Sunday, October 31, 2004

Sabbath Day Hauntings

We had thousands of bags of candy to give out last night at the mall. I was dressed up in my pink and black"rock star" get-up. The kids started coming at noon. They were really cute. "Twick-o-Tweat!!" By four-o-clock we were out of candy. I felt too bad turning them down and so we decided to start handing out mis-wraps, mint truffles that had other companies' logos on them. I'm pretty sure we weren't supposed to do that. In fact, we decided never to bring it up again. We handed out about 500 of those. Our supervisor had told us yesterday that if we ran out of candy that we were just supposed to stop and tell them we were out. So at 5-o-clock that's just what I did. I went out and took down our orange "Trick-or-Treating Here" signs. But parents got angry. They came in anyway. We told them we were out of candy. They said, "A candy store out of candy?! What about that right there?" They pointed to our jar of unwrapped mint truffles that we hand out as samples. We told them that they weren't wrapped and we felt that that wouldn't be okay. Isn't that breaking the biggest and oldest Halloween Trick-or-Treating rule? They said to shut up and give their kids the candy. And they want one too! Fine! So we started delving out unwrapped mint truffles. I handed the job over to our new 16-year-old employee. My five our stretch of bending over the counter to hand out candy had to end. I pretended to make caramel apples. We were on our last jar of samples when I heard him. Mr. Nasty. He started yelling at Miss Sixteen. He told her that there was a line and that it was horribly rude to hand out one at a time. He tried to grab the jar from her to spill them on the counter. She pulled away and said she couldn't do that. The candy wasn't wrapped. He started yelling at her saying her method of distribution was too slow (as he was holding up the line by stopping long enough to yell at her.) I snapped. I did. I had dealt with rude parents all night. I told that guy that we were doing all we could. That we had taken down out orange signs hours ago. That we had planned for thousands of children but that we were out and making due with what we had for the children. And that he could take his bad attitude right out of my store. He screamed and yelled. Security came. His kids ran away. I prayed that they would be kidnapped and taken to live with somebody who had a soul.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004


Tomorrow is Halloween at Wasatch Elementary. It's the cutest day of the year and a very important one for every teacher's sanity. At least it is for mine. And I think it has saved many a child's life. Oftentimes when a child is being absurdly annoying or defiant often mutter, "You're lucky you're cute right now!" And it's true. I believe that there are certain children who's lives have been spared just because they're cute. Halloween strengthens this childhood defense. Because during those times that I'm at my end, when I think the only thing left is to scream and run away leaving the situation unsolved, I can picture that child in their Halloween costume and laugh a little thus sparing the child's life and years of therapy for both of us.

Last year there was this little hellion of a child. Only six years old but very defiant, uncooperative and rude. Every day was a struggle. Every thing was a struggle. I was ready to snap. But then came along good ol' Halloween to the rescue. The kid showed up with a home-made frog costume created out of a green sweat suit, foam styrofoam balls for eyes on his green hood and even little green felt frog feet strapped to his feet. He came running out to recess. No, he came hopping out to recess (literally) and I laughed so hard I cried. And from that day forward every time he was just about to make me crazy, I pictured him in that frog costume and it seemed that all was right in the world again.

And so I look forward to tomorrow's festivities when the hundreds of children at Wasatch will dress up and parade around the gym in their costumes. But almost as much, I look forward to being able to dress up. I spent almost an hour tonight in Claire's picking out the perfect accessories to go along with my costume. And since it seems that there will be no other opportunity to dress up this year, I have rise to the occasion tomorrow and get all of my Halloween fever relieved during our half day in the first grade at Wasatch Elementary. And maybe, just maybe, when one of my co-workers or student gets frustrated with me they'll picture me in my Halloween costume, give a little giggle and let it slide.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Table for One

I had another long day. I got out of class at 7pm and left from campus to run some errands. I went to University Mall, bought a stopwatch for class and then realized that I hadn't eaten yet that day. So I wandered into the food court, bought a sandwich and sat down to eat it. I was almost done with my meal when I suddenly snapped out of my own thoughts to look around. There were whole families talking and fighting over fries, couples, groups of friends. And I was sitting alone.

And I didn't care. I looked at my watch. I had to hurry.

I finished my sandwich, picked up my things and continued on with my errands.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

I Believe

Yesterday, in the First Grade I was sitting in the back of the classroom hidden by a book case. Fortunately for me the book case didn't block the sound of this conversation between two of the boys in the back row...
Colson: Did you know that Santa Claus is magic?
Jake: Yeah.
C: Cuz he is.
J: I know.
C: No, really. He really is magic.
J: Duh, okay? I know! I even saw him once!
C: No way! Really?
J: Ya, I was asleep on Christmas Eve and Santa Claus climbed through my window because he couldn't get in the house any other way and when he was climbing in my bedroom window he accidentally stepped on my little sister's squeaky toy and it squeaked and it woke me up and I opened my eyes and I saw him! And he looked surprised and scared that I saw him and ran away.
C: WOAH!!! Really?
J: Ya, it was awesome!
C: I can't believe you actually saw the real Santa Claus!
J: I know. It was really cool.
C: Hey, you guys! Everybody! Jake saw the real Santa Claus! He climbed into his bedroom window on Christmas Eve!
Class: Ooh! Aaw! Woah! Cool! Awesome!!

Monday, October 18, 2004

Rah Rah, Ry-Ry!

