Spring Break!

That glorious week in the middle of the last semester where you get to unwind… relax…

Unless, of course, you were told earlier in the semester that you don’t have a job next year.  In that case, it is a frantic search for fall employment.  I believe I have something lined up.  Finally.  We’ll see.

I made myself a deal.  Most of the time, when we return from a break, I feel that I had wasted away my lovely break doing stupid crap.  My papers were graded on Monday and Tuesday.  The grades were entered early this morning.  Then Lucky and I started working on my “goal list” for this week.

We hiked out in Boulder (Take Lucky on two hikes, Take pictures in at least 3 locations)
I’ve made plans with Lynda to possibly snowboard (Go snowboarding if weather permits)
Made my library “shopping list” (Find a new author to love)
Played “Words with Friends” six inches away from my opponent (Make a new friend)

And since the wind is howling outside my door, tonight will be a mix of video games, books, and writing.  (Finish a book, Finish a game, and Two chapters of the novel)

 

Yay Spring Break.  Just what I needed to recharge.

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Valentine’s Day… in Borders

Happy Valentine’s Day, guys! I hope your day has gone much better than mine.

As it has always been since the beginning, my life tends to pick one particular day and simply dump it’s entire bedpan on my head. I’ve kind of been waiting for it and hoping those days have passed by. I think with a more “karmic” thought base now. I try to do what I’m supposed to and say what I think and feel… live honestly.

My family in Texas is going through an extremely hard time. My “aunt,” for lack of a better way to describe her connection to me, hasn’t been given much longer to live. She has degenerated from a bright, vibrant grandmother who doesn’t stop chasing and loving her small grandson to having to be carried to the chair and bathroom. The cancer that they thought they could easily have beaten with chemotherapy and a strong will to survive has indeed won this battle. She hasn’t been strong enough for chemo since before Thanksgiving and it hasn’t left much of her for the family to say good-bye to.

Luckily, this news comes after I had already planned a Texas trip for this weekend. Instead of spending Saturday roaming and loving the Texas life, I’ll be facing one of my worst fears.

My school let me know (today, of all days) that I’m not guaranteed a job for next year, contrary to what they have been telling me since November. They wanted me to know “in time to search for new positions.” So, of course, I had to write groveling emails to the school districts I turned down begging to be looked at a second time in case of openings. The security I had felt a month or two ago, planning my second year at East and hoping for new training and positions has gone up in a lovely puff of smoke.

And, of course, I’m sitting at a Borders, alone, on Valentine’s Day. Some lessons are harder to learn than others. I promised myself to keep one main thing in mind this year and it just seems to be harder to remember today: If he wants to, he will. If he wanted to call, he would have. If he wanted to see you, he would have. Nothing in the world can stop someone from doing something they want to do. My guy is still out there somewhere cussing me out. Trust me, he’s getting a good working over in my mind too. Then again, maybe he’s out getting his heart broken tonight.

And I know, Jeff. I’m whining.

I haven’t updated in a while… just wanted to check in and say “hi.”

The 365 is going well. I have successfully taken a picture every day. As far as pushing my boundaries, taking my camera with me when I go out, and all of the other picture-related things I had planned on doing… yeah. Those haven’t been so successful.

My reading goals have come to a complete stop. I’m teaching “The Crucible” right now as well as A Lesson Before Dying. My honors class is going to start Their Eyes Were Watching God before the end of the month. Then they are on to Plainsong. I haven’t read any of these in years. I did squeeze in a Bogosian play and I’m hoping to use my flight/drive/whatever to Texas to listen or read a few books. I just need to figure out what those are going to be.

Tonight, before I go to bed, I have to have some things on my beloved list done. Unfortunately, that means I’m going to run off and leave you for a little while. I think you can survive.

