Get your head out of the clouds, girl!

Okay, so it’s been a while.  I feel like I’ve given myself some time to get my “act together” so to speak and I’ve gotten over the shock of the news.  I’m actually doing quite well, considering my circumstances.  I haven’t had any anxiety, which I was expecting, and I’m truly grateful for that. I only cried for two days, also good, I guess. And I stopped saying nasty things about my employers within a matter of days.  I have yet to quit talking about how bad things will be there next year, mostly because they will be bad, not because I still have hard feelings.  Besides my principal has asked me a few times to reapply, and has complemented me on my “positive attitude” at school these past couple of weeks. This did make me feel better.

For the record, I am going to reapply.  As an option.  It looks like the 1 cent sales tax might just pass, and I could get my job back.  But I have to think about the question my dad asked me too, “do you really want to be one of those people that stays in the same place for 30 years?”  Um…no, Dad, I don’t.  I never thought I would be.   I like change, and the challenges that come with it. I did think that I’d be at EM  for another year.  I never thought that I would be the one Rifed.  So much for thinking your immune huh?

When Arizona passed the no-tenure law, perhaps I should have maybe seen this coming.  I was tenured for all of 3 months.  It was sweet while it lasted.  I thought that maybe since I came from a small district that has a tradition of caring for its employees and treating them like family that maybe they would over-look this, or at least take it into consideration.  I don’t say this to completely rag on my district, not really.  I know that the people running things think differently than the people who used to fill those positions.  Our superintendent and vice-superintendent both come from big districts, with their big ideas of how things should be. I don’t know if you can apply “big politics” to small districts effectively.  All of the sudden these guys come in with their data hungry brains and number crunching ways of doing things.

Data isn’t all bad. But my kids come first. I know what I’m doing.  It’s trial and error.  Data doesn’t always apply.  But for these guys, if you don’t do things by the book, you’re not doing them right. Too bad they don’t offer constructive criticism when they do their walk throughs. That would have been helpful, Mr. Superintendent.  I don’t read minds very well, ask my students, I tell them that all the time!

So I have some decisions to make. What do I want to do with the rest of my life?! What are my options? Where do I want to go?

First of all, when I started teaching I always thought that I’d want to teach high school.  I’ve been teaching jr. high for four years.  I always thought I’d be teaching history. I’m teaching reading.  Don’t get me wrong… I love teaching reading.  I love to read.  I loved English in high school.  I’m highly qualified in both subjects. It’s really hard to get a high school history job anyway, unless you coach football. I don’t coach football.

I’m looking into the following options for n0w:

1. Teaching online as an adjunct teacher at the school my husband works for currently through the summer and see if I like it.

2. Reapplying to my district.

3. Applying to Chandler Unified, which is where my husbands job is, so we could maybe move over there.

4. Applying to Juneau and Anchorage in Alaska-I’ve heard good things, I’m don’t have kids yet, and I don’t have a house, and they pay about 5k more to START than I make after 4 years with all the coaching that I’ve done. And I have family up there, and we have friends who just moved to Anchorage.

5. My aunt called me to say there was an opening at Southern Wells High School (where my mom went, where my cousins all went, etc..) in Indiana.  Who has openings in Indiana?  Really? It’s impossible to find teaching jobs in the midwest- which is why so many teachers come out here from there.

6. Move in with Mark and Mindy, babysit for them and sit on my rear end all day. Hmm… not all that appealing, though I love them dearly.

Time will tell what God has in store for me and my husband and this job “opportunity”.


When life throws you lemons…duck.

I’m not quite sure how to start this blog.  It’s been at least a week since my last post.  A lot has happened in a week’s time.  I may as well get it all out there right off the bat- I was told that my school district is not offering me a contract next year.  So I’m looking for a new job. I’ve been at my school for four years.  I really thought that I’d be there for another year. I guess not. I guess there is still a chance I could be back….the reason that our district is making cuts is because of funding, I’m not sure how personally I can or should take my being “let go” or whatever. I was told that I should RE-apply and if the 1 cent sales tax goes through I may get my job back.  The tax is on the ballot for May 18th.  I’ll be in Catalina with my 8th grade class. I won’t have access to my cell phone.  I won’t even find out until the 19th.  Our last day of school is the 21st. Ha. How convenient.   At the rate my school is going, they won’t have a jr. high reading teacher next year!  One is moving back to Pennsylvania, the other is hoping her husband takes one of possibly four different opportunities in four different states. That leaves me…oh wait, I’m not being invited back!  Oh well, I’m sad, but about what exactly?  My students are more frequently obnoxious than fun; I love teaching, I don’t love spending 15 minutes of every class period trying to get them ALL to listen to me.  I’m going to miss the wonderful, amazing people I teach with.  My team. My support.  My school family.

