Procrastination Station
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Welcome to my blog!

This weblog is my online journal. You'll find my opinions on a variety of topics as well as links to other things on the web that I find interesting. When the spirit moves me, I may also include longer essays.

I started this blog because I was sick of doing research for my summer school class back in 2005.  Yes, this was one of my finest procrastination techniques yet.  It seems as though I've successfully kept up with this throughout my entire student teaching experience and my first year of teaching.  I started out pretty well during my 2nd year of teaching but petered out near the end.  Now, I hope to keep up with it as I begin my 3rd year of teaching at a new school and keep you informed on whatever may lie ahead in my future.  Thanks so much for sticking with me.     
 
Countdown:  School starts on Tuesday, September 1!
 
Updates:  Rock Band party coming up!
 
Next game:  Brewers in Milwaukee this week.
 
Tip of the Week:   Don't waste time trying to appreciate music you dislike.  Spend the time with music you love. 

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Interviews
Tis the season!  The season when teachers far and wide scramble to find work for the upcoming school year.  I've obviously joined the crazies out there since my school is a sinking ship and I refuse to go down with it.  I applied to MPS a while ago but only recently received my secret code and password to be allowed into the top secret website where the job postings are listed.  Since I've gained access, I've applied at 18 jobs and have had 3 interviews.  I'm still waiting to hear back from them.
 
The school I went to yesterday was really nice considering the area.  Yes, of course, it's in the hood.  You know what they say...once you go urban you can never go back.  I made the principal laugh, which is a good thing.  It probably went better than the interview I had today in the extreme ghetto.  In fact, I think I went so far as to piss off the principal, not on purpose of course.
 
When it was my turn to ask questions, I asked, "After reading your Education Plan, I noticed that you were labeled as a Level 1 School Identified for Improvement.  How do you plan to remedy that?"  Oh Lordy!  The principal went off on a tangent about how that label shouldn't be there and that they actually improved scores so that now 11% of the students are proficient in math.  And I'm thinking...riiiight because 11% is outstanding.  Then she started bashing George Bush (which normally is fine with me, but probably inappropriate at an interview) and she basically denied that there was a problem.  I was not impressed with that.  Then from reading the Education Plan that the principal even wrote I noticed that most often the principal blamed her incompetent staff for most of the problems.  So I asked her how the staff got along with each other, and, of course, she said everything was just great.  LIAR!!
 
The best part was before the interview when I was sitting in the office.  I was talking to a first grader and a 3rd grader and I asked them all sorts of questions.  The 3rd grader didn't like her teacher because he threw desks and chairs too much and yelled all the time.  And she doesn't like this school as much as her old school because there's a lot of fighting.  Then what do you know, her teacher was on the interview committee.  I mentioned to him that I talked to his student, and he didn't even crack a smile, say "oh that's nice," or acknowledge the fact at all.  The kid was right...he's a real dick.  Overall, not impressed with this school. 
 
Even more, while I was watching the news, I realized that someone was shot tonight down the block from the school, and now I think I'm officially not impressed anymore.  And knowing my luck, I'll get a call tomorrow telling me I've got the job. 
 
I'm a little stressed out right now because I really think the worst part is waiting for the rejection to come.  It never gets easier.  Wish me luck.
9:58 pm cdt

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Take Me Out to the Ballgame
Taking one kid to a Brewer game isn't too bad.  Try taking 10!  Field trips are always an adventure no matter what, but taking 10 kids somewhere they've never been with large crowds is nothing but a horrific experience in grand proportion.  I kid you not.
 
We trekked all the way from the bus parking lot to section 408.  Please, everyone, next time you're at some event and you see a school group passing by, move out of the way. Only one word comes to mind when half your line of kids disappears in the crowd...and that one word is PANIC!  It was so hard keeping them in line when they wanted to look at everything and go every which way.  Honestly, I felt like a drill sargeant at times.  "Get in line.  Face Forward.  Look who's in front of you.  Keep up.  Walk!  Walk faster!"  I had two pokey ones today that I could've thrown over the ramp. If I could've carred my 150 lb student, I would have. 
 
