Monday, December 19, 2011

Elf on a Shelf: A Horror Story

A terrible thing emerged several Christmases ago called 

Through some facebook sleuthing I discovered that these awful puppets have become somewhat of a staple in the homes of small children every holiday season. The whole scheme works like this: A FOOTLESS puppet enters a home sometime after Thanksgiving with direct orders from Santa to keep an eye on the children.  Every night this borderline peeping tom will magically fly back to the North Pole where he will recount the day's events to Santa.  Santa then uses this information to scribe his Naughty and Nice lists, while parents have an entire month's worth of discipline that involves pointing to the informant elf and crying,  "I hope SANTA doesn't have to hear about this!"

As someone who has an irrational fear of puppets I am NOT a fan of the Elf on the Shelf.  It scares the crap out of me.  Take a look at this!!!:

 Ahhh!!  So scary!! No feet!  Creepily peering around doorways!!  Ahhh!!

I do not have children, but I would like to have some someday, and this Elf on the Shelf business is really making me reconsider. The thought of a FOOTLESS elf sneaking around my house at night is positively terrifying. Now, I KNOW that the parents are the ones who actually move the elf, but I would always second guess myself if said Elf were ever out of my sight for more than 30 seconds.  No one can guarantee what those puppets are doing when they aren't being watched.

I'll admit I'm intrigued by the whole behavior management angle.  I have visions of TWENTY little elves hanging from my classroom projector with their frightening eyes staring at each students' chair.  But, I'm far too creeped out by their painted faces and lack of feet to actually ever go through with it.

However, there is some good news!  A Christmas miracle, if you will.  While browsing the internets for ways to protect myself from elves without feet I came upon this little gem:

This is so great.  A mother decided to hold a contest to see who could create the most hilarious inappropriate elf picture. (Within reason!  All the photos are PG-13...ish).  I encourage all of my friends and family members who have an elf to participate.  You can even win an Ipad 2!

Happy Holidays everyone! 
Lookout for those elves.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

On Narwhals

   My Earth was turned upside down on Saturday night when I discovered that narwhals are not, in fact, mythical creatures.  For years I had them categorized in the same group as unicorns, yetis, and the chupacabra.  But no, as wikipedia has informed me: Narwhals are very real, and they are swimming around in the arctic ocean RIGHT NOW!
   This brings up some pretty serious questions for me.  For instance, if they have those giant horns sticking out of their faces what kind of turning radius can they possibly have?  It's a good thing they have an entire ocean to turn around in.  Also, what do they do if they get attacked from the side?  My very basic knowledge of physics tells me that they would probably not be able to get that horn pointed in an effective defensive position in enough time.  Finally, do they like shish kebabs, or ring toss?
   According to wikipedia, they don't even use those horns for hunting!  What a waste!  It seems they are mostly for show, like a male peacock feathers or a lion's mane.  This news is kind of disappointing, considering once I discovered the validity of narwhals I instantly pictured them chasing after other sea creatures and harpooning them with their horns.  Sadly, they do no harpooning, from what I can gather from wikipedia, my most reliable source of information.
   Oh, and it turns out, the "horn" is actually a "tusk."  So, it is the worst snaggle-tooth ever.

I have so much to think about.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Kindergarten is Back...With a Spider in the Bathroom

Kindergarten started again this week.  We are at a brand new school site and I have 30 students.  Also, I'm the school's Garden Coordinator, I started a Masters Program, and I got engaged.  All of these things have happened in the past week. This year will be a wild ride!

I'm happy to say that after five first days of Kindergarten I am no longer surprised at how crazy it is. The kids are cute and hilarious, and I've loved getting to know their personalities.  I have one student who I am calling "The Squirrel" because she shoots around the room, gets into everything, and is outrageously cute.  Another student has (so far) spent every day wandering around my classroom crying as loudly as possible, begging me to call her mom. :(  And yet another student cannot use our Kindergarten bathroom because he is afraid of spiders.

