Sunday, December 30, 2007

make me sing

Tonight I broke down into ridiculous, snot-nosed, air-gulping sobs while driving on 237. The cause of my emotional meltdown? My cell phone, which has not had service since I landed in Texas last Wednesday...

Clearly, I've got some issues I need to work through that run a little deeper than hand held electronics. Sheesh.

face the truth

Back from Oklahoma, with lots of musings about the word unmoored and a general feeling of anxiety as 2007 draws to a rapid close and we zoom in on 2008. But none of that now. Just this:

All the future seems unclear
never moving never near
but You hold me as I scream
wake me from my wicked dream
something out there waits for me
hand in hand we wait for it
but I'm still nothing next to You
I'm still nothing without to You

And the wonder of it all is I'm still standing
And the wonder of it all is we're still standing
Never planned it
And I wonder where I'll be next year
-Monday Morning, Wonder of it All

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

not forgotten

These last few months have been, without a doubt, a very painful dry spell in terms of my faith. It has been difficult for me to focus on the Lord, to put my faith and trust in Him, when everything around me feels like it's spinning so madly out of control and when I feel so hurtfully neglected and left behind.

I know better, cognitively, than to plead "Where are you, God?" because God never deserts us or turns His back on us. I know that sometimes God chooses to fall silent for reasons that we do not understand. I also know that it is us, His children, that forget to acknowledge Him or become so wrapped up in our own lives that we cannot possibly fathom that we are not the authors of our own story, that this life is not our own, and that God has a plan for us. In my head, I know these things. These are the basics I grew up in, the anchors of my faith, the very truths in which I have found solace for many years.

In my heart though, the wounds of the last 12 months have created deep crevices that I have been woefully content to wallow in. I hate feeling lost and alone and without direction, but I hate feeling unable to turn to God, my Rock, even more. I fear becoming overwhelmed with a job I am dissatisfied with, a thesis that feels that it will drag on forever, a social life that has disappeared in the wake of said job and thesis, and so little vision of what my future holds that I wonder if I will just stay in Davis forever. In my heart I feel abandoned and lost and I wonder where God has gone, what any of this has to do with His plan, why He has allowed so much suffering lately.

My head, of course, knows differently. My head is overjoyed that today we celebrate the birth of Christ, our Savior and that the Word became flesh to save us, to save me, in all of my inadequacies and failings. My head knows everything will be OK. That God will pull through - He always has and He always will. That this silence has a purpose, that these wounds have merit, that I am being sanctified through these trials. I know that God does not cause our suffering, but He uses it. I know that He is using this period in my life to somehow grow me into the person He wants me to be.

It's just hard, right? Because I'm a teacher, an academic, an intellectual. I'm supposed to trust my head, the things I know. But I'm also human, and I tend to trust the things I feel just as much.
How long will my prayers seem unanswered?
Is there still faith in me to reach the end?
I'm feeling doubt I'm losing faith
But giving up would cost me everything
So I'll stand in the pain and silence
And I'll speak to the dark night

I believe in the sun even when it's not shining
I believe in love even when I don't feel it
And I believe in God even when He is silent
And I believe

Barlow Girl, "I Believe in Love"

Sunday, December 23, 2007

for what ive done

Home, home, home. I cruised in yesterday afternoon after taking an excrutiating 3+ hours to drive the moderate 110 miles from Davis. My car = unhappy and in duress. Hopefully my mechanic can figure out what's wrong with it (and not to the tune of $3,600 - thanks a lot SpeeDee in Woodland) while I'm in Oklahoma next week.

For the first time in many years I'm actually looking forward to my trip to the midwest. I love my grandparents, but there is little to do on the ranch now that we are all older and my grandma is not well. While I normally anticipate with dread 4 days of sitting on the couch, cross-stitching, knitting, reading, overeating, and napping, this year I'm eagerly looking forward to 4 days of writing my thesis (and overeating). Hopefully I can get the bulk of the data analysis finished and write up a lot of the observational data so I don't have to worry about it anymore.... I'm throwing myself a huge party in March when this is finished.

Christmas this year should be pretty low-key. We're doing brunch on Tuesday, which is new, but I'm looking forward to it because it means less awkward-time with the cousins and more quality-time with my immediate family. I'm also way looking forward to the present giving and receiving this year. I did an excellent job of gift selection this year (Burberry Brit for Mom, the fashionista and The Lost and Biggest Brother for Dad, my true literary soul mate) and, for the first time in many years, I have absolutely no clue what my parents got me. Of course, it's not the gifts that are important, it's the time spent with my fabulous fam, but we get more creative every year and it's fun to see what everyone comes up with. Except my brother, who never gets anyone anything.

I also bought some sweet books today to take with me to Oklahoma (you know, for plane rides and study breaks), including The Keep, Second Glance, and Everything After. It's all I can do to keep from digging into them right now. However, I promised myself I would finish my second go-round of Girl Meets God and give Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell a fighting chance (I've been letting it fight for over a year but... you know. I can never leave a book unfinished, no matter how impossible it is to get through), so I'll persevere.

Mmmmm, books.

Monday, December 17, 2007

stuck on you

Only a few more days. I submitted my Benchmark last week and have spent the time since writing finals, attending SST meetings for my at-risk students, and trying to get my apartment clean before I head home on Saturday. Then this morning, on my way to work, my "check engine" light started flashing and my car threatened to explode. My car is currently sitting in an auto-shop in Woodland and I am vehicle-less until some undetermined point in the (hopefully near) future. I want to go home.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

you tell the story

I've been rereading Lauren Winner's memoir, Girl Meets God, which I picked up summer '05 at a bookstore in Saratoga Springs, NY. It's so freaking good that every time I turn a page I want to open up this blog and post another quote. I love that Lauren is a scholar, first and foremost, and reads the Bible from a scholar's viewpoint - with cultural research and theology close at hand. I also love her memories of Orthodox Judaism, her descriptions of Jewish tradition, and her reflections on becoming a Christian and how God guided her to Christ. I don't really have anything else to say about it, but just felt that it was something that needed to be written down. Lame, I know.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

to see the wizard

I don't really talk about it much because it makes me feel unbelievably dorky, but I'm completely obsessed with all things Wizard of Oz.

No, seriously. Like, I love Oz more than one might think imaginable. I used to watch the 1939 Judy Garland musical version over and over again until I had nightmares about flying monkeys and could sing every word to every song by heart. I also watched Return to Oz several times but the Wheelers totally creeped me out, so my fascination with it was short-lived.

Then I got a little older and started reading all the books. I'm an avid reader now that I'm an adult, but I was the same way as a kid, for sure. I devoured stories about Oz, even though they didn't all make sense to me.

