Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Lil' Dabb'll Do Ya: Teaching: It's a Love/Hate Relationship

A Lil' Dabb'll Do Ya: Teaching: It's a Love/Hate Relationship: "Currently in my eighth year of teaching high school English, I have come to realize that the teaching profession is a bipolar career. If yo..."

Teaching: It's a Love/Hate Relationship

Currently in my eighth year of teaching high school English, I have come to realize that the teaching profession is a bipolar career.  If you love it one day, week, or month your attitude will rapidly change on a moment's notice.  So I decided to write about the things I love and hate about teaching....

Things that I love about teaching, lately:
  1. The opportunity to influence our future - this is a recent revelation of mine.
  2. The reward of past students - the ones who come back and tell you that you were their favorite, and not because you were easy, but because you taught them something.
  3. Laughter - even though I do not teach elementary school, it still warms my heart to hear students laugh and snicker about little jokes or comments that are "school appropriate".
  4.  Aha Moments - the moment when a student, students, or an entire class FINALLY "Get it"
  5.  Literature - I love reading classics over and over again: Romeo & Juliet, Cyrano de Bergerac, The Great Gatsby, Slaughterhouse-Five, The Crucible, etc.
  6. A fresh start every 18 weeks - every teacher has a student and sometimes class who contributes to the demise of the LOVE part of this relationship.  But, the good news is that in 18 weeks you get a fresh new set of students and can start all over again!  Yippy!

Things I don't love about teaching, lately:
 1. Helicopter Parents - Parents who hover over their children so much that there is not a chance for us to impress upon them the importance of responsibility, respect, reliability, etc.  (the list goes on and on).
 2. Trouble students - these students who constantly test our ability to not drop an f-bomb in front of the class because of callus remarks, disrespect, laziness, etc. (this list also goes on and on).
 3. Duh Moments - the moments when students "just don't get it" even though you've taught your butt off for by explaining topics, definitions, questions, and sections severally.
 4. Repeating the past - teaching the literature that you know is important, but it bores you to death: Various short stories and poems, Night, Huckleberry Finn, etc.
 5. An Entire Semester - although we are rid of our classes after 18 weeks, it is a LONG 18 weeks when your class load is in the 90s. 
 6.  Grading - See the above regarding class size.  When you teach 90+ students and have to grade their work, it is a job in itself and we don't get paid overtime.

I understand after reading this you may be thinking, "What is she really trying to say?"  Simply, it is this:
Teachers are underestimated and underpaid regardless of the demands placed on them, because of the "reward" we receive of being an educator.  However, doctors are not paid based on the "reward" they feel when they save a life,  so why treat teachers any differently - aren't we teaching the future doctors who will be saving lives?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Life's Lil' Changes

A few weeks ago, Shannon, Megan and I went to Asheville, NC for Girls Weekend.  Shannon and I arrived fairly early and while walking around downtown Asheville there was a group called Brother Wolf Animal Rescue set up on the sidewalk.  They were adverstising their new additions and asking for homes for these new kittens and puppies.  I fell in love instantly, started taking pictures and texting/calling Barrett to ask if we could get a puppy.
A puppy is something that Barrett and I have talked about for years, but have always talked ourselves out of getting one.  We would debate how much it would cost, how much it would destroy our house, and how much it would ultimately change our lives.  I called Barrett Saturday night after our last night on the town and his response was, "It's your decision."  So Shannon and I went to BWAR and looked at the puppy one more time took pictures and heading on our way back to Concord.  

After several in-depth discussions the following weekend, Barrett and I were on our way to Asheville to adopt the sweetest lil pup we could have ever asked for.  Barrett fell in love the second he met the little guy and we instantly had a name, Captain Swashbuckler Dabbs; he goes by Buckler!
We are so in love with this little guy; we thought we were going to spoil him to pieces, but we were wrong, he is spoiling us! :)

Dog Toys, Leash, and Treats - $120
Adoption Fee (including Neuter and shots) - $100
Dog Bed, Food, Tag, and More Treats - $130
Sweetest Lil' Puppy EVER - PRICELESS

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

What I Learned in Vegas...

Las Vegas, known to some as Sin City, has a lot to offer.  The hotels are enormous, the Strip is packed, the lights are as glitterful as a bedazzled jean jacket on crack, and the experiences are one in a lifetime.  This is what I learned in Vegas:
1. Nothing is as close as it looks: If a hotel, casino, or restaurant looks like it is 1 block away, think again!  It will be a good 20 minute walk in 100 degree heat and probably further than just a block (take the bus!).

