Sunday, June 28, 2009

Hello Muddah Hello Faddah

Well this was the first week at Camp. This summer I am in charge of the CIT's...these are the middle schoolers and high schoolers that are too young to get paid to work but too old to be regular we put them to work with no pay.

...welcome to motherhood CIT's...

My son is a CIT and my daughter is in the 4th grade camp group, they both LOVE camp...I mean LOVE it. I would love to take my summer "off", but not doing camp would crush my I work camp...

Anyway our first day of camp started off with a performance by a 50's doo-wap group called the Alley Cats. They are just so much darn fun. They have a lot of crowd participation and the campers get a kick out of these guys. They have performed all over the place...the White House...opening act for Jay Leno in Vegas, but their home is Orange County so our school gets them quite a bit.

So during their show they came into the audience and pulled me on mind you I am a music teacher...former opera singer...a big kid trapped in a almost 40 year old other words I have very little inhibitions. I went on stage and did the twist...did the water sprinkler...anything they asked of me.

Last year the opening camp entertainment brought me on stage and put me in a chicken this was NOTHING in comparison. I must have "pick me to do stupid things on stage" written all over my face, because I am ALWAYS picked.

So for the rest of the show they called me "senorita guacamole"...not sure why...

They kids loved having me on stage. Especially my daughter who screamed and yelled for me, came up to me after the concert and told me how cool it was for me to be on stage, and called me senorita guacamole the rest of the day...

my son, however, was not so thrilled...

We sat at carpool together, we walked to our car...and as soon as the door shut he looked at me and this is how the conversation went:

Andrew: Don't you EVER do that to me again.

Me: What did I do?? (really had no idea what he was talking about)

Andrew: Going up on stage and making a fool of yourself.

Me: What was I supposed to do they came down and drug me up the stairs

Andrew: You say NO

Isabella: My mom is senorita guacamole...she is so cool.

I am glad she didn't bring up the chicken suit...

More later

-A Ro

Thursday, June 18, 2009

A Special Guest

An unrelated sidenote:

I have this scale it is, for the most part, a good scale. The one thing that I hate about it is it sometimes takes a minute to get it right. For instance, I step on the scale and it reads 105.5 *actual weights have been changed to protect the innocent. Two seconds later it turns to 106. Now that is just not fair...I tell you not fair. It never goes from 105.5 down to 105 ALWAYS up. Just not fair.

Another unrelated sidenote:

As I was running today I noticed that most houses either had an RV parked somewhere on their property OR had a space dedicated to an RV built by their house. Are RV's really THAT popular?? My family rented an RV and went on a mini was one of the most interesting trips of my life...I'll tell you about it on a day that I can't come up with something clever to write...

...probably tomorrow.

Anyway...that is not my post for the day, just some observations.My very busy day yesterday...which included two drives into the valley...(geez I hate it when i can't work things so that I only have to take one drive in)...concluded with one of my recently graduated seniors, Ariel, coming over for dinner. We had been trying to get all of my recently graduated seniors together for lunch, but ONE certain senior...Buddy, couldn't figure out his schedule so it turned out that Ariel just came over for dinner. I really like cooking for other people. Isabella loves it was a win win situation. GS grilled chicken, I made my warm goat cheese potato salad and almond green beans, and we had strawberry shortcake for dessert. It was nice to chat and spend some time together before she leaves for John Hopkins, or Harvard...she is currently wait listed at Harvard...

Hey anyone from Harvard reading my blog...I'll give you her real name if you would put a good word in for her...





Sorry Ariel...I tried...

It was a nice night and we enjoyed eating outside. Bella gave her a painted rock with her name on it and a very nice card. Ariel told Bella she would take it to her dorm room...Bella was so happy.

If only more students in the world were like Ariel... job would be so much easier.

More Later

-A Ro

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A Day in the Life of a School Teacher in the Summer

Well I am officially on "summer break". What that means for me is I am off this week and next week I start my 6 week summer camp job. I work at the summer camp that my school holds. I am in charge of all the Counselor's In Training. These are kids who "work" at camp, but don't get paid. They are going into 7th grade and not older than 16 (at 16 they can get paid to work). It is a great camp and my kids get to go for next to free if I work.

