Some Teaching Truths

In honor of Back to School, I decided to drop some fun teaching truth bombs (Also, I’m swamped this week and list posts are the easiest #sorrynotsorry). Even if you’re not a teacher, you’ll likely relate. If your job is high stress, but also high reward, you’ll for sure relate. Because I really should be labeling all the things instead of writing a blog post, let’s just begin:

1. Unless you’re crazily devoted to a fitness plan or you have a superhero’s will and control, you will eat every carb in your house after a bad day. 

2. Forget about the college “Freshmen Fifteen”. There’s such as a thing as the “Teacher Twenty”. Or, sometimes, the “Educator Eighty”. Also, this can happen during year one or year ten. 

3. You will eat your weight in mini-size chocolate candy. Sometimes in one day. 

#goals

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4. If the day after Valentine’s/Christmas/Easter clearance candy has been cleaned out, you can thank a teacher. 

5. You will get fat. So fat.

6. If food isn’t your happy place (congratulations on not being “pregnant” every year), you will drink copious amounts of wine and at some point in your career, consider rehab, but only the facilities that are more like spas and only because it would be the best sanity-saving vacation ever. 

7. If it comes down to toilet paper or a shiny new pack of Expo markers at the end of the month, markers win-hands down. 


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8. You save straws, bits of fabric, tissue boxes, and one 3 inch piece of string, because it all just may come in handy at some point. 

9. They never come in handy. 

10. Your teacher cabinet/closet/cupboard is a portal to Narnia or another dimension, because it’s where all of your supplies go to never be found again. 

I Googled “messy teacher cabinet” and this popped up. Two things: 1. Ya’ll lyin’ and 2. Ain’t nobody got time for that. Maybe someday I’ll be brave and share my Closet o’ Shame.

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11. No matter how poor you are, you always find a way to buy $80 worth of crap from the Target Dollar Spot. 

12. No matter how frustrating your students can be sometimes, you’re fiercely protective of them when they’re criticized by another teacher who doesn’t know them as well as you. 

13. Your students are your family. Your tribe. You love them. Every year, your heart opens up to allow for 20 more spaces. 

14. You crop dust. It’s only fair. 

15. If you weren’t an emotional person or crier before becoming an educator, you can kiss your shyness/pride goodbye. 

16. You will cry over everything.

17. You will have to kindly remind your students that, “Maybe someone needs to go to the restroom” after toxic waste lunch bombs are dropped all afternoon. 

18. If your student’s book order money is short, you pay what they’re missing without a second thought. 

19. You only go to the bathroom during the day once a week, but during that exact time, admin will walk in. It’s basically a scientific fact. 

20. Your teacher look is such a work of art that an eyebrow raise, lip purse, and nose wrinkle can mean 875 different things and no matter the day, the kid, or the teacher friend, the message is always received loud and clear. 

Trainer at inservice day says, “Pick a partner”-Teacher Bestie and I look at each other like…

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Tell me, who was your favorite teacher and why? Or, make me laugh and tell me an hilarious school or teacher story. 

Monday Musings: What Are Your Blog Reading Requirements? 

I was just talking with a friend about the purpose of reading blogs. She’s a devoted reader of mine and, apparently, I’m the only blogger she reads. She was saying that unless she’s friends with or related to the blog writer, she’s probably not going to spend her time reading their personal stories. I can totally respect that some people have to know the blogger/writer to want to read about their embarrassing encounter with the Porta Potty or their personal preference when it comes to stand mixers. 

I totally get that. 

I’m pretty much the opposite of my friend when it comes to online reading preferences. 

I love reading about someone’s awesome vacation to some exotic locale or reading about how they make a mean enchilada casserole with a recipe they got from their crazy Aunt Marge. 

Maybe that’s totally weird? 

Maybe I’m entirely too interested in complete strangers’ fun family stories or how they studied abroad in Ireland (read about one of my favorite blogger’s experiences doing just that here)?

Whatever it may be, I can definitively say that I’m a devoted blog reader, and I appreciate my committed readers more than words can express.

Throughout the last two years and some odd months, I’ve connected with, gotten to know, and enjoyed reading so many bloggers. 

I love you all. I truly do. We are a tribe, and I’m so fortunate to be a part of it.

Just like my friend, however, I have some requirements that must be met in order for me to spend so much of my time reading blogs. 

These are some of them:

1. You’re a real person who responds to comments and engages with your readers. If you never respond to comments, or it takes you far too long to respond, and I’ve long since forgotten about your post, I will grow weary of dedicating time to read and comment. 

