Archive for March, 2007

blech

warning: do not continue reading if you get grossed out easily

you have been warned!

i haven’t been sick-sick for a while now. when i have been “not feeling well” lately, it usually consisted of headaches or dizziness or pains. just feeling bleah. so i guess i was due–i just wish it wasn’t right before my vacation ends.

as i wrote below, i was ill for about a week. it actually started the night before the last day before vacation. i was eating a salad and halfway through, just felt really ill. i pushed it aside and went on doing my regular things. as usual when eating a lunchable, my son offers me one stack. i nibbled on the cracker and felt better, so i went back to my salad. but halfway through what was left, i pushed it away again–the nauseous feeling returned. something was not right.

the next day, which was the last day before break, i had weird stomach pains, like hot needles pushing in here and there, staying only for a few seconds, before withdrawing and poking me somewhere else. but seeing it was the last day i went in anyway and endured it the whole day. i packed up early with the intention of stopping in a few days during the break anyway, and left by 3. i came home to take a little nap because i still had to go meet my sister later that night to help her put together a movie for the game the next day. i managed to rest a little, and even nibbled on more salad (why, i don’t know), before going over. we stayed up all night working on the movie, and my trips to bathroom became frequent. the next day i went home to rest. i had barely eaten since thursday, i just had a little salad friday when i got home, and a scoop of rice at my sister’s house, which is weird, since i rarely eat rice. but i wanted something bland, and that’s what they had. when i came home saturday, i mostly slept. when i was up, i found myself running to the bathroom. sorry for the grossness, but it had turned to just liquid coming out. then i would come back to bed, curl up, and sleep some more, before waking up to go to the bathroom again.

this lasted for days. good thing i was on vacation, that i could spend most of the day just sleeping. i could not eat a thing, just because i had no appetite, even though i craved food like mad. when i actually got the food, i would just look at it, and then push it away. i just wasn’t in the mood to eat.

finally, the following friday, a full 8 days since i first felt “weird,” i felt well enough to go in to work and catch up on the things i just left in haste the prior friday. i worked for 3 hours before feeling fatigued, and came back home. after that, i noticed my appetite coming back. i could finally indulge in the weird cravings i was having! (except i didn’t!)

so that was followed by days of eating out and stuff, which i guess was too soon. not a way to ease back in! but having food was nice, again. 🙂

then came thursday night. again. i had to empty out my freezer due to a costco run, so i had some stuff that was supposed to be frozen in the icebox, with the intention of eating it soon. however, we went out to eat on wednesday, when i did that, so i didn’t get to the food until thursday night. i remember opening the bag, and seeing it had all melted already. but i sniffed it and detected no odor, so i just cooked it anyway. i tried a nibble–seemed okay–so i ate it. biiiiiig mistake.

i woke up in the middle of the night, having to run to the bathroom. i couldn’t believe it! it was back! i thought i had finally gotten rid of it! ugh! the wateriness was back, but not so much the pain. i thought maybe i would feel better in the morning. i had to! i had promised to take my son out for the last day of break!

however, i woke up 3 or 4 times that night, to rush to the bathroom. by early friday morning, i was feeling absolutely lousy. stomach pains, runs to the bathroom, and what made it worse were the little burps i was having all day, bring up the taste of the tainted dinner from the night before, making me sick all over again. i tried all kinds of mints and cinnamon drops, but i couldn’t get the taste out of my mouth. i was so miserable. there was no way i could take my son out! i felt bad.

i called my sister, who is also off and who we were going to meet for our end-of-break outing, and she came to pick up my son and said she’d take him out so i wouldn’t have to worry about him and could just go and rest. i was so jealous because where they were going, i had never been before. but i also knew i was in no condition to just go along for the ride. so i sent him off, sadly, before realizing how selfish i was being. why should he give up his fun because i wasn’t feeling well? i’m such a bad mother.

she had also dropped off some rice so i could make okai, since i don’t have any rice in the house. i made it, but again, just did not feel like eating. especially as the little burps (i don’t know what to call them–they weren’t like the full on belches, but more like little hiccups) continued and i still kept being reminded of what i ate the night before. it seemed everytime i went to the bathroom, i would get those little burpy things. gas was trying to escape both ends, i guess.

after alternating between napping and running to the bathroom, i thought i’d check on the okai. i took a bite and then remembered that i got sick from food that was sitting out, so i ended up throwing out the okai. oh no! i’m starting to become paranoid!

i really wanted some crackers or bread, but i had none. i searched through my son’s goodie bags from parties and school, and found some ritz cheese ‘n’ crackers. i took out the crackers and nibbled on those, but it was not enough to rid my mouth of that taste of the tainted dinner.

