Thursday, December 30, 2010

Welcome to the Twilight Zone…

Merry Belated Christmas! Now that Santa has came and gone, it kinda seems life has come to a standstill as the last days of 2010 slide by. Christmas was nice. And it was WHITE! We did our usual holiday parties and traditions, but there was something extra cool about seeing our house all decorated for Christmas as SNOW fell on Christmas Day for the first time since the 40’s here in the Carolinas. So here I am, loafing about in post-Christmas laziness. My Facebook status is brutally honest about it.

It currently says I am “avoiding doing important things like budgeting for the new year, making life decisions, considering resolutions/goals, lesson planning, doing laundry, or even grading papers & such and is, instead, being a very boring English teacher who is sitting around in her sweats, no make-up (forrr real, y'all!), drinking wine, and looking up cool words like didactic and deliquesce online. Living life on the edge here... ;)”

Let’s expand.
The current things I’m avoiding. I’m stuck in that Twilight Zone of days that occur between Christmas and New Years. No money to spend because it was all spent before the holidays, no people to see or visit (seen them all for Christmas, and that’s enough for now, right? See brutal honesty? HAHA) and of course, no real reason to get out of the house. I made such illustrious plans to play some tennis, grade the gazillion papers I neglected in the pre-holiday blitz, and start planning for that looming 3rd nine weeks, but alas, I wake up, mope around craving  & thinking about the food I’m swearing I won’t touch in January (so wth, one more bite, for old times sake?) and only getting showered and dressed to avoid feeling like I wasted a total day. Not to mention that my head has been a faucet- what' is with this runny nose?! I really should be spending time with Jake discussing our budget and fiscal plans for the new year (we do get better with planning our money and budgeting each year- it seems we fine-tune our system and gain a little more wisdom with each passing year, even though it takes some discipline and sometimes physical restraint (lol) to get me to sit down with him and discuss numbers yak- I hate math!) but really, we’ve spent most days trying out Net Flicks and spending more time on Hulu than most… The being lazy and cuddly has been fun, but I know I’m just putting off difficult decisions and lengthy serious conversation… for example, as I might have mentioned, I’ve been seeing my OBGYN regularly now that full time employment has given me the joy that is health insurance, and we’ve been able to figure out my lack of a period. I take progesterone to induce ovulation and therefore, have a period, however, long-term usage of this med isn’t recommended. See, I have a type of infertility that affects about 20% of all women with infertility issues, and that is annovulation… simply put, my ovaries don’t release eggs. Or when they do, it’s not often and difficult to predict. Fortunately for me, my OBGYN is quite awesome (honest and easy to talk to) and he says that my infertility is easier to deal with than some, however, since I can’t stay on prometrium indefinitely, I’m kind of at a mental crossroads. I need to choose to prolong conception for a few more years and get back on a birth control pill (which I don’t want- I don’t want to take ANY pill in my system) or go on Clomid and start trying for a baby (which I do want, but I don’t know if I am ready for just yet…) so, for now, I’m gonna stay on the progestrone hormone for 6 months and revisit the discision then, but even still, having to choose a route leaves my stomach in knots. Hence the last blog post… so many pregnant friends facebooking their entire pregancy is a bit of salt in a wound, and I try not let myself be bitter about it. I’m just nervous, but trying to be faithful.  Then, there is the whole issue of planning. I can never plan at home. Facebook, blogs, and the random pull of the internet distractions, laundry baskets and dirty dishes call my name, and two cute, cuddly “furbabies” beckon me to cuddle them so I push it aside and get nothing done. But, lets be honest. I’ve been going 100 miles an hour during school. Chilling out in sweat pants, not straightening my hair, going without makeup and slothing about sipping vino, looking at cool words on internet dictionaries and nerd-blogs and FB-stalking and reading Paula Deen recipes (hence the need of a New Years Diet… too much “buttah”) is all okay, right?  Maybe I’m using every bit of this time to be lazy just because deep in the pit of my soul I know that I’m not going to have a split-second to breathe in 2011. It’s gonna be great. Maybe it will be tackling the babies/infertility issue (and maybe going for it!), maybe it will be grad school or a career adjustment, heck, maybe it will be moving or doing something big and adventurous, or maybe it will be really, really, really getting myself into teaching and refining things into the magic of 7th grade language arts that I’ve always hoped for WITHOUT wearing myself so thin. Who knows what the year will hold. Regardless, God has big plans for 2011 and I am pretty darn excited to see where He takes my life. So for now, I’m going to veg out and enjoy these last few moments of 2010… I’m gonna need the rest for the big year that awaits! :)

