Day 15: 31 Days of Blogging Honesty





Day# 15 Question: If I had to spend an entire day as the opposite sex, I would look like _______ and I would spend the day doing…

I thought we had a good thing going. I can't believe you're NOT choosing me!

This question took a great deal of contemplation. Should I spend the day as the beautiful, talented Hugh Jackman, or as the equally gorgeous and super-hot Alexander Skarsgard? Though both would be dreamy to “wear” for the day, I think the man that I would most like to spend 24 hours as, would be my own very wonderful and very loving husband. Something magical happens when you love, and are truly and absolutely loved by, another human being. My husband’s love and kindness has made me a better, softer, more genuine person and my wish, while spending the day as him, would be to make his life a little bit easier. So, here’s my “To Do” list for my day as my husband.

1. Take care of a few uncomfortable situations at work: My husband is usually very happy with his job as one of the division heads of an engineering firm, but one thing he would rather avoid at work is counseling his employees when they exhibit not-so-stellar personal behavior. Though he performs effectively, he’s totally uncomfortable dealing with issues of a personal nature. Having spent the past 16 years as an educator, I’ve taken care of my share of unusual issues, so dealing with the next two problems would be a piece of cake for me!

a. Tammy and Jack: Tammy and Jack are two of my husband’s married employees. The problem is they’re NOT married to one another, BUT they spend their work days carrying on like they are. Last Wednesday they took their affair to the “next level” The problem is, that level was level #3 of the public parking area where their unsavory union in a company truck was witnessed by a mom and her twin toddlers. She hastily reported them to upper administration. Guess who upper admin has asked to counsel with a letter of reprimand this very morning? Yep, my poor awkward husband. Don’t worry honey—I’m on it!

b. John’s nut sack: (John is my husband’s employee) John is a fabulous engineer, but clearly not a fashionista. It has come to the attention of many, that John enjoys a commando lifestyle sans underwear. This would be all well and good if John’s pants fit him properly, but because his slacks tend to be on the snug side, people are complaining about the old trouser snake and his two very large companions. I have no problem with delivering the news that he needs to wear larger pants in order to not offend. Heck, I’ll even offer him the Kohl’s coupon that I got in the mail yesterday so that he’s guaranteed 15% off some new khakis.

2. See an allergist: The Allegra isn’t cutting it. My husband has sniffed, snorted and sneezed since the onset of spring. After I go, as him, to my allergist, Dr. Matthews, he’ll be breathing better in no time.

3. Check out the ol’ poop shoot: My darling husband is 54. This means that he is past due for a colonoscopy by four years. No matter how much I prod him to just make an appointment and get it done, he doesn’t listen. So during my day as him, I’ll endure a scope up my ass out of pure love for my hubby.

4. Do hard math just for the fun of it: Okay, I’ll admit, this one isn’t for him, it’s for me. All my life I’ve struggled with all types of math beyond Algebra I. I’m going to get out my daughter’s calculus book and solve at least a chapters worth of problems, just to see how it feels to actually understand what I’m doing!

Well that’s my day as the fantastic Mr. Sprinkles! Readers, who would you choose?

Dodging a Bullet Apocalypse Style

Whew! It’s May 22nd, and I feel like I’ve dodged yet another apocalyptic bullet. Actually, I’m very happy to confess that I wasn’t in the least concerned by crazy Mr. Camping’s May 21st Rapture prediction, but I do very seriously wonder how many children out there were frightened by his prophecy. The reason for my speculation is that I was once a completely terrified twelve year-old certain that the world would not last beyond my childhood. There were two extremely valid reasons that my pre-pubescent self was certain that doomsday was drawing near. The first was that my grandmother had ever so lovingly taken me, at least a dozen times, to the Pentecostal church that she attended. One thing I soon found out about Pentecostals, besides the fact they rolled in the aisles and spoke in tongues, was that they talked constantly about “the end times,” and according to them just about everything was a sign that the end times were near. If there was a slight earthquake in California, it was a sign of the end times. If teenaged boys began wearing their hair longer, it was a sign of the end times. If an R-rated movie won an Academy Award, then Armageddon was soon to follow. The other, and perhaps most binding, reason that I feared the end of the world was imminent was that a person that I deemed extremely credible told me that it would be happening. This person was my 7th grade science teacher and at 12, I had no doubt that any grain of knowledge passed down to me by a teacher was absolutely, positively, beyond a shadow of a doubt the truth.

