A place for family and friends to see what I'm up to. Visitors welcome here.

Hail Guest, we ask not what thou art.
If Friend, we greet thee, hand and heart.
If Stranger, such no longer be.
If Foe, our love will conquer thee.
-Old Welsh Door Verse

Saturday, February 09, 2008

That's More Like It

There's nothing like Disney therapy to get my serotonin levels up! I had planned a trip two weeks ago when I scheduled my first consultation with the cardiologist. We have so few good subs for middle school that I always take a full day off when I need time for an appointment (they don't tend to take the half-day jobs) and was glad to hear the doctor only saw new patients as his first appointment of the day. I wanted to go to get a Disneyland fix right after that appointment, but I was so sick with The Crap that I went home and slept the rest of the day instead. So, on Wednesday after the last of my tests, I hit the freeway and was in the park by 1:00.

It was pretty off-season so I went over to the new Finding Nemo Sub ride. The only other time I'd been on it I had waited an hour and forty-five minutes; this time I only waited 25 minutes. I also went to the Tiki Room and to see Billy Hill and the Hillbillies. Stopped by the Candy Palace to get some fudge for DH, then found a great bench to watch the Parade of Dreams. I waited for the parade for a couple of hours but that was OK 'cause I love people watching. I've been trying for two years to get a decent picture of one of my favorite characters - Jiminy Cricket - and finally got one!

The finale float in this parade is a ballroom scene (with Snow White, Aurora and Cinderella dancing and waving) in the front and Sleeping Beauty's Castle with Mickey and Minnie in the tower at the back. Chip and Dale and Donald Duck "cavort" between the side and back balconies. About six feet behind this last float are two pages carrying the stay-behind-us rope to end the parade. USUALLY, thousands of people follow the parade to the front of the park, but on Wednesday there were only a half dozen people at the rope when it got to me (and I was sitting more than halfway through the parade). Since I was planning to leave right after the parade anyway, I decided to follow it to the front of the park.

What a hoot! It was really fun to feel like part of the parade, to sing along with music.

By the way, the Disney site is running a sweepstakes, giving away Disneyland vacations that include a night IN THE PARK. Apparently someone found drawings of an apartment that Walt Disney had built and planned to decorate for friends and family to stay in the park when they came to visit. (It's over the Pirate ride in New Orleans Square). The apartment had never been done, but the drawings still existed. They just finished the apartment and are giving away nights as part of their "Year of a Million Dreams" give-away. You can enter every day. Now, I don't expect to win a vacation, but each time you enter you get a digital prize for your desktop. Yesterday's was a Ratatouille clock (which I didn't save so I lost it) and today's is a Winnie the Pooh bobble head. Disney fans should head on over .

When I got back to school after two days out I found that the kids hadn't quite finished the work I had left for them, so Thursday was a low-key day as they finished up what I'd left. Then yesterday was the day to wrap it all up. Everything they'd been doing was about American diplomacy in the New Republic leading up to the Monroe Doctrine, and yesterday we were to get into the document itself. Over the years I've found it is sometimes a positive for the kids when I admit that even I don't like everything I teach. Yesterday I introduced the lesson by explaining that I really love history, and that some of what I teach I get really excited about. I held up the Monroe Doctrine text and said, "This ain't one of them." The kids thought that was really funny. I explained that it was one of our standards, though, so we had to do it. I talked them through the text, had them write a few things down and left them with some questions to answer. To close the lesson, I said, "And after all of this, you can summarize the message of the Monroe Doctrine in two words. Can anyone give me two works to sum this up?" Hot Damn! I have a kid in my first period class who has done NOTHING all year. He has not turned in a single assignment and has failed every test. Now, I will NOT think up things to praise a child about. Kids today get too much of this false praise, to the point that they don't think they have to do anything in order to be considered competent in school. But if they will just give me something to praise, I'll make a big deal out of it, and with a kid like this boy, it often is what will lure them into history. I've had kids over the years who sat and did nothing for half a year - like this boy - only to get into the class at the end of the year and come back years later to tell me they are in college studying history because they enjoyed it so much in my class. Because of that, I never give up hope! So here's this kid yesterday. Usually I have to keep my eye on him because he will try to pull his hood up over his head and listen through his ipod earbuds instead of listening to me talk. But yesterday, when I asked for two words to sum up the Monroe Doctrine his contribution was "Back off!" That was fun! I could give him genuine praise 'cause he was right on, he threw his fists into the air in the now classic "I did it!" action and at the end of class brought his agenda to me for signing, a big, hopeful step for him!

Now I have a whole two days with nowhere to go and no commitments so am trying to sort out my thoughts and decide what to do first. Fold and put away what laundry I didn't use out of the basket last week, start this week's wash. I think I want to concentrate on taking down the Christmas tree first. DH leaves on his Utah trip on Thursday, and I plan to bring my sewing machine into the family room while he's gone. My hope is to finish a quilt I'm working on for a friend and at least one of the blocks for the Butterfly Garden quilt so that I can do the handwork on it. If I have any energy left (and the residual of The Crap is that I tire very easily. Thanks for the warning, Kathryn!) I would like to make headway in the attic clean-out. I need to finish sorting and re-packing and labeling all that I brought down before Christmas. Then, all the furniture in two rooms has to be brought from the walls so that an electrician can come in and repair/replace all the outlets.

So, I guess I'd better get to it!

1 comment:

Kathryn said...

I'm glad you have somewhere like Disneyland to recharge. One of our best days ever was a weekday visit to King's Island amusement park near Columbus, Ohio. It was slightly drizzling on and off, so the park was practically emtpy. We got to ride the monster roller coaster a dozen times in a row.

I am feeling much better and with much more stamina (going to hang blinds in the cottage today and finally install the door bell in the main house). This Crap too shall pass.