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Gym, pups, and other interesting tid bits

Grounded August 19, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — cgg111 @ 3:28 pm

I did it this time. It’s bad. The woman won’t look at me. Well that’s not entirely true she did look at me and show me her pinky.
It all started with our morning walk. I was so happy to be out in the sun. The air was not hot and the wind was blowing my ears around, just the way I like it. All of a sudden I caught the scent, the scent I love! Another puppy!!!! I know the woman knew something was up. She saw my tail sticking straight up. She felt me pulling her across the field. I couldn’t help it. I just wanted to play! We wandered down our trail and just when we got to the end I spotted her!!!! A new friend!
“BELLA AND EMMA SIT!”
Bella immediately sat. I wanted to get a closer look at my friend! I lunged away from the woman. She can’t keep me from seeing my friend. The woman got angry and tried to get me to sit. I really did not want to. I kept jumping and trying to get closer to the puppy.
“Bella come here!” What!? Her name is Bella! That’s my sister’s name! I have to go see her!!!!!
And that’s when the woman got in my face. She was mad. She pointed at me. She whispered “sit”. I hate when she whispers. Bad things happen. The puppy ran back to her owner and we went back the way we came.
The next thing I knew we were in the house. I didn’t know why. We didn’t even get to go for our walk.
The man came over to the woman looked at her finger and turned the water on. I had no idea what was going on. A little while later he put something on it. The woman looked better.
Then the unthinkable happend. She called Bella outside and put her leash on her! Was she going without me? Was she leaving me behind?
Yep.
When they got back, Bella got a treat right in front of me. The woman showed me her pinky. It had a bandaid on it. I don’t know what I did, but she is really mad at me. What bothers me most is that this will probably happen again because I forget so easily what I am supposed to do and what I am not supposed to do.

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The bandana made me do it August 15, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — cgg111 @ 5:52 pm

Bella becomes super hot when she wears hers attracting all the dogs in the neighborhood and Emma gains super powers!

Away I go!!! Off on another walk! I wonder what adventures I will get into! I hope I don’t get drug down the sidewalk or pulled too hard to keep up.
What’s this? This magic badana has given me the power of super smelling! I smell a cat! I know it’s in this bush! I must get to it! I race as fast as I can into the bush!
“EMMA!”
Yikes! The woman is screaming because I cut her off and ran head first into a bush! Great now she’s telling me I am a bad dog and that I am all dirty. The man who is out mowing his grass stops and stares. What!? No I don’t want to go live with him, are you crazy! Look at that yard! It looks terrible compared to ours.
Oh well. Bella just got a bath. Guess I will have to get one too.
A bird! It’s so pretty!
I love walking! I love stopping and sniffing all the trees and fire hydrants! I love telling Bella to come smell stuff so that she gets yelled at too!
YES! A pitbull! She’s new! I must go say hi!!!!!! I strugle against the woman. Good Lord when did she get so strong. I saw her showing off her muscles last night to the man, but good grief this is nuts. I can’t go anywhere. I MUST GET OVER TO HER AND SAY HI!!!!!!!
WOOOOAAAAAHHHHHHHHH In super slow motion Emma is pulled from the street back across the sidewalk and into the neighbor’s yard.
I flew far!
The woman is right in my face. Yikes, she is scary!
“Bad dog.”
Geeze again? Usually Bella is the bad one.
The pitbull was going crazy too, but the woman does not want to hear me back talk her.
We continue on our walk home. I did it now. Only Bella is getting “Good dog.”
When we get home the woman embarrasses me like crazy!
She makes me parade up and down the driveway staying right by her. I try to get away and she yanks my leash tighter.
Too bad tomorrow she will have to do it all over again because everyday I forget what I am supposed to do.

