Pulling the Wool Over Children’s Eyes–Haha, Good One!

Several months ago, the daycare made a new policy that unless teachers are drinking water or the same beverage that the children are drinking with their meal (either milk or juice), our beverages have to be in a non-clear, secure container.  The secure container is to ensure that hot beverages aren’t accidentally spilled and the non-clear container is to ensure that we do not corrupt the youth with our abominable drinking habits.

Yesterday morning I had an early shift in the toddler room, so I had my morning coffee in a daycare approved travel mug.  As I sat at the breakfast table watching the toddlers eat while sipping my coffee, one girl looked at my mug and stated, “Coffee.”  I think the kids have figured out my abominable drinking habit.

P.S.–I’m also convinced that those toddlers are capable of figuring out how to unscrew my secure travel mug; I make sure to keep it out of their reach.


Is Punctuation Still Relevant?

Today I shall take a break from my usual ramblings about children, seminary life, and Lutheranism and talk about a topic that is often forgotten but truly meaningful:  punctuation.  Yes, I am one of those obnoxious people who believe that good punctuation should be attempted in every writing situation.  From text messaging to blogging, punctuation just makes things clearer.  Now I don’t claim to be perfect in my own writings (so please don’t go back through my postings to point out every punctuation error) and I have been known to be a little comma happy at times (they’re just so versatile!).  However, some of the punctuation and sentence structures I’ve found via texting, Facebook updates, and so on simply don’t make sense.

I understand when it comes to texting that it does take a little more time to use proper punctuation.  I don’t even try to add every capitalization and quotation mark anymore, but to throw out every punctuation mark completely?  It makes it harder to understand.  Facebook is what really gets me.  Some folks think that the extra half second it takes to add a period or toss in a capitalization is too long.  I have had people tell me that others can figure out what they are trying to say so they don’t bother with the punctuation.  Well, I pose this question as a rebuttal:  why let others figure out what you are trying to say when you can just use punctuation and make it perfectly clear.

when i start typing like this it is harder for other peoples brain to translate what i am typing  therefore messages are more likely to become garbled and misunderstood  were talking about people accidentally taking offense here folks!

mY pERsoNaL FaVorIte Is WhEn PeoPLe TyPe LiKe ThIs.  HoW Is ThIs AnY FAstEr oR EaSiEr to uNdErStAnD ThAn ReGuLaR TyPiNg????  Plus, spell check was completely freaking out so I have no idea whether I spelled things correctly or not.

Finally, even simple sentences that omit punctuation can change meaning completely.  Almost six years ago I walked into my senior writing class to find this written on the board:

a woman without her man is nothing

Our teacher asked us to add the punctuation to the sentence.  Many of us did this:

A woman without her man is nothing.

Our teacher smiled and asked if there was another way to punctuate the sentence.  Finally someone went to the board and did this:

A woman:  without her, man is nothing.
Punctuation clearly can make a difference.  So the next time you’re tempted to omit an apostrophe or skip a comma, just use it anyway.  The means of communication will thank you.

Kids Say The Darnedest Things

My siblings and I were raised on adages.  Often complaining on our part led to an obscure retort from my parents.  Saying things like, “I want this,” was meet with, “If wishes were horses then beggars would ride,” or “Well, people in hell want ice water.”  Trying to use the excuse, “Well, he did it first,” led to the response, “Well, if he jumped off a bridge, would you?”  When looking for a small chance that something we wanted to happen would happen, we were told, “The chances are between slim and none and it looks like slim just left town.”  Needless to say, I have a wide repertoire of these sayings.

When I started working with kids, often I would use methods that  I remembered my parents using, including these adages.  When I had kids interject into a conversation that was really none of their business (often when another child was in trouble), I would look at them and say, “I don’t need help from the peanut gallery.”  When kids decided to boss their classmates, often telling them not to do something that they had done only a half hour earlier, I would state, “You’re the pot calling the kettle black.”  After nine months of working with the same set of children, they heard these sayings often.  
A couple of weeks ago, I was training a new teacher.  While we were eating lunch with the kids, one of the children interjected into a conversation.  I gave him a look and he said, “I know, I know, I’m the peanut gallery.”  The new teacher started to laugh.  Another boy, not to be outdone by his classmate in making an adult laugh, shouted, “Oh yeah?  I’m the pot calling the kettle black!”
Well, at least I made some sort of impression on the kids. . .   

