Well Color Me…..

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

January 17, 2018
by Tracie
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…A Huge Lover of Snow Days

A Huge Lover of Snow Days

 

I’m a bad teacher, I totally admit that.  Why?  Because I am a huge lover of snow days.  I don’t care about making days up later in the year.  I really don’t.  There is something simply wonderful when that phone call or text comes in or the message flashes across the bottom of the television.  I don’t a huge lover of snow daysknow why, but when there is a snow day, I love to sleep in.  I can’t manage to do it on the weekends, but on  a snow day, I can snuggle back under those covers and go back to sleep.

I think snow days are God’s way of realizing that teachers need extra time off during the winter.  We get to school before light, we go home after dark and we’re cooped up inside with cranky kids all day long.  The only real drawback to snow days in my school district is for our para-educators.  We have five built in snow days in the school calendar, and they only get paid for two. I always feel bad when I hear about the possibility of a snow storm because while I’m praying for the snow day, they’re praying it doesn’t happen so they can get paid.

So sure, maybe we’ll have to go a few extra days this spring, but I’m okay with that, because today, I got a snow day.

 

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a total bookworm

January 15, 2018
by Tracie
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…A Total Bookworm

Well Color Me…A Total Bookworm

I am, and have been, for as long as I can remember, a total bookworm.  I love books, and I love to read.  Even when I was little, I loved reading.  Don’t get me wrong, I had plenty of outside time, but reading was always my first love.  As a result, I was also a very imaginative kid.  I can remember being in my bed at night with my army of stuffed animals, reliving stories from books as I drifted off to sleep.  From there it developed into making up stories of my own.  Maybe that’s why I used to love writing fan fiction so much, but that’s a totally different blog for a totally different day.

Loving to read, and having a great imagination is a wonderful thing, but it’s not without it’s drawbacks.  I tend to think life is supposed to be like it is in the books that I read.  Guess what, it’s not.  Prince Charming is not coming it to sweep me off of my feet and make all my dreams come true.  I’m not that teacher that a  total bookworminspires gang members from the inner city to throw off the chains of their lives and get free rides to college. And I’m certainly not winning the lottery and using all that money to change the world.  Of course on the plus side, there are also no vampires, aliens or zombies running around either.

Books are great, and for me, they’re a perfect escape.  I am a total bookworm and I don’t try and hide it. I love everything there is about books.  I used to carry a book with me wherever I went, so that if I had a spare minute, I could read.  The only problem with that was being out and finishing a book and having nothing left to read.  I fought the digital age tooth and nail.  I wanted nothing to do with an e-reader, until I got one.  Now, I love it because I have a bazillion books with me all the time.  And thanks to the many free/discounted book lists I subscribe to, I get books for free or for pennies.

However, I also have a problem.  I am a book  re-reader, meaning I have books that read over and over again.  I think it’s because they make me feel safe.  I know what’s going to happen, there are no surprises, and the characters feel like dear friends.  The only problem with that is to get those books on my e-reader, I have to pay for them.  I’m doing it, and it’s a process, and as I do, I get rid of the hard copy.  It’s my own little version of decluttering my life.  I will always love books, and I will always love reading, and yeah, I’ll probably keep wishing real life happened just like it does in my stories, but hey, there are worse things I could wish for, right?

 

 

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January 11, 2018
by Tracie
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…Like, Really Smart and a Very Stable Genius

Well Color me

….Like Really Smart and a Very Stable Genius

by Tracie

I waited a while before writing about this because I am truly not a political person, and I hate discussing politics. So I waited a bit to see if my ire would die down.  But it hasn’t, so I just have to let it out.  On January 6, 2018, the President of the United States Donald Trump took to twitter once again and let loose with a series of tweets letting the world know that he was like, really smart and a very stable genius.

like, really smart and a very stable genius

www.photosforclass.com

Now that Russian collusion, after one year of intense study, has proven to be a total hoax on the American public, the Democrats and their lapdogs, the Fake News Mainstream Media, are taking out the old Ronald Reagan playbook and screaming mental stability and intelligence…..

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 6, 2018

Actually, throughout my life, my two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart. Crooked Hillary Clinton also played these cards very hard and, as everyone knows, went down in flames. I went from VERY successful businessman, to top T.V. Star…..

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 6, 2018

to President of the United States (on my first try). I think that would qualify as not smart, but genius….and a very stable genius at that!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 6, 2018

Now I have some concerns here.  The first being that this man acts like a childish schoolboy on twitter.  He calls people names, and makes bullying statements.  I may be wrong, but I don’t think that is very presidential behavior.  I work in a high school and I see childish behavior on social media all the time, so I feel safe in saying I know what I’m talking aboaut.

