Wednesday, July 08, 2009

I've moved

Hi lovely blog readers (whoever is left). So I've moved. Literally, I'm living for the summer in Africa. I've moved schools. I've moved blogs. It's been a busy couple of months to say the lease.

Meet me over at: if you please.


Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Who did you vote for?

Ms. Thompson I bet you voted for John McCain... you're like those valley girls. My mama said all rich people vote for republicans.

Who knew stereotypes could go both ways? Lovely.

I also never knew I sounded like a valley girl.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

My heart hurts

I just lost a student today.

At my old school, losing students was a weekly occurrence.

This one is going back to Mexico.

This one is going to alternative school.

One is moving in with grandma or grandpa or dad or tia.

The list is endless and the reasons are too many to number. I just kind of got used to it. I think because KIPP is a different type of school that requires at least some parent buy-in to make it happen, we lose kids a lot less frequently. I have had two kids withdraw since summer school. That's it, just two.

Today I lost E. I didn't see this one coming. She is gorgeous. And that's saying something for a 10-year-old to be gorgeous. On top of that, she's smart and she has a great personality. There are some dark sides too. There is a total lack of supervision at home, mom lives in Austin, she doesn't eat food because she thinks shes fat.

How do we get to a point where a 10-year-old thinks she's fat? How do we get there? That's an entirely different rant all together. (But while I think of it, check out this site and give them help in making a the world a positive place for girls.)

I've been eating lunch with E for the last week, basically to make sure she eats something. And to stick in things about her being beautiful and strong and taking care of her body now. I don't want her to regret things when she's 20 or 25 or 30. E is the kind of girl who breaks my heart. The kind of girl who just doesn't get how much she has going for her and how easily it can all slip away. She's the kind of girl you want to hug and shake at the same time. I have so many of those girls.

And now she's gone. Mom showed up today and withdrew her. No more 3D. No more Houston. I don't know what her future holds anymore. At least here I knew she'd be eating lunch. I knew she'd be told she was beautiful just the way she is. I'd like to think good things about her mom knowing best, but the sad truth is that a lot of the problems my students face are instigated by their parents. I'm afraid E falls in that category and it makes me cringe to think of what will happen in a new city, in a new school, still, without the support and structure she needs.

I got into an interesting conversation with our school social worker about praying for our kids. She said that she sees every bad thing you can imagine and there is only so much she can do. Eventually, she just hits a wall. She's not their parents and she's not God. That can really tie your hands. She does all the social work stuff she can do for our kids. She does a lot more than what she can do because she's amazing like that. Then she prays. That's all she has left. And if that will do something, then she says she prays as hard and as long as she can.

We were talking last night at bible study about taking joy in the suffering and also realizing every good and perfect gift comes from God. Neither of these things are particular strengths of mine, but the times that I really do find it easy to give it all up are times like these. I can't fix E. I can't fix her mom or her life or this messed up world that teaches a 10-year-old the word fat. I can't do those things no matter how badly I want to because at the end of the day I'm just me.

At the end of the day I can teach them. I can love them. And I can pray.

Friday, October 24, 2008

My Cuties

I hang out with these every day.

Fun, huh?

I'm back

Hello friendly blog readers,

I know, I know. I never call. I never write. And I do it every fall.

Welcome to the world of teaching my friends. It sucks up every ounce of personal time you have and makes you really sleepy.

Good thing I get to hang out with really really cute kids. My life would really suck if I worked this hard for like... wall street.

So here is my solemn vow. I will write to you at least three times a week. I might even update some blog news (you know, like everything that happened between July and October) in extra posts.

Get excited. Get very excited.

For now I'll just tease: my back-dated news includes Hurricanes, awesome roommates, Africa, puppy love, 10-year-olds, more TFA and ponies (okay, not real ponies, but I needed something to round out the list).

Stay tuned dear readers — also known as Mom.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Dude, espanol es mas dificil

Or, Dude, Spanish is very hard.

Hola, I'm in Guatemala. Did I mention that? Probably not. I took off the day after summer school to visit the college BFF and hubby in Indianapolis (only to realize that there are darn lot of white people in Indiana and not a darn lot of white people in Houston.) After that I made a reappearance at small group for one night and then boarded a plane to Guatemala to learn spanish for a week.

I have learned that:

A) I don't remember nearly as much as a should from college spanish (thanks in part to the aforementioned whiteness of Indiana).

B) I totally hate not being good at stuff

C) My head hurts a lot when I am frustrated and don't understand

D) I don't like not knowing I will be cold. At all.

E) Guatemala is beau-ti-ful. Gorgeous. And where we are is surrounded by mountains so I'm stinking freezing.

I'm learning a ton, have already been sick, bought some sweet scarves and LOVE that they give me coffee everywhere I go here. I'm a little bit starting to stink, but apparently we're sending laundry out tomorrow.

On Tuesday we're hiking the volcanic mountain outside of town (sweet!) and on Wednesday I head to Nicaragua to practice my spanish and hang out with church folk that my church is friends with/see if Clint can convince the friendly folks at Compassion to let me see my compassion child even though I didn't plan ahead the needed six weeks. We'll see.

Prayers for warmth and no more headaches are very welcome.

