Monday, October 18, 2010

I Need to Slow Down

I need to slow down.  In multiple ways.  One way is the usual - I spend too much time and energy thinking about the weekend and wishing I could just get through the week.  I like to think that this feeling will go away after this first year teaching at Century, but I know myself too well.  I've created a habit that is currently and will continue to be very difficult to break.

The other way is with school.  Apparently it's considered just fine to not following the pacing guide at all and therefore not finish covering the required chapters by the time the final rolls around.  I think that is ridiculous, but at the same time, it's ridiculous how many gaps the kids have in their knowledge.  I don't want to stop Algebra 2 right now and go back, because I just started the quadratics chapter, but I am going to try and slow it down and also go back and review all the other stuff.  Geometry I haven't figured out yet.

I wish someone had told me at the beginning a) just how many gaps the kids were going to have because while I knew they would have forgotten stuff, what I've witnessed is just absurd and b) that apparently we can get behind the pacing guide (as long as it isn't public knowledge or something).  Now I feel like hindsight is 20-20 and I have to deal with it.  And of course, that information came out today and now I'm scared that Mister or Madame Backstabber, whoever it is, is going to talk crap on me again.

But, whatever.  They don't make the decisions.  And the person who does make the decisions gave me a good first evaluation.  So there.

Speaking of evaluations and observations and such, I have an observation tomorrow from the people who will decide if I'm allowed to do BTSA Early Completion.  My fingers are crossed that it goes well.  I don't know which class they're coming to, which is aggravating.  I'm prepared either way of course, but it's still annoying.

Oh yeah, I had a fabulous birthday.  :)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Six weeks in and I'm dead

We have reached the end of the first six week grading period.  The stress and tiredness of those six weeks has finally caught up to me.  This weekend I was very, very tired.  I managed to not do anything productive on Friday night or all day Saturday, but then I paid for it today by doing work all day starting right when I got home from church.

That was at about 11 am.

The worst part of all this isn't even work.  It's my online class.  It's the last one, so naturally it has to be the grossest.  It all got worse when the professor told me my literature review needed to be double the length that it was.  That threw a wrench into my entire plan to get more ahead on the class's assignments today in addition to taking care of a bunch of other stuff that needed to be taken care of.

I do not want to use this blog as a means of venting and being negative, but please, indulge me this one time.


My birthday is on Thursday.  I'll be 25.  This is a big birthday, and yet I can't even think about it.  It sucks.  Horribly. This happened last year too.  I honestly keep forgetting that my birthday is in a mere 4 days.  I sincerely worry that it will be Wednesday night and I'll still forget that my birthday is the very next day.

There are just too many things to remember to do.  I don't know how I've done it the past 2 months, and I'm not sure how I'm going to keep doing it.  What keeps me going is knowing that next year will not be this bad, that I'm halfway done with the hardest part of the school year (September-October: no days off until Veteran's Day on Nov 11), that I might actually get to do BTSA Early Completion and therefore not have BTSA next year and have my clear credential at the end of this year, and that next year, while I enjoy the luxury of not dying, I can hopefully plan a wedding!?!?!

I need to go watch Friends.  My brain needs to forget about all things important and productive for at least one little hour tonight.

By the way, the show about hoarders on TLC is fascinating.  And "Sister Wives."  Very bizarre...

Monday, October 4, 2010

Such a lovely Saturday!

Ok, so yesterday was Sunday, not Saturday, and today is basically over, but Saturday was pretty darn nice.  It was a girls day with just Mindy and I.  After ballet we went to her house, then went and got pumpkin spice lattes and shared a pumpkin cream cheese muffin.  Then it was massage time, and naturally I got sucked into joining Massage Envy.  However, I think it will be very good for me to actually get a massage on a regular basis.  After that, dinner at Macaroni Grill followed by making chocolate bread pudding at her house and watching When Harry Met Sally.  I have never been to Macaroni Grill and have never seen that movie, so it was a day of firsts for me!

It was such a lovely, relaxing time.  We really need to do stuff like that more often.

Sunday was filled with church, lunch for Grandma's birthday, working on online homework, and then dinner with Mat.  Lunch was depressing because Grandma has gotten really sick.  It's sad.  I basically did a double take when I saw her.

