Monday, June 30, 2008

I've been working on a personification of jealousy for my writing class. Here's my sencond (third?) draft:

Jealousy and I first met in high school. She sat in front of me in fourth period Chemistry, her long perfectly blonde ponytail snaking down her back. Jealousy borrowed a pencil from my boyfriend and returned it at the end of the period with a sweet smile accompanied by a whiff of perfume. It suddenly became impossible to avoid her. She has stayed with me ever since that day - sometimes leading, sometimes following, but always close at hand.

Jealousy is fickle; a best friend on Thursday and a mortal enemy by the weekend. Her mood swings are unpredictable and volatile. It takes little to provoke her and much to calm her down. In the early stages of our relationship we would not speak for months only to become inseparable shortly thereafter. While green is the color most often associated with Jealousy, I know her as red - rash and aggresive.

Jealousy works at the coffee shop on the corner. The lattes she make have a distinctly bitter aftertaste, but for inexplicable reasons she remains the most popular barista there. She has also been known to frequent the park a block from work, the gym, the post office. She moonlights as a waitress at my favorite restaurant and I swear I saw her just last Tuesday in the lobby of my apartment building. She was wearing the same dress I wore out last weekend, but looked better in it.

Jealousy collects my sharpest memories and reveals them like treasures at parties and family gatherings, reveling in my discomfort. Jealousy loves to be the center of attention. She tends to repeat anecdotes that have the greatest impact, sometimes even years after the original hurt has passed. Opening up old wounds is her favorite parlour trick.

I've known her for years but I still don't know how to deal with Jealousy. I dread confronting her because she loves to argue, but if I try to ignore her, to push her to the back of my mind... well that's where all her strength comes from in the first place.

Friday, June 27, 2008

i wanna be where you are

Here's a brief blogging update while I pass the time before picking Brian up from the airport.

This week has been lazy (not that I'm complaining). I've passed the time with my writing class, cleaning my apartment, and doing yoga. It's been nice. My writing class has ended up being a pretty great experience. I thought I would spend the two weeks working on a few pieces that have sat unfinished on my computer since before I started my MA, but instead I've been playing with some new work and it's just been really fun. I've also never had other writers read and critique my work before and so while I was a little unnerving at first, it has been really helpful. I'm looking forward to next week and will be sad when it's over!

In addition to reconnecting with my writing, I've decided to get back into my music and theatre interests as well. Yesterday I had an audition at UCC and it looks like I'm the newest member of their contemporary service worship team, which is pretty fun. I also have a few auditions for musicals lined up in July and I think I'm going to start giving voice lessons to a few junior high girls in Davis. Fun stuff!

As promised, some pictures from Saturday's festivities with sorority girls:

Me, Aubrey, and Rach at Crepeville.

Something was funny...

I love these girls!

And I miss my big sis, but am so excited that she finally gets to move to NYC!

Later, I headed out to Annie's bridal shower, only to meet up with more ADX girls.

This picture took several takes, and unfortunately one of us looks bad in each one!

Stephanie and I recreated tender moments from the past.

And I made a new, 7-week-old friend. Don't tell Brian's mom, but I fell in love with him the moment I saw him and had a hard time giving him back to his mommy!

If you're a Davis-ite, come to UCC this Sunday to hear me sing! (and learn about Jesus too, of course.)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Sunday, June 22, 2008

viva la vida

I have lots to do today, but I'm just so tired. So instead, I blog. It's about time, really. This is gonna be a long one, but complete with pictures!

We left Sacramento at 4pm on Saturday afternoon. Our flight was delayed because of mechanical issues (that didn't make me nervous or anything...) and we missed our connecting flight in Phoenix so... impromptu Phoenix vacation! Unfortunately, my camera was in my suitcase which was who knows where between Arizona and Colorado, so no pictures exist of our thrilling evening at the Clarion and the delicious dinner at On the Border that followed. We finally caught a flight out of Phoenix at 8:45 on Sunday morning and rented a car in Colorado, finally arriving at UCCS around noon. We had hoped to get Brian's computer checked in and then go to the zoo, but it turned out that he had to install Autodesk Inventor which takes like a billion hours, so I investigated Old Colorado City and Downtown Colorado Springs by myself until around 4. I then picked Brian up from the university and we went hiking in Garden of the Gods.
The next day it rained, so I lounged around and read a lot. We drove out to Seven Falls that evening and paid a lot of money to climb up a bunch of steps. It was too late to hike past the falls, which was a bummer, but the view from the falls was really pretty.

The view clearly inspired some romance...
Bridal Veil Falls was my favorite,
But leave it to Brian to be goofy:On Tuesday, I woke up early, slathered on the sunscreen, charged my digital camera, bought coffee, and headed out to the zoo!

I was excited, OK?

The giraffes were first (and really, my primary motivation for flying all the way to Colorado. I mean, besides Brian, of course):
I got to feed them - I was fascinated with their tongues:
There are about a million more pictures here. By the way, if you are as enamored with giraffes as I am, the zoo has a Live Giraffe Cam. Sweet! You can also adopt one! Awesome!

After I had my zoo fill, I drove to the top of Cheyenne Mountain to the Will Rogers Shrine of the Sun.

