30 April 2012

Z is for Zeitgeber

I moved last Monday, and I have had to adjust to the large amount of light that shines into the rooms.

Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love natural light.  That is one of my favorite things about the new place.

But, the light is a zeitgeber that is messing with my system.  The light is serving as an external agent that wants to regulate my biological clock.  Unfortunately, it is doing so in a manner that I am not wanting to have happen.

Who needs a light emitting alarm clock when you have the sunshine?
Not only is there a lot of natural light, but the lights in the parking area keep it nice and safe; there are a ton of them and they are super bright.  In the night, they are so bright that I can still see pretty well in the bedroom without any internal lights.

I normally wake up a few times during the night before my alarm goes off at 5:08.  With the light acting as a zeitgeber, when I open my eyes I feel as though the sun is rising (especially since the light is orangey), and it is hard for me to go back to sleep until I look at my cell phone clock to make sure I didn't sleep past my alarm.

This has happened each day since Monday.  And each time, I feel like it must be daylight so I have to check the clock which makes me more awake and makes it slightly harder for me to go back to sleep.

And on Sunday, the one day I get to sleep late with no alarm, I was up super early first with the street lights, and then with all the natural light that flows in through the mini-blinds.

I absolutely love natural light and not needing internal lights, but, I need to invest in some curtains or something to help block the zeitgeber in the bedroom so I can sleep better.

This is my last post for the A to Z Challenge.  I have posted on each letter of the alphabet.  I have also posted each day this year so far.  I can't believe this is four months of daily blog posts.  It is more than I posted in the last 2 years previous and it has become second nature for me to write on my blog.  I almost feel lost until a post is up for the day.  I think I'm going to keep at it for the month of May.

Why stop now?

29 April 2012


Change is good, right?

I'm not sure.  I know that I like routine and predictability.  I know that I like that I know where I work, when payday is, where I can buy good groceries, what shows I like to watch.  I know that most mornings, I will eat a bowl of oatmeal with granola and fruits.

But at the same time, I want change.

I hear people at work talking about how they will retire in the school (and they are decades from retirement) and it make me cringe.  I hear people say that they will live in Saint Louis forever and it takes everything in me to not visibly furl my lips.  I see the discomfort it causes when I purposely sit in someone's "seat" in the faculty lunchroom and I enjoy them having to sit somewhere new.

But at the same time, I haven't taken necessary steps to bring the changes I want.


I think that in some ways, I am so content with the routine of my life that I am afraid of making giant leaps.  I want new things, but I don't necessarily want to deal with the risks associated with them.

When changes happen, I deal with them pretty well and usually like the outcome.  So why is it with the big things, I am more afraid?  Fear of failure is a big part of it.  Fear of letting people down and having to go back to the old ways is another factor.

I need to get over myself and move on.

That seems to be a theme in my life right now.

This was my Stream of Consciousness Sunday.  Simple... free write for five minutes on the prompt or on your own thoughts and then link up with allthingsfadra.  See all the other links and read Fadra's post on her site.  Today's prompt was, "How do you feel about change?  Do you like routine and predictability?  Does it bring you comfort or discontent?"


28 April 2012

Y is for Yesterday

There are so many things that I wish I had done differently.

I know that people say that things happen for a reason, but what if nothing good seems to be happening from what I did yesterday?  Should I still be satisfied?  I don't think so.

I just want to do things better than I did yesterday.

I'm not sure if I can fully do the things I desire to do in order to be a better person.  Can people really change?  Can people really become different than they have shown habits of doing?
I wrote about this image in more detail on this post.

I'm not completely sure of that anymore.

Even after a few months of trying to reset my life, I'm not sure if I can completely succeed.

I am smiling more, I am hating less, but I don't know if I have become better at accepting criticism.  I am still not critical of myself enough and I am still likely to get defensive when someone points out negative aspects of my character.

I am a better listener, but if I am not fully putting things I have heard and need to do to improve myself, am I really, truly listening?  Or am I just hearing and then ignoring or disregarding the ideas of how to make my life and others' lives better?

Because I still have room for improvement and still need to improve from how I was yesterday, I'm not sure if I can worry less right now.  I'm not sure if I can feel good anyway about some aspects of my life, instead I am fearful that I will never fully develop and change and  reach my full potential.

I know this is a bit vague, but I am just at a point of confusion and frustration in my life and I needed this mini-rant/mind fart.

27 April 2012

X is for Xenium

I know I am not the only one who has felt obligated to give a gift rather than really wanting to give the gift.

