kokopellinelli: (Winter Daydreaming)
Today will be my last Saturday at work.

Have I mentioned yet how bummed I am? I'm REALLY going to miss this job. I love what I do, I love my boss, I love the people I work with...I love feeling like I'm good at something. And yet, this moving thing is something I have to do. I just hope I can find something down in Oregon that I enjoy as much as I enjoy this job.

Anyway, I am going to work today, but there's a football game this afternoon and I'm the only one available to work the board. Laurie gave me the morning off so I can work on packing and cleaning and stuff. I'm having tons of fun.

I don't think I've ever heard anyone say "I LOVE packing!" but I'm not sure anyone hates packing as much as I do. I've gotten to that point where most of what's left is odds and ends that don't have any set box to go into, so I don't know where to put it. Mostly it'll come down to "Which box still has room in it?"

It was actually sunny here yesterday so after work I put Summer in the car and we went to the beach where she could play in the water and run around. Then I drove home on "back roads," stopping every once in a while to look out at the port. I admit it, I shed a few tears. I'm really going to miss it here.

Days like yesterday are pretty rare, weather-wise, and they're really what makes living here worth it. Those few jewel-like days are what we wait for all year. I kind of hope that, the day mom and I drive out, the weather is crappy. I think that will make it easier to go.

It's starting to feel more real. I'm hoping to finish up with the trailer by Monday morning at the latest. Then mom and I are leaving on the 8th or 9th. The fear of the unknown is starting to creep up on me (not to mention the sadness). I have friends and family in Oregon and I'm definitely looking forward to being closer to them. But then, there's something that's really nice about being able to drive 15 minutes and see mom, or 10 minutes to see Becky. And then, and this probably sounds dumb, I'm really going to miss Beck's pets! When you miss people, you can at least pick up the phone and call them. But with animals, the way they communicate is by cuddling. I know her dog Halle is going to miss me. She loves to curl up on me and snuggle, and apparently she doesn't do that very often with other people. Not to mention, Summer will miss Halle, and the cats, and mom's cat Ink. She makes friends fast, but it's not easy to explain to a dog why she can't see her old friends anymore. Sum's already starting to exhibit clingy behavior; she knows something is up.

I started this post intending to say something like, "Hey all, I'm still here and still alive!" and that's it. Apparently this word vomit just needed to come out.

Now it's back to work. Packing is the life for me.
kokopellinelli: (Default)
Today was my last day subbing. Tomorrow I start training on the boats.

I spent the morning as an aide to a Kindergarten special needs boy. He's off his meds, and shall be referred to as Hyper. Most of my vocabulary this morning consisted of "Hyper, no running! Hyper, you can play on the computer after you do your worksheet. Hyper, don't you want to share?"

Despite being Hyper, he still remembered his "polite" words...most of the time.

Me: Hyper, come color this flower for your mom.

Hyper: NO THANK YOU!!!!1!!OMGWTF

Me: Hyper, what color do you want your card to be? Pink?

Hyper: NO THANK YOU!!1!!1!

Me: Hyper, if you can't be nice, you can't play on the computer.

Hyper: *shoves me* GO AWAY PLEASE!!1!!!one!!

Other times, he left off the polite words, ran down the hallway...when we were going to speech, he tried to hold the door closed once he got in the room to prevent me from following. Luckily, he's a puny 5-year-old.

He was actually a nice kid, just, as has been stated, Hyper.

At lunchtime, I sat with Hyper and some of his female classmates. Suddenly, one of them said to me, "You're my big sister in God's way."

Me: Uh...yes, that's right. Actually, everyone is your brother or sister...in God's way.

Girl 2: Yes, and God is our daddy.

Girl 3: And our mommies are all God's wives!

Girl 2: God isn't married!

Girl 1: And JESUS is our biggest brother of ALL!

Me: ...

After lunch, the Kindergarteners go home, and I had to take Hyper and one of his male classmates to the SpEd bus. Because they go home earlier than any other grade, the SpEd bus parks with the regular buses in the bus lane, instead of behind the school. However, the only contact I'd had with the SpEd bus before was when I was putting a 4th grader on it, and it parked behind the school.

So I was figuring we had to go behind the school to get to their bus.

Hyper ran ahead of us while I was lagging behind with Male Classmate, trying to put a paper in his backpack. I glanced down and when I looked up again, Hyper had disappeared...toward the regular bus lane.

I took off running through the cafeteria, with poor Male Classmate struggling to keep up. I saw Hyper push open the door, then push it shut behind him, the little twerp. By the time I got to the door, he was already climbing into a bus. I yelped at Male Classmate "STAY HERE!" And lunged toward the bus...the...SpEd bus.

