Thursday, May 29, 2008

Post # 250!

Two hundred and fifty posts. That's what this post is. That might not sound like a lot to most people, but it means a lot to me. It means that although I'm far from perfect, I have followed through on my commitment to myself to write my life. I've always wished I was a writer. I may not have a novel deal or make any money, but I still feel as though that's a title that applies to me. It means that two years ago, when I told myself that I needed to make a commitment to writing as often as possible, I followed through. That's a good feeling.

Could I do better? Certainly. It's been more than two years since I started blogging - I should have more than 500 posts, surely. Could I focus more on crafting stories, and less on reporting the minutiae of my life? Of course. But let's face it - that just wouldn't be me. And finding my voice through this blog is one of my proudest accomplishments.


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

That about sums it up

That's how I feel today.
I wonder if it is the LARGE Quizno's sub I ate for dinner last night. Like the whole thing. Chicken carbonara. It was just so m m m m m... toasty! Maybe it was the fight Hubby and I got into last night. Over the truck. And chores. And ungratitude (ungratefulness?). And hypocrisy. And just - stuff. Or it could have been about the dead field mouse that my *completely* indoor cats killed overnight. I'm not sure if I'm more sorry for the mouse or for the knowledge that little creatures are in our house. If it isn't that, it could be that I have detention duty and have to work at job #2 tonight, and I don't have time to get from here to there. Another option could be that I have to talk to three students' parents today about how their children aren't going to pass my class this year and will need to go to summer school.
And if it isn't any of those things, it could be that I haven't run in almost a week, and I won't be able to until at least Friday. I haven't lifted weights, I haven't done any push-ups or sit ups, I haven't even stretched. I feel disgusting. Bloated. Stressed. Ugly. Gross.
And I'm not sure what to do about it.

Any ideas?

Friday, May 23, 2008

Ha! It's not Tuesday!

I didn't write on Tuesday per my usual custom because so much has been going on, I wanted to let the furor die down before I posted. What was going on, you ask?
  • I got a new vehicle! Six months earlier than I'd anticipated, too. After this school year I will no longer be driving my 1993 Ford Escort Wagon, and will instead be driving my new-to-me 1997 GMC Sierra 1500. I only paid $1,000 for it and have no monthly payment or full-coverage insurance to worry about. I am beyond stoked. This truck is exactly what I wanted and I'm so happy to have it. I know it will more than double my fuel bill, but I'm prepared for that. I will write a "Dear John" letter to my car soon. Actually, it will be a "Dear Mildred" letter, because that's my car's name. My new truck? His name's Burke.
  • I can't remember if I mentioned this or not - I have tenure! I am officially IN at school. Starting in the fall, they can no longer choose not to renew my contract without reason. This means so much more stability in my life! Not knowing where I was going to be next year was causing me a lot of stress.
  • It is only SEVEN more days until I get to hang out with my brother Mark and his fiance. I can't WAIT! I love them so much and have missed them terribly. I haven't seen them since my wedding last June. I do selfishly wonder if they will notice that I've lost about 28 pounds since they last saw me.
  • I am slowly but surely becoming a runner. I am going through a running program that is supposed to take me from running no minutes to running thirty minutes straight in about six weeks. I'm on week four (yesterday I ran for ten minutes straight), and so far I'm really enjoying it. I am surprised by that, but thrilled, too. It feels so much better to run than I ever thought it would! I'm only doing about 9-12 miles a week, but I'm going further each day. When I get to thirty minutes, I'll post.
So that's what's been going on in my world. I would like to make one brief shout-out today: ALICE, I hope your wedding is as beautiful as your dreams. I wish you all the best and hope you are able to relax and enjoy your special day. You deserve this. Congratulations.


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Tuesdays are becoming the only day I post, huh?

Dear Students,
It's that time of year again - yearbook time. A time when, with grinning and eager faces you plop your green book of memories in front of me and ask me to write. "Write something really good," you urge. "Something that's really, like, wow."

What do I write to you?

I'd like to tell you how beautiful I think you are. How each day you show me how mature, caring, and free-thinking you can be. I'd like to say thank you for all the times you came to someone's rescue, helped someone out, or didn't knock someone down when you wanted to, even when we both know they deserved it.

I'd like to tell you what to expect next year. If you're graduating, the world is about to swallow you whole. You won't be part of a group anymore; you're going to be on your own. And that although you may feel lonely, you will grow more in the next twelve months than you have in the last twelve years. There are so many firsts you are about to discover - your first real love, your first life-altering decisions, your first true disappointments. None of these things are easy, but they are each so worth it. If you are headed into your junior or senior year of high school, you have learning coming your way, too. You will have new and difficult classes. Classes that are all the more important because you have realized something - there's life after high school. The things you do here will affect you in your adult life. Suddenly, everything you do matters. Has consequences. I don't envy you this "oh, shit" moment, but I always enjoy the growth that comes from it.

And finally, I'd like to give you a piece of advice. There is a quote that I have used for years as a guide for how I would like to live my life. I don't always manage it, but I do try. These words have served me well as a guide and I hope they can do something similar for you:
"Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that are important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost."

I hope you all know how much you are loved and respected. Have a wonderful summer, and I'll see you next year.

Your Favorite English Teacher,
Mrs. K

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Tuesday is letter day!

Dear Ruthie,
Saturday, you gave me one of the most wonderful gifts I've ever received. A professional-grade, brand-new-to-me Kitchen-Aid mixer. I know it cost a lot of money. If not what you paid for it, then the repair bills and accessories. The shipping alone must have cost quite a bit. I hope that when you gave it to me, you could see how much this gift means to me. You didn't just give me a mixer - you made one of my dreams come true. For years I've wanted one - it was even on my wedding registry. Of course, I never got one because although they are awesome, they are also expensive. So every time I went to Bed Bath and Beyond, I'd look at the beautiful mixers and dream.
But I don't have to dream any more.
Now I have one more piece of the perfect life - you've given that to me. I've always thought that happiness was a cat and a Kitchen-Aid mixer. Now I have both and know that it's true. You have done what my parents, husband, and I have never done.
Saying "thank you" just doesn't seem adequate. How do I tell you how much this gift means? I can bake you cookies and cakes and other things made with my mixer (and I will). I can write you a letter on my blog (which I did). But showing you how my heart is filled with joy and gratitude is more difficult. I am truly touched by your thoughtfulness and generosity. I can only hope that someday there will be a day that I will be able to give you a gift like you have given me, and then you will know all the words that fill my heart that are having a difficult time making their way to paper.

With Warmest Regards,