Thursday, September 30, 2010

Are You Kidding Me?

There is a big push to improve education in the United States.  The most recent idea is to get rid of tenure.  Now, if you have tenure, you can't be fired unless you are a pervert or something.  I had tenure and so did most of my colleagues.  Did it make us work less hard?  No, it did not.
Now, I know there are teachers who just skate by and don't work hard or try hard or like kids much.  Those people should never get tenure.  That is the fault of their supervisors who don't give honest reviews of their work.  Maybe they are afraid to but my guess is they are just being polite.
Being polite can get you into situations you don't want to be in--trust me, I've been there.  You may have too.  You can't be polite when you are critiquing a bad teacher.  A bad review might inspire a uninspired teacher to get on the ball.
Anyway, tenure isn't the problem anyway.
To me, the trouble is we don't respect childhood.  Historically speaking, we hardly ever have...think Child Labor.  We as a society(and ours is not the only one) want kids to grow up fast and be mature and carry their load as soon as possible.  We want kids to dress up like adults and act like one.  We want kids to study hard and learn even if they are only five and ALL research shows that children up to the age of 9 learn best through PLAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   Did you hear that people???  I said PLAY.
Remember play?  It's that thing you did when you went outside and ran around and tagged your friends or tossed a ball around.  It's when you pretended to be a lion or a cowboy or Tarzan or Robin Hood or Barbie.  It's when you rode your bike and skated.  It's when you read a book that wasn't assigned or played a board game or your grandma taught you cards.
You can play in school and children will learn.  I know because I used to do it.  You can hide learning in play.  A kid can learn the alphabet in the sandbox as well as in a workbook.  Kids can learn to read  and everything while engaged in activities they think are play.
Remember what you liked best in school??  Bet it wasn't reading group or workbook.  I'll bet it was gym or art or music--those things that most resembled play.  That's because you learned by playing.  Yes,you did.
If you were lucky, your teachers recognized that and tried to make school fun.
School is not fun anymore.  I listen to my friends who are still teaching and all I hear about are scores on tests and scripted reading programs and everyone being expected to be on the same page in math on the same day.  Doesn't sound much like fun, does it?
Kids are getting in more trouble in school too.  Guess what I think?  They are showing us that they aren't ready for the roles being thrust upon them.  They are not ready to be little adults....and they shouldn't be.  They are children--even that sullen thirteen year old slouched in the last row of English class.  Children who need to be nurtured and respected and taught by all of us adults, not just the teachers in their lives.
All you experts who are trying to fix the education problem need to recognize the needs of kids to be respected and understood for who and what they are.
They need to learn how to make good choices, how to decide what is right or wrong if it seems like it could be both, how to express themselves verbally and in the written word.  These are the kids that are supposed to man up and pay our Social Security one day.   They may not want to and who could blame them??  As I see it, we haven't done them many favors.

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Plan

I have a plan.  It can create jobs and save our economy.  What is it, you ask?  Just send for my brochure. It is multi-paged.  It will solve everything. 
What do you mean, tell you about it??  It is the plan.  The one I have.  The one the incumbent doesn't have....or the President...or any other candidate.
Hmmm...just a general overview??   Well, just go to my website and request a copy of the plan.  It will be sent to you in....a while.  Yes, that's a while.  OH wait, it might be on back order.  It does have my picture on the front....kissing a baby and shaking hands with a senior citizen.  It is red, white and blue.
Oh, you mean the content??  Like am I about to open a gigantic corporation that will supply thousands of jobs and security for families?  Well, no.  Am I going to spend money to initiate training programs for those out of work?  Or start a huge national project that will require tens of thousands of workers?  Well, no.
I am just going to have a plan.  I told you that at the beginning.  Weren't you listening??
What do you mean it doesn't sound like much of a plan??  I worked hard on it!  Just ask my employees who wrote it............ I mean, advised me on it.  Just ask my publicist.  Just don't ask my spouse,who asks too many questions already.
Out with the old and in with the new.  Except, just between you and me, the new is pretty much the same as the old.  That is part of the plan too.

