Friday, January 29, 2010

Why Teachers are Underpaid

In 10 minutes I have to make my way down to the gym for the annual student Spirit Bowl. Two hours in a large box with few exits filled to brimming with 2400 stomping, shouting, competing, hormone-driven, frontal-lobe-not-yet-fully-developed adolescents. Freshman vs. Sophomore vs. Junior vs. Senior. I've taken my 600 mg of ibuprofen in advance, I'm in my running shoes, but it never gets any easier. I simply don't trust crowd mentality. Teenagers in large groupings = anarchy.

Heaven help me. Include me in your prayers.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Confessions of a Rookie

When all else fails,
tell the truth.

1. The right side of my chin and neck has broken out into a constellation of zittery. I feel like a living, breathing, walking with her head held in shame "Before Proactiv" photo. I've never had acne before--but I think we can classify this as acne. What on earth is going on?

2. I'm addicted to the raspberry frozen yogurt at Roxberry. Second would be the original tart. I've become a fro-yo connoisseur.

3. Yeah, I really did just write "fro-yo". That's embarrassing.

4. I think I'm on the 7th wear of this particular pair of un-washed jeans today. I don't feel that badly about it. Should, but don't.

5. I speed each morning to work by more than the mere 5 mph. If I didn't, I worry I wouldn't make it on time.

6. I spent all day Saturday watching British period pieces from Netflix in my pajamas.

7. I never wear socks with most slip-on flats. Even those little booty kind--they slip off into an annoying ball in the toe of my shoe.

8. I sometimes dream of becoming a librarian because I love the library that much. Even the old book smell. Especially the old book smell.

9. I have a secret fantasy of kissing someone between the bookshelves of a large university library.

10. I'm embarrassed I told you that.

11. There are many people, dead and alive, with whom I'd like to go out for lunch. Mary Oliver tops that list.

12. I'm afraid of people disagreeing with my ideas. Logically I know I shouldn't care--but I have this secret desire to be agreeable and therefore liked. By everyone. Except obnoxious 10th graders--I've given up that fight.

13. I avoid shaving my legs at any cost.

14. I like personality tests. Even stupid ones on facebook like "What Disney Princess Are You?" (Though I rarely post my results on my account so as to appear hipper than that.)

15. I'm trying to lose my sailor's mouth (new year resolution). I've yet to go a single day without slipping up. But I'm getting better.

16. My toe nails need a serious paint job.

17. I push snooze. A lot.

18. When I was quite little I wrote my first Dear Diary entry exclaiming my deep desire for a baby. Right at that moment.

19. I laughed hysterically years later when I found said diary.

20. I think fart jokes are funny.

21. My typically quick and witty brain misfires when I have a crush on someone. Before you know it, a perfectly benign statement (formulated perfectly in my brain) comes out as a mumble-shouted-muddle of: "You so sexy."

22. Yeah, not smooth. Not one little bit. (And this exact phrase was actually uttered to a crush at one point in time.)

23. The rest of the time I think I'm quite eloquent.

24. I'm freakishly paranoid/fearful of being framed for a crime I didn't commit.

25. When I get a new perfume, I indulgently sniff my wrists and shirt for weeks afterward until I've grown accustomed to the smell.

26. I hate to dust. And change the sheets.

27. Sometimes I want to sing out loud at the gym as I listen to my iPod. It is painful not to do so.

28. I like when I see people picking their noses in their cars. It humanizes them. And makes me laugh.

29. I can't hear well when my contacts/glasses aren't in/on.

30. I am irrationally freaked out about turning 30 in a little over a year. When did I become a full-fledged adult? "30" sounds so adult.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I Should

I have things I should be doing: grading the endless pile, exercising, lesson planning, writing a thank you note. I should read more. I should give up my beloved diet coke. Refined sugar. R-rated indie-flicks. Negative thinking. I should be more like that someone who always smiles. I should visit my grandparents more often. I should study and learn more. I should sew again. Go for a walk with my camera around my neck. I should wear more comfortable shoes to work. I should dress more professionally for work--even if it means less comfort. I should treat that student, friend, acquaintance with more kindness. I should be more strict with that student. I should set more boundaries. I should eat more vegetables. I should eat less candy. I should start singing again. I should do the dishes before bed each night. I should get a second job. I should write more often. I should spend less time on facebook. I should wake up earlier. I should try that. I really should.

