Saturday, December 31, 2005 


This has been quite the holidays. We are so pooped, the fact that this is supposed to be "vacation time" has never even occurred to us...
With Christine getting up before 5AM NO MATTER WHAT TIME SHE GOES TO BED, it makes it an even more tiring string of parties and dinners, too much food, and not enough exercise...

In case you think I exaggerate about Christine's NON-EXISTENT need for sleep, let me mention that on the 24th of December, she fell asleep in my arms at a party at 12:30AM - was put into bed at 2AM - and she was up and ready to go at 5:30AM. According to all web sites on toddlers, 3 year-olds sleep between 10 to 12 hours per day and can skip the afternoon nap. Well, she certainly does the nap skipping... but 5 hours is just fine with her too...

Baby Noor is getting surgery - she was flown into the US a few days ago and will get lifesaving surgery to fix her spina bifida. This is the kind of story I like reading. I hate the war, I hate the fact that soldiers lost their life, that civilians got killed, that no weapons of MD were found... However, if a baby girl's life was saved as a result, it brings some consolation.
Perhaps 2006 will allow us to celebrate a little more peace in the world.

Have a good one!


Days 83 & 84: Can't remember much of them...

... but they did happen last week. I guess I just stayed away from the blogosphere too long to detail them in any way...

Tuesday, December 20, 2005 

Days 81& 82: Who has time to blog??? I am gift-worthy

I'm swamped... not only lots of grading - which I can't do in the evening because I'm too tired - but we have all the gift wrapping to do which is no small feat in this place... Perhaps if I went easier on the shopping, we wouldn't have this problem...

I was both shocked and totally pleased today when some students brought me Christmas gifts. Of course, secretly, I was hoping to get some gifts, not so much for the gift itself but more for the idea that this kid thought I, the fake teacher who improvised many lectures, should get something. In grade school, teachers receive gifts from all the kids - more of a nod from the parents really, but still... In high school, parents are less involved in deciding which teacher is gift-worthy. Much like Elaine who was very picky about which guys were sponge-worthy...

I watched the same thing 3 times today (with 3 different classes of course) : Morgan Spurlock's 30 Days at Minimum Wage. What an eye opener for all these kids - they were pretty much in shock - and somewhat in denial that this kind of poverty exists here in Canada. If you haven't seen this, I highly recommend it. You'll feel differently about many things...

Gotta go - hubby decided that this was a gift-wrapping evening... I am pooped and want it over with soon...

Monday, December 19, 2005 

Day 80: Snow Day #1

I was just as excited as the MY kids, and as all my students I'm sure, when the snowstorm on Friday was big enough for all the schools to close before they even opened. I got the call at 6AM - I was basically waiting by the phone (thanks to my lovely Christine, I had been monitoring the whiteout since 5AM!!!).

Being home with all 3 kids means absolutely no school-related work being done of course. I can barely manage 5 minutes alone to go to the bathroom... Hubby also "worked" from home since it would have been crazy for him to drive downtown in such road conditions...

In the afternoon, we made the trek out to a big mall nearby, to get the kids'picture taken with Santa.

My son decided he didn't feel like hitting the mall and protested. I explained that mothers endure their kids all year, wipe bums and noses (not with the same piece of tissue of course, and if there was only one piece of paper, it would be done nose first), change bedsheets full of vomit, and constantly live a war-devastated looking area because the mess-creating rate is greater than the motherly pick-up-mess rate. The ONLY thing mothers look forward to is that yearly picture with Santa. He was stunned and quietly put on his winter coat and went out to the van without further prompting.

All kids love Santa. Any grown person who willingly dresses in red exclusively, has a hippie-lookie beard and a socially-accepted weight problem HAS to be cool.

But my girls are still TERRIFIED - even though they are very very aware of the whole Santa protocol which, if described by them, would be this:

"A big dude lands on roof after being pulled by some kind of horses adults keep calling "rain-dears" even though there is not a drop of rain in sight, he somehow slides down the chimney and lands in this dark hole we have not used in 3 years because our parents are too afraid we'll throw some of our toys in there while it's lit, or even worse, we'll burn our little hands, and our parents will have to spoonfeed us again like when we were little. This year, Santa will take our pacifiers in exchange for toys. Last year, he left with all of our milk bottle and left us some cool toys. It's a good exchange - this man obviously does NOT look for fair barters."

