Sunday, October 11, 2015

25 Things

Hello, hello! Do you guys remember the "25 Things About Me" craze that hit the Facebook scene many years ago? Well, I found a variation of that craze, and it is perfect for a little Survey Sunday action. So, without further ado, here are 25 things about yours truly.

1. I’m happiest when… I'm running. Truly. I love that necessary "me" time, and I love being outside. And though not every run is a great one, it's better than not running at all. I like to say that I am just one run (or workout) away from a good mood.

2. Especially if it… is sunny with temperatures in the 50's. Not ideal for everyday life, especially for someone who hates layering up, but it's the perfect running weather.  

3. I’ve always wanted to… travel to Australia. And hopefully that happens sooner rather than later. I would love to scuba dive the Great Barrier Reef.

4. My family and I… enjoy watching (and playing one another in) Wheel of Fortune. Strange, but true. It gets heated sometimes.

5. I was a terrible… singer. I mean, I am just horrible. And when it says "was," it really means "is." I can't sing to save my life. I told my students that if they all make a 100 on their vocabulary quizzes one week, I'll sing for them. So while I would love for that to happen, I also pray that it doesn't.

6. My first job was… a church league volleyball coach. Who knew that would pave the way for the future?

7. I could probably eat chocolate everyday. And I do. In some form or fashion, and usually multiple times a day. It's healthy, right?

8. I stole… some candy from the candy aisle at Kroger. My friend and I were on a wild goose chase trying to find Crispy M&M's (before learning that they were no longer sold in the United States), and we eased the frustration with a few sour candies. So sue us.

9. I was born on the same day as… Hank Aaron, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Kevin Gates.

10. My all-time favorite film is… Oh my gosh, how could I ever choose? I love The Breakfast Club with all of my heart, but there are so many incredible movies out there. Boyhood, Remember the Titans, and so many that I have yet to see.

11. I do a pretty mean… left-handed serve? I've been told that it's "wicked."

12. I’m still mad… that we lost the volleyball game that would have taken us to state my senior year of high school. I realize this happened SIX years ago, but I'm still not over it. Nor will I probably ever get over it.

13. I met my best friend… the first day at the Dirty SRDy. I've got a lot of best friends, but this is the most recent find. And she's a diamond in the rough.

14. I always knew I wanted… to become a teacher. Since the third grade, in fact. Although I originally wanted to teach high school math, I always knew teaching was the job for me.

15. I’m not afraid to… fail. I believe very strongly in pushing myself to be the best that I can be, in all aspects of my life, and that means falling short. But it also means learning and getting better. Which is why I no longer feel the pressure to be perfect.

I fall short a lot as a teacher, but that's also how I learn
16. I make the best… Slutty Brownies. I know, I know. But I have perfected them. I "wow" people with them all the time. Little do they know, they're the easiest dessert around town. Get it?

17. I have almost no… patience when it comes to slow walkers and drivers. I realize that I work in a high school and it's in their natures to walk at a snail's pace, but there is nothing more frustrating than being on the first floor at one end of the building when the bell rings, and having to get up to the third floor on the other side of the building. Which is a personal problem, because I could have made the trip down the first floor at an earlier time, but those kids just walk so slow! I'm scuttling around them (heyo, vocab word!).

18. I always cry when… I see videos of soldiers returning home. I'm not sure how anyone can keep a dry eye.

19. I’m now… living at home …but I hope to… move out and live with my friends in the near future. Though I certainly can't hate the money that I'm saving. 

20. I spent four years… living, studying, and working in Austin. And it will always be my happiest getaway. Always.

21. I wish my folks… wouldn't worry so much. I know it's in their nature, but I don't think they have gotten a full night's sleep in 23 (almost 24!) years.

22. At age 5, I was deeply in love with… riding my bike? I guess not much has changed on that front.

23. I believe if everyone… took a little bit of time for themselves each day, the world would be a better place. That could be reading, running, baking, listening to music, or any variety of things, but I think everyone needs a little bit of that each day.

One of my happiest places
24. I can’t stand… tardiness. Which is why I always make my students go get a tardy pass. I'm trying to teach life lessons here, people!

25. Whenever…Boy Meets World…is on, I’ll watch. Mr. Feeny is full of valuable life lessons.

And on that note, I've got about one hundred things to do. I enjoyed a most lovely Saturday, full of college football, - HOOK 'EM HORNS! - friends, good food, frozen yogurt, and high school football. I did not touch any school work, and now I've got some catching up to do. But I don't regret it. You need those kinds of days every once in a while. Au revoir!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

1000 Rep (+ a few) Workout

Hello, hello! Happy Thursday! Whew! This week has gone by quickly. Yet, the days have been long. Good, but long. And though my time was short, I still managed to feel as though I crossed (almost) everything off of my list. Grades were due on Tuesday, so I should have a bit of a break, right? Wrong. I'm still drowning in a pile of grades, but I remember feeling that way last year, too. I want to start off taking everything for a grade, so that my students take everything seriously. As the year goes on, I will lighten my own load, but they're still getting used to my feedback and my expectations. So, I'm not complaining too much. Besides, they're still making me laugh. And they're making me proud.

