Friday, February 23, 2007

Dogs of Belize, Part 1

San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize C.A.

Besides being incredibly kind and welcoming, the citizens of San Pedro are good caretakers of their pets. We saw a few cats, but mostly we saw dogs. Walking down the streets, in the shops, in the restaurants, wandering in and out of diving and excursion shops, meeting each other on the beach, and one especially prevalent dog who LOVED to retrieve water bottles thrown into the sea. Most of the dogs wear collars, but rarely were they on leashes.

So, that's the theme for today. The Dogs of Belize.

(I can't figure out how to delete the photo of the flower or whatever it is. So pretend it's a dog.)

(Never mind. I deleted it.)

Monday, February 19, 2007

Can I go back?

Thursday, February 15, 2007

How to Stay Awake at Teacher Inservice Courses, Faculty Mtgs, etc......

This came from a friend whose wife was a teacher. I think it would liven up meetings considerably.

Do you keep falling asleep in teacher meetings and inservices? Here's a way to change all of that.

1. Before (or during) your next meeting, inservice or staff development, prepare yourself by drawing a square. I find that 5" x 5" is a good size.Divide the card into columns-five across and five down. That will give you 25 one-inch blocks.

2. Write one of the following words/phrases in each block: * no child left behind * test scores * core competencies * communication * standards * multiple exposures * benchmarks * proactive * win-win * think outside the box * action plan* result-driven * assessments * knowledge base * at the end of the day * touch base * mindset * differentiated * retention * skills * background knowledge * effective learning * exemplars * implementation * reflection

3. Check off the appropriate block when you hear one of those words/phrases.

4. When you get five blocks horizontally, vertically, or diagonally stand up and shout "BULLSHIT!"

TESTIMONIALS from satisfied "Bullshit Bingo" players:

-- "I had been in the meeting for only five minutes when I won." - Adam W., Atlanta

-- "My attention span at inservices has improved dramatically." - David T., Orlando

-- "What a gas! Staff development will never be the same for me after my first win." - Dan J., New York City

-- "The atmosphere was tense in the last inservice as 14 of us waited for the fifth box." - Ben G, Denver

-- "The speaker was stunned as eight of us screamed 'BULLSHIT!' for the third time in two hours. The Bullshit Bingo Championship will be played at the next inservice." -Rod H., Nashville

Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you do criticize them, you are a mile away and you have their shoes.

I'd rather be in Belize

Snow days

As a teaching assistant, snow days are still exciting for me. I'm one of the lucky ones (and I'm not being sarcastic there) whose work goes by the school calendar. As a result, I'm still like a little kid when we have bad weather.

Since Monday night, I've been checking and rechecking the school's website and the local tv station's closing and delays page about every two minutes. Living in the boonies like we do, we don't get any local tv or radio stations. We have satellite internet access, which is wonderful unless there's, oh, for instance, snow or ice.

On Tuesday our school's tech guru emailed me to let me know that school was closed. Of course, due to problems that we've been having with our new school's email server, I didn't get it till Tuesday night. However, I'd decided that with what sounded like a really nasty ice storm heading our way, I wasn't going in to work that day anyway. For once I called it right.

Wednesday was the same. The weather wasn't changing, but still, our school system didn't call it a day off until 6 Wed. morning. Every other school system (and all in our portion of the state) called it Tuesday night by oh, 6 or so. Fortunately, yesterday morning we were able to pick up one of the Harrisonburg fm stations so I got the word that way.

So Thursday, today, emerges. Our school system is running one hour late today. As much as I've enjoyed our enforced vacation (we have 4 days built into our school calendar, and I think we'd only used one up till this week), I didn't mind--too much--going in today. I just went to McDonald's and bought breakfast and high-tailed it to school.

So this is what was waiting for us:

The parking lot was fairly well scraped, but as usual, the sidewalk that about 95% of the faculty and staff use to get into the school hadn't been touched. And this is ice, not nice, fluffy snow. This is almost always the case when we have bad weather.

I'm willing to bet that the sidewalks used by the students have been treated in some manner, but not that one.

We know just where we stand in the bosses' eyes.

And we're just hoping that it's not on our backs out on that sidewalk.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Welcome to Belize City

We left Ambergris Caye for Belize City last Sunday at noon. It was one of those little puddle-jumpers with only 9 passengers. Another woman and I sat in the very back of the plane, and it was a bumpy flight (17 minutes). We enjoyed looking out at the turquoise water, pointing out sights to each other, until she suddenly covered her mouth, frantically scrabbled in the back of the seat ahead of her, and not finding what she was looking for, just as we were making a very sharp left turn to head toward the runway, she upchucked all over the place. Twice.

And since we were landing, it all ran toward the front of the plane. Surprisingly enough I didn't barf.


It smelled just like a fresh rum punch. Evidentally she drank her lunch just before she boarded the plane.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Talk about quaking.......

The flight from BWI to DFW was uneventful, thank goodness. I read and knit my way there. Tom read and maybe slept.

In Dallas we switched to a jet heading to Belize City. As we travelled, more and more clouds popped up until we were flying through something from a Stephen King novel. As we slowed and dropped for the landing, the fog parted and I got a glimpse of trees. As in very close. As in no runway.

At the time, it just sort of passed through my thick skull that it was odd that there didn't appear to be an airport nearby. Right about then, the pilot pulled up and laid on the fuel. That's about when I started to suspect that we'd had a near-miss, an up-close-and-personal interaction with the jungle.

He got it right on the next pass.

I ♥ Mion

So two weeks ago I got these shoes. Except they're "pearlized black" (which in reality is kind of an odd purplish color, but who's complaining?).

If you remember, they were the only shoes I took to Belize. Not once did I regret the choice. I could rinse them out and put them back on. They were super-comfortable and the right choice for all the walking that we did.

If only I'd had them when we went to Europe. They'd have been perfect.