Right now I’m just trying to look into what all of my options are.  I’m 7-12 certified in both English and History. That might open a few doors for me. I always thought I wanted to teach high school- imagine teaching 3 classes a day rather than 7, and getting paid MORE to do it.  I really sound like I hate my job now; that isn’t the case at all.  I love my job. I really do.  I love it when I can work with a student and encourage him and show him I care and get him to passing my class and caring about his grade. I love it when I have kids that want to stay after school just so they can talk with me, be in my room.  I love hearing “I love you Mrs. B!” I love teaching poetry and showing kids that it isn’t all mushy and romantic.  I love talking about propaganda and how they should pay attention to the motives of others, I love the conversations that are started from talking about things that relate to my students.  But for everything I love, there is something I’d like to change.  I’ve gotten past the tears and anger of this situation for the most part.  I’m choosing to think of this as an opportunity.  I don’t know what God has in store for me, but God says 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back from captivity.

In other news:

1. My husband has like ALL of the symptoms of adult ADHD/ADD, so we need to go check that out- hopefully that will result in some positives for our relationship.

2. Didn’t run last week- I blame my depression and lack of motivation on my lack of a job.

3. I started a Zumba class today! I’m taking a class with my school’s secretary’s daughter. (If that makes sense) It was a lot of fun…she’s going nice and slow so I can keep up. The class is only 6 weeks….

4. Did go run tonight but not sure how far- maybe a mile and a half? My gps thing wasn’t working. Run was great(!) until I really felt like I couldn’t breath! (Not good.) I walked home- practiced a few Zumba moves on the way.

5. My dad just lost his job too.

Well, I think we are all caught up now. Blessings!

Supercalafragalisticexpialadoecious…(did I even come close to spelling that correctly?)

I had a fantastic day today.  It was about as perfect as days get really.  It all began with two slices of wonderful pumpernickel bread and some butter.  These remind me of my dad, mostly because he is the only other person I know who comes close to liking the stuff.

Then Bill informed me that one of my guilty pleasure movies was on tv: The Cutting Edge.

I watched this, and then at 10 I left to pick up Minder.  She had a hair appointment at 11.  This was followed by us having lunch with my mom at NoRTH. They have delicious and amazing food that is all fresh.  I love it because it’s a step away from the “usual”. Their service is fantastic as well, and their lunch menu is a little on the high end, but more reasonably priced then their dinner menu.

Mindy and I continued our adventure to Scottsdale after lunch .  We headed over to Sprinkles because neither of us had ever been there and I thought we could check it out and see if that would be something we would want to do for her upcoming baby shower next month. We enjoyed our delectable cupcakes in the grass in the park. It was perfect!

We completed our time together by heading to JC Penny were I discovered a mattress pad and king size pillows on sale.  Not only were they on sale, but they were also an additional 15% off. I ended up getting three items for less than the original price of the mattress pad.  After dropping Minder off, I headed home to FINALLY make my new bed.  (I’ve only had it for two weeks!).

After making my new bed, Bill and I ran.  I ran 3 WHOLE miles this time, without stopping- no walking, not even once!  This is my best outdoor run ever I think-or very close to it. Officially it was 3.05 miles in 34:54.  I was hurting again at the beginning today, but I felt much better after about the 1.5 mile point. A while after that I began to feel confident that I could pick up speed, catch up with my husband and actually make it all the way back home.  I ended up passing my husband, who thought we were stopping, and beat him home by 38 seconds. YES!

So here is my running song of the day:

You won’t understand if you aren’t a Parrot Head, though.

And finally- my husband and I are ending the night by going to rent/buy (we haven’t decided) Couple’s Retreat.

Run, baby, run!

Oh my… I did run today.  It took everything I had to try and up my mileage  to a messily 2.6 miles.  Yikes.

I started off feeling really motivated, I wanted to run, needed to run.  And the weather is just so nice, perfect for running. High today was 68, rained this morning, and cleared up to be a beautiful day. I didn’t run yesterday as I was saying goodbye to my grandma who headed back to Indiana this morning.  My brother made a delicious dinner for us at his house, and I ended up heading home around 10.  Have I mentioned it’s an hour home from there? And I get up at 5:30… Oh well. I had fun.

I did do some cross training on Sunday; don’t know if I mentioned that before or not.  15 minutes on the stair stepper, 10 minutes on treadmill with incline (walking), and 15 minutes bike.  I really want to get back in the pool. I keep contemplating taking a zumba class or something of the like. Last week I ran for a total of 7.47 miles.  ::twirls finger and rolls eyes:: Maybe I shouldn’t be so hard on myself…I’m just starting up again, and I’m slowly making progress.

Today’s run was hard- right from the start…thank goodness for motivation, because if I hadn’t been I would have quit before I left my driveway.  It hurt.  My Achilles and lower calf muscles hurt. The whole time!  I kept thinking if I could keep going, it would get better.  Ha.  But I forced myself to keep going. Told myself to keep going. Kept repeating, “You can do this” and “Come on, baby, keep going”.  Sometimes I say these things aloud to myself, especially in that last stretch.  I ran 2.6 today, but I walked the last .4 home. I didn’t go quite as far as I would have liked.

This disappoints me. I’m tired of disappointments.  Not just with running but in general.

I was rejected to teach summer school today.  This worries me because of the cuts my school is making- 50-90+ staff positions eliminated or reduced for next year.  There are only 5 schools in my district.  Well, Alaska needs teachers I hear…. I guess that is an option if I do get cut. We’ll see how my husband likes that.

