Tuesday, July 31, 2007


Russ and I went to the city this weekend. (I teach in Fairfield folks, when I say the city, I mean NYC.)

There were a few things I learned:
1) (And this is nothing new, but it was reaffirmed.) I am a suburban girl through and through. I like the city. I like the hustle and bustle. I am fascinated by the way a homeless person can start screaming and cursing and everyone studiously ignores them. I like the architecture--how you can have an old church sandwiched in between two modern glass buildings. And I love the people- they are so interesting and eclectic.
But I don't like the hustle and bustle. I don't like the way you can be walking down the street with your little three year old daughter and have a homeless man start screaming and cursing at you for no reason at all. And then that same man start following you so he can continue to yell at you. (That happened, not to me obviously since I don't have a three year old but I saw it happening and the little girl looked so confused and frightened I wanted to hug her and shield her from this man who was so clearly drunk off his rocker and shouting horrible things at her daddy.) I don't like the buildings--all crowded and towering over you. And I don't like that there is hardly any nature. Oh, and don't even get my started on the smells. I can visit the city....I even lived in one (and loved it) for a year and a half. But I can't imagine living there forever. No....I like my grass and trees and clean air and stars and peace and quiet. Suburban girl. All the way.

2) What's up with the new version of waitering? Now, when I was a waitress, we had sections. We took care of the tables in our sections. We took orders, we delivered drinks, we brought out food, we cleared plates, we delivered dessert, we brought the check and we checked in to make sure all was well. Every now and again, if someone was particularly harried, we'd help out and deliver food or drinks to another table. In NYC, for each meal we ate, we had about four different waiters/waitresses. One said hello. Another took our order. Still another delivered the food, and a different one cleared plates and/or checked in to make sure the food was good. Very confusing. This makes the issue of tipping difficult. The first person was nice and personable. The second downright rude. The third harried and confused. Wait, who was our waiter?

3) I am a fabulous wife. Yes. I am proud to say that I gave an absolutely amazing gift to my hubby. We went on a river cruise and got to listen to Old 97's LIVE while cruising past the Statue of Liberty and the Brooklyn Bridge- among other things. (Don't worry if you have never heard of that band. My husband prides himself on his love of slightly obscure music. But they are rather awesome, so you should check them out!) It was beyond fun and I felt rather pleased with myself for coming up with such a clever birthday present!

All in all, it was a fun weekend....and we marveled, once again, at how easy it is to get into the city, and we discussed how we should do it more often. Last time we said that it was a year ago.....somehow I doubt we'll get there again until another year has passed!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Harry haze....or the most astonishing amount of willpower ever to be endowed on a married couple

That's right....I, like so many of my fellow Potter fans, have been in a bit of a Harry haze these last few days.

But not because I'm reading the last book of the series. In fact, I haven't read one single page of the new book.

Yes, of course I own it....I know you are thinking (in a confused Neville Longbottom like way) "But wait, you own the latest book, you are on summer vacation so therefore you have loads and loads if time to sit on a cozy chair and read it and you aren't reading it!?! What's wrong with you?!?"

Well---see--it's this whole marriage thing. It's sort of preventing me from reading the latest book.

Let me explain: Russ and I have a long history with Harry. Our relationship can even be marked by the series. No lie. For those of you that don't know, we met online (match.com--before it was cool to do so) and the very first time I ever saw Russ, he was sitting in a cafe, reading the latest Harry Potter book that had just come out the day before. Many of our initial conversations revolved around the books....Fast forward two years and the next book came out on our wedding day. And much like Courtney Lanahan, we managed to procure two copies of the book to bring on our honeymoon where we read- and discussed- one chapter at a time while sitting on a gorgeous beach. (Although I certainly didn't go into a bookstore in my wedding dress. No, Russ went and bought the books for us. Although he was in his tux pants....) Our second anniversary approached and so did the final installment of the series.

So, now you know the history, I'll tell you the problem: I had thought to reread the whole series before reading the last book. Ambitious, I know. Russ had thought to reread Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince before rereading the final book. After seeing the latest movie (twice), I changed my mind and decided we just needed to read the last book already. School is fast approaching (I don't want to talk about that) and once school starts, well....first of all I just know that all of my students will have read it (and most of my colleagues), and I'll be too busy with school work to read it. I argued my case--rather fervently I might add.
But to no avail. Russ held firm: he wants to read book six before moving on.
He did tell me I could read the last book without him but, clearly, what kind of wife would I be if I did that?!
Plus I'd have no one to talk to about it. (I realize that is a ridiculous statement since everyone seems to be reading the latest book but I mean, no one in my immediate vicinity to discuss the plot with.)

So....for now, I am plowing my way through the books, trying to finish them all before he finishes book 6. (Luckily for me he is a bit distracted with school work-he's taking a course this summer-and with his Wii.)
And the last Harry Potter book sits temptingly on our kitchen table, so that we can both eye it longingly several times a day....and so that I can wear down his resolve a bit....

Monday, July 23, 2007

The Disney version of blogs

Apparently, my blog is G rated....it makes sense that a third grade teacher (whose languge is almost always appropriate for 8 year old ears unless I'm seriously fired up about something) would have a G rated blog.
But I am oddly disappointed.....I would say that perhaps I'll step it up and start dropping f-bombs left and right but we all know that would just be a lie. So I guess I'll take my G rating with a nod to Walt.

Friday, July 20, 2007

NEA Representative Assembly

It's been awhile I know....

A few weeks ago, I went to Philadelphia for a week long trip to attend the NEA Representative Assembly. Even though I wasn't excited about the prospect of being away from home for a week, it ended up being a really amazing experience. Words cannot begin to describe the feeling you get when you walk into a room filled with 9,000 educators from around the country. Some of you may shudder at the thought but I found it inspiring. It was also really amazing to learn a bit more about the NEA. This year marked our 150th anniversary-the NEA was created just a few years before the outbreak of the Civil War. What was really neat was to learn that the NEA has been at the forefront of all the major civil rights changes in history....I definitely felt proud to be a teacher!

And the things we talked about! Over the course of six days we discussed and voted on over 130 new business items, legislative amendments, by-laws and resolutions. The topics ranged from monarch butterfly curriculum (seriously) to supporting the end of genocide in Darfour to NEA's stance on the war to laws allowing drug testing of bus drivers involved in accidents. Personally, I had no idea that the NEA was involved in such global issues.

We also had some special guest appearances...Hillary Clinton, Barack O'Bama, John Edwards and our very own Christopher Dodd. We had a few other Presidential candidates too--even one Republican! Of course their messages were all the same, and the promises they made were ones that all teachers would love to hear: higher pay, better health insurance and the hot topic of the hour: the lack of funding for No Child Left Behind. Richard Dreyfuss came and spoke too, although to be honest, his speech didn't impress me all that much.

All in all the experience was a good one, and any teachers out there- if you have the chance to attend then I definitely recommend it.