I also don’t feel that people who are blessed with a higher intelligence A.  Go around talking about it on social media, and B. phrase it in valley girl speak.  Again, I could be wrong, but I am fortunate enough to know and work with a number of highly intelligent people, and none of them walk around talking about how very smart the are.  And if they were to do so, they would probably say that they were very smart, not “like, really smart.”

I am not equipped to comment professionally about the mental stability of Donald Trump.  I’m a teacher, not a mental health professional.  I do however work with some students who are mentally unstable, and it scares me because the president exhibits some of the same behaviors they do.  So in my non-professional, and very personal opinion, he is anything but stable.  And as far as being a genius, show me the IQ scores, and then we’ll talk.

I’m going to come out officially and say I’m not a fan of our latest president.  To be perfectly honest, very rarely am I a fan of our commander-in-chief, but I usually respect the person.  I may not agree with them politically, but they’re doing a very challenging job and hopefully doing it to the best of their ability.  That’s what scares me about Mr. I’m like really smart and a stable genius. I don’t think the best of his ability is all that good, and it’s going to hurt us as a nation.

.

 

143mm

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January 10, 2018
by Tracie
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…Annoyed AF

Well Color Me…Annoyed AF

by Tracie

I understand that I work with a very special population at school.  The kids I work with are diagnosed with emotional and behavioral disorders, emotional disturbances, emotional handicaps and other health impairments.  It’s a veritable disaster on a daily basis.  They are rude, inconsiderate walking disaster areas, and generally, I love them.  Because of it or in spite of it, I’m not sure, but I really care about these kids.  But there are just some things that i don’t get and I end up annoyed AF.

annoyed AFMost of these kids are on one kind of medicine or another to help them with their disability.  Some of them take meds for ADHD, and others for anxiety.  None of these meds are designed to help the kids not be idiots, yet they will come in, and be incredibly rude and disrespectful and blame it on the fact that they didn’t take their ADHD mets or their anti-anxiety meds.  Or they’ll claim that they can’t go to class because it stresses them out to be in a room full of people they don’t know, yet we inevitably find them hanging out in the cafeteria with 200 of their closest friends.  They have to be friends because they aren’t comfortable being in a classroom with 20 people that they don’t know, so I can only assume they know the 200 kids in the cafeteria because they’re not exhibiting any signs of anxiety.

These kids are also pros at knowing exactly how to press another person’s buttons, and that includes mine.  usually I’m a pro at just rolling with it and letting them play their games but there are times when I am under a lot of pressure and just can’t deal with their bologna.  Today is one of those days.  Well let’s be completely fair and honest, this week is one of those weeks.  I’m displaced from my very small classroom and now sharing an equally small classroom with the other teacher in my program.  He’s being an absolute peach about sharing, but I know it isn’t any easier or him than it is for me.  He keeps his room pretty simple and basic, and that works great for him.  I’m more of a make the classroom feel like home, and that works for me.  Our individual styles don’t work well together.  But a huge shout out to him for making the sacrifice and sharing and putting up with all my STUFF.  So I’m annoyed AF by all of this, and then you get kids who sense it and hone in on it and do whatever they can to make it worse.

I suppose it actually shows how good they are at reading people.  I know for them, it’s a defense mechanism.  In their home situations and lives, they have to be able to get a good read on a person or a situation quickly so that they know how to protect themselves.  It’s like a super power or something.  If only they’d use that power for good and not annoying me.  Hopefully the week will get better, but I’m going to be displaced for a while so I’m not getting my hopes up.

 

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January 8, 2018
by Tracie
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…To Exhausted for Words

Well Color Me… Too Exhausted for Words

by Tracie

Last Tuesday, we headed back to school after a far to short Christmas Break.  The winter brought us bone chilling cold, and then a blizzard.  As I previously blogged, this resulted in a ruptured water pipe somewhere in my classroom.  Today was the first day back after an unscheduled four day break, and a lot of stress and worry about the situation at school.  And after that first day back, I am too exhausted for words.

I got to school, armed with Jeep full of donations and a go fund me that was growing by the minute. I headed in and made my way to my classroom, the classroom that on Friday they had assured me would be good to go on Monday.  Guess what?  It wasn’t.  I had left a bunch of stuff in my neighbor’s classroom to dry and first things first, I moved them out so that he would have room to, you know, teach.  From there I went out and about to track down the admins to find out what the situation was and what would be my home away from home. The were found, and I was told I was moving to the 4th floor.  Um – no thank you.  I suggested sharing with the other teacher in my program and got the ok.  And then, I got told that perhaps I shouldn’t have put a call out of supplies or started a go fund me.  Yep, 7:00 a.m. and I was already officially exhausted from stress.

