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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

An Actual Fight With My Husband

My husband has offered to purchase me a new computer. I actually have possession of his credit card to do so. The problem, however, is that I'm too scared I'll make the wrong decision to actually make a decision.

After having owned a laptop for a couple years, I have drawn the sad conclusion that they are too difficult for me to write on. It has something to do with the keyboard, mouse, and large up-front screen of a desktop. So, I started looking at desktop computers to purchase, but there really isn't anywhere in our house to put one.

The other day, when LJS asked me if I had bought the computer, I mentioned this sad fact to him.

"See, the problem is that I don't know where to put it. I mean, I could put it in the living room, but then I have to buy a desk for it. By that time, the $800 computer is now $1000."

"WOMAN! Jeez..."

"I'm just saying..."

"You know... if someone came up to you and said, 'Here is a brand-new Mercedes' are you going to turn it down because there is no room in the driveway?!" He paused for a moment while I stood there speechless. "No, wait. You'd probably be the one where... 'You just one A MILLION DOLLARS!!' and then tell them you couldn't take it because your checkbook doesn't have room for all those zeros."

It occurred to me somewhere during this that he was actually somewhat mad... but being extraordinarily funny about it. "Um, okay." I muttered. "I'll buy it tonight."

The problem is that I haven't bought it.

I haven't bought it or the laptop I've been looking at.

It would be so much easier if someone would just tell me what to do or better yet, go and just get the darn thing and tell me that is what I am living with. Period.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Booger Jar

I am seriously hard-pressed to come up with any viable reason why Friday seemed to be all about boogers. Boogers in emails, boogers from people with colds, boogers, boogers, boogers.


But the topper came Friday night. I was laying in bed with LJS watching television when Short Person came bouncing into the room, hopped up on the bed and said in a very matter-of-fact voice, "I like boogers."


"I like boogers!"

"Oh, you do, do you?" Somewhat unsure of what she means by that statement.

"Yeah, they are yummy."

Oh Lord, I thought helplessly. "That's... really gross. You shouldn't eat them! They will make you sick!"

"Oh." She paused in thought for a second and I can see the wheels turning in her head. "I'll just put them in my booger jar then."

My eyes widened and I'm desperately trying to think of a response, but hilarity at the mental picture of a baby food jar filled with boogers is just overwhelming and I'm trying SO hard not to smile. "Your booger jar, huh? Where exactly is this booger jar?"

"It's with the Christmas lights."

The response was so immediate that I'm now concerned that there actually IS a booger jar somewhere in our garage. "The Christmas lights?"

"Yeah, you know... the one with all the ornaments and decorations in it?"

"Oh really..." I let my voice trail away thinking to myself that come November I will be opening that box very carefully.

"Yeah, I'm going to fill it up and give it away as a Christmas present!"

I'm looking at LJS right now to see if he's catching any of this conversation, but he seems engrossed in whatever is on tv. "Oh... who are you going to give it too?"

"Chris and Jason!"

I couldn't help it. I BUSTED up laughing... as did my husband. There was just no way to keep a straight face as the mental image of a jar of boogers being given to some of our best friends came to mind.

I swear, I was pretty out of it on drugs at the time and I'm beginning to wonder if aliens were also giving birth in the same operating room as me. Perhaps she was switched. Course, my husband says that he's pretty sure she's ours since he watched her get pulled from my tummy and then almost immediately put into his arms for the next four hours while I was in recovery. But man, oh man...

Thursday, February 21, 2008

FIRED! For 25 Cents a Page

Someday, I will be able to fully understand why it is that every time a lunar event happens the whole world goes cattywhompus.

Yesterday, about an hour after I arrived, a person came in. He requested a copy of the City's parks plan, which is approximately 46 pages long. The plan has been available online for free for three months now, downloadable to anyone that so seeks it. However, if you wish for one of us to print it off for you it will cost 25 cents a page-- or roughly $10.00.

Unfortunately, either this person does not get the point, or is just stubborn. Every time he comes in, I have explained this to him only to have him get huffy and stomp out of the building.

Yesterday, he came in seeking the same document&183; and I explained once more that it was available for free online or $10.50. He turned red and started getting REALLY mad! So mad, that his parting words to me were a very sarcastic, "You just have fun today because I'm going to do everything in my power to make sure you keep your job!" Slam! and out the door he went.

