...at least for a little while.I'm not going to do a long recap spiel. Instead you're getting a list. I love lists and you should too.
1. moved into my very first, on my own apartment. It's small and adorable and I love living on my own.
2. I still miss Lisa...all.the.time.
3. Four days after I moved into my new place I drove myself to the ER in the wee hours of the morning. This resulted in a four day hospital visit and having my gallbladder removed. I don't recommend this.
4. Started going to my new ward and made new friends (Hallelujah!)
5. Consumed far too many Mint Oreos.
6. Officially joined the adult population by purchasing my first vacuum and couch...well, love seat.
7. (Re)discovered the glory of Hastings...probably too much.
8. Put together some furniture...on my own...for the first time in five years. Lisa always took care of that stuff.
9. Discovered how I actually like my things organized. It was always far more important to Lisa so I just let her do her thing. It's been nice to move and organize and let the mess sit for as long as I want.
10. My tiny apartment doesn't heat very well...I've learned the art of layering.
11. School was a bit of a trial after I returned from my surgery. I love what I do but I was hard pressed to remember that in the weeks between my return and Christmas. Hopefully we'll all be back to our happy selves after Christmas break.
12. Determined a new five-ish year plan.
13. Low-key Christmas and have made the jaunt up to Idaho to spend New Year's with Lisa (hence the internet access and subsequent blogging).
Time is up! We're off to have fun...can't say when I'll be back!
Tuesday, December 31, 2013
...at least for a little while.I'm not going to do a long recap spiel. Instead you're getting a list. I love lists and you should too.
Posted by Kelly at 5:25 PM
Saturday, October 26, 2013
It's a little odd entering the fall/holiday season and not be living with Lisa. We had some pretty fantastic Thanksgiving and Christmases living together...
|The first Christmas|
|Amadeus - started out as a joke the first year and now a tradition|
|The traditional Christmas socks. At least they aren't playing music or lighting up!|
|We're pretty classy. I miss her...a lot.|
Today I signed the lease for my new place in O-town. When I started teaching in O-town I did not anticipate moving there. In fact, I said I didn't want to. Yet, here I am. It's not even two years later and I'm really excited about this move. I've moved quite a bit in the past decade - some moves were better than others. But this is the first move that I have been excited about since moving in with Lisa. My new place is itty-bitty tiny (500 ft) but it has a great view of the mountains and is in a safe neighborhood.
However, this move has had it's own set of challenges (don't all my moves?). Since I have lived with Lisa for so long and she had all the apartment "stuff"...I've had to beg, borrow and steal to get what I need. Well, that isn't totally true. Shannon has been so sweet and generous. She came home from Shopko the other day with a set of pots & pans and a toaster for me. She's also helping me out with a few other things...all without me asking. She's been incredibly generous and kind. I've had all kinds of lists running through my brain. I think I have everything I need to function in the kitchen. It's nothing fancy, but it'll do.
The living room is a whole other issue. I have four medium sized bookshelves, an old TV and TV stand given to me by Shannon, a smallish decorative office chair and a small side table. I have no real seating and I know four bookshelves sounds like more than enough. And for many people, that would be more than enough. However, I have a lot of books...a lot. I may need to get another bookshelf. I don't have a couch, coffee table or DVD player. None are terribly critical, but can be pricey. Because the place is on the small side, it's going to take some organizational help. Luckily, I have a mom that is a pro at this stuff!
All in all, I am very excited about this move. It will relieve a lot of stress and I'm looking forward to living alone. I have loved my roommates, but it'll be good to have my own space and my own home.
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
It's 2:10 am and I have given up trying to sleep tonight. I went to bed a little before 10:00 and woke up at about 12:30 because of my back. I've seen a chiropractor several times and after the last visit I had three fairly serious flair ups in one week...that's some kind of record for me. It resulted in me going to InstaCare and getting a prescription for Lortab and physical therapy. The first thing I did when I woke up at 12:30 was pop a Lortab, I needed to sleep in order to be able to do my job tomorrow. Alas, not even the Lortab is working tonight. So...I'm up until I can ignore the pain enough to fall asleep. I can't call in a sub for tomorrow - or rather today - so, that's going to make for a lovely day at school. I am at my wits end. What started as a somewhat monthly issue and taken on a life of its own and taking over my life! I don't know what else to do. I'm looking for a physical therapist and trying to figure out ways to minimize stress in my life. But for tonight, that's not really going to do any good. I still have to get through tonight and school today.
