Tuesday, April 24, 2007

shoebox of photographs

I'm just feeling a lot of anxiety. And writer's block. Blah.

follow the bright lights
they might change you.
if you get lost along the way,
it's alright.
we'll find another way to dance
-young love

Sunday, April 22, 2007

here i stand

So here's the deal. I'd like to pretend that I'm ready and willing to do anything and go anywhere like I was a year or two ago, but in all honesty I'm scared and nervous and anxiety-ridden and I don't know what I want to do or what I should do or even what I'm being called to do. I just know what everyone is telling me and I feel like most of them are speaking for personal selfish gain and not for what is going to be best for me next year.

All I want is to finish my MA and to make enough money to survive and to not feel like my head is going to explode at any moment.

I'm not ready to teach my classes tomorrow because I've spent all evening stressing out about this interview tomorrow that I don't even want to go to because I just have no idea what I'm going to tell them or if they'll even give me a choice. I thought this time in my life was about options. So why do I feel like I'm screwed either way?

Thanks to everyone who celebrated today with me and Nick and our families. We had a blast and I'll put some pictures up soon.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

to mourn and to grieve

I have been glued to the television since yesterday, keeping up with all the progress since yesterday's tragedy at Virginia Tech.

Today, I asked my students to journal in response to the shooting. Do they feel personally affected when they read about school violence? What causes people to act violently against their communities? Do they feel safe at Johnson? How can we (as students, faculty, and administrators) make Johnson a safer place to be?

The responses were heartbreaking. None of my students feel safe at our school. They feel threatened by the gangs on campus, the sheer size of the school, and how "ghetto" it is (their words, not mine). How can I expect my students to focus on learning when they feel unsafe every time they set foot on campus?

Sunday, April 15, 2007

i believe

I haven't talked about God much lately. To be honest, I haven't cognitively thought about God much lately. I just feel so... overwhelmed. I remember this time last year, I was so aware of the direction of my life and God's hand in it and now... I feel like I'm just counting down the days until June and I hate that feeling because I've always been to committed to the now and I'm definitely not these days.

I'm dreading going back to school tomorrow, even though we've finally started to hit a stride and things are going pretty smoothly. It's just really depressing - the school, the students, the quality of the work that gets done (when it gets done at all). I started teaching because I wanted to make a difference, I wanted to have an impact. But honestly, I'm nothing more than a blip on these kids' radar. I'm not going to be the teacher who gets them to write a 5-paragraph essay. They aren't interested in impressing me, or pleasing me, or even placating me. I'm lucky if they come to class at all.

And the school, oh the school. That place is like a prison. I get depressed just driving into the parking lot. Why can't we put more money into our schools? Why is everything always broken? I teach in a 50 degree classroom in the winter and a 90 degree classroom in the fall and spring. Why don't I have any supplies? How hard is it to get some construction paper so we can make posters?

Almost exactly a year ago, I blogged about discontent. I was frustrated about different things, but my outlook then was so much better than my outlook today. Lord, give me insight and peace.

[Sometimes] I completely forget about God’s undeniable goodness and start grumbling and complaining, walking through my rainy Davis days thinking, “Why am I here? What is the point? Why am I working so hard at all this? God, when will you bless me?”

And I need to be disciplining myself to recognize God's blessings in the ordinary everyday, not just the extraordinary adventures that He sends me on... Because I think the boring everyday requires us to move forward on faith alone as well, it just doesn't seem as exciting.

...I desire to find the joy of the Lord in every single thing I do, and while I have been blessed to go on exciting adventures and work with spirit-filled people and experience God in powerful ways in beautiful places, life isn't always like that. Sometimes I'm stuck in Davis or the Bay on a dreary day and I wish I was at Lake Berryessa or in Maui or skiiing in Tahoe or even working the carnival at COTW but instead I'm reading about the philisophical foundations of education or folding laundry or looking for a new apartment. But God is good and present in all of these things - the breathtaking and the mundane, the exciting and the routine, the life-changing and the sometimes lifeless.

How blessed am I, Lord, to have breath in my lungs and a song on my lips? How awesome is this place that I am surrounded by Your blessings, even when I don't always recognize it? Life is beautiful, even when I'm not in New York, and especially when I'm right here.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

the one who is brave

I'm so sick of grad school it makes me want to vomit.

No, I haven't finished my proposal. Yes, it was due on Thursday.

Shut up.

Friday, April 13, 2007

singing words of wisdom

Lest ye forget, my birthday is in 6 days (6! Crazy!) and I like books. Lots and lots of books...

My Amazon.com Wish List

where we might end up

"A purpose of human life, no matter who is controlling it, is to love whoever is around to be loved."

Kurt Vonnegut

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

would you cry for the weak

I'm at the North Davis Starbucks. I came here with two objectives:

1) finish (OK, start) grading the collaborative "Romeo & Juliet" essays from my 9th grade class,
2) finish (OK, start) my research proposal for my seminar tomorrow.

2 1/2 hours later, my head is throbbing from grading 20 or so of the worst essays I have ever had the misfortune of reading. Seriously, have they not been listening to a single thing I have said for the past six weeks? Holy crap. Grades are due this Friday and over half the class completely tanked. Great.

I also haven't made much progress on my proposal, which is due tomorrow. To be honest, I don't really know what I'm doing. I started the year thinking I wanted to focus on Reader's Theatre, but even though it improved overall class reading engagement and comprehension, most of the students totally hate it because it means they actually have to do something in class other than sit around taking up space. So all of my preliminary data and research is worthless and I have to start over and, sheesh, I graduate in like 6 weeks and I just want to be done with it and it's not even started. I don't really know how much of this 4-page proposal I can BS...

I also have to write another cover letter. I hate writing cover letters. Why do you need a cover letter when I'm sitting right here in front of you? Gah, would someone just hire me already? I'm sick of interviewing and interviewing and interviewing...

My 23rd birthday is in 8 days. Am I really almost 23? Is that even possible? I still feel like such an aimless, ridiculous college student sometimes. I don't want to grow up. I kind of foolishly feel like turning 23 is some sort of mandatory, "You must become a serious adult" death sentence. I don't really want to be a serious adult. I don't really want to be serious period, adult or no. I just kind of want to lay out in the sun and read good books and laugh a lot.

Can I get paid to do that? Cause I'm really good at it. Let me write you a cover letter about that (0r about how I just spent 20 minutes blogging instead of doing my work. Adult I am not...)

EDIT: WJUSD just called and wants to set up another (is this number 3?) meeting to start my paperwork. Hallelujah.

Friday, April 06, 2007

have the time

Picnic Day is next weekend. I had completely forgotten.

I have a feeling I'll be grading all day...

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

who will fight the giant?

The cat's out of the bag, folks. Jamie just called and offered me a job at UCC for next year.

Whoah dang.

Updated Countdowns:
Days until my birthday: 15
Days until me and Nick's joint birthday party of awesomeness: 18
Days until I graduate (!!): 71
Days until I start teaching summer school: 75
Days until I leave for HAWAII!: 101
Days until Daniel and I (hopefully) go to Disneyland: 107

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

the air that i breathe

Home for spring break - picture update!

First, Lindy's wedding was phenomenal:

Lindy was beautiful,

we hit the dance floor like nobody's business,

Bethany and I caused a ruckus,

and the sorority was out in full force.

Daniel was there too, of course. :)

And let's not forget last weekend's epic celebration of Bethany's 21st at Froggy's:

All the pictures from that adventure can be found here.

And now I have a week off. For real. Job updates after the break, I promise. There's a lot going on.