2. Escort services do not care that he is married: You can walk hand in hand with your hubby and they will still snap their cards and HAND him one. But, if you look them in the eye, wave your finger in their faces and with your sweet-southern drawl say "No, no" and they will ignore your husband. :)

3. SheMales: Trannies look the same in Vegas as they do anywhere else in the world, and regardless of how many times I see one, I will always stare. Sorry!

4. Time change: Las Vegas is 3 hours behind NC. If you travel with Barrett, it does not matter what time of day it is in Las Vegas, he will inform you of the NC time also. For instance if you say, "I'm so hungry and it's only 9 o'clock, let's go get breakfast." He will respond, "Well, it's actually noon in North Carolina, so let's just get lunch." - I'm sorry but ordering a Philly Cheesesteak at 9 am is not okay regardless of where you are and what time zone you are from!

5. When you are playing Roulette, put money down before going to the bathroom: We played Roulette throughout our whole trip - one big winner's advice was to pick a number and play that everytime (this guy had stacks of chips, if I'm going to listen to anyone, it's him). So, I pick my favorite driver's number, Kasey Kahne number 9. I spend well over $75 picking this number over several hours and when does it finally pay off? When I go to the bathroom and don't have any chips sitting on that number, go figure.

6. Finish your drink: Before you try to get on one of the transit buses, be sure to finish that $4 bottle of water that you just bought, because you will not be allowed to bring it on the bus. Needless to say, we continued to make this mistake until the last day.

7. You don't "lose" money in Vegas:  Even though you put money down and may lose a game here and there it does pay off.  No, I don't mean that you will win big!  I mean, count the number of top shelf drinks you had (if you can still count that high at the end of the night), figure up the total, and you probably spent less in the Casino...Ca-Ching!   Which makes me wonder: Drinks are free when you're gambling, so WHY would you order a Bud Light when you can have a Crown and coke?  People never cease to amaze me :)

Monday, August 2, 2010

Vegas Baby!

Our Vegas Experience, in a nutshell:

Monday - Arrive at Charlotte-Douglass Airport at 2pm. Flight is delayed 2 hours due to thunderstorms in Atlanta (our connector flight). We're both thinking, "No worries, if planes can't go in, planes can't go out." This makes sense right? We leave close to 5 and arrive in Atlanta at 5:35; our next flight is scheduled for departure at 5:30, again we don't have to worry because of thunderstorms, right? Wrong. We are running through the airport and as we arrive at our gate I watch as our plane pulls out and sets off for Las Vegas. "You mean you couldn't hold the plane for the passengers who were held up in Charlotte?" the NYFD guy asks. "Half of our flight was connecting here for Las Vegas, this is so f'ed up." Needless to say he was angry for all of us! Our next scheduled departure, 9:45pm. My thoughts, "Hey look on the bright side, we can walk 10 feet to the bar and enjoy ourselves for the next four hours, that should make for an interesting flight!" Plane leaves on time.

Monday Night - Flying into or out of Las Vegas at night is something everyone should witness, it is beautiful! We catch a cab and arrive at the Stratosphere around 11:30pm (which is 2:30am EST, and I know this because my husband reminds me of the EST whenever I ask for the current LV time). Needless to say, because it is so late EST he thinks it's bedtime and crawls onto the king sized mattress - "No no," I say, "you don't come to Vegas to sleep, you can do that at home. Get up, we are going to the casino." Five hours later we stumble back into our hotel room.

Tuesday - After four hours of sleep, we get up, get dressed, and head out onto the strip for lunch and sightseeing. We hit he obvious hotel/casino/resorts - Palazzo, Venetian, Bellagio, Caesar's Palace, and Casino Royale - this takes about 3 1/2 hours and we head back to Stratosphere to see the view from 1,100 feet up, hang out by the pool, and then get ready for dinner. Dinner is at Trevi at Caesar's Palace and I must say, I do not recommend it. The price is outrageous and the portions are tiny, in addition to the marinara sauce tasting like it came straight out of a Ragu bottle, yuk! We gamble a little in Caesar's and Bellagio but head back to Stratosphere where the minimums are much lower.

