Monday, November 15, 2010


As you walk onto my campus this morning it is a sea of black clad students. Everywhere you look there are hundreds of students donning their best black and crying, some of them hysterically. Tragedy has hit. One of our freshmen was hit by 2 different cars and died on Friday night. Pain is evident. Loss is everywhere.

We are hurt.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Cheating and Love Notes

So lately there has been a real problem with cheating at our school. The cheating is happening the most among the honors kids too. I was talking to a senior colleague of mine and he told me that it is normal for the honors kids to cheat more because they are smarter when it comes to cheating and thus they just do it better. Well in the past two weeks I have actually caught 5 students in my honors English class cheating. It has been rough. The most recent incident was just a couple days ago on Monday during a reading check quiz for To Kill a Mockingbird.

Well the students had a vocabulary test today (it is a short week so we did it today) and this is what I received from said Monday cheating student:
Best love note I have ever gotten. I pretty much just want to correct all the grammar, spelling and syntax mistakes and give it back. I am also glad that I was given permission to show this to the parents because you know, I wouldn't have otherwise...oh students, how little you know and understand.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Marie Claire

There is a ton of outrage and debate going on about the recent Marie Claire article that was published. If you have not read the article and do not know what I am talking is the link:

I read the article last night after a friend posted it online. I have since read many many of the comments. They are ridiculously emblazoned with hatred, just like the article. The difference is righteous indignation vs. discrimination. I fully support the idea that obesity is something that needs to change in our nation. I understand that there are a lot of problems with the "healthiness" of our current society climate. I DO NOT support the idea that just because people are overweight they should be forced to stay inside and not be allowed to be in public, either digitally or physically.

The article is supposed to fundamentally be about whether over weight people should be allowed to kiss on TV. However, what it turned into was a bashing of overweight people and discrimination and name calling thereof.

I am currently teaching To Kill a Mockingbird to my English 2 Honors class. The book is filled with racism, segregation and discrimination. I used this article as a modern day version of the same behavior in a different package. It led to an amazing discussion about ignorance, freedom of speech and discrimination in our everyday lives.

Marie Claire, you should be ashamed of yourself. This writer and approving editor should be fired. This is ridiculous.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Urban Cow

I did it. I was able to complete the half marathon. 13.1 miles. very very hard. This time, no puking at all.

I did not have an amazing time (2 hours 57 minutes 10 seconds). But I FINISHED!


Thursday, September 9, 2010


I have been running so much and I am really excited about it. I think I am at 4 runs just this week alone.

I love it.

I love everything about working hard and feeling myself move. My run is getting closer. Only 24 days left. This weekend I am going to try and do a long run. I need to see if I am still working correctly. Since coming back from the broken leg, running is a whole lot harder. I know that I will get back to the point I was once at, but training for 3 months makes you a little more prepared than training for about one month.

This is hard. Really hard.

...I like it.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Urban Cow

So I have finally done it. I have registered for my next half marathon. I was a little scared to do it. I mean last time I broke my leg. I also thought there was going to be a potential injury again. Well my foot is fine. I just have a to ice like crazy and continue to give it nice long good stretches.

I am a little scared. In one month I am running a half marathon. I only have 30 days in order to get preped. I think I can do it though.

Training Schedule:

Run a lot.

I think I might go out for a run right now.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I teach High School...

last Friday was one of those days that makes you stop and say, "Wait, is this really my life? This doesn't actually happen to people who teach high school." Let me tell you, apparently it does.

While talking to my TA during fourth period a student ran up to my desk. Doing the potty dance she exclaimed, "I really need to go to the bathroom."

"ok, where are your bathroom passes?"

"I don't know but I really really need to go."

"alright, go to the bathroom and then when you get back find a pass and give it to me."

"But I don't know where the closest bathroom is."

I explained how to get to the restroom (across the small quad outside my room) and she left.

I was under the impression that she ran to the bathroom but a short time later another student approached.

"Ummm...we have a situation over here."

I went to talk to the table where this "situation" occurred.

