Wednesday, April 29, 2009

"karen": the time she laughed out loud

I wish I could just introduce you to my most favorite student "Karen". I look forward to coming to school just to see what kind of maneuvers "Karen" can pull off today. 

"Karen" is beautiful. Dark hair precisely pulled back, perfectly trimmed fringe across her forehead, enchanting olive eyes and perfect tiny teeth just like her. Everything about her is perfect. She is poised and mostly unemotional. Pensive. Brilliant. Hates coloring.

"Karen" tends to just show up places. She is so quiet that I will turn around to find her standing 6 inches away from me staring at me. Like those scary movies...the ones with the creepy children. ALMOST like that. except I love "Karen". One time I thought there was a bug crawling on me..only to turn around and find "Karen" softly tapping my arm. 

I have daily stories about Karen. Like  here and here.
But now...I have to brag. I made Karen laugh! Like out loud. Not only is it hard to make her smile. It is close to impossible for her to out loud chuckle! I mentioned before how Karen is my unofficial time keeper. And when I say unofficial I mean she takes it upon her self daily to tell me we have "14 minutes of class Ms Terry" "We have 8 and a half minutes of class left Ms Terry" unless I am busy and thats when the creepy tilt and point come in to play. 

Thats right, in the midst of a crazy, noisy classroom, if Karen and I lock eyes within the last two minutes of class its as if everything moves in slow motion. The loud screams and complaints are suddenly muffled. Paper airplanes fly behind her head at tortoise speed and I feel as if my vision is slowly zooming in on only her and her creepy tilt and point. Its as if nothing else in that moment matters. Something you'd see in a romantic movie.

Instead I'm in a trance with my eleven year old student that looks seven. (FML) The Karen Klassic is next. Once she knows she has my attention she will slowly tilt her head to her left (my right) and point patiently at her pink and black Roxy watch three times. Up. and down. Up. and down. Up. and down.  Usually I am broken from this hypnotism when reality hits me. Literally. Probably by a rubber band or paper football from the unruly children who have noticed my temporary absence. 

To control my classroom behavior I have decided there is only one thing and one thing only that can prevent the Karen Klassic. Look away. Pretend not to see her. Ignore her. 
Would maybe work on anyone BUT Karen. Instead she now has initiated a....wave. Wide-eyed and desperate she WAVES from across the room until I look....when she then pulls a tilt and point. A Karen Klassic. 

So the other day she waved. I looked and her points were quicker than normal. More urgent. Rather than taking 5 seconds per point it was like all 3 in 1 second. We were in the middle of a review game and I was already in a goofy mood (when is that not a true statement). I see this new version of the Karen Klassic and bust out my own move, entire class watching. I respond with a series of "baseball" signals which include but are not limited to miming a row boat, throwing out a fishing pole and winding it back in, pulling my ears and blowing out my cheeks and scratching of the underarms...the way a monkey would do. 

Apparently teachers don't do stuff like that. Because the entire class went into an uproar of laughter. Including little joyful and pleased with herself "Karen"

Was the impossible accomplished? I'd say so. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I had my first "workmare"

Workmare= a work related nightmare.

The grand old state of Texas decides to officially test the knowledge and skills of our students in a week long overly strict, stressful process and in doing so unofficially increases the amount of alcohol purchased ANYWHERE they serve happy hour by 19837321232%.

The intensity/pressure of the test sends students in to breakdowns, nausea, and anxiety attacks. The still unknown results of the test sends teachers into breakouts, nausea and sleepless nights. However science isn't tested in 6th grade so that cant be why my night was so..sleepless. Instead I was fighting the nervousness tearing away in my stomach for another reason.

You see, I still have to hand out the test to the kids. Due to idiot teachers before me Texas has had to clamp down and leave NO room for mistake. Instead they leave competent people a SCRIPT (I have to read it word for word) with a set of rules on how to do things including how to take attendance and how to make a seating chart. The tests can not leave my sight. I take them all to lunch, I take them to the bathroom, I do not put them down unattended. I am not allowed to read, grade papers, check email, do a crossword, make a to-do list or even HOLD A PENCIL. I AM allowed to watch the students bubble in their scantron from 8:30 am to 2:30 pm.....and maybe count ceiling tiles

Guess what.  when the students finish- the only thing they are allowed to do is READ or SLEEP....until the WHOLE school finishes. My class was done at 11:30. Try to keep anyone quiet for 3 unnecessary hours. yeah....FML

Ok back to the point- Being a TAKS test administrator virgin- there are many things to worry about
1) Am I doing this right?
2) Am I doing this right?
3) Did I do everything right?
and 4) where am I going to Happy Hour?

In my workmare last night I left the room to give back a triple beam balance I had legitimately borrowed in real life a couple days ago. In the midst of my progress I suddenly realized "OH not supposed to leave the room and the students unattended. What had originally been a quick trip to the room next door I now found myself in the freaking JFK airport battling my way through mobs of people that included animals from the Amazon, scary people from the past and midgets. All the while I am suffocating in quicksand and unable to run.

