Monday, October 28, 2013

Quotes, Advice, and Words to live by #3

"Cuidate el molcajete."
Ventura Valdez
My Nana
A bazillion years ago...
(the late eighties)
When the ozone layer was still intact. It was the days of big hair with bangs jacked up to Jesus.
(we called them eyelash heads)
When spraying Aqua Net or crowning your glory to a shellacifide consistency with that grapey smelling concoction, Aussie Sprunch Spray was "the thang to do".
 ("they" still sell sprunch spray 'ya know, don't know why, but "they" still do. Just in case you needed some)
The time came for me to fly the nest. For the second eldest in a big Mexican family this was difficult on so many levels. I had to leave the youngest of my brothers behind.
( still aches to sing Puff the Magic Dragon)
There were a lot of "Had to's" I had to do...
 I had to leave everyone I'd known and who knew me.
 I had to leave the small town I knew like the back of my hand.
(and the ditch banks too...hee, hee)
I had to leave the comfort of my big family.
I had to leave my Nana.
Leaving was hard. But like so many instances in life, hard things must be done.
I knew then like I know now, that leaving the comforts and security of home, family and friends was something I had to do to grow.
Nana knew this too.
She was a tough woman.
She had very little formal schooling, but she could read and write.
The border crossed her at a very young age, but she could speak english fluently.
The single mother of a deaf child, but she taught her how to sign.
Like I said, Nana was tough.
She was soft too.
I loved to sit with her and watch soap operas and Mexican novelas.
I loved to go to her house when I was sick and commandeer the television set. She had cable!
I loved to squeeze her and tuck my cold toes under her ample bottom. She was so warm.
I loved to goose her. She had a wicked sense of humor.
I loved to go shopping with her at the beginning of each month. She could stretch a Social Security check farther than I can stretch my paycheck.
I loved to eat at The Asia Cafe after our shopping trip. It was like a day out with the ladies.
I loved that she could defend herself against anyone. She could cuss like a sailor.
But I think the most I loved about Nana was that fact that she knew how to give advice in such a way that it told the receiver without mincing words, "I know of which I speak. Learn from my experience."
When I left home the only advice Nana gave was in spanish. Translation was not needed, nor was explanation.
"Cuidate el molcajete."
I've tried Nana. I hope I did you proud!
Teacher-Mom (Cory)

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Quotes, Advice, and Words to Live By #2

"If you don't ask the question, the answer is always no."


"In a year nobody will remember and it won't matter."

Debbie Walker


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Quotes, Advice, and Words to LIve By #1

 "When you become a teacher there is something you must remember.  There is a difference between confidence and competence.  One must come before the other and one makes you look like an ass."

"More than two children together is a mob."

Dr. Ivan Rowe

     In my puny little life I have been blessed to be taught by the best, quite incidentally, and sometimes quite by accident.  Such was my student teaching supervisor, Dr. Ivan Rowe.  He was a small, round sort of fellow whom, now that I look back at my mind album, reminds me of a character right out of The Hobbit.  With his crisp, quick paced New Zealand accent, Dr. Rowe bestowed (hee, I made a rhyme!) 
unto me his wisdom of the ages.  I remember these word lessons, have taken them to heart and giggle every time someone does something befitting those words. 
Thanks Dr. Rowe...wherever you are!


Sunday, October 20, 2013

My FUN-ky Week!

     Nope I'm not talking about some Candy Dulfer song.  Do you know who Candy Dulfer is? Well, you should.   I'm talking about that feeling of overwhelmence (is that a word?) about this time in there's too much of too much and you need something to pull you out of it.
How do you do it? Thanks to some really funny people out there...namely people who think like kids, laugh like kids, and act like kids...of all ages, I get help getting myself out of that funk and turning it into FUN-k! Here's some FUN-ky stuff from the past week...

     1. Ask kids what their favorite number is.  You get this look of thoughtful introspection from them              and then they come up with some really random-not so random answers like..."I like the number            10 because it's round." Or..."I like the number 17 because it's 8."
     2. Go on a wild bug chase...with scotch tape in hand...when someone screams, "A BUG!"

