Sunday, January 23, 2011

Seven Random Facts About Me

I just had the greatest time reading seven random facts about Mrs. Nesbitt. I enjoyed reading her "random facts"(which were actually totally awesome stories and not random facts at all ;)) so much, in fact, that I figured I'd give it a shot myself. I strongly encourage you to check Mrs. Nesbitt's out, too ... oh, and leave a link in the comments if you decide to do this yourself because I love reading these!

1. My desk at work is a landmark.
And not in a good way. It is piled high with ever-shifting piles of papers that end up mixed together in new and unusual ways. If I was a science teacher instead of an English teacher, it would be a great way to teach plate tectonics. Interestingly, though, I have never lost a student's work, a fact that they comment on regularly.

STUDENT: Ms. Loud, I don't understand it. Your desk looks like a tornado went through it, and you never lose our stuff. Ms. Spike has a color-coded filing cabinet with folders for not just each student but each class and loses our work all the time.

I can't explain this to children, of course, but it's the ADHD mind at work. I will always be disorganized ... there's no way around it. However, I operate under the "central location" theory. If every piece of student work goes in a central location (in other words, my desk), I know it's there somewhere ... it might take me a bit to find it amidst the other thousand papers on my desk, but I know it's there.

2. I met my ten-year-old equivalent last week.
I was at another school with several other teachers to observe their reading program and the interventions they had in place for struggling readers so that we could bring it back to our school. One of the other teachers also happens to be one of my best friends, and suffice it to say that we should not be allowed to go on professional development days together ... we laugh entirely too much.

So we're observing a class right after lunch, and everyone's a little bit punchy, but Holly and I are by far the goofiest. There's this one little guy who just cannot sit still. If you've ever seen a caricature of a kid with ADHD, this was it.

And Holly leans over to the other teachers and whispers, "This is what it's like working with Katie", and we all just lost it.

When the kid was sitting backwards in his chair literally hanging off of it, it occurred to me that I sometimes teach in that position, and I tried to stifle the laughter until I looked at my colleagues and saw that they were all cracking up ... they've all seen me teach, after all.

Although I thought this kid was the coolest, it occurred to me that I must at times be very annoying to the people I work with ;)

3. My favorite author is Stephen King.
I am a voracious reader. I've read all the classics, all the chick lit, all the pretty much everything, and nobody can tell a story like King. Nobody can make characters that you care about, that seem quite as real as the ones he creates.

Nobody can make a book about the craft of writing as interesting as his On Writing, which I would make required reading for my students if there weren't budget constrictions.

I am especially obsessed with his seven-book saga The Dark Tower. I'm so obsessed that I made a blog intended to analyze and contemplate the philosophies contained therein (it doesn't get updated very often, though, although I'm working on managing my time better so I can get back to adding to it).

4. I can do a split. It's a great classroom management tool ...

5. I jumped off a moving train once.
My brother, sister, brother-in-law, and myself went to a Red Sox game, but the game ended up being the least interesting part of the day. I don't want to get into detail because I've been trying to do this story justice in writing for years and it just doesn't transfer well (it's a story made for oral storytelling), but it was totally my brother-in-law's fault.

6. My golden retriever, Mollie, is passive aggressive.
Most dogs I've owned are very sweet-tempered. My black lab, Sonja, for example, just kind of goes with the flow, is thrilled to see you when you get home at the end of the day, sits at your feet when you're reading a book, is thrilled when you take her outside to play, and so on.

Mollie is just crazy.

The best example of this, I guess, is her obsession with balls. She always has a ball in her mouth, and when you're inside the house, she'll drop the slimy thing on your lap as if to say, "Throw it, throw it, I want to play fetch!" The logical response to this action, of course, is to pick up the ball, walk outside, and start a rousing game of fetch.

Um ... nope. You throw the ball once and Mollie goes running after it, retrieves it, and comes back to dance around your feet ... and refuses to give you the ball. After you try to pry it out of her mouth a few times to no avail, you give up and go back inside ... at which point, Mollie comes and drops the slimy ball in your lap and the cycle continues.

Even more annoying, though, is when you give her the ball back and say, "No, not gonna do it right now" or something like that. She hides the ball under heavy pieces of furniture and scratches at it until you lift it up, straining back muscles in the process, so she can get the ball ... and, two minutes later, drop the slimy thing in your lap.

7. I laugh a lot.
One of the greatest gifts I've been given is the ability to find humor in pretty much any situation, a skill that both of my parents possess. They passed on some less positive traits, but the laughter that has permeated my life almost balances those out.

I can't even explain how weird my sense of humor is, or even how simple it is when you get right down to it.

Oh, wait for it ... my phone just gave me an example. Like, perhaps the prime example. Every time I get a text message (or a Facebook update), my phone says, "DROID" in a robotic voice. I've had this phone for months now, and I still crack up every time (every single time) it goes off ... and I get a fair amount of texts and Facebook stuff, so it's not like this is a rare occurrence. And it is still just so funny ...

Most people with Droids change the settings pretty quickly, but I'm just far too entertained by my phone talking to me in a robotic voice that I just can't. My friend Holly and I usually sit together during meetings, and when it's getting rather dry, she'll lean over and whisper, "DROID", and we both just lose it (it took me awhile to figure out how to silence it, so for a couple of weeks it went off all day, every day).

Oh, and during the before-Christmas talent show, we hooked my phone up to the sound system because we were playing a song off it for the eighth graders to dance to. In the middle of the song, there's a sudden, "DROID!" It was just hysterical.

So there you have it ... seven random things about me :-)