Monday, December 12, 2011

I'm already making New Years resolutions. Even before winter break....

Believe me kiddos. Teachers look forward to it as much as you. We also dread back to school as much as you, but not for the same reasons. I like to teach, and I like to go to work and earn a living. I do not relish the idea that my students will forget how to behave in my class over the course of two weeks. Try as I might, I cannot understand that phenomena.

Oh well, that time will come regardless of what I try to do. I cannot stop it. I am still going to enjoy my winter vacation. I get to see my family. Hopefully my whole family. I'm excited for sleeping past 5:45AM without putting myself behind for the rest of the day. Of course Christmas will be the best, spending time with family and friends while remembering that Jesus was born to save us! :)

I've got a mid-term to prepare kids for, and a chapter test to prepare my other kids for. It's going to be ridiculous here for about a week, and then I'll be on break. I may not be on here for awhile, so I'm going to mention a little about New Year's too.

Just as I may have to start over with my rules during the new semester, the new year offers similar avenues for one's personal life. I'm starting to take better care of myself I believe, because I don't know how I can expect myself to take care of 123 teenagers, if I don't look after me. I don't just mean the stereotypical eat right and exercise part (although that certainly is part of it), but I also want to find a church. I need to more aggressively search for one. I've only been to two different churches in Hopkinsville, and I didn't really feel led directly to either of them. Therefore starting in the new year, I will go to each of the churches I have already been to the first two weekends January 8th and January 15th, and then proceed from there, if I choose to not attend one of those two. I've been kind of lax, especially the last month or so, about getting to any church. I believe that this can be solved by being better about church hopping, until I find the right fit. I don't just want to church hop forever, but I do believe it will help me find my niche. If anyone in Hoptown has some ideas, please enlighten me. Hopping to churches where you are not sure you know anyone is awkward at best.

Help me friends to strengthen my resolve in this matter. I will blog every Sunday after break about my thoughts on each church to help me reflect on each one.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

25 days until Christmas!

More like 24 at this point.

What does Christmas mean?
A. Celebrating the birth of Jesus
B. Getting a lot of presents
C. Fighting for a parking spot at the mall
D. All of the above


For most Americans, I suspect the answer is "D" "All of the Above"

People can complain until they are blue in the face that Christmas has become too commercialized over the  years. Children ask for things like Macbook Air's when they are only 7 years old. (My mom would laugh in my face if I asked for one now.) Instead of $200 bicycles, children ask for $200 gaming consoles. Barbie's dream house has an elevator in it.

I love getting new things for Christmas, but over the years what I've asked for has changed greatly. I remember when I was 10 years old I got a "My Twin" doll for Christmas. I really really really wanted her. Then I had a nightmare that she attacked me, so she went in my closet before I released her. I went from sleeping with her every night, to hiding her in a closet, to finally setting her up on a high shelf to pose in my room. That was quite an expensive toy to just set on a high shelf and collect dust. To this day, she sits there. Her friend does too (I got a My Twin "friend" doll the next year.).

Nowadays I actually look forward to getting practical gifts. I've asked for things like potholders, oven mitts, and jeans. I've asked for sheet music and entertainment, since I live alone with no cable. I ask for things I know I will use and need. I'm getting boring in my old age.

I love celebrating Christmas with gifts. God gave us his son on Christmas Day (Not literally, since Jesus was actually born in like April or June [Those are close right?].) . In that same way, I think it is important for us to give each other gifts. Not that we can gift each other anything nearly as important as Jesus, but that we can remember the spirit of giving. We can't help but get the fringe benefit of receiving without denying someone else the spirit of giving. It may not be completely altruistic to give presents on Christmas, but there are arguments to suggest that nothing is altruistic. As long as receiving is accompanied by thankfulness and humbleness, I think it's appropriate for the season. So maybe a seven year old does not need a Macbook Air, and a ten year old does not need a $100+ "My Twin" doll that freaks her out two weeks later. So the seven year old may be tough out of luck in the Macbook department, and I may not have always enjoyed my very expensive, look alike. However, the 7 year old is sure to get some things on her list, and I really appreciated my parents listening to what I wanted when I was ten.

As for fighting for a parking spot at the mall, I honestly have no idea why that has to accompany Christmas. A necessary evil I suppose to balance out all the goodwill and cheer.