Xenium is a compulsory gift.

I offer xenium drinks and snacks to guests of my home.  I still give xenium for weddings and baby showers of people that I know, but who are not my besties.  But, I have stopped doing gifts for anyone besides immediate family and real close friends for the winter holidays and for birthdays.

This saves money, time, and shopping.  Instead, I like to invest my time, and good conversation, and a showing of love.

I hope these actions are not seen as xenium since I do them out of love and appreciation for the people.

26 April 2012

W is for Widdershins

The advancements of technology are going to cause society to go back to using the word 'widdershins'.

People no longer use watches and rarely use analog clocks.  If you tap your wrist at some younger people, indicating that you want to know the time, they will think that you have a tick or that you are trying to point to something.  And, if you are tapping your wrist, you must not have a cell phone in your pocket or bag, which is an even bigger issue.

It's all about digital.
Original image from cartoonstock.com

A teaching colleague of mine was trying to explain which direction something turned and the high school student had no idea what counter-clockwise or clockwise meant.

Instead he should have used the term widdershins to mean in the contrary direction.

But even with reintroducing this term, will people know what the 'normal' direction is so they can determine the contrary direction?

I know that in track you run counterclockwise, but a colleague of mine told me that horse racing in the US is in a different direction than in Europe, so widdershins to a horse-racing aficionado may mean something different than to a person who watches track or oval-shaped car racing.

I guess, we will have to just stick with it 'in a circle to the right/left' instead of widdershins or counterclockwise.

25 April 2012

V is for Vilipend

I absolutely hate how some people think so highly of themselves that they vilipend other people when they are actually the ones who need to be vilipended.

Vilipend is an old word meaning to regard as worthless, or to despise, or to disparage mockingly.

I know that I can sometimes point fingers at people for doing things I think are ridiculous, but I don't like to speak bad about the people... I try to keep it about the actions.  I really try.

Unless it is for a good reason, amiright?
I can't stand when students in my class vilipend their classmates, especially when they criticize traits that are genetic and changeable only through some sort of plastic surgery or serious use of bleaching creams that likely do more damage than good.

This bullying really needs to come to an end.  Why does it still have to happen in schools today?  Why has it not decreased with time?  Maybe, part of it is the internet.  We have girls getting on YouTube asking people to critique their appearance.  We have people who post videos of young people getting beat up.

This past weekend, there was a track athlete who was beaten up by a bystander who the athlete had been talking trash about on Facebook.

If you want to vilipend someone, do it for a good reason.

Do it because they are against your right to have a choice about what you do with your body.
Do it because someone does not think that working at home is a job or that women who work outside the home should be paid equal to a man.
Vilipend someone because people who look like you cannot walk into an elevator without another person who does not (or does) look like you cringing and holding their purse closer, do it because a clerk called the manager to say, "Two black men just walked in."
Do it because the higher ups do not count unemployment in a way that is real to show the real number (WAY higher than is reported in the news) of unemployed in the nation.
Do it because you don't want the word 'gay' to be banned from schools.

Vilipend for a reason.

24 April 2012

U is for Unbelievably Cool Movie

One Day On Earth is a film that documents stories from people from all the countries in the world (not sure which numbers they are using since some countries nationhood is internationally questioned - I believe the movie shows 190 countries).

But how unbelievably cool is it that the movie shows a portion of life from EVERY COUNTRY on the SAME DAY?!?!

It took them over a year to edit and translate the film, but it finally debuted on Earth Day 2012 (April 22).

Here is a trailer for the film:

One Day on Earth - Global Screening Trailer from One Day on Earth on Vimeo.

23 April 2012

T is for Tardiloquent

Imagine if I spoke one of the faster languages...
Ever since I can remember, people have told me that I sometimes speak really fast.  I don't always notice it, but ever since I have had more and more English Language Learners (students who have a home/first language other than English) in my class, I have tried to be more tardiloquent in the class and in my general life.

It takes a conscious effort for me to speak more slowly.

When I read, I read fast, when I read aloud, I still read and speak quickly.

I am always impressed by people I feel speak quickly (mostly rappers and auctioneers).  They are the ones that should focus on being more tardiloquent.

22 April 2012

Hoping for less stress and more success

This week was a stressful one.