I surrender. This is me waving the proverbial white flag. I give up...
Sunday, October 13, 2013
If asked, I would generally say I'm a fairly tough individual. I can do difficult things. In fact, I rarely do things the easy way. My job requires that I be a firm disciplinarian while also infusing a certain about of heart and nurturing into my daily interactions. The phrase "cruel to be kind" comes to mind, yet it's not cruelty (although many of my students would argue that it is), but rather discipline and structure.
Thursday, October 3, 2013
Reasons this week needs to be over...
- Parent Teacher Conferences - two 13 hour days back to back, need I say more?
- Unexpected Admin observation
- One student flipped out at me in class. He later apologized and told me a close family friend had been involved in a gang shooting the previous night. The family friend was in critical condition at the hospital and not expected to make it.
- Another student refused to work and was really upset. Turns out his mother may have cancer, he had heart surgery in the last six months and lost his father when he was 6.
- Bus duty...worst after school job ever...
- Grading essays for 6 classes
- Grading short stories for 37 students
- Trying to get time in the computer lab and failing miserably
- Having a minor meltdown in front of a co-worker
- It's supposed to snow during the morning commute tomorrow
- Tension headache won't go away
- Students could not/would not listen and follow directions all week
- During bus duty students all laugh, joke around with me and say goodbye. An admin commented on how much the students seem to like me
- Struggling students (two mentioned before) were able to discuss issues with me - this wouldn't have happened with them last year
- Ending each day with a happy, fun class
- Two self-proclaimed anti-readers, wanting to take home Night to read it over the weekend
- I work with awesome teachers and we watch out for each other
- Monitoring the hall during passing periods and getting compliments on my dress
Thursday, September 19, 2013
This may be a record for me on this old blog. It's a bit dusty, yes? Well, gentleman #3 and I did date for a brief little while. Things got pretty serious fairly quickly. And, as many things do when they develop quickly, once I was able to catch up to what was really happening around me, I realized this was not the relationship for me. I hope he finds what he wants, unfortunately, that was not me. So, I am still on the hunt for my Betty (as in Betty Crocker Brownie - you can credit Lisa with that one!)
School started almost four weeks ago and it's so crazy to think that! We're slowly coming out of the honeymoon phase and starting to show our true colors to each other. My 8th period somehow managed to get me to teach for almost 45 minutes using a ridiculous southern accent. Okay, let's be honest, it didn't take too much convincing. I'm surprised by how well they actually listened. My 3rd and 7th periods are a trial. I am doing my best to be kind yet firm. It's hard when you just want to knock their heads together.
Creative writing has been fun, but I think the novelty is wearing off for some of them and they're ready to be done with it. Unfortunately for them, they still have half a year of the class before they're done with me. It's a mixed grade class, so it's given me a chance to get to know students that aren't in 9th grade. I've been with the 9th graders since I started and they were in 7th grade. Each year I've changed what grade I teach. I think, I hope, I've settled on 9th grade. I'm really enjoying it. For the most part, I love my students and haven't had any serious dust-ups.
I've gotten some wonderful feedback from admins and district level folks that have popped into our school for various reasons. It balances out how horrible I feel after I leave my ESL class. The class itself isn't the most interesting or engaging but it covers a myriad of strategies for English Language Learners in my classroom. Considering how the vast majority of my students fall into this category on some level, these are strategies I should be using. Suffice to say, I need to do better.
In other random tidbits...
- One of my students insists I look like UFC Fighter Miesha Tate. If you're like me and had no idea who she is, here's a visual. Other than the fact that we're both women and have long hair, I don't see it. (And yes, that is super red carpet in my classroom)
- Lisa came for a quick weekend visit. Yay! I love it when Lisa comes. We saw Austenland and The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. Both were a lot of fun in completely different ways. I read Austenland after I had my surgery in 2007-ish (?). I don't remember it being as funny. It also doesn't hurt that this manly hunk of beauty plays one of the heroes. Go see it!
