Indulging in Poe

FINALLY, it’s happened. I am done subbing for biology and world history and I am finally offically employed at Bending Oaks High School. It went like this- I interviewed in Sept. to become their 11th grade English teacher, but they immediately needed me to sub for one of their teachers who was having lung surgery to remove a tumor. And, of course, the recovery took longer than anyone expected.

This lead to lots of interesting discussions with my students and I, all about what I know concerning genetics, Attila the Hun, and even the Phoenecians.

Okay. So they were very SHORT discussions.

But hey, we all made it through! My students only flunked a few tests (this actually wasn’t my fault- some of the kids went off of their meds and became the poster children for ADD on steroids).

The day after Thanksgiving break was the big moment- finally, an English class all to myself! Finally I can scratch my burning desire to diagram the grammatical structure of sentences on white boards (I seriously LOVE doing this!!). Finally I can discuss the Transcendentalists to my heart’s content.

So there we were, discussing The Cask of Amontillado, having a blast. I told my kids that basically, they were going to suck at discussion for a good long while, but I would have fun antagonizing them until they got better.


If you want to see my syllabus, here it is. Keep in mind that I have been greatly influenced by Dr. Vonk (Aaron Kleist). Also realize that while many of these kids are bright, most of them flunked out of normal public school. Actually, that being said, public school is really really strict here- you can get kicked out for having a nose piercing.

Anyways… here it is:)



I know that I may sound like a baby, but I am cold. Cold cold cold. You know it’s cold when you go to church wearing 3 layers under a wool peacoat and you’re still shivering after 1/2 an hour of being in a heated building. I also knew it was cold when I overheard two ladies say, “Yeah. If we’re lucky, it may warm up into the 40s by the end of the week!” Huh.

Oh yes. The wind chill factor put it into the 20’s, not to mention the freezing rain.

What’s going on? This is supposed to be Texas, the land of cactus, tumbleweeds and sand!

Luckily we have plenty of stores just a block away from our apt., so after church I went on a search for anything that might help. Never in my life have I needed an entire wardrobe for chilly weather- maybe a few sweaters here and there for when we went on our annual ski trip with the Trinidades and the Blacks. But never everyday-wear. Thank God that I found another wool jacket, some sweaters and some furry boots.

Yes, I now own furry boots. But now my toes won’t freeze!

Dreaming of a White Thanksgiving

We just got back from celebrating Thanksgiving at Christine’s apartment in Houston. While we were waiting for the actual dinner to commence, we started watching the Dallas Cowboys on TV. All of a sudden, they panned out to a far away shot of Texas Stadium, and we realized the truth- it was snowing!! Snowing in Irving!! Granted, we weren’t there since we were 4 hrs. away in Houston, but still- snow on Thanksgiving! That was a first for us, especially since it was over 80 degrees just a few days ago! Weird weather, I tell you.

Anyways, the 3 days we got to spend with some of the Voss family were filled with eating, football, sightseeing and funnel cakes. We even went to see “August Rush” at the theater, a movie which I enjoyed immensely (if you love or teach music, you should see it!!). All 3 of us younger folks are pretty tired, seeing as we stayed up until 3am all 3 nights talking, but it was welcome company, and a great way to start the Holidays! Here are some pictures on Facebook.

As another recommendation, you should all go out and buy the new Josh Groban Christmas album. Jesse and I bought it on the way home tonight, and absolutely LOVE it. Yay for finally being allowed to listen to Christmas music!

Cold Front

Well, it’s finally happened- I think winter is here to stay in Dallas! For the last month or two, the weather has done a little bit of fluctuating, but not as much as they say it normally does (the locals have an expression here to describe the random changes- “Don’t like the weather? Just wait a second.”). For the last month, it has felt like spring with the temperature moving between daytime highs in the 70-85 degrees F and the nightime ones 60-70 degrees F.

But today…they warned us that a cold front was moving in. And boy was it! I actually pulled out my one remaining pea coat today (I had to give Courtney all of my other ones…:( They say that in the next few days it should be between 15-20 degrees during the night, which means lots of dangerous ICE.

So, here’s to winter!


High: 80°F Low: 65°F


Fair and Windy

Feels Like

Updated: Nov 21 06:45 p.m. CT