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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Terror and Dread: My Visit to the Dentist

I absolutely am terrified of going to the dentist. I don't mean the normal dread that other people tell me about. I mean terror. I try to avoid going to the extent that I know better and really should go more often.

It was at the end of August when I bit into a hot dog at a picnic and broke one of my teeth off at the bottom. Luckily I had a root canal done on that tooth previously and it really didn't bother me, so of course I avoided calling the dentist.

Two years ago I had a wisdom tooth pulled. Well, They tried and couldn't do it so they sent me to a surgeon. The cost was more than I could afford and the tooth stayed with me. It didn't really bother me. Until about two weeks ago that is.

Oh even better our dental insurance is canceled as of tomorrow. So I had a deadline. I knew I had to call and get my teeth checked before October and I finally did on Monday, September 28th. Somehow they managed to get me looked at on Monday and as I suspected both teeth needed to come out. The Wisdom tooth was infected pretty badly and I had to get antibiotics for it. I was getting a low grade fever from it and knew it had to come out.

So the appointment was made for today. Because of the time frame I couldn't be sedated. I was terrified.

I walked into the office at noon. My breathing started to get faster and my heart was beating fast. Yikes this was before the actual appointment. They called me in and I told the nurse that I was terrified and she assured me it would be fine.

The doctor came in and checked the teeth out and went right into extraction mode. I jumped up and retrieved my iTouch so I could listen to music.

Why do dentist tell us that it won't hurt? Even the usual "just a little pinch" is a lie. That Novocain shot is a horrible experience. I don't know how many shots of Novocain I had today but it was more than six. There was a lot of Novocain pain today.

Then he says to me if I feel something let him know, I should only feel some pressure. LIES!!!!! I can't describe the feeling but it was more than "SOME" and pressure isn't even close to the feeling I had. So I made a noise to let him know it hurt, he kept tugging and yanking. I made more noise, he didn't stop so I screamed. He stopped and yelled at me.

Apparently screaming was an inappropriate response and "this wasn't a cartoon" so I had to stop screaming. I explained that it hurt a lot. So more Novocain was injected. I was physically shaking and quivering from the pain and tears were flowing down my face. Luckily the last injection of Novocain was enough and soon it was over.

They wouldn't let me leave just yet. I had to calm down and stop shaking. When I finally left I had two less teeth and more reason to dread going to the dentist. I am all about sedation from now on. I go to be a good example for the children. I hope they don't grow up with the same terror and dread I have from going to the dentist.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Fuel for the Fire

Today was new scout orientation for my district. I brought my camera and was one of two "official" photographers for the event. This was strange for me because usually I am with my son at scouting events that involve the boys, today though he went to see "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" so I was on my own.

I have to say in the year since I attended the New Scout Orientation with P when we were new to the program so much has changed. I was one of the people who were running the program this year. It has just been one year and my role in scouting has drastically altered. I was a Tiger parent last year, now I am Wood Badge trained leader working on my ticket. I am one of the people who answer the questions now.

Tomorrow is the first meeting of the year and I already have ideas of what to do this year. I am anxiuos to the other parents ideas and get our program flowing. I want to plan hikes and camping. Get the boys out and about. Oh I am looking forward to this year.

I remember playing in creeks and catching fireflies when I was in Campfire Girls. We hiked on the Red White and Blue trail and climbed down a "cliff" to get to the creek. We dug in clay banks. We caught minnows and pollywogs. I remember a camp out where a raccoon invaded our campsite and wouldn't leave. We used buddy burners and wax burners with a smell so awful it still makes me cringe when I think of it. Oh those were the days.

Now I can bring that experience to my son and others like him. One year in Cub Scouts and I have high hopes and dreams. New Scout Orientation like last year gives me some fuel for the fire.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Only Until The Street Lights Pop On.

When I was growing up there was one rule that was so ingrained that I still find myself following it. We could play with our friends on the block, but when the street lights came on we had to go home. My children finally have playmates who live on our block and they all seem to get along. They are too far for me to just yell for them to come home. So the street light rule popped in my head. I know that P has impulse control issues but I thought I would try it out.

I told them both they could go play with their friends but when the street lights pop on they have to come home. It was hard for me to let him go down the street to play without me watching him, but I knew there was parental supervision. I kept looking out the window for the street lights and I am happy to say that once the street lights came on they came right home. I was so proud of them.

So now I guess the trick is to make sure they keep following this rule. I am heating up an apple pie for snack tonight because they have been so good with the rules today. Maybe that will help remind them to follow the rules and come inside when the street lights pop on.

How Long Does It Take Hot Dogs to Turn Black in the Microwave?

Last night I was helping my son with his homework. I like to do that on my bed because I usually have a clear view down the hallway and the entrance to the kitchen. That way I can keep tables on what is going on. Well, he was getting frustrated because I was asking him to do things differently than he thought his teacher wanted it done. He was so upset, then he was hungry — ugh upset and hungry is no fun so I let him take a snack break.

I am guessing that since I was dealing with an asperger crisis I missed my daughter going into the kitchen and putting a hot dog in the microwave. I also missed that the hot dog was cooking for a while.

