Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Going Private Out of Necessity

Part 1:

Well, a student found my blog.

I'm not sure what the heck is up with these stalker children, but I am tired of it. I'm tired of the Facebook and MySpace friend requests. I'm tired of them looking through the little that I have public so that they can do detective work on my love life. What in the world? Since when did kids care that much about their teachers' lives?

Today in sixth period, they started trying to get me to talk. "What's your favorite song?" "I have a lot of favorite songs." "Well then who's your favorite band?" And then somewhat randomly, my stalker student goes, "Do you like Josh-Joshua-Rad-Radin, or whatever?" And I'm a Slowy Slowerton so I didn't catch on. I said that I love Joshua Radin and have seen him twice and have a picture with him. So yes I love him.

Then after class, said stalker told me he and his friend found my blog, and the blog of my ex. What in the world?! No wonder he asked about Joshua Radin. The song on my blog is by Josh.

*Audible sigh*

-------
Part 2:

Here at the end of the school year I'm able to see my students' growth from the beginning of the year to the end of the year. I wasn't even anticipating this, but it's making me remember why I wanted to do this! I get to see their progress and their growth and their learning.

I have had some amazing teaching moments today alone as I've had very brief conferences with my students regarding their essays. Many have stayed after school to get extra help (more than usual)! Many have returned with a draft that was fabulous after receiving help. Many have improved significantly since the first essay or two. It must be all the class time I'm giving, plus the outline. They love that darn outline. :) I have kids who normally procrastinate doing their things on time and doing them 110% better than their past essays. I have kids who struggle with clarity in the English language being much clearer and more organized.

I should note that I've made it a personal goal to continue to increase my patience (which I have very little of to begin with), and to increase the amount of positive feedback I give. I found something good about every essay I looked at today. And I had two or three kids actually smile in total satisfaction with themselves. They were so glad that certain things about their paper were so good! One girl (she's an ESL girl) kept smiling and kept saying thank you--she was so excited to be catching on, and to be doing it so much better.

I'm SO glad they are learning these writing skills. I'm SO glad that so many of them are "getting it" this time. I love seeing their faces light up and their smiles spread across their face when I tell them something good. These "light bulb" moments bring me so much joy. This job is so awesome.

-----

Back to part 1:

So, to my student stalker, and to all my other stalkers, I am happy to have you be so interested in my life. But since I can't have my students reading about themselves, I will be taking this blog private. Please submit in a comment or email to me (applesauce37@aim.com) your email address if you'd like to be invited to my soon-to-be-private blog. Seriously, even if I don't know you, or if I don't like you, I have no problem with you reading my blog--as long as you're not my student. I won't be surprised or offended by your request--the more the merrier.

Loves from the Ever-Improving Teacher...
Janae

*Addendum: I will need your emails within a week! Come one, come all!

I Want to Hear You Upbeat!

So here I am... Feeling pretty good. Life is smooth sailing, except for those wascally wittle job applications I have to do. I'm putting them off. Seriously. They're in my bag right now, and I'm pretending that they don't exist.

I thought yesterday of doing Teach for America, but I checked their website and missed the February deadline. That would have been an amazing opportunity and guaranteed job for next year. Should have thought of it sooner.

I have been reading through tons of old blogs in the last couple of days. I realized that while my blog has been pretty light and happy for the most part, I haven't done three best things in a while. I'll probably have more than three.

1. The Book of Mormon. I read this morning about the Nephite and Giddianhi battle and how they hanged the leader on a tree and cut the tree down. So it wasn't too inspiring or fun, but I love being able to find things in that book and relate them to me or my life. Like in that battle when the Nephites drop to their knees in prayer because the enemies look so vicious. The battle is coming, their enemies are approaching, and what do they do? Pray! That's all I can do with my own personal battles and enemies--try my hardest and pray.

2. The beach. I'm super excited to go to the beach as much as I can in the next week and a half. I have essays to grade, but I can happily do that while I tan! There's a peace and comfort and love I feel at the beach that I don't really feel anywhere else.

3. Music and Hotel Cafe. I bought tickets to see Cary Brothers next Friday, April 9th at Hotel Cafe in downtown LA. I am so ecstatic about this because I have tried to see him before but he's never been playing when I come down. I love him! Garden State soundtrack, people. Garden State soundtrack.

4. Cadbury eggs, and my self-control to only have like 10 per day.

5. Sleep. I went to bed too late last night but I will try to go to bed earlier tonight because I really enjoy sleeping. I had weird dreams last night, too. Hm.

