April 2006 Archives

April 27, 2006

Remote blogging

from the SRTTC conference at the Greenville Hilton. Registered and snagged some coffee, sat and talked to T from Farmville Central (its his first time here so I gave him some pointers) and got an eyeful during the opening "ceremony" from Perquimans Central, an IMPACT school. *sigh* Sure, in a perfect world ... oh well, I can dream.

First session, nothing special, but I had hoped it would be good. Oh well, reinforcing what I do already. Always good to know I'm on the right track.

Second session, I was a total fangirl but I can't help it. I look forward to this conference every year because of David Warlick. He is the reason I do what I do. I would have gone to his first session on blogging but we had already emailed about it in the past and I have already presented on it so I figured I could hold off and only see one of his presentations today.

Thoughts on the session:

He opened with a video from Make ... wierd stuff that people make and they blog the videos. This was a Rube Goldberg-like machine that cooks Ramen Noodles. It was on an insane Japanese TV show, though, so it was a quirky way to start the day. THese people don't knopw him so that let them know what they were in for.

For the presentation materials, go to: Landmark Project

link to session on podcasting. wow.

I can make podcasts of my entries if I want!!!

Hmm ... "The world is flat" ... a must read, maybe? Will look into that.

I really came here because our kids will be podcasting their booktalks. I look around and Carol, the one spearheading this project is here too. Good. Maybe she'll get some tips, too, and I won't have to remember everything. Since she called shotgun on this, I won't be able to do mor ethan grunt work on this project but it's good practice for my doctorate.

AHH ... podsafemusic.com ... can be used for background in podcasts.

With adults, you only have to advise them that they are being recorded. With students, we have to make sure we have the parents permission before making these widely available. Oooh, must check with our copyright guy at DPI.

I need to subscribe to more podcasts. We also need to have an Rss feed on our website/blog so parents could be notified when we update. So much to do ...

Education podcast network. WHO KNEW?

I could make a podcast book recommendation, have a conversation about the books we have read.
OMG, can we do this with Literate Monkeys?? What do you think?

iRiver ... *drool* must. have. one.
Holy moley, as a portable recorder. Just add on an iTalk and he's live podcasting. I'll be blogging/podcasting about this more. I need to drink more coffee to keep up with him!!

It saves it as a wav, needs to be an MP3. Uses Audacity! HELLO! My new toy!! Open source, free, and it rocks!! (tutorial here).

Ah, tip! Change the project rate to 44K.

He's making the EXACT same thing that I just made last month! I knew I was on the right track.

Archive.org ... to save your media files online.
Slapcast ... server space, $5/month
LIPSON.com ... about $5/month

(have not researched, he just talked briefly about them.)

For video file, *.mov files are fine. check into the extension for compatibility.

RocketBoom.com ... not sure I want to support this but I do want to check it out.


WHEW ... the mind reels. Must go grab lunch and get back for afternoon session.


More notes from the afternoon below ...

A very cool Integration presentation from a 5th grade class in WIlson. It is something we could do but we may have to get support from ECU to get it done. I would do the job they did but WOW, where would I get the time??? (Links to come later when I get home.)

Next ... On Target for Learning with Microsoft Word ... we'll see what she can offer...

1st grade teacher at another IMPACT model school. Another glimpse into Utopia? She must have time on her hands.

*help, her voice is like an ice pick in my eardrum*

Ok, this is basics, making things in Word. Dang, I thought I was going to learn something new. Though she may be gearing up for more high level applications ... or not.

Ummm .... it would be great if she knew how to use PowerPoint. Yikes, she's practically inept. It's not just that she's doing simple things (everyone needs the basics) but she's just not advanced enough for me. She's like one of my teachers who just learned to use Word and likes the shiny.

There are free generators for this (crossword puzzles, wordsearches) online. Whoops, I picked a dud. Looks like I'll be wriitng through this one.

Ok, so out in the hall, before this, I saw my boss. She thanked me for working on the booktalks with C. I haven't really done anything yet but I will be. I get the feeling she realizes how difficult it is for me to work with C and she really appreciates it. I hope so.

