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All posts for the month April, 2018

Lost chickens, Crucified Bears and other sacrifices

Published April 15, 2018 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

It has been a grim week, the kind of week that would make a more disciplined writer churn out a great novel, or at least some heart-wrenching ode to the world, but it’s all I can do to pretend I give a teeny-tiny rat’s behind about anything but the inside of my eyelids.

Late Wednesday night, this plane of existence lost Samantha, a sometimes sweet, sometimes haughty calico cat. She who always preferred me to anyone else. She had been feeling less than fresh for a while, but I was hoping for a few more days at least. I woke up and she was lying next to the bed and I reached down to pet her and then I saw her sweet little face. I think she had been gone for a while, but I still went to get TallBoy, my Amanda Friend’s oldest son who is renting a room here. I told him I thought Samantha was dead and I gave him a clean pillowcase for her just in case she was. Then we found a box and he took care of her so I wouldn’t have to.

My Sammie Cat is gone.  Obviously, I took Thursday off from school so I could wallow in my sadness.

Since grades are due for progress reports tomorrow, I went to school on Friday, knowing that no one understands loss of a pet like a child. I knew that the something would turn me around a bit, emotion wise.

I didn’t have to wait long.  My school celebrates Mass every Friday morning and every week I try to be a good example by singing, to encourage my students to do so, as well. My Joyful Noise is usually compromised by our Music Teacher picking the world’s most obscure Catholic hymns, so, of course, I didn’t know the opening hymn. There was a glaring grammatical error. The phrase was the Crucified Bears. It should have been Crucified, bears, but no.   Capitalizing both words it is implied that somewhere in Catholic Dogma there are actual, bears who are Holy Martyrs.

As the day progressed my students did a great job of supporting me and explained that my Samantha was now being looked after by Saint Francis, who loved all the animals. And that Sammie was probably frolicking with Jaime’s cousin’s chickens, who were lost, presumably, to marauders.

The Samantha I know would not have time for such nonsense and she would let you know by barfing up a hairball.

Love your animals.

Zombies and Unicorns and Zebras (Oh my implied)

Published April 8, 2018 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

It is no secret that much of information comes from satire news sources and frequent glances at CNN and/or the Huffington Post. It is also no secret that my brain functions like a windsock, whipping around to catch ideas and notions.

Most people have a healthy amount of skepticism when it comes to this kind of thing, such as hearing hoofbeats and thinking “horses” not “zebras”  (I would also accept bored actors doing a Monty Python bit.)   I have also heard that lawyers refer to innocent clients as Unicorns as in they only exist in myth, or in the bedrooms of pre-teen girls (not creepy, they are innocent remember?)

In World War Z, when Brad Pitt was in Israel backtracking an email (I’m a bit sketchy the details because I was a bit dozy during most of the movie, but really, why take the only person who can figure out the epidemic into the danger zone and let him flail around with a weapon, and seriously? Why did Brad Pitt have his satellite phone ringer on? And what kind of needy bitch has to call her husband when she knows he’s doing something really important like trying to survive the Zombie Apocalypse? I’m aggressively codependent and I don’t expect BatBeard to answer the phone on a four show day.)

Pitt talks to a man whose sole job it is to believe the impossible, or as he puts it “sometimes zombies means zombies”

Now it isn’t my actual job, but I, too, always believe in the zombie unicorn zebra because my actual world is so bizarre that a zombie riding a unicorn chasing a zebra wouldn’t even cause me to blink.   And it’s not just the 95% fatality rate stroke survivor thing or the fact that the Mom had a tumor the size of an egg inside of one of the chambers of her heart, had open heart surgery and was able to do the reading at my grandparents 50th anniversary mass before her stitches were fully healed, or the fact that my father had a brief bout of cancer (you heard that right, his cancer was treated and gone faster than the walking pneumonia I had two years ago), my day to day life is just odd.

I ran across this news story Missing CDC doctor found. Now the story is slanted to point out that he was passed up for a promotion, possibly prompting his drowning the death. My initial interest was based on the whole missing person angle, after all I am an avid follower of the unknown. ( I did indeed mean to say that) but then the Zombie Unicorn Zebra whispered in my ear, “What did he do at the CDC?” So glad you asked, ZUZ, he was a  highly respected epidemiologist. Then my brain said, “What is that?” So google told me that epidemiology is the branch of medicine dealing with the incidence and prevalence of disease of large populations and with detection of the source and cause of epidemics of infectious disease.” Then the ZUZ said, “EEEEEEEE”

I concur, ZUZ, I concur.  Most people wouldn’t see this as alarming but what if there is a looming epidemic and this man just opted out before the madness begins?

I did promise my students cupcakes if there’s an apocalypse. So if you see the ZUZ, let me know.

Interrupting Flo?

