Tuesday, October 30, 2007

I guess I don't have someone to tutor anymore

I put my name on the school district's tutor list as a tutor for AP Statistics. Last year I tutored a kid from March through May and his mother told me that no one on the tutor list for the district was willing to tutor AP Stats, so I decided that it might be lucrative. I can charge between $25 and $30 an hour without debate.

I knew that it might take a couple months or so to get any clients - the students need time to realize that they are lost. Anyway - about a month ago I got a call from a lady in my neighborhood. Her daughter is taking Algebra 2 and even though it isn't statistics she thought it best to see someone in the neighborhood. So I agreed and met with the girl the next day. She is a sweet girl and catches on really fast - she just needs a little personal attention with her work that she doesn't get in school.

The last time I saw her was 2 weeks ago. I tutored her on Tuesday at 4pm and she said she had an exam in 2 days. When she left she said that she would see me the next Tuesday. I have to admit - I was a little surprised that she didn't show last week. But I was even more surprised that she didn't show up this week either - especially since she told me she has an exam every 2 weeks.

Hmmm - I guess I shouldn't make any extra effort to be here at 4pm next Tuesday.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Our weekend Part II (the bad part)

So, in the midst of preparing lots of food for our Halloween party, I wasn't feeling very well. Last year I came down with a cold the day before the party, this year I wasn't quite sure what was wrong. It put me behind schedule a bit in preparing the food.

Friday night I had a lot of pain in my lower abdominal and lower back. I finally fell asleep around 1:45am and then woke up in pain again at 6 Saturday morning. When I woke again I realized that I had felt this pain before just over a year ago. It felt the same as when I was diagnosed with a kidney stone. That's right - the stone that I was told would probably just sit in my kidney for the rest of my life and not bother me again.

Luckily I didn't have much pain on Saturday and was fine Saturday night until everyone left. Then I started to hurt just a little bit. But I woke up Sunday morning in intense pain and for about an hour, thought I could deal with it before breaking down and telling Justin that I needed to go to the ER.

Luckily for us, we went at just the right time because no one else was there. We didn't have to wait at all once we filled out an admittance form. They got me hooked up to an IV pretty fast and soon I was given a couple pain killers and an anti-nausea medication. Ah - pain killers are a good thing.

Last year when I had the kidney stone problem, Justin was out of town for work. I woke in the middle of the night and drove myself to the hospital. I had to wait for almost an hour before they finally called me back and got me some pain killers, but then they stuck me in a hallway where I would be "out of the way" and it seemed that everyone forgot about me. About an hour and a half later I had to ask someone walking by if I was ever going to see a doctor. The doctor came by, told me I had a kidney stone, gave me a prescription for pain killers and discharged me. No one actually checked me out or did any type of X-ray or scan to make sure that was what the problem was.

This time I got a lot of attention. They checked to make sure that I didn't have a ruptured cyst and then sent me for a CAT scan to see if it was a stone and if so where it was. It seems that the pain was from the stone moving from my kidney to my bladder. And lucky for me that Justin was home because the pain this time was far more intense than last time. It made me sick to my stomach and there was no way I could have driven myself.

Today I am home, taking pain killers and trying to stay very hydrated. Justin stayed home today too in case I need him (because he is so wonderful). My classes today were canceled and I don't teach on Tuesday so I have a couple more days to rest and (hopefully) pass the stone this time.

We are very glad that the pain didn't really hit too hard until after our Halloween party was over.

Our Weekend Part 1 (the good part)

Since this weekend was the weekend before Halloween, we had our 2nd annual Halloween party. Although I think that I did a better job planning the amount of food I always seem to make too much (better too much than not enough, though).

This year there were about 16 adults that came to our party and 11 kids so we had a good turnout. I think a party is all about good food and socializing, so I hope that people were happy with the food part. I made marinated wings (which were a big hit last year, but not quite such a big hit this year), pepperoni pizza twist (definitely a favorite - there was none leftover), graveyard veggie pizza, a cheese ball decorated to look like a face (it kind of looked like a face), and then sandwiches - PB and jelly, ham & swiss, and turkey with colby-jack and of course these were not normal sandwiches because I used cookies cutters to cut out the bread so they were shaped like witch hats, pumpkins and ghosts. There was also a plate that had the leftover cold cuts from making the sandwiches and slices of cheese.

For dessert, we had peanut butter eyeballs, nutter butter ghosts, a red velvet ghost cake and chocolate cupcakes that looked like spiders. We also set up a table downstairs with Halloween-shaped sugar cookies, frosting, sprinkles, and assorted candies to decorate the cookies with. The cookies were definitely a hit with the kids - more so than the cupcakes (we have a dozen leftover even after sending cupcakes home with a few different people).

For the second year in a row, I have learned quite a bit about throwing the Halloween party. What did I learn this year? That I don't think that I want to do all the food again. I started preparing food on Thursday for a party that was on Saturday night. In fact - I am already thinking that next year if we have a Halloween party it might be fun to do a potluck dinner where everyone brings something. Much less stressful for me.

The costumes were great for the 2nd year in a row. We had all the adults vote for the best costume. Colby got a vote for his "spider dog" costume and Justin and I even got a couple votes each for the frog and lady bug costumes we were wearing. But the runner-up was a dead-on-her-feet mom and the winner was a dead Chicago marathon runner.

Anyway - here are some pics from the party - looks like we didn't get any pictures of the food once it was all set up and uncovered. Oh well!

Sunday, October 21, 2007


Looks like Colby is ready for Halloween. Last night we went to PetSmart and then Target looking for a costume for him. There wasn't much selection at PetSmart, so we headed on to Target. It was hard to decide which costume to pick. We didn't want to get him something that would be bothering him a lot (where he'd have something on his head). As I am a Spider-man fan, I like this costume a lot.

We tried it on him today, and surprisingly he didn't fuss at it too much. So, I hope he'll be able to keep it on all night this Saturday at our Halloween party. I guess we'll see.

Friday, October 12, 2007

what a way to make my day

On Fridays I only teach one class - my statistics class. It is a little difficult to go up there in the afternoons for just this one class, but since I am quite a fan of stats, I don't mind it so much.

Today was like most Fridays, meaning that it seemed like most of my students didn't want to be there either. I kept asking them questions about stuff we had already learned and was greeted by blank stares. No one would answer the questions, so I continued and answered my own questions. Toward the end of class I told them that I'm not sure what to do when everyone just stares at me like that - does it mean that they are bored with it all, or so lost that they just don't know what to say? No one responded so I said, I have to assume that everyone is just bored. When I got home from class, I had this email:


I just wanted to write you to let you know that I really enjoy your class. You are probably my favorite professor, and I've taken a couple classes...or more. Some days in class I wonder if the room full of blank stares ever aggravates you. I hope not as your enthusiasm and energy help to liven up what could easily be an unending sea of boredom amidst the empty stares.

I decided to write in anonymity so as not to appear to be a brown noser.


PS--my real name is obviously not Neal N. Void

And yes - the email came from an email account belonging to Neal N. Void.