  • I was frantically trying to get things finished for a move.  I had my landlords (my parents since I have been living in the house they unsuccessfully bought four years ago with the dream of flipping it quick for a major profit which is now a significant loss) fill out the forms about my rent history.  I had to have the new renters come by my place for a home visit (never heard of people doing this before letting you move in).  I signed a lease.  I got the keys to the new place.
  • I missed two days of practice and one track meet because of the housing madness.  I have to say, that it was a bit worrisome to be away from those two days of track, but at the same time, it was wonderful to be home earlier and still have a good portion of the day left.  
  • I had only four kids show up to practice one of the days I was gone.  Four out of at least 20 who should have been there.  The next day, I went off and had two of the athletes proceed to pout like three-year olds.   Fortunately, one of my assistants dealt with it before I snapped and forced them off the team.  
  • The lack of commitment from the athletes led to me only entering 2 of the 30+ sprinters into our Saturday meet. 
  • The meet was decent.  Saw a lot of old friends.  One commented on how he missed me and my ability to make him laugh.  That meant a lot.  The host school did something completely unheard of... had a massage table in the gym for the coaches to utilize.  I have never gotten a real massage.  It.  Felt.  Great.
  • Today, after finishing this and eating breakfast, I pack.  I organize, throw whatever is left to throw a way away, and I pack.
  • Tomorrow, movers arrive at 8:30.  The last time I moved, I hired movers, and I really don't even understand why anyone would ever move things on their own.

I am glad I successfully found a place in such short notice.  And I am glad that I am able to coach the kids successfully and am getting better at showing them natural consequences.

I am always glad for good company and caring friends.

Hopefully, this week is less frantic and full of more joyful moments.

I feel as though I can see successes in the short-term, but am not sure what success means for me in the long-term.

Stream of Consciousness post for the week.
You can see more of the posts from allthingsfadra's blog and join in yourself, if you like.  All it takes is five minutes of writing whatever is on your mind.  I went a bit over today, but that is ok, too.


21 April 2012

S is for Selcouth

To some people who don't know me (and some that do know me) I am a selcouth person.

Image source
I am sometimes seen as rarely known.

I guess that is part of my mystic.  Or due to my being a little bit of an introvert.  I am not necessarily shy, just don't need to be in conversation with everyone around me all the time.

I have had several people tell me that before meeting me, the person did not expect me to be so nice, or so funny, or so silly.

I guess I am too selcouth when it comes to my humor with acquaintances.  But, I am often super sarcastic in person and don't initially know how different people will take the jokes and comments I make.

Based on the definition in the image, I will go with the "marvelous" portion to describe me.  That, along with the idea that meeting me reflects a sense of wonder and amazement.


That's me.

20 April 2012

R is for Really annoying things

I saw this post the other day and have to say, they are pretty spot on.  Buzzfeed The 21 Absolute Worst Things In The World

Here's my take on the ones from their list that really annoy me the most.

#4: The slightly, not-so-perfectly torn perforation of spiral notebook paper.
See the rest of the list

This might not be as annoying to people who don't deal with paper on a regular basis.  As a teacher, it is really annoying to have a stack of papers I'm trying to grade stuck together due to some of the students not knowing how/not taking the time to tear the spiraled edges off their papers.  It is so annoying that I have known teachers who take points off of student work if they do not completely take the perforated edges off the paper.

#5: Clothing items getting stuck on objects while you are walking.
See the rest of the list

I cannot count how many snags in scarves, sweaters, and even regular cotton t's I have due to this annoyance.  And it is always when I have nothing to mend the clothing with or on a scarf that will be ruined if I leave the snag alone or if I try and get the thread to go back into the correct position.

#6: People who don't know how to squeeze tubes of toothpaste or lotion without the solution getting all over the place.
See the rest of the list

I never really thought it would be necessary to have directions on toothpaste tubes that tell you how to squeeze from the bottom to the top instead of right in the middle, but I guess those instructions are necessary - even for people over the age of three.

Perhaps now the tube designers can put some instructions about not getting the paste all over the cap.

So gross.

#14: Silverfish
See the rest of the list

I cannot even begin to describe the fright I experienced the first time I saw one of these in my place.  I was freaking out trying to kill it and at the same time count how many freaking legs it had.  These things are so nasty and can be so huge - especially when you see one early in the morning as you are barely awake and turn on the light in the bathroom only to see it as you are in a half-squat ready to sit on the toilet.

Once there was one on the ceiling and it jumped to the ground as I tried to swipe it with the broom.  I heard it land on the floor.

That is how huge it was.  It made a thud as it landed and was almost too shocked to even smash it.