I'll write when I can.

Hasta Luego!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Tag, you're it!

Never one to turn down a game. I was tagged by my friend Barb.

Ok the rules. Once you’ve been tagged, you have to write a blog with 10 weird, random, facts, habits or goals about yourself. At the end, choose 6 people to be tagged, list their names & why you tagged them. Don’t forget to leave them a comment saying “You’re it!” & to go read your blog. You cannot tag the person that tagged you, so since you’re not to tag me back; let me know when you are done so I can go read YOUR weird/random/odd facts, habits and goals.

Here are my answers:

1. It is a personal goal to have mis-matching babies. As in, I would be happy with five kids, if more happen.. well that's fine too and I want to adopt most of them. I really only plan to have one myself. I have wanted to adopt since I was like 15.

2. I am irrationally afraid of all birds and killers in the closet. I know that it is totally irrational and there is not a killer in my closet or any other part of my house, but really... I totally freak myself out and can't sleep/go into other parts of my empty house at night. I prefer there to be someone else in the house when I'm sleeping -- because you know the killer only wants me, not two girls who can't protect ourselves from someone with a knife.

3. I have a stuffed dog named Bark who I have not slept more than two nights without since I was five. My dad gave him to me and he makes me feel safe. Every boyfriend I've had has had some weird jealousy of Bark that usually involved throwing him across the room whenever the opportunity arose. I find this very amusing.

4. I talk with my hands. All the time. My friends used to try to get me to hold my hands in my lap while I talked, but then I would get all flustered and not be able to finish. I think I would drive deaf people nuts.

5. I have major space issues. I really don't like for strangers to touch me or get overly close to me. My space bubble is definitely a lot larger than normal people's. I blame this on the fact that I lack depth perception (I really do! My eye doctor says that's why I bump into everything) and that I went to Montessori school when I was little where we had carpet squares to teach us personal space as three-year-olds. I miss my carpet square.

6.I'm totally naming my only born (which I also plan to be the first born) Jeremiah even if she's a girl. She is also promised to my friend Olivia because she did free physicals for my soccer players this year. Liv promises to keep Jeremiah for five years and raise her as meat eater before returning her to my land of crazy parenting where all the girls have boys names, no one eats meat and we all have carpet squares. I think this is kind of a mean social experiment to play on a child.

7. I plan to start my own tshirt company someday. My friend Janie will soon have her etsy store and she is bound and determined that whenever I stop working so hard I will become her partner in crime with my tshirts. I make shirts with my screen printer and love coming up with new designs and funny phrases.

8. Here's a riddle for you. I am legally adopted, but was raised by my biological mother. Hmmm... my mom married my step-dad, who adopted me when I was five and has been my daddy ever since.

9. I would love to run an all girls charter school to teach young girls that they have power, a voice, the opportunity/right/responsibility to change everything in this world. How you do this and have five kids, I'm unsure of. If I ever figure out how to build in an extra 15 hours to each day then I'm golden.

10. I used to be a journalist. I worked for a paper all through college and planned to go into the field. Then Teach For America happened and I've never really looked back. I'm pretty sure I'll just funnel my writing habits into This Ordinary Day and writing a book.

Here are the people I tagged:

Jamie: They just don't grow college roommates/bff's like this anymore. I got a one of a kind model.

Future teacher, future awesome everything. I consider it a great compliment to me that people say we look alike.

Kate: Um, I wish I thought about things as uniquely as this. I'm definitely not this cool when it comes to dating. Thanks for the life lessons Kate.

J: I have an "adult life crush" on J... I want to be like her when I grow up.

Annie (of Jeremy and Annie): My awesome former small group leaders who need to move back to Houston. Your niece is getting so big!

Heidi: I totally have a an "adult life crush" on her too. And her kids don't match!

Monday, June 09, 2008

Something to do while you wait...

I've been trying to brainstorm what I can do to get my students into reading (since that is one of my major goals in life). My thought turned to all of you friends and interneters and how much my kids love to know about "grown-ups" and also how much they love to get mail. So here's my plea:

Take five minutes and write a letter to my class. Tell them what your favorite book was in fifth grade and why you liked it. Tell them why reading is important. Ask them questions about their lives and what they're reading.

I'd like to use your letters as a catalyst to get their interest in reading up. I would also like them to realize that recommending books is fun. So if you write them, they will write you back and tell you about the book they read (who knows, it might be your suggestion).

I understand that most of us don't use snail mail very often, but if you could take the time to hand write a letter, that would be awesome. You can send them to my school here:

Miss Thompson's Fifth Grade Class
3D Acdemy
4610 E. Crosstimbers
Houston, TX 77016

If you know of any kids, grandparents, friends, moms, dads, significant others in your life who would like to write a letter to my kids, please please pass this on. I will take anything.

And then I sold my soul

Just to note: KIPP is a darn lot of work. And I haven't read fifth grade books since, well, fifth grade.

Also, I didn't learn phonics in school. Who knew? It's really hard to tech phonics when you were taught whole language (or "the hippie way" as Janie puts it).

I plan to back date posts here in a day or two, but I have to pull my sleeping hours up above 5 a night before I can devote time to blogging.
Made by Lena