Thursday, March 31, 2011

My Love's Too Big For You, My Love

Seriously? Could I be any brattier?

Could I ask for better weather (68, clear-skied, and sunny)? Nicer furniture? A cuter apartment?

No.

Could I ask for more security? More blessings?

No. I have a steady job. And I managed to land a guest speaker whose parents survived the Holocaust to come and talk to my students at the end of April.

And yet I can't get this frown off my face. And don't be asking me silently if it's PMS. That was last week--it's always really bad right before. I had a completely manic day, fully acknowledged that it was PMS, and moved on. Ask Rachel. She'll attest. I know when it's PMS. This is not it.

Really though, I feel like my face is sagging from this frown. I feel uglier because of it.

I mean, there are a lot of things contributing to it:

-Personal decisions--feeling like I'm totally off track 
-An angry parent email that I got yesterday
-My principal kind of backing what the parent said instead of backing me
-My 4th period being awful
-My self-image
-All the reading and homework I have to do this week and this whole semester
-The fact that I can't focus on getting any of it done, or my grading
-My tithing check was cashed more quickly than usual (before my check was deposited), so I got overdrawn in my account

I'm looking forward to General Conference this weekend to kind of put things back into perspective for me. I will listen intently.

The biggest thing contributing to it though is men, or lack thereof.

I will try to be concise and clear about the things that are bothering me most right now.

I don't understand selfishness. I don't get how people can take and take and take all that I have to give... Like, my time and my thoughtfulness, for instance. I send nice messages, emails, texts, packages, letters, things to let someone know that I am thinking about him. And I feel like I get nothing back. If I do get something in return it's only there for like a day or two--lots of attention, cute text messages, romantic words--like a lightning bolt. Then it's gone again.

When I address the issue, and I get a response like, "I just needed to get away from the world for a bit," how do I not take that personally? Am I so overwhelming and stressful that someone would need to "get away" from me? Because I thought that I was kind of awesome. And if someone really cares about me or misses me like they say, why wouldn't they show it? Why wouldn't someone say so when they miss you? Why wouldn't someone be concerned about you or ask you about your day, or how you're doing? How can someone who supposedly cares about you, say that they "needed to get away from the world" and not consider or care about what you need? I don't understand that level of "caring" at all. I guess I just care too much. But I don't even get factored in to the equation--it's all about what the other person needs; I'm not even an afterthought. Why can't I be more that way? I wish I could be more focused on my own comfort and happiness and my own needs, and not consider how it might affect someone else. That would be really convenient. But nope. No selfishness for me.

I don't like when someone does not communicate. How am I supposed to know what is going on with you if you don't tell me? How am I supposed to know how you feel about me if you don't tell me? How am I supposed to know what your reasoning is if you don't tell me? How am I supposed to know FREAKING ANYTHING if you don't tell me? All I can do is guess what's going through someone's brain. I can do my best not to take it personally when I don't get a phone call for five days. I can do my best not to get frustrated by sporadic (and selfish) text messages. Guess how well that works out for me? Well enough to write a crazy blog post like this one. I guess what's going through your brain is, "Everything except Janae." And I can do my best to accept the lack of phone calls when you are with other girls at Disneyland. And I can do my best to respond nicely to those texts that are pretty much all about you and your current physical discomfort.

So on that last note, I don't like inconsistency. Why can't someone text or call regularly? What is this 1-2 day talking extravaganza that leads into a 5-day long black abyss of communication? It's like someone needs this "Janae fix," then once they've gotten it, they do their own thing and "need to get away." Oh, OK. So we only communicate on YOUR schedule? Got it. Can I maybe get a layout of which days and hours of the night work for you? No? I guess I'll just have to take the moments I can get, however inconvenient they might be for me. Thanks, I appreciate that. Please give me some consistency and balance rather than this binging and starving pattern.

I don't like laziness. I don't know if that's the right word for it, but it really is frustrating to not have somebody put any time or effort into me. To make a comment like, "Whatever, you'd wait for me," just assuming that I will always be waiting around, is really asinine. Things like flowers are great. Good step. How about some wooing? Some sweet words? Emails? Letters? Texts? Voicemails? Phone calls? You know, all the things that I have given? And you know, when I've been VERY clear about those things that I want and need, and have divulged information on the things that make the biggest difference... And I see no effort or changes being made, what am I supposed to do? Wait around?

