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Archive for Substitute Teaching


Ok, so, after a long day of teaching, usually teachers have to race for the bathroom.
Don’t get a lot of bathroom breaks when you’re teaching all day.

Last week, I taught at a local junior high school.
I went to the bathroom after school let out.
Just wanted a moment’s rest and relief.
(is this too personal?)
Whilst sitting there, I looked up and here is the scene that I saw…

Really?  Really.
Now, between you and me (and the world wide web), I think it’s a bit over the top to continue peddling the school’s philosophical propaganda during the ONLY time when teacher’s can actually take a breather and entertain thoughts of far away beach scenes or breathtaking snow capped mountains from a Swiss tram.

You’ll be interested to know that what I didn’t take a picture of was the new sign telling people how to wash their hands (in response to the Swine Flu …hoax..I mean, panic).  Once again, mis-allocated time and money expenditures.
“It’s A Great Day For Learning”



I taught at La Mesa Jr. High on Thursday
7th grade History.
sidenote: The material topic= Martin Luther’s role in the Reformation. (thanx, God)

ME-Ok, does anyone have any questions about anything AT ALL (which is code for ‘we can kill some time and get to know each other)?
Girl 1-
How old are you?
Girl 1
(genuine smile lights up her face as she innocently says)- That’s how old my mom is!
Great.  So I could be your mom (said as a quasi statement/question). huh.
Girl 1
-When’s your birthday?
ME-end of may, I’ll be 36 in a couple weeks
Girl 1-
My mom’s birthday is the end of May too!
Great.  So your mom and I are almost the EXACT same age.  Mmmmm. (said with a fake smile… intended to get some laughs… it worked). 
Girl 2-
Do you have any kids?
-Nope.  However, apparently you could all be my children. (class laughs).

We took a class poll.  About 1/3 of the class had a mom or dad that was about 35 yrs old.

Game on


I wish I had the time to blog about all the things that I want to… alas, this season of my life just isn’t allowing for it.

HOWEVER, the following 2 incidents and contrasts made me laugh and feel smart  aaand stupid…

THE SETTING: Subbing at Valencia High.  Honors pre-Calc and Italian 1

ITALIAN 1; class discussion time; discussion question: Has anything worth talking about happened in anyone’s life since I was here 2 months ago?’

GIRL: (sweet and church going): well, on Easter we went to the shelter
ME: cool.  which one?
GIRL: the one in Castaic
ME: (scrolling in my brain for which homeless shelter is in castaic?) Wait, is this a shelter for humans or animals
GIRL: (asked with great sincerity) they sell humans there too?
(whole class shocked and laughing)
ME: (tilted head and looking at her) Ok, you just won quote of the day
GIRL: (still confused, amidst whole class laughing …and now applauding her for winning ‘quote of the day’) no really? do they sell humans?
ME: what’s amazing to me is that you think that selling humans is an acceptable activity?
GIRL: (you can see the wheels turning in her brain….and then the bashful look when she realized how off she was)

HONORS PRE-CALC: me walking around and discovering this on a student’s desk

VHS pre-calc student recreation

VHS pre-calc student recreation

ME: Whoa. Is this a rubik’s cube on crack?
GUY: yeah.  it’s a 7 sided by 7
ME: that freaks me out.  have you ever solved it?
GUY: (dead serious) yeah. I’ve already solved it twice today


