Monday, April 21, 2014

Monday Mania

Happy Monday, everyone. Remember when I said I was going to be better about posting? I'm hoping I'll make good on my promise one of these days. This past week was a pretty crazy one, as I went back and forth to Houston no less than three times. My fingers are crossed that some good will come out of all that driving! Anyway, I enjoyed a wonderfully relaxing weekend at home. I was able to leave behind the resumes, pencil skirts, and heels in favor of shorts, sandals, family, and friends, and it felt great to leave behind thoughts of the real world, even if just for a weekend. As of last Saturday, graduation is only four short weeks away and though I could (really) not be more excited about my future, I also hate the season of "lasts," that is so inevitable second semester senior year. As of last Thursday I am officially done with class, and the next time I step into a classroom, it will be my own. Weird.

Anyway, it's been a while since I've posted a survey for you guys, so here's a pretty random one for your reading enjoyment.

1. What time did you get up this morning? 7:07am, and though I am usually an early-riser, I got back to Austin just after 12:30am, and it was a little harder to drag myself out of bed with enough time to get ready for work.

2. How do you like your steak? Medium rare.

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? The new Wes Anderson movie – The Grand Budapest Hotel. It is very different from the type of movie I would normally choose to see, but I really enjoyed it.

4. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be? This is such a hard question, because when all is said and done, I don’t ever want to leave Texas, but there are many, many places I would like to visit. Australia is up high on that list, as is Switzerland, and many mountain states in the U.S.

5. What did you have for breakfast? Egg whites and spinach, classic. With a mango on the side.

6. What is your favorite cuisine? I’m going to have to go with Mexican food. That, or American food. Pretty standard.

7. What foods do you dislike? I don’t dislike Italian food at all, but I normally won’t seek out an Italian restaurant on my own because it can often be hard for me to find something that I can eat.

8. Favorite dressing? Balsamic Vinaigrette, especially from La Madeleine.

9. Cup 1/2 empty or 1/2 full? I like to think I’m a half full kind of girl.

10. Where would you want to retire?
I don’t think retirement is on my radar quite yet!

11. Favorite time of day? Sunset.

12. Where were you born? Houston, Texas

13. What is your favorite sport to watch? I absolutely LOVE watching sports. Football and basketball are probably my two favorites, but I’ll honestly watch just about anything.

14. How many siblings do you have? One little brother. 

15. Are you a morning person or a night person? Morning, for sure.

16. What did you want to be when you were little? I think I’ve always wanted to be a teacher (since at least the third grade), but I also went through a period of time when I wanted to be an astronaut. I had a telescope and everything. However, my astronomy class quickly put that dream to rest. 

17. What is your best childhood memory? I don’t think I could pick just one, but I have some really great memories from the sports teams I played on as a child.

18. Always wear your seat belt? Always. 

19. Been in a car accident? I’ve been in a couple, actually, and thankfully each one has been very minor in the fact that no one was hurt. All thanks to the fact that we were all wearing seatbelts!

20. Any pet peeves? I think this question pops up every single survey, but I’ll go ahead and answer it anyway. Tardiness. I’m sure you saw that one coming from a mile away.

21. Favorite pizza toppings? Any vegetable. In fact, I need to bring back my homemade dairy-free vegetable pizza. It’s been too long since I’ve enjoyed one of those!

22. Favorite Flower? Sunflower. 
23. Favorite ice cream? Mint chocolate chip, or chocolate chocolate chip.

24. How many times did you fail your driver's test? I passed the first time, but I can honestly say that is probably because I didn’t actually have to drive as a part of my driver’s test. If that were the case, I probably still wouldn’t have my license, as I can’t parallel park to save my life.

25. In which store would you choose to max out your credit card? Anthropologie. For sure.

26. What was your favorite vacation? Hawaii, California, or Colorado.

27. Coffee Drinker? I’m not going to lie, I am pretty proud of the fact that I made it through 13 weeks of student teaching without a single drop of coffee.