Running song of the day:

Spring break pictures






Some photos from my spring break…

Best of Spring Break 2010

Spring break is coming to a close for me this weekend.  This makes me very sad; when I first began teaching we had two weeks for spring break…I definitely feel as though I could use another week!

Here are the best things about spring break:

1. Afternoon beer

2. Sunny warm weather

3. NOT having to be at work at 7AM

4. NOT yelling at students

5. Having more time  to hang with friends I don’t see often enough

6. More time with my husband this week

7. Celebrating my mom’s St. Patty’s day birthday.

8. Relaxing!

9. Plenty of time to go and run!

10. Did I mention afternoon beer?

How many more days until school is out? 🙂


I was contemplating pickles this afternoon.  Yes, pickles.  I like pickles. But only by themselves.  You see, I’ve never really found that they add something to whatever they are placed on.  My husband feels differently. He likes pickles on just about anything, namely sandwiches.

I was always the person who would take pickles off of my sandwich from McDonald’s before actually eating.  I love the taste of meat, and I personally feel that pickles take something away from that. They over power the rich flavor of the meat in a way.  I love pickles as an accompaniment to a great deli sandwich, especially a nice kosher one, along with kettle style potato chips.  But keep it off my meat!

I love nice cold pickles right out of the jar, nice and cold and crisp. But I’m going to be picky about this, and I’m not normally that picky.

Silver Linings

As I began to look towards yesterday, I had really doubted that it would be a good day. There were several factors that made me think this…fighting with my husband, not getting to go to California with my mom and grandmother, having to do school work, etc…

But as the day wore on, I soon discovered that it was actually not too bad.  In fact, looking back on yesterday, I dare say it was a pretty good day despite all of the “negatives”.

I did my run yesterday- warmest day yet for running, maybe 85 degrees.  I also didn’t eat until 3:30 or so yesterday and then all I ate was a banana and a half a bowl of pasta. I ran at 5:30.  The first 1.38 miles went well…after that I walk/ran the rest. Not so hot.  I’m sure I didn’t help myself by not eating or hydrating properly all day.  I kept pushing myself. It just wasn’t there. Oh well…today is a new day. Although after all of the salsa dancing last night, I’m not sure how I’ll feel later. I didn’t sleep well and I woke up with very sore hips; it was a good kind of pain.

In honor of salsa- my running song of the day will be:

How did I end up going to Salsa last night?  Well,  my good buddy Shawn from high school goes every Thursday.  He’s be doing this for a year. He’s gotten pretty good. Last night he invited us to go with  him. And we did.  It was so much fun.  I’m a terrible dancer, but I enjoyed it anyway. I even got asked to dance by someone. My husband was there watching, don’t worry, he was okay with it. My husband did make my toe bleed while dancing with me.  Shawn told me not to wear open-toed shoes next time…right…cause my ginormous feet just fit so conveniently in closed toed shoes! ;0)

Road Run Song of the Day

I completed a slightly longer run today and was pretty pleased with the results. I upped my distance to 2.56 miles,  a slight improvement from my 2.3 I had been running. I felt like my pace was much more steady today, which is good, definitely glad to see some improvement there.  Wasn’t sure how I was going to do today after spending the better part of 8 hours helping Randy move into my mom’s house.  I’ve been a bit achy and sore from that today, but went and ran anyway,  which really is as much of an accomplishment for me as anything else is.

Okay, so here is the song of my run today:

Sorry, not a great video or anything, but a great song. I tried to find a better version of this, but nothing really came up.

Week one of improving one’s health: success!

As you either know, or perhaps don’t, I’ve taken up running again.  Did three short runs this week and went to the gym for some cross training yesterday.

My three short runs were on Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday.  The first two were approximately 1.5 miles in length.  The third was approximately 2.3 miles. I started off pretty slow this week, running about 13 minute miles.  By Saturday my pace was at an 11 minute mile average, which is fantastic, but I’ve noticed that when running by myself I have a lot of difficulty keeping a steady pace.  I think that for just starting up again I may be trying too hard…but when I’m out there on the road I just can’t slow down.  I want to work on running at a reasonable pace, which yes, I know 11 minute miles is a reasonable pace typically, but I don’t want to be so worn down that I can’t build up my endurance, which is the ultimate goal here.

I did take a break from running yesterday to do some cross training at the gym.  My husband and I spend 15 minutes on the elliptical machine and 15 minutes on the bike.  After which we planned on doing some upper body weights, but after our finishing our first set we got a phone call from a friend whose husband locked himself out of his house.  We went to his rescue but by the time we arrived he had already found a way into his house.

I always run with my iPod; I don’t think that I can stand to hear myself breathe.  It feels so defeating when I have to listen to that.  A while back I created a ‘gym’ playlist.  I don’t think I have enough music on it, but here is one of the things I listen to when I’m out running:

Other than running, I’ve been trying to incorporate more healthy foods into my diet.  These included grapefruit, Activia yogurt, bananas, spinach, grape juice, brown rice, green tea, and eggs.  I did some research on healthy foods, which turned out to be quite interesting really.  I found this website to be really interesting and informative:

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