Thursday, December 22, 2011

He's makin' a list!

We in the Bubanks household have a tradition. If either of us is going to be elsewhere for Christmas we celebrate roommate Christmas a couple of days early. We have dinner, do stockings for each other and a present and then usually watch a movie or play a game. It's a strictly roommates only event. In the past we've ordered pizza, chinese take-out, I think one year we actually made ourselves a meal, which is kind of a big deal. We use stemware and pop open a little sparkling something or other.

Lisa gives some pretty fantastic gifts. One year she got me a book of William Wordsworth's poetry from the late 1800's. It really is amazing what one can find on Ebay. BUT I think this year takes the cake...

I love books. It's a well known fact. I have them double stacked
on my bookshelf and floor. I write my name on the inside cover just to make sure they get back to me if I ever lend them out. For quite a while I have wanted book plates so it would be a bit more permanent, and really, how great would it be to have my own book plates? I have looked online but they're expensive and would get even more so with my ever growing library. So, instead of a bookplate, Lisa got me a book stamp! I love it! The beauty of it is, when the ink runs out all I have to do is buy an ink replacement! So fantastic!

What do you think...?

Sunday, November 13, 2011


I started perusing and here's a quick wish list...


I haven't blogged a ton lately. It's been pretty busy with school and work PLUS a serious case of procrastinationitis and being all trunky with graduating next semester. But I feel the urge to let the interwebs know what I've been up to. It's not that exciting, really, but I just can't seem to help myself. It's more of a compulsion, really. Sorry but, lately I have...

  • bought delightfully soft and cushy slippers. Seriously, they're fantastic
  • made new friends...which, considering how much free time I have, is nothing short of a miracle
  • saw my niece play a goose in Charlotte's Webb...ah, junior high productions. Memories of awkwardness and overacting came rushing back to me
  • "cooked" more
  • got to know some of the folks of my new cohort - they're actually nice! Something new and different for the MAT program!
  • laughed so hard I almost Sacrament meeting
  • not slept nearly enough
  • spent far too much time on pinterest
  • found tons of fun crafts and things I'd love to do on pinterest but will most likely not get around to doing any time in the near future
  • purchased a teakettle. Hot chocolate season is upon us!
  • suppressed the urge to bury my heal in a guy's cranium
  • submitted my graduation application for next semester...woot!
  • planned a trip to Paris
  • canceled said trip to Paris
  • trying to get ready for student teaching next semester
  • served in that Baptistry at the Salt Lake Temple. LOVE it!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Girl's just wanna have fun...

I'm what one would call a "late bloomer". I rarely, if ever, dated in high school. I was asked to the dances by guy friends or it was girl's choice. I was never the first girl asked to the dance. In fact, I was more than once, a guy's 'back up' date. I didn't go to my junior prom and spent my senior prom avoiding my date. I dallied with inappropriate relationships (we're talking parolees, gang members and burn outs - what can I say, I had thing for the bad boys). I now think it is a miracle that I didn't end up in serious trouble.

College wasn't much better. I had my first ever bonafide boyfriend for all of about three weeks at the very beginning of freshman year. After that I didn't all. I had a run in with a NCMO (if you don't know what that is google it) end of my junior year. However, seeing as how I was desperately in love with his cousin that was dating a friend, who just happened to be spending the semester abroad...the trend of inappropriate men continued.

Since then I've dated closet cases, a schizophrenic, megalomaniacs, egomaniacs, commitment-phobics...and the list goes on. It sounds like I date a lot but this has been spread over the course of six or seven years. I didn't date a lot until fairly recently and really, it's only a lot in comparison to my fairly empty dating history.

The guys in my most recent past haven't been perfect but then, neither am I. And I mean really, if a guy doesn't have a skeleton in his closet, he's got a Bertha in the attic. (if you don't know the reference...seriously, go read a book! OR go check out We're all just trying to find the one that is the same kind of crazy.

I have a blind date first, in fact. Lots of dating lately...lots of dating.

It's exhausting....

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Thoughts for this evening...

1) I forgot my glasses at home. This is upsetting for two reasons

  1. I am squinting at my computer screen and it's difficult to read
  2. I'm squinting at my computer screen!!!
2) I missed class a couple of weeks ago due to jury duty and wasn't there when the professor explained an assignment. I did, however, get a copy of the rubric and we have examples in a class manual. The professor offered to meet with me if I felt I needed further explanation. The assignment was fairly straight forward so I figured, why waist my time and hers? I turned it in last week and she seemed skeptical that I would have been able to do the assignment. She made a comment saying, "well, if you can do it without further explanation, I'll be very surprised." Got back the assignment today...full credit. In your face, snarky mc-snarkison!

3) I'm trying to figure out how I will be able to afford to student teach next semester. I won't be able to all...and due to recent events in my life have very little extra money. I am gladly taking donations...just kidding....sorta.

4) The trip to Paris has been postponed to a yet to be determined date. See previous thought... Sadness.

5) In the past five months I have dated more than ever before. I guess you could say I am making up for lost time. HOWEVER, no one ever told me how much havoc a man/boy/guy/man-child can wreak on one's life. Up, down, sleep deprivation, drama... I'm telling you, it's nuts!

6) I love Downton Abbey. Maggie Smith is amazingly hilarious. If you haven't seen/heard of this fantastic tv show on PBS...go watch it. You'll thank me, I promise.


Friday, September 16, 2011

Holy Hannah!

I've been on the two year plan for my graduate program. I have been working on a dual masters in Secondary Education (Master of Arts in Teaching - MAT) and Special Education (Master of Education - M.Ed.). I started this all last summer (2010) and I planned to student teach and graduate fall 2012 with both degrees. I met with my advisor this morning on something completely unrelated to graduation. The result of that meeting was me turning in my application for graduation in MAT for this upcoming spring (2012)!

Apparently the Utah Department of Ed changed some regulations and it is more beneficial for me, long term, if I don't do concurrent licensing in both Secondary and Special Ed. I finish up my methods placement this semester (Cypress High in Magna...quite the commute, I know) and I'll do my student teaching in the spring. I'm still trying to wrap my brain around the fact that I'll graduate in the spring. It's crazy!

I'm still going to finish up the special education requirements but will be able to do that while I teach. It will take me a little longer but I'll be teaching! In my own classroom! At a real school! I will have an actual profession!

I'm just a little excited, if you didn't notice...

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Who knew?

Who knew that actually having a social life and friends would make school so difficult? Well, I'm sure most of you already knew that but this is news to me. Thus far in my graduate career it has not been a problem. In fact, I often used my "studying" and "homework" as a way to get out of spending time with people that I didn't want to see. Granted, I did actually have homework and studying to do. Yet, I probably could have worked something out if I had really wanted to. It also helped that my last bedroom was a deep, dark hole that did not inspire one to get out and spend time with the world.

I need a kick in the pants! I have a group presentation coming up and I have yet to do any real work on my part. Yes...I have become that obnoxious person. I don't like group projects because you have to do things in advance on a time table other than your own. It's annoying.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Civic Duty

A couple of weeks ago I got a jury summons. I dutifully completed the questionnaire and waited for my notice to appear or whatever it's called. It came last weekend and I was told to come to the Matheson Courthouse for jury selection on Tuesday morning. I had no idea if I would be chosen and I wasn't sure if I cared one way or the other. Some are really excited to be called in for jury duty and others absolutely dread it. I thought it could be interesting to see the justice system at work and to participate in a very real way but if I wasn't biggie.