 

Sundays August 13, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — cgg111 @ 4:43 pm

In elementary and middle schools, my Sundays were full of church and huge dinners at my grandparents’ house on their farm. We would spend the mornings listening to the minister talk about values from the Bible and then go to Sunday School where we would sing songs and make fun projects. If it was someone’s birthday, we all stood around a plastic cake and sang “Happy Birthday” as the special person put change into the little slot on front of the cake. We were busy from 8:30-11:15 every Sunday learning, singing and having fun.
When I hit highschool my family still went to church together and ate Sunday dinner together, but my sister started working and I found myself chilling by myself in church. I didn’t mind, but it always seemed more fun when she was there. I still attended Sunday School and now that I was in the Teen class there were only two of us. Talk about awkward. But, since I was not working like my sister, the expectation was that I went to church and Sunday School just like I always did. When we got home from Sunday dinner, I was banished to my room to study. In the time before cell phones and internet in my house, there was nothing to distract myself with. I had no choice but to study. I sat with a vocab book and tried my hardest to memorize my list of words When I felt I had them pretty well memorized I would go downstairs and my mom would quizz me. Depending on how many I got correct I could either watch TV or spend some more time studying. More often than not I was sent back to study some more. I can tell you that I studied those words only for that test and none of them have stayed with me. Why? Because I could have cared less if there were 10 words I had to study or 100. I just wanted it over each week.
In college Sundays became days full of sadness. When I went to PSU Hazleton, Sundays were the day I would venture back to campus leaving my family for another week. I hated leaving them even though I was only 30 minutes away. My roommates and I got along fine. I just missed my house, my dog, and seeing my family every day. My boyfriend at the time would come visit me when he could. But, Sundays were also the days he would leave me for the week. I would spend my nights being so sad that “everyone” else got to be with their boyfriend or girlfriend and I could only see mine on the weekends. My sophomore year I started dating a guy on campus. Soon Sundays were no longer sad because I had time to see my family, buy couldn’t wait to get back to campus to see my boyfriend. Then my junior year I transferred to Main Campus. Sundays were full of sadness yet again. My family would come visit my sister and I each weekend, or so it seemed, sometimes they would bring my boyfriend who was still at PSU Hazleton. Talk about awkward, trying to make out with your boyfriend while your parents are standing a little too close. My senior year, my boyfriend moved up to main campus. We were inseparable. We walked together all over campus. We helped each other study. Sundays were no longer full of sadness.
When I started doing my student teaching, I moved about 45 minutes from home. I had a fantastic roommate and our boyfriends would visit each weekend! We had a taste of what the real world would be like while still being “kids”. Sundays were full of getting ready for the week. My roommate and I would go to the grocery store and get all the things we would need for our lunches and dinners we would make together. My parents really did not visit me while I was student teaching. So the only sadness I felt was when my boyfriend headed back to Main Campus.
In 2001, two weeks after I graduated, I got my first teaching job. The long-term sub position was near my boyfriend’s parents’ house. So it was decided I would be living there. The three months I worked in this position I do not recall traveling to see my parents. At this time they were about an hour and a half away. My boyfriend came home maybe once or twice. I know he traveled back to Main Campus in a blizzard one night. I am sure he came home after listening to me whine about how much I missed him. After I completed the long-term sub position I moved back home to sub at my high school. It was work. I hated every day. In the fall of 2002 I was offered a full-time position at the Y where I had been working as a camp counselor. I was so excited to start my real job. I had so much fun working at the Y. Every day was like a party. I got to make my own hours. I go to work in workout clothes. Every day something fun happened. We took three-hour lunches, we went shopping for Teen Night all afternoon, we joked around more than we worked. I was living at home so I got to see my family every day. My boyfriend would come to visit me on the weekends. Sunday sadness only sat in temporarily when my boyfriend left.
