Thursday, August 30, 2018

I miss lunch, not much else

Frank:  So how many days a week do you work as a sub?

Alice:  Oh, I dunno.  I could probably work every day if I wanted to

Frank:  I'm thinking I might be a sub as my "retirement job"

Alice:  Well... some would call teaching a "retirement job"

I don't think Frank was amused.  This was a conversation I witnessed in the teacher's lounge last year when I had that ultra boring job at the nice high school.  Lunch was the best part of the day, always a good conversation in the teacher's lounge. 

Frank was one of the regulars in the teacher's lounge.  He taught English.  Alice was a sub who was also often in the teacher's lounge.  In fact, it was usually English teachers, the piano accompanist, the substitutes, and us study hallers.  I heard the math department had really nice digs, so they never hung out in the teacher's lounge.

I've hashed my tale of woe of how I took a job at the high school last year as a gateway into being a licensed teacher.  It was actually  a good thing because I learned quite quickly that I had no desire to work in a public high school - even a nice one- without spending a bunch of money on getting a license the old fashioned way:  college.

Teaching would not be my retirement job.

Thing is, I liked the kids.  Maybe that's one of the main reasons I realized I didn't want to teach there.  I don't know if the kids had no freedoms because they abused the privileges they did have, or if they abused the privileges they did have because they had no freedoms. 

Anyway, I won't whine, and I really am grateful I came to the I-don't-wanna-be-a-schoolteacher epiphany in a relatively painless way. 

But it makes me think about those who do teach.  Year in and year out.  I guess we're just cut from different cloth, march to different drummers, etc.  There are the good ones, who make lasting impressions.

I also know some teachers who, I honestly think, became teachers because they don't like kids.  They like the dominance of it.   They relish in being the oppressors.  They just made me want to abet in the kids getting away with stuff, which was not actually in my job description.

So if I had to be a schoolteacher, what subject would I teach and why?  Ugh.

Maybe community college math?  Less oppressive the K-12, plus the students are paying to be there rather than forced?  But with less pressure (and requirements) than a university?  This is my retirement job, after all.

But really because I wonder if math teachers really have a better lounge. 

Linking up with Mama Kat for the prompt:
5. If you had to be a school teacher, what age and/or subject would you choose to teach and why?

Saturday, August 25, 2018

what's in a headshot?

Magnum and I went to a movie.  We went to see "Alpha".  I saw the trailer and thought it would either be really cheesy or pretty good.  After watching it, I'd say... it was a little bit of both.  There were definitely some plot holes, and I'm not one who can easily turn a blind eye to plot holes.  But I think it's getting decent reviews.  I'd characterize it as "'Ice Age' for a slightly older crowd".  But it was an okay way to kill a couple of hours on an overcast afternoon, especially since I wasn't really expecting much.  Escape-movie day.

It was a busy week for me, which is nice, but I was glad to have a day with no appointments.  I'm sure everyone reading this knows that today was August SAT test day.  Right?

I've been thinking that I should change my profile pic on the tutor website.  My hair is different now than what's in the photo.  I wondered how much of a role the profile pic plays when someone goes there to seek a suitable tutor.  I've honestly looked at a few in the mix and thought, "that tutor needs to upload a better photo!"

As for me, I mainly try to look like a "normal" person.  Knowledgeable but approachable, y'know?  And I'll make a slight confession here.  When I was deciding on a profile pic, I was looking at a couple of contenders and picked the one where I thought I looked the most Asian.

There, I said it.  It's because of the stereotype of Asians being smart and disciplined - I thought I might make that work in my favor.

Let the world know that  I've never set foot on Asian ground and am as 'merican as they come.  And besides, my Asianness is Filipino, which I don't think counts on the high achiever stereotype scale.  But thanks for the genes, Mom.

But I do sometimes wonder what factors and how much weight tutees put into their searches.  Especially with the online thing going, zip code no longer matters.  I got my answer this week... well, one answer.

A mom texted me to set up a second session with her daughter.  She said her daughter liked me and asked the mom what made her choose me.

"You look a lot like her piano teacher, whom we love!"