Once called to participate in a specific jury selection you are ushered into a courtroom with the prosecution, defense and the judge. We were told it was a criminal case...the butterflies started going in my stomach. The judge read the laws that the defendant had allegedly broken. My heart sank. Sexual battery and sexual assault of a child. The questions they asked after that narrowed the jury pool down further. With each question the feeling of dread became like a brick in my stomach. My heart dropped into my stomach when they read my name for the final jury.

Numerous people over the past several days have told me how jealous they are that I had been selected. People thought it would "cool" and "fun" and "entertaining". It was undoubtedly interesting to see the justice system at work and to see the process from beginning to end. I am grateful for our system of government.

Yet, I wish with all my heart that I had never had to go. I wish with all my heart that such circumstances never came to be. I sat and listened to two days of child testimonies. I listened to two young teenage girls with autism describe the abuse. I saw a man break down into tears as the jury instructions were read and he realized just what could possibly happen to him.

The verdict was guilty. I am very glad that a threat has been taken off the streets and more children will not be in danger. However, that is not a decision to be taken lightly. It was a huge responsibility. Today I irrevocably changed a man's life. The responsibility of that will never truly leave me. I believe we made the right choice and I don't regret it. I only wish it had never been necessary.

Some of my fellow jurors were almost flippant about the verdict and the accused. The children did not have the best home life and comments were made about people like "them" and "us". Maybe it was a way of dealing with the horror of the situation...a way of separating themselves from the tragedy.

I didn't expect I would react this way. I didn't think I would be so affected. I went to my parents and cried to my dad. It still upsets me to think about it. To know that there is such evil in the world. To know there is such danger and uncertainty in the world. It breaks my heart.

I am grateful we have the opportunity to be tried by a jury of our peers, I truly am. I wish with all my heart and soul that it was never necessary. What I participated in these past several days was nothing short of tragic.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

To blog or not to blog...

...that is the question. I've had some pretty great things happen in the past month or so. I've debated blogging about it but I'm just not sure I want to send it out into the interwebs just yet.

I will say this, my new ward is pretty fun. I've met some really fun and exciting new people and made some great friends. I've been to Bear Lake, attending movies in the park, had BBQs and pool dates with the girls.

As far as what else is going on...I guess time will tell if I share it with you all. But I do want to just say - I am happy. I am far happier than I have been in a very long time.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Homework = Blogging

The new semester started Wednesday. It's a wonder how quickly the procrastination sets in... like right now. I don't work or have class on Fridays. It's supposed to be my study day as I don't have much time during the week. My desk area has been recently cleaned and organized for maximum study time. It's got great natural light and plenty of space...unlike my previous deep, dark hole of a bedroom with very little space. I woke up this morning, did my morning routine with the plan to get a good chunk of my homework done so I can go play tonight and possible tomorrow as well.

I'll give you one guess how well this has turned out...if you need more than one...

I did a little reading. I reread my homework assignments in an attempt to decide which one will be the worst to do. Then debating if I should eat the proverbial big frog first or save it for last. I then thought I should catch up on my Facebooking and unnecessary emailing. I looked at pictures and thought it was time for a new profile picture. That lead to messing around on iPhoto and uploading said photos to Facebook. Meanwhile I've texted a couple of friends and returned another email. And it all ends with the blog. I haven't blogged in a couple of weeks and I haven't thought I needed to blog. It's an interesting phenomenon. Whenever there is homework to do, I suddenly feel the need to blog. It's almost a compulsion.

Homework = Blogging.

At the end of the semester I'm always somewhat amazed that I actually finished anything!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

This 'n That

I am currently loving this song. It plays over and over in my head. Please don't judge...

Got two rather interesting gems from the dentist this week: 1) I have an "angry tooth". I'm not entirely sure what that means but it hurts. 2) I have great tongue control. Personally, I just view it as a great sense of self preservation. I don't know about you, but I personally don't want my tongue to get caught up in the drill. I'm in enough pain as it is, I'm not a masochist enough to voluntarily get my tongue caught up in the drill. No thanks.

School starts two weeks from yesterday. Would you actually believe that I'm a little nervous about it? I'm halfway through my program. This will be third of six semesters and yet I'm as nervous as if it was my first semester...go figure.

Is really irritated by the fact that I wake up every morning at 7:50. I don't usually need to be up until about 9:00...really? Come on!

My nephew turns six this Sunday. SIX! I have another niece that turned 13 last December...these kids are making me feel old.

I'm heading up to Bear Lake. I'm ridiculously excited. I love water...LOVE IT. It comes from all those summers spent at Lake Powell, living in your bathing suit for a week and actually having a tan. Man...those were the days.

Monday, August 8, 2011

I keep seeing Pavarotti in my head...

These guys are amazing....but I couldn't help but chuckle a bit at all the bouncing around and the 'come hither' eyes.

Friday, July 29, 2011


2011 is the year of the Classy Broad. We do classy things. We get dressed up to go out with the girls, we drink out of classy glasses, we take compliments guessed it, class.

Classy Broads also travel. I am ridiculously excited about this part of being a classy broad. Last weekend when everyone else had Monday off and I had to work, I really really really wanted to get out of dodge. Lisa, being the classy broad, fantastic roommate that she is, started looking up various vacation options and she stumbled across some ridiculously cheap vacation packages for Paris, London, get the idea. When I say ridiculously cheap, I mean for a 6 night stay in Paris with round trip airfare on Virgin Airlines and hotel (with breakfast every morning) it came to be around $1000 per person. Yes, I know $1000 is a lot of money but we're talking 6 nights in a decent hotel PLUS round trip airfare!!! Getting over there usually costs that much, if not more!

We plan to go this winter on my semester break. So we started the CBA Fund - Classy Broads go Abroad Fund...currently taking donations...just kidding, well kinda...yes...yes, just kidding. Last night I saw that there were still tickets available for the Idina Menzel concert at Deer student tickets. BUT I decided instead to put what I would have spent on those two tickets into the CBA fund. Classy Broads think long term.

Have I mentioned I am ridiculously excited about this?! I'm pretty sure if Lisa were less classy than she is, she'd probably be ready to slap me by the time the trip actually happens...good thing she's a Classy Broad, right?

Monday, July 18, 2011

Reasons to be happy on this somewhat gloomy looking Monday morning

1. So glad the sunburn is fading...not peeling or pealing. Either would be gross and awkward.

2. Get to go see Harry Potter tonight with some fun peeps.

3. Slept through the night without waking up...I know, sounds like a new born baby update but seeing as how i haven't been sleeping well for about two weeks, this was a very welcome change.

4. Looking forward to a fun picnic with the tiny humans on Friday. I forgot how much I love Liberty park.

5. Finally got an answer to a nagging question and feel pretty good.

6. I have left over Empanadas for lunch today...Yum!

7. Duet with Lisa has been performed without any major hiccups...croaking notes, passing out or bursts of tears.

8. Clean room!

9. New friends are fun

10. Did I mention I'm going to see Harry Potter tonight....?

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Adjustment Bureau

No...not the movie, although that is a very good flick. I highly recommend it if you haven't seen it already.

I am simply learning to adjust my expectations. It's not easy and I have to remind myself daily, if not hourly, but I'm trying.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


1. I remember I had a good friend give me a massage and it hurt like you wouldn't believe. I was having back pain due to being hunched over my desk and computer for several semesters. My muscles were screaming at me before I did anything about it. As I was gasping through the pain as she worked out the knots and kinks in my muscles, she told me that we feel pain for a reason. I remember during my health issues I felt like no one truly understood how I felt and the physical pain that I felt on a daily basis. I was thinking today that the same applies to emotional pain. I have been fairly good at ignoring emotional pain and scarring. Sometimes being strong is actually detrimental to your own emotional well being. We feel pain because something is not right. We feel pain because our body -our heart and soul - is trying to tell us something is not right. If we ignore that in the name of "strength" what are we actually doing to ourselves? I've gotten pretty good at ignoring pain...maybe it's time I stopped.

