Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Sunday, January 27, 2013

A Wonderful Man

Uncle Jim, you are a wonderful man.  You will be missed.  Your devout love for Diet 7Up will be missed.  Your quiet kindness will be missed.  Your laugh will be missed. 

It brings great peace to know you are with Aunt Sharon in heaven.  Rest well. 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Oh just shoosh

Yes, I saw this in the trailer for Safe Haven.  Yes, I plan on seeing it on a date.  And, yes, that date will in fact be with my roommate Mallory. And, yes, we will buy Raisinets and popcorn.  The end.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Beneath that veil of clouded blue

 {image via}
KEVIN: Why don't you go over and ask her to dance?
PAUL: Is she looking over here?
KEVIN: No, she's not looking over here.
PAUL: Good. (Frowns.)
KEVIN: She's coming over here.
CARLA: Hi, Paul.
PAUL: Hi, Carla.
KEVIN: Carla?
(Shot of the three of them. Kevin joins their hands together.)
KEVIN: I think Paul over here has a little something to ask you.

(Shot of Paul smiling as Carla pulls him onto the dance floor. Kevin smiles in the background.)
(Shot of Carla and Paul as she starts to dance. Paul kinda stands there, snapping his fingers.)
(Close shot of Kevin frowning at them off-screen, as he gets more punch.)

It was as sorrowful a spectacle as I had ever seen on the evening news.  But then an amazing thing began to happen. Paul actually began to enjoy himself.  By my third cup of punch, he was having the time of his life and I began to realize what a miserable time I was having.

I've been watching The Wonder Years lately (about once a week).  It provides a nice break from a life of lesson planning, grad schooling, data tracking, grading, printing, stapling, IEPing, evaluating and teacher collaborating. Sometimes it is nice to just tune out the responsibilities and take some time to just... relax.  Past weekends I've wrestled with intentions of getting at least some work done on Saturday and then facing the reality that I am actually not going to get anything done.  So, this Saturday, I had class from 8-1 and I decided to just contently laze around the rest of the day. I didn't allow myself to feel guilty about it because I knew I would shortly be back to the grind less than 24 hours later.  The Wonder Years has me reflecting on my own schooling growing up, and the teaching I'm currently immersed in.  I can get so caught up in the academic piece of teaching, that I forget to consider student relationships.  Are their actions provoked by a longing to impress so-and-so? Does so-and-so actually have legit reasons for not wanting to be so-and-so's partner? In elementary school we want to church once a week at the end of the day. We walked in two lines - boys and girls.  We then filed into the pews boy, girl, boy, girl.  Everyone counted their position in line to try to strategically place themselves next to someone they wanted to sit next to.  I wonder if any of my students do silly things like this too?


Here I sit in a coffee shop (go ahead and laugh, Matt) and I take a few minutes to write and listen to music before I begin the checklist of Sunday have-to's.  Right now I'm feeling grateful.  I'm grateful for a lot, but I don't always name it.  Last year I came across a quote that read, "Start each day with a grateful heart." It helped catalyze my day with positive energy. Instead of focusing on the things I wasn't looking forward to, I started listing things I was grateful for.  With that being said, I still struggle to get my behind out of bed. Once a late sleeper, always a late sleeper. 

Although the list could go on and on, here is a short list of things I am grateful for...
1) My family - Mom, Dad, Matt, and Kevin
2) All my wonderful aunts, uncles and cousins
3) My dog Lenny - a boss since day one
4) My friends, both those far away and nearby. Whether it be current laughter or memories of laughter, your support and love will always mean the world to me.
5) Coffee
6) Funny books -- "Letters From A Nut" by Ted L. Nancy
7) Eggs benedict
8) My students, my students, my students - both current and past

*The list is not really in a specific order.  Although I do love eggs benedict, my kids definitely rank higher in importance.

A song for you... It has nothing to do with my life right now, but Otis Redding will always be a classic. 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Kindergartners speaking their minds

{Image via}

Life in the elementary wing...

During my prep a kindergartner knocked on my door and craned his neck into my room...

DJ: Did somebody order coffee and hot wiiiiiiings?
Me: Why yes I did.
DJ walks in and puts a plastic mug, plate and chicken drumstick on my desk. He waits for me to pretend consume all the items and pretend give him money. Once I have finished....

DJ: Please dine with us again.
Me: May I ask where I just dined?
DJ: DJ's Doughnut Shop.

There are plenty of perks of having an office across from the Kindergarten room.

Before winter break I played in a staff/student basketball game. In response to seeing that game, a kindergartner said, "Ms. B, you are AWESOME at baseball. Even better than my grandpa!" By "baseball" he meant "basketball." And by "awesome" he was referring to my 3 missed free throws and the 4 lay-up points I managed to score when no one was guarding me. But, ya know, it's all tomato, tomahto, to a kindergartner. Nothing quite like the innocent naivety of a 5 year old to make you feel like a NBA all star.

In unrelated news...
Missing: Summer days at home on my hammock
Listening to: "I Know You" by Bright Eyes
Craving: Double baked potato
Wishing: I could make a documentary on my students. Honestly, their lives and what they say on a daily basis is film worthy!
Happy: That this bike is on its way tomorrow! 
Reading: "Teaching Essentials: Expecting the Most and Getting the Best From Every Learner," for class and "The Red Tent" for book club
Need: Strategies to help get my butt out of bed in the morning
Thinking about: Upcoming trip to the Sundance Film Festival !!!