After getting my car unloaded and all the stuff stowed away, I moved the things I needed immediately back into the room of the other teacher in my program. Honestly, I thought I was going to be fine, I plugged in my laptop, which appeared to escape getting water damage, and turned it on.  Success!  It was working.  Well, it was working until I tried to type a word with the letter M, or use a comma, or a period, or a question mark, or various keys on the number pad.  That just sent me over the edge of depression.  Added to that, I had to use the laptop on the wifi, which I hate, and

Well color me too exhausted for words

I’m exhausted

my day was going downhill fast.

At the end of the day, without any answers as to what was going on and how long I was going to be displaced, I found out that the first floor was being re-located to the forbidden section of the third floor so they could clean.  Clean what, I’m still not sure.  So I started helping move stuff up to the third floor, but we can only use one of the elevators because the other elevator is no longer allowed to access the forbidden section of the third floor.  So after lugging boxes and chairs and various other pieces of furniture up two flights of stairs and down a long hallway, I grabbed my poor M-less laptop and headed to the computer fix it store.

And now I’m home with a receipt for $230.00 to turn in for my computer and the promise that it will be back next week.  I have started my detailed list of what was destroyed in my room to get replaced, and I’m already in need of another vacation.  And as I sit here, watching a mindless, brainless television, trying to escape the reality that was today, all I can say is Well Color Me…Too Exhausted for Words.

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January 7, 2018
by Tracie
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….Totally and Completely Amazed

Well Color Me….Totally and Completely Amazed

by Tracie

Yesterday I talked about how I was a wet and soggy mess because of a water pipe bursting at my school. I got the call Friday and got to view first hand, the destruction that was now my room and the rooms of my friends.  We shared pictures on facebook and the donations started pouring in from everywhere.  I cam completely and totally amazed at the generosity of people.  Many people wanted to make monetary donations so we started a go fund me, and in just over 24 hours we are almost 1/3 of the way toward our goal which is why I am totally and completely amazed!

I have to be honest, I’m a very shy person, and really introverted, but in the past 24 hours, I’ve talked to and met more people than I have in probably the last three years.  But I’m doing it because so many wonderful people are reaching out to me asking what they can drop off and where, or if I can

totally and completely amazed

I am overwhelmed by the generosity of others.

come and get them.  My car right now is full of donations, which is awesome, and I’m getting more today, which is even more amazing.  People are really going above and beyond.  The kindness and generosity of others has me totally and completely amazed.

What’s really hard though is people asking what we need.  We really don’t know.  Until we can get in and do a total inventory of our rooms, we’re just not going to have any real idea.  I know the big things that I lost, including a microwave and mini fridge, and I am fortunate enough to have friends who stepped up and replaced them for me.  Honestly, I had replacements promised to me within 2 hours of letting people know what happened.  The chairs in my room that are ruined, I’m assuming we’ll replace from extras in the school, the same for the table and storage cabinet that didn’t survive.

What we don’t know is if the school district’s insurance policy will cover all the things we brought in.  For me, that’s floor lamps and a computer and two printers.  For another teacher who works with very low functioning autistic students, that’s a mini fridge, a microwave and a toaster oven which she has because she teaches basic food/cooking skills for her students.  The other teacher lost her mini fridge as well.  There also just the various things we’ve all picked up over our years of teaching.  There is no way any of us can just say off the top of our head that this is missing or that is missing.  We all have too many this and that’s  to account for.   So thank you for helping us, I truly have no words. And what I hope more than anything else is that the kindness and generosity that you are showing us will continue and and grow as we all continue to help those in need.

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January 6, 2018
by Tracie
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…A Wet and Soggy Mess

Well Color Me…A Wet and Soggy Mess

Yes, that’s right, I’m a soggy mess.  Well not me actually, but my classroom at school.  Earlier this week, there was a frozen pipe in the sink in my classroom.  Well, facilities brought a space heater over and said that would take care of everything.  Me being the freaky overly cautious person that I am chose not to leave the space heater running over night, because well, that’s freaking dangerous.  Well just before the bombocyclone blizzard struck, the temperatures warmed up and guess what happened.  Yep, the pipe burst.