In high school, my drama department produced "The Wiz" as our spring musical when I was a junior (no one on cast was African-American, but we acted with soul). I student directed the show and played Glinda the Good, the movie-star good-witch sister who shows up in the end to send Dorothy home and sing the amazing reprise of "If You Believe".

When I got to college, I took a children's literature course and we read The Emerald City of Oz and I was amazed at the complicated politics of Oz that I obviously never picked up on when I was seven. Then I read Wicked. Oh, Wicked. I love Wicked because it takes the Oz story and turns it on it's head and gives crazy detailed background about Dorothy and the Wicked Witch and, holy crap, I love that book. (Son of a Witch is pretty good too, not nearly as good as Wicked in my opinion, but still a book about Oz, so I love it).

This long line of Oz-fascination leads me, of course, to the latest in Oz reimaginings - The SciFi channel's Tin Man starring Zooey Deschanel and Alan Cumming. Tin Man has received some pretty brutal reviews, but still achieved the title of most-watched telecast in network history when the first two-hour installment aired on Sunday night. And I love it.

It's brilliant, really, in a totally post-modern, deconstructed kind of way. It alludes to Baum's original story (Deschanel's character is named "DG" and her mother is the former Queen of the O.Z. - the Outer Zone, Glitch is a scarecrow-like character who has had his brain removed by the evil sorceress Azkadellia, Cain is a former police man - or "Tin Man" - who was encased in a tin suit of armor for years as punishment for joining the resistance against Azkadellia), but definitely isn't a retelling. There is plenty of new and reimagined information to keep me glued to the TV for an entire six hours (yeah, it's long) of Oz-induced euphoria. Exactly what I need as this long and painful semester draws to a close.

Monday, December 03, 2007

that this would all be fine

God I'm in this place again I'm trying so hard not to fall,
but everything keeps coming down with the rain.
And I try so hard I forget to call.
Everybody's looking around, and everybody wants to be found.
And I'm just hanging on; I give You all that I am.
I come to You with all that I am, I bring to You all that I have,
and all I have is nothing, and I keep on trying, and all I want is You.

-Everyday Sunday

(picture courtesy of

Sunday, December 02, 2007

that's what you get

About three years ago, I got an email from my uncle about some blog he wanted me to check out. At the end of the email, he wrote this:

"I want you to have all of the advantages of a free spirit early in your life.

I think you already do."

I need to remember things like those during times like these. I will finish my thesis. I will be a good teacher. I will continue to be a fascinating and dynamic person, even when I feel like my life is nothing but data and research...

Monday, November 26, 2007

everythings right

Today was long. School, staff meeting, then BTSA. I left my apartment at 7 this morning and just arrived back home. But today was also good. I wore a cashmere sweater, listened to great music, had flowers delivered to my classroom, got my seniors thinking about Freud, and actually felt like my ELs learned something. And when I got home, Annie had baked cookies. And Heroes is on tonight. And everything is going to be alright.

There's more but... it can wait.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Things I am Thankful For, 2007

my health, a steady paycheck, houndstooth coats, FreeRice, pumpkin pie, ballet flats, students who try, running shoes, candles, stuffed bell peppers, soccer, coffee, high school football, Pottery Barn desk accessories, fleece blankets, kiwi, Lush products, Jesus, Shakespearean endeavors, strawberries, cranberry margaritas, empty weekends for serious writing, fireplaces, family, puppies, books, my roommate, a new cell phone in January, minimum days, yogurt, laughter, etc etc

Friday, November 23, 2007

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

war on sound

I want to change the world... instead I sleep.

I want to believe in more than you and me.
But all that I know is I'm breathing.

All I can do is keep breathing.

All we can do is keep breathing now.

-Ingrid Michaelson

Sunday, November 18, 2007

i haven't spoken

Just have to laud the awesomeness of again this morning. While sipping my (extra foamy) latte and talking to my mom on the phone, I donated over 1000 grains of rice and reached level 41 (out of 50)! Amazing!

Now off to church and yogurt with my small group. Beautiful Sunday.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

a few small repairs

I have never liked showering. The undressing. The lathering, rinsing, repeating. The shaving. The exfoliating. The turning off the water and getting cold. The drying off. The redressing. Then the moisturizing and the make-uping, and the hair-drying and styling. It's just always such a hassle.

Yesterday morning though, I stood in the shower for almost a half hour. I wasn't evening doing anything. I just stood and let the hot water run over me and prayed that time would just stop and I could just stay there, warm and alone and relatively content, for a while.

Of course, that's not possible. So I turned off the water and got goosebumps on my just-shaved legs and looked at the clock and realized I was late for work, single again, and legitimately heartbroken (not the end-of-the-world high school kind of heartbroken, but the real I-was-going-to-spend-the-rest-of-my-life-with-you-until-you-changed-your-mind kind of heartbroken). But I put on a brave little face and got a caramel latte on the way to school and smiled when my students complimented my dress and gave the obligatory "Yay, it's Friday!" every time I ran into a colleague and told Nick, again and again over frozen yogurt, "No really, it's going to be OK. I'll be fine," even though I was glad it was dark so he couldn't see my eyes get wet.

But today... I shopped and spent too much money like I only do when I'm sad. And I ate jelly beans until my stomach hurt instead of going to the gym and doing crunches. And I tried to clean my room but just ended up just sitting in the middle of the mess, staring into my closet aimlessly. And I cried because my roommate is away for the weekend and my boyfriend is not my boyfriend anymore and this is the most unhappy I've been in a long time, not just because of the roommate and the boyfriend, but because of school and work and growing up too.

On Wednesday my small group talked about how the world looks at things and says "That is impossible!" but our faith says "With God, everything is possible" and I told them about how when I was in New York, Mike reminded me of Peter walking on the water to see Jesus, but getting scared because of the storm that raged around him. The minute he took his eyes of the Lord, he began to sink, but Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him.

I'm trying really hard not to take my eyes of Jesus and to trust him in this stormy season and to let him love me and take care of me and fill all of the empty places inside me. But I sure could use prayers as well. I'm not so good at letting go of my pride and reaching out for someone else's help.

Thursday, November 15, 2007


I'll praise You in this storm
and I will lift my hands
for You are who You are
no matter where I am.
And every tear I've cried
You hold in your hand
You never left my side.
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm.
-Casting Crowns

do it again

World hunger relief and vocabulary development? I'll give you one guess what my students will be doing on our minimum day next Wednesday.