Wednesday - We head back to the strip, this time the southern part and walk to the famous "Welcome to Las Vegas" sign which was several miles further than we thought. "Should've gotten that water at McDonald's before we headed this way," but it was totally worth the heat exhaustion to get our picture with the sign. After we get back to the strip, we hit up Planet Hollywood - Barrett's idea - so we could search for Holly Madison in hopes of getting a photo-op with her (she's one of my favs!!!) No luck, oh well. We head up the strip a little further and stop in Bill's Gambling Hall and I win big at the Roulette table! Woohoo! We cash that and head back to the hotel to hang out by the pool for a little bit.

Wednesday Night - We go to the top of the Stratosphere again for some night views and pictures, before heading over to Freemont Street. Freemont Street is the second most famous street in Las Vegas, it is also known as the Freemont Experience, and the street itself is actually "Freemont Experience Street". This is what comes to mind when I think of Vegas-all the lights, the casinos, the live music, and the delicious food all in SHORT walking distance! Red Sushi is our restaurant choice and it is delicious with amazing service, I highly recommend going here! We experienced much of everything on Freemont and at the end of the night, Barrett gave his favorite belt to a Marine Veteran because his pants were falling down :)

Thursday - Recovery day from Freemont. We basically spend the day in the casino (hellooooo, air conditioning) and a little bit of time on the roof-top pool. Our day is cut a little short, because our show, KA by Cirque du Soleil, starts at 7. If ever in Vegas, one MUST see a Cirque du Soleil show; it was incredible! The colossal, 360-degree rotating stage just adds to the outstanding stunts put on by the acrobats. After the show, we head back to our hotel and change and pack so we can go to the casino one last time before leaving for NC.

Overall, it was a wonderful trip! I can honestly say we will be going back to see more of the strip, shows, restaurants, and casinos!

Next blog: What I learned in Vegas!


Saturday, July 24, 2010

What Happens in Vegas???

Everyone knows the saying, "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas." Although, in this new technology-addicted world, I think it should have a footnote so that the saying would be read or said, "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas* (unless it is blogged or on Facebook)." I bring this up because Barrett and I will finally be heading to Vegas on Monday after planning it for almost 2 years and will be adding our adventures via Blogger and Facebook.
Here is a little background on our continual frustration with planning and then cancelling our Vegas trips.
1st Trip - Planned for Spring Break of 2009. We spent numerous months planning where we would stay, who we would be going with, and attractions that we would see. After the new year and our trip to Memphis, TN to watch the ECU Pirates in the Liberty Bowl, we both went back to work and I started booking our trip. I typically keep my phone on vibrate when I'm teaching, but for some reason left the ring on this day. I was finalizing our trip with credit card information almost completed when I was startled by my phone ringing. I looked down to see Barrett's name and was automatically on alert since he never calls during school hours. He was calling to tell me that he had just been laid off and was packing up his office at the moment. We were both devastated, not only because we didn't see this coming, but because this also meant no Vegas trip for us. Things did turn around and Barrett was hired as the GM of Bikinis Sports Bar and Grill a couple months later.
2nd Trip - Planned for Summer 2009. After Barrett's appointment of GM, we decided to look in to Vegas vacation options again and head off before my coaching season started back up. We started looking at packages again and had narrowed our choices down to two. We were coming up on making a decision and were going to finalize this within the next few days. As Barrett is leaving for work he mentions that his back is giving him some pain (we both have had serious back injuries in years past, so I sympathised with him). He calls me shortly (barely enough time to even get to work) and is barely audible as he is trying to talk through the pain. He threw his back out when he was putting on his shoes and cannot move to get out of the car; he was in so much pain he couldn't even get the keys out of the ignition. I rush to Bikinis and help him out of the car and immediately we go to the ER. He is given pain medication and a referral to a Neurosurgeon. He gets scheduled for back surgery a few days later and is told he cannot fly for several weeks. No trip to Vegas!
3rd Trip - Planned for Spring Break 2010! Barrett won his company's Fantasy Football League and has WON a free trip for 2 to VEGAS!!! We are ecstatic!! We begin planning our trip for my Spring Break, but Barrett's work schedules his off site meeting, in Texas, for the following week and he cannot leave to go out of town. No trip to Vegas!
4th Trip - Planned for Summer 2010! Cross your fingers, but nothing has occurred that is causing us to not be able to go on this trip! Even if I were to have some freak accident and lose a leg, etc, the airline would just have to accept it as one of my carry-ons! Now, we get to have our TRIP to VEGAS!

