Saturday, May 31, 2008

It takes a neighborhood to survive a tornado

When multiple tornadoes are within a few miles of Kokomo and heading directly our way, I get worried. When there is a tornado coming within 2 miles of my house, I run for the neighbor's house. In fact, about 20-25 people do! Apparantly, there are few basements within shouting distance of our house. Fortunately, our neighbor has a key to the house that does have a basement...and can let us all in even when these basement-endowed neighbors aren't home!! So about 8 adults and a slumber party full of girls later, we weathered the storm just fine. Imagine that conversation when the homeowners return: "Welcome back; we hope that you don't mind that we had a little bit of a tornado party in your basement while you were gone. Oh, but don't worry. Someone picked up that pair of underwear that was on the stairs. Thansk for being a good neighbor!" Our cats, however, were not pleased about being locked in the bathroom. It's not like we could easily bring them with us, and that is the safest room in the house. It makes sense as much as they don't like it.

So this is the finishing touch on an abnormal day. It was Ben's last day of school ( is it that I still have 2 when every other school in the area is done??), we bought 2 new recliners, sold one (go figure), FINALLY got rid of my hideous, broken, scratchy, what-was-my-dad-thinking-when-he-got-this-for-me orange couch, picked up our new couch, moved it into our living room, somehow managed to move the old couch into the office (seriously not much space in that room now), I went summer school clothes shopping (who does that?!?), and Ben still fit in a couple of graduation parties just for fun. And then the day ended with prayers of relief and thanks that my house is still standing and we are not dead.

As fascinating as storms can be...they are seriously scary to me.

"Weather forecast for tonight: dark. Continued dark overnight, with widely scattered light by morning." George Carlin

Friday, May 30, 2008

End of the school year gems

Often such pithy words of wisdom spewing forth from the minds of teenagers just make you stop and giggle loudly to yourself at your desk. Enjoy.

According to one senior, the Bard's name is Shakesphere. It's a good thing I have several large posters with his name prominently displayed on them hung around the room to help with such unawareness.

"A Modest Proposal" by Jonathan Swift is an important piece of world literature because "It's an example of trickery to get people to listen to his story." I guess that you could say that a satire about eating children (just the unimportant ones) to "solve" poverty and especially hunger is a bit of trickery.

Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw is also an important piece of world literature because "It's importance comes with the enjoyment of reading and the detail that's in it." I wasn't aware that my seniors were such epicureans of good literature. What a vague and trying-to-be-impressive-but-student-obviously-has-no-idea answer.

The best came from another teacher's class. I'm glad I don't know who this kid is because otherwise every time I look at him, I'd just think of this example. This teacher assigns a controlled source based paper to his sophomores every year. This is the first time that these students have really done citations and sourcing, so the sources are provided, and every students writes about the same thing. At the end of one student's paper, he obviously thought that this very Catholic teacher needed a lovely benediction as his grade was being decided. Therefore, the last line of his paper reads, "God bless you and many blessings for you and your family!" That's a new one!!

"Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe." H. G. Wells (Dare I say that I know several people who are already heading toward catastrophe?!?)

Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Kenapoca-mocha

As I sit surrounded by warm fuzzies in the brainchild of good Manchester people, slowly enjoying my perfect beef & barley soup and sweet iced coffee, I can't help but think...ha! I got to finally experience a cool Manchester thing first before other people who are cooler than I as they generally do way way cooler stuff than I. I am willing to sacrifice and visit this place every day after teaching or studying with a good book and no cares except which drink to choose.

I have already decided that I must visit this wonderful place (really, you can feel the goodness oozing out of the walls, sifting through the air, settling around your stress-tense mind and muscles) with Ben. And, I will deviate from my journey so as to swing by this happy nook as often as possible. I.e., hey, we're going to Indianapolis...I think that we should go via N Manchester!

For this new coffee, soup and broken bread cafe, I want to move back to N Manchester. In fact, poking around on the Manchester Realty website, I see that the Hospitality House is still for sale, along with the Fruitt Basket Inn (I think??). Anyone want to join me in some crazy, never-going-to-happen B&B venture so that I can move back?

I hear that the pumpking chili is fabulous as well. I can't imagine how it wouldn't be.

"Cherish all your happy moments: they make a fine cushion for old age." Christopher Morley
(I think that this little happy moment that I enjoyed last night certainly added a little fluff to my old age cushion.)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

What happens when it's hard to make friends

You spend your Saturday night with about 30 adults 60 years and older. There was one lady who was younger; she was in her mid-40s/early 50s...much closer to our age.

Ben and I decided to help with and participate in a progressive dinner through our church. Neither of us have ever done this before, so we thought it would be fun times. It was quite fun, I will admit. As fun as it gets when the two of us at 25 years old drastically lowered the approximate average age of the group from 69 to 60. Appetizers, a little awkward. Dinner, fun. Dessert, nostalgic.

How many people can honestly say that they've "hung with the homies" from church drinking boxed wine out of plastic wine glasses with your name on it that you took with you so as not to use more than one glass per person? It's even better when you factor in trying to juggle the aforementioned plastic wine glass with a paper plate of food while trying to speak loudly and clearly enough (I swear that every time I see some of these elderly church goers that I have to re-introduce myself...personally, I just don't remember most of their names and don't ask and re-ask but pretend like I remember) to speak above the dull noise of everyone so that my conversation partner's hearing aid can pick up what I say.

May I be as funny when I am that age. We do have some humorous old people at our church.

"Wisdom doesn't automatically come with old age. Nothing does - except wrinkles. It's true, some wines improve with age. But only if the grapes were good in the first place." -Abigail Van Buren

(Ben and I were definitely the young grapes of that bunch. Can I just refer to older people as having fermented longer???)

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Election Day

Is anyone else annoyed by the drama that news stations make out of elections...BREAKING NEWS...DECISION 2008!!!

So I just voted in person for the first time ever. The good part about it--it was super easy and I didn't have to wait. The bad parts about it--the signs telling me where to go were absolutely scarce and I used a marker. Where were the chads that are beckoning to hang?!?!

I guess I assumed that it would be super easy to figure out where to go inside of the elementary school that is my voting site. Oh no. And Miss Embarrassed that I am, I just walked super slowly so that a lady who looked like she knew what was doing behind me would overtake me and lead me to the promised land. Luckily, she wasn't some teacher's aide leading me to a first grade classroom but performed as I needed her to. No one told me that there would be multiple precincts within the same room, so then I did look like a voting moron and fumbled around with my little card to figure out what precinct I even live in. But I figured it out; luckily, it's not meant to be too challenging. But then again...maybe it should be--weed out the morons who shouldn't be voting anyway. You know, voting survivor style!

My novice voting ideals led me to believe that I would be punching buttons or poking at a screen or something when I voted. Alas, I played connect the arrows with a marker. On a wobbly privacy table thing nonetheless. Can you just imagine the little old ladies sitting at the registration table thinking, "Wow, that Amy Cox...she's just going crazy over there with her ballot! Look at her table shaking!"

My guidance counselor got a sticker that said "I voted!" I want a sticker.