Also, last night Bethany taught me how to make a ringtone out of any song in iTunes. I now rock out to "Mmmbop" whenever I receive a phone call. Glorious.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

its a perfect shame

Another crappy day at school (I have good ones, I promise). I don't have a problem with behavior management except for the students who have no understanding of "good behavior" in the first place. God, they just drag me down.

I got my hair cut today, and it looks pretty fantastic and sassy if I do say so myself.

I found an old letter from David on my computer today that he sent me the summer of 2003. It made me cry and wish that sometimes I wasn't such a bitch and that life wasn't as complicated as it is.

I've been unnecessarily emotional and unusually devoid of words lately. I need a holiday.

Monday, November 05, 2007

better than just getting by

Rough day at school, but now I'm home and (supposedly) grading piles upon piles of papers.

I'm far more stressed out than is really necessary, and about stupid things too. This weekend I became so fed up by a number of things, that I started researching schools for next fall. My old high school is already accepting 08-09 applications and I can't help but get a little excited about that, even though it's only week 12.

Well, it sounds bad that way, but week 12 means that in 6 weeks, I'll be halfway done. That is crazy.

I don't like thinking about leaving Davis, but at the same time sometimes it's all I can think about. I don't know what to make of it, but it can't be making this stress situation any better.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

oh crystal ball

I just remembered this gem from COTW 2005:

Josh Pell: Wanna know the most annoying sound in the world?
Mike: Teens?

(I haven't gotten much done today, and just remembered I have to call 10 parents sometime this weekend to let them know their kid is failing my class. Worst. Job. Ever.)

im sick of waiting

Saw a great bumper sticker on the way home from class today:

Today's agenda:
-clean my room
-empty dishwasher
-finish Benchmark edits
-work out
-lesson plans

Next weekend is the NICE Festival in San Francisco and a 3-day weekend. Rejoice!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

the most wonderful time of the year

This year's pirate pumpkin. Sweet!

me and the twins

School went into Code Red lockdown today during the majority of 3rd period. Apparently someone robbed a convenience store and decided to hide out on campus, although, nearly 2 hours later, I have yet to recieve official word from the administration as to the actual cause of said lockdown which is, in a word, annoying.

I spent part of yesterday at a truly worthless conference about filing the FAFSA. I tried to get out of it on the basis of being a graduate student and having filed my own FAFSA for several years now, but still had to go. Upon arrival, I realized that all other "reqiured" teachers from my school had gotten out of it, which was irritating. Doubly irritating? Our head counselor, who signed me up for the thing, sleeping through the majority of the 6 hour presentation. It was a monumental waste of time (as I'm finding most conferences and workshops to be) and now I have to make up for the fact that none of my classes got anything accomplished while I was gone! Hooray!

I'm reading a really great book right now called The Thirteenth Tale by Dianne Setterfield. All I really want to do right now is go home and curl up on my couch and read. Oh man, is it good.

And no, I did not dress up for Halloween, which is truly disappointing, I know, but my kids said they would laugh at me and I didn't have anything anyway and I surely wasn't going to go spend a fortune just to be laughed at.

The end.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

days of the week

I took the day off on Friday to work on my Benchmark, knowing that I would probably get very little done this weekend. This was a good choice, as I finished the monster at about 6pm and then had the rest of the weekend to play...

...with my new computer!

Oh my gosh, I am in heaven. Now, I am not a techno-geek in any sense of the word. I mean, I like computers and I know how to use computers really well, but I'm definitely not the person who goes out and buys something the minute it comes out just to have it. I'm also not the person who replaces their digital stuff the minute it starts to get a little old, which is how I found myself with a six-year-old computer, running two operating systems behind, that could barely start up without crashing (and a two-year-old cell phone that only rings half of the time, and a digital camera with a corrupted internal memory, but whatever).

I didn't realize how old the old computer was, however, until I plugged this one in. Well first, it's just beautiful. And huge. I bought the smallest screen, and 20" is still a big freaking screen for word processing and playing online sudoku. And second, it's fast. I'm sure it's not really any faster than any normal computer, but compared to what I've been using, it's like moving at the speed of sound after riding a tricycle. I can't believe how much time I've wasted waiting for programs to open or waiting for charts to import from Excel or waiting for the Trash to empty.

In short, I am in computer heaven. More later.

Monday, October 22, 2007

what have you done today

Another super EOG:

I did not get much done this weekend, MA-wise. This means I'm in serious thesis lock-down from here until Sunday night (although I'm hoping it doesn't take me that long). What I did do this weekend was spend Sunday morning in Chico with my brother. He invited me and my parents up to see his new house and have lunch, and then after lunch he offered to give me a tour of the campus, since I've never been to Chico before.

It was a really great time to spend with him and see how much he has grown and matured in these last few years since his accident. He really is a great kid and I was just so proud of him this weekend - not only is he being kind and affectionate with my parents (and with me!), but he's working really hard at school and refuses to give up, even though his major is really tough. I've always looked forward to the day that we could really start to be friends, and hopefully that is coming up soon.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

starts to take shape

I got a pretty great Encourage-o-Gram this week:

In other news, I just got back from class and am pretty stoked to get to work on my First Benchmark (only worth 50% of my grade!) which is due next week. Time to sit down with some tea and get busy with vocabulary worksheets and research timelines. Yay!

But in all honesty, for as much as I complain, I really love real graduate school. I like to research and the writing comes pretty easy to me and I'm learning how to be a better teacher in the process, so its a winning situation no matter how you slice it.

I'm also working to make this my "general stuff" blog and move all of my teacher-y research-y things a more formal "teacher stuff" blog over at since I can use any journaling I do about my classes as actual data for my thesis. Check in soon if you're interested in all the exciting goings-on of room 205.

I'm also looking forward to a new computer in the next week or so. Having a real job with a real paycheck certainly has its benefits...

It's so beautiful!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

i want your love

"Well, sometimes love seems easy. Like... it's easy to love rain... and hawks. And it's easy to love wild plums... and the moon. But with people, seems like love's a hard thing to know. It gets mixed up. I mean, you can love one person in one way and another person in another way. But how do you know you love the right one in every way?"

"I'm not sure, but I think you'll know. I think if it's the right person, it'll be better than rain and hawks and wild plums. Even better than the moon. I think it'll be better than all that put together."

Where the Heart Is -Billie Letts

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

get it right

I made it through my entire credential year without doing it, but today I crouched down under my desk after the lunch bell and just cried.

Monday, October 08, 2007

wake up with the rain

Regardless of the last post, I'm still freaking out about my MA. I have another WARP due tomorrow and my first benchmark (worth 50-freaking-percent of my fist quarter grade) due in about three weeks.

