Saturday, September 28, 2013


I have always felt that I would never have a man in my life. Let’s face it men are usually looking for someone that “the guys” will drool over or someone that will take care of them as well as their mommy. Don’t get me wrong I love men. I’m just a realist and I know all those years I spent with friends hanging out in bars wishing that some handsome man (Yes, we women are also on the search for “arm candy”.) would spot me from across the room and say to his friends, “Hey, the overweight crippled kid in the wheelchair is mine so stay away!” was a huge waist of time.  Over the years as I have read many romance novels and watched many hunks on T.V., in my mind I have designed the perfect man. My perfect man is a combination of Arthur Fonzarelli from “Happy Days”, Angus MacGyver from “MacGyver” and Noah Puckerman from “Glee”. If one combines the three names, one comes up with the lilting name of Noargus MacPuckzarelli.

It makes me sad to think that there is now many generations of people that don’t even have the slightest notion as to who Arthur Fonzarelli and Angus MacGyver are. Arhtur Fonzarelli was the motorcycle-riding, leather-jacket-wearing, bad boy on “Happy Days”. He invented cool and with a snap of his fingers men would quake and girls would swoon. But, of course, “The Fonz” or Fonzie had a side that was a soft as marshmallow fluff. He was wise beyond his years and had a soft spot in his heart for Richie Cunningham’s mom, Mrs. C. Mrs. C saw straight through the tough, cement-like exterior of The Fonz. She saw a kind, misunderstood boy that was only looking to fit in with the “not cool” crowd. Throughout those “Happy Days”-watching years, I knew Fonzie would date a crippled kid. Fonzie viewed others with his heart. He saw in people what was invisible to the eye. I dreamed of marrying The Fonz. I imagined him leaving for work to go to his blue-collar job in his leather jacket and jeans and on the way out the door giving me an ever so gentle kiss on the cheek, then getting on his motorcycle, giving me once last wink and a thumbs-up-“Aaaaaaaah” as he drove off into the sunrise leaving me on the porch of our simple but loving home with three little Fonzarellis at my side.

MacGyver is a whole different kind of man. He was somewhat attractive but what got me was his ability to build anything with a piece of wire and a Swiss Army knife. To this day when someone has to try and repair something in an unconventional way one says, “I guess I am going to have to ‘MacGyver’ this. Because MacGyver was so unconventional in his thoughts, home life (He lived on a boat.), and the way he did things I know he would have dated a crippled kid. I dreamed of marrying MacGyver. I imagined him leaving for work doing something secretive, (He too, like Fonzie, is a jeans wearing-man) and on the way out the door giving me an ever so gentle kiss on the cheek, but instead of he having to lean over to kiss me my wheelchair, that has been “MacGyvered”, rises up so my cheek is level with his lips, then getting in his Jeep, giving me once last wink as he drove off into the sunrise to save the world with nothing but his Swiss Army knife and a piece of wire leaving me on the porch of our extremely “MacGyvered” but loving home where if I want something out of the high cupboard all I have to do is push a button and it comes to me.

Noah Puckerman “Puck” is a womanizing cad on “Glee”. High school girls and women fall at his feet. But he, too, has a crack in his tough-guy exterior that oozes with sensitivity and to top it all off – he sings.  I love a man that sings. I don’t dream of marrying Noah Puckerman. He is much too young for me and that would be weird. But his ability to croon completes perfect man.

So now I wait and wait and wait for Noargus MacPuckzarelli to find me because that’s the way it happens in romance novels. Because I have a love for Captain Phil and swarthy pirates, when we meet he will introduce himself as Noarrrrrrrghus with a tiny bit of a Scottish accent We will first have a love-hate relationship because that’s the way it happens in romance novels. But he will realize that he can’t live without me and that I complete him and we will live happily ever after because that’s the way it happens in romance novels.

I dreamed of marrying Noargus MacPuckzarelli. I imagined him leaving for work as a super hero with his super hero costume under in his leather jacket and jeans and in his jean’s pocket is a Swiss Army knife and a piece of wire. We live in a cripple-kid-customized “MacPuckzarellied” house where everything works and if something breaks, it is fixed immediately to my liking. Noargus sings me awake in the morning and, like on “Glee”, we dance around the kitchen making breakfast. On the way out the door Noargus gives me an ever so gentle kiss on the cheek, then gets in his Lamborghini (Oh, did I forget to say we are stinking rich?), gives me once last wink and a thumbs-up-“Aaaaaaaah” as he drives off into the sunrise to save the world while our two perfect children, our well-trained dog and I wave good-bye.

Paco’s Perspective

I hate to throw a wrench into the “perfect man” works but what happened to your undying love for Clinton Kelly? What about Noargus Kelly-MacPuckzarelli? In your dream he could also pick out the perfect clothes for you before heading off to save the world.

The Flip Side

You need to either stop drinking or start drinking.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Wouldn't It Be Nice?

Wouldn’t it be nice, if there was equity among public schools? It is appalling how the schools in the higher tax brackets have more and always will have more. There are some schools in poorer neighborhoods where the teachers are spending all their hard earned money to compensate for the lack of very basic supplies. The federal government created Title I funds to fill this gap the size of the Grand Canyon but those funds are lacking and have a tremendous amount of restrictions and rules on the use of those funds.

