"I do not claim that I can tell a story as it ought to be told. I only claim to know how a story ought to be told." -Mark Twain


Proms and Viral Videos!!!

Yes. I am worn out. But Prom (Star Struck) 2012 is in the books ladies.  Now it is just a VERY good memory.
We began decorating at about noon thirty on Friday. For the first time, our prom was not being held at the school. In years past, the prom was always held at school and because of that, school was let out on Friday, so students and sponsors could get in and decorate. 
This time we DID have school on Friday and the prom was held in a building downtown. It was my first time to be a prom sponsor at this school. I dreaded it with a dread like no other. 
Which is really odd if you know me well, because I LOVE to plan and throw parties. In this case though, we do two years worth of concession stands to raise the money for prom, then we do prom. When I saw "we" that includes four sponsors (per grade level) total. The work is supposed to be doled out equally between parties. HA!!!!
I was the only female on the committee. Guess who got to order, organize, decide what to sell and make sure all the food was ready for every concession stand? Guess who got to do 
99 % of the prom?  If you guessed me, then you probably hear a bell going "dingdingdingding"! 
Let's face it: Men don't care about proms. Throw up a few strands of crepe paper and call it even!!!  I knew if I wanted it to be special for my students then I was going to have to do it. And I DID want it special. So I did it. The dread came because at times, it was a little overwhelming. But it all turned out, and turned out great!
I was determined from the beginning that the prom would be a WOW factor.  I wanted the students to walk in and literally say, "WOW!!!!"
We started on Friday at lunch and by Friday night at midnight our blank room was at least an "Ahhhhh" factor.
I knew that with more work, it would become the 
WOW factor I wanted.
There were one or two "minor" (hahahahaha) glitches that day. First, all that day and the day before the National Weather Service was sending out a very dark warning that we were under a "life-threatening storm prediction." In the history of weather forecasting, they had only issued such dire warnings once before.
We live with tornadoes in Oklahoma. It is just a reality of our state. But the gloom and doom that was being painted by the weathermen was quite foreboding.
And rightly so......As it turned out there were several schools in our area that did postpone their prom(s), just on the weather warning. And sadly, a high school having prom less than 100 miles from us did have to get all their students to safe areas as a tornado struck their town. No one was killed at the high school in that town, but 6 people in the town did die.
So it was with a great measure of caution that I did decorate for prom....with an escape plan for my students planned out.
The second problem was that I had ordered all my prom decor from three different companies. Two of the companies had sent my stuff on a super-quick turn-around. The third company, Stumps, had the worst service. EVER. Not only that, but I had bought the majority of my things from them.
They had given me a guaranteed delivery date and they did not keep their word. Not only that, but by late Friday afternoon they were giving me a big-time run-around.
I finally called the trucking company they had put my HUGE order on. (It took Stumps an hour to tell me they did not send it UPS!)
The trucking company had a sub-company helping them out, so then I had to track down that company.
When I finally got hold of that company, they had no idea my order needed to be delivered by Friday and were not planning on delivering it till Monday. (AFTER the prom!!)
When I explained to them the importance of my packages, they said I could come and get them. The problem was that the packages were in OKC, which was an hour from where I was. There were also thunderstorms coming in from every direction.
I was torn as to what to do. I could have quit and had just an "ahhh" prom (which I would say equals just a typical dance),
or I could track down a brave soul that had a pickup to go and  save my order.
I knew just the student!!
He drove into OKC, through the rain and saved the prom.
(Or at least saved it from an "ahhh" factor!)
His retrieval of my long-lost packages took our prom from 'ahh' to 'WOW'. 
So we ended up staying up decorating till almost one in the morning. Then Saturday morning we came back and worked till three that afternoon.
I can't even explain to you how tired my poor (old) feet were!
But on Saturday when the students were walking in and "WOWing" everything, I was one happy camper.
We had fun glasses to give away. We had glow sticks to wear (however creatively you so chose!)
We had tons of food. 
We had a photobooth for all those fun, goofy pics with friends.

We had balloons and stars out the whazoo!

