Thursday, December 30, 2010

Ode to Yaktrax

Dear Yaktrax,

When we first met, I was a little bit intimidated you. You have a brusque exterior, and seemed a bit tough to get to know.

What I soon realized though, is that toughness is mighty handy in slippery situations.

I have to admit that while I had often wondered about you, I really didn't think the reality of you would live up to my expectations.

I LOVE being pleasantly surprised!

Thanks for being you, and I hope that I am not being too forward if I tell you that I am really looking forward to all of the time that we are going to spend together this winter!



Wednesday, December 22, 2010


I arrived at school this morning and the front stairwell (I teach on a stage with three entrances and three sets of stairs) was illuminating a lovely poinsettia plant!

The card said:

Meredith -

Thank you for the holiday cheer you have spread through the school and community this season.

I recognized the handwriting (and thoughtfulness) of my assistant principal!

What a beautiful way to start the morning!

And, today is a half day, and everyone is just so excited for the holidays!
The K-2 students are getting ready for their concert --- my Soccer Boy will be IN this concert next year!!


The snow is gently falling - beautiful big, fluffy snowflakes, that just make everything feel new, and fresh. I love the snow!

The next couple of days will be rushed around, wrapping presents, and buying at least one more gift card, making homemade salsa (my job is picking the cilantro leaves off the stems), baking more Christmas cookies, reminding Soccer Boy that, no, it isn't Christmas YET, but it is getting closer, and all of that jazz.

So if I don't get back here, have a wonderful Christmas, everyone!!!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

I Ran Today!

This morning when the alarm heralded 5:15 (o' dark early) a.m., rather than just blindly setting the alarm for another 30 minutes, I actually got up out of bed, and located all of my running gear. That was no small feat since the house has been cleaned, and re-messed, and re-cleaned several times since the last time I was able to run.

I was so excited to try out my new base layer shirt from Kohls, and my new warmer running pants, also from Kohls. They both worked great. I did layer another shirt, and then a sweatshirt on top of the base layer shirt, and I was quite warm during the run!

It was a beautiful, lightly snowy morning. Running on a little layer of snow is like running on a cloud! I love it! But, when I turned around to head back home, that side of the road was much more slippery. I don't know why, so more walk breaks happened on that side of the road.
I am not concerned, though, because under the tree in a few short days will be a pair of YakTraks waiting for me!

The one bad thing about my run this morning -- it is evident that my Nathan reflective slap-bracelets don't work for anything! Either that or the drivers in my neighborhood that are usually so courteous to me running on the side of the road and give me a large berth during the daylight are just freakishly mean during the pre-dawn hours. I would prefer to think that they just didn't see me, and not that I was target practice. :) So, I think we will be using the $10 coupon to L.L. Beans to be getting the clip on light that we saw there when we got my NEW WINTER JACKET, which will ALSO be under the tree for me in a few short days.

I am getting giddy from all the excitement.

And I am just so, so, so happy that I got to run today!!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Concert Recap, More Technology, Life in General

Last night was the Holiday Concert for my 6th grade band, my Wind Ensemble (fancy name for the 7th and 8th grade band), and the Community Band that I also direct. It was a great concert, even if it had a rocky start because the bleachers didn't get pulled out, which meant that my musicians had nowhere to sit when they weren't performing! Thank goodness both the principal and assistant principal were there, and they helped track down a custodian to get the bleachers opened up. The audience was very patient, thankfully!!

The best thing? One of my high school students was babysitting the boys for me while the concert was going on, and she must have worked some voodoo magic on Soccer Boy, because he SAT STILL and watched most of the concert!! Cuddle Bug adores music, and in fact only fussed in between songs. But I was so excited to look over and see my little boy being so well behaved! Wow! He is actually growing up!!

My students know that the last days before a concert are a scary time known as "pre-concert freak out mode." They are extra patient with me (usually) and bear with me as I ramble and prattle about dynamics, and fingerings, and FOR THE LAST time will you PLEASE play an A NATURAL there? Overall though, I was pretty pleased with the way things were shaping up for the concert. Most of the groups were prepared. But there was this ONE PIECE that all joking aside gave me NIGHTMARES. I couldn't pull it from the program. We had invested too much time into it. (Too bad it didn't sound like it!) But in the performance of it we stayed together and got through the tricky section, and sounded great on the other parts of the song. A big, huge, sigh of relief was had by all. :)

Now to get ready for my high school band concert, which is on Monday night. Oh. That reminds me, I need to find a babysitter, since my miracle worker will be PLAYING in that one. That is the serious bummer about using my wonderful students as babysitters. They are always IN MY CONCERTS! LOL


Here in Maine we have the MLTI -- The Maine Learning Technology Initiative. Or something like that. What it basically means is that 7th and 8th graders have these amazing MacBooks loaded with really cool software to use. Being a music/band teacher, I have had very little reason to try out some of the software, with the exception of GarageBand-- which is SO MUCH FUN!!!
White MacBook laptopImage via Wikipedia

But this year I am so excited to be using a program called NoteShare. It is amazing. It is completely interactive. I have created my ENTIRE guitar class notebook in NoteShare. The kids will learn the song, record themselves, and then share the song with me, ALL USING THIS PROGRAM!! Sweet! We tried it out a little bit today. That was kind of cool! It takes a long time to teach the technology, but when everyone gets it, it is awesome!!


On Sunday, my Soccer Boy has his preschool Christmas Concert! I am so excited! He has been singing Christmas carols (you should hear him sing O Little Town of Bethlehem!! ) all the time. It makes my heart melt!!