Friday, September 26, 2008

Being Misssss D (My alignersss make me lisssp)

I got clear braces (Like Invisalign but not Invisalign. My system is called Simpli5 because there are only 5 trays.)

Sure, it's great to know that my teeth are being straightened. I have alot of sympathy for my students that have braces. Though I told them if they didn't get to work, I would tell my former classmate who is now an orthodontist to make sure he tightened their braces really hard. I know first hand exactly how painful it is to try to eat when you just got your braces adjusted or, in my case, I just got a new set of trays.

They also make me lisp something fierce. Talk about detrimental to your career.

One of my classes started calling me Misssss D. Of course, I also started emphasizing the lisp so we could have some more fun. Then they started asking me questions that I had to answer with s words.

MissD: It's time for the quiz, so everyboyd ssssssshhhh. I'm very good at shhhh since I got my new alignersss.
Student: Missss, do you have a pencil?
MissD: Mmmhmmm. But I know what you want me to say.
Student: What's that?
MissD: Yessss, ssssweetie, here'ssss a penccccil. Now ssstart your sssciencccce tesssst.
Student: Wait! I thought it was a quiz.
MissD: Yesss, but tessst has an ssss. Now get to work.

Honestly, if you think it's funny too, you realize that kids are more open about what they think is funny or embarrassing. What a pressure cooker. I also reminded them that while it was/is funny, that they also need to remember to be respectful and get work done. Kids don't realize that their laughter can hurt so much. I view teasing as an initiaion tactic, not a sign of hatred.

Just the day before I called ssssome of my friendsss when the lisssp wasss really pronounccced becaussse I figured it was worth a few laughsss. So, I really am good natured and easily amused. I can see why they think it's funny because I was fairly amused by it. In fact, I was more amused than some of my friends.

Misss: Come on, don't you get a kick out of me?
Jeff: Sometimes.
Misss: Come on sssweetie! Give usss a sssmile! It's back to ssschool timesss. You're like Eeyore and I'm like Tigger.
Jeff: I never thought about it that way.
Misss: Yep. They're bouncy, trouncy, ppouncy, flouncy, fun fun fun fun fun!! The wonderful thing about Tiggers is IIIIIIIII'm the only one!!
Jeff: I don't remember those songs.
Misss: Eeyore is the the donkey. He didn't have a song I don't think. I'm going to add an s to your name. You are now Jeffsssy.
Jeffsssy: I need to get back to thinking about how I'm not sure going back to finish my PhD was really the right thing to do.
Misss: Sssssure, sssweet ssstuff. Don't think ssso hard, though. May I sssugesst Lexxxxapro?

I walk a fine line between cute and annoying. You can sort of see why I would find an eighth grade science class fun. (Ssscienssse classss!!)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

They Miss Me!!!

Myspace has its positive points. One of my girls from last year decided to drop me a line. She doesn't like the new choir teacher. She said a few people including her miss me!! That made me feel special.

So maybe that means they miss my bell bottoms, too!!!

Of course I want the new choir teacher to be successful. But what she says the new teacher is doing probably won't help. My former student reported that she made the High School kids write standards--something that they do in Junior High!!

For those who don't know, writing standards is the 21st century very helpful equivalent to the 18th cenury practice of writing something 100 times. Aks Bart Simpson if it really works.

I will not give the new choir teacher hell.
I will not give the new choir teacher hell.
I will not give the new choir teacher hell.
I will not give the new choir teacher hell.
I will not give the new choir teacher hell.
I will not give the new choir teacher hell.
I will not give the new choir teacher hell.
I will not give the new choir teacher hell.
I will not give the new choir teacher hell.
I will not give the new choir teacher hell.
I will not give the new choir teacher hell.
I will not give the new choir teacher hell.
I will not give the new choir teacher hell....

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Fingerprints Finally Clear

Yippee!! My fingerprints cleared and now I can go back to substititute teaching.

I'm trying to be thankful rather than bitter.

I just found out about a part time choral opportunity near me working with K-5 kids. It sounds like it could be really lovely. That combined with substitute teaching might be a great opportunity--a jumping off point into something better than what I had before. Perhaps I might be able to find a music job at a church.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

My Favorite Things

Cortisone shots in my shoulder and ankle
These are a few of my favorite things!!

