For realsies

Tag! You’re It! September 29, 2012

I have found, when I am reading blogs, that I can be swayed by a mere random tag.  I have followed blogs based on tags alone. I am not really interested in the tags that will drive traffic (why is the blogosphere so reflective of car culture?); I like weirdness when it comes to tags.  Why, I asked myself earlier this week, has it never occurred to me to tag my work as “bullshit,” as blogsister Ambling and Rambling did? It’s because I like randomness, but I don’t think of tagging anything as “randomness” either. TheFurFiles remembers, all the time.

“Satan’s microwave” is one of my favorite tags, from my post about making Caprese Salad .  Tags referring to cured meats? Magic. 

Are there ethical questions surrounding tagging? How random is too random? Could I legitimately tag a  post as “Area 51” and go on to write about my classroom? Wait. Bad example.

“Quilting” with no quilt?

“Ultimate Cheesy Goodness” with no cheese?

“Trouble in the Middle East” with a Prince clip?  It turns out that Prince clips have all been hijacked, so no worries there! Sinead shall be called into service.

I think that I need a tagging tutorial.  Also one about tag sales, please.




Peachy And The Purple Pen September 27, 2012

Filed under: education,humor,life,school,teaching — peachyteachy @ 7:47 pm



There are times when one needs a Valium, a trip to Fiji, a pitcher of margaritas.  Or an independently wealthy benefactor to finance all three.  In lieu of these, sometimes, one receives, delivered by a student from another classroom, an envelope containing a purple pen.

There are times when this is enough.

Despite the presence of soul-sucking dementors in my place of employment, I am also surrounded by magical, purple pen-weilding defenders of my sanity.  For these fellow warriors, I am so grateful.

I shall also gratefully accept any independently wealthy benefactor who seeks a worthy cause. . .


I Feel Ugly, But I Forget Why September 25, 2012


Today, a student drew a likeness of me standing by a likeness of her.  She was saying, in a cartoon bubble, “Me you ugly.” I think that was her way of writing a little micro-screenplay where she was writing her part, as in, “Me: You ugly.” I did have a cute little flipped-up-at-the-end hairdo, and my skin was shaded in, while hers was not.  This does not reflect the physical reality of our skin tones, which makes it that much more intriguing and avant garde, I guess. I am what is known in polite circles as Super Caucasian.  In less formal terms, I have been described as a “White Cracker.” In her view, I must inhabit the dark side, though.  This is due to the fact that I took issue with her telling another student to “Shut the f— up.” I’m outrageous like that. Even more outrageous, I asked her to write something in paragraph form.  My students view this as tantamount to waterboarding, especially when I slip in the requirement of using periods.  So she was pissed, as well she should have been.

You are going to be extra mad at me when I tell you that I stood between a kid and his destiny today.  It’s true. And I am deeply sorry.  I have a student who gives me resentful looks when I ask him to follow ANY direction within thirty minutes of uttering the direction.  He looks as if he is planning his return to school with semi-automatic weapons, because I have the unmitigated gall to suggest that he should not be using his scissors to create a mini-snowdrift of paper cuttings underneath his desk.  But that is not the destiny to which I refer.  After the scissor confiscation, I looked over toward where his homicidal looks should have been leveled in my direction, and I noticed that he was no longer inhabiting an above-desk profile.  “WTF?” think I to myself.  At this point, I noticed that he was underneath his desk–communing with the paper cuttings, apparently.  In predictable teacher fashion, I merely shot HIM a look, and said, with gusto, “No!” Well, apparently, he was “repairing” his desk.  And when I say “repair,” I mean “disassemble.” A few minutes later, he stole the show when his desk essentially collapsed.  No stranger to desks being kicked, thrown, and vandalized, I held out my hand to receive the two bolts that had miraculously loosened themselves.  WHO FIXED THE DESK?  Come on! You know it was Peachy!

There are precious few “vocational” paths these days, and even fewer “Become A Skilled Tradesman But Only Do Your Trade When You Feel Like It” paths available. My student is unlikely to succeed at taking shit apart as a career path, not so much because we don’t need folks to TAKE shit apart, but because their bosses will expect them to take shit apart WHEN THEY SAY SO, not when they are good and ready.  There’s the rub.

Last thing: scholars, am I off-base with this next item? When I studied Multiple Learning Styles, I did not see the categories, “Lazy,” “Obnoxious,” or “Making Fart Noises.” Research this, will you? Thanks.



Not Funny, But Lovely September 24, 2012

Filed under: inspiration,life — peachyteachy @ 5:42 pm

All I want to do today is to share a beautiful post written by Lynne Knowlton–the one with the treehouse. Dear Cancer, I HATE you and I THANK you is a must-read if you love real. It is a must-read if you have been impacted by cancer. It is a must-read if you are feeling numb.

