Sunday, January 18, 2009

January in Northern Indiana

January in northern Indiana is a funny thing. December ranks right up there, however, people seem to let the weather slide due to the need for a "white Christmas". January however brings out a different side of people. For the past week, the most intelligent conversation I have had a work has been about planning for this week. All depending on the number of snow days we had last week. The good news is, we did have a snow/cold day on Friday. It was very necessary due to the temperature being -19. Now the big question is...when do we celebrate 100 day!? It should have been Tuesday, but now it's Wednesday. Oh the drama...
The other comical piece of last week is the way people complain about snow and cold temperatures. On Thursday, the majority of corporations in our area canceled school. South Bend did not. Oh man, people were in an uproar. Teachers, parents, and the media. I had 7 (out of 22) kids absent on Thursday, my mom had 13 (out of 24) absent. I was able to complete my plans at a much faster rate with less students, thus leaving a little extra indoor recess time. This was a great opportunity for me to check the WNDU website and see how big of a deal they were making about South Bend not canceling. I love WNDU, but it worked. There were pages and pages of comments from community members stating their opinions about us having school. I truly laughed out loud as I read on after school. I then encouraged others who were feeling down to do the same.
Personally, it wasn't any worse on Thursday then it was on Tuesday and Wednesday. I had to allow extra time and bundle up. Thank goodness Ryan lets me park in the garage, what a blessing! Truth being told, I would have loved to sleep in and watch Days all of those days last week, but work was in session. Friday I did those things plus some other tasks I had been putting off. I'm still unsure of the 100 day schedule, but that is the least of my worries.
Next January, I'm sure it will be the same deal. People "can't believe how bad the weather is", and "you should stay home if you don't have to go anywhere", and "more snow", and "falling temperatures". Here are fun facts I like to focus on: Friday, it was 55 degrees warmer in Alaska then in South Bend. Saturday, South Bend's temperature raised 48 degrees by late afternoon. That is almost balmy. And I saw on the news that Friday a guy flew from San Diego to see his family in shorts and a t-shirt knowing the temperature. From take off to landing, the temperature had dropped 80 degrees. The crazy thing is his luggage got lost and was somewhere down south and wouldn't be in until evening. He wasn't even complaining.
I am thankful for shelter in these days, and heat in my house...there are a lot of people in South Bend not so lucky.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Back to School

Last week I went back to school after winter break. I was feeling pretty laid back about the kids acting a little different after being home doing their own thing for two weeks. I mean they are just kindergarteners, they have never done this before. Here are my favorite stories from this week. These stories involve the same boy who I will call Fred. (I use that name often in class as an example.)
Fred is a fun kid. He has learned so many things this year. He is my only student who did not go to a "formal preschool" before kindergarten. Not going to preschool at my school is rare, not so much at other schools. Fred has 3 brothers and sisters so he has a great personality. At back-to-school night he was making farting noises on his arm. He got on an owl tangent early in the year and taught the whole class. He should probably be a comedian some day.
This week:
On Monday we went to the computer lab like usual. It was in the middle of the day and some of the kids were getting very tired. At one point I look over at Fred and he was sitting in his chair completing his assignment with his feet crossed up on the desk. I asked him what he was doing and he said, "just relaxing". I did laugh out loud (how can you not) and told him to please put his feet down. I then proceeded to have him tell other adults about the incident so they could laugh too.
On Wednesday we were having indoor recess (again, it's cold). The class has a variety of things to play with or do during indoor recess. They have begun pretending to be dogs, crawling around the room, barking, using math manipulatives as leaches, the whole nine yards. They have names. Some are "good dogs", some are "naughty". On this particular day Fred was playing a dog. When I looked over in the direction of a loud dog, Fred was up on the table on all fours barking at the "dogs" below. I called his name and told him dogs were not allowed on the table. I think he said something about being a bad dog. Again, I laughed out loud.
These are the joys of kindergarten. There are so many more. I love it, even though I'm praying for a "cold" day this week.