Just Another Day Teaching in Paradise

So I am a high school art teacher, however, I think writing about art is just as important as creating it. 

Final exams are this week and each student had to write a two page synopsis paper and include reasons and research as to why they picked a certain artist or photographer for their final project.

Here is a list of problems with this generation currently in high school…

1) Two pages is apparently too many. Wait till college kid. Seriously, even as an art teacher, I have to write a two page document about why your ass failed my class and what interventions I used to try to help you to pass. Writing is part of life.

2) High school students write like they are talking, I’m sorry, texting, because no one talks anymore… they write like the are texting their bff. There are lots of ‘cuz’… aka: because, ‘i’… aka I and ‘stuff’… aka: I am literally writing ‘stuff’ as bullshit because I am trying to take up more room on the paper.

3) Font. I said I wanted the paper in 12 point font. Do you think I don’t notice that you used size 14 or 16 font? Listen, the reason I know is because your paper is now so much more easier for me to read.

4) Margins. The margins of the paper are one inch. Did you think that I wouldn’t notice that your margins are like 3 inches in and you have centered the whole thing?

5) ‘Is it ok if I only write 1.5 pages?’ -Let me think about this… no. If i wanted 1.5 pages, I would have made that the requirement instead of two pages. Yes Johnny. You can write 1.5 pages and then you can write .5 more…

6) Telling me how much you love me at the end of the paper will not get you extra points. Do you know what it will get you? A smiley face. 

7) Writing 1.5 pages and then adding a photograph to the leftover .5 pages so you make the two page requirement. <Gasp!> How will I ever figure out that there are no words on this .5 pages?! 

8) Spelling and Grammar. There is literally nothing that drives me crazy more. The Word program ACTUALLY HAS A BUTTON FOR THIS. You press it and it checks everything for you. I mean, at this point with the cuz and i’s, your paper must light up like the 4th of July. Yup, God bless America. 

9) Name. Your name is literally spelled wrong. It’s your name. A name you have had for 14, 15, 16, 17 or even 18 years! Wtf.

10) Plagiarism. I read your paper and then I typed part of your paper into Google and then, I found your whole paper. Now, the only way that this site on Frida Kahlo and your paper match is because you stole from this site. Word. For. Word. Unless, <gasp> they stole from you! Could it be? No.

Until next time,

Just give me the website


Spring is Coming… or Death

‘Mommy and daddy, I saw a bird’s nest in as tree in our neighborhood!’ -Emily (5 years old)

‘Oh, maybe that means spring is coming…’ Joe (dad)

‘Or maybe it means that the birds left it and froze…’ -Vincent (8 years old)

Oh yes, my eight year old is full of joy and warmth. 

Until next time,

Always find the positive or you could freeze and die

It was Just a Dream

It was one of those dreams where I never wanted to wake up because I felt absolutely perfect in that moment. I felt complete; I felt whole.

It started out on a cold day. I was at the polar bear plunge but there were whales swimming around me as I dove into the icy waters with my friends. In an instant the still water threw me in a huge wave and I had no control. I was under the water hoping to come to the surface for air. Then I landed face down on the cold, sandy beach. I looked up and you told me how proud you were of me while you handed me a towel to dry off.

It was a special night because in this dream it was also Christmas Eve; my favorite holiday. This year was even more special to me because I was going to your house for the first time. Everyone was there; my friends, members of my group and my family. I was excited because you were finally going to meet the people that meant the most to me.

Your house was beautiful. A breakfast nook, a huge wooden table for dinners and it was all next to a giant fireplace. I can still remember the warmth.

The walls were filled with pictures of your daughter. Pictures from the time she was small and even now when when she is an adult with her soon to be husband. There was even a tribute to a person named Joanne that you had lost long ago. There were photographs of trees and forests and a weird collection of hats on the wall. There were Christian statues around your home even though you are more spiritual than hard core Christian.

And then there was your warmth and your love. It made me feel so happy to be in your presence and invited into your home to meet your family and to share this holiday season together. 

My family was there too and you were able to meet them- I was happy that you met my children. It was hard having my family there because I knew I belonged with them and I would never belong with you and your family.

As the party continued, my extended family trashed your house. Even though it was just a dream, I remember feeling embarrassment anyway. My mom dropped medicine all over your floor and then for Christmas she gave us each a can of soup. My dad was too tired to function and acted drunk as he stumbled out of your home dropping shrimp cocktail on your rug. My in-laws were so late, that by the time they actually arrived, the whole party was over. And you and your kind husband still made us all feel welcomed as you cleaned up and decorated your home for the holidays.

You were decorating the tree and I looked up to see you there and you winked at me. A sign that I knew I wasn’t alone.

