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Aug. 14th, 2008

shut yo: _ _ _ _

Writer's Block: Six-Word Story

Hemingway was once challenged to write a story in only six words. His response? “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” He is believed to have called it his greatest literary work ever. Can you write a story in six words?
 I saw this on the homepage and usually most of the ideas on there are dumb, but I thought this was cute and could be fun.  Also, having been forced to read Hemingway in high school, I'm inclined to agree that the story above is true.


Here is my attempt at a story in 6 words:

Band Olympics?  I'm going for gold!


Now, you try!

Jul. 2nd, 2008

He's So Bossy!

Clash

I had a strange encounter last night with Jason's brother and I just cannot get it out of my head. Maybe blogging about it will help me understand it better,and perhaps y'all can give me your thoughts. Let me start by saying that I absolutely adore both of Jason's siblings. I consider them my family too and love spending time with them. They do have a lot of different interests than I do, but we have always found something to talk about and I feel we have gotten along really well up until this point.

Sometime last week, we all had gone out to dinner and Jason's sister (we'll call her T) and I were talking about politics while Jason and his brother (we'll call him K) were talking about some other topic while we waited for our food. We were discussing the pros and cons of Barack Obama becoming president. I was also telling her how I hardly ever discuss politics anymore because nobody ever seems to know what's going on down here and I also told her how I missed it because when I was in college we used to argue politics all the time. I said something along the lines of how nobody really pegs me for a politico, but that I know quite a bit about the economy and government and people are always surprised when they discover this about me. I wasn't trying to be boastful or imply that I was smarter than her or anything along those lines, but I think perhaps that is the impression I gave. Now, keep in mind, that I was not aware Jason or his brother were paying any attention to our conversation at all, and perhaps they weren't. I just don't know. BUT, fast forward to last night.

Jason and I were looking at some of his old photos of when he was a kid, and K was in the other room watching TV. He is a big fan of Tila Tequila and apparently the finale to her show was on. K and I have discussed Tila Tequila before and I told him that I thought she was a phoney bisexual and that she was only doing her show to make money and get more fame. I told him that I didn't think she would ever actually be in a real relationship with a girl and that I would be surprised if she chose a girl on her show. Blah blah blah. This was like a couple months ago. He didn't think I was right, we agreed to disagree in what I thought was a friendly conversation.

So apparently Tila chose a woman on the last show, and at the very end that woman turned her down saying she wasn't ready. K was telling me this, and I started laughing saying "Haha! That's an interesting coincidence! I bet it's all just a ploy by the producers! They made her choose a girl and Tila agreed as long as she didn't actually have to be with her!" I was just kidding and teasing and I thought K understood that I don't actually give a shit about Tila Tequila or who she dates. I was just playing with him to make him laugh. All of a sudden, he starts getting all pissy and saying, "Yeah I know, you know everything, right? You're a teacher. You went to college. You know politics. You just know everything!"

I was stunned. I felt like a kid who just discovered there's no Santa. I was hurt that this person who I had held in such a high regard was saying such mean things to me. Jason jumped in and diffused the situation quickly, which was good because tears were welling up in my eyes. I left shortly after that and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it since.

It wasn't so much the words that he said, but all the anger behind it. Like he had been holding it in for so long. It was all the things he implied by saying it that hurt me the most. And I started to think, "Oh my God! Do they think that I think I'm better than them because I went to college? Do I come across as disrespectful and condescending when we talk? I rewound every conversation we ever had in my mind and tried to see if I had said something that could be misinterpreted. And I thought about the politics comment. Had he overheard our conversation, or had T said something to him about it thinking that I was being pompous? It's been killing me because I DON'T think I'm better than them, or smarter than them. I mean, yes, I did go to college. I know a lot of random shit and perhaps I butt in too frequently when I know something about a topic, but that's just who I am. But it kills me to think that I give off the impression that I know more than anybody else. If it were anybody else, I wouldn't give a damn what they thought, but I care about these people. I respect them and want them to like me. And now I'm just afraid to be myself around them. I'm afraid that everything I say will be taken the wrong way. In one quick swoop everything about my relationship with K has changed.

I dunno. What do you guys think? Have any of you had similar thoughts about the way I speak to people? Should I just shrug it off and move on with life? Maybe this is just something about myself that I really need to work on. It's good to evolve, right?

