April 28, 2007

divine gets her own blog.

This really is part of the previous Nashville blog. However, Divine deserves her own spot. Who is Divine, you might ask? Let me show you:



Yep, there she is.

Ok, you're probably confused. No, I did not take random pictures of ivy and give them names. What you see is actually a woman on stilts! She has stilts on her legs and long "sticks?" attached to her arms. Look closely:



Can you see her face? She's bending over backward. I told Aaron she must have been a dancer before she decided to become...divine.



That is actually her LEG raised up in the air. She is bending over, holding herself up with her arms and one leg, while the other leg is raised high in the air.



"She even walks like a plant!" exclaimed Aaron.



And there's her planty face. She kind of looks like a sniper, doesn't she?

I thought Divine was great. A little scary and unnerving, but great.

nashville rocks my face off.

Here are some photos from our fabulous mini-vacation last weekend. Aaron and I went up to Brentwood, Tennessee (he for a financial seminar, me for mega-shopping). We had a great time! Take a gander at our Nashville-ian adventures! Ha!




This is right as we got into town. It was a loooong drive!



This was right before we went downtown to The Melting Pot!



Home of the nationally-syndicated Dave Ramsey Show (and Aaron's financial seminar)



The Opry Hotel! This is completely unlike what I had expected!



As you walk inside the Opry Hotel, you see things you'd never thought possible. You look up and realize you're inside a...bubble?



A touch of New Orleans right in the middle of the hotel.



A freggin' lagoon!



A freggin' lagoon and my cutie pie husband.



You can get married in the Opry Hotel, if you'd like.



This is me pretending I am in Hawaii. Depserately trying to forget that I'd be heading home in a few hours.



Up close and personal. Sweet picture of my Aaron and myself.




Unfortunately, we didn't go INSIDE the Grand Ole Opry. Pam Tillis and some no-names were performing and we didn't really feel the need to spend money on music we probably wouldn't enjoy. Bummer.

April 27, 2007

"my role model is paris hilton."

I have spent a huge portion of the last month being involved in the Miss Cabot Pageant at my school. I have served proudly as the Publicity Chair of the committee. It's been fun, but I am exhausted!

Tomorrow is the big night for the senior high girls. Tonight, however, was the junior high pageant. I spent the majority of the afternoon keeping time for the little girl's interviews.

One little girl walked in and she looked absolutely adorable. A 7th grader. Cute little thing with a sweet, sweet face.

According to her interview, her role model is Paris Hilton.

Now, judges and timekeepers aren't supposed to reveal reactions to contestants' answers. But rest assured, eyebrows were raised.

Paris Hilton??

April 22, 2007

i am a murderer of hummingbirds.

Yeah, ok, so my blog no longer works on our desk top computer. I can only write on my blog using our little Mac laptop. This is so frustrating! I hate using the laptop and I have NO pictures on this computer. *Sigh*

So anyway, about the hummingbird. Aaron and I were about to leav for our mini-vacation to Nashville. We were loading the suitcases into the truck and Aaron noticed something odd in our garage: a hummingbird!

He was flapping his wings and flying around so frantically. You could hear the soft hum of his wings if you really listened closely.

Poor hummingbird. It couldn't figure out how to get out of the garage - and both doors were wide open! Aaron said it's because hummingbirds don't understand the concept of "flying down." The bird kept trying to go up and up - and there was nowhere to go. All he had to do was dip down about 10 inches and he would be free!

We tried all we could to get the bird to realize the error of his ways. Aaron got a broom and tried to create a stream of "wind" that would perhaps move the little bird downward. It didn't work.

We had no choice. We had to leave for our trip. We seriously had already spent about 45 minutes coming up with a plan to save this bird. It's not like you can "catch" a hummingbird and set it free.

So we got into the truck, closed the garage doors and knew we just sent the little hummingbird to an early death. There was no way out.

I killed a hummingbird.

April 16, 2007

confirmation.

No, I'm not Catholic.

But I am sure that I will not go back to teaching next year. I need a break and that's been confirmed again and again this week - and it's only Monday.

I may return after my one-year sabbatical; that is definitely a possibility. But my God, this one year off to pursue my Master's degree is going to be SOOOOO great! Finally! Some freedom and time for myself!

I feel like I have been working ever since high school - oh wait! I have! I went straight from high school, to college, took summer classes each summer, graduated, and went straight to work full-time, professional style. I am tired!

Most of my friends had at least a year "off" in the time between high school/college/meeting the real world. I never got that chance to breathe. Thank goodness my time has come! I've always been a little jealous of those friends, anyhow.

One and a half months to go! Can she do it?!

April 13, 2007

"let the rest of the world deal with your stupidity"

Wow. Ok. So I kind of exploded on one of my classes today. But rest assured, I had my many reasons.

We are studying the book "Night" by Elie Wiesel; this is probably one of my most favorite books because it details his real-life experience in the concentration camps during the Holocaust. I don't know why, but I like it. I will always respect it.

One particular class of mine is radically immature and obnoxious. Not all of the kids in that class are this way. That's what breaks my heart the most. There are some truly wonderful kids who want to learn, who know how to behave, and who understand the concept of respect and the value of education. But that's only a handful. The rest are all idiots.

Today those idiots were cracking jokes about the book - thinking it was comical that the Jews were immersed in petrol and then burned alive. How can anyone think that is funny?

