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Friday, February 4, 2005

I was trying to remember the last time I was in an elementary school. I don’t mean on the grounds, outside on the soccer and/or baseball fields. I’m talking inside an actual building. I think the last time was when David won his student of the year award in sixth grade. That would make it— let’s see— a long time.

Tammy phoned this morning and asked if I could pick D.J. up from school. When she asked me to do it “right now,” I knew it was something serious. He was having a bad reaction to a spider bite from two nights ago, and the school had called her to pick him up. She had two little boys at home already, but only one car seat, so she couldn’t do it herself. (Besides, morning sickness is hitting her hard this time around.)

So I dropped what I was doing, found my shoes (and pants), and raced over to the school. I’m on the emergency list, but she had also called ahead to let them know I was coming. I signed in at the office, and when the nurse walked in she took one look at me and said, “You must be Uncle Mike.”

Well, that is what everyone calls me. Everyone in a younger generation, that is.

D.J. came walking in from the other direction. For some reason I expected him to be his usual bouncy, chatty self, but I could tell right away he was really sick. He even told me. “I’m really sick, Uncle Mike,” he said. “And I’m not happy about it.”

When I got him home the first thing he did was climb upstairs and into bed. Within a few minutes he was sound asleep. He had a low-grade fever at that time, but I found out later it got worse in the afternoon. They took him to the doctor, where his temperature peaked at 103.3ºF before starting to come back down. The doctor wouldn’t let him leave until it did.

I’m getting periodic reports, but he seems to be doing okay. He’s one kid who’s more of a handful when he’s well than when he’s sick, so it might be a quietly convalescent weekend in that house. He has to go back to the doctor every day until they’re convinced he’s well enough. Knowing him, he’ll let us know he’s back to normal, one way or another. As peaceful as it must be right now, let’s hope that’s soon.

26 January 2005

Clouds coming and going.

It was actually weird walking around the school grounds looking for the office this morning. I spent two years working in grade schools when I was in my early twenties, one year as a volunteer aide and another as a student teacher. At the time, I felt like one of the kids. I never felt like an adult among children (which probably explains why I failed so miserably as a teacher). I don’t have that problem any more. I don’t feel like a kid any more, but for some reason I still don’t feel grown up enough to be a teacher. That’s why those who do have all my respect.

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Let me just say this about The Grudge: It was very kind of the director to telegraph every single scary moment, so that while I was not being entertained, I could also not be scared. This movie might have been great in the original Japanese. Maybe it even makes sense. In English, it still seems to be in Japanese. And everyone moves soooo slooooooowly. If they would pick up the pace just a little, it would be about 40 minutes long. Which would be about right.

Recent recommendations can always be found on the links page.

One year ago: Student
"But it would be nice, even if they don't have time to do the homework, if they'd at least pay attention in the classroom, so Joe doesn't have to ask someone to tap them on the shoulder and remind them to look at him."

Two years ago: Late Monday
"Every time I think I have a system for getting through the work week on a smooth, straight track, out come the bumper cars. Blam! Jarred off course again."

Three years ago: Time to Stop
"If the sun doesn't shine and the birds don't sing, I'm a failure."

Four years ago: Downcast
"Eric makes her laugh. David makes her laugh and fixes things around the house. John makes her laugh, fixes things, and comes up with weird suggestions (a two-sided plunger to rest her forehead on!)."

Five years ago: Life Is But a Dream
"This one time, at band camp. . ."

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“Penicillin,” said the doctor.
“Penicillin,” said the nurse.
“Pizza!” said the lady with the alligator purse.