Monday, March 26, 2012

Stress management

It's the earliest I've been home from school in a long. long. time.

Today my principal forwarded an email from the professional development department with a flier for a stress management class. I laughed out loud. My first thought was wow I should really take this. Then I remembered I almost failed my stress management class in college. Oh yea, that easy A? Not for me. Total C. Second worst grade I got in college was in stress management. So obviously I am not so good at the managing stress game.
Not to belabor the point, but you know what would make me a whole lot less stressed? a contract. just saying.

SO back to my first sentence. I left school today. While it was light outside.

Stress - Managed.


(concise post accomplished!)

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Random Awesome

In case you can't tell, there is A LOT on my mind today.

Really, what happened is I cleared out my DVR over spring break, and now I have NOTHING to watch. Which has left me with two options - do something, or find other distractions.

I did FINALLY clean and organize my bathroom. A chore, that if you look back, I actually started telling you blog friends I was going to do in JULY. And it has actually stayed organized and clean for a whole week!!! This is pretty spectacular. Picture soon.
I have done 1 1/2 loads of laundry today (waiting on the dryer to finish so I can fold it and move the load in the washer to the dryer). I lightly cleaned my kitchen, made a pot of iced tea, and tried a crock pot recipe (that sadly did not turn out well at all and I'll have to try again to scrounge up some dinner pretty soon). I even vacuumed a little and mopped my kitchen floor.  I NEED to get cracking on some grading and portfolio organizing so that I don't get behind again. I really want to go through and organize some math and writing papers, but dude it's just so overwhelming. I need to go grocery shopping, but leaving the house requires a bra and real pants and I am still getting over being sick all week and really am just not up for that.

In my travels on the internet today I found THE most amazing thing ever. I have loved Jen Lancaster (author, blogger, Queen of awesome) for several years now. Bitter is the New Black helped me get through the summer/fall of 2008 and my own unemployment woes. I have been to several book signings and my entire collection of Jen is signed (except her fiction book, which is on my nook). In my blog reading travels I have discovered and read Jenny Lawson's blog theblogges. She's probably like the Arch Duchess of Awesome (only because I've "known" Jen longer). Jenny is local - she writes for the Houston Chronicle in her spare time and lives in Texas. These two ladies are amazing. So the greatest thing ever --- THEY INTERVIEWED EACH OTHER!!! OMG! My two female literary idols talked to each other! I know it's cross promotion (both authors have new books coming out in May, and yes I will be buying both of them. Happy Birthday to ME.) Read the interviews here: JL interviews JL and here:jenny interviews jen (I just realized they are both JL how cool is THAT?!) Jen is skipping Houston on her upcoming book tour this year (BOO! but in all seriousness, in years past it's been at the now closed Borders, so I guess there wasn't a place for it.) BUT Jenny WILL be in Houston (I mean duh, she lives here) on her book tour and I am so there. Yes, I am the kind of english nerd that goes to book signings. Multiple book signings. And has literary idols. And has a tattoo that is from a book. Yep. Nerd alert.  And yet, I haven't read Hunger Games OR the Dragon Tattoo books. Someday.

In other news- I am in the Teacher dance for the school talent show. At practice I learned, that even though I danced for 17 years, I am TOO WHITE to do the party rock shuffle (which, p.s., I didn't know existed until two days ago). As much dancing as I have done in my past, I am currently uncoordinated. It will be a sight to see my friends.

If I am ever going to be a seriously followed blogger like my idols, I should probably learn how to have concise, focused posts. So I'll wrap up for now.


positively negative

I will freely admit I do not always have the best self talk (I think that's the clinical term for how you think about yourself). I worry. A lot. About everything. I'm good at thinking about the worst case scenario. I don't always feel super confident about my decisions or myself. But really, honestly, I think I've been doing a whole lot better than I have been. I have truly been working on having a more positive outlook on things. I didn't know "being positive" excludes being able to what if about problems. Does being positive mean you aren't allowed to think about possible negative outcomes? Cuz in real life, negative outcomes exist. That's not being negative. That's being realistic. In my opinion. 

