Saturday, May 31, 2008

T-5 Days

Internet, I cannot convey to you the utter joy I feel when I realize that I have made it through one of the most difficult, yet rewarding years of my life. I know that statement rings a tad hyperbolic, but it is true. I love my job and I love going to work each day, but this year, while wonderfully rewarding, has been the most stressful year of my life. I am glad to say that, by next Friday afternoon, I will have survived my first year of teaching.

I have survived the many mood swings projected upon me by my ever-changing adolescent students. I have survived teaching 15 novels, 7 plays, 4 research projects, 3 poetry units, 3 short stories units, 11 Psychology units, and countless writing assignments. I have survived 5 a.m. mornings and 12 a.m. bed times. I have survived hour long commutes. I have survived moments of despair and tears. I have survived moments of elation and joy. I have survived chaperoning dances and a senior trip.
I have survived and I did not do it by myself. I had the support of my family, my friends, my husband, my colleagues. I had the guidance of veteran teachers. I have had the support of my Heavenly Father who let me cry out to Him and plead with Him and yell at Him and question Him.

This year has been quite the paradoxical year. I feel I have been hardened and softened; I have grown more confident yet have never felt less self-assured. I have never felt so sad and, yet, so happy. I felt completely supported and completely alone. It has been a tremulous year of ups and downs...
and I would not go back and change a thing.

"Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good
we oft might win, by fearing to attempt".
-The Bard

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Things Heard Whilst Teaching Today

"Physics is the highlight of my life." -Mrs. Wikler

"My Thumbelina has a five o'clock shadow." -student

"I really want a blog, cause I'm pretty funny." -Mrs. Wikler

"They want peace and communism everywhere." -Student

"Shrek was mean to me today." -Student

"I'm going to wear my hear like this again, and put flowers in it, and frolick around." -Student

"Meah and Leah are spelled the same but with different letters." -Student

"I have to pee so bad, my insides hurt." -Me

"Why is Timmy on the ground...with himself?" -Mrs. Wikler

Monday, May 26, 2008

Play That Funky Music (Part Deux)

A while back, I posted an entry about my current music addictions. I feel compelled to write another, more current, listing of music that dominates the airwaves in my car and home. Some of these songs are not current, but their mellifluous melodies have left a lasting impression on me. And away we go...

1.) Viva la Vida-by: Coldplay- I am a HUGE Coldplay fan. I never tire of their music and eagerly anticipate any forthcoming albums. This title track off their new c.d. is AMAZING. It has a beautiful string arrangement and a driving beat that dares you not to smile. New c.d.: June 17!!

2.) We're Going to be Friends-by: Whitestripes-Fun acoustic song. I am a fan of this group's somewhat eccentric style. Good song for the impending graduation season.

3.) Colorblind-by: Natalie Walker-This is a cover of a Counting Crows song. I loved it when Counting Crows sang it...I love it even more now. She preserves the same sweet melody and adds her own haunting harmonies. It's a wonderful cover.

4.) Hometown Glory-by:ADELE-This was a free download on Itunes a few months back. It has a beautiful, driving piano accompaniment. Her voice has a raspy, Amy Winehouse tone to it.

5.) Little Black Sandals-by: Sia-This song is off her latest c.d. I love the whole album and this song in particular.

6.) Mother-by: Tori Amos-I have loved Tori Amos since my freshman year of high school when I was introduced to her "Under the Pink" album. She is an amazingly opaque song-writer...and she plays the piano like no one's business. This song is from her Little Earthquakes album. It is like a comfort food to me. The piano melody is soothing.

7.) Ultraviolet Rays-by: U2-Another favorite band. My favorite U2 song is With or Without You, but Ultraviolet Rays (from Achtung Baby) is just a great song...and the Edge is brilliant in it.

8.) Never Let Go-by: David Crowder Band-This song has brought me to tears. It's a humbling reminder of His love.

9.) How Far We've Come-by: Matchbox 20-Current favorite for dance party. I dare you not to bust into a wicked-rad 80's dance when you hear this song.

10.) Don't Stop the Music-by: Rihanna- Now, Internet, don't you judge me. It is a fun song and perfect for dance party. I also like running to it.

11.) Piazza, New York Catcher-by: Belle and Sebastian-I heart Belle and Sebastian, and this song is played in Juno. The combination is wonderful.

12.) Concerning the UFO sighting Near Highland, Illinois-by: Sufjan Stevens-Sufjan tops my list of all time favorite musicians. This album (Come on, Feel the Illinois) is one of my favorites. His quirky, eclectic song writing is unique and wonderful. I love the piano melody in this song.

13.) Human Behaviour-by: Bjork-I just like this song. She's weird and that's what makes her music fun.