I know some of you may find this blog to be overhauled with excitement, giddiness, and exclamation points!! However, VEGAS is the one trip that I had to experience before becoming a preggers and mom....who knows, maybe we'll join the trend of naming children after the location where they are conceived and when we do have a Lil' Dabbs we'll name him/her Stratos Vegas Dabbs!

I hope you all enjoy the upcoming blogs detailing the ups and downs, trips and falls, and mind blowing experiences had in Vegas!


Sunday, July 11, 2010

Bad Blog!

Well it has definitely been a while since I have written on here, but figured I should get back into the swing of things and let all of you know what's been going on in the Dabbs' World. I am not going to lie to you, this will probably be the worst blog ever written because I feel like my mind is going a mile a minute with stuff I want to write. Needless to say, you will be reading a blog that is soaked in ADHD and wrapped in confusion.
Since my last post I have graduated from ECU's graduate school with an MAEd in Technology in Education, which should give me more time to write my blog, but I've allowed myself to get sidetracked with other items. I have read about 6 novels so far this summer, and have enjoyed each and every book. Reading in the summer is so easy, since there's nothing on television and most of my days are spent by the pool :) One of my favorite series is Janet Evanovich's Plum Series. I started reading this years ago, but started around book 11 so this past year I have been catching up with the first ten and I love this story of a Jersey girl turned bounty hunter; it is hilarious! Aside from reading, I also have been sidetracked by becoming Susie Homemaker. I have finished our bed spread for our King size bed in our master. I can honestly say that that was a chore and I will probably never make a bedspread that size again. There simply just isn't enough room to make something that big! I also took an old storage cabinet and turned it into a jewelry cabinet, adding hooks to the inside of the door for necklaces and sliding shelves for bracelets, earrings, etc. I am going to add lights next, but am waiting for my shipment to come in (I'll add pictures soon).

Anyway, thanks for reading this choppy, bad blog. I just needed to write on here a little so that I can get back in the swing of things. Look for another blog coming soon!!! I promise it will be much better!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Spring Break - Part 1

Growing up spring break has always been a time to get rowdy with friends, go shopping, and take a break from massive school projects, tests, quizzes, etc. Not much has changed since my high school and college years, the only difference is that I enjoy Spring Break so much more. It is a much deserved break from nagging students, grading papers, and cleaning house. Although, I am in grad school (graduating in May) and still completing projects and my graduation portfolio during my break, I greatly enjoy sleeping in late, working out with my parents, drinking on the beach, playing tennis, and reading for pleasure. The first half of my spring break was spent at my parents house on one of the golf courses in Sea Trail. Nothing beats sitting on a screened in porch, drinking a beer, and watching golfers go by in the evening after spending all day on the beach. This first half was pretty tame, with the exception of some drunk college kids on the beach...too funny of a story not to tell. So here it is:
Mom and I arrive on Sunset Beach a little after 1. It is extremely crowded, so we mosey down the beach a little ways to find a less occupied area. We are enjoying conversation, people-watching, and mojitos and margaritas when a large group of kids (late teens and early twenties) come walking up and set up camp behind us. We begin deciding if these kids are old enough to drink and come to the conclusion that they must range from 18-22 and be in college. Mom glances over a little bit later and says, "What are those kids doing?!? They've poked a HOLE in their beer and are drinking it from the side??" I inform her that this is called Shotgunning a Beer, something all the the young kids are doing these days, and rednecks have been doing for years at the racetrack. One of the youngins must be new to the drinking craze or is just so skinny he can't handle all that he has consumed. The entire crowd on the beach watches and roars with laughter as this young man stumbles with his skim board to the shore. We all continue to watch and laugh as he tries without success to throw his skim board and land on it. He busts his rump about 4 times before deciding to quit and stumble back to his group of friends, but not before he throws his skim board on the sand and tries, without success, to land on it again. When he comes upon his group, he is congratulated for the success he didn't have and continues to struggle with gravity. He falls another 5 times, onto the sand, into the umbrella, onto the sand again, onto the cooler then the sand, and onto a girl who he spits-up on. Needless to say, a father of three calls the police who do not arrive before another family informs the group that cops are on the way and they need to disperse. It was a fun time had for all at the expense of a young college kid trying out alcohol, for what I would guess, the first time!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Welcome to Atlanta Where the Playa's Play