6. Lotion. My skin is reptile status scaly in this Utah weather. It is gross, but lotion makes me feel so much better.

7. My dad always making the time to talk to me when I call.

8. Glee coming back on!

9. American Idol tonight.

10. Visiting teaching. I love the girls I visit teach. They're so fun.

On another note, I have a very, very quiet student who doesn't put forth tons of effort in my class. But she bought me a Christmas present. Then she bought me a birthday present. Then she brought me a baked potato she made in her foods class. Then she tried to add me on MySpace. Interesting, eh? True story.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Kinko's Holds Jump Drive Hostage

Kinko's, renowned for its quality copies, has been known to hold jump drives hostage after being accessed for printing.

Customers are frequently surprised and inconvenienced by this fact once they have arrived home and look for their beloved flash drives. "It's not in my pocket!" one Kinko's customer reported on Saturday after having made a brief trip.

Upon retrieval of the flash drive, the employees at one particular location (University Parkway at Brigham's Landing) act as though it is the customers' fault that they had left their jump drives there. "I think you've left this same one here before," one employee said to a customer this morning. "Indeed I have," replied the customer, a bit irritated by this employee's comment.

----

Seriously though?

At Blockbuster, I remember to take the locks out of movies before letting the customer go home. Otherwise they come back unable to open their movie cases. If they walked back in with their movies still locked, should I say, "You forgot to have us take out the locks again, huh?" Like it's the customers' job to remember this. After scanning a Blockbuster card to bring up an account, I hand the card right back to the customer. I formed this habit so that customers could never blame me for not giving their card back. Also, customers frequently forget their Blockbuster cards, keys, or credit cards on the counter, and I shout at them to come back and get it. I'm used to watching for this situation so that they don't forget what belongs to them.

Do you see my point yet?

If you work at Kinko's, and people often forget their jump drives, then wouldn't it make sense that you'd have a routine set up to give the jump drive right back to the customer? Why would an employee make a stupid comment like that when it should be their job to remember to give the drive back?

"You forgot your jump drive another time, huh?" Yeah, because it's your job to give it back, idiot.

Needless to say, I'll be monitoring my jump drive retrieval much more carefully now, since apparently Kinko's employees expect that of me.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

One Person on My Mind

I have one person on my mind.

His name is Cadbury.


He makes my life happy and complete.

The second he proposes, I'll say yes!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Jacob Black

Alright... I'll admit it.

I'd coug' it up with Taylor Lautner.

What?

He's 18.

And I do what I want!

Don't judge me.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Love and Basketball

I haven't gone out to eat like... at all... in the last month or so.

But I have been to the movies a few times.

I love spending my money on movies.

I've run out of space on my movie shelves.

Normally I buy my movies 3 for $20 at Blockbuster because I get dibs, ya know. I rarely buy movies new unless they're at a killer price.

But today, I pre-ordered my copy of Avatar because I love it so freakin' much. I got the two disc DVD/Blu-Ray edition for $24.99. That's super cheap. Used 1-disc Blu-Rays cost that same price so I'm pretty excited.

In order to get free shipping I decided to fork out an extra $2 or so and buy Wimbledon because my husband Paul Bettany is in it.

Um, a few minutes later I decided I really must own Finding Nemo, so I bought that used online through FYE (every time I check in the store they don't have it). $10.99 (plus shipping).

Somebody stop me!

Really though I'm very excited about my Avatar. Inexplicably excited!

On an entirely separate note...

The faculty vs. students basketball game was today. I don't know what the score ended up being but a student asked his friend in the hall, and he responded, "Bitch-ass teachers."

Wow. I'm not really sure what that means, even in middle school speak. Not sure I care because mostly I was focusing on the linguistic breakdown of his response and couldn't come up with anything sensible.

Also, a week later I am still sick--even worse than a couple of days ago. I think maybe I shouldn't work out today. Just a thought.

Eating Omens

I just busted out my Nestle White Fudge covered pretzels and pulled one out of the bag.

Lo and behold, it was connected to another one.

I took it as an omen to have two instead of one.

Thanks, food gods.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Things I Love

Letting hot water run on me without rushing to get to work.

Generally good health for five years straight all the way through school while I've been away from my family.

Parents who are willing to pay my way home whenever I want.

The sun setting so late.

Sunshine and 50+ degree weather.

Students "getting it."

Students telling me if I've made them feel bad so I can apologize and improve.

Thin mints.

That's a lot of things to love right now I think.

I also would like to add that I enjoyed New Moon much more than I am ready to admit. I will always have some core problems with it, and there are things that make me giggle, and I'm not sure if it was the story or the abundance of beautiful men... But I really did enjoy it.