We had no school on Thursday or Friday because of the weather, but Friday morning I got the call from my assistant principal telling me that my room was a mess.  So I decided to brave the cold and head into school.  As I got there, my phone rang and it was my friend, who is in the classroom below me.  She was upset of course, but I was hoping and praying that soggy mess wasn’t as soggy or as messy as we had been led to believe.  Boy was I wrong.  My friend’s classroom is totally destroyed.  She has lost virtually everything from computers to supplies to the irreplaceable  – that would be things made by students or given to her by students.  I cried when I saw her room, and then steeled myself to head upstairs to mine.

The water in my room was above my ankles and the custodians were doing everything in their power to get it cleaned up.  Amazingly, I didn’t lose much in the way of school supplies.  My old hand me down metal storage cabinet is a loss.  It’s rusted. My 4 drawer file cabinet which was also a hand me down seems to be okay but very rusty.  The chairs in my classroom which were covered in cloth and padded are also a soggy mess and a total loss, as is the old wooden bookcase.  However the books are ok so that’s a win.  I had just purchased 3 floor lamps for my room so we didn’t have to use the overhead lights and they’re ruined as is my desk lamp.  I’m pretty sure the two desktop computers I had in there are a loss as well. I was afraid to turn them on to find out. I also lost my mini refrigerator and microwave.  Those may seem unimportant, but a lot of my students come to school hungry and don’t have money for their reduced lunches, so I feed them a lot and they are things that I need

Like my friend down downstairs my biggest loss isn’t a computer or a school supply.  Hanging in a frame on my wall was a puzzle of the Las Vegas strip my students myself and other staff had completed.  Everybody who worked on it signed the back and I used puzzle saver to save it.  This puzzle

My poor puzzle what a soggy mess

My poor puzzle

was huge.  We had started working on it in the spring and didn’t finish it up before school had ended.  I broke it up into large pre-assembled chunks when I had to clean up my room for the end of the year and before the kids came back, I put those chunks back together.  When we finished it, we were missing ONE piece, but we didn’t care.  It happened to be an insignificant black piece so I put a black piece of paper in it’s place and when we framed it and hung it up, you couldn’t find it.  In fact, that missing piece served as a great ice breaker every year for new students.  I would challenge them to find the missing piece.  Very few of them did, but those that did were incredibly proud of themselves and would then challenge any new person who walked into my room to try and find the missing piece.  Right now it’s a soggy mess.  I’m trying to dry it out and hopefully we can save it, but even if I can, I don’t have a classroom to put it in.

The nice cleaning company isn’t sure if they’ll have my room ready for Monday, and my friends room won’t be ready for weeks.  And sadly classrooms are limited in my school. Not because we’re over crowded, but because the superintendent has decided he is moving the school district offices into our third floor, causing us to lose 22 classrooms.  So while there is an empty wing in our school, it is off limits to us while we wait for it to be renovated for the school district offices.  And in an ironic twist of fate, a donors choose project I had to get another chrome book for my classroom got funded while my classroom was being flooded.  So now I have the chrome book and no place to put it.

But it isn’t all bad. When I got home, I shared pictures of my friend’s classroom on facebook and explained what happened.  The results were astounding.  People started sharing and re-sharing and the donations started pouring in for her.  She is a teacher in the autism program and she also teaches the art classes for the special needs classes.  She needs everything, and because people are so wonderful she will be well on her way to rebuilding her classroom.  It’s funny, I was more concerned about her and what she needs than I was for me, but people, as I said are astounding.  Someone hooked me up with the mini fridge and another friend has a microwave. We also go admin approval to accept donations of money so we started a gofundme.  The outpouring of support has been incredible. People are truly amazing!

 

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January 4, 2018
by Tracie
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…A Tricky Teacher

I love my job, I really do.  I may bitch and complain about it, but when it comes right down to it I love it.  I love the school I work in, and I love the kids I work with, as trying as they may be.  They struggle with so many emotional issues, and most of them come from very neglectful homes.  I spend a large portion of my day making them ramen, hot chocolate, or oatmeal, or giving them granola bars.  I give them notebooks, binders, pens, pencils and book bags, and if they need to do a project, chances are, I have, or can come up with the supplies they need to get the project done.

Every time someone in my family gets a new computer, the old one (if it didn’t die a horrible death) comes to me and I bring it in so that they have technology to use.  When my kids clean out their closets and get rid of clothing, it gets brought into school and passed on to the kids in need.  I’m not particularly altruistic or anything, I just know that if they’re hungry, or cold, they’re not going to be able to learn.