Today I triumphed over a certain class period! That's all I'm going to say about that, for good reasons.

I've been trying to work on BTSA a little tonight, and I've basically come to the conclusion that it is not all that hard, just annoying time-consuming.  I think that once my online class is finished this month, I will just devote a couple of Sundays to BTSA and be done with it.  Since it isn't due until December 10th, I can easily finish it if I work a little here and there for the next three weeks and then more starting at the end of this month.  I'd rather just do it all now, but it just isn't going to happen with this online class still going.  Especially not with, you know, working.  Now I just need to get going on the Early Completion Option Application so I can do all the BTSA crap, sorry, I mean, one year instead of two.

I want to watch Friends.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

It Must Be a Sunday Thing

Clearly, I have issues updating this during the week.  Hmm, I wonder why.  I always hope to have Sunday be a day for me, but for the last two Sundays this has not been the case.  I have decided that it's much easier to resign myself to the fact that the next nine months or so will be sort of like being in college again.  Between lesson planning and BTSA and the extra meetings that are required of us, I will not have much time for anything else.  Fortunately, my online Masters is going to be finished in about a month.  This will be a weight off my shoulders as well as a raise in pay.  Of course, then I have the pleasure of continuing to pay off the loan, but at least the annoying work will be finished.  Knowing that this is the last month of it is truly what keeps me going.

I am being observed by our principal on Tuesday, and naturally I just now realized that I wanted to include a couple of other things in my lesson plan that I'm giving her tomorrow.  So much for being in bed at 9.

However, I'm almost there.  As soon as I finish here and I staple the stuff together, I can get in bed.

I would like this to be a week of not eating as much junk food.  Perhaps if I sleep more that will be easier to accomplish.  I've been going a little crazy with the sugar lately, and I do not want this to backfire on me.  Feeling icky is not a stress that I need to add to my life.  Anyone and everyone who knows me knows that I have enough stress and things to worry about.

I am looking forward to a normal week.  Normal, of course, does not mean super easy, but at least it is simply work and ballet (with no rehearsal!) and then home to do more work for BTSA or my online class or something.  The only thing added to this week is tutoring, but since this makes me some extra money I can't complain too much.

I would love to wake up tomorrow, and every morning this week, and not have a feeling of dread.  I think the solution, or at least one solution, to all of these problems is sleep.

And with that, I think I will head toward bed.  It is calling my name....

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Show

The show went quite well.  Thanks to a lot of hard work and the power of prayer, I think it was one of the best, possibly THE best, show I've done.  I hit all my hard steps dead on, felt calm throughout, and was at peace.  It was pretty incredible.

It was bittersweet in many ways.  I will not be doing the next two shows that finish off 2010, and neither is Mindy.  Sammy is gone in Santa Barbara.  I have no plans yet for the shows next year, but will take things as they come.

And now, after sleeping until noon today, it is already Sunday night and another work week looms ahead.  This one is filled with two different church meetings, two different school meetings (back to back on Monday) Back to School Night, my first BTSA meeting, and a doctor appointment.  Thankfully this next weekend is shaping up to be relaxing and not filled with too many events.  However, I must remember to not focus on the weekends so much but instead work on living in the moment and enjoying what life throws at me.

That's hard to do when you already know what life is going to throw at you and that you usually don't have time to deal with them.

Breathe.  It's all good.  :)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sun and Sand and...Pointe Shoes?

Yes.  Sun and sand and pointe shoes.  Mindy and I did a photoshoot for the 2011 Nouveau Chamber Ballet calendar today.  The theme for this calendar is sports, and we were beach volleyball players.  Actually, we were beach volleyball players wearing leotards and bike shorts and pointe shoes and we took the pictures at a park.  But there really wasn't any difference between us and real beach volleyball players.  :)

The shoot was fun.  I do believe we burst out laughing after every shot.  It was nice to do it together because we work so well together and play off each other.  I think we got some good ones.  Theresa and Christine both liked them. Hopefully I'm not too critical of myself once I see them.

I also got sunburned.  I suppose that's appropriate though given the sport we were portraying.

It was also very interesting to be balancing on pointe on a small piece of plywood buried in the sand.

