Friday, September 28, 2007


Did you ever have a week when you felt that Friday would never get there? I had one of those this week. All in all, the week went by at the same speed as it always does. Time is like that. No matter how we perceive it, time trudges on at the same pace/rate as always. I had gotten an email once that was about the perception of time. It was so true--I just wish that I could remember it. It included the perception from the points of view of how long 9 months is to a pregnant woman; 1 minute is to someone in the electric chair (I think); an hour is to the parent of a child in the ER; and other such things. Time can feel like it stands still or that it is flying by you--and yet it is the same second by second, minute by minute, hour by hour, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year.

There really is no explanation to why it felt like time just would not continue so that Friday would get here. I'm sure that I could find lots of excuses for it; I didn't feel well towards the end of the week thanks to a cold; SPED paper work has changed once again and we've been having extra meetings about it; my teacher assistant is afraid she's had a stroke or something since the diagnosis and medication for a severe sinus infection has not changed her condition; the loss of a student I had taught for 8 or 9 years--and I'd known him the entire time he'd been enrolled at the school (from the age of 3 until he was 18 and no longer able physically to continue to come to school). He was 22 when he died on Monday. He was so precious and loving to all that he met. He touched the lives of everyone that he came in contact with. Yes there were some that felt pity or disgust due to the fact his body had twisted so terriby over the years. He couldn't talk or walk. He was tube fed and had to be cared for all of his needs. But he was a very special young man. He had such a charismatic personality. His smile would light up the entire room when he flashed it at you. He had eye lashes that most women would kill for. His hair was so soft and curly. He had the ability to draw you to him with just a look. He had a sense of humor that matched his outgoing personality. He found pleasure in music and often would sit on the couch at home and listen to his sister play the saxaphone. I could never explain just how much this young man touched not only my life but so many others in their walk through life that crossed the path with Paul.

Winston Jr., Paul H.

Mr. Paul H. Winston, Jr., 22, of D'Iberville, MS, died Monday, September 24, 2007, in Biloxi.
Mr. Winston was a lifelong resident of the coast. He was a very resilient young man who had a very charismatic personality. The room seemed to light up when he came in with his infectious smile and bright eyes.
He is survived by his parents, Paul and Vilma Winston; sisters, Emmalee Winston and Christine Winston, all of D'Iberville, and two nieces.
Visitation is Thursday, September 27, 2007, from 5 until 7 p.m. at Bradford-O'Keefe Funeral Home, Howard Avenue, in Biloxi. Funeral services will be 12 p.m. Friday at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Biloxi. Interment will follow in Biloxi National Cemetery.
View and sign register book at
Published in The Sun Herald on 9/27/2007.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

CDC is Cruisin' the Coast

Everyone seems to get caught up in the Cruisin' the Coast craze! Well, why wouldn't they? I mean if you think about it--what is better than seeing the beautiful classic cars roll down the beach? It is so nice to see so many people involved--and they aren't just locals! People from all over the country come to show off, sell, trade, perform, shoot fire, and just cruise around the coast. I'm sure there were several in the area that lost their classics to Katrina. I'm sure there were several others that were more concerned about keeping their classics safe than the things inside their homes. Either way, Cruisin' the Coast returned last year for the first time after Katrina. And they have returned once again this year--bigger and better than ever with events from one end of Highway 90 to the other end.
One of the staff at the school decided that since so many of us love the classic cars that we should all make one. So it has been decided that there will be a classic car competition with a Sock-Hop afterwards. Each class is to make a classic car or truck out of cardboard or some other sturdy material that can then be displayed outside the classroom doors. No two cars in the school are to be the same vehicle. Several of the teachers have already decided which classic they will be making. Others just found out about this competition late this afternoon. In the meantime, this is a great way to get the students involved as well. As my students are all in wheelchairs, I am strongly thinking of making posterboard cars to mount to the sides of their chairs for the sock hop.
One year I made poodle skirts out of bulletin board paper, draped it across the laps of the girls and tied scarves around the girls necks. For the boys, we had plain white t-shirts for them and asked the parents to send their son with jeans on. We then proceeded to roll up the t-shirt sleeves over a box of candy cigarettes and rolled up the legs of the jeans once or twice. They all looked so cool. We also made 45's (for those of you that are too young to remember, a 45 was a record with a single song per side --some had a few more, but not many) with titles of OLDIES and attached them to the rims of the wheelchair rims. But I really think that this idea of doing classic cars will be just as cute. I believe the main problem will be more in determining what cars to draw (well trace with an opaque projector) and then which students will get which cars.

Cruise cruise cruise with me baby

Now move move up in the stratosphere

Zoom zoom zoom with me darlin' now

We're still cruisin' after all these

Cruisin' after all these years

In my car

I'm captain of my destiny

In my car

Pretty babe come cruise with me

Come for a drive

And we'll arrive

Feelin' alive

Thanks to for providing these few lines of lyrics from "In My Car" by the Beach Boys.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Johnny Appleseed

Happy Birthday, Johnny Appleseed!