As I walked up the original student whom asked to go to the restroom was sitting there. In a barely audible whisper I heard:

"I peed my pants"

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?! is all I could think. I responded that she can go to the nurse and call home so that she can get new clothes and such. To which she explained that she could not go because the back of her shirt was all wet. I gave her my personal sweatshirt to wrap around her waist and sent her on her way.

Now what? My floor and chair are covered in urine and I have a classroom full of kids that don't know what is going on and I don't want to embarrass this poor freshman any more than she is already. I call the office to get a janitor and then usher my class outside and around the corner so he can come in to clean without the class seeing.

Nobody was the wiser. The floor and chair were cleaned. Everything went on like normal but for the rest of the day in every period the only thing I could think was:

"ha ha ha that student has no idea what happened in the chair just a short time ago"

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Blood, Sweat and Beers

The title of this post is actually the name of the 10 mile trail run I completed last Sunday. The whole premise of the event it that you have a nice 10 mile run through the hiking trails of Auburn California and then everybody gets 2 beers and there is a huge party. Let's just say that this is not actually how my day went. But I need to start at the beginning, not the middle.

Many months ago my boss Allyson asked me to do a trail run with her called Blood, Sweat and Beers ( After looking at the website and the course I thought to myself, "You have got to be eff-ing kidding me if she thinks that I am going to do this!" I quickly replied "no" and went about my business.

Jump forward to last Saturday.

I am with my family at the Giant vs. Dodger game at Pac Bell park. I was there enjoying my family and the beauty that is San Francisco, when I got a message on my phone from Allyson. It said something to the effect of: Are you up for a challenge? I am going to do a run tomorrow in Auburn and I leave at 6:30 am if you would like to join me. I asked a couple questions then decided: How hard could it be?


I completed the course at 10.4 miles and it only took me 2 hours and 37 minutes. I drank 3 different runners goo and about a million liters of water/gatorade. I cried. I vomited 10 times. I incurred 2 charlie horse. I was so delirious after the run that I did not even recognize my high school Latin teacher (whom finished the same run in an hour and 20 minutes).

The next 2 days I could barely walk. I had literally run straight up a mountain then straight back down. Over and over again. It was the hardest physical activity I have ever done. I thought I was really going to die. Today is the first day I do not have massively huge amounts of pain.

I finished it. I don't want to do it again...
well maybe next year.

And by the way, I have no idea how anybody could have possibly even thought about drinking beer after an ordeal like that.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Another Run

This morning I decided to push myself. I got up and I ran. I wanted to finish my run quickly and I wanted to run more than I did last week. I ran an entire 4 miles. I ran 11 minute miles. It was like I was running through the jello, right from the start.

I did it. I ran. Through jello.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Little Reminders

Have you ever had those experiences where they remind you off all that is good in your life, and then you say a little prayer of thanks, which you should have been doing the entire time? I know that was a very convoluted sentence, but do you know what I mean? Well, today was one of those days for me.

My cousin Courtney got into a car accident (she was just a passenger) that resulted in a serious knee injury. She has now had three surgeries trying to fix the issue. One of these surgeries was about 2 days ago. In this attempt they cut her bone and moved it over, cut muscles to tighten things up and remove any debris from scar tissue. Ouch. Oh, and did I mention that her 18th birthday was just 2 days before this said surgery?

Today I went to see her.

We needed to remove a needle catheter she had in her knee, dispensing drugs directly into the surgery site, clean this incision and redress the wound. As I helped my aunt through this process, I was removing bandages and holding Courtney's hand. The anguish that wracked her body was immediately evident through the tears, sobs and tightening grip. As I helped her through these moments I instantly recalled the same pain as I endured a similar surgery a few years ago. In that moment I was so empathetic and thankful in the same instance.

I understand the pain and I wanted to take it from her so she could be releaved; yet, I was thankful that my body functioned in the manner it was intended. It was a strange understanding and recognition. It was like the Lord reminded me just how good I do have it and far I have come.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Morning Run

So when you break your leg it takes an insanely long time to get back into the routines you once had, as well as build up the stamina that was previously so prevalent. I went running today and it was like pure torture. It was like I was going to die after running a single block. However, I was able to make it. I was able to put 5 miles behind me. After I got home I did a little bit of yoga which is nice.

