Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I'm white.

Next Monday is MLK Jr. Day. We won't be in school so I've taken some time this week to teach my students a bit about American History. I feel that especially in my building (99.9% Africian American, 99.9% free lunch) that it's important for them to learn about people in their culture who made a positive difference.

I wasn't very well informed about Black history, to say the least. Thanks to one of my college roommates, Jenny, I'm now in the know!

Anyways, to teach a room full of inner city black 9 year olds about that time in history is awkward. Here are some of the questions I've answered, or tried to, so far.

1. Why did you hate us?
Mrs. H -I didn't hate you, I wasn't alive then.

2. That's racist!
Mrs. H- Yes. It was.

3. They said Negro word!!!
Mrs. H- They didn't know it was a bad word back then.

4. Why did white people used to be better then black people, and now black people are better then white people?
Mrs. H- ummmmm

5. I wish it was the same now, so we would get to come to school.
Mrs. H- How will you have a job someday if you don't go to school?

Monday, January 10, 2011


Today I realized. All that talk last year about never having a student leave my room...it's out the window! I had no idea when I took this job, how fluid my students would be. Today we got in a disssion about the students that have left. I couldn't even remember some of the students who left!

So my resolution: remember each day with these students could be the last. Sounds cheesy, but I want to pump them full of confidence and love each and every day.

So: David, Shilynn, Princess, Khyra, Kennadi, KJ, and Kevin I hope in our short time together you felt success and belonging. You are missed.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Two Firsts

I had two firsts in my room today.

1. M puked in my room. In my three years of teaching, first in-room puke. Mark it on the calendars!

2. MUCH more notable. Best punishment by guardian!

So Jerome was giving me all sorts of trouble today! Every time I would place as assignment in front of him, he would complain, argue, try to play with toys, or draw. Each. and. every. time.

By 3 pm I was tired of it! and tired of dealing with his disrespect! So I decided to send him to the office. But then it occured to me, it's 3 on Friday afternoon..not much is going to happen. So I remembered that at the Christmas program his grandma 'Miss Sherleen', told me to call her if I had any problems, and she would take care of it. So call her I did.

The minute I started dialing, Jerome threw himself on my floor and started bawling and begging me not to call. I continued.

I asked for his grandma, and the young lady who answered the phone made a comment ''ohhh it's Jerome's teacher' (good sign number 1)

After I explained to his grandma his attitude/unwillingness to do his work etc, she asked to speak to him. I called him over, but he was crying too hard to move. I told her that I wasn't sure if Jerome could make it to the phone. She said, 'you tell him he better get over here now'. I repeated those words and over he came! (good sign number 2)

They talked a while and I went on with class. When he was finished he came over to me, sobbing and said that his grandma wanted to talk to me again. Miss Sherleen told me it was all taken care of, and to let her know if I needed her again.(good sign number 3)

I gave Jerome a few minutes to pull himself together, as he was still hiccuping/crying/moaning/rocking back and forth. After he got a drink and a box of tissues, I asked him, Jerome, buddy, what did she say? (I was curious, as I've NEVER seen him break down like this)

Jerome- 'She said Is gonna have to go to church this weekend!' (snot pouring down his face)
Mrs. H- Oh, I'm sorry you don't want to go to church?
Jerome- 'an I haveta tell the preacher what I doonnnnnnnnnne...(insert heaving)
Mrs. H - That's not good
Jerome - 'an him is gonna pray for me fronta everbodddyyyyyy. (snot necklace now forming on shirt)
Mrs. H - Yikes!
Jerome - an my cousins is gonna beeeee there. Preacher gonna say, now everybody lay hands on brotha J'rome, in if ya can't reeeach him, just touch somebody near byyyyyy.
Mrs. H- (Holding back laughter) Okay Jerome, go get your backpack. I'll see you Monday.

Thank you Jesus for Miss Sherleen,
Love, Mrs. Howard

Thursday, January 6, 2011

a few numbers

4 = days of school this week
1= number my students in ISR
182= dollars the bank took out of my account by mistake
2= amount of dogs digging in the trash right now
0= number of diet dr. pepper i've drank since new years
0= number of loads of laundry that i've done this week
0= number of loads of dishes i've done this week
500 = number of times i've been called Mrs. Howard today
6= number of times i've changed my mind about what to have for dinner
2= number of weeks for Trevor to figure out where we will live after Jan 27th
3= number of months until we find out what Pharmacy school Trevor got in to
7= number of times we've moved since we got married
10= number of minutes until my pizza is ready

Sunday, January 2, 2011

take down the tree

Take down the tree, I survived Christmas again! When Trevor and I were dating I was convinced that everything would be better once we got married. ahhh, how blind I was. We just went from doing Christmas seperately with us being miserable, to doing Christmas together with us being miserable. .... i kid... kinda.

The breakdown:

Howard Family Christmas: Ward, Tammy, Audrey, Trevor, Beth, and five dogs. yep five. After a few posed pictures in front of the tree, with Audrey in a dress, purple fuzzy slippers, and knee-pads we opened presents. We both knew what we were getting. Useful/fun things we wanted. Trevor got a Kindle. I got Dishes. I also got to babysit. We went to Trevor's uncle Kenny's that night. We watched Audrey (4) sing Christmas songs. I was the only girl without kids/pregnant.

Rumker Family Christmas: Karen, Lou, Trevor, Beth, and an hour late after dinner, Michael, David. After an awkward dinner without my brother, we got the traditions under way. A few drinks, a giant coloring book, a parody performance on to gifts and stockings. We both got a book, microwave, sunglasses, and cookie sheets from my parents. My brother claims his gift to us was his presence.

Our Christmas: new mattress/bed and new phones

Twyman/Extended Rumker Christmas: Multitude of my cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents. We had to leave early at both. We got to ohh and ahh over many many great-grandkids

Okay, I know the above sounds sarcastic and ungrateful. I really don't start that hardened to the holidays, but I tend to get there by the end of all the gatherings. It never occurs to anyone that Trevor and I are out of our routine, out of our home, and back living with our parents for two weeks. We have no alone time, we can't do as we please, and we are expected to be where they want us and happy about it. I am thankful for our involved, loving families...just happy this time of year is just once a year.