Figuring out life...slowly.

I feel life is either a grand adventure or a never-ending tunnel of doom. I am trying to find a middle. Somewhere.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

A new week

The play is over! There is rejoicing in the Kagey household. I have fifteen more class periods until spring break and then a nice two week break (excluding the three doctor appts and one surgery I'm getting done). It will be so very nice.

Things with the boyfriend and I seem to be looking up. He was a huge help with the kids this week and he was very supportive. I appreciated it. He says I am pushy but it seems nothing happens if I am not.

I have decided the best way to decide whether I feel trapped or not is to try for as many things as possible and see what sticks. So, I have applied for some oversea jobs, some jobs in different counties and some jobs in different districts. I don't know what I want but that's ok. No reason to be stressed or depressed about it. I am the captain of my own ship. My ship might be a pirate ship, a tanker, or the titanic but it's my journey.

Meanwhile the youngest Kagey is sleeping walking again and feeling badly. I hope he feels better. He is clingy and pitiful.

Monday, February 22, 2010


I have complicated feelings about teaching. I don't know if I like it. In fact, most of the time, I am sure I hate it. On the other hand, I don't know anyone that likes teaching the first year. It is hard. It is frustrating. It has broken my heart.

I am a perfectionist. I have not allowed to myself to make a C since I was a sophomore in high school. If I am going to do something, I am going to be the best at it that I can be. When I started running, I sucked. I hired trainers and worked on improving my runs. Now, I am not great but I am better.

I suck at teaching. I have fourteen kids failing my class and they are taking up space until they can drop out. I have kids that want to have me because I am easy. I have kids falling asleep and kids that think "The Lottery" is about someone winning pot in the lottery and getting stoned. No, it's about a woman winning a lottery and getting stoned. To death. With real stones. Obviously, I am not the best. I am not even better. I am at the bottom of the teaching totem pole. And it sucks.

I don't really know what I want. I want a baby. I want a master's degree and a doctorate. I want to get married to the guy I love. I want to take care of him and him take care of me. I want to write for a living. I want to run every day on my own time instead of fitting it in. I want to spend more time with my kids and not be exhausted and emotionally worn-out every day. I want more time to read and to enjoy life instead of lesson planning and grading and worrying and filling out bullshit forms. I want to rule my world instead of my world ruling me. I want to know why I am not happy. I should be happy. I worked four fucking years to get my teaching degree and.....and....this is it? UGH!

Notice I don't want to be a better teacher. Notice I don't want a further degree in education. Notice I don't want to be by myself.

I'm screwed. Why am I almost 35 and totally confused about my life? When do you ever know what you want? Why isn't teaching my thing? I really thought it was....

UGH! Good thing I am seeing a psychiatrist. Maybe he can help me stop thinking and obsessing and drawing up plans that are like the leaning tower of Pisa. Maybe he can teach me to just be....and be content.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Learning to run....

My friend Kristy asked me two years ago if I wanted to train to run a half-marathon with her. All sorts of images and thoughts flashed through my mind...the humiliation of being last during any athletic competition in elementary school, almost failing gym in elementary school, almost failing tennis in college (the ball would hit my head when I tried to serve), falling off the bench repeatedly in step class, and the simple fact that I hate running. Simple answer...n-n-Then, to my shock,I said, "Sure. Let's do it." What had I done? I could drop out later, I reassured myself.

Kristy is a hard-core person. She doesn't mess around and she doesn't tolerate stupidity well. I love her for it. She does everything with a gung-ho energy that I don't possess. My trainer said he could never imagine me doing anything physical in a hurry and he is right. I am content to walk. I have never sprinted in my life. I had never run anywhere voluntarily in my life so this would be an adventure. Plus, Kristy would kick my ass if I gave up. I was in!

By the fourth week of running, I was willing to let Kristy kick my ass if I could just give up. It hurt. Alot. I sucked at it. We were training in a group of five and I was always staring at their four backsides. It was tiresome. Two of the group were tiresome. I was tired. What was I doing?

I didn't tell Kristy I was ready to quit. She would give me the disappointed Kristy look and I would be leaving her with the Tiresome Twins. I shuddered. So not good. I was waiting for someone else to quit so I wouldn't be a loser. No one else was quitting, damn them. Mentally, I would run chanting, "Quit, quit, quit" to the other girls but my mental power to control people was non-exist ant.

Then, it happened. Runners would talk of a mysterious runner's high when they trained. I decided it was like finding a man that could find lost belongings without help...a rare, impossible thing. People said it would hit but they were just oxygen deprived from all the running...Then, it happened. We were running in a drizzle. I was miserable. My feet were cold and numb. The tiresome duo were in front of me laughing and carrying on. I wish I had laser-eyes. I would shoot them with my laser eyes. UGH! It was now raining hard. Then, I heard thunder. Hell bells. I was running in a thunderstorm. This girl running in a deluge was not me. I wouldn't even go to the mailbox in the rain. I hate being wet unless I am in a pool. I was so quitting.

