Showing posts from September, 2011

If this is how 8 is, God help me at 13.

One of these days I may write a heartfelt, detailed blog post about the angst I am having with my eight-year-old child. But this is not one of these days. Instead, I wanted to share a few recent things.

Third grade is difficult. I cannot believe the amount of homework Jordan brings home most days. On a good night, she has about an hour; several times now she has had three-plus hours. Seems a bit excessive to me. On the bright side, she has pretty much gotten to the point where she remembers to bring the correct books home, which is a challenge considering most classes have a hardback book, a workbook, and a Simple Solutions book. I feel bad that my poor kid's backpack often weighs more than 25 percent of her body weight (yes, I have weighed it).Jordan came home from school today with a flier for a Magic Treehouse book club and an American Girls book club, each of which will meet once a month during lunch. Jordan told me that most of the girls in her class are going to be in the Ame…

I gotta be me!

Earlier this week I had a 3.5-plus-hour interview. with six different people (separately), which far surpasses my previous interview record.

Up until I met with person number 6, I was able to think on my feet and answer whatever question or scenario put before me with relative ease. I felt pretty confident during the interviews. And I felt comfortable enough that I even joked with one person that I was hoping she was not going to ask me what I would do with a brick, as I had read online about someone being asked that very thing.

Based on what a few people said, it appeared that my confidence and outgoing personality were tipping the scales in my favor (since I was, quite frankly, lacking some of the qualifications). In fact, one person told me that the other interviewee he talked to, despite being more qualified, seemed timid; another person said I could be taught what was necessary, but personality, which he indicated was a good fit, could not be changed.

As I was reflecting back …

Summer in review

This summer I made it a point to try to take at least one pic of Jordan whenever we went somewhere, which most often was a park. I wanted to capture all the great, fun things we did this summer, knowing that it was probably going to be my last summer not working for quite some time.

So here goes.

I have expressed my love of Frick Park, particularly Blue Slide Park, in other posts; it really is one of our favorites. And this summer marked the first one I did not feel the need to follow J around like a little puppy dog. I actually let her run around and explore, though, admittedly, I would panic if more than three minutes went by and I had not seen her. In the pics above, J is at the end of the blue slide, and then hanging several feet above concrete (which scared the crap out of me).

We also visited another section of Frick Park, the area on the corner of Braddock and Forbes, a few times. There is not as much to do as Blue Slide, but we go there to mix things up a bit. In the photos abov…

10 years

Every year I've had this blog, I've written a 9/11 post around that day. This year is no exception, though I have a slightly different angle.

After having watched a lot of 9/11 programs the past week, I was struck by some things I had forgotten about or had never considered to begin with.

As tragic as the great loss of life was, it could have been exponentially worse. I cannot say for certain how many people worked in the WTC buildings, but according to replays of coverage from that day, it was anywhere between 30,000 and 50,000. Yet thanks to the time of day and the heroic efforts of many, the casualties were under 3,000. That is something to be grateful for.

Ten year ago, I remember people complaining the Bush waited too long to speak to the nation. However, according to the some of the replays, Bush spoke soon after the second plane hit the WTC, but before the third plane hit the Pentagon. That does not seem like a long time. But then again, maybe I am not remembering peop…

My brain hurts!

Last week, I spent three days subbing for the math teacher, who, God bless her, teaches seven different math classes a day, ranging from pretty simple fifth grade math to basic geometry and algebra.

In high school, I was good at math. I took Algebra I, II, and III; trig; and geometry, and had straight A's save for one nine weeks of geometry. I quit calculus after one day because I had seen too many people in my school wreck their GPA for that apparently difficult class. Since I was planning to teach English, I did not see the point. Once I got to college, I needed only two math classes, one of which was a great stat class. After that, I figured I would never need math again (you know, calculators and all). But, alas, I figured incorrectly.

In the fall of 1994, I was hired to teach the English classes at a business college. Because they needed to fill a period of my schedule, I ended up teaching a business math class my first quarter there. One might think with my math skills, te…

On second thought, there are probably five parts.

Well, my brake-car conundrum did not turn out as I had expected. Not surprisingly, the gurgling sound my car was making pretty much stopped after I made the appointment with my mechanic, which is precisely what happened the last time my car was making funny noises. But since I needed an oil change anyway, and my new brakes do squeal, I went ahead with my appointment.

According to a guy at my mechanic's, my brakes are fine. He said a "different" material was used on the brakes, and I am probably just not used to the sound. Although I feel good (well, better) knowing that there does not appear to be a problem with my brakes, I don't feel great knowing that I can most likely expect to hear these various sounds again. One would think with the money I spent on my brakes in June, I could expect them to be noise-free. One (i.e., I), however, would be wrong.

Worth noting is my mechanic did not charge me to try to figure out what was the wrong this time, although let me tell …