Friday, October 27, 2006

"I Will Respect the Substitute Teacher"

This is my second year working as an elementary sub, but since I lived abroad for most of last year, I haven't really had that many assignments.
For the most part, it hasn't been nearly as traumatic as people would imagine. It's not easy, but I enjoy the challenge of winning the kids over.
Last week I had a very sweet bunch of second graders, but they would not SHUT UP. I nearly lost my voice by the end of the day, constantly shouting to be heard over the din of their constant chatter.
School ends around 3, and by 1:30 I had had it.
"That's IT" I screamed. Take out your notebooks and write 20 times: " 'I will respect the substitute teacher.' "
"Oh GAWD..." I thought to myself..."who is this person teaching this class?" It was really unlike me, but I was at a loss.
Well, it shut 'em up anyway.
I put on some classical music to calm myself down...relieve MY guilt. Of course it was MY fault they were noisy. Everything is my fault, didn't you know that? Actually I was feeling guilty for punishing them.

A few kids shouted, "Oh oh we have a Halloween cd...can we listen to that?"
"NO!" I replied.
"Once you FINISH this assignment, THEN you can listen to the Halloween cd while you make Halloween cards."
I wanted to make sure they followed through...and everyone did!
I felt a little strange asking them to do it, but I was at my wits end! How hokey, I thought.
Some of the sweet kids looked SO sad, I felt badly for them, but it was hard to single out the trouble makers. I rewarded the sweet kids with extra "treasure tickets" though! (They get them for good behavior and save them for prizes).
I slipped the coveted tickets to them when the other kids weren't looking.

All the kids finished, but one little girl, bless her sweet heart wrote me this letter:

"Dear Miss Sue,
I will RESPECT (underlined) our teacher because not everyone was noisy, some of them. We can be a better class. Please don't tell Ms. Laws. Can you forgive us? Now?
Kathy (circled with a happy faced heart next to her name)


SO I DID play the Halloween cd...which of course elicited monstrous behavior.
"Miss Sue, can we make paper airplanes?"
Miss Sue: "NO"
2 mintutes later...a paper airplane flew into my head.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Don't forget your inner child!!

I could go on and on about how much I relish being a mom. It makes me so happy to see how what a joy monger my daughter is!

I've been meaning to share these pics...Anjoli loves to play "dress up" with her friend Diane. One day they decided to be "Asian" which wasn't that much of a stretch for Diane...who hails from So. Korea! Note the pick-up sticks in their hair!
(Wearing my heels that I can barely walk in...).

One day they said, "let's pretend we're really BAD (as in not very good) designers!"

I'll enjoy the fun of having a daughter while it lasts...she'll be a teenager before I know it. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!! Payback time is coming.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The Who - Tommy

Tommy is timeless.
This is the coolest video!
Check out Keith singing (lip synching of course) Tommy's Holiday Camp while Roger plays drums.

There will never be another band like the Who.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Playdates at Swho's

Be careful if you leave your child in my hands for a few hours...they just may have some good (clean?) fun!

Last weekend one of our neighbors who has become good friends with my little girl came over for a sleepover. To celebrate the occassion, I bought them a nice big chocolate cream pie, covered in whipped cream.

So MOM, says, "oh wow - you know, I always wanted someone to throw a whipped cream pie in my face (or vice versa)."
COOL! Yeah...

This is what soon transpired...

Thursday, October 05, 2006

When it all comes down to it...

good friends and family are all you need.

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Oh and gorgeous scenery helps too.
Late August our family joined a wonderful group of friends for a 5 day camping trip to Yosemite.

[The video above was taken just after reaching the top of Sentinal Dome. You can hear lots of huffing and puffing...Sujoy and I reached the top first! Before all the kids! It was the best hike of my life. I'm ready for Mt. Everest now!].

Our group covered a wide spectrum of people, aged 4 to...54?? I dared not ask our oldest member's age (well he's a former San Diego cop - a detective- and he's much bigger than about, ah roughly 2 feet give or take a few inches!).

I am not the hardiest camper...but honestly, I relished every minute of this trip.
The company could not have been better - they were all so laid back and up for having FUN. No whiners, all good timers. (Honestly I have to shake this rap rhyming thing that's been goin' on lately. Where did I get that???).

I REALLY enjoyed spending time with the teenagers (as I am stuck at age 14...mentally, on a good day).
Most of the group are from Cambodia, originally...but the teens were born here. Melissa, aged 12, cracked me up to no end. She would beckon her family by saying, "My fellow Asian people!!! Come!" She teased her dad for wearing a FOBISH outfit (FOB meaning Fresh Off the Boat).
Hanging around them made me feel proud to be an American. You see, they escaped the Pol Pot Regime in Cambodia - perhaps you've seen The Killing Fields? Well, the men in their family were murdered at the hands of Pol Pot.
The older kids and adults (those not born here of course) WALKED from Cambodia to Thailand...stepping over dead bodies along the way.
I could share some harrowing details, but I do not wish to invade their privacy.
When they arrived in the US, they stayed in refugee camps and worked in the farms of Northern California - all of them, including the children.
They eventually moved to San Diego....where they received a decent education and later went onto receive college degrees. My dear friend Sokoun has her Master's degree in Elementary Education and her sister has an Associate's in Nursing.
They are all hard working, good, fun. honest US citizens. It pains me to receive junk email about refugees draining the system here. This has NEVER been the case with any of my friends who have come as either a refugee or student.

BUT I digress.

The absolute highlight of the trip, aside from some sensational hikes...was hanging out in a river, where we spotted a BEAR!! I was beyond elated having experienced a bear sighting.
We were swimming in a river, and spotted what we figured was a "teenage" bear (of course you become an expert in beardom once you camp in Yosemite). He was just hanging out along the river's edge, munching on grass...but he made a (slow) beeline to a sandy beach area, where a family had their cooler and blankets, etc. They hadn't set up the grill yet! hee hee. We screamed at them to get the heck out of there, so they floated their cooler and flew across the river...just in time!
Here are some pics..they're a little blurry but oh well!


Sokoun and Half Dome (in the background)

The Gang

This is the river...and you can see the sandy "beach" in the background

Hanging at the camp

I have to mention that I have never ever had gourmet food on a camping trip before this one! Sokoun and her family LOVE to cook...our (meager) contribution was curried BBQ lamb that we'd marinated for a few days...yum it was really quite delish.

After one of these nights around the fire (well 2 nights actually) most of us took a little night time hike to a huge meadow. We brought our blankets and gazed up at a sumptuous banquet of stars that the heavens had conveniently laid out for us...and lucky us to have shared 2 night's worth of meterorite showers. Watching them fall, I thanked my lucky stars for friends like these...that is, until Khan, in a drunken stupor exclaimed," how come we never see a SHOOTING MOON man?! What's up with that? Why don't we ever see a shooting moon?"