after having a dream about my kids (which usually signals to me that vacation is over–time to go back!) i woke up and had to go to the bathroom again. i came back to bed and tried to go to sleep, but could not. my whole abdomen was rumbling, making strange gurgling noises and pops. about 15 minutes later, i went back to the bathroom, and this time, as the water came out, i felt a stronger burp. oh oh.

i grabbed a towel off the rack and inhaled deeply into it–nothing like the smell of fresh towels! it calmed me down somewhat, until that trigger feeling subsided. but then my tummy made a real loud gurgle, and i thought, well, if it wants to come out, i should let it. so i allowed the feeling to come back, and ended up vomitting. big chunks of the tainted dinner came out, still undigested, which shocked me. it’s been over 24 hours! why wasn’t it digested yet?

after that, i cleaned up and crawled back to bed. i felt better, as one feels when you throw up after eating something bad. you just feel — cleansed, sort of. i jumped on the internet for a while, searching for things that may be the cause of this, even though i’m pretty sure it’s food poisoning. however, my last bout from a week ago did not include vomitting, so i just wanted to make sure. but yeah, what it mostly said was that i probably ate something bad. i turned off the computer and tried to go back to sleep.

a half-hour later, my tummy made a rumbling sound again. again? i ran to the bathroom, not making it in time. but even more came out this time. i was shocked. i thought i had emptied my tummy the last time? but no, more chunks of undigested food came out. the taste of the tainted dinner was now very strong in my mouth. ugh. i kept heaving and heaving, trying desperately to get that taste out of my mouth. when i finally stopped, i had to go back and clean the drops i made as i was running to the bathroom. ugh. reminded me of the corned beef hash incident. then i washed and washed and washed my hands, and brushed my teeth to get rid of the taste that was still lingering in my mouth. but it didn’t work. then i noticed that a few chunks ended up on my shirt. *sigh* changed again and went back to wash. my sink is backed up now, so i have to go clean that up, too. ugh.

so now it is 4am, and i can’t get to sleep. i wonder about how my body is affected, since i just went through something similiar only a week ago. has my body recovered? do i have enough white cells left in me to fight off this bacteria or virus, or has it been depleted because of last week? my tummy will rumble every now and then, but so far, nothing has come out, yet. though i probably just jinxed myself. but i just want it all out so i can get better and at least enjoy the last weekend before i have to go back! give me sunday, at least? please?

good eats

Maybe it’s because I was sick all last week and barely had an appetite, or maybe it’s because I spent most of this week at my sister’s house, and they always eat out, but I’ve been obsessing about food lately. I get these strong cravings for a certain type of food, and I seem to be constantly thinking of what things would taste like! Weird!

On Sunday, we went to the zoo, which was across the street of Teddy’s, which I wanted to try. So the whole time we were walking around the zoo, all I could think about was how good a hamburger would taste. I hadn’t eaten anything greasy or cheesy in a while because of the illness I had earlier, so I was ready! My mouth was watering so much in anticipation of having a lovely, juicy burger that I didn’t even need to take a sip of my water bottle, like I normally do when walking around. I felt so bad about only thinking of hamburgers instead of appreciating the animals there, that I apologized profusely to the cow there! I was just so ‘ono for a hamburger, especially since Teddy’s has good reviews. I could just taste the warm meat that gushes forth with juice when you bite into it, with that lovely charbroiled smell you inhale as you eat, and how the goodness just fills your mouth and goes down and you feel sooooo satisfied. I was so weak. I totally rushed us along the last 1/3 of the zoo because I couldn’t stand it any more. It was right there! Come on! Let’s go! I felt like a drooling caveman (sorry, Geico reps) who could only grunt “meat, meat, meat, MEAT!” Hamburger! YUM!

I did not get to satisfy that craving, though. 😦 I drove sadly to my sister’s home, where we were going to stay for a while. She was going to Maui Tacos and wanted to know if we wanted anything. *sigh* I really wanted that hamburger, but just chose a steak quesadilla. It wasn’t bad, but you know when you’re craving one thing…nothing else seems to taste as good.

The next day, we were planning on stopping by Times to get some steak. They hibachi it right there, in front of the store, for you. Sooooooooooo delicious. So we were planning on getting that for lunch, and again, all I could think of was yummy steak. My sister was going to leave at noon to get some, but her husband told her that the neighbor was going to Times to get steak, too, so we put in an order with her. We waited. I drooled. We waited some more. My other sister showed up, dropping off some goodies from Liliha Bakery, but I couldn’t eat anything. I just wanted steak! STEAK! We waited until 5:50 before my sister decided she wasn’t going to wait for the neighbor any more, and ran out to get steak herself (they stop serving it at 6). I thought, just my luck, she gets there too late!

But, luckily, she got there in time, and we got our steak. Soooooo yummy.

