$%@# my students say about cardiomyopathy

February 28, 2015

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So I’ve had the surprisingly enjoyable task of  explaining the whole “Where Was Mrs. D” thing to my students. I basically told them 5 things:

1.  I was really sick and I didn’t know it. Always tell your parents and go to the doctor when you feel like you can’t breathe right.

2. My heart doesn’t pump very well right now. (My phrase for this is “wussy heart syndrome”. They eat that up.)  It might get better and it might not, but either way there’s no reason to think I won’t be ok. I am tough.

3. I have to take medicines that  will hopefully help my heart get stronger. But, they make me very tired sometimes, and dizzy. If anyone ever faints, we do NOT touch them. We find the nearest adult to help. This is not likely to happen to me at all, so relax.

4. I have to wear a special undershirt that has little circle things in it to check how my heart beats, day and night. It’s connected by a wire to this box I’m wearing like a purse. If my heart stops pumping right (“wusses out”), the special shirt will zap me with electricity so my heart will work again. The black box might ‘ding’ sometimes when the shirt isn’t working right. It doesn’t mean anything is wrong.

5. This is not something that is likely to happen to you, or anybody else you love.

This has been a nice time to sit down and just talk to my 500+ kiddos. Their concern has been real and their questions and responses have been a little too real.

But hey, if you can’t laugh at cardiomyopathy, what can you laugh at, right?

So these are questions and responses I have gotten from my 5 – 11 year old students when I explain the above list to them. I started writing them down to share, because I love these little nutjobs.  My responses are italicized.

“Will your heart tell you when it’s fixed?” No, they will take pictures again, but that would be cool.

“Do they let you keep the pictures?” I doubt it but if it’s good I’ll frame it.

“My grandpop had a heart attack because he ate too much red food. Did you do that?” You mean did I eat too much red meat? No, I –  “No! Meat is brown.”

“Did it hurt when you died?” Um…No. I’m good.

“Will it hurt if it zaps you?” No. I would have probably fainted by then. “But it will zap us if we’re touching you?” Possibly, but you’re not going to touch me or anyone who has fainted, you just get an adult. “Will it reach out and like lightening, and zap us?” NO. You’re picturing Return of the Jedi.

“Can you use the box to save somebody else’s life? Like the school’s one? [Defibrillator]” Yes, I’m going to be the new super hero, Defibrillator Woman. Zap zap. Just kidding. But cool question.

“What are you gonna do if you can’t go swimming in the summer!?!?!?!” I will most likely be done wearing this, one way or another, by summer. Hopefully. Otherwise, I will cry.

“Um…it [the box] blinked red. Are you OK?” That just means it’s on. I’m good.

“What would happen if ALL the adults in the school fainted at the same time?” I’d say we would leave (extremely unlikely, quiet student) in charge.

“So, like, you can’t take it off? Are you not gonna shower?! For months?!!” Um… I take it off to shower. EW.

“What happens if you faint in the shower with the shirt thing off?” Well this is getting personal. It’s not likely that I’ll faint at all. But I guess then it would turn into taking a bath.

“What happens if you faint when you’re going to the bathroom?” Well that would be bad, but wouldn’t I have worse problems, at the time?

“What happens if you drop it [the monitor box] in the toilet?” Thanks, now I’m going to worry about that, too.

BUT the winner is:

“Did you know that the hospital is where they take babies out of your tush?” Yes. Yes I did.


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The Arts as an Antidote to Testing

February 25, 2015

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If it’s quiet in here, I’m doing it wrong.

I am sitting on the chilly windowsill with my legs dangling, kicking the bookcase below. The sound in my room is such that my clunky boots can’t be heard hitting the shelves right below me. Another teacher walks in – she may have knocked, who knows – and her eyes go wide. To be fair, the scene looks a bit chaotic if you’re used to seeing children at desks with books. I enjoy her facial expression, she puts some paper or another on my desk, and mouths to me “How do you not go crazy with all this noise?”

I clown pantomime that I can’t hear her.

Every few minutes one of the kids motions to me to come across the room and hear his group play something they just thought up. I remind them to make sure it’s written down in some way. Every few minutes a quieter kid looks up surreptitiously and scans the room to see where I am, just to make sure I’m not upset about all this sound. Then they go back to their playing. I swear several of them have the smirk of a 10 year old who thinks he’s getting away with something.

