Saturday, March 31, 2012

Thanks St. Gerald's!

Thanks to St. Gerald's  Mothers' Club in Oak Lawn for their great craft fair!  There were a lot of vendors, shoppers, and food.  The homemade pizza bread by Father Malcolm was delicous!  Looking forward to their fall craft festival!

Friday, March 30, 2012

St. Gerald Craft Show this Saturday (I'll be there too!)

St. Gerald's Spring Craft Show

Saturday, March 31st - 9:00am-4:00pm

A great time to get Easter goodies and springtime crafts!

An Easter basket filled with food for thought and food for fun!
Clicking on any picture will make it larger.

St. Gerald's is located at 9320 S. 55th Court,

Oak Lawn, IL 60453

Stop by my booth and say HI! You're always welcome to buy books too. Remember audio CDs are also available.

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

"Longer Day, Merit Pay, Data Display"...What the hey?

Information is coming out in drips and drabs as to what the Board of Education wants in the new Chicago Teacher's Union contract.  Here is some of the information that was shared with union members.

The Board of Education wants:

  • A five year contract in which the teachers receive only a guaranteed raise of 2%.  To clarify, that is not a 2% raise for each of the five years that is a total raise of 2%.  It would be broken down as follows...
              Year 1 = 2% raise
              Year 2 = No raise
              Years 3-5 = teachers would only receive a raise if they would agree to merit pay and then any raise would be tied to student test results. 

(Merit pay could be a blog all by itself, but for starters, you could have the best teachers in a classroom and that does not guarantee the best results. Students and parents play a HUGE part in student performance.  And what about teachers who teach "untested" subjects like gym, art, music, etc.  Do they get to pick whose test scores they get to attach themselves too?  What about those high achieving classrooms that are already scoring above the 95 percentile...if their scores only go up 1 or 2 percentile, should a teacher really be penalized because she started with those high achievers?  Finally, we hear about cheating already on test scores for other reasons, once pay is tied to test scores, will cheating escalate too?)

  • A longer school day, but less professional development for the teachers (those days would be cancelled with this new calendar except for 5 of them at the end of August).  With a new evaluation system starting next year and the implementation of the federal Core Curriculum Standards, it would be nice to be properly prepared, or is that a goal also?  If teachers are not properly prepared are they being set up for failure which could mean lower ratings and an easier way of being fired?
  • An end to accumulated sick days.  The understanding is that teachers will be allowed to keep the days they have accumulated thus far, but beginning with the next school year they will have to "use them or lose them". 
  • Increased health care costs.
  • The Board states they will still put in their part of the Pension Pick-Up (are they still on pension holiday?)
  • No job security. Tenured teachers who are laid off from closing schools get no rehire rights.

Maybe it won't be that hard to get 75% of union members to vote to strike after all!


Thursday, March 22, 2012

A salad bar at your neighborhood CPS school...

At first, I thought...How nice!  Since Mayor Rahm Emanuel and CEO Brizard are planning on extending the school day and the school year, what a nice gesture for them to give the teachers access to a salad bar for lunch.  ( can stop laughing now.)

Some schools already have this "added feature" to their lunchroom and more and more elementary schools are hopping on board.  My understanding so far is that the usual "free" fare will be offered and this will be in addition to it, giving each school a chance to waste even more of the taxpayers' money.

Each day,  I cannot get over the amount of food that is wasted just during the mandatory "Universal Breakfast" and regular lunch periods.  Now we are going to subject a perfectly innocent salad bar to an early refuse pile because I can't imagine many students actually eating from it.  Oh, at first it might be interesting to go take a peak, but once they realize it's filled with fruits and vegetables and not chips and pop, I don't think it stands a chance of survival. 

Besides the waste, what about the cost?  Like everything else, fruits and vegetable prices are skyrocketing.  I always bring fruits and veggies to school for a snack and these days I decide which to bring by what's "on sale".  We know the school system won't be watching our taxpayer dollars that closely. 

I think it's time we go back to the good ol' days...

Monday, March 19, 2012

Happy St. Joseph's Day!

"Saint Joseph was a just man, a tireless worker, the upright guardian of those entrusted to his care. May he always guard, protect and enlighten families."
Pope John Paul II

In light of all the continued violence around the city hopefully St. Joseph continues to guard and protect the men and women who guard and protect us so they can go home safely to their own families each day!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Kentuckians Helping Each Other...We can help too!

Author Amy Gatliff
A friend and fellow author, Amy Gatliff, whose hometown is Laurel County, Kentucky is helping her own.  Ironically, her book, The Power Never to Give UP, turned two on the same day the horrific tornado hit her town.  She is giving all proceeds from the sale of her book for the month of March to the victims in her area.

Amy writes:

In honor of those who have lost loved ones and are suffering during this time, I am doing a special sale throughout the end of March.

All of
the proceeds will go to help the victims from Laurel County, Kentucky!
This is only a small way to help those whose lives were forever changed.
Not only will you receive a signed copy of my book, but you will be giving to help others during this difficult time.

For those of you who live far away, this is a great way to reach out and extend a hand to others.

Thank you in advance for your support! May God Bless you!

You can show your support and get her autographed book by clicking HERE

Or by clicking the following link:

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Do you like music?

If you do, save this date...

April 15, 2012

The calendar still says winter for a few more days, but spring has definitely sprung here in Chicagoland!  What a perfect time to mark your calendar for
Musichorale's Gala 65th Spring Concert

Advance tickets are $12.00 and you can get them directly from Musichorale simply by clicking this link:

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

For all you math enthusiasts...Check out some Pi facts!


I teach many subjects throughout the day but math is by far my favorite!  I love the fact that is makes sense, it's logical, and there is nothing irrational about it, unless you count IRRATIONAL NUMBERS, which brings me to my favorite irrational number Pi!  An irrational number is a number that cannot be written as a simple fraction, it doesn't have a distinct pattern, and it goes on literally forever.

I thought I'd share a virtual piece of pie with you today and some other fun Pi facts!

Why Pi? 

Well, if you are going in circles, you are going to need it!  It relates to the circle's diameter and circumference. 

How about a little Pi music?

If you have any interesting Pi facts add them to the comments section!  As for me, I think I just figured out what's for dinner tonight!

Saturday, March 3, 2012


A big thanks to all who came out today!

A special thanks to Ann and her team from the Coffee Beanery for making us feel so welcome!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Coffee, Yogurt, and a Good Book...Come join me!

Lisa Tortorello's Book Signing Event

~You are invited to attend a book signing ~

Where: The Coffee Beanery
425 Joliet St. #221
Dyer, IN 46311

When: March 3, 2012

Time: 1:00-3:00 p.m.

Please join Me

If you already have a copy of My Hero, My Ding, bring it along and I'll sign it for you, or buy another for a friend – this book makes a great gift!

We hope to see you there!

Can’t make the event? Order your autographed copy today by using the links at the side panel of this blog.

You can always order directly from the Tate Publishing Bookstore by clicking here .