Well Color Me…..

My ramblings on the world in general and my life in particular

March 26, 2018
by Tracie
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Nexus Information

If you are interested in reading the password protected Nexus, please leave me a comment and I’ll email you the password. Those of you who are nearest and dearest to me, fandom wise will probably be able to guess the password 😉

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April 6, 2018
by Tracie
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…Disgusted with the Dumbing Down of America

Well color me disgusted, in fact, I’m actually appalled and disgusted with the dumbing down of America.  We’re doing this thing at my school.  We want to redesign how we’re doing things.  Which sounds fantastic.  Get kids involved in internships, create personal learning plans for all students.  Things like that sound great, and I love the idea.  We’re broken down into committees that meet to discuss the various areas we’re looking at.  While I normally hate committee work, it is nice hearing the thoughts and opinions of the different teachers and basically a lot of us are on the same page.   But then there is talk about changing the school hours and starting much later in the day and going until later at night, because “studies show that high school students need to sleep later in the morning.”

...disgusted with the dumbing down of America

Why are dumbing down our country?

Here’s the thing, if kids went to bed earlier instead of playing video games and being on their phones all night, they would be able to get up earlier in the morning.  I know that all kids don’t play video games and all kids aren’t on their phone all night, but when I look around the school where I work, and I talk to the kids, that’s the message I’m getting.  So maybe parents should parent and put limits and rules in place.  I’m not saying school should start at the ass crack of dawn, but we start at 7:45 – I don’t see that as being too late at all.

I won’t even bother ranting about the doing away with leveling and having heterogeneous grouping.  That is a very touchy subject and has been for years.  To me it’s right up there with doing away with class rank.  I’m sorry people, but some of you are smarter than others and some of you are going to work your asses off to do well in school.  I think that should be recognized and acknowledged. Ok, I’m going to rant about heterogeneous grouping.  At a high school level having kids of very diverse learning abilities doesn’t work.  The super intelligent over achievers will be fine, because they’ll do the work.  The struggling learners will be fine because the teacher will help them to succeed.  But who’s going to lose out? The middle of the road kids who maybe lack motivation or struggle a little.  They’re going to get lost in the shuffle.

It’s not just in schools thought.  I was talking with an army recruiter the other day, and he was telling me that basic training is nothing like it used to be.  They have to find new ways to “talk” to the recruits.  I’m sorry, really I am, but if you’re joining the military, do you really want your drill sergeant to be gentle with you?  I think I were joining the military with the possibility of having to defend my country, I’d want them to be as tough and as mean and as hard as possible.  Why?  War isn’t gentle, and it sure as heck isn’t easy.  It’s messy, it’s dirty, and it’s scary as hell.  I’d want to be ready for that.

Here’s the deal.  This is life, and in life, not everybody is a winner, and some people lose.  We’ve become so concerned with letting all kids think they are winners and bolstering their self-esteem.  I’m not saying we want to tear down or destroy the self-esteem of a child, but we do have to teach them to win gracefully, lose with dignity and to realize that there are going to be people that are better of things than they are.  We are ruining our children and the future of this country.  To say I am disgusted by the dumbing down of America is actually an understatement.  I’m afraid because we are destroying ourselves.

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April 1, 2018
by Tracie
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Don’t Be a Drama Llama

Cross posted at Think Positive 30

Don't be a drama llamaProtect yourself. Keep your distance from negative people and their drama. They have a problem for every solution. – Karen Salmansohn

I am not a fan of the drama. In fact in my classroom, I have a sign declaring it a Drama Free Zone. To my way of thinking, life is challenging enough without dealing with drama from other people. It comes at us from all sides. It comes from our friends and our family, our co-workers and our neighbors. These people are veritable energy suckers. They can and do suck the life right out of us. On a daily basis, I have students walking in to my classroom saying so-and-so said or did this, or he posted that on snap chat, or she said this about me in a text message. Idon't be a drama llamat’s overwhelming and the drama llamas do their very best to suck us in.

Their drama can sometimes turn you into a drama llama yourself. And seriously, do you have time for that? I’m going to guess the answer to that is no you don’t. Well guess what, you don’t have to deal with the drama llamas any more! It’s time to drop the drama! Stop allowing crazy-makers, game-players, truth-manipulators, gossip-mongers, conflict-stirrers and bad communicators to drain you of joy, energy and time! Plus make sure you’re not accidentally contributing to or prolonging any drama. But how?

Karen Salmansohn is offering an amazing class called Don’t be a Drama Llama. This course will help you you to not to associate with the drama. It will teach you how to not invite the drama into your life, and more importantly how not to create MORE drama! Don’t be a drama llama. Find out how to stop the drama from taking over your life. Seriously, do you have time for drama? No, of course you don’t. Your life, your time is too important to let other people infect you with their drama and bring you down. Check out Karen’s class. This class regularly costs $149.00 but for a very limited time, she is offering the class for only $49.00. It’s an amazing offer and too good to pass up. Click here to see everything this class offers. Get ready to cut the drama from your life. Don’t be a drama llama any longer!