In work-related news, I graded Algebra 2's first formal quiz this weekend.

Yes.  I was discouraged.  I reworked the calendar so that we can spend a couple of days reviewing.  It's very much needed.  It's needed in Geometry also, so I reworked that calendar too.  I thought I was getting through to the Alg 2 kids more than I obviously did.  It's frustrating, and discouraging.  I so badly want them to get it and to like it.  But, it's only been two weeks.  Actually, only 9 days.  I need to give it time and keep at it.

Show on Saturday!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Busy busy

You know your life has gotten rather chaotic when you discover it's been 9 days since you've written anything about that life.  Yes, 9 days.  What's especially amusing about this is that it doesn't feel like 9 days.  It feels like about 2.

Having a 4 day work week was quite nice.  The not so nice part is that now we have many, many normal 5 day weeks ahead of us.

I am still faced with the challenge to make my classes and lessons more interesting.  I wish I could have the kids work together more often, but it's not at all easy.  Kids are resistant to it, which means they should be doing it all the time.  But, the class periods go by so fast that it's hard to even consider doing this.  I feel like I would waste time while trying to wait for them to get used to working together.  Needless to say, I haven't figured this out yet at ALL.

In other news, last Saturday I finally told Lois that I couldn't do Nutcracker.  The auditions are tomorrow, and I won't be there.  Oddly enough, I'm totally fine with it. I'm actually quite glad because even though I still have rehearsal, it isn't until 2 which means I have time to do online homework as well as grade quizzes.  Rehearsal goes until 4 which isn't so nice, but I'll get over it.

One more week.  Then the show is over.  And I can cross that off my list and focus on other things.

Oh, how I love weekends.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Third Day

It is never a good sign when you feel yourself beginning to feel like you're losing it on only the third day of something.

Enter the third day of the school year as a new teacher.

Joseph put it well tonight when we were waiting for class to start.  "Stress is often caused by a lack of information."  You know, he's absolutely right.  The things I was worrying about during my prep period today were all based on not knowing the answer to something.  If anyone knows me, they know that I rather enjoy being in control.  I have very little time available at the moment and therefore I must make damn good use of it.  If I don't know something, I can't effectively use my time to cross things off my ENORMOUS to-do list.

On top of an already full day of teaching, we had a department meeting today after school.  Oddly enough, this department meeting which I was essentially dreading provided me with answers to my questions.  Because of this, it was rather nice in some ways.

My challenges right now are how to assess my students on a daily basis and how to keep them excited and engaged in the lessons.  I need to figure this out NOW so that I can effectively lesson plan for the rest of the year.  Fortunately the kids are all taking a diagnostic test tomorrow which provides me with a total of 6 GLORIOUS HOURS in which to work.  I truly thank God for this because I think if I had two more days like yesterday and today in which I'm on my feet both physically and mentally and have to think about rehearsal and online homework and how the math department at this school does things I would just fall over and cry.

Once again, here we are at 10:32 pm and I am not in bed.  September 18th cannot come soon enough.

Monday, August 30, 2010

First Day

This one will be brief as it is already 10:11 pm, I left my house at 6:00 this morning, and didn't get home until almost 9:00 this evening.

The first day was a success.  I got through the recitation of my syllabus, rules, etc all five times, and I think I'm going to have some good little students.  I cannot seem to bring myself to do the "don't smile until after Thanksgiving" thing, so I was my usual bubbly self.  But, I don't think that's going to negatively affect anything.  They will learn real quick that if they screw up or mouth off they'll be in trouble.  I really do think that you can't discipline a kid unless you first show them that you care.  That way, if and when you discipline, you aren't just being a b**** but rather are showing the offender that you care about them and want them to succeed.  And that's what this year is all about!

Now, tomorrow I have to actually teach.  Oy vey.  But it should be good.  The kids will have to work in groups to figure out how to do a problem, and I'm sure they'll be thrown for a loop.  Muahaha!  :-P  They will get used to it though.

I decided to buy those protractors and compasses.  Since I had kind of planned on having access to them this week I had to make a fast decision.  As long as they work well, I can reuse them forever so it was a worthwhile purchase.

