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September 2008 entries

My Bucket List

I've not seen the movie The Bucket List yet, but the premise of the film starring Jack Nicholas and Morgan Freeman is that two men are diagnosed with cancer and leave the hospital together to take care of those "I want to do XYZ before I die" things that we always think we have time for.

So . . . I've been thinking about my own bucket list (and yes, students, I smell a journal entry!).  I think this may take a couple of posts because I am not exactly sure what I want to do before I die.  Here are some immediate answers:

1.  See Aidan and Gabrielle grow up and establish their lives.

2.  Go back to London.

3.  Earn my PhD: in English or Gender Studies...oh, the choices...

4.  Go on a cruise...doesn't really matter where.  Wait, somewhere tropical (not one of those Alaskan or Canadian cruises).

5.  Ride in a hot air balloon.

That's it for I said, I've got to give it some thought!

Toga! Toga! Toga!

I was invited to a student's 16th birthday party this Saturday.  I was impressed with the invitation because it quoted Shakespeare's Julius Caesar as it asked all "friends, Romans, and countrymen" to attend a toga party in honor of the birthday girl.  I've never been to a more orchestrated theme party in my life.  The party was a blast, complete with a pillared cake and a huge Toga Twister mat.  There were Latin phrases on a banner on the wall, a DJ, and awards for the best togas.  I am proud to say that I won "Best Toga Worn by an Adult."  :)  Happy Birthday, Alyssa!


Toga Twister! There were 9 playing mats in all!



Ode to the Panini

I purchased a Hamilton Beach panini machine yesterday from Target, and it has changed my life.  Think Panera Bread without the $8 price tag on each sandwich.  Uh-mazing.  Seriously, look at my lunch. I made turkey bacon paninis with Italian bread and garlic tomatoes last night.  Today for lunch, roast beef and provolone for the kids and Italian for Michael. 

See what I mean?  YUM-O



I had my sophomores write their personal creed last week.  One of their vocabulary roots is "Credo", from the Latin for "believe".  They wrote me 500-word essays outlining their personal beliefs, from religion to the ever-popular "boxers or briefs" debate.  I decided to do a Credo blog . . .

* I believe that cancer sucks.

* I believe in the Apostles' Creed.

* I believe that dogs are better than cats (sorry, Miss Hopkins).

* I believe that Gabrielle is super-adorable when she says, "Uh-huh."

* I believe that teaching English is the best job in the world.

* I believe that just because I own a labelmaker doesn't mean I'm a total loser.

* I believe that some people are just plain unreasonable and want to stay unhappy.

* I believe in the power of positive thinking.

* I believe that "tomorning" should be a legit word in the English language.

* I believe in coffee in the morning and sometimes in the afternoon.

* I believe that watching Mike play the Wii is funny.

* I believe that Aidan is really smart.

* I believe that freckles really are angel kisses.

* I believe that eating watermelon seeds and swallowing gum is really OK.

* I believe that Charles Dickens is one of the best writers of all time.

* I believe the fall play at MHS is going to be amazing!

* I believe in myself.

* I believe birthday cakes are calorie-free.

* I believe in setting a good example.

* I believe that high heels are utterly ridiculous.

* I believe that pregnancy is a miracle.

* I believe that having  children can make us better people, if we take the time to learn from them.

* I believe that I miss Jim.

* I believe that nurses are underpaid.

* I believe that Latin is a beautiful language.

* I believe in the power of education and critical thinking.

* I believe that Gender Studies is an awesome class to teach.

* I believe that I work in a great school district.

* I believe that boxers or briefs is a personal choice.

* I believe that I've gained 10 lbs. and I don't really care.

 * I believe that my husband is addicted to the Wii.

* I believe that I might be addicted to blogging (but NOT my cell phone, Chris and Bonnie!)

* I believe that everyone should try this assignment.

* I believe that I am going to stop here.

A collage of thoughts and funny stories from this week. . .

Overheard in B206 . . .

Student 1: "I know this vocab like the back of my hand, Mrs. Connor."

Student 2: "The saying is 'like the back of my head, not hand.'"

Student 1: "When have you seen the back of your head??"

Student 2: [pause]  "Oh. Good point."


Student 3: [in the middle of telling a story] ". . .and then there were these wild deer that came through the yard . . . "

Mrs. Connor: "If I may interrupt, are there domestic deer in your yard?  Why did specify that they were wild?"

Student 3: "Well, we had a deer in the house once.  It wore a hot pink collar and drank from a bottle.  Then we let it free and it got killed."


Student 4: "All of these storied have people from China in them!"

Mrs. Connor: [slightly dumbfounded since only one story had any connection to China] "What are you talking about?"

Student 4: "You know, Amy Tan and that one on the 38th parallel."

Student 5: "That's between North and South Korea."

Student 4: "Same thing."

Mrs. Connor: [head in hands in dismay]

Requiem Aeternam

Requiem æternam dona eis, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis. Te decet hymnus Deus, in Sion, et tibi reddetur votum in Ierusalem. Exaudi orationem meam; ad te omnis caro veniet. Requiem æternam dona eis, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis.

“Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. A hymn becomes you, O God, in Zion, and to you shall a vow be repaid in Jerusalem.  Hear my prayer; to you shall all flesh come. Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them.”

Aidan's beloved godfather, Jim Scott, lost his courageous battle with lung cancer this morning.  It is at times like these when words fail us, when love and admiration cannot be described through the faulty medium of language.

Jim: we love you and will miss you dearly.  Thank you for being who you were, a man of integrity, compassion, soul, and rationality.  I will miss our long talks; who is left to solve the problems of the world?  I can't do it alone, you know. 

Michael told me today that his last words to Jim were expressing to him how much I loved him.  Michael said that as he was telling Jim about how special he is to me, his face lit up and he smiled at Mike's words. 

The last words I told Jim were that I love him.  Little Aidan told him the same thing; Jim responded through his morphine-induced fog, "I love you" back.  I will never forget that moment.

Goodbye, Jim.  I love you.


Anatomy Lesson

This morning, for some unknown reason, Aidan awoke with me at 5 a.m.   We were even out late at the Lycoming County  Band Exhibition last night...the kiddo should have been exhausted.  Anyway, Aidan, who has never showed any interest in taking a shower despite my suggesting it from time to time, decides that he wants to get a "big kid shower" with me. 

So there we were, 5 a.m., showering and laughing about the shower "tickling" him.   It was great. 

After the shower, we went into his room, where coincidentally, I keep my clothes for the next day because inevitably little Aidan is in our bed by 4 a.m. each day...I know, I know...Mike gives him this talk about "staying in his bed" at night, but can I let you in on a secret?  Swear not to tell Mike?  Ok, here it is:  I actually love that Aidan comes over every morning...even though he needs a "little sip" and his vitamins every time.  I figure, hey, he's not going to be doing it when he's 15, so I'm going to relish these days while I can. 

I digress.

Aidan and I were in his room, and he was cold from the shower, but he didn't want to put all his clothes on, so I put his undies and socks on and wrapped him in his blankets.   For some reason, Aidan took notice of his nipple and asked me what it was.  I told him, and of course, his next question was why he had them. 

Ummmmm......good question.

I don't really know. 

Then he asked me about Mommies and I explained that Mommies feed their babies; he said, "Oh!  Then I will feed my babies when I get bigger, too." 

I told him that Daddies find other ways to take care of their babies.  But I am still at a loss as to why boys have nipples.  :)

So...if these are the questions he has at age THREE...what is down the road??