You are currently browsing the monthly archive for January 2011.

Yes, I know. I was supposed to keep this thing updated. Well, that’s not going over well, is it? Don’t be surprised if I don’t update much, or at least, not until May, when I’ve graduated.

Things are a mixed bag during student teaching. I don’t want to get too into it, since it’s – well – a mixture of things, and I don’t want to speak too much about it since this blog is publicly accessible. I don’t know. There’s just a lot. For me personally, I need to work on my inner strength, my teacher presence (keeping my voice loud enough for everyone to hear), and my relation to the students. They come from a different class than I do, so things are definitely different at this high school from my hometown high school.

The challenge as a whole? Our school has been categorized as “failing” by the State, and things are progressively getting worse in the English department. It really is discouraging.

While we have our good days – I survived my first surprise university supervisor visit on Monday and was thrilled – there are also the bad, such as today. I think everyone is worn down, and we didn’t even have much time in school last week (holiday, snow day, two hour delay and pep rally).

And it’s only going to get harder from here. I take the two sophomore classes over on February 7th. I’ll be doing all five classes about a week or so later.

I just don’t know how I’m going to do this. I can’t back out now, there is nowhere to go but forward. I need to get through this, and I will – somehow.

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I drove back to the apartment yesterday evening. It was the hardest trip I’ve ever had to make. Even though it only took an hour, I felt so torn apart having to go back to the stress of school. I love my mom. We’re close. I had the best break ever, and it hurt me to go. I think we both cried when it was time to say goodbye. I put on David Bowie and sobbed during the whole trip. I try to be strong. But I love that feeling that I have when I’m home, when I have someone who cares a damn about me, when I actually have the time and will to make a delicious dinner not for myself, but for someone else. When there’s that love. So coming back to an apartment where nothing outside my bedroom feels like mine (someone used my butter while I was gone – and I had a label on it, for crying out loud!) and I feel I can’t be myself isn’t exactly ideal.

I guess the good thing is that today is the beginning of the last semester I will ever have to take as an undergraduate (hopefully). I am student teaching, and am terrified. I doubt myself as a teacher. I think I’ll be okay, but it’s still pretty nerve-wracking. I’ll be starting my days at Central tomorrow. I just wish I didn’t feel so anxious.

All student teachers had orientation today. We spent most of the day (from about 8:30 am to 11:45 am) getting lectured about conceptual framework, timelines, expectations, portfolios, and about twenty minutes on blood-borne pathogens. Exciting, I know. I sat with Tim and Rachel, two people I know from other classes in my content area. It was good to be with some familiar faces, though it’s probably the last time I’ll see them – except maybe graduation.

After lunch, we met with our University Supervisors. Johanna and I have the same one since we’re at the same school. Josh was also there, I had him in my EDPSY class. A lot of people in my practicum, since they have local schools, also have the same one.
I might have to quit my job, after all, though. I don’t want to fail student teaching. I know my shifts will only be on the weekends, but I still need to put my teaching experience (and my sanity/health)  first. We’ll see. I’m going to give it a try. I don’t think my University Supervisor approves of me working, though. I don’t think he thinks I’m serious about what I’ve chosen to do as a profession. He’s wrong. I care, but I need to have some sort of income. I’m still basically on my own.

The only thing that actually bothered me  was that he began a new topic by saying, “Have a boyfriend? Girlfriend? Dump them.” Of course, he later clarified that by saying, make sure your partner realizes that this is who you are, and they approve of your profession – if they don’t accept you as a teacher now, will they ever? I’m glad he clarified that. I mean, I understand what he’s saying. Some partners are needy and will whine if you have to spend time making lesson plans, grading papers, or researching ways to improve instruction in the classroom. But then there are the ones who will keep you sane.

Let me tell you about my one. My love. Last night, before going to bed, I had the sick, fluttering feeling in my stomach that I’ve had for a while. I’m super anxious – I’m almost wondering if I truly need to go on medication to control it. But I texted Alex one simple phrase: “I’m scared about this semester.” I’m sad that he won’t be near me for yet another semester, but it might be for the best right now, though, considering all I’d want to do is to be with him, and then it’d end up distracting me, like my university supervisor said. But let me share with you about what Alex sent back to me – a two page text about how much he loves me and how I’m strong and how we’ll get through this together.

