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September 2008

August 2008 entries

Playing Dress Up

It was one of those "where is my camera when I need it" kind of days...I went to Bostley's to pick up Aidan and Gabrielle and when I arrived at Aidan's classroom, I couldn't immediately pick him out of the class.  His teacher laughed and said, "I am not sure that you'll recognize him."  Sure enough, there my little boy was in his "My Mom Rules" shirt, a big blue hat with a huge flower on it, and a skirt tied around his waist.  He was playing with 3 girls dressed in princess costumes; they were cooking in the play kitchen. 

I asked Aidan what he was doing and he replied, "I am playing princess with my friends."  LOL.  His teacher said that they told him to pick up his skirt when he was walking and he didn't know what they meant...naturally, since he doesn't wear skirts.  :)

Later in the car, he admitted that he "looked more like a grandma than a princess" and that he dressed up because his "friends were".  So...peer pressure to cross-dress at age 3 or natural curiosity in assuming a role different from his own?  I go with the latter, and you better believe I used it as an example in class today. 

Most of the kids saw it for what it was, innocent childish curiosity; although a few said, "Oh my gosh!  What if he's gay??"  Before I could even respond, another student piped up, "Give me a break...he's 3!"  When I polled the class to see how many boys had played dress up with their girlfriends, a few admitted it (I think there are more out there).  Another perspective was that Aidan is already a little womanizer, knowing not to waste time with the boys in the class. 

Isn't it interesting how we are so quick to apply adult standards, especially of sexuality, to children who have yet to experience the sex hormones that puberty brings?  This is a classic example of how we sexualize children, that is to say, how we apply adult feelings to kids.  Aidan was simply playing with his friends, not caring if they were doing "boy" things or "girl" things, yet the tendency is worry about his sexuality, which is far from being a concern in his life.  And truly, that is part of the problem wth our social mindset: we need to allow children to be children without using an adult standard to judge them by. 

Sigh...sadly, another reason that Gender Studies is so crucial ...

John McCain announced his pick for Vice President, Alaskan governor Sarah Palin, today.  Already the media is starting to question her ability to be the VP and the mother of a child with Down's Syndrome (would we EVER ask that question about a man's ability to be VP and the father of a child with Down's Syndrome?) and political feelings aside, this picture, focusing on Palin's physical features and history of being a runner-up in the Miss Alaska contest, is ridiculous.


The crude sexual reference to the 1999 blockbuster American Pie in this picture which is making its swift way around the Internet is sexism, pure and simple.  This is a woman who has accomplished a lot in her life and political career and who has 80% approval ratings in Alaska...let's reduce her to a piece of meat, shall we? 

When will this stop happening? 

Birth Day, Indeed!

As we've already covered, yesterday was my birthday.  I came in at 6 a.m. as I usually do, fed my fish and started the day. 

Fish 004  

 Just before homeroom something in the tank caught my Black Mollies had three babies!  (I guess the names "George and Lennie" need some reworking...) By the end of homeroom, I had 7 baby fish!  By the end of the day...10 baby fish!  They must be Catholic. :)

Fish 007

Fish 008

Fish 005

So far, the babies are surviving, although I've read that Mollies will eat their young.  We are going to get a tank set up at home for Aidan and Gabrielle and I will take the baby fish there. 

My Last 3 Hours at 27...

I love this time of year, the time when the academic year starts afresh, the time when teachers and students alike are apprehensive about doing their best for each other.  It is also the time of year when I get a year older (and hopefully wiser) and spend some time reflecting upon my life. 

Today's first day of classes went really well.  At the end of the day, I was overwhelmed by the sheer number of kids that will be tracking in and out of my classroom, and ultimately my life, in one day.  My newly proposed elective, Gender Studies in Literature, Film, and the Media, is going to be great.  I had the first section today (my second section is tomorrow; we alternate days in the 6 day cycle) and our introductory conversations went really well.  My new sophomores seem inquisitive and insightful, and my seniors are going to be my unique bunch yet again this week. 

Tomorrow, I begin my second year of teaching and my twentieth-eighth year of living.  Thanks be to God on both accounts!

Break a Leg

On Friday night, I took the kids to see the culmination of two weeks of hard work at the Hughesville Spartan Band camp.  They performed their show, a nod to the 80s complete with the entire band dancing to "Thriller", for parents and supporters at 5:30 p.m.  We arrived early to see "Daddy" and as the kids headed out in uniform, I told Aidan to say, "Break a leg."  Instead, he told musician after musician, "Break your legs!"  Close enough, right?

Matt and Sean . . .

Remember...I will name a fish after each of you for the right to display the video below, as per our verbal agreement today.  I recall that Matt would like his fish to be named Adam, after his dual Adam's apples...Sean, you have not made a request yet.  Perhaps something alliterative a la peculiar percussion...

Nearly Nine

It is 8:50 p.m. at the end of the last Saturday before school starts.  We started the day by heading to the mall, where Taylor (of flamingo and tattered backpack fame) promised he'd be in the Twistee costume at Auntie Anne's Pretzels...well, as it turned out, Taylor not only likes to break flamingos to make kids cry, he likes to lie about being dressed up as a pretzel, too. 

Twistee   And, no ...that picture isn't of's one I had to rip off the Internet because...well, see above.

After the great disappointment at Auntie Anne's, we headed to PETCO to pick out my birthday present!  I decided on a 29-gallon fish tank...for my classroom.  Love it!  We set it up with gravel, water, and plants today.  We have to wait 24-48 hours to put actual fish in it, so the plan is go after my in-service day on Monday to select four or five fish to start.  The tank can hold 29 inches of fish. The rule is one inch of fish per gallon of water...and they say to start slowly and then add more fish slowly so that they can get used to the tank and each other.  I'll post some pictures on Monday. :)

21st Century Tot

I dialed Grandma Tina on my cell phone today and handed the phone to Aidan.  He gave me the play-by-play:

A: "'s's still's ringing again.  Oh wait.  I am going to leave a message.....uh-oh, Mom...I've got a problem here.  I called an e-mail by accident."

When the voice recording prompted Aidan to "leave a message" he thought that meant an email.  Did I mention that he is 3?