually got it wrong! She chose "c". Her reason, "I thought it was a trick question".

145/365 - power and humor

So Wednesday was quite stormy again. I was taking a nap when a huge lightening strike came down some where very close. The thunder actually shook my bed. Moments later, as I was scrapping myself off the ceiling ...he he, I heard the police and fire sirens. Then more sirens. Then more sirens. They were semi close and there were a lot of them.

After the storm let up, I headed out with my camera looking for cloud pics or something else to shoot and to get some soda. I went to the gas station only I found the source of the chaos. I couldn't turn down the street, so I went up a couple of blocks and doubled back to see if I could see what was going on. I saw a huge fire on the ground but the trees next to it weren't burning. The flames would burst up then disappear. It took a moment to figure out what was happening. Then I realized that there was a live power line down.

It was a really creepy event. I could hear the current of electricity. It would make a pulsing "whaaoo whaaoo" sound. I could see flames shoot up to the right the split seconds later to the left. Then nothing. I kept trying to catch a picture but between the bursts, trying to shoot through the windshield while it was raining again, and being too chicken to get the camera wet (okay really, I was afraid to get out of the car), These are the best ones and they're not great.

Sort of related to power - I work at a school with no air conditioning and in the 2nd hottest room in the building. Literally the 2nd hottest. We've taken temp readings. Anyway, that means we use the good old fans to try to keep cool. After one class, I noticed that my kids had left me a little example of high school humor.

Monday, May 23, 2011

144/365 - Finally caught up!

I cheated a bit, but I'm finally caught up with picture posts. Yeah! Today is the first day in a while that I have felt excited to take pictures. I saw this idea and tutorial on the DPS site from the Photo Extremist. Its fake smoke using a string and a mag light. I used a little key chain LED light and a piece of blue yarn. The first one doesn't look smokey but I think I like it the most.

This was fun! Thanks, Evan, for the idea and tutorial.

143/365- Homemade musical monday

who knew you could make a clarinet / saxophone out of a watering can?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

138 and 139/365 - Love itself lives on

One of the Yas and my sweet friend SC lost her father, the Judge, to cancer. At the viewing, they had hundreds of people from Judges and lawyers to friends and loved ones. The family was graceful in their mourning. My heart goes out and prayers go up for them.

These are old photos from October. I chose them for Wed. and Thursday because while the storm like clouds come through, a little sun still shines. I hope that in their grief, they can find comfort in the stories, memories, and legacy of the judge. That they can lean on each other and their faith to get through this difficult time.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

137/365 - Thorny issues

Note: I'm writing this on Sunday I actually took this on Wednesday but using last Tuesday as a post date to keep up with the 365. I'm cheating because I'm so far behind on this project.

The past two weeks at school have been insane. You can tell there was a full moon. ;) There was an article published in a local newspaper about two of my senior students and a controversial issue. This caused some issues with graduation and fears of behavior problems during the ceremony. Everything turned out fine, but it stirred up problems from earlier in the winter.

Regrettably, I lost my cool in one of my classes and told them (among other things), to "quit bitching and whining. We are still in school and have work to do." Well, someone snitched on me for the "b" word and I had to meet with the assistant principal, then later in the day the principal. I guess karma is real. The next morning in a different class, a student turned around a looked at another student's paper during a test. I made him turn his test in and he cussed at me, saying it was a "big load of shit" and he didn't do anything wrong. Back to the office I went.

Our students can be exempt from finals for great attendance, but only if they have an A or a B in a class. One little pet peeve of mine - The sudden concern for their grades. Kids that have barely completed work all semester, now want to know their grades daily and to know if they can have extra credit. Borderline c/b students want to argue about every test question to try to get one more point. I get annoyed by the seemingly constant barrage of "what's my grade?" (like I have each one memorized for all of my 120+ students)"When will that go in the grade book?" "I turned that in." (when clearly they didn't, and almost always find it in their bags, half way completed.) "Can I make up that assignment from two months ago?" "What grade will I have to get on the final to get ---?" "How many more assignments will we have" "Will they bring my grade up to a --?" GRRRR - Reminds me of that old phrase "A lack of preparation on your part does NOT constitute an emergency on my part."

