Tuesday, September 28, 2010

BYU Parking Citation Appeal


(emphasis added)

To whom it may concern:

I received a parking ticket in the Museum of Art Visitors’ lot at 4 PM on September 28, 2010. The comment on this ticket says, “lied to booth officer in order to park.” Under any circumstance, this comment is accusatory and inappropriate. However, in this case it is also completely false.

I graduated from BYU in April 2010. I have since moved to Murray and do not take classes on campus. From August 2005 to April 2010, I have registered my car for parking in the Y-lots every fall and have never violated parking standards or received a citation; I am familiar with and have always respected the parking procedures.

As a graduate visiting campus today, in Fall 2010, I had assumed that I was no longer registered to park in the Y lots. I pulled into the Museum of Art Visitors’ lot to make a brief visit to the records office to get a transcript. When the booth officer asked if my car was registered to park in the Y lots, I confidently and honestly answered, “No.”

The only mix-up I can see happening in this situation is that I take a class through the CITES program off campus at Mountain View High School in Orem. Perhaps without my knowledge, this off-campus class automatically registered me to park in the Y lots. Being that I have never had a need to be on campus this semester, I have no idea if that’s the case and would have no way of knowing if that’s the case. It is a problem I never would have considered as a graduate and not a traditional on-campus student.

If this latter situation is the case, then please forgive my ignorance and accept my appeal on this citation. I had no intention of “lying to the booth officer” in order to get a good parking spot. I gave him what I believed to be an honest and confident answer as a BYU graduate visiting campus for a few minutes.

Thank you for your time and consideration,
Janae Balibrea


Sunday, September 26, 2010

Overjoyed

I'm not sure where to start with this post. I guess I'll see how it turns out and fix it if I need to.

If I haven't made it clear by now, I wouldn't be who I am without the gospel of Jesus Christ. I wouldn't know my purpose on earth. I wouldn't know my worth. I wouldn't understand my own personal suffering. And I wouldn't have anyone to endure it with me and for me the way I know Christ does.

Every time we have to sing "Families Can Be Together Forever" at church, I can't do it. I can maybe get through 8 words before I start bawling my eyes out.

If I haven't made it clear by now, my family is not perfect. It actually has some serious issues on an individual basis. And it needs serious mending as a whole.

In spite of this, I want to be with my family forever. It breaks my heart when they are hurting and don't know where to turn. It hurts me to my very core to know the happiness they could have, if they'd open their hearts to it. It tears me to pieces to know how very many problems most likely could have been avoided if my family had and used and taught and lived the gospel.

Home is a very difficult place to be for me. I don't say this to hurt anyone. I say it because it's true. There is a lot of speech and behavior that offends the Spirit and drives it away from me. It's difficult to keep him with me. Nevertheless, I love being home and being with my family and do my best to show love and patience when I am there. I try very hard not to be self-righteous. I've been accused of being this way on several occasions by my family, especially by Jason, who feels strongly that I try to force my beliefs onto them.

Over three years ago, my brother Jason who is the one with the most personal struggles and demons wrote me this message on MySpace [sic]: "I love you. You are the heart of this family. Im glad I got to see you and have you motivate me haha. thank you for everything. Im glad you got home safe. Don't let [the boy] thing bother you anymore. Stay strong :).....well i just wanted to tell you that your a great sister and this family needs you!"

That message meant the world to me.

I called home tonight to check on my (perpetually) injured mother. She said my brother and dad had yet another long talk today, and that Jason brought up some valid points. Among the things he said, my mom informed me that Jason said that he misses me. That alone brings tears to my eyes. He said today, in essence, exactly what he said in the above message, that this family fell apart when I left home. He said that the vibes when I'm home are so different and so good, because of the Spirit I bring with me. He said he wanted to have dinner as a family.

Oh, my brother. How I love you. And I know you love our family, and how I wish you could express your love to them. And how I am so glad to know that you desire that closeness and togetherness and unity that you know our family struggles to have. And how glad I am to know that you feel the Spirit when you are near me, because I try so very hard to keep it there and to bring it home to you and to everyone in our house--the right way.

I am so imperfect. I am so prideful that I struggle to repent on a daily basis. I have shortcomings and temptations galore, things I know others have no struggle with at all. But I do try. I try so hard, especially at home. And I'm so glad that with the Savior's help, I am able to show His love and example when I am at home.