Also, I'm trying to figure out ways to make myself feel attractive. I've been working on this for a while now, but I haven't had a day where I felt really pretty in an extremely long time. It's getting wearisome.

American Idol time.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Well Said

This girl commented on my blog today. I wandered over to her blog and skimmed for about five minutes and found this. I giggled to myself. So true. Been there, done that.

I am reading a book my friend gave me for my birthday. It's one of her favorites (All But My Life by Gerda Weissman Klein). I loved a quote in it as I was working out today:

"They faced what the morning would bring with the only weapon they had--their love for each other. Love is great, love is the foundation of nobility, it conquers obstacles and is a deep well of truth and strength. "

Love that.

Going to go eat poop with that same friend now. ;)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Seriously?







Whoever you are, I hope you enjoyed your immature Saturday night shenanigans. And I will rely on karma to get you.

Hopefully it will give you some appropriate punishment.

Like super gluing your hand to your zipper.

Oh and by the way I hate you. 

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Allergic to Work

Blockbuster is dirty.

Money is dirty.

Movies go home in dirty hands, sit on dirty floors, and ride in dirty cars.

Then my hands get dirty. From the dirty money and dirty movies.

I hate having dirty hands.

Because then when I get my every-Friday-night-at-Blockbuster-allergies, I can't rub my eyeballs or my nose.

Everything itches from the dirtiness.

I have to use the back of my hands to try and relieve the annoyance.

Then I look like I'm handicapped by not being able to use my fingers.

Then any potentially datable customers aren't interested because they think I'm "special" (in a not-good way).

Say no to dirties! 

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Should I...

I feel on the verge of sickness today. I should have drank some Emergen-C. But I'm pretty sure that since I was sick two weeks ago, this is NOT ALLOWED!

I make myself sick--and we're talking infection, virus-like sick. Greenish congestion sick. I make myself sick by stressing about things I have no control over. You know, like finding a job for next year, and getting my students to pass my class.

Because The Hurt Locker won so many awards I rented it. But today I also rented New Moon. Notice I waited till it was free. My ambivalence toward this movie remains.

So because I am sick, the debate is between the award winning movie and an "I don't want to think right now" movie. In other words...

Should I watch The Hurt Locker or New Moon while I bask in my sickness?

Then I realized that asking that question was basically the same thing as asking...

Should I eat a chocolate cake, or poop?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Red Faces, TV Shows, and Students

American Idol eats up a lot of my time. When I am on a regular salary I will have TiVo. That's all there is to it.

After the gym, my face gets really red. My ex-fiancee once told me that after a 5:30 AM workout. I sure felt pretty. haha. I re-noticed today as I glanced at the mirror while leaving the gym. Red faced Nae.

Glee starts again in less than a month.

I'm going home in a few weeks. I will visit the beach.

I am assigning an essay that I'll have to grade over spring break. Oh well. I can knock those suckers out at three minutes each.

I'm immensely enjoying this spring teaser Utah's giving me. 60-64° and sunny is totally OK with me. 

I've lost seven pounds. I'm cool.

I'm home sick. 

I got a sweet deal on my new favorite soda today. $5 for a 20 can pack of Coke Zero. I'm not a chronic soda drinker or a caffeine addict. I just enjoy the lack of calories in this delicious drink. Don't worry though, water abounds in my system. 

On that note, my coworker Philip told me that one time, a customer was giving him a bad time about how diet soda can give you cancer. And he said, "Yeah, well... When I weighed the options of dying from obesity versus dying from cancer, I thought cancer would be better." Philip makes me laugh.

So does Ellen DeGeneres. Her self-jab at her lesbianism tonight on Idol was funny. Something about how most females get excited before he even starts singing, and then "people like her..." Ah ha ha. Chuckle chuckle.

Since Lilly Scott is off Idol I'm throwing in my lot with Siobhan Magnus. She's awesome. Got that Adam Lambert falsetto happening.

Also, I hate grading late work. I just thought you'd want to know.

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Fourth Kind--Not My Kind

For real? I don't know why I did this to myself.

I hate watching scary movies because I get scarred for several months after, even years if I somehow bring myself to think of it later.

So I thought this one would be interesting, but I should have known that the "based on a true story" element would be the worst part for me.

I have an issue with aliens. And images get stuck in my head forEVER. And I'm dumb for watching that movie even in daylight. 

Good thing I have my dad to put things into a governmental conspiracy perspective so that I can get over my fear a little sooner.

The good news is... Gene Simmons Family Jewels starts on Sunday. I love that show.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Tim Burton's Done it Again

My man Tim Burton didn't let me down with Alice in Wonderland. I saw it with my roommate tonight.

