Saturday, February 19, 2011

Didn't See That One Coming

I was so looking forward to today... getting to spend time with my family.

During class, however, I got a phone call that shook things up a bit.  It was my apartment complex office telling me that, "it has come to their attention that I have a puppy, which is a strict violation against my lease."  Apparently, it says in my lease that they only allow dogs over the age of twelve months.

They have seen Harper, and she is clearly not twelve months old.

So, I was a teary-eyed mess for the last hour of my class today.  I raced home to hug my dog and ask my family to help me problem solve.

I decided to go immediately to talk to my manager to see what my options were.  Basically, I have to give up the dog or move out within thirty days.

The lady was also kind enough to give me her husband's contact information.  Apparently, he is the best real estate agent in town.  How nice of her!  She kicks me out of my apartment and then wants me to buy a house from her husband.  Fat chance.

So, I am here to announce that I am moving.

My dear friend Kelli is going house hunting with me tomorrow, and I'm headed to the bank on Monday to see how much money they think I can spend on a house.  I hate making these kinds of decisions so quickly, but thirty days doesn't give me much wiggle room.  I only wish that I didn't also have to deal with parent-teacher conferences this week.

Oh, well.

I keep telling myself that this is happening for a reason.  And I am trusting in the Lord with all my heart and not leaning on my own understanding.  I am submitting to him, for I know that He will make my paths straight.

It's all I know to do.

Wish me luck!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Just What I Needed...

On Wednesday, I became overwhelmed.

Midquarter reports were due, and my stack of papers seemed to be growing exponentially.  I had done less than half of my homework that is due on Saturday, my house was a mess, my laundry was not done, my car was dirty, and my dog had been neglected.

I.  Was.  A.  Mess.

I don't experience stress very often, so when it comes, I don't know how to handle it well.

So, what did I do?

I went to a student's basketball game and then went to Never Say Never 3D:  The Justin Bieber movie.

Normally, a little Bieber will cure my woes, and although the movie was phenomenal, I left still feeling overwhelmed with all in my life that was left undone.  So, I called up my friend Jeremy to see if he would sub for me on Thursday.  Luckily, he was free to do so.

I took the day off to go to school and get caught up on my work.

I showed up at my normal time wearing sweatpants and my favorite comfortable t-shirt.  My plan was to get my room ready for the sub without the kids seeing me, but I didn't escape in enough time.  The kids were way confused to see me in sweats and no make-up.

"Are you sick?" they asked?

"No," I replied, "I just need a 'me' day."

Bless their hearts, they didn't even ask any follow-up questions.

And, oh, man, what a productive day it was!  
  • I stayed at school and worked for three hours on grading.
  • I went home to let my puppy out and put the dishes away.
  • I took a 30-minute nap.
  • I took Harper for a walk.
  • I went to lunch at Noodles and Company with Ashley.  Hooray for Wisconsin Mac & Cheese!
  • I cleaned the kitchen, the living room, the bathroom, and my bedroom.
  • I cleaned up all of Harper's toys.  And the potty stains that have ruined my carpet.
  • I did laundry.
  • I finished my homework for my grad class.
  • I took Harper to the vet to get her second round of shots.
  • I washed my car.
  • I went to dinner at Lazlo's (yum!)
  • I spent the evening hanging out with friends.
  • I came home and graded some more.
On top of all of that, it reached 71 degrees today, which is almost unheard of in February in these parts.  It.  Was.  Beautiful!

After yesterday, I feel like a whole new person!  I felt really good going to bed feeling like I was a giant step closer to being caught up on life.

Also, my family is coming to visit this weekend!  My brother is coming tonight to spend the night, and he even offered to watch Harper while I'm in class tomorrow.  My parents will be here tomorrow so we can hang out after class is over.

Cleaning, grading, eating out, catching up, and a visit from family... just what I needed!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

So True...

My dear friend Amber sent me this e-mail forward today.  Normally, I'm not one to give them a second look, but I trust Amber's judgment.  All my educator friends out there will totally be able to relate to this.  Enjoy!

