Sunday, May 31, 2009

Dreams of Pregnancy

No, I am not pregant.

I often dream that I am pregant before the school year starts or whenever there is something major going to be happening in my life. Usually my dreams center around being huge, happy, and celebrating the life that is going to be born. I often wake up from these dreams happy and ready to go into whatever is coming. According to my dream expert at school, Donna, dreaming about pregnacny is a sign that some major change is going to happen soon.

Last night, I had a dream that I was pregant, but it wasn't happy. My water broke at school, in front of my classroom, while I was teaching. As calmly as I could, I called the office and told them that I needed to go to the hospital immediately. I was then told that I wasn't allowed to leave because no one could cover my classroom. I was told I would just need to wait until the school day was over. I woke up in a cold sweat, panicking that I was either going to deliever in my classroom with my pain-in-the-butts delievering my baby or something bad was going to happen.

I'm sure a dream like this has a different meaning... creepy, huh?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Stess has pretty much consumed my life. I joke about it, but it's pretty serious when my hair is falling out in chunks, my eye won't stop twitching, I developed a nasty cold in the middle of May, and I go from being extremely tired to wide awake at 3:30 in the morning. I dread going to work in the morning because of the potential conflicts and drama that may arise because of members of my administration.

All that said...

I believe that I took a very proactive step to eliminate some of the unnecessary stress in my life. Today, I turned in a transfer form with my principal's signature to HR to request a move in position. This position change will mean a change in schools and a change in curriculum I'm teaching, but most importantly, it will mean that I will work at a place where I don't feel like I have to watch my back every moment, second guessing everything I say.

As I mentioned before, my department was going to have an "involuntary" transfer where someone was going to HAVE to move. This works out well for me; I will become this involuntary, and as such I am required to be placed in a position somewhere in the district. It isn't final and 100% yet, but I look forward to becoming an Arlington Lion for the 09-10 school year.

At this point, this move is overwhelming in many ways and joyful in many ways. Thank you all for your prayers this morning; I felt like I walked into the meeting with my principal with God's hands wrapped around me and He was in control of the meeting.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Please Pray

Please pray for me tomorrow morning around 8-8:30 am. I will be having a converstation with my principal about my transfer for next year and I am very worried/stressed/anxious about asking for his signature and his reaction. I'll update later when I know more specifics.

Monday, May 25, 2009

My school is a 10!!

Central Middle School is offically a 10 in similar school ranking. For those of you in education, you're probably aware, but this means A LOT. Compared to schools with the same demographics as us and difficulties that we face, we are the top of the top! Woo Hoo!! For the last three years we've been a 9 and it didn't look like we'd ever make it to the desired 10, but after last year we did it. I am proud.

754--2008 API
6--2008 Statewide rank
10--2008 Similar schools rank

678--2004 API
4--2004 Statewide rank
5--2004 Similar schools rank

My previous principal and current VP came into Central and turned it around; by looking at the ten and now numbers it is evident that their hard work has paid off. It has been a privilage to work at such a great school, with such great people for the last three years. Although this year has been a major challange, and will probably continue to be so, it doesn't change that we (as a united staff) worked hard and that hard work has paid off!

We are a 10!

Our teachers are 10s.

Our lessons are 10s.

Our students are 10s.

My project, day two

My mom and dad came up to Riverside after a party in Long Beach, so I had a helper for the next step of my project!! After some trial and error, my dad helped me build the frame for my footer. We had a few issues because of the ROCK hard ground, but the second side of the door became much easier.
Behind us here you can see the frame. After we built the frame, we mixed one bag of concrete in the handy tub we bought at Home Depot. Then another and another. Three bags that we thought we needed for the whole thing only filled the smaller of the two side.
After the first layer of concrete, we added a metal reinforcement and I pushed it down into the first layer. After that, we added a second layer and pounded it down to get all the air pockets off. We sent Dave to Home Depot to get six more bags of concrete (it was his fastest trip ever, twenty minutes flat).
After all the concrete was in, we dug in up?!? According to my dad, we do this to get the air out... but mainly because everyone he's seen "do" concrete has done it. After digging, we flattened it out again.