Now I am sitting here. Tired. I might need a nap. it is only 11:30 in the morning. Oui. I cannot wait until this get easier and I have a bit of stamina back.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

A Bit of Frustration, A Bit of Inspiration

I am more than a bit frustrated. I have been trying so hard to work out and eat healthy but ultimately it isn't changing much of anything. I can feel myself getting stronger but none of the crap is going anywhere. I am still round. I know that it takes a long time and a lot of work but it is so discouraging to keep working and never feel like you are getting anywhere. I wonder what would have happened if I had not broken my leg. I am sure that would have helped and I would have reached a lot more of my goals.

Now for the inspiration:

I found that a girl I went to school with has a blog. We were in the credential program together and although we were not that close I always found her interesting and somebody that I looked to for various things: lesson plan ideas, running trails and other fun festivities. Well I think she is fantastic and she has a lot of good ideas both for running and food on her blog.

I think right now I need to focus on getting myself back into a good place. I find that I am being a bit snappy to strangers (especially while I am driving: like today when somebody was driving the wrong direction in a one way lane), feeling frustrated with people around me, and just generally not in that place of being ok.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Things are changing.

You know those times in your life where everything is starting to change because you are actually trying to make them change? There is excitement, hard work, anxiety...but mostly, anticipation. It is like when you are in school and you are working so hard to get an education and finish and then as it approaches you start freaking out: "ah! what the heck am I going to do now?" "well I didn't actually think this day would get here!?!" "YAY! I AM DONE! I AM DONE! oh no wait!!!! I don't get financial aid anymore?! CRAP!"

I have been working hard to see changes. Changes within myself, changes in my lifestyle, changes in my relationships that mean the most to me. Interestingly enough I am actually starting to see some of those changes. Now granted they are just small things, but things I am excited about nonetheless. I am sure some of them are things that most people would never even notice really. Example 1: when I stand with my feet shoulder width apart now, my thighs don't touch. I mean I am sure most of you don't know what I am talking about because most of my friends are gorgeous and tiny, but to me this is HUGE! I have been dealing with weight ever since that magical day when I was 11 and puberty decided to hit with avengence bringing a monthly gift of grief. I have been working hard at working out at least 5 days a week, sometimes twice a day. It is hard, but it is working. I am changing. It brings me joy. Example 2: Over the past 2 years I have grown to LOVE golf. I have never been great mostly because I don't have time to practice ever, but also because I don't have a ton of upper body strength. Lately, I have been hitting all of my clubs longer, straighter, and higher. I have not been practicing a ton more or anything but a simple tip from an observer and the working out to build strength, have helped so much.

It is interesting. I think most people are afraid of change because they are not the ones instigating that change. I say, "If you don't like life the way it is, figure out a better option and make the change."

I am.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A lot of Golf

I golfed 27 holes today. I shot my best score: 92. I am tired. I worked out hard and I feel good. I am sure I will be sore tomorrow but I think that I can handle it. I will sleep well tonight.

Monday, June 14, 2010


I am sore. This did not stop me from completing my circuit and a round of golf. A bad round of golf.
am tired. My head has a nice plum sized bruise. Double ouch.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Another Close Encounter

So everyday items that most people use perfectly are deadly items in my hands. Let me relate a simple encounter that happened this morning.

I have recently started a workout regime with the wonder that is Jillian Michaels.

So I missed my last two workouts. The first two. I am trying to make them up today and it is off to an interesting start.
have a circuit training day today and started with some resistance band shoulder presses from over a door. I set up my equipment and I got started. Rep one: alright this will be ok. Rep two: WWWHHHHHAAAAAPPP! The door has come open and I have been whapped in the head with the door anchor. Ouch! ok, now what? I whimper for a few minutes and then get up and get back to work. From this point on I made sure that I closed the door fully, locked it and then held it with my foot. I am sure that it compromises the exercise a bit but it is better than getting whapped again.

