Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Befuddled Awakening

So, this morning I woke up and after I was sitting there for a minute I discovered something. Have you ever woken up and not felt quite rested? Ok, well, have you thought you had a pretty good sleep but still didn't feel very energetic? Well, I have mornings like this all too often. ( I think it's the fact that I bought a really cheap bed.) Anyway, I noticed that my covers were completely different than the night before. I always make my bed the same way with the comforter showing the dark black side facing up and the tag on the comforter at the bottom right corner. But today, the comforter was showing the light black flowered side up and the tag was in the left hand corner. I'm not sure what exactly went on. I sleep alone and I thought I slept pretty well, but the covers were all over the place and backwards/upside down/just plain skittywampus. Baffled by the condition of my bed spread, I got up to start my day and discovered that the other blankets were wrapped around my legs in such a way that I had to kick and squirm and get almost violent with them in order to get out of the death grip they had placed on me. Now, this is just not the most welcoming morning routine to begin with, I must admit. By the time I got out of bed I didn't know if I should yell at them, laugh at them, or just recognize it as a sign that the day wasn't going to go well and I should just get back in and cover my head until noon.

Not have the choice to stay home, I just simply shook my head and got in the shower. The messy covers are still waiting for me now, because I was afraid to make the bed knowing that the crazy covers may end up grabbing me and pulling me back in for the rest of the day. Let's hope that tonight things will go better. :)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Pub Quiz

Every Wednesday night, a group of us go to FADO and participate in Pub Quiz. It's an interesting competition that happens between groups of patrons at this local Irish Pub. The questions cover everything from Musicians to pictures of artists to historical points of interesting, and all other type of questions. Some questions are way too easy, for instance, "What was the name of the musical that tells about a family caught in the middle of WWII ..." obviously it's The Sound of Music. But for the most part the questions are really hard, like giving really obscure movie quotes from several movies, like "I'll keep it" and "Hey Gorgeous". Plus there are many others that really difficult.

The MC looks like Vin Diesle and he's a little bit smug if you try to ask him for help. He's carrying the answers, so I don't know why he acts as if he knows it all, but he does. So that kinda ruins his good looking-ness. The waitress' don't make any money because we get there around 7 and we don't leave until almost 11. By 9 O'Clock, they are irritated and annoyed at our constant desire for refills and non-alcoholic purchases, as well as never being quite done with the round of questions in time to hand it in when she asks for it the first time.
The first time I went, I thought, ok... if I were going to study for a game show like Jeopardy, how would I study? Of course I considered going to the library, watching the sports channel for interesting facts, and paying particular attention to literature, music, and art. But then I asked myself, "WHAT ARE YOU THINKING>>> IT"S PUB QUIZ!!" The winners recieve $100 gift card to the restaraunt and the satifaction of winning. We have been going since before Christmas and we have never, I repeat NEVER, won. Once we tied for third and lost in the tie breaking question which you had to be a MENSA canidate to have answered. And yet, despite our horrible loss of only 14 points out of 70 possible, we still go week after week. The food is good and company is great, but we are just fooling ourselves if we think we are going to win.

It's definitely a great time had by all and as I sit here tonight thinking about some of the questions that were asked, I am loving that someone came up with the idea. I wish I had come up with it. They must have to pay for the questions. But I'm sure it brings in a least one full night each week, which in this economy is big. But mostly, I wish some of my friends from college could be at the table to help me. I may start recruiting, which means some of you will have to come to Vegas for a Wednesday night of Philly Cheesesteaks, Irish appetizers, and crazy questions.

Start studying...

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Teaching! Why reinvent the wheel?

It's been forever since I've written on the blog. I've had some requests and now it seems logical to go ahead and write again, especially now that I can attach this to my Facebook. I am hoping that I can vent my frustrations of teaching, and share my victories here and it will make me feel better. I also hope that someone, somewhere, might gain something from the experiences I'm having. If there's one thing I've learned, it's to not reinvent the wheel. Teachers say it all the time and so do our administrators. If someone else has already figured it out, why would you go to all the work to do it yourself? Well, I feel like I'm constantly reinventing. I guess I wish student teaching had lasted longer than 16 weeks.

I've been teaching for three years and have had so many tough situations, exciting times, and amazing moments in the classroom. Some have been complex and I've shared with people, but some have been small moments that I have enjoyed and kept to myself. Today was a day that had both.