- I'm so happy that it's finally cooling down a bit! No A/C 90+ weather and no windows/outside doors, makes for a very hot, hot, hot classroom!
Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Being a single twenty-something (almost 30), I've met and dated my fair share of men. This most recent bout has got me thinking about the type of man that I would like to date. There are currently three guys...well, now two, but at the time of this metaphor there were three...that I was talking to and possibly going on dates with. Each one of them fits neatly into a different dessert. I shared this with Shannon and she thought it quite fitting.
Friday, June 21, 2013
I uploaded a few educational apps to my phone and was probably a little too excited about them. I mean, who wouldn't be excited to have the Utah State Core on their phone? Or an app that will tell you the reading level and difficulty of any book simply by scanning the bar code?
I discovered itunes U and decided to take a course on the French Revolution. Why not? It's always fascinated me.
This summer I have...
1. Started violin lessons. I absolutely adore it! I always wanted to take the violin growing up, but thought my short, pudgy fingers weren't appropriately long and graceful enough to play the violin. So, I never mentioned it and stuck with the piano (which I still love). Many told me I would sound like a screeching cat for the first few months. I am happy to report, no cat-like sounds have come from my violin...yet.
2. discovered the addictive joy of jewelry making. It's a slightly expensive hobby, but it keeps my hands busy and I've got something cute at the end of it. I have several gift ideas for people and I'm excited to put the plans into action.
3. attended Utah Core Academy. There has been a lot of controversy surrounding the new education standards for Utah. I'm not 100% sure why people are up in arms about it, but I support it. I haven't had a conversation with anyone that is really anti, but I've read what's in the newspaper and I just don't understand the argument. From where I sit, we're challenging our students and trying to insure they are competitive nationally and globally. What's so bad about that? Additionally, society is much more mobile. The patchwork quilt of education standards across the country is a disservice to our students. By having a national standard, we are insuring that students are taught the skills needed to, not only succeed, but be competitive in a global economy. We all want that, don't we? But enough of my soapbox. I left the workshop exhausted and yet energized to plan out my curriculum and implement some of the strategies we talked about this past week.
4. will spend the 4th in small-town Idaho. I'm excited to experience the small town patriotism that is stereotypically American. It will be great. AANNNNDD.....I'll get to spend some time with Lisa. It's been a difficult adjustment for me and I'm totally psyched to see her again!
5. gotten more involved with family history. I spent some time at my Stake (local LDS congregation) Family History center and I got the bug. It was fun to go back and see where my ancestors came from and read some of the documents about them. I'm going to be reading my Grandma and Grandpa's (mom's side) personal history and synthesizing it a bit to then be uploaded to familysearch.org. I'm also going to work on getting pictures scanned and uploaded too. I figure, I've got tons of time, why not put it to good use.
6. I'm hoping to get out to Denver as some point to see the Denver Buies. My older brother, Conor, and I have been talking more the past six months or so. Growing up we always just kind of missed out on getting to know each other. By the time I was old enough to not be quite so obnoxious, he was out on his mission, then college. When he moved back to Utah, I was in California. When I moved back, he was married, in school and working. It's been great to spend more time just talking. Even though he's in Denver, I know that I can call him with any problem and he'll help, or I can call to just chat. It's great. I have an awesome older brother. You all wish you were so lucky.
7. I was made Language Arts Department Chair at my junior high. It isn't as cool as it sounds. It's just the middle rung of the ladder that needed to be filled when our previous department chair took another job.
Happy Summer Vacation!
Saturday, June 1, 2013
1. (and the most obvious, in my opinion) Summer break. Three months with a steady paycheck, but I don't work. It's pretty great.
2. discounts at various stores, you'd be surprised the placed I get a discount!