On Tuesday, we were at Kamehameha Shopping Center. Strangely, I did not want hamburger, but I wanted something stewy. So while my sister shopped, I went to McDonalds to get some yummy haupia pies, then I walked over to Jamba Juice for a lovely Coldbuster. On the way, I spied the bowling alley and thought STEW!!!! YUMMMMM!!!! Should I chance it and run across the street to get some stew? Would I make it back by the time my sister finished shopping? I stood on the curb for 3 minutes, deciding whether or not to run across. When I finally decided to do it, my phone rings. My sister said she was done, and wanted to meet at the curry ramen place by Jamba Juice, since I was supposed to be buying all of our Jamba Juices. whoops. I hurried over and bought them and then my sister was there, and even though I tried to get her to go to the bowling alley, she said her husband called and wanted something from the curry ramen place, so she had to go there. She told me to go to the bowling alley, but by then, I didn’t want to make humbug. So I just ordered a beef curry there. Not as good as the bowling alley’s curry would’ve been but…I guess it did help the craving a little bit. It would’ve been nice if my curry had more meat and potatoes in it, though!

On Wednesday, there wasn’t much craving, though we did stop at Quiznos, because my sister told me the prime rib sandwich was to die for (it was okay, but I doubt I’d eat it again for its price!). Then I had to take my son to practice. After that was done, I asked what he felt like eating for dinner, and he said he wanted to go to Ruby Tuesday. Neither of us had been there before, and I wondered how he knew about it? But I figured, well, this might be the only time to do it, because of vacation–once we get back to school, we’re not going to have the time or energy to eat there, so I relented, and we went. I had no idea what kind of food they served there, but was pleased to find out there was a whole page in the menu dedicated to hamburgers! YUM! It took a while to decide, though, because I didn’t want to spend $11 for just a regular cheeseburger. I don’t like bacon, either, which is what most of them had. I was looking for something with mushrooms or bleu cheese, but I couldn’t find anything. I finally saw one that had sauteed portabello and NO bacon, so I was going to order that, even though it was almost $13, when I looked across the page and saw the triple prime burger. This one was $12 but it had 3 prime cuts of meat. Oooooo. So I ordered that. It was pretty good, but again, not something I would eat again for that price…unless someone else was treating 😉

So I got my hamburger craving out of the way. Or so I thought…

This morning, I must’ve still had the taste of the hamburger still in my mouth, even though I use red cinnamon toothpaste. And I still could not get the idea out of my head to try a hamburger at Teddy’s. I even found their website and stared at their menu for a long, long time. The mouth began to water again. I tried to distract myself by watching the Disney Channel with my boy for while, but that just made me an irritated drooler. I told my boy we were going to Waikiki! We have to get a burger!

We didn’t. We just got what we needed from Home Depot, K-mart, and the library. We stopped by Zippys, but they didn’t have the tripe stew I was hungry for, so we left. But I tell ya, we’ll get there! Hopefully soon, before my brain gets tired from working overtime to produce all this saliva. I’m just sad that it might be like a certain other thing–you build it all up in your mind to be good, and then … it’s not. It’s such a letdown. Just like those that said Kua’aina is the best, but it was just ordinary, to me. Or how my sister said the prime rib sandwich is to die for, but it was just okay. Well, we’ll see, I guess. Probably all I should eat is a nice crisp salad with salmon flakes after all the eating out I did this week! 😛

why i drive myself crazy

I’ve been reading TenseTeacher for a while now, well, because misery loves company 😉 We have similar thoughts. No, really, but I love reading other people’s experiences and seeing how they handle the whole mess we deal with. I especially love reading her comments that she leaves while grading papers. She reminds me of a teacher I had in high school! I had so many comments like that all over my paper! I don’t get to write things like that on my kids’ papers–I’d be happy if they even knew that a sentence is a complete thought.

Anyway, I was reading a recent post, and she asked a question that I thought would be interesting to explore — why do we continue to teach?

From the prologue of Teacher Man by Frank McCourt:

“In America, doctors, lawyers, generals, actors, television people and politicians are admired and rewarded. Not teachers. Teaching is the downstairs maid of professions. Teachers are told to use the service door or go around the back. They are congratulated on having ATTO (All That Time Off). They are spoken of patronizingly and patted, retroactively, on their silvery locks. Oh, yes, I had an English teacher, Miss Smith, who really inspired me. I’ll never forget dear old Miss Smith. She used to say that if she reached one child in her forty years of teaching it would make it all worthwhile. She’d die happy. The inspiring English teacher then fades into gray shadows to eke out her days on a penny-pinching pension, dreaming of the one child she might have reached. Dream on, teacher. You will not be celebrated.”

So if that’s true…then why do it? Why put ourselves through stress that so many other people don’t want to do and will never understand?