Anyway...yesterday was my first day without work. I was very excited as I have a big list of things to get done before camp starts. AND GS's kids come to visit for 4 weeks starting on Friday. So like I said lots of things to get done.

First...I ran...yes I ran. It was hard. It hurt. I ran 3 miles outside.

I know what you are thinking "Geez, you ran a 10K and you are complaining about 3 measly miles."

Let me finish...geez you are sooo quick to judge.

I ran 3 miles total BUT I ran every other 1/4 mile at a sprint.

See...kinda different....

I usually do this on the treadmill at the gym, but it was such a gorgeous morning I wanted to run outside. So I had to modify...3 minutes slow then 2 1/2 minutes sprints. It about did me in, but I did it!!!

Then I got my precious girl ready for her first day at SCIENCE CAMP YEA!!! She was so looking forward to this day. She loves Science. My friend Vicki (Isabella's best friend Hannah's mom) picked her up. And NO I don't have a picture...I forgot, alright already.

Andrew went with Vicki to hang out with her son (Andrew's age)...our families just fit perfectly!!

I decided to tackle the recycling that has been sitting in my garage for oh about 6 months!! I know I am such the recycling procrastinator...but if you know what it takes to get those things turned in you would understand why I procrastinate...

Here is my thought process:

Recycling is good.

So because recycling is good I do it, and I have two choices, 1. put the bottles in the recycling bin for the recycler garbage man to take or 2. turn them in for cash (cash that I have already shelled out in deposit fees that you pay when you buy the bottles)

OF COURSE I opt for option 2...who wouldn't. I realize that the cash I get back isn't going to fund Andrew's college education, or pay for an Alaskan cruise, but I paid the money...I want it back...does one not realize the economy we live in at the moment.

So I load up the 5 bags...stinky sticky bags into the car.

Now mind you I constantly preach the gospel of "rinse out your cans and bottles before you put them into the bin" Do I hear an AMEN...anyone...anyone...

Guess not.

I drive to the recycling find it was 11:00 and the sign said open from 8:00 - 4:00...I believe I am within that window...the injustice...I just don't understand...when a sign says you are are open. Not up for debate.

So I think I need to stop trusting signs...AND that the $8.00 I am going to get out of this is SO not worth it.

But...the economy/I am a cheapskate...causes me to go home and try one more time later...I go home take out the stinky bags, cause I don't want my car to stink all the time.

In the meantime I start to clean my house...I started with my room. I washed sheets, vacuumed, dusted, heck I even cleaned the fan blades...I know crazy.

Then went back to the was open...PHEW...I was next in line for the machines...the lines started to form...people got ugly...the poor guy working the weighing part of the station wanted to just close the gate...this is why I had 5 bags of recycling...I hate doing this.

I did get $13.66...but so not worth it.

So recap - Ran...Cleaned...Recycled

I think I am going to go back to school and see if anyone wants me to teach them something.

More Later
-A Ro

Thursday, June 11, 2009

My kids

Well today was the last day of school for Andrew. Isabella was sick and feeling very she had to come to work with me for a few hours and then her dad came and picked her up to spend the day with him. Her last day was yesterday...I had to take pictures yesterday with her camera because I left mine at home ... I'll post photos of that when I can find the cord to her camera...

Translation: Don't hold your breath for photos of Bella's last day of school. we were pulling up today one of my student's mom pulled up beside us and came over to me and gave me this peace sign bag and said that her daughter knew that Isabella wanted we got her one. Now this bag is very popular around here. Everyone has one. Isabella has seen her friends with one and lots of my students with one too. She loves the fact that it has a peace sign because she signs all of her art work with her name and a peace symbol. So I guess she thinks that peace symbol is "her" symbol. She was so happy that she got this bag, her eyes stared to tear up. She couldn't stop talking about how she hardly knows this student of mine, yet she was nice enough to get her this bag. She also lamented on how there are some really mean people in the world and just when you give up hope of someone being genuinely nice...someone goes and gets her this bag. She was waxing very philosophical...

