Thursday, December 31, 2009


"A person can be lonely even if he is loved by many people, because he is still not the 'One and Only' to anyone." - Anne Frank

Well, as I've already discussed in my blog, being able to love and care for somebody is what makes me happy. So naturally, I've felt really lonely recently. It's especially worse during the winter.

In times like these, I try to comfort myself by remembering the people that do love me. Though, like Anne Frank says, it's not the same, it does provide some reassurance. I found these pictures last time I was home.

My parents, back in the day.

Apparently they couldn't take good pictures because they didn't have immediate results to tell them that my dad's eyes were half closed. But hey, we're cute anyway!

My mommy and me.

Dad teaching me all he knows.


This one is my favorite. It shows my dad in his most unrestrained state of love for me. Now that I'm 22 he can't really do that to me.

Happy Easter, bedhead Dad.

Daddy-daughter Girl Scout dance.

My grandpa adores me too. When I got to the house in New York on the 20th, my grandpa saw me and got all teary-eyed and happy. It was so precious.

Seeing all of these people who love me then reminds me of Someone else who loves me. He never leaves me.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Let it Be Known!

Those who know me know I love movies. I love them with an indescribable passion. If I go too long without movies, I get kind of moody and feel a little unbalanced.

Today I went and saw Avatar in 3D. Alone. Because I'm used to that.

It was by far one of the most amazing and spiritual film experiences of my life.

The story, while predictable, was highly entertaining.

The characters were sympathetic and real.

The special effects, the creativity, the world (Pandora), the creatures were absolutely and breathtakingly beautiful.

I teared up several times throughout that movie.

While I was watching, before it was even the middle of the movie, I decided that it was amazing. I was trying to come up with the words in my mind to describe the experience. I came up with epic, brilliant, beautiful, and spiritual. 

I was so floored and overwhelmed when it was over that I sat and watched most of the credits before I felt like I was going to burst out in verbal exclamation with how much I loved that movie.

Don't worry that I cried on the phone to my dad because of my overwhelmed state of being as a result of watching that movie.

I was also shaking for thirty minutes afterward.

I don't think there's anything more to say.

Hats off, James Cameron. You are the man!

But so is Sam Worthington, whom I will marry tonight. He doesn't know yet. (Don't worry, it's been planned since I went to the midnight showing of Terminator: Salvation. We're not a couple who rushes into things.)

I love that he had such a hard time disguising his accent in Avatar, by the way. Too cute.

The Lodge

This is where we stayed in New York.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Upstate Undertakings

Oh you know. I was just in upstate New York from December 19 to the 28th to celebrate Christmas with the paternal side of the family. It was fun. I'm too lazy to recap it all so I'll do pictures and captions.

After some annoyances with Delta airlines, I arrived safely at the cabin.

This is where we spent most of our time before noon and after 10.

This is where I slept. Complete with bra.

We cut down our own tree from the property.

I was the designated camera girl.

We decorated.

Or mom and dad did, anyway.

I did some baking. We did lots of eating.

Lots of sitting around.

We hung out with Uncle Marty and Bullet.

And Mimi and PooBear

We did Christmas.

Self-photo shoots.

Chinese food.

And self-timed photo shoots.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Love My Cute Students


I got a big Symphony bar.

And a HUGE Symphony bar.

And a box of Chocolate Mint Sandwiches.

And an awesome sand dollar ornament.

And a Cafe Rio gift card--20 freaking dollars! Seriously?!

And a miniature loaf of banana nut bread.

And a bag of candies and a cute card and Mango body butter (from one student).

And a snowflake ornament.

And a decoration that says "love many, trust few, always paddle your own canoe." Rings pretty true.

And a couple of decorated candy canes.

And a Tootsie roll canister full of Tootsie Rolls.

And a canister of Whoppers.

And (from another teacher) some hand soap from Bath & Body Works.


My kids are awesome.

My roommate got me one of those liquid sticks incense things.

My other roommate got me a Ghirardelli caramel chocolate bar.

Rachel got me Bunness pajamas.

Holly got me a cute polka dot fleece blanket!

Brianne got me a gift card to In-N-Out and Red Mango! Yesss...

The administration got me a $25 University Mall gift card.

