Monday, November 28, 2011

What Is It?

It is funny that you can walk out of your house one day feeling totally normal, and that by the time you get back nothing is the same. I guess that normal people don't feel this for the first time at 26, but I have never felt this way. Not that I can manage to put a name to this feeling. Yes, for all my craftiness with words, I still can't seem to say what it is. So, what is it? What is it that makes you smile whenever your with him? What is it that makes you suddenly domestic enough to cook a meal? What is it that makes you too distracted from teaching to write your teaching blog, which has up to this point, been the biggest commitment of my life? What is it that makes you suddenly attached to your phone? What is it that makes you cry at the new Twilight movie that you publicly think is stupid, but secretly identify with? What is it that makes you count the minutes to the weekend? What is it that makes you develop a sudden interest in "Say Yes to the Dress"? What is it that makes you look up relationship books on I'm sure I don't know, but whatever it is, I have it and it is bad.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


It's that week, that super long week, when I have to tac 25, 20 minute parent/teacher conferences on to an already full week of teaching. Today was day one of the parent/teacher conference marathon. I still have to put in a good 14 hours again tomorrow, but by 4:00pm I already had a terrible headache. I think it was the exhaustion starting to kick in, but it felt like my eyes were pushing themselves out of their sockets.

My meetings were actually going fine, but they were also non-stop meetings in a row from 5pm-7:30pm. By the time I left, I was actually almost in tears from the pain in my eyes. I was also a little disconcerted by the fact that I have another meeting at 7am, followed by a full day of teaching, followed by more meetings until 6:30pm.

Anyway, at 7:45pm, I finally get home, and there waiting on the front porch is this:


Suddenly, it was a good day after all. So, readers, you see, I'm distracted. I can't really seem to write about education. I can't really seem to focus on education. That's just the truth.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Taking a Deep Breath

Things are going really well. Well enough to scare me.

The funny thing is that he told me on Saturday night that he is afraid of getting hurt. He said he doesn't want to like me like this because he is scared. I told him that I like him, but I don't trust him. "I wish those things went at the same speed," I said.

"I know," he replied, "but they don't."

And so, they don't.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Disney Movies and Other Nonsense

So, last night "Aladdin" was on. It was a childhood movie for me, so I've seen it like fifty gazzilion times. I was watching the scene where Aladdin takes Jasmine on a magic carpet ride, and, this is embarassing: I found myself getting a little teary eyed. I know, I should listen to advice not to get sappy and ridiculous. I am trying.

Anyway, the date was even better than expected. Don't worry I didn't do anything crazy--I have standards. This weekend he is taking me on a surprise date and he won't tell me where. I guess I am not used to someone being so romantic.

Besides, I have a plan. I am going to stay away from all things sappy and play it cool.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Psycho Therapy

I still really like the "Psycho Killer".

"I don't date very often, and I am probably doing it weirdly," I told CPA Guy (Psycho Killer). It's true because I am used to being single. Honestly, I have a very full life single. I have always known I would have to meet someone who would make me want to change. I have this sneaking suspicion that I have met such a person.

I have been keeping it a very big secret, though, because I just can't be sure. It is just so new--in so many ways.

It scares me because I don't date a lot. I have always thought that one day I would fall in love and get married and all of that. Yet, meeting someone who makes me wonder, "Is he that guy?" freaks me out. I feel like I am at the beginning of a path that has potential to sweep through my life and make it never the same again.

It's like being on the edge of a diving board, and if I really jump off, water will rush over me and there will be no going back. It's like if everything did go sour, then it would be hard to go back to being happy in the state I am in. At this point I could still go back, but I feel that time passing me by.

So, let's sum this up. I feel that I might not be completely ready for the kind of change a relationship would bring. I feel afraid that things will end up badly and it will be hard. I know that these are not actually good reasons to end things.

Anyway, I have this big date tomorrow night. I am really excited. I know I need to focus on being in the moment and enjoying things. Freaking out about potential change or potential disaster is not helpful in the least. Okay, thanks blog therapist. What would I do without you?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Help

"Will you come in and help me? I really don't know what to say."

The words felt unnatural coming out of my mouth because I don't really ask for help at work or in life. However, I really wanted to be absolved of all responsibility to discuss the death of this parent with a room full of eight and nine year olds.

In retrospect, I can see how it is best coming from me, but I am afraid to say the wrong thing or say it the wrong way. I feel like I can't handle this issue and I wish someone would do it for me.

They need to see from me that everything is going to be okay, and that they are still in a safe world; they also need to see that I have compassion for the situation and the loss matters to me. They don't need to see that I shake a little bit when I think about going to that funeral on Saturday (the first one I've ever been to for a suicide). They don't need to see that I kind of wish this child was in someone else's classroom because I feel suddenly young and inexperienced to handle this.

All of this makes me think about what I believe about teaching and life and God. I'm only in my fifth year of teaching and this is the second time I have dealt with a really tragic situation impacting my classroom. Two years ago, I had a student who discovered suddenly that she had a life-threatening brain tumor the year she was in my class. We didn't know what would happen and we didn't know if she would be okay. I am happy to report that she is doing well today. The tumor is completely removed and she is in school full time again. She's in fifth grade now and she said to me the other day, "You know, when I was in third grade, it was a really bad year, but I am glad you were there and helped me get through it."

Now, I find myself trying to help this child who had a parent commit suicide and wants nothing more than to be in school as much as possible because that is where she is happiest. I realize that twice I've had kids in my class who are experiencing the worst year of their young lives (who are experiencing a worse year than I've ever experienced in my young life), and I can't believe they are there by coincidence. I think God puts them with me so they'll be closer to him. He loves them and I pray and try to do what He wants. I think he is trying to reach them through me. I find myself saying the same words to him that I was saying to the VP, words I don't say a lot. "Will You come in and help me? I really don't know what to say?"

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Words Escape Me

Working with children can be fun because they always have a playful happy spirit. Sweet faces who love their teachers and school and families are definitely one of the biggest rewards of working in elementary school.

Yet, this life isn't always kind to children. Children can lose those whom they love most. Children can get sick. Children can die.

I am getting better about having a life outside of work, but it is these situations that keep me up at night and give me unsettling dreams.

A little girl in my class had a parent commit suicide this weekend. She came to school like nothing happened. We weren't notified. Later, I found out that she wanted to be at school.

I'm struck by such a little one so alone in the world. She comes to school asking me for a new homework sheet because she lost hers. She promises me that she'll have it done on time. I say, "Sometimes things happen and we can't get everything done and it's okay." I know that no one will sit with her. I know that she has the weight of the world on her shoulders. I see her walk her younger siblings to school every morning.

Sometimes I forget to pray for my students. Of course, they're more than a job; but I sometimes leave thoughts of them at school. When life is like this, I remember to pray for them, but I can't find the words.