Needless to say, I went off. I have put up with their snide and obnoxious comments for about a month now and today was the final breaking point. I probably went a little too far -- but I don't care.

Me: "Alright, that's it. If I hear one more off-color comment or anything remotely inappropriate, you will get written up, you will take your referral to the office, and you will spend three days in ISS, no questions asked!"

*Insert the expected bewildered looks among the legion of morons*

Me: "You may not think so, but you are ignorant. You sound ignorant, you act ignorant. You have no idea what you're talking about and have you have no respect for anyone. And I'm tired of dealing with it. If you want to be ignorant for the rest of your lives, that's fine. Step on the other side of my door and let the rest of the world deal with your stupidity. I'm not having it in my classroom any more."

*Silence.*

And there we have it: my atomic bomb.

I give it two days.

April 10, 2007

heck yes!!

I got the Graduate Assistant position at UALR! Tuition is paid for!! Talk about a major blessing! I'm so excited I could...hug my husband and kiss his face. He is going to be so happy - free Master's degree for me!

I noticed that I would still have to pay for fees. BIG STINKIN' DEAL! If the scholarship comes through (cross your fingers, hope to die) then everything is covered! Praise the Lord! How did my life get so good?!

Dear Cassandra,

I am pleased to offer you a graduate assistantship for the fall and spring semesters of the 2007-2008 school year. In exchange for enrolling in nine hours toward your graduate degree in journalism and 20 hours/week of research assistance (from Aug. 15-Dec. 15 and Jan. 15 to May 15), the Graduate School will pay your tuition (not fees) and a semester stipend of $3,225 ($6450 total). Please e-mail to me your acceptance or rejection of this offer by 5 p.m. April 16.


Sincerely,

Bruce L. Plopper, Professor
Journalism Graduate Program Coordinator

Dear Dr. Plopper: HECK YES I ACCEPT! ;o)

April 8, 2007

easter is blah.

Today was Easter. It was extremely uneventful. Easter gifts were exchanged, we ate a lot of chocolate. It is 40 degrees outside. What kind of Easter is this? I hate it. Boo to today.

April 2, 2007

to my student, drew griffin.

Drew Griffin sits near my desk in 6th period. Drew has long, brown hair that hangs in his pretty blue eyes. Drew rarely causes trouble and usually has his work turned in on time. Although perhaps not the brightest student, Drew has a very peaceful demeanor about him and I laugh everytime he shuffles through his messy backpack to retreive last night's homework.

Drew Griffin died this weekend.

According to the news and his mama, Drew and some friends were enjoying a picnic alongside the bank of the Arkansas River. They heard a girl screaming for help nearby and immediately jumped into the water to see what was wrong. Drew, an older man, and Drew's friend (a 17 year old) all got swept away in the undertow. They found the older man's body on Sunday. They found Drew and his friend this morning.

No, you are not supposed to swim in the Arkansas River. There are signs posted all around, signaling emminent danger. According to hearsay surrounding the story, Drew died trying to help the young girl. The older man died trying to help Drew.

I found out about his death at the beginning of 7th period today. The other students, at least until the end of the school day, had not heard the news. Imagine reading that email as you're taking attendance and then having to teach a lesson on the Holocaust...and they say teaching is for those who "can't."

Perhaps the most memorable thing about Drew was that without even knowing it, he introduced me to the human element of my students early in the school year. We had to walk each of our classes to a conference room in order for them to get BMI screenings. Each child had to take off their shoes in order to get a proper weight recording. I distinctly remember sitting next to Mrs. Callahan as Drew walked by in his baggy jeans and white socks. I could see the outline of his feet. I leaned over to Mrs. Callahan and said, "It's times like this that you remember these kids are human. They go home after school and kick off their shoes just like the rest of us."

I treated my kids a little differently after that one brief moment when I saw Drew in his white socks. These kids are people. And I must always remember that.

Drew is gone and his desk right beside mine will remain empty. Tomorrow I will face the inevitable challenge of trying to teach a lesson plan and confront the issue at hand with very delicate teenagers in tow.

Drew was one of those students who flew under the radar. He didn't cause trouble, but he didn't necessarily shine like a star, either. He did, however, teach me a valuable lesson months ago that I will carry with me forever. His white socks and his tragic death remind me once again: Life is short, treat people with respect, and we all, teenagers alike, need to kick our shoes off every now and then.

I'll never again see his shaggy hair or his blue eyes. And yes, I'll even miss his messy backpack.

May you sleep with the angels, Drew.

April 1, 2007

"i must have done something great in a past life!"

Ok, so we've been wondering how we are going to pay for my Master's degree without having to work full-time at Cabot. Get a scholarship? Hopefully. Use our savings? Likely. Check out this portion of an email I got today from my college advisor at UALR!

Coincidentally, I had planned to contact you tomorrow to ask if you would want to apply for a graduate assistantship. If selected, your tuition would be paid (not fees) and you would have a $3,200 stipend for each semester ($6,400 in all); in exchange, you would spend 20 hours/week as a research assistant to a faculty member in the SMC, working from Aug. 16 through Dec. 15, and Jan. 16 through May 15. Please let me know. This probably would preclude working somewhere else, as nine credits hours and a 20-hour/week commitment would eat up a lot of your time.

Best regards,

Bruce Plopper

Freakin' sweet is what that is.
 
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