My mom got me a Kohl's gift card. I need new clothes.

The beat goes on. Off to New York tomorrow morning.


Jake got me a dream catcher.

Christmas Card from a Student

Dear Miss Balibrea,

Thank you for teaching me English. You are my best English teacher I've had. I think you are a great teacher. Hope you have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

- [Thoughtful Student]

Thursday, December 17, 2009


A. I've eaten WAY too much food in the last 48 hours.

B. I loved Ender's Game.

C. I do not like liars. Hey everyone, want to see Janae get into a rage? Lie to her!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Today's Gonna be a Good Day

My last post was my 200th post. Whoa.

Last Christmas my romantic life was a bit of a mess.

This Christmas my romantic life is non-existent.

I guess I'd rather have non-existence than sad drama.

My day today was awesome. I let my kids do research in the library which saved my voice and stress. They did pretty good, a few students excepting.

During my prep period, I didn't really have anything to grade or do. So I went to the faculty room where there lay an array of FOOD waiting for me.

Oh the glories that were there.

As always, the water warmer and hot cocoa, available--at my disposal.

A slim long table containing chips and three or four different types of dip.

A table in the corner with five or six crock pots containing various soups, ham, and little smokies.

A long table in the middle with a variety of desserts, vegetables and dip, and chips.

I loaded up a plate, got some hot chocolate, sat on the couch, and read Ender's Game.

It was one of the most relaxed, fun, comfortable moments that I've had in a really long time.

Then the principal and his assistant came in, shouting my name because they had found me. They handed me a red envelope and said, "Merry Christmas!" I accepted it and said, "Thank you."

I set it down and looked at it a few minutes later, expecting a letter of appreciation for my work and efforts.

But no!

It was a $25 gift certificate for University Mall!

Could the day get better? I submit that it could not.

But THEN! I left work at 3:20 in the afternoon. That is SO early, and never happens. I don't think it has ever happened, actually.

Could the day get better? No sir.


Russel won So You Think You Can Dance.

And almost all was right in my world. On this day, December 16th.

It's been a good day.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Losing Honesty

I'm becoming one of those people who says she's "fine," or "good," or "doing well," when it's not true.

Friday, December 11, 2009


This song makes me feel adventurous.

Missing Out

Sometimes I think that I'm not living my life to its fullest.

There are things I want that I don't go after. Because I'm afraid.

I am afraid of the unknown. Afraid of failure.

I like a planned and structured life. It's where I'm comfortable.

And my responsibility runs my life.

"In the summer, I shouldn't travel or do something fun. I should plan for the next school year. I should have two jobs. I should work out every day."

I wonder if I should make a New Year's resolution to be more daring.

To run after the things I want.

To stop caring about things I should be doing. And to stop worrying about what might happen.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

I love Christmas time.

I'm still having a rough time. But when I walk in my front door and see our tree and all our lights and decorations, I smile for a moment.

Church was awesome today.

The atonement is real.

The Spirit is real.

Its presence and impact on my life is real.

Here is a video of my apartment.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

My 19 Hour Day

I got up at 6:30 and got ready for work.

I ran around at work trying to get my resume printed for my interview with Granite School District.

I had essay conferences with students (or briefly lectured the ones without drafts) for three 80-minute periods straight.

I took fifteen minutes to eat lunch--leftovers.

I got my portfolio ready.

I monitored the school party dance for 20 minutes or so while putting the portfolio together.

I left at 2:05 PM and went to BYU.

I got my letter of recommendation from my professor's office.

I went to my interview, filled out a form, got interviewed, and left.

I walked back to my professor's office to drop off the TWS.

I walked back to my car and arrived back at work at 3:35 PM.

I graded 3 periods of journals for an hour and twenty minutes, finishing at 5 PM.

I graded and entered late work.

I left work.

I got home, updated my class website with homework assignments, etc.

I got dressed for work at Blockbuster and left at 5:53 PM.

I picked up food and arrived at work at 6:02 PM.

I worked.

While at work, I created my Christmas presents list (for others) as well as a to-do list.

I also planned next week's schedule--we're spending the week on debates for themes in Night.

I left work at 11:35 PM.

I got home from work.

I fed my fish.