In 2003 I landed my first teaching job in Maryland. I would be moving out on my own and far away from my family. I knew it would be hard. I planned to come home every weekend. I would leave Fridays after school around 2:45 and get lost every time. Each Friday I would try to beat my time of getting home. A five-hour trip quickly became at least 7. I just could not remember the turns. The way back was even more terrible. I was so sad to be leaving my family and then terrified I was going to get into an accident. Most Sundays I left my parents house around 9AM and I wouldn’t get home until 4 or 5PM depending on how many times I got lost. One time I ended up in Annapolis and had no idea how to get back. I ended up pulling into a hotel type building that had a parking attendant. I told him I was trying to get “to the peninsula side of Maryland.” He looked at me like I was crazy. I started bawling and he told me I was in no condition to be driving. I asked him to help me or leave me alone. He told me how to get back to the Bay Bridge but also to be careful. I just wanted to be home. My parents came down to visit quite a bit also. I would feel a lump rise in my throat Sundays when they would prepare to leave. That meant I was alone until the next weekend. I recall one weekend I went home and ended up meeting up with some people from the Y I worked with. We had the greatest time. We stayed out until the bar closed. We had a sleepover. I told them I was not going back to my job. Of course I ended up going back. I was not the type of person to start something and not finish.
In October 2003 my boyfriend was hired as a long-term sub in the same building I worked. Finally we could be together all the time. I would have a taste of what my life would be like if we were to get married. All the Sunday sadness was gone. I only felt it when my parents would leave and then it was short-lived because Chris was there. Traveling for the holidays was the next time I experienced the Sunday lump. I nearly bawled my eyes out when we had to travel back after visiting my family for Thanksgiving. I had no idea how I would make it to Christmas and then I would be able to return back to work after that extended break.
Eventually I think I just got used to all the back and forth because I don’t remember being too sad as long as I was with Chris. Probably because he was a distraction. I would comment that the trips were fast. It seemed we spent so much time packing and unpacking and driving and not nearly enough time visiting.
My parents visits slowed to twice a year. Going back to PA slowed to the holidays, and Sundays got a lot more fun for the two of us. We would spend the day watching football and making all kinds of yummy snacks. One year we had a dip day, which involved making a different type of dip every Sunday. No wonder I packed on 25 pounds. No activity+too much dip=not a good thing. We ditched that habit and now spend our Sundays watching football, but I go to the gym and walk the pups before we start watching. I also incorporate some sort of activity because I cannot sit still that long.
The Sunday lump still returns usually after a really awesome visit in PA, my parents leaving after a really nice visit, my sister and her boyfriend leaving, friends from out-of-town leaving, and some times even when it is time to go back to school. I always get teary whenever someone backs out of our driveway after they have been with us for a visit. I anticipate their visit, counting down the days, and then it is over so fast. Usually when I go back into the house I try to imagine where all their stuff was. I am sure I will always have the Sunday lump for one reason or another. But I also enjoy the Friday anticipation, the Saturday laughter, the Saturday workouts, the baking and grilling before everyone comes or while they are here, and the excitement as that car pulls into the driveway when they arrive.