...I think it was the Advil/Tylenol regiment she had been on...

...I kinda hate to tell her that this bag is free if you just shop at this trendy store called South on Topanga or SoTo for short...

...I'd like her to have hope in the human race for a little longer.

Today was also Andrew's graduation day.

He graduated from 8th grade. I know...what's with the robes...geez it is only 8th grade!!! I am with you...our school goes all out.

Andrew playing bass with the jazz band.

Andrew playing cello with the orchestra.

He really does do it all...

Me and my puny sick Bella...I had a picture with Andrew but I looked horrible so it didn't make the know how that goes...thank god for digital cameras!!

I am so proud of Andrew. I wish for him the all the success in the world. To quote the chosen 8th grade speaker...I hope he always wants to come home...but only after he has gone out and rounded all the bases.

More Later

-A Ro

Friday, June 5, 2009

Gift Cards

OK how hard is it to spend gift cards??...I mean they are a really cool gift, but for some reason they are hard to spend. I know that sounds crazy...

...OK maybe it IS crazy... this is what happened that got me to thinking about this subject...

The other day I go into Barnes and Nobel with a $25 gift card and come out with nothing...

Let me get this straight...a kind generous student gives me $25 to buy ANYTHING I want in Barnes and Nobel and I can't come up with a single thing...not one??

Now mind you I can drop twice that amount at Barnes and Nobel without a second thought when I don't have the gift card but with it...nada.

I was wandering the shelves trying to figure out why I am having such a hard time picking something out...I mean I like just about every section of Barnes and Noble...from the children's the self help (God knows I need that)...even the stationary and gift area....

but the conclusion I have come up with is I think I have such a hard time because it is "free" and you don't want to "waste" a free item....

...I know...crazy.

I go to new novels in paperback and peruse those for awhile all the time thinking "Do I really want to spend my $25 on something I can check out at the library for free...thus leaving me $25 to spend on something else.

...OK fair enough.

So I go to the self help many things to choose me with me with over me with me with loving me with loving me learn how to help me learn see what I many to choose many I need...I can't possibly only spend $25 on that!!!

...OK fair enough.

Then I peruse the children's section. Now I love children's books. I love gifting children's books. I have a niece, a niece on the way, two nephews, and two children...OK who do I spend my $25 gift card on...who do I love the that is WAY to much pressure...can't possibly do that!!

...OK fair enough.

I go to the games section thinking GS and I need a new puzzle to work on...however the only puzzle was a 2000 piece puzzle that is all one color...I have just started dating this wonderful man...don't want to go there...

...OK fair enough.

I go to the CD these prices are outrageous...I'd do better on i-tunes...

...OK fair enough.

I go to the stationary I really need more stationary??

...OK fair enough.

Do you see the trend? Do you understand my plight? Do you really care?

...OK fair enough.

-More Later

-A Ro

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Final Exams

So do those words bring back any memories??

They do for me...

I am sitting here proctoring a final exam and looking at these students really bring back some strong memories. Looking at their scantrons and the six sharpened no.2 pencils (just in case 5 break). Seeing their feet nervously jiggle and their head in their hands. Every once in awhile they stare at the ceiling hoping the answer will pop into their heads...

Does any of this ring a distant bell??

I know for me it reminds me of making note cards, and late night study sessions over Oreos and milk. Re-reading chapters and highlighting notes. Making silly rhymes and songs to remember the order of some bit of information. Hoping my brain will just hold on to all this information for a couple more hours. Firing off questions with my friends just before the test begins hoping I can squeeze just a little more info in my brain.

Wow can I tell you how glad I am sitting here proctoring and not taking. I have stopped look at the tests that I proctor...they make me feel so inadequate. I mean really does one calculus question really need to look like that??? Like Q-Bert wrote the test...

I don't have the heart to tell them that most of this stuff will never come up again in their lives...In fact most of the stuff they learn in school really doesn't ever get used again...

...except the ABC song...I use that all the time.

...OK and maybe i before e except after c...but that's it.

What bit of info that you learned in school helps you now? I'd like to give my students some real life stats!!

