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Haunted Hodgepodge

Can you believe it, but the Hodgepodge turns 100 this week!  WOW!!  Joyce, thanks for coming up with 100 weeks’ worth of questions.  That, if I’m doing my math correctly (I’m a reading teacher, so be gentle), is about 700 questions (the 8th question is a random comment fashioned by us, the writers).  Pretty amazing!!!  I look forward to celebrating another hundred Hodgepodges in, well, a hundred (give or take a few) weeks!!

1.  What creeps you out?

No doubt about it, but spiders creep me out the most!!  I’ve been heard, over the school’s radio, begging like a little girl for someone to come and remove a nasty, hairy spider.  This happened a few years ago when I was a computer tech at a school.  My office was small and dark, with lots of binders lining the walls.  I moved one and found an icky spider crawling out.  The custodian came to assist me, entered my room with gloves, and came out shaking, saying, “You weren’t kidding.  That thing was huge!”  Guess I wasn’t such a baby after all!

2.  What’s your least favorite candy?

My least favorite candy is candy corn.  Honestly…who in the world came up with the stuff?  Gross.

3.  Are you a fan of scary movies?  What’s the scariest movie you’ve ever seen?

Ha, ha, ha!  My family would be laughing right now if they were reading this.  I hold my eyes over scary previews in the theater!!!  In fact, during my honeymoon, which was spent at Disney World, I covered my eyes during the Haunted House ride.  A little girl exiting the ride with her parents gushed over how great it was and, “Could they go again?”  I was almost in tears from it being so scary.

That said, I never told the Mr., before he was “The Mr.” that I hated scary movies, and much to my dismay that’s where he took me out on dates.  I used to have NIGHTMARES afterward (not from the dates but the movies, mind you).

The worst movie ever…Nightmare on Elm Street.  Why?  Because I couldn’t escape the dream, of course.  I didn’t sleep well for weeks, if at all at night.

To this day, I cannot watch scary things because my creative imagination inserts me into the movie at night when my brain doesn’t know I’m dreaming.



4.  What part of life confuses you the most?

At this stage of my life, what really confuses me is what part of Rule #3 my students do not get.

The rule clearly states that “Students will not talk across groups unless given permission by Mrs. AuburnChick.”

This drives the noise level up and causes major distractions, just forcing me to stop teaching to quiet them down.

How teenagers can blatantly disregard classroom rules and, thus, have so little regard for their education as well as that of others, confuses me.

That and the fact that they consider my daring to interrupt their conversations as “bothersome” is beyond me.


(It’s a good thing I love those students, otherwise I’d be running in the other direction!!!)


5.  Pumpkin, sunflower, sesame, poppy…what’s your favorite seed?

I like sunflower seeds.

6.  Imagine your life ten years from today…what’s changed?

Ten years from today, I suspect that Chicky will be married with children.  Maybe Rooster will be married.  I will be into my thirteenth year of teaching and, hopefully, having some sort of life at home because lesson planning will have become easier.  I don’t know if I’ll have all of my fur babies around (gosh, that makes me sad just thinking about it).

7.  What do you a) love the most and b) like the least about the Hodgepodge?

I love seeing how other people answer the questions.  It’s fun to see how others interpret the questions.  Sometimes I find that I totally miss the mark because I’ve read the questions too quickly and misread them.  Mostly, though, I find that we who answer and share are very similar, and it makes the world a much smaller place.

I cannot say that there’s anything I don’t like about the Hodgepodge.  Joyce, you do a wonderful job.  The questions are relevant and fun.  There are questions that we can shoot from the hit from, and there are others that really make us dig down deep.  For that, I thank you.

8.  My Random Thought

I know that I’ve been posting a lot lately about my little knitting group that is evolving at school.

I’ve gotta tell you that this is really just touching my heart.

Before school began, I felt a nudging to create a knitting club at school.  I even talked to an assistant principal about it, and she told me which faculty member to speak to in order to make it “official.”

I never got around to it for several reasons…weekly staff meetings, professional development, and my newest Reading Endorsement class, which I knew was coming.