What did you do to celebrate Johnny Appleseed? Anything? Do you even remember who he was? Why he is part of America's legends, folklore and history.

Did you know that he was born John Chapman?

Did you know that he didn't start out as just a farmer like his father? But rather, his father started him upon a career as an orchardist by apprenticing him to a Mr. Crawford, who had apple orchards?

Did you know that in most places he traveled he didn't plant orchards but tree nurseries?

Did you know that he wouldn't warm himself with a fire if it meant disturbing the wildlife in the area?

Did you know that he never married because he was too late to propose to one woman and he felt that other women were betrayers?

Did you know that the popular image of Johnny Appleseed is a false image? Instead he "he planted nurseries rather than orchards, built fences around them to protect them from livestock, left the nurseries in the care of a neighbor who sold trees on shares, and returned every year or two to tend the nursery. "

Did you know that Johnny Appleseed may have suffered from Marfan Syndrome?

Did you know that there is a dispute about where he is really buried?

If you did not know about any of these things, you may want to read up a bit more on your folklore about Johnny Appleseed. He may not have been who you really thought he was--when you first learned about him in elementary school. To see more about John Chapman, aka Johnny Appleseed, please visit I did and that's where I found the answers (as well as questions) and the picture of Johnny Appleseed. I thank whoever gathered all the information and the photo for allowing it to be shared through the wikipedia site (and now mine too as referenced back to it). Hopefully, you will learn many new things about him and why apples were considered so important--especially back then.

Now don't you wish that you had celebrated Johnny Appleseed's birthday? My school did. We had a very festive carnival type atmosphere and all of the booths featured apples. Apples to sort by color. Apples to catch. Apples to throw. Apples to eat. Apples to feel. Parts of apples (including the worms) to see and touch. Apples painted on faces. Apples of all types to see, smell, taste, feel, and in general get a basic sensory overload of apples. But we all had lots of fun and the students loved it!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Easy to Find Class Blog pages

OK, so I am lazy, and I don't want to have to go back into the discussion board and hunt for each of our blog pages. So if possible, I'm going to start a list of them here to make life a little easier on myself--and maybe you too if you'd like to use the list as well.

Emma Markham:
Miesha Griffin:
Susan Mueller:
Gina Freeman:
Jay Twilbeck:
Susan Williams:
Stephanie McArthur:
Greggory Bellipani:
Vicky Hankins:
Doyla Ashe:
Liz Phillips:
Julie Moore:
Amy Crownover:
Anita Byrd:
Cort Parsons:
Sarah Badeaux:

other sites you may want for Social Bookmarking:

Susan Williams Trackstar:
Susan Williams Blog for her students in class: - this blog site is geared toward classes and you can control who can and cannot post

Jay's Blogline:
Shelly's Blogline:
Cort's Blogline:

Music Sites from Stephanie:

sites from Liz:

Emma's "delicious" account:
Shelly's "delicious" account:
Miesha's Furl account:

Jay's Wiki:

If there are any other new blog sites, or sites that I have forgotten that were in any of the other discussions, please let me know and I'll up date this for not only myself, but also for the rest of our group as well.

You Asked, You Shall Receive 1st Installment

eBay Seller: montessoriinspired: Education Learning, Everything Else items on

I had someone ask me about the site on ebay that I get my curriculums and my folder games from . So I decided I'd see if I could get the URLs for you and put them here.

This is a site that has many things for special needs students, students that are homebound, homeschooling, and especially autistic students. If you click on the above link you should be taken directly to the ebay site that offers all of the items auctioned by Items for Sale by montessoriinspired.

I hope that someone will be able to use this information. If not, at least I have tried. I will continue to try by giving you other sites to choose from. The things may not pertain to those of you in high school, but those of you that have our special needs students and those that teach lower grades will probably find more use for these things. If nothing else, I'll know where to find it if I need to go looking again for them.

Computer Illiterate Gets a Fresh Start

I can't believe that I am actually trying to start a blog on my own. I have never been real sure what they were, let alone how to use them. But because of an online workshop/course I'm taking, I must start using the techno info that I have received and still don't understand. So here I am, starting out into a brand new arena for me. And here I thought that going from high school Home Economics to Activities of Daily Living (ADL) to special needs students was a leap. And then the ADL to a class of multi-handicapped, medically fragile students was a big jump. Now I am going from strictly surfing and email to starting my own blog!!?!! Wow that's even bigger than a jump.

But I have found lots of things on the web over the last several years that have been so helpful to me. I figure if I put them down here, I might be able to find them again. Not to mention, if there is anyone out there in the "virtual" world that also might find those same things helpful, then I suppose I should share them! After all, we teachers don't need to reinvent the wheel. We may need to air it up or let some of the air out; scrub down the white walls; take the nails out; and polish it until it shines to be useful to a particular group of students. But the idea will be there at any rate as a choice for someone to use or not.

There won't be any Specialties of the House" listed today. I'm still in the learning stages of this new technology (well, new to me). So have patience. Remember a watched pot never boils--unless you are Data and experiment with watching it or not watching it and still have the pot boil in the exact same amount of time.