Tuesday, November 28, 2017

If you can help...

Hi!

This is the deadlift competition I'm doing soon. It's a charity meet to benefit Doernbecher Children's Hospital. It would be AWESOME if you could kick some $$ their way. We are all together trying to reach $25k. As of today, we are halfway to our goal.

http://www.deadliftsfordoernbechers.com/
Click "Donate" at the top :)

Thank you <3 <3 <3

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Grateful

Tomorrow will be busy with lots of cooking, so I am taking a minute right now to reflect upon the good in my life.

It's been quite the year of ups and downs. Did I know, when I wrote my Thanksgiving post last year, that I would end up working in a yarn store, getting to share something I love to do with other people? Did I know that I would finally succeed in getting pregnant, after almost a year of failures that broke my heart every time, only to experience one of the biggest heartbreaks I've ever had to experience? Did I know that losing that pregnancy would open a door that led me back to teaching in a completely new way, that I think I actually really love and want to stick with?

I am grateful to be alive. Bottom line. At the VERY least, I am grateful for that, because if things had gone differently, if I had waited any longer to look into my symptoms or book an ultrasound appointment or whatever... I might not be right now.

#squad
I am grateful to be working, and not just to have a job, but to have one that I love, that I feel passionate about, that I feel fulfilled by. At this time last year, I was hoping against hope that I would be able to find some other path besides teaching, but I am LOVING what I'm doing right now. I love that the Fates have brought me here.

I am grateful that no matter where I go or what I do, I manage to find the most amazing people to be my friends. This year brought me new people to love, adding to the already-large squad of lovely people who hold space in my heart.

And I am so very grateful for the people who have been with me all along, some of you for decades. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I'm so lucky to love you.

So yeah, I am grateful not just merely to be alive, but to be living this remarkable life. Is it perfect? Of course not. But I have life. I have love. What more can I ask for, really?

Wishing you and yours a happy Thanksgiving,

Thu


Saturday, November 4, 2017

Midterm lessons

We are nine weeks into the semester, and as I'm working with my students to get their grades up, I can't help but spend some time reflecting myself on what I'VE learned so far this year at my new job:

  • Some things aren't different, between teaching online and teaching in person. Some students are still adorable and sweet and enjoy coming to class; some students will still either ignore you or fight you on everything (and then complain about how low their grade is).
  • It's hard to work from home because it's hard to draw the line as to when to STOP. I don't LEAVE at the end of the day, thus clearly delineating a boundary between my work life and my home life. I don't have bells signaling when it's officially lunch. I mean, teachers at in-person schools also spend tons of time after school and on the weekends working as well, so that part isn't so different, but I'm saying that not having a commute doesn't mean that I'm working any less. 
  • Having to spend all day online and answering emails has made me spend a little less time on my computer and phone for leisure. I'm not saying I don't still go on Facebook or whatever, but it's gotten a lot easier to just put away my phone and close my laptop because, dude, that's quite enough for today.
  • I really miss being able to talk to coworkers in person. Whenever I needed to get out of my classroom and clear my head, there was always the English department lounge where we could sit and chat and just decompress. I do talk to my coworkers every day, all day (hi Kate, Aaron, and Mark!), but it's not the same as getting to check in with each other visually on a day to day basis.
  • I touched upon this in my last blog post, but I've taken the approach of helping my students and relaxing the rules a little bit, and it's made a big difference in my stress level. I'm not saying work doesn't stress me out, but not ruling with an iron fist means that I'm dealing with a lot less tension.
  • That said, it doesn't mean that I don't worry about my kids. I know that a lot of them are there for a reason, and that that reason might be absolutely heartbreaking. All kids come to our classes with their own stories (that are sometimes sad), but you have to think that if these kids for some reason were unsuccessful in a traditional school setting, then maybe it's a sadder story than you might think. And my heart breaks for them, because I can't check in with them visually either. 
  • I'm glad not to have stacks of papers to grade. I mean, I still have lots to grade, but they don't take physical form anymore. That makes my life a little bit easier. 
  • Classroom management is a little bit different, in that they are all names in a chat room in our classroom software. I don't have to see them asleep or on their phones or rolling their eyes at my terrible jokes :P but the fact that I can't see them means that I don't know if they're ACTUALLY there or not. There are plenty of kids who just log in but are actually absent. I'm not going to say that I love this, but on the other hand... my old school just had a lock down because a kid brought a gun to school, sooooooo... I don't mind my problems at the moment.
So far, I like it. I really like my job. I feel like it suits me, and I don't know if it's also because I have the benefit of a decade of teaching under my belt (so like, would I still like this as much if I were brand new?), but I don't wake up with that feeling of dread about going to work, and on the whole, I feel a little more confident than I used to about my teaching. (Though, Impostor's Syndrome still strikes hard and true.) I'm really glad I found my way here, and I hope they let me stay a little while :)