Tag Archives: Judgement

Day 30

What’s the first thing you notice about a man when you meet him? A woman?

I would like to say something profound here.. like the way the light hits their eyes. But, really I just always notice really weird things about people when I first meet them.
Their shoelaces are tied too tight.
Their fingernails are really long or short.
They stand really close/far away when they talk.
Their teeth.
All the things that are really important.

Day 7

Ehh… today’s question is kind of loaded: Do you owe an apology to anyone?
Well, yeah. Of course I do.
In fact, I imagine about 80% of the things that I say/do require some sort of apology afterward. But, for the sake of the blog, let’s just take it back to one apology.
In second grade, at Starry Elementary, the rainbow bars were about the coolest thing at recess. One generally had wait quite a while to get a turn on the rainbow bars, as only three kids were allowed to be up there at a time.
I was pretty serious about doing a flip off the rainbow bars, pretending to be an Olympic gymnast. And I finally had a turn and was up on the top with Sarah Meek. The only issue with this flip was that it worked best if I was in the middle of the rainbow bars, where Sarah Meek was deciding how she was going to get down.
She was scared, and I was trying as hard as I could to help her make a decision. Albeit, I only wanted her to decide so that I could have my turn in the middle… but, still patiently helping her weigh out her options.
You can jump down.
You can do a flip.
Or if you are really scared, you can just climb back down.
Really? Just make a decision.
Before Sarah could decide, the recess teacher blew the whistle, letting us know that it was time to line up.
And before I could help myself, I nudged Sarah, to help speed up her decision making process.
She fell.
Right off the rainbow bars.
Right on her nose.
I remember seeing her look up with her dirty, bloody face and I was horrified at what happened. And since I am completely coming clean, and being totally honest in this post, I have to admit I was a little pissed that after all that I still didn’t even get to do my famous flip, because now everyone had to climb down the sides instead.
I walked with Sarah to the nurse’s office, and felt horrible the whole way.
Why am I so impatient?
But, why did she have to be so scared?
Going back and forth the whole way…
When we got to the office, I was sure Sarah was going to tell on me. Just say it, tell them I pushed you… that way I can really be in trouble and my guilt will be lessened.
But she didn’t tell.
And when her mom came to school the next day, I was sure that she was coming to get me. Coming to take me into the hallway and tell me what a terrible little girl I was. Coming to tell me that my mom and dad should be so disappointed in what I did. Coming to teach me patience, and how to take turns.
But she didn’t talk to me at all, she told the class that Sarah broke her nose falling off the rainbow bars, and she needed to pick up her school work, as Sarah wouldn’t be at school for a couple of days.
Dagger in my heart.
I broke someone’s nose.
And… she never told anyone that it was me.
Double dagger.
So, now 20 years later, I still owe Sarah an apology about that afternoon on the rainbow bars. I am very sorry for the nudge. You are a better person than I would have ever been in that situation.

In which Nicole should take Tia’s advice (from Derek)… and de-friend me.

Nicole and Nick are planning a wedding for July. This really has nothing to do with me except for the fact that I am so very excited that two friends I dearly love are (finally!!) getting married.
… That and the fact that I love weddings. I love the planning, the party, the photos, pretty much all of it.
So today, during my usual afternoon nap (judge if you wish, I take a nap after school everyday. And I am, in fact, counting down the days until I can spend my entire FIVE WEEKS OF SUMMER VACATION to nap whenever I want. I know, it’s an easy job, being a teacher. But I like to think the little summer break is to say thank you for being spit on, kicked, punched and called a “punk ass bitch” the other 40 weeks of the year.)
Anyway, back to the nap today… during my nap I had a dream I was helping Nicole with wedding planning. We were trying out different candies that she would like to have served at the reception. And she decided that she wanted those little dot candies that are stuck to the paper.
You know the ones. They don’t even really taste that good… and besides, who eats candy off a long strip of paper unless they are visiting Willy Wonka?
Anyway, I didn’t have the heart to tell her that I thought those candies served at her wedding would be just crazy.
No one likes them!
They taste gross!
They don’t even match her colors!