2. Circumstances and people are not put into our lives haphazardly. Events don't always turn out the way we wish or hope - rarely so, in fact. But it's almost always for a reason and it's important for us to understand what those reasons are and why we needed to experience that. We'll be stronger and more resilient for it.

3. Sometimes anger is a healthy emotion. We just need to be sure it doesn't rule our every thought and action.

4. I woke up this morning after a fitful sleep and I thought to myself, you're going to be alright. Somehow, that was very reassuring. I feel more in control of my life and what my future holds than ever before. I will not be acted upon. My future is mind to create.

5. Roommates and sisters are the best...seriously.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Let freedom ring!

In honor of the 4th of July I want to celebrate my freedom. I am truly grateful to live in a land where I can live and worship as I see fit, I do, but that is not the freedom I want to celebrate. We live in a society and culture that places importance on physical beauty. Emaciated models are held up as the ideal of beauty. Did you read about this? Granted, this is an extreme case but no one can argue that the fashion industry perpetuates the fallacy that only tall, willowy, skinny women with long legs are beautiful. There is a multi-billion dollar industry devoted to helping people achieve their "best" self. But what is our "best" self? It's true, the rising numbers of obesity - particularly child obesity - should give us pause and encourage us to be a more healthy nation. I support that one hundred percent. However, I'm tired of trying to fit some prescribed notion of beauty.

After just over 27 years of life, I am proclaiming my freedom from the weight loss game. It is such a liberating feeling to really not care about loosing weight. I can eat without the guilt. I can buy clothes without feeling bad that I'm not buying a single digit size. I have the hips my momma gave me and honestly, I like them. I like that I'm curvy and not stick thin. For the first time in my life, after a lifetime of self hate and insecurity, I love the way I look (in a truly non-narcissistic way, of course). I'm confidant in who I am. When I look in the mirror, I don't see a double chin with a muffin top with bad skin. I am a daughter of God. I am me and I am beautiful.

*Photos by LemonDrop Creative.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

How Great Thou Art

One of my grandpa's favorite hymns was "How Great Thou Art". I remember playing it for him almost every time he came to visit. Now, whenever I hear it I think of him. He was a good man. He was caring and loving. He enjoyed people and every grandchild knew they were his favorite. Little do they all know, I actually was his favorite. Ssshhh...don't tell anyone.

Today I decided to take a drive up Big Cottonwood Canyon. It was a gorgeous evening and I wanted to see the green mountains before we lost the lush greenery to the desert brown of the summer. As I was cruising up the canyon, I had my ipod plugged in and I was listening to my Fav Sunday Tunes play list. This hymn started playing. I, of course, thought of my grandpa but as I was driving through the beautiful scenery around me I couldn't help but be struck my the words of the song.

O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder
Consider all the words thy hands have made,
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy pow'r thruout the universe displayed.

When thru the woods and forest glades I wander,
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees,
When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur
And hear the brook and feel the gentle breeze,

Then sings my soul,
My Savior God, to thee.
How great thou art!
How great thou art!
Then Sings my soul,
My Savior God, to thee,
How great thou art!
How great thou art!

There is nothing more awe inspiring or beautiful than the milky way shining brightly as I lay on the top of the houseboat at Lake Powell. I am truly amazed and grateful for all the beauty that surrounds me.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Is that...?

...yes, that would be Daniel Radcliffe - aka Harry Potter. Not bad, although, I could do without the screeching soprano.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

I blame Amelia*

Amelia isn't really her name but we're going to call her Amelia. In my job I deal with my fair share of upset students. It's understandable, really. This is their future. I take my education seriously, it is only right that I should take theirs seriously as well when they call in. I've been cussed at, yelled at, hung up on and had people threaten to go to my boss. But I have never, in my almost five years of working with students, been so incredibly outraged as I was this morning.

After nearly 20 minutes of being berated and yelled at I was ready to hang up on her. I finally stopped talking and just let her go. I knew that if I opened my mouth I'd probably call her a not so nice name and slam the phone down. That type of behavior is not looked upon kindly where I work. When I got off the phone my body was actually shaking I was so furious.

Interestingly enough, she didn't swear at me once. She didn't call me any bad names other than lazy and incompetent and yet she was able to reduce me to a quivering mass of rage. I think I may have frightened my coworker, who has never seen me be anything other than professional and polite.

If anything else goes wrong today...I'm blaming Amelia.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Do you hear the people sing?

I LOVE the musical Les Miserables. I mean I really love it. I've seen it done regionally twice, the touring company four times (three in SLC, once in LA), once on the West End in London, the high school production once and the 25th Anniversary O2 concert in the theater. I saw it again tonight (or last night, rather) with my sister and my mom. To coincide with the 25th anniversary of the shows opening, they redid the staging, costumes and sets just to update the overall show. It was so wonderful. Have I mentioned that I like this show?

It all started when I was about ten or so. My sister and her friends were obsessed with Phantom of the Opera. I'll let you in on a little secret here...I adored my older sister growing up, even if she was a little scary at times. I wanted to do everything she did. She collected cat figurines, so I collected bunnies. She would wear her hair a certain way and I would try to copy it. She liked Jewel so I liked Jewel. It's a lot of why I started dancing and pretended that I could write fiction. It was lucky, however, that I ended up loving to dance... we don't talk about my attempts at fiction. Anyway...I wanted to be like her but I knew that if I said I liked Phantom she would get angry. But we had a tape cassette of highlights from Les Miserables and I had a Walkman. I remember sitting at our tank of a computer playing solitaire or Oregon Trail and listening to that tape over and over and over again. I didn't quite understand the story of what was going on but I fell in love with the music. When I got older I understood the story more and it is such a powerful story of redemption and love. I could tie all sorts of gospel analogies here but I'll refrain.

I saw it for the first time when I was around 12. It was magical to me. I cried when Eponine died. I cried when Valjean prayed for Marius at the barricades. I was hooked. I've almost lost count the number of times I've seen it and people look at me askance when the hear how many times I've seen it, but I don't really care that much.

Last week Lisa asked me why I like it so much. I've never really thought about why I love it so much before so I couldn't really give her a good answer. She attributed it to the fact that I've been listening to it for over a decade...almost two decades. I'm sure that plays a part but I don't think that's the only reason I love it. I love it because I can listen to the recording and still get chills. It still makes me cry. I love the story of a man that spends his entire life trying to make up for single mistake of his past. I love the love story and the sacrifices made. It's just good music. I love it because of this...

What a way to end Act I.

And that is what I call a finale!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


I'm in a rut. I've talked about this a lot lately but I'm going to repeat myself once more (surprising, I know, but bear with me). I have been going nonstop for the past year and I anticipated thoroughly enjoying my easy going summer with absolutely no responsibilities or demands on my time other than my little more than part time job. Well, it's been about two weeks since the dust has fully settled and all obligations have been met and can I just say, I am BORED out of my mind!! I'm not sure how much more of this "relaxation" I can handle. I need homework. I need papers. I need the stress of running around like a crazy person!

I know what you're all thinking..."kelly, you're nuts" closely followed by the slightly exasperated sigh and "find a new hobby!". I know! I've looked at yoga, cake decorating, sewing classes, piano lessons, water aerobics...nothing is really sticking. I wake up in the morning around 9:00 or 10:00 and the roll over because I have no where to be until 8:00pm.

Here's a new word of the day's been a while but this one is particularly fitting.

ennui (n.)

a feeling of listlessness and general dissatisfaction resulting from lack of activity or excitement

I am too bored to be bothered with finding a new hobby and I think I'm going to go crazy before the summer is over.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

By Jove I think I've got it!