Again with the brief, bullet point update . . .
1) In the last 4 days have unintentionally bit the inside of my lip at least 9 times … it’s getting old…and the inside of my lip looks like hamburger…sick
2) wish that people (especially Christians) would stop using their Facebook status updates to complain…(especially about the new home page).  Seriously people… note that the words reveal the heart.
3) Have subbed kind of a lot in the last few weeks… wish i had time to post the stories … a few times they’ve made me laugh out loud (for good and bad reasons)
4) Just learned that my ‘new’ roommate (she moved in in January) is actually 27 years old . . . this whole time i thought she was 20ish (though she is totally mature and now i can see that 27 makes sense).  This just reinforces that I dig Icelanders!
5) Found a new show that i love (thanx Video On Demand), Kitchen Nightmares . . . I’ve actually learned alot about myself whilst watching the restaurant owners who have asked for help.  As jennene put it ‘those shows are the redemption story’… failure, an expert comes in, the failing owner fights the expert, in the end the failing owner yields and is dumbfounded with how awesome the experts advice worked and is then So grateful to the expert and so ashamed of themselves . . . huh… sinner, savior, sacrifice, repentance, gratitude . . .
6) Have started sorting through all my financial records that i should’ve been doing in the last few months (in prep for tax drama).  MAN, i wish I had taken the ‘slow and steady wins the race’  option on this project
7) Am about to close another escrow next week.  Well, it’s never over until it’s over.
8) My tooth hurts again…. I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to deal with it soon
9) Jennene still has cancer, but is over 2/3 done with chemo!  And, we’ve got a good system going for this ‘Cancer Season’.
10) Was a part of Adam & Megan’s wedding reception last weekend.  Always amazed at how willing the body of Christ is to just shut up and joyfully work hard to achieve other people’s worthwhile goals!
11) Eric Margrave has made me laugh a lot in the last few weeks!
12) Finally, plowed into my burgeoning GoogleReader posts (300+) … now down to under 60 (well, not counting the starred items 🙂 )
13) Am wanting to travel (international, but it will be a while, unless someone wants to throw down some sweet moolah)
14) Had dinner with Stonefire ith a former RA the other night.  So fun and refreshing
15) Got to talk to one of my cousins the other night … she’s so great and amazing and delightful!
16) Have been reading lots of real estate stuff (career development)
17) Have a huge To-Do list that never seems to get smaller … don’t we all 🙂

STUFF 2/16/09

It’s been a long time since I’ve done a worthy update…and will continue to be a long time, as this won’t be worthy.  This is a shorty…

I can barely remember what my name is let alone remember what I’ve been up to the last few weeks, but I will give it a whirl.

-Have subbed high school and have had some GREAT class discussions ranging from Valentine’s plans to theistic evolution to predestination to world travel to robotic inventions to Octomom to politics… and I have those same students again this week!  🙂  I love them.
-Have learned more and more about technology as a result of real estate and cancer.   🙂  Who knew!
-Have been negotiating deals for clients and love the litigious state of California more than ever…who doesn’t LOVE tedious paperwork?
-Have been to more medical facilities than usual and hung out in oncology
-Have been duly noting the drying up of the ‘creative juices’ well when it comes to catchy titles for Jennene’s cancer blog posts
-Have been incredibly thankful for the body of Christ and the Worship team
-Have had lots more time with Jennene then maybe any other time in our almost 20year friendship!  Thanx, cancer.
-Went diving at Catalina this last weekend.  Loved that whilst standing on shore and putting on my wetsuit about to get into the ocean, I could look across the water at the snow capped San Gabriel mountains.  Come on!  California is awesome!
-Have been thankful for my roommates and LOVE the fact that there are foreign languages spoken in my home.  I love walking up the stairs and hearing Icelandic conversations wafting in the background!!!!
-Have gotten to meet for lunch/dinner with some people I’ve been meaning to for a while
-Attended the anual Arts in The One World conference at Cal-Arts in January.  Met cool people and learned/saw amazingly cool/heartbreaking things.
-Have had some great ‘catch up’ phone calls with old friends
-Have spent more money on my car (that whole ‘seat belt law’ thing)
-Have been really thankful for lots of things, in general
-Have consistently been 200+ posts behind on my googlereader
-Have learned 2 new songs for Worship team that I like.  Thanx, Chuck Hooten for one of them.
-Have seen a couple of movies (cancer down time and other).  Sidenote: I want a dad or a husband like the main character in TAKEN.  One of the best movies I’ve seen in a while!
-Have been pondering, again, my role in the abolition of human traffiking and how to show the gospel in rescue/justice
-Have been really really tired, but stoked about Heaven (capitalized.  it’s a proper noun).