And so for a couple days last week they were dreading the day we would take them to the mall. And when we headed there on Friday, they were shaking. Once at the mall, they observed him from about 20 feet away for a good 5 minutes, until I had had it and said "That's enough - picture time!".
My son happily hopped onto Santa's lap, no doubt causing some kind of knee injury. Meanwhile, the girls stood close by (they never got close enough to sit on his other lap) and they were weeping in terror.
I have no idea what a "stand by Santa and cry" picture looks like - I guess I'll see that later today when I pick it up.

And so went my first snow day as a teacher. Not bad, hen?

Thursday, December 15, 2005 

Days 78 & 79: Christmas is almost here...

There are many differences between a teaching job and a "normal" job - one thing I have noticed as we're entering the holiday season is that I have no time to think about or look forward to Christmas. I used to be able to get some shopping done at lunch time, think of meals and make lists of presents to get while sipping my coffee in the morning.

This year, it seems time is just zooming by, and Christmas is about to hit me straight in the face with no warning, other than the fact that I know what date it is, I can subtract that number from 25 and make an educated assumption that Christmas is simply 10 days away. Yet it doesn't feel like it...

What does this time of the year feel like for me? Well, let's see - I have a few hundred copies to correct in technology (a test and a research paper), and tomorrow the kids (all 102 of them) are writing another biology test. I feel the pressure of getting all this correction done, and at the same time, I feel like NOT doing it. Which of course is not really an option...

Our Christmas tree isn't even up yet - between the basement and the kids, and the errands and the this-that-and-the-other-thing, it has just not happened yet.

I called in sick today - there's been something viral going around our family, and I can't shake it so I thought I'd spend one day at home trying to rest. Trying is the key word here because so far I haven't stopped working...

Hopefully my next post will include a pic of our tree in all of its spendor.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005 

Days 76 & 77: Enjoying a stroll through the alps...

Well, not quite the Swiss alps, but let's pretend...

The mountains around me are really piles and piles of tests to correct. I am responding to the need of the students to have more marks in one semester - the chapters are broken down into smaller, more "study-friendly" pieces, and they have a chance do well in "easy" quizzes. This unfortunately has a terrible downside for me: a lot of grading...

So this post will be short and sweet. Well, let's be honest, it's simply short. Nothing sweet about grading, nothing sweet about complaining.

As the cavemen are hammering away at stuff downstairs, the girls are howling upstairs - they want to be rocked a little, and I am about to give in despite all the work I have ahead of me tonight.

I suppose it's not a bad thing to remember what my REAL job is...

Thursday, December 08, 2005 

Day 75: Are we there yet?

I'm looking forward to Christmas break. The first part of the school year, ie until now, is apparently the worse part. It's an uphill battle getting the girls in gear, getting their brain juices flowing in the right direction, getting them used to our routine.

Then, it's an easy roll down the hill until June.

Unfortunately, I can't see that happening in my case.

In my vast (75 days) of teaching experience, I've come to realize that no 2 days are the same, new challenges, new problems (mostly) seem to arise at every sound of the bell. Someone forgot their homework, someone had family problems last night and couldn't study for the test, someone this, someone that...

I often think I'm trapped in a bad Dr. Seuss book. In this one, the Grinch is not stealing Christmas, it's running away with my SANITY!!!

I'm heading to the couch now, with a nice hot green tea. I need to start catching up on some of the TV shows on our TiVo because we're going to run out of space, and my hubby is TRHEATENING to give me a bigger hard disk for Christmas. (How boooooring is that?)

Wednesday, December 07, 2005 

Day 74: You learn something new every day

And today's anecdote has nothing to do with school!!!

My 9-yr old son has a new girlfriend. It's all we've been hearing about lately. She called him today after dinner so he retreated to his room to have a "private" conversation. He came downstairs a few minutes later and asked Christine if she wanted to speak to her.

Christine is only 3 years old, but she's very very talkative and she wants to talk to EVERYONE who calls - whether she knows them or not. We're just waiting for marketing or survey firms to call us again so that we can pass her the phone and have her answer their survey. When she's tired of their questions, I have no doubt she'll dismiss them with her famous "Just zip it" which she is using more frequently these days when someone annoys her.