After being interviewed by the school administration, the prospective teacher said: 

Let me see if I've got this right.

You want me to go into that room with all those kids, correct their disruptive behavior, observe them for signs of abuse, monitor their dress habits, censor their T-shirt messages, and instill in them a love for learning. 

You want me to check their backpacks for weapons, wage war on drugs and sexually transmitted diseases, and raise their sense of self esteem and personal pride. 

You want me to teach them patriotism and good citizenship, sportsmanship and fair play, and how to register to vote, balance a checkbook, and apply for a job. 

You want me to check their heads for lice, recognize signs of antisocial behavior, and make sure that they all pass the final exams.

You also want me to provide them with an equal education regardless of their handicaps, and communicate regularly with their parents in English, Spanish or any other language, by letter, telephone, newsletter, and report card. 

You want me to do all this with a piece of chalk, a blackboard, a bulletin board, a few books, a big smile, and a starting salary that qualifies me for food stamps. 

You want me to do all this and then you tell me. . . I CAN'T PRAY?

Monday, February 7, 2011

Some Days

Some days, I wonder what it would be like to work 9-5.
Other days, I can't imagine being forced to think after 3:15.

Some days, I wish I had a whole hour for lunch - enough time to go home, let my dog out, and take my time eating my food.
Other days, I realize that if I did have an hour, I would probably waste most of it.

Some days, I wonder what it would be like to leave at the end of the day without piles of work yet to be done.
Other days, I wonder how much mindless television I would watch if I didn't spend my evenings planning lessons and grading papers.

Some days, I get sick of testing, testing, testing.
Other days, I am grateful to teach in a city and in a country that holds teachers and students accountable for learning.

Some days, I wonder what it would be like to earn a salary comparable to a businessperson or other professionals - doctors, lawyers, etc.
Other days, I am grateful for the challenge of being frugal.

Some days, I wish my days were predictable - that I would know exactly what would be expected of me going in to each and every day.
Other days, I can't imagine working a job that didn't challenge me and my thinking.

Some days, I crave a set schedule - 9-5, Monday through Friday, every week of the year.
Other days, I can't imagine life without summers, snow days, and semester breaks.

Some days, I wish I wasn't faced with living examples of the disparities of our society - poverty, homelessness, unemployment, and broken homes and families.
Other days, I am so grateful to be in position to give clothing, food, or supplies to kids who wouldn't otherwise have any.

Some days, I wish I didn't have to deal with sass, disrespect, apathy, the middle school odor, and drama.
Other days, I am so glad to be in a position to see the incredible potential of this generation.

Some days, I am not sure that I have what it takes to be a teacher.
Other days, I am convinced that it is what I was put on this earth to do.

Thank God for those "other" days.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Harper's World

So far, things are going pretty well with Harper around.  Each night, she cries less and less when I put her in her kennel, she is having fewer "accidents" inside, and I have figured out how to blockade her out of the spaces in which she is not allowed.

Here are some things Harper loves:

Her Aunt Kelli

Her Aunt Ashley


Her Kong toy with peanut butter inside

Looking out the window


Here, on the other hand, are things that Harper strongly dislikes:

Being in her kennel


Being drug on a leash

I'm a bit nervous to go back to school tomorrow after being home for two snow days.  On her first day at home, she made it all day without any "accidents" in her kennel.  She was spoiled having me home all day these past two days because she didn't have to hold it, as I was able to take her out every few hours.

Please pray that I will come home tomorrow to a clean dog in a clean kennel!

Thank you.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Weigh-In: Week 3

I am shocked.

I thought for sure that this would be a no-pounds-lost week.

On Monday, I went to Dairy Queen and had a chicken strip basket.

I ate out multiple times on the weekend.

I did not work out.  Not even once.

But I still managed to lose two more pounds, bringing my grand total to:

7.5 pounds lost!

It shouldn't be this way, but I'm not going to complain.  I do need to get back into working out, though.  I feel significantly less motivated, however, when I have to walk through snow drifts in order to get to the weight room.

Hurry up, Spring!