"Oh!" I gasped to the driver who was looking at me with an expression of something like incredulity. "I thought you guys parked around back!"

"Not for Kindergarteners," he replied.

Oops.

So I trudged back to the door where Male Classmate was waiting in the foyer, staring at me with saucer-sized eyes.

"What happened?" he asked.

"Nothing. Sorry. Come on."

I put him on the bus without further problems. I felt like a dumbass, and from the way the driver and the aide on the SpEd bus were looking at me, that's apparently what I'd looked like, too.

After I ate lunch, I went to the junior high. The rest of my day was spent with a 14-year-old 7th grader (she looked 10) who was possibly the sweetest junior high student on the face of the planet. She corrected some papers, read me her speech for the living wax museum the junior highers are doing on Friday (she's gonna be Harriet Tubman) then spend the rest of the time reading from a handout.

Is it God day or something?

She, too, brought up religion--asked me if I went to church. I said no, and she asked if I wanted to go to her church. They're having a dinner, she told me, and a sermon...it's the First Baptist, just down the road!

I told her that it was very nice of her to offer, but I had to get home.

She seemed sort of disappointed when she asked why.

I will probably burn in hell for telling a little white lie--I need to get home and let my dog out. Which actually didn't turn out to be such a lie, as it turns out. Mom was working outside (still is) and Summer was inside (punishment for running off to play with Kate, the neighbor's dog, when mom had her out earlier).

When I got home, I helped mom carry her fake-flower-covered arch out to the garden and nearly got eaten by the 747s disguised as mosquitoes in the 15 minutes I was out there.
kokopellinelli: (Default)
Okay, Phase One of Friday has passed.

I subbed for a 2nd grade class today, and they were one of the best, most helpful, obediant classes I've ever had. EXTREMELY well-behaved. I loved them, and a bunch of them drew pictures for me, some OF me. I have like...12 pictures that I brought home, and 3 or 4 of them are pictures of me, right down to the glasses and turquoise shirt I wore.

At lunchtime, I ran to the store to get some chewbones for Summer and something from the deli for me (chicken strips and mozz sticks...yum) and then took them back to the school to eat. At first, I was going to sit in the back room in the office to eat, but when I got back there, I saw there was a kid in there reading with some schoolbooks spread out in front of him. I didn't want to eat with a kid (3rd or 4th grade, I'd say) I continued on through the room, but I didn't want to seem aloof so I said, "Hi there! Finishing up some homework, eh?" This may have been someone of an inane question on my part, but the kid was kinda rude. He was like "Yeah, who are you?" And it wasn't a curious "who are you," it was a "who the fuck are you and why are you talking to me?" tone. Whatever, Junior.

One of the girls in my class today (the one who gave me the most pictures and also invited me over to her house to play after school) brought in a Guiness Book of World Records for show and tell, so when they were having free draw between assignments, I read some of the animal facts to them. They really enjoyed it, and they liked trying to guess the animal. I would ask "Okay, raise your hand if you think you know the answer...What is the animal with the largest wingspan in the world?" And then I'd show them the pictures and read them the little blurb about the maribou stork, koala, Kitti's hognosed bat, capybara, etc.

As soon as school got out, I finished my report and jetted, as I was worried about Summer, who had been home alone (but for the cat) for 7 hours. She was EXTREMELY happy to see me but the only damage I could find was to a paper towel she must have gotten out of the wastebasket beside the computer.

She hadn't eaten any of the food I put out for her this morning, and she still hasn't. As soon as I got home, I let her out to pee and then took her out to the road and threw her ball for her until she was tired.

Anyway, in about another couple hours I have to be at the docks for the port cruise. It's a pretty crappy day and I'm still trying to decide if I want to wear my couple-years-out-of-date contacts or my glasses. I'll probably go with my contacts just so I'm not constantly having to wipe off my glasses.
kokopellinelli: (Default)
This happened in my town.

Text behind the cut. )
kokopellinelli: (Default)
Okay, on Wednesday and Thursday, I subbed for a lady who does special math at the elementary school in the mornings, and in the afternoons, a short period at the junior high and two high school health classes.

I was really nervous because 1) MathOMG and 2) Junior High/High School. Surprisingly, it all went well. The math was stuff that I only remembered vaguely, but easy enough to re-understand, and plus I had the teacher's edition answer key. Not to mention that the first class was split into two parts. One part was 5 "individualized math" students, who need a bit of extra help on their math, and 3 pre-Algebra kids, who are better at math than I am. Ni's mom, who is a teacher, took the IM kids, and so I spent the hour hanging out with 3 nice 6th-graders who rock at math.