I typed out a more detailed schedule for next week (including journal prompts, outline of activities, etc.).

I created a worksheet that I'll need to give my students next week.

I submitted my Teacher Work Sample on

I (immensely) edited my letter to parents regarding their students' incomplete grades. A total overhaul of my term 1 letter, really.

I checked Facebook.

I wrote this blog.

It's 1:30 AM.

Now I'm going to bed.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Fact: As difficult as I know it will be, I'm yearning for a family and for motherhood right now.

Fact: I miss all of my friends I used to celebrate Christmas with. We used to have a really fun time, and we were all really good at giving good gifts to each other.

Fact: I love giving gifts. I consider it a talent of mine. But I only really enjoy it when I know people well and have put a lot of thought into something they'd enjoy. I have almost no one left outside of my family who I feel I can do that for.

Fact: Someone stole my 3-hole puncher. Honestly? Why would you want to steal that?

Fact: I was very mad at and mean to my students today. I feel bad.

Fact: Almost no one came to Enrichment tonight.

Fact: Elf is a funny movie, no matter how few people are there (and no matter how many times you see it).

Fact: I'm finding joy in that it's December and there is no snow!

Fact: My heart is still broken. I don't know what it will take to unbreak it.

Fact: I want something or someone to take care of. I miss my rabbit a lot. :(

Fact: I figured out that the sideways picture thing is because iPhoto saves pictures elsewhere after editing (Modified folder, not Originals). My bad.

Fact: I enjoy funny people.

Fact: My mom bought me three new books the other night. I can't seem to put down Ender's Game.

Fact: I have more clearly come to realize the presence and effect of the Spirit in my life, and particularly appreciate it when I feel it's not with me.

Fact: My students' papers are better this time, on the whole.

Fact: I'm sad about not being home for Christmas or doing Christmas baking this year.

Fact: I still really miss my friends.

Fact: I need to go to bed.

Monday, November 30, 2009

I Feel Ugly

This fabulous thing called PMS really does make me wonder what I'm genuinely stressed about. It amplifies everything, and so I don't know if I'm actually really depressed, or if I'd normally shrug these things off more easily.

In any case, today has been rough. I'm still sick, and I'm tired of being sick.

I read through my students' evaluations of my teaching. And most of them think I need to be nicer and be fair to everyone. They also think I am boring and don't make learning interesting. That's not to discount the portion of students who really enjoy me, my teaching, and my class. But I suppose it's a talent of mine to focus on the negative.

I have a hard time connecting with people on my needed level. It's important for me to feel understood and heard and appreciated. And it's hard for me to feel that. So while I may have friends, I still spend most of my time feeling extremely alone and disconnected.

I really miss home. I miss California. I miss my perfect weather and sunshine which I got to enjoy for the last four days. I wish I could still be there. I cried on the way to the airport last night and didn't let my parents see. But there's even less for me there than there is here, I guess.

I've realized I'm not happy unless I'm taking care of someone else. There was a recent possibility of my being able to do that, but no more. Life feels lesser to me when I'm not able to care for or love somebody. It's harder to find happiness and fulfillment. Lyrics of the moment: All at Once by The Fray.

I've also realized I'm not happy unless I have someone who cares for me and every little thing I care about. I love what I do. I like getting up for work every day. But when I have no one to share my joy with, or who feels proud of my accomplishments, I feel like everything's just not as good.

I feel ugly, inside and out. I am sad that my students think I am unkind and impatient. I am sad to be alone. I am sad to be imperfect at everything and not knowing where to start. I am sad not to be in California. I am sad.

I guess I need to write some things I'm thankful for.

I'm thankful for repentance. What other way could I make myself feel better? And what other way could I try to fix these downfalls my students have noticed about me, which I have also noticed about me? My Lord and Savior can help me, if I work hard enough to change.

I'm thankful for thoughtful friends. Amazing Stephanie brought me some soup and Zinc tonight because I am still sick. I am currently still full, but I am most looking forward to eating that soup. It meant so much to me that she'd stop by when I'm feeling so alone.

I'm thankful for my calling. Hopefully the activity this Wednesday will be what somebody needs in their week.

