Wednesday, November 20, 2019

People Don’t Come With Instruction Books

          For the last two days I’ve accepted work assignments from two different schools to fill in for aides who have been given the assignment to keep an eye on specific students.  I feel for the students who are trying their best but allow themselves to get distracted by the one who is “unique” or has “special needs” and may be treated with “kid gloves” when they, themselves are not and wonder why a certain classmate is allowed to get away with things that they cannot.

          I understand the need to allow a “special needs” to have the same opportunity as those who are considered the norm.  I think it equally important for the “norm” to be exposed to “special needs” as they learn about discipline, social skills and other things that are not a part of academics but still need to be learned.  But at whose expense?

          Though the student body is less populated than the area that we had moved from five years ago, the class sizes are huge in size for lack of teachers and/or space.  Many kids need more personal attention than given – though the system does its best to accommodate.  There seems to be a fine border between education and discipline.  The schools, desperate for teachers, have hired many that have not been trained in finding tricks in order to discipline.

          Still, no one method is going to work for every student – just as no one method will work on each child in any given family.  It doesn’t seem to matter how small or large the family is, there seems to always be at least one that will move to the beat of a different drummer.  I know that whatever method of discipline I may have used on Tony would not work on Randy and vice-versa.  Two totally separate personalities with different thought process and ways of learning.

          Jenna hates having group projects in which children are assigned to work together.  I hated that, too.  But I do get it.  We need to have good communication skills to get things accomplished as adults.  It’s better to learn how to be a team player at a young age than try to apply it to one’s job or career responsibility later on down the road.  “Kid gloves” shouldn’t even be an issue in the workplace – and yet there are some companies that seem to skirt around them. 

          How much further ahead are those who allow God to be a part of our lives and include Him in everyday decisions.  Communication is essential. Frustration occurs when we don’t, won’t or aren’t able to communicate.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Dash # 750 Bucket List

If you were to make a bucket list, what is one thing that would be on it?

          I have always wanted to see New England in the Fall.

I would not mind visiting Ben & Jerry’s in Vermont, visiting an inn or two, take in a pumpkin festival perhaps. 

I would want to visit some historic sites in Massachusetts and of course get some New England clam chowder.

        I haven’t gone as there is always something else that seems more pressing to spend my money on – like a new roof, new shoes, an overcoat, etc.  We have pretty falls in Oregon.  

We have a coast and little tourist traps.  I have lost my desire to travel – but if I did, I would like to go during the fall.  Jenna still has two more years of school and does not wish to travel while school is in session.

          I’m grateful to have books and imagination to take me to places that I might not even know about otherwise.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Rumors and Speculation

I remember hearing about the Hostess bankruptcy (here and here) back in 2012 – the year I started my blog.  I’d written down some ideas and had collected some pictures to go with a post that never got posted.  I would miss the delicious cream-filled treats.  I would not be able to make “Twinkie” trains with Jenna  © 2019 SOMEWHAT SIMPLE, DESIGN BY LINDSAY HUMES.

But as I was working on my post, it was announced that Twinkie would stay (here) and so I never posted it (as the title was "No More Twinkie Trains").

or purchased Ding Dongs or Hostess Cupcakes again.

In 2016 Hostess announced a rebirth for their products (here and here).  However, the icons no longer appear on the box (eg Captain Cupcake, King Ding Dong, and Twinkie the Kid)

and the snacks are about a third of the size from what I remember (for example, the foiled ding dong covered my palm and didn’t appear to be lost in it;  and keep in mind that I really do have small hands)

The ding dong no longer comes in foil
But hey, what a great marketing strategy.  Disappear for four years and come back smaller and perhaps the public will be so grateful that they might not notice the decrease in size – and maybe even taste.
The only snack that appears to have gone up in size is the Hostess Zinger which was a parent company to then Dolly Madison (here and here). 

Not much difference in size when comparing the twinkie side by side the zinger.  There was a vast difference in size when the zinger was marketed under Dolly Madison.  
Lots of parent companies that seemingly own everybody else.  Too many hands in the pot if you ask me.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Another Day In the Life

Another restless night and stomach pains
What did I eat that made me so sore?
I didn’t have anything scheduled for work
but checked the availability as I was
willing to work at the middle school today.
No jobs were posted.  Just as well.
I thought perhaps I would sleep for much
of the day and then I received a text.