Piano teacher, whoever you are, thanks for the face.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

besides, it's not like I can cook

The house feels huge and quiet and strangely clean now that it's just Magnum and me.  I suppose we'll get used to it eventually. 

It's always felt a bit this way when school starts up again, but this is a little more permanent with no one coming home at the end of the day.  But yes, school is back in session in our neck of the woods.  I don't feel that connection anymore, though, now that we don't have any kids in the school system.  Plus...

I'm no longer a lunch lady.  Can't say that I miss it that much.

Last semester, I took a job with the school lunch provider in our district with the end goal of working in the front office.  A few positions were open to me at the end of my "front line" stint, but I made the decision over the summer to hang up the chef coat.  With online tutoring becoming more mainstream and us *finally* getting high speed internet, I decided to focus my efforts there.  So far, so good.  In fact, this is a busy time with HS seniors hoping to rock their college entrance exams.

Besides, it's not like lunch ladies will ever go away.  Will they?  The bosses told me I can go back whenever I want.

It's not like I don't have fond memories.  I miss my fellow lunch ladies - Gayle, Rita, Young Mitch -  and their shenanigans.  I recently dreamed I was back in the kitchen with all of them.  I felt strangely nostalgic when I woke up.

Maybe I'll stop in for a surprise visit.  I'll go around Halloween, disguised as a health inspector.

...because that happens.

Friday, August 17, 2018

day 1

Overheard yesterday at College Town Walfarts:

EMPLOYEEToday was going pretty good until about 10 o'clock...

Yup.  Yesterday was move-in day at the university for Meego and a squizillion other dorm rats.  We managed to fit all of Meego's worldly possessions plus our three selves into one vehicle to make the haul.  That was partially aided by the fact that he, unsurprisingly, forgot a few things, but all-in-all, the day went smoothly.

The university is a couple of hours up the road, and as we made the trek, I was noticing other similarly loaded vehicles, complete with young people.  I was mainly taking stock of the bicycles I saw.  Some nicer than Meego's, others not.  That was good.  You don't want to have the best bike in the bike rack, but you don't want a piece o' crap either.

At the bike registration tent

It was a good day.  Classes begin on Monday, so he should be settled in time to hit the books.  His roommate seems like a nice guy, and the two of them have things in common.  They met through a university app that's "kind of like Tinder" to pair up roommates.

A friend of mine posted pics on fb of her daughter's move-in at the same university.  Her daughter's room looks like something out of Good Housekeeping magazine.  Meego's room does... not.

I've heard that, as far as dorm housing typically goes, guys are slobs and girls create much drama.  The guys should have the slob part down anyways.

After we got him settled and made two separate runs to the aforementioned Walfarts, we met up with Wolfgang who, coincidentally, lives and works in College Town.  So we got in a nice visit with him and met his new roommate

That's okay, I didn't want to use the sink anyway...

So, our house seems strangely huge and quiet today.  My first order of business is to tidy up and see what's left in the wake of yesterday's move out / in.  Then I'll figure out what to do with the extra time in my life now.  This showed up in my instagram today:

Okay.  I'm on it.  😬

Thursday, August 16, 2018

do you want to see?

I'm a blogger of few words today.  This appeared on my FB feed this morning and left me a bit unable to speak...

Know that it's all consensual.

Linking up today with Mama Kat for the prompt:
2. Share something that entertained you this week, can be an article you read, video you watched, someone’s FB share…whatever!

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

I guess I'll give him the credit

Here I sit.  Teary eyed and sniffly.

No, I'm not being sad and dramatic.  I'm being allergic.

I've blogged about how I began getting allergy shots about a year ago at my ripe old age of 50+.  I blogged about the initially smug doctor who didn't seem to believe that such an old lady would be getting tested for the first time.  I blogged about his changed demeanor after I'd failed his tests miserably.  I blogged about how I go to get shots and sit among a bunch of sugared up little kids who take copious amounts of candy bribes to deal with their allergy shots.

About a month or so ago, I had a follow-up with Dr. Jekyll (so nicknamed because of  his smug/friendly personality).  He gave me a once-over and asked the typical follow-up things.

