So, I went to my 20th reunion and lived to tell about it! Tuesday, Jul 7 2009 

What do you get when you put 50 women from a now defunct all-girls’ Catholic high school in a ballroom together? A PAWTY! (look up N’Awlins speak to decipher)

Interestingly, not much has changed. We had a girls’ night dinner on Friday night and the big shebang at a fancy French Quarter hotel on Saturday, with spouses invited (about half took up that offer.) Most of us hadn’t seen each other since we promised to K.I.T. when we left school in May 1989. Some had gone to the 5, 10, or 15 year reunions. However, with the popularity of facebook, we found almost 70% of our class online. Not everyone could attend because, unlike the NOLA tradition of staying near family, many classmates had moved away. Some were for jobs, some for spouses, some for Katrina. But, we were able to get about 50-60 girls in for the two-night affair.

Funny thing. When I looked around at the tables… we were all sitting in our cafeteria spots. Habits are hard to break, even after twenty years. We eventually mingled and realized what we’d been missing all this time. We all went out afterward to a (you can picture it in your head) Bourbon St. bar and danced and sang until 4 a.m. In the time since the reunion there have been sporadic gatherings and promises of monthly ones to come.

We’ll see but, I know I hope the spirit of our school continues on.

Summertime… and the living ain’t so easy Tuesday, Jun 30 2009 

It’s been one hellacious summer; already.

My library had to be packed up to move to the new school site and I had to prepare my library for the new school.  (oodles of fun, I HIGHLY recommend it)

It’s hot as Hades out there, can’t even stand to walk outside, much less partake in any family events.  I only have one kiddo left in summer camp.  And, she’s raring to go to Kindergarten so she’s not really digging the whole summer camp scene. The eighth grader and fourth grader are itching to get at my last nerve, but I have locked it away and they can’t have it.

GNOWP has gone on without me, sadly.  I couldn’t participate this year, much to my dismay.  At least I still got to keep in touch with them via Twitter and facebook.

I’m gearing up for the new school opening this August.  I’ll likely be back to work on July 20th to get the ball rolling.  Luckily, my two youngest, have tested into the academic magnet school where I am, so they’ll be with me and get a great enriching education.  BUT, it means all new uniforms, new friends, new everything.  I have a feeling they’ll be OK.

As for me… I’ve been doing what else.. reading and watching TV.  I rewarded myself with a Kindle2 for lots of overtime work and I’m thoroughly addicted.  Keeping up with my favorite authors on Twitter has become a new fave pastime.  Check some of them out at my twitter page http://twitter.com/noladawn

I promise (ok, I’ll make an attempt) to keep my blog updated more often.  Life tends to get away with you when you work too many hours and have three active kids.

Missed y’all!

NOLADawn

Summer Fun Thursday, Jun 26 2008 

So, summer is off and running… I’m still working, sort of.  I’m helping out with the Greater New Orleans Writing Project, voluntarily 😀  It ends on July 9th, then I’ll have two weeks off before the Advanced GNOWP Institue starts, which I’m taking as a student…  Yay!  That lasts two weeks, then school starts back for me on August 6th.  So much for summer, huh?!  I have had some fun though.  Tuesday night I took my eldest daughter (going on 12 -going on 30-) to see Carrie Underwood.  By some sheer luck I snagged floor seats right next to the ramp where she walks out on the day of the concert!  Fantastic show!  It was her last date of the tour.  Then, last night hubby and I took the entire brood, plus our son’s best friend, to see the Ringling Bros. Circus.  They had a blast (as did I!)  We’re planning on taking them to the brand new Audubon Institute Insectarium that opened a few weeks ago.  It’s in the U.S. Customs House, which was sitting empty on Canal Street.  Since I last blogged we have also gained a new family member, a kitten we rescued from a lunatic teenager that was trying to drown him in a bucket of water.  Hubby came to the rescue and Gus now rules the house, even though he weighs not 2 pounds soaking wet!  Charlie has again taken on the “Baby Daddy” role.  Such a great Dad!

I’ll check back in as my super summer progresses…

Gus Gus

Gus-Gus

Carrie Underwood

Carrie Underwood

Big Kitties

Big Kitties at the Circus

Too overwhelmed… Monday, Nov 12 2007 

I guess that would put it mildly.  I’m exhausted because I volunteered all weekend at our school’s booth at the town fair.  Don’t get me wrong, I had a blast… but now I’m paying for it.  The big girl was sick today and my dear mother left work early to come and get her and take her to her house so we could both go to work.  Tomorrow interim reports go home.  Wednesday night is Family Math Night (of which I’m in charge) and I’m leaving Wednesday afternoon to go to NYC for my conference so I’m busy getting the entire thing ready now.