P all of a sudden yells "Mommy, Mommy come quick!" So I run to the kitchen, I hear my daughter screaming and my son still yelling for me. Now my hallway is short, so it doesn't take much time at all for me to see and then smell the smoke. B is not even really screaming, I would call it a screech with squeal added for effect and pointing at the microwave. In that smoke filled microwave is a very black hot dog.

In one motion I stopped the microwave, opened it up, and swung around to open the back door to our house to air the kitchen out. I put the useless vent over my stove on full blast hoping it would aid in pushing the smoke out of my house. Then I scoop up my daughter who is just so upset about causing all this chaos and smoke. She is now crying and her face is just covered in tears.

She knows how to put a hot dog in the microwave for 30 seconds, but that is usually (I say this assuming I have missed a couple of these sneak hot dog microwave sessions) with me in the kitchen. I can now say that it takes about five minutes to turn a hot dog black to the core in my microwave on full power.

P and I finished his homework with B curled up on my lap. She was so upset that the house filled with smoke and insisted that we needed more fresh air in our house. I explained I had the door open and the windows too then P grabbed and empty Sobe bottle and ran towards the kitchen. I heard the backdoor open and was about to yell when he ran back in. He brought the bottle to B and opened it saying that he brought her fresh air from outside.

He continued to do this over and over again and B was feeling better. I wonder how it would have progressed if it wasn't bedtime? So the chaotic evening ended with giggles and fresh air. Both children went to sleep easily too. Hmmmm, I wonder if burnt hot dog is a sedative?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Getting Ready for Job Interviews Already

Next week I start observing in a classroom in a school in Niagara Falls. I know what school, I know what day I don't know what grade or who the teacher is yet. It is like getting an early Christmas gift and knowing you can't open it until Christmas Morning. I am looking forward to it, but am a little fearful of it too. Maybe it is because there is still so many unknowns about my placement.

I will have to keep a journal about my experiences. Plus several of my classes have projects based on our learn & serve placement. This semester I will have at least 75 hours of classroom experience. I also will have about 20 hours of tutoring to put on my resume.

I also found out today that when I go to Thailand 20 hours will be added to my Learn & Serve time, which will also look good on my resume. It looks like we will have a chance to teach at one of the local school there. I am really looking forward to going to Thailand. One of the places we visit will be where the Tsunami hit. B was born on the same day as the Tsunami and maybe that is one of the reason's I am drawn to what happened that day halfway around the world. All those lost lives on the day I was adding a life to the world.

One of the things I love about this Master's program is everything builds on everything else to help us get a better job. Our major projects will be showpieces of what we are capable of to bring along to a job interview. We participated in a webfrence which is an online conference. This one was about new ideas of how to better teach our students to read.

We are not even three weeks into the semester and already we are focusing on job interview and things we can do to prepare ourselves for the teaching job market. I have been to two different colleges and neither one spent any time on really preparing us for the job market as much as Niagara seems to be doing.

I can only hope that as I continue through the program I continue to get experience so in a little over a year when I start hitting the job market I will stand out as one of the better candidates out there for the teaching jobs that are available.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

One Week of Graduate School

I am so happy that I made the decision to go back to school for my master's degree in education. This evening I finished my first week of graduate school and I had a blast. I have met some great people from all walks of life. People that I have spent the week with and now many feel like old friends. I have learned more about Canada in this last week than I ever have before. Most of my class is from Canada and we of course talk about their country too since they will be teaching there.

My brain feels used this week. I fond myself striving in class to participate and make sure that I am challenged. Because we only have one class in each course each week our first day is a full day. We learned simple things like a better way to support a folded in half piece of paper name plate. We covered difficult topics like racism and sexism. We even discussed gangs. I loved every minute of each class.

I decided to go to Thailand in the summer and still audit the multicultural class so I don't miss out on topics that will effect me when I teach. Three weeks away from my children seems like something I would never do. This is the one opportunity I have to go to Thailand and it is something that is within my reach financially with the aid of student loans. In figuring out repayments the extra amount didn't change my payments more than we could manage so I am going.

I am tying my trip to Thailand together with my Wood Badge Scouting Project so my son's Cub Scout Pack during the year will correspond with students who are Cub Scouts in Thailand and learn more about their culture through letters. They will also make something for the Pack in Thailand that is Scouting oriented. I am looking forward to starting this multicultural program with my Cubs. This will be a year full of fun and excitement.

I am looking forward to next Tuesday when classes resume for me. Tomorrow I buy my books and I will have a heart attack at the prices. Then I can start my reading. I have homework already and am loving it. Maybe the fun will wear off soon. We have a lot of group papers to write and a new writing style to learn. Everything has to be cited and written APA style and I learned MLE style. That is the only thing that has me nervous. I can do it though.

This semester I will be placed with a school. We have 75 hours to complete in schools this semester. Next semester will be another 75 hours and we will have to write lesson plans and teach them. Then of course will be student teaching. By the time I graduate I will have a lot of experience and have worked in several school districts. There is noting slow about this program. We are going to be teachers when we graduate but we will have taught for hours before we graduate.

One week of graduate school is over. The countdown for this semester's end date has already begun. There is no time to pause, we all are going full steam ahead.