Monday, August 28, 2006

Kids say the darndest things

Since my return to the real world, I have not had any new tales from the great outdoors to share on my blog. With the exception of a fishing trip in the mountains, I have not really had the time to get out. I've spent most of my time catching up with my family and friends and of course I've been wrapped up in the back to school craziness. Things are beginning to slow down slightly for me and now I am beginning to miss terribly combing the beaches of the Pacific, the wild Montana skies, the ganduer of Yosemite Valley, the scenery and wildlife around Jackson Hole, Wyoming and most everything about Utah, especially the vibrant sunsets over the Great Salt Lake.

A friend of mine asked me when I came home, "Are you tired of being outdoors and traveling around?" I looked at him as if he had a horn growing from the center of his forehead and replied, "Are you kidding me? How could I ever be tired of seeing beautiful things and feeling that peace that I cannot find anywhere else?" He then looked at me as if I had a third horn growing from my forehead, shook off my comment, and said, "Well, good then. Let's plan a camping trip soon."

Though it is still incredibly hot and sticky, I know my favorite camping season is just around the corner, Fall! There is nothing like relaxing beside a rushing stream under the clear blue skies of a cool and colorful day. I love to hear wind through the trees and the leaves tapping the top of my tent, sounding much like raindrops. Needless to say, I am looking forward to planning that camping trip!

Just because I have not been outdoors much this month, doesn't mean that I haven't been having adventures. Most of this adventures have occurred in the classroom, however. These kids keep me so busy that I feel at least 10 years older. (And keep in mind that I am no wuss when it comes to endurance and completed a 20 mile hike in one day...yes, I had to brag on myself again!)

How would I describe my new class? They aren't particularly bad or extremely mischeivious. The only problem I am having with them is their limited ability to listen to and follow directions the first time given. That's not unexpected as this is only the third week of school. But they keep me on my toes because they are quite a bunch of characters. Here is a sample of some of the conversations from the classroom...

The "stupid" Conversation:
Two boys are having a discussion on why you shouldn't call someone else stupid.
Boy 1 says to Boy 2: "Well, it's not a bad word! And you are stupid!"

Boy 2 to Boy 1: "It is a bad word!"

Boy 2 looking to me for back up: "Ms. Outdoorsy Girl, Boy 1 said I am stupid! Is stupid a bad word?"

Me: "It is not a bad word, but it is not a nice thing to say to one of your friends. I think you should apologize to Boy 2."

Boy 1 insincerely mumbles: "Sorry."

Me to Boy 1: "That's better. You shouldn't ever call someone a hurtful name, whether you think it's a bad word or not."

Boy 1 announces to me: "Ms. Outdoorsy Girl, my dad says bad words all the time."

Me: "Oh no. Really?" (with a forced partially sad/partially disgusted look upon my face.)

Boy 1, sounding rather proud: "Yeah...You wanna hear 'em?"

Me (trying not laugh): "No, those words can't come to school."

Boy 2: "Well, I don't say bad words! My daddy said if I said bad words he'd beat my ass!"

The Grown Up Conversation
Girl makes a drawing in her journal after our science study of comparing watermelon seeds to apple seeds. Girl draws an apple tree and what appears to be a girl picking the apples.

Me: "That's a great drawing. I see you drew a girl picking the apples from the tree."

Girl speaking in exasperated voice: "That's not a girl! It's a woman. Can't you tell by the shape?!"

At this point, I noticed that it was not a third arm coming from her drawn girl/woman's chest but something else.

The Returning Conversation
After a nice break Friday with the absence of a student (due to illness) who likes to cause disruption and arguments, the student walks into the room this morning apparantly feeling much better. She immediately began to aggravate other students.

One of the aggravated students looked up from her book, sighs loudly and says: "Oh brother! Not you again. I wish you were still sick. I had such a good day on Friday."

Yes, it appears that this year will entertaining to say the least.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Stalker Update

I can't believe that I forgot to report an update on my former stalker. For those of you who may not have ever known about my stalker, this was a pretty scary thing for me. It is one of those things that has kept me looking over my shoulder even today. For the whole story, read my post from April 12, 2006.

I do not need to worry about him ever again. I am pretty much guaranteed that he will never bother me again. This story really doesn't have a happy ending, but at least it does have an ending.

It turns out that while I was away hiking over mountains and sifitng through tide pools this summer, Stalker was not having as much fun. The accusations against him of sexually abusing his children proved true in court. He was going to do some real jail time. Instead, he took the easy way out and killed himself. I guess he didn't want to have to suffer the horrible things in prison that other prisoners do to known child molesters (you know...such as giving them a taste of nauseating medicine they served out to the children they abused). Hmmm. That's interesting to me that you don't want someone to do that to you, yet you do it to your OWN children!

I am relieved that those children will no longer have to suffer by his hands and that I do not need to freak out any more whenever I see a green van. Yet the damage is done. I still freak out over vans and look over my shoulder in the store and find myself glaring nastily at "strange" people I now see who are most likely harmless. If there is this strong of an impact on myself now, can you imagine the damage done to the children?

Hopefully there won't be any stalker parents this year in my classroom. (But I am already sick of the psycho-bitch mom who finds it necessary to make sure she does at least one thing to make my life miserable first thing in the morning.)

Monday, August 14, 2006

Return to the real world...

At last, I post again! I can't believe that it has been so long since my latest post. I think re-entering the real world is taking a toll on me!

I have been back in Georgia for less than two weeks now. My flight home was nice and relaxing. Everything was going well...Then I stepped off the plane. Man alive! I could hardly breathe and my clothes immediately began to cling to my body in sweat. This humidity has taken me some time to readjust to. Other readjustments I have had to make include getting used to living in a forest again...all the trees that surround me and how green and thick our vegetation is. I love trees but after being in the wide open for two months, it's almost claustrophobic.

I visited my mountains, the Blue Ridge, for the first time in over two months yesterday. I decided to make an escape with my dad for some trout fishing in the mountains. My mountains were as beautiful as I remembered...everything so green and lively. Seeing how lush everything appeared, made it hard for me to believe that Georgia suffered a drought this summer...And then I saw my river, the Chattahoochee, or rather what was the Chattahoochee. It was only half its springtime volume! I couldn't find a decent fishing hole, much less the trout! I got only one bite and one chasing of my spinner. I think it was the same trout. (Because I don't think there was enough water to support two fish.)It was still a great day. Then again, anything was great after spending nearly every waking second for the past week in a classroom.

Today was the first day of school. (What a nightmare!) I was tired before it even began as I have been working late for over a week (even on the weekend)to get the classroom ready. Then after leaving my full-time teaching job, I was off to tackle my part-time job at the tutoring center. It was like two first days of school in one! I'm so stressed out! I don't think I can handle this real world nonsense anymore!