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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Sun & Strawberries

Memorial Day weekend is good for the soul.  It's the motivation I need to push forward and end the school year strong so that I can experience many more sunny, summer days to come.  I didn't think I had much going on these past few days, but it ended up being a busy weekend!


Walker and my dad left for a flyfishing/camping trip on Friday afternoon, so I had the apartment ALL to myself for about 48 hours.  As much as I miss him when he's gone, I try to embrace those moments of solitude.  Plus, I had a huge project proposal due, so there were no distractions as I was trying to finish that up.

Anyway, the JCC (my gym) was closed the whole weekend due to a Jewish holiday, so I ended up at a different fitness center nearby with a coworker who had invited me to take a Zumba class with her.  It was crazy high-energy, and the clientele seemed really engaged and fun (I think that's what happens when you have to pay per're invested) but it was just sliiiiightly too raunchy for my taste.  And honestly, when I'm getting a free membership where I teach, why would I pay per class elsewhere?

Afterwards, I met my mom and sister Kelley for a movie.  It was so beautiful outside that we almost couldn't bear the thought of sitting inside a dark theater, but we wanted to see The Age of Adeline, so we decided to go for it.  I really enjoyed the movie, aside from the part where the Cavalier died -- that had all of us in tears for a few minutes.


Our couple friends invited us to spend the afternoon with them, which was so much fun!  My coworker and I conspired awhile ago to make our husbands friends, and so far (fingers crossed!) it seems to have worked.  She and I spent a few hours lounging by the pool in the glorious sun, while the guys played frisbee golf at a nearby course.  It felt wonderful to get some Vitamin D.

We booked it from there back to our apartment to get ready to see The Lion King in Philadelphia.  After a quick dinner at Zinburger, we were in the car going over the bridge.  

The show was phenomenal and I highly recommend it to anyone, especially if you like theatre.  In case you haven't seen the "commercial", watch it below:

M O N D A Y 

Walker had to work a few hours in the morning, but when he got home we ventured out to a nearby small town to have lunch in a sweet cafe and walk around a little.  We also stopped by a local nursery and got flowers for our window boxes.

Later in the afternoon, we went strawberry picking at the farm by my parents' house and came home with quite a haul.  There's nothing like a warm, sun-ripened strawberry fresh from the field.

All in all, it was a fabulous Memorial Day.  Time to persevere and enjoy the last 19 days of school til summer!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Oh Hey, Friday!

Want to hear the reason I haven't blogged all week?  No really, I promise you haven't heard this one before!  I accidentally shaved my finger on Sunday.  Quick summary -- Walker and I were at my in-laws' house last weekend and as I was packing us up, I slipped my hand into a pocket of the bag only to slice a large chunk of my finger off with the razor that was facing outward.  It bled for-EVER and stung like nobody's business.  This, of course, was documented all on snapchat.  I'll spare you the graphic pictures.

Needless to say, I legitimately could not press the keys to type without sharp pain shooting through my hand.  Thus, no blog.

Whew!  Now to the top five of the week:

1 // We had a lovely time with Walker's family last weekend (aside from the razor incident) and are looking forward to spending several more days with them this summer.

Yes, this is really what their backyard looks like.
(taken last July, when the day lilies bloom)

2 // I have a job for next year!  Since I'm non-tenured, I can't always count on being rehired year after year.  The catch to this is that I have a major shift in my assignment.  More on this next week.

3 // Our road trip to Virginia took 5 hours each way, so we stopped at a Starbucks to try their mini frappucinos coming home.  They're smaller than the regular ones, so you only get a taste, but it was the perfect size for us.

4 // Saw this on facebook last week and it really resonated with me.  Maybe it could encourage you if you're going through something difficult.

5 // I bought my very first Kate Spade bag this week!  They were having their surprise sale (75% off) and I found one that I just absolutely fell in love with.  I cancelled my Birchbox subscription and used the money to buy the handbag.  I can't wait until it comes in the mail!

What are you up to on this beautiful Memorial Day weekend?

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

On Being Inspirational

Last week we celebrated Teacher Appreciation.  Our PTO provided an amazing luncheon (no seriously, it was I had to eat a Tums before teaching Zumba because I was so stuffed!) and people spoke some very kind words over me.  I read a bunch of facebook posts and even looked back and some of my own writing about the role I play as a teacher.

But the truth is?  

I just don't always feel inspirational.  

Last year, I had 16 students who were sweet, fun-loving, and very mature.  I felt like I made a huge difference in their lives.  I helped them grow and become better people.  I got them ready for 5th grade.  I was proud to say that I was their teacher.  It was a great year, and I was sad to see them go.  Even coming back over the summer was difficult, and I had a hard time wrapping my head around the idea that I would be getting a new group of kids.  You never forget your first year, I suppose.

This year, I've just felt so much more ineffective.

I have eight more students than last year (that's a 50% increase and those 8 extra bodies make a ginormous difference!!) and they are just. so. different.  Case in point?  The other day we were visiting our kindergarten buddies and I had to tell one of my brightest students to get her head out of the bucket that held the baby chicks.  Yes, that's right, we went down to kindergarten to visit them and I had to usher my students out because a couple of them literally could not help themselves and insisted on sticking their heads in there.  We did a science experiment the other day where the students had to build circuits, put them around their necks, and use the exposed wires to test for conductors/insulators in the classroom.  It was a disaster of epic proportions.

My day isn't always inspirational!  Sometimes I am managing my students, all day 'err day.  And to tell you the truth, it's getting to me.  What do I have to show?  How have I helped them become better people?  

I can only hope that my fervent prayers were answered in a way that just hasn't been revealed to me yet.  

Looking back, I hope that this group takes it to heart when I tell them that I love being their teacher.  I hope they remember doing Zumba with me to identify parallel and perpendicular lines.  I hope they are motivated to read because of the great literature I've read aloud to them.  I hope they think of me when checking their work in the future because of all the times I've jumped around the room reminding them to ask themselves if their answers make sense.  I hope the little things go a long way.  
I can't help but consider 1 Corinthians 1:26-30, which says

Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.

So I guess it's okay for me to feel ordinary, right?  Maybe it's not my job to be inspirational.  Maybe that's just something that shines through me to God's glory.