Saturday, January 31, 2015

Elizabeth and The Animals

Elizabeth was practicing piano this morning. I noticed she started on a new song this week, and I said to Brian, "That song she's playing sounds like House of the Rising Sun." He agreed. Normally, I'd go in there and look at the music for myself, but since I'm sick (and such a baby about it) I waited for her to finish practicing. When she came past the couch I was lying on, I asked her what song that was. She said, "House of the Rising Sun."

Huh. We both nailed it.

Full Blown Cold

Ugh. I've been fighting a cough all week, and it's now official. I am sick. I've been surprisingly healthy considering the variety of germs I'm exposed to, but even if you wash your hands a lot, never touch your face, and keep your distance from little germ factories that are otherwise known as elementary school students, one might come up to you and cough in your face. Thanks for that, kid.

So here I am. I'm grateful to have the weekend to rest. I was a libraian on Wednesday, and the read alouds made me start to lose my voice. I was off Thursday because of a dentist appointment. I didn't really want to work yesterday, but it was a high-volume sub day (Super Bowl? Phoenix Open?) so I had two half-day assignments at two different schools. Both sites asked me to fill in for the full day but, you know, there's only so much Sara can do. I like to please so I'm glad I could help for at least a little bit.

Today, it's Kleenex and liquids and rest. Monday will be here before I know it so I need to concentrate on getting well.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Reinventing Sara, Daily

Before school yesterday, I dropped off my kids and picked up something in the office. A few of Elizabeth's teachers were in there and asked me who I was subbing for today. I briefly explained I was headed to a library assignment at another school and pointed out, "That's why I'm wearing my librarian glasses." We all laughed, and I thought about my follow-up comment that, "It's like I get to wear a costume every day."

It's true. No other job (well, save acting) allows you to reinvent yourself on a daily basis. One day I'm a second grade teacher, the next a computer teacher, then a sixth grade teacher, and the next day I might be  teaching P.E. A completely different skill set is required to deal with first graders than sixth graders. I'm learning, but instinct is pretty strong, too. It all certainly keeps me on my toes.

I do admit the wardrobe is fun, though. When I teach P.E., the dress code is comfortable, but in sixth grade I better not wear anything they'll laugh at. If I wear a shiny necklace or curl my hair, little ones tell me I'm gorgeous or beautiful; it doesn't take much to impress a seven year old. I enjoy getting into the classrooms and trying to teach, but it's almost just as fun trying to look the part.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Darn You, Ed Sheeran

You got to me.

My friend Jennifer never understood how this guy had a cult following, and when she told me that I said, "He has a cult following?!" He does. People really love this guy.

He seems like a talented bloke, but go ahead and call me shallow for never being able to get past this:


Despite the facial hair, he looks like a goofy kid I might have babysat twenty years ago rather than one of today's rock stars, no? His songs never really did it for me either, but to be fair I knew only the ones on the radio. Then he paired up for a duet with Taylor Swift and, since she's apparently my Oprah, he was all right.

Last year, it suddenly appeared he was trying to sound like Justin Timberlake in "Sing!." Then "Don't" came out, and I hate that song. Hate it. It's like he's ruining a Jason Mraz song with horrible lyrics. Then his newest single was released, and even though it sounds a little too Michael Buble, I like it.



Darn you, Ed Sheeran. Whatever your real sound is!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Rain, Rain, Go Away

It's a Pittsburgh kind of day in Phoenix.


You'd think I'd like to be reminded of home, but I loathe days like this. I saw way too many gray skies and rain growing up, and I've come to love the sunshine. Days like these bring me down.

When he visits, my dad makes us laugh when he wakes up every day and proclaims, "It's another sunny day in Phoenix!" Usually. But not always. And certainly not today. I feel like going back to bed. :)

Monday, January 26, 2015

Blank Spaces

Ugh. My stress-free job is becoming stressful.

I've just about gotten used to working nearly every day. However, I'm much more savvy with my choices. I want to fill as many blank spaces on my calendar as possible, and what I've found is that it's best to schedule some easier days every so often in order to stay fresh. That means picking up a half day or a specialist assignment after a few busy days in primary or difficult days in intermediate. Subs obviously aren't and can't be as invested as real teachers, so jobs that offer a fresh start every thirty minutes as opposed to spending an entire day with the same twenty-five kids can be appealing.  I've also been appreciating the convenience of subbing at my own kids' school. I certainly didn't go into this intending to sub there a lot, but it's been working out that way lately.

Keeping the balance of sanity, convenience, and an almost full schedule can be tough, though. I do want to work a lot, but I'm so over taking just anything. Lately I've been declining jobs that aren't singing to me much in the hopes that something better will come along. I've been lucky, and my schedule has been pretty packed.

On a whim two weeks ago, I accepted a job for today at a school that's new to me. I was feeling brave and recognized the need to keep pushing through my comfort zone. Except yesterday afternoon a teacher at our school asked if I was available. I truly wasn't, but her offer was supremely better. Plus, she's my friend. So I canceled the other job, and she put in hers. I felt a little slimy, but I figured today I would be better as a computer teacher, and someone familiar with that other school will probably take over for me there. Things always work out.

However, as the kids and I were leaving the house this morning, our school office called and said a fourth grade teacher just called out. Would I take that job instead of being in the computer lab? "You don't have to. You can say no." So I said no. It was fifteen minutes before school started. I felt extremely unprepared and totally not up for it, so I was honest with her and kind to myself. But I felt bad about it all day.

Because isn't it my job to be flexible? I believe it is. But in my defense, I'm not the kind of sub who wakes up at 4:30 to troll online for last-minute assignments. Most of my weeks are planned out in advance because that's how I operate best. I even like to study the math lessons the night before! Going in there with ten minutes to look over everything would have killed me. I know I would have been in panic mode and completely unable to focus, and the person they did find to sub likely did a better job on the fly. I think I made the right call (At least about this. Canceling the other job and taking this one wasn't right, so this feeling is probably my punishment.), but I still feel like whatever the opposite of a team player is. And I wouldn't feel like this if it had happened at any other school.

Well it's over. Now I need to get over it. As far as I know it all really did work out. I had a good day in the computer lab, and the teacher's aide who subbed in fourth was happy to get sub pay. As for the other school, I have no idea how it went and also no plans to sub there. Ever.

My priorities are in balance. Ten minutes ago I turned down an offer for tomorrow morning. I'm signed up to go on an orchestra field trip with Elizabeth. I'd never cancel on my daughter.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Super Underwhelmed

It's Super Bowl week. I live in suburban Phoenix and that is apparently all that's going on. Oh except for this big golf tournament, too. Celebrities of all sorts are supposed to descend from the heavens upon our town any moment now. I'm not so jaded that I can't recognize the hefty economic impact this will have on the area and I know it's fun and exciting for a lot of people, but when sports are the focus I'm just not into it. It's not that I hate football. I just don't know anything about it and, therefore, don't care about it at all.

While we're on the subject, I really wish that the NFL players would stop talking about their balls. Geez oh man. Can they not hear themselves? They're making it so easy for the late-night hosts to ridicule them. Can they not see themselves either? They need to take off those stupid 1970s tossle caps because they look like overgrown eight-year-olds with beards. It's hard to take that seriously, man.

Lastly, though I don't follow the football news, from what I've been unable to keep from passing into my ears over the last week, the Patriots sound like a bunch of well-known cheaters and the Seahawks seem like a bunch of thugs. Who are we to root for?

The guacamole. That's all I'm there for on Super Bowl Sunday.