Sunday, December 6, 2009

Excerpts From and Email

Dear Readers--

If you now behave or plan to behave like this parent, then we can no longer be friends.

I have a student, C. Since the beginning of the year, he's been too cool to be quiet in class and listen. He was absent for a few days, and for those homeworks I put a zero in the gradebook (accesible online for parents) until he turned them in. Shocker, I know. Well, turns out I never got papers from C. C's parents INSISTED that he did them and turned them in--I must have lost them or pretended to not get them "because of the sports conflict" (apparently since C and his buddies in class all play football, and I ask them to all be quiet, I hate football players. Who knew?). I told her in my sweetest teacher voice that if he could find the papers, he would get credit.

Well guess who couldn't find his papers. You wanna know what the parents said then? "Mrs. Jensen, a month is a long time to expect a 16 year old to hang on to a paper." That's why we keep binders, lady. And can we talk about why you haven't addressed these papers for a month?

Well, then I get an explanation of why his grades are important--to be eligible for sports!! You need to get the exact quote:
"Athletics are extremely important to C, as he is exremely talented. It is not a past-time, it is a talent! And now we have a son who is stressed out about the possibility of being ineligible." (MAYBE he is going to be ineligible because of that 53 he made on a test, not 3 homework papers. Tests count for 75% of the average.)

Anyway. So, then C misses the day of the next test, which was right before Thanksgiving Break. He had a mysterious patch of skin that had to be checked out by a doctor. "It could have been staff (this lady teaches language arts at one of the Georgetown elementary schools!) infection, Mrs. Jensen. Therefore, you see why C had to miss this test."

Well, since he wasn't there for the test, he didn't turn in his review with the rest of the class. So, when I graded the class's reviews, he got a zero. (What???? I am totally the worst teacher ever!!) So I get another email. This time from dad because mom is "too upset to deal with you".

Apparently, dad talked to an administrator about my grading policies (reminder--it was giving 0's for work not turned in), and he just wanted to offer some friendly advice about what else I could do instead of a zero. Maybe, I could "program a new code into the gradebook especially for absent students so that it doesn't show a zero and make everyone think that student isn't doing their work". Everyone is looking at my gradebook??!! What??!! He's "very disappointed that as a teacher I would just throw a zero in when I don't have a paper".

Here's the kicker--now, because of that new zero, C is "crushed. Disheartened. His wrestling coach said he lost all his practice matches yesterday. Please reconsider your unfair and biased treatment towards my son and all athletes."

Friday, December 4, 2009

Overheard Today...

"Harry, I'm going to Sonic, you want anything?"

"I want a mocha java chiller... and I'm NOT GAY for ordering that!!!!"

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


We just finished playing tennis. I hit Crys in the face once and I beat her playing left handed. (I promised I wouldn't put that as my facebook status so it's a blog post now)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Las Vegas Trip

This post is not for the faint of heart! It's long, but our nieces and nephews are too cute to not post so much about them!

Truman and I went to Las Vegas last weekend so he could go to the U2 concert with his brother and their friend. I went to Las Vegas last weekend to avoid the responsibilities of my life and play with the kids.
When we got there, we immediately gave out bribes for affection. I made tutus for the girls:

Elora's was purple. She wasn't as enthralled as Annika, who barely took it off the whole time. The girls are also taking dance classes, and Annika was all about showing me her sweet moves

Don't you practice your ballet with a walking stick? Perfect left arm, stick in the right.

When there is no barre, you use what you got. Do you see the fierce determination in that face?

Nathaniel got a video game that he played a lot.

On Saturday, we went to a Halloween carnival thing at a park. The girls decorated a pumpkin, the boys stood around, and all the kids rode a fire truck. Liesel was a witch, and Elora and Annika were fairies. Just so you know, Annika is the queen fairy--so she's the queen of Elora.

Annika was too busy being a fairy to smile for the camera in her costume.

The boys did this a lot:

This is James being his regular cute self.

But, when I tried to hold him, he would immediately cry.

See that smudge in the picture? That's me trying to get James to come to me. That look on his face was pretty typical of his reaction to me. Maybe we should have brought him a present...

On Sunday I tried to get the kids to all sit together and take some good pictures. Of course, they were more into doing this:

That's the only way Elora would get with the other kids.

But, I did manage to get a few good pictures.

Doesn't Elora look 17 in this picture? She's a super model!

Nathaniel is so handsome! He's only about 3 inches shorter than me, and his feet are about 1 toe shorter...granted that's my toes we're talking about.

Thanks Ben and Marsie for everything! We had so much fun! I already miss the kids, the cinnamon rolls, and talking to Marsie the whole time. Can't wait until Christmas!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Spanish for Page

is pagina (pa-hee-nah). My 8th period Algebra II class has taken a liking to speaking a lot of Spanish during class, which I'm ok with (they are not fluent Spanish speakers--they are all in Spanish 2 and butcher it pretty badly). Anyway, after writing page 240 #.... for some homework today, a kid wanted it changed to pagina. So, I did.