Anyway, sorry for the griping. I'm soooooo happy we only have a week and a day left.

Monday, May 16, 2011

136/365 - Senior project and oral presentation

We took Diego Rivera's painting "A dream of a Sunday afternoon in Alemeda Park" and turned it into a giant puzzle. Each student was assigned a piece and had to decorate it with things from their life (past, present, future, and hopes). They then had to present their pieces to the class in Spanish using a variety of tenses. My students did really well and had fun doing it for a final project.

If you look closely you can see the outlines of the main figures, the balloon, and the fountain.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

135/365 - Dali mosaic

I used "Andrea Mosaic" to recreate Salvador Dali's Meditative Rose using about 500 pictures of the seniors from freshman year til Sr. prom.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

134/365- make up photo- bubble

Cheating...this is from the other day.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

132/365 - uninvited


Like anyone would be
I am flattered by your fascination with me
Like any hot-blooded woman
I have simply wanted an object to crave
But you, you're not allowed
You're uninvited
An unfortunate slight
I don't think you unworthy
I need a moment to deliberate

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

131/365- 20 answers

1. yes, I'm single.

2. yes, I believe there is a god, but perhaps not like you define it or think I should.

3. no, I'm not in a hurry to get married.

4. Yes, I want kids one day, ideally with the right person. But I don't need a man in my life to get what I want.

5.No, I'm not attractive like you think I should be, but my body is a living genealogical and biological tree that is beautifully and uniquely mine.

6. No, I don't want to see a picture of your dick just because you're impressed with it.

7. No, I will not fuck you before we've had our first date just because your drunk and lonely.

8. Yes, I like sex, but that doesn't mean I just want to fuck. I want more than that.

9.Yes, I'm crazy. Certifiably.

10.No, I'm not an idiot. I know when your hitting on or talking to or sleeping with some one else.

11.Yes, I work a lot and make my own money but
12. No, I'm not buying your bullshit.

13. yes, I smoke cigarettes, but I'm not inhaling the smoke you're trying to blow up my ass.

14. No, I'm not stupid. I have a brain and I use it. Sorry if that scares you.

15. Yes, I'm talented and have my own interests. So...
16. ...No, my world will not revolve solely around you and what you want.

17. Yes, I'm a bitch if that means I am assertive and respect myself.

18. Yes, I want someone.

19. yes, I get lonely.

20. Yes, I'm single, but perhaps not desperate enough.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

129/365- market day

Not great pictures, but a fun day. We've been talking about shopping in the markets in Spanish one. So today, they got their chance. Well, as close to it as I can make it. We had different "stalls" set up- instruments, food, clothing/textiles, pottery, sombreros, and souvenirs. We also had flower vendors walking around. Half the students were vendors and the other half were shoppers, then they switched places. They had to bargain and complete their transactions completely in Spanish then sign each other's papers. They had fun "buying" all the different products from the different countries. I had fun watching them try to be like the real vendors and struggle with their Spanish. ;) We also had some Spanish tortilla for a snack. Good times.

Monday, May 9, 2011

127 and 128 /365- Prom

I love prom. I love seeing my kids in all their finery trying to act like little ladies and gentlemen (until they hit the dance floor- he he), the smiles on their bursting-with-pride parents' faces, the worry on the chaperones', and the romance in the air. Then of course, all the dancing and photo opts. I haven't missed a prom yet. This year I was especially glad I went.

One senior that has been in my classes since she was in 7th grade, showed up, but without a dress on. She went to prom before as an underclassmen, so she thought it wouldn't be a big deal to miss this one and she didn't want to ask her parents to spend all that money on one night. She came to see all her friends dressed up and still be a small part of the event.

Anyway, I felt like she needed something and I wanted her to feel special, too. I knew she didn't get senior pictures, again for money reasons. So, after all the kids went in to the hall and the onlookers left, she and I did a mini photo shoot. We walked all over the beautiful grounds snapping away and talking until there wasn't enough daylight to shoot. Then, we sat down and chatted for a long while. We covered everything from senior year and graduation, to college, dating and home life. We laughed and cried and talked some more. Afterwards, as we were walking back to hall, she said thanks and that while she may not have been inside, this was a prom she would never forget. I don't think I will either.