I really like working with the aide who text me.
If it had been anybody else, I would have said “NO”
but I got dressed and scraped my things together.  
Roland fixed me a lunch.  And then I was off.

The morning drive was in thick fog. 
I thought that would mean sun and
heat during the day, but it was cold. 
All day.  I only had to be outside two times for recess.

In each class I’m supposed to help with phonics
And letter sounds.  What a confusing language!
ONE – a word that rhymes with “sun” or “fun”
– where are the phonics?
Nobody looks at the “O” and expects a “wwww” sound.
What the hey?

One student asked for the pronunciation of “doughnut”
which is often spelled “D_O_N_U_T”.  That makes sense. 

Well, sort of.  Can “u” and “a” be pronounced the same?
I think “a” has a variety of sounds:
dance, carnation, awesome, alligator
and what is up with the “gh” sound?
Laugh, ghost, dough   or  “oo”
Cook, food, door

And once again why is the spelled a
different from the written a? Lest we not forget
c as in city or c as in cake?
                                      chocolate, school, charade
and what is up with the spelling of “choir”?
The only part to be read phonetically is the “r”
The i is pronounced, but in the wrong place. 
So how does the letter “O” fit in that scenario?

Oh, the things I think about when I am at my job.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Aliens in my Mouth

                I don’t know how many months I have lived with this incredible pain on the bottom right side of my mouth.  I wasn’t even sure which tooth was causing the pain.  The last time I was at the dentist earlier this year, I pointed into my mouth at where I thought it was – somewhere between my wisdom tooth and front teeth.  But when the dentist touched each tooth and moved toward the front, the pain became more severe.  I made an appointment to have my teeth looked at by a dentist I had never been to before (one who is in our insurance network whereas the other is not) not realizing that Monday was a holiday and both Roland and Jenna would be off for Veteran’s Day.

          In Salt Lake, Veteran’s Day seemed like just another excuse to take time off, whereas in Oregon, they really go all out to honor those who served our country.  I always feel a happiness when I see the flags out revealing the patriotic pride that goes with – not just Veteran’s Day, but every day there is a reminder to display the flag.

          The Elk’s club is responsible for lining the streets and bridges with flags.  It looks really cool and respectful.  Veteran’s Day means something.  There are parades and ceremonies and other events that take place throughout the state.  I think that is great.

          So back to my tale of woe.  Whenever I would eat, I would try to keep the food on the left side of my mouth in order to avoid the blown up amount of pain that became more painful with each passing day.  It wasn’t even hard food for the most part – nothing that crunched.  On Sunday I was in so much pain that there were tears falling out of my eyes. 

          My stomach started sending me messages that it needed food and I had a light snack shortly after six.  I kept the food on the left side of my mouth.  Before I swallowed, I could feel something hard.  I knew it was a tooth – or partial tooth anyway, but could not find a place in my mouth where it might have come from.  But the pain was gone!

          On Monday morning I met some friends for breakfast, and for the first time in months was able eat my meal without having pain.  I could chew on both sides of my mouth.  It was great!

          Two hours after I returned home, Roland took me to the dentist in Winston.  I showed the doctor the tooth part that had come out of my mouth and he said it was from the bottom left wisdom tooth.  I really didn’t think the pain was that far back in my mouth.  He said the root is solid.  And unless wisdom teeth are removed before the age of 20, it is a painful procedure to have them removed at my age.  Fine.  I’ve already dealt with pain.  I really rather not pay through the nose to be tortured.

          Thus we set up another appointment to have the gap filled in next week.  Roland will be on vacation and will be able to drive me again (though I do now know how to get back there on my own) and so I will have an dental update to maybe write about next week (isn’t that exciting?)

          When we drove back into town we saw a crew starting to take down the flags.  It was only 3:30, but with all of the flags put out, it probably takes over an hour to set up and take down.  Going back to standard time may have given us a bit more daylight in the morning.  But now it appears to get dark early.  (I consider between 4:30 and 5:00 early).  That sight is sad like taking down the Christmas tree at the end (or very beginning of) the year.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Dash #607 Never Stop Writing

          When I was younger, I enjoyed reading poems and would often write nonsense poems just for the sake of rhyming.  It wasn’t until I was in high school and taking a creative writing class that I learned about many different types of poetry and have often attempted writing different styles.  Some styles I prefer more than others.

