Meme & Project Looking Through

I’ve been tagged! CrazyCath from CrazyCath’s Reflections: No Sense or Sensibility, flagged me to play, It’s All About Me.

  • The rules of the game are posted at the beginning.
  • Each player answers the questions about themselves.
  • At the end of the post, the player tags 5 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog. (You know I don’t tag, so take this if you so choose and mention you got it from me.)

What I was doing 10 years ago?
April 18th, 1998 — I was coming to the end of my first year in Las Vegas, my first and only year as a remedial reading teacher and my last year so obese that tying my shoes wasn’t even possible and all I owned were slip-ons. That was the year I tried 5 different doctors looking for a solution to what ailed me. I was hungry 24 hours a day, couldn’t sleep at night, and couldn’t stay awake at work. I’d already been forced to quit driving because I’d fall asleep when blinking my eye. [Open. Clozzzzzzzzzzz]

Two different doctors (consecutively, not concurrently) put me on sleeping pills to force me to sleep at night so I could remain awake during the day. The sleeping pills actually made me hyper! Instead of tossing and turning all night and having horrible and terrifying dreams, I was up scrubbing my house from top to bottom. I tried three different brands of pills and two doctors before chucking that idea.

The next doctor put me on a strict no carb diet. I didn’t mind, I’m not overly into carbs anyway (except sugar). I didn’t lose any weight, my sleeping habits didn’t change, and my grocery bill tripled.

The next doctor told me I was fat and lazy and the only thing I needed was to get off my butt and exercise. At this point I was truly frightened because I was taking the bus to work and a couple of times the driver tried to wake me and I couldn’t respond, even though I heard him clearly. I fell asleep in class, and as the teacher that is neither safe nor responsible. I’d spend 12 hours a night in bed neither awake nor asleep, but in a horror land in between where monsters dwelt and terror stalked me. If I was awake, I was ravenous and eating. Even if I was too full to move, my body still craved food.

The fifth doctor listened to me recite my medical history and the above symptoms and told me that he was certain I had Sleep Apnea, probably started by a series of upper respiratory infections I had in late 1996 – early 1997. The Doc explained that the nightmares come during the time when the body is neither asleep or awake. They are spurred by the body’s inability to get the rest or energy it needs. Sleep, like food, is energy. They are not interchangeable resources, so food energy will not replace sleep energy, but when the body reaches a certain point of fatigue it activates all energy gathering stimuli — thus my constant fatigue and need for food and sleep.

Doc sent me in for a sleep study. The results came back that I had severe apnea. I was given a C-PAP machine to help me breath at night, and within three weeks I was once again bright, cheerful, energetic and back to eating normal quantities of food. I lost 30 pounds in just a few weeks. Then Doc added exercise to my daily routine. My life was once again under my control.

5 snacks I enjoy:

  • pears
  • chocolate covered raisins
  • Fritos & salsa
  • humus with crackers
  • cheese

Things I would do if I were a billionaire:

  • Found & fund a local Sidewalk Sunday School (children’s ministry) site.
  • Buy a lovely yet modest home here on Oahu, and another in Friday Harbor, San Juan Islands.
  • Give generously to assorted causes/charities, including Oahu’s homeless shelter.
  • Help my family members and friends achieve a few dreams.
  • Retire from work, buy a truly fabulous camera, take a class or two in how to use it, then travel the globe with OC snapping photos.

Five jobs I have had:

  • Home health care aide
  • apartment manager
  • janitor (hospital)
  • cook (hospital)
  • teacher

Five places I have lived:

  • Idaho
  • Washington
  • California
  • Montana
  • Oregon
  • Nevada
  • Hawaii (Oahu)

(So, I can’t count. Don’t complain or I’ll start naming cities and the list will triple.)

Five people I want to know more about:

  • (ALL of you! “TAG!” but only if you wish to accept it.)


Maddy, looking through the glass and into the Sea Life Park aquarium.

Mark clapped and giggled whenever the Puffer Fish swam by.

Cass liked this Butterfly Fish best.

Jay and Kevin preferred the Sting Ray and the sharks.
They continue to talk about them and it’s been several days since the field trip.


Project Looking Through originated with Mark,
who claims to have a Regular Life.

The Spot

Our classroom has a lanai. (You can’t be surprised, this is Hawaii!) The lanai is cement and has a hopscotch pattern painted on it. The pattern is comprised of numbered circles. The favored circle is a blue dot with a yellow number two painted inside and a green border. Both K.K. and Chez insist on sitting in this spot everyday.

At the same time.

Without each other.

I am certain you have already realized this causes a problem. The only time the problem gets solved wih any grace is when one of the boys is absent. (We prefer it when they are both absent, but have only been granted that gift twice all year long.)

Today the contention began — as usual — after lunch as we returned to our classroom. We walked across campus peacefully with Chez leading the way, but when we rounded the last corner, K.K. shot from the middle of the line, to the front and out ahead. Immediately I yelled, “K.K., stop!”, and much to my surprise, he did! He spun around put his hands on his hips and demanded, “What?” I told him that Chez was the line leader, and that he needed to return to his own spot. Much to my surprise — and Chez’s — K.K. meekly agreed and complied!

