Wednesday, October 28, 2009

It's been a while

Hi guys!

It's been a while since I posted. Apparently I've been busy with work. I miss you all, and having you all around, and automatically seeing/talking to y'all every weekend at football games!

I actually was back in New Haven this weekend (it was a YPU Alumni Reunion) and it was great, but also totally weird. I don't know if other people who have been back for a weekend feel the same way, but it's kinda like it's frozen in time -- it feels exactly as if I were still there, and I'm still more familiar with campus and New Haven than I am with DC, yet, I don't know anyone and I don't really belong. But, y'all will be happy to know that New Haven hasn't changed -- still rainy and damp all the time, but still really beautiful.

Anyways, I hope everyone else is doing well.


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Funny Story

This past weekend we had "Sports Day" which is a schoolwide competition for track and field events at our school. Since there are over 2,000 students, only a limited number of students gets to actually compete. Everyone else, surprise surprise, gets to write essays! Whichever class writes the most and best essays wins. Almost all the essays were about Sports Day and the athletes.

Now we all know that students like to copy... here's one essay we got: "The server is temporarily unable to service your request due to maintenance downtime or capacity problems. Please try again later."

Is it sad that this is the highlight of my day?

P.S. Halloweeeeeeeeeen!

Cute kid stories

We've got a kid-friendly movie up on our lab website about what it's like to have an MRI. The movie tells kids that we play the statue game when they come in, so that they stay really, really still. We had an adorable 5 year-old come in on Friday, and she came in chattering about how excited she was to be a statue, just like grandma (I didn't ask...).

When she was practicing in our mock scanner, I complimented her on how good she was at being a statue. Then I tried to guess what kind of statue she was.

"Are you a soldier statue?"
"Are you the Statue of Liberty?"
"Are you a pony statue?"
"I guess you could be a grandma statue. Nah, that's silly... Are you a grandma statue?"

No? I thought that's what she said she was going to be!

"Okay, I give up. What kind of statue are you?"
"Baby Jesus!"

And we preceded to compliment her on what a great baby Jesus she was throughout her scan.

Her 3 year-old brother was adorable too. He saw our giraffe and asked if he could wide it. We said no, just a hug, but he climbed on anyway.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I'm in DC!

Hi everyone! I have a week off from school this week, so I'm spending it wandering around the East Coast visiting people. I went to Yale for band alumni weekend this weekend, and it was glorious! Beautiful weather on Saturday, and the team beat Dartmouth (thank god), and the band looked and sounded great. Also, T-Duff says hi.

Anyway, I just wanted to let everyone know that I am now at the Waller-Lao Residence in Washington DC. There are two items of interest in this apartment:

1) A 50-lb bag of rice
2) A shelf full of liquor

Guess what belongs to whom. I'm not telling you. You have to guess.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

My parents' weekend, much further north.

If y'all didn't know already, I joined the U of R Wind Symphony (aka band) and Symphony Orchestra (self-explanatory). Each had a concert this weekend for Meliora Weekend (aka parents' weekend), which I why I missed out on band alumni weekend.

The Symphony Orchestra concert went especially well - we played Firebird Suite, and we sounded pretty damn good from where I was sitting in the very back row. My bosses and co-worker came, which was super sweet of them, and my boss even tagged a blurry iPhone photo of us with me and the caption, "I think that's where you were...?"

I didn't have parents to bring to our parents' weekend concert, but I had PIs!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

I Waited Twenty Minutes To See Obama Drive By And All I Got Was To Be Twenty Minutes Late To Work

So, President Obama came to visit the NIH last week. Of course, we didn't get any notification until the night before when an e-mail was sent out saying that there was going to be increased security, road closures, and that we should all make sure to display our ID badges, due to a 'special visitor.' Of course, I didn't get to see him speak as the auditorium was filled with people who had gotten super-secret special tickets beforehand (and a few lucky people that got in line ass-early for first-come lotto tickets), which kinda sucked because it was such a pain to get inside the very building I work in. Apparently, he choppered into the Navy Medical Center across the street and drove in via motorcade and it was a bit amusing seeing so many grown individuals lining the street jumping and cheering like teenage girls at a Backstreet Boys concert (or whoever the equivalent is nowadays - the Jonas Brothers? Miley Fuckin' Cyrus?).

