Thursday, September 23, 2010


I'm posting this in my grad class because it's my fucking birthday, and I don't care about the cycle of assessment, I care about drinking Riesling in my pajamas and watching Mad Men.

Here's a snapshot of my day:

Student: "Ms. Howison, I doo-doo'ed."
Me: "That's good, do you feel better?"
Student: "No Ms. Howison I doo-doo'ed in my pants."
Me: "... you sure did."

And I'd already thought this was a shitty week. /rimshot/

Monday, September 20, 2010

Bad news bears

Guys, the situation with my baby sister has deteriorated. It's no longer about her being in college - that's her decision to make, and I got some good perspectives on it from readers.

But it's more than that now. Something is very, very wrong. Last night she told my oldest sister that she needed to take a walk. While she was on said walk, her boyfriend's mother picked her up at the end of the road. They went back to her boyfriend's house,where she is now staying. She will not answer her phone and when my mother and sister went to talk to her, no one would answer the door. I've called her a few times today and she hasn't answered.

From what I've gathered, her behavior is pointing to some mental-health issues. There's nothing anyone can do, because while my sister is a baby to me she's legally an adult. I don't know what the fuck her boyfriend's mother is thinking, but damn that is a shady move to pull on a fellow parent.

This is such a fucking mess. I know she isn't thinking rationally right now and as someone who's been there, done that, I want to help her. But I can't if she won't talk to any of us.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Some good news

For anyone who remembers the student who went missing last year - good news! She's back at school and doing very well in her kindergarten class. I haven't had the chance to sit down with her and chat, but she waves and says "Hi Ms. Howison" whenever she sees me and it makes my day every time.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Opposite Day

I feel the exact opposite of how I felt this past Monday. I'm grouchy, I'm irritable, I'm bitchy. Is this related to Aunt Flo's visit tomorrow and even though I'm living better chemically, sometimes it gets to me? Yes (she said, beating her inner feminist with its own army boots). Is this related to the busy week and equally busy weekend I've had? That too. Professional development from 9-5 really takes the mickey out of you.

On days like this the smallest things get to me. A shirt I haven't worn in a couple years was just a bit tighter than most things I wear and it made me nuts. I got massively upset over nothing this morning. After I finish this, I have to cut out several dozen paper shapes. Right now Jim is playing
an online game that is accompanied by the most grating, idiotic music imaginable. My iTunes is turned way up, but every time a song ends I hear it. I know that if I ask him to turn it down, it'll come out so bitchy that he'll get offended and I'll get upset again. I'm really hankering for some mindless TV, but we've decided to cancel cable in order to save money for the wedding. I know it's the right choice, but dammit right now I would cut off a finger to watch The Real Housewives of D.C. Or something at that level of desperation. Jim appears to have no problem with the shutoff, which just just makes me more irritated that I can't be that virtuous.

ZOMG I'm bitchy. I know this the result of a potent mix of hormones and fatigue and work stress, and I know that it will pass, but I am absolutely wallowing in this shitty mood. I know I love Jim and he loves me and someday we'll have cable again. I know he will not be play
ing this game forever, and I know someday The Real Housewives will be on Netflix and I can watch it whenever I want. Heck, I might even get to meet a DC housewife someday. Anything is possible.

And yes I'm going to ask him to turn it down.

If this doesn't make you feel a little better about life, you might be dead, and I have a strict no-zombies policy with this blog.

Monday, September 6, 2010

What a teacher loves

Preschool teachers love many things, among them:

  • parents who are involved but not too involved
  • parents who have realistic expectations (no, your daughter will not be writing full sentences by her fourth birthday)
  • a reliable coffee-maker that is consistently refilled
  • planning periods
  • specials teachers - you librarians, you music teachers, you gym instructors (you, my friends, have immense power - your decision to come in or not can profoundly impact our day)
  • outdoor recess
  • the common ground provided by Dora, Diego and Spongebob
  • pull-ups - not gonna lie, I'd rather throw away a pull-up than pack a student's sodden pants, underwear and socks into a plastic bag (only to have the student forget to take it home and come in the next morning to the ... aroma)
  • students who say please and thank you
And finally
Believe me, I care about my students deeply (and this year is SO MUCH BETTER than last year), but damn if an extra day off doesn't make all the difference in the world to my mental health. This has been a great weekend, and I feel ready to take on those little people tomorrow.

And everyone really dislikes back-to-school night. Ugh, another medley of patriotic songs (photo)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Thanks for the support on the last post. School's been up and down this week - some parts of the day are awesome, but the block from about 11:00-2:00 can be tough. It's a lot of transitions: lunch, recess, read aloud and nap. Then there are the two little ... sweethearts who do not enjoy naptime. One is still very much a toddler and enjoys saying no ad nauseum. He needs limits.

Then there's the limits I'm setting with the family situation. One of my sisters wants to stay in college - she's making friends, going to events, enjoying her classes. The other sister is determined to leave. I spoke to her last night and it was not a productive conversation. The things I tried to tell her - that she's been in college for less than two weeks, that I was miserable and thought I was the stupidest person in the world for my first month of college - she didn't want to hear. The things I wanted to tell her - that, frankly, she's acting pretty spoiled and rude at this point - I couldn't.


I know how it is to be miserable at school - I spent the last year going to school every day and being miserable. I know that a four-year residential college isn't for everyone. But a degree isn't going to hurt you (unless you are a LeBron-level athlete). If she gets a bachelor's or an associates and still wants to be a cosmetologist afterward, then she can get a job and pay her way through. If she becomes a cosmetologist and then decides she hates it -

.... and I need my own limits. This is her life. If she wants to do these things, it's up to her (I can, of course, call her on her rudeness to our mother). But I can't expend much more energy on this. I'm not going to drive home this weekend so I can talk to her - it wouldn't help anyway. I need to set my limits, if for nothing else than my own sanity.