"People think about Houston when they say America." I like it.
After reading "How the Lottery Can Ruin Your Life"
Anyway, I wanted to pop in and share a quick workout with you guys, as I flip between the Texans game and the Astros game. Crush City, baby! The Astros are back in the postseason for the first time in 10 years. In fact, the last time we were in the postseason (and the World Series!), I was in the 8th grade. And now I'm teaching 9th graders. Crazy! I digress. The other night, a delayed volleyball game and a closed pool left me at a loss for what to do to get my sweat on. I was far too sore from Saturday's volleyball tournament and Sunday's long run (honestly, mostly the volleyball tournament) to go for a run. The pool was closed, so I turned to Pinterest to provide me with a quality strength and cardio combination workout. The 1000 rep workout is tough, but the fact that you do 50 reps and then you're done with that exercise prevents me from getting bored. And motivates me to push through. Because once I hit 50, or the timer hits 50 seconds, I never have to see that exercise again. Until next time, anyway. This workout left me nice and sweaty, and also a lot little bit sore. I finally ran out the soreness this evening, but, without further ado, here is my 1000 rep (+ a few to round out the night) workout.

And that's all I've got. Tomorrow is FRIDAY and I'm pretty pumped about it. I've got a relaxing, yet fun, weekend ahead of me, and you better believe I'll be cheering on my Longhorns!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Student Quotes: Year Two, Round One

It's a Monday. And Mondays can be tougher than other days, sometimes, so I hope this post will brighten your day. I'm going into this week with a positive attitude because I had one fantastic weekend. Perfect weather, a lot of volleyball, a lazy Sunday spent watching football, a not-so-lazy Sunday evening spent running 12 miles, and it was just a weekend where I was left feeling revived. So, even though my alarm clock went off nice and early this morning, I have no complaints. Because I love my job and I'm ready to rock out another week. The first week of the second cycle, so here's to hoping my students start out with a bang.

I'll take lots of number 16, and minimal number 17
Anyway, it's no secret that high schoolers are "endlessly entertaining," to take a line from Mr. Teacher's book, and they make going to work every day so worth it. It's hard to ever be in a bad mood (okay, maybe that's taking it a little bit far) when you're interacting with 15-year-olds every day. They make me laugh every day, and I have yet to give up my habit of writing down some of the funnier lines. So, without further ado, here's the first cycle's top 10.
Technically, she's right ...
10. Channel 13 was at school the other day doing a feature on a student who scored a perfect score on both the SAT and the ACT. No big deal, right? Anyway, one of my students comes back from the bathroom and announces to my quiet class of 34 that the news is right down the hall. Another student immediately stands up and starts walking toward the door. When I point him right back toward his seat he attempted to persuade me by saying, "I'm just try'na get famous. Come on, we can sing and dance out there." Sorry, but I think you'll have more success with your Pearl station work.
9. It's the end of the six weeks, so that means my students are on top of me about updating their grades in the gradebook. And I'm typically on top of my grading, however, I tend to be a bit more lackadaisical when it comes to late work. I told a student that I didn't grade the night before because I went out to dinner with some friends. His response? "That's nice; most teachers don't have lives." He's right, you know. We all just sleep at school. It's one big sleepover every single night.
8. We were discussing adverbs one day, and I asked the students, "Instead of slowly, what's another word for how someone ran?" One student confidently shouts out, "Fastly!" Even he couldn't contain his laughter once he realized what he had said.
7. A student was borrowing a book from me, and I have them initial and date next to the title of the book. One of my students came up to me and said, "I borrowed one of your pens, and it wouldn't work." Well, that's because it's wite-out, my dear.
6. New bonus question: How do you spell your teacher's last name?

5. Within the first few weeks of school, there is a lot of student movement. One day, a student is in your class, and the next, they're gone. It's always interesting to hear how students describe a teacher when they don't know his or her name, and I learned that multiple students seem to think I have blonde hair. In that case, I guess I better make a trip to the DPS and change what's listed on my driver's license.
4. We read Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games for our summer reading, and while we don't spend as much class time in English 1 walking through the plot and the characters, I am able to do that in my reading class. We were discussing what it says about Katniss that she volunteered as tribute for her younger sister, and if there was anyone they would volunteer for. One darling student announces, "I would volunteer as tribute for you any day, Ms. T." I'm flattered, really.
3. It was probably the second week of school when a student asked for a pencil. I directed him to the front of the room where I have my stash of student-use pencils. Sidenote: My plan to retain all student-use pencils has not panned out the way I'd hoped. Anyway, he then told me that, "I must be a young teacher because the older teachers don't ever give us pencils or anything like that." Noted.
2. I asked a student why she wasn't in class the day prior. Her response? "Well, it was my birthday, so I didn't come to school." Oh, that's how it works! I guess I won't be at school on February 5th.
1. And because no list would be complete without this conversation taking place - I was sitting on a bench doing some grading in the main hallway after volleyball practice just last week. Because I was too worn out to walk up to my room on the third floor. Anyway, one of my students walked by, informing me that he had finished his This I Believe essay. One of his friends stops, stares at me in disbelief, and says, "You're a teacher? Wow! I thought you were a student!" Never heard that one before.

We haven't talked about conclusions quite yet
The newest ocean
And with that, I'm off to school. Have a fabulous Monday! I hope yours is as laughter-filled as mine is sure to be. I believe it was Friday afternoon when a teacher told me, "Life is too short to not do what you love." And I wholeheartedly agree. I love my job, even if I do have to personally escort former students back to their 7th period class sometimes.