Thursday, September 23, 2010

The whole no tv tv thing

I’m not sure if I mentioned this or not, but we gave up cable a few weeks ago.  Our one year contract was up, and our bill went up by like 85 dollars a month.  We switched to a different service (with better internet, no contract, stable prices), but chose not to keep our cable.  Andy and I try to be intentional with our spending.  We both prefer to save and to give as much as possible, and hate feeling wasteful with our spending. 

This led to us sitting down and trying to figure out where some of our wasteful spending was coming.  There are a lot of things on that list, and we will gradually work to cut some of those down as well.  Actually, it hasn’t been so gradual.  We’ve had thousands of dollars of dental work come up between the two of us this fall, so we kind of had to cut back already in order to pay for that.  But all that’s to say, there’s more to come.

One of the first things we figured out that we really didn’t need was our cable.  Between Hulu and the CBS website, we can get 98 percent of the shows we watch.  We can download 8 episodes of The Soup on i-Tunes for something like 6 dollars.  And we already have Netflix on Demand through the Playstation, so we can always watch whatever movies or tv shows they have there.  Or wait until the season DVD comes out and have it sent via regular Netflix.  This week has been our first real week of trying out our plan (since most shows just started), and I have to say that I’m perfectly content.  For less than half the amount a month (even less than what our old cable bill had gone up by), we can still get everything, just a day delayed.  We just plug my laptop into the HDMI cables for the TV and watch away.  On Tuesday we watched How I Met Your Mother.  Last night we watched NCIS together, and I watched Chuck and Glee on my own.  It was easy, quick, and totally on my own terms.  The only downfall we’ve seen thus far is the loss of football games.  Andy kind of misses watching the Colts and Purdue play, but I kind of feel like he’ll get used to it.  And if there’s a big game, we can always see if we can go to someone else’s house. 

I’m going to chalk this one up as a good decision.

Monday, September 20, 2010

What a “relaxed day” looks like

Here’s a look at a good day at school.

7:30 Arrive at school, get a few things finished up.  A set of grades in the gradebook, the day’s agenda updated, and the tenth grade journal website updated

7:45 Head out for hallway duty, talk to the teacher down the hall (my duty is outside her room)

8:00 Go back to my room, start class

Spend the next 48 minutes walking the class through a survey about what they might want out of a college.  It’s 20 questions long and only requires filling in the bubbles.  Seriously.

Then spend the next 30 minutes fighting my class to do their vocab list.  Lose my cool.  Inform them that anyone who hasn’t finished their vocab sheet will be in lunch detention finishing it or will receive a big fat zero. 

The room goes silent awhile.

9:14 Finish first period, move on to second.  Speech is always easier.  I grade papers, field questions and give suggestions for upcoming infomercials.  Run to the bathroom, talk to the kids about their schedules.

I’m pretty excited to see the infomercials, they are always really fun speeches.  The kids usually do a great job and they usually have me cracking up.

10:33 The end of second period…on to third.  We peer review essays together, and I realize this is definitely the way to go about getting a good peer review.  Console the student who got so stressed about the paper he was reviewing that he started crying.  Nearly cry myself.  Finally have my students recognize that their essays aren’t great.  And that they make all sorts of errors that need to be corrected. 

Students work on final drafts…pass back quizzes, announce the retest for it coming up Thursday. 

11:52 Time for fourth period..It’s the same as first.  They just move a little faster and I don’t have to lose my cool.

12:30 Lunch time.  Enjoy my potato soup.  Think what a genius idea making a whole pot of soup for lunch was.  Go to the bathroom, two stalls are out of toilet paper.  No paper towels.  Race upstairs with dripping hands.  Dry them on the paper towels in K’s room.

1--the second half of fourth period.  Answer questions, wander the room.  Scold, redirect, rinse and repeat.

Finally, at 1:41 comes my prep period.  I updated my lesson plans through the first part of October, checked my materials (thankfully, I’m coming into units that other teachers are giving me the materials for).  I read two short stories for the tenth grade classes.  I read “The Monkey’s Paw” and “Soft Rains Will Come” so I’m good through the end of the week on short stories. 

At the end of the day, I came home.  Ollie Dog and I have hung out.  Andy and I watched the new Star Trek movie.  And Ollie and I are watching Veronica Mars. 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Hoedown Throwdown

Today, one of my student’s taught the class to do the Hoedown Throwdown for her How-To speech.

Best speech ever.  Love it.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The part where I choose to forget last week

Unless I choose to share some of the few funny moments.  But most of them don’t translate well into writing.  I need hand gestures.  So let’s look at this weekend instead.

On Friday, we were supposed to go on a date.  But we didn’t.  I can’t taste because of a head cold and this week was really tiring, so I’m kind of glad we stayed home.  I feel like we just sort of hung out around the house.

Saturday was probably one of the most relaxing days we’ve had in a long time.  I meandered the house a bit, and made macaroni and cheese for lunch.  I couldn’t taste, so I had to have Andy tell me what it was like so I could get it right.  We went downtown and ate dinner at Hinkle’s (I have been craving cheeseburgers all weekend long).  I had a double cheeseburger and home fries.  Hinkle’s is totally a greasy spoon type place and their burgers are glorified sliders.  But it sure did hit the spot.  After that we wandered downtown walking for a bit and we each got a book at the Village Lights bookstore.  Then we came home and Andy smoked a cigar he bought a few weeks ago while Ollie and I hung out in the backyard with him just chatting and relaxing….then we watched a movie and eventually went to bed.