I sometimes feel guilty for leaving, only knowing part of what would happen without me there. I feel guilty for not being home to take my little brother to church, to show him the truth and the happiness it brings to my life. I feel guilty for feeling like "out of sight, out of mind" is how I deal with things. I feel guilty for so much, and feel so selfish for abandoning them. At the same time, I don't know that I would be who I am today without having broken away; I expect that I wouldn't be. I hope I have grown in such a way to make a bigger difference when I do go home; I hope I've gotten that much stronger.

I know the Lord hears and answers our prayers. I needed to know that things would get better. I needed to know that my steady example was making a difference. For heaven's sake, if someone like my brother knows that family dinner is going to make a positive difference, that's a small and miraculous step in the right direction: one that gives me hope. Maybe we can be an eternal family. And maybe it'll start with family dinner.

I am so grateful.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Lessons Learned from Little Miss Sunshine

On my blog to the right, there's a still frame from Little Miss Sunshine with a quote underneath it: "Alright, everyone, just... pretend to be normal."

This movie spoke to me four years ago when I watched it, and it continues to speak to me. Here's some of the wisdom I glean from this movie...

Moms are emotional and crazy sometimes, but man, do they love their family!

Parents can go about things entirely the wrong way, but they almost always have the best intentions.

A family that can get through a hardship together and then laugh about it is a family that's got what it needs: a sense of humor.

Adolescents can be inexplicably selfish and hurtful sometimes. They only mean half of what they say.

Adolescents can hurt you the worst, love you the most, and protect you the best.

Grandpas might seem obnoxious and crazy, but they have wisdom to share. It should be heard.

Family members are sometimes uncomfortable expressing love and concern. When they try to show love, embrace it, appreciate it, and return it.

Sometimes a hug is all it takes.

With family, an apology is always necessary, and is all that's necessary.

We forgive and forget with families; it just comes naturally. 

I am me, you are you, we are we: a family. Support quirkiness. ("We've got to let Olive be Olive!")

Do all you can to support each other's goals.

Road trips are vital to family closeness.

So is family dinner. Dysfunction included.

Compassion and empathy are hard to come by; that's what families are for.

Mourn with those that mourn.

Dance like no one is watching.

Defend each other at all costs.

Say constructive things. Families are for love and security.

Chicken every night is OK, mismatching glasses are OK, eating as a family is the only way.

Ice cream for breakfast is alright.

Applaud efforts.

Treat your family better than your friends; they're the best ones you have.

Go to each other's performances.

Fix your mistakes.

Sometimes, you've just gotta pretend to be normal.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Green Lights and Parents

This morning I started my new scripture study plan which is essentially nothing formal, but I am guiding scripture study along with Preach My Gospel. I read Lehi's dream in 1 Nephi 8. I really felt a connection with Lehi in wanting to share his joy (his fruit) with his family. And I understood his sadness and disappointment when his sons would not partake. Oh, how I would love if my loved ones would know and partake of the joy that I know... If everyone could understand how much their Savior loves them, and how he already suffered for them, and how it makes your burdens so much lighter to feel his support. If everyone could know that, everyone would be so much happier.

So I thought I started my day off the right way. Then I got every red light on the way to school! It was bad. I tried to breathe off my frustration and make it a good day. And it was a good day. My kids were awesome. I also got free dinner before conferences--Joe Morley's BBQ. Pulled chicken sandwich, pork & beans, potato salad, cole slaw, amazing pie. It was delicious. AND free Dr. Pepper. I think I heard someone say we're having Panda tomorrow. I love free food.

So parent-teacher conferences were tonight from 4:30 to 7:30. Apparently I was supposed to count the number of parents who showed. I just went through my rolls afterward and made a list. Thirty-six parents in three hours. That's an average of 5 minutes per parent. I had a constant line. I had to speak Spanish to several parents. I think I was able to take two swigs of my water bottle quickly as another parent sat down in the chairs. I didn't have a moment to breathe. I'm not sure it's possible to explain how exhausting and taxing this whole thing is. I think you just have to be on the other side of it. It's great, but it's a LOT of enthusiasm and repetition and explanation and praise and criticism and TACT! And a lot of naming kids and remembering their class period and finding their parent letters and retrieving their progress reports and remembering to tell them what's due. Holy toledo. Nevertheless, I made it through. I'm much better prepared for tomorrow (progress reports cut and sorted, numbered sign-in sheet created.) Left at 8 PM and will be back in less than 12 hours. I get to do it ALL OVER again tomorrow! Two late nights in a row. Friday is a sleep in day!