This afternoon, he sent me a text telling me he hopes that today has been going well and that he can’t wait to see me this weekend.

Though I’m still nervous, I’m glad that I don’t have to be alone, and that I have someone who loves and supports me as I go through this incredible shift in my role from student to teacher.

Happy New Year! It’s unbelievable that yes, another year has gone by. Part of me is saying, “Hey, slow down, world, let me enjoy my time!” and the other part is saying, “Slow down after my graduation! I want graduation to be here as soon as possible!” No, but really – I’m 22 now. It’s weird. I mean, not like it matters much, anymore. I think the only memorable birthday after 21 is probably 25 – because isn’t that the age when you can rent a car? Anyway, it’s still weird whenever you turn another year older. Sometimes, I slip up and say I’m the wrong age – not because I want to lie about it, but because I forget how fast time has passed.

Whatever. Not griping. I just didn’t want to have a big celebration. I didn’t even want to do it last year, but Alex thought that since I was turning 21, it would be important for me to have a birthday party.

What happened was that Alex came up to visit, we had fancy chicken-cranberry-Brie pizza and taught my mom how to play Settlers of Catan. Much to my chagrin, Mom beat us. I was sincerely hoping I’d have a chance of winning a game.

Scott came up after his shift, and then we proceeded to get drunk. We had those silly cracker things that have toys in them, and we wore the crepe paper crowns from them all night. We watched the ball drop, toasted with Champagne, and we had birthday cake – homemade triple-layer funfetti cake with buttercream frosting.

Oooh, doesn’t that look lovely? Yes, it was definitely as good as it looked.

Of course, something went a little awry. We popped our second round of crackers, and I began to feel sick. Not nausea – it wasn’t related to my drinking, surprisingly. No, I’ve had this feeling before – when having an allergy attack. I’ve had two notable allergy attacks (to some sort of spice, we’re thinking, but we really can’t be for sure). In the past during this attacks, my eyelids and lips have swelled up and I can’t breathe, among other things that happen to my body. In this case, I definitely couldn’t breathe. I kept coughing and wheezing, but there was really nothing I could do except drink water and struggle through it.

That is how my 2011 began. Despite the fact I couldn’t breathe, it was good. I got to celebrate with the love of my life, my mother, and one of my good friends I hadn’t seen in a while. Like I said, we had cake, and I opened up the majority of my gifts. I only opened one of Alex’s, and saved the other one for the next day. The one I did open that night was a book – a graphic novel, pop-up version of Dracula. It is seriously cool, and as weird as it seems, very fitting for me. I had never seen it before, and it made me laugh so much I was gasping for breath, thanks to the allergy/asthma attack. Additionally, Scott got me this terrible, not even considered B-movie called The Corpse Grinders II. Oh, dear. My friends do know me well for my fondness for bad movies.

We went to bed shortly after. I was still sick, and nearly frightened that I might die in my sleep – but too inebriated to stay awake.

I woke up feeling better. We had a nice breakfast and then bummed around for a while. Scott left around noon, I think. I opened up my other gift from Alex – The Third Season of The Venture Bros. We watched two episodes and then he left.

My birthday remained quiet. I read more of The World According to Garp; I had been reading it all break and not getting much accomplished. I began a new goal for the year – to add to my 101 Goals, or well, to help some of it – and that is to write each day. I’ve picked up my habit of writing at 750 Words again. Let’s hope it lasts.

Mom and I watched When Harry Met Sally and Love Actually after dinner – which was spaghetti. I felt a little kid again. It was just nice to relax, though.

Yesterday, Mom and I went to see Black Swan. It was much more compelling than I originally thought. It was equal parts beautiful, insane, and terrifying. After dinner, around 9:00, I went over to Jennifer’s and hung out with her, Austin, Nick, Krista, Robin, and Chris. It was nice to see everyone again. I enjoy the fact that now I can actually go visit my friends and have a lot more freedom thanks to my driver’s license and car. Just think about all that I had missed before! Anyway, we played Telephone Pictionary, and it was hilarious! I was reduced to tears laughing so hard.

I came home around 2:00 am and had a slice of funfetti cake. Because I could.

Today was another quiet day. I finished reading The World According to Garp, finally. I have many more books to finish reading before I go back to school. Only six days left until my return. I will enjoy it as much as I can.