Category Archives: Writing Workshop

Deidre Hall (TBT)

Today I was talking to someone about seeing the cast of Boy Meets World while on the Disney College Program. I’ve been binge watching the last season of the show. Can you believe that the last season was 20 years ago?

I don’t have any photos to prove I really saw them. Just my memories and stories.

Anyway, Mom loved Days of Our Lives. She was super excited because one of her favorite actresses, Deidre Hall, was going to be at Disney-MGM Studios. Luckily, I was off the day she came to the Studios.

I got to watch her speak and put her hands in the cement. She had her youngest son, Sully, with her when she was at the Studios.

Did you know that they would not put all of the cement hand prints out in front of the Chinese Theater at Disney-MGM Studios? I tried to find the hand prints of the cast of Boy Meets World 5 years later. That’s when they informed that they didn’t keep all of them.

Have a magical day,
Traci

The Worse Morning Ever

Last Saturday morning was probably the worse morning ever.

I did my usual routine of calling my mom. Usually I call her once or twice and then she would call me back. On that morning, I called her number 12 times. 12 times!

So I drove over to her apartment. Mail had piled up which was unusual.

I grabbed her mail and walked into her apartment which was unlocked.

I dropped the mail on her dresser in the living room and yelled her name.

As I turned the corner, I saw her lifeless body.

I immediately called 9-1-1 as I cried and screamed.

After I got off of talking to 9-1-1, I called Hubby who rushed over.

The police came and entered the apartment. They immediately walked out of the apartment and told me that she was deceased.

As they were doing all the legal stuff, I answered their questions and then began calling my aunt, best friend, and the funeral home. I began writing messages to let family know that she had died.

It got so overwhelming that I just did a Facebook status while the police officer talked to me.

I don’t know how many steps I took as I paced the apartment complex.

Random dudes came up to me and asked me what had happened. Neighbors came up to me and asked me what had happened to her.

It was very overwhelming. I was trying to hold it together and not cry.

Finally they told me that I could leave. I wanted to leave before the funeral home came and got her.

I attempted to do normal stuff like grocery shop and clean the house during the rest of the day.

All the while, I was trying to hold it together and not cry. Headaches and tiredness filled my soul during the day.

The house got picked up mostly. I fixed dinner. The Oldest got to Homecoming so I call that a successful day even with having the worse morning ever.

Have a magical day,
Traci

Not On My Honeymoon

Back in 2000, Hubby and I went on our honeymoon. We had been married for a year.

Where do you think we went?

Well, Disney of course. While there, I turned 25 years old.

It was my first time there since my College Program. I was so excited to show Hubby around the World since it had been 15 or so years since he had been there.

I was also excited because I was going to be able to finally step foot in the Animal Kingdom because I watched it being built while I was on my College Program.

The first few days of the Honeymoon was great. We enjoyed spending time in Magic Kingdom and the Animal Kingdom.

Then the worse possible thing happened while down in Walt Disney World. I ended up with food poisoning. I spent all day Wednesday of my honeymoon stuck in our Mighty Ducks hotel room. All day long, I was worshiping the white porcelain God.

It was either the Key Lime Pie at the Rainforest Cafe or from drinking at the water fountains. I can eat Key Lime pie now but ever since then I don’t drink at water fountains.

The next day I was able to get out of our hotel room. We went to EPCOT and had breakfast or lunch at the Garden Grill. They gave us a free cake since it was our honeymoon. I don’t think I was able to eat any of it because my stomach was still upset.

We left on Friday of that week. I only wished I hadn’t gotten sick. The flight home was interesting but that is a story for another day.

The next year, we drove down to Walt Disney World in order to have a second honeymoon.

Never get sick in Disney. And not on your honeymoon. That’s the moral of my story.

If I Had Stayed IN Bed

I wish I would have stayed in bed.

Some days are like that.

Lately, it seems as though those are more and more days like that.

However, it is usually moments that are fleeting. Not the entire day.

Today was one of those days.

Listening to my son rant and rage about how he is feeling about the whole breakup has broken my heart. He usually has a kind soul who loves life.

I put on P!nk’s Hurts 2B Human album and played the song Hurts 2B Human on repeat and just bawled my eyes out on the way to work. I was a truly hot mess when I got there this morning.

I did listen to a few other songs but I played that song about 5 times.

