Monday, February 15, 2016

Monday Mimisms ~ When Alejandro Beamed

It all started when little Alejandro attempted to interrupt me during journal time. Tugging on my sweater like a tenacious gnat and smelling like a recently eaten peanut butter and jelly sandwich, he looked up at me and said, "I'm done with my work, Miss Mimi. Here it is!"
*putting on teacher voice* "What do we do when we're finished with our work, Alex? (and not letting him finish..) ..."we put it in our folder, right?" 
"Yes, Miss Mimi...but..."
"So you go ahead and leave it there and I'll check it in a few minutes."
A dejected Alejandro dropped my sweater sleeve like a jilted mosquito and walked away with folder in hand. 


*putting on teacher BRAIN*
Wait a minute. Alejandro never even does his work much less finishes it! I need to see that folder and I need to see it now. What has he written? What is going on? What is he trying to tell me? Is the school on fire??! It must be important or he wouldn't have stopped crashing paper airplanes long enough to write anything. Write? Write? Wait... He had a pencil???!! 
This is serious.

"Alejandrooooooo.... Alejaaaaannnndro.....would you come back up here please? I would love to see what you've written in your folder today. I'm so proud that you've finished it."
He beamed. He walked. He handed over the evidence. I tried to disguise my skepticism. He's written exactly 4 sentences (4 days work) in three weeks you see.  I had reason for disbelief.

I opened his Daily Gratitude Journal and this is what I saw...

 Have you ever wanted to crawl into a hole and stay there until the rapture?
My eyes welled with tears. My faced flushed with embarrassment. My heart hurt. None of that mattered though. Alejandro was beaming at me. And I drank it in like the nectar of loveliness I so desperately needed at that very moment.

*putting on teacher HEART*

 "I am grateful for you too, Alex. Thank you! This means so much to me.
 And this is excellent work today."
More beaming. More shuffling. More peanut butter breath.

It was reading day. I put on some calming piano music and all the kids wore witch hats and costumes, huddled in the corners with Harry Potter and R. L. Stine, Chicken Soup books I'd found at a yard sale and everything in between. Quiet. Noses in books. Pillows on the floor. Sprawled and entwined all over each other with books in their hands. It was a beautiful sight.
And me with my journal and pen nestled underneath my own book choice, trying to scramble my thoughts on paper before I lost the feeling of magic I got when Alejandro taught me to pay attention to sweater tugs and big brown eyes of impatience.

I watched him throughout the rest of class. He was a different little boy. Reading. Obeying. Not an airplane in sight. And why? I needed to figure it out. Why was he so compliant and eager to please me? 

And then it hit me. 
It must have been yesterday. While the rest of the class finished independent vocabulary work, I'd sat by him for about 20 minutes, helping him find definitions and spell new words.  He was behind (as usualllll) and he needed to catch up. "You've got it now, Alex. That's right. Good job..... Yes! I like the way you used context clues to figure that one out. Wow. You're almost finished....Keep going. You can do it... and on and on..." 
I remember him looking up at me at one point as if to say, "Well, Duh, Miss Mimi. I'm smart ya know."
The more I praised him, the harder he worked. He was quick and smart, eager to learn and giddy to finish his work like the others. Determined.

So that was it. He needed my attention.
Plain and simple. He just wanted my attention.
He wanted me to be proud of him.

I thought about all the moments in my life when I'd been quick to dismiss people because I was too busy to look, too distracted by the endless tasks and expectations to really listen to them, too battle-scarred myself to want to hear another word from the non-compliant airplane throwers of the world. Tired. Worn out from the day. Overwhelmed.

I may not be on target every day as a teacher. I am not a perfect teacher. I am not a perfect human being. But I'm learning to love my imperfections and embrace what they teach me. My impatience met his impatience. His brown eyes were large and needy. So are mine. 
And what is it that he needs more than perfect vocabulary?
Miss Mimi's love.

So tomorrow? And the next day and the day after that I'll make eye contact with Alejandro, even if just for two seconds, even if I'm surrounded by a thousand other little munchkins. I'll praise him for something, even if it has to be the way he made that plane beautifully curve through the air of my classroom. Even if....

Because that's all he needs.
And I can do that.


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Saturday, February 6, 2016

Saturday 9 ~ Time To Get Up

Today I'm doing a fun meme from the Saturday 9 blog called  ~ "Sorry" based on Justin Bieber's infamous tune.

1) This song is a plea for a second chance. Are you good at forgiving/forgetting?