They turned the corner, running harder. I was struggling to keep up but it was not working. Then, I felt my body relax. My body fell in a rhythm. The rain was hitting me but I was running. Actually running. It didn't hurt. I wasn't gasping for breathe. I was....enjoying it? Damn endorphin runner's high. Kristy came back to check on me (I think secretly she thought I had stuck my head in a puddle to escape running with her again) and I grinned at her. "I love running. I never thought it could be this good!"

I was hooked. Ten minutes of great running opposed to hours of pain and I was in. Damn, I'm easy.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

I get so tired of sitting in meetings and listening to our educational system being compared to Indian/Chinese educational programs. The one thing that irritates me most is our systems are not equitable. We educate all our populace. We educated the females, the males, the learning disabled, the physically disabled, the poor, the homeless, the unwilling, the disenfranchised, the foreigners and everyone in between. I have students in my class that don't have a home. I have students in my class with drug-addicted parents. I have students in my class that take up oxygen and stare blankly at a wall. I have students that are learning disabled.

The Chinese don't educate their total populace. Boys get more education than girls. The rich get more education than the poor. And, I am fairly positive, the autistic and the learning disabled get little to no education. The autistic child is busy in a slave labor camp making Wal-Mart products for us to buy. The unwilling to learn are allowed to drop out of school.

So, when I hear that we need to be more like the Chinese or the Indians, it angers me. It infuriates me. Our educational system has issues. Huge issues. All the comparisons to other nations won't solve those issues. Nor will testing or increased teacher education solve our issues. Increased funding won't solve our issues and longer school days won't, either.

My core belief, after teaching and having children in the public school, is educational reforms is not the way to fix our educational problems. The way to fix it? Children can not be educated to their full potential when do not have shelter. They can not be educated fully when they are hungry or they are in pain. I have students that float from house to house each week. I have students that need wisdom teeth taken out but can't afford it. They suffer from migraines but they can't afford the medication.

I am not suggesting a public welfare state but let's focus on educational reforms along with addressing the underlying social issues that students face each day. I have students, that if I had their life, I don't know if I could go to school every day. We must realize school is not just about teaching, learning, and test scores. It is also about what kids bring to the classroom-messy issues, hunger, fragmented family lives, addiction, lack of shelter and lack of health care. Let's acknowledge we educate our whole populace and many countries don't. Let's look at everything and then try to fix our system.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Subjects, Nouns and 15 year olds

So, I gave a direct object-indirect object test and many students bombed. Bombed as in they made zeroes. I felt that, just perhaps, I did not teach it well so today I retaught it.

I discovered the problem. They do not know subjects and verbs. I was totally amazed. I gave a sentence "Doug gave Tim a watch." I asked what is the subject. "It's gave." No. "It's watch." No. "It's Tim." No. "Uh....Doug?" How in the world can you be a sophomore in high school and not know what subjects and verbs are in a sentence? I weep. I weep for my test scores, my evaluation based on my test scores, and, most of all, because these students will be taking care of me in my old age. They will answer a text while I am stroking out.

Let's see-Subject-they;verb-will answer; direct object-text.

In other news, I went to the doctor today. I get to have surgery in March-actually one of two surgeries. I can only hope I get good drugs. My mommy (that's a subject, boys and girls) already said she would take care of me.

Tomorrow, I'm teaching the correct usage of a semicolon and run-ons. I might need a sedative beforehand.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Teaching...the never-ending struggle

O.K., dear blog readers, I am exhausted. I had a 2 hour delay but school just wore me out today. I gave phone lecture #435 (don't use your cell phone. I'll take it. No, I'm not talking to hear myself talk. I'll take it. Why am I taking your phone? Did you not listen to the lecture? Oh you were texting? Bummer, man), lectured a student about bullying, told failing students I would give them until Friday to call their parents, did mountains of paperwork, and went to play practice where I scolded a student in front of their mother. The mom was not happy.

I want to discuss this article but I am tired. I still have my online class to prepare and lesson plans for tomorrow. Read, think, comment. I'll discuss it Saturday.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Random Thoughts

1. Why is there so much snow this winter? I never thought I would be tired of the snow. Snow, mush, cold, snow, mush, cold. Frustrating. Annoying.

2. I can go to sleep but I can't stay asleep. It is so frustrating.

3. My kids are off today but I have parent-teacher conferences. I am bitter. Kids can't come to school in the snow but teachers can!