The spider situation came to light today when said student came rushing up to me with a desperate look on his face.  He had already made one unsuccessful trip to the bathroom where he realized he was unable to unfasten his belt.  He oddly stalked back into the room, approached me and said,

"Can you do dis belt fing? It's really hard!"

I undid the belt, and he went streaking back out in the direction of the bathroom.  This happened right at the beginning of recess when all of my other students were sprinting in sweaty circles outside, while a student from another class was throwing a tantrum that I was called to assist with.

In the midst of all the chaos I forgot that my one student had gone to the bathroom. (Safety note: That bathroom is right outside my classroom which is next to the fenced in playground so he wasn't lost or unsupervised).  Near the end of recess I noticed the same student pacing in and out of the bathroom, muttering to himself and sporting a concerned expression.

My school principal was in the midst (due to the aforementioned tantrum) and he mentioned to me,

"Hey, why is *Johnny* still going in and out of that bathroom?"

I realized that he was right, and that Johnny had been inexplicably wandering around the bathroom area for a longer amount of time then is usually necessary.  To top off the scene, he now had his belt half-way off, and he was pacing back and forth with it dangling from the belt loops on one side of his body.  The principal thought his concern might be getting his belt back on, so he pulled him aside to coach him in putting his belt through the loops on his pants.

He managed to get his belt back on, but then immediately came up to me and asked to go to the bathroom again.  The situation was getting stranger and stranger so I finally asked him what was going on.  I told him he had spent plenty of time in the bathroom, and I wanted to know why he still had not gone.  He threw his head back, dropped his hands to his side, and gave a loud and exasperated sigh as he said,

"BECAUSE der is a SPIDER in der!  And if a spider bites you you will DIE!  And you hafta go to da hospital and get shots and I HATE shots!"

A true five year-old dilemna: Do I pee my pants, or face a bathroom spider?

From the way he was acting I pictured a tarantula in an elaborate web hanging over the urinal, but as I went into the bathroom to scope out the scene I could see no spider.  Johnny waved me over to a corner near the door, the farthest point from the bathroom stall, and pointed up at the ceiling.  There, in the tiniest crack near the window, was a small spider running back and forth.

"You see!!?  It's wight der!  Can you watch the spider so I can go pee?"

"You want me to keep an eye on the spider while you use the stall so it doesn't go near you?"


So that is how I found myself standing in the corner of the bathroom watching a small spider while a student went in the stall and FINALLY used the restroom.

I can't wait for day three.

*As always, names are changed.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Some Great Blogs

I've been very busy with packing up my entire classroom and stealing off to summer camp to live in the woods for a week.  This means that I have lots to write about, but that I have even more laundry to do.  So all camp related blogging will happen after the last dirty sock has been laundered and put away, and all of my outrageous costumes have been accounted for.  In the meantime, I suggest you read these blogs:

In Honor of Design
A blog about home decor, fashion, and sometimes babies.  It's cute.

WTForever 21
 This blog pokes fun at all of the crazy stuff Forever 21 tries to sell under the guise of fashion.  Also, the creators are currently being sued by Forever 21 for alleged copyright infringement regarding their brand name.  Sarcastic and Controversial?  I love it.

Fashionably Bombed
Do you wish you could wear cute dresses and drink fun cocktails all day?  I do.  These sisters have somehow managed to pull that off.  Luckies.

Every Day I Write the Book
This is one of those Mormon Mommy Bloggers, but she's not so much preachy as she is hilarious.  She talks about how she's really bad at things that Mormon moms are supposed to be good at.  Plus she reads a lot, and I like her book recommendations.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Top Chef

Every once in a while my friends Bill and Rebecca host a Top Chef competition.  Luckily, Rebecca's sister Jessica is an amazing documentary film maker (or something like that) and Rebecca is an editing genius. Together they have managed to create a video which captures the competition in ways I couldn't begin to describe with the written word.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

La Llorona

To completely understand this story you're going to have to do some additional research.  It is imperative that you understand who La Llorona is, otherwise this will make little sense.

Thanks, Wikipedia!
(My most reliable source of information)

Essentially, she is a crying ghost-lady that tries to steal children (from what my five year old students tell me).

