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February 22nd, 2006

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It appears that the California Service Center (CSC) has begun working on applications from December. I'm truly happy about this. Immigration is such a pain in the ass, it almost feels like you're in quicksand and they're quite happy to watch you sink. However, after looking at my favorite website www.visajourney.com I have begun to find a peace in the wait. I've found out I can begin the next packet now, I don't need to wait for them to mail it to me (or actually they mail it to Patrick, because this is his big packet). I'm just so excited. The whole process has made me feel completely out of control and anyone who knows me knows that I'm pretty anal and I like to get a head start on things and to be kept abreast of what's happening. This process isn't like that. You wait for months without hearing anything and if you try to ask they say "Your case is pending." I haven't called, but that's the result everyone on visajourney seems to be getting. I have started gathering my tax info to prove I can support Patrick and he's getting his police report. We're both filling out forms. All of this packet preparation has made me happier because even if it is small, it gives me some amount of control. But today when I saw people on visajourney with packet dates of December I was almost giddy. I truly do feel happy for people when they are approved, but after a while when those going through Vermont continue to be approved after on 8 or 10 days, it wears you down. I've been waiting for 2 months and 3 days. It appears as though the average is 90 days (or somewhere around that). So I have about 30 more days to wait. It seems long and short at the same time. I'm truly grateful for the pick up of speed at the CSC. I can't believe I'm actually making a happy post. It seems like so long since I've felt good about my circumstances. Patrick will be here in a few months for good :)!!!! I will be done with my first year of teaching in 98 days (including weekends). I mean, this is just too good to be true. I'm very confident with what I'll be able to do next year as a teacher. This year has been SOOOOOOOOOOOOO rough. From the very beginning I knew God was calling me to this school. I knew it would be hard, but I've yet to figure out what God's plan was for me during this year. Surely he has some reason why I needed to go through this trial. At times I felt like I was drowning. My students were just all over me. 35 kids in one room will definitely make you chlostrophobic. Yet, somehow I know if they did this to me again next year, it would be better. It may not be ideal, but my classroom management would be better, my attitude would be better, and my student's performance would be better. I don't know what's got me in this mood, but I pray that it persists until way past the last day of school. I want to always be this enthralled with my job.

Don't get me wrong, on Monday I'm probably going to forget all of this because my students are truly very rude (I'm comparing them to other classes). The behavior I have in my class is nothing like the other classes. The other classes aren't perfect but they don't see the discipline problems I do. I think that every day with these students gives me renewed strength to make next year better. I know what I need to do on the first day of school and I know how to be consistent with my discipline now. I know that I will be tried and that every day next year won't be a bowl full of roses, but I'm hoping most days I will be happy and love every minute of it.

February 9th, 2006

Why did I choose this?

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My wallet has been stolen. I'm not positive one of my students took it, but it definitely went missing at school. My social security card was in it, 100 British Pounds, and a credit card. The card is cancelled, and I've come to terms with the loss of the money (about 200 american dollars), but I'm worried about the Social Security card. I'll have to get a new one, which doesn't seem like an easy process, but I feel like a need a new number too, to protect me against identity theft in case an adult stole the wallet. I don't WANT to change my SS# because I don't know if that will mess up immigration. Some people have waited nearly a year and more; I just can't do that. I can't afford to protect myself if someone steals my identity and racks up a lot of debt either. This is frustrating. I hope it was one of my students and that they will just give it back. I told them I would do nothing. I want to yell at them, tell their parents, file a police report. I have no clue who could have done this. It's just ridiculous. On top of this it doesn't appear that I'm going to be able to get married this summer. Immigration is taking ages. I know I seem like a miserable bitch lately, but this is all I feel. My job is sucking ass. My students are rude, disrespectful and ungrateful. They stole 15 dollars of candy, which I purchased as a reward for them. In 3 days 2 giant bags were gone. They stole another teacher's cell phone and had the audacity to phone her home ON THE CELL PHONE. That was returned. Why isn't my wallet returned. I'm praying that someone has an attack of conscience and tells me who took it or turn it in. I promised I would do nothing as long as I got it back. I'm thinking of offering a reward to the student who returns it. I won't think they took it if it's brought back I'll just think they want the 20.00 dollars. Good idea? yes? no? I don't know, I'm at my wits end. When will February end?