I did not want to commit to something else.

And then things started by one sweet little girl’s desire to learn a hobby she’d seen her grandmother do.

It’s grown.

I used to lock up my classroom door during lunch, visit with other teachers, and be unproductive (cough).  It was my chill time.

Now, I have kids coming into my room, eating lunch, and knitting a few rows.

I supervise them, jumping in when they need help, offering praise when they get discouraged.

Word is spreading.

Kids were knitting last weekend…before a big band competition.

They’re learning how to cast on by watching YouTube videos.

I’m not kidding.

Yesterday afternoon, I taught one of my original “groupies” how to knit in the round…on double pointed needles.

She is determined to make a hat…her first project!!!!!

After school, when the kids come in to knit, I do my own thing and only rush over when I hear words like, “Oops,” or “Uh oh.”

The sound of a metal needle hitting the floor also makes me jump out of my seat and run.


I don’t pay too much attention to the conversation if it’s something between the girls.  They need their chill time.  Often, though, they invite me to sit with them, and I get to hear more about their lives at home.

My friend, Jane, has always had students in and out of her room at all hours of the day.

She’s always been a popular teacher.

Me…not so much.

I am tough, and after that first year of teaching I was especially nervous to let kids get too close.

I’d gotten burned that first year by trusting my students.

Teaching these beautiful youngsters at my new school has made me see how much these kids need someone who’s just there, whether they want to talk or not.

Sometimes it’s just being a present force that’s just what they want.

It’s been an interesting couple of weeks, let me tell you, and it’s why my supply closet in my room looks like this now…

I can’t believe I ever thought that I’d never be able to fill those shelves.

God knew, though, which is why He probably laughed when I thought I wasn’t going to follow the Spirit’s prompting to start that knitting club.

God had other plans.

I am just along for the ride, trusting that the minute details of my crazy schedule will get worked out.

Meanwhile, I count my blessings, for that is what these students and their happy smiles when they knit or purl their way across a row of stitches are to me…blessings.

14 Responses

  1. Hi.
    The knitting club sounds like fun. If I were in the group, I would be the one constantly asking for your help.

  2. So with you on #4 – I’m currently a teacher in training and the amount of talking and pushing a teacher to see how far he/she would go is crazy! They try their best to bend the rules as much as they can.

  3. Sometimes I think each generation just get a bit more rude. Then I meet a nice, polite youngster and I’m all warm and fuzzy inside. lol

  4. What a great way to interact with your students. Knitting to me means that life is good. I started back after nearly 20 years.

  5. Love that you started a knitting club.

  6. What a wonderful gift you are giving your students! Have you read the Blossom Street series by Debbie MacComber? She writes a lot about knititng and how it can reach out to a community and bring people together, even using it as a therapy healing tool! Love it! Maybe I’ll pick knitting up someday…

  7. I detest spiders like you can’t imagine! I always have this fear that they’re going to pounce on me! Heaven help me if that should ever happen! I just love hearing all about your knitting club! I wouldn’t mind being a part of it myself!

  8. My daughter’s favorite teachers were the ones she would go visit in class at lunch. She even would hang out at the school nurse’s office because she liked her and she hates medical stuff.

  9. I love that you are teaching some students how to knit. When my daughter was in high school there was a group that knitted caps for chemo patients. The kids learned to knit, the hats didnt take long to make, and they were providing a wonderful gift to someone in need. It’s good for teenagers to think beyond themselves.

  10. That is so neat about your knitting club! I’m right with you on the scary movies…my imagination is just a bit too wild!
    Candy corn: put peanuts with it and it’s GREAT! (It tastes like a payday candy bar!)

  11. What’s my favorite seed?….well, that’s hard because i love them all….except for caraway. I will not eat anything that has caraway seeds in it!!!

  12. I wish my school had had a knitting club – so fun! I have to close my eyes sometimes when scary movie commercials come on TV!

  13. A knitting club, that is so cool! I hate spiders and scary movies too!

  14. Trying to hop around to last week’s Hodgepodge…I love the knitting club idea! What a nice thing to offer and be part of too.

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