Today I have a staff meeting (in about 5 minutes) where the English department will try to tell the ELD department how we should run our programs (I am part of both, of course). There will be no chocolate, because our department chair is male, which is highly unfortunate (the chocolate part, not the male part) because this has been a seriously bummer Monday and I'm not looking forward to sitting through a meeting one single bit.

Ah, life.

Friday, October 05, 2007

rock n roll fantasy

It would appear that all the freaking out I have been doing over my MA has been well worth it. Success!!

Could I use your achievement data set as a model for good data representation to share with others in your cohort? Let me know if
doing so is all right with you.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

this will be the last night

I'm growing my own miniature Christmas tree.

You laugh, but come December I'll be stringing miniature popcorn garlands, just you watch.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

i can only say your name

Last night marked DMB concert number 5 (6? 7? I've lost track) and it was awesome as always. The set list was one of the best I've heard - super mellow with some rare stuff mixed in with classic Dave and some of my favorites:

Sugar Will (tease)
A Dream So Real
Two Step
Eh Hee
You Might Die Trying
The Dreaming Tree
Grace is Gone
Louisianna Bayou
Corn Bread
The Idea of You
Jimi Thing
Grey Street

So Damn Lucky
American Baby Intro
Ants Marching

Like I said: awesome. I love concerts at Shoreline, but for Dave shows I'm starting to wonder why I pay so much money to just come home dizzy and smelling like pot. Maybe I'm just getting old, but it didn't used to bother me as much as it did last night.

Anyway, before driving down yesterday afternoon, I took a class with the Area Three Writing Project up in Davis about reading comprehension at the secondary level and I'm excited to use some of the strategies they taught us. I just wish my students were as excited to use the strategies I teach them as I am to use the strategies I learn in my classes... Is that what we mean when we talk about "lifelong learners"?

In completely unrelated and non-academic news, I got on the scale this morning (I don't own a scale in Davis), and I have lost almost 10 pounds since school started! I now officially weigh less than the weight I lied about on my driver's license. If that's not cause for victory, I don't know what is.

Friday, September 28, 2007

march into the sea

I nailed a couple of kids for cheating on their homework today. They were shocked. Not that I had caught them, but that I told them it was totally not OK and that they would be getting a "zero" on the assignment as a result.

I'm just sort of amazed at a lot of my students' attitudes about school. Mainly, that their education is not a priority and that I'm being unreasonable by expecting them to learn something. When complaining about the homework assignment the other day (oh, the complaining. The constant complaining), one girl actually said, "We have lives you know, Miss Garcia. Do you expect us not to have a life?"

Well, you can probably imagine that I lost it at that and gave a lengthly discourse on how their lives are wholly dependent on their education and how their job is school right now and if they don't take this job seriously, they won't ever have a job to take seriously again.

They looked at me like I was speaking Greek.

They probably don't even know where Greek is spoken.

I couldn't import the charts I made (yes, I made them), but the breakdown, percentage-wise, of grades in my two 9th grade classes looks a little bit like this:

Period 1
A - 5%
B - 33%
C - 43%
D - 5%
F - 14%

Period 6
A - 5%
B - 19%
C - 24%
D - 14%
F - 38%

At least Period 1 has a slightly modified bell curve, but Period 6 has a serious "group think" problem. Once one fails, all the rest follow. Lemmings, the whole lot of them...

Thursday, September 27, 2007

starting at zero

Tons, tons TONS to write about, but let me just say that The Reflective Teacher's "Scream" compare/contrast exercise paired with the stuff I learned at my Write Institute training yesterday have me SUPER excited to really dive into process writing with my 9th graders and my ELs.

Also, 6-week progress reports are due this week. Maybe it's the MA talking, but I really want to make some graphs showing the trends in my classes, especially my two 9th grade periods. I have a feeling some kids are going to get grounded next week...

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

im a twentysomething

"All college towns are essentially the same. There is something strange about the roots of people settled in a place where everyone else passes through."
-Anna Quindlen, "One True Thing"

Sunday, September 23, 2007

hopes and expectations

I'm at home again (are we noticing a trend? More on that later), supposedly sitting down to do serious data analysis, but I just can't seem to get down to work. My coffee is too cold and we have no muffins for breakfast and it's freezing and I'm distracted by the fact that I was a dummy and left a whole class-set of essays that needed to be graded on my desk at school.

I attended Max and Monica's wedding yesterday at Mission San Jose's Palmdale Estates and it was beautiful and tons of fun. I have been especially enjoying events lately where I get to see old friends and catch up and talk about life (as opposed to talking about sorority drama and the ilk). We sat at a seriously all-star table with the likes of Dan Neiman, Steve Doo, Joel & Emma, and Alex, ate fantastic food, and whiled away a rainy afternoon with awesome conversation and good times. I did not take a single picture because I was having such a phenomenal time eating and laughing and celebrating a wedding that I was genuinely excited to see happen. Congratulations, Max.

So yes, I'm home again. I was thinking the other day about how I still refer to the Bay as home, no matter how long I have been away and how often I try to call Davis "home" and the Bay "my parents' home". I have, actually, lived in Davis longer than my parents have lived in their house here in Los Altos, so for all intents and purposes, Davis is more home than Los Altos will ever be. Then I started thinking about how often I come home and realized, for a 23 year old, I sure come home an awful lot. What's up with that? I finally told my parents last night, "I just would prefer to do nothing on the weekend here than to do nothing on the weekend in Davis. I never intended to stay in Davis for this long in the first place."

Now, this is not to say that I am in any hurry to move back in with my parents. I'm pretty adament about that. It does mean, however, that I'm in no hurry to stay in Davis once this degree is over (if it's ever over, seeing how long it's taking me to get any work done...).

This brings up lots of issues, of course, that I'm not really willing to think about right now, but I guess I sort of always knew this was coming. No one expected me to go to Davis in the first place, let alone stay there for all of my undergrad, then do my graduate work there, and then live and work there once I was done. As for my high school? Well, it's serving a purpose right now and I'm enjoying myself and my students for the most part (4th and 5th period aside, of course), but there isn't anything concrete holding me there. BTSA will follow me (joy) and then I can start building tenure in a district I intend to stay with for some time.


I've been listening to a lot of Muse lately. Why haven't I listened to them before? Rock on.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

this ship is taking me far away

(*names changed to protect the innocent)

Today my ninth graders took their nouns test. What I thought would be a straightforward and simple assessment (since we drilled proper, common, abstract, concrete, compound, and collective nouns daily for the past three weeks) turned into a nightmare.

When I review common and proper nouns in class, I typically name a common noun (like "dog") and have students list as many corresponding proper nouns as they can think of ("Schnauzer", "German Shepherd", "Golden Retriever", "Chihuahua", etc). I do this because, honestly, how hard are common and proper nouns? Proper nouns begin with a capital letter. They name a specific noun. End of story.