After my initial irritation, I called my husband to tell him that it was highly possible that I would lose my job (to which he responded that I should have handed him a list of phone numbers and contact names, but that's another story).

And then I started laughing because, as far as I know, I will have been the only person to ever get fired for charging 25 cents a page.

I didn't lose my job, of course, but the Mayor's wife did call. I wonder what she said to my boss...

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Inventing Kisses

I have read such books as "The Book of Kisses" by William Cane and "The Kissing Book" (author I can't remember), but never before have I encountered someone as creative with kissing as my daughter.

It all started with Eskimo and Butterfly kisses. I was showing her that there are fun little kisses to be had if you sit really still. She had a lot of fun with those, learning how to perfect moving her eyelashes against skin and rubbing noses.

But then... she got bored.

She started inventing other kisses.

For instance, there is the elephant kiss, which involves rubbing your hair against that of another's. There is the hippo kiss, which involves pursing your lips, moving them around, while kissing. There is the pig kiss, which is rubbing your ears together. The bunny kiss, which is rubbing your foreheads together. The frog kiss, which is the very difficult move of rubbing your necks together, and lastly, the heart kiss, which for whatever reason she has decided that this involves rubbing, not your heart together, but your shoulders.

After all that, I have to ask, is a kiss really still just a kiss?

Saturday, February 16, 2008

52 Projects

Not too long ago, I picked up a book called 52 Projects- Random Acts of Everyday Creativity by Jeffrey Yamaguchi. The book is a listing of fun and creative things you can do to... just have fun.

Considering how uneventful and lost last year was, I decided that this year my goal was to (hopefully) do something once a week that would fill my life with memories. I pulled the book from the bookshelf and went through it trying to identify things that I could do that would be fun, create a memory, and yet take a minimal amount of time to accomplish.

One of the "projects" is actually to make a list of the projects that you want to do, so I've chosen to do that one first. Also, I'm not actually listing these in any particular number, but if you'd like to give the book a try, I will list the number with the project so that you can look up the full details. It would take too long to type all of it out.

Also, there is a website in conjunction with the book if you'd like to research it further yourself.

My List of Projects I Would Like To Do

Page 163 - Make a list of all the stuff you always have to get done and how long it takes you to do it all. Document your time. Next, write down all the stuff you want to do-- all the things you feel you never have enough time to actually get started on and fully sink yourself into. Once it's all written out, spend some time thinking about how you can strike a better balance between the items on the two lists.

52 - Make a list of the projects that you want to complete. Write it in your journal and maybe post the list on your refrigerator as well. Then, start doing the projects on your list. (Completed 2-16-08)

48 - Make a box with someone special in mind, something that will slide easily under the bed or fit in an underwear drawer. Then, place a single letter in the box, and mail it off to that special someone (even if you share a home). In the letter, make sure to mention that you plan, in the years to come, to fill the box with letters.

47 - Variations on Project 47

*Remember the place you used to go to be alone.
*Remember the spots you used to hang out at during lunch.
*Remember the places you used to park the car and make out.
*Remember all the places where you've had breakdowns- mental or otherwise.
*Remember all the places where, after it got dark, you felt heart-thumping fear.
*Remember all the trees you've climbed up as far as you could climb.

46 - Variations on Project 46

*Take a picture of yourself in the same spot, a place where you can really get a sense of the surroundings, on the official start of each season - winter, spring, summer, and fall.

43 - Make A Cake. A Big One. Write something obscure on the top of it: "How about 1972?" or "He just wouldn't SHUT UP!" or "Texas, here we come!" Then, place the cake in your office's kitchen area or break room. Put paper plates and plastic forks next to it and make sure to cut out a slice so people know that it's okay to eat. Don't let anybody see you bring in the cake. (haha, I love this one!)

42 - Take some chopsticks from your kitchen drawer and, along with $25 cash and a take out Chinese food menu, seal them up in an envelope. Mail off the envelope to one of your currently unemployed friends, your college-aged kid brother or sister, or a person you know is financially strapped at the moment.
Keep it anonymous. Do not hand write the mailing address or enclose a note. Include the take-out menu regardless of the person's geographical location; you want to be sure the person you mail the envelope to gets the right message and orders up some take out.