During the appointment, I realized:

  • I had not snorted any Flonase®️ in quite some time
  • I can walk around like a sober person
  • I don't have what feel like marshmallows for eyelids
  • I can breathe

He also asked if I'd had any troublesome insect stings, and I reported that my don't-look-like-a-flower strategy seems to be holding.  No stings since the timely one that landed me in his office in the first place.  

I concluded with, "I think the shots are working".

To which he responded, "Oh, they're working!" with that touch of smug I've learned to know and love tolerate.  I was all, look at him taking all the credit. What about my lifestyle changes?  Don't I get a gold star too?  

I went in last week for my weekly injections.  I get two:  one for molds and the other for weeds, grasses, trees, and just about every other kind of plant on the planet.  

Geej, my shot giver, showed me a nearly empty vial of the weed etc. antigen.  

"We ran out of this one and need to make up another batch", she said apologetically.  "Sorry I didn't notice it ahead of time to have it ready for today".

I looked around at the manymanymany vials of antigen in the room - each one specifically formulated for its individual patient.  I didn't fault her for not noticing that one of mine was low.  I took my mold shot and left without raiding the candy basket.

So yesterday, I was working in the yard.  I ended up sniffly and a bit puffy.  I'm still sniffly and a bit puffy.

REALLY, allergies?!  ONE missed hit of antigen?!

Okay, Dr. Jekyll.  I concede

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

first impressions

She didn't like me.  I wasn't expecting that, but it soon became quite apparent.  I didn't know why she didn't like me.  Truth is, I didn't even know her that well.  We were classmates in a small town, so I knew who she was and vice versa, but not a whole lot more.

It was our sophomore year of high school and my first year in marching band.  I'd really wanted to be in marching band, but I didn't play a band instrument as a freshman and didn't get on board to try out for the flag team in time.

The stars shined upon me, however, when our band director decided he wanted some "banner girls".  You know those people that walk in front of the band during parades carrying the banner with the school's name?  Well, our band director decided to dress that idea up a bit and have banner girls that did stuff.  As such, each of us girls had our own letter sign that spelled out the school name on one side and the name of our school mascot on the other.  Clearly, it was good prep for my illustrious career as a crossing guard.
I'm the one with the nice "A" 😉.  We were The Miners, hence the hard hats...

So I was in the marching band.  I was a banner girl.  We did some things, marched around, flipped our signs, kicked our feet, even twirled some streamers now and then, whatevs.  It was like flag preschool... which it actually ended up being in my case.

Because the stars shined upon me again when our band was invited to the Portland Rose Festival in Portland, OR that would take place in the spring.  In the interim between marching season and the Portland trip, a certain flag girl became "with child".  Actually, a couple of them did!

With those sperms burrowing into those eggs, another banner girl and I were promoted to the flag line!  My dream!  Yay!  Except...

I needed to learn how to BE a flag girl, and I needed to learn quickly.  A minor detail.

Our band director assigned Paula to be my flag tutor.  I'm not sure why he chose Paula, she wasn't a captain or even a senior.  I assume it was because she was also a sophomore, and she'd been in flag since we were freshmen.  She and I arranged for my first session of flag girl crash course.

I was excited to get started and played clumsily with my practice flag until Paula showed up.  When she did, it was all business.

She showed me several compulsory moves and had me repeat them all until I had them down.  All the while, her face was a stone.  She almost seemed bored, but at the same time, she seemed happy  that I didn't know a darn thing.  I knew she liked being a flag girl and was good at it, and it was me she didn't like.

But I was motivated, and Paula was a great coach.  I soon had the moves down, so she started to teach me a whole routine for a song.  I was having fun despite her coldness, and somewhere during that first session, she couldn't help herself from having fun too.

I don't know how many more one-to-one sessions we had, but we soon became good friends.  We went to Portland with the band and rocked the house.  By the time we were seniors, Paula and I were co-captains of the flag team, and our school's band was kickass.

But Paula and I became more than just teammates.  She eventually confessed that she did not like me before she knew me - chyaah, I already knew that!

I actually had a diverse set of friends during high school, and as such, I didn't really belong to any specific clique.  You could say I was popular in a big-fish-in-a-small-pond kind of way.  I was a rah-rah, joining every sport and club and holding every office.  Paula was not in that crowd.  But she was an excellent flag girl and student editor of the yearbook, another thing in which she and I were in cahoots.

