Sunday, February 28, 2010

Science Teacher Rule #53

Adolescent dogs exhibit many of the same characteristics as adolescent humans. They know exactly what they are not supposed to do. They know the consequences.

They do them anyways.

Like going on the couch or carpet. I say goodnight to my dog when she's sleeping happily on her dog bed (and by say goodnight, I mean turn off the lights and pray she doesn't pee on my carpet). The other day I come out in the morning and see her still sleeping happily. On my couch. I yell and kick her out and she knows she is in trouble.

Does she stop?

No. She's a teenager. This means that every morning, as soon as she hears footsteps from my bedroom, she hops off the couch and pretends she's slept the whole night on the dog bed. I KID YOU NOT! My dog is pulling the same crap I did whenever I heard the garage door open.

She also knows that she isn't allowed on my rug in the family room. She creeps, and creeps, and creeps while we're watching tv until my peripheral vision catches her and I yell to send her back. So to help solidify the fact that she is not allowed on the carpet, we created a little barricade with the giant bean bag and the ottoman. Worked wonders.

For a week.

Then she decided to vault over the ottoman to the middle of the carpet. Since this is not exactly a stealthy tactic, we yelled very loudly the instant she made her leap. She ran around the center of the room in a panic because an escape route was not a part of her brilliant plan. She finally spots the ottoman again amid our firealarm-like volume. The equivelant of an air raid sends her leaping to the ottoman.

But there's that little voice in every teenager that says, "There isn't really going to be a consequence is there? I can still get away with this."

Instead of leaping over the ottoman into neutral territory, she jumps right on top of it. She freezes on the ottoman in a terrible fit of indecision, all four legs crammed onto one square foot. And stares at me.

My dog looks just like a billy goat and and I can't stop laughing. Because really, I love teenagers.

Even when they try to sleep on an ottoman that is way to small just because they know they aren't supposed to..

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Science Teacher Rule # 24

Freshmen boys have a strange concept of hygiene.

funny boy: Mrs. Anderson, do you have nail clippers

Me (thinking he must have one annoying hang nail): Sure, just make sure anything you clip makes it into the trash can.

Funny boy: Ok (brings trashcan to his seat. Commences to clip his nails. All of them. During daily warmups. Shrugs off the bewildered looks of his classmates. Returns trash can. Places clippers back on my desk.)

Two hours later

Very excitable boy: (enters classroom) Whoa are those nail clippers?!

Me: Yes

Very excitable boy: Can I borrow them?!

Me: Sure (curious to see what all the excitement is about)

Very excitable boy: Sweet! (begins his own manicure. cuts all his nails. collects them and throws them in trash. returns nail clippers)

I hang my head in shame that this surprised me at all

Sunday, February 21, 2010


Jamie D. Patel.

His middle name is actually D period. A compromise between his mom and dad. His dad's name is Dilip. See Jamie was half Indian. He first told me this and accompanied it with "dot (points to middle of forehead), not feather (gives himself bunny ears)."

He was a regular at the Castillo house for the past ten years or so. The Castillo house gives a warmth and welcome to all that come to it and he came thirsty. He was Alicia's best friend. When Elena would was the first one home in elementary school, he'd come over and watch cartoons with her. Once he spit a watermelon seed at me and it stuck to my forehead. He loved airplanes more than anything. Every fighter plane I get close to, I take a picture of it. For Jamie. He was going to fly.

He made his own path and turned down the air force academy to enlist in the Navy. He knew that's where he wanted to be. He joined the church when he was stationed in Japan. He would video chat with me in my tiny dorm from his tiny apartment. He'd actually write letters back. I still have a USS Kittyhawk hat from him that says "Semper Navy" in black sharpie.

He opened Christmas presents with us. He gave me a book of airplane crosstitch and I made him one. The Corsair. He kept it on his wall forever. He used to trade backrubs and he always thought he owed me one so he made me a card. I found it tucked in a box a few months ago and had it on the end table to show him.