I was so sure that they said, "There's very limited parent involvement at this school." Really? Pretty sure there were so many I couldn't breathe. But all things considered, if 36 come again tomorrow, that's only 72 out of 183 students whose parents came. I still think it's a lot compared to last year in Provo. 

However, my night ended well. Because on the way home, I got almost all green lights. So that made up for this morning's frustrations.

I gained a lot of respect for some of my kids who I could tell didn't get the same support at home as others. I now know what they do is all on account of themselves and no one else. I learned a lot of the challenges of some of my kids, some needs to move students, some adjustments for grades, etc. It's a lot to remember and absorb, but I am a professional, right? :)

I have totally revamped my approach to Tom Sawyer as of tomorrow. I'm taking my students in a totally different direction to let them construct their own knowledge and seek it out within the book. Hopefully it will work out. Some may flop, and some may fly. But my professor last night said something profound: "I figure whoever's doing the most talking is doing the most learning." So if the teacher is doing the most talking, then there's a problem. *cough* transmission model *cough* Unfortunately, pouring our knowledge into our students' empty glasses just doesn't cut it. Transferring would be easy. Having them build it on their own is a totally different challenge, and much more effective. (For example, showing a picture of a regular bibliography and an annotated one--both labeled--and asking what the difference is between them. Then asking what an annotated bibliography is based on what they've seen. Or showing examples of persuasive essays, and making a list of what things make those essays good, or not good. This way you're not just TELLING them what's good and not good--they're constructing it on their own. These are simple, simple examples, and it's not as easy to put in practice with everyday stuff, but hopefully I'll get the hang of it as I do more and more of it.)

It is now 9 PM, and I am spent.

/sleep

Monday, September 20, 2010

Clicking and the BoM

So, I want a lot of feedback on this...

Is it possible for only ONE person to feel a connection? For only ONE person to feel chemistry?

I kind of figured connection and chemistry was a two-way street. But can someone be right for you, and you be wrong for them?

A valid question, I think.

(Rest assured, I'm referring to Chris Pine with this question. Not anyone who may or may not have been in a band or who may or may not have totally ignored me since two months ago or who may or may not be completely dominating my dreams lately. Not him.)

NEXT! 

I finished the Book of Mormon this morning. I started last August. Needless to say, it took me a long time, and I did a lot of slacking. But I think the last chapter is the best one, not because it's last. Because of its substance and how real Moroni's voice is in that chapter.

ASK if this is true. Pray. He will answer.

Simple as that. Easy as 1 2 3.

NEXT!

I have my A classes tomorrow... This means I have the student who freaked out last week. Pray for me. *cry*

NEXT! 

The weather when I left school tonight (at 5 PM) was a perfect 75. I had my windows down. It was gorgeous. Then my lesbian lover Rachel sent me a text, and I sent her one at the same time. I was typing, "What glorious weather this is. Perfect for a walk wouldn't you say?" As I was finishing that text, I received one. When I went to read it, it was from Rachel, and it said, "Would you want to go on a long walk at the park tonight?"

WHAT THE.

We freak each other out.

Anyways. We walked for an hour at the park. Laughed to tears at Captain America, a gangly white boy with short American flag running shorts on. He passed by us at least seven times, and we were in hysterics. I'm not sure exactly of the last time we laughed that hard. After treading new ground at the park, we looked at an LDS church building with stained glass windows and wished that our ward met there. And then we looked at an abandoned cute fixer-upper house that we want to purchase. SO much potential. Love.

NEXT!

I have parent-teacher conferences this week. I'm not that excited. Wednesday and Thursday from 4:30 to 7:30. BUT I get Friday off. Woot woot.

NEXT!

Class tomorrow. Long day. But I end it with Glee at my cousin Marla's house. Way to finish 'er off. Yessss!

Bedtime.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sacramental Spillings

Holy three days of blogs in a row, Batman!

Today, as I was grabbing a small sacrament cup from the tray in Rachel's hand, I tried to readjust the cup and failed. The cup of precious sacrament water spilled all over me.