I think I may have figured out a way to move abroad after graduation and get around the pesky work visa thing and most of the other little details that overwhelmed me. I could apply to teach at a DoD (Department of Defense) school. I googled teaching abroad and it was one of the first links listed. I looked at the different requirements needed and once I graduate, I'd definitely be qualified. I have no idea how competitive it is or if my single status would be a hindrance or a benefit. No idea...but it's definitely something to keep in mind.

I know the undergrads can apply to student teach at a DoD school and students from Westminster have actually been accepted. Graduates can't because we have a required travel experience and the DoD required student teaching is 10 weeks and I wouldn't be back in time from the DoD placement.

I won't say for sure this is what I'm going to do because a lot can happen in a year, but it is definitely something I'm going to keep in mind as I get closer to graduation.

Monday, May 23, 2011

New Hobby

I've had quite a bit of spare time on my hands now that I'm out of school. You may have noticed this already with the onslaught of posting lately. I came across this blog done by a group of girls, a couple of which I know.

I saw this project and thought it was adorable and decided to give it a whirl. Here is the final project:

I used buttons instead of little pearls and my flowers aren't quite as uniform as the original but I kind of like it better that way. Super easy to make, cheap (under $10) and very cute!

Missed opportunities...?

I fell in love with London when I spent about ten days there in 2006. I love the energy, the history, the beauty of the city. While standing in the tiny kitchen of the rented flat, I told my mom that I was going to live in London someday, somehow. Once upon a time I wanted to study at the University of London. While visiting, my mom and I even went to the admissions office to talk about what would be needed. I could probably get in, I just got scared by the cost and all the logistics of getting over there and I never followed through.

While looking for jobs and trying to figure out what to do with myself, I set up an account on a website called LondonJobs. It's basically the British version of Monsterjobs. The tricky part about getting a job in England is that your employer has to apply for the work visa, so I couldn't save up, move over and then find a job. It never came to anything because I wasn't actually ready to make that terrifying leap.

Today I got an email from LondonJobs saying they could send email alerts about applicable jobs so I "wouldn't miss out on missed opportunities". It's got me thinking. Could I? Obviously, not until after I'm done with school...but really. Could I?

Saturday, May 21, 2011

I promise... get gussied up more often.

...t0 let loose and dance it out.

...t0 let go and explore.

...t0 remember to smile.

...t0 let go of first impressions. not borrow tomorrows problems today. not worry over what I have no control over. love me - all of me.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Why hello, beautiful...

I am enjoying my first, honest to goodness, summer vacation in nearly five years since joining the "real world" and getting a full time job. After being in school for three straight semesters without a real break and after pushing myself to the brink of both a physical and mental/emotional collapse, I thought it would be wise to take a little breather. I'm still working, though only part time, and I'm enjoying the leisure and laziness I've missed for the past year. For example, today I don't need to be anywhere until 8:00 this evening. I have spent my morning wrapped in blankets, rereading Harry Potter and listening to the rain outside my window. It's pretty idyllic, really. At least as idyllic as I get these days.

As I get more time passes and I get a little more distance from last semester, I see just how bad it really was. I let a lot of things slide and I didn't take care of myself - spiritually, physically or emotionally. I didn't realize how bad it had become until I actually had time to think about things other than school. I did well last semester, I'm not sure how I pulled it all off, but I did. But was it worth it? Next semester I'll only taking three classes with one placement in comparison to the four classes and three placements I took last semester. Hopefully I'll be able to have a social life and have some fun. There was a big switch-a-roo with the LDS Singles Wards (LDS congregation for single adults age 18-30) in Salt Lake and I have a new ward. I've met some fun people and I can't wait to make more friends. I've missed feeling like I belong and I think I may just get that from this new ward.

Balance...I'm looking for balance.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Obligatory Bday post...

Today was my birthday. I turned the big 2-7. I've been so busy lately that occasionally I would forget that my birthday was coming up, which is pretty unusual for me. I'm usually the count down the days kind of girl. I'm not really sure why. I don't typically have big parties or get mountains of gifts. I think I just liked knowing that for one day it was okay to have the spotlight centered on you. Being four of five kids growing up, one with a birthday two days later, and very often sharing a weekend with mothers day, getting the attention didn't happen to often. And really, let's be honest...I'm a bit of an attention slut (I typed whore first but decided slut was a little less harsh. But then I typed it anyway, so I guess it's kind of a moot point). Parenthetical thought aside, birthdays were always a day for me to be the center of attention so I've always been super excited about it. I'm not really sure why but I just didn't really care this year. Whoop-di-do, I'm another year older.

This morning I woke up to a scratchy throat, an achy body, and a body spasm inducing cough. I also hosted a bridal shower for a very dear friend. It didn't really seem like my birthday and really, I would have been just as content laying in bed all day (that may or may not be the cold medicine talking right now). Yet, I have a wonderful friend and roommate that planned a "Girl's Night Out" with a small group of friends. Granted, it wasn't as high energy as it may have been if not for me staring off into space on occasion, but it was a fun evening. All in all, it was a pretty decent birthday. All the important people remembered and I guess that's better than a huge party or the mountain of gifts.

Now I'm going to go cough up my other lung...happy birthday indeed.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Things I currently love...

1. Yogurt covered Raisins. My sister used to eat this when we were younger and I recently picked up a bag. Oh tasty. HOWEVER, I do NOT recommend the Sunkist Vanilla flavored yogurt raisins. Bleh...

2. Picking out and planting flowers with my five and three year old niece and nephew.

3. Going shopping with a wonderful, wonderful friend and finding the dress.

4. Finally losing that sense of anxiety and expectation that I have felt for the past year. I no longer feel guilty for sleeping in, reading for pleasure, watching a movie or any other non academic pursuit. Granted, it also helps that grades posted and I no longer have to think about that either.

5. An upcoming weekend full of pre-wedding goodness, graduations, family dinners, birthdays and mother's day. We like to pack it in..

6. Natural sunlight in my bedroom

7. Lots of extra space in my bedroom

8. Semi ridiculous conversations with my sister.

9. Having tough decisions taken out of my hands by circumstances

10. Words with Friends...seriously addicting.

11. This fabulous website and all the cute and fun dresses I am jonesing to purchase

12. This fun blog with lots of crafty ideas. Can't wait to do the yarn wreath! I think I'm going to do it next week when there's not quite so much going on...see #5

13. Having a school free summer, with literally no worries or school related obligations. I haven't been this relaxed in who knows how long!

14. Future swimming, zoo and other fun adventures with the sister and her little ones.

15. A girl's night out on Saturday to celebrate the big 2-7. Seriously, when did I get this old?

16. Mochi Ice Cream balls that I haven't been able to find anywhere in Utah, hence not eating them for nearly five years, and finding them at Costco last week.

17. Having a fun and zippy car to drive. I love Miss M!

18. I'm absolutely in LOVE with this store.

19. All the blossoms on the trees and my nephew telling me it looked like popcorn.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Episode from the sitcom, Life and Times of KCB

Sister: Do you know the secret?

Me: What secret?

Sister: I don't know? What secret do you know?

Me: I don't know...what secret do you know?

Sister: Why? what secret do you know?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Oh sweet freedom!

As of 8:00 MST tonight, I am officially done with the semester from hell. I'm giddy with excitement and yet there is still some residual anxiety left over...phantom anxiety, as it were. I keep thinking I need to do something and I have to remind myself that no, Kelly, there's nothing left to be done. It's okay to veg and just take it easy for a while.