February 3rd, 2006

Bad Dream

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I just woke up, my heart beating fast and actually crying from a dream. I dreamed Quintin, a boy in my class who has recently moved, was sitting on the ground during dismissal tying his shoe. His mom was the bus driver for some reason and she looked at me. I looked a Quintin, wanting to go inside myself, said "Quintin, get up and tie your shoe on the bus." He started to untie the laces and I said "Get on the bus now!" The child tried to argue and I just pointed. When he got on the bus I followed and he started tying this big piece of red slim paper (I don't know why). This became unacceptable to me for some reason (again not sure why) and I took it from him. Well this pissed Quintin off so he kind of squared up to me and tried to intimidate me. I wasn't scared because that wouldn't have been the first time this year that's happened and I've always successfully taken care of it. Quintin's mother, the bus driver, instinctivly jumps up to yell at her kid for being disrespectful to a teacher, but she had the bus already in gear to drive. The bus starts rolling forward and I immediately yell ..."GET THE WHEEL!!" We start traveling down a hill and ahead of us we cross a street just before we would eventually crash into the side of a solid brick building. My head was racing and I wanted to help get the kids out. I open the emergency exit because it appeared there Quintin's mom was not going to make it to the wheel in time. When I opened the emergency exit I pushed Quintin out and he rolled to a stop on the grass. But when looking back at the children on the bus I thought "I won't have time to get them all out before we hit the building", and my mind imagined what hitting the building would be like. I knew I wouldn't servive. Then I thought of Patrick. I thought, "I'll never see him again." That thought was too much for me and I jumped out next. I left those kids to just plow right into the building and as I rolled to a stop burst into tears because of the wretched thing I had just done. My co-worker ran over to me and starting saying things like "ARE YOU OK?!" and I said "I couldn't do it, I couldn't help those kids." And Tracey immediately saw what I meant and started trying to comfort me telling me it wasn't my fault. I woke up at this point with my heart racing in my chest and the tears falling from the last part of the dream. Now I'm wide awak at 1:30 in the morning. I thought about calling Patrick, but he's still at work. I think the thing about all of this that really bothers me is... I'm not convinced I wouldn't behave just as I did in the dream. I think I would choose to stay alive and let those children die. That seems to really be bothering me right now.

January 29th, 2006

Update

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I haven't visity my LJ for a while, but a lot has happened. I've gone to Scotland and spent two wonderful weeks with Patrick. But my time ended too soon. Coming home has been the worst yet. I feel so depressed. We've got all our information into the INS (Immigration), but the process seems to take forever. I check it every day and I desperately want to see an update, but there never is one. I'm back at school and my class has gone from 35 students to 25, but most of the day I'm teaching 19. This is amazing and it has helped so much, however, I feel that having so many early on in the year (especially since I'm a first year teacher) has completely undermined my authority. The students truly do not respect my authority. They do what they want. I never thought I would be this kind of teacher. But with so many to start off with I struggled with classroom management from day 1. I hope everything gets better, but as for an update ...this one holds the air of being truly depressed.

December 3rd, 2005

making us wait.

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holiday, christmas
I'm getting very antsy. It seems like the more I want to be married to Patrick the more I find I have to do to make that happen. I'm having trouble getting the packet together. I thought I had it and then there are small pieces I can't get together. I want to be married by Next October but I'm starting to question it. I'm almost to the point of saying, lets forget the big wedding and throw a small party to get married. I want the big wedding, but I can let that go if I need to. I need for him to be here and for us to be together. I'm always thinking about it. I think most couples get married once they get to this point of imagining what their life will be like. It's so hard be so far away, it feels like it will never end. I'm looking forward to the trip coming up, but I dread the fact that it's only two weeks and now it looks like he might have to work the first two nights I'm there. I just keep praying that it will soon come to an end and we can be together just like we always planned.

November 30th, 2005

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I called Patrick today. First when I called his phone rang and rang and rang. He never picked up. Then I called back a few minutes later and it was switched off. I don't really know how to take this. Patrick never does anything like this so I'm hesitant to think anything negative. It's just really weird to be in this situation because I want to know why he turned his phone off. *sigh*

November 17th, 2005

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Life sucks when your Paddy Pea is working all the time. I miss him very much.