So, on the test, I listed five common nouns and asked the students to list three corresponding proper nouns for each. The nouns were "man", "actress", "president", "country", and "national landmark". I didn't think this would be difficult, but apparently.... well... the following dialogue took place in first period (during the test, mind you):

Lisa: "Miss Garcia, what's a country?
Miss Garcia: "Um. Well a country is... you know... a country." (well honestly, what did she expect me to say?)
Lisa: So, like, Woodland, right?
Miss Garcia: No.... Woodland is a city.
Lisa: Sooo.... California?
(remember, the class is taking a test)
Miss Garcia: No. California is a state.
Chris: Mexico, right?
Alice: No, dummy! Mexico isn't a country!
Miss Garcia: Actually, yes. Mexico is a country.
Brynn: Miss Garcia, this is hard! I don't know any countries!

It went on like this for some time, with my students insisting that they didn't know the names of any countries (including the one we live in? Seriously?) and me refusing to give them the answers. Finally, I lost it.

Miss Garcia: "OK folks. Countries. You know, Canada, Mexico, China, England, The United States-"
Students: "Thank you!" (they begin scribbling furiously)
Miss Garcia: "Oh no. You don't get to use the ones I just told you. There are hundreds more. Come up with your own."

...I still received several blank exams.

I just want to know how, on the long road to high school, these kids somehow missed the whole concept of geography. Like, basic geography.

No kids, Woodland is not a country, no matter how much you love it.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

coming to an end

Last week was really long. Meetings meetings, and more meetings. And then on Thursday, I thought I didn't have a meeting, but then I did! I decided at the last minute to drive home last night and enjoy some time with my family and grade papers at my Mom's giant breakfast table with a never-ending cup of coffee on Sunday morning, which I'm hugely looking forward to.

Despite the exhaustion, last week was also really good. It's such a nice feeling to not be student teaching anymore, to have my own classroom with my own rules and my own procedures. It's nice to get to know kids from the beginning and it's really nice to feel my lessons start to flow effortlessly and to not feel so much pressure and anxiety every morning before a class starts. It hit me this week, "Hey, I'm actually kind of good at this."

I also finally got kids in my ELD class, which is both good and bad, I guess. I was hoping they would close the class if there were no Level 2s and give me some of the 9th grade overflow, but no dice. I have 10 kids in 4th/5th now and they're mostly really great. ELD is just a big committment though, and not one I was particularly excited or willing to make and now, of course, I have the Learning Center breathing down my neck about peer tutors and supplemental materials and it's just a lot more pressure than teaching mainstream classes. Fortunately, we're piloting a really awesome new curriculum that actually does a lot of the work for me, so lesson planning isn't as difficult as it was last year. It's just a long two hours in the middle of my day...

I'm reading Steven King's Cell and it's not nearly as good as I had hoped (nor nearly as good as Twilight, but I'm just going to have to shut up about that until spring at least). I also really need to get to work on my MA stuff, but after turning in WARP 1, I'm kind of burned out (not good) and I need to get back to research and data collection.

And now, I have to take the dog for a walk. It's nice to be home.

Friday, September 07, 2007

impossible to ignore you

I've been so blog- quiet lately that you're probably going to hate me for this entry but... it's just been on my mind.

I'm feeling depressed today. A deep sense of sadness and loss really because... I finished the third book in a series that I've really been enjoying and the fourth book won't be out until May of 2008. And really, all I want to do right now is sit down and read about Edward and Bella and Jacob and I can't because I read three 600 page books in one week and ruined it for myself until May.


I'll back up.

All the way back to when Katie send me that 50-pound box of books. There were a few that I wasn't familiar with, so I took them home to read so that I would know what they were about if a student asked. One of those books was Twilight. I'm almost ashamed to admit that I began reading it on Friday afternoon and finished it around 2 that morning. It was just that good. (And, it's YA fiction, so even at 600 pages, it was a quick read. Well, for me at least.) And yes, it's about vampires but that's not why I loved it. The characters were just so... real. And, as is often the case after I read a really great character-driven book, I had two enormous desires:

1. start writing a really great character-driven story
2. read more about these amazing characters

Twilight was Stephenie Meyer's first novel, so I doubted that there was a sequel yet or anything, but I Amazoned it anyway and found not one, but two sequels (New Moon and Eclipse)! I was thrilled. I ordered them right away (in hardback, no less, which is a huge deal for me because I hate reading books in hardback) and devoured them. And now they are done. And I am sad.

Because I'm tired and just totally worn out physically and emotionally and mentally from a tough week of teaching (and it was only four days) and I don't have any books to read.

Man am I a nerd.

Friday, August 31, 2007

kennings and more

Today I discussed riddles and kennings with my seniors as we zip through Holt's abridged Beowulf. I asked them to solve the following riddle:

“I am a wonderful help to women
The hope of something good to come
I harm only my slayer
I grow very tall, erect in a bed
I am shaggy down below
The lovely girl grabs my body, rubs my red skin
Holds me hard, claims my head.
That girl will feel our meeting!
I bring tears to her eyes!
What am I?”

(answer at the footof this post)

Anyway, it's Friday and I'm thrilled. I've been administering the CELDT for the last couple of days and have to continue with it next week, but hopefully when it's done I'll have some students during 4th/5th (that's the plan at least). Also, my ELD books finally came in, so when I do get students, I'll have something to teach them. Things are working out nicely indeed.

Annie and I will be moving into our new place on Monday morning and I'm totally stoked. Our apartment is just so cute and new and clean and, maybe this is weird, but I'm excited about paying my own rent. Ask me if I feel the same way in a year, I guess.

Tonight marks the official beginning of junior high small groups as all the eighth grade girls gather with their fantastic leaders, Bethany and Megan, for a fun-filled and sleepless sleep-over! Probably not the best idea since I have my first MA meeting tomorrow morning and haven't finished my research, but you know. I'm trying to keep my schedule as open as possible, but with MA stuff, and BTSA, and jr high, and TEACHING it's not been easy. I've turned down not one, not two, but three requests to coach soccer again this fall and even though it makes me feel crummy, there's just no way I'd have any time for it.

And, because several people have asked, if you have books you would like to donate to my classroom and don't live in the Davis/Woodland area where I can just swing by and pick them up from you, feel free to send them to:

Megan Garcia
c/o Woodland High School
21 N. West Street
Woodland, CA 95695

I've been so incredibly blessed by everyone's generosity and desire to help and my library looks amazing. Thank you so much!!

