Friday, February 20, 2015

Things I'm Loving Friday XXII

I'm not even sure where this week went. Looking back, it feels a little bit like a blur, because I don't feel as though I have stopped moving since my alarm sounded on Monday morning. I feel like I've done a lot, yet my to-do list is still miles long. I think that's because I keep finding new things to add to it. And I essentially lost Wednesday to Cardinal Kickoff, but that was a lot of fun, and I was excited to see that so many girls are interested in playing volleyball at Bellaire. Though that does make the whole decision process much harder.

And not everything on my list is school-related! I just have to find time to go to Anthropologie and Kendra Scott before the month (aka, the discounts) is up - that's really going to be hard for me to do, I know. But seriously. As much as I dislike rain and thunderstorms, and I absolutely soaked up the sunshine yesterday after my run, I'm almost looking forward to it this weekend. This way, I can sit down with everything that I need to do and knock it out, so that I can relax a little bit during the week. It's gotten to the point where I feel bad sitting down and not doing anything productive (can we consider this blog productive?), and that's absolutely not how I want or need to be feeling. We had a writer from Writers in the Schools come and visit our classrooms a couple of times this week to work with our students on a persona poem, so maybe that has something to do with it. She came to visit one of each of our classes, and then we were on our own for the rest. The fact that it's not my lesson so I'm not as confident teaching it, combined with the fact that it's poetry and I really don't feel confident teaching that, certainly could have contributed to that go-go-go feeling. One positive is that I have been falling asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow, and not waking up until my alarm goes off, so here's to being able to get some good rest!

And, because it's Friday, let's move on with our regularly scheduled events - another rendition of Things I'm Loving Friday. This time, in article and/or video form.

Austin Marathon Hyvon Ngetich Crawling to Finish
Guys, if you haven’t read this story or watched this video, please do it now. If you want to restore your faith in humanity, all you have to do is go watch a marathon. Seriously. As you know, I participated in the Austin Half Marathon last weekend, and though I was not there to see this in person, though I'm sure she was not too far behind me, I am in awe of her bravery and heart. This woman led the marathon the entire race, but her legs gave out just before the finish line, causing her to collapse. Rather than give up, she crawled on all fours the remainder of the way to the finish line, refusing help when offered to her. Not out of pride, but out of determination. She said she didn't quit because,"Running, always, you have to keep going, going." And to quote Manuel Bojorquez, this is "an image of defeat turned into triumph." 

Humans of New York
I don't know how many of you guys like Humans of New York on Facebook, but I absolutely love it. Hearing the stories of other people, regular people living their lives, just like you and me. While many of the stories shared are inspiring, this one in particular tugged on my heartstrings. The question that was being asked was, "Who's influenced you the most in your life?" While many of the answers were the usual mom or dad, one child named his principal, Ms. Lopez. When asked how she has influenced him, he responded,
  • "When we get in trouble, she doesn't suspend us. She calls us to her office and explains to us how society was built down around us. And she tells us that each time somebody fails out of school, a new jail cell gets built. And one time she made every student stand up, one at a time, and she told each one of us that we matter."
That last line absolutely stopped me in my tracks. Because that is the reason why I wanted to become a teacher, why I love being a teacher. I've had many teachers who went to bat for me back when I was in school, and I would love to be that person to my own students. And what's even more inspiring about this story is that this principal, just days before, had decided that she was going to quit. That the job was too difficult and she was frustrated that she wasn't seeing any of her efforts come to fruition. And then something like this happens. Tell me that doesn't warm your heart.

In the spirit of teaching poetry this week (honestly my least favorite lessons of all time), here is some poetry that I do like. I grew up with Shel Silverstein, and I have almost all of his written works. And while his works are usually of the children's variety, many of them contain messages and lessons that are applicable at any age.

10 Races Perfect for People Just Beginning Running
I know all too well what it's like to be a beginning runner. When my volleyball coach told me to run to Dairy Ashford and back, I thought that was the equivalent of modern-day torture. Which, it is kind of embarrassing to be running down the side of the street all by your lonesome. But, I digress. It can be intimidating to start running, especially when you watch all of these experienced runners participating in race after race after race. But just remember, a 12-minute mile and a six-minute mile covers the same distance. And with all of that being said, here is a list of races perfect for people who are new to running, or maybe new to running a certain distance. I would also add any Color Run races, as those can be a fun way to grab your family and friends and log a couple of miles. Who knows? Maybe that will inspire you to run 1000+ miles in one year. Or maybe I'm just crazy.

A magical place to run a race! (Source)
Enjoy the rest of your Friday! I know that after what has felt like a crazy week, I am going to take life easy today. An easy walk around my neighborhood, and a little bit of baking for some of my friends who are studying their lives away for the CPA exams. And maybe a little bit of grading, because I am struggling to stay above water on that front. And it's only the first week of the new cycle!

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