Because they are. Like I said, they’re at school, and they’re playing. 


Character Ed. is not dead.

While driving to school last Thursday, I decided that I am guilty of expecting too much of my students academically, because of residual idealism left over from my well-meaning but ridiculous Elementary Music Education classes. Worse, I’ve been expecting too little of them in the way of character.

Yes, my oldest students should know the difference between various types of keyboard percussion, the theory behind pitch and acoustics, and be able to read and write basic rhythmic and melodic notation.

MORE IMPORTANTLY, they should be able to play these instruments in a way that does no damage and respects others’ right to hear themselves think. They should regulate their own progress on a task and keep their time limit in mind. They should collaborate with a partner without much conflict. They should listen attentively and show respect when other people play for them. They should help clean up and store the instruments in a way that maintains order in the room and allows every student to use them for years to come. In short, there are many opportunities in a music room – or band room, or art room, or gym –  for kids to play, and practice how to not be a little jerk


Opting out of control.

So we know we fail as teachers the moment we get into the habit of doing a lesson the same way just because that’s the way we’ve always done it. If your tried-and-true lesson is working, every child is engaged, the curriculum is covered completely, and every need of every child in your classroom is met – then wake the Hell up because you’re dreaming.

I teach a modified Orff (basically, xylophones) unit every winter, mainly because it’s fun and a less-boring thing to come back to after Christmas break. We learn songs, talk about the pentatonic (5-note) scale, and do lots of echoing of the teacher and each other. I look forward to these classes. However, I’m pretty psychotic about you playing my instruments the right way. Don’t break it, and get the best sound. Watch it. We play together. Show me bicycle grip. Do we pick up the mallets when we rotate???! (Confession: As a college freshman, what I wanted to be when I grew up was a high school band director. I may have some marching band issues to resolve.) I hate to admit it, but there is definitely a right and wrong way to do stuff, in my xylophone lessons.

In light of the increasing structure in children’s lives, I’m attempting to take a small step in the opposite direction.  One 5th grade class happens to be ahead of the other sections, because of my recent health fun and absence from school. So, I’m throwing out the structured Orff lessons and letting them loose. To sum it up, they’re getting free play time with anything they want in the Music room, the end goal being to compose some kind of music and write it down in some way. I’m giving them whatever instruments I have, a couple guidelines that are mostly about safety and stuff-music-teachers-say, and 40 minutes. Yes, the curriculum objectives are now completely changed from what is written in my lesson plans, in doing this. Ask me if I care. 


Music is a more loosey-goosey subject, to begin with. There are protocols in other subject areas, pre-written lesson plans for everything. There is a curriculum, and we will test the daylights out of them on it, yearly. Twice a year, actually. Thank you, PARCC. It’s all nicely planned and controlled. However, because of the above-mentioned health fun, I am reminded lately that CONTROL IS AN ILLUSION.


The arts as an antidote to testing.

During those 40 minutes I get a little glance from several kids that says “wait, you’re really ok with this?”  several times.  It’s not that big a deal, but they’re uneasy with it.  We have set out to do something with instruments before; play the rhythms, demonstrate this understanding or that, compositions with prescribed forms.  I still get looks from other teachers who wander in then, too. It’s still loud.

This time the class could write/do/play whatever. Some of them added lyrics or flourish-y dance moves, because they’re freakin’ adorable. Week 2 of this will include some kind of standard notation, because blah blah blah, curriculum. Also, these kids are very sharp and can bridge the gap between iconic and symbolic notation like they’re jumping over a puddle. I gave them no rules about notation – whatever, as long as they could look at it next week and still play it, it was cool. This is not revolutionary, just busy, musical chaos that totally looked like I was doing nothing in the way of teaching. However, the kids are responsible for their own progress. They knew that they have the privilege of playing these instruments so they only play them correctly. They were self-regulating, and writing some very cool little songs. I was pretty impressed with what happened when I let go.

This was my favorite so far:


Also, a shout-out for my two manly men, M&M, who think they have invented music notation for jocks: “Basket-ball” is a short-short-long, or eighth-eighth-quarter pattern, “Football” is long-long is probably going to be half notes, all on bucket drums.


And they sounded pretty good, too.