After I woke up in such a distressed state, I realized two things..
1) Nicole would never do such a thing!
And 2) IT’S NOT MY WEDDING!!!

Whoa! When you dream about the important events in your friend’s lives… It’s definitely time to stop living vicariously.
… But, seriously, I am really excited!

“Judgy-wudgy was a bear…”

Alright. I’m riled up.
What’s new?
I know… I know…
But bear with me on this one. (or these few…)

So, in class last week our assignment was to respond to this question:
“If you HAD to have a child with a disability, what disability would you choose and why?”
WHOA!
That’s a pretty loaded question…
First of all, isn’t that taboo, politically incorrect, or at the very least just jinxing yourself?
Nope. That’s the question. Come back with your thoughtful answer.

(Now, before you start asking other questions such as, “Is it my first child?” “Am I married?” “Do I have a good job/any money?” Just get those questions out of your mind. You don’t get to ask them… just answer the original question.)

Initially what I thought about while making this decision were two things:
What disability could I have the most effect on?
What disability do I think I could offer the most as a parent for?

Naturally, I thought of a behavior disorder first. What I believe most about behavior disorders is that they can often be somewhat controlled given the most accommodating environment. Not to sound overconfident here, but I do know that I have a high interest in behavior disorders, and I also know that I have made many connections with children suffering from behavior disorders… connections that I feel are pretty beneficial. I think that as a parent I would be able to use some of those success strategies in my own home and possibly enhance the life of a child with a behavior disorder.

And then my mind got the best of me and I kept going… I went on to think about the students that I have worked with in my years of working with disabled children… and I thought about the situations that many of them are in, and in the most drastic of those situations how would I be of any benefit to that child? Basically thinking, (of specific students) and wondering if they were mine, what I would do differently.
(You can go ahead and save the judgment lecture… you know the one, about how I am not a parent… blah, blah. You know the line… “Some people do crafts…”)

Back to thinking like a parent, long story short, I thought about how having a behavior disorder is often times in correlation with having another disability, which also got me thinking about having a child with autism. As I mentioned in a previous blog, I work with a student with pretty severe autism, and she most definitely has a long, hard road ahead of her. But, ultimately do I think I could offer something to a child with autism? Yeah. I know I could. Do I know that it would ultimately benefit my life having a child with autism? Yeah, I am pretty sure of that.

Now, fast forward to class tonite… We have to “share” what disability we chose.
“Dyslexia.”
“ADHD.”
“Dyslexia.”

Hold on! What the fuck are you talking about? ADHD? Dyslexia? Seriously? Well, people go on to say, “I was just thinking about what would be least invasive for my child.” Or, “I was just thinking about what I could actually deal with as a parent.”

Alright, I’ll give you thinking about what is least invasive for you child. Call me selfish, I was thinking about what disability I could have an effect on to help my child. But, what you can deal with as a parent? Really? First of all, is ADHD a disability? Hmmm… And what kind of disability can you deal with? Are you here in this class to become a special education teacher? Because that might cause some serious conflicts of what you can “deal with” as well.

And this is what I hear in return, “Well, you aren’t a parent… so obviously you would have a different outlook than us.”
Hmmm… I’ll just leave this one blank and let you guess how I responded to that.

And just when I thought I was going to blow, this is what I hear from the guy who showed up 47 minutes late to class:
I would choose to have a child with Down Syndrome, because you know… they all are just so happy all the time!”
Yeah, and that’s the rant of the next blog… being a graduate student having to sit in class with undergraduate fuckwits who are just looking for an “easy major.”
(Go back to your crafts… I am most certainly judging now!)

god loves alligators.

i teach elementary special education.
and even though i love my job, i often hate when people ask me what i do..
not because of anything i think about my job.. but the way that people react to it.

i have been thinking about these comments that i get for awhile.. beings how i always am hearing them.. but today was the kicker that got the reactions rolling.

while at staples, the cashier is trying to get me to sign up for some rewards program.. alright, whatever. there is a teacher program that i tell her she can sign me up for.
“oh you teach?”
yep.
“where at?”
colfax-mingo elementary.
“what grade?”
actually elementary special education.. so k-5.
(all normal questions.. i assume the conversation will end here.)
“OH! HOW WONDERFUL!! SPECIAL ED KIDS ARE SO SWEET!!”
yeah, most kids are pretty good kids.
(clearly that is the pre-requisit for special ed.. the kids have to just be sweet..)