We found our section and no sooner than the first couple pitches I had my first, "Ms. Franson, I need to use it."  To which I replied not so nicely, "Seriously???  ARE YOU SERIOUS???"  "I hope you brought an extra pair of pants with you."  Ok, I really didn't say that, but I was not a happy camper, especially since I couldn't go in the bathroom with the boys and that worried me.  Yes, I'm a complete basketcase with worry at times like these.  My biggest fear is losing a kid. 
 
So, we got to watch the game for...ooooh...25 minutes.  And then we had to march...err...walk all the way back to the bus.  I kid you not.  Only 25 minutes of actual baseball and during that time I had the distinct displeasure of sitting next to Mr. Questions Everything!  "What is that?"  "What's the score?"  "Why are they throwing the baseball?"  "What is that thing flying around?"  "How did it get in here?"  "Why does the roof open?"  "How does the roof open?"  "Why isn't the roof opening now?"  And my personal favorite...every time people were shown on the big screen and I mean EVERY time..."Where are they?"  "Where are they sitting Ms. Franson?"  AAAAAHHHHH!  Finally, fed up, I said, "Hey sorry but it's really hard to hear you up here. Can you ask me these questions back at school?"  It worked. And lucky for me, he forgot all his questions. 
 
And God bless Delmar for not wearing his uniform last week, which made him ineligible for the field trip. 
 
Our next field trip is scheduled for May, but I've already been there last year with a class, and there are no big crowds.  I think I might enjoy that. 
 
But, overall, no one got lost today, no one got kidnapped, no one peed their pants, no one cried, no one bled, and no one got ran over.  Success!
10:17 pm cdt

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Two Really Annoying Things
Annoying thing #1
 
The security code on the Ticketmaster.com website. You know the code.  The one that you have to enter before you can move on to see "the best available" tickets.  I think I just spent 10 minutes of my life entering the wrong codes until, of course, I succeeded with Chantilly Fatah.  It's no wonder why I can't figure these codes out. They make absolutely no sense or maybe I'm just stupid for not knowing what a chantilly fatah is. I'm just not good at these things.  I'm thinking that our government should use ticketmaster-like codes to protect our national security.  Seriously, if I was a hacker, I'd give up after the 20th try.  Big time frustrating.
 
Annoying thing #2  
 
I'm really sick of seeing ass crack.  I went to the Brewer game on Monday night and followed a rather large woman up the stairs.  And, no shit, every time she stepped up her pants went down and ass fell out.  DISGUSTING! 
 
Then I'm working at the Pig tonight and one of our many worthless "stockers" was doing the dairy cooler.  I'm hanging a hang, he bends down, and I'm suddenly faced with smiley face boxers and ass crack.  Not a pretty sight. 
 
Calvin Klein models...sure, that's okay.  But ugly stocker boy and 300 lb Brewer fan is not okay.      
10:26 pm cdt

Sunday, April 20, 2008

A Weekend in Review
First of all, Earthlink is making this blogging experience quite unpleasant this week.  They have, for some ungodly reason, changed the link to get to my log-in page.  The same link I've been using for three years now. It takes me about 10 minutes of fishing to finally stumble upon something that will log me in and every time I bookmark the new link I've discovered, it won't work the next time I try it.  I'm almost positive that Chuck Norris is to blame for this, I'm just not sure how yet. 
 
This weekend was actually enjoyable minus the nearly 9 hours at the Pig on Saturday.  Hanging 1,085 tags (and, yes, I did actually add them all up) is not exactly my idea of a good time.  In fact, it just plain sucks.  Again, I know this all comes back to Chuck Norris in some bizarre way, so I'll take it out on him. 
 
On Sunday I went to the zoo with my sister, brother-in-law, and niece.  We got to find my name on the adopt-an-animal board.  I'm totally famous now.  The zoo was actually quite packed (Thank you, Chuck Norris) which made manuevering with the stroller somewhat of a challenge for a novice like me. I only ran over Hana's poor little foot once to which her dad replied, "And that, Hana, is the Disney experience." 
 