When I finally get to the room the police and the three principals are waiting for me. Shit.
"WHY DID YOU LEAVE these TESTS unattended?" they question. To which I remember thinking in my dream...all they care about are the stupid tests! So I woke up at 430, 5, 515, 530, 6 and 630 sick to my stomach about TAKS test- not healthy. (atleast the nightmare had sloths and parrots in it)

"So Taylor what did you do all day while your students sat in silence"
I sat in silence.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


I love you

I sit here anxiously awaiting tomorrow. Not only is it Friday of the longest 4 day week of my life but my best friend is coming to visit. I can't remember the last time we got to see each other for a whole weekend. High school? Pre-boyfriends and college. 
Things I look forward to this weekend.

(Now if I could just get up and plan it. I'm ridiculously sore from honeycutt's/sugarslice's workout yesterday. Im talking... I can't move.)

Good Luck Dani on your testie (hehe)

Saturday, April 4, 2009


Picked up this little treasure today from my favorite shop in a celebratory attempt at getting my first real paycheck!!! yes, it has been a miserable 7 weeks but I can't believe it has been 7 weeks at that.
Too bad most of it is going to adult things like bills.

Sales make me smile...... :) and in no do paychecks. good thing I found both. They are positive contributions to my bank account.

Friday, April 3, 2009



I can't wait for her to get here so we can tear up Austin this weekend!

I love shannon for a couple reasons but here are a couple
1. We talk an average of 3.5 times a day and still never run out of things to talk about
2. She is the only person who would care if I called her to tell her what I ate for lunch
3. She encourages yet discourages me to do things I shouldnt do
4. She doesnt care that I fake cry and act like a baby when I dont like a situation
5. She thinks I am the funniest person she knows (not true btw)
6. She always lifts me up and never cuts me down
7. She is a FABULOUS wingman
8. Is the ONLY girl who could possibly beat my awkward boy stories (its a feat)
9. She thrives on our friendship as much as I do
10. SHE would take off work and drive 3 hours to come see me even though I ditched her to move to Austin!!!!!!

yeah....and in a nonlesbotic way.....Im pretty much obsessed with her

Thursday, April 2, 2009

I shouldn't be a science teacher because.......

I don't think Im fit to be a science teacher for one reason. I'm not really a big fan of "sciency animals." Reptiles don't excite me, neither do arthropods (look for a blog explaining this later).

So its safe to say that when students bring in their nature discoveries....I kind of......dont care? SHHHH! dont tell! In fact not only do I not care, I have absolutely NO interest what-so-ever and usually want far away from it. 

Recall "Karen" here. My teeniest tiniest ball of awkwardness whom I love and am afraid of at the same time. 

She comes up to me before school and pulls a worm out of her pocket. I jumped backward threw my hands up as if I were "giving in" to authority and totally over reacted. "WOAH WOAH...."Karen" why do you have that?"

In a soft, low monotone whisper wide-eyed and smiling she replies "I found it."

"Yes but why did you bring that worm in your pocket to school?"

"It's not a worm Ms. Terry its a Chrysalis."

Ok 1. that I didnt notice that it wasnt a worm and 2. that I had to look up what a Chrysalis is, concerns me about why I am a science teacher.

"Um ok put that away" and I quickly walk off not wanting to deal with the situation.

CLUE 2: that I shouldn' t be a science teacher. Any other science teacher would LOVE the fact that their students are exploring the outdoors and want to bring in LIVE examples....nope....not me.

By 1st period she came into my classroom to show me her moth still inside its chrysalis. No. In 15 short minutes the moth had emerged not okay with moths flying out of my children's pockets.....not okay.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Lecorum, i love thee

My love developed for this band here when "pink tee" first caught my eye in the crowded pub in Edinburgh, Scotland last fall.  They had just finished performing and were tearing down their set.
I bumped Laurel with my elbow, "Hey...check out "pink tee"" 
"Taylor he is sexy go talk to him"
"No I cant do that"
"Yeah you wont"
"Um excuse me! I can! AND i will! WATCH!"

I thought to myself "Taylor you will never see these people again, now have a little fun"
I downed a beer in 3.7 seconds and before I knew it I was on the move. 20 seconds later I am standing in front of the band. One problem. I hadn't thought about what I was going to say before I got there.

"Hello" they respond confused as to what I wanted
"Ummmm...were you guys just up on stage?" and I turn to point to the stage.
AWKWARD TAYLOR! Of course they were just up on stage you IDIOT!
"Yes we were" again they respond confused
"Oh well...Im here with my friends and we thought you were fantastic!" I look over my shoulder to find the girls watching my every move. They were waving and giving me thumbs up.

"Oh did you" [their accents alluring] "We are glad you liked it!" 

We went on into more small talk, me being from America, what instruments they all played and so on. They gave me a copy of their cd and I of course had to get their autograph. Meanwhile "pink tee" is completely uninterested in the conversation and I don't think he said one word except his name. However, Damien's charm and good looks soon became evident and I wished I lived in England so I could be friends with such fun British ROCKSTARS ;)

The next day Damien had facebooked me and we were set to see them again in a couple weeks in York. Recall the story here.

So I am spreading the love... listen to Chris, Joe, Fletch and Damien rock out here
and watch how funny they are here and here