3. I can claim quite a few legitimate work-related expenses on my taxes each year.
4. Incredible incentives for buying a home...as in 50% off list price of HUD homes. No, you didn't read that wrong and no, I didn't add in a 0 where I shouldn't have. Under the Good Neighbor Next Door program, police officers, TEACHERS, firefighters, first responders and other qualifying public employees, are eligible for a discount of 50% off the list price of qualifying homes.
Now, I'm not quite ready, at least I don't think I am quite ready, to purchase a home. But, I do on occasion peruse what's out there and this morning I found this one. I've only ever seen the pictures, so for all I know, it could a complete disaster and a dump, but doesn't it look cute??
Sunday, May 12, 2013
Here's what's been happening in my world:
1. It all really started to get funky with this.
2. Which lead to this situation.
3. This one didn't even get a vote and all it required was a grant signature.
4. And this one happened on Friday.
In a conversation with my fellow teachers someone said something along the lines of "The district is being run like a business and you cannot run public education like a business. You can't QC the end result. You can't just throw out a bad batch".
There's been so many other, smaller issues that have popped up. Needless to say, we're all a little on edge. It seems like every time I look at the Standard Examiner there is another story about my school district and the Superintendent has done something else.
I had a dream last night that I was fired from my job....let's just say I didn't take it well.
Saturday, May 4, 2013
This quote has been running through my mind quite a bit the last month or so. At first it was because I felt fierce. I felt like I had everything under control and I could do anything. Now, it's because I feel very little but not quite so fierce. In the past several weeks, there have been some changes in my school district and my school that just seem to have knocked the wind from my sails. My support group is breaking up and moving on to other things. The overall feeling and morale at school is anger, desperation and fear. No one feels safe. We're all worried that one wrong step we'll be next on the chopping block. How can we do our jobs when we're all afraid to be bold?
On top of all of that, my best friend and sister is moving to Idaho. I knew this was coming and I know it's for the best, but that doesn't make the impending separation any easier. I'm moving in with an old roommate, but I'm not sure how long I'll be there. I'm not sure where I'll end up next year and that makes me anxious. There are some promising opportunities on the horizon, but they'll be big changes.
In the coming weeks I need to pack an apartment, complete my EYE (Early Year Educator) portfolio, search for a new job, manage/supervise rehearsals for "Rapunzel", open/close "Rapunzel", manage/entertain squirrelly teenagers...
It doesn't help that my back is reacting negatively to all this added stress. I'm on muscle relaxers, which I can't take during the day because they knock me out. I also have to get 60 minute deep tissue massages every other week for the next two months. Sounds like fun, right? It's more than an hour of someone digging into your muscles with their fist or elbow, trying to work out all the knots and kinks.
There's a lot to deal with in a short amount of time.
Monday, March 18, 2013
It's been a while since I've shared any student stories. I always seem to have several when I get home for the day, but they don't seem to make it here. And now that I'm taking the time to blog, I can't remember anything particularly humorous. But here are a few:
1. Today several girls had written on themselves in bright green paint/pen. I didn't look too closely because students are often covered in ink. They draw on themselves with they get bored. However, I was sitting next to a student and got a better look at what they had written. One had "F*** You" written on her neck in one inch letters. Both of them had STFU (Shut the f**** up) on their knuckles. The class was quite astonished that I knew what STFU meant. Of course, I made the girls wash it off.
2. Several weeks ago a student was suspended for a day for calling me a slut. Upon his return, this student has been cranky, surly and rude...when he deigns us with his presence. One day two weeks ago, he was being discussed in the faculty room at lunch. I was asked about his behavior in class today. I replied, he's absent today. The other teachers said he had been in their class. I made a little visit to his next class and wouldn't you know it? He was actually there and decided to go to lunch twice. After a nice little "chat" in front of his buddies and with two of his teachers I went back to my class. He hasn't sluffed once since and has had a personality transplant.
3. Two of my 8th graders were particularly squirrely and would not sit still. So, I made them do wall sits for a couple of minutes. The PE teacher happened to be walking by and made sure they were doing them correctly. Then the school resource officer came in and showed them how to do it. They didn't last two minutes...
