Sunday, January 31, 2010

School Finance

I haven't really gone into detail about this yet, but my school district is in a major financial pickle. We're just one of many school districts throughout the country that are in the same boat.

There are a lot of factors that go into this, including:

1. We are very isolated and if a family/parent loses a job they don't have a lot of other prospects. As a result of the current economy we've lost several families/students to bigger districts. A family with four kids just moved to Arkansas for the Dad's job last week. For each kid we lose the district loses thousands of dollars in funding from the state.

2. The county has lost millions in unpaid property taxes (because people can't afford to pay them) and a hefty chunk of that money would go to local schools.

3. Rising costs of... well, everything.

The district is talking about major cuts. We've already cut over $500,000 since last year and we need to cut $1 million next year and over a $1.2 million from the following year's budget.

The number one (and really only) spot in a school district's budget to make big cuts is in personnel. The superintendent sent out an email last Thursday saying that there was a motion before the board to cut 9 positions from next year and she outlined the district's policy of letting probationary teachers go first. This is perfectly normal, but unfortunately I fall under that category until the end of next school year.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Educating the Teacher

As I just posted, I'm at a tech conference/workshop/class in Denver. We've just finished the morning session and I have 3 pages (single-spaced) of typed notes... and the afternoon session still ahead of me.

I'm overflowing with ideas and excited to hear some more! It's going to take quite a bit of time to process all of this! And I haven't even cracked the idea/handbook that came with the class. YAY!

At the same time I'm worrying about how long I'll have to implement these new ideas...
at tech class/workshop. LOADS of info coming my way. brain hurts, but in a good way. feeling inspired! and only 1/2 way done!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

well that's not good. motion b4 board 2 cut 9 positions 4 next year. only 3 retirees and last in = first out... /sigh. i love my job.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Woot! School district is paying 4 me 2 go 2 a workshop on Friday 2 learn more about using tech in classes. Should get a book full of ideas!

Monday, January 25, 2010

*breathes a DEEP sigh of relief* i passed test #2 to bcome a CO tcher. that's #8 total... i should get official license in the mail soon :)

Sunday, January 24, 2010


It really was one of those weekends.

It started out Friday night with me trying to move my treadmill and getting it stuck in the doorway. Very, very stuck. I finally had to disassemble part of it before I managed to get it unstuck yesterday afternoon.

This afternoon I went to my favorite Mexican restaurant and on the way home I managed to get my car EXTREMELY stuck in a snow drift. I couldn't dig it out at all and the couple of friends I called weren't answering.

As I was walking back to the restaurant to ask for help I passed two guys and a girl taking their two dogs for a walk. I asked if they knew anyone I could call to help get me unstuck and they offered to help. They attempted to push me out and when that didn't work they said they'd go get some shovels and would be back to help me.

I waited almost 20 minutes and it was getting dark... it was around 0 degrees, windy and nasty... and I was getting worried they might not come back... So... I went back to the restaurant where the hostess called her boyfriend to come help me. I decided to walk back to my car and said I would meet them there.

When I got back to my car I found the first two guys digging furiously - one of them was actually UNDER my car with the shovel. I feel UNBELIEVABLY guilty for thinking they might not come back. Between the two guys digging and pushing and the boyfriend and his 4-wheel drive truck pulling they got me unstuck.

Nobody would accept any money, so I offered as many thank yous as I could before they drove away.

Good Samaritans, I salute you.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Tivo is SO the way 2 watch award shows. Yay 4 Glee and Robert Downey Jr = best speech i've heard in a LONG time =O)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Dropping the ball

Last night's bowling took FOREVER. We were bowling on lanes 3 and 4, but lane 4 was broken so really we had 2 teams bowling on lane 3. It took us over 2 hours to get through 1 and a half games. By that time several other teams were done and we moved over to 2 working lanes. Unfortunately, that seemed to throw everyone off and everybody's (both teams) scores went whack-a-doo. It was a pretty frustrating night.

Oh well.

Last night's Dollhouse, on the other hand, was pretty much amazing. I expected a death and was rewarded... if you can call it that. That's just what Joss does. He creates the amazing characters that we fall in love with and then BAM tragic death scene. It's so cruel, but it's how Joss rolls.

