A glimpse into our family – the good, the bad, and, of course, the funny

Not a Wonderful Morning October 5, 2012

My sister is an amazing teacher.  She has an intuitive gift of reaching each student in the unique way that suits him.  She doesn’t just teach academics; she teaches life skills.  She teaches kids how to believe in themselves.  She is truly passionate about what she does, and I’m so proud of her.  She wrote this yesterday, and I asked her if I could share it.  You’ll see why I wanted everyone to read it.

Here is a post called “Not a Wonderful Morning” by guest blogger, my sister, Miss M:

Most of the time I write about all the wonderful parts of my job, but every day isn’t wonderful. This morning was a not wonderful morning. One of my students was having a bad, bad day. He was beyond disrespectful to all his teachers including me (usually he spares me from his disrespectful attitude). He refused to do any work at all and insisted on distracting everyone else. I could see that he was spiraling out of control. I can normally get him back on track pretty quickly but today nothing worked.

He ended up getting so mad that he walked out of my classroom (not ok!) and sat down in the hallway (at least he didn’t go far). I stood in the doorway and continued teaching my other kids while keeping an eye on my wanderer until someone was available to watch my classroom.

After several minutes (I had plenty of time to think!), help arrived. I handed over my class and went to talk to my wanderer in the hallway. He wouldn’t look at me, much less talk to me. He didn’t get up when I asked him to. He just sat there defiantly looking away.

It had been a long morning and I really just wanted to yell at him…and I don’t want to yell often. Instead, I sat down next to him. I wanted to lecture him about his horrible, disrespectful attitude. Instead, this is what I said:

I know you don’t want to talk to me right now. I know you are angry and you probably think I’m going to yell at you. Well, I’m not. I’m just going to tell you some things that I know about you. First, I know that you are smart. I know that you are kind and helpful. I know that you can be the hardest working student in my class when you want to be. I know that you can do anything in the world that you decide to do. I know that people love you. I know that the other students look up to you. I know that you are funny. I also know that I like you a lot. I know that I want you in my classroom. I know that even when we have horrible mornings, I like you anyway. I know that when you are disrespectful I am disappointed, but I understand that you are working on self-control. I know that you can be better than you have been today. And, I know that there is nothing that you can do that will make me not like you.

We sat quietly for a minute. Then, I asked him if he was ready to go back to class and do his work. He nodded yes, stood up and returned to class. His first assignment was writing in his journal. Each day he has to write at least three complete sentences. I give a writing prompt for most of the kids, but they know that can always write about whatever they want if they don’t like the prompt.

When I read this student’s journal this afternoon, the very first sentence was: “Ms. M, you make my day every day.”

It never ceases to amaze me that when I take the time to give a kid exactly what he needs to get through a situation I always end up getting exactly what I need too.

beautiful inside and out


What could possibly go wrong? June 18, 2012

My sister Nickie is leaving for Germany this week to visit Sandy, our aunt who is younger than us – the one we grew up with more like a sister than an aunt.  Nickie is very excited about her trip, but she’s feeling just a little apprehension about her arrival in Germany.

You see, Sandy is a lot of things – hilarious, adventurous, loving, optimistic, intelligent – but she’s also just a tad on the silly side.  Just a tad.  When she lived in the Dominican Republic, Nickie went to visit there as well.  When Nickie arrived, no one was there to greet her at the airport.  Hours passed.  Still no Sandy.  The airport closed.  Still no Sandy.  Nickie sat on a curb outside an airport in the middle of the night waiting on Sandy who forgot to set her alarm to wake her.

Nickie (left) and Sandy in the Dominican.

I guess this is part of why Nickie is a little nervous about her arrival in Germany.  Sandy couldn’t take the day off work to meet Nickie and escort her back to her home, so she sent Nickie the following directions:

