Elastic Basket for my Peaches

I also have a website: www.lizhightower.com

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Random funny things

Tomorrow is my last day of school! It doesn't even feel real. I don't know what I thought it would feel like but it is not this. On Friday we have a teacher work day and then Saturday night I head to Young Life camp on one of those big buses with TVs.

One of our Young Life kids was afraid her boss wouldn't give her time off work to come to camp. About two weeks ago, she told her boss that she would need the first week of June off for her Grandfather's funeral. Unless she was going to kill him, it'd be a little hard to predict something like that. Needless to say, she was fired.

On another humorous note, today I was hit on by a mentally handicapped guy at Big Lots. For those of you unfamiliar with Big Lots, it's kind of a step up from the dollar store with a similar clientele. I was looking for garish make-up for a skit I will be performing for tomorrow's talent show. As I wandered the aisles looking for make-up, I noticed a guy who seemed to be everywhere I was. He looked normal though seemed to be struggling to carry one of those jumbo multi-packs of paper towels. When I finally found the make-up, he sidled up to me.

After some very awkward silence, he said something like this with very stilted speech, "I have been going up and down aisles of things I haven't been interested in...all to get up the courage to talk to you." Eek! I didn't know what to do as it was suddenly clear that he was of below average intellect. I decided to ignore him. Then he said, "My name is Tim and you seem nice." To this I replied, "It's hard to tell if someone is nice by watching them shop." (It actually would have been safe to assume that I was a hooker since I was buying red lipstick, hot pink blush and blue eyeshadow.) I tried to politely ignore him. I didn't want to be mean but I didn't think I should show any interest for fear of leading him on. He then said, "My parole officer said I am no longer a danger to myself or others." I am not certain whether this was a joke or not because it was delivered in the same stilted monotone. Needless to say, I was not reassured by this; joke or no joke. Then he mumbled something about browsing other aisles.

I quickly gathered my whore make-up and got out of there. Just another day at Big Lots!

Monday, May 26, 2008


I had a three day weekend this weekend and I think it was a bit dumb. It's not that I don't think Memorial Day should be a holiday. Obviously I am in support of a holiday that honors soldiers who gave their lives for our country. The dumb part comes with next week's schedule. We are off today, Monday. Then we have a full school day tomorrow, a half day on Wednesday and a half day on Thursday(the last day of school). The teachers have to come in on Friday to wrap everything up. I really don't know what I am supposed to do with one full day and two half days. I am going to bring some kids' movies since I have a suspicion that the other teachers are just going to have kids watch movies all day. We'll see. I guess I will prepare a back-up lesson just in case. The three day weekend did give me a little taste of what summer will be like or more accurately what the two and a half weeks I won't be traveling will be like.

On Wednesday we have a class party and awards presentation. Apparently I have to think of an award for each kid. Some will be very easy but others will be quite difficult. "Smelliest farter," "Most likely to say a cuss word" and "Most likely to end up in prison" are probably not acceptable despite their validity. In all seriousness, I want to validate something I see in them that other people or even themselves might not see. I should probably start thinking and praying about this.

On Friday we went on a field trip to Moody Gardens- a hodgepodge of random attractions in Galveston. The day started off very poorly with an unplanned wake-up call at 8:00am from my teacher friend, Belinda. I normally wake up around 6am and arrive at school around 7:15-7:30am. School starts at 7:45. Needless to say, I felt terrible. I made it to school at 8:30 feeling pretty dumb.

Field trips are good and bad. Good because it's a chance to be with the kids on a more informal way and bad because they won't stop asking the same innane questions over and over again. We went to the aquarium, on a paddle boat ride and watched an IMAX movie. The movie was in 3D and watching all the kids try to touch the 3D images was very entertaining. It was about the Grand Canyon and made me want to go rafting down the Colorado River. Apparently it is super pricey.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Weekend Fun

I had a pretty good weekend. I might as well share it with my blog fans. On Friday night I went out to eat with my parents. That's the way we bond these days.

On Saturday I went to the Pasadena Strawberry Festival with a new friend. It was way bigger than I had anticipated. It was more like a fairly big carnival with a strawberry theme. They had the world's largest strawberry shortcake and I got to eat a big piece of it. Yay! I am sure you are all jealous. The thing was said to be an astonishing 1300 sq feet.

They also had carnival rides but the sketch factor was high and we didn't want to take the risk. There was a mud volleyball tournament that was fun to watch. Maybe I will have to compete next year. They had carnival games and my friend dazzled me with his basketball skills to win me a basketball painted like an eight ball from pool. Now I know you are jealous. My carnival game skills were nothing fancy and I did not win any prizes.

They also had mutton bustin'. We speculated a lot about what this might be. I thought it was where people hit large pieces of lamb meat with a sledge hammer. Luckily I was not correct. It was where small children tried to ride a sheep in a similiar fashion to bull riding. It was pretty funny. The smallest kids seemed to do the best. Maybe they have a lower center of gravity.

All in all the Strawberry Festival was a good time for all. Maybe I will go next year.

Today I went to a bridal shower for my childhood friend, Leena. She is Indian and so were most of the guests. I was the only white person there and I loved it. I enjoy racial humor (not the offensive kind). At one point the song, "Boot Scootin' Boogie" came on and someone asked if anyone knew the dance. I assured them that despite being white, I did not know how to do it. There was another racial moment when we played this strange party game that awarded points for different things you had or were wearing. One part gave points for green eyes. Everyone looked at me and I reminded them that my eyes were brown, just like theirs. It was pretty funny! I am really excited about Leena's wedding. I have never been to an Indian wedding. I think I am going to get a sari and go all out. Also there is a big dance before the wedding called a garba. It is awesome! I highly recommend them to anyone. Indian people really know how to party!