40 - List the years that you have been alive. Then, in a word, sentence, or short paragraph, write down a significant memory from each year. For years one through four, maybe even years one through eight, you're going to have to sit down with your parents and tap into their memories.

38 - On one of those rainy days when the season is not quite ready to shift into the next, take a picture out the outside the one window that you always go to when you just want to stare outside and feel comforted by the fact that you are on the inside looking out at the whole world. Write down what you see. What's always there? What changes? How long have you known the view? What do you think about when you look outside?

37 - Track down a picture of every place you have ever lived. Not the geographical location, but the physical structure you called home. (Hint: They don't have to be of the outside.)

36 - Stay Up All Night. (The book eludes to trying to fill the night with things that don't happen during the normal course of a day, month, year, but rather along the lines of hanging out with friends, writing and drinking coffee in an all-night diner, etc.)

34 - Photograph your bookshelves. Then, make a list of every book that's on the shelves, putting a check mark next to the books that you've actually read. Next, make a list of all the books that aren't on the shelves that you've read over the years. Some you'll have no problem remembering, others you won't be able to recall. And then make a list of all the books you want to read, but haven't... yet. Update frequently, and keep the lists and photographs tucked away in your favorite book.

32 - The next time you go to a party, leave a note for the host. Say it was a great party. That everyone was having a good time. That you enjoyed yourself spectacularly. And be sure to relate some details, like bits from overheard conversations, the reaction to a certain groove, wild speculations on who might have hooked up, etc. Leave the note on his or her nightstand, right in front of the alarm clock. That way, after all the guests have left, the last thing the host(ess) will see is your note of appreciation.

30 - Make your own anthology. Spread all your books on the floor and start making a list of your favorite stories, your favorite passages from novels, your favorite poems. Then, load everything up in a backpack, go to a copy machine, and make copies. After the copying is complete, make a cover and bind the book. Title it "Anthology: Volume I"

29 - Get a regular sized envelope. Address it to someone special. Then, stuff it with as many things as you can: a letter, photographs, torn out magazine articles or newspaper clippings, photocopies of poems, a short story or passages from a novel, recipes, artwork... anything that can be folded up and put in the envelope. Make sure to stuff it so full that you need to use tape to keep it sealed. This envelope should have serious heft. Once it's sealed, get the proper postage put on it and mail it off. (I think this would work great for kids, with a little variation on what goes in it!)

27 - Take a picture of a kid you know well: your niece, nephew, younger sister or brother. Then, make a postcard out of the picture and mail it to the kid.

26 - Variations on 26

*List and describe all the jobs you've ever mentioned when someone has asked, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" Remember that even after you are grown up people have still asked you that question. At the end of the list, write down your current job. How does it fit in?

25 - Wake Up. Call in sick. Use the day to do that thing you've been meaning to do. Saturdays are for laundry, errands, get-togethers, shows, all-day events, day trips, going out. Sundays are for waking up late, going to brunch or church or both, mowing/sweeping/vacuuming, matinees, picnics in the park, afternoon beers, watching the game, long-distance phone calls, going to the grocery store, big dinners. And, of course, weekdays are usually for work. Sick days are yours to take, yours to make. Use them wisely.

23 - Document the life of the party. Take a picture of the main room before anyone arrives, another when the party is in full swing, and then another after everyone has left. Frame the three photographs in sequence.

22 - Write in the margins of your books. Underline your favorite passages. Then, make sure to donate the books, or sell them to a used bookstore, to put them back into circulation.

20 - Write some letters. Then, go to the library and place the letters in some books, preferably ones you think aren't checked out very often. Or place them in books at a used bookstore, preferably books that might not be purchased for a long time. The letters can be about anything, to anyone, but keep them anonymous... untraceable. First names only, or no names at all. The people who find the letters get to imagine the lives outside of the words on paper.

19 - Write down the stories of the most memorable nights of your life. (Hint: there are the easy ones, yes, but think along obscure lines- ie. high school)

17 - Wake up at 5am. Usually it's about catching a plane. But do it just to take advantage of the quiet, early morning hours. Take a walk. Go for a run. Read the paper, leisurely. Work on your novel. Read a novel. Write a note to a friend. Write a long, long entry in your journal. Make a huge breakfast. Just sit there, drink coffee, and watch the sun come up. (Writing this, I got the clearest picture of early mornings at Grandma and Grandpa's house, where the sun shines through the patio doors early in the morning and lights up the gleaming wood of the dining room table. It's always so peaceful and happy standing in the kitchen looking at the sunlight as it rises.)