I was momentarily embarrassed, letting out an "Oh my gosh," and an "awesome," at some point... I managed to get two or three drops from the cup and passed it on. The rest was on my turquoise dress.

But really, I totally was upset at myself. I thought of the precious sacrament, and how I had let that blessed water go everywhere but where it was supposed to go. I was so happy to be taking the sacrament, and I spilled it everywhere!

I was thinking of its symbolism, what that water represents--the blood of Christ, and how it absolves me and makes my sins of garnet white as snow. And about how grateful I am for that ordinance every week, and how much of a difference it made to me when my clumsy mistake prevented me from taking full advantage of it. The physical act has everything to do with its meaning. Pretending to drink, from an empty cup, would just not mean anything.

So, I just wanted to put my thoughts down, regarding that plain and precious opportunity I have every week, to repent and allow the Savior to atone for me. It is a blessing, and I don't know what others do without that knowledge. I know what it's like to not take the sacrament, and the difference between when I take it and don't take it is like day and night, respectively.

A public "thank you" to my Savior, brother, and friend, Jesus Christ, who died for me and all of my imperfections. I always wonder how many drops of his blood were spilled for me, and I'm grateful for every one of them. My humble shepherd who makes my life so much better every day because of what he did for me. Most days I'm a pretty terrible person actually, but I really do hope and try to make Him proud, and make his sacrifice worth it.

<3

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Lost and Found

Remember how yesterday I couldn't find my BYU Alumni shirt or my concealer that I had been looking for for several days?

After getting a lot of rest last night, my mind was much clearer this morning.



For some reason, my alumni shirt was in the drawer with my thermals and my exercise clothes. WTF?

And I had a sudden epiphany that my concealer fell out of my lap in the car a week and a half ago, and I said, "Meh, I'll just get it later."

Went to the car, and there it was in front of my seat.

Rejoice.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Nickelback Omens

It all started when my radio alarm clock went off at 6 AM (I have a radio alarm because that beeping sound makes my blood pressure double and causes anxiety attacks.). The wake-up song? Something by Nickelback. No joke, this immediately pissed me off. I quickly shut it off and got up, muttering at My 99.5 for waking me up with that horrifically iconic growling voice of adult alternative rock.

After taking a long shower with my first time using John Frieda's Brilliant Brunette shampoo, I got out to finish getting ready. Today's Friday, so naturally I wanted to wear jeans and a shirt that'd make me stand out among junior high kids. What better shirt to wear in red U-territory than my BYU blue alumni shirt?

I have this thing lately where I can't find anything. It's kind of weird because I usually remember where I put things and try to stay pretty organized, even if I get cluttery. I searched all of my drawers twice. I searched my t-shirt drawer four times, not joking. Actually pulling out the piles of shirts and going through them multiple times. To no avail. I checked my closet and tried to remember the last time I wore my shirt. I couldn't recall. A little frustrated after spending like ten minutes looking for that shirt, I decided on something else.

For the past several days I've had a clogged pore turned sort of zit turned red area on my face. The last time I had my concealer was in my work bag on picture day last week. I went to get it and couldn't find it. I checked my church purse. I checked my regular purse. I checked my makeup drawer. No concealer.

At this point I could tell it was going to be a rough day. I mean, you can't start your day off with Nickelback and think it's gonna be a good day.

Nevertheless, I tried to call these omens silly. I prayed especially for patience and love for my students today, not knowing why. Silly me. Never ask for those things.

Period 1A was a beast. It sucks because half of those kids are really good! And the other half are not so much. I have these two boys that always have to be next to each other, won't stop talking, won't sit in their correct seats, and won't follow directions. It's getting very annoying. They're darling and funny and clever, but I can't take anymore. That period was a disaster.

But it was OK because I had period 2A to cool off. And I did. I started 3A feeling quite chipper and happy to see them. They were really good, again! This is the class that started off as my beast class but has proven me wrong. (1A took their spot)

On to 4A, my reading class. Always a cinch, right?

Wrong.

Cue Cristobal Kristoffersen. Not her real name. I made it up. Do you like it? Me too.

Cristobal gave me some trouble in the first week of school. She has serious insecurities due to being born with a cleft palate. She also has anger issues. After a couple days, I kept her after to make a deal with her. She improved the next period and was awesome ever since. Problem solved, right?

Wrong.