Sunday night I headed to Steph's house and we watched Juno. I've listened to people talk about this movie ever since it came out, so it was finally nice to see it for myself.  I recommend it to the female population.  Men, I don't think you'd like it, but that is a gross generalization.  There were a few uncomfortable moments which would have grown even more uncomfortable had I not been watching it with Steph, but the humor was classic.  I enjoyed it. 
 
Even over the weekend I stayed true to my exercise routine, too.  Ever since I joined "the gym" I've been doing my best to get there as much as possible.  Believe it or not, I was actually there when it opened at 8:00 this morning.  No, I'm still not believing it either. 
 
In sum, weekends are way too short.  I have only 9 weeks of school left.  And Eric Gagne is now off my Christmas card list.  In case you don't know who Eric Gagne is, he's the man who wrote the book called "How to Blow a Save."  Great beginning and middle, but the ending sucks! 
10:35 pm cdt

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Good, the Bad, and the Not So Terrible but Still Bad
Well, it was my first week back to school after 3 weeks off.  Trust me, I did not want to go back to work.  In fact, I think I chanted that about 500 times on Sunday night.  "I don't want to go.  I don't want to go. I don't want to go."  Yes, I did in fact annoy everyone around me.
 
But now that I'm back I guess I'm glad I'm back because it gives me something to do.  (I tend to get bored easily.) My kids were fantastic this week.  We got through so much stuff, I'm absolutely amazed.  They even know the difference among nouns, verbs, and pronouns now.  One student even shouted during English today, "Dang Ms. Franson.  We're smart!"  How awesome is that!  But then in math today they must have went braindead because they just couldn't add.  "What's 5+6?"  10!  8!  12!  13!  Grrrrr...Yeah, I'm pretty sure I growled at them. And one student even commented, "Dang Ms. Franson.  You look like you could kill us right now."  And at that point, I knew math was over for the day. 
 
Next week I get to take my super students to a Brewers game.  This was sprung on us today at our staff meeting.  They really have something against advance notification at my school.  Now permission slips have only one day to come back, which is just great, especially for those students who can't even remember to wear a uniform to school half the time. 
 
More good news is that I finally got a call from an MPS school that's interested in an interview next week.  The bad news is that they want me to teach Spanish.  The terrible part is that I'm going to have to say no to that.  I'm not certified and have no desire to teach it.  UGH!  Nobody else is calling to hire me except ghetto Mexican school in Racine.  I'm convinced that there are no jobs in the Milwaukee area and none, zero, zilch in the 'burbs.  So, I've gone to extremes and applied to another school in Florida, in a high need area in fact so if they don't call me maybe I need to redo my resume or start going to church more often. 
 
Tomorrow should end on a good note, but I'm totally exhausted.  I work at the Pig this weekend, but other than that I might spend the weekend napping with a trip to the zoo on Sunday.  My name should finally be up on the adopt-a-hippo board in the Peck Welcome Center.  Go check it out!
 
Go Brewers!
 
Okay, one more thing.  One of my basketball fantasy teams came in first place yesterday!  I get to add another "trophy" to my case.  Yay! 
8:58 pm cdt

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Fun, Sun, Dolphin Sightings, and More!

Day 1:  Sunday, April 6, 2008

 

Our vacation started very early (very early as in 5 a.m. early) on Sunday morning.  My dad dropped us off at the airport where we sat and waited for some good news knowing that flying standby has not been kind to us in the past.  However, our luck changed.  Not only did we get on the flight, but we were seated in Midwest Airlines Signature Seating.  Needless to say, I felt kind of special.  Our flight was pretty calm and our luggage didn’t get lost.  So far so good, right?

 

Once we found where we were supposed to wait for our hotel shuttle from the airport, we waited over an hour for the damn thing to show up.  In that span of time, I swear we saw 20+ Alamo shuttles drive by, we saw it rain, and we had plenty of time to peruse every Tampa brochure we could get our hands on.  The hotel blamed the rain for the shuttle delay.  BIG lie!