I lost my dad three years ago this summer.  Cancer brought him to a hospice residence that was the most beautiful place he had ever lived. He thrived there, far longer than he “should” have, because he was so loved and appreciated there.  For these things I am grateful.  But my son still cries at bedtime, wishing that he could have just a little more time with his grandparents.



Celebrity Dream Team Makes Supporting Cuteness Priority September 23, 2012


Crayola Crayon Color: Purple Brown?

What do Erik Estrada, Ani Difranco, Julio Iglesias and Bruce Springsteen have in common?

Did you guess that they have each named a Crayola crayon color?

Do they all suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

Have they each shared a deep and abiding relationship with Patty Scialfa?

Surprisingly, none of these are true. They are all breeders of miniature horses! Look it up! Seems that nobody can resist those adorably small and unrideable equines.

Julio, down by the schoolyard

You didn’t look it up, right? Cool.

Happy Birthday, all y’all.


Gratitude In Your Face–You Are Not In Any of These Photos (hopefully) September 21, 2012

Filed under: Hair,humor,Style — peachyteachy @ 5:55 pm
Tags: , , ,


I’m sorry.  No, really, I am sorry, but I could not escape the compelling magnetic field surrounding these photos. I shall try not to insult photographers by not categorizing this as “photography.”  Please click below to see the Gallery o’ Glamour.



Looking At the World Through Rose-Colored Glasses. I Mean, Purple! How Did You Do That? September 18, 2012

Filed under: education,humor,teaching,Uncategorized — peachyteachy @ 8:06 pm
Tags: , , ,

I have a lovely colleague who has some lovely eyeglasses.  In fact, she has a couple of different pairs that she wears on a regular basis.  One of them is pink. One of them is purple. They are not identical. Not even close.

She does not teach pre-school.

She was asked by a student, “How do your glasses change color?” This is cute when you have a three-year-old.  It’s a bit scary when you multiply that by three.

My colleague did not reply by asking the student “How did your pants change color between yesterday and today?”  By virtue of this fact, I feel that she should be receiving some sort of merit pay; that is,  if any teacher in the civilized world actually supports the idea of merit pay.  Combat pay, yes. Merit pay? No, thank you.

Fast forward to snack time.  Here come FREE, beautiful, fresh fruits and veggies to be distributed “at our discretion” at some point in the day when we are down for hand sanitizer-squirting, napkin-giving, and manner-teaching (“If you don’t like it, we say ‘No, thank you,’ not ‘Ewww, that’s nasty!’).  Example: baby carrots.

Heard in another colleague’s classroom, before the snacks even hit the slab: “Where the ranch?” Translation: “I will have a side of ranch dressing.”

Teacher response: “I don’t know, Ungratefulique, where IS the ranch?”

Student: “Where the RANCH?”

Teacher pulls down the U.S. map, and suggests, “Ungratefulique, I believe that many of the ranches in the US are in other parts of the country, such as Texas, and other states in the Southwest region, as we studied last week, with our map keys.”

Student, rolling eyes: “No, the ranch DRESSING!”

Teacher: “OH! That’s in Hidden Valley, sweetheart.” This is the point at which teacher is utilizing deep breathing techniques purported to prevent hyperventilation without the smoking of a cigarette.

We may need some professional advice here from waitress-laureate–

Heard in my classroom: “Wow, I see why they call them baby carrots. They are really small.”

Yes. Yes they are. They are some small carrots. We are making a wonderful learning connection between your prior knowledge about babies as the smaller versions of grown up things, and baby carrots as smaller versions of bigger carrots. Let’s write a five- paragraph essay and expand upon this, relating it to other important babies and big things.  And, let’s use capitals to start your sentences. At least the first sentence. Please?

Or you could just pretend that they are your bicuspids and that you are a vampire.


Funny, Funny Humor Rules. It’s Funny. September 15, 2012

Filed under: humor — peachyteachy @ 4:05 pm
Tags: , ,

Number 3. Number 3. Number 3.

I love it when my friend calls to tell me she is coming to kidnap me to attend a surprise birthday party for another friend that I truly never see anymore.  We are not going in time for the SURPRISE! thing, mostly because our merely showing up will be such a shock that we thought it would be best not to trigger any cardiac events.

I hate it when websites that I use all the time, to pay bills and such, announce that they are streamlining and making it all so much easier for me!  The subtext of this is as follows:

“Hello! We really want you to have such a tough time navigating our new and improved website that when you get so frustrated that you give up, you will forget to pay your bill and we can assess a disproportionately large late fee, enabling us to pay our fabulous I T Department for having pissed off thousands of customers like you! ”

I love/hate it when I read one of those Daily Posts on the Freshly Pressed page, down below the Pressed people, and the topic is humor blogging.  It was kind of suggesting that there are ways to be funny, and there are no-nos—things like not knowing how to pluralize the word “no-no.”  There was allusion to a magical principle of comedy becoming more comedic with the deft application of the Golden Three, where the writer woos the reader by incorporating some version of concept repetition in threes.  This may be true.  I don’t know that I will build my humorous house on the idea.  It makes me happy to write and make fun of crap that is not funny, often.  I also enjoy writing about random stuff that I think is funny, but that most folks just don’t.