          I wrote poems for many years.  I wrote poems and started many different story lines, but I don’t think I ever finished a single one.  My mind has mostly raced ahead of my pencil.  The word processor seemed to add an ease to writing stories and biography.  I now have the ability to add things and delete things and not worry about marring the paper in any way. 

          I rarely write poems anymore.  Sometimes I will work on stories with Jenna.  But mostly what I write are truths and journaling.  Once in a while I take out a pen and paper to accumulate thoughts or take notes.  But mostly I do it electronically.  It is faster and tons easier to read.  I write letters and emails electronically. But I do print letters and send them through the mail.  I mostly write my eldest granddaughter – well I address her personally, but the letter is really for the entire family. 

          Once in a while I will send a letter to someone I have never sent to before, for example this letter was sent along with heirlooms – one before she was even born.  On Thursday I sent a letter to my grandnephew who has cancer.  He is four.

          I enjoy writing.  I don’t enjoy poetry as much as I used to – though I have my moments enjoying certain styles like those mentioned in posts here and here. I have since purchased Mirror, Mirror and Follow, Follow. see here

My favorite poets are Carl Sandburg and Langston Hughes. I especially love Langston Hughes and have read most of his collections – many of which are not poetry.  He has written books about a character named “Simple”. Very Funny!

Throughout the beginning of my blog there have been some styles of poetry added to some of my posts – most seem to be about the weather, but there are some others.  Perhaps I’ll share a few of my earlier works if I make the time to look for and compile them and post them.  It will be a while if it indeed happens. Don't count on it.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Movies and Showers

          I once went to a wedding shower in which all the gifts were part of a movie theme.  I don’t have the original invitation, but I do remember the envelope was decorated with movie reels or other decorations.  I don’t remember if there was a director’s cut with instructions or if it was written on the reverse side of the ticket that the gift purchased needed to relate to the title of the movie somehow. 

          Mine was easy.  “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”.  I purchased a laundry basket, six white hangers and a bottle of cheer.  I figured that the laundry basket and each of the hangers could represent each dwarf – and the whole theme because Snow White was always so “cheer”ful and didn’t mind doing laundry.  She would actually sing about it. I think “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” was the only movie the bride-to-be had even heard of – let alone seen

          There are only four other movies I can remember that were represented: “Napoleon Dynamite”, “Anne of Green Gables”, and “Benny and Joon”.  I had seen the latter two at the time, but not the first one, nor did I really have a desire to see “Napoleon Dynamite” but have seen it since.  It is basically the day in the life of my son, Tony.  At least that’s what it reminds me of.
          I know the person that received the “Napoleon Dynamite” movie ticket had seen it many times and thought it was hilarious.  I think her gift was several boxes of macaroni and cheese (or whatever it was he liked to eat).
          The gal that received the ticket marked “Anne of Green Gables” had never heard or seen the movie (nor the books for that matter – how could she not?) went out and purchased several cleaning products – anything that had a “green label” figuring it was close enough.

          The gift that made everybody laugh (except for the bride who was very puzzled by the gift) which I thought was clever and think about that shower every time I watch “Benny and Joon” and remember the look on the bride’s face when she pulled out of the box a loaf of bread, a brick of cheese and an iron.  If you have no clue what I am talking about, I highly suggest that you watch the movie.  It is such a sweet love story where I never suspected a love story would be.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Acronyms and Anagrams

          I have been doing several puzzles that involve anagrams.  Anagrams are words made from the same letters.  For instance, I could take the letters E-S-S-T-A.  I can make the word “state” or “taste” from the same letters. 

          Acronyms are generally words made up from initials or abbreviations.  For example, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration is more commonly known as NASA.  Some acronyms are easy to pronounce as one word while others may not be.  

           The word Pemdas, for instance, is not one that I will recognize right away.  I am more familiar with “Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally” which is just a play on words that might be easier for students to remember than  “Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication, Division, Addition, and Subtraction” Either way PEDMAS or the “Aunt Sally” phrase are supposed to help young minds know in which order they are expected to do a math (specifically algebra) problem (see here).

          Acronyms help allow us to memorize techniques – though they do not work for all people.  Likewise, there are some people that will only see one word with any given set of letters and may not see the other anagrams that are waiting to be arranged into other words. 

          For more acronyms see here and here

Monday, November 4, 2019

Though Fog is Clean, it Can Be Eerie

I still have not written my word post.  Let me share with you some pictures of the fog.  It lingers longer in the morning creating an illusion of no background and driving into the unknown.

can you see the school?

