Sunday, February 15, 2009

Mosaic Meme

Something fun from Kassey while I should be cleaning my room.

Answer the questions below in Flickr search, and then pick a picture from the FIRST page of photo results. Use Mosaic Maker to plug in the pictures and make your own journal mosaic.

1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What high school did you go to?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. Favorite drink?
7. Dream vacation?
8. Favorite dessert?
9. What do you want to be when you grow up?
10.What do you love most in life?
11. One word to describe you

Friday, February 13, 2009

where were you

The week has gotten marginally better as we wrapped up Part 1 of the Odyssey in Advanded 9 today and began Romeo & Juliet in Benchmark. Things that pleased me immensely in both classes:

Advanced 9 - As we read the section in which Scylla eats six of Odysseus' men and Homer then compares the way she plucks them from the ship to fly fishing, Cody (a favorite from last year) walked into my room to give me roses for Valentine's Day. Without missing a beat or even waiting for me to ask about it, as I am hugging Cody, another student says, "Wait, that's an epic simile!" This is exciting because even though these kids are smart, they are kind of lazy and have been expecting me to spoon-feed all the literary elements to them so far. I am glad to see they are starting to take some initiative and get involved in the story.

Benchmark - We read the prologue together and then I asked them to determine the ryhyme scheme. After they figured it out (ABAB CDCD EFEF GG), I asked them if that particular rhyme scheme looked familiar. And in every single class? "A sonnet! Oh! Does that mean it's written in iabic... imbanic.... iambic pentameter, too?!"

Good times. I'm still glad it's the weekend, though.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

rise up

I have been trying really hard to practice gratitide this month. Every day I do my best to think of one thing I am thankful for and post it as my Facebook status (silly maybe, but it reminds me to do it). Today though, I am not feeling grateful. Instead, today I am tired of overweight, apathetic students listening to crappy music on thier iPods as they saunter through the hallways, too cool to make it to class on time. I am tired of skinny jeans and weird-printed hoodies and black lace-up Vans. I am tired of "But I don't like reading," and "At least a 60% is passing," and "I lost my textbook because I put it in Bianca's locker and now it's gone" I am tired of sending kids to the nurse because "they don't feel good," when really they didn't study for the test and I'm tired of tracking them down during lunch and study hall to make up the test when I know they are just going to get a 17/50 anyway. I am tired of giving up my prep period to grade essays in the Learning Center and I am especially tired of "friendly reminders" from the tutors during 5th period that I have 15 essays to finish grading. I know how many essays I have to finish. Why do you think I haven't come in to grade them? It's because I'm not interested. It's because I'm tired. It's because I don't get paid enough to deal with obnoxious, ignorant, rude, and uninterested students every day. I am tired of having a class that is 95% weirdos and only 5% normal kids. Where are the regular kids? Where are the students with parents who make them sit down at the kitchen table when they get home from school and do their homework? Where are the parents who give out consequences for bad behavior and poor grades and reward their kids for doing well and raise their kids to be productive, positive members of society?!

I feel better now.

Monday, February 09, 2009

touch the sky

Thank you President Lincoln, for giving me the day off!

Yesterday Brian and I went to The Melting Pot for dinner to celebrate our one year anniversary! Crazy. We cannot believe that a year ago we were awkwardly sitting in the Tower Cafe and now we are getting married!

Today I slept in and then went for a painful run, reminding myself that when it comes time to do the alterations for my dress in June, we can either let it out or take it in, and I want it to be taken in. I have lost some weight already, so I need to start lifting weights again so I can tone back up.

The rest of today has been... strange. I read on a blog this morning that a girl I went to college with has moved down to LA with her husband of two years and while he works as an engineer, she started a wedding planning business and is selling jewelry on the internet. I found myself both disgusted and jealous at the same time. On one hand, I would never want to stay home all day while my hubby made the big bucks. I would get bored and would wear sweatpants all the time and would probably gain weight from all the lattes I would drink. However, I would also love the opportunity to sleep in and drink coffee and go to the gym when it is not overrun with people and pursue fun things that I enjoy like cooking and decorating and the like. Why do I have to be so driven? Why do Brian and I have to have jobs that require us both to work? Why can't I just be a lazy, crafting bum? Gah!

Consequently, I spent the day puttering around the kitchen and not getting my grading done. Now I feel overwhelmed with the amount of real work I have to get done before I go into my classroom tomorrow. And I never changed out of my sweats after my run (see?).

However, I did perfect my granola bar recipe (I can't remember where I found the original one, but I think mine is better - and better for you). They are awesome! Here's the recipe:
Grab and Go Breakfast Bars
1 cup Quaker Oats
1 cup Shredded Wheat 'n Bran
1/2 cup almond slivers
1 1/2 cups dried fruit (I used a combo of apples, apricots, prunes)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1/3 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly oil or coat an 8 x 8-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Place the oats, shredded wheat, almonds, dried fruit, cinnamon, and salt in a food processor and pulse until the mixture is finely chopped
  3. In a large bow, whisk together the eggs, honey, and vanilla. Add the oatmeal mixture and chocolate chips and stir to combine.
  4. Transfer to the baking pan and flatten down gently with the back of a spoon or spatula to spread evenly.
  5. Bake about 18 minutes until the edges turn golden brown and the bars are done. Let bars cool completely in pan before slicing and serving.
It is supposed to yield 16, but mine only yielded (yielt?) 12. I can't imagine cutting them much smaller than I did, or they wouldn't really be very satisfying in the morning. I should have taken pictures, but didn't. Oops.

They are about a million times better than the Fiber-1 bars I have been buying at the grocery store, and way cheaper, in the long run. I think next time I will use dried pineapple, guava, and mango and omit the chocolate for a tropical treat to psyche me up for Hawaii this summer (and motivate myself to work out some more so I look irresistible in my bikini).

Then I tried to figure out my espresso machine, which has been sitting abandoned since I opened the box at Christmas. I succeeded at steaming milk and making a super weak pot of espresso. I decided to try again for a stronger brew, but must have screwed the filter on incorrectly, because the pressure from the water caused the whole basket to explode and I got gross coffee grounds everywhere. It was disgusting. I added my steamed milk to a cup of Earl Grey tea and gave up for the day. Maybe barista is not the non-teaching job for me after all...

Now I'm considering doing some laundry and making dinner (Butternut Squash and Cumin Couscous - our favorite vegetarian meal) before our soccer game tonight. And maybe doing some lesson planning. Why am I so unmotivated today?

EDIT: I can't believe I forgot to mention that I wrote the entire wedding ceremony script on Saturday! It is so multi-cultural and hippie-ish and beautiful, I just want to read it all the time. I can't wait for July!