Category Archives: school

Ketchup-ing Up

Beauty in the day: his mom came in to give us some information. I wrote it all down and then she said, “oh, and one more thing…” she started to laugh, corrected herself, then began again. “He told me…” she started to laugh again. This continued for a bit until she was able to continue.
“He doesn’t normally buy school lunch, so this has been new for him, and yesterday there were hot dogs. I asked him how he liked it. He told me he didn’t eat it. I asked why, and he said, ‘They only have mustard there.’ I told him I was pretty sure there would be ketchup too, but he confirmed with, ‘No ketchup at school mom. They can’t afford it.”
Mom broke up laughing again.

#sellthebooksandgetsomeketchupupinhere

The Standard of Long

Beauty in the day: the first-grader caught me during his breakfast. “Ms. Nordstrom, do you have good plans for the weekend?”
I told him I didn’t have special plans, but that I was looking forward to a restful weekend.
“I think you should go see Captain Underpants,” was his suggestion. I raised my eyebrows at this, and told him I would have to consider that idea, and mentioned that I had heard that Wonder Woman was also showing, and that maybe I would see it.
He gave me a troubled look and then gave me the worrisome news: “I’ve heard that it’s really long – like, an hour.”
Good thing it’s the weekend and I might have an hour to spare.

Invisible is a Color

Beauty in the day: the principal came in from recess with a story to tell. Apparently he had just finished intervening with two very young girls who were engaged in a sort of, “slap fight”. He demonstrated this kind of childish, flailing hands kind thing. “The funny thing about it was the REASON for the conflict. It turns out they were playing a make-believe game about magical things. One girl was in charge of granting the other girl’s wish.”

“I would like an invisible cape!”
The other girl granted this wish easily, or so it would seem. The wish became more complicated, as the first girl clarified that the cape should be “sparkly pink”.
The grantor explained that, no, the invisible cape was most certainly NOT sparkly pink.
Now, the first girl was rather put-out at this point, and again asserted that the cape should absolutely be sparkly pink.
The second girl disagreed again, and this is about where the slap fight started.
The principal mediated, and, listening to the explanations of what had taken place, asked the wish-grantor why she didn’t just agree that the invisible cape could be a sparkly pink one?
She exhaled and rolled her eyes. “If it’s INVISIBLE, then it wouldn’t have any COLOR.”

Although I beg to differ here, I do see where she was going with that.

Under the Influence

Beauty in the day: he comes to the office a lot when it’s music time. He likes music, but not music class, because he’s terribly sensitive to noise. When he comes, he likes to chat a fair amount. He’s a bright boy – one who likes to learn lots of things that some other boys have yet to cultivate an interest in.
“I’m back. ”
“Hi friend, how come you’re here?”
“The same reason I’m always here. Too loud in music.”
…Oh yeah.
“I do like music, and I did try. I sang for a bit. I can sing pretty good, actually.”
“Oh! Good to know! Any chance you would give me a sample of your singing?”
“Well…I really only sing best when I am under the influence.”
😂 (he quickly interpreted this for me to mean “under the influence of the music”, and forgave me for the burst of laughter that erupted over that.)

Little Big Man

Beauty in the day: he is little. Teeny-tiny. He’s one of those teeny-tiny packages that pack a wallop. He came in before school with a nasty scrape on his forearm, the wound bright red. He was HOWLING. My poor assistant was trying to dab at the spot, which only made him howl more. Those little packages can make a lot of noise. 😉
I jumped in, if only to rescue my assistant and put and end to his misery. I grabbed some gauze, and got him to look at me while I counted loudly out loud, “1, 2, 3, 4,” and made some quick work of wiping away the redness.
“Here, buddy, hold this,” I told him, and grabbed his free hand to hold the fresh gauze over the scrape (at this point, it was medically unnecessary, but emotionally necessary).
His trauma scale was now at a 7 from the original 10, evidenced by the heavy breathing coupled with the FIERY level look he was aiming at me. I began to open a bandaid package. “I do NOT want a BIG bandaid!” he informed me in no uncertain terms.
I set down the big bandaid with great pomp, and grabbed up a medium one. I didn’t wait for his opinion, but started talking my way through it rapidly, having sized up my foe and determined the best course to confuse him. I placed it over his wound, and he took 3 even breaths, and then turned on his heel to head to class, muttering loudly to himself as he went.