The students were truly "Star Struck".
The students were on their best behavior.
They looked beautiful and handsome and 
some of the dresses made me wish I was
young and skinny!
The capstone of the night might have happened right smack dab in the middle at 10 o'clock.
If the weather held out and there were no 
thunderstorms or tornadoes,
we had worked out a deal with the local police to shut
down the block in front of the building we were in 
right at 10.
At that time, the students were to go out 
to the Main Street of
Small Town Oklahoma USA
and perform their 
choreographed version of 
which is incidentally, based on an Oklahoma town!
Well the weather did hold out.
We were under a tornado watch, 
and it was unbelievably windy,
but we were determined.
If you have come this far in this post, then you 
MUST watch the Youtube video.
This is in the middle of our prom. Only outside. On Main Street. 
And Footloose!
I GUARANTEE it will bring a smile to your face.
Turn up your volume!

And that my friends, was the recap of the WOW factor prom.
What a great, great, fun night!
Linking with :


Mickey Mantle and Easter. (What????!!!)

 I don't know if better late than never is necessarily true, but just wanted to check in to let you all know that I am still among the living. (Of course we need to take into consideration that two very long days and nights are ahead of me as we decorate for prom and have the prom.!)
 The better late than never part applies to the fact that despite taking these pictures weeks ago, I am just now posting them....AFTER the fact! I really did decorate for Easter, like I said on my post-spring break posting. I even decorated our front porch. (Although I won't make you look at those pics!) 

 There is not one single thing new on this mantel...(although I got that groovy old PB wood box for my birthday in January from my sister.) It is the same wood box that I had the blue willow pitchers and creamers in earlier. A multi-purpose box. I like those kind! 
 While we are on the subject of mantels, I'll let you in on a little idiosyncrasy of mine: For the life of me, I can never remember how to spell the word 'mantel'.  Nine times out of ten I will spell it 'm-a-n-t-l-e'.  And then nine times out of ten I will have to look it up (on dictionary.com) and see that I am (once again) profoundly wrong. OH MY GOSH.  I am an above average speller. I can read and decipher and infer and syncopate any type of literature. I can write technically, narratives, expository style, AP style, and persuasively, but I cannot spell the dang word "mantel". (I JUST spelled it wrong again and had to go back and look to see the 'right' way!!!!)  One night when I had done a whole post on a mantel (got it right) I had decorated, I finished the post only to discover I had spelled it wrong all 500 thousand times.  (again) OH MY GOSH!!!  
 The night I did that I was screaming at the computer and myself and my (sweet) Hubby came to see what was wrong. I told him the sordid secret of my mantle/mantel problem.  Without blinking an eye, he told me that I spell it "M-a-n-t-l-e" because I am from Oklahoma and that is how Mickey Mantle (a fellow Okie) spelled his name, so I am always thinking of that!!  Of course.....!!!!!!!!!!hahahaha!!!   All roads always lead to some kind of ball tale in our house!!  So now I blame my mantle/mantel problems on Mickey. 
 Anyway, as you can see, I had my (mickey) mantle/mantel all decorated for Easter. And now you have to view it a week after-the-fact! And hear about my stupid spelling errors! 
 I should have put some kind of white runner under the Dumpster Diva on this dark buffet, but that indeed is the beloved Dumpster Diva herself decorated up for the Easter holiday. The fun piece that I write about every couple of months is one of my favorite gifts. (If you have never read about it on here, my daughter Taylor found it in the trash and brought it home to me.) 
 This little bunny was part of a set that was in my oldest daughter's nursery 29 years ago. I held onto this one and still think it is just very cute. (Even the crayon marks are cute!!)
 The sugar egg is one that was made by one of my cousins more than 35 years ago. It is solid sugar and still in good shape. I wrap it up in a ziplog bag after Easter and put it away in a cool, dark closet until the next year
 The Peter Rabbit books are two that I got from a stash of children's books that were left at the house my parents moved into over 40 years ago. I got the entire stash and these are just two of the great-in-super-condition-books!
And finally, this is just a not-so-good-snapshot of our Easter table. This picture was taken right before we ate a pre-Easter meal and there is a lot of extra stuff on the table. But I thought I would include the snippet of what our table looked like. Now I am off to prom for the next two days. It should be fun! Two days of decorating with 16 and 17 year olds, then a night of promming (new word) with 16-18 year olds! Can't wait! Enjoy your own weekend! 


