Thursday, September 27, 2012

#1 Things I wish I could use

I wish I could use this.......
as my screen saver on the interactive whiteboard in my classroom.
It would just make it so much easier getting the message across to my new class every year. Instead of which, each September it takes them about three weeks to discover it for themselves!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Love is......

In religion class today we were discussing Love.
"If aliens arrived on Earth from outer space, how would you explain the word "Love" to them?"
Silence...and then some words of wisdom.
"It means to really , REALLY like something."
"I think it means to be affectionate."
"If you love something, you think you will die if you don't get it." That one floored me!

But of course there is always one in every audience.
" Love means no score in tennis."
Far too sceptical for a twelve year old!

"As the 2008 Wimbledon fortnight played itself out, the event offered all of its traditional trappings — immaculately mown grass, clean yellow tennis balls, breakfasts of strawberries and cream and well-dressed faceless alien androids."

Monday, September 24, 2012

Baby fashionista

Anyone who has opened a glossy magazine in the past year is fully aware of the importance of the latest accessory, namely a co-ordinating baby!
Well, my grandniece Megan and I can give Harper and Victoria a run for their money anyday. Here we are in our totally matching navy and biscuit outfits yesterday.

But even better are our accessories.

Giraffe skin is SOOOOO this season!

Friday, September 14, 2012

A ripping good time

There is a beauty salon in the town near to my school. They have some up with a great client-attracting scheme called "Waxy Wednesday". This means that you can get half price waxing've guessed it, Wednesday! Now in these recessionary times, anything that saves some of my ever shrinking mulah is very welcome.
But get this.......the things a teacher has to take into consideration.
Firstly I had to to go on a reconnaissance mission to find out who worked there. Can you imagine the scenario if I just walked in, only to be greeted by one of my past-pupils?
At the very least, it would be soooo embarrassing. But horror of horrors, imagine if it was a disgruntled ex-pupil.
Oh there's that bitch who gave me extra homework to do back in 1992. Payback time!
"Now just lie back and relax. This won't hurt a bit."
Hot wax applied and........RIPPPPPP.
It brings a tear to my eye just to even think about it!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Technology bites back

My previous blog was a slight satire on modern technology and about the way that sometimes the old ways are the best.
As if to prove a point, a potential disater was averted by the mere push of a button....or two.
My nephew Niall headed up to a Debs in the big smoke of Dublin!
Not only that, it was also his 19th birthday.

I called into his Dad and Mum's house later that evening, to find them in a bit of a dither! Niall had just texted to say that he hadn't brought his ID as he didn't think he'd need it at a debs.
Mistake? Big mistake!
He wasn't being let in.
Now in ye olden days his parents would have had to go back up, to either
a) bring him his ID
b) bring him home by the hasp of the arse for not bringing it in the first place.

I sprung into my MacGyver mode. I whipped out my iphone, took a picture of the relevant page  of his passport and sent it on to him. He received it and showed it to the bouncer who had stopped him from going in.
A few seconds later my phone beeped.
"I'm IN!!! Tnks a mill Noeleen."

What did we do before mobile phones?
Isn't modern technology brilliant..... and this time I'm not being sarcastic!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012 arse!

SAORVIEW is Ireland’s first free digital television service received by aerial. It brings you all your favourite Irish channels, crystal clear pictures, better quality sound, on-screen programme menus and digital teletext all free-to-air.

There is a major drive on at the moment making sure that every TV in the country is ready for the big change over in October. Ah, isn't modern technology great!
On Sunday my sister Jacqueline invited all the family up to her house for dinner. Never ones to pass up a free feed that is handed to us, we all duly arrived on time. The weather was promised fine and 22 degrees, one of the best days this year after our washout of a summer, so hubby Michael was good enough to put up the gazebo at the front of the house for our convenience.
It's just a big tent, Michael!
Actually looking at the photo, it reminds me a bit of  My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding!!!

The was one major  dilemma. The All Ireland Football Semi-Final was on between Dublin and Mayo. How were the sports fanatics supposed to see it?
Well, Michael being the technological sort of guy that he is, brought out a TV and set it up for our perusal.
"Eh, Michael. Why is the picture so fuzzy?"
"I think it must be snowing in Croke Park!"
"Isn't that gas, seeing that it's so sunny here, and we only down the road!"
"Ha ha very funny," retorted Michael as he twiddled and twisted cables in an effort to get a better reception.
Not one to be defeated, he eventually got a perfect picture. And what piece of modern technology did he use to achieve this? None other than........
Ah yes, isn't it great being part of the 21st century.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

First Day back at school.

All good things must come to an end.
Never in the history of the State has there been a more contentious issue that that of teachers' holidays.
TD's holidays, which are waaay longer rarely get a mention.
I make NO apologies for mine.
Every time someone opens their mouth, after discovering what I do for a living, hell bent on berating me about my summers off, I immediately cut them off at the pass by saying
"Yeah, yeah, you're dead right. Why work when you can teach?"
Now, I don't believe that for a minute but I find that it usually knocks the wind out of any argument that they had formed in their minds, and shuts them up!
Recent years have seen more than their fair share of unpleasantries. My wages have been culled, my pension is in serious doubt, pupil-teacher ratio is on the rise and essential services needed for the effective running of a classroom have been swiped from under my feet.
Have I rioted or gone on strike?
Hell no.
I have grumbled but I do believe that, despite the fact that I didn't cause it, this little ole country of ours is in shite and we all have to knuckle down and take our punishment.
lay one finger on my holidays and this worm will turn! In the words of Dr. Bruce Banner aka The Incredible Hulk
"Don't make me angry. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry."

I am entitled to......nay I DESERVE, every single cocktail I sipped as the sun went down in Turkey this summer.
This week saw the reopening of my school. Teachers were in on Thursday. I had the best day ever in school, organising my schemes
which I wrote over the holidays, just sayin'!
backing all my notice boards with nicely coloured paper and generally getting the place in order.
Then the kids were in on Friday.........
Despite the fact that I have been teaching for over twenty years I still toss and turn the dreaded night before school starts. All sorts of things run through my head
"What will the kids be like?"
"Will they respond to my style of teaching?"
"Will our school be getting a Whole School Evaluation bringing the dreaded cigire this year?" Feck!
And the most important question of all....
"What sort of parents am I getting?"

Friday morning saw me standing in front of 31 eager but slightly worried faces. It's strange the little things that reignite my enthusiasm for teaching. For the past few years I have had a majority of boys in my class. Last year there were 20 of them as opposed to only 8 girls. No matter how I tried to prevent it, I did find myself leaning more towards testosterone-friendly topics. This year the girls are in a 2:1 majority.
Yippee! I hope this means I can teach some One Direction songs and have an indept discussion upon the release of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2!!!

I always feel an added pressure being responsible for Sixth class. It is a huge year in their lives. There are post-primary schools to be chosen, entrance exams to be taken despite the fact that they are condoned by the Department and of course Confirmation preparation - and all this at a time when their hormones are released and causing havoc with their bodies and their emotions. On second thoughts, I am not so sure about the merits of having all those girls in my charge! Ah well, my hormones have had much more practise at getting their own way than theirs!
So I start a new school year invigorated and ready to take on all the challenges and shite that will be thrown at me this year. And why is this?
Case closed.

The Law of the Universe states that for every action there is an equal an opposite reaction. That means that for my state of sadness at the finishing of a wonderful holiday, there was someone experiencing an equally strong sense of euphoria.
 And I think I found her......

To all teachers heading back to the coalface of education, let me say
May the odds be ever in your favour.
Let the Games begin..........