I have tried so many things to get rid of them.  I have thoroughly cleaned.  I have applied borax on the baseboards.  I have left one of them dead on the ground as a warning for its friends.  I have run a dehumidifier to get rid of moisture.

Nothing has worked to rid the house of them.

And, now that I am just a few days from moving out of here, I can say that I have only seen about 5 in the last month (compared to times when I was seeing at least two each day).

I guess they were coming out before to tell me to leave their home, but now that they know I am leaving, they are chillin' like a villain!

What things really annoy you?

19 April 2012

Q is for Quotes

A few that I'm digging right now:
The truth you believe and cling to makes you unavailable to hear anything new.
Great quote from Pema Chodron
Don't take anything personally.  Nothing others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dreams.  When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won't be the victim of needless suffering.
That one is by Don Miguel Ruiz.
I finally realized that cutting people from my life does not mean I hate them, it simply means, I respect me.
Saw that quote on FB or Twitter.  Can't find who originally spoke it this way.  Connected to the previous quote is a quote from Jeremiah Wright:
Everyone who's in your corner is not necessarily on your team.
So very true as is this next one by Alfred A. Montapert:
Do not confuse motion and progress.  A rocking horse keeps moving but does not make any progress.

18 April 2012

P is for Perspective

I have to keep things in perspective.

Renaissance-era perspective in my textbook
Today, on NPR, there was a story about how a lot of young people think that if there had been the internet back in the day, Watergate would have happened differently.  They believe that people would have just been able to search and find information about the people sneaking around and the story would have broke differently.  In the story, Tina Brown mentions that a lot of young people believe that everything can be found online.

They have no perspective that human contact is a necessary part of life.

The story was about journalism, but it is true in real life as well.

I have seen people - mostly young - who will be standing right next to a person and will start to text or Tweet the person.  It is not as though there is a meeting or something going on that will be disturbed if they talk to each other, they are sometimes just sitting next to each other in a mall or in a car.

I have to keep my old-school perspective of actually talking with people who are next to me.  I don't want society to become one where actually talking with and communicating in person becomes obsolete.  I have heard of people who will Skype their loved one who is upstairs or in another room rather than getting up and walking to go talk with them.

There have been athletes I have coached and seen who were really fast or who jumped really high/far.  Sometimes I have to ask athletes a question when they tell me their time or their distance.  "You did that. Is that good for you?"  Otherwise, I compare it to some of the best I have seen and I might end up unconsciously furling my face at their performance when the nine year old daughter of one of my assistants beats some of the athletes on the team.

I must use perspective in different situations.

17 April 2012

O is for Old songs

Kid Sis #3 used to fall asleep to the Quiet Storm at night when she was younger.  I always thought it was strange that this early teenager was able to sing the lyrics to all of these 60s and 70s and 80s songs when she was almost born in the 90s.

But, I can understand her draw since so many of the songs have so much soul.  I used to hear people say that music had soul and think they were insane; now I can totally understand.  Just listen to this one:

This song really gets to me.  It was never a break-up song for me, or anything.

I just think it is so moving and has so much soul.

Such a simple song filled with sadness, happiness, passion, and love.

I hadn't heard the song for about 10 years, but on the way home the other day from school I heard the intro on the radio and suddenly remembered all the lyrics, including the harmonies and echoes.  I still have it in my head every so often each day since.  I always think it is amazing that I can remember songs that I have not even thought of in years.  If only my memory worked as well on other, more important, aspects of my life.

I am not sure what to think about this next video.  I must admit that I was in love with Pac when I was younger.  I was so distraught when he died while I was in high school.  How were we supposed to fulfill both of our fantasies of marriage to each other if he was dead?

There have long been rumors of Tupac sightings and I can't even count how many songs his estate has released posthumously.  Now, he truly lives on.  In hologram form.  Check this video from Coachella 2012:

Here's to remembering all the good music and all the good times!

16 April 2012

N is for Numbers

Some people believe that numbers are lucky or unlucky, can predict your future, and can decide your fate.

I don't believe any of that.  I don't have a favorite number, and I don't subscribe to numerology.

It is cool when your birthday year coincides with the calendar day of your birthday.  When I turned 19 on the 19th, that was cool!  I feel bad for people with low number birth dates who can't remember their super-special birthday.