Some posts recently have been perceived as negative. Even my close friends don't necessarily see what I see, which is a more positive me. For the record, I know tone is hard to get on the internet (I wrote a thesis paper about it). But I had a positive tone when I wrote my high school reunion post. I don't think it's negative to be truthful about the past. I am uncomfortable being around people from my school because I don't know what they've heard. That's not negative, that's honest. And sadly it's not paranoid to think that because a lot of people heard a lot of things - both about me and my sister, and most people can't tell us apart. Most of my reasons having to do with looks or job status were laced with sarcasm-which I know is hard to read online. Would I like to lose more weight? Hells yea! But I think I look tons better than I did last year this time. Would I like to be rich and famous? It could be nice-but I so so love my job, I mean I keep fighting to be able to do it. Then, I thought it was wildly hilarious that the only reason I would go is peer pressure. How very high school. :) 

Anyway, I think I've been doing a really good job of being positive. I got through February pretty much unscathed(a good benchmark for me). Do I worry? For sure. I was watching Oprah's interview with Paula Deen. Apparently Paula D. was super poor growing up and her family was evicted several times. Now she is obviously very well off and this is not really an eminent possibility for her. Oprah asked her if, with as much money as she has now, she ever feels comfortable or secure. Paula said no. The fear of being evicted or not having enough money to eat is always with her in the back of her mind. I tell you this because it really rung true for me. I know it is slightly ridiculous to be worried about not getting a contract this year. But if you haven't been laid off, it's hard to understand. 2 years in a row this happened to me. Irrational or not, I think until I get a contract it will be a fear. I don't think I can feel any job security until someone gives me some. NO MATTER how awesome I know I am. I don't think that's being negative, I think that's part of how the human mind works. Once bitten, twice shy the saying goes. Well, twice bitten, paranoid always. So yes, I second guess every decision I make at work because I have been laid off for stupid reasons, no reason at all, and things entirely out of my control. 

I do think (leaving job things aside) I have been doing much better in how I think about myself and my life. I have been trying to be more positive. I thought I was doing a good job. I'm sorry if that hasn't been coming across. I guess I will try harder. I wish I knew what positive sounded like, I think I could do better if I knew what I was trying for. My relationship with myself and with my sister is truly the best it's ever been. I have more work to do, but I would like a little credit for the progress I've made so far. 


-There were several school districts that had job fairs this weekend. One district announced it was hiring for 400 positions. Let's think about this. Last year, thousands of teachers were laid off state wide.  Maybe you wouldn't HAVE to hire 400 teachers if you hadn't FIRED them all last year.  This makes me extremely angry. It is nothing but a show of poor planning. One year with less teachers and the schools realized it wasn't possible, we need to hire people. Next year when the state re-does the budget and screws education AGAIN, are you just going to fire the 400 people that you just couldn't live without? This is not a game. Make up your mind. Instead of massive lay offs, why don't you do a little more conservative method and take natural attrition into account.  Where are all the logical people who need to be making the decisions?

On a separate note, how can you have a job fair to HIRE people, when you haven't confirmed who will be working for you next year? Contracts have not been issued for these districts yet. And furthermore, I haven't gotten my contract. So hiring opportunities are happening and I have NO IDEA if I needed to be there or not because it's happening before i have any clue about my job security. This makes me so anxious I can't see.

*this was going to be part of a much longer post, but I think it needs to stand on it's own.
I'll be back soon with something different.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Bye, Bye, Miss American Pie

Hello strangers,
The short answer to the question, "to what do we owe the pleasure of this blog" is that blogging is greater than grading. Report cards are due Friday and I am in full on procrastination mode. Even though it is admittedly easier to grade 2nd grade things than anything I've had to grade before, I still hate the chore. Before I grade I can pretend everyone listened attentively to every glorious kernel of knowledge I bestowed upon them and all got perfect scores. After I grade, I have to admit that yes, some of them weren't listening, and may not have even mentally been in the same room as me, and re-teaching is in my near future. See how much better not grading is to the ego? ;)

This however is not what I was going to blog about.

So here is your regularly scheduled blog that actually goes with the above title.

Remember how I noticed in February that I have attended 10 years of SING!? And SING! is a college event. Therefore, if we do the math and carry the one, I have been out of high school for ten years. In olden days this meant that I would start wondering what those 1,000 plus idiots  people I went to school with are up to. What are their lives like? Are any of them fat?, etc. Notice I said olden days. In today's facebook world, I ALREADY KNOW what their lives are like. What they are up to. Who is fat. (spoiler--it's ME!)

However, in the south we are suckers for tradition. And thus, this week I got the facebook event invite (yes you read that correctly as well- remind me why I need a reunion if I got the invite on facebook?) to my ten year high school reunion. Coming soon to a suburb near me this August! Joy.

