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Where's my map?

Posted Wednesday, May 20, 2009, at 12:27 PM

LA hasn't been that much fun lately. Could it be the new is wearing off? Maybe it's the dog days of summer already? No, since summer is not officially here yet, that seems far fetched. Let me see if I can pin point the hum drum.

Well, to start with, we have 20 school days left before summer vacation. That's a lot of days left when the students are in high gear to play and low gear to work. Seems like after spring break, they grow weary of school and just really do not want to do anything in class that requires the word "work". So, I have found lately that my voice is getting louder and louder and students are finding it easier than ever to tune my voice out. Teacher's nightmare 101 begins and yes it will get worse. Only the strong will survive!

I also should mention the recent lock down we had at school. You know we have drills and practice for these kinds of things but when they do happen, believe me it is scary.

Next door to our middle school, is a Jack in the Box. I am not sure if we have those back in the south but just in case you are not familiar with Jack, it is a fast food hamburger joint. Well, a very hungry guy with a gun decided to rob Jack and then afterwards fled onto our campus, somehow getting around the security gates. Within minutes police notified the school and we went into intruder on campus lock down. Basically this means we lock from the inside, students are moved to the middle of the room, they lay down on the floor, lights are off, blinds are closed and we wait quietly. Fortunately, this only lasted about 30 minutes before we got the All Clear. Just a few panic attacks to deal with, a few moment of horror when sirens were clearly near. Then it was business as usually. Sort of?

Next on the list would be the frequency of earthquakes the last few days. Evidently a fault near Newport Beach has decided to "wake up" after nearly 80 plus years and we have had two moderate earthquakes in the last few days. Of course the experts are quick to remind us the big one is just around the corner and to get our supplies ready. Sometimes I wonder if this one will move the earth enough to cause the other one to want to move too. Hum I think my stress level just crept up a notch or two.

Traffic is a terrifying issue out here. Since I have been commuting to my new school, I have had one too many close calls. All I can say is that you would have to see it to believe it. The few times I have flown into Memphis and hit the freeway there, even during rush hour, it looked like it was a Sunday morning, meaning little traffic.

Since writing and reviewing this, it seems my stress level is directly related to staying alive. That would cause anyone's stress to go up don't you think? Maybe it's time for a move. The rural country is looking better to me all the time. Two lane roads, miles with no buildings, homes or high rises. Somewhere with a population less than 500? Where everybody knows your name? Somewhere where the jets don't have a flight pattern which crosses within 200 miles of my home. Where is Mayberry RFD? Rural America, where's my map?

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Earthquakes and snow slides were an entertaining game for the kids when we were in Alaska. We lived in a narrow valley about six miles from a thriving metropolis of 190 souls, no TV & no telephone, so we all did a lot of reading.

We would be sitting around on a bright moonlight winter's night and hear a deep rumbling noise, accompanied by tremors and the kids would yell, earthquake or snow slide? All then ran outside to see if a quake would hit with a typical rolling motion, or a snow slide was screaming down the mountain to impact a couple hundred yards across the valley floor. They especially enjoyed the snow slides, as they would be hit with a wind blast of frigid air filled with ice crystals, which in turn would create a beautiful moonlit rainbow for a few seconds. If snow conditions were right on the mountain, an earthquake would often set off a snow slide, so the kids got a double thrill, their Mother and I, not so much so.

-- Posted by Lived There Once on Thu, Jun 18, 2009, at 7:44 PM

That's funny and I can relate. Odd how some things will move and others will not. Recently we had a 4.6 (I think) and my daughter was in the house, my husband and I were out by the pool, but she came running out to ask us if we felt it, and we didn't. She said it was good quick shake. We didn't feel anything!

-- Posted by cbhine on Wed, May 27, 2009, at 1:58 PM

Some folks never get used to the "shakes". My mother and I had a great chuckle at my spouse and kids the first time they felt one. Mom and I were sitting downstairs and they were all up in bed. 4.0 in Brea, the feet hit the floor and ran down the hall to the stairs. Scared them to death, they didn't think it was funny at all.

The worst thing I hated was having to straighten out all the pictues in my Mom's house. She couldn't tell if they were straight, so every time I came home for a visit, I would spend the first hour there fixing the pictues. They hang in my house now and I haven't had to move a one.

-- Posted by myheart on Tue, May 26, 2009, at 6:06 PM

LOL, so typical. Native Californians, such as yourself, are so use to it that it has to be a 5.0 for it to register! I have nearly had a heart attack before and my friends here, just laugh. I guess if I stay here long enough I will change my attitudes towards the earth shaking and making sounds that scare me to death! Funny huh?

-- Posted by cbhine on Sun, May 24, 2009, at 11:31 AM

I am just the oppisite on the tornado thing. I gues since I grew up with the SHAKERs all the time, they really don't bother me. The New Madrid fault gave a shake back in the 80's while I was stationed at Blytheville. The Wing King wanted to to know what was going on, well the TWO people in the office that were from CA didn't have a clue. Neither of us FELT the little shake.

-- Posted by myheart on Sun, May 24, 2009, at 5:54 AM

I leave for work each day at 6:30 am, school starts at 7:50, so most of the time I am on campus about 50 minutes before class begins. Every now and then I get hung up and then have to re-route the back roads to get there on time. But YES, leaving early is key, no doubt.

I was initially given a pink slip, no big surprise since I was the new kid in the district, but it has now been lifted and I am on for sure next year. My credential is one that is rare plus the district offered teachers who were eligible to retire a $15000 year bonus on top of retire for the next 3 years if they would go ahead and retire. Enough took the deal, so I got my job back. I was lucky though, only one other teacher in the district had my credential, so being last on the list with a rare credential put me back to work before many others. God is good.

No we are not year round. But I am not opposed to year round. From what I'm told the year rounders go to school 6 weeks, take two weeks off, and this pattern continues. Sometimes we all need a break and with year round the breaks are often.

This time of year is hard for the kids and for the staff. Everyone is burned out and tired and ready for a rest. My principal at Kennett High School said it this way one time, "the summer is a time of healing". And that is right on! We need to heal and recover from the year. Some think that teaching is easy and a piece of cake, but its hard work and takes enormous amounts of patiences, hard work, planning and everyday has its challenges. I love it, but I count the days before summer break just like the kids.

I just cannot get use to the earthquakes. I am just horrified of them. I sure hope I am long gone from the desert before the big one hits. Hey, I'll take tornados anyday over an unforeseen earthquake!

Thanks for your reply. Hope things are good with you back in God's country!

-- Posted by cbhine on Thu, May 21, 2009, at 9:55 AM

Girl,you have a lot more guts than I do.I have reached the point in my life that I am working to eliminate the stress in my life.Go back to the small town atmosphere by all means!

-- Posted by milford on Thu, May 21, 2009, at 9:45 AM

Don't worry about the "big one", those "experts" were saying the same thing when I was in first grade. I won't say HOW long ago that was, but I sorta remember the dinasors walking down the street (LOL). Driving to LA is NEVER fun. Dad drove from the OC to LAX for years. His answer to traffic was leave at 4AM, get to work in half the time, then TAKE A NAP, until it was time to actually start work. He was working for Northup at his last job. He did the same thing when he drove to Seal Beach.

What did you think about the lastest round of Props from the GOV out there? Is your job one of the "education" jobs that are in danger of layoffs?

Another small question - are you at a year round school? My brother's kids went to school ALL year when they lived in NORCO. SUCKS! The kids got about three weeks off during the year - kinda like the "real world"??????

Keep your eyes open, and head down. Drive safe!!

-- Posted by myheart on Wed, May 20, 2009, at 9:56 PM

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