Published April 5, 2018 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

Ah, the routine! Many may decry the hum and the drum of a regular schedule, but to those of us who dodge the slings and arrows of the classroom, and for some of us, it’s potentially dodging actual bullets, but that’s a tirade for another time.

Anyway, the daily routine of  normal school day is what keeps most of us sane. Unfortunately there are many factors that can disrupt the average. Like the season. It is early April and some of us came back from Spring break and rolled right into an Easter Break. Now we are break free and trying to cram in benchmarks and evaluations and recommendations and weekly assessments in to the last six weeks of school. All of this while occasions such as this morning’s Easter Parade do inform against us.

My school has an Easter Parade featuring our early elementary students in their spring gear pushing/pulling carts and dressed as sunflowers, bumble-bees, etc as they walk down the street and up the driveway.  (It’s terribly cute, especially one little girl in a flower costume, holding up a window box of other flowers, and the Grand Master of the parade,  a round little boy dressed as bee, proudly brandishing his baton. My favorite was a child who refused to do anything but walk grimly with his arms down.  He didn’t see the point of an Easter Parade after Easter.  When I asked him why he didn’t want to wave, he raised one eyebrow at me and said, “Really?” )

This fifteen minute parade disrupted everyone’s entire routine.  The entire school has been in  chaos all day. So now I am the shrew because I refuse to let my kids eat their candy (Our Pre-K buddies sent us some for helping them.) because they won’t stop talking, pushing, shoving and accusing someone of having Cheez-it Farts.   True, i would have some of these problems without an Easter Parade, but part of the problem is that being outside in the blustery wind made everyone’s allergies  act up so I have mountains of Kleenex all over the place and everyone is giving me Disney Eyes because I won’t let them have candy.

My theatrical training has taught me that conflict creates the story; that no story was ever written about the day things went ok, so I should be grateful for the material.

My theatrical training has also taught me that if I had gone the performance route, and was lucky enough to be cast in a recurring role in a commercial, I wouldn’t have to worry so much about money, like every other teacher.

And we’re back.

inferiority, complex?

Published April 3, 2018 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

I am having the kind of day where I can’t do anything right.  I  started out feeling guilty because I didn’t let Samantha (the cat) lick my toast and she mewed piteously at me.  (What if she dies today, bereft of toast?)  Then, as I was getting ready to leave, I saw the strip of ceiling hanging loose because the entire house is running down the hill and I felt a) like a terrible housekeeper because, really, shouldn’t I get on a stepladder with a glue gun and fix it? and b) like a generally terrible human being because I should be out of this house by now because EH and the Adulteress (world’s worst punk band) picked it out and I can still see the spot of floor I stared at and counted to 100 so I wouldn’t pick up a wiffle bat and wail on both of them while they were hugging before I went to my grandfather’s funeral. I totally could have gotten away with it too.

Then I got to school and felt guilty because I’m not particularly excited to be back teaching and guiding young minds. Then I felt worse because after carefully planning my lessons, I discovered that I haven’t been putting in enough information on the plans. I am supposed to put a four step evaluation, objective and process plan into every lesson. I teach five subjects and some days the objective is to get the kids through the day with the ability to walk and talk at the same time.  The educational guilt cycle continued with a mild reprimand because I have been using the wrong copier to make the double sided copies for my class.  No one has ever told me not to use this copier nor has any one demonstrated the double sided features of the other copier to me.  (All of the other classes have workbooks for the exercises I was copying. It is a mystery to me why I don’t have a class set of these books, but since I still haven’t found the curriculum guide that last years’s teacher prepared.)  I have a heap of work still to do, but just found out I have a meeting after school.

I still have three hours left in my school day. I can’t  wait to see how I fall to the occasion.

The kids are NOT all right

Published April 1, 2018 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

When I was a kid, probably about fifth grade or so, (1979) I asked my parents if someone killed my entire class in a shooting, would we be buried together or have individual funerals.

I remember my shocked parents saying that things like that don’t happen.

Now we have seen the tragic truth. There has been an average of three school shootings a week since the beginning of the year.   Unless you have been in a cave on Mars with your fingers in your ears, you know about the nationwide protests to protect our kids with safer gun laws.  And you also know that nothing major has been done about this.

As I said in a previous blog that although the SRO stopped the shooter in Maryland. The young lady who was shot died as did the shooter. My response to this is that NO student deserves to die in the course of going to school.

Last week there was a stabbing rampage in a Maryland school. I’m sure there are those who will use this as a rationale against gun control.

There is a bigger problem that is not being addressed.

I have always had the dream of being a profiler for the FBI.  I am too old to be a field agent, not to mention the whole I had a stroke thing, but I am about 12 years too old and and out of shape to go that route.

According to current literature, it is impossible to profile a school shooter because each shooter has their own motivation.  But what do they have in common?

They are in the late teens; they are kids.

There is something wrong with out kids.  And until someone addresses that particular problem, things that never happen will keep happening.