*brace yourself for her next response..
“i mean i almost got attacked by one one time.. but thats okay, because he just hadn’t taken his medicine. haha!”
hmm… i almost got attacked by an alligator once.
(i grinned at her with the same stupid look she gave me 10 seconds before and laughed as the smile slowly left her face.. hahaha!)

now, today’s conversation was a little different the normal.. usually this is what i get:

“oh wow! good for you.”
yeah.. good for me. i am working with kids who often hate school and i am getting paid a whopping 25,000 dollars a year to some how magically make them love the power of knowledge.

“there is no way i could do what you do.. wow”
really? well.. the compliment is right back at you.. i could never sit in a cubical all day staring at a computer screen figuring out how to genetically modify corn, or sell clothing to size 0 anarexoric angsty teens, or wait tables to crabby customers, or clean the teeth of people who have forgotten to brush/floss/use mouth wash in the past week or two…
in fact, there really are a lot of jobs that i could never do.. it just happens to be that teaching is the one i was chosen for.

“ohhh.. that really takes a really special person..”
you think? I THINK that it takes a special person to shave the callouses off my feet, rub my unshaven legs, clean under my toenails, and smile while she paints my toenails thinking about having to do it all over again. special person is on the checklist of personality traits of a pedicurist..

“you must have some incredible patience..”
you don’t think it takes patience to do other jobs? it would take me some serious patience to deal with the mother computer…

“wow! there is a special place for you..” (this one is often followed by a very God-loving, christian wink)
yeah.. im pulling for the right hand seat. just me and the big man.. judging people, creating natural disasters, defying the rules of gravity… thats the ultimate goal of serving as a special education teacher.

and while the comments are meant to be nice.. i know. (i apparently am a little cynical at times.)
i appreciate that people respect my work as a special education teacher. but, just keep it in perspective.. don’t forget about the respect for other jobs as well.
but sometimes the compliments can just be a little overwhelming.. and maybe thats just it i guess. maybe i just dont take the compliments well..
but honestly, my job really doesn’t take the pope to acomplish.
it just takes an alligator trainer..

now that job takes a really special person. (wink, wink..)

mini-blogs

well it seems like a ton of things have been happening… but apparently life is crazier than ever at the end of a school year. when i predicted that grad school, starting a 1st year teaching job, and planning a wedding (all at the same time in the fall) would be the most stressful time in my life, i was wrong.. it is most certainly now, finishing up my first year of teaching and completing another semester of grad school. in the mean time a few things have come up that i have instantly wanted to blog about.. but instead time got the best of me.. and nicole got more than an earful during the ‘usual thursday nite activities”.. 🙂

name that moral:
so, as some may know.. i have been working on the weight loss issue.. and am pretty proud of the success. so proud in fact, that i went shopping.. (not that shopping is something too new, but at this stage of newfound poverty i am in.. it was a pretty exciting afternoon at target!) anyway, i was super excited because i found some very cute new attire, that was in my favorite new size (6!!) and bought up all that a poor teacher could afford. when i got home i left the target bag on the counter.
(in the mean time, the garbage can for the kitchen had been moved and there also was a target bag of trash on the counter..)
a couple of days later, as the weather had warmed, and we were planning our trip to vegas.. i was looking for the bag of clothes. hmmm… derek? oh.. he accidentally threw them away. yep, picked up in friday’s trash..
so long lucky number 6 (and $75) i will see you another day…
so, i am not sure what the moral of this story is.. at first i thought maybe it was ironic because i have many clothes in my closet that still have the tags on them, that i have never even worn… and now the ones i want to wear have been thrown away. something about the irony of my debt??
but after much contemplation.. i think the moral is pretty easy.
god liked me better fat.