A Day Off. . .

Sometimes I have to admire my husband’s ability to see leisure and rest as a blessing instead of a sign of weakness.  Since I am now a substitute at the daycare, I don’t get on the schedule everyday.  At first I was a little frustrated (after all, the bills don’t pay themselves), so my husband asked me when was the last time I had a day off during the week and didn’t have to travel.  I retorted, “We were just on vacation.”

“Yes, and we traveled and visited people the entire time,” he reminded me.

“I had Good Friday off.”

“And we went to Wisconsin.”

“Um, the time off in March?”

“We went to Colorado.”

Okay, so I suppose the last time I had a day off that wasn’t dedicated to visiting family in other states was the beginning of February.  Likewise, I suppose having a day off today doesn’t make me lazy and while it isn’t good for our income, it might be good for my mental health.  A day off. . . Nice!


It’s the Plague!

After successfully warding off illness since February while I worked with the daycare’s elementary school children, I get a sore throat and the general feeling of “blahness” after four days of working with the toddlers.  I think they are harbingers of disease.  After all, you do a lot of gross things with toddlers–wiping noses, helping them to use the bathroom, changing diapers, grabbing toys out of their mouths.  I would hold it against them but they are just so darned cute.  


A House with a Picket Fence

Well, my husband and I just returned from our first family vacation.  Since we upped and moved right after we got married and live 6-9 hours away from our parents, our vacation consisted of a tour of the wonderful state of Iowa to cram a year’s worth of visiting to friends and family into a week’s time (you’re jealous, I can tell).  Most of the visits with friends were mainly happy and excited but sometimes these visits leave a tinge of many emotions: confusion, sadness, and even a little bit of envy.  Nothing is static, everything obviously has to change, but when I’m no longer there to witness the changes it’s a little more difficult to take in.  I have some friends still trying to find a job they want to keep, I have some friends happily working in a job that not only pays the bills but also provides some benefits, and I have some friends who are going to graduate soon and have brilliant jobs doing something they love.  I am happy for them, really I am, but sometimes I wonder what it would be like to live their lives for a day.

However, the most difficult part for me was not visiting friends but seeing old acquaintances.  You know, people who graduated high school the same year I did, people I loosely know because they are friends with so-and-so, people I see very rarely and whose daily existence rarely enters my mind.  Yet when we meet after so many years, the desire to make it seem like I’m doing great and living up to my expectations is tantamount.  It’s difficult to explain what my husband is doing and how it is affecting my life.  It’s difficult to explain how our lives are on hold while T. finishes school.  It’s difficult to explain the constant moving and the lack of career.  However, it’s most difficult when I hear of my former classmates buying houses.

Something about home ownership in my mind seems almost like the the point of perfection in the adult world.  When you buy a house, you’ve established yourself.  You have staked your claim in a neighborhood and show that you have both money and the intention of staying.  It’s the backdrop for the picturesque life.  Now, I’ve read and heard about people my age buying houses and how they often really can’t afford them.  They go into debt like crazy because they want what they parents have, even though it took their parents decades to get to that point.  I know even if T. wasn’t at the seminary we wouldn’t be buying a house yet because that wouldn’t be financially responsible for us, but since when have desires been logical?  Perhaps the desire isn’t so much for ownership as it is the stability–a longing for the ability to stay somewhere longer than two years.

Now I could go into an optimistic talk about taking comfort in God and having patience, blah, blah, blah, but I’m not.  I’ve heard enough people tell me that and I’ve told enough people that.  However, I do take comfort in routines–work (okay, the idea that I’m working, not so much the actual job), eating dinner with my husband, spending time with him in the evenings.  I take comfort that this is my life and even though it’s difficult to explain and lacks the picturesque house, it’s still where I’m supposed to be.  Likewise, the future is wildly unknown for anything to happen to us–perhaps someday we’ll even own a home.

 


A Brilliant Posting For A "Doctor Who" Fan

Okay, so I was on vacation last week and got somewhat swamped with work and catch up stuff this week, so here’s something fun to fill in the emptiness in my blog world:

http://deathstarpr.blogspot.com/2011/05/11-reasons-why-doctor-is-terrible.html

Perhaps I’ll get something more substantial up in the next couple of days.  Until then, enjoy!