Sunday, September 26, 2010

No AC Sundays

Since the beginning (or, rather, a few weeks before the beginning) of school, my Sunday afternoons usually consist of the following: my computer. my handy-dandy EZ grader. paperclips. and an 85 degree classroom.

In fact, I'm experiencing this majestic setting right now as I type. Pandora Radio playing sweetly and boldly on my speakers as I listen and jam to Hillsong and Shawn McDonald, while I swelter in sweat grading assessments and entering grades into the computer, constantly watching out for runaway cockroaches coming from Roach Motel (what we have so appropriately named the large cabinet in our class bathroom that hosts a small community of roaches that like to surprise us and join our learning from time to time), and gazing out at the sun pouring in from my side window, pretty much teasing me and telling me I am a loser for being up at school on a Sunday.

I do pray, however, that over time my No AC Sunday appearances will become few and far between as I get better at this whole teaching thing.

Well, I'm going to go type up our spelling words for the week and try to figure out my students' maps of the classroom so I can assign some sort of grade. Happy Sunday! Let us rejoice and be glad in it...especially in a No AC Sunday kind of day.

Because your love is better than life, my lips will praise you -- Psalm 63

Friday, September 24, 2010

Chuck E. Cheese and Shattered Dreams

Yesterday was my first attendance, appearance, and survival of a Chuck E. Cheese Fundraiser Night. I have heard these events to be quite hectic, crowded, and packed with bustling students and their parents being pulled from one game to the other, putting tokens in their mouths and wiping their snot on the Skee-Balls. But, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. In fact, it was really refreshing to see my students outside of school with their families. I was surprised that so many came with their families in general.

Upon arriving I scanned the arcade for a familiar face. I began to get that creeping feeling of not-knowing-anyone-and-feeling-ten-feet-tall when I finally spotted my new best friend at school. She teaches second grade at Foster Village and her son is in my class. He is 6 years old and the biggest goofball you'll ever meet. Definitely a fun, interesting, wacky yet loveable and helpful student. Apparently however, in preparation for the fundraiser last night, he asked his mom if he could change into his favorite Mario and Luigi shirt, spike his hair in a cool different way, and brush his teeth so his breath smelled good. She was confused and asked him why he wanted to do all of these things. His answer? Because Miss Leiss is going to be there. He even asked his mother to smell his breath before they left the house. Oh dear.

The rest of the evening I tagged along with them. It was really entertaining to see that I still had a flair for some of the all-time favorite games, like the one with purple creatures popping out of the holes and me banging on them with a gavel. I actually got up to 600 points on this game and it stopped letting me score, the purple creatures spazzing up and down in the holes. I guess I'm just that good. The sad part was that my favorite game, Sidewinder, is no longer present in the video arcade.

The evening took a turn, however, when my mouth beheld the wonder that is Chuck E. Cheese pizza. As a child, I thought their pizza was THE greatest, most delicious pizza in the entire world. And, until yesterday night, I still thought it was. I don't know why I remember this to be so, but I was unexplainably excited about eating that pizza last night. I thought about it all afternoon while I was getting ready for school the next day, making assessments and arranging desks and pillows. I was so ready to taste it again. Now was my chance to actually be at Chuck E. Cheese with a purpose, and not just because I want to creepily go in there just to have some pizza.

Anytime I have passed by Chuck E. Cheese the past several years, I always wondered when I would get to go back to taste this delicacy. And last night, my dreams. were. shattered.

It's not that good. Really, it's not even good. It's...not.

However, there was a highlight of the evening. My friend and I excitedly led her daughter over to a game that was a horse-race. You got on the horse and had to basically ride it while it interactively moved forward on the screen. But, I mean, you had to RIDE it. If you know what I mean. My friend and I could not stop laughing. I felt like I was in junior high again. It only got worse when her son had a turn on the horse and asked her, "Mom, how do I ride this?" and she goes, "You just have to...have to...just, like, buck it." We looked at each other and could not contain ourselves.

Thank you God for giving me friends at school...and my first affirmed 6-year-old student crush.