Friday, March 06, 2009

Patience

After I wrote the previous entry, I forgot to add patience. Lots of patience. I don't know if I have been running real low on patience or that most of my students are sort of burned out with the FCAT being next week and all, but we can't push them one more inch. They are not budging, especially my sixth period. It's alright, I had them do something lighter today. Instead of reading a hard article, I had them see a PowerPoint presentation with a beautiful ocean background with information about characterization. Not extensive writing, but effective. Then they worked in small groups and I modeled what I wanted them to do, and gave them the pages where to find the information. It helped since they were struggling to find the energy to think. On Monday I will try to have a Jeapardy game set up for them to review concepts, the class set up in teams, and that way we can have fun while they think. It will be loud, darn, I know, but it will be fun and get them thinking. The day will be over before you know it.

Pencils, Bandages, and Erasers

It's funny what teachers have to dispense most of in the course of a week. We dispense smiles, listening ears to silly fun questions, like "Ms. Vazquez who is the best student, Angelica or I?" Quizzically, I just backed away on that one. Both of them are great kids and excellent in every way. There was one I preferred, but how edifying would it have been to say it? So no, I wasn't going there.

On the other hand, kids are constantly needing paper or asking for pencils of course. Two weeks ago, I had to begin a new system that I will lend them a pencil and they have to give me something of value in return. When I give them back their card, watch, bracelet, they get their pencil back. It has been working and I seem to have more pencils to lend and not have to spend money I don't have in order to keep kids on the roll. Erasers, not the same thing. I have these tiny erasers and I end up giving those away. It makes for an opportunity to be generous and it's okay. I don't mind.

Recently, there has been a rise in the need for bandages. Shoes that don't fit right, maybe cheaper brands, but kids are asking for them more often. So I have decided to have them stacked within easy reach in my desk drawer. Today I dispensed four to one student, because her shoes were causing her blisters on both sides of her feet. I know how bad it feels to walk on feet that hurt. What surprised me the most was the look in her eyes when I simply handed them over to her without a question. Thank goodness I had something to give her.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Jittery but Thankful!

Last night I went to run some errands, first to the post office and later to a well deserved and overdue pedicure. The young mother who did my pedicure took more than an hour to finish her fine work and as I was driving away I realized it was already 8:48. No more than five minutes later, I had arrived at my house.

Last week my garage door opener stopped working, so in order to park my car in the garage, I have to get out of my car and go in through the front door. So I hopped out of my car to follow my routine and as I did I suddenly heard a loud cracking noise just behind my car as a skateboard made quick contact with the curb. Expecting to see a teenager, but how strange I thought,it's already nine, and to my chagrin it wasn't a teenager, but a man in his mid twenties. He wasn't alone; there was another man about his age following him on a skateboard. I stopped in my tracks and immediately got back into my car. They moved away down into the cul the sac and loitered and I thought what can I do. If I get out of the car, they might approach me and if I drive away, it will be even later when I return and they might still be here, and worse yet hiding. So I decided to call my front door neighbor, Muse (not her real name), and when the men saw me using the phone they skated up to the corner. When she came out her door, I stepped out of the car, all the while talking to her and keeping eye contact with the men. The men started down the street again not actually seeing her from their angle, but when they saw her they continued

down the cul de sac and one of them actually waved at her trying to be smart "as..es" as she put it. Muse is very matter a fact about things. She doesn't know these guys at all and they are not from our neighborhood. I went in the house and opened the garage door and drove my car in under Muse's watchful eyes and then we both went inside simultaneously. But the men were still loitering around the corner. It was already around 9:20, the longest 15 minutes of my life, I think.

When I stepped inside I thanked God for helping me think clearly, for Muse's help, and his protection. In my mind came the words, Majestic Sovereignty. I agreed. A minute later after I collected myself, I called the police's non emergency line and they called a deputy to come and check out the area and later he met up with me. When he left I started to email my daughters about what had happened and then the phone rang and my good friend Rosa from South Carolina, asked me anxiously if everything was alright. I said, yes, now it was but then I told her everything that had happened. She said that at about 9:15 God prompted her to pray for me. Then a few minutes later again, and that was when she picked up the phone to call me.

We do serve a mighty sovereign merciful God who loves us. I am so thankful, I am his child.