I've been thinking about the past semester, particularly my Special Education classes. It's made me question if I want to continue with SpEd or go a different route. I loved my general education classes and my middle school placement, but my elementary SpEd placement was torture for so many reason. Remember this? Well, my last day in the class my mentor teacher tells me she doesn't feel she can write an evaluation or sign my time sheet. There was all kinds of drama that I won't go into but it was just one more thing to deal with. I know, that dealing with this person shouldn't reflect on the content and methods of SpEd but I'm having a VERY difficult time separating the two.

I'm trying to figure out the best way to get where I want and need to be after I graduate. I know I need something to set me apart from all the other secondary english teachers looking for jobs but I'm not sure if SpEd is the way to go...for me. Then again...maybe I just need some time away from it and it's really where I want to end up.

...BUT for now, I'm not going to worry about it. I'm just going to worry about sleeping in, finishing unpacking boxes and hanging pictures, spending time with my family and regaining a social life. I haven't had one of those in almost a year! I may have even forgot how that works...

Any's to survival!!

I like most music except for country and rap....

How often have we all heard that line...? I know it's not "cool" to like country but I do. I like it because there's a lot of soul and faith in country music.

This gives me the chills.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

My Wish List...

I have, very nearly, survived three straight semesters of grad school. I have moved into a new apartment, my birthday is coming up. Spring is trying desperately to take hold...I feel the need to celebrate. In the past several weeks I have spent the majority of my time not in class, on the computer. Whether it be working (like right now) or homeworking (that would be later), I am pretty tied to my computer as of late. That also means I've been doing some virtual window shopping...I'm not a homework machine, I need breaks... There is this website that my dear sister introduced me to and has resulted in hours of time well spent...aka, wasted/procrastinated. Go check it out and follow ME!

But all this window shopping and pinning has resulted in me wanting to buy...lots of buying. I have thus far refrained but with my celebratory frame of mind, it's proving difficult. What should I get? Cast your vote, my friends!

1. This dress, this dress, or this dress? or maybe this dress?

2. Or maybe this necklace?

3. or this gem?

4. Lisa calls these shoes ghetto...ghetto fabulous!

5. I have yet to find the perfect pair of yellow pumps but these just might tide me over until I do..

As you see...this is a very serious problem.

What do you think blogosphere? How should I celebrate the passing of another year?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Reality Check...

Last Thursday I was visiting my SPED elementary placement and I saw something that truly disturbed me. A, normally, very sweet 7 year old had a complete and total melt down. I am not unfamiliar with young children meltdowns, I have 8 nieces and nephews and have seen my fair share of meltdowns. And even by major, nuclear, meltdown standards...what I was observing was not anywhere near that level.

When I first walked into the room I noticed this little boy, let's call him Alex, was standing in a corner apart from the rest of the group. I could tell by the glares and muttering that he was having a difficult morning. He would occasionally kick the wall or stomp a bit more loudly but he wasn't screaming, yelling, throwing objects, a danger or a distraction to any of the other 5 kids in the classroom. After about ten minutes, the teacher took him to the Time Out Room. It's roughly the size of a large porta-potty (maybe a bit bigger). It has grey padded walls, a light in the ceiling and a door with a glass window. The latch is large and made of steel but had to be held in place.

Once Alex was forced into the Time Out Room and the door shut behind him (with the light still on) he immediately lost it. He started screaming to be let out and throwing himself against the door. I was asked to hold the door closed while the teacher went back to the rest of the class. After Alex had been in there for a few minutes he started screaming obscenities that no 7 year old should know. He also threatened to kill the everyone when he got out. At this point he was throwing himself against the door with so much force that it was bumping me off the door each time he hit it. Eventually he calmed down and was let out but the rest of the morning was a complete wash for him. He wasn't in a place mentally or emotionally to learn and he lost all of his privileges for the day so he only felt worse. I'm not saying there shouldn't have been consequences for his actions but it seemed his actions didn't escalate until he was put into the Time Out Room.

This incident disturbed me on several levels:

1- As this child was screaming, yelling, and throwing himself at the walls, none of the other adults even blinked an eye. It didn't phase them. Somehow I don't think anyone should get used to a 7 year old saying "You F****in A****le!"

2- The punishment seemed disproportionate to the infraction. He didn't have a serious behavior problem until after he was put in the time out room.

3- Since when did we start putting young children in what amounts to no more than a padded cell as a means of disciplining them? What does that accomplish? Many of these kids come with a steamer trunk full of baggage and often there is a chemical component. However, I do think that some of this behavior is still learned. What are we telling them when we put them in seclusion like that? What are we telling other students?

4- There is something, deep down, about the idea of Time Out Rooms and restraints and other 'disciplinary' measures that seem wrong on basis of basic human rights.

I was so disturbed by it that I went and talked with my professor about it. In talking with her, the issue became even more appalling. What I saw it starting to become standard practice in many public school special education programs and many parents have no idea. I've been researching the issue more as part of a paper for class and what I've found is deeply disturbing.

Did you know that many states in the south, including Texas, parents have to sign a form saying teachers and administrators cannot use corporal punishment on their child?? It was a pretty big wake up call. What I saw in the classroom wasn't outright abuse but it made me intensely uncomfortable and if I were that child's parent, I would be very upset. But what goes on in public schools every day, without parent's knowledge is a frightening prospect. Google "Special Education Time Out Rooms" or "Special Education Seclusion and restraints" and you'll see what I mean.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Can't Make Me!

I taught for about 20 minutes this morning in my SPED Elementary classroom. It's a BD (Behavior Disorder) unit and all of the kids are in the class full time due to behavior issues. There were seven kids today and they are all 7 or 8. There are also three other adults (besides me) in the room - the teacher, a student teacher and a paraeducator/assistant.

I came to the realization that I will never, unequivocally, ever teach in an elementary school. I love kids, I do...but man! It takes a very particular type of person to be able to handle that. And, today I learned that is most definitely not me.

Onward and Upward!

Debbie Downer...

So I know I've been a bit...or a lot...of a debbie downer lately. I've been stressed and anxious and confused. I've been grumpy and generally unpleasant to be around. I'm sorry to one and all that I've snapped, grunted or ignored. In an effort to turn that frown upside down, here are the happy things that I have going on...

1. I was able to find another teacher at my elementary school that is willing and able to help me with my Assessment project. HUGE relief! She's even willing to work on the weekend at her home because she knows how hectic my weeks are.

2. I have roommates that have been kind and listened as I've grumbled, ranted, cried, hyperventilated, and procrastinated. They're wonderful.

3. Lisa has brought me lunch at work on Saturdays...granted, she's been borrowing my car so it's a bit of a trade off, but I appreciate it.

4. A member of my bishopric (leaders of an LDS congregation) has repeatedly offered to help organize help for when Lisa and I move in about three weeks. He's been so kind and generous.

5. It's official Hilda is no more. RIP Hilda. As if I didn't need one more thing to worry about. But my wonderful father has been looking for cars for me online and he's doing all the grunt work for me. I seriously don't know what I'd do if I had to worry about that too.

6. We've found an apartment to live in. And yes, it's stressful to think about packing and moving everything right now, it's good to know that I've got a place to go to AND a couple of weeks to get it all there.

7. I have a wonderful mother that has offered to help me pack, unpack and clean in relation to all the moving. I seriously have the best mother ever...seriously. She makes the stress of moving not quite so stressful.

School is stressful and I worry about getting it all done in the next month or so but I don't have the crushing, heart gripping anxiety that I've been experiencing. It's a lot but somehow it seems a bit more manageable. I am very blessed to have wonderful people in my life that put up with my crazy stressed out, goldfish brain memory, antics.

You all are wonderful.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Oh dear...