November 14th, 2005

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I'm very sad. Patrick's working all week until Friday. The only saving grace for this whole situation means that I can work until 6pm at school and then come home and grade papers all night. We have next week off and I want to make sure that EVERYTHING is done before the break comes. No planning lessons, no filing papers, DEFINITELY NO GRADING PAPERS, no nothing! Just me, my bed (oooooo my bed), my boy, happy happy Thanksgiving, the gynecologist? (ick, oh well nothing's perfect), and the sweet sweet bliss of being out of school for an entire week. I'm going to enjoy this one. YEEHA!!

On the other hand, no Patrick for a week and that makes me sad. I go to work when it's dark. I leave when it's dark. Why did I become a teacher?!

October 31st, 2005

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Well they did it. Today I had two students added to my classroom. How many students does that give me total, you ask? Well, my friend, I have 35 students total. I have more students than any other teacher on the grade level. You want to know something else, dear anonymous blog? I am a first year teacher. Yes, that's right; they thought it wise to overload the first year teacher. I want to scream. Pull my hair out. There were many times today I teared up, nearly overflowed. The second student came, through clenched teeth I told the office assistant, "I'm going to need another desk". I tell the student to come on in and start unpacking. Then, I shut the door in her parents faces. Why you ask? Well of course I know that now they think I'm rude; however, I could not be bothered putting on a fake smile and acting as if I was so happy to have their child in my classroom. I will make a better impression on them later, but at that particular moment if I had said anything I would have cried. My mentor went to the principal and said, "You do know Miranda has 35 students in her class." The principal said, "yes", my mentor then says, "Ok, I was just coming to make sure you knew Miranda had THIRTY-FIVE STUDENTS IN HER CLASS." The principal then proceeds to say, "Well, yes but she only has 25 instructionally." That is partially true, Some of my students do leave to go to special ed. and the eip class;yet, the incorrect part is that for most of the day I have 29, but during science and social studies I have 33!!!! Now, either this principal is not counting right, or she is finagling the numbers. I prefer to think number one because number two is far too much for me to even think about right now. However, last time when she heard I had 33 she said that if I got her a class list she would move the last one out ...but she didn't. So why should I believe her when she comes to me and says "Don't worry we're moving some of these kids around." Why put them into my class if you're moving them around? Why not just make a correct placement in the first place?!? I simply can not get 35 students packed up. I lost it, I screamed and cried to my mentor. I think she was scared. She said "calm down Miranda, it will be ok." It won't be ok. I'm drowing. I'm a first year teacher, they said it would be hard, but I didn't want to believe that they would put all their problems on me because I was the one with the least experience. I knew teachers had scavenged my class for the best desks, and broght me their old crappy ones. I knew that all the other teachers had these very nice looking Thesaurus's and Dictionaries, while mine were missing pages and in the last year of their life. However, I didn't want to believe that while these teachers found it morally ok to scavenge the classroom of a first year teacher for better materials in their own class, they would have no qualms at this school about giving a first year teacher the most students in the entire grade level. The teacher with only 13 kids has a spot open. She can have 14 in her classroom and I have one that is perfect for the level she's teaching, but she doesn't want him because he's argumentative. Well why the fuck do I have to put up with him? What makes her so special that she gets the TINY class (they are way slower than mine though) and she gets to decide not to take students who are behavior problems? I just get who's dumped on me. They make all the decisions for me. When we were meeting at report card time to move kids around because they weren't being successful I was told I could only move kids if they were absolutely failing... making F's. When I brought those kids up I was told that not only would I keep those kids but I would have to take on another teacher's behavior problem. WHY DO I GET HER FUCKING BEHAVIOR PROBLEM AND SHE WON'T TAKE MINE?!!!!!!!!!!!! I need to just cry and cry and cry. I can not do this. I want to be anything besides a teacher right now. I started out only ever wanting to be a teacher but the fact that the teacher with 13 kids won't take my behavior problem (I have 4 more, it's not like I'll be without) and the teacher with 32 in his homeroom (BUT ONLY 18 INSTRUCTIONALLY) refuses to discuss taking another, I don't want to be a teacher. I took the kid who fakes chest pains to get out of reading. I took the behavior problem. I took the last 7 kids that enrolled at this school in the intermediate range. WHAT ELSE CAN I TAKE?! I need anything to keep from having a breakdown. ANYTHING! I just don't know if I can do this anymore. My student that I FINALLY got under control becomes a little less self-controlled the more kids they put in my room. I can't focus on him as much. I can't do as much. I can't do anything. I'm inept ...immobilized. They liked my small groups in reading and math, I can't do those anymore because for them to be small enough to be effective I have to have 5 groups. There is not enough of me to have 1 group with me to teacher and control 4 other groups. It also doesn't allow for enough time to rotate all groups through me to get the small group instruction. I am now back to whole group instruction. I hate whole group instruction, I can't get a good idea of what the kids really know. It's like standing on a boat in the middle of the ocean. You look down but you can't see how many fish are below you. I can't tell how many kids really get this problem. In a group of 5-6 I can quickly check who's with me, who's not, who's completely confused. With 30 kids instructionally, I can't do that. I don't know. I DON'T KNOW! I am accountable for these kids. Fine make me accountable but give use enough teachers to do the job. No wonder there's a shortage, an exodus from teaching. I am not cut out for this. It's too much and I'm not the person for it. They are all my babies, my wonderful people who deserve everything... but I can't give them everything, I can't give them half... not even a fourth with this many. How can I meet their needs? I can't fit all their desks in my classroom. I am truly in despair about this and I can't make it any better... not tonight anyway.