What I did on my Christmas Break

♥ Finished grading all of the final essays from my first six weeks as a teacher at East High School.
♥ Cooked an anniversary dinner for my grandparents.
♥ Watched more television than I care to admit (yet I am so glad I had the chance to)
♥ Drove to Dallas, then Jena, then Alexandria, then Jena, then Dallas, then back to Longmont
♥ Was reunited with a beautiful, blue guitar that loves me.
♥ Witnessed my dog fall in love with a stuffed lamb named Lambchop (who has since suffered a traumatic ear loss)
♥ Found a race or two to make my 2011 more exciting
♥ Finished my bestie’s Christmas present during a marathon couch sitting session.
♥ Finished a few audiobooks and nowhere near enough printed books.
♥ Wrapped a few presents that made people smile
♥ Was stood up a few times
♥ Hung out with an old friend and laughed
♥ Reminisced about summers of my youth and sent warm thoughts to the important players of my Act I.
♥ Counted the blessings that come with having a constant companion like Lucky and contemplated expanding the brood
♥ Resolved to make more time for things I love.

Why can’t Christmas be like Leap Year?

I’m not entirely sure why Christmas is so hard this year.  My skin crawls at the sound of Christmas music.  I was lucky enough  that our handbell ensemble didn’t play classic hymns or I would be literally ripping my hair out.  I’ve procrastinated with everything to the point that I began and finished Christmas shopping yesterday afternoon. Krys Clause even found herself some new books… like that is some kind of surprise.  (Wind-up Girl, if you are curious)

Today is a whirlwind to get ready to go to Louisiana for the holiday.  This whirlwind finds me sitting indian-style in front of my computer downloading music and writing you.  I’m still in my pajamas nursing a cup of tea, which has gone from boiling hot to iced since I can’t figure out how to make this house any warmer than 50 degrees.  I would leave today if I could get myself motivated to finish the laundry and packing.  Perhaps if I could get myself away from the internet, distractions, and Xbox 360, I could get some essays graded and books read. There’s no better “distraction free” area than a hotel room in a city where you don’t know anyone.  Then again, I’m in a city where I don’t know anyone and I’m still distracted.

Crap. I just realized “Santa” forgot Lucky.  He’s contentedly chewing on last year’s present.  Guess we’re going to PetSmart at some point today.  Santa might just have to get him a seat belt.  We’ve been spending way too much time on the road and have been extremely lucky (no pun intended) to avoid stupidity.

I need to go running today too.  Its not even 40 degrees outside and cold enough to make my fingers hurt…but I know it is something I have to do.  Maybe a little physical exertion will knock the nasties out of my brain.  Leave it to me to get back in my exercise routine when snow is on the radar.  I wonder if there are any such things as indoor tracks here in Longmont.

The end of the semester went relatively smoothly.  I had been worried about my number of failing students but their grades are in line with the previous six weeks grades.  I’ve been able to save a few from the depths of failure.  I need to understand that I can’t save them all.  They have to be willing to save themselves before I can intervene.  Add in the fact that DPS has a ridiculous amount of standardized testing… in January alone they have two tests… classroom time gets a little tight.

If time does not allow me to update again, I want to wish you all Happy Holidays… whatever you may celebrate. 🙂

 

Here’s to Amazing Beginnings

I’m in a hotel bed in San Antonio. Thanksgiving has brought me down here for several reasons. Chief among them is to tattoo away the anger and self-loathing and pull me down to earth. I’ve been waiting for this since September. I’m ready.

I’ve worked as a high school English teacher for two weeks up in Denver. I love my school, I love my students. I’m happy as a lark in my career for the first time in years. I’m moving out of a bad living situation into a place of my own. Well, I’ll pay a landlord to call it my own. The school takes me farther out of the mountains than I’d like but schools like this are hard to come by…so I don’t really mind.

There is a boy. I’m more cautious than I have ever been. Then again, my baggage is just a few pounds heavier and my trust several inches thinner. It may be too soon and it may be just what I need. He is intelligent. He works hard. There are also other things with which I’m uncomfortable. Time will tell.

They called for snow in Colorado while I was supposed to be gone. Now it has been changed to Monday, my first day home. Almost like God doesn’t want me to miss a snowflake. For that I am thankful. I also must invest in a coat.

Right now I don’t remember how to fall asleep. It happens new and more lately. My body needs something but refuses to speak. Perhaps a few hours of work will cure it.