Despite my relative nonchalance with numbers, I did think it was really cool when I was driving, glanced down to make sure I wasn't driving too fast, and saw this on my odometer:

I took the picture.  I know, I shouldn't be handling my phone while I drive, but I was on the freeway and couldn't easily pull over while the number was still perfect.  I slowed down, I didn't didn't die, I didn't crash, and I didn't even swerve in the lane.

15 April 2012

A stormy, clear day

All Friday night I couldn't sleep due to the sounds of rain and thunder.  We have a track meet every Saturday from the end of March through May, we leave for most around 7:45am and return around 5pm - they are all day affairs.  Between disorienting dreams, I was worrying about the logistics of a rainy meet.  I checked the radar online and saw that it was all to clear up around 11:00.  Around the time the second crew of our athletes were to head to the meet.

While still in bed contemplating what I would wear to keep my body dry, I received a text from a fellow coach asking if the meet was called off.  I text back that the school's coach was hopeful and I doubt he would call it off.

About 35 minutes later while I was getting ready to go into the bathroom and prep for my departure into the elements, coach calls and says that the meet was cancelled.

At first, there were thoughts of how I would tell all the kids - fortunately, I have a mass texting program that I used on the computer that let all the kids and coaches know with just a few clicks of the computer.

Next thought I had after completing the messaging, "What a glorious day!"

I went back to bed.

I slept late on a Saturday for the first time in what seems like forever.

I ran errands that I usually have to jam into Sunday.

I lazed around the house.  I did some prepping for this week's move out of the house.

It was great.

On Thursday, as I sat before practice waiting for the kids to arrive to our practice location by bus, I had a mini-panic attack when I saw two buses coming over the horizon.  "I'm not ready, yet," was my thought.  I just wasn't ready to deal with the drama of practice - the absent athletes, the athletes that don't try consistently, the athletes that say that they can't lay down or bend over because they are on their period (please explain that to me if any of you have that problem), I wasn't even ready for meaningless coach-banter.

Saturday morning, my thoughts not exactly joy of not being around the kids, but joy of not being out in the rain all day.

By 11:30 Saturday the skies cleared and it was sunny the rest of my day off.

Stream of Consciousness Sunday - I free wrote today, but you can find the day's prompt and other participants on all.things.fadra.  I just wrote whatever was in my head for 5 minutes.


14 April 2012

M is for Misosophy

My life is the opposite of this day's word.

I absolutely love wisdom and knowledge.  

Image Source
I love learning about anything.  As a child, while eating my bowls of cereal, I used to talk with my father using medical terminology that I had learned reading his medical magazines.  I even advised him on some stock options after learning about the market for a school project.  One trivia night I attended was a fundraiser for lawyers.  I helped my mother's team by answering several law related questions when even the lawyers at the table did not know the answers.  The other day, I was describing the correct technique for shooting a rifle and the person I was sharing this with did not believe that I knew what I was talking about.  Though a social studies teacher, I have been known to help students understand various concepts in all of their other classes.  During my early years of substitute teaching, I was actually the preferred sub for a math teacher since the kids said I helped them understand the concepts better than their regular teacher. 

I have become quite knowledgable about Formula One racing, football, rugby, various cultures of the world, and much more.  I have seen so many marathons of How It's Made (and all the spin-offs) that I can tell you how and why different inventions work the way they work.

Sometimes I catch myself watching public access channels that show lectures from colleges and universities or listening to the book talks on the CSPAN channels.

I share this not to brag, but because I am trying to find a way to put all of this knowledge to good (profitable) use...

There is still a lot to learn and I hope that I don't ever suffer from misosophy.

13 April 2012

L is for Laconic

As I have gotten older, I have become better at getting to the point when I speak to people.
Cartoon source
Sometimes, this is because the situation necessitates being short and sweet.  Sometimes, my laconic reply to people is because I have a lack of patience for the situation.  I just want to say what needs to be said and be done.

When I send out work-related emails, I try to make them 6 sentences or less.  Three sentences is the ideal.

Stories and analogies and imaginative musings are good for helping explain concepts or ideas in and out of the classroom, but sometimes, it's just not the right time or place.

12 April 2012

K is for Kakorrhaphiophobia

I like to be good at what I do.

Even when I am not into the activity, I like to be able to excel at it at least a little bit.

I attribute this to a form of kakorrhaphiophobia - fear of failure.

It is good to not want to fail at something.  My problem comes because sometimes, I don't want to begin an activity for fear of not doing it well.  I don't want to look bad or be the one struggling unsuccessfully at anything.