Tell All Tuesdays--School

I teach at a high school that is about 50 minutes from where I actually live. I commute there each day with my husband!!  He is the IT Director for the school district. I commuted an hour from home when I lived in Kansas and my husband commuted 25 minutes in a different direction, where he was the IT Director at a small college. At each school I have taught Junior English. At the school I am at now I teach both Sophomore and Junior English. 
I have taught for so long that I can see a HUGE difference from when I began teaching in both students....and parents.  And many times the parents can be worse than the students! ha!
The school where I teach now has won the state football championship for the past two years. In addition, we were  state champs in track and field and cross country, and runners-up in state basketball. We excel in athletics. 
Oklahoma emphasizes athletics a whole lot more than Kansas schools do. 
I have mixed opinions on that.

As the Sophomore and Junior English teacher, I "get" to give the state assessments. No matter where you live, if you have children in public schools, you know about end-of-the-year-state-assessments.  They are SO stressful. For students. And teachers!!
So much rides on those tests.
In Oklahoma, if my sophomores do not pass the English II test, then they do not get to graduate from high school.
For real.
They do get more chances, but the stress factor with consequences like that are very high.
For students. And teachers!!
My juniors take a test as well, but it "only" counts as one of seven that must be taken.
The sophomore level is the one where so much is on the line.

We begin our state testing next week. The Juniors will take their multiple choice test on Tuesday and the Sophomores will take their (very important) multiple choice test on Wednesday. The tests take all morning long. There are very strict rules and regulations that go with the testing. Then the next week the Juniors take their written (composition) test on Tuesday, with the Sophomores taking theirs on Wednesday. We have worked on the 100+ English elements that comprise these tests all year. The past few weeks we have had our noses to the grindstone practicing. 

I try to always give my students a  snack and a bottle of juice before we begin the tests. Believe me, many students come to school without any food in their stomach. Testing is SO much better if your brain and your stomach are full!  Then I also try to give them candy with a little pun to match. Such as I hand out Smarties and say, "Be a Smartie. Do well on your test." Or I give out Snickers and say, "These test are nothing to Snicker about. do your best." Or after the first test I might give them a Tootsie Roll and say, "We are on a roll. Keep up the good work."  You would be amazed at how much even high school students love a little extra attention! 
In addition to all this testing of the students over the next two weeks, and the intensive practicing we have been doing, I am in charge of the prom which is this Saturday. Really. WAIT. That is not all. There is a four-member committee for the prom. I am the only female. Really. I have had one of the male members  help a little, but the other two I have not heard from at all. Zero. Nothing. Nada. The one male that has helped will not be at the prom for religious reasons. That means the entire prom is on my shoulders. Talk about stress!!
This Friday we decorate for it and my decorations are still trickling in. Many of my best student-helper-decorators will be gone on Friday to ballgames and and a trackmeet. I am feeling the stress!!
So in case you think I have just dropped off the earth and quit blogging, now you know why! I really have good intentions, but I am exhausted by the time I get home each night. 
Then I just make more lists of things I need to do for prom, or testing. I think "I should blog about ...... or ....., but instead I think about the next two weeks! 
Once the evening of April 25th gets here, I will feel like a free woman. The prom will be over and all the testing will be done for my juniors and sophomores! 
I am not one to usually wish my life away. But then again, I am not one to feel stress very often. In this case though, I cannot wait for the next two weeks to get over with! 

The sign in front of our school. Good words to remember!

In addition to winning all those athletic championships, we also won another award. We were recognized for having the highest GPA's (in the state) on our athletic teams. Now that is something to be proud of! I'm hoping those brain cells kick into high gear over the next two weeks.....AND I'm hoping those nimble, swift, quick feet of all those athletes (and non-athletes) turn in to dancing feet on Saturday night! 
Each school in our district put up a sign to honor the team. ...A great encouragement for the lower aged students! 


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