My shoulder isn't getting any better. 1 year of conducting and piano lessons and my shoulder is still a national disaster area. I wonder if the President will visit me soon...

I got another cortisone shot in my should and I really did start singing to my doctor about cortisone shots are among my favorite things. I will be rewriting the whole song to chronicle my medical adventures this year.

This shot didn't hurt as badly as the other ones--a pleasant surprise after the doctor warning me that the cold spray only anesthetises the surface. But don't be fooled, it still hurt. In fact the bonus pain has extended into today. It's just that the last shot to my shoulder had me crying and shouting. The shot to my ankle added pounding on the wall 10 times in rapid succession so that the person in the room next door got quite a scare.

What really hurt is that he started talking about arthroscopic surgery to fix the tear in my rotator cuff. I was hoping not to have to do that, but let's face facts. It stilll hurts. It isn't healing as fast as it "should."

If I had the surgery, I wouldn't be able to work at all for awhile. Who ever heard of a substitute teacher who can't write on the board? Unless I practice really hard with my left. Then the kids would make fun of me for my awful writing. Is that English, Miss Diaz? It looks like Chinese!! I would laugh too. I could have one of the kids write on the board. They love that. But if I didn't work, my old school district would have to pay out disability--which I love. They deserve much more than that actually. But I still don't love the idea of having to have it. But there is such a long list of things that I can't do anymore.

I don't even touch the piano anymore. Typing hurts sometimes and that's my only outlet. I've switched everything possible to my left hand. I've been trying to bowl, play volleyball, fish left handed with often embarrassing results. I don't dance anymore--I used to dance all the time. Swing, salsa and tango are all out for me now because partner dances involve the guy spinning the lady with her right arm. I can't dance folklorico with the big skirts anymore because moving the skirt kills my right shoulder. Dance was my favorite excercise. I can't even do yoga anymore because I can't do the upper body things evenly. There will be no downward facing dog for me. I used to fence in college, this weekend I am going to learn how to fence left handed. I can't even go to the shooting range because my aim is so bad and it hurts my shoulder. I used to be a good shot.

And this appointment, I still found myself wanting to call the only other person I know who has a shoulder injury from music-related activities. It hurts that we can't seem to fix things between us. I saw him recently and didn't speak to him except a terse hello. I'm sure his shoulder still hurts too.

At least my doctor and the office got a nice laugh out of me singing. I'm quite the office drama queen. They love me because I entertain them.

Fingerprints Delayed

One of the great wonders of our modern world, Live Scan, has major issues too. For some reason, the little lady that does the fingerprints at one office always gives everyone a lecture about not caring for their hands. She tells everyone what handcream to go out and buy.

You have to take care of your hands if you're going to work in education these days.


Do you think that the police give lectures on this when they pick up a criminal?

Nay, friends, nay. They just just use a spray bottle filled with water to "moisturize" and then press really hard.

In fact, fingerprinting has always had a few issues. In the days of ink and paper, they didn't lecture anyone about using a quality moisturizer. My dad used to do fingerprinting for the Army and he prided himself on the art of the perfect fingerprinting card. It was the only art my dad ever did, so he should be proud. The art of good fingerprinting lies with the fingerprinter, not the fingerprintee.

In any case, there is some delay in getting my fingerprints approved.
Will my secret life of crime be unearthed?
A life so secret that I don't even know about it?

Tune in again soon for the continuing chronicle of a slightly bitter choir teacher returning to substitute teaching.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Part-Time and Overqualified Blues

I have been offered two interviews this week. But there are pros and cons to both.

Job 1 Part-time choir teacher
Hour long commute
only two days a week
Supplement by working as a substitute teacher.
Would not be able to take any long-term substitute teaching jobs.
No benefits

Job 2 Teaching Artist
30 hours a week
$30 per hour
Would have to move
Would have to pay rent
No benefits

See, they can cheat you if they make the job available to those without teaching credentials. Maybe I would be able to buy in on the health insurance.
My doctors would be very far away and I still have two open work comp injuries, and a car accident case that is also still unsettled.


I bet my dad rent for a year if Serena Williams won the US Open last Sunday. I won. That's a great motivation to stick around.

Of course, I think my consolation prize may have been the same arrangement.