4. We're 48 days until the end of the year, 10 weeks....not that any of us are counting, right?
Signs that you may or may not have given up on the dating scene for the foreseeable future:
1. You become irrationally angry at the radio for playing such sappy love songs as "I Knew You Were Trouble" by Taylor Swift, "When I was Your Man" by Bruno Mars, "Good Stuff" by Kenny Chesney (who I really don't like on a good day!).
2. You have to suppress the urge to chuck your hymn book at the lovely couple two rows in front of you at church.
3. As Lisa would say, "You are going to a play tonight where you could potentially see the guy you've been flirting with, and you're wearing five different shades of green." I've sort of given up on trying to impress.
4. Roll my eyes at coworkers discuss their upcoming wedding.
5. Would rather spend the night in with my grading and netflix than go be social.
It's been a rough six months or so for me. I've been on a lot of first dates with good men and they haven't progressed beyond that. I've told myself it's because we weren't right for each other and that's true. But it's often easier to tell myself that there's something wrong with me. No one ever tells you what a toll dating can take on your self-esteem. Even if you're not being horrifically rejected, going on a constant stream of first dates gets old. It's exhausting and after a while you start to wonder what's wrong with you.
So, in an attempt to prevent the bitterness from taking up permanent residence in my head and heart, I have hereby declaring a hiatus from dating. I have no idea for how long, but I just need to take a step back and remember a time where it was just fun to spend time with new and interesting people.
Saturday, February 9, 2013
I was walking into the store today. Outside there were two middle-aged men doing the "bring it on" dance. My first instinct was to break it up. Fortunately, I was far enough away to realize that I wasn't at school and those were grown men...not junior high students.
Teacher instinct fail.
It seems all I ever talk about now is my job. Yes, I have become that person. I don't really socialize much these days, so I don't have friend drama to discuss (thank heavens!), my family is my family... I guess if you don't want to hear about the crazy things my students do, stop reading now.
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
I have been sick since Saturday night with a nasty bout of flu. My parents are shocked and dismayed I didn't get a flu shot this year. I have never gotten one in the past and was just fine. However, now I work with a bunch of germ incubators in the form of junior high students. I have learned my lesson...I will definitely be getting a flu shot next year.
Friday, January 11, 2013
Winter Storm Gandolf. Can we all just take a minute and talk about that ridiculous name? There were all kinds of Lord of the Rings geeky (and somewhat witty) comments there were all over Facebook about it last night? "It must be Gandolf the White" or "YOU SHALL NOT PASS"...were just a few gems.
Anyhoo...I woke up this morning hoping for a snow day but prepared to make the trek into work. I dutifully checked and sad times...no snow day for my school district. Now, the school district in which I live (which is not the district in which I teach), the charter schools, university and other government agencies in the city in which I teach called for snow days. But my district, no such luck.
So, I hurried through my morning routine to make sure I had plenty of time and bundled up. I made the trek through a foot of snow to my car and scraped the ice and snow off my car. I slid around a bit on the surface street in an attempt to get to the freeway. I thought the freeway would probably be more clear...uh not so much. I was on the freeway long enough to get off at the next exit. It took me about 20 minutes to make a 5 minute loop in my neighborhood to get back home.
So, I called in. I am now comfortably bundled up in a blanket, with a book and some hot chocolate. I've got a stack of grading that I'll work on. And just maybe, I'll take a nap later this afternoon.
Tuesday, January 8, 2013
Life is hard...really hard sometimes. I had an incredibly difficult day at work today. Somehow when I was in my program and listening to my professors describe all their crazy stories, I didn't ever think that my crazy stories would be quite that crazy. As it is, I have already started a collection (granted, it is a mental collection) of some pretty humorous stories. Yet, today crossed the line from humorous into straight...seriously??? territory.
I love the teachers and staff I work with. I love the fact that our administration is pushing us to be better. I love being a part of something exciting and important, because what we do every day is important.
And yet. . .
And I'm not leaving that thought unfinished to be intentionally vague, ambiguous and irritating. I honestly don't know what comes after the "and yet..."
And yet. . . there it is.
Friday, January 4, 2013
Must find friends that can sing and would be crazy enough to do something like this...oh, and a groom that would go for it too!