Shannon and I decide, "Let's go to Atlanta and surprise Megan. It will be so much fun! What will she say, how will she react, do you think she'll be surprised?" We get a date set, call Byron and begin the planning. We leave work early this Friday and begin our journey to Atlanta, GA. We cross into South Carolina and I need Starbucks, BAD. We stop at the next exit and it takes about fifteen minutes to get off of the exit and onto the main road. I have a lot of suggestions for the SCDOT!! We arrive at Starbucks, but have no idea where we are. Pelham?? When we enter the Starbucks Shannon is on the phone with Steve and he is asking where we are. So Shannon asks an older gentlemen about our location; he informs us that we are in Greenville. "Is that closer to North Carolina or Georgia?" As this conversation is taking place, I am in line ordering my Starbucks fix, Caramel White Mocha!! It is the best coffee drink after Caramel Brulee (which is only served in December, and Yes, I do have issues with that!). As we are leaving, I turn to Shannon and offer her, "Would you like to sample crack?" She agrees that the Caramel White Mocha is very much addicting and orders it later in our trip!
"Welcome to Atlanta where the playas play/And we ride on them things like everyday/Big Beats, hit streets, see gangstas roamin'/And parties don't stop til eight in the mornin'" actually comes on the radio as we are leaving South Carolina and entering Georgia....coincidence? I think not, Atlanta knew what was up!! When we arrive at Arena Tavern we inform the hostess that we are surprising a friend and I detail how this will go down. Since I am a hosting connoisseur (thanks Outback) I feel that I have the right to tell her how this will go down effectively. We grab our table and wait for Megan and Byron to arrive. Megan tells the hostess that she has a party of two and the waitress informs her they are on a wait; however, when Megan gives her her last name, the waitress "sees" that there is a table available. She walks Megan over, who thinks, "Why is she seating me at a table with other people?" and then quickly recognizes us. Her reaction is priceless, "What are yall doing here? When did you get here? I didn't even recognize you." Byron comes in and joins us, and she begins the conversation with "But, where are your parents going to sleep?" "These are my parents," is his reply. She is bewildered, "How did you ever keep me from figuring this out? I always figure out surprises!!" We have dinner, reminisce, and start making plans for the weekend. When we get back to the house, we call it an early night, afterall, we have some serious shopping to do tomorrow.
Mall of Georgia is our first choice to being our shopping adventure. Before we can begin any shopping though ,we must prepare for the endeavor by feasting with Iraq soldiers at PF Changs. After filling our bellies, we headed to H&M first and began the shopping spree. After hitting all of the hot spots at the mall, we headed out and on to Discovery Mills. Let me say, from ny experience working in a mall I do believe it should be required that all employees know where other stores are located, or at least that they are IN the mall. We need to find BCBG Final Cut, so I begin asking an associate at a kiosk. Me: Can you tell us where BCBG is located? Associate: B-C-B-G??? Do you mean Burlington Coat Factory? Me: No, not BCF, BCBG. Ass: (confused -obviously) "B-C-B-G??" Me: Yes, as in the designer!! Ass: I don't think we have one. Me: Obviously. Frustrated, we detour through the food court and see Forever 21. Browsing through we see another associate, who looks to be dressed like Peter Freakin' Pan. He has on an adult onesie (or romper), fake eyelashes, makeup, and high heels. Undoubtedly, he will know where BCBG is located. To our surprise, he has no idea what we are talking about and thus steers us in the direction of the directory; you can imagine, he sends us the wrong way. C'mon, you dress like that, work at Forever 21 and YOU don't know what BCBG is?? We finally find our store, shop around, and leave the mall. It's time for dinner, and we're all starving. Bahama Breeze is our choice for this evening. We eat dinner, have some drinks, and begin planning our next reunion and our 30th birthday parties. We are planners at heart and this planning keeps us out at Bahama Breeze until they close and send us home. After 13 hours of shopping, eating, and planning, we are pooped and go straight to bed.
After lunch, Shannon and I head back home to NC. Our trip up 85 is smooth and we make good enough time to stop and shop in Gaffney at the outlet mall there. Traveling back, we hear on the radio that Greenville, the city we passed through 3o minutes earlier, is on a Tornado watch and people in their cars should get out and seek shelter. Thank goodness we left early. We make it back to Concord, have dinner waiting on us, and these blogs have offcially begun

What have I learned: 1. Surprising your best friend is a wonderful gift. 2. Starbucks coffee can be referred to as crack, because it is addiciting. and 3. Not all gay men know where designer stores are located in a mall.