I guess I need help...
I was thinking the other day about the different opportunities that I have missed out on because of my kakorrhaphiophobia (and on again, off again laziness).  There could have been money, better relationships, better living situations, better jobs, less stress, who knows.

But I missed out on them because I was afraid I might not do well.

Kainotophobia may have played a part, too.

Because, sometimes I become too content with how things are going and I don't want to upset the norm even though going against the norm may be better for my well-being.  It's not that I completely fear change.  I like change.  Change is good.  It's just that sometimes, I think I might be too afraid of what might happen to really make something happen... if that makes sense.

11 April 2012

J is for Juvenile

I am glad I am not a teenager anymore, but I am not quite sure I am ready to be old.  And, what is old now, anyway?  When I was a small kid, I thought that 40 was old.  Now, I'm not sure that some people I know who are in their 70s are really considered old.

I love it when I am with friends and can just laugh and play and be like a juvenile kid with no worries.

Here is a picture someone took of me and adjusted with Aging Booth app.

Kid Sis #2 says I'll still be pretty when I am old and decrepit.

I say this is what I will look like in two weeks if I stop using all the creams and lotions that I apply each day.

10 April 2012

I is for India

The media and colonization and self-hatred have caused people to really believe that lighter skin is better and prettier and the "fairer" skin to have.

There are people using bleach on their skin, staying inside to prevent any darkening, and calling people incredibly derogatory names - these still happen in 2012!!!

Why are people so influenced by outside forces?  Why do I still have students who feel it is the ultimate dis to call some one "black as ______"?  Why do I have to really work to make girls believe that their darker skin is beautiful?  Why do I have to hear people say that "she's pretty, but she's too dark", or "she'd be cuter if she wasn't so dark", or "he's cute for a dark-skinned guy"?  Why is calling someone "nappy" such an insult?  Why do many brown people not realize that their hair would be a similar texture if they didn't put chemicals on it to permanently straighten it?

I is for India.  Not the country, the person.


She is an artist who speaks so much wisdom in her words, and gives an awesome live performance.

The song that stands out to me right now is "Brown Skin".  I'm not trying to push any black power on you or anything; beauty and seeing beauty where others don't is something that transcends all colors, genders, nationalities, etc.

From the Dark Girls website
There is a new documentary, "Dark Girls", out (if you are lucky enough to have it show in your town) that highlights the perpetuated biases that occur in homes of people of color.  I have only seen previews and snippets since it is not playing in my town, but, I believe this film focuses on African Americans.  This same belief that lighter is better can be seen in the Caribbean, in South America, in Africa, in Asia, in Latin America... it's a shame.

We really need to work on this.  It needs to come from all angles.

Brown people need to stop putting down people based only on their color.

White people (and brown people) need to not compliment people on their skin color or only identify the "lighter" brown people as being attractive.

The media needs to show people of various shades in all mediums.

And we all need to be able to boost our self-esteem so that we don't have to put down others for their genetics and so we don't think the photoshopped images we see are the norm.

We need to really embrace our beauty, just as India Arie does in this song, "I Am Not My Hair".

09 April 2012

H is for Homework

I am done with schooling and the typical, academic form of homework  (unless you ask my father, who says I need to go after a PhD).

However, I know that when I leave work, there is always home work to be done - work to get ready for the next school day, work to be done at the house, and work to be done to improve my life.  There are conversations to be had, food to be prepared, things to get rid of, packing to be done, a new abode to be found, and more.

I know I need to focus on the home work at hand so that my life will be better, relationships will be better, and the nutritional content of my meals will be better.  I can't put things off any more, lest I continue to make excuses as my students do for procrastinating on what needs to be finished.  I'm taking the blinders off and seeing what is clearly happening - me coming home after a 12+-hour day, only wanting to chill, watch old tv shows, and play an occasional game of WWF or Hanging With Friends.

Although this is often incredibly relaxing and mentally unchallenging, I need to find a way to balance that sense of relief that the outside day is over and the need to finish the home work that needs to be done.

08 April 2012

Anxiousness with life situations

Sunday Stream of Consciousness prompt from all.things.fadra today: What causes you anxiety?  Not just stress but true anxiety.  How does your body and mind generally deal with it?  How do YOU deal with it?

Trying to figure out what I want to do with my life causes me anxiety.  When I think of all the options and all the things that I don't have complete control of, I start to breathe harder.  When I think of how I am aging and need to get on many of the things I want to accomplish, my stomach churns.

