Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I realize I'm a slacker.

But I get easily distracted and truth be told I often question if I should even have a blog, especially if I treat it this way. I'm doing lots of thinking and maybe in 2010, there will be some changes or even a dismantling of the whole thing. I'm uncertain. I think I should be more creative to have a blog but at the same time I wonder if the blog does make me be creative....Plus I just watched "Julie and Julia" and totally do not want to be like that Julie Powell character...so I don't know.
Good night!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Some things to love right now.


1. Fall is here with its crisp air and changing colors.
2. An upcoming birthday.
3. A few scheduled days of work.
4. They discovered another ring around Saturn, the 8th one, I think it will be called "H."
5. I keep finding actually good news in the daily paper.
6. Time to break out the boots and say goodbye to less sturdy footwear.
7. A working camera.
8. Everyday is another opportunity for happiness.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Trying to stay above water.

Well, things are tough.

Yea, I know I'm not the only one thinking that or feeling that right now. I've been looking for a full time teaching job and although there have been a few interviews, the prospects are not good. I was frustrated the other night, couldn't sleep, and kept thinking about not having a "REAL" job and such when Tyler Durden from "Fight Club" came into my mind saying "You are not your job, you are not your f-ing khakis." And I thought, "So what am I?"

I seem to be struggling with knowing how to move forward, wondering what the next step is or what the right thoughts are. I think I'll back to school but I don't know what I want. Because what I want, I don't seem to get right now, no matter how hard I try. So am I wanting the wrong things?

I also need to be using my creativity more. Doing art, taking art classes, just sitting on the floor making stuff. But there always seems to be an application to fill in or some copy of something to make or online junk to do (which I really hate).

I realize this isn't a very positive or completely interesting post but these things run through my mind the last couple of days. October,while beautiful and spectacular, is also a rather reflective time for me.

What are you thinking about?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Happy October!

Today is the first day of my favorite month and everyday in October, I try to do something to celebrate. Today, since a cold seems to want to take me and a second interview,work,etc. are looming, I spent part of the day in bed, sipping tea and watching movies. Based on Keri Smith's blog, I watched "Tokyo Story." A simple, sweet film about life, family and what is truly important. I had planned to go to the downtown library branch and see the Sumi ink exhibit but I'm afraid my health prevents it today. Perhaps, tomorrow. I also had hoped to take a picture a day to celebrate the month but instead I will capture this moment in my mind. Quiet, cozy, tea filled and resting.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

September begins...

And so does school tomorrow. I, as of this moment, do not have a full time teaching job or class of my own but I do have work lined up. So I must be thankful and stay patient, positive and present. My mother's eye surgery has created the opportunity for me to start the year for her. Three full days of teaching this week and then perhaps half days as the month rolls on. Meanwhile, I keep fingers crossed for something more permanent. Last night, I didn't fall asleep until 6am, worrying, thinking, re-hashing and just basically being harder on myself than I am on anyone. Today, weary and a bit more rational, I realize that I am very lucky. Since March the lesson of patience and positive thinking has presented itself to me in various ways and yet, I still forget to be mindful of it. Like my newly started yoga, it is a practice. I'll keep plugging and blogging along. Now, it is time to make a list of fall goals!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

I'm thinking of calling it Frank.




I'm having lots of fun riding my new bike. And waiting to see what happens this fall. I've been visualizing myself teaching my own class a lot and keeping good thoughts in my mind. Be patient, positive and present.


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I seem to really be slipping lately.

This summer, of course, I don't have exciting or frustrating stories of teaching to share, and apparently I don't have many other thoughts to share since this blog seems to be neglected. I'm still reading the other blogs I follow but for some reason (okay, several reasons) I cannot sit still long enough to write anything worthwhile besides lists.

