Tuesday, August 29, 2006

100 years to live

Are you tired of hearing that I'm overwhelmed? Yeah, well I'm tired of feeling overwhelmed.

Today, Jess and I met with Amy at HJHS to talk about some of the classes we'll be teaching and to get our bearings on campus. It's just.... so much. There is just so much to think about.

I had a minor breakdown yesterday (I've been feeling unnaturally emotionally fragile for the last 2 weeks, and I'm guessing grad school has something to do with it), when Amy called to tell me about her classes, all of which are super low-level ELD classes. I understand the value and necessity of ELD, especially in California, and I truly respect ELD teachers because, damn, that's hard work. But, but, but.... I'm not getting my EDL certification. I don't want to get my ELD certification. I'm getting my teaching credential so I can teach all of the things I've spent the last four years busting my ass to learn. Please don't put me in a classroom with kids who can't even count to 10 in Engish. That's not what I've been working towards.

And it just seems so unfair sometimes that Jessica and I are at HJHS and that Caitlin and Brittany are at Grant, while other people are at Cordova and Pioneer and West freaking Campus (a college prep public school!), for heaven's sake. Why do we have to worry about gangs and riots and pregnant girls in our classes, while they have to worry about.... whatever it is you worry about at schools that don't have gang or violence problems because they, literally, are on the "right side of the tracks"?

But I digress. I'm tired of talking about high schools. And I have to draw up lessons plans.

For ELD students.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

the kitchens on fire

I met about a million new people last night, and had the most fun night out in Davis pretty much ever. I went out with Hosay (from my English cohort) and approximately 1,259 of her friends at Froggy's, where we met up with Erin (also from our cohort) and ran into some people from our other classes. I didn't really want to go at first, but I sucked it up because it's important to me to get to know these people and make some friends who aren't undergrads anymore, and to move on from the stupidness of spring quarter. So we drank and danced and goofed around until like 2, then Jeff walked me home and we talked about religion and teaching and other fun things, and then I slept soundly until this morning when, on my walk back downtown to get my car, Hosay drove by and picked me up and wanted to make sure that I had a good time, because all of her friends loved me and want me around more.

Not bad.

I have homework to finish, but I don't want to do it, and my apartment is stuffy and messy and I have so many things to get done in so little time, so I think I'm going to watch some Sex in the City and just forget about it all for a little while.

Real life, what?

Friday, August 25, 2006

i believe

I have a love-hate relationship with MySpace.

On one hand, I love MySpace because it appeals to everything snoopish and voyeuristic within me. I love that I can see Steph and JP's wedding pictures on JP's MySpace, I love that I can discover which girls from my junior high are, in fact, lesbians without actually having to speak to anyone from junior high. I love that I can discover new music and practice my coding skills and keep up with ADX girls all across the country.

On the other hand, I hate that MySpace allows me to see what my junior high students are up to when they aren't at youth group. I hate that it is a billboard in flashing neon of my brother's (occasionally illegal) escapades in Chico. I hate that I can feel defined by music choices and color combinations and that people actually get offended if they aren't in your "Top 8".

I've been advised to get rid of my MySpace when I start student teaching, and I'm tempted to take that advice. Although I don't fear getting in trouble because of what's on my own MySpace, ignorance is bliss and I would just rather not know a lot of things that I discover, completely unexpectedly, via a MySpace bulletin (a note to pot-smokers in the building: please do not tell me that you are using Bible paper to roll your joints. Especially if you used to be in my small group. Thanks.)

David and I have been MySpace messaging back and forth these last several days about Cain and Abel (I have always been his go-to Bible expert) after a three year "break" in which we refused to acknowledge the others' presence. It's weird, how they all start to come back at the same time, in one way or another. Ro messaged me on Facebook (another love-hate relationship here) today and, although the Neal dreams have subsided, he'll be back in town soon and Lord knows I always run into him in the worst situations. It's only a matter of time before I hear from Heath again, and at least James is, literally, half a world away.

Incidentally, Daniel is also out of town and all I really want is a big hug from my favorite boyfriend of all time.

And doesn't that sound familiar
Doesn't that hit too close to home
Doesn't that make you shiver
The way things could have gone?
Doesn't that feel peculiar
When everyone wants a little more?
So that I do remember
To never go that far
Cause you leave me with a scar

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


If Daniel's going to Asia next summer with the Roma Crew, I'm going back to New York.

That's all.

through sick lullaby

Yesterday was not nearly as crazy as Monday, but things are still pretty intense. My room is a mess, I have a ton of reading to do, I need to start designing lesson plans, and I'm supposed to fit an AYSO coaching seminar in there somewhere. I want August/September to be done.

