Wednesday, December 31, 2008


So it seems that everyone is making a New Year resolution so I suppose I will post mine as well. I only have one and it's a small one, but I feel it is important none the less.

Drum roll please....

My New Year's resolution for 2009 is to stop worrying about other people and care more about myself. There...I said it. I realize that this may sound selfish but I have very good reasons for this resolution and I really thought long and hard about it. (Honest, I did!)

1. For most of my life I have made decisions based on how they will affect other people. I am so concerned about how these decisions will affect people that I have made poor decisions for myself because someone else benefited from it.

2. I often compare myself to others. I'm sure if any of you do this, you've come to realize that it puts a real damper on your mood. From now on I'm only going to compare myself to me.

3. I have also been known to screw myself over by getting in the middle of arguments between friends. I often feel the need to choose a side and defend the friend who got screwed over. I've done this too many times only to realize that the friend who got screwed over deserved it.

So there it resolution to be selfish. Happy New Year Everyone!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Elffy Business

Send your own ElfYourself eCards
My friend made this for Christmas. I think we watched it about 15 times before we could finally breathe. There were rumors of some funny business going on with me and Santa, but none of it's true. Anyway, the video's pretty least we thought so.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Whoever Said 'Let it Snow' was on Crack

So yesterday after school was my last day with the kids and I realized how much I'm going to miss them over the break. I broke the news to them gently and they had several concerns...

Kenny: But Ms. Skelly, I left your card and candy at home.
Adam: Will we see you in first grade?
Kenny: Ms. Skelly, how can I get your card and candy to you?
Eddie: Does Santa know where you're going??? You better make sure he knows before you leave.
Kenny: I need your address and phone number so I can send you your card and candy.

Shortly after they all go home, Vodka Mom turns to me and says, "you should really leave tonight, otherwise you'll be stuck until Saturday." Of course I don't listen. "I'll be fine!", I think to myself. I've driven in much worse. So I wake up this morning and look out the window only to find that everything is white. Just white. On my way up the road to fill the tank I spin out and almost land in a ditch (which would have been better than being hit by the truck that was following me).

It's really kind of amazing how many things went wrong this week. One of my best friends is no longer an intern and is going to have to wait another semester to graduate, my last blog caught the attention of my fellow interns like wildfire and was blown way out of proportion, I miss my kids already (and we had a little bit of a rough day yesterday), my final assignment did not get submitted the way it should have been and I don't know how to show that I REALLY did do it on time, and my dreadful science lessons were lost 4 times.

To top it all off Rome is supposed to come back tonight and I miss the Hell out of him. He flew from Rome to Munich and is anticipated to land in JFK at about 8. I think he's in the air right now...not really sure. Since I don't have a phone anymore (due to an untimely hot tub drowning) I can't call anyone to get the flight info.

Life could be worse, though. It's a possibility that he's going to be stuck in Germany tonight. At least I'm in the good old US of A.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

This is the real world, Kid. No job for you!

For lack of funny kindergarten and mom stories, I'm sharing a blog I wrote in class today about fair assessment. Take it as you's just what I think.

My fellow interns and I have found ourselves in a heated discussion about good and fair assessments. What is a good assessment? How does a teacher make sure that the assessment is fair to all students? It seems to me that the best way to make sure that all student assessments are fair is to create a rubric ahead of time. This way it can be shared with students and they are already aware of what exactly is expected of them. This is the easy part.

The more difficult part comes when it is time for the teacher to evaluate the assignment. It is no secret that everyone has different strengths and weaknesses when it comes to learning and it is no different when it comes to children. There is such a great pressure that comes with the letter grading scale because at some point, someone decided that was the easiest way to assess a learner. However, if I have learned anything in my experience as a student teacher it's that the easiest way is certainly not always the best. It takes effort from both the teacher and students to really see how well a student can perform and how much he or she can achieve.

A classmate of mine brought up the point that when a child grows up and gets into the real world, an employer is not necessarily looking for who is trying the hardest. They're looking for who is producing the best work at the fastest rate and for the most part, that's true. In my personal opinion I don't see how it relates to teaching children. Yes, children become adults and they should be prepared for what they can expect in the real world, but at what point are we forgetting that right now they're still children? Is it fair for us, as teachers, to put that pressure on them at such a young age? Personally, I agree that it is the responsibility of the teacher to prepare students for life, however it is also our responsibility to preserve their childhood. They only get one. What gives us the right to take that away from them with the pressures of performance?

