Tuesday, November 27, 2007


There are many different concepts and ideas swirling around my head at the moment. The first one that has been going round all day is "how do you teach someone to think critically?" Essentially, that is the job of an English teacher when preparing students to continue on to other grades and prepare for the EOG (end of grade) test where they must show what they know. Last year's students did not have the basic skills needed to pass the test so the mission appeared much easier and clearer: Teach the basics! This year's students are a pretty good mixture of students who are meeting standards and students who are just below. I believe the key to helping both groups of students it to challenge them to think more critically. Which leads me back to the question of how to do this. I'm left trying to discern what my own teachers may have done to teach me those skills, research any possible ideas from my college days, and then look for other options online or in books. We'll see if I can manage it. I also think that my ability to think critically is something that grew and evolved as I did...so maybe I just need to get the ball rolling, I don't have to score the goal. Hmmmmm...

Another thing challenging me at the moment is the fact that someone finally told my car that Dave, aka Mr. Mechanic, is deployed. It all started the day I decided to wash my car inside and out. I went to start it the next day and it wouldn't. Well, the expensive stereo equipment drains the battery fast if there is an additional long term pull on the battery such as leaving the doors open. So, I charged the battery and it started just fine. Fast forward a few days to this morning when I went to leave for work. I turn the key and it won't start! Ugh!!! So I unload my five hundred bags (why I haul all of that junk back and forth every day I have NO idea) from my car to my friend Bynum's car so I can go to work. Luckily, I get to babysit Bynum's Mustang while he is gone and my job is to drive it. Well, today I did. I charged the battery tonight so we will see what happens tomorrow. Hopefully, I can get this mess solved by the end of the weekend. Not sure if it is the battery, the alternator, or something else not so fun. While I am capable of dealing with this situation and have done it several times prior with the car my sisters still drive it's like I told my mom..."I'm married, I shouldn't have to deal with this! Dave would tinker with it and figure it out if he were home." Hmmmm....again.

Last thing, Christmas is no fun. I have never really been a fan of Christmas (the secular parts anyhow). I never understood why I had to get up at the crack of dawn to open presents. If some fat man in a suit came down my imaginary chimney to deliver presents in the middle of the night those presents will be there whether I open them at 7am or noon. Then the 5 plus years in retail at Christmas time solidified the fact that I hate Christmas. Nit just dislike it, but outright hate it. Between crazy people looking for a specific gift that the store didn't have, to crazy mean people who chew you out because they are really just tired and irritated, to the horrid Christmas songs you hear on loop every hour or so, and then the extended shopping (working) hours. Not only did I have to deal with the working end, but the shopping end is even more irritable. I haven't figured out how I'm going to one day manage Christmas with children of my own...ugh it makes me tired and irritable just thinking about it. I'm thinking we'll be making up lots of new traditions and showing them that presents aren't everything...and they will NOT all be toys. Most likely they will include lots of books (hmmm, I wonder why?). This year is no exception to the hating of Christmas, although there was a fabulous Christmas two years ago with my mom, sisters, and Dave is Ohio which was the best Christmas ever. I think it was because we all had so much fun together. However, this year my silly husband is deployed and while I am looking forward to going home I just want it to be done and over with so I can hurry up and get through January to my husband's arrival back home. That is the single thought that floods through my mind day after day. Who knew I'd be so "dependent" on a man? Hmmmm...

Saturday, November 24, 2007

The Birthday Shell-ebration

I received a phone call from Dave on his birthday at approx 4:45am. I was "with it" enough to say Happy Birthday as soon as I answered the phone. I asked all about his birthday. I said...have you received lots of turtles? Yes. How many would you say you have received...I dunno, a lot. I asked if Goodson decorated his bunk with the fun banner and banner I sent. Yes, there is confetti everywhere and Dave will be seeking his revenge on me. Knowing it was much later in his time zone I asked if he had a good birthday. He said it was as good as can be expected. I think that is pretty good then because it means my goal was accomplished. Thanks to everyone who received and sent a birthday turtle. Dave says he will seek revenge upon me for it, but I know deep down he loved the fact that his friends and family showed him some turtle love on his birthday.

Also, with the phone call it ended the big void of no communication from the one who has my heart. From what we know at this point there's about two months left to this deployment which has gone by surprisingly fast and surprisingly slow all at once. I am anxious to have my dear husband back home with me. I'm very set into my single wife pattern of socializing and ocuppying my time, but I still miss my husband tremendously. I never thought I would be this ok and this not ok with his absence. I think that last statement only makes sense if you've dealt with a deployment. Lucky for me I have been surrounded by a very special group of friends who are helping me pass the time and become people that are very near and dear to my heart. My family has grown just a bit larger during this deployment, which is nice since I'm missing so many other members of my adopted family.

An update on what Dave aka Turtle is doing. About two weeks ago or so he offically became a Shellback after crossing the equator. It is a traditional Navy ceremony when you cross the equator for the first time you go from being a nasty wog to becoming a shellback. I think that is the single most coolest (yeah terrible phrase for an English teacher) thing that has happenned this deployment to my Turtle. Also, keep him in your prayers as he and his fellow Marines and sailors help with the relief efforts in Bangladesh. I know they will be moving supplies to remote areas, but they may also be assisting in clean up efforts as well since they have a lot of manpower to offer. Which may mean that these Marines experience a lot in relation to the number of deaths that have been reported thus far. I'm glad they will be helping in the efforts though because I think it will help a lot of them feel like they at least did something useful on this deployment. They were getting tired of chasing pirates and playing cards on ship.