Answer: An onion. Get your mind out of the gutter!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

just a little too late

This is a little late, but here's an update on teaching as of last Friday. Life is certifiably crazy right now as I'm officially homeless until Monday and have a ton of work to do for BTSA and my MA, plus my classes have changed some, etc etc, but this should give you a taste of what I'm up against this year :)

First Period
English 9

I have about 24 (now 18)kids in this class but it feels like 5, since that's about how many speak during the course of the hour. I know from my other classes that it's not because of me, but just because it's 8 in the morning and kids don't guzzle coffee like I do. (They're much better now) I song and dance my way through the hour regardless and get a few laughs. For the most part they are really sweet kids, I only have one student who may pose an actual problem, and it's more an issue of insolence than misbehavior. It's a nice slow start to my day, but it makes me really look forward to second period.

Second Period
Senior Lit & Comp.

I have 30 (now 32)exuberant seniors in this class (3 are varsity football players so we talk a lot of trash about Davis High), and I love each and every one of them more than the next. These kids are awesome; funny, thoughtful, mellow, respectful, and appropriately curious about my personal life (see period 6 for inappropriate curiosity about my personal life!). Today we wrote "I am From" poems in all of my classes. I told the seniors that they could sit with their friends and turn on the radio as long as they kept working. And they did! It was incredible! I've never seen anything like it! Teaching outside of the city is amazing!

Third Period
Another teacher uses my room during my prep, which stinks, but it's amazing how much photocopying and lesson planning you get done without a computer sitting on your desk to distract you!

Fourth & Fifth Period
English 2

Well, this is an interesting story. I have 7 kids enrolled in this class. Yesterday, after a disastrous 2 hours, I called my Bilingual Ed supervisor and asked if she could review the curriculum with me. I was concerned that either the text we are adopting will be too advanced for the students, or that the students had been placed in my class erroneously. And I was right. All of them were designated CELDT Level 1s so all but one of them have been moved to the English 1 class. Which, of course, leaves me with only one student for two whole hours. I'm not sure what's going to happen with her, or what will happen if they close my class because then I'll be short two classes, but we'll have to wait until next week when all the CELDT testing is finished. Whew!

Period 6
English 9

I originally had 27 (!) kids in this class, but it's down to about 22 now (and now 16!), so that's more manageable (especially since there aren't supposed to be more than 20 kids in any English 9 class this year). These kids are my stars. They are hilarious, bouncing off the walls after 6 hours of class, and almost inappropriately interested in my personal life (this is the class that has no qualms or embarrassments about telling me how pretty I am and asking if I need their home phone numbers for something OTHER than calling their parents, winkwink, nudgenudge). But they are also well-behaved and, again, just all around great kids. (although they're getting a little too squirrely and "not doing their homework-y" for my tastes these days)

I know I should not be amazed that the kids are nice. I also know I should not be fooled into thinking that they are perfect. One look at my 12th graders discipline records will tell you that. However, it's still such a huge difference from teaching in "the city" and I'm so thrilled I decided to take this job.

Two absolutely amazing things happened to me today. During my prep, I went down to the office because I was told that there was a box for me and Katie had sent me a 50 pound box of books! As I struggled to carry this enormous and unwieldy box back to my office, a student coming out of the counselors' office asked if I needed help, and then took the box from me and carried it to my office, all the while making polite conversation and telling me about all of his teachers. Unbelievable! At my old school, I think my students would have watched me be crushed under the weight of the box, and then they would have laughed at me. Truth be told, these kids are probably pretty normal, but to me they are just angels compared to what I dealt with last year.

More later - I'm a real teacher now with real papers to grade and really not enough time to blog!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

history of rock

Meant to post this some time ago, but it must have gotten lost in the blog draft archives...

"I appreciate that I'm not in teaching credential courses, which always require active participation and frequently feature Type-A people who are way too enthusiastic about lesson plans." -SuperGirl Katie

you are the one

I've been busy setting up my classroom, sitting in long meetings, and (of course) drinking a lot of coffee as I get anxious about the new school year. I just can't believe classes start on Wednesday, it feels like I have so much left to do.

Here are some pictures of my classroom as of Friday afternoon. I have a few more things to finish up, but this is my little (tiny) space on campus (except during my prep period, where the Speech teacher uses my room for speech class and I have to move to a cubicle but... you know):

You can also see our pictures from Disneyland here. We had so much fun!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Thursday Thirteen

Here's a Thursday Thirteen from Jennie, since I'm freaking out about school starting:

Thirteen Things I Plan to Do on the First Day of School:
1. arrive ridiculously early
2. drink far too much coffee
3. find Christina and freak out together
4. greet my ELD students in Spanish (I've been practicing!)
5. probably screw up our online attendence program
6. forget to bring my lunch and starve for half the day
7. be amazed at how old my 12th graders look
8. be amazed at how young my 9th graders look
9. learn the names of at least 3/4 of my students (I'm pretty good at that)
10. tell no one that it's my first year of teaching, only that it's my first year at this school
11. pray for each class before they walk in
12. get literally nothing done because I've never taught 50 minute periods before
13. take a nap when I get home

I tag:

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

expert on shakespeare

I got my credential today! (Yeah, I was a little late with the paperwork...) I'm official! I'm a real teacher! I'm officially freaking out as a real teacher because school starts in 21 flipping days and I haven't done anything! Yikes!

Monday, July 30, 2007

who are you

It's possible I've been working at the grocery store for FAR too long, but lately I've been more irritated than usual. In particular, there are three "customer profiles" who have really been on my last nerve lately:

1. The 8:00am Sandwich
I will never understand the customers who come in just moments after we open and ask for a sandwich. What is the thought process behind these orders? Does one wake up in the morning and think, "Hmmm, I think a pepper turkey sandwich with honey mustard and avocado would be the perfect companion to my cappucinno to really start this day off right"? Why in God's name do you need a hot pastrami sandwich on a sourdough roll in order to read the New York Times? What's wrong with just a croissant? We sell those too, you know.

2. The Food Critic
Things I hear almost every day:
"Your tuna salad is too sweet."
"Your oven roasted turkey is too dry."
"Your curry chicken salad needs more curry."
"Your curry chicken salad has too much curry."
"Your roast beef is too rare."
"Your ham is too fatty." etc, etc ad naseum.

Listen up, folks. If you don't like our food, don't buy our food. Get your potato salad at Andronico's where they don't put celery in it. I'm not going to stop putting bacon in our pesto chicken pasta just because you don't eat pork. If you're going to be so damn picky, brown bag your lunch and leave me alone.