Well, then squirrely P quickly yelled, "Pagina! Ha!!" BUT--he pronounced the word by making it rhyme with a female body part.

I can't even look at it any more without thinking that pronunciation.

Friday, October 2, 2009

sometimes precal gets you down...

Poor E had a bad testing experience this week. First, she had to tell me her true feelings.

Then some realizations about the future were made...

At least she's aware! And, I got a heart.

Finally, a little story for the last page. If not an engineer, maybe a budding author?

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Age Appropriate

I teach an Algebra I class for kids that don't speak English at all or very well. I have a kid, previously mentioned, from Brazil.

On Friday after his test he was working on some English homework. He was given 4 ages and had to write a sentence about what happened to him at those ages. I walked by and saw for age 15: "Was the first time I get drunk at party."

I explained the drinking age in America and that he would probably get in trouble for that statement. P erased and started again.

The next time I look over I see: "Was the first time I smoke ever."

Again with the laws.

Finally, for age 15: "I do nothing at 15 that I can talk about in USA."

Then I helped P send a text to a girl and ask her to homecoming. I'm such an influence!


Anyone else hear "porn star" when the COIN star commercial comes on?

Saturday, September 26, 2009

19 Pounds

There was a 19 lb. baby born in Indonesia last week, and I was reminded of this photo of my two nieces--

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Who tears!

You're supposed to read that like tears the paper.

In my ELL (English Language Learner--they are all kids that have lived in the country for less than one year and don't speak English well) class, there is a Brazilian! P is from Rio and he's really sweet. Today I hear him say "Who tears! Who tears!" to another kid, A. P's not getting his point across, so he asks to show a picture on his phone.

A looks at the picture and says "Oh!!" Then A makes the tune in Tokyo motion in his chest area.

P had eaten at Hooters last night!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Yesterday in my class full of sophomores the kids were working on some stuff in partners. I looked up and saw two boys comparing armpit hair.

C then said to R, "Yours looks like Chewbacca crawled in there and died!"

Boys are gross.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

I am really liking

freezer paper stenciling. Has anyone else tried it? I made these two shirts. I'm excited because
1) the pink one is so very nerdy. My kids will love it!
2) they are both t-shirts, but embellished, so I can get away with wearing them to work even if it's not a Friday.

You should all try it.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


So this summer my main accomplishment was painting the living room/entryway of our house from nasty skin tone to pure earth. Looks a little dark in the photo, but I love it. Then I needed this new flower and some new pillows for the living room.


Posted by Picasa

I also finished my second summer of my master's program, so only one more to go. Then, I went to Mexico! That trip warrants its own post, though.

So, as my freedom is being stripped from me on Thursday, I want to ask you out there: What do your kids say they wish their teachers did better/different at school? Particularly for math and science teachers. Or what do you wish your own teachers would have done? I'm curious.

And, PS, things like giving homework, giving tests, and being wonderful are things I can't change--so don't say that.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Scorpions part 2 or is it part 3 or 4

Anyway I dried off with a scorpion on my towel again this morning. This time I wasn't quite as lucky and now have a fun 4" red spot on my stomach. I would post pictures but no one wants to see my "non beer" beer gut.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Can I just say something real quick?

And the whole class said, "No!"
The teacher kept on going with the lecture...

I couldn't get a good picture of William today, so sorry guys. But, this was the entertainment for the day in class. Then, my dreams came true, and we got separated into two groups. My group did not include Billy but DID include Allison--the one I got separated from a couple weeks ago. Hallelujiah!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


I'm annoyed that my high school has enough money to hire a new principal (that makes 6 for 1800 kids), but "not enough resources" to replace a math teacher that quit and a science teacher that quit. That means that I will have 30+ kids in each of my classes. Fun times.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

I miss

my teenagers!

I know, it's weird. I love them though! I love talking to them.

I'm so glad for the summer because I don't have to get anything ready, wear uncomfortable shoes, deal with crazy parents or crazy administrators. But, I did realize what I am going to miss the absolute most this summer--

Who's gonna talk with me about all my stupid teenager shows? Paris Hilton's BFF? The Gossip Girl finale? Being giddy about NYC Prep after seeing that preview show? Ah!

Thank goodness I have Nicole for Bachelorette.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Shout Out

To my favorite kids from Manor High School, who have just found this blog. How did they do it? Why were they googling me 3 years after the fact?

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Spring Break

Truman got to go to Las Vegas during Spring break...

James and Uncle TJay

Elora playing with an umbrella.

Beautiful Annika was always willing to take a picture.

Then everyone went to Utah for TJay's Grandma's 80th birthday.

Liesel and Elora getting candy at Grandpa Jensen's house.

TJay asked if he could have a piece.

Grandma Ashdown at her birthday party.

Nathaniel jumping.

Nate's so handsome!

Stella's still not sure if she likes TJay.

Liesel and Grandpa Jensen making s'mores.

It snowed the last couple days everyone was in Utah, and Nate made a snowman in the backyard.

I did school work and went to the new JoAnn's too many times to count while TJay was gone.

This past week also I got picked by one of my students to be his faculty friend at a baseball game.