May. 22nd, 2008

ralph wiggum

Overdue

I will fully admit that I am an emotion bottler. I don't let things get to me very often, little things anyway. I shrug it off, go with the flow, continue to be flexible, help out any way I can. I can sometimes even manage to do this with big things that bother me so long as they don't all happen at once. But with all this calm I normally posess, there has to eventually come a day when I explode and just let all my frustration out. It usually happens about twice a year and today was everybody's lucky day!

I got out of bed today already knowing that I was doomed. I could feel it building all day long, first one little thing piled on top of my workload, then another, and another. This whole week has been crazy, actually. And at last the final straw...being told that my event which was planned months ago, planned first, and which involves many people that do not work or live near Goldsboro who would be seriously inconvenienced by changing anything this late in the game (not to mention, they are doing me a huge favor by coming out in the first place) needs to be rescheduled because of somebody elses poor planning. I could not deal. Tears began welling up, and I tried to walk away. I tried to remove myself from the situation before I lost control, but my boss just kept on talking about how her job is so much harder than mine, how I can't possibly know what tired and frustrated feels like until I step into her shoes and how she doesn't really make any more money than I do since she has to work twelve months a year (WTF!? I never mentioned anything about my salary.) And she called me back and has the nerve to ask me why I'm so upset. I mean, wasn't she just there for the whole conversation? I went off, spouting about all the ways I got screwed over this week, how I'm always the one being called upon to do extra duties, and why wasn't there any way around cancelling my event, and why couldn't she show the slightest bit of sympathy for the situation I was being put in, or maybe just said "I'm sorry to ask you this but.... and thank you so much. I really appreciate your helping me out with this."

I mean I seriously unleashed. Other teachers were standing there watching it happen and I could actually feel their silent rounds of applause as they stared at me, knowing I was right and feeling much of the same sentiments I was pouring out. And the sad thing is, it did absolutely no good. I don't even feel nervous about the fact that I acted unprofessionally and could possibly have jeopardized my job. She does it all the time too and I know she still thinks I'm the cat's pajamas, but she also didn't comprehend anything I told her, still doesn't understand why I was upset, and still has no plans to fix her scheduling error so that it clears the gym for my event.

So, mission not accomplished, but at least I feel better inside.

In other happier news,

~ Jason and I are still going strong and I'm so, so happy in this relationship. I cannot imagine another person better suited for me than him. We just seem to fit in so many ways and even our differences seems to complement each other. I'm just very very happy right now.

~ I also might be getting free dental work done, including but not limited to: a deep cleaning, replacement fillings, new fillings (if necessary) and on top of it being free, I will also be getting paid $200 for each procedure and a free hotel room for the night before. All this is happening because my friend's boyfriend is a dentist from Florida who recently moved to North Carolina and has to retake his boards to get certified here, which means he needs patients to perform procedures on. Apparently dental patients are hard to come by right now and my teeth are fucked up enough that I am in high demand. Woot! It comes in handy right now since 1.) I'm broke and free money is good 2.) my dental insurance kinda sucks and 3.) my teeth are really fucked up and in desperate need of work.

~ Summer vacation is just 3 weeks away and I can finally relax a little, spend time doing things around my house that I have been neglecting for too long, and go to the beach with friends. I can also stop thinking about school and the band program for at least a couple weeks. Summer school starts July 7th which will keep me busy just as I am starting to get stir crazy from not having a job to go to. I can't decide which grade I want to teach this year yet. Maybe I will do 8th grade and get the same students I had last year for summer school. I miss those kids so much. Either way, I've decided it's going to be a fantastic summer.

~ Car shopping commences next month, since my lease is finally up. I really love the cobalt I have now, but it's time to give it back. I'm nervous about the high payments a new car might bring, but it has to be done. I'm going to force myself to be excited about this, since, really, when is buying a new car NOT fun? I'm looking at getting another Ford. Possibly a Focus again or a Fusion. We shall see.

I feel like there is more to say, but I'm getting tired of typing and I'm sure everyone has had enough of Mel today.

I'ma bounce, yo.

Mar. 16th, 2008

shut yo: _ _ _ _

(no subject)

I'm really glad that so many people are on board with my wedding plans! Let's hope that whoever the groom is feels the same way.

