Saturday, December 29, 2007

Life of a Clutz (or is it Klutz)

So I'm not what you would call "graceful". I have a tendency to trip over nothing, bump into things, drop things, etc. Shockingly, though, I have yet to break a bone (except the tip of my thumb when I shut it in my mom's car door...five days before my wedding). I ran cross-country and track in high school and never twisted or spained an ankle. No, I sprained my ankle the other day...wait for it...stepping off our couch.

So, we have a pub mirror with a shelf on which I keep a candle. A couple weeks ago I lit said candle. A couple hours passed and I was settling down to grade some papers when I noticed that the candle was still going. It should also be mentioned that I was snacking on some chips before I made this discovery. So I decided (with chips in hand) to blow out the candle. I had to step up on our couch to blow it out. As I went to step down off the couch, things turned ugly. My ankle decided it had had enough running and high heels and checked out. I heard a frightening snap and was down for the count. Now brace yourself, but the chips...they went down too...all over the floor.

Okay so it should also be mentioned that (I can't believe I'm admitting this) everytime I experience a decent amount of pain, my natural tendency is to ummmm....pass out. My first experience with this was when I was at the movies with my friend Jessica in the sixth grade. As we were leaving the theater, someone bumped my elbow (funny bone) with a door...okay bumped is the wrong word...ummmm...threw open violently. The next thing I knew, I was waking up on the floor of the theater with a concerned friend staring at me. My sophomore year of high school my parents took us down to Destin, FL. I laid on the white sandy beach for 3 hours (without sunscreen). The redder I got the sicker I got. Once the blisters appeared, I passed out. The next time it happened was when I got my belly button pierced in college (my rebellious act of the college years). The piercing part actually didn't hurt much at all. While I was sitting waiting for my friend to get her's pierced I began to feel a little light headed. Next thing I knew some tatooed guy was standing over me asking if I was okay. I also passed out when I closed the car door on my thumb. I almost passed out from the sprained ankle, but was able to maintain consciousness.

So, my ankle still looks like it gave birth to another ankle and now they are both living happily under my skin. It looks great. If my camera wasn't in Puerto Rico, I'd take a picture for you (and by you, I mean my mom and Rachel's mom).

Not very exciting, I know, but it's a better story than, "The other day I was walking through the mall and tripped over nothing and busted into the running man so people wouldn't think I was an idiot."

Friday, December 28, 2007

This Is Why They Call Me Jan: Tales of My Holiday

Christmas usually stresses me out. Being the first born, I have this innate need to please everyone, and I feel that during the holidays I inevitably dissapoint someone. This year was actually not that bad,though, maybe because I've already exceeded my stress quota this year. This year we spent Christmas Eve with my family and drove to Cheboygan on Christmas day to spend time with Ben's family.

We had a great time with my family complete with movie viewing, laughing until my stomach hurts, and a rousing game of Scrabble (which I did not lose!!!). It just isn't a holiday unless someone can make Dad cry from laughing at the ridiculousness of his children.

We also had an equally great time with Ben's family. Alas, though, I have some sad news to report. Jeanette is no longer the reigning Monopoly champ. The trophy has been given to another, namely Ben's dad.

It was a great holiday and I feel blessed to have such an amazing family!

Okay, (point of the post) so this is why they call me Jan (and by they, I mean Ben's family):

My whole life, people seem to have a hard time saying and remembering my name. I don't know if it's my unforgettable personality or my weird name (I'm crossing my fingers for the weird name). Whenever I call to order food (which is often) and they ask for a name I've started giving them my last name just so I don't have to hear "Jean?" "No, Jeanette" "Janet?" "NOOO,
JAAAEEENNEETTTTE" "Jennifer?" "Ummm...yeah, Jennifer." Even my uncle, when I was born, couldn't remember if my name was Jeanette or Jennifer and decided he would rename me Jennifer-Jeanette, because he knew one of them was right. My sister (8 years my junior) couldn't pronounce Jeanette when she was learning to talk so she called me "Net". I think she still stumbles over it today. For whatever reason, people just can't seem to pronounce my name. Okay, so fast forward to my adult life when I'm introduced to Ben's grandparents. Once again, my name poses a problem as his grandparents cannot pronounce my name, so they call me Jan. Not only do they call me Jan but so do his Aunt and Uncle.

