Craving of the Day: I wasn't aware of it at the time, but apparently it was canned pineapple - I just polished off a 20oz. can all by myself. Good thing is was packed in juice, not syrup.
Searches Bringing People Here: I get a handful of hits each week (which is a lot for me since I think I have like, 5 regular readers or something) for various searches like "bleaching agents for fish ponds" "swimming in fish ponds" "pregnancy and swimming in ponds" and stuff like that, which I think is pretty funny because it is apparent in the little one-liner that the search engine provides that I won't have any information concerning those things, but if I get readers from it, so be it. I had one search, though, that was "mommy+blogger fish pond" so it was obvious to me that someone was looking for me in particular. I told BigDaddyFish about it, and he blushed sheepishly and said "Yeah, uh, it was me." Cracked me up. I asked him why he didn't bookmark it, he said "Well I did NOW." Bout peed my pants I laughed so hard.
First Day of School: Trout is at her first day of first grade right now, as I type. I got a little misty eyed as I put her on the bus this morning, but mostly because she just jumped right on the bus as it arrived, no kiss or hug or wave to me at all. Mostly I'm just relieved that I only have to cope with 2 at home during the day for a while, and that Trout will be having fun and learning while I get a small break. Little Man will start preschool 3 days a week in a couple of weeks. I'm looking forward to MWFs.
ZZZZZZ: For the past month and a half or so I've been profoundly tired. Like the end of pregnancy, first month with a newborn, haven't slept in weeks tired, despite sleeping a good number of hours a night. It's been a chore to move much, the stairs in our house have been my own personal torture. It feels like I need a crane to lift each leg to go up the stairs. I haven't gained an unreasonable amount of weight, I'm eating okay, resting a lot, so I figured for sure that last week when I took my second glucose test (I was borderline gestational diabetic with Little Man so they test me early and later if I pass the first test) I would fail spectacularly and would ask to be put on the diet instead made to take the 3 hour
torture glucose test. Imagine my shock when the nurse called Friday to say "Your sugar's fine." Fine? So WTF...
"But.....I see that you are a bit anemic..." hmmmmmmm
"But I already take OTC iron supplements, I have since I was anemic on the first test at 20 weeks."
After a brief discussion about what I had been taking and my previous pregnancies, she decided to put me on a prescription iron supplement that will supposedly be easier on my system and will be better absorbed by my body. Of course, Target had to order the damn stuff, so I can't even get to it til this afternoon. Hope it does the trick 'cause I barely have enough energy to get through each day doing only one chore a day, and that's not cuttin' it. I was anemic before, but OTC iron was always enough to handle what my kids sucked out of me - guess this one's gonna be strong. BDF calls that foggy brain thing that we pregnant women get "Baby Sucking Brain Drain" - a friend called this "baby sucking iron drain." Now I get to take the same iron supplement my grandfather, who's on chemo, gets to take. Fun!
School for me, sucked. Most of it. I was way ahead of my peers in school, and apparently tested that way early enough that the school system wanted me to skip fourth grade. My parents said no due to socialization issues, mostly because I was (am) small and they didn't want me to be at a disadvantage socially. What they didn't know was that the people I socialized with were the older kids anyway, because I didn't fit in with kids my own age, who either I thought were idiots or they felt threatened by me for some reason, or just flat out couldn't relate to me because I was different. Mom always blamed my size (I top out now at a whopping 4 feet 10 inches when stretched to my full height), but the real reason was just that I was different. It didn't help that we moved halfway through second grade to an area that was, and I think still is, exceptionally pretentious and cliquish, and that was already a strike against me, since I was the "new kid." Here, in the same school system I went to but vastly different neighborhood, new kids come and go all the time, and fit in apparently seamlessly. But back then, in that place, life was very different and hard. I was picked on. I was ignored. I was ostracized. It sucked.