Thanks to tweexcore for the image.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

There are few things better

than getting rid of faded, ill-fitting clothes you just don't wear anymore. My closet (and all those stuffed-between-all-the-stuff-I-don't-wear-gems I've re-discovered) thank me.

Friday, January 15, 2010

What You Love

Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

~ Mary Oliver

This week I love my job. I shouldn't speak so quickly. It isn't over just yet. But this week I do. Love it, that is. And I can whine about waking early or miniscule pay or futile meetings or terribly written papers I have to critique beyond the obvious "This. Just. Sucks." But being fully present in the classroom can simply rock my socks. Because I love literature and writing and words and I get to share that particular little piece of myself with a semi-attentive audience every day. And some weeks they are more attentive than others. And some weeks I want to run screaming from the place.

But this is a little reminder to that teacher gone mad--not every day is like that. You get gifts: weeks that work right, lesson plans that soar, students who need you and you alone because no one else will do. You get gifts. Remember, you wanted to do this. You wanted to do something you'd love, something that would matter for more than yourself. And some days you get a glimpse of it mattering. Not every day, but some. And these days, these gifts keep you going.

*As always, thanks for the image, sabino

Monday, January 11, 2010

Letters that need writing...

Dear Fishnet Stockings,
You have changed my world for the better.

Dear Red Lipstick,
The fishnets make me wonder if you and I might actually have a future together.
If only I could find your perfect shade.

Dear Smoggy Inversion,
I want to see the sky blue again. I'll even take a massive snowstorm during an extra-early commute over you.

Dear Alarm,
I meant to push Snooze, not Off. Thanks for making me late. A fine help you are! (Though I'm feeling every last minute of those 45 minutes I overslept this fine Monday.)

Dear 9th Graders,
You make me pee my pants laughing with your awkward antics. Many thanks from your teacher who was equally as gawky at your age.

Dear Momsy,
Thanks for letting me cry to you on the phone over nothing at all last night. And thanks for making me laugh with your silliness. As much as you have the potential to drive me over-the-edge crazy, I enjoy you immensely. Your sense of humor means everything.

Dear Roommate,
I like you. You are so enjoyable to be around, I fear marriage will suck by comparison (and not just because you like stupid, predictable, sappy chick flicks too). Oh, and as roommates go: you're perfect.

Dear Future Husband,
My life is already so full, but I'm quite willing to make room for one more. (And, if this hurries things along at all...did you hear about the fishnets?)

Dear Grading,
Stop growing. I know I assign you, but can't you shrink of your own volition?

Dear Post-Holiday Gut,
Can't you also shrink of your own volition?

Dear 2010,
I know I keep forgetting to write you in the white board at school, on the top of my checks and all. But could you be good to me nonetheless?

And, lest you all think me a shallow, deprived woman...

Dear Book of Mormon,
It is Me and You this year. I can hardly wait. Though I don't want to admit it, it has been far too many years since we last spent this much time together (or got past 2nd Nephi).

* Thanks, sabino. Because every post needs at least one image.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

If I'm Brutally Honest...

I'd rather blog (really just check blogs, or facebook, or email, or The New Yorker website) than grade any given day of the week, month, or year.

Too bad I only get paid (in a manner of speaking) to do one of them.

When did I get so lazy?

*This is Dan Rather, folks. An image as evidence of how lazy I feel. I googled "rather" and this is what appeared.*

As a non sequitur addendum to this post:
Bananas grow exponentially more delicious with peanut butter.