Today I have been kind of miserable.  My back is really sore and I’ve been tired.  I got a cold last week, and I’m still fighting it off.  We went to Sunday School and church, then had McDonalds (because I really wanted a cheeseburger).   I graded papers and worked on some lesson plans and assignments (because I’m nuts and make all my own materials instead of using premade stuff….but I really like my stuff better).  Andy watched a movie on Netflix on Demand and we’ve been playing with Ollie dog.  I’m about done for the day, and Andy just left to go fix the brakes on my car and do some work.  He’s been going to work on Sunday nights to get things ready for Monday the last few weeks, and it’s made things flow a lot smoother for the whole office.  

Monday, September 6, 2010

House Goals—For the remainder of 2010

Something about the milder temperatures of the spring and the fall bring out the excited homeowner in Andy and I. We always get excited about house projects when the weather starts to warm in the spring, and when the summer heat starts to wane in the fall. We have an ongoing list, but here’s our current list for this fall.

1. Finish the kitchen—Last fall brought all new flooring and furniture, but we never finished up the kitchen. We need to replace the counter and the sink, and do some trimwork, hang the blinds.

2. Overseed the lawn—Our grass is in pitiful shape. All over. It’s disgusting—like the lawn was planted when the house was built in the 50s and has just been allowed to fill with weeds ever since. We found an online tutorial for overseeding, and it sounds like the perfect solution to our lawn problems.

3. Clear out the backyard. We did a huge lot of this last year, clearing out the eyesore of a barn and some other things. We still have a stack of broken sticks from the aftermath of Hurricane Ike in 2008, as well some other junk that needs to be pitched. We’d like to add an outdoor patio of sorts out by the firepit, but that may not happen this fall. We’ll see.

4. Clean out the garage. This seems like it always needs to be done.

5. Power wash the house. It’s grimy. It needs it. Part of me secretly wants to paint the garage, shutters, and trim a chocolately brown color too, but I don’t think that will be happening this fall.

6. Winterize the flower beds and lay mulch before the winter

7. Replace the doors….we have several doors in our house that need replacing. Two exterior and most of the interior. I’d like to get started on them soon.

8. Paint the trim inside the house. And maybe the ceilings.

9. Redo the wood floors—this has been on the list for a while…I don’t know if it will actually happen or not.

10. Get the furnace/air conditioner checked and cleaned and whatnot

Saturday, September 4, 2010

I thought these things only happened to elementary school teachers…

So, I had an interesting moment this week.  My 4th period class was coming back from lunch, and student A asked if they could read their books for a few seconds (that’s not weird, that makes my little heart just sing).

Student B, however, had a different idea.

“Mrs. Cook, can we all go stand in the stairwell and fart so when people come in it smells really bad?”

I was so flabbergasted I couldn’t even respond.  I made him walk down the hallway to tell the other ninth grade teacher what he had said.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Lollie Ollie

I tried to take a picture of Oliver (or Oliverclothesoff…as Andy and Marcus both apparently call him).  This is the best I got from the snot….he wouldn’t slow down for me.


While I tried to take his picture, he had a few messages he wanted me to relay.  He wanted the ladies to know that he’s still a catch, even those he’s had that special surgery.  But he warned me to tell you that “if you fall for me, I’m not easy to please” and that “I’m only gonna break, break your heart; break, break your heart.”  He thinks he’s worth it, though, since he told me that he’s “so hot he’ll melt your popsicle.”

Clearly someone thinks pretty highly of himself these days.  And maybe needs to stop listening to the radio so much….but Shorty sure can get low. Low, low, low, low, low, low, low, low…..As long as he doesn’t start asking for the ladies to wear apple bottom jeans and boots with the fur, I think we’re okay.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

September Goals

Here’s the August list, all updated.

1. Finish the living room: hang pictures, find a few more frames, get bookshelves, make art for above television, finish pillows, etc. FAILED

2. Get all of my pictures organized and backed up in multiple places FAILED

3. Have heavy coats dry-cleaned because the cold weather will be upon us before we realize FAILED

4.Get all flower beds thoroughly weeded FAILED (that’s on the agenda for Labor Day weekend)

5.  Finish school project, get room organized and paperwork under control SUCCESS!!!  woohoo—I got one!

6. Take my daily pills daily Pretty darn close to SUCCESS

7.  Walk Oliver 4x a week FAILED—his harness is too small and needs to be replaced

8.  Put in three miles on the treadmill/elliptical at least three times a week and do leg workout daily FAILED—I made it to the gym like thrTakeee times total

9. Stay on top of finances and cleaning I’m going to label this SUCCESS since my husband complimented the cleanness of the house last week

10.  Eat out fewer than 4 times in the whole month of August FAILED—I think we were closer to 8 or 9 or 10. 

11.Read two books  SUCCESS (times a lot—I’m reading the YA books my students are and they read in about 3 hours tops)

12.  Visit the farmer’s market and buy produce there SUCCESS

And now for September:

1. Finish the living room for real, yo

2. Back up photos in multiple places

3. Have winter coats dry-cleaned

4. Weed the flower beds

5. Take my daily pills daily

6. Walk Ollie dog 4 times a week

7.  Gym—three times a week

8. Keep up with finances/cleaning

9. Only eat out on Sundays after church or when with family

10. Read two books

11. Clean the garage

12.  Get the backyard ready for its redo