the crazy at curves
okay.. so i work part time at curves, thus i encounter many different people. the other morning i was working and crazy woman came in. she is a chiropractor who believes in all natural healing. (meaning, she thinks that she can cure just about anything with a good rubbing of the back..) long story short.. the woman is going on about all the good she does in the world, like curing cancer and what not with her magic hands when all of a sudden she starts talking about juvenile diabetes.
i am clearly no expert.. but my younger brother was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes about 6 years ago.. so i know some things about the disease.
in the meantime, the crazy starts telling me that she thinks her daughter has diabetes because of the “toxic odor” that she releasing. and if this is the case, the crazy needs to decide what to do to cure the disease.
wow! really you have the potential to cure diabetes? you are not crazy in fact, but a genius.. why didn’t anyone else come up with the cure so easily. (if you are not catching the sarcasm.. please leave this website and do not return.)
so, enter my comment. “with all due respect to you and your profession, crazy.. when a heart stops working we use a pacemaker, not a good back rub. such as when a pancreas stops working (as with diabetics), we need insulin, not to have our spine readjusted.”
oh man.. that set her off. sorry crazy.. just a thought.
“no religion, politics or sex” – that is the general rule of conversation we stick by at curves.. apparently we should add “no facts of the medical field” as well.
(note: this was the very condensed version of this story.. just ask nicole.. i didn’t even wait for thursday. she got it ALL on saturday morning, approximately 30 minutes after the encounter with the crazy.)

a penis inside of you.
my best friend, morgan, is pregnant. now morgan has been talking about weddings and babies since i have ever known her (starting in about 5th grade).. so this is a very exciting thing to happen to her. (and by her i mean me also.. i can’t wait to be an honorary aunt!) since the time she told me that she was pregnant i have not been able to stop picking up things here and there for her and the new baby. it’s so fun buying little clothes, accessories, and the books.. oh, the books! (refer back to “newfound poverty”..)
i also took morgan out for an early mother’s day lunch and pedicure last weekend. she looked wonderful! she is most definitely “showing”.. but she just looks great… so healthy and so happy. now, as we were sitting in the (amazing) massage chairs, probably being cured of cancer mid-back rub, morgan started talking about her belly moving and felt where the baby was kicking. hmm.. interesting.
and later, as we were waiting for our very cute, spring-time toes to dry she pulled out the 3D ultrasounds. alright… the photo was so clear you could literally see the face. hmm… YOU HAVE ANOTHER HUMAN BEING INSIDE OF YOU!!!! there are 2 other arms, 2 more legs, 10 more fingers and 10 more toes… POSSIBLY A PENIS! all growing in your belly.
the little clothes and accessories.. wonderful.
the alien inside of you.. completely out of my realm.
it is clearly apparent i am no where near parenthood.
maturity first.

in the meantime.. finishing up IEP’s, wrapping up the school year, completing final projects, getting summer schedules ready, planning summer school, etc.
it’s nothing compared to curing cancer and harvesting aliens..
but enough to keep me busy.

Oh, Texas.. Your wit charms me… and Abercrombie

So.. we visited Texas.. to see how the weekend went visit Derek’s site.

The one thing that we all know about Texas is the insane amount of slogans the residents feel they need to plaster everywhere so tourists can remember that “Nobody messes with Texas.” They apparently want us to remember a few other things about the state also:

1. Of course we all know, “Everything is bigger in Texas.” — Now this includes a lot: the diameter of most women’s hair, the amount of hairspray that is used, the price at hair salons, the size of the abundant “mega-churches,” the reference to virgins, the bridges crossing the freeway, the amount of “left-lane-passing-only” freeway that is wasted by the fools that feel like driving 52 mph from Dallas to San Antonio, the airport, the amount of apologies I received from Texas employees who could not seem to figure out how to do thier job right, the amount of money people have to spend on fancy cars, the countless times I heard “y’all,” the amount of people who seem to have not heard of the state of Iowa, the amount of HUGE Texas flags flying high, the incredible amount of air the was found in my hairdresser’s head when she commented that she had not been to Iowa but “had visited Maryland, Boston, and Vermont,” and the quantity of people who think that Texas is truly its own country.