So do we all remember this post in which I talked about how badly I wanted a new car? I love Hilda, she's been wonderful to me but we've outgrown each other. Yet, even in all my dreams of 'graduating' to something newer, I never thought it would potentially mean such a violent end for Hilda.

I was driving home from work last night at about 11:15, as I usually do. I was thinking about my lesson for this morning (it went really well, by the way) and thinking of all I needed to get done in the coming weeks. As I drove through the intersection of 900 East and 17oo South, a woman driving east on 1700 South ran her red light and broadsided me. Fortunately, she was only going about 20 mph, and we were both able to walk away from the accident.

UNforuntately, Hilda was not so lucky. The majority of the impact was the back driver side door but the driver's door was still pretty dented. Once I was able to shoulder my door open and get out, the door wouldn't shut. The back door had bowed away from the frame of the car and, thought it was still shut, there was about an inch between the top of the door and the rest of the car. Hilda was loaded up on a tow truck and hauled away.

Hilda, being advanced in years, may not be able to be saved (She's almost 20 years old. I know, in human years that's not so much, but in car's getting up there. Think about it like Dog years...that's 140 years!). The repairs may cost more than the insurance adjuster thinks she is worth.

I won't find out until Monday if I need to find a new car or if Hilda and I get a few more years together. I have to say, I'm somewhat torn...

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


I had a dream last night that as part of my observation hours at Clayton Middle school I had to teach a dance class. It wasn't in the dance studio but rather in the gym. When we got to the gym the lacrosse team was practicing (Clayton doesn't have a lacrosse team), there were chairs set up in half the gym and the other half had a runway stage setup. Then as I was having the class stretch a bit I discovered that I couldn't remember which song I had chosen or the first 16 counts of the dance I had planned. I kept staring at the track lists and playing random songs hoping I would remember the song and the choreography... All while the mentor teacher and my professor were furiously writing notes on their clipboards.

Do you think I'm anxious about teaching tomorrow???

Monday, March 14, 2011

Home sweet home...

We've found a new apartment. Hurray! We'll be moving early April as Lisa will be in the land of the Swiss when the apartment becomes available. It's in Murray/Taylorsville area just off the freeway and 45th South. One thing I can check off my rather lengthy "to do" list.

Rock on...

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The post in which I try to convince myself I will survive the semester...

I remember the spring break(s) of yesteryear when I was living in Southern California and I could lounge by the pool or go shopping with my friends. Or perhaps I would visit my aunt in Long Beach or sleep in and just relax. Sigh...

Fast forward to spring break of this year... There was no pool lounging or visiting of friends and family. I slept in but only because I couldn't fall asleep until 2 or even 3 in the morning because of stressed out brain. One night I fell asleep around 3am on the couch upstairs while trying to do some homework. I didn't wake up until Lisa left the next morning around 6:30. I then woke up when the other roommates got on with their day. The week previous to spring break I was stressed and anxious about getting everything done that needed to be done. I had high expectations of a relaxing week spent with friends and my rarely seen family, these days. Alas, it was not to be so.

One of the roommates is moving out early and has been packing. Lisa has started packing up too. I don't begrudge them their packing. It needs to be done and they're doing what they need to do. Yet, the empty walls and shelves are a bit depressing and it further highlights what I still need to accomplish on top of school and work.

So now I'm back in class and trying to not break down into tears as we talk about assignments and due dates. The good news is I got an extension on an assignment. Yet, it's a bit of a double edged sword because the assignment is the small bits and pieces of a larger assignment later in the semester. So I run the risk of having it all stack up at the end of the semester. However, I don't really have a choice because I haven't been able to choose a student for my case study.

I also was able to postpone my high school methods placement until next semester. Yet, the same thing applies. It has to be done and there will be more work next semester. I'm not sure if it was the right thing to do long term but short term I wouldn't survive the semester otherwise.

I feel slightly ashamed that I had to ask for the extension and postpone the methods placement. I should be able to do all of this, right? I mean, other students are doing this too... Then I talked to the placement specialist and she reminded me that I'm actually doing two full time programs (special ed and secondary). The fact that I am technically a part time student is somewhat negated by the fact that I am actually working on two separate degrees. That made my feel a bit better about the whole thing and the fact that I'm not an utter failure at life.

I am teaching for the first time tomorrow and I am freaking out. I know, they're just middle schoolers and it's only for about 20 minutes. What's so scary about that? I've presented longer and spoke to more people on numerous occasions and yet a classroom full of preteens has me quaking in my wedges.

The highlight of my break is my new MacBook Pro. It's their newest model and I LOVE it. I got a pretty good deal and a student discount. Thank you federal government for the generous tax return that made this beautiful purchase possible.

Side note: Have I ever mentioned that excessive stress tends to bring out the drama queen in me? no? oh...well, it does.

So I'm not really sure I convinced myself of anything.... time will tell.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Oh swoon...


I may or may not be a little obsessed....

I also am muy excited that it's coming this spring/summer and I'll be attending with my mom and sister!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

This and that...

1. I thought spring break was supposed to be relaxing. Instead I have been stressing all week about school and the rest of the semester.

2. I finally purchased a new computer and it's snazzy! I LOVE it. It's the new MacBook Pro. It's sleek, fast and it has all sorts of cool gadgets. I'm still learning what to use everything on it but it's great. I'm currently taking suggestions for names. Lisa likes in Fiona Apple. Yeah, I know she sure is punny!

3. I am teaching my first lesson in an actual classroom setting next week and I am freaking out. Yes, freaking out. I have been stressed for school but now I am battling constant anxiety attacks about this silly lesson next week. I don't know why I'm so anxious. I've taught before. I'm not particularly afraid to speak in public or in front of large groups. But stick me in front of 35 or 40 7th and 8th graders and I freak out.

4. The boxes have started to appear. Our lease is up May 1st and we're all departing our dear old apartment. We'll be saying good bye to our lovely two story, red brick duplex. Drafty windows, creaky/lumpy floors and small long. I'm trying not to think about it because it'll just add more stress to it all (see #3 & 1). But it's hard not to when everyone is starting to pack up. I have to get through this semester, finish finals, box up my stuff, move, and plan and attend a bridal shower all in the next two months. It'll be fine. deep breaths...deep breaths. I apologize in advance to everyone if I seem a bit snappish. It's not personal.

5.I finally got my car registered. I'm legal to drive.

I'm ridiculously stressed and am on the verge of tears frequently. I miss being able to spend time with my friends and family guilt free. I imagine that it won't always be like this, right? Next semester will be easier? Please? Someone PLEASE tell me that this isn't my life for the next year and a half!!!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Thoughts of a stressed out and slightly overwhelmed woman...

1- I have never appreciated a clean bedroom so much before and never has my personal space been quite so messy and cluttered for such an extended period of time.

2- After years of doing the on again off again diet/exercise thing, I've finally found something that works for me. It's called the Grad Student Diet. It involves lots of Diet Dr. Coke, at most 6 hours of sleep (more like 4), on average one meal a day (on week days, this may go up to two meals a day on weekends), and running all over town to school, work, and methods placements.

3- I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that this is what I want to do with the rest of my life.

4- I need to either constantly remind myself or have someone remind me that I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that this is what I want to do with the rest of my life.

5- I miss spending time with my friends and family.

6- Clean clothes are somewhat overrated

7- I know I don't want to teach in an elementary school and am leaning towards middle school but haven't completely ruled out high school.

8- I am slowly developing my own classroom management philosophy and it kind of feels good.

9- Diet Coke, Goldfish crackers (the original flavor) and crescent rolls....'nuff said.

10- I miss reading for the joy of it.

11- I am learning a whole new language of acronyms and educational jargon.