The junior high thing was weird and sort of hard to explain, except that it was a 15-minute "mini-period" and all we did was silent reading the first day, and "hall duty" the second day, in which they cleaned up the hallway.

The high school classes weren't all bad, either. The first one was pretty good, despite the fact that we were watching the most boring video in existance (called "AIDS: Questions with Answers"). It was made in 1989, so some of the info was outdated, not to mention the hairstyles. It was a dramatization about a teenage boy who discovers he has AIDS, and how his family deals with it. It seriously looked like it was made by high school students with an old camera or something. Anyway, the first class just gently mocked it, which was fine. The second class was rather large and loud, and one kid in particular was running around, standing on his head, throwing things...y'all, he managed to find a dead frog in a plastic bag (in a room used primarily for ENGLISH class wtf) and threw it at someone.

On Thursday, they had to finish their STD packets. I made a deal with them that if we could do 6 pages together, quickly and seriously in class, and they promised to finish the rest of the packet as homework, I'd let them have whatever time they had left as freetime, and that worked pretty well. Annoying kid from the second class was gone that day, so we actually got stuff done. YAY.
kokopellinelli: (Default)
I was a wanderer once again today, though only until 12:30. Then no one had any more work for me and I came home, which is good because I've felt mildly craptastic all day. Sore throat, headache, feet hurt. Not really bad, just enough to make me glad to be home.

Tomorrow mom and I are going to Anch. to see Mel and get the car checked up and all that stuff, so I will be sort of out of touch for a couple days.
kokopellinelli: (Default)
Was a wanderer again today. Not much to report about my day, except that once again, my feet hurt. I saw Cap'n Greg and Family at the store and chatted, and then I had to go to the clinic and get a TB test. Technically, I should have gotten the damn shot before I started subbing, but today was the first time they could fit me in, despite the fact that the shot takes less than 2 minutes. Oh well.

On a completely different note, someone called my house last night while I was sleeping. I popped up and grabbed the phone, thinking it was 6 am and someone from the high school was calling to see if I could sub. I said, "Hello?" and there was a staticky sound and a woman said "Hello?" Then I said it again, then she said it again...then I said it again...then finally she said "Oh, I think I have the wrong number! Sorry!" and hung up. I looked at the clock and it was 1:20 am. On the one hand...OMGWTFBBQ120?? On the other hand..."Oooh! 5 more hours of sleep!"
kokopellinelli: (Default)
I was a wanderer today, which we decided sounded nicer than "gopher" or "floater." The 3rd-6th graders were doing testing, so I basically walked the halls, making sure people were being quiet and seeing if the teachers needed help with anything. They never did. Now my feet hurt, but the office ladies had me in there doing filing and putting together paper packets and stapling things, stuff like that. Beth told me around 11:45 that if it got to be 12:30 and no one needed me to do anything I could go home. Then I got caught up in doing recess duty and filing and stuff and before I knew it, it was 3:40 and I was finally heading out the door. I do it all again tomorrow and Thursday, but it's okay. I actually had a lot of fun. I like standing in the hallways and talking with teachers I've known forever.
kokopellinelli: (Default)
Subbed for another aide to a special needs child today. He was a Kindergartener, and a cute kid, if a bit difficult. He pouted and whined and didn't enunciate, but at least he didn't scratch me or anything. I took him to one of the resource rooms and let him play in an inflatable pool filled with plastic balls for a while, and he did his classwork quickly (for the most part) and efficiently. He did get upset when he wasn't one of the line leaders, though. Whew. Pouted all the way to lunch and all the way back. And while he was AT lunch, he went to get a cup for his milk and stopped next to the little girl who WAS the lineleader to tell her that HE was gonna be the line leader. Cheeky little fellow.

I took him to the bus at 12:45 and then I spent the afternoon with the preschoolers. I met them in the library while they listened to a story, then we went to the gym and let them run around and jump over a jump rope a bunch of different ways. One of the boys, a rather chubby kid who just turned 4 (and so adorable) got his whole body into the jumps. The teacher told him to jump with both feet over the rope, like his feet were glued together. He would bend way, WAY over, and swing up his arms and jump as high as he could...and would go maybe 2 inches. So cute.

One of the other little boys was sort of a special needs kid, I'd say, but he had someone who was sort of trying to keep him in check. HE scratched me. And pinched me. And didn't listen, but whatever. One of the little girls was the most adorable thing ever. She had wispy blonde hair and wore glasses and her backpack was bigger than she was.