Monday, September 20, 2010


I just followed the same car for three miles down Mentor Ave. and the guy looked up at the street 4 times.  Yep, I said only four times.  He was GPSing or texting or looking at a map or reading a Kindle like the bus driver I heard about on the news.  I didn't dare pass him even though he was going 10 miles under the speed limit because he never looked to see if he was in his lane.  Not one time.  Sometimes he was and sometimes he wasn't.  Good thing that street is pretty straight as an arrow.
When he did look up it was to see if there was a car in front of him that had stopped.  Fortunately, there wasn't.
I wanted to jump out of my car and say  DRIVE YOUR CAR, YOU LUNATIC!!!   Of course, I didn't.  As soon as my right hand turn lane showed up I just heaved a sigh of relief that he hadn't hit the curb, me, another car or whatever.
You know they had  a very serious campaign about Don't Drink and Drive.  I think we need a new one--Keep Your Eyes on the Road!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Just Can't Help Myself

If you asked my children they would say I have a weird sense of humor.  I prefer to think of it as wacky.  Sometimes the strangest things strike me funny and I have a good laugh over it.
For instance, a couple of days ago, I saw a bumper sticker that said "Bruce Willis and/or Arnold Schwarzenegger for President.  I couldn't stop laughing.  How about that?  Co-presidents.  Or Bruce could be our first shaved-head, pierced ear Prez.  Think about it--that's pretty funny.
Then I saw a woman walking her little dog in our neighborhood.  Tiny little dog.  She was carrying a BIG trash bag presumably to pick up her dog's "gifts" that it left on our neighbors' lawns.  The bag was about 4 times the size of the dog.  She must have had big expectations of that little pooch.
The same day, a local county commissioner was arrested for corruption and I watched as he was put into a police car and was driven off--while giving the camera the middle finger salute.  He must have thought it was the international sign for "I'm innocent."  They showed it on the news about twenty times and I laughed my  head off the entire time.
Yesterday, as I was driving to the gym, I almost got hit by a car that decided to change lanes--right into me.  I narrowly avoided being hit and I felt like I was going to cry for a second but instead I just started laughing. I could start laughing right now just thinking about it.  It's probably mild hysteria but it's still funny.
I could give you some other examples--like Bruce Dern getting dragged behind a horse in the movie, The Cowboys but I think you get the idea.
Anyway, I read recently that laughing is good for you and it helps burn calories.  So the next time something strikes you funny, go ahead and laugh, even if everyone else thinks you're weird.  You'll have the last laugh because you will be svelte from burning all those calories.
You should see how skinny I am now!  Not like these old pics!!

PS  Now I am laughing as I write this...Only in Hollywood could Roddy McDowell grow up to be Peter Lawford and that little 10 year old vixen, Elizabeth Taylor grow up to be June Lockhart.   Just watch The White Cliffs Of Dover and you'll see it for yourself!!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Susan at Susan G.

Well, I never thought I would do something like this but I walked in the 5K race for Susan G. Komen.  DH and my daughter came with me and we were pretty psyched about doing it.  It would be our longest walk so far.  We go every weekend and hike about a mile and a half each day but this was totally different.
I have never seen so many people hovering around the same space in my life.  20,000 is the estimate of the participants and there were watchers also.
Cheerleading groups cheered us on as well as Romona Robinson from Channel3 news.  She was on a platform at the beginning of the race looking gorgeous.  We looked pretty good too considering we had spent almost an hour in line to get our shirts and numbers.  I was something like 14, 298.  That's how many people had signed up by the time we did.
There was food and all kinds of hand outs but we had no time for that because the race began just as we got our shirts on and our pinneys pinned on.  Away we went, slow as turtles.  I laughed and said we sure didn't need to train for this--at this rate it will take us until noon(it was 9:30 at the time)!!   How wrong I was for as we travelled along we hit our stride looked for openings and wove our way through the crowd.  We were strong, we were fierce.  We made it in one hour and one minute which for three and a half miles is not that bad for us. It's about 3 miles per hour.  So we were pretty proud.
We got a free banana and water when we got back to the Wolstein Center and suddenly, we all felt really tired and just wanted to sit down.  We had to walk another several blocks back to our car  to get home.   DH and my daughter both had naps as soon as they could.
I was gloating to myself about how I was the strongest as I didn't nap and then at 8:30 PM  I was out like a light--for the night.  I woke up briefly at around 11 PM because my kids came home from the rain delayed ball game and they weren't exactly quiet as we would usually be up.  I said hi to them and went straight to bed and never woke up until 8 AM the next day.  So much for gloating!
So, take that, breast cancer.  Hope we beat you.  We'll keep walking until we do!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Joys of Fitness II

I'm sure you have been waiting with baited breath to find out how my foot is faring.  Well, it is better but not because I went to the doctor.  I didn't go--I was my own doc.  I have injured my foot enough times to know that he would wrap it and send me home and tell me to ice it and rest it(yeah, right, it's like my foot  I have to walk on it).  SO I took a day off from Curves, rested and iced it and wrapped it very subtly and continued to live my life.  My sis didn't notice that I was limping or anything because I was that much better than when I last typed.
Today I did my subtle wrap and decided to wear sandals( I know, I know) and it was fine all day.  I guess it was not so subtle though because the first thing my BF said to me was what did you do to your foot.  I had to laugh.  She noticed it right away.  Subtle as a heart attack.
Beleive me, I am not miraculously cured, but I am better and good enough for the Susan G. Koman walk on Saturday morning.  I'm just glad it's not uphill.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Oh Me Oh My