Cue fluency practice. Partner work. Reader reads for 1 minute, grader marks incorrect words and calculates Correct Words per Minute and Expression scores. I look over, and Cristobal's partner is marking her own passage for her own reading. Uh?

"Cristobal, why aren't you doing your job?"

Cristobal: *ignores teacher*

"What are you supposed to be doing right now?"

Cristobal: *looking away*

"I need you to help your partner, you can't grade your own reading. You need to mark her mistakes and where she ended, please. I'm going to start the timer again, ready?"

Cristobal: *ignore*

"Cristobal, please do what you're supposed to do."

*ignore*

"OK, you can cooperate, or you can call your mother."

*ignore*

"Alright, let's call your mom."

Keep in mind the whole class is having to wait and watch this because they need the timer for fluency. They're watching her completely ignore me, and I'm trying to make sure my face isn't turning totally red.

She stands up, lets out some angry exhalation of "Oh my f-ing gosh," or something along those lines, pushes her desk a little, and storms toward my desk. Given this totally absurd and somewhat violent reaction, I asked her nicely to please step outside.

Are you seeing how patient I am, people? Anyone who accuses me of not being patient will be shot on sight. I repeat: shot on sight.

So I start the timer for the class and step out to see what's plaguing my angry, insecure student.

Breathing heavily (and possibly steaming out of her ears), she informs me that she read perfectly, but Chanel told her she made three mistakes, and Chanel's not reading loud enough, and Chanel put a different expression score than what Cristobal told her to do.

I explain calmly that fluency is not something we do because we're perfect. And we need to take our partner's scores seriously and write them down. It's not to criticize each other, it's to improve our reading. I ask if she's ready to come back in and cooperate, and she comes back in.

I'm ready to start the timer, and it's Cristobal's turn to read. Chanel's ready to grade her. When I start the timer, Cristobal flings her passage over at Chanel and lets out a huge, angry sigh.

Teacher is really frustrated by now. But all the kids are watching! I can't let them see that students can beat the teacher. No sir. must. maintain. control.

"Cristobal, what are you doing? Please knock it off. Can you please pick up those passages off the ground?"

Chanel picks them up. Cristobal takes them, I'm asking her to please be a good partner to read, asking her what the problem is, asked her to please look at me when I'm talking to her, and she starts walking away. Just walking away. Being deliberately disrespectful.

Then she threw the passages down on the back counter. They belong in a color-sorted manila folder. She flung them. FLUNG!

"Cristobal, please put those where they're supposed to be."

*ignore teacher and walk back to seat*

"Please go put those passages where they belong. Why are you throwing my stuff?"

*ignore*

"OK, that's enough. You can get a detention, or you can call your mother now. Up to you."

Cristobal: stands up in a rage, screams "OH MY GOSH!", throws her desk sideways toward Chanel, and stomps toward the phone.

I'm done with her violence and defiance and rudeness at this point. DONE. 

"Please step out of my classroom."

*ignore*

"Step out of my classroom."

"OH MY GOSH!" slams the door, hits some lockers, walks halfway down the school hallway, and sits on the floor.

I do my last round of fluency with my kids, trying to keep it together, meanwhile instant messaging the principal, telling him I'm having an issue with the student.

I walk down the hallway while my kids are copying something out of their vocabulary books. The principal is meeting me there (I didn't know, but that was lucky!).

I tell Cristobal softly that she can come back to class, or sit in Mrs. Wilson-Wright's class (next door), saying it's up to her, if she doesn't want to come back to class that's fine.

*ignore teacher*

Then the principal walks up and asks her if blowing up and acting this way has gotten her anywhere before. She ignores him, and he takes her with him.

I'm relieved and upset and emotional and ready to cry, but I hold it together because I have ten minutes left of class.

Two or three of my students start telling me some things that briefly comforted me.

"Oh my gosh Miss Balibrea, I don't know how you did that!"

"Yeah, you were SO calm!"

"Man, I would've punched her. Did you want to punch her?"

"I would have been like, 'Get the (silence) out of my class right now!'"

And from one of my most challenging pupils whom I'm fortunate enough to have in two classes, "Man, Miss Balibrea, I have so much more respect for you now." And it was a genuine compliment from him.

Another student stated his accordance.

I told them thank you.

Then I called my dad. Then I went to 45-minutes of faculty meeting, rubbing my eyes and my temple and my forehead the whole time, breathing and trying to keep it together.

