Sunday, March 5, 2017

Sunday Survey

Happy SUNDAY! Guys, we are ONE school week away from spring break. ONE! How did that even happen? I feel like we just rang in 2017. And now we’re one week away from spring break. And we are officially eleven school days away from the STAAR test. If that didn’t just make my heart pound a little bit. I’m having a hard time figuring out how we're already at this point, but I'm one week (and one day) away from my first trip to the PNW, and you certainly won't hear me complain about that!

But I’ve got a quick survey to share with you guys today before I run off to yet another volleyball tournament. After today, we’ve got just three left on the schedule. I won’t lie – I’m pretty pumped about that. I love coaching, and I so believe in the value of club volleyball, but it has certainly not been easy trying to juggle everything that I’ve got on my plate. It makes for L-O-N-G Mondays, that’s for sure!

1. What’s something your readers don’t know about you?
Let’s see, do you guys know that I was this close to trying out for the volleyball team at Texas? Yeah, so, in the first couple weeks of my freshman year, a friend with whom I had played club volleyball back in the day reached out to me about an ad in The Daily Texan calling for setters to come check out an open tryout for the volleyball team. It was happening in a matter of days, so I got my paperwork completed, I had my mom fax over my insurance, and I even went and got a physical. And then the day of tryouts came, and I decided I didn’t want to do it anymore. I had given my life to volleyball for so long, and I didn’t want to do it for four more years. And I don’t regret that decision, but every so often, I do wonder “what if”. Side note: no one from that open tryout was chosen to be on the team.

2. How would you describe your personal style?
Very classic. I don’t tend to step out of my style comfort zone very often (maybe every once in a blue moon will I do something gutsy with my fashion choices), but I’ve got a pretty traditional style going for me. Simple dresses. Jeans. Plain Jane tops. Pretty standard stuff.

3. What’s one event that has left a definitive mark on your attitude towards life?
What a fantastic question! Definitely one that made me think. Last year, around this time, actually, the Bellaire community was hit with quite a bit of tragedy. An alum was killed while working at a local pizza shop, a senior student passed away after a battle with cancer, and our own volleyball program lost one of our captains in a spring break car accident. These kids were between the ages of 17 and 19. And though I only knew one personally, all three of them had so much life in them. They had so much life left to live. They made such an impact on those around them, and to see three young lives lost was so eye-opening for me. It sounds cheesy, but it made me realize that there is no point in sweating the small stuff. There is no reason to hold silly grudges, and it is so important to choose joy each and every day. In their short time on this earth, they made such a difference. And we should all strive to do the same with the time that we have left.

4. If you had the resources and time, what country would you live in for a year?
Oh man, what a question! I guess it depends on my travel goal(s). Do I want to further my Spanish skills? Do I want to learn a new language? Do I want to combat the difficulty of being in a foreign country by making sure it’s an English-speaking country? I think I would probably go somewhere in Europe, one, because it’s probably the most similar to the United States, and two, because the ease of travel from one country to another is extremely easy. I think I’m going to go with England as my final answer.

From the London Eye
5. What’s your favorite holiday?
Thanksgiving, for sure. Not only do I love the time of year, but I love that it forces me to sit down and be thankful for all of the incredible things I’ve got going on in my life. It’s about that time of the school year where we’re all ready for a break – it’s the end of volleyball season, we’re wrapping up the fall semester – and I can definitely find a lot to complain about. And I hate that. The Thanksgiving season allows me to sit back and reflect on all – big and small – for which I am thankful. I make my students reflect on it, too. And my friends. And my family. Because I think it’s so important, and it can change our outlook on life in a matter of seconds.

Thanksgiving 2015
Friendsgiving 2015
6. What’s the most spontaneous thing you’ve ever done?
I’m so not spontaneous. I am such a planner. Like people thought me spending three weeks in Argentina was random? It wasn’t. I planned that thing to death. The most spontaneous thing I can think of that I’ve done recently is over Christmas break I grabbed my dog and my book and headed south to Galveston to watch the sunset. If you consider that spontaneous. And I talk about being “such a planner”, but I leave for Seattle in a little over a WEEK and I have planned absolutely nothing. Actually, that’s not true. I have an Amtrak ticket from Seattle to Portland. And I’m running a half marathon Sunday in Portland. But other than that, I don't have much set in stone. Please feel free to send any PNW suggestions my way!

7. Who inspires you?
So many people inspire me. It just depends on which aspect of life we’re talking about. I’m inspired by athletes and their incredible stories. Their hard work, their dedication, and their grit. I'm inspired by their parents, who sacrificed so much to get them there. I'm inspired by my students, who are wise far beyond their years. I'm inspired by my colleagues, who give so much - day in and day out - for our kiddos. I'm inspired by my friends - the loyalty and love they show me is unmatched. And I'm inspired by my parents, who have never stopped supporting me, and who have always encouraged me to chase after even my biggest dreams. 

8. What’s your favorite novel?
Another toughie! I love, love, LOVE Harry Potter (by the way, it’s currently Harry Potter Weekend, heck yeah!), I could read To Kill a Mockingbird, Redeeming Love, The Catcher in the Rye, Life of Pi, and East of Eden each one hundred times and probably still get something new out of them. How can you ask an English teacher to pick just one?

9. What’s the biggest struggle about blogging for you?
Making the time. Notice I didn’t say having the time. It’s definitely making the time. Because sometimes at the end of a long day – after a full day of teaching and coaching and running and grading and cooking and anything else that has been thrown my way – the last thing I want to do is sit down and write. It’s something that I love to do, but it’s often the first thing to get pushed off of my to-do list when life starts getting busy. But when isn’t life busy, right? Writing is such a stress reliever for me, and I’ve got to be better about choosing a blog post over an episode of The Middle that I’ve seen 100 times.

But sometimes all you want to do is take a power nap
10. What’s a goal you want to achieve before the end of the year?
There are quite a few goals that I would like to achieve by the end of this year, but I think my big one right now is running a sub-1:45 half marathon. It's the big goal I've been working toward for quite a few months now, and the one that will take me one step closer to my big goal of qualifying for the Boston Marathon. Missing the mark in Houston only motivated me all the more, so I'm hoping to cross this one off during my visit to Portland. And if not, onto the next one.

Alright, it's time for yet another volleyball tournament. Fingers crossed we finish in enough time for me to make it to my own sand volleyball game!

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