when you get to the airport, follow the DB signs (train). some guys on the internet says: “when you come through arrivals at munich airport, you will see an escalator to your right,take that and purchase your tickets at the counter dont waste time trying to figure out the machines”. so, if that’s not right, blame him. either way, DB signs. so, at the ticket window you will be buying a “single bayern”. this allows you to use all the trains in bavaria for a day. it’s 21 euro, but we may be able to re-sell it to someone here and get some of your money back. so, don’t sign it unless they make you. 
now, you will be taking either the S1 or the S8. it doesn’t matter which one. they come every 10 minutes, alternating between the 2 lines. there is only one direction option, i believe it will be displaying ostbahnhof as the destination, but if it doesn’t, no worries. it all leads to the same place. you will be getting off at hauptbahnhof, aka central station. it’s about a 40 minute ride. there should be diagrams of the route, but in case there isn’t, it’s five stops from ostbahnhof.
SO, this is where it does get a little tricky, but i think we’ll be ok. i’m not exactly sure where the S1/8 is going to dump you out, but i’m fairly certain if you just follow the crowd and go up the escalators, you will be in the main area. are you comfortable with that? you can always ask any of the train workers too. anyways, in the main area (upstairs) there are tons of little food stands, a small grocery store, i think i store called “accessorize”. there is also a huge information booth in the middle of it all. above it is the board with all the departures. just stand in line and ask for the next train to garmisch. they will tell you the platform number. from there, it’s easy to find! don’t forget to ask what time it leaves as well. they leave every hour. so, if you have time you should grab either a mozzarella and tomato sandwich or a giant chocolate muffin. mmm….
ok. the train will take about 1.5 hours to get to garmisch. the train stops are really hard to understand. i would set an alarm for an hour and 20 min. (if you have one) and try to sleep. otherwise, you will be worrying about missing the stop the whole time. i will find out the 5 stops previous to garmisch and e-mail those to you. also, if you are still worried about it, just let the ticket guy know that you want to stop in garmisch. if he speaks english, explain to him that you are unfamiliar with the stops, and to please let you know when you are there.
you can let me know if this is not specific enough for you, but the taxis are literally right across the street from the train station. you are going to get off the train, go down steps (or elevator) under the other tracks, and back up to the platform. then you can either walk through the train station or to the left and around. there is a burger king. facing the road with the BK behind you, look slightly to your right and there will be taxis. hop in one of those and tell them to take you to the abrams. should be about 7 or 8 euro. and they all know what the abrams is (our housing complex). the taxi will drop you off at the gate. have your passport out, tell the guards you are on the “access roster” (i will put you on there as a visitor before you come). they will look you up in the system and let you through. go straight, there is an entrance under the clock tower thing. go in on the left. straight down the hallway until it dead ends. there will be vending machines. turn right. through that door (open) and we are about 4 or 5 doors down on the left. room 114. it will be open.

Wow.  A few things really jump out at me in those directions…I don’t think I could do this if I were Nickie.  I wish her luck.

She asked me if I can pick her up from the airport when she gets back from her trip.  Well, I’m not sure if I can get a day off work, so I am giving her the following directions just in case:

When you land in Greenville, follow the crowd off the airplane to the main area in the airport.  I haven’t been in that airport in a few years, but I know there must be a taxi company on the premises.  Find a cab, and tell the driver to take you to downtown Greenville to the Greyhound bus station.  Once at the station, buy a ticket for Hendersonville, NC.  While waiting for your bus (I’m about 50% sure a bus runs that route at least once a day), try to take a nap while sitting against a brick wall.  I don’t think anyone will bother you.  But if they do, I’m sorry about that.  Once your bus comes, enjoy the ride through the mountains.  It will drop you off on Seventh Ave in Hendersonville.  Walk two blocks east to Fifth Ave to the post office.  Check my mail for me.  Walk two blocks east to the library.  Go to the check-out counter and say the word “camel” – the librarian will then know to let you borrow a phone to call me at work (as long as you can accomplish this before 5:00, I will still be there).  Pay my fine for my overdue books.  This will cost you approximately two US dollars.  Wait on a beanbag in the children’s reading room, but don’t fall asleep.  At exactly 5:14, I will drive by the library and slow down enough for you to jump in the rear passenger’s side door.  I will leave it unlocked.  Trust me.  I should mention that there are several delicious eateries in Hendersonville, so if you have time, please feel free to grab yourself some lunch.  Perhaps Thai food?  Oh, and welcome home.

I can’t wait to hear about Nickie’s trip to Germany and about the adventures Nickie and Sandy have as they tour Italy while she’s there.  I’m sure it will go great.  Yep, great.  I can’t imagine anything going wrong with Sandy in charge…