AND. AND. A lady came in with a basket full of FIVE BABY BUNNIES. She had dyed them pastel colors with Koolaid. The little kids got to hold them. And then I got to hold them! SQUEE BABY BUNNIES!

Tomorrow, Wednesday, and Thursday there is testing going on in the school so I'm going to be roaming the halls and making sure that people are being quiet and running errands for teachers and stuff. When Beth called me for that job she said "Make sure you wear comfortable shoes!" Oh dear.
kokopellinelli: (Default)
So today, I subbed for the aide of a special needs 4th grader. The day went fairly well, though the schedule I had was a little vague so I had to keep asking various teachers and office workers where I had to go next.

The little girl (we'll call her Jess) was quiet most of the day, every once in a while she'd get a little loud, and she kept grabbing my wrist in both her hands and laying her lips on the back of my hand. At one point, I had to take her to the preschool room so she could get things ready for the preschoolers when they arrived, and that's when she got a little difficult. She would lay down on the couch and refuse to get up, then when I finally got her on her feet, she grabbed me and almost seemed like she was trying to dance or something. One of her other teachers came in and helped me get Jess on the right track, and for the rest of our time together she was very good.

I am tired, but yay! Friday is an early release day!
kokopellinelli: (Default)
So I had the same class today as I had yesterday. They were better in the morning than they were yesterday. So much better, in fact, that I was regretting mentioning some of them in my end-of-day report yesterday. Then, I got cocky. I basically only had them in the morning. After lunch recess, they had spelling, and then they had to go to gym class, and then music class, and then I had to read to them out of a storybook till dismissal.

So, as I mentioned, the morning went well. After lunch, it turned sour. The three boys I'd written up yesterday were involved in some sort of argument, so that the boy who had acted out the most yesterday was in tears. I sent him to the office and told him he could stay there until he stopped crying, and could talk to the principal if he wanted. (To clarify: I didn't send him to the office because I was angry, I sent him there so he wouldn't have to cry in front of his classmates. And the principal at this school is the nicest woman ever. She was my choir teacher in junior high and my brother's 3rd and 4th grade teacher. Lovely, lovely person.) When I told mom about it when I got home, she asked, "A case of bullies and victim?" and I replied "He's a bit of a bully himself, I think. I'd say it was a taste of his own medicine." This might be an unkind statement, but it's true.

Anyway, she brought the kid back while we did spelling, and pulled the other two boys of class to chat, and then told me it had all been straightened out.

I took them to gym, and when I went to pick them up, the gym teacher told me they'd gotten a "dot" today *gasp* instead of a plus sign. When I picked them up from music, the teacher seemed very happy to return them to me. And when it was storytime, they would NOT SHUT UP. I finally had to send Crying Bully BACK to the office, this time for banging his forehead forcibly against the bookshelf. I asked him to stop. He pulled out a bin lid and started hitting himself with that. I asked him to stop. He said, "What else can I hit my head with?" and picked up a waterbottle and started hitting himself with it, so I asked him to go to the office. He was completely incredulous. "What? WHY?"

"Because I've asked you to stop hitting yourself several times and you haven't." And even after that I had to ask him AGAIN to go to the office before he went. Bleeeeh.
kokopellinelli: (Default)
Just subbed for the first time in the Valdez district. A 3rd and 4th grade teacher got ill and went home around 9, so I took her class for the rest of the day. It was fun for the most part, with a couple dashes of "Hey you, sit down and shut the hell up" thrown in (but gentler).

My favorite exchange took place while we were standing in the line for lunch. I had to escort my class in the line until they got into the kitchen, so the two boys at the back of the line were talking to me. Note: the teacher had told the class my last name before I got there.

Boy: When the teacher told us your name, we thought it sounded like a vampire name.

Other Boy: *nods*

Boy: So we were afraid you'd have long teeth and be scary.

Other Boy: But then when you got here, we thought you might be boring.

Boy: So we were almost hoping you WOULD be a vampire, so you wouldn't be boring!

Me: ...

Me: So...are you still afraid I might be boring?

Boys: No.

Me: Thanks.

LATER

Me: Is it sad that a 3rd grader thought I looked boring?

Nina: Yes.

Although, 15 minutes into my day there, I'd already had 3 kids come up and tell me that I should tell their teacher to make me be the sub every time she was gone, so I guess that's something.
kokopellinelli: (Default)
They say that the first step of writing is to just do it. Just write SOMETHING, doesn’t matter what, and eventually you will be writing something important.
Just some semi-depressing, semi-uplifting, totally sugary babble from my first actual writing session in quite a long while. )

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