Monday, February 14, 2011

Non-bucket list....

Things I will never do before I die:

5) Succumb to best commercial marketing scheme ever: Valentine's Day. It makes me want to vomit and not because I am not in love. I am all about sharing the love, except when it's a commercial mastermind scheme. I am sweaty from track practice starting today, and we just ate leftover pizza. Now I'm grading papers. All in rebellion of this stupid 'holiday'. Take that, V day.

4) Own a minivan, no matter how many kids I pop out. Taking the driver's test to get my license in my mom's AQUA Lumina was enough for me.

3) Call Brent hubby. Even "my husband" in lieu of his name makes me cringe, although sometimes it's unavoidable.

2) Like John Mayer

1) Own a mounted animal. (or even pet on for that matter).

*** I know I just set myself up to deliver a taxidermist's valentine creation to my hubster while listening to John Mayer's latest lyrical masterpiece in my red lumina. Bring it, future.

Thursday, February 3, 2011


Here you have it. The much awaited running blogpost.

A friend of mine recently asked my advice about running, and while flattered, I had to set the record straight that 15 miles a week does not make me the most hardcore runner. I boiled down the basics of running for me, though, in a few thoughts.

#1) You burn roughly the same # of calories running as walking (100) a mile, so if you don't like to run, walk. You just burn them faster running.

#2) To stick with any sort of workout, you have to do what you like. I don't love every single run, but I must like something about it because I have been running at 5 AM most mornings for 2 years now. What works about that for me is a) I like to run b) I am tired and lazy after school so I just don't work out and c) I don't like to get dirty twice in a day; once I've showered I want to stay clean.

I know tons of people who don't love to run. And I get that. I am a firm believer that people can be converted to runners, but I am not convinced that everyone IS a runner. If you're on the fence, read "Born to Run" or register for a 5K and try it out. You might surprise yourself.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A tribute, of sorts..

The cliche saying is that you never get over loss. I think that's true, in one sense. Cliche in another because it doesn't even come close to capturing all the emotions that go with loss. Life does get easier, but there is always some part of the loss with you. I know it's insanely selfish to wish that people could stay around earth on my account, but I am always surprised when the loss catches me off guard.

My friend Pam's thirtieth birthday would have just happened recently. She only made it to 26. Two memories of her have caught me off-guard in a lovely way in the last few days, as if to celebrate her birthday.

#1: We went to NY last weekend. I told Brent I'd only been once before: chaperoning a group of 13-year-old band students. We walked to Battery Park to see the Statue and I had this bright memory I'd totally forgotten about. One year in college, I went to see Pam in New Jersey for her birthday and New Year's. We drove into the city for one night. It was freezing and we parked the car and RAN to see the statue. That was all we did. That, and sit in a coffee shop for awhile because it was too cold to do anything else.

Memory 2: Patty Griffin's song Rain just randomly shuffled on and that reminds me of senior year of college. I can remember listening to it over and over in our funny little college apartment. I can remember Pam saying she wanted to dance to the last song on the album, the one is Spanish. Ironically Rain comes as close as any song to truly capturing the overwhelming nature of grief. (Another favorite on that album is Nobody's Crying).

Life is beautiful and surprising, even when the grief catches us off guard. Guess that's the point, right?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

And it's 2011...

Don't worry. My NYR is not to blogpost more. I have a hard enough time keeping up with the pace of my non-cyber life, so I didn't attempt to add the pressure of posting a blog that no one reads to the list. (although I do have some good posts floating around in my head about running and my non-bucket lists -- the things I am sure I WON'T do before I die).

But, I have some important thoughts on hair. Which apparently I think about annually. This has to do with male facial hair. And since I can't grow it, I thought I'd write about it.

#1) I generally like facial hair (no surprise there), but there is a line that I advise you not to cross.
#2) That guy I live with can do anything with facial hair and I still like him. But that's because I already love him.
#3) If you're trying to impress someone/meet the love of your life, you shouldn't have facial hair that looks like this. She's never going to fall for you.

That's all.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


My apologies for the insanely miserable blogpost from earlier. I am feeling better about the world now. I case you didn't read it, here's the bottom line: Teachers are not purposely failing students. We are overwhelmed with all that's thrown on our plate. That's all. Now, go watch the Waiting for Superman preview and feel really good about the state of things.

The state of the err.....

I rarely post about education and teaching. Today, I will. Some days I feel like I am cut out to be a teacher: organized, dedicated, caring-hidden-behind-a-bitchy-exterior. Other days I feel like it's the worst job for me: I hate 5 am, I care too much, I want to occasionally feel good at my job. Which is what makes it exceptionally difficult, because no matter how hard I work, how much I invest, how many workshops I take, there's still more to learn and know and do. Teaching is an endless climb. Next week I have a conference with a parent who feels her child isn't being challenged enough. I also have students who can't read. I must cover writing and use technology and show my students how to collaborate. Oh wait, and grammar and social skills and community service. And I am encouraged, no expected, to reach them all. Every day.

The state of things nationally is not encouraging either and I hardly have time to follow the politics of education. No, I haven't seen Oprah's episode on education. No, I haven't seen Waiting on Superman. You guessed it: no time. I understand that I am in charge of someone's child every day. I understand that the single most important determining factor in a child's educational success is his teacher. I understand that students are not prepared for life outside of high school, whether that's college or a job. I guarantee that no teacher intentionally let's her students down. We're not wired that way. At least, I'm not. I want nothing more than for my students to succeed. What more than likely happens, as is does for me, is teachers feel overwhelmed by all that they are expected to miraculously do and they shut down. At some point, I have to call it a day. There is this moment of daily surrender where I realize I won't get everything done, I feel like a failure, and I throw in the towel for the day.

Clearly, I am dedicated to the profession: I have spent 8 years teaching middle schoolers, I have my masters, I completed my national boards last year (awaiting news on that). But the state of things is about enough to make me question my job. And while I am thankful for a job, the silver lining for the unemployed might be teaching. I think, at the rate things are going, there are going to be positions left available when the current, great teachers throw in the towel for good.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Half Pints

I had the adventure of traveling to 4 countries in one month. There is a lot to process about those experiences. I plan to blog in bits and pieces about my travels. One aspect that I found most interesting were the universal similarities and differences. One such difference involves beer and the glasses that it's served in.

"A pint is a pint is a pint is a pint," is what I argued about the service of beer in bars. I assumed that a pint was a standard measurement. Turns out it's not. American pints are 16 ounces. English pints are 20 ounces. (With that and the rule that you don't tip your bartender if you're just drinking, beer is much more economical there, and well, better, but that's beside the point).

And then there are half pints. I learned about halfway through the trip that proper English girls drink half pints.

Clearly I am very posh. Or not.