After the shower I went for a bike ride. Thankfully I am finally getting used to my clip-on pedals. I haven't even fallen down yet. Then I read a book on my porch swing for a few hours. Talk about a good day! Now it's time to make my lesson plans for next week. Only two weeks left! Whoohoo!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Fun and Funny Field Day

Today was my school's Field Day. This is when the kids get to compete in a variety of physical challenges for colored ribbons and the esteem of their classmates. I loved it as a child. In fact, in fifth grade I actually trained for the water balloon toss. What kid trains for the water balloon toss? My neighbor, Sherika and I would go to the park and practice. Since no one else was practicing, I knew we were shoe-ins to win. Unfortunately tragedy struck. I was in a bike accident and broke my arm. Our cheap first place ribbon dreams were dashed. I really let Sherika down.

After this disappointment in my last field day, I had to redeem myself. I did so by winning the joust against my friend, Ms. Flores. It was great fun! My kids did pretty well but it was hard to make sure all kids got to participate and not just let the really athletic ones do everything so we would win. I made the mistake of letting some of the larger kids do the obstacle course and they got stuck. So much for the team gold!

Probably the funniest moment of the day was after the kids had water fun with the water slide. One of my students, I will call him Joey, is kind of an odd kid. He is 9 years old but looks and acts a bit like a grumpy old man. He is a bit of a complainer and wears a dark blue polo shirt and dark blue pants every single day. Today after the water fun, he tells me that he has a secret. Then he whispers in my ear that he is not wearing underwear. Eek! I explained to him that it is called going commando and it's okay but he shouldn't tell people. Pretty funny.

I have a few other funny stories concerning my students' recent community projects. They had to research a foreign country. Some of them either just made up information or just completely misread their facts. A girl said in her project that it never rains in France. Another said that South Africa and Houston are the same in that they both have African Americans...hmmm!. One kid's project listed the number of Wal-Marts in China. Now that's an interesting fact!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


I have recently begun raising support for my upcoming overseas mission trip. It's always a bit weird to ask people for money even though I have now done it dozens of times. I have never had any trouble raising support but I was had some doubts about this time since I am no longer a full-time missionary. Luckily God is bigger than my doubts.

I sent out support letters last week and got my first response today. I am not going to say who it was from but the amount floored me. It was for $500! That's about 1/7 of what I need and it was only from one person. I am so thankful for people who give generously and selflessly. It also shows me that God is faithful even when I have doubts. So, now I am off to write an incredible thank you note.

Friday, May 09, 2008


I am sick again. I seem to get this sinus mess once every month or so and I hate it. I am hoping my sinus surgery in June will stop this cycle of sickness. I was supposed to go to the art car parade with a new friend tomorrow and now I can't go. I hate to let being sick stop me from doing what I want to do but I know that resting now will help me to get better faster. I guess there is always next year for the parade.

Today I went to school despite my sickness. I couldn't miss our school's Cinco de Mayo program. The student population is 97% Hispanic and more than half of the faculty is as well. This means we do Cinco de Mayo big, real big!

Each grade performed a dance from a different Latin American country. The kids praticed hard and looked really good. I was so proud of him. One of the kids in my friend, Ms. Flores's class is part of a ballet folklorico group. He and his sister performed and it was really neat to see. Some of my kids were in two of the dances. I really enjoyed watching them shake it.

When the fifth graders performed, it got a little weird. They had one of the student's older brothers choreograph it. The brother is in high school and already a flamboyant homosexual. He wears makeup and carries a chiuhuahua around ala Paris Hilton. This guy likes the spotlight. He created a borderline inappropriate routine with his limberness as the main attraction. I almost couldn't believe my eyes. He pranced around, did the splits; the kid could dance. The fifth graders in the show were relegated to mere background dancers in this kid's egotistical wake. It was weird and wrong. All I could do at the time was stare with my mouth open.

The fourth graders did a somewhat provocative dance where some of the kids pop, lock and dropped it. It was borderline scandalous as well. I couldn't fully understand if what they were doing was appropriate because it was part of their culture. We honkies don't have much history of provocative dancing. Oh well, everyone had fun.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

A week less ordinary

This week was not your average week at school. For one thing, there were TAKS tests being held on three out of the five days. The third graders took the Math test on Tuesday and those who failed the Reading, took a retest of that one on Wednesday. All principals get really paranoid about TAKS and the condition of the entire school that day. We are all highly encouraged to take field trips. Third, fourth and fifth are all on the same hall so if one of them is testing and we are not, we have to move to an alternate location. It's pretty crazy.

So, on Wednesday while ten of our students took the retest, my co-teacher and I were put together with the rest of our students into a spare classroom. It was pretty strange and hard to get anything done. In the end, we decided to just put on a movie. The other three third grade classes had it worse as they were all crammed in the gym.

On Thursday the fifth graders were taking their Reading TAKS test so we went on a field trip. We got a tour of minute maid park, our local major league baseball stadium. It was a cool tour but a little short. We were left to kill time with the kids for a few hours at a park. It reminded me a bit of being a camp counselor again. The kids' incessant questioning and whining was driving me crazy.

We survived the field trip. On Friday, the moment I had been training for my entire life, came, the faculty basketball game!!!! I actually had trained a bit by shooting around with my dad and Neha at the gym. I just wanted to look like a competent player and make my students proud. Well, my team lost but I still had a great time. I was by far the best girl and that made me feel really good. I wish I had had more playing time but it was just a faculty game anyway. Everytime I scored a basket, I felt like a Houston Rocket as the whole gym erupted in applause. The kids held signs to support their teachers. The best part was that there were several kids that I knew from other grades as well as some I did know who had signs with my name on it. I expected that from my own students but it was really neat to see it from other kids as well. What can I say? After that hot cheetos costume, I am just really popular!
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