My current class is extremely challenging. I feel my "grouchy brows" creep together almost immediately when I enter the classroom. I have to say that standardized testing perpetuates this condition of the face. Unfortunately, I have no control over how this happens or if it happens. I just have to participate like these unfortunate little ones I have in my classroom.

So this morning, I was so frustrated. I felt as if everything I said went in one sweet little ear and right out the other of each and every student in the room. Nothing I seemed to do made the words I was saying stick. Following directions is the hardest thing in the WHOLE WIDE WORLD with this group. By lunch, I had a headache taking over and I was wishing there was a botox injection available in the vending machine or a white padded room where I could get it all out.

After lunch, something changed. I'm not sure what it was, but I'm pretty sure it was just the fact that I know there was a whole half a day left, and also that there are three months of school left and somehow, I had to survive. After getting through reading and math, we moved onto writing and I was given the cutest song about Parts of a Friendly Letter. We sang and came up with hand motions. It was awesome. The students were engaged and I felt fulfilled as if I accomplishing

Right now I'm reading a book my sister Jacque gave me a million years ago. It's called "The Gentle Touch" by Ardeth G. Kapp. I'm hoping I can learn something to help me to reach those kids that, right now, feel completely untouchable. I know I have the ability to cause change because I have done it... but I have to figure out how to cause change without causing a stress and anxiety indused ventricle explosion. If I can't figure this out, I'll never make it 30 years.

Well, I'm off to finalize the thesis and then to bed, obviously... way too late.


Friday, October 27, 2006

Take Down

I just love these pictures, so I thought I'd post them on the blog today. I don't have much to write other than this is what I love about this guy.

Have a good day.


Sunday, October 22, 2006


Well, after the longest dryspell in history, I finally have found myself in a relationship with someone. I know I said something about this before, but I thought I'd spend some time on my blog to write a little about him and what's up. As you have read from my Vegas moments, finding a man in this city is nothing short of a miracle. Around July, when I found myself working at the wonderful and spectacular Applebee's, the bartender Crystal and I became instant friends. She invited me over for dinner one night and told me their friend Fernando was coming to eat as well. Crystal, Frankie (Crystal's boyfriend) and Fernando have all been friends since the 6th grade. I thought, "oh great... she's going to try and set me up with someone" so in arriving first, I was hoping he wouldn't be able to make it and then I'd be able to relax. I was wrong. The ever faithful friend showed up right on time. When he walked in I thought, well, forget it, he won't like me. The workouts from Curves hadn't started to show any progress at that point.

Week after week, we all hung out, talking, watching movies, eating, and just spending time around each other. At the end of the night, Fernando and I would leave, walking down the sidewalk to our cars not saying much of anything to each other, except the occasional empty comment just trying to make some conversation. I was always thinking... why doesn't he talk more. Crystal kept sayin that we should hook up, but I didn't want to go for Ferdinand just because Crystal told me I should, right?? Of course. Apparently Fernando was always thinking, ... why does she get in her car so fast every night and why doesn't she stop and talk to me a little bit before she leaves. ... I had no idea he even thought I was cute or anything because he's shy and no one ever asked him what he thought about me. I actually didn't think he even wanted to be my friend, but there was an occasional moment where I would be talking a mile a minute, as you have all witnessed me do, and I'd look over and see Fernando totally into it. I was even caught speechless for a moment when I realized he wasn't just looking at me thinking I was crazy, he was actually listening to what I was saying. (I didn't think men listened.) ha ha ha

Well, finally, after a long shift at Applebees, Frankie and Fernando came to pick Crystal and I up and we went and got some food. Suddenly a miracle occurred. The man that never spoke started talking to me. By the end of dinner, we were in a major conversation. After that we all hung out until pretty late, laughing and playing video games and just messin' around. We sat on the couch, with pillows covering up our hands so Crystal and Frankie couldn't see us holding hands. We left their apartment and ended up sitting in his car until 7 a.m. !!!

After that it's just been awesome. We've been dating seriously since then, which is around Labor Day. He has done nothing by amaze me every day. I am so lucky to have such a great guy in my life. I've never experienced someone who has such respect for women and people in general. He is such a hard worker, as well. He is graduating in Accounting and Finance in December from UNLV and then he is going to open his own business. He works with his dad and at a high rise condo here in the city. He and his dad are best friends and they are Mr. Fix-ets. They can fix anything. He makes me laugh and he makes me feel like I'm on up on a pedistal. Hopefully I do the same for him, which he says that I do.

