Monday, August 15, 2016

Musings from Middle School: First impressions


I'm now a little over a week into the new job, and I think this has become my new mantra.

Backing up a bit, after 6 years working with high school aged students, I've decided to try my hand at the middle school setting.   I had a long list of reasons where change would be good, and then an opportunity to try working in a different setting, and I decided to go for it.

So a few of my random first thoughts

  • Middle School involves more tears....when the first one started to cry, I though OH MY, was my tone that rude?   And then today, we had one crying in the bathroom for no reason other than "she had a cold and a headache".  Ah, now I get it, puberty is a hot emotional mess, tears flow easier and faster in this age group.
  • Missing Kids are searched for differently.   Day 1 I heard the radio call for Freddy.   Nope, hadn't seen Freddy.   Turns out, Freddy had gone to the bathroom, and wandered back to the wrong class...or something along those lines.    Freddy wasn't stoned-ditching class-passed out in the bathroom (3 top high school scenarios), he was just in the wrong class and too afraid to speak up.  
  •  Use the right words.  My vocabulary is apparently too rich for some of these kids.   I had explained to one young lady "given how you injured your hand, it's highly unlikely you broke it".  "WHAT?  I BROKE IT?" (cue the tears).   Ok, let's try this again, AND let's call Mama (because clearly if I didn't make sure Mama heard the message, it would get twisted around as soon as Snowflake called mama.
  • Innocence is not lost.  Poor little Joey was all upset (at least he wasn't crying).   When I asked why, he gave the over dramatic heavy sigh one word response "POO-BERTY".   Seems his voice had cracked and he had one lone pimple on his porcelain face.   Oh sweetie, it's gonna get so much worse before it gets better....but yeah, I held my tongue on that one and just let him be
  • If you didn't chart it, you still might have done it.   In nursing, we've always been told to document our every action, "If you don't chart it, you didn't do it".  Well, that isn't always true either.... I called Suzie's mom to find out the plan for daily medication.  Mama Bear chuckled and said "same plan as when you called yesterday".  Yeah, I hadn't charted it, therefore, didn't remember which parents I had called.   
All in all, I'm excited for the change this new job will bring....oh sure, I too have felt a bit overwhelmed at being the new kid.   But overall, there is a good feeling to this new assignment and I'm eager to see what adventures are to be had.  

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Right Now: July

Right Now
I am Listening:   to the silence of the early morning.   It's something I've been doing most summer mornings.   I wake up before anyone else, sip my coffee and then  join my walking buddy for an hour long stroll through the neighborhood.   No, we're not hunting pokemon, but we are trying our best to reach the 10k steps on the fitbit before the heat of the day sends us both back inside.

I am Loving:    that with my current work as a school nurse, I enjoy some extra time off during the summer.   It allows me to travel (see June reflections) and it allows me to just putter around the house (see July blog stuff...oh wait, I was so busy socializing and having fun that the poor blog gets forgotten).

So let's back up and see what lovely things were the July highlights...


  • 31 July:   Let's see how this HMO's after hours "urgent care" works, as Thing 2 discovered dancing is not in his genetic make up, face planting on concrete at a music festival called Warp Tour.   One stitch and 40 minutes later, we're on our way to McDonalds for a a cold treat to reduce the swelling...at least that's the therapeutic story I'm sticking with!  
  • 30 July:  the front yard got a make over....seems our HOA didn't find our dead tree and its' scraggly off-spring to be quite up to code.   While the front view is now a bit on the bare side, I have to admit, the overall curb appeal is greatly improved.
  • 29 July-26 July-Oh who am I kidding let's just go with too numerous to count...

 My walking buddy and I visited our neighbor, who for years has been an inspiration to us both in terms of making time for exercise....S. would swim laps daily until her MS progressed to the point where this is no longer an option.    We enjoyed our visit, noting that the days may seem longer, but the years just fly by...always a treat to walk down memory lane with these ladies!