And now, it's off to bed for Ms. White.  Good night all.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Endings and Beginnings

Something has ended and something is beginning.

Friends has ended.  Yes, that's right.  I finally watched the final episode of Season 10.  And I must say that while I am very disappointed to not have anymore new episodes to look forward to, it was a wonderful final episode.

And it seems fitting to have ended this lovely television series on the eve of the new school year beginning.  Yes, that's right.  Tomorrow is the first day of school.  Am I scared?  A little.  But not so much in the oh my goodness I'll have real students tomorrow kind of way.  More in the oh my goodness I have so much to do this week and for the next 10 months and am I going to be able to impart all of my infinite wisdom on them in the best way possible kind of way.

At orientation yesterday it finally hit me just how important my job is.  I've always known how important teachers are for kids, but yesterday it actually became REAL.  It's no small task.  No pressure at all!  Thankfully my district is very supportive and has provided us with a lot of tools and resources to do the best job we can.  The hard part is figuring out how to incorporate all of them.  It's overwhelming!  I spent a large chunk of today trying to organize myself and I feel like I got nowhere.  Add to that my online classes I'm finishing up this month (meaning September) and in October, and the show which is in 3 weeks, and then BTSA will start, and I'm not scared at all!  Again, please note my sarcasm.

Don't get me wrong, I'm excited.  Very excited, actually.  I should have some great kids.  There is just so much unknown and while that's not a bad thing by any means in this situation, it's still scary.  I'm a control freak and very much a Type A personality so unknown tends to freak me out.  While I've gotten much better at handling such things in the last few years, (MUCH better), it's still a lot to think about.

One day at a time though, right?  I can do that.  Aim for one new "Active Teaching" strategy per week and take things one at a time.  Use my prep period wisely as well as my after school time.  I can do this!

Should I?

I'm trying to decide if I want to buy these for my geometry classes: Bazic Scale-Arm Compass with #2 Wood Pencil and 6-Inch Protractor Set (Case of 24)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Kids on Monday!

After a rather crazy three days of staff development and working in the classroom, school is finally starting on Monday.   I'm pretty much ready - just a few more things to do on Sunday.  Fortunately though, I can do these things at home.  Several, if not many, teachers are going in this weekend, but I was on a mission to avoid that.  For one thing, the second New Hire Orientation day tomorrow kills the entire day.  For another thing, because this second New Hire Orientation kills the entire day, I only have Sunday to rest and recuperate before Monday and the onslaught of children and planning and God knows what else.

Speaking of planning, I have some serious stuff to do.  I've been so caught up in getting acclimated to the school and figuring out where things are and how things work and learning about the specific responsibilities that we have this year that I've put a lot of planning to the side.  Ok, that's not entirely true.  I have the entire year for both classes fitted to a calendar already, and I have lessons basically written out for next week, but that's about it.  I need to get on that.

I was going to take pictures of my room to post but I forgot.  I suppose that's not such a bad thing since there are a few last minute things I'm going to put on the walls on Monday morning.  Perhaps I'll actually remember to whip out my phone and capture the room before children descend.  Oh yes, that will be the first thing on my mind as I wait for my first real classroom of kids to arrive.  Please note my sarcasm.

In all honesty, I hope I remember.  I want to memorialize my hard work in my first classroom before it all begins.

In other good news, I found out that my classes are Academy classes.  This means that all (or at least the vast majority) of my students are part of either the Teach Academy or the E-Business Academy.  This is very exciting to me.  I'll have a group of students to mentor, there are field trips, a copy machine I can use, and the chance to be a part of something at the school and work collaboratively with other teachers.  My excitement to start the year multiplied by approximately 1000000 when I found out this lovely little piece of information.

I am now saying a prayer that the weekend does not fly by too fast.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Successful First Day

Despite being long and meeting-filled, my first day of work at Century HS was pretty good.  It is not going to be an easy year, and even though it makes me tired just to think about it, I also am the kind of person who meets a challenge head-on and sets out to beat down on its head and say, "Take that!!"  So while I may be exhausted just one week from now and while I will almost certainly have several breakdowns between now and June, it's all good.  I'm a real teacher now.  :)

However it is now almost 10:30 pm and I am not yet in bed.  Why, you ask?  Rehearsal.  I must just keep telling myself it's only a few more weeks.  I know I'll get through it because I've gotten myself through far more tiring stretches of time, but the difference now is that I'm simply not as into it anymore.  This depresses me somewhat, but I know I've already ranted about this in a previous post so I'll refrain from beating the dead horse here.  Suffice it to say that I will be relieved when September 18th is behind me.  And totally refreshed to start BTSA! (Please note the sarcasm).