Here are some pictures of us. There aren't many but there will be more. He's definitely going to be in my life for a long time.

Enjoy the photos.


Tales of the Student Teacher

Hello Everyone.

I finally have had some time to put down some pictures of my class and me in it. I'm sure there is some legal stipulation that says I can't have pictures of these kids, so if you know them, please don't tell their parents.

As for my classroom. Things have been interesting. I've been teaching full time now for a few weeks. It's been great! However, the perfectionist in me has had to take a deep breath and just get things covered. I haven't had time to be really interesting or do anything amazing that anyone outside of our classroom would notice. I think I've kept the students entertained though. The other day we did a conga line and in rhythmic way sang "e-a-r ... e-a-r... errrrr" so we could remember the spelling rule that the letters e-a-r make a errrr sound like in earn, yearn. It was fun. The students loved doing the conga around the room.

My experience so far has definitely had it's share of challenges. Some of you know I worked at a school with kids who have behavorial disorders for about 6 months. I learned a lot during that time about discipline and how normal discipline techniques on these kinds of kids of the opposite affect as they do on children without behavorial disorders. Well, you'd think that experience would have helped me, but it's so different in a classroom where you have one student with those problems and the rest are complete angels.

My good friend and student with down syndrome... for legal purposes we'll call him Luke, has had a rough couple of weeks. This last week was full of moments where I wondered how the heck I ever could help him.

I walked outside one morning to get the students, ready for a perfectly sweat free day of teaching, and to my amazement and horror, Luke was chasing the other kids around swinging his backpack like a slugger on the NY Mets. The kids are so well behaved they were trying to stay in line but still duck his painful blows. Some were telling him to stop and others were just beginning to enter a state of shock. That was Monday. On
Tuesday Luke threw a tantrum in the room and after writing on the wall with his crayon, he threw the entire bag and hit one of my students square in the face. The bag broke open and other crayons bounced off of her like a rubber ball and spread like machine fire hitting two or three other students. They just kept on coloring because they didn't want to get into trouble. After that moment, I took Luke into the hallway and he calmed down long enough to distract me and then he ran down the hallway. When he rounded the corner, of course before me because I was not going to run (that's what he wants and I wasn't wearing a sports bra) he then proceded to leave the building. I wasn't sure where he went and I had left 16 children in the room with a teachers aid who I feel is notwonderful for me to have to tell my Assistant Principal during my internship that I lost I student. It is a little comical now, but being that it was my b-day and only Tuesday, I was feeling a little peeved after the whole thing.

Other than that, things are going well. I can't wait until I have my own classroom and a pay check to go with it. This working for free stuff is pretty hard to handle.

Ahh, the classroom photo. ha ha ha

Till next time.


Tuesday, October 03, 2006

A Very Long Silence

Hello All.

After a very long silence, I have finally found the time to write again. So much has been going on in my life that I just can't seem to get a minute to write. There's that, and the fact that I lost my password forever and couldn't figure out how to log on so that I could continue my various rantings. So I'm up for a little writing tonite.

I started student teaching, finally! My first day of school was nuts. There were so many students. I'm currently in an elementary school that only houses Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grades. This is a novel idea, because there are no worries of older kids and problems that occur with the mixing of ages. There are 16 2nd grade teachers in my school. I am with one of them and she is a pretty good teacher. I enjoy learning from her and I believe she has learned a few things from me, as well. After teaching now for a month, I can honestly say that I love it. I do not feel like it's work. Instead, I feel like it's a mix of stand up comedy, playing, and (let's be honest with ourselves) saving the world. I know that sounds arrogant, as if I could save the world, but I mean that it makes you feel so good that you taught a child or helped a child to be comfortable with reading out loud that it feels like you saved the world. I love my class.

I have one student who has down syndrome. I become so elated whenever he does something on his own, without a prompting or a bit of instruction. He was in charge of leading the pledge of allegiance last week. On Monday, when I announced that it would be his turn to lead the class, he immediately stood up and said everything correctly. His little voice and the way he stutters just a touch and slurs his words made my heart melted as he managed to say every line correctly in preparing the class to say the pledge. Occasionally he gives me a hug and tells me he loves me. That is awesome. The kid just makes me laugh. Unfortunately, his loving attitude is usually spoiled with a comment about poop right in front of the other students. He asked if he could draw me a picture ... it was of my butt pooping he said. Nice. I finally got him to draw me a picture of himself instead. It is the cutest self-portrait I've ever recieved.

