Sunday, November 23, 2008

You Know You're in Texas When:

1) Teachers wear their FFA (future farmers of america) jackets with pride.
2) Bagels are the same diameter as a coffee mug. * I thought everything was supposed to be bigger in Texas*
3) An airport is named after George Bush Sr. and there is a giant bronze statue in his honor.
4) FOX news store - in the same airport.
5) Your trolley driver, yes, I said 'trolley,' is a 65 year old man with an enormous cowboy hat. Finding out that I am from Washington (pronounced waRshingtun) he tells me that after Vietnam, he was stationed at Fort Lewis near Olympia, WA. He then proceeds to go on and on about Olympia Beer. "Best bur I e'er tasted. Wish I cood git me someothat down her." 
I then asked what kind of local beer he drinks now that he's been living in Texas. Expecting a list of Texas-specific micro brews to come out of his mouth, he then says "well. people down her rilly like Bud Light. Miller Light's purty popyeler too."
6) Cab drivers are polite. When we first arrived in San Antonio, there was an area set up to grab a cab - neat line of cars, patiently waiting for the next passenger in need of a ride. As we approach the cab line, we see that one cab's broken down. The next taxi pulls up beside, pops the hood and quickly stretches jumper cables from one engine to the other. Two things about this situation remind me that I am not in Manhattan:
* a cab driver is offering assistance
* now that both of the lanes are blocked, the 10 cabs behind don't honk once. Noone gets out of their car. No one shakes their fist out the window. People, including folks waiting for a cab, quietly stand and wait for the car to finish the jump and move out of the way. 

NCTE conference - San Antonio

Here's a bit of documentation from my recent trip to San Antonio. These photos include:
1) Texas' attempt at a Space Needle 
2) Me, apparently really excited about the Alamo
3) Nordia, 7th grade writing teacher, got suckered into an elementary demonstration on how to do origami of some sort. She was too nice to say no and politely folded her yellow paper while pretending to be interested for an inordinate amount of time.
4) Bookland. This area of the conference was made up of row after row of kiosks and books stands. Free books. Discount books. Author signings. This was often our spot to meet up. We would text each other with things like. "meet you in Bookland @ 12:30 after session G."
5) A night shot of the Alamo

Thursday, November 20, 2008

NCTE Conference

I'm off to Newark today to fly to San Antonio, Texas. Our entire writing department has the privelage of attending the NCTE conference this weekend.

1) High quality workshops and sessions
2) Books and materials
3) Flight, hotel, conference fee paid
4) And.....

Weather for New York, NY
(Currently snowing)
Thu38°F 29°F
Fri36°F 25°F
Sat34°F 25°F
Sun43°F 29°F

Weather for San Antonio, TX
Thu 77°F 45°F
Fri 58°F 43°F
Sat 59°F 54°F
Sun 70°F 59°F

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Hit and Run

On my walk home from the subway today, I was in the zone. Tired and focused on climbing the stairs to my warm apartment. The light at 33rd and Park couldn't possibly have been any slower. Icy wind streaming past the 10-story GAP advertisement toward Union Square. I cinched my scarf a few tugs tighter around my neck and tried to hide within the collar of my new birthday coat. Home. Warm. This bag's too heavy. Couch. Breathe. All I want is that stupid, white walking man to light up.

The adjacent red hand begins to blink and the building crowd begins to lean in unison toward a burst onto the crosswalk. Wait for it... wait. Wait...Yes! I take half a step forward and before my numb left foot can hit the pavement, something hits the right side of my body. A stupid delivery bike guy plows his stupid delivery bike basket into my unassuming shoulder and down I go. He's going the wrong way on a one way and to make matters worse, he simply glances back with a sheepish grin and rides into the night. 

That warm couch doesn't seem as comforting with a bruised shin.

This 'Happy Boy' margarine looked liked it had been sitting in the glass case since the 50's when the boy's photo was taken. Bodegas in NYC sell the weirdest stuff.

Harlem Sunrise - 7:02am

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Exterminators

The past week, mice have been seen throughout our teacher's office. The first day we baited traps with peanut butter, the great hunters nailed two of these pesky vermin.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


This past week was one full of celebration and fun. My birthday began with the entire school singing me happy birthday (instigated by my buddy Owen). My co-homeroom teacher Rolandria baked a batch of cupcakes, brought them to school and had the kids frost them - leading to another round of happy birthday, screamed at the top of pre-pubescent lungs. My students gave hugs and cards throughout the day. 

Ainsley surprised me by taking me to a nice dinner in the West Village and buying a new winter jacket I was thrilled to receive.

Friday, a group of friends made it out on the town. We cut a rug till the wee hours of the night.

Sprint Challenge

The 6th grade math teacher spontaneously asked me to participate in the daily "Sprint Challenge" with the kids this week. I haven't participated in timed math tests in years and I'm now determined to beat my score. 


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day

1) This is the scene from a classroom window this morning at 8:00am. Lines literally stretched around the block and stayed ridiculously long for most of the day.

2) Live Fox News report a block outside Rockefeller Center

3) Every corner I passed on the walk from the subway to work today hosted a poster supporting Rangel and Obama.

4) Rockefeller Center - crowds, media frenzy and electoral votes being tracked on each side of this skyscraper

Flatiron Building

Hands down, my favorite building in New York City.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Harlem Village Academy on NBC Tomorrow Night

It looks like some of my students will be getting a little national air time for a special segment regarding the post-election results. All three of our schools will be represented and 3-4 student will be interviewed from each school. Tune in to see what our kids have to say this Wednesday @ 6:30pm (EST). 

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Playoff Flag Football Game

My kids had a playoff flag football game today. They had a great season that ended in a loss, giving them the 2nd place trophy. We had a decent turnout of teachers and students rooting on the Harlem Village Academy Knights.

Playoff Flag Football Game

Our friends graciously let us puppy sit their 8 month, maltese poodle when they head out of town. Needless to say, we hardly object. Walking her on the streets of New York can lengthen one's commute time considerably - every 10 steps, someone practically screams 'oooooooooo' and asks a handful of questions which we answer as if the dog were ours. Her name is Pigeon - Pidge for short.