Usually when I tell people what I want for my wedding they think I am joking, but when they find out I am serious I get weird looks. It's okay, I'm used to it. The idea of a traditional wedding makes me so nervous. I can't possibly make it through a ceremony where everyones eyes are on me and I feel like I have to be all serious and emotional. Not to mention that I *always* cry at other people's weddings and I downright refuse to cry at my own. So I feel like I need an element of fun added to ease the tension, and I might even walk the plank in my wedding dress after it's over. You just never know. Either way, I'm glad you people are with me.

I finally got to go to the beach for the first time this season! Granted it was only for a few minutes and the water was still really cold, but it was still wonderful. I just miss the feeling of sand in my toes and the breeze from the ocean and the immediately relaxing feeling I get the instant I get there. I can't wait to take a vacation and actually spend a few days in a row there this summer.

I also went to the Aquarium too. I've been there before, but it is still such a fun place to go. Now I only have one more trip left before I have seen all of the North Carolina Aquariums. I could probably sit and watch fish swim around for hours on end. There is something comforting about it, I guess.

Anyways, that was my weekend in a nutshell. I'm off to see Jason in a little bit and play Mario Kart Doubledash on his brother's new Wii. Yes, thats right SAI girls. DOUBLEDASH. I can't wait to show Jason my mad skills. Ooh! and tomorrow is St. Paddy's day and Jason's family is very Irish, so, yada yada yada, I might have to call in sick on Tuesday.

Mar. 6th, 2008

ralph wiggum

You can be the pot AND the kettle, but it still won't make you black.

I just need to get some stuff out because it has been wearing on me a lot lately. Apologies if it doesn't make much sense to you. I'm not in the mood to proofread.

I know it's weird, but sometimes I just get so sick of being a white girl. It's almost like an obligation to act a certain way, and by "certain way" I mean stuffy and uptight. One of the best parts about living where I live and teaching where I teach is that I get to spend a lot of time with people of different races, and I find that I have way more fun around my friends who are black than around my friends who are white. And I don't deliberately keep the two groups separate, but it always seems to happen that way. And it really, really sucks. I feel like I don't fit anywhere.

I'm sure nobody on livejournal will believe me, but I'm a total gangsta sometimes. I pick up the mic on the sound system and freestyle rap between classes with the chorus teacher, crunk dance to "Low" among other songs, and really wish I could pull off putting twists in my hair or braids. And it isn't any kind of identity crisis. It's a part of who I am and have always been, but never felt comfortable letting it out. Now, after almost two years of living in the South, I completely understand why.

There is so much pressure on me to "act white." My friends who are white think I am a total freak when they see me doing the things mentioned above. See, at work everybody gets along fine profesionally, but when it comes to any kind of social interaction it is very visible that the races stay separate. It might not be deliberate, but it is quite obvious and we all just kind of decide not to talk about it. But lately I have been not only trying to break the social color barrier, but bring it out in conversation and to the forefront of people's minds. When I hear people tell me I'm crazy for something I'm doing, from either race, I just say, "Oh whatever. I'm black on the inside and you know you love it." I'm not sure how people feel about it, but I really don't care anymore. I just hate the feeling of tension and I feel like I spend far too much time thinking about how people are going to react to me. I guess I feel like the world should be more evolved than this. I personally want to spend less and less time with people who are just like me. There is so much more to learn by hanging around different kinds of people and I don't know why I am the only one who seems to enjoy being uncomfortable in my own skin.

Maybe I am crazy. I mean, people tell me this all the time, so it might be true.

I guess the fact that I live here in the first place is a little bit crazy. Normal people don't pack up their entire lives and move to another region of the country by themselves, with no friends or family nearby. I mean, I guess nobody else does that stuff, but to me it just felt like the natural next step in my life. I guess the point is that, to me, stepping out of my comfort bubble is the only way to nurture my true spirit. And I can't take it when people try to place labels on me.

Even as I type this my brain is saying,"You can't post this. People are going to be uncomfortable!" But I really think the tension lies in all the things we are afraid to say about our differences. So if you hate what I'm saying, or even mildly disagree, say something!

Talk to me people! I can't be the only one!

Feb. 20th, 2008

Fru

So excited!