 I am good at forgiving in my heart of hearts and I never take back forgiveness. I think we all (myself included) struggle with forgetting because self-preservation is human nature. But I do want to live my life with freedom and no regrets. Hence, I best be forgetting as much as forgiving.

I also believe that not offering forgiveness is selfish and judgmental. I do try to remember that I, Mimi Queen of Memes, will need forgiveness for something or other by the end of every single day. 
Trust me. I mess up all the time.
 Thank you, Homer.

2) Justin asks his girl to "forget this." What have you
done/said recently that you wish could just be forgotten?

3) Mr. Bieber says he needs just 6 hours sleep every night. How about you? How much sleep do you require to feel sharp?

I need at least 8 hours. I usually wake up at the same time every morning with or without an alarm clock.

4) Justin prefers D&G underwear, which can cost as much as $102/pair. Sam may be crazy, but there's no way she'd spend that much on underwear. What's something you're willing to splurge on?


 5) He may be picky about underwear but not cuisine. He loves Big Macs. If we were going to McDonald's, what would you order?

 Fish fillet with extra tartar sauce

It's not???!!!

6) When it comes to healthier fare, Bieber has told fans he enjoys snacking on bananas and grapes. What do you reach for between meals?
Lately I've taken to white wine...

7) Performing in Germany, Justin Bieber told a girl who approached the stage, "Ich liebe dich” ("I love you") and she fainted. Have you ever fainted?

 Yes, but not over an "I love you..."

8) As a kid, Justin was teased for being one of the shortest in his class. What do you recall being teased about in school?

Almost everything. Truly. Being short, being poor, being smart, being freckled, being me. I seemed to be a magnet for teasing and bullying. I remember "Cathy C" in particular. She had a large weeping willow tree branch in her hand in the back of the churchyard after youth meeting. She and the branch were after my pencil head with a vengeance. I remember the scratches on my face. Vividly.

9) Random question: Will you be watching this weekend's Super Bowl?

Yes. Go Panthers!
 That's it for this week's meme. Have a super Super Bowl Sunday!
Play this meme @ Saturday 9

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Sunday, January 24, 2016

Going To Japan

The Feisty 25 Meme

Do you like to see it snowing outside?
Absolutely. But from inside.

Do you tell your family you love them enough?
All the time

Do you like getting jewelry or do you not wear any?
I wear jewelry. I love hoop earrings and bracelets... I don't wear necklaces or rings because they get in my way playing piano and/or conducting.

Do you watch a lot of NFL football?

No. Only if I'm with someone who is watching football. That would make it fun. Otherwise, no.

Have you ever used the word ‘lame’?

Ummmm.....yes. But not during football. I just don't understand why they have to hurt each other.

Are you/Were you in a band? If so, what was your band name?

The Toy Band in 1st grade. Does that count?
Oh! I was in an Internet Band Meme once a very long time ago. We rocked as only an Internet band can rock.

When is the last time you went to the doctor?

The last time I was sick (said the smart-aleck me).
 Oops. I missed my eye appointment in December. They keep calling me...

Do you own any shirts with a peace symbol on it?

Not enough

Would you ever go to Japan?
Why? Do you need something?


 What was the last thing you went to Walmart for?
Storm supplies and white wine 
*The cork is still in the bottle for all you inquiring meme minds*
Ever gotten in a car accident?
Read this.

Have you ever been in a choir?
I am a choir conductor.  That qualifies and then some.

Do you like the color of your eyes? If not, what color would you want them?

I like the color of my eyes. But if I didn't, what choice would I have anyway? Just wondering...It's not like they have crayons for coloring eyes. OH wait.... maybe they do...

When was the last time you went ice skating?
Just now trying to get to my car brrrrrr

Do you like to brush your teeth?
I hope nobody said 'no' to this question...

Have you ever had a surgery?

Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yessssss
The latest was 2009. Read this.  It was 5:30 in the morning. My hair was a mess. was not amused.

Do you look older or younger than you actually are?
Another one of those Witness Protection Program questions.
 I'll probably look younger in Japan.

When is the next time you’ll be up on stage?
Next week. Or down. I fall down a lot.

Where did you spend your last birthday?
Bloggingham Palace. It was borrrrrrrinnnngggg.

What is the last show that you watched a full episode of?

I tend to flip channels.

Do you know anyone who lives in Utah?

Are they looking for me too??!!

Is there anything you need to work on doing soon?
Almost everything

Do your feelings get hurt easily?