I think it's now my bedtime. I need to create lesson plans tomorrow and a rough guide of what December will look like in my classroom. I also have a closet that needs cleaning in my room. I have way too many things that I just do not need anymore. It is beyond time to get rid of them and make space for things that are hidden other places in our house. We'll see how it goes. I may just end up being lazy tomorrow...I really need to work though.

Saturday, November 17, 2007


I am an English teacher and one of the reasons I chose this subject is because I am a writer. I write to sort things out in my head. I have been writing a journal/diary for as long as I can remember. I was drawing pictures in books long before I could even write words. I love paper, pens, and words more than anything. (Which is also why I love books.) I remember going on field trips and being sent with spending money and strict instructions to "not buy paper or pens!" I have been journaling the story of my life for years. When I met Dave "my story" turned into "our story" and I have been collecting items to put into a scrapbook ever since. I have a whole drawer full of things to scrapbook with in the spare room. I have been collecting these things and purchasing scrapbook items for the past three years. About a week ago I finally pulled the items from the drawer and created a mess on my living room floor and on my kitchen table. Thank goodness I don't have children yet because by the time I drug it out I was tired and only did one page. I completed another page this past week and am fixing to work on some more pages tonight. (Oh my, I really have been kidnapped by the South I just wrote "fixing to.") I hope to have this completed by Christmas so I can take it home and show it off. My only problem is narrowing down which small stories to include in "our story." I keep thinking of more things to include and I haven't even done the ones from the original list yet. I still have a month or so to do this, but I also have school stuff (lesson plans, papers to grade, etc), and Christmas shopping and cards as well.

I also had a revelation earlier this week. I was reading a list of 232 Reasons to Love the Marine Corps and laughing at over half of them because of the experiences and stories I've had when I realized a very important thing. I am going to really miss the Marine Corps. I may be just as "displaced" as my husband is when our time in the Marine Corps os over. I will miss going on base and seeing Marines. I will miss having "my boys" all together and over to our house for dinner. I will miss hearing silly stories from the field and deployment. I will miss watching my husband proudly put on his cammies or blues and go off to do his job. I know there will be other things to fill the void left from the Corps, but I know it won't be the same. I know from the stories written from retired and Marines who are no longer active duty. (There's no such thing as an ex-Marine.) Life without the Corps just isn't the same and while I'm looking forward to it, I'm also a bit sad. Shhh...don't tell Dave.

Good News: Only about 2 more months of being a single wife! (I know it sounds crazy, but you know what I mean.) My husband will be home soon!!!! Thank God! No really, I mean it, thanks to God that time is passing quickly and I am surviving.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

God is Going to Smite Me

Ok, so in Jacksonville on Sunday afternoons there are a group of what I call "Jesus People" that gather with their signs and stand at one of the main intersections in town. I can't recall any specifics about the signs other than that they are preaching about being saved. It's a nice advertising concept, but super annoying (to me anyhow). Then they proceed to "shout" at you. Whenever I see them I have the urge to hit them with my car, not very christianlike at all. Well, I was on my way to a friend's house today to meet up for an afternoon of shopping when I was stopped at a red light at the infamous intersection. The "Jesus People" were out in full force. I had AC/DC's "Back in Black" blaring on the radio when the devil made me do it (ok, so I really just felt like it) and I switched it to "Highway to Hell" and turned the volume up just a little bit louder. (I have an awesome stereo system totally on accident, it was there when I bought the vehicle and I refuse to give it up.) As I turned the corner I totally felt like God was going to smite for this action someday. I'm sure the "Jesus People" have good intentions and are perfectly nice people, but they really make me want to hit them with my car by preaching from the street corner.

As a side note I totally should have been an 80's girl with my love for AC/DC and big, curly hair.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Marine Corps Land

Marine Corps Land is where I live, sadly...and gladly too. I call it Marine Corps Land because it feels like I live in the Marine Corps version of Monopoly. Everywhere I go I am surrounded by Marines and Marine Wives and Marine kids...and well...the list goes on from there, but I don't want to bore you. Some days it isn't so bad living here and other days I feel like I'd rather live anywhere but here. Those "other" days tend to be weekends, especially payday weekends. Marine Corps Land on payday is hellish. You can't go anywhere quickly and heaven forbid you need to shop because it will take 5 times as long as it should, you'll see children out who should be home napping or in bed for the night, and you will be ogled by every single Marine you pass. Now, if you were ogled by every single Marine that you passed and you were dressed up (or at least somewhat dressed nicely for a day out) no problem, but when you can roll out of bed and go to Wal-Mart and have Marines look at you like you're not wearing anything...it tends to feel creepy. Not to mention the stupid boots that are out in town on weekends. Ugh. (For you non-military "boots" are those young pups fresh out of boot camp that still think high school was really the life...and talk about it with their buddies nonstop.) I have been forced to listen in on way too many stupid boot conversations while waiting in line somewhere. I've also been forced to witness stupid boot antics in public where they show off just how stupid they are by doing strange things. Then you have the opposite end of the spectrum...the Marines who think they are all that and more that really look like jerks (I'm sorry, I've become very good at picking out guys that are jerks...I've had lots of first hand experience in dealing with them so it's only natural I guess). It makes me want to punch them. I made a "quick" trip to Wal-Mart this evening to get snaps to fix my $15 Ann Taylor Loft jeans and left completely mad at anyone Marine. It's probably just another symptom of my week. I've been in a bad mood this week. Everything pisses me off. Each day I get a little madder about nothing in particular. It's probably because I haven't talked to Dave in over a week so I'm really missing him and frustrated. Hopefully he calls this weekend so I can get happy again. I know he'll call when he can because he misses me just as much as I miss him, but my patience is waning a bit. I go to sleep each night praying my sleep is interrupted by a call from him. So...I'll now head off to bed an pray that I'm rudely awakened by a ringing cell phone.