The Substitute Teacher was Mean as a Snake and Southern as They Come

Wheeeee!  One little leaf goes fluttering to the ground.

Wheeeee! One little leaf goes fluttering to the ground.


Today is a very cool day in north Alabama. The sky is crystal clear, the sunshine deceptive. Yesterday, a blustery artic wind blew in from the north and shook the leaves of the ancient oak trees outside of Princess Buttercup’s school, where I was working as a substitute for her class.

The wind would blow, and the leaves pelted the windows of the old school building. I finally figured out how to use the remote control to get the heater working.

The kids were very sweet, good, and respectful. Buttercup goes to a good school.

Being a sub is no easy job. The teachers have their schedules down to a science: how to teach that many subjects within the allotted time. I did my best but was far behind schedule. I think we did just three subjects! Not to mention, I had to explain some math concepts, and math is not my best subject. Poor kids.

I remember having subs when I was growing up in rural Alabama. It was a tricky proposition. You never knew what kind of sub you were going to get. Sometimes they were push-overs. Sometimes they were strict and stalwart as wooden sticks. But it was always nice to have a change of pace from the regular teacher.

Mom tells about one of our relatives that used to substitute for her high school class. This was when Mom was a girl, growing up in Jachin. The kids would always manage to get this substitute to talk about “the Yankees,” no matter what subject they were on. I think the lady’s father or grandfather must have fought in “The War.”

Interestingly enough, I got the lady’s daughter as a teacher when I was in the fourth grade. It started off when the school year began and we got some fresh-from-college teacher named Miss M. Miss M was very young and very new at teaching. She barely tolerated our class, and by Christmas had decided to call calf-rope. (That means that she decided to call it quits.) I think my class got to her. The last thing we ever heard was that she had decided to go to graduate school. She probably decided to go to grad school in something completely different and to her liking such as—who knows what…political science, maybe?

That’s when Mrs. S, our relative and a divorcee with a young son, stepped in. She was mean as a snake and southern as they come. I thought that she would be nice to me, since she was a distant relative. But not so fast, my friend. She treated me with the same unshakable firmness that she doled out for the rest of the class. Like an Army sergeant, she called us all by our last names.
One day when she was calling out names while passing out graded papers, I spoke up and asked her, if she pleased, to call me by my first name. Her eyes burned with the fire that surely came from her Confederate forefathers. “I will not!” she said and contemptuously handed me my paper.

Somehow I made it through the rest of the year. That was the only year that cousin Mrs. S taught at my school. The next class had a luckier time, getting a new teacher who stayed all year.

I, however, enjoyed substituting yesterday, and I hope that the kids enjoyed it, too. I don’t really have a picture to go along with this blog, but I do have pictures of pretty fall leaves that I’ve taken. Hope you enjoy!

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Leaves falling all over the road before the cars can chase them off.  Small Alabama town.

Leaves falling all over the road before the cars can chase them off. Small Alabama town.

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What does the Fox Say?

By the time Ylvis performed his Internet hit on the Today Show and one of my child’s school mates passed it on to her, I can guess that it isn’t very cutting edge for this suburban mom to post about it on my post about growing up in rural Alabama.

Lefty looked it up on YouTube and played it for me this weekend. (See…I am far behind the cultural curve.) I really liked the tune. My girlfriend said that it sounded very 1980’s; it made me hope (hope) that the European pop sound from the 80’s will return. Why not? Leggings are back.

I’m going to replace the harpsichord sound with my flute and see how it goes. I think it’ll sound pretty cool.

Here’s the transition to my growing up rural…

There are foxes in south Alabama. Dad has seen them. He said that there are both red and gray foxes down there. There aren’t a lot of them. I’ve never seen one, so I can’t tell you what they say.

There were plenty of coyotes in our pasture in Jachin. If a cow had a calf and didn’t get up soon after birthing, my dad would have to watch to ensure that the calf wouldn’t be taken by a coyote. So there you go.

What does the coyote say? Ow—–ow——-ow! Or maybe Gering-ding-ding-ding-dingeringeding!

Whatever.

But as for Ylvis…I hear that he stuck up a book deal with Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. Rock on, Ylvis!

This calf was deserted by his mom, and our dog took over its care.

This calf was deserted by his mom, and our dog took over its care.

