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Showing posts from February, 2009

Otherwise occupied

We've had a very busy week here in BW. This morning I had freelance gig in Trenton before 8am. Tomorrow I have to be in city even earlier.

Tomorrow night we have a work dinner for T.

Last night the new math program got approved.

Lots to write about, but very little time.

Also missed birthday call to my fabulous bro. Will call this weekend.

Updates later.

It's good stuff this week after a crazy weekend!

Snips and snails and puppy dogs' tails...

Am a little tired today as I spent most of the night at the hospital. Our puppy - who we've only had about 3 weeks - bit (nipped?) my son's ear while they were playing way past the bedtime of both the dog and the boy. It looked pretty bad, and I was pretty scared by the whole bite thing. It reminded me of when my parents' dog bit me when I was in college and I, too, had a midnight trip to the ER on some Saturday night. I survived - with a little scar just off my chin after a few stitches and a tetanus booster.

The ER was very full - in fact the pediatric area was standing room only. N sat on my lap while I read to him. After a while he perked up and played on a game cube with another not-sick sick kid. (I think he had been for an earlier asthma attack). I watched my past: first time parents with feverish children who won't drink, parents of kids with ear/throat infections (I heard the doctor say to one parent that she could see an infection in both the ear AND the throa…

Saturday morning in BW

It's Saturday morning. N and my more-or-less surrogate son T are playing video games upstairs. C is taking the Iowa tests to try for a coveted, but elusive, spot in next year's in e-math and e-language arts. I am glad I am not in her shoes - everyone hates standardized testing. Ice cream is in order afterward!

I am still reeling from a comment made last night about my FB status. My status said (in jest) that I wanted to bring a flask to a PTO event. A father I know thought someone else (who would that be, as the people who can read it are on my FRIENDS LIST?) might take my status the wrong way. I'm still seething. Of course I was joking. ARGH!

So instead of continuing to spew anger about this stupid comment, I am going to enjoy my coffee and New York Times.

Found a nice article about Parenting to share. Enjoy reading "Father in Chief". Pour yourself a second coffee. If you're alone, in the sanctity of your own kitchen, add a shot from the imaginary flask. In pro…

Math homework

In High School there were times that I didn't finish my math homework. I'd blow it off.

Today I was assigned into my e-mail in-box a new math assignment. Reading the math K-6 program evaluation. Due by Tuesday (the big BOE meeting).
So I opened it right away and thought I'd read it before the carpool night from hell - or in between stops - I almost fell out of my chair.

It's 220 pages!!!!!!!!!

Are you kidding me?

By Tuesday?

Just like my trig homework in 1986, I want to blow it off too.

So, here's YOUR homework assignment, dear readers:
Read this.

And get me a synopsis by Monday.

Oh, yeah, Thanks!


Clarification: I got this "assignment" as an "e-blast" sent to lots of people and not specifically to me.

Nice day for an errand

I had to go to Brooklyn for a quickie errand. Instead of having it shipped, I decided to head to The City and pick it up. Being a small town girl at heart, driving into New York puts me into a cold sweat. Luckily there is no harrowing tunnel, traffic is reasonable and no one tried to gun me down as I needed a 2nd attempt to parallel park my car. The little old lady in the store was sweet with us and while I spent over $150 on cleaner for the floor, chocolates, cheese, waffle mixes and other products, I took along a partner in crime and we enjoyed a very nice lunch.

I came home with plenty of time to spare and it wasn't stressful.

When did "not stressful" turn into the mark of a successful day? I don't know the answer to that, I just know I am grateful that it wasn't.

Time for the 3 hours of carpools. the stress begins.

Change of tune

Today was my friend's birthday. Her present to me is usually her singing "you say it's your birthday, we'll it's my birthday too, yeah..." into my answering machine. This year I modernized and put a list of songs from each year of her life so far on her Facebook page. Here's the list, if you have some time to kill. One year I deleted by accident and am too lazy to look up, the other I deleted on purpose.

1970 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KijLredMzJI

1971 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ogfuw_HgOK0

1972 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tr-BYVeCv6U

1973 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=43Ho_6C_fM4

1974 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RHsDa9_HSlA

1975 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=av2rClwyCu8

1976 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=irp8CNj9qBI

1977 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jI2BnzF1860

1978 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6oWeaujOWXc

1979 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xv6lHwWwO3w

1980 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nTJHjuhCYos

1981 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jFCGn_bU…

Route 78 remembers

Yesterday I wrote a blog that I never published. It was lamenting my mid-life crisis about my career trajectory - or lack thereof. I didn't publish it because I felt it sounded too "woe is me" and I wasn't feeling sorry for myself.

Today I remembered a near-tragic day. About three years ago, the four of us were rushing to make an event in New York, and driving 10 miles below the speed limit on Route 78, when our car hydroplaned in the rain. We spun around a few times and crashed into the side railing. the cars speeding toward us from behind somehow never hit us and we didn't plummeted over the bridge to our deaths. The car only suffered minor damage and we walked away without a scratch. Both T and I have had lingering fears. We don't drive I 78 in the rain if we can avoid it at all, often taking longer routes. For months he wouldn't take I 78 even in good weather.

The first few days after the accident I honored my new lease on life. Small things didn't…

Valentine card thoughts

I got a very ornate valentine from my outrageously talented cousin this week. She displays her work daily on her blog. Her abundance of talent reminds me of the my lack of it. Several family members are gifted. None of this artistic talent pool has found its way to me or, so it seems, my children.

The kids do get a yearly opportunity to display artistic talents in their valentines. Typically C has spent weeks cutting and pasting hearts and giving the kind of homemade valentines that were common 30 years ago but hardly seen today. N, not one who is drawn to scissors or crayons, has been pretty uninterested on the homemade valentine front.