I'm thankful for Christmas decorations. I put up lights today and a couple other decorations. My roommates bought new stockings and also made some decorations. It's fun and festive, and I'm hoping that focusing on our twinkling lights will lift my spirits a little bit.

I'm thankful for my fifth period who left me a "get well soon" card on my desk today when I went to get papers after school. It made me smile for a couple minutes and meant a lot to me.

I'm thankful for writing and prayer and scriptures--the things that make me feel better.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


My students had a sub on Monday because I was sick. I should have stayed home on Tuesday, too. Because on Monday night I was feeling better, and I went to work on Tuesday, then got sicker. I currently have no voice--it's a squeaky tragedy right now. Thanks, sickness.

I got back on Tuesday, though, and my students were suddenly very happy that I was there. They despised the sub, saying she was weird, random, arrogant, senseless, and annoying. Apparently the sub disregarded the comparison paragraph I left for my students, saying mine was "too confusing," and decided to discuss New Moon instead. She was really smart. She even told my students she was a certified English teacher. A certified English teacher who can't follow directions, wants to discuss New Moon, and who doesn't know how to write a comparison essay? My hopes are dwindling. But I did have many students tell me they were glad to have me back. They also were very concerned about my cough and wanted me to go home. It was cute and made me feel loved. Thanks, students.

I left my house for my flight a little later than I should have last night. I should have been totally fine. But then there was traffic, at six PM, for no reason at all. Thanks, Utah drivers. Then there was traffic from my grandma's to the airport because there was an accident. Thanks, Utah drivers. We sat in traffic for about 20 minutes. I missed my flight. Thanks, Utah drivers.

To the girl who overheard my conversation with the lady at the Delta desk and who asked me if she could pay for half of my flight--you are the cutest girl I've ever met. Who wants to be that kind to a stranger? What an angel. Thank you, girl-who-was-so-generous-and-amazing.

Fortunately, my mother is willing to pay for another ridiculously expensive ticket. So here I sit at the airport terminal. I left grandma's at 9 AM, arrived at the airport at 9:35 AM, wrote down where I parked in the economy lot, got checked in, and through security by 10:25. I'm flying on jetBlue into Long Beach. Maybe I can get some In-N-Out and not wait in a ridiculous line. Thanks, Mom.

I learned a trick from my friend Cubby who said to put a pillow between my knees when I sleep. My back is suddenly miraculously OK! Except today because I slept in a random bed at my grandma's, and my back and neck feel terrible. But otherwise, I've got this back pain covered. Thanks, Cubby!

In other news, life is strange and exciting and confusing. Good decisions, dumb decisions, who knows? I'm comfortable with mistakes. I'm not comfortable with wasting time anymore. We'll see. Thanks, confusing life!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Good News

I'm engaged!!!

Just kidding.

Seriously though, what if I was?

Passed cleaning checks the first time.

I bought a terabyte sized external hard drive for one hundred rupees. I mean dollars.

For the first time in a month, I don't have to go into work on a Saturday.

My roommate bought me a pizza because she knows Fridays are crazy for me and wanted me to have dinner. How cute is she?!

My apartment is clean. AND decorated. Thanks roommates.

My kids loved Night.

I have plans on a Saturday night, for once!

My resume looks amazing!

I have an interview with a school district in Salt Lake on December 4.

I get to go home in four days

Orem has an In-N-Out.

I love my job. Almost every day, even!

We have an Enrichment activity coming up that will be so fun.

I love life.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Things I Love

First, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. I love that.

"I took a train out to Montauk today. I'm not sure why. I'm not an impulsive person..."

I love that Clementine hates the word "nice" as much as I do. It's the most useless adjective I know.

It's my favorite anti-romance.

Second, my classroom. And how ugly my face looks in the initial clip of this video. Very cute. Duh.

Third, Imogen Heap, with friends. This forsaken Mac is difficult so I decided to use Facebook pics. Please click for full effect.

We're hot? uh...

Opening act...

Immi shoes behind the curtain.

Opening act #2. Hot stuff. That's all I know.

Oh, we's hot.

Why she gotta be so cool?


The end.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

? + ? + ? = Pictures

A Saturday afternoon


Few friends


Broken computer


Waiting for said computer to start up


What can I say? I'm special.