One thing I can’t get them to understand is the basic concept of cleanliness.  For some of them, it’s a part of their disability.  They just can’t seem to deal with stripping down and getting under a steaming hot shower. For others, they may not have hot water at home, or they are homeless.  And for some reason, while these kids feel comfortable telling me just about anything, and often more than I want to know, they really struggle with talking about personal hygiene.  They seem to think that using deodorant on a dirty body, or worse, spraying themselves down with body spray and colognes makes them smell good.  I’ve got news for them – it doesn’t and the cheap assed body spray they can afford stinks worse than they do.

So I keep talking to them about hygiene, but I needed something to defend my olfactory receptors at the same time.  I’m in a super small classroom (I use that term jokingly) this year with two very small windows.  They didn’t provide much help this fall, and now since it’s winter, they’re no use at all.  I had to figure out something I could do to cover up the smell.  I’m super sensitive to perfumes and sprays so air fresheners don’t work.  I was stymied.  Then I found this awesome essential oil diffuser on Amazon, and my sister got it for me for Christmas.  It’s amazing on so many levels.  First, it emits a cool mist spray so no chances of anybody getting burned.  It also has this cool color changing sequence that the kids love.  It has a timer function, and an automatic shut off.  That way there is no chance of me leaving for the day and forgetting to turn it off.  And the essential oils are amazing.  I get them from amazon as well.  I stay away from floral fragrances as they really bother me.  I love mixing lemon and orange essential oil. It gives off a clean scent that fills the room with a light, pleasing fragrance that doesn’t wreak havoc with my sinuses, lol.  Other great oils are tea tree, peppermint and eucalyptus. All of them are cool and crisp and fill the room with a light fragrance that does a lot to mask the body odor of my students.

So I’ll keep talking to them about personal hygiene.  I’ll keep buying them soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste and deodorant.  I’ll keep shampoo and body wash in my classroom on the off chance that I can convince them to take a shower in the nurses office.  I’ll keep stocked up on the laundry detergent so we can wash their clothes, and I’ll keep bringing in clothing they can wear.  And I’ll keep buying the essential oils and using my diffuser – because I am a very tricky teacher.

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January 2, 2018
by Tracie
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…Alone

So I was cleaning up files on my computer the other day and I came upon a list of potential date ideas.  Not that I’m dating anyone, it was just like a bucket list of date ideas that I had.  I guess maybe like the field of dreams, if I built the list, the dates would come.

Well that didn’t happen, and I’m starting to realize that’s okay.  I am, who I am, and maybe who I am isn’t going to involve having a romantic partner in my life.  So I was looking at my list and thinking about the different things that I had on there.  They ranged from a picnic on the beach, sitting out at a fire pit, to going to places like Vegas and Disney.  There were things like was binge watching certain television programs, going up to ice castles in Lincoln, walking the Freedom Trail to getting in the car an just going to wherever we ended up.

The list was varied, and I think I was up to fifty or so things when I stopped.  I’m not sure why I stopped.  Maybe I realized that the romance thing was never going to happen, I was and seem to be uninvolved into infinity.  But something happened when I came across the list and started reading it.  I don’t have to be involved to do these things.  Yeah I can do them with friends, but I can also do them alone.  There is a certain stigma to people doing things alone, and I’m starting to realize that is kind of stupid.  If you want to do something, you should go and do it.  It doesn’t matter if you have someone to do it with you. If you want to go out to eat, go out to eat.  If you want to go on a trip, go on a trip.  Life your life on your terms.

So I think I’m going to work on being alone, and doing things on my own.  Maybe I’ll do stuff with people, maybe I won’t.  Maybe I’ll  get into a relationship, and maybe I won’t. Either way it’s okay.

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December 29, 2017
by Tracie
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…Thoughtful

The end of an old year and the start of the new year is traditionally a time for thought, introspection even, and possibly change.  I blogged over on my other site about how hard it is to change and push yourself. It’s not my best writing, but that’s okay. While I love having people follow my blog and read my posts, in the end, they are for me.  A way to explore and hopefully change and grow.  A lot of time is spent looking back as well, and while this can be helpful, I myself tend to be far to introspective and not only live in the past. I tend to obsess about the past.  Tiny little mistakes become magnified in my mind growing bigger and bigger until they are almost paralyzing.  In short, I struggle to let things go, and this in turn makes it incredibly hard to move forward.

So while I try hard not to make resolutions, what I am going to try to do this year is to learn to let go of things.  Look back, sure, learn, then let go and move on.  I’m not going to let things grow so big in my mind that I can’t move past them.  I’m going to be more thoughtful about who I am, who I was, and who I am going to be.

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