“Mrs. Corbett…I was being really careful with this book but this page just fell out.”  It was a Ricky Ricotta book, number 2 to be exact.  They have been passed around my classroom like  hot potatoes for the past 2 months, since I discovered them at the book store. Five or six students had already read this book, but I surprised a page had fallen out.

“No big deal,” I said.  “I’ll tape it.”  As I began the taping, however, more pages fell out.  And then more.  In about a minutes time, every unbent, barely used page had fallen out of the book.

It took me a few days to get back to the bookstore.  I put the book on the counter and said, “I’ve had this book for only a few weeks, and it’s falling apart.”

The manager took one look it at and said, “Let me guess (publishing company)?”  She was right.  “Figures.  Get her another one.”  She said this to the cashier working there.  He wondered if I had my receipt.  I didn’t. “Don’t worry about,” she said.  “Just get her another one.  We have problems with this publisher all the time.”

I walked out with my new copy of Ricky Ricotta #2, and my class was very glad to have it back in rotation. I think we have nearly reached the point where all of them have read it.  They are waiting on pins and needles for the next to be published, and for the one our book store didn’t have to arrive in the mail.  I, however, am waiting on pins and needles for the others to fall apart.  I’m going to be so disappointed if they do!

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I try to participate in the Slice of Life writing challenge every Tuesday. You can read more at twowritingteachers.wordpress.com

Slice of Life: The Pool

We arrived at the Y about 15 minutes after Open Swim time had begun on Saturday.  It lasts for two and a half hours, so I wasn’t too concerned that it took us 15 minutes to get dressed.

We hopped into the teaching pool, once again feeling thankful that someone realized it doesn’t need to be as cool as the lap pool.  For weeks none of the children, not just my own, wanted to swim during their lessons because the water was so cold!

My husband was there, and he quite likes the warm pool, so when my daughter wanted to go to the “deep pool” I took her.  Spencer stayed and practiced swimming under the waterfall, while Claire and I braved the depths so she could practice diving.

As soon as I was in the pool, I heard my name.  My school name, that is.  “Mrs. Corbett!”  I turned and found a former student of mine staring at me through her swim goggles. She moved to a new school over the summer, so I haven’t seen her in several months.  “F!  It’s good to see you!  How is your new school?” Apparently it’s good.  That’s all.  Just good. She had other things to attend to.

“Who was that, Mom?”  Claire is always asking this when my fans recognize me out in public.  She knows it was a student but lately that isn’t enough for her. Now that we are in the same school she wants to know if she knows that child too, whose class they might be in, and if they might have a sibling in her class.

We swam a bit more, circling around to F a few more times, jumping off the edge and even venturing over to the deep, deep part (but not yet the deep, deep, deep part!)  “Mom, I’m ready to go back to the warm pool now.”  We made our way to the stairs, and once again enjoyed the warm teaching pool and diving for things with her brother.

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I try to participate in the Slice of Life writing challenge every Tuesday. You can read more at twowritingteachers.wordpress.com

Slice of Life: Going Home

I rushed both kids out to the car, eager to get them in and be on our way. The parking lot was full of puddles, however, so I was the only one in a rush to get into the car.  I finally got my son settled in, wet pants included because I didn’t have spares.  I walked around to the other side to buckle my daughter in, then got into the car myself.  The second I had clicked my seatbelt in place, a little voice from the backseat said, “Mom.  Me pee.”   We’d just finished an after-school activity and still needed to go to the grocery store so I was in a hurry.  The bathroom felt really far away, but when he says he needs to go, there’s no putting him off.

I climbed back out of the car, unbuckled his seatbelt and helped him pee.  Outside. In the parking lot.  “How old does one have to be when it becomes inappropriate to do this?” I wondered.  I hope his ability to let me know  before we leave a place comes before he is too old to do it on the parking lot!

Soon he was safely strapped back into his seat, and so was I, and his sister had miraculously stayed in her spot.  Now we were ready to leave.

