Friday, June 17, 2011

School's OUT... as of today: Let 'summer' begin!!

Some teacher friends and I went out to eat tonight to celebrate the first night of 'freedom'....

Now, it's 8pm and I'm doing laundry. Why you might ask? Well, a wash cycle in Germany takes 140 minutes to complete and the dryer takes 221 minutes... (and the clothing isn't that dry when it's over either)... so, I need to do ONE LOAD of laundry tonight....

While waiting until midnight before my trip back to the base so I can catch a bus a little after midnight. To go Polish Pottery Shopping in Poland. I can't believe that I signed up and paid to do this... it will be fun- but, I'm tired already.

I don't sleep on planes, trains, buses, or cars... so, I will take some knitting and my portable DVD player with me. That reminds me- I need to pack up my backpack and fill it with my entertainment (can't read- I get car sick), some water, and a snack for the trip.

I made sure that I have some 50 cent euro coins for the public bathrooms along the autobahn. I need to pack everything up so that I'll be ready for my late drive on base.

I'll take my camera and take some photos.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

How many times have you moved?

I'm still looking for my 'missing paperwork' from a previous blog entry. Time is running out. I am now looking in 'weird, no way in the world would I have put the missing paperwork in this location' location... because, truthfully... there are NO OTHER OPTIONS LEFT!

I have to find the missing paperwork, complete the forms, and turn it in by June 17th.

While sorting through 'old' paperwork... I have found odds and ends of paperwork (lots) from previous moves. When you work for the US Government... there is just a lot of paperwork that goes with the job- including paperwork to authorize shipping household goods/etc.

Of course, finding this paperwork... reminded me of previous places, people I hadn't thought about in years, and of course a large assortment of names and phone numbers of people that I don't even remember who they were much less remember meeting them.

I'm more of a visual person and I'm sure if they were to knock on my door- that I'd recall how and why I knew these 'mystery names' though.

So, while thinking about some of my previous locations... and moves... which is why I need this missing paperwork in the first place... I thought about seeing how often others have moved.

Myself personally? I like change and the longest that I have lived anywhere in the past 21 years has been for 3 years at one time.

I have been here for 3 years and I did apply for a transfer this spring- but, I didn't get one. There was only the slimmest hope that I would get one and I was aware of the limited likelyhood of getting a transfer to a new location...

I want to leave because the winters here are 7 months long, dark, damp, cold, and we always have snow on the ground. The snow might 'melt off' one or two times per winter- but, that's not much when you consider how long the winters are. I'm not a winter person in the first place- but, the long, damp, cold winters cause me to get pneumonia for 3-5 months every winter. I go to work sick on most of those days too-because I only have a few sick days left.

So, I was curious about how many times you have moved.

Friday, June 10, 2011

python snakes...

Yesterday's story reminded me of another 'kid story.'

More than 20 years ago, I was a fairly new art teacher in southern Oklahoma. My 2nd graders (age 7) had just entered class and I had gotten them started on their project. I was gathering up some paint and other materials that I had been working on, for the school play, prior to the arrival of this class.

I had some brushes, tape, a sketch, and of course some water based acryic paints.

One little boy... noticing that I was cleaning up a brush that had paint all over it said, in his easy, slow, southern drawl like only southern children can manage...

"Miss _______, you know what that paint SMELLS LIKE?"

"That paint smells like P.. Y.. T.. H.. O.. N snakes."

I replied, "Oh it does, does it?" He said, "Yep!"

I asked him had he been smelling PYTHON SNAKES often? He answered with a very serious face.... "Yep."

We continued with our art lesson and about 20 minutes later he said with a little smile playing on his lips... "You know what Ms. ____________?" "I was just joking about that python snake."I still laugh when I tell that story. Of course it does help that I can drawl my words out nice and slow just like he did.

Now, I know for a fact that it is quite unlikely that he had ever seen- much less had EVER smelled a PYTHON SNAKE! However, I just loved how his mind worked to connect an unfamiliar (but not strong smell) with a python snake?

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Every so often something funny happens

that helps you endure the last days of school.Today, I was in the hallway greeting my last class of the day for art class... it was a large group of kindergarteners.

I had on a blouse with this type of print:

This little boy, towards the back of the long line, says loudly... "Ms____________, I really like your CHEATER shirt!

I told him "Thank you." However, the truth is... what he said was SO FUNNY and I had to really control myself NOT to laugh out loud.

After school, you can bet that I went walking all over the place sharing my 'CHEATER' shirt with everyone that I saw. After hearing the story, all burst out laughing.

Later, at the base post-office, I saw one of the staff members that I had shared my special shirt story with earlier that afternoon... and of course she shouted out... for all to hear "There's Ms.__________ wearing her CHEATER shirt!"

*I don't think that I imagined the raised eyebrows under a few of the military berets standing in line ahead of me.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

May I take your order please?

Yes, may I have some E COLI free lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers... and...

OK, could you just give me a disease free salad??

Yes, world... I love salads and it is quite sad not being able to buy/eat/enjoy veggies.

Friday, June 3, 2011

I have a new computer

It was time. Past time.

My Sony Vaio laptop was almost 7 years old. Which is quite elderly for a computer. It was beginning to show its old age too. There were difficulties in downloading photos, going very slow, taking a lot more time than usual to download webpages. It was almost like needing the computer version of a cane to stand.

Since, the old Vaio worked so wonderfuly without ANY PROBLEMS for over 6 years... I simply bought another one. It wasn't a laptop model this time- I got a big flat screen model. I haven't had time to explore on it very much- but, I was dismayed to discover that you have to BUY YOUR OWN WORD PROGRAM now!?What is up with that? Computers certainly cost enough.

I did try to send a photo attachment in an email to a friend a couple of days ago- and it never would 'stop' attaching and actually attach the photo so that I could send it. I'm not sure what caused that problem? I'd like to get it working so that I can attach photos to my blog entries.

We have 2 more weeks of school. I am C O U N T I N G the days!

It's the busy time of the year now- on one hand you want it to go FAST so you can GET IT ALL OVER WITH. BUT, then again... there's too much to get covered, reports to write, assignments to grade, grades to record, and the bane of my existance... art assignments turned in without a name!

Yes, I remind them, yes, I wait for them to write their names down 'before' I give the directions for the new lesson... the biggest problem is... rarely do the number of papers w/out a name equal to the number of students without a grade for that particular project. Almost 700 students per week. Now you know why I am ready for school to be OUT!

ALSO, students 'often' don't recognize their own artwork. Yes, seriously.
Either that... or they are in the land of 'denial' that they even had a no name paper? ha ha

Nothing new and exciting to report. I live in the boonies, I look out onto fields and houses. Nothing much goes on. I don't think that you want to read about the 'traffic wrecks' or near wrecks that I see on my way to work. Seriously, I sometimes wish that I had a helicopter... ok, enough $ to ride on a helicopter... I'm not going to mention the bigger problem of 'no helicopters' in the area anyway.

However, I know that if I had enough $$ to fly in a helicopter to work- that I wouldn't be working. KNOW WHAT I MEAN?

I do have a nice sunset view out my office window (which I've shared on my blog before) and now that the winter season has passed- we once again... get to experience sunsets.

I bought some flowers to plant in the big flowerpot on my front steps... last weekend. Maybe, I can actually find time and/or remember to plant them this weekend?