P.S. Don’t forget to enter my 100th post contest! If you follow me, you are entered once. If you reply, I will enter you twice…3 entries in all. The prize is one of my Absolutely Stephanie bracelets that I made. Good luck!

Absolutely Stephanie bracelets.  The winner will be able to pick one similar to these.

Absolutely Stephanie bracelets. The winner will be able to pick one similar to these.


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100th Post and an Absolutely Stephanie Give-away!!!

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Hi All,

I’ve been procrastinating on posting because this is my 100th post!!!

I procrastinated, because I want the hundredth to be really special. How to celebrate? How to celebrate?

So I’ve decided to do an Absolutely Stephanie give-away. I made these cute, little bracelets out of recycled paper a couple of years ago. I rolled them on a toothpick, glued and glazed them, paired them with coordinating matching beads, and strung them on a clear band. Voila! I put them in a local craft show and called my business “Absolutely Stephanie.” It just sounded like me.

All you have to do is to follow my post, and I’ll enter your name for a drawing. If you send me a reply and tell me your favorite thing about my blog, I’ll enter your name two more times. That simple! I’ll give you until November 13th, and then I’ll let Princess Buttercup draw your name. (She likes doing stuff like that.)

I will send your Absolutely Stephanie bracelet by mail. (I know, it’s not very hi-tech–but it will still get to you, just the same.)

If any of you would like to buy one of the Absolutely Stephanie bracelets, I will sell them for $5 each. They make great gifts! This is the first time that I’ve tried selling them online, so let me get back with you…PayPal is probably the best way to go. I’m open to suggestions.

Thanks to all of my loyal readers! {{{Hugs}}},
Stephanie

Absolutely Stephanie bracelets.  The winner will be able to pick one similar to these.

Absolutely Stephanie bracelets. The winner will be able to pick one similar to these.

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What is my favorite thing about my blog?

Well, I really like writing, and I get really excited to read my statistics that tell me that people all over the world have read my little posts. It can take a lot of work, particularly to get my pictures in a format that looks okay.

I love people and am an outgoing person. So it’s gratifying to read people’s comments and meet new friends.

I don’t consistently write about growing up in rural south Alabama, but when I do, I have Facebook family and friends who seem enjoy reading about mutual memories of the farm and store.

Blogging is definitely a way to reach out to others in a creative way. I may have mentioned that I have kept a journal since I was 14 years old. Again, not consistently. But my current journal is a sparkly blue spiral-bound notebook that I keep in my nightstand…ready to document the next few pages in my life. -Stephanie

The façade of Jachin Grocery, my families' store.

The façade of Jachin Grocery, my families’ store.

More Absolutely Stephanie bracelets! Which is my store! 😉

All sorts of colors of Absolute Stephanie bracelets.

All sorts of colors of Absolute Stephanie bracelets.

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All sorts of colors of Absolute Stephanie bracelets.

All sorts of colors of Absolute Stephanie bracelets.

Here is a close-up of a bead.

Here is a close-up of a bead.

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Moving into November after Nutty Night at Mall

Witch_hatLast night was ghastly. And I’m not just talking about the blustery weather front that blew in.

We parents decided that the weather was so icky that we would take the kids trick-or-treating at the mall.

There were all varieties of spooks at the mall. I saw a bunch of kids wearing “Scream” masks, which totally freaked me out. I never even saw the movie—the TV trailers were enough to give me nightmares for weeks.

The mall was more crowded than Disney World. Here we were, with a whole gaggle of girls, trying to stay together, while navigating the crowd of spooks…all for about 3 pieces of candy and a couple of stickers that they handed out. Truly, it was crowded, and the mall stores soon ran out of candy.

Then, without any more candy incentives, the crowd filtered out.

We took our, Roman Empresses, Harry Potters, bunnies, beavers, witches, and super heroes to seats near the elevator and took bunches of pictures.

Lesson learned.

Maybe it wasn’t the best idea to go to the mall, in spite of the windy/rainy weather.

It was fun, anyway…kinda. We went to Burger King and bought ice cream and hoped for a more productive year next year.

Meanwhile, onward to November—one of my favorite months, with beautiful fall leaves and lots of turkey!

Harry Potter Garb

Harry Potter Garb

Bags for our 3 pcs of candy.

Bags for our 3 pcs of candy.

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