Friday, August 31, 2012

"Om namah shivaya" and WIWW

Thoughts from my Wednesday and Thursday:
  • Due to Hurricane/Tropical Storm Isaac, we have school closures all over Louisiana and I should be returning to work on Friday.  Is it bad that I secretly hope we don't have to?!
  • I not so secretly hope that the storm damages are minor 
  • More than anything, I don't want the storm to prevent flights from going out this weekend, specifically my flight on Saturday morning to Seattle to visit the sweet Lisa.  
  • The roommates and I spent the morning being lazy, but we got our vinyasa flowing. 
  • I plan on buying two drawer handles from Anthropologie. 
Speaking of have to see this video.  Makes me laugh every time.  It's perfectly perfect.  

On a different note, yesterday was my ex-boyfriend's birthday.  It's difficult not thinking of someone who you used to share everything with and not being able to share this moment anymore.  Almost as if it shouldn't still mean something.  I definitely remembered and definitely thought about it...all day.  I didn't push myself to send an email until sometime after 10pm.  Why was it so hard to press send? 

Pressing send meant opening a line of communication again.  Not pressing it would be easy, it would be fully letting it go.  Or would it?  Would letting go be pressing send and pouring the kindness that was in my heart?  So I pressed it.  I didn't expect the immediate response I received.  And now, the question that lies is whether I'm ready to accept a friendship.  Every kind fiber that resonates inside me wants to say yes, but something is holding me back from welcoming that friendship again.  A huge part of it is that I haven't taken the time to truly feel all of the emotions from what once was.  Yes, I am in a great place in comparison to where I was in May.  Also, definitely much better than when I was in that relationship, but I still need to feel things I haven't felt.  A part of me is afraid that a friendship with him will mean going back to where I was.  

I fear being drained of my happiness, of my optimism, and of losing every part of me that I have begun to gain back in the last couple of months.  Whether my associations with what once was are partly or completely fair, I still have them, I still fear what a friendship with him would mean.  All I know is that I am vulnerable enough to admit that I don't think my heart is ready for that friendship right now.  

The house is really coming along! We are quite the desperate housewives. 
When teachers don't have to teach---Hurricane Isaac Party! 
Taco Tuesday
Namaste from our dining room
What I wore Wednesday - T-Shirt, running shorts, no makeup. 
We partied with the Biebs
Don't worry, I was wearing shorts underneath.  The winds were getting pretty rough here.
What we wear when we go out in a hurricane. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

WIWW-What I Wore Wednesday

Late Night!!!

Falling behind on planning, and grading, and I should work on that this weekend before my trip to Seattle.  Seattle is on my mind.  Yes, lovely, dreamy, Seattle.  But not before I plan next week and my sub plans for Labor Day week!

Without further adue:
Cardigan - Ann Taylor
Dress - Jessica Simpson
Shoes - Steve Madden
Without the Cardigan.  Cannot wear to school like this.
How was your Wednesday?  Are you falling behind at work like me? 

On the bright side, tomorrow is thirsty Thursday.  

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Smooth transitions

Sorry about that y'all, I hate leaving my blog for too long.  The past week has been so crazy.  Ever since school started, and I began to pack up my belongings things have seem to go nonstop.

The school year has officially started and soon enough Fridays will be about football games and pep rallies.  Our first one is this week, well it's a Jamborree for all the local high schools to mini-scrimmage against each other.  It's exciting!  I sound so small town, that's because people here eat, breathe, and live for football season.  I have yet to understand the game, but I sure do enjoy a good football game on a Friday night.  Seeing my students, talking to parents, and hanging out with teachers friends.

Some brief updates/thoughts:

  • I've officially moved into "the house"
  • School is going well, I was concerned about my freshmen, but they are doing fine.  
  • The girls (roommates + Liz) are going to yoga these days, well it was once, but it was fun! 
  • I really like Belle (the cat), but may be allergic to her
  • My recent guilty pleasure is the show Veronica Mars.  Such a good show!
  • White Peach Skinny Girl Margarita might be my new go-to over the counter beverage
  • Apple Pears are my new favorite fruit.  It's an apple, it's a pear, and best of all, it is NOT gritty.
I've also been having some intense thoughts about my past year.  Thoughts about my relationships and how the life I lived for a year pushed so many of my closest friends away.  Well, not the life, but the effects of that life resulted in me pushing so many people away.  I'm still processing that thought, so more on that later. 

For now, here's a snippet of my life in pictures:
Making salads that look like this.  Spinach, poached eggs, cottage cheese, tomatoes, onions. MMMM
I see the beauty in Louisiana twilight

What my first Wednesday after teaching looked like
Meet Belle.  She's lovely.
My room in progress...
Another angle of my bedroom in progress.  