 

The bandana August 12, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — cgg111 @ 5:37 pm

When football seasons starts the bandanas come out! There is a Penn State blue one and an Ohio State red one. Two rivals, just like Bella and Emma when they wear them.

Bella (ok this is more like Shaniqua): HAHA! Look at me in my blue bandana! I am so cute! All the dogs in the neighborhood are going to want to look at me! I can just hear them now “Hey girl! Shake your tail! Are you free later? Wanna come play in my yard? I hope that black lab is out later. He is so cute! Oh but his beagle brother is also cute. Decisions, decisions….

Emma: YEAH!!!!!! I LOVE THIS BANANA! Oh wait, it’s a bandana. ANYWAY! I LOVE HOW SOFT IT IS! I can’t really tell what color it is but the woman tells me I look good in red! I think it’s red! I’m Emma and I love my red bandana!

A few hours later:

Bella: Finally I get to go for a walk and strut my stuff! I wonder who’s out today? Yes, it’s the black lab! Look how tall and thin he is! “Hey boy! Lookin’ good!”The black lab: “Hey girl! You are lookin’ fine in that blue bandanna! Why don’t you ditch that leash and come over here?

Bella: “Well I can’t because I already got in trouble once today. I rolled in some really smelling stuff in the backyard. The woman had to give me a bath. The whole time she kept telling me I was a bad dog. I don’t really want to make her mad again so I will try to come over a different day.”

Black Lab: “Man, screw her! Who does she think she is? You look like a good dog to me.”
Bella: “I really don’t think I should today. Even the man was upset with me. That rarely happens.”
Black Lab: “Ok find suit yourself. Just remember where my yard is.”
Bella: “Ok. See ya.”

Back at home:

Emma: Look at all the attention I am getting. All because of this red cloth! I had my picture taken so many times. The man and woman were laughing! This is the best day ever! It is a little itchy around my neck but I feel so cool wearing it. I feel almost like a superhero.
Bella: Wow. If I have to get my picture taken one more time. You would think the woman would have gotten the hint when I had my eyes squeezed shut the last time. This bandana makes me so hot. Literally, I pant and pant when I wear it. I can’t wait til I get to take it off. The man is afraid I will eat it in when they go to sleep. That is a great idea. I just might.

 

Bella and Emma August 11, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — cgg111 @ 11:58 am

Bella:
Terrified of thunderstorms, tolerates my nonsense on a small scale, whines to be let in or out, eats birdseed (I tell people she is on a Paleo diet), excellent guard dog, hates to be reprimanded, Chris’ dog, possessive of toys, loves walks, takes forever to poop, gets called “beautiful”, pants relentlessly, could eat nonstop, turning gray-thanks to Emma, likes to have her ears scratched

Emma:
Goes with the flow, hogs the backseat, never gets to play with any toys-thanks to Bella, tolerates my nonsense much more than Bella, eats produce from the garden, chases birds in the backyard, loves her frisbee, has to walk to poop, clueless most of the time, follows Bella’s lead, my dog, wants to play with Bella desperately, likes to have her butt scratched

Both are the best dogs in the world!

 

School August 10, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — cgg111 @ 10:47 am

Ahh school. The very mention of the word and I almost break out in hives. The fact that the 21st is looming in my near future does not help matters. Anxiety creeps in and I wonder if I will make it to retirement. Somehow I don’t think so.

Growing up I had neutral feelings about school. I was friends with almost everyone, and would certainly talk to anyone who wanted to chat with me. I had a circle of friends and a circle of enemies. Unfortunately those enemies often wanted to be my friend. So confusing to a fifth grader, and it didn’t get any better in middle school. I liked doing my work in school. I did whatever the teacher told us to do. I loved working out of workbooks. I loved that we could write in the book and didn’t have to worry about reuning it. I loved memorizing vocab words and math facts. I really liked all my teachers in elementary school. In middle school is when I developed an extreme disinterest in math. I could not stand my math teacher. She was not a good teacher. She yelled at us, gave us way too much work, and really did not explain things. Besides math I really like school.

In high school things with my friends got better. I found out who my real friends were and ditched the enemies. Math did not get any better. In ninth grade I had an equally poor algebra teacher who had not taught the subject in 12 years. Yep, my uncle’s class was the last class to have him. My uncle became my math tutor because the teacher was horrible. He had no clue how to teach the subject. He had no clue how to teach those who struggled. His method of helping was telling us to work with a partner. Too bad my partners had no clue what they were doing either. Then there was my French class. I loved my French class. Our teacher was awesome! She was very down-to-earth and loved chatting with us. She had a French club and one year we went to Montreal, Canada. We had a cheese tasting party, celebrated Mardis Gras, and did some really cool projects. A lot of my friends were in that class also so every day was like a party.

In college I made all new friends, but kept in contact with some of my high school friends. Work became a lot more challenging in college. It was the first time I failed a class and had to retake it. I studied my guts out but it wasn’t good enough. The second time I passed with a D. It was then that I discovered that high school might have been a little too easy. I am not sure why I did not take more challenging classes in high school. Perhaps math left me without energy to do anything more challenging. I never took AP English, but think I would have really enjoyed it. I know I would have enjoyed it more than the English 12 class I took with the highschool basketball coach. He worried more about his season than what he was trying to teach us in the classroom. I met my husband in college. He became my tutor also. He would quiz me on terms and methods. With his help I did pretty well.