It is important to keep in mind that our students are often harsher on themselves than we are. Since this is the case, shouldn't students have at least some involvement in their own evaluation? I believe that even the Kindergarteners I work with are capable of telling me whether or not they did their best work. Students need individualized goals so that everyone is challanged. They need to understand where they are so that they can work to get to where they can be. If I have twenty students with twenty individual goals and all twenty of them reach that goal, then I don't see any reason why I shouldn't have twenty "A's". What it comes down to is the fact that in order to have a fair assessment or evaluation, you need to know your students.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Confessions of a Book Intern

So I've been tagged in my first book meme (is that what it's called?) by my favorite vodka mom. Since she referred to herself as a "book whore" I thought it would be fitting to refer to myself as a "book intern". I really love to read because it makes me feel really smart when I can show off and tell friends about all the different books that I've read. Sadly, however, I rarely have time to read for pleasure during the school year due to the massive amounts of theory and philosophies and how-to-not-screw-up-children-for-life manuals. Right now I'm reading a lot of nonfiction that has to do with some projects that I'm working on.

What I'm reading now...

1. Nancy Rubin Isabella of Castille: The First Renaissance Queen
2.William Thomas Walsh Isabella of Spain
3.Peggy K. Liss Isabel The Queen

Are you beginning to sense a theme here?

Okay, so maybe that was cheating. I am not really reading the Isabella books out of pleasure, but I do enjoy historical fiction or anything that relates to the royal families of Europe. They were so messed up, who can resist?

Some of my favorites:

1. Phillipa Gregory The Other Boleyn Girl I am absolutely fascinated by King Henry VIII and his wives (particularly the first 3) and their children.

2. Michael Farquhar A Treasury of Royal Scandals: The Shocking True Stories History's Wickedest, Weirdest, Most Wanton Kings, Queens, Tsars, Popes, and Emperors This is actually nonfiction but it was a really easy read. Interesting, funny, and slightly (okay, very) disturbing.

3. Phillipa Gregory The Constant Princess This is the story of Katherine of Aragon (who just so happened to be the youngest daughter guess it...Isabella of Castille).

I also LOVE...

1. Hamlet You know who wrote it. It's his greatest play...hands down. I read it every other year. In fact, I'm due for a refresher.

2. J.D. Salinger The Catcher in the Rye I begged my eleventh grade English teacher to study this book with our class. He informed me that it drives/drove people crazy and that the fact that I wanted to read it so badly said something about my personality. Hmm....

3. V.C. Andrews Flowers in the Attic This is the first real novel I read and I've been absolutely in love with it ever since. I read the whole series and let me tell you...these people are messed up. Although, they are in most of her books. (Hint: Incest seems to be a common theme.)

4. Gregory Maguire Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West I found the twistedness somewhat refreshing and often found myself laughing out loud. Please be warned that this is NOT the play. It's much darker, deeper, and lacks those playful tunes.

So there it is...a look into the world of a book intern. I hear the right way of doing this is to now pass the meme onto someone else. I guess I could pass this on to Pat (since he'll probably forget he even has a blog), The Chatty Barista (who can use it as something to chat with his customers about), and Hartman (so he can talk to us about something other than those horrible economics lessons). Have fun with that gentlemen!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Oh Lord, won't you buy me a microwave oven

I think I forgot to mention in my last post that we don't have a microwave either. I feel spoiled for saying this, but I'm not sure how long I'm going to make it here in my new home (and to think...Christmas break is twice as long). You don't realize how important things are in your life until you don't have them anymore. I'm working on rewriting a song about my new life at home...

Oh Lord, won't you buy me a microwave oven.
My friends all cook real fast, I just want to pop it in!

Okay, so it's not award worthy but I'm working on it. Yesterday my sister and I had quite the experience trying to make frozen pizza and buffalo wings at the same time. We didn't know what to do because they both required different temperatures. It was a sad moment.

This morning my sister comes out of her room (you remember....the only one available) and we had a difficult conversation...