 

Sunday was a wash.  Literally.  It rained, it poured, and it thundered occasionally.  We spent a lot of time in the hotel room watching it rain…and napping.  We even spent some time watching it rain from the gazebo that was in between the two pools.  Trust me. My dollar store umbrella was probably the wisest purchase I made for this trip. 

 

Later that night, my friend Jonathan came to visit us at our hotel.  I hadn’t seen him in over 10 years, so it was pretty awesome!  We ended up staying up waaaaaaay late watching none other than a cheesy Chuck Norris movie from the early 80’s in Spanish.  Yes, Spanish.  We really couldn’t understand a lick of it, but it was fucking hilarious.  Since watching that flick, Chuck Norris has become our scapegoat for everything that went slightly skewed on this trip.  Like when we had to get up at 7:00 a.m. the next morning and as soon as the alarm sounded, the first words out of Stephanie’s mouth were, “Damn you, Chuck Norris!”

 

Day 2:  Monday, April 7, 2008

 

We woke up, we cussed out Chuck Norris, and then we headed to Busch Gardens.  I’m not a fan of roller coasters at all, but I’m proud to say that I did tackle two of the tamer ones.  I don’t do upside down or free falls, so that really limited my options, and even so, my ribs hurt for two days afterward, assuming that I was a victim of the “Cheetah Chase.” 

 

The animals were really active.  And when I say active I mean I witnessed some serious monkey sex going on.  The zookeeper was narrating outside of the exhibit and I’m not sure if he ignored the antics on purpose, but while he was talking about their diets, there was one monkey getting his freak on in front of an audience, kids and adults alike, with mouths open wide and chins on the floor.  I passed by later to take pictures; it just didn’t seem right at the time.

 

One of the best rides, surprisingly, was the slow moving train that circled the park.  We were so close to the animals that the train had to almost stop completely while the rhinos crossed the train track.  But, of course, we were sitting on the opposite side of the train so my pictures include some head shots of the strangers sitting next to us.  What can you do?

 

After Busch Gardens we waited another freaking hour for our hotel shuttle to come get us.  We were tired as hell, and again, we can totally blame Chuck Norris for that.  But later that night, Jon came to visit again, and I ended up staying awake longer than I really thought humanly possible after getting only a few hours of sleep the night before and trekking through Busch Gardens all day in the hot sun.  I’m a trooper!  And it was totally worth it, because really, if I only see my friend once every ten years, I’m not going to pass up another opportunity to visit, right?  We had a blast!  And Jon, I’m hoping you’ve located all your “dirigibles” (sp?) so we can go to Antiques Roadshow to see if they’re worth $550. 

 

Day 3:  Tuesday, April 8, 2008

 

Tuesday we went and picked up the dreaded rental car.  Never again will I do that by the way.  That was just bad news.  We went to the Florida Aquarium in Tampa where we saw some sea dragons, a shark show, and some really hot penguin trainers who ran the “Penguin Promenade” show.  Trust me.  The penguins were not the highlight of that show. 

 

After the Aquarium, we took the little trolley to Ybor City, which is a cute little town that happens to be the cigar capital of the U.S.  We stopped in some shops, but the best one had to be this vintage clothes shop we went to.  There, I saw some of the ugliest clothes I’ve ever seen in my life.  We laughed our way through that store, and just about died when Steph found a shiny blue pant suit. 

 

After that, we headed to our new hotel in Clearwater, which happened to be right next to the Quaker Steak & Lube.  No, it’s not a place to go get your oil changed; it’s a restaurant.  How clever!    

 

Day 4:  Wednesday, April 9, 2008

 

This was a fun day!  We headed to Clearwater Beach where we boarded Captain Memo’s Pirate Ship to go on our cruise.  We got some cheesy pirate hats to wear and all the little pirates (a.k.a. kids) played games.  The best thing about this cruise was seeing dolphins in the ocean. The first one I saw surprised the hell out of me, and I was so shocked that I couldn’t even react quick enough to get my camera. But then on the way back into the dock, we saw more dolphins.  It was quite an experience, let me tell you. 