Happy Christmahanakwanzika folks! (I'm not trying to be P.C. I just think it's funny.)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Do any other "adults" act like kids sometimes?

.....and I don't mean immature.
My parents stayed in Hopkinsville last night when we got back from Thanksgiving in Slade, KY. Wonder of wonders I found a mouse in my apartment. I get on the phone with my dad at 10:30PM at night, and I'm like, "Daddy, there's a mouse in my apartment." "He's like, I'm sorry, I can't do anything about it right now." "Can I come stay at the hotel tonight?" "Yes, do you want us to come get you?" "No, I'll drive there."

That's right, a 22 year old woman couldn't stay in her apartment with a mouse at night. Today we went to Lowe's and bought a mouse trap (A covered one, so God willing I won't have to touch or look at the mouse much to get rid of it.) We then got foam and duct tape to cover up the holes we think it got through in my utility closet. My parents think it is likely that it won't come back, because I didn't have any handy dandy food sources, so it probably went back in the wall when I startled it. Hopefully that means it'll bug my neighbor instead of me. I'm totally joking. I am hoping it went outside...where mice belong.

I hate mice. I had one in my dorm room last semester. My roommate leaves a note on my computer saying, "I heard a mouse in your dresser last night. I was so weirded out, I couldn't sleep. Just thought you should know." (I'm totally paraphrasing; I don't recall what exactly she said.) Eventually the dorm set sticky traps (Awful, awful things.). We caught one in a sticky trap. Here it is 3AM, and a mouse is squeaking in the sticky trap. I will have to student teach in a couple days, but I have to be awake for a orientation meeting early the next morning. I wake my roommate up. She manages to find out which trap it is in by hitting it with the swiffer mop we had. We capture it in a tupperware container. Then we go outside and bury it in the snow (It's January). Yes, it's kind of sadistic, but we were sleep deprived. We didn't want to listen to a mouse squeak all night long. The mouse froze to death, and we had a friend dispose of it the next day.

................December 1, 2011: The mouse came back while I was typing this ironically. It got caught in the mousetrap my dad set, and it's gone now, but I just thought I'd update this one before I wrote another one.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanks-giving

I knew that if I tried to write what I was thankful for all month, that I would constantly forget and have to back track. Instead, I will blog about the top 24 things I am thankful for this Thanksgiving. 


1. Life: Ironically it is the title of this blog, and also the only reason why I can appreciate the other items on this list.
2. Family: Without my parents, I wouldn't exist, and not just because two X chromosomes wouldn't have formed a zygote that made me, but because I would be nothing like me. They gave me my morals and principles that shape who I am. My sister is probably my hero; she works hard even though she doesn't get much credit. She's an inspiration.
3. Faith: Ok so some people might chide me for putting family and life before my faith, but in reality, if I didn't have the other two I would not be able to serve God well. My faith has helped me when my family could not, and it is with me even when I am several miles away from the nearest family member. 
4. Friends: Be he/she an old or new friend, I'd be lost without them. I am a bit of a loner naturally, but I'll admit to loving a good conversation. I love chatting online with my old friends from home and college, and I enjoy hanging out with my work friends now. If I didn't have them, the next thing I'm thankful for would drive me nuts.
5. Career: Some days may seem like the day from H-E double hockey sticks, but in reality, I love my job. I cannot say that it is always rewarding or even fun, but I do love the people I work with and most of the students. I wouldn't trade my job for any other job in the world.
6. Health: I'm probably a crazy work-aholic to put my job before my health, but I am thankful to be a relatively healthy 22 year old. No major surgeries, no major illnesses, etc. *knock on wood
7. Weekends: A student asked a fellow teacher and I if we enjoyed our weekends as much as they do. Answer: "Oh, yeah." 
8. Children: Obviously if there were no children I wouldn't have a job, but more than that, I appreciate small children, because they remind me that people don't start out vindictive (not to the same degree anyway).
9. Pets: Living in an apartment with a "no pets" policy kind of stinks. I love playing with my friends' pets when I visit their houses. 
10. Shelter: Despite the "no pets" rule, I am very grateful for my very reasonably priced apartment. 
11. Vehicle: Without my car I couldn't make it to my job, and while I hate driving, it's a pretty cute vehicle.
12. My Voice: I am thankful not just for being able to speak (although that is certainly an integral part of my life), but also for my ability to sing adequately enough to express myself. 
13. My Freedom: I live in one of the most free countries in the world thanks to some amazing men and women in the Armed Forces.
14. My own classroom: Being a teacher who floated would kind of stink, but it might make me more organized....nah.
15. Being single: It's not something I always appreciate, especially when I cannot get the pickle jar open, however I do appreciate not being in a relationship that's crumbling and not being part of any drama.
16. Dancing: I cannot "drop it like it's hot" (Okay maybe I can, but I won't.), but I love ballroom dancing. Waltz anyone? 
17. Movies: Every once in awhile it is good to escape your own crazy messed up life, and watch a movie about someone who's life is crazier than your own.
18. Food: Another item that should be higher on the list I suppose, but I really am quite thankful for the food I eat.
19. Clothing: Hooray for not being naked and cold all the time. Another thing that should be higher on the list. 
20. Electricity: I cannot imagine living without my lights and heat. Thanks electricity.
21. Clean water: Another high priority list saved for the end. I love water, and I am very glad I have good water.
22. Challenges: I see these as opportunities for growth and improvement.
23. Smiles: Everyone loves a smile. "Greet one another with a smile for a smile is the beginning of love."-Mother Teresa. 
24. Funny People: I love to laugh, and I'm extremely thankful that God has blessed me with plenty of people who do that on a day to day business. 