More later

-A Ro

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Talent Show Rejects Talent Show

OK here is the school has a yearly talent show. It happens at an assembly the last day of school. Kids gear up for this and work so hard to prepare acts. In years past the seniors get preference...obviously, but there was always room for the talented underclassmen. This year this was not the case...This year the senior applications overwhelmed the administration...This year only seniors were allowed to participate...This year they didn't even have to audition...if you were a senior you were in.

This year...many many many very talented kids were upset...disappointed...crushed in fact.


I had this brilliant idea that we would have a talent show rejects talent show. Those students who were associated with the music department in some way AND had an application to the talent show rejected could join us. We would have an impromptu gathering in my room during lunch on the last day of classes before finals, invite a few people, and just have a good time sharing talents. I didn't ask permission, and now I realize I probably should have. Oh well

...where did I put that darn resume??

Who knew it would turn into fire hazard central...
...It was packed in my little room...

...Literally standing room only...
...peeking through the window.

I have to tell you the "real" talent show is missing out on some of the most talented students. Here are a few of "my" kids:

This is Natalie...she sang a song she wrote. This girl can sing...she also writes beautiful songs.

This is Lindsay...she sang "Good Morning Baltimore" She has a fabulous voice. Really amazing.

This is Aaron and Alex...sooo super talented.

This is Alex...he sang and played some of John Mayer's songs. He was amazing. I couldn't believe how amazing he was...John Mayer better be looking over his shoulder.

I am such a proud mama bear.

I hope that my humble little room provided these guys a chance to show off a little and not let all their hard work go to waste.

...I also hope that I don't get a call from the head honchos or the Fire Marshall. Although they say that it is better to ask for forgiveness than permission.

...I hope "they" are right.

More Later

-A Ro

Monday, June 1, 2009

Birthday Parties

This weekend Isabella was invited to her friends birthday party...actually it was a dual birthday party, two friends shared the party.
Now as you may know I teach at a private school and both my kids go to this school, so needless to say my kids are the poor kids on the block.

Do you know what teachers get paid these days?...Shameful I tell you shameful...

Their own birthday parties consist of having a few friends overnight and bowling, or mom directed crafts in the backyard. However, they attend very extravagant soirees.

Now mind you, so far they have not complained one bit...they are very happy to have simple parties and go to hum dingers...Now mind you I said "so far".

My favorite story to share on this topic is about Andrew. He went to public school the first year we lived here and started attending this school in 3rd grade. His first party that he was invited to was at this mansion in a gated community. They had their entire estate set up like a carnival...snow cone booths, churros, pizza booths, an arcade the whole nine yards...hey where did that saying come from...huh...but I digress.

I was standing talking to another mother when Andrew came running up with the most excited look on his face and said in a very excited, loud, 8 year old voice "Mom, Mom, you're not going to believe this, but the Pizzas are FREE"

Obviously this boy has been used to going to carnivals where we pack our own lunch because usually the pizzas are an arm and a leg...there is another odd saying...hmmm.

So the party my daughter went to was no exception. It was at the community center of a very posh gated community. The moms hired two coaches to run various games...they hired a tattoo artist...a shaved ice cart...tons of food and had two pinatas, and invited the entire 3rd grade.

Here is my Bella with her tattoo...thankfully she chose her arm...the other girls got their tattoos on their stomachs, AND she was very worried about going to school with her tattoo...thank goodness my brainwashing is working.

Here are 20 kids waiting to hit the pinata...nothing says Happy Birthday than beating a fake puppy with a bat until his head busts open. Really nothing says Happy Birthday like 45 kids pushing, shoving, and clawing each other for a laffy taffy or roll of smarties. Again thankfully my daughter just hangs back and usually ends up with the most candy.

Let me tell you something else the party favors are cool too. No couple of pieces of gum, stickers, and some lip sir-ee they got the huge bubble wand swords. They all got them out at the end and started blowing bubbles and chasing them. Bella got smart and put hers away stating "Well I am not wasting my bubbles...I'll just chase everyone elses"

...thank goodness my brainwashing is working.

More Later

-A Ro