The View From My Window

The world as seen from my window and through my eyes

The excitement of starting third grade July 14, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — auntlelo @ 10:14 am

There’s something kind of cute about my daughter’s level of excitement about starting the third grade. After all, she’s 23. Seems a strange age to start third grade, right? Not if you’re the teacher and this is your very first class to teach all by yourself.

I get phone calls and visits that revolve around the intensity and difficulty of master’s program courses or the unfettered excitement about finally getting in a room with little people and getting to teach after all the years of working and preparing for that moment. She is, perhaps, the only person I know who is excited about the possibility of teaching in one of the trailers (a.k.a. mobile classrooms).

At last there will be a home for the 1000+ books she’s collected to start her classroom library. She gets to paint one wall of her room and is busy planning the mural that will fill that space. It has to be colorful and interesting and exciting because her little people have to be excited about learning. Another perfectly wonderful thing is that she gets to teach at the expressive arts elementary school where approximately 19 languages are spoken and the children/parents request to attend because of the focus on the arts. After all, she does have a technical theatre minor. In fact, the location of her classroom couldn’t be more perfect as the outdoor theatre is right behind her trailer. BONUS!

There will be so many things through the years that may put a damper on the enthusiasm of a teacher like budget cuts, district politics, unsupportive parents, students who don’t care. But, there will never be a first day of school that’s more important and more exciting than the one this fall when Mrs. Arnone will enter her own classroom for the first time and begins to answer her calling: to mold young minds and create the next generation of teachers, doctors, engineers, researchers, etc. The world could use a few more Mrs. Arnones. But, maybe I’m a bit biased. After all, as her mother, I think she’s the best teacher a third grader could have! 🙂

 

And the diagnosis is… July 11, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — auntlelo @ 8:05 am

A torn ligament and sprain of the right ankle. Not what I thought it was going to be, but, manageable. My foot/ankle are in an air cast now for 2-4 weeks. The good news is that I can still wear some shoes with this type of cast. The bad news is that my foot will just have to be painful until things heal up. No magic cure, no immediate relief.

I’m supposed to stay off it as much as I can, especially for the first week or so. I’m not quite sure how that’s going to work with my having to walk all over campus for meetings, taking the church youth group to Six Flags a week from now and just generally doing my daily chores. However, it’s my hope that if I behave and follow instructions as much as possible I’ll be healed up and cast-free by the time I fly to Vermont for the CASE Summer Institute.

The big mystery is how does one tear a ligament and sprain an ankle without knowing it? I would never have suspected that swelling around the joint would cause the nerve involvement that made my foot hypersensitive, but, what do I know? On the plus side of things, telling people you have a torn ligament and a sprained ankle would lead them to believe you’d actually been exercising and active in the past few weeks, right? 🙂

Buying more Ibuprofen and giving up my cute new shoes for a few weeks. The doc banished them from my wardrobe. He mentioned that he assumed I was still avoiding high heels since falling and breaking my elbow awhile back. Why is it that doctors always forget the things you want them to remember and remember the things you wish they would forget? Sigh. They must teach them that in medical school (along with how to write illegibly).

No meetings today. It’s a good start.

 

Listening to bluegrass July 10, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — auntlelo @ 8:04 am

I spent last night driving to and from choir practice and this morning driving to work listening to the Bluegrass channel on satellite radio. A lot of people hate bluegrass, but, I love it. Must be because our family’s roots are in Tennessee and Kentucky. I’ve always felt close to bluegrass music. The sound of those close harmonies, fiddle, mandolin, acoustic guitar and banjo are truly amazing.

People often overlook the technical difficulty for a musician who plays traditional bluegrass music. If you ever stop and really listen, you’ll hear some of the “best of the best” playing some amazing passages.

I’m glad there’s a resurgence in interest for the traditional bluegrass music. It’s nice to get my “fix” once in awhile and sing along. Yes, I sing in the car on the way to work (when I’m by myself). That shouldn’t surprise you. I’ve spent most of my life singing in front of people. One of the first songs I remember hearing and learning as a little girl was “This Old House.” Another was “Whispering Hope.” Those songs always remind me of our little family group singing along to my brother playing the guitar. In fact, those songs also remind me of the old Calwood one-room schoolhouse. My brother and sister went to school there, but, I only got to visit. It closed the year before I started to school. There was a lot of singing and guitar playing in that school. Every time I hear “Tiger by the Tail” it makes me smile thinking of my brother, Pete Christopher and Nancy Wright playing and singing it together in grade school.

See what listening to bluegrass on the way to work will get you? Darn it! Now I’ll have “I’ve got a tiger by the tail it’s plain to see…” stuck in my head all day! 🙂

 

Random musings about July July 9, 2008

Filed under: Random Musings,Uncategorized — auntlelo @ 7:57 am

I haven’t blogged in awhile. Anybody notice? Anybody care? It’s been crazy busy and things aren’t looking to ease up anytime soon. For lack of a better topic, here are a few random musings about July.