Aaaand now I’d like to go to bed.
THAT’S how tired I am…it’s only 10:15pm and i want to go to bed already.


Sooo, as noted in the previous post, Jennene has cancer.  And, while that’s going to bring about some new ways of doing things, in the meantime the rest of the world and it’s goings on never seem to slow up.

Here’s an example… I’ve been sick since the night before Thanksgiving.  Including Thanksgiving Day, I was in bed for a solid week.  Then I had about 5 days of a reprieve during which time I taught at a junior high and a high school…germs never linger in those stomping grounds and they never go after weakened immune systems.  And then I was/am in bed again.  So, today, in fact, right this moment, marks my 3 week anniversary of having this bronchitus/flu plague that many people have had this season.  One way that I’m celebrating is by staying in bed as much as possible.

Another,’ in honor of my 3 week anniversary’ celebration, and at the advice of 2 people, I went out and bought myself a ‘Neti Pot’.
Google it and then enjoy the Youtube videos demonstrating its’ use.   Then find the guy that deviates from the healing saline solution and ventures to the coffee & wine (warning: he does swear at the end).  For more entertainment, find the guy who does homeopathic remedies ‘white trash’ style (also swears).  Wow.
In reality, when you get past the fact that you’re shoving a tea pot spout up your nose, it’s actually an amazingly relieving process…like a hot tub experience for your nasal pasages (and I didn’t swear).

In the last 3 weeks, I have
-spent more time in uniform than not
-coughed so hard that I’m pretty sure I have bruised/injured a rib on my right side (should I start Ace bandaging now)
-not had to feign ‘being awakened’ when i answer the phone 🙂
-had more non-doctors give me their unsolicited expert  ‘diagnosis’ than is appropriate …even my bank teller had a few ‘you need to’ action items after hearing my cough.  🙂
-grown somewhat immune to codeine cough syrup
-felt like someone packed my nasal pasage with wet cement
-have sneezed so violently, I think I’m joking (but I’m not)
-have wondered if someone boxed my ears while I was sleeping
-started coughing almost everytime I start talking…hmmm…maybe there’s a correlation…and an exhortation 🙂
-woken up with a raging headache 70% of the time
-refined my ‘Harvey Fierstein’ voice impressions
-been really stoked my branding color is green, cuz I’ve been coughing up LOTS of it
-my eyes burning like little infernos; impairing my vision from time to time
-have dragged myself out of bed only for the ‘essentials’ (church Christmas service/rehearsals, RA Elf reunion party (!), client tasks cuz some agents still fax (?!?!?), finally turning the heater on today…1st time this winter, email/facebook, best friend’s post cancer diagnosis dinner, neti pot purchase and usage, the occasional shower, etc.)
-debated if I’m faking it or not; I always think I’m faking it.  But, once I am better, the difference is so vast, that I realize I wasn’t faking it.

Have you experienced anything similar?  If so, what are your remedies?  What’s your expert opinion?


I have several friends who are ‘with child’ and inevitably this question is asked, ‘So, have you guys thought of names yet?’

As is the trend, people are keeping it a secret, but taking submissions.

Who knew that CakeWrecks would be the source of the most bizarre and UN-acceptable names I have EVER heard of for children?  But, humanity never ceases to amaze…  I wonder if any of my friends will consider these 2 names… You know how families have favorite movies?  I wonder if this family gathers round to cozy up with a blanket and the collector’s edition of American History X.

I haven’t been able to use the categories ‘creepy’ and ‘ridiculous headlines’ in a long time.  Thanx,  CakeWrecks!

AND, I just thought of subbing for the classes that these kids are in and having to take roll by calling out their names!  Oh, MAN, I wish it could be!