Today's the Ryster's birthday. The good ol' Buckarama*. And I do mean old. 25. A quarter of a century. Old. I remember when my sister turned 25. And I called her and teased her and made her cry. And she cursed me that one day I too would turn 25. I didn't believe her. But now it's only 2 years away. Okay one year and 2 months. Oh, why did I have to tease her? Why am I cursed to one day become like Ry-Ry? Old. And kind of weird. With imaginable hair. Happy Birthday, Ry-Ry!

*I am not responsible for the contents of this website. It was not thoroughly explored. I pretty much just saw the page that said, "It's not about Buck" and almost died laughing and thought it best to write a blog that would allow me to share it and celebrate the guy's birthday at the same time.

Friday, October 15, 2004


I was running late to work yesterday. Just like most days. Okay. All days. But yesterday I was a bit more late than usual. It's my job to get a little girl off of the school bus in the morning since she can't walk down the steps by herself. I usually make it right before the bus pulls up but yeterday I found myself driving two cars behind the bus which meant I had to really hurry. I pulled into a parking space, grabbed my backpack out of the back seat and made a mad dash towards the parked bus. I was almost there when my backpack suddenly rejected it's load of text books, binders, childrens' reinforcers and trail mix. My water bottle shot off towards the bushes. I took off my backpack and started to pick up my belongings. The bus driver or a peer would help the little girl off the bus. She'd be fine. But I was off to a rough start. But then a little fourth grader who had been playing football with his friends ran over and started helping me pick up.
"Your stuff just fell out?"
"Ya, I guess I didn't zip it up all the way. Thanks for helping."
"No problem. This one time, my cousin gave me his old backpack to use which I thought was really cool until I used it and it had a huge hole in the bottom and all of my stuff dumped out just like yours."
"That stinks."
"Ya, so it's okay. It's really not a big deal. It happens."
I thanked him again for helping me pick up my things and for being so kind and he ran off as quickly as he had come. I smiled. It was cute having a little fourth-grader reassure me. And I wanted to keep him. He could be my little reassurer. That way whenever I did anything stupid he could tell me that it wasn't a big deal and that it could happen to anyone. And whenever I got frustrated he could tell me that I was doing the right thing and could handle it. And when I was pressed for time he could run around and help me pick up the mess I made. And I wouldn't mind keeping him around because he's a cute kid and pretty small so maybe he doesn't eat that much.

Sunday, October 10, 2004


Jon Harmon said that I could make up that word senitheft and that it if I said that it meant "stealing from old people" that he would support that. Thanks, Jon. I appreciate that support. You've always been a dear friend to my warped vocabulary.

I chose this title because my parents may very well be senithieves. They've stolen money from me before. They steal money from my little brother and now, I do believe they have moved on to my very old grandmother. The cause for this reasoning are supported by the two following examples.

A) My mother offered me my grandmother's money to pay for school even though I know my grandmother very well and she has never gotten me a gift over the sum of $20. I refused the money trying to prevent senitheft.

B) Today when I was talking to my parents trying to decide whether or not to come home for Thanksgiving, my parents offered to let my grandmother pay for the trip. The conversation went as follows... (the phone went back and forth between my parents)
Em: I don't know if I can afford both holidays. And I have stuff to do down here.
Mom: Do you want to come home for Thanksgiving?
Em: Yes, but I don't want it to break me.
Mom: You should come home.
Em: It would be nice.
Dad: Are you coming home for Thanksgiving?
Em: I don't know if I can afford both holidays. And I have stuff to do down here if I can't come home.
Dad: Do you want to come home for Thanksgiving?
Em: Yes, but not if it'll break me.
Dad: Huh, let me talk to your mom.
Em: okay.
Dad: Your mom says that your grandmother says she'll give you the money for the trip if you want to come hom.
Em: Dad...
Dad: What?
Em: Did she really say that?
Dad: Yes...
Em: Dad? Are you sure?
Dad: Well, mom said she said that.
Em: Are you sure we're not stealing from an old lady?
Dad: (laughs) How about you talk to mom and grandma about that?
Em: Okay.
Mom: What?
Em: Are you sure we're not stealing from grandma?
Mom: Yes! You're grandma really wants you to be with the family for Thanksgiving.
Em: Are you sure?
Mom: Want me to ask her again?
Em: Yes.
Mom: (shouts to grandma) Mom? Do you want Emily to come home for Thanksgiving?
Grandma in the background: What?
Mom: Do you want Emily to come home for Thanksgiving?
Grandma: Ya... sure... whatever...
Mom: (to me) Your grandma says she really wants you to come home.
Em: But you didn't mention her paying for it. Does she know that her money's been offered?
Mom: YES! Gosh! (to grandma) Are you willing to help Emily pay for her trip home so she can be with the family for Thanksgiving?
Grandma: Uh...
Mom: So that she can come home and the whole family can be here?
Grandma: Fine! Give her the money!
Mom: (to me) Your grandma says that she really wants you to come home and that she's happy to give you the money.
Em: Huh. It didn't sound like that to me. I have enough in my account right now to cover it so how about I pay for the trip myself and if later I can't afford groceries then I'll call and grandma can help me buy some food. But I think I'll be okay.
Mom: Ya, okay. That'll work.
Grandma from the background: Does she want the money or not? You need me to write a check right now?
Mom: No, I think Emily's going to try and do it herself.
Grandma: Oh, alright...

I may have prevented senitheft this time but I can't always be there to prevent it and now I'm a really poor white girl. D'oh! It's a good thing Seattle is gorgeous. Like Kat.