And it is now officially 10:30.  I must finish updating my enormously long to-do list for the next day and a half and get my butt in bed.  Goodnight.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Farewell Summer...See You Next Year.

  Tomorrow is my first official day at Century High School.  We have three days of staff development this week, then I have my second/last New Hire Orientation on Saturday.  The kids start next Monday.  I'm not nervous yet, but ask me on Sunday night and things will probably be different.

Things I will miss:

  • Morning walks when it's not dark outside
  • Relaxing breakfasts of coffee and cereal while checking email and browsing the web and reading blogs with the news on in the background
  • Not feeling rushed when I get home in the evening
  • Not having to make breakfast/lunch/snack to take to work
  • Sleep
However, for each thing I will miss there is another thing that is good:
  • Despite having a longer commute, I still have time to take my morning walk
  • Changing students' lives, one at a time
  • Making actual money, finally having my own benefits, and all that good grown-up stuff
  • Being a part of something great
  • Doing something that I know without a doubt is what I am meant to do
Ok, I'll admit, it was harder to come up with the second list.  No one likes getting up at 5 am or feeling rushed to get to bed or having to drive 20 miles one way.  But, it's all good.  The next couple of years are going to be pretty fantastic.  I have big plans in these next two years, and I finally get to start putting them into action.  It's pretty good stuff.

And now, some summertime memories....
4th of July

Walking with Amermey - 4th of July

4th of July

Mat's Surprise Party - He was definitely surprised!

Mat's Surprise Party - Blowing out his candles
Mat's Surprise Party - Mindy and I 
Top of the Eiffel Tower at Paris Las Vegas

San Diego trip with Steph - Dinner in Little Italy!

Beach House - He buried his feet which resulted in me appearing taller.  :)

Margaritas - 4th of July
Beach House

Changes To My Blog!

I decided to change the layout, background, font, etc, of my blog.  Oh yeah, and I also changed the name.  Since I'm a math teacher, and a new math teacher at that, I figured it might be appropriate to have a title that incorporates this rather large aspect of my life.  So, drumroll please..."Mel and Math."  This title allows me to write (aka rant) about things in my life whatever they may be, (the "Mel" part of it) as well as discuss my job and things that happen at work that could be relevant to other people like me (the "Math" part).  Genius?  Not really.  But I'm pretty darn proud of myself for coming up with it.

In doing some Googling, I came across a lovely blog from a math teacher in Texas.  It's called Math Teacher Mambo.  In reading just a couple of posts I found several ideas I want to try in my classroom this year.  This was part of what prompted me to alter my blog to be more career oriented while still allowing for personal touches.

I also joined Google's Adsense and the Amazon Affiliates program.  I have no idea how beneficial these will be, but we'll see what happens.  My next task is to make this whole blog more known/accessible.  Ideally, I would like to find some sort of math teacher blog community.  I suppose that's what this last day off is for!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Socialization Can Be Tiring

Yesterday I had some lovely catch-up time with Kelly.  Today I had some lovely catch-up time with Arielle.  Both of these women I have not seen in nearly a year, and it was high time to chat over delicious Mexican food, Golden Spoon, and Starbucks.  I love hearing about what's going on in their lives and I love how we all are doing such amazing things since finishing college.  We all are truly blessed, both individually and as a whole.  I am blessed to know such amazing people.

However, I'm now quite tired!  Between thinking (read: worrying more than I should be) about my new job, dealing with rehearsals that are seemingly (literally) never-ending, and having at least some sort of social life, I'm tired.  The school year hasn't even started yet.  This is not exactly a good sign.