Only one episode left.

Fox is evil/stupid.

Joss Whedon is a genius.

Friday, January 15, 2010

right now = mexican food and live music. next up, bowling. then home 4 sleep and 2morrow hot date in Denver w/RussL! yay 4 MN friend in CO.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

girls lost. action off court WAY more interesting. cops called 2 prevent brawl. watched my student being frisked. a night 2 remember.
watching my girls basketball team. tied 4 - 4.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Gray day

Kaylee's (and my) Christmas present from my parents was a new kennel. Her old one was all metal and she could reach through the sides to claw at stuff (floor, pillows, carpet, etc). Her new kennel is a nice, big, dark gray plastic one with solid sides.

This morning I put her in her kennel, as usual, and then I came home during 7th hour (my planning period) to let her out. I could hear her exclaiming her joy at my arrival as I climbed the stairs and when I let her out a gray streak zoomed past her... much to my surprise.

Sheba made it down the hall and halfway through the bedroom before she stopped - turned around - squawked rudely at me - then proceeded directly to her food bowl where she ate as though she had been without food for a good week.

I've got one seriously hissed off kitty cat.

Kaylee HAS to be in the kennel because she suffers from separation anxiety and tears up anything and everything she can get her paws or teeth on in my absence. Sheba, on the other hand, is an angel. There is absolutely no need for her to be kenneled. She must have been asleep in the kennel this morning (or just checking it out) when I locked Kaylee in it.

Dark gray cat. Dark gray kennel.

Easy mistake.

But try telling her that...

I've got some serious smoozing to do tonight!

Saturday, January 09, 2010

if u can stand the pain of going up n over the mtn pass, coming down 2 denver is the best thing 4 a sinus infctn. can breath thru BOTH sides
made stuffed zuc 2nite = num. watched Dollhouse = OMG! nother test 2morrow 4 CO tchg license = UGH! and only 2 more eps of Dollhouse = Waah!

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Something Old and Something New

As you may have noticed on my Twitter, it's COLD here. Reminds me of Minnesota. I know I've had much colder (up to -60), but Colorado doesn't seem to stay quite as cold for quite as long as Minnesota. As a result, I've forgotten how it feels to shiver! I love "cool" weather and even "cold" weather, but my range of comfort stops at about -20. That's just plain uncomfortable/miserable.

As for the something new... We had book club tonight, where we discussed our latest book, Little Women, and we rolled our own sushi. Mine was beautiful and delicious! Nori (seaweed wrap), rice, yellow pepper, avocado, baby spinach leaves, shredded carrots, cucumber and cream cheese. Yummy-yum-yums! I can now make it myself and I actually enjoy it (minus the fish)!


My trip back to Texas was fun and productive. I went through some more boxes and "purged" things I hadn't even seen in 8 years. Found a "Time Capsule" letter 12th grade me wrote to future me for a Keyboarding class - apparently I was should have wound up as a marine biologist or a zoologist. I helped Mom and Dad in their goal of building a website for their fiber business. I also helped them with various computer/tv/cable/electronic issues. I made chicken parmigiana for my Italian family's Christmas dinner. I saw most of my family and quite a few friends.

One year is a long time to be away from somewhere, especially when that somewhere contains 90% of your family. I don't know if I can stand going back to Texas in the summer, but I might have to brave it... just so I'm not away from family/friends for so long.

Also, while at home, I contracted another sinus infection.. thanks to a "flue issue." Basically, I closed it because it was drafty and smokey smelling, but because Mom never touches it Dad didn't check before lighting a fire. Mom and I forgot to tell him we closed it so the entire house filled with smoke + Aspen's crappy, hyper-sensitive sinuses = Sinus Infection #3 (this year).

I've been on antibiotics and a steroid burst for most of the week. I'm just hoping I don't get worse and can make it through my big test on Saturday. This is test number 8 in my teacher licensing saga.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Brrrrr! Operation "Electric Blanket" has been activated! It's flipping cold tonight!

Monday, January 04, 2010

Still boggling over the fact that I went to Jr. High and High School with "The Bachelor." This world o' mine gets smaller every day.