Posts

Carry On

Tyson has developed a sweet habit of helping me carry in my things from the car at night. As a recovering bag lady, this is truly more meaningful than it may sound at first. It's nice to have someone to help lighten the load. Today, he was having trouble because he picked up too many things. I heard myself saying to him, "Well, Tyson, don't take on more than you can carry!" Immediately as the words left my mouth, I realized just how ironic that statement was.

Just like my Grandma Ginny, "I'm fine" to a fault. I come from parents who inspire me by going out of their way on a daily basis to improve the lives of others. Seriously. They are a human interest story in kindness. They have passed along that gene to me (I hope, I'm working on it), along with a gene for hard work. I have worked and clawed and stressed and struggled and risen to life's challenges and have begun to carve out my own place in this world. My life has not been easy by any means…

To Whom It May Concern (Which Should Be All of Us)- Draft 2

There are some things that need to be said about the state of education in our country. I'm going to have to let the two things that are most uncomfortable for me to talk about, politics and money, have a place in this conversation. But I need you to listen anyway. Please. Pretty please.  If I had the choice to "just" be a teacher and not get involved, I would do it. I would put my head down, go about my job and my life, and be happier for it. The problem is that it's not a choice I have any longer. I need to be heard. I need to be heard so badly that I'm sitting here, still soaked from the shower, balancing a nursing baby and a laptop, scrolling through the list in my head of the hours of work I need to do this morning and trying to triage to make time for this because I need you to hear it.
You can’t be apathetic when it comes to education. You just can’t. It's not enough just to care. You simply have to walk the walk. Education isn't just an issue that …

To Whom It May Concern (Which Should Be All of Us)

There are some things that need to be said about the state of education in our country. I'm going to have to let the two things that are most uncomfortable for me to talk about, politics and money, have a place in this conversation. But I need you to listen anyway. Please. Pretty please.  If I had the choice to "just" be a teacher and not get involved, I would do it. I would put my head down, go about my job and my life, and be happier for it. The problem is that it's not a choice I have any longer. I need to be heard. I need to be heard so badly that I'm sitting here, still soaked from the shower, balancing a nursing baby and a laptop, scrolling through the list in my head of the hours of work I need to do this morning and trying to triage to make time for this, all so I can let my heart speak the words it NEEDS to say. I need you to hear me, and I need you to do more than click the "like" button after you read. I need you to care, and I need you to ta…

Me, Myself, and Thighs

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Despite having the appetite of a truck driver and an intense aversion to vomit, I was diagnosed with having an eating disorder numerous times. I was never diagnosed by a doctor because I never actually had a disorder, but that didn't really matter to the number of people who came to their own conclusions anyway. This diagnosis was made by the critical eyes of strangers and the unkind whispers behind my back from “friends” and people with “concerns” who voiced their opinions through most of my teenage years. Up until that point, I had experienced enough unconditional love from my parents and “Ah, I remember the glory days when I was that thin… was I ever that thin?”comments that I had a healthy sense of self-confidence in my “skinny minnie” status. As a teenage girl, however, the things people said about me became who I was and how I saw myself. The confident toothpick turned into a blubbering mess in a dressing room being lectured by her mom that she would never love the clot…

Grandma Ginny

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Admittedly, I am terribly awkward in emotional situations and never know the right things to say or do.  This is why I either eat or write my feelings and why I am currently wiping chocolate chip cookie grease from my hands in order to try to think of the right words to write words to capture something important.  I want to somehow do justice to my Grandma Ginny.  The good news is that when you are a true original and classic like Ginny, the stories really write themselves.

There are so many things that are quintessential Grandma Ginny that the only trouble is knowing where to start.  Many of my earliest and many of my fondest memories of her involve holidays.  She prided herself on taking each of her grandchildren out for a date on their birthdays.  I was treated to years and years of these, with dinners at Ponderosa (one of her favorites) or Finley's (one of my favorites) followed by a trip to a toy store to pick out whatever my heart desired.  I remember there was one year when…

Worthwhile File

One of the best pieces of teaching advice I've ever gotten was to create a "worthwhile file".  Mine is actually a file folder, and it's full of reminders of why I love my job.  There are notes, cards, and pictures from students, parents, and other teachers that make me smile and feel a few inches taller when I read them.  Don't tell anyone, but I've also kept some carbon copies of detentions past students have gotten (we used to get copies any time one of our Ac Lab students was written up by someone) that make me giggle.  Maybe giggle is an understatement.  Anyway, I look through it from time to time for a boost, but its real purpose is for days like today as a reminder of why it's worth it to work through the tough days.  Today was one of those tough days.

I don't ever want to publicly complain about my job.  I've said it before, and I'll say it again-- being a teacher is an honor and a privilege, and I feel blessed every day that I get to b…

The One Who Listened

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The warm-up today for my students was to reflect on and write about an MLK quote I had on the board.  I had also written "Happy (belated) MLK Day!" because this was our first day back since Monday.  A student raised his hand and asked, "What's milk day?"  I played along with the joke and made some kind of remark about how we should all bring in a quarter for our little cartons of milk, and we could have snack time, and...
... and then I realized that he wasn't joking.  Like, not at all.  Le sigh.  Really?  I mean, really?  Milk Day?  

To be fair, he also thinks that Americans speak American and Canadians speak Canadian, so his lack of common sense is not limited to history.  He's equal opportunity in these types of questions, and the rest of us do the best we can to handle answering them with humor and grace... and maybe a dash or two of sarcasm.
When someone else asked later in the day why we didn't celebrate MLK Day during Black History Month, I h…