Archive for March, 2013


Digital Native….Not.

I love technology.  It enabled me to return to college and still be home with my “babies” and it opened a world to me I never would have dreamed possible.  I remember I actually went to a computer consultant to purchase my first computer and my sons and I sat around the diningroom table watching T-T-Tonka load and we thought it was MAGIC.  The computer was stationed in the kitchen, and many hours were spent on simulated fishing (we thought we could FEEL the boat rock!) and who could forget Sim City, and the Oregon Trail!  Thank you cards were designed for grandparents with beautiful graphics (more than words) and I felt that the world was at our fingertips right there in our little home.  Today I had a revelation.  I am not as savvy as I once thought I was…

Now I have a Mac Book Pro, an ipad, an ipod touch and iphone…all of which keep me synced and up to date with all of my meetings, Siri is my morning friend when I ask her for the weather, and when I am waiting for someone, or something, I can always check my phone for the latest on social media or whatnot.  Today, however, an 8 year old trumped all that I knew.  This little redhead in my classroom picked up my phone, and with lightening speed swiped buttons, told me that I had too many applications open, changed some of my settings to make it easier, gave me a button for multi-tasking, created files of like applications and did more on my darn phone in 5 minutes than I have learned in a year.  I was rather baffled at the speed and accuracy….and intelligence that this third grader had with my technology AND I AM THE ADULT!!!  I gave him a hug and as his chest proudly swelled, he assured me that if I brought my ipad in on Friday, he could make sure I was conserving my battery life, check my overall storage, and show me a trick or too.  I can’t even fathom how this little boy knows so much, but the light in his eyes as he was teaching me……and I honestly wanted to take notes (Nerd that I am) reaffirmed to me yet again that we should integrate more technology in schools.  I am glad that learning is reciprocal in my classroom as I can teach students about long division, fractions, complete sentences and the nuances of being a good writer but this kid….well, he actually put me to shame.  Tomorrow however, I am definitely bringing my ipad in for some more technical assistance and I just bet I will be astounded yet again.  Have a wonderful weekend if you are reading this….enjoy those dyed Easter eggs and family dinner……and definitely take some pictures to  sync on icloud and share with us all!

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Reflective

I have reached an age that, believe it or not, has not shown itself to me until the other day. I was walking the track at the gym with my trainer and caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. At first I recognized myself, but almost simultaneously my mind was screaming, “Geesh! What has happened!”  Even when I stood full length in the mirror and obediently lifted the medicine ball up, squatted and repeated the motion I was aware that my upper arms have stretched like pizza dough hanging off the side of the pan.  Now I understand why so many people over the years have said that inside, they feel no different and are mortified at the outside.  I’ve had people tell me that they never look in a mirror because they just can’t…all for the same reason.  It’s not that people like me are vain, it’s just that we have been so busy building lives that our bodies have gone from a solid block of cheddar to a fine ripe brie….metaphorically speaking.  When the truth of aging forces us to see it for what it is, we take steps to preserve what is left.  So far, I have learned that I need to put cinnamon on lots of things, eat organic oatmeal for breakfast, add more fruit to my diet, cut back on meat, no carbs after 7:00 pm or, better yet go gluten free.  Drink lots and lots of water, starting with a glass of warm water in the morning to jump the metabolism. Don’t eat potato chips as it will age your face, don’t drink diet soft drinks because they make you fat. Stay away from processed foods as hundreds of toxic chemicals are in the ingredients themselves.  Chicken or eggs are best if they are living naturally and not fed anything to artificially make them grow.  There’s harmful dyes in powdered drink mix, some supplements can give you heart attacks, foods that are labeled low fat really aren’t low fat as the good fats have been removed and icky stuff added.  Fast food is a sin, and let’s not talk about “pink slime” in ground beef, or even worse, horse meat.  I need Vitamin D because I live in Maine and lack enough sunlight, fish oil for joints I think, depression/anxiety medicine to keep me from slowly falling apart like a snowman in the sun.  Spandex is good, wear your Spanx every day, chicken cutlets in your bra keep things elevated, as opposed to drooping.  Salt is a killer, salad dressing too.  After even writing this, no wonder I am weary at the end of the day!  It’s all time consuming, and I am not convinced that remembering all these details will make us any happier.  I realized this as I watched a smiling, happy woman working out this morning with me………she danced and I just knew that she did not care one bit if her socks matched, if she had the most stylish workout gear, or special sneakers.  She was simply loving and living in the moment.  Watching her caused me to think of the six homeless people I saw yesterday; the apartment building that burned to cinders Thursday and left people with nothing…..all reasons why no matter who we are, how young or old we are, it’s important to look for joy around us and spend far more time being grateful for what gifts we have been given, the love that we have shared, and truly see ourselves and the world around us with fresh eyes.  Rather than preserving, or worrying about preserving this human body so much I would much rather radiate something from within that is uniquely wonderful just to me.  What’s that song we sang in kindergarten? “…this little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine…this little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine…”  What I know for sure is that this is a much better way to walk through life…..or better yet, SKIP  🙂

The Pilgrimage of Bathing Suit Season…..

