Monday, August 06, 2007

Observe the observant

Today was the first official work day for teachers, faculty, and staff a.k.a "Team MPS." It is always fun to sit back during the first faculty meeting of the school year and check out the new faces...first job, new to that school, new to the county, new to public schools, etc. The new ones are way fun to watch because they have these giddy little grins on their faces the whole time, and they laugh at every joke, and they raise their hand at every rhetorical question. Trust me, I'm not being cynical...and I am not saying that I don't share the giddy grin, but there is something different about a person and the way they look before you actually get to know them and before you learn what is really going on in their little heads.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

My Summer Summary

This has been a wonderful summer. Ten weeks of seemingly ordinary events has given me the chance to relax, work, travel, read, spend some time with friends, and as a result, realize just how quickly time flies.
The summer began with the death of my beloved grandmother, Kelly Coleman. Kelly died at the age of 90 but in those 90 years lived a very full life. My fondest memory of her is simple...sitting at the kitchen table with her...chatting about ordinary things, smoking a Pall Mall -laugh out loud-. She always offered me one by saying "You want one Miss Priss" - again laughing out loud because I never considered myself prissy but it's ok because I always felt prissy when I smoked. If you have ever really enjoyed a cigarette or some other form of smoked tobacco you will know what I'm talking about. This went on for about ten years. My mother always shrieked when she had to watch me smoke with my grandmother, "Laura when are you going to quit that nasty habit! You don't do that all the time do you!?!?!" I would glance over at Kelly, who knew darn well she wasn't the only one I shared these occasions with, and would say every time, "I guess I'll quit when she quits." So when she quit, I actually did too. I have had a few hiccups but for the most part...I do claim to be a "nonsmoker."
I worked for a few weeks in June and July at a local pecan shop. I worked the register as people checked out and also served up a good portion of Mayfield ice cream. I snacked on Betsy's cheese straws and Honey glazed pecans and ate lunches across the street at the Farmer's Market Cafe...mmm delicious.
This summer I read two books: Running with Scissors by Augusten Bourroughs; I also watched the movie and felt it was very accurate...but I like the book better. I read The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd. I LOVED THIS BOOK. I RECOMMEND THIS BOOK - anyone who loves the coming of age/civil rights era/Southern flare type...picture Scout (To Kill a Mockingbird) running away from home and meeting Idgy (Fried Green Tomatos) except Idgy is black. Easy reader...couldn't put it down...changed my life. Now I am on "Eat, Pray, Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert and so far it is amazing! It is a memoir of "one woman's search for everything across Italy, India, and Indonesia" - NYT. Anne Lamott says, "A wonderful book, brilliant and personal, rich in spiritual insight." My favorite time to read in right when I wake up in the morning. I prepare a steaming cup of vanilla caramel coffee and hop right back in bed! I am more focused in the mornings and less likely to fall (back) asleep.
I went to a few weddings this summer. Not much to report about these. I am happy for the couples. I love seeing my friends/relatives. The food was good. I still hate high heels.
In July I went to North Carolina with Nick and the MFUMC youth group on a mission trip. I helped restore an old condemned trailor. My room mate was our Pastor J. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know her. We talked about almost everything under the sun. I also enjoyed getting to know the youth participants on a deeper level. Overall the trip was a huge success. (re-reading this paragraph reminds me of what a creative writing journal entry might be like in fifth grade, LOL). Also, on the trip, I had my first White Water experience. I was really nervous about it at first...especially when I felt how cold the water was! After we took the first rapid...the sights, the sounds, the sensations, I was hooked! It was so awesome to feel that rush and scream as loud as I wanted! I loved jumping out of the my clothes...during the calmer parts of the Ocoee and getting to really take in the Beauty that God as created.
Lunches this summer are worth mentioning. I strongly recommend: The Farmer's Market Cafe, Jalepenos, The Blue Moon Cafe, Chris' Hot Dogs, Mrs. Mary's, J. Alexander's (Nasheville, TN), Chick-Fil-A.
Monday I start work again. Teacher/Staff Development. Apparently my office and therapy room has moved down the hallway. Absolutely no complaints. I don't know many other SLP's that are even given an office and room to themselves. And by the way, November I will reach tenure. Again, how quickly time flies.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

"Quarter Life Crisis" Crisis???

(PREFACE) Some of you might remember a blog I posted Saturday September 30, 2006 called "Quarter Life Crisis." I started off my post by saying that I did not know the author of this essay that I was quoting but that I had received it in a CHAIN EMAIL ...and the email (which I still have) is dated 3/21/2005. And today 8/2/07 I get this email ...

On 8/1/07, Brenda-But my friends call me Lola wrote: Brenda-But my friends call me Lola has left a new comment on your post "Quarter-Life Crisis":


It has come to my attention that my article, Quarter Life Crisis, an essay written for PLAY magazine in April 2001 is up on your site. I am very flattered but disheartened to find that I was not given credit for my work.

My piece was a very personal essay that was about myself and friends and has unfortunately been published online in some areas without my byline. I do not mind the essay being up, I wrote it to help young people like myself but please do be kind enough to give me credit.

I am sure you understand why I would require credit and worse how devastating plagiarism can feel.

Thanks so much!

Brenda Della Casa (Lola)
Author, Cinderella Was A Liar

So this is my attempt to give credit where credit is due.
And may I just state for the record, I never took credit or cash for this piece. I thought by posting "Author Unknown" I was being ...polite???