  • Although July normally brings thoughts of very high temperature and very low rainfall, this particular July seems just the opposite. It’s been a strange year weather-wise in mid-Missouri.
  • July 4th celebrations were quiet at my house. I had family in for the weekend and we feasted on BBQ and steaks throughout the weekend, but, they all scattered to other more fun places to watch fireworks and make merry. My husband and I watched TV and I played a computer game till time to go to bed.
  • All the weekends seem to be full and I longingly wish for a summer that includes a real vacation. Seems like the early part of the summer was taken up with a wedding, the latter part by work, projects and church activities. Add to that a kid in summer school and a husband who’s working overtime while he can ( in anticipation of a slow winter in HVAC) and the summer is pretty much shot.
  • July is a notable month for Allen because this is the long anticipated month in which his braces come off. He’s had them on since the end of 5th grade and will finally enter his sophomore year of high school without the metal that has become so much a part of his appearance. It’s hard to imagine them gone!
  • July has also been full of physical pain. I seem to have developed some sort of problem with my foot and leg that has made it difficult for me to walk. I limp around like an old lady and dread days when meetings require that I walk distances on campus. Although I may not hurt while I’m actually walking, somehow that aggravates things and I suffer greatly for the next day or so. It sucks to get old!
  • July is also a month of getting things ready for the presentations I’ll give at the CASE Summer Institute for Communications and Marketing in Vermont. What a lovely spot to be in as the temperatures climb in other parts of the U.S. I understand that Vermont enjoys 80 degree weather in the hottest parts of the summer. Woohoo!
  • Our oldest grandchild turns 5 on July 22nd. Wow. It’s hard to believe it’s been 5 years already since Aidan was born. Next thing you know she’ll be graduating from high school. Did I mention it sucks to get old?
  • You would think that July would be a lazier time at work on a University campus, wouldn’t you? Not so here in Web Communications. We are crazy busy with project after project. It’s amazing how little down time we have. I guess it’s nice to be needed. Job security, job security, job security…
  • July is the last full month of summer vacation for students. Most go back to school during the latter part of August. Seems like once August gets here there are feelings of melancholy because summer vacation is over and anticipation for the new school year to start. I remember being so excited about getting new tennis shoes when I was a kid. August was new tennis shoe month. And crayons. There’s something about a brand new box of crayons. Ahhhh, school supplies. There’s a memory for you!
  • Funny how we already anticipate the end of the month and it’s not even the middle of the month yet. I know why! Payday. 🙂
 

Sympathy for chickens July 2, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — auntlelo @ 8:51 am

On the way to work this morning, we were driving behind a big semi that seemed to be “molting” as it drove down the highway. It was a truckload of chickens, no doubt on their way to the great coop in the sky. As we pulled out to pass, my husband noticed that one lone chicken had managed to escape its cage of doom only to find itself wedged between the cages and contemplating the benefits of death on the highway at 70 miles per hour against death at the slaughterhouse.

My husband must have been in a sentimental mood this morning. He said “I always feel so bad when I see a truckload of animals on their way to slaughter.” I asked him when he started feeling this sympathetic toward chickens and he said “Ever since I watched Chicken Run, I always think about how chickens must feel when there’s no hope of anything but the slaughter in their future.”

And you wonder why I arrive at work in the mood I do each morning? 6 a.m. is WAY too early for this type of contemplative thought. Especially when I arrive at the office and have to face Fat Chick, Henrietta and Gregory Pecked. It’s amazing what guilt will do to your day.

I don’t know what will happen to me if he starts feeling sorry for coffee beans…

 

Random musings about work July 1, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — auntlelo @ 12:23 pm

It’s been an interesting couple of weeks in the office. Most notably, it’s been extremely busy, so much so that I’ve obviously had no time to write in my blog. Several things have happened that are worth noting:

  • Paul has decided that after working on the two new Macs that arrived for Josh and Shane that he thinks he could actually become a Mac person. Wow, that’s amazing thing for a programmer!
  • Things have been so busy here that I had to reintroduce candy into the daily routine. Currently playing: Jolly Ranchers and Hershey’s miniatures. (Guarantees many visitors to my office during the day!)
  • Have you ever noticed that when you deliberately keep your calendar free because you have deadlines it’s an immediate invitation for your phone to ring off the hook?
  • Sometimes the most amazing and welcome things happen when you least expect them. Niki is coming back to work full-time. Wow, now I’ll have a lunch partner to go be bad with at Chipotle’s again! Hurray!!!! I wonder how long it will take her to get us all whipped back into shape. I fear we may have let some things slide…
  • While other departments are facing budget troubles, we are for the first time in a really enviable position. We’re doing well, have a great team and money to replace equipment. Good for us!
  • Another unexpected blessing: Jason decided not to go to grad school right now and will be staying on full-time. The news for our team just keeps getting better and better.
  • I love my job. I love all the people I work with. Life is good.
  • Have you noticed the postings are much more positive when I feel well and can breathe? 🙂