I encountered some really stupid drivers on the way to school so that didn’t help. One of which pulled over in my lane and slowed way down so that he could get into the other lane so he could get off at the next exit. Luckily there was enough space between us so I could safely slow down.

Four of my co-workers allowed me to rant about the situation because I needed to get it off my chest before the students came in for the day.

Then the day started. I got hugs from students. One in particular gave me a hug several times throughout the day.

I escorted a student to class because he couldn’t figure out how to be sneaky so he wasn’t caught by me, the hallway patrol.

I had some good intervention sessions. In fact, I had some awesome ones. Then there were the ones where I am left in bewilderment on how disrespectful the students can be to each other and me. The one group sees me twice on Wednesdays so they made up for their not so good session. I don’t know why they were so bad during math intervention.

Listening to students get excited about what we were reading made my day. I had students asking questions and wanting to know more and other students using context clues. Those make an Intervention Specialist’s heart soar.

A student decided she needed to hang onto me as I was trying to lock my door. She has no concept of personal space.

During dismissal time, one of my students from last year showed up at the building. I got to talk to her and her mom for a while. It was such a sweet conversation. I love how she asked me if I had traveled anywhere lately.

I also found Swt. Blessings scripture plan for this month. It’s about finding comfort in God. I read today’s Scripture from 2 Corinthians 4: 7 – 9. It gave me comfort during this time.

So although at the beginning of the day and at moments throughout the day I felt as though I wish I had stayed in bed, I would not have had the beautiful parts of the day.

The sunrise today – So gorgeous!
One of my former students posted this today on Facebook. It popped up in my notifications. What a great message.

Have a magical day,
Traci

Make memories that will stay with you

I have 2 teenagers in my house. One who turns to his mom for advice and will continue to let me know that he loves me. The other has decided doing anything with mom is pure torture. He may or may not say that he loves you when you tell him that you love him. It’s frustrating.

I love how the Oldest has started to embrace being a teenager. He doesn’t hang out with many of his friends outside of school. However, I know he has a group of friends that he calls his Guys.

He also has a girlfriend which is new territory for him. They’ve been dating since April.

So what would my advice be to my 2 teenagers? Since they are both so different, I have different pieces of advice.

Oldest – Continue to hang out with your Guys. Make memories with them. Girls come and go but a great friend will stay with you.

Young love is new and exciting. Don’t change yourself for her. Treat her with respect. Remember your family and how we raised you. Let her know you care about her. Think with your mind not your hormones.

Communication is key. Always remember to communicate.

Youngest – Family is important. When we want to spend time with you, we want to create memories. We love you. Don’t forget that. Please take time to say I love you and not the word yes when we speak to you.

Yes, we want you to do chores. Please do them correctly the first time or we will harp on you until you do it right.

Grades are important. Please begin to turn in your assignments. Don’t be a class clown.

Have a magical day,
Traci

When August 1st comes . . .

The last few days of summer

During my first few years of teaching, school didn’t begin until around Labor Day. In fact, when Youngest was born, I left the previous school year pregnant and came back to work with everyone else. (He was born less than 2 weeks after the end of the school year.)

Now August 1st means that summer is basically over for me. I know that school is going to begin within a week or so. Usually I’m at the school getting my room ready by August 1st. This year I decided to treat myself to not coming in until the first day I had to be back at work.

I can’t show one photo to describe my August

When I walked into my room on August 7th, I walked into tablehedge, not Stonehedge.

Tablehedge

One of my co-workers came to my rescue and got the tables down.

I quickly rearranged my furniture so that the room is functional.

This room is a resource room. Students come out of the rooms for pull out services. I need to only have a minimal amount of furniture. As the school year continues, I will be decorating more of the classroom.

Case in point, this bulletin board has the two basic rules expected in all classrooms. I asked the students to write down ideas on ways they can demonstrate those rules. I love this because students feel as though they have a role in creating the rules in my room.

Now that we are testing for baseline data, my room has been torn apart to be put back together after testing.

The current state of my room. Each student has been given a shelf in the cubbies in the back of my room. It’s going to help with organization.

One of those bulletin boards in the back of the room is going to be the cool down / calm down corner. I have some brown paper board paper that is going to be hung up on the bulletin board with some suggestions on how they can calm down. Our community has been through so much trauma in the last few months. A tornado and then the shooting in downtown Dayton have rocked the area since May.