So those are the items I am thankful for in no particular order. I think it is a good representation of the things I hold near and dear in my life. So I come back full circle to life, the theme of this blog. Life is too short to be unhappy, so I am glad that God has put me somewhere I can be happy. It forces me to grow quickly, and it is frustrating sometimes. I do believe that the challenge provides satisfaction for me when I am successful.


So Thank you, God.


Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!
Ms. G

Friday, November 11, 2011

November 11, 2011

A little less than three years ago today, a guy proposed to me. Okay, no names need to be said. This isn't some crazy blog about written by a crazy ex girlfriend ranting that her douche bag ex ruined her life. A unfulfilled proposal did not ruin my life, but it did change it. 


For along time, I had trouble accepting it. It gave me confidence issues. Issues that were already there if I had admitted to them. Instead of embracing these issues, I fought them. I pretended not to care, when I really did. It made me bitter, resentful, and catty. For a good year, I could not talk to my ex without fighting. 


I don't know what happened the end of Junior year though. Somehow I felt, as we sat at Graduation (next to each other for some crazy reason), that we were okay again. It was as if the crazy witch (most people would use a different term) inside of me had finally subsided. I guess a part of me realized that we were going to be seniors, and that wasting our friendship for a whole year fighting was silly and childish. 


As immature as our relationship had been, we had planned "our day" to be 11/11/11 at 11:11 PM (Lmbo, like 12 billion other people.). None of it was set in stone. I was too afraid to tell my family I wanted to marry a guy within a month of starting to date him. (That should have been a big neon warning sign right there.) So we were waiting. 


So as 11:11PM on 11/11/11 just passed a few minutes ago, I am reminded to be careful what you might wish for because you think what you wanted was so great. 


Strangely enough, I didn't think about the day at all until I was sitting at a really boring meeting this afternoon thinking about all the things I'd rather be doing right then. Then I realized that I'd be prepping for my wedding in some messed up alternate reality, and I realized that it definitely wasn't what I would rather be doing. I'd rather sit through fifty ACT prep meetings rather than marry the wrong guy. I realized how lucky he and I were not to get stuck with each other as young as we are, when it was so ill-fated.


I realize that I'm happy grading papers, getting cussed out by random students, and being teased by my senior teachers. I have a new life, a new purpose, and a new perspective. God has blessed me with a job, children to teach (Even if it's challenging.), and people from which to learn (Albeit some of them are just teaching about the Illuminati). 


Here's a quote I find particularly inspiring from Sex and the City


"Think about it. If you are single, after graduation there isn’t one occasion where people celebrate you … Hallmark doesn’t make a “congratulations, you didn’t marry the wrong guy” card. And where’s the flatware for going on vacation alone?"-Carrie Bradshaw






Here's the consolation prize Carrie. You didn't marry the wrong guy, 


and you got your Mr. Big in the end. What could be better? If I don't 


 get my Mr. Big well, there's always THE Mr. Big, more commonly 


referred to as God. :)






And on that note: Goodnight. 