3. Homo Impatientus
OK, this one really gets me. Imagine me making a sandwich for a customer who is standing right there. I'm wearing gloves, slathering mayo, slicing corned beef. And then I hear, "Excuse me? I need a BBQ brisket sandwich". I turn around. Surely, the brisket customer is not talking to me as I am obviously helping someone else. No, no they are definitely talking to me. What is it about the sandwich half-made in front of me that makes this customer think I am free to help them right this very minute? Do they think I am bored and therefore just making sandwiches to pass the time? Do they really anticipate me abandoning the customer I am helping at the moment to tend to their beck and call? Yes, as a matter of fact, they do.

Ah, Palo Alto....

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

wind in your hair

I just found out I'm being given zero dollars to set up my classroom this year. This is a serious bummer because I need books for my students in a major way. I can't very well teach an English class with no freaking books in my room, can I? Gosh, money sucks.

If you have any young adult novels you can donate to my cause, I would seriously appreciate it and would probably bake you cookies. No books but you have some extra cash? Consider adopting my classroom so I can buy some much needed supplies.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

dream me a dream

A literary update, if you will.

Vacation Readings So Far:

Up Next:

I've mostly done a lot of beach lounging and jewelry stall perusing and have been thinking in broad, vague terms about my classes this year and things I need to include on my syllabi and so, really, this vacation has been just splendid. I managed to convince my parents to leave the sanctuary of the pool and venture into the Iao Valley yesterday and we took some incredible pictures of the Iao Needle and wandered through the Heritage Gardens.

I'll try to get all of the pictures up on Picasa this afternoon.

Back to reality tomorrow night and then back to Davis before I know it. Crazy summer, indeed.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

ready to be

Vacation is going well. Back on Saturday!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


I've had a few things I want to write about lately, including bad fashion at the gym, all things Harry Potter, my new boss at UCC (!!!) and word association games at work, but I'm just so tired. And I'm sort of sick of blogging. I don't know. Maybe later?

Sunday, July 08, 2007

driving the darkness away

I love teaching with all of my heart, but it's really hard sometimes. Maybe that's why I picked it?

I titled my blog The Daily Grind because I felt it represented the mundane aspects of what we do. The movies love to show teachers winning the battle against poverty, low expectations, and hopelessness. I knew going in that teaching is far less about cinematic presentations than about the daily grinding towards a goal. The Apostle Paul encouraged us to press on towards that goal, and by press on, I suppose he meant take it one moment at a time... -Mr. McNamar @ The Daily Grind

Monday, July 02, 2007

i aint got the time

By popular demand, here is a brief list of some good books I can recommend just off the top of my head. Most of my library is actually packed up in Davis, so this is, of course, not extensive. But if you're looking for some good poolside reading this summer, it's not a bad place to start.

I, of course, have an enormous stack of books to read in Hawaii, which I'll report on when I get back home.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

the roof is on fire

As though the recent fires in Tahoe and Palo Alto and the terrorist attacks in London aren't bad enough, The Simple Way Community Center in Philadephia (home of Shane Claiborne's ministry) was destroyed in a major fire earlier last week as well. They're slowly rebuilding with the help of the communtiy as well as the eight families whose homes were also destroyed in the fire, but a lot of damage was done and a lot of loss occured.

You can donate to the Rebuilding Fund and the Kensington Families Fun here, but your prayers will do just as much good. The Simple Way is an incredible ministry doing unbelievable work in downtown Philadephia with the mission "To love God. To love people. To follow Jesus". Already, in the midst of rebuilding their homes, they have convinced the city to transform part of the H Street Lot (where the fire originated in an abandoned warehouse) into open space for a much needed park and recreation space.

If you're unfamiliar with Shane and his work at The Simple Way, check out his book The Irresistable Revolution. It will probably change your life.

on my list

A summer reading list is forthcoming (before Hawaii, I promise), but for now, here are some blogs that I especially enjoy:

Saturday, June 23, 2007

somehow here again

Daniel leaves for Japan tomorrow.

I'm experiencing some serious déjà vu here. I swear, hasn't this happened before? Hopefully this one will come back...

Friday, June 22, 2007

nothing but a summer jam

Well, it's officially summertime. I know this because my dad has been doing a lot of grilling and I've been doing a lot of... nothing! Finally!

My little summer school class is just awesome. I have about 12 kids and we have been reading books and doing art projects and telling riddles and just having a super time every morning. I've been working a few 4-hour shifts for my dad as well (our business has boomed ever since we recieved the Tall Tree award for Outstanding Business not too long ago), but overall it's just nice to relax, lay out by the pool, read some good books, and not worry about much of anything aside from packing for Hawaii in three weeks (I'm already dreaming of Mai Tais and fresh pineapple, believe me).

I cruised up to Davis yesterday for a meeting with WJUSD to finish up some paperwork and get all of my health insurance stuff figured out. I also swung by WHS to pick up my books for next year. I'm teaching 2 periods of English 9, 1 period of Senior Literature & Composition, and a 2 hour ELD block. I'm super excited about Senior English, which focuses on British and World Lit. The anthology is awesome and includes excerpts from Beowulf, The Canterbury Tales, the Decameron, tons of great poetry, and a lot of really great Holocaust material too. I can't wait to start planning!

But right now, it's dinnertime. I've missed my mom's cooking.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

to take me away

I walked out the front doors of Hiram Johnson High School for the very last time today. I might not be exaggerating when I say I did a little dance as I got into my car.

Because I won't be in class on Thursday to give students their final grades, I emailed the student from the previous post to let him know about his final grade and tell him how proud I was of him. Today, I got this in response:
You just made my day. I'm glad i was able to have the chance to be your student for the second semester and I have not problem at all keeping in touch i think that is a wonderful idea. Maybe i'll send you some of my 10th grade english work i complete next year and you can let me know wat you think. Well Ms. Garcia its been a honor.

I graduate tomorrow and will probably take a little blogging break as I move back home and start my new teaching gig. Here's to summer (finally)!!

Monday, June 11, 2007

impossible things are happening everyday

Things are really winding down now! Tonight we had an English cohort party at Val's place and I'm giving my last final tomorrow morning. Then... graduation! I can't believe I'm actually done.

I have such incredible news I just can't contain myself. I have one student in my English 9 class who I have just totally fallen in love with. If you remember, he is the one who did very poorly last semester, but got really into Romeo & Juliet back in February. He's been hovering just below a D- all semester and I've really been encouraging him to get his work done and study hard for the final. Well, he completed an incredible project when we finished reading the Odyssey and got a 90% on his final today, bringing his grade in my class up to a C-. I'm so proud of him and just feel so... fulfilled, I guess is the best word to describe it. Like, I made a difference. A real difference. That's awesome.