When I argue with my boo, it causes me anxiety.  I don't want to upset anything in our relationship and when I feel like things aren't going well, I start to sweat and my stomach does more than just churn.  I often have one of those Pepto-moments and have to rush to the bathroom (which often causes more drama since he thinks I might be trying to avoid the conversation).

My mind races and I have to try and calm it.  Sometimes, my mind becomes completely blank and I can't think of anything except what I am seeing around me.

I try and deal with all of this by doing something.  This could be yoga, or more purposeful searching to figure out what I am good at, how my skills can transfer to another occupation, and finding jobs to apply to.  With the boo, I try and keep things cool by not talking about things that cause drama - though this avoidance sometimes leads to bigger arguments when the topic finally does come up again.

I am getting a bit unsettled now just thinking of past scenarios with these two anxiety-causing situations and about my impeding move that still needs to take place before the end of three weeks, so that is all for my five minutes today.

You can take part in Stream of Consciousness Sunday or just see other people's posts.  Rules are you write whatever comes to your head for five minutes, not worrying about punctuation or spelling mistakes.

Just write.


07 April 2012

G is for Golden

Jill Scott is one of my favorite artists.  I absolutely love her voice, her acting (if you didn't get to see The #1 Ladies' Detective Agency when it was on, you are really missing out), her look, everything.

There are so many songs of hers that touch me, but since today is about the letter G, it is going to be her song, "Living My Life Like It's Golden."

The song is all about how she is living her life like it is really valuable.

I need to take this to heart and really live my life like it is valuable and like it is the only one I have (which is what I believe).

I need to be taking advantage of things when they come and not procrastinating.  I need to make sure that I am loving those around me like they, too, are golden.

I'm taking part in the A to Z Challenge; each post during March (Mon-Sat) is dedicated to a letter of the alphabet.  Find links to the other 1850+ bloggers doing the challenge at the website blogroll.

06 April 2012

F is for Fastidious

I have a friend who is so fastidious that any conversation is held to severe scrutiny.

From How-to Geek
Not only are words and their use sacred to him, but they are always remembered exactly as they were said so I will be held accountable for statements I don't even fully remember.  Statements he can repeat back word-for-word and remember how they were said and what I was doing when I said them.

Wish I had that sort of memory.  I have been working on it, and can remember people's words much better now.  Just like I am becoming more fastidious with names when I meet people.

I am getting better at communicating more clearly what I am trying to say, but there are still times I don't articulate thoughts as clearly as I would like.  I am often better at putting my thoughts on paper than I am saying them out loud.  Perhaps the ease in writing is because I am able to see the words, practice sentence structure, and I can delete.  

If I was better at being fastidious with my words and articulating them, I would be better at seeing myself more critically as I blogged about for the letter E.

05 April 2012

E is for Eyes

Not they eyes that I literally see with... though, those are starting to fail me after my lasik surgery five years ago.  I can still see pretty well, but I know I am not at 20/25 anymore.

These eyes are the ones that I don't seem to be able to look at myself well with.
Image from a super-fly jeweler, PeaceImages

I have blinders that seem to prevent me from being overly critical of myself in various situations.

For example, I am critical of students who often ask for a fifth or sixth chance to turn in a missing assignment, or who wait until just before the end of the term to turn in work that was due weeks ago.  I often procrastinate, or want people close to me to trust me to do something that I have been putting off and am now trying to do.

Why am I critical of the kids for doing it, but not of myself taking similar action.

My eyes have blinders.

I don't always show that I care a lot about the people I love, but then am critical of people I see on television who clearly don't show their love for people.

There are so many examples.

I really need to work on my vision.

Carrots and lycopene are not going to help me.  I just need to take a step back and look at my actions with a more critical eye.

04 April 2012

D is for Delirium

Ok, so I'm not completely delirious by the dictionary definition of the term, but I have been going at work and coaching so hard that I don't feel mentally rested or stable.

Today, I am taking a personal day.

I need to take some time to catch up on sleep, to work on packing, to find a place to live, and to run basic errands.  It is hard to get all of the basic things done when I leave the house at 6:15am and don't return until 6:15pm.

We'll see how much I accomplish and if my mental state returns to a somewhat normal level.

03 April 2012

C is for Casual

Casual is the way I have begun to dress (again) at work.

When I first started teaching, there were days when I probably looked more like a student than a teacher.  I was young, and I didn't have a lot of clothes.  I did get a job at Anne Taylor, but their clothes were way too expensive for me to buy a complete wardrobe, at the time.  Instead, I bought a pair of pants (which I still rock to this day - quality in pants totally outranks the price of a cheap pair), and wore cardigans and button-ups that looked like they would come from AT.