I think I just don't want to really absorb what all has been going on. I'm dealing with the lovely stress of trying to find a job next year, while knowing that I have to be patient, that nothing really happens until August,etc. But that is hard. Especially when one wants to have just a regular old summer. I mean, I'm sort of bumming around, seeing friends, catching up on movies, getting a bike (here tomorrow, fingers-crossed) and doing the typical summer stuff.

But in the back of my mind and often in the fore-front as displayed in my recent crying fits, is the question "Will I get a chance to do the one thing I really love and am good at (teach) in a class of my own and be able to move out/on with my life or will it be another year of wandering and waiting?" (You can see that since it is such a long question, it must be a really burdensome question.)

I know that I have to be patient and remain positive. That this is a journey I must go through. That I can't understand the reasons for everything right now. But it is hard. I don't think most of my friends understand how much this really troubles me. And how much I sometimes feel like a failure.

And now, I've gone and done it...written too much and thought about the things I'm trying to push away. But the fingers click on the keyboard and I think aloud with this blog...so forgive me, few readers. Next blog post will definitely be upbeat and about MY BIKE!

Friday, July 3, 2009

I love right now...

She and Him "Volume One" album.
Getting rid of this nasty cold.
Looking for a bike.
Spending time with my family, all four together.
Discovering new art...see SAM's "Target Practice" exhibit.
The sunshine.
Life.

Monday, June 15, 2009

The last few days left of school.

School is over this Thursday and it is quite hard to believe that somehow. Just when you get used to one thing, it changes. Isn't that some sort of scientific fact or theory? I should research that.

Today I went to a meeting for two students to discuss their plans for next year. It was interesting. I was seated next to my student who won't be at this school next year and we both kinda looked at each other at one point, thinking "What the heck are WE doing here?"
I've become aware that I can speak to children or students more fluently and articulately than to adults. Or rather people who intimidate me professionally. I don't know why but I always assume that teachers with full time jobs who seem to have it together, have been teaching for years or at least knew many years ago that they wanted to be a teacher. I didn't know until maybe even last year. I mean I knew it was something I could do but I didn't realize until recently that teaching is what I want to do. Does that make sense?

I also realized my admiration and feelings for someone and that's all I can say about that. I just want to put that down in the public/anonymous blog sphere and see what the universe does with it.

I also found a bike I want. Now to figure out Craigslist!

Goodnight quiet blog sphere.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

I have been swallowed...

by Netflix
and printmaking books
and end of the school year stuff
and the hot weather
and the new Bat for Lashes album
and my air-conditioned gym
and Earl Gray tea lattes
and new gel pens and sharpies
and watching my neighbor's cat
and sleeping really well finally
and dreaming of a bike
and and and...

Friday, May 22, 2009

I'm totally an old lady.

So,
We had an evacuation drill this week at my school. In order to prepare for grave disasters. The real disaster was the 8th graders. WHO WILL BE IN HIGH SCHOOL SOON. I was sickened by how ridiculous they were during the drill, how none of their teachers tried to control them, and how the stupid, yea I said it, principal just walked on by. I would have been screaming. Not because I think children should be seen and not heard. No, far from it if you know me, but rather I think that respect and responsibility should be taught to everyone regardless of your age. It was a drill, yes not a real emergency but dear god, how will they act then! And what kind of person in charge lets a whole grade level act like immature brats. I mean I was seriously embarrassed. It bothers me since I really have started to care about my Middle School students and I want the best for them. I admire who they are, I try to teach to them in a way that fits their individual needs and I'm such a good listener. But if you can't get a bunch of 13 to14 year olds to calm down for a few minutes during a drill then what kind of leader are you? I guess I'm old school in my ways sometimes. I really can't wait until school is done since I'm starting to get sick of everyone. Only 18 so more days to go!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

I want...

A list of current desires.

