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

Thanks

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.

video

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?


Cellist.


The end.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

? + ? + ? = Pictures

A Saturday afternoon

plus

Few friends

plus

Broken computer

plus

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.


Seriously?


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.