Monday, August 9, 2010


Well, if you have not viewed the Middle-Age Woman video yet, check it out. Not only will it become an earworm (those annoying songs that get trapped in your brain for hours, sometimes even days) it may become your theme song. It's kind of a "I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar" kind of song but with a definite twist, or maybe I should say it is twisted. Anyway I love it.

Well, our little visitor from Assistance Dog Day has departed to go home with his family. George was getting a little worried that we were adding 4 more paws to the fold.

School is starting for me soon. I thought I would reflect on the teachers at my school, (Margate Elementary School) today. I have 4 more years till retirement, 4.5 if you are counting, but most of the faculty at my school is very young. It has caused me a great deal of reflection. Read on.

Help! I’m Surrounded by Barbie Dolls!

OK, I admit it. Like a ripened Gouda or a really fine wine, I have aged. My teaching career has spanned over 30 years and I’m still kicking.
New generations of educators develop, mushrooming into a complex tech-savvy society of dedicated professionals. I dub them the Barbie Dolls, a name that has nothing to do with their incredible teaching skills, but everything to do with their appearances.
The Barbie Dolls wear adorable dresses and teetery heels. Their long shiny hair and perfect white teeth offset tanned muscular legs and arms. They text-message, use iPhones, and DVD players with ease. Their designer sunglasses cost more than my car payment. Most are in the boyfriend-fiancée-just married-baby stage of life; distant memories for me.

As teachers, their high energy levels make learning exciting. They run and jog, they could cartwheel all the way to lunch. They teach dance and gymnastics in their spare time, they attend classes at night, and they have social lives. They know about bling and how to use it. They line-dance, wear fashionable clothes, and sparkle with enthusiasm and zest.

98% of the faculty at my school are Barbie Dolls. The other 2%, of which I am a part, wear sensible sneakers for lower back pain and knee problems. We represent a variety of body replacements such as hips and knees, and are researching the possibility of TBA (total body replacement). We are perplexed by the lumpy layer of fat that has spread, donut-like, around our abdomens and wonder if there is anything, other than exercise, that we can do to eliminate that. In the meantime, we conceal the rolls with elastic waistbands and oversize shirts.
As we chow down on our bagels and chocolate-covered donuts, we are not sure why the Barbie Dolls seem to have no trouble maintaining those perfect bodies. Lunchtime tells the whole story. Our lunches consist of a high carb lunch from the school cafeteria, with extra mashed potatoes and rolls. The Barbie Dolls seem satisfied with a low-fat yogurt, a piece of fruit and a salad.
Unlike Barbie Dolls, we do not sit down directly on the floor with the kids, unless we have a hefty adult on either side to hoist us up again. We carry extra underwear in our purses. You never know when a cough or a sneeze will set your whole urinary system in motion. Avoid really funny jokes.
Despite these obvious differences, I never noticed much disparity between me and the Barbie Dolls until one of the girls chatted with me about my teaching longevity.
She asked, “Tell me, have you ever felt like a fish out of water with all these young chicks around?”
Up until now, I had never been compared to any kind of sea animal.
I responded thoughtfully to her insightful question.
“No, I haven’t. Thanks for getting me in touch with my feelings.”
That was my first indicator that they realized how young they were, and how old I was. In my mind and heart, I felt young, which led me to question my belief system.

Was I once a Barbie Doll?
If so, what happened?
Will all the Barbie Dolls eventually turn into me?
One can only hope.

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