Now, I have enough money to purchase higher-quality items, but I have significantly reduced my wardrobe.

The past four years, I have been dressing pretty professionally each day (not counting practice clothes when I am coaching).  Most of the other teachers are pretty casual (even less than business casual) in their dress.  There have been many days when I have been asked what was the special occasion or if I was going on an interview.

This week, I have converted back to the business casual clothes.  I still look decent, and, hopefully, 8 years into my career, I don't look like a student anymore (though one of the custodians tells me I do each time I see her and an athlete at practice mistook me for a new participant on the track team).

I just don't have the energy.  And the weather is so scattered.  Outside it is 90 degrees.  In my classroom, the temperature ranges anywhere between about 60-80 degrees depending on the hour.

Maybe, when I start wearing skirts again, I will go back to dressing up more, but for now, it is business casual.  Fridays, jeans and some sort of decent looking top.

For now, I'm rocking my super comfy un-Croc-like Crocs.  Never thought I would own Crocs, but one step in these was like heaven.  I will buy more at some point.

I am Blogging from A to Z Challenge where each day I write based on a letter of the alphabet.  You can find out more and see the list of all 1,899 participants in this month's A to Z Challenge by clicking this link.

02 April 2012

B is for Beauty

Even when I was real young, I started looking at people in a way that I don't think a lot of people look at others.

I realized that there were some people who were happily with others who I did not find attractive.  I realized that there were people that others found gorgeous that I found not attractive.  Almost everyone finds someone that they can call a friend and possibly even someone that will be their life/most of life partner.

As cheesy as it sounds, I began to find the beauty in all people.

I think this helps me in life in general as well as with educating the children.

Their beauty may be external - say the person that most people call ugly has really cool eyes, or flawless skin, or perfectly taken care of nails.  Or it may be internal - the person clearly has a great sense of humor since s/he laughs at my dry, sarcastic jokes.

As a teacher, it really irks me to hear students joking with other students by calling them "hella ugly" or saying comments about others when they think I'm not listening and calling their bodies or their faces disgusting.  I always get on them about this.  Let them know that not only is it genetics (most of the time) that determines how we each look, but their comments could be hurting the other person in ways we may not ever know.  Even though a kid might joke off being called super ugly, that student may be going home and really doubting their appearance.  The student making the comment may be saying it to someone else because another student said it to them first and they want to hurt someone else the same way they were hurt.

There are people who make fun of black girls who have hair that is natural (thankfully, I have heard several students and teachers say that my natural hair has motivated them to do the same).  "Nappy-head" should not be an insult.  Most black people's hair grows out of their head in coils, waves, or curls, not straight as their weaves/relaxed hair look.

Hopefully, the bullying stops and people see that there is something good in everyone (well, almost everyone) - either in their appearance or their mental abilities/skills.

And hopefully they realize that it is more than just the appearance that matters and will lead to life-long, meaningful friendships.

01 April 2012

A is for Annoyances

A is for Annoyances.

Today, I am starting a new challenge... writing from A to Z for the month of April.

Today, I join it with my usual Stream of Consciousness Sunday post, where fadra's prompt is "I don't wanna..."

I don't wanna pack up and move.  Even though I hate this place, I hate packing and moving and reorganizing even more.  But I know that any place will be less stressful and easier to manage than this place.
I don't wanna retwist my hair this morning.  But I know it is easier to deal with during the work week than my regular 'fro.
I don't wanna deal with allergies tonight.  For some reason, I am pretty much fine during the day, but, like clockwork, when I lay my head down on the pillow to sleep the itching and stuffiness begin.  I have tried new pillows, washing the sheets more often, and taking meds, but I always wake myself up in the night rubbing my nose for relief.
I don't wanna wait two more months to see my newborn nephew.  But, I can't easily get down to Texas for a weekend to see him since I have to coach track meets each weekend until the end of May.  Perhaps it is time to play a little hooky.
I don't wanna feel like blogging is a chore.  But, I also don't want to go through long spells (months) of not writing like I did the last few years.  Hopefully, this letter theme idea will give me some new juice to keep going in April.  I have already written each day this year, and want to see how long I can keep this up.

That is my five-minutes stream of consciousness post.  You can see others' writings or join in at all.things.fadra.  You can also see the directions for how to go about the writing.