Then I went back to my classroom and sobbed for twenty minutes.

It's really hard to hold your own in front of that many kids, showing them that you are the boss without being mean. Showing them that they don't have any control over you. Showing them that it doesn't hurt your feelings when they pretend they can't hear you. Showing them that it's not totally rude and hurtful that they walk away when you're talking to them. Showing them that you don't get upset at their complete defiance and mistreatment of you. Showing them that they have the choice in determining their fate.

All the while wanting to be mean, wanting to scream at them, feeling hurt, feeling annoyed, feeling upset, and feeling like you are ready to determine their fate with your hands around their necks.

I feel that I held my own today. And it took more strength than I ever knew I had.

Good thing I prayed for it.

I mean, when your day starts with Nickelback, you have to pray for some help, right?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Hazards and Laws

First, one of the hazards of teaching...

Wet-erase pens dying and bleeding gorily all over your hands like so.

It even caused a blood clot on an overhead I was using. I couldn't even get it washed off completely. Maybe later.

In addition to this hazard, there's always the hazard of failure, paper cuts, dry erase marker residue, and too many papers.

Today I re-learned a great law of teaching. I should have remembered this from being a student. Since I was always the kid who got stuff done early--my thought process was like this, "The more I do today, the less I have to do tomorrow!"

After a horrible failure in period 1A with group reading, I thought I might not try it again. My other A class is a beast. But I thought I'd offer them a chance, with a different approach.

The Law of Motivation

Part 1: Offer a choice. This way they can't complain, because they have opted and voted for what it is they're doing. For example: You can read the chapters and do the outline alone, or you can do it in groups that I choose for you.

Part 2: Give a consequence of not using the time wisely. For example: What you don't finish in class is homework.

Naturally, these two parts worked together for an AMAZING period of group reading. My students turned their desks together, read the book together, and filled in the worksheet together. I had only a handful who did not finish, which is totally OK--some groups read more slowly. When time was up, they put their desks back in rows, turned in their papers, and were on their way.

I couldn't believe it. It was so great. I was a good teacher instead of a lazy one, and was constantly getting up and monitoring them, making sure they were on task, understanding, etc. If I had been lazy, it would have been fine, because these kids did NOT want homework! They were a-workin' hard.

In other news, I got my shower curtain today, and my bathroom is feeling a little more complete.


My apartment is pretty much clean today (my room could use a 5-minute cleaning), dishes are done, and the TV is on... broadcasting Remember the Titans. I really, really love this movie. Such a good message, in a true story! It makes me cry, basically every time.

Since I was gone all day on Monday at work and Brianne's, and then gone all day on Tuesday at work, class, and J-Dawg's with Curtis, I'm happy to be at home. Here I go to relax on my couch.

xoxo

Monday, September 13, 2010

I'm Not Listening Anyway

I'm on a kick today: a The Used kick...

I love them so much.

Someone else I know really liked them too.

Today, I particularly loved the lyrics, "I don't see anything now, so just say what you wanna say. It's kind of funny how I'm not listening anyway."

Remember that time when no matter how many people reminded me how stupid I am, I wasn't listening anyway?

All I've got is my heart instructing me otherwise. I can't see anything now. So just say what you wanna say. It's kind of funny how I'm not listening anyway.

Sigh. Bedtime.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Oh, the Things...

There are probably a thousand things I could talk about since it's been 20 days since my last post.

I had a dream last night that I was at the beach on a date with this boy. He was like really small. I wanted a hot chocolate (I guess it was a cold day at the beach), and we held hands to walk over there. Who did we see other than my ex and his posse? Don't worry, I pretended that he wasn't there. Stirred up all sorts of madness around me.

Let's also discuss how I just now received an IM from a 44-year old divorced father of four children who just had to tell me how gorgeous he thinks I am. I mean I know my dad recognizes a beautiful young woman when he sees her, and it's gross and all, but like... Can this just stop? I'm tired of old men. Really. I'm also tired of unattractive ones. I feel like I'm being super shallow and stuff, but I can usually tell if I'm going to find someone attractive or not. Little things bother me a LOT, even physically. Like, bad teeth bug me. Big noses bug me. And boring questions and boring people bug me. I get bored so easily.