My aunt and uncle are flying in from New York tomorrow which necessitates a family dinner at my grandmother's house.  I have New Hire Orientation all day Saturday, and am possibly/probably having dinner with Mindy, another very dear friend.  These are all very good things (minus the all day orientation of course), but they're tiring.  My current goal is to have Monday and Tuesday of next week for myself except for having rehearsal in the afternoon.  Starting Wednesday I will need to hit the ground running.  We have staff development Wednesday-Friday, I have my second (and thankfully final) New Hire Orientation on Saturday, then one day off, then Monday the 30th is the first day of school.  It's a full 5 day week which is not common for the first week, so it will be quite long.  Labor Day weekend already cannot come soon enough!

Monday, August 16, 2010

What happened to my motivation?

Once again, here I am days later finally writing an update to my blog.  Clearly my motivation died along with any semblance of a habit I attempted to develop.  Now school is going to start soon and any sort of habit will be much harder to create.  I suppose such is life, but it makes me rather sad.

School news: I have my own classroom!  (Did I already say that last time...I don't remember).  Tomorrow I'm going down there to actually go in my room, move some stuff inside, etc etc.  And get some files from the department chair as well as my second textbook.  Fortunately I don't seem to have to write a ton of lesson plans from scratch because they already exist.  We can take them and adjust them accordingly.  THANK GOODNESS for that.  I was afraid for a while, especially yesterday, that we were going to have to write them from scratch on the template they have, which is super involved like the ones we used in the credential program.

I also get to go to two all day trainings this Saturday and next Saturday.  Lois was clearly annoyed when I told her this, but too bad.  It's for my job.  There's nothing I can do about it.  This is yet another reason Nutcracker is on the fence. Besides just not knowing if I really want to do it, I don't think I'll be able to fully commit anyway.  And that, obviously, is not fair to everyone else involved.  I think I've had to miss more rehearsals for this show than I've missed in the last many many years.

On the bright side, no rehearsal tomorrow or Wednesday like usual.  Granted, now I have it on Thursday, my usual night off, but oh well.  5 weeks til the show.  It will go fast, especially with school starting.

AHH I can't believe school is starting!  I'm a REAL teacher now!!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

And...I suck

I had this great plan of keeping up with this blog, and here it's been over two weeks since I last wrote.  Now, part of this is due to having been on vacation for a week with limited internet access.  The other week?  Yeah, I suck.

Since Sunday, I have undertaken a serious room makeover.  Not the new furniture and repainting kind of makeover, but the I haven't cleaned out my room and reorganized the closet and gotten rid of all unnecessaries kind of makeover.
Clothes all over the place.
I think my closet exploded.

But the end result will be quite nice!

In other news, vacation last week was quite nice.  A week in Newport Beach?  Can't really go wrong with that.  Now my life is all about cleaning.  Cleaning cleaning cleaning.  And finding time to do online homework.  School is going to start before I know it.  I'm not sure if I'm ready yet, but I guess when it starts I will be because I have no other option.  I go back on Wednesday the 25th, two days earlier than the contract date.  I knew we would probably go back on the 26th instead of the 27th, but the 25th was a bit of a surprise.  At least they're paying us.

I got my classroom key yesterday.  I finally have my own classroom!  It's a bungalow, but it's brand new and it's mine to decorate and such as I please!  I think I will bring Amanda to help me sometime next week.

Thursday, July 29, 2010


I just ran to Costco to get shampoo.  With my sister home for the summer I swear we go through it more than twice as fast as when it's just me.  In any case, we were basically out and I had a coupon so off I went.

The refreshing part comes when I was standing in the shortest line I could find.  As anyone who frequents Costco knows, the lines are horrendous.  It doesn't seem to matter what day or time of day you go.  The woman in front of me had quite a cart full of stuff and when she saw that I only had two things, she let me go in front and said that she knows how it is to wait when you only have a couple things to get.

It was such a simple gesture, and I'm sure everyone experiences it at one point or another, but when there are so many rude people out there - on the road, in a restaurant - it's really quite lovely when you run into a kind soul once and a while.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Girls in La Jolla

This weekend was the mini-vacation that Steph and I have been trying to take every since last October.  The fact that it took so long is a testament to how crazy and busy our lives are.  And to how impossible it is to find time when two crazy busy people are both free.  Technically I wasn't free, I had rehearsal.  But I said to hell with it because I'm going on my girl vacation, dammit!