One of my students made it into the All-County Honors Band! She is the only 6th grader to make it, since normally only 7th and 8th graders audition. I am so excited and so proud of her. I think I am going to call the local newspaper and see if I can get them to write an article about her.

Yippee! Finally something positive to read in the papers about my school! Hopefully they actually print it!

Feb. 8th, 2008

ralph wiggum

(no subject)

Wow. I cannot understand how so much time has gone by since I have last written an entry. Everything has gone by so fast and so much has happened. I have actually been meaning to update for quite some time (a few weeks at least) but things have just gotten in the way. Either I was just too busy and too tired, or I just couldn’t find the words I was looking for at the time when I was in the mood to write. Whatever. I’m making it work now. You love it. It's probably going to be long so, cut tags are my friend.

Okay...Christmas in MichiganCollapse )


Boyfriend!? Yippee Skippee!Collapse )


Work has been going great too even though I'm already reaching the burnout point for the year. I think it's the weather. It has been so warm and sunny that my brain has just shifted into Spring mode and I feel like school should be out soon. I mean, it really shouldn't be 82 degrees in February, even in NC! When it's warm, all I can think about is laying out on the beach, which makes going to work in the morning REEEEAAALLLYY difficult. But I'm loving my job more and more and I really love that I have a partner in crime this year. Victoria and I just take ideas and run with them and somehow get away with whatever we want. For example, we decided we wanted to have a big production to celebrate Black History Month, so she sat down and wrote this elaborate play and then we decided which pieces of music we were going to add and stuck songs here and there into the scenes and now we have got the whole school involved in it. The art department is making all the props and scenery (and omg, there is a lot!), teachers are volunteering to sew costumes, and we even have staff members singing in some of the scenes. We even found a local guy to come and pose as MLK, Jr. and deliver the speech! I think we are also going to call the local cable channel to come out and broadcast it on TV as well. I'm excited to see the final production. It's gonna be crazy!

So yeeeeah. Having a teammate at school is great, and I love that we have similar ideas on how to do stuff. I can't wait until next year already!

Tomorrow my drummers are playing at the intramural basketball game again, since everybody loved it the last time. I'm not really looking forward to having to wake up so early on a Saturday, but it will be fun once I get there.

So really, I'm happy with life right now. There is some bad shit happening too, but it's all being overshadowed by the awesomeness. It just doesn't even matter.

Wow. I've really missed livejournal. This was good.

Nov. 21st, 2007

Fru

I heard your voice through a photograph

Things are good.

I feel like my life is crazy busy, yet incredibly boring at the same time. I'm looking forward to this long weekend and stuffing my face tomorrow with food somebody else is cooking. I just feel like I need some time to relax and chill with friends, which is exactly what I will be doing this weekend.

Work has been going well, but very busy. I love, love, love our new chorus teacher and together we get so excited and giddy coming up with program ideas that it's almost crazy. And I love that we are actually having good quality musical programs this year, but it also means that it requires so much more time and energy. And so far, our programs have been AWESOME. People flipped out over our Veterans Day concert, and loved the drumline cadences, which made me feel so special inside, and last night the Choral Extravaganza couldn't have gone better for our kids. They really stole the show and sang better than the older groups from other schools. That really made me feel good because our school is sort of viewed as the ghetto's dumping ground here in Goldsboro, and we got the chance to show everybody that good things are happening with our children too. In a few weeks we will be having our holiday concert with band and chorus and I'm really looking forward to that, even thought there is so much work that still needs to be done. It will be a nice finish to the year before I leave for Christmas in Michigan.

Which reminds me.... I cannot wait until I get to go home for Christmas!! I haven't been home in a year and I miss everybody so much. I will finally get to meet my brother's girlfriend and her kids, and get to see the rest of my family whom I miss dearly, not to mention all of my friends! I just feel like I have so much to look forward to during those 10 days that I can barely contain my excitement.

Things are good.

I've been engaging in a fantastic flirtation with a jamaican guy who is a bus driver at my school and singer for a gospel group. His accent is rockin cool and he cracks my shit up with the things he says. I'm not sure how things are going to pan out, but I'm amused by the prospect nonetheless. It's just nice to have someone that you look forward to seeing at the end of a long work day. He makes me laugh, and really, what could be hotter than that?

