Story 1- mom without boundaries 

I called my mom today. There is no predicting the direction the conversation will take. 

The conversation began with, “Hi honey, I’m great today. I went to the dentist and all six teeth I have left are in good shape.”

The conversation ended with, “Thanks for calling. I got the good prunes from Costco so I need to go poop now.”

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As often happens I am saying, “I wish I would have done this sooner.”  This time I’m referring to writing. There’s no reason I have not written here for six months. Well, there are a few: insecurity, laziness, jumbled thoughts, insecurity. But the point of this blog isn’t to impress anyone. It isn’t to demonstrate fantastic writing skills, perfect grammar, or a unique style. It’s for me. If you laugh, are moved, connect, enjoy, or are impressed in any way, fantastic. If not, that’s okay.

Now that I’ve said that, I’m back. There have been some funny things that happened during the past six months. There have probably been some sad and moving things as well. There has also been a hysterectomy. I feel like I need to write about the hysterectomy. This has thrown me for a loop.

That’s to come.

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I wasn’t sad to tell SLC goodbye. But in what other airport is there a piano being played in the food court?   

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More from Happy Land

  1. Everyone smiles. Seriously people? Why are ya’ll so damn happy? It’s hot! It’s 106 degrees. Hot! Be grouchy. Like me.

2.  The streets are clean. People don’t liter.

3.  Not only is the parking lot at the hospital free, valet parking is free. Not only is it free,       if you just need to run in for 10 minutes they will leave your car right in the front.

4.  People walk and ride their bikes.

5.  If you are driving, these pedestrians and bike riders expect you to stop. Folks, you           aren’t in Portland.

6.  What’s up with the criss-cross street under the freeway.

Under the freeway, drive on the wrong side of the road.

Under the freeway, switch to the other side of the road.

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You know you’re in Utah when…

Yesterday I went by the grocery store on my way back to my aunt’s house. The perky blonde hair, blue eyed girl said hello, and told me that she’s asking people questions today.  Ok.

Q: What advice would you give your younger self?

A: Do good in school.  Or, “Don’t date him!”

Q: Batman or Spiderman, and why?

A: Spiderman. Who wouldn’t want to climb buildings?

She rang up my three items, and I paid. I asked her why she’s asking questions today, thinking it must some some experiment. She told me that she just hates the usual greetings and small talk she has every day. She wants to have conversations.

Slow down. Talk to people. Enjoy.

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The Things People Say

A student walking by said to me, “Some day I’m gonna steal your eyes.”


“It’s a complement, Miss.  You have pretty eyes. I’m gonna steal your eyes.”

Kid, that’s a little closer to creepy than complement.

A co-worker was telling me how she is trying to get her boyfriend to eat whole wheat bread.  She said, “But, you know, you can’t make a horse drink some water.”

No, I don’t know.

Threw is the new Ho.

For example, “There’s that Threw, Micki.”

This is the time I would rather be a Shrew.

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Welcome back from spring break. I guess.

I hoped that today would be an easy day.  I hoped for quiet, no drama, working on schedules, ideally not even seeing students.  Hope.

Last week, during the break, I heard about a shooting at one of the apartments zoned to us.  The news reported that there were several young men, 17-22, hanging out and playing with the gun.  It was accidental.  One of the boys died.  The police didn’t report the names.  First thing this morning I was told that the boy who died was my student last year, he had dropped out.  Gang member, hardened, smart, kind, sense of humor.  We called him Sebastian.  That wasn’t his name, it was a little joke we had with him, I don’t remember the story.  But we laughed.

I enrolled a brand new student.  New to the country.  Sweet kid.

The first phone call to the office was from a mom.  Her daughter tried to kill herself this morning.  She took pills.  They were at the emergency room.

I called our social worker to tell her about the girl.  She thought I was calling about the apartment fire.  I didn’t know about the apartment fire.  Nine units were destroyed, at least two of our families are now without a home.  Everything is gone.  Add that to the 20+ homeless students we already have.  I don’t think any of the apartment fire students are mine.

Then I found out the boy who shot the gun is a senior at our school.  He accidentally shot and killed his friend.

I got another new student.  A girl.  She started this school year at one of our other high schools.  Apparently she’s a fighter, has a temper, a nasty mouth, doesn’t control herself.  She ended up in our district alternative placement school.  Usually students get sent there for 30 – 60 days, depending on what they did.  If they’re good, they almost always come back early.  Not her.  She ended up in juvie justice placement, for fighting.  She did a short stint there, before getting locked up, for aggravated assault.  Of an officer.  She’s now out, is in school, with an ankle tracker.

11:00 brought no new major problems – just bullies, cell phones, mentors, stairwell lovers, a teacher cursed out, a student walked out of class, and students crying because one friend died, by the hand of another.

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