 

 

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March 12, 2018
by Tracie
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…Ready, I Think

I want to write.  I make no secrets about that.  I also don’t write, and I don’t make any secrets about that, or excuses.  I’m lazy AF, I’m a master procrastinator, and I’m afraid.  Around 11 years ago, I started writing a YA fiction book with the hopes that it could maybe morph into a series.  ready, i thinkThen life got crazy and it just got pushed aside.  All writing of the fiction type did.  I’m not making excuses, that’s just the way it is.

I did NANWRIMO in 2013, revamping a fan fic, but that wasn’t the same, plus it sucked.  This year, I toyed with starting NANOWRIMO.  I got two paragraphs written, but I just wasn’t feeling it.  Well last night, I pulled out those two paragraphs, and the stuff I started a while back a decade ago, and I realized that the couple of paragraphs would actually make a good prologue for the older stuff.

The older stuff, well it’s not great, and there are lots of grammatical errors and typos, but that’s what editing is for.  There is also a storyline in it that is supposed to be a motivating factor, but I’m not sure if i want to keep – it deals with physical abuse, and I’m not really sure if I want to go there.

But I’m thinking about writing again, and I’m ready, I think.  I’m not sure, but I’m closer to being ready than I have been in a very long time.  Writing has always been an escape for me, and honestly, in my life right now, I have a lot from which I want to escape.  I’m kind of stumped about where to share this writing.  Nobody uses LJ any longer, and nobody visits my fanfic forum either.  It’s not fanfic so I can’t put it on fanfic.net either. I know there are places out on the interwebs to share original stuff, but I’m not comfortable doing that either.  Why?  Because it’s either going to be good, and sharing it that way means it can be stolen, or more realistically, it’s going to suck and who wants to put themselves out there for ridicule!

I’m thinking I’m going to put it here, and password protect it, and if people want to read it, I’ll give them the password.  So I’m ready, I think.  I even hope.  I need an outlet.  It used to be writing, and I want it to be writing again.  I just need to begin.

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March 4, 2018
by Tracie
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…Not a Happy Traveler

I had to go on a short trip this week for work.  Now here’s the thing.  I like traveling.  I like going new places and seeing new things.  What I don’t like, however, is not being in control of my traveling.  And for this trip, I was not in control.  In short, I was not a happy traveler!

There were 8 of us traveling from Manchester NH to Syracuse NY.  Here is how the journey went.  We took a bus from New Hampshire down to Boston to fly out of Logan Airport.  Never mind that there is a perfectly lovely airport in Manchester, flights out of Boston were cheaper.  On the bus ride down to Boston, I got a message from a friend that lives in Syracuse telling me that they were expecting 10+ inches of snow on Friday.  Hmmm….we were planning on leaving Friday night.  I share the info with my fellow travelers, but they were unconcerned because the airline hasn’t issued any alerts.

The plan was, when we got to Syracuse, we were to meet a representative from the company we are partnering with, get two rental vehicles and be on our way to our Air BNB, with one of our group going to the hotel with the representative.  Why?  Well apparently the Air BNB owner has a dog and cats who are frequently in residence.  Well the representative let us know at the last second that she wouldn’t be attending, so there we are 8 people with a 7 passenger minivan and we are incredibly hungry.  So we cram 8 of us into the minivan, with one person sitting on the floor and off we go for food.

not a happy travelerAfter our meal, we dropped the one group member at the hotel and went to the Air BNB from HELL!  It claimed to have 4 bedrooms, what it had were 3 bedrooms, and a family room.  The three teenaged girls laid claim to the family room, and that left 3 bedrooms for 4 people, none of whom wished to share.  That is when yours truly ended up on a camp bed in the freaking living room.  Add to that, there is one full bath, and one half bath about the size of the average changing room in a department store. Sleep that night was non-existent as the teenagers made use of the pool table in the family room.  The pool table that was directly underneath my lovely camp bed in the lovely living room.

The next morning, I was up at the ass crack of dawn (remember, this is my vacation) and I go out to the kitchen to make myself an english muffin (the ketogenic diet has been relinquished for this trip) only to find the toaster is surrounded by a puddle of water.  Rather than get electrocuted, I wiped it up, made my muffin and ate my breakfast. After everyone joined me, we hashed out our new travel plans as it was decided right before bed we’d get the hell out of Dodge, or Syracuse that night to avoid the storm.