Like I said, things are good.

I can't wait to see you people in December!

Peace out.

Aug. 5th, 2007

sai

(no subject)

I feel like I should update, but I am going to try to make this quick. I really want to get to bed early tonight.

Not a whole lot has been going on, except that I feel like I've been ridiculously busy and can't really understand why. I don't know where all the time has gone and what I have done with it, really. I have one more week of instructing time for summer school and then they test the next week. Hopefully this week goes smoothly, with as few disruptions as possible. I'm at my wit's end with one student in particular and I don't want to lose my cool any more than I already have with her. I just have to learn more patience and remember that she is only 14 years old. Sometimes these children act like they are so grown, that it's hard to remember that they are in fact still children, and need to be dealt with accordingly. And sometimes, the things they say resonate with me and I feel like I am 14 again trying to protect my own fragile identity. It's hard to be the confident, graceful, adult in the room when I still feel so much like a child. 7th grade was the hardest year for me growing up. Maybe that's why I feel so unusually attached to these kids. Good or bad, it is what it is, and in 2 weeks it will be over and I will be back to the grind getting ready for a new school year.

In more interesting news, I just got back from visiting Alainna in Virginia this weekend. I had a really good time just kicking back and relaxing away from Goldsboro. I love the area where she lives and especially her adorable house (which she is now getting ready to move out of). We layed around on the beach for most of the day on Saturday and it rocked. It was just what I needed, even if it was 100 freaking degrees out. Driving home today my car's thermometer kept displaying temps between 99 and 102 the whole way back. And the humidity is so high you can actually see the moisture in the air. It's quite disgusting, but it's a typical Carolina August.

The cats are bugging me to pay attention to them so I am off to nuzzle them for a bit and head to bed shortly after.

G'nite, kids!

Jul. 16th, 2007

Fru

I am a superstar

Today was such a lovely day and I had dreaded it so. I just felt like I had too much to do going to bed last night and I didn't sleep well because I was thinking about it, but it all got done quickly, easily and without incident. I love when that happens.

I had a great day teaching. My students were cheery and happy to see me and they worked really hard all day. I am so proud of them. I only wish I didn't have to be gone tomorrow and the next day. I am worried that the progress they are making will fall behind with the sub. Hopefully I get a good sub, who knows the material and can teach it. For some reason I just feel really attached to this group of kids. I am so much more motivated everyday to do my job better for them because they work so hard for me when I ask them to. They have brought a very unexpected joy to my Summer.

Tomorrow and Thursday I will be attending a retreat for my school's Leadership Team, which I am now a vital part of. Apparently I am now the most experienced elective teacher, since Bernadette, our fabulous art teacher, transferred schools. This makes me nervous, yet very excited. I feel like I have quite a bit to offer in the way of leadership and I look forward to working on stuff to better our school and the way the staff works together. I have to give a 30 minute presentation on using topics in the arts to help teach core subjects and reach diverse learners, which, wow, I could talk for 30 years on that subject. I think my powerpoint is pretty snappy and I have some good, useful, practical ideas for teachers to use, but I am so nervous about presenting. There are going to be teachers there that have been in education for 20+ years and seem to know everything about the job. I dont have much to offer that those teachers don't already know and I'm afraid of sounding too condescending for a teacher with one year's experience.

And NEXT week I get to go on an all expenses paid trip to Greensboro, where I will be staying at the Four Seasons with Ann and Kelly and Jamie and I think one other teacher for a conference on a new behavior program. We are the committee responsible for getting the staff on board with this new program and so we get to go away and be all cool in our awesome hotel suites. Greensboro is only 2.5 hours away, but it still feels like a mini vacation and teacher conferences are always fun because there is usually a lot of freebies and giveaways. Who doesn't like free stuff?

Oh! And I also started painting my office tonight. It took me about two hours to wash the walls and tape off the edges, but once I started painting it was so fun. I had the radio blasting, I stripped down to my skivies and danced while I roller brushed. I'm about a 3rd of the way done with the first coat and I figure I'll just do a little everyday until it's finished. I love the color so much that it's already making me happier. It's a deep red color and it ties in nicely with the rest of my downstairs decor.

And I probably should go to bed, since I have to be sharp tomorrow, but my endorphins are running wild and I feel all energized and awake.

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