Page 66 - Map out your ideal road trip.

13 - Variations on 13.

Write a very short story about a person having good luck after finding a penny on the street. Make copies of the story and stuff the copies into small envelopes. Tape a penny to the envelopes. Then, walk around and drop the envelopes onto the ground in random places with heavy foot traffic.

Page 64 - Write a letter to your sixty-four-year-old self.

6 - You never know when it might all end. That thing about just walking across the street and getting hit by a bus - it could happen. (Author related a story about a friend of his that found a letter her mom had written to be opened upon her death.) A letter like that, it's one of those things that's hard just to think about, let alone actually write up and then seal in an envelope. Making a will is easy. But a letter, to be delivered in the event of your death, to the most important person in your life? Still, if you sit down, with a pen in hand and paper in front of you, you can do it. So get your affairs in order.

5 - Make some art, maybe a photograph or a painting or a drawing. Put the art in a nice frame, one that isn't brand new. Then, hang your framed art in a place you aren't supposed to, but where people will assume it is supposed to be, like the lobby of your apartment building, in the hallway at your office, on the smallest wall in a motel room, in the quiet library corner, outside the downstair's restroom at a restaurant or bar, the back room of a club, or in the bathroom of a museum.

3 - Get your camera. Get on the train. Take the train to the end of the line. Take photos.

That concludes my list. I am looking forward to doing some of these a bit more than others, but each of them looks fun in their own special way-- except maybe the "If I die" letter, but that seems somewhat necessary.

And don't worry... I'll blog about them once I've done them. That's actually sort of the point.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Keeping a Journal You Love

A few years ago, there was a journaling magazine being published by Writer's Digest that I just loved. I think it was called Personal Journaling. They stopped publishing it, much to my dismay, but I've kept a few articles from that magazine. One of which was an excerpt from a book called "Keeping A Journal You Love".

The article gives nine ideas for generating entries that you will love, even when you are having difficulty generating topics for that days journal. I've carried the papers around until they are tattered, while at the same time never having the pages with me on the days that I need something to get me started writing. So, I'm going to put the ideas here, not only for you, but for me. This way, they are here when I need them and stay here long after the pages have become too tattered to read.

9 Strategies for Generating Entries You'll Love!

1. Record the Weather, Inside and Out

Concentrating at least once a month on describing weather could yield strong writing in your journal as well as provide markers for the emotional weather in your life over a period of time.

Is it day or night? What is gathering or dispersed? Notice the quality of the air-- is it stirred-up, clear, still, foggy? Notice clouds and their shapes, the absence or presence of stars, the moon and the sun. Notice the sounds the wind is causing or the way birds react in this weather. What is the temperature and how do you respond to it?

Now, name an element or force that enters this scene, like lightning or rain. After you select and name the element or force, make a metaphor to describe it. Let the metaphor you create spin your writing in a new direction. If you say the blast of a fog horn in the night is like a dying animal's last moans, it will affect the writing one way; if you say the blast of a fog horn in the night is like the notes your younger brother pushed out when he was first learning to play the tuba, the writing will probably go another way. See what direction you are taken when you do this.

2. Write a "Things I Learned Today" List

The late poet William Stafford from Oregon published a poem that was a list of things he learned, supposedly on the day he was writing. The list ranged broadly. He included things he observed by paying attention to what others generally don't take the time to see, such as on which side ants pass each other. He learned things from the newspaper, such as what topics famous people were talking about. He learned things from doing, such as how to unstick a door. And he learned things about himself by noticing personal preferences. Take some time to write an entry entitled "Things I Learned Today" or "... This Week" or "... This Month". Include information you've learned by personal observation and experience as well as facts and theories you've read or heard through the media, books, classes and people. Consult your inner self for insights. Remember to include information that has come to you in dreams. And be sure your list has variation, from really important to small and seemingly insignificant pieces of information.

3. Play the Alphabet Game

Challenge yourself to write journal entries with titles that start with each letter of the alphabet for 26 successive entries. Or challenge yourself to start each entry itself for 26 days with words that begin with the alphabet's letters in order. Or write 26 meditations, one for each letter of the alphabet. Or create an entry in which each sentence starts with a word that begins with consecutive letters of the alphabet.