Unfortunately we couldn’t all fit on the same flight, so six people were flying out at 6:00 to Chicago, changing there and then back to Boston. Myself and another woman were flying out at 8:30 direct to Boston.  With our original travel, we would be getting in too late to get a bus back, so we booked a flight line van.  With our new travel arrangements, there was a very good chance that the two of us would get back in time to catch the bus back to New Hampshire.

We went about our day and did as much as we could, learned some very interesting and informative things. We ware also fortunate enough to visit an internship site at an Italian bakery and brought back a ton of goodies to share with our host school (and ourselves)  We said goodbye to the wonderful people at the school we were visiting and headed out.  Again, please remember there are 8 of us crammed into a 7 passenger van.  We stopped for food, and made our way back to the airport.

The first group of our intrepid band got on their flight and we prepared to wait, and then it happened. Our flight was delayed.  All thoughts of bus trips back home began to fade from my mind.  Our flight was called only 20 minutes late, and we made incredible time back to Boston.  Bus trip thoughts began to creep back into my mind when I realized that we were no longer descending, we were once again climbing, and we circled the airport for a while.  Again the bus trip thoughts were erased from my mind and we disembarked and made our way across the pavement, up a flight of stairs and into the airport.  Yes,  we were traveling on an itty bitty baby plane that was too small to pull up to the jetway.

After another hour wait, the rest of our intrepid band disembarked from their flight, retrieved their luggage and we made our way to the flight line van which was parked oh so far away 🙁  All told, I was home and in my bed by 1:30 Friday morning, and we beat the incoming storm, but what a miserable experience.

Were it up to me, we would have flown out of Manchester, or better still, we could have rented a big enough vehicle and driven. There were five adults on this trip, all of whom were licensed drivers.  We most definitely would not have stayed at the Air BNB from hell.  I am a hotel girl all the way.  I have to go on another one of these trips in April (again on my vacation). I’m hoping the experience will be a little bit more enjoyable, or once again it will be a case of color me not a happy traveler.

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February 25, 2018
by Tracie
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…Unarmed and OK With It

I made the huge mistake of posting on facebook this morning regarding the comments President Trump made about arming teachers.  He said (and this is not a direct quote, just paraphrasing here) that teachers love their students and we should be armed we love our students, and that we’d kill to protect them.  The problem with that thought process is that most school shooters are students or former students.  If a student is expelled, in my mind, he or she is still my student.  Could I potentially kill one of my students?  No, I don’t think I could.  Trained police didn’t go in to the school in Florida and start shooting.  Why do people think that I could or would?

unarmed and okay with it

Image copyright Joe Heller

Okay, suppose there are trained, armed teachers in a school and there is a school shooting.  What happens to the teacher who accidentally shoots and kills another student while trying to stop the shooter?  Are they going to be prepared to deal with the emotional fallout from killing an innocent student or co-worker?  Somehow I doubt it. What about the police who do rush into the school in the case of a school shooting and accidentally kill a teacher with a gun who was “protecting his/her students?”  How are they supposed to differentiate from school shooter or trained staff member.  I don’t think school shooters come with signs.  Oh wait, I know.  First, I’ll lock and barricade my door.  Then I’ll get the kids into the safest part of the room.  Then I’ll get out my gun which would be locked up in a secure place, then I’ll put on my day-glow orange vest that says I’m a staff member with a gun, don’t kill me.  You know, the vest that will probably be available on the internet that the school shooter will also be wearing.

Now I realize that they probably wouldn’t arm me, and it would be teacher choice.  I’ve already made my choice abundantly clear.  But suppose the teacher down the hall, who is a horrible, horrific teacher chooses to go through the proposed training and now has access to a weapon in school.  They’re proposing paying this teacher more money because of that gun.  It doesn’t matter that they are  a terrible teacher, they agreed to carry a gun so they get more money.  Yeah that makes sense to me.

I have friends on facebook who are pro gun.  I have friends on facebook who love to hunt and kill.  Now these friends frequently post pictures of their hobbies. That’s fine, it’s a free country, what they’re doing is legal.  All is well.  Now, I am not pro gun (for me) and I am not a hunter.  So I choose to just bypass their posts that show them participating in those activities.  They love it, that’s fine.  I don’t, that’s fine, but I RESPECT their right to do what they love and share on social media.  Why then, can’t they extend me the same courtesy.  I’m not saying we should take away their guns.  I’m not saying they shouldn’t be allowed to hunt.  They however feel the need to come on my post and tell me how wrong I am because arming teachers would make everything all better.  Not me.  I’m unarmed and I’m okay with it.

One more little side diatribe.  I love how kids are stepping up and saying this has got to stop.  They are speaking out and letting them know that their lives matter.  All our lives do.  Many students are planning a peaceful protest/school walk out to take a stand. And many school districts are apparently talking about suspending kids that do so.  Kudos to the colleges and universities that are stepping up and saying the admission of students will not be impacted by any suspensions issued to them for protesting gun violence.

 

 

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