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I can't go to sleep. I'm getting slightly tired now but I do have a 5:30 wake up call. I hate being a teacher sometimes. I don't think kids are at their best at 8am... neither am I. I just don't want to go to school tomorrow... it's Halloween. Halloween sucks when you're a teacher. They'll be so excited about Trick-or-Treating that they won't be able to sit still. Then for the rest of the week they're going to be on a sugar high. When I'm a mom my kids are going to think I'm sucky because I will HATE Halloween.

On a brighter note, I have some exersize buddies. I just want to lose 40lbs before my wedding. That's do-able even if it ends up being sooner than I thought. I'd really like to lose 15 or 20 lbs before Christmas (when I see Patrick, not sure if that's doable, but I'll settle for 10).

October 28th, 2005

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I have wondered often this year how I'm going to get this class under control. They are horrible. Other teachers have noticed. They don't blame me *Thank God*. Yet they notice that the class is so wild. Some blame it on my bright yellow classroom *sigh*, others say that these children have been like this since they started. This particular group of kids is insane. I choose to say that it doesn't help that I have 33 students in my class. It also does not help that one of the students (whom they just added) decides he doesn't want to do something and can cry ON DEMAND and complain of chest pains. I am legally bound, I can not deny him a visit to the clinic if he requests it. Finally his mother intervened, but before that it was getting insane. Another child was moved from one classroom into mine and within the first day every child in my class hated him. This child has serious issues. He lies to me and he does it without flinching. The only thing that gets him caught is the fact that there are always about 7 other children that see him doing the thing he *swears* he did not do. How am I supposed to handle that?! I can't see *everything*!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can't really punish for what I don't see, but I can't just ignore it. My class is out of control and I'm going to have to do something. I think I was a naive first year teacher and I tried but didn't really realize how to be consistent and set boundaries (even though I thought I was going to just be amazing). Now the kids run over everything I do because they have this idea that I'm nto consistent. I end up giving in before they do because I have to write the citations. I'm also really freaking irritated at my mentor. She imposes her educational beliefs on me. I can't tell you how many *successful* teachers I know that have something called a "Choices Desk". At this desk the child writes on a slip of paper the date, their name, and what they did. The child then fills out the log for the teacher and the paper must be signed by the parent and returned the next day. At my school we issue citations. Basically the same thing as the kids fills out at the "choices desk". I told Tracey I was going to create a choices desk so that I didnt' have to write all the citations because believe me that is what REALLY makes me inconsistent. My mentor said I couldn't do that because the discipline needs to come from me. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHh. That is all I have to say because I wanted to hit her. Now don't get me wrong I have a fabulous mentor but I'm so sick of everybody telling me what to do because I'm a first year teacher. I love their advice, and believe me I do take it. However, people don't let me do anything on my own because it's my first year. They all want to put their two cents in and I am not allowed to make a professional decision on my own. Don't get me wrong, I could make a choices desk in my class and do what I wanted, but what kind of colleague relationship am I promoting. I get the distinct feeling that this would be the feeling of the principal too if she found out about my choices desk. How did I manage to pick the most opinionated school in the state of Georgia?!