This thing where we give kids stuff to play with and say “go” is the basis the wonderful curriculum in my 5 year old’s Pre-K class. Somewhere after that it gets tossed. Because their lives now include lessons in how to take tests, that playtime really needs found again.  A child’s work is play.

I love this:


In our attempt to be taken seriously as an area of academics, have we taken the play out of playing music?  We have our own standardized testing and huge curriculum binders, too. But the arts, and the tragically disappearing recess and Gym class, are sometimes all our kids have left in the way of play at school.

 So, for my part, here’s what I’m going to do about all this: My goal, in light of the ever-increasing need to structure and test, is going to be to make sure there is more actual PLAYING in my class.  When you walk in (sign in at the office first), you may think they’ve taken over and I’m tied to a chair somewhere. Don’t worry, they know there’s a filing cabinet of worksheets they could be doing instead. That usually keeps them in line. Wa ha ha. 

I’m looking forward to this. And, probably, to going deaf before my time. Because holy crap are they loud.


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What the Hell is this Crap?

February 8, 2015

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…Hi. Yes, it’s been a long time. Look, before all the CRAP in the below post happened, my pathetic excuses for not blogging since Christmas included “uninspired” and “distracted by other crap”.  Now? Boy do I have a good excuse for not doing any writing! Of course, instead of rolling with that excuse, I’m gonna blog. Besides, you know you desperately need to find out why Grandpa over there has what looks like an ill-fitting bra.

See, I didn’t want to be the kind of friend who does a fb check-in at the hospital and lets everybody wonder why. Although when you’re alone and scared in an ER, no one is allowed to judge how you reach out for some human comfort, Facebook nonsense included.  For instance, nobody better judge me for chatting up a male nurse about the fact that one set of blood test vials look like those tiny liquor bottles you can get at the store counter. I mean, were we having a party, or what?   I also didn’t want to worry people unnecessarily, because ultimately I was FINE. I also didn’t (and still don’t) know all of what was going on.

I do like a good “saga” post, so I’d like to share what’s been up the past week or so. I should at least get a decent blog post out of this stupid situation, right? Right? Since this is a medical story, we’ll start with the ABSTRACT:

I thought I had bronchitis. Instead, I ended up spending 4 days in the hospital and finding out that, for who knows how long, my heart only works at about 50% strength. My diagnosis is dilated cardiomyopathy. Basically my left ventricle doesn’t work right; it’s stretched out, and kind of damaged. The official cause for this is unknown right now, but big scary reasons have been ruled out. The main complication I have is congestive heart failure. This is not as scary as it sounds, but thank you for that horrified gasp. I love you too. This week I had what I’m reasonably sure was roughly a million tests, and got stuck by two million needles. I’m home, and very stable now. There are some major diet and fluid intake changes I had to make, to help my heart work and get rid of the CHF (congestive heart failure). I’m taking a bunch of new meds that have left me feeling dizzier, but better. But, my heart still doesn’t work all that well. I also have to wear a vest-thing with wires and sensors in it, that acts as a heart monitor and defibrillator. These changes will continue indefinitely. I don’t feel symptom-free, but I feel way better than I did last Monday! I don’t know why I suddenly got sick with this.  I don’t exactly know the prognosis is for my heart’s improvement, or what this means for the future. I think that’s a “time will tell” thing. The internet has scared the bejezus out of me; I am either feeling confident, or wondering if Web MD is right, and I should work on end-of-life papers. On the other hand, I’m otherwise pretty healthy with no additional heart problems and did I mention I’m only 33, and I’M SORRY but What The Hell is this CRAP?!?!  Sorry. I know that was not a proper medical abstract.

So, have you ever noticed that you have no idea when symptoms really started, when you’re asked? I have no idea for how long, but I’d been getting out of breath walking around my school. I figured I’m just a fat-ass who used to run (knee injury) until a couple months ago. Then there was also this annoying cough. Bronchitis again? I’d been sick in the fall. Who knows. I work with kids, they have germs. Two Saturdays ago, we had the little one’s Mario-themed birthday party with 30+ people and way too many Pinterest-worthy ideas at my house.  I’d been busting my very tired butt as much as I could. As it was, hubby was picking up my slack a lot, poor guy. Sunday night I didn’t feel good at all. Monday I almost called in sick. Interesting detail here: My favorite jeans wouldn’t fit that morning. I assumed it was, again, due to the fat-assery. Turns out this is a major symptom of CHF! During my teaching day I felt just plain awful, and decided to call my doctor. My husband says this is how he knew I was really ill. I couldn’t get through to the doctor during my lunch, so I went to the Minute Clinic nearby, thinking I’d get some antibiotics. When I got there I almost didn’t sign in for the clinic, and thought I’d just buy some cough drops instead. But there was no wait. The nurse at the clinic told me if I were her relative she’d just drive me to the ER herself, but I should get there ASAP.