Not sure if anyone has noticed, but I've been burned way too many times in my life. Usually, it's after investing way too much time! So nope. I'm not waiting around. I'm putting no more effort in. I've taken responsibility for and ownership over the things I want. I have communicated them clearly. And everything's the same or worse.

It's time for me to demand what I deserve:

It's time for me to demand somebody who actually cares about me on the same level as I care about them.
It's time for me to demand somebody who can factor me in to their decisions.
It's time for me to demand somebody who can communicate what is going on in their brains enough so that I don't take their actions personally.
It's time for me to demand somebody who can and who WANTS to give back what I offer.
It's time for me to demand someone who can consistently express concern, interest, and love. 

Let's face it. If things are always going to be like this, I will not be a happy camper. I can't be in any more relationships where I feel like my love is too big for that person.

So, I'm out.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Law of Attraction and Dates

So I was complaining to my friend on Sunday about how I want a certain guy at church to ask me on a date.

She said I should post it as my status update on Facebook. Funny, Rachel. Very funny.

Then I was complaining to my mom about two different guys and how they are being stupid and lazy. I then complained even more about the same person as I discussed on Sunday. I believe I said something about him being really cute, having really good style... I made verbal note of the fact that he has commented my pictures on Facebook and that we have similar taste in music. That he's shown an increased interest, at least in the Social Networking realm. And then, "But I don't know why he hasn't asked me on a date! I just want him to ask me on a date! Why are boys so dumb?"

I think if you say, "I want so-and-so to ask me out" enough times, it will happen.

Because right when I got done complaining at my madre, I noticed that said boy from the ward had sent me a Facebook message to see if I am busy on Wednesday night.

I began to rejoice and do a little "I win" shimmy. Then I called my mom with the news of my victory.

We'll see what tricks he's got up his sleeve, hm?

I's excited.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Singletude

I was visiting teaching last night, and my engaged teachee was talking to me about why she likes being in a relationship so much.

She said she likes having someone to assume you can go with everywhere or do anything with. Like a go-to friend.

Well, what a coinkey dink! Because that's my favorite thing about relationships too.

I love being single. I love my freedom. I love doing what I want when I want to do it. I love taking off for the weekend whenever I want to go wherever I want just because I feel like it. I love only worrying about me and my happiness. I love only answering to myself.

But sometimes... Sometimes... I really want someone who will go get ice cream with me after I've graded papers all day.

Bad Driver

Last time I was home, I left my license in my coat pocket the whole time. I keep it in there while at the airport for easy access.

I kept thinking every day, "I should really put my license back in my wallet..."

Well, I didn't.

So a few minutes before leaving for the airport, I realized I had lost my license. It must have fallen out of my coat pocket.

Dang it. I called everywhere that it might have been. No one found it.

Must be time to get a Utah license after five and a half years here, anyway, right?

I had an expired California license in my desk drawer at home that I used as proof of driving experience. They punched holes in it. I'm hoping someone finds my non-expired one so I can still have it as proof that I'm actually a good driver.



*Picture taken when I was 15, by the way. 

So I went to the stupid DMV. I made an appointment. I thought I had all my documents ready. Not so. My credit card statement was more than 60 days old, and I had to scramble for some other "piece of mail" to prove my residency. So annoying. After a crazy ordeal and after sweating because of it, they took my picture, so that turned out awesomely, of course.

I passed the open book driving test with a 24/25. Woot!

Anyway, here's my official "awful driver" card.



No offense, Utah friends. I love you. It's just a general statement. You know. Like all California girls are airheads. Or something.

Teacher Triumphs

Number of essays submitted for term 3:

1A: 33/40
3A: 24/25
3B: 34/36
4B: 29/31

That's a total of only 12/132 kids who decided not to do the essay. If you know how many unmotivated students I have, you know what a big deal this is for me.

Not to mention that my students have done better on this essay than any of the ones they've done before. I'm VERY proud of them. And I have to say I am proud of myself too. I'm learning every term what it takes to be a better teacher--what to do and what not to do--and try to fix myself and my processes as I go. So on our third essay, I think the writing process has been laid out much more effectively for student success.

I love being happy while I'm grading essays. It pleases me immensely to see them try so hard and see them succeed. And it pleases me even more to see the kids who haven't tried before at all actually give it a shot this time and do well! It's such a triumph for me to watch so many of them succeed and feel like maybe something I did contributed to that.