Our formal dining area in progress. Larger table to come.
LOVE our kitchen.  That window is my favorite.

Sunday, August 12, 2012


It's the end of the weekend.  As soon as I am done here I better head out and relax as much as humanly possible in order to prepare mentally and physically for the first week of school.  I really think teachers get much more anxiety than students do about this.  I have so much to post about, but that will come soon enough.  

Yesterday I had to go to Professional Development for Teach For America in Baton Rouge.  I actually enjoyed my drive.  It was quite lovely.
The swampland I drive by on the way to BR.  Sometimes there is an old broccoli smell.  That's not so pleasant.
I made an amazing Lasgna soup recipe that I got via pinterest.  Substituted ground turkey instead of meat and used two italian sausage links.  Ricotta was reduced fat, too.  
Topped with mozarella and fresh basil.  As good as it sounds. 
Tomorrow I will hit the gym again.  It is a MUST.  I need to check out my Yogalates classes and whip myself back into the routine.  It's so difficult to transition yourself and feel at "home" again.  I struggle with this every time.  I miss my mom an awful lot, too.  When can I see her again?  Probably October, unless she comes to visit me.
How gorgeous are those trees down that winding road? This is how empty most of the drive is, too.
Happy Monday tomorrow.  Let's start off the week on the right foot and, "Think of everything that can go right instead of everything that could go wrong" :)

Friday, August 10, 2012

Friday in photographs

Here is my Friday in photographs! My classroom is ready to go for Monday and that is the most exciting I can say right now.  Huge accomplishment! 
All of my organized bins
First day of school schedule & a love note from me

I grouped my desks to make my room appear larger & for block scheduling purposes 
Notes my students left behind last Spanglish
Clipboards wall 
The battle wounds I earned while attempting to move some of my things
This bruise was caused by a box that is too long for my short arms to hold :(
Tried a Pale Ale Blue Moon for the first time tonight.  So very tasty & complex.
Desk, Rules & Consequences
More desk graffiti in español :) HEY, it shows those kids learned something, right? 

Meeting in the A.M., which means bed time for this very tired gal. 

A house is not a home until you unpack (everything)

Happy Friday everyone!

Since I officially started work on Monday, I am so glad the weekend is finally here.  On another end I'm a little nervous/excited to begin work with my students.  They arrive so soon, it's exciting, but scary at the same time.  I just want to be the best teacher I can for them this year and I want to be better than I was last year.

I am taking a little break from work as I finish my lunch.  We had three hours to spare due to bad timing with the school board. I need to be back at 1pm to finish organizing things for the first day of school.  I am almost, almost, almost ready.  I think.
Delicious Cobb Salad.  The sprinkle of gouda cheese made it extraordinary.
I've also started moving small things.  I think I'm going to continue to move three more boxes I packed up last night.  They were all pretty easy to pack up because much of that room had been left unpacked all of last year.  Can you believe this?  The spare bedroom in my apartment consisted of boxes that were left unpacked, winter clothes, and a desk I never used.

All year long I kept putting off unpacking that room.  When two dear friends of mine came to visit me in October they were supposed to help me unpack it, but I still refused.  When my mom would come to see me she would attempt to help, but I never wanted her to touch what I had in there.  I became so territorial about this spare bedroom with all of these things that were sentimental to me.  Old cards, college books, old binders filled with work from college, inspiring letters from friends and family, desk items, etc.  I spoke to my good friend Leigh Anne last night and she laughed when I told her I was packing up because all year long I never wanted to touch that room.  She also told me, "I knew you were depressed last year when you didn't want to touch that room, you didn't want to settle in your own space, and that isn't like you."  Her words rang in my ears, she was right, something about leaving that room packed was comforting to me.  Maybe the fact that I could put it all in my car and go at any time.
I know, it's not a good state for a room to be in for a year.
You can spy the three boxes I packed up.  The room looks cleaner now.  
The humorous thing is that when I arrived at my apartment last week with a different state of mind than when I left in May I felt the need to finally unpack that room.  The room haunted me in it's packed state.  I wanted to paint my desk and organize things.  I guess I'll be doing that in my new house :)

I've also began reading my latest book.  I hope you follow with me.  I promise to give a better review of "Tiny Beautiful Things," but not until later tonight.  My latest book is called "20 Something 20 Everything"
The perfect book for all of us avoiding an expectation hangover.  I really like that the book comes with interactive exercises or "homework" to complete as you go.  I really think that in order to get the full outcome of the book you have to do your assignments.  I have already started the exercises and they are great reflections to help understand yourself and why you are the person you have become.  This is awesome for those who don't mind a little therapy/psychology every now and then.  My friend Gladys and I are reading this book together and plan to discuss our answers to our exercise questions weekly or biweekly.  But, if you are a woman in her 40's or 50's I'd love to ask you some questions for my current exercise.  Please leave let me know if you're interested in the comments section and we can exchange e-mails.  