So, these past two days we've spent with our beautiful niece who is learning to talk. She can say mamma, dadda, gamma, bumpa(for grandpa), Em (for my sister-in-law, Emily), Ben (for Ben), even Jake (for Emily's boyfriend, Jake). And what does she say for her charming Aunt Jeanette? Nothing...she laughs. That's right --people kept trying to get her to say Jeanette and she would look at me and laugh...like no really, what's really her name? I told her she could call me Jan, but to no avail.

((DISCLAIMER: Dear Mom and Dad, you did a great job naming me...this was meant to be a humorous story that no way attacks your naming abilities. Good job!))

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Writer's Guild

Yesterday I was reading about Mark Twain (nerd alert). As I was reading, I wondered what it would be like to have a conversation with him; his humor seems like my kind of humor (twisted and sarcastic). I'm sure we'd have a wonderful time making fun of people. Anyway, I began to think about other authors (deceased) with whom I would like to sit down and have a conversation. I shared this with my dear friend Rachel who shares my love of literature and is a fellow High School English teacher. We immediately became giddy about our nerdom and decided to post our top 10 list ala David Letterman style. That's right, we are both posting a top 10 list of authors whom we would like to meet and share some nachos with (dangling preposition). My list goes from author I wouldn't mind meeting to author I would most like to meet. All authors are deceased.

10. Ernest Hemingway - misogynistic drunk who's seen his share of things (including bull fights). I guess I would like to meet him and ask why he hated life so much and why he hated neat, orderly syntax.

9. Beverly Cleary - I devoured her Ramona books. She is the reason I love to read. (She's not deceased...but I had to mention her)

8. J.D. Salinger - Have you read Nine Stories? That would be a trippy conversation.

7. John Donne - Favorite poet. No man is an island, indeed, Mr. Donne.

6. Harper Lee - She authored one of my favorite books. I would love to talk with her about it. And, she was good friends with Truman Capote...oh, what she must know. (Okay, she's not dead either...but...ummmm....I got nothing)

5. Mark Twain - I'm sure I would be in hysterics the whole time. I'd ask him to meet me at the mall so we could make fun of people (with love...of course).

4. J.R.R. Tolkien - Maybe he'd bring a hobbit along.

3. William Shakespeare - Ummm...because he's Shakespeare...no explanation needed.

Okay the next two are pretty much tied. I'd actually want to go on a picnic with both, but this is a numbered list and there needs to be a number 2, so here we go...(the anticipation must be killing you).

2. Clive Staples Lewis - I'm sure my IQ would increase tremendously just being in the same room with him. He was a brilliant, devoted Christian who wrote masterpieces. His writing is inspiring and humbling.

And the moment we've all been waiting for (and by all, I mean my mom, Rachel's mom, and probably Rachel)...

1. Jane Austen - Absolutely my favorite author of all time (even before she was so popular). Pride and Prejudice is a book that I will never get tired of, as I always find myself nervously anticipating Mr. Darcy's second proposal. From Chapter 58 on I have a permanent smile. Never has an author made me fall in love with her characters the way Ms. Austen has. She was also a keen observer of society with a wicked sense of humor. I'm sure we would be instant BFFs.

Honorable Mentions: Roald Dahl (I heart BFG), F. Scott Fitzgerald, Truman Capote, Mary Shelley, the Bronte Sisters (that would probably be a downer of a lunch), Lucy Maud Montgomery (Anne of Green Gables), Laura Ingalls Wilder, John Steinbeck (I might actually substitute him for Hemingway), Paul and Moses.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Neglected blog for one day more

So, it would seem logical that with three snow days in the last two weeks, I would have ample time to create witty posts; however, I seem to be more bogged down than ever these past two weeks. Here's what I've been up to for those who care.