(ok, I could do what she's doing now in Paint, too. She showed how to do a diagram of a Spider using autoshapes. Ummm ... ok)

Trading cards, compound word cards, timelines, lifecycle chart, bargraphs (??? Why not use Excel?!?!) ... good ideas, just simple and time consuming in Word. I see the philosophy, for people that don't have specialized software, but still. I want a SPARK.


Hmm, must look for computer activities the students can do for Multicultural week. (bad sign, my mind is wandering)

TIP: make documents and save as template in a folder on the labuser home drive ... when students try to save, it will come up as save as. I KNOW this but I want to remember to make a directory of templates when I have time. HAHHAHAhahah!! Wooo!! Now that's funny!!


Ok, enough of day 1. Must schmooze, visit with people I like before I go. Not sure what's going to happen tomorrow but I'm looking forward to it.

April 24, 2006

Ridiculous

Explain to me, please, how a 54 year old man can not get his act together enough to keep a job?

I swear to God, I must have been high when I thought that the x would be a good father.

The latest in his string of massive F-ups? Guess who lost his job 3 weeks ago and didn't tell me?

Ding, ding, ding!

Even better ... guess who is going to court to see if he can get his child support payment reduced?

Ding, ding ding! Wow, two for two ...

Oo, ooo, you'll never get this one ...

Guess who told his 14 year old son to lie to his mom about the whole thing?

Ding, ding, ding! We have a winner!


For bonus points ... guess who just insinuated that !'m not a good parent?

Yup, I'm so fed up with this whole thing, I could scream. Talk about a deadbeat d*ckhead.

(Or, I could just call him what my daughter called my son the other day ... insufferable ... that's the whole apple and the tree thing...)


UPDATE:::: Got the notice in the mail that I do, in fact, have to go to court so his Motion to modify S upport Order can be heard. June 7. I'm still in school on the 7th. I'm not like him, I can't just take a day off of work. I have responsibilities. This just blows. He told me I wouldn't have to go and I'm sure he lied just to get off the phone without me getting mad. Have I mentioned lately how much I hate him? *sigh*

April 19, 2006

Resentment

Sometimes, I resent being a girl.

I resent being pandered to, talked down to, not just about 'guy' things but about everything.

I resent how I constantly feel as if what I have to say doesn't have any worth. Where does that come from?

I resent the fact that I can't have a life of my own, that I can't wake up and do whatever I damn well please, even when I'm on vacation ... and I REALLY resent having to do homework while I'm on spring break when I'd rather be doing nothing by lying in bed with the guy next to me.

I resent leaving my full time job only to come home to my other full time job, making everybody else happy.

I resent that I can't even schedule my own vacation without consulting everyone else and their brother to make sure that what I want to do doesn't interfere with their lives.

I resent people that think they can fool me or lie to me and then think I won't retaliate, that I will just lie there and take it like a 'good girl'.

I resent the whole 'boys will be boys' mentality.

I resent the perception that I have to have a man in my life to be 'complete'.

I resent being weak, soft, a slave to my emotions but even more, I resent the perception that I am weak, soft, a slave to my emotions BECAUSE I am a girl.

I resent a society that tries to tell me what I want, what I need, what I should look like, what I should watch, what I should read, what jobs I should do, what games I should play because of my gender.

I resent a society that tries to dictate who I am and how I should act because of my chromosomes.

I resent being taken advantage of because I am a woman.

I resent the assumption that, because I am a woman, I will do whatever I can to get what I want.

I resent the assumption that, because I am a girl, I want to play sub-par video games, read poorly written novels and watch cheesy movies.

I resent companies that don't try harder to bridge the gender gap because, let's face it, stereotypes are easier to phone in.

I resent being called the weaker sex. I'll kick the ass of the next person that uses that phrase.

I resent being responsible for everything and everyone all the time.

I resent all of this because it has made me harder than I should have to be, unable to let my guard down, afraid of being taken advantage of if I show my true self.