At lunch, he returned. “Take it off,” he said regally and with great importance.

“Oh, no. No, we will not take if off, friend, because you have a scrape under there that needs to heal.”

“It is better now,” he dictated. “Take it off!”

“Nope. Sorry, buddy. Not taking it off. That needs to stay on.”

We had a short argument then, him wrangling to remove the bandaid, and me standing my ground. I came up with a compromise. “Okay, we can take it off so you can look at it, but then I will cover it back up with a new one.” He felt this to be preposterous (which it was), and opted to leave it on.
“Make sure you show it to your mom when you get home, and she can decide if you can take it off.”

I’ve never seen a 5-year-old master the technique of the double-take…until now. He screwed his face up tight and looked at me with the scoffing-est of scoffing looks. “I will NOT show it to my mother!” he said over his shoulder, as he exited the office with the swiftness of one who isn’t interested in getting caught up and any more ridiculous conversation.

It’s important that our jobs are not around the clock. I can likely use the down time to restrategize.

Birdman

Beauty in the day: checked my moon phase app today. Nope. No full moon until Wednesday. Checked it again later in the day to see if it was Wednesday yet. Nope – still Monday. It may be a long week… So lucky it’s Teacher Appreciation Week! (whew!)
Oh yeah – the beauty – right – – –
After school I remembered to ask my boss a question I’ve been trying to remember to ask him, but have continued to forget. – – WHY does Chas put a half-eaten apple core behind his tire each morning? It’s not like he’s parked on a hill or anything….😂
“Oh THAT,” he said. “Well, after I came to work here, I was eating my apple on the way to work like I’ve always done, but I used to throw the core in the bushes, where deer would come and eat them. But I can’t do that here, because the bushes belong to people’s yards. So the first time, I just laid it next to my tire, and figured I’d take care of it later, when I went home. But after work, I noticed that the apple had been pecked at quite a bit by birds. I started leaving it out there for the birds, but they didn’t really eat it all, and I realized it was just too big an item. So I started putting it behind my tire, so that when I leave after work, I back over it and crush it, and then the birds can easily eat it.”

No – for reals, you guys.

#feedthebirdstuppenceabag

Spirit Week

Beauty in the day: you may possibly recall that last night I recounted a happy “Teacher PD” session on FB. A portion of that brilliance centered around teachers suggesting – nay, PROMISING to send students to me with chairs (it’s important to note, that I work with a group of people with a high level of integrity. A promise made, I discovered, WILL be kept).
Now, this week has been Spirit Week at Ardmore. For the “uneducated” on this point, let me explain that Spirit Week is a wonderful, fun, exciting sequence of events that will bring joy to your heart, and drain the energy from your body and mind. Today, Friday, was the proverbial “cherry on top” – you guessed it – Character Day. This is when you get to come in costume, depicting a favorite character. Think Halloween, only in February, and without all the candy (whew!). Suffice it to say, there were a great many distractions all week, and today was the pinnacle. I was working feverishly away – there was much to do on the Friday before Mid-Winter Break.
It was time for Kindergarten Music, and as the teacher (a promise-keeper) led her cuties to the Music Room (which is perpendicular to the office), she made a sudden detour, directing her learners to my desk, each of them carrying a picture of a chair, colored in and labeled with lovely messages. They were delightful, and a few could not contain themselves to follow the (assumed) direction of silence (based on much whispering), but instead burst out in salutations and “I loves you’s”. 🙂
Yet, the day was not over.
I think I have also mentioned before that I work in a “fishbowl” of an office, surrounded by windows. I looked up from an email to discover a small student in front of me, a student chair at her side. “My Teacher told me to bring you this chair,” she said soberly. I thanked her sincerely, and showed her where she should deposit it. Smiling to myself, I went back to my work. But Lo, approximately 6 minutes later, I viewed a little boy coming down the hallway, a chair in tow. Again came the sober pronouncement. This happened two more times, and I halted child number four to wait while I wrote a note to the teacher. “Dear Teacher, Thank you for sending down the chairs! It’s wonderful! Unfortunately, I don’t have a table to put them around.”
It may have only taken 2.5 minutes to look up and see two first-graders lugging a student desk to the Office.
Spirit Week isn’t only for kids.
Oh – and there was a giant Scaredy Squirrel.