Sunday, May 25, 2008

Chicago, Chicago--That Happenin' Town

Friday I left for Chicago with a group of seniors from my school. I had the privilege to chaperone our school's senior trip to Chicago. First of all, the depth of my love for Chicago runneth deep. I love that city! Secondly, I love free things, i.e. an all-paid trip to Chicago. The combination of free and Chicago equals wicked-awesome. We had so much fun. We stayed in a hotel on State St, did all the essential touristy things (Sears Tower, Ed Debevics, Gino's Pizza, museums, Navy Pier, shopping), and had fabulous weather. I got home at about 4:00 a.m. this morning and am still pretty wiped, so please pardon any spelling, grammatical, punctuation errors. Here are some pics for your viewing pleasure.

Me & Charlie...hanging out in Sears Tower

Picture that will be submitted to guarantee my spot in the Geek Hall of Fame

Aww...aren't they precious?

Posing in front of Millennium Fountain

The bid I placed on this house is pending...(my status as a millionaire)

Field Museum

Sue. I'm concerned about her eating habits.

An occupant of Shedd Aquarium

Navy Pier at dusk

Monday, May 19, 2008

Deepest Apologies

Dear Internet,

I'm sorry I've been such a negligent blogger. I have no excuse other than a busy life. There have been many things that have happened in my life that I've been eager to share with you--for example: I have given up soda...COLD TURKEY. I haven't had a sip of carbonated bliss since April 5th. Yes, I'm keeping track. It's been one of the saddest things I've had to do, and I expect the period of mourning to continue indefinitely. On the plus side, my gaseous emissions have hit an all time low. I'm sure somewhere Al Gore is smiling.

Additionally, I have become a fan of "Dancing With the Stars". Stop's a very entertaining show. I know somewhere inside me, there's a fabulously dressed welder with a knack for dancing. I can bust out Thriller with the best of them (except for Michael Jackson...or anyone else in the Thriller video).

I guess the most exciting thing in my life right now is "The Countdown". It's not as magical as the quotes would have you think. It is simply a countdown, written in chalk on my blackboard at school. This countdown reads 14 days!! Do you know, Internet, what happens in 14 days (not counting weekends or Memorial Day)? My first year of teaching comes to an end. You should know that Handel's "Messiah" is playing in my head. I'm almost there...and my brain DID NOT leak out of my ear. I AM NOT in a coma due to cranial hemorrhage .

Summer is almost here...and Internet, just you wait...oh, the posts that I'll write...about me sitting around and watching Friends.


Wednesday, May 14, 2008


Conversation at Wendy's tonight:

Ben (looking at our receipt): "Huh, they didn't add our coupon."

Me (looking at our receipt): "Oh yeah, they didn't."

Ben: "Should we say something?"

Me: "Yeah, that's a savings of $3.00."

Ben: "Yeah."



Me: "Do you want me to go do it?"

Ben: "Here's the debit card."

Sunday, May 11, 2008

For a "Cool Mom"

Dear Marmee,

Allow me to publicly wish you a Happy Mother's Day! I was thinking of ways to make this entry snazzy and Internet worthy--a clever acrostic, a humorous limerick, an ode Keats or Dryden style. All of these avenues, however, seemed trite and superficial. So allow me to express, straight prose, how much of a wonderful mother you are. (You should know that in my head, this entry is being accompanied by a subtle, yet moving string arrangement).


Mom I appreciate your sense of humor. I love that you instilled in me a twisted, sarcastic sense of humor. It has served me well through out my life. I believe I won "Most Humorous" in High School thank you very much. Truth is, you also passed along your unapologetic gene for involving one's self in all things embarrassing. So, this magical sense of humor you passed along has come in handy in helping me deal with the many mortifying moments in my life (i.e. chasing legal documents down Jackson Street in a skirt). I love that you think I'm one of the funniest people you know. It serves as a much needed ego boost every now and then. I also love that you think farts are funny! Love it!

I appreciate your intelligence. You are one of the smartest people I know...okay, not when it comes to technology, but that's okay. I would come to you with any injury, scary looking pimple, or upset stomach, and I would recommend you to friends (I have!). The love you put into your profession is amazing to me, and I strive to do the same in my job.

I appreciate your sense of style. You definitely have moxy! I don't know if I would have purchased that belt at Chico's, but you pulled it off! You're classic and sophisticated and I hope I dress half as well as you when I'm a mom. Please don't ever let me buy "mom" jeans; please just punch me in the face first.

I appreciate your dedication to your family. Whatever happens, I know you'll have my back (Bruce Lee style). I would not want to be the person who goes toe to toe with you over a member of our family, 'cause that sucka is going down. Thank you for your devotion, whether it be through cupcakes for my class (with little conversation hearts), sticking it to the Honda people, the birthday song, burning holes in my nail so I don't lose it, or sticking it to Mrs. Garrity.

There's so much more I could write, but hopefully you get the idea of how blessed I feel to have you as a mother...and not a mother of the "no more wire hangers" variety.

You truly are a Cool Mom!