Tuesday, November 1, 2011

So apparently settling in is never happening....

I said I would blog when I'd settled in. Well, three months later, and that hasn't happened. Therefore, I will blog anyway.

I have six classes and one planning period. Kids complain about having seven assignments to complete, but the teachers have about 120 assignments to grade as well as creating notes and lesson plans for their six classes the next day. It makes me appreciate that my high school had block scheduling with only four classes per semester and the teachers only had three. Of course I know that, that kind of scheduling comes with its own woes.

One thing I definitely cannot complain about in the slightest is the people I work with at the high school. They are definitely some of the most dedicated, hard-working professionals that I have ever seen. I love my department! They call themselves the social studs, (Get it? I teach Social Studies.)and I'm the social stud's sweetheart (I'm not certain how official that title is.). The only other female in the department is our den-mother. She's my mentor, and the best person I could be working with on my internship (I may be slightly biased.). I also spend a lot of time hanging out with the English Department, because there are more female teachers with whom to socialize (Is that wording awkward, or is it just me? I was trying hard to not hang my preposition.). The principals are great, and I'm not just saying that, because they might read this. One of them used to be a "social stud (He probably thinks he still is a social stud)," so he is very good at empathizing with the teachers. The head principal and the other assistant principals have been invaluable in helping me deal with tough students as well as my instruction. All four of them definitely want the teachers to be successful, so that students can be successful. See what I told you? I think I work with some of the greatest people.

All in one day within my first two weeks of teaching, I managed to lose my purse, cancel my debit card, locate my purse, and make two new friends in the process. They are the best. One of them is a social stud (I don't know how "stud" like he is. Sorry.:D) and the other an English teacher (She's a second year teacher. She was the "new girl" last year.). After that crazy day, she bought me dinner. What gems right?

There are two first year English teachers. One was hired back in May, and the other wasn't hired until about four weeks into the semester (She's newer than me!). Those two and the new art teacher are probably the people I talk to the most. Us newbies must stick together. They are an amazing group of ladies for sure, and I'm pretty certain I'd die of boredom without them.

So the move has been rough for sure. I spend a lot of time trying to figure out what to do with myself. (I have enough work to do to fill all my time, but I'd go crazy if I didn't take breaks.) Family visits are few and far between, and my sister is away in West Virginia trying to make her own money, so I never see her. Sad days. It's hard not to miss a place that's been your home the better part of 21 years. It's weird the things you miss. Like when you need a tissue, and you realize dad isn't there with one in his pocket ready for you to use. Also, no one remembers to go out and get bread, and no one can remind you that you froze half a loaf a week ago. (By the way, I now have a loaf and a half of bread. Should I try to freeze another half, or hope that I use it?)

I don't know that guys have this problem, but ladies did you ever realize how much hair you shed until it was completely up to you to clean your own bathroom? Some of you probably had to do this for a chore, but I did not have that chore. I didn't notice it before, and now I'm kind of grossed out (Ok, I'm sorry it's a hanging preposition. I can't avoid them apparently.). It's also really hard to motivate yourself to clean a place that only you see, when you're not a natural neat freak. I do a decent job of keeping food messes at bay (I detest foul odors and food messes.), but I cannot for the life of me motivate myself to do laundry more often than every two weeks. I'm super behind on laundry. I'm drowning in it. I need to have friends over more often; it motivates me to clean more.

Things I love about living on my own: I love having a kitchen and being able to cook and bake for myself. Cooking is therapeutic. My other great love is my keyboard, which I can sing and play on until my heart's content (or it gets rudely late.). I've been using my computer web camera of late to make videos of me singing (Go ahead and laugh, it's pretty lame.); I'm pretty certain my neighbors want to shoot me. No one has reported me to the realtor, or if they have, the realtor as ignored him/her. I love living across the street from the library. I can get movies there, work on lesson plans there, and get away from my laundry there (Jk, but really it's true. Sometimes my apartment's messiness keeps me from getting my lesson planning done efficiently. If I can focus on my lesson plans and get them out of the way, I can focus on my apartment. When I try to do both at the same time, it pretty much is an epic fail.)

So far, I love my new job. The kids can be infuriating, but at the same time, I am thankful to have each infuriating experience as a learning tool to make me a better teacher. I pretty much ask every man and his brother for advice, but I am having trouble implementing everything correctly. That'll be a challenge for me.

