Tuesday, March 16, 2010


What is your reaction when someone comes up to you on the sidewalk and asks you for some spare change?

Well, today Chris and I went on a little date. We decided to get out of the same old KC metro and take a little jaunt over to Lawrence, KS. It is only about a 30 minute drive and a very different atmosphere. Very college townish (for obvious reasons) and a little laid back hippie-style. I loved it.

As we were leaving this fun little shop called Creation Station, we walked past a group of kids (I can call them that now that I am in my 30's) who were playing drums and hacky sack, wearing birkenstocks, dreadlocks, you get the picture. As we walked past them, they asked if we had any spare change. Now I am all for helping out the needy, but these "kids" were clearly not needy. They were just trying to hit up the JoCo suburbanites walking past them. So, my annoyed, uncomfortable, tying to be nice response was, "sorry".

After I answered, they girl who asked me for the money told me I didn't have to say I was sorry, and acted like I was some kind of idiot. That annoyed me, because yes, I AM sorry.

I am sorry that you are standing on the street, perfectly able-bodied, asking for money. I am sorry I won't give you money because I am a teacher and hardly make any money the way it is. I am sorry I won't give you money because my husband is working his butt off in school and we are living off loans up the wazoo.

So kids, the moral of the story is to work hard, have some class, be kind to one another, and of course, respect your elders.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Top 10 Things You Just Shouldn't Touch (or should sanitize immediately after if touching is necessary)

1. Railings of any kind but for some reason escalators seem to be the worst
2. Paper towel dispensers in restrooms
3. Menus
4. Salt and pepper shakers, ketchup bottles, and most importantly BBQ bottles (have you seen how people lick their fingers and
then go for the community BBQ bottles? Literally makes me sick watching this.)
5. Door handles (if they have a handicap button, you've got it made)
6. Student pencils (if you're a teacher, you'll understand this)
7. Student desks (same as above)
8. Bottom of your purse (just think of the places you set it)
9. Elevator buttons, especially in hospitals
10.Bottoms of shoes

Sunday, March 7, 2010

My List Fettish

Some of you may know I am a bit Obsessive Compulsive. I am obsessed with germs and having them on anything, I have to have things organized in "rainbow order" and I like to make lists. No need to poke fun now. We all have our own little quirks.
I will probably be posting different lists that have no usefulness, other than it being something I create in my head and keeps me awake at night. But, either way, I hope you gain some useful knowledge from them!

To start off, I'd like to make a list of lists I want to make. Enjoy!

1. Things you shouldn't touch
2. Best/Favorite Kids' products
3. Why you should organize things in rainbow order
4. Why you should read to your child
5. What you can do to make your child be successful in school
6. My favorite products (in general)
7. How to simplify your life/home
8. Favorite Books (kids and adults)
9. How to stay sane while having your kids at home with you all summer
10. Why teachers are underpaid

This is just a beginning to my list of lists. Stay tuned!

The Mystery of Amusement

"Butterburgers are like getting a hug from Grandma". This quote was read off of a Culver's cup from the 3 couples sitting behind us at lunch today. The couples were probably in their mid to late 60's, dressed in their Sunday best and obviously eating lunch after their church service. By contrast, we were un-showered, dressed in our sweats and flip flops, eating lunch with the boys after spending a beautiful morning outside playing ball and riding bikes.

After one of the "elderly folk" sitting in the booth behind us read this quote off their cup, the table started laughing and talking about how cute it was. They were easily amused. I looked at my husband sitting across the table from me and laughed as well. Not because I was amused by the comment, but because I thought it was so stupid. It raised the question as to why some people are so easily amused by simple, often mundane things where other people are so difficult to amuse?

There are a few theories I have on the Mystery of Amusement, and would like to share them with you, hoping to get some feedback. My 31 years on this planet has already taught me a lot and I have found that our world is really changing and our ability to be easily amused is an effect of this change.

I have been a teacher for 9 years now and have already seen some major shifting in the attitudes, behaviors, etc. of the students I teach. This is partly to do with the clients I deal with, but overall it is consistent throughout the schools. My first year of teaching, I had a wonderful class with very few behavior problems. I taught in a smaller city and the school I taught at was considered to be fairly affluent for the community. The kids were respectful and were entertained by the simplest, non-technology related lessons.

As my teaching career has progressed, I have moved to a school that has been labeled "At-Risk" in a suburban area of a larger city. I am really starting to notice how students have changed since my first years with the precious 6 year olds I taught.

Children, in general, are a lot more difficult to teach these days. We are fortunate enough to have all the latest technology, up-to-date texts, and a district that trains our teachers on the latest effective teaching methods. Yet, we still have the hardest time getting students excited about learning, or amused with what we are teaching. There are days where you could literally dance in front of the class looking like a fool and they would be staring off into space with no idea or care as to what you are trying to teach them.

On the other hand, I know some people who are a bit older than I am and live in a small community. They will see a squirrel eating a walnut and be amused by it. They go to places like train stations, and you'd think they were on a vacation. Everything they see and do is amusing to them. These wonderful people take pictures of EVERYTHING and can't wait to tell you about it. The smallest things amuse them.

So, my theory is that age and the population of the area you live in greatly effects your amusement threshold. People who grew up without TV, cell phones, computers, internet, etc. found ways to entertain themselves. In comparison, people who live in small, rural areas have little to do for entertainment. They may have one or two movies playing at the local theater or their church may have a spaghetti feed, but that is about it. Their amusement threshold is quite low.

People who live in larger, more urban areas, and who have never had a day without technology, are more immune to amusing factors. It takes a lot to amuse them because their entire day is loaded with video games, cell phones, texting, computers, internet, jumbo-plex movie theaters, museums with exciting exhibits, and so on. Nothing seems to phase them.

The point I am trying to make is that I am a bit jealous of the three older couples sitting behind my at Culvers who thought the simplest quote was amusing. It also frightens me that my children are growing up in a world that a simple little quote like that wouldn't phase them. I am worried to see how my teaching career progresses and what it will take to get students to want to learn and appreciate the knowledge and experiences they are gaining.

Unfortunately, I don't think there is much we can do to change this. But, at least I have learned something from this. I will try my best to be more appreciative of the opportunities around me and attempt at allowing my children to experience a simple lifestyle that does not have to focus on the high-tech, fast-paced world we are living in. I want them to be excited to see the cow at a farm or the cicada in the backyard and to admire the 3 couples sitting behind enjoying their special quote. I want them to be easily amused.