Not as easily as they used to. I am learning to deal with it head on and move on.
Do you, or do you know someone who has taken karate lessons?
No, but I have a rather infamous personal history with Tae Bo and Billy Blanks 



Were you ever a boy or girl scout?
Not a boy scout. Not a girl scout.
Not a scout. Not a boy.
But a girl.
Yes, a girl. 
A girl Queen
Thanks for reading my silly meme. Stress relief from the blinding ice outside my kitchen window. Getting a little cabin fever.....
Thanks for the great questions!

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Bluebird Baths ~ Shadow Shot Sunday

peering into a bluebird birdbath

Playing the Shadow Shot Sunday Meme
Submit your shadow shot by clicking the image below

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Saturday, January 23, 2016

Stuck In The Snow With You

In memory of Glenn Frey (1948-2016)  Saturday 9 meme. Play here! 

1) In this song (The One You Love, 1982) Glenn explores one of the great romantic conundrums. This week, Saturday 9 is confronting it, too. If you had to choose, would you prefer to be loved, or to be in love? 

The perfect storm is both. So I'll go with both ... at the same time. Sorry. I can't choose.

2) The song describes an awkward moment: an old boyfriend calls when a woman is on a date with someone new. To whom did you last say, "I can't talk now?" 

 Not in the sense implied here, but I said that to my mother on Thursday LOL. It had nothing to do with boyfriend(s) but I'll tell the tale anyway. I am trying to prep for the "historic" ice storm (ho humm) wandering around with a million shoppers trying to find water and bread. She kept calling to remind me to get home and be safe.  Here's a snippet of our eternal conversation.
"You really should get off the roads now."
"I'm not on the roads. I'm in WalMart."
"What are you doing?"
"I'm shopping."
"What do you need?"
"What if your power goes out?"
"I'll build a fire."
"Do you have wood?"
"Do you know the fireplace safety rules?"
"How am I supposed to get off the roads if you keep calling me in the store??!!"
My driveway. It's worse now.

3) The lyrics talk about heart vs head. When you find yourself in that predicament, which usually wins -- heart or head? 
Heart. Always. That's a to speak.

4) This song was from Glenn Frey's solo album, No Fun Aloud. What fun stuff are you looking forward to this weekend? 

I'm cleaning out my blog posts and all things Internet. Drinking coffee. Yesterday I organized two out of three bathrooms from top to bottom. Oh, you didn't ask that... Every day is fun in the Palace of Bloggingham. Just ask Homer.

My actual car the day I bought it. I miss that new car smell...

5) Glenn Frey was born in Royal Oak, a suburb of Detroit. The Motor City is known for car manufacturing. Is your car domestic or foreign?

My car is a royal carriage. Look it up.

6) The popular 1990s sitcom Home Improvement was set in Royal Oak. Are you handy around the house?  

Only when I break things....It's a curse.

7) Glenn Frey co-founded The Eagles in 1970. What's your favorite Eagles song? 


8) The Eagles helped define "California Rock," but in recent years Glenn and his wife lived in Tribeca. Have you ever been to New York? If so, did you like it? 

Yes. I love New York and all the beautiful sights you can see and especially the energy in the city. I do not love New York traffic however. They don't like me either. The last time I was in New York I had a nice little conversation with a tollbooth operator in the Holland Tunnel just after she took my $15.00 to drive 8,558 feet.  "How do I get to this exit?" I asked (**imagine a million honks and curses behind me**) "You're in the WRONG lane, ma'am. Cross four over to the right and stay on the wall." 
"In the dark??!! NOW???!!"

I just blew my horn and took my chances. Somehow we all survived.

9) Glenn wrote "Smuggler's Blues" and "You Belong to the City" for the iconic 1980s TV show, Miami Vice. What else comes to mind when you think of the 80s?

Teased hair. It was not pretty. Trust me.
TV shows would be The Cosby Show which now makes me sad to even think about. Seriously sad.
 The Dukes of Hazzard was my son's favorite show as a kid. I saw many many episodes while he sat in the living room eating mac 'n cheese and SpaghettiOs on his little blue Smurf tray. (I hope he's not reading this today...)I have a pic of him sitting on the hood of a replica Dukes car at the beach when he was about four.  He loved that car! A happy boy.

Knight Rider... because I was a little in love with David Hasselhoff. Alas, it was not reciprocated. See question #1

Hey Homer!
Let's watch reruns of Mork and Mindy today!

Be safe today. 
If you're stuck in the snowstorm/blizzard somewhere I hope you are safe and warm!

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