I'm trying to decide if I really just have to get to know someone before we start dating. That's what has usually happened for me; I've never done traditional dating. I'm friends first and become attracted in the process. Because if I am on this website, and someone doesn't look even slightly OK to me, I don't even want to give them the time of day in real life. I'll be nice online, but that's kind of it. I don't see these things working out for me. This brings me to my next obnoxious topic...

This boy who blew me off almost two months ago is still rolling around in my brain. He's in my dreams, even! How ridiculous am I? But the chemistry that was there on BOTH sides was incredible to me, and to him. The coincidences were insane. The commonalities were amazing. I never, ever, ever felt something like that before in my life. Instant energy within 5 minutes of talking, no exaggeration. Staying up till 7 AM just talking about whatever, or IMing for three hours about deep thoughts, feelings, and poetry, or texting for hours on end, or calling randomly... That doesn't say, "I don't like you," to me. But being that I haven't heard from him in that long, I wonder if I was just something to pass those hours with, and he settled for it because he'd have been bored otherwise.

I don't know. The thing about this guy was he was really good looking in my eyes. He wasn't tall or really muscular or anything like that, you know? It was the energy that was there on top of a pretty decent physical attraction. So it's not like I'm hoping for someone perfect or super hot.

But he ruined my freaking life. hahaha. It sounds so dramatic, but how am I supposed to feel like that with someone again, so quickly? He's now set this totally ridiculous standard. I wish he hadn't been such a douchebag. I want to kick him in his shin.

Now everyone who messages me is either not attractive or not interesting. I'll try to get into it, message back, be friendly, but then I just get bored with their "I'm trying really hard to be intriguing" questions. Sorry, not interested.

I am annoyed.

Another topic. I lucked out with this mattress. You're always worried if your back will take it, you know? I loved the mattress I picked out when I was engaged, but had no chance of getting that back. The mattress I chose has been amazing. My back has not hurt at all on it. It's so nice. But there's so much empty space. And it'll never get filled because I am a picky bratty silly girl. Hmph.

I love Murray. I love living close to my friend Rachel. I love having company all the time--my grandma, my friend Brianne or Sydnie.

Here are pictures.






Jimmy Dean and Alice in Wonderland... Higgins hides my router. That's his job.

I'm waiting on a seashell shower curtain from Bed, Bath, and Beyond.

I have built everything in my house alone, and put up everything alone--including two wall mounted light fixtures. The only thing I haven't done is put up my TV mount and shelf. :) Thanks, Uncle Dave.

 I have zero dollars... I can't wait to get paid. 19 more days. I haven't been paid since May, and I'm living on credit and some borrowed money from my parents :(

However, I am proud to say that my gas only cost $13.44 and power cost $22.38! The bills were more than that because of connection fees and all that other dumb stuff they add on. Thanks guys. I'm really poor. I appreciate those tacked on things.

I started class on Tuesday. It was a good and fun class. It's just annoying to me to see and talk about theory instead of practical ways to get at the issue. What do you want ME to do to combat this huge machine that's in place? What? It's just annoying. But such will be my Tuesdays for the next 2.5 years. I'm hoping that I do a good enough job this year that my school will keep me... They did hire me pending my pursuing a reading endorsement, so if they fire me that'd be really sad.

My kids are pretty great. I have a few difficult ones, but such is life for every teacher. The school has some great resources (let's not talk about the grading program), like Teleparent! I can send calls home to inform parents of dates/assignments, to tell them their kid was bad, or tell them their kid was amazing. It's really cool. I also have a projector connected to my computer in my room and am not sure how I ever did without one. It's nice to do this year of teaching because even though there's a learning curve, I learned that last year. I learned that I won't know how to do everything and just have to figure it out or take it as it comes. I also figured out all my procedures last year and how I want things done. So that's saved me quite a bit of time and energy. I'm leaving school at reasonable hours, sometimes even on time at 3:15! The reading class is going OK because I'm just copying the other reading teacher, and she is so amazing and helpful. Like my mama teacher. haha.

Oh also, I've been sick for over a week. Super bad over Labor day weekend, and then I worked all week, preventing myself from getting better. Still coughing as I type. Oh well. 

I have rambled for a bajillion pages now. I've felt super internally off balance because of not writing for so long. I need to keep my eye out for more regular posting topics. I gotta go read now. Both for school and for my own professional endeavors. Hope you enjoyed the epic and have something to say in response!