I thought it was beautiful and brilliant and funny and so good.

I don't want to lose an hour tonight but I LOVE having the daylight last longer. I'd rather have it this way than dark at 5 PM. Keep that in mind, kids.

Also I just want to add that Alice had many advantages while she was in her smallest state of being. So the next time y'all want to hate on me for being five feet tall, you just remember... Short people represent!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Interviews

Just got some interviews at the Teacher Fair at BYU.

One was with Tooele, and it went really well.

The other one is with Page Unified School District in Arizona, which is tomorrow.

Oh, it's just right next to Lake Powell. You know. No big....

muahaha.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Pluralizing

Sisters-in-law.

Books of Mormon.

Students of the day.

Not "sister-in-laws."

Not "Book of Mormons."

Not "student of the days."

Now, let's look at the words we're pluralizing here and just laugh at how little sense the latter three make.

Silly. Just silly I tell you.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Letters of Rec

Well in this new and fun and exciting and stressful and sickening stage of life, I have to ask people for letters of recommendation. Again.

I was sitting here at work thinking, "Man, it must suck to be in a position where you realize that writing letters of recommendation is part of the job expectations."

Then it dawned on me.

I'm now in that position.

In a couple of years, my students may be coming to me for one.

Whoa. I'm old.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Mr. Shibbs

I have had my cat since I was 14.

His mom was a well-known stray in our little Glendora neighborhood. She was harmless, and we saw her all the time.

Not once, but twice, she walked in our front door and walked out my parents' bedroom door. Both times, everyone was in such shock, they just watched her walk by, heads following her slowly and silently asking, "WTF is this cat in my house for?"

Turns out she was checking out the environment. She had every intention of setting her baby up with an adoptive family.

One night, there was meowing outside our front door--a begging, loud meowing. We opened it, and there was the stray mom cat and her new baby next to her. She sat there and looked at us, meowing, asking us if we would please take him in.

Now let me just reaffirm that my family has never, ever been a cat family. Only dogs, people. Only dogs.

But who could resist this intelligent and sincere and responsible mother begging us with this sweet kitten beside her?

Of course, we took him in.

Having recently watched, Dude, Where's My Car? and having recently fallen in love with the word "shibby," I decided to go with that. And so Mr. Shibbs became a Balibrea. He is also frequently and affectionately referred to as Shibbs, Shibby, Shibbah, or Shibbat-shibbat (that's my Hebrew name for him--mazel tov!).


This is when he was still pretty little. But he has had this big, beautiful tail his whole life. It's always been bigger in proportion to him. :)


See my baby? Look at his huge, long tail! And my brother, asleep.

I need to mention that my cat eventually got really huge. He's the biggest cat I know.


I take a lot of pictures of my cat. He may or may not get irritated.

He sleeps for six or seven hours straight, you know. Then he goes out and paints the town every night. And by paints the town I mean he guards the turf. 'Dis his zone, y'knowwhati'msayin?


He's a blinker. He also purrs when you just look at him. You can pet him, too, but he'll purr before and after you pet him.


We had him de-clawed because we thought he'd be a house cat. That was not the case. So now when he gets in fights on the skreet, he boxes. It's sad but kind of awesome. He even has scars on his head. But you know what?

My cat could kick your cat's trash.

I know I'm small, but he's huge! Come on. We're talking serious Egyptian descent here, people. Plus, Egyptians were smart, right? So my cat also does cute tricks. He begs like a dog when he's hungry.

I'm kind of obsessed with my cat, and I miss him when I'm here in Provo.

I could even write a love song for him. For now I'll just post some videos.







Friday, March 5, 2010

Sir Winston Churchill

There's a quote on my little day calendar today from him. It says,

"A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."

Usually, just coming from the place and people that I do, this is super challenging for me. Everyone who knows me knows that.

I was trying to get to the gym by 5:30 and had my hardest workout today (lower body + cardio), so when six inches of snow was on top of my car, I was a little bugged. I had to repent for what came out of my anger. haha. Anyway, I scraped my car off completely in the dark at 5:07 AM.

But I'm proud to say that while I was super pissed off about the snow this morning, I tried to find the good in it. I decided to focus on the fact that, "If I'm doing it right now, it's just less for me to do before I go to work! Everyone else around me will have to."

So then I was glad I was up so early to complete such an annoying task. (But notice I couldn't make myself feel better without knowing everyone else was stuck doing something worse.)

Oh me.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Reason I Hate My Freezer

Why is it that I hate cooking frozen vegetables or putting anything in my freezer?

Oh yeah, I remember...


Why is it that I always think my fish is dead?

Oh yeah, I remember...