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for Dorothy...re. Curious George

Posted by Suzanne D. on 7/31/05 at 08:09 (179517)

Dorothy, I seem to remember that you (and particularly your husband) like the Curious George books. I remember writing about the dress I made from Curious George fabric for the first day of school a couple of years ago. (I teach first grade for anyone who doesn't know and who is wondering about my sanity at this point!) I was readying my room for the start of another year and while putting the Curious George lunchbox, books and stuffed animals on the shelf, I thought of you!

This year it is Clifford the Big Red Dog, and so I have another new outfit. :) I found a very plain sleeveless navy dress at a consignment shop and have placed Clifford appliques around the bottom. I need to find a short red jacket to go over it. (I have until Wednesday!) If I don't find one, I have a red and white checked short-sleeved blouse that can be worn with it.

My room is ready as Open House is tomorrow night. I have mailed letters to my new students to welcome them. This begins my 26th year of teaching.

I've been told that I have some 'challenges' in my new class in the form of several rowdy little boys. I tend to like rowdy little boys, so I am not too worried. :) I do, for the first time, have a child confined to a wheelchair. I sat in my chair on wheels the other day and rolled around the room, trying to see things from his perspective and see what I needed to change to meet his needs.

Take care,
Suzanne :)

Re: for Dorothy...re. Curious George

Kathy G on 7/31/05 at 10:21 (179527)

What a nice thing to do, Suzanne. Will the child have a personal aide?

I love your outfit for Clifford! I've never met a child who doesn't love the Clifford books. Norman Bridwell came to our elementary school when my son was little and he has his autograph. He was most impressed to meet a 'real' author. Bridwell lives on Martha's Vineyard so he's not that far away.

Rowdy little boys can be hilarious and it's obvious that you have a sense of humor and can deal with them. On the other hand, they can be a huge challenge, so it's nice to see that after twenty-five years, you're still no burnt out and welcome the challenge. Some people are born teachers and you are definitely one of them. Your classes are very fortunate.

Good luck on finding the red shirt!

Re: for Dorothy...re. Curious George

Suzanne D. on 7/31/05 at 19:03 (179564)

Kathy, unfortunately, he will not have an assistant. I always thought that to be the case with certain handicapping conditions, but the principal as well as the special ed department are telling me no. I have reminded them that during his past two years at school (both years spent in kindergarten) he has had the benefit of a full-time assistant. (KY law stipulates that all kindergarten classrooms have full-time assistants. In first grade, we have one assistant shared among 4 classrooms.) So I am rather nervous about how this is going to work out. I have been given boxes of special gloves containing no latex for his diaper changes and a special desk which accomodates his wheel chair. Other than that, I seem to be on my own. I did sit in on interviews for our assistant and asked each how they would feel about diapering a child. I believe we chose a very competent person, so I am in hopes she will be helpful in my situation.

So your son has Norman Bridwell's autograph; I am jealous! :) It has been a joy to me to meet a few authors through the years, and I treasure the autograph of Bill Martin, Jr. who wrote Brown Bear, Brown Bear among others. (Alas, I have forgotten how to do the italics!)

Yes, rowdy little boys can be a challenge, but they can also be hilarious; you are right. I usually can get them to 'like me' - not saying that is my primary goal - but it helps in controlling them and keeping their attention. Last year my biggest 'challenge' in the rowdy department told his mom one night during the first month of school that he thought when he grew up he would marry me. He thought my husband who had visited the school was my father. :)

Thanks for your kind and encouraging words. And, oh yes, this afternoon I did find a red jacket for my first-day-at-school outfit!

Suzanne :)

Re: for Dorothy...re. Curious George

marie on 7/31/05 at 22:48 (179588)

You're going to have one interesting wardrobe when you retire Suzanne!

I love Clifford........have a wonderful school year. I am going in on tuesday to open my room up.......hopefully my suppliess are in. I always have a ton of unpacking.

later marie

Re: for Dorothy...re. Curious George

Dorothy on 8/01/05 at 04:33 (179601)

Suzanne D -

I am exhausted from all the posting tonight about the problems, but I want to respond to your delightful post. I got a chuckle from Marie's comment about your wardrobe when you retire, something that hadn't occurred to me before. Mostly I hope you never retire because you're needed and you're a teaching jewel! I'm honored that you thought of me as you and Curious George prepared for a new school year (I am always astonished at how early your school starts.) Your memory is excellent as usual and we do have Curious George fans in my household. We were in Kentucky a few months ago and drove by the highway sign for what I recall was your town and I said: 'That is where my friend Suzanne from The Foot People lives....' so, as we have commented before, it is easy to think of people we develop a connection with here as friends.

And, speaking of that, I was very late to see that you and Julie and Linda V and Marie had inquired about my absence but so much time had passed and by then it seemed awkward to respond - but it was very thoughtful and kind of you to inquire. I am sorry not to have said something at the time, as Linda V rightly noted. I just didn't have the energy to negotiate through the hostile environment that the site had become for me, nor the energy to explain. I wasn't being coy; I just wanted peace for a while.

You have my very best wishes for another great school year and congratulations to your first-graders for their good fortune at 'getting Mrs. D' for their teacher. Twenty-six years, Suzanne - it's a remarkable achievment, but especially so for one who is still so enthusiastic and creative. Congratulations!

Re: for Dorothy

Julie on 8/01/05 at 06:53 (179606)

Dorothy, I saw your message to me on the Treatments board, but didn't think that was the right place to respond. Thank you for it, and yes, I am well, and I hope you are as well.