Mr. Smith was hired to teach 7th grade science a few months after school had actually started. Before him, we had a series of substitute teachers who never seemed to get past the first chapter in the science book. I was tired of learning and relearning about cell functions, so I was pretty psyched when the board of education granted Mr. Smith the position of our science teacher. Mr. Smith was a cool, young, teacher fresh out of college. He energetically pushed us through the rest of cell biology and moved through several more chapters. Everything was going swimmingly until we reached the chapter on astronomy. At first, this unit was rather exciting because Mr. Smith deemed himself an amateur astronomer complete with a very expensive telescope and a notebook brimming with universal theories. Immediately, after he spent some time bragging to us about the size and cost of his device, he began sharing his theories. Most were fairly benign, but the theory that he called “The Big One” was horrific. He claimed that in March of 1982 the planets would align on the same side of the sun causing an event so cataclysmic that we would all be hurled into a black hole where our bodies would implode, leaving nothing but our severed consciousness to float in a sea of nothingness for eternity. This was some pretty deep shit that he was springing on a bunch of naïve 12 year-olds, but he was a teacher; an authority figure, and I felt forced to consider the possibility of his postulations.

Suddenly, my small world began to feel more than a little hopeless. Things at home were already pretty grim. With my mother recovering from a radical mastectomy and my father drinking himself to a raging oblivion on a daily basis, school had been my escape. Now with nothing but additional doomsday theories from Mr. Smith to look forward to during 5th period, school felt sullied and ruined. I began to look for ways to get out of his class. I was far too terrified of the wrath of my father to ditch 5th period, so I attempted to claim illness every day after lunch, in order to be sent home. At first it worked, and my grandmother or a neighbor would pick me up from school. After a week of this, however, my mother grew wise to my ruse and demanded to know why I didn’t want to spend the entire day at school. Was I being picked on? Was I doing poorly in a class? I couldn’t bring myself to tell her what I was trying to avoid. She was battling cancer and I was terrified that if she knew that we were all going to die in 1982 that she would abandon her fight. So I told her everything was fine, that I was feeling better and would no longer call to come home. This left me with finding a way to get through Mr. Smith’s class without listening to his theories or his responses to my classmates constant queries about “The Big One.” Not paying attention in class had always been sort of problem of mine, and I decided to use it to my advantage. So, during Mr. Smith’s class I completely blocked out his lecturing and voraciously wrote in my science notebook. I made sure to periodically look up, make eye contact, and nod in agreement with what he was saying so he would think that I was hungrily writing down his every word. In truth, I was writing my bucket list, and since I knew that most of the goals on my list would never be completed before the planets aligned and we were all screwed, I wrote about how they might have been. I wrote of graduation and college, about my marriage to Donny Osmond and our two kids named Jasmine and Xavier. I wrote about my career as a famous actress who did both dog food commercials and soap operas with Academy Award winning flair.

My plan was working beautifully until report card time rolled around and the square that usually housed an above average science grade held an F. This F brought me much more worry than it would to your average 7th grader, my mother, who had always been very active in my school life, was insistent about attending a parent-teacher conference to discuss my poor mark and lack of progress. Like any kid with an F on her report card, I didn’t want her to attend a meeting with my teacher. This wasn’t because I was afraid of her finding out that I had been slacking in class. It was because she was receiving chemotherapy and I was terrified that she would contract a life-threatening illness at my germy school. This was my tipping point. It was the moment that my fear of losing my mother became greater than my fear of the end of the world and I fessed up. Everything came spilling out. I tearfully showed her my detailed bucket list and begged her to not abandon her fight despite the short time that we all had left on Earth. She circled me in her arms and assured me that for centuries people have foretold the world’s demise without success. She said that I had nothing to worry about, and that’s all it took to make things better. I believed her, because when you’re 12 a mother’s theory trumps all others.