I have to create 5 semester exams before Christmas break and I've been stressing over it for the last two weeks. (Note: My semester is not done until two weeks after Christmas break...for inquiring minds.)

Along with exams I'm trying to finish units in 4 of my 5 classes before students leave for Christmas break and forget everything they've learned within a two-week span of time. So, I've also been creating tests for 4 of my five classes to give this week.

Sunday, I sprained my ankle (Coming Soon: a post about how I sprained my ankle). I've been gimping around my school for the last three days. You should see it...it looks like my ankle is growing another ankle.

I've gotten probably 4 hours of sleep every night for the last 4 nights (due to anxiety and long nights at the computer).

My brain is fried as is evident by this abnormally dry post.

But, oh the things I'll write within the next two weeks. Just wait (mom).

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Snow Day?

So, word on the proverbial street last night was that school would probably be canceled again today due to ice. I tried not to let myself get excited about an unscheduled, but much needed, 4 day weekend....BEFORE CHRISTMAS! So, last night I ironed my clothes, got everything ready to head out the door, watched the somewhat disappointing season "finale" of The Hills, and went to bed fully expecting to have school the next day.

5:00 a.m.: got up, turned on the news, Darrin Rockcole reported freezing rain later, but no school cancellations

5:30 a.m.: Out of the shower, getting ready, checked the news again, no school cancellations

5:50 a.m.: making my lunch, eating some breakfast, brushing my teeth, no call for cancellation

6:15 a.m.: Out the door

6:40 a.m.: Spot Jonesville buses and thought school was definitely NOT cancelled if Jonesville was open. They close at the sight of a snowflake

6:50 a.m.: Arrive at an eerily dark school.

7:00 a.m.: No one has arrived at school yet, which is weird since the music teacher gets there at 5:00 a.m. every day.

7:05 a.m.: Still no one...wondered if it was actually Saturday...decided to check my messages at home.

7:08 a.m.: One message: "Jeanette, we don't have school again, so sleep in."

7:09 a.m.: Me: wah-wah

7:10 a.m.: Math teacher comes in and asks where everybody is. Tempted to tell him it was Saturday, but told him school was cancelled.

7:20 a.m.: Finished making my copies (If I was there, might as well get stuff done.)

7:30 a.m.: Left school (somewhat perplexed as to why it was cancelled...but I'm not complaining.)

8:10 a.m.: Arrive at home, put on sweatpants

9:00 a.m.: Took a nap

Saturday, December 8, 2007

*sigh*

This week has been one of the most challenging weeks of my teaching career (as short as it may be). I was told by a teacher during my student teaching that when a teacher leaves school at the end of each day, she needs to leave all the drama and heartache there and not take it home. I must have missed the day in class where they taught you how to do this because I suck at it.

I hesitate to even vent about this because I know there are thousands of unemployed teachers who would kill to be in my position. And I'm not saying I am not grateful to be teaching right now. I love my job. I love my students. I wouldn't trade it for the world (unless Disney knocked on my door). It's just been really hard these last two weeks.

I feel blue. *sigh*

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Loo loo loooo loo looooo...Christmas time is here

Things I love about Christmas time:

1. The holiday's namesake

2. Charlie Brown Christmas music

3. Christmas music in general

4. The movie Elf (I love you, I love you, I looove you)

5. The movie Christmas Vacation (Grace died 30 years ago)

6. An increased spirit of giving (I am so impressed with students at WCA)

7. Dean Martin and Bing Crosby

8. Hot Chocolate

9. Vacation

10. Christmas decorations

11. Christmas lights

12. Candy canes

13. Peppermint Mocha

14. Shopping with my mom

15. Wrapping presents whilst watching Christmas movies

16. Egg nog

17.Mariah Carey's, "All I Want for Christmas is You" (shout out to Heather Snider)

18. The Christmas section in Target

19. Snow (only at Christmas time, though)

20. Santa Claus