When K.K., once again in the middle of the line, reached the hopscotch stencil, Chez was happily planted dead center of number 2. K.K. stopped and looked at Chez. Chez said, “Mine!” K.K. said, “I’m wannit!” Chez said, “Mine!” K.K. shrugged his shoulders and sat down on the number five, which bore the same paint job.

Chez looked at K.K. K.K. looked back Chez. Chez said, “Fwiend!” and held out his hand to K.K. K.K. looked sad. Chez got up, went over and took K.K.’s hand. “Stan up,” he said. K.K. climbd to his feet. Chez led K.K. to the number two circle. “Sit here,” he said. K.K. sat. Chez stood looking at him.

K.K. scooted over just a bit and patted the cement beside him. Chez sat down. They grinned at each other. “Share,” K.K. said. “Share,” Chez agreed.

Back to Work

The kid that cried all day the Friday before Spring Break, cried all day today, too. “Maaa, maaaaaaaa!” He cried through lessons. He cried through recess. He cried through lunch. He cried through naptime. He cried on his way into the room this morning and on his way out this afternoon.

At about hour six my team teacher broke. She went for a walk around campus. She said she either had to leave the room, or sit down and wail with him. Somebody want to tell me again that I am going to miss preschool when this job is over?


Brains vs Brawn

Since I am on Spring Break and have no current tales to tell, I searched my mental archives and recalled this from my first year — first semester — of teaching (and the only year I worked in Adult Ed):

I was a job coach for the State of Idaho, and several ex-cons attended my class as a condition of their parole. One of them was a woman named Nita, and the first class started late because we were waiting for her to arrive. Finally, the door swung open and she stepped into the room, almost six feet tall and tattooed, she rolled in on an attitude even bigger than she was. The students already there fell silent — even the other ex-cons.

I took in her black logging boots, black jeans, chain-link belt (made from a real chain), Harley Davidson t-shirt with the sleeves ripped off, bleeding dagger tattoo, short, spiked, bleached-blond flat top and trembled in my patient leather high heeled pumps. The look on her face promised trouble. She stalked over to me and stopped. I looked up, forcing myself not to back away. “I ain’t taking your effin’ class and you can’t make me,” she snarled.

My stomach crawled into my throat. Even so, I managed to shrug and even smiled. “I can’t force you to stay,” I said, then pointed toward the door. “It isn’t locked. Feel free to leave.”

She looked surprised. “Really?” She smiled. “I am so gone!” And, laughing, she turned toward the door.

I crossed the room to my desk. As her hand touched the door knob I picked up the telephone receiver. Despite the certain conviction that I was inviting my own death, I managed to casually inquire, “You’re Nita, right? And your parole officer’s name is Mick?”

She stopped. Silence, except for the tick, tick, ticking of the clock. I don’t think anybody even breathed.

Her hand dropped from the door knob and she turned around. “Effin’ A,” she said, then grabbed a chair and straddled it. “You just go ahead with your little show then, Teach. Knock yourself out.”

So I did. If you’ve been around here long you know that my teaching style looks a lot like a stand up comedy routine. Adults seem to enjoy it as much as the kids do. Nita was no exception. By the end of the class she had switched from heckler to body guard. It was a great semester.

Impostor in K.K. Clothing

We got a new student last Monday (Marco), and another today (Miki).  Both of them are three years old.  Both of them came in crying and frightened.  K.K. has ignored Marco’s wails all week.  Today he decided to pay him — and Miki –  some mind.

Of course, given  K.K.’s behavior profile, we were a bit apprehensive at first, but apparently K.K. reads the internet, or perhaps he stayed after school and heard us talking — whatever the case, he obviously realized his image needs polishing.  Today he earned several behavior awards and nobody had to set them up so he could.

Shortly after his arrival, Miki realized his momma had left him alone in a room full of strangers and let out a heartbroken wail.  K.K. grabbed his favorite ball — the one he will not share with anybody and has been known to throw fits over if anyone even looks at — and took it to Miki.  Then he gently took Miki’s hand, led him to the play area and invited him to roll the ball down the ball ramp.  The two of them played together for a half hour.

At lunch time Marco tried to run away during the walk to the cafeteria.  He jerked his hand from Ms. Jewl’s and bolted left.  Ms. Alyce grabbed him, but she already had two other kids to watch.  Ms. Jewl tried to take Marco back, but he jerked away again.  That time K.K.caught his hand.  Marco seemed fine with that, so K.K. walked Marco to the cafeteria and Ms. Jewl followed behind.

At nap time, Marco didn’t want to go down.  I sat on his pallet and held him in my lap.  He cried and fussed.  K.K. came over and gave Marco a hug and a kiss.  He said, “It be awwight. Go asweep.”  Then he picked up Marco’s blanket and covered us up.

When Miki’s momma came to pick him up after school, K.K. hugged Miki and said, “Bye fwiend.  See ou ‘amarrow.”

So where did our little hair-raiser go?  Who is this impostor?  And can we keep him?