But then, as my embarrassment turned into shame seeing my family there in your home, you grabbed me by the shoulders, you wiped away the tears streaming down my face and you embraced me. From just a look, you knew what I was thinking and with just a look, I knew it would never be.

And in that moment, I knew what it was like to be extremely devasted and at the same time, feel completely cared for as well.

And then, I woke up. And as I looked around the darkness of my room, I realized that nothing was real but I knew that the feeling of being cared for was real because that’s how you make me feel all the time.

Until next time,

I love you hardcore and no, I am not drinking.

Snow Day- Part 2… The Friday Edition

And here we are again… another chance to prove that if I take my life minute by minute I can survive being with my children without alcohol. The dumbest thing I gave up for the new year is drinking… I now have no escape.

Today’s adventures included a lot of the same things as yesterday… it’s like groundhog’s day but Bill Murray is no where in sight. 

1) This morning started at 2:25am when Emily woke me up to put her slippers back on. I walked her back to bed and as I went to slip her slipper back on like the Cinderella she is, she whispered to me, ‘nevermind, I don’t want my slippers on.’

Cool. I am glad you woke me up.

2) My kids wanted to go outside. I tried to explain frostbite to them… it didn’t go well. They played outside for 15 whole minutes. I stayed inside in my pajamas drinking hot coffee like a trooper.

3) Well, it finally happened. Vincent murdered the Ivory soap and dismembered the body. 

4) I needed to take a bath because I was freezing and I needed to get away from the little people. I was in the bathtub for 10 minutes and fell asleep. I woke up to Emily getting in the bathtub with me so we could play mermaids. No, nothing weird about that. Fast forward to twenty years down the road and Emily is telling a therapist that it all started with her mom…

5) I asked the kids to let me have quiet time. The rules were that I could take a nap without anyone waking me up and the other rule was they were not allowed to fight. I was woken up to see if they could have a popsicle, cut open the popsicle, open a bag of carrots and find the ranch dressing. Man, I never felt so refreshed. There is something invigorating about being woken up every ten minutes.

6) Emily got like ten new canisters of Play-doh for Christmas. I hate the stuff because it smells weird so like any good mom, I let it dry out if they don’t put it away. I am hoping that we will have zero canisters by tomorrow. I will be praying to sweet baby Jesus this evening.

7) Speaking of Play-doh, my kids thought it was a good idea to put the Play-doh all over my face. It was like a mud mask but the kid version. As I am telling Vincent I hate it, he is deeply breathing into a handful of Play-doh and telling me it smells like paradise. Ok, weirdo.

8) Currently, my kids are playing some zombie game and are eating each other’s brains. But naturally we have to do this in complete darkness. My house looks like it is not occupied. 

… this is my current view from my couch… it is also the way my soul feels being home with these kids today.

9) They are saying weird things… right now it is, ‘lightness is arising.’ What? Guaranteed they will all have nightmares tonight.

10) We just left to go out to dinner. Temperatures are in the single digits and once everyone was belted in, Vincent let us know he didn’t have any shoes on. It’s. Single. Digit. Temperatures. Doesn’t your body switch on and let you know you are cold?

Until next time,

It’s only January 5th and I can see myself breaking my New Year’s resolution already. Like pretty hardcore. Body shots and shit.

Snow Day: Part 1

I wrote this late on Thursday… So  apparently snowmageddon has come to the east coast. However, living in New Hampshire for five years makes me laugh at the people back in my area now. I mean it may have snowed three inches and they have cancelled school today and tomorrow. I am not complaining because I love it but I don’t know if I love it with my kids because that’s like a straight 48 hours of entertaining. If you are saying to yourself, ‘wait… I am sure your kids sleep’, you are dead wrong because they all wake up to tell me it’s too dark. Wtf? Of course it’s dark… it’s Jesus’ way to remind you that he wants you to sleep and not bother your parents.

So all of you know I love lists, so here is a list of all the fun things that happened today (Thursday)…

1) I came downstairs because my kids wanted breakfast. I begrudgingly got up only to find that my daughter had a bell around her neck. So everytime I lost her, I just would listen for the bell. It’s like an old school gps. ‘You’re daughter is .25 miles on the left. You have reached your daughter.’

2) So I made pancakes for my children and I always make them different characters and shapes. Nicholas wanted a giant moon, Vincent wanted a gingerbread man and Emily requested an angel and Jesus. Yes, nothing is more sacrilegious about making Jesus out of pancakes.

3) Joe, my husband, had to go to work… sucker! Or was he? Honestly, I am not sure because as I am texting him, Nicholas is editing my text messages.

4) Then Joe asked me how it was going… I was by myself for literally 15 seconds before this happened…

…Yes, we are on a love seat. And we have two sets of furniture and they each have their own rooms but they are sitting on my head.