2. Posts are well-written and purposeful. We all make grammatical errors (like that one time I made a massive one in the title of a post *cringe*), but if the mistakes take away from the message, this teacher can’t even. 

3. The topic is one in which I can relate to in some way, shape, or form. This is a pretty straightforward one. If you write about something I can hardly come up with a comment for, then your topic is best left to those who can. There’s nothing wrong with that. I write about back fat, rogue chin hairs, and how I have a tendency to inhale baked goods. Those topics aren’t for everyone, either. 

And, that’s it, really. If you respond to comments I spend time crafting, you don’t have grammatical errors every line, and your posts keep me wanting more, I’m hooked. 

So, I’m curious-what are your blog reading preferences and requirements? Let me know in the comments. 

WTF Wednesdays: Travel Tag Edition

The lovely An Historian About Town nominated me for the travel tag. I was so excited to be nominated, because I love to travel and I love An Historian. Not only are her posts well-written, interesting, and positively filled with gorgeous photos of beautiful places and things, the girl behind it all is just fabulous. Go check out her blog-you’ll love it!

Now, without further ado, my responses to some fun travel-themed questions:

What is your favorite place that you have visited?

Hands down, the U.K. and Ireland. My trip was seven freaking years ago, but I still think about it everyday, and I have tried to get back to the U.K. on several different occasions.

Is it possible to look any more touristy?
My ancestor-Lady Godiva’s statue was dwarfed by a Primark. I felt equal parts let down and excited. I really wanted to buy a pair of £8 jean shorts.
 

I also loved NYC and have always dreamed of living it up a la every.single.chick.flick in all creation, as a Big Apple girl.

(All of my NYC pics are stored away on my external hard drive. Sad face.)

Large cities, with tons of energy and culture, are definitely my favorite places to visit, but I loved being in the middle of nowhere, amidst rolling green hills in England. I also adored driving through the otherworldly terrain of the Scottish Highlands, and even though the road to Dingle, Ireland is crap-your-pants scary, the beauty of the Dingle Peninsula is unmatched.

I feel like there should be an “I Survived the Road to Dingle” badge.
Somewhere between Inverness and Edinburgh

If you could visit anywhere tomorrow where would you go?

100% the U.K.! But, I mean, if someone wanted to take me to Japan or Italy or Brazil, I’d not argue one bit. *spastic winking*

Would you rather go on a city holiday or a beach holiday?

I’m such a city girl-the energy, the eclectic culture, the myriad languages, the food, the history… Also, I’m not a huge fan of sunburnt fat that turns into one big, ugly rash, because too much of my skin was exposed and rubbing together. Give me chilly weather, layered clothing, a coffee, and a walking trip around an historic city ANY DAY.

Buuuut, I won’t say ‘no’ to a beach holiday!

Just embrace the sand in your crotch and the sunburned everything!
Alcohol helps!

My top three travel essentials are: 

  • Obviously, my phone/camera is my number one travel must have. The best souvenirs I’ve ever gotten on a trip are the insane amount of pictures of every noteworthy (and, not so noteworthy-I have been known to photograph a random bench or ugly pigeon, because it’s a foreign bench and a foreign pigeon) sight and experience.
  • Hand sanitizer, wet wipes, and a travel-size hand soap are essential. I’ve never traveled somewhere exotic enough to encounter squatty potties or lack of running water, but you just never know what kind of facilities or amenities a restroom will have. Also, the very first hostel I ever stayed at did not provide hand soap or even paper towels. You just never know what horrors you’ll encounter. You.never.know.
  • A versatile scarf and a pair of Wayfarers. I know these sound like lame “essentials”, but when I’m feeling ugly as hell on the 6th day of crap hair, because my flat iron refuses to work with the expensive adapter I bought, a scarf makes me feel a little more put together.


Can you even tell my hair is greasy and I’m wearing zero makeup? See what I mean? 

Are you an over packer or an under packer?
Literally, I used to bring three full suitcases for a weekend trip back home when I lived in Elko. The pressure that exists when you have to decide what you want to wear before the day(s) in question is just too much. I can’t even. Also, sometimes my favorite piece of clothing looks hideous on me for various reasons. You just never know.

Before the trip I took to the U.K., I obsessively researched light packing tips and practiced packing the one bag I took. It was a real trial, and it took a huge leap of faith to know I’d survive if I wore the same jeans two days in a row.


So, I lied. I took three bags…

What is your favorite thing about going on vacations?

When I’m on vacation, I feel whole. It’s an indescribable feeling of just being. When you’re on vacation, you get to live a life that would exist if daily stressors, like bills and other lame adult responsibilities didn’t exist.

