Wednesday, August 29, 2007


Good thing I enjoyed my electricity last night, because this morning the generator was leaking gas. Gas that cost over $5 US a gallon, I might add. So, guess more repairs are needed.


The house across the street (the one with its own transformer, but I'm not jealous) had electricity most of the night. I am just so happy for them. Yes, I am.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

So Far, So Good

The school year has started off well, with a minimum of drama. I did have a student who had not completed his summer reading assignment and who gave as his excuse that he had inadvertently burned the assignment while he was burning all of the remains of his sixth grade year. So we'll be keeping the matches away from that one. (I had plenty of students who didn't do their summer reading, but most of the excuses were more mundane, such as "I didn't feel like doing my summer reading." Refreshingly honest, anyway.)

One of the two air conditioners in my classroom is working, and I have fans here and there (though one of my ceiling fans has no blades on it - presumably the result of my request for said fan to be repaired over the summer), so the room is very comfortable - well, once the kids leave it actually gets rather cold. My room still looks great even after two days of students in it.

The schedule is almost all ironed out, which in my experience is amazing after only two days. Pretty much everyone is behaving - though that could just be because they are figuring things out and laying plans for mayhem.

While things are going smoothly at school, at home is a different story. Our electricity problems are back. City power is out once again, after working for two weeks. (By the way, explain to me, if you can, why our electricity bill was so much larger than usual last month when our connection has been non-functional for five or six out of the last eight weeks?) Just to add to our enjoyment, our generator stopped working this week, as well. That is now repaired, and we have been able to enjoy such luxuries as running water once again. (Yes, I know, I know, it IS a luxury, compared to most of the world.) Right now, the house across the street, whose owners have sensibly invested in their own transformer, has city power, but we don't on this side of the street. Our neighbors to the right and left are running their generators. Normally, I would be rushing about, calling all the numbers I have for the power company (at least five, I think), begging them to come fix the problem. But I guess I am becoming more accustomed to the culture of Tecwil, which calls for enjoying the moment and being glad that there's some charge in the inverter batteries and the fan and internet connection are working. I'll worry about the rest of the problems tomorrow!

Friday, August 24, 2007

I'm Ready!

OK, kids, you can come to school now! I'm ready!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

New-to-Me Blogs and Update

Here are two blogs I've been reading lately:

Nitty.Gritty. Jody's life has been marred by terrible tragedy, but her faith and joy are an inspiration.

Jonalyn Grace Fisher. I just heard of this woman in connection with her new book, which I haven't yet read, Ruby Slippers. It looks intriguing.

I've spent the last week working in my classroom. I've filed all the loose papers I just chucked in a box at the end of last year, entered all my new classroom library books on the computer and shelved them with the help of my daughter, and put up most of the stuff on the walls (still have a couple of bulletin boards to do). I've written parent letters, thought through how I'll handle several matters differently this year, cleaned out my cabinet and all my desk drawers. I still have more to do, but I've accomplished a great deal already. On Monday we start teacher meetings, but I'll still have some time to work in my room. The main copy machine is broken but it's supposed to be fixed tomorrow - I hope it will be!

Summer is almost over.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Reading Update

I'm working in my classroom, going through cupboards and desk drawers, getting rid of junk from three or four teachers ago. I need a break.

So, here are the books I've read lately:

Book #53 was Portrait of an Unknown Woman, by Vanora Bennett. It's told from the point of view of an adopted daughter of Thomas More. This is a time period I enjoy reading about, and there were some characters I knew a bit about already. In all, an entertaining read.

Book #54 was Fairest, by Gail Carson Levine. I didn't like it as much as Ella Enchanted, but it was good nonetheless. I read this one because my daughter wanted me to. (A character or two from Ella shows up!)

Book #55 and book #56 were Dreamland and This Lullaby, both by Sarah Dessen. A student of mine had been recommending Dessen for a while so I wanted to try her books. I enjoyed both of these, probably the first one a bit more.

Book #57 was the long-awaited Eclipse, by Stephenie Meyer. These books were also recommendations from a student. Somehow, I had it in my head that this series was a trilogy. I kept thinking that somehow everything was going to be wrapped up, and the closer I got to the end, the more I saw how impossible that was. Sure enough, I visited Meyer's site, and she wrote that there was no way she was stopping with three books. So I'll have to wait - again - for the next book!

For book #58 I went back to teacher books - this one was Boy Writers: Reclaiming their Voices, by Ralph Fletcher. I've been wanting to read this since I first saw it advertised, and it didn't disappoint. It's one of my long-term goals to make my classroom, and my teaching, more boy-friendly. Fletcher offers some great ways to do so. I think any teacher could benefit from reading this, particularly those like me, a female lit major who loves Jane Austen. It's a challenge to see things through the eyes of boys, but I'm working on it. (Having a son helps a lot, I'm finding!)

And now, back to the mess...

Sunday, August 12, 2007


Several people wrote and told us they were praying that the city power in our neighborhood would get fixed soon, and clearly, praying is a better strategy than calling the electric company. After four to six weeks (depending on which neighbor you ask), on Friday night when the zone got electricity, ours in our little neighborhood came on, too. Hooray!

Good thing, too, because yesterday when my husband was starting the generator, the starter cord came off. So now we are truly relying on the power company. Last night they gave us four and a half hours of electricity and we were thrilled! A friend told me today that when she talks about 24/7 electricity, she's just hoping for 24 hours out of every 7 days. That would be three and a half hours a day, which would be OK by us.

Friday, August 10, 2007


I'm a bit behind on my blog reading, so I hadn't seen this photo posted by Eric a couple of days ago on Paris Daily Photo. I warn you - don't go look at it if a photo of a dead rat hanging in a window is likely to sicken you. It's a pest-control business in Paris...

You have been warned. Here it is.

By the way, our internet at home works in the morning. It's a satellite connection, if that explains anything (it doesn't to me). Also, we're running the generator. So there's a lot of racket but I can get online!

Thursday, August 09, 2007


I flew home yesterday, and I'm adjusting to being back here. There's been no city power at our house for FOUR WEEKS. Nobody told me that until I got back - I think my husband was afraid I would stay in the States if I knew (he's been here a couple of weeks already).

Last night I went downstairs to get a drink and heard a funny noise. I turned on the light and saw a huge rat disappearing into the living room. The person who stayed in our house this summer told me she killed three very large ones with poison and our dogs killed another.

Probably the biggest adjustment is going from wireless internet practically everywhere I was this summer to no working internet at home! (Poor me - I guess in the scheme of things this isn't such a big problem!) I'm in my classroom catching up on email now. There is so much work to do in here, but I'm trying to ignore it for today. There will be plenty of time in the next two and a half weeks before school starts.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Theme Day

It's August! As always on the first day of the month, the Daily Photo bloggers are holding a Theme Day. This month, they are posting photos of a typical breakfast where they live. The link will take you to Sharon, CT, and from there you can go to the other 98 sites participating.