I figured I'd make your neck hurt because I'm working on my Mac (work computer), and in spite of my efforts to rotate the pictures, they're not uploading with the rotations.

In other news, I love Glee.

I am seeing Imogen Heap tomorrow.

I love my students.

And I need more friends.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Thanks, Little Ones

So as I said yesterday, I had overwhelming affirmation yesterday of my teaching abilities and of my decisions and policies.

I adjusted my policy to an even nicer form than it was before, and my students were so excited. They were kissing my butt.

In seventh period, which is pretty much my favorite, I said that I have lots to do, and that if anyone wanted to stay after school and help, I'd give them a candy.

I had two sweet boys stay after to help me. One stayed because he had a club meeting after, which ended up getting canceled. He takes the bus home, but he was going to finish what he started quickly and then try to make it to the bus. I insisted that he just stop what he was doing and go catch that bus. He finally stopped. I told him I owe him a candy tomorrow (as he was running out the door) and he told me that he'd pass on the candy.

I had another boy stay after and sort papers for me. This means he was bending over at an uncomfortable height to sort papers into students' files. His back started hurting. I told him to grab a chair and sit down so his back wouldn't hurt. He was doing a lot, and I told him he is not obligated to stay at all, that I'm just grateful for whatever help I can get. I said again that he didn't have to stay. He responded, "I know I don't have to, but I want to because I see how much you have to do, and I want to help." Then I offered him a candy, and he said he didn't want any.

What the heck?

Is this something I'm getting in return for making a really nice policy? I didn't do it for that. I even bribed them for help with candy. And neither one wanted the candy.

Thank you guys for your help and your example to me. So awesome.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Prayers Answered

I've been praying desperately for assistance with the approaching onslaught of parents angered over their children's incomplete grades. (Incomplete is anything under a C-, gross, huh?)

The answer came in a way I wasn't expecting.

I was up front with my students today about the flack I've been getting lately regarding my policies being too harsh.

Last week was a very bad week full of tears, breakdowns, venting, and significant reconsideration regarding these issues.

So I revised my policies according to suggestions to help students succeed.

They were all in a frenzy about this change.

They hate it. They like my old policy better. They think I'm so "nice." They think I'm so "great." They think if students are doing badly it's because they're just not turning in any work.

They started a petition to switch back to my old policy and to tell other critics of my policies to stop picking on me.


They were so defensive of me. And so reassuring. It was nice to hear these things from my own students, who a week ago I was crying over because I was convinced they hated me.

Sometimes, the place we teachers need to go to know that we're doing a good job, to know that our students appreciate us, and to know that we're not "too harsh," is directly to the source.

Thank you, students, for all you said and did today. You were the answer to my prayers. I love you.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Spiral Notebooks

Why, oh why do students use spiral notebook paper?

Is it to make my life a pandemonium of unstackable papers?

Monday, October 26, 2009

Blessed Again

Well, it's 12:13 and I'm going to wake up in six hours. That'll work out. I'll be tired, but six hours of sleep is better than seven to me, so I thought I might as well write this first.

I graded for 10 hours yesterday. Two of those were journals and other catch-up grading and entering. The other eight were spent on the final essays I required of my students. I ran a timer, but it only let me do three minutes (no more or less), so the pacing was inconsistent.

I had food near me and movies playing in the background to ease my stress. I was finally done at 9:30 PM and caught up on some homework that I had to do. Eight hours of grading, and I got three classes done. Wow. I left school at 10 PM.

All of this is not to mention the TWS parts C and D, plus my lesson plans for this coming week which needed to get done. 

I was very discouraged and upset because grades are due on Tuesday at 4 PM. And eight hours is a long time to finish up the rest of my papers. I was clearly stressed out by the onslaught of Sunday activities approaching. Being at church at 8:30 AM for meetings seemed an obstacle to be overcome if I wanted to get this grading done. I thought about taking the papers to church just in case, but I figured it wouldn't be appropriate.

Church gets out at 1:30 and dinner at grandma's is at five. That gives me less than three hours to work on papers. Five hours of time lost at church?

Oh, and then there were supposed to be committee meetings after church. Wow, there goes another thirty minutes of grading.

On Saturday night, I considered leaving church early--after my meetings. I tried to dismiss the thought.