As if life weren't crazy enough on its own, I keep having dreams about Neal, which isn't as upsetting as it is just annoying. It occurs to me that, perhaps subconsciously, I'm still waiting for an apology or an explanation or anything that would make the last year feel less... something. I don't know if it's that my feelings are still hurt or if I just feel some sort of righteous indignation over the whole thing. Like, what did I do to deserve to be humiliated like that? Why did I feel like I had done something wrong when I came home, for trying to pick up the pieces and move on, and then I apologized? I apologized! Over and over again. For nothing. Nothing I did warranted an apology and I took it all on myself, like if I took enough blame for a decision that had nothing to do with me, I could make it better again. Like if I apologized for accepting an incredible job that took me across the country and exposed me to a faith I had never experienced before, I could make him change his mind.

Ridiculous. I took the blame for his mistake. I felt guilty for leaving, when it was his own weakness that couldn't handle my being gone. So why am I still upset about this?

I just want to hear, "I'm sorry".

It started out with a kiss
How did it end up like this?
It was only a kiss

Monday, August 21, 2006

when i see it for myself

Today was my first "official" day of grad school. I was in the Academic Surge from 10am-5pm, then I ran a couple of miles at the ARC, then came home, showered, and watched 7th Heaven (no kidding). Then Dave came over and we talked about soccer and now I'm (hopefully) going to put away all this clean laundry.

I'm overwhelmed. Hosay said that Valerie told her that everyone in the program has a nervous breakdown during this first week. I think I'm having mine. There's something very cruel about scheduling 7 hours of class and then giving us every single assignment that will be due in the next two months at one time. Tomorrow I have to drive out to HJHS with Jessica to work on our photo assignment and I have about a million chapters to read in a textbook that hasn't come in the mail yet.

See kids, grad school is fun!

I need to read my Bible.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

this desert life

I'm heading back to the Bay this weekend to celebrate Nana's birthday and do some laundry, because I refuse to pay $1 to wash and $1 to dry at my apartment complex. I've never had to pay for laundry before, and I'm not starting now.

Plus, I have no change.

I'm way glad this week is over. Orientation classes are boring and have too much group busy-work. I'm trying very hard not to see the majority of my credential classes as a colossal waste of time while anxiously waiting to finally get inside a classroom. HJHS doesn't start until after Labor Day, so while Jenny and Lisa have already taught their first lesson, I haven't even been on campus yet. Ugh.

I need a new computer. My baby is getting old and sluggish.

And my guitar gently weeps

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

say goodbye without ever leaving

Being moved in is nice. I have a few things left to do before my first class tomorrow like finish my homework, order my textbooks, and call my vice-principle to finalize my schedule.

That's right, I finally know where I'm teaching this year. Hiram Johnson High School takes up a whole city block on 14th Ave in Sac, has a pretty intense athletic program, and has completely integrated the e21 program, the most dramatic urban high school reform plan in the nation (I learned about it while I was working for Sarah). e21 is reforming Sac high schools in order to increase the number of students who are prepared for college and the world of work by placing all of its students and teachers in small learning communities (HJHS has nine, ranging from an arts and multimedia community to a health and medical services community to an international cultural community). The goal is to increase student motivation at higher academic levels away from the traditional environment of large, impersonal, comprehensive high schools. In smaller communities of only several hundred students (rather than several thousand) teachers and students are able to form more personal relationships and, as teachers, we are able to offer more personalized instruction. It's very exciting.

HJHS also has four counselors on site, as well as a clinical psychiatrist, a gang suppression supervisor, an on-site social worker, and an assistant principle specifically for at-risk students. You know, just your typical, everyday Sac-City high school.

Monday, August 14, 2006

love has come

Something I should have noticed earlier: My apartment backs up to the train tracks. Train #1 rumbled past at 9:45 this morning. Train #2 at 11:15.


Sunday, August 13, 2006

adding to the noise

I'm sitting amidst boxes of books, shoes, and dishes in my new apartment, alone for the time being. Amy doesn't move back in until the quarter starts late September, so I have a month or so to myself. I'm exhausted from hauling furniture around, but can't bring myself to go to bed yet because brushing my teeth will involve unpacking another crate, and I just can't handle that right now.

It's weird being back in Davis, when I thought I would be in Pasadena by now. It's weird being in a relationship this pristine, when I thought I would be single for a bit longer. It's weird being a graduate student, and living by myself (even for a little while), and feeling so damn adult and tied-down... in a liberating way.

Travis and I met for ice cream on the SJSU campus yesterday and talked about all our friends and their contagious travel-bugs. We talked about moving to New York and being poor and single and fabulous. We talked about joining the Peace Corps and living in Africa and making a real difference. We talked about teaching English in Japan and practicing anonymity. We talked about working our way up the continent to Ireland, applying for Irish citizenship, and just trying something new for a while.

I realize I'm stuck in California for another five-or-so years, going through my "induction period" for my credential ("will there be hazing?" Trav wonders), but I can't help but be just as excited at my prospects as I am about everyone else's. Because I have this opportunity to do something really incredible... 'Cause see, you can be a teacher, or you can be a teacher. And I intend to be the latter.

Cause I'm a fire
I'm a flood
I'm a revolution
I'm a war
Already won
I'm a revolution

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

goodness knows i saw it coming

I've updated my MySpace. I've been way productive lately.

Moving back to Davis this weekend. Yikes!