Thursday, January 28, 2010

Mr. Duckworth

Mr. Duckworth was my high school English teacher.

He was an odd duck. (No pun intended.) Especially for our little school.

He admitted he draft-dodged the Vietnam "conflict" and was an open Agnostic. Wow. He intrigued me. Even at 16, I was, at least, curious about others beliefs. He was the first person I had known who was verbal about his confusion with faith. All I had known was Methodists and Baptists arguing other petty matters.

I had him for all my English classes (small school) and my literary class I took my senior year. He never changed. He challenged us. To think. I don't know that it worked on everyone, but it worked on me. He had great opposition, to which he would respond, "I don't care if your Daddy IS on the school board! You don't scare me!"

And, he wasn't scared.

Let me say, he and I did not get along very well. We were fine if we were discussing novels and such, but GRAMMAR? I was done with that. (I took a 500 level grammar class in college and made an "A") So, I tried to secretly read another book during grammar lessons (hidden behind the book....does that ever work?). That really pissed him off. He threatened to give me a "U" in conduct for doing so. That would kick me out of Beta Club, even though I had stellar grades.

He looked at me with disdain. I was a little spoiled girl who didn't understand the ways of the world. I looked at him with disdain as well, except....underneath it all, I wanted his acceptance. He seemed smarter than most people I knew.

I wrote one essay that he graded an "A," but noted, "nice to see a little humility in you...for a change."

He was one of three teachers I asked to write in my memory book as I graduated. He wrote:

"We have had some differences over the last three years, but I can safely say that you are one of the most creative students I've ever had in class. I'm aware that gifted students often get bored in regular classrooms, but, of course, as a teacher I have to worry about those not-so-gifted ones who will have a a tougher time after high school. Perhaps you will be able to expand and develop your creativity in college. Best of luck to you."

Mr. Duckworth, you were the reason I wanted to be a high school English teacher. My mother warned against that. She said I didn't have the patience. She was probably right. But, you didn't either. And, you motivated me. Thank you, Mr. Duckworth. For making me think.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Smarty Pants

The "Smarty Pants" wall at school. Just as it was unveiled.

The premise is that when a child tells the teacher an article which is required for the Kindergarten test, it is posted on their "pants."

Without going into the way more than you wanted to know area, Curt is doing great. He has LOTS of items on his pants. Not as many as some, but more than many others.

Two years ago, he was barely talking. Now, he tells me his phone number.

I am so proud. I cannot expain it.

Now, for his address...

Friday, January 15, 2010

Happy as a Dog?

The new year is kicking my ass. There.

Work? Check. Home? Check. Stepson grounded for bad grades and cannot leave the house, therefore making us ALL miserable? Check!

Curt is now dealing with the Kindergarten pre-test at school. I am trying to help. How in the world is he going to real school next year? How is that possible? He is my baby. Yet, we are praticing our phone number this weekend -- address yet to come.

He LUVS his teacher, Miss Tippee (Tiffany for those not in the know). She just got a sweet pug dog. Thank God for animals. And, thank God for Miss Tippee.

Curt giving Miss Tippee's dog, Lettie, a kiss. His current school? The best move I ever made.

Photo courtesy of Miss Tippee's phone. See why I love her and this place? I get photos all the time!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


2009. A year in which nothing extraordinarily wonderful happened.* A year in which nothing devastating happened. Goodbye, 2009!

Hello, 2010. Did I make any mind-boggling resolutions? No.

I am making "Everyday Resolutions" instead. Things like...

1. Try not to worry so much about the way the house looks and if the laundry is caught up. (I am obsessive about laundry. But, I can never be caught up. Thus, the unhappy Imperfect Perfectionist.)

2. I will ask for help from my family instead of being angry and passive/aggressive that they don't see the things that need to be done without being asked. They are, after all, men.

3. I will let Curt and Cowboy have their time together without telling Daddy what Curt needs. Curt can do that now.

4. I will call the repair man and schedule a time to come fix a few things at the house instead of being angry that the DAMNED DOOR IS STILL BROKEN!

5. I will try to be more calm and loving, instead of abrasive, shrill and impatient.

6. I will try to sit down and enjoy life, even if the sink is full of dishes.

7. I will breathe.

Happy 2010!

*Ok, Curt became 100 % potty-trained in 2009. That was pretty wonderful!