October 27th, 2005

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Finally,
I think I *may* be getting my paperwork at school down. I have my lessons for next week planned and all copied and paper clipped. The only thing I still need to do for next week is create a spelling/vocab/reading test for Thursday and I'm good to go. That shouldn't take too long anyway. But I really do need to update my filing system. The one I have now *fairly skimpy* isn't working for me at all. I have nowhere to put ANYTHING when I get it. I just shove it somewhere and by the time 2:30 comes my desk and my kidney-shaped table is piled high with things that *could* be filed but I haven't made a file for it yet.... *sigh*. This is very distracting. I want to keep my kidney table clutter free so I can do small groups. I even have an ADHD student who works there because he is utterly distractable anywhere he can see other students. *sigh* again. Life is good, however. I'm incredibly happy with one of my student's progress. He gave me such grief in the first quarter I thought I'd hate him forever. Today we came back from computers and the computer teacher said he was te only one who behaved. Big giant *sigh* towards the rest of the class, but I looked at the good student and said "you get a prize", he said "woohoo!" and asked me if I would buy him an icecream tomorrow at lunch. Anything for him, he's been miraculously well behave this quarter. I think he finally realizes I love him and want him to succeed this year. I'm impressed and can't help but feel a small bit of pride about this. I like to think I changed him. I do so love this child.

October 11th, 2005

My grandfather was in the hospital today. They say his kidneys are failing ...if they don't start working soon they're admitting him into the hospital again. I don't know what this means exactly, but it feels bad. I know kidneys are important but I'm not sure what effects they have.

October 10th, 2005

How can it take that LONG!?

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I'm starting to stress out. I was just referred to this awesome website all about immigration and it has forums on it that I can post on to ask questions. Well when I look I see that some people move quickly and others don't get their fiance visa approved for a year. I can't last a year. I want to be married to Patrick now, nevermind JUST starting the wedding planning in one year from now. I know I can't marry him now but I'm ready. A four year relationship really is long enough. I want him now.

October 9th, 2005

The Flu

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No wonder I've never had a period as bad as this one... I also have the flu. Fantastic! :( So here I was that very night I wrote my last post and when I get into bed I start freeeeezing. I mean teeth chattering, stomach quivering, my whole body can't be still, freezing. So I put on some wool socks, sweat pants, and a hoodie... get back into bed. Nope, still freezing. I had a blanket... freezing, another blanket... frezing, another blanket... freezing, and YES ANOTHER FREAKING BLANKET!!! ...finally warm. So now I have a total of four blankets on me and it takes me about 15 minutes to quit shivering. I wake up in the middle of the night drenched in sweat. I broke my fever I guess. This has been the worst fall break I've ever had! Tomorrow I have to return to work... Tuesday the kids come back and they're going to be crazy from being out of school for a week. Oh joy of joys. Can't wait till Thanksgiving.

October 7th, 2005

I so sick. Never in my life have I had a period as painful as this one. My stomach is cramping, my back hurts, my head hurts, and I'm nauseous. I took medicine and it took some of the edge off but I'm still sitting him feeling like I'm on the verge of vomiting. I wish Patrick was here. It makes me think of the first time we ever held hands. He had come over to see me and I started my period the very next day. While I was cringing from pain he took my hand and stroked his fingers over it. It was the first time we'd really touched at all.He's the best boy ever. When he's here ...being sick doesn't feel as bad as when he's not here. I want to enjoy my rainy sick icky day with him, a bowl of chicken noodle soup, and a movie.

How is my future uncertain.