Shocked and annoyed, I went to the ER at the hospital down the road, where the waiting room was very full. I should have been scared $h*tless when they let me waltz ahead of everybody. I had an EKG and saw something on the paper about “possible abnormal” but didn’t know what that meant. The (I thought, alarmist) nurse freaked out at my fast breathing and heart rate. Tests, tests, and more tests happened – blood, x-ray, CT scan, etc. Have you ever noticed that, in the ER, all these nice people come by and ask you the same twenty questions? Why the repetition? I wasn’t allowed to eat, drink, or get up to pee. (Yes, that’s what I mean, and I think this process was way more traumatic for my heart than just walking to the bathroom. #nodignity) I was not having any of this. I wanted outta there pronto, with my Amoxicillin.  Then a doctor (or somebody?) opened my curtain door and said, “Call your husband. You are pretty darn sick.”  The phrases “congestive heart failure”, “pneumonia”, and “admitted” were said to me, I’m pretty sure. She told me I wasn’t going anywhere. Shocked, but keeping it together, I am proud to report that I did not cry. #biggirl I wanted to, of course,  because WHAT THE HELL?

Hubby came and helped a lot, and I sent him home because one of us should get some sleep. My mother in-law was home with the girls, thank goodness. There were no beds up in the regular hospital because a neighboring hospital was closing, so I spent a very fun night on a gurney in the ER . No, you can’t sleep in an ER, but they do have cable. I was also one of the lucky ones who had a little partitioned-off “room”. People were “sleeping” in the hallway that night, so I’ll just shut up. I also had a couple more tests during the night to rule out a heart attack, blood clots, and other terrifying stuff. I would have had the sense to be more scared if I weren’t sick and tired, so timing these tests during the night was brilliant. Dr. Extremely Serious Cardiologist (titled thusly not because of my condition, but his perpetually maudlin bedside manner all week – I hear it’s just him) first came in to discuss things with me around 8 AM Tuesday. Basically, he said “You do not have a cold. You are sick-sick, and we have to find out why. Buckle up.” (Ok, he did not say that last part. But he should have.) He started me on meds that had me on the way to feeling better in a couple hours.

Tuesday morning I had a echo cardiogram. It took about an hour, the room was quiet and dark, and I literally fell asleep on the table. It was awesome. I may have drooled on the technician’s arm. This test is basically one of those beautiful baby sonograms, but instead of finding out that you’re having a little girl, you find out that your heart is only pumping with about half the strength it should be and your already way-too serious cardiologist is now Worried About You. One wall of my heart was particularly weak, he said. My heart ejection fraction, something that should have been at 50%, was a 15%. Possible causes included artery blockage (!) and we would check for it with a heart catheterization.  I kept getting flashes of the Homer-Has-A-Heart-Attack episode of  The Simpsons, where he’s “just workin’ the turkey through”. However, Dr. Serious didn’t like the blockage theory, and instead thought it was either a virus that hit my heart hard and damaged it, or weakness caused by a pregnancy. I said my youngest just turned five two days ago, so that was crazy. He said he would put his money on that theory, and the condition was called “peripartum cardiomyopathy”. It could have been steadily getting worse all this time.  Being younger and strong (thankyouvermuch), I could have been compensating for this weakness until now, when being sick, stressed, or both made me crash pretty fast. Well, everybody is young and strong until they’re not, right? Bob brought the girls in to see me Tuesday night. The big kid had a very hard day at school, worrying about Mommy in the hospital. The little one thinks hearts are what you draw on construction paper this time of year, so she was good. 

