Monday, December 28, 2009

Our Christmas Gift

Christmas Eve morning we received a call from a lady at church. She asked us if Addie would like to carry baby Jesus to the manger at mass that night. I squealed with delight! I beamed with pride! I was humbled by the honor! I panicked a little bit... exactly how breakable was baby Jesus?

It was pouring rain this eve of Jesus' birth when we walked into church. The lights were all off, except over the stable, where Mary, Joseph, shepherds and sheep waited for the gift. Wreaths and ribbons and twinkle lights decorated the church, and the choir were singing the classics.

My little big girl, dressed in her new, pink and glittery (of course!) dress with the white fur trim, satin bow in her hair, held her loving arms open and stared in wonder as the statue was placed into her arms. She cradled him as our whole family processed down past the alter, down the middle isle to the back, up the side isle, up the steps to the stable, and she placed him down, ever so gently, into the manger.

She said of the experience, "His arms were out like this," spreading her arms open, "and his feet were together like this," bringing her arms close together, "and he was a really good baby, he didn't wiggle at all!"

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Glass Ceiling

I didn't used to think glass ceilings really existed, but I think after today I might be a believer, at least in the world of social studies teachers.

I'm starting to notice many of my colleagues are male and coach very manly sports... not all, but many. Conversations in the lounge revolve around the stats and scores of the latest basketball game or wrestling meet. There is rarely discussion of teaching strategies, assessments or differentiated instruction. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but it feels to me like an exclusionary club.

Today I subbed for an english teacher, who team teaches an American Studies class with a history teacher. It is one of the positions I applied for last year, and did not get. I met the man who did get it. He is also a football and wrestling coach. I'm sure my impression was tinted green, but I was disappointed.

The class was studying the roaring twenties, and they were 2/3 of the way though F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby". I went before school to discuss the lesson plan with him, and he asked me if I had ever read it, to which I said it's been a while, but I could brush up on it. I caught up to the class by the time his lecture began. I would have liked to see connection between the book and the events going on, especially discussion about women, culture, racism and post World War I angst. It was a nice powerpoint lecture, with embedded media of jazz performances, images of ads, and quotes and poetry. But there was no passion about the history, or how it relates to today. Instead, there were sports references, which lost about half the students.

He also provided a confusing and inaccurate definition of the glass ceiling for women. How appropriate, I thought. I could give a relevant example right now.

"Uh... what's your major? Mine's football..."

Saturday, December 12, 2009

When to call the doctor

I never know when I should call my doctor. I always feel like they have much better things to do, being important and all, than to see me or my snot-nosed kids.

And that was the case this week. Emily had that persistent smokers cough that seemed to be getting worse (she was upping the packs for the holidays) with a sieve for a nose and a weepy eye. In the meantime, Addie's eye had turned her favorite color, pink, crowned with a lovely green goopy corner.

Should I call the doctor and drag them both in? Is it bad enough? Are they just going to tell me it's viral, and I have to wait it out? It's Friday, what if it gets really bad over the weekend, and then I'd have to take them to the emergency room and then we'd have to stay home on Monday, and we've been cooped up with the blizzard since Tuesday?

I drug them in... ugh...

There were dancing, singing santas, snowmen, and doggies in the waiting room, and no one else, so that was good. As soon as we rounded the corner of the exam rooms, Emily was on to me. She starts crying, while Addie is smiling, and giggling, and announcing to all the nurses that the doctor was going to make her butt feel better... yep.

These are the questions that I get from the doctor that make me feel stupid...

"So, there's no fevers?"
"They're eating okay?"
"Their eye's weren't crusted over?"
"They're sleeping fine?"
"What's the problem again?"

Well, he didn't actually ask that last one, but sometimes things are just implied. But guaranteed, if I had waited until Monday, I would have gotten, "They've been sick for how long? Why didn't you bring them in sooner?!?!"

We got some eye drops... which is a process that's a whole new post, and they sent us on our way.

Then, (and yes, I'm one of those moms) we went to playland at McDs because we hadn't been outside our house for 4 straight days! And it was fun, and if that little girl who kept pinching and hitting Addie and then crying to her parents that Addie was hitting her gets pink eye, I'd feel bad, but it was so worth it! (and no, it isn't just "not my child" syndrome, I was watching it all go down!)

Next up, my turn for an oil change and tire rotation. Oh joy!