Monday, February 14, 2011

Dear Gov. Walker: This is what happens to 7th grade teachers...

Dear Gov. Walker,

This is what can happen to me after a long day of teaching 7th graders. I imagine it's similar to working with the legislators in some way!

My task was simple at the end of the day: Get to the dentist for a routine cleaning. It had been a long day with my kids. Lots of challenges, lots of feeling like I need a lot more me's to help all these kids.

I left with plenty of time, out to 894 to head north to Shorewood. I had never been to Dr. Hart, but he has sponsored a bike team and races for years, and I wanted to support him.

Oops. 894 heading north is closed! So I drove down to the airport and around to head back north, adding 15 minutes to the trip. I was going to make it, but it was going to be close.

I drove a little quickly, still thinking about the kids and what I could be doing to help them want to use their brains more to be more creative, have more fun learning.

I was thinking so much that I headed to Madison instead of heading north on 43. And there was a traffic disaster ahead.

Not sure why I see the more inconsiderate people on highways than anywhere else.

I called the friendly people at Dr. Hart's office to let them officially know I'd be late. I hit some more traffic on 43 north, but made it to Capital and exited. The iphone gave me good directions, and I turned north on Oakland.

I read the street signs for Lake Bluff, found it, and turned left, only to realize there was a stoplight at the intersection and it had already turned red. Oops. No cars in the intersection, and I was only going to be 15 minutes late as long as I didn't ....

that's right: get pulled over. As soon as I saw the police vehicle behind me with lights flashing, I seriously started to laugh.

The Shorewood officer, though, was very kind. He must have known I was a teacher of 7th graders after looking at my face. Apparently we're supposed to have our insurance cards in our car as well (not sure I ever got mine from WEA), but I didn't.

The officer only gave me a citation for no insurance card and graciously ignored the red light issue!

Then Dr. Hart's office was wonderful. Good man, good staff, quality service.

I bought some tasty food at Outpost at the end of the adventure, and now I'm cooking up a chicken, red pepper, and asparagus dish with red wine sauce over brown rice. Yum.

And Gov. Walker, I know you're a busy man, but guess what I'm doing when I finish my dinner?

You got it! Grading papers!

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Snowmageddon/Storm of the Century

Usually, when a school district I work at calls a snow day, I'm not very convinced it's necessary, unless it's a "cold day."

You know of course that when I was young, I had to ride my bike in snowstorms to school or trudge on wooden skis across the barren tundra. And it was uphill both ways in four-foot drifts.

At least that's what I remember when I was on the school bus.

But this morning, I look out on the city of Milwaukee that is paralyzed. And we didn't get the worst of it, that coming in Racine and Kenosha counties to the south of us.

There are Facebook reports of friends around the area who can't get out of their houses because the wind has driven snow drifts too high to open the door. Motorists are stuck on an "impassable" Interstate 94. Wind gusts of 60 miles an hour continue to blow the 16-20 inches of snow that's dropped since Tuesday.

Drifts four to five feet high cover everything I can see. And more snow is coming. I don't even want to look at my alley. I'm a little worried I won't be able to get out even tomorrow!

Even though I know it's possible, I can't get over a blizzard with thunder and lightning, as reported by the weather channel in Chicago. A cyclone is about to hit Australia. More severe weather has hit and is expected throughout the country.

With all the snow, people say "what about global warming?" It's the gradual heating up of the planet that is likely causing this kind of severe climate change and weather events.

Regardless of what you believe in the face of a lot of science, climate change has been evident the past few years with significant weather events. In many ways, it's scary. To me, a person with a too-wild imagination, it can ONLY mean, of course, a precursor to the end of the world.

I wish I had some snowshoes today when I venture out to view the city and take some photos. I'll probably use my skis to get around.

And if this blizzard is called the "Storm of the Century," it is indeed worthy of a snow day.