I finished the circuit. Some of the work was not the easiest in the whole world but I was able to muscle through.

Later today I will be doing some cardio that I hope to get in about 45 minutes of work. I will then be caught up with my workouts and be back on track for working hard.
p.s. I have a huge bump on my forehead now. I look like a rhino.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Well that is Depressing...

So I had a student elaborate to me how every student in my first period class hates me except her. Now I am not really sure how I feel about this. The student informant is more than reliable so I don't doubt that the students have expressed these things to her. What more concerns me is that in turn they have almost all been very encouraging and responsive. Some of the sweetest girls I have had the privilege of teaching are apparently passive aggressive small ones. I know that these high schoolers do not know me on a personal level, they are probably reacting to my rules and assignments, and they have never tried to manage a classroom full of impossible beings (impossible at times) but still it is very disconcerting. 30 students have been hating me for who knows how long and they are all sitting in the same class. It is almost scary really. That is a power that I don't think they even recognize. I mean, don't get me wrong. I know that students hate their teachers. I know that they go through phases and blah blah blah, but really?! an ENTIRE class? I was unaware that was even possible.

well there you have it I guess. My ENTIRE first period class hates me except one student. I guess it is a good thing I found this out the night before their final performances...hhhhmmmmm I wonder how this will reflect in grades. Would they be different if I had never known?

The world may never know.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Coming to a Close

It is so hard to believe that I have not written a single thing in over a month. So much has happened. Things are really hard right now. It is the kind of hard that makes you want to stop doing what you are currently doing. It is the kind of hard that hurts to your corse and keeps that dull aching deep down. I will never understand what causes people to be so mean sometimes. I don't think I will ever understand how we get through these incredibly hard times either. I know that I have looked back and come to the realization that there have been some incredibly difficult periods that I was able to overcome.

School is drawing to an end. I am really happy. Over the last year I have been working the schedule: first period, fifth period and sixth period. Between the periods of second through fourth and then lunch...I do a lot of nothing (since breeaking my leg). My leg is no longer broken but it is proving to be a bit difficult to get any workouts done on my breaks now because I am actually teaching a student that is too "sick" to come to school. (the quotes indicate that I don't think she is sick but rather something happened that makes her not want to come back.)

I am tired. I find myself falling asleep anywhere that I sit still for too long.

4 more days.

4 more days and I will get to rejuvenate for a new year.

I need a new year.

Sunday, April 18, 2010


heart breaks heal slowly and hurt a ton. Even the ones after fights that you know you will be past in a few days. It feels like a few days takes forever. Please pass more quickly.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Frustration with Journalism

On campus we have a journalism club and class. Every so often they print and distribute a school paper that is supposed to represent all things on campus. The problem is that what actually gets covered is a whole lot of sports and other highly important things like Ugly Sweater Day and Prom. It is frustrating that when we have just produced the biggest show at Vanden in 8 years, barely anything. The other problem is that which was said about the show, was wrong.

Today the paper came out and stated that Annie, the show I slaved over for 3 really really long months, was actually directed by Tabitha Angier, my stage manager. Also the band teacher directed an orchestra pit that was was same size as my cast. Orchestra: 15 musicians (3 hired professionals), Cast: 31 are those the same size?

Ultimately I know that these are small errors but after an article in the last paper that was SO bad it looked like a small small child wrote it, these small errors are even more upsetting.

When I went to speak with the journalism teacher about these things all she said was, "They are kids." Well I know they are just kids but I was able to take my 31 students and put together a huge musical. Why can't she take her 30 kids and put together an accurate edited paper? If there are kids set up to edit and check facts, why aren't they being checked?

I am angry.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Roller Coasters

I cannot stand how life throws you rollercoasters. I like things to be fun. Working. Smooth. Alright you can all stop laughing. I am serious here. There are short periods of time when things just go right for people. Like the young summer love that is just perfect for 3 whole months. The blur of first being able to drive. These are usually instances that are just great while they last and either end up imploding or just losing its allure through regularity. Anyways, moving on.