Wednesday was “rest up” day, since Dr. Serious didn’t want me to have the cath procedure till I was feeling better and there was less fluid around my lungs. Hubby had taken off Tuesday but went into work this day, because he does have a job outside of me. I was told several times that day and throughout the week that I looked way too good to be that sick. Well in that case, can it all be wrong?  Happily, several times during the day I had family or friends visiting. I had originally said NO to visitors, because of hospital gowns not staying tied. Plus, there is the terrified, wincing face I make when they stick me with needles ten times a day. Not something I want anyone seeing. Now, I’m very grateful family and friends came and brightened my room, and that I got texts and fb messages from people. I am a people-who-need-people person when I’m not worried and captive. I also insisted on wearing my own sweats, not the gowns, and was feeling slightly more human and dignified from then on.


Sent this to the hubby: “Makin’ this I. V. look GOOD.”

Thursday I was up early (actually, in a hospital, you’re up all the time) to be taken to another hospital, to do to the “simple”  procedure that checked for blockage. I got to ride in an ambulance! This sounds fun, but in reality they let you wear nothing but a gown (cold), strap you to a gurney so you can’t wiggle your arms, and they do not put the sirens on for you. Yes, even if you ask.  I had the “simple” catheterization procedure (I had a baby with no pain killers and I will still say ‘OW’ about this).  I’m not going to tell you where they cut you and feed a tube up to your heart to release dye and take pictures, but OW OW OW. Yes, I had anesthesia, but later on: OW. No blockage, though, which was welcome news. Of course, we still had no real idea why my heart was being a wuss. After 4 hours of bedrest (I had decided that I was allowed to move around the room whenever I felt like, prior to this) I had lovely visits with my kids and hubby. When they left, reality started to set in, and my self-pity party began.

A technician from the “Life Vest” company came, and at first I had a lovely time talking to her. We had to have me wear the (damn) vest thing and plug it into a fax line to send the baseline data about my heart to the monitoring station somewhere out there. This took a while, and during this process I was hanging in an office chair in the nurse’s station, talking and laughing with women about my age, like we were all good friends. Except 3 of us were nurses and 1 of us was attached to the wall by this gorgeous thing:


Obviously designed for studs who prowl the 55 & older community like Jasper Oldman here, this lovely wearable heart monitor/defibrillator vest will bunch up, send out false positives and loudly threaten to shock you, and then get caught on everything as you wear it throughout the day. Yes, all day. And all night. It also comes with the heaviest fanny pack/cross body bag you’ve ever lugged. And, it can save your life if your wussy heart stops, so quit yer bitchin’. Basically if my heart decides to skip a bunch of beats or goes into major overdrive, it will shock me good and hard, and that will hopefully fix the rhythm. So…important vest, if not all that stylish.  PS: You know what helps with making this thing comfortable, once you have it on? NOT having boobs. Ooops. Lucky Jasper. My doctor talked to me about it once we had it on and running. Hearing that I needed to wear this at all was upsetting. When I asked “how long?”, and heard, “Usually several months to a year, unless we decide that you need a defibrillator implanted permanently”? That was the sound of $%^& getting real…

My heart doesn’t work right. My HEART.  This was not little adventure, not a chance to watch Netflix and recover from a stressful weekend. This is freakin’ SCARY. I have two little kids and a husband who need me to be around forever, and the hospital was not even letting me shower (ew), because they didn’t want me off the heart monitor for 10 minutes. Would this get better? Would this shorten my life??  It sure has heck won’t lengthen it… Fill in other horrible thoughts here. Dr. Serious was talking about this being the beginning of “a long journey together”. “Well, at least he gives me a ‘long’ journey with him!” I thought later.  It hit me that right now and going forward, even though I felt ok much of the time, my heart is not able to supply my body with enough blood. Until it gets better (assuming it does), my heart is working overtime, all the time. Although it’s not immediately likely, it could decide it was done. Possibly while driving my kids somewhere. Or teaching. Or sleeping. Worse, it’s been this way for a while, we think, and I had no idea. And I almost bought cough drops and didn’t go to the doctor. PSA: Holy crap. Go to the doctor, people! On the other hand, I was walking, talking, breathing, and doing pretty good as long as I didn’t overdo it. And I was improving, right?