 

After the cruise, we walked down to the beach and walked in the ocean.  Had I been in my swimming suit, I think I would’ve just dove in.  We walked down the pier, and it was probably around this time that I decided that living in Florida wouldn’t be so bad afterall despite the disgusting humidity and rain.  The beach makes up for the other shortcomings. 

 

From Clearwater, we went to St. Petersburg.  We walked and walked and walked, and the one thing I remember most about St. Petersburg is all the walking.  We walked down the pier where there was a small mall with some dinky tourist shops, and we took the free trolley that we didn’t know about beforehand back down the pier because it was freaking hot.  We walked to a different mall that was not much of anything…a few stores and a bunch of restaurants.  We spent a lot of time there biding our time until our Ghost Tour.

 

Word of advice:  never go on a ghost tour.  Our ghost tour of St. Petersburg was essentially a night time walking tour of downtown St. Petersburg.  Our tour guide was a dirty old man and the other people on our tour were completely drunk, and if they weren’t drunk, they were just incredibly annoying.  But instead of getting pissed, we embraced the drunks and the dirty old man, and went along with it and listened carefully as the dirty old man completely made up stories out of his ass.  We didn’t see any ghosts but we did touch a piece of furniture that was said to be haunted.  Yup, that was as good as it got.  Oh, no wait. We did see 4 stray cats during our walk.  That’s got to account for something. 

 

Thursday, April 10, 2008

 

Time to go home.  And, of course, we were victims of this airplane cancellation business going on.  Damn you, Chuck Norris!  We had to buy tickets on another airline in order to make it home that day.  We created a little nest area for ourselves at the airport where we nested for about 10 hours.  No joke!  I am the Free Cell master! 

 

Despite the tornadoes and bad weather in the Midwest, our flight was not so bad.  We did make sure to dope up on Dramamine before the flight just in case, though.  We made it safely and now the depression sets in.

 

I want to go back to Florida! 

10:48 pm cdt

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Florida, Here I Come!
Stephanie and I are headed to Florida bright and early tomorrow morning!  I know we're ready for some fun in the sun.  I just hope Florida's ready for us! 
 
Be back on Thursday! 
9:03 pm cst

Friday, April 4, 2008

Opening Day
Yay!  Brewers win!  Yay!  Well, I made it to Opening Day afterall.  I know I could have made a killing by selling my tickets, but I'm not sure it would've been worth it after today's slaughtering of the Giants.  GREAT game!
 
This year I had no problems with traffic like last year.  I figured out a different way and went on a hope and a prayer that it would work and as luck would have it, everything went just right. I cooked some awesome soy dogs thanks to Woodman's for carrying my brand.  By the way, Woodman's is now my preferred shopping destination when it comes to groceries.  Seriously, if you haven't gone yet, it's a grocery shoppers dream. 
 
Anyway, back to Opening Day!  Brewers won 13-4.  My seats were great except for orange jacket man in the row in front of me that would not shut up!  I almost felt bad for the other 3 guys he was sitting with.  For them, it had to be like going to a movie and having someone talk throughout the entire thing. It was so irritating.  Or at least he should've been talking about baseball, but noooo...I was bombarded with gossip about strangers that I just didn't need to know.  Barb is dating someone from his office now.  He's not really sure if that's a good thing or not yet, but he's okay with it.  Seriously, I had no idea that guys gossiped like that or maybe this "guy" is an exception. 
 
In non-Opening Day news, I went to that middle school in Racine yesterday to observe some classes.  The first class I watched was awesome.  Very St. Mary's-esque.  The kids listened, raised their hands, asked questions, it was great.  The second class was like watching the students at V.E. Carter.  The kids abused their teacher so bad I wanted to step in and give them a piece of my mind.  After one kid flicked his pen so that it landed near my feet, I grabbed it off the floor, looked at him, and said "Now it's mine!"  Nobody messes with Ms. F, damnit.  There was one girl who was so angry at the world that I'm pretty sure she'd argue with anyone who tells her the Earth is round.  She was unbelievable and clearly ready to be institutionalized. 
 