Merry Christmas & a very Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

POO on Preggo!

The post below was written last week, btw…

Last day for school before break, then Hubby & I are off to DC! I’ve never been to Washington and I’m so excited! We’re going to stay with a friend of mine from college. I cannot wait! I’m so ready to get away!

One thing I’m so, so, so eager to get away from is all of the daggum pregant people I know… I know, I know, I know- this is gonna sound mean, but please forgive me for venting. In all actuallity I’m thrilled for each and every one of the people I know who are preggo, but really, it’s just driving me crazy!

There are at least 10 who I can name off the top of my head from high school/my hometown (please keep in mind there were just barely over 100 people in my graduating class) who are currently pregnant. I feel like I see a new one make the announcement daily. I think I’m one of like, I don’t know… um, 3? … people who do know have babies already! I HATE that! Add to that pregnant family members, recently pregnant coworkers, facebook friends who are trying and sharing each and every ovulation cycle, and the nearly daily question “so when are you two gonna have a baby?” … it makes me INSANE.

We are so, so, so, so excited about having a baby. I want one of my own so desperately. But with my job and my fertility issues and our youth (I’m only 22, and he’s just 24, folks!), we know it’s not the time. It’s hard enough for me to keep myself focused on the idea that it is best to wait without having to see so many stinkin’ pregnant people! UGH! Gosh, you’d think having a baby bump was the newest accessory! SCREAM.

Okay, so my rant is over, and hopefully I wasn’t overly offensive. And like I said, I truly am happy for my pregnant friends, it’s just so overwhelming.
Again, I can’t wait to get to DC. It will be nice to be away, see the sites, hangout with my friend, KTP, and be around people who realize that there is more to life than doing what everyone else is doing- and that part of what makes a good parent is the maturity to wait, to gain life experiences, and to keep their mind and heart focused on  doing what you need to do, not just what you want!

Are we there yet?

Ughhhhhhh…. is it Christmas break yet?!

I usually try not to blog about school (ha!) just because I’d like to keep it compartmentalized so that I don’t loose my mind- so much that Hubby and I have times when we ban ourselves from discussing it (two dedicated educators in the same house can be dangerous…). That’s one of the reasons my blogging decreases during the school year, that and my extraordinary lack of time or brain functionality. Well, I’ve been trying to communicate the idea to my kiddos that writing is cathartic and really helps you sort out your thoughts. So today, I’m eating my words and blogging about school (Not to mention the laughs I got from reading a teacher’s blog who also teaches 7th grade ELA… HILARIOUS tales from the trenches, by the way…).

So anyways, about this time of year, when Christmas break is so close the little monsters students can taste it, they tend to go bananas. The talking is nonstop, the whining is endless, and the drama is ongoing. Shoot. me. now.

One lovely child who shall (obviously) remain nameless called me “cuz” today, and I just stopped and stared. It was one of those moments that I had to just breathe and remind myself that my heinous unkind thoughts were not healthy for my sanity, haha.

Its been one of those days when you just want to shake them and scream, “WAKE UP! I’M TRYING TO HELP YOU! I WANT YOU TO SUCCEED!”
I mean, really… if you could have been a fly on the wall.

I wanted to hide under my desk… take that bachelor’s degree back and ask for a refund… jump off a cliff… run away and never look back.