12- Spring break cannot come soon enough.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Probably could have handled that better...

It was a rough week. School was difficult, work was especially workish, I couldn't stop thinking about my church obligations and it seemed like my pants actually shrunk and my hair wouldn't do anything other than lie flat and limp against my head. All I wanted to do all week was crawl into bed and watch trashy TV/movies on Netflix. So what did I do this weekend...? Exactly that. I stayed in bed literally all weekend. I came up for food occasionally but other than that I hunkered down and snuggled in deep with the blankets and my Watch Instantly Netflix streaming right to my computer. Love the digital age. I slept late, stayed up even later and basically ignored my life for two straight days. But I did, at least shower every day (I'm not a complete heathen!) That is, of course, the mature and adult approach to such burn out. I'm fairly certain I freaked my roommates out and I even went over to my parents this evening and watched...the Super Bowl! I know...kind of frightening, right?

I tend to take on more than I can reasonably handle and then I get surprised and upset when I get burned out and have to hibernate for two whole days. You would think I'd learn my lesson and not take on so much. But there's always that thought in the back of my head..."well, so and so could handle this!" or "So and so does this AND rescues puppies from the pound all while finding a cure for cancer!". I have unrealistic expectations of my own capabilities and as a result I have spent the past weekend second guessing my own potential and ability to succeed in my chosen field. Yes, So and So does rescue puppies from the pound, in addition to canning all her own fruit/veggies, cooks delicious meals from scratch, works out every day (not that she actually needs to) and is sweet and funny to boot. But that's So and So. You'd think that after falling into this trap so many times, that I'd actually learn from it. Not even two weeks ago and I was giving myself a proverbial pat on the back for doing so well and all that. It's amazing how little it takes to bring us to our knees - or in my case, queen sized pillow topped mattress with comfy flannel sheets.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

I really am grateful but...

...I am more than ready to purchase a new vehicle...other than that whole pesky payment issue. Can someone please remind me why I'm not independently wealthy?

Brunhilda (Hilda for short) and I have had quite a trip together. She's got her quirks but she's kept me company on many a trip across the southern Nevada/Southern California desert. We've been to St. George and back several times. We've been up north quite a bit. Yes, the past nearly seven years have been good years for us and yet...she's loosing steam. She knows it and I know it.

  • The driver side door still won't unlock from the outside...meaning, I have to unlock the passenger door, crawl in and lean across to unlock the driver side door. Get out, walk around and then open the driver side door. Doesn't seem like too big a deal...hah! Try doing it in a skirt and heels when you're parked on the street. And now the passenger door is starting to stick too.
  • In other lock related issues, the trunk will only open by using the lever by the driver side door. The key no longer works on the trunk lock and I'm fairly certain it hasn't worked for years.
  • The heater takes at least 15 - 20 minutes to actually warm up to do anything other than blow cold air back in your face. It takes even longer depending on how cold it is outside.
  • The roof is slowly rusting, sending a nice shower of bronzey confetti as I cruise down the freeway.
  • The CD player may or may not keep your CD for an indefinite period of time. Be sure you really like that CD because you may be listening to it for quite some time. OR don't put in your favorite CD because you may never get it back.
  • The seat belts in both the seats up front may or may not let you use them. They decide to lock at the most inopportune moments.
  • The emergency break is apparently on the fritz and wouldn't do any good.
  • I was driving down the freeway tonight and I hear a slight popping noise and I notice that the hood of my car isn't latched completely. It's being held down by the secondary latch, because that's safe!
  • I'm also missing a hubcap from when my dad drove her up to Idaho over the summer.
Hilda and I have had quite a journey together but really...I think I'm ready for an upgrade...unfortunately, my bank account disagrees.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Oh what a day...

I need a little friendly advise, oh mighty blogosphere...

I had several...situations, we'll call them, arise this morning. All in all, it was a pretty good morning. I got some incredibly good feed back from a no nonsense, call it like it is, New Yorker professor, I nailed my lesson this morning, and I looked great when I ran into someone I haven't seen since high school. The balance of the day was great but...yeah.

I've posted previously about my program and some of the attitudes and people in the program. I struggle with this new cohort. A lot. There is a general attitude of pretentiousness and bitterness. On more than one occasion comments have been made that were insensitive and borderline offensive. There is a general attitude of self righteous arrogance. Most of it is directed towards the LDS Church and the resulting dominant culture. But there have also been comments made about Special Education students and culturally and linguistically diverse populations. It's been enough to get my blood boiling on more than one occasion or a frustration headache at their general insensitivity and sometimes blatant ignorance.

Today it reached new levels. I am actually considering going to the professor in question as well as the director of the program. We were presenting mini snippets of lessons just to have a sort of dry run before we get to the actual classrooms. Situation one. This girl is not my cup of tea. She's from Park City, drives an Audie her father bought for her. She giggles and laughs her way through difficult situations and hardly ever has anything constructive to contribute to any discussion. We were the first to arrive this morning and I'm getting ready for my lesson. She told me she is currently teaching at Park City High and an English TA had prepared a PowerPoint on Shakespeare that she decided to use for her assignment in this class. Through out the presentation it became blatantly obvious that she had not put the PowerPoint together and, most likely, had not even looked through it before getting up to present. Now, the lovely roommie told me that I should say something to the professor since Park City had no qualms telling me it wasn't her work. Part of me wants to but the other part feels bad...thoughts?

NOW...this one is a real winner. This particular student, lets call him Big Mouth Bass (BMB for short) has never been my favorite person and I rarely, if ever, agree with any statement that comes out of his mouth. Add in an obnoxious nickname that he insists going by and it's a win/win situation all around. During the course of his lesson on the Massacre of Wounded Knee and the Ghost Dance BMB referenced something incredibly sacred and personal to me, as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, in a way that made it blatantly apparent he had no understanding or respect for what he was so casually discussing. I almost walked out of the room I was so offended. After his presentation the professor told him, he can't go there...ever. I almost said something at that point. Everyone in the class knows I'm LDS and they kept looking at me, as I was clearly upset. I was on the verge of saying something but didn't in the end because if I had it probably wouldn't have been very constructive and probably would have done more damage that good.

BMB has always had an attitude when it comes to members of the LDS Church. I don't know what his history is with the Church but it's apparent that something has happened. He is constantly making thinly veiled comments about the culture and the conservative values shared by most Latter Day Saints. I haven't gotten too up in arms and I've tried not to get too offended. For most people, it's just ignorance but BMB seems to take pleasure in saying some of these things and takes every opportunity to do so. He even went so far as to say it is the "conservative culture" (aka the influence of Mormons) that is causing Utah's rising high school drop out rate. (completely and utterly false. there are a multitude of reasons that will affect the drop out rate. conservatism, isn't really high on that list - but that will be saved for another time). He seems to think that conservative people of faith, members of the LDS church in particular, are simply brainwashed sheep that can't think for themselves. He has no respect for our beliefs or our ability to make our own decisions.He made a comment today in class to the effect of he needs to "dumb himself down" to teach 7th grade - an incredibly worrying attitude to have going into the teaching profession.

Here's my major concern, aside from being incredibly offended by this incident, BMB is going to be teaching many, many students that are LDS. He is going to be in a position of authority over these students. If he can't respect their belief system and if can't treat them with dignity, should he be teaching them at all? I have a serious concern about him in a classroom full of impressionable kids. I am 26, almost 27 years old. I can separate myself and my beliefs from the insensitive, inappropriate and often times, offensive comments he makes. But will a 12 year old be able to do that? He didn't even realize that what he had done was problematic. He won't mention that particular aspect of the LDS faith again but what off hand comments will he make in class? He didn't see how what he had said was different from teaching Utah History. Students will pick up on that. If he can't put his own prejudice aside, should he be in a classroom in an environment where many, if not most, of his students will be of the LDS faith? I'm not saying that's good or bad, I'm simply stating the reality of the demographics of Utah public schools in most, not all, areas. I do know one thing, I wouldn't want my hypothetical child or any of my nieces or nephews in his classroom.