I need to get off here, and go to bed. I have to get up at 5:45AM tomorrow and get ready for my chickens (I mean that in a nice way. I promise). I'll end this blog with a favorite quote.

A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops. -Henry Adams

Goodnight,
Ms. G.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Just when you think you know what's going on...

So much has happened since I last blogged about Life. I got a full time teaching position in Western Kentucky. I will be teaching U.S. History and World Civilizations. It's going to be a crazy first week. My sister and I will be going up there today, tomorrow is orientation, and the next day is my first day of classes. I also have to go home to get my driver's test later in the week. Not looking forward to leaving my kids with a sub so soon.

I have my own classroom! My sister is going apartment hunting for me. I know she'll work hard. She's a gem, moving up with me for a few days while I wait for my driver's test. I really hope that she finds a job that she can be proud of soon. I feel guilty about my happiness a little, and I know I shouldn't. More blogs are sure to follow once, I'm settled in, but I don't know when that will be.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Oh me! Oh Life!

"O me! O life!... of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless... of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?" Answer. That you are here - that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. That the powerful play *goes on* and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be? -Dead Poet's Society 



I am not an authority on many things, and I'm blogging about life. I'm only in my early 20s so I can't even consider myself an expert on that subject. What I can say I know about is, that you're not going to learn about it from my blog. 


One of my favorite websites when I'm curious about a topic and its applicability to the Bible is Bible Gateway.It has all kinds of different translations of the Bible and a Concordance, so I who cannot afford to own all the translations (I have three.), can look verses up without going broke. 


Yesterday I spoke of being underemployed and lacking extra finances. Today this verse spoke to me loudly. 

Matthew 6:25

American Standard Version (ASV)
 25 Therefore I say unto you, be not anxious for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than the food, and the body than the raiment?

It is true that life is much more than what you eat, drink, and wear. It is more than where you live. It is how you live. What do you live for? 


The answer comes later in verse 33 stating:
33 But seek ye first his kingdom, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.


Just this verse is actually used in Roman Catholic Liturgy (I think that's what it is called.) during every service I've been to. It's a very memorable little tune, and I get it stuck in my head every so often. Even though I'm not Catholic, I think it is an important verse for all Christians. Seek Ye First


Coming from a middle class family, I've never had to worry about getting my "needs" met, and every once in awhile I would get a "want" too. Now that I'm starting out at just above poverty level, it makes it easier to succumb to the worry about where my food will come from and how I'll pay my bills. I will hopefully get that little song stuck in my head, and remember just how blessed I really am and what I'm striving for in the end, because you can't take it with you. 

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Room of one's own.

I am very certain I am not the only underemployed recent college graduate. In fact I'm fairly certain there are over 1000 other college graduates who are in the same boat as I am. Actually it's probably more like an ark. The kind Noah had to make to save all of the animals God created.


I have a degree in Social Studies with Secondary Education certification, but it looks like this school year I'll be stuck subbing. Not that I dislike the idea of subbing. No lesson plans, no homework to grade, but also less money. Of course less work should equal less money. If I work everyday approximately, it'll be enough for a single girl sharing a small apartment with two roommates. Actually once I get used to all my bills, I could probably rent my own apartment.


So it should be enough right? "A woman should have money and a room of one's own (to write fiction)" comes to mind. Then again Virginia Woolf decided to fill her pockets with rocks and drown herself in the River Ouse. In this case I won't be getting a room of my own. I'll either sleep on the futon, or share a room with my roommate from college. I adore her, but I'm sure she would like to keep her own room too. The great thing is, I'll probably never be lonely, and if I am, it's probably just self pity not because I'm actually alone.


I am reminded of another quote, "Money has never made men happy, nor will it, there is nothing in nature to produce happiness. The more of it one has, the more if it one wants." Good ole Ben Franklin seems like a wise fellow in that quote, although how wise can you be to fly a kite with a key attached in a storm? It is true that we think we need more than we actually do. I mean a single person can definitely live on $12,000 dollars a year (about the amount a substitute teacher makes).


So if I have to be a substitute teacher (not that I actually have to, just that it'll at least get me working with students again.) I guess it'll be much better than not working at all. At least I'll be able to "bring home the bacon," and yes perhaps eventually be able to afford a "Room of my own."


CG