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Patrick is going through some unsettling times right now. As weird as it may seem to him I'm writing the prayer that I've prayed for him today. I want him to see it and know that it will be ok.

Lord,
Keep Patrick close as he moves through the months to come.
Let him know that one failure does not equal future failures.
Give him the strength to stand up and try again when the time comes.
Help him to see that one failure does not make him a complete failure.
Comfort his heart to know that I love him the same and view him only
greater than I did yesterday. I know that he will eventually succeed in
this endeaver and that success will be even sweeter. Comfort his heart
and show him you are always there to dry his eyes and hold his hand.

Amen

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I have to just say this all because I feel like I might explode. Trix you might understand. I am so in love with Patrick and tonight just sitting on the couch I wanted to tell him soooooo bad. I know he knows it but I just feel like I need to tell him. I can't call him because he's working. I sent him a text message saying that I loved him and that I'm missing him but somehow it isn't soothing me. I just keep having these visions in my head of us when we're married. I used to wonder why people rush into marriage. Now, I have wanted to marry Patrick since our first 3 months of dating, we're working on our 5th year together. I've always loved him, but now I'm seeing why people rush into marriage. I'm not pregnant ...so that's not the reason. I'm just tired of him being so far away. I sound like everything has been hunky dory until now but that's not the case. I've always missed him and cried, and felt terrible because he was so far away. I don't know if it's the fact that I'm filling out these immigration forms and I just don't want to wait until October or if it's something else. I just can't wait for him to be here and for us to FINALLY be married. I think life will be the most perfect that I have ever known then. *sigh*!! I miss him a lot.

October 5th, 2005

Empty

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I just got back from a 4 day stay in Tennessee with my aunt and uncle. I always leave nearly in tears because I love being there so much. First of all, it's very beautiful there. YOu can see the mountains in the distance and it's gorgeous. Plus, we just all get along so well. Another thing, which Patrick will hate hearing is that I LOVE going to their church. It's Apostolic but I'm telling you, I don't care what these people believe you can definitly feel the spirit of the Lord in that church. They worship loudly, they raise their hands in the air, there is crying, sometimes people run up and down the isles, and the preacher is of the fire and brimstone nature. But I have been there many times and I truly think everything they do is an honest and geniune praise of the Lord,no matter how unconventional or "weird" some may deem it. I had a lot explained to me this weekend that made their church and their standards a little more understandable to me.

I also learned this weekend that the boy I liked last time I was there (7 years ago) liked me. Let me just talk about Andrew for a little while. I thought that the church sent him to me and he was spending a lot of time with me because they all knew I liked him and they wanted to convert me so they sent him to do the witnessing. Well, it turns out that NOBODY (except my cousin Amanda) knew I liked Andrew and nobody told him to come and spend any time with me. My Aunt Lori explained a lot of stuff to me and she wouldn't lie. She said that she thought I didn't like Andrew because she asked me about him and I made an "EW" face. Well I have to say, that is the first time I have ever successfully made people I didn't like a guy when I really did. I'm an open book usually. Well Andrew was asking my Aunt about me constantly. He was like "Where is Miranda tonight, Lori?" or "How long is Miranda going to be here?" or "Do you think Miranda could come out with the youth tonight?" and on and on and on. Lori said he bugged the heck out of her but she didn't do anything about it because she thought I didn't like him. Andrew looked like A.C. Slater from Saved by the Bell ...but with a better haircut. He was really funny. He was HOT HOT HOT!!! I know I'm rambling but when it comes to boys liking me it just didn't happen so I'm still sort of in shock here. Patrick, don't worry you're the only one for me now. I know you'll laugh at that. You never worry about stuff like that.

Anyway enough rambling.

September 25th, 2005

The Fabulous Fox Theatre

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Phantom of the Opera ROCKED!!! From the first sound of the organ pipes going DUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUM DUM DUM DUM DUM DUM!!!!! I was truly captivated. The actors and actresses were phenomenal. At intermission I couldn't wait for it to start again. The kiss was great! The lead actress was super. Her voice rocked the theatre. I have to say... my first Opera experience has left me wanting more of this type of entertainment in my life. I would go see it again, however, tonight's performance was the last in Atlanta. This is truly the flavor of life.
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