So here's my question(s) I tell my professor about Park City and her PowerPoint?

What do I do about Big Mouth Bass? I need to go talk to my professor about something else, anyway. I may simply thank her for what she said to him and possibly mention my concerns. What do you all think? Should I say something or just let it go?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

My blue suede shoes...

So these aren't blue shoes and they're technically boots but...what do you think? You think I could pull off these purple suede boots? doesn't quite have the same ring to it, does it?

My Peeps

No not the fluffy sugar covered kind...the real life totally awesome people kind! I don't know if people check the side bar linky thing to other blogs (I know I sometimes forget) but I've added a few in the past little while that I think you all should check out for various reasons. This one (Sara) is my dear friend from college. She was the very, absolutely first friend I made when I went to Scripps. We bonded over sleeping on the hard tile floor the night before Outdoor Orientation. And then some more over lack of hygiene and puking in tents. Seriously, if you can make it through a week of the outdoors, no showers, hairy legs and vomit, you can make it through anything. Her blog is mostly about food. She makes some pretty tasty stuff. So all you foodies out there will want to check it out.

And this one (Dad) is my dad. I know, shocking, my father has joined the blogosphere...what has the world come to!? Last fall he bought some property up north and has been having this Out of Africa in Idaho experience. So the blog is just his thoughts and adventures up there. So all you outdoorsy folks will probably like it.

This one (Abode) is one of my favorite consignment shops in the valley. It's stuffed to the rafters with cool and random stuff. Clothes, furniture, decor, jewelry, books...they've got it all. Many of you already know about the store but I wasn't sure if you knew about the blog. I know I didn't until recently.


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Oh grow up...

I was driving home from work, late as usual, last week. It had been a long day and I was tired and I sort of went into auto pilot. I was driving down 900 East and the road was pretty empty. I drove through a random burst of fog that lasted about two seconds and continued on towards home and my waiting, warm, welcoming bed. My mind started to wander and somewhere between 21st South and 13th South I had a rather existential moment. An epiphany, of sorts. I realized that I am an adult. Crazy, I know. But really, for most of my 20s I've felt like something of a poser. I may seem all mature and what not, or maybe not, but really underneath it all, I'm just an insecure, unsure 16 year old. I've been taking care of myself for years now. Paying rent, paying bills, working a 9-5 job...all very adult-y things. But I've never actually felt like an adult.

I guess somewhere in my mind I was still hanging on to my childhood version and perceptions of adulthood. Husband, 2.5 kids, a dog perhaps and a house. When I pictured "being an adult" that is what I saw. A self possessed, witty, woman that had all the answers, an incredibly handsome husband that adored her, had an immaculately clean house, cooked delicious meals, sewed her kids costumes and still had time to pursue her own interests.

Well, life didn't quite turn out that way and now at 26 and change...almost 27 years of life, I guess I've had to reevaluate my perception of what it means to be an adult.

  • I've been living on my own since college with a brief hiatus at my parent's house.
  • I have been able to always pay my rent, put gas in my car, pay my bills, clothe myself and put food in my fridge and lately a little put away for a rainy day.
  • I don't have all the answers but I've actually realized that's ok and not as terrifying as it sounds. I know how to find the answers I don't know and understand that maybe it's not as important that I know that right this second.
  • I don't have my own kids but I love being an aunt.
  • Not having kids also means I can buy that book or pair of shoes or whatnot because it's just me. I don't have to buy diapers or formula or any other baby specific paraphernalia.
  • Yet, I would give up the extra shoes and books and bags for a family in a heartbeat.
  • I know what I want to do with my life and even if a husband and family never enters the picture, which I seriously hope it does, I will live a happy and fulfilled life. I've found something I'm passionate about and for now, that's enough.
  • I have faith that everything will work out the way the Lord intends BUT I also know that I have to do my part.
  • Responsibility is a funny thing...

Moral of the story is, life didn't turn out the way that I anticipated but as I look back I'm not sure what experiences I would change or take out. Some were pretty horrific and unpleasant. Others were just down right heart breaking but I can trace some of my own beliefs, personality traits and self knowledge back to those events and I wouldn't be who I am without them. At 26 and change, I've least mostly...that my life and adulthood isn't what I expected and that's just fine with me.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

1:00 am...what...?

I went to Denver over New Years and stayed with the older brother and his cute family. It was freezing but we hunkered down in our blankets, built up the fire and walked around with our sweatshirts and slippers (in my case legwarmers and two pairs of socks) and had a good time. We stayed up until midnight or later every night and I slept in until 10:00 or even 11:00 one morning. It was deliciously extravagant seeing as how I hardly ever got to do that last semester having to be to work by 6:00am. That means I woke up at 4:30 to leave the house somewhere between 5:30 and 5:45 am. It's really dark.

So now you're probably asking yourself, why on earth is she blabbing about all this? Well, really the question you should be asking is now why am I blabbing about this, but rather, why are you still reading...? Chew on that for a while!

But seriously, I started my new semester and with it a new work schedule. I keep my days open for homework (supposedly when my three other roomies aren't home - this hasn't happened quite yet as we've been sick in rotation...just spreading the love, right?) and later field observations. I'm in class by 3:30 or 4:30 (depending on the day) and then I go right to work until 10:00 or 11:00 at night. My point is, it is amazing how quickly my body switched to late nights. I stayed up until 2:30 a couple of nights ago to finish a lesson plan because the "juices" just started to, that sounded wrong. In college my most productive hours where between midnight and 2am. It's amazing what one can accomplish when the rest of the house is sleeping. It also helps that I can sleep a little later.

I'm trying to get up by no later than 9:00 to at least attempt to structure my day. Some days are better than others...what can I say, I'm a work in progress.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Does this make me a snob?

I went to my Special Ed K-6 Methods class this afternoon/evening. The professor is a visiting professor that currently teaches at Murray High School and has done some semesters at SLCC. We spent almost an hour going over (word for word) the syllabus because she didn't write it and didn't know what it said. I'm sorry...even if you didn't write the syllabus, shouldn't you at least be clear on what is in said syllabus. If you're unclear about the objectives and/or the assignments of the class then you really should check with whoever it is you need to check with to get clarification...preferably BEFORE the first class...just sayin.

The class is about half graduate/half undergraduate students. The undergrads routinely got up and left the class or spent it chatting amongst each other. Then they had somewhat silly questions about the syllabus and needed her to tell them what the homework was for next week. Just look at the syllabus! I don't have a problem with them as people but I guess I'm just used to a certain amount of...professionalism? Educational experience/expectations...? I'm not sure but when they heard that the grad students taking GenEd Methods had to do 60 total hours of observations in addition to the 15 for this class they nearly had a conniption fit and they don't even have to do them!

The class is only three hours but it felt so much longer than my four hour class I had on Tuesday.

So here's the question: Does requiring my professor to be prepared for class and not wanting to have undergrads in my graduate class make me an educational snob?

Work it girl...

Well, today has been a good day. I didn't leave the house until about 3:00 (don't judge, I'm shifting my days about six hours later...) but in the intervening four hours I have been told in Spanish that I have beautiful eyes and a fantastic smile, that I look really good by three of my fellow classmates, I have cute dimples (I didn't know I have dimples) by a coworker and I got an appreciative wink from the 711 guy when I purchased my hot chocolate. All in all...not too shabby.