1. A bike, a cruiser style bike.
2. To go to the aquarium.
3. Used cd store shopping.
4. New and interesting music by Bat for Lashes or Grandaddy.
5. Printmaking books and supplies and projects.
6. Library browsing.
7. An "I heart Houston" t-shirt.
8. To visit friends in other states.
9. A summer job that allows time for other things.
10. A full time job for next year.
11. Romantic possibilities and friendship beginnings.
12. The second season of Flight of the Conchords on dvd, now!
13. Doodling with new markers.
14. A moleskin notebook.
15. Lots of laughter.
16. Warm, lazy days like this Sunday.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Small steps...

So of course it is like May now and I'm finally finding my stride, my place at the Middle School and we only have a month and some odd weeks left of school! Such is the life. I've decided to make the best of the short time and really try to listen, be positive and enjoy the students. I was told yesterday that I was nicer than another teacher and so that was why A (who is really bad in all of his other classes) is good for me. That and I've seen "Scary Movie," which he quotes all the time when he isn't making me laugh by talking in a British accent. I've also let go of the "what am I going to do next year" worries and am confident that it will all work out as it should, since it always does. Other than school and working out, my life is pretty quiet right now. Which I like. I have some art plans for this summer, print making and such. But otherwise, there is a stillness and a contentment in my life. I love Spring!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Life lessons...Magpie style.

As an approaching MAT reunion looms in the distance, I started doing something I did for most of grad school. No, not go get a beer and talk art with Chrissy and Roxie but rather...REFLECT! Yes my friends, the almighty R...powerful and rather annoying. I thought mostly of my current assignment at the Middle School and came up with a few bits of knowledge that might be helpful for others.

1.Be humble. The moment you start thinking you are Miss Substitute of the World, a modern day Mary Poppins who can handle it all, the sarcastic Education Gods will knock you on your bum and put you in Middle School where you will feel like you just started your STUDENT TEACHING.

2. Gum has magical powers that allow it to appear in the mouths of babes without warning. It is also a terribly addicting drug to the 12-14 age group.

3. Start studying wild animals suddenly put into captivity. It will be useful during WASL week.

4. No one you teach knows who Andy Warhol is. Just get over it. Same with David Bowie.

5. Finally, Laugh. Otherwise you will cry. Trust me.

That's all for now but I'm sure as the year winds down I will have some more.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Transforming

I have been very neglectful of this blog and I apologize. I had a wonderful time in Pittsburgh and really was quite inspired by that amazing city. ART is everywhere. Right now, I'm in the process of getting back in shape. I walk everyday for long periods of time. I'm finally settling into my job at the Middle School and now it is the time to figure out what next or what to do this summer and next year. I would love, love, love a full time position somewhere. I think I've learned a lot, am more fearless now, and ready to handle my own space. What the universe will bring me remains to be seen. I'm enjoying every moment. I'm inspired by Poppy in "happy-go-lucky" and Drew Barrymore's "I'm going to rock today," as well as many wonderful friends, other blogs: shout out to Radiate Warmth, students, and little happenings. Get out and have a great day. I know I will.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Pittsburgh!

I'm leaving today to visit the hometown of one of my idols, Andy Warhol. My dad and I will be there for 5 days and I'm through the roof with excitement. There is so much art besides the lovely Mr. Warhol's museum in Pittsburgh and I know I'll have a blast. I'm sure I'll be inspired and will return with pictures and a renewed blog!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Seuss and such.





Today is the anniversary of Dr. Seuss's birthday. Often in elementary schools today, they have a read-a-thon or various reading related activities. One year I attended a class where we made green eggs and ham. Unfortunately Sam-I-Am could not convince me!

I can say that I am not alone in my love of this amazing author's books. He was, is, and shall forever remain a magical part of childhood for many.

In other nonsense news, I started a long term sub position at a Middle school. Meaning the lovely 6th, 7th and 8th graders that I had previously loathed. I had visited these classes a couple times before and so therefore am not a total stranger. After one day, my vote is "okay with real potential." The two 6th grade classes will be a little rowdy to handle but the other 3 periods seem really cool. Plus I have made three friends so far; a boy and two girls, all 7th graders like me!