Pre-church meetings got done at 10 AM, 30 minutes before church started. I was stressed that I hadn't brought my papers with me. I was sitting in the nearly empty chapel starting to have an anxiety attack. The previous night's thoughts came back to me. "I can leave after sacrament." Then I made myself feel better: "I can come back for meetings after Relief Society."

I tried again to dismiss these thoughts. 

I said silent prayers (probably the fifth of many) to help me calm down.

I felt the subtle urge to find an empty room in the building with a piano in it.

I obeyed.

I found a room in the institute building. I turned on the light, sat down at a bench, and cried for about 30 seconds. I begged the Lord to help me calm down, to trust that everything would be alright. I began to play. I played well, and I played my favorite hymns.

I felt much better and headed back to sacrament meeting fifteen minutes later.

I felt calm all during sacrament and throughout the rest of my meetings--calmness which came by the Spirit of my loving Heavenly Father. Every time I started to think about my papers, I heard a voice tell me, "Janae, I will take care of you. Focus on church right now." I heard, "Stay calm, everything will be OK. You'll manage it. I'll make sure of it."

After church, the girls I was supposed to meet with were not there. I considered this a tender mercy to give me that thirty minutes I'd find so helpful. I ran home. I talked to my dad on the way home who instructed me to put on some classical music and to focus.

I did.

I got everything ready to go to my grandma's. By inspiration of the Lord, I found an online countdown timer. I put all my papers on my bed. I situated my laptop near me. I put on some music. I had the timer ready at 4 minutes and 30 seconds. This was how long I'd take on each paper--which seemed really difficult and would take much focus and assistance.

For the next two hours and fifteen minutes, I was on a grading rampage. I got one and a half classes done! I left for my grandma's (20 minutes drive). I got there, started my laundry, graded two papers, ate dinner (30 minutes), graded more papers, did more laundry (10 minutes), graded more papers, stopped to eat dessert (5 minutes), graded papers, and I finished at 8:45 PM.

I graded today for a grand total of about five and a half hours. And I finished. I finished before 9 PM. I finished almost three hours faster than yesterday.

A weight was lifted from my shoulders. I couldn't keep from smiling and thanking my Father in Heaven for his divine assistance. For helping me to stay focused, energized, and fast-paced. For allowing me to go to all of my meetings today and fulfill my responsibilities and still have time to get my work responsibilities done.

None of this would have happened without sincere prayer and my desire to do what was right before doing what I needed to do.

I am so grateful for His help.

If we love Him, we should keep His commandments. We are promised blessings in return.

With this weight lifted from my shoulders, I found myself reassured that my lesson plan would get done tonight, that tomorrow, I could be productive and go to class, and that I could relax a little bit.

It took almost an hour to get back from my grandma's tonight due to a bad accident that happened on the freeway. I didn't stress out about it, or get impatient. I was just thinking good thoughts for the people who got in an accident. I trusted that even though it'd be late, I'd get my lesson plan done.

Monday's lesson plan is done.

Tomorrow I still have some totaling and entering to do. I have lots of sorting. I have my TWS to do. I need to do my Secret Spook thing (it's like Secret Santa, for the faculty). I have class from 4:30 to 6:30. I need to get groceries, and I need to scan through a movie or two for my classes on Tuesday. I also need to do the rest of the week's lesson plans. But I'm trusting that it will all get done because I got the tough stuff out of the way today with the Lord's help. He is so good to me.


Saturday, October 24, 2009

A Compensatory Personality

I've realized lately that I have what I deemed a "compensatory personality."

It means I compensate for whoever I'm surrounded by, if I need to.

I've been described by some people as shy. I've never considered myself shy. What I do notice is that I can take a front seat, or a back seat, depending on the personalities I'm near at the moment.

Case in point, I was once friends with a group where two or three were very dominant and loud personalities. I was considered, "Quiet." If strong personalities dominate, I let them do it, and I don't go out of my way to be heard or known.

Other case in point: I'm friends with a couple of really quiet individuals. Because they are quiet, it puts me in the front seat--making up for what they might not have or say or do. These quiet people would say that I'm very loud, passionate, funny, and opinionated. This might surprise the loud group of people who knew me.

