Monday, August 18, 2008

Changes...

So. In order to explain my current life situation, I need to provide some information.

First, the facts:

1. I currently only hold an emergency license, which expires at the end of each school, and is renewable (for up to three years) if there is still an emergent need for the subject (in my case, Spanish). In other words, if they have enough certified Spanish teachers to fill the positions, they don't need me and therefore won't renew the emergency license. So, the expiration of my license left a Spanish teaching vacancy here at Tech.

2. Senora Oreilla, who is from Spain, left at the end of the school year to return home, leaving a second Spanish teaching vacancy here at Tech.

3. At the end of the school year last year, Tech hired a new French teacher and a new Chinese teacher.

4. According to my friend and colleague, Lily Stewart (another Spanish teacher here at Tech), Tech did not hire any replacement Spanish teachers by the beginning of this school year.

Now, for the theory:


With funding constantly being tight here at IPS, I think that rather than fill the two vacant Spanish positions AND create two new positions at Tech to compensate for the new French and Chinese teachers, Dr. White (our beloved and illustrious superintendent) decided to reallocate the salary money- in other words, he cut the two vacant Spanish positions and used the salaries from those positions to pay the new French and Chinese teachers. Of course, it is only a theory, but it seems to match up with all the other facts previously mentioned. That means that there are currently only 3.5 teachers to cover classes for all the Spanish students (one of those teachers is actually a Special Ed. teacher, but she is covering one or two of the Spanish classes, which is why she's only 1/2 a Spanish teacher). Sadly, that means that, despite these two new languages being offered, there is still overcrowding going on in the Spanish classes.

So, what does all this mean for Peeser?

Well, since there technically aren't any Spanish vacancies, despite the desperate need for them, I can't be hired to teach Spanish at Tech. Now, I have been told, if by the middle of September, our principal can prove to Dr. White that enough of the projected students have actually enrolled and are coming to class that it warrants a need for an additional Spanish teacher, then he may "re-create" one or two Spanish teaching positions, and presumably I will then be called to fill one of them.

In the meantime, lest you think I am idling my time away with my new kitten and Olympic TV, I am back at Tech filling a Reading teacher vacancy, probably until the end of the semester, at the very least. Yes, I, Elise Lambson, am now attempting to teach reading to students whose skills are such that they failed to pass the I-STEP test (Indiana's standardized test, similar to the MAP test in MO). I have a co-teacher for a couple of weeks who has been helping me get my feet wet... we'll see how this goes.

So. There is my current life in a nutshell (granted, a very LARGE nutshell, but what are you going to do?).

On the upside, I have entered a program through Marian College that looks like it will get me certified a lot sooner than the one I was going to do at IUPUI. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Getting to know her...

My life is a bit crazy right now- perhaps by the weekend, I'll be ready to share that insanity with all. But for the time being, as promised, some attempted photos of my hilariously rambunctious kitten- enjoy!

The drive to IN from MO:

Her favorite perch in my room:

Asleep on the floor:

Laying on my neck:

Dirty from the fireplace:

After a bath....:

And now, the piece de resistance: an attempted video of her playing with a new toy:


video

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Cupcakes + Gelato + Sister = A Fun Afternoon: Check it out!


When Juli somehow discovered that Indianapolis has its own cupcake shop, we knew we had to check it out, especially after glancing at their array of flavors. So, yesterday afternoon, Juli came over so we could see what this "Flying Cupcake" is all about (well, she also came over to meet Tonks in person- we had fun watching her tear the feathers out of one of her new toys... photos will follow soon...)


Anyway, while it wasn't hard to find the shop, we did make a small detour into the children's book store next door (quite a delightful place). When we actually made it into the shop, we were pleasantly surprised to find that they also sell gelato (and in flavors that complement the cupcakes!). So, with cupcakes and gelato cups in hand, we sat down to enjoy an atmosphere of nostalgic ambiance:








Okay, so maybe it isn't quite the elegance of The Cupcakery in St. Louis, but it was quite the charming place. The cupcakes also might not be quite as good, but they were very tasty in and of themselves--enough so that whenever any of you come to Indy, The Flying Cupcake is definitely worth a stop-in. It definitely made the afternoon with Juli a fun one (or, I should say, Juli made the afternoon fun by joining me in checking it out).

(for a complete listing of their available cupcakes-including pictures-click here; this way, you're prepared for when you come for a visit! :)

Monday, August 4, 2008

Meet Tonks!



Well, here she is- the lovably feisty furball who entered my life just a week ago. For the time being, she shall officially be known as Nymphadora Tonks, or Tonks for short (however, I reserve the right to change the name if something proves more fitting to her personality). Despite her tendency to snip and swat at feet and fingers, she really is quite adorable, especially when she snuggles. Sadly, she is not one to pose for photos- she seems a bit camera shy- but as I am able to get better photos of her, I'll be sure to post them!