And with that, I'm going to return to my book. It's weird not having any school work to do, but you certainly won't hear any complaints from me! Have a great Monday!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Comeback Queen

I realize that I may not have any blog readers left after taking almost a month hiatus from this thing. I know I warned you guys from the very beginning of this semester that there could be days without a post, but I don't think I realized just how busy these final few weeks of student teaching would be. Lesson planning, unit planning, grading papers, attending job fairs, applying for jobs, and trying to squeeze friends, YoungLife, exercise, eating, and sleeping into all of that made for a very crazy few weeks. 

The Hills YoungLife on Placement Night 2014 
Anderson HS new leaders!
BUT as of this past Thursday, I have officially completed my student teaching semester. All that's left is graduating and finding a job, and that's just crazy. Remember my apprehension 13 weeks ago? I truly had an incredible student teaching semester and it still hasn't hit me that it is actually over. I already miss the students so much, and though they often times drove me absolutely insane, each one of them meant so much to me, and I am already looking forward to substituting up at Westwood so I can see them again.

And my sweet teacher sent me off with a copy of the starfish story - reminding me that not every day will be a good one, but if you can impact just one student, it's all worth it. And that is certainly something to remember as I begin my own teaching journey.

And some of you might be wondering where that journey will begin. Don't worry, I'm asking myself the same question. I have read and re-read over my resume, making sure I am using the perfect action verbs, learned what a cover letter is and wrote one of my own, emailed principals, attended job fairs, talked to recruiters, and even agreed to get my bus driver certification in order to make myself more marketable. Just take a minute and picture that one. Realistically I know that I probably won't know where I am teaching until sometime this summer, but I will keep you guys posted every step of the way. Because I promise now that I have more time, I will actually keep up with this little blog of mine.

I am actually sitting on my bed at home as I type this, as I made a trip home for the weekend in order to attend a job fair. Everything is happening so fast these days, but I was able to slow down on Thursday night when Dylan and I both found it appropriate to skip our Thursday evening classes to bring back a rare Thursday night dinner date. I guess the successful completion of student teaching warrants that, right? And a huge shout out to him for putting up with me and my schedule this entire semester. What a star!

Anyway, we went to a restaurant called Jasper's in the Domain, and I can speak for both of us when I say that it was absolutely incredible. We were seated in a comfortable booth, and we had a very personable waiter who made the experience all the better. Dylan ordered the chopped wedge salad to start off his meal, and I think the onion ring on the salad really stole the show.

For our main dishes, I went with the Texas Pecan Crusted Rainbow Trout, substituting the brussels sprouts for Chinese broccoli (nothing against brussels sprouts, but they were covered in cheese), and I ate every bite. I was really impressed (and intrigued) by the Chinese broccoli, which to me seemed like a combination of spinach and asparagus.

Dylan went with the Lonestar Tenderloin/Brisket Bacon Burger, and as a direct quote from him, "it may have been the best barbecue burger he has ever had." That's a pretty big claim, but it looked pretty great, so I'll take his word for it. And I would love to show you a picture but I have this bad habit of deleting pictures off of my phone before they actually make it to my computer. My apologies!

There wasn't one thing on the dessert menu that I could have, so while Dylan enjoyed a Butterfinger Creme Brulee, our kind waiter brought me two samples of some Port wine, and I can't give you any more information than that because I just can't remember where he said they were from. They were a little sweet for my taste, but I happily finished them off, touched by the gesture.

After walking around the Domain a bit, enjoying the beautiful spring weather we have been getting, we made a pit stop at Berry Austin for some frozen yogurt. You didn't think I could complete the milestone that is student teaching without celebrating with some frozen yogurt, did you? It hit the spot, and I think Dylan and I will both agree that the blackberry flavor stole the show.

Obviously I was not going to give you a minute-by-minute update of my past month, as you can probably guess what I have been doing, right down to the scrambled egg whites I have been eating for breakfast. I am heading back to Austin tomorrow morning, and I start work at my beloved SRD on Tuesday, so there will be plenty of time to blog. And so begins the countdown to graduation!

Here's to hoping I haven't lost too many readers!