This year the trend reversed itself - using a computer, N and I designed and printed original valentines for his class, while C took the easy route and gave candy. N did much more on his own than before and then taped on candy to each valentine.

N wanted to take an after school art program at school. Hopefully the artistic gene's skipped a generat…

Budget woes?

Every morning I wake up to NJ 101.5. For those of you who don't know the station, you can take a listen at nj1015.com. It is a combination local news station/conservative talk/jokesters and their motto is "Not New York, Not Philadelphia, Proud to be New Jersey." Not how you'd think I start my days, but we have very limited options on the clock radio.

So I start my days agitated and often calling the person on the radio "You Idiot" or worse. Sometimes I get really mad because they are talking about something sexual that my 11 year old doesn't need to hear before breakfast! Other times, it is a good thing to listen to them, as it keeps me in the loop on local issues. The vast majority of my news from NPR and the NY Times which have NJ coverage, but not as its prime focus.

101.5's morning show loves to attack the NJEA (teachers' union) and Corzine.

While I LOVE the kids' teachers past and present, and am very proud of the education they are get…

Hypothetical question doesn't require a decision

Someone asked me about why I would choose Bedminster over Bridgewater if we were to move. The answer is I don't know why. It seems like a private school, but without tuition.

I haven't been to one of their BOE meetings to see what issues they face and I haven't researched their test scores. One of my friends has the option to send his kids there and his kids don't attend Bedminster school. When I was working, one of my co-workers sang Bedminster's praises, but it was in a lot of ways the same sort of thing you hear at my own childrens' schools.

Ridge sounds like a much smaller high school, where there is less competition for sports teams, AP classes and other opportunties if you compare the number of kids and the amount of things offered. I also like that they offer the International Baccalaureate. I didn't know public US high schools offered that.

Like much of what I say in my blogs, my opinion is not based on a scientific comparison, but a gut feeling.

On …

Jersey "regular" schools get a run for their money!

In New Jersey, Magnets Give Suburban Schools a Race was a very interesting article in yesterday's NY Times, New Jersey section.

When we moved here, we chose BRRSD over other districts, including magnet schools nearby town based on the strong recommendation of T's colleague. We specifically focused on our elementary area - another decision I have rethought now that we have gotten to know other neighborhoods.

I cannot deny it - part of the reason we chose BRRSD was my own racism and "classism". We had come from an extremely homogeneous environment and I was weary of placing C, and later N, in schools where they would be one of only a handful of white kids, and possibly the most well off kid in class. The magnet schools we visited were impressive. One elementary school boasted an art teacher with a PhD. In the end we chose Bridgewater.

I have been increasingly frustrated with this decision. When I wonder what I should do - if that were to mean changing schools - I would ha…

A blog in 2 acts:

Act I: It's official & public - BRRSD had low elementary NJASK Language Arts Scores

The NJ Report cards are out.I'm not a statistician but I am less than impressed with my kids' school's results. Less than 2% had achieved advanced scores in Language Arts for the 2008 NJASK testing. Click here to find your NJ school.

In September 2007 the principal opened his Back to School Night talk promising parents a focus on Language Arts. Clearly this either didn't happen or didn't help. He's gone but most of the teaching staff isn't. What is being done to prevent these scores from toppling further? While I was very pleased with C's teacher last year, C didn't get the "Advanced" score in LAL on the NJASK test either. She loves to read and writes for pleasure, she always did any enrichment opportunity offered in LAL last year and still didn't make the results. My father even spent time going over grammar with her. I understand that they shoul…

Facebook self indulgence

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One of my friends sent me this link today in the New York Times after I sent her my 25 random things. Only I was too lazy to call it 25 random things, so I called it my random thoughts and left off the number. I edited or deleted a few to keep my identity somewhat secret.

Here it is (slightly edited):
My random thoughts:

I miss my Mom.

I am still having revelations about my life.

True love comes in many forms - and comes more than once.

I am forever grateful to N’s teacher!!!!!

When I was 17 my parents let me backpack around Europe with a boy they’d met twice! He was 4 years older than me. It seemed normal at the time. I would never let my kids do that. I wish my travel companion and I were still friends.

I lead a Girl Scout troop and love it.

I can’t believe my kids are good looking and popular! I spent my entire childhood hating how I looked. Now that I could get my hair straightened on a permanent basis I realize it is too entrenched in my personality to matter.

My husband and I are…

Food fights

One of my friends confessed to me that she is concerned about her daughter's eating habits. She is a great cook and I know there is plenty of healthy food in her kitchen!

Lately my daughter also didn't want to eat breakfast. It never occurred to me that girls that young are thinking about their weight! I never questioned that her motives may be fear of weight gain (I assumed laziness). Is there a link? Another friend of C wouldn't wear a bikini because she was so afraid of showing her tummy in a couple of years ago in 3rd grade. I was shocked then too, but didn't take it seriously. Generally these girls talk, and it wouldn't surprise me if they weren't talking about this too. Are girls really on track for eating disorders at age 8? Do I have to monitor that my daughter is eating enough at age 11? I never in my entire life wasn't tempted by food, so I can't understand this. Even now when I need to diet I find it impossible to not nibble at forbidden frui…

Important reminder - E/AI testing registration

If you want your kid tested for E or AI for next year, remember to register them ASAP. Teachers can no longer do it for you. Go to the BRRSD website news section or click here and scroll down to AI/E registration. The registration takes about 30 seconds. The deadline is February 9th!

How did I miss this? I would have, if a very friendly administrator AND my daughter's teacher hadn't reminded me. Can you imagine the tears if I had to admit "oops, I missed the deadline so no e-chance for you next year"?