Right now things are just not going well. Mom is fine, Kim is in holding, I have a broken leg and I am just a bit tired. It is like there are just things in my life that when they start to go sour, everything goes down hill with great speed and motivation.

Right now I am struggling with so many things on my mind. That I cannot focus on any one thing. I am actually currently, watching a documentary, writing a test and updating my blog. I am a freak of inattentiveness. When things start to go crazy it always has to leak into my personal life too, my life of relationships. I don't like that. I don't like feeling icky and uneasy.

I wish I could go to sleep and just wake up when it is all over again.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Tear Stained Cheeks...

5 years ago I was in a knee brace with a broken arm. I tore my ACL and broke my wrist playing indoor soccer. Many many people remember this. I have pictures and I distinctly remember the hours of pain and agony as I endured through casts, braces, surgery and physical therapy death. This was in Southern California.

While I was dealing with this pain, my sister was in Northern California dealing with her own nightmares. She was diagnosed with Synovial Sarcoma, a soft tissue cancer. She had surgery after surgery, lengthy hospital stays, radiation and deformed scars.

Today a new round of news has reached our family. It looks like I might have re-torn my ACL. I was attempting to learn to snowboard but tried to save a small girl from dying at my hand and ended up hurting myself. I have to get a confirming MRI but the way the doctor was talking today it is pretty sure that I will be having another knee surgery. My sister also got some test results back from her pap smear...abnormal cancer cells were found. This is a different cancer than last time and she now has to see more specialists. As though this were not enough for my poor family, Mom has been called back in to get more mammography pictures taken and they wont tell us why.

We are stuck in a bad cycle and are now just waiting. I was hoping to never feel this pain again. I am afraid.

Please pray for us.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Shamrockn' Good Time

So for some reason I am a huge idiot and decided that I needed to run a half marathon. This is probably not the best idea I have ever had because it means that I need to get myself into shape and run a lot. I originally started running again back in September because I have a huge stupid break in the middle of my day that I didn't know what to do with myself. This break turned into a good thing because I have been running 3-5 times a week since then. Somewhere along the line some coworkers started talking about running a half; somehow I got dragged into the equation.

In the beginning, when I was only running a mile or two I thought there was no way that I could ever run the full half marathon. This was ok because there were plenty other people I knew that were going to walk or run/walk the entire course.

I have kept running. I can now run 4.5 miles in less than an hour and without stopping. I have run up to 8 miles without stopping and I am still going. This weekend I am trying to run 9-10 miles. A few months ago I could never even imagine running this much.


I love getting ready. I love listening to my ipod. I love pushing myself farther and farther. When I don't run I get all messed up and upset. I love the feeling after I run and I really really enjoy the rhythmic beat that my breathing and foot fall makes on the pavement.

On March 14th I will be one of many many many runners hitting the pavement in Sacramento for the annual;

Shamrockn' Half Marathon

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Saturday School

At the beginning of every year the administration asks who would like to be put on the Saturday school rotation. This means that every so often you are in charge of watching the "bad" students on Saturday morning for 4 straight hours. Because I was not full time, I thought that this would be a good way to make at least a little bit of money. The first time I was up on the rotation it was really really easy. I only had 10 students and they followed directions and it wasn't that big of a deal. Well now it is a lot harder. I am currently sitting in a room full of 29 students that do not want to listen or do the work that they were supposed to bring with them. We have been here for almost 4 hours and I am not going to sucks. This is the kind of sucking that you think to yourself, "this is honestly not worth my $38.21 an hour pay. It sucks. I am honestly just a babysitter. The students are to sit silently and work. They are not supposed to talk to each other or take out any sort of electronic device. It is lame and I don't like doing it. I had never signed up before so I didn't really know what I was getting myself into.

I have a feeling by the time we get closer to noon it is going to degrade into "as long as you are not talking I don't care what you are doing" ugh this sucks.