Like you, I've had no energy for heelspurs for several months. Shortly after your trouble, in which I got involved in your support, and partly but not entirely because of it, I suddenly, finally, got tired of it all, especially of the increasing negativity and the failure to manage it (but we've both said enough about that this morning). I've been skimming the boards since then, but until the last day or two I've not made any posts. Like you, I haven't responded to the queries about me - I really did not want to get drawn in again so it was easier to call a complete halt. But I've kept in email touch with a few people, and that's been fine.

Not posting gives you a degree of detachment, as you've probably noticed yourself. I was horrified to observe how negative the site had become, and how long-time posters were tailing off (presumably for the same reasons as I) And how so many desperate and near-desperate posts by new people were going unresponded to by the doctors, who have been too busy fending off attacks on their integrity. I don't know quite why I've suddenly burst forth with this explosion of posting - I guess it's because it's still important to me that this forum be the safe place, the refuge, it once was. And that I'm sure it could be again. But I'm not inclined to stay.

Anyway, I was glad to see you back. To answer your question, no, I don't think Susan and Elyse are the same person. I think Susan is very much her own person. But perhaps not entirely dissimilar.

Re: for Dorothy...re. Curious George

Kathy in Ky on 8/01/05 at 09:32 (179630)

You must be a great teacher! I'm sure the parents request you each year. My 5th graders would just roll their eyes at me if I dressed up as a character. I did buy a Tricorn hat at a yard sale this summer for a skit, maybe I'll start dressing as George Washington...

Re: for Dorothy...re. Curious George

Suzanne D. on 8/01/05 at 10:33 (179633)

You're right, Marie; actually, I have to have two wardrobes - one in which to teach and one to wear everywhere else. Once, I left school quickly to attend an orchestra concert in which my daughter played in college. I realized on the way that I was wearing my Arthur sweatshirt. We stopped at a Wal-Mart on the way so that I could buy something plain to wear with my slacks!

I do have a plan for all these school clothes: I plan to make large quilt pieces from the 'cutest' parts of the outfits. Then I can make a quilt (or two) of school memories of Clifford, Arthur, Curious George, etc. I can see myself in a nursing home some day telling the nurses all about the characters. I'll have the cutest quilt in the place!

Have a good school year. Good luck getting your supplies put away and your room ready.

Suzanne :)

Re: for Dorothy...re. Curious George

Suzanne D. on 8/01/05 at 10:39 (179635)

Thank you, Dorothy, for your good wishes. And, you know, I really don't have great yearnings for retirement. In fact, when someone says to me, 'How many more years are you going to teach, Suzanne?' I am actually almost surprised each time. Retirement is just not on my mind very often.

Then I look around my school and realize that most of my friends and colleagues with whom I have worked for many years are gone - several have retired and one passed away. All of a sudden, I am teaching with many who are my daughter's age. And they are usually the ones who ask when I'm retiring, and I often secretly think that they have someone - a friend they've gone to school with - in mind for my position. My daughter tells me I'm being too sensitive when I think like this, and I suppose she is right.

That will be my biggest challenge in the future, I think: to continue to do what I love and to do it with the best of my ability without being distracted by such issues.

Thanks for listening!
Suzanne :)

Re: for Dorothy...re. Curious George

Suzanne D. on 8/01/05 at 10:42 (179636)

Thank you, Kathy. Yes, I know what you mean about the difference in first and fifth graders! :)

My daughter had a high school AP History teacher who did dress in different uniforms at times to complement what they were studying. He was a wonderful teacher who brought history to life for them. So you just may find a place for your Tricorn hat this year!

Suzanne :)

Re: for Dorothy

Dorothy on 8/01/05 at 14:43 (179659)

Julie - Nice to hear from you and to hear your thoughts on turns of events. You have largely described my mindset as well. Reading here today, I find that I am - once again - being told I am about to be blocked. I am tired of this nonsense and have no interest or energy for taking up virtual residence in Wonderland as Alice. I think I am happier and more at peace, with intellect and sense of fair play intact, remaining a non-poster. If I don't get blocked and if the site ever seems to get stabilized on its meds and back in contact with a recognizable reality, I will hope to be a poster and not just a reader. Unfortunately, a previous U.S. president (Nixon) is associated with this sentiment and even though I don't want to be associated with his mentality at all, I will borrow from Nixon said 'You won't have Dick Nixon to kick around anymore.' Paraphrasing, I can't imagine what some posters will do here without Dorothy on whom to work their vitriol. They will either continue to obsess about Dorothy's horrid presence or they will find another target, but it is quite likely that they will continue their vitriol - because it is a kind of hatred that drives them, and a target must be found for it. The owner can block me and I am fine with that because I will never forget that pornographic images were 'accidentally' posted to me by the owner in a thread here - and a string of really horrid things were said to me without any intervention from him - and, in fact, he threatened to block/ban ME then. He, and moderators, let Elyse and Susan 'have at it' at me without intervention - yet, as always, it is Dorothy who should 'know' and who should 'be nice.' It is a kind of bizarre thinking that I do not want to have in my life. So, I wish you and all much luck and health. I care very much about so many of the folks here and, like you, think the site is much needed. At the same time, many aspects of the site are very strange and convoluted and are not contributing to my own healing and well being. Two last posts and then I will retire - again. If Pauline were here, she would comment on repeated retirements. I would refer her to the many 'Farewell Performances' of many well-known artists. It's hard to say goodbye for many people.

Re: for Dorothy...re. Curious George

marie on 8/01/05 at 14:58 (179662)

I love the idea of a quilt. I am sure it will be cherished by you and your family.