Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Home Stretch

Hello all, How's our little Kendra Lou, Kirstie? I cannot wait to see her and hope all is well with your family. I have her pictured in my mind; sometimes as a dark brunette, next as a little red head. Which is she? Back from sunny, then rainy, then windy Florida, well rested and ready to tackle the last lap of our educational race to the top. (to steal a phrase from Dr. Bennett).The trip was good, the house OK and the company great. I'm lucky to have such good friends to travel with.
 Tomorrow starts our last 9 weeks and hopefully a new start for many of our students. We are initiating a "Top Hawk" incentive/award program for the middle school. The Winners get an afternoon at the WaterPark the last week of school. I trust that everyone else had a terrific Spring Break, too. I know Kirstie and Pat did! Anna, did you find THE house? I always loved house hunting, although most people hate it. I enjoy looking, deciding how I would make each one of them mine. Which wall needs to come down, which room needs new paint, what were the owners thinking when they did that! Love it all. We striped this one from the ceilings down and created our home from a black and gold shag carpeted Spanish motif disaster. I like to think we saved her from humiliation and she repays us by being solid, strong and dry. But maybe I'm too far-fetched in my feeling for houses? What did everyone do over Break? It feels like ages since I've heard from anyone. Talk to me! Please. :-)
Miss you all, Hedy

Thursday, March 4, 2010

March Madness AKA ISTEP

Sunday was Kirstie's baby shower and I missed it, torn between resting for the week ahead and driving to Danville for a day of good friends, I had to choose rest. I know I was right, but hate missing all the fun. Anna missed out, also. But, Bless her heart, she tried! Apparently the online directions aren't infallible and led Anna astray somewhere around the mysterious Main Street in Danville. Calling Mother Goose was of no help, she was home in bed and only vaguely familiar with Danville. Anna's dayout was spent on the road crossing Indiana and back without seeing anyone or having cake! Good try, Girlie. You get points for trying. I'm unsure who all made it to the shower, but I heard that Mama Mac looks amazing! Imagine that...she is only the most pulled together person I know. I wouldn't expect any less from her. Only a few weeks now, Kirstie, and the most terrific kid in the world will be in your arms. Such sweetness to come.
Today was the start of that most wonderful education concept...ISTEP. I have the 504 kids and we all really enjoy the challenge of remaining focused, quiet, and calm for long periods of time while shut up in a small room with 12 others just like us and answering math and English questions made up by some idiot who has never worked with kids! Such fun and good use of our school time. AND we get to do it tomorrow and the next day, too. Will this fun never end?
I wish I knew the answer to the country's education crisis, but I cannot see how this is it. Our students either stress themselves out of being able to do the work or completely blow it off. Like many schools, we are losing our middle, where most students used to be. Our upper and lower ends continue to grow, the high achievers and the non achievers. Our average student is disappearing like the butterflies of summer. As a child, I would ride my bike through dense walls of butterflies, now a few hover over muddy puddles along our drive on a hot summer day. I don't even want to see our scores for this Spring. Our overall grades in the middle school have fallen like bricks since the semester began with Ds andFs up over 20% since first semester finals.
My mom continues to improve with the medication for her memory loss. She still has a problem with yesterday, but today and last century are fine. She is back to cleaning like a busy bee and even shopping some. Not driving, she is afraid of forgetting where she is headed. We are so relieved she realizes that she does have an issue with remembering. Last week she changed her bed sheets evey day, when Deb pointed that out to her, our mild mannered Mom blurted out, "SHIT, I thought I was better", and laughed till she and Deb both were crying. We have to keep a sense of humor or couldn't bear it. As Deb says, each day with Mom is a Blessing.
Stephen King took my sewing machine in for a fix up yesterday. I am excited to have it back to finish some projects that lay on my sewing table. Two quilts and some lovely little girl skirts that Maddie decided she just had to have. A very simple pattern of gathered rectangles trimmed with ric-rac and topped with elastic. I'm going to attempt adding on a cami for a sweet sundress. I love all the new fabrics out there, so bright and vibrant. Makes me happy to look at them. For an old lady who dresses in black & decorates in taupe, I really love color! Who knew?
It has been a day or so since I started this post, haven't had time at school to finish it and at home I'm dead. I hope Spring puts some new life in me that this winter has drained out. I really am working on the positive approach, but every morning I get shot down by something. I may be suffering from PTSD, except the traumatic stress is still ongoing not from the past!.
Let's look to Spring for another Gagglefest, Girls. Everyone take care and talk to me. Love, Hedy