I love that I have found a handful of smart, funny bloggers who get a kick out of it too, sometimes. See how I wrote the word “funny” in the title THREE TIMES?! Hot damn! That WAS funny! I stand corrected, WordPress.  Oh, and I apologize for not crafting a more cohesive and satisfyingly flowing blogpost here.  Do I really need to discuss the website issue, or would it be less self-indulgent if I removed it?

I also apologize for the unsatiated feeling that you are having right now, due, no doubt, to the fact that I wrote FOUR “love, hate, love-hate, love” components.  Be patient.



Searching for Prune Delicacies—and Finding Me September 13, 2012


It’s a special day.

Not because, when I checked the students’ homework, they demonstrated stellar understanding of the concept of area and perimeter. Not because of that, because that is not something that happened.

It’s not special because I scarfed my microscopic lunch so fast that there were three minutes left between the time I finished my sumptuous feast of cheese of the cottage, and the time that I was due to pick up my students at the coliseum  cafeteria, as objectively special as that occurrence was.

It’s not so uber-special due to a student’s construction on his desk of a mini hand sanitizer pyramid, which I immediately confiscated.  They were directed to purchase a damned full-size hand sanitizer, with the express purpose of putting ME in complete control of the freaking hand sanitizer, so that children would not spend their days bathing in it, cleaning their desks with it, and encasing eraser heads in it.  Do parents ever picture their children in possession of multiple, mini-containers of hand sanitizer? They might as well send Hot Wheels or lighters.  Because heaven forbid if there is a drop of goo missing! “Someone stole a drop of my hand sanitizer! I’m going to punch him in the face!” I do not exaggerate.  I heard it today. The honeymoon, as they say, is over.

This day of our Lord is so spanking special because, when I looked at the Search Engine Terms that led a poor, unsuspecting soul to some random blogpost of mine, I saw these words: “Jello Prune Whip.” Oh my Glob!! It made my day awesome when I Googled it myself, and found that there were only a few recipes ahead of my post. I know, I know—it’s a bit different for every searcher, but still.  I really barely ever experiment with these matters.

I pre-emptively apologize to my unknowing reader, who had to deal with my Throwing a Party-Gelatin Style post, and the glaring omission of the Prune Whip recipe.  I don’t generally post recipes for stuff whose names induce nausea for me, but know that I feel a little bit guilty about it.  And I love you for searching Jello Prune Whip.


Sunday Alternative Education Topics September 9, 2012

Filed under: education,humor,school,teaching,Uncategorized — peachyteachy @ 7:48 pm
Tags: , ,


It’s Sunday!  Or, as I prefer to call her, Super Soul Crushing Sunday!

It is the day upon which I devote outrageous woman-hours in the pursuit of the creation of lesson plans that will approach solving the incredibly complex puzzle that is: “What exactly is it that you want me to teach, and in what exact sequence. and in what outfit?” There are many reasons that these questions are not as transparently obvious as one might expect them to be.  Let’s just say that school reform says that everything should look different, but school reform is not really sure how. The one thing that it does affirm, with perfect clarity, is that teachers do not know.  But it’s a secret.

I just got off the phone with a colleague, whose parting words were, “I’m going to be up all night.” That is not good for students, my friends.

So, just as a stop-gap measure, I have decided to develop some possible alternatives to the “we don’t know what we want except for test scores to go up” philosophy.

Alternative #1: Teach the students to knit. Consider the benefits: eye-hand coordination. Focus.  Math skills.  Focus. Knitting needles—okay, moving on.

Alternative #2: Set out to read an entire novel with the children, incorporating all of those literacy skills we are attempting to impart upon them.  In case you were not aware, such things are frowned upon these days in our inner city schools, in favor of shortened, dumbed-down text that kids find completely boring.  We have the new Common Core State Standards being phased in, which encourage delving more deeply into complex text, so perhaps this will shift? I have heard no rumblings to this effect.  I remember having amazing novels read aloud to us by our teachers in elementary school; they remain some of the seminal pieces of literature of my life: Escape From Warsaw comes to mind.  This was a powerful way in which we came to love books. The concept of inspiring kids to love reading and books is trivialized in urban education today (at least where I am), because such factors are not measurable in any quantitative manner.  We want to know how many words per minute a kid can read.  It is not bigoted to note that the majority of my students are not blessed by the gifts of these texts at home.  That is just the truth.

Alternative #3: Enlist the kids and entrust them with the care and nurturing of a garden, and a yak. They will keep daily garden/yak records.  Research the whole thing. They will be too tired to get into fights after school. Or during school.

Well, perhaps I will create a miniature bonsai zen yak garden on the windowsill. . . Meantime, back to it.




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