Friday, May 6, 2011

124-126/365 -

Sorry for my absence. Crazy week. I averaged 3 hours sleep each night. Between an event filled week at school, a job review, feeling ill, trying to start something new, and all my insecurities coming to the surface, I've not felt this tired in a long time. It was actually a pretty satisfying week, just long and with different stresses.
No photo for Wednesday - I forgot my camera for the awards program, felt sick when I got home.

Make up photo for Thursday: Bubble self portrait. Cheating I took this today.

Today: Chicken breast cook off

I was a guest judge for the foods class cook off. MMMM Stuffed Chicken, chicken tortellini, chicken Alfredo, General Tso's chicken, and baked chicken Parmesan. These kids did a fantastic job!

Prom tomorrow, Mother's day Sunday, then we start it all over again.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

123/365 -Mock wreck - Warning potentially disturbing picture

Today our school hosted a mock crash to discourage texting while driving and drunk driving. The local towing company, police, fire and rescue, and I don't know who all came together with peer helpers at school to put on a very realistic and moving learning opportunity for our students.

The staff knew when it would start, but the kids (with the exception of the actors) were not informed that any of this was happening. An announcement came on saying that there was a learning opportunity happening near the ball diamond if teachers wanted to take their classes out. As we came out of the building, there were fire trucks coming down the street with sirens blaring, police cars with flashing lights at the scene and two cars demolished. When we got to the caution tape we noticed a body on the ground under one of the cars and injured students. It was very attention grabbing.

The event progressed like a real scene of a wreck. Police conducted a field sobriety test and arrest on the "driver" while fire and rescue used the jaws of life to free trapped and injured students. Medics covered "the body" with a white sheet then used back boards, neck braces and stretchers to get the freed and bloodied students into the ambulance. The coroner came and they put the student in a body bag, on a stretcher, and then into the van. The police continued to process the scene by searching the vehicles, taking photographs, etc. Then they drove away with the student in the back. To end the event, the owner of the towing company briefly spoke to the kids about what he sees everyday and how it affects everyone when something like this occurs. Then he encouraged them to not drink/text and drive. Later we found out that they used the actual vehicle a student from our rival school had died in. Many of our students knew him making this event more real.

I have to say that they did an excellent job. I knew it was staged and the students quickly figured it out. But seeing people you know and care about arrested, injured, or put in a body bag and hauled off provokes deep emotions. Hopefully, the students carry this with them.

I took this photo during the event and decided to make a "poster" of it because our school has been on a "Don't text and drive" campaign all year. Remember that it is a staged event photo. The person is not really dead. Sorry if you find it disturbing.










PS. on a completely different (and lighter) note - Mom called today in a giddy mood. She just HAD to inform me about their new customer. He lives on my block and (you probably guessed it...) he is single . Dad actually told him "You live in the middle of the block, she lives at the end of the block, But watch out she's single." The guys response was supposedly, "hey so am I". Then Dad proceeded to tell the guy what kind of car I drive so he can wave when I go by! Mom confessed that her thought was " if they start dating she'll bring him over. Oh My! I have to get my house in order."-GGA, gotta love the parents. ;)

Monday, May 2, 2011

122/365 dickens quote

I don't know what this is. I hit some ice with a hammer (perhaps some pent up aggression?) and slapped it on a black background. the rest was me playing around in picnik. I looked up some quotes and this one came up. It's by Charles Dickens. Just needed to post something.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

121/365 - last day

I spent part of the weekend plotting out the end of the school year. We are now officially in the same month we get out. Hallelujah! Its been a weird year, but the end is in sight. This month is full of a little bit of every thing. There are assemblies, awards banquets, concerts, prom, "learning opportunities" (more on that in later post), graduation, yearbook signing day, retiree recognitions, class competitions, final exam reviews and the tests themselves, not to mention my job review, finishing the current units, breaking down the room, etc, etc. Whew. Come on May 31st.

april mosaic