Friday, March 30, 2012

My Birthday Day

I began the day after having to hit the snooze button.  I drank a few cups of coffee.  I got dressed and watched my lovely girls rise and shine.  Chloe got up and wished me a sleepy "Happy Birthday Daddy."   I got a new lens(the majority of the pictures in this post used this lens, a 50mm f/1.8, these pictures are denoted with an * near them.).  I went to work knowing that I only had to work half a day. I assume the district heard about my birthday and scheduled accordingly.  They are also letting all the district off for the next week to celebrate my birthday!  It's a real honor.
* bed time last night.
Several of my classes insisted on singing me happy birthday and a few of the teachers also wished me a happy birthday (I think they heard the singing).  I've never made it known when my birthday was in years passed, until this year, when I found out they were giving me half a day off for it and that it coincided with spring break...I could not pass up the opportunity to impress upon the kids that this was "Mr. Huffman Appreciation Week."  I figured it was a good clean joke hinging on my misunderstanding of the coincidence of scheduling.  The kids alternately laughed and scoffed.  I don't mind, it helps me keep a positive attitude.  And that is important when you are surrounded by kids with attention spans measured in seconds.

Still, despite the fun with the kids, I have endeavored to keep a professional attitude with the majority of the staff.  Sometimes, that is too hard to resist, though.  With on of the staff particularly, I have had a bit of fun explaining to my kids that the R in his last name is silent (explaining that it is an anachronism from Europe, which he doesn't expect Americans to know...these kids don't know what anachronism means, but they act like it's cool.)  When he fell asleep in a meeting, I was the one who used my knowledge of ballistics and mortars to lob a ball of paper into his chest while looking away innocently.  Yet, with the rest of the staff, and the administrators, I strive to be a model citizen.

I had one very desperate young lady accost me for a grade check early in the morning.  She failed to come in for a student lead conference and she was graded accordingly.  Since there was only one other assignment for this class her grade was an F.  She had the audacity to act surprised even though a progress report has been given to this girl within the week.  She wanted to go to some sort of extracurricular activity during Spring Break and her grade in MY class held sway.

The teacher taking her to the "activity" called and tried to bend my will, I explained that there were only two graded items and that she had missed the bigger of the two.  I could not do her conference at the end of the day because of prior engagements, so she was out of luck.  He reiterated that he was not trying to sway me, but my grade was the only one holding her back.  I said I was glad he wasn't trying to sway me and that my grade holding her back was too bad, but my expectations had been made known to her on several occasions and that it fell upon her, not me. (honestly, I think he WAS trying to bend my will, but he was being careful with his words.[I think the longer you teach, the better you become at saying things and yet saying nothing at all...maybe that applies to politicians, too...])

She came a while later and begged me to let her make up her conference during lunch.  Ever the helpful individual, I told her I would.

She came late.  In fact, AFTER LUNCH, but she was lucky.  My plan period falls right after first lunch.  She did a horrible job, starting and stopping, the best part of which included tears.  I pointed out that she was ill prepared because she was doing it last minute and that if she had come in when conferences had been scheduled she would have had a much easier time.  I wasn't an ass, but I think if you are going to screw off and then expect your teacher to bend over backward for you, you ought to have a little talking to.  So, I was a softy and let her make it up and gave her a grade that allowed her to go.  She got a passing grade not because I was really going easy, but because of the way I had decided to grade her classmates.  She got away lucky.

I left the school after making plans for my first day back.  I sent Cora a text to let her know I was leaving.  We ended up having a quick lunch together, which was more than welcome, since I had not packed a lunch.  It was nice having a few minutes with my wife without little ears...well, maybe it was nice because there was no little voice...either way, it was good to spend a few minutes with my lovely wife.

After lunch, we ended up back at the daycare.  Her mom, on every occasion a caring and gentle woman, is even more generous to her kids when it comes to Easter.  On Easters past, there have been 200 eggs to be found, each filled to overflowing with candy, stickers, and, sometimes, small toys.  This time she has fewer kids, so the number of eggs was only slightly overboard.

I was photographer, which actually suits me fine.  The kids had no end of fun!  Eggs were pretty much everywhere.  Chloe began to get the hang of it, but still had to be pointed in the right direction on occasion.  The young girls did pretty good, but the sharp-sighted older boys did very well.  These particular boys are special, though, since they helped the little girls find eggs and even gave from their own baskets voluntarily to help the little girls.  I was amazed.

When all was done, Chloe came home with a decent bag full of candy...which, with any luck will fall to Daddy to eat!  (the reasoning is:  She is not fat and we don't want her to become fat.  I AM fat, so what's a few more calories? )

Cora told me we were going out because it is my birthday.  We decided on Panda Express, since they make Mushroom Chicken, which Chloe obliterates...well, she obliterates the mushrooms, while leaving the chicken and the zucchini largely unscathed.  Still, she eats that better than tacos.

We came home and ate.  Then we sent her to bed.  She went down easy and then came back.  Like a little baby zombie she just wouldn't stay down.  Now she is sleeping with her mommy in our bed...I am trying to decide the best mode of entry to our bed...and my chair is looking better every moment with each thought of waking the sleeping zombie while I get into bed.

I checked my email and found that about 60 of my friends on Facebook wished me a Happy Birthday of some kind.  A few even managed some poetry and verse, which was deeply appreciated, because I try to write a short couplet or stanza for my friends that have birthdays, too!  I truly have many friends and things to be happy for.  Thanks to all for the birthday wishes!

Hmmm, 38 years old and still trying to avoid bedtime...

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