So many have rallied around our community. However, even with the rallying around us, these are 9, 10, and 11-year-old children. Some of them do not know how to deal with the trauma so it’s imperative they have a place that will help them cool down.

The word wall is basic sight words. When they don’t know how to spell a word, a way for them to get some movement is to walk to the back the room to look at the word wall. I have clipboards so it is easy for them to write.

Now You Know What a Teacher’s August looks like

My room would never be Pinterest worthy. However it is functional. Students get what they need to help them become better fourth and fifth grade students.

When a student tells you, they can’t wait until you begin to teach them math because you made them think last year. You know the look of your room does not matter. What matters is how you make the students feel while they are in your room. Are they feeling welcome? Are they feeling like they are learning? Are they feeling as though they are loved?

Have a magical day,
Traci

Where are they?

Before the boys were born, I went white water rafting twice. Both times, we camped out with the Scouts Venturing post.

Imagine a camping site located in a valley.

Then there was a torrential rainstorm.

So what do you think happened?

The water pooled into my tent.

Oh, I forgot to give you one piece of key information. One of our friends and my father-in-law had traveled with us down to West Virginia.

So the water was pooling in my tent. Hubby, our friend, and my father-in-law were no where to be found. Cell phones were not as popular as they are now plus there would be no service.

I was freaking out and getting wetter.

One of the other people camping out with us had a camping trailer with them. So they invited me in the trailer so I wouldn’t get sick.

Finally they show back up.

They had been driving around looking for a hotel/ motel for me. A hamvention type of event was going on in the area so there was limited hotel/ motel rooms available. Or should I say, they found only one room.

It was a honeymoon type of room. There was one bed and a whirlpool tub. All 4 of us were sharing this room.

Hubby and I shared the bed. My father-in-law got the couch in the room. Our friend got the floor. The whirlpool tub was not used. 😥

The few photos I have of this camping trip.

There was video made of the trip. They included this song by Green Day. Whenever I hear this song, I am reminded of this camping trip.

Have a magical day,
Traci

My Favorite View – Summer 2019

This summer has been a different type of summer.

The boys are getting older so there wasn’t very many day trips. Let’s take that back – We’ve done day trip. I’ve done some road trips with each of them individually.

The Memorial Day tornadoes change the dynamics of my summer. Even though it didn’t directly affect me, it affected the area I teach in so that made me upset.

Continue reading My Favorite View – Summer 2019

Into the Mist

A few weeks ago, the Youngest and I embarked on his 14-year-old trip and my EPIC trip with my friend. I made the decision for us to all ride the Maid of the Mist.

The Maid of the Mist is in the New York side of Niagara Falls. We were staying on the Canadian side of the Falls. We were left with 2 choices: drive to the Maid of the Mist which on my GPS unit said was 10 minutes or walk which was about an half hour.

The GPS saying that it would take 10 minutes did not take in account of us probably getting turned around, going through border patrol, and trying not to hit all of the tourists. So it could have taken us about the same amount of time as walking.

So we walked over to there. The Youngest took a point off the experience of going to the Maid of the Mist because of the walking.

I’ll save my story of going through border patrol for another time.

We got to the Maid of the Mist as they were getting ready to depart. We were told to HURRY and get on the boat so we didn’t have to wait for the next boat.

Trying to get the poncho on, take a few photos of my friend, and then put my DSLR camera in ziploc bags inside my backpack under my poncho was a feat.

Luckily my phone is water resistant so I was able to get photos and videos until we were under the Falls. Once the water was coming down us in buckets, my phone was put into another Ziploc bag and put into my pocket under my poncho until it was safe to bring it out again.

The Youngest stood at the very front of the boat for the majority of the trip. He enjoyed getting wet and the whole experience.

When it was time to depart, he was ready at the gate. As he was standing there trying to wipe of the water from the gate in front of him, one of the workers was also doing the same thing as him. I don’t know if the Youngest noticed but I did. I thought it was cool.

After we got done with the Maid of the Mist, my friend and the Youngest got rid of their ponchos. I still have mine.

Oh and the Youngest gave the Maid of the Mist a score of 9 out of 10. The only point off was for the walk to and from the attraction.

Have a magical day,
Traci