So now the question is whether I want to hold out and see if some nice suburban school like New Berlin will hire me or go to a school similar to Carter and get paid a helluva lot less.  Hmmm.....tough decision.
10:21 pm cst

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

OCD
I think it might be time I head back to school.  I've become totally OCD when it comes to checking the Internet job sites for open teaching positions.  I do it at least 30 times a day.  No joke.  Every time I walk by my computer I sit down and check.  Every time I open the laptop I check.  Even at night when I know nothing has been posted, I still check just in case I missed something.  It's become a habit that I just can't break. 
 
I'll be going to that middle school in Racine tomorrow to do some observing of the students and the classes.  I think I've committed myself to leaving V.E. Carter ever since we had a meeting before school let out and they said there were some "white knuckle moments when they didn't know if we'd get our paychecks."  So, I figure it's better to get paid less than not at all, right? 
 
I goofed yesterday and signed up to go to a job fair for MPS charter schools on the 10th, but I really can't go.  I thought I was filling out a survey because of that, but then it sent me back a reply saying thank you for registering.  Ugh! But it turned out not to be a goof because I was contacted by one school who'd like to begin the initial interview process.  That's all good and chummy, but then I got the job description for this school, which stated that all teachers are required to lead homework groups, advisory groups, and, here's the kicker....SATURDAY SCHOOL!  You've got to be kidding me!  I don't know what their salary is, but I think I already know it's not enough to make that kind of sacrifice. 
 
If anything, I'll work at the Pig full-time next year. I do miss Lori an awful lot.  We had some good times there, and when we're fortunate to work the same night once in a blue moon, it's still fun. 
 
I worked at the Pig last night with someone who clearly did not want to be there. I was "training" her on tags, and I believe she hated every minute of it.  And she had to be home by 8 because she had school the next day.  Is that like a curfew or what?  It was strange.  And every time I work there, I'm simply amazed at how stupid the kids who work there are.  They are beyond stupid.  I'm pretty sure we could hire monkeys at no cost and they would do a better job facing than the moronic teenagers we hire.  I could actually rant about this for about 10 more paragraphs, so I better lay off. 
 
Brewers won again today!  And my fantasy team, The Racing Soy Dog, is blowing my opponent out of the water!  What a great day! 
4:23 pm cst

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Vacation Preparation
Stephanie came over last night so we could start planning our upcoming trip.  The plan is to head to Tampa, Fl on Sunday and come home on Thursday provided that we can get on a flight.  Right now it looks good, but anything can happen from now until then. 
 
We chose our hotel, but couldn't quite make reservations yet in case we have to cancel at the last minute; we'd hate to lose our deposit.  We decided to rent a car for 2 days so we can get to Captain Memo's Pirate Ship cruise in Clearwater one day. Aaaargh!  We've aldo decided to go to Busch Gardens for a day and the Florida Aquarium. And, of course, we'll pay a visit to Joe's Crab Shack while we're there.
 
God willing this will all work out and we'll be enjoying 80 degree weather, palm trees, and the hot sun in only 4 short days.  I'll start praying just in case. 
12:31 pm cst

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I'll make changes to this site on a regular basis, sharing news, views, experiences, photos...whatever occurs to me. Check back often!
 
Check it out!  I added links to some of my favorite websites.  Have you ever wondered what super hero you're most like?  Go to i-am-bored.com and click on quizzes.  Hours of fun and laughter right there!  By the way, I'm most like Batman.  Who knew?

ESPN

i am bored

Grand Canyon 2008
gc.jpg
Yes, that really is the Grand Canyon behind me.

Forum

Down below you will find my forum / discussion board.  This is your chance to join an elite group of conversationalists simply by posting a comment, your opinion, something profound, or something completely stupid and unrelated to anything.  Lori, we've got company.  A big high five to all of you who have joined the group so far.  This is what I envisioned when I created the thing.  You all rock! 

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