And I'm oh so glad I did.

It may have only been a couple of days, but it was wonderful.  We laughed, we ate, we SLEPT.  We took pictures.  We walked.  We acted like dorks.  Ah, such good times.  It was one of the best vacations I've had.  And I've been to Europe, people.  And to Japan.  And Solvang.  And the East Coast (twice).  And the grand canyon.  San Francisco (twice). Damn I've been a lot of places.  I should stop complaining about my life.

In any case, it was a wonderful little vacation.  For the first time in a long time I allowed myself to just sit around and eat whatever kind of crap I wanted.  Am I feeling a little guilty about it?  A little worried that I'll totally regret it at ballet tomorrow?  Yeah, a bit.  But not nearly as much as I usually would.  I'm pretty proud of myself.  And was it worth it?  Heck yes.

At La Jolla Cove
In other news, I found out I get to teach three sections of Algebra II and two sections of Geometry this next year.  I met with the assistant principal on Friday afternoon (the supposed half an hour meeting with for almost two hours) and learned a TON of stuff about the school as well as my teaching assignment.  It has become more and more real every day and I'm getting very excited.  It's pretty awesome stuff, this being a teacher thing.

And with that, only one more week of MISS and then another vacation.  This time, the beach house with the family. And friends visiting here and there.  Good times.  Yes, missing more class and rehearsal.  Oh well.  Too bad.  I have a life and I want to live it.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


Yesterday was one of those days.  I was perhaps the most stressed I've ever been.  Well, that's not exactly true.  One day every year, at this exact same time of the year, I'm this stressed out.  Without going into too many details, it has to do with medical tests and things.  Not my own, but someone very very close to me.  There's never any legitimate reason to worry, but because of some doctors with not very nice bedside manner, my family and I are very very nervous and anxious every year.  Everything ended up fine just like it always does, but getting to that point was horrible.

Add to that the horribly long and boring Church Council meeting of the night before in which I truly wanted to scream, and you had a pretty grouchy Melissa.  Not good.  I still don't know what I'm going to do about Church Council - if I want to quit or not.  I will figure that one out later.

The good news of yesterday was that I finally signed my job contract!  And, my salary is $600 more than I anticipated based on last year's salary schedule.  I assumed the salaries were either going to go down from last year or stay the same, but it appears to have gone up a bit!  Then, once I finish my Masters in October, it will go up again.  Very exciting!

And on the job note, the assistant principal called me today asking if I could go down to meet with him tomorrow at 2.  I should also get to meet the math department chair.  I'm hoping I'll be able to find out what I'm teaching also.  It would be great to get a textbook, but we'll see.

Steph and I are finally going on our vacation.  This has been in the works since my birthday last October when she gave me a trip as a present.  It turned out to be more expensive than she/we wanted, so I'm going to help pay and it will now be birthday and Christmas presents for both of us for this year also.  We're staying at the Marriott in La Jolla.  We wanted Santa Barbara, but it was either too expensive or totally booked.  It will be fun no matter what though.  We're pretty entertaining people.  I anticipate laughing more than I've ever laughed before in a single weekend.  And I'm missing more ballet and rehearsal.  Oh well, too bad!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Time for a Change

I'm seriously considering not doing Nutcracker this year.  I just don't think I can do it.  I want to have a life.  I want to have a Christmas.  I want to be able to celebrate Amanda's birthday on her actual birthday.  I want to go to Disneyland more than once during Christmastime.  I want to not stress out about when we'll go pick out our Christmas tree.  I want to go ice skating.  More than just once.  I want to have a Thanksgiving where I don't freak out about eating like a cow because I have rehearsal the day or two after and the show two weeks after.  I want to be able to go to Advent services on Wednesday nights.  I want to go to Christmas parties without feeling like I'll pass out from exhaustion.  Actually, I want to be able to go to Christmas parties period.  I want to go look at Christmas lights in super decorated neighborhoods more than just once and without having to cram it in between the shows finishing and Christmas.