 Today's thought of the day, I guess a house is not a home until you fully unpack.  I have a feeling I will be unpacking at my next house ;)

What are you doing on this lovely Friday?

Are you between the ages of 40 and 60? Can you help me with my next exercise for my book?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

What I Wore Wednesday (In Louisiana)

What a crazy day it has been. I apologize for the delay in today's post. I have been at meetings and sadly cannot open blogger at work because it is blocked.

What I wore today:
Dress is from Marshall's
Sandals are from Target

Very basic outfit. I didn't accessorize much or try too hard because today was all about fixing up my classroom. Hopefully I will have some pictures for you all soon.

The best news I have is that I am officially good to move, I just need to get all my things packed up. I think I will start on that next week though. Anyone know of any moving fairies out there to help me out? This is the first time I make a move by myself. I will probably have the help of a friend for my larger items such as furniture and my mattress. Granted I am just moving across to the next town, but it is still exhausting.

So...drumroll please...

My future home in all it's southern glory:
Built around 1915 according to the very generous owner 
Wouldn't wear this dress to work
Isn't it a beauty?  It's THAT gorgeous inside, too. 
The future rockers where I will enjoy fall evenings and ice cold beers. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Happy transitions

What a crazy couple of days it's been. Moving back to Louisiana, transitioning, and coming home to find my apartment at 95 degrees. Two hours after turning on the AC after being off all summer it was still 96 degrees. Something was definitely up. Not okay. Mom and I slept in a hotel Sunday night.

Monday was professional development at work. I was so happy to see everyone. (Below you can see my classroom portable) I feel good about the school year and about how I'm handling my transition back to Louisiana in general. The mind is a powerful thing and I have decided to no allow mine to hate Louisiana and to make the very best of what may be my last year teaching and in a rural parish.

On a different note the girls (my future roomies) and I met with our new landlord and saw our future home. Y'all, this house is incredible and it is such a blessing that he is allowing us to live there. I promise pictures of the house are coming. I don't want to show anything until I am certain I am living there. As in, when my things start moving in. A little bit about the home though, it was built in the 1910's and is historical to the area and pretty sure the state. Imagine a beautiful white southern home with a gorgeous porch, a porch swing, and all of its amazingness inside.

After the meeting with the landlord  my AC was fixed. Just a little rust hit the fan, nothing to worry about. Today I will hopefully be able to talk to my current landlord about vacating my apartment. I'm looking forward to it, but I'm a little sad to leave. I have so many first-year memories in that apartment and I will miss my neighbor. I want to make it a point to visit her.

Alright, let's hope for productivity today. Meetings about to start so I will leave y'all with one last announcement:

This girl has purchased her flight to SEATTLE for Labor Day weekend. I cannot wait. I have always wanted to visit the pacific northwest and I'm already doing research of places to possibly visit ;)
Apparently this place has awesome drinks (strong ones) with awesome sandwiches 
I am so lucky that my friend Lisa from high school has invited me to go. I thought, why not?! I had a United Airlines voucher to use and the flight was super cheap and I get to fly from the airport in Alexandria. Lisa moved out there with her husband who is currently away in Afghanistan. I'm sad I won't get to meet the wonderful man in her life, but insanely excited to catch up with her and talk about photography and life!!

Check out her blog, she's doing amazing things.

Anyone else going through crazy transitions this week?
Even though it took an hour to book, I finally booked my flight to Seattle!
P-4, my portable classroom where I teach high school Spanish

Friday, August 3, 2012

¡Soy súper estrella!

Y'all, I am a MACHINE.  I have continued to be as productive as possible.  Now I just need to pack...oops.  I think I will wake up semi-early and wash and pack.  I'd like to accomplish driving at least to Houston tomorrow.