"Kimmie, are you hungry?"
"No, are you?"
"No, but I'm worried I might be in 45 minutes and that's how long it's gonna take us to make the pizza."
"Oh...that's a good point. I might be hungry in 45 minutes too!"
"I think we should regroup in ten minutes...then maybe we can predict how we'll feel in an hour."

...the downside of growing up in the high tech age. Now where's the phone? I need to order some Chinese!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Home Sweet Home...just somewhere else

So I was on the phone with my mother 2 weeks ago and we were discussing plans for my Thanksgiving break (which, might I add, I've been looking forward to for quite some time). After a few minutes of chatting and catching up she drops the bombshell...

"Oh, by the way...we're moving."

"Oh? When?"


I was a little shocked. We've never owned a house and I've moved several times in my life due to rent going up or not getting along with neighbors. We've always lived in the same city and our moves never effected what school I attended so it never bothered me. A change of scenery if you will. This move would not have been that big of a deal either except for the fact that I usually know about it more than two days ahead of time. Whatever...water under the bridge, right?

After my five hour drive home of the winter wonderland State College, PA has become this week I arrived in my hometown. I quickly realized that I did not know where I lived since my mother had forgotten to give me my new address. When I pull up, she's waiting outside with our dog. The Kringle is a half black lab half border collie and has long black fur (almost like that of a golden retriever). This dog was not my dog. This dog was shaved. You have to believe me when I tell you that when The Kringle looked at me I saw the embarrassment in his eyes. Who shaves their dog in November? Cruel people do.

Once I get over the fact that I have a new dog, I get my laundry out of the back seat. My mother stares at me blankly...she forgot to tell me that we don't have a washer anymore. I have to bring my laundry to a laundromat. Now I'm getting upset because that was wasted space in my backseat. I can go to a laundromat at school. It took me twenty minutes to fit the laundry and my rabbit's cage in my backseat.

I take my stuff upstairs to our new apartment and the place is pretty nice. I ask my mom where I should put my stuff. She stares at me blankly again (which is really starting to make me nervous). "Well, your sister got home before you...", which translates to, "she got here first and therefore has claimed the only room that is available".

At this point, I'm beginning to think that my mother may have become a frenemy

I take my things into the living room with my new, shaved dog close behind.

"Mom, where's the couch."
"Oh, it didn't fit up the stairs so we had to get rid of it."

So now I have a new, shaved dog, no washer, no room, no couch, and my only options are to sleep with my mom in her bed or on the floor. I can't sleep on the floor because I have a bad back. I wouldn't mind sleeping with my mom but she's a kicker and the new, shaved dog will probably be joining us.

The moral of the story? When your children go off to college and you start making new arrangements, you might want to let them know about them before they come back home for Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Have You Met My Best Frenemy?

My mentor and I were having a conversation today about two of the girls in our class. Sara and Alana are best friends and today at recess Sara was playing with a bug she had found and Alana came over and stomped on it. In a typical kindergarten fashion, they both came over to tell us about it. Once they walked away I turned to my mentor and said that they’re destined to be life long frenemies. After a minute or so of hysterical laughter, she convinced me to write a blog about it.

Frenemy: (n) Someone who is both a friend and enemy, a relationship that is both mutually beneficial or dependent while being competitive, fraught with risk and mistrust.

Of course, I continued this conversation with a friend of mine. Being of the male gender, he was completely confused by the entire idea of a frenemy. I don’t blame him…it’s something that I don’t quite understand myself. One of the most interesting things about frenemies is that they seem to be female, therefore boys do not understand them. “I don’t get it,” a boy may say, “if you don’t like someone then don’t be friends with them.” Silly boys, if only it were that simple.

I have to admit that I’ve had my fair share of frenemies in my past. In fact, I can remember having frenemies way back in first grade. If you’re a girl, frenemies are just a part of life. The worst part about frenemies is that as much as you want to cut them out of your life, you realize that you need them for something. Maybe she has the best toys? Maybe you need her to pass a class? Maybe she has a really cute brother? Maybe she knows your deepest darkest secret and you cannot afford to make her angry? (This one has always been my downfall.) Whatever the reason it’s not a situation a girl enjoys getting into. Luckily, I’ve compiled a list of things to look out for when trying to avoid frenemies.


First Grade Frenemy: This is the girl in the class who likes to buy friends. Sure, she offers you her Beauty and the Beast pencil…little do you know she’s about to go tell the teacher that you stole it from her! Don’t worry though…she’ll always offer you some of her snack at lunch to make up for any confusion.