I remember once, during a faculty meeting, our principal told us that all teachers are selfish. She said when asked why most teachers go into teaching, she said listen to their answers. It’s only to make themselves feel good. We were a bunch of selfish, needy people, and that’s why we teach. I remember being angry that she had said that. How dare? But then again…why do we put ourselves through this torture if we do not get something good out of it?

So as a much anticipated spring break has arrived, I sit here and reflect. Why? Why do I do it? Why go back, year after year, after swearing that the current year was going to be my last? What is it that I seek?

I will start off that when I was a little girl, I wanted to be a teacher. I thought it was the perfect “mommy” job, since all I ever wanted to be was a mommy. I thought it would be a good job because I would have my summers off to spend with my kids. We’d have all the same vacations off, we’d have the same hours in the day, and I could spend all the extra time with my kids. Perfect, I thought.

In high school, it changed. I wanted to be a stewardess, even though I didn’t have the height or the looks, because I wanted to travel all over. My aunty was a stewardess, and she got to go all over. I thought that was a neat perk of the job. Then, of course Aloha Flight 243 happened, which pretty much ended my hope there. I then turned my thoughts to maybe being a Polynesian dancer or something. (Yes, my goals were pretty low in high school.)

In college, I became increasingly interested in Hawaiian language and culture, and upon graduation, I was looking for a job in the archives, doing research and translations. I started off first with a research assistant job at the university, hoping that it would be a stepping stone into the archives job. However, at the time, the Hawaiian Immersion program was really taking off, with more schools wanting to start their own immersion programs, like the first one at Waiau. There was a desperate need for teachers and curriculum developers. I was asked to translate books and develop resources to help support the curriculum. I enjoyed doing this, and the professor I was assisting pushed me into signing up with the College of Education to be an immersion teacher. With the bait of “tuition waiver”…I bit. I applied and got in, even though the advisor told me straight out that he thought I wouldn’t make it. But he’d make an exception in letting me in and taking their courses because they really needed immersion teachers.

I went through the program quickly and graduated in December. The following semester, I had calls from principals for “long term subs” positions for teachers out on maternity, but none of them would hire me. I admit, I don’t scream “teacher material” in appearance because I’m on the quiet side. I don’t have that effervescent personality that most teachers have. I began to see what my advisor was saying.

I finally got hired during the summer. The principal didn’t really care that I was quiet–she just needed a body. But the parent who sat in the interview with her really liked me. She said the kindergarten teacher was loud and mean. I would be the perfect counter to her when the kids moved up to first grade. I went in and did my job. I realized how many hours outside the school day was devoted to doing my job. I was there at 6:30 every morning, and didn’t leave until 6pm–and only because I *had* to, because the custodians want to lock up and set the alarms, and we weren’t allowed to have the security codes to our classrooms. There were also a lot of parent meetings to attend, other committee meetings, workshops, etc. I was bewildered at how much you had to do! I found out that year, that this definitely was not the easy mommy job I thought it was when I was younger!

But I guess what TenseTeacher is asking is why do we keep going back? Knowing all the crap we have to deal with…why keep going? And true, a lot of teachers do drop out. Our principal told us that a lot leave by the 3rd year–they hit a wall, and just drop out, find other professions. Are the rest of us idiots? Do we like to punish ourselves? What?

I know I go back because of the kids, and only the kids. I do not care for administration or parents. But the kids–that’s why I’m there. I love my kiddies. As they move on through the grade levels, I love it when they stop by after school to keep me updated on the things that’s happened with them. Sometimes, that’s all they have, you know? They’re not lucky, like I was, to have a mom who stayed at home and picked us up after school and sat with us to do our homework. Both parents are working and the kids go home to empty houses, then the parents come home, stressed and tired, and do not want to spend time with the kids. So I guess I’m sorta the “surrogate parent” which I guess fulfills some sort of need within me. I always wanted to have lots of kids. I have one, whom I love dearly. But sometimes I feel like … I wish I had more. So I guess that’s something these kids do for me. That’s one reward I get.

I would guess another is that I love learning. And you are constantly learning on this job. Not only workshops and stuff–but from the kids themselves. They open your eyes to so many things. I am always learning from them. They teach me how to be a better teacher for the next class, which is very valuable.

I guess another is arrogance. I tell myself I have to keep coming back for the kids. Because if I’m not there, then who will be? Well, of course, there will be another teacher there, if I’m not there. And it could be an even better teacher, so I’m actually taking away from the kids. But I tell myself that I’m there for the kids. Maybe a way to make myself feel important?

So is that it, really? That I boost my own self-esteem by feeling important, learning more, and fulfilling my need to be a parent? Gosh, that does sound … a bit sad. Grrrr. I hate it when my principal is right. 😡