In Relief Society, I have to conduct meetings a lot. I'm very smiley and outgoing and cheery. They're quiet and looking up at me. I'm in a leadership position, so that's the seat I take. It's my job to know who the girls are, to make sure they know who I am, and to inform them of activities and things going on. I'm loud and outgoing because I just have to be.

In my family (mom's side), everyone is very loud and smiley and cheery. They view me as being kind of serious and somber. They might think I'm a little better than I used to be, but they still probably don't think I'm quite as silly as they are. And why am I not? Because I just don't need to be. They do it for me.

Isn't this weird? I'm a really strange girl, I decided. I'm not consistently one way or another. My behavior depends on the situation. I can be intimidating, or I can be intimidated. I can be dominating, or I can be dominated.

I'm not sure what I think about this aspect of my personality. But what I do know is that the leadership, the loud, passionate, opinionated girl who just doesn't hold back, is the real me. The one that doesn't feel bound down or spoken for or outdone, generally speaking.

The other thing that I'm aware of is that I like other people like me. Because when I'm with another person like me, we both balance out the front and back seat. We know when to be quiet and hear the other person. We don't expect that this person will be quiet or be loud in any given situation. We just are. I like someone to challenge my thoughts, balance my passion with their submission, and balance my silence with their passion.

Bring me more of these friends, please.

Holy self-indulgent and reflective blog post, Batman.

Sorry if this was boring, kids. I just needed to write about it to make my thoughts clearer. A widely read expert in the education field today said that writing "births ideas." Instead of, "Now you see it; now you don't," writing makes ideas into "Now you don't see it; now you do." What an excellent way to put it.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Simply Maddening Mistakes

Once in a while I say or do something, or even think something, that makes me feel really guilty.

Sometimes they’re not a big deal. Other times they are.

Usually it’s a big deal if it triggers something in my mind. If I have an epiphany like, “Wow I do this a lot,” or “I just did that recently, and now I’m doing it again?” that’s when it is a big deal to me.

These guilt trips can last for minutes, hours, or days.

The annoying thing is trying to fix the thing you did wrong to make the guilt go away. Sometimes it’s just giving an apology. But even that doesn’t completely fix the guilt, especially if the offended person is still upset with you.

On other occasions, it requires a serious change of heart—a real commitment to not say or do or think that thing anymore. And since that’s more of a process, it makes the guilt kind of linger. It’s not an insta-fix sort of thing, as convenient and lovely as that might be.

I don’t like these occasions. I end up crying, praying, and repenting for a long time in order to feel forgiven, to forgive myself, and to try to change with the Lord’s help.

I guess that’s the right way to try to fix it though, right? :-/

Oh life. Why dost thou have to be such a learning process?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Best and the Worst

I spend nearly every hour concerned with my students.

I spend over 6 hours with them during school, every day of the week.

I stay after school helping them with assignments and letting them catch up.

I spend hours grading.

I spend hours and hours planning units, weeks, lesson plans, and activities.

I am so anxious about how lessons will go, I even wake up dreaming I'm in the middle of teaching a class that is not going well at all.

These kids are my life.

I pour all of my time and energy into trying to help them learn.

If I see blank faces, I call on students to pull their attention back in. 

I come home from work exhausted, starving, and sore in my feet and shoulders from standing and teaching all day.

What more can I do?

What more can I do when I put so much time, sweat, stress, and thought into these lessons? And what can I do when I pour every bit of energy I can muster off 6 hours of sleep into teaching?

What more can I do to satisfy the student who told me today how "monotone, boring, and repetitive" I am?


I guess I just have to consider the student who likes me enough to keep trying to message me on Facebook. And who asks me to be in pictures like this:

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Imogen Heap is Back!

Oh man, oh man, oh man! I am so excited.

Just bought two tickets for Imogen's concert on November 12th. I'll  be tired the next day for work, but oh freaking well.

She'll be so worth it!

On December 8th, 2006, I saw her live. It's been almost three freaking years. Way too long.

This will bring back some difficult memories, but I have to go. Just have to.

I can't contain myself! And this time, I'm going to bring a real camera, since obviously I was an idiot last time and used a cell phone camera.

Here we go! A month away tomorrow.