The kids KNOW that I love them. WHY do they fight me so? Why!?
How can some parents be so neglectful that their children lack such basic understandings like how to respond to each other, or how to eat in a cafeteria, or sit in a desk, or speak to an adult… It breaks my heart to know that I have children that go home to empty homes and have parents who have never asked, “hey, son/daughter, how was your day, what did you learn?”  Which is why I feel guilty for getting so mad at them that I start imagining their pretty little heads as soccer balls. But, the level of disrespect today hit an all-time high.

I don’t know how to fix this. I’m told it’s par for the course with the break a mere 7 and 1/2 days away. Maybe it’s true and January will improve. If not, I’m gonna be running this show like a prison until they can show a little maturity and respect.

I gotta go get some discipline referrals. I know I’m going to need them.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Post-Thanksgiving Stream of Consciousness…

Disclaimer: This post is a ramble! Catch up with my crazy life at your own risk!

Oh man. I am so, so, sooo tired. We just had Thanksgiving break, yet it hardly seemed like a break. I did enjoy the time with family, though. We spent the day before Thanksgiving cooking and then went to a bonfire (a family habit, lol) with family & friends on my hubby’s dad’s side, then got together on Thanksgiving with my mom’s side for lunch, and my dad’s side for dinner. Sooo much food! As if that wasn’t enough, we loaded up and went to the mountains that night and spent a few days with my mother in law’s side, as we always do on Thanksgiving week, spending time hunting and enjoying the chilly weather. Thankfully, I did not have to brave Black Friday crowds – I was in the woods hunting instead!
Before we left the mountains, I did something I’ve been trying to do for years now- convince hubby to get a REAL tree- and no, buying a Frasier fur from the supermarket or VFW parking lot doesn’t count!- I mean going-to-the-tree-farm-and-saw-it-down real! We managed to find a place in Brevard (no internet at MeeMaw & Pawpaw’s and since this was unplanned, we didn’t have any idea where to go!) using our BlackBerrys. After getting lost in the middle of no where, we end up at a farm that had really thin, sparse trees. Luckily, another farm was right down the road, and this old man has some GORGEOUS trees. We cut it down and brought it home and it’s glowing and gleaming beside me as I type.
Now that it’s back to school, I can definitely say I am ready for Christmas, haha. Particularly since I have done ZERO shopping so far. My kids are great kids- in fact, I genuinely missed them over the short break, and I know they know I love them dearly- but I am so fed up with them, I literally get so exasperated that sometimes I just throw my hands up and ask them what more can I do to help them? I mean, I cannot open up their brains and pour knowledge in! Nor can I pick up their hand, hold their pencil, and write for them! They are so SMART, but so many lack the motivation (some through learned helplessness and years of coasting by doing even less than the bare minimum, or by lacking someone at home demanding they do their best, and more often than not, a combination of both of these situations.) I’m tired of pulling my hair out, but I keep trucking. I think our three week break for the holidays will help.
I find solace in my coffee, baking on the weekends, and going to bed early, haha…
We’ve been going to a new  church for a few months now, and it’s growing on me. For the first time ever, I am actually enjoying a contemporary service. We are really traditional, and with us both having music backgrounds, we have always found contemporary Christian music, particularly “praise band” music dull and sappy. I mean, yeah, it’s a great message and I appreciate the fact that the simple cords and ease to play makes it easy for others to share, play, and therefore, worship, however, I want worship music to be musically interesting. Worship is offering up praise to God… shouldn’t it be our best- exciting and engaging? Regardless, I just can’t get into “Lord, I Lift Your Name On High.”
But this service, whoa… it’s musically and visually engaging (the worship leaders have some serious talent…) and the pastor, who we watch via video from the student center rather than the sanctuary, is very good. He preaches sermons that make me think, that I always relate to, and leave me feeling spiritually renewed. Not to mention this service is coffee themed. That’s right. Coffee. Members work as baristas and serve coffee, and everyone has a cup as we study. So, needless to say, we are all ears and prayerfully seeking guidance to see if this could be our new home. Having a place to go on Sunday and replenish has definitely helped me through these exhausting weeks of crazy kiddos and busy times.