Edinburgh
Edinburgh, my love!
I also love completely immersing myself in the culture and the history of wherever I am. There’s nothing more humbling than standing in a church built before your own country even existed.

Said church-St. Margaret’s Chapel

Would you rather go on vacation with family or friends?

Yeesh.

Either choice has its share of positives and negatives. Traveling with family means that there’s a pretty good chance your mom might pay for some of the travel expenses. There’s also a fairly good chance she might forget you’re a grown adult and remind you to thank “the nice travel guide”. Or, she might feel the need to chastise you about your frivolous waste of money on name brand deodorant.

Traveling with friends has its benefits in that your friends are usually more in tune with your level of fun. That might mean an adventurous competition to see how many museums at the Smithsonian you can visit in one day.


This was the day after our Smithsonian challenge. Someone had a museum hangover #8thgradeugly. 

Or, maybe, that means buying every kind of foreign candy in the convenience store and then going back to your hotel room to see who can get diabetes first.

Diabetes!
When you travel with your friends, there’s also the potential for a complete WWIII, nuclear fallout, because after being together 24/7 you can’t stand the way they chew their food or breathe.

Whether traveling with a friend or family member, just drink. Their mouth breathing won’t matter near as much. 

Either way, memories are made and that’s all that matters. Right?

What is the most adventurous dish you have ever tried from another country?
Abso-freaking-lutely that would be haggis with ‘neeps and ‘tatties that my friend and her Scottish husband made for us while we stayed with them in Edinburgh.

It was actually amazingly delicious. No shit, I crave that dish on the regular.

My amazing Scottish friends! 

I’d like to nominate the following bloggers (please don’t feel obligated to participate):

The Wandering Flamingo
This girl is an amazing photographer, writer and blogger friend. She also lives in my favorite country, so I always feel I get to live vicariously through her photos and posts. Also, she is an avid traveler, so I’d love to know more about her envy-worthy travels. Please go check out her blog and beautiful photography-you won’t be disappointed!

A Walk and a Lark
Here’s another blogger bud who lives in one of my favorite cities-London! She’s become an amazing blogging supporter and friend, and I simply adore reading her blog! She is well-traveled, so I’d love the inside scoop on some of her favorite places! Check out Josy’s blog! I promise you’ll love it and her!

All Thoughts Work
This chick cracks me up. Every time I get a comment from her, I know I’ll end up practically peeing myself from laughter. I’ve gleaned that she’s an avid outdoors-woman and talented writer, but that’s all I know. I need to know more! Head on over to the funny lady’s blog-you won’t regret it!

Quit Judging Me, Fitbit

Damn, Fitbit. Why you gotta play me like that? Between Friday and Saturday, I logged 33,806 steps, walked 14.91 miles, was active for 258 minutes, and I have a blister on my toe in the shape of Owen Wilson’s nose, yet my Fitbit is still harping on me today to get my steps in? What’s that you say? You mean, I have to move everyday? I should log 10,000 steps everyday? You mean…I’m not done?

*blank stare*

So, in order to do this thing called, “fitness”, and to be successful at said fitness, I have to do it everyday?

Never mind. I’ll just be returning this here Fitbit, if you don’t mind.

*Rustles in cabinet looking for Crack Cup*

Only half kidding. In all seriousness guys, 10,000 steps a day for someone whose favorite pastime is savoring rainbow sprinkles with a dollop of Cool Whip while watching past episodes of Biggest Loser on Hulu is asking a lot.

My grand weekend of getting in some killer steps was thanks to a quick trip over the hill to San Francisco. Not like, a marathon or anything (obviously, that was your first guess). 

If you have ever been to San Francisco, you know transportation in the city is either: a horror-themed roller coaster-like driving experience, with hobos popping out when you least expect it and you’re honked at for not mowing down pedestrians or it’s a serious walking nightmare experience. I chose walking, and damn those bunions hurt (just kidding, I don’t have bunions. I don’t even know what they are, but I bet they’d be hurting if I had them).

So, I guess my grand walking adventure in San Francisco where my thighs almost ignited due to rubbage did not, in fact, make me instantly fit and svelte. 

Oh, the pain and suffering! 

 

One of my favorite cities, the City by the Bay.

 
How you doin?
 
Getting my steps in by crossing The Golden Gate Bridge.

 
Garlic with pasta from The Stinking Rose. Amazing.
 
  
A view of the city from Alcatraz.

 
So.much.rain.
 
 
Clam chowder in a bread bowl from Boudin’s.
 
Pure effing Heaven. Funfetti. Cake batter. Rainbow sprinkles.
 