I love the fall

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Day of the Dead is NOT part of Halloween

          I love the movie “Coco” and for the respect that Disney put into the movie just as those who celebrate the holiday pay respect and honor those who have gone before them.  It is a two day event of celebrating life and staying connected.  This article compares the holiday to Thanksgiving as we are grateful to those who have gone before us.  “Dia de los Muertos” should not be associated with Halloween.  There are some who have misunderstood because Day of the Dead celebration takes place the two days following Halloween.  (See here and here).

          I don’t remember having ever heard of the Day of the Dead until after Corey and Joh were married.  I don’t know if it is taught in schools every year now or if it may be taught at all.  I know it had been taught at the local elementary as I was there on Friday.  I’d been at the middle school the day before that.  It was on Thursday which happened to be the same day as Halloween. Several of the middle schoolers had dressed up in costume and there was an assembly.  Somehow that day became my Friday and I’d forgotten that it really was not Saturday the following day.

          There were three subs at the elementary school on Friday.  I think if the staff had not had subs there, they would have been fine without us except for at lunch and recess.  Other than that, it had to be one of the most unproductive days of my life.  I did assist in the kindergarten with two different teachers.  One had passed out copies of pictures to be folded into a book with four pages.  The title was on front.  The next three pages gave little detail on the Day of the Dead holiday.

                    The Day of the Dead is a festival of joy!

                    It is an old festival.

                    Long ago it celebrated the autumn harvest.

          In the other class I helped cut out and sort bones and passed them to the children to paste to bodied silhouettes.  This is an idea of the craft: 

          At lunch time there were a few kids crying because they missed their cats or their grandmothers or someone who had died.  After lunch and recess each class watched the movie “Coco”.  The concept may not fully sink into their minds right now.  I hope that one day that it does.  I hope we may all choose to celebrate the lives and dashes of those who have gone before us.

Saturday, November 2, 2019

So Much to Do!

Today I was going to post about “Day of the Dead” and my last sub assignment but I’m afraid it will have to wait as lately I feel like a chicken with my head cut off – though so fully flustered I had told Roland that I felt like a head with my chicken cut off.  

And I suppose I can explain the phrase as well.  Just have too many projects in the fire today.  And perhaps I don’t need to post on Saturdays anyway as the blog doesn’t receive much attention on Saturdays.  I think it receives its most views on Monday.

The weather has been bitter cold in the morning.  It is bitter cold only the mornings when the mountains can be seen.  This morning the fog is thicker than I have ever seen it since we have lived here and so it is not as cold and will be warmer today than has been in October.  Okay.  That’s weird.
We’re going into town.  I forgot I was going to attend an activity this morning.  Good thing my alarm went off. 

Happy November Everyone!

Friday, November 1, 2019

Work and Halloween

One of my goals this year was to post a specific word at least every other week.  I don’t know that I posted any words in the month of October.  I haven’t been making good use of my time and didn’t post what I had in mind for yesterday.  I had to take the car in but figured I would write my post after I returned home.

While at the mechanics I received a phone call but couldn’t seem to answer it in time. I saw that it was one of the elementary schools and tried to return the call, but it didn’t go through.  I realized there was a message and listened to it.  The assignment is not until next week.  I called back to let them know that I can only work one of the two days that were mentioned.

I went home and looked up available sub jobs to accept the assignment, only it wasn’t listed.  Instead, I saw a position at the middle school for yesterday – though it was passed the time posted.  I called the school to ask if someone was still needed.  Thus, I worked yesterday for four hours and returned home.  I suppose I could have made the time after my return but chose instead to be with Roland who had gotten off of work early.

Downtown Trick or treating started forty-five minutes after Jenna returned home.  She had worn her elf costume to school but had changed into what she called a pastel demon.  We took her downtown and I took several pictures but have not gone through them all thoroughly but did make a scrap page from three of them to show her costume.  I will go through them more thoroughly eventually. I’ll be working again today as I had accepted the position on Tuesday morning.

After we returned from the Halloween festivities, I received another phone call to work today.  At first, I was thrown off believing yesterday was Friday and so why would I be asked to work on a Saturday?  But then I remembered that yesterday was Thursday.  It was a weird Thursday.  I somehow remembered that I was already working and so had to turn her down.

Jenna does not have school today.  But she will be going to the school’s homecoming dance tonight.  She will be dressing in costume and not a formal dress.