Here we are with our final product--which has to dry for seven days before I can work on the next part of my project :)

My dad is wonderful!!!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

New Project

I had a plan for a new project. This weekend, while Dave finishes (hopefully) the bathroom, I wanted to build the brick planter that will attach to the garage. I started by laying out my plan and figuring out all of the supplies that I need. My goal is to go to Home Depot ONE time for this project.After my plan was finished, I went outside to start digging my foundation for the three layers of brick wall. Reese came to help.I dug and dug, shoveling rocks out of the area and onto the concrete. I was sweating... yuck... There was about three inches worth of rocks that had to be moved... My online, do-it-yourself research told me that I didn't need a concrete base, but Dave says that I do. He knows what he's talking about, but the bummer is that my project is on hold because I need him to help me cut 2X4s into a concrete mold... and then it has to set up for 4-6 days. No finished product for me; Dave must keep working on the bathroom :)
After my hard work, the area looks like this and is ready for a wood frame and a poured concrete base. The indents you see are were the wall will be.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


The entire Bennett family is now an annual passholder for Disneyland. After taking Grandma and Dad to Dland a few weeks back, Melissa and I worked hard on Mom and Dad to convince them to spend the extra $80 to make the passes Dave and I paid for, into Annual Passes. Thankfully, Mom decided quickly that it was a good idea. This past Sunday, we went to Dland together (matching in red). This picture is right after mom and dad got their passes. Mom almost cried, but was as excited as a little kid...
oh, and Soaring over California with my mom... hilarious!


This morning in an "offical" meeting, I was told that my position was being cut and if no one else volunteers to transfer, I will be transfered to another school site. I already knew all of this, so no suprise.

Sometime this week or early next week, HR will come and sit with my department (and the math department) and ask for volunteers to move and show the available positions. From there, I will know my immediate fate.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Next Year

I've been asked by many people for an update about my status for next year job-wise, so I figured I'd give it to everyone. Although the "status" of our school changes every single day based on money we have or don't have, as of right now I have a job at Central for next year. I may or may not get to teach Yearbook (the "may not" makes me want to run screaming).

We've been given back our "Title I" funds which amounts to almost $250,000 for just my school which puts back in place many programs that had been cut, including several extra sections of Language Arts.

After the events of the past few weeks, I'm trying to really process logically what I want and what I don't want to do next year.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Last week, I was told that I needed to improve my yearbook program.

Today, our band teacher (who runs middle school honor band for the district, has 210 kids in her five different types of band, and works from 7-5 every day, including Sundays) was told that she needed to give her kids 100%.

I think someone needs to realize that he has good people in front of him and he needs to think before he talks.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Disneyland with Grandma

We took Grandma to Disneyland. At her 80th birthday party last November, she talked about how much she wanted to go see Mickey. She thought that he sister was going to send her a ticket and she was really excited. She didn't get a ticket from her sister, so we decided to give it to her from Christmas. She was in Riverside for Melissa's graduation, so we arranged to take her on Monday.

We picked her up at her friend's house in Lakewood and took her to California Adventure and Disneyland. The highlights of the day were:

  • Grandma wearing mickey ears all day, embrodiered with "Grandma"
  • Riding Buzz Lightyear (her score=300) and Toy Story (her score=1000)
  • Riding "It's a Small World" and having Dave and Dad sing the song over and over again
  • Riding "Jungle Cruize" and having Grandma laugh constantly
  • Meeting Mickey and seeing tears of excitment in her eyes as he hugged her and kissed her hand.
  • Making it ALL day long :)

God's reassurance

I started the day by writing on Facebook that today was going to be a good, powerful day because I was going to concentrate on my wonderful kids. Yesterday's anger is still there and will probably continue to be there, but my kiddos are the important part and they are the real reason I'm a teacher and at this school. Concentrating on them reminds me that my overarching goal is to be a light for them in the darkness.

With that renewed spirit, I came to school without a dred in the pit of my stomach and without worry of running into my principal. I went on with my business with a smile (real and fake) and got ready for the day to begin.

Right before the bell rang one of my yearbook students dropped by this note:

Mrs. Pfeffer,

You have made CMS worth being there every day for Maddie. Thank you for inspiring her and thank you for being an important person in her life.

Sandy and Larry (Maddie's parents)

Tears came to my eyes as I thanked God for reassuring me that I am doing the right thing here and that I will be okay.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Anger and Tears

Why is it that a woman's anger is typically followed by tears? We talked about crying in class on Tuesday and more than half of the class said that they wouldn't be caught dead crying in front of other people. Now, I'd love to say that I was able to stop myself from crying, but that just doesn't happen.

I was (and still am) so angry that at lunch today, I cried in front of ten people. I don't feel weaker, I doubt anyone in the room thought of me as weaker...

What do you think of crying in the workplace?

Sunday, May 3, 2009


Today was one of the most relaxing days I've had in a very long time. I literally watched three weeks of TV (thanks to U-verse DVR) and loved the ability to sit and do relatively nothing.

Saturday, May 2, 2009