Weird connection that I just realized: I started a Reading job (I'm in the LAP or Learning Assistance Program for reading at this school) the same day as the Read Across America day. It's a sign...

Friday, February 27, 2009

More accidental collections.




I'm still trying to find beauty in the ordinary. But it does get hard and judging from these pictures, a bit blurry. But I love how connections reveal themselves to you if you stop and breathe and look for them. For instance, Rob Brezsny's Free Will Astrology is always, ALWAYS dead on for me. This week, and I especially need it, he advises Scorpios with "Let's hope that if the world offers you the moon, the dawn, and the breeze, you won't reject these gifts and say that what you really wanted was a comet, the sunset, and a pie in the sky." I needed this reminder to appreciate what is being offered and not demand something else. The other spooky connection that happened with the last blog post was the date I wrote the blog post mentioning Rilke's first letter is the same date (many,many years before) that Rilke wrote the first letter. Spooky and very cool. Let's hope the universe keeps smacking my little head around some more. As a cranky and sick person today I need it.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Accidental Collections


I've been thinking a lot about Rilke's writing especially the part in Letters to a Young Poet where he writes about being an artist and "if your everyday life seems poor, don't blame it; blame yourself; admit to yourself that you are not enough of a poet to call forth its riches; because for the creator there is no poverty and no poor, indifferent place." I also was thinking about Keri Smith's How to be an Explorer of the World and on the back, she writes, "At any given moment, no matter where you are, there are hundreds of things around you that are interesting and worth documenting."
And so I've given myself the project to find beauty in the ordinary and really look around and observe my world. I had been feeling rather plain, boring lately. You know how it goes, everyone else's life seems so fascinating and exciting, and your own seems small. People are travelling to exotic places, doing cool stuff at their jobs, etc. I decided that if I really truly wanted to be creative or at least have the guts to call myself that, then I'd better put my money where my mouth is. I started with looking for accidental collections. Things that I never intended to collect but somehow ended up with. These things are especially important since those who know me well, know that I give away A LOT of stuff. I spring clean at least 4 times a year. So for something to accumulate, it must be a sign. The first collection I found was colored pencils. I have many. At least 4 different sets. As I took this picture, I realized that I not only really love using them, but I find them beautiful. I think a jar filled with colored pencils is as breathtaking as a dozen roses in a vase. I could fall in love with someone who gave me a jar filled with them, that's how romantic I think they are. Weird, yes. But very cool.


After the colored pencils, I started looking around my room and tried to do that with new eyes. I started to appreciate the small crazy world that I've created in there. And I hope to keep that freshness, that joy for the little things with me for a while...I'll keep you updated.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentine's Day

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): In creating this oracle, I've borrowed words from the artist and poet Wolff Bowden. Please steal them from me and use them in cryptic, affectionate communiqu├ęs that will deepen your connection with someone who makes your heart sing. Here's the first batch: "You belong to love as wheels belong to roads, as grapes belong to the blossoming of taste, as corn belongs to crows, as shadows belong to the ache of heat, as happiness belongs to the capricious pangs of the soul." Here's the second: "May the color blue behold your body while sun washes your shoulders near the window. May your lips refuse the kiss unless your heart is home. May euphoria find you in the place where you are lonely. May you light a billion candles with your mind."

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Coming up...

A project called "Accidental Collections."
I thought of this while driving to work one day, I swear the best ideas come either on the way to or coming from work.
I just have a Valentine's Day Party to get through first...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Stayed Tuned...

Accidental collections coming up soon...An idea I had today while driving to work. Collections that I did not intentionally collect... Interesting to me at least.

Monday, February 2, 2009

What is it with me and children?

Subbing never ceases to amaze me.

Seriously, just when you think you've got something down, everything changes and totally knocks you down on your bum.