Not only is there a huge disparity among schools across the state, but I am also amazed at the disparity of funding for schools within a district. This year I am now teaching at a school that is in a much lower socioeconomic area but still within the Cartwright district. I am amazed at the lack of anything and everything at my new assignment.

I am passionate about creating life-long readers. In order for students to love reading they must be exposed to excellent literature with complex plot line (which doesn’t include my nemesis Captain Underpants) and over the years I have accumulated many books without any help from any tax money. (Yes, I’ve paid for them all myself.) I have more books than God has angels. When I entered my new room I was amazed at what was there or what wasn’t there. There was one bookshelf four feet wide and five feet tall, one sink with no cabinets under or above the sink, one garbage can two feet tall and thirty chair-desk combination things. My poor aide, Cheryl, spent the summer begging the janitor to find bookshelves and most of the bookshelves that are in my room I bought. The bad part about all of this is that there are schools in my district that have empty classrooms full of desks, chairs, bookshelves, storage cabinets, easels, tables, filing cabinets, and many more goodies wall to wall and floor to ceiling. But everyone is hanging on to the stuff “just in case”. Just in case? Just in case there comes the hundred-year flood and everyone needs something to climb on so their feet don’t get wet? Wouldn’t it be nice, if everyone would share like they learned to do in kindergarten?

Wouldn’t it be nice, if technology actually worked all the time?  Due to the high-tech society schools have been pressured to educate children in the use of technology. Principals have spent what little funds they have (probably the funds that are used to pay for bookshelves) to buy active boards, Macs, and document cameras and then the district has mandated that teachers use these items and make sure the children are using them too. I would love to have my students use the two computers in my classroom but only one of them works and they are too old to download any programs that my ELL students need to work on. By the way someone has paid for a site license for the programs but there aren’t any classroom computers that are new enough to download the program. Even my computer that kind of works and that I let my students use is making that “shushing” sound which is a precursor for the “wheel of death”.  Just think of how often one gets a new phone to keep up with the technology. I would say the student computers in my classroom are at least ten years old. They are the big, boxy Macs but they are the white boxy Macs that are a lot newer than the blue boxy Macs, so I am considered lucky.

I’m not done yet, the printer that three other teachers and myself share has something wrong so whenever I print something there are three black marks in the middle of the text so the students can’t read what it says. So I have to print everything at home and then bring it to school and make copies on the copier that only works, if one pushes the buttons just right, leans on one particular spot on the copier, crosses both fingers, closes one’s eyes really tight, cocks one’s head slightly to the right and prays with all one’s might that the paper doesn’t get stuck or the toner doesn’t run out.

I haven’t even discussed the Activboard (yep, that’s the way it is spelled which drives me crazy). I happen to be one of the lucky ones that has an Activboard. I even have one of the newer models. Oh, by the way it doesn’t always work. It has to be unplugged and plugged back in every once in a while, the cords have to be jiggled just right and if the kids accidently step on the cords, one must start all over to “reset” the thing. AND it costs an arm and a leg to replace the bulbs when they burn out. That is not a cliché that is the truth it literally costs and arm and a leg. An Activboard bulb costs between $300 and $600 depending on the model. Multiply that by 30 classrooms in a school and there is a cost of $9,000 to $18,000 a year just for Activboard bulbs. Someone should be able to invent a bulb that doesn’t cost so much. Wouldn’t it be great, if technology worked all the time and one didn’t have to sell flowers on a corner in a tube top to get enough money to pay for the upkeep on technology?

Wouldn’t it be nice, if when something was added to one’s plate something else would be taken off? I remember when our district was continually asking teachers to do more and teachers were promised that if something new was put on one’s plate something old would be taken off. Teachers are being asked to do more and more and more on top of what they already have been doing. Teachers arrive early and leave very late and they take home a pile of work every evening and work a tremendous amount of hours on the weekends. That doesn’t include the sleepless nights that teachers spend thinking about how they can do something better for their kids.

I once figured it out that I make about $1.27 an hour. My plate is fuller than a fat man’s plate at a Las Vegas All-You-Can-Eat buffet and requests to do more keep on coming.

If only . . . if only . . . if only . . . . Sometimes I fall into the “if only” whines. My Daddy had a great saying, “Darling, if wishes were horses, ever beggar would ride and if tear drops were diamonds, well, Darling, you’d be a rich sombitch!”

And then I remember that I have to trust in God. God has given me the strength, talent and ability to do what I need to do today and every day from now on with or without “stuff” that I think I need to be successful. I have what I need and with God’s blessing I will succeed. I have exactly what I need to fulfill my destiny, even if that destiny is to be a poor teacher that lives paycheck to paycheck. I have to be confident in what I have.
I need to put everything in God’s hands. If God thinks I need tech that works, I’ll get it. If God thinks I need help, I’ll get it. If God thinks I need more money to buy books, I’ll get it. I just hope God doesn’t think I need a bigger plate.

Wouldn’t it be nice, if we just let God handle it?

Paco’s Perspective

Wouldn’t it be nice, if God had dog treats fell from the sky like rain? I am having a feeling that is not in my destiny.

The Flip Side
So you’re saying that God could send me more lizards to chase, if he wants me to chase lizards? Why wouldn’t he want me to chase more lizards? Oh, no! What if it’s not my destiny to be the Great Lizard Slayer?