And, the worst news of all, my darling nephew-to-be has been diagnosed with cancer.  My niece will be 26 in two weeks; he will be 30 next month.  He has malignant melanoma and went through his second major surgery today in a week.  Next week he starts chemo and radiation.  This shouldn’t happen to anyone, much less a healthy, vigorous, young man.  He is an Orleans Parish Criminal Sheriff Deputy… you know the ones that you saw pictures of standing on the interstate guarding the prisoners because the prison was under water???  That was him.  They were supposed to get married on Leap Day.  He will just be finishing his rounds of chemo and radiation then so they have had to postpone the wedding because he just won’t have the energy for any of it.

Life is just not fair.

nablo07_seal.gif

Keep on swimming…. Friday, Nov 2 2007 

I became a teacher because I like to be meaningful in the lives of the children that I teach. Why is it that I am more increasingly having to deal with “adults” who act like children? Didn’t these people go to college and get a degree to be professionals? Ugh, some days I wish I had a nice quiet job in a cube somewhere.

nablo07_seal.gif

New York City, here I come! Tuesday, Sep 25 2007 

I am so excited.  I never travel… ever.  The last real vacation I had was my honeymoon (and I’m about to celebrate my 13th anniversary!) and those Ivan and Katrina evacuations had hotel stays with pools… so I guess you can count those if you want.  So, my only form of travel ever comes in the way of conferences.  Now– most people would groan at the thought of going out of town for a conference and sitting in meetings all day.  But, you’re looking at a bonafide geek here.  C’mon, I have 117 graduate hours for what… it sure doesn’t increase my pay.  So, I’m ecstatic that I got selected to represent the Greater New Orleans Chapter of the National Writing Project at the National Council of Teachers of English Conference in NYC.  Woot!

Just a small list of the authors and presenters that I will get to hear…. Johnathon Kozol, Jerry Spinelli, Allen Say, Dave Barry, Lucy Calkins, and Ishmael Beah.  Wow, I am such a lucky lady.  It’s the Wednesday through Sunday before Thanksgiving, so as a bonus I get an extended holiday break! 🙂

This is why I teach… Thursday, Sep 20 2007 

This is an article from the front page of today’s paper. Even with a storm heading our way and the Jena 6 Rally today, this made the front page! This is the school I taught at last year and the student interviewed was one of “my kids.” He is the one who read Looking for Alaska when I recommended it to him (only because a professor had done a book talk on it) and returned it the next day. I thought he was passing on it. Actually, he had finished it in one night. He gave it back and said, “Thanks, that was awesome.” That is why I read it. HIS recommendation. He really was a bookworm. Of my 24 kids, 23 passed to the 9th grade!! I bawled my eyes out when I read the article. Enjoy something positive about education for a change.

Taylor’s (Edward– as he wants to be called) story

Manic Monday #3- RED Monday, May 28 2007 

Manic Monday

RED

As a teacher, the color red is one that I have grown a certain detest of because of it’s negative connotations.  I recall getting papers back as a student for many years with red marks all over them and feeling defeated.  As hard as I can, I try to not give that feeling to my students.  My grading color of choice is either green or purple.  These colors are less “harsh” and seem friendlier for some reason.  Even today, when my children come home with papers with red marks on them I feel the pain… Did red marks effect you as a student?  

Writing Tuesday, May 1 2007 

I am so excited!  I found out today that I got accepted to the GNO Writing Project.  This is such a big deal.  It’s an invitation only project and only 20 people get accepted, and I’m ONE OF THEM!!!
It will be intense, it’s 5 weeks from 8-3 every day, but I am ready for it.  Not only do I get to collaborate with 19 other teachers, but we are given time to work on our own writing and have our peers critique it.  For about the last year I have been toying with the idea of writing a YA book.  This could be my kick in the ass that I needed.
Now, if I could only get over this head cold and finish my final projects for my classes, I would feel a hundred times better.

My class’ blog Thursday, Dec 28 2006 

We’ve started our own blog and I’ve added some of our activities.  They are really getting a kick out of this.

Stop by and visit us.  Our school’s mascot is the shooting star and each classroom adopted a constellation or star as it’s name.  We are Aquila, Orion’s eagle.  www.aquila07.blogspot.com 

Thursday Thirteen #9- Why Being At a Conference Isn’t So Great… Wednesday, Nov 29 2006 

thursdaythirteenmistletoe.jpg

  1. Not sleeping in your own bed, with your own pillow, with your own kitty curled up in the crook of your arms.
  2. Being alone at a Tech conference, does that just spell out L-O-S-E-R???
  3. It’s in downtown Baton Rouge, can you say HIP and HAPPENING?
  4. My toilet got clogged as soon as I got here and the button to call the front desk and housekeeping didn’t work.
  5. The conference runs from 7-5, that’s my normal work hours, isn’t it supposed to be shorter?
  6. I don’t get to kiss my kids goodnight or even yell at them for being too loud.
  7. I don’t get to kiss my husband or shove him when he snores.
  8. I don’t get to get a wet nose kiss from the dog or shush him when he barks at 6am.
  9. I don’t get to play with the kitten.
  10. (and a few good points) I’ll finally learn how to podcast with my students.
  11. I’ll get info on gaggle.net so my kids can safely email and blog.
  12. My hotel is right on the river and next to the beautiful Old Capital Building. (of course I didn’t bring my camera)
  13. I only have to “walk” to work… minus the 2 hour drive here today and 2 hour drive back home on Friday.