What are those people on TLC trying to prove with having 19 kids and counting?  Their latest child is plagued with health problems and family has to wash their hands just to be in her presence and the second youngest(who is just a baby herself) was told in the promo I saw not to touch the "baby."
Now I know these people have the right to have as many children as they want but I would think by now that they would say enough is enough.  Didn't they ever see that old show??  Eight is enough.  I should say so and they were all the picture of health. 
If my nineteenth child had spent that much time in the hospital and still had the potential for things to go wrong internally, I think I would be done.  No matter what the old Hubby says or what my religion says or what anybody says. 
Plus I would like to know when this woman who has nineteen children finds the time to even have sex!  She should be exhausted.  So should he for that matter.  These people are just nuts!
Is it because they are on television?  Do they feel they have to keep spitting out the kids to keep their show? I don't know the motivation but listen up, Duggar family, it's time to stop.
PS  Don't click there you won't get more pics

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Joys of Fitness

The fresh breeze is blowing.  The woods is deep and cool.  The views are spectacular.  The strength of my legs amazes me.  Then, what is this???  What's wrong with my foot?  It really hurts. Wait, I can hardly step on it.  What do you mean we still have to walk another half mile?  What do you mean it's all uphill?  And steep? 
I didn't twist it--at least not today.  It hurt a little if I wiggled it back and forth but this is ridiculous.  I know when I go to the doctor he will say to stay off of it.  I can't stay off of it.  It's my foot--it's how I get around.  I have to do chores and errands and cook and work out.
Why is it that every time I get close to a fitness level that I  desire something like this happens?  If  I had a dime for every injury that stopped my fitness routine--well, I wouldn't be rich but I would have a pile of money.  Sometimes I think there is a cosmic plan to keep me flabby and out of shape.
I'm scheduled to walk in the Susan G. Koman Run/Walk this Saturday and I am going to be there no matter what.  That's how dedicated I am to my own fitness and to the cause of breast cancer research.  I might be in a walking cast but if I am I will still be there--I just won't win(wink wink  like I had a chance to win under the best of circumstances)!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Just Say No

I should never take any caffeine.  I just get the weirdest feeling from it.  Like ten thousand bugs are biting me and crawling all over me and it is so itchy, I cannot stand it.
So at the ripe old age of sixty you would think I completely avoid it, right?  Wrong.  Sometimes I cave and yesterday was one of those days. We went to Subway to get lunch after our walk and I just was in the mood for something besides water and one glass of soda couldn't hurt, right?  Wrong!
The funny thing is I always forget the symptoms.  At first I thought some kind of bug got in my hair during our walk in the woods.  Then I thought maybe I got into poison ivy or some other kind of itch-producing plant. And then I make the fatal mistake of starting to scratch the itch.  Since it really doesn't exist that is a futile undertaking and I am always sorry when it finally dawns on me that there is no bug bite or rash from a plant-I had soda with lunch!!  It is nine pm and now I know I will have to knock myself out in order to sleep.  Four Tylenol later I finally fell asleep around 2 AM.
I had crazy dreams and woke up about seven hundred times but at least I didn't have to get up and watch late late late night television.  House Hunters International repeats can get a little boring especially if you already saw them.
I don't fall off the wagon often so I guess that's why I forget the symptoms.  I even have a little left this morning or else I have developed fleas overnight.  Wait---I just checked, no fleas so it's just a caffeine hangover and I'll fell better tomorrow.  Can't wait!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Trapped Within

Because we are having a massive heat wave I have chosen to stay indoors today.  I did go work out this morning first but since then it's been home sweet home.  Let me tell you self-imposed exile is not all it's cracked up to be!
First, you feel compelled to work.  I cleaned my bathroom from top to bottom, walls, shower curtain woodwork, all the fixtures--I mean the works.  I even scrubbed the floor on my hands and knees!
Of course after that I deserved a treat which came in the form of big salty pretzels and fizzy water.  So half good and half bad.  I then felt really guilty and so I took a shower and worked a little more but not so I got sweated up again--just laundry.
Then I felt like I deserved another reward and I read the book I am currently into.  It is a historical fiction(my fave lately) and is about the same king and queen I've read about before.  Edward and Elizabeth of England.  She was a commoner and they got married in secret.  It's pretty good stuff.
Then I felt guilty that I hadn't written here in a while so I tried to come up with a topic and it took until now to decide to write about my day.
So there you are.  My day in a nutshell.
I sure spend a lot of time feeling guilty and a lot of time doing laundry!  That's the least when you are trapped indoors.