I resent the men in my life (my father, my x) that made me so angry, so emotionally crippled that I can't open my mouth and admit my weakness without choking down the rage first.

April 15, 2006

Respects

Have you ever wanted something for so long that you almost forget why you wanted it until you get it, and even then sometimes you're left wondering what the big deal was in the first place?

I opened my email this morning to find this:

I don't usually get obituaries in my email but this one kind of caught me by suprise. Not only did I not know it was coming but I had just been thinking about her the other day when I wrote the birthday post about my father. You see, this was his wife.

No, not my mother. This was the woman he left my mother for. His third wife. My step-monster.

I don't use that term lightly. This one makes the evil step-mother in Hansel and Gretle pale by comparison. I don't blame her for the fact that my dad left us, though she knew he was married with 4 kids to support yet she still pursued a relationship with him.

Ok, maybe I do blame her a little but he was a grown man, too.

I'm processing a lot of emotions right now.

I feel guilty for being happy that a human being has died.

I feel anger that I never got to tell her to fuck herself.

I feel relief that it's finally over.


But mostly it's a combination of all of the above and that's making writing about it very hard right now. It may be a while before I can figure this out. After all, this is the woman that gave what should have been my family business and my family summer home to her children.

That sounds shallow, I know ... but it wasn't about money. I lost big chunks of my childhood experience, an experience that was wonderful and that I hoped, one day, to be able to share with my kids and their kids. She was one reason I could move so easily from Massachusetts. The only thing keeping me there was the fact that I could jump in the car and drive north whenever I needed to get away.

When my dad was dying, so much was going on. I was dealing with serious health issues of my own (it was a very complicated pregnancy, everything from cancer of my own to a blood disorder that threatened us both) but I visited him every day. We sat and passed time, no demands, no blame, and we resolved our relationship. She saw this and resented it.

When the time came close, she made a trip to a lawyer and took my legacy, my land, my family name and had me written out of it. At the time, I didn't fight it but, damn, now I wish I had.

When I called my mother, all she could do was begin talking about the property and how I got nothing and how I should have fought and it just made my head spin. She didn't want it to be kept in the family, that wasn't her motivation. She just didn't want Claire to have it.

Maybe now she can move on. Maybe we all can. Well, except Claire, of course.

Is it evil that I keep hearing "Ding, Dong, the witch is dead!" over and over in my head?

April 12, 2006

Reminded

So I'm sitting here and I just notice the date. Actually, I've written the date dozens of times today and even said it out loud a few times but it wasn't until I just saw it that it hit me.

Today would have been my father's 78th birthday.

It is a birthday he shares with David Letterman and David Cassidy. Don't ask how I know that.

The last birthday I spent with him was in 1993, his 65th birthday. I went with two gifts. One was wrapped and one was the announcement that I was pregnant with my daughter. Before I got to give him either, he told me he had been to his doctor for some test results a few days before and that he had about 4 months to live. He made it 5 months. He died 2 days before my daughter was born.

I don't go and get depressed on his birthday, which probably explains why the day didn't strike me until now. Yeah, I miss something but I don't think I miss my actual father, the guy that was born on April 12th. What I do miss is the father he should have been.

I've spent much of my life mourning the fact that my father was not the father I needed but hey, we can't exactly choose our family now, can we? And then I look at my kids and how their father acts and I wonder at my choice for sperm-donor. It's hard to tell what kind of parent someone will be before they have kids, though. I never thought I would be a good parent, considering the parents I had. But once I held my son in my arms, I swore I would never do to him what had been done to me.

It sounds crazy but I'm a better father to my kids than my father was to me or their father is to them. Unfortunately, that doesn't really say much since they both really, REALLY suck as fathers. Oh, and I'm their Mom, too, so I can only do so much. Not that I think I can't do both jobs but there is only so much I can do some days.

For all my complaining, being a good parent is really easy. Just respect your kids, give them firm boundaries, be there when they need you, and realize that nothing you give them is as important as love. It's sad to me when parents aren't emotionally mature enough to even do those simple things, not even for the sake of their kids.