On a different note, as I lay here vegging out on the couch, pouring my stream of consciousness into this blog post, I’ve been watching the Rudolph Christmas special and  did anyone else notice that Christmas town seemed mildly chauvinistic? I mean really, they had to “get the women home” during the snow storm? And when little Rudolph goes off on his own, his dad says it’s “man’s work” to go find him? I’m not the least bit of a feminist- in fact, I’m ridiculously old-fashioned, super submissive, and I even said “OBEY” in my vows, but yeah, I found it interesting.

Enough random thoughts for a night. Enjoy these pictures of our Thanksgiving trip to the mountains…

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Sunday, November 14, 2010

What I’ve been up to…

Fall has finally arrived (well, it’s actually feeling more winter-y than fall-y!) and I’m a constantly a day late & a dollar short, hence the lack of updates since September.

Work dominates my life. I eat-sleep-and-breathe it. I have been at work for 13 hours straight three days last week. Between kicking kids out of class for straight-up belligerence and trying to keep them following my “two biggies for success” (be nice and work hard!), it’s been tough lately. I try to compartmentalize school as much as possible, leaving as much as I can at school, physically and mentally. Long story short, while I truly do love what I do, teaching has to get easier with time, or I can’t foresee myself lasting very long in this profession. They say it does, but does it really? Or do teachers get so physically exhausted from doing it the right way that in order to sustain themselves they settle for sub-par teaching practices? How do people with kids take it? This remains a mystery that only time can tell.

Most of October we spent camping on the weekends and doing the typical fall-ish things… baking pumpkin pies, a few short mountain trips, etc. 

Here are some pictures of our Late September,October, and Early November shenanigans:

Camping in GA at Elijiah Clark State Park with Casie, Justin, and Whitney…

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Cleveland County Fair with my parents and Aunt Christy… yes, I rode a camel, but I made my Daddy do it with me! :)

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Camping in Andrew Jackson State Park (SC) with friends Whitney, Elizabeth, David, Alexe, & Carmen from the beach…

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Love this one up there!

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We made friends with this duck…

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It was a great time camping… then, we took a day trip up on the Blue Ridge Parkway for a picnic one Saturday, just in time for the leaves to reach peak color!

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It’s been a great Fall… without these little mini-vacays with friends and family, I’d explode. I get so overwhelmed, but I let it go. I am three weeks behind on grading spelling tests and a month late on projects, and I have a huge grant to write before Wednesday. Conferences, meetings, and other non-teaching things has been such a big obstacle that I feel like I’m going 200 miles an hour Monday – Friday, and all I have is the weekend to keep myself sane.

It’s all good, though. I’m still feeling more blessed than I deserve…

Monday, September 13, 2010

A typical day in the life…

Today, someone told me “Mrs. W, you are a machine!” and it dawned on me, I kinda am…

4:15… alarm goes off (smack the snooze button, only to be drug out of bed moments later by the hubby)

4:20-4:30… breakfast with my love. He’s a big time breakfast eater so he makes eggs, bacon, toast, the works. I eat half-asleep.

4:30-5:00… digestion nap (a cat nap to let breakfast settle), cuddle and play with the puppy dogs, morning um (err, well… time well spent with the hubby), OR  last minute planning, depending how I feel.

5:00-5:25… shower time

5:25-6:00… dress and pack and get my rear out the door

6:00-6:30… interstate commute

6:30-6:45… make my way to my room and greet the custodians

6:45-7:45… turn on my lamps, set up my laptop, turn on my desktop, check my box, potty break, run copies, run errands for meetings, committees, and other obligations, last minute touches to my lesson, get lesson plans up, make sure I make a to do list for my planning period (like getting parent numbers together for phone calls), go get my receipt book for fundraiser money, send blanket emails to faculty reminding them to join the reading council, and make me a list of kids for to keep at recess for spelling make ups… breathe, then go get my kids..