I often go into a classroom mentally and emotionally prepared. It used to be a sort of putting on of invisible armour but now I've found a better method. As I drive to the school, I think of having an open and calm heart. I imagine myself patient and understanding. There are two images I think of : Mary Poppins and an eagle. Mary Poppins calls herself "firm but kind" which is my teaching style. An eagle is strong, serene and majestic. This and even music helps. Jay-Z's self confident swagger and Beyonce's fierceness inspire me.

So, by the time I'm in the classroom, I'm in a really good place. Today was no exception. It was just some of the students' reactions that were different.

During the reading group portion of the day, this girl was being, for lack of a better word, a jerk. Not listening, disruptive and rude, she really was bugging me. Finally I told her I'd send her to the office which other teachers had already suggested for dealing with certain students. She seemed to stop and get back on track. But then, get this. She asks if she can stay in during recess and even eat lunch with me! I was so dumbfounded I said yes. She and two other "trouble makers" came in and played teacher. Now tomorrow, since I go back to the same place, they want to come in again and bring a few other friends.

I was thinking about it on the drive home and I guess it really always comes down to the simple fact that (quoting Oprah here) "every child wants to be heard and seen." And all humans really just want attention. Someone to notice us, listen to us, and understand us. Yet, I cannot get over how we go about getting that attention sometimes. This desire causes some strange behavior and forges some unusual bonds.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Warhol, La Face, and Middle School.


I have neglected this blog I know. But now with the beginning of February and other beginnings in my life, I feel renewed and ready to share once more. Hopefully you are too.
First, I am finally FINALLY going to Pittsburgh this spring and to my Mecca, the Andy Warhol Museum. I cannot wait. I suppose since I'm going with my history nut father, I will see a few other things like Fort Pitt or even a Pirates game. But fear not, I plan on going to the Warhol Museum (and store!) many times. I am curious to see what permanent collections they have as well as whatever current exhibit will be there at the beginning of April. I do also wonder what possible trinket I could purchase at the gift shop since I already own a Warhol wig, doll, purse, wallet, many books, a few postcards and now this mini Warhol. Perhaps, a simple T-shirt? How typical!
The other news that probably many of you know is that I was swallowed into the entity that is Facebook. Last January, 2008, I started an account one day when bored and never thought of it again. All of the sudden, a week ago, several friends "requested" me and the madness began. I was hooked. Still am but have gotten it under control. In fact I haven't logged on in a few days which for some would be an eternity but I'm tough. I've also found another new/old addiction: word searches. I'm nuts about word searches. I now know what I will be doing all day long in the old folks' home when I'm 90.
My final new news is that I have been offered a long term sub job in a middle school starting after Spring Break until the end of the year. It would be in a LAP program helping students with reading and comprehension skills. I'd work with about 16 students each period and have a full time para helping everyday. With all these positives, I still am apprehensive. Middle school students make me nervous and I feel self conscious. I'm going to observe a few full days to get a feel for the students. The teacher has a whole transition plan in place as well. I have a feeling though that I will take the job for the mere fact that I love to scare, challenge and prove to myself how capable I really am. I'm a bit of a masochist that way.
In closing, Happy Black History month. Very exciting.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Right now...

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Your world is going to get very wet in the coming days. At least I hope it will. There *are* wrong moves you could make that would keep things pretty dry, or else move you away from the imminent deluge. But I hope you will go with the cosmic flow and allow yourself to get the full benefit of the replenishing flood. In my astrological opinion, you need to feel the deep moisture that's beyond language. You need to be carried along in the fertile surge and returned to the source of your emotional life.

This seems relevant right now to my life and I will write more soon.
Things are brewing, stay tuned.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Yes, I fell off the wagon.

The blog posting wagon, that is.
Other stuff got in the way; life stuff, health stuff, family stuff, ya know?
I'm not sure how I want to continue this blog. It seems like a change is due and although, I do have some who read it, I'm not sure if the blog world would really die if I stopped. Maybe I'm just thinking I might be better at hands-on things. Or maybe I'm disappointed with my efforts. Some thinking is in order and re-organizing as well.

I'll get back to you soon...