Even as the snow blows outside my windows on this last day of winter, my mind and my wallet are consumed with the ever challenging pursuit of the perfect bathing suit. Now it has long been known that money is no object for the miraculous small amount of spandex that covers, enhances, sucks in, and flatters at least a little bit of what God has graced me with.  As I age, the pilgrimage becomes more frustrating because I am quite particular about what and just how much I choose to parade at the beach.  I don’t necessarily needs cups that are designed with so much padding that a life jacket would not be needed.  I don’t want “boy shorts” as only a prepubescent tween with long willowy legs would look good in.  I don’t really want a miracle suit because strangulation while sunning is not my idea of a good time. I spent countless hours looking online at bathing suits until I was cross-eyed and feeling a bit defeated until I gave in, and came up with a new plan.  I picked up the phone, and called one company. “Look, I said. I have given up. Don’t you have a suit for a short woman whose hips are far more, ah hem, generous than her bust?”  There was a slight pause on the other end of the line.  Rushing forward now, I continued…”money is no object, but I can’t be floating around above, having cups buckle inward so that people think I have misplaced my fiberfill and it has slipped down to my hips.  I need a petite as well because I can’t be wading in the ocean or wherever in a tankini skirt that is so long that it drags my torso down and makes me look like a midget in a grandma suit. I’m just not ready for water shoes and a beach umbrella.”  By now, I am sure the person on the other end thought I must be twacked.  “Well, she began, slightly sympathetic yet with determination…I do believe we can recommend just the perfect combination!”  Ten days later, a package arrived and sure enough, a bright blue flowered suit tumbled out of the envelope and when I get the courage up to stand in front of the mirror and actually haul the thing on….I do believe I will be able to sit on the beach without a towel draped over my middrift.  On the same subject, however, is where on the planet do average women find bathing suit cover-ups that aren’t built like ponchos, or slit to one’s navel complete with a big brass circle holding the strips together (obvious to show off one’s cleavage) and there must be a heck of a lot of women who wear a size S or zero because that is certainly the market most companies are marketing to, or under the age of 50.  Seems like a marketing blunder to me as most of the money spent comes from the mothers of those tiny girls.  If I had a company, I would definitely market sophisticated, fashionable, timeless pieces to real women my age who still believe it is possible to be beautiful beyond a size 10.  I wouldn’t want them to be trendy, and no big splashy patterns designed to maybe confuse the eye.  Of course, I do still wear the collars of my polo shirts up, and I love the feel of crisp cotton button down shirts and a sweater casually draped across one’s shoulders.  I have suspected for some time now that I am holding onto being a preppy and I really don’t care if its a fashion “faux pau” or not……..I did concede however and pack away my kelly green chinos with little whales on them out of consideration for those who might snigger behind my back. 
Perhaps I shouldn’t make such a big deal about bathing suit season for in all the places I have traveled around the country, many sunbathers should have reconsidered their final choices and are very confident as they slather themselves with lotion and lay it all out there. As for me, hopefully the pilgrimage is over….I have a suit, a matching sundress and flip flops.  I am ready for Myrtle Beach and will walk through the hotel lobby with my head held high and pray nothing is jiggling or worse yet as I make my way to the sand.

A Day In the Life…

Somehow, the jarring sound of the alarm this morning became part of my dream….and I opened one eye eventually to face a very disturbed cat staring down at me just mentally willing me to crawl out from under the covers and feed him.  I much prefer warm fleecy blanket sleepers of days gone by worn by little boys who would lay their heads on my drowsy chest and listen to my heartbeat…no doubt hoping, as the cat did this morning, that I would eventually make them Papa’s Blueberry Pancakes.  Much more of a process, and much more rewarding, than finding the right can of “Sheba” for his furry highness.  Somehow I managed to hit the wrong button (again) on the remote while shaking off the mental cobwebs and now all I can watch is static.  One would think a simple remote control would not be as complicated as a Rubics Cube, but I daresay it continues to stump me on a regular basis.  It’s moments like this that I wish I had a man brain…..they seem to have a 6th sense about those remotes, but probably because most of the time they are attached to it if you let them.  At 8:15, my day really begins and the noise from my 26 third graders rises and falls throughout the day; a series of tattles, repeating my name at least one hundred times and occasionally someone slips and calls me Mom.  We laugh together as I often feel like Mother Hubbard surrounded by random wet socks that have lost their owner, boots toppled over each other in the hallway for me to trip over, the grinding noise of the pencil sharpener at regular intervals, and my usual collection of small toys that I have placed on my desk for “safe keeping” till the end of the day.  It is amazing how a pink pony and a few pencils can become a corral which prohibits any work from being done….or the stuffed dog who has been leashed to a desk….no doubt guarding their owner’s pink and yellow diary stashed away in a desk among the jungle of worksheets, notebooks, and crayons.  At the end of the day my brain finally relaxes as quiet settles over the room and the only sound I hear is the hamster doing her 30 laps around her wheel.  I make sense of the books and papers I have spread out across my desk and slip out the door for home.  It is actually a wonderful life, being a teacher and I love the noise, the ponies, and the furry loveable guardians that guard their owners and love them without ever making a sound.  I was so shell shocked leaving the comfort of middle school that I blindly walked into my own tsumani the day I met my 3rd graders.  They have drained my patience and my supplies but tonight while digging out from today’s lessons, a corner of a card peeked out from under my blotter.  I pulled it out and in big, bold letters were the words “I love you Mrs. Crummett.”  The same person who made me this wonderful note told me once that love is all around us (meaning she and her friends had hidden love notes to me everywhere!) She also wrote me a letter at Christmas that said, “I don’t think it’s possible to describe the word FUN without saying Mrs. Crummett…” As a child I wanted to be a movie star so I guess I have succeeded somewhat.  I dance around the room, tell wild stories, make mistakes, listen to 8-year old critics and the classroom has become my stage.  I think those little notes hidden here and there in my classroom are more priceless than any gold statue an actress could receive.  Teaching is demanding, exciting, heart wrenching and a whole lot of work but you know what?  I get to make a difference every single day and that my friends, is quite a gift!

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