Anyhow, she talked to the girlfriend for a few minutes, then handed the phone back to my son. We heard him say:

"She's 3 years old" - no doubt the girlfriend was enquiring about Christine's age.

Christine quickly yelled in the background : "and a half!".

As we're still struggling with getting decent sleep (the girls get up EARLY), as my son starts hogging the phone in the evening (not to mention the MSN chat as well), the girls (or at least Christine) is now considering that the "1/2" year needs to be mentioned. Next thing I know, the girls will be wearing G-string underwear, my son will be hitting the local bar and we won't be sleeping at all, worried sick about what they're up to all night.

Perhaps I should add "walking cane" to my Christmas wish list - who knows how soon I may need it...

Tuesday, December 06, 2005 

December 6th, 1989: I still miss her after 16 years

16 years ago today, my best friend Anne-Marie Edward was savagely gunned down in an engineering faculty in Montreal. A crazy gunman who was pissed off at the fact that women could now become engineers (among other things). He was successful in killing 14 bright, beautiful young women before ending his own life. He wanted to send a message to all women about this.

I heard his message loud and clear.

He stole someone very dear to me, someone all of 21 years old.

Anne-Marie never got to know the joys of motherhood, of growing old with her high school friends and basically missed out on all of her adult life.

For several years after this happened, I had nightmares about guns, being pursued by killers, and other nightmares that left me waking up in a panic. I think it's been all of 2 years now since the last one.

After I had my son, after I fell so desperately in love with him, after I realized the bond between mothers and their children, I wonder how her mom made it through.

She was a real phoenix, raising from the ashes to become a leader in gun control laws in Canada. Unfortunately, I'm not sure how effective these laws are in real life. A gun registry is not going to stop the bullet when a crazy person pulls the trigger. Nevertheless, one must never stop trying to better this world. Because other children are going to die if we don't.

This post had nothing to do with my 73rd day as a teacher - in fact, this day of the year is always about remembering the good times, remembering precious moments, an unforgettable friendship, finding solace in the fact that I have a great guardian angel watching over me.

And most of all, remembering that life is precious and can be taken away from you in an instant. Which is why you must make every day count.

I certainly try to.

You can read about that dreadful event here and even see a picture of Anne-Marie here (she is on the top left corner).

Monday, December 05, 2005 

Day 72: Curves report card

I'm working from home as I do every Monday. And I went to work out at Curves this morning as I do every Monday.

And today was the day I had to get weighed and measured.

This is a VOLUNTARY thing - no one was holding a dumbell and threatning to drop it on my head, no one was trying to whip me with the measuring tape if I did not comply. It is simply a service offered monthly for those who want to know whether they lost anything ( translation: is their money going to waste or paying off in any way?)

Well, as it turns out, I have lost 4.75 inches, 3 lbs and 0.7% body fat. The girl was almost jumping up and down for me. She must have been a couple cups of coffee ahead of me - it was only 7:45AM after all...

They even print out the results, with graphs and all.

So for those of you who were waiting on my results to sign up, you've got them!

Friday, December 02, 2005 

Days 70 & 71: The red pen parade (Santa is out, Bic is in!)

Just got back from school - I will now attempt to clean (vacuum, wash floors, bathrooms, etc) the place we call "home" which looks more like a jungle right now.

I really need to hide the scissors from my two little paper-cutting queens... they are transforming cutting paper strips into an olympic sport. Someone give them a medal already and have them retire from this messy sport!!!!

My head hurts - perhaps in anticipation of the 102 biology tests I need to correct, along with the 204 technology quizzes (yes, that would be 2 per kid, done this week).

It will definitely be the red pen parade this week-end...

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About me

  • I'm Lolita
  • From Canada
  • Challenges... don't we all love a good challenge? University, married life, a mortgage, kids, keeping my sanity while we cruise through life at 100 MPH... why not try my hand at teaching for a year. After all, a school year is only 180 days - anyone should be able to survive 180 days, right? Well, I'm about to find out - follow my journey and enjoy my trials and tribulations as I embark in this 180 day rollercoaster ride of teenage hormones and drama, spiked with discipline, homework, exams and surprises I'm sure...
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