4. Create Persona Entries

For fun, think of someone or something that would have an interesting perspective on the world-- your pet, your telephone, your refrigerator, the cereal box you left open in the morning, one of the Halloween costumes you wore as a child, your steering wheel, someone you know who has enjoyed a joyous occasion or suffered a difficult situation. Write as if you are that person or thing addressing you in a letter. Let the personas you create tell about their environment or their day without naming who or what they are. Discover the way a speaker's internal world colors what he or she sees in the outer world.

5. Play the "And Then" Game

In beginner's drama classes, acting teachers sometimes introduce a game in which students stand in a circle and, taking turns, tell a story sentence by sentence. The only rule is that after the first person states a sentence, each person begins the next sentence and part of the story with, "And then... ." What happens next does not have to be plausible, just interesting. Try writing in your journal this way. You will find yourself coming up with amusing ideas, which may prompt other stories later.

6. Imitate the Declaration of Independence

You can use Thomas Jefferson's technique of repetition to gather details that will ultimately allow you to write down a philosophy of life. In fact, write "Philosophy of Life" as the title for this journal entry and use Jefferson's phrase, "I hold this truth to be self-evident," as the one you will repeat. Write that line, and then write whatever occurs to you. When you have come to an end, write "I hold this truth to be self-evident" again. Let this sentence become either the first phrase of every line, or a phrase that weaves throughout. Keep writing. When you feel you finished, read what you have written in light of the title. Have you evoked a philosophy of life?

7. Write One-Sided Phone Conversations

A good journal-writing idea is to imagine yourself on stage talking on the phone. The audience has only your words, posture, expressions and gestures to help them understand what the other party is saying and what you are responding to. Furthermore, perhaps the conversation has already started when the curtain goes up, and the audience is coming in during the middle of it. Write your side of a lengthy conversation with someone. Imagine what they are saying and have yourself responding, gesturing, pacing, sitting, slumping, and fidgeting accordingly. Here are some possible ways to open:

"Yes, it really happened the way I said it did!"
"You can't mean you don't believe me!"
"I just do. I don't know why, but I just do."
"And then I was around the corner and..."
"You won't be hearing from me because..."
"Wouldn't you know that..."

8. Dispense Advice

Often, we are told nobody wants unsolicited advice and giving it won't win you friends-- by why not give it in a journal entry? What else to do with all the ideas we have for others? Choose someone you feel is in need of doing things the way you would do them or have them done-- a spouse, child, parent, teacher, boss, co-worker, neighbor, clerk, business owner, politician, police officer, dog walker, etc. Write this person a letter giving detailed advice and telling why you are doing so. Give as many examples as you can to explain why you know your advice is effective.

9. Write Definitions

If someone asks what something is or what it means, you usually begin by describing the thing or action. You tell how it looks, sounds, smells, tastes and feels. You tell what it does and what it doesn't do. You tell what people use it for and what it's never used for. You tell what it's like and how it's different from what it's like. You might tell an anecdote that illustrates something about it, or you might give an example from your life as illustration.

Make a point of collecting words that you do not understand. Write your own definition for these words before you look them up or find out anymore about them. In addition, make a point of inventing words for things that don't have names, and write about them. How do you think we get words like "the heebie-geebies" and "the willies"?

Copyright 2001 by Sheila Bender

Thursday, February 14, 2008

A Scary Day at Work

For those of you reading this that don't already know, I work for the government. A small city actually.

Although not normally my job to open the mail, it is my job to handle the actual papers inside most of the mail that comes in. As such, today when an envelope came through the drop slot, I thought nothing of it, picked it up and took it back to my desk. I was getting ready to open it, figuring that it was probably a water bill, and tilted it sideways for the letter opener. It was on the tilt that I heard more than felt something slide sideways.

All I knew was that it sounded granular... and it shouldn't have been in that envelope, whatever it was.

I picked up the phone and dialed the fire department so that they could have someone come up in a suit, mask, and gloves and take it outside to open it knowing it was probably nothing. I wasn't even really all that concerned about it.

That is until an officer walked in, took the envelope, and started questioning me about whether there was anyone that might have a grudge against me or whether I had made anyone really mad lately.

Okay, we're the government. We ALWAYS make people mad-- but mad enough to kill me?