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I try to participate in the Slice of Life writing challenge every Tuesday. You can read more at twowritingteachers.wordpress.com

Slice of Life: 31

I walk around the kitchen, opening cupboards, drawers, the fridge.  I move the bread, ham, fruit and yogurt  to the counter.  Next, I open the dishwasher and start putting containers on the counter, not away in the drawer, for these containers are in constant rotation between our lunches and the dishwasher.  My kitchen is an assembly line of sorts, as I cut fruit, make sandwiches and pack it all away into our various lunch kits.  Sometimes I am listening to a podcast or a video and other times I work in silence.  Thirty minutes later, there are 3 lunches and a morning breakfast snack ready to go for the day.  I unload the few remaining dishes from the dishwasher, close all the open cupboards and drawers.  The lunches are moved into their respective school bags.

Now I am ready to write!

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Slice of Life: 30

We’ve had more days off than days in school this month.  Okay, I just counted and that is only true if we include weekends. But you know what I mean.

Last Thursday was a rare March snow day, followed by a 4 day weekend.  Yesterday was the first day back, and everyone arrived eager to see their friends.  Easter sugar still coursed through their veins after a 2-day binge.

I clapped to get their attention.  I used my whisper voice.  I planned time in the computer lab. I arrived at schools with every one of my attention grabbing tools in my front pocket, including some attention grabbing lessons (if I do say so myself.)

They still beat me.  I felt defeated by the days end.  But, despite my great desire to call in sick today, I’ll be arriving at school full of hope that today will be better.  Okay, not full.  But you know what I mean.

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Slice of Life: 29

2:17 a.m.

For some reason I never seem to sleep from 2:00-3:00 in the morning.  Sometimes I wake just before 2:00, and other times I wake just after, but I am always awake for about an hour at this time. If I lay in bed, trying to go to sleep, I will be awake for more than an hour.  But if I pull out my phone and read.  It used to be I could turn on a lamp and read, but now it would wake too many people.  I often have e-books downloaded from the library so I can actually spend my time on something useful.

Right now I am in-between books, and because I am first in line on my waiting list for 2 I haven’t found anything else.

That means Twitter, news and Facebook.  This morning, at about 2:30, I finally made a decision to block posts from a family member.  My uncle is pretty extreme in his political views.  Everyone who believes differently than him needs to “wake up!” and he’s all for people being allowed to carry concealed handguns without a permit.  He believes politicians are all liars, except for the ones he supports, or, rather, the ones who claim to share his narrow points of view.

He posts memes and status updates upwards of 20 times each day. “That’s it!” I said to myself this morning. “I won’t read this anymore! This is probably the reason I have insomnia!”  I’m not ready to “unfollow” him.  But I did set it so I “see less of” him.

And then I promptly fell asleep, 20 minutes before schedule.

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Right now I am constructing my “to do” list for the day.  My family is asleep.  It is snowing outside.  Everywhere I look, I see things that need to be done.  My school bag is to my right, filled with some things I need for lesson planning.  It also contains my computer, on which you will find a letter of reference that needs to be completed and sent out. To my right and in front, I see lots of kitchen work that needs doing, and below me the floor needs to be swept and mopped.  Down the hall, the sheets need to be stripped from beds and replaced, the bathroom needs a good cleaning, and the books need straightening.  Down the stairs, several piles of laundry wait patiently to be cleaned, one pile is waiting to be dried, and another is waiting to be folded.   It is a cold enough day that I might even let the oven clean itself!

I just ate the last of the granola, so I need to make more of that today.  I also need to make some soup to eat for my lunches this week.  Before that, I need to go to the grocery store to buy ingredients.  Before that, I need to make up my shopping list because I didn’t go last week and I need more than food.  I never remember to buy the non-food items at the grocery store without a list!

I am glad I finished my book yesterday.  It, and several before it, are the reason I am behind in housework.  Oh, I’ve been doing the basics.  Everyone has been fed, and the dishwasher has run every single day, right on schedule.  But I have used up all of my prepped in advance meals, and I don’t think a single one of us has has a matched set of socks in over a month.  (Except for my 3.5 year old…the Easter Bunny brought him some new ones yesterday!)

Time to post for the 28th day in a row, then I’m off to the basement to get the laundry started, then back up here to make my shopping list, and then…who knows!

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