She told me she didn't like me at first because she'd assumed I was conceited from being such a rah-rah and didn't care for "her kind".  But when she showed up to teach me flag, I was... not.  Well, crap.  I wondered if I gave off some conceited vibe?  Either way, I'm thankful to our band director for sparking such a close friendship.

Like I said, I had several good friends in high school, but I think I can  honestly say that Paula was a friend with whom I was most intimate - and I don't mean THAT!  Get your minds out of the gutter.  We just shared a lot of things that we didn't share with other people.  I was also very close with  Ingrid, but I've already written about good ol' Ingrid.

I remember one night after my boyfriend went a little off the deep end, and I found myself sitting in an ER while he was being attended to (a whole 'nother story I might blog someday, but don't hold your breath).  It was late at night, and I was pondering my options for getting my sorry self home.

The automatic door to the ER slid open, and there was Paula.  A sight for sore eyes... but not necessarily a surprise.

Hooking up with Mama Kat this week for the prompt:
1. Tell us about the moment you met your high school best friend.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

missed mountain and moving millennials

We'd planned a little weekend getaway for last weekend.  Go up to Winter Park, do some mountain biking and hiking and whatever.  As it happened, we ended up not going.  The stars just didn't align.  Nothing bad, but a casualty of getting various schedules and other obligations to match up.  And I think everybody made the most of their weekends either way.

Here is NOT a photo of any of US at Winter Park, but let's pretend...


For me, I went to P.E.O. on Saturday and met with a student on Sunday, so it sort of feels like the weekend didn't really happen.  What day is it?

As I type this, there's activity going on at the Millennial House next door.  I capitalize it because that's the name I've given the "estate".  We have no idea how many people actually live there, but there are lots of vehicles, and the residents' average age works out to about 20.  That value is kept quite low because of the fact that there's now a baby in the mix.  Apparently, it's not just the bunnies in the neighborhood that have been gettin' busy.

We're pretty sure that mom and dad of one or more of the habitants owns the house and rents to the pack.  I've met the owners and they are quite friendly, but it's rare for them to visit.  Despite their ages and demographic stereotype, the kids are okay as neighbors *knock on wood*. In fact, I rarely see them during the day, which makes notable the current activity.

My main dislikes are the late-night (more like early-morning) bonfire gatherings they like to occasionally have in their backyard.

Most of the guys drive full-size pickups, which fill up the street and driveway, but also attest to the fact that they all have jobs.  This morning, I see that three of the pickups have furniture and boxes loaded into them.  Someone's moving?

I hope it's not the baby.  He's cute, and he seems to have mellowed the household, from my external perspective anyway.

But maybe for the baby's sake, I hope it is the baby.

Friday, August 3, 2018

terror on the doorstep

A pleasant bug man came a-knocking a few nights ago.  He gave me the old, "Hi, I'm here in the neighborhood killing bugs over at Vic's house, and I can give you a deal to kill your bugs too since I'm already here 😁" bit.

And I was thinking, "What makes him think we have bugs?"

Actually.  No.  I did not think that.  It's obvious, especially from where he was standing.  Our front porch...

Let's get a close-up, shall we?  Of one of the many spiderwebs full of bounty that adorn the front door.

I spray them. With water.  I spray them goooooood.  I spray them because they are so strong, a broom doesn't really hack it.  I spray them on full hose pressure with the nozzle set on JET.

The spiders laugh at me and rebuild within a day or so.

No, I didn't take the bugman up on his offer, mainly because I don't give in to sales people who come a-knocking.  But... should I have pest control come?  What all do their materials do, anyway?  Bugman says he can kill existing bugs and repel future wannabes.

I've pondered this before, when my spraying can't match the spidery zeal.  Wolfgang was my voice of reason last summer.

"They're doing you a favor."

"How's that?"

"See all the bugs they catch in their webs?  If it weren't for the spiderwebs, those bugs would be inside the house."  

So that can be my excuse.  Our front porch spiderwebs are not unsightly, unwelcoming, creepy things.  

They are the moat to our castle.  


Linking up with Mama Kat this week for the prompt:
2. Write a blog post inspired by the word: dirty