Sunday, November 21, 2010

I'm Baaaaaack!

I've been in a blogging funk. I'm not sure why. Perhaps I've gotten sucked into the national sour mood. I'm fortunate to be employed in a job I love, but unless you've been under a rock, you know that education has been a hot topic in the news these days. The message is that public schools are bad, public school teachers are lazy and don't give a shit about kids, charter schools are good and the Teach for America volunteers who agree to teach for 2 years with only 5 weeks training will save America's schools. I read that I my job performance should be evaluated by the gains in test scores of elementary kids who have no incentive to do well on said tests or who face no consequences for not doing well. There are those who feel that my salary should be determined by those same test scores. Given that I teach in a school that is 92% minority, 65% free and reduced lunch, and at least a third who don't speak English, I find the rhetoric to be depressing. Those of us who do what I do understand that this is all about political spin, saving money and ultimately privatizing public education. Hopefully no major changes will occur in my district until I retire in 2016. Our state superintendent, however, has other ideas. Keep in mind that this is a woman who probably hasn't been in a classroom in 40 years. The legislature is keeping her in check however and some major decisions now rely on the governor to make some choices. Hopefully he will use basic common sense and read some research pertaining to the issues he has to decide on.

Enough of my rant! I've been busier than ever at school as I lost a planning period and gained another class which is a new prep. However I have this to look forward to:

Mmmmmm. . . . MadelineTosh!

The green merino light is currently being used for a sweater. The brown on the left will be another sweater. The two singles--blue merino light and red sock will be shawlettes.

Speaking of shawlettes--Here are the two I recently finished:
 The first one is called Fan Dance and it is knit in Sanguine Gryphon Kypria which is a merino/bamboo blend.  It's simply delicious to knit with!  The second one is called Ruffle My Feathers and it is knit in Wollenstudio Sock yarn in Blue Bijou.

Here's another silly little project:
I loved the little iron on transfer so I decided to add it to a basic black tee!  

Other news--the kids have moved in together in the first floor apartment in Ems' building.  Her building is a gorgeous large house built around 1900.  They have the whole first floor and they enjoy some neat architectural details like oak paneled walls, ornate fireplaces, stained glass windows, 12 foot ceilings etc.
Kitty news--Samantha was diagnosed with cancer.  She had a little growth between 2 toes which we had removed.  The biopsy revealed it to be a slow growing cancer in the skin so in order to remove enough clean margin, she had to go back in to have half of her hind foot amputated.  She seems completely back to normal and hopefully we've seen the last of that!

Holiday time is fast approaching and I decided that my furry friends outside needed some help so I hung our squirrel feeder on the tree in the front yard.  The squirrels are rather comical to watch.  Sometimes there are 4 or 5 of them out there but only one at a time can get to the feeder.  They sit on a perch and open the top lid to get the food.  When the food gets low, some of them will go inside the feeder and when they hear a noise, the lid pops up as they poke their head out to investigate.  Well, apparently word has gotten out because the other night, a new friend was visiting:
DH was bothered by our new visitor and thought we should take the feeder down.  You know me--I thought he was cute and I welcomed him.  He cleaned out the feeder but he hasn't returned.  Perhaps he's found a better feast elsewhere.

This will be the first Thanksgiving without Jeremy.  He has to work Wed. night and Friday morning so he can't make it from the Burgh.  Ems is in the same situation so she may not make it either.  We're still waiting to find out.  I do have a good friend coming.  We hope to go see the new Harry Potter movie after dinner Thursday.

I plan on staying in on Black Friday.  I can think of no sale that would be worth putting myself through that madness.  That's what Ebay and are for!

I hope to be better about keeping up here.  I have a new blog project, however.  I was so depressed after the midterm election that I decided to try my hand at political humor.  You can find my alter ego at The Fake American.   Enjoy and be sure to leave comments!

Kitty Cam: The boys have been throwing hints with the weather getting colder.  They love the fireplace.