Oh yeah, and besides all that, I want to devote the proper amount of time and energy to my new job.  I finally have what I've been working for for two years.  Heck, longer than that.  My job is not just a job, it's a career.  And a career deserves all the time I can give it.  I WANT to give it that time.  I don't hate ballet, but I don't think I can handle doing shows right now.  I'm already committed to the September 18th one, but that is only a few weeks into the school year so it shouldn't be too horrible.  But after that, I need time for lesson planning and BTSA and oh yes, sleep.

This all is happening at the same time that I'm attempting to retrain my brain in terms of exercise and food.  I have been so exercised obsessed for so long, and it's very hard to break that habit.  I have for quite a while now had a mindset of "oh it's ok if I eat crap because I'll just work it off."  I've always known that was unhealthy thinking, but am only now motivated enough to do anything about it.  And strangely enough, this new motivation comes from being just so dang tired.  Delayed reactions from the stress of looking for a job are really taking a toll on my body.

And then there's church.  I've taken on the job of Secretary of Church Council, and therefore have meetings once a month.  This means missing ballet.  I am working on consistently retraining my brain to not feel like I have to go to ballet no matter what.  It is difficult because ballet has defined me for so long.  All my life, really.  It's not an easy change to make.  But I'm trying.   It will be slow and require lots of baby steps.  But I'm trying.

I'm trying.

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Surprise

Naturally, immediately after creating this blog and vowing to keep it updated, I slacked.  However, I had good reasons to slack.  Last week was quite busy what with figuring out my job situation for next school year and all.  It ended up working out very nicely, but not without stress.  To spare you the details, I will be working in Santa Ana Unified...on a PERMANENT CONTRACT!  This is virtually unheard of nowadays, to get a permanent contract when you're a new teacher and new to the district.  Obviously, I'm pretty happy.  I'm nervous about it, of course, but that's to be expected.  I now am trying to get all my transcripts and things together so I can do all the paperwork.  I have to be fingerprinted for the 4th time tomorrow and will receive my new hire packet.  Once the fingerprints clear and I have my transcripts, I will be able to go back and actually sign the contract.  Hopefully it is all signed, sealed, and delivered by the end of next week!

Once the job stress ended on Friday afternoon, there was still the surprise party stress.  Let me tell you, I don't think I will be able to throw a surprise party again for a long time.  The party planning was easy.  It was the lies that were horrible.  I had to really think to keep track of which lies I had told and when and etc etc etc.  It just goes to show: honesty really is the best policy.  Let that be a lesson...don't ever lie!

Oh, the surprise party was for Mat.  He's turning 25.

He TOTALLY did not expect it.  There are some pretty priceless pictures as well as a video of him walking in.  It was quite a shindig, in the low key way.  We did have Thomas the Tank Engine plates, tablecloth, etc and a cake with a skateboarding kid and a party hat shaped pinata and trick candles.  Yes, he's turning 25.  Not 5.  I swear.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Something New

So here I am.  I finally have a blog going.  I've had a LiveJournal account for quite a while, but I haven't written in it in at least a year.  I'm not sure why that is, but I eventually just got out of the habit.  And then I noticed that when I wanted to read my friends' posts, nothing would show up.  That made me rather frustrated and I kind of just stopped checking it.  Perhaps I will delete it entirely now that I have this.  Or maybe not because deleting it would entail losing all the memories that I'm sure I will stumble upon should I ever go back and read through it.

In any case, here I am.  I'm not sure what this is going to become exactly, but I want the opportunity to explore the whole blogging thing and see where it takes me.  This is a quick post, just to finally get me started.  I am quite tired today and would like to get in bed and watch Friends and read my book before falling asleep.  Tomorrow promises to be another busy day with the MISS program at CSUF (more on that later), so the more sleep I get the better.  Oh yes, and I'm hoping to hear positive news from Whitney High School.  I interviewed there last Wednesday afternoon and was told I would hear from them whether I got a job or not by the following Wednesday or Thursday.  I didn't hear today, so that means I should hear tomorrow.  That also means that tomorrow my stomach will be tied in even larger knots than it was today and that my legs will be even shakier.  Should be fun.  I must remember though that either way I still have a job, because the offer from Santa Ana Unified is sitting in my inbox.  Life is good.  God is good.  Things will work out.

And with that, I go off to my TV and reading.  Please add your comments, suggestions, etc, and follow me on my blog!