For realsies

Beware Tapas con Pepsi Part Two: The world is a safer place today September 8, 2012

Filed under: bad dining,Uncategorized — peachyteachy @ 11:17 am
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I posted this a long time ago. I am pretty sure that three people read it.  But I got the most delicious news that gave me hope that all is maybe closer to right with the world. If nothing else, the world is a safer place! Pepsi/Tapas has closed! I wish the owners the best and I hope that they have given in to their minimalist leanings and are running a profitable bread-only-bakery.

Parents with kids in college go to visit them, and take them out to dinner.  It’s not home cooking, but it’s different than the usual dining hall fare.  For my kid, this usually means something called the Mini Chicken Quesadilla.  So I thought that checking out the tiny town’s tapas restaurant would be a fun departure! Funky, ethnic, Spanishy!

That show on PBS where Mario Batali and Gwyneth Paltrow traveled through Spain, eating and drinking and being in good moods all the time—it had colored my vision a bit, especially since they went to some world-class tapas place with Michael Stipe.  What could go wrong?

On that show, they always enjoyed the most inspired and historically rich wine pairings for everything.  This place not only had no liquor license, it offered one beverage: Pepsi.  Granted, the menu teased that they carried “Pepsi products,” but, when pressed, our server made it clear that, no, there was Pepsi.  Her tone implied that we should have known this somehow, and that all tapas places followed this custom.

HIGHLIGHT: Fabulous bread.

LOWLIGHT:  All else pretty dull and yucky. I won’t go into details. Don’t order seafood.

There is one dessert on the menu. For 6.99, you can taste that traditional, creamy-sweet indulgence known as flan.  Except that, no, we couldn’t. Which we also should have intuited. So we ordered the substitute dessert, which was equally pricey, but best described by my son’s friend who joined us for the hijinx:  “I think it was leftover from someone’s office party.” It was very pink, and was served on pink paper plates, to boot! It was also reminiscent of the strawberry Zinger.  Seven-year-old approved.

In retrospect, perhaps I should have taken as an omen the fact that, shortly after we entered the restaurant, a twelve-year-old appeared from behind the kitchen entrance curtain, brandishing a plastic pistol.  Next time.  For now, I’m chalking this one up to Memorable Dining Experiences in College Town.  In the end, it will not soon be forgotten. Or repeated.


Can I Make Up New Blog Award Rules? September 7, 2012

Filed under: humor — peachyteachy @ 8:49 pm
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Why Am I Here In A Handbasket has nominated me for the Seven Things About Me award, along with the caveat that I have “the worst job in the world.”  Really, it’s more of a “When Good Jobs Go Bad” thing, where what should be, and was, the best job in the world (though toughest) slowly erodes to a Clockwork Orange state at the hands of misguided policymakers, businesspeople and power hungry mean humans.  So that’s one thing about me.

I am jealous of the fact that Handbasket writes her stuff in bullet form.  I wish I could do that, but I am afraid I would look like a copy cat. And I think she hates cats. So damn it. I can, however, get away with it on the crazy award platform! So here we go.

  • I already told you one thing. Did you forget already?
  • I have a vague memory of doing the Virginia Reel one time, and liking it very much.
  • I learned the Hustle and the Bus Stop in gym class.
  • I once drove over a glass bottle on purpose just to see what would happen.  It broke. The tire was punctured. Up until that time, I really thought that tires were made of stronger stuff.
  • The tire experiment happened in someone else’s car.
  • At a talent show, I performed “Rubber Ducky” in Spanish. With my friend. I wore a serape and a sombrero.
  • Possibly at the same talent show, I performed “Trouble” (in River City) from The Music Man.

Now I list blogs that I like reading.

  1. Design the Life You Want to Live  She has an awesome tree house and takes great photos and writes funny stuff about them.
  2. He is prolific, weird and concise.
  3. Mike is Happy. Relatively The guy has ideas.
  4. High School Foodie It’s a youngster who makes things like cafloutis.  I didn’t think that was even legal.
  5. Fortyteen Candles She’s a bit paranoid about self-checkout lines.
  6.  H. E. Ellis The quote, “Lucifer is a card-carrying dickwad” should tell you the caliber of journalism we see here.

I need a breather. Can we do something else? Can we add a song?


First Day Fiesta September 4, 2012

Filed under: education,humor,school — peachyteachy @ 6:44 pm
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A question for my fellow educators: Is it bad when, after the first day of school, you spend 7-12 minutes speculating on possible self-inflicted injuries that could land you on medical leave for an extended period? Is it pissy to be annoyed at the fact that the district computers are incapable of opening the eleven documents that have been electronically transmitted, and by which we are required to take attendance sixteen times a day?