7:45-7:55… comfort a crying sixth grader who has lost her pair of shoes that she bought with her own money whose locked herself in the 7th grade bathroom, only to discover by talking that the tears are really for the fact that they can’t afford any more shoes and she’s upset that she has to get her clothes from her sister’s dad and that she doesn’t have a dad of her own. Crap.

7:55-8:00… morning announcements (chugging coffee)

8:00-8:10… herd a few hundred kids to their lockers and get them in class (simultaneously diffusing fights/arguements, redirecting kids off-task, answering “what are we doing today? did I miss anything yesterday? can I get water? am I late yet? when is this due? what’s homework? questions and taking up money, forms, and reminding kids of all dates, events, and upcoming news.

8:10 until 10ish… 90 minutes teaching language arts to 25-ish kids (get out a pencil-where is your paper?-let me see your homework-please stop talking why I am talking-please sit down-please be respectful-turn to page… excuse me, why are you talking?), locker break)

30 minute planning period (to pee again, call parents and talk for ten minutes to one, and thinking “I’m so trying not to be rude here lady,and I really do want to talk,  but I got 5 parents to call and just 30 minutes to get it done, so please, thanks, yes mam, and goodbye”, run more copies, run more errands, and back to the room to be ready before class changes and referee any potential fights.

10:30 til 11:45ish… repeat 90 minute language arts instruction (see above) and take kids to lunch

11:45-12:00… EAT not talk, Do I need to sit beside you to make sure you eat and not fuss with so-and-so? Diffuse argument, eat two bites of my sandwich, then repeat.

12:00-12:20… monitor recess… pick up your trash, stop gossiping, stop running into other people, make good choices, don’t start arguments, watch and gaze and scan for potential problems, keep kids in bounds.

Line up and herd them back into class and try to get them back in class…

Notice, I have only ate half my lunch, and I have yet to sit since morning?

Finish class, dismiss, monitor the hall during class change, and repeat 90 minute language arts class…

2:45… 45 minute Enrichment class… diffuse argument from a racist comment, explain why vocabulary is important, read aloud to students, impromptu observation by administration, afternoon announcements (the bell hasn’t rang- get your stuff BACK out, please), dismiss.

3:30-4:00… random kids visiting in my room (some I haven’t taught) while I am trying to be monitoring outside my room for fights (ladies and gents, keep moving, go home! you are loitering!) and trying to clean up and plan for tomorrow while talking to kids, oh look, a parent walks in, go over curriculum, show grades, talk for thirty minutes… more planning, more kids appearing say “are you coming to our game? what did I make on the test? what are you doing, Mrs. W? can I clean your board?”

5:00-5:30… grade papers and attempt to get them in the grade book

5:30-6:00… back up stuff, try to get out the door, talk to one more person, forgot cell phone, back to the room to get it, finally in my car…

6:00-6:15… fuel light on, fill up tank

6:15-6:45… commute home

6:45-7:30… cook dinner, eat

7:30-8:30… laundry/plan/hubby time/tv (pick one, or all simultaneously)

8:30-9:30… get pjs and ready for bed

9:30… gone fast asleep.

4:15 AM… repeat.

I love my job, I love my job, I love my job.

Oh yes, did mention I did this all with PINK EYE?!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

2010 classrooms…

In light of Saturday’s game and my frustration with lesson planning tonight, I thought I’d share this little funny I got in an email last Spring over email. 

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So true.

 

Ps… I’m still in love with my job, well… most days. Sundays & Mondays are the worst, but by Wednesday or Thursday, I remember why I love it.

Most of our days are spent lesson planning and trying to keep the house together and some laundry clean, and the weekends are spent grading papers, and here lately, camping. :) Man, I love fall.

We spent Labor Day like we did last year at Grandfather Mountain and loved it, of course. I was great. Here are some pictures.

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