 

Walking up Lombard Street almost did me in. I had to stop every other house to catch my breath. Seriously.
  
My how-come-I’m-not-skinny-yet-face.
 
My rant about my demanding, asshole Fitbit turned into some pictures from the trip. You’re welcome. 

  

Just a Freaking Ray of Sunshine-An Award

  

I was nominated by the always fabulous Carrots in My Carryon to participate in the Sunshine Blog Award. I love talking about myself. Just being honest. Conveniently, I’m also super creepy-curious about others, so asking really pointed, possibly embarrassing, questions is my forte! Yay! Here we go! 

The Rules:

  • Thank the person who nominated you in a blog post
  • Answer the 11 questions set by the person who nominated you
  • Nominate 11 blogs to receive the award, and write them 11 new questions

  
1. Describe to me, in detail, your favorite pizza.  (Bonus points if you can make it sound sultry.)

My ideal pizza has a nice solid, substantial crust. Not too thin, not too thick. The color has to be right too. Not too pale, not too dark. Just right-in-the-middle firmness. My ideal crust has to satisfy me as it’s the foundation for the rest of the pizza relationship. Next, it’s all about the sauce. Weak, thin sauce is unacceptable. I want a zesty, robust, wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am experience. Knock my socks off with that ish. The toppings don’t really matter to me. As long as the base is solid, everything else just comes together. 

2.  Congratulations!  You just won a boat.  What do you name her?

I happen to already know that boats are usually named for women, but not my boat. I would name my boat ‘The Gary’. Gary is my uncle and he was always our captain on my grandma’s boat. Every summer. Forever. I think boats, I think Captain Uncle Gary. It’s just how it is. 

3.  INTRUDER ALERT!  Someone’s breaking into your house!  What do you grab to fend him off? 

What do I grab? I’m already out the window, running down the street. Oh.Hell.No. 

4.  What is your least favorite household chore?

CLEANING THE TOILET. It’s germy. There are usually stray pubes adorning the bowl or they’re fastened to the under seat. There are tiny toilet paper poop balls littered behind the seat. People defecate inside it and I have to clean it. Toilet cleaning is, quite possibly, the worst thing to ever happen to anyone. Hands down. Anything that has poop in, around, or on it is NOT my favorite.

5.  A stranger hands you $100 and one condition:  you have to spend it on something COMPLETELY frivolous, or a puppy dies.  What do you spend it on?

Oh girl, what do I NOT spend it on? I master in the art of frivolity. Shoes. Cute shoes that hurt my feet. Every single product in any Bath & Body Works at any time. A Michael Kors purse. A day of pampering at a spa. Eyelash extensions. Full body hair removal. Oh. Wait. It’s only $100. I was totally spending $100,000…

6.  Say something spiritual about doing laundry.

It’s the bane of existence. Is that spiritual? 

7.  What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten (on purpose?)

Haggis with “neeps and tatties”!

8.  What’s the oldest thing in your fridge right now?

A moldy lemon. It’s grown around and become one with the top rack. It looks comfortable. I don’t want to disturb it. 

9.  Describe your sleeping space. 

I MUST have a fan on at all times. For the sound, and for the constant air in my face. It’s up there with my face shaver as my most important possession. My bed has precisely 12 pillows for two people. I have a down feather pillow top mattress and a down feather comforter. My sleep is all that matters, so it has to be top-notch. 

10. Thrill rides:  Yes or no, and why or why not?

Um no. If you can guarantee I won’t die or feel sick afterwards, I’d consider it. I’m zero fun. 

11. What’s your favorite joke?

Me trying to give up cake-like consistency baked goods. It just ain’t gonna happen. 

My nominees are…

  1. Cat in the Cactus
  2. Kimboxin
  3. A Wandering Memory
  4. Karlaland
  5. Island Smile
  6. Babysteps22
  7. atalossforwordz
  8. lifeofmon
  9. afunnythinghappened
  10. A Couple Talks
  11. sfarnell

Heeheehaha. Now for MY questions…

1. If you could have one superpower what would it be, and why? 

2. Describe your ideal Friday night. 

3. What is the most embarrassing thing to ever happen to you? 

4. Describe your High School experience in 4 words. 

5. What is in your bag/pocket right now? 

6. Biggest fashion mistake? 

7. If you could go back and relive one experience, what would it be?

8. Most embarrassing song in your ITunes? 

9. You have a year, unlimited resources, support, and 1 million dollars. How would you fix our world’s problems? 

10. Your favorite movie and why?

11. What’s the worst part about getting older? 

I went easy on ya’ll. I totally could have gotten creepy! These are easy, so join in on the fun!