     3. Go to Target and try on wigs!

     4. Stare at the moon...and howl at it with your chihuahua...and girls...and...and...!

     5. Throw in a random word when someone is venting.  Really. They look at you like you're nutso 
          then they giggle, then you both start two 6 year olds and then everything is okay                 again!
     6. Eat ice cream. Yeah that heals a lot of stuff!

     7. Watch as your chihuahua trots past you...eyeing you the whole she so sneakily takes a 
          pair of socks out through the doggie door. 
          Watch as your chowhuahua trots past you...eyeing you 
          the whole she sneakily takes a pair of underwear out through the doggie door.  

     8.  Go on a wild doggie chase throughout the back yard trying to retrieve 5,382 pairs of socks, 
          undies, towels...from them!

      9.  Watch as your chowhuahua flips through the air catching flies!

      10. Chase the cat through the house when you hear the beginnings of a full on hairball purge!

And listen to some Candy Dulfer while you're at it!


Sunday, October 6, 2013

Smiley Face!

Little Pixie in Pigtails held her momma's hand tightly and glanced up at her as she held back her tears.  She was tardy again.  Momma was tired.  Her new baby sister, her twin sisters and she were dealing with the effects of a nasty bug.  Momma was at her wits end.  Momma gave her a look that said only one thing, "Don't cry. I cant' handle that right now."  So she didn't cry.  Today she was going to be a big girl and walk in alone.  She tapped on the door, ever so lightly.  Maybe no one would hear it and she wouldn't have to go in.  From out there she could hear them saying words.  She peeked through the long window.  They were staring at those squiggly lines and mouthing words.  Her heart beat faster as a big kid twice her size and twice her age opened the door.  She wondered who he was.  This wasn't one of her friends.  He held the door open as she stared wide eyed up at him.  Her momma bent down and gave her a peck, a little hug and a coax past the threshold of her classroom.  "Good morning honey.  Come on in.  It's good to see you this morning. Come join us.  We're practicing our reading!"  The sound of her teacher's greeting helped ease her anxiety just a little bit.  Reading.  That's what her teacher called what they did when they looked at those squiggly lines.   Her teacher called to the big boy who had held the door open for her.  "Nathan, would you mind stting with our friend and helping her today?"   The big boy nodded.  He came over to sit with her.  She looked up at him.  He sat next to her most of the morning until they went to recess.
     Recess was one of her favorite times of the day.  She didn't have to do things that made her scared.  At recess she was free and felt good about herself.  Then the bell rang and it was time to go back in and look at more squiggly lines.  This time they had to write them.  Teacher tried to make it fun.  But somehow she could never match those lines to the ones that came out of her mouth.  Even drawing a picture wasn't fun.  Today was different though.  Teacher asked the big boy to help her.  The big boy helped her draw a picture.  He was a good artist.  The big boy wrote squiggly lines for her when she told him her story.  He told her he would read it to her if she put her fingers under the words.  Words, that's what he called those squiggly lines.  He told her she did a good job.  He told her it was a good story and to go show teacher.  She looked up at him.  Her heart beat faster.  "Go on.  Go show your teacher."  So she did.  She stood beside her teacher's table until the child she was working with scurried away.  Teacher looked up at her with that look.  She didn't know what it meant, but she knew it made her heart beat even faster when she saw it.  Her teacher took a deep breath, let it out and smiled.  "Whatcha got honey?"  "My story teacher." "Read it to me honey."  She repeated what she had said to the big boy while he wrote the squiggly lines.  Then teacher did something no one had ever done before.  She smiled and wrote a smiley face on her paper!  She gushed and she threw her arms around her teacher's neck and she squeezed as hard as she could.  "Oh thank you teacher! Thank you! Thank you!"  Teacher squeezed back and she told her this.  "Oh Missy Miss. You're gonna make teacher cry!"
And she squeezed her even harder.  This was a great day.  She got a smiley face on her paper!