5) As we are sitting together on the love seat, Nicholas wanted to ask Google how the earth’s crust was created. That also led to Emily asking questions to Google and then she looked off into the distance and said, ‘it’s like someone is talking to us…’ At that point, I literally saw a five year olds mind blown.

6) After the kids were finished being curious, they started complimenting Google on how cute and sweet she is. Google said that they were nice and their compliments were making her blush. What. The. Hell… my kids called me fat today and I gave fucking birth to them. Fine, fine, let Google get you milk and juice. 

7) My New Year’s resolution this year is to get more healthy. I was proud that we all got involved with exercise. So, basically my kids used my twisting board for sleds…

8) Joe took the kids to cub scouts the other night and Vincent has to learn to widdle for a badge. As he was leaving this morning for work, he told me that I needed to help Vincent widdle. Have you ever had to teach a kid to slow down, chew on a piece of straw, while sitting on the porch to widdle a bar of soap who has ADHD? Yeah, me either because I came in from outside to him attempting to widdle. 

…my son basically murdered a bar of Ivory soap. Good news… my kitchen isn’t clean but it sure smells like it is. Bad news… I can’t get it off my fucking black counters.

9) At lunch time I had a bowl of homemade Chicken soup. Every kid wanted some because why would I be able to eat something alone? I told each lovely child that they were going to have it for dinner. Everyone cheered… then I made it for dinner and everyone cried.

10) I am on a shake diet. I know, I know… sucks right? But what doesn’t suck is when your daughter dresses up your shakes with some fashionable earrings. Wtf? Seriously, I can’t even. Although, I wouldn’t mind if I had an eggroll that was wearing a tiny top hat. 

Stay tuned for my update of Snow Day: Part 2… the Friday edition.

Until next time,

Just a parent needing a vacation and a sensible shake with a little umbrella.

A Trip to the Market

So Joe and I are just trying to make it through this week off with the kids. Yesterday, Christmas was lovely but naturally our three children are bored today.

I asked Joe if he wanted to get a sitter for tonight but he felt like we could tough it out. So there we were this morning trying to figure out when we could get breaks from the kids. Joe was relieved that he had a physical today so he could get a break from the family- apparently turning and coughing is more fun than family time.

I, on the other hand, was excited to take a trip to the grocery store to get ingredients for soup. I know, when did I get this old? Either way, I am getting ready to leave and Emily and Nicholas ask to come.

Here is a list of the adventure to Shop Rite…

1) We had to get a shopping cart with the car. So the two kids get in but they have grown since the last car cart and  are basically sitting on top of each other.

2) I asked Nicholas to look out for whipped cream. Then I looked over at him and he is looking for whipped cream as he is army crawling through the aisles.

3) I lost Nicholas in an aisle and when I screamed for him, he came running around the corner claiming he thought a fat man was calling for him. Two questions… one: why do I sound like a fat man and two: why are you responding to a strange, fat man?

4) I got a new kind of ice cream and Nicholas thought it looked good so he started licking the picture on the carton.

5) I asked Nicholas to help me put the groceries on the belt. I look over and he is in the middle of the main aisle with two bags of bagels, swinging them and screaming, ‘nunchucks!’

6) Nicholas and Emily found the ice chest where they sell bags of ice. I yelled at Nicholas to get out of there as one leg was already in the freezer. 

7) We needed beer so naturally I took them to the liquor store. I lost Emily somewhere in the whiskey aisle. 

8) Nicholas picked out our beer. And it actually isn’t a bad kind. He is all set for when he turns 21.

9) I explained to the kids that everything in the liquor store was breakable. So naturally they touched every bottle.

10) It’s pretty obvious I looked stressed because the owner looked at me and said, ‘I guess this is because you are with your kids this whole week?’ Spot on liquor store guy… spot on.

Until next time,

It’s a liquor and ice cream kind of night.

Yeah…He is a Close, Personal Friend.

Sometimes I sit back and wonder… what the hell is going on with kids today? Then I develop a migraine and I stop thinking.

Here is a good example of a conversation I had yesterday…

‘Hey Mrs. Iannone… I always wondered… is that a real picture of the Mona Lisa?’ -student

‘I mean, yeah, it’s a poster of the painting.’ -me

‘No, I mean is that like the original.’ -student

‘The original Mona Lisa?’ -me

‘Yeah…’ -student

‘Honey, if that was the case, then I wouldn’t be teaching you in this cinder block room. We would be livin’ the high life with new art supplies…’ -me

‘Oh ok. I kind of thought if it was real, he would have signed his name or something…’ -student

In this section, I am just going to tell you that I just stared at him with my mouth wide open and if my forehead was a scrolling marquee, it would have said, ‘what the fuck is happening?’

Until next time,

da Vinci and Allison = BFF’S 4eva