So I'm thinking about my dad tonight. Not with regret, not with remorse. Mostly with antipathy. I can't understand people that can not put others needs in front of their own, especially children that had no choice to be brought into this world.

Here a dusty bit that I dragged out, especially for the day. Happy f*cking birthday, Ken.


The Gift

I see his silhouette first,
the sloped shoulders,
hips crooked with age,
bowlegged cowboy stance
always a puzzle
since he had never ridden
a horse before. He stands
backlit in a doorway, a gaping hole
that pours music, smoke,
drunken laughter around him.
He saunters toward me slowly,
his face still hidden, but I know
him. Even in death
I know.


From beneath his shirt,
a rustle of orange cellophane
emerges in his fingers.
As he approaches, it begins pulsing
in his hands, growing rounder, whispering
my name. Distance shrinks and
he's standing before me, my eyes
burning from the smoke. Acrid,
liquor drenched breath mixed with sulfur
against my cheek gags me.

The orb between his fingers peers up at me,
amorphous and breathing. I hear fluttering
wings coming closer as he
extends his arms, pressing the mass
against my stomach, pushing it through
the skin. Inside, I feel it becoming
part of me, growing, the fluttering
loudly filling me. I choke,
screaming, wings in my throat.

another lost night of sleep...
another gift from my father.


┬ęSMO - 4/12/01


This dream returns every so often to haunt me. Just waiting for his gift of cancer to catch up with me again.

April 10, 2006

Reconstruction

Not much of substance from me but I caught a gem this week that I had to pass on ...

Fibs

Nothing warms the cockles of my poetically geeky heart like using mathematics in artistic pursuit. When I saw this, poetry written using the Fibonacci sequence or Fibs, I could hardly contain my excitement. So I tried one.

Lost,
Bruised,
Needing
honesty,
I opened my eyes
And saw you waiting patiently.

Ok so that sucked but I'm WAY out of practice and everything I write lately sounds schmaltzy and far more open than I want to be. Come on, try it. Don't your cockles need to be warmed?

I had more of a post but Firefox decided to crap out on me and I was unable to paste what I had saved to my clipboard ... 2 new Fibs, one was even an extreme Fib.

*big tears*

Trying to reconstruct ... read on to see the results ...

Let's try this again ...


The
Bruise
Inside
Heals slowly,
Even slower when
the abuse continues within.


And now an Xtreme Fib, going all the way to 13.

She
Floats
Among
Lily pads
Wanting nothing but
To sink beneath the surface
If only to escape the voices telling her to.

Bonus points if you get the reference.

Umm, it's probably a good time to tell you I was once addicted to Haiku.

I
am
hoping
sleep will come
for a sweet embrace
and not another glancing blow.

Resigned

I accept less respect than I deserve because I don't really think I deserve all that much.

I put up with being treated like dirt because I think that I don't deserve better.

My question is this ...

Do I continue to look the other way or confront?

Do I bite my tongue and assume responsibility for something that I don't think I am to blame for just to keep the peace or do I risk being told that my feelings are really not all that important, that I really do deserve to be treated like shit.

Because I've spent most of my life being told that shit was all I deserved, and, though I go out of my way to show others respect, I am not shown respect in return. I don't get it.

And so I take it. And I swallow it down. And I assume it's my fault.

I take it. And it's slowly killing me.

UPdate: 3:27 am and I'm STILL up. Have done everything to try to relax (and I mean everything) and am absolutely sick to my stomach. Something is eating at me, something is not right, and I'm not able to break this, to break through. Not able to reach out, everything slips through my fingers. My fingers clench, unclench, fists balled, a ball of rage in the pit of my stomach. Living in the pit of fear. 3:33 and my skin is crawling.

It should not feel like this.

April 3, 2006

Really funny

Thanks to Sweetney, I just squirted water out of my nose. I should know better than to follow a link from her.


Yeah, that's all I got for now. Overwhelmed with homework and deadlines and I have so much I want to talk about, if only to relieve some of this pressure.


*sigh*

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