 Another non-traditional example of ladies night out....it was a true blessing to fill up a car load of neighborhood friends and join in the celebration of life for C's mom.   Here she is with her childhood friend, R.   Aren't those forever-friendships some of the best?  (more on that below)

 Nope, still another non-traditional example.   In fact, on first glance, it appears no ladies were involved, however, we were able to catch up with E and hear how his favorite ladies were doing (his mom and 3 grown up girls)
And finally, a more traditional example of getting together with the girls, and the token brave spouse to listen to the Sounds of Southlands....free summer concerts at our local outdoor mall.
This evening, coupled with some other non photographed events (lunches with friends, craft weekend with Mrs.M and her friends, even a Broadway play) reminded me just how much I love the freedom that comes with having summers "off".


I am needing...to find time to process more pictures.   Between the thousands of vacation photos, and the hundreds I took in the mountains, there is no shortage of great "year in review" pictures to share. 

  Speaking of time in the mountains, I will need to update the blog on that fun filled adventure.   For now, here's a little teaser of the beauty found right in my own back yard (ok, not my literal backyard, as that area is almost as bad as our front yard in terms of showing signs of neglect and abandonment.   Who has time for yard work when there are so  many other fun ways to experience summer).

I loaded up the SUV with 3 of my besties from middle school and we toured the picturesque areas of Colorado....from Red Rocks to wild flowers, we packed a lot of fun into one short weekend.  




I am Feeling...a mix of excitement and nervousness, as later today I start my new job at an area middle school.   Speaking of which, if I want to get my 10k steps in, I best finish this up and lace up those shoes....until next time....

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Right now: June

Right now


  • Listening to my hubby find music for the video footage I shot during the side car portion of our  travels.   Seems we are in need of mostly blooper type music, as my videographer skills are sorely lacking.   Best stick with my proven talents:  wife, mom, nurse and now long haul traveler.   At least in my world,  28 days of international travel qualifies me for claiming such a crown.   
  • I am thinking, that we have had one grand month of travel.   Weather has been perfect when we needed it to be (side car exploring in Ireland), and wet when expected (Scotland, one does not  visit for the sunbathing opportunities).    While totally unplanned on our end, our travels have occurred during a historical time for the UK.   Last week was the big vote on whether to stay or leave the EU.  
     Prior to  the vote, locals were rather quiet on the topic, as was the media (at least when I tuned into the morning news).   It was such a contrast to our own election season where you are constantly reminded that we have to choose from 2 questionable candidates,   Locals noted that "the heart says go, the head says stay".   But in the end, by what many now say was a bit of a surprise, the heart may have won out for those in limbo and Brexit was victorious.   Now it seems all the talk of the town, and we saw evidence of it here in London.  
    As travelers, we enjoyed the sudden drop in the pound, as overall I have found England to be an expensive place to visit.   On another historical note, I was slightly disappointed to see Westminster Abbey closed today for visitors.
  
  Until I realized the reason:   Seems it is the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Somme.
  100 years ago tomorrow marks the deadliest day in British history with some 20,000 troops killed on 1 July 1916.   The cathedral is hosting an all night vigil and as such, was closed today to prepare for this unprecedented overnight vigil within the Abbey .  Overall,  rather remarkable timing for our travels for sure.
  • Loving that the Things have fared so well while we have been gone.  Thing 1 has been attending 2 summer school job training programs and has had to arrange his own transportation.  He has mastered bus routes and phoned friends when he missed a connection or found it too hot to wait for the next bus.   Thing 2 apparently has gone and gotten his ears pierced.   Not sure how I feel about that, I suppose all part of the growing up- letting go process that we encourage our kids to do.   Now let's just hope that they remember to pick us up tomorrow and don't burn down the house in the last few hours of being home alone.   Not coming home to a frat house type mess would also be a welcome treat, but I will take an intact house and deal with whatever mess awaits.
    We tourists are indeed dragon...
  • Needing to head home.   28 days, 23 castles, 19 churches (or abbeys) and 15 different places of lodging (be it an inn, a hotel or even a manor house).  Time indeed to put a lid on this lovely adventure and return to where my heart really is....home!
    Luckily, our mode of travel gets us there a little faster than this bus

    As always, I encourage you to check out Hubby's blog.   That is where you'll find the good photos.   These that I share are all quick snapshots with my Iphone 6.   
and finally...
  • Feeling blessed...that  this man, not only shares my passion for travel, but tolerates my requests for silly selfie poses.   
Until next time....smooches!