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A Night Off

Sometimes you just need a night off.

I had my first formal observation yesterday.

How’d it go? Well, two of my students got into a fight in the middle of class, I had to leave my group to redirect another group, and the plans I was going to do got thrown out the window and I ended up improvising. I’m dreading my review.

Today, our 5th graders took a field trip to the Griffith Observatory.


It is a great program they have for 5th graders. We got to see a fun scientist make a “comet,” got to see the planetarium show, explore the planets, and more. It was a great experience, but it was also stressful.

Our bus was supposed to leave as close to 8 as possible, as we had to be there by 9. We got on the bus at 8:10. One of my aides ran up to the playground to find one of our students. She brought him back and he didn’t want to go, so she took him back to the office, and the nurse requested to see one of the girls, as it was “urgent.” So, my aide brought him back, brought the girl to the nurse, and then brought her back to the bus. We pulled out at 8:20.

We pulled in at 9:02. Whew! Except that we were stuck behind all the buses unloading, so we didn’t get into the building until almost 9:15, and were late to the show.


After the comet show (which was HILARIOUS), we headed to the planetarium, where I was scolded by the tour guide for having students who weren’t as quiet as the smaller schools across the aisle. During the entire program in the planetarium, I paced back and forth, making sure that everyone was in their seats and listening. When I let a few girls use the restroom at 11 (3 hours after they last used the bathroom), I was scolded by a woman who worked there that I should have let them use the restroom AFTER their program. (I understand her frustration, but frankly, she didn’t tell us there’d be “free time” later, and I wasn’t going to make them hold it for another hour.

As we walked up the staircase to look out at binoculars and see the view, one of the docents said, “Wouldn’t you rather be here than at school?” One of my students complained that he’d rather be home.


We got back, we had lunch and finished out our day.

My head was killing me.

I picked up my son, went home, and collapsed on the couch, lying down and hoping my headache went away.

I took some ibuprofin and picked up some yarn and needles and “Once Upon A Knit” and cast on to knit for the first time in a year.

I watched the Goldbergs with my kids and husband. I watched “This is Us” and cried. And I’m headed to bed in a few minutes.

I didn’t do any schoolwork. I didn’t do any grading, or organizing, or ANYTHING.

I had ice cream.

My head is finally feeling better, and I’m going to bed.

I didn’t do ANY schoolwork and am 100% Totally okay this. Sometimes you need a night off.

Tomorrow’s a new day.



Local Color, Space Edition

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Once again, I’m going to post about one of the cool things about living in the Los Angeles area. This time it’s NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) Open House.

Once a year, JPL opens it’s doors to the public for a peek at what they’ve got going on in their labs. As we learned today in a movie narrated by Harrison Ford,

there are 10 NASA centers in the USA, each with a different specialty. JPL specializes in robotics that are sent into space to collect data about planets and our solar system. (I know it’s more complicated than that, but this is how the kids and I can understand it. 🙂 )

They sent the first satellite into space in 1958, called Explorer. Since then, they’ve had several missions into space, including the famous Mars Rover programs.

We got to see the prototypes today. I have to say, I was a little hesitant to go to the open house today. I wanted to stay home and do laundry (there’s a huge pile, trust me), but I have to say, I’m very glad I went. It was very cool!

My "artsy" photo of the Mars Rover driving right over giant rocks.

I was pleasantly surprised to see not only a lot of people there at the open house, but ALL walks of life. Truly. It’s encouraging to me to see the public showing such interest in “geeky” things such as rocket science and the space program, waiting in long lines to see movies about what we’ve found in space, rather than staying home and watching reality tv on a beautiful Sunday morning.

We got to go into the Spacecraft Assembly Facility, and were told that the reason the lab was so empty was because one of the crafts was just sent to Florida in preparation for it’s mission! Very exciting!

And, we got to see some of the robotics.

This guy’s name is Athlete.

The big one’s Fido. The little blue guy jumps.

My husband, usually not one for buying trinkets for trinket’s sake, happily bought JPL bears for the girls and Space Chess for the boy.

They even had food – several choices – for lunch. (Burgers, brats & dogs, Mexican food…)  My only issue with the day, aside from parking so far away, was the bathroom situation.

(Although, I suppose it could have been much, much worse than a honeywagon.)

If you’re in the L.A. area and into space and cool, smart rocket scientisty things, I highly recommend putting the JPL Open House on your calendar for next year! It’s usually in May, so keep checking back with the JPL site to find out when it’s going to be!