Tuesday, March 11, 2008


I have a credit card that we use only for emergencies or tuition -- and when we travel. When I enroll in grad school I pay using this credit card. When I buy the $100 text book, this is the card I charge it to. If, God forbid, the dogs need surgery or dental cleaning or horribly expensive x-rays, we use the credit card. And when we travel out of town and stay in a motel, we charge the room to this card.

In the fall we had used the card for dog dental surgery and hip exams -- racking up about $3000 worth of bills. I had paid the January tuition with the card - but the moment I was reimbursed for the total amount, I peeled off a check to completely pay that off. When we went to Houston for Christmas we used the card one night down and one night on return -- and for the car rental.
That's it. We keep the balance low, but we are currently carrying a balance, mostly due to dog related health issues from the fall.

Today I accessed the account on-line to make a payment. And found that since February 18th, I'd been in New York buying Sprint phones. I'd flown twice on Southwest Airlines. And I'd paid $618 to Sprint for cable and phone service.

I called the company, spoke with their fraud department, got the card canceled and the investigative wheels in motion. They told us we had been "hacked." Wow! This is our first time dealing with fraudulent charges and it sure leaves you feeling vulnerable.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008


We are sitting in my classroom, lined up side-by-side working on American History and the US part in WWI. We have finished with the vocabulary -- today's students do not know what a trench actually is -- and are now working on naming the Central vs. the Allied powers.

"Um . . . Miss?" tentative query from one of my less mentally challenged students. However, in her past are multiple behavior problems and long stints in our separate "school for the ineducable in normal settings." Miss, by the way, is the term used these days for any woman teacher.

"Yes?" I mumbled while frantically searching the history book for the next answer.

"Well, um, do you know how many people . . . .um . . . died in this school?"

Now I look up. Stare at the kid. Hum. Interesting turn in this conversation. However, knowing her history, let's run with this a bit and see where it's leading.

"I have no idea if any students ever died here. I've never heard of any. I do know that when the school was being built way back in 1935 three workmen were killed during the construction. To honor them many of the beautiful figures decorating the top of our auditorium show three figures -- and each one is a memorial to those three men who died."

"Oh . . ."

"Kid -- why are you asking about dead people at our school?" Now the whole group is tuned in.

"Well . . . "

Cue the eerie music time.


We all look expectant.

"I see things . . . "

We stare at her, a little stunned.

" . . . like when you sent me to the office yesterday with those papers and I was out there all alone, I saw some sort of people . . . but they weren't people, exactly. I, um, I see 'em all the time."

"Oh." I have no idea what to reply to this.

Long pause.

"Are you afraid of them?"

"Oh, no. They never say anything. They just wander around."

Long pause.

"Next time we're in the auditorium would you point out the drawings of the three men?"

"Sure. They're really easy to spot."

End eerie music and we go back to our study of World War I.

From our web site (no picture) here is a description of our auditorium: The school's 1,796 seat auditorium features the Indian motif. A frieze, done in various shades of tan and brown brick, captures images of nature such as geese, squirrels, deer, hawks, cats and Indians. The Southwestern influence is also reflected in Indian pottery that adorns the walls on both sides of the stage.

By the way, this is post 101. I've passed the century mark.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Perfect Peace

I'm still feeling sick from the flu. My favorite student has a warrant out for his arrest. His mother is in jail for obstructing justice and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. My pastor resigned from our little church and we have so few members and so little money we may be facing extinction. Though today's weather was in the low '60's, tonight the cold front has come back in with a vengeance along with rain -- and soon now snow. I'm feeling low-down, out of sorts, uninspired, depressed.

After church and Sunday lunch, my head was pounding and my heart was sad. Thinking a nap might help, I climbed into bed and pulled the covers over my head. Hubby was watching TV and reading a book simultaneously, and ignoring my small miserable whimpers.

Gus, though, heard me. Gus has weak back legs and is often lame but he dashed to the bed, pawing the quilt to be lifted up to join me. He was ignored. I buried my head into my pillow, pulling the quilt up to my chin. Summoning all his little strength, Gus managed a jump that landed half on and half off the bed, but he scrambled with all his might and finally got enough purchase to crawl his way over to me.

He burrowed his little warm body next to mine, his head and beard nestled on my breast, his little warm breath on my cheek. His paws rested next to my lips; his beating heart matchrf my own. Soon I found peace. The comfort of a little body with a heart so big brought me an ease I had not felt in over a month. I fell into an easy sleep -- and my boy never moved. We rested for upwards of an hour and when I awoke, I felt refreshed, quieter in my soul.

The love of a good dog simply cannot be over-valued in today's world. How fortunate I am to have such a dear, unselfish fur-child in my life. The love he gives me far out-strips any shelter or food I provide him.

My beautiful, gentle Gus. Thank you.

Are You Sick of High Paid Teachers?

I "stumbled" into this little piece on a blog called "Wat da Wat;" it was posted on Feb. 22, 2008. Here's the URL: http://watdawat.com/2008/02/22/are-you-sick-of-high-paid-teachers/

Are you sick of high paid teachers? Teachers’ hefty salaries are driving up taxes, and they only work 9 or 10 months a year! It’s time we put things in perspective and pay them for what they do - baby sit! We can get that for less than minimum wage.

That’s right. Let’s give them $3.00 an hour and only the hours they worked; not any of that silly planning time, or any time they spend before or after school. That would be $19.50 a day (7:45 to 3:00 PM with 45 min. off for lunch and plan — that equals 6 1/2 hours).

Each parent should pay $19.50 a day for these teachers to baby-sit their children.

Now how many do they teach in day…maybe 30? So that’s $19.50 x 30 = $585.00 a day. However, remember they only work 180 days a year!!! I am not going to pay them for any vacations.

LET’S SEE…. That’s $585 X 180= $105,300 per year. (Hold on! My calculator needs new batteries).

What about those special education teachers and the ones with Master’s degrees? Well, we could pay them minimum wage ($7.75), and just to be fair, round it off to $8.00 an hour. That would be $8 X 6 1/2 hours X 30 children X 180 days = $280,800 per year.

Wait a minute — there’s something wrong here! There sure is!

The average teacher’s salary (nation wide) is$50,000. $50,000/180 days = $277.77/per day/30 students=$9.25/6.5 hours = $1.42 per hour per student–a very inexpensive baby-sitter and they even EDUCATE your kids!)


I wish I wrote this but I didn’t. This was sent to me by one of the teachers in my school. It sure does put things into perspective…What you guys think?

*Disclaimer* I’m a teacher.