After I calmed down from all that, I started lamenting the less important things like (do not laugh) food and drink. Goodbye Taco Bell and Scotch, I thought. Goodbye going out for a drink with a friend. This thought was sad at the moment, but thankfully kind of wrong. At discharge I learned that as long as I keep the very low sodium diet and limit fluids to 32 oz. a day, it’s ‘everything in moderation’. I can have my precious coffee, though not as much.  If I tolerate the lower blood pressure they’re keeping me at with meds, I can probably have a drink just fine. Fun at restaurants and parties is going to have to be more about the company I keep than the food and drink. (But…I love food and drink!) This is all totally doable. But Thursday night I was just getting hit with one harsh reality after another, and I was BUMMED. Hopefully going home the next day, I was wondering if life was going to be boring, paranoid, worrisome, or worse: shorter. The “shorter” idea took the rest of the laments and shut them right up, of course.

Late Thursday I texted my poor, tired husband and told him I was done pretending to be happy and brave and would like to change my status to freakin’ pissed off and terrified because again, WHAT. THE. HELL?!?!?!?!?! I slept off part of that shock (It comes back sometimes but mostly I’m good) and felt better in the morning when they said I was moving to a ‘regular’ hospital floor. I’d been on the step-down-from-ICU floor, until then. This was a good sign! I said goodbye to my awesome PCU (progressive care unit) nurses.  I was unceremoniously discharged later on Friday and was home before the big girl’s school day ended. My favorite part of this was my children, my husband, my bed, and my arms not getting stuck by needles anymore.

What I find funny is the timing of all this. Our youngest was a cardiac kid. She had gotten over several issues during the week after her birth, and  5 years ago TODAY they finally went to do the last physical so they could discharge her. Then they heard her heart murmur. They let her go anyway, after a pediatric cardiologist checked her. We thought we’d never see that guy again. Instead we got to be good buddies with him as her heart condition worsened over 3+ months. She developed congestive heart failure (Awwww, like mother, like daughter!) because of a heart defect. Once they tackled it, she looked better right away. She didn’t have the exact same problem I do, but she did improve! She had fluid and all these other symptoms too, and today she’s fine. She’s more than fine – she’s running around, tearing apart my living room for a “pretty pet festival”. She was discharged from cardiology years ago. I want another like-mother-like-daughter moment here, please.

So, the whole “what’s going on with Meg” this week thing is both somewhat scary and not that big a deal. Writing it out has helped me figure that out, so thank you. I did not put a single link to any websites about dilated cardiomyopathy or other big words in this post, because looking at those has been as huge mistake. I have to tell myself that most people who have this problem are much older, and have other health problems too. The general prognosis given on some sites for my diagnosis is not very promising. But I am younger and stronger, as I keep reminding myself. This condition could shorten my life, but I am also going to live in a much healthier way from now on (waaaaah, fast food!) so it could even conceivably lengthen it, too. I will be honest and say that I was a wreckless sodium junky before all this happened. It is easier to stay motivated to take care of yourself when, if you don’t, your HEART WILL STOP WORKING RIGHT. As I understand it now, my heart function may get better, and it may not. But we’re doing what we have to to help it. I am also getting a second opinion at a heart institute hospital nearby, and seeing a specialist in congestive heart failure. I want to ask my cardiologist what this means for my life, in the long-term. I also want to never, ever, ever ask him that, and take it day by day.

I still feel tired, but way better. I wonder about every little tweak or twinge I feel in my body, since I’ve been home. Then I’m glad for the defibrillator vest. Sometimes I (blissfully) forget about all this crap, forget I have the damn box on, and crash it into something. Sleeping at home is awesome, by the way. I’m a huge fan. I still have the “CHF cough”, and if I walk around a while I get winded. I get annoyed by this, and then I remember that, duh, I do still have congestive heart failure, blah blah blah.  I’m thrilled to be around my kids and hubby, after all this crap. My girls have unfortunately gotten whatever they wanted out of mommy this weekend, as long as I could do it from the couch. (I’m supposed to be resting.) I am grateful for my lovely coworkers, who have been, no doubt, helping and/or subbing for me in my absence from school. I’m grateful that I have people who love me, to talk to me in one way or another this week. I’m really grateful that I can drop off the grid, family-wise, and not worry an ounce because there is a line of people offering to care for my kids and help my husband with home and work.

So, this was my “chart” board on Friday:


I like this. What does “Special Needs: Self” mean? That’s deep…

I am scheduled to go back to teaching on Thursday. I can’t wait to explain my new accessories to my students. Is it bad to say, “Don’t make me mad. My vest thing could shock you…”?  Wa ha ha.


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