Thursday, March 7, 2013

A is for Attitude

I have an attitude issue today.  In fact, I've had more than one!  The first attitude problem hit when my alarm went off.  I did not want to get out of bed.  But I did.  My negative issues with early morning just have to be ignored: I have a job to do.

Attitude #2: People were just annoying me!  Since we missed testing yesterday due to weather, we were needing to take the planned Wednesday test today.  I thought that was pretty simple.  Then just go on with the rest of the day.  I knew there would have to be a time adjustment, but I also knew that the administrators would get it to us.  Some people cannot adjust easily, apparently, and kept calling the office or buzzing each other's room to ask things.  My solution: I went to my room and sat at my desk to work on some things.

Attitude #3:  I do not understand how my students can think every opportunity is social time.  I try to do three to four different things every day so that class time is broken up.  This allows me to hit more than one skill during class.  It takes FOREVER for them to settle down since there are no bells due to testing.  Every transition is another "recess" time.  And when I give them time to read and write, they prefer to talk.  I wish I had time given to me every day to read and write!  This is an ongoing attitude issue: I usually resolve it through some form of disciplinary action for the student, but I just get a headache.

I am sitting in my room over lunch.  I gave myself a break....or a time out!  I am hoping by putting all of this into words, my attitude will improve before my afternoon classes arrive.

Inhale....deep breath...exhale slowly....and again....

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Snow Time

No one was surprised with school cancellations today. We were hit by the type of snow storm that is expected in northern Indiana. When looking out my back door, I decided we had about eight inches of snow. I suspected that the drifts would have my car pinned in the garage, and I told my son that he would be helping me plow it out. Shockingly, there was no snow against the garage. We quickly took care of a path to the road.

Determined to not let the whole day pass by, I finished laundry, cleaned the kitchen, and gave myself a headache. I finished my taxes.

Numbers are not my area of giftedness. After paying a huge (in my mind) amount last year to a tax preparation company, I decided I was smart enough to do it myself. I had all of the needed paperwork gathered. I plugged the numbers in. I compared it to last year's report. I e-filed the report. Whew. Done. I was relieved.

Then I remembered I have to help J-Man do his taxes when he is home next week for spring break. Oh, well.

It was still a successful snow day.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Testing Time

Today started our spring testing cycle.  It is always a stressful time because of the importance of the scores.  It is hard to get some of the students to really give their best on these tests, especially the writing prompts.  I have seen You Tube videos that schools make to help motivate their students.  I heard of one school that holds a pep session prior to the testing.  I fear that would pump my students up in the wrong way!

Testing times can be more than paper/pencil tests.  I think we all experience these moments of trials and testing.  I have learned that it is often the attitude you take during the testing that determines the outcome for you personally.  If you take the lumps of life in stride and don't let them get you down, you will probably come through it stronger and have a better grasp on your own slice of life.  If you stress and worry and cry and pout, the outcome will be a dark moment in your past.

I have a friend who has been through so many things.  It would shock you to hear what this one dear lady has experienced in her life.  She is an inspiration to me, though.  Through each episode, she has kept her head high.  Each event has helped her grow and stretch and become an even more beautiful person.  I see her with a smile on her face and in her spirit.  She is making the most of her testing times.

What are you going through today?  What test has been placed before you?  I am sorry you are having a hard time.  I hope you can come through it and be able to look back on it as a time of learning more about yourself. Be strong through the rough times. Each testing time can be an opportunity to show your best effort.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Essential Time

The Boy is autistic. He was diagnosed ten years ago at age 8. It has been a rough road to traverse to bring him to this current place in life.

He is a junior. His educational goal is to walk across the stage and get a diploma like his brother did. He is working toward a General Diploma. This is not a special education diploma. It simply reduces some of the course requirements of the Core 40. He has to take regular classes and do the regular class work. There are a few modifications in place, but he works for the grades just like anyone else. And The Boy is a perfectionist. We spend many hours completing homework and studying for tests.

Social connections are not important to him. He wants friends, but he does not have the necessary social skills. I just had a few of my middle school gals asking about him; they feel sorry for him when he sits alone at church. I assured them that he is fine being alone, but that he would also appreciate if they went and sat with him. He wouldn't engage in their conversations, but he would be happy to have them there.

The majority of The Boy's social connection is with dear ol' Mom. It is just the two of us at home these days. I attempt morning conversation, but neither of us is really a morning person! On the way to school, I talk to him about the coming day at school, especially anything that I know will be out of normal routine. After school, I try I get him to talk about his day.

The essential time we spend together is important. It allows me to catch a glimpse into his world. It gives him the opportunity to express himself. We have some private jokes between us that truly would make no sense to an outsider, but he laughs and enjoys the moment.

These are essential times for both of us.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Time Well Spent

I decided to take the time today to go see my parents. It is about 150 miles each direction. The Boy went along, of course. My parents wondered why I was willing to spend the cost of gasoline and a Saturday to "drop by for a visit."

They had a scare during the night on Thursday. My dad became very ill suddenly. He has had similar issues in the past, but they were out of town for my niece's gymnastics meet. They decided to leave the motel in the middle of the night to drive home to their local hospital where his medical records are. In the end, he was sent home. He is doing better, but it took a lot out of them.

Going to see them was time well spent.

Friday, March 1, 2013

The Passing of Time

Time.  We take it for granted that we have time.  We rush through the moments of each day without much thought about the passing of time.  Suddenly, though, we realize we have missed out on something.  It was three hundred sixty five days ago that I joined the Slice of Life challenge.  I remember enjoying that month of writing about what was on my mind and heart.  I reread all of my entries from a year ago.  Some of them shocked me a bit; it seemed like longer than a year ago that those events happened.  Some of them seemed like a recent occurrence.

Time.  Each of my sons is another year older.  The Boy turned 18 a month ago.  My baby is an "adult."  J-Man will be 20 next month.  He will no longer be a teen.  I vividly remember the days that they were born.  I remember the rough baby and toddler years.  (I miss those days, even though I rarely slept.)  I remember the days of elementary and middle school.  (Those were the days that allowed me to really get to know the people that they were becoming.)  I remember the transition to high school, where they were no longer in my school with me.  (Oh, how those days allowed my boys to learn to be independent from me...very hard to do but so important for them!)  The Boy has matured so much this past year.  The autism is still a distinct part of his life, but he is stretching beyond the confines of the disability.  J-Man has only been home five weeks in the past year of college and co-op work.  He has learned to live independently from family, and he likes it.  

Time.  Family and friends have gone through celebrations:  weddings, new babies, graduations, anniversaries, etc.  Family and friends have struggled through adversities:  deaths, illnesses, torn relationships, financial issues, etc.  Both of these are significant moments in time.  The celebrations are usually planned for months in advance but are over in a flash.  The adversities hit with their shocking suddenness, and though the pain lingers, time and life move on.  

Time.  It is such a valuable commodity.  Cherish each second.