He had the largest cd collection of anyone I've ever met. He gave me the second cd I ever owned, Semisonic. For my birthday. Jamie would always remember my birthday. He'd spend $25 on CD's in Japan and love getting a new one and finding out it was rotten. He liked to savor the experience of the discovery, even if it meant discovering a terrible band. I asked him to make me a mix of some of his favorite punk songs. It took three cd's. That's all we listened to on one of his trips to visit me in Flagstaff.
We ice skated and stored our orange juice outside in the snowbank, only to find someone drank half of it when we came back. We went on top of the snowdome. As in "wow, I never knew I had issues with heights so I'm just going to hug the lightening rod" on top. He thought the frost on it made it seem like ice skating and ran across the top even though there was no guard against death. He went back and paid for the unattended dipping dots we ate. We did flips onto the high jump mat.

He spent hours making model airplanes with my dad. They even went to rock concerts together, where Jamie was let through and my dad got carded. I had to move into my first apartment by myself because my family took him to the MTC.

After serving honorably in the Navy, he served the Lord honorably in Korea. He was gross and loved a good fart or poop story. Apparently on his mission he once saved his toe nails in a bottle and called it death water. He wrote this on the wall of my craft room and it makes me laugh still.

He played Halo with me for five hours when I had my wisdom teeth out. He kicked my trash. We played mariokart Wii with his future wife in her classroom at midnight. I kicked his trash.

We went to a pirate cafe and then got pie in the wee hours of the morning. We sang along to Weezer in what he said was the best concert of his life and ate funnel cakes to make the night perfection.

He was in our family portraits.

He was my brother.

He died in a motorcycle crash the morning February 11th. I texted him that afternoon about visiting that weekend. He never texted back.

I've never had to tell others about someone's death before. I've never been the one people asked for funeral plans. I've never had to let go of the future. Our kids were going to play together. I've never had to force myself to walk into a viewing even though I wanted to throw up. I've never needed closure from a funeral.

He was married only 8 months. At the viewing his wife asked if she was still a Castillo. She always will be one because

Jamie will always be a Castillo.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Can you spot the fakers?

My younger sister who is all smart and in college and stuff sent me this awesome link to a psych study they were learning about.

You essentially watch 20 smilers and see who is faking and who isn't. Then they give you the science on how you can tell. Totally cool.

I am apparently very bad at it.

9 out of 20 correct.


You should try the game out and comment how you did. Or just fake it to find out how to spot the fakers.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Science Teacher Rule # 77 update

After the previous conversation, I voiced my dismay to my first hour. It was something along the lines of, "A student asked if I was pregnant last week."

Bubbly happy girl speaking super fast: Was it Pauly? Because in the middle of math he asked Ms. Smith if you were pregnant and Ms. Smith said she didn't know and even if she did know she wouldn't tell him.

Me: Seriously? In the middle of math?

Bubbly happy girl still speaking fast: So you're really not pregnant? Because me and Natalie thought it was totally true and we were going to make you this super cute scrapbook for you to put pictures in and a baby blanket. We were even going to make you a quillow Mrs. Anderson. A quillow. You're really not pregnant?

Me: No.

Bubbly happy girl now crushed: But we were so excited.

Me: Well you can still make all that stuff for my future spawn and I will e-mail you someday if I choose to procreate.

Conversation about when I will have kids, do I hate kids, why wouldn't you want kids, none of your business, let's get back to work etc.

Nice girl in back: Just don't wait until your forty or anything because that's just gross.

Me: Nah I'm not going to do that

Student that legitimately believed I was 43 like I tell all my students I am until she told the band teacher (my BFF) who straight up told her I wasn't: HA! LIAR ! YOU ARE NOT FORTY THREE!

Me: dang it.

The next period

Me: For the record Pauly, I'm not pregnant.

Pauly: stands up See Jake I told you! You owe me five bucks!

By my estimation, there were about 80 kids convinced I was pregnant and another 40 who were indignant on my behalf that people thought someone as thin as I am was pregnant. And another 20 totally apathetic.
I wanna win a pretty skirt

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Science Teacher Rule # 77

Social norms of propriety are lost upon fourteen year olds.

Nice girl student: Mrs. Anderson, are you pregnant?

Me: You think I look pregnant?

Nice girl student: Well Friday and today you look like you are just starting to show. So are you?

Me: No. No I'm not. Thanks

Pardon me while I go burn my sweater.....

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