Catch Up, Otzi, and Maroo!

It promises to be a beautiful California "fall" day this morning.  Blue skies and bright sunshine, with just enough chill in the air for me to wear my fluffy slippers and pull over hoodie around the house.  Before I go out and do the yard work, I wanted to take a few minutes to catch everyone up.

It has been a bit since I posted.  Nothing wrong, just happy and busy with work and life.  I have been working really hard on this thing called "balance."  I have been really trying to limit the work that I bring home.  Which has put a serious crimp in my posting, but has really helped me relax and get more rest.  One of the things that I have been working on is eating better. 
My homemade Lara Bars were delicious!  The protein banana pancakes, well.....not so much.

This eating better theme led me to buying a bigger food processor and a new hobby - fighting with Cuisinart customer service!  The lid never fit properly.  Used it four times, and each time it got more difficult.  On the fourth time, it was impossible to remove and the food processor refused to even work.  After an HOUR with Cusineart "customer service," this is the result.  Their suggestions and my responses were as follows:

Cuisinart:  "Have you tried turning the lid to the left?"
Me:  "Really, the left?  Are you serious?"
(insert holding with scratchy holiday music)
Cuisinart:  "Have you tried soaking the bowl and lid in hot soapy water?"
Me:  "Yes, and I was able to finally force it off."
Cuisinart:  "Oh, good!  I am so glad to have helped you solve your problem."
Me:  "No, you didn't solve my problem.  Am I supposed to soak the bowl and lid in hot soapy water every time I use it?  What about the food inside?  Do I shake it out?  Do I use tweezers to pluck it out?"
(insert holding with scratchy holiday music)
Cuisinart:  "Have you tried force?"
Me:  "How much more force do you expect me to use?"
Cuisinart:  "I don't know what else to tell you."
Me:  "What about how sorry you are and how you are going to replace it?"
(insert holding with scratchy holiday music)

Poor little customer service representative.  Hopefully, I will have more Cuisinart Improv to share with you next time.  I am thinking about dedicating an entirely new blog just about my battles with Cuisinart Customer service.

Back at the Classroom...
My kids have finished their Iceman projects.  They did a fantastic job.  The amount of writing for them was a challenge.  We did three paragraphs together in small group, and then they were responsible for the others.  Are they perfectly cited paragraphs?  Nope, but there are moments of brilliance sprinkled in with the awkward, and I couldn't be happier.  
 From there we moved to character sketches of Maroo.  They had to find five quotes that told them about Maroo.  "This textual evidence tells me that Maroo...," was the sentence frame that we started with, but they ventured from it.  Interpreting the text was difficult for all of them, so I allowed them a few freebies of "description" rather than character.  Remember my kids are reading Far Below - primary grade level.
This last week, we have been concentrating on Science rather than Social Studies.  They were so "written out" from Maroo and Otzi, we did it a little different.  They have PE 5th period, and then come back to me for 6th.  They come back sweaty, smelly, and hyper.  This week, I decided not fight it.  I had a roll of old newspaper print that I cut up into desk sized pieces.  While they were "chilling and watching a video,"  I mentioned that they might want to take some notes and draw some pictures about the video.  I call it visual mapping.  With a word bank on the board, paper and colored pencils on their desks, and a cool video, they were hooked.  Pretty amazing stuff, and a real insight into how their brains work.  Some only drew, some wrote questions, and some did a combination.  I was really pleased to see how much of the important stuff they got down on paper.  No torture, just chillin' and little sneaky learning.

1 comment

  1. Hi Susan,
    Fun blog post, and I'm a first time reader. I too, am a middle school teacher ( sixth grade although still in an elementary school, but in our district half of the six graders are in a "'middle school".... love your better eating ideas.... working out has always been super easy for me (I belong to a cross fit gym and I have run for over twenty years) but you'd never know it by the extra twenty pounds that I carry around due to my love of food! My fellow teachers and i are on a constant quest to find the perfect combination of foods to where the extra lbs to fall off! Anyway, thanks for your post.. the sweaty, smelly humans coming into the classroom after p.e. reminds me of the end of last year when my principal came in and basically almost had to hold her nose because of the aromas coming into the room! Take care and Happy Thanksgiving!
    Carol of The Teacher Team