It was a GORGEOUS clear day, so the view of Colorado Springs from 8000 feet was pretty impressive. Little did I know that I would end up at a much higher elevation later in the week.

Brian and I did a longer hike in Garden of the Gods on another evening and maybe got a little lost... but I took the opportunity to take this sweet picture of my hot mountain man boyfriend:
Oh yeah, and the park is really pretty too:
As our week drew to a close, I decided to drive to the top of Pike's Peak (but not in a covered wagon).It took nearly an hour to drive the 19 miles to the top (14,110 feet!), but it was totally worth it. It was even snowing when I arrived at the summit! I stayed for a few minutes, took a few pictures, considered buying donuts (apparently they are world famous?), and then started the trek back down the mountain.

After I left the Pike National Forest, I stopped to take this picture of the Ute Pass:

It's now Highway 24, but historically the Ute Pass began as a bison trail that connected the prairie with the mountain meadows and then became a wagon road and in 1888 the Colorado Midland Railway put in tracks to service the mining operations in mountains to the west. And I drove on it!

For reasons completely unbeknownst to me, we flew home on a red eye on Friday night. No pictures exist of that glorious occasion, but I'll give you an idea of how I felt about it:
Yep. It was awesome. We found ourselves home in Sacramento at the delightful hour of 3am and then woke up at 7:45 for breakfast with Brian's parents and sister, just returning from their road trip through Oregon. A superbly long day followed, including sorority reunions, bridal showers, bathing suit shopping, gazpacho, and fighting with my apartment AC, but those are all stories that will wait for another day (hopefully when I have pictures).

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Harry Potter news!

An 800 word prequel to the Harry Potter series, handwritten and signed by JK Rowling, sold for £25,000 last night at a charity auction at Waterstone's Piccadilly to benefit English PEN and Dyslexia Action. The prequel is set 3 years before Harry's birth and you can read it online here!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

hold me down

While we would all like to earn more money, I think good teachers tend to be less motivated by financial incentives than people who go into most other professions. Someone who becomes an insurance agent, for example, probably has making a lot of money as an important goal. People who want to be good teachers don't think that way. They go into teaching because they want to work with kids and do something worthwhile. Quite frankly, the teachers I've known who have been most interested in higher salaries usually haven't been very good teachers. Some of them end up going into administration. -From the Trenches of Public Ed.

Monday, June 09, 2008

HA! I'm glad school is over for a while :)

Saturday, June 07, 2008

bottle it up

I just browsed through the last 6 months or so of this blog and I am sorely ashamed. I have been a very bad blogger. There were so many things I promised myself I would write about and... nothing! I neglected to talk about Brian, my awesome Odyssey unit, camping in Big Sur, getting rehired for next year and my incredible new teaching assignment, and many other fantastic things! Instead, I just talked about how tired I was and how I get strange emails at work and while theses are both very true facts there is far more to my life than just exhaustion and electronic correspondence! And where are all the pictures??

I would promise to be better but... you know me.

Friday, June 06, 2008

sweet and low

From reading teacher blogs from around the country, I know that American students everywhere are anxious and squirrelly as the school year draws to an end. My district might do several things wrong, but I will say that whoever decided to end school on June 3rd deserves a big fat bonus. May 29 was the last day of instruction and (the majority of) my students worked hard right up until that last day and they did (relatively) well on their finals. Sure, it means starting in the middle of August, but not having to deal with kids once the calendar hits June is definitely a blessing!

This is the first summer since I turned 13 that I am not working and it is amazing. I have so many fun trips and activities planned for the summer that I know it is going to just fly by, but I am looking forward to visiting some new places and spending time with good people. Here is my summer run-down:

  • June 7-14: House sitting in Woodland. I am anticipating lots of reading, running with the dogs, and working out. Woot! Also, I am offering Nick cooking lessons in exchange for guitar lessons. Sneaky, I know.
  • June 14-20: Colorado Springs with Brian. He will be attending an Engineering Conference while I hike, mountain bike, and feed the giraffes at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo!
  • June 23-July 3: Area 3 Writing Project Summer Writing Workshop for Teachers. My district is paying for me to take this awesome class where all I have to do is write and revise my own writing for two weeks. Hooray!
  • July 4-6: Lindy doesn't know it yet, but we are going to have a fabulous girls' weekend, hopefully complete with wine, pedicures, and sunbathing :)
  • July 7-11: AVID Summer Institute with Scott, Katie, and Riki. Fabulous! I am actually getting paid to hang out with my favorite colleagues and learn how to teacher better!
  • July 11-18: Maui with the parents. Gotta love a week of free pool-side lounging!
  • July 19: Annie and Colby's wedding in Clarksburg!
  • July 20-25: I haven't decided if I'm going yet, but the district is offering to pay for me to attend a 40-hour training for HOLT materials which will not only train me on how to make my teaching more accessible to all students, but might actually give me enough professional development hours to bump me up another step on the pay scale!
  • July 26: Jessica and Robbie's wedding in Newcastle!
  • August 7-9: Oregon Shakespeare Festival with Brian in Ashland! 3 plays in 3 days!

And then school starts on August 20! It looks busy, but it's probably better that way. Without any structure to my 2.5 months off, I am in danger of sleeping until noon every day, drinking nothing but coffee, getting sunburned on a daily basis, and shopping too much (not that any of those are horrible things)!