Get the TT information here.

THE PURPOSE BEHIND THE THURSDAY THIRTEEN:
The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. What do you do? Write Thirteen things about yourself, summarize your week in one entry, make it easy for other bloggers to get to know you on a weekly basis. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well!

See more TT particpants.

Thursday Thirteen #7- Why a week off for Thanksgiving is a good thing Wednesday, Nov 15 2006 

  1. I need a nap!
  2. My cats need some daytime supervision, I’ve been finding way too much “questionable” stuff when I get home.
  3. I can finally go to the dentist.
  4. My daughter can finally go to the orthodontist.
  5. I have a reason to stay in my jammies for most of the day.
  6. I can attempt an intervention with the chocolate lab who is afraid of water, wtf??
  7. My DVR availability level is dangerously low.
  8. I want to finish Janet Evanovich’s Four to Score and start J.A. Jance’s Dead Wrong.
  9. My cats need some serious snuggling/napping make-up time.
  10. I can try to squeeze in a Curves workout or three.
  11. I love my students dearly but after 11 weeks, we need a break.
  12. It’s an excuse to start decorating for Christmas, our first in the new house.
  13. Did I mention I can nap???

Get the TT information here.

THE PURPOSE BEHIND THE THURSDAY THIRTEEN:
The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. What do you do? Write Thirteen things about yourself, summarize your week in one entry, make it easy for other bloggers to get to know you on a weekly basis. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well!

See more TT particpants.

Chalk one up to obsessiveness…. Wednesday, Nov 15 2006 

So, (wow, I sure do use that word a lot, along with these dang commas!) I scratched my cornea last night.  Multiple times.  I got home from an exceptionally long and hard day at school and decided I needed to splash some water on my face.  Only as I was doing so did I realize I still had my contacts in.  Now, these are the contacts that you can sleep in for thirty days but I have had numerous eye problems and I NEVER, EVER do.  So, (see there I go again!) I thought as I was wiping my eye with the towel…. hmmm, wonder if I should be doing this.  I then took out my right contact, no problem.  Go to take out the left and whoopsies, not there.  Hmmmm, let me root around a bit, I guess I moved it with the water and the towel.  Nope still don’t feel it.  Looked around the sink, on the towel, the floor, didn’t see it, so… it must be still in my eye.  So, I go to digging again.  By the time I finish, my eye is bright red and flooding.  Back to the long day for a moment, one student came to school with pink eye.  He was only there for 45 minutes before I sent him to the office, but yet, he was there.  So, know I get to wondering do I have pink eye???  I have felt the entire surface of my eye and swear I can feel a ridge on my pupil area which I insist must be my contact folded over and stuck to my eyeball.  It was warm yesterday and my allergies were at high alert.  On to today.  I wake up with gook in the corner of my eye and a swollen feeling at 2 a.m. along with the thunder, lightning, and the power out.  Great.  Of course, since the power went out the alarm didn’t work, so my daughter missed her bus at 6:20.  I’ve decided by 6:45 that it’s definitely pink eye AND my contact is still stuck in there, so I call into school to say I won’t be in and I bravely face the torrential downpour to drive with one good eye the 20 miles each way to bring said child to school.  Then it’s off to school to prepare a lesson for the sub that will never show.  My co-workers have all decided it’s not pink eye but most definitely some deathly infection.  Great.  My eye doctor opens at 9 so I decide I’ll just sit at the door till they open.  I stop by Starbucks for some reinforcements and head off for the death sentence.  Turns out the contact is no longer in the eye but I did a real doozie on the eye trying to get said non-existent contact out.  I scratched it up majorly and it is swollen beyond the realm of my eyelid.  Also, there is mucus (umm, yuck!) so I’ve got an infection for sure.  Pink eye?  Can’t rule it out, could be just infected from me scratching at it voraciously…  As I’m waiting in the dr’s office the skies open back up.  Of course I have to still get my prescription and it’s teacher appreciation week so I NEED to go to Target, so I bravely face the weather to spend $250 bucks to get those 5 items.  (I swear it’s subliminal messaging!)  Now I have my miracle drops and all my kids are blaming it on the kid who showed it up with pink eye.  But hey, I got to sleep in my warm bed while it poured outside, not bad in all.

So, if you teach in a middle school… Tuesday, Nov 7 2006 

Does that mean you should act like a middle-schooler? I swear this year is getting increasingly worse and it has very little to do with my students. I have encountered more pettiness and back-stabbing from teachers this year than ever before. If that doesn’t help to explain where I’ve been and why I just crawl into bed instead of posting lately nothing will….