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Little minds

Teachers are the most important and yet the most under-compensated professionals. They spend more time molding the minds of youth than most parents do, yet their salaries are barely enough to live on and the resources available to them are frequently outdated, insufficient, and inadequate. That’s why I decided to ask Mrs. Beal — a new fourth-grade teacher and the wife of our Bishop — if there was anything that I could do to help her. Raising one child doesn’t take every minute of my day, but it is irregular enough that it prevents me from doing too much, so I figured that I could help her grade papers or something.

The past few weeks I have been grading math and reading assignments. My favorites are the reading papers. They are made up of ten multiple-choice and two short-answer questions testing reading comprehension. I don’t have a copy of the story, just an answer key for the questions, so I can only guess what the story is about. The last assignment that I graded was about a school for the children of migrant workers. One of the short-answer questions asked how the teacher showed consideration for the students. The correct answer was that she let them move around because the benches they were sitting on were uncomfortable. The answers that Mrs. Beal’s students gave, however, were a lot more colorful. Here are my top-ten favorite answers (complete with fourth-grader spelling):

10.  … by being in a good mood.

9.  She allways cares about them and she makes sher that her kids turn in there home work in time.

8.  … she shows equal attention to them.

7.  She shows consideration by hugging them and she said, “welcome to Camp Miller school.

6.  Miss Peterson entertains her students.

5.  Mrs. Peterson is nice to Janey and she seemes to make small talk and friendly conversations with her students.

4. She lets them clean the blackboards . . . and pick the withered blossoms.

3. Miss Peterson shows consideration by telling them great things about a horned toad.

2. She doesn’t yell all the time.

1. She showes consideration because if you show a lizard to a teacher they would say get that away from me but that teacher did not. When Jany found the lizard she let her keep it and she helped name it.

Spring has sprung

Not to make the cold-weather people jealous, but this is what we see every morning when we look out our back window. They look so good that I went out and cut a bunch of the daffodils so we could enjoy them inside as well.

We planted our garden last weekend. February is prime planting season here in Texas. Hopefully we’ll have better luck this year since we started on time. I was going to post a picture, but nobody wants to look at a box of dirt. I’ll post some pictures when things start to sprout.

Super Dip

No, this post is not about me. Kim and I made this super-special 7 layer dip for the little Super Bowl get together we went to on Sunday, and I thought it was such a work of art that we had to take a picture of it. And for those of you wondering, it tasted just as good as it looks. Mmmmm!

Super Dip

Texas winter wonderland

We had some pretty good winter weather around here last week. I usually like to brag to family and friends in cold-weather states about how nice the winters are in Texas — “It’s 30 below up there? That’s too bad. It’s in the low 70’s here and I’m sitting in my hammock out on my deck cooking dinner on the grill.” — but as you can tell from these pictures of my backyard, this last Tuesday and Wednesday were pretty cold. So cold and icy in fact that my office closed at 10:30 on Tuesday and didn’t open at all on Wednesday, so I got to stay home and play with Kim and Raine. Ahh Texas! Even when it’s bad it’s good.