Friday, June 08, 2007

what i got

I'm stoked to see that my boy Kelley Jimenez is doing well, coming out with a new album, and generally making awesome music all over Southern Cali.

I'm even more stoked to see that he's still playing "Save Tonight" at almost every single show, the very first song we ever performed together way back in the day during our junior year at St. Francis in the Little Theater, of all places. It served us well then and I'm pleased to see it's still doing it's job.

Man, that's such a good song.

Edit: And what do you know, I actually still have the original recording here (with the incomparable Greg VanBuskirk on drums, of course). Whoah.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

you move along

I presented my research today! It's over! I can breathe again!

You can check out my presentation here. It's actually pretty interesting and my research held up, which was super exciting. Overall, I'm glad I did it, but it sure was a pain and a whole lot of work and a bunch of stress over presenting, which ended up being no big deal at all. But still. It's done.

I give finals next week and then head home for a glorious 8 weeks of Mom's cooking and lots of napping. This is the first summer that I'm not actually "working". I mean, I'm teaching summer school, but I've got 9 sixth and seventh graders for an hour and 20 minutes every morning. That's not teaching. That's... playing.

I just can't wait to really, truly, legitimately relax for the first time since August 15.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

a million miles away

They are webcasting my graduation! You can watch me graduate at 4pm next Wednesday June 13th right here. Mark your calendars!

Yes, I'm actually walking this time. Amazing, I know.

Aaaaaand, I finished my research slides! And my credential-year portfolio! And my finals! I am amazing! And done!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

apologetically dressed

I have a feeling this will be useful next year, as I write my master's thesis of doom. Ugh. It makes me sick just thinking about it.

I have a ton to complete today, so I'm looking forward to a lot of coffee and random email/RSS feed checking (you know, when I take "breaks" and whatnot). I just want all of this crap to be done. I took my US Constitution exam (long story) on Friday and think I did well enough to pass, have my CPR certification this Thursday after I present my research slides (I'll put a link up when they're done, I'm actually really proud of them), and have yet to write a final for my ELD class.

Last night the ADX actives had a sort of BBQ thing for all the alumni. Daniel and I went and it was... interesting. I had a really nice chat with Bo and it was great to see Katie and Lindy and some other girls. In general though it all felt kind of... forced and I was glad to get home and (amazingly) continue working on all my stuff. I don't know, I guess I just don't know how I feel about the group these days and definitely don't know how to put those feelings into words.

Aaand, back to work. 10 days!

Thursday, May 31, 2007

sail you home

For anyone who is unaware, I love Harry Potter. Love, love love. Recently, I've been rereading Books 4, 5, & 6 and discussing my views on Snape with anyone who will listen.

(I've been waffling between good and evil, but after chatting with Alex last night and rereading the end of Book 4, I'm sticking good. Snape is good! Mark my words!)

But this... this is going too far. Even for me.

we move along

I got some long-overdue validation this morning from the most unlikely of sources: an ex-boyfriends now-ex-girlfriend.

It's just good to know - even now, over 3 years later - that someone knows how I felt and recognizes that I wasn't completely irrational or unreasonable and that even though we will probably never be friends because, although we share the same experience it is a painful one, at least we have that shared experience.

I've missed you, but I haven't miss you all the same. The thing that drew me to you in the first place was what pulled us apart and while I can't say I regret that it happened at all, if I could go back I would change a few things.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

leave my wings behind me

When I log into my personalized iGoogle homepage every morning, these little guys greet me:

At other times in the day they are playing badminton, practicing karate, having a picnic, or roasting marshmallows, but the morning scene is my favorite, because I'm usually drinking coffee too. It's weird, but it makes me feel like everything is going to be great that day.

I'm late leaving for school, but there are only 14 days left!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

red, gold, and green

Well the school year is dwindling, and with it, my store of fabulous lesson plans. Let's face it - I'm tired. And can't be bothered to sing and dance my way into my 9th graders' hearts any longer.

I did, however, get their attention today when I put the following picture up on the projector:

That's right, Monster Pig, weighing in at an astounding 1,051 pounds and bagged several weeks ago by 11-year old Jamison Stone in Alabama. Jamison says he "probably won’t ever kill anything else that big.” Smart kid. Jamison's dad says they'll probably make sausage out of the beast. 700-800 pounds of sausage. Holy crap.

It's literally the only thing I can think of to blog about as I'm just flabbergasted at the size of this thing. I mean, really. It's like something out of a horror movie.

Incidentally, if giant pigs are your thing, there have been plenty more:

Shot June 17, 2004 - 800 lbs

Coursey Hog
Shot January 5, 2007 - lbs

Hog Kong
Shot August 2004 - 1,140 lbs

Big Bill
Put down in 1933 after breaking a leg - current world record holder at 2,552 lbs

Ton Pig
Died February 4, 2004 (from lack of mobility due to obesity) - 1,980 lbs

Mmmm, bacon.

Monday, May 21, 2007

a little too late

Well, this is my life. The life I have chosen. The life for which I get paid nary more than peanuts. (Thanks to RedKudu for the awesome post)

In other news, I'm still counting down the days and (slowly) checking things off my enormous list of "Things You MUST Do Before Graduation!". Our trip to Lake Tahoe this weekend was incredible, relaxing, and full of good times and it's sort of hard coming back to reality and dealing with students cheating on make-up work and my crazy, totally off her rocker master teacher. However, I will prevail and make it to the (three-day!) weekend and go home and eat my mom's food and continue to count down the days until this horrible, painful, never-ending year from hell is actually over.

I feel like I'm a perpetual need of a good long nap. Sheesh.

Friday, May 18, 2007

soon we'll be back on the road again

This weekend, Daniel and I are going to Lake Tahoe with his parents (without the snow, obviously). I'm so excited to get out of Davis and not think about school or teaching or anything for a few days. Hooray!

Friday, May 11, 2007

let your clarity define you

Today is the first day of Whole Earth, hands-down my absolute favorite weekend in all of Davis!

After grabbing lunch with Liz and Tina at Cafe Bernardo (they have a new menu and it's pretty good), I strolled onto campus (almost running into Neal, of all people) and picked up a new Peace on Earth Bead while I perused the rest of the goods. I'm looking forward to going back tomorrow when the crunchy granola-ness is in full force.

ready for anything

That last post was not complete and therefore I did not intend to post it at the time. So it goes. Anyway... here it is in it's final glory:

I haven't had a celebrity crush in, well.... ever. But Chris Lowell (from my beloved Veronica Mars) is just so adorable.

I mean, seriously people. Adorable.

Aaaaaaaand, 1 month and 2 days until graduation!! Eeek!