When I got my first teaching job I was so excited. Two weeks after graudation and I had landed a long-term subsitution position teaching 10th grade English. I also had a section of ELL students. The kids were nice enough, they missed their teacher, and it was the first time I encountered a pregnant student. To make things even more interesting the father of the child was also in the class. I never was really nervous with this position. It was fun, long enough, and I think some students actually learned something. I got lots of nice notes when I left.

Then I began my career. My first day I was so excited and nervous by the end of the day I was in tears. The kids were MEAN! They were disrespectful and I had no idea how I was going to make it to June. I had never been called racist or a bitch or a white bitch before. I had no idea how to deal with these students. My principal gave me a book. I remember telling my husband I wanted to throw it on his lawn and burn it. Everyone kept saying the second year will be better. They were right with respect to the job but not how to deal with the students. I still really did not know how to deal with the disrespect and how to handle the comments they would make. In time I learned just to let things roll off my back and not take things personally. I learned to talk with the students and try to find out why they were so upset with me. Often times it wasn’t me at all they were upset with. Things would happen at home or another class or with their friends and they would take it out on me. Not very fair right? Try telling that to someone who is 16 and in the 8th grade. They are worrying about driving not what words I want them to memorize for a vocab quiz.

A new position awaits me this year. I am very excited and nervous to see what’s in store. I have learned a great deal the past 9 years. I am still learning. I want to learn more. As the 21st gets closer, I begin to think about the students I will be working with. I wonder how they have changed over the summer. I wonder about the hardships they have had to endure. I wonder about the things they will learn this year. I hope they are happy and I really can’t wait to see them!

 

Lies August 9, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — cgg111 @ 9:51 am

I am an honest person.  There really is no need to lie.  I always end up getting caught because  I am not good at it.   Most of the nonsense I tell my students I make up.  I like to push the envelop and see what they believe.  Sadly, they believe almost everything they are told.  Unless something sounds really outlandish they believe it.  Some lies I have heard or told recently:

*When the Zumba instructor tells the class there is no right or wrong way to “Zumba”, she is lying. There is. If you are on the wrong foot, you’re wrong. If you happen to be wearing day-glo clothes while the black light is on, it’s even worse.

*When my husband says to me, “It’s ok.” Then he has to back track and correct whatever action I have done, usually it is mowing the grass. It’s not ok. He now has to work twice as hard to fix something I have done. Nice job, one who can’t mow.

*Whenever a friend asks me, “When would you like to meet?” I always say, “Whenever is good for you.” Chances are I really mean it, but there are some times I find myself thinking, how about midnight tomorrow? What, you can only meet during normal business hours? I really enjoy those friends who say they can meet on a particular day and then suddenly they are busy. Really, you forgot your aunt, uncle, cousin, mother was coming to visit?

*School will be starting soon. I will find myself staring at students who don’t care about the knowledge that I have to present to them. What will I do? What would you do? I lie. Oh yes, I lie. Things fly out of my mouth so fast I can hardly believe I am saying them. I actually believe what I am saying.
-“Can I have a pencil?” “Nope, I don’t have any” as I stare at a box full of sharpened pencils. Maybe they are really not there.
-“Can I go to_______?” “Nope, it’s closed.”
-“Are you gonna call my house?” “Nope my phone has been disconnected.” Sadly many of the students I teach (or try to) have had their phone disconnected. Another personal favorite is when the voice mailbox is full. They can relate when I tell them why I can’t call.
-“Are you mad at me?” “Nope I really enjoy when you compelely disrespect me and ignore anything I try to tell you.” Oh wait, you’re a teenager, that’s your job.
-“Why are you so mean?” “It’s in my job description.” If you wanna know anything else ask my lawyer.
-“Why do we have to cover our books?” “It’s the law.” I have never seen a 6th grader cover a book faster.