I sat pondering this question while the officer got in touch with the closest haz-mat team. During that time, incident command and two more squad cars showed up. By this time I'm now thinking about small pox, bubonic plague, or some asshole that just wanted to scare me.

In the end, the haz-mat team didn't seem worried enough to bother with it, so all the people in uniforms went outside to open the envelope.

It was sand. A lot of sand. Inside the envelope.

Come to find out that the envelope contained the water bill of one of the volunteer firefighters that had just returned from the beach. Crud! Was the guy actually paying his bills on the beach?! Or, was he trying to make me jealous.

In either event, I guess I handled the event correctly, and I have one for the record books.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

She Definitely Has Dramatic Flair!

Yesterday, I ate something that did not appreciate the sensitivity of the digestive system. As a result, I spent a bit of time in the bathroom.

Now, as embarrassed as I am to tell you this and as much as it falls into the TMI category, it is important to impart the information to tell you how Short Person fits in.

I'm in the bathroom and LJS is in bed watching television.

"Mom, I want a snack. I want some Yo-Gos."

"Okay, but mommy doesn't feel good right now. Can you get your stool and go get them?"

"Well, are they on the counter?"

I look at her, now stepping on her stool in front of the sink. "Hmm... you're not going to be tall enough to reach them, are you?" She looks at me dubiously. "Okay, go tell your daddy that mommy doesn't feel good and ask him if he could get you the Yo-Gos."

"Okay." *thump, thump, thump, thump, thump*

"Daddy, mommy's sick!"


"Mommy's sick!"

Since she's saying this in the same dramatic tone that you might use to impart the information that mommy has just fallen, is lying in a pool of her own blood, her head is smashed in on the floor, and I think she's dying, LJS has grown immediately concerned.

"Mel! Are you okay? Do you need anything?!"

*sigh* "I'm fine. She just needs some help getting her snack down."

"Yeah, Dad. I want some Yo-Gos. Can you get them down for me?" Short Person asks in a chirpy voice.

"Uh... sure."

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

An Open House

Pre-school starts for Short Person in September and up until now, we hadn't made any decisions about where she would be going. I am not a fan of public school so I've been really worried about trying to get her started in a private school environment so that we could elevate her chance of being able to get enrolled after Pre-k.

There's a quote from the movie "Baby Boom" going through my head right now. It's from the scene where Diane Keaton takes her new charge to the playground and all these mothers are sitting around their 18-month olds discussing schedules. Diane's character innocently asks why they are already worried about preschool and one of the mother's answers, "Well, if they don't get into a good preschool their chances of getting into a good school go way down and if they don't get into a good school they won't go to a good college and if they don't go to a good college their lives are basically shot to hell." (I paraphrased a lot. It's hard to remember exact lines, apparently.)

Well, I sort of feel that way. Not up to the college part, but definitely where grade school is concerned.

Anyway, our (my- I don't think LJS is that stressed over it) first choice of schools for Short Person had an open house today. You know how you can walk into a place and automatically feel like smiling because it's just filled with warmth? Oh wow, this place was like that.

The building is really small. Not that many children attend and class sizes are limited to 18 children at the most. When you walk through the double doors, you are greeted with about 20 steps up to the second level. The pre-k room is on the right. It is a giant room filled with little tables and chairs, coat racks, play areas like a kitchen space, bookshelves, and an area where there are little rug squares for the kids to sit. Inside were about 10 kids playing in different "stations" with parent volunteers. Three stations with different things to play with, to be exact. There were anywhere from three to five kids per table.

The parent that was giving me the tour explained that the table with the teacher was the "teaching" station. She was actually having them do a project, but teaching them at the same time. Something to do with counting, if I remember correctly. It was perfect.

I loved the school. The largest class size that they had was 15, but 10-12 seemed to be the average. The teachers struck me as friendly but tough as nails, which seems an odd deduction to make from only 30 minutes. I just got the impression they made it fun, but didn't go for any messing around.

I felt so out of place. I had no idea what questions to ask or anything. A hippo in a porcelain shop again, that is me. But in the end, I really liked the school. The only thing I was a little befuddled about was the homework thing. I heard word of mouth from a parent that they don't assign homework, but I guess they do. However, the 4th grade teacher I spoke too said they attempt to keep it light. As long as it is not hours of homework, well... I'll have to think about that one.

But hooray! I think we have a school.