Fifth Grade Frenemy: This is the girl who calls you on the phone so that the two of you can take about how much you hate Paige…little do you know that she has Paige on three way and she’s listening to the whole conversation! Don’t worry though…she’ll invite you over to her pool party to make up for any confusion.

Ninth Grade Frenemy: This is the girl who you confess your undying love for the guy in fourth period to. She’ll promise you to put in a good word since she sits behind him…little do you know that she secretly wants him for herself and eventually you’ll find them making out at the next hockey game. Don’t worry though…she’ll blackmail her hot brother to ask you out in order to make up for any confusion.

College Frenemy: This is the girl who likes to go out and have a good time. She’ll invite you out with her and some other friends so that you can have a bonding experience…little do you know she’s about to leave you stranded with her boyfriend’s creepy cousin and no way home. Don’t worry though…she’ll buy the next round in order to make up for any confusion.

This is where my frenemy experience ends. I’m sure I’m bound to have many more as I continue on the journey of life. You’d think a girl would learn…

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Choose Your Battles

I've had many roommates over the past three years (and many issues with each of them). If there's one thing I've learned from these experiences it's the fact that I need to choose my battles.

Take my most recent issue for example. I have a roommate who shares the same major. We have the same classes, same homework, same books, same EVERYTHING!!! This said roommate of mine decided that he wasn't going to buy any books this semester. Instead, he decided that he would wait until I'm not home (or sleeping) and come into my room and help himself to my books. Books that I paid several hundred dollars for!!

So...I have decided to put together a list of things to look out for when choosing a roommate. Pay attention!! This information may one day save your sanity!!

1. When your roommate doesn't clean the bathroom, DO NOT assume that if you let it go he will realize that it needs to be done. The average male roommate will allow the filth to pile up until his mother comes to visit.

2. When a roommate is not home, DO NOT leave a light on for them. Chances are that your roommate will not come home and even if he does he won't turn that light off. You need to accept the fact that you are the only one who cares about the electric bill.

3. When you need to set up cable/internet/electric DO NOT believe your roommate when he tells you that he will take care of it. He won't.

4. When your roommate makes dinner you need to realize that this is the time to make a decision. Would you rather clean up after him or wait for the bugs to do it?

5. DO NOT choose a roommate who chews. You will be forever surrounded by Gatorade bottles that have been turned into spitting receptacles. And guess what...he won't throw those out either.

6. Always make sure the toilet seat is down.


Monday, November 10, 2008

Cleaner and Greener

A friend I graduated high school with shared this article with me earlier today. I grew up in Bayonne, New Jersey which is pretty much smack in the middle of Elizabeth, Newark, Kearney, and Jersey City (you know, the dirty parts). Anyway, a little over a decade ago I had the pleasure of being taught by Tom Tokar and Anna Panayiotou. We were part of the "Cleaner and Greener 2000" program. Our goal was to make the city of Bayonne (you guessed it) cleaner and greener by the year 2000. To be honest I had forgotten about it since then, or at least I did until today. As a future educator myself, it's nice to see that there are still teachers who care enough to keep programs like this going. So here it is, still running strong.

Monday, November 3, 2008

On the Eve of...

One last post before the big day...(once again I stole this from someone else)
See more funny videos at Funny or Die

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Dear Reds

I got this email from one of my former high school teachers (whom is still very near and dear to my heart). I was rolling on the floor after reading it so I hope you enjoy it as well...

Dear Red States:

If you manage to steal this election too we've decided we're leaving. We intend to form our own country, and we're taking the other Blue States with us. In case you aren't aware, that includes California , Hawaii ,Oregon , Washington , Minnesota , Wisconsin , Michigan , Illinois and all the Northeast. We believe this split will be beneficial to the nation, and especially to the people of the new country of New California.

To sum up briefly: You get Texas , Oklahoma and all the slave states. We get stem cell research and the best beaches. We get the Statue of Liberty. You get Dollywood. We get Intel and Microsoft. You get WorldCom. We get Harvard. You get Ole' Miss. We get 85% of America 's venture capital and entrepreneurs. You get Alabama . We get two-thirds of the tax revenue, you get to make the red states pay their fair share.
Since our aggregate divorce rate is 22% lower than the Christian
Coalition's, we get a bunch of happy families. You get a bunch of single moms.