For the past few years, before invites and the reunion was just a distant thought not a immediate possibility, I had said things like, " you couldn't PAY me to go to my reunion." and things of that nature. I still feel very much like I do not really WANT to go. Like it couldn't end well for me. Like volunteering for torture.

Here are the top reasons why I do NOT want/need to go to my high school reunion:

  • I don't remember anyone. No seriously. I spent the last 2 years of high school trying my best to be as invisible as possible. I did a pretty good job. Any moment not spent trying to be invisible, was trying to fly under the radar as much as possible. I was not cool. Or popular. They were not the "best years of my life". So while there are some (very, very few) names I recognize- student council reps and such, I don't actually have face to name recognition for very many people. I am pretty sure they don't know who I am either, so it's ok. It was a defense mechanism. But also partly because there were a hell of a lot of people that graduated with me. How do you meet and be friends with 1000 people? you don't. 
  • Anyone I DO remember or would actually want to talk to, I ALREADY DO. I don't need to go and 're-kindle connections' with people. I have facebook. If I want to be your friend/remember you as a non sucking person/ wish to see or speak to you, I am already doing it. What do I need with the other 985 people I graduated with? 
  • This town is a magnet, People like boomerangs. They leave, and come back eventually. I don't need a reunion because there is one every time I go to Target, etc. Most of my local friends, I knew in high school. 
  • I am not married and don't have babies. This of course makes me a gigantic failure in life. Not even a fiance. Or at very least a boyfriend! The Horror! Not to mention the 15 pounds I would need to lose to even feel half way not obese. Or the 45 I would have to lose to be back at my high school weight. 
  • I do not have a glamorous job with a fantastic title. No one hears what I do for a living and imagines me jet setting around the world wearing fantastic clothes. This is how I pictured myself when I was in high school, and I blame chick lit! Novels in which the main character is always a magazine editor (an extinct job, p.s.) and super fabulous. Not that I don't love what I do. I DO. Being a teacher is amazing. It's also the chosen profession of about 45% of my class. It is not unique, or cool, or something to be like, 'well I'm not married/a mother, but at least I am a fantastic fill in the blank awesome job making millions of dollars a minute!' It was the fall back career of many, and I don't FEEL like I've been super successful. (So to recap, I'm not rich, famous, married, a mommy, OR skinny. Yea, why would I go?). 
  • 96% of the people I did graduate with confuse me for my little sister (who, incidentally, IS married and will have a baby by the time this reunion happens. Making her > me in this story). This confusion is because a) I was trying to be invisible while she was a varsity cheerleader and b) how many ridiculously short girls can there be in one school? Obviously we were either twins or the same person. Unobservant people think we look exactly alike. These people are of course idiots. Spending a whole night with people either thinking I AM my sister, or asking me ABOUT my sister is not a fun night for me, no matter how far I have come on the forgiving her becoming closer to her journey. 
  • The remaining 4% of people who actually DO know that I am my own person or who I am, they do because of terrible nasty rumors/perversions of truth that ran wild about me when I was in high school (see: trying to be as invisible as possible). Even if they haven't heard the terrible things about me, I assume they do. I walk in defensive. Like oh you think you know what happened, well screw you and stop looking at me like that. I can't help it. I want people to love me and I don't know who knows what. It makes me suspicious and defensive and I'm working on it ok! It's why "went to my high school" is a deal breaker when thinking about dating someone. And why a potential love match would not be on the table at said reunion (my mom's reason for me to go). 
And here are the reasons I WOULD go to my high school reunion:
  • Everyone else is doing it.  (at least, according to facebook.)  *insert irony here*

(Drumroll) and now the connection to the title...... (YOU thought I forgot.) 
American Pie (remember that movie!?) came out when I was in high school. It was the first R movie I saw by myself (with my friend, no parents). It was a BIG DEAL. I vividly remember going to go see it. I own the VHS. Well, while there have been many sequels and additions, the original American Pie cast has made a movie releasing in April where they have their (wait for it) High school reunion! OMG how totally perfect. :) I of course have to go see it. And I'm hoping that maybe going to see the reunion movie will somehow count for going to my own reunion. Or at least sway me one way or another. 

Hope you enjoyed my long rambling blog. Now to grade some spelling tests. :) Or go to bed. We will see.