Until high school. I was still ostracized and didn't fit in with the popular kids, but there were others like me. Band kids (yes, I was a band geek, and one time, at band camp.....), smart kids. Not just mostly bright, like me, but scary smart, like Andy Plotkin who missed one question on the SATs in EIGHTH GRADE and argued the question successfully in his favor, who ended up spending half his senior year taking college classes (and a bunch of time in previous years, too). I finally found where I belonged (and I didn't have to take gym class, which was where most of the picking on me happened).
Which brings me to Mr. King, my sophomore English teacher. We had a junior high school/HS structure, so technically freshman year was in the junior high, so I didn't meet him until that year. I had always been in "normal" level English classes, mostly because I was bored to tears and wouldn't do ANY homework and half the time was smarter than the teachers, but didn't do the tasks they asked me to do because I thought they were dumb (they were). In eighth grade I had Mrs. Fernandez who made the class read a short story one day called "Strawberry Ice Cream Sunday" or somesuch. I had always been a voracious reader with a huge vocabulary, and I could read very fast. I finished the story and put my head down, and Mrs. F yelled at me to read the story, already. I told her I did. She said there was no way I could have finished it. I said I did. She asked me a bunch of questions about the story, all of which I answered correctly, but she still couldn't admit she was wrong. Her response was "Well, you must have read that story before." I hadn't, but she couldn't admit she was wrong and that she may just have a student who was better than she was. This was what I was used to in school.
By the time I reached sophomore English and Mr. King, my mom had died and my dad had fallen apart, so I was mostly left up to my own devices. I read what I wanted to at home well into the wee hours of the morning, and nobody made me go to bed. I was never a morning person anyway, so I did a lot of sleeping during class at school. Two weeks into my sophomore year, Mr. King could tell (he told me later) that I didn't belong in that class. He would make it a point to engage me in class, to participate in discussions and not sleep. He would task me with helping others complete assignments. I still never did any homework, I would go home and read the book the first night, the whole thing, and when I had to write papers I would write them in one quick draft in band class the same day I turned them in. I got a B in the class which was what I always got, and no one at home paid attention unless I wasn't passing, so I was happy.
When junior year started, I picked up my schedule, and found I was enrolled in GT, or honors, level English. I went to my guidance counselor after the first day, convinced a mistake had been made. She told me no, honors was what Mr. King put me in. I went to him and asked him why the hell he did that, and that's when he told me how early he knew I didn't belong in the previous class and what he thought I was capable of. I was shocked. I stuck with honors English. I still got a B, because a fair part of the class was designed to prepare us for the SAT, which I wasn't even sure I was going to take, since I knew my family couldn't afford college, and involved rote memorization of vocabulary. 100 words a week, testing on 50 of them, but we never knew which ones. I hated it. If I learned a word through my reading, so be it, but I'll be damned if I'll memorize a bunch of words that aren't used anywhere else just for some stupid test. (Mugwump, anyone? How often do you see that, really?) Yeah. I have to give Kevin Keegan credit, though, because I was challenged, didn't sleep as much, and occasionally had to write my papers the night before. And he put me in AP English the following year.
With Mr. King. And class was fun! We read Shakespeare - comedy, not tragedy, and analyzed poetry, and had great discussions on what we read. I knew I was where I belonged. I loved it. I think I got an A, too. Mr. King wrote my recommendations for scholarships, enabling me to go to college. Local, state schools, but still, I got to go. And because of him, I wanted to teach HS English. That's what I got my degree to do, too, earning a teaching certification in 4 years when then it averaged 5. Unfortunately, I ended up not doing that, because there were hiring freezes when I graduated and I ended up taking my English degree in a different direction, but still. I can still go back and get my certification again. I can teach later if that's what I choose to do for my life. If I do, I hope I end up being like Mr. King, and not like Mrs. Fernandez. I want to embrace the differences my students have, not feel the need to put them in a narrowly defined box. I want to challenge them. I want to help them find their places in the world.
I want them to enjoy school, and learning.
I hope Trout (and the rest of my kids) encounter at least one teacher like him.
(BTW, anyone know what happened to Andy Plotkin? Probably worked at Jet Propulsion Laboratory or researching mathematical theory at Princeton or something.)