Number of failing grades for term 3:

1A: 12/40 (but 9 of them do less than half their work, as in like, a third of their work...)
3A: 3/25
3B: 11/36 (but 8 of those are ELL--English Language Learners--who I tried to help, and 5 of them could have easily passed with just a little more time and effort)
4B: 5/31

If you know about my upset in term 1, where I had the most Fs in the school, you'd know that this is a huge jump in the right direction. My grade weights have always been in their favor (they can pass just by doing class work), but the way I did it this term made it so they had a more accurate perception of their performance in my class on a consistent basis. This pushed some of them to work harder.

I sent home calls on a weekly basis to invite kids to 5th Period Friday (intervention), and informing their parents that they were not passing my class. I'd send home about 70 calls and get maybe 4 kids a week who actually came.

I posted grades weekly or even more often. I put notes next to some of their grades for them to come and talk to me. Most didn't.

I sent texts by email to some kids to come and talk to me. Most didn't.

I also put together packets for a lot of the kids who were "on the verge," so to speak, so they could do the work they were missing. Most didn't.

I did so much to try and help them pass. I felt like it was a waste of time because most of the kids really don't care, so why should I? But it is gratifying for me to know that I did all I could.

I've omitted my developmental reading classes from this report because those classes are not core classes and won't devastate students' progress. A majority of the kids in those classes are highly unmotivated, low-performing, and/or resource students. I'm very easy on them and give them lots of time to succeed and catch up. So I refuse to use their grades to assess myself as a teacher.

In short, my jump in essays submitted, my jump in essay performance, and my fall in student Failures have made me feel so proud of my students and of myself. I hope for continued and increased success in the future, for them and for me. It's victories like this that remind me occasionally why I do this job.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Punch School in the Face

This project for my class was not that hard. Really.

Choose a topic.

Find 5-6 articles about it.

Make an annotated bibliography.

Do 6-8 lesson plans teaching whatever comprehension strategy you chose.

And yet I let it hang over my head until the day before it was due.

I started at about 4:30. 

I got 5 and a half of 6 lesson plans done by 7:40 when I left to visit teach. I finished the 6th one at 9 PM, within fifteen minutes after I got home.

After I finished, I felt such a huge weight lifted off of my shoulders.

I was so excited and had so much energy that I decided to rock out to Marilyn Manson in my car on my way to and from rewarding myself with a fatty treat. Seriously. It felt so good to have it done.

The project wasn't that bad. I really don't know why I put it off till the day before it was due. I'm such a freak about checklists that if something is lingering on my list for a while it starts to give me anxiety and weighs on me a lot. I should have done it way before now so that I wouldn't have been so stressed. Relieving myself of the weight earlier would have been a wise decision.

Blah blah blah. Shoulda woulda coulda.

But now it is finished. And I get to move on to grading 120 essays. By Sunday.

Doable.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Drysher

I have lived in Utah since August 2005. I have now been here for 5 years and 7 months.

A majority of that time, I have done my laundry on a weekly basis by carrying my dirty clothes to my grandma's house. Living on the third floor and trying to remember everything that I need cleaned that week was kind of stressful--and heavy, and wearing heels because of church always made it more fun. But I was glad to have a place to do my laundry for free.

The weeks where I didn't go to grandma's or she was out of town or something, I'd have to pay to do it at my complex. It's terribly inconvenient and expensive!

When I moved in, I used my washer and dryer closet in my apartment for basic storage. Nothing over the top, just two book cases full of books and random odds and ends (sweep, mop, extra tv, paper towels, etc.).

So when I was looking at my friend's classified ad on KSL this morning, I thought I'd check on washer and dryer deals out of curiosity.

Lo and behold, a washer and dryer for $200, plus delivery and installation.

I was ALL over that.

I left work on time and headed to Big! Lots. I needed to make sure I had room in my bedroom closet for the stuff I was going to be moving out of the laundry closet. So I got a laundry hamper that hangs on the door and a new shoe rack (I can't find the hangers for my other one *tear*).

My uncle Bry called to say that he didn't have a ride over, so I had to go down to Draper to get him. I'm glad I did because A. I didn't want to end up in a trash bag somewhere and B. I wouldn't have known how to finish hooking up the dryer.

So we got back and hurriedly rearranged my apartment. We moved my table and chairs out of the way and moved everything out of the closet and into various places.

My two bookshelves ended up in my bedroom on some empty walls. I buy in bulk so some things are hard to store. Like my huge thing of Brawny paper towels. That fits in my closet just fine. My extra TV also. My vacuum is in my room too.