Please be aware that Nuevo California will be pro-choice and anti-war, and we're going to want all our citizens back from Iraq at once. If you need people to fight, ask your evangelicals. They have kids they're apparently willing to send to their deaths for no purpose, and they don't care if you don't show pictures of their children's caskets coming home. We do wish you success in Iraq, and hope that the WMDs turn up, but we're not willing to spend our resources in Bush's Quagmire.

With the Blue States in hand, we will have firm control of 80% of the country's fresh water, more than 90% of the pineapple and lettuce, 92% of the nation's fresh fruit, 95% of America's quality wines, 90% of all cheese, 90% of the high tech industry, 95% of the corn and soybeans (thanks Iowa!), most of the U.S. low-sulfur coal, all living redwoods, sequoias and condors, all the Ivy and Seven Sister schools plus Stanford, Cal Tech and MIT.

With the Red States, on the other hand, you will have to cope with 88% of all obese Americans (and their projected health care costs), 92% of all U.S. mosquitoes, nearly 100% of the tornadoes, 90% of the hurricanes, 99% of all Southern Baptists, virtually 100% of all televangelists, Rush Limbaugh, Bob Jones University, Clemson and the University of Georgia.

We get Hollywood and Yosemite, thank you.

Additionally, 38% of those in the Red states believe Jonah was actually swallowed by a whale, 62% believe life is sacred unless we're discussing the war, the death penalty or gun laws, 44% say that evolution is only a theory, 53% that Saddam was involved in 9/11 and 61% of you crazy bastards believe you are people with higher morals then we lefties.

Peace out,
Blue States

...2 more days

Monday, October 27, 2008

Voting Republican

I was told in one of my education classes recently that teachers should not be public about who they are voting for because then you run the risk of swaying a child's views. I believe that everyone has the right to make their own decisions...but I don't think any of my students read my blog.

Out of the Wetlands

I've often wondered what it must be like to be a fan of a team based in a city far from your own geographical location. Last night I had the opportunity to experience what it is like to be rooting against the team that everyone else int he room is rooting for. I was told I should be nervous but I was not. And guess what...they won! That's right the New York Giants beat the Pittsburgh Steelers after all the Pittsburgh kids were talking their trash all week.
Oh and fun fact for those of you who don't know: Giants Stadium is located in East Rutherford, New Jersey...NOT New York. Yes, Jersey.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

I'm a real girl...almost

I've found myself looking back over the past four years recently...all the way back to my first senior year. I remember that it absolutely flew by and most of it is a blur now. Recently I've had those rare moments of that in between feeling. I've often said to my friends that I can't wait to graduate and be a real person again since everyone knows that college kids aren't real people. After all, who goes to class, comes home to nap, eats noodles, and drinks until all hours of the night? Not real people!

So I'm just now beginning to realize that the so-called "real world" really is around the corner and to be completely honest I'm not ready. Surprise! The last time I was a senior my life was perfect. I was finally leaving Bayonne, a place that I now realize I have both grown to love and hate all at the same time. It was a chance to start over again and no one would know the difference. It was exciting. It was a new sense of freedom that I had never quite experienced before. I had convinced myself that the good times would never change and the bad would be no more (I was quite a naïve 17 year old to say the least).

This time is different. The past few month of my life have been an absolute whirlwind that I’m still not sure if I was ready for. I’ve drifted away from a lot of people who I was convinced would be in my life forever (or at least invited to my parties). Don’t get me wrong…I have so many good friends that I’m sure a lot of people would die for but it’s funny how things work out. It made me realize how much your friends can shape your life. If I sat down to make a list of all the friends I’ve ever had in my life and then thought about how different my life could have been if I had stayed in touch with more or never got close with others I would be thinking for days and who has time for that?

It’s funny how the words “friends” and “family” are always thrown together. If you have real friends (the kind you can laugh, cry, and bitch to SOBER) then they become your family. That’s what you need when, after living with your parents and siblings for the first 18 years of life, you’re thrown into a dorm room 250 miles away from anyone who even knows your last name. This is probably the greatest lesson I am taking with me from college. You learn who to hang on to and who isn’t worth the fight.