Friday, January 8, 2010


So my classroom is really really cold. the last time they came in to check the heat with their little sensor gun it said 46 degrees. Well the maintenance department has been trying to fix my heater (an subsequently stuck on AC) for about a week. They needed to order a part so it has a very cold week. On day 2 of these escapades the maintenance men brought me a small heater. This is not nearly big enough to heat my entire room, which is huge so my TA and I have been hoarding it next to the desk because everybody else is up and moving around anyways...

So yesterday I came up with the brilliant idea to put the heater under my desk so that it would hit the desk and fan out a bit more around me. This worked like a charm. This morning when I got in my room was inevitably freezing so I tried this again. I was nice and toasty as I worked on the computer. The bell rang so I went to unlock the door. As I walked over to the door I noticed a bright red spot on my sweater sleeve. As I unlocked the door and walked back to my desk I was trying to figure out what this spot was because it wasn’t on me when I got to school. In my quest to find the source I found this mystery substance smeared elsewhere on my jacket as well…then there was a HUGE glob on my pants. Apparently in the desk drawer over which sat the heater was a bright red crayon. The heater melted this crayon and it dripped out of the desk onto my pants and subsequently got onto my jacket and smeared a lot…I now am sporting a pair of pants with a bright red spot the size of a mandarin and red smeared all over my jacket which I was able to take off….I am an idiot. Apparently a big one.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Working Drama

It is really strange to think about life when you really set back and look. I have been trying to do this at work lately. I know that I don't have the big picture and I am aware of current economic situation where we are all lucky if we even have a job. However, I also know that there are decent ways to treat people and there are some things that are just unacceptable. When I was originally called back to Vanden they offered me a full time position. Over the next few phone calls the position just kept falling until it landed on 60%. Ok, well I can make 60% work somehow. I will figure it out. I was told that I would be done teaching by 4th period which would give me the entire afternoon to do other things. I currently teach first, fifth and sixth period. In case you don't know how schooling works because you didn't pay attention or you have just forgotten how to count, five and six do not usually follow one. It is just not how things work. Because of my schedule I have this lovely 4 hour break in the middle of the day that I do nothing. I cannot get another job because there is nowhere to work nearby. It is beyond frustrating and simply exhausting to tell the truth. Since that initial hiring back I am also having the problem that they keep offering me opportunities to teach new classes and then taking them away. Every time I turn around the powers that be are changing something that inevitablly messes me up. I am tired of battling. I am tired of working incessantly and yet not being paid. I long for the simplicity of former years where I would teach all day and then go home.

There is nothing that I can do about my current situation except quit. There is not much I can change that will help provide for my family or help put money back into my savings account. Ultimately I have only one decision: keep working at Vanden or leave for something else. There is nothing else so that leaves me with the former.

I am almost 90% sure that I will not be at Vanden after June we are just counting down the days until the torture ends.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Welcome Winter

So I am well aware of the fact that winter has been here for a very long time; however, it has never been more clear than it is right now in my classroom. The heater broke over the break. That is right. The heater that they just fixed before the break is now broken again and they need to order a new part. This wouldn't be too bad if the AC was not just stuck on. It is not only clod because we are in winter but it is also getting colder in my room because of the wonder that is the modern AC. Thank you very much.

Beyond the cold that I am going to die of...not much is going on.

I am happy...well when I am not freezing to death in my classroom.

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year's

So I don't particularly care for resolutions. I think people resolve to do too many things and then they never happen. I always make resolutions that never really ingrain themselves into my life and then I feel like I have failed or let somebody down, or course that somebody is always me and I really don't like that feeling. So instead of making resolutions...I make lists. There are a million different things on these lists. I try to separate them based on the area of my life they deal with: personal, health,work, get the point. I like lists better because I can cross things off of them and I can get very very specific. Now mind you, this is the first year I have tried the list idea and so we will see how it works. I just know that I have always enjoyed making lists and crossing this I am hoping that this is going to stick. I will let you know.

In other news. I was playing boxing on the wii fit and my arms really hurt. Mind you I did this boxing adventure 2 days ago...I am still in pain...I think that calls for more boxing more often.