The other day I was sitting with a group of my students (Yellow Table, to be precise) who were working on writing in their journals.  Ideally, the children will draw pictures and write stories about past experiences, and then I will write back to them in their journals to draw out more information and encourage them to expand their writing.  In reality, my students always want to write about being at the park with Spiderman, or at Chucky Cheese with a princess.  When I remind them that they have to write about something that really happened to them they will put some sort of absurd spin on it.  Typically it goes down like this:

Me: "Tell me about your drawing!"
Student: "I am playing soccer with Spiderman!"
Me: "Hmm, is that something that REALLY happened?"
Student: "Oh, yeah, well, one time I was watching Spiderman and then I was dreaming about him playing soccer with me so that is why it really happened 'cause I dreamed it."

Sometimes I battle with them over this, but on this particular day I wasn't really in the mood so when my student told me he was drawing La Llorona I did not try and convince him to do something else. (I mean, there are only so many times you can write about going to the park!)

I asked him to tell me what La Llorona was doing, and he elaborated, "She is chasing me on my skateboard.  She is trying to get me because I was not being a good listener.  She steals kids.  My skateboard is a fire skateboard and it makes me go fast so I can get away from her.  The fire is on her head."

There were four other children at the table.  Two of them were very familiar with the tales of La Llorona, and two were not.  Upon hearing the first student's idea the two more familiar with the story immediately jumped on the bandwagon and began drawing their own versions of their encounters with La Llorona.

"This is me with La Llorona at a birthday party at the park!"

"I am playing soccer with La the park!"

(Always the park)

The other two students; however, sat confused.  "Who is La Llorona?" one little girl asked.

One student offered the explanation, "Oh, she is a lady who has a face like this," makes terrible face, "and hair like THIS, scribbles all over paper with black crayon, "and hands like THIS!" makes gnarled-claw hands.

"But why does she have yucky hands?"

"Because she is trying to steal kids and take them from their moms when they are so bad or they don't clean up their messes!"

She considered this for a moment, then turned to me and asked, "Is it for real?"

I was at an impasse.  This was the same little girl that would not put her feet on the floor for the entirety of St. Patrick's day because she was terrified that there was an actual leprechaun in the classroom.  As far as make-believe characters go she took them pretty seriously.   I could tell her yes, possibly scarring her forever, or tell her no and completely undercut a cultural story that was really important to several of the other students.  I turned the question around on her and asked, "Well, what do you think?"

She looked at me, looked at her friends, and said, "No, I don't think it's real."

The student with the original La Llorona inspiration threw down his black crayon (which he had been using to add some extra tangles to La Llorona's hair) and shouted, "IN MEXICO IT'S REAL!"

She looked at him, smiled and said, "Oh, that's OK then." and everyone continued to color.

Well, crises averted.  My students still believe in La Llorona, but think she is safely tucked away in Mexico.  

I win at teaching.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011



If you, OR ANYONE YOU KNOW, might be interested in hosting an exchange student from Spain from June 30th-July 24th please let me know!  I'm working with a student exchange company called American Discovery, and I need to find host families for 7 more high school students, and 1 female chaperon.

The students are high-school aged, eager to improve their English, and so excited about spending three weeks in the United States.  They come completely insured, with their own spending money, and the cost of all of our activities is included in their program fee.  The only additional cost to the host families is the extra mouth to feed for just three weeks. 

Right now I am responsible for recruiting host families, but once the students arrive the real fun begins!  I'm in charge of coordinating awesome trips and activities for the students AND their host families during the three weeks. It's a great way to practice Spanish, and an even better way to learn about a different culture, PLUS you (and/or your kids) can participate in the trips and activities  (hosted by me) to San Francisco, Six Flags, AND Sun Splash. (I'm sure it's the Sun Splash that will really seal the deal for a lot of you).

American Discovery charters a bus for all of the far out of town trips, as well as provides transportation to and from the airport.  Host families only responsibility in regards to these trips is to get the students to the meet up points.

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, if you or anyone you know might even kind of sort of maybe want to know even a tiny little bit about this program please contact me!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...