Also, today the new director of the NIH, Francis Collins (Yalie! And head of the Human Genome Project), was awarded the National Medal of Science at the White House. Fun fact: he rides a Harley to work. He also plays guitar and jammed with Joe Perry (of Aerosmith) in a free concert at the Capitol last week.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Today I...

...failed a german exam
...had to go to class
...failed at class
...talked to the police who were not helpful
...went to go look at an apartment my car towed
...thought it was stolen when the towing place denied having it, then figured it out and had to bum a ride to the impound lot which is in a terrible neighborhood even for baltimore where I had to be escorted to my car in an impound lot so i could get my wallet (in the car) so complete strangers could drive me to the sketchiest gas station i've even been in so i could get $260 out of the skeeziest atm ever where a young black man came up to me and said "you picked a hell of a neighborhood to come use a bank machine, lady" and then go get my car and figure out where the fuck i was (somewhere on baltimore's west side which is indeed as bad as it sounds like it might be),  all of which triggered a total relapse of self doubt, angst, hating this fucking shit hole of a city, frustration, etc.
...oh yes and i still haven't done any fucking work

sorry. just venting.
i miss the safety of new haven, and the safety net of having you all around.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Being Ms. Cooper

What is being Ms. Cooper like, you ask? Well let me share a few stories from the past week, just to give you an idea.

1) The other day, kid number one walked by kid number two, and just licked him on the head. No idea why.

2) I got to hear my principal give the boys in my class a bathroom lesson, in which he compared peeing to a video game and encouraged them all to "go to the next level." He then had them all take aim and make peeing noises. This all was prompted because some kid keeps peeing in a corner, and all of them pee on the seat. It's quite gross.

3) Speaking of gross pee, one kid peed herself like three times on Friday (I think she's scared of the pee-covered bathroom), and she didn't have a change of clothes and I couldn't get a hold of her parents. Not a good situation.

4) During writing time, one kid wrote that he loved recess and illustrated his story with my co-teacher watching the happy kids play and me watching the kids who didn't bring their homework cry. Sadly, this is a pretty accurate representation of kindergarten recess.

5) On a more positive note, our lowest kid who came in only able to scribble on the page this week wrote the number six and colored within the lines! These small victories are what make it all worthwhile.

6) Some of my kids absolutely love me. When asked to draw and write about their families, one girl drew a picture of me. She told me that she was going to draw her family around me.

7) This week in our morning meeting we danced to the hokey-pokey. None of them know which is their right or left hand, but they're putting them in there anyway (and looking incredibly adorable while doing so).

I love my job. It's a bit like Yale in that I'm working between 11 and 12 hours a day, do nothing outside of schoolwork, and is very challenging but rewarding. I have to admit that this post isn't just to update y'all on my new life; I also have a favor to ask of each and every one of you.

My school, Success Preparatory Academy, is a brand spanking new charter school in New Orleans, and we're looking to have universities sponsor each classroom. If you've ever visited Amistad Academy in New Haven, they have much the same system. Rather than being Ms. Cooper's and Ms. Oliver's kindergarten class, my class would instead be the Yale class. Before this can happen, however, I have to raise enough money to buy t-shirts for every child, along with other paraphernalia, roughly in the range of $500. This is where you come in.

I realize that this is very spammy of me, but it would do a lot to help us on our mission of creating college-bound students for leadership and lifelong learning if you could contribute to my school, no matter the amount.

If you're interested in donating, visit, and click on the Donate button on the left. Also let me know if you choose to donate so that the school knows to channel that money to my classroom.

This is of course tax-deductible, and you will receive updates from my cute little kids if you choose to contribute!

Ok, spam done. Almost...donate plzthxbai!!!1