2. And we have all heard, “Save a horse, ride a cowboy.” — Had I seen a real cowboy this trip might have been a little more enjoyable. I needed to see a cowboy. But, but on a side note, I am sure that Abercrombie would like to personally thank Texas for that clever little saying, they have sold a countless number of t-shirts with those words broadcasted across the breast.

3. This was a new one for me, “We don’t dial 911,” written inside a picture of the state of Texas with a gun strategically placed under the comforting words. — Hmmmm, do you think it would be a little easier to just come out and freely say, “Texas — Land of the Hicks”? Rethink this one, Texas.

4. And of course the lovely rhyme, “Steers and Queers.” — Nope, did not see either… which goes along with the feelings found in number 2. Steers would have made for a great “tourist-y” photo, and some gay men would have been a wonderful treat! The state could use the class, style, and sassiness of a few beautiful gay males.

5. Now for the most clever of the slogans, “Nice Rack.” — You might as well just wear a shirt that says, “Your boobs are huge and I truly enjoying looking at them.” But, I do have to admit, I found this shirt pretty amusing… and was secretly wishing that Derek would have bought one. And of all the other Texas slogans, this was not only the cleverest, but also happened to be very truthful. I did indeed see some really great boobs. The breasts were perky, the right size, and generally displayed in a very tasteful manner. Good one, Texas.

6. Last, but certainly not least, “Don’t mess with Texas.” — Don’t worry Texas, we won’t. We would be afraid that you would not know how to react. We don’t want you out riding cowboys 48 mph in the left lane of freeways shooting everyone rather than just calling 911. It’s time you gave this one up, Texas and just decided to join the rest of the country… there is room for you somewhere between Iowa and New York.

Time to find a new gym..

So I work out on a pretty regular basis… it might be strange to say, but I do really enjoy working out. Don’t get me wrong, I am sure if I looked like Lindsey and didn’t need to work out, I probably wouldn’t enjoy it as much. But, I suppose it is a good hobby… besides being good for me, canceling out all the calories from the terrible food and ridiculous amounts of wine I drink, and a way to relieve stress, working out also gives me time to think. Although for the past few days my thought process has been interrupted by some very annoying gym members…
(I know what you are thinking… Kari going to bitch about something? That would be something new and different for her. But just bear with me for a bit… these people would get on your nerves also.. I promise)…. Unless you are Elizabeth, and love the entire human race (excluding strict Republicans) all because everyone is different and that’s what makes us special…
Anyway, call me a bitch, but this is what I would like to say to these gym members who have apparently forgotten their gym etiquette.
To the man who makes horse noises while working out: Please get some water, or perhaps a piece of chewing gum… anything that would stop you from doing that with your mouth. It is a very odd sound that throws my whole run off.
To the woman who tells me her whole weight-loss-weight-gain-battle-life-story every time I see her: I truly am sorry that you have had to deal with those experiences. It sucks to battle with your weight, but so goes life. Please pay to visit with a therapist, s/he will have more time and sympathy for you. (We all are working out for the same reason lady).
To the man who always wants to know “How my workout went, and how many calories I burned today:” This might not offend/annoy another person.. but it does bother me. Please just smile and simply say hello if you think that you need to make some sort of small talk conversation.
To the older couple that literally make out in between reps on the leg machine: You all have probably been married for a good 15-20 years now, he knows you love him, she knows you love her. The whole damn gym knows about the love you share. Is it necessary to kiss and say “I love you” between each 15 leg lifts??
To the high school couple that enjoy working out together (probably because they think they are “true love” and will be together forever): I enjoy your bliss, but buddy seeing your girlfriend work out OBVIOUSLY gets you exicted (again, something the entire gym knows about) buy some tighter fitting undies to wear while working out. Your massive erection is a bit disturbing, and definitely distracts my workout.
To the woman who always wears the black sports bra and tiny black “hot pants” to work out in: Your body is amazing, you should be very proud of it.. I am a bit jealous. But, try and leave something to the imagination.
And finally.. To the man who sounds like he is dying while doing his free weight circuit: The weights that you are trying to lift are too heavy for you!!! Stop trying to commit suicide at the gym just trying to look buff. Girls will think you are more hot alive, than lying dead with the bench press bar smashed against your chest.