Other than school, I'm still working at Applebees. They have been especially unaccomodating with my school schedule. My employer actually told me to "suck it up" when I told her that working until midnight when I had school at 7:00 a.m. was too difficult. I know, I know... I can hear the violins stringing now... however, I feel I'm justified in asking for a little decency after working like a horse for them all summer. At least the food is still free. And it's getting better, too. I recommend giving Applebees a try soon. They have this new brick chicken and a penne rosa pasta with italian sausage........ YUMMY!! It's good stuff.

The big news, I suppose, is the latest boyfriend in my life. After a five year dry spell... and how dry it was.... I have finally found myself in a relationship with a wonderful man. He was not what I was looking for and I was not what he was looking for, but now that we've found each other; it's amazing. I know. I know. Get me the barf bag. But he's awesome. His name is Fernando Isaac Ruvalcaba. ( I can't pronounce it either, so don't worry.) I suppose there is more for this to come later. He is a student at UNLV and graduating in December in Accounting and Finance. He is the biggest gentlemen I've ever been privledged to go out with and we have the best time, except when we wrestle. I beat him every time because I'm tough. (Actually, it's the other way around, but it makes me feel better to lie.)

I'm sorry it's been so long. I'll update pictures and other comments later. I hope all is well with all of you.



Saturday, July 15, 2006

The Work World

The joys of being a twenty-something and just out of college are not complete without jobs that have nothing to do with your degree, right? After working at the wonderful monkey-do-a-job temp agency my assignment ended and I was left back in my car searching for a new job. As I have said about Las Vegas before, it definitely has had its share of big-city moments for me. Looking for other temp agencies was among those moments as I got completely confused at the directions I got off of mapquest when I came to the corner of Sunset and Sunset knowing that I was supposed to take Sunset to Whitney Ranch Dr. As the sweat started to bead on my forehead from the heat that my air conditioning just wouldn't keep at bay and my nerves shredded in frustration, my poor mother got an ear-full of my regret for having moved to such a large city with no money. I found the temp agency the next day with help from a friend and found myself watching yet another video on proper the procedures for lifting anything over 50lbs and what to do if there is a chemical spill. I informed the agent at Addecco that I was only applying for an office job and that I wouldn't be experiencing chemical spills unless they asked me to change the toner in the copier, at which point, after I'd been there for an hour, she told me that office doesn't handle office positions, only warehouse. Could we have put this in advertisement, please? (The picture in the ad is people in office attire... go figure!) Luckily, about a month and a half ago, I applied to work at Applebees and Hollywood video hoping these could take the place of a second job and get me out of my apartment. After having a nervous breakdown in the car, I headed home to drown my woes in an episode of Alias when the phone rang and it was Applebees. The very next day, Hollywood video called and offered me a job.

I started training at Applebees, complete with my red shirt and "Hi Neighbor" button as I thougth to myself, how hard could it be. HA HA HA. I've been working for a week and a half now, and my body is rocked! I'm so tired. To all tho
se poor waitresses out there that I've sent back to the kitchen with my food or asked for more sauce or a refill on a mixed lemonade... I pay homage to you and ask your forgivness in making your job harder. My feet hurt so bad that I think even after a foot translplant they will still hurt. I came home expecting to have lost at least 15lbs after the first three days and five shifts, unfortunately, ... nothing. It's all still there. It hasn't been too bad, really, but there have been the occasional table of people that leave me a list of improvements on the back of my ticket or even tell me right there at the table how I could be a better waitress or server. It's nice. "Thank you customer, for explaining to me how I could be a better server... have you been a server?"I want to ask. Well, I guess karma is the pitts because I've done that before... but my servers were really really bad; like letting the table next to us smell our food before they set it on our table and never coming back to fill our drinks or give us silverware. It's JUST FOOD! But I guess it's a serious thing. It's all good though. I am making enough money in tips alone to pay my bills and that was the goal. My disgustingly rich days will have to wait until I'm a teacher. ha ha ha ha

As for my job at Hollywood Video... if I thought monkey could have done my temp job, than his retarded counterpart could do my job at Hollywood with his eyes closed and his opposable thumbs tied behind his back.

The list of interesting jobs and job experiences continues to grow with me. I can add waitress to my personal resume now. What the worst job you've ever had? What was the best job you ever had? If you could do it all over again, what job do you wish you could have had that you never got? As always, thanks for reading.