But, let's focus on the positive shall we?  Here is what I got done today:
My student behavior tracker for my "behavior" clipboard.
I blurred the names for the safety of my students

  • Labels for Clipboards
  • Printing Behavior Trackers
  • Editing, printing, and laminating behavior trackers for desks
  • Cutting, pipe cleaning, and beading laminated trackers
  • Creating & Printing Tardy Log
  • Creating & Printing Bathroom Log
  • Saving Attendance Log PDFs for printing when I have black ink
  • Printing copies of syllabi, parent letter, parent survey, student surveys, and investment plan
  • Printing copy of student goals survey
Awesome, awesome, awesome! Let's take a look at some of these beauties...
How cute are these Student Surveys I created for my Spanish II classes?
Yes, I got the idea from Pinterest, but I jazzed it up.
Don't worry, Spanish I gets the English version.
For my "Tardy" Clipboard & "Bathroom" Clipboard
I'm most proud of this product! These are my individual desk behavior trackers.
The product above is what I laminated and cut out today.  After cutting them out I used a thumb tack to poke two holes where a pipe cleaner would run through with a bead.  The bead slides up and down based on students' behavior.  I spent a good hour doing all of that, but it was kind of fun.  I ended up making 36.  I like to keep extras on hand.  This goes along with the tracker I am using for my clipboard except this is to give students a personal visual (taped to their desk) of where they stand as far as their behavior grade goes for the day.  Students start off with 10 behavior points and begin losing them as they get infractions.  As you can see above, if it gets as far as a referral they lose two days worth of points.  I got this idea from a GNO (Greater New Orleans) corps member.  I'm super excited to use this system with my students.  I think it will extremely beneficial for my students with behavior problems.

Random side note: how fabulous do these look below? Sephora's current birthday gift for members is a Fresh Mini Lip Duo.  You get two mini lip balms, one with a tint (rosé) and a clear one.  Both smell wonderfully, look trés chic, and are really moisturizing.
Thanks Sephora for the awesome birthday gift! 
I hope all my productivity pays off when I have other things to do as I get back to Louisiana.  I'm excited to take a look at my very possibly future home.  Word on the street is that it's gorgeous! Don't tell my future roommates, but I also got us these...
I'm just really excited to live in a house (hopefully)
Next on my to-do list: purchase a flight to Seattle/Tacoma, Washington.  Not kidding. More on that later, right Lisa?  I'm going to go reward myself with a self given mani/pedi.

How was your Friday? 

PS. If you're a teacher and would like more information on any of the above feel free to leave me a comment and we can talk about it.  

Thursday, August 2, 2012

A productive Thursday

Good news! I finally updated that About Me section of the blog.  I just need to do the Frequently Asked Questions.  Anyone have any burning questions about my life? Feel free to comment, anonymously or revealing your identify.  Either way, I will do my best to answer them.

Working on posters for my classroom
This teacher feels accomplished right now.  Check out all that productivity up there!  I have been slaving er working hard to accomplish as much as I can before heading back to Louisiana.  I officially start work on Monday, and I must use my time wisely.  I'd rather get as much done now and focus on refining lesson plans and my classroom later.  

So far I have:
  • Made my syllabus for Spanish I & II
  • Completed and edited my Management Plan
  • Completed and edited my Investment Plan
  • Completed not edited my semester Unit Plans Calendar for Spanish II
  • Started my semester Unit Plans Calendar for Spanish I
  • Created, printed, cut, and glued labels
  • Labeled bins 
I know my students are in high school, but believe me, they need this behavior system
To Finish:
  • Editing Unit 1 Test for Spanish I
  • Editing Unit 1 Test for Spanish II
  • Rules & Procedures first week of school quizzes 
  • Labeling Clipboards
  • Creating & Printing tardy sheet, bathroom pass log
  • Creating & Printing bathroom passes
  • Printing Behavior Trackers 
  • Creating Absent Binder
I'm sure there's other things to add to the list, but I think a lot of the most important stuff is completed.  I feel like I have a solid foundation.

I went on a little shopping spree to save, save, $ave the big bucks.  I plan to get reimbursed with my Spanish class fund when I go back to work, but I still try to save money considering the few resources my school provides.  I hit but the Dollar Tree and came out with 10 of those awesome white bins you see below, 3 bins with lids, 48 grading pens, three packs of stickers (yes, my high schoolers love them),  and four posters for less than $30.  Can you believe that?! What a steal! 
Don't these look beautifully organized already?
Larger bins without lids will be for four different things: turning in work, receiving graded work, homework, and late work
The smaller shoe box bins are for classroom supplies such as markers, grading pens, and glue sticks
The first year of teaching is a lot of survival and focusing on what the hell you're doing and whether you're even qualified to be responsible for individuals that are double your size (in my case).  This year, I plan to focus on all the things I wasn't able to see, mostly because they were above the ocean surface and I was having trouble staying afloat.  Organizing my classroom better, managing my students and their behavior better, helping my students organize themselves, holding them accountable and more responsible.  

Now, I feel lighter, stronger, productive, and I think I deserve a good hour of television.  

How do you stay organized?  
If you're a teacher, what are your organization tips and/or goals?