Hmm.. wonder what they think of me..

Ode to Cousin Dusty

For my job I often have to frequent the country club.. not just any little small town “the pool is a little nicer” country club.. but instead, Des Moines Golf and Country Club, which happens to entertain the prominent socialites around the West Des Moines area. Although I don’t generally enjoy being at the country club, it does give me time to think. (and by think i mean scribble down my thoughts, of all the assholes who spend too much money to parade around the elitist pool, on my old crumpled up “to do list” found at the bottom of my purse).
– And on a side note.. I am sure that while I am contently sitting there (doing what I do best..) judging others.. on their parenting skills, voices which happen to be 4 notches louder than normal, and plastic surgery faces – all the other real country club members (ie. those who have a member ID, rather than just a “nanny pass”) are judging me on my unwashed hair, my bathing suit from Dillards, and my far-from-plastic surgery/liposuction body.
Anyway, now that all of that introduction is over… I am pretty sure that Thursday was “Bring Your Poor Cousin, Dusty to the Country Club for an Up Close and Personal Taste of the Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” day. As I was resting my eyes (that’s right.. at work..) while the kids where engaged in their millionth lesson of the day, my blissful peace was interrupted by the strong shouting of an obscenely, aggressive male voice.
“Focus!”
“You better start watching the ball!”
“Oh! Come on! Get tough!”
“Stop whining.. you gotta get 5 in a row before swimming!”
Why is the varsity football team doing drills at the country club? you might be wondering.. I was, in fact, curious myself… but I turned to find cousin Dusty, who was helping his 6 year old son become prepared for the Dallas Cowboy tryouts that were apparently occurring VERY soon. Right there at the Des Moines Country Club!! I mean there is a guy who can multi-task..
Dusty was perfect for Des Moines Golf and Country Club.. his beer bellied, step-child-red-spike-on-top-mullet, yellow buck teeth, ridiculous gold bling-ing cross necklace (note: guys who wear necklaces should not only be few and far between, but also should not wear them to the length of where the necklace gracefully dangles between their woobies..) and worn out Kmart swim trunks was just what i needed on that Thursday afternoon.
At first I found myself a little annoyed at Dusty’s presence (ruining my restful afternoon), then a little judgmental (feeling for the first time, a step above someone at the country club), not soon after the feeling of complete awe struck me (like a car accident that you just can not stop staring at), and finally I felt some comfort in Dusty’s courage to attend the “mock your poor cousin” day.
Although I am sure my son will not have to make 5 catches before being allowed swim, I did identify with Dusty. His camera in hand, (and mine hidden safely in my purse) we needed to capture all we could of this socialite society… I couldn’t help but hope that I would see him at next year’s reunion of us poor folk.

-And it should be noted, that just as I was feeling this sense of connectedness with cousin Dusty (probably from Arkansas), in walked Mister Right, to grace the presence of all those surrounding him..
17 and complete with his bright orange, popped collar, polo shirt… all to match his green plaid gingham (only be to seen on curtains in country time magazine) polo swim trunks and matching bright orange flip flops.
Hey, Mister Right?
Are you the original creator of that messed up, almost long hair, would be grunge if you didn’t shower twice a day, sexy look that all the boys are sporting these days?
… I think cousin Dusty and I pulled out our cameras at the exact same time…