I didn’t think so!

It’s not the kids. Except for the part of the kids that talk incessantly and listen to exactly two directions out of the approximate 73 directions given today, many of them repeatedly and with visual aids.


“To make this flip book about the amazing behavior choices that will enable you to become a role model, you will first WRITE this—-THIS THING THAT I HAVE WRITTEN ON THE BOARD IN HUGE LETTERS—-each and every student will WRITE these words as your heading before you do anything else!”

Student: “Are we supposed to write something here?”


Get to know you activity: First Day of School Questionnaire. Question 3: Name the state or  province where you were born.

Student (non-refugee, white American) response: Country. When pressed, he stuck by his guns, reiterating that he did, indeed, mean “country.”

Me, in pastel voice: ” You’re pretty sure you were born in Country? Me too! Sweetie, can you go home today and check to find out which country that was?” Sweet baby Jesus, the kid who wrote “Africa” as his state or province can tell me he was born in Kenya.

Help. Please.

There is a program in our district designed to provide intensive intervention for kids who have SEVERE and continuous behavior problems.  There is a lengthy process of data collection that must be navigated in order for a student to earn a coveted spot in this program.  This is reserved for students who are extremely disruptive on a daily basis.  When one goes through this process at the end of the school year, and it is determined that the student needs this extreme intervention, the student will actually start the school year in this program. It’s established—the child needs very structured intervention in a very small group setting before he can try the general ed setting again.

I have one of those in my class,  slated to begin his new program today.

Guess who showed up on my doorstep this morning? Severe-and-Continuous-Disruptive-Behavior-Boy! It would seem (according to the grapevine, not an appropriate communication of this information) that our district has not closed negotiations with this program and has failed to contract with them in time for these super at-risk kids to start the school year where their parents are expecting them to begin. Way to go, school reformers! What a relief that you are in charge!

Did this child smack other kids today?


Did he make fart noises several times over the course of the day?

Hell, yeah!

Did he refuse to return to the classroom with the rest of the students, after we practiced your typical first day procedures in the hall?

Sho did.

Is it fair to this kid that his plans have been abruptly changed?

God bless us, everyone.




Dreaming of the First Day of School September 2, 2012

Filed under: education,humor,school,teaching — peachyteachy @ 6:49 pm
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Last night’s anxiety dream involved a parent meeting on the morning of the first day of school.  It wasn’t even about my student, but for some reason, I decided to stay put and sit in with the parent and my principal, since I had stopped by in the  teacher’s classroom earlier to chat.  Best part was, I had deemed it important to bring with me an almost-empty 1.5 liter bottle of Sauvignon Blanc, which sat right in the middle of the table as this parent/teacher/me/wine conference got underway.  At a certain point, I decided that my input really wasn’t necessary, so I quietly excused myself with a graceful bowing out statement: “I’m just gonna leave.”

In the next scene of this nightmare, the principal popped her head in my classroom door, ostensibly to greet the new scholars who occupied my class.  She was not smiling.  Rather than going to meet her at the door, I waved from the other side of the classroom and directed the children to say good morning to Mrs. Beatemdown, in the dream wondering whether I MIGHT get some sort of a talking to about the little wine thing.

Thankfully, this was the point at which I awoke and fell to my knees in gratitude that it was not really happening.

The sad truth is that last night’s dream was neither the first nor last Stressmare that I’ve had or will enjoy as a result of my minefield of a job.  Truly, I am grateful to have a job, and I make every effort to do my best for my students.  Still, it seems that the crazy outweighs the sane with increasing frequency.  This may be why my internal dream time engineer gets so pumped to jump on the bandwagon and out-crazy reality.  Things start to overlap.

Dream or reality?  I am speaking privately to a ten-year-old.  My words: “Sweetie, it’s really not okay to take apart your pencil sharpener to get the blade out.  It’s really dangerous and you can get into a lot of trouble.” Child, smiling: “Yeah, I know.” As in, so, what’s the problem?

Dream or reality? Pair of walkie talkies goes missing one day in the classroom, charging cradles and all.  It is a small, self-contained class of kids with Emotional/Behavioral disorders–angry, violent kids.  We line up in the hall, next to the “cubbies” where they hang their backpacks and such.  Kid’s backpack starts to talk, in unmistakable walkie-talkie language.

I am going to just scoot out to the store to get some Preparation H to shrink the bags under my eyes. Then, let the games begin!


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