4. My dog barks at the snow. Constantly. What is going through her mind? White flakes, white flakes. They move. Bark! I will get you, white flake. Bark. Bark. They don't seem to be afraid. I will growl at them. Grrrr...Arf! They landed on me. I must run in circles. Crazy dog!

5. My cat's ears are dirty. Really dirty. It's gross and I don't know what he does to get them so dirty. He is offended by the cold weather so he is on my bed, purring, while I contemplate cleaning out his ears.

6. I am an English teacher but I can't spell. Ironic.

Now I have to get dressed for parent-teacher conference. Bummer.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Olympic pair skating....

Tonight is the long program for ice-skating pairs. I still remember watching the Soviet Union pair of Gordeeva and Grinkov as a little girl. Their connection to each other along with their grace, beauty, and artistry was amazing. I could tell you that I watch ice skating now for grace and artistry but I would be lying.

I watch for the outfits. The clown outfits last night from the Germans-amazing. Tim Gunn probably had a heart attack watching. The girl had a bow butt on her outfit along with a sparkling multicolor zipper cover, a harlequin collar, teardrops on her face and bright red lips. I could just hear Michael Kor fussing, "Too many elements!" It was a trainwreck. Their coach, though, hot. Really hot. And the Ukrainians...I was speechless. Bright blue jumpsuits. Really? And blue eyeshadow? Was that a wise choice? My sister liked it. I thought it was trashy. Did they learn nothing from Tanya Harding? Blue eye shadow is a no-no.

I use to make Big A,my youngest child, watch with me. He would curl up with me and we would eat ice cream and discuss the outfits.He was brutal. Hearing your three year old say," Momma, that outfit has too many glittering things on it and it is totlly the wrong color," was priceless. Good times. My sister, thouh, said I couldn't make him into my girlfriend and Z,the oldest, said I was ruining him. This year he has deserted me for Spongebob.

That's OK, though, because I drafted the boyfriend into watching them with me. I described why it is bad to double axle instead of triple and he nodded like he is listening. He is actually checking out the girl skaters. He likes the short flirty skirts and the cheerleader underwear.

Tonight is the pair skating long program and I am beyond excited. Every skating season, I wonder if it would be better to be a pair skater or a single skater? I mean, skating single means I would only have myself to blame for mistakes. Also, training would only be me, myself and I. Boring. Doubles, though, I would someone to train with and someone to skate with on the ice. I can't imagine, though, being a pair and falling. Immense guilt. Totally. I mean, my partner jumps perfectly, and I fall on my ass. That fall costs us both a medal. I would have nightmares for years. Wouldn't be able to look at him. And, if my partner fell, I would be so devastated. Perhaps even angry.

So what do you think? Pairs or single if you were an ice skater?

The Songs in My Head

Every day I wake up with a song in my head. I assume this fact is strange but maybe other people do it too. The song pretty much determines my outlook for the day. It usually is a song about work. So far, it has been "She Works Hard for her Money", "Hot for Teacher", or "Working Nine to Five." Nothing like starting your day in the eighties.

Lately, though, it has changed. I am having relationship trouble. He wants our relationship to stop at dating. He is comfortable. I am not. I want us to evolve and grow. Unfortunately, he is too stubborn and selfish to budge and I am too loyal and scared to break up. Standstill until one of us breaks. So, yesterday morning, I woke up to "You Oughta Know" in my mind. The chorus just kept repeating. Today, it was "Can't find a Better Man."

I assume my sub-conscious is annoyed. And telling me something.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


Today is Valentine's Day. Smoochy-romance day full of red balloons, heart, candy and stuffed animals. I am not a romantic. I am a worst-case scenario person and I rarely see the romance in much of life. Yet, I got married on Valentine's Day and it was great. Wonderful, even. Well, except for the part about there always being a huge crowd when we celebrated by eating out, it was wonderful.

It would have been my 12th anniversary today if my husband had lived. He didn't. He died six years ago from brain cancer. Some say our life was a romantic love story that ended in tragedy. Some say it was tragic. I say it just was. We did things backward...we dated, had a baby, married, lived a little, had two great boys, then he died.

Flashforward to now: I am in my thirties with the same two boys. I put myself through college and now I teach. I date. It is rocky (more on that, lucky blog readers!) and here I am. The boyfriend and I celebrated V-Day last night. It was wonderful. Tonight-a quiet night of us watching TV. I love the boyfriend but I do miss my husband. It is not the searing hurt of the first few years. It just a bittersweet heart.

So here's to you, V-Day. And Happy V-Day to the single, the rocky relationship, the married, the deployed solidier's mates, the lonely but in a relationship and the happy in relationships...I hope you have a great one. Eat candy for me. I can't...stupid losing weight.