I have to say what I am most impressed with is that I have more room and organization in my bedroom closet than when I started. haha. That's kind of sad. But sometimes you've got to get more stuff to organize what was already there. My closet is so clean and easy to walk into! No hamper on the floor anymore.



My room feels way more crowded now, but such is life I guess. Maybe when I can find one I'll get the under the bed shoe container. That's originally what I wanted, but I couldn't find it at Big! Lots; they just had it a few months ago! Oh well. When I get one, I really think that will make a big difference in feeling like I have more space.




So! after postponing about three times, homeboy from Farmington came with my appliances at about quarter till 7.

Bry helped him get the stuff in and hooked up. But there was no foil dryer hose. The menfolk made it sound like it was no big deal.

So Bry and I were off to Wal-Mart, where we picked up a hose. When we got back, Bry realized that we needed a hose clamp. Uh. I had no idea what that was.

So we head to Fresh Market to see if they have it. Nope. (Well, they did, but they were too small.)

Big! Lots? Nope.

Gas station? (he said he had seen them at gas stations). Nope.

7-Eleven? Nope.

Rite Aid? Nope.

Dudes, seriously. We stopped at all those places and could've saved like 45 minutes if we had just gone straight back to Wal-Mart where we finally found the damn hose clamp for $1.97. 

So back to my apartment at 8:40, finally... ORDEAL of the century! He finished hooking up my stuff, and I put up two coat/hat hangers that I got at Big! Lots. One is for my aprons. The other is for hanging coats by the door. I think I will hang up some more. Kind of sad that I'm just now thinking of this as springtime rolls in. Oops.



Anyway, my apartment looks like nothing ever happened (except my bedroom). No mess anywhere. And a washer and dryer at my disposal.

This is going to be SO nice... They belong to ME. And I don't have to carry my dirty laundry anywhere or up and down stairs! It's such a relief.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Guilty Pleasure

OK.

I'm ashamed.

But I'll admit that I actually enjoy one of Katy Perry's songs.

Firework.

Yeah. I said it. I really like it.

I'm going to go hide my face now.

Except, you know what song I think is better?

"Raise Your Glass" by Pink.

Especially when the Warblers did it on Glee.

I know, I know. I'm going to go listen to some good music now.

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Investment

So...

I really like kissing. I really do. I enjoy it immensely.

The great thing about it is it can mean everything or it can mean nothing. It can express so much love and emotion and concern and feeling--you can put every ounce of yourself into a kiss. Or, it can just be fun and not super important.

I think I prefer the kind where it's with someone who genuinely matters to you.

I'd prefer to kiss somebody who cares about my day, or who cares about the things that make me happy and sad...

I'd prefer to kiss somebody who calls me every night or at random times because he "wanted to hear my voice."

I'd rather kiss someone who reminds me that I am beautiful all the time...

And who sends me flowers and roses in a 4 day span.

And who shares his dreams and wishes with me...

Because kissing someone who is important to you is like all of the enjoyment and fun PLUS the meaning and emotion on top of it. It doesn't get much better than that.

That kind has been missing for a while. :)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

My So-Called Life

Anyone remember this mid-90s TV gem?


I was a Claire Danes fan from the beginning.

I was also a Jared Leto fan from the beginning.

This is why it boggles my mind that no one knows who Jared Leto is. Seriously? That beautiful boy from "My So-Called Life?" From Requiem for a Dream? From Fight Club? From, dare I stoop to this, 30 Seconds to Mars?

I watched this show every weeknight before I went to sleep. I was obsessed.

So you can imagine my excitement when I saw that Netflix had it available to rent. Not only that, but I noticed tonight that it got added to my instant streaming queue!

Yes, ladies and gentlemen. I watched three 45+ minute episodes of this fantastic show. And it's still full of all that adolescent angst and drama that I so adored about it.

I'm excited to continue watching.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Dates

I've been on some dates.

Friday the 25th of February:
- The Pie Pizzeria
- Movie on my couch

Saturday the 26th of February:
- Rodeo in Ogden
- Bowling

Sunday the 27th of February
- Dinner at my place

Friday the 4th of March
- Dinner at Lone Star Steakhouse
- Last half of How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days

Yeah, fun!

I'm sick again though. :(  So that's an excuse to go back to bed and not do homework, right?

Good, because that's my plan.