With some work I eventually raised my science grade to a B, although a substitute placed the higher mark on my report card. Mr. Smith wasn’t permitted to finish out the school year, once school officials found out that he had been inviting students to his home to see his “telescope” and discuss his theories. My mother recovered and spent the rest of her life cancer free, and I’ve never worried about the end of the world again.

Day 12: 31 Days of Blogging Honesty





Day 12 — I was just honored by my peers and family. I most likely I got the award because I…

This question is truly very coincidental because I actually was honored today by a member of my family. Today, my oldest daughter graduated from college with a BS in Biology and Chemistry. As you can imagine, I was bursting with pride and shedding a few tears as I watched my first born reach another milestone with great success. After a beautiful, but very long ceremony, my lovely blond daughter stood before me a college graduate. As we were about to leave the gym she hugged and kissed me and placed her gold, satin graduation stole across my shoulders. “Read the inside, Mom,” she said, with happy tears glistening in her green eyes. This is what the inside said:

Dear Mom,

I am presenting you with the stole of gratitude because you are the one person who has made the biggest impact on my life. You are the number one reason that I stand before you today as a college graduate, on my way to medical school. Because of all of your love and sacrifice, I am moving on to the next chapter of my life with confidence and the comfort of knowing that you’ll always be there for me. I cannot express the amount of thanks that I have for all that you have done. You are a wonderful mom and will always be my best friend!! I LOVE you so much!


Your Daughter

When I graduated from college, I was seven months pregnant with my youngest daughter, and my eldest, who penned this note, was only two. I was unaware of the tradition of presenting the stole of gratitude. Had my own mother been alive at the time of my college graduation, I would have certainly presented my stole to her, and written a similar note. My daughter’s presentation to me was an unexpected honor. It made me realize what an incredible gift today was.

Hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend! I’m off to bed!

Who Made?

I have to interrupt my normally silly blog to comment on this article: After 16 years in the ranks of teaching, I naturally find myself drawn to stories about teachers in trouble for their inability to problem solve correctly, or to control their words and actions. There should be a special Darwin Award for teachers who have zero common sense. Somewhere along the line someone forgot to tell this person that nearly ANYTHING involving a teacher and an under-aged human being’s underwear has the possibility of a prompt firing. I do see that the teacher didn’t go into the stall with the students, but he/she shouldn’t have handled the circumstances this way, or on his/her own.

The other reason that I was drawn to this story was that I was in a similar situation when I found a few of my students playing a raucous game of “kick the turd” during indoor recess one rainy afternoon. I immediately sent a reliable student for the custodian, and lined the entire class up for a bathroom break. As the kids were standing in line for the restroom, my sharply trained mom/teacher nose sniffed out the culprit. I quietly called him over from the line and privately asked him if he was feeling alright, rather than bluntly blurting out, “Did you crap your pants?” He immediately told me that his stomach had been hurting all morning. I had another reliable student summon another teacher to watch my class while I walked the poor little guy up to the office to call his mom. On the phone I mentioned that I thought he might have had an accident. Mom thanked me, picked him up, and everyone’s dignity and job was intact.

I guess I marvel at some teachers’ stupidity because I was always so incredibly careful about how I treated my students and their parents. As a parent, I always hoped that my own children’